Regulations Push Chinese Bitcoin Volumes to OTC and Neighboring Countries

Regulations Push Chinese Bitcoin Volumes to OTC and Neighboring Countries

Following the regulatory crackdown in China, bitcoin’s price has climbed back up 30 percent over the $4K zone since the market’s nosedive last Friday. Now China’s bitcoin trade volume has dropped to the fourth position globally as Japan has taken the reigns over the past two days. Chinese traders have once again taken trading to the ‘streets’ and have also migrated business to Hong Kong and Korean exchanges.

Also read: Five Leading Russian Universities Start Offering Cryptocurrency Courses

Japan Captures the Lead in Global Bitcoin Trade Volume

According to statistics from data sites like Crypto Compare and Coinmarketcap, Japan has taken the lead in global bitcoin trade volume. Currently, ¥ 93B worth of bitcoins are being swapped in the country as Japan is capturing over 47 percent of the global BTC volumes. Since the regulatory fiasco in China, exchanges like Bitflyer, Zaif, Coincheck, and others have jumped forward when it comes to BTC and global fiat swaps. Japan’s leading trade volume is followed by U.S., Korea, China, and Europe.

Regulations Push Chinese Bitcoin Volumes to OTC and Neighboring Countries
Japan captures 47 percent of the global bitcoin trade volume at press time.

China’s Traders Move to OTC Markets and Localbitcoins

After BTCC, Huobi, Yobit, Yunbi, Okcoin, and others announced they were closing shortly, Chinese domestic exchange volumes dropped significantly. However, Over the Counter (OTC) trading has once again taken over in the region as traders are now swapping bitcoins over Telegram and other avenues. Further, Localbitcoins volumes in China has spiked exponentially, just as it did when Chinese exchanges paused deposits and withdrawals this past January. In fact, since governments all around the world have been making things a bit more difficult lately, Localbitcoins volumes have skyrocketed worldwide to the highest point ever with over $71M traded in the first week of September.

Regulations Push Chinese Bitcoin Volumes to OTC and Neighboring Countries
China’s weekly Localbitcoins volumes spike after domestic exchanges announced closing trading operations.

There’s also a relatively unknown OTC player in the Asian region who handles quite a bit of trading called Many insiders believe liquidity providers like Richfund are doing far more business since the Chinese exchange closure announcements. The business claims to command a significant portion of China’s large-scale OTC bitcoin trading, alongside other countries in the area.  

“We provide 1000-5000 BTC large OTC services in China, Korea, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Taiwan,” explains the bitcoin liquidity provider and hedge fund management company Richfund.

Regulations Push Chinese Bitcoin Volumes to OTC and Neighboring CountriesHong Kong and South Korean Exchanges Reap the Benefits from China’s Regulatory Crackdown

Not only did Chinese traders move to alternative solutions like OTC trading and Localbitcoins, many of them seemingly migrated to the Hong Kong-based exchange Gatecoin. Since the first wave of announcements, Gatecoin’s volumes have coincidently spiked over 24 percent. Other exchanges like BTCex, and ANX have also seen similar volume lifts since the September 15th exchange announcements. Speculators believe that not only has Chinese trading platforms pushed customers to Japan but traders are migrating to Hong Kong and South Korean exchanges as well. All three countries have seen bitcoin trade volumes increase over the past three days.

It’s safe to say Chinese traders have found other avenues to trade bitcoin and alongside OTC alternatives; many neighboring countries are reaping the benefits.

What do you think about other countries reaping the benefits from China’s recent bitcoin exchange shutdowns? Let us know what you think in the comments below. 

Images via Shutterstock, Cryptocompare, Coin Dance, and Twitter. 

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European Central Bank Criticizes Estonian National Cryptocurrency Plans

European Central Bank Criticizes Estonian National Cryptocurrency Plans

The president of the European Central Bank has criticized the Estonian government’s plan to launch a national cryptocurrency. The statements have implied that the European Union (EU) states will not be permitted to launch state-issued cryptocurrencies that compete with the Euro as the major currency within EU jurisdiction.

Also Read: European Union Proposes Account Freezes to Protect Failing Banks

Estonia Had Planned to Launch a State-Administered National Cryptocurrency

European Central Bank Criticizes Estonian National Cryptocurrency Plans

The president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, has rejected Estonia’s plans to launch a state-backed national cryptocurrency. Draghi has stated that “no member state can introduce its own currency. The currency of the eurozone is the euro.”

Last month, Estonia unveiled its plan to launch Estcoin, a state-backed national cryptocurrency. Estcoin would be centrally administered by the Republic of Estonia and launched as an ICO. Estonia also planned to make the cryptocurrency available and made available to any investor worldwide through its e-residency program. The Estcoin project has been closely evaluated and praised by Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum.

