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November 2017

Bitcoin Breaks $12,000 Amid Global Recession Concerns

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin

Bitcoin price broke $12,000 USD for the second time in three days on Wednesday as the notoriously volatile cryptocurrency develops a reputation among investors as a safe-haven currency amid concerns as the global economy heads towards recession. This takes BTC’s week-on-week gains to $2,000 USD.

Following on from 2018’s cryptocurrency crash, BTC enjoyed six months of steady increases during the first half of 2019. However, in June the price of BTC nosedived yet again with nearly $4,000 USD being knocked from its value in under a week. After some wild fluctuations over the summer months, which saw BTC’s value fluctuate between $9,000 USD and $13,000 USD, it would appear that the world’s premier cryptocurrency is back on track as share prices topped $12,000 USD for the second time this week.

A Safe Haven for Investors

While a week of positive price movements for BTC could be followed by another dive, some market speculators believe that the only way is up. One particular reason for this speculation is BTC’s emerging reputation with investors as a safe-haven amid fears that a global recession is on the horizon. According to The Block, a Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry website, the catalyst was unusually high Bitcoin volume on Binance, the world’s largest Bitcoin and crypto exchange. This could be as a result of investors seeking shelter in Bitcoin, as uncertainty hangs over traditional currencies.

Political uncertainty across the globe has had a damaging effect on traditional markets, with the ever-increasing possibility of a No-Deal Brexit and Trump’s escalating trade war with China. Yesterday, China’s yuan currency hit its lowest point in over a decade.

Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at brokerage eToro, said, “Of course, [the falling yuan] is one possible explanation, but so is Brexit for that matter, the possibility of a no-deal Brexit could very well have people hedging themselves against the potential of another large leg down for the pound sterling.”

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Alternative Factors

Other possible triggers for the bump in BTC stock include a halving in block rewards for miners of Litecoin, the world’s fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market value. This means that the number of tokens Litecoin miners receive has been cut from 25 to 12.5—known as a halvening. Halvenings are seen as a positive event for cryptocurrency prices as they tighten demand. Bitcoin will undergo a halvening in May 2020 when rewards for miners will fall from 12.5 to 6.25.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © AntonMatyukha

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Cryptocurrency Faces Challenges in Cuba Despite Growing Crypto Adoption

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cryptocurrency

cryptocurrency

Cuba rolled out mobile across the country last year, and this has resulted in increased usage of cryptocurrency. Most Cubans are increasingly using cryptocurrencies to circumvent economic sanctions levied by the US to access the global marketplace.

However, despite this increasing adoption, crypto still faces several challenges in Cuba. Some of the challenges include restricted access to cryptocurrency exchanges, lack of proper regulations, as well as the growing acceptance of the gold-backed MLM stablecoin.

Using Crypto to Circumvent Sanctions

A report published on September 12 by Reuters included passages from 35-year-old Cuban, Jason Sanchez, who indicated that cryptocurrencies were opening new opportunities for certain Cubans. Sanchez, who runs a cellular phone store, indicated that he uses Bitcoin (BTC) to purchase products online from China.

Cryptocurrencies are increasingly becoming popular in Cuba for various utilities. This is according to a Telegram group, CubaCripto, that boasts over 600 members and is one of the pioneers of crypto-oriented online communities in the country. The first utility of crypto that Cubans cited is the capability to avoid economic sanctions and buy products online. Other members of the group are seeking digital currencies for investment and trading purposes as they look to profit from the volatility of Bitcoin.

Although Bitcoin is experiencing price fluctuations, some residents are utilizing cryptocurrency as a way of storing value. Members of CubaCripto indicate that the privacy of crypto enables them to transact business easily because local government is less likely to trace them.

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Cubans Have Limited Access to Crypto Exchanges

Despite the growing adoption of cryptocurrency in Cuba, residents are limited from accessing most crypto exchanges. Recently, Binance DEX’s website blocked users from 29 countries, including those from Cuba. Equally in May last year, Bitrex updated terms to block Cubans, along with other countries sanctioned by the US. Around 19 exchanges out of 44 crypto exchanges restrict Cuban access.

