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Analyst who predicted bitcoin’s rise now sees it hitting $300,000-$400,000

Analyst who predicted bitcoins rise now sees it hitting $300,000-$400,000

Analyst who predicted bitcoin's rise now sees it hitting $300,000-$400,000

  • Ronnie Moas in July put a $5,000 price target on bitcoin when it was at $2,600
  • The founder of Standpoint Research now sees the cryptocurrency rising by another 500 percent

Bitcoin will surge past $20,000 and continue its meteoric march into six figures, according to independent research analyst Ronnie Moas.

"Bitcoin is already up 500 percent since I recommended it in the beginning of July, and I'm looking for another 500 percent move from here," said Moas, the founder of Standpoint Research, a self-described "one-man operation" based in Miami.

Over the summer, Moas put a $5,000 price target on bitcoin for 2018. At the time, the digital currency was trading at just $2,600. Since then, it has surged to $18,168 as of Monday, according to prices tracked on Coinbase.

"The end-game on bitcoin is that it will hit $300,000 to $400,000 in my opinion, and it will be the most valuable currency in the world," Moas told CNBC's "The Rundown."

"I don't know how much gold there is in the ground, but I know how much bitcoin there is, and in two years there will be 300 million people in the world trying to get their hands on a few million bitcoin."
-Ronnie Moas, founder, Standpoint Research

The analyst's comments came as the CME, the world's largest futures exchange, launched its own bitcoin futures contract. The Cboe did the same earlier this month.

His aggressively bullish call — a near-$380,000 dollar appreciation on today's prices — is based on the idea that since only 21 million bitcoin can ever exist. Increasing demand for the digital currency will naturally drive its price up, he said.

"I don't know how much gold there is in the ground, but I know how much bitcoin there is, and in two years there will be 300 million people in the world trying to get their hands on a few million bitcoin. This mind-boggling supply and demand imbalance is what is going to drive the price higher," Moas said.

Not everyone agrees

Moas said he believes his price target is a conservative call, but others disagree.

"We think that it's risky," Vasu Menon, vice president of Wealth Management at Singapore-based bank OCBC, told CNBC.

"I don't see strong fundamental drivers for this bitcoin rally," he said.

But Moas says the party is just getting started.

"I look at bitcoin the same way I look at Amazon," he said. "The way to play Amazon for the last 15 years was to buy it, hold it, and add on the dips. That's exactly the way I think people should be playing bitcoin."

Author Dan Murphy Correspondent, CNBC

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

A bubble? We don’t even know how to value Bitcoin

A bubble We don't even know how to value Bitcoin

A bubble? We don’t even know how to value Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a “speculative mania” according to the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. But it’s not so easy to say that Bitcoin is a bubble – we don’t know how to value it.

Recent price rises (close to $18,000 in the past three months) may be too great and can’t continue. But the Bitcoin market is only just maturing as an investment and as a currency, and so it may still have room to grow.

A bubble is when the price of an asset diverges from its “fundamentals” – the aspects of an asset that investors use to value it. These could be the income that can be earned from a stock over time, a company’s cash flow, the state of a country’s economy, or even the rent from property.

But Bitcoin does not pay out profits (like shares) or rent (like property) and is not attached a national economy (like fiat currencies). This is part of the reason why it is hard to tell what the underlying value of Bitcoin is or should be.

In the search for fundamentals some have suggested we should look at the supply of Bitcoins in the market (which is regulated by the technology itself), the number of Bitcoin transactions through the market, or even the energy consumed by Bitcoin miners (the computers that validate transactions and are rewarded with Bitcoins).

Diverging from fundamentals

If we take a close look, we can see how the price of Bitcoin may be diverging from these fundamentals. For instance, it is becoming less profitable to be a miner, especially as the energy required increases. At some stage the cost may exceed the price of Bitcoin, making the network less worthwhile to both mine and invest.

Bitcoin may be the best known cryptocurrency but it is also losing marketshare to other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Litecoin. Bitcoin currently accounts for 59.4% of the total global cryptocurrency market but at the beginning of 2016 it was 91.3%. Many of these other cryptocurrencies have more functionality than Bitcoin (such as Ethereum’s ability to execute smart contracts), or are more efficient and use less energy (such as Litecoin).

Government policy, such as taxation or the establishment of national digital currencies, may also make it riskier or less worthwhile to mine, transact or hold the cryptocurrency. China’s ban on initial coin offerings earlier this year reduced the value of Bitcoin by 20% in 24 hours.