Peter Ehrlich of the European Central Bank is reported to have stated that “within the legal framework of the European Union, in all member states that, like Estonia, have introduced the single currency, only the euro is the legal tender and the monetary policy lies exclusively with the European Central Bank.” Daniel Heller of the Peterson Institute for International Economics has echoed this position, adding that EU obligations mandate that governments are unable to raise funds in any currency other than the euro. “If you sign up to the Eurozone, you sign up to the euro. Your financing is in euros”.

Commentators Have Argued That the Project May Still Be Viable Through a Public-Private Partnership


European Central Bank Criticizes Estonian National Cryptocurrency PlansDespite the dismissive statements from the European Central Bank’s president, Estonia may still be able to conduct a launch of a national cryptocurrency if it is to do so through a private-public partnership. Heller advances this argument stating that “what would be possible is if it’s issued by some state-owned entity. We have this distinction that, say, debt of the gas company is not public debt because it’s a gas company, even if it’s owned by the government.” This hypothesis appears to have also been evidenced by Ehrlich stating that “the [European Central Bank] will not comment on ideas brought forward by the private sector”.

The head of Estonia’s E-residency scheme’s public relations department, Arnaud Castaignet, has expressed that the republic plans to move forward with the project – however, made no reference to the potential ramifications of EU obligations with regard to the national cryptocurrency. “We are ready to move forward, nevertheless a national conversation is necessary first. If there is support for this proposal, then the next stage before the ICO would be to provide a white paper that outlines the value of estcoins and how the investment will be used to develop our digital nation.”

Do you think that Estonia will successfully launch its proposed national cryptocurrency despite the EU’s monetary guidelines? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Bitcoin Exchange bitFlyer Hopes to Win Big With the Japanese Bankers Association

While China tightens its grip on its cryptocurrency community, Japan is openly embracing cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, legalizing bitcoin, and encouraging and funding blockchain research.Even Japan’s banks are onboard, working collaboratively to develop a blockchain platform specifically for the financial sector. With its 120 member banks, the Japanese Bankers Association (JBA) is creating a Collaborative Blockchain Platform and is actively looking for a company to supply its blockchain technology on an ongoing basis.Experimenting with the Collaborative Blockchain Platform, the JBA will initially determine which financial services best lend themselves to the new platform, likely including settlement/transfer services, know-your-customer (KYC) systems and financial infrastructure such as their Zengin System and Densai Net System.Japanese bitcoin exchange bitFlyer is stepping up to the plate to take on tech giants including Fujitsu, Hitachi and NTT Data to be the supplier of the blockchain platform that will be used by Japan’s banks.Although it is one of the largest cryptocurrency and blockchain startups in Japan, the Tokyo-based bitFlyer has its work cut out for it if it wants to upset these three corporate heavyweights and win the right to supply the bankers with a blockchain platform using its miyabi technology.The company’s COO Bartek Ringwelski told Bitcoin Magazine:“bitFlyer is the only startup in the event, and we have only raised $36mm since 2014, but we have deep expertise in blockchain technology through our virtual currency exchange (the largest in the world by volume, including margin trading) and our ‘miyabi’ product.”By way of comparison, Hitachi posted $83 billion in revenue in 2016, Fujitsu posted $47 billion on 2015 and NTT Data posted $15 billion in 2016.Acknowledging a sea change in Japan’s attitude to cryptocurrency, Ringwelski noted that Japan is actively encouraging and supporting both cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology:“Japan is emerging as a leader in blockchain adoption. Japanese consumers are embracing virtual currencies, regulators are proactive, and banks are recognizing the power that blockchain, and specifically miyabi, can bring to the financial infrastructure.” Miyabi Blockchain TechnologyThe name “miyabi” was first coined between the 9th to 12th centuries by Japanese aristocrats to refer to the theme of elegance and refinement.According to Ringwelski, bitFlyer’s miyabi blockchain platform is the fastest in the world:“Based on our research, ‘miyabi’ is the fastest enterprise-grade blockchain technology, delivering 1,500 – 2,000 transactions per second on average, and in some cases, even faster,” Ringwelski said.Their processing speed of 1,500 to 2,000 transactions per second compares with Bitcoin’s two transactions per second and Ethereum’s seven transactions per second. They also estimate that among the other three competing companies, the maximum speed to beat is 1,000 transactions per second.When it launched the competition, the JBA made it clear that security and immutability were their first priority. In their view, only a private, permissioned blockchain could satisfy this requirement.Going GlobalBitFlyer’s CEO Yuzo Kano has said he wants the company to go global in the near future and will start by expanding to the U.S. market this fall, initially offering bitcoin trading but expanding to other cryptocurrencies within the next year. The company says it has received approval to start trading from 34 U.S. states.In the meantime, Ringwelski says that they are eagerly awaiting the decision of the JBA:”The partner ultimately chosen by the JBA will stand to become part of the core Japanese banking infrastructure — it would be a big deal. Beyond the value of gaining the JBA as a new customer, securing a JBA contract would help spread miyabi to new enterprise blockchain applications and customers worldwide.” Investors in bitFlyer include SMBC Venture Capital, Mizuho Capital, Dai-ichi Life Insurance, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital, Recruit Strategic Partners, Dentsu Digital Holdings, SBI Investment, GMO Venture Partners, QUICK and Venture Labo Investment.The post Bitcoin Exchange bitFlyer Hopes to Win Big With the Japanese Bankers Association appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Op Ed: How Blockchain Technology Will Disrupt Digital Content Distribution

