Bitcoin Finds Floor After Worst Selloff Since 2015

Bitcoin rebounded on Saturday along with most of the major cryptocurrencies, halting a four-day tumble that drew worldwide attention to the unregulated $500 billion market that’s frequently called a bubble.

The double-digit bounceback was strongest with second-tier digital coins. Bitcoin cash soared 21 percent and litecoin gained 12 percent as cryptocurrency traders regained optimism. They weren’t put off by comments published Saturday from a central banker in Germany that “the risk of rapid losses” is obscured in cryptocurrencies.

“The enthusiasm hasn’t been destroyed,” Marc Ostwald, global strategist at London-based ADM Investor Services International, said by phone from Warsaw. “It’s a volatile market, and investors are hungry for that. They say everything else is boring.”

The broad recovery on Saturday coincided with a pause in bearish news that had snowballed since Monday and shaved 24 percent off bitcoin’s value, its biggest four-day selloff since 2015. Comments by central bankers, a decision by litecoin’s founder to sell all his holdings and investors’ wishes to cut stakes before the holiday season fueled the plunge.

“With holidays approaching, some people want to step away from the table, and take their chips with them,” Ostwald said about the selloff. “Still, I wouldn’t want to put it down too much to rationality, because this is not a rational market.”

While bitcoin wasn’t the most volatile crypocurrency in the past week, it’s the largest, and it shook the world of digital-coin trading on Friday when its interday plunge reached 30 percent. That was the steepest dive since Jan. 14, 2015, back when its market value was just $2.4 billion. On Saturday it was about $260 billion.

Bitcoin advanced 10 percent to $15,530 at 4:21 p.m. New York time on Saturday, compared with 24 hours earlier, according to data on coinmarketcap.com.

In a late-week comment that undercut confidence, Michael Novogratz, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Fortress Investment Group LLC macro trader, said he’s shelving plans to start a cryptocurrency hedge fund. He predicted that bitcoin may extend its plunge to $8,000. Earlier this month he predicted it could reach $40,000 within a few months.

For a look at whether Goldman is building a cryptocurrency trading desk, click here.

Growing pains in the digital-coin world and warnings emerged all week, adding to volatility.

Coinbase, one of the larger trading platforms, on Friday said all buys and sells were temporarily unavailable before they were re-enabled, according to its website. There were no incidents reported Saturday.

In South Korea, Yapian, the owner of bitcoin exchange Youbit, said Tuesday it would close and enter bankruptcy proceedings after a cyberattack that claimed 17 percent of its total assets.

‘Bitter Losers’

There’s been a string of warnings by regulators for investors in digital coins.

“We are seeing a rapid rise in value, which hides the risk of rapid losses,” Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele said in a Euro am Sonntag report. He said there is a wide debate going on about the use of digital central-bank money in a closed system, but that he doesn’t currently expect it’s introduction.

Felix Hufeld, president of German banking supervisor BaFin, advised consumers that trading in bitcoin would produce “bitter losers” and could result in a “total loss,” in an interview with German newspaper Bild.

EU Warning

That echoed comments three days ago by the European Union’s financial-services chief, Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, who asked the heads of the EU’s three financial supervisors to update their warnings to consumers “as a matter of urgency” in light of recent market developments, according to a letter seen by Bloomberg.

In past years, central banks and the commercial lenders they oversee have made strides to curb money-laundering through greater transparency rules, only to see anonymous transactions explode in the nascent cryptocurrency industry — under names like Verge and Zcash. Their admonishments this month haven’t stopped double-digit rebounds.

“Huge rises and sudden, spectacular setbacks wouldn’t surprise me going forward,” ADM’s Ostwald said. “The worry is going to be, at some point, the pips are going to start squeaking. Retail investors losing money will ask, ‘Why aren’t you intervening to help me? And the answer is going to be, ‘Well, this is a casino. On your head, be it.’ ”

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    Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-23/bitcoin-climbs-finding-floor-after-worst-selloff-since-2015

    Bitcoin Lost Almost 20% of Its Value This Week

    Bitcoin faced one of its biggest tests this week, losing almost 20 percent of its value after the world’s largest cryptocurrency reached a record high Monday.

    The digital currency plunged as much as 30 percent on Friday, before paring losses, as this week’s selloff extended to a fourth day. The weekly decline is the biggest in almost three years. Other cryptocurrencies also tumbled: ethereum dropped as much as 36 percent and litecoin slumped as much as 43 percent, according to composite prices on Bloomberg.

