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Quebec Government Defends Bitcoins Liberty

The Chief Scientist of Quebec, Rémi Quirion, has published a report on Bitcoin, taking an in-depth look at the state of legality that Bitcoin faces on a day-to-day basis. It finds no direct link between Bitcoin and criminal activities.

Quirion disagrees with accusations such as that by BlackRock CEO Larry Fink who labelled Bitcoin as “an index of money laundering”, saying that Bitcoin’s distributed ledger technology has helped law enforcement agencies track down illegal activities with ease.

“Bitcoin is not above the law, nor is it a magnet for illicit transactions: it forms only a tiny part of the criminal money circulating around the planet. The reason: it is less attractive for anyone who wants to make transactions without leaving a trace,” said Quirion.

The Center for Sanctions and Illicit Finance of the Defense of Democracies Foundation’s study found that funds linked to criminal activities accounted for only 0.61% of money entering the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

The percentage of Bitcoin transactions as a whole related to money laundering has decreased over the last five years, from 1.07% to a minuscule 0.12% in 2016.

The report cited that Bitcoin was still unregulated, although the Quebec government insists that companies must obtain a crypto specific license before operating a cryptocurrency exchange in the country.

While these figures might challenge commonly-held views about Bitcoin, they come as little surprise to veteran Bitcoin users. Others argue that fiat currency, in particular, the US dollar still ranks highly as currency favored by criminals.

 

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Pantera CEO Dan Morehead Calls Rare Bitcoin Buy Signal

Pantera Capital CEO Dan Morehead has stated that Bitcoin’ss sideways action at USD 8,000 is about to end, with the company today signalling a perfect time to get in for the long.

Morehead’s company is well known for its exclusive focus on digital currencies and blockchain technology. Its rational analysis is based on Bitcoin’s 200-day moving average, believing that it had crossed below that threshold today.

“Bitcoin just hit that rare buy signal again”, said Morehead. He added:

“On the surface, it seems as though the higher the 200-day moving average goes, the more bullish the market is (and the lower it goes, the more bearish). In practice, however, the reverse is true. Extremely high readings are a warning that the market may soon reverse to the downside. High readings reveal that traders are far too optimistic. When this occurs, fresh new buyers are often few and far between. Meanwhile, shallow readings signify the reverse; the bears are in the ascendancy, and a bottom is near. The shorter the moving average, the sooner you’ll see a change in the market.”

#Bitcoin Price Cycles

After a 1067-day bull market, a downdraft which is spot on previous bear markets in depth, retracement.

My old friends in the hedge fund space would love the Fibonacci 0.618 bounce.

If I were a betting man, I’d say we’ve seen the lows of this cycle. pic.twitter.com/KIO80OFJtk

— Dan Morehead (@dan_pantera) February 7, 2018

Pantera has only made four trade recommendations in seven years, most of which have been based on the 200-day moving average. It holds an impressive portfolio of the top three coins by market capitalization, along with other alternative coins such as ZCash, ShapeShift and Civic.

 

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Coinshares Chairman Danny Masters Bullish on Bitcoin Revolution

In a recent Bloomberg PNL podcast, Coinshares chairman Danny Masters took an in-depth look into the future of distributed ledger technology, security and regulation in the industry.

He said, “The distributed ledger technology that’s being pioneered by the development surrounding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are really the democratization of transactions as in the same way when the internet appeared we saw the news and information traveling around without the need for news or big organizations as centers for distribution for the information. This is what is at the core of what makes this the revolution.”

Masters went on to talk about Coinshares as a digital trading asset hedge fund, allowing users to trade without actually owning any currency, hedging services or proprietary capital.

The Coinshares chairman defended the point that cryptocurrency was not causing a momentary global leakage in any leverage of fiat assets: “I think what is clear is that there was some regulatory sandbox, in which digital assets of all kinds existed. All the way from back when we started in 2013, right through the third or fourth quarter of last year”.

He said that when the crypto ecosystem was in the sub-10 billion dollar phase, it was still very experimental. But as the market rapidly approached a trillion dollars in late 2017, the media hype around it brought a lot of attention. Banks and governments could no longer ignore Bitcoin’s substantial potential for the future.

