Crypto Market Outlook 05.29.2018

the root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that’s required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts.

Satoshi Nakamoto on February 11, 2009

Bitcoin open source implementation of P2P currency

Crypto Market Update

Our weekly crypto market update uses a standard set of information sources in order to cut through attention grabbing headlines and get a less biased opinion of the market. 

Crypto Indexes

The Bletchley Indexes “offer the most thoughtful and consistent approach to index construction” according to CoinMetrics. 

Original “top X” indexes were launched in June 2017, followed by a market-wide index in December 2017 and sector specific indexes in February 2018. In total, there are 13 Bletchley indexes, with charts over various timetables available for each on their site.

Below is an alternate view of the performance based on the downloadable data made available by Bletchley. This view is intended to give a side-by-side snapshot of a handful of indexes.

Observations

  • Bletchley 10 and Total Market down significantly vs USD over past week (-20%)
  • Very negative performance for B10 and BTotal over last 3 months
  • Even Indexes continued to underperform weighted indexes
  • Platform, Application, and Currency indexes all down against USD and BTC over last week
  • Only the application index remains positive over last 3 months vs BTY, yet still significantly underperformed USD

 

Global Crypto Charts

For a quick look at the global markets from another perspective, Coinlib.io provides simple charts with a lot of info, including Bitcoin marketshare, a visualization of the top 20 currencies by volume and market cap, and more.

Total Market Cap of Cryptocurrencies: $326.65 billion ( vs $379.72 billion one week ago)

Market Share of Top Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin’s market share has climbed to 38%, a recent. Looking longer-term, Bitcoin continues a long-term declining trend, with new currencies such as EOS and BCH taking some of that market share.

Market share of top 20 cryptocurrencies

The top 20 currencies (by market cap) currently make up roughly 86% of the total crypto market share.

TradingView Technical Indicators

Based on data and info from TradingView (Click  for 30% off a pro subscription)

Scores based on the cumulative total of positive and negative technical indicators signals over three time horizons on Trading View. Scores are weighted by multiplying total as follows: daily (x 1) weekly (x 2), and monthly (x 3). 

  • BTC and ETH have turned much more negative vs USD since last week
  • ETH signals look somewhat better than BTC

CRYPTO PERFORMANCE

  • BTC down over 11% vs USD over last week and nearly 30% over last 3 months
  • ETH and BTC have performed similarly vs USD over last year

 

Google Trends

 

Google Trends have have shown slowly declining searches out after falling significantly in February.

I’m tempted to stop tracking this, as I believe there will be fewer searches as the public gains knowledge. However, significant price action could still lead to search volume surges.

WooBull Charts

NVT Ratio This long-term cycle tracking ratio has spiked significantly in the past week, continuing the uptick seen in the last few days before last week’s update. The ratio is very high and suggests a correction could be due and that this is the end of long-term cycle.

NVT Signal -This short-term signal has moved down slightly over the past week from 122 to 115. It has broken a support trend, suggesting bearish price movement in the short term.

In the original post introducing NVT Signal, 150 was indicated as an overbought signal.

Willy Woo also recently published a Tweet thread where he suggested BTC may go to $5500-5700 next.

CoinMetrics Charts

CoinMetrics has provides great charting tools for a number of top cryptocurrencies. Kalvichkin’s NVT is a regular check for checking short term trading signals. 

Kalvichkin’s NVT – Similar to NVT Signal, Kalvichikin’s NVT has dropped recently, indicating a bearish short term market.

Articles of Note

“Yesterday we were provided with an incredible reminder of why Bitcoin’s slow and steady + simple approach when it comes to development is the right call in the long-run.”

