Bitcoin (BTC) Stuck Around 4,000, But Analysts Expect a Drop as Upwards Momentum Fizzles

The crypto markets are experiencing a relatively quiet Friday as Bitcoin continues to trade sideways in a tight trading range between $4,000 and $4,100. This stability should not fool traders, however, as analysts expect BTC to drop in the near future as its upwards momentum begins to fade.
If Bitcoin is unable to garner more buying pressure as the markets head into the weekend, it is likely that Bitcoin will drop back into the upper-$3,000 region.
Bitcoin (BTC) Stuck Below $3,900 
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up less than 1% at its current price of $4,040. Throughout this week, BTC has firmly established $4,100 as a level of resistance, as it has unsuccessfully attempted on multiple occasions to break above this price level.
Importantly, however, Bitcoin has established $4,000 as a level of support, as it has bounced after touching this price. Despite this, the true test of Bitcoin’s current strength remains in its ability to advance above $4,200, which was established as a key resistance level last month.
Although the lack of upwards momentum does seem negative, Luke Martin, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, recently noted that he is only bearish on BTC in the short-term if the crypto begins tepidly moving towards stronger resistance levels above $4,100.
“If $BTC starts getting higher timeframe 4hr/1D closes below 3930, THEN I’ll consider being bearish short term. Unless you are a short term day trader flipping your outlook between 4400 and 2k after a red 30 minute candle isn’t too helpful,” he noted.

If $BTC starts getting higher timeframe 4hr/1D closes below 3930, THEN I'll consider being bearish short term.
Unless you are a short term daytrader flipping your outlook between 4400 and 2k after a red 30 minute candle isn't too helpful. pic.twitter.com/gAIhviwYXy
— Luke Martin (@VentureCoinist) March 21, 2019

Historically, the crypto markets have been more prone to making large price swings during weekend trading sessions, which means that traders may gain more insight into where BTC is heading next over the next couple of days.
Analyst: Bitcoin Likely to Drop Back into Upper-$3,000 Region in Near-Future
Because Bitcoin is not expressing any signs of significant technical strength at the moment, unless it is able to make a large upwards push in the near future, it may soon drop back into the upper-$3,900 region.
The Cryptomist, a popular cryptocurrency trader on Twitter, spoke about this possibility in a recent tweet, setting a target for BTC at $3,900.
“$BTC Mentioned couple days ago we will see movement for yesterday price action. We dropped and bounced of candle support as RSI support failed. We have 2-3 days to break this 4010 region resistance before we break this candle support and test target #1 at 3900 range,” she explained.

$BTC
Mentioned couple days ago we will see movement for yesterday price actionWe dropped and bounced of candle support as RSI support failed We have 2-3 days to break this 4010 region resistance before we break this candle support and test target #1 at 3900 range pic.twitter.com/bclvVRlZqy
— The Cryptomist (@TheCryptomist) March 22, 2019

If the crypto does drop back below $4,000, this level will likely be further solidified as a strong psychological level of resistance, which may prove to be increasingly difficult to break above.
Traders and analysts alike will be closely watching to see how the markets respond to their current price levels during the weekend.
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Crypto Ratings: China Prefers Smart Contract Platforms, Bitcoin Downgraded

The Centre for Information and Industry Development in China (CCID) has updated its monthly crypto project rankings. Following the update the top three spots on the list of most promising public blockchain-based assets are compromised of the Ethereum network (ETH), Tron (TRX), and EOS, whilst Bitcoin (BTC) fell on the list.
CCID looked at a total of 35 different projects in the digital asset space. The evaluation comprised of three components – basic tech, applicability, and creativity.
China More Excited by Smart Contracts Than BTC
The latest Chinese CCID crypto ratings are in and it is clear that the Chinese government body is optimistic about platforms supporting the creation of decentralisation applications. The newly published ratings have smart contract platforms Tron and EOS topping the list of 35 crypto projects.
Interestingly, Tron only made its debut on the list of projects deemed worthy of rating by the CCID last month. It has quickly managed to replace Ethereum as the project the agency is second most optimistic about. It failed to displace EOS, however, which has been rated the most promising project month-in, month-out since last June.
The CCID ratings are awarded based on three criteria: basic tech, applicability, and creativity.
Scoring highly in the basic tech department was EOS, Tron, Bitshares, Stem, and Gxchain. According to a translation taken from Bitcoin.com, the CCID did give mention Ethereum and its recent Constantinople upgrade. However, the performance-enhancements made to the Ethereum network were not enough to take ETH into contention for best crypto by basic tech:
“Since the Constantinople upgrade, the efficiency of the Ethereum network has improved, and the Ethereum basic technology index has also risen from the 9th [place] to the 6th.”
This basic tech assessment accounts for 64 percent of the total score of a project.
In terms of “applicability”, the CCID stated that this score was based on “the comprehensive level of public chain support for practical applications”. It comprises of 20 percent of the total score for crypto projects.
Here, the CCID’s five hottest crypto projects are: Ethereum, NEO, Tron, Nebulas, and Ontology.
Finally, the digital assets evaluated by the CCID were assessed by their creativity. This score accounts for 16 percent of the total awarded. The CCID explained this part of the ratings system as referring to the amount of “continuous innovation in the public chain”. The five projects deemed to be the most important in this regard are Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, Litecoin, and Lisk.
Evidently, the CCID researchers behind the latest crypto ratings update are less enamoured with straight-up digital currency offerings than they are with smart contract platforms. Bitcoin dropped from thirteenth position two months previous, down to fifteenth. Meanwhile, Bitcoin Cash also fell from to outside of the top 30 projects.
 
