Original Article By Andrey Sergeenkov At Coindesk.com
Bitcoin’s price has been struggling to break above the psychological barrier of $50,000 for over 130 days now. What’s going on?
On Sept. 8, Standard Chartered’s cryptocurrency research team projected the price of bitcoin could reach $100,000 in the last days of 2021 or the early months of 2022. Several crypto CEOs have also made similar predictions, as has Thomas Lee, managing partner of Fundstrat Global Advisors.
However, apart from a momentary break beyond the $50,000 price mark in the first week of September, bitcoin has failed to attract any bullish momentum. At press time, the price of bitcoin is around $43,700, as it continues to range between the $41,000 support and the resistance level near $50,000. So what’s causing this downward pressure?
1. DeFi continues to grow exponentially
It goes back to last year. For the better part of 2020, the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector recorded unprecedented trading volume and saw thousands of crypto users lock away their assets in multiple DeFi protocols in order to generate high-interest yields. As such, it would be expected that many investors would have converted their bitcoin holdings to ether or other smart contract-supported tokens to participate in the craze.
Although there was a momentary drop in DeFi-related activities in the latter part of 2020 and into early 2021, the sector experienced a second wave of investment in recent months as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) started to gain prominence. On Sept. 7 the total value of assets locked (TVL) in DeFi almost surpassed the $100 billion milestone for the first time, according to DeFi Pulse. This latest surge has already exceeded last year’s growth, with the TVL ballooning 253% from $23.8 billion to $84.1 billion compared to 183% last year ($8.39 billion to $23.8 billion.)
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A lot of this new growth is thanks to the arrival of new competitors in the decentralized application space, including:
Each of these smart contract-focused platforms have already established their own DeFi ecosystems of native dapps and tout cheaper fees and faster transaction speeds than Ethereum’s current blockchain technology.
2. The NFT boom
It’s not just DeFi that is stealing the spotlight away from bitcoin. The NFT market has also enjoyed significant success in 2021. The amount spent to purchase NFTs through a 30-day period has risen dramatically from around $10 million at the beginning of 2021 to roughly $2.6 billion as of Sept. 17.
Due to the ascendancy of DeFi and NFT, bitcoin’s dominance (the total percentage of bitcoin’s market cap relative to the total cryptocurrency market cap) has dropped significantly – it was 69.7% at the beginning of the year but is now down around 41.9%. In other words, bitcoin is not commanding the same level of interest and attention it was nine months ago. This could point to why it has struggled to gain the type of buying pressure necessary to break above $50,000.
3. U.S. regulatory pressure
The U.S. Senate recently passed the contentious infrastructure bill. This involves a $1.2 trillion budget intended to be used to improve various areas of the economy. Part of the proposal includes amending the rules around cryptocurrency taxation in order to help foot this gargantuan bill. One of the changes includes requiring crypto brokers to report transactions. While the requirement itself is seen as a means to surveil crypto users and ensure better tax compliance, the main bone of contention is the lack of a clear definition for the term “broker.” Crypto advocates argue the term is too broad and may be interpreted to include crypto miners, developers and node validators – none of which are custodians of customers’ funds.
Although there have been attempts by a bipartisan group of crypto-friendly congressional members to amend the bill, it is looking less likely that much can be done to alter the crypto reporting requirements before it is passed into law. Historically, regulatory uncertainties such as this have often impacted the performance of bitcoin
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Then there are the ongoing regulatory tussles between state securities regulators in the U.S. and crypto lending companies, including Celsius and BlockFi. Regulators argue that the interest-bearing crypto savings accounts offered by both companies violate state securities laws. At the federal level, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has maintained its cautious approach to crypto, which is why a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is yet to be approved in the U.S. Analysts believe that the approval of a bitcoin ETF could spur a new flow of retail and institutional interest in bitcoin, which may prove vital to the realization of the $100,000 price projection.
- While the SEC does not seem too thrilled about a bitcoin ETF anchored by physical bitcoin, there is a slim possibility that it might consider approving a bitcoin futures ETF (an ETF that has bitcoin futures as its underlying asset).
4. The dollar is rising
Following the release of the retail sales report for August, the dollar rose to a near three-week high on Sept. 17. The retail sales rose by 0.7% despite expectations they would fall by 0.8%. This data shows that America’s economy is on a bullish trend, and businesses are easing into a new market reality after COVID-19 lockdowns. Despite the outbreak of the delta variant of the coronavirus, the appetite to spend has not decreased. As such, a recovering economy means less interest in economic hedge assets like bitcoin.
