Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, IOTA, EOS: Price Analysis, May 18

Latest technical analysis on top 9 cryptocurrencies from an expert trader.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

Despite the expectations, Bitcoin prices failed to go higher after the NYC crypto conference Consensys. In fact, prices started to decline during the very conference.

Therefore, it is better if the digital currencies consolidate the huge gains of 2017 and allow the fundamentals to catch up. The longer time spent in the range, the stronger will be the breakout.

Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak believes that the blockchain technology and Bitcoin will reach its full potential in about a decade. However, with many crypto enthusiasts trying to bring the technology to mainstream use, acceptance might come much earlier.

As this is a new asset class, there might be a danger of potential scams. According to a study by The Wall Street Journal, about 18.6 percent initial coin offerings (ICOs) were using “deceptive or even fraudulent tactics.” This is why investors should not allow greed to blur their judgment while doing the due diligence.

Let’s see if we find any low-risk buying opportunity today?

BTC/USD

Bitcoin has failed to attract buyers. It has continued to slide and is now at the critical support of $7,941.68. If this level breaks down, the digital currency will plunge to $7,000. The 50-day SMA is flat and the 20-day EMA is turning down, moving towards a bearish crossover. This is a negative development.

BTC

If the support at $7,941.68 holds, the bulls will attempt a pullback, which will face resistance at the moving averages.

We can confirm that the BTC/USD pair is range bound once the price breaks out of the 20-day EMA. As it is yet to bounce off the supports, we are avoiding any buy recommendations.

ETH/USD

Ethereum continues to outperform the other top cryptocurrencies. It is well above the 50-day SMA and just below the 20-day EMA. It is trying to hold the neckline of the bearish head and shoulders pattern. The pattern will complete on a breakdown and close (UTC) below the neckline, which has a lower target of $418.

ETH

As the 50-day SMA is still rising and the 20-day EMA is flat, we don’t expect the ETH/USD pair to sink to $418 in a hurry.

We anticipate a strong support at the 50-day SMA, which is close to the 50 percent retracement levels of the rally from $363 to $838.

The first bullish sign will be a breakout of $745 levels. Until then, every pullback attempt will be met with a strong selling pressure.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash has completed the head and shoulders pattern, which gives it a lower target objective of $650. Currently, it is close to the 50-day SMA, which might act as a support and a pullback to the neckline of the bearish H&S pattern is probable. If the bulls fail to scale above the neckline, chances of a breakdown increase.

BCH

As the BCH/USD pair had risen vertically from $777.5304 on April 18 to $1,590.7825 on April 24, there are no supports in between $800-$1,130. Below the 50-day SMA, the cryptocurrency can plunge to $800 levels where some buying can be expected.

We suggest waiting for prices to stabilize before buying. Catching a falling knife can be dangerous.

XRP/USD

Ripple is trying to hold the May 12 lows of $0.632 but it seems weak as it is not finding buyers even at these levels. A break and fall to the critical support level of $0.56270 looks probable.

XRP

On the upside, the bulls will have to break out of the resistance zone between the 50-day SMA and $0.76 to exhibit strength.

We suggest waiting for the XRP/USD pair to show some strength before initiating any long positions.

XLM/USD

Stellar has broken below some key support levels and is currently at the neckline of the head and shoulders pattern. A break and close (UTC) below the neckline will complete the pattern which has a lower target of $0.2.  

XLM

Even if the neckline support holds, it will be a tough climb for the bulls because the XLM/USD pair will face resistance at the 50-day SMA and the 20-day EMA.

The first sign of strength will be on a break out above the May 13 highs of $0.38692920. The longer the price sustains below the moving averages, the weaker it will get. Hence, we are not suggesting any trade on it.

LTC/USD

Litecoin has been trading below the 50-day SMA for the past three days, which shows a lack of buying even at these low levels. The bulls are trying to defend the $127 levels. If this level breaks, a slide to the $115 levels is possible.

LTC

On the upside, any bounce to the 50-day SMA or the 20-day EMA will attract selling. We remain bearish on the LTC/USD pair until it shows consistent buying.