Related Reading: Weiss Publish Their First Cryptocurrency Ratings
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Report: Bitcoin and Crypto Markets More Regulated Than Widely Thought

There is a common motif within the crypto markets that the advent of “do-no-harm” regulation would allow for an influx of institutional, corporate, and public funds that will help propel Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies higher.
Despite this, a recent report conducted by Bitwise Asset Management explains that the nascent markets are actually significantly more regulated and surveilled than widely known, while also importantly noting that the actual trading volume on many major exchanges is significantly lower than reported.
Are the Crypto Markets Actually Regulated Presently?
The report, which was published and conducted by Bitwise – a crypto asset management firm – came about after the firm submitted a Bitcoin-based ETF application to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and offers an in-depth look at many of the major topics currently surrounding the new and quickly evolving crypto industry.
In a section of the report titled “The Bitcoin Market Is More Regulated and Surveilled Than Is Commonly Understood,” Bitwise explains that the crypto markets are in fact regulated – in a certain regard.
“We are not implying that bitcoin spot exchanges are ‘regulated markets’ or that they are on an equal legal status with national securities exchanges or futures exchanges, but rather that the…exchanges highlighted earlier interface with other forms of regulation,” the report stated.
One such form of regulation that Bitwise notes exchanges are currently interfacing with is the FinCEN requirement that crypto exchanges register as Money Services Business (MSB), a requirement that has been in place since 2013. As a MSB, exchanges are subjected to a plethora of strict regulatory requirements.
Furthermore, the exchange also notes that exchanges who offer their services to users in the state of New York are required to acquire a BitLicense, which mandates that exchanges comply with a significant number of regulatory requirements that ensure safety for customers.
Report Claims that 95% of Bitcoin Trading Volume is Artificially Created
Another key portion of the report offers an interesting set of data regarding the veracity of the trading volume on major crypto exchanges.
“We will demonstrate…that approximately 95% of this…volume is fake and/or non-economic in nature, and that the real market for bitcoin is significantly smaller, more orderly, and more regulated than commonly understood,” the report explains.
Bitwise then elucidated the results of a test they applied to the top 81 exchanges by trading volume – which entailed using trade size histograms, volume spike analysis, and spread patterns – to determine the veracity of the exchange’s trading volume.
Shockingly, the conclusion is that of the top 81 exchanges, only ten of them – including Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, Bittrex, Poloniex, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, bitFlyer, Gemini, and itBit – had predominantly genuine trading volume.
When considering this data and Bitwise’s conclusion that 95% of the total Bitcoin trading volume is artificially created, it shines a light on just how much room Bitcoin, and the crypto markets as a whole, have to grow.
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BIS Manager: Bank-Issued “Crypto” Will Make for “Unpredictable” Consequences

The manager of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) has voiced opposition to the initiatives proposed by JP Morgan and other banks to issue their own digital currencies, which borrow from the design of crypto, whilst omitting its truly liberating features. Augustin Carstens made his comments during a speech at the Central Bank of Ireland recently.
Carstens posits that central banks, not accustomed to dealing with customers, will have to take on such responsibilities going forward. This will impact on their ability to dictate monetary policy.
Is JPM Coin a Bigger Threat to Central Banks Than Real Crypto?
Mexcian economist and BIS General Manager, Augustin Carstens, has stated that the creation of central bank-issued digital assets could pose:
“… huge operational consequences for central banks in implementing monetary policy and implications for the stability of the financial system.”
According to UK news publication CityAM, Carstens stated that it was the responsibility of central banks to ensure that the economy functions smoothly and that the “system is sound”. This contrasts with the latter’s responsibilities to appeal to and serve customers.
Without divulging much in the way of reasoning, Carstens went on to say that bank-issued, not-so-crypto-currency would “change the demand for base money and its composition in unpredictable ways”.
Instead of rushing into such schemes, Carstens instead prefers a more cautious approach. Whilst the need to innovate clearly important, such innovation should not come at the cost of other considerations:
“Central banks do not put a brake on innovations just for the sake of it. But neither should they speed ahead disregarding all traffic conditions.”
The sentiment from the BIS General Manager comes in the wake of multiple announcements from both central and commercial banks about plans to launch their own digital representations of value in the future.
Despite its CEO repeatedly lambasting Bitcoin and all of crypto, JP Morgan recently announced that it was working on its own stable-coin project – JPM Coin. The scheme has little in common with true crypto, however, since the token will be pegged to the dollar and entirely permissioned. For now, the bank has stated that it will only allow its institutional clients to use the new service for transferring value and in doing so, just further reinforces the divide between different levels of banking freedom around the world.
Alongside such schemes from banks, there have been a few proposals made by national governments to issue their own currency in a digital version. However, none of these have been launched as of yet, with the exception of Venezuela’s unsuccessful and frankly bizarre oil-backed digital asset, the Petro. The world’s first state-issued digital asset has thus far failed to ensure any form of economic recovery and the plight of those living in Venezuela seems to get more desperate by the day with a recent wave of blackouts the latest signaller of the tragic fallout of a mismanaged economic policy.
 
Related Reading: JPMorgan Executives Flip Bullish on Crypto After JPM Coin Release
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Crypto Market Wrap: IOTA Ignoring Pullback, Adds 13% on Payment App Addition

Crypto markets correcting again; IOTA, Ethereum Classic and Tezos moving, Ontology dumping.
Market Wrap
There has been some movement in crypto markets over the past 24 hours but unfortunately it has been in the downward direction. Red dominates the charts at the moment and total market capitalization has fallen back below $140 billion after reaching a monthly high yesterday.
Bitcoin managed to touch $4,100 yesterday but its stay there was extremely brief as a dump imminently followed. The plunge knocked $100 off the price of BTC in less than an hour but it has since recovered to $4,030. Volume remains over $10 billion and Bitcoin is still holding at resistance levels for now.
The minor correction has hit altcoins harder as usual, especially Ethereum which has dropped 2.5% overnight to fall back to $136. ETH has lost almost all gains made over the past seven days as it begins to weaken once again. XRP is not faring any better and has also lost 2% dropping back to $0.311.
All cryptos in the top ten are red during Asian trading today. Those dropping the most include Bitcoin Cash, Binance Coin and Stellar with 4 percent declines. Tron also continues to weaken and is now back to tenth spot with a $1.5 billion market cap.
The top twenty has a few beacons of green as some altcoins continue to pump defying the market pullback. IOTA is one of them as it makes 13% on the day to reach $0.322 from an intraday low of $0.285. The momentum has been driven by payments App Zeux adding IOTA for crypto payments at all shops.

