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Bullish ETH/BTC pair revives the Ethereum ‘flippening’ discussion

Bitcoin and the overall cryptocurrency market saw minor losses on April 29 as the market heads into the expiry of $4.2 billion worth of (BTC) options contracts. 

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows that since reaching a high above $56,400 on April 28, the price of Bitcoin has dropped more than 6% back down near the $53,000 support level while Ethereum (ETH) continues to trade above $2,700.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Despite the lull in market activity, signs of mainstream cryptocurrency integration continue to emerge on a near-daily basis. Earlier today Coinbase announced that users can now purchase up to $25,000 worth of cryptocurrency per day using their PayPal account.

And it’s not just financial institutions that are integrating blockchain technology to help achieve financial objectives. The government of Ethiopia revealed a partnership with Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), the research and development arm behind Cardano (ADA). The goal of the new partnership is to us blockchain technology to overhaul its education system.

ETH/BTC starts to climb higher

While Bitcoin continues to struggle below the $55,000 resistance level, the ETH/BTC pairing has started climbing higher in a move that was predicted by multiple analysts, including Real Vision CEO Raoul Pal. The bullish movement in the ETH/BTC pair has also reignited conversations about Ether price evetually flipping BTC.

ETH/BTC 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

According to Élie Le Rest, partner at digital asset management firm ExoAlpha, Ether has been getting stronger against Bitcoin since the end of March with the upcoming upgrade which includes EIP 1559 being “seen as a strong catalyst of the recent ETH bull-run.”

This increased momentum is a signal for Le Rest that the market may be in a “buy the rumor, sell the news configuration that may drive the price up until EIP 1559 is released in July this year.”

Le Rest said: 

“Overall, this Ethereum upgrade is getting closer to ETH 2.0, with features like shifting from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake chain including a burning fee mechanism. Those upcoming features are a great incentive for investors to tag along, contributing to ETH’s strong recovery against BTC, but it’s still very early to put the flippening topic on the table again.”

A few altcoins make gains

The slumping price of Bitcoin weighed down the wider cryptocurrency market on Thursday with a majority of altcoins experiencing minor losses.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Some notable exceptions to the pullback include Syscoin (SYS), which at one point spiked 45% to $0.50 and the Binance Smart Chain-based Venus lending platform, whose XVS token rallied 30% to $97.90, just a dollar short of its all-time high.

Waves (WAVES), a multi-purpose blockchain platform, also experienced a 20% surge that lifted the token to a new record high at $23.43.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.035 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 48.8%.

MocktailSwap’s ‘Semi-fungible token’ project launches on Binance Smart Chain

MocktailSwap Finance, an up-and-coming DeFi protocol focused on automated market makers, has launched a so-called “semi-fungible token” on the Binance Smart Chain, offering further evidence of innovation in decentralized finance. 

The semi-fungible token is based on Ethereum’s ERC-1155 standard, which enables a smart contract to govern an unlimited number of tokens. ERC-1155 tokens can operate as either ERC-20 or ERC-721 standards at the same time using the same address.

ERC-1155 is a multi-token standard for “contracts that manage multiple token types,” according to a summary of the Ethereum Improvement Proposal, or EIP. Under the EIP proposal, the benefits of ERC-1155 are described as follows:

“New functionality is possible with this design such as transferring multiple token types at once, saving on transaction costs. Trading (escrow / atomic swaps) of multiple tokens can be built on top of this standard and it removes the need to “approve” individual token contracts separately. It is also easy to describe and mix multiple fungible or non-fungible token types in a single contract.”

In the cake of Mocktail, the ERC-1155 token is “fungible” until it’s redeemed. At the point of redemption, it becomes “non-fungible.” Upon redemption, the token will not hold any value and cannot be traded like a regular token. As such, these non-fungible tokens can be traded on the rapidly growing NFT market.

Launched in February, MocktailSwap is a platform for decentralized token swapping, offering users higher liquidity and, in theory, more favorable rates. The protocol claims to offer minimal fees and yield farming capabilities.

Binance Smart Chain launched in September 2020 and currently boasts of more than 180 projects, many of which are focused on DeFi and NFTs. These two industry verticals have exploded in 2021, offering cryptocurrency investors new growth opportunities.

