WeChat Is Blocking the Accounts Related to Crypto

wechat blocked accounts related to crypto

We all already know how restrictive China is towards the crypto world. Not only did its government banned ICOs, crypto exchanges and crypto tradings, it also made major companies and a lot of miners move out to Singapore, Taiwan or elsewhere.

Now the time has come for social network inspection. The most popular messaging app in China, WeChat, started blocking multiple accounts. According to the insiders, those accounts were supposedly connected with running token sales on the territory of China or conducting crypto transactions. All the content was deleted from such accounts, and they were blocked.

China’s policy is quite simple: they ban everything that they cannot control. Thus, unlike its American “colleagues” that start to become more accepting towards cryptocurrency and blockchain, Chinese sites remain totally unforgiving.

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“There Is No Need”: Japan Refuted Rumours About Approval of Bitcoin ETF

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.”

We remind you:

SEC Will Release the Decision on Bitcoin ETF in February

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The CEO of Circle Believes That a Clearer Policy of the SEC Will Cure the Crypto Industry

The CEO of the project Circle, backed up by the major bank Goldman Sachs, Jeremy Allaire started a thread on Reddit together with his co-workers, where they debated the accomplishments of the company in the recent time, talked about prospects for the future and discussed the overall situation on the crypto market.

According to the representatives of Circle, one of the main issues with crypto in the US is the lack of regulatory framework and, most importantly, the inability of the Securities and Exchange Commission to clearly define cryptocurrencies as belonging to a particular type of assets.

We remind you:

The SEC: Unlike ICO Tokens, Bitcoin and Ethereum Can Not Be Securities

There absolutely needs to be more regulatory clarity to really make this fly — in particular around who can issue these, how they can be stored and transmitted, and what markets can allow their trading. There’s a lot of attention on this and we absolutely expect to see these issues resolved and for far more real world experiments to hit the markets this year,” said Jeremy Allaire.

Also, the CEO of Circle claimed that the US should follow the example of France and have a separate kind of taxation for crypto-to-crypto transactions.

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Two European Finance Regulators Urge the EU To Adopt Crypto and ICO Rules

Cryptocurrency and ICO regulations have been an open topic in Europe for quite a long period of time. Some finance regulators claim that it is high time the European Commission determined the place of crypto and ICO in European economy.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) stated that the current crypto asset-related activities did not comply with the EU financial laws, so that The EBA urged the EU to look into the crypto rules and identify what actions may be required at the EU level.

The representative of the EBA said:

“The EBA’s warnings to consumers and institutions on virtual currencies remain valid. The EBA calls on the European Commission to assess whether regulatory action is needed to achieve a common EU approach to crypto-assets. The EBA continues to monitor market developments from a prudential and consumer perspective.”

Moreover, the EBA advised to use the FATF’s recommendations. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is to issue a set of recommendations for crypto-related action in June 2019.

Another finance regulator, which supports the EBA, is the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). It released a report which helps the authorities of the EU to make decisions on rules applied to crypto and ICO.

The spokesman of the ESMA said:

“Our survey of NCAs highlighted that some crypto-assets may qualify as MiFID financial instruments, in which case the full set of EU financial rules would apply. However, because the existing rules were not designed with these instruments in mind, NCAs face challenges in interpreting the existing requirements and certain requirements are not adapted to the specific characteristics of crypto-assets.”

We remind you

Seven EU Member States United To Adopt Blockchain In Their Countries

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The “Fatal 2018” or The Most Important Events Of The Year

The digital coins market shows a negative trend throughout the year 2018. Compared to the historical maximum, the total cryptocurrency market cap has decreased by almost 8 times. The cryptocurrency market shows a negative trend throughout 2018. During the year, news of the cryptocurrency market that are actively discussed in media, have a negative meaning. Let us recall the most important events that occurred on the cryptocurrency market.

