Bitcoin Now Buys 600 Barrels of Crude Oil as Prices Fall Below Zero

Bitcoin Now Buys 600 Barrels of Crude Oil as Prices Fall Below Zero

A collapse in oil prices is fuelling an interesting comparison with Bitcoin and other less volatile assets

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A single Bitcoin (BTC) now buys over 600 barrels of crude oil as an unprecedented sell-off takes BTC purchasing power sky high.

According to data from monitoring resources including Bloomberg on April 20, futures for a barrel of WTI expiring in May shed 36% on the day.

BTC holds $7K as oil turns back clock to 1983

At press time, the contracts were worth $11.37 — heading for their lowest since inception back in 1983.

Despite attempts to cut supply, it appears oil markets may well fulfill the prophecy of Bitcoin proponents and fall to $10 per barrel or lower.

As Cointelegraph reported, even United States President Donald Trump forecast a barrel changing hands for $9, at the time seemingly unfazed by the prospect.

WTI crude futures 1-day chart. Source: Bloomberg

WTI crude futures 1-day chart. Source: Bloomberg

At the same time, the gap between May and June futures has widened, indicating that despite the rout, belief remains that a major bounceback will occur.

That wasn’t enough to avoid some unlikely scenes elsewhere in the oil market. On Monday, Western Canadian Select even managed to break into negative prices.

“Even negative oil .. because shutting down production is more expensive than giving it away,” Bitcoin price analyst PlanB summarized.

1 ETH or 15 barrels of crude?

There was an air of amusement among Bitcoiners as prices dropped, with BTC/USD remaining broadly steady at $7,000.

Bitcoin 1-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin 1-day price chart. Source: Coin360

“How long can you run an Antminer S9 with 1 barrel of crude oil?” CasaHODL co-founder Jameson Lopp mused on Twitter.

Others noted that even a single Ether ($180) bought over 15 barrels of WTI, while the black gold’s volatility was plain to see compared to other macro assets. Year to date, WTI is down 64%.

Bitcoin has been broadly indifferent to the oil market in recent weeks, more closely tracking movements in major stock markets.

Earlier, Cointelegraph published five key factors likely to influence Bitcoin’s price performance this week.


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A collapse in oil prices is fuelling an interesting comparison with Bitcoin and other less volatile assets

Future of Currency in W. Africa: CFA Franc Collapse and Eco Inadequacy

Future of Currency in W. Africa: CFA Franc Collapse and Eco Inadequacy

Digital currency implementation will reduce obstacles for driving economic development in Africa

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It has been nearly two decades since the world saw the introduction of a new multinational currency bloc that would alter the balance of global power. Just like the euro, a new currency is taking shape that can compare in scope and vision. Only this time, it’s happening in Africa, and shockingly it’s not digital.

The West African Monetary and Economic Union state countries are currently in transition to adopt a new currency that will be used in a single market across a dozen or more West African countries — the Eco. Pegged to the euro, it is designed to be a new fiat currency replacing the current CFA Franc and will be in circulation in many West African countries.

However, while it might compare in scope and vision, Eco’s mere existence isn’t enough to ensure a currency’s success or power. Surprisingly, the Eco is a non-digital currency that is being launched to increase the efficiency of cross-border trade in West Africa. Yet in reality, it is still pegged to the euro, like its predecessor the CFA Franc. Rather than moving toward a true digital currency market and adopting African cryptocurrencies, the introduction of Eco appears to be a thinly veiled attempt at rexerting French colonial control over Francophone African economies with the launch of another centralized currency from outside of the continent.

The origin of Eco

The WAEMU was established in 1994 by eight French-speaking countries in Western Africa. It is a collection of countries that have joined together in a customs union and currency union in order to advance economic growth. Its origins lie in the shared hope of promoting economic integration in West Africa, which was enduring a stubborn period of economic growth into the 1990s.