Marty’s Ƀent – May 23rd, 2018 – Issue #238
Master List Archive Feed

“The more complex projects try to get in an attempt to create “fairness” the bigger their attack surface gets. Verge thought five mining algorithms was a clever way to make their network fairer, but have discovered that they just made the network more insecure. Apparently, Verge wasn’t the only chain to experience an attack this week”
1

“It’s interesting to think about what the landscape will look like 3–5 years from now, and which DEXs will manage to carve out significant market”

Token Economy #50: Paradox?
Yannick Roux Token Economy – Medium

“And Coinbase isn’t the only centralized exchange entering the DEX arena, Binance is also building its own version. It’s interesting to think about what the landscape will look like 3–5 years from now, and which DEXs will manage to carve out significant market share independently and how, if at all. ”
2

“Content provided by creators gets instantly tokenized, published to the Fan Bits marketplace, and pays out Ethereum to the creator after each sale”

Announcing Fan Bits: A DIY crypto-collectible creation platform
Medium

“While there’s clear demand for this kind of asset, creating crypto-collectibles is a highly technical pursuit that requires extensive development work. We’re ecstatic to announce that that’s about to change.”
3

“It manages more than 20 million accounts, almost as many as Fidelity Investments, twice as many as Charles Schwab and about as many accounts as Vanguard has investors.”

Move deliberately, fix things: How Coinbase is building a cryptocurrency empire
Brian Fung Washington Post

“But in many ways, Coinbase styles itself the anti-start-up. Its attitude, both hungry and calculating, may be the key to its survival as it seeks to sell the world — from mom-and-pop investors to massive hedge funds — on the idea that it has become to cryptocurrency what Google is to Web searches.”
4

“Our final estimate from looking at the UTXO age distribution is that between 3–3.8M BTC are lost.”

Bitcoin Data Science (Pt. 2): The Geology of Lost Coins
Dhruv Bansal Unchained Capital Blog – Medium

“We believe bitcoin loss occurred over two distinct “cryptogeologic” eras:Systemic loss: a large cohort of BTC which was mined together and lost together in the earliest days of Bitcoin by Satoshi and the other first miners. (Bitcoin’s carboniferous period.)Incremental loss: BTC lost by individual users gradually over different periods of time.”
5

 

Our Take

Short-term: The crypto market continues to look bearish in the short-term. We’re still bullish long-term and believe there are interesting projects right now that will establish themselves for the long term.

  1. https://mailchi.mp/4c3c61136fe8/martys-bent-may-23rd-2017-issue-238
  2. https://tokeneconomy.co/token-economy-50-paradox-d8f2270c0dce
  3. https://medium.com/@fanbits/announcing-fan-bits-a-diy-crypto-collectible-creation-platform-7028616e13e1
  4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/move-deliberately-fix-things-how-coinbase-is-building-a-cryptocurrency-empire/2018/05/17/623d950c-587c-11e8-858f-12becb4d6067_story.html
  5. https://blog.unchained-capital.com/bitcoin-data-science-pt-2-the-geology-of-lost-coins-79e5a0dc6d1?source=rss—-c6f7bef2c97e—4

Crypto Update: Invaluable

If your customers had to stop using your product or service tomorrow, how much would they miss it?

From How cold is the turkey? by Seth Godin

Crypto Market Update

Our weekly crypto market update uses a standard set of information sources.

Crypto Indexes

The Bletchley Indexes “offer the most thoughtful and consistent approach to index construction” according to CoinMetrics. 

Original “top X” indexes were launched in June 2017, followed by a market-wide index in December 2017 and sector specific indexes in February 2018. In total, there are 13 Bletchley indexes, with charts over various timetables available for each on their site.

Below is an alternate view of the performance based on the downloadable data made available by Bletchley. This view is intended to give a side-by-side snapshot of a handful of indexes.

crypto index performance 05.21.2018

Obserservations

  • Bletchley 10 and Total Market down over slightly vs BTC and 5-10% vs USD
  • Both Bletchley 10 and Total Market index remain up over ~20% over last 30 days
  • Even Indexes performed worse than weighted indexes over last 7 and remain better over longer periods
  • Platform, Application, and Currency indexes all down against USD and BTC over last week
  • Currency down nearly 10% vs USD over last 7 days and over 22% in last 3 months

Global Crypto Charts

For a quick look at the global markets from another perspective, Coinlib.io provides simple charts with a lot of info, including Bitcoin marketshare, a visualization of the top 20 currencies by volume and market cap, and more.

