Vietnam strictly ceases imports on all cryptocurrency mining equipment

According to Vietnamese customs departments, the country has stopped allowing the importation of cryptocurrency mining equipment.

Yesterday Viet Nam News reported that importing of equipment for cryptocurrency mining had been ceased at the beginning of July and since then, local businesses and independent cryptocurrency miners were unable to bring any mining hardware into the country, as claimed by the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department.

Viet Nam News stated:

“The department said firms and individuals imported more than 3,664 cryptocurrency mining rigs in the first six months of the year, most of which were ‘Antminer’ branded models from China. Four enterprises imported more than 3,000 machines this year, while the rest were imported by individuals and organisations, which do not have import tax codes. Last year, HCM City Customs Department completed customs clearance for more than 7,000 Bitcoin and Litecoin miners. Meanwhile, the Hanoi Customs Department approved import of 190 Bitcoin miners and 350 Litecoin miners.”

Vietnam cracked down on cryptocurrency regulations towards the end of last year and remain one of the countries still against Bitcoin with the government declaring that virtual currency does not constitute a “lawful means of payment”, while explicitly saying that the “issuance, supply, use of Bitcoin and other similar virtual currency as a means of payment is prohibited.” Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been forbidden as a means of payment by law and failure to comply can result in criminal prosecution and those using cryptocurrency can be fined up to $9,000 USD.

Now, the country is strictly restricting the mining of cryptocurrency, following a scam by Bitcoin.vn, a cryptocurrency trade exchange which was seized by the government for conducting the illicit business.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance initially presented a prohibition on importing equipment in June following the scam, and the Minister has since said that State management is required for “agencies to take strict control measures with the import and use of this [crypto mining] commodity’.

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How difficult is it to use the Lightning Network for every day use?

The Lightning Network is the most exciting and paramount development underway for the Bitcoin ecosystem in recent years. The Lightning Network is widely regarded as the ultimate solution for the scaling problem plaguing blockchain technology. If things pan out as hoped it could be the killer app that could break the barriers hindering mainstream adoption. Let’s take a quick overview about the current state of Lightning Network and potentially how easy or difficult it could be to incorporate the Lightning Network into everyday use.

What is Lightning?

The Lightning Network is a second layer solution on top of Bitcoin which allows users to perform transactions off-chain instantaneously in a secure fashion.

Given that each transaction doesn’t require to be recorded on the public ledger, this implementation enables for over a million transactions per second. Essentially users can open payment channels with each other where both of them commit to a certain amount of Bitcoin to the channel.

From here, users can send each other multiple payments and once they’re done they can close the channel which settles the final amount on the blockchain. Lightning network is cryptographically designed in such a way that if either of the party decides to act maliciously they are penalized and will end up losing the Bitcoin they committed to the channel.

While the implementation might not apply to general transactions, the payment channel mechanism allows parties that transact frequently to exchange seamlessly. The basic idea is that smooth payment channels, such as one with yourself and the coffee shop you frequent, will solve the scaling problems and lead to mainstream adoption.

The state of Lightning in 2018

There are currently three implementations of the Lightning network being worked on by Lightning Labs, Blockstream and ACINQ. All three clients are currently in beta and in their nascent stages.

The easiest way to use Lightning network is to use the web wallet HTLC.me where users can simply create a wallet and start exchanging Bitcoin over the Lightning network. While the website currently uses test Bitcoin for transactions the basic idea still holds true for the main network.

If you intend to use a native client instead, Lightning App by Lightning Labs is an efficient way to transact. The application has a very intuitive and easy user interface which makes it easier for a beginner.

Zap is another desktop client with a wonderful GUI which uses the same technology as Lightning App on its backend.

There are also mobile applications such as Eclair Wallet for Android and Zap for iOS (currently work-in-progress).

These applications are not necessarily ready for mainstream usage just yet and it is definitely still risky to transact large amounts. However, it is evident that these application lay solid groundwork and prove that Lightning Network isn’t necessarily too complex to use.

The main difficulty in the realm of Lightning Network is definitely going to be adoption. Convincing people to lock up a certain amount of Bitcoin for the payment channel is going to be the tricky part.

There is a certainly a “catch 22” element because while lightning is definitely going to ramp up adoption, it’s adoption is certainly depended on the popularity and usage of Bitcoin in general. However, with more rapid onset of groundbreaking technologies in the ecosystem it isn’t a stretch to say that the Lightning Network might just be the solution that brings Bitcoin to the masses.