    Michael Novogratz, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Fortress Investment Group LLC macro trader, said he’s shelving plans to start a cryptocurrency hedge fund and predicted that bitcoin may extend its plunge to $8,000.

    “We didn’t like market conditions and we wanted to re-evaluate what we’re doing," Novogratz said in a phone interview. He predicted last week that bitcoin could reach $40,000 within a few months.

    Bitcoin dropped to as low as $10,776, before recovering to $14,303 at 4:04 p.m. in New York. It last traded below $10,000 on Dec. 1, when the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission agreed to allow trading in bitcoin futures. The price of the digital coin had more than doubled in the prior three weeks.

    The losses represent a major test for the cryptocurrency industry and the blockchain technology that underpins it, which have rapidly entered the mainstream in recent weeks. Bears cast doubt on the value of the virtual assets, with UBS Group AG this week calling bitcoin the “biggest speculative bubble in history.” Bulls argue the technology is a game changer for the world of investment and finance. Both will be closely watching the outcome of the current selloff.

    “The sharks are beginning to circle here, and the futures markets may give them a venue to strike,” said Ross Norman, chief executive officer of London-based bullion dealer Sharps Pixley Ltd., which offers gold in exchange for bitcoin. “Bitcoin’s been heavily driven by retail investors, but there’ll be some aggressive funds looking for the right opportunity to hammer this thing lower.”

    Traders who bought the currency on futures exchanges using collateral may start facing margin calls following the price decline. Two venues launched products in recent weeks that required hefty security, with Cboe needing 44 percent to clear contracts, and the CME 47 percent. Brokers set safety nets even higher.

    Coinbase, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, said all buying and selling was temporarily disabled during today’s rout, after having delays in processing wire transfers and verifying new customers for the past week due to higher traffic. Bitcoin transaction volume jumped more than 30 percent on Coinbase’s GDAX exchange, while fees to approve and record the transactions on the blockchain surged to a record $55, according to Bit Info Charts.

    Many of the recent news stories and market moves connected to cryptocurrencies appear to carry hallmarks of the mania phase of a bubble. Long Island Iced Tea Corp. shares rose as much as 289 percent on Thursday after the unprofitable Hicksville, New York-based company rebranded itself Long Blockchain Corp. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Thursday bitcoin isn’t functioning like a normal means of payment and is being used for speculation.

    Still, cryptocurrencies are attracting established players. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is setting up a trading desk to make markets in digital currencies such as bitcoin, according to people with knowledge of the strategy. The bank aims to get the business running by the end of June, if not earlier, two of the people said.

    For related news and information:
    XBT Curncy GP for bitcoin
    VCCY for a cryptocurrency monitor

      Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-22/bitcoin-plummets-toward-13-000-down-more-than-30-from-record

      Bitcoin Futures Deliver Wild Ride as Debut Brings Rally, Halts

      Bitcoin has landed on Wall Street.

      Futures on the world’s most popular cryptocurrency surged as much as 26 percent in their debut session on Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s exchange, triggering two temporary trading halts designed to calm the market. Initial volume exceeded dealers’ expectations, while traffic on Cboe’s website was so heavy that it caused delays and temporary outages. The website’s problems had no impact on trading systems, Cboe said. Bitcoin’s spot price rose.

      “It is rare that you see something more volatile than bitcoin, but we found it: bitcoin futures,” said Zennon Kapron, managing director of Shanghai-based consulting firm Kapronasia.

      The launch of futures on a regulated exchange is a watershed for bitcoin, whose surge this year has captivated everyone from mom-and-pop speculators to Wall Street trading firms. The Cboe contracts, soon to be followed by similar offerings from CME Group Inc. and Nasdaq Inc., should make it easier for mainstream investors to bet on the cryptocurrency’s rise or fall.

      Bitcoin wagers have until now been mostly limited to venues with little or no oversight, deterring institutional money managers and exposing some users to the risk of hacks and market breakdowns. About 20 trading firms actively participated, Cboe Chairman Ed Tilly said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

      QuickTake: You Can Trade Bitcoin Futures. But Should You?

      Bitcoin futures expiring in January were 18 percent higher at $17,710 as of 12:25 p.m. in New York from an opening level of $15,000, on 3,561 contracts traded.