Total Market Cap of Cryptocurrencies: $379.72 billion

total crypto market cap 05.18.2018

Market Share of Top Cryptocurrencies

Market Share of Top 5 Cryptocurrencies - 05-21-18 Bitcoin’s market share remains at~36%, close to all-time lows. This continues a long-term declining trend, with new currencies such as EOS and BCH taking some of that market share.

Market share of top 20 cryptocurrencies

Market Share of Top 20 Cryptocurrencies - 05-21-18

The top 20 currencies (by market cap) currently make up roughly 86% of the total crypto market share.

TradingView Technical Indicators

Based on data and info from TradingView (Click  for 30% off a pro subscription)

Crypto Performace 05.21.2018

Scores based on the cumulative total of positive and negative technical indicators signals over three time horizons on Trading View. Scores are weighted by multiplying total as follows: daily (x 1) weekly (x 2), and monthly (x 3). 

  • BTC and ETH have turned much more negative vs USD since last week
  • ETH is looking worse vs BTC than the last two weeks

CRYPTO PERFORMANCE

Crypto Performace 05.21.2018

  • BTC down over 6% vs USD over last week and nearly 30% over last 3 months
  • ETH has outperformed BTC significantly in last year

Google Trends

Google Trends Bitcoin + Crypto 05-21-2018.png

Google Trends have mostly flattened out after falling significantly in February.

I’m tempted to stop tracking this, as  I believe there will be fewer searches as the public gains knowledge. However, significant price action could still lead to search volume surges.

WooBull Charts

Google Trends Bitcoin + Crypto 05-21-2018.png

NVT RatioThis long-term cycle tracking ratio has mostly continued a downward trend, although a slight uptick in the past few days. Regardless, the ratio is quite high and suggests a further downturn is due.

Bitcoin NVT Signal Chart 05.21.2018

NVT Signal -This short-term signal has moved down slightly over the past week from 126 to 122. It appears to be breaking a support trend, suggesting bearish price movement in the short term.

In the original post introducing NVT Signal, 150 was indicated as an overbought signal.

 

CoinMetrics Charts

CoinMetrics has provides great charting tools for a number of top cryptocurrencies. Kalvichkin’s NVT is a regular check for checking short term trading signals. 

Kalvichkin's NVT - BTC ETH 05.21.2018

Kalvichkin’s NVT – Similar to NVT Signal, Kalvichikin’s NVT has remained mostly flat compared to last week. ETH has moved higher.

Articles of Note

Crypto’s Big Lie

Parker Thompson writes that crypto does not make venture capital style investing available to anyone, as is often stated.

Setting aside the fact that investing is not independent of wealth (you need money to invest), these markets are opaque, controlled by insiders, and by the time “anyone in the world” has the opportunity to invest, the price is often an order of magnitude or three higher than the price paid by venture capitalists (first in line), and significantly higher than what accredited investors paid in pre-sales (second in line).

And you hear it in private conversations with crypto teams as well. To paraphrase one statement (but not much), “we are letting value-add VCs buy equity in the company, and pushing the dumb money that got rich on bitcoin into the public sale.” When money is abundant, who it is attached to matters even more, and money has never been as abundant in traditional venture as it is in crypto.

Why Crypto’s A Growing Threat To FAMGA (a.k.a. Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon)

Lou Kerner believes crypto is a real threat to the ever-growing massive tech companies.

The point of my post last year, was that FAMGA’s increasing domination has profound implications, including the stifling of innovation that results from the MAJORITY of value creation going to just five companies.

A year ago I didn’t see any emerging technology that could impede the FAMGA’s increasing dominance. But I did state that “History has taught us that nothing is constant but change”, as noted by the great graph below showing the market cap market share of the top 100 tech companies over time:

Consensus & Token Summit Recap

Last week was crypto week in New York with mulitiple conferences and events. Patrick Mayr  from Token Economy provided a good summary, including a bit about the revenue from ticket sales alone.

Consensus (May 14–16, 2018)

Raking in approximately $17million in ticket sales alone, Consensus provided a glimpse into lucrative ripple effects of the technology: event planning with unprecedented top line.

