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An article by the WSJ suggesting the non-fungible token (NFT) market is “collapsing” doesn’t show the full picture as contrasting analysis reveal a consolidation is instead taking place.

An article in the Wall Street Journal has claimed sales of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are “flatlining” — in the same week that the top five collections alone accounted for more than $1 billion in primary and secondary sales.

The article cited data from NFT market analysis platform Nonfungible suggesting the number of NFT sales has fallen by 92% since an all-time high in September 2021. Wallets active in the Ethereum (ETH) NFT market were also said to have declined by 88% since a high in November 2021.

“The NFT market is collapsing,” the article concluded.

Red line shows number of sales with volume on left y-axis, white shows active market wallets, volume on right y-axis. Source: Nonfungible

However, onchain data from Dune Analytics’ dashboard suggest that the NFT market is still robust, with information showing that NFT users and transactions are much higher than what’s reported by Nonfungible.

Dune Analytics total active NFT users
Dune Analytics NFT transactions per day

Analytics also show that volume per day in USD on Ethereum NFTs over the week is some of the highest seen since February with popular marketplace OpenSea seeing nearly $550 million in volume on May 1 alone.

Dune Analytics. Source.

Analysis from Tom Schmidt, partner at venture capital firm Dragonfly Capital shows a similar story when focused on OpenSea transactions and USD volume.

Sub-sectors within the NFT market are emerging and while some areas of the oversaturated market are in a downturn, others are seeing major gains.

Nansen’s analytics platform which indexes NFT collections by type show that “Blue Chip” NFTs — established and highly prized brands such as the Bored and Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Azuki tokens — are far outperforming art or gaming tokens.

The Nansen Blue Chip-10 Index tracking the top 10 NFT projects is up 81% year to date (YTD), while comparatively the indexes tracking the top art and gaming NFT collections are respectively down 39% and 49% YTD.

This phenomenon of NFT market capital consolidating into the top collections was pointed out in an analysis by NFTstatistics.eth who shared a chart in late April showing the top 5 collections are driving the Ethereum NFT market.

“There’s clearly a trend right now that five or six of the most successful projects are sharply outperforming while the rest are flat to down,” pseudonymous NFT market analyzer NFTstatistics.eth told Cointelegraph.

Related: OpenSea top-10 NFT projects soar as new liquidity enters the market

The data from Nonfungible shows a spike on May 1 with the number of sales and active wallets that day hitting numbers not seen in their data from November 8 2021 directly correlating with the record-breaking (and Ethereum breaking) Otherside metaverse land sale by Yuga Labs again contradicting the claim that NFT sales are “flatlining.”

It’s not clear why the Nonfungible data the WSJ relied on is misaligned with Dune’s data, however it could be due to the inclusion of sales volume from P2E gameAxie Infinity by Nonfungible.

Volume for the popular play-to-earn hit an all-time high of over $40 million on November 4 2021 before a gradual decline to its current levels of around $500,000 according to CryptoSlam data.

But the collapse in popularity of a P2E game as NFTstatistics.eth says “is an extremely different message from ‘NFTs are collapsing.’”

While the current debate focuses on Ethereum NFTs, Solana is fast becoming a popular blockchain for this type of asset and is the second-largest blockchain behind Ethereum for NFT sales volume.

Last week, the Solana NFT project Okay Bears topped OpenSea’s 24-hour sales tracker for the first time, and holds fourth place behind the Mutant Ape Yacht Club in 7 day sales volume on CryptoSlam with over $47 million worth transacted.

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An article by the WSJ suggesting the non-fungible token (NFT) market is “collapsing” doesn’t show the full picture as contrasting analysis reveal a consolidation is instead taking place.

An article in the Wall Street Journal has claimed sales of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are “flatlining” — in the same week that the top five collections alone accounted for more than $1 billion in primary and secondary sales.

The article cited data from NFT market analysis platform Nonfungible suggesting the number of NFT sales has fallen by 92% since an all-time high in September 2021. Wallets active in the Ethereum (ETH) NFT market were also said to have declined by 88% since a high in November 2021.

