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.

Nevada Senate Bill 398 Becomes Law, Prohibiting Tax on Blockchain Technology

Judging by recent legislation, which is mostly hostile towards blockchain technology, Senate Bill 398 in Nevada seems like an unprecedented step in a positive direction. SB398 prohibits taxation and regulations regarding the use and implementation of blockchain technology, and it was approved by Nevada governor Brian Sandoval. 

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The bill is meant to create an environment that is hospitable Nevada Senate Bill 398 Becomes Law, Prohibiting Tax on Blockchain Technologyrather than hostile to new technology startups, and it is the first one to recognize smart contracts as legitimate and binding.

The bill was filed by Ben Kieckhefer on March 20. It appears he did not want the State to follow in the footsteps of places like New York who have generated regulations that harm bitcoin and other blockchain-based companies. The politicians in Nevada overall want the blockchain and technology industry to grow and benefit their State.

A Minutes of the Senate Committee On Judiciary record document read, “The bill will help ensure the State keeps pace with technological advancements and provide a legal framework for people using a blockchain to not do so in a legal gray area.”

The bill includes the following legal requirements for county commissioners to follow:

A board of county commissioners shall not: 13 (a) Impose any tax or fee on the use of a blockchain by any 14 person or entity; 15 (b) Require any person or entity to obtain from the board of 16 county commissioners any certificate, license or permit to use a 17 blockchain; or 18 (c) Impose any other requirement relating to the use of a 19 blockchain by any person or entity.

Towards Blockchain Recognition and Acceptance…or not?

These type of bills that seem to be pro-blockchain may be a meaningful positive step toward creating more acceptance for cryptocurrencies. Seeing these kinds of bills are a nice change in tempo, because other bills have demonized crypto for contributing to money laundering schemes and other forms of crime.

For instance, in Florida, an appropriations committee recently Nevada Senate Bill 398 Becomes Law, Prohibiting Tax on Blockchain Technologypassed an anti-money laundering bill to target people who leverage bitcoin to hide finances. Also, Federal senate bill 1241 defines digital currencies as “monetary instruments,” and its intent is to target bitcoin exchanges to intercept criminal activity and undermine cryptocurrency freedom and neutrality.

Nonetheless, pieces of legislation that are bad and good for blockchain technology will continue to crop up in lockstep as politicians decide what is best for their constituency. In the end, crypto-enthusiasts can only hope for the disruptive technology to be shown in a positive light rather than be paraded alongside images of a dark criminal underworld, rife with its hackers and fraudsters and shysters and monsters.

Do you expect to see more anti-blockchain or more positive blockchain legislation in the future? Let us know in the comments below. 


Coinbase Seeks $1 Billion Valuation From Committed Investors

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the bitcoin company Coinbase is seeking investors in a new funding round that aims for a $1 billion dollar valuation.

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Coinbase Seeks Investment Pledges of ‘$100 Million or More’ for a $1 Billion Valuation Goal

Coinbase Seeks $1 Billion Valuation From Committed InvestorsSources familiar with the matter told the publication Coinbase is currently having discussions with potential investors. Currently, investors that may pledge towards the round are undisclosed, but the source has disclosed it will be one of the biggest funding rounds in the digital currency space. The company has been one of the most well-known startups since Brian Armstrong, and Fred Ehrsam founded the company in 2012.

Over the course of the company’s life, it has so far raised $117 million over five funding rounds. This includes funding from big-name venture firms such as Andreessen Horowitz, BBVA Ventures, and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The Wall Street Journal says the company is now seeking “$100 million or more” from investors looking to pledge.

“There’s more interest in bitcoin when prices go up, and then trading volume goes up,” explains one investor to the news outlet.

Therefore there’s more interest in bitcoin companies.   

Investors Are Noticing the San Francisco Bitcoin Company’s Popularity Continues to Grow

Besides getting large capital injections from venture firms and individual investors the company has grown massively. For instance, Coinbase claims to have 7.4 million users and works with 46,000 merchants who accept bitcoin. Additionally, the company has issued 24.2 million wallets and its software team has released 10,000 developer applications. On May 26 the company’s CEO Brian Armstrong told the public the company was seeing a significant influx of new registrants.

“Coinbase had 40,000 new users sign up in one day, or approximately one San Francisco Giant’s Stadium,” exclaimed Armstrong.

May was a crazy month for Coinbase as the price spike caused “Slow load times and degraded performance” and “partial outage” issues on May 22 through 25th.

If venture organizations and investors give more funding to Coinbase, the startup will be the largest funded bitcoin-based company on the record. The valuation will push Coinbase higher than other bitcoin-focused companies with significant funding capital such as 21 Inc. and Circle Financial.