An analysis of batching in Bitcoin
 As a way to avoid ridiculous fees, batching has been implemented to reduce transaction volume. CoinMetrics looked at the result and found impressive results.

Today, around 12% of all transactions on the Bitcoin network are batched, and these account for about 40% of all outputs and between 30–60% of all transactional value. The fact such that a small set of transactions carries so much economic weight makes us hopeful that Bitcoin still has a lot of room to scale on the base layer, especially if usage trends continue.

Introduction TxTenna: Decentralizing the Last Mile in BitCoin

In Token Economy #49: Crypto Extravaganza, a new project is mentioned which allows offline bitcoin transactions. This could be huge for making BTC viable for a many more people.

Bitcoin is unstoppable, but only to a point: its single point of failure is actually physical, as the network still relies on ISPs for internet connectivity. These are centralized communication networks with a history of censorship (imposed by governments, see the whole net neutrality situation), attacks or fragility (natural or manmade disasters).

So the folks at Samurai Wallet, using the GoTenna SDK, a toolkit provided for free by GoTenna (the makers of an off-grid mobile mesh networking platform) have developed the TxTenna app. The app can broadcast offline bitcoin transactions off-grid via goTenna Mesh devices, effectively enabling an alternative physical communication layer for bitcoin. This is how it works:

Using the Samourai Wallet app the user creates a standard bitcoin transaction and signs it. This is possible while offline and without wifi or mobile access.The Samourai Wallet app then passes the offline transaction to the TxTenna App and TxTenna broadcasts it to nearby mesh nodes via a paired goTenna mesh device. Other goTenna devices in the area relay the transaction until an internet connected goTenna node also running TxTenna receives it and forwards it to the Bitcoin network.”

Final Thoughts

Bitcoin and the crypto markets more widely look susceptible to a short term price drop. Long term, there are are still many positive signs.

Crypto Outlook: Quantity Counts

Crypto Market Update

My weekly update on the crypto market intends to look at the market from a macro perspective. With a majority of the crypto market cap concentrated on Bitcoin and a handful of other tokens, my focus is on the major coins. I check a standard set of information sources each week and include links to articles of interest.

Crypto Indexes

The Bletchley Indexes “offer the most thoughtful and consistent approach to index construction” according to CoinMetrics. 

Original “top X” indexes were launched in June 2017, followed by a market-wide index in December 2017 and sector specific indexes in February 2018. In total, there are 13 Bletchley indexes, with charts over various timetables available for each on their site.

Below is an alternate view of the performance based on the downloadable data made available by Bletchley. This view is intended to give a side-by-side snapshot of a handful of indexes.

bletchley crypto indexes 05-07-2018

Obserservations

  • The Bletchley 10 is up over 75% vs USD over last month. As has been the case historically, the even index performed even better, up nearly 100% vs the dollar.
  • The total indexes have seen similar results over the last month, both versus the dollar, as well as mirroring the improved performance of the even-index.
  • Currency Index has improved over the last week after lagging behind application and platform indexes over last month.
  • All three sectors have outperformed BTC over last 30 days, though only currency shows positive gains over last week.

Global Crypto Charts

For a quick look at the global markets from another perspective, Coinlib.io provides simple charts with a lot of info, including Bitcoin marketshare, a visualization of the top 20 currencies by volume and market cap, and more.

Total Market Cap of Cryptocurrencies

crypto total market cap 05.07.18

Market Share of Top Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin’s market share has declined to ~38%, close to all-time lows. This continues a long-term declining trend, with new currencies such as EOS and BCH taking some of that market share.

Marketshare of top 20 cryptocurrencies

The top 20 currencies (by market cap) currently make up roughly 86% of the total crypto market share.

TradingView Technical Indicators

Based on data and info from TradingView (Click  for 30% off a pro subscription)

crypto tradingview technical signals 05.07.18

Scores based on the cumulative total of positive and negative technical indicators signals over three time horizons on Trading View. Scores are weighted by multiplying total as follows: daily (x 1) weekly (x 2), and monthly (x 3). 

