Regulators – Boogeyman of the Cryptoworld
The cryptocurrency world has been shaken for the past couple of months by the measures, which governments have been taking in order to regulate this market. China has stopped the activity for the local exchanges and prohibited external transfers to foreign exchanges. The SEC has had crypto discussions and the IRS is working with Chainalysis to scan for tax evaders. Many countries have banned ICOs and are strongly against investments in such vehicles. Japan – the one with already existing regulations – is knocking on the doors of exchanges in order to strictly monitor their activity. These examples could easily be listed in a couple more pages.
Although right now everyone looks at regulations as killing crypto businesses and investments, from our point of view this is a misconception. In a decentralised world, some of the power is given back to individuals, yet it does not make the environment safer because there will always be actors trying to benefit in an illicit way from the trust of other people. ICOs serve as an example. In 2017 thousands of ICOs have been launched, with many good ideas backed by experienced teams, which most probably will reach their targets and provide promised services according to their whitepapers. But these are few and far between. Many ICOs have just been launch for startup founders to get their hands on easy money.
The trend clearly shows ERC20 token to be most commonly used in creating new ICOs. These can be easily built in just several minutes by a medium experienced developer. Such tokens do not bring added value to the crypto space but due to lack of regulations and supervision, they are released and millions of dollars will be lost by their owners, without the possibility of being recovered.
Despite the sentiment that regulating a decentralised economy is seemingly a drawback, it shall bring stability and trust towards the remaining tokens. Most governments, if not all of them, are supporting the innovative technology underlying cryptocurrencies. However, they also have the obligation to fight with money launderers, tax evaders, and scammers in order to protect bona fide investors. Understandably, regulators take a slow and measured approach to cryptocurrencies.
Bulls or Bears?
As per the usual, markets tend to panic when an external factor is expected to have an impact on the environment, though it is not fully understood by the masses, and the price dips. This is what happened to bitcoin and altcoins in late December 2017 and January 2018.
Due to regulatory risks, bans, and smart money selling their coins, a sell-off started on the crypto market. The price of bitcoin plunged from close to $20,000 to $6,000, providing a huge discount for whales to come into the market. As all the headlines were showing “Anonymous investors buys 400 millions USD worth of bitcoin”. Nobody with access to this kind of funds would invest as much in a low probability investment opportunity, or we are wrong?
Nevertheless, many analysts and investors all over the world have expressed their opinion that blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt a big number of classical business models. The crypto asset market is still in its early development stage. A new regulatory environment will pave the way for more smart money to enter this market. A new passion to have better control over finances and less trust in centralised institutions adds up to a strong list of arguments, which reinforce the idea that the crypto market, still dominated by bitcoin, is poised to continue its rally.
The price action of bitcoin (BTC) vs USD shows that after hitting the $20,000 Resistance, the price started a corrective move inside a descending channel, which stopped at $6,000, a four-month low. Currently, we can say that the main trend of the price is downward, by looking at LH and LL (Lower Highs and Lower Lows). The rally which has brought back the back towards $12,000 has met a strong resistance area built on a convergence of previous resistance levels and trend line. A drop from here back to retest the local support from $9,000 is more likely than a breakout from this channel. The fundamental uncertainty is still fueling bears and the accumulation area has yet to be developed. A retest of $9,000 or even lower of $7,500 support area could gather enough buying power for bulls to come back and break above $12,000, aiming for new highs above $20,000.
Ethereum (ETH), as well as other altcoins, followed pretty much the same path as BTC, though it has not corrected as much. It hit its all-time high in January and the dip stopped at around $600 per ETH. This is considered a strong support area for the future price action of this pair. A rally brought the price back to the $1,000 resistance area which worked as a charm, since the price was reflected and now is on a downwards move, targeting the $750 local support. We are expecting this pair to act very similar to BTCUSD and build an accumulation area before breaking above the downtrend line.
Ripple (XRP), on the other hand, had a much more volatile and aggressive behaviour than our previously analyzed tokens. The price shot through the roof in a strong buy period, fueled by the Asian buyers, especial investors coming from South Korea, reaching a new high at $3.32 per XRP. The sell-off corrected 88.6 (Fibonacci retracement) of the latest rally, and the token is currently traded below $1 per token. A support area has been built around 75 cents per token, while the resistance level sits at $1.21 per token. Similar to the BTC and ETH, we consider an accumulation area is developing as we speak, providing time for bulls to regroup and push the market above the current resistance levels.
This cryptocurrency market analysis is being presented by Buroka Tech. Buroka Tech is cryptocurrency-focused technology provider for financial institutions.
Nigeria’s Capital Markets Regulator to Create Framework for Cryptocurrency Regulation
Nigeria’s blockchain community and cryptocurrency exchanges could get a clear stance on the classification of cryptocurrencies from the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) before the end of the year.
A Framework for Cryptocurrency Regulation Is Coming
According to a report by Pulse, the regulatory institution is set to implement the roadmap for the fintech industry as it pertains to its capital markets. According to the roadmap, between the last quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2020, the SEC is expected to:
- Decide on its preferred classification of cryptocurrencies (either as commodities, securities or currency).
- Develop a framework for the regulation of Virtual Financial Assets (VFAs) and VFA Exchanges.
- Issue guidelines and standards for whitepapers and ICOs.
- Develop a framework for KYC and due diligence for cryptocurrencies, Virtual Financial Assets, tokens, and ICOs.
- Define clear classification for tokens based on their unique properties. They could be payment tokens, asset tokens, utility tokens or others.