The trend will change only on a breakout and close above the $170 levels. However, if the digital currency falls to $115 levels and holds, we shall risk a buy.

ADA/BTC

Cardano has broken below the trendline and the 50-day SMA. It has minor support at the May 12 lows of 0.00002870. If this level breaks, the next support on the downside is at 0.000025.

ADA

On the upside, the bulls will face stiff resistance at the 50-day SMA and the 20-day EMA. Once these two levels are crossed, the final hurdle will be the horizontal resistance at 0.00003445.

We shall turn positive once the ADA/BTC pair sustains above this level. Until then, it remains in a no-trade zone.   

IOTA/USD

IOTA is trying to hold the horizontal support at $1.63, which is just below the 50-day SMA. If the support holds, a move back to $2.2117 is possible but the up move will face resistance at the 20-day EMA and at $2 levels.

IOTA

If the support breaks, the IOTA/USD pair can slide to $1.28 levels. The 50-day SMA is rising while the 20-day EMA is declining.

Chances of a range bound action are high. We need to wait for a buy setup to emerge before suggesting any long positions on it.

EOS/USD

EOS has been attempting to hold on to the 50-day SMA for the past two days. The 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement level of the recent rally is also close to the current levels. An attempt to rebound off the supports on May 17 met with selling pressure close to the 20-day EMA.  

EOS

The EOS/USD pair might remain range bound between the 50-day SMA and the 20-day EMA for a few days before breaking out or breaking down from it.

The next support on the downside is at $10 levels, while the overhead resistance is at $14. We shall look for buying opportunities once the digital currency sustains above the descending channel.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView.

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Why JP Morgan’s Blockchain Patent Application Is Not That Surprising

JP Morgan’s filing for a patent based on DLT does not mean they are now Bitcoin supporters.

JP Morgan once again caused a bit of an upheaval within cryptocurrency circles last week – this time with the publication of their peer-to-peer (P2P) payments network patent application based on distributed ledger technology, like blockchain.

Some crypto enthusiasts branded the move as “hypocrisy to the extreme.” The criticism is not unfounded but perhaps not accurate. The bank, and to a greater extent, their outspoken CEO, Jamie Dimon, has been responsible for a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt surrounding Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a whole.

“Bitcoin is a fraud”

The Jamie Dimon/JP Morgan saga of 2017 is still fresh in the minds of crypto enthusiasts. It all started with Dimon’s now-infamous words calling Bitcoin a “fraud” in September 2017. Shortly after that, in a somewhat confusing move, JP Morgan purchased a chunk of Bitcoin.

Even more confusing was the fact that less than a week later, Jamie Dimon lashed out against Bitcoin, stating that governments would soon ban it. In the same breath, he fired shots at the industry as a whole, saying cryptocurrencies are “worth nothing”. Less than a month later he called Bitcoin investors “stupid”, adding that they “will pay the price for it one day”.

However, JP Morgan’s strategies didn’t always seem to line up with the opinions of their CEO, as in Nov. 2017 the bank announced that they planned to trade Bitcoin futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). In December 2017, a strategist at the bank had gone so far as to say that regulated futures markets give Bitcoin legitimacy.

By January 2018, Jamie Dimon himself had done a complete 180 on his “Bitcoin-is-a-fraud” comments and said he regretted making it. All this happened within the space of four months and cemented JP Morgan’s perceived reputation – and Dimon’s personal reputation – as the ultimate Bitcoin and cryptocurrency “villain”. 

Criticism was never labeled against blockchain

While their skepticism surrounding Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is clear, JP Morgan, and Jamie Dimon, never expressed any animosity towards blockchain’s legitimacy. In fact, JP Morgan is one of the underlying technology’s earliest supporters and testers.

As far back as 1999, the bank filed a patent for an alternative payments network. In 2016 they unveiled Juno and Quorum, two separate blockchain-based projects. JP Morgan is also one of over 300 members that make up the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA).

The bank has a strong record of support for blockchain itself and their latest patent application should come as no surprise. In fact, the bank first filed the patent – which aims to facilitate interbank payments using blockchain technology on October 30, 2017, a mere two weeks after Jamie Dimon labeled Bitcoin investors stupid.

