Morning Asian Altcoin Trading Roundup: the leader is Icon

FOMO Moments

We start the week on a positive note with all altcoins trading higher during this morning’s Asian session. Bitcoin has remained steadily above $8,000 and is up 4.4% on the day, this has created confidence in the altcoins which are also enjoying positive price action this morning. Looking through the top 25 we can see a couple of contenders with double digit increases but Icon is performing the best at the time of writing.

According to Coinmarketcap ICX is up 16.5% in the past 24 hours and has moved from $3.52 this time yesterday to $4.23 today. Icon has been a solid performer over the past week rising from the February 6 dip at $2.50 by over 75% to where it trades today. It has yet to reach the heights of its record of just over $12 on January 10 however.


The ambitious project aims to weave all of the cryptocurrencies together into one large decentralized co-existing network. The grand plan for this South Korean blockchain team is to interconnect various organizations including financial institutions, insurance companies, healthcare, and universities together. As yet Icon has no major partners however traders are evidently interested in the token as reflected in its performance today.

Unsurprisingly ICX is traded largely in Southeast Asia with Binance taking over 90% of the total trade volume. It has a market capacity of $1.6 billion and a low supply of only 400 million tokens. Over $65 million has been traded in ICX over the past 24 hours and it is currently ranked at 21st in the charts.

Other altcoins enjoying double digit increases this morning are Ripple, Neo, Ethereum Classic, and Bitcoin Gold. An unknown coin called U.Cash has surged up the charts with over 900% increase in 24 hours seemingly on the back of its recently completed ICO.

More on Icon can be found here:

FOMO Moments is a new section that takes a daily look at the top 25 altcoins during the Asian trading session and analyses the best performing one, looking for trends and fundamentals. 

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Key Points

  • Bitcoin cash price is trading inside a range, but it is holding the $1,150 support area against the US Dollar.
  • There is a short-term connecting bearish trend line forming with resistance at $1,240 on the hourly chart of BCH/USD (data feed from SimpleFX).
  • The pair has to move above the $1,250 and $1,350 levels to gain upside momentum.

Bitcoin cash price is currently consolidating above $1,150 against the US Dollar. BCH/USD must break a couple of key resistance such as $1,350 to trade further higher.

Bitcoin Cash Price Range

There was a short-term high formed around the $1,370 level in bitcoin cash price against the US Dollar. The price started a minor downside correction from the $1,370 high and declined below $1,300. There was also a break below the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the upside wave from the $935 low to $1,370 high. It opened the doors for more declines and the price tested the $1,150 support along with the 100 hourly simple moving average.

Moreover, the price almost tested the 50% Fib retracement level of the upside wave from the $935 low to $1,370 high. The mentioned $1,150 support is a major buy zone and it seems like the price is holding the stated level very well. At the moment, the price is trading inside a range above the $1,150 level. On the upside, there is a short-term connecting bearish trend line forming with resistance at $1,240 on the hourly chart of BCH/USD. The pair has to move above the trend line and settle above $1,250 to retest the $1,300 level. Above $1,300, the price may retest the $1,350 resistance.

Bitcoin Cash Price Technical Analysis BCH USD

On the downside, the $1,150 support holds a lot of importance and it must hold to avoid further slides.

Looking at the technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD for BCH/USD is mostly flat.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BCH/USD is attempting to move above the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $1,150

Major Resistance Level – $1,350


Charts courtesy – SimpleFX

Altcoins are recovering and even though there is a little bit of correction from key resistance levels or middle BB, prices are likely to pick up the positive momentum this week.

LTC/USD, NEM/USD and NEO/USD in particular are trending at key levels.

Let’s have a look at these charts:


alt coin XLM/USD Technical analysis
XLMUSD Daily Chart for February 12, 2018

See the influence of $0.40? That is the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement line and buyers didn’t close above it on February 10.

Fact is, a doji candlestick is clear and that is where sellers are finding support as visible from yesterday’s price action.