Payments App @Zeuxapp Adds IOTA For Crypto Payments at all Shops.@Zeuxapp is the @finTech that integrates all banking activities on one single app and will now support #IOTAtoken to pay at all shops via Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.https://t.co/gmUDiXTwuI#IOTA #Zeuxapp
— IOTA (@iotatoken) March 21, 2019

South Koreans are buying up MIOTA today as 30% of the daily volume, which has surged from $12 to $35 million, is being traded on Upbit in KRW.
Maker is up 2% and Ethereum Classic 3% but the other big mover in the top twenty at the time of writing is Tezos with an 8% pump to $0.733. Not having such a good day is Ontology dumping 10% after yesterday’s fomo driven pump.
FOMO: Ravencoin Still Going
Today’s top performer in the top one hundred is Ravencoin yet again. RVN has added a further 14% on the day as it reaches $0.047, its highest price for this year. The fomo without fundamentals is likely to result in a dump in the next couple of days. Aurora, Maximine Coin and Digibyte are all having a ten percent pump at the moment also.
Joining Ontology at the bottom of the top one hundred in terms of 24 hour performance is MOAC dumping 10%. Huobi Token and Kucoin Shares have both lost 7% on the day.
Total market cap 24 hours. Coinmarketcap.com
Total crypto market capitalization has dropped its recent gain of $2 billion resulting in a 1.4% decline back to $139 billion. Bitcoin led the fall after failing again to break above $4,100. A more positive take is that markets haven’t dumped massively and are holding steady at this level for now with good volume. A sideways zigzag pattern can be seen over the week as resistance got hit and the pullback followed six times.
Market Wrap is a section that takes a daily look at the top cryptocurrencies during the current trading session and analyses the best-performing ones, looking for trends and possible fundamentals.
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Prominent Analyst: Bitcoin (BTC) is Likely to Surge to 400k, Does This Mean the Bottom is in?

Bitcoin’s price action over the past year and a half has been quite the rollercoaster, with many investors incurring nearly instant wealth in late-2017, followed by tremendous losses for those who continued to hold their Bitcoin or other crypto investments.
Despite this, those who held and are still holding are doing so either because of a fundamental belief in the technology, or at the very least a belief that the markets will eventually surge back to, or above, their previously established all-time-highs.
That being said, recent comments from a prominent analyst about the potential Bitcoin’s price has to surge significantly higher will certainly be reassuring for embattled crypto investors who have been discouraged by the recent market conditions.
Bitcoin (BTC) Drops to $4,000 as Support Level is at Risk of Being Broken
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down over 1% at its current price of $4,015, just a hair above its recently established support level at $4,000.
Yesterday, Josh Rager, a popular cryptocurrency trader on Twitter, explained that the lack of buying pressure above $4,000 is likely to lead BTC’s price to $3,500, which may be reached soon if the crypto’s bulls are unable to keep Bitcoin’s price above $4,000.
“$BTC Weekly Chart. Gandalf is holding $BTC below the mid $4,200 level. Bitcoin shall not pass the current resistance. So my target for the next drop has an aim at previous support near mid $3,500s,” he explained.

$BTC Weekly Chart
Gandalf is holding $BTC below the mid $4,200 level
Bitcoin shall not pass the current resistance
So my target for the next drop has an aim at previous support near mid $3,500s pic.twitter.com/BGUWMmAl4V
— Josh Rager (@Josh_Rager) March 20, 2019

Naeem Aslam, the chief markets analyst at Think Markets U.K., recently spoke about the importance of the $4,000 level, noting that it will set the trend for which direction the markets head next.
“Questions are being asked constantly when it comes to Bitcoin’s battle with the $4000 mark. The result of this battle sets the tone for a bullish or bearish trend,” he explained, further noting that this price level has become a “matter of death or life for crypto traders.”
Could Bitcoin Surge to $400,000 Next?
Although Bitcoin’s instability around its current price levels does seem to be significant in the short term, in the long term it may be very insignificant, as Aslam believes that BTC could eventually surge as high as $400k.
“I personally believe that each Bitcoin can go up as much as $400K and if history repeats itself, this number is not a fool’s paradise. This is a simple math calculation: approximate percentage projection of the price which we experienced during the last bull run,” he bullishly explained.
Keeping that in mind, for traders who are waiting to buy the bottom, the risk / reward ratio simply doesn’t make sense.
Ryan Selkis, a popular figure within the crypto industry, spoke about the absurdity of trying to purchase a bottom when there is such a massive potential upside for BTC in a recent tweet.
“I’d be extremely surprised if the bottom wasn’t in for this $BTC bear market. If you’ve been on the sidelines, what are you waiting for if not now? If you’re a long-term bull, the 5 year EV is 25-50x, and you’re going to wait to time an entry that’s 20% more attractive?” He noted.

I'd be extremely surprised if the bottom wasn't in for this $BTC bear market.
If you've been on the sidelines, what are you waiting for if not now?
If you're a long-term bull, the 5 year EV is 25-50x, and you're going to wait to time an entry that's 20% more attractive?
— Ryan Selkis (@twobitidiot) March 21, 2019

As the market’s price action continues to unfold, traders and investors should keep in mind the massive potential Bitcoin and the entire markets have to surge significantly higher in the next few years.
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Crypto Firm Severs McAfee Ties Apparently Regarding “Whale F**king” Comments

John McAfee will apparently no longer be working with crypto project SkyCoin in an advisory capacity. Although McAfee has not publicly stated the reasoning behind the dismissal, the lead developer of the SkyCoin project and a blog associated with the SkyCoin community allege that the the termination was brought about by the software developer’s recent comments regarding so-called animal abuse in New Zealand.
According to the SkyCoin dev and the blog post, McAfee has been let go over a series of comments he made about having sexual intercourse with, of all things, a humpback whale. McAfee stated last December that he was denied the opportunity to take part in a whale copulating ceremony and thus sought one out to perform the deed by himself.
SkyCoin Casts McAfee Back to the Ocean
Yesterday, crypto uber-bull and software developer John McAfee took to Twitter to reveal that he would no longer be providing advisory services to the decentralised web project SkyCoin. The software developer and controversial cryptocurrency figure did not give exact reasoning for his sudden departure, instead stating that those who wanted more information could contact him via Twitter direct message:

