No, Forbes, Facebook’s Newly Detailed Not-So-Crypto is No Rival for Bitcoin

The launch of a crypto-like-currency by social media giant Facebook has been the topic of many discussions in the Bitcoin and digital asset space recently. However, little was known about it outside of the company developing a mysterious blockchain department and rumours about a WhatsApp-based digital coin being launched by the firm.
According to a report published today by Forbes more details of the project have emerged. Nothing is particularly exciting about today’s revelations but we really wish the publication would drop the “rival to Bitcoin” angle.
Facebook Announces Further Details of its Intranet to Bitcoin’s Internet
The social media giant Facebook has disclosed further details about its plans to launch a digital currency (very) loosely inspired by Bitcoin. The company will reportedly be launching “GlobalCoin” – snappy, we know – in early 2020 and will offer some form of payments network between a dozen countries at first.
According to reports, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, met with Bank of England governor, Mark Carey, to discuss the plans and has also put the idea to US Treasury officials, as well as money transfer firms, and the top brass at the Gemini crypto exchange.
Zuckerberg told a Facebook developer conference last month that he thought payments was an area that the firm could really make things easier for people. However, the move also stinks of a desperate attempt to stay relevant amid dwindling users and security controversies such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal last year.
Fast, Cheap, Centralised Payments, Two out of Three Ain’t Bad, Right?
The fact that today’s announcement did not move the Bitcoin market whatsoever could be evidence of a much more mature market – particularly given that publications like Forbes seem hell bend on branding GlobalCoin as an alternative to Bitcoin. The very headline of the article is “Facebook And WhatsApp Break Cover With Bitcoin Rival Plans”, it then goes on to reference the scheme as a rival to Bitcoin multiple times in the text.

Facebook is gearing up to launch a rival to bitcoin as soon as next year as it accelerates plans to diversify its revenue away from advertising https://t.co/UB3kQP91vu pic.twitter.com/jCYNHG8eI3
— Forbes (@Forbes) May 24, 2019

However, the two couldn’t really be any different. The truly inspiring and remarkable thing about Bitcoin is how difficult it is to stop someone using the network. Aside from physically restraining an individual, the is no way anyone can halt a value transfer. Users need to trust no single entity.

Whilst specific details of the launch of GlobalCoin are still shadowy at best, we can state with almost absolute clarity, if Zuckerberg needs to schmooze up to the US Treasury and the Bank of England to get an A-OK , there will be very little world-changing or disruptive about it. It therefore represents competition to the dollar, euro, or yen, rather than Bitcoin itself, which is potentially much more liberating and powerful.

In the following video, Bitcoin evangelist discusses the kind of private versions of digital assets that firms such as Facebook and JP Morgan have been exploring recently:
The social media executive’s stance could not be more different from that of crypto, and more specifically Bitcoin, uber-optimist Jack Dorsey. Dorsey is Zuckerberg’s equivalent at Twitter and nicely demonstrates how a CEO not hell-bent on world domination behaves.
He sees radical freedom-creating opportunity in Bitcoin so has decided to back companies developing on it, provide consistent price support with $10,000 monthly buys, and champions the network at every available opportunity. Every heard of TwitterCoin? No, neither have we. That’s because he doesn’t want his hands all over your wallet, as well as every detail of your personal life.
Whilst GlobalCoin poses little risk to Bitcoin itself, some from the crypto asset space are optimistic about how the news will impact the the purely decentralised asset. Spencer Bogart of Blockchain Capital recently speculated on the on boarding potential of such a scheme:
“It will be like being on the internet so people can spin-out and start owning bitcoin, Ethereum… Bitcoin has gone from zero users ten years ago to somewhere between 30 million to 100 million–the estimates are tough. And Facebook has billions of users.”
 
Related Reading: US Senate Mulls Regulatory Implications of Facebook’s Mysterious Crypto Project
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Bank of Russia: We are Opposed to Crypto, But May Consider Gold-Backed Digi-Asset

According to local news publication TASS, the Bank of Russia will consider a gold-backed digital currency for use in international settlements. However, the institution remains opposed to truly decentralised crypto assets.
The world power has reportedly mulled the idea of creating a digital currency before and it is also believed by some that the Venezuelan experiment into crypto with the Petro was a Russian-backed way to study the tech in action.
Bank of Russia Will Mull Gold-Backed Digital Asset But Crypto Not on the Agenda
The Govenor of the Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiulina, has stated that the institution will consider the suggestion that a gold-backed digital currency could be used to facilitate international settlements. The proposal was made in the State Duma (lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia). Nabiulina responded:
“As for mutual settlements, we will consider, of course, your proposal on a gold-backed cryptocurrency. But, in my opinion, it is more important to develop settlements in national currencies.”
She went on to state that settlements made using the national currencies of members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) were continuing to function with “good dynamics.”
This is not the first time that Russia has toyed with the idea of creating a digital currency. The previous effort, the Crypto Ruble, as it came to be known, appears to have been dismissed for now, although NewsBTC is not aware of any developments either way with regards to it.
Similarly, Russia is though to have been behind Venezuela’s spectacular flop into the world of digital currency with the oil-backed Petro. NewsBTC reported at the time on the rumours that Russia had actually backed the creation of the first ever state-issued digital asset as an intelligence gathering exercise on how to evade international sanctions using decentralised currency. These remain rumours, however.
Would a digital currency backed by gold in Eurasian settlements?
Following the agreement to investigate the use of a gold-backed digital currency for international settlements, Nabiullina then addressed true, decentralised crypto assets. The central bank governor said that the institution was  not in favour of unregulated digital currencies being used in the nation’s economy:
“We are generally opposed to cryptocurrencies being launched into our monetary system. We do not see the possibility that cryptocurrencies could act as monetary surrogates.”
According to Nabiullina, leaders of the EAEU have also prepared a report into digital currencies and blockchain tech that will be published soon. In it the phenomena of cryptocurrency is observed in the context of global economics and politics from the perspective of a common EAEU market that will reportedly exist by 2025. She goes on to say that crypto experts from the five countries have come together to consider regulation and different approaches to the potentially disruptive technology and that it will be important to pay close attention to the space as it develops.
 
