All posts by Aidan Nicholson

Novak Djokovic wins Wimbledon in one of the greatest finals in history

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This will be remembered forever.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic combined for one of the greatest men’s finals in Wimbledon history in a 4 hour, 55 minute marathon that left both players spent following the first final set tiebreak in tournament history. Djokovic is your Wimbledon champion, and for a while it felt like we would never see a winner.

A first set tiebreak served as an early warning that Djokovic and Federer were going to be locked in a close match on a Sunny afternoon. The match earned its legendary billing entering the fifth set with both sides locked at two sets a piece. This quickly gave way into a battle to separate, with neither player finding a way to get a two-game advantage and win the championship.

Weather conditions were perfect for the final, but it mattered little as both players reached for towels in between points as the all-time in a desperate attempt to keep themselves cool as the match continued to become more and more intense. The crowd was decidedly behind Federer, swelling on every point and review — trying to will the 37-year-old to a win.

Late in the fifth set it appeared as if Djokovic was losing his cool during the marathon., especially while up 12-11 in the fifth set. Following a near miss the world No. 1 smashed his racket next to the chair of umpire Damian Steiner, earning a warning. It appeared as if the pressure of the situation had become too much. It was almost as if Djokovic channeled his anger into power, bombarding Federer with increasingly aggressive shots, wearing down Federer who was leaning more into a finesse game in the difficult conditions.

A relieved Federer spoke to the crowd following the match saying his kids would have preferred him to bring home the title, but joked about being relieved the match was finally over, saying it was time for him to have a rest. Djokovic was jubilant in his win, but acknowledged how grueling it was.

“This was definitely one of the most exciting matches I was a part of. One of those matches where you never know which point will change the flow […] I managed to find my best tennis when it mattered the most.”

This was truly one of the greatest matches in Wimbledon history, and a final that will be remembered forever.

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How to design a perfect Tour de France route

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What makes a successful Tour de France route? Let’s take a ride.

What are the ingredients in a good Tour de France route? Some say high-altitude finishes in majestic alpine scenes, or a balance of decisive stages that keep the suspense tight through the final week. Others want to see relatively unexplored areas of the France in addition to the classic locales. Foreign fans want to feel like they are experiencing all of the delights that France has to offer.

Ask a rider and you might get the same answers, along with some new ones — safe routes, reasonable stage distances, decent hotels, and as few bus transfers between stages as possible. Team managers, media members, race officials, and everyone else among the roughly 4,500 people who show up to work at the Tour each day will chime in with requests for space to maneuver before, during, and after stages, as they shepherd people and equipment across a country.

Cycling: 78th La Fleche Wallone 2014Photo by Tim de Waele/Corbis via Getty Images
Tour de France directors Christian Prudhomme, left, and Thierry Gouvenou

For the chefs who try to mix these ingredients into a delicious Tour de France every year — Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, and Thierry Gouvenou, race director — creating the route is a year-long effort to achieve their own soaring objectives while satisfying the minute details of financial security and physical space. At stake are well-beings, careers, vacation plans, and cultural pride, to say nothing of millions and millions of euros. To make the best course they can, Prudhomme and Gouvenou travel the roads of France and visit potential host towns along the way, scouting out the details of each stage to package them coherently. Every highway and scenic route, stage finish and geographic feature, strange place and well-worn spot was chosen with deliberate care.

Prudhomme and Gouvenou are famous in cycling circles for having breathed fresh air into a race that had been treading water for a decade or so. The Tour has (nearly) always been, and will surely continue to be, cycling’s Super Bowl, but fans get bored of long, endless stages with predictable conclusions. Lately, the Tour hasn’t been afraid to spice things up.

Let’s take a look at the basic elements of a Tour course, how they’re evolving, and what happens when things go wrong.

The roads … I mean, really, the roads!

The practical reality of putting a Tour together starts with linking more than 2,000 miles of road.

On one level, it might seem like a simple task. France is full of roads! But roads can go wrong. They can be loaded with obstacles (see: the Netherlands’ notorious “road furniture,” such as concrete islands and grooves for moving traffic) that will send unsuspecting riders over their bars in an instant. Sharp turns right before a sprint finish are an old favorite, if you’re into unnecessary pileups with hundreds of livelihoods at stake.

