Archive for the ‘Crypto Corner – Bitcoin, ETC’ Category

China’s Bitcoin Exchanges Suspend Margin Trading

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

China's bitcoin traders who use the most popular bitcoin exchange not only in China, but also the entire world, BTCChina, were met with an unexpected warning on Friday:

Starting from January 12th, 2017, BTCChina has suspended margin loan service. If you have any questions, please contact Customer Service: support@btcc.com.

BTCChina, which commands over 37% of global bitcoin trading…

… wasn't alone.

Following last week's central bank crackdown on bitcoin, China's major bitcoin exchanges have all halted, or otherwise updated, their lending-based bitcoin trading services, according to CoinDesk.

First reported by China-based bitcoin traders and market observers, BTCC, Huobi and OKCoin appear to have quietly adjusted their terms. Just around the time of the BTCChina notice, Huobi issued a similar announcement on its WeChat page, advising clients that "in order to maintain market stability, we may pause the new leverage services at any time according to market fluctuations and our risk control systems."

Huobi customer service comment at WeChat @huobicom pic.twitter.com/YqP7XM1aVO

— cnLedger (@cnLedger) January 13, 2017

Meanwhile, OKCoin's international and China-facing websites OKCoin.com and OKCoin.cn were said to be offering limited or augmented versions of the services, though traders were reporting different experiences.

While some users told CoinDesk they were able to borrow 2x leverage at press time (even when executing CNY-denominated trades on OKCoin.cn), others indicated that their accounts were prohibiting this action.

One trader said he was able to see higher margin options, but only able to borrow lower amounts. (OKCoin representatives did not respond to requests for further clarity).

Bobby Lee, CEO of BTCC, told CoinDesk that changes to the exchange's service were being made in response to interactions with the People's Bank of China, the country’s central bank, though he stopped short of saying that the service had been terminated or disabled. Lee told CoinDesk: "There's going to be some give and take. We'll likely make adjustments as time goes on."

Lee indicated that the move came after the exchange received "informal guidance" from the PBoC, which as reproted last week, has


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“China’s Next Time Bomb” – A Look Inside The Insane World Of China’s Bitcoin Traders

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

The recent tumble in bitcoin, driven by a stampede of Chinese sellers who until last week were willing buyers at any price, has exposed the weakest link in bitcoin's until recently exponential rise: the mood and social psychology of Chinese momentum and bubble chasers, who like clockwork rush into any one given asset, bid it up to ridiculous levels, watch the bubble burst, before moving on to the next bubble.

The good news is that courtesy of $25 trillion in local savings, or more than double the amount in the US, the bubble eventually returns to where it burst. The bad news is that in the meantime, those who chased the original bubble lose most if not all of their money.

Unfortunately, for most of China's bitcoin traders, the bad news may be just starting.

Take the story of Ding Wen, who by the age of 34 had built up a personal fortune of more than two million yuan after years of hard work at an internet company in Nanjing, in east China’s Jiangsu province. But, as SCMP recounts his tale, Wen saw most of that wealth go up in smoke on January 5, when China’s bitcoin market crashed, sending the price of the virtual currency plunging 40 per cent in just a few hours after lunch.

With the market in free fall, Ding was unable to log into his account with China’s biggest bitcoin trading platform, Huobi, meaning he could not sell off his holdings or top up his principal to meet the margin call. By the time he managed to log on in the evening, most of the bitcoins in his account had been compulsorily sold off by Huobi for 6,361 yuan each, lower than his purchase price of 8,101 yuan. This included the part of his investment he had bought using a loan he obtained from Huobi by pledging the bitcoins he owned originally.

“I have taken on big risks when making leveraged betting, but the collapse of the trading system made me unable to run stop-loss orders, so I think the platform should compensate for investors’ losses,” Ding said.

The platform disagrees.

Ahead of the market


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Why Don’t The Dollar And Bitcoin Drop To Their Tangible Value (Zero)?