The way we consume media content has been on a continual overhaul for the past two decades. Every aspect of media distribution has become more streamlined from the razor-thin devices we use to consume media to the manner in which we purchase and store our coveted content. Books, music and movies have all seen their physical bodies and storage locations dissolve, to be replaced with on-demand downloads and digital copies.The digital content revolution has done a lot for increasing access and visibility for artists and authors, but the current publishing giants have failed to adequately adjust to the times in a few crucial areas. While it’s true that platforms such as YouTube and Medium have granted publishing access to the greater public and eliminated gatekeeping middlemen like talent agents and PR people, the current digital content sharing platforms have built their empires on the skeletons of the publishing giants’ templates that existed before and, unfortunately, have continued operating in ways that fundamentally undermine the artistic control and profits of their contributors.   YouTube, for example, recently announced they will not allow users to earn any money until they reach 10 thousand views. Medium was recently very candid about the moral dilemmas and growing pains they have faced while trying to balance the selling of advertising space as well as respecting their contributing authors and readership. And it’s no secret that Amazon and iTunes take a chunk out of authors’ and artists’ earnings, with iTunes currently pocketing 30 percent of its artists’ profits and Amazon taking a hefty 30–75 percent.Though it’s easy to be critical, I am more interested in looking for a viable alternative to disrupt the existing system. This will require harnessing the decentralizing nature of emerging blockchain content distribution technologies. Here’s why:Blockchain could be the solution to making micropayments a reality.As media consumption has gone digital, a cost-effective way to charge per article or per song has been a limiting factor. Many platforms and publications have opted for subscription-based charging as high transaction costs make pay-per-use charging impossible. Amazon, for example, passes on its internal transaction costs to their clients, which currently equal 2.9 percent of the total transaction as well as a flat fee of 0.30 cents for every transaction.The pricey transactions make processing small charges inefficient and not cost-effective, which has led many experts, such as editor of TechCrunch John Biggs, to predict that the future of digital publishing will depend on the adoption of micropayments.Blockchain technologies allow for an incredible number of transactions to be processed at a low cost. Decentralized blockchain systems distribute the collective payment history across the entire network and don’t favor any single “auditor.” The network is maintained by all blockchain nodes as a whole. Emerging blockchain transaction processing speeds have also recently shot past the leading blockchain currency, bitcoin, and would be capable of processing on a large scale. Where Bitcoin’s transaction speeds average 7 transactions per second, new blockchain-based currencies are already approaching thousands of transactions per second; Bitshares claims they can process 100,000 per second.In fact, a newspaper in Winnipeg, Canada, has already begun to use a micropayment system to charge per article for its news content and projects earning over $100,000 in digital revenue.Blockchain could tilt the balance of power towards individuals, not publishing powerhouses.As mentioned previously, YouTube and Medium have dramatically increased content creators’ access to audiences and established a more democratic, popularity-based promotional scheme. Unfortunately, they are both still centralized content distribution entities that can make arbitrary and unilateral decisions. YouTube and Medium both have the right to remove comments, content or entire channels or profiles without leaving a trace.In contrast, a blockchain content distribution platform preserves an unchangeable record of all actions. The record produced by blockchain systems creates an environment of total transparency for both content creators and media consumers, and it also ensures that all views, comments and ratings reflect the real interactions the content has experienced, leaving no room for subjective, inflated ratings or deleted bad reviews. With nothing deleted, content producers can create and post with the security that their work and reputation will remain intact, trolls can’t hide their past bad behavior and can easily be spotted via their comment history, and all content fairly reflects its actual popularity.Blockchain technology could provide instant payouts and security.Today, freelancers, authors and artists working with publishing platforms are accustomed to waiting multiple months to receive payment for their work. For big-name artists, this is just part of the business. But for smaller artists, it can be difficult to wait for reimbursement without any idea of how much they will eventually be paid. The financial uncertainty, prolonged waiting periods and lack of payment transparency in current digital content media sharing platforms could be discouraging potential artists and authors from seeing content creation as a viable source of income. Instead, the system encourages content creators to seek payment, not for the quality of their content, but through product sponsorships, PR and ad-focused content.With blockchain-based content distribution, content creators can be paid within seconds of a consumer paying for a download. Consumers would also know their purchase was directly supporting the content creators they enjoy and effectively cut out the publishing middlemen eating up the content producer’s profits.Though blockchain technology may, at times, sound a bit hard to conceptualize, digital media distribution really shouldn’t be rocket science. While the zeros and ones behind publishing platforms get more complex, the process for content creators and consumers has simplified and should continue to do so.The bottom line is content creators who make good quality content that people are willing to pay for deserve a simple and transparent digital media sharing platform that fairly compensates them according to the consumer demand for their work. Media consumers equally deserve the ability to directly support the content creators they enjoy. And blockchain technologies may be the disruptive technology that digital media content distribution needs.This is a guest post by Matej Michalko, founder and CEO of DECENT. The opinions expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Media or Bitcoin Magazine. The post Op Ed: How Blockchain Technology Will Disrupt Digital Content Distribution appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Blockchain Technology Plays a Critical Role in U.S. and International Open Government Initiatives

