Tom Lee Says BTC Will Hit $25,000 in 2018, Advises ‘Aggressive’ Buying At Market Low

Tom Lee Says BTC Will Hit $25,000 in 2018, Advises ‘Aggressive’ Buying At Market Low

Co-founder and Fundstat strategist Tom Lee predicted

that Bitcoin (BTC) will hit $25,000 by the end of this year in an interview with CNBC today, Jan. 18. Lee had previously forecasted that BTC would only reach this mark by 2022. The Wall Street strategist told CNBC today that now by 2022 he sees BTC hitting the $125,000 mark. Lee’s predictions comes after a very volatile week in the crypto market, with BTC hitting below $10,000, dipping even lower than it did during the market crash Dec. 22. Just days before the December crash, Bitcoin had hit an all-time high over $20,000. Lee predicts that $9,000, or just below the lows seen this week, will be the price floor for BTC this year. He sees another market dip as an opportunity

for investors:

"We expect bitcoin's major low to be $9,000, and we would be aggressive buyers around that level […] We view this $9,000 as the biggest buying opportunity in 2018."

Lee also offered predictions for several altcoins, forecasting that Ethereum and Ethereum Classic would see about 90 percent growth by the end of the year, and NEO 50 percent. Today, the crypto market began its bounce back, with BTC up almost 15 percent and the top 20 altcoins up as much as 70 percent in the 24 hours to press time.

Bitcoin Backing Firms Feel

the Crypto Crash Pinch

With Bitcoin shedding 50 percent of its value in little under a month,

those firms who vocally rode the wave on the up are now feeling the terrify drop in terms of loss of their own market value. Companies such as Overstock, which has some of its fortunes locked up in the digital currency, as well as Square Payments, which announced plans to allow for some Bitcoin buying and selling, have been hit hard by this crash.

Taking a beating

While the numbers being tracked by these Bitcoin-backing firms are nothing compared to the actual losses being suffered by the cryptocurrencies, they are directly correlated. Square showed a loss of five percent or $90 mln, this week as the company which is led by Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey ended with a value of $15.1 bln. Overstock, a longtime supporter of Bitcoin going back to 2014, fell 11 percent ending with a value of $1.8 bln thanks to the roughly $200 mln loss. This latest drop in the crypto market has been put down to the uncertainty emanating from Korea with their apparent bank of cryptocurrencies on the cards. This pressure from regulators also adds teeth to the fears in dealing with cryptocurrencies in major firms.

Renaming regrets

There are also instances where companies who have tried to jump on the Bitcoin and Blockchain bandwagon have found that the wagon is currently in the shop for repairs. A number of firms have changed their focus, tact or simply their name, to profit from the hype and mania around cryptocurrencies. However, the other, ugly, side to this ecosystem is the violent volatility that needs to be stomached. Kodak, perhaps better known for their cameras, fell eight percent. The company has announced plans to offer a cryptocurrency known as KodakCoin at the end of the month, initially sending shares up 60 percent on the day of the announcement. Shares of Riot Blockchain, once a biotech firm dubbed Bioptix, shed 17 percent Tuesday, even shares of Long Blockchain, once Long Island Iced Tea, shed two percent.

Lessons up for grabs

While the future, as it always is, is uncertain for the crypto ecosystem, there are lessons to be learned in this latest Bitcoin ‘death.’ Bitcoin has been dead and buried countless times as its volatile nature is too much for some to take, sending them fleeing. However, it has shown stronger and stronger resistance and ability to bounce back over the years and the crashes. Something that companies that are facing unprecedented dips will need to be aware of. Bitcoin believer Max Keiser explains these movements in a graph he tweeted.. This pattern will repeat all the way to Bitcoin $100,000 and beyond..

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This week’s Bitcoin crash was all about fraud and regulation

This week’s Bitcoin crash was all about fraud and regulation

Cryptocurrencies have had a rough week:

the value of bitcoin plunged to a mere 50 percent of its 2017 peak, and other currencies, such as Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin have seen double-digit losses compared to their heights from last year. Tuesday also witnessed the collapse of BitConnect, an anonymously operated crypto exchange that had been repeatedly accused of running a Ponzi scheme via its proprietary BCC currency.