Another economic data that might have spurred the lackluster reaction to the bitcoin market is the drop in the U.S. inflation rate from 5.4% to 5.3% in August. While some believe this figure is high relative to the country’s historical figures, others see it as a positive indicator, considering that the situation could have been much worse.
5. China completely bans bitcoin for the first time
On Sept. 24, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) issued a new statement regarding the illegality of cryptocurrency transactions and mining, adding that now crypto-to-crypto, as well as crypto-to-fiat transactions, are banned. This means virtually all crypto trading-related activities are prohibited in the country for the first time ever, including buying, selling or trading virtual currencies like bitcoin, ether and tether.
The Chinese central bank also made it clear any citizen found working for offshore crypto exchanges will be investigated.
But it wasn’t just the PBoC that weighed in on the new crypto laws, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) also voiced intentions to ramp up the enforcement of the country’s ongoing crypto mining crackdown. In a statement entitled “Notice on the rectification of virtual currency ‘mining’ activities,” officials set out plans to completely phase out crypto mining in the country.
First, new companies looking to enter the mining industry will be restricted. Secondly, local authorities will be ordered to cease all support for existing mining operations – this includes shutting off direct electricity supplies and encouraging other suppliers to ramp up costs to make mining operations financially unviable. Finally, the NDRC has said it will prevent any new investment from flowing into the sector and sever any remaining financial services to crypto mining businesses.
Bitcoin’s price fell by almost 10% when the announcement was made, from $45,099 to $40,693. But since then, prices have recovered around 8% back to $43,890.
Original Article By Rakesh Upadhyay At Cointelegraph.com
Bears continue to pressure BTC price but any signs of consolidation could lead to a breakout in AVAX. ALGO, XTZ, and EGLD.
China has attempted to stifle the crypto sector’s growth on several occasions in the past 12 years but barring a minor blip, the blanket bans on crypto-commerce have not altered the long-term growth of cryptocurrencies. This shows that no one country, even if it is the second-largest economy in the world, can halt the emergence and growth of cryptocurrencies.
Deutsche Bank analyst Marion Laboure said in an update on the bank’s website that Bitcoin (BTC) is likely to “remain ultra-volatile in the foreseeable future” as most people buy it either for investment or for speculation rather than using it as a medium of exchange.
However, Laboure believes that Bitcoin could become “the 21st century’s digital gold” and the trend could continue for centuries with no major control by the government.
At Morningstar’s yearly investment conference, Dennis Lynch, the head of asset management at Counterpoint, likened Bitcoin to the South Park cartoon character Kenny. Lynch said: “I like to say that bitcoin’s kind of like Kenny from South Park — he dies every episode, and is back again.”
As the effect of the China FUD diminishes, let’s study the charts of the top-5 cryptocurrencies that may remain strong in the short term.
Bitcoin has once again bounced off the 100-day simple moving average ($41,002), suggesting that bulls are attempting to defend this level aggressively. The bulls will now try to push the price above the 20-day exponential moving average ($45,178).
The downsloping 20-day EMA and the relative strength index (RSI) in the negative zone suggest that bears have the upper hand. If the price turns down from the 20-day EMA, the possibility of a break below the 100-day SMA will increase.
Such a move will complete the bearish head and shoulders pattern, which has a target objective at $32,423.05.
The bulls will have to push and sustain the price above the overhead resistance at $48,843 to open the doors for a possible rally to $52,920. A break and close above this level could signal the resumption of the uptrend.
The BTC/USDT pair is witnessing a tough tussle between the bulls and the bears near the neckline. The bulls have pushed the price above the 20-EMA and will next try to clear the overhead hurdle at $45,200.
If they can pull it off, the pair could climb to $49,000. Conversely, if the price turns down from the current level, the bears will try to pull the price below the critical support zone at $41,000 to $39,600. A violation of this zone may indicate the start of a downtrend.
Avalanche (AVAX) is trading inside an ascending channel pattern. The long tail on today’s candlestick suggests that bulls are aggressively buying on dips to the 20-day EMA ($61)
The rising moving averages and the RSI in the positive zone indicate advantage to buyers. The AVAX/USDT pair could now try to retest the all-time high at $79.80. This is an important level to watch out for because a break above it could signal the resumption of the uptrend.
The pair could then rally to the resistance line of the channel and the bullish momentum may pick up if this hurdle is crossed.
Conversely, if the price turns down from the current level or the overhead resistance and breaks below $60.04, it will suggest the start of a deeper correction to the 50-day SMA ($45).