On September 8, the U.S. government’s General Services Administration (GSA)’s program “Emerging Citizen Technology” hosted a workshop titled “Emerging Technology and Open Data for a More Open Government.” The participants in the workshop were directed to draft proposals that specifically use Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain technology and open data.“Open data and emerging technologies — including artificial intelligence and distributed ledgers, such as blockchain — hold vast potential to transform public services held back by bureaucracy and outdated IT systems,” said Emerging Citizen Technology program manager Justin Herman. “We are opening the doors to bold, fresh ideas for government accountability, transparency and citizen participation by working with U.S. businesses, civil society groups and others to shape national goals for emerging technologies and open data in public services.”At the workshop, several government agencies have indicated a strong government backing behind the development of blockchain technology. In particular, a representative of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) stated that the Trump administration was serious about and committed to this technology, and would not be deterred.The initiative is related to the fourth National Action Plan (NAP 4), which the U.S. government is releasing this year in the the framework of the multinational Open Government Partnership (OGP) and its Open Government Declaration. It is aimed at empowering citizens and advancing the ideals of an open and participatory government. The September 8 workshop follows the first U.S. Federal Blockchain Forum, organized by the Emerging Citizen Technology program on July 18 to discuss blockchain use cases, limitations and solutions. Financial management, procurement, IT asset and supply chain management, smart contracts, patents, trademarks, copyrights, royalties, government-issued credentials, federal personnel workforce data, appropriated funds, federal assistance, and foreign aid delivery were among the government blockchain use cases discussed at the July 18 workshop. Participation was restricted to federal agencies’ managers.The Government Blockchain Association participated in the September 8 workshop and shared details, reported by ETHNews, on the topics discussed. In particular, three priority areas were examined: a national identity system based on blockchain and biometric technologies and interoperable across different agencies; an open government innovation initiative aimed at improving the internal operations of government agencies through blockchain technology; and a blockchain open-interface framework to connect government blockchain pilots with external data systems.The Government Blockchain Association, open to all interested individual, corporate and institutional members, was formed to explore blockchain-based solutions to problems typically faced by government entities.”We are currently seeing deep and informed interest in blockchain [technology] across many levels of the public sector,” said Gerard Daché, Founder and President of the Government Blockchain Association. “This time next year, I would not be surprised to see dozens of pilots, legislative resolutions, and even funding spread across the various states and high up in the U.S. Federal Government specifically for piloting blockchain based innovation.”The Association believes that blockchain technology, Bitcoin, distributed ledgers and cryptocurrencies will fundamentally transform how the government interacts with its constituents.”We don’t believe blockchain adoption in the public sector needs to take over ten years as some suggest it might,” Daché added. “There is an excitement that is palpable so, our goal is to harness this enthusiasm and direct it into working groups that actually influence national, state and large city governmental policies.”The post Blockchain Technology Plays a Critical Role in U.S. and International Open Government Initiatives appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

PR: DIGI Token & Platform to Revolutionize Multi-billion Dollar Digital Market

DIGI Token & Platform to Revolutionize Multi-billion Dollar Digital Market

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. does not endorse nor support this product/service. is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

The current state of cryptocurrency prices has left the world in a frenzy. With billions lost on market capitalization in a matter of hours the crypto world is in a place of “FUD”. Announcements from Governments and prominent financial figures cause markets to collapse but also gain unheard traction depending on views. This trepidation in the crypto markets gives investors a difficult time in deciding if they should buy or sell their crypto assets.

