Cardano – At The Forefront of Blockchain

The cryptocurrency market continues to gather followers thanks to its popularity and increasing profitability. One of the latest ones to achieve great success is Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) with the development of Cardano, a ‘blockchain’ that has managed to attract the interest of investors.

With its creation in 2017, Cardano appeared in the bullish run that lasted until the beginning of this year. It’s cryptocurrency, called ADA, shot up in a short time in the digital tokens’ ranking and became one of the top ten by market capitalization in a short period of time.

After the well-known success of Bitcoin, the market tried to replicate this technology generating thousands of cryptocurrencies as a result. Some of them are also well known such as Ethereum, Litecoin or Ripple. All with a common attribute, dependence on a chain of blocks or ‘blockchain’ that is responsible for transferring and validating each of the generated transactions. Despite the fact that Satoshi Nakatomo’s file was the first practical case to behave in this way, there are currently dozens of ‘blockchains’ for this same use. Some of them, like Cardano, allowing developers to access their technology.

These visitors can thus execute a wide variety of applications in the chain such as intelligent contracts and decentralized applications. Cardano’s technology was perfected thanks to the experience of Charles Hoskinson, co-founder of Ethereum, although both cryptocurrencies hold a major difference.

Cardano presents a structure of two very different layers, a first called ‘Cardano Settlement Layer’ (CCSL), which carries out cryptocurrency transactions and another one called ‘Cardano Computation Layer’ (CCL), to execute applications designed by programmers . In Ethereum, both layers are entwined.

The eToro platform, leader in social trading, allows its more than six million users to invest in the short and long term in Cardano as well as a great variety of cryptocurrencies. The ‘CopyFunds’ are a good way to start doing it. These are investment portfolios that integrate a number of cryptocurrencies, managed automatically according to the criteria and decisions of the experts hired by the platform. In addition, due to its social nature, the platform allows its members to consult the positions of the most successful partners or ‘Popular Investors’ and to be able to replicate their strategies.




Dow Jones is Finding Resistance At 24450

As the United States celebrates Independence Day the Dow Jones and other stock indexes take a breather. The yearly national holiday sees markets close.

It is possibly a good time for this break to arrive. Stocks have looked weary due to a backdrop of self inflicted trade tariff arguments from their wacky President, and a period of Dollar strength which began in March.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has formed a resistance on the charts around 24450 which it has retested and failed to break 3 times since late June.

This would lead most traders to think that prices will head lower if people are selling at that resistance point each time.

If the lows of the last few weeks break then a sharp move downward to 23800 or 23500 could commence. This being the area where share prices stalled at during the previous drops in March and April.

But fear not. There could be data to save the day.

After the United States comes back online for trading we approach the monthly Friday when all charts get thrown out of the window.

Friday is Non Farm Payroll data day!

With Gold off it’s recent low, Dollar relatively high and stocks looking weak, I wonder whether this data release will give some much needed love to share prices over the coming weeks.


All You Need to Know About Investing in Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the new investor craze everyone is talking about. Hardly any assets have proved to be as mysterious and alluring as the new digital cryptocurrency has over the last few years, with millions of investors jumping on the bitcoin bandwagon in 2017 and sending its price to record highs. Despite being one of the most volatile and exciting assets on the market, bitcoin has risen from just under $1,000 at the start of 2017 to over $19,000 towards the end of the year. Here is all you need to know about the mystery that is Bitcoin.


Bitcoin is known to be a ‘decentralised’ currency, meaning it is not tied to any central bank or government regulator. It’s a cryptocurrency that has no physical form and it exists only in a set of encrypted code. The creators wanted to introduce a new digital currency that was not regulated and could pass national borders. Bitcoin ‘miners’ crack complex sections of code known as ‘blockchain’ and that can be used as a payment method. The limit introduced by the creators are 21m bitcoins.

In its early days, very few businesses were keen on accepting the new cryptocurrency but as its success has increased, more and more began to take it as an acceptable form of payment. With its growing popularity, its price also rose and in equal measure the criticism and wariness from major financial institutions around the world. People are increasingly beginning to accept the idea of a decentralised currency.


