The situation in Russia is quite different, cryptocurrencies do not have any status in this country. Nonetheless, the official bodies have apparently started following the example of their western colleagues.
According to a local news media, the Moscow court has fined the newspaper “Edinstvo Nizhnekamsk” 50 thousand roubles (approximately $750) for publishing the ads on cryptocurrency investments. This turned out to be a violation of advertising laws of the country. Later on, the fine was replaced by an official warning.
Bitcoin is one of the most famous cryptocurrencies in the world. It is actually the first one, thus, no matter what might be, it has already gone down in history. Even though the cryptocurrency may not be that popular right now, due to various reason, some changes are already inevitable, hence, let us just check on trends which will become a part of everyday life in 2019.
1. Bitcoin ATMs
The number of Bitcoin ATMs is growing rapidly. It is a kiosk which allows a person to buy/sell Bitcoins in cash or by credit card. They actually look like an ordinary terminal, yet, it is connected not to bank account, but to Bitcoin exchange. The number of Bitcoin ATMs in the world accounts for 4292 at the time of writing.
Such ATMs will definitely encourage people to use cryptocurrency, since now it becomes more understandable for ordinary people. If people get accustomed to use Bitcoin ATMs, then crypto will see a bright future.
2. Central banks and Bitcoin
Some people do not want to get involved in crypto as it lacks regulation, including bank regulation. However, in 2019, one of Bitcoin trends may become partnership between central banks and cryptocurrency.
Several banks have already introduced systems how to work with crypto. Bank of America, for example, has officially patented a system for saving crypto actives for significant corporations. Moreover, this week, one of the biggest American banks, JPMorgan Chase & Co, has announced that it developed its own digital coin – JPM Coin.
Perhaps, such implementations will bring positive effect on the relationships between crypto and financial institutions.
3. Bitcoin in smartphones
Since the beginning of the third millennium, a cell phone has become an integral part of our everyday life. By using a smartphone we can do almost everything that is connected to our work, study, leisure, or hobby. Financial transactions, including crypto operations, are no exception.
On May, 2018, Huawei Technologies Corporation provided users of its smartphones with the opportunity to use Bitcoin wallet BTC.com. At the end of the past year, HTC company released the smartphone Exodus, powered by blockchain. A person can only purchase the phone with digital currencies.
It is too early to say whether these phones will be successful and useful or not, yet still it is very important that world is trying to meet the needs of everyone.
Another week has passed, yet Bitcoin still shows quite plain dynamics on the graphics. In fact, its price has not changed significantly since January 10th. Bitcoin price is $3459 at the time of writing.
Since Bitcoin’s price has recently stabilized, many institutional players began changing their attitudes towards cryptocurrency, let us see what the representatives of global companies think.
The Global Market Strategist at JPMorgan, Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, reckons that due to Bitcoin’s stagnation many big players will return to the industry. The volatility has “calmed down” and it means that investors can give Bitcoin second chance. He also said:
“The stability that we are seeing right now in the cryptocurrency market is setting the stage for more participation by institutional investors in the future. The cryptocurrency market was a new market. It went through a bubble phase [and] the burst.”
In his interview to CNBC, he stated that the cryptocurrency could not grow, because it was not regulated, but now the situation can differ.
Wall Street research firm, Fundstrat Global Advisors, is sure that the cryptocurrency may see new lows soon.
“The price structure for most cryptocurrencies remains weak and appears vulnerable to a pending breakdown to lower lows,” Robert Sluymer, the spokesman of Fundstrat, said.
In addition, Sluymer stated that the price can vary from $4200 to $3100 or ever lower. If it suddenly hits more than $4000, it would mark a 25% increase over today’s prevailing prices. However, Robert emphasized that the technical fundamentals of Bitcoin remain weak, so the price can have downward tendency to the price mark of $3100 or even lower – $2700. The representatives of Fundstrat have also suggested that 250 small-cap coins are at risk, as they all are vulnerable to market jumps.
There are some reasons why Bitcoin price may fall down:
Lunar New Year. During this period, Asian traders have relatively weak activity which may bring consequences to Bitcoin’s rate. The unofficial holidays will last till February 19.
Uncertainty with the US budget. The Congress and the President of the US cannot reach an agreement, this will have influence on financial markets.
The U.S-imposed sanctions continue bringing trouble not only to China, but also to Iran, so much that the Islamic Republic intends to adopt its own state-backed cryptocurrency today, January 29.
Reportedly, the Iranian government plans to make an announcement regarding to the digital assets at the Electronic Banking and Payment Systems Conference, which takes place in Tehran today. Unfortunately, the financial system was damaged, Iranian financial institutions are not able to conduct transactions and relate with the rest of the world due to the sanctions’ enforcement. From the citizens point of view, the possible variant to avoid a full financial blockage is to adopt crypto.
According to the news outlet Al Jazeera, the cryptocurrency, called Rial, will be rolled out in two phases.
It will be utilized for making payments between Iranian-based commercial banks and other internal organizations in the domestic crypto space.
Public access to the currency to make payments for local goods and services.
We remind you that the sanctions were imposed by the Donald Trump administration due to “malign activities” being carried out by the state. The biggest restriction is inability to use SWIFTsystem. Citizens are unable to make and receive payments for foreign trade activities and a wide range of other international transactions. That is why government deepened into research for other possible variants of conducting the cross-border transactions.
This year, at The World Economic Forum at Davos, one of the most urgent problems, alongside with Brexit and global climate warming, is the role of cryptocurrency in the world. Some important individuals do not support crypto at all, considering the blockchain technology is much more helpful for the world. One of those is PayPal CEO, Dan Schulman. He has given an interview to CNBC recently, where he expressed skepticism towards crypto.
The Wall Street representatives at the Forum also have stuck to this idea – “blockchain, not crypto”. Joseph Young, a leading crypto analyst, compared crypto and blockchain to airplanes and engines, saying “airplanes will go to zero while engines have potential.”
Several blockchain companies do not trust crypto as well. Jeff Schumacher, the founder of BCG Digital Ventures, thinks BTC may fall to zero. He believes that blockchain technologies hold value, but noted that such innovations shouldn’t be applied to currencies.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officially announced that the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) withdrawn the application to launch the ETF, previously filed by VanEck and SolidX. According to the SEC, the application was withdrawn on January 22. The commission does not state the reasons why CBOE decided to withdraw the application. However, a lawyer, Jake Chervinsky, published his opinion on this situation on Twitter. The Chicago Board Options Exchange may have been expecting a refusal and did not want another SEC’s negative decision to influence the future of CBOE.
We remind you, that back in June, 2018 VanEck and SolidX filed an application to launch Bitcoin ETF. The commission postponed the decision-making terms a number of times. February 27, 2019 was named the final date. We remind you:
Some services including Bloomberg reported several days ago that Japan considered a possibility of the approval of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). It allegedly would be used as an alternative to Bitcoin futures.
However, the representative of the FSA claimed that Japan was not considering of giving green light to the Bitcoin ETFs, saying:
“There is no such fact that we are considering approving ETFs which track crypto-assets at present. We are not currently considering approving them.”
The necessity of approving them may lie in decreasing the risk of price manipulation on the Japan market. Nevertheless, the FSA spokesman stated that there was no need of any cryptocurrency-related derivatives for now in Japan expressing its negative attitude towards both crypto ETFs and futures products.
He said: “Taken it into consideration that it is difficult for us to find constructive and social significance of trading crypto-assets derivatives at present, we think that there is no need for trading crypto-assets derivatives at financial instruments exchanges where many market participants are able to trade.”