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Volatility: $230M in BitMEX Liquidations Hit Bulls and Bears Alike

The recent volatility in the Bitcoin (BTC) markets has left both bulls and bears facing significant liquidations, with almost $223 million in 24-hour margin calls on leading derivatives exchange BitMEX being evenly spread between BTC shorts and longs.

As of when this story was published, a little over $111.5 million, or 50.04% of the total was liquidated in the form of Bitcoin longs, while shorts represented $111.3 million, or 49.96% of liquidated positions, according to Cryptometer.

Altcoin liquidations brought the total to $230 million.

Both shorts and longs hit on BitMEX

Shorts were initially hit heavily as BTC gained over 8.78% in just four hours as prices rallied from $9,560 into new recent highs just shy of $10,400 heading into the early hours of June 2.

However, the break into five-figure prices would prove to be short-lived, as roughly 14 hours of tight consolidation near $10,200 gave way to a violent drop that saw Bitcoin shed roughly 10% in less than four minutes as prices plummeted down to $9,150.

BTC/USDT on Binance 1H Chart: TradingView

The last ten hours have seen tight range-bound consolidation between $9,400, and $9,550, with many traders anxiously awaiting Bitcoin’s next major move.

Exchange outages persist amid price crash

The sudden price crash triggered familiar outages on top exchanges, with users reporting overloads on BitMEX as slippage drove prices as low as $8,600 on the platform.

Top United States-based exchange Coinbase went offline like clockwork as prices rallied above $10,000, with Twitter user ‘cryptorecruitr’ asking the firm: “How does an exchange with an $8 billion valuation crash every time Bitcoin pumps 5%? I would genuinely like to know.”

‘AndySpqr’ added: “Crypto prices rise and once again@coinbase shows error msgs to people trying to access funds. I would highly suggest when you get in, get those funds off that exchange. It’s a complete s**t show.”

Altcoin liquidations overwhelmingly long

Despite both sides of the Bitcoin market suffering heavily amid yesterday’s volatility, Ether (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) longs represented nearly 88% percent of each market’s respective 24-hour liquidations on BitMEX.

Roughly $3.65 million in bullish ETH positions were wiped out, while $1.74 million in XRP longs were liquidated overnight.

More than  99% of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Eos (EOS), liquidations over the past 24 hours on BitMEX were also long.

3 Main Reasons Bitcoin’s Price Plummeted 14% in 15 Minutes to $8,600

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) plummeted by 14% from $10,180 to $8,600 on BitMEX within less than 15 minutes.

Three major factors that caused the price drop were: long contracts accounting for the overwhelming majority of the Bitcoin market, BTC reacting to a multiyear resistance at $10,500 and whales dumping.

BTC USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

BTC/USDT four-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Bitcoin was overdue for a long squeeze

Before the price correction occurred, the funding rate for Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) hovered at around 0.16% and 0.19%, respectively.

The term funding rate in the Bitcoin futures market means the fee long contract or short contract holders have to pay their counterparts to establish balance in the market.

As an example, let’s say the price of Bitcoin is going up and the funding rate, which typically is at around 0.01%, rises to 0.16%. If a trader is holding a $100,000 long position, the trader has to pay $160 every eight hours to another short contract holder holding a $100,000 short position.

The funding mechanism prevents the market from swaying to majority longs or shorts for an extended period of time.

A signal something was amiss was the fact that prior to the price drop, Bitcoin’s funding rate was too high and around 75% of the market was holding long contracts.

The majority of traders were anticipating Bitcoin’s price to increase and were aggressively longing the market. Inevitably, a long squeeze occurred, liquidating about $120 million worth of long contracts.

BitMEX XBTUSD Liquidations. Source: Skew

BitMEX XBTUSD Liquidations. Source: Skew

The price of BTC also fell exactly as the United States market opened. It suggests the CME Bitcoin futures market was partially behind the sell-off in BTC.

Cryptocurrency investor PlanB said:

“BTC crashes -$1000 in 15 minutes on US opening (exact same time and volumes as of May 20 and May 21.”

BTC rejects at a multiyear resistance

Bitcoin has tested the $10,500 resistance level a total of three times in the past eight months.

The top-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap rose to as high as $10,500 in October 2019. Within four weeks, it dropped to $6,400, bottoming out in a six-week span.

In February, Bitcoin made another attempt to surpass the $10,500 resistance level. After rejecting violently to $8,400, BTC fell to as low as $3,600 in the following four weeks.

This is the third time BTC has tested the same level in the last three quarters, and it is also the third time it has been met with a similar reaction.

As BTC fails to reclaim the same level for three consecutive times, the question traders are asking is if BTC is ready to break out of it and initiate a proper bull trend in the coming weeks.

Given the intensity of the drop and the breakdown of the short-term market structure, the probability of seeing Bitcoin testing higher resistance levels in the near term found at $11,500, $12,400 and $14,000 decreased with the recent price action.

Whales moved their funds

 A few hours before the drop happened, whales moved their funds to BitMEX and Binance.

CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju said:

“Multiple significant BTC inflows from Binance and BitMEX a few hours before the dip.”

BitMEX and Binance inflows before the drop to $8,600. Source: CryptoQuant

BitMEX and Binance inflows before the drop to $8,600. Source: CryptoQuant

The combination of whales selling Bitcoin right at a multiyear resistance with high funding and the majority of the market being long triggered a strong long squeeze within a short period of time.

