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Before June 2021, news regarding Nayib Bukele was likely not even a blip on many crypto users’ radar screens. The Salvadoran president instead made headlines for allegations of corruption and dictator-like behavior after his party’s congressional majority sacked five members of the country’s Supreme Court and its attorney general.
During the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami, however, Bukele stunned many participants and garnered international attention by announcing he planned to have El Salvador adopt Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender. Within a week, a supermajority of the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly — most members of Bukele’s own party — had passed the Bitcoin Law, requiring all businesses to accept the crypto asset as a form of payment alongside the United States dollar.
Bukele’s involvement in the crypto rollout seemed to extend further than many would have expected from a world leader. The El Salvador president was already active on social media and presented himself differently than many politicians, often casually dressed in a baseball cap and jeans. Since the Bitcoin Law went into effect in September, he has used his Twitter account to announce several BTC buys totaling 1,391 BTC — more than $71 million, presumably from El Salvador’s national treasury. He also proposed having the country tap geothermal energy from its volcanoes to mine crypto.
Locally, opposition to the Bitcoin Law manifested itself in the form of public statements from lawmakers not connected to Bukele’s political party as well as protests in San Salvador. Before the law went into effect on Sept. 7, a group of retirees, veterans, disability pensioners and workers marched through the capital city to voice their concerns about the crypto asset’s volatility and how the Bitcoin Law could potentially affect their pensions. Protesters calling themselves the Popular Resistance and Rebellion Block carried banners saying “No to Bitcoin” in the streets to demand a repeal of the law.
Servicio social. Para los que quieran imprimir stickers de #NoAlBitcoin aquí les dejo vectores en SVG e imágenes en alta resolución. El vector de la derecha es para corte en Vinil.
Me mandan foto de donde los peguen porfa.
— Señor del Caos (α) (@mxgxw_alpha) August 15, 2021
Officials outside Bukele’s sphere of influence also expressed skepticism over the rollout. In June, the U.S. Department of State’s Victoria Nuland encouraged El Salvador to take a “tough look” at Bitcoin to ensure the crypto asset was “well regulated” and “transparent,” and the government offered protection “against malign actors.” The International Monetary Fund issued its own warning in July, saying the consequences of a country adopting Bitcoin as a national currency “could be dire.”
In addition to helping establish the regulatory framework for adopting BTC payments, Bukele promoted efforts to build the infrastructure necessary for Salvadoran merchants and everyday citizens to use crypto. The country is already home to Bitcoin Beach, an area in the village of El Zonte, intended to be an experiment in which Bitcoiners can use crypto to pay for anything, from utility bills to tacos. Officials have also overseen the installation of hundreds of Chivo ATMs, allowing Salvadorans to withdraw cash 24 hours a day without paying commissions on their crypto holdings.
However, one announcement that will likely stand out as the most ambitious of Bukele’s crypto plans in 2021 was for the creation of a Bitcoin City funded initially by $1 billion in BTC bonds. Crypto exchange Bitfinex and Blockstream have already said they plan to support the initiative, which will reportedly aim for no capital gains, income, property or payroll taxes.
— Jose Valdez (@JoseValdezSV) December 10, 2021
The criticism over Bukele governing like an authoritarian has not necessarily been mitigated with the Bitcoin Law rollout, but coverage is often paired with his statements on “buying the dip,” proposing a 24-hour Bitcoin news network, and other crypto-related developments in the country. There is little indication that the president has moved past self-identifying as the world’s “coolest dictator” — a Twitter bio that he later changed to the “CEO of El Salvador.”
Prior to the passage of the Bitcoin Law, police detained a San Salvador resident who had spoken out against the country adopting Bitcoin as legal tender. In October, following several protests against Bukele’s policies, the government banned gatherings, claiming its actions were aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 — however, it still listed sports and cultural events as exemptions.