Related Reading: Nations Continue to De-Dollarise by Hoarding Gold: Is Stockpiling Bitcoin Next?
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Dorsey’s Square Crypto Seems Less About Crypto and All About Bitcoin

The recently-created Square Crypto – the digital currency division of financial services firm Square – has just announced that it is poised to make its first hire. However, despite the seeming inclusiveness of the name Square Crypto, the project seems very much focused on the original decentralised digital asset, Bitcoin.
There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that Dorsey has little interest in other crypto assets. The Twitter founder seems intent on doing everything in his power to make Bitcoin the one true currency of the internet.
Square Crypto to Hire Bitcoin Developers to Make Mass Adoption “Inevitable”
According to a Tweet made yesterday by the cryptocurrency division of financial services firm Square, the company is on the verge on making its first hire. In the post, the company references an earlier Tweet by Square and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, stating that the goal remained consistent with his remarks about hiring Bitcoin and crypto developers to work “full-time on open source contributions to the bitcoin and crypto ecosystem.”

We are close to making our first hire. So let’s set some expectations. True to @jack’s founding tweets, we are building open source projects that will make mass adoption not just possible but inevitable.
Our goal isn’t to make money, but to improve it.
— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) May 21, 2019

Although crypto is mentioned explicitly by Dorsey in relation to Square’s newest division, various other indicators suggest that the entrepreneur cares little about the thousands of other digital assets and is focused almost exclusively on Bitcoin.
Firstly, the only link (and one of very few details generally) included as part of the Square Crypto Twitter account is to the Bitcoin whitepaper. There is no mention of another digital asset by name on the sparse profile.
Secondly, the account seems to much prefer posting pro-Bitcoin Tweets to anything else:

— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) May 17, 2019

Friday poll
— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) May 11, 2019

Today is Friday, so who should we hire (other than yourself) to support bitcoin? #WWSH
— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) March 23, 2019

In fact, aside from one or two Tweets that mention “crypto” in very general terms, there is little to suggest that Square Crypto intends to work on any other project other than Bitcoin at present.
It would be understandable for Dorsey for want to use his financial clout to try to improve Bitcoin. He is known to be a consistent investor in the digital currency. He reportedly makes a monthly buy of $10,000 no matter the price action.
Additionally, Dorsey is a known investor of Bitcoin second-layer scaling solution start-up Lightning Labs and avid promoter of the Lightning Network itself. He was also personally involved in a recent publicity generating initiative for the technology that was known as the Lightning Torch. In the demonstration, different high profile Bitcoin enthusiasts received a payment via the Lightning Network and added a small amount before sending it on to someone else.
Dorsey’s history with Bitcoin goes further back than that, however. His Square company launched some limited Bitcoin functionalities in their Cash App back in 2018. Dorsey also says that the company is currently working on connecting users of the financial services application to the Lightning Network micropayments Bitcoin layer.
The cynical might simply argue that Jack Dorsey is simply trying to line his own pockets by investing heavily and then promoting just Bitcoin as heavily as possible. However, as the CEO of two hugely successful companies already, the man is hardly short of cash. In fact, if we are to believe Square Crypto’s latest Tweet, his efforts appear much more noble:
“Our goal isn’t to make money, but to improve it.”
 
Related Reading: Is Bitcoin Too Early For Mainstream Adoption? Study Suggests So
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New Browser Extension Hopes to Make it Easy to Get Used to Using Bitcoin in Retail

A new browser extension has just been launched that hopes to make it easier for people to start thinking in Bitcoin prices when they do their online shopping. The aptly titled “Get Used to Bitcoin” automatically converts prices at some of the planet’s biggest internet retailers and elsewhere to Bitcoin and displays a price in satoshis next to the equivalent amount expressed in dollar, euro, or other supported fiat currency.
One of the perceived issues with the notion of widespread adoption of Bitcoin is that people will struggle to deal with being asked to pay minute decimals for product. The browser extension seeks to address that by familiarising folks with using the smallest unit the currency instead.
Get Used to Bitcoin With Get Used to Bitcoin
In an effort to get more people thinking about using Bitcoin for real world purchases, a crypto asset enthusiast called Shaine Kennedy has created a browser extension that automatically converts prices at popular online retailers into their equivalents  in satoshis.

Okay folks, time to let the cat out of the bag. Today, I am very proud to introduce…
Get Used to Bitcoin, a real-time Bitcoin conversion browser extension for Google Chrome and Firefox. pic.twitter.com/2evMDosxyW
— Shaine Kennedy (@shaine_kennedy) May 21, 2019

The Get Used to Bitcoin extension works with both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firework and for now supports the US dollar, euro, yen, pound, ruble, won, and Australian dollar. According to the project’s website, there are plans to launch support for additional fiat currencies in the future too.
The software works by scanning web pages for any price values and converting them to a satoshi value that is displayed next to the fiat price. The rate used to convert is refreshed every 15 minutes.
We put the completely free extension to a brief test and found that it was incredibly easy to install, to activate, and to deactivate. It works all over the place too – in emails, websites, basically anywhere you see one of the supported currency’s symbols. It’s a simple but potentially powerful tool that could well accelerate Bitcoin adoption.
Long-time crypto enthusiast and Twitter user Beautyon states the following of the extension:

“Get Used to Bitcoin is a tool that could accelerate people’s understanding of Bitcoin as a way of paying, developing the ‘priced in Bitcoin’ mental model that needs to become the norm. A very clever idea!”

In case you don’t know what a satoshi is, it’s the smallest unit of a Bitcoin – or 0.00000001 BTC. It is named after the anonymous creator of the digital currency, Satoshi Nakamoto. The name was first coined back in 2010 by early Bitcoin enthusiast “ribuck”.
Although it is arguably better to price things in satoshis than using tiny decimals of a whole Bitcoin, for now, this will likely create almost the same mental barrier to entry for all those without major gripes with current payment services or the monetary policy of fiat currency itself. The fact that a dollar is worth around 12,000 sats will likely make understanding prices in sats far too confusing for all but the most determined.
For example, buying a new laptop for about $1,550 today will set you back about 19,357,000 sats. For a lot of people, such a large number is tough to comprehend. Hopefully, by the time a real-world Apple Store assistant has to make a similar quote in sats, each will be worth more than their current rate of $0.00008. This would make for prices the general public is more familiar with.