The current members of WAEMU are Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The primary goal of WAEMU and the currency union under the CFA Franc is to create a common market, coordinate policies, and harmonize fiscal policy among neighboring countries to promote security, stability and prosperity.

The CFA Franc has been around in some form or other since the end of WWII, and has driven a persistent connection to France, their culture and their economy. Its backing by the French government has allowed the European power to maintain a level of influence in West African affairs, leading to the end of colonial control and extending the region well into the 21st century.

Modern history of francophone currency in Africa is dripping in blood. Three days after the first President of Togo, Sylvanus Olympio, tried to print their own currency in 1963 rather than the French sponsored one, he was assassinated by an ex-French Foreign Legionnaire. The president of Mali, Modiba Keita, launched a sovereign currency in 1962 and was deposed by an exFrench Foreign Legionnaire, later dying in prison. Even recently, in 2011, President Laurent Gbagbo of Cote D’Ivoire was deposed by French Foreign Legionnaires for considering the same thing, only to be released from European imprisonment without any proper charges or findings of guilt last year.

As the former Finance Minister of France Pierre Moscovici said in 2013: 

“We have to speak the language of truth: African growth pulls us along, its dynamism supports us and its vitality stimulates us — we need Africa.” 

Even the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio was explicit about this issue in 2019 when he said:

“France above all, has never stopped colonising dozens of African countries. If it wasn’t for Africa, France would rank 15th in the world economies not in the top six.”

Why Eco is doomed to fail

The Eco is simply another iteration of the same idea — storing the wealth and assets of African economies in European banks and putting that wealth on their balance sheets, thereby continuing to prop up European economies.

Unfortunately, the leaders in charge of creating the Eco are still proposing having it pegged to the euro and storing assets in a host of European banks, instead of just in France. They haven’t gone far enough in their effort to allow West Africa a true independence, rather than a continued subservience to the former colonial overlords.

The Eco is not just a new currency, but a strategic tool used by the French government and its allies to control former colonies. The big scandal in all of this — 50 years after the supposed independence of these countries — is that France still maintains a tight grip over the currencies of the countries that make up the CFA, and therefore the Eco. France will still print the Eco in France and circulate them back to Africa for use as fiat currency, which means France will control the supply of currency in circulation and therefore (if need be) switch the economy off or on for “badly behaved” African nations.

The value of African reserve assets held in Paris are variously estimated at between $20 billion and $200 billion on negative interest rates. This means that African governments are paying to store their money in France. This hamstrings many governments and economies by limiting the liquidity of their central banks, effectively blocking access to investment capital. Then, when not supporting France’s own economy, the money is lent back to the francophone African nations at double-digit interest rates set by European rating agencies, impoverishing them further.

The CFA is a key component of the shadow neo-colonial rule that has been pushing the Eco as a replacement, a currency that will still be pegged to the Euro, and therefore, tied to its destiny.

Symbolic and ideological reasons aside, the implementation of the Eco is doomed for failure for a few reasons. First, the Eco is being designed as a currency for more nations than just those who were using the CFA Franc. Currently, the plan is to include seven nations that are not current members of WAEMU into Eco’s orbit — a plan with fundamental challenges that will be hard to surpass (namely, confidence in the stability of many West African nations).

“The risks are political. The only way for the Eco to succeed is if all heads of state and government get involved. At this time, not all of them are taking ownership of the project. Some feel lukewarm about President Ouattara’s leadership status on the matter. They are wondering how things will turn out if he hands over the Côte d’Ivoire presidency in November 2020 to someone who has less experience in this area,” said a leading financial market analyst. It is notable that it was Ouattara who was supported by the French when they deposed Gbagbo and wrongfully threw him in jail, where he sat for eight years.

Additionally, there are other countries in different regions of Africa that speak French, but are not being included in these plans for a new currency. They have been excluded from consideration, as they have a separate currency market that is also backed up by the French government. This is just another example of how the French government continues to exert its control into African affairs, hindering true pan-Africanism to take root.

