Bitcoin Adoption: Which Countries Could Follow El Salvador?

The Bitcoin Law became effective on September 7, compelling businesses to accept bitcoin as a form of payment for all transactions. This has slightly increased the exchange rate of Bitcoin, which according to FXEmpire is now $42 000. El Salvador has made the first move; which other countries could follow?


Panama’s move towards bitcoin adoption occurred on the same day that El Salvador became the first country to accept bitcoin as legal tender. The country is adding its own unique stamp to the process by accepting other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum.

Panama Congressman Gabriel Silva stated on Twitter that Panama unveiled a draft cryptocurrency law. Just like El Salvador, the country seeks to increase the use of bitcoin and Ethereum as a payment option. Another aim is to encourage the use of blockchain technology in the public sector and the financial industry.

Panama’s compatibility with the digital economy, including blockchain crypto assets and the internet, is explained in the bill. The draft law promotes bitcoin as an inflation hedge and emphasizes its divisible character, stating, for example, that it can be subdivided into 100 million Satoshis.

Similarly, other cryptocurrencies, like Ethereum and Cardano, are divisible into more assets. Unlike El Salvador, Panama did not decree that businesses should accept bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. Mandatory adoption of bitcoin rollout generated criticism as retailers and consumers were not comfortable being compelled to use bitcoin as a currency all of a sudden.


The Ukrainian Parliament voted almost unanimously to legalize and regulate cryptocurrency just a day after El Salvador’s official bitcoin adoption. While the new law does not make Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies legal tender, it does empower the country to regulate them. This is with hopes of developing a new industry that will attract transparent investments and boost the country’s reputation as a high-tech state.

Before now, cryptocurrency in Ukraine was treated as illegal. Although residents could purchase and sell crypto, law authorities kept a watchful eye on organizations and exchanges dealing in it. Unlike El Salvador, Ukraine’s crypto law does not encourage the use of bitcoin as a payment method and does not put it on par with the hryvnia, the official currency.

As reported by the Kyiv Post, Ukraine intends to open the bitcoin market to investors and businesses by 2022. Some paramount state officials have been promoting their crypto credentials to Silicon Valley investors and VC firms.


Cuba’s President, Miguel Diaz-Canel, indicated an interest in cryptocurrencies in May to aid the country’s struggling economy in the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak. In the Island nation, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now legally recognized as a means of payment for commercial transactions.

The Banco Central de Cuba (BCC) approved Resolution 215 of 2021, which recognizes cryptocurrencies on September 15, 2021. A couple of days after El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law became effective. Despite authorizing cryptocurrency use in Cuba, the BCC still cautions of the possible risks of using cryptocurrencies. Notably, the monetary policy risks and financial stability threats.

The central bank also warned against unscrupulous actors exploiting the anonymity of crypto transactions for illegal purposes.

Is Global Adoption Possible?

El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender is presently a subject of many criticisms and challenges. The question now is if major world economies would follow suit. To be straightforward, the probability of this happening is close to 0.

Major world economies are unlikely to support a cryptocurrency like bitcoin because bitcoin is decentralized and cannot be controlled by a central bank. What more? The inventor of bitcoin is anonymous to date.

Nevertheless, central banks around the world are working to introduce their own digital currencies – Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). Hence combining the advantages of digital with traditional money.

The CBDC Alternative

PwC, a financial consulting firm, published a report on CBDCs and according to the report, 60 governments are already working on one. Interestingly, 88 percent are built on bitcoin’s blockchain technology.

The Bahamas launched a CBDC – cryptocurrency version of the Bahamian dollar – in 2020 to avoid transporting cash between its 700 small islands. Also, Cambodia introduced its own CBDC, the Bakong. China has been testing its e-CNY money and wants to use it extensively during the 2022 Winter Olympics. The US has two programs investigating a digital dollar, and the Bank of England is consulting banks, merchants, and the public on its own digital money project.

In Africa, the Central Bank of Nigeria – the continent’s most populous country – plans to begin the trial phase of its CBDC in October 2021. This digital currency known as the e-Naira is expected to compete with cryptos like bitcoin.

Bottom Line

The handwriting on the wall is easy to read. If major economies are launching digital currencies to compete with bitcoin, they’re certainly not going to adopt the cryptocurrency like El Salvador.