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds

I have covered the many reasons why the U.S. dollar (USD) has strengthened in dozens of posts over the past 5 years, (Could the U.S. Dollar Rise 50%?, January 12, 2011), and I described the positive dynamics of bitcoin last summer in An Everyman's Guide to Understanding Cryptocurrencies (June 13, 2016), back when bitcoin was under $600.

The USD (as measured by the US Dollar Index) has gained almost 40% from 73 in 2011 to 102 recently, and bitcoin recently topped $1,000 (trading at $909 as this article goes to print).

These gains aren’t trivial, nor are they magic. They are the result of basic economic forces: supply and demand, utility, liquidity, capital flows and risk management.

Capital migrates to where it flows with the least resistance, i.e. to forms of capital that are liquid and offer low transaction costs—what I call ease of flow. Capital also migrates to relatively safe havens that are liquid and offer low transaction/holding costs, and to forms of capital with global utility.

Lastly, capital flows to the highest yield/return with the lowest perceived risk.

Given these fundamentals, it isn’t difficult to understand why capital is flowing into USD-denominated assets and bitcoin.

So what do the fundamentals suggest about the valuation uptrends in the USD and bitcoin? Have they topped out and due for a crash, or have they just started their appreciation cycle?

To formulate a coherent answer, we need to consider two things:

1. The foundations of their value

2. The inability of central states and banks to control their currencies and their place in the global economy.

Why Don’t the U.S. Dollar and Bitcoin Have Zero Value?

There’s a fair amount of confusion about why currencies (or in the case of bitcoin, digital commodities that share the utility functions of currencies) that are unbacked by tangible assets such as gold don’t just drop to their tangible value, i.e. zero.

After all, most USD are just digital entries and the rest are just paper. Bitcoin is also just a digital construct with no intrinsic value.

The answer boils down to utility-driven demand.  If,


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China Launches Bitcoin Crackdown: PBOC Will Probe Abnormal Investor Behavior “And Rectify Misbheavior”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Having long been advocates of Bitcoin (ever since Sept. 2015 when it traded at $230) for the simple reason that we were confident the digital currency would eventually become China's favorite means of circumventing capital controls – precisely as has transpired – two months ago we warned that the unprecedented surge which made bitcoin the best performing asset in the past year with a 5x return, may be ending as "China Prepares To Impose Curbs, "Capital Controls" On Bitcoin."

Since then, and especially over the past week, China has launched a series of incremental steps designed to do just that, which culminated on Friday when China's central bank issued a statement calling the changes in the virtual currency "abnormal", and said authorities have required the trading platform to operate in compliance. They urged the platform to "probe investors' behavior and to "rectify misbehavior."

The statement hit shortly after China FX regulators, SAFE, said it would begin scrutinizing fund outflows via Bitcoin, as China sought to close this final gaping capital outflow pathway.

Furthermore, according to China Daily, China's financial services authorities required major executives of the Shanghai-based bitcoin trading platform BTCC on Friday to "rectify misbehavior in the trading of the virtual currency", without clarifying precisely what this means, and to raise awareness of risks as the value of bitcoins experienced wild fluctuations.

China's mass speculators flocked to the bitcoin market in recent days in a bid to gain from its fast appreciation, which rose 200% in 2016. However, after rising in near-exponential fashion over the past few weeks without any corrections, Bitcoin's value fluctuated by more than 30 percent within the past two weeks as concerns of Chinese interference first emerged and were then confirmed. .The statement said authorities would like to reaffirm that the bitcoin as a virtual currency which cannot and shall not be regarded as currency in circulation.

* * *

It is unclear if the PBOC has successfully burst China's latest bubble: According to data from the Shanghai-based bitcoin trading exchange, BTCC, more than 100 new investors started trading the virtual currency in the past three days, a fast growth


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Another Bubble Bursts – Bitcoin China Crashes Over 30%

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

First it was Chinese stocks, then Chinese real estate (twice), then Chinese commodities (twice), and now Chinese Bitcoin's bubble has burst as a massive short squeeze on the offshore Yuan combined with comments on 'virtual' capital controls has sparked a bloodbath in the cryptocurrency from 8,896 yuan to 6,101 yuan in the last few hours…a 31% collapse.

