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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.

Bitcoin

Nigeria’s Capital Markets Regulator to Create Framework for Cryptocurrency Regulation

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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

traderOne 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. 

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Poor Financial Infrastructure? Why Ghanaians Need Crypto More Than Ever

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Ghanaians Need crypto

Ghanaian investors continue to face difficulties as the Bank of Ghana (BoG) continues to probe fund managers for mishandling funds. Is it time for one of the fastest-growing economies to look at cryptoassets for financial freedom?

A Three-Year-Old Banking Crisis 

Why Ghanaians Need BitcoinThe Ghanaian banking crisis started on August 14, 2017. The Bank of Ghana (BoG) revoked the licenses of UT Bank Ltd and Capital Bank Ltd and approved a Purchase and Assumption (P&A) transaction with GCB Bank Ltd that transferred all deposits and selected assets of the two banks after they were found to be insolvent.

The following year, the BoG subsequently revoked the universal banking licenses of five banks, including UniBank Ghana Limited, Construction Bank, Sovereign Bank, Royal Bank, and Beige Bank. Additionally, it issued a license to a newly created bank – Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited – which is wholly owned by the Government of Ghana.

After a tough time dealing with the aftermath of the shake-up in the banking sector, the BoG then proceeded with revoking the licenses of 23 insolvent savings and loans and finance house companies just weeks ago.

These happenings in the country’s financial sector have led to several issues in the world’s fastest-growing economy in 2019

A Time to Consider Cryptoassets?

With the current turbulences in the financial ecosystem in Ghana, one may raise the question: “Is it time for Ghanaians to consider cryptoassets as investments with real asset ownership and transparency?”

Bitcoin and other decentralised cryptocurrencies are a natural fit in situations like these. For investors and consumers to escape the uncertainty of such a disorganized space, they will have to hold assets that they directly control.

Cryptocurrencies allow users to own their assets and give them independence from regulated, mainstream and established systems. With cryptoassets, no financial institution is responsible for the safekeeping of your funds and, therefore, cannot mishandle your funds.

Unlike the current situation where thousands of Ghanaians are not sure of the future of their funds due to the changes in the financial sector over the last three years, cryptocurrency users always have control of their funds and can access them at any time.

Imagine a pregnant woman in Kumasi, Ghana who kept her money in a savings and loans institution ahead of giving birth to cater for the hospital bills but cannot access her funds and is now stuck in the hospital because the institution has been closed down.

If she held bitcoin instead, she could pay in BTC or easily exchange it to cedi, to pay her bills without any issues.

Growing Interest in Cryptoassets in Ghana

Perhaps, the point made above has already been registered in the minds of many in the country who have shown interest in cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin.

bitcoin in ghana

Currently, Ghana sits at number three on the list of countries on Google Trends for the search keyword “bitcoin” and Accra sits at number two for the keyword “buy bitcoin“.

With a more deliberate effort to push education and adoption – like the BlockTech Women Conference Accra 2019 held last week – the existing interest in cryptocurrencies could translate into growing adoption that could disrupt the current financial system in the West African nation.

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Is Bitcoin Really A New ‘Safe Haven’ Asset?

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Safe Haven Asset

The launch of the Bitcoin blockchain in 2008 was a low-key affair among a fringe group of cryptography enthusiasts. Just over a decade later, the pioneer cryptocurrency is a world-famous phenomenon with a market value of about $10,000 at press time.

This is certainly a remarkable turnaround, which only the most ardent early supporters could envision. That said, bitcoin as a currency has taken a life of its own and is gaining rather sophisticated market functions. One of these is the emergence of Bitcoin as a possible ‘safe haven’ asset. How ready is bitcoin to perform this unique function? Let’s find out.

Bitcoin currently has a solid market presence. Moreover, a great number of retailers in the market, especially online, accept bitcoin payments. This means that bitcoin users can freely operate and trade which is a great leap forward.

Trading is efficient and simple because of modern exchanges where you can trade for USD, trade BTC-EURX or any major fiat and crypto trading pairs. Generally, bitcoin is now a currency and an asset you can freely own and transact with ease. At the moment, there are over 250,000 bitcoin transactions each day across the world.

Incidentally, some of bitcoin’s intrinsic factors have made it play a unique market function. For one, bitcoin is a finite currency. Unlike fiat which is freely printed by Central Banks, there will only ever be 21 million bitcoin. Whilst this has placed a ceiling on mass adoption as a currency, the finite virtue has made it an attractive proposition as an asset.

The Case for Bitcoin as A Safe Haven Asset

goldFor a historically volatile asset, bitcoin being discussed as a potential safe haven asset is remarkable. In years gone past, equity investors would regularly purchase gold during periods of market uncertainty to distribute risk. Gold is a traditional safe haven investment due to its scarcity and value. Can bitcoin take up such a role?

In the first few days of August 2019, stock markets went wild on fears of a USA-China trade war escalation. Simultaneously, bitcoin booked impressive gains of more than seven percent as opposed to the drops in the major stock markets. This is certainly not a fool-proof case for bitcoin as a safe asset. Regardless, crypto enthusiasts took the development with glee as part of a general argument for bitcoin’s status as a safe haven asset. The major arguments include:

  • Bitcoin is effectively immune to geopolitical tensions like the trade wars.
  • By virtue of decentralisation, bitcoin is independent of government monetary policy. This means that bitcoin prices are entirely market dependent. Accordingly, bitcoin (though significantly volatile) is attractive because it has no direct correlation to the volatility of other asset classes.
  • Bitcoin’s scarcity gives it innate value, like rare metals. Satoshi Nakamoto capped bitcoin supply at 21 million.

Potential Drawbacks

Is it that simple though? The fact that bitcoin has a life of its own is an impressive aspect of its position as an asset class. However, the case for bitcoin as a safe haven asset is not as straightforward as it may seem.

goldTraditional safe haven investments are usually boring. Gold, for all the credibility it has, has generated an average annualised return of 0.32 percent over the last five years. As a matter of fact, its value most of the time is relatively consistent. This would be fitting for the name ‘safe haven’ as it remains safe in the midst of market volatility.

However, bitcoin, even in the most generous terms, would be a ‘colorful’ safe haven. Bitcoin may have a value trajectory unique from the regular stock markets. However, this does not take away bitcoin’s volatility issues. Therefore, investors are as motivated to diversify risk in a volatile stock market as they are to cash in on potential outsize gains.

Taking prices from August 2018 to August 2019, bitcoin has appreciated more than 100 percent. This is certainly a very impressive return from an investment perspective. However, it does little to lend credence to the general idea of a ‘safe haven’ asset.

Moreover, bitcoin still has to navigate a number of regulatory challenges with global financial entities because to truly gain the status of a mainstream ‘safe-haven’, regulators like the SEC have to be on board. Additionally, the stability of the coin against hard forks and security of secondary players like exchanges can add to its credibility.

Is It a Safe Haven Asset?

From the aforementioned, you can look at it both ways. For an investor looking to distribute risk and have an asset class whose volatility does not correlate to mainstream asset volatility, bitcoin can act as a safe haven investment. However, it fails to live up to the classic role of a safe haven like gold in the market. Regardless, this debate will only intensify as bitcoin matures and grows further.

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