What do you think about Coinbase looking for more venture capital? Let us know in the comments below. 

Japan’s Near-Zero Savings Rates and Pension Problems Drive Retail Investors to Bitcoin

The Japanese have long put up with near-zero interest rates on their personal savings accounts. At the same time, they are worried about a serious shortfall in the national pension program. These problems have pushed retail investors to consider investing in bitcoin.

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Low Savings Rates Pushing “Mrs Watanabe” to Bitcoin

Japan’s Near-Zero Savings Rates and Pension Problems Drive Retail Investors to BitcoinBitcoin is attracting “Mrs Watanabe“, or retail investors who were originally Japanese housewives. Retail interest has jumped, bitcoin exchanges told Reuters on Friday. Investors are “trying to escape rock-bottom savings rates by investing in the cryptocurrency,” the publication wrote.

The world’s third-largest economy has been “under a mounting debt burden that successive governments have failed to address,” the BBC described in May. Japan’s government debts have almost quintupled from 50% of the country’s GDP in 1980 to 239% of GDP today.

Accompanying rising government debts is the falling of the Japanese household savings rate. From its peak of more than 23 percent, it turned negative in 2013.

Japan’s Near-Zero Savings Rates and Pension Problems Drive Retail Investors to BitcoinToday, savings rates at Japanese banks are near zero. One of Japan’s largest banks, Mizuho Bank, offers a 0.001% interest rate on savings accounts. Competing bank MUFG offers the same 0.001% rate whereas Nomura offers 0.02%.

Mutsuko Higo, a 55-year-old social insurance and labor consultant, is among the Japanese retail investors drawn to bitcoin. She bought $1,800 worth of the digital currency to increase her retirement savings in March. “After I first heard about the bitcoin scheme, I was so excited I couldn’t sleep. It’s like buying a dream,” she told Reuters.

Japan’s Pension Problems

Japan’s Near-Zero Savings Rates and Pension Problems Drive Retail Investors to BitcoinAbout 26 percent of the population is over sixty-five years old in Japan, which is the age they can start receiving pensions. Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that country’s life expectancy at birth is 83.7 years of age. For more than 20 years, Japan has been ranked number one in this metric.

Meanwhile, the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), which is the world’s largest public pension fund, has been paying out to this growing retiree pool more than it takes in. The fund has also been suffering from poor performance. In 2015, its investment return was -3.81 percent, and in the first quarter of 2016, it suffered a loss of $51.8 billion.

Higo’s personal response to the situation:

Everyone says we can’t rely on Japanese pensions anymore…This worries me, so I started [investing in] bitcoins.

According to Reuters, Japan’s moms and pops are drawn to bitcoin’s gains, now that the digital currency is regulated and readily available to the public. They have been investing in stocks and futures but the broader Asian stock market benchmark has only gained 17 percent year-to-date. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has seen a rise of almost 140 percent against the yen at press time, even with the recent correction. At its peak price, bitcoin gained over 180 percent, according to the country’s largest bitcoin exchange by volume, Bitflyer.

Japan’s Near-Zero Savings Rates and Pension Problems Drive Retail Investors to Bitcoin

Do you think more Japanese retail investors will turn to bitcoin because of low-interest rates and pension problems? Let us know in the comments section below.

Britain’s Largest Broker Offers Exchange-Traded Bitcoin Investments

Britain’s leading brokerage firm, Hargreaves Lansdown, now offers bitcoin exchange-traded products to its 876,000 customers. These investments are available for regular brokerage accounts as well as self-invested personal pension accounts.

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Largest British Broker

Britain's Largest Broker Offers Exchange-Traded Bitcoin InvestmentsHargreaves Lansdown plc is a financial service company based in Bristol, a city in South West England. The company “is the UK’s number 1 ‘investment supermarket’ for private investors,” according to its website. With 876,000 clients and more than £70 billion traded, the company currently offers “more than 2,500 funds, UK, US, Canadian and European shares, ETFs, investment trusts, bonds and gilts.”

Different types of accounts are available through its investment platform, also known as the Vantage Service. They include regular brokerage accounts, tax-efficient Individual Savings Accounts (ISA) and Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) accounts.

Bitcoin Investments Available

Britain's Largest Broker Offers Exchange-Traded Bitcoin InvestmentsOn Thursday, June 1, two bitcoin investments were added to Hargreaves Lansdown’s platform; Bitcoin Tracker One and Bitcoin Tracker Eur. Listed on Nasdaq Nordic in Stockholm, the former is denominated in Swedish krona (SEK) and the latter in the euro (EUR). Both are issued and managed by Stockholm-based XBT Provider AB, with Global Advisors (Jersey) Limited as the guarantor.

