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BTC’s price has rallied by 40% since 1 January.

Investors have recorded significant gains, and now, a price reversal might follow. 

Exchanging hands at the $23,200 price mark at press time, the leading coin Bitcoin [BTC], currently trades at levels last seen in August 2023. On a year-to-date basis, BTC’s price has rallied by 40%, per data from CoinMarketCap.

Sharing a statistically significant positive correlation with several other assets in the market, the growth in BTC’s price has resulted in the growth in the value of several other crypto assets in the last month.

According to data from CoinGecko, global cryptocurrency market capitalization has increased by 21% in the last month.

Holders are in profit, but for how long?

BTC’s rally to a five-month high in the last month has led many of its holders to log profits on their BTC holdings. An assessment of the cost basis for short-term and long-term holders revealed this.

The cost basis for any BTC holder is the average purchase price of the BTC they possess. This considers any variations in BTC’s price at the time of purchase. This cost basis determines capital gains or losses when the BTC is sold. 

According to Twitter analyst Will Clemente, the cost basis for short-term and long-term BTC holders were $18,900 and $22,300, respectively.

However, since BTC’s price has rallied beyond these points, these cohorts of investors were “no longer underwater,” Clemente said. 

Bitcoin has now reclaimed its long-term holder cost basis ($22.3k) in addition to its short-term holder cost basis ($18.9k) and the aggregated cost basis. Behavioral shift as holders in aggregate are no longer underwater.

— Will Clemente (@WClementeIII) January 29, 2023

Further, CryptoQuant analyst Phi Deltalytics assessed BTC’s short-term Spent Output Profit Ratio (SOPR) and found that “sentiment from Bitcoin short-term on-chain participants has reached the greediest level since January 2023.” According to the analyst, the SOPR was positioned well above the bullish threshold of one, indicating an overly stretched market.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the Bitcoin Profit Calculator

Deltalytics noted further that the bullish trend could be short-lived without an increase in stablecoin reserves on spot exchanges. 

A look at Crypto Fear & Greed Index confirmed the analyst’s position. At press time, the index showed that greed permeated the cryptocurrency markets.

When the index is in the “greed” range, it means that investors have become increasingly confident and optimistic about the market and may be more willing to take on risk.

This also suggests that prices are becoming overvalued and that a market correction may be imminent.

An assessment of BTC’s movement on the daily chart confirmed the possibility of a price correction. Since 21 January, the king coin has traded in a tight range.

When BTC’s price oscillates within a tight range, it means that the price is not making significant moves in either direction and is staying within a relatively narrow band. 

An analysis of BTC’s Money Flow Index (MFI) and Chaikin Money Flow (CMF) indicators raised more concerns as these technical indicators have been trending downwards since 21 January. 

The tight range of BTC’s price combined with downtrends in the MFI and CMF suggested a lack of buying momentum and potential for increased selling pressure.

This also showed that the market was likely to break down from the tight range to the downside.

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That ‘Alien Megastructure’ Star Might Actually Be A Planet

Artist’s concept of dust orbiting a ravenous star T.Pyle/JPL-Caltech/NASA

Tabby’s Star probably isn’t surrounded by an energy-sucking alien super-structure. But it may have eaten a nearby planet.

The star, known more formally as KIC 8462852, has baffled scientists by quickly and erratically losing brightness. In observations made over a period of just 100 days, the Kepler telescope captured the star dimming dozens of times, and once dramatically so—by 22 percent.

That’s not just mysterious—it’s nearly unexplainable.

A new study set to be published Monday in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society suggests that smart aliens aren’t responsible for KIC 8462852’s dimming. Instead, the authors suggest, a planetary collision with Tabby’s Star is to blame. This crash would explain not only why Tabby’s Star has had wild fluctuations in brightness as of late, but why the star has been dimming gradually over the course of the last century.

It seems strange that a spectacular collision between a star and planet would cause a star to become dimmer, explains Ken Shen, a UC Berkeley astronomer and author on the study. But, says Shen, “the star has to eventually go back to being dimmer—the equilibrium state—the state that it was at before the collision.”

KC 8462852’s more recent and erratic dimming episodes, however, can be explained by a mess of debris moving around the star and absorbing its light, sometimes making it appear significantly dimmer to us Earthlings.