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In the wake of 2018’s BRICS summit, where do emerging nations stand on crypto?

Comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, world leaders from emerging economies gathered this Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa to attend the 2018 BRICS summit.

An association of emerging national economies, BRICS member-nations meet annually at summits and collectively represent over 3.1 billion people. Each summit sees member-states co-operatively discuss mutual development and themes from emerging market spaces – and as such, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0) weighed highly on this year’s agenda.

Industry 4.0 itself is a loose term denoting automative trends defined by the Internet of Things, cloud and cognitive computing, and cyber-physical stems. More broadly, the term has also recently enjoyed connotations with blockchain technology – which has been thought to be the genesis of faster, more trustworthy, reliable, and low-cost settlements and transactions.

Speaking at the summit, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa urged BRICS countries to develop new policies to deal with the fourth industrial revolution – saying “by working together, I am certain that we will be able to confront the challenges and seize the opportunities that this new of development presents.”

While Ramaphosa has previously issued his optimism on the creation of unilateral – and potentially digital – currencies, not all of the BRICS nations have been aligned to the idea of supporting cryptocurrencies, or much less developing national digital currencies.

Brazilian officials nabbed for Bitcoin-powered money siphoning scheme

Brazil

In April this year, the Brazilian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain launched in São Paulo with the view of fostering the growth and adoption of digital currencies while in dialogue with local governement.

Despite the organization’s founding, the Brazilian Central Bank has previously played a cautious role in raising concerns around a potential ‘Bitcoin bubble’.

The Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain has largely lobbied for the rapid drafting and adoption of sufficient legislation to accelerate the use of cryptocurrencies within the region.

Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission previously banned registered investment funds from investing in cryptocurrencies – though, interestingly, the Commission has allowed Brazilians to take indirect ownership of cryptocurrencies by investing in funds that themselves had stakes in funds that were invested in cryptocurrencies.

Presently, the Commission has a working group to develop new regulations fro crypto-assets, while the Brazilian education system has benefitted from the first Master’s degree in Cryptofinance offered by Fundação Getúlio Vargas.

Russia

While Russian government and President Vladimir Putin himself has remained skeptical of cryptocurrencies in general, the Russian Central Bank has both mulled the creation of a state-backed digital currency.

Recently, two of Russia’s largest banks – Alfa-Bank and Sberbank – have trialed cryptocurrencies within regulatory sandboxes

At the time, Anton Rakhmanov – the man responsible for managing the development of the product offer of the Alfa-Bank’s “Private Wealth Management” division – elaborated on his opinion that virtual currencies will be included sooner or later in the global economy and it would be unwise to ignore them.

While six cryptocurrencies have been trialed, only four have been named to the public – specifically, BitcoinEthereumBitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

In May this year, a Russian arbitration court of appeals recognized cryptocurrency as a property with value – while earlier in March President Putin confirmed that cryptocurrencies would ultimately be regulated under the Digital Assets Regulation Bill.

Ripple considered a 2 billion XRP giveaway to secure dominance in Indian markets

India

Perhaps the most stony-faced BRICS member, India’s Reserve Bank moved to cull support for both persons or businesses that deal in cryptocurrencies in April this year.

Previously, India’s Finance Ministry had limited the functionality of cryptocurrency exchange accounts after criticizing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for having a ‘lack of basic utility’.

In a move that would later prompt outcry from local cryptocurrency communities, the Reserve Bank wrote that “In view of the associated risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling VCs. Regulated entities which already provide such services shall exit the relationship within a specified time.”

Ultimately, a petition against the Reserve Bank’s decision was brought to bear – over 18,000 signatures, directed to the Reserve Bank as well as the Prime Minister of India, called for a for a cryptocurrency-friendly framework and identifies the ‘hypocrisy’ of the Reserve Bank’s bid for its own digital currency.

The Reserve Bank has not, however, outright dismissed the idea of a national cryptocurrency. Elaborating on its interest in digital currencies and their underlying foundation, the Reserve Bank has noted its interest in the “rapid changes in the landscape of the payments industry along with factors such as emergence of private digital tokens and the rising costs of managing fiat paper/metallic money.”

More recently, a new legal report revealed that Indian lawmakers have mulled legalizing the country’s sports betting industry, and would be prepared to accept cryptocurrencies as legal payment methods.