Taken together, these events may simply act as another reminder of the “volatility” of the cryptocurrency market, which saw bitcoin rise to a peak of $19,783 on December 17th. Bitcoin has gone through multiple crashes before: in spring 2011, in November 2013, and in January 2017. However, this current bubble comes against a new backdrop: a global tide of regulation against the inchoate cryptocurrency industry. On one hand, these regulations may be scaring bitcoin investors into selling their coins now before the full impact of regulation makes itself felt. On the other, it may also be threatening suspect exchanges such as BitConnect, with its own token declining in value by 46 percent between December 17th and January 15th — the day before it announced its closure.

The value of Bitcoin plunged to a mere 50 percent of its 2017 peak

In the United States, regulation has reared its head in the form of the SEC. Last month, its newly formed Cyber Unit pressed charges for the first time against PlexCorps, which was accused of defrauding investors through a questionable initial coin offering, or ICO. Almost a week later, SEC chairman Jay Clayton issued a warning on cryptocurrencies to investors, hinting that the commission would begin monitoring the market more closely for any potential violations of securities laws. The US isn’t the only nation taking a harder line on cryptocurrencies, either: the Chinese government tightened its ban on crypto trading this week, and the South Korean government is planning on implementing a similar ban itself.

This global movement toward harsher regulation has been cited as a major cause of the exodus of value that has gripped cryptocurrencies in the past week. It would also potentially account for BitConnect’s collapse, which came after multiple cease and desist letters from securities watchdogs in Texas and North Carolina. A historic lack of regulation likely contributed to the current bitcoin bubble by facilitating market manipulation and duplicitous trading practices. Even as bitcoin became a household name in 2017, such practices remained common. In November, a Business Insider investigation discovered that “pump and dump” scams — where investor groups artificially inflate cryptocurrency values by orchestrating mass purchases of coins — were “rife” on the US exchange Bittrex. Similarly, Bitfinex, the biggest exchange by daily volume, acknowledged market manipulation on its platform in August, when it revealed that it had detected several accounts engaging in “large-scale manipulation tactics” relating to the Bitcoin Cash currency.

Such manipulative activity could be the tip of the iceberg

Such manipulative activity could be the tip of the iceberg, given that certain critics have even accused Bitfinex of creating Tether, a cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar, in order to buy bitcoins and artificially inflate the latter’s value. What’s clear is that such disreputable methods as “pump and dump” and “spoofing” are possible because exchanges like Bitfinex are unregulated. In any regulated market, the action of traders such as the infamous “Spoofy” would be illegal. Yet, without the active oversight of the SEC or FINRA, they can be carried in the cryptocurrency market with impunity.

Because market manipulation has helped push cryptocurrencies to dizzy, grossly inflated heights, the recent falls in value have been similarly spectacular. But unlike with previous drops, the newly emerging drive to regulate the cryptocurrency market could hobble a recovery. Assuming that the likes of the SEC and FINRA begin clamping down on fraudulent trading practices, and assuming that these practices were vital to Bitcoin’s precipitous rise, then Bitcoin may very well struggle to climb as quickly in 2018 as it did in 2017. Not only will the parties responsible for manipulative trading be inclined to sell their ill-gotten gains and run, but an increasing number of people will fully realize that the cryptocurrency market is a hive of dubious activity. That said, if greater regulation tamps down disreputable practices and brings the cryptocurrency into the regulatory mainstream, the longer-term trend may only be upward.

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How Much of a Bubble is Bitcoin, Really?

How Much of a Bubble is Bitcoin, Really?

Even those who’ve never invested in Bitcoin before

are starting to keep a closer eye on its progress. That’s because the currency has recently soared in value, causing the people who own Bitcoins to get excited and wonder how much more the worth could climb. There are even instances where people with no former interest in cryptocurrency feel now is the time to start becoming involved in the Bitcoin boom. But some onlookers wonder, will the bubble burst, and if so, how long from now?

