Autor Cointelegraph By Jordan Finneseth

Bitcoin hits $37.5K, stocks recoup losses ahead of Wednesday’s FOMC statement

The dominant sentiment of doom and gloom in the crypto market shifted toward hope on Jan. 25 after the price of Bitcoin (BTC) climbed to $37,500 briefly as stock markets staged a midday rally that recovered most of the losses from Jan. 24.Even with Jan. 25’s recovery, global markets remain in a state of flux, primarily due to uncertainty over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s plan to raise interest rates in the coming months, with the latest signal indicating that the first rate hike will come in March. Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that Bitcoin bulls reclaimed the $36,000 level early on Jan. 25 and managed to claw their way above $37,500 before a closing-bell pullback in equities markets weighed on BTC price. BTC/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewHere’s what several analysts are saying about this latest move for Bitcoin and whether it’s the start of a sustainable rally or a bull trap that is destined to push the price back into the low $30,000s. $34,000 is a crucial level to holdThe significance of the recent price bounce off of $34,000 was addressed by on-chain data firm Whalemap, who posted the following chart highlighting the bounce off of the “whale” trendline. Bitcoin realized price by address. Source: WhalemapWhalemap said, “Perfect bounce for Bitcoin on the daily. $34,000 is now crucial to hold.”According to the chart posted by Whalemap, should $34,000 fail to hold, the next major support level is found near $25,000. Volatility ahead of the FOMC meetingThe issue of concern ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting was addressed by market analyst and Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe, who posted the following chart highlighting the “nice flip of $36,000” and suggested that now the market is “looking for a continuation to $38,000.”BTC/USDT 1-hour chart. Source: TwittervanPoppe said, “However, all very tricky still with the FOMC meeting coming up tomorrow, as volatility will probably remain high on Bitcoin and the markets.”Related: Is the bottom in? Data shows Bitcoin derivatives entering the ‘capitulation’ zoneAn old CME gap wa filledOne final observation about the latest move in the market was offered by independent market analyst Scott Melker, who posted the following Bitcoin CME futures chart and pointed out that the recent dip in BTC filled a gap that goes back to July 2021. BTC CME futures. 1-day chart. Source: TwitterMelker said, “Not a huge believer in the CME gap narrative, but this was an epic fill. Almost to the dollar.”A slightly different take on the narrative that the bull market is now coming to a close was offered by the crypto trader and pseudonymous Twitter user PlanC, who posted the following weet suggesting that the bear market actually started in February 2021 and is just now coming to an end. Right now everyone is worried about going into a correction phase “bear market” #Bitcoin However, we have actually been in one since the first 2021 peak. #BTCAnd it looks like we might be coming out of it #soon. pic.twitter.com/2e87uZLw61— Plan©️ (@TheRealPlanC) January 24, 2022The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.667 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 42%.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Here’s 5 altcoins to study as crypto prices drop close to a 1-year low