Nevertheless, Binance Smart Chain has received criticism over concerns that the ecosystem hand selects validators, leading to centralization risks. The BSC network is governed by just 11 validators who oversee the daily selection of 21 active validators.

Alleged $366M Bitcoin mixer busted after analysis of 10 years of blockchain data

U.S. authorities have arrested the alleged mastermind behind a multi-million darknet-based BTC mixing service, Bitcoin Fog, after analyzing 10 years of blockchain data.

Authorities have issued a chilling warning to other users of illegal blockchain services: Anything you do today may come back to haunt you as “this activity is on this ledger forever” and ever-more sophisticated analytics technology can track down crimes committed years earlier.

For approximately a decade, Bitcoin Fog has enabled users to conceal the origin and destination of its users’ crypto assets. However, the Internal Revenue Service is charging Russian-Swedish citizen, Roman Sterlingov, with laundering more than 1.2 million Bitcoin worth $336 million while serving as the website’s administrator.

Sterlingov was arrested on April 27 in Los Angeles, with the IRS estimating he received commissions of between 2% and 2.5% for mixing services at the time of each transaction — worth roughly $8 million then but exponentially more today.

Authorities estimate at least 23% of the Bitcoin that flowed through the mixing service was transferred to darknet-based narcotics marketplaces such as Silk Road.

Sterlingov’s arrest was the product of authorities fastidiously unpicking the web of BTC transactions associated with the mixer service dating back to 2011, using the Bitcoin blockchain to identify the site’s operator.

Sterlingov founded the website in late 2011 under a Japanese pseudonym meaning “Happy New Year, ” spruiking Bitcoin Fog as eliminating any chance of authorities “finding your payments and making it impossible to prove any connection between a deposit and a withdraw inside our service.”

In 2019, undercover IRS agents engaged Sterlingov through the platform, claiming they wished to launder the profits from ecstasy sales. The transactions were processed without a reply.

Law enforcement was able to identify that Sterlingov had paid for Bitcoin Fog’s server hosting expenses using the now-defunct digital currency Liberty Reserve, allowing them to trace when he bought the Liberty Reserve using Bitcoin transferred from the collapsed pioneer crypto exchange, Mt Gox.

From there, the IRS was able to identify the home address and phone number that Sterlingov had registered to his account, and eventually a Google Drive account containing instructions outlining the steps he took to purchase his Liberty Reserve coins.

“This is yet another example of how investigators with the right tools can leverage the transparency of cryptocurrency to follow the flow of illicit funds,” said Jonathan Levin, co-founder of blockchain forensics firm, Chainalysis.

Computer scientist, Sarah Meiklejohn, stated:

“With blockchain analytics, the thing we say over and over is that all this activity is on this ledger forever, and if you did something bad 10 years ago you can be caught and arrested for it today.”

Despite Sterlingov’s detention Bitcoin Fog remains online, although it is unclear who is operating the site.

Ethereum on a high after European Investment Bank’s $121M digital bond news

Ether (ETH) prices skyrocketed to a new all-time high on Wednesday on the back of positive news from the European Investment Bank.

Ether has climbed to $2,709 early during trading in Asia on Wednesday, marking a new peak price for the asset, according to CoinGecko.

The crypto metrics provider reports a gain of 7% over the past 24 hours, and 15.7% over the past seven days for the world’s second-largest digital asset by market capitalization. The move has pushed the ETH market cap to a record $312 billion.

While there are a range of factors propelling Ether’s price, Reuters today attributed it to the news that the European Investment Bank is launching a “digital bond” sale using the Ethereum network.

The EIB is issuing a two-year 100-million-euro ($120.8 million) digital bond, with the sale to be led by Goldman Sachs, Banco Santander and Societe Generale, according to analysts at Bloomberg.

On Friday, Societe Generale announced that its subsidiary, Societe Generale SFH, had issued a 100-million-euro bond as a security token on the public Ethereum blockchain. It was awarded the top triple-A rating by Moody’s and Fitch.