Bitcoin shows many signs of a classic bubble

Derek Thompson, who covers economics for The Atlantic as a senior editor, notes it’s hard to determine if Bitcoin is a bubble because it’s an entire industry. However, he thinks Bitcoin's recent patterns are akin to other famous bubbles that burst — such as the dotcom bubble. Bitcoin is a topic on everyone’s tongues and minds. Investors make huge life decisions based on Bitcoin worth, and they often make impressive predictions about what’ll happen in the future. People also made those actions in association with other things that went bust, leading individuals to caution history will repeat itself. They say the only thing they’re not certain about is when it’ll happen.

Bitcoin volatility is a constant

One of the reasons why people are buzzing about Bitcoins is because their value has skyrocketed so much. At the beginning of 2017, a Bitcoin was worth $1,000. Now, its value is $5,000. Then, there was a point in September where the per-coin value was nearly $5,000, but it tumbled to $3,200 only two weeks later. For a broader perspective though, it’s necessary to realize that altcoins — any cryptocurrency that’s not Bitcoin — also fluctuate. That reality could theoretically contribute to worries that Bitcoin is a bubble. They might assume that Bitcoin is as volatile as all the other cryptocurrencies, but compiled market statistics actually indicate it’s the most stable.

Even so, some people who intelligently track the market expect volatility. Dave Birch, founder of Consult Hyperion, a leading consultancy in the field of electronic transactions, has even said, “One does not invest in Bitcoin, one gambles in Bitcoin.” He backs up that belief by advising people to only invest as much as they’re prepared to lose. If individuals actually did that, the possibility of a bursting Bitcoin bubble wouldn’t be so frightening. Instead, many people have moved all their investments over to the Bitcoin world.

Anonymous transactions and lack of spending options
cause raised eyebrows

A characteristic that attracts many people to Bitcoin is the ability to send and receive money without revealing personal information. They also love the lack of government regulation and feel that by investing in the Bitcoin market, they have more financial freedom. However, Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, calls the idea of private Bitcoin transactions questionable. He doesn’t believe the world’s governments will allow the lack of personal identification information associated with Bitcoin to persist forever and brings up how in the US. The IRS has already demanded some user records associated with the Coinbase website.

Furthermore, Chainalysis is a company that specializes in helping identify the people who own the digital wallets used to store Bitcoins. The discovered information reduces fraud and money laundering. Dalio also mentions the high amount of speculation and the lack of spending options for Bitcoin owners. He believes the concept of Bitcoin could work because of that speculation and that people don’t have enough ways to use the Bitcoins they own. For those reasons, he agrees there is a Bitcoin bubble, and that’s the only logical conclusion considering the rapid rise of the Bitcoin’s value.

Market control in the hands of a small number of people

Another thing that could make the Bitcoin bubble burst — or at least make investors panic — is the fact that approximately 1,000 people hold about 40 percent of all Bitcoins. The individuals tied to large amounts of the cryptocurrency are often referred to as “whales.” If they choose to suddenly sell a lot of Bitcoins to take advantage of high market prices, other Bitcoin owners notice. There are also fears the whales could coordinate actions between themselves and work together to make the market fluctuate. Because the laws surrounding cryptocurrency are not concrete, there are uncertainties about what kind of punishments they might face for doing that.

Cryptocurrency founder says Bitcoin is not a bubble

Although it’s not hard to find plentiful online resources asserting there’s no doubt Bitcoin is a huge bubble soon to burst, some people provide alternative views. One of them is Ben Davies, co-founder of another cryptocurrency called Glint. He thinks people are not looking at the bigger picture of Bitcoin, and that’s causing them to incorrectly see it as a bubble.

Davies also thinks the way people often compare Bitcoin to the bubble associated with tulip bulbs doesn’t hold water. He notes that although the prices of tulips soared then experienced a sharp downturn, that historic event is a “poor comparison. He asserts the price increases associated with tulips were not similar to the cryptocurrency phenomenon. However, even Davies admits Bitcoin “has all the hallmarks and antecedents that are the precursor to a bubble.”

This is just a sampling of why so many people strongly believe Bitcoin is a gigantic bubble that’s a substantial concern. To avoid getting into the kind of trouble that could potentially ruin their lives, investors should continue studying the market regularly and seeing how the Bitcoin value fluctuates. Besides, it’s smart to have a plan in place for if or when the bubble bursts. Many of the people who were the most severely affected by previous bubbles that popped were those who didn’t stop to think “What if?” and figure out what to do if the worst happened.