  • ETH has surged compared to BTC and USD over the last month. Technical indicators suggest the tide may be swinging to favor BTC in the short term.
  • USDT has outperformed USD by over 6% in the last year.

CRYPTO PERFORMANCE

crypto performance 05.07.18

  • BTC has been mostly flat the past week, while ETH has surged.
  • ETH has doubled over the last month (versus USD)

Google Trends

bitcoin google trends

Google Trends have mostly flattened out after falling significantly in February.

I’m hesitant to keep tracking this, as my assumption is that there will be less searches as the public gains knowledge and no longer needs to search for the term. However, significant price action could still lead to search volume surges.

WooBull Charts

Bitcoin NVT Ratio - 05.07.2018

NVT RatioThis long-term cycle tracking ratio has continued it’s downward trend yet remains well above the long term “normal range,” suggesting a downward turn could be imminent.

 

Bitcoin NVT Signal Chart 05.07.2018

NVT Signal – This short-term signal continued its upward trend again, reaching a recent high of 142. In the original post introducing NVT Signal, 150 was indicated as an overbought signal.

Overall, there is potential for the upward trend to continue in short-term, though NVT Ratio suggests a downturn is looming.

CoinMetrics Charts

CoinMetrics has provides great charting tools for a number of top cryptocurrencies. Kalvichkin’s NVT is a regular check for checking short term trading signals. 

Kalvichkin's NVT - BTC ETH 05.07.2018

Kalvichkin’s NVT – Similar to NVT Signal, this suggests an upward trend is likely to continue for both BTC and ETH in the short term.

Articles of Note

Is Ether a security?

I tend to overlook most regulatory concerns, assuming they’ll sort themselves out and should only be speed bumps in the long run. If the SEC determines ETH is a security, it could have repercussions for some whales. The fact that VCs have lobbied the SEC for a ‘safe harbor’ both shows how important this is, and makes me think there won’t be any major negative impact with some sort of compromise reached.

Crypto Moats

The open nature of crypto currencies allows for code to be copied or forked easily, making it much harder to establish moats (to use a Warren Buffet phrase) to protect from competitors.

Robert Miller, Director of Business Development @medical_chain, wrote on the topic and suggested some potential moats, including:

  • Superior brand
  • Superior developers
  • Partially/fully closed source code
    “Cryptocurrencies might withhold some or all of their code in the future to keep competitors from taking their code. Spencer Noon touches on this in his post The Persistent Forker but developers could put their code in a “black box” that was able to prove the code did not change over time.”
  •  Life span
    “Nassim Taleb introduces the idea of the Lindy Effect in his book Antifragile. The Lindy Effect states the future life expectancy of non-perishable assets is proportional to their current age. In other words, the longer something has been around the longer we can expect it to stay around.”
  • Network effects
  • Good governance
Fred Wilson counters Warren Buffet on Crypto Investing

Speaking of Warren Buffet, he recently made some remarks about Bitcoin and crypto, saying:

When you buy cryptocurrency, Buffett continues, “You aren’t investing when you do that. You’re speculating. There’s nothing wrong with it. If you wanna gamble somebody else will come along and pay more money tomorrow, that’s one kind of game. That is not investing.”

On AVC, Venture capitalist Fred Wilson countered by stating that he’s not looking at crypto correctly, assuming they are collectibles, rather than fuel:

But what these crypto tokens are is entirely something else. They are the fuel that powers a new form of technology infrastructure that is being built on top of the foundational internet protocols. Ethereum and EOS are smart contract platforms that allow developers to create decentralized applications (Dapps in the vernacular of crypto). Bitcoin and Zcash are stores of value that allow users to participate in this decentralized application space without the need for fiat currencies.

It’s a good counter from someone who invests more like Buffet than many might assume, given they both look to buy and hold for a long investment period.

The end of ICOs

While enormous amounts are still being raised in ICOs, with over $8 billion raised in 2018 already, it’s increasingly coming in private sales. In the Token Economy newsletter, Stefano Bernardi writes about the downside:

And I’m bored.
I’m bored because I now see startups having to spend 6 figure sums on lawyers instead of building their products.
I’m bored because I see people making a killing from being accredited investors and thus being able to access opportunities that others can’t.
And I’m bored because all of this regulatory attention and focus is necessary, given that the scammers army has found its new honeypot.
We really can’t have nice things.

