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February 2016

Bitcoin Price Crosses the $11K Mark For the First Time Since March 2018

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Bitcoin price

Bitcoin price

Since the beginning of 2019, Bitcoin price has been on the rise, gaining over 170%. On Monday, BTC price surged past the $11,000 mark, a new high since March 5, 2018. Demand for the coin has been reinvigorated by Facebook’s move to have its own digital currency.

Bitcoin Price Up 13% from Friday to Over $11,300

According to Coindesk’s Bitcoin Price Index, Bitcoin price hit an intraday high at 5.30 am HK/SIN on Monday reaching a high of $11,307.69, which was almost a 13% gain from last week Friday. This is the highest level the coin has reached in 15 months, regaining almost half of the increase that was witnessed in the 2018 bubble burst.

It seems like investors are shrugging off the memories of the burst after the 2018 bubble when the coin hit the $19,000 mark in December 2017. In the course of 2018, Bitcoin price declined until the start of this year where it recorded a record low of $3,000. However, since February, the price has been surging high with growing crypto sentiment as major firms announce cryptocurrency projects.

Since April, Bitcoin price has witnessed accelerated growth, and the surge is being associated with the anticipated Bitcoin halving in August and in 2020, and lesser concerns regarding fraud as well as a change in perception of how the coin is viewed.

>> Bitcoin Price Continues the Bull Run, Nears 5 Digit Mark

Growing Mainstream Adoption Boosting Bitcoin Price

eToro senior market analyst Matt Greenspan says that the market has greatly matured since the last time Bitcoin price crossed the $10,000 mark. He adds that the current surge is justified considering the current levels of adoption.

Currently, there is renewed mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency compared to last year, with Facebook’s Libra being one of the latest cryptocurrency projects. Facebook has partnered with Visa Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. among other partners to build a cryptocurrency system. Equally, in March, Fidelity Investment rolled out a digital currency trade and custody execution operation.

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North Korea Expected to Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency Similar to Bitcoin

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North Korea

North Korea

North Korea has set plans in motion to create its own cryptocurrency that will be similar to Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. The crypto will help the country avoid international sanctions and evade the global US-dominated financial system.

North Korea to Introduce Own Crypto

A representative of the regime has indicated that the planned cryptocurrency will be the same as the other cryptocurrencies. Alejandro Cao de Benos, the head of the country’s crypto conferences, said that they are currently evaluating products that will offer the digital currency value. For now, the country does not intend to digitize its current currency.

In recent times, Pyongyang has demonstrated significant interest in cryptocurrency. In April, the country held its first-ever cryptocurrency and blockchain conference that brought together all home-grown crypto and blockchain experts with foreign companies.

However, observers of North Korea’s use of cryptos confirm that the country has the capability of creating and deploying a cryptocurrency with little effort. This crypto will help North Koreans evade sanctions.

North Korea has the Expertise to Build Own Crypto

Royal United Services Institute analyst Kayla Izenman told VICE News that the country has demonstrated a considerable interest in the cryptocurrency space. It has shown expertise in crypto-jacking, hacking exchanges, crypto mining, and much more. He says that this confirms that the country has the necessary expertise to create and use virtually all iterations of crypto, including creating its digital currency.

>> Altcoin Season? Bull Run Continues While Bitcoin Stalls

Although Bitcoin provides users with anonymity, it is nonetheless easier to track transactions across the globe. It is for this reason that North Korea is pondering the creation of its cryptocurrency that they can control individuals having access to it and how it is run. Countries such as Iran, Venezuela, and Russia are also considering similar projects.

North Korea has turned to crypto to raise money from illegal activities. Recently, hackers from the country were allegedly blamed of stealing cryptos and mining them before utilizing them to evade limits imposed by international restrictions on their financial institution. North Korea’s state-sponsored hackers use Bitcoin for ransomware cyber-attacks and have accumulated close to $2 billion in digital and fiat currency.

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Crypto Mining Group BitFury to Investigate Data Analysis with AI

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BitFury

BitFury

The cryptocurrency mining and chip development firm BitFury has announced plans to set up a new department that will investigate the benefits of ‘big data’ analysis using artificial intelligence (AI). Speaking to newswire Reuters this past Tuesday, BitFury CEO Valery Vavilov referred to big data as ‘the next oil’, highlighting the need for a much greater focus on constructive analysis. According to Vavilov, the information available in 98 percent of big data is not being properly utilized, something his company hopes to simplify through AI-powered analysis.

“..artificial intelligence will bring new and extraordinary benefits to nearly every facet of our lives. To help this incredible technology achieve maximum impact, Bitfury is expanding our mission to offer hardware and software solutions designed especially for AI applications,” said Vavilov in a statement announcing the new development.

BitFury, which is headquartered in Amsterdam and has offices in London and San Francisco, represents one of the largest competitors to market-leader Bitmain, the Chinese company that currently dominates the world of cryptocurrency mining and chip production. In 2016, BitFury made headlines when it established a deal with the government of Georgia to develop a blockchain-based system of land registration, later opening a large cryptocurrency mining center in the country.

AI and Blockchain: A Marriage of Convenience

Now, the ever-innovative BitFury continues its expansion beyond blockchain with a foray into AI-enhanced data analysis. Artificial intelligence and blockchain are no strangers to each other, having been party to several crossover projects recently involving big data. The autonomous, trustless nature of blockchain technology lends itself to automated AI processes such as machine learning, and the decentralized model fits perfectly into the needs of big data analysis.

Earlier this year, Coinpayments CEO Alex Alexandrov announced the launch of a new AI-enhanced blockchain system called VELAS, or Virtual Expanding Learning Autonomous System. Utilizing an evolved form of AI known as artificial intuition, the VELAS team aims to develop a blockchain that self-regulates in an effort to address concerns regarding energy efficiency, security, and scalability.

>> Altcoins Almost Wiped Out as Crypto Market Cap Drops $30 Billion

“Here at Velas, our purpose is to address and fix existing issues and challenges faced by most existing Blockchains, such as centralization for example, or 51% attack, nothing at stake problem, scalability, security, high upfront expenses and so on. This is done by using neural networks optimized by artificial intelligence to enhance its consensus algorithm,” explained Alexandrov.

Blockchain projects—Bitcoin in particular—are increasingly drawing criticism for their excessive use of energy, prompting several mining outfits like BitFury to move operations to low-cost, clean energy countries like Paraguay. In February this year, BitFury announced a partnership with South Korean research and development firm Commons Foundation for the launch of two hydroelectric powered Bitcoin mining centers at Itaipu and Yacyreta.

Disclaimer: I currently hold a small amount of Bitcoin, XRP, and ETH. I am associated with none of the companies mentioned.

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