Five Petitions Pile Up Against India’s Crypto Crackdown – High Courts Ordered to Ignore

Five Petitions Pile Up Against India's Crypto Crackdown – High Courts Ordered to Ignore

Five writ petitions have now been filed against the order by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) banning banks from providing services to entities dealing with cryptocurrencies. The country’s Supreme Court has set a date to hear all petitions but has barred all other courts from accepting any new ones.

Also read: US State Issues Emergency Cease and Desist Orders to Two Crypto Investment Firms

Latest Writ Petition Against RBI Order

Five petitions have been filed with Indian courts against RBI’s order banning financial institutions under its control from dealing with cryptocurrencies and servicing entities that deal with them including crypto exchanges. RBI has set “a three-month deadline or by July 5 for financial institutions to comply with its notice, putting the cryptocurrency businesses in India in a disarray,” the Economic Times elaborated.

Five Petitions Pile Up Against India's Crypto Crackdown – High Courts Ordered to IgnoreThe latest writ petition was filed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), a non-profit industry body representing the interests of online and mobile value-added services industry. It was filed on Tuesday according to IAMAI president, Subho Ray, and the Supreme Court website, Inc42 reported.

Crypto exchanges that are part of the association include Unocoin, Zebpay, and Coinsecure. They were originally part of another industry body called the Digital and Blockchain Foundation of India which merged with IAMAI, the publication detailed.

Four Other Writ Petitions

The fourth writ petition was “filed by a group of 11 different representatives from various crypto-related businesses,” the Economic Times conveyed on Monday. One of the petitioners told the news outlet:

Banking is an essential service. How can one deny access to an essential service when I am not doing anything illegal? You have not declared VCs (virtual currencies) illegal in the country.

Three more writ petitions were previously filed. One was by Kali Digital Eco-systems and another by Flinstone Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which conducts business under the trade name Money Trade Coin (MTC).

Moreover, a joint writ petition was filed by four cryptocurrency exchanges in the Supreme Court against the RBI circular on May 8. According to lawyer Mohammed Danish, the four exchanges are Coindelta Exchange run by Bitfair Technologies, Koinex Exchange run by Discidium Internet Labs, Throughbit Exchange run by Throughbit technologies, and Coindcx run by Neblio Technologies.

Supreme Court Taking Charge

Five Petitions Pile Up Against India's Crypto Crackdown – High Courts Ordered to IgnoreFollowing the petition by IAMAI, the Supreme Court on Thursday reportedly refused to stay RBI’s order. “However, it allowed cryptocurrency exchanges, their shareholders, traders and other individuals to present their cases within two weeks to the RBI, which will look into the issue in accordance with the law,” the Financial Express explained.

All petitions relating to RBI’s crypto directive will be heard by the Supreme Court; the hearing is set for July 20. Pending petitions have been transferred to the Supreme Court from two high courts – two in Delhi High Court and one in Calcutta High Court.

Furthermore, high courts have been ordered not to entertain any more petitions regarding RBI’s crypto order, Business Standard described, adding:

No court shall accept petitions on the subject of cryptocurrency.

Do you think the Supreme Court will reverse RBI’s order? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Thailand Waives 7% VAT for Individual Cryptocurrency Investors

Thailand Waives 7% VAT for Individual Cryptocurrency Investors

Thailand’s Revenue Department has announced that it will waive the 7% value-added tax for individual cryptocurrency investors. The country began regulating digital currencies and initial coin offerings on Monday, putting the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in charge of the regulations.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

VAT Exemption

The decree to provide the legal framework for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in Thailand went into effect on Monday.

Cryptocurrency transactions are currently subject to income tax for both private companies and individual investors, Nation Multimedia explained. Saroch Thongpracum, Director of Legal Affairs of the country’s Revenue Department, announced at a press conference on Tuesday:

The Revenue Department will waive value-added tax for people trading in cryptocurrencies on exchange markets approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Thailand Waives 7% VAT for Individual Cryptocurrency InvestorsHowever, Mr. Saroch emphasized, “Individuals will still have to pay a 15 percent capital gains tax, also known as a withholding tax, on income earned in a transaction.”

The VAT waiver for individual cryptocurrency traders aims to “reduce their tax burden,” the publication noted, adding that the Revenue Department “would issue a regulation waiving the 7 percent VAT for individual investors.”

Furthermore, the news outlet detailed, “Under the new law, private companies launching ICOs have to pay corporate income tax on the funds they raise from the exercise.”

Full Regulations Expected Next Month

Thailand Waives 7% VAT for Individual Cryptocurrency InvestorsAccording to the decree, the Thai SEC will be the primary regulator of digital assets. Three groups of crypto operators will be regulated: brokers, dealers, and ICO portals. They must obtain licenses from the Finance Minister, according to the department’s spokesperson.

The SEC chief says that the Commission expects to issue regulations on cryptocurrencies and ICOs by the end of June after holding a public hearing. “The public hearing will take 2-3 weeks because investments in digital tokens are complicated and carry high risks,” the Bangkok Post reported SEC secretary-general Rapee Sucharitakul conveying. During this time, ICOs are banned in the country.

The news outlet then quoted Mr. Rapee elaborating:

The new regulation aims to provide protection for general investors since only investors who have knowledge of ICO issuance or digital-asset transactions should be allowed to engaging in this kind of trading.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) announced that it will wait for the SEC to release more details of the regulations before it will take any action, Assistant Bank of Thailand governor Chantavarn Sucharitakul told the publication. The central bank has previously requested financial institutions in the country to refrain from dealing with cryptocurrency transactions.

What do you think of Thailand waiving 7% VAT for individual crypto investors? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Crypto Traders in Troubled Waters

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Crypto Traders in Troubled Waters

In today’s Bitcoin in Brief – crypto traders are in trouble due to issues with the trading platforms they have trusted. Hacked Italian Bitgrail exchange is closed again after a brief reopening. It suspended operations on request from the court of Florence, following a petition  filed on behalf of one of its creditors. Also, beleaguered Romanian Btcxchange has shut down after multiple setbacks. A local bank recently closed its account.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Hacker Gets Trolled, Vertcoin Gets Hacked

Bitgrail Reopened, then Closed Again

Bitgrail, the Italian crypto exchange which suspended operations after losing 17 million XRB in a presumed hack this year, has briefly reopened and closed again. On May 1 the trading platform announced it will commence operations on the following day, May 2, 2018, with trading and withdrawals available for all supported coins, except Nano (XRB). Bitgrail also promised to restore the Nano market for users at a date to be announced shortly. “Our team is working hard on verifying all users who have submitted the documents in an expedited manner,” the statement read.

The reopening, however, did not last long. Yesterday, the exchange announced it was suspending operations again after receiving a notice from the court of Florence. The court  asked for the immediate closure of Bitgrail following a “precautionary suspension request” by lawyers representing one of the 3,000 users who suffered losses in the hack. Last week, the law firm Bonelli Erede  filed a petition on behalf of the creditor asking the court to declare the entities operating the exchange bankrupt. These are Webcoin Solutions di Francesco Firano and BG Services, formerly Bitgrail S.r.l.

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Crypto Traders in Troubled Waters

In February, Bitgrail’s owner, Francesco Firano, announced “that internal checks revealed unauthorized transactions which led to a 17 million Nano shortfall.” The market value of the lost cryptocurrency was estimated at around $170 million at the time. About a month later, Bitgrail stated in a Telegram post that it will refund users through the creation and issuance of BGS tokens and denied responsibility for the losses. 20 percent of the missing funds were to be returned in Nano, and 80 percent in the new BGS coin. The users who were willing to accept the offer had to restore their accounts and give up any legal claims. Almost 80 percent of the participants in a Twitter poll hosted by Francesco Firano himself voted to close the trading platform.

Romanian Btcxchange Closing for Good

Btcxchange, the oldest bitcoin trading platform in Romania, has closed down after multiple setbacks through the years. The platform informed its customers about the decision in an announcement published on its website. Btcxchange had already shut down some of its operations in February and crypto-fiat conversion was not available to its users. However, clients were allowed to deposit bitcoin and maintain their accounts. “Please withdraw all your balances before May 1,” the company said in a statement.

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Crypto Traders in Troubled Waters

The Romanian crypto exchange was launched in 2014. In December of that year, its team issued its first notice asking customers to withdraw their funds. The team claimed it had been denied access to the exchange servers by their lead programmer. Btcxchange shut down its operations again in August, 2016, after it was up for sale. Services were restored in November by the new owner. The latest episode of the drama unfolded in January this year when Idea Bank closed the platform’s account.