The pair has bounced off the 100-SMA and the bulls are attempting to sustain the price above the 20-EMA. If they manage to do that, the pair could start its northward march to $79.80 where the bears may again mount a stiff resistance.
On the downside, the critical level to watch is the support line of the channel. A break and close below this support will be the first indication that the bulls may be losing their grip. If the price slips below $60.04, the decline could extend to $55.
Algorand (ALGO) is trading below the 20-day EMA ($1.77) but the long tail on today’s candlestick suggests that bulls are attempting to defend the support at $1.51.
If bulls drive and sustain the price above the downtrend line, it will suggest that the short-term correction could be over. The ALGO/USDT pair could then rise to $2.15 and then to $2.55.
Alternatively, if the price turns down from $1.84, the pair could again drop to $1.51. If the bulls defend this support, the pair may remain range-bound between $1.84 and $1.51 for a few days.
A break and close below $1.51 will signal a possible change in trend. The pair could then slide to the next support at $1.15.
The pair is trying to rebound off the strong support at $1.51 but the recovery may hit a barrier at the moving averages and then again at the downtrend line.
If the price turns down from the overhead resistance, it will indicate that sentiment remains negative and traders are selling on relief rallies. That will increase the likelihood of a break below $1.51.
This negative view will be negated if the price rises and sustains above the downtrend line. The bulls will then make one more attempt to resume the up-move.
Tezos (XTZ) rebounded sharply from the breakout level at $4.47 on Sept.22, indicating aggressive buying on dips. The bulls pushed the price back above the 20-day EMA ($6.10) on Sept. 23 and have held the level since then.
The moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in the positive territory, suggesting that bulls have the upper hand. The buyers are likely to challenge the overhead resistance zone at $8.03 to $8.42.
A breakout and close above this zone will signal the start of the next leg of the uptrend. The pair could then rally to the psychological mark at $10.
Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the current level or the overhead resistance and breaks below the 20-day EMA, the pair could drop to $4.47.
The pair is attempting to rebound off the 20-EMA, indicating that sentiment has turned positive and traders are buying on dips. The bulls will now try to push the price to the overhead resistance at $7.50.
If this level is scaled, the pair may rally to $8.03 where the bears are likely to mount a stiff resistance. If bulls do not give up much ground from this resistance, the possibility of a break above it will increase.
This bullish view will invalidate if the price turns down and breaks below the moving averages. Such a move could result in a drop to $5.50 and then $4.47.
Elrond (EGLD) bounced off the 50-day SMA ($181) but could not clear the overhead hurdle at $245.80. This suggests that bulls are buying on dips while bears are selling on rallies.
The 20-day EMA ($220) has flattened out and the RSI is just above the midpoint, indicating a balance between supply and demand.
The buyers are attempting to sustain the EGLD/USDT pair above the 20-day EMA. If they manage to do that, the bulls will again try to push the pair above $245.80. If they manage to do that, the pair could rally to $303.03.
On the contrary, if bears pull the price down from the current level, a retest of the 50-day SMA is possible. A break and close below this support could open the doors for a further decline to the 100-day SMA ($132).
The pair has bounced off the uptrend line, which suggests that traders are buying on dips. The bulls will now try to propel and sustain the price above the downtrend line. If they succeed, the pair may resume its up-move and rally to $277.88 and then to $303.03.
Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the downtrend line, the bears will try to gain an advantage by pulling the price below the uptrend line. Such a move could clear the path for a deeper correction.
Original Article By Emma Colton At FoxNews.com
Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul remained adamant that health care workers get vaccinated by Sept. 27 in the state or be replaced.
“To all the healthcare providers, doctors and nurses in particular who are vaccinated, I say thank you. Because you are keeping true to your oath,” Hochul said during a visit to Rochester Wednesday. “To those who won’t, we will be replacing people.”
“We are sending out a call statewide. There are facilities, for example in New York City, that 98% of their staff are vaccinated, they don’t have a worker shortage. We are working closely with these hospitals to find out where we can get other individuals to come in and supplement nursing homes and other facilities,” she added.
Her comments come after she had already said on Tuesday while visiting the Niagara power project that “those who refuse, we will find replacements.”
New York hospitals have already struggled with the vaccine mandate in recent weeks, with nurses in a maternity ward at an upstate hospital resigning over the state’s vaccine mandate earlier this month, forcing the hospital to temporarily halt all baby deliveries after Sept. 24.
