An interesting trend emerged in mid-week Bitcoin trading when yesterday’s high was not achieved, but at the same time, a higher low was somehow recorded, as Bitcoin traded within a very narrow range, when compared to the past few weeks.

The strict USD 9,275 and USD 9,439 range of the past 24 hours (CoinDesk) suggests that Bitcoin has once again entered a consolidation phase, much as many crypto traders and analysts are now predicting. The case of higher lows seems to be backing up the argument, as well as increasing volumes in trade, although things can quickly change as volume is still not quite up to the mark required to withstand a sustained selling attack.

Altcoin prices have not budged much from yesterday, although the majority of them in the Top 20 are in positive growth, with Stellar and Decred coming down from extremely positive growth, as we reported previously. Big winners are the Bitcoin forks BSV and BCH, as both seem to enjoy it, even more, when Bitcoin does well.

Perhaps we should look for opportunities not to bash Facebook’s ill-advised crypto project Libra, but it is hard to ignore the headlines globally when trying to determine market sentiment. Today, the latest to come out from the Eurozone is rather obviously anti-Libra.

After having committed earlier to block Libra’s potential launch, the European Union, via its policy site EurActive today, has published a draft document to be tabled at this Friday’s EU finance ministers, that promises “all options should be on the table” in blocking the development of the Libra project’s stablecoin due to its “unmanageable or excessive risks.

Finland is the culprit behind this latest document, seeing that it is the current president of the EU Council, a position that rotates between member states every half year. Beyond preventing the development of Libra as a possible measure, the document insists that Libra and all other projects of the same measure should not be allowed to operate in the EU until it satisfactorily identifies and addresses all risks and challenges.

IT does not appear to note that the company currently in charge of Libra is in fact headquartered in neutral Switzerland, therefore within the EEA but outside of the EU. But it notes that because Libra is not clear, it “makes it impossible to reach definitive conclusions on whether and how the existing EU regulatory framework applies”

The European Commission had already presented two questionnaires to Facebook in its attempts for further information gathering. It is noted that regulators and lawmakers in the Union must make rules based on “sound evidence” and “general principles” that would not discriminate against Libra but be applicable to all stablecoins planned for global use.

It remains to be seen if Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be fazed by any of this, given the baptism of fire he’s already had from US regulators!

Meanwhile, as social media alights with the news that claims a single Bitcoin whale was entirely responsible for the parabolic run of Bitcoin to USD 20,000 in 2017, the boss of payment processor Circle, Jeremy Allaire, has brought the recent research suggesting this into dispute.

He refers to Wall Street Journal research, but it is also similar to that published by University of Texas Professor John Griffin and Ohio State University’s Amin Shams, who told Bloomberg that they updated a paper they first published in 2018, showing how the stablecoin Tether was responsible for the 2017 crypto bull run.

Allaire is adamant that there is little logic behind the idea that one trader was able to use Tether to manipulate Bitcoin price on one exchange. He explains:

“Exchanges use omni-bus wallets that pool all customer balances and transactions on and off the exchange. So an analysis that shows that ‘a single wallet’ was involved in flows from Bitfinex to other exchanges is meaningless. All it shows is that traders were trading.”

Others also picked up the call, saying that researchers had little understanding of the technology and had applied sweeping statements to the event. Dutch crypto trader Michaël van de Poppe had said earlier:

“Wake up call; every market is ‘manipulated’. Everybody tweeting something about the price of a certain asset is ‘manipulating’ the market. Doesn’t mean you can’t make money.”

What’s the truth? Probably something in between.

 

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