But tame the roads too much and you have the worst of the Vuelta a España, whose straightforward highway slogs look boring even in Spain. Gouvenou and Prudhomme have heeded the riders’ calls for safety in route planning, but not without putting the occasional cobblestone section in the mix, or using cool, narrow roads when the peloton can handle them. Unique riding terrain works well when it is used judiciously — the peloton can handle all sorts of quirky roads, just not every day for three weeks, and not without some warning.

First and second impressions

The Tour always tries to start the race in front of a dramatic canvas for its Grand Départ, sometimes going to foreign soil to find it. For decades, though, once the opening euphoria died down, the Tour would settle into a week or more of doldrums, grinding its way around France with a succession of lackluster sprint stages.

As 21st century media started bringing video of more races to more places, fans began to notice that the Giro d’Italia, cycling’s No. 2 event, seemed to find ways to enliven these early stages. For every plain sprint or two, you would get a funky finish that brought out different riders, or a picturesque climb to a famous hilltop monastery.

Prudhomme and Gouvenou took notice, and they now speak openly about making the race more fun and less predictable from start to finish. Tours starting up north have incorporated roads from the Belgian classics, like the first-week finish atop the Mur de Huy in 2015, or the Mur de Bretagne in 2011 and 2018. In 2019, the finish on the Planche des Belles Filles was reprised from 2012, 2014, and 2017.

The recent flourishes to the course have been a test of the directors’ vision. How much excitement can they bake in right away? Will livening up a few early stages put the overall favorites under too much pressure? The answer so far is no, and now it’s almost heresy not to have a little fun in Week 1.

Starts and finishes

The selection of host towns, where stages will start and end, are where Prudhomme and Gouvenou leave their biggest marks on a Tour. Barring a major climb in the middle of the stage, host towns get the lion’s share of media attention and give each stage its character. Roughly 35 to 40 French cities and towns will start and/or finish a stage of the Tour de France. Some 250 candidates apply each year for the available slots, each with a story it’d like to tell.

That story can be banal. Plenty of places are willing to pay the Tour’s parent company — Amaury Sport Organisation, or ASO — between $60,000 and $120,000 to advertise themselves to the world and potentially bring in millions, places like the Futuroscope theme park south of Paris, or any number of ski resorts in the Alps and Pyrenees. Most towns, however, just want to show off some part of themselves, whether it’s their culture, history, wine, food, or deep connection to cycling.

Some of the towns are chosen because they’ll be first-time hosts — places like Binche and Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, both on the 2019 route. They are old towns with singular traits. Binche annually hosts a UNESCO-recognized carnival ripped straight out of the 14th century, while Saint-Dié was built around an old monastery named for a quirky monk.

Others towns are chosen simply because they’ve almost always been on the Tour. Pau, in the shadow of the Pyrenees, is practically a required stop on every good Tour course, sometimes for multiple days. In 2019, it will make its 71st appearance, for no other good reason than it’s a large town in an area that doesn’t have many. Parking 200 riders and all their support staff in Bagnères-de-Bigorre or Saint-Lary-Soulain would be a stretch. And Pau, the capital of the Pyrenees, is close to the Tour’s favorite major climbs.

TOUR DE FRANCE CYCLISTE-1934AFP/Getty Images
Stage start in Pau, 1934

Another of the Tour’s favorite stops, also on the 2019 route, is Saint-Étienne. It’s not just another of France’s nearly 9,000 places named for a saint: Saint-Étienne breathes cycling. Situated in the middle of several categorized climbs, it is also the home to several prominent bike and component makers — like Mavic, Motobécane, and Vitus. A local club, Espoire Cyclisme Saint-Étienne Loire, develops French and international youths who are on track for professional careers, particularly eastern Europeans looking for a footing. Roger Rivière, best known for disappearing off the road and into a deep ravine during the 1960 Tour, was a local product.

For the town’s 26th appearance in the Tour, Saint-Étienne will get two stages — one finish, and one start. Both are “medium-mountain stages,” littered with moderate, punchy climbs. Saint-Étienne is often an hors-d’oeuvre on the eve of the Tour entering the Alps, but it also works well as a stopover in the other direction, heading away from the Alps toward the Pyrenees.

