This week on Planet Bitcoin - 15 April 2016

Friday 15 April 2016

TL;DR: tension is rising, and so is the price of bitcoin.

It’s been yet another week of relatively suppressed trading on the bitcoin markets, with prices remaining within their previous confines - not much going on below $415, or above $430. However, the picture of consolidation continues, and the overall trend for the past month has been a slow rise, punctuated as ever by bitcoin’s typical ups and downs, but plainly evident nonetheless.

 Chart

As was the case last time, we’re not seeing lower lows: the direction is very gently but firmly upwards. It’s a quiet and currently sustainable rally, but once the price moves outside of recent limits we can almost certainly expect something more dramatic as traders (and bots) take technical signals into account and pile back in with greater optimism and more cash. Conversely, it’s always possible that the price will break downwards, though that seems less likely at this point. The price has been stable for too long, and it’s almost reminiscent of the long periods of stagnation down in the $200s last year. Not that we’re likely to see a doubling in a matter of weeks this time, only that such consolidation tends to build a good base for a strong upward move.

Elsewhere in cryptoland, Ethereum had a pretty tumultuous time. From a starting point around 0.025 (a little over $10), it took a steep dive downwards to a low of around 0.016 a week later: a plunge of over a third in value. That, of course, was too much too soon, and a 25% upwards correction ensued, bringing it back above 0.02. Volatility is still high, and volumes are closer to where they were a few weeks back after the recent lull in activity.

The reason, as usual, is hard to pinpoint. It may just have been profit-takers realising it had been a good ride and that prices weren’t about to rise above 0.03 again any time soon. Bitcoin hasn’t moved very much higher, but there may be some correlation there as traders seek to part money in bitcoin in anticipation of a rise. That narrative is partially supported by sharp falls for many of the alts, which generally does go hand-in-hand with a rise in BTC.

It wasn’t all bad news, though. 2.0 blockchain tokens platform WAVES kicked off its ICO on Tuesday and saw remarkable interest - enough to DDoS its server in the opening hours. Six hours later, when things had quietened down a little, the crowdfund tally passed $1 million, and the $2 million mark was reached not long after 24 hours: 4,683 BTC were raised in the first day. The ICO will continue for another 6 weeks until 31 May.

In an indication of how crypto will power the sharing economy, Airbnb just hired a team of experts from ChangeTip. Lastly, Craig Wright has been back in the news, promising to provide some form of proof that he truly is Satoshi. After the holes in his story last December, the ‘credibility gap’ is wide and the proof would have to be of cryptographic-level quality. 


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