      “It was smooth, and bitcoin traders don’t seem to be put off by futures,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst in London at online trading firm Oanda. “There was a fear that short selling would have an adverse impact on price, but we haven’t seen that yet.”

      The spot price climbed 4.7 percent to $16,383 from the Friday 5 p.m. close in New York, according to the composite price on Bloomberg.

      The roughly $1,300 difference reflects not only the novelty of the asset but also the difficulty of using the cash-settled futures to trade against the spot, strategists said.

      “In a normal, functioning market, good old arbitrage would settle this,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Hellerup, Denmark, said by email. “If they were deliverable you could arbitrage the life out of it.”

      Proponents of regulated bitcoin derivatives say the contracts will increase market transparency and boost liquidity, but skeptics abound. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has called bitcoin a “fraud,” while China’s government has cracked down on cryptocurrency exchanges this year. The Futures Industry Association — a group of major banks, brokers and traders — said this month that contracts in the U.S. were rushed without enough consideration of the risks.

      So far though, trading has kicked off without any major hiccups.

      Dealers said volume was high for a new contract, even though it was tiny relative to more established futures. And the trading halts took effect just as Cboe had outlined in its rules. Transactions stopped for two minutes after a 10 percent gain from the opening price, and for five minutes after a 20 percent jump. Another five-minute halt will take effect if the rally extends to 30 percent, Cboe said in a notice on its website.

      “It was pretty easy to trade,” Joe Van Hecke, managing partner at Chicago-based Grace Hall Trading LLC, said in a telephone interview from Charlotte, North Carolina. “I think you’ll see a robust market as time plays out.”

      For now, Cboe futures account for a tiny slice of the world’s bitcoin-related bets. The notional value of contracts traded in the first eight hours totaled about $40 million. Globally, about $1.1 billion of bitcoin traded against the U.S. dollar during the same period, according to Cryptocompare.com.

      Some people who would like to trade futures are having a hard time accessing the market because not all brokers are supporting it initially, said Garrett See, chief executive officer of DV Chain. Participation may also be limited because of higher capital requirements and tighter risk limits, See said.

      “We’re in the early stages here, and there’s not enough professional liquidity from the big market makers who can provide depth and hold in the movements,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda Corp. “It’s going to be a learning curve.”

      It’s been painful for investors stuck on the sidelines. This year alone, bitcoin is up more than 17-fold. The surge has been driven largely by demand from individuals, with technical obstacles keeping out most big money managers like mutual funds.

      The new derivatives contracts should thrust bitcoin more squarely into the realm of regulators, banks and institutional investors. Both Cboe and CME on Dec. 1 got permission to offer the contracts after pledging to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission that the products don’t run afoul of the law, in a process called self-certification.

      QuickTake: All about bitcoin, blockchain and the crypto world

      Not everyone is happy with the roll out. Exchanges failed to get enough feedback from market participants on margin levels, trading limits, stress tests and clearing, the Futures Industry Association said this month. In November, Thomas Peterffy, the billionaire chairman of Interactive Brokers Group Inc., wrote an open letter to CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, arguing that bitcoin’s large price swings mean its futures contracts shouldn’t be allowed on platforms that clear other derivatives.

      Still, Interactive Brokers is offering its customers access to the futures, with greater restrictions. The firm’s clients won’t be able to go short, and Interactive’s margin requirement, or how much investors have to set aside as collateral, will be at least 50 percent. That’s a stricter threshold than both Cboe’s and CME’s.

      QuickTake Q&A: Understanding bitcoin’s rapid price rise

      The start of futures trading is an important milestone for bitcoin’s shift from the fringes of finance toward the mainstream, but it could be some time before the cryptocurrency becomes a key part of investor portfolios — if it ever does.

      “You never say never,” David Riley, who helps oversee $57 billion as head of credit strategy at BlueBay Asset Management LLP in London, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “But I do think we’re quite some way from making cryptocurrencies even a relatively small part of some of the funds we manage at the moment.”

        Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-10/bitcoin-futures-trading-opens-bringing-crypto-to-wall-street

        Bitcoin Soars Past $8,000

        Bitcoin &#x 2019; s unpredictable and ruthless rally reveals no indication of easing off, with the world &#x 2019; s biggest cryptocurrency defying growing bubble worries to strike yet another turning point.