The Tour is easier to manage for riders and organizers when it comes back to the same host towns over and over, but for fans, yet another stop in Saint-Étienne or Pau can get old. As always, the challenge for Prudhomme and Gouvenou is to strike a balance.

And Yeah, the mountains

The competitive side of the Tour, the thing we all ostensibly come to see, is defined by how Prudhomme and Gouvenou choose the mountain stages. The names of the climbs — Alpe d’Huez, Col du Tourmalet, Mont Ventoux, etc. — grab the biggest headlines when the route is announced every October. The details of those climbs shape the outcome of the race in critical ways. The directors know this, and when they emphasize high-mountain finishes over time trials, or vice versa, they are in effect calling out the Tour’s early favorites and throwing obstacles in their way to create suspense around the yellow jersey.

With that, every Tour inspires a new set of probably-unprovable conspiracy theories. Lately, the Tour has been dominated by Team Sky (now Ineos) and its time-trialling aces. In 2019? The Tour features just 27 kilometers of time trialling. Even before Chris Froome was injured, the message was loud and clear that the Tour would like the pure climbers to shine.

The fact that a couple of French riders are among the top climbers in the world, and among the most forgettable time trialists, is worth pointing out. But fact is, this supposed scheming rarely works. More often than not, the strongest guy ends up winning no matter what the design. It’s fun to imagine Prudhomme trying to pick a winner nine months ahead of the Grand Départ, but he probably knows better by now.

The details of the climbs do a lot to distinguish a Tour route. Every year includes phases in the Alps and Pyrenees, and which comes first in the course alternates, giving a bit more drama to the finishing phase. Then it’s time to design the stages. Fans insist on mountain-top finishes, for the drama and beauty, but too many of them can lead to someone dominating the standings … or worse, riders avoiding going on the attack, saving their energy for the last, decisive day. The occasional downhill finish can be a thrill, or feel like a lot of climbing for a group to ultimately finish all together. And packing too much into a single day is less likely to launch new heroes as it is to simply wear out everyone. Nowadays, you’ll find the most dramatic climbs coming after 140 kilometers instead of 200.

The Tour has had its share of dud mountain stages, even with Prudhomme and Gouvenou at the helm. The 2015 and 2016 final Alps phases seemed a bit too cute and didn’t give Froome’s rivals all that much to work with, either because the gradients were so slack that Team Sky was able to grind everyone to dust, or because downhill finishes blunted the impact of the climbs. Froome deserves his due as the champion of the era, but the Tour has been at its best when he can be challenged mano-a-mano without his team doing so much work for him.

Tour de France - Stage NinePhoto by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Col de l’Iseran

The 2019 Tour added a special dimension to the mountain stages: high altitude. The last three stages before Paris spend more time than anyone can remember above 2,000 meters, including a crossing of the Col de l’Iseran that, at 2,770 meters, is the highest paved mountain pass in the Alps. The climbs are not tricky or dangerous — just long, high, hard brutes that will punish anyone who doesn’t deliver oxygen as efficiently as your average Nepalese sherpa.

Adding it up…

There is nothing not to like about a route like the 2019 Tour. Starting with its tribute in Brussels to the great Eddy Merckx, it is a Tour of Soaring Ambition, ending with a challenge to the modern riders to rise higher than they have ever dared. It has a charming start in Belgium, some entertaining terrain early on, and a welcomed (for now) emphasis on major mountain climbs over time trialling that seems like the best bet to create an explosive race. The uphill finishes are severe, but with the three most imposing stages all under 130 kilometers, there’s not much fat on the bone.

I wouldn’t call the 2019 route classically balanced — not with the time trials practically removed — but in a more subtle way, it is an outstanding mix of all of the other elements a solid Tour route requires. From the first course to the main dish, Prudhomme and Gouvenou may have cooked up their best Tour yet.

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After Flash-Crashing to $191, Analysts Expect Ethereum to Continue Dropping

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The aggregated crypto markets are currently bathing in a sea of red after Bitcoin failed to find support in the $11,000 region and plummeted nearly 10% towards $10,000. This drop led most major altcoins, including Ethereum (ETH), to reel lower today, with many cryptocurrencies trading down over 10%.