Miners Have Been Selling More Bitcoin Than They Generate, Recent Data Suggests

Last week, Bitcoin (BTC) miners sold 11% more coins than they generated over the same period, June 1 data from on-chain analysis portal ByteTree suggests.

According to the portal’s metric that tracks Bitcoin wallet addresses associated with miners, around 5,800 BTC was generated over the past seven days, compared with over 6,500 “first spend” transactions.

The “first spend” that is used for the calculation is “the first time that a Bitcoin leaves the wallet it was generated in,” a ByteTree spokesperson explained to Cointelegraph, elaborating on how their metric works in greater detail:

“The miner wallet can be owned by an individual, a company or a mining pool. When the coins get generated by the miners and appear in the miner wallet, they are counted as ‘generation’. Those coins can then sit in their respective miner wallets for days, months, years or forever. It is up to the controller of that miner wallet to decide when they want to move the coins. If these coins are generated by a mining pool, the coins will either be distributed to the pool subscribers (ie. paid in btc) or sent to an exchange at some point in order to cover the fiat costs of operation.”

It might be premature to call “capitulation” even among currently inefficient miners

Crypto Twitter commentator Conner Brown has used this data to argue that inefficient miners are capitulating, but some experts warn that the term “capitulation” might entail different meanings. 

Thomas Heller, the global business director at F2Pool, told Cointelegraph that even when it becomes unprofitable to mine with certain equipment due to increased difficulty, owners normally sell their machines to places where electricity is cheaper instead of quitting the game.

“As these older machines are no longer profitable to mine at the electricity price in China, Canada, USA, or Europe, they eventually end up in other locations, such as Kazakhstan, Russia, the Middle East and South America,” Heller said, concluding:

“So far in 2020, there have been very few cases of mining farms going out of business.”

Post-halving realities

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the Bitcoin halving has affected the network in numerous ways, as the hash rate, block time, fees and miner revenues have changed considerably as a result of the event.

In order to mitigate the increased difficulty and provide pre-halving levels of mining efficiency, a new generation of mining hardware is being released by industry leaders such as Bitmain and MicroBT. Earlier today, Bitmain unveiled its new Antminer T19 Bitcoin Mining ASIC, which will reportedly start shipping out in late June.

Stocks, Safe Havens and Hodlers — 5 Things to Eye in Bitcoin This Week

Bitcoin (BTC) is going into the third week of its new halving cycle just $550 away from five figures — but what could really impact price this week? 

Cointelegraph takes a look at the main factors that could help — or hinder — the biggest cryptocurrency over the coming days. 

Stocks and oil contrast with stable BTC

Traditional markets are off to a rocky start this week. Protests in the United States have coupled with President Donald Trump’s softer response to China over Hong Kong to worry already panicky stocks.

As a result of this uncertainty, safe-haven assets are rallying. Gold is up around $50 since May 27, at press time trading at $1,743 — near its highs from 2011. 

Oil is also falling in the U.S., something which could benefit local cryptocurrency miners, Andreas Antonopoulos has argued.

As Cointelegraph reported, Bitcoin has shown increased “decoupling” from macro movements in recent weeks, and the potential to follow gold remains. 

Data currently shows that Bitcoin has delivered returns of nearly 50% in Q2 alone.

Bitcoin quarterly returns. Source: Skew

Double down difficulty adjustment incoming

All things being equal, however, Bitcoin still faces a downward difficulty adjustment in three days’ time. 

One of the Bitcoin network’s most important features, automatic adjustments ensure miners remain incentivized to participate in transaction validation. 

As noted previously, Bitcoin has not had two back-to-back downward adjustments since the bottom of its bear market in December 2018. 

Bitcoin hash rate estimate 1-month chart. Source: Blockchain

Unlike difficulty, the hash rate is slowly creeping up this week, reaching roughly 95 quintillion hashes per second on Monday. The adjustment should further this upward trend in the short term. 

Miner sell-offs recede

Last month’s halving has cut miners’ BTC revenue by 50%, but outflows accelerated after the event. For a time, miners were selling more BTC than they earned.

That trend has died down over the past ten days, and outflows have reduced dramatically. 

Bitcoin mining pool outflows 1-year chart. Source: CryptoQuant

The reduced desire to sell BTC holdings coincides with consumer activity — hodlers have withdrawn more from exchanges than at any time since the December 2018 lows.

In addition, 60% of the Bitcoin supply has now not moved in a year or more — something true for the past five months, despite considerable price fluctuations.

Whether exchange withdrawals are an indication that investors expect a bull run is currently a topic of debate in analytic circles.

No futures gap to push the price

CME Bitcoin futures look set to open just a short space away from where they closed on Friday. 

This reduced “gap” in the market leaves less chance of a sudden move up or down by Bitcoin to “fill” it.

As Cointelegraph has often noted, BTC/USD tends to make up for gaps left in futures. The past two weeks were no exception, with large and small gaps getting filled within days of opening. 

CME Bitcoin futures with a gap at $9,510. Source: TradingView

Stock-to-flow excitement begins once more

At the focal price point of $9,500, Bitcoin is behaving exactly as forecast, according to the creator of the historically very accurate stock-to-flow price model. 

As Cointelegraph reported, June 1 produced a crucial “red dot” on the model, which has previously signaled the start of a bullish phase.

