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Paying the Price: WeChat Merchants Banned From Crypto Payments

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On May 7, Dovey Wan, founding partner of crypto investment firm Primitive Ventures tweeted that the Chinese social media behemoth and payment service provider WeChat is set to ban merchants from making cryptocurrency payments. This ban marks the latest effort to stymie cryptocurrency usage in China, with the government also mulling over ways of greatly decreasing the presence of crypto mining on its soil.

WeChat bans crypto payments

A rough translation of the Payment Service Protocol found on weixin.qq.com indicates that the ban is a result of changes regarding payment management and measures to ensure “the prevention of illegal telecommunications networks and criminal matters,” brought about by the People’s Bank of China.

Although the screenshot tweeted by Wan does not explicitly label cryptocurrency transactions as illegal, the text states that users who engage in crypto trading will have their accounts terminated. As per the screenshot, “merchants may not engage in illegal transactions such as virtual currency,” along with other restrictions not related to fintech.

As most over-the-counter (OTC) trades conducted in China take place via WeChat, Wan predicted that the ban “may impact local liquidity to quite some extent.”

Changpeng Zhao (aka CZ), CEO and founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, said that, although he believes the restrictions were imposed on the company externally, there is still room for optimism. CZ wrote that this will not, in his view, have a negative effect in the long term.

CZ also said that the WeChat user experience was positive overall and would be hard to beat if the company took on a more transparent approach.

Some members of the crypto community expressed their frustration at the news of the WeChat ban, however, and CZ retweeted one of his previous comments regarding situations that can initially seem depressing in the crypto world.

In Q4 2018, WeChat Pay reported a total daily transaction volume of over 1 billion in unspecified currency. The total number of service users allegedly amounted to 1.098 billion. The technology news outlet TechNode reports that the usage is widely spread across different age groups, with 98.5% of Chinese people between the age of 50 and 80 using the app.

The new cryptocurrency policy comes into effect on May 31.

Expert predicts Chinese renminbi will become cryptocurrency

Although China has a well-established reputation for its hostility toward cryptocurrency, some experts now believe that the Chinese renminbi (RMB) will, itself, become a cryptocurrency.

In an interview with Bloomberg, the Blockchain Research Institute executive chairman, Donald Tapscott, explained that, according to the vice-chairman of the Communist Party, President Xi Jinping envisions blockchain technology playing a central role in the future of the country. Commenting on the country’s legal stance on cryptocurrency and mining, Tapscott added:

“It’s not really necessary to do that [to ban exchanges and mining] because in 20 years we are not going to be using bitcoin in China. Chinese people will use the RMB, only the RMB will become a cryptocurrency. The central bank of China will turn it into a digital currency.”

Although Tapscott believes that the renminbi is set to become a cryptocurrency, he remains hesitant about the prospects of decentralized exchanges within the country. Tapscott emphasized that, although these exchanges could, in theory, operate within the country, the government still has a firm stance toward digital currencies. Tapscott also suggested that decentralized exchanges will become the most prominent:

“Decentralized exchanges will dominate over the centralized ones, because you can identify this kind of bad behaviour and do something about it.”

China ponders mining ban

A Reuters report published on April 9 revealed that the Chinese government is considering placing a ban on crypto mining. With the majority of the world’s most significant mining pools founded in China, the fallout from this decision could well be significant.

This is not the first instance of the Chinese government trying to curtail mining activity. In February 2018, CNN Money reported government attempts to force miners into making an “orderly exit” from the industry through taxation and by linking crypto mining to environmental dangers. These alleged environment concerns have also been echoed by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which has included crypto mining as one of the industrial activities it intends to discontinue, as it “lacked safe production conditions, seriously wasted resources, polluted the environment.” This latest targeting of crypto mining comes under the auspices of the NDRC’s Catalogue for Guiding Industry Restructuring, which has been responsible for monitoring industry in the country since 2005.

Although the NDRC appears to have mining set firmly within its sights, there is no immediate deadline for the proposed elimination of the industry. The report instead suggests that mining activity should immediately be reduced.