 
Related Reading: Crypto Adoption is Like Internet in 1990s With 50M+ Users, Massive Potential Left
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Bitcoin SV Price Goes Vertical Following Craig Wright’s Whitepaper Copyright Claim

According to a press release published by CoinGeek, controversial crypto proponent Craig Wright has been granted copyright registrations for the original Bitcoin Whitepaper with the US Copyright Office. The pro-Bitcoin SV publication has used the news as concrete evidence that Wright is indeed Satoshi Nakamoto.
Although many in the wider cryptocurrency community remain unconvinced by Wright’s claims, even in light of the latest developments, it is clear from the Bitcoin SV price action that a lot of folks are taking the announcement as proof of Wright’s involvement in Bitcoin’s creation. The price of the crypto asset that forked from Bitcoin Cash last November has gone vertical since the news broke and is up over 72 percent over the last few hours at the time of writing.
Craig Wright Files Patent for Bitcoin Whitepaper, Crypto Community Ambivalent
It was announced earlier by the Calvin Ayre-owned, pro-Bitcoin SV publication CoinGeek, that entrepreneur and computer scientist Craig Wright has been successfully granted US copyright registrations for the Bitcoin Whitepaper, along with most of the crypto asset’s original code. Wright has been claiming himself to be the creator of the digital currency since 2015 and although it would be very easy for him to cryptographically prove himself Satoshi Nakamoto, he has never done so. This has led many in the community to call him a fraud.
In fact, some in the crypto space have gone to great lengths to prove that Wright’s claims are nonsense. This prompted the controversial figure to pursue legal action against those who have doubted that he is indeed the author of the Bitcoin whitepaper.
Naturally, CoinGeek and its owner, Calvin Ayre, have used today’s news that Wright has had his patents green lighted by the US Copyright Office as evidence confirming Wright’s claims:

Boom! Proof that #CraigisSatoshi has been accepted by US government copyright department.https://t.co/sr0PQno6Dg
— Calvin Ayre (@CalvinAyre) May 21, 2019

However, not everyone is convinced that the latest moves prove anything at all. Jerry Brito, the executive director at Coin Center, Tweeted:

Registering a copyright is just filing a form. The Copyright Office does not investigate the validity of the claim; they just register it. Unfortunately there is no official way to challenge a registration. If there are competing claims, the Office will just register all of them. https://t.co/YA70ALpG1Y
— Jerry Brito (@jerrybrito) May 21, 2019

Some pointed to it being yet more attention-seeking antics from Wright:

craig wright's newest shenanigan in trying to prove he's satoshi is our version of katy petty getting her nails done or whatever the normie celebrities do to get noticed
— Ambroid (@anambroid) May 21, 2019

Finally, Peter McCormack, the host of the What Bitcoin Did podcast and one of those apparently being sued by Craig Wright for dismissing his claims relating to the original Bitcoin protocol, responded to the news with typical nonchalance and humour:

I have registered the paper "Craig Wright is a Fraud" with the UK Intellectual Property Office.
Any misuse of "Craig Wright is a Fraud" and I will sue you for fraudulently claiming "Craig Wright is a Fraud".
— Dr. Peter McCormack (@PeterMcCormack) May 21, 2019

Satoshi’s Vision Price Rockets on Craig Wright News
As mentioned, the price of Bitcoin SV, the crypto project championed by Wright, has soared since the news broke. On a day with many low percentage gains across the market. The digital asset created when Bitcoin Cash forked last November has shot up by over 70 percent in just a couple of hours.
It actually peaked just shy of $140, up from around $61 prior to the news. It has since slumped back to around $110 at the time of writing – still an impressive gain not mirrored by the rest of the market.
The increase in buying pressure has likely been caused by those convinced by pro-Bitcoin SV news sources and Twitter accounts that Wright being granted a copyright for the Bitcoin code and whitepaper is concrete evidence that he is indeed the paper’s original author.

Craig Wright is officially recognized by a government agency as Satoshi Nakamoto and granted US copyright registrations for Bitcoin white paper and code #CraigIsSatoshihttps://t.co/rHJW0XTWKt pic.twitter.com/6SuQphPs7f
— CoinGeek (@RealCoinGeek) May 21, 2019

Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto
— 1jack (@liujackc) May 21, 2019

Craig Wright just been awarded copyright over bitcoin and the white paper. #bsv pic.twitter.com/fLIF1ilnOc
— cryptofactor ˢᵛ (@CryptoFactor) May 21, 2019

Unfortunately, this ultimately off putting display for all those recent newcomers to the market appears to be anything but over. NewsBTC will continue to being you more on it as it develops further.
 
Related Reading: This Prominent Investor Sees Bitcoin Surpassing Gold as a Store of Value
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ETF? What ETF? Bitcoin Shrugs Off VanEck Delay with Instant 5% Gain

A day earlier than many were expecting, another SEC decision on a Bitcoin exchange traded has resulted in a delay. The one that today’s announcement concerned was a proposal that the digital asset space is generally most optimistic for – the VanEck ETF.
Despite the news event being largely expected, the Bitcoin price has responded by gaining more than five percent immediately following the announcement. This has taken Bitcoin back above the $8,000 level.
VanEck ETF Delayed Again, But Nobody Cares
An SEC decision over the approval of a much-anticipated exchange traded fund proposed by VanEck and SolidX has been delayed yet again. Previous delays during the bear market were frequently accompanied by price crashes. However, this has not been the case this time.
Rather than dump the price, the news of the delay has been accompanied with a gain from around $7,800 to over $8,000 in just a couple of hours. Crypto market analyst Mati Greenspan highlighted the price surge via Twitter:

Bitcoin is up nearly 5% since the SEC delayed the VanECK ETF two hours ago.
— Mati Greenspan (@MatiGreenspan) May 20, 2019

Since most of the crypto space was expecting such a delay, many have dismissed the decision as a non-event. With much of the sentiment around the market remaining bullish after early 2019 price rises, some have even stated that the delay could serve as a buying opportunity for investors:

ETF delayed (As expected)Don't think it'll impact the price a whole lot.That said I'm generally hoping & positioned for lower since yesterday.This would be a nice excuse to fill bids lower.
Generally a buying opportunity, not a reason to panic. https://t.co/mn8hqtm9g4
— DonAlt (@CryptoDonAlt) May 20, 2019

The latest delay from the SEC also includes a request for public comment on whether the regulatory body should approve a Bitcoin ETF.
If Bitcoin Gains on a Delay, What About an Approval?
For many, the approval of a Bitcoin ETF by the SEC is like the financial regulator giving the asset class its ultimate blessing. They see it as a catalyst for much higher prices – almost as if the SEC green light would legitimise crypto in the eyes of many.
One Twitter user posted a graph showing what happened when a gold ETF was first introduced. The parabolic upwards price action on gold is clear.