For the stock to flow, each bullish phase ups the price by an order of magnitude — this time around, highs by 2024 could reach $576,000 or more.

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies to Watch This Week: BTC, BNB, XLM, XMR, TRX

Although the Bitcoin (BTC) halving generated a lot of interest proceeding the event, it has failed to kickstart a trending move after completion of the event. This suggests in hindsight that the event was priced in. 

However, the top-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap has not given up much ground following the event, which suggests that traders who purchased before halving are confident that the path of least resistance is to the upside.

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

While Bitcoin has been consolidating in the past few days, the action has shifted to altcoins whose market capitalization has risen from about $77 billion on May 11 to $94 billion at press time. 

Investors are now wondering if altcoins can continue their strong run while Bitcoin takes a breather, or will the action again shift back to Bitcoin? 

Let’s find out by analyzing the charts to see which major cryptocurrencies could offer trading opportunities in the next few days.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin (BTC) has formed a symmetrical triangle pattern, which suggests that the bulls and the bears are digesting the sharp rally from the lows. With three touches on the resistance line of the triangle and two touches on the support line (marked via ellipses on the chart), the formation is complete.

BTC-USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

If the bulls can propel the BTC/USD pair above the triangle, the next leg of the uptrend is likely to continue. Although the pattern target of this setup is $11,778, the bears are likely to defend the $10,500 levels aggressively.

However, if the bulls can push the price above $10,500, it will complete the breakout of a large symmetrical triangle. This move could signal the possible start of a new long-term uptrend. 

The bullish view will be invalidated if the price turns down from the current levels or from $10,000 and breaks below the support line of the symmetrical triangle. A break below $8,130.58 could signal the start of a possible downtrend.

BTC-USD 4-hour chart. Source: Tradingview

The 4-hour chart shows that the bears are aggressively defending the resistance line of the symmetrical triangle. They have been mounting a stiff resistance in the $9,800-$10,000 zone. 

However, if the pair turns around from the current levels or from $9,400, another attempt to breakout of the triangle is likely. The traders can wait for the price to close (UTC time) above the triangle before buying.

The stop-loss for the trade can be kept at $9,400 because if the bears drag the price back into the triangle, it will suggest that the breakout was a bear trap. 

If the pair breaks below $9,400, a drop to the support line of the triangle is likely. A strong bounce off this level could also offer a buying opportunity.

BNB/USD

Binance Coin (BNB) has reached the overhead resistance at $18.1377, which is acting as a stiff resistance. However, if the bulls can push the price above the resistance, a rally to $21.7628 is possible.  

BNB-USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

Both moving averages have started to turn up and the relative strength index is in the positive territory, which suggests that bulls have the upper hand. 

Even if the 8th-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap turns down from the current levels, it is likely to find support at the trendline. A bounce off the trendline will increase the possibility of a break above $18.1377 as it will suggest that the bulls are buying the dips aggressively.

This bullish view will be invalidated if the bears sink the price below the trendline. Below this support, a drop to $15.7218 and then to $14 is likely. The bulls are likely to defend $14 aggressively as it has not been broken since April 30.  

BNB-USD 4-hour chart. Source: Tradingview

The bulls had pushed the price above the overhead resistance of $18.1377 but they could not sustain the breakout. This suggests that the bears are not willing to give up without a fight.

If the bears sink the BNB/USD pair below the 20-simple moving average, the short-term momentum will weaken.

On the other hand, if the pair bounces off the current levels, the bulls will make another attempt to scale the price above $18.1377. Traders can buy on a close (UTC time) above $18.1377 with a stop-loss below the 50-SMA. The stops can be trailed higher as the price moves northwards.

Another possible buying opportunity will open up after the price rebounds off the trendline support. The stop-loss for this trade can be kept just below the trendline.

XLM/USD

Stellar Lumens (XLM) resumed its uptrend after breaking out of the symmetrical triangle on May 30. Both moving averages have started to slope up and the RSI has risen above 60 levels, which suggests that bulls have the upper hand.   

XLM-USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview 

The bears might defend $0.076994 aggressively but if the bulls can push the price above this level, the uptrend is likely to pick up momentum. The target objective of a breakout of the triangle is $0.0875.

As the 12th-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap had turned down from close to $0.088 levels on three previous occasions (marked as ellipses on the chart), this level is likely to again act as a major barrier.

This bullish view will be invalidated if the altcoin turns down from the current levels and breaks below the support line of the ascending channel. Below the channel, the trend could turn in favor of the bears.

XLM-USD 4-hour chart. Source: Tradingview 

On the 4-hour chart, both moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in the positive territory. This suggests that bulls are in command. A breakout of $0.076994 is likely to attract further buying. 

Therefore, traders can buy on a breakout and close (UTC time) above $0.076994. The initial stop-loss for the trade can be kept at $0.070. The stops can be trailed higher as the price moves up.

However, if the bears can drag the price below the 10-exponential moving average, a drop to the 20-SMA is possible. If this support also gives way, a drop to the support line of the symmetrical triangle is possible. 

XMR/USD

Monero (XMR) has reached the critical overhead resistance of $68.4175. The price had turned down from close to this level twice before, hence, this level is likely to act as a major barrier.