Bitcoin Adoption In Botswana

Although Botswana citizens are finding it easier to transact Bitcoin with the establishment of Satoshicentre set up by Alakanani Itireleng, a foremost Bitcoin dealer, and a Bitcoin ATM set up in Gaborone, Botswana capital by Express Minds Ltd.

Botswana’s small population has several bitcoin enthusiasts; however, its citizens have to go through hard times to get their wallets funded for Bitcoin transactions chiefly because there are no local cryptocurrency exchanges where crypto enthusiasts can trade Pula (Botswana’s fiat currency) for Bitcoin.

Additionally, the lack of cryptocurrency regulation by the Botswana government and its unwillingness to adopt Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies makes Bitcoin trading in Botswana challenging.

Is Bitcoin Trading In Botswana Illegal?

Bitcoin is not outlawed in Botswana. However, there are no regulations for cryptocurrency dealings. Based on this, the governor of the Bank of Botswana was quoted as saying ‘…it is impossible to transfer Pula into Bitcoin…

The declarations of the Botswana Bank’s governor makes it impossible for cryptocurrency exchange platforms to set up a base in Botswana knowing that Banks in Botswana will not provide intermediary financial services for the Botswana populace and cryptocurrency exchanges.

Hence, if you have to transact using Bitcoin, you will have to source Bitcoin via P2P or other informal means.

Encouraging Bitcoin Adoption In Botswana

What if you can pay your medical bills in Botswana using Bitcoin? To encourage the adoption of Bitcoin in Botswana, Dr. Donald Ariisa of Shahdara Clinic, a private hospital in Botswana, has decided to accept payment in Bitcoin, making him the first medical practitioner to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment.

Dr. Donald Ariisa is quoted as saying, ‘Bitcoin and the blockchain technology is new and volatile; as an early adopter, I hope to convince the Botswana populace of its viability.’

An important catalyst for Bitcoin and the blockchain technology adoption in Botswana is the drive for diversification by Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana who was quoted as saying ‘…It is more imperative than ever for Botswana to expand her economy beyond exporting diamonds and metals…’ Thus opening Botswana officially to Bitcoin and blockchain adoption.

Bitcoin Startups In Botswana

The bitcoin price has increased in the last 24 hours by 11% on Amazon’s Crypto Hiring Plans and according to, the Bitcoin price is forecasted to increase even further to surpass the $100,000 mark by the end of this year. With the high adaptation rate of BTC across the globe, more and more Bitcoin startups are springing up in a drive to see the widespread adoption and possibly force Botswana’s Central Bank to regulate cryptocurrencies.

One such early startup is the Satoshicenter, a blockchain startup established by Alakanani Itireleng in 2014 to provide blockchain services to the Botswana populace.

An offshoot of Satoshicenter is Plaas which aims to help farmers and agric societies manage production, daily activities, and stock through blockchain adoption.

On the other hand, IndieStudio Africa launched Kogboko, a Blockchain financial services provider that aims to provide financial services to Botswana’s unbanked populace, provide funding for individuals and businesses, as well as spread awareness of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in Botswana.

Buying Bitcoin From Botswana’s First Bitcoin ATM

Bitcoin’s price remains unstabilized in Botswana largely due to the lack of cryptocurrency exchange platforms leading to high arbitrage. The installation of a Bitcoin ATM in Gaborone, Botswana, is a welcome development.

However, critics fault the 15% commission charged on bitcoin sales as being on the high side. This is a welcome relief compared with the long, arduous journey to neighboring South Africa or relying on families and friends outside of Botswana for Bitcoin purchases.

Hence, 15% is a relatively small price to pay compared to the cost and danger of traveling or the high handling fees charged for fiat monetary transactions.

Alternative To Buying Bitcoin In Botswana

An alternative way of sourcing for Bitcoin is patronizing crypto exchanges based in South Africa and paying online with a globally accepted credit/debit card not readily available to the Botswana populace.

However, the most popular means of transacting Bitcoin is via Peer-to-Peer mode on various WhatsApp groups and other social media platforms. However, this means of transaction is unregulated with no control of scam activities.

A Silver Lining In The Sky

Botswana populace can buy bitcoin with fiat currencies on several exchanges and P2P platforms like, YellowCard, Binance, Coinmama, Kraken, Paxful, LocalBitcoins, OKcoin, and Changelly.

