Putin Confirms Russia Will Regulate Cryptocurrencies

Following the meeting with Vladimir Putin, Russian regulators announced that cryptocurrencies will officially be regulated in Russia. The central bank and the finance ministry will now work together to come up with one draft law to provide a basic regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, which is expected by the year’s end.

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Putin Has Spoken

At the meeting on cryptocurrencies between Putin and top Russian regulators on Tuesday, the decision to regulate cryptocurrencies in Russia was reached. “The Russian government has decided to officially regulate the mining and circulation of cryptocurrencies,” RT described and quoted Finance Minister Anton Siluanov announcing on Wednesday that:

We have agreed on the following: the state should regulate the process of issuing cryptocurrencies, the process of mining, the process of circulation…The state should head this situation and regulate it legally.

Putin Confirms Russia Will Regulate Cryptocurrencies
Putin’s meeting on cryptocurrencies.

The meeting was attended by Siluanov, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina, Central Bank Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova, Presidential Aide Andrei Belousov, and Qiwi CEO Sergei Solonin.

In the meeting, Putin acknowledged the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. However, he also stressed that “it is important not to create unnecessary barriers, of course, but rather to provide essential conditions for advancing and upgrading the national financial system.”

Finance Ministry to Work With Central Bank

Currently, cryptocurrencies including bitcoin are not regulated in Russia despite many attempts by various government departments to put forward proposals to regulate them. Both the central bank and the finance ministry have been working separately on a draft law to regulate cryptocurrencies. A draft bill was supposed to be introduced in October but was postponed due to a lack of consensus among the regulators.

Putin Confirms Russia Will Regulate Cryptocurrencies
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.

The finance ministry proposed to legalize cryptocurrencies but was opposed by the central bank due to “a loss of control over the money flows from abroad.” This week, the ministry proposed to register cryptocurrency miners and to license crypto exchanges.

After the meeting with Putin, however, Siluanov told journalists that the finance ministry and the central bank will now work together to prepare one basic draft law to regulate cryptocurrencies, Tass reported on Wednesday and quoted him saying:

We will prepare the draft law together with the Central Bank…I think we will be able to determine the basic regulatory positions before the end of the year.

“According to him, with regard to regulation, the functions of the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank and Rosfinmonitoring will be delineated,” the publication elaborated.

Possible Restrictions

In addition, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev indicated on Wednesday that there may be some restrictions. “Russia’s Finance Ministry supports the idea to limit the amount cryptocurrency that can be purchased by individuals,” Tass detailed and quoted him saying:

We said that restrictions are needed on purchases and sales, accounts, miners’ taxation and so on…Yes, there is such an idea, we support it. We should discuss the amounts. We should look at international practice.

This is not the first time Moiseev talked about restricting the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies in Russia. In August, he proposed listing them on regulated exchanges but banning non-qualified investors from buying and selling them. However, his proposal did not receive a lot of support from other regulators. First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov promptly commented on Moiseev’s suggestion, stating that no legislation had been decided. The finance minister followed up with a suggestion that cryptocurrencies could be made available to anyone in the same way federal loan bonds (OFZ) are.

How do you think Russia will regulate cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.

Zenapay Latest PoS Bitcoin Solution to Enter Projected $50 Billion Cannabis Market

US cash-intensive cannabis businesses (420s) are looking for ways to meet customer demand while struggling under federal prohibition. Cryptocurrencies are increasing in popularity with 420s, and now Zenapay is entering the market with its own bitcoin solution.

 

Cannabis Cash

The US states comprising its contiguous west, if outliers include Alaska and Nevada, is home to fifty-two million people. That is an enormous market. They also happen to be the bulk of states that have legalized cannabis for personal use, medicinal use, and sale.

Tension arises between all such states and the federal government because the federal government does not agree with voters’ will.

Zenapay Latest POS Bitcoin Solution to Enter Projected $50 Billion Cannabis Market

Beyond criminality, issues of banking and finance come into play. The federal government is given wide jurisdiction over banking and money, and financial institutions are wary of  running afoul of federal laws.