There’s a little bit of buy pressure and even though the week is bullish, all we need is either a continuation of bears as prices retrace towards $0.30-or the lower limit of our consolidation or a break and close above $0.40 and hopefully the middle BB.

Of course, this back and forth movement of prices isn’t helpful for trend traders and going forward, there is a high chance of prices snapping back as buy momentum pick up if we take cue from the stochastics.


alt coin XEM/USD Technical analysis
XEMUSD Daily Chart for February 12, 2018

From the chart, NEM sellers found fair prices to liquidate on February 10.

That is precisely when prices momentarily trended above $0.55 and after close, sellers stepped on the gas pedal, driving prices even lower.

The thing is, as long as prices continue to range within the $0.20 range between the 78.6% and 61.8% retracement lines, then NEM will be in consolidation mode and bears are definitely in charge.

Momentum wise, bulls “appear” and set to recoup their previous losses but that is nothing if there is no strong break out above the middle BB.


alt coin EOS/USD Technical analysis
EOSUSD Daily Chart for February 12, 2018

By end of last week analysis, it would have been desirable if EOS push and closed above $9.5.

However, judging from price action, that didn’t come to pass and prices are actually reversing and heading back towards $6.5.

For buyers to bounce back from this slow down and push back above $9.5 and if not, we I recommend sell triggers below our main support at February 6 lows of $5.6.


alt coin LTC/USD Technical analysis
LTCUSD Daily Chart for February 12, 2018

From the charts, it’s clear that LTC prices are still moving below our first layer of resistance-the middle BB and that is despite the positive momentum as the stochastics shows.

Picking out tips from our previous analysis of this pair, all  we need is a bullish spike above $170 or repulsion of higher prices as bears push prices back below $100.

This $70 range is what is important for us in the short to medium term.


alt coin NEO/USD Technical analysis
NEOUSD Daily Chart for February 12, 2018

Clear price rejection above $130 is what we can see if we consider the past 4 NEO trading days.

Look at the long upper wicks before the trickle down on February 9 and 10 and the consequent bear confirmation yesterday.

The thing is, odds of higher highs would be have been higher if we had NEO above $130 and even with last week’s retest of $70, all that we need is either a confirmation of bull resumption or bear pick up as per week ending February 6 bear candlestick.

In my opinion, this week’s candlestick will either make or break this pair and because of this set up, I expect support at $85 in the coming days.

All charts courtesy of Trading View

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

  • Bitcoin price is testing an area of interest, still deciding whether to make a bounce or break higher.
  • A bounce could take it down to the Fibonacci extension levels from the latest correction on the 4-hour time frame.
  • A break past the $9,000-10,000 levels, on the other hand, could allow the long-term rally to resume.

Bitcoin price is testing a crucial resistance level, as its reaction could determine whether further declines or a reversal is due.

Technical Indicators Signals

The 100 SMA is still below the longer-term 200 SMA so the path of least resistance is to the downside. This means that the selloff is more likely to resume than to reverse. In addition, the 100 SMA lines up with the channel resistance, providing an extra upside barrier.

A continuation of the selloff could take it down to the 38.2% extension or to the 61.8% level closer to the channel support and $5,000 mark. Stronger selling pressure could take bitcoin price down to the 76.4% extension at $4,230 or the full extension at $2,271.60.

However, stochastic is on the move up from the oversold level to indicate that buyers are taking over. A break higher could still encounter a roadblock at the 200 SMA dynamic resistance. RSI is on the move down, though, so there may be some bearish pressure left in play.

Market Factors

Risk appetite appeared to return to the financial markets on Friday as the US government ended a brief shutdown. Markets also gapped higher this week to erase some of the previous week losses, and it’s worth noting that bitcoin price has been tracking higher-yielding assets like equities and commodities lately.

Analysts have been split on their forecasts, with some predicting that bitcoin price has room to fall before recovering while others say that the major correction is over and that the uptrend is set to resume.

Either way, the cryptocurrency could keep taking its cue from sentiment and equity markets for the next few days as the correlation seems to be strengthening.