Danny Kim, head of revenue at crypto broker SFOX, told Reuters that the news has demonstrated a bullish institutional use case for Ethereum, adding that exchange balances are also decreasing, which adds m to the bull case:

“The amount of Ethereum sitting on exchanges continues to drop lower and has been the lowest in the past year. With less supply on exchange available, there’s less likely a chance of a major sell-off.”

As reported by Cointelegraph, a revival in DeFi-related protocols and tokens, coupled with a fall in gas prices, could also be driving momentum. At the time of writing, the average transaction price on the network had fallen to $10.73, according to BitInfoCharts.

Popular crypto analyst Altcoin Sherpa, meanwhile, predicted that ETH would continue to outperform Bitcoin (BTC) in the coming weeks, targeting a price of $3,000.

MetaMask cites ‘global south’ for their 5x increase in users

MetaMask, the Ethereum (ETH) wallet service and browser extension, has recorded 5 million monthly active users for the first time — marking a major milestone in the growth of decentralized applications. 

The rise in growth came just six months after MetaMask registered its first cumulative 1 million active users. Since October 2020, the service platform has grown five times, highlighting the continued strength of the cryptocurrency bull market.

The following chart, courtesy of MetaMask developer ConsenSys, highlights the exponential growth of the wallet service over the past six months:

MetaMask’s remarkable growth trajectory over the past six months. Chart: ConsenSys

Interestingly, MetaMask adoption has surged in the so-called “global south” — a phrase that describes emerging economies in Asia, Africa, and South America. MetaMask mobile adoption has been especially pronounced in Vietnam and Nigeria. As Cointelegraph recently reported, Nigeria has emerged as a major center for cryptocurrency adoption as more of its citizens utilize Bitcoin (BTC) and other virtual assets to escape inflation and navigate capital controls.

ConsenSys further explained its growing popularity in emerging economies:

“Increasingly, these people use MetaMask to earn a supplemental income or to make long-term investments. Many are unable to access their local banking system and thus need alternative technology to act as a savings account.” 

MetaMask was initially released in 2016 before undergoing several major upgrades. The wallet service surged in popularity during the height of the DeFi boom in 2020, as more investors used it to fund their token purchases.

MetaMask helped to facilitate the growth of not only DeFi, but decentralized exchanges as well. These were the venues for finding low-cap altcoin gems not yet available on major exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken or even Binance.

DeFi remains one of the hottest trends in the cryptocurrency market, with total value locked, or TVL, of around $114 billion. TVL peaked above $123 billion earlier this month, according to industry data.

‘I have not sold any of my Bitcoin’: Elon Musk

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has taken to Twitter to assure the crypto community that he has not sold any of his personal BTC stash, despite his company Tesla realizing profits from its recent Bitcoin buys.

Musk’s comments came in response to accusations from comedian Dave Portnoy that the Tesla CEO had profited from a Bitcoin pump and dump engineered through his public statements supporting the cryptocurrency.

Rejecting Portnoy’s assertion, Musk stated that “Tesla sold 10% of its holdings essentially to prove liquidity of Bitcoin as an alternative to holding cash on balance sheet,” adding:

“I have not sold any of my Bitcoin.”

As reported by Cointelegraph, Tesla Inc. sold a portion of its Bitcoin holdings in the first quarter of 2021, generating net proceeds of $272 million.

In February this year, the company catalyzed the crypto market bull run after disclosing a strategic acquisition of $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin — worth 7.7% of its gross cash position at the time.

During the same month, Tesla also announced it would begin accepting BTC payments for its cars, emphasizing that it will store the funds in Bitcoin rather than convert into cash.

Elon Musk has typically shied away from disclosing how much Bitcoin he holds personally, but his latest tweet suggests he is reluctant to sell it.

At the time of writing, BTC has gained 3% over the past 24 hours to trade at $53,600, according to CoinGecko.

5 things to watch in Bitcoin this week as greed and leverage get ‘flushed out’

Bitcoin (BTC) is keeping bulls and bears guessing as it opens a new weekly candle in the green, heading away from $50,000.

After an uneventful but uninspiring weekend, BTC/USD has begun Monday by reclaiming $53,000 for the first time since April 22. What could lie in store?

Cointelegraph takes a look at five factors that could shape BTC price action in the coming days.