Few people would dispute the notion that future commerce will be digital. But at the present time, digital goods cannot be bought in many countries due to restrictions by processing merchants such as PayPal and high commissions imposed by existing digital marketplaces.

The DIGI Token, a new cryptocurrency, marks an attempt to change this using blockchain technology. Founders of the DIGI Token envision a future of easily downloadable digital goods and services.

DIGI is an upcoming blockchain service for digital goods and services who are hoping to disrupt the multi-billion dollar industry. The focus is on building the worlds largest platform for these services and they feel that a steady growth period will dismiss periods of FUD within their platform, as the larger their platform grows the higher the value of their token. This follows the rules of simple supply and demand, which will work across their platform as DIGI has a limited supply of 98M tokens.

Market research pegs the digital market at over $500 billion, which is more than almost four times the current cryptocurrency market. The increasing number of tablets, smartphones and Internet users has resulted in a high demand for digital content. There are presently more than 3.5 billion Internet users worldwide.

By creating a digital marketplace that is readily accessible to buyers of digital content and profitable for sellers, DIGI will make it possible for digital products to be bought and sold quickly and easily.

What Makes DIGI Different
Some existing digital platforms now take up to 60% of content contributors’ earnings and invoke tier systems where the more the contributor earns, the less commission they receive.

DIGI, by contrast, will create an ecosystem that will not deny content creators their rightful earnings.

The DIGI distributed ledger will also address copyright infringement issues which currently undermine the use of digital platforms. DIGI’s main revenue generation will not be based on commissions from content creators, but from promotional revenue streams of the DIGI Token.

DIGI will focus on what market researchers have identified as the 10 fastest growing digital products: e-books, stock photography, courses, subscriptions, services, apps, themes and templates, digital/gift vouchers, audio and video.

By focusing on these markets, DIGI will allow a scalable marketplace. As digital sectors evolve, the DIGI marketplace will become the platform of choice thanks to its moderated and high quality products.

The DIGI Token
Holders of the DIGI Token, an ERC20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain, will use these tokens within trading and exchange platforms. They will also be able to use the tokens to purchase digital goods or services from the DIGI marketplace.

The fixed supply of 98 million DIGI Tokens ensures that early contributors to the platform will receive a great return of tokens on their contribution.

The DIGI fixed token supply holds an estimated 60% open for distribution within the token sale.

DIGI Token holders will use a DIGI wallet to transfer tokens securely.

The DIGI UI design has already begun and will be completed within the next few months. There will be both web and mobile versions of the DIGI wallet. The full front end and back end UI/UX platforms will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Development of the DIGI wallet, platform and token will all be completed in the first quarter of 2018. The platform will integrate the DIGI coin, while the token will be added to various cryptocurrency exchanges.

The wallet’s main launch will commence in the second quarter of 2018, following feedback from the alpha release. The main marketplace will also launch at that time with a fully functioning DIGI token and a marketplace APP strategy.

By the third quarter of 2018, strategic marketing will promote the token’s use, including additional cryptocurrency exchange partnerships and the launch of the DIGI Marketplace app.

Token Sale has begun
The token sale began in September and will end on October 19, 2017.
DIGI will only accept ETH for the token sale. Users can exchange other cryptocurrencies for ETH on or Token buyers must send ETH funds from their personal Ethereum wallets such as MyEtherWallet, Metamask, Mist or Ledger, rather than cryptocurrency exchanges that offer ETH.

Citizens of the U.S. and China cannot purchase DIGI Tokens due to challenges associated with different regulations in U.S. states and new regulations imposed by China.
DIGI Tokens are not designed for speculative or investment purchases.

About 64% of the tokens will be available during the token sale period. Half the funds raised will support DIGI development. A quarter will go to marketing,10% to operations, 7% to legal and regulation compliance, and 8% will be earmarked for a contingency fund.
Early contributors will receive a 40% bonus, which means 1 ETH will give 840 DIGI tokens. This bonus ends in the next few days.

Visit to contribute today.