In practical terms this means bank accounts, access to lines of credit, and myriads of financial products are in practice forbidden to 420 companies.

Much as it was on the black market, 420s are reliant almost exclusively upon cash.

Mounds of cash on hand is not only a logistical nightmare in a modern economy, it’s also a real security issue. And with twenty more states coming online, passing slimmed-down versions of legalization/decriminalization, the cannabis market is looking for relief.

Bitcoin Solution

“Statistics from financial services firm Cowen & Co showed legal cannabis was a $6 billion industry last year, and is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2026,” RT online reports.

Population numbers and these projections are enticing payment service providers into the cannabis market.

The latest such example is a company out of Chicago, Epazz. It’s an over-the-counter publicly traded business software concern, betting rollouts early winter of this year in Apple’s App Store, and later for Android, will go a long way in making 420s more efficient and safer.

Zenapay Latest POS Bitcoin Solution to Enter Projected $50 Billion Cannabis Market

Zenapay is a one percent transaction fee, point-of-service (POS) solution. It boasts online and in-store bitcoin purchases capability using proprietary software, allowing for customer anonymity and for 420s to lessen cash burdens.

“We are filling a large need in the cannabis community,” the company’s press release quoted its CEO Shaun Passley. Merchants, he said, “due to the stringent limitations by the standard banking systems” simply cannot be banked.

A PoS with bitcoin functionality eliminates these issues.

Entrepreneurial bitcoiners, regardless of niche, are constantly looking for POS services to keep accounting straight as they look to drop cash dependency for bitcoin.

If it proves successful, Zenapay says it will offer payroll services, e-commerce stores, inventory tracking, and compliance features going forward.

What do you think? Are 420s a welcome addition to the bitcoin ecosystem? Are solutions preserving anonymity finally ‘getting it?’ Tell us in the comments below! critical-fast-bud-auto-cannabis-seeds-by-oss-bank-1068x1068


Pakistan Set to Become a Major Bitcoin Hub

Pakistan is currently the seventh most populous country in the world with approximately 202 million residents. Today, the country exhibits many traits ripe for accelerated bitcoin adoption. Bitcoin.com discussed bitcoin trends in Pakistan with Danyal Manzar, the co-founder of Pakistan’s first and largest bitcoin trading platform, Urdubit.

 

Huge Freelance Market, but Payment Solutions Lacking

Despite having no access to Paypal, Pakistan still ranks among the top countries for freelance outsource workers. In fact, “Pakistan is ranked 3rd on freelance websites,”paypal According to the New York Times10,000 IT graduates in Pakistan are estimated to enter the Pakistan job market every year.

Remittances are also a “very big market” in Pakistan, . “We see about 20 billion USD coming in annually,” . “Since there are not enough jobs, the major remittance is seen from the UAE and Saudi Arabia followed by western countries.”

Despite the lack of jobs, however, life in Pakistan has been modernizing in recent years. Rapid lifestyle change, technological innovations, and increasing broadband access in Pakistan have all accelerated the number of Pakistani freelancers. However, “the payments are always a problem,” adding that:

Since the job market is also limited we see many freelancers turning to bitcoin, there is no Paypal in the country and no proper payment processor which could aid payments.

High Broadband Subscription Growth

Mobile broadband use is growing very fast in the country. The World Bank describes Pakistan as “leading the way in South Asia in digital finance” with 6% of adults having mobile accounts, compared to South Asia’s average of less than 2.6%.world bank

Last June, the number of 3G/4G subscribers in the country had reached 29.53 million, up from 14.6 million in July 2015. Total broadband subscribers grew 92% to 32.41 million from 16.88 million, according to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

The World Bank also notes that about 100 million adults in Pakistan are unbanked, without access to formal and regulated financial services. Only 13 percent of adults there have a formal account and 27.5 million adults said the distance to a financial institution is a barrier to opening a financial account.