BTC/USD 1-week candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: Tradingview

Stocks steady but dollar dives

Stocks are once again cool this week as the macro picture presents a familiar mixture of hope and misery driven by the coronavirus.

While Asian markets had an uneventful day on the whole, India’s virus problems and Turkey’s financial woes were cause for concern.

Separately, with the United States set to send tourists to the European Union this summer, fresh economic incentives for traders are beginning to take shape.

With no overall direction, however, the impetus for Bitcoin to track a macro narrative is barely existent — and the day’s price movements are already proving it.

“What does the future hodl?” Tesla and SpaceX “Technoking” Elon Musk summarized on Saturday in a tweet that will be poignant for many a market participant. Tesla, one of the big-name BTC investors, is due to report on earnings after the Wall Street close.

When it comes to the dollar, the opportunity for Bitcoin is more skewed to the upside — the U.S. dollar currency index (DXY) is continuing its decline after closing below 91 on Friday. As Cointelegraph often reports, the index, particularly over the past year, tends to be negatively correlated with BTC/USD.

BTC regains $53,000 mark

Bitcoin spot price action is already offering surprises, and unlike last week, it’s the bears who are being caught unawares.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and Tradingview reveals BTC/USD rising to hit $53,000 for the first time since losing the same level on its way down last week.

The level itself is significant, equalling a Bitcoin market cap of $1 trillion and thus previously forming a line in the sand that analysts thought would hold.

In the event, it was $46,000 which provided the floor, but as yet, there is no firm belief that the latest price dip is over. This is evidenced in trading positions, as the move up to $53,000 liquidated shorts to the tune of $150 million in an hour.

“Looks like this interim sell-off might be reaching its conclusion,” podcast host Preston Pysh suspected late on Sunday.

The scope of the dip was a shock to some investors, coming despite hordes of new buyers entering the network. On-chain metrics as a whole have remained in the green, lending further weight to the theory that current circumstances are a temporary blip in an otherwise enduring bull market.

“Market is very emotional over 2%+/- Swings on closes,” Filbfilb, co-founder of trading suite Decentrader, told Telegram subscribers last week.

“Take note, volatility will be inbound soon. I’m quite bullish but think we need a bit more of a shake before up. Could be wrong… about the direction, but not so much about the volatility so buckle up.”

Difficulty set for biggest retrace since November

In fundamentals, miners continue to recover from a Chinese power outage that truncated the network’s hash rate overnight earlier in April.

As a result of flooding, as before in Bitcoin’s life, large segments of China’s mining power disappeared from the network, leading to a drop in hash rate which at one point neared 25% of all-time highs.

Since then, miners have begun adapting, while a drop in mining difficulty will allow smaller operators to mine more profitably and provide an incentive for maintaining network security.

This drop, set to occur in around five days’ time, will be the largest negative move since November 3, when BTC/USD was still at $13,000.

7-day average Bitcoin hash rate. Source: Blockchain.com

Difficulty adjustments form an essential, if not the most essential, part of Bitcoin’s ability to maintain itself regardless of external factors influencing its modus operandi.

Recent months have been characterized by upticks in difficulty, which together with hash rate has seen consistent new all-time highs. Should history continue to repeat itself, price action should also revert to gains in line with their recovery.

Commenting on recent events, Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream, cautioned observers on their choice of statistics resource and argued that the drop had not in fact been as large as some suggested.

“Bitcoin hashrate back at 157 EH about 5% below 168EH peak. Mostly recovered from 25% down at 125 EH,” he tweeted on Sunday.

Sentiment tends towards “extreme fear”

Along with shorts and overleveraged longs alike, it seems that irrational sentiment in crypto has finally been shaken out.

That’s the conclusion of the popular Crypto Fear & Greed Index, which uses a basket of factors to determine trader sentiment and therefore what’s likely to occur on BTC/USD as a result of their actions.

Previously, as new all-time highs of $65,000 appeared, Fear & Greed was nearing historic record highs in line with the tops of bull markets past.

At nearly 80/100, a sell-off was clearly on the cards as per the metric, which took around a week to react to the $46,000 price dip.