The pain trade has been an unwelcome sight across the cryptocurrency market since the start of 2022 and over the past 24 days Bitcoin (BTC) and the altcoin prices have drifted, leading some analysts to suggest that a bear market is at hand.Despite traders’ concern that another extended crypto winter could be starting, it times like these when investors can capitalize on great opportunities to pick up fundamentally sound cryptocurrencies at a discount.Crypto Fear & Greed Index. Source: Alternative.meIn that vein, here’s a closer look at several projects with strong fundamentals and a proven use case that could be good candidates for accumulation during the current market correction. Polygon (MATIC)The Ethereum (ETH) layer-two scaling solution Polygon (MATIC) is currently down 50.76% from its all-time high of $2.92 which was established on Dec. 27, 2021. MATIC/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewPolygon saw a tremendous amount of growth and adoption over the course of 2021 because its compatibility with Ethereum and low transaction costs made it a destination for users and protocols that were looking for a way to remain on the Ethereum network and avoid the high cost of transactions. Total MATIC wallets over time. Source: Dune AnalyticsThe network is capable of hosting all manner of decentralized applications including lending protocols like AAVE, decentralized exchanges like Uniswap or gaming and nonfungible token projects like Aavegotchi. With the capabilities and final date for the rollout of Eth2 still unknown, layer2 solutions like Polygon are likely to continue to see increased engagement as users seek lower-fee transactions. Fantom (FTM)Fantom (FTM) is a layer-one blockchain protocol that also rose in prominence over 2021 as its low fee environment and Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) Compatibility helped attract new users and protocols to the network. FTM/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewData from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the price of FTM is currently down 36.3% from its December highs and trading at a price of $2.15 at the time of writing. The bullish case for FTM is backed by the continued rise total value locked (TVL) on the Fantom network despite the market-wide pullback, with data from Defi Llama showing that the Fantom TVL is currently at an all-time high of $12.07 billion. Total value locked on Fantom. Source: Defi LlamaWhen compared to competing networks such as Solana (SOL) which has a TVL of $7.62 billion, Fantom holds more value and has not experienced any major network disruptions like Solana,  yet it trades at a significant discount when compared to the price of SOL. TVL of #Fantom and #Solana are nearly the same now (10.67B vs 10.31B)Buy $FTM now like buy $SOL at 23$#fantomseason #solanawinter #fantomnews pic.twitter.com/eeUop6biZJ— Fantom News (@fantomnews) January 15, 2022With the current price of SOL standing at roughly $90, the price of FTM would need to be $18.10 to have a matching market cap, suggesting that Fantom is undervalued relative to its layer-one competitors and has the potential to close that gap as 2022 progresses. Polkadot (DOT)Another token that could potentially be in a good accumulation zone is Polkadot (DOT), a sharded multi-chain protocol whose goal is to facilitate the cross-chain transfer of any data or asset types across multiple blockchain networks. Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the price of DOT has been on the decline since early November 2021 as the token underperformed its cohort of layer-one projects possibly due to the lack of a functioning bridge to Ethereum.DOT/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewThis all changed on Jan. 11 when Polkadot’s Moonbeam (GLMR) parachain officially launched and established the first cross-chain bridge for the Polkadot network. As of Jan. 24, Moonbeam has processed more than 1,329,000 transactions and supports more than 700 ERC-20 tokens. As other parachains officially launch on Polkadot in the months ahead, DOT has the potential to see a rise in demand and token price as users look to get involved with the Polkadot network. Polkadot ecosystem. Source: PolkaProjectCurve (CRV)When it comes to the increasing importance of the stablecoins in the crypto market, Curve DAO token has emerged as one of the most sought-after tokens by investors and protocols who have been vying for control of governance on the platform. CRV/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewAfter hitting a record high of $6.80 on Jan. 4, the price of CRV has fallen 60% and now trades at $2.76 according to data from TradingView. Even with the drop in CRV price, the ongoing ‘Curve Wars’ suggest that demand for the token is likely to rise once the current weakness in the market subsides as decentralized finance projects attempt to accumulate governance powers over the Curve ecosystem.At the time of writing, a total of 49% of the circulating supply of CRV is locked in veCRV, the voting token for the Curve protocol. Percentage of CRV tokens locked on Curve. Source: Dune AnalyticsRelated: Does a Fed digital dollar leave any room for crypto stablecoins?Frax Share (FXS)Another protocol that looks to play a larger role in the stablecoin sector is Frax Share (FXS), the first fractional-algorithmic stablecoin system in the crypto sector that began to gain traction near the end of 2021. FXS/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingViewThe protocol’s FRAX stablecoin has emerged as a fan favorite of the DeFi crowd in large part thanks to its decentralized nature in a field dominated by centralized projects like Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC). As a result of its adoption, the total volume of FRAX transacted has risen over the past six months and is currently at an all time high of $6.3 billion. FRAX monthly volume. Source: Dune AnalyticsFXS’s bullish momentum is backed by a steadily increasing total value locked, which increased by 30.53% over the past week and 86.9% over the last month to hit a record high of $2.28 billion on Jan. 24. This climb to a record TVL comes even as the prices of nearly every other asset fell across the crypto market.Total value locked on Frax Share. Source: Defi LlamaWith FRAX now being adopted across DeFi by users looking for more decentralized stablecoin options, FXS could likewise see an increase in demand and token price as the importance of reliable stablecoin protocols intensifies. The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Analysts say Bitcoin’s bounce at $36K means “it’s time to start thinking about a bottom”