Additionally, the recent plunge did lead Ethereum to flash-crash to $191 on Bitstamp, and analysts do believe that ETH will continue dropping lower in the near-future.

Ethereum Plunges 12% as Selling Pressure Ramps Up

At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading down over 11% at its current price of $239.9, which is down significantly from its daily highs of $270.

This downwards pressure marks a significant extension of the selling pressure that ETH first incurred in late-June when it rapidly surged to $350 before incurring a sudden influx of selling pressure that sent it reeling down to roughly $280.

In the time since, Ethereum has been facing a bout of choppy trading that has ultimately resulted in an extension of its downwards pressure that has led it to fresh monthly lows.

Interestingly, earlier today ETH experienced a so-called flash-crash yesterday on the Bitstamp exchange that sent it plunging to $191, a price level not seen by the cryptocurrency since early-May.

Big Cheds, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about this crash in a recent tweet while referencing the below charts.

“$ETH #Ethereum – Flash crash on Bitstamp last night down to $191,” he said.

ETH Likely to Continue Dropping Lower as Selling Pressure Ramps Up

Although the recent bout of selling pressure has been largely sparked by Bitcoin’s inability to find any support above $11,000, it is important to note that Ethereum does not have any significant levels of support until it hits the lower-$230 region.

The Cryptomist, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about these levels of support in a recent tweet, explaining that she expects it to test $233 in the near-future.

“$ETH: Perfect! RSI support has finally broke. Next support region I see us testing is 233 region loveys. Will monitor this weekly chart as we approach support of 50 RSI,” he explained.

Although it is highly probable that Ethereum’s near/mid-term price action will largely be guided by Bitcoin, it is also likely that it will continue to capitulate as the day drags on, which could result in it dropping significantly lower in the near-term.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Refreshed Model: Bitcoin (BTC) to See $100,000 After 2020’s Halving

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For a while now, Bitcoin (BTC) has seemingly moved with rhyme nor reason. Today, the crypto asset is down 7%, falling off of no clear fundamental event. And just four days, it was rallying by over 10%, pushing ever closer to near its year-to-date high of $14,000.

Despite the day-to-day volatility, valuation models have begun to arise for Bitcoin, ones that may give insight into where this cryptocurrency can head in the long run.

Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Donald Trump Jabs Bitcoin, Bitpoint Hacked for XRP, Litecoin Bags Partnership

According to a refreshed model by a leading statistician in this market, should BTC follow a model that it has for over seven years, it could see six digits in the coming two years.

The Road to a $1 Million Bitcoin

You might not know him, but Bitcoin analyst PlanB has a model that may shock cryptocurrency investors the world over.

Before we begin, let’s take a quick look at the definitions of the stock-to-flow ratio (SF) and its effect in financial markets.

The stock is the value of an asset, usually a commodity, above the ground/produced; the flow is the growth in the supply of said asset in any given year. These two sums can be combined to form a ratio, which defines scarcity by how much inflation an asset sees (the higher, the more scarce).

According to an analysis compiled by PlanB, the value of commodities like gold and silver can be plotted, and thus predicted, by a stock-to-flow valuation model.

In a recent tweet, the analyst noted that if you take BTC’s prices in all historical Octobers, then plotted it against the stock-to-flow model, Bitcoin fits it to a 99.5% R2.

The model predicts that should Bitcoin continue to follow the model to an eerie degree of accuracy, BTC could reach over $100,000 a pop after 2020’s halving event. You see, when the cryptocurrency’s block reward reduction arrives, the SF ratio naturally increases, doubling actually.

And as the relationship between the SF ratio and the market capitalization of a commodity is seemingly exponential in PlanB’s model, each halving should bring about a massive bout of growth for Bitcoin.

BTC May Shoot Higher in 2019: No Need to Wait for 2020?

While 2020 and beyond may seem a while away, analysts are suggesting that Bitcoin could be poised to push dramatically higher in 2019. Per previous reports from financial binary options,

Timothy Peterson, a Texas-based crypto fund manager and Bitcoin pioneer, recently laid out the model below which plots how BTC’s performance in the first half of any given year relates to the second half’s performance.