Deadline for the SEC to decide about the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF expires on Tuesday May 21
My thoughts
– Delay: No major effect
– Rejection: Opportunity to buy dip
– Approval: Image below illustrates what happened after GOLD ETF approval. In other words: instant Market Buy pic.twitter.com/lbIvg3w0SV
— Mounia Rabhi, MSc. (@Mounia_NL) May 20, 2019

The poster also states that the overall supply of Bitcoin being so limited compared to gold should lead to an even more violent upswing than observed in the market of the shiny precious metal following its own exchange traded fund being launched.
Interestingly, potentially negative news events, such as the recent Binance hack and the ongoing Tether scandal have not moved the market in quite the same way they have done previously. This lends support to the opinion of the likes of Tom Lee from Fundstrat and others that the bear market has run its course.
Lee holds that Bitcoin hitting $3,200 in December was the ultimate bottom for the current market cycle and that we are now very much in the beginnings of a bull market. He provides 13 reasons why he believes that the so-called crypto winter is over and consistently higher prices are to be expected going forward.

After a disturbing pullback to ~$6,200, #Bitcoin back >$8,000 further cementing positive trend intact.
As we said a few weeks ago, Consensus 2019 @coindesk was to prove whether crypto winter is over…
…confirmed pic.twitter.com/M8ni4g2YvX
— Thomas Lee (@fundstrat) May 19, 2019

 
Related Reading: JPMorgan Sees Imminent Bitcoin Price Fall; Why It’s Unlikely to Happen
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Indian Bitcoin Trader Commits Suicide Over Losses Trading Crypto for Local Officials

A Bitcoin trader from India has taken his own life after being threatened by senior police in relation to losses he incurred whilst trading crypto assets on their behalf. Bharat Patel hanged himself on Sunday, leaving a suicide note for his widow.
In the note, Patel details how Chirag Savani, the Narmada police force’s Deputy Superintendent, along with his brother Harnish Savani had threatened him over fiat losses incurred from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency’s price volatility. Although the two had only bought five Bitcoins for Patel to trade with, they were demand 11.575 BTC back from him.
Bitcoin Trader Hangs Himself After Receiving Threats from Senior Police
According to a local news publication, Ahmedabad Mirror, a Bitcoin trader, Bharat Patel, from the Gujarat province of India killed himself on Sunday. The article states that he left a suicide note detailing the reasons. In it, he explicitly names the individuals who drove him to suicide. It states:
“DySP [Deputy Superintendent] Chirag Savani had come to my house to invest in five bitcoins. After incurring a loss due to slide in their value, Chirag and his brother Montu [Harnish] were demanding 11.575 Bitcoin. I am distraught due to the recovery they are claiming. My life is not worth living. DySP Chirag Savani came to my house and threatened me to return the amount they had invested. I have been forced to commit suicide. The two brothers (Chirag and Harnish Savani) are responsible for my act.”
Following Patel’s death, his daughter, Darshi Patel, has appealed for Chirag Savani to be suspended from his duties. She also speculates on how the case will be handled given the seniority of the official involved. She told journalists:
“We have not given my father’s phone, tape, and laptop to the police as we don’t trust their sincerity. We fear that the evidence in these devices will be destroyed. We seek assurance from some top police official that a fair probe will be conducted in the case.”
Usha Patel, the wife of the late Bharat Patel, described the night that her husband took his life. The two were up together until 1 AM. He was reportedly looking tense and stressed. That evening he spoke with Harnish Savani but Usha does not know the details of the conversation. Bharat asked Usha to go to bed whilst he finished work. He joined her shortly after but committed suicide at some point before she woke the next morning.
According to Usha, Bharat had agreed to return 5 Bitcoin to the Savani brothers in instalments but they had demanded the fiat value they had invested returning instead. Darshi Patel added that Savani had stated that if the more than 11 Bitcoin were not returned, he would come to the Patels’ property and “not leave until my father paid up.”
Apparently, the family has received more threats following Patel’s death too. Darshi continues:
“We received two calls from Savani’s number even after my father’s death. The police asked us to switch off the mobile and not take any calls from them.”
For now, the authorities have sent the suicide note off for handwriting authentication stating that necessary action will be taken after receiving the findings of the tests.
 
Related Reading: CEO Who Held $150M in Crypto Died in a Region Known for Having a Fake Death Mafia
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This Time It’s German Politicians Mulling a Bitcoin and Crypto Ban…

Recently, there has been an uptick in the numbers of notable people publicly discussing some form of ban on crypto assets such as Bitcoin. The latest comes from Germany, where one of the nation’s left wing parties is in favour of attempting to outlaw digital currency across Europe.
The news follows similar calls by US Congressman Brad Sherman and respected economist Joseph Stiglitz. Lacking technical backgrounds, however, it is unclear just how much any of these crypto critics have considered the logistics of enforcing such a ban.
German Leftists Die Linke Call for a Ban on Bitcoin and Crypto
According to domestic tech and business news source, Gründerszene, a left wing German political party has just released its European Parliamentary election campaign manifesto. The elections will be held on May 26 and, as part of the “Die Linke” (The Left) party’s policies that are “against an EU of millionaires”, there is a plan to outlaw Bitcoin and other crypto assets.
The main gripe against digital currencies appears to be on environmental grounds. The fact that some use a large amount of electricity is an issue for the German leftists. This may mean that proof-of-stake digital coins and those using other consensus finding systems than proof-of-work are deemed permissible by the party.
Like the others that have called for a ban on crypto assets like Bitcoin in recent weeks, Die Linke gives little explanation as to how it plans on achieving such a ban. Bitcoin is a decentralised network. There is no central weakness for authorities to come after.
Even if all of Europe outright banned it tomorrow, digital assets would survive. They might have to evolve to survive, becoming more stealthy and private, but that would only make them even more difficult to police.
Interestingly, one of those calling for a ban recently, US Congressman Brad Sherman, himself inadvertently stated exactly why Bitcoin would not die – the fact that it weakens US hegemony. Sherman stated, remarkably candidly, that a large part of his nation’s privileged position in the world comes from the fact that the US dollar is used a world reserve currency.