Without these fundamentals the price of Bitcoin largely reflects speculation. And there is some evidence that people are simply buying and holding Bitcoin in the hope it will keep rising in value (also known as greater fool investing). Certainly, the cap on the total number (21 million) of Bitcoins that can exist makes the currency inherently deflationary – the value of the currency relative to goods and services will keep increasing even without speculation and so there is a disincentive to spend it.

Bitcoin still has room to grow

Many big investors – including banks and hedge funds – have not yet entered into the market. The volatility and lack of regulation around Bitcoin are two reasons stopping these investors from jumping in.

There are new financial products being developed, such as futures contracts, that may reduce the risk of holding Bitcoin and allow these institutional investors to get in.

But Bitcoin futures contracts – where people can place bets on the future price of stocks or markets – may also work against the price of Bitcoin. Just like gamblers place bets on horse races rather than buying a horse, investors may simply buy and sell the futures contracts rather than Bitcoin itself (some contracts are even settled in cash, rather than Bitcoin). All of this could lead to less actual Bitcoin changing hands, leading to less demand.

Although the rush to invest is apparently encouraging some people to take out mortgages to buy Bitcoin, traditional banks won’t lend specifically for that purpose as the market is too volatile.

But it is not just on the finance side that the Bitcoin market is set to expand. More infrastructure to support Bitcoin in the broader economy is rolling out, which should spur demand.

Bitcoin ATMs are being installed in many countries, including Australia. Bitcoin lending is emerging on peer-to-peer platforms, and new and more regulated marketplaces are being created.

Many companies are accepting Bitcoin as payment. That means that even if the speculation dies down, Bitcoin can still be traded for some goods and services.

And finally, although the fundamentals of Bitcoin are still up for debate, when it comes to transaction volume through the network there appears to be a lot of room for growth.

It’s good to remember that people have been calling Bitcoin a bubble for a long time, even when the price was just US$35 in 2013.

In the end, this is uncharted territory. We don’t know how to value Bitcoin, or what will happen. Historical examples may or may not apply.

What we do know is that the technology behind most cryptocurrencies is enabling new models of value transfer through secure global consensus networks and that is causing excitement and nervousness. Investors should beware.

Author: Alicia (Lucy) Cameron and Kelly Trinh for the Conversation

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin futures suggest breakneck rise in price to slow

Bitcoin futures suggest breakneck rise in price to slow

Bitcoin futures suggest breakneck rise in price to slow

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Newly launched bitcoin futures on Monday suggested that traders expect the cryptocurrency’s blistering price gains to slow in the coming months, even as it blasted above $17,000 to a fresh record high in the spot market.

Chicago-based derivatives exchange Cboe Global Markets launched the futures late on Sunday, marking the first time investors could get exposure to the bitcoin market via a large, regulated exchange.

The one-month bitcoin contract <0#XBT:> opened at 6 p.m. local time (2300 GMT) on Sunday at $15,460. By late afternoon on Monday in New York, it was trading at $18,650, roughly 8 percent above bitcoin’s spot price of $16,900 on the Bitstamp exchange.

Bitcoin earlier hit a record high of $17,270.

Its steep gains and rapid rise have attracted investors around the world as well as intense scrutiny from government regulators, which is the very opposite of what its creators wanted when it first launched bitcoin more than eight years ago.

“The bitcoin founder should be horrified seeing it rise so quickly, as any serious focus on it and its recent explosive move higher will soon end its freedom,” said John Taylor Jr, president and founder of research firm Taylor Global Vision in New York.

Taylor believes that based on his charts, bitcoin has not yet peaked, but as soon as the “upmove ends, it will crash.”

Given bitcoin has almost tripled in value over the past month, and was up more than 15 percent on Monday alone, the futures pricing suggested investors see price increases moderating.

Bitcoin futures were already offered on some unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges outside the United States, but backers said the U.S. market debut would confer greater legitimacy on the volatile cryptocurrency and encourage its wider use.

The CME Group (CME.O) is expected to launch its futures contract on Dec. 17.

VOLATILITY CONCERNS

Although there are hopes that the futures will draw in new investors, most fund managers at larger asset managers and institutional investors said bitcoin remains too volatile and lacks the fundamentals that give other assets value.

“There’s no place for bitcoin in a multi-asset portfolio given the very high volatility,” said Robeco Chief Investment Officer Lukas Daalder.

The two-month contract was trading at $18,750, an 11 percent premium over the spot price, while the three-month contract was changing hands at $18,140, a roughly 12 percent premium.

While modest when compared with bitcoin’s 270 percent increase over the past three months and 230 percent rise in the last two months, those levels still indicated a lack of large “short” positions betting against bitcoin.

“Anyone, especially a professional trading outfit, would be crazy to actually short sell this bull market,” said Nick Spanos, founder of Bitcoin Center NYC. “But just because it doesn’t happen on day one doesn’t mean it won’t in the future.”