Interestingly, the model, which can be defined as the positive slope y = 1.1409x + 0.5151, fits the trend to a 90% R2.

According to Peterson, Bitcoin gaining 180% year-to-date (effectively the 2019’s first half) implies that it has another 250% (“give or take”) left to run by the end of the year.

A 250% gain from current levels would mean Bitcoin ends the year at $40,000 — practically double BTC’s 2017 all-time high of just around $20,000. According to Peterson, even $50,000 is realistic.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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Bitcoin Downtrend Could Persist Through 2019 as Bears Roar; Here’s Why

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After a long period of facing downwards pressure, Bitcoin’s bulls finally caved in to the selling pressure, which sent BTC reeling into the $10,000 region. This drop sent the aggregated crypto markets plummeting lower, which may spell significant trouble for the year ahead.

Now, analysts are noting that Bitcoin is highly likely to extend this downwards pressure further in the coming weeks and months, which could result in a drop back into the four-figure price region.

Bitcoin Plummets Nearly 10% as Bears Come Out Swinging 

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down just under 9% at its current price of $10,420, which is down significantly from its daily highs of roughly $11,500, which were set yesterday.

This recent drop marks an extension of the downwards pressure that BTC first incurred when it swiftly rose to $13,800 in late-June, which subsequently led to a massive drop that halted the upwards momentum the markets had incurred for the past several months.

Since this drop, Bitcoin has found strong support in the upper-$9,000 region, and analysts are noting that it will likely continue to drop until it reaches this price level again.

Josh Rager, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about this in a recent tweet, noting that it is critical BTC holds strong above $10,577 today, or else a drop towards $9,000 is imminent.

“$BTC – the [bears] woke up from hibernation and are pushing the price down to major support area. Really need to see it close above $10,577 level or my next target will be in the low to mid $9ks at a weekly support level. Bulls have until 11:59PM UTC for daily/weekly close,” he said.

Will Downtrend Persist Throughout the Rest of 2019?

Although it does seem as though this downtrend is simply a flash in the pan before Bitcoin continues its upwards ascent back towards its previously-established all-time-highs, one analyst is noting that it is highly likely this trend persists for the rest of 2019.

Dave The Wave, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about this possibility in a recent tweet, saying:

“A lower low, and under 10K, could very well see a major trend change. Six months spiking… possibly the rest of the year correcting. But on the positive side, the bottom looks in. Support: Growth curve, mean curve, medium and long term averages.”

Only time will tell as to whether or not the recent bout of BTC selling pressure is truly emblematic of a long-term trend, but it is probable that the crypto will return to the four-figure price region in the near-future.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Donald Trump Likely Didn’t Cause Bitcoin Crash to $10,500: Analytics

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Last week, the crypto market was blessed by a historical event: Bitcoin and Libra were both mentioned in name by the sitting American President.

Related Reading: Analyst: Bitcoin Could Hit $9,000 Should Bearish Breakdown Occur; Here’s Why

In a three-part thread, Donald Trump lambasted cryptocurrencies as a whole. Per previous reports from financial binary options, the American leader tried to dismantle the value proposition of not only decentralized cryptocurrencies — such as and namely Bitcoin — but Facebook’s Libra too.

Trump quipped that he doesn’t believe that digital assets are money, adding that they are also known to be very volatile and “based on thin air”.  The President went on to argue that cryptocurrencies can and do “facilitate unlawful behavior”, citing its use in the drug trade and “other illegal activity”.

He even took some time to poke the Libra crowd, claiming that the association should abide by “all Banking Regulations”, and that the U.S. Dollar should be the world’s strongest currency.

As a result of this sudden tweetstorm, which many say would cement Bitcoin as “dangerous” in the eyes of millions, some began to run scared. In fact, some have suggested that the recent Bitcoin downturn to $10,500 is a result of Trump’s comments on cryptocurrency.

Trump Didn’t Trigger This Week’s Bitcoin Selloff

According to a report from crypto analytics startup The TIE, this isn’t the case.

The TIE acknowledges that Trump’s tweet regarding Bitcoin did spark increased conversations about this budding market, noting that in the hours after the message spread, tweets involving “BTC” moved from 35,000 to 50,000.

