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World’s biggest community of Bitcoin miners, China, is cracking down on cryptocurrency. A proactive step has been taken by regulators for shaping the stratospheric increase of Bitcoin. According to President Xi Jinping, there’s been booms and busts in the economy for a decade. As a result, the role of China in the cryptocurrency’s world is going down.

Is it allowed to trade Bitcoin in China?

Bitcoin can be traded only in over-the-counter markets. According to some analysts, it is a slower process that increases the credit risk.

Is China anti-cryptocurrency?

Not really. A bank named “The People’s Bank of China” has run trials of its own prototype cryptocurrency, as it is a prime step to being the very first central bank, that is going to issue digital money.

What is China doing exactly?

Well, China banned initial coin offerings (ICOs), that are equal to initial public offerings for new virtual currencies. Later, it stopped local exchanges from trading cryptocurrencies and also delineated proposals to dampen bitcoin mining. Then it moved to Chinese companies that were listed in abroad skirting to stop its domestic ban on ICOs. Now it’s intended by the officials to block the domestic access to mobile apps and other online platforms that offer such services for cryptocurrencies.

Companies that promote themselves as blockchains, to boost their shares are also being targeted by domestic stock exchanges. It’s a part of an effort by agencies like China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, central bank and the cyberspace administration.

 Bitcoin Value in China

 

What is the reason behind the crackdown in China?

Cleaning risks from financial markets have been government’s statement for almost two years, but there’s been no clear explanation yet. The thriving shadow banking sector is also among the main concerns of the government, although digital currencies also provide a way to move money out of China.

 

Where else are officials clamping down?

South Korean is known as the home of most of the frantic cryptocurrency trading. Some banks are being inspected because of the allegation of money laundering and the country is considering to close such cryptocurrency exchanges. Also, in the past year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission started to work fast on digital token sales.

What’s the effect of China’s actions?

Because of inexpensive power and cheap labour, miners gathered to China, but now they may have to look somewhere else. Bitmain is running China’s two major Bitcoin-mining collectives and is setting up district HQs in Singapore. The #3 mining pool, also known as “BTC. Top” is also opening a facility in Canada. Wallet services and bitcoin exchanges in the country are also leaving. Also, they’re setting up over-the-counter shops in Hong Kong and in other areas of Singapore/South Korea.

What about cryptocurrency prices?

The prices appeared to shrug off the news of increased regulations in China. However, according to analysts, the growing tide of regulation has a hefty impact on digital currencies and it’s also helping in explaining the hefty losses since the starting of 2018.

Story credit: fortune.com

Image Credit: BitNews

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Bitcoin Averted a Split – What’s Next?

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The Bitcoin development community is embracing a software upgrade which is known as SegWit. The purpose of SegWit is to increase the transaction capacity of the network and to avoid a split which possible in the cryptocurrency. As Bitcoin averted a split and here is what some proponents have to say about “What’s next for Bitcoin”.

Adam White:

The head of Digital currency exchange ‘GDAX’, Adam White said, we are going to experience a better utility of the network. People can use Bitcoin as a source to transfer money more easily, more cheaply, and more quickly. It’ll attract the new users to the network.

There’ll possibly open blockchains like Bitcoin as we’re going forward, and that will be slow or conservative progression. But there’ll be other blockchains as Ethereum which may move much rapidly and it’ll introduce a larger platform for developers to lead it at the top. According to Adam White, both things will balance each other, not compete.

Elizbeth Stark:

According to the head of startup Lightning Labs, Bitcoin does not have Turning-Complete language as Ethereum, but there are some new amazing factors which will enable to do so when SegWit will implement. She gave few examples as:

  • Small transaction as less than 1 cent, which may replace “ad networks”.
  • Instant-transaction confirmation in milliseconds.
  • Bitcoin can get a lot of its own ICOs.

Matthew Werner:

The head of payments engineering at Coinbase describes that it is a beneficial step for Bitcoin. There were a lot of queries about a Split but reaching a consensus for how to scale the Bitcoin further is obviously a huge step. Allowing things like Lighting Network and activating SegWit will be a great thing. By expanding the block size, we’ll be able to increase the number of users on a network. The element BIP91 came through and it’s a good signal because everyone wants to grow this network further.

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RUSSIA TAKES A U-TURN- LEGALIZES BITCOIN

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Back in 2016, Russian institutions had announced that anyone seen trading cryptocurrencies would be jailed. However, a year after, the government declared that Russia will legalize the use of cryptocurrencies.