Now, however, the pressure is off, and the index has gone from “extreme greed” to “fear” — effectively a “reset” of sentiment which provides scope for further price gains.

Analyst highlights price dip “silver lining”

It’s not just private individuals who have undergone a serious mood change. According to other metrics, erratic behavior from professional traders has also been effectively cleansed from the market.

In his latest update for Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano’s market newsletter on Friday, analyst William Clemente noted that longs had once again become an attractive bet.

“There was some silver lining to this event, greed and leverage was flushed out,” he wrote.

“In addition to the liquidations, this can be illustrated by funding rates. To peg the perpetual swap contract to Bitcoin spot price, funding rates are used. When the majority of traders go long, it becomes profitable to go short, and vice versa. During the event, funding rates flipped negative, meaning it became profitable for traders to take the long side of the trade. This has shown to be a buy signal in the previous two times this happened during this bull market.”

Also approaching a “full reset” is the spent output profit ratio (SOPR), a metric which Cointelegraph previously noted tends to dictate local market bottoms.

“Currently, SOPR is approaching the full reset mark, meaning price has either reached, or is very closing to reaching, the bottom of the current correction,” Clemente added.

Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, ETH, BNB, XMR, CAKE

Corrections in a bull phase are usually a bullish sign as they reduce the frothy excitement and allow stronger hands to enter the markets. However, the recent correction in Bitcoin (BTC) from its all-time high at $64,849.27 does not seem to have scared novice traders. 

Data from DappRadar shows that decentralized exchange volumes have picked up in the last week as traders may have exited profitable Bitcoin positions to buy altcoins at their current rock bottom prices.

Another sign of interest in altcoins is the sustained high volumes in Dogecoin (DOGE), which remains the fourth most traded cryptocurrency by volume, behind Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), and XRP, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

The recent fall in Bitcoin witnessed selling from the small-to-medium sized whales, who dumped $100,000 to $1 million worth of Bitcoin on the exchanges. However, a positive sign is that the larger-sized whales have continued to accumulate during this period.

While the long-term bullish story remains intact, the near term could see some more downside. Generally, a correction does not end until the retail crowd throws in the towel and a state of fear grips the markets.

In such an uncertain atmosphere, let’s look at the top-5 cryptocurrencies that are likely to outperform the other major cryptocurrencies in the short term.

BTC/USDT

The bulls are trying hard to push the price back above the psychological level of $50,000 but are facing stiff resistance from the bears on every minor rise. This shows that the bears are trying to hold on to their advantage and extend the decline to the next critical support at $43,006.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The 20-day exponential moving average ($55,671) is sloping down and the relative strength index (RSI) is close to the oversold territory, suggesting the bears have the upper hand.

The BTC/USDT pair had formed an inside day candlestick pattern on April 24 and today, indicating indecision among the bulls and the bears. If the uncertainty resolves to the downside, the selling could intensify, opening the gates for a decline to $43,006.

On the other hand, if the bulls can push the price above $52,129, the pair could witness a relief rally that is likely to face resistance at the 20-day EMA. If the price turns down from this resistance, the possibility of a break below $47.459 increases.

This negative view will invalidate if the bulls push and sustain the price above the 50-day simple moving average ($56,870).

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the bears have been selling on relief rallies to the 20-EMA. With both moving averages sloping down and the RSI trading in the negative zone, the advantage is with the bears.

If the bears sink the price below $48,664.67, the pair could drop to $47,459. A break below this support could resume the down move.

Conversely, a break above the 20-EMA will be the first sign that the selling has dried up and the bulls have a chance to extend the relief rally to the 50-SMA.

ETH/USDT

The bulls have once again defended the 20-day EMA ($2,235), indicating the trend remains strong and the buyers are accumulating on dips. Ether will now try to rally to the $2,545 to $2,645 overhead resistance zone.

ETH/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

A breakout of the overhead zone could signal the start of the next leg of the uptrend that may extend to $2,745 and then $3,000. The gradually rising moving averages and the RSI above 57 suggest the path of least resistance is to the upside.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the overhead resistance, the bears will again try to sink the ETH/USDT pair below the moving averages. If they succeed, the pair may start a deeper correction to $1,542.

