Bitcoin network’s Hash Rate is at the all-time-high
Bitcoin reaches a new hash rate peak... but the price seems to be stuck in a rut. After recovering to $11,000 last week, Bitcoin’s dropped back to $9990, something now familiar. But signs are building that this price rut will soon end - just in time, as equities rattle down on recession fears.
What’s this about the end of the price rut? Eagle-eyed analysts have noticed that the Bitcoin price is forming a symmetrical triangle pattern on the 4-hour chart - meaning that buyers are getting more bullish while sellers are getting more bearish, leading to a consensus point. Selling pressure should decrease in conjunction with a new uptrend, marking the current price around $10,000 a good jumping on point - in this case, the new support and resistance are $9,000 and $13,000.
Why did this rut form in the first place? The current price trends over the past few months show a marked decrease in volatility - 4.77% over the past 120 days. And there’s a good reason for it: Namely, the growth of Bitcoin as ‘digital gold’ - a safe-haven people flock to during economic tension and a hedge against recession. But it isn’t just the safe-haven status that’s making Bitcoin act more like gold. Bitcoin is slowly but surely growing an institutional aspect, boosting confidence in the cryptocurrency and drawing more into futures trading. This gives an incentive for people to hold longer (again like gold), and of course, reduces volatility - all signs of Bitcoin’s growing maturity.
But there’s still plenty of room for Bitcoin to appreciate: The Bitcoin hash rate (in other words, the amount of computing power currently working to mine new blocks in the network) has reached an all-time high of 82.5 million terahashes per second. This means there are more miners than ever on the Bitcoin network, ensuring its security and viability. And a secure network is a confident one for investors, giving investors reason to put their money into Bitcoin and push the price higher.
Wut We Think: Bitcoin is not doomed to bounce between $9,000 and $14,000 for the rest of time - there are too many reasons for it to appreciate, though the pace may not be as blistering as 2017. And the halving can’t be ignored either - constrained supplies almost always lead to price spikes, so there’s a good chance that the price may shoot up as the halving approaches. In the meantime, the chart makes a pretty good argument for getting in while the getting’s good.
NYSE Parent Company to Offer Futures Paying Out in Bitcoin Next Month
Bitcoin futures are finally in the present... thanks to the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange launching Bitcoin-settled derivative products. Launching on September 23rd, Bitcoin-settled Bitcoin futures will give the Bitcoin market more liquidity and confidence. And the scheme already has the mark of approval from both the notoriously strict New York State Department of Financial Services, as well as the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
What exactly is this all about? Put simply, it’s a way for institutional investors (pension funds, endowments, investment banks) to invest in Bitcoin with more confidence than relying on traditional exchanges. Additionally, the Bitcoin futures contracts offered by Bakkt., the NYSE arm handling these new contracts, will be settled in Bitcoin - providing a bit of decoupling of the BTC price from the dollar. FYI, a futures contract lets a trader trade as if they own the underlying asset without actually owning it.
Why does Bitcoin need Bitcoin-settled derivatives? One of the major obstacles to Bitcoin’s growth is the fear of ‘wash trading’ - a market manipulation scheme predicated on placing simultaneous buy and sell orders on the same asset. This ‘fakes’ the appearance of far more trading volume that actually exists, and can serve to mask pump-and-dump price movements. There’s research that alleges that up to 95% of Bitcoin trading volume is faked, which obviously raises concerns about whether the price of Bitcoin is the ‘true price’ or just manipulation.
How does this improve confidence in the Bitcoin price? Bitcoin desperately needs more ‘real’ trading volume and more capital investment. Having a regulated market for settling Bitcoin futures in Bitcoin will mean that the price is far more likely to reflect market realities, drawing institutional investors into the Bitcoin ecosystem. A big part of this is Bakkt’s custody solution for storing investor Bitcoin, which will give it the ability to price contracts based on its own index.
Wut We Think: There’s no arguing that more interest - and yes, more regulation - will make Bitcoin more popular not just to institutions but to regular traders and investors as well. And it may just provide the push needed to finally have a Bitcoin ETF approved. In price terms, that means we’re currently in a holding maneuver, as everyone waits for something to happen: The Bakkt futures launch may be exactly what Bitcoin needs to grow and gain adoption.
Apple Targets Apple TV+ Launch in November. Apple’s Goldman Card Launches in U.S. With Uber Cash-Back Offer
iPhone sales may be slipping... but Apple still needs a way to grow, and it has a few projects on the way to achieve just that. Up first - the Apple Card, a credit card offered by Apple for iPhone users. Another launch is Apple TV+, a Netflix competitor, and part of Apple’s drive to pivot from iPhone sales into services. But traditional electronics aren’t getting left behind, slipping sales or not - tons of new Apple products have been disclosed by regulatory filings, including new Apple Watch, iPhone, and Mac models.
Why is a tech company offering a credit card? A big reason is to capitalize on an area tech companies have been winning success in, namely payment processing. Google Pay, Alipay, even Facebook’s Libra project - they’ve all panned out in terms of revenue and ease of use, and Apple Pay is no exception. The Apple Card (issued by Goldman Sachs) is just a step forward in that direction, with an extremely streamlined application process and 3% cashback on Apple purchases, 2% cashback with Apple Pay, and 1% with the physical card.
Why the pivot, anyway? It’s no secret that iPhone sales have been slipping, after all, Europe alone saw a 17% decline in sales year over year, and the smartphone market is getting pretty saturated as it is, with a multitude of models and brands available at every conceivable price point. To keep growing, Apple has to expand: and that expansion has led to explosive growth in services revenue.
Is Apple TV going to be part of that growth? That’s what Apple hopes for, anyway. But the streaming video market is crowded with not only the FAANG namesake Netflix, but with every publisher and production company under the sun, including Disney, HBO, AT&T, Comcast, Hulu, AT&T, and more. So Apple TV is going to hit a lot of competition. It’s been a long time since iTunes revolutionized the music market, and it remains to be seen if Apple TV can replicate the core features that made iTunes so popular - namely low fees, a large catalog, and an intuitive and easy way to find content. But with $6 billion budgeted for original content, Apple may just leave its mark.
Wut We Think: Apple is up about 2.6% since its Q3 earnings release at the end of July, and that sort of trend is pretty standard for the tech giant. As sad as it may be to hear for some Apple fanboys, the company isn’t the innovative, design-and-limit setting star it was under Jobs and Ive - it’s a much more mature stock that will post steady (and maybe even record, like this years Q3) growth for a long time to come. It may not be the tech sector darling it once was, but if its pivot to services is successful, you’ll be hearing and seeing the Apple logo for a long time to come.