XMR-USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

If the bulls can drive the price above $68.4175, the 16th-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap is likely to pick up momentum and could rally to the next resistance at $86.2384.

Conversely, if the digital asset reverses direction from the current levels, a drop to the moving averages and below it to the trendline is possible. If the bulls buy the dip to the trendline aggressively, it will increase the possibility of a break above $68.4175.

However, if the bears sink the price below the trendline, a drop to $51-$54 zone is possible. Below this zone, a new downtrend is possible. 

XMR-USD 4-hour chart. Source: Tradingview

Although bulls pushed the XMR/USD pair above $68.4175, they could not sustain the breakout. This suggests that bears are defending the resistance aggressively. However, the pair has held the 20-SMA, which suggests that the bulls are buying the dips.

Both moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in the positive territory indicating that the bulls have the upper hand. Therefore, traders can buy on a breakout and close (UTC time) above $68.4175 with a stop-loss at $65.

The momentum will weaken if the pair breaks and sustains below the 20-SMA. A break below $65 can drag the pair to the trendline. A strong bounce off the trendline can also offer a buying opportunity. 

TRX/USD

Tron (TRX) broke out of the critical overhead resistance of $0.0167242, which is a huge positive because between April 29-May 9 the bulls had repeatedly failed to do so.  

TRX-USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

If the bulls can sustain the 17th-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap above $0.0167242, the momentum is likely to pick up. The first target to watch out for is $0.0183655 and then $0.0213539.

Conversely, if the bears sink and sustain the price below $0.0167242, a drop to the trendline is likely. A strong bounce off the trendline could lead to one more attempt by the bulls to resume the up move.

The trend will turn in favor of the bears on a break below the trendline. If this support gives way, a drop to $0.0128935 is possible.    

TRX-USD 4-hour chart. Source: Tradingview

The 4-hour chart shows that the bulls propelled the price above the overhead resistance of $0.0167242 but the bears are not ready to give up without a fight.

Currently, the bears have dragged the TRX/USD pair back below the breakout level. If the price sustains below $0.0166, a drop to the moving averages is possible. 

Both moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is close to the overbought zone, which suggests that bulls are in command. Therefore, the bulls are likely to buy the dip to the moving averages. Traders might consider buying at $0.0173 or purchasing on a rebound off the moving averages. 

A break below the moving averages could result in a drop to the trendline which can also offer another buying opportunity. Long positions can be avoided on a break below the trendline.  

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. 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.

$10,000 Bull Trap? Why Bitcoin Price Is Now Likely to Pull Back

Bitcoin (BTC) price was once again sideways last week with price action between bulls and bears proving to be equal. But scenarios look likely for Bitcoin as we approach the month of May comes to a close?

Let’s take a look at what’s happening with the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, BTC. 

Daily crypto market performance. Source: Coin360.com

A bullish monthly candle close 

BTC/USD 1-Month chart. Source: TensorCharts

Starting out on the monthly, we can see that Bitcoin grew in value by nearly 25% in the month of May. This is always a nice thing to see. However, since the March 12 dump, it’s nothing for long term hodlers to get excited about just yet.  

Nevertheless, as the one month candle is due to open above the .382 fib retracement level, a move up towards the .618 of $13,700 is something to be excited about. With that being said, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, we first need to claim $11,800, and one cannot ignore that a move to the downside is always a possibility for the king of cryptos also.  

As things stand, if June was to be bearish, a pullback to between $7,400 and $7,600 is where I’d be placing some buy orders, and that is what I’ll explain today. 

The monthly MACD is bullish

BTC/USD Monthly MACD. Source: TradingView

The monthly Moving Average Divergence Convergence (MACD) indicator is set to cross bullish. This indicates a return of upwards momentum for Bitcoin, and history tells us that this serves as a key buying signal to investors.  

This is also reflected in the weekly MACD, which crossed bullish at the beginning of the month of May. So as things stand right this moment, Bitcoin looks strong on the higher time frames. 

However, for more immediate price movement expectations, we need to drill down to the lower time frames to see what may be in store over the coming week.  

Bearish divergence on the daily 

BTC/USD daily MACD chart Source: TradingView

Bitcoin is not only flagging bullish on the weekly and monthly, but it is looking poised to cross bullish on the daily MACD. It almost seems like a trap, as conditions like this on this particular indicator are what dreams are made of.  

However, with the price trending up and the indicator trending down we still have bearish divergence showing, and this is not a bullish sign in the least. This tells us that a pullback is due, and a glance over the lower time frames can show us where this might be. 

Descending channel opening up

BTC/USD Daily chart. Source: TradingView

Taking a look at the daily time frame, we can see that Bitcoin broke down below the previous upward trend line last week, and the price has since continued to range through the previous support level, making it difficult to determine which direction the price wants to go.  

This has caused a new downward channel to emerge on the charts, which puts $9,700 as resistance, and $8,700 as the midpoint level and $7,400 as support.  

After such a big increase in price over the last eight weeks, a pullback is somewhat inevitable. However, I’d expect this to be short-lived due to the increased momentum across the higher frames.  

Bearish scenario 

BTC/USD Daily chart. Source: TradingView

Using the fib retracement levels on the daily chart, it gives us an idea of the levels to expect Bitcoin to hit should it pullback towards the midpoint of the descending channel.   