Content:
(please, click the topic to scroll down to it)

  1. Banking system against digital coins
  2. Internet restrictions
  3. Bitcoin ETF
  4. Formation of legislation
  5. Attracting of institutional investors
  6. Active development of the OTC market
  7. ICO Market Growth
  8. Cryptocurrency companies entering the IPO market
  9. Integration of financial conglomerates
  10. Integration with Internet companies
  11. Conclusion

1. Banking system against digital coins

At the very beginning of 2018, traditional financial institutions began to limit the capabilities of participants in the cryptocurrency market. A large number of fairly large banks around the world began to close the accounts of companies whose activities are related to cryptocurrency. We may also recall the decision of Visa to terminate cooperation with major European companies. All this adversely affected cryptocurrency companies. But it is worth noting that the restrictions of banks affected not only legal entities, along with this ordinary customers also lost an opportunity to buy cryptocurrency through their credit and debit cards.

A similar policy of the Reserve Bank of India led to the fact that local cryptocurrency platforms closed crypto-fiat trade. In the middle of autumn, Zebpay cryptocurrency exchange was forced to close the cryptocurrency exchange service. A similar situation happened in Zimbabwe, but cryptocurrency companies were able to challenge this decision with the help of the Supreme Court of the country.

Such policy of traditional financial sector representatives speaks only of their concern and desire to get rid of a potential competitor. If to analyze the cryptocurrency market, it becomes obvious that this industry is developing too fast. This makes the financial giants to tremble with fear and uncertainty about the future. This event played a big role in crypto market cap lowering.

2. Internet restrictions

Another damage to the cryptocurrency industry in 2018 was caused by the largest Internet companies: Google, Twitter, Facebook, Baidu, Alibaba, WeChat, Yandex, etc. All of the above mentioned information giants banned the promotion of cryptocurrency and ICO on their sites. This decision caused corresponding consequences, namely, undermined confidence towards the industry, and also cryptocurrency market capitalization decrease. Mining applications were blocked in App Store.

The Internet giant’s representatives explained their decision by the fact that there is a huge number of scammers in the cryptocurrency industry, which trusting users should be protected from. However, just a few months later, Facebook and Google reconsidered their decision and partially canceled it.

3. Bitcoin ETF

One of the most discussed topics in the industry since mid-summer of 2018 is the possible launch of Bitcoin ETF. The fact is that the situation in the cryptocurrency market strongly depends on the SEC decision. We remind you that cryptocurrency market value growth, which occurred in November-December, was caused by the launch of futures at CBOE and CME. Many experts believe that the launch of ETF will be a much more powerful event than the last year’s futures.

But the situation that has developed around this issue is quite controversial. On the one hand, the SEC does not deny the possibility of giving permission to launch Bitcoin ETF. But on the other hand, The United States Securities and Exchange Commission rejects all applicants (or postpones the date of consideration) who submitted the application during the year. The staff of the SEC explain their reasons quite uncertainty.

It is worth mentioning that during 2018 a lot of funds and exchanges have submitted their applications: ITS, Direxion, VanEck, Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, ProShares, SolidX, etc.

Based on the latest data, the Securities Commission must make a final decision on the ETF before February 27, 2019.

We want to remind you:

SEC Will Release the Decision on Bitcoin ETF in February

4. Formation of legislation

The cryptocurrency market`s fall, which began in early 2018, was caused by many reasons, one of them is the lack of a legislative base. In other words, at the moment the cryptocurrency market is not regulated at all. Just this year, a large number of changes were to occur in this matter. But, unfortunately, everything happened not the way it was expected.

It is worth noting that this year many countries of the world drafted bills, that in one way or another dealt with cryptocurrencies. Some states limited the presence of digital coins on their territory due to the complexity of regulation. Others, on the contrary, encouraged and developed this direction in every way. For example, on July 4, 2018, blockchain technology was officially legalized in Malta for the first time in the world.

At the end of the winter, the German authorities signed a law under which Bitcoin equated to legal means of payment and was thus released from taxation.