the video of @BradSherman's call to ban bitcoin is the best advertisement for the digital asset i've seen in quite some time (HT Oskar_Koch on Reddit) https://t.co/KeGCO0uXSh pic.twitter.com/VDF6XxBFre
— Kyle Torpey (@kyletorpey) May 9, 2019

Bitcoin offers an alternative that many nations that are currently trying to reduce their dependence on the dollar might find attractive. That was the precise reason Sherman gave for wanting “to nip [Bitcoin] in the bud”. Given that nations such as Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China would all like US dominance to wane significantly, it is incredibly difficult to believe that these states would join Europe or the US in some clampdown against the currency.
Those who understand how Bitcoin works also understand that only such a universal ban, enforced equally around the world, would stand any chance of success. That said, even with global cooperation, wiping crypto assets from the face of the earth is still highly unlikely to succeed.
Rather more likely would be a scenario where a partial ban is attempted and Bitcoin goes underground by integrating privacy-focused upgrades rapidly. This would effectively stifle any legitimate use of the currency and transform it very quickly into a drug-dealing, money-laundering, human-trafficking mega-tool for international criminals and anyone else who refuses to endorse such draconian, monopolistic policies.
 
Related Reading: Bitcoin Flavour of the Week Again: Crypto Back in Mainstream Media
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Max Keiser: Institutional FOMO Will Lead to Bigger Moves for Bitcoin

Russia Today presenter and one of the first people to publicly endorse Bitcoin (BTC), Max Keiser, has reaffirmed his belief that Bitcoin is going past $100,000. The long-term proponent of the most popular crypto asset stated that institutional investors are likely to drive the price even higher than seen during recent price rallies as “fear of missing out” kicks in amongst those with the deepest pockets.
Keiser also stated that December’s low of $3,200 would serve as the ultimate bottom for BTC. For him, the price will only continue to surge from here as Bitcoin captures a share of more traditional store of values’ markets.
Keiser Bought Bitcoin at a Dollar and is Yet to Sell a Satoshi
Long-term Bitcoin proponent and Russia Today journalist Max Keiser recently appeared on a Kitco News segment discussing the crypto asset space. In town because of New York Blockchain Week being held at the moment, Keiser sported a pristine white suit and impressive Bitcoin tie for the occasion.

#Bitcoin, not gold, is the best store of value, according to Max Keiser, host of the Keiser Report, who maintains his $100,000 bitcoin call@DanielaCambone @maxkeiser #gold #Fed #KitcoNews #KeiserReport #economy https://t.co/3FQM8NGStb
— Kitco NEWS (@KitcoNewsNOW) May 14, 2019

He was first asked about where BTC price was heading, to which the crypto evangelist stated that the recent announcement that the Federal Reserve was going to allow permanent quantitative easing was a signal to him that the previous Bitcoin low of $3,200 last December was the ultimate bottom of the market. He refers to the policy as:
“Completely irresponsible, global shenanigans.”
Keiser believes that hunger for a store-of-value asset is growing as the world continues to de-dollarise, and investors seek out alternate ways to protect their wealth. He argues that gold is too manipulated for many. For the RT News presenter, this will ultimately lead to greater demand for Bitcoin:
“To capture a piece of the gold market, you’re talking $60-, $70-, $80-, $100,000 a Bitcoin.”
The presenter then asked Keiser about his long-term outlook and if he had taken profit during any of the previous bull markets. Keiser responded simply:
“I have not sold any Bitcoin because my price target is $100,000 and beyond.”
He went on to argue that if Bitcoin continues to prove itself a store-of-value and the market capitalisation continues to grow as he expects it to, BTC will become more useful. Since it will take more money to move the market in any sort of meaningful way, volatility will be greatly reduced at $100,000+ Bitcoin prices. This will make it more usable as a medium of exchange. Eventually this will lead to it being considered a unit of account since commodities can be easily priced in stable assets.
Just like retail “fear of missing out” caused the Bitcoin price to soar in late 2017, Keiser believes the same common market phenomena will occur during the next bull run only this time with institutional investors. With the likes of TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Bakkt, and others all positioning themselves to take advantage of institutional demand for BTC, once those with the deepest pockets start to think that Bitcoin is the must-have investment, price could well hit this $100,000 level faster than most people think possible.
 
Related Reading: The Case for Bitcoin as a Store-of-Value, Can it Really Rival Gold Going Forward?
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Hack? What Hack? Binance Coin (BNB) Leads Crypto Top Ten in Today’s Rally

Evidently, the recent security compromise that affected crypto exchange giant Binance has done little to dampen optimism for the trading venue’s digital currency, Binance Coin (BNB). Almost the entire crypto market has gone parabolic in the kind of fashion not seen since the days of the 2017 bull market but BNB leads the way in terms of 24-hour price increases.
The price of the tokens issued by the exchange initially fell following the announcement of the hack last week. However, following a series of open announcements from Binance, the exchange’s coin is surging back from its brief decline.
How Did Binance Shrug off a $41 million Crypto Hack?
As one of the few crypto exchanges to have issued its own digital currency, observers have a unique insight into public sentiment regarding Binance following its recent costly hack. The security compromise last week saw 7,000 Bitcoin taken in a heist that is reportedly the sixth largest in the history of Bitcoin.
Following such a potentially catastrophic security breach, it would be easy for digital currency traders using Binance’s services to turn their backs on the company, and by extension, its token. However, judging by the current price performance of BNB, there has been no such continued dumping of the crypto asset – quite the opposite in fact.
As mentioned, the exchange’s own crypto is currently leading the last round of price increases. Whilst the majority of the top ten digital currencies are up over the last 24-hours at the time of writing, Binance Coin, according to Coinmarketcap, is up the most at over 16 percent. This compares to Bitcoin’s 12 percent, Ethereum’s more than 7 percent, and Litecoin’s 5 percent.
A lot of the current price performance by Binance Coin is likely down to how open and transparent the Binance team appear to have been regarding the exchange hack. Just days after the breach was first discovered, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the trading venue’s CEO and founder, held an Ask-Me-Anything session to try to put customers minds at ease.
The exchange’s staff were even open about their discussions regarding a potential blockchain reorg that would return the stolen Bitcoin. This, understandably, was quickly shot down by many loud voices in the crypto space before eventually being dismissed by CZ too.
The exchange has also kept users updated with fresh information regarding the hack as it becomes available. This has taken the form of a series of blog posts, the latest of which, published yesterday, states that deposits and withdrawals should come back online tomorrow. The exchange is hoping to resume business as usual following necessary downtime in the immediate aftermath of the hack. CZ states in the post:
“Our team is making progress and has been working through the weekend. In the past few days, we have made some significant overhauls to our system, with a large number of advanced security features added and/or completely re-architected. We will share details on some of the changes later.”