Bitcoin was up more than 1,600 percent so far in 2017, having started the year at less than $1,000.

MARCH TOWARDS LEGITIMIZATION’

As of early afternoon trading in New York, 3,951 one-month contracts had changed hands, meaning around $73.1 million had been notionally traded. That compares with daily trading volumes of more than $21.5 billion across all cryptocurrencies, according to trade website Coinmarketcap.

There had been speculation that the futures launch would trigger more gyrations in the market. But while volatile compared with traditional currencies or assets, the rise on Monday was relatively tame for bitcoin.

Bitcoin surged more than 40 percent in 48 hours last week, before tumbling 20 percent in the following 10 hours.

“(Bitcoin futures) will speed up the march towards legitimization of an asset class that only a few years ago many law enforcement agencies would have argued had limited legitimate reasons for people to use,” said Jo Torode, a financial crime lawyer at Ropes & Gray in London.

The futures are cash-settled contracts, allowing investors exposure without having to hold any of the cryptocurrency.

The futures are based on the auction price of bitcoin in U.S. dollars on the Gemini Exchange, which is owned and operated by virtual currency entrepreneurs and brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

 

DRAMATIC GAINS

Bitcoin was set up in 2008 by an individual or group calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto, and was the first digital currency to successfully use cryptography to keep transactions secure and hidden, making traditional financial regulation difficult if not impossible.

Central bankers and critics of the cryptocurrency have been ringing the alarm bells over its surge in price and other risks such as whether the opaque market can be used for money laundering.

“It looks remarkably like a bubble forming to me,” the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Acting Governor Grant Spencer said on Sunday.

Somebody who invested $1,000 in bitcoin at the start of 2013 would now be sitting on around $1.2 million.

Heightened excitement ahead of the launch of the Cboe futures gave an extra kick to the cryptocurrency’s scorching run this year.

The launch has so far received a mixed reception from big U.S. banks and brokerages.

Several online brokerages, including Charles Schwab Corp (SCHW.N) and TD Ameritrade Holding Corp (AMTD.O), did not allow trading of the new futures immediately.

The Financial Times reported on Friday that JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) would not immediately clear bitcoin trades for clients.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) said on Thursday it was planning to clear such trades for certain clients.

 

Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak and John McCrank in NEW YORK; Michelle Chen in HONG KONG and Helen Reid in LONDON; Graphics by Ritvik Carvalho in LONDON and Reuters Graphics team; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

 

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Crypto bull sees bitcoin at $11 500

Crypto bull sees bitcoin at $11 500

Crypto bull sees bitcoin at $11 500

The bitcoin bulls are charging. A day after hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz said the cryptocurrency will end the year at US$10 000, Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee doubled his price target to $11 500 by the middle of 2018 — a 40% gain from current levels.

Lee, who heads research at Fundstrat, said a 10% pullback earlier this month triggered by the controversial cancellation of an upgrade to bitcoin’s underlying software has set the stage for the coming surge.

The November slump “cleaned up weak hands”, Lee wrote Wednesday in a note to clients that almost doubled his last forecast. The strategist had warned earlier in the month that bitcoin’s rally to $7 000 from $3 500 raised the likelihood for a short-term pullback. “We no longer feel caution is warranted,” he said.

Bitcoin rose 1.2% to $8 230.12 as of 11.05am in New York, about $100 short of its all-time high set on Tuesday after Novogratz’s comments. The most popular cryptocurrency has surged more than seven-fold since December, surpassing $8 000 for the first time this week.

The ride to records hasn’t been straight up for the virtual asset, with three separate slumps of more than 25% all giving way to subsequent rallies this year.

“We recommend steady buying of bitcoin at these levels,” Lee said in the Wednesday report. Fundstrat also boosted its price target for the Bitcoin Investment Trust, an over-the-counter security that offers investors exposure to bitcoin. Lee predicts it will trade at $1 300 by mid-2018, up from his prior target of $800.

Reported by Lily Katz, (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
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First Long-Term LedgerX Bitcoin Option Pegs Price at $10,000

First Long-Term LedgerX Bitcoin Option Pegs Price at $10,000

First Long-Term LedgerX Bitcoin Option Pegs Price at $10,000

LedgerX just initiated its first long-term bitcoin futures option.

Called a Long-Term Equity Anticipation Security (LEAPS), the trade was matched by the platform this morning and is set to expire on December 28, 2018.

Under the terms of the deal, the buyer has the right to buy bitcoin at a price of $10,000 at that date, or almost a 30 percent premium on today's price.