I am no longer working with or promoting Skycoin. DM me if you want to know the reasons.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) March 20, 2019

Many were on hand in the comments to remind McAfee of the SkyCoin tattoo he had previously had done. To one such respondent, McAfee alluded to some potential foul play behind closed doors at SkyCoin:
“I’ll keep it [the tattoo] as a reminder that no matter how old I get, I still get scammed by unscrupulous people with pie in the sky plans. They almost drove me to violence.”
McAfee’s announcement yesterday was suitably vague with many, presumably mostly SkyCoin bag holders, questioning the sudden departure from the decentralised web project. Fortunately, representatives from SkyCoin have helped to fill in some of the gaps within the story.
The first resource detailing the reasoning for McAfee’s supposed termination as adviser comes from the SkyCoin community (known as the Sky Fleet) blog. The post details that McAfee had to be removed from his position as SkyCoin adviser following comments he made via Twitter in December 2018.
In the post, the author, Lawrence Qholloi, states that the lead developer of the SkyCoin project goes by the name “Synth”. Synth, presumably along with other SkyCoin developers, supports the version of events detailed in the blog:

We had to sever our relationship with McAfee after his irresponsible tweets about whaling fucking.
— Synth (@NotSkycoinCEO) March 21, 2019

In the comments section of the Tweet, Synth supported this initial statement and that of the Sky Fleet blog post:
“Our corporate partners do not want SkyCoin associated with animal abuse.”
The blog also details the opinion of supposed individual on the SkyCoin development team. This person wished to remain anonymous:

“His [McAfee’s] drug fueled [sic] demanding demeanour [is] not meant for business”.

The Tweets by McAfee referenced by Synth and the blog can be seen below:

Tried ro join a secret Maori Whale Fucking club but the discrimination against elderly, bearded, Tagalog speaking white men, which runs rampant in New Zealand, caused them to mistake me for a well known tech personality, and i was soundly thrashed. Tried on my own and failed.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) December 31, 2018

There was considerable backlash from many following this comment. Given the wording of the Tweet, it does seem like McAfee made his whale comments in jest. However, based on how eccentric McAfee can be, the truth is anyone’s guess. The software developer did go on to offer the following as a rebuttal to those who had called him out for making comments referencing cruelty to animals:

Enough of the "Whale Fucking is non-consensual" bullshit. A Humpback Whale weighs 70,000 pounds, is fifty feet long, can dive more than a quarter mile and can crush ships with a single swipe of its tail. If a human manages to fuck one, you damn well better believe it's consensual
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) December 31, 2018

From McAfee’s vague statement on the matter, we may infer that he left because he was led to believe the team was more competent than they in fact were. Meanwhile, from SkyCoin team, it seems that the case is more about distancing themselves from a potentially divisive character in the crypto community. The real truth behind the dismissal is anyone’s guess.
However, one Twitter user did offer a third interpretation of events, which referenced some of the “paid shilling” McAfee has done for various crypto projects in recent years:

Is it because everything you promote turns to shit?
— Shillex (@shill_ex) March 20, 2019

 
Related Reading: Bitcoin Price (BTC) Undervalued By Nearly $34K According to Infamous Dickline
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Report Claims Bitcoin and Altcoin Correlation Slowly Fading, Could This be a Sign of a Maturing Market?

The volatile price action in the crypto markets over the past year and a half has proved to investors that despite each major altcoin having (mostly) unique features and use-cases, their prices are still extremely influenced by the overall market price action, and especially that of Bitcoin.
Now, a recent research report conducted and published by cryptocurrency exchange Binance gives a significant amount of insight into how correlated various cryptocurrencies are with Bitcoin, other altcoins, and the US Dollar, and highlights an interesting trend developing in the first few months of 2019 and over the past year.
Altcoin to Bitcoin Correlation Slowly Fading
The report, which was released March 20th by Binance Research, takes a deep dive into the correlations between multiple time periods and multiple cryptocurrencies in terms of returns, and highlights the “elements that may influence the strength and direction of these correlations.”
Analysts and investors alike have long viewed the notoriously high correlation between nearly all cryptocurrencies as a sign of the market’s immaturity, as only seldomly do individual altcoins move on their own accord regardless of the overall market conditions.
The report importantly notes that the correlation of returns between various altcoins and Bitcoin over the past three months has been fading significantly.
“The correlation of cryptoasset returns based on BTC prices (i.e., Bitcoin-adjusted returns), highlights significantly lower correlations among cryptoassets relative to correlations among the same coins in USD returns,” the report explains.
With this in mind, it does, in fact, appear that the 2018 Bitcoin price crash – which sent virtually all cryptocurrencies spiraling downwards – has led to a lower correlation amongst cryptocurrencies – especially in terms of monetary returns – which could mean that future price cycles (including both bull runs and bear crashes) will not cause the entire markets to move as one, with individual altcoins moving on their own accord. If this trend continues to develop, then this would be a sign of a rapidly maturing market.
Furthermore, although the Bitcoin / altcoin correlation has been fading significantly over the past three months, the trend actually started last year following the crypto market crash.
“Correlations of cryptoasset returns in BTC terms in late 2018 were much lower compared to late 2017,” the report explains.
Altcoin to USD Return Correlation Increasing 
Although most cryptos are slowly beginning to move on their own merit, separate from how Bitcoin moves, their returns in terms of USD have been gradually increasing.
“Correlation between cryptoasset returns in USD terms actually increased when comparing the same two periods,” the report explains, adding that this correlation has “coincided with the rise of stablecoins pair dominance during 2018 and is in line with the overall decline in the contribution of BTC pairs to total industry trade volume.”
The entrance of a myriad of new stable coins into the crypto markets has had an obvious effect on the market dynamics, as traders are no longer forced to trade altcoins against Bitcoin.
As more exchanges offer direct USD trading pairs, and more stable coins enter the markets, it is likely that trading altcoins against Bitcoin will become increasingly rare, which will likely perpetuate the current return decorrelation trend, which could ultimately help the markets grow in maturity and reduce the magnitude of market movements.
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Crypto Street Artist Finds Generous Surprise in his Bitcoin Wallet