With so many unbanked, no access to Paypal, a huge freelancing industry, a major remittance destination, and so many subscribed to a high-speed mobile account, Bitcoin could find a huge home market in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Bitcoin Market

Admittedly, the bitcoin market in Pakistan “is still very new,” but it is fast growing. Citing low banking penetration and “very limited POS terminals in the country,”Pakistan-flag-1068x712

Bitcoin provides a cross-board payments system, as well as local payment solution at a much cheaper cost.

www.easypaypakistan.com is a real-time bitcoin exchange using the blinktrade engine. According to Coinhills, www.easypaypakistan.com trading volume has been growing steadily in the last few weeks, and the exchange has the largest bitcoin trading volume in the country, twice  in a 24-hour period. “I would say our market share is 1/3 of the total market,” he explained. If he’s correct, that indicates Pakistan trades around 40 bitcoins each day, putting it somewhere around 27th place among all currencies in volume rankings.

However, he also admitted that there are still not many shops accepting bitcoin. Online, the situation is a bit better, since many websites in the country have started accepting bitcoin as a payment “due to quicker payment times and no charge backs.”

We believe it’s only a matter of time before we see Pakistan follow India and become a major user of bitcoin.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan government “hasn’t taken any stance on bitcoin as of yet,” blog.Easypaypakistan.com added. This company will soon be approved by the State Bank Of Pakistan. “They believe that bitcoin is a commodity and not a currency,”

Do you think Pakistan is ripe for bitcoin adoption? Let us know in the comments section below.

Pakistan Government to Put the Searchlight on Bitcoin Traders Says Local Media

Powerful Pakistan government and media officials appear to be contradicting the domestic population’s embrace of bitcoin.   

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Pakistan Government on the Defensive, Maybe

Karachi, Pakistan’s Dawn, a widely circulated and read periodical and website in English, is rather cosmopolitan. Covering bitcoin, however, its website curation seems to have a decidedly negative slant.

Pakistan Herald Publications Limited is Dawn‘s owner, and its CEO is Hameed Haroon, noted regional journalist and member of a highly influential family in the country.

In one dispatch from Mr. Haroon’s flagship, reprinted all over the world, the headline announced, “FBR goes after bitcoin traders.”

Pakistan Government to Put the Searchlight on Bitcoin Traders Says Local Media
Faisal Khan’s only evidence Pakistan’s government is paying any attention to bitcoin.

FBR is Pakistan’s Federal Bureau of Revenue, its principal collector of tax.

“The top intelligence department,” the piece insisted, “is investigating cases where investors trade digital currencies probably to evade taxes or launder money.”

The sentence-inserted link refers to the site’s own coverage of bitcoin reaching 1000 USD early this year. Not a single reference to FBR nor an investigation.

“A senior tax official said people evade tax and launder money using cryptocurrencies,” the article asserts without a single quote or reference. “They buy bitcoin to launder their tax-evaded money […], adding that they park their black money out of Pakistan in many cases.”

Paraphrases are allowed, of course, but this drove news.Bitcoin.com to search relevant Pakistani government pronouncements on bitcoin specifically, cryptocurrencies generally.

Nothing.

The Dawn piece goes on in this manner, listing a veritable alphabet soup of agencies and investigators and laws employed to hunt bitcoin traders without citing a documented source.

Pakistan Government's and Street's Tensions with Bitcoin
Screen Shot of SBP by Faisal Khan, showing no reference to the bank’s position on bitcoin.

What Blogs and Independent Sites Know

Faisal Khan, financial technology scout for venture capitalists and payments consultant, based in Turkey, blogged his similar bafflement.

After he too read the Dawn piece, he “wanted to explore the basis under which these raids are being conducted and wanted to comment on this further.”

He searched and searched.

Mr. Khan writes, “I’ve searched […], trying to find any circular &/or notification, gazette, SRO, press release, etc. related to Bitcoin &/or Cryptocurrency – but I could not find it.”