China

While China shocked cryptocurrency markets in 2017 with a spot decision to ban several international cryptocurrency and ICO websites behind the so-called ‘Great Firewall’, the nation has instead seemingly committed its efforts to developing a number of technical improvements to blockchain technology itself.

In March this year, a new report from the head of China’s Banknote Blockchain Research Center claimed that the development of a state digital currency is underway.

The Banknote Blockchain Research Center is a subsidiary of the People’s Bank of China through both the China Banknote Credit Card Industry Development and the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation.

Previously, People’s Bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan claimed that the development of a state-backed digital currency is “inevitable”.

In the mean-time, the Blockchain Research Institute division at the China Electronic Information Industry Development has continued to release evaluations of leading cryptocurrencies – with June’s report outlining that EOS is the most convincing cryptocurrency network.

Among technical improvements, Chinese researchers have further gathered to develop blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platforms, as well as new blockchain scaling solutions.

south african reserve bank

South Africa

South Africa’s President Cyril Rampahosa set tongues wagging earlier this year with the proposition for a single and potentially digital African currency, South African efforts have largely focused on launching new FinTech programs for blockchain technology as well as clarifying legal stances.

In February, the South African Reserve Bank announced a new FinTech programme which will seek to evaluate assess the impact – and potential regulatory requirements – of newer financial technologies such as cryptocurrencies.

According to the Reserve Bank, the programme will launch with three objectives; the first will see the review of private cryptocurrencies, which will, in turn, inform ‘an appropriate policy framework and regulatory regime’.

Secondly, the Reserve Bank aims to investigate the ‘applicability’ of innovation facilitators such as hubs and accelerators, and finally aims to facilitate ‘Project Khoka’ – a new initiative which will experiment with distributed ledger technologies.

In April, the South African Revenue Service outlined that it will continue to apply “normal” income tax rules to cryptocurrencies where taxpayers will need to declare their according gains or losses as part of their taxable income.

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Winklevoss brothers’ Bitcoin ETF rejected, Bitcoin retreats below $8,000 USD

In gloomy news for a cryptocurrency market that was showing new signs of vitality, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’ proposed Bitcoin ETF for a second time.

The news comes shortly after the SEC elected to delay its verdict on several other proposed Bitcoin ETFs until September this year, and further turned down a proposed rule change from Bats BZX Exchange.

As a result, Bitcoin has retreated below the $8,000 USD mark to trade at $7,900 USD at press time – a damning reversal given the gains the pre-eminent cryptocurrency made earlier this week.

The Winklevoss brothers first proposed a Bitcoin ETF earlier in 2017, where their initial proposal was turned down on March 10th.

While the news does not create a damning indictment on other proposed Bitcoin ETFs, it remains to be seen as to whether another proposal might shift the SEC’s continued stance.

The SEC has previously elaborated that it may one day approve a Bitcoin ETF – noting that “over time, regulated bitcoin-related markets may continue to grow and develop.”

Principally, proposed Bitcoin ETFs have endeavored to track Bitcoin prices offered through Bitcoin Futures contracts – and the SEC has argued that both low Futures volumes and liquidity do not constitute a worthwhile price index.

The Commission made a hopeful submission, however, indicating that “existing or newly created bitcoin futures markets may achieve significant size, and an ETP listing exchange may be able to demonstrate in a proposed rule change that it will be able to address the risk of fraud and manipulation by sharing surveillance information with a regulated market of significant size related to bitcoin, as well as, where appropriate, with the spot markets underlying relevant bitcoin derivatives”.

At press time, Bitcoin is down by -3.77% day-on-day, and presently trades at $7,913.80 USD.

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What is a Bitcoin ETF?

While Bitcoin presently enjoys several Futures markets offered through the likes of CBOE and CME, the pre-eminent cryptocurrency has yet to achieve another financial milestone: inclusion in an Exchange Traded Fund – or ETF.

What is an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF?)

An ETF, simply put, is a marketable security that tracks either an index of funds, a commodity, or a basket of assets.

Rather than serve as something similar to a mutual fund (a professionally managed investment program funded by shareholders that trades in diversified holdings), ETFs trade similarly to a common stock on a stock exchange next to other listed companies or assets – think Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL), or Gold.