It was also noted that most of the talk involving the President’s thoughts on Bitcoin is “negative-leaning”, hinting that the tweet could have negative effects on the reputation of cryptocurrency in the public’s eyes.

However, the TIE concludes that “while Trump remains a hot topic in BTC tweets, at this point, he does not appear to have had a significant impact on the coin”.

Still Long-Term Bullish 

While Trump’s thoughts regarding the nascent cryptocurrency space had seemingly no effect on short-term price action, analysts, like Fundstrat’s Tom Lee, suggest that the single Twitter thread poses a massive bullish catalyst for Bitcoin.

In fact, speaking to Yahoo Finance in a recent segment, Fundstrat’s resident cryptocurrency bull wasn’t shy to claim that Trump’s seemingly straight-out-of-left-field tweets about Bitcoin and its ilk could help BTC hit $40,000 in the near future.

Lee’s reasons to be bullish now include Trump’s tweets on top of growing institutional adoption and investment, dovish fiscal policy by central banks, and certain macroeconomic trends that should tactily scream “buy Bitcoin”.

And as covered by this outlet previously, anti-establishment proponent Max Keiser believes that Bitcoin could rally to $100,000 as a result of the tweet.

The RT contributor suggests that by tweeting anti-Bitcoin thoughts, Trump is opening the U.S. up to being proverbially “kicked” by foreign adoption of BTC and other cryptocurrencies.

That’s not all.

Jeremy Allaire, the chief executive of the Goldman Sachs-backed Circle, suggested that Trump’s tweets — yes, tweets — is potentially the “largest bull signal” for Bitcoin of all time.

While this may seem counter-intuitive, as Trump denouncing cryptocurrencies may actually trigger heavy-handed regulation, Allaire explains that this elevates cryptocurrency to the global stage.

No longer is Bitcoin an asset for the fringe. Now, it exists in the mainstream, as more likely than not, this single Twitter thread, exposed to upwards of 68 million Twitter users, will trigger global political and economic discussion on the matter. And by simple virtue of curiosity and the so-called “Lindy Effect”, this space could grow rapidly.

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US Govt Sees Libra as a Bigger Threat than Bitcoin: Messari CEO

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Facebook is on the wrong end of a political cycle which could weaken the standing of its cryptocurrency project Libra, believes Ryan Selkis of Messari.

The CEO said Libra is a “bonafide threat” to the US dollar because Facebook wonders about structuring the greenback with a basket of international currencies. The move, to the US government, is an effort to decouple a sovereign fiat currency from the influence of its central bank.

“It seems Libra should continue to draw most of the attention in ire,” Selkis told Bloomberg, adding that Facebook has just reached a $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over privacy violations which makes the US government more doubtful about the firm’s foray into the financial world.

Bitcoin Lesser a Threat

The comments came a day after the US President Donald Trump criticized both Facebook Libra and Bitcoin in the same breath. The world’s most powerful politician tweeted on Thursday that he is not a big fan of either of the cryptocurrencies and that they should not expect special treatment from the US government when it comes to regulations and policymaking.

“If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International,” he said.

Trump held back from saying the same about bitcoin, which remains more a protocol than a brick-and-mortar company with an address in the US. His criticism of the cryptocurrency repeated what the bitcoin skeptics have been saying for years: it’s volatile and does not have an intrinsic value. The comments further failed to cause any trouble in the bitcoin market, as the cryptocurrency kept maintaining its grip on the prevailing bullish bias.

“With bitcoin, there is no CEO, there is no headquarters. You cant send a letter and call someone for a hearing,” said Anthony Pompliano, founder & partner with Morgan Creek Digital. “So I think the complete decentralized nature of the asset is what makes it compelling.”

That is the same Selkis attempted to explain, hinting that the US government’s hitlist included companies they actually hurt or submit into complying, such as Facebook. He said:

“Libra is a stable store of value that could truly be an alternative to the mass market overnight.”

Schiff: Fed will Come after Bitcoin

Gold bull Peter Schiff believes that Federal legislative bodies would eventually launch a crackdown against bitcoin. He said on Thursday:

“I wonder if Trump’s tweet about his not being a Bitcoin fan, and his specific reference to unlawful behavior, drug trade, and other illegal activity, is a precursor to a Federal legislative crackdown on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? Ignore this risk at your peril!”