His knowledge of Pakistan’s legal history is impressive, and he cites all the documents he examined.Pakistan Government's and Street's Tensions with Bitcoin

“For bitcoin to be considered for money-laundering,” Mr. Khan notes, “it has to be defined into an asset class whereby [bitcoin] has been declared [money] or some form of an asset as per ‘some’ legal definition in some law in Pakistan.”

He concludes, “Right now, the Government of Pakistan in no way recognizes [bitcoin] as legal tender or legal ‘anything.’ It has no legal standing under any law in Pakistan.”

Since the series of articles in Dawn, bitcoin seems to be capturing the attention of Pakistani rupee holders anyway.

Localbitcoins exchange activity in the region as of this writing has risen exponentially, matching a global pattern.

Citing Japan’s approach, long-time Pakistani commodity trader Shahan Rehman urged acceptance “by a country compels people to jump on the bandwagon, increasing its price massively.”

As of now, official government pronouncements are not available to the public.

Are Pakistan’s laws on bitcoin just not available digitally? Is the government on purpose holding back? Tell us in the comments below.

Bitcoin ATMs On the Rise in Russia

The number of bitcoin ATMs is on the rise in Russia. Ten of them were recently installed in five districts of Novosibirsk by a local startup. Last week, a different company announced their plans to install a hundred cryptocurrency ATMs in Moscow hotels and airport terminals starting this month. Meanwhile, the regulators have said that they will not legalize cryptocurrencies anytime soon.

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Novosibirsk’s Ten Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs On the Rise in Russia
A BBFpro Bitcoin ATM.

In Russia’s third most populous city, Novosibirsk, ten one-way bitcoin ATMs were recently installed by a local startup BBFpro, according to RBC. The machines were placed in five districts of the city; Kalininsky, Zheleznodorozhny, Oktyabrsky, Leninsky and Kirovsky districts, detailed the company’s director, Anton Friedel.

Most of the terminals are located in stores selling bottled beverages, he told the publication. “All ten devices are located in such a way that each resident of the city has the opportunity to quickly and easily reach the point of sale of bitcoins,” he was quoted. His team originally wanted to place them in the city’s large shopping centers, but the rent is too high, he elaborated, noting that:

Large shopping centers requested a rent which is almost impossible for us as a startup. The amount for one place reached 15-20,000 rubles, while in beer shops we pay 2,000 rubles for each place.

Bitcoin ATMs On the Rise in Russia
Another BBFpro Bitcoin ATM.

He also revealed that it took his team about three months to develop software and install the terminals, adding that the project cost about two million rubles. The machines charge a commission of 6%. “We made such a small percentage because we are counting on a large flow of customers,” RBC quoted him saying. According to him, BBFpro currently has no competitors in Novosibirsk.

In the near future, Friedel said he plans to expand his network of cryptocurrency ATMs in Novosibirsk as well as to neighboring areas. He specifically named Kemerovo, Krasnoyarsk, Barnaul, and Irkutsk. In addition, “we are developing a terminal that will not only sell but also buy cryptocurrency,” he explained, adding that they also plan to start selling other cryptocurrencies.

100 Crypto ATMs Coming to Moscow

Last week, Rambler News reported that approximately 100 one-way cryptocurrency ATMs will be coming to Moscow between this month and the year’s end. They will be installed by Investcoin24 throughout the city center such as in hotels, according to the company’s co-owner, Pavel Panova. In addition, he added that negotiations are currently underway with airport owners for some units to be installed in their departure and arrival areas.

Bitcoin ATMs On the Rise in Russia
Investcoin24’s Bitcoin ATM at Vintage77.

The machines can be programmed to sell four cryptocurrencies, Panova explained, adding that they can also sell Initial Coin Offering (ICO) tokens. Initially, the commission will be 4%, he told Innov publication.

Last month, Investcoin24 installed a one-way bitcoin ATM at the Moscow restaurant “Vintage77,” according to an Instagram post by the founder of Iventurer Foundation, Alexey Olin.

Another restaurant in Moscow, Valenok, which started accepting bitcoin payments in June also said that they have plans to install a bitcoin ATM if there is demand from customers, according to RIA Novosti.

