It has not been a good transition from Friday to Saturday so far, with Bitcoin price failing to break past the key USD 8,000 level, which has now turned from support into key resistance.
Despite at least three big surges to attempt it over the past 24 hours, the daily high has only been USD 7,995, and Bitcoin is right now in the midst of trying to break it on another run again at 9:40 am London (CoinDesk).
The situation is only marginally better for altcoins. Ethereum is for now safely above the USD 170 mark, gaining 2% in the past day to hopefully make another USD 180 run this weekend. Tron (TRX) continues to be one of the best performers, making up 6% ground since Friday, while Ripple and even Dogecoin are showing a lot of sustained strength in this Bitcoin downturn.
Monero, Lisk and NEM are the poor performers who are in the red today, but it is Bitcoin Gold who is the worst performer in the Top 30 by market capitalization, with a 7% depreciation.
Whatever it is, the optimism for USD 20,000 in the remaining months of 2019 is now a distant possibility.
One big news to come out has been that cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex will now part ways from its aprent company Circle and rebrand as Polo Digital Assets. It sent an email to all users announcing this change and that they would also stop supporting US customers, indicating a desire to open their doors more widely to an international market.
Their blog post publishing the announcement also says that they will be receiving backing by a major Asian investor. Though no group or person was mentioned as investor, the spinoff is rumored to consider Tron founder Justin Sun as a possible leader. TRX tokens, as mentioned above, seems to have benefited from these swirling rumors. The post said:
“We are excited to announce that we are spinning out from Circle into a new company, Polo Digital Assets, Ltd., with the backing of a major investment group. We have a multiyear plan to spend more than USD 100 million to develop and expand Poloniex, and we are very excited to continue working with the amazing global community of Poloniex customers.”
Meanwhile, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, Binance, is back in the headlines this week, after increasing its leverage for possible investment into its Bitcoin futures products to 125:1. Most exchanges offering derivatives or margin trading would set a maximum at 100 but the decision to go that much more appeals to traders with large risk appetites. Now available on the web and testnet trading interfaces for BTC/USDT contracts, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has taken to Twitter to issue a warning to new or inexperienced traders to stay away from the functionality.
Use high leverage with extreme caution. Dont recommend it for new traders. https://t.co/vstV0Lusf2
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) October 18, 2019
Seemingly well aware of the risks of leverage or margin trading, and of the propensity of traders to go bust (get a margin call, and therefore, liquidating all positions). Zhao explained:
“Not every feature is for everyone. Some features, while not liked by everyone, are in high demand only for small selected groups. Please don’t use features you don’t like or need. As a platform, we have to provide choices to stay competitive.”
Some commentators will say that this is more proof that Binance new futures offerings are struggling to gain the expected traction, just as other types of Bitcoin derivatives are being slow in uptake like with the overhyped Bakkt.
Binance is keen to bring big volume traders on to its platform and recently announced a VIP Invitation Program for new users, inviting them to trade on their spot, margin and futures offerings. Typical of Binance, new traders needed to provide screenshots as proof of their trading volume from other exchanges, and Binance would give them fee discounts.
It’s a credit to Binance that they have managed to drum up support and volume in these times, but one wonders how sustainable these efforts really are. Because while some enjoy that Binance makes so much effort to drive up commerce for their platform, most of it is artificial and requires incentivized activity. Will the bubble remain if they cease?
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