Both instruments are bitcoin Exchange-Traded Notes (ETNs) which are debt securities backed by the credit of the issuer. They track the price performance of bitcoin, giving investors exposure to the digital currency. However, investors do not own the bitcoin itself. Danny Cox, Head of Communications at Hargreaves Lansdown, told the Telegraph that “We have seen a handful of clients asking for the ETN.”

XBT Provider describes its products:

The certificates will provide an exposure to the performance of the digital currency bitcoin as priced in USD on the Primary Marketplaces. Holders of certificates will have exposure to both the performance of bitcoin and the fluctuations in the relevant foreign exchange rate.

The primary marketplaces listed in the ETNs’ prospectus are Okcoin, Kraken, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Itbit, Gemini, Gdax, and Gatecoin. The foreign exchange rate risk for Bitcoin Tracker One is USD/SEK whereas it is USD/EUR for Bitcoin Tracker Eur.

While the certificates are denominated in SEK and EUR, they track the price of bitcoin in USD. “As the BTC/USD market is the most liquid bitcoin market widely available for trading, we regard it as the most suitable underlying asset in a bitcoin product,” the company explained.

Both ETNs are currently available for Hargreaves Lansdown investors with regular brokerage accounts or SIPP accounts, but not tax-advantaged ISA accounts. The brokerage firm charges £11.95 per trade to start investing in these instruments but the cost decreases with the number of trades.

Bitcoin Investment Trust No Longer Available Online

Britain's Largest Broker Offers Exchange-Traded Bitcoin InvestmentsBarry Silbert’s Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) also used to be available for online trading on the Hargreaves Lansdown platform for regular brokerage accounts, but not SIPP or ISA accounts.

However, the brokerage firm has posted a notice on its website which reads: “Bitcoin Investment Trust NPV cannot currently be traded online. For further information about trading this security, or to obtain a current price, please telephone our dealers.” This restriction is likely due to the trust having applied to list and trade on the NYSE Arca exchange. Its application is now pending approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF).

What do you think about Hargreaves Lansdown offering bitcoin ETNs to its customers? Let us know in the comments section below.


India’s Government Divided Over Bitcoin Legalization

As the period for public comments regarding the regulatory framework for bitcoin comes to an end, a debate heats up among members of the Indian Parliament about the legalization of digital currencies. Meanwhile, bitcoin trading volumes remain strong in the country.

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Parliament Members Divided Over Bitcoin

India's Government Divided Over Bitcoin LegalizationAt a Parliamentary Standing Committee of Finance meeting last week, a heated discussion erupted among members of the Indian Parliament about bitcoin.

A number of Parliament members, including BJP member Kirit Somaiya, “cautioned the finance ministry officials present at the meeting against any move to legalise bitcoin,” according to The Economics Times, India’s leading business newspaper.

A source told the publication:

Members feared that it [bitcoin] could become a parallel instrument for cycling black money and dodgy transactions and also be a source of terror financing.

India's Government Divided Over Bitcoin Legalization
Kirit Somaiya

They wanted the government to look into the vulnerability of bitcoin. Somaiya who has repeatedly spoken against the digital currency, calling it “illegal” on numerous occasions, raised a series of questions.

He asked the officials why the government was being ambivalent about this instrument, citing that they have not clarified whether it was a legally permissible instrument or not.

He also demanded to know whether officials are properly briefing the prime minister about the risks of bitcoin.

Bitcoin Could Soon Be Regulated in India

Currently, the same government has been considering legalizing the digital currency. Last week, the Finance Ministry started soliciting comments from the public on how to best regulate bitcoin. The deadline for submissions is May 31, and 3,357 comments have been submitted at press time. The majority of them are in support of regulating bitcoin.

India's Government Divided Over Bitcoin Legalization“Regulating bitcoins will address many such concerns and queries, including market acceptance, customer trust, investment security, money laundering, hawala, etc,” Hesham Rehman, co-founder and CEO of Bitxoxo Bitcoins Online, was quoted by The Times Group as saying. “For instance, regulations like strong eKYC and penalizing bitcoin trading in cash will help proper transaction records which will negate all the chances of any sort of illegal activity.”

Karthik Iyer, India’s Ambassador of the blockchain think tank P2P Foundations, also offered his viewpoint on the situation:

The government should think about treating cryptocurrencies as a commodity if not a full-fledged currency with exchange value. There is a lot of arbitrage in the markets and it can generate a great deal of wealth for India’s crypto traders.