One possibility is that a rocky, Earth-like planet was pushed into Tabby’s Star. As it got closer, explains Brian Metzger, a Columbia University astrophysicist and one of the study’s authors, the star could tear off the planet’s mantle, leaving a hot, chaotic bunch of material—perhaps the mass of the moon—off-gassing around Tabby’s Star. The ensuing clouds of gas and dust could absorb Tabby’s light. Meanwhile, the star would consume the planet’s core.

Or, says Metzger, a massive Jupiter-sized planet could have been pushed into Tabby’s Star, leaving some of its moons to be stripped apart by Tabby’s gravity and leaving a wealth of cosmic wreckage in orbit around the star.

But what might have pushed a planet so dangerously close to Tabby’s Star in the first place? A short cosmic distance away—1,000 Astronomical Units, or 1,000 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun—Tabby may have a companion star, perhaps half its size, explains Metzger. “It’s possible that outer star is giving periodic gravitational kicks to the planets around Tabby’s Star,” he says.

The Dyson Sphere still remains a hypothetical contender in the endeavor to explain Tabby’s mystery. But Metzger believes that Tabby’s Star might not be so rare. The Kepler telescope, which found Tabby’s Star, only looked at 100,000 stars in a small part of the sky, which is not too many, he says. But if all the stars in the galaxy, or beyond, were observed, millions of other planet-consuming stars might be found that also produce this curious light-dimming effect.

Otherwise, says Metzger, “You would have to believe that there are a million other alien civilizations assembling Dyson Spheres right now.”

The Worst Thing About Electric Cars Might Not Be An Issue For Much Longer

Tesla

Doug Hines, CEO of a software company in Decatur, GA, has logged hundreds of miles in his Tesla. In addition to the obvious perks of owning an all-electric car—little maintenance, no exhaust, and just downright fun to drive — there was one he hadn’t expected: the unfailing generosity of people willing to offer up their home chargers to a stranger, often for free.

“It amazes me how people are so open to have anybody come to their home, drive into their garage, and plug in their car,” says Hines, 55, who lives in Lithonia, GA. “I’ve probably been to about six or seven homes on long trips. People have been so gracious. Some have even invited me to spend the night.”

Doug and Sheryl Hines Doug and Sheryl Hines

In a Dayton, Ohio suburb, Hines took one family out to dinner as a thank you for giving him a charge. In Battle Creek, Michigan, he left a Panera gift card for a man who was away from his home when Hines arrived, but who “left his garage door up for me,” he says.

“We plan our trips around charging,” says Hines, a father of six, who drove an SUV — “the only car that has 8 seats” — for 20 years, until the last of his children left for college. “I’ve had to depend on the kindness of strangers. I grew up in Detroit, where nobody trusted anybody outside your neighborhood. I love the idea that people are generous enough to make their chargers available.”

The PlugShare network, where Hines found places to charge his car along his route, is one example of the countless incentives created by proponents of all-electric vehicles to encourage people to own and drive them, and to ease consumers’ “range anxiety,” or worry that the battery will run out before getting to a destination or charging station. Hines himself is a member of PlugShare, offering up the charger located outside his Decatur office building to anyone who needs it.

In addition to nationwide volunteer peer-to-peer sharing, cities, states, utilities and private companies are setting up charging stations for the public. Some states, like Massachusetts and New York, are providing grants to municipalities and businesses to help them reduce the costs of installing EV charging stations, or even adding electric vehicles to their fleets.

Many utilities, like Kansas City inPower & Light, are installing public EV charging stations and offering cheaper electricity rates for those who charge their vehicles during off-peak hours. Utility companies see electric cars as a new and growing segment of the electricity market, especially as people can plug in at night when demand is at its lowest.

Public charging stations in the Boston area PlugShare

Several states, including New York, California, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, now offer rebates of up to $3,000 to defray the price of all-electric vehicles. This is in addition to the federal tax credit of $7,500 for buying an electric vehicle.

“These types of incentives that make EVs less expensive and more convenient are starting to pay off,” says Gina Coplon-Newfield, director of the Sierra Club‘s electric vehicles initiative. “Last year, U.S. EV sales jumped 37 percent over 2024 sales, despite low gasoline prices. Many people have figured out that — with cheaper fueling and maintenance costs, and with state incentives — EVs are actually cheaper than many conventional vehicles, in addition to being much lower in emissions.”