ETFs hence trade similarly to a stock, and do not have a net asset value (NAV) calculated once at the end of every day. However, ETFs enjoy higher liquidity (the degree to which an asset can be quickly bought or sold) and usually employ lower fees than a professionally managed mutual fund.

An ETF owns the underlying assets that comprises the fund (whether that is shares of a stock, gold, or foreign currency) and divides ownership of that asset into shares. As such, shareholders in an ETF do not directly own these assets, but instead do have claim to shares of the ETF itself. Simply put, asset ownership in an ETF is what we call ‘indirect’.

At the bottom line, an ETF can be considered to be a distributed fund that can be traded in portions on a currency exchange. An ETF functions through offering shareholders a denomination of the profits the fund rakes in. Given that the fund’s value is distributed through shares, shareholders can easily buy, sell, or trade shares of the ETF just as they would stocks of a company. Should an ETF be liquidated, shareholders can still retain residual value.

What are blockchain ETFs?

While we’ve yet to see a major Bitcoin ETF, there are already several ‘blockchain ETFs’ that have arrived on the market.

However, a notable distinction is that so-called ‘blockchain ETFs’ do not invest in actual blockchain-based cryptocurrencies or altcoins, but instead invest in companies involved with blockchain technology – regardless of whether the firm is a startup creating new fundamentals with blockchain technology, or an older firm introducing blockchain technology to its core practices.

Blockchain ETFs are seen to be a more ‘stable’ form of investment compared to Bitcoin ETFs, given that the former does not precisely track Bitcoin’s market volatility and is instead invested in the performance of companies themselves.

So, what are Bitcoin ETFs?

While several Bitcoin ETFs have been proposed, we have yet to see one accepted by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Chiefly, a Bitcoin ETF would purchase an underlying amount of actual Bitcoin and distribute those funds into shares, distributed to shareholders.

Many proposed Bitcoin ETFs have proposed tracking the price of Bitcoin through Futures contracts rather than through the listed price of Bitcoin on cryptocurrency exchanges. Other proposals may, in time, invite the idea of tracking Bitcoin’s price through other indices.

At the time of writing, the SEC has rejected most proposals for Bitcoin ETFs given issues with liquidity and valuations. Principally, the SEC has argued that the trading volumes and liquidity on Bitcoin Futures contracts are too low to serve as a Bitcoin price indicator, given that Bitcoin Futures contracts themselves follow spot prices on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges.

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US SEC delays ruling on Direxion’s five proposed Bitcoin ETFs

In a new statement, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has confirmed that it will delay its ruling on whether five Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (EFT) proposals from Direxion will be accepted or not.

The Commission has now noted that it will use a special extension period to delay its planned verdict until September this year.

The SEC release outlines that NYSE Arca, Inc had submitted a filing for a proposed rule change that would accept the trading and listing of shares of the planned ETFs under ‘NYSE Arca Rule 8.200-E’.

The SEC has indicated that it retains some concerns as to whether the proposed changes would be line with the SEC Act, given that that the rules of a securities exchange must be designed in order to “prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, and to protect investors and the public interest.”

The Commission will accordingly reach its final decision by September 21st, at the latest date.

In a statement, the Commission elaborated that it “finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change. Accordingly, the Commission, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,10 designates September 21, 2018, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove the proposed rule change.”

Presently, the five named Bitcoin ETFs as proposed by Direxion are the Direxion Daily Bitcoin Bear 1X Shares, Direxion Daily Bitcoin 1.25X Bull Shares, Direxion Daily Bitcoin 1.5X Bull Shares, Direxion Daily Bitcoin 2X Bull Shares, and Direxion Daily Bitcoin 2X Bear Shares.

Bitcoin has traveled upwards by 0.90% in the past twenty-four hours, and presently trades at $8,216 USD.

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jfGi: New African blockchain startup makes remembering your Bitcoin address easier

While hard-core Bitcoin enthusiasts might keep their public address etched on their cerebellum, the rest of us might struggle to remember one – or several – Bitcoin addresses. Thankfully, a new African startup – jfGi, or just for Getting it – is here to help.

Led by Rafiq Phillips, jfGi helps to address a common stumbling block for new Bitcoin users by making wallet payments even easier. jfGi serves to link one’s twitter handle to their public Bitcoin address, where users need only remember a simple link rather than a mix of 35 alphanumeric characters.

