Crypto – Currencies

     

 

 

Opposing Monetary Directions

“Real estate is the future of the monetary system,” declares a real estate bug.

Does this make any sense? We would ask him this.

“OK how will houses be borrowed and lent?”

“Look at this housing bond,” he says, pointing to a bond denominated in dollars, with principal and interest paid in dollars.

“What do you mean ‘housing’ bond’,” we ask, “it’s a bond denominated in dollars!”

“Yes, but housing is the collateral.”

OK, so it’s not a housing bond. It’s a dollar bond used to finance the purchase of houses. These are not the same thing at all, the way chalk and cheese are not the same thing, despite both being single-syllable words beginning with the letters “ch”.

 

 

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I write this with sadness, still, at the news of the death of my friend Heinz Blasnik. He is better known by his nom de plume, Pater Tenebrarum, who published the economics blog Acting Man and wrote for many other financial sites.

I met Heinz twice, at his home in Vienna. He was a kind and gracious host, sending his driver to pick me up and serving Austrian delicacies for lunch. When I met him, he was struggling near the end of a long illness which was the result of a youthful adventure. Even so, he retained a benevolent sense of life, and a positive spirit.

But this is not why I wanted to write this. We were friends because we shared some ideas. Important ideas. Ideas about the nature of the world, and mankind, and how man can work together and coordinate their productive activities. Economics and business are my life, and Heinz was the same way.

What better basis for a friendship than sharing important values?

Heinz was deeply, passionately interested in helping people understand economics. I know not how much time he gave to this cause—unpaid, as blogs do not make money—but it was surely more than I spend. He engaged with those who were interested. Sadly, Austrian economics is not mainstream, though there are more than enough people to keep a teacher—or sensei—busy. He was willing to correspond with me, and I credit his articles and emails for helping shape my own views.

We did not always agree. If you put 3 economists in a room then you have at least 4 opinions. But even when not, he listened with benevolent intention and did not make it personal. It was always about the ideas. I think this is an important and uncommon virtue.

On one of my visits, we discussed life, the universe, and everything. And he told me a bit about the Austrian welfare state. Which led me to write The Service Economy. I have traveled around the world, and I have shared food and drink with friends in many countries. Yet that one conversation with Heinz stands out as interesting and important. I can only recall one other discussion with one other friend that led directly to me writing an essay.

I don’t think Heinz believed in Heaven, but I hope everyone will understand when I say this. I would look forward to a day—many years in the future, I hope—when I could meet Heinz for beers in Heaven, and continue our conversation where it left off in 2021.

Adieu Heinz.

 

Dr. Keith Weiner is the president of the Gold Standard Institute USA, and CEO of Monetary Metals. Keith is a leading authority in the areas of gold, money, and credit and has made important contributions to the development of trading techniques founded upon the analysis of bid-ask spreads. Keith is a sought after speaker and regularly writes on economics. He is an Objectivist, and has his PhD from the New Austrian School of Economics. He lives with his wife near Phoenix, Arizona.

 

     

 

 

The Investment Asset of the Century Makes yet another Comeback

Even the most ardent cryptocurrency bulls are probably slightly slack-jawed at this juncture and can hardly believe it. To be sure, many people were undeterred by the vicious bear market that saw BTC melt down from just below $20,000 in Dec. 2017 to less than $3,300 in Dec. 2018, but we doubt that even these steadfast believers in the grand-daddy of cryptocurrencies expected to see new all time highs in less than two years. Oh well…

 

Look who’s back from the dead…

 

BTC, weekly – who says a bubble cannot be resurrected in two years time?

 

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Bitcoin Gets Juiced

The prices of gold and silver were up $19 and $0.48 respectively last week. But that’s not where the massive inpouring of groceries went.

 

When Friday began (Arizona time), Bitcoin’s purchasing power was under 75 grocery units (assuming a grocery unit is $100). By evening, speculators added 25 more grocery units to the same unit of bitcoin.

