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  1. The crypto markets are showing a wave of green, as Bitcoin (BTC) trades closer to $3,700 at the end of the week. After a week of breaking new year-to-date lows, the major cryptocurrency is trading at around $3,650 by press time, up more than 7 percent over a 24 hour period. The coin is still down almost 9 percent on the week and more than 44 percent on the month. The second-largest crypto by market cap, Ripple (XRP), is also up by 5 percent on the day, trading at around $0.31 as of press time. Ripple’s weekly and monthly charts are similar to those of Bitcoin, with losses of almost 12 and 41 percent respectively. Third-ranked crypto by market cap Ethereum (ETH) is up the most of the top-three cryptos, seeing almost 10 percent growth on the day and trading at around $97 by press time. On the week, the altcoin is down almost 14 percent, and is seeing losses of more than 55 percent over the past month. Only Bitcoin Cash SV (BSV) — a branch of the Nov. 15 Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork — is in the red, down more than 2 percent over a 24 hour period and trading at around $97.37 at press time. BSV had been ranked fifth yesterday, Dec. 8,. BCH is now ranked fifth, up around 8 percent on the day and trading at about $111 by press time. Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is at around $115 billion as of press time, up from its Dec. 7 weekly low of just under $104 billion.
  2. According to a recent survey, over one third of big businesses in Germany consider blockchaintechnology as revolutionary as the Internet, In addition to artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of things (IoT), blockchain technology is one of the current three areas of development with “tremendous potential,” the survey reports. Conducted by the German Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (Bitkom), the survey revealed that overall, 15 percent of German companies think blockchain will “change society and the economy as much as the Internet.” Larger companies, with 500 or more employees, were more than twice as likely to hold that opinion, at 36 percent. At the same time, about 46 percent of the surveyed companies classified Germany a “latecomer” in blockchain adoption, lagging behind other nations. A large swathe of respondents, 40 percent, said they see the country not as a leader, but somewhere in the middle, in terms of blockchain development. Bitkom has conducted extensive polls of businesses and the German public in regard to cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and how they are perceived. In late November, a Bitkom survey revealed that about 60 percent of local companies are hesitant about approaching the topic of blockchain, mainly due to a perceived lack of practical applications. In February 2018, another Bitkom survey found that 64 percent of Germans were aware of Bitcoin (BTC). Per the report, awareness had doubled since 2016. 4 percent of respondents actually held Bitcoin coin, while 19 percent they have an idea of how to purchase the seminal cryptocurrency and 72 percent stated that they had no interest in digital currency. Regarding the economic significance of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain, Bitkom CEO Bernhard Rohleder said: "Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a good example of how the digital age is able to change the financial world. This is not so much about the individual currency itself as it is about the underlying blockchain technology. It will have an impact on the whole economy.”
  3. The Russian Intellectual Property (IP) court has successfully used a blockchain-based solution for storing copyright data. The court used blockchain solution provider IPChain‘s system to record a change in rights holder data of an IP thus saving the data on the decentralized ledger permanently. The court will expand its technical support, hoping to have all legal disputes settled online within the next five years. The immutable and fast characteristics of decentralized technology make it the perfect tool in an environment where IP rights being kept up to date is crucial. Russia is working seriously on deploying blockchain solutions for a number of different sectors. It recently announced a national level partnership with India to work on a number of technologies that include blockchain. A major Russian bank, Sberbank, is partnering with state-run energy provider Rosseti to promote blockchain. Even the Russian State Nuclear Corporation is looking into developing a blockchain based system to make their operations more efficient.