        Bitcoin increased as much as 7.7 percent to a record $8,290 since 2:47 p.m. in New York. It &#x 2019; s been a troubled year for the virtual currency, with 3 different depressions of more than 25 percent all paving the way to subsequent rallies.

        Even the most bullish experts can &#x 2019; t stay up to date with bitcoin &#x 2019; s rally. Perspective Research &#x 2019; s Ronnie Moas, who states bitcoin &#x 2019; s market cap will one day reach gold at $8 trillion, is raising his 2018 cost target for the digital currency to $14,000 from $11,000. He had increased it from $7,500 last month.

        &#x 201C; The inflation in this thing is huge, &#x 201D; Luke Hickmore, a senior financial investment supervisor at Aberdeen Standard Investments in London, stated in an interview with Bloomberg TELEVISION. &#x 201C; When will it collapse? Who understands. It will trigger a great deal of discomfort. &#x 201D;

        Even as lots of doubters call the property a bubble waiting to pop, it &#x 2019; s ending up being too huge for numerous on Wall Street to overlook. CME Group Inc., the world &#x 2019; s greatest exchange, will begin providing futures trading on bitcoin next month, while senior executives at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. have actually stated they are looking into cryptocurrencies and the blockchain innovation that underlies them.

        Terminal users can learn more on bitcoin and bitcoin money with our Q&A.

        Recent volatility has actually originated from a pickup in individuals changing to alternative virtual currencies, significantly bitcoin money. That &#x 2019; s acquiring appeal due to lower deal expenses and faster speed. New cryptocurrency&#xA 0; versions are emerging as disputes over bitcoin &#x 2019; s style continue and chances for making a fast dollar show tough to miss .

        Bitcoin money dropped 0.6 percent on Monday to trade at $1,189, below a high of $1, 388 on Nov. 12,&#xA 0; Coinmarketcap.com costs reveal. Bitcoin has actually advanced more than 700 percent this year and now boasts a market price of more than $130 billion.

        &#x 201C; I discover it rather frightening and exceptional how, no matter just how much bitcoin is pounded by sellers, it merely gets better even more powerful, &#x 201D;&#xA 0; stated Lukman Otunuga, an expert at currency brokerage ForexTime Ltd. &#x 201C; Will bitcoin strike $10,000 prior to year end? This is the concern every financier is asking. &#x 201D;

          Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-19/bitcoin-soars-past-8-000-as-technology-shift-concern-vanishes

          Bitcoin Crashes and Then Surges in Wild Weekend Action

          Bitcoin is showing that buying digital currencies isn &#x 2019; t for the faint of heart.

          After plunging as much as 29 percent from a record high following the cancellation of an innovation upgrade on Nov. 8, the biggest cryptocurrency came roaring back in early trading Monday prior to varying in between losses and gains.

          &#x 201C; Crypto trading is not for the newbie financier, &#x 201D; stated John&#xA 0; Spallanzani, primary macro strategist at GFI Securities LLC in New York.

          While several factors are being pointed out for the cost volatility, among the more feasible is that some financiers are changing to alternative coins. Bitcoin money, a spin-off of bitcoin that consists of much of the technical upgrades being discussed by designers, has actually more than doubled in the very same duration.

          &#x 201C; We have actually seen comparable high falls in bitcoin throughout the year– particularly in June and September– however each time a substantial decrease happens, brand-new financiers leap in to experience the brand-new property class, &#x 201D; Hussein Sayed, primary market strategist at ForexTime Ltd., a currency broker that utilizes the brand name FXTM, composed in a note Monday.

          While markets had actually been concentrating on bitcoin &#x 2019; s more than 500 percent rise this year, bitcoin money was acquiring appeal due to the fact that of its bigger block size. That &#x 2019; s a particular that makes deals less expensive and faster than the initial.

          When a faction of the cryptocurrency neighborhood canceled strategies to increase bitcoin &#x 2019; s obstruct size on Wednesday– a relocation that would have produced another spin-off– some fans of larger blocks rallied around bitcoin money.

          The resulting volatility has actually been severe even by bitcoin &#x 2019; s wild requirements and comes amidst growing interest in cryptocurrencies amongst regulators , banks and fund supervisors. While doubters have actually called its fast advance a bubble, the possession has actually ended up being too huge for numerous on Wall Street to overlook. After diminishing as much as $38 billion given that Nov. 8, bitcoin boasts a market price of about $110 billion.