This year was the first time in the history of the industry, when the regulation of cryptocurrency was discussed at the highest international level. For example, the mechanisms for regulating the industry became an agenda at the G20 meeting. It was decided to postpone this topic till October, but no one has returned to it thoroughly so far. This also had a negative effect on the cryptocurrency ranking.

5. Attracting of institutional investors

This year, for the first time the entry of large players into the market was seriously discussed. The interest of institutional investors in cryptocurrency assets is confirmed by a survey of an independent consulting company Capgemini:

  • 44% of the surveyed large capital owners are interested in cryptocurrency investments;
  • 29% of the surveyed large capital owners showed high interest;
  • 27% of the surveyed large capital owners expressed moderate interest.

Another interview, which was conducted by an independent consulting company DeVere Group, says that almost 40% of large business owners want to see a list of cryptocurrencies by market cap in their investment portfolios.

6. Active development of the OTC market

The situation on the cryptocurrency market today is as follows (according to CoinMarketCap):

  • market capitalization of 130 billion dollars;
  • 24h trading volume is about 16 billion dollars.

The situation is not the best, to say the least of it. But it is worth noting that the second mark is not entirely correct. The fact is that we see only turnovers that relate to stock trading. According to the company TABB Group, the UTS trading market is approximately 2-3 times higher than the stock index. It should be noted that such transactions cannot be traced when dealing with blockchain, since private keys from wallets are transferred more often than coins.

There is a sufficient number of large players in the cryptocurrency market (large miners, investors, ICO organizers, etc.), who cannot satisfy their demand with the help of exchanges. More and more OTC platforms began to appear due to the growing demand in the industry.

7. ICO Market Growth

Even regardless of depressing mood on the cryptocurrency market, the number of ICO held in 2018 is much more than in 2017: more precisely, 741 vs 514. The amount of raised funds also grew: $18.16 billion vs $6.89 billion.

The most discussed project of this year was undoubtedly TON from Pavel Durov, who managed to attract $1.7 billion. These funds were obtained even without public ICO, and Durov had to refuse from the overwhelming majority of those who wanted to invest in his brainchild.

But if to consider the amount of collected money, the undoubted leader is the EOS project, which managed to raise about 4.2 billion dollars. This mark is the best not only in this year, but also in the entire history of the industry as a whole.

But even such major events as EOS or TON could not help a fading interest of people to invest in cryptocurrency at the stage of the initial coin offering. The situation is caused by a general decrease in the capitalization of the cryptocurrency market in 2018. Because of the downtrend on the market, the vast majority of coins now cost less than at the ICO stage.

8. Cryptocurrency companies entering the IPO market

ICO is certainly a rather convenient way to raise capital, but despite this, many cryptocurrency companies expressed their interest in entering the more traditional IPO market. The initial public offering or IPO is regulated by the SEC. Investors are more protected there and this fact attracts people with large capital.

As of the beginning of December 2018, only one company successfully conducted its own IPO, all the others did not go further than applications or plans announcement for the future so far. In August of this year, there was an initial public offering of Argo Mining Company. It works in a cloud mining field. The company’s results are quite good, it managed to raise $32.5 million during IPO.

9. Integration of financial conglomerates

As we wrote above, some large financial institutions have limited the cryptocurrency industry development by their policies. But it does not concern absolutely all financial conglomerates of the planet. In parallel with the collapse of the cryptocurrency market (financially), we can observe the world’s largest banks integration into the industry (Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Barklays, etc.).

At the very beginning of the year, Goldman Sachs, with the help of a startup Circle, bought one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges Poloniex. The official sum of this transaction was not disclosed, but according to analysts’ estimates, such a purchase costed them about $400 million. It is worth noting that, Goldman Sachs invested $136 million in a startup Circle before acquiring Poloniex.

In early autumn the largest financial conglomerate of the land of the rising sun (Japan) Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group started its own MUFG coin in a test mode. If the test is successful, then the representatives of MUFG promise to introduce it into their own payment system.