The surprise might come later

The apparent surprise or hypocrisy stems from the fact that Bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency are still being used as interchangeable concepts in mainstream media. This is not accurate, just as JP Morgan’s filing for a patent based on distributed ledger technology does not mean they are now staunch Bitcoin supporters.

However, the surprise might come later. Blockchain has moved on from just being the technology that underpins Bitcoin and has potential use cases other than just as a basis for cryptocurrency networks, including the tracking of vaccines in healthcare, secure remote voting during elections, incorruptible and accurate record keeping of official government documents, to name a few.

Saying that, JP Morgan is specifically applying for a patent on a “method for processing network payments using a distributed ledger”. This begs the question; can you have a P2P payments network based on blockchain without utilizing a digital token in some shape or form to process such payments?

Some community members don’t believe that you can, even arguing that the bank would be in direct competition with Ripple’s cross-border transfer platform:

“It’s not the competition part that is off… it’s the fact that they are describing the exact thing Ripple is currently pushing into the market. There is no way this patent goes through, and if it does, prior art will protect Ripple as they have this working already. It’s (as someone else stated) like filing a patent for an electric vehicle today.”

How does Ripple work?

Ripple connects banks around the world and enables them to offer real-time cross-border payment services to customers. Cross-border payments in the traditional sense require a number of intermediary companies to execute which means transactions can take up to four days to complete.

Ripple allows banks to sidestep these intermediaries with their transaction protocol, enabling them to execute transactions directly, and in doing so, cutting down costs and processing times. The transaction protocol includes a five-step process of payment initiation, pre-transaction validation, cryptographic hold of funds, settlement and confirmation.

HOW RIPPLE WORKS

Messaging systems are used to coordinate information exchange between the originating and beneficiary banks and an interledger protocol (ILP) ledger is used to coordinate the actual movement of funds. The goal is to speed up processing times, increase end-to-end visibility, increase transaction approval rates and ultimately lower transaction costs.

What are the similarities with JP Morgan’s proposed blockchain payment network?

The patent application describes a process of “Systems and methods for the application of distributed ledgers for network payments as financial exchange settlement and reconciliation.”

It goes on to claim, “In one embodiment, a method for processing network payments using a distributed ledger may include:

  1. a payment originator initiating a payment instruction to a payment beneficiary;
  2. a payment originator bank posting and committing the payment instruction to a distributed ledger on a P2P network;
  3. the payment beneficiary bank posting and committing the payment instruction to the distributed ledger on a P2P network; and
  4. the payment originator bank validating and processing the payment through a payment originator bank internal system and debiting an originator account.”

JP MORGAN BLOCKCHAIN PAYMENT NETWORK

JP Morgan’s proposed system therefore depicts a payment protocol with direct communication or messaging between beneficiary and originator banks, used in conjunction with a reconciliatory distributed ledger blockchain.

In essence, this is a very similar system and process to that used by Ripple, basically describing an interbank messaging and reconciliation protocol based on distributed ledger technology in order to eliminate expensive intermediaries, speed up transaction time and extend the global remittance reach.

It would also seem then, that if JP Morgan is indeed planning to develop the system described in the patent, they will have to implement it with a cryptocurrency at its core, the very thing they have been trying to discredit for the last few months.

The ultimate question then becomes whether it is possible to be a strong supporter of blockchain on one hand, but an equally strong opponent of the validity and legitimacy of cryptocurrencies on the other.

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Ripple Launches Initiative To Support Entrepreneurs, Businesses Using XRP Tech

Ripple announced a new program that will both invest in and and incubate businesses that use Ripple’s XRP technologies

Ripple has launched a new initiative, Xpring, that will provide investments and grants to entrepreneurs using the XRP token and the XRP ledger, Ripple announced on their blog yesterday, May 14.

A former director of the Facebook Developer Network, Ethan Beard, will serve as Senior Vice President to lead both Xpring and Ripple’s developer program. Beard said that “…XRP – with it’s speed, scalability and demonstrated real-world use case – is a great tool for startups and entrepreneurs to build businesses around.”