India’s Bitcoin Volume

India's Government Divided Over Bitcoin LegalizationMeanwhile, bitcoin trading volumes in India have exploded. Last week, the price of a bitcoin skyrocketed globally. During that spike, it traded at nearly a $1,000 premium in India as supplies to the country have been limited.

This month, leading Indian bitcoin broker Zebpay announced that it had reached a milestone of over 500,000 app downloads and is adding more than 2,500 users daily. Struggling to keep up with the surge in new users and volume, Zebpay announced, “we have put a temporary buy limit of Rs 50,000 per day due to the shortage of bitcoin stock.”

India's Government Divided Over Bitcoin LegalizationNew user growth was also the cause of the downtime experienced at leading Indian bitcoin exchange by volume, Coinsecure. “We have been experiencing exponential growth of users on our website, causing slowness and stress on our systems,” according to a statement from CEO Mohit Kalra to Coinsecure’s customers.

Meanwhile, on the peer to peer Localbitcoins exchange, trading volumes in Indian rupee hit record highs as well, with nearly double the previous week’s volume of rupees traded for bitcoin.

India's Government Divided Over Bitcoin Legalization

Do you think that the Indian government will listen to their people and regulate bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices Rebound After Last Week’s Dip

The price of bitcoin seems to have found some stability over the past 24 hours, after last week’s sharp upward climb in value followed by a 30 percent dip the next day. Since the drop, the price has bounced back and is hovering around US$2250-2300 per BTC at the time of writing.

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Bullish Pressure Returns to Bitcoin Markets After a 30 Percent Dip

Last week was an exciting time for cryptocurrency traders as quite a few digital assets hit all-time price highs on May 24. Bitcoin’s value reached a high of $2760 across global exchanges which was followed by a short-term downtrend to the sub-$2000 mark. Quite a few traders had assumed a significant dip to the $1800-1600 range would take place, but so far these predictions never materialized. Since bitcoin ricocheted from its low, it has since consolidated between $2200-2300 over the past three days. For now, there is a touch of bullish pressure keeping the price going, but it’s significantly weaker than last week.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices Rebound After Last Week's Dip

Technical Indicators

Technical indicators still suggest a bear market could continue and what we see now may be an extended ‘dead cat bounce.’ Over the past couple months, we’ve reported that the 100 Simple Moving Average (SMA) was above the longer term 200 SMA in nearly every price analysis. However, things have changed as the 100 SMA is now below the 200 SMA indicating the downtrend may not be over.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices Rebound After Last Week's Dip
Bitstamp market depth 5-30-17, 10:30 am EST.

Moreover, the Relative Strength Index (RSI) and Stochastic oscillators still show the price is overbought and bears may take the upper hand in the near future. Bitcoin’s price rebound was unexpected and has shifted traders predictions slightly, but a good majority are still assuming the uptick is merely a bull trap. If an upside breakout breaks the $2400 range, there’s a good chance we could skip the downturn and head towards all-time highs once again.

A Glimpse at Altcoin Markets

Alternative cryptocurrency markets have all seemingly followed bitcoins ups and downs over the past week. One notable altcoin that has been performing quite well is Ethereum (ETH), which is $205 per ETH at press time. On May 30th Ethereum trade volume surpassed BTC markets for the first time in history and currently commands a $19 billion market cap. The third highest market cap held by Ripple (XRP) has taken a significant dive and hasn’t really recovered much as the price hovers around $0.23 cents per XRP.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices Rebound After Last Week's Dip
Ethereum trade volume surpassed BTC volume for the first time in history.

The fourth highest valued alternative cryptocurrency market NEM retraced a touch and is resting at $0.21 cents per token. Other altcoins have also rebounded since the dip including Ethereum Classic (ETC $17), Litecoin (LTC $25), Dash ($119), Monero (XMR $43), Bytecoin (BCN $0.002) and Stratis (STRAT $4.50). Another coin that has received a bunch of volume is Tether, which currently holds the fifth highest volume as some traders seem to have used the token as a safe haven from the dips.

The Verdict

For now, Bitcoin’s price has appeared to have found a temporary floor and remains relatively stable with a few light swings here and there. Some traders seem pretty confident that a horrible bear market has been avoided, but most traders are still doubtful the downtrend is over. Good news from Russia has seemingly helped push the value of bitcoin upwards. Meanwhile, talks of a scaling compromise has replaced some of the vitriolic energy that has given the bitcoin ‘community’ a bitter taste.