With the emergence of the Eco, it might appear that many of the governments pushing for a “liberation” from Africa might have succeeded. However, in reality, switching from the CFA to the Eco is trading one dominant economic power for another — in this case, Nigeria. In the current Economic Community of West African States zone, Nigeria accounts for two-thirds of the GDP of the entire region and half the population.

Africans don’t need a single-currency market, they need crypto 

Eco is just another imposition of non-African control over currency markets. What it does is maintain the bonds that manipulate current economic structure and institutions across Africa. What Africa really needs for success is full-scale adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, which can offer true freedom from Western central banks and influence from former colonizers. 

What Africans do need — and indeed want — is for a societal wide adoption of cryptocurrencies and adoption of blockchain technologies to power 21st-century growth in Africa. Over the past year, three out of the top five countries where Bitcoin has been trending on Google Trends are located in Africa.

Cryptocurrencies can also provide unparalleled autonomy and emancipation to countries that have historically — and currently — had their economies and central currencies controlled by powers outside of their lands. They can also provide benefits to consumers who want to control how they spend their money without prior coordination with intermediaries like governments and banking institutions.

Simply put, cryptocurrencies are uniquely suited to help less-developed economies like those that make up ECOWAS, due to the amount of rural, unconnected and unbanked populations of West Africa. It gives them instant access to money in a way that central banking and the money supply cannot provide.

For governments and those that elect them, cryptocurrencies can provide a much-needed level of transparency that they may have never been historically provided. In many West African countries, governments (and therefore economies) have been ruled by military juntas or dictatorships, leaving many civilian populations with little transparency about how their government and economy function. Cryptocurrencies eliminate this by making their books accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

In addition to this massive level of interest coming from Africa about cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the continent is also uniquely poised demographically to achieve mass adoption among its modern consumers. According to Pew Research Center, Africa will lead the world in population growth by the end of the century. In response to this trend, national governments have become increasingly committed to financial inclusion initiatives in hopes of supporting future growth.

What’s next?

Observers assume that the alternative is between a rock and a hard place: strong centrally banked notes backed by global currencies versus nonfungible, volatile, local African money. But that’s not the exchange. It is, instead, a choice between the Devil and the deep blue sea. It is increasingly likely that the much-troubled post-Brexit EU will falter (and with it, the euro) than proceed immutably.

It will probably survive as a currency, but few remember that the euro is only twenty years old, was trading at just $0.86 in 2003, was nearly twice this price in 2008, and is now back at nearly a dollar. It could yet fall to $0.50. Economies in Africa would fall with France’s.

Better to choose the deep blue sea by cutting the euro out and choosing a future that looks toward Africa’s digital and demographic destiny: A multi currency universe based on mutuality.

Currently, Africa has 200 million people aged between 15 and 24, making Africa the continent with the youngest population in the world. This specific age bracket represents the population that is aging into the workforce, and entering the economy for the first time. This population is uniquely predisposed to accept tech solutions and is seen as an area for the economy to grow, given the digital payments and e-commerce sectors.

What Africans need is less focus on rigid institutions set up nearly a century ago by colonial powers. These institutions have failed to deliver lasting economic prosperity, and their new “solutions” are inadequate for the modern global economy. What is needed are decentralized and transparent systems that anyone can enter for access to financial autonomy.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Chris Cleverly, a barrister by profession, has made it his mission to help bring development mechanisms to Africa which can empower Africans to seize their own destiny. His journey on this mission began during the 1990s when he attended King’s Law College and became a barrister. After graduating, he founded the Trafalgar Chambers in the U.K., and became the youngest head of chambers in over a century. In 2005, he founded the Made In Africa Foundation, an organization he has guided to fulfill his dream of bringing systemic infrastructure change to Africa. Today, he is CEO of Kamari, a blockchain project looking to build an ecosystem of mobile gaming and payments for one billion people across Africa.