Despute the collapse – BTC China is only back at 2 week lows…

For those chasers, don't say we did not warn you, as we noted previously, for those buying into bitcoin here on the momentum, most of which originates in China, we urge readers to be cautious as by now the PBOC has certainly noticed that the digital currency remains one of the final, and most successful, means of bypassing capital controls in China. Should Beijing mandate that bitcoin no longer be a means to illegally transfer capital offshore, there is risk of a dramatic, and sharp, drop in its price.

***

See also: Bitcoin is crashing





Bitcoin: The Best Performing Currency For A Second Year In A Row

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Bitcoin is no stranger to extreme fluctuations. As Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes, for each of the last four years, the cryptocurrency has either been the best or the worst performing currency – with nothing to be found in between.

Luckily, for those that follow the digital currency closely, those fluctuations were mostly pointed in an upwards direction for 2016. The currency finished the year at $968.23, which is more than double its value from the beginning of the year.

Bitcoin the best performing currency in 2016

Were any other global currencies able to compete with bitcoin’s strong performance throughout the year?

The following chart compares major currencies (paired with the USD) over 2016:

Bitcoin performance vs other currencies

Brazil’s real rallied 21.9% on the year, the most in seven years. Traders are hoping that center-right President Michel Temer can ease public spending following the departure of Dilma Rousseff.

Russia’s ruble also finished the year with double-digit gains, up 17.8% against the U.S. dollar. This was largely due to the recovery in Brent oil prices, which gained $10/bbl over the course of 2016.

However, a rosier picture for oil was not enough to buoy all producers. Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria, fell into its first recession in 25 years during the opening half of 2016. Ripple effects from low oil prices caused the Nigerian naira to lose more than one-third of its value throughout the year, making it the worst performing currency (at least officially).

Unofficially, Venezuela’s struggling economy has been pushed to the brink by its ongoing currency crisis. The massive hyperinflation is not reflected in official numbers, since the bolívar is technically “pegged” arbitrarily by the government. Based on black market activity, however, experts estimate that the currency ended the year with inflation of roughly 500%.

Bitcoin in 2017?

Bitcoin is now the best performing currency for two years in a row (2015, 2016):

Bitcoin has been the top performer 3 of 4 years

And in the opening days of 2017, the cryptocurrency has already


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Bitcoin Surges Above $1,000 As China Unveils New Capital Controls

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As noted yesterday, for the first time in three years, and only the second time in history, bitcoin rose above $1,000 in Yuan-denominated Chinese trading, however it was limited to the lower side of this "round number" psychological barrier in US trading, as BTC flirted with $999.99 for most of the day on the popular Coinbase exchange, without crossing it.

Overnight, however, Chinese demand proved too great and US markets had no choice but to arb the difference. So with Bitcoin trading in China at an implied price of over $1,050 at this moment, bitcoin finally soared above $1,000 in the US as well, trading just around $1,024 on Coinbase as of this moment.

Various catalysts for the recent surge have been cited, chief among which is the ongoing crackdown against cash in India providing a new source of demand for bitcoin. However, the most immediate driver of the recent burst in Chinese demand originates, not unexpectedly, from China where Beijing over the weekend implemented even more of what we have said since September 2015 will keep pushing bitcoin relentlessly higher: capital controls.

Recall that as we noted over the weekend, in order to further curb capital outflows, Chinese banks will be required to report all yuan-denominated cash transactions exceeding 50,000 yuan (around 7,100 US dollars) to the People's Bank of China (PBOC), down from the current level of 200,000 yuan, according to a PBOC document released on Friday. Cross-border transfers more than 200,000 yuan by individuals will also be subject to the report process. In terms of foreign currencies, the report threshold remains at the equivalent of 10,000 US dollars for both cash transactions and overseas transfers.

How do we know that this latest PBOC intervention in capital markets was merely the latest form of capital controls? Because the PBOC immediately said it wasn't.

As Xinhua reported overnight, "the policy stoked worries that the government is trying to impose capital control in a disguised form."

"It is not capital control at all," central bank economist Ma Jun said.