Bears remain in full control of the cryptocurrency market on Jan. 24 and to the shock of many, they managed to pound the price of Bitcoin (BTC) to a multi-month low at $32,967 during early trading hours. This downside move filled a CME futures gap that was left over from July 2021.Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the $36,000 level was overwhelmed in the early trading hours on Monday, leading to a sell-off that dipped below $33,000 before dip buyers arrived to bid the price back above $35,500.BTC/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewHere’s a look at what several analysts are saying about the macro factors at play in the global financial markets and what to be on the lookout for in the months ahead. “Rate hikes don’t kill risk assets”For several weeks the dominant conversation in U.S. financial markets has been the prospect of up to four interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve over the course of 2022, which many people have claimed will put an end to the current bull market. But according to financial analyst and pseudonymous Twitter user ‘Tascha,’ this is a common misconception because “rate hikes don’t kill risk assets.”Tascha said, “Reversal of quantitative easing does. Check what happened to stocks 2015 and 2018 when Fed turned off the tap.”Further insight into Tascha’s tweet was provided in the following reply from pseudonymous Twitter user RK Maruvada. Is it time to think about a bottom?A bit of hope for the crypto faithful was provided by technical analyst and Bollinger Bands creator John Bollinger, who posted the following tweet suggesting that “it’s time to start thinking about a bottom in cryptos.” It’s time to start thinking about a bottom in cryptos. However the ability to get outside the lower Bollinger Band repeatedly strongly suggests a retest of some sort will be needed. My plan is wait for a bottom and a bounce, then look for a retest as an entry. $btc, $eth, $ltc…— John Bollinger (@bbands) January 24, 2022While the well-known analyst thinks that the market may be in the general area of a bottom, caution is still warranted and a bounce followed by a retest is needed before looking to enter a long position in BTC. Related: Bitcoin ‘enters value zone’ as BTC price floor metric goes green againOpening a Bitcoin long “looks attractive here”A final bit of analysis was provided by macro strategist and Delphi Digital co-founder Kevin Kelly, who indicated that “the big question now is where will the next wave of demand come from and what level do we need to hit for it to trigger such bids? BTC/USD 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewAccording to Kelly, “the mid-to-high $30,000s for BTC is a safe bet,” especially due to the widely held belief by many that Bitcoin could see a “run up to $70,000.” This would mark a 75% gain from the current levels, which “large capital allocators would salivate at the opportunity to capture” from Kelly’s view, “even if it takes a year or longer to realize such gains.”Kelly said, “That is why we firmly believe BTC looks attractive here for those with a long enough time horizon, especially when compared to traditional alternatives to park your capital.”This sentiment that BTC is at a good level for a long was also echoed in the following tweet by cryptocurrency analyst and Twitter user Will Clemente.Don’t think asymmetry is skewed to the downside for BTC here. For the long term investor this is a good area to DCA in some heavier buys IMO.— Will Clemente (@WClementeIII) January 24, 2022

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.594 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 41.9%.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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3 possible reasons why Polkadot is playing second fiddle in the L1 race

