Bitcoin is gathering fresh upside traction this Wednesday.
At press time, the bitcoin-US dollar (BTC/USD) exchange rate is $5,540, up 3 percent from the intraday low of $5,376, but still down 2 percent on a daily basis. Week-on-week, BTC is trading largely unchanged, while on a monthly basis, it is up 41 percent.
But, it's perhaps the daily recovery that is most notable. While slight, it can be read as encouraging as it follows the news that bitcoin gold, a new publicly traded copy of the bitcoin network was made available to investors on exchanges yesterday. While the asset is not yet issued by developers, many exchanges made IOU versions of BTG available, putting sell pressure on the market and spurring buying elsewhere.
Yet, it does not seem that new bitcoin buyers are in a rush to exchange these phantom BTG tokens for fiat currency, and the recovery suggests more new money could be entering the BTC market at a price they feel is attractive.
So, is bitcoin heading back towards record highs?
The fact that search volumes remained low during yesterday's sell-off suggests the dip was largely seen as a healthy correction.
Anyone who owns bitcoin will soon be able to receive a new cryptocurrency.
As of block 491,407 on the bitcoin blockchain, another alternative version of the protocol will be launched, resulting in a variant that's being branded bitcoin gold (BTG).
The project, which seeks to improve bitcoin's technology by changing how its competition for rewards is conducted, is the second to launch since August via an increasingly common process called a "hard fork."
Readers may remember the term from the launch of bitcoin cash, the alternative version of the bitcoin protocol that spurred global headlines for unexpectedly creating billions of dollars in value, seemingly out of thin air.
Looking ahead, many industry observers are expecting the same results this time around, though there may be reasons for enthusiasm to be tempered.
What is bitcoin gold?
In short, bitcoin gold aims to achieve two goals:
First, bitcoin gold wants to change how mining works by making it so the most powerful mining machines (called ASICs) can no longer be used.
Second, by attracting more people to this system over time, it hopes to free the bitcoin network from the large companies that offer these products, and it argues, command undue influence on the network.
Instead of scaling bitcoin to support more users, bitcoin gold tweaks bitcoin in an effort to "make bitcoin decentralized again." This, proponents argue, will make the network, designed to offer an egalitarian way to send payments digitally around the globe, more accessible to users.
And while created via the same mechanism, bitcoin gold differs from bitcoin cash in a few ways, most notably in its distribution.
The bitcoin gold cryptocurrency is set to be created in advance (prior to the code being open-sourced to the public).
About 1 percent of the total cryptocurrency tokens mined before the blockchain goes public will be used to pay the bitcoin gold development team.
Once this distribution is over, the team claims it will launch the cryptocurrency so that users can redeem their coins.
Of course, while it aims to become the de-facto version of bitcoin, others might consider bitcoin gold an "altcoin" – the term has long been used to denote any cryptocurrency launched using bitcoin’s existing code, but that has an alternative market or use case.
Who is behind bitcoin gold?
The team behind the hard fork appears to be a relatively small group.
Hong Kong-based LightningAsic CEO Jack Liao, who's an outspoken critic of the state of bitcoin mining, first broached the idea of bitcoin gold back in July.
His company LightningAsic sells mining equipment, including GPUs, the type of computing hardware bitcoin gold is supposed to rely on.
Since first introduced earlier this summer, the team has expanded to include pseudonymous lead developer h4x3rotab, as well as a team of five other volunteers who are now working on developing and promoting the cryptocurrency in their spare time.
The project can be tracked on Github and on the community Slack group.
How do people feel about bitcoin gold?
All that said, for those interested in exploring or using bitcoin gold, it's worth noting that it has generated its share of controversy.
Satoshi Labs CEO Marek Palatinus, who launched bitcoin's first ever mining pool, is skeptical the project will actually work to decentralize mining as planned.
And he's not the only one to throw shade at the new project.
Bitcoin developer Rhett Creighton is working on alternative bitcoin gold "protest fork" software that seeks to pursue the same idea but without setting aside some of the new cryptocurrency for development.
If more than 51% of miners choose to use his software, the so-called pre-distribution to developers will be erased, he told CoinDesk. "It's up to the miners to decide what they want," he added.
All in all, it's unclear if business and mining groups will ultimately support the project, and if they do, how much value the alternative blockchain could create.
For example, while a list of roughly 50 businesses and miners support the so-called Segwit2x fork, similar support hasn't been seen for bitcoin gold. Likewise, though bitcoin cash began with support from vocal miners and exchanges, bitcoin gold has arguably yet to benefit from such early activity.
The price of bitcoin has hit a new all-time high, crossing the $6,000 line for the first time.