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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September’s Bitcoin Market Madness: When Panic Selling and FOMO Ensues

September’s Bitcoin Market Madness: When Panic Selling and FOMO Ensues

On September 15, after a couple of Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges announced they were closing, bitcoin’s price dropped to a low of $2,970. Following this dip, BTC trade volumes began to surge as the price per bitcoin rose over $600 in less than an hour and during the course of the afternoon bounced back to a high of $3,820. Now the price of bitcoin is rocketing upwards again as it surpassed the $4K zone just three days later. 

Also read: Japan’s FSA Approves Coincheck’s Bitcoin Exchange License

Bitcoin’s Monumental September 15 Rebound

September’s Bitcoin Market Madness: When Panic Selling and FOMO EnsuesBitcoin’s price has been wavering between $4,050-4,095 during the past 6-hours. ‘Fear of missing out’ (FOMO) is real, and this may be part of the reason why cryptocurrency markets bounced back after suffering from 30-40 percent losses from the other day. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts called it a ‘flash sale’ and many bitcoiners were pleased to get a chance to ‘buy the dip.’ After bitcoin’s value fell below the $3K range, the ‘sale’ didn’t last long as buyers scurried frantically to get some cheaper BTC and altcoins.

September’s Bitcoin Market Madness: When Panic Selling and FOMO EnsuesAmong all the ‘flash sale madness,’ there are definitely people who sold or had positions that were liquidated. After BTCC first announced closing operations, bitcoin’s price dropped from the $3800 range, stopping at several key territories and then finally dropped below $3K. In these moments, lots of people likely ‘new’ to the trading atmosphere ‘panic sold’ all the way down the line. After September 15, the bitcoin price bottomed out at $2,970, and things suddenly changed gears, when an enormous amount of buying took place. BTC’s value gradually pushed back up to the $3,800 territory during the course of the day.

September’s Bitcoin Market Madness: When Panic Selling and FOMO Ensues
Bitcoin’s monumental price rise back to the $3,800 range on September 15.

Bitcoin Dips This Year Have Followed a Consistent Pattern

Taders who were able to sell at the top and buy back in at the bottom made off with profits like bandits. Even though bitcoin’s price took a hit, lots of money was made that day. The signs of the market shifting down existed after litecoin creator, Charlie Lee, detailed a certain exchange in China would announce its closing. Traders also know that when the trouble began brewing back in January between China’s central bank and bitcoin exchanges, bitcoin’s price dipped 37 percent from a $1166 high to a low of $735. Of course, these individuals also remember BTC rallied to $1,300 following the Chinese fiasco in March and spiked to $2,690 in May. Let’s just say each significant BTC correction is followed by a slower but much larger rally upwards.

September’s Bitcoin Market Madness: When Panic Selling and FOMO Ensues
Throughout 2017 bitcoin’s price dip cycles have consistently been followed by higher gains. Bitcoin’s price on September 18 is already back above the $4K territory. 

Now traders also know that the rebound that’s taken place this September could very well be a ‘bull trap’ or a ‘dead cat bounce.’ However, this is also when ‘FOMO’ sets in, and we don’t know if the bearish trend will continue, or if bitcoin’s value will blast off higher from here. Some traders in various forums like the Whale Club Telegram chat say that another drop below sub-$3K territory is coming, while others confidently stated; “you will never see bitcoin below $3K again.”

Just three days later bitcoin has once again pushed the bearish market sentiment aside as it now is coasting above the $4K range. The moral of the story is; “you gotta know when to hold em’ and when to fold em,’” if you are trying to make profits daytrading bitcoin. Otherwise, ‘hodl’ your digital assets and learn to ride out the storm. 🙂

What did you think about the September 15th bitcoin market rebound? Let us know in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoin Wisdom, and Pixabay.  

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South Africa’s Second Largest Supermarket Chain Pick n Pay Trials Bitcoin Payments

South Africa's Second Largest Supermarket Chain Pick n Pay Trials Bitcoin Payments

A major supermarket chain in South Africa, Pick n Pay, has started a trial to accept bitcoin payments in-store at its head office location. A payment technology company named Electrum provides the payments platform, with bitcoin exchange Luno providing the Bitcoin payment infrastructure.

Also read: Five Leading Russian Universities Start Offering Cryptocurrency Courses

Pick n Pay Trials Bitcoin Payments

Pick n Pay is the second largest supermarket chain in South Africa, behind only Shoprite. The company is trialing bitcoin payments at its head office campus store, its payment solution provider Electrum recently announced:

In what is potentially a world first for a major grocery retailer, Electrum has enabled Pick n Pay to accept bitcoin payments in-store.