In its relatively short life so far bitcoin has experienced more volatility than many of its currency counterparts have seen in several decades. Bitcoin has gone through several rockets up in price that are closely followed by damaging crashes.

Opinions are very varied on bitcoin’s rallies, some believe it’s just another flash in the pan and others that it may be the start towards being recognised as a global currency and viable alternative to centralised systems. Only time can tell.


Even though a single Bitcoin is currently heading towards more than $9,300, online trading platforms such as eToro allow users to engage in fractional trading, whereby sellers and buyers can agree prices based on values of less than one full Bitcoin. Like with any other investment, it is key to pick a strategy and stick to it, especially with an asset so volatile as bitcoin. Using the eToro platform, users can also view the actions of experienced Bitcoin traders and replicate their strategies to achieve the best results.



Dow Jones Tussles With April Highs as US Dollar Begins to Retrace

After a mixed to down first quarter the Dow Jones index and US stocks are back on the rise. The Dow Jones price has gained over 1000 points since the low in early May, and is now sitting exactly at the April highs as the middle of the month passes.

The US Dollar finally gave up pushing for a new high in Europe trading session which in turn gave stocks a boost on the opening bell.

Thursday was a positive day for investors with economic data suggesting that the US labour market is in good shape. Inflation data came in weaker than forecast and static unemployment claims both good indications of the state of play across the United States.

Jobless claims remained at 211,000 for the second week in a row which helps keep overall numbers near the 49 year low.

This prompted a positive close on US stock indexes with the Dow Jones up 0.8% and the Nasdaq up 1.02%.

This positivity has held ground into Fridays early trading with the Dow Jones pushing above (albeit slightly) the April highs of 24800.


There is a slight bit of resistance at the 25000 mark, which underlined the lows of early and mid March. However, continued Dollar weakness could help the cause for higher stock prices over the coming weeks.

The US Dollar has been showing incredible strength for the last month but may have topped out for the meantime after hitting the resistance of the underside of the November 2017 lows.

If the Dollar continues behaving as it has for this last year, then a retrace is normally the pattern after hitting a strong support or resistance level.

It could now look for some support below and find a comfortable trading range for the summer months when volume naturally drops off from most currency pairs.


Praise for eToro from Trading and Cryptocurrency Communities

It started over 10 years ago, but during all this time the “number one” social trading platform has been getting constant congratulations. With over 9 million active users, eToro is the social trading platform that has opened up the financial markets to all.

eToro has many excellent features, but one of its most significant is that it is not just a social network for traders. Users get full access to trading education in the form of guides covering most relevant investing topics. Also new users get a virtual wallet which allows them to test trade their strategies before investing their money.

If this isn’t enough, eToro also has something else unique. Popular Investors, these members offer other members the ability to clone their investments. If you are a “Popular Investor” you can earn more in your wallet too. The best of these investors can gain more income from accumulating followers who have cloned their wallets.

“My advice for any new investor is: open an eToro account, check out some markets and try virtual money, then start opening positions in real markets,” says Wayne Ryan, who is one of eToro’s ‘Popular Investors’ . During 2016 Ryan gained 588% profit on his trading, and has gained 84% in the last 12 months. Other users utilize the innovative CopyTrader to clone his wallet and mirror his trades.

According to Ryan, eToro helps their users with “live graphics and data.” “Being one of the best investors in eToro is a great achievement, I feel that I have worked very hard to reach that level,” he says.

Some of The Benefits of EToro

According to members of this high rated social trading platform, it’s a simple tool to use, easy and very reliable. This comes backed with 10 years of experience from the eToro team. Using it allows you to have instant execution of investments and all with a regulated company.

This is an exciting new form of investment for its members, which opens up new forms of trading via CopyTrader. It is also worth noting that there is now a large cryptocurrency community within the platform which shares it’s knowledge daily and help other members.



GBPUSD Rate Touched Pre-Brexit Levels and Begins To Fall

The early weeks gains have begun to fade for GBPUSD. After an indifferent start to 2018 cable finally found it’s mojo again in mid March to continue the climb from the horrendous lows of 2017.