Phillips explains that “jfGi simplifies and demystifies receiving bitcoin payments for anyone, anywhere on any mobile device in the world with just 1 click. It really is a case of clicking on an easy to remember jfGi.cc link and you’ll be transacting on the bitcoin blockchain.”

The idea behind jfGi first emerged after Phillips found it time-consuming to copy and paste a wallet address or generate a QR code for invoicing purposes while offering his consulting services.

Phillips elaborated that, after becoming frustrated with the process, he endeavored to use used his personal website to develop what has become the alpha version of jfGi.

Working development partner Tim Akinbo – the co-founder of Nigerian Bitcoin marketplace, Tanjalo.com – the duo have now developed the service using only Twitter, crowdsourcing and open source business design principles.

The first users of the service – termed ‘the jfGi 100’ – offered requests for new features and shared the idea behind the platform.

Users looking to make use of jfGi need only follow several steps. Phillips explained that users simply need to:

  1. “Follow @jfGi on Twitter & wait for it to follow you back.
  2. Send a Direct Message (DM) with any of your public BTC addresses that you can receive bitcoin at.
  3. Send 0.001111 (about USD 8 at time of publication) by clicking jfGi.cc/jfgi on mobile or 3H8iYZfFEPyrC7AtUz2Dg1UHvkg47TR2HA
  4. Wait for @jfgi to DM your jfgi.cc/twitter-handle link.”

Speaking on the success of the service and his future plans, Phillips quipped that “I’m blown away by the various use-cases from schools using jfGi for Bitcoin fundraising to twitter users collecting Bitcoin tips from their followers. The feedback we’ve received and numbers are testament that consumers were ready for this… jfGi is the glue between the foundation of internet communication (the URL) and a user’s bitcoin wallet.”

Signing up to jfGi

CoinInsider readers interested in testing jfGi can claim a limited number of free accounts by following several steps:

  1. Following @jfgi on twitter https://twitter.com/jfgi & wait for @jfgi to followback.
  2. Sending a direct message(DM) to @jfgi with @coininsidercom
  3. Send any public BTC address you can receive funds at (paper, exchange, hardware or mobile wallet).

jfGi is intended to remain free to charities and non-profits, while the service will remain available to individuals and companies for0.001111 BTC per year.

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Bitcoin leads the cryptocurrency resurgence, climbs past $8,200 USD

After a difficult hike through the early months of 2018, Bitcoin has summited its first peak on a potential road to recovery, as this morning the pre-eminent cryptocurrency climbed past the $8,200 USD mark.

Having entered the year off the back of a roaring December, Bitcoin traded at $14,112 USD on the 1st of January – all before collapsing to $6194 USD on the 6th of February.

Since then, the wider cryptocurrency sphere has endured its latest bear market – without thousands of altcoins reportedly left to gasp for air.

In news that has left traders, enthusiasts, and developers alike elated, Bitcoin has risen by 3.84 % over the past twenty-four hours, and over the past seven days has risen in value by some 11.78 %.

Bitcoin’s dominance over the wider cryptocurrency market has also resumed, with the pre-eminent cryptocurrency accounting for some 47.3% of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization.

Sentiment behind the pre-eminent cryptocurrency has been bolstered thanks to the news that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission has been said to be evaluating several proposals for a Bitcoin-led Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).

While traders have endured pessimistic markets, several key figures have advocated their belief that Bitcoin’s return to form could just be beginning.

Notably, Fundstrat advisor Tom Lee has issued his prediction that Bitcoin will rise to $22,000 USD by the end of the year, while TenX founder Julian Hosp has iterated that the cryptocurrency could reach values as high as $60,000 instead.

Other voices have noted that while Bitcoin’s price value might attract and benefit speculative traders, evaluating both the adoption of (and transactions handled by) cryptocurrency networks paint a more compelling picture.

Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper, for one, has noted his view that Bitcoin will reach $250,000 USD by 2022, and has popularly claimed that “cryptocurrencies will overtake fiat currencies in the next five to seven years”.

While 2018 has been a difficult year for cryptocurrencies thus far, the past seven months have seen a number of important technical advents. Notably, several altcoins have broken away from beta offerings and have gone on to launch their official, proprietary blockchain – with EOS, Tron, Augur, and other projects debuting their official digital asset.

At press time, Bitcoin trades at $8278 USD and is up by 3.84% day-on-day.

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Technical Analysis: The Bitcoin bull is back!