The advent of peer-to-peer and crypto exchange platforms has provided great relief to Botswana’s cryptocurrency enthusiasts and has also catalyzed the widespread adoption of Bitcoin in Botswana.

Will Botswana Ban Bitcoin?

The bank of Botswana is not interested in regulating cryptocurrencies and, it has no intention of banning cryptocurrencies in the country. The central bank governor is likely to follow the trend by providing regulations for cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency exchanges in the future. However, it cannot declare a ban on cryptocurrencies and related activities since it does not control the internet.

Bottom Line

The Botswana populace continues to push for the widespread adoption and regulation of Bitcoin; this has yielded much dividend with the installation of Bitcoin ATM, the establishment of Satoshi center and other Bitcoin startups, and the proliferation of Bitcoin exchanges and P2P platforms.

Hopefully, Botswana will become one of Africa’s best cryptocurrency haven in the nearest future if it sustains its drive for widespread Bitcoin adoption.

Dogecoin Price Prediction for 2021

Riding the Crypto Roller Coaster

Dogecoin has experienced high price volatility like any other cryptocurrency. To be precise, it has leaped about 774 percent year to date against the US dollar. In July 2020, the cryptocurrency jumped from 0.002286, almost doubling to $0.004543 within a few days. Additionally, Dogecoin’s bullish movement started the year on a high note, doubling from $0.005405 to $0.011427 on January 2.

A Journey to new highs

On February 8th, 2021, the price of dogecoin hit the highest price of $0.082605. The bullish movement has pushed the market cap to $10.7 billion. The trend has now retraced to what seems like a minor pullback. However, we can’t be ruled out a full reversal.

Currently, the price is hovering around the previous high of $ 0.051793 reached in January 2021. The price could retest this high, which would then become our support. While the price is currently in a downtrend, it is prudent to wait and see how the price will behave around this point.

2021 Price Outlook

While we can’t predict dogecoin’s price with utmost certainty, it is prudent the most likely direction. Apparently, the coin started a joke, or rather to satirize the proliferating dubious crypto coins. But its growth has not been any joke. Currently, it ranks 10th globally. The rise from $0.000232 in 2013 to the current price of 0.05 represents a 21000% rise.

Recent endorsement from high-profile individuals has swayed the “joke” cryptocurrency. Elon Musk’s series of tweets is one of the highest drivers of the dogecoin price increase. Gene Simmons also recently revealed that he owns DOGE while snoop posted an altered album, Snoop Doge. If the celebrities continue this infatuation of dogecoin, then its price will continue to increase.

2nd Quarter Prediction

The bullish movement of the dogecoin will continue through April. According to Tradingbeasts’ Dogecoin Predictions, at the beginning of April, dogecoin is likely to reach $0.0595023. The minimum price will be around $0.0509205, while the maximum is expected to gravitate towards 0.0748831. At the end of the month, the price is expected to reach $0.0599065.

In June, the price is expected to reach $0.0754225 and hit $0.0512873 on the lower side. The price is expected to hover around $0.0608258 towards the end of the month. Similarly, the site expects dogecoin to reach $0.0766733 in July. The minimum is forecast to be $0.0521378. Dogecoin will reach $0.0613386 at the end of the month.

Q3 Price Prediction

The Dogecoin bullish movement is expected to continue into the third quarter of 2021. TradingBeasts further forecasts that the cryptocurrency will be traded at $0.0613386 at the beginning of the month and close the month at $0.0619104. During the month, the price will hit a high of $0.0773880 and a low of $0.0526239. In September dogecoin price will increase to a high of $0.781554.

Q4 Prediction

Like the rest of the years, bulls will still be in control in October through December. The price is expected to reach a high of $0.079470 in October, jump to $0.0798154 in November. More bulls are likely to join the bandwagon pushing the price to test the resistance zone in December. Dogecoin will trade for at least $0.087006 towards the end of the year.

Dogecoin Prediction 2022

TradingBeasts predicts that Dogecoin’s price will pass $0.081 in January 2022. Eventually, penetrate the current all-time in February 2022 to sell at a high of $0.0826640. The bullish movement is expected to continue throughout the year. The cryptocurrency is likely to reach a minimum price of $0.0640377 and $0.0941731 on the upper side.