Actually, imposing limits on capital movement, i.e. controls, is by definition just that.


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Bitcoin Soars Above $1000 In China

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

2017 is off to a good start if you are holding Bitcoin as volumes continue to surge through Chinese Bitcoin exchanges amid fears of increased crackdowns on foreign exchange transfers in the new year. In the last 24 hours, BTC China has seen prices spike above 7,100 yuan (well over $1000 at the onshore rate exchange) as Bitstamp reports prices over $990.

Bitcoin in China topped 7,100 this morning – and with USDCNY at 6.945, that is over $1000…

Though it is not quite there in dollars…

So we now know, Bitcoin $1000 arrived before Dow 20,000.

Bitcoin in China approaches record highs…

As we noted recently, according to Bloomberg sources, Chinese officials are considering policies including restricting domestic bitcoin exchanges from moving the cryptocurrency to platforms outside the nation and imposing quotas on the amount of bitcoins that can be sent abroad. Further indicating that Chinese regulators were "just a little behind the curve", they allegedly noticed only recently that some investors bought bitcoins on local exchanges and sold them offshore, evading rules on foreign exchange and cross-border fund flows, the report further reveals.

A quick look at the uncanny correlation between the decline in the Yuan and the rise in the bitcoin, confirms that the digital currency has indeed been largely used to evade capital controls.

And it appears Bitcoin implies a notable devaluation of the yuan is looming.

As a reminder, back in 2013, the government classified bitcoin as a commodity and not currency, placing it outside the purview of the foreign-exchange regulator, the people said.  That does not mean, however, that China is powerless at limiting bitcoin's upside.

Several Chinese government bodies including the People’s Bank of China and the financial regulators said in a joint notice that year that bitcoin functioned like a digital commodity without the legal status of a currency. The central bank said in January it is studying the prospects of issuing its own digital currency and aims to roll out a product as soon as possible.

While China dominates bitcoin mining and trading, the government has shown caution over its spread in the nation. In 2013, the PBOC barred financial institutions from handling bitcoin transactions.





Bitcoin Surges 20% In A Week As Chinese Volumes Hit Record High

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

The last 5 days have seen Bitcoin prices (in dollars) soar over 18% and over 20% in Yuan as volumes on Chinese exchanges continues to build, seemingly anticipating notable Yuan devaluation (confirmed by various derivative bets being placed on the Chinese currency) and/or further capital controls looming as yet another hot money Chinese bubble explodes in commodity-land.

Is another major Yuan devaluation looming?

Last week saw the heaviest Bitcoin trading ever on Chinese exchanges…

Source: BitcoinWisdom.com

Notably, gold was well bid overnight also…





Bitcoin Soars Above $900 As China Opens

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For the 3rd night in a row, China opens with a panic bid for Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency is now up over 14% in less than 3 days, topping $900 for the first time since December 2013. Interestingly yuan is not moving much tonight.

The USD price for a Bictoin has soared over 14% in the last 2 days. We first warned of this ‘outlet’ for Chinese capital in September 2015 when Bitcoin was trading around $200…now it is topping $900…

And volume is very heavy once again from China…

Getting very close to record highs…

As a reminder, back in 2013, the government classified bitcoin as a commodity and not currency, placing it outside the purview of the foreign-exchange regulator, the people said.  That does not mean, however, that China is powerless at limiting bitcoin’s upside.

Several Chinese government bodies including the People’s Bank of China and the financial regulators said in a joint notice that year that bitcoin functioned like a digital commodity without the legal status of a currency. The central bank said in January it is studying the prospects of issuing its own digital currency and aims to roll out a product as soon as possible.

While China dominates bitcoin mining and trading, the government has shown caution over its spread in the nation. In 2013, the PBOC barred financial institutions from handling bitcoin transactions.





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

"Deploraball" Protests Turn Bloody As Trump Supporter Assaulted With Flagpole

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Reports have been rolling in all evening of vicious mobs of violent protesters around Washington DC attacking Donald Trump supporters in town for the inauguration, including people on their way to and from tonight's pre-Inauguration "Deploraball" celebration, held at the National Press Club building. Over 1000 guests were invited to the event organized by Mike @Cernovich and the pro-Trump MAGA3X organization.