The Bitcoin Bull Is Back! by tennant.graeme on TradingView.com

What a great week it was for Bitcoin! After a tentative rally from it’s low at the end of last month, followed by some sideways meandering, last weeks price action showed that the Bitcoin Bull still has some bite!

Last week’s analysis highlighted a potential inverse head & shoulders setup with resistance (shaded red) around the 6800 mark. To the delight of Bitcoin bulls, the price smashed through the 6800 resistance to rally approximately 13% to the target price at current levels.

In a bear market, a trader must look to sell the rallies. In a bull market, a trader must look to buy the dips. This completed head & shoulders provides a solid base for what will potentially be the next bull market. As such, we can now view the market with a bullish bias and look to buy with a fair degree of confidence when the market pulls back.

Even more good news for the bulls – we are now looking at an even bigger inverse head & shoulders setup with a neckline at about $7750 USD which itself is a significant resistance zone (shaded pink). Should the price break this resistance zone the target price is just short of $10000 USD which coincides with the next significant resistance zone (shaded orange).

But wait – piling into Bitcoin right now is not necessarily the best move. We are yet to break through a significant resistance level (shaded pink) as well as not just one, but two important, long-term resistance trend-lines (blue lines). Furthermore, on the 4-hour chart there is bearish RSI and OBV divergence (full explanation). As such, if you are wanting to buy (particularly if one is a long-term investor), I would suggest phasing a capital amount into the market rather than buying all at once.

It would appear that the “Bull is Back”, but there can always be a “twist in the tail”. Pick your entries intelligently and make use of stop losses when using leverage or taking large positions.

Look to minimize losses from a potential short-term pull back now because if the price can hold above $6800 USD and then break strongly above $7750 USD, I expect that there will be further opportunities for profitable long trades up to 10000 and maybe even beyond!

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Arthur Hayes of Bitmex expects more volatility in Bitcoin’s future

Arthur Hayes, the CEO of global cryptocurrency trading company Bitmex, recently suggested that Bitcoin’s price could surge to a whopping $50 000 USD by the end of the year and has offered his opinion more on the topic – with a surprising statement.

In an interview on CNBC’s Fast Money, Hayes changed his bullish attitude and claimed that he thinks that the cryptocurrency has not bottomed yet. The bitcoin advocate said that he does not “actually think we’ve seen the worst.” Adding that he “thinks this is a very strong rally on good volume and we definitely could see $8,000, $9,000, and maybe just shy of $10,000 [and] we’ve been here before where we rallied from $5,800 to a high of $9,000 level but didn’t quite crack $10,000. [He thinks] similar action will happen this time and [he] would like to see us test $5,000 to really see if we put a bottom in”.

Despite the cautious view, Hayes still believes that Bitcoin has a $50,000 USD 2018 future and confirmed saying that he thinks “the current rally will top out close to but not greater than $10,000. Then we will fall and test $5,000. If that holds then we can rally to $50,000 by year end.”

The CEO suggested that the current run can be attributed to investors being quieter over the second quarter and that volatility can be expected within the cryptocurrency’s price owing to the funders being “in the Hamptons, or the French Riviera or in Asia at Bali” and “are taking a little bit of a chill time”. Hayes continued to say that when the market will pick up again in the third and fourth quarters of the year, or rather that that” is when the party is going to start again”.

We can only see in time whether the party boat will sink again to $5,000 USD in order to float all the way up the predicted $50,000 USD.

Currently, Bitcoin has seen a 1.61% gain on day-on-day trading and is now sitting at a value of $7,499.87 USD.

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A dream of spring: Five figures advocating optimism through crypto’s bear market

The opening months of 2018 have marked a bloody phase for cryptocurrencies, where numerous projects have shed value or have altogether died.

Through the onslaught of winter, however, key figures in the cryptocurrency landscape have retained their optimism – advocating that markets will re-establish themselves by the close of the year and that blockchain technology, coupled with meaningful adoption and regulatory support, is here to stay.

As Bitcoin continues to challenge support for a breakout past the $7500 USD mark, these claims will be put to the test – and here, we’ll examine five cryptocurrency advocates who have held fast to their faith while the dream might otherwise have been lost.

barry silbert

Barry Silbert

The CEO of the Digital Currency Group, Barry Silbert has retained his optimism through the cryptocurrency sphere’s most recent bear market – and recently went on to quip that Bitcoin may have reached its rock-bottom value for the year.