Chase Closes Erik Voorhees’ Credit Card Account

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Crypto Traders in Troubled WatersShapeshift CEO Erik Voorhees has announced in a tweet that Chase Bank has closed his credit card account. “Chase just closed my credit card account. No warning. No explanation of any kind. Won’t tell me why,” he said in a post on the microblogging platform.

“No wonder people hate that company,” Voorhees added, correcting himself in a further comment: “Sorry, I shouldn’t have used the word ‘company.’ Company refers to a market-based organization that has to bring a product to market and compete openly.” He also notes that the bank is “more akin to a Soviet-style state-appendage that wraps itself in regulatory cronyism than a company.”

Coinbase Applauds New York Inquiry into Crypto Exchanges

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Crypto Traders in Troubled WatersUS-based cryptocurrency exchange and wallet Coinbase has greeted the actions recently taken by New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, in regards to crypto trading platforms. “We applaud […] the action to bring further transparency to the virtual currency markets,” Coinbase chief legal officer Mike Lempres wrote in a letter. The exchange, which is licensed under New York’s Bitlicense regime, has published part of its response to Schneiderman’s office. Lempres discloses information about the assets stored on the platform, $150 billion, and the funding it has received. The letter also notes the company’s cooperation with authorities and regulators around the world.

In April, the Office of the Attorney General of New York sent letters to 13 crypto exchanges as part of an inquiry into policies and practices employed by the trading platforms. Not all of them have responded positively to the questionnaire. “When I saw this 34-point demand […] I realized that we made the right decision to get the hell out of New York,” Kraken CEO, Jesse Powell, said in a Twitter post. Mr. Powell also described acceptance of the questionnaire as “placative kowtowing.” His reaction has been praised by other representatives of the industry. Shapeshift CEO Eric Voorhees thanked Powell for “taking the ethical stance and speaking up for what’s right”.

Do you trust the trading platforms you are using? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitgrail, Btcxchange, Twitter.


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Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Erase Two-Day Losses

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Erase Two-Day Losses

Cryptocurrencies are seeing some relief during today’s trading sessions just before the weekend, as the top ten digital assets are currently up 3-11 percent. Most of the losses that took place two days ago have been erased as the total market capitalization of all digital currencies now tops $420Bn USD.

Also read: Court Orders Chilean Banks to Re-Open Crypto Exchange Accounts 

Cryptocurrencies Rebound Erasing Most of the Week’s Losses

Digital currencies are showing bullish momentum today as the losses 48-hours ago seemed to be a ‘bear trap.’ BTC/USD markets reached a low of $8,647 yesterday but then rebounded back to the $9,380 region earlier this morning EDT. At the moment the current weighted average for BTC/USD prices is hovering around $9,250 per coin and trade volume has been around $7.9Bn over the last 24-hours. Daily BTC/USD values are up 4.6 percent at the time of publication and 9.8 percent over the last week. The top five exchanges today swapping the most BTC include Okex, Binance, Bitfinex, Bitflyer, and Huobi. Out of all 1591 cryptocurrencies, BTC has an overall market valuation dominance today around 37 percent. The Japanese yen currently commands the most BTC trades today, capturing 53 percent of the market. This is followed by the USD (20%), tether (USDT 15%), KRW (4.9%), and the EUR (3.6%). The most popular trade today on the peer-to-peer platform Shapeshift is ETH for BTC swaps.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Erase Two-Day Losses

BTC/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the 4-hour BTC/USD chart shows that bulls are trying to muster up the strength to break resistance at $9,500 and above. The two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) show the short term 100 SMA is well above the long-term 200 trendline. This indicates the path towards resistance should head towards the upside after some deep sell walls. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) shows the oscillator is meandering around 56.3, indicating consolidation is taking place. MACd looks poised to move northbound in the short term after dropping very low 8 hours ago. Order Books show BTC bulls need to smash past the $9,400 range all the to the $9,900 territory in order to surpass the $10K mark. At the moment this play could be in the cards unless the weekend brings a bunch of bear action. On the backside if bears do grab the reins again foundations look decent at $9,150 through $8,600, and after that things begin to thin.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Erase Two-Day Losses
BTC markets are hovering around $9,250 USD at 11:30 am EDT.

Bitcoin Cash Markets See Recovery

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) markets are doing quite well today as BCH values are up 3.8 percent. One BCH is hovering around the $1,388 territory and markets are still up by 31.7 percent over the last seven days. Trade volume has dipped a good amount since our last markets update down to close to $1Bn over the past 24-hours. The top exchanges swapping the most bitcoin cash during the April 27 trading sessions include Okex, Huobi, Bitfinex, Hitbtc, and Lbank. The top currency traded for BCH today is BTC as bitcoin core trades account for 35 percent of the 24-hour market volume. This is followed by tether (USDT 26%), USD (21%), the Korean won (11%), and the euro (1.7%). Alongside this, both ETH and BNB represent 1 percent of the BCH trades per coin.

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

BCH/USD charts show some similar activities taking place looking at indicators. The SMAs have a gap in between them but the 100 SMA and 200 SMA trendlines are not quite as wide as BTC charts. Still, with the 100 SMA above the long-term 200 trendline, the path to resistance for bitcoin cash should also be on the upside. 4-hour RSI indicates the oscillator is hovering around 58.6 while the MACd is around 36. This means currently BCH bulls are facing stiff resistance but should be able to chew through orders. Bulls will face some big sell orders around $1,420 and $1,500 again. Further, there are much tougher walls around $1,550-1,600 and after that is smoother sailing. On the backside, there are strong buy walls between now and $1,300 flat before things get thinner.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Erase Two-Day Losses
BCH markets are hovering around $1,388 USD at 11:30 am EDT.

The Verdict: The Past Four Months Left Traders Skeptical But Most Proponents Are Optimistic

Of course, the spikes during today’s trading sessions have created some confidence among traders today, and many believe some more price highs are coming. Some other notable increases today came from ETH markets, EOS, and Stellar. The past four months of bearish prices have added some skepticism towards price hikes but it seems a good majority of traders believe the bearish sentiment is over.   

Where do you see the price of BCH and BTC headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


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Chinese Merchants in Moscow Convert Most of Their Cash to Crypto

Chinese Merchants in Moscow Convert Most of Their Cash to Crypto

Chinese traders in Moscow’s huge wholesale bazaars have become the most active buyers and sellers of cryptocurrency in the Russian capital. The retail turnover there is estimated at almost $10 billion a month. Authorities say that most of it is converted to cryptocurrencies and sent back to China where it‘s exchanged to yuan.   

Also read: Cryptocurrency Is the Main Income for 12% of Russian Crypto Users

Crypto Flows Considered Easier To Track than Cash

The three largest bazaars in the Russian capital, “Moskva”, “Sadovod”, and “Food City”, make about ₽600 billion rubles each month (~$10 billion). That’s almost a quarter of the retail turnover in the Russian Federation. Practically none of it is deposited in bank accounts, according to Yuri Polupanov, head of the Central Bank’s Financial Monitoring and Currency Control Department. 90% of the businesses there are owned by Chinese merchants and producers, he said during the Thomson Reuters Forum in Moscow, RBC reported.

The retail centers have become pioneers in crypto trade. Russia’s Centrobank believes that Chinese traders convert most of their revenues to cryptocurrency and send it back home, where it is exchanged to yuan. Financial authorities have learned that crypto exchange bureaus are also operating there. Polupanov said that some of them are registered as financial services providers. Inspectors have found discrepancies between their accounting reports and the data gathered remotely by the CBR.

Chinese Merchants in Moscow Convert Most of Their Cash to Crypto
Food City, Moscow

There is no point in denying that cryptocurrency is used in wholesale and retail trade, thinks Elina Sidorenko, head of a working group at the Duma tasked with assessing crypto circulation. “It’s no secret that Chinese merchants are using cryptocurrencies through anonymous wallets. But as soon as they are defined legally in the civil code, these financial flows will be easily controlled. It’s easier to track them than cash,” she said.

Sidorenko believes the situation will improve in a few years. If the central bank has evidence of illegal crypto-fiat exchange, it should give it to the Prosecutor’s Office, she added. Elina Sidorenko noted that illegal activities in these bazaars are not a new phenomenon. Violations of immigration laws and crimes related to laundering of illicit proceeds are flourishing there, she said, admitting: “We should’ve dealt with all that long time ago.”

Relics from The ’90s

The story of improvised retail bazaars and flea markets in Russia dates back to the breakup of the Soviet Union. Many of them were set up in the capital in the ‘90s. They have been targeted by authorities since the early 2000’s. Trade there is often unregulated and untaxed. Government inspectors have found multiple violations of sanitary and fire safety standards, customs and migration regulations.

