Mixed fortunes hold true for Bitcoin price today, with a higher high at USD 8,508 topping off the past 24 hours, before eventually floundering to a lower low at USD 8,177.

The optimist will point towards its current ability to keep above USD 8,000, but the critic will note that volumes at the higher end are too weak to suggest a proper recovery, so lower prices seem to beckon for this week.

As it stands, with Europe winding down at 4:15 pm London (3:15 pm UTC, CoinDesk), price is poised at USD 8,244, down a little from the same time yesterday. Confluence is the name of the game here, right next to patience and confusion!

Perhaps we shall start with a lazy marker today for sentiment, as we receive wind from the Bahamas where US Presidential candidate and self-imposed exile John McAfee has reminded everyone that his USD 1 million dollar valuation of Bitcoin will still come true by his own deadline in 2020.

Unperturbed by the fact that Bitcoin continues to be under a lot of price pressure, McAfee confirmed to Forbes that he has not backed away from his million-dollar prediction. With little less than 15 months for Bitcoin to rise in price by some 120 times to hit McAfee’s target, it doesn’t seem very likely to the logical observer. The key, however, according to the man, is Bitcoin’s growing scarcity:

“Let’s get real, there are only 21 million bitcoins. Seven million of which have been lost forever, and then, if Satoshi [Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator] is dead, add a few more million [to the lost total].”

He insists that it is logic and mathematics that helped him arrive at the 7-digit figure, and challenges anyone to “just run some numbers”. He believes that once Bitcoin accounts for just 5% of global financial transactions, Bitcoin could even be valued at a whopping USD 10 million. He jokes:

“I’m just a very conservative man. I said one [USD 1 million] and I’m sticking to one.”

Sadly, the man did not confirm if he would stick by his promise to consume a certain member of himself on live television should his prediction fail to materialize. One might think he is hoping we would all forget, or that Forbes simply could not bring themselves to ask him! Meanwhile, Bitcoin has now just reached 17,968,263 in total circulation — over 85% of total supply.

In other news, Indian financial publication Economic Times claims that Tether, and not Bitcoin, is the world’s most used cryptocurrency. Its bizarre conclusion rests completely on the fact that it is the stablecoin Tether that is mainly used to trade for and against Bitcoin in many exchanges.

Their research follows data from CoinMarketCap, which displays Tether (USDT) as the crypto with the highest daily and monthly trading volume. Apparently, Tether had already surpassed Bitcoin volume as early as April and continues to exceed it by about USD 21 billion every day.

The data is likely suspect, however, given the scandals and criticisms that have been leveled at CoinMarketCap for using inaccurate data fed to it by exchanges, who employ tactics such as wash trading to artificially inflate trading volume to give the illusion of use.

Using trading volume is also only reflective of Tether’s limited utility as a stablecoin — a store of value with low volatility — compared to Bitcoin as a medium of exchange and currency, used all over the world as peer-to-peer transactions.

Global financial tech co-head at ConsenSys, Lex Sokolin, believes that this underlines the importance of Tether, despite its many criticisms as a centralized project lacking transparency:

“If there is no Tether, we lose a massive amount of daily volume — around $1 billion or more depending on the data source. Some of the concerning potential patters of trading in the market may start to fall away.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Thaddeus Dryja, however, isn’t buying the importance:

“I don’t think people actually trust Tether — I think people use Tether without realizing that they are using it, and instead think they have actual dollars in a bank account somewhere.”

However you feel about the world’s most used stablecoin, crypto does appear to be in a state of continuous growth. A far cry from the traditional world of Wall Street, which is currently struggling to make sense of poor economic data and warnings from analysts who believe the Trump administration is about to block US investment into China.

The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all slipped almost 1 % in a single day of sharp falls, unable to shake off bearish sentiments, with ADP private payroll reports seemingly cementing the dire outlook for the US economy on a one-way path towards deep recession.

Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi told CNBC in no uncertain terms that the fate of the economy rests on developments in the remainder of 2019:

“We are in a very critical place, kind of a fragile juncture in the economy. What happens over the next few weeks, next few months, will determine whether there’s an economic downturn in 2020.”

Not a good time not to be in crypto.


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