  4. November has without a doubt been the worst month of the year for crypto markets. It marks the ninth month this year that markets have fallen and the sharpest single month decline for around four years. Over $70 billion, or one third of the market, was wiped out in November plunging all altcoins to their lowest levels for well over a year. Bitcoin had its worst month for seven years dumping around 35% over the thirty day period. Starting out at over $6,500 on November 1st, Bitcoin plummeted to around $4,280 by the end of it. BTC hit a low point for the year just below $3,600 on the 25th marking a record dump of 45% in less than a fortnight. Ethereum’s pain was even greater as it hit a low of around $100 which it has not been near for 18 months. ETH fell over 50% from monthly high to low and over the course of the whole month the loss was around 42% as it crashed from $200 to $115. XRP could be considered as one of the survivors of the month from hell as it actually took and held second spot from Ethereum. Compared to its siblings XRP came out relatively well with a loss of only 15% over the course of November. Stellar has also been more resilient that the rest by usurping Bitcoin Cash in fourth spot. XLM lost just under 30% during November which beats Bitcoin and Ethereum. Bitcoin Cash was not so fortunate getting hammered a whopping 60% during November. BCH started at over $420 and ended close to $170. The big fracas with the hard fork and hash war did this crypto no favors whatsoever. Most cryptocurrencies were left in pain at their lowest levels for on average 15 months by the end of November. Only a few of the top altcoins managed to limit losses to under 30% and those were XRP, XLM and NEM. The biggest losers in the top ten were Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, and Cardano.
  5. Now, the funds of investors in Japan will get protection under the new set of ICO regulations introduced by the Japanese regulator. Organizations and companies will need to register with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) for executing ICOs .There is already buzz around FSA for introducing bills that would see exchanges, payment services, and various financial instruments have their regulations redefined. The regulations come “in view of a number of possibly fraudulent ICO cases abroad” and they would help “limit individuals’ investment in ICOs for better protecting them.” FSA has classified tokens according to three categories: a) virtual currencies that do not have an issuer (like BTC), b) virtual currency that does have an issuer, and c) virtual currency that not only has an issuer but also distributes profits. The first two categories of tokens come under settlement regulations of Financial Instrument and Exchange Act, while the third type is subject to investment regulations of the same act. In recent times, Japan has introduced a number of regulations in the crypto space. Back in September, the FSA had implemented screening procedures to make sure exchanges were properly conducting risk management. It had also declared in October that stable coins were a form of prepaid payment instruments and were not subject to same regulatory scrutiny that cryptocurrencies were subject to. The FSA is systematically regulating the whole crypto sphere within the country. It has even imposed regulations on crypto wallet service providers. All of the moves, although seeming to throttle the crypto industry, are actually bringing in due diligence and anti-fraud measurements.
  6. Jay Clayton, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, hinted about what regulators in the United States will do in the crypto space in the coming time. Clayton was addressing a packed room at CoinDesk’s Consensus: Invest event in Manhattan. While a panel of experts touched on a range of issues, there were some major takeaways to glean from Clayton’s talk. Here’s what they said: No bitcoin ETF any time soon The SEC is not likely to give its nod to Exchange traded funds since the third party custody of assets and market manipulation are posing to be major stumbling blocks. Regulated exchanges are needed Clayton made it very clear that he did not trust existing crypto exchanges to prevent price manipulation. The panel noted that Clayton seemed to hint that some kind of move to get bitcoin onto a regulated exchange may be underway. The rise of “CorpoCoin” To further tame crypto, Clayton also made it clear that anti-money laundering protections had to be put in place for crypto trading. The panel wondered what the implications of that push might hold for the body of retail investors that are active in the market today. “My question is this,” said one of the panel members. “There’s a lot of institutional money here. If you regulate it and you have market surveillance, will retail interest remain the same?” Borrowing a term the panel member credited to Andreas Antonopoulos, Long described that future as one for “CorpoCoin,” adding:“What’s going to happen if this becomes too corporatized, is the crypto community will just fork off.” ICO-funded startups should go see the SEC, ASAP Repeating a theme Clayton stressed in his talk, the panel argued it would behoove crypto startups that raised money in 2017 and early 2018 to go to the regulators now. Paraphrasing Clayton, one of the panel member said: “Those that come see us may get one deal, those we come find may get another.” Earlier this month the SEC issued its first civil penalties to two startups that did not properly register their securities offerings. With those “templates” in hand, the panel member said, the SEC might be getting ready to move much faster on ICOs. No action on “no-action” letters One of Clayton’s messages from the stage was that the SEC’s doors are open to startups working in the industry, particularly those that are issuing their own tokens. To this end, the agency recently launched a new fin-tech focused division with the explicit goal of fostering communication with ICO startups. Courts may see ICOs differently While regulators are already on it, there’s another frontier for determining the validity of new funding mechanisms for blockchain startups. As the panel asked: “What are courts going to do when they start parsing through token sales?” In fact, it’s already starting to happen. Maybe in 10 years – or perhaps even less – the panel said, the U.S. Supreme Court may take a look. Broadly speaking, Clayton argued from the stage that the SEC is happy to help crypto startups in the U.S. find a way to get in compliance with the law, but our panel of regulatory experts said that, in practice, this turns out to be much more difficult (and costly) than the chairman made it sound.