Chinese Merchants in Moscow Convert Most of Their Cash to CryptoIn the summer of 2009 Moscow authorities closed down the “Cherkizovskiy” bazaar, which was one of the biggest. Russian police found 6,000 containers of contraband worth an estimated $2 billion. The newer trade centers “Sadovod” and “Moskva” are now major wholesale markets for clothes and shoes, while “Food City” is the main food distribution center. The volume of retail trade in the Russian capital has been estimated at more than $72 billion dollars in 2017. The monthly turnover is between $5.5 and $7.8 billion. It reaches $49 billion USD a month on national level.

Cryptos like bitcoin have been gaining popularity in Russia, where 12% of crypto users now claim cryptocurrency is their main source of income. Two draft laws regulating the crypto sector have been introduced in the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament. The bill “On digital financial assets” legalizes activities like initial coin offerings and mining. A second draft aims to amend the civil code in order to legalize the use of “digital money” in payments. It’s still unclear whether the circulation of cryptos will be allowed in the country. Recently, Russian media reported that a new crypto exchange bureau is now buying and selling bitcoin for cash in Moscow.

Do you think regulating cryptocurrencies will minimize their use for illicit purposes? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Food City.


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PR: Digital Ticks Just Launched First Look of Their Mobile App

Digital Ticks Launches Mobile App

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

Digital Ticks, the hot, new ICO in town is out with their First Look of Mobile app of their exchange well ahead of their schedule!

This is very exciting news as this is no ordinary crypto exchange. Digital Ticks is the first ever Commodity Crypto exchange. Users will be able to trade all the different types of crypto assets as well as commodity to crypto assets.

Why Digital Ticks?
The platform is the first ever commodity to crypto exchange to be built by the traders for the traders. With a simple to use User interface, it is designed to be used by both the novice as well as experienced traders.

The team believes in helping the investors make their decisions based on the work done and not based on plain statements.

The CCO of Digital Ticks, Mayur Poddar quoted saying
“We want people to see the results and our progress first-hand, and we want to enable them to make an investment choice based on statistics rather than statements.” This is again reassuring each and every participant of the ICO that their team is dedicated and will get the job done.

After the success and the huge participation received during the pre-sale whole team was extremely geared up to deliver a quality product ahead of the timeline.

“The pre-sale contributions and the overwhelming response of the contributors are both exciting and ensuring that Digital Ticks is on the right path in the journey to make every commodity tradable using crypto. And we believe that we are stepping into the future of cryptocurrency with a new dream and our footsteps would be followed by all others who share the same dream.”
– Quoted by CEO of Digital Ticks- Jitu Bajaj.

Company’s decision to launch First look of Mobile App Interface at the same time as its Public token sale starts in fact prior to it is in contrast to most other companies which only have a white paper and website at the time of their public sale. Fuelled by the huge success of the pre-sale, the team went on to deliver Apps for both Android and IOS platform along with multiple Blockchain smart contracts. This gives public token sale participants confidence in the ability of the team behind the project.

Closing Thoughts
With their Public token sale started on 15th April 2018, the team has worked day and night and have already released their Mobile App’s First Look well before their planned release date. At this current pace, they will be able to get the entire platform up and running well before the deadline and might just end up being one of the greatest ICO’s.

To be a part of this revolution and experience it, you can download App through google play store for Android and Apple App Store for IOS version.

Download Digital Ticks – First Ever Commodity Crypto Currency Exchange Mobile App
For Android :- click here
For IOS :- click here
Crypto enthusiasts can participate in DTX public token sale by sending Bitcoin / Ethereum / Bank Wire Transfer directly to their Dashboard of Digital Ticks by just signing up on https://www.digitalticks.com

Website: https://www.digitalticks.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DigitalTicksExchange
Telegram: https://t.me/digitalticksexchange
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DigitalTicks

Contact Email Address
marketing@digitalticks.com
Supporting Link
https://www.digitalticks.com/

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. Bitcoin.com 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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Pakistan’s Urdubit Exchange Shuts Down After Crypto Ban

Pakistan’s Urdubit Exchange Shuts Down After Crypto Ban

Urdubit, a leading Pakistani bitcoin exchange, has closed down permanently. The news came after the central bank of Pakistan announced a ban on dealings with cryptocurrencies. The trading platform urged customers to withdraw their funds “as fast as possible”. Its team confirmed on social media its operations had been suspended due to the prohibition of crypto transactions. Other exchanges have followed suit.   

Also read: Pakistan’s Central Bank Prohibits Crypto Dealings with a Circular

Urdubit Cancels All Bitcoin Orders

Pakistan’s Urdubit Exchange Shuts Down After Crypto BanPakistan’s “first bitcoin exchange” announced its decision to shut down after the State Bank of Pakistan barred all financial institutions from processing crypto-related transactions. Urdubit warned its clients to withdraw both their fiat and crypto funds immediately. Through its accounts on Facebook and Twitter, and on its website, the platform said it was terminating services due to the central bank’s ban.

On April 6, SBP issued a circular on the “prohibition of dealing in virtual currencies”, effectively banning crypto transactions in Pakistan. The move came after a similar ban introduced by the central bank in neighboring India. SBP advised commercial banks and payment providers to refrain from using, trading, holding, and transferring digital coins. The document, signed by the State Bank’s director Muhammad Javed, stated that banks and businesses should not facilitate crypto transactions of their customers and account holders.

According to Pakistani media, the Karachi-based Urdubit is the country’s first bitcoin exchange. Launched in 2014, the platform gained popularity along with the world’s leading cryptocurrency. On Saturday its team said in a Facebook post:

Due to the current stance on virtual currencies by the SBP, we are closing Urdubit. Withdraw your funds as soon as possible! Please, buy BTC instantly, as we are canceling orders on, or withdraw your PKR [Pakistani Rupee] immediately.

Its website tells visitors: “Urdubit is shutting down! Withdraw your funds to your bank account or wallet!” The closure was confirmed via Twitter with a message published on Sunday: “Urdubit is closed. All bitcoin withdrawals will be closed today at midnight. Please, withdraw your funds.” The platform’s trading volume increased over the weekend following its decision to close down. According to Bitcoincharts, it traded 26 BTC on April 6 and 6 BTC on the next day.

The Future of Crypto Trade in Pakistan Is Unclear

The prohibition was imposed without an official government mandate and despite the lack of dedicated legislation on cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, SBP asked Pakistani banks to “immediately” report any crypto transactions to the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU). Furthermore, the central bank warned citizens against using cryptocurrencies to transfer money abroad. SBP also made it clear that virtual currencies like bitcoin are not considered legal tender in the country.

It remains unclear how many of Urdubit’s customers have managed to get their funds back. Small amounts of bitcoin have been traded after the closure on April 8. One of the warnings states that the exchange should not be held liable if clients failed to withdraw their money. There is no indication as to whether Urdubit intends to reopen again, in case the regulatory situation improves.

According to a company working with Urdubit, the exchange is trying to reimburse its customers. “Governments and banks are going to fight bitcoin because investing in it means a bank run on the central bank,” co-founder of Blinktrade Rodrigo Souza told the local online edition Propakistani. His company has been maintaining the open-source software used by Urdubit.

Pakistan’s Urdubit Exchange Shuts Down After Crypto Ban

Other Pakistani exchanges have also decided to stay away from trouble with the SBP. A message on BTCPK’s website states that the price quotes are for informative purpose only. “BTCPK follows prohibition rules as set by the State Bank of Pakistan via Circular No. 03 of 2018,” the trading platform tells its customers. The exchange claims to be “the largest crypto market in Pakistan.”

Authorities in Islamabad have already demonstrated negative attitude towards cryptocurrencies in the past. Crypto traders have been targeted recently by the Federal Investigation Agency of Pakistan. SBP’s ban, however, is the largest clampdown on local cryptocurrency exchanges so far.

Do you think Pakistani exchanges will find alternative ways to provide services to the crypto community in the country? Share your thoughts on the ban in the comments section below.   


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Pakistan’s Central Bank Prohibits Crypto Dealings with a Circular

Pakistan’s Central Bank Prohibits Crypto Dealings with a Circular

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has issued a circular on the “prohibition of dealing in virtual currencies”. The measure comes right after a similar move by the central bank of neighboring India. Commercial banks and payment providers have been told to stay away from crypto operations. They should not facilitate transactions of virtual currencies and tokens, the document states.    

Also read: India Orders Banks to Drop Cryptos, Studies Issuing its Own Digital Coin

Bitcoin, Pakcoin, Onecoin… Deemed Illegal

Pakistan’s central bank says virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Pakcoin, Onecoin, Dascoin, Pay Diamond, and tokens from initial coin offerings are not legal tender in the country. These are not guaranteed by the Government of Pakistan, the financial institution notes. SBP has not authorized any individual or entity to issue, sell, purchase, or exchange any such virtual currencies and coins in Pakistan, according to circular No. 03 published on the bank’s website.

