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Will Bitcoin Return to its Old Shine?

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Bitcoin Predictions

Bitcoin is having quite a rough year. After reaching an all-time high of $19,000 last December, the cryptocurrency shed off more than 80 percent value in the first eight months of 2018. A market correction, declining investor confidence, and bad press have been blamed for the price crash. But will bitcoin ever rise again?

Bitcoin first crossed below the $10,000 mark on February 1. Since then, the digital currency has only crossed the mark twice. Bitcoin came close to reaching the mark in the first week of May, but it never did.

History

Throughout bitcoin’s history, the cryptocurrency has had ups and downs. Some of the downs have been soul-crushing to investors. But on the bright side, the cryptocurrency has recovered from every single price dip. Is anything different in 2018?

Many financial experts believe bitcoin is undergoing a price correction as most digital assets do. And like with every market correction, a price surge follows. Bitcoin’s problems this year will most likely end with a rise in value. You can also check this infographic by Playcasinoonline.net.

bitcoin return

After its bullish run in 2017, the cryptocurrency was expected to correct. Market corrections are commonplace in the stocks and bonds industries. It has happened before with bitcoin, and every crash was followed by a market rise. Although it has taken longer to rise past $10,000, that date will come.

Of course, the digital currency won’t gain value out of the blues. After regulatory threats by governments decrease, investor confidence on the cryptocurrency will increase. Increased adoption by banks and large financial institutions will also help bitcoin’s case. We may not know exactly when it will happen, but bitcoin’s correction will be followed by a rise in prices.

The Law of Supply and Demand

Bitcoin ETF ProposalsBitcoin’s prices are determined purely by the law of supply of demand. Governments don’t put a price on the cryptocurrency. When the digital currency’s demand increases, its price increases because more people invest. When its demand decreases, its price reduces.

For the better part of this year, bitcoin’s demand has been low. That is evident in the huge number of people dumping the cryptocurrency. Despite the low demand, something else is happening that could save bitcoin’s value. Its supply is reducing at a fast pace.

Bitcoin’s pseudo-anonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto set a limit to how many bitcoins will ever be mined. That number is 21 million. As of April, 17 million bitcoins were mined. The remaining 20 percent will be mined in the cause of the next two decades. 

This year, bitcoin’s price has been dropping for a number of reasons. Some of the factors like low investor confidence will fade with time. Once that is done, investors will be met with high prices as bitcoin’s supply decrease. The longer the bear market continues, the higher the likelihood of bitcoin’s value rising later on.

Post Regulatory Threats

Bitcoin’s biggest nightmare is the threat of regulation all around the world. From Beijing to Seoul, Washington to London, governments are considering enforcing regulations on crypto. China already banned two crucial industries in the crypto world last year: ICOs and trading exchanges.

Earlier in the year, the Reuters reported that the Chinese government was threatening to ban any form of centralised trading and related businesses in the country. South Korea has also been introducing regulations that target bitcoin traders. The Japanese government and the US have also been contemplating similar moves.

China, South Korea, Japan, and the US ranked among the top 5 countries with high bitcoin trading volumes. Regulations in the countries have been influencing the industry hugely. As an example, some crypto’s prices in South Korea went down 20 percent after the government claimed it would ban crypto trading. After the statement was corrected, EOS prices went up 40 percent within hours.

Since the US Securities and Exchange Commission hasn’t made any clear regulations about bitcoin yet, the cryptocurrency is likely to continue struggling. Once regulations are put in place, bitcoin’s price will change. Most governments don’t intend to ban bitcoin entirely. In fact, most countries have been finding ways to incorporate bitcoin into their countries.

Once the uncertainty surrounding bitcoin’s regulation declines, bitcoin’s price will resume a steady path. While we can’t be certain which direction the coin goes, it’s highly likely it will rise. Many institutional investors are simply holding back to see what regulations SEC introduces. If the US and other countries back the cryptocurrency with favorable rules, it will rise again.

Low Volatility

OTC Bitcoin BrokerBitcoin’s has always had a volatility problem since it was launched. With no regulations in place, the digital currency’s prices are solely determined by what buyers want to pay. The prices have always gone sharply and then fallen in equal measures.

In recent months, bitcoin’s value seems to have stabilised. Maybe the cryptocurrency has finally corrected. But in the past six months, bitcoin has not lost more than 20 percent value in one month. Investors who have always feared the coin’s volatility problem are giving it a try.

Of course, many investors are still nervous about investing now that the cryptocurrency is on a bear run. But once the cryptocurrency resumes a bullish run again, investors will feel more confident to invest. 

Disappointing ICOs and Altcoins

As bitcoin grew in 2016, the initial coin offering industry was also booming. ICOs represent a financial model where crypto startups sell in-house coins in exchange for more established cryptocurrencies. While the industry had been growing sharply, things seem to have changed.