The government’s renewed focus on mining activity is the latest blow to the industry. Although mining once represented one of the most profitable cryptocurrency sectors, companies are now having to diversify their sources of income to stay afloat. The most notable example of this is that of Bitmain, an ASIC chip manufacturer and mining company that once dominated roughly three-quarters of the global market and operated 11 mining farms at the time of its 2018 initial public offering (IPO) filing. Less than a year on, the company added artificial intelligence to its list of products after taking a beating from the crypto bear market and a decline in profits from mining and mining hardware sales. According to the company’s former co-chief executive, Jihan Wu, this is par for the course in the current climate, stating that “as a China company, we have to be prepared.”

Should this prospective ban on mining be implemented, it’s likely to have a ripple effect on the entire global crypto industry. Mark D’Aria of Bitpro Consulting LLC, said he sees the short-term effects being “extremely disruptive”:

“There will certainly be many winners and losers in the mining industry, as non-Chinese miners would benefit in the short term from significantly reduced difficulty, and from inexpensive surplus hardware as it filters out of China.”

D’Aria added that the actual impact of the ban would depend on the timing and nature of its implementation:

“If it was decreed that all miners were to shut down immediately, all of that hashrate lost in an instant could significantly disrupt the technical operation of the Bitcoin blockchain, slowing it down significantly until the next difficulty reduction. If this ban was implemented shortly after the last difficulty adjustment, this transitional period could last months.”

Although prospects for the crypto market may well appear grim in the event that the ban would take effect, D’Aria explained that the bitcoin blockchain will recover in the long run:

“It’s yet another example of how resilient Bitcoin actually is — it can be disrupted in the short term, but long term it adjusts to compensate.”

WeChat toughens stance on OTC trading

WeChat is not the only payment provider with a history of hardening its stance toward cryptocurrency in China. In August 2018, the mobile payment app Alipay cracked down on users using Alipay accounts for over-the-counter bitcoin trading.

According to the Beijing News, Alipay tightened its restrictions and, in some instances, permanently blocked accounts using its services to conduct bitcoin OTC trades. As per the article, the company reportedly created an inspection system for “key websites and accounts.”

The company’s decision to toughen its stance on OTC trading comes against the backdrop of other trading platforms, including peer-to-peer and OTC resources being banned as part of a blanket prohibition on wider crypto trading activity since September 2017.

News about Alipay’s decision to block a number of accounts soon spread to the crypto community, with Red Li, co-founder of the Chinese crypto community 8BTC tweeting a screenshot of the announcement from Alipay, stating that “#alipay is blocking accounts involved in bitcoin otc trading.”

The same month, WeChat blocked several accounts suspected of publishing initial coin offerings (ICO), along with the official sales channel of the bitcoin mining behemoth Bitmain, due to an alleged licence violation.

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First Since 2017: Bitcoin Price Logs Double-Digit Gains for Third Week

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  • Bitcoin has recorded double-digit gains for three consecutive weeks, a feat last seen during the height of the bull market in 2017.
  • BTC’s quick recovery from Friday’s low of $6,178 indicates “buy the dip” mentality is quite strong. Further, the daily and weekly charts are biased bullish. Prices, therefore, could rise to $8,500 (July 2018) this week.
  • Before such a rise, however, we may see a correction to $7,500–$7,200, according to the hourly chart.
  • The short-term outlook would turn bearish only if prices find acceptance below the 30-day moving average, currently at $6,239.

Bitcoin (BTC) is looking strong, having registered double digit gains for three consecutive weeks.

The leading cryptocurrency by market value closed last week with 17.5 percent gains, having rallied 22.16 percent and 10.62 percent in the preceding two weeks, respectively, according to Bitstamp data.

The last time BTC witnessed a similar bullish run was in the final quarter of 2017, when the cryptocurrency had logged in double digit gains for five weeks straight to hit an all-time high of around $20,000 on Dec. 17.

The latest weekly winning streak could be extended further, as BTC’s quick recovery from Friday’s lows below $6,100 to a high of $8,299 on Sunday indicates a strong “buy the dip” mentality.