No dedicated legislation regarding cryptocurrencies has been adopted in the country yet. Authorities, however, have demonstrated negative attitude towards bitcoin on many occasions. The Federal Investigation Agency, which has conducted several operations against cryptocurrency traders, recently called on the government in Islamabad to declare digital currencies “persona non grata”.

Pakistan’s Central Bank Prohibits Crypto Dealings with a Circular

In accordance with the promulgated stance, all banks, microfinance entities, payment system operators and service providers are “advised to refrain” from dealing in cryptocurrencies. That includes the “processing, using, trading, holding, transferring, and investing” in digital coins. SBP also says that banks and companies should not facilitate crypto transactions of their customers and account holders.

Pakistani banks have been asked to “immediately” report any such transaction to the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU). All crypto transactions have been called “suspicious”. The circular letter is signed by the State Bank’s director Muhammad Akhtar Javed, who asks the banks to acknowledge receipt.

According to Pakistani media, SBP has also warned citizens against using cryptocurrencies to transfer money abroad. Any person doing that will be subject to prosecution. Domestic and international transfer services are regulated by the central bank in Pakistan. It notes that no entity is authorized to offer cryptocurrency remittance services. Pakistanis have been advised not to engage in activities like mining, trading, and promoting virtual currencies.

In the Footsteps of India

Pakistan’s Central Bank Prohibits Crypto Dealings with a CircularThe prohibition of crypto-related transactions has been reported as a “major development” by the local press. It follows a similar decision by the Reserve Bank of India. RBU ordered regulated financial institutions in the country to terminate all services to individuals and businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

The statement issued by India’s central bank effectively prohibits banks from working with intermediaries such as cryptocurrency exchanges. Major commercial banks, however, had been tightening the clamp even before the order. Citibank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and the State Bank of India, have all suspended accounts of crypto traders without a mandate from the central bank. As a result, bitcoin trading on local exchanges has dropped as much as 90% in the last two months, as news.Bitcoin.com reported.

According to Indian media, RBI’s tough stance, amid continuing regulatory uncertainty, is forcing Indian exchanges to look for jurisdictions with clearer policies, like Australia. Trading platforms are also trying to actively respond to the latest challenge. An online petition calls for the reversal of the bank’s decision. A campaign on Twitter has been gathering support under the hashtag #RBICantStopMe.

Much like India, Pakistan has seen an increased interest in cryptocurrencies since last year when the market capitalization of bitcoin and the like reached all-time highs. However, the local crypto sector is not as developed as in other countries, including India.

Do you think the measures imposed by the central banks of Pakistan and India will curtail crypto activities? Share your expectations in the comments section below.  


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Huobi Officially Launches in South Korea with 100 Cryptocurrencies

Huobi Officially Launches in South Korea with 100 Cryptocurrencies

Huobi has officially launched in South Korea. The platform facilitates the trading of 100 cryptocurrencies and 208 markets. The exchange is also creating an investor protection fund and program to immediately compensate for any losses that are not investor error.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Huobi Korea Launched

Huobi Korea, a subsidiary of the Beijing-based crypto trading service provider Huobi, announced that it has officially launched on March 30.

Huobi Officially Launches in South Korea with 100 Cryptocurrencies

“Huobi Korea will list 100 coins and 208 markets (33 USDT markets, 98 BTC markets, 77 ETH markets),” Zdnet detailed. The exchange stated that it stores 98% of its customer assets in cold wallets. Furthermore, the exchange’s internal access procedure has been strengthened, according to the publication. “In order to open the repository, we have added security to complex procedures that require multiple people to authenticate together,” the news outlet conveyed, and quoted an official of the exchange explaining:

We are also creating an investor protection fund and run an investor protection program to immediately compensate for losses that are not investor error.

100 Cryptos

Huobi confirmed on Thursday that “In Huobi Korea, 100 coins can be traded,” noting that the exchange “will try to support more and more coins trading.”

Huobi Officially Launches in South Korea with 100 CryptocurrenciesThe supported cryptocurrencies, according to Huobi, include DAT, DBC, DGD, DTA, EDU, ABT, ACT, ADX, AIDOC, APPC, AST, BAT, BCD, BCH, BCX, BIFI, BLZ, BTC, BTG, BTM, CHAT, CMT, CTXC, CVC, LINK, LSK, LTC, LUN, MANA, MCO, MDS, ICC, IOST, ITC, ICC, IOST, ITO, EKO, ELA, ELF, ENG, EOS, ETC, ETH, EVX, GAS, GNT, GNX, MTP, MTL, MTN, MTX, NAS, NEO, OCN, OMG, ONT, OST, PAY, POWR, PROPY, QASH, QSP, QTUM, QUN, RCN, RDN, REQ, RPX, RUFF, SALT, SBTC, SMT, SNC, SNT, SOC, SRN, STK, STORJ, SWFTC, THETA, TNB, TNT, TOPC, TRX, USDT, UTK, VEN, WAX, WICC, WPR, XEM, XRP, YEE, ZEC, ZIL, ZLA, and ZRX.

Korean Won Support Coming Soon

Huobi Officially Launches in South Korea with 100 CryptocurrenciesAs for the Korean won trading, Huobi Korea wrote, “the KRW market is in the process of being prepared and will be available soon.”

The lack of won trading is likely due to the South Korean regulation which enforced the real-name system at the end of January. Since its implementation, Korean banks have only been issuing virtual accounts to the country’s largest four exchanges – Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit. However, Money Today reported on Thursday that a major bank in Korea, Shinhan Bank, is in talks to start issuing virtual accounts to a smaller crypto exchange, Coinplug.

The official from Huobi Korea was quoted by Zdnet saying:

We are concentrating our ability to prepare for the rapid opening of the Korean won market…All employees will work hard to provide safer and more stable trading services.

Huobi’s Global Expansion

Huobi is currently the third largest crypto exchange globally with a 24-hour trading volume of $1.32 billion at the time of this writing. South Korea’s largest exchange is the Kakao-backed Upbit with a trading volume of $745 million during the same time period.

Before China closed down cryptocurrency exchanges, Huobi was among the largest in the country. Today, the company has a presence in six countries – Korea, Singapore, USA, Japan, Hong Kong and China.

Last week, Huobi registered with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in preparation for its U.S. launch. Meanwhile, Japan’s SBI Group has stopped the capital and business tie-up with Huobi Group.

What do you think of Huobi’s launch in South Korea? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Huobi Korea.


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Testing Cryptocurrency Atomic Swaps With Barterdex

Testing Cryptocurrency Atomic Swaps With Barterdex

The method of atomic swap trading within the cryptocurrency space has become a hot subject, and a few software development teams have been working on this type of cross-chain technology. One group is Komodo, the creators of the decentralized exchange ‘Barterdex.’ The trading platform reveals a total of 90,663 successful atomic swaps have been executed using Barterdex, so news.Bitcoin.com decided to give the user interface and software a test.

Also Read: Cobinhood Delists Six Tokens Susceptible to Pump and Dump, Limits Tether Pairs

Test Driving the Komodo Platform Barterdex

A few weeks ago in Mexico news.Bitcoin.com had a chance to see a walkthrough of an atomic swap between bitcoin cash and two other cryptocurrencies. A Komodo developer showed us the ropes of how to trade and how the platform’s decentralized order book works. When returning from Mexico news.Bitcoin.com decided to see how easy it was to use without any guidance so our readers can get an in-depth look at this technology.

Testing Cryptocurrency Atomic Swaps With Barterdex
Barterdex stats on March 29, 2018.

The Komodo project is a public blockchain with an associated token called KMD, and the team has also created a decentralized exchange platform called Barterdex. The open source software allows users to trade cryptocurrencies across multiple blockchain networks using a technique called atomic swaps. An atomic swap is a method of trading between two blockchain networks without relying on the use of a third party intermediary. The platform has a user-friendly interface but needs more liquidity across most trading pairs.

Testing Cryptocurrency Atomic Swaps With Barterdex
Barterdex gives you a twelve-word seed phrase to get started.

Peer-to-Peer Order Book

What’s interesting about Barterdex is in contrast to other Dex protocols like the NXT and Bitshares competitors is that the platforms order books are peer-to-peer and decentralized. Komodo developers say the order book system is “analogue of a full relay node and a node that doesn’t relay.” All buys and sells are displayed for traders and updates are frequently propagated throughout the network.

Testing Cryptocurrency Atomic Swaps With Barterdex
The Barterdex platform has a lot of cryptocurrencies to choose from alongside coins that are tethered to the SPV Electrum server. 