Failing to do so could mean a person is ignoring history.

IBM And Maersk Start Promised Blockchain Supply Chain Company

IBM and Danish transport and logistics company Maersk announced Jan. 16 that they are teaming up to create an as-yet-unnamed Blockchain-based shipping and supply chain company. The goal of the venture is to commercialize Blockchain for all aspects of the global supply chain system, from shipping to ports, and banks to customs offices. Blockchain technology is uniquely able to provide special control for the logistics industry, since it can replace tedious and insecure paperwork with secure digital records that are also transparent.Maersk’s chief commercial officer Vincent Clerc, who will serve as chairman of the newly formed board for the joint venture, was quoted in the official announcement

saying:

“The potential from offering a neutral, open digital platform for safe and easy ways of exchanging information is huge, and all players across the supply chain stand to benefit.”

The company had promised to make delivery of the new project by the end of last year. The offering is the fulfillment of a year’s worth of planning by both companies, each of whom have invested in Blockchain in various other ways as well. The joint venture is hoping to start offering their software solutions by Q3 2018.

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Cryptocurrencies Are Doomed to Fail, But There’s Money to be Made, Says an Investor Officer

Cryptocurrencies Are Doomed to Fail, But There’s Money to be Made, Says an Investor Officer

The traditional diversified portfolio of investments

will have a host of assets in varying risk brackets, but for a traditional investment, officer cryptocurrencies could seem too speculative to be part of any portfolio with a wealth preservation focus. The caveat is that while not all cryptocurrencies are guaranteed to stick around forever, there are still profits to be made by a savvy investor that chooses a long term winner early on.

Money to be made

An investment officer from Credo Wealth, Deon Gouws, is personally interested in digital currencies, but as chief investment officer for a traditional financial institution, is understandably nervous.

He says:

"Most cryptocurrencies we see launching today are likely to fail, but there’s still a lot of money to be made if you can identify the long-term winners successfully and early.”

Mike Novogratz, a well-known investor who has been bullish on Bitcoin for some time now, has made statements indicating agreement. He has called the asset a bubble, but one where there is money to be made.

Novogratz said:

“This is going to be the largest bubble of our lifetimes. Prices are going to get way ahead of where they should be. You can make a whole lot of money on the way up, and we plan on it.”

Technology over profiteering

As the cryptocurrency space has evolved, prices have risen astronomically with the influx of interest from the mainstream market. Those who have joined the space in recent times have seen the likes of Bitcoin build to as high as $20,000. However, those who have joined this space in their droves have clearly done for the profiteering that has taken place, and the promise of more to come. This then means that there is more of a diluted core of users who are in it to see the technology thrive and flourish.

In turn, this not only adds to the speculative nature of the market but also to the bubble-nature that Novogratz refers to. The entire crypto space may not be as prone to a big collapse, or a catastrophic failure like some flimsy ICOs, but there are still concerns for those looking for pure profit.

Bubble territory

The real issue in the market being flooded with people in it to make a quick buck is that the potentially revolutionary technology can be pushed towards bubble technology. It is not the product that is prone to being in a bubble. It is the way in which it is used or perceived that leads to bubbles being formed and popped. The dot-com bubble has shown a lot of similarities to Bitcoin’s rapid growth, but that does not mean dot-com businesses or digital businesses, are always going to be bubbles. And the same applies to Bitcoin.

In the dot-com boom, people were entering the market to make money, and they were throwing money at anything with .com on the end. It is happening today too, with Bitcoin and Blockchain, but that does not mean a bubble is a definite. If people continue to flood the cryptocurrency market intent on only making money off it, rather than appreciating it as a new wave of technology, then Gouws’ opinion may be spot on. People will enter have a direct say in which way something like this moves, with their speculative investing. There needs to be a concerted push to appreciate the technology, and adopt it for mainstream uses if Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, are to be a long term success.

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Inside the Korean crypto exchange that grew so fast the government raided it

Inside the Korean crypto exchange that grew so fast the government raided it

Korea has gone from an afterthought in the cryptocurrency markets

to one of its major hubs in a matter of months. Crypto trading has grown so feverish that the government raided the country’s major exchanges to check their books—and to cool down the red-hot trading activity. The lynchpin in the Korean market is an exchange called Bithumb, which has raked in cash as its customers have swelled in the millions. It regularly accounts for over 80% of Korea’s ether-won trade. Business was so good that the exchange struggled to develop its infrastructure to keep up with demand.