This past Friday, financial regulators in Japan began on-site inspections of 16 digital currency exchanges — two weeks after hackers stole $530 million in NEM tokens from Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, the largest virtual coin heist in history.

Despite this heist — and concerns over lax security at other exchanges — regulators, investors, and enthusiasts in the country have not been deterred. While China has banned cryptocurrency exchanges outright, reportedly because the government intends to create its own digital currency, and South Korea has outlawed anonymous transactions, the Japanese government has embraced the blockchain phenomenon.

The government believes it can take the lead in the regional cryptocurrency race, which it hopes will drive economic growth and bring the government a hefty sum in taxes. According to one estimate, the government could benefit to the tune of Y1 trillion, or $9.2 billion, a year.

And it’s not just the crypto community and the state, Japanese companies are increasingly accepting payment in digital currencies, with over 10,000 companies already accepting Bitcoin instead of cash, including Peach, the nation’s largest budget airline, and electronics retailer Bic Camera. Further, the eighth-largest bank in the world, Tokyo-based Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, is developing its own cryptocurrency.

The problem, demonstrated by both the recent Coincheck heist and also the February 2014 hack and subsequent collapse of Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange in Tokyo, is that regulators are playing catch-up in a quickly developing industry. As such, some exchanges have been permitted to remain vulnerable. In the case of Coincheck, the NEM coins were stored in a “hot wallet” instead of the more secure “cold wallet,” which operates on platforms not directly connected to the internet. Coincheck also didn’t implement an extra layer of security known as a multi-signature system.

“Innovation has been so fast that the government and bureaucrats until recently did not understand the functions of the blockchain or what a ‘cold wallet’ or a ‘hot wallet’ is,” said Ken Kawai, a partner at the law firm Anderson Mori & Tomotsune — who are serving as cryptocurrency advisers to the government. “Japan’s financial regulators are traditionally very conservative and never the first to move, but that has changed and Japan wants to be friendly to fintech,” he said. “It is just that nobody expected it to happen this fast.”

“I see a lot of energy and enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies here, despite what has happened,” said Scott Gentry, founder of the FreeAbound business development consultancy in Tokyo. “In the Coincheck case, the owner was told that he needed to have multi-signature security protocols in place, but he claimed he ‘never got around to it’, which is simply dereliction of duty to his clients.” This could be an example of gross negligence on the part of Coincheck; other Japanese exchanges have also been accused of irresponsible advertising.

Mining Bitcoin can be a lucrative venture under the right circumstances. With access to sufficient hardware, the mining process becomes a lot easier. Additionally, operators need cheap electricity to keep operational costs low. In Iceland, it seems the demand for electricity is on the rise thanks to Bitcoin mining. In fact, the electricity consumption for mining Bitcoin may outweigh the regular at-home consumption of the entire country.

Few regions provide access to affordable electricity these days. Iceland is one of best places to look for renewable energy. It is not surprising multiple Bitcoin mining firms have set up shop in the country over the years. With low electricity fees and a cold climate, Iceland is in a prime position when it comes to cryptocurrency mining. Thankfully, the region has an abundance of renewable energy to ensure this trend is manageable, for the time being. As is always the case, there are certain downsides to these developments as well.

The Future of Bitcoin Mining in Iceland

More specifically, there is a chance Bitcoin mining will be taxed in the future. Such a measure is suggested by Pirate Party’s Smari McCarthy. Whether or not this will become an official law, is a different matter altogether. Most Icelanders remain skeptical of speculation, which is a second nature in cryptocurrency. Any company creating value on Icelandic soil pays a certain amount of tax. There is no reason to think Bitcoin mining operations are any different in this regard.

Additionally, it appears the energy consumption associated with Bitcoin mining is on the rise. If this trend continues, the consumption will double to nearly 100 megawatts in 2018. That is a lot more than all of Iceland’s households consume during the same time period. Discussions about Bitcoin mining’s energy-hungry nature have become more vocal in other countries as well. Even though Iceland has lots of renewable energy solutions, the government will seek something in return for their efforts.