Bear Scenario: It’s possible a second leg downwards could happen in the near future continuing to push the price to lower levels. Bitcoin’s fiat value could dip down to the $1800-1600 range if bulls step away from exhaustion. At the moment looking at order books from popular exchanges shows a strong floor at the $2000 mark for the time being.

Bull Scenario: Bitcoin’s price has jumped back and has shown resilience after last week’s losses. In order to bring the upswing velocity further, it would help if the cryptocurrency crossed over the $2400 range. Breaking this resistance point could bring the digital asset to higher levels and possibly get closer to last week’s top or create a new all-time high.

What do you think about the price of bitcoin retracing to $2250-2300? Do you think bitcoin will continue to rise to higher levels? Or do you expect bears to lower the price further shortly? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”

Russian Bankers Push to Legalize Cryptocurrency

Russian bankers released a statement May 26, saying that cryptocurrency should be legalized for circulation. This message comes from German Gref, who is head of the Russian Sberbank. Gref said there needs to be an honest and intelligible conversation about cryptocurrencies, because attempts to ban it have only caused problems in the past. 

 

A Russian news article Russian Bankers Push to Legalize Cryptocurrencymentioned Greff’s commentary: “Gref stressed that they now engage in a constructive dialogue about cryptocurrency, the Central Bank are trying to understand – what is it and what to do next. ‘Attempts to introduce bans will only lead to the loss of existing competitors,’ said the head of the financial institution.”

Cryptocurrency May Become “Digital Product” in Russia

In another article by the same Russian news outlet, the Russian government’s Deputy Chairman Regulator of the Central Bank, Olga Skorobogatova, said government is preparing amendments regarding cryptocurrencies and the tax code. Skorobogatova went on to admit that government cannot control how many cryptocurrencies can be created. The Russian news page said,

Skorobogatov noted that virtual assets continue to be emitted, no gold reserves, they are not provided, there is no control over their number.

The Russian news outlet went on to say that government or the “financial market” does not necessarily see cryptocurrency as a threat, because government considers it a “digital product.” This is likely why government is seeking to create amendments for it in their tax code.

The article said, “Therefore, financial market electronic money does not consider it a threat. But, if you do not begin to deal with this issue, you can skip a significant risk increase.”

Russian Officials Want to Understand and Accept Cryptocurrency

Between bankers and government Russian Bankers Push to Legalize Cryptocurrencyofficials changing their perspective, it appears there could be a movement toward more political acceptance of cryptocurrency in Russia. This information comes as bitcoin’s popularity has surged over recent weeks and Japan has classified bitcoin as a payment method along others.

It looks like some governments and bankers are trying to understand cryptocurrency rather than react against it.

Do you think that Russia will accept and legalize cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.

SEC Wants Companies Issuing Tokens to Protect Their Investors

The Securities and Exchange Commission has not said much about crypto companies issuing new tokens, usually called “ICO’s”, Initial Coin Offerings. The issue has remained silent. Now SEC provided a statement on May 23, saying they want ICO’s to be fair. They want cryptocurrency startups to protect their investors. 

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A Reuters article quoted SEC officials, ‘Whether or not you are regulated by the SEC, you still have fiduciary duties to your investors,’ said Valerie Szczepanik, the head of the SEC’s distributed ledger group. “If you want this industry to flourish, protection of investors should be at the forefront.”

This commentary comes as more and more ICO’s are starting to crop up in the bitcoin space, and crypto lovers are calling some of these companies frauds or fakes, who are just trying to scam investors and customers.

Lack of Oversight and the Problem with New Tokens

Allegedly, many of these companies have caused alarm bells to sound off because they are not being regulated by any institution or organization. The SEC said just because a company may not be regulated, it does not mean their monetary responsibilities are negated. The Reuters announcement said,

These ICOs have raised red flags due to a lack of regulatory oversight. Some market participants say ICOs could be illegal because the companies are selling tokens that can be considered securities, which fall under the SEC’s jurisdiction.

In a humorous statement, Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at cryptocurrency advocacy group Coin Center, says that calling a new coin an “ICO’ is a bad idea anyway, because that sounds too close to the regulated “IPO.” In other words, it is not intelligent wording for these companies to use. It brings them unwanted regulatory attention.

The Reuters article also quoted him, ‘It’s like painting a target on yourself. Because, what does an organization like the SEC regulate? They regulate IPOs,” said Van Valkenburgh, referring to initial public offerings. ‘Why would you adopt the terminology of the regulator when you’re building a thing you hope they don’t regulate?’

What do you think about SEC getting involved in ICO’s? Is ICO an accurate name to describe new token generation? Let us know in the comments below.