This shows that support can be found at $8,613 with the key areas for a bounce being at $9,313 (the .382) and $9,046 (the .618) 

Should the price retrace beyond $8,613, only then would $7,400 look like a realistic bottom.   

Bullish scenario 

From a bullish perspective, breaking $9,800 could put Bitcoin on a path to $11K and then on to $13,800. 

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

Hong Kong Vending Machines Choose BCH Over BTC

After Roger Ver posted a video of a Hong Kong vending machine accepting Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and not Bitcoin (BTC), trader and YouTuber Tone Vays claimed Ver paid for the vending machine to avoid accepting BTC. Ver denied such claims. 

Ver demoed a Honk Kong vending machine accepting BCH

Ver, an outspoken proponent of BCH, posted a May 29 video on Twitter of a Hong Kong vending machine accepting BCH, Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Binance Coin (BNB) — but not BTC. “There’s no Bitcoin accepted at all,” Ver said in the video, noting the coin’s high fees and network traffic. 

The topics of fees and network speed have been a sticking point in recent years among the crypto community, as various solutions such as the Lightning Network, look to help BTC scale. 

Tone Vays pipes up saying Ver paid for the vending unit 

Popular trader and crypto YouTuber, Tone Vays, responded to Ver’s video, accusing the BCH proponent of paying for the vending machine’s hosting of BCH instead of BTC.

“Real question is how many transactions have they processed since that demo and what are they doing with the BCH and ETH,” Vays said. He posited the machine likely hosted no other BCH transactions. If it did, Vays claimed the unit probably automatically sold such BCH into cash.

Trader Willy Woo also chimed in after Vays, adding:

“This was my first thought also, it’s common practice for lower tier altcoins to pay to get access to ATMs, which begs the question of how centralized these projects are.”

Over the years, Ver has debated Vays at various points. Ver commonly takes the stance that BTC is not enough like digital cash.

Roger Ver told Cointelegraph on May 30:

“I’ve invested in a lot of things, but to the best of my knowledge, I’m not an investor in any way for those vending machines, and I don’t even know the people behind it,”

Ver added:

“I suspect the real reason they don’t accept BTC is because BTC fees are too high, and the payments are too easy to reverse.”

The Crypto Enthusiast’s Dream: Top Countries That Tick All the Boxes

For crypto enthusiasts, choosing a location to live in that supports an ideal lifestyle extends beyond searching for a city with a high number of shops and retail outlets that accept crypto. 

Sure, any crypto enthusiast will benefit from living in an area with easy access to crypto-related amenities. However, as the world of crypto evolves and more crypto debit cards appear, crypto enthusiasts are realizing that direct crypto spending is not the only factor to consider when choosing a place to call home. The political stability of the location, the weather and internet broadband speed are some of the critical considerations for crypto enthusiasts looking to become global citizens.

In a conversation with Cointelegraph, Juan Otero, the CEO of Travala.com — a crypto-friendly travel booking service — said that nowadays, cryptocurrency enthusiasts have embraced a nomadic “decentralized way” of life, as cryptocurrencies allow them such levels of freedom. With regulation in mind, Otero pointed out that Japan, Switzerland and Singapore are top choices for those looking for jurisdictions with progressive crypto regulations.

Popular crypto YouTuber moved to Saipan

Just recently, a crypto YouTuber by the name of Vin Armani, who is known for founding CoinText and also for being a former star on Showtime’s Gigolos, moved out of the United States to Saipan with his entire family. In a tweet and subsequent conversation with Cointelegraph, Armani pointed out that his move to relocate out of the U.S. was due to the fear of being labeled “undesirable” by the “totalitarian tyranny” that he predicted was about to happen as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Located in the U.S. commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan boasts of a population of just 52,000 people. Also, the country’s proximity to the U.S. makes it an ideal location to be. Like some other members of the crypto Twitter community, Armani is concerned that the government could soon overstep its authority and use technology to restrict the use of crypto. This, he says, can be done through contact tracing technology currently being used to track down and isolate individuals infected by the coronavirus.

Armani also said in a tweet that he chose Saipan because it has “no IRS or ICE jurisdiction. No national guard. No real military presence. Very laid back police. […] No code enforcement dept.” The case with Armani is evidence that crypto enthusiasts are now more considerate of factors such as political stability, security and overall friendliness of financial regulations toward crypto than whether an area has enough retail shops for spending crypto. Taking into consideration all the factors discussed above, here is a sample list of some of the countries that are ideal places for crypto enthusiasts to live.

Singapore

Whether one is looking at political stability or a country’s tax policy toward crypto as a criterion, this city-state with a population of slightly above 5.8 million people easily ranks at the top. Singapore is one of the few countries that support a policy of zero capital gains taxes on crypto income. What’s more, regulatory bodies in Singapore, including the Monetary Authority of Singapore, have initiated several crypto-friendly initiatives, including the publication of initial coin offering guidelines back in November 2017.

Even though the country’s government does not recognize crypto as legal tender, the Monetary Authority of Singapore granted an exemption to several crypto companies under the new Payment Services Act, giving firms a grace period of six months in which they can operate without a license. Singapore also has one of the fastest internet speeds in the world at around 180 megabits per second.