Price Movement in 2023 and 2024

The fears of missing out and the generally bullish sentiment regarding cryptocurrencies will keep pushing the prices up. In other words, more investors are likely to continue buying dogecoin, pushing prices even higher. According to the trading beast forecast, Dogecoin will open the year at a $0.0954633 maximum price and trade at a minimum of $0.0649150. The price will close at $0.1 price in May 2023, which represents a 55.75% change. Dogecoin will reach $0.1096323 on the higher side and $0.0745500 on the lower side at the close of the year.

In 2024, dogecoin will be trading above the $0.11 mark on the higher side. If the price falls, it will find support at the $0.075 price level. Towards the end of the year, the minimum price will increase to 0.846257. On the higher side, the cryptocurrency will cross $0.12 in September and continue the bullish movement to close the year at a maximum price of $0.12444.

Technical Analysis

The Dogecoin price movement on charts is a mixture of bullish candles and a ranging market. Around mid-February, the dogecoin chart formed a descending triangle followed by a stable trend. If the price breaks the resistance, we could see price movement upwards. A break to the downside could slump to a $0.045 zone. This zone has support from a previous price gap.


Dogecoin price is expected to be bullish all through up to 2025. The charts will have an uptrend to trade over the $0.12 mark, although the typical l ups and downs will be present. One of the most promising aspects of fundamental analysis is the growing popularity among A-list celebrities.

For instance, Elon Musk’s tweets have significantly affected the price of dogecoin. Besides his dogecoin memes, he has announced himself as the unofficial CEO of dogecoin. Similarly, Gene Simmons said he would be buying the currency. But that is not all. Rapper Lil Yachty has claimed he will invest a significant portion of his wealth on dogecoin.

Another fundamental aspect that will affect dogecoins is government regulation. For instance, Nigeria, the second-biggest bitcoin market in the world, has banned the use of cryptocurrencies. The Indian government is also considering banning cryptocurrencies.

On the bright side, financial giants including JPMorgan, Citi, and Sachs are contemplating establishing crypto custody. What’s more, Payments giants MasterCard is set to unveil a platform that will allow merchants to receive cryptocurrency payments. Visa has also published similar plans.

Final Words

Cryptocurrencies have experienced seismic growth in the recent past. Dogecoin is one of the cryptocurrencies that have grown significantly. In fact, it has hit an all-time high within the first two months of 2021. The massive support from Tesla’s Elon Musk and other celebrities could boost investors’ confidence. Ultimately, dogecoin is expected to grow in 2021 through 2024.

Buy Dogecoin with Binance

Africa’s Most Traded Currencies in 2020


The currency of a country tells you a substantial amount about its economy as well as living standards of the people.

As diverse as the African continent and her countries are, so are the currencies which see high daily volumes of trade.

Tunisian Dinar (TND)

The Tunisian Dinar trades at around 2.70 TND for 1 USD. Tunisia was colonized by the French and the use of the French Franc as the main currency continued for years, until 1960, when the country replaced the franc with dinar after obtaining independence.

The monetary policy of the country allows for the export and import of dinars, or the convergence thereof to other currencies, allowing the dinar to be one of the highest traded currencies.

Botswana Pula (BWP)

The Botswana Pula trades at around 11.04 BWP for 1 USD. The Botswana Pula is an attractive currency as traders tend to favour it when trading on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the largest stock exchange in Africa.

US Dollar (USD)

The US Dollar is the most dominant currency which is traded more often than any other currency in the world, forming part of 88% of all trades.

Nigerian Naira (NGN)

The Nigerian Naira trades at around 396.67 NGN for 1 USD. The Central Bank of Nigeria is solely permitted to issue the Nigerian Naria, and it controls the volume of money which is supplied in the economy to ensure that there is monetary and price stability.

Seychellois Rupee (SCR)

The Seychellois Rupee trades at around 20.91 SCR for 1 USD. The Seychellois Rupee, the official currency of Seychelles, falls among the most traded currencies in Africa. It is divided into 100 cents and referred to as ‘Roupi’ in the local Creole language.

Egyptian Pound (EGP)

The Egyptian Pound trades at around 15.66 EGP for 1 USD. Egypt is a famous Arab nation which has been in existence since the biblical times. Egypt is famous for its pyramids and the Egyptian pound, as the local currency, is one of the most valuable in Africa.