#Binance Security Incident Update #3 – @cz_binance https://t.co/9RsBOc95Ky
— Binance (@binance) May 12, 2019

Another fact that differentiates the Binance hack from the many previous examples of such security compromises at crypto exchanges is the fact that this time the affected company had the capital on hand to pay back those impacted by the breach. The firm had been putting away a percentage of its monthly profits in the amusingly named SAFU Fund – the Secure Asset Fund for Users. In fact, Binance did not even take up the many offers of financial help it received following the hack. CZ stated at the time:
“We are hurt but not broke.”
The overall handling of the situation by CZ and the Binance team is likely why such a potentially catastrophic hack has not resulted in a mass exodus from the trading venue and, by extension, the Binance Coin. Not many others in the crypto space could have shrugged off a $41 million breach so casually.
 
Related Reading: Analyst: Strong Possibility Bitcoin Runs Past $8,000 Before a Significant Correction Takes Place
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Website Providing Links to Illicit Crypto Marketplaces Seized

A website that provided a link between the regular internet and dark web marketplaces offering illegal goods and services in exchange for crypto has been seized. Deep Dot Web went down earlier today with a seizure notice detailing the authorities involved with the bust.
The raid on the website appears to be a coordinated effort by various law enforcement bodies from around the globe. These include the US Department of Justice, Europol, Politie, and others.
Site Earning by Linking Crypto-Friendly, Illegal Marketplaces to Customers Seized
Visitors to a popular website detailing various aspects of the numerous crypto-friendly dark net market places that have continued to spring up since the original Silk Road was shut down and its founder, Ross Ulbricht, was sentenced to life behind bars, would have disappointed this afternoon to find that it has been seized. In place of the original home page, the following notice was displayed:

Whilst concrete details relating to the seizure are still hazy, a brief report published to OnionSpot, a website providing similar information as Deep Dot Web, speculates as to what might have gone on.
The post claims that both the hidden web service and the regular website have both been seized. It goes on to state that those behind Deep Dot Web were accepting crypto payments in exchange for necessary referral links to popular dark net marketplaces such as Dream Market and Wall Street Market – both of which have recently gone offline for reasons currently unknown. This business is thought to have made the operators a “couple of millions [sic.] in US-Dollar”
Finally, the report speculates that the site’s operators’ crypto-for-referral links scheme could cost them up to 15 years in prison each. The charges they likely face will be based around them facilitating illegal acts and breaking anti-money laundering regulations. One Twitter user commented on the news:

Turns out knowingly accepting money that was obtained via illegal means is a crime. Crazy.
— Johnny Xmas (@J0hnnyXm4s) May 7, 2019

It is believed that the seizures today were the culmination of a joint effort between various law enforcement authorities over the course of a year-and-a-half. Arrests have reportedly been made in Tel Aviv and Ashdod, as well as Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Brazil.
Unfortunately, Bitcoin and other crypto assets are still trying to shake off their shadowy past connections to such criminality. The first time many folks had heard about the number one digital currency was in relation to the original Silk Road website. In 2012 and 2013, it received extensive news coverage on mainstream media even before it was shut down. This has unfairly influenced much of the dialogue about digital currencies as they have received more public attention.
Back in 2013, Bitcoin was touted by many with a poor understanding of the technology as the perfect currency to use to deal in contraband goods and services. However, numerous arrests made by those using non-private crypto assets on the dark web have highlighted that the most popular digital asset is in fact very poorly suited to such a use case. Since all transactions are stored on a public ledger that requires no permission to view, firms like Chainalysis have helped carve an entire industry out of blockchain forensics and the pursuit of bringing online criminals favouring cryptocurrency to justice.
 
Related Reading: Rat Poison” Bitcoin Outperformed Most Traditional Asset Classes in 2019
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Bitcoin Surpasses $100 Billion, Yet Former Wall Streeter Still Isn’t Bullish

After an April that renewed the hope of many for Bitcoin’s future, the number one digital asset has started May strong too. The entire market capitalisation of Bitcoin alone today surpassed the psychological milestone of $100 billion for the first time since last November.
The increased buying has been cause for celebration amongst much of the Bitcoin community, and calls that the bottom of the bear market is well and truly in are growing louder. However, one divisive YouTuber and former Wall Street trader still holds the position that lower prices could be on the horizon.
The Bitcoin Bear: An Increasingly Endangered Species
YouTube technical analyst and former Wall Street trader Tone Vays has just released a new segment of his not-quite-daily Trading Bitcoin YouTube show. The analyst is well-known in the Bitcoin community for his refusal to get wrapped up in news events and developments in the crypto space when discussing price. He has been consistently calling for a lower bottom than the December price of around $3,200, commonly held to be the bottom of the last/current bear market.
Vays goes strictly by the charts and in his latest episode, broadcast from a Mexican airport, he discusses the recent Bitcoin price surge to above $5,800. From analysis of monthly, weekly, daily, 12-hour, and 4-hour charts, the analyst reiterated the conclusion made in his previous video that the bottom is only about 40 percent likely to be in. He did, however, admit that the likelihood of the price not dropping below $3,200 seems to increase daily too.
Today, he stated:
“I have not seen anything yet that tells me that the low is in… I will wait for the perfect trade.”
From closer analysis of the charts, Vays speculates that the price is likely to go up from here but not by much. He states that Bitcoin price is likely to bounce off resistance in the $6,000 to $6,200 range. It will then likely head back down to around $4,000 or perhaps lower. Vays does remind viewers that reevaluations must be constantly made in order to trade successfully and that a crucial time to pay attention will be as the price gets close to $6,000.
You’re Not Alone, Tone!
Vays’s mid-term pessimism continues to stand at odds with most of the Bitcoin community. Tweets expressing immense bullishness have returned to CryptoTwitter in recent weeks.