Yet, because the buyer only makes money if the price is more than $10,000 (called the strike price), the investment can be seen as a reflection of the level of confidence that the price will reach that level by the agreed upon date.

Such long term futures options have long been seen in the industry as a much needed sign of maturity, and could in part help pave the way for even more institutional money to enter the space.

In an exclusive interview with CoinDesk, LedgerX CEO Paul Chou sought to position the milestone as just the first of many more before the cryptocurrency market can truly be considered mature.

Chou said:

"There will be, I expect, a lot more trades down the line. This is the first one, but it at least gives you the first guess from different institutional traders as to what bitcoin's dynamics will look like from now until 2018."

The trade option was listed by LedgerX late Friday night, and to Chou's surprise, two institutional investors agreed to the terms of the deal just one day later.

Under the terms, the buyer agreed to a price of $2,250.25 for the trade, meaning the seller collects that money if the price is less that $10,000 by the end of next year, and the buyer gets to purchase bitcoin at the strike price if it is higher.

Unlike a futures swap however, the buyer is not obliged to purchase the asset.

"If the price goes to zero, you don't have to pay $10,000 for it," Chou said. "But if a year from now it's at $20,000, then you can exercise your options."

Based on LedgerX's own calculations (made using the Nobel-prize winning Black-Sholes financial markets model), the startup believes there is a 25 percent chance that bitcoin will reach that level in the allotted time.

 

Soft launch

While this is the first LEAPS financial instrument matched by New York-based LedgerX, they've been conducting increasingly high trade volumes since their soft launch a month ago.

As reported by CoinDesk, LedgerX traded $1 million in bitcoin derivatives its first week of trading, ending Oct. 20.

Since then, the first cryptocurrency firm to be granted a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) license by the CFTC has posted a $1 million day, a $1.6 million day and on November 15, a record $2.6 million day.

Since LedgerX listed the LEAPS option at 5:30 Friday evening, Chou says they saw an additional $500,000 traded before midnight. "That's for a holiday week too," he said. "So we were shocked." He estimates the company has conducted approximately $16 million in notional bitcoin transactions to date.

While the startups numbers seem to indicated active early interest, legacy institutions such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) have both recently revealed their own similar plans.

Though Chou hopes to maintain his first-mover advantage, he said there's no hard date to launch into full operation. Rather, his team wants to make sure the platform scales well beyond the 1 million messages it sends per day before this milestone. He says he'd be "surprised if that takes "more than a month," concluding:

"But it might be sooner."

 

Author: Michael del Castillo Nov 18, 2017 at 21:59 UTC

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
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Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Won’t Let Bitcoin Go to Zero – CME Chief Quells Fears Ahead of December Bitcoin Futures Launch

Won't Let Bitcoin Go to Zero - CME Chief Quells Fears Ahead of December Bitcoin Futures Launch

Won’t Let Bitcoin Go to Zero – CME Chief Quells Fears Ahead of December Bitcoin Futures Launch

Bitcoin futures contracts are scheduled to launch in one month on the world’s largest derivatives exchange, and market analysts have nothing to fear.

That’s according to Terry Duffy, chairman and CEO of the Chicago-based CME Group, which will soon become the first licensed U.S. derivatives exchange to list bitcoin futures contracts. Speaking with CNBC, Duffy revealed that CME plans to launch bitcoin futures trading during the second week of December.

Previously, the exchange operator had provided a vaguer timeline, stating that it hoped to list them during the fourth quarter, pending regulatory approval, so many analysts doubted they would actually launch before the end of the year. But their impending launch makes some industry insider nervous.

“For the first time, I am extremely scared,” Barron’s quotes Thomas Peterffy, head of derivatives trading firm Interactive Brokers Group, as saying. He says that he fears bitcoin’s volatility will make smaller firms more likely to fail to cover their margins, which could be as low as 2% on futures products. If bitcoin products are not isolated from the rest of the market, he says that that the failure of these small firms could reverberate throughout the exchange and render it less protected against risk.

However, Duffy downplayed these concerns and assured skeptics that CME will implement restrictions designed to contain the inherent volatility of the bitcoin markets.

“I’m not going to let it go to zero,” he said, adding that if the exchange has rules in place to handle liquidation-only events. He further explained that CME has “velocity logic functionality” tools — colloquially known as market “bumpers” — that enable the exchange operator to press pause on trading during periods of intense, precipitous volatility. These bumpers might pause bitcoin trading for as long as an hour, and the market will also have intraday limits to prevent the price from fluctuating too wildly within a single day of trading.

“I should not be trying to predict the price of products. I’m here to manage the risks of products,” he concluded.

 

Author: Josiah Wilmoth on 14/11/2017

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member