Xpring partners operate as separate entities of Ripple, although Ripple provides Xpring’s capital. In certain cases, Xpring will take board seats or ownership stakes in the companies they support.

Last week, financial institutions that took part in a pilot of Ripple’s xRapid platform reported both improved transaction speeds and savings of 40-70 percent. In April, Ripple Foundation’s chief market strategist Corey Johnson said that XRP is not a security. Johnson wanted to allay speculation that XRP had not been added to cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase due to questions over its status.

At the beginning of May, Ripple was named in a class action lawsuit by an investor of XRP who has alleged that XRP sales were indeed unregistered securities sales.

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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, IOTA, EOS: Price Analysis, May 15

Latest technical analysis on top 9 cryptocurrencies from an expert trader.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

After listing Bitcoin futures in December of last year, CME launched two indexes tracking Ethereum on Monday. Though the company has denied plans of adding another new product, speculation is rife that Ethereum futures may be added in the future.

Ethereum futures will offer the institutional players an opportunity to diversify their trading into the top two cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

Software developer Kx Systems has also launched cryptocurrency trading on its while label forex trading platform. The software supplier serves a few investment banks and hedge funds. Nasdaq is also not to be left behind. It is providing the technology to the new centralized crypto exchange, DX, which will offer trading in the market’s top six cryptocurrencies.

The stage is being set for the institutional players to take the plunge. So, should the retail investors buy and hodl? We believe that the large players might first push prices down, accumulate at lower levels and then boost prices. Hence, retail investors should stagger their purchases instead of buying all at once.

Let’s see if we find any buy setups on the charts.    

BTC/USD

For the past three days, Bitcoin has been taking support at the 50-day SMA. The bulls will strongly defend the support zone between $7,900 to $8,400 because if this cracks, a fall to $7,000 will be on the cards.

If the support zone holds, the cryptocurrency will stay range bound between $7,900-$10,000.

BTC/USD

The 50-day SMA has been flat for the past few days while the 20-day EMA has become flat in the past week. This shows that the BTC/USD pair will soon enter a period of consolidation.

The resistance of the range is well established at $10,000, but the supports are still unclear. It will either be $7,900 or $6,700.

Hence, we suggest waiting for a couple of days before clarity emerges.

ETH/USD

The dip in Ethereum below the 20-day EMA was aggressively purchased on May 14, resulting in a move back to the overhead resistance of $745.

ETH/USD

Currently, the ETH/USD pair is looking strong as it is holding above the $700 levels. This increases the possibility of a break out of $745 levels once again.

Aggressive traders can take a very short-term long position above $750 with a close stop loss. The target is $838, but this is a very risky trade, hence, should be attempted with only about 30 percent of the usual position size.

On the downside, the critical support levels are $637, $600 and the 50-day SMA at $570.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash bounced back sharply from the lows on May 12, but it is struggling to sustain above the 20-day EMA and break out of the small downtrend line.

BCH/USD

The BCH/USD pair may form a very short-term head and shoulders pattern, which will complete on a breakdown and close below $1,270 levels. This bearish pattern has a target of $650, but it is unlikely to be a straight fall because the digital currency has strong support at $1,221, then at the 50-day SMA at $1,100 and finally at $800.

If the neckline of the H&S pattern doesn’t break down and prices break above $1,520 levels, Bitcoin Cash can rally back to $1,800 levels. Traders should wait for prices to break and close (UTC) above the downtrend line before buying.

XRP/USD

Ripple broke below the 50-day SMA on May 11 but found strong buying support at $0.632 levels on May 12. Currently, it has climbed back above the 50-day SMA.

XRP/USD

On the upside, it will face a strong resistance at $0.76, which was previously the support of the range. The 20-day EMA is just above this level, which will also act as a resistance.

If both these levels are crossed, the XRP/USD pair will become positive, and the probability of a rally to $0.9377 levels increase.

If the bulls fail to scale above the overhead resistance, the cryptocurrency can slide to $0.56-$0.58 levels.

XLM/USD

Stellar bounced off the 50-day SMA on May 12, but the pullback is facing resistance at the 20-day EMA. If the bulls break above the 20-day EMA, a rally to $0.45 levels is possible.