“The NFT market is collapsing,” the article concluded.

Red line shows number of sales with volume on left y-axis, white shows active market wallets, volume on right y-axis. Source: Nonfungible

However, onchain data from Dune Analytics’ dashboard suggest that the NFT market is still robust, with information showing that NFT users and transactions are much higher than what’s reported by Nonfungible.

Dune Analytics total active NFT users
Dune Analytics NFT transactions per day

Analytics also show that volume per day in USD on Ethereum NFTs over the week is some of the highest seen since February with popular marketplace OpenSea seeing nearly $550 million in volume on May 1 alone.

Dune Analytics. Source.

Analysis from Tom Schmidt, partner at venture capital firm Dragonfly Capital shows a similar story when focused on OpenSea transactions and USD volume.

Sub-sectors within the NFT market are emerging and while some areas of the oversaturated market are in a downturn, others are seeing major gains.

Nansen’s analytics platform which indexes NFT collections by type show that “Blue Chip” NFTs — established and highly prized brands such as the Bored and Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Azuki tokens — are far outperforming art or gaming tokens.

The Nansen Blue Chip-10 Index tracking the top 10 NFT projects is up 81% year to date (YTD), while comparatively the indexes tracking the top art and gaming NFT collections are respectively down 39% and 49% YTD.

This phenomenon of NFT market capital consolidating into the top collections was pointed out in an analysis by NFTstatistics.eth who shared a chart in late April showing the top 5 collections are driving the Ethereum NFT market.

“There’s clearly a trend right now that five or six of the most successful projects are sharply outperforming while the rest are flat to down,” pseudonymous NFT market analyzer NFTstatistics.eth told Cointelegraph.

Related: OpenSea top-10 NFT projects soar as new liquidity enters the market

The data from Nonfungible shows a spike on May 1 with the number of sales and active wallets that day hitting numbers not seen in their data from November 8 2021 directly correlating with the record-breaking (and Ethereum breaking) Otherside metaverse land sale by Yuga Labs again contradicting the claim that NFT sales are “flatlining.”

It’s not clear why the Nonfungible data the WSJ relied on is misaligned with Dune’s data, however it could be due to the inclusion of sales volume from P2E gameAxie Infinity by Nonfungible.

Volume for the popular play-to-earn hit an all-time high of over $40 million on November 4 2021 before a gradual decline to its current levels of around $500,000 according to CryptoSlam data.

But the collapse in popularity of a P2E game as NFTstatistics.eth says “is an extremely different message from ‘NFTs are collapsing.’”

While the current debate focuses on Ethereum NFTs, Solana is fast becoming a popular blockchain for this type of asset and is the second-largest blockchain behind Ethereum for NFT sales volume.

Last week, the Solana NFT project Okay Bears topped OpenSea’s 24-hour sales tracker for the first time, and holds fourth place behind the Mutant Ape Yacht Club in 7 day sales volume on CryptoSlam with over $47 million worth transacted.

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On this week’s episode of “The Market Report,” Cointelegraph’s resident experts discuss the most bullish cryptocurrencies at the moment.

The Market Report with Cointelegraph is live right now. On this week’s show, Cointelegraph’s resident experts discuss what they believe are the top three most bullish coins one should take a closer look at.

But first, market expert Marcel Pechman carefully examines the Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) markets. Are the current market conditions bullish or bearish? What is the outlook for the next few months? Pechman is here to break it down.

Next up: the main event. Join Cointelegraph analysts Benton Yaun, Jordan Finneseth and Sam Bourgi as each makes his case for the most bullish cryptocurrency right now. First up, we have Bourgi with his pick of Dogecoin (DOGE), which is incredibly popular mostly because of personalities like Elon Musk and Mark Cuban. There is even speculation that there will be some kind of DOGE payment integration with Twitter. The technicals of the coin are positive as well, and who doesn’t like a meme that has the potential to make you money?