The Bank of America and other major financial institutions owners in the world got curious in Technology Ripple (xCurrent), which helps banks to save about $3 on each transaction. This year, a number of major banks and the Ripple company signed cooperation agreement. It was highly expected, because xCurrent technology allows banks to save tens of millions dollar a year.

10. Integration with Internet companies

Along with the negative news background that accompanies the cryptocurrency industry throughout the year, an increasing number of Internet companies are trying to integrate digital coins into their product. For example, a few months ago, the Opera browser for Android released support for a built-in cryptocurrency wallet. At the moment, this wallet supports only ERC-20 and ERC-271 tokens, but the developers promise to add support for new types of digital coins in the near future. If to follow the news, it is easy to notice how the above mentioned  event is connected with Bitmain Company`s purchase of 3% of Opera Ltd in the amount of about $50 million (Bitmain Company is the largest manufacturer of network equipment for mining).

The cryptocurrency browser Brave shows good download dynamics: more than 5 million installations over the past six months. This number can be explained by a good program to attract new users, which was launched by the Brave developers. The browser charges 25 BAT for every 2 months of use. That is, for 1 year, you can accumulate 150 BAT, and for 2 years, 300 BAT. At today’s prices, it costs approximately $25 a year, but BAT is rated as one of the most promising coins of the next bull market. According to various estimates, it will enterTOP-10 and grow by from 30 to 50 times. That means, by using this browser it is possible to get from 1,000 to 2,000 dollars in a couple of years.

11. Conclusion

The cryptocurrency market today is experiencing a downtrend. Market capitalization has decreased by almost 8 times, compared with the peak values ​​of this year. As you can see, the general news background is negative this year. But it is worth noting that along with this, the infrastructure in the industry is actively developing, and new institutional investors are coming to the market. The forecast of the cryptocurrency market is not quite clear, but major experts believe that there are still many ups and falls ahead of us.

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Blockchain in China Is a Bubble? About 50% of Chinese Companies Failed To Present Operations Using DLT

Almost every crypto-related person knows that the Chinese government treats cryptocurrency not in a good way, it is better to say, in the way it treats fonzi schemes and other illegal financial things. This attitude caused some consequences: a lot of domestic exchanges moved abroad, crypto accounts in WeChat were banned, etc. In all that negativity towards crypto, the Chinese authorities claim that blockchain is quite useful technology, and actively promote it everywhere. However, is this promotion a real attempt to implement technology in everyday’s life or is it just a hype of Chinese companies to attract the attention worldwide?

Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges reportedly conducted some investigations regarding to the issue of application of the blockchain technology in the companies listed on the exchange. The results shows that less than half of the investigated firms are able to present the implementation of the DLT.

The mainstream of implementing blockchain started at the beginning of the 2018, when the price of Bitcoin was above the sky.  Many firms released statements that they planned to adopt DLT, in a result, their prices raised. However, nowadays, the real situation differs from what was told before.

According to the Chinese government, 23 companies of total 80 were investigated. The examiners sought “the specific model of the blockchain business, including application scenarios and profit models.” Yet, half of the companies failed to demonstrate any significant application of the blockchain. It means they use the word “blockchain” as a bait, but in fact, it is just a buzzword for them.

Unfortunately, in our modern world, the money is more important to some companies than the trust of their customers. Meanwhile, we would like to remind you:

China Aims To Strengthen Copyright Protection Using Blockchain Technology

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2019 Will Bring More Institutional Investors into the Crypto Industry

The member of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong and the leader of PwS Henri Arslanian was interviewed by Bloomberg regarding his thoughts on the future of crypto and fintech and their possible ways of development in 2019.

As for crypto itself, Arslanian was quite positive.

There’s a lot of exciting things that the crypto ecosystem is looking forward to in 2019,” he said.

Moreover, he stated that in 2019 larger financial institutions, banks for instance, will enter the market, bringing institutional level expertise”. Bigger players will partner up, invest into large-scale fintech projects, develop and sponsor new bright ideas and, obviously, bring along the considerable money flow.

This is what might save the crypto and fintech industry from stagnation in 2019.

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