Top Crypto News – 04/12/2017

Bitcoin hits all-time high above $11,700 as recovery accelerates

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  • Bitcoin jumps 8 percent to an all-time high of $11,773.83, according to CoinDesk.
  • The gain marks a surge of 30.5 percent, or nearly $2,753, from a Thursday low of $9,021.85.
  • Bitcoin had topped $11,000 Wednesday, only to drop more than $1,000 in a few hours amid high trading volume that exchanges initially struggled to keep up with. 

    In a massive rebound from a 20 percent plunge last week, bitcoin surged Sunday to a record high above $11,700.

    The digital currency hit an all-time high of $11,773.83, up 8 percent on the day, according to CoinDesk. That’s 30.5 percent, or nearly $2,753, from a low of $9,021.85 hit Thursday.

    The rapid recovery is the latest in bitcoin’s wild swings. The cryptocurrency had crossed the closely watched $10,000 figure Tuesday and topped $11,000 Wednesday, only to drop more than $1,000 in a few hours amid high trading volume that exchanges initially struggled to keep up with.

    Bitcoin one-week performance

    Source: CoinDesk

    On Monday, Nov. 27, former Fortress hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz predicted on CNBC’s “Fast Money” that bitcoin could “easily” be at $40,000 at the end of 2018. But Novogratz said Tuesday at CoinDesk’s Consensus Invest conference that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are “going to be the biggest bubble of our lifetimes.”

    Bitcoin trading in Japanese yen accounted for about 58 percent of trading volume, while U.S. dollar-bitcoin trading accounted for about 23 percent, according to CryptoCompare.

    The bitcoin offshoot, bitcoin cash, also jumped nearly 13 percent Sunday, to $1,606.06, according to CoinMarketCap. Digital currency ethereum rose more than 3.5 percent to $480, CoinMarketCap showed.

    Bitcoin’s rapid gains mean that twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, founders of the Gemini digital currency exchange, are likely the first well-known bitcoin billionaires. The twins together had $11 million in bitcoin at $120 a coin in April 2013. With bitcoin above $11,700, that holding is now worth just over $1 billion.

    A representative for the Winklevoss twins did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.

Written by CNBC

 

United Kingdom plans tighter regulation of bitcoin

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The British government is mounting a crackdown on bitcoin amid rising concerns about money laundering and tax evasion, with UK Treasury revealing it is looking into regulating cryptocurrencies.

Treasury said it intends to regulate the digital currency to bring it in line with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financial legislation.

Under the European Union-wide plan, online platforms where bitcoin is traded will be required to carry out due diligence on customers and report suspicious transactions, with the move designed to end the anonymity which has made the currency attractive to criminals.

“We have clear tax rules for people who use cryptocurrencies, and like all tax rules, these are kept under review,” a spokesperson for Treasury said.

“We also intend to update regulation to bring virtual currency exchange platforms into anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation.”

China in September clamped down on cryptocurrency trading by banning Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), with a recent ruling from the People’s Bank of China labelling them “illegal”. As the offerings are often based on speculation, the country’s regulators believe they are likely linked to “illegal financial activities [which] seriously disrupt the economic and financial order”.

An ICO is a form of internet-based crowdfunding that can be a source of capital for startups. In return for investor cash, the organisations involved offer virtual coins such as bitcoin or ethereum, and the transaction is recorded over the blockchain.

Similar steps have been taken in Vietnam, with the State Bank of Vietnam ruling in October that cryptocurrency, including bitcoin, is not a legal method of payment.

Bank Indonesia governor Agus Martowardojo also said in October that bitcoin is not a valid form of payment in the country, and that users of the cryptocurrency “would be dealt with”.

Meanwhile in Australia, the country’s corporate watchdog urged those involved in ICOs to err on the side of caution to ensure they are abiding by the country’s laws.

The guidance from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission followed the country’s government announcing that it would be aligning the GST treatment of digital currency, including bitcoin, with regular money as of July 1, 2017, in a bid to promote the growth of Australia’s fintech industry.

“This measure will ensure purchases of digital currency are no longer subject to the GST. Removing double taxation on digital currencies will remove an obstacle for the financial technology (fintech) sector to grow in Australia,” the Australian government said in May.

The move from the UK to clamp down on bitcoin transactions follows two high-profile ransomware campaigns that brought organisations around the world to a standstill earlier this year by hackers who demanded ransoms paid in bitcoin to unlock their computers.