Masters is best known as the chief investment officer for Global Advisors. He manages over USD 800 million in crypto assets, leveraging Bitcoin certificates and selling them to Nasdaq in what is by far his most significant product pull.

 

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Barclays UK New Ventures Unit to Explore “Disruptive” Themes

British bank Barclays appears to be the latest to enter the blockchain arena, with Barclays UK announcing a new ventures unit to study “disruptive technology”.

The announcement appeared to dance closely around the blockchain topic without directly pointing to cryptocurrency, explaining its mission to innovate in pursuit of “disruptive” themes within the newly created Barclays UK Ventures unit.

According to the announcement, the unit would “accelerate the growth of new business lines… working independently of traditional units” and “develop new customer propositions around major areas of disruptive technology”.

“We intend to drive this initiative by building a strong team of technologists, developers and entrepreneurs within BUKV, mandated to operate independently of, but in partnership with, our core operations,” explained Ben Davey,  CEO of Barclays UK Ventures.

Notably missing from the announcement were key terms connected to cryptocurrency, although a sheepish reference to startup operations was unsurprising. It could have been a cautious move, given that it was only two years ago when legal charges were brought against the bank after failing to deliver on hefty claims on a separate venture.

Allegations that the Barclays company had rigged the stock market, committed market manipulation and price tampering, were silenced with a USD 70 million settlement paid by Barclays to the state of New York and to the Securities Exchange Commission.

Even with the existing controversy surrounding the technology, banks will be keen to get a foot in the door in the cryptocurrency space, especially when financial leaders like Mastercard recently began a blockchain exploration initiative.

 

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CNBC Fast Money’s Brian Kelly Will Still “Wanna Buy” Bitcoin at $20K

Brian Kelly, CEO of BKCM and CNBC’s Fast Money, has compared Bitcoin to Microsoft and Cisco in the late 1980s. Likening it to the internet, he pointed out that Bitcoin was not a company, but a public open source software, which was still in the very early stages.

Kelly went on to talk about the recent drop in Bitcoin markets, calling the bottom after it had seen some decent gains. He said, “So I think this is for real, we’ll know after April 17th if we can hold these gains, we’ll know how much of this tax selling impacted, if we use Tom Lee’s work we probably had 500 to 600 billion come off the market for tax selling purposes.”

When asked about the potential in the open source software that is Bitcoin, he stated that he used to think of it as the internet in 1995 but now has a better comparison in that it was the Internet in the late 1980s, being very early stages.

When put forward that Bitcoin was just “one big virus” and that the tech would never breach a new all-time high, Kelly responded, “When it’s USD 20,000 I wanna buy it.”

The #Bitcoin bulls are back in town! And @BKBrianKelly is watching one thing next week that could send the cryptocurrency higher pic.twitter.com/QRbN52XNDq

— CNBC’s Fast Money (@CNBCFastMoney) April 13, 2018

The analyst also backs Tim Draper’s 2022 price prediction of USD 250,000 USD, saying, “This is parabolic, but it would be a continuation of the trend that we’ve seen.”

Brian went on to talk about the use of Bitcoin as a currency and the damping down of the volatility, personally predicting its price to reach USD 25,000 before the end of the year should the network see a boost in transaction volume.

 

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Pantera Capital Shares Bullish Sentiment, Sees Bitcoin Above $20,000

Investment firm Pantera Capital has published an open letter that outlines a bullish sentiment and optimism for Bitcoin in the foreseeable future. In a lengthy Medium Post signed by CEO Dan Morehead and CIO Joey Krugg, the pair had plenty of positive notes regarding Bitcoin over the coming weeks and months.

First, the letter pointed out that IBM recently kicked off an advertisement campaign giving credibility to blockchain technology with all its benefits and important features.

“While watching an ad about the many cool things that this unnamed company or product could do. I was like ‘Yeah. Who cares? Blockchains can do all that.’ The credits rolled — it was an IBM ad for blockchain. That’s a huge milestone. Legit company spending serious money to credentialize blockchain. Can’t put the genie back in the bottle,” wrote Morehead and Krugg.