The signs of Bithumb’s success are apparent in its offices. It occupies a 10-story building on Teheran-Ro, a boulevard lined with glittering towers housing the Korean offices of global titans like Google and Amazon. The thoroughfare is named after the capital of Iran, Seoul’s sister city, and has become the premier address for technology conglomerates, startups, and venture capitalists in the Korean capital. Inside Bithumb’s headquarters, visitors pass by burly security guards before they are allowed entry. Employees get plenty of perks, like three to four flat screens on each desk, and fridges filled with energy drinks, teas, and alcohol. Little is known about Bithumb’s founder, Kim Dae-Shik, although Korean newspapers reported that the firm has recruited a former head of Alipay in Korea, Jung Won-Shik, to take the CEO role. Bithumb has not responded to queries from Quartz.

At a data center that Bithumb rents space from, the firm houses millions of dollars worth of top-of-the-line servers. “They have so much money to buy the latest and greatest stuff,” said a person who worked with the exchange and asked not to be identified. “They can throw money at servers. Spending $40,000 to $50,000 on a server is not a problem for them.” Bithumb has a major challenge to accommodate the millions of customers rushing to trade cryptocurrencies on its platform. Customers were trading minute-by-minute as the famously volatile cryptocurrency markets fed their mania. Bithumb has close to 100,000 users trading on its platform at any given minute, said the person Quartz spoke with. “It’s a fact that so many South Koreans are trading on a minute-by-minute basis,” says the source.

Bithumb’s growth follows Korea’s rising importance to the cryptocurrency markets. Over the summer, trading volumes in Korean won exploded on cryptocurrency exchanges; at one point the won was the most popular currency pair in the ether and Ripple markets. These are two cryptocurrencies worth over $150 billion, both jostling for second place in the ranking of the most valuable cryptocurrencies on the market, after bitcoin.

Bithumb’s struggles to scale its operations mirrors the problems facing exchanges around the world. Often set up by founders without a background in developing serious financial platforms, cryptocurrency exchanges are struggling to build systems that can withstand the rapidly growing demand for access to the crypto markets. “They more or less got lucky in terms of growth,” said the Bithumb source. “And they know how to throw money at the problem.”

Large exchanges in the US like the Winklevoss twins’ Gemini, or the startup with “unicorn” valuation status, Coinbase, suffered regular outages and interruptions all last year. These platforms use homegrown trading and security systems that are a far cry from the sophisticated software that run the world’s major exchanges, and they now are cracking under the strain of millions of new users.

Security—or problems enforcing it—is another theme common to the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges. Reuters has estimated that over $4 billion worth of cryptocurrencies have been stolen from exchanges since 2011. For Bithumb, the security concern is heightened by the fact that hackers linked to North Korea are suspected of targeting its funds. In June, it reported a loss of cryptocurrencies now worth over $80 million. The South Korean intelligence agency said it suspects North Korea was behind the heist, in an attempt to get around financial sanctions, according to the BBC.

If last week’s raids on Korean exchanges were the start of a nationwide crackdown on cryptocurrencies to protect ordinary investors, it hasn’t quite played out that way. In the aftermath of the raids, the justice minister announced an imminent ban on cryptocurrency trading, only to be publicly rebuffed by citizens. An online petition opposing a ban amassed more than 200,000 signatures, crashing the presidential Blue House’s website, according to Reuters. “Please don’t take away our happiness,” the petition reads. One petition that garnered 30,000 signatures called for the justice minister to resign. The government issued a statement yesterday trying to calm Korea’s crypto-hungry citizenry, assuring them that no ban would take place without further consultation.

Exchanges like Bithumb are currently not accepting new deposits from customers. But one observer of the Korean cryptocurrency scene, who goes by Crypto Korean on Twitter, said he expects deposits to be reinstated soon. “People are super upset because they lost shitloads of money,” he said. “The backlash was too strong, so I think [exchanges] will commence [deposits] again later this month.” For Bithumb, that would be a welcome return to business as usual. “Tech-wise, they are one of the better ones. They are not clueless, and they have money so they can scale,” said the source. “That tells you how much Koreans like their crypto.”

