Bitcoin price headed lower today in a $8 sell-off (Bitfinex) catalyzed by the news that Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht had been sentenced to life imprisonment & OKCoin was dealt another PR blow.
Bitcoin Price Analysis
BTC-China 15-Minute Chart
From the analysis pages of xbt.social, earlier today:
The market was going to sell-off anyway. It was evident from price action during the past few days that $230 and 1440 CNY may be targeted. The sentencing of drugs dealer Ross Ulbricht to Life Imprisonment was a suitable catalyst for a sell-off. At first notice, the news did not seem to impact directly on Bitcoin. However, it clearly did: the market used the news as a sell signal despite the fact that Ulbricht had been sentenced for dealing drugs and not for using Bitcoin.
Meanwhile, PR troubles are stacking up for OKCoin. A Reddit post by ex-CTO, Changpeng Zhao makes various allegations against OKCoin CEO, Star Xu. Later in the day, OKCoin responds with a public statement on Reddit, claiming that Zhao’s statements are false due to his lack of understanding and incompetence. OKCoin claims they realized Xhao was incompetent to the task of CTO the day he started working. Strange that they would then keep him in job for months – with customer funds at stake – under an “incompetent CTO”. This whole saga is not OK. A great pity, because OKCoin’s margin offering is one of the best out there.
One matter worth discussing here, is Zhao’s revelation that OKCoin runs bots “under instructions from Star Xu”. Other Reddit users chimed in with similar allegations against Bitfinex and BTC-China (i.e. that they employ bots). The use of bots and “algos” is standard practice across the Market Making industry – notably, the forex market making banks, such as Citi Bank and Deutsche Bank, employ algos to control everything from spread to order matching to price movement itself. They do not try to hide the fact. It is, arguably, not a crime on the part of OKCoin, but rather an indication to exchange users of exactly what we are dealing with: emulation of the centralized bank model and all its short-comings.
Whether OKCoin’s laundry is clean or dirty is immaterial: their trustworthiness is in question; their reputation is damaged; and their model faulty. OKCoin should use the current adversity as an opportunity to steer away from the crooked bank-style exchange model and become a leading example of what Bitcoin traders do want to see:
- implement client-side multi-sig wallets
- make their accounting & exchange records public and prove solvency
- pay Roger Ver and resolve the matter of alleged contract forgery – customers do need to be able to trust OKCoin with their hard-earned bitcoins
- provide a blockchain-based futures and exchange platform
Without assurances from OKCoin about priority number 1, client-side multi-sig wallets, there is no risk-free justification for anyone to keep their bitcoins at OKCoin (or any exchange/broker). Mounting pressure for OKCoin to comply to point 2 may eventually force an exchange-run that can be averted if OKCoin implements client-side multi-sig wallets. xbt.social members like OKCoin’s margin offering, but will be willing to change broker if OKCoin does not establish trust and reduce the current risk to client funds.
Those CoinCompeition participants that held on to long positions have sacrificed much of their profit margin. Even so, the leaderboard has not changed much. kaymuddin is back thanks to the same short position that first got her in the top 10.
With one day remaining in the competition, Winner may be the victor. If there is any surprise price action, during the remainder of Saturday and on Sunday, standings may still change and get Fijibound to his destination.
The price pattern reminds you that every movement of importance is but a repetition of similar price movements. – Jesse Livermore
Bitcoin price decline is becoming labored. Technically, there is still room for decline to $220 / 1380 CNY and $212 / 1300 CNY. However, it is difficult to reconcile continuing decline with prevailing sentiment. Many traders are looking up in the chart, and the source of the pessimism evident in the price chart is puzzling. Best to stay out of the market for now.
Bitfinex orderbook depth and Buy/Sell Volume:
What do readers think? Please comment below.
Readers can follow Bitcoin price analysis updates every day on CCN.
The writer trades Bitcoin. Trade and Investment is risky. CCN accepts no liability for losses incurred as a result of anything written in this Bitcoin price analysis report.