Regulatory Uncertainties

The number of cryptocurrency ATMs is growing in Russia despite the government saying that they will not legalize cryptocurrencies anytime soon. The Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said last month that “bitcoin settlements in Russia will not be legalized.” His statement followed a meeting where the regulators could not agree on how to regulate cryptocurrencies and decided to postpone their plans to draft a regulatory framework for them to next year. The central bank, however, is adamant that these instruments cannot be treated as money substitutes.

Friedel told RBC that he hopes to advertise his bitcoin ATMs to attract more customers. However, since cryptocurrencies are currently unregulated, many large platforms refuse to advertise them, he explained. In addition, he is uncertain how his cryptocurrency business will be taxed. “We will provide the tax authorities with documents, but we do not know whether they will accept them,” he elaborated.

Do you think Russia will allow bitcoin ATMs to flourish across the country? Let us know in the comments section below

 

Markets Update: Bitcoin Price Dives Deeper in the Midst of ICO Shakedown

dip-1068x1068The price of bitcoin dropping over 8 percent immediately after the digital currency’s all time high of $4,980. On September 4, bitcoin dropped to a low of $4,140. Speculators now believe the price drop today may be due to the recent announcement from the People’s Bank of China banning Initial Coin Offerings (ICO).

 

Bitcoin Markets Shave a Few Billion Again

There’s a bearish sentiment throughout bitcoin markets, just as we predicted would happen two days ago in our last price analysis. At press time, bitcoin’s price is trying to hold above the $4,150 territory as the currency’s value dropped another six legs down on Monday, September 4. Volume is still pretty decent with over $2.4B traded over the past 24-hours, but most of the action is stemming from this morning’s huge sell off. Bitcoin’s price dip caused the entire top eighteen cryptocurrency market capitalizations to drop, slashing prices from 5 to 34 percent, as most altcoins right now are in the red. This past week’s sell off has been the largest to date since mid-July, and we are seeing a similar 25-30 percent total correction during the bearish cycle.

Markets Update: Bitcoin Price Dives Deeper in the Midst of ICO Shakedown

Bitcoin price 11:30 am EDT September 4, 2017. Prices are now below the sub-$4,300 range.

Technical Indicators

Right now technical indicators show the Relative Strength Index (RSI) continues to head downwards, confirming that sellers right now have the upper hand. Of course, over the past three days, the two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) crossed hairs, and the long term 200 SMA is well above the short term 100 SMA. This again assures traders the storm is not yet over, and there is great resistance down the road. Looking at order books on some of the most popular exchanges, there are monstrous walls between the $4,600-5,000 positions. If support holds steady in the $4,160-4,200 area, bulls will have some work to do to eat through the next wave of resistance levels.

Markets Update: Bitcoin Price Dives Deeper in the Midst of ICO Shakedown

Bitcoin price, September 4, 2017. 200 SMA (white trendline) is well above the 100 SMA (green).

PBOC: ‘No ICOs For You’

Market sentiment seems to be geared towards the recent announcement from China’s central bank concerning ICOs. Cryptocurrency markets were already battling through a significant correction after bitcoin reached new price highs. So speculators think the recent banning of ICOs in China adds uncertainty to these types of markets. Otherwise, bitcoin is running its course through a typical 25-30 percent correction, after rocketing close to the $5K levels. Other spectators believe banks are spreading ‘fake news’ about bitcoin right now, because cryptocurrency popularity has risen exponentially. The UK publication the Mirror reports that certain banks are spreading these phony news stories to “restore the status quo.”

Bitcoin’s dip redlines the top eighteen altcoins below bitcoin’s market cap.

The Verdict

Right now bitcoin is holding above $4,150, so it may consolidate in this territory and push higher this week with some bounce back. Most of the top ten altcoins below bitcoin’s market cap lost larger percentages than bitcoin, which is likely tethered to the ICO news. This has pushed bitcoin’s market dominance up to 48.5 percent among the hundreds of altcoin market caps in existence. After the lull, bitcoin could follow its typical trend of moving up higher than before after a deep correction. So far this has been a consistent trend this year for bitcoin’s price, but we should never place all of our bets on this trend, because it may not be the case going forward.