Last week seen the GBPUSD rate close positive every day, and Monday began with a follow through until in early Tuesday trading it fell just short of the 1.4400 level.

This is a significant level as it’s the area where GBPUSD was trading right before the Brexit vote back in June 2016.

This sharp reversal in the British Pound seemed to be triggered by the Average Earnings Index data missing its forecast, and Claimant Count numbers increasing for the previous month.

The Claimant Count figures could have been an important warning of what’s to come. Notes from ForexFactory tell us,”It’s the first indication of the employment situation, released a month earlier than the Unemployment Rate.”

This possibly began to trigger a few large positions, selling at the highs or going short.

Today, data missed again with CPI down year on year, and up next for GBP is Retail Sales data.

A miss on all these key data points could see the weakness continue into the end of the month as traders await the next BoE interest rate decision. Always a big mover for the good old British Pound.

Next week the Euro should be quite active as the ECB publishes the minimum bid rate on Thursday accompanied by the widely followed ECB press conference.

There’s always some volatility in the markets once the press questions begin to be answered. Firstly a pre written statement is read then follows the question and answer session. Off the cuff comments by the President and Vice President can often swing the Euro rate sharply for the rest of the trading session.


Trump Tweets About Russia and Gold Prices Fly

Since the beginning of 2018 Gold prices have been stuck in a range between $1300 and $1350. Each time the support or resistance of this range was hit then price sharply reversed to the other side.

However today we have seen a huge daily move in the price. Flying high to $1565 at the time of writing and looks set to break new ground towards $1400.

What triggered this quick gain?

As far as we can tell the only thing which could possibly have sent money dropping into Gold was Donald Trump’s tweet about Russia and the Syria situation.

Just as the USA woke up this morning they were greeted to the USA‘s president telling his Twitter followers that Russia should be ready because,”the missiles are coming”.

It’s a known fact that in uncertain times scared money flows into Gold, this bumping up the price.

Investors see it as a safe haven as opposed to stocks which usually fall hard during any real escalation of military conflict.

Here is what America’s number one had to say.

“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

Definitely scary talk right there.

Things should get interesting tonight as the Fed release their meeting minutes from the last FOMC. No doubt anything remotely bearish for the US Dollar will see Gold spike higher again.


Gold Prices Jump On Further Rate Increase and Forward Guidance

Gold prices jumped $30 from the lows after the FOMC rate increase of 25 basis points. Along with what was a largely expected rate hike, the Fed hinted that rate increases may continue in a steep upward curve over the next few years.

Alongside the hike came comments that the Fed intended to sound hawkish without causing to much disruption and the inflation target remains at the stated 2%.

The FOMC comments were, “near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced, but the Committee is monitoring inflation developments closely,”

The US Dollar promptly moved down in a sharp move, as is often the case on these FOMC days. Gold prices reacted to the upside sharply and they are now consolidating at the highs in early UK trading.

Gold has got that 2018 resistance in sight. The early year highs of $1360 area seem like an obvious place for the price to try test investors appetite for higher prices.


If Gold breaks out above those highs and can continue to be strong then the $1500 area could be a target.

Gold has not been able to reach this area since early 2013, and to break free of the constraints of the last 5 years would be a significant move, not only for Gold traders but for mining and metal stocks.

As we suggested last week here, mining stocks have been lagging behind what is a relatively strong Gold price this year.

A break of resistance into a new higher trading range could be just the tonic for those weary miners, who incidentally have not been doing too badly in terms of profit. Its sentiment which is holding them back and a higher Gold price will set the tone for new money to pile into the sector.

It could be the investment story of 2018.


Crypto Markets Crumble But Don’t Be Fooled

So it seems the haters were correct. The crypto market bubble did actually burst.

Back in late 2017 some famous faces chipped in their opinions on the magnificent rally that crypto was making. Luminaries such as Jordan Belfort declared Bitcoin’s price a bubble, Warren Buffett said he was almost certain it would end badly.