“The crypto community embracing Bukele of all people shows that they need to think a little harder […] this guy’s an authoritarian who can’t provide basic services to his citizens,” said Tommy Vietor, a political commentator from Pod Save the World. “[El Salvador has] one of the highest murder rates in the world. He seems to think you can get power by plugging your Apple charger into a volcano somehow. Don’t try to sell us on a literal volcano-fueled tech utopia city — let’s just start a little smaller.”
At the end of 2021, it was still unclear whether the average citizen of El Salvador was reaping many rewards from the Bitcoin Law. Bukele did announce in October animals would benefit from crypto with the construction of a $4-million veterinary hospital funded by profits from the country’s Bitcoin trust. However, it’s likely the Latin American nation is still struggling to cope with the crypto asset’s volatility when used as a medium of exchange as well as gaining mainstream understanding and acceptance from its populace.
The selling in Bitcoin (BTC) is showing no sign of abating and Bitcoin has fallen for seven straight weeks for the first time ever. This indicates that the momentum remains strongly in favor of the bears.
While the short-term sentiment remains bearish, institutional traders seem to be taking a longer-term approach on cryptocurrencies. Goldman Sachs and Barclays joined several other institutional investors in a $70 million Series A funding round by institutional trading platform Elwood Technologies.
After the mayhem and volatility of the last week, crypto prices may attempt a relief rally in the next few days. It is unlikely to be a V-shaped recovery because the macro conditions are not supportive. During periods of high volatility and uncertainty, it might be a wise decision to cut down on the trading position size to keep risk under check.
What are the critical support and resistance levels that may indicate a potential change in trend when breached? Let’s study the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to find out.
Bitcoin turned down from $3,460, suggesting that bears are selling on minor rallies. The bears will now attempt to sink the price below the crucial support at $28,805 but the bulls are likely to have other plans.
If price rebounds off $28,805, the bulls will again try to push the BTC/USDT pair to the 20-day exponential moving average (EMA) ($33,646). This is an important level to keep an eye on because a break and close above it could indicate that bulls are attempting a comeback. The pair could then rise to the 50-day simple moving average (SMA) ($39,300).
Contrary to this assumption, if the price slips below $28,805, the pair could drop to $26,700. If this support cracks, the pair could resume its downtrend and the price may plummet to $25,000 and later to $21,800.
Ether (ETH) is facing stiff resistance at the breakdown level at $2,159, which suggests that bears continue to sell on rallies. The bears will now try to pull the price below the immediate support at $1,940.
If they succeed, the ETH/USDT pair could drop to the critical support at $1,700. This is an important level for the bulls to defend because if they fail to do that, the downtrend could resume and the pair may drop to $1,500.
Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns up from $1,700, the pair could rise to $2,159 and remain range-bound between these two levels.
The first sign of strength will be a break and close above $2,159. That could clear the path for a rally to the 20-day EMA ($2,421). The bulls will have to overcome this barrier to indicate that the downtrend may be over.
BNB‘s strong recovery reached near the breakdown level at $320 on May 13 and 15 but the bulls could not clear this overhead barrier. This suggests that bears are attempting to flip the level into resistance.
The BNB/USDT pair could now drop to $265, which is likely to act as support. If the price rebounds off this level, the buyers will again try to drive the pair above $320. If they succeed, the pair could rally to $350 and thereafter to the 50-day SMA ($391).
Alternatively, if the price slips below $265, the pair could drop toward the strong support at $211. The bulls are expected to defend this level with vigor. A strong bounce off this support could keep the pair range-bound between $211 and $320 for the next few days.
The long wick on Ripple’s (XRP) May 13 candlestick suggests that bears are trying to pose a strong challenge near the breakdown level at $0.50. The failure to rise above this overhead resistance could have tempted short-term traders to book profits.
If the price continues lower and breaks below $0.38, the XRP/USDT pair could drop to $0.33. The bulls are expected to defend this level aggressively but if the support cracks, the bearish momentum could pick up and the pair may plummet to $0.24.
Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns up from the current level or the support at $0.38, the bulls will try to push the pair above the $0.50 to $0.55 overhead zone. If they succeed, it will suggest that the markets have rejected the lower levels. That could clear the path for a potential rally to the 50-day SMA ($0.67).
Cardano’s (ADA) relief rally is facing selling near $0.61, suggesting that bears are not willing to let go of their advantage. The bears will try to pull the price below $0.46 and retest the May 12 intraday low at $0.40.
If the price breaks below $0.40, the selling could intensify further and the ADA/USDT pair may plunge to $0.33 and later to $0.28.
Conversely, if the price turns up from the current level or the support at $0.46, it will suggest that bulls are attempting to put in a bottom. The buyers will have to push and sustain the price above the 20-day EMA ($0.68) to signal that the correction may be over. The pair could then rise to $0.74 and later to the 50-day SMA ($0.89).
Solana’s (SOL) bounce from $37 is facing stiff resistance at the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level at $59. This suggests that bears continue to sell on minor rallies.
The bears will now try to pull the price below the immediate support at $44. If they succeed, the SOL/USDT pair could retest the crucial level at $37. A break and close below this support could sink the pair to $32.
Conversely, if the price turns up from the current level or the support at $44, it will suggest that bulls are buying on dips. The bulls will then try to clear the overhead hurdle at $59 and push the pair to the 20-day EMA ($70). This level is likely to act as a stiff resistance.
Dogecoin’s (DOGE) recovery could not rise above the breakdown level at $0.10, suggesting that the bears are trying to flip the level into resistance. If sellers succeed in their endeavor, the likelihood of a retest of $0.06 increases.
This is an important level for the bulls to defend because a break and close below it could signal the resumption of the downtrend. The DOGE/USDT pair could then drop to $0.04 where the bulls may again try to arrest the decline.
Alternatively, if the price turns up from the current level, the bulls will attempt to clear the overhead hurdle at $0.10 and the 20-day EMA ($0.11). If they do that, the pair could rally to the 50-day SMA ($0.13).
Polkadot (DOT) climbed back above the breakdown level of $10.37 on May 13 but the recovery stalled near $12. This suggests that the sentiment remains negative and traders are selling on rallies.
If bears sink the price below $10.37, the DOT/USDT pair could drift lower toward the minor support at $8. If this level cracks, the possibility of a break below $7.30 increases. The pair could then resume its downtrend and plummet toward the next strong support at $5.
Alternatively, if the price rebounds off $10.37 or $8, the bulls will attempt to push the pair above the 20-day EMA ($13). If they manage to do that, it will suggest that the short-term trend may have turned in favor of the buyers. The pair could then attempt a rally to $16.
Avalanche’s (AVAX) recovery is facing stiff resistance at $38. The shallow rebound following a sharp decline suggests a lack of aggressive buying by the bulls. This could embolden the bears who may try to build upon their advantage.
If bears pull the price below $29, the selling could pick up momentum and the AVAX/USDT pair could drop to the critical level at $23. This is an important level for the bulls to defend because a break and close below it could result in a decline to $20 and thereafter to $18.
Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns up from the current level or $29, it will suggest that bulls are buying at lower levels. That could increase the possibility of a relief rally to the 20-day EMA ($48) where the bears may again mount a strong defense.
Shiba Inu’s (SHIB) rebound hit a wall at the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level at $0.000014 on May 13 and 14, indicating that bears do not want to let go of their advantage.
The bears will once again try to sink the price below the psychological level at $0.000010 and challenge the intraday low of $0.000009 made on May 12. A break and close below this level could signal the resumption of the downtrend. The SHIB/USDT pair could then decline to $0.000007, which is likely to act as a strong support.
Contrary to this assumption, if the price rebounds off $0.000010, the bulls will attempt to push the pair to the breakdown level at $0.000017. The buyers will have to clear this hurdle to suggest that the bears may be losing their grip.
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.
Market data is provided by HitBTC exchange.
Crypto investment giant Grayscale is expanding operations by launching a new crypto-linked exchange-traded fund (ETF) in Europe.