As of writing, BTC is changing hands at $7,903, representing a 1.36 percent drop on the day.

Other top cryptocurrencies like ether (ETH), litecoin (LTC), binance coin (BNB) and XRP are also reporting moderate losses, according to CoinMarketCap.

Weekly Chart

As can be seen, BTC has logged its first three week run of double digit gains since December 2017.

Notably, prices bounced up sharply from the 5-week moving average (MA) last week and closed on a positive note, reinforcing the bullish view put forward by that ascending average.

There have also been two bullish crossovers in the last week: one of the 5- and 100-week MAs, and another of the 10- and 50-week MAs, suggesting the path of least resistance is to the higher side.

What’s more, BTC closed well above September 2018 high of $7,411 last week. The cryptocurrency, therefore, appears on track to test the next resistance at $8,500 (July 2018 high).

Daily chart

Bitcoin closed with nearly 13 percent gains on Sunday, marking a strong follow-through to the dip demand highlighted by Friday’s long-tailed daily candle.

The short-term outlook, therefore, remains bullish with scope for a rally to $8,500, as suggested by the weekly chart.

Confirming the bullish case is the positive reading on the Chaikin money flow (CMF) index, indicating increasing buying pressure. Further, the 10-day moving average (MA) is also trending north in favor of the bulls.

The outlook as per the daily chart would turn bearish only if and when the price finds acceptance below the 30-day MA, currently at $6,239. That average resistance was breached with a high-volume rally upside move on Feb. 8 and has reversed pullbacks ever since.

While the weekly and daily charts are biased bullish, the short duration view below indicates a pullback to $7,500 may be in order before a rally to $8,500.

Hourly chart

On the hourly chart, BTC is currently trading above the head-and-shoulders neckline of $7,848, having dived out of a rising wedge – a bearish reversal pattern – in the Asian trading hours.

A head-and-shoulders breakdown would be confirmed if prices drop below $7,848, opening doors for a deeper correction to the $7,500–$7,200 support zone.

That said, with the longer duration charts biased bullish, any dips to $7,500 or below will likely be short-lived.

Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.

Bitcoin image via Shutterstock; technical charts by Trading View

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TRON Price Prediction Today: Daily (TRX) Value Forecast – May 20

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Tron-Surpasses-1-Billion-In-Trading-Volume-Reaching-New-Highs-In-Over-12-Months

Tron-Surpasses-1-Billion-In-Trading-Volume-Reaching-New-Highs-In-Over-12-Months

  • The short and medium-term outlook is in a bearish trend.
  • Traders may consider selling at key areas.

TRX/USD Medium-term Trend: Bearish

• Supply zones: $0.04000, $0.05000, $0.06000
• Demand zones: $0.01000, $0.00900, $0.00800

TRON is in a bearish trend in its medium-term outlook. After bullish exhaustion at $0.03319 in the supply area, the bears took control of the market. The cryptocurrency is in an ascending channel a correction pattern for downward price continuation.

The bulls manage a push to $0.02880 as the high of yesterday market before exhaustion and the bears stage a return.

The bearish 4-hour opening candle at $0.02830 sustained the bearish momentum with the cryptocurrency down at $0.02703 in the demand area.

The stochastic oscillator signal points down at 47% while price is between the two EMAs. These suggest downward momentum with more candle opened and closed below the two EMAs due to increased pressure by the bears.

$0.02655 in the lower line of the channel and a subsequent break may occur in the medium-term.

TRX/USD Short-term Trend: Bearish

The cryptocurrency is in a bearish trend in its short-term outlook. The double-top10 formation at $0.02870 in the supply area favour the bears in the short-term. Confirmation to the downward movement occurred at the bread of the two EMAs by the large bearish candle at$0.02830.

TRXUSD is currently down at $0.02697 in the demand area with $0.02550 in the demand area is the initial bears’ target. This was confirmed by the signal of the stochastic pointing down at % in the oversold region coupled with price below the two EMAs.