And more are expected to follow.
Dr. Sarah Klein of the University of Rochester Medical Center told CBS6 that she knew resisting getting the vaccine could cost her job, which was confirmed this month after receiving a letter from the hospital.
“It’s kind of hard to see it writing. So it was a pretty sad moment and certainly not what I thought things would come to in my career at this point,” Klein said.
Nursing homes have also struggled with staffing shortages, with the head of Patient and Family Care at Strong Memorial Hospital saying it’s difficult finding long term care options as 15 of the nursing homes they refer patients to have paused new admissions.
“We always have a number of patients that are waiting for that nursing home bed offer for a variety of reasons that may be delayed but not to the degree that we are facing today,” said Kelly Luther. “It’s creating a situation in which we have to be more expansive about our reach for those referrals across the western region.”
Original Article By Didi Rankovic At ReclaimTheNet.org
A YouTuber who has a channel dedicated to fishing and has made the money he earns from it his main source of income has been demonetized, with animal cruelty cited as the reason by Google’s video platform.
Gideon Mettam’s “Gido’s Fishing Adventures” channel with some 100K subscribers that’s been on YouTube since 2014 has now been demonetized for a month.
The case once again highlights YouTube’s volatility in interpreting its own rules and a lack of clarity or interest in explaining decisions to ban or demonetize content.
This is evidenced in Mettam, of Albany, Western Australia, saying that he on one hand doesn’t believe his videos qualify for YouTube’s definition of what constitutes for animal cruelty – while on the other he has not been able to get any meaningful feedback on what’s wrong and how to rectify the situation.
Mettam also shared that the demonetization notice didn’t specify any videos that depicted animal cruelty, but only cited that “a significant portion” was guilty of this.
YouTube’s lengthy violent or graphic content policy section of the Community Guidelines also deals with animal abuse, distinguishing between videos of animals suffering made maliciously for the purpose to shock and disgust, but note that the platform “may” make exceptions when it comes to following activities: hunting, trapping, pest abatement, food preparation, medical treatment, or animal slaughter.
In its hallmark vague fashion, the guidelines add that the list of what is and isn’t allowed “isn’t complete” – clearly leaving space not only to add new forms of animal abuse, but also effectively new ways to interpret them. The rules do explicitly say that videos of dog fighting and similar are prohibited, while showing animals fighting in the wild are not, etc; when it comes to hunting, illegal practices like bombing and poison in order to catch prey are mentioned.
Mettam, who is known for going to great lengths and putting himself in dangerous situations such as descending down steep cliffs to catch fish, as well as for documenting camping in the wilderness on his own, disagrees that what he does means he is “doing nasty stuff” to animals simply to cause shock or disgust, as YouTube defines animal cruelty.
Instead, he said, “I just dispatch fish for feed and do it humanely.”
RSPCA Australia was asked to comment on the case by local media, and said that the amount of content on Mettam’s channel made it hard to assess if any of it crossed the line, advising instead anglers to avoid practices that would unnecessarily inflict pain.
At the same time, more YouTubers whose focus is on hunting and fishing are reporting they are experiencing difficulties on the platform, including 30 day demonetizations.
This was revealed by a YouTube creator behind one such channel, “BeefCake FLAIR,” who said he had been impacted with demonetization for four or five years already, and has now set up another channel, that already has 250K subscribers, in a bid to protect the main one whose following goes into millions.
This YouTuber also revealed that others who publish this kind of content are receiving emails from YouTube informing them about the decision to demonetize their channels.
And while he claims these channels did not actually violate YouTube rules since the platform allows hunting videos, many have started removing content that shows hunting, trapping, guns, catching and cooking animals, etc, in a bid to avoid having their revenue streams cut off.
He echoes the Australian angler’s complaint that YouTube is not making it clear what they are doing wrong, leaving them unable to better comply, or even know what argument to make in their favor when reapplying for monetization. And the timing also doesn’t seem like a coincidence to him, since YouTube started going after hunting channels just at the start of the hunting season.
The video mentions several affected channels, such as MinnDak Outdoors, señor bassfishing, Yappy, Mullet Man, all with subscriber numbers going into the hundreds of thousands.
Meanwhile, the creator behind “BeefCake FLAIR” (whose original channel, “FLAIR”, has 2.4 million subscribers) says he is being left without income just as he has a child on the way – and although he has launched a second channel, “the end goal is to find another platform.”
But he’s still unclear about “what’s actually going on” on YouTube.