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Digital currency implementation will reduce obstacles for driving economic development in Africa

Bitcoin Price Could Rally to $9K Before a Massive Collapse, Here’s Why

Bitcoin Price Could Rally to $9K Before a Massive Collapse, Here’s Why

Good news in the short term, as Bitcoin could provide some interesting upward movements to finish 2019 with a bang

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Bitcoin price (BTC) has been in a sidewards range for several weeks now, with some people on team bear calling for fresh lows in the region of $3,000 while the bulls have been calling for astronomical all-time highs soon. One thing that is apparent in the market, is that you have to take it one week at a time.

With Bitcoin currently heading towards the mid-$7,000 range, is it time to flip bullish? Or is this yet another low liquidity Sunday pump to create CME gap-filling opportunities?

Daily crypto market performance. Source: Coin360.com

Daily crypto market performance. Source: Coin360.com

But Sir, the CME gap

Whether you are leverage trading, or simply moving your Bitcoin into a stablecoin during the dips, if you are not capitalizing on the weekly CME gap, you’re missing a trick. However, the more obvious these gap fill trades become, the more likely it is that they will soon become a thing of the past.

Christmas week is a week that I took off trading. The reason is that the CME was closed on the 24,25 and 26th of December, which meant attempting to trade a gap fill was slightly more difficult. As the gap left on Friday, Dec. 20 would have needed to fill on Monday, Dec. 23, and then Monday, Dec. 23 left a new gap to be filled on Friday, Dec. 27.

Next week is set to be the same, with the CME Holiday Calendar citing that trading will be closed Dec. 31 to Jan. 2, 2020.

BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

It seems that traders with greater exposure to Bitcoin are driving the price during the weekend when the volume is thinner, and then waiting on institutional traders to fill the gap the following week.

However, with institutional money taking an extra 6 days off over the holiday break, it means more thin volume periods for the price to be driven by whales in this 24/7 market.

So while the bankers may sleep, Bitcoin, in fact, does not sleep, and this could open up a window for a short-term rally before the bear cycle resumes.

The weekly MACD has started to lean bullish

BTC USD MACD weekly chart. Source: TradingView

BTC USD MACD weekly chart. Source: TradingView

The Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicator is showing early tell-tale signs of a bullish reversal. However, I don’t expect this to continue. As can be seen in the image above, the MACD line changed its bearish course on Dec. 16, but why?

I believe that due to a lack of institutional interest over the Christmas period, the market was easily moved upwards, which has changed the trajectory and with it, has continued to print pale pink candles, which are getting shorter by the week, usually indicating a cross into green territory. This has given some hope of a relief rally before the real pain begins for Bitcoin.

But where could we see the digital asset move?

The weekly Bollinger Bands suggest a temporary bottom

BTC USD BB Weekly chart. Source: TradingView

BTC USD BB Weekly chart. Source: TradingView

Using Bollinger Bands (BB) Indicator overlayed with my indicator that shows pivot points based on momentum, Bitcoin appears to have entered a short-term bull phase that will most likely see a rejection around the moving average of $9,000.

I believe this to be the case, as short-term low liquidity pumps falter around the moving average, as can be seen at the end of October. This is where Bitcoin price experienced an unnatural pump, which saw the digital asset climb around $2,500 in 48 hours, and despite a momentary wick above the MA, it failed to hold above this point and soon resumed its bear trend, feeding off the blood of hodlers at the bottom of the BB.

As such, with the institutional players easing up over the holiday period, it’s a perfect opportunity for the price of Bitcoin to be pushed up to around this level.

At this stage, you may be asking why I only see a short-term relief rally and not a full reversal. The reason for this lies in the Relative Strength Index (RSI) indicator.