ETH/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the pair has formed a head and shoulders pattern, which will complete on a break and close below the neckline. Such a move could pull the price down to the pattern target at $1,600.

On the other hand, if the bulls can push the price above $2,375, the pair could retest the all-time high at $2,645. Such a move will invalidate the pattern and the pair is likely to pick up momentum on a break above $2,645.

BNB/USDT

Binance Coin (BNB) is currently consolidating in an uptrend. The bulls are buying the dips to the $480 support while the bears are defending the $600 to $638.57 overhead resistance zone. A range-bound action after a strong uptrend shows that traders are not hurrying to book profits.

BNB/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

Both moving averages are sloping up and the RSI above 56 suggests that the bulls have the upper hand. If the buyers can push the price above $530, the BNB/USDT pair could start its journey to the resistance of the range at $600. The bears are again likely to mount a stiff resistance between $600 and $638.57.

If the price turns down from this zone, the range-bound action may continue for a few more days. On the contrary, if the bulls push the price above $638.57, the pair could start its journey to $720 and then $832.

This positive view will invalidate if the bears sink and sustain the price below $480. If that happens, the selling may intensify and the pair may drop to the 50-day SMA ($368).

BNB/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the price is stuck inside a large symmetrical triangle. Although the price rebounded off the support line of the triangle, the bears are attempting to stall the relief rally at the moving averages.

If that happens and the price turns down from the current level, the bears will sense an opportunity and try to sink the price below the triangle. If they succeed, the pair could start a deeper correction to $348.

Alternatively, if the bulls push the price above the moving averages, the pair could rise to the resistance line of the triangle. A breakout of the triangle may signal the resumption of the uptrend.

XMR/USDT

Monero (XMR) is in a strong uptrend and repeated attempts by the bears to start a correction have failed as the bulls have aggressively bought the dips close to the $288.60 support.

XMR/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bulls have successfully defended the 20-day EMA ($335) and both moving averages are sloping up, suggesting the buyers have the upper hand. However, the RSI is showing the first signs of a negative divergence, indicating the momentum may be weakening.

If the price turns down from the current level and breaks below the 20-day EMA, it will suggest the possible start of a correction to $288.60. On the other hand, if the bulls push the price above $424.55, the XMR/USDT pair could rally to $498.

XMR/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows that the volatility has picked up in the past few days. The bears have repeatedly broken the 50-SMA but the bulls have aggressively purchased the dip and pushed the price back above the 20-EMA.

If the pair rebounds off the current level and rises above $405.40, a retest of $424.55 is possible. A breakout of this resistance could start the next leg of the uptrend. Conversely, if the bears sink the price below the moving averages, a drop to $288.60 is likely.

CAKE/USDT

PancakeSwap (CAKE) had been facing stiff resistance near the $28 level for the past few days. The bears tried to sink the price below the 20-day EMA ($24) on April 23 but the bulls aggressively purchased the dip, suggesting the sentiment remains positive.

CAKE/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

Momentum picked up in the past two days and the CAKE/USDT pair has broken out to a new all-time high today. The upsloping moving averages and the RSI near the overbought zone suggest the path of least resistance is to the upside.

If the bulls sustain the price above $30, the pair could rally to $34.50. This bullish view will invalidate if the bears sink and sustain the price below the 20-day EMA. Such a move will be a significant event as the price has not sustained below the 20-day EMA since March 24.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for CAKE on April 23, just as the rally was getting started.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. CAKE price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for CAKE flipped green on April 23 when the price was $25.24.

From there, the VORTECS™ Score consistently remained in the green and CAKE rallied to a high at $31.12 on April 25, recording a gain of 23% in about two days.

CAKE/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the formation of an inverse head and shoulders pattern. This bullish setup has a pattern target at $34.70. The 20-EMA has started to turn up and the RSI has risen above 65, indicating the bulls have the upper hand.

In case of a correction, the bulls will try to flip the neckline of the pattern into support. If they do that, the uptrend could resume. Conversely, a break below $27.50 may tilt the advantage in favor of the bears, signaling selling at higher levels

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.

Lending giant Aave set to launch liquidity mining program

With a liquidity mining program set to launch on Monday, Aave could be on the cusp of becoming the dominant decentralized finance (DeFi) ledning protocol. 