South Africa's Second Largest Supermarket Chain Pick n Pay Trials Bitcoin PaymentsElectrum provides the cloud-based enterprise payments platform used for bitcoin transactions. It is the first time for the company to provide a bitcoin payment solution.

Founded in 1967, the Pick n Pay group currently employs more than 80,000 people. The South Africa's Second Largest Supermarket Chain Pick n Pay Trials Bitcoin Paymentscompany sells food, clothing and general merchandise. The group has 1,560 stores in total, located in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Mauritius, Swaziland and Lesotho. However, the trial is only at the head office campus store in Cape Town where customers can pay for groceries and services using bitcoin.

Pick n Pay executive Jason Peisl noted:

Cryptocurrency and bitcoin are still relatively new payment concepts, yet we have been able to effectively demonstrate how we are able to accept such alternative payments.

The bitcoin checkout process involves scanning a printed QR code using a bitcoin wallet app on the customer’s smartphone. The Bitcoin infrastructure is provided by Luno, a bitcoin exchange with a strong presence in Southeast Asia and Africa and an office in Cape Town.

Bitcoin Adoption Growing in South Africa

“Bitcoin interest and adoption in South Africa is taking off big time,” even though 90% of payments in the country are still cash-based, Luno revealed in April.

The country currently ranks fourth in Google Trends among countries with the most Bitcoin-related searches globally, behind only Nigeria, Bolivia, and Ghana. The most popular search topic is “Bitcoin – Payment System.” Within South Africa, the trend is steadily increasing.

South Africa's Second Largest Supermarket Chain Pick n Pay Trials Bitcoin Payments

In November last year, Luno made a list of stores online and offline where bitcoin payments are accepted in South Africa. The exchange wrote at the time:

We’re happy to say that South Africa has a thriving bitcoin market, with thousands of merchants accepting the virtual currency as payment method…Through our partnership with Payfast, shoppers in South Africa can pay with bitcoin at the thousands of merchants that have the payment method enabled.

What do you think of Pick n Pay accepting bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Moneyweb, Google, and Pick n Pay

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The Bitcoin Cash Network Continues to Grow With an Ambitious Roadmap

Bitcoin Cash Network Continues to Grow With an Ambitious Roadmap

It’s been over forty-eight days since the hard fork, and the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network is alive and well.

Also Read: Bitcoin Exchange BTCC to Halt Trading as Regulatory Storm Brews in China

Five Different Development Teams Are Working With the Bitcoin Cash Project

Bitcoin Cash Network Continues to Grow With an Ambitious RoadmapAs the blockchain’s days continue, BCH developers have been revealing the upcoming plans to improve the cryptocurrency’s protocol. Discussions revolving around bitcoin cash development shows the protocol’s programmers have a very ambitious roadmap for the digital currency’s future. This includes a deep focus on on-chain scaling, and not fearing hard forks down the road in order to upgrade the BCH software. Currently, there are five development teams who say they are working with the BCH project, which include developers from Bitcoin ABC, Unlimited, Nchain, XT, and Classic.

Bitcoin Cash Developers Don’t Fear Hard Forks

At the moment there are lots of ideas being tossed around like a malleability fix without the  additions Segregated Witness adds, and a different difficulty adjustment algorithm. To push these new ideas forward, some BCH developers are not afraid to hard fork the network occasionally.   

Bitcoin Cash Network Continues to Grow With an Ambitious Roadmap
“If we want to scale big we’ll have to do a hard fork from time to time,” explains developer Amaury Séchet

“If we want to scale big we’ll have to do a hard fork from time to time,” explains Bitcoin ABC developer Amaury Séchet recent developers mailing list post. “Longer term, we may want to use extension point to add new features, but we are not there yet — more on extension points later on.”

Séchet and many other developers have been discussing quite a few different concepts regarding the future of Bitcoin Cash. The lead Bitcoin ABC developer Séchet mentions a new Merkle tree format and improving light client security with UTXO commitments. Other developers would also like to work on non-consensus changes to improve and make the BCH network more reliable. Development discussions have also revolved around how a hard fork should be coordinated and combining multiple changes in a consensus change.

Bitmain’s Jihan Wu: ‘Satoshi Made it Clear That Blocks Would Have to Grow’

Last week the CEO of Bitmain Technologies, Jihan Wu, was interviewed by the Chinese exchange Huobi and discussed the Bitcoin Cash network in great detail. Mr. Wu explains that he believes Satoshi made it clear that blocks would have to grow and hard forks were important to Bitcoin’s upgrade process.

“This was already apparent in Satoshi’s white paper, emails, and his discussions on bitcoin forums where he expressed similar views,” explains Mr. Wu’s translated interview.           