Investors no longer view ICOs and small altcoins as shortcuts to make big bucks in the crypto industry. A series of scam ICOs and underperforming altcoins has been shaking investor confidence in cryptocurrencies. Instead, the focus is getting back to bitcoin and other established cryptocurrencies. If more ICOs continue to disappoint, more people will get back to bitcoin and its value will rise.

To Conclude

Bitcoin has lost more than 80 percent its value since it peaked nearly $20,000 last year. There have been many theories about why it lost so much value. One theory pertains governments threatening to regulate bitcoin operations. Some argue the crypto is simply having a market correction and will get back to its old shine.

When and if that happens is anyone’s guess. But given that there is a lot of support for bitcoin-related technologies, its price will likely increase in the coming months.

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The Top 5 African Countries That Are Embracing Bitcoin

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African Countries

Bitcoin tends to polarise opinions between sceptics and believers, with almost no room for the middle ground. However, there’s a substantial demand for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in many Africa countries.

Do a quick search on Google Trends and you will see three African countries in the top ten of global search interest for the term “bitcoin.” This is a testament to the embrace of bitcoin in a number of leading African economies.

In this guide, you will discover the five leading bitcoin economies in Africa that have the most demand for digital currency as well as the most active local cryptocurrency communities.

South Africa

south africaBitcoin is popular among South Africans. According to their search interests on Google, they top the ranking for bitcoin. One particular group bitcoin appeals to is millennials. South Africa has a lot of them. Young people between the ages of 15 to 34 years old make up 20.6 million people – 35.7 percent of the total population, according to Statistics South Africa’s 2018 mid-year population estimate report. Combined with the fact that the country has one of the highest internet penetration rates in Africa, the country has become a sweet spot for many cryptocurrency exchanges.

The online multi-asset broker, eToro, reported a 671 percent increase in new users trading between January and November 2017, and a 574 percent increase a year before. LocalBitcoins, one of the largest peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin marketplaces in the world, saw over 600 percent increase in trading volume between January and December 2017, according to data from CoinDance.

The latest report by Ecobank on the state of cryptocurrency regulation in sub-Saharan Africa shows only two – South Africa and Swaziland – have a favourable stance on cryptocurrencies. The bank analysed 39 African countries.

The South African Reserve Bank has stated that virtual currencies pose no significant risk to financial stability, price stability or the National Payment System.

Africa’s second-largest economy has been struggling to stand on both feet for the past two years; the economy has refused to grow. In light of this, bitcoin has become a haven from the political and economic turmoil.

Nigeria

buy bitcoin in nigeriaIn Nigeria, many local traders and activists believe this is an opportunity to liberate themselves from a flailing economy using digital currencies and blockchain technology.

The main driving force for Nigeria’s strong bitcoin adoption could be tied to the prolonged dollar shortage in the country in 2016 and 2017. The government had devalued the currency and inflation was at rising rapidly. Bitcoin was a viable means for Nigerians to work around the lack of access to foreign exchange and also preserve their money from being eroded by inflation.

In the week of August 19, 2017, LocalBitcoins’ trading volume crossed the 1 billion naira mark (about $360 million) in Nigeria. The exchange’s weekly trading volume has not traded less than that amount since then. Local crypto exchanges have also been on the rise in the country giving more people access to a broader range of cryptocurrencies.

Zimbabwe

ZimbabweThe situation in Nigeria is not too dissimilar from Zimbabwe. A cash-strapped economy, failing currency and depleted foreign exchange markets saw locals turn to bitcoin as a store of value. Golix, the leading crypto exchange in Zimbabwe, says it processed bitcoin transactions worth around $1 million during October 2017. The price of bitcoin had once risen more than double the average price in other countries in 2017.

However, in 2018, the relationship between financial regulators and crypto businesses have been strained. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) decided to ban all local financial institutions from servicing cryptocurrency businesses. There have been court cases and more back and forth between the country’s leading crypto exchange, Golix and the RBZ, but as it stands it is difficult for local exchanges to operate within the country’s borders.

Young Zimbabweans – desperate to overcome the foreign currency and liquidity challenges plaguing the country – have found innovative ways around the ban though. Recently, Cryptogem Global defied the ban and opened a branch in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare. Remitano and LocalBitcoins have also been servicing crypto fans in Zimbabweans.

Kenya

KenyaA Citibank research in December 2017 ranked Kenya among countries with the largest bitcoin holdings worth $1.63 billion, approximately 2.3 percent of the GDP.

The East African country has one of the highest bitcoin trading volumes in Africa. The weekly trading volume on LocalBitcoins jumped by almost 429 percent in 2017 and has only dipped by 19 percent this year despite bitcoin losing two-thirds of its value.