The RSI shows no clear buy signal

BTC USD RSI weekly chart. Source: TradingView

BTC USD RSI weekly chart. Source: TradingView

The RSI is currently very much in the middle with a reading of 42.20 on the weekly. This doesn’t signal anything to anyone, and as such, would not attract any significant money into the market. When the RSI is planted between 30 and 70, we’re simply in a ranging market where scalpers feed and hodlers bleed.

Right now, anyone with any significant cash holdings would be hesitant to go all-in on an asset at this point, whether it be Bitcoin or anything else. As such, this to me says we must first see more downside before Bitcoin becomes an attractive investment opportunity for smart money.

You only have to look at the end of 2018 and the beginning or 2019 where Bitcoin held an average price of $4,000 to see why the RSI is a valid indicator for buying Bitcoin, as buying in the oversold territory would have seen you gain over 300% on your investment throughout 2018. 

 The Daily RSI is Neutral

BTC USD RSI DAILY chart. Source: TradingView

BTC USD RSI DAILY chart. Source: TradingView

The daily RSI is also incredibly neutral, more-so than the weekly RSI. It’s currently sitting on 52.16, which again sends no buying or selling signal to investors.

A pump towards $9,000 would certainly plant this in oversold territory, which could spark a sell-off, with people trying to cover their hemorrhaging losses after FOMO-ing in at $10,000 levels earlier this year thanks to a wave of social media influencers prematurely declaring that BTC is in a bull market.

Incidentally, the monthly RSI is reading the same as the daily, so no need to look at that today. However, I will look at the monthly BB.

Bitcoin is struggling to stay above the Moving Average

BTC USD BB monthly chart. Source: TradingView

BTC USD BB monthly chart. Source: TradingView

As Bitcoin continues to stay in a sidewards range, the inevitability of an extinction-level event that will cause even the die-hard Bitcoin maximalists to question why they HODL lines of code, looks more and more likely.

Having pierced through the MA two months in a row, and with the red candles getting longer by the month, it seems that Bitcoins support is only around $400 away, before falling to painful lows.

The support on the Bollinger Bands is currently $2,550 and whilst Bitcoin has never actually touched the support on the monthly BB, that’s not to say it won’t have a good run towards it should $7,010 fail to hold in the short term.

Bullish scenario

With the CME only being open 2 days next week, expect the unexpected. This could go both ways (and I expect it probably will). But from a bull’s perspective, I’d be looking at the moving average on the weekly of $9,000 as the target before being rejected. If it continues past this price, the next level of resistance is $11,300. However, this doesn’t seem likely.

Bearish scenario

After the CME gap fills at $7,265 — which is likely to happen tomorrow — history tells us that the price will revert to the previous trend. However, should it continue to fall, the Bitcoin price only needs to fall a further $150 before it finds itself at the support of $7,010.

If this fails to hold, it’s game over Bitcoin, and the road of pain will truly begin. Any move below $7,000 could quickly recover on Friday, Jan. 3 depending on when the CME closes Monday evening.

But since this is still the holiday season, I don’t expect the real bear trend to resume until the week commencing on Jan. 6 once all the suckers have gone long. That being said, if it did continue to fall, $6,800 is the support on the daily BB for Bitcoin, which is a key level to take note of.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of @officiallykeith 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.


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Good news in the short term, as Bitcoin could provide some interesting upward movements to finish 2019 with a bang

Bitcoin Steady Above $9.2K as ‘Volatility Collapse’ Predicts Big Move

Bitcoin Steady Above $9.2K as ‘Volatility Collapse’ Predicts Big Move

Bitcoin price: bulls still have the edge, says analyst

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Bitcoin (BTC) continued its downtrend on Nov. 7, barely keeping support above $9,200 as market commentators stay realistic about the future.

Cryptocurrency market daily overview

Cryptocurrency market daily overview. Source: Coin360

“Much bigger” BTC price move could come this week

Data from Coin360 shows BTC/USD down 1.6% on the day, circling $9,250 after a sudden dip saw markets bounce off $9,200.