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Capital One Blocks Cryptocurrency Purchases With Its Card

Capital One Blocks Cryptocurrency Purchases With Its Card

In a first, Capital One Financial Corporation

(COFCOFCapital One Financial Corp105.14-0.28%)

has blocked holders of credit cards from its bank from using them for cryptocurrency purchases. In a statement to Breitbart news, the company said it made the move due to “limited mainstream acceptance (of cryptocurrencies) and the elevated risks of fraud, loss, and volatility inherent in the cryptocurrency market.”But that decision is subject to change. “Capital One continues to closely monitor developments in cryptocurrency markets and exchanges and will regularly evaluate the decision as cryptocurrency markets evolve,” the bank wrote. 

Capital One’s decision to block purchases was first reported by online publication The Merkle, which cited a Reddit thread regarding the issue. In the thread, a Coinbase user reported that his purchase of $90 in cryptocurrencies was blocked by the bank. Capital One subsequently tweeted a clarification. (See also: IMF Chief Lagarde's Comments On Bitcoin Have Big Implications.)  While most banks have held off from offering cryptocurrency-related services to customers, they have not blocked transactions involving them. Capital One joins TD Bank, which is reported to have told customers that “it doesn’t deal in that kind of business.” PNC Bank is another bank that blocked transactions involving cryptocurrencies. It is unlikely that other banks will follow Capital One’s lead. 

The size of cryptocurrency markets has ballooned in the last year, and prices for individual tokens have skyrocketed as day traders and investors have rushed to put their money into the assets with exponential returns. However, much of the increase in cryptocurrency valuations has occurred on the back of speculation about future prospects. The timeline for that future is still hazy, however. While they have warned about the dangers of investing in cryptocurrencies, government regulators have stayed away from them for the most part. This has resulted in extreme price volatility and scams. As talk of regulation and institutional money flowing into the markets gathers pace, it is likely that Capital One might revise its stance regarding cryptocurrencies. (See also: Bitcoin Government Regulations Around The World.) 

Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns small amounts of bitcoin. It is unclear whether he owns other bitcoin forks.

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No, You Don’t Have to Buy a Whole Bitcoin

No,
You Don't Have to Buy a Whole Bitcoin

"How much is bitcoin?
Around $14,000. Well, that's too expensive.
I can't afford that."

It's a conversation that has surely happened thousands of times over the past several months as a new swarm of people find themselves enchanted by the cryptocurrency space and its tremendous gains. And it reveals not only a misunderstanding, but also a psychological barrier that many face stepping into the scene for their first time. Since so much emphasis is placed on how much "one" bitcoin is worth across the industry, new users often come in thinking that if they want to participate, they'll have to fork over tens of thousands of dollars to buy a whole bitcoin. But actually, that isn't the case – it's possible to buy a half of a bitcoin, a quarter of a bitcoin or even a fraction of a percent of a bitcoin.

Yet, that's not always clear to new people entering the market, and many believe that's why a handful of altcoins – including dogecoin and dentacoin, both of which recently reached market caps of more than $1 billion – are seeing a pump in their price, as they offer an affordable way to get into the cryptocurrency markets in whole units. And this confusion is (partly) why developer Jimmy Song argues some standardization should occur in what the industry calls smaller units of bitcoin.

Toward this goal, Song released a standards proposal that seeks to express one one-millionth of a bitcoin (about one cent at today's prices) as a "bit." And he's nudging wallet providers, exchanges and other bitcoin businesses to support the proposal. If widely adopted, he hopes it will put an end to this confusion, and make new crypto users more apt to purchase bitcoin, if even in tiny amounts, instead of cryptocurrencies that he thinks might come back to bite them, since many of the cheap altcoins don't have much technical merit to back them up.