And makes his prediction for the future of ICOs:

Very hard to say, but our guess is that “normal” VC rounds will become more of a norm, there will be fewer public ICOs from legit projects, and the tokens will trade on exchanges directly with the company, or its treasury unit, or some specifically chosen early investors acting as market makers.

 Why Decentralization Matters

Many of the early believers in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies were attracted by the hope for decentralized systems. Spencer Bogart writes that the path to decentralization may be through centralization first. He cites problems with going do a decentralized model too early, as well as problems with becoming too centralized:

Either these platforms will offer strong assurances (“permissionless-ness”), in which case they will attract “sovereign-grade” attackers (and “platform-grade” censorship resistance will be insufficient) OR they will embrace censorship and permission-ing, in which case they will end up as less efficient varieties of today’s centralized platforms. Regardless, neither path appears sustainable.

The path forward: Highly decentralized base layer with increased centralization (and efficiency) on higher layers

He acknowledges a trend toward further centralization and it optimistic:

Instead, I’m most optimistic that highly decentralized networks will provide the robust foundation on top of which we can realize the efficiencies of centralization in higher layers — should it be desired. It’s a path that will likely take longer and be more difficult to build, but it might be the only viable route medium- to long-term.

Final Thoughts

A story from The Process Matters by Nick Maggiulli:

On the first day of ceramics class the teacher announced that the students would be split into two groups. One group would be graded on the quantity of the work they produced while the other group would be graded on the quality of the work they produced. The “quantity” group had to create as many clay pots as possible over the next few months while the “quality” group had to produce a single clay pot as best they could.

Months later as the students turned in their pots to be graded, the teacher came to a surprising realization — all of the highest quality pots were produced by students in the “quantity” group.

Regardless of regulatory action, crypto is here and it’s not going away. There’s a number of projects live, more in development, and even more that are just being conceived. Some projects will work, many won’t. The number of successes will increase as more projects are created. It’s early.

 

 

If the ICO craze is over, what’s next?

Is the ICO craze over? From a recent Token Economy newsletter:

However we are coming across more and more projects avoiding public sales all together, opting instead for phased out private-only rounds structured as traditional equity rounds or SAFTs/private pre-sales, or a combination of both in sequence. Data provided by our friends from Tokendata show that, in January, $180 million worth of capital was raised by projects that had initially planned a public sale, but eventually cancelled it and raised privately. These include Olympus Labs, Nucleus Vision, Coinfi, Shipchain and a bunch of others (not going to lie, we had not heard of most of them). Of the balance, anecdotally 50–75% was possibly raised via private pre-sales.

They speculate it’s due to regulatory fear, influx of institutional money, huge capital due to increase in value of $ETH, and a handful of other factors, including “more sanity” among founders (ha!).

What this means is unknown, though have some well-reasoned predictions including alternative distribution models where real usage is the goal, increased transparency from quality projects, and a boom in the fully compliant tokens.

Fully-compliant is one thing; proving worthy of the funds raised will be a big task this year. Many projects will not survive and that trend will begin to hurt wavering projects, where token holders decide to sell before value goes to zero.

Robinhood fact of the day

From the always excellent Token Economy newsletter:

There are currently almost 900,000 people in line to get early access to Robinhood Crypto.

If you don’t read it already, check out the Token Economy #33: Dogfooding at Token Economy

Another bearish outlookon non-major cryptocurrencies

aside from BTC and ETH, all of the other TOP 10 coins will disappear into oblivion.

as always, lots of links to excellent pieces throughout their weekly post

via Token Economy #30: Gazing into the crypstal ball at Token Economy – Medium

Decentralized crypto exchanges are the only way forward

Centralized and custodial exchanges are the exact antithesis of why Bitcoin was born and why (we like to think) people spend their time in the crypto world.We are building trustless technology to remove middlemen, monopolies and risk

via ☠ Token Economy #31: Kraken & the death of centralized exchanges at Token Economy – Medium