There is a wide variety of cryptocurrencies to swap with, but some have a lot more volume than others and trading these coins will produce faster results if you are experimenting. When Barterdex app loads, users are given a twelve-word mnemonic phrase and asks you to copy the information like any other private wallet seed. After writing down the mnemonic phrase, users are greeted with a window that displays a portfolio data, and recently visited markets. There’s also a window for trade history, a debug menu, and a settings section where you can change the theme and language.

A Successful BCH for KMD Swap

In order to get started, you need to choose which currency you want to use to trade and which digital asset you want. You then need to deposit the coin to a smart address if to complete an atomic swap offer across the exchange’s network of peers. A full confirmation for the transaction is needed to see the deposit and get started using Barterdex. After the deposit confirms you can then select which currency you want to buy with the cryptocurrency you just added. To find some markets with good volume, you can peruse through a lot of well-known coins to offer a trade or look for peers by populating the list of offers.

Testing Cryptocurrency Atomic Swaps With Barterdex

After roughly 30 minutes of testing the platform and waiting for a trade to execute the coins had finally swapped. Given the fact that one of the Komodo developers gave us some instructions it helped make the process run a touch more smoothly. Otherwise, it’s good to have some knowledge on how to use any cryptocurrency exchange and understand a basic order book process.

More Traders Needed

Much like Bisq, and the new Bittorrent application Joystream, the Barterdex platform needs more active traders. Most of the waiting is due to figuring out which coins have better liquidity, and waiting for a trade to be accepted across the network. The platform definitely works, the interface is sharp and charts are updated regularly. The use of decentralized exchanges is still light across the board, and this factor is the case for all of the trading platforms that enable cryptocurrency swaps without a third party. It’s safe to say it’s going to take some time for traders to leave centralized exchanges for platforms like these.

Have you tried the Barterdex exchange? Let us know what you think about this trading platform in the comments below.  


Images via Barterdex, Shutterstock, and Jamie Redman.


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Low-value Bitcoin Gift Vouchers Bring More Indians into Crypto

Bitcoin Gift Vouchers Bring More Indians into Crypto

At times when the Indian crypto community is dealing with increasingly hostile environment, an initiative is bringing new investors on board. Bitcoin gift vouchers are gaining popularity in India’s IT hub – Hyderabad. A growing number of Indians like the idea of a cheap and low-risk entry into cryptocurrencies.

 Also read: Tax Filing Platform Teams with Zebpay to Help Crypto Taxpayers in India

Buy Your First Satoshis for Just ₹200 INR

Gift vouchers offered at Hyderabad coffee shops are fueling both curiosity and demand for bitcoin. Sold for as little as ₹200 Indian Rupees ($3) they offer an opportunity to enter the cryptocurrency ecosphere with a micro investment that bears virtually no risk. It turns out that more and more Indians buy the vouchers to surprise friends and family or even for themselves.

Bitcoin Gift Vouchers Bring More Indians into Crypto

“I have heard from a few friends about bitcoin and how they have gained a lot. Although they have invested huge amounts, this is only a small sum. Once I learn a little more, I can trade in a big way,” a buyer says, quoted by the Times of India. Cryptocurrency traders demand a huge cut when approached by a potential investor, he adds. His words confirm that bitcoin remains attractive in India, despite the recent market lows and the intensifying institutional clampdown.

Hyderabad, India’s fourth most populous city, has become an industrial and financial hub over the past decades. It is one of the largest contributors to the country’s GDP and has been called the “City of Pearls”, “India’s pharmaceutical capital”, and the “Genome Valley of India”. In recent years Hyderabad has turned into a global hub for information technology, adding another nickname – “Cyberabad“. Leading multinational corporations from the sector have opened offices in the local Hitec City. An estimated 400,000 people are employed by tech companies operating in Hyderabad.

Bitcoin Gift Vouchers Bring More Indians into Crypto

Dropping Trading Volumes

Many of those tach-savvy Indians have invested in cryptocurrencies and others want to get involved. The bitcoin vouchers they are offered have been issued by a local crypto exchange urging you “to buy your first bitcoin”. Trading platforms in India have been experiencing an unprecedented drop in volume over the past few weeks. Representatives of leading exchanges have confirmed that trading has decreased up to 90% in just two months.

Although market volatility has obviously played a role, Indian traders have blamed two other major factors for the low turnover. They have complained about increasing regulatory uncertainty and a widening bank clampdown that have limited opportunities for both cryptocurrency exchanges and individual investors.

While the crypto community is still waiting for a comprehensive legal framework for the sector, officials have acknowledged that adopting effective regulations is proving difficult. At the same time, commercial banks have suspended accounts of bitcoin exchanges and restricted crypto-related transactions of private individuals. Tax authorities are also going after investors, despite the lack of clarity on how to report crypto incomes and profits.

Do you think micro investments are a good opportunity to bring more people into the crypto world? Would you buy a bitcoin gift voucher for someone you know? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Markets Update: Trader Sentiment Optimistic But Signals Still Unclear

Markets Update: Trader Sentiment Optimistic But Signals Still Unclear

Cryptocurrency markets are bouncing around in value over the course of the weekend as the entire crypto-market capitalization currently rests at $329 billion USD. BTC/USD markets briefly jumped above the $9K region on Sunday, March 25 but dropped an hour later to a low of $8,398. Most of the digital currencies within the crypto-economy have followed suit with BTC as most coins have lost 3-5 percent in value during the late night (EDT) trading sessions.

Also read: Slush Pool Mines the First ASIC Boost Block Sparking More Debate  

Crypto Markets Hold Steady As Traders Wait for the Next Big Move

Markets Update: Trader Sentiment Optimistic But Signals Still UnclearThe past few days most cryptocurrencies have been somewhat stable as they have been following the same triangular sideways pattern as BTC/USD markets. At the time of publication BTC’s price is hovering above the $8,540 range as global markets are swapping roughly $5.4Bn worth of trades over the past 24-hours. The top five exchanges trading the most BTC includes Bitfinex, Binance, Okex, Bitflyer, and Upbit.

One of the most traded cryptocurrencies traded with BTC right now is Tron on the Binance exchange. According to Shapeshift, the top trade today on the peer-to-peer platform is ETH for BTC. At the moment Japan is leading the global trades for BTC markets as the yen is capturing over 57 percent of trade volume. This is followed by the USD (20.8%), tether (USDT 13.6%), the South Korean won (3%), and the euro (2.4%).

Technical Indicators

Looking at the 4-hour, daily, and weekly BTC/USD charts show some bearish divergence taking place during the Saturday evening trading sessions. The two Simple Moving Averages (100-200 SMA) have crossed hairs just a few hours ago as the long-term 200 SMA is now above the short term 100 SMA. This indicates bears have taken control for now as BTC/USD markets lost $500 in value today. However, a reversal pattern took place during yesterday’s trading sessions showing a long bullish engulfing candle. This indicates the current bearish divergence may not last long.

Markets Update: Trader Sentiment Optimistic But Signals Still Unclear

MACd is currently heading southbound following suit with both RSI and Stochastic oscillators. Another indication that bears have taken control for the moment after resistance above $9K could not be broken. Order books show that there’s some solid resistance around the $9K territory but even more so around $9,250. From there if bulls manage to muster up some strength after the last dip resistance is less after the $9,550 area. On the back side, if bears manage to keep dragging the price down with shorts then there are some solid foundations between the current price to $7,900. If the Displaced Moving Average ($7,245) breaks then BTC/USD prices could sink back to much lower levels. However, it doesn’t look like bears can bring the price down that low from the current vantage point.

Markets Update: Trader Sentiment Optimistic But Signals Still Unclear

Digital Asset Markets in General

Cryptocurrency markets, in general, are seeing losses over the past 24-hours. Although over the last hour there have been improvements across the board. The weekly charts show the top ten digital assets are all still up between 5-51 percent, except ethereum markets which are down 0.69 percent. Ethereum (ETH) prices are hovering around $521 per token and over the past 24-hours, ETH is down 3.7 percent. Ripple (XRP) markets are down today 3.5 percent as one XRP $0.63 cents per coin. The fourth highest market capitalization bitcoin cash (BCH) is down 3.7 percent and one BCH today is coasting along around $982. Lastly, litecoin (LTC) markets are also down 4.1 percent and each LTC is roughly $159 per token. Overall cryptocurrency volume across all 1583 digital assets is around $14.1Bn over the past 24-hours.