Singapore ranks high among politically stable countries worldwide, making it one of the best places to register a business while avoiding the long-term risks that often emerge in politically unstable states. In terms of the availability of retail outlets that accept crypto payments, Singapore has around 40 shops, according to CoinMap. Housing costs in Singapore are comparatively expensive, with average rents ranging from as low as $1,766 Singapore dollars ($1,250 U.S. dollars) all the way to SG$3,366 ($2,400 dollars) per month.

Australia (Brisbane) 

Australia also ranks high among countries in the world for its political stability. Additionally, Brisbane — one of Australia’s largest cities — stands out for its warm attitude toward crypto, being among the first to introduce crypto payments in the shops of its local airport back in 2018. According to CoinMap, the number of retailers that accept crypto payments in Brisbane sits at about 22, ranking as high as other large cities such as Melbourne and Sydney, which have over 30 and over 70 outlets, respectively.

Brisbane is also home to the Australian Bitcoin (BTC) payment platform Living Room Of Satoshi, a company that facilitates crypto payments for utility bills, tuition fees and even taxes. The solution makes it easy for crypto enthusiasts in Brisbane to transfer money to their loved ones, not to mention receive payments in crypto.

Crypto-accepting shops aside, Brisbane has a warm and welcoming climate with beautiful historic landmarks, not to mention sun-soaked beaches and vibrant art scenes. For those who love warm sunny days, Brisbane boasts of nearly 300 of those every year, making it an ideal location to settle down. In terms of quality of life, Brisbane is one of Australia’s most affordable cities to live in.

Even though median weekly rents in the city have gone up by 1.4% according to reports, the median rent price is set at about $453 Australian dollars ($300 U.S. dollars) per week, and the city’s rental market affordability has increased, prompting increased migration from Sydney and Melbourne.

U.S. (California)

The regulatory landscape in the U.S. is as dynamic as it comes. Even though the federal government has yet to adopt a universal regulatory framework, several states are pushing crypto regulations in different directions as the regulatory gap continues to grow wider. The state of California, arguably, stands out from the bunch in that it does not oblige crypto firms to obtain any specific licenses.

As far back as 2014, California emerged as the first U.S. state to come up with crypto regulation. Even though the state is not as popular with crypto and blockchain enthusiasts as it once was, it still has the largest population of professionals in the crypto industry. 

While most of the crypto landscape is filled with speculators, California’s Silicon Valley is filled with individuals who are working on blockchain and cryptocurrency projects. It is no wonder California is home to large crypto companies such as Coinbase, Kraken and Ripple. Apart from a regulatory-friendly framework and a solid crypto community, another factor that makes California a great place for crypto enthusiasts is its weather. 

California is home to beautiful beaches and breathtaking landscapes, not to mention a fairly warm climate and a flourishing winemaking region. The state boasts of thrilling and adventurous night scenes, especially in cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. The only downside is that the cost of living in California is relatively high, with the rental cost of a furnished apartment in a lavish neighborhood starting at about $2,967.

Sweden

Sweden ranks above most other countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Better Life Index. Most Swedish citizens enjoy fast internet speeds and affordable and reliable public transportation, not to mention one of the best social welfare systems in the world. Even though the country has yet to formulate any specific regulation targeting cryptocurrencies, Sweden’s central bank stated in March 2018 that “Bitcoin is not money.”

Several government agencies in the country such as the Swedish Tax Agency have also published guidelines in regard to crypto, with a 2014 statement from the STA indicating that digital currencies are exempt from tax.

Furthermore, despite the country’s cautious attitude toward cryptocurrencies, Sweden is one of the few countries in the world that has embraced digital payments as the government prepares to launch a digital version of its fiat currency.

When it comes to its climate, Sweden is known for its cold winters, with February’s temperatures ranging from minus 22 C (minus 8 F) to minus 3 C (27 F), but what makes up for it is access to winter sports. Another upside to Sweden is that it has a cheaper cost of living, especially when compared to over half the countries in Europe. For a family of four, the monthly cost is estimated at about 39,038 Swedish kronor ($4,133 U.S. dollars).

New Zealand 

New Zealand has established itself as a crypto-friendly country even though the government has made it clear that it does not consider cryptocurrencies to be legal tender. The New Zealand Inland Revenue Department released a paper on Feb. 24 that proposed excluding cryptocurrencies from specific goods and services tax requirements. While admitting to the speedy growth of the country’s crypto market, the government agency mentioned that it does not intend to create barriers for crypto-related developments. 

Crypto regulation aside, New Zealand is considered one of the world’s most peaceful places to live, with the Institute for Economics & Peace’s Global Peace Index showing the country’s maintenance of a top position for close to a decade. Also, the country was rated second in the world for achieving work–life balance. The ranking came from HSBC’s 2018 Expat Explorer Survey that considered the choices British expats made when looking for a place to relocate to with their families. 

In terms of climate, New Zealand has warm summers full of sunshine and moderately cold winters. The climate in New Zealand is pretty similar to that in the United Kingdom. Plus, if one is looking for retail shops and businesses that accept crypto payments, there are over 40 businesses in New Zealand that accept crypto payments.

Liechtenstein

Despite being one of Europe’s smallest countries, Liechtenstein passed a law in October 2019 aimed at enticing crypto companies. The law, called the Token and Trusted Technology Service Provider Act, was enforced on Jan. 1 and became the first-of-its-kind comprehensive regulation for the token economy. The law introduced regulatory clarity in the country, thus allowing unencumbered future development of the crypto industry.