Yuan is up next with his pick of Ripple’s XRP, which has always been in the top 10 cryptocurrencies. Ripple’s primary goal is to replace the SWIFT payment system via minimal transaction fees and incredibly fast confirmations. A tall order to fill, but one that could have a lot of potential upside for the project. It also has many strategic partnerships with governments across the globe and is already used by giants such as Santander and Bank of America.

In the third spot, we’ve got Finneseth with his pick of KAVA, the native token of the Kava platform, which is focused on decentralized finance applications. Kava is a layer-1 blockchain that claims to combine the speed and interoperability of Cosmos with the developer power of Ethereum. More than 15 projects have already been deployed on the Ethereum co-chain, including Ren, Wing Finance and WePiggy. An added bullish benefit is that staking KAVA can earn up to 35.44% APY. All three choices seem pretty strong to win the live poll at the end of the discussion, so stay tuned till the end to find out which option comes out on top.

After the showdown, we’ve got insights from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, a platform for crypto traders who want to stay one step ahead of the market. The analysts use Cointelegraph Markets Pro to identify two altcoins that stood out this week: NEXO and SWINGBY.

Do you have a question about a coin or topic not covered here? Don’t worry. Join the YouTube chat room, and write your questions there. The person with the most interesting comment or question will be given a free month of Cointelegraph Markets Pro, worth $100.

The Market Report streams live every Tuesday at 12:00 pm ET (4:00 pm UTC), so be sure to head on over to Cointelegraph’s YouTube page and smash those like and subscribe buttons for all our future videos and updates.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

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

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Short-term analysis sets a $2,400 price target for ETH, but data shows smart money continues to accumulate in anticipation of the Merge.

The upcoming Ethereum merge is one of the most widely discussed topics in the crypto sector and analysts have a wide range of perspectives on how the transition to proof of stake could impact Ether’s price. 

ETH/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

Whales accumulate ahead of the merge

A deeper dive into the ongoing accumulation of Ether by whale wallets was provided by cryptocurrency intelligence firm Jarvis Labs, which posted the following chart looking at the percentage change in whale wallet holdings versus ET price. 

Ether whale holding change. Source: Twitter

The color of the dots relates to the price of Ether, with the chart showing that whale wallets began decreasing their holdings when the price was above $4,000 and they didn’t start to reaccumulate until after the price dropped below $2,300.

Jarvis Labs said,

“Whales are continuing to accumulate Ether, their accumulation remains in sideways-to-uptrend.”

And it’s not just the whales who are looking to scoop up Ether on the dip as shown in the following chart where red dots indicate that both whale wallets and smaller wallets have seen an increase in accumulation. 

Ether divergence. Source: Twitter

Analysts at Jarvis Labs said,

“Looking at just the Ether wallets distributions, it can be inferred that Whales UP + Fishes UP (Both whales and Fishes seem to be accumulating). Merge narrative?”

Is an Ethereum decoupling on the horizon?

Analysts at Delphi Digital contemplated whether Ethereum price could decouple from BTC leading into or after the merge. The analysts also predict that the altcoin is “likely to see more consolidation for ETH/BTC in the short run.”

ETH/BTC price trends. Source: Delphi Digital

One of the main questions this chart elicits is what will it take for Ether to break free from “the invisible chain” that has kept it tethered to Bitcoin for so long.

According to Delphi Digital, the current bullish “ultrasound money” and “Merge” narratives surrounding Ether might be just the thing to help Ether break free from its correlation to Bitcoin price action.

Delphi Digital said,

“The interest in “post-Merge” Ether is only going to get stronger from here, especially as more people recognize the opportunity to earn higher real yields denominated in a deflationary asset.”

Ether staking gains momentum

Ether staking statistics. Source: Ethereum.org

Even with Ether price continuing to decline, data shows that the number of ETH staked on the beacon chain continues to increase. Data from Dune Analytics also shows increasing deposits to Eth2 and multiple analysts have shared their view on how institutional investors and whales might trade Ether in the pre and post Merge phase.