Speaking at the Delivering Alpha Conference in New York this Wednesday, Silbert elaborated on his view – saying “we’ve probably hit the bottom for the year. I actually put some money into Bitcoin last week.”

Silbert went on to express his optimism and addressed the wider cryptocurrency market, saying “as an asset class it is here to stay … I’m 100 percent confident a decentralized, non-fiat form of money is here to stay.”

brian armstrong

Brian Armstrong

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, is another figure who has previously offered his insight to the cryptocurrency community in a series of encouraging tweets regarding the current volatility of the cryptomarkets.

During an address to company employees, Armstrong said that the temperamental state of cryptocurrency market sentiment is not as negative as people generally make it out to be, and the somewhat emotional market is not a fair reflection of the blockchain industry. He suggested that one should rather consider transactions seen per day or similar aspects of virtual currencies in order to gain insight into the nature of cryptocurrency adoption.

“When there is hype, people are irrationally exuberant. When there is despair, people are irrationally pessimistic. Neither is true. Reality is always somewhere in the middle, more correlated with real usage (transactions per day) than the price.”

Armstrong went on to say that bear markets have healthy value, in that less-committed investors are weeded out:

“After many years of this, I’ve come to enjoy the down cycles in crypto prices more. It gets rid of the people who are in it for the wrong reasons, and it gives us an opportunity to keep making progress while everyone else gets distracted. We use the down cycles to build a strong foundation so we can thrive in the next growth cycle.”

Tom Lee

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee has previously issued bullish stances on Bitcoin – and while the advisor has lowered his price prediction – positing that Bitcoin will only touch $22,000 USD in place of $25,000 USD – Lee remains optimistic.

Speaking on CNBC’s Fast Money, Lee outlined his belief that “Bitcoin has historically traded at 2.5 times its mining costs. It’s not out of the question that it could be over $20,000 by the end of the year at fair value… What I was trying to illustrate was that given where mining costs will be and applying the historical average of 2.5 times mining costs, that would imply fair value over $20,000, roughly $22,000.”

Lee retained his optimism, however, noting his view that “We still think bitcoin can reach $25,000 by the end of the year… or something like that.”

Lee has previously indicated his belief that Bitcoin would top $25,000 USD values by the end of 2022, but proceeded to moved that claim forward by four years in January.

tenx

Julian Hosp

In an interview with Squawk Box co-host Akiko Fujita, TenX co-founder Julian Hosp reiterated his view that Bitcoin could reach values as high as $60,000 USD before the close of the year.

Revisiting his prior price forecast, Hosp elaborated that “Back then, December, price was at a $20,000 all-time high. I predicted for 2018, we’re going to see $5,000 and $60,000. So $5,000, we’ve pretty much hit it, so let’s see if we can do the $60,000. I’m still quite confident.”

Hosp elucidated that he believes Bitcoin could reach $60,000 USD by year-end in the wake of a ‘massive positive event’ – noting that many announcements – such as positive regulatory news – could propel the pre-eminent cryptocurrency past its all-time high.

Hosp has previously iterated that while Bitcoin may continue to reach a new all-time high by the end of the year, the pre-eminent cryptocurrency will continue to meet volatility that will drive its price both upwards and downwards.

Draper

Tim Draper

Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper is no stranger to stepping forward with a bullish claim – and the businessman has noted his belief that Bitcoin will reach $250,000 USD by 2022.

During an interview with The Street on June 12th, the entrepreneur doubled down by saying that that Bitcoin would not only reach the end of 2018 trading at $25,000 USD, but that the pre-eminent cryptocurrency would be worth a quarter of a million dollars just three years later.

Draper’s comments touched on impending regulation – citing his belief that “Cryptocurrencies are the next big technological tectonic shift and governments have to weigh their need to protect investors with their need to be included in this potential economic powerhouse that is crypto. I believe cryptocurrencies will overtake fiat currencies in the next five to seven years.”

Draper’s optimism was not just limited to Bitcoin. Speaking broadly on the global currency market, Draper predicted that the market space would grow to over $140 trillion USD in the next ten years, attributing most of that growth due to the impact of cryptocurrencies.

“I estimate that fiat currencies will actually decrease in use, and that crypto will become as much as $100 trillion of that market. I expect Bitcoin to be about 10% of that market, or $10 trillion. There is a lot of room to grow there”, Draper said.

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