Bear Scenario: Bitcoin markets could drop lower if the $4,100 floor collapses, bringing the price into the $4,000-3,900 territory. Right now big players have stepped off to the sidelines to catch more satoshis from weak hands and wait to choose a better entry point. Most technical indicators like the Stochastic, RSI, SMA, and order books are showing a strong negative sentiment at press time.

Bull Scenario: Right now, we are either going to consolidate in the $4,125-4,200 range, or we are seeing a short term bull trap at the moment. Bitcoin needs to break upper-level resistance past the $4,600 territory, but right now walls are considerably high. Of course topping the $5K range again is not out of the question, but it’s going to take some significant time to get there again.

Where do you see the price of bitcoin heading from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Bitcoin Cash Mining Difficulty Drops Significantly – Speeding Up The Chain

On Sunday, August 20, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network dropped its mining difficulty another notch down to 7 percent of BTC’s difficulty, on block 479808. Since then another mining pool has joined in on processing blocks on the BCH chain as the mining pool BTC.com has found its first block on the network.

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Bitcoin Cash Difficulty Drops to Seven Percent of BTC’s Mining Difficulty

Bitcoin Cash Mining Difficulty Drops Significantly – Speeding Up The ChainThe game theory for miners begins to get more interesting as the BCH network has become 115 percent more profitable to mine than the Bitcoin blockchain. This is due to the digital currency’s price which is hovering between the $760-790 range and because of the difficulty drop down to 7 percent of the Bitcoin network’s difficulty. Blocks are being processed rapidly now on the BCH chain as each block is being found every 3-7 minutes. BCH average hashrate per day has spiked significantly over the past four days to roughly 10 percent of the Bitcoin network’s seven exahash.

The mystery miner is now capturing fewer blocks over the past few days as other mining pools have picked up the pace. Mining pools like pool.Bitcoin.com, Bitclub, and Viabtc especially have been processing a lot more blocks recently, spreading out hashrate distribution. Viabtc has mined over 27 percent of the last 144 BCH blocks found, and the mystery miner now has only 68 percent. So far since the fork 1507 blocks have been mined and the fork is currently 1349 blocks behind the BTC chain. However, at the current speed of processing blocks and with the BCH network difficulty so low the chain should start to catch up.

BTC.com Mining Pool Joins In on BCH Mining, Other Pools to Follow This Week

In addition to the network difficulty changes, another mining pool has joined in on processing BCH blocks. The mining pool BTC.com mined its first block, 480002, on August 20, being the first pool to join since Bitclub last week. Additionally, according to Trustnodes the large mining pool BTC.top will begin mining BCH on Monday, August 21. Jiang Zhuo’er, BTC.TOP’s founder told the publication that there would be an option for miners to choose between BTC or BCH from the pool’s settings.

Bitcoin Cash Mining Difficulty Drops Significantly Drawing in More Miners
BTC.com joins in on mining BCH capturing 1.39 percent of the network.

Bitmain’s Jihan Wu Speaks on Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash Mining Difficulty Drops Significantly Drawing in More Miners
Jihan Wu founder of Bitmain, and operator of the mining pool Antpool.

The new pool follows statements made on August 17 by Bitmain founder and Antpool operator, Jihan Wu, saying “Antpool will start to provide bitcoin cash mining option after at least one of Segwit supporter/fan pools start to mining bitcoin cash.”  This means as more mining pools jump in on processing BCH blocks Jihan Wu’s Antpool may join in on mining the digital currency in the near future. A couple of days later Jihan Wu made some more interesting statements about BCH and BTC as well.

“If you want to kill bitcoin cash, please pitch Brian Armstrong to list bitcoin cash. Because lots of investors at Coinbase want to sell their bitcoin cash,” Jihan Wu states on Twitter. In another statement, Jihan Wu gives his Twitter followers a thought-provoking analogy.