  7. New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) chairman Jeffrey Sprecher expressed optimism about the survival of digital currencies as an asset class. Speaking at the Consensus Invest conference, Sprecher — who is also the CEO of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) — said that when he saw headlines asking “Will digital assets survive?,” he would say that “the unequivocal answer is yes.” “We’re kind of agnostic to price,” Sprecher added. The NYSE and its parent firm ICE demonstrated a proactive approach to the cryptocurrency space. In January, ICE partnered with blockchain tech company Blockstream to bring “disciplined” BTC price information to major Wall Street investors. ICE then planned to pull data from 15 major exchanges and deliver it to big financial names, including hedge funds and professional trading firms. Later in May, ICE announced plans to offer traders contracts that eventually result in customers owning BTC. ICE reportedly “has had conversations with other financial institutions about setting up a new operation through which banks can buy a contract, known as a swap, that will end with the customer owning Bitcoin the next day — with the backing and security of the exchange.” There are reports about the establishment of an Association for Digital Asset Markets (ADAM) to create a “code of conduct” for the cryptocurrency sector.
  8. The state of Ohio has announced that it will accept Bitcoin for Tax Payments as a much needed respite to the deteriorating market condition of the cryptocurrency. This is a crucial time for such a move. Ohio becomes the first state to do so. This move is a turning point in terms of institutional approval, but its timing is also perfect— giving hope to what has been a very dark cloud for Bitcoin. The initiative begins now. Businesses in Ohio can pay their taxes, which including anything ranging from tobacco to public utilities, on OhioCrypto.com. 23 different taxes can be paid for using the cryptocurrency. For instance Public Utilities Tax, Sales Tax, Seller’s Use Tax, and Severance Tax. The aim of the new payment option is to simply make things easier for taxpayers. But will it also make Ohio a cryptocurrency magnate? Will this move spur on other crypto adoption schemes? State treasurer Josh Mandel spearheaded the new system and is “confident that this cryptocurrency initiative will continue.” Bitpay, the crypto payment provider, will process all Bitcoin payments on the website. Businesses will be the first to avail of the new system. The State plans to expand it to individuals in the near future. And it seems Ohio is quite positive. will the move push for Institutional Acceptance? US government bodies have experimented with Bitcoin in various ways before. The State of Florida also announced a similar initiative to accept cryptocurrencies for tax payments. Even though this announcement was made back in May, the state has not yet integrated it. Also in 2018, it was reported that a San Francisco federal judge ordered a criminal to make a bail payment in Bitcoin. However, this decision was later reneged on as the transaction process for such a payment was complicated. Will Ohio’s move stick though? Investors are keen for signs of hope for the coin. Ohio may have just given them one.
  9. Unbelievably, this time last year Bitcoin prices had skyrocketed to nearly $20,000 in some countries. Now, the Bitcoin prices have dropped down to as low as $3,250 which has literally wiped out all gains from coins purchased this year. There has been a price drop at an astounding 40 percent from the last two weeks which makes this the worst price drop since April 2013. As per a report, the price drops are likely the consequence of splitting Bitcoin into Bitcoin cash. The fall of bitcoin has been quite dramatic since the start of 2018 with more than half of its near $20,000 value wiped out in January itself. Last year the suspension of hard fork planned by major developers and investors proved a major catalyst to its breakneck rise. Since then cryptocurrency has been in free fall and never did recover. The report states that Bitcoin Cash and several other bitcoin forks have reported losses of more than 10 percent in a 24 hour period. Traders and market makers blamed bitcoin’s slide on heavy selling at leveraged exchanges in Asia. Few exchanges in the West lend bitcoin to traders, making the Asian venues popular with speculators.