A French street artist, famous for his murals containing hidden crypto prizes, has received his largest donation to date. Pascal Boyart recently checked the Bitcoin address associated with the QR code provided to accept donations for one of his works to find that some anonymous fan had donated a full Bitcoin, worth more than $4,000 at the time of writing.
Elated, the artist took to Reddit to share his gratitude for the anonymous tipper and the wider crypto community. Boyart states that this is the largest single donation he has ever received.
Prominent Crypto Artist Receives Bumper Bitcoin Donation
There is a growing movement of artists choosing to celebrate cryptocurrency in their work through one means or another. One of these is Pascal Boyart, a crypto-enthusiast and street artist from France.
Boyart is known for his politicised murals painted on buildings. In his pieces, he hides Bitcoin prizes for fans of his work to discover. Seed words representing the private key to the wallet holding the prize are incorporated into the paintings and, once put in the correct order, allow one lucky art aficionado pockets the prize.
The prize hidden in one of the artist’s most recent works was 0.26 BTC, worth around $1,040 today. The piece chosen to hide it is titled, “Liberté Guidant le Peuple” or “Freedom Guiding the People”. It pays homage to the Yellow Vest protest movement who are opposed to various policies of France’s President Macron. Some factions of the Yellow Vests appear supportive towards Bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency movement given the general hostility of both groups towards central banks.
The seed words hidden are particularly relevant to the cause, as are the order they needed putting in prior to the prize being unlocked:
“Banker. Usury. Lie. People. Fight. Hope. Union. Citizen. Lead. Triumph. Yellow. Horizon.”
Along with the seed words, Boyart also includes a QR code with the public key to a separate wallet. This is for fans of his work to send him donations using crypto.

#StreetArt treasure hunt in Paris with a #Bitcoin puzzle For the 10th birthday of the genesis block, I painted this frescoe in Paris with a 0,26btc ($1000) puzzle in it. Here's the public key: 1NqPwPp7hEXZ3Atj77Ue11xAEMmXqAXwrQ Thanks to @alistairmilne for sponsoring this pic.twitter.com/F7aIkxmp6t
— Pascal Boyart (@pascalboyart) January 7, 2019

It has been a couple of months since Boyart completed “Liberté Guidant le Peuple” and the prize was won about a week following its unveiling. The donations for the artwork adorning the side of a Parisian building have been trickling in slowly.
That was until a couple of days ago. Boyart checked his wallet to discover that some anonymous tipster had dropped a full Bitcoin in there – worth more than $4,000 at the time of writing. This has taken the total donated to the artist across three different pieces at 1.14 BTC, 5 Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and 1.25 Litecoin (LTC).
The elated artist took to Reddit to express his gratitude. His post reads:
“Thanks to the crypto community for your generosity, this space is full of suprises [sic] Can’t wait to do more murals to spread crypto!”


However, one particularly astute Redditor highlighted a flaw with the logic of asking for donations in such a way. “Medatascientist” posted:
“OP there is sth I was curious about these street art donations so I’ll fire away: don’t you get afraid that someone would paint over the QR code overnight and redirect your donations to his/his robbery account? Am I thinking too much about this?”
From Boyart’s response, it is obvious that he has considered this as a possibility. The artist stated that he always supplies the same address used on his website too and thus it would be easy to check that funds were going to the correct wallet. Clearly, this somewhat undermines the elegance and simplicity of the mural-side QR donation idea though.
That said, Boyart’s piece does exactly what all good artwork should. It challenges the viewer with its astutely political message. It also highlights cryptocurrency’s potential to disrupt the way that even relatively basic financial transactions – such as donating – are performed. Exploration of alternate funding methods is something other crypto-enthused artists have previously attempted too.
 
Related Reading: Bitcoin Artist Explains “Why Bitcoin Matters” Through New BTC Sculpture
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Crypto Bull Returns, Predicts Targets For Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin

Ever since Bitcoin’s break of its parabolic advance in December 2017, the entire crypto market has been locked in a brutal bear market that’s resulted in companies going under, widespread layoffs, and investors and miners capitulating. Even the largest cap coins, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple, all have fallen 85% or more from their all-time high prices.
The lack of bullish price momentum has caused many long-term bulls to sit on the sidelines, waiting for the bear market to end. One prolific Ethereum technical analyst that earned a reputation during the last bull run, has come out of an over 20-month-long hibernation to post some extremely bullish price charts for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple – complete with wild price targets and predictions on when to expect each coin’s price to break out.
TA Expert Returns With Bold Price Predictions for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin
Twitter and Reddit user ScienceGuy9489 has been missing from the crypto scene since June 2017, long before Bitcoin went parabolic and experienced a subsequent correction that led to a long, arduous bear market.
In just a short while back, ScienceGuy9489’s charts have already topped Reddit, predicting that “we are set for the next bullrun,” but its his Twitter posts that have the crypto community buzzing. In the most recently shared charts, the trader has predicted the breakout dates for Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as price targets for the two cryptocurrencies, along with Ripple (XRP) and Litecoin.
Related Reading | One Simple Chart Proves Altcoin Season Is Upon Us
The trader suggests that Ripple is “set up for a break out opportunity” currently, as it is brushing up against key downtrend resistance dating back as far as the nearly $4 top set back in early January 2018. In fact, the analyst is calling for a breakout price target of $4 on Ripple.

#Ripple #XRP set up for a break out opportunity at at moment. pic.twitter.com/DHxTI7mPX8
— ScienceGuy9489 (@ScienceGuy9489) March 20, 2019

Litecoin, he says, which has led the recently bullish momentum over the past few weeks, is “trying to breakout” currently. For the cryptocurrency created by Charlie Lee, ScienceGuy9489 set a price target for $650, which would set a new all-time high for Litecoin.