Given that Liechtenstein is a member of the European Free Trade Association, crypto companies in the jurisdiction have easy access to the common European market and are able to operate on a compatible legal framework with other countries in the region. Furthermore, the nation of Liechtenstein occupies a breathtaking location in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland.

The country’s broadband internet speed is well above 100 megabits per second, and for those looking for a quiet place with a spectacular view, the mountain scenery of this small country is something to behold. It boasts of a high gross domestic product, not to mention a stable political environment as well. As a result of having one of Europe’s highest wage levels, most people in Liechtenstein can afford high living standards. House rentals range from 790 Swiss francs ($800 U.S. dollars) to 1,830 francs ($1,902 dollars). 

Living in the future

Despite the delay, crypto regulations all over the world are starting to evolve, and governments are tailoring their approaches, as seen in the case of Gibraltar. If you are looking to set up shop or live in a jurisdiction that has crypto-friendly tax policies, countries such as Germany, Portugal and Switzerland are among the few in the world that offer tax exemptions on cryptocurrencies.

However, if your considerations go beyond a country’s tax policy on cryptocurrencies, some critical factors to have in mind include a country’s political stability, quality and affordability of life, and adaptability to the new environment.

Related: Gibraltar Succeeding in Crypto Regulation Where Others Fall Short

Furthermore, as the global pandemic has exposed the underlying problems of the existing financial system, it is evident that Bitcoin and the crypto economy at large will increase in popularity worldwide.

Therefore, for crypto enthusiasts, the smart move is to live in countries that are set to become the crypto powerhouses of the future. Given the rapid advancements in the crypto payments infrastructure facilitated by Cash App, Revolut and other notable companies, it means looking beyond the number of shops that accept crypto to considering other factors that prioritize the personal needs and desires of a modern global citizen. Travala.com’s Otero hopes that more places, propped up by a regulatory regime, will appear on the map soon: “Governments will start to take a more positive approach toward crypto so more countries across the world will embrace the benefits.”

Coinbase Investor and Fundstrat Analyst Explain Why Goldman Sachs Is Incorrectly Assessing Bitcoin

A leaked slide from a client meeting shows Goldman Sachs does not believe Bitcoin is an asset class. Coinbase angel investor Seth Ginns and Fundstrat analyst David Grider explain why Goldman continues to hold this antiquated position.

Ginns and Grider joined Cointelegraph’s weekly Crypto Live Show to bring an investor’s perspective to the usual trader-heavy lineup. They also dive deeply into a broad range of topics including how they began investing in crypto, why they’ve stayed, crypto’s macro impact on the world of finance, private and central bank digital currencies, and institutional involvement in the space. Watch the livestream’s full recording in the video above or skip to 23:05 to go directly to the discussion on Goldman Sachs.

Cointelegraph’s Crypto Markets Live broadcasts every week on Thursday afternoons eastern time. The next show will feature crypto traders Big Cheds and Korean Jew Crypto, so subscribe to the Cointelegraph YouTube channel to make sure you don’t miss when we go live!

Goldman Sachs Leaks its Position on Bitcoin

Cointelegraph reported that in a May 27 call discussing the state of the U.S. economy, Goldman Sachs appeared to discourage clients from investing in Bitcoin. This was discovered after a Powerpoint slide of Goldman’s presentation was leaked to the public.

Purported Goldman Sachs Slide From May 27 Call. Source: Ryane Browne’s Twitter Account.

Purported Goldman Sachs Slide From May 27 Call. Source: Ryane Browne’s Twitter Account.

On the opposite side of the spectrum stands former presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg, who already acknowledged cryptocurrency as an asset class. When asked whether they supported Bloomberg or Goldman’s perspective, both Ginns and Grider sided against Goldman.

‘Stale’ Arguments Against Bitcoin

Ginns stated that he thought the question of Bitcoin being an asset class was already settled. He went on to point out another flaw in a different part of Goldman’s presentation, suggesting he was privy to the entire report:

“One of the interesting takedowns of crypto that we’ve seen — we saw it yesterday — was the idea that a lot of crypto is used for illicit purposes, and I found it really funny… So I thought that was a really good indicator of how stale that type of argument is as a takedown on crypto.”

Grider also noted how Goldman’s approach to crypto hasn’t changed much over the past few years:

“Goldman — they’re obviously smart folks, very, very smart folks, some of the smartest folks on Wall Street. I think that the narrative that they put out on the call and in the deck — it’s very 2017, 2018…I don’t think that the narrative they’ve kind of put out has evolved much.

Grider goes on to explain why he thinks Goldman’s stance is due in part to political motivations. To hear the full explanation, check out Cointelegraph’s May 28 Crypto Markets Live stream in the video above.

If you enjoyed this latest market update, make sure to hit the Like button, and subscribe to Cointelegraph’s YouTube channel for more weekly crypto content!

Bitcoin Price Surges Past $9.4K as Week of Gains Targets Five Figures

Bitcoin (BTC) hit $9,400 on May 28 in its latest attempt to upend a downward trend which had seen $8,640 lows just days before.

Cryptocurrency market daily overview. Source: Coin360

BTC price: 3-day gains near 8%

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and CoinMarketCap showed BTC/USD retaking new ground in Thursday trading, with daily gains at 3%.

At press time, $9,400 had just been clinched, rising to $9,460 before a slight reversal. Those levels come a day after Bitcoin reclaimed the $9,000 and $9,200 zones respectively.