Earlier today, Aave Improvement Proposal (AIP) 16 reached quorum, meaning that starting on Monday, 4/26 liquidity providers and borrowers in Aave’s USDC, DAI, USDT, GUSD, ETH, and WBTC pools will earn stAAVE rewards in addition to their standard interest yield.

Per AIP 16, providers and borrowers in these pools will split 2,200 stAAVE tokens per day from the protocol’s current 2.9 million AAVE Ecosystem Reserve, currently worth nearly $1 billion.

The proposal, written by Aave investor Parafi Capital’s Anjan Vinod, notes that the goal of the program is to “drive lending and borrowing activity across markets,” as well as increase the decentralization of the protocol’s governance by distributing governance tokens to more users.

The move is something of a novelty for Aave. The lending platform has consistently been ranked among the largest DeFi protocols, despite not having a liquidity mining program like many of its competitors. Per their respective apps, Compound is currently the top lending protocol with over $15.4 billion in total value locked (TVL) across their markets, while Aave counts $6.8 billion across their Polygon, Ethereum v1, Ethereum v2, and AMM LP token markets.

Aave co-founder Stani Kulechov told Cointelegraph that he expects that the added incentives will bolster the protocol’s TVL significantly.

“The proposal allocates most of the rewards on stablecoins meaning that we will see substantial increase in TVL,” he said.

As the governance proposal notes, the lack of a liquidity mining program has historically put Aave at something of a competitive disadvantage. For instance, at the time of writing money market Compound offers 3.31% yield on stablecoin USDC, along with 2% in COMP governance tokens for a total of 5.51% yield. Aave’s market, meanwhile, also currently offers an identical 5.51% in pure interest yield.

A recent Tweet from Aave developer Emilio Frangella indicates that the new program will bolster yields by orders of magnitude, and notably offers yield to borrowers — yield which, at current rates, would well outstrip the APR borrowers owe on their loans.

While the current program is slated to end 07/15/2021, the door is open to some form of liquidity mining continuing for the protocol for the foreseeable future. Per Vinod, “this program is being proposed as a beta to further investigate how the inclusion of liquidity mining rewards will benefit the Aave ecosystem,” and at the 2,200/day rate of distribution, the program would deplete only 5% of the Ecosystem Reserve tokens per year. 

When first proposed in governance forums, liquidity mining only received 60% support from the community. Kulechov believes that the turnaround is due in part to the community seeing other liquidity mining programs successfully play out.

“Aave community has for and against views on the topic previously, against mainly because Aave Protocol has been successful in organic growth. However, since now liquidity mining network effects are proven to work, it gives an opportunity to experiment it in Aave and that might been grounds for the swing.”

Four arrested after Turkish exchange Vebitcoin closes its doors

As a countrywide cryptocurrency ban looms, multiple Turkish exchanges have now come under investigation with four employees of the recently-shuttered Vebitcoin exchange arrested this morning for allegations of fraud.

Last night, Vebitcoin announced it would be ceasing operations in a short statement posted on its website, claiming that unspecified financial strain led to the decision — possibly caused by an unusually high number of withdrawals leading up to Turkey’s forthcoming cryptocurrency ban.

“We have decided to cease our activities in order to fulfill all regulations and claims,” the announcement read in part.

The exchange was among the largest in Turkey with nearly $60 million in daily volume, with Bitcoin accounting for half of the trading activity.

This morning, Muğla chief public prosecutor Mehmet Nadir Yağcı announced in a statement to local media that four employees have been detained by law enforcement following allegations of fraud.

“Following the search and seizure operations carried out at the company headquarters and at some addresses, 4 people, who are company directors and employees, were detained. The investigation carried out by the Directorate of Cyber ​​Crimes Branch of the Muğla Police Department is carried out in a multifaceted and meticulous manner.”

MASAK, Turkey’s financial crime enforcement wing, is currently investigating. 

The arrests follow a similar pattern seen in the aftermath of fellow exchange Thodex’s closure. Thodex announced a halt to all trading amid reports of a police raid and that the founder of the exchange had fled to Albania. Police subsequently issued upwards of 75 arrest warrants and detained 62 in connection to a possible exit scam.