Zambian Kwacha (ZMW)

The Zambian Kwacha trades at around 21.38 ZMW for 1 USD. As one of the most valuable and most traded currencies in Africa, the Zambian Kwacha is the local currency of Zambia, a landlocked country in South Africa.

South African Rand (ZAR)

The South African Rand trades at aroxund 15.34 ZAR for 1 USD. South Africa is one of the most developed democratic states in Africa and comes in eighth in the strongest currencies in Africa. South Africa is a vibrant and competitive economy and the only African member of the G20 economic group.

You might like: South Africa is officially one of the fastest growing forex trading industries in the world.

Kenyan Shilling (KES)

The Kenyan Shilling trades at around 110 KES for 1 USD. Next to the US Dollar, the South African Rand, Nigerian Naira, and others, the Kenyan Shilling is one of the most traded currencies in Africa.

Why Africa is Experiencing Record New Traders -Latest Statistics Revealed

Forex trading has, despite sweeping global challenges, increased and strengthened for a variety of reasons.

  • Due to lockdowns on a global front as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent attempts to curb the spread, a lot more people were confined to their homes to work remotely whereas others were left without employment, seeking alternative ways to secure an income.
  • Improved telecommunication across the continent and increased access to the Internet all over Africa brought in massive numbers of new forex traders who signed up to trade on the established electronic trading platforms.
  • Other reasons include the high liquidity that the forex market offers in addition to lowered transactional costs, making it possible for anyone to trade forex, especially through mobile trading.

Newly released statistics

Africa’s economy as a whole is growing substantially and quickly, despite many challenges the continent faces. Africa remains one of the most lucrative destinations for foreign investment and there are many international companies that have established themselves across the continent, says Louis Schoeman from – a global forex analysis platform based in Africa who conducted the survey.

Many notable forex brokers have already witnessed a trading market ripe and ready to be penetrated and featuring near-endless possibilities for traders ranging from beginners, intermediaries, and expert traders.

There are numerous major forex brokers that have obtained the necessary regulation from a top-tier authority to offer their services to African forex traders.

The following regulated brokers supplied us with their percentage growth for 2020

1. “We saw substantial growth of around 100% in trade volume and significantly more than this in our number of active clients in the African Region” – Paul Margarites, Sub-Saharan Director of Exness

2. “On average, we grew 35% in the African market for 2020” – Christodoulos Avraamides, Head of Affiliates, African Division at

3. “Across all South Africa and all channels, the percentage growth in NACS from 2019 to 2020 was 18.3%. In all of Africa’s continent, it’s 20.2%” –  Elena Lautinka, Head of Africa Affiliates at Avatrade

4. “We saw a steady increase of around 22% on clients” – Ayrin Nifanov, Head of African Growth at CM Trading

5. “Tickmill saw a 27.43% increase in Africa alone” – Christoforos Panagiotou Africa Regional Manager of Tickmill

Conclusion: The median growth of all brokers surveyed in Africa was 21,25%

Retail forex trading in Africa may only represent a small segment of the global currency markets – approximately 5.5 percent – but the continent is showing substantial growth, especially in South Africa which accounts for the greatest forex trading volume in Africa.

In February, March, and April 2020, the South African Rand as well as other African currencies experienced weakened price levels against emerging and developed market currencies. However, during July, African currencies showed increased strength followed by weakened conditions again during August.

A record number of Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) licenses were applied for by European and Asian Forex Brokers in 2020.

Despite volatile trading conditions, October and November proved to be substantially fruitful months for African currencies and the positions held in the global forex market.

The main driver of growth in South Africa and Nigeria appears to be that other jurisdictions, such as Europe, have tightened regulations.

This makes Africa and various Asian countries an attractive proposition for regulated retail brokers, particularly those originating from Europe.

Tips On How To Trade The Currency Pair EUR/GBP

EUR is the Euro, the official currency of most European countries, including Italy, France, Germany, Spain, etc.

Conversely, the official currency of the United Kingdom is GPB (Pound Sterling). Both EUR and GBP currencies have higher individual values than the USD (United States Dollar). If you intend to trade the EUR/GBP, here are tips that can help you.

Tips On How To Trade The Currency Pair EUR/GBP

Understand the base and quote currency

When it comes to trading forex pairs, there’s always a base and quote currency. The pair results from a price comparison of the base and quote