Before Blockstream and their allies strangled opinions on certain important channels and media platforms, the entire bitcoin community was largely aligned with the plan towards Bitcoin’s block size upgrade.          

‘These Events Have Never Occurred Before in Bitcoin’s History’

Bitcoin Cash Network Continues to Grow With an Ambitious Roadmap
Bitmain founder Jihan Wu finds the Bitcoin Cash network very interesting.

Mr. Wu says what left the deepest impression on him regarding the BCH network was how it found its initial price valuation during the first two weeks. “The price fluctuated violently and would triple in a few days then fall, because everyone was in the process of getting to know and accept it — This left the deepest impression on me.” The Bitmain founder also thinks the BCH difficulty adjustment mechanism is intriguing.

“These events are fascinating and have never occurred before in Bitcoin’s history,” Mr. Wu tells Huobi. “When we first saw this phenomenon with our own eyes we felt it was really fascinating.”

It has many implications for the switching over of computing power and how the value of assets are determined, and is worth researching.

It’s been over 8000 blocks since the hard fork and the BCH chain is 1200 blocks ahead of the legacy chain. It is currently 13.5 percent more profitable to mine BTC, but profit parity has been close and consistent for the past two weeks. At the moment, there are five known mining pools processing BCH blocks, and allegedly three unknown pools mining roughly 63 percent of the last 144 blocks. So far the BCH network has continued to grow stronger as the days continue with more supporters and infrastructure built around the protocol.

What do you think about the current state of the Bitcoin Cash network? Let us know in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoin Cash, Twitter, and Pixabay. 

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Five Leading Russian Universities Start Offering Cryptocurrency Courses

Five Leading Russian Universities Start Offering Cryptocurrency Courses

Many universities across Russia have added new courses to their existing finance curricula that are focused on cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, and blockchain technology. They will offer these courses for the first time this academic year due to high demand.

Also read: Russia’s Finance Ministry Drafts Law to Legalize Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency Courses

Five Leading Russian Universities Start Offering Cryptocurrency Courses
Moscow State University.

A number of top universities in Russia will begin offering special courses and master’s degree classes devoted to the topics of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology for the first time this year, the universities told RT. The courses will be incorporated into the schools’ existing programs in the academic year 2017-2018.

The publication interviewed five universities in particular. Moscow State University (MSU) is a reputable, coeducational public research university. Sergey Studnikov, a managing board member of the MSU economical faculty, runs the Financial Analytics master’s program. He told the news outlet about the school’s new cryptocurrency courses:

We will have master classes immediately for several programs – for this we invite industry representatives.

Five Leading Russian Universities Start Offering Cryptocurrency Courses
Higher School of Economics.

At the Higher School of Economics (HSE), which is one of the leading and largest universities in Russia, the topic is included as part of the school’s Financial Technologies course. This course is part of the Financial Technologies and Data Analysis master’s program which was jointly launched this year with the state-owned Russian banking and financial services company, Sberbank.

The Saint Petersburg State University of Economics (Spbgeu) is devoting two sections of its existing program on banking, finance, and financial markets to cryptocurrency and blockchains. According to an associate professor of the school’s Faculty of Economics and Finance, Denis Gorulev, “to introduce a separate course here, we rely on a number of formal things – this needs to be coordinated with the Ministry of Education a lot and for a long time.”

High Demand for Crypto Classes

Five Leading Russian Universities Start Offering Cryptocurrency Courses
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), also known informally as Phystech, describes itself as “a top 5 Russian university that is highly regarded by scientists, students, and engineers alike.” The institute will teach the IT component of blockchain technology.

According to a director of the MIPT’s School of Applied Mathematics and Informatics, Andrey Raigorodsky, this field is in high demand among both students and employers. “This year we have a couple of special courses,” he told RT, adding that:

This topic is extremely popular.

Five Leading Russian Universities Start Offering Cryptocurrency CoursesThere is strong demand from the school’s industrial partners, he detailed. “For example, Sberbank is working with us now – they have opened a new scientific laboratory, where research on this topic is being conducted.”

The National University of Science and Technology (Misis) is Russia’s primary technological university in the field of steel-making and metallurgy. This summer, Misis and government-owned bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) signed an agreement to create a center for new materials and breakthrough technologies with a focus on blockchain technology, the university told RT. Students will study blockchain technology at the new training center, the publication wrote, adding that:

In particular, students of MSU, HSE, Misis, MIPT and Spbgeu will learn about Bitcoin and other aspects of innovative financial technologies.

What do you think about Russian universities offering Bitcoin and blockchain-focused courses? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, MSU, HSE, MIPT

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