So Why The Change After a Year?

The reasons lie behind the serious issues Russia’s been attempting to discuss for a while now. Their economy is falling apart since 2014, with their banking sector being affected the most.

The Russian Central Bank has been stressing more anti-corruption campaigns, to address banks that use money-laundering methods to remove capital from the country. With around 100 banks being shut down in the last three years, things aren’t looking so bright for Russia. As told by the Central Bank head, Elvira Nabiullina, the campaign will be continuing for at least 2 more years.

Liquidity Crisis:

The cost of closing down a bank isn’t cheap; this process has cost the Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA), around $50 billion. Along with this, the Central Bank is trying to dodge the liquidity concerns that arise with closing banks. Increased cash shortages are causing social unrest among the regions of Russia.

Corruption is another issue the Russian central authorities are working to reduce. The banks that were shut down were all involved in lending money to companies that carried out no real business activities, giving fake loans to individuals and money laundering.  Unfortunately, their owners are the first to flee when investigators begin to take matters into their hands.

Eliminating Fraud:

Shutting down banks is not enough to eliminate the occurrences of fraud and its impact on their economy. Instead, they must find a solution to stop it from happening in the first place.

To begin with, they can implement new technological applications that allow the government to observe people involved in the system. They’re approaching it enthusiastically due to its complete concealment from the government and unlike traditional currencies, Bitcoins are mined.

One is able to purchase Bitcoins with paper money on any bitcoin exchange portal or banks. These bitcoins can be used to purchase all sorts of goods and services, provided it’s allowed in that country.

Although, governments’ fear the anonymity that comes with cryptocurrencies, as it could help in money laundering. It’s a good news to them that the blockchain system is very transparent and allows tracking of user transactions.

Blockchain:

A blockchain is a distributed public ledger that keeps track of all bitcoin transactions taking place, basically keeping a record of everything.

The three main characters:

  • It consists of no central database or server that can be hacked.
  • Easily accessible by the network members who can view the transactions in real time.
  • It is completely encrypted.

This is another reason why the Russian authorities want to implement this technology to their financial systems. The benefits that come with using blockchain technology include faster processing speed, lower fees, and most importantly increased security. These features have attracted the Russians and they’re now working their way into the digital world.

We’re not aware if the Russians are planning on digitizing their banking sector completely, however they do have plans to adapt to the existing blockchain technology so that they develop a better understanding of the digital world; until banks can develop their own systems.

For now, their aim is to decrease the amount of fraud and corruption circulating throughout the financial sector. By doing this, they would be able to bring down government costs and get back on track.

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Cryptocurrency Market Crash: Bitcoin Price Has Dropped Below $10,000

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The price of Bitcoin has dropped by 11% today, on January 31, and once again, the cryptocurrency market is struggling to recuperate from its preceding corrections. Other major cryptocurrencies like Ripple, Ethereum and Cardano have also dropped by 8 to 13 percent and have triggered the cryptocurrency market crash.

Performance of Bitcoin:

In December, the valuation of the cryptocurrency market fell by more than 30%, and since the cryptocurrency market crash, most of the cryptocurrencies have struggled to record hefty gains in the cryptocurrency market. So, we can say that the crash in the performance of bitcoin is not exclusive to bitcoin.

Cryptocurrency Market Crash

Bitcoin is among one of those few major cryptocurrencies (excluding Ethereum), that hasn’t recorded a 50% drop from its all-time high. Whereas, other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash and Ripple, have dropped by almost 60% from their all-time highs. Apparently, the current price trend of bitcoin shows that the cryptocurrency isn’t performing well in terms of adoption and user activity.

Robinhood is a US-based financial services company that allows individual investors to invest in publicly traded companies and the stock market. Robinhood recently announced that it is going to launch a cryptocurrency exchange and a bitcoin, also, it will allow traditional finance market investors to trade in the cryptocurrency sector.

It is expected that the Robinhood’s cryptocurrency trading platform will launch in February. Above 998,000 users have already signed up to get the early access to Robinhood’s cryptocurrency trading platform and that is almost 10% of the user base of Coinbase.

Multiple hedge funds have expressed their sanguinity this week towards the short-term trend of bitcoin. There have been many rumours in the market that the institutional investors in the finance sector have sold huge amounts of bitcoin in an attempt to lower the price of bitcoin purposely.