Lido Eth2 deposits. Source: Dune Analytics

Overall, the data shows that even with Ether price trading 42.5% away from its all-time high, the smart money continues to accumulate due to the expected boost in the staking reward percentage and anticipation that price will turn bullish once Ethereum becomes a deflationary asset.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Traders say BTC’s current price action aligns with the Bitcoin halving model, leading some analysts to expect a $24,000 bottom before the end of the year.

One of the most popular topics of debate within the crypto community revolves around the Bitcoin (BTC) four-year halving cycle and the effect it has on the long-term price of the top cryptocurrency. 

Bitcoin price failed to hit the long-predicted $100,000 level in 2021 and many crypto analysts now find themselves wondering about the outlook for the next 6 to 12 months.

Currently, BTC price trades below $40,000 and various technical analysis metrics suggest that further downside is more likely that a recovery to the $40,000 to $45,000 range. Let’s take a look at what analysts’ views are on Bitcoin’s longer-term prospects.

BTC/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

Bitcoin could bottom in November or December

A general overview of the four-year cycle theory was discussed in a Twitter thread by crypto analyst and pseudonymous Twitter user ‘Wolves of Crypto’, whose analysis indicates that “the most probable bear market bottom for Bitcoin will take place in November/December 2022.”

BTC/USD 1-week chart. Source: Twitter

This projection assumes that the peak BTC price of $68,789 back on November 10, 2021 marked the high of the last cycle and that the market is currently in the corrective phase typically seen after a cycle top.

The analyst said,

“The 200 week SMA has been the long-tested bear market bottom indicator for Bitcoin, and hence the bottom will likely be placed at ~$24,000.”

Should this model play out, the price of BTC will breakout above its previous all-time high sometime around August or September of 2023.

Bitcoin “seems a bit undervalued here”

The possibility that the bottom in BTC could come before the end of 2022 was hinted at by Willy Woo, an independent market analyst who posted the following chart suggesting that the “Orange coin seems a bit undervalued here.”

Highly liquid supply shock oscillator. Source: Twitter

The “Highly Liquid Supply Shock” metric quantifies on-chain demand and supply and shows its relative movement in standard deviations from the long-term average.

As shown on the chart above, each time the oscillator dipped as low as the current reading, the price of BTC entered a sharp rally shortly thereafter.

Woo said,

“Not a bad time for investors to wait for the law of mean reversion to play out.”

Related: Bitcoin is 40%+ down from its ATH, but on-chain analysts say it’s ‘starting to bottom out’

Bitcoin price is at a mid-term low

Many analysts believe that BTC could be in an optimal accumulation range, a point touched on by crypto market analyst Philip Swift. According to Swift, the active address sentiment indicator (AASI) suggests that BTC is in a buy zone.

Active address sentiment indicator. Source: Twitter

According to Swift, the AASI is currently “back in the green zone” which suggests that the “Bitcoin price change is at a sensible level relative to active address change.”

Swift said,

“This tool has a good hit rate across bull and bear markets for signaling a mid-term low.”

Indeed, a survey of the previous instances where the AASI hit levels similar to its current reading shows that the price of BTC hit its low point around the same time and proceeded to climb higher in the following weeks and months.

Generally, it appears as though Bitcoin’s price action is keeping in-line with the previously established 4-year cycle, albeit to a lesser percentage increase than expected.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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On this week’s episode of “The Market Report,” Cointelegraph’s resident experts discuss the top three trending altcoins to buy in 2022

“The Market Report” with Cointelegraph is live right now. On this week’s show, Cointelegraph’s resident experts discuss the top three trending altcoins you might want to consider looking at in 2022.

But first, market expert Marcel Pechman carefully examines the Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) markets. Are the current market conditions bullish or bearish? What is the outlook for the next few months? Pechman is here to break it down.

Next up: the main event. Join Cointelegraph analysts Benton Yaun, Jordan Finneseth and Sam Bourgi as each of them make their case for what they think is the top trending altcoin to buy in 2022. First up, we have Bourgi, with his pick of Terra Luna (LUNA) which offers a stablecoin system (UST) and a native blockchain. UST is now the third largest stablecoin with a market cap of $18.3B.