2021 was a sort of “coming-of-age” for many layer-one (L1) blockchain protocols because the growth of decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) forced users to look for solutions outside of the Ethereum (ETH) network where high fees and network congestion continued to be barriers for many.Protocols like Fantom (FTM), Avalanche (AVAX) and Cosmos (ATOM) saw their token values rise and ecosystems flourished as 2021 came to a close. Meanwhile, popular projects like Polkadot (DOT) underperformed, comparatively speaking, despite the high expectations many had for the sharded multi-chain protocol. FTM/USDT vs. AVAX/USDT vs. ATOM/USDT vs. DOT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewSetting aside the specific capability that each protocol offers in terms of transactions per second and time to finality, here are several factors that may have played a role in DOT’s laggard performance when compared to other L1 competitors. Interoperability is a key factorOne of the major themes of 2021 was cross-chain interoperability between separate blockchain networks, with a bridge to Ethereum being the most important connection to establish due to the fact that a majority of projects currently run on the network. Protocols like Fantom, Binance Smart Chain, Avalanche and Harmony developed cross-chain bridges and this led to a noticeable bump in their token price, total value locked and on-chain activity. Despite the fact that Polkadot was specifically designed to offer multi-chain support as a “layer-zero” meta protocol, there was no major release of a bridge that connected Polkadot with Ethereum in 2021 and this left the protocol unloved by crypto traders looking to engage with DeFi and NFTs. Cosmos, likewise, didn’t see the release of a major bridge that connected its ecosystem with Ethereum, but there were minor integrations like the addition of Ether as a collateral asset on Terra which demonstrated that cross-chain compatibility was possible. The late launch of parachain auctionsAs 2021 came to a close, all of the previously mentioned networks were seeing a healthy amount of activity and cross-protocol interactions while projects on Polkadot were still finalizing their preparations to launch on the mainnet. This was in part due to the fact that the parachain auctions for Polkadot didn’t begin until November 11 when Moonbeam (GLMR), an Ethereum-compatible smart contract parachain, secured the first slot. DOT saw its price rise to an all-time high of $55 on Nov. 4 as those interested in contributing to the parachain auctions secured their tokens, but by the time the auctions had officially started its price was already on the downslope toward a low of $23.28 on Jan. 10. Moonbeam official went live on the Polkadot network on Jan. 11 and has managed to rack up more than 1 million transactions as users were finally able to transfer ERC-20 tokens into the Polkadot ecosystem. ⚡​ ONE MILLION TRANSACTIONS ⚡️Moonbeam hits 1M tx on the network! ​ Moonbeam is lighting up @Polkadot’s ecosystem with new integrations, 100k+ wallets, 700+ ERC-20 tokens & 1M GLMR tokens locked with collators.See the networkhttps://t.co/6ZhRLYDHgX pic.twitter.com/tczI7mAjlR— Moonbeam Network (@MoonbeamNetwork) January 20, 2022The price of DOT saw a slight bump higher following the launch of Moonbeam but has once again slid back down below $25. Related: Moonbeam (GLMR) launch brings EVM interoperability closer to the Polkadot networkThe benefits of holding DOTA third factor that may be weighing on the popularity and price of DOT is confusion about what the token is used for and what benefits it provides to token holders. Thinking about selling my $DOT. I don’t see the purpose of the project anymore, many of the cool projects that were going to build on it migrated to $MATIC or so.Why should I keep it?— Quinten François (@QuintenFrancois) July 29, 2021

On many of the competing networks, the native token is used to conduct contract actions such as token transfers or swaps whereas protocols that are in the Polkadot ecosystem use their native tokens to pay for gas. Aside from being used to participate in parachain auctions, the main uses for DOT include staking to support the operation and security of the network and for use in governance votes. While governance abilities are important for the overall health of blockchain protocols, the average cryptocurrency users still haven’t shown much enthusiasm for participating in votes and are more interested in things like gaming, DeFi and NFTs. Multiple layer-one solutions are launching developer and liquidity incentive programs and up and coming DeFi protocols are still offering high yield staking opportunities. Currently DOT offers 13.94% APR to stakers and its possibly that this is not enough to satisfy the appetite of yield farmers who are looking to get more bang for their buck. The long-term outlook for Polkadot remains strong and the project has an active and dedicated community of followers to go along with an experienced development team led by Ethereum co-founder Dr. Gavin Wood. The launch of Moonbeam might indeed mark a turning point for DOT as cross-chain compatibility is now live and other parachain projects should start to launch on the mainnet shortly, but it remains to be seen how long it will take the network to catch up to its L1 competitors who have a head start on cross-chain interactions and increased on-chain activity. The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Altcoin Roundup: 3 emerging P2E gaming trends to keep an eye on in 2022