Rise of the 'bits'

The problem now is that more traditional dollar units, such as $5, when converted to bitcoin look daunting and messy – at 0.000345 bitcoin. But with Song's proposal – which he's released in the form of a bitcoin improvement proposal, or BIP – that dollar value would instead be 345 bits, still a mental juggle, but arguably less confusing, since it's in whole numbers and not decimals. "For whatever psychological reason, normal people have trouble understanding decimals and fractions. $0.002 is weirder than $200.00," said Erik Voorhees, co-founder and CEO of ShapeShift, which supports Song's proposal,

adding:

"For bitcoin to be a global, commonly used currency, it would certainly be helpful to have a denomination that allows people to express prices in integers (2,000 bits for a coffee) rather than a decimal."

Adding to the mental benefits, Song also said the standardizing "bit" would remove what he calls "unit bias." According to Song, people don't like having what looks like such a small amount of bitcoin, or money in general for that matter. Bitcoin's price rise at the end of 2017, only exacerbated that problem, adding even more zeros in between the positive numbers and the decimal. Poking fun at all the recent bitcoin forks, Song said, a group of people could have success enticing a new wave of crypto buyers by splitting off bitcoin with the goal of moving bitcoin's decimal system six positions.

While others have proposed similar unit changes in the past, Song's proposal seems to be gaining transaction with exchanges and other companies, which is all the proposal needs to succeed – getting businesses to use the unit to display not only how much bitcoin is in an individual's wallet but also, within merchants stores, how much things cost. And even though, Song's proposal is targeted at bitcoin, it could serve as an outline for how other cryptocurrencies, such as ethereum, could update their units to be more user-friendly.

Still confused?

Although the idea of the proposal is to limit confusion, it's garnered its fair share of criticism, with those against claiming it could add to the confusion instead. The critics say, for instance, that if not all companies roll out the standard at the same time – and ShapeShift uses "bits," while Coinbase sticks with "bitcoin" – when sending bitcoin from one wallet to another, they could either think they somehow earned money or lost money.

Voorhees, for one, even agreed this was a concern, but argued that it shouldn't stop bitcoin companies from eventually adopting the standard. "There will undoubtedly be some mistakes and friction as the new term gains usage, but for the purpose of language and mathematical simplification, the net result should be beneficial to bitcoin’s adoption," he said.

Meanwhile, Song stressed that even though he thinks it would be a move in the right direction, like most things in the cryptocurrency world, it's up to the community to decide if they want to adopt the system or not. Still, many more exchanges and businesses would need to adopt the change to get the ball rolling. Song has been tweeting at various exchanges and companies – including CoinMarketCap, one of the most popular sites for checking cryptocurrency prices – suggesting they move to "bits."

Song concluded:

"This is meant to be a community-driven initiative and the benefits will hopefully be obvious to businesses."

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$15K in Sight? Bitcoin Prices Gather Upside Traction

$15K in Sight? Bitcoin Prices Gather Upside Traction

Bitcoin looks set to explore a move towards $15,000

levels in the next 24 hours. Having defended $13,000 on Friday, CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index rose to a high of $14,536 on Saturday before once more retreating to $13,051.59 yesterday. As of writing, bitcoin is trading at $13,727 levels – up 0.80 percent in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, data source OnChainFX says the world's largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has depreciated by 11 percent on a weekly basis. The decline is being largely attributed to fears of cryptocurrency trading ban at South Korean exchanges – a possibility that is looking less certain after new statements from the government.

Despite those concerns, bitcoin (BTC) still managed to defend the ascending trendline (drawn from Nov. 13 low and Dec. 22 low). Further, it appears that money is being rotated out of the alternative currencies and back into bitcoin. For instance, the TRON token has depreciated by 31 percent in the last 24 hours. A look at the individual markets shows sharp losses in the TRX/BTC (TRON-bitcoin) pair. The decline across such cross-cryptocurrency pairs could limit the downside in bitcoin.

The price action analysis indicates scope for a move higher to the upward sloping 50-day moving average (MA) level of $14,690.