America is not England. America is America. Bitcoin Cash is not Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin Cash.

BCH supporters are looking forward to this week as they believe there will be some more action with the digital currency’s hashrate and the token’s market price. At press time the BCH price has dipped well below this past Friday’s $960 highs and is currently hovering in the $760 price territory.

What do you think about the changes taking place within the Bitcoin Cash network? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 


 

Bitcoin Flies Past New All-Time High of $4K Across Global Exchanges

The price of bitcoin has climbed to another all time high of $4,000 per BTC across global exchanges on August 12 at approximately 9:40 pm EDT. It was just seven days ago when bitcoin’s price surpassed the $3,000 zone gaining $1,000 in value in just one week.

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Bitcoin Gains $1000 in Value Over the Course of One Week

Last week news.Bitcoin.com reported on how bitcoin crossed the $3K price range just five days after the network split. Now a week later the decentralized currency has continued to rise relentlessly and now commands a weighted average of $4140 per BTC at the time of writing. Most of the current demand for bitcoin is stemming from the U.S., Japan, China, South Korea and India, but the cryptocurrency is growing more popular in nearly every country worldwide according to Google Trends. Local Bitcoins volumes are also soaring in every nation state recorded by Coin Dance data.

Bitcoin Sets Another All-Time High of $4K Across Global Exchanges
Bitcoin crosses $4K on August 12, 2017, 9:40 pm EDT.

At this price, bitcoin’s entire market capitalization is roughly $66B and dominates 47 percent of the entire $134B cryptocurrency market cap. Further, since our last price analysis, BTC trade volume has increased from $1.7B to $2.3B over the past 24-hours. The $4K bitcoin price also follows in line with Goldman Sachs recent BTC prediction two months ago. Goldman Sachs chief technician, Sheba Jafari said at the time;

[Bitcoin] has a minimum target that goes out to 3,212. There’s potential to extend as far as 3,915. It just might take time to get there.

Bitcoin Sets Another All-Time High of $4K Across Global Exchanges

Brace Yourselves, Pictures of Bitcoin Price Tickers and the ‘Roller Coaster Guy’ Are Coming

Bitcoin’s value has gained $1000 per BTC over the course of the last week, and it wasn’t so long ago when the price surpassed $2K back in May. At the time bitcoin’s average 24-hour trade volume was roughly $1B, and since then volumes have doubled worldwide. Moreover, when bitcoin’s price reached the $2K milestone the network hashrate was 4.2 exahash per second, and now miners are processing at 6.1 exahash per second. Mining revenue is also doing quite well reaching its highest point in history, making mining a very profitable business in 2017.

Bitcoin Sets Another All-Time High of $4K Across Global Exchanges
In parallel with the price, Bitcoin interest is at an all time high.

Of course, cryptocurrency enthusiasts are very pleased with bitcoin’s price performance. Social media and forums are littered with pictures of people’s price tickers at $4K with plenty of funny ‘roller coaster guy’ memes as well. There have been some individuals who feel like these rises are no big deal anymore and new all time highs are just like any other day in bitcoin-land. One forum post nonchalantly says, “Meh — Getting boring, wake me up when we’re at $10k please.”

Where do you see the price going from here? Let us know in the comments below. 

Panel Recommends Indian Government Take Immediate Steps to Stop Bitcoin Use

The panel formed by the Indian finance ministry has reportedly provided the government with some long-awaited recommendations on how to deal with digital currencies including bitcoin. Immediate steps are to be taken to stop or discourage their use.

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Immediate Steps Recommended

A multi-ministerial panel formed by the Indian finance ministry in April to study and suggest measures for the government to deal with digital currencies including bitcoin has reportedly given the government its official recommendations. The Financial Express reported that:

[The panel] has recommended the government to take immediate steps to stop use of VCs [virtual currencies] such as bitcoins to protect people from potential frauds and curb money laundering.