The Luna Foundation Guard also plans to spend about $10B on BTC reserves, but could there be a risk backing UST with an asset that has an entirely different risk profile? Also, the total decision on how to spend the $10B lies in the hands of one man, Do Kwon, the cofounder of Terra. Can a single person really decide how to spend such an enormous fund? 

Yuan is next with his pick of ApeCoin (APE) which has a current valuation of about $15B. It also has a lot of celebrity influence, a product structure similar to Tesla and an ecosystem that will unlock even more utility for ApeCoin, such as metaverse assets, property, rent, loans etc. On the downside however, nothing in the metaverse is operational at the moment and everyone is trusting in the vision of the board of ApeCoin. Plus, there is not telling yet, how it will compete with the likes of Meta, Google and Decentraland once it finally does get up and running.

In the third spot, we’ve got Finneseth, this week he has decided to go with STEPN (GMT) which brands itself as a Web3 lifestyle app and is designed to promote a healthier lifestyle where users can earn rewards for walking, jogging or running outdoors. It also integrates the concept of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with its “Sneakers” which can be equipped before the user starts their outdoor activity with GPS activated to earn rewards.

Users have the ability to level up their sneakers and then sell them on the marketplace for GMT, which can be converted to USDC. An interesting and unique concept but will it be enough to sway our loyal viewers to vote for him in our live poll?

After the showdown, we’ve got insights from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, a platform for crypto traders who want to stay one step ahead of the market. The analysts use Cointelegraph Markets Pro to identify two altcoins that stood out this week: Oasis Network (ROSE) and Everest (ID).

Do you have a question about a coin or topic not covered here? Don’t worry. Join the YouTube chat room, and write your questions there. The person with the most interesting comment or question will be given a free month of Cointelegraph Markets Pro, worth $100.

The Market Report streams live every Tuesday at 12:00 pm ET (4:00 pm UTC), so be sure to head on over to Cointelegraph’s YouTube page and smash those like and subscribe buttons for all our future videos and updates.

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The success of MoonBirds and traders’ anticipation of Yuga Labs’ The Otherside land sale is bringing a wave of fresh liquidity to the NFT market.

Spring is here and with it came a new found awakening for nonfungible tokens (NFTs). In the last week of March, total sales volume rallied to $20 billion, but this metric took a dive from mid April to $17.6 billion. 

However, on April 16, the newly landed Moonbirds NFT, pumped over $280 million worth of liquidity into the market and this, compounded with rumors of Yuga Labs’ Otherside land drop, sent the total volume sales for NFTs into a steady upward trend.

 NFT 30-day market cap / volume. Source: NFTgo.io

In the last 7 days the sector’s total market capitalization increased over 3% at approximately $18.6 billion and the total volume is up nearly 37% over $1.65 billion. 

While it’s yet to be determined if the “a rising tide lifts all boats” saying will be true for the NFT market, liquidity could be circulating into blue-chip NFTs and soon-to-be released collections.

Blue-chip tier volumes have been muted, but for how long? 

Liquidity has already been making its way to the top NFTs in total volume sales with Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) seeing a more than 200% increase over the last 7 days.

MAYC 7-day market cap / volume. Source. NFTgo.io

With the number of NFT holders and buyers increasing, projects and investors are looking toward building out ecosystems of mutual value. 

RTFKT studios’ CloneX has been emphasizing that the next stage of development will center on ecosystem building. CloneX has been riding a steady wave, hovering at around 18 Ether ($53,073). However, the mysterious MNLTH NFT, airdropped to all CloneX holders, has surged in the last 7 days to over 11 Ether since it no longer is a mystery box. Its contents revealed Nike’s first ever NFT CryptoKicks equipped with customizable features, a DNA vial for future forging events and a MNLTH2. For every MNLTH burned, the items acquired are currently worth at least $26,000. A Murakami RTFKT Skin Vial also recently sold for 72 Ether ($212,976)

While some projects are centered around ecosystems, others are focusing on shared interests and exclusivity.