 Acceptance by Retailers & Other Financial Sectors:

South Korea’s one of the largest e-commerce platforms “WeMakePrice” have started to adjust twelve cryptocurrencies into their present system in partnership with Bithumb. Soon, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Qtum, Ethereum, Litecoin and EOS will be accepted by WeMakePrice, which will make it South Korea’s first retailer to accept cryptocurrencies.

Right now, the cryptocurrency market is endeavouring to reflect this speedy adoption of cryptocurrencies by retailers and large-scale companies, which bitcoin sceptic, Howard Schultz (Starbucks chairman), has labelled as the only essential feature for the progress of cryptocurrency market.

As the major cryptocurrencies in the market such as; Bitcoin and Ethereum, continue to be adopted by retailers and other major financial sectors, within few weeks, the valuation of the market would certainly upsurge.

 

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How One Simple Trick By Ripple Almost Dislodged Bitcoin

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In 2017, the cryptocurrency conjecture went mainstream. By going mainstream, it means that the market isn’t dominated by cryptocurrency enthusiasts anymore. We’ll have to accept that the mainstream investors with even a little bit of knowledge of cryptocurrencies are in charge of the market.

A Wall Between Investor And Stupid:

The unit price of a coin is a pointless basis for making investment choices. Even a bitcoin could’ve been a sub-cent item if Satoshi had chosen the final cap to be 21 quadrillions instead of 21 million and the unit price of a bitcoin would’ve been $0.00001697 right now instead of $16,790. But the total market cap still would be $284 billion. Nothing would change except that everyone would have million times more bitcoin and the unit price would be also quite cheaper.

 

Since many cryptocurrencies, as well as bitcoin, are divisible down to Satoshis (10^8), no matter what the supply is, as long as the currency has enough particles to go around for the economic use cases imagined so it could function properly. The number isn’t much important itself, although it doesn’t affect the unit prices, which automatically means that it has a massive impact on the investment choices of mainstream investors.

 

You must’ve been wondering the reason why we look for the market caps when we compare coins. Well, this is because it is how we compare cryptocurrency’s values as a whole, instead of just looking at the unit prices. To envisage this in a fine way, we can normalize the supply for various altcoins to see what the prices would be if they all had the same supply.

 

Zcash is the best example to explain what this actually means. Zcash supply when all the coins are mined the same as bitcoin (21 million), but right now, there are only 31 million mined ones. Also, when you’re looking at sites like Coinmarketcap, it’ll tell you that Zcash has a market cap of just $2.1 billion. It places Zcash far down on the list because it has just 0.6% of bitcoin’s market cap.

 

The price of Zcash is $727 which is almost 3.2% of bitcoin’s $16,098. You’ll have to pay 0.035 bitcoin to buy Zcash if you’re buying with a bitcoin. Zcash must accumulate a market cap of $12bn, to climb to the 12th spot on Coinmarketcap. The reason why the site is listing the coins the way they are is that it tells us what the implied valuation is for coins when they’re bought at current prices.

 

You can get far in your determinations to become a more informed trader than most of the people in the market by just using your common sense and a calculator. Being able of properly comparing the coin valuation doesn’t matter if no one else is doing it.

 

It’ll take a lot of time for the markets to eventually force these prices to sort out themselves. Until they do it, it’s your diligence to ensure that you’re on the right side of that alteration.

 

Story credits: news.bitcoin.com

Image: Google images

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China Central Bank adviser: “Bitcoin can be an asset, not a currency”

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Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are assets, but calling them currency is a bit exaggeration. The digital coins do not meet the fundamental attributes needed to be classified as currency. These are the words of the Chinese Central Bank adviser, Sheng Songcheng.

The advisor made these comments in an interview with a financial magazine ‘Yicai’ this late Thursday.

The Main Story:

“Bitcoin does not have the fundamental attributes needed to be a currency as it is a string of code generated by complex algorithms… But I do not deny that virtual currencies have technical value and fall under the category of ‘assets’,” he said.

He made these comments after the Chinese Central Bank increased the scrutiny of Bitcoin exchanges in the country earlier this year. The move introduced trading fees and prompted the companies to stop margin lending.

While many governments around the world are still contemplating on how to regulate and classify Bitcoin, the Chinese authorities have already classified Bitcoin as a ‘virtual good’.

Sheng also believes that Bitcoin after being capped in 2140 would make it impossible for it to become a medium of exchange as to become a medium of exchange a currency must meet modern economic development needs which Bitcoin lacks due to it being in an exceedingly small quantity.

He concluded by saying that the fiscal authorities in China should chip away at issuing a central bank virtual currency that it could direct and run properly.

News Credits: CNBC

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