#LTC is trying to breakout. Other coins are also moving positive moves. pic.twitter.com/xJSc1Ew0D9
— ScienceGuy9489 (@ScienceGuy9489) March 16, 2019

On his Ethereum chart, which is the trader’s cryptocurrency of choice, he expects an oddly specific breakout date of April 24, 2019 with a price target of $2090, which would also set a new high for the smart contract-supporting crypto.

ETH should be breaking out by April 24th pic.twitter.com/z8lwk9zMHY
— ScienceGuy9489 (@ScienceGuy9489) March 11, 2019

Finally, with Bitcoin, the king of all cryptocurrencies, the trader has set the “liftoff date” at April 11, 2019, just a mere few weeks away. The price target for Bitcoin’s breakout? A new all-time high of $28,100.

BTC Liftoff Due Date: April 11, 2019 pic.twitter.com/osscXh2TNI
— ScienceGuy9489 (@ScienceGuy9489) March 11, 2019

Anyone viewing these charts and the outlandish price targets might be left scratching their head, however, it’s rare the entire cryptocurrency community gives one analyst such attention, and it’s even more unique to find a crypto analyst who disappeared during the last bull run, only to return again as the bear market is ending.
Related Reading | Majority of Crypto Investors See Bitcoin Price at $100,000 to Millions Long-Term
As for if the trader’s lofty predictions actually will play out, only time will tell. But it is certain that the entire crypto community will be watching closely to see if either the breakout dates are targets are reached with any accuracy.
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Facebook Stablecoin Wants to Replace US Dollar Not Bitcoin: Kik Founder

Facebook could be on the path to replace the US Dollar with its own crypto asset as a global currency, claims Ted Livingston.
The founder and chief executive of the Kik messaging app projected the upcoming stablecoin project as a WeChat aspirant. The 32 years old Canadian entrepreneur wrote that, like the Chinese messenger app, Facebook was attempting to move the US Dollar into a private online payment system. Such a system would not only make it easier for people to transfer money cheaply. But, it would give them reasons to keep their money inside the messenger system. He wrote:
“WeChat allowed people to take their money out at any time, but they also added more and more reasons for people to keep their money inside: paying hydro bills, buying food, booking vacations, and more. Soon no one was taking their money out.”
Remittance and Payments
Livingston derived three possible steps that Facebook could execute in the coming days. First, the company could expand into a $689 billion remittance market by creating an interoperable payment interface between Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Second, it could integrate blockchain to roll out a global financial system such as that of bitcoin without needing to hire costly banking service. And third, it could enable users to keep and spend their money inside the platform for making day-to-day payments.

Facebook earlier shared its plans to start its messenger payment services in India via WhatsApp. The densely populated country, like China, is host to large remittance and payment operations. In terms of remittance only, India received $80 billion in 2018, surpassing China’s $67 billion and Mexico and the Philippines’ $34 billion each.
“As India gains momentum, Facebook could look to expand. First into other countries where remittances are popular. Perhaps the Philippines and Egypt, followed by Mexico and Vietnam,” Livingston predicted.

Everyone should read this. @ted_livingston has been ahead of many trends in social media and messaging over the last decade.
Bold thoughts here.https://t.co/RCji3mHaOF
— Pomp (@APompliano) March 20, 2019

No Bitcoin-Facebook Competition
Facebook’s entry into remittance would come at a time when bitcoin would have lost its sheen as a remittance asset. Though the leading cryptocurrency was a flagbearer of decentralized payment solutions, it didn’t turn up a good use case for remittance due to price volatility. For instance, if Point A sends $100, then Point B should receive $100. Bitcoin cannot guarantee such stability which is why it would be less popular as a remittance asset.
Bitcoin Volatility Time Series Charts | Source: Buy Bitcoin Worldwide
So far, media reports have pitted Facebook’s stablecoin project and bitcoin against each other for the very same reason: remittance. However, Bitcoin remained a multifaceted technology, which could function as money and commodity – all at the same time. Livingston said that Facebook stablecoin was more threatening to the dollar than it was for a decentralized asset like bitcoin, adding:
“Not that long ago the world’s reserve currency was gold, where the value of a dollar was pegged to the value of gold. But then one day the US decided to unpeg the dollar from gold, paving the way for the dollar to replace gold as the world’s reserve currency. So here is my question: what will stop Facebook from doing the same?”
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Vitalik Buterin: “Inevitable” That Ethereum Loses Some of its Lead in Crypto

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin admitted that Ethereum is losing its lead in the cryptocurrency market.
Speaking on the Unchained podcast, Buterin said that losing a chunk of market share was “inevitable and unavoidable” for both the crypto projects. The 25-year old developer referred to new blockchain projects that were taking different approaches to reach the same goal as that of Ethereum, thereby taking away some part of its community. He told host Laura Shin that:
“It [Ethereum] has lost some of its lead to some extent. It’s kind of inevitable and unavoidable. Ethereum really was the first general purpose smart contract thing. Bitcoin was, for example, the first cryptocurrency and originally, it had 100 percent of the market share. Then, it went to 90 and now it’s at 55.”
How is Crypto Market Share Calculated?
Market share refers to the percentage of one asset’s market capitalization against the total valuation of the asset’s industry. The first cryptocurrency bitcoin gained a natural lead over other crypto projects. It continues to hold the first rank of biggest cryptocurrency by market cap. Nevertheless, the rise of competing projects, starting with Litecoin, Dash, and followed by Dogecoin, XRP, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, amongst many others kept sneaking away little portions off bitcoin’s once-100% market share.