Markets Update: Trader Sentiment Optimistic But Signals Still Unclear

The Verdict: Short-Term Bearish Sentiment — Long-Term Bullish Optimism

Digital asset proponents seem very optimistic that markets will recover in the short term. The reversal has added some positivity among a lot of traders as there are far more long bets than shorts this week as opposed to two weeks ago. There is far less regulatory FUD swarming through the community and there’s been a lot more positivity lately. However, trade volumes are still fairly flat and its nowhere near what it was during the all-time highs. Even though there have been some bullish signals, hardcore traders are still skeptical that we are out of the woods and safe from bear attacks.  

Where do you see the price of BTC and other digital assets heading from here? Do you think cryptocurrencies will see more gains? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


Images via Shutterstock, Bitstamp, Trading View, and Coinmarketcap.


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Bitcoin Futures Launch in the UK

Bitcoin Futures Launch in the UK

Coinfloor have announced their group of cryptocurrency exchanges will now include Coinfloorex, a bitcoin futures exchange. Offering “institutional grade risk management and governance,” traders, hedge funds, and miners will get bitcoin futures “at scale” through “specifically designed cryptocurrency contracts and operational controls.”

Also read: Québec Premier: We’re Not Really Interested in Bitcoin Mining

Coinfloor Launches Physical Bitcoin Futures

“Our mission is to build a bridge between Fiat currency and cryptocurrency,” Obi Nwosu, CEO of Coinfloor stressed, “to drive the stability and sustainability of cryptocurrency. Numerous market participants are calling on existing cryptocurrency exchanges that provide futures contracts to switch from cash to physical settlement. However, making that transition will be very difficult for them to achieve. We understood this requirement from the start, and have worked for over two years to bring this functionality to market. Now, institutional investors and traders can capitalise on market dynamics, within their own risk parameters and in line with their individual trading strategies.”

As such, Coinfloor claims to have launched the “first physically delivered cryptocurrency futures contract” through its newly created crypto exchange, Coinfloorex. The contracts were “created to protect investors and traders against price slippage on positions at time of settlement, as well as concerns of market manipulation.”

Bitcoin Futures Launch in the UK

The company is well-known in the ecosystem, having been around since early 2013, using a peer-to-peer crypto exchange model. Bitcoin vetted brokers are connected to investors in bitcoin. Using a local bank, buyers are able to send money directly to sellers. They were also an early adopter of solving the normal two-step conversion between fiat and bitcoin. Coinfloor was one of the first to try a no-fee trading model, but later reinstated fees at the end of last year. It also continues to play an active role in courting regulators to take crypto seriously.

The innovation this time around seems to be the “physical delivery” aspect of bitcoin futures. “Settlement is based on physical delivery rather than an index price from across other exchanges, which provides maximum pricing transparency. Access to Coinfloor’s spot exchange enables investors to easily convert Bitcoin to Fiat currency post-physical delivery, creating opportunities for longer-term currency appreciation or through meeting Bitcoin-denominated obligations,” the company explained.

Bitcoin Futures Launch in the UK

For any crypto exchange, hacking is an issue. Anticipating such worries, “Security of the exchange is underscored by 100% multi-signature cold storage cryptocurrency custody
facility, safeguarding client portfolios from theft, loss or other security issues associated with partially online or online only storage of assets. Coinfloor also provides monthly solvency audits of Bitcoin balances, which gives institutional investors assurance that Coinfloorex has sufficient Bitcoin liquidity to manage market fluctuation,” the announcement explained.

Ultimately the product is aimed at more savvy “sophisticated investors.” April of this year is the date physical delivery of the bitcoin futures contract (XBT) is to be made. 

What are your hopes, if any, for British bitcoin futures? Let us know in the comments!


Images via Pixabay, Coinfloor. 


At news.Bitcoin.com we do not censor any comment content based on politics or personal opinions. So, please be patient. Your comment will be published.

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Bitcoin Futures Predictions Volumes Grow

Bitcoin Futures Predictions Volumes Grow

Over the past few months, the Chicago Board of Exchange (Cboe) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) have been selling bitcoin-based futures products. Predictions have been dull as most forecasts are around the $9-9.4K USD range for bitcoin derivatives using both firms’ futures data. On the other hand, crypto-derivatives trade volumes have been increasing.

Also Read: Nasdaq-Listed Marathon Begins Bitcoin Mining Operations, Stock Up 32%

Bitcoin Futures See an Increase in Volume But Crypto-Derivatives Markets Have Been Lackluster

Bitcoin futures markets have seen some monotonous forecasts because they really haven’t been much different than spot markets. This week marks the March expiry date for Cboe’s bitcoin derivatives on Wednesday, and products are trading between $9,490 – 8,820. CME’s contracts will expire this month as well and forecasts there are also around $9,000 – 8,800.

Bitcoin Futures Predictions Volumes Grow
CME contracts at the end of the day Chicago time, March 13.

Cboe contracts are seeing the most volume for March and the following three months later. CME Group’s numbers have been relatively consistent at 1,000 per day, but the month of May has zero volume at the time of publication. The sentiment across both derivatives markets show that currently, all the past hype about bitcoin futures markets affecting spot markets turned out to be incredibly lackluster.

Bitcoin Futures Predictions Bland But Volumes Grow
CME bitcoin futures trade volume.

However, Cboe’s contracts have seen significant volume especially this month as the March expiry will close above 10,978 for the daily volume. April has 1 has a 24-hour volume of 517, May – 90, and June – 88. The projections for Cboe’s futures in June show an increase of 330 percent and a price at $9,250 per XBT. CME Group’s products are not as popular but still have been consistent 1,000+ per day. Right now the firm’s March expiry is 3,288, April is 78, May – 0, and June shows only 10. The last month’s expiry for CME Group’s bitcoin futures shows an increase of 410 percent and a price around $9,370.

Bitcoin Futures Predictions Bland But Volumes Grow
BTC/USD futures and spot markets have been almost identical.

Does a Market Operating 24-7 Mix With Traditional Futures Trading?

Skeptics believe futures traders and traditional exchanges cannot grasp the wild fluctuations that take place in a market that never stops. Even though bitcoin futures products haven’t produced the fervent action many speculators thought, Terry Duffy, the chief executive of CME is not worried. Speaking in a recent earnings call, Duffy said the bitcoin derivatives market maturation would be lead-footed.  

“It’s [Bitcoin futures markets] going to be a slow grower, which is fine,” Duffy explains.

Further CME Group’s margin investors must pay 40 percent on contracts (Cboe 44% of the BTC/USD price). This means most margins are single digits, and some people have suggested reducing the margin. This kind of development could introduce risk, and according to Duffy that type of strategic move is “the last thing” he would want to do right now.

What do you think about the past few months of bitcoin futures markets? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, CME, and Cboe charts. 


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Markets Update: Crypto Assets Spike But Traders Are Skeptical

Markets Update: Crypto Assets Spike But Traders Are Skeptical

Most of the top crypto assets are seeing gains today as many cryptocurrencies suffered losses over the past week. BTC/USD markets reached a weighted average of $9,892 across global exchanges during the overnight trading sessions. This rise follows BTC/USD prices touching a low of $8,366 on March 9 and many other digital assets reaching lows as well. After most crypto-assets spiked during this morning’s early trading sessions, this afternoon a significant amount of them are seeing losses once again. 

Also Read: Japan’s SBI Holdings Claims 40% Stake in Hardware Wallet Company

Monday’s Early Morning Spike Doesn’t Hold as Bears Claw Weaker Volumes

The overall market capitalization of all 1500+ digital assets is roughly around $394Bn after a vast majority of cryptocurrencies shaved billions off their valuations over the past six days. During Sunday’s trading sessions on March 11, BTC/USD markets and many other cryptos started seeing some relief. Currently, BTC volume is decent as there’s been roughly $6Bn worth traded over the past 24 hours against various crypto pairs and fiat currencies. The top five exchanges swapping the most BTC today are Bitfinex, Okex, Binance, Bitflyer, and Upbit. The Japanese yen continues to command the top fiat currency position as the yen is 52 percent of current BTC trades. The yen is followed by the USD (23%), tether (USDT 13%), the euro (3.92%) and the Korean won (3.9%).

Markets Update: Crypto Assets Spike But Traders Are Skeptical
Bitcoin Wisdom, Monday, March 12 at 11:45 am EDT. BTC/USD Prices have been between $9,300-9,500 after reaching a high of $9,892 earlier this morning.

Technical Indicators

Looking at the 30-min, 4-hour, and daily BTC/USD charts there is clearly some significant consolidation taking place and the continued wedge formation. At the time of writing, one BTC is worth around $9,300-9,500 during the afternoon hours (EST). One positive sign is the two Simple Moving Averages (100 SMA and 200 SMA) have crossed hairs, and the short-term 100 SMA is now above the longer term 200 SMA trendline. This indicates the path to the upside will have less resistance and reinforces the short-term bullish sentiment.