Markets climbed as high as $6,003.81, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). This figure surpasses the previous all-time high set on October 13, when the price rose to $5,856.10.
BPI data shows that the price climbed more than $200 in the past hour, with markets showing an average price of $5,697 prior to the ramp. At press time, the price of bitcoin is trading at around $5,968.
Figures from CoinMarketCap.com show that some exchanges are currently reporting a price above $6,000, including Bitfinex and Bithumb, the world's two largest exchanges by volume.
Today's move pushes the network's collective market capitalization closer to the $100 billion line. At press time, according to the BPI, bitcoin's market cap is roughly $99.5 billion.
Bitcoin may be witnessing a healthy pullback.
After having rallied more than 90 percent from a September low of $2,980, the bitcoin-US dollar (BTC/USD) exchange rate is trading at $5,240 today, a figure that, at press time, marks a new daily low. As per CoinMarketCap, the cryptocurrency has shed 7.37 percent in the last 24 hours. Week-on-week, BTC is up 9.9 percent, while month-on-month it is flashing 29 percent gains.
Still, with prices having jumped above $5,000 (the previous all-time high) on Oct. 12, what we are witnessing today might be best considered a healthy correction, courtesy of overbought technical indicators.
For example, demand for bitcoin jumped last week, reportedly on speculation that the hard fork in November may benefit buyers with the creation of new cryptocurrency (as in August when investors were allotted newly created bitcoin cash).
Dip demand during this period, if observed, would add credence to the record rally and indicate that the base in bitcoin has shifted higher to $5,000.
So, will the cryptocurrency hold above $5,000 mark?
The price action analysis suggests bitcoin needs to regain the bid tone quickly, else the odds of a break below $5,000 would rise.
Days after a widely-supported but contentious proposal for increasing bitcoin's transaction capacity was unveiled, technical details about the plan are coming to light. It might not be particularly surprising if you're very familiar with bitcoin's long-standing block-size debate, but the tentative code for what's now known as 'Segwitx2' hasn't been especially well-received by the project's open-source developer community. One so-called pull request from Bloq co-founder Jeff Garzik, for example, was greeted with a chorus of skeptical comments. Most were rather technical, coming from some developers who have worked on bitcoin for a long time, but the response seemed to boil down to: 'Why isn't the group using a safer method – one that many of us suggested earlier on?' Some of the comments seemed to carry a mocking tone. "This pull request is quite odd," Colu blockchain research lead Udi Wertheimer stated in his reply. "There are still no tests," another developer stated simply. Still, Garzik, a former Bitcoin Core developer employed by bitcoin processor BitPay, welcomed the feedback, and later in the day, he responded on Medium. "This was a starting point," he said, indicating his stance that the current implementation on GitHub is meant to be a work in progress. Garzik added that he agrees with the feedback received and endorses making changes that enable the code to be compatible with the existing version of Segregated Witness (or SegWit) – a plan to scale the blockchain proposed by Bitcoin Core contributors in 2015. "If the outcome maximizes compatibility even more, re-uses existing testing even more, that is a win. Forward progress," Garzik wrote.
A number of Indian politicians are reportedly urging the government not to legalize Bitcoin amid reports that the cryptocurrency could soon be regulated and taxed in the country. According to a report by The Economic Times, India’s biggest financial news daily, ‘many’ politicians across the political divide raised concerns about the possible legalization of bitcoin by the Indian government during a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance. The Indian Finance Ministry (FinMin) established an intergovernmental committee to study and research legal frameworks of digital currencies around the world. The committee will ultimately recommend a course of action for the regulatory and legal future of digital currencies like bitcoin in India. The government has also invited citizen comments and discussion on virtual currencies on a government portal. The suggestion box has been open for a week and will close tomorrow, May 31. The politicians, also members of parliament (MPs), reportedly claimed that bitcoin ‘could become a parallel money instrument for cycling black money and dodgy transactions and also a source of terror financing.’ Still, bitcoin achieved the considerable feat of uniting politicians from opposition parties toward their misinformed disdain for the world’s most widely known cryptocurrency.