Moreover, she adds, “EVs are cleaner today than conventional vehicles, even factoring in the emissions from the electricity used to charge them. EVs will become even cleaner over time as we switch to more renewable sources of power.”

Currently, there is a paucity of easily accessible public charging stations, but that is likely to change.

A Tesla charging station Pixabay

“As we get more electric cars on the road — and we’re starting to get more on the road — the public infrastructure is going to follow,” says Dave Reichmuth, senior engineer in the clean vehicles program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Reichmuth says he recently bought a Chevy Bolt, a new, affordable EV that gets an estimated 238 miles with a single charge.

Kansas City Power & Light, for example, recently invested $20 million to install 1,000 public charging stations throughout its service area, which hugs the Kansas-Missouri border. These include chargers at workplaces, in apartment garages, at grocery stores, in city parking lots and malls, and near its baseball and football stadiums. The project has helped turn this Midwestern metropolis into a fast-growing EV hub.

Companies also have begun to recognize that supporting electric vehicles is good for business because it makes their workers happy. MilliporeSigma, for example, the life science component of the Germany-based Merck KGaA, is expanding its charging stations at its sites around the world and sponsors a number of incentives to encourage its employees to purchase EVs and hybrids.

In the United States, it has installed charging stations in its parking lots at its facilities in Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Wisconsin. The company will add them to its forthcoming facility in Burlington, Massachusetts.

Charging stations sold by LilyPad EV LilyPad EV

“This program supports the work that we do to increase our environmental sustainability in all aspects of our business,” says Jeffrey Whitford, the company’s head of corporate responsibility. “Our employees are one of the driving forces behind these investments… it gives [them] options, and supports their desire to work for a socially and environmentally responsible company.”

Larry Kinder, the CEO of LilyPad EV, a company that markets charging stations, believes the future of EVs is secure. “The old days of cars not having the range are gone, and they are becoming more affordable,” Kinder says. “What else can you drive that becomes cleaner all the time?”

To be sure, there also are disincentives to EVs, particularly at a time when sentiment at the federal level is hostile. The new administration opposes renewable energy, and has not proposed anything to support electric cars in its energy plan.

Moreover, a number of states have imposed fees for owning an electric car, or have introduced legislation that would charge fees, some as high as $300 a year. Others, like Georgia, have repealed their tax credit and replaced it with a fee, causing EV sales to drop there.

“It’s an unnecessary headwind, though not likely to derail EVs,” says the UCS’s Reichmuth. “It makes sense to have a mechanism to make sure that all drivers contribute to road maintenance, but some of the fees are much higher than what the driver of an efficient gasoline car would pay. Some states, Oregon for example, are looking at a per mile fee to replace per gallon fees, which would tie revenue directly to driving, rather than fuel consumption.”

At the national level, Reichmuth acknowledges “these are trying times,” but adds, “I am still really excited about what’s happening in transportation right now.”

For his part, Hines would agree. He loves his car and is happy doing something positive for the environment. “This whole global warming thing is scary,” he says. “Every time I pull up behind some truck spewing out exhaust, I hope the driver will see the light — or at least my car.”

Marlene Cimons writes for Nexus Media, a syndicated newswire covering climate, energy, policy, art and culture.

This Spherical Asteroid Might Be Our Solar System’s Tiniest Dwarf Planet

Two billion years ago, somewhere out past Mars, a small world ended. Then, after picking up its pieces, a new world was born. Astronomers call that new world Hygiea, and they just caught their first direct glimpse of it and its catastrophic history.

Asteroids have historically been too small to see clearly from Earth, but with the introduction of adaptive optics—a technology that cancels the atmosphere’s blurring effect for crisp Hubble-like photos—astronomers have spent years using the Very Large Telescope in Chile to work their way through the largest, brightest asteroids. At about 270 miles wide, Hygiea ranks fourth largest in the belt, after Ceres, Vesta, and Pallas. While Ceres is heavy enough for gravity to draw it into a sphere during formation (classifying it as a dwarf planet), Vesta and Pallas aren’t, so the punier Hygiea’s rotundness puzzled researchers. “When we started analyzing the data, we were kind of surprised to see how spherical this asteroid is,” says Franck Marchis, a coauthor and planetary astronomer at the SETI institute.

