Litecoin founder Lee predicts future for bitcoin and his own runaway cryptocurrency
Litecoin Founder Charlie Lee wants people to stop fussing over the gravity-defying rally in the cryptocurrency.
“I would be happy if litecoin stays at around $300 by the end of next year,” Lee told CNBC’s Squawk Box, as the cryptocurrency surged more than 150 percent in the past week.
Litecoin’s rallied almost 8,000 percent this year, making it the world’s fifth-largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of more than $15 billion, according to coinmarketcap.com. On Friday, it traded at $261.94 on Coinbase.
“It’s still very surprising how much it has grown this year,” Lee said.
“I never like to speculate on prices because I’m always wrong. If I tell you it’s going to go up and it doesn’t, you’ll be upset,” he added.
Lee noted that the frenetic growth in cryptocurrency prices was also impeding their wider adoption as most people were using them as a speculative asset rather than using them to make real-world transactions.
“I think we’re still maybe five years away before people actually start using bitcoin and litecoin in real world use as a currency.”
As litecoin surged to new highs in early December, Lee took to Twitter to urge for calm and “rein in the excitement” over its sky high valuations.
“Bitcoin is very volatile, and litecoin is even more volatile that bitcoin,” he said.
The growing popularity of cryptocurrencies has also attracted scrutiny from policymakers, some of whom have cast doubts over their appeal as stores of value or mediums of exchange. Others have warned investors of the risk of investing in cryptocurrencies.
Unlike other cryptocurrency purists who have expressed alarm at the prospect of government intervention, Lee welcomed recent talk of more regulation for cryptocurrencies.
“I think increased regulation will help to reduce the volatility of the coin. A lot of the recent gains have had a lot to do with countries like (South) Korea and Japan really getting into the cryptocurrency space,” Lee said.
“Ever since China banned the bitcoin exchanges, (South) Korea has really taken up the mantle. There is a lot of frenzy in (South) Korea right now and I think that’s driving up the price.”
Lee said he would not like to see South Korea banning cryptocurrencies. However, he welcomed more regulation around Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs.
An ICO is the latest way for cryptocurrency start-ups to raise money by issuing their own digital tokens in exchange for a virtual currency like ether or bitcoin. Investors don’t get a stake in the company, but the tokens they receive can be traded or used on a service provided by the platform.
“I see those as very risky for newcomers,” he said.
Asked about the introduction of bitcoin futures on the CBOE and the introduction of CME bitcoin futures shortly, Lee also said he expected to see litecoin futures on a global exchange in the future.
“I believe that as we grow, more and more people will look into litecoin and see that as a good investment asset also. I hope to see litecoin futures one day.”
Written by CNBC
Malaysia’s Central Bank Releases Draft Rules for Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Malaysia’s central bank has published new draft regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges that operate in the country.
On Thursday, Bank Negara Malaysia announced the move in a release on its website, asking the public to weigh in on measures aimed at easing money laundering and terrorist financing concerns related to cryptocurrencies.
Following months of work in this area, the proposed regulations require businesses to verify their customers’ identities, monitor transactions and report any suspicious activities to Malaysian authorities. Additionally, companies must report usage statistics to the central bank.
If approved, the regulations would apply to any person or company which exchanges cryptocurrency on behalf of someone else. And while the regulations acknowledge that companies might use cryptocurrencies, the nation officially still does not recognize them as legal tender.
The draft rules state:
“Members of the public are therefore advised to undertake the necessary due diligence and assessment of the risks involved in dealing in digital currencies or with entities providing services associated with digital currencies.”
Bank Negara Malaysia is taking written feedback on the draft rules until Jan. 14, according to the release.
The regulations were explained by governor Muhammad Ibrahim last month as tools to prevent illicit money transmission. While the regulations will only apply to exchanges – “which are being referred to as “reporting institutions” – the country’s securities regulator is looking at creating a framework for cryptocurrencies in general as well.
Kuala Lumpur image via Shutterstock
Written by CoinDesk
Japanese company to start paying employees in bitcoin
A Japanese company will start paying part of its employees’ salaries in Bitcoin, as it aims to gain better understanding of the virtual currency, a spokeswoman has said.
GMO Internet, which operates a range of web-related businesses including finance, online advertising and internet infrastructure, will start paying up to 100,000 yen (£660/$890) monthly by Bitcoin to its employees in Japan from February next year.
Employees can receive salaries by Bitcoin if they want to,” company spokeswoman Harumi Ishii said. “We hope to improve our own literacy of virtual currency by actually using it.”
The offer will be open to around 4,000 employees of the GMO group in Japan, she said.
The company started a Bitcoin trading and exchange business in May. And next month, it will join the so-called “Bitcoin mining” business – gaining the right to receive new Bitcoins as a reward for helping keep the network secure by approving transactions.
World Bitcoin prices have surged globally this year, soaring from less than $1,000 in January to $17,000 this week.
Written by the Guardian
Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin Boom As Bloomberg Adds Them To Terminal
Ripple (XRP) has hit huge new all-time highs as the altcoin joins Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) in debuting on Bloomberg Terminals.
News that Bloomberg had added the three cryptocurrency assets to its benchmark price tracker sent XRP soaring to almost $0.90 per coin – an increase of almost 300 percent in just three days.
The publication’s journalist Lily Katz confirmed the additions Thursday.
This week has seen altcoins broadly return to form after several weeks of intense investor attention on Bitcoin, which also hit new all-time highs Friday of almost $17,900.
ETH and LTC have surpassed short-term expectations in recent days, rising to above $750 and $300 respectively.
In addition, Dash almost claimed the $1,000 price tag before correcting down towards $900, all assets following in the steps of Monero, which suddenly rallied to three times its price over the past two weeks.
Markets are likely set to see further flux into and out of Bitcoin over the coming weeks as a host of hard forks make their debut, investors keen to access duplicate balances tradeable on exchanges.
Super Bitcoin held its network snapshot this week, while Bitcoin Platinum, Bitcoin God and Bitcoin Cash Plus are also due to do so before the end of the year.
Bitcoin Silver and Bitcoin Uranium are also planned, while Bitcoin Diamond futures are already being tracked on Coinmarketcap.