Also, local innovators have launched cryptocurrency systems to support payments and cross-border transactions, as embodied by initiatives like BitPesa.

Kenya is also one of the few countries in Africa with a Bitcoin ATM. Others are Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Djibouti.

Ghana

buy bitcoin in GhanaGhanaians began the year 2018 with a statement from the Bank of Ghana (BOG) cautioning the public about the use of bitcoins.

The central bank also expressed an interest in introducing cyber security guidelines to guide the use of digital currencies in the country. The central bank presented a bill referred to as Payment Systems and Services Bill to the Ghanian parliament. The BOG also hailed the potential of the technology behind bitcoin, blockchain.

A report earlier in 2018 shows Paxful, one of the prominent P2P exchange in Africa, monthly bitcoin volume in Africa is now around $40 million. The company’s most active locations are Nigeria and Ghana, the second and third largest markets respectively.

There are also several local bitcoin and blockchain startups, such as Bitland and BTCGhana.

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South African Man Beaten And Tortured to Give Up Bitcoin Holdings

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A South African bitcoin trader was reportedly drugged, beaten, and tortured by assailants who wanted to gain access to his bitcoin holdings.

Facebook Invitation Led to Torture and Bitcoin Theft

According to local media, the incident happened on November 16 after the victim was invited by a man he met on Facebook to give a presentation on cryptocurrency. The same man who had invited him was present when the victim arrived with six other people in the room.

Identified only as Andrew, the victim trustingly entered the residence of his attackers in the afternoon. It was at this point that someone approached him from the back and covered his face with what is presumed to be a drug-stained cloth that knocked him out.

cryptocurrency tax regulationsAfter regaining consciousness he woke up in a different house and was surrounded by two women and three men. According to a report from the Meadowlands police, the victim was stripped of his clothing, tortured and assaulted.

Andrew also stated that the gang demanded his bitcoin password and his FNB (First National Bank) account details. All the while threatening to kill him and burning him with a hot iron if he failed to give up the information. He was at first reluctant to give up the information but gave in after they continuously tortured him.

After finally giving the details, he transferred R 800,000 ($57,789) worth of bitcoin to the account they provided him with. He also transferred a further R 100,000 ($7,224) from his bank account to their account. Apart from the bitcoin holdings and the money on the victim’s account, the robbers also got away with R 3,000 ($216.53) in cash, two laptops, and two Apple iPhones.

After the theft, the gang of robbers blindfolded Andrew and dumped him off at Kliprivier Road in Johannesburg. He is currently in the intensive care unit recovering after sustaining burn wounds on his body.

Crypto Related Crimes Are on the Rise

Unfortunately, the downside of cryptocurrencies gaining so much popularity means that people who trade in it are vulnerable to attacks. Cryptocurrency theft is a lucrative business for criminals especially since it is difficult to trace transactions.

This is not the first crime and will be a far cry from the last, as scams involving digital coin are being reported more often and violent attacks on known bitcoin holders have increased since 2017.

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Middle Eastern Bitcoin Exchange BitOasis Launches in Egypt and Morocco

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BitOasis

Dubai-based digital asset exchange BitOasis has announced that it has now opened its doors in Egypt and Morocco, expanding its operation to North Africa.

BitOasis Expands Into North Africa

BitOasisBitOasis has been serving the Middle East as one of the first exchanges to offer cryptocurrency trading for local currency and has now decided to expand into North Africa to provide Morrocans and Egyptians with the opportunity to buy bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets.

Despite the recent rise in interest of cryptocurrencies in Africa, Moroccan and Egyptian markets rarely make the news. While markets like South Africa, Nigeria, and Uganda have cryptocurrencies exchange services set up shop, the North African countries have largely remained underserved.

Part of the reason Morocco did not previously have any exchanges could be because transactions using digital currencies are considered de facto illegal. A year ago the Moroccan central bank, and the country’s Foreign Exchange Office, Office des Changes, declared that transactions using digital currencies such as bitcoin constitute a violation of the country’s exchange regulations.

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts in Egypt have been facing similar issues. From the Central Bank of Egypt asserting that no organisations have authority to trade bitcoin, to Dar Al Iftaa classifying cryptocurrencies forbidden by Islam, bitcoin has had no easy ride in the North African country. Still, there has been a growing interest in Egypt for blockchain technology as well as cryptocurrencies.

BitOasis is now an excellent alternative platform to peer-to-peer exchanges to buy bitcoin in Egpyt and Morrocco. Moreover, Egyptians and Moroccans are now also able to trade LTC, BCH, BSV, XRP, XLM, ETH, ETC, and ZEC.

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