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Fundstrat’s Tom Lee Says Bitcoin is Reclaiming its Market Share

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Fundstrat's Tom Lee

Despite bitcoin’s 2018 bear market, Wall Street analyst Tom Lee believes that the digital currency is reclaiming its market share and is well-positioned to rally into the year-end.

According to CNBC, bitcoin had a market share of 80 percent in the cryptocurrency market at the beginning of 2017. However, by January this year, BTC’s market share had dropped to about 36 percent. Presently, the coin’s market share has increased to 48.8 percent according to CoinMarketCap.

At the end of 2017, the heightened hype surrounding cryptocurrencies attracted the attention of regulators which has led to various strict actions being applied this year. In Africa, for example, Kenya’s central bank banned banks from doing business with crypto-based companies while Zimbabwe’s reserve bank banned cryptocurrency operations in the country. However, Lee acknowledges the resilience of the cryptocurrency despite the harsh environment.

Currently, the price of bitcoin is hovering at around $6,250, a steep drop from around $7,000 in recent days. In July, the price was approaching $8,400 after it fell below $6,000 in June. Fundstrat Global Advisors’ managing partner and head of research, Tom Lee, said:

“Bitcoin is not broken if it is holding at these levels. I think people are afraid it is going to go back down to $6,000 and never come back from those bear markets.”

Reasons To Be Bullish About Bitcoin

BTCThe US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has publicly declared bitcoin as a commodity while it decided not to treat cryptocurrencies as securities in June this year. In addition, the Intercontinental Exchange announced a partnership with companies such as Microsoft and Starbucks to establish “an open and regulated digital asset ecosystem.”

“The news that we have seen, from the SEC saying bitcoin’s a commodity, to […] the potential for an [exchange-traded fund] is causing investors to decide that bitcoin is the best house in a tough market,” Lee said on CNBC’s Fast Money.

The G20 countries are also seeking cryptocurrency anti-money laundering regulations by October 2018. According to an official statement from the G20 forum last month, the member nations will remain vigilant in monitoring the cryptocurrency sector even though “crypto-assets do not at this point pose a global financial stability risk.”

Lee said that although the market has not responded to this news yet, BTC’s increasing market share is a good reason to remain bullish about bitcoin. He added:

“I think bitcoin dominance is actually showing the market is reacting to what has been taking place.”

Lee had predicted that bitcoin’s price would hit $25,000 at the end of this year but he changed his prediction to $20,000, which is the same place price BTC was at the end of 2017.

Bitcoin

Zimcoin Launches New Cryptocurrency Exchange in Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwean blockchain technology company, Zimcoin, has launched a new digital currency exchange that will allow users to buy and sell bitcoin (BTC).

The Future of Zimcoin

Zimcoin hints at the possibility of much larger projects in the future with its bitcoin exchange acting as a gateway:

“At Zimcoin we want to provide Zimbabweans with access to the new decentralised internet. Bitcoin acts as a gateway to all the exciting projects happening in the cryptocurrency and blockchain world. Whether you want to engage with the prediction markets of Augur or invest in the Decentralised Autonomous Organisation Decree, Bitcoin is a great starting point. Here at Zimcoin, we provide a platform to buy and sell Bitcoin, as well as a place to find out about the blockchain projects we are excited about. So what are you waiting for? Sign up today and become a pioneer in Zimbabwe’s love affair with Blockchain.”

When Golix was operating in Zimbabwe they faced minor incidences of security breaches and scares. It seems that Zimcoin is learning from their mistakes and trying to avoid that from the start.

ZimcoinZimcoin has already implemented two-factor authentication from day one, unlike Golix which only implemented a few years after operating. With Zimcoin’s 2FA you are given two options; an email or using Google Authenticator. Though the email is less secure than Google authenticator, you do not have to download a separate application.

The exchange also logs out after a period of inactivity, which means incidents such as someone getting access to your computer because you’ve gone out are also unlikely as well.

The Challenges of Cryptocurrencies in Zimbabwe

Earlier this year, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had classified operations by cryptocurrency exchanges as illegal in the country. This greatly affected Golix, Zimbabwe’s largest crypto exchange, despite them winning interim relief.

According to a report by TechZim, Zimcoin is not overly concerned by this ban and say that they had been in communication with the RBZ since last year and feel that they will be able to operate without any trouble.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe is struggling with its economy, and as its foreign reserves dwindle, which will likely positively affect Zimcoin’s growth as more Zimbabweans start to look towards other currency alternatives. 

Despite all the challenges Zimbabwe faces with cryptocurrencies, the blockchain is gaining popularity in Zimbabwe. This is good news for companies like Zimcoin as they will hopefully face fewer problems than their predecessors.

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Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Warns Against Using Cryptocurrencies

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The Zambia central bank, Bank of Zambia (BoZ), has cautioned citizens about the use of digital currencies as they are not considered legal tender.

According to local media, the Bank of Zambia has received an increasing amount of inquiries about cryptocurrencies, which is a testament to the growing interest in bitcoin and its peers in the Southern African nation.

Bank of Zambia

The central bank highlighted that there is no legal recourse for cryptocurrency holders or investors who lose money in this new digital asset class due to its unregulated nature.

Additionally, the Bank of Zambia stated that it does not oversee, supervise nor regulate cryptographic currencies and assets and that any actions in related to cryptocurrencies are performed at the user’s own risk.

This statement echoes that of most African countries’ regulators when it comes to bitcoin regulations.

In most of Africa, central banks are taking a wait and see approach to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in an attempt not to stifle innovation.

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Binance Uganda Officially Launches and is Starting to Accept Deposits

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Binance Uganda
Images by Binance Uganda

In a statement on its website, Binance Uganda announced that is officially opening its doors on October 17, 2018, when it will start accepting deposits in Ugandan shillings (UGX), bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).

Uganda’s First Local Fiat-to-Crypto Exchange

Binance Uganda is the first local fiat-to-crypto exchange in the East African nation and marks a milestone in Binance’s push into the African market.

Binance UgandaBinance Uganda users can now complete full account verification and are able to start depositing funds in UGX, BTC and ETH starting from 2018/10/17 10:00 AM Uganda Time (EAT).

The first available trading pairs on Binance Uganda will be BTC/UGX and ETH/UGX trading pairs. The start time for trading will be released in a later announcement.

Until the launch of Binance Uganda, local bitcoin investors had very limited options to convert their shillings into bitcoin or other digital assets and vice versa.

Peer-to-peer trading platforms such as LocalBitcoins and Paxful have failed to take off in Uganda and international exchanges do not accept Ugandan shillings as a currency, which has left Ugandans to largely trade via WhatsApp and Telegram on a peer-to-peer basis.

With the launch of Binance Uganda, it will be interesting to see how the local cryptocurrency community evolves and whether bitcoin and ether will be accepted as legitimate investment assets by the country’s wider investor base.

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