Blockchain-based play-to-earn (P2E) gaming had a breakout year in 2021, and as the cryptocurrency ecosystem evolves in 2022, the P2E gaming sector and those that invest in it will need to consider what the next steps are. During bull markets, vaporware, speculation and euphoria can lead to unrealistic valuations and expectations, and this appears to also have impacted the P2E sector.Now that the hype is “over,” investors and developers will need to identify new value propositions that catalyze growth and steady investment into the blockchain gaming sector.Here’s a closer look at some of the trends that could emerge in the P2E ecosystem in 2022. Profit-sharing communitiesThe first trend to keep an eye on in 2022 is projects that are looking to harness interest in nonfungible tokens to create profit-sharing models and capitalize on the price appreciation of NFTs. These projects aim to offer opportunities for gamers and investors by providing a platform where investors who are not interested in playing games can invest and provide NFTs for players who would not otherwise be able to afford them.From there, players earn rewards for their gameplay, while investors earn a share of the profits. One example of this type of protocol is Yield Guild Games (YGG), a P2E gaming guild and decentralized autonomous organization focused on creating a community that lets players earn via blockchain-based economies. The DAO generates revenue through the sale of NFT assets or by renting them out to gamers as part of a profit-sharing model known as a scholarship. There are currently more players wanting #playtoearn scholarships than there are game assets to meet the demandTogether with our newest Sponsor-A-Scholar partner @coinbase, YGG will be able to onboard more new players worldwide pic.twitter.com/WXI8yniqt7— Yield Guild Games (@YieldGuild) January 11, 2022Some of the current games and investments that YGG is involved with include Axie Infinity, Illuvium, Guild of Guardians, Star Atlas, Splinterlands and The Sandbox. The most recent investment for the YGG community was a $50,000 investment in the seed round of Heroes of Mavia and a $330,000 purchase of NFT land assets in the game. Communities with educational supportAnother trend emerging out of the gaming and NFT sectors are communities that focus on educating community members on how to earn money through gameplay. Blockchain-based gaming can be a challenge for newcomers to learn, and some games have upfront costs that prevent some players from being able to play. To help simplify the process, a few protocols that invest in providing apprenticeships for players have come into existence. Merit Circle is a DAO project focused on developing its P2E economy by helping gamers transform their hobby into a steady stream of income. The Merit Circle DAO is maximizing value and accrue it to all the participants. The main activities can be separated into ⬇️ (pre)seed investments into ‘GameFi’Scholarship programTreasury management Developing products in-house All adding value to $MC pic.twitter.com/0bHAhbniKH— Merit Circle (@MeritCircle_IO) January 11, 2022

At the time of writing, the Merit Circle community has 2,750 active gamers from regions all around the world — including Asia, Africa, Europe and South America — who earn rewards daily by playing one of the supported games. Similar to YGG, Merit Circle also invests in community-held assets that can be used by gamers to earn rewards, with 30% of all proceeds being reinvested in the DAO or distributed to tokenholders. The project uses educational content and one-on-one coaching sessions to help improve the performance of scholars on the platform. These players have earned more than $2 million through gameplay to date. Related: New research expects a gloomy year for Bitcoin as DeFi and DAOs riseDeFi combines with NFTs and P2E gamingA third trend forming in 2022 is the development of projects and investment funds that aim to combine aspects of decentralized finance (DeFi), NFTs and P2E gaming.While the gaming sector only appeals to a niche crowd, NFTs have a wide range of capabilities that can be applied to many fields ranging from art to real estate by providing immutable proof of ownership. As blockchain technology continues on its path to mass adoption, an increasing number of real-world items will be digitally recorded on distributed ledgers, ultimately providing interested parties with an easier route to investment than exists at present. It also allows for the possibility of fractionally owning certain high-price items such as a hotel or the copyright to a popular movie or music album..@Nas May Be Offering Fractional Ownership Of His Music — But For Him, ‘This Isn’t Really For The Money’ https://t.co/34A2yhX6MP pic.twitter.com/yWWAqOlwLd— AfroTech (@AfroTech) January 11, 2022

BlackPool is one such project that is currently run by a team of portfolio managers, traders and analysts with the long-term goal of becoming “a leading provider of financial derivatives in digital asset marketplaces, including asset valuation indexes, insurance mechanisms and actively managed strategies.” Ultimately, the project is looking to provide democratized access to scarce NFT assets “that users might individually not be able to buy themselves.”Through the development of its DAO structure, BlackPool is now in the process of decentralizing its current operation to allow all of the NFT assets held by the fund to be managed by its community of token holders. Want more information about trading and investing in crypto markets?The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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