On May 27, CCN reported that bitcoin price went from $2,500 to $2,700 and fell to $1,900 on the same week, as fears of investors toward a short-term bitcoin bubble intensified. Despite the $800 fall, bitcoin has recovered relatively fast, stabilizing at $2,230. Last week, exactly seven days ago, bitcoin price averaged at $2,000. On a weekly basis, regardless the 25 percent drop in value, bitcoin price has gained a 13 percent increase. Although many investors panicked when bitcoin price dipped below the $1,900 region and reached $1,870, the market has since recovered from a major price correction and any investors that purchased bitcoin last week have still seen a weekly gain. On May 27, CCN reported that bitcoin price went from $2,500 to $2,700 and fell to $1,900 on the same week, as fears of investors toward a short-term bitcoin bubble intensified. Despite the $800 fall, bitcoin has recovered relatively fast, stabilizing at $2,230. Get exclusive analysis of bitcoin and learn from our trading tutorials. Join Hacked.com for just $39 now. Last week, exactly seven days ago, bitcoin price averaged at $2,000. On a weekly basis, regardless the 25 percent drop in value, bitcoin price has gained a 13 percent increase. Although many investors panicked when bitcoin price dipped below the $1,900 region and reached $1,870, the market has since recovered from a major price correction and any investors that purchased bitcoin last week have still seen a weekly gain. Bitcoin price has increased by over 10 percent over the past 24 hours due to the increase in the demand toward bitcoin from major bitcoin exchange markets. Japan and South Korea in specific have maintained their premium rates throughout bitcoin’s rollercoaster-like rally and the trading volume of the Chinese bitcoin exchange market has significantly increased over the past two weeks. Currently, China is the second-largest bitcoin exchange market behind the US, with a 16 percent market share and a $129 million daily trading volume. The majority of trading within China are processed by OKCoin, BTCC and Huobi that process nearly 90 percent of the country’s bitcoin trades. The steady increase in the demand for bitcoin in China is important to acknowledge as withdrawals are still suspended for users on regulated bitcoin exchanges such as OKCoin, BTCC and Huobi. Until on-site inspections of the People’s Bank of China are completed, which most likely will be in June around the time the Chinese central bank is set to release its new set of regulatory frameworks for bitcoin trading, withdrawals will continue to be suspended. Thus, the fact that Chinese investors are still investing in bitcoin knowing that they will not be able to withdraw their funds from their exchanges until June demonstrates the optimism of the Chinese bitcoin exchange market and investors toward bitcoin’s short and mid-term price trends.
Bitcoin prices fell sharply today after setting a new all-time high above $2,700 on the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). The BPI hit a high of $2,791.70 today, data shows. Yet after beginning to dip around 15:00 UTC, that move became more pronounced after 16:00 UTC, including a more than $100 drop between 16:36 UTC and 16:54 UTC, BPI data shows, sliding from roughly $2,630 to $2,515, with a further drop below $2,400 over the next hour. Markets hit a low of about $2,352, BPI data shows. At press time, the price of bitcoin is at an average of $2,397. The volatility comes amid a boom in cryptocurrency markets, which have seen bitcoin and others hit new all-time highs in recent days.
The Bitcoin rally continues, this time breaking and passing the $2500 mark. Currently sitting at $2,637, Bitcoin has surged 13% in the last 24hours with huge volumes of over $400M in the USD market and over $495M in the JPY market. It is unclear where Bitcoin is heading, but the recent scaling agreement along with the Japanese law may help propel Bitcoin to completely new heights. The Japanese and Korean markets have been trading at a significant premium of over $300 higher than the average USD price. Korean buying has shown large premia over the last few days -reaching as high as 38%
Despite the recent overcapacity issues, Bitcoin just keeps on going, this time reaching and breaking through the much awaited $2000 mark. Currently sitting at $2,158, the price has grown 5% in the last 24 hours, with roughly $200 million exchanged in the USD/BTC market in the last 24 hours. The continued rally is due to the drop in traditional markets, the new Japanese law that recognizes Bitcoin as a payment system has caused the country to embrace Bitcoin, leading to a 20% premium on Japanese exchanges and to increased JPY volumes.
The price of Bitcoin has hit and passed yet another milestone on the price charts, this time $1900. Currently sitting at $1913, Bitcoin is only about $100 short of doubling its value in 2017 which started with Bitcoin at around $1000. The continuous Bitcoin rally is believed to be connected to the recent law in Japan, the prospect of a revised ETF decision and a global upsurge in interest for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
The price of Bitcoin has reached the $1800 mark once more. Currently sitting at $1,821.24, Bitcoin is up 1.89% in the last 24h. The increase follows a correction earlier this week in which bitcoin fell to $1,650 following the ransomware news & large unconfirmed transaction backlog, and comes at a time at which the market for blockchain protocols is becoming more competitive., like Ripple and Ethereum.
The appeal to the SEC by BATS has the deadline of the 15th of May for all documents to be filed - Although it is unclear when a decision will be given to review the case or turn it down. The Winklevoss ETF was initially refused as the SEC felt there wasn't enough institutional oversight of the markets with some opposition claiming there have been other less regulated underlyings in ETF's that have been approved in the past. The markets have run up strongly in the past week to see a pull back over the weekend as uncertainty has brought volatility alongside issues of scaling dampening enthusiasm.