Instead, the researchers hypothesize that the shape represents a scar from a past trauma. According to their simulations, another asteroid roughly 50 miles across could have torn through the originally lumpy pre-Hygiea, basically liquifying it. Some pieces continue in similar orbits today, but gravity collected most of the remains and sculpted them into the smooth world astronomers are now seeing. The study emphasizes that objects in the asteroid belt are more than inert leftovers, that they, like planets, have their own unique stories. “Some have moons, some have been destroyed,” Marchis says. “These bodies are truly geological worlds.”

In keeping with Hygiea’s complex history, the team also points out that the object now satisfies the official criteria to join Eris (about 1440 miles across), Pluto, Makemake, Haumea, and Ceres (about 600 miles across) as the sixth and smallest dwarf planet: it orbits the sun, is not a moon, is part of an entourage of similar objects, and—crucially—has enough heft for gravity to make it round.

The team has plans to submit Hygiea to the International Astronomical Union (IAU)—the organization that names and classifies objects and features in space—for consideration, but the road to official dwarf planethood is long and uncertain. Most astronomers agree that Sedna, Quaoar, and Orcus (Pluto-like planetoids orbiting beyond Neptune) also fit the definition, and their candidacy was discussed during an IAU symposium in 2009, yet a decade later their status remains in limbo. Caltech astronomer Mike Brown, who has discovered many planetoids, also maintains a database of hundreds more possible dwarf planets.

Receiving a dwarf planet classification wouldn’t change how scientists view Hygiea, but it could affect the public perception of the object’s significance, not to mention textbooks and encyclopedias. More than a decade after Pluto’s astronomical demotion, for instance, the topic still inspires strong feelings on both sides.

One reason for the candidate pileup is bureaucratic. The IAU has two working groups for naming objects, one for planets and moons, and another for “small bodies” below a certain brightness. Both work together to name dwarf planets, but dimmer objects like Sedna or Hygiea fall exclusively under the purview of the small bodies group, which doesn’t try to draw a line between small bodies and dwarf planets, according to group member Keith Noll. This process ends up adding a soft requirement that a body be at minimum 550 miles wide for both groups to consider it, and for it to have a chance at dwarf planethood.

Another reason is scientific. The dwarf planet category remains poorly defined because the community has so few examples to go on. Hygiea, for instance, probably didn’t have the mass to become round while forming, but only did so after being destroyed. Whether that counts as planetary enough for the IAU remains an open question, but researchers can learn a lot from such categorical edge cases regardless. “This is going to be very much an object that helps us probe the transition zone for how impacts affect an object,” says Michele Bannister, a planetary astronomer at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

And Hygiea is likely just the first of an upcoming batch of dwarf planet examples. As a new generation of astronomical equipment (such as the Extremely Large Telescope) switches on over the next decade, astronomers should be able to move beyond the asteroid belt and resolve the shapes of even the dim objects beyond Neptune. Researchers have been able to infer a lot about the icy bodies from indirect observations, but seeing is believing, and more detailed surface maps similar to Hygiea’s will help researchers better sort the diversity of solar system objects into useful categories.

“That’s the way science works. It’s not a rigid law that we never change,” Marchis says. “The IAU may come back to a better definition of dwarf planet that will include Pluto, Quaoar, Eris, Hygiea, and so on, based on seeing those bodies and truly understanding what those bodies are about.”

How Far Into The Future Does Bitcoin’s Dominance Go

Cryptocurrencies, overall, witnessed a massive surge lately. Bitcoin, for instance, crossed the much anticipated $60k mark. Different analysts have projected a $100k mark for the prime cryptocurrency by the end of this year. However, some analysts expect limit to the upside in bitcoin despite the possibility of it reaching an ATH. Rather, they shared their perspective on an incoming bear market.

Digital asset analyst Jason Pizzino released a new video on Youtube to address his subscribers on the aforementioned topic. According to this analyst, Bitcoin dominance and market sentiment played a role in determining a bear run.

Meanwhile, based on history, money flows into Bitcoin during a bull market thereby increasing Bitcoin’s market share in the cryptocurrency market.

The crypto market is in one of the final phases of Bitcoin increasing its market share. Post this, money flows back out into altcoins.

“So if we’re repeating something similar to history at the moment, maybe we are on one of these last stages of Bitcoin regaining some dominance before the money flows back out into alts. And people get that one last hit of euphoria and adrenaline while their money goes up.”