Indian Government Take Immediate Steps to Stop Bitcoin UsePrior to submitting its report to the government, the panel sought views from the public as well as cryptocurrency start-ups. It recently held a meeting where stakeholders were consulted, Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said last week, adding that it looked into various aspects of digital currencies such as the usage of bitcoin.

The panel also proposed that if the use of digital currencies continues, the government has the option of stopping their transactions by regulating commercial establishments and intermediaries, sources told the news outlet.

Cryptocurrencies Already on the Rise in India

Indian Government Take Immediate Steps to Stop Bitcoin UseMeanwhile, bitcoin adoption in India is rapidly growing especially in cities like Bangalore, where Unocoin, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges in the country is located. The company told Bitcoin.com that over 50 new merchants have signed up to accept bitcoin this month alone. According to a recent survey, professionals in most industries have heard of bitcoin, even though they have not used it themselves.

A government official said that intermediaries have been regularly advertising cryptocurrencies and the government’s silence on them “can be construed as permission for such activities,” the Financial Express detailed, adding that:

The panel suggested that the government should launch a campaign to discourage people from buying digital currencies and stop advertisements by VC intermediaries.

Government Still Undecided on Bitcoin Regulation

Indian Government Take Immediate Steps to Stop Bitcoin UseThe Indian government has long been looking into regulating digital currencies like bitcoin. In addition to the aforementioned panel, the government has also set up a task force to look into regulating digital currencies. Recently, the Supreme Court has independently ordered the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to investigate complaints regarding its inaction over digital currencies, giving the central bank four weeks to come up with a report.

Meanwhile, the RBI suggested that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) should be the one regulating bitcoin as it should be considered a commodity, to which SEBI disagrees. The news outlet further noted:

The panel, however, did not recommend a blanket ban on digital currencies, as it is difficult to implement.

What do you think of the panel’s recommendations? Let us know in the comments section below.

Fork Watch: First Bitcoin Cash Block Mined Included Over 6K Transactions

As Easypaypakistan reported earlier today, Bitcoin Cash miners initiated the beginning of the fork on August 1 at 12:37 p.m. UTC at block height 478558. Now, six hours later Viabtc mined the first Bitcoin Cash block (nr 478559) at 6:14 pm GMT. This was followed by the second block (nr 478560) that was also mined by the mining pool Viabtc.

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Bitcoin Cash is Born

The Bitcoin Cash blockchain has successfully split away from the legacy chain as of block 478559. The block was mined by the China-based mining pool Viabtc at 2:14 pm EDT (6:14 GMT) and the pool also found the next block 478560 shortly after. The first Bitcoin Cash block was 1915175 Bytes or 1.9 MB in size, holding 6,985 transactions. This is much larger than BTC’s 1MB limit and approx. 3,000 transaction throughput. The mining pool Viabtc also wrote in the block’s Coinbase data “Welcome to the world.” The organization also showed excitement via Twitter stating;

Welcome to the world, Shuya Yang! And Bitcoin cash!

Fork Watch: First Bitcoin Cash Block Mined Clears Over 6K Transactions

Block #478559 the first official Bitcoin Cash block mined on August 1, 2017, at 2:14 pm EDT.

Bitcoin Cash Network Sees a Hashrate Increase, but a Swift Drop in Price

Bitcoin Cash prices have dropped significantly since this morning’s high of $400 to a low of $220 at the time of writing. The price of BTC seems unfazed by the first blocks found and is still hovering around the $2740 range. Throughout forums and social media, everyone is talking about the fork. Of course, big blockers are celebrating the split while small blockers are waiting to see something bad happen.

Fork Watch: First Bitcoin Cash Block Mined Clears Over 6K Transactions

At the moment the Bitcoin Cash hashrate is growing slowly and is currently operating at 247 PH/s or 3.9% of the BTC network hashrate. So far, at press time, five blocks total have been mined on the Bitcoin Cash network. Bitcoin.com will be sure to follow the split events closely so our readers can be informed every step of the way.

What do you think about Bitcoin Cash officially splitting off from the legacy chain? Let us know in the comments below.