Bitcoin 1-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

$9,500 next key target

As Cointelegraph reported, this has come in tandem with a stronger outlook for traditional markets, and places BTC/USD ever closer to five figures. 

Resistance has so far kept $10,000 from reentering, while last week was characterized by losses as miners upped sales of BTC despite themselves earning much less after the halving earlier this month. 

Later, it emerged that institutional fund giant Grayscale is now buying one-and-a-half times the amount of Bitcoin now being mined.

This week, meanwhile, factors such as Goldman Sachs claiming that cryptocurrency is “not an asset” failed to dent market sentiment in any noticeable way. 

$9,500 — a level which has provided a focus for price fluctuations in recent weeks — is now the next hurdle to clear.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

Brave Browser Launches Encrypted Video Calls Before Zoom

Brave, the privacy-centric cryptocurrency-powered web browser has launched in-browser video calls featuring end-to-end encryption.

The encrypted video service, dubbed ‘Brave Together’ can be used to make unlimited encrypted video calls featuring two participants. All Brave users can access the feature, with no account sign-ups needed.

Brave revealed that video conferencing supporting more than two participants is currently being tested on Brave Nightly — the development version of the browser.

Brave Together is based on the open-source encrypted video software Jitsi — which was vouched for by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2017.

Video conferencing software demand spikes

The move comes following an explosion in the use of video conferencing software amid the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, with Zoom seeing an enormous spike of usage.

However, Zoom has received criticism concerning privacy and security, with ‘Zoom-bombings’ emerging as a rampant phenomenon during the lockdown. In April, an internal memo revealed that Elon Musk’s company SpaceX had banned its employees from using the video conferencing software due to “significant privacy and security concerns.”

Zoom will also introduce end-to-end encryption to protect its 300 million daily users this week.

Brave adoption grows

Co-founded by Javascript creator and former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, Brave pays its users Basic Attention Token (BAT) for viewing ads. It has made steady gains in adoption over recent months. The firm’s marketing head Des Martin tweeted that the platform surpassed one million new users during March alone.

Despite the strong uptake, Brave CEO Brendan Eich recently remarked that only a small percentage of its users take full advantage of the browser’s privacy features. As of this writing, more than 662,000 content creators have signed up to Brave’s publisher program. 53% of Brave publishers operate on Youtube.

Bitcoin Retakes $9K — 3 Technical Reasons There’s Still Room to Run

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) surged above $9,000, demonstrating a decent recovery in the last 24 hours. Market data shows a further upsurge to the $9,300 to $9,400 range is likely in the near-term.

Three key reasons increase the probability of a minor rally: liquidation of 25x to 50x shorts are at $9,300, whales using the Goldman Sachs narrative and low funding rates in the futures market.

Liquidation price of 25x to 50x shorts

According to a cryptocurrency trader known as “Crypto ISO,” the liquidation range of 25x to 50x shorts filed in the high-$8,000s is at around $9,300.

The $9,300 resistance level also has sufficient liquidity, which gives whales incentive to bring up the price of BTC above it. The trader said:

$9,298 is 25x liq, $9,336 is 50x liq. Around the throwback channel line and fib zone. Price ran most of the liqs down today. Maybe it shoots for topside liquidity before further distribution. Goldman is having a client call and one of the topics is BTC.

Liquidation zone of 25x and 50x Bitcoin shorts is at $9,300

Liquidation zone of 25x and 50x Bitcoin shorts is at $9,300. Source: CryptoISO

In April, when the rally of Bitcoin from $7,000 to $10,000 was primarily led by the spot market, the futures market had less impact on the price of BTC.

In recent weeks, the open interest of BitMEX, OKEx, and Binance Futures recovered. It indicates more traders are active in the futures market. As such, futures data such as liquidation ranges and funding rates can have a bigger effect on the price trend of BTC than before.

Whales using the Goldman Sachs narrative

Goldman Sachs is having a client call on May 27 with Bitcoin, gold, and inflation as the main topic. It may increase the exposure of high net-worth individuals to BTC over the medium to long-term. It also improves the perception of Bitcoin as a store of value among institutional investors.

But the Goldman Sachs client call is unlikely to lead to any short-term institutional buying spree. Instead, the price of BTC going up based on the news is more likely to be whales using the narrative to trigger a minor rally to a liquidity area at $9,300.

Bitcoin overtakes $9,000 ahead of Goldman Sachs client call

Bitcoin overtakes $9,000 ahead of Goldman Sachs client call. Source: Tradingview

A similar trend was seen in October 2019. At the time, Chinese President Xi Jinping encouraged the acceleration of blockchain development. The news itself was unrelated with cryptocurrencies but the price of BTC surged from $7,000 to $10,000 within a 48-hour span.

Low funding rate

The funding rate of perpetual swap futures contracts on BitMEX, Bybit and Binance Futures was negative on May 26. It has increased slightly to below 0.01%, but it is still historically low for Bitcoin.

It indicates that a large number of traders are shorting Bitcoin and possibly trapped in underwater short positions. That increases the probability of a short squeeze to the $9,300 to $9,400 resistance area.

The low funding rate, minor fear of missing out (FOMO) around the Goldman Sachs call and the liquidation zone of shorts at $9,300 may lead to a small upsurge of Bitcoin.