Current State of The Crypto Market (July 14th, 2019)

Hackers:  A cryptocurrency exchange in Tokyo has halted services after it lost $32m in the latest apparent hack on volatile virtual monies.  Remixpoint, which runs the Bitpoint Japan exchange, discovered that about ¥3.5bn in various digital currencies had gone missing from under its management.  The apparent hack emerged after an error appeared in the firm’s outgoing funds transfer system on Thursday night. It said the cryptocurrency went missing from a so-called hot wallet, which is connected to the internet, but that currency held in cold wallets that are offline was not affected.  The exchange handles various virtual currencies, including bitcoin, ethereum and ripple. Remixpoint said it was analyzing the loss and gave no further details on the incident.

Bullish Key Players:   Since June 27, the bitcoin price has dropped from nearly $14,000 by more than 22 percent against the U.S. dollar in a relatively large pullback, leading the valuation of the crypto market to drop.  Still, despite the minor correction, the bitcoin price is up more than 210 percent year-to-date as one of the best-performing assets in the global market.  Technical analysts like Josh Rager have said that if the bitcoin price fails to recover beyond the mid-$10,000 region at around $10,577, a pullback to the $9,000 region is likely.  “Really want price to stay and close above $10,900s to maintain hope Any break & close below $10,577 would signal a change in trend short term & I’d be looking at low $9ks as the next target on the daily. Still bull market in my opinion (would only be a pullback),” he said.  Rager emphasized that in the medium to long term, the trend of bitcoin is still bullish. There are several key fundamental factors to consider that could act as catalysts in the upcoming months, such as the emergence of trading venues like Bakkt and the block reward halving of bitcoin.

Banks & Institutions:  U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday criticized Bitcoin, Facebook’s proposed Libra digital coin and other cryptocurrencies and demanded that companies seek a banking charter and make themselves subject to U.S. and global regulations if they wanted to “become a bank.”  “I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” Trump wrote on Twitter.  “If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International,” he added.  Facebook said last month it would launch its global cryptocurrency in 2020. Facebook and 28 partners, including Mastercard Inc, PayPal Holdings Inc and Uber Technologies Inc, would form the Libra Association to govern the new coin. No banks are currently part of the group.

Adoption: The Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve has said that a globally adopted cryptocurrency system could conceivably remove the need for reserve currencies.   Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee on July 11, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell gave his analysis of whether a cryptocurrency system with global prevalence could diminish — or even go so far as to remove the need for — so-called anchor currencies.   With the U.S. dollar de facto the world’s dominant reserve currency, Powell acknowledged the possibility of a preeminent cryptocurrency redrawing the current financial landscape — yet noted that as of yet, this has stopped short of becoming a reality. The Fed chairman said:   “I think things like that [the obsolescence of today’s reserve currencies] are possible but we really […] haven’t seen widespread adoption. Bitcoin is a good example, almost no one uses it for payments […] it’s a speculative store of value like gold.”