The Acting Director-General of the SEC, Mary Uduk, revealed at a Capital Markets Committee briefing last month that the Working Group to drive the implementation of the roadmap would be chaired by Adeolu Bajomo, the Vice-President of the Fintech Association of Nigeria.
Cryptocurrencies as Commodities or Securities But Not as Currency
One of the recommendations that stands out in the roadmap, which was prepared by a committee comprised of officials from the regulatory agencies, the private sector, and a member of the blockchain community, is for the SEC to recognise cryptocurrencies as commodities or securities, and not as a currency. This classification is expected to have tax implications for investors.
This recommendation is in line with the central bank’s directive last year, which stated that “virtual currencies” were not a legal tender.
Cryptocurrencies have lacked a single, definite identity. For example, Germany is treating them as money and means of payment while the US uses the Howey test to decide whether a cryptocurrency is a security or not.
Crypto Adoption in Nigeria
Citigroup, a US investment firm, reported in January 2018 that Nigerians were the third-largest holders of bitcoin as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). The use has ranged from trading to making fast, low-cost cross-border transactions, saving on the high fees taken by commercial banks and traditional money-transfer services.
Nigeria has a fast-growing young population with a significant chunk below the age of 35. But there is still a small number of people with access to the financial system. Less than 50 million people with bank accounts in a population of over 180 million. Blockchain applications could be a great way to onboard millions of underserved people into the financial system.
With the SEC expected to take responsibility for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country soon, we can foresee more scrutiny of Nigeria’s biggest crypto companies, which could lead to a more secure crypto trading ecosystem down the road.
Black-Owned Blockchain VC Firm SADA Launches in South Africa
Blockchain VC firm South African Digital Assets Partnership (SADA) launched in South Africa. The venture capital company is black-owned and based in Sandton.
Supporting Blockchain Projects
South African Digital Assets Partnership aims to promote the adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies by supporting projects that solve African challenges. SADA concentrates on tokens, funds, businesses, and projects related to the blockchain and digital assets.
“SADA is incorporated to further build and invest in blockchain projects that seek to address Africa’s needs for a far more efficient and transparent financial system while presenting an amazing opportunity for the people of our country and continent to be part of what we call the “6th Digital Revolution. We call it the “6th Digital Revolution” because we believe what cryptocurrencies and particularly bitcoin have done is position the world to transact and invest in a new digital world,” Zamo Tshabalala, the CEO of SADA, said in a press release.
SADA’s board is comprised of blockchain entrepreneurs such as founder and CEO of Cryptovecs John Lombela, co-founder of GA Capital Mendy Nkosi, and founder of Blueline Accounting Group Hein Schmidt.
Presently, SADA is running and managing five funds that strategically serve the diverse needs of investors not only in South Africa but on the entire continent.
“SADA focuses 100 percent on the rapidly evolving digital asset sector, maximising our investors’ capital growth through a proprietary and actively managed investment strategy while placing a key focus on amazing projects and teams changing and improving the African economy through blockchain,” Tshabalala asserted.
Africhain Fund is the entry-level flagship crypto 30 index fund for retail investors. The A-Team Capital Fund is the high entry-level flagship fund for financial advisors, high net worth individuals, investment companies, and fund managers.
SADA has invested in the Digital Rand through its Blockchain Fund. The Digital Rand is the first digital asset to be pegged 1:1 to the South African Rand.
Furthermore, SADA is guided by the relevant regulations in South Africa. According to an official statement, the company explained: “SADA has proactively aligned itself with regulation by being administered by an FSP registered entity, Olwevu Group, and is a member of many blockchain associations including South African Financial Blockchain Consortium (SAFBC) which boasts members such as MMI Holdings, Standard Bank, and other big financial players in South Africa. We understand the importance of regulation with the prevalence of scams that have swept through South Africa in the last four years.”
First ETHGlobal Hackathon in Africa is Coming to Cape Town
The first ETHGlobal Hackathon in Africa will be held on April 19 to 21, 2019 at The Lookout, V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa.
Organised by ETHGlobal and Linum Labs, the event dubbed ETHCapeTown will see more than 200 international developers, hackers, and blockchain enthusiasts gather to work together to create Ethereum-based decentralised applications (DApps).
ETHGlobal aims to build an ecosystem of Ethereum developers and entrepreneurs with support from the Ethereum Foundation. Linum Labs is a Swiss blockchain development company with an office in South Africa.
Kartik Talwar of ETHGlobal said: “Ethereum development is growing fast, and it is valuable for the developer community in Cape Town to get together, discuss ideas, and push the envelope on what they themselves can do. And this is one of the goals of the hackathon – to simply give developers a place and time to build what they want and to see where their ideas take them.”
ETHCapeTown will bring together people from different backgrounds with a wide range of skillsets where they can share ideas and develop original blockchain-based solutions.
“One of the most notable things we have noticed in the space is the incredible capacity at which developers utilize new tools during time-sensitive environments at hackathons to deliver decentralised solutions that can have real-world impact,” said Devon Krantz of Linum Labs.
Cape Town: Africa’s Growing Tech Hub
According to Linum Labs, the ETHGlobal Hackathon will highlight that Cape Town is setting the path for innovation on the continent.
“The ETHCapeTown hackathon is again proving how Cape Town is pioneering the way forward for innovation in Africa. The city’s local tech hub is alive, thriving, and hungry to grow and position itself as a leading destination for emerging technologies,” Krantz stated.
The ETHGlobal Hackathon will be graced by Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, who will be the first official judge of the ETHCapeTown 2019 Hackathon.
Hackathon attendees will be exposed to some of the leading minds in the global blockchain industry and have the opportunity to win prizes for the solutions they build. Registration for the ETHGlobal Hackathon is open now.
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