 

Bitcoin, daily – shortly after breaking below an obvious lateral support level, Bitcoin did an about-face on steroids and rallied $3,000 from low to high in the space of a few hours. Interestingly, this rally was presaged by a number of subtle technical signals – bullish divergences with several of the major “alt coins” emerged on occasion of the seeming break-down on October 23, while concurrently a stealth rally in BSV that had started a day earlier refused to be derailed by the sell-off. These are the types of signals we tend to follow in the cryptocurrency markets – we consider them to be traces left by the biggest traders in these markets. Both breakouts and break-downs of resistance/support levels always have to be closely examined for divergences. Note that technical analysis is the only sensible approach to trading in cryptocurrencies, as it is impossible to gauge their “fundamental” value. The latter depends on all sorts of assumptions, all of which could be wrong. Clearly though, cryptos remain an excellent playground for nimble traders. [PT]

 

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Bitcoin – An Exceptional Asset

When I first heard about Bitcoin (BTC) in May 2011, it was trading at 8 US dollars. Today, more than eight years later, BTC trades at around 8,000 dollars. A thousandfold increase! An investment of 1,000 dollars at the time would have resulted in a gain of more than a million  –  a dream result.

 

Bitcoin went from 10,000 BTC for a pizza to around 100 BTC for a Lambo in what appeared to be an unseemly hurry… [PT]

 

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A Noteworthy Sentiment Change

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have declined quite sharply in recent days. Here is an overnight snapshot of the daily chart:

 

Bitcoin corrects again…

 

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Too Much Excitement?

The prices of the metals fell last week, with that of gold -$9 and silver -$0.32. Of course, it was a week of stock market exuberance. Why would anyone want to own money, or seek safety when the Fed can seemingly push interest down / assets up indefinitely? As the old TV ad for Lotto proclaimed “you gotta be in it, to win it!”

 

“Stablecoin” Tether is used as a dollar stand-in on cryptocurrency exchanges that offer no fiat currency pairs. There has been a lot of speculation about the extent to which Tether is actually backed by US dollars. Despite these rumors and a recent admission by the company managing Tether that is is actually not fully backed with USD, it continues to be popular. It should be noted that BTC has a market cap of USD 224 billion and daily trading volume of USD 25 billion. [PT]

 

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Shifting Patterns

In the last issue of Seasonal Insights I have discussed Bitcoin’s seasonal pattern in the course of a year. In this issue I will show an analysis of the returns of bitcoin on individual days of the week.

 

Bitcoin, daily – since bottoming in early December, BTC has advanced quite a bit. It remains an excellent trading sardine. [PT]

 

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Learning From Other People’s Mistakes is Cheaper

One benefit of hindsight is that it imparts a cheap superiority over the past blunders of others.  We certainly make more mistakes than we’d care to admit.  Why not look down our nose and acquire some lessons learned from the mistakes of others?

 

Bitcoin, weekly. The late 2017 peak is completely obvious in hindsight… [PT]

 

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Digital Asset Rush

The only part of our April Fools article yesterday that was not said with tongue firmly planted in cheek was the gold and silver price action (though framed it in the common dollar-centric parlance, being April Fools):

 

“Gold went down $21, while silver dropped about 1/3 of a dollar. Not quite a heavy metal brick in free fall, but close enough.”

 

Bitcoin, hourly – a sudden yen for BTC breaks out among the punters. [PT]

 

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Defending 3,800 and a Swing Trade Play

For one week, bulls have been defending the 3,800 USD value area with success. But on March 4th they had to give way to the constant pressure. Prices fell quickly to the 3,700 USD level. These extended times of range bound trading are typical for Bitcoin Bottom Building in sideways ranges.

This 60 minute chart of Bitcoin shows (represented by the yellow candlestick wicks) how the bulls defended 3,800 USD :

 

BTCUSDT 60 minute chart as of March 4th, 2019

 

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Looking for Opportunities

The last time we discussed Bitcoin was in May 2017 when we pointed out that Bitcoin too suffers from seasonal weakness in the summer. We have shown that a seasonal pattern in Bitcoin can be easily identified. More than a year has passed since then and readers may wonder why we have not addressed the topic again. There is a simple reason for this: the lack of extensive historical data for cryptocurrencies in combination with their extreme volatility.

 

The three Magi: Melchior tries to move with the times. [PT]

 

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