Cryptocurrency prices had a strong opening to the week and the upward momentum lasted till Wednesday, when some profit-booking set in. A rebound was witnessed late Thursday that has sustained into Friday thus far.
The price of Bitcoin crossed $9,000 at the start of the week and cryptocurrency market capitalization crossed $400 billion early Monday for the first time since March 8, amid the broad based improved sentiment being witnessed over the past few days. On Tuesday, Bitcoin hit a 44-day high. Altcoins were also higher for most part of the week.
Boosting sentiment this week was comments from a prominent venture capitalist that Bitcoin would be bigger than the internet and Nasdaq signaling that it was open to transform into a cryptocurrency exchange in future. Further, a digital banking startup in London, which also supports crypto trade, received significant venture capital funding. Meanwhile, former PayPal CEO alleged that Bitcoin was the biggest scam in history.
There was lot of activity on the regulation front with Japanese crypto exchanges launching their self-regulatory body and Iran’s central bank banning banks from cryptocurrency dealings.
And the blockchain space was also abuzz with news this week.
Here is a collection of the main stories from the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain this week, thus far.
Bitcoin Rally Continues, Draper Says Crypto To Eclipse Internet
Bitcoin, which has been steadily recovering for the past few weeks, crossed the $9,000 mark on Tuesday to hit a 44-day high of $9337. After hitting $9532 on March 11, the most popular cryptocurrency has been showing a downward trend until falling down to 6620 on April 6. Venture capitalist Tim Draper predicted that Bitcoin could be bigger than the internet, while former PayPal CEO Bill Harris alleged that Bitcoin was the greatest scam in history, a colossal pump-and-dump scheme.
Nasdaq Open To Become Crypto Exchange, Goldman Sachs Ropes In Crypto Trader
Nasdaq Inc. is open to becoming a cryptocurrency exchange over time as the regulation smooths and the crypto space gets matured, its CEO Adena Friedman said. The exchange operator in the meantime has entered into crypto market with a recent technology collaboration with cryptocurrency exchange Gemini Trust Co., founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. made its first crypto-specific appointment, naming Justin Schmidt, a former cryptocurrency trader, as head of digital asset markets. The financial services giant is reportedly planning to create a bitcoin trading desk.
Hong Kong And Singapore Emerge As New ICO Hotspots
Token sales ban in China and South Korea is perhaps turning into a blessing in disguise for Singapore and Hong Kong, where the number of initial coin offerings has skyrocketed in recent months. The phenomenal increase in the number of companies launching ICOs in the Chinese self-administered territory and Singapore is attributed to a favorable environment they provide to companies that seek to raise funds outside their home countries.
Coinbase Blocks WikiLeaks Shop, Gaming Firm May Acquire Bitstamp
The whistle-blower website WikiLeaks called for a blockade of crypto exchange operator Coinbase after the latter ended services to the former’s merchandise account. And major cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp is in talks to be acquired by South Korean gaming giant Nexon, Business Insider reported. The sale price in negotiation of the oldest surviving bitcoin exchange is $350 million. Elsewhere, Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange owned by internet entrepreneur twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, partnered with Nasdaq stock exchange to deploy the latter’s market surveillance software to monitor the cryptocurrency marketplace. Reuters reported that the Philippine government for the first time has granted permission to operate cryptocurrency exchanges in the country and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority is about to issue license to 10 platforms for Blockchain and cryptocurrency companies.
Digital Banking Firm Revolut Raises $250 Mln; Adds Ripple, Bitcoin Cash
Revolut, a British digital banking startup, announced that it has raised $250 million in the latest round of funding, giving it a valuation of $1.7 billion. The company further said Revolut Crypto will add two new currencies to the existing lineup, including Ripple and Bitcoin Cash, alongside the current Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ether.
Japanese Crypto Exchanges Establish Self-Regulatory Body
Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges have formed a self-regulatory organization (SRO) to regulate the virtual currency market in order to regain public trust by providing improved safeguards for investors and traders. According to a local news outlet Asahi Shimbun, sixteen licensed cryptocurrency exchanges currently registered with the Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) have signed a formal agreement to form an SRO called Nihon Kasotsuka Kokangyo Kyokai or Japan cryptocurrency exchange association (JCEA). Meanwhile, yet another crypto exchange, Minnano Bitcoin, was warned by the Financial Services Agency.
Indian Court Notice Seeks Explanation For Crypto Ban On Banks
The High Court of the Indian capital Delhi has issued a notice to the Reserve Bank of India, the Ministry of Finance, and the Goods and Services Tax Council accepting a complaint challenging the central bank’s ban on the country’s commercial banks from providing services to investors in digital currencies. Still in Asia, the government of Taiwan will introduce regulations on the country’s bitcoin market under anti-money laundering (AML) rules by November. Iran’s central bank banned banks under its purview from transacting in bitcoin and other virtual currencies in the Islamic Republic. In Europe, the European Parliament passed with overwhelming majority a proposal by the European Council to introduce strict regulation for virtual currencies, like Bitcoin, to prevent them being used for money laundering and terrorism financing.
Mastercard, Amazon, Walmart, TD Ameritrade Create News In Blockchain Space
Payment giant MasterCard is set to use blockchain technology for identity protection and the company has filed a patent application for the “method and system for identity and credential protection and verification via blockchain.” Elsewhere, Amazon Web Services or AWS announced its Blockchain Templates, which will give developers a faster way to set up networks on the Ethereum blockchain or Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric. Retail giant Walmart is looking to use blockchain technology for their vendor payment sharing system and courier shopping system, according to patent applications. The company imprinted its flag and name using ASCII art on the Bitcoin permanent ledger. In South Korea, telecom giant SK Telecom plans to use blockchain technologies to provide asset management and payment service within this year. In Japan, KEPCO, a Japanese electric utility major partnered with the blockchain start-up Power Ledger to trial peer-to-peer renewable energy trading in the country.
Banking, Tech Giants Added To Global Blockchain Think-Tank
The Blockchain Research Institute expanded its Board by adding 12 new members, including global leaders in Banking and Technology. And prominent credit rating agency Fitch Ratings said blockchain is a “game-changing technology” for the insurance industry over the long term. Meanwhile, online broker TD Ameritrade became the first brand to place an advertisement in blockchain.
Crypto & Blockchain-related Legislation in Arizona, California
A bill that would allow residents in Arizona to pay their taxes in cryptocurrency cleared hurdles in a key committee in the state’s House of Representatives. A California Senate panel has signaled a “go-ahead” to a Bill that allows companies in the state to store data, including information about stockholders, on a blockchain.
World’s First IOTA-powered Charging Station Launched In Netherlands
The Netherlands is now home to the world’s first IOTA-enabled electric vehicle charging station that is being tested. The IOTA charger is part of the ElaadNL test site, an initiative of the Dutch grid operators who are exploring ways to make the existing network efficient and affordable to support the development of electric mobility, or e-mobility and smart charging.
Tutorial: Crypto Lexicon
The crypto slang terms discussed this week were – FUD, AIRDROP, REKT, NOOB, FOMO.
As of 11.00 am ET on Friday, Bitcoin was up 5.05 percent for the week at $9,262.00 and Ethereum was higher by 12.14 percent at $680.00 on Coinbase.
by Jyotsna V