The views and opinions expressed here do not reflect that of BitcoinExchangeGuide.com and do not constitute financial advice. Always do your own research.

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Game Changer for Bitcoin? VanEck ETF Decision Tomorrow –  All You Need to Know

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One of the events the entire cryptocurrency community has its sights turned to is the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal. It was published in the Federal Register back on February 20th, giving the SEC a legal timeframe of 90 days to make a further decision. This means that the Commission must come up with a decision tomorrow, May 21st.

May 21st – An Important Date for Bitcoin

The saga around VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal has been going on for quite a while now. Last year, their application was withdrawn after being delayed on multiple occasions by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, shortly after that, the application was submitted again, reigniting hope among those who believe that a Bitcoin ETF would catalyze a further increase in the price of the cryptocurrency, as well as further adoption.

The new application was filed with the Federal Register on February 20th, giving the SEC a binding term of 90 days to come up with a decision to approve, deny, or delay it. Interestingly enough, another Bitcoin ETF application was also filed with the Register on February 15th – that of Bitwise. The SEC delayed its decision on the latter, while even deciding to use the full 90 days term to make up its mind on the application of VanEck and SolidX. This is why May 21st is an important date to expect.

According to famous legal expert among the cryptocurrency community, Jake Chervinsky, however, the chances of a delay or denial are much higher than the chances of approval.

He bases his merit on the fact that the SEC is unlikely to approve the first-ever Bitcoin ETF without taking the full 240 days period that it legally can. Moreover, he also finds it rather unusual that the Commission didn’t delay the VanEck Bitcoin ETF together with that of Bitwise.

The lawyer also cited some of the reasons for the delay of the application of Bitwise, which include:

  • The nature of the market for Bitcoin
  • The efficiency of that market
  • The susceptibility of that market to manipulation
  • How the market is similar to markets for other commodities
  • Reports that a large percentage of reported volume is fake

Chervinsky pointed out that if VanEck has any chance of approval, then the SEC “would need to delay & aks all these same questions to them as well.”

What Does This Mean For Bitcoin?

While it’s anyone’s guess how a potential approval of a Bitcoin ETF would impact Bitcoin’s price and whether it would surge, the majority of the cryptocurrency community is undoubtedly sure of it.

According to Josh Roger, a well-known cryptocurrency trader and investor, the different scenarios will have different impacts on the price.

The upcoming VanEck ETF decision could certainly have a serious impact on BTC price.

Denial = Pull back the current price regardless of how good it looked this weekend.

Approval = push the price to new yearly high and create mass FOMO buying.

Delay = Expected & likely little change.

Be the first to know about our price analysis, crypto news and trading tips: Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our weekly newsletter.


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Game Changer for Bitcoin? VanEck ETF Decision Tomorrow –  All You Need to Know

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One of the events the entire cryptocurrency community has its sights turned to is the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal. It was published in the Federal Register back on February 20th, giving the SEC a legal timeframe of 90 days to make a further decision. This means that the Commission must come up with a decision tomorrow, May 21st.

May 21st – An Important Date for Bitcoin

The saga around VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal has been going on for quite a while now. Last year, their application was withdrawn after being delayed on multiple occasions by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, shortly after that, the application was submitted again, reigniting hope among those who believe that a Bitcoin ETF would catalyze a further increase in the price of the cryptocurrency, as well as further adoption.

The new application was filed with the Federal Register on February 20th, giving the SEC a binding term of 90 days to come up with a decision to approve, deny, or delay it. Interestingly enough, another Bitcoin ETF application was also filed with the Register on February 15th – that of Bitwise. The SEC delayed its decision on the latter, while even deciding to use the full 90 days term to make up its mind on the application of VanEck and SolidX. This is why May 21st is an important date to expect.

According to famous legal expert among the cryptocurrency community, Jake Chervinsky, however, the chances of a delay or denial are much higher than the chances of approval.

He bases his merit on the fact that the SEC is unlikely to approve the first-ever Bitcoin ETF without taking the full 240 days period that it legally can. Moreover, he also finds it rather unusual that the Commission didn’t delay the VanEck Bitcoin ETF together with that of Bitwise.