I will give you some buzzwords now, which should make you bullish. Inhale the hopium, exhale slowly.
– Bitcoin– Halving 2020– Digital Gold– Store of value– Bakkt (lol)– 1 BTC = $1M by EOY
— ₿lackbeard (@crypto_blkbeard) May 3, 2019

Major bullish.
Bitcoin is breaking the 52 (yearly) moving average + parabolic move
Target 8700#ltc #litecoin #bitcoin #btc @MustStopMurad @CryptoCrewU @TheCryptoDog @davthewave @filbfilb @APompliano @PeterLBrandt
Thanks to peter and Murad for spotting it today pic.twitter.com/0XXE2d6XDQ
— Master (@xtdisnkfe) May 3, 2019

A recent report by crypto investment analysis firm Delphi Digital, also provides evidence to suggest that the market bottomed in December 2018. The company bases its analysis on the number of wallets that appear to be holding Bitcoin long-term returning to their 2015 bottom levels, indicating that those that were prepared to sell have now done so.
However, Vays is not quite alone in his belief that more blood needs be shed prior to the market resuming a consistent upwards trend.
Lucid Investments’s Tyler Jenks firmly believes that we will see a $1,000 Bitcoin before a $10,000 one. Although he hasn’t posted about price since the very latest upswing, the veteran trader believes that the Bitcoin price must return down to the trend line it was following prior to the mania of 2017. He recently Tweeted:

OK. I have not changed my mind that the final bottom for Bitcoin will be $1,000 or lower with almost certainty(99%). I only have 80% confidence that $3180 was THE bottom (the question asked) because we could hit a series of lower lows that than run up before heading lower.
— Tyler Jenks (@LucidInvestment) April 22, 2019

Similarly, Vinny Lingham, the South African crypto entrepreneur and Civic (CVC) CEO, believes that we are likely to see more downside. Like Tone, he thinks the $6,200 area will provide too great resistance to overcome. He also muses on the necessity for the crypto market to decouple from Bitcoin before real bullish momentum can begin again. He does believe of Bitcoin blows past $6,200, we could be off to the races, however.

Like I’ve been saying…Winter isn’t over until we clear $6200… https://t.co/LqXT7P0xuE
— Vinny Lingham (@VinnyLingham) April 30, 2019

 
Related Reading: Is The Bottom In? Bitcoin Price (BTC) Has Nearly Doubled Since Bear Market Low
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Nations Continue to De-Dollarise by Hoarding Gold: Is Stockpiling Bitcoin Next?

According to a report by the World Gold Council, central banks have been buying more gold this first quarter than they have in the previous six years. The efforts to diversify away from the US dollar are being led by China and Russia.
With a clear global appetite for store-of-value-type assets that are not connected to the dollar, the question remains, when will it emerge that banks are buying Bitcoin?
When Will Central Banks Stockpile Digital Gold, aka Bitcoin?
The World Gold Council estimates that gold held in reserves rose to 145.5 tons during the first quarter of 2019. This represents an impressive 68 percent increase from the figure reported for the previous year.
In the report, the council states that Russia continues to be the largest buyer of gold. The nation is known to be reducing its dependence on the US dollar by diversifying into other assets.
Bloomberg reports the World Gold Council’s head of market intelligence, Alistair Hewitt, to have stated:
“We’ve seen a continuation of the strong demand from central banks… We’re expecting another good year for central bank purchases, although I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they are to match the level seen in 2018.”
Along with China and Russia, the nations stepping up their gold hoarding include Kazakhstan, Turkey, Ecuador, Qatar, and Colombia. The report notes that a common theme amongst these nations is the fact that they all want to reduce their dependence on the US dollar.
Clearly, there is great hunger around the world for an asset that can be used effectively as a hedge against the dollar. This begs the immediate question: When will it emerge that central banks have been hoarding Bitcoin.
RT’s Max Keiser highlighted this via Twitter earlier today:

Central Banks will dive into #Bitcoin in size once Gold gets near impossible to source after it crosses $10,000. https://t.co/ZnhPjg5vyE
— Max Keiser, tweet poet. (@maxkeiser) May 3, 2019

He speculates that the scarcity of gold will eventually force banks to explore alternate options such as Bitcoin to hedge themselves against the dollar.
Naturally, it seems unlikely that a nation with such designs on crypto assets would openly announce that they are stockpiling Bitcoin. If it emerges that a country has been buying the asset, a global buying frenzy, led by central banks would likely drive the Bitcoin price to unthinkable levels extremely quickly. If a nation is trying to get ahead by secretly investing, this is the last thing that it would want.
There has already been speculation that Russia is toying with the idea of stockpiling Bitcoin. In January this year, a Russian professor with links to the Kremlin said Bitcoin is the only way of bypassing US and NATO sanctions. He stated that Russian elites were prepared to buy into Bitcoin if the situation demanded it. However, there is little to suggest that there is any truth to these statements yet.
That said, North Korea has been linked with Bitcoin and other crypto use to evade economic sanctions placed on them by western nations. The rogue state is believed to be operating a team of hackers that is responsible for various cyber crime around the world that rely on crypto in some shape or form.
Although neatly illustrating some of Bitcoin’s potential utility for nation states, North Korea’s experiments in alternate currencies hardly serves as a driver for higher prices in the way that the world learning that Russia or China was hoarding the crypto asset in favour of US dollars would. With hunger growing for non-correlated assets, it seems a matter of when rather than if this will happen too.
 