“Just give some answers. We need some freakin’ answers YouTube. It’s not okay what’s going on,” he says.
Original Article By Rick Findlay At ReclaimTheNet.org
The first major social network to embrace cryptocurrencies. But Twitter is still far from a supporter of freedom.
Twitter started the roll-out of Bitcoin-based payments features on Thursday, which will allow users to tip their favorite content creators. The company also announced it would bring verified NFTs.
Twitter announced the new features in a call to reporters, saying that “bitcoin operates without global barriers.” The social media company further said that the new features would help it take part in the “evolving decentralized news.”
Users will have two Bitcoin-based options to tip creators. They can use Strike, a crypto-payments application based on the Lightning Network. Alternatively, they can use the payments option menu, which will now have an option to send tips to a Bitcoin address.
The Bitcoin-based tipping features will be available to all users globally who use iOS this week. The features will roll out to Android users in the near future.
The company also announced that it planned to “explore NFTs for authentication.” The company tweeted an image captioned “Twitter NFTs” but did not provide many details on how they would work.
“It’s a way to support creators making this art with a stamp to demonstrate authenticity,” said Twitter’s executive, Esther Crawford. “By allowing people to connect their Bitcoin wallets, they can track and showcase their NFT ownership on Twitter.”
While Twitter is promoting more freedom-based features on the platform, the fact remains that its platform is still centralized and is way below the mark in terms of allowing freedom of expression.
Original Article By John F. Trent At BoundingIntoComics.com
Senator Marco Rubio from the State of Florida recently introduced a bill titled the Mind Your Own Business Act that aims to “help shareholders fight back against woke corporations.
The bill is S.2829. In an op-ed on Fox Business, Rubio announced the bill, “I am introducing the Mind Your Own Business Act to empower shareholders to take action when a company follows the latest woke, Marxist fads: boycotting a state, denying services to politically disfavored groups, or remaking their workforces to advance concepts like critical race theory.”
He continued, “Under current law, a shareholder has the right to sue corporate officers when they take actions like these that are motivated by their politics rather than your financial interests. But corporations have stacked the deck to make these lawsuits hopeless. They tweak provisions in their bylaws to protect themselves as they leave America behind.”
“The solution is simple: these large, publicly traded companies must provide a clear path forward for shareholders when they sue in response to these actions. My bill would put the burden of proof on the company to show that these actions were in shareholders’ best interests, and make corporate officers personally liable if they can’t prove it.”
Rubio added, “No more legal tricks that shield these corporate executives from accountability. If they really believe that being woke is good for business, they should have to say so—and prove it—under oath in court.”
“As an elected official, my obligation is to the American people, not corporate elites. These are often nationless corporations that amass fortunes divorced from the fate of our great country while pushing socially destructive, far left policies like boycotts and cancel crusades at home,” he wrote.
Speaking about the bill on Fox News, Rubio stated, “In the case of the woke corporations, look, if a company is going to boycott a state, if a company is going to pull a product off the market because it has an American flag on it and that might offend some people, if a company is going to make these decisions under pressure from either the woke culture or some employee uprising internally that’s pushing them in this direction then they should have to justify to their large shareholders why they’ve done it and why that’s in the best interest of the company.
“And if they are sued on those grounds they should have a higher standard of proof, a higher burden to prove that this is a decision that we have made as a corporation because it’s in the best interest of our business model; we are actually acting in the interest of our shareholders not just kowtowing to pressure from China or pressure from the woke and cancel culture in America,” the Senator asserted.
In a press release from Rubio’s office, they claim the bill requires “corporate directors to prove their ‘woke’ corporate actions were in their shareholders’ best interest in order to avoid liability for breach of fiduciary duty in shareholder litigation over corporate actions relating to certain social policies.”
The press release also states that the bill, “would incentivize corporate management to stop abusing their positions to advance left-wing social policies by increasing their personal liability to shareholders for breaches of fiduciary duty resulting from those policies.”
The bill comes after David Almasi, the vice president of the National Center for Public Policy Research called on conservatives to become activist investors in mega corporations like Disney and Facebook.
In an article published in The Daily Signal, Almasi stated, “If conservatives begin voting their shares in large numbers like the left does, CEOs may realize ‘it’s no longer worth doing the woke left’s political bidding and focus instead on improving their respective companies,’ said Justin Danhof, director of the Free Enterprise Project.”
He added, “Just like politicians, CEOs are influenced by those who bend their ears. Boycotts aren’t effective. Engagement is key to conservatives’ effectiveness in the corporate culture wars.”