          Supporters of bitcoin &#x 2019; s innovation upgrade &#x 201C; are now changing assistance to bitcoin money, &#x 201D; stated Mike Kayamori, head of Tokyo-based Quoine, the world &#x 2019; s 2nd most-active bitcoin exchange over the previous day. &#x 201C; There &#x 2019; s a panic about exactly what &#x 2019; s taking place. Individuals #x &shouldn 2019; t panic. Simply hang on to both coins till we see how it plays out. &#x 201D;

          Read more: A QuickTake on the bitcoin neighborhood &#x 2019; s infighting

          The cancellation of recently &#x 2019; s bitcoin upgrade has actually left users to select in between the 2 variations of the cryptocurrency. On one side is the initial bitcoin, powered by so-called SegWit innovation, which intends to enhance its efficiency by moving unessential information off of its underlying blockchain. On the other side is bitcoin money, which permits&#xA 0; its blockchain to manage 8 times as much information as the initial.

          Proponents of bitcoin money think their technique is easier and closer to the initial objective of bitcoin,&#xA 0; which &#xA 0; was explained mainly as a payment system in its white paper . Advocates of the initial bitcoin state that vision is too restricted,&#xA 0; which by enhancing the blockchain with SegWit innovation, bitcoin can end up being a brand-new digital-asset class that not just supports payments however numerous other functions.

          Upgrade Called Off

          While bitcoin money has actually been around for months, it saw restricted assistance as the neighborhood waited for recently &#x 2019; s innovation upgrade for the initial bitcoin, which assured comparable functions. Now that the upgrade has actually been aborted, services that utilize the cryptocurrency mainly as a payment approach are anticipated to increase adoption of bitcoin money.

          While bitcoin money rose over the weekend, it hasn &#x 2019; t been a straight line up. The cryptocurrency was trading at $1,300 at 4:45 p.m. in New York, below a high of about $2,478 on Sunday, Coinmarketcap.com costs reveal.

          Bitcoin has actually been likewise unpredictable; it at first increased after news that it would prevent another split, however the gains were short-term . Its plunge previously Monday to as low as $5,605 compares to an intraday record $7,882 on Nov. 8.

          Volume throughout bitcoin exchanges leapt to 436,021 bitcoins on Sunday, the greatest given that September, Bitcoinity.org information reveal. BitMEX, an exchange for cryptocurrency derivatives that permits shorting , saw record activity on Sunday, Chief Executive Officer Arthur Hayes stated.

            Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-13/bitcoin-plunges-29-from-record-high-as-civil-war-intensifies

            Bitcoin Surges Past $7,000 to Extend Record Rally

            Bitcoin rose previous $7,000 for the very first time, breaching another turning point less than one month after it tore through the $5,000 mark.

            The digital currency got brand-new motivation today after CME Group Inc., the world &#x 2019; s biggest exchange owner, stated it prepares to present bitcoin futures by the end of the year, mentioning suppressed need from customers. Doubters consisting of Themis Trading state the rally is proof that the software-created possession is a bubble that needs to not be offered regulative cover.

            Spot prices for bitcoin climbed up as much as 12 percent to a record $7,392 prior to drawing back somewhat to $7,025 at 8:53 a.m. in New York. The cryptocurrency is up practically sevenfold this year and is now worth more than $100 billion .

            &#x 201C; It is merely impressive how resistant bitcoin has actually remained in the face of considerable negativeness, &#x 201D; stated Lukman Otunuga, a research study expert at ForexTime, in a Nov. 1 note to customers. &#x 201C; The rate action recommends that bulls have an extremely firm grip. &#x 201D;

            In a post today, Themis alerted CME is &#x 201C; collapsing &#x 201D; to press from customers and positioning a seal of approval around a &#x 201C; really dangerous, uncontrolled instrument that has a history of scams and adjustment. &#x 201D; The items prepared by CME &#x 201C; advise us of the collateralized financial obligation commitments which were marketed throughout the monetary crisis, &#x 201D; the post stated.

            Asked whether he &#x 2019; s worried about a possible bubble, CME Chief Executive Officer Terry Duffy stated on Bloomberg TELEVISION on Nov. 1 that the company &#x 2019; s task is to &#x 201C; handle danger, not choose exactly what the cost of an item is. &#x 201D;

              Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-02/bitcoin-surges-past-7-000-to-extend-record-rally-this-year