Related Reading: The Case for Bitcoin as a Store-of-Value, Can it Really Rival Gold Going Forward?
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Remarkably Basic Scam Nets Criminals $2 Million in Bitcoin and Other Assets

According to the New York Police Department, the number of people duped out of Bitcoin and other assets thanks to a telephone scam has soared in 2019. It estimates that a massive $2 million has been fraudulently obtained from residents of the city.
The scam responsible apparently involves a cold call from either a real person or AI operator claiming to be from social services. It is a wonder that the scam has been so successful, given how basic it is and the fact that payment is asked for in crypto!
New Day, New Bitcoin Scam
An article published by The Next Web states that the New York Police Department has been inundated by reports of people being defrauded out of money by a rather simplistic telephone scam in which scammers request Bitcoin, online gift cards, and other non-conventional payment methods after claiming to be from the social services.
The NYPD published a video warning citizens about the telephone scam:
According to the law enforcement authority, the scam involves the victim receiving a phone call, apparently from Social Security Administration officials. By spoofing the organisation, police, or some other government agency’s caller ID, the scammers make the call seem more legitimate.
They go on to tell the victim that their Social Security Number has been suspended for some reason or that it has been involved in some serious criminal case – such as international drug trafficking. Alternate versions of the same scam reportedly tell victims that their bank account has been frozen or seized, or that there is a warrant out for their  arrest.
The call then is often transferred to a supposed high-ranking police official who attempts to scare the victim with threats that the only way to rectify the situation is to send them Bitcoin, buy Apple or Google Play gift vouchers, or to FedEx them physical cash. This is, of course, a massive red flag and it is hard to believe that anyone has believed that the Social Security Administration’s preferred means of payment is Bitcoin or an online gift card.
That said, the scam is obviously proving successful. The NYPD reports that around $2 million has been defrauded from victims of it. Examples of such reports being made to the department have also sky rocketed. Whereas there were just three similar claims of fraud made in 2018, this year there have been 200 already.
Nilda Hofmann, the NYPD’s chief of community affairs stated:
“Sophisticated phone scams use the trust victims have in their own governmental and law enforcement agencies against them. Victims of this type of phone scam are not limited to senior citizens – these criminals are targeting every strata of society and every demographic is vulnerable.”
Although Bitcoin is often used as a means of payment in similar scams, such criminal activity accounts for a tiny percentage of all Bitcoin transactions. A report published in April 2018 found that less than one percent of BTC transactions were connected with a crime.
 
Related Reading: Familiar Bitcoin Scam Defrauds Dutch Investors of $1.9 Million and Counting
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Bitcoin Continues to Rise: But is the Bottom Really in?

A new report by market Delphi Digital has reiterated the firm’s earlier position that Bitcoin has already bottomed. The analysts focused primarily on the percentage of coins not being transacted for more than a year relative to previous market cycles.
The researchers form part of a growing number of analysts who believe that Bitcoin bottomed in December last year. However, some still hold that Bitcoin will move down before it moves back into raging bull mode once again.
Delphi Digital: The Bitcoin Bottom is In
Bitcoin is having a spectacular spring thus far. The leading digital asset has gone from around $4,000 to over $5,500 dollars in about five weeks. Such consistent gains have not been observed since the days of the 2017 bull market. With prices continuing to rise on yet another green day for the leading cryptocurrency, one research firm has published a report stating that the accumulation period following one of the bleakest of crypto winters on record has now begun.
The report by Delphi Digital, a firm specialising in digital asset research and consulting, is a follow up to an earlier Bitcoin market outlook report.

0/ Since December, our team has continued to state our belief that $BTC would bottom by Q1 2019. Today, we are excited to share an updated #Bitcoin Outlook report where we walk through why we continue to believe the bottom is in. Read more here: https://t.co/920MD8d7fk
— Delphi Digital (@Delphi_Digital) May 2, 2019

The company had original released “The State of Bitcoin” in December 2018. It stated that the market would find a bottom before the end of quarter one 2019. The latest research from Delphi Digital corroborates the findings of its predecessor. It says:
“We continue to stand by that call, we believe the market has bottomed.”
The researchers go on to write that that the market in fact bottomed in December last year at around $3,200. They base this conclusion largely on unspent transaction outputs – in other words, how long Bitcoin has stayed in the same place for. Those coins that have not moved in over a year are deemed to be held by long-term holders and it is these true believes that eventually provide support at the true bottom. The firm  compared the percentage of these long-term holders with the figures observed during the 2015 bottom.
The idea behind the analysis is essentially that once the market mainly consists of long-term holders, there is no one left to sell and thus the bottom is in. A period of accumulation can then begin. Delphi writes:
“The 1 year+ holder rate during the potential December bottom is within 1% of the 1 year+ holder rate during the previous cycle’s bottom in January of 2015.”
Delphi Not Alone, But is This Really Crypto Spring?
There is a growing contingency of crypto analysts that claim that the bottom is indeed in for Bitcoin. The likes of Tom Lee has spoken about it at length on CNBC in recent weeks. He claims that institutional interest from potential clients of the forthcoming Bakkt platform and recently launched Fidelity institutional grade crypto services, as well as rising organic on chain transaction volume from places like Turkey and Venezuela will continue to drive prices up from the December low point.
Likewise, various crypto-focused Twitter accounts have opined that the Bitcoin bottom is well and truly in for different reasons:

The case for a bitcoin bottom is simple:
Price is supply and demand.
Supply is fixed.
Demand is apparent.
Halving is a certainty.
2015 bottom was 18 months before the halving.
2018 bottom was 18 months before the next halving.
— The Rhythm Trader (@Rhythmtrader) May 1, 2019

Some conclusions you can draw from this imo
– The bitcoin bottom is in– The absolute lowest price $BTC can reach is now around $4,000 (even this seems unlikely at this point)– There's a few months tops of accumulation left before it leaves these price levels forever
— Moon Overlord (@MoonOverlord) April 25, 2019

However, not every cryptocurrency analyst is convinced. Constantly calling for lower prices is Tyler Jenks, of the HyperWave YouTube channel and Lucid Investment. Although Jenks admits that Bitcoin could well one day serve as a world reserve currency with a value in the many millions of dollars, he states that the price must first return to the $1,000 area. For him, Bitcoin has been in a pattern he calls a hyper wave and it must return to the trend line it was following prior to the 2017 bull market:

I have not commented on Bitcoin since we broke up through the $4,000-4,200 resistance zone. I believe we are headed back down to that zone and it will not hold. New lows coming. Target of $1,000 unchanged.
— Tyler Jenks (@LucidInvestment) April 11, 2019

 
Related Reading: Bitcoin Likely Bottomed At $3,150, Could Rally To $10K By December 2019 
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