The lawyer also cited some of the reasons for the delay of the application of Bitwise, which include:

  • The nature of the market for Bitcoin
  • The efficiency of that market
  • The susceptibility of that market to manipulation
  • How the market is similar to markets for other commodities
  • Reports that a large percentage of reported volume is fake

Chervinsky pointed out that if VanEck has any chance of approval, then the SEC “would need to delay & aks all these same questions to them as well.”

What Does This Mean For Bitcoin?

While it’s anyone’s guess how a potential approval of a Bitcoin ETF would impact Bitcoin’s price and whether it would surge, the majority of the cryptocurrency community is undoubtedly sure of it.

According to Josh Roger, a well-known cryptocurrency trader and investor, the different scenarios will have different impacts on the price.

The upcoming VanEck ETF decision could certainly have a serious impact on BTC price.

Denial = Pull back the current price regardless of how good it looked this weekend.

Approval = push the price to new yearly high and create mass FOMO buying.

Delay = Expected & likely little change.

Be the first to know about our price analysis, crypto news and trading tips: Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our weekly newsletter.


CryptoPotato Video Channel



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PSA: Bitconnect ‘2.0’ Triggers Countdown to Resurrect Greatest Crypto Ponzi Ever

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By CCN: In 2016 a cryptocurrency project named BitConnect came along offering 1% daily compounded interest for those who purchased and staked its token.

When the BitConnect (BCC) bubble inevitably burst, the owners, as expected, made off everyone’s money. The BCC token price sunk by 99.9%, and a previously $2.5 billion valued project became worthless.

Now, the greatest scam ever sold is back. Enter BitConnect 2.0.

Hey, Hey, Hey: BitConnect 2.0 Arrives for a Second Bite at the Cherry

A website and Twitter profile advertising the arrival of BitConnect 2.0 appeared in the last few days. The website shows a countdown to the rebirth of one of the worst cryptocurrency scams of all time.

Bitconnect countdown

The Twitter profile contains just two posts – one is a link to the new website; and the other is a Binance referral link with the directive ‘Buy Now’.

Of course, there are no BitConnect tokens (either 1.0 or 2.0) hosted on Binance. If we take a look at the domain registrar details for the new website – BitConnect.io – we see some strange peculiarities.

Despite the Twitter post promising a July 1st launch, the website’s domain name is set to expire two weeks before that date. The domain, which differs slightly from the original BitConnect.co website, was registered in 2017.

bitconnect domain

Scamception: A Scam Inside a Scam

All of this adds up to what looks like a scam inside a scam. Assuming the site domain isn’t renewed before the expiration on June 19th, then perhaps what we have here isn’t BitConnect 2.0 at all.

Rather, it appears someone with an old domain name is attempting to squeeze as much money out of their Binance referral link as possible before the site expires. The Twitter profile shows almost 1,000 followers already, despite the first post not appearing until one day ago. However, the new website is also registered in the same geographic location as the original – Panama.

One person who was able to see the funny side of the BitConnect revival was former BCC front-man, Carlos Matos. Famous for his exuberant and dramatic on-stage sale pitch, Matos continues to post memes about the BitConnect saga. Recently he revived his infamous ‘Hey, Hey, Hey…’ slogan to comment on BitConnect 2.0; which he apparently has no part in.

[embedded content] [embedded content]

Matos even posted this meme expressing a skeptical take on the project’s revival.

bitconnect grand theft auto meme

Too Late for Skepticism

Ultimately, the same skepticism would have been useful several years ago, before gullible investors were taken for all they had. From the ICO price of $0.17, the value of BCC tokens shot up to $509.99 in one year – marking ridiculous gains of 299,894%.

bitconnect charts

Of course, those gains were never cashed out. When the exit scam hit in January 2018, the value of BCC dropped like a stone. Data for the token price continued to be tracked up until August 2018, when it held a value of just $0.263786, before being removed from all exchanges.

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