Then the letter suggested that Bitcoin had shown remarkable resiliency in the wake of US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) events that put regulatory pressure on the network. Pantera asserted that because the market did not waver even after several unsavory SEC reports about scam projects, this indicated a true bottom has been reached.

“One key thing to point out is recently there was some news about the SEC going after a couple scam projects and the fact that the market didn’t react negatively suggests we’ve reached a local, if not global bottom… Provided that nothing drastically changes over the course of the next few months on the regulation side, I think that we’ve seen the brunt of the market’s negative reaction to it,” the letter explained.

All of these notes support the Pantera team’s optimistic conclusion regarding Bitcoin. They boldly stated that the low of USD 6,500 would be the lowest point for the immediate timeframe and projected a USD 20,000 value for this time next year.

“The vast majority of the next 365 days will be above that price. It’s highly likely to have exceeded $20,000 within a year,” they said.

Pantera Capital is an investment firm focused exclusively on blockchain technology, emerging ventures and investments within the realm of cryptocurrency. It manages over USD 800,000 in assets.

 

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Bitcoin Bounces Back Increasing $1,000 in One Hour, Sets $1.2B Trading Volume Record

Bitcoin has bounced back after a bumpy ride over the last few months. Prices surged upward in a steep motion today, showing an increase of over USD 1,000 in only an hour’s span of time according to data pulled from bitcoinity.org. The flurry of trade also set a new hourly record of Bitcoin trading volume, with USD 1.2 billion worth of Bitcoin changing hands.

This significant jump was followed by a slight drop, with a price point averaging USD 7,700 at the time of writing.

 

 

Bitcoin bounces back
Chart data and image courtesy of bitcoinity.org

The increase was welcomed by Bitcoin users and provided for even better news for those in the cryptocurrency community who chose to “HODL” or to Hold On for Dear Life, as the saying goes.

The community embraced this jump in value after enduring traumatic market volatility in the recent weeks. Bitcoin prices have been all over the board in the last six months, ranging from a market high over USD 20,000 in January to a dramatic downward slope with a low around USD 6,000 in February.

Bitcoin charts are closely monitored for patterns by experts worldwide – yet nobody has yet been able to pinpoint the exact science behind the ebb and flow of Bitcoin’s price roller coaster. From famous opinions to big bank CEOs’ regular rants, there is seldom a true consensus among those who share their views on the controversy surrounding Bitcoin.

Max Keiser, the notorious host of The Keiser Report, was seen Tweeting playfully about his recent prediction that the Bitcoin market would experience a “double bottom”.

#Bitcoin held my double-bottom call… Is is art or mathematics? pic.twitter.com/M8yOZtRFNp

— Max Keiser (@maxkeiser) April 12, 2018

A double bottom is a pattern sometimes found in market charts that measure financial data.  It looks like the letter “W” with a price drop, followed by an upward rise, with another drop and finally a defining final rise similar to the one that came before it. Really, it could be called a double top – since that is the positive note that it ends on.

With all of the opposing “expert” opinions, the frenzy paves the perfect path for a slightly unpredictable ride in the short term. Based on at the numbers year over year, the future for Bitcoin’s price appears to be bright, having bounced back from every major fall so far.

 

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Analyst Mati Greenspan Remains Bullish on Bitcoin as Wall St Builds Blockchain “Bridge”

In a recent Bloomberg broadcast, Mati Greenspan, eToro senior market analyst, saw positive signs for cryptocurrency, saying that the market was about to receive a new flow of liquidity from Wall Street.

Among many issues faced, volatility may not be one that Wall Street giants are used to but Greenspan says it has been in a consistent state of play since the very beginning.

He said,”The dip we’re talking about is actually nothing new for Bitcoin, as far as percentage terms go. If we look at it historically we’ve seen these type of pullbacks before, and definitely Wall Street is getting involved and they are building the bridges as we speak. Whether they go full on Bull or full on Bear, we don’t know, and they are ready to inject new liquidity into the market.”

