Bitcoin and altcoins remained trending upwards for most part of this week, save for occasional whale sightings that caused brief periods of sharp declines. The most remarkable was a drop of over $200 in the Bitcoin price in under 30 minutes to around $7,860 at about 4 am ET on Tuesday. A whale dump is doubted behind this sharp fall.
Meanwhile, positive comments on cryptocurrencies by the IMF Chief helped to buoy sentiment, which strengthened further after the April 17 Tax Day. A prominent hedge fund also signaled that it may be time to buy Bitcoins. Altcoins, led by Ripple, were also higher, in sync with the Bitcoin price movement. Overall cryptocurrency market cap increased and was near $375 billion, Friday morning.
Here is a collection of the main stories from the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain this week, thus far.
Crypto Rally Continued Throughout The Week Despite Whale Dumps
Cryptocurrencies were higher Friday morning after starting the week on a wobbly foot. Bitcoin found a low for the bear market over the last few weeks and formed a solid upward trend from the middle of the week after the April 17 tax day passed. Several main altcoins were also higher. The market recovery was broad-based as the overall market capitalization also increased steadily. Recent data from the tax filing platform Credit Karma suggested that very few Americans have reported their cryptocurrency holdings. International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde, who bashed cryptos a month ago, reversed course and blogged some praises on digital currencies. Pantera Capital, the leading crypto focused hedge fund, predicted that Bitcoin has formed a new low of $6,500 in this bear market and is likely to exceed $20,000 within a year. The firm’s CEO Dan Morehead said a wall of institutional money will drive the markets much higher and signaled that this may be the right time to buy Bitcoin.
Kraken Exiting Japan, Coinbase Acquires Earn.com
Kraken, the largest Bitcoin exchange in euro volume and liquidity, is set to end its activities in Japan due to rising costs, Bloomberg reported citing an emailed statement. The exchange may re-enter when the time is favorable. Elsewhere, Coinbase, the leading cryptocurrency exchange operator, acquired the paid email startup Earn.com and made the founder-CEO Balaji Srinivasan its first chief technology officer. Meanwhile, data showed an unprecedented hike in fund-raising via Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs for the first quarter of 2018 than what was recorded in the whole of the previous year.
Barclays Planning Crypto Trading Desk, Boerse Stuttgart Subsidiary Launches App
Barclays Plc, the British banking major, reportedly reached out to its clients to gauge their interest in a cryptocurrency trading desk. And Sowa Labs, the fintech subsidiary of Germany’s second largest stock exchange, Boerse Stuttgart, launched a prototype of its cryptocurrency trading app, called the BISON app that will be available free of charge from autumn.
NY AG Launches Inquiry Into Crypto Exchanges
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched an inquiry into virtual currency trading platforms or exchanges as part of a broader effort to protect cryptocurrency investors and consumers. Schneiderman’s fact-finding inquiry called Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative will delve into the policies and practices of platforms used by consumers to trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether.
Hong Kong Securities Watchdog Skeptical On ICOs
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission repeated its concerns over the use of Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs to raise funds with the deputy CEO Julia Leung making it clear that the promise for future held by blockchain and other innovative tech does not entitle anyone to conduct fund-raising from the public in violation of securities law. More in regulation news, the government of Bermuda proposed a Bill to create a regulatory framework that controls the Atlantic island nation’s nascent cryptocurrency industry. And the Bank of Japan said it will not issue a central bank digital currency, citing financial stability concerns.
Cambridge Analytica Wanted To Launch Cryptocurrency
Britain’s Cambridge Analytica, which was alleged to be behind the data leak of as much as 87 million Facebook users, was earlier planning to raise money by issuing a new type of cryptocurrency, reports said citing sources familiar with the matter. The data analytics consultancy was planning to raise as much as $30 million and had approached a company that advises on initial coin offering or ICO, an online fundraising scheme for the issue of a new digital currency.
Alibaba Subsidiary Taobao Bans Crypto Service Listings
Taobao, a subsidiary of the e-commerce and retail giant Alibaba and popularly called the eBay of China, banned the listing of cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, and other crypto-related services on its platform. Previously, the website had banned cryptocurrency miners and mining-related educational material. The latest ban also includes listings of products and services that claim to use the blockchain.
Fujitsu To Demo IOTA at Hannover Messe, Dow Jones Media To Test Blockchain
Fujitsu, the Japanese information technology conglomerate, is set to introduce IOTA, which it calls the next generation distributed ledger technology or blockchain, at the Hannover Messe trade fair in Germany this month. The trade fair, Germany’s biggest, is set to take place between April 23-27. Dow Jones Media Group, a unit of Dow Jones, partnered with ad-blocking browser startup Brave Software, to offer premium content to new users and test blockchain technology usage in digital publishing. In addition, Barron’s and MarketWatch will become verified publishers on the Basic Attention Token or BAT platform, developed by Brave.
Banks Test Batavia Blockchain Platform Successfully
A consortium of international banks and IBM has successfully conducted its first live cross-border transactions involving corporate clients on a blockchain-based trade finance platform. Batavia was founded by banking giant UBS in partnership with IBM Blockchain in 2016. Meanwhile, Moody’s warned that while the Blockchain has the potential to significantly reduce the costs and time involved in cross-border banking transactions and increase banks’ efficiency, it could put pressure on their fees and commissions.
Tutorial: Crypto Lexicon – HODL, WHALE, SHILL
The crypto slang terms discussed this week were HODL, WHALE, SHILL.
As of 10.05 am ET on Friday, Bitcoin was up 8.02 percent for the week at $8,500.01 and Ethereum was higher by 18.88 percent at $584.52 on Coinbase.
by Jyotsna V