That level has been in play for the past 72 hours and has seen two tests since local highs of $9,520 on Monday. 

The week’s behavior continues a broader trend which Cointelegraph reported on previously — Bitcoin remains range-bound between $9,000 and $9,500.

Bitcoin seven-day price chart

Bitcoin seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Now, commentators are considering the potential for a change in the pattern as volatility lessens. For Jim Wyckoff of gold outfit Kitco, that watershed could appear before the end of the week.

“Recent price action has choppy, quiet and sideways. This ‘collapse in volatility’ suggests a much bigger price move is right over the horizon—maybe yet this week,” he summarized on Wednesday.

Wyckoff added that bulls held “slight overall near-term technical advantage,” giving strength to the possibility of a break to the upside.

For regular Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe meanwhile, Bitcoin appears to be in a similar position to 2016, just before markets began a breakout to all-time highs of $20,000.

For him, Bitcoin hitting nearly $14,000 earlier this year followed by a consolidation period means that next in line is an uptick. This should happen by next May’s block reward halving and could take BTC/USD to $22,000.

“Looks similar to 2016 still,” he told Twitter followers on Wednesday.

Altcoins drip down amid lack of momentum

Altcoins meanwhile have seen a lackluster trading period over the past 24 hours, with most tokens losing several percentage points. 

Ether (ETH), the largest altcoin by market cap, lost $190 support after performing strongly through the week. 

Ether seven-day price chart

Ether seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Others fared worse, with Stellar (XLM) likewise reversing its gains to drop almost 8%. The exception was Tezos (XTZ), which gained 25% on the back of a staking deal with exchange Coinbase.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap stands at $250 billion, with Bitcoin’s share equating to 66.8% of the total.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here


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Bitcoin price: bulls still have the edge, says analyst

Mt. Gox Founder Knew of Security Risks Years Before Collapse, Lawsuit Claims

Mt. Gox Founder Knew of Security Risks Years Before Collapse, Lawsuit Claims

Mt. Gox founder Jed McCaleb is being sued by two traders who used the doomed exchange

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Mt. Gox founder Jed McCaleb is being sued by two traders who used the doomed exchange, court documents filed on May 19 show.

Joseph Jones and Peter Steinmetz have accused the ex-CEO of fraudulently and negligently misrepresenting the exchange.

The pair also allege that McCaleb was aware of “serious security risks” back in late 2010 or early 2011 — more than three years before 850,000 bitcoin (BTC) was stolen in an audacious hack. Their complaint adds:

“Rather than secure the exchange, McCaleb sold a large portion of his interest in the then sole proprietorship, and provided avenues to the purchases to cover-up security concerns at the time without ever informing or disclosing these issues to the public.”

Both of the plaintiffs describe themselves as experienced cryptocurrency traders. They said they were reassured by McCaleb following a “dictionary attack” in 2011, where a fraudster stole coins after targeting accounts with weak passwords.

The court document alleges that 80,000 BTC was already missing at that time, and claims that McCaleb sold a majority of his interest in Mt. Gox to Mark Karpeles instead of staying to repair the security issues.

While Jones said he owned 1,900 BTC at the time of Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy in February 2014 (worth $24 million at press time,) Steinmetz said he owned 43,000 BTC — crypto that would be worth more than $542 million at today’s rates. Both men are still in pursuit of their lost funds, and say they would not have used Mt. Gox had they known about the “significant security concerns” that existed in 2011.

In April, Mt. Gox rehabilitation trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi successfully petitioned a Japanese court to extend the deadline for the submission of rehabilitation plans to October 2019.

Meanwhile, back in March, former CEO Mark Karpeles was given a suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of tampering with financial records.

Mt. Gox was once the world’s biggest crypto exchange, and McCaleb later went on to become the founder of Ripple and the co-founder of Stellar.


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Mt. Gox founder Jed McCaleb is being sued by two traders who used the doomed exchange