XLM/USD

If the XLM/USD pair turns down from the moving average but takes support at the $0.334 levels, it will be a positive sign and we can expect a break out of the 20-day EMA within a couple of days.

However, a break below the 50-day SMA will increase the possibility of a head and shoulders pattern, which can sink the digital currency to the $0.20 levels. Therefore, traders should wait for buying to emerge before establishing long positions.

LTC/USD

Litecoin broke below the 50-day SMA and the horizontal support on May 11 but quickly rebounded from the lows on May 12. Currently, the bulls are trying to sustain above the $141 levels, which is a positive sign.  

LTC/USD

Any up move in the LTC/USD pair will face resistance between $167 and $173 levels. The 50-day SMA has still not turned up and the 20-day EMA is also turning down. Hence, we don’t anticipate a break out above the downtrend line.

On the downside, a break below the $132.163 level opens up a downside target of $115. As we don’t find any buy setups, we are not recommending any trade on it.

ADA/BTC

Cardano plunged below our second stop loss on May 12 but took support at the 50-day SMA and the trendline. The ensuing up move is facing resistance close to the 20-day EMA. Currently, prices are again sliding towards the trendline support.

ADA/BTC

If the ADA/BTC pair breaks the trendline support, it can decline to 0.000025 levels, which is a strong support. On the other hand, if the trendline holds, Cardano will again try to scale above the 0.00003445 levels.

There are no reliable buy setups, hence, we are not proposing any trade on it.  

IOTA/USD

IOTA is currently sandwiched between the 20-day EMA and the 50-day SMA. The bulls are defending the horizontal support at $1.63 while the bears are defending the 20-day EMA.   

IOTA/USD

If the IOTA/USD pair climbs above the 20-day EMA and the overhead resistance at $2.2117, it will become positive.

Though there is a minor resistance at $2.6977, we believe that it will be crossed if the digital currency closes (UTC) above $2.2117.

We should wait for the breakout before suggesting any long position.

EOS/USD

On May 12, EOS bounced off the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement and the bottom trendline of the descending channel. For the past three days, it has been facing resistance at the $15.1390 levels.

EOS/USD

On the upside, the EOS/USD pair will face resistance at the 20-day EMA and the top trendline of the descending channel. A breakout and close (UTC) of the channel will be a bullish sign and can be purchased by keeping a stop loss below the May 12 lows.

If the price fails to rally above the overhead resistance it can again decline to the 50-day SMA. A sustained move below $12.4810 will weaken the digital currency.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView.

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Forex Platform Serving Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Adds Crypto Trading

Kx Systems has recently launched crypto trading on its forex trading platform to “meet the ‎current and future needs of clients.”

Software developer Kx Systems has launched cryptocurrency trading on its white label forex (FX) trading platform Kx for Flow, the company reported in a blog post May 14. Starting today, Kx for Flow customers are able to conduct spot trading of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP).

US-based Kx Systems is a high-performance software supplier with customers including global investment banking group Goldman Sachs, multinational investment bank Morgan Stanley, and GSA Capital Partners hedge fund. Kx Systems also commercialized the proprietary processing languages K and Q.

Kx for Flow, an HTML5 FX trading platform, allows customers to create liquidity pools and publish price information to markets and clients. The platform operates with such liquidity sources as banks, non-deliverable forwards, precious metals, contracts-for-difference, and now cryptocurrencies.

According to the Kx Head of FX Solutions Rich Kiel, the company’s move toward cryptocurrencies is mainly driven by customer acquisition purposes, since the company has been “inundated with ‎interest in crypto.”

“As with most ‎leading trading technology providers we have been inundated with ‎interest in crypto. When you sift through the noise the interest from ‎mainstream financial services firms to begin trading cryptocurrencies ‎has been growing and we are delivering this solution to meet the ‎current and future needs of our clients.”‎

Kiel’s comments echoed those of Goldman Sachs executive Rana Yared, who cited customer interest as a driving motive for the firm to introduce contracts with Bitcoin exposure earlier this month.  Yared said, “It resonates with us when a client says, ‘I want to hold Bitcoin or Bitcoin futures because I think it is an alternate store of value.’”

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