As Fox News ...



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With the OPEC production deal holding, at least for the moment, questions have now arisen over how prospects look for the cartel’s biggest producer. It’s been a strange few years for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as its endured budget deficits for the first time in its modern history, stagnation in oil prices and rising competition from other OPEC members and the American shale boom.

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Saudi Arabia could see more instability if oil doesn't get back up to $60 (Business Insider)

With the OPEC production deal holding, at least for the moment, questions have now arisen over how prospects look for the cartel’s biggest producer. It’s been a strange few years for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as its endured budget deficits for the first time in its modern history, stagnation in oil prices and rising competition from other OPEC members and the American shale boom.

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Nuggets of Wisdom: Warren Buffett on Investing, Leverage and Market Bubbles

By VWArticles. Originally published at ValueWalk.

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Chart via Larry Cunningham

The post Nuggets of Wisdom: Warren Buffett on Investing, Leverage and Market Bubbles appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Small Cap Losses Accelerate

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Small Caps again took the brunt of the selling as Shorts took advantage of yesterday's small rally back to former support (turned resistance) to enter positions. With the 'bull trap' in full effect, the next target down for the index is 1,308. Of supporting technicals, only Stochastics [39,1] is left to break its bullish alignment,


The S&P took a modest loss, but not enough to break it out of its consolidation. Volume was also lighter. With the Russell 2000 on the way down, it's suggesting the S&P will follow suit....

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Will it be different this time for stocks and bonds?

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My mentor Sir John Templeton (founder of the Templeton Funds) used to share that the four most dangerous words in investing are; “It’s Different This Time!” 

Below looks at long term charts on the S&P 500 and the yield on the 10-year note (inverted to look like bond prices).

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

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NFL 2016 Playoffs Championship Sunday

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From our Wildcard Weekend projections...
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Swing trading portfolio - week of January 16th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

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Digital Currencies

China's Bitcoin Exchanges Suspend Margin Trading

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

China's bitcoin traders who use the most popular bitcoin exchange not only in China, but also the entire world, BTCChina, were met with an unexpected warning on Friday:

Starting from January 12th, 2017, BTCChina has suspended margin loan service. If you have any questions, please contact Customer Service: support@btcc.com.

BTCChina, which commands over 37% of global bitcoin trading...

... wasn't alone.

Fo...



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If we try it enough, it will work.

Via Jean-Luc

Brownback wants Trump to emulate what he did in Kansas because it worked so well:

Sam Brownback Calls on Donald Trump to Mimic His Kansas Tax Plan

By RICHARD RUBIN and  WILL CONNORS

Sam Brownback, the Kansas governor whose tax cuts brought him political turmoil, recurring budget holes and sparse evidence of economic success, has a message for President-elect Donald Trump: Do what I did.

In 2013, Mr. Brownback set out to create a lean, business-friendly government in his state that other Republicans could replicate. He now faces a $350 million deficit when the Kansas legislature convenes in January and projections of a larger one in 2018. The state’s economy is flat and his party is fractured...

...

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Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

I'm seeing huge insider buying in the biotech company The Medicines Company (MDCO). The price has already moved up around 7%, but these buys are significant, in the millions of dollars range. ~ Ilene

 

 

 

Insider transaction table and buying vs. selling graphic above from insidercow.com.

Chart below from Yahoo.com

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Promotions

Phil's Stock World's Las Vegas Conference!

 

Come join us for the Phil's Stock World's Conference in Las Vegas!

Date:  Sunday, Feb 12, 2017 and Monday Feb 13, 2017.            

Beginning Time:  8:00 am Sunday morning

Location: Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas

Notes

Caesar's has tentatively offered us rooms for $189 on Saturday night and $129 for Sunday night. However, we have to sign the contract ASAP. We need at least 10 people to pay me via Paypal or we may lose the best rate for the rooms. (Once we are guaranteed ten attendees, I will put up instructions to call the hotel for individual rooms.)

The more people who sign up,...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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