Markets Update: Crypto Assets Spike But Traders Are Skeptical
BTC/USD markets hit some resistance and the price is hovering just above the $9,050-9,150 range at 12:30 pm EDT.

After touching the high of $9,892 earlier this morning (EDT), the MACd has been heading southbound, but still hovers in a relatively safer zone. RSI and Stochastic oscillators (below 50.00) are showing oversold conditions at the time of publication, but it looks like a temporary downturn. Order books on the upside show some tough resistance around the $10K region, but nothing major if bulls wished to press that region later today. Another pit stop will be around $10,600 for a short period of time. On the back side, there’s a lot of support showing for areas within the $9,100 through 8,600 zones.  

Cryptocurrency Markets In General

Overall cryptocurrencies, in general, are doing well today and seem to be in recovery mode. The second largest cryptocurrency market capitalization held by ethereum (ETH) is up 1.9 percent as one ETH is roughly $730. Ripple (XRP) has seen some smaller gains as one XRP is $0.82 cents, and markets are only up 0.76 percent. The fourth largest market valuation is bitcoin cash (BCH), and its markets are up 3.7 percent today. One BCH is averaging around $1,113 per coin. Lastly, litecoin (LTC) is also seeing some decent recovery as one LTC is about $190 during this afternoon’s trading sessions. At the moment BTC’s market valuation is dominating by 42 percent amongst 1500+ cryptocurrencies.

Markets Update: Crypto Assets Spike But Traders Are Skeptical
The top ten crypto assets besides BTC are all in the green and are seeing gains between 0.50%-7.7%. However most crypto-assets are starting to slide again. 

The Verdict: Short-Term Skeptical — Long-Term Bullish

Traders are still skeptical to where this current spike is headed or if it will be short-lived. $6Bn over the past 24 hours for BTC markets is decent, but nothing special compared to two months prior. Well known traders like Haejin Lee, crypto traders across forums like r/Bitcoinmarkets and chat groups like the Whale Club seem uncertain as well. Further, there’s been a lot of unpredictability due to governments and regulations worldwide, as many nation-states are preparing laws and rules concerning cryptocurrency activities. The last point of concern is the trustee from the Mt Gox case who has been selling millions worth of BTC and BCH. The trustee from Tokyo has a lot more to sell on the open market which concerns some skeptics.  

Where do you see the price of BTC and other digital assets heading from here? Do you think cryptocurrencies will see more gains? Let us know in the comments below.


Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


Images via Shutterstock, Bitstamp, Bitcoin Wisdom, and Coinmarketcap.


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Markets Update: Crypto Values Drop to Lower Vantage Points

Markets Update: Crypto Values Drop to Lower Vantage Points

The price of cryptocurrencies across all markets has been dropping in value quite a bit over the past 48 hours. BTC/USD markets started tumbling on March 5, after the price reached a high of $11,650 during the evening trading sessions. Following the peak, the value dropped to $10,600 on March 6 losing $1,000 in value. Further, the next day on March 7 after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned about unlawful trading platforms, BTC/USD values slid once again losing another 20 percent.

Also Read: Japan’s SBI Holdings Claims 40% Stake in Hardware Wallet Company

Cryptocurrency Markets Have Been in a Downward Slump

Cryptocurrencies have lost some fiat value over the past few days as the entire market of over 1,500 digital assets has shaved billions off the overall market capitalization. Currently, the aggregated valuation of all digital assets is roughly $400 billion at the time of publication. At the moment BTC/USD markets are averaging $9,200, after coasting along at above $9,800 a few hours ago. Volume is a touch higher than last week with $9.3Bn in 24-hour global trade volume. BTC dominance amongst all 1500 digital assets within the crypto-economy is roughly 41 percent today.

Markets Update: Crypto Values Drop to Lower Vantage Points Right now the Japanese yen is still dominating global trade volumes by 48 percent. The is followed by the U.S. dollar (27%), tether (USDT 12.4%), the euro (4.9%) and the Korean won (3.8%) The euro has made a jump from fifth position to fourth, knocking out the Korean won this week. The top five exchanges trading the most BTC this week are Bitfinex, Binance, Okex, GDAX, and Upbit. The Japanese exchange Bitflyer and the European platform Bitstamp are right behind Upbit with strong volumes as well. According to Shapeshift statistics, the pair swapped the most today is ETH for BTC.

Markets Update: Crypto Values Drop to Lower Vantage Points
Prices earlier this morning have managed to get closer to the $10K region. But a few hours later markets dumped to $9,079 per BTC after meeting resistance. 

Technical Indicators

Looking at BTC/USD charts show some consolidation is forming in this region and BTC price movements are strongly correlated with nearly every other digital asset. MACd is meandering downwards after bulls managed to bring the price closer to $10K during the March 8 morning trading sessions. However, markets have dropped to just above the $9K zone just a few hours later. RSI and Stochastic levels are below the 50.00 indicating some more consolidation and possibly some lower prices in the near future. Both Simple Moving Averages (SMA) have a large gap in between them with the longer term 200 SMA well above the 100 SMA. This means bears have a tight grip ride now and the path of resistance may continue to the downside.

Markets Update: Crypto Values Drop to Lower Vantage Points
Today BTC/USD market prices are averaging roughly $9,700-9,900 over the past 4-hours. At approximately 12 pm EDT BTC/USD market prices slid again to a low of $9,079.

Buying volume and order books suggest a different story and bulls could manage to move past the sudden 15 percent drop over the past three days. Resistance past the $10K mark isn’t too bad, but there is a monster-sized sell wall leading all the way up to $10,500. Past that point bulls have to still push past the resistance at $10,800, and from there it may be smoother to forge northbound. On the back side, order books show some pretty good support up until $9,300, and things start looking thinner. After the Displaced Moving Average (DMA) at $9,100 broke, a decline to the $8-8.5K range is now looking more viable.

The Top Cryptocurrency Markets In General

Twenty four hour volumes for the top 100 cryptocurrencies are all seeing percent losses minus four assets. Most coins are seeing losses between 2-20 percent today. Ethereum (ETH) markets are down 5 percent as one ETH is averaging $749 per token. Ripple (XRP) prices are also seeing losses, and at the moment its values are down 5.8 percent. An XRP is roughly $0.85 cents at press time and holds the fifth highest trade volumes today.

Markets Update: Crypto Values Drop to Lower Vantage Points

The fourth highest valued cryptocurrency market capitalization held by bitcoin cash (BCH) is seeing losses around 7.9 percent. One BCH is averaging $1,084 per coin, and its markets have the 7th highest trade volumes today. Lastly, the fifth position is occupied by litecoin, but its prices are also down 5.8 percent as one LTC is $182. Of course, the second highest trade volume during the past 48 hours of trading belongs to tether (USDT) the digital asset that holds stability with the price of USD. Tether has $3.2Bn in 24-hour volume today, and the currency is worth a penny more than a U.S. dollar due to demand.

The Verdict: Short-Term Bearish Sentiment and Uncertainty

Optimism has definitely declined considerably recently as multiple outside forces have affected the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The SEC warning about unlawful exchanges shook up markets quite a bit yesterday. Another factor shaking up market optimism is the Mt Gox trustee for the Tokyo courts who has been selling millions of dollars worth of both BTC and BCH. The community is concerned because the trustee has a lot more BTC and BCH to sell and no one knows when he is going to dump the coins on the open market. Further regulatory actions from governments all around the world have been stirring markets considerably, and crypto enthusiasts and traders are uncertain about what the nation states will do.

Where do you see the price of BTC and other digital assets heading from here? Do you think cryptocurrencies will see more gains? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


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PR: Betex Blockchain P2P Binary Options Platform Launches the Main Token Sale

Betex Blockchain P2P Binary Options Platform

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

Betex, the blockchain peer-to-peer binary options platform has launched its main ICO campaign on March, 1st, after successful completion of the two preliminary rounds. Betex is bringing transparency and fairness to the financial derivatives trading through the use of Ethereum smart contracts and letting the users bet against each other in a peer-to-peer way. The platform’s official launch is planned for the end of March, as of which the investors’ profits will already start accumulating.

The model of Betex is claiming to return credibility to the binary options market and has many key advantages compared to the traditional models. As a platform provider, Betex cannot engage in betting, which makes the process unbiased and immutable. Betex users get instant access to all of its functions and features without having to make any kind of deposits first. Moreover, the payments are automatically released by smart contracts straight to the users’ ETH wallets, ensuring immediate withdrawals without delays or cancellations. Users are forming one large common pool of liquidity for each underlying asset in order to maximize the overall gain. In order to clearly demonstrate the concept, Betex has already developed 2 MVPs. There are 3 trading pairs and 6 trading intervals available within the MVP framework.