.@laurashin asks @VitalikButerin, "Would you be upset if another blockchain took the lead [ahead of ethereum]?" Buterin jokingly responded, "It depends which blockchain … If #TRON takes over ethereum, I'll have lost a certain amount of hope for humanity, not nearly all."
— Christine Kim (@christine_dkim) March 21, 2019

However, losing market share does not mean that bitcoin is shrinking. The cryptocurrency market capitalization, on a whole, was just $1.59 billion on April 23, 2013. And now, its valuation is well above $141 billion. Similarly, Bitcoin’s market capitalization on April 28, 2013, was $1.50 billion.
And now, it has surged to $71.95 billion. Of course, bitcoin’s market share is now 48-percent less than what it used to be in 2013. But it does not mean its individual valuation has gone down. As a standalone project, bitcoin is ballooning as it was all those years.
Is Bitcoin Losing Market Lead?
From an investor’s point of view, the market now has more crypto projects than ever. Traders have more options to spread their portfolio and distribute their risks across multiple crypto-assets. It might have to do with an asset’s long-term potential, but it can also be about hedging near-term – to make profits from intraday price volatility.
But the crypto market is not just a few traders anymore. According to a study published by the University of Cambridge last December, the number of cryptocurrency users almost doubled in the first three fiscal quarters of 2018. Excerpts from the report:

“Combining public data and survey findings, we estimate that the total number of user accounts at service providers amounts to at least 139 million in late 2018. Using a combination of verified user data and the average share of ID-verified accounts described above, we also estimate there are currently at least 35 million ID-verified users globally.”
Source: University of Cambridge
An increase in user-base means that more fiat assets flew into the crypto market, benefitting bitcoin as well as rest of the cryptocurrency market. The only difference remained that investors now had more assets to invest other than bitcoin, which is why the leading crypto asset lost some part of its market share. Again, it doesn’t mean that it lost the lead.

Buterin rightly said that it was a win-win situation for everybody and no one blockchain plan was competing with the other.
“I want to see an environment where different approaches to things can thrive and prosper. Ethereum can win and other projects that do interesting things can win too.”
[Disclaimer: The author is holding long positions in Bitcoin and Ethereum markets.]
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Why This Investor Says Ethereum is Positioned to Become a Store of Value

It isn’t a secret that when crypto investors mention a “digital store of value,” they are decidedly referring to Bitcoin (BTC). But, as emission (supply output) rate of Ethereum (Ether/ETH) has dwindled over its nearly four years in existence, commentators have begun to evaluate the cryptocurrency’s status.
Although some are sure that Ether is gas through and through, giving users the ability to issue transactions, execute smart contract commands, and issue digital tokens, many have begun to fit the asset into different categories. And somehow, some way, one investor managed to fit a round peg into a square hole.
Ethereum Is “Positioned” To Be A Store Of Value
At Ethereum’s current annual inflation rate of 4.4%, well above the U.S. Federal Reserve’s ~2% target, many argue that it would be hard to call it anything like a digital iteration of gold. In a recent series of tweets, however, investor James Spediacci has politely begged to differ. The trader, who has purportedly been cited in the New York Times, laid out his thoughts on the subject matter in a 15-part thread, picking apart the nitty-gritty of this non-issue.

1/ Why ETH is positioned to be a Store of Value (SoV)
It’s been said that ETH attracted temporary reservation demand and hoarding because investors needed a store of ETH to participate in the many ICO’s in 2017, but now that demand has dried up, dropping the price of ETH 90%.
— James Spediacci ⟠ ₿ (@JamesSpediacci) March 17, 2019

Spediacci noted that while the value proposition of Ethereum has plummeted over the past year, primarily a result of the unwinding of the token sale bubble, which pushed everyone and their mom to purchase ETH en-masse, it will eventually get back on its feet. He explains that as Proof of Stake (PoS) is activated over the incumbent mining system, inflation will “go down to near-zero in two years,” giving Ether a lower stock-to-flow (above ‘ground’ supply to annual issuance) than most government-issued currencies.
At the same time, decentralized finance applications, which puts financial processes on Ethereum’s chain, will continue to collateralize their ecosystem by locking up Ether, furthering curbing circulating supply figures.
Spediacci writes that as applications like Compound have consumed 10,000 Ether worth of collateral every day, “the natural demand for the cryptocurrency will soon pass natural supply,” making Ethereum purportedly the first digital asset to have use-induced deflation.
He adds that once staking goes live, Ethereum will be granted the “six characteristics of money”: durability, portability, acceptability, divisibility, uniformity, and limited supply.
Spediacci did admit that economic abstraction poses as a risk to Ether’s money status, as the asset would be devalued as the gas of Ethereum’s ecosystem. But, he seemed confident that is entirely possible to see ETH become a value store, despite such an occurrence being seen to be not on the table.
Bitcoin Exists. Does Crypto Need Another Store of Value?
While Spediacci is sure that Ethereum’s SoV classification will come with time and development, especially with the growth of DeFi applications like MakerDAO, does this market really need another gold-esque cryptocurrency?
Many Bitcoin maximalists have given issued a “no” in response to this inquiry. The fact of the matter is that as is stands, BTC is seen as the most viable contender to replace gold’s long-standing hegemony, especially in the 21st century’s digital age, not Ether, a Bitcoin fork, or a newfangled cryptocurrency promising the sun and the moon.

Brendan Blumer, the chief executive of Block.one, the blockchain startup that is heads development of the EOS blockchain, believes that Bitcoin will make a move on gold’s de-facto go-to store of value status over the next two decades.
The Winklevoss Twins, the purported Facebook co-founders behind the Gemini exchange, have made a similar argument in recent years. Twin Cameron, breaking down the “Bitcoin is a digital form of gold” argument, remarked that if you boil it down, the digital asset is (or can be) better at fungibility, scarcity, portability, and divisible than the precious metal itself. In their eyes, the only thing that gold has only BTC is a “3,000-year headstart.”
All these pundits see Bitcoin (and BTC only) as the only digital asset that will ever hold status as a usable store of value. In fact, Mike Novogratz of Galaxy Digital once stated that if the cryptocurrency market was the periodic table, BTC would be the only one with an atomic number of 79, much like how gold is gold.
But, according to the stakeholder’s sentiment and those that corroborated his statements, Ether will inevitability become a value store, as long as the poplar blockchain moves ahead with its lofty ambitions to launch 2.0 (Serenity).
Related Reading: Where’s Ethereum 2.0 At? Vitalik Buterin Gives A Much-Needed Update
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As Bitcoin (BTC) Nears Historic Bounce Levels, Could the Crypto Winter Be Coming to an End?