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Bitcoin Hits “Do-Or-Die” Support Level as Selling Pressure Swells

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Bitcoin

After an extended period of consolidation, Bitcoin has failed to hold above its previously established support level at $11,000 and has now plunged into the $10,000 region. Today’s price plunge marks an extension of the downwards pressure that BTC first incurred when it failed to break past $13,800, which remains a yearly high.

Analysts are now noting that Bitcoin is nearing a “do-or-die” price point at which the cryptocurrency must hold above, or else significantly further losses could be imminent – which may mark a reversal of the bull trend that has occurred throughout 2019.

Bitcoin Drops Towards $10,000, Breaking Previously Formed Parabola

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down over 7% at its current price of $10,490, which is down significantly from its daily highs of $11,500.

While looking towards BTC’s price action over a one-week period, it is clear that bears are in full control at the moment, as the cryptocurrency’s buyers were unable to stabilize its price above $13,000.

Additionally, this recent period of consolidation and subsequent drop has forced Bitcoin to violate its previously formed parabola that was created during the course of this uptrend, which may spell trouble for the entire crypto markets.

Peter Brandt, a highly celebrated analyst who predicted the recent bull run, spoke about the violation of this parabola in a recent tweet, while referencing the below chart.

Importantly, the violation of this parabola could lead to significantly further losses in the coming days, weeks, and months; which could mean that the recently formed bull trend is in full reversal.

Analyst: BTC at a “Do-Or-Die” Level That Must Hold

It is highly probable that analysts will soon understand whether or not bears will garner full control of the cryptocurrency, as it is currently sitting at a price level that must be held in the near-term, or else significantly further losses could be imminent.

Josh Olszewicz, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about this price level in a recent tweet, noting that it may not be until August or September that we truly know whether or not BTC will soon drop back into the four-figure price region.

“1D $BTC at Kijun do-or-die support here. Possible that we grind for a while in triangle consolidation then make a decision towards Aug/Sept. If break down, e2e to 8.8. Closing Q3 at -15%ish is on par w/historic Q3s. #WakeMeUpWhenSeptemberEnds is a real thing,” he explained.

As the week drags on and Bitcoin continues to react to its key support levels that lie directly below its current price level, it will likely soon grow clear as to whether or not BTC will continue climbing higher or if the “Crypto Winter” will persist.

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Smart Money Will Soon Diversify For 50-100X Gains In Altcoins

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Altcoins

Bitcoin is in a roll so far establishing its place as king of crypto. Traditionally many alternative digital currencies have kept pace with Bitcoin, rising and falling in value with it.  Nevertheless, this year, as Bitcoin advances forwards, it seems to be cannibalizing the altcoins, killing the dreams of an altcoin season. Crypto analysts, however, believe that the tide could soon change, as BTC’s prices sharply increase.

One
of them, for instance, commented on Reddit:

 “The smart people will start diversifying into other low priced tokens such as ETH, VET, KIN, XRP, and LINK… all strong buys in the end. The bulls and whales know that a x10 is chump change. They know a x50 to x100 is possible. It happens often in our crypto market. As a matter of fact it’s the only market in the world to do this”.

Bitcoin is an uncorrelated digital asset, flourishing as the global economy built on fiat ebbs. Untouched by the recent political and trade wars between key global economy players, BTC store of value status has also come to play. There has been a massive growth in institutional investors, with large whales being blamed for the commencement of the current BTC Bull Run.

Everyone
on the crypto world, however, has been waiting for the alts season. Bitcoin has
dominated 65 percent of the market, leaving the altcoins a small market share
to brawl over. It’s not all dark and gloom though since the significant large
cap alternative tokens have made gains against the USD. Their performance
against BTC, nonetheless, has been lackluster in the last three months. 

The Altcoin Season Is Coming

Ethereum, for example, the second largest altcoin by market cap has dipped by 35 percent against BTC in this period. Additionally, the small-cap altcoins have taken a more substantial hit, with a token like Zilliqa (ZIL) losing about 80 percent of its value.

Some
analysts have however said that the signs are there, an altcoin season is
coming. A respected member of Crypto Twitter has even offered some technical
evidence to that effect. By his projections, The Crypto Dog, a twitter user, says
that the altcoin total market cap is about to rise by 50 percent.