Betex is the only platform where as much as 95% of funds are distributed among traders who succeed. Betex only profits from collecting service commission of 5% (thereby, 2.5% are transferred to the holders of BETEX tokens). Contrary to many other ICOs that are raising funds backed by an idea only, the official launch of the Betex platform is planned already for March 2018, which means that the profits of investors will start accumulating since then.

Within the main token sale, the price of BETEX tokens is fixed and equals $3. The token sale will last from March 1st to March 31st, 2018. 30% of tokens total (3,000,000 BETEX) will be available during the main token sale. The minimum purchase amount is 0.5 ETH or 0.05 BTC.

Finally, Betex has also introduced a special affiliate program, within which you can get 10% of the investment amount of the referred users. According to the program, the payouts will be executed in ETH and BTC within 7-10 days. Apart from that, Betex offers a bounty campaign for promoting its token sale.

To participate in the Betex token sale and the affiliate program, users should simply register on the official website and follow the instructions in an intuitive dashboard.

Contacts:

https://betexlab.com/

Alex Kerya

pr@betexlab.com

Contact Email Address
pr@betexlab.com
Supporting Link
https://betexlab.com/

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. Bitcoin.com 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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Bangladesh Authorities on “Hunt” for Bitcoin Traders

Bangladesh Authorities on "Hunt" for Bitcoin Traders

Bangladesh – one of the few countries presently attempting to enforce a ban on cryptocurrency trading and use – has announced that several major state institutions will begin ramping up efforts to crack down on bitcoin adoption among Bangladeshi citizens.

Also Read: Indians Look to Buy Bitcoin Overseas as Regulations Tighten

Bangladesh Central Bank Warns Financial Institutions Against Cryptocurrency Users

Bangladesh Authorities on "Hunt" for Bitcoin TradersBangladesh Bank officials have again issued a warning pertaining to cryptocurrencies, this time seeking to deter the country’s banks from providing services to bitcoin users.

An official from the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) told reporters that “Banks and other financial organizations of the country have been ordered to maintain a strict vigil on cryptocurrency trading. A circular will soon be sent out detailing the matter,” adding “There is no way to purchase these currencies legally through banking channels. Cybercrime investigators are working on the matter.”

Bangladeshi Authorities on “Hunt” for Bitcoin Traders

Bangladesh Authorities on "Hunt" for Bitcoin TradersInvestigators from the BFIU are reported to “have already begun to look for bitcoin traders,” with the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) allegedly aiding said investigations. Officials representing the BFIU and BTRC have held four meetings regarding cryptocurrency so far.

Nazmul Islam, the assistant deputy commissioner of Bangladesh’s cybercrime unit, stated “We have already located a few bitcoin users, and are on the hunt for more, along with a few web pages which are being checked for authenticity. Investigating cryptocurrency trading is a complex matter.”

A high ranking official from Bangladesh’s central bank also indicated that the country’s Foreign Exchange Police Department, among other state institutions, is actively monitoring bitcoin – with a report soon expected to be delivered to the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding the impacts and potential policy ramifications of virtual currencies.

Cryptocurrency Use Prohibited in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Authorities on "Hunt" for Bitcoin TradersLocal media has reported that “the trading and usage” of cryptocurrency remains “rampant” in Bangladesh, despite the central bank’s announcement at the end of 2017, revealing the country’s prohibition on bitcoin use.

In addition to groups devoted to facilitating peer to peer trading proliferating on social media platforms, Dhaka Tribune states “Localbitcoins.com says that [crypto]currencies are being traded in Bangladesh through banks, bKash, Rocket, and other methods of mobile banking.”

What is your response to Bangladeshi authorities seeking to “hunt” bitcoin traders? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Hong Kong Crypto Traders Turn to U.S. Futures Markets

Hong Kong Crypto Traders Turn to U.S. Futures Markets

An increasing number of Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency traders are reportedly turning to U.S.-based bitcoin futures. The shift away from domestic markets has been spurred by a perception that the American futures markets receive greater regulatory oversight than Hong Kong’s unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges.

Also Read: Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Cryptocurrency Activities

Demand for Exposure to U.S. Bitcoin Futures Markets Surges Among Hong Kong Traders

Hong Kong Crypto Traders Turn to U.S. Futures MarketsThe chairman of the Hong Kong Stockbrokers Association, Gary Cheung, told South China Morning Post that local futures brokers have reported an increase in trading activity on the American futures markets.

Mr. Cheung described the types of cryptocurrency typical traders seeking to access bitcoin futures markets, stating “There are two types of Hong Kong investors who like to trade US bitcoin futures. There are bitcoin miners and other investors who trade bitcoin and want to use the futures products to hedge. The others are normal futures investors who purely want to take profit created by speculative futures trading.”

Gary Leung, the chief executive officer of TD Ameritrade, also attested to the high demand for exposure to U.S-based bitcoin futures markets among Hong Kong-based customers, stating “We have received a lot of inquiries about bitcoin futures since we started operating in Hong Kong last October when the prices were surging.”

Lack of Regulatory Oversight Deters Investors From Local Exchanges

Hong Kong Crypto Traders Turn to U.S. Futures MarketsDue to bitcoin’s juridical status comprising that of a commodity, cryptocurrency exchanges are not regulated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority – prompting many traders to explore international platforms that are seen to offer greater regulatory oversight than local exchanges.

Benny Mau of China Securities International Finance Holdings outlined the concerns held by many Hong Kong-based traders, stating “Bitcoin and other digital currencies are basically not regulated in Hong Kong because they are traded like commodities. If the digital currency platforms have a problem or are hacked, the investors may suffer losses because the regulators might not do anything for them. This has discouraged many Hong Kong investors from trading digital currencies in Hong Kong.”

“Instead, they’re trading them on the US exchanges, which are regulated. The futures prices may go up and down substantially but investors do not need to think about the counterparty risk or worry about the platforms having a problem. This is why bitcoin futures in the US are more attractive to Hong Kong investors, Mr. Mau added.”

Shifting Market Conditions

Hong Kong Crypto Traders Turn to U.S. Futures MarketsJasper Lo Cho-yan, a senior vice-president at Haitong International, has suggested that shifting market conditions may also be contributing to the perceived migration of Hong Kong traders away from local cryptocurrency exchanges.

“When bitcoin futures were launched last December, the bitcoin price was rising and everyone was optimistic. Now the price has tumbled and speculators may be finding it harder to make money. In addition, many governments are increasing regulation of bitcoin and other digital currencies. This has raised questions about the outlook for the futures products,” Jasper Lo Cho-yan said.

What is your response to the increasing demand for regulated bitcoin futures products among Hong Kong traders? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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India’s Tax Department Issues Notices to 100,000 Crypto Investors

India's Tax Department Issues Notices to 100,000 Crypto Investors

India’s Income Tax Department recently announced that it has issued notices to 100,000 cryptocurrency investors. The announcement came in light of government surveys into the operations of multiple leading Indian exchanges that have revealed widespread tax evasion on the part of India’s cryptocurrency traders.

Also Read: India’s Finance Minister Confirms Crypto Not Recognized as Legal Tender, Media Panics

Indian Cryptocurrency Investors Accused of Tax Evasion

India's Tax Department Issues Notices to 100,000 Crypto InvestorsIndia’s Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman, Mr. Sushil Chanda, recently told reports that the country’s Income Tax Department has issued approximately 100,000 notices to cryptocurrency investors.

“People who have made investments [in cryptocurrency] and have not declared income while filing taxes and have not paid tax on the profit earned by investing, we are sending them notices as we feel that it is all taxable,” said Mr. Chanda, whilst speaking at an ASSOCHAM event in New Delhi.

The chairman stated that the Income Tax Department had conducted numerous surveys into the operations of the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges in order to ascertain the scale of the tax evasion being conducted.

“We found out that there is no clarity on investments made by many people which means that they have not declared it properly,” said Mr. Chandra, adding “We have informed all the DGs (Director Generals of Income Tax) across India, they are issuing notices and so that would be taxed.”

India to Crack Down on Use of Cryptocurrencies as “Payment System”

India's Tax Department Issues Notices to 100,000 Crypto InvestorsThe announcement comes shortly after S.C. Garg, India’s Economic Affairs Secretary, made comments discussing the country’s regulatory path with regard to cryptocurrencies. Speaking to CNBC, Garg stated that the government panel tasked with analyzing issues pertinent to “crypto assets” is expected to deliver its report by the end of the fiscal years, which ends on March 31st.

Reaffirming finance minister Arun Jaitley’s comments from last week, Garg also emphasized the government’s intention to crack down on the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment, stating that “The government will take steps to make it illegal as a payment system.”

Do you think India will be successful in its efforts to reduce the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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