Bitcoin has now firmly established its position in the low-$4,000 region, which was previously a strong resistance level for the crypto. Although this current stability is certainly positive for investors, BTC has, on multiple occasions, spiraled downwards after long bouts of involatile trading.
One analyst is now pointing out that Bitcoin is approaching a historic bounce level, which could mean further gains in the near-future are imminent.
Bitcoin (BTC) Trades Sideways Above $4,000
At the time of writing Bitcoin is trading up nominally at its current price of $4,070 and is up slightly from its daily lows of $4,030. Ever since BTC pushed above $4,000 last Friday, the cryptocurrency’s upwards momentum has stalled, leading it to trade in an incredibly tight trading range around its current price levels.
In late-February, Bitcoin swiftly pushed up to $4,200 before incurring significant selling pressure that brought its price back down to $3,800, which validated $4,200 as a strong level of resistance.
Josh Rager, a popular cryptocurrency trader on Twitter, discussed the strength of the $4,200 resistance level in a recent tweet, explaining that he does not believe BTC will be able to break above it any time soon, which means to drop to $3,500 could be inevitable.
“$BTC Weekly Chart. Gandalf is holding $BTC below the mid $4,200 level. Bitcoin shall not pass the current resistance. So my target for the next drop has an aim at previous support near mid $3,500s,” he explained.

$BTC Weekly Chart
Gandalf is holding $BTC below the mid $4,200 level
Bitcoin shall not pass the current resistance
So my target for the next drop has an aim at previous support near mid $3,500s pic.twitter.com/BGUWMmAl4V
— Josh Rager (@Josh_Rager) March 20, 2019

Bitcoin Hits a Historic Bounce Level, Could a Crypto Market Surge be Imminent?
Although Bitcoin may now be pressing up against strong resistance levels, its volume is also resting at a historic bounce level, which likely means that increased volatility is right around the corner.
Crypto Thies, a popular analyst on Twitter, discussed this, noting that he expects the crypto to continue upwards, as this bounce level is typically followed by a decent price swing. Despite this, he also notes that the one factor that is going against BTC’s bulls is the lack of any sell climax so far.
“$BTC Volume MA (on bottom) is at historic bounce levels on the 1W. Volatility incoming. Confident in continuation to upside, although positioned to be fine in event of price dump. Always prepare for best and worst case. 1 bear thought I have, is a lack of sell climax thus far,” he explained.

$BTCVolume MA (on bottom) is @ historic bounce levels on the 1W. Volatility incoming.
Confident in continuation to upside, although positioned to be fine in event of price dump. Always prepare for best and worst case.
1 bear thought I have, is a lack of sell climax thus far pic.twitter.com/hmpWojyRiN
— Crypto Thies (@KingThies) March 19, 2019

Assuming that Bitcoin is able to build a greater level of buying pressure at its current prices, than there is a high likelihood that a move upwards will occur in the near future.
As the crypto markets enter the weekend, it is likely that they will see increased levels of volatility that stems from the lower-than-average trading volume.
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Mayor of Chicago: Facing Financial Crisis, Crypto Adoption is Inevitable

According to a report in Forbes, Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of the City of Chicago, has stated that he sees crypto adoption as inevitable. He bases his outlook on the growing appeal of Bitcoin and other digital assets in an increasingly unstable geopolitical world.
Emanuel posited that financial crises, like that currently being experienced in Venezuela, would eventually force people to opt out of fiat currency just to survive.
He’s “Gotta Learn About It” But Emanuel is Refreshingly Grounded When it Comes to Crypto
The Mayor of Chicago gave his outlook on crypto during a meeting held to debate the city’s growing fintech industry on March 18. In response to a question from the audience, he stated that he felt cryptocurrency adoption was an inevitability, however, a timeline for such a great shift from current monetary norms would be anybody’s guess.
After admitting that he really was not an expert on the field, the mayor stated:
“Nation states are falling apart or receding. City states are emerging, so the political structures we all grew up under are changing. One day, somebody’s going to figure out – whether that’s Argentina, ten years from now, five years from now – how to use cryptocurrencies to stay alive when their facing a financial crisis, and then you’re going to find out that this moment has arrived.”
Although lacking explicitness in his response, Emanuel appears to be alluding to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies giving populations a means to “opt-out” of a national economy. Those living in nations where governments mismanage finance to such a degree that inflation spirals out of control – Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and Turkey, in recent years – can elect to store their wealth in digital assets, the value of which is not correlated to any entity, government or otherwise. Although wildly volatile, Bitcoin has proved more stable over short periods than numerous national currencies numerous times over its ten year existence.
In economies suffering hyperinflation, huge stacks of cash are worth next to nothing.
Another audience member later asked Emanuel about his overall thoughts about the crypto asset and blockchain space. Again, the mayor reiterated that the industry was not his forte but added:
“The trend lines are affirmative for its future. I don’t know if that’s ten years, and I don’t know if that’s 20 years, but it’s affirmative. I don’t know what it is. I know it’s an alternative way to trade, and therefore, I gotta learn about it, and I gotta be honest, as mayor, it’s not the top 100 things I would have to learn about.”
Chicago the Crypto Hub?
With its history steeped in finance, a crypto-curious mayor, and a hive of high profile companies, including Coinbase offices, setting up shop there, Chicago is fast becoming a cryptocurrency hot spot in the US. Recently, the city also received an additional 30 Bitcoin ATMs taking the total number of units in the city centre up to a relatively impressive 184 according to CoinATMRadar.
Until recently, the city also hosted two of the most over-hyped but high-profile Bitcoin trading products – BTC futures contracts were offered by both the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the CME Group. However, following the recent announcement that the CBOE was halting Bitcoin futures for an undisclosed period of time, that number has fallen to one.
 
Related Reading: Why Bitcoin Market May Be Better Without CBOE Futures Contracts
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