WannaCry and Petya both caused global panic and caught many organisations off-guard, and despite the Petya outbreak appearing to target mainly Ukraine, organisations around the world found themselves victim to this cyber attack.

With the damage bill in the region of $300 million for shipping giant Maersk and £100 million for Reckitt Benckiser, known for Dettol cleaning products, Nurofen tablets, and Durex condoms, Petya also halted chocolate production at Australia’s Tasmanian Cadbury’s production site.

300,000 PCs around the world were infected by WannaCry, including European car manufacturers, the UK’s National Health Service, and government institutions in Russia and China.

Three months after the WannaCry ranswomware hit the world, only 338 victims had paid the 300-bitcoin ransom demand.

One bitcoin is currently valued at $11,502.

Written by Zdnet

It’s Not Really About Bitcoin Price Surging, It’s Fiat Currencies In Free Fall

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According to Stefan Molyneux, a highly regarded Canadian podcast host, it is more important to recognize the free fall of fiat currencies, more so than to acknowledge the exponential growth rate of Bitcoin.

Molyneux says:

“It’s not so much that Bitcoin is going through the roof – it’s that fiat currencies are in free fall, but only Bitcoin is noticing.”

The decline of fiat currencies

For many decades, governments have had absolute control over the global finance sector and monetary policy through the fiat currency system. Through it, central banks such as the US Federal Reserve have obtained the ability to inflate the supply of reserve currencies and to manipulate the world’s most widely utilized form of money.

In an interview with Fox Business, major electronics retailer Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne stated that fiat currencies will continue to fall over the next few years, as investors and the market move onto separate money and state.

As fiat currencies decline, the only form of decentralized currency that is Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the market, will eventually overtake reserve currencies.

“You think that’s a bubble? What do you think that fiat currency you carry around in your purse is? This dollar stuff, it’s just some fiat currency based on … the surplus taxing authority of the US Treasury of which I assert there is zero … It’s about time the world switches to real money. Either gold or Bitcoin,” said Byrne.

Currently, the two forms of money or assets that are not subjected to the control and manipulation of governments are Bitcoin and gold. But, as demonstrated by the Indian government in late 2016, because of its physical attributes, gold can be confiscated and repossessed by the authorities at their will.

With Bitcoin, confiscation of user funds and assets is not possible, if users store their Bitcoin on a non-custodial platform in which they have full control over their private keys and funds.

One major advantage Bitcoin has over gold is its transportability. Gold is a viable store of value given that investors can store large amounts of money in the asset. But, it is difficult to transfer gold, especially through borders.

Bitcoin will continue to prosper as fiat currencies decline

Considering that Bitcoin remains as the only viable alternative to fiat currencies, the decline of government-issued money will continue to lead more investors and general consumers into the Bitcoin market.

As such, Byrne noted that Bitcoin price could reach $1 mln in the long-term if Bitcoin begins to take over reserve currencies and challenge the gold market.

“We have all these currencies since Bretton Woods, fluctuating against each other, and maybe the dollar hasn’t gone to zero against these currencies but all of them have gone down 95 percent … versus something that they can’t control like … gold and Bitcoin. So Bitcoin may be on its way to a million for all we know,” adds Byrne.

Written by CoinTelegraph

 

Facing Hyperinflation, Venezuela to Issue Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency

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Venezuela, the country plagued by hyperinflation pressures over the past few years, has announced that it will issue an oil-backed state cryptocurrency called the ‘Petro’ in an attempt to shore up its struggling economy. The announcement comes as a result of the massive adoption of Bitcoin in the nation.

The announcement made by President Maduro was met by cheers from the listening crowd, as the leader stated that for Venezuela ‘the 21st century has arrived.’ However, opposition leaders suggested that the cryptocurrency would require congressional approval and would likely never see the light of day.

US sanctions

The rapid decline of the country’s currency, the Bolivar, is at least partially the result of financial sanctions imposed by the US. Maduro is hoping that a cryptocurrency would allow money to move into the country through channels that are not currently accessible by other governments. Maduro said that the new cryptocurrency would allow the country to:

“Advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.”

While such a cryptocurrency would potentially offer a means of circumvention for the country’s government, tying it to oil, gas and diamond reserves may prove extremely complex. Some opposition leaders suggest that Maduro may seek to pay outstanding international debts with the state issued currency.

Written by CoinTelgraph

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