The chart below highlights the same.

So now the question that arises is, when will the bull run come to an end?

Consider the chart above. Well, the main thing we look at here is, “when we get these turning points – when the market starts to slow and then reverse back the other way,’ the analyst said, adding,

“This is the time when the money is flowing back into Bitcoin and then as you can see for a shorter period of time comes back into alts because people think, ‘Well, maybe it’s time for the alts to play again.’ But it gets a higher bottom in this case, and then it’s back into Bitcoin. So it looks like the alt party is over.”

But was it actually true? According to Pizzino, some signs could be observed.

“So we can see we’ve got two bottoms – a little double bottom here and the money is flowing out into Bitcoin, but there are still some old coins popping off within this period. It’s just not spread across the entire space.”

Indication of a bearish run

When favorable news fails to push the price up, it’s an indication that the market has turned bearish. In fact, Bitcoin has been going through the same.

With Bitcoin, a lot of the bad news isn’t really affecting it too much. “We are still getting higher lows and the market continues up and on the flip side, the good news is still pushing the market up,” he opined and further stated,

“If and when we flip into a bear market, it’ll be the reverse. The good news will just hold the market up. It won’t actually push it up too much, and the bad news will continue to dump the market even harder.”

Overall, BTC did suffer a slight correction of about 2% in the past 24 hours. At press time, it was trading at the $60.7k mark. Does this setback really indicate the arrival of the bear?

Apple Has 2X Or More Credit Cards On File Than Amazon

Following Apple’s most recent earnings report, Tim Cook revealed in a conference call with analyst that there are now more than 800 million iTunes accounts in use and said that “the majority of those have credit cards behind them.”

How does this compare to Amazon, the king of online commerce? Turns out that Apple actually has twice as many credit cards on file than Amazon, at least. This poses a tremendous opportunity should Apple decide to introduce a mobile payment service of its own, as expected…

Independent industry analyst Horace Dediu shared the above chart in a tweet this morning, highlighting the stunning gap between the two technology giants.

A few noteworthy highlights:

Apple’s per-account iTunes revenue in the March quarter was $35 per year.

The number of total iOS devices sold to date is 836 million units, which isn’t much higher than the 800 million iTunes accounts.

There are approximately 329,000 iOS users added daily across all Apple products. A cool sixty million new registered users were added in the past six months alone.

Amazon added nine million accounts in Q1 2013, nine million in Q1 2012 and seven million in Q1 2014.

Throughout 2011, Amazon added 34 million new account. In 2012, the figure was 36 million. In 2013: 37 million.

The Amazon data is not tablet specific so these active accounts are shoppers.

A disconnect between the number of active iTunes accounts and iOS devices exists because not all iOS devices are new purchases (many are upgrades). Besides, some folks own multiple iOS devices, some accounts don’t have a valid payment method attached and others are being used for stuff beyond payments.

For those wondering what counts as Software/Services in the chart below, it’s the App Store, Mac App Store, iBooks Store, iTunes Store, iCloud, iTunes Match, Apple’s pro apps, AppleCare and revenue from Google traffic acquisition costs on Apple’s mobile and desktop platforms.

iTunes revenue per account.

iTunes revenue per account.

It’s just startling.

Apple is a hardware company that runs a few online-only digital stores and sells both its own and third-party products via its online stores. Amazon is both an online commerce company and a physical goods reseller that sells way, way more digital and tangible items compared to Apple.

Dediu’s chart focuses on just the number of active credit cards on file. We don’t know which accounts are being used to purchase digital items such as apps and media in the App Store and iTunes Store and which ones get used for purchases of physical goods.

However, this is beyond point – an active credit card on file is an active credit card on file no matter what it’s being used for.

Sources told Re/code that Apple is “very, very serious” about mobile payments and Tim Cook hinted that mobile payments were “one of the thoughts behind Touch ID.”

iDownloadBlog has discovered that Apple is getting ready to roll out its sophisticated fingerprint reader across the entire iOS device family (it’s currently an iPhone 5s exclusive).

That being said, if there really is an Apple-branded mobile payment solution in the works, the established iTunes user base with credit cards on file will surely give Apple a huge lead over Amazon.

Assuming such a solution launched soon, would you be willing to pay for physical goods using your iTunes account?

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