Compared to traditional payment methods, Bitcoin mining is extremely energy-intensive. Processing a credit card transaction is not without its costs either, though. It is evident these discussions will always attract a lot of different opinions. In the end, it comes down to how Icelandic officials want to “treat” this business model moving forward. Introducing a tax for Bitcoin miners is not ludicrous, although it won’t be a popular decision either. Given the lack of Bitcoin regulation in the country, it remains to be seen how this situation unfolds.

The cryptosphere is growing exponentially as enthusiasts across the world are hard at work on improvements and new technologies. Let’s take a look at a few of these techs, and what they could mean for the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain in 2018.

1. Off-chain channels

A concept that first saw light in 2015, off-blockchain payment channels make it possible to operate without the blockchain itself. Most associate it with Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, but others are also developing similar technologies. Essentially, off-blockchain payment channels permit two people using any one cryptocurrency to send small payments back and forth, connecting to the blockchain — with its oft high fees and slow transaction times — only when absolutely necessary.

The developers behind the Lightning Network report that the technology is almost ready, and implementation is already underway. And Ethereum developers, while they often don’t see eye-to-eye with their Bitcoin peers, are at work on a similar solution, recently unveiling successful tests for their version of the concept, Raiden Network — with a more ambitious version, Plasma, around the corner.

2. Real-live staking

As cryptocurrencies grow, so do mining efforts — and this is requiring an ever-increasing amount of energy. Proof-of-work, the consensus protocol that underlies Bitcoin mining, is certainly an energy-intensive process. As such, there are concerns about its energy use and related environmental effects.

This leads us to a concept called proof-of-stake, or consensus by vote, which is beginning to be implemented by Ethereum developers: The long-awaited Casper is likely to be under significant scrutiny this coming year, as early versions are beginning to see the light already. In a test released on New Year’s Eve, a variation of Casper was deemed to be functional. Karl Floersch, a leading developer behind the technology, told CoinDesk at the time that the code is working with “no hiccups.”

Work remains to adopt this early version of Casper across the different Ethereum clients, but Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin has said he expects that Casper will be tested alongside other technologies, including Raiden, MicroRaiden and other proof-of-work implementations, in the near future.

3. Privacy advances

Privacy has been a somewhat neglected promise in a majority of blockchain technologies, but it’s nonetheless an issue that should see improvements this year. Most notable is the advances in what’s called zero-knowledge proofs. Buterin has called it “the single most under-hyped thing in cryptography right now,” and the technology is only getting cheaper and easier to deploy.

This method of hiding information without risking validity is already being adapted into Ethereum, which could lead to a wave of startups experimenting with private smart contracts in novel ways. In a white paper published earlier this month, a system for achieving zero-knowledge without compromising trust — a point of contention in some earlier iterations of the tech — was released, an update which could have exciting consequences.

As existing tech continues to mature, privacy-centric cryptocurrencies such as Monero and Zcash are also set to improve. In preparation for an upgrade, Zcash has been steadily reinforcing its security, while Monero is stepping up to implement “bulletproofs,” a feature that could cut fees by as much as 80%.

4. Decentralized exchanges

As the industry’s largest exchanges struggle to cope with the influx of new users, an increasing number of projects are at work developing something called a decentralized exchange. These will not just be new variants of browser-based exchanges, but rather a type of software users can use to swap one cryptocurrency for another without a central entity.

2017 saw a flood of new decentralized exchange projects, such as ShapeShift’s Prism, 0x, OmiseGo, Kyber Network, and more. So far this year, hardware wallet Ledger has already integrated with decentralized exchange Radar Relay, allowing users to trustlessly exchange tokens based on the Ethereum blockchain. While functionality is limited — it’s only supported by a single wallet and only Ethereum-based tokens can be sent — many in the industry see it as a glimpse into the future of how cryptocurrencies are exchanged. Other truly peer-to-peer, decentralized exchanges like and openANX are expected to launch before the end of the year