Grayscale officially announced its first European ETF, called Grayscale Future of Finance UCITS ETF, on May 16.
The new investment product is getting listings on major European stock exchanges, including the London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana as well as Deutsche Börse’s electronic trading platform Xetra. Listed under the ticker symbol GFOF, the ETF will also be passported for sale across Europe.
An exciting milestone: Announcing our first European ETF, Grayscale Future of Finance UCITS ETF — listing on London Stock Exchange (LSE), Borsa Italiana, and Deutsche Börse Xetra.
— Grayscale (@Grayscale) May 16, 2022
Launched in partnership with Bloomberg, GFOF UCITS ET tracks the performance of the Bloomberg Grayscale Future of Finance Index. Bloomberg and Grayscale jointly introduced the index in January 2022, aiming to track the digital economy, focusing on three main directions like technology, finance and digital assets.
According to the announcement, the new ETF includes companies directly involved in cryptocurrency mining, energy management and other activities in the digital asset ecosystem.
“Through GFOF UCITS ETF, European investors now have the opportunity to receive exposure to the companies that are pivotal to the evolution of the global financial system,” Grayscale’s global head of ETFs David LaValle said.
Grayscale also collaborated with Europe’s white-label issuer HANetf to create the new investment product. The issuer is known for cooperating on blockchain ETFs with companies like ETC Group.
Grayscale is one of the world’s largest Bitcoin (BTC) investment companies, providing the Grayscale Bitcoin BTC Trust (GBTC) with $18.3 billion in assets under management. Amid massive market volatility, GBTC recorded a significant decline, trading at a nearly 31% discount on May 13.
The firm has been aggressively pushing its Bitcoin spot ETF, with CEO Michael Sonnenshein claiming that Grayscale was gearing up for a legal fight with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission if its ETF is denied. The firm reportedly tried to persuade the SEC that turning the biggest BTC fund into an ETF would unlock $8 billion for investors.
The news comes amid the increasing adoption of crypto and industry-related ETFs worldwide, with total assets invested in crypto ETFs hitting $16.3 billion in Q1 2022.
21Shares, a major crypto ETF issuer in Europe, recently expanded its investment offering with a Layer 1 and decentralized finance (DeFi) infrastructure exchange-traded products (ETPs).
Listed on SIX Swiss Exchange on May 12, the 21Shares Crypto Layer 1 ETP (LAY1) offers investors exposure to the five largest blockchains in the DeFi industry. The 21Shares DeFi 10 Infrastructure ETP (DEFI) will list on the same exchange on 18 May.
Investors familiar with the concept of equity investing will find equity tokens to be an extension of the same thought process as initial public offerings while those with a riskier appetite can venture into plonking their capital on the utility tokens in which they believe.
One glaring difference between utility and equity tokens is the fact that the former is not regulated as they provide access to a service rather than a specific investment in an asset or company as do equity tokens.
However, for those asking the question of whether utility tokens can be traded, the answer is that they are similar to equity tokens in this aspect and are available for trading on various exchanges.
To answer whether utility tokens are good investments though, any money put into a utility token needs to be weighed against the prospects of the service being offered by the issuing company and the potential rise in its demand to generate returns for token holders.
On the other hand, equity tokens are regulated and issued by existing firms that are already in business and provide token holders with voting rights that allow them to participate in the working of the company.
For novice crypto investors, it seems more prudent to invest in equity tokens as they are an extension of equity shares on the traditional stock market and are an easier concept around which to wrap oneself.
However, if you believe in the prospects of a blockchain project like XRP and want to gain an early mover advantage, it may be more beneficial to put your money on a utility token ICO and ride the demand wave to generate handsome returns in the process.
Do remember that utility tokens are not treated as a security and therefore, will have a higher risk involved when investing. Either way, it is important to read all the terms and conditions before investing money and understand the applicable fees that are levied on redemption or while trading these tokens on the various exchanges available in the crypto market.
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