  10. There will be a turnaround in the events in the Bitcoin Market in 2019 and we are hoping for the same. So keeping our fingers crossed
  11. Bitcoin [BTC] has seen one of the largest market drops in its recent history, currently having lost a third of its value over the past week. In this timeframe, the cryptocurrency market has also been stuck in the grip of the bear’s claws, causing a truly red week for HODLers. A support uptrend is visible from $4245 – $4415 – $4515, with a downtrend from $5420 – $5200 – $4310, reflected in the price movement from $5495 – $4580. A sole support level is present at $4245, with a resistance set at the $5545 mark. On the long-term outlook, an uptrend is not visible owing to the sharp downwards price movement from $8390 – $6505 complemented by the fall from $5850 – $4350. As all previous support levels were broken during the fall to below $5000, resistances have now been set at $4545, $5850 and $6145. The market seems to be headed for another bearish turn in the short term, with a longer recovery to be seen in the medium to long-term. Resistances will be tested at $5545, with the support at $4245 representing the last stance for Bitcoin’s bulls.
  12. Spencer Bogart, a partner at Block chain Capital, believes that opportunities are “still gigantic” despite the current bear market, maintaining his pro-Bitcoin (BTC) stance, pointing out the critical role of “programmable money,” which is supposed to gain even more popularity over time. Bogart emphasized the fact that Bitcoin has become the “biggest bull markets of all time,” referring to the the massive spike of Bitcoin up to $20,000 in December 2017 from around $1000 in the beginning of last year. The expert has stressed that although the current state of crypto market is opposite to last year’s — with bear markets doing “bear things” — it still does not diminish the overall “gigantic” potential of Bitcoin. In the interview, Bogart has also expressed his “mono-crypto” position, claiming that Bitcoin has the “largest established network effect” and is “more than 5 times larger than the number two crypto.” The Blockchain Capital partner noted that the crypto community has been looking for the “next Bitcoin” since the emergence of Bitcoin, and suggested that this commitment to altcoins is a “dangerous game to play.” Earlier in October, Spencer Bogart had predicted that Bitcoin’s price has almost hit its bottom, noting that “bad news” last year appeared to “have no effect on the markets,” while now “we are seeing the other side of that.” Recently, prominent Wall Street bull Tom Lee maintained his new prediction that Bitcoin will end the year at $15,000,
  13. Bitcoin transactions are definitely cost-effective, time-saving and most importantly they are highly secured when compared to Bank transactions. Now people don't have to wait for money transfers for days. Transactions happen at the drop of a hat today. Thanks to technological innovations like blockchain technology. This is the dawn of a new era.
  14. No matter what anyone has to say but nothing can beat cash for organized crimes. Maybe bitcoins are an easy and very safe method for facilitating organized crimes but not all criminal elements have access to technology and know anything about bitcoins. It is only for the technologically aware and sophisticated crime syndicates that are using bitcoin as a mode of payment.
  15. A French security official was arrested last week on charges of selling state secrets on the dark web and accepting bitcoin in return. Has bitcoin become the preferred payment method of organized crime? Judas sold Jesus Christ for 12 pieces of silver, one of the highest crimes till date, and up till now silver is still precious and its popularity hasn't waned. If bitcoin can be used as payment for more crimes in exchange for far more popularity, acceptability and stability, we think more payments should definitely be made All publicity is good publicity. Also, the fact that organized crime groups are using it shows that it's the most secure and efficient means of payment out there. These aspects are much more important in their case. But mostly peoples are using BTC positively for their interests and also for the business purpose. Don't think about those peoples who are involved in the bad activities.Bitcoin just like every other currency has it lapses even the dollars and the Euro can be used by criminals on the dark market but why crime rate using bitcoin is high is due to its decentralized nature and how volatile the market is. Bitcoin transactions can never be traced by anybody or government.Criminal transactions using bitcoin are quite insignificant compared to operations using cash. Just about bitcoin in this way love to be mentioned in the media. Bitcoin is the best payment method for them, then they exchange bitcoins in USD, so this is the time when, as you say dollar reigns supreme as the currency choice.  

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