Charts (prices as per Coinbase) show:

  • BTC continues to defend the rising trendline (drawn from Nov. 13 low and Dec. 22 low).
  • The 5-day and 10-day MAs slope downwards, while the 50-day MA favors the bulls.
  • Triangle pattern (narrowing price range due to lower tops and higher bottoms).epeated failure on the part of the bears to cut through trendline support adds credence to the bullish (upward sloping) 50-day and 10-week MAs, and could yield a rally to $14,690 (50-day MA) or even $15,000.
  • Further gains will face resistance, courtesy of the bearish short-term moving averages (5-day and 10-day MAs).
  • A close (as per UTC) above $16,000 (triangle resistance) would indicate the rally from Nov. 12 low of $5511.11 has resumed. Prices could then have potential to revisit record highs of $20,000.
  • On the other hand, if prices close (as per UTC) below $12,500 (Dec. 30 low) bitcoin may be looking down towards $10,000–$8,000.

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US Treasury Secretary Addresses Anonymity, Sanctions And Digital Currencies

US Treasury Secretary Addresses Anonymity, Sanctions And Digital Currencies

The US Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin,

made a number of statements regarding the international use of digital currencies at a meeting of the Economic Club of Washington on Friday. The Secretary expressed his concern that Bitcoin wallets could potentially become the modern equivalent of the anonymous Swiss bank account. He intends to work with the G20 nations to offer US tracking abilities in order to prevent such misuse from occurring.

He said:

“If you have a wallet to own Bitcoins, that company has the same obligation as a bank to know [you]. We can track those activities. The rest of the world doesn’t have that, so one of the things we will be working very closely with the G-20 is making sure that this doesn’t become the Swiss bank account.”

Mnuchin doesn’t seem to understand that not all wallets are hosted by “companies.”

Industry opinion

Cryptocurrency industry experts, however, aren’t so thrilled about the idea of more regulations. For example, Sergei Sevriugin, CEO and Founder of risk-sharing platform REGA,

told Cointelegraph:

“I think the regulation already exists for cryptocurrency but, regulation by the community not central authorities, which is the best type of regulation that can ever exist. Centralized regulation will kill the idea of crypto currencies; and, without any control from the community, this type of regulation will lead to several problems, including corruption. We can all remember the last crisis, including the mortgage system collapse in 2008, was under full control and regulation. To put cryptocurrency under full control, the authorities must first put the Internet under control.”

Skirting sanctions

Mnuchin also addressed the potential that countries may use digital currencies to skirt existing financial sanctions. He expressed a belief that there’s little risk of such activities, saying that he is ‘not at all’ worried that countries such as Russia and Venezuela would be able to function in that way.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Wonders of Naming the Company ‘Blockchain’ or ‘Bitcoin’

Wonders of Naming the Company ‘Blockchain’ or ‘Bitcoin’

Bitcoin and Blockchain is all the rage

in more than just individual investors’ circles, and companies are trying to cash in on the craze. While some are launching their own ICOs, such as Kodak, others have merely tacked ‘Blockchain’ onto their name and seen success.In a move that seems dangerously similar to what happened in the 90s with the dot-com boom, the ‘Blockchain revolution’  taken on by some companies requires careful scrutiny as much of it is smoke and mirrors.Speaking of smoke, the cannabis revolution that followed its legalization in a few states also came with a similar warning from the SEC about business cashing in on that hype.

Bitcoin services

Among the host of companies trying to wrangle their way into the hyped market is the company formerly known as Tulip BioMed – now Bitcoin Services. This change in name and direction saw the company's stock increase by a massive 43,500 percent last year. To their credit, the name change came back in 2016 and only took off last year in November with the hype that came with the cryptocurrency market in the mainstream. Bitcoin Services financial filings from around that time offer few clues that the company was doing anything specific to justify the hysteria. The same can be said of its website, which generally lacks press releases and other investor information, apart from contact information.

Not alone

Bitcoin Services probably takes the top spot in terms of growth thanks to its name change, but there is a host of others that have made anywhere between 309 and 20,445 percent gains thanks to the change, as shown below.

Quick buck

Another worrying trend that is reminiscent of the dot-com boom is that these gains do not last long as people quickly catch on or regulators step in. Hong Kong-based UBI Blockchain Internet—previously known as JA Energy—soared more than 20,000 percent before regulators halted buying and selling.

Bubble signs?

Those who believe the entire cryptocurrency market is one big bubble often point to the similarities in hype between the dot-com bubble and these happen around companies taking advantage of the mania and speculation. It remains to be seen if the cryptocurrency market can weather this mania better than other similar bubbles.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614