However, as crypto adoption grows in Cuba, there are still no existing regulations to legitimize operations on the island. Because of the lack of regulations, Fusyona, which is the first crypto exchange in the country, has accreditation from Brazil.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © kmiragaya

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OKEx Blockchain | The OKChain will Test-Launch in June

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OKEx Blockchain

OKEx Blockchain

Malta-based crypto exchange OKEx has announced plans for its own decentralized exchange or DEX on its own blockchain. The company made the announcement on Friday detailing the OKEx blockchain.

OKEx Blockchain: OKChain

According to a release on Medium, the company detailed how its operations team has been developing a blockchain called OKChain. The blockchain will be the underlying tech for the exchange’s first decentralized exchange, suitably called OKDEx.

OKChain is at the final stage of development with a test network launch expected in June.

The exchange’s native coin OKB will migrate to an Ethereum ERC-20 standard blockchain in April. Then after the test and once the OKChain is deemed stable, it and all other tokens will be moved to the new OKEx blockchain. OKB will become the native token of the OKChain blockchain.

According to the announcement:

“OKB will be the native token of the OKChain network, which can be used to settle transaction fees or used in the Dapps developed on OKChain.”

OKEx Blockchain and Others

A decentralized exchange is becoming a popular add-on for many cryptocurrency exchanges of the world. OKEx is not the first major exchange to develop its own DEX.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by market volume, Binance, is launching its own blockchain network soon.

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Last month, Binance ran public testing for its DEX and allowed users to create wallets and play around with the interface. It also launched a trading competition offering prizes of up to $100,000 worth of its native token, BNB, to draw testers to the platform.

Another major exchange, Singapore-based, Huobi is also doing something similar. It too announced a standalone decentralized exchange last June. However, Huobi is planning on evolving completely into a DEX. The company is on the lookout for developers to create the underlying open source blockchain protocol for the platform.

What do you think of the OKEx Blockchain?

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © burdun

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China’s NDRC Wants to Ban Crypto Mining

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NDRC

NDRC

According to Reuters, China’s state planner wants to ban Bitcoin mining. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has updated a draft list of industrial activities that it is looking to encourage, restrict, or eliminate.

The list was first published in 2011.

NDRC Wants to Ban Cryptocurrency Mining

Unfortunately for crypto enthusiasts, cryptocurrency mining has made the elimination list. The NDRC concluded that it, along with 450 activities, should be phased out as they did not follow current laws and regulations.

As stated, cryptocurrency mining was joined by 450 other activities deemed unsafe, wasteful, pollutant to the environment, or unlawful.

NDRC did not give a date or plan to implement the elimination of cryptocurrency mining but this, in turn, means it believes it should be phased out immediately.

However, the public has until May 7th to comment on the draft.

Opinion

Ironically, China is the world’s largest market for crypto mining hardware. Business has boomed in this sector despite crypto mining falling under a regulatory grey area.

With a majority of Chinese people in support of the cryptocurrency industry, the list might face a backlash. It is not necessarily a reflection of everyday sentiment, but rather the “attitude of the country’s industrial policy” toward the cryptocurrency industry.

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Jehan Chu, a managing partner at blockchain investment firm Kenetic, said the following:

“The NDRC’s move is in line overall with China’s desire to control different layers of the rapidly growing crypto industry, and does not yet signal a major shift in policy. I believe China simply wants to ‘reboot’ the crypto industry into one that they have oversight on, the same approach they took with the Internet.”

China vs Crypto

The Chinese government has had strict cryptocurrency sanctions in place for years. Some examples include banning crypto-to-fiat trading, banning airdrops, and forbidding cryptocurrency events from taking place in financial districts. Major Chinese company Alibaba has even banned clients affiliated with crypto and/or crypto trading. With a continued clampdown in place in the country, the NDRC’s list may cause a knock on effect.

What do you think? Should the industry worry about the list?

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © PromesaStudio

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