Greenspan went on to explain that Wall Street missed the boat when it came to last year’s all-time high, with Chicago exchanges CBOE and CME launching Bitcoin futures right at the precipice in the Bitcoin high.

He reflected that the future of Bitcoin in the financial ecosystem would remain unknown, pointing out that the cryptocurrency operates as an individual entity, not part of the central banking monopoly.

Lightning Network

In December and January, the Bitcoin network experienced congestion due to the newfound popularity of the currency, inevitably causing some concern for the future of the coin.

Compared to two years ago when fees were next to nothing, the reporter commented that “it takes forever to get it through the system” during congested periods.

“Since then the price has come down, the interest has come down and right now if you were to send a transaction it would be instant, comparable to many years ago, this is why we need more liquidity in the market,” came the reply.

A new scaling proposal is currently being rolled out for Bitcoin in the shape of the newly-developed Lightning network protocol. It effectively creates a layer on top of the blockchain, enabling fast and cheap transactions which can settle payments off the blockchain.

 

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Japanese Financial Watchdog Halts Two Exchanges Over KYC Failure

The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) has made strict orders that two of Japan’s cryptocurrency exchanges must halt trading immediately after failing know-your-customer (KYC) licensing adherents.

These business suspension orders are expected to last until early June; the FSA has additionally issued Eternal Link and FSHO with penalty orders.

In early March, the agency suspended 15 unlicensed crypto exchanges. The country’s financial services minister Taro Aso had mentioned that on-site inspections would take place at the headquarters of the exchange providers. The strategic plan came after the Coincheck exchange hack, during which USD 533 million in NEM tokens had been stolen in January.

Though the suspension of the 15 exchanges had slowly been clearing up through many weeks of inspections, the FSA called out to the two leading service providers for not obtaining the right customer details before allowing them to trade.

Also, the exchanges had not been keeping track of suspicious transactions and reporting back to the agency. Anti-money laundering procedures must be adhered to in the cryptocurrency ecosystem; the failure of such does not comply with Japan’s Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Procedure.

In another FSA report, it had been shown that Eternal Link had also violated other laws, using customer deposits to pay for company expenses. A spokesperson for the FSA commented that three more exchanges were lacking in proper security measures, leaving them open to some data breaches.

The recent suspension shows that regulatory measures are being put in place in Japan, with the FSA strengthening its efforts in cracking down on errant cryptocurrency exchanges and measuring their business operations.

 

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Liechtenstein to Bypass Heavy Crypto Regulations

Liechtenstein’s Prime minister has stated he wants to be at the forefront of the digital age, suppressing any burdensome regulations on blockchain technology.

The Liechtenstein government has the aim to provide its citizens with sensible but cohesive blockchain regulations; this will create a stable legal environment that will help further the country’s innovation within this sector.

While the matter remains uncertain in other countries, who aim to introduce blockchain and crypto laws steadily. With no global regulations insight from the recent G20 summit.

In a recent post, the Prime minister stated; “There is no point in creating regulations that are excessive and lacking in practical relevance because then the blockchain economy will simply develop outside the regulations. That surely would not be in the interest of any country. Therefore we want to propose a sensible regulatory approach utilizing this law, where the role of the state in creating legal certainty and confidence comes into effect where it is needed.” The new law will be passed by Liechtenstein’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority, which in the past has dealt with over 100 related inquiries within the blockchain sector.

The government gained notoriety, reviewing the legislation already in place, set by other countries, and is also in consultation with some fintech conglomerates. The PM expects the bill to be a fair-to-all law, once passed with the aim to present the proposal to the public this summer.

The prime minister also when on to urge that blockchain is the future and it can significantly change almost all aspects of our economic life and financial services.

In a Forbes article, Malahov one of the co-creators for ethereum had a chance to revisit the country, Malahov is a founder of Aternity and has based this new venture out of Liechtenstein. Stating ” Liechtenstein’s quaint valleys and fairytale castles are enough to attract any entrepreneur.”

 

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