As
per a chart he shared, the total altcoin market cap is showing an ascending
broadening wedge. Of the chart, The Crypto Dog says:

 “Altcoins Total Market cap resembles an ascending broadening wedge. While certainly not a guaranteed bullish signal, the last time we saw one of these in cryptocurrency there was quite a pop”.

Further, he has predicted that going by the signs, the altcoin market cap could rise by $180 billion in a few months. This is most certainly the situation that most altcoin holders are waiting for. Any altcoin holder has the potential of making 100x or 1000x more depending on the asset they have than they can with highly priced Bitcoin. Other crypto users have suggested that a BTC value of 20K is going cause some folding of the token into the altcoins.

The post Smart Money Will Soon Diversify For 50-100X Gains In Altcoins appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Critics: Altcoins Like Litecoin Resorting To Marketing Than Developing Products

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Marketing Litecoin Tron

Currently, Coinmarketcap, a cryptocurrency aggregation platform, lists over 2000 active cryptocurrencies. However, being active doesn’t translate to being valuable. As one critic notes, the high number of cryptocurrencies being developed has pushed developers to pull marketing stunts to keep them afloat.

On Reddit, the critic cited Litecoin (LTC) as one such altcoin with no compelling product.

“Miami Dolphins announced that LTC is their official cryptocurrency. It seems like the coin itself does not have a really good use in the future ecosystem, so the LTC Foundation has directed its attention to marketing as opposed to developing a useful product. Seems like the Richard Heart strategy is their hailmary. We don’t have a product that sells itself, so let’s just market the hell out of it and hope it catches some ignorant eyes.”

Since Bitcoin Is Gold, Litecoin Is
Silver

As part of Litecoin marketing, its co-founder, Charlie Lee, branded it as silver to contrast Bitcoin’s digital gold status. According to keen cryptocurrency enthusiasts, Lee flaunting Litecoin as silver was to sway investors to think that “silver is a precious metal worth own.”

Litecoin has been at the center of the marketing claims for some time now. It has almost the same code as Bitcoin with only a few changes. Additionally, the Litecoin community was virtually dead until the coin was listed on Coinbase. That’s besides non-development in the better half of 2018 as per GitHub commits.

Interestingly, the founder of Litecoin may have influenced the listing since he was an employee at Coinbase. The coin even implemented a Segwit upgrade which was seen as a marketing stunt since the platform had not exceeded its 4MB block size.

Immediately Litecoin was listed, Lee resigned from Coinbase to “focus on Litecoin.” After rallying investors, the price went up, and Lee liquidated all his Litecoins at $370, which was an over 9,000 percent increase.

In what seems suspicious, it’s after the LTC
spiked to an all-time high that Lee realized there was a conflict of interest.
Lee said:

“Some people think that I short LTC! So in a sense, it is a conflict of interest for me to hold LTC and tweet about it because I have so much influence…For this reason, in the past days, I have sold and donated all my LTC. Litecoin has been very good for me financially, so I am well off enough that I no longer need to tie my financial success to Litecoin’s success.”

Tron is on the same path

Unfortunately, Litecoin is not the only crypto
project that has pulled marketing stunts in the past. Tron has also been on the
same path.

In April, Justin Sun, the founder of Tron, announced that Tron would be signing a partnership with Liverpool Football Club.

In a tweet, Sun said:

“Thank you for the unique and innovative invitation, Liverpool! I am impressed, and I’m looking forward to exploring this Tron new partnership together.”

However, it later turned out that Liverpool
had no plans of partnering with Tron and Sun’s partnership rumors didn’t have a
solid base.

According to reports from Decrypt, Liverpool’s
spokesperson said:

“Liverpool Football Club has confirmed that it does not have a partnership with Tron. We regularly engage with lots of companies to better understand their business and we have extended an invitation to Tron—along with many others. To be clear, no discussions have taken place.”

But, Liverpool’s response was too late since
Tron diehards were already buying the rumor and probably filling up their bags.
As developers continue to develop coins with similar utility, marketing, or PR
stunts is the only way to keep their communities engaged and the coins afloat.

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