The arrests and closures come after a surprise “diktat” from Turkey’s newly-appointed central bank governor effectively banning cryptocurrencies in the country, which will go into effect April 30th. The ban has become a hot-button issue, as opposition leaders have voiced support for crypto.

Governing body of Louisiana gives Bitcoin its nod of approval

Bitcoin has gained increasing levels of adoption over the past several months amid its rise past $60,000. The government of the U.S. state of Louisiana recently released a resolution in which it noted some of Bitcoin’s (BTC) accomplishments.

“THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Representatives of the Legislature of Louisiana does hereby commend Satoshi Nakamoto for his contribution to economic security,” said House Resolution No. 33 from Rep. Mark Wright. According to an article from The Hill, the document was signed on Thursday.

The shout out to anonymous Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto came after the document gave BTC a pat on the back for its success in terms of adoption and market capitalization. The first lines of the resolution read:

“To commend Bitcoin for its success in becoming the first decentralized trillion dollar asset and to encourage the state and local governments to consider ways that could help them benefit from the increased use of this new technology.”

Bitcoin achieved a market cap greater than $1 trillion in early 2021. The milestone occurred following the asset’s break of its 2017 record high, which it tallied in late 2020.

The Louisiana document described a number of details around Bitcoin, including noting its prevalence, its decentralization and its usage. The resolution even pointed toward the asset as a gold alternative. “Bitcoin, which could potentially replace gold as a monetary reserve, is limited and finite and there is a maximum capacity of only twenty-one million bitcoins allowed to be produced,” the document said.

Over the past year or so, a number of companies have bought into Bitcoin as an asset, leading to increased mainstream attention.

Bitcoin price ‘relief’ move to $47K pushes BTC below stock-to-flow trajectory

Bitcoin (BTC) may be making long traders miserable but one bullish analyst says that he is “relieved” that it has shed 22% in a week.

In his latest social media update, quant analyst PlanB noted that the price dip to under $48,000 has sent BTC/USD below its target laid out by his stock-to-flow price model.

“Astonishing” stock-to-flow gets it right again

As such, Bitcoin is no longer “front-running” stock-to-flow, which is traditionally a highly accurate price forecasting tool. After trading above its required level, PlanB suggested that he had become concerned progress was becoming inorganic.

“I am sort of relieved btc price is now under s2f model value again,” he wrote in a conversation with “The Bitcoin Standard” author Saifedean Ammous, who called its predictions “astonishing.”

“For a moment I thought that people were front running the model and that the supercycle had started. Now we are back to normal .. like clockwork.”

BTC/USD spot price vs. stock-to-flow trajectory. Source: PlanB/ Twitter

Both the terms “clockwork” and “supercycle” will be familiar to long-term hodlers, these often describing Bitcoin’s relationship to stock-to-flow and the qualities of the current bull run, respectively.

As Cointelegraph reported, the two iterations of the model, stock-to-flow and stock-to-flow (S2F) cross-asset (S2FX), variously call for an average BTC/USD price of $100,000 or $288,000 between now and 2024.

Previously, PlanB said he believed Bitcoin would not stop at $100,000, which it should hit this year

“Bitcoiners are often too bullish in the bull market, and too bearish in the bear market!” podcast host Stephan Livera, responded to Ammous.

“I don’t think we supercycle this time either.”

Sentiment shakeout continues

Meanwhile, various factors were being pitched as the impetus for the latest round of price losses, these including CME futures now trading below spot price as bearishness enters, as well as a negative Coinbase premium.

The latter suggests bullishness when it is positive, but the reverse — when Coinbase spot price is lower than that of fellow exchange Binance — is also true.

The flip to negative coincided with a series of a major sell orders on Coinbase, each one causing a brief downward spike in its orderbook spot price.

Coinbase orderbook with selling and price dips. Source: Josh Olszewicz/ Twitter

In a sign that irrational sentiment is still to leave the market, the Crypto Fear & Greed Index also remained in “greed” territory despite dropping to monthly lows, though still suggesting that a sentiment reset had yet to kick in.

During its initial drop from all-time highs near $65,000, Bitcoin saw mass liquidations of long positions.