These comments were not taken in good spirit by many hardcore investors of Bitcoin and other crypto at the time.

And Twitter was offended.

This prompted the endlessly entertaining crypto bull, John Mcafee, to promise he’d eat his dick on live television if Bitcoin wasn’t $100,000 within a year.

A sight to behold!

But then came January, and with it came a whole bunch of news and negativity which began to test investors nerve over the following weeks.

The widely covered Bit Connect collapsed. Rumours of a Korean crypto ban. The SEC meeting to discuss what to do about crypto. An Mtgox guy began selling his billions of Bitcoin. Facebook and Google banned adverts for crypto. An upcoming G20 meeting which investors feared crypto regulatory measures might be discussed. Oh and a few exchange hacks just to keep everyone on high alert.

Which brings us to now. Bitcoin is down circa 60% from it’s all time high. Ethereum much the same. And a market full of alt-coins whose market cap has halved or more during an incessant slide into February and March. (see Cardano or Ripple).

But here is the thing.

Nothing has changed.

Well, nothing has changed with the technology behind blockchain. If anything, it’s improved.

Developers have been striving to improve network speed, as in the case of Bitcoin’s lightening network and Lightening Labs. With the aim to scale transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain to millions of new users in the coming years.

Ethereum has seen a boom of use. ICOs have been taking advantage of creating ERC20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain for a while now, and it doesn’t look like stopping.

Companies such as Factom are making waves in the financial sector by creating a product that helps secure and validate mortgage information on the blockchain.

And don’t discount some of the groundbreaking ICOs which have been surfacing. (ok, disclaimer. There are a lot of trash and obvious cash grabs out there too.)

So where does crypto go from here?

It’s pretty clear that blockchain technology is going to change a lot of industries for the better. The next decade will see many changes.

It’s going to simplify tasks for corporations and individuals. It’s going to secure many unsecured processes. But it’s also going to create a lot of job losses within said industries due to these changes.

It’s time for those affected to evolve or be left behind.

There’s hidden value in many crypto alt-coins. But you have to dig deep and research the companies behind each project using a large magnifying glass.

Remember this technology is still in its infancy.

Think real world use for their blockchain and true problems to solve. Think teams of experts with experience in their industry. Ignore the fluff.

As for Bitcoin itself, who can really say?

It has a real world use. It has a lot of areas in which it can evolve. It has many experienced and intelligent people working with it.

It will be improved.

But before it can change the way we pay for our every day items, the powers that be are most certainly going to attempt to get it under close control. It’s the way of the world.

There is value in Bitcoin and it seems John Mcafee can see the future.

Is he right?

Time will tell.


Gold Stuck In Rut – For How Long?

The first quarter of 2018 has given very little excitement to those who trade Gold. Prices have been range bound in a tight area around the highs of the early 2016 rally.

There’s some resistance up here, and it seems like the price is waiting for a catalyst to decide what happens next.

It’s entirely possible that the catalyst will be something as simple as sentiment.

As Adam Hamilton has noted in his latest essay Gold mining stocks are struggling for traction. Even though Gold prices are at a high area of the past few years.

Adam comments, “The gold miners’ stocks remain deeply out of favor, trading at prices seen when gold was half or even a quarter of current levels.  So many traders assume this small contrarian sector must be really struggling fundamentally.  But nothing could be farther from the truth!  The major gold miners’ recently-released Q4’17 results prove they are thriving.  Their languishing stock prices are the result of irrational herd sentiment.”

Could it be that investor sentiment is holding back Gold prices from continuing to climb?

Sentiment could well be suffering as investors are hesitant on the Fed’s interest rate policy. Interest rates were hiked at the back-end of 2017, and speculators seem to think that the intended range is higher than the 1.5% right now. Maybe at or above 2% is where some commentators think rates are heading.

This, coupled with a volatile stock market, could be why those pesky Gold mining stocks are languishing behind a relatively strong Gold price.

There’s another monetary policy meeting on the horizon, so it will be interesting to see what the comments are. It’s probably the catalyst Gold is waiting for.