PROOF Collective, created by Kevin Rose, is a members-only project that launched Moonbirds NFT and many traders were shocked by the $354 million in volume generated in less than a week. Surprisingly, Moonbirds nearly flipped blue-chip tier NFTs like Doodles for total volume.

The current floor price of Moonbirds has increased by over 390% since it hit the secondary market and is trading at 33.5 Ether ($96,447.84) at the time of writing.

Moonbirds floor price. Source: NFT Price Floor

NFT denizens have been vocal about the legitimacy of its explosive growth, especially after announcing the NFTs that were gifted to notable celebrities like Jimmy Fallon, Steve Aoki, Pussy Riot, the New York gallery and Springberg Gallery to name a few. 

Despite some NFT collectors speculating that Moonbirds would remove liquidity from the market, data shows the opposite to be true. In 24-hours the total volume sales on OpenSea increased by nearly three times from $66.7 million on April 15 to over $177.5 million when Moonbirds launched on April 16.

To date, NFT prices continue to see an upward trend and blue-chip tier NFTs have seen a boost in total sales volume across the board. Although there is a divide in sentiment regarding the Moonbirds phenomenon, it could have been the liquidity boost the market needed.

Related: Is the surge in OpenSea volume and blue-chip NFT sales an early sign of an NFT bull market?

NFT projects gearing up for launch

Run-of-the-mill NFTs have grown stagnant and the overall market sentiment has shifted gears from traditional roadmaps and quick-flips to strategically investing in projects and teams who are set to deliver for what investors believe will be years to come. NFT investors are keeping their eyes peeled for projects that can seamlessly intersect culture and community while providing value. 

As such, creators and developers are once again steering away from static PFPs and aiming to bring more dynamic features to respective collectors.

Take for example, Anata NFT, which launched on April 21 and is a collection of 2,000 avatars that are created for its owner to embody. Anata NFT uses a webcam to track and mimic facial expressions and other movements and the anime-inspired NFT is suited for the Web3 pundit who takes their anonymity seriously.

Minting was conducted through a ranked auction starting at 0.25 Ether ($752) and was limited to 3 NFTs per wallet. The bid closed at 5.35 Ether, whereby 50% of the net proceeds will be allocated toward its DAO. The highest bid was 69.42 Ether ($209,306) with the second highest bidder at 10 Ether ($30,150). This incredibly niche NFT, while seemingly anticipated for, is trading below the closing auction price on OpenSea for 3.49 Ether ($10,290). 

Auctions may be the new standard for NFT drops, as the most recently hyped NFT collection, Akutars, launched its public mint. In true dutch auction form, every bidder pays the same price as the (last) lowest bid. Bearing this in mind, Akutars started its dutch auction at 3.5 Ether ($10,552) and closed at 2.1 Ether ($6,211).

However, a white hatter revealed that the contract was not properly written and was susceptible to exploit, and froze funds as to confront the Aku team developers about their mishap.

As a result, all it took was a misplacement of one line of code for $34 million to be locked, indefinitely. The team has since acknowledged their shortcomings and have proceeded to distribute funds to all bidders, including the 0.5 Ether discount granted to all Aku Mint Pass holders who placed a bid.

The Aku Mint Pass NFT grants each owner an Akutar. Its all time-high rose over 4 Ether ($12,060) suggesting the community could price this in when the PFPs hit the secondary market. 

Sleeping giant, Ragnarok is what seems to be a PFP collection intended to unlock access to its game-like metaverse. The multiplayer online (MMO) that will combine elements of lore, Web3, social features and role-playing games and is set to launch on April 27.

The dynamic NFTs are projected to enable owners to trade, earn and own digital real estate and the public sale will be 4,500 Ronin Zeros at a dutch auction that will begin between 0.5 Ether and 0.1 Ether.

With new and old liquidity circulating in the NFT market, and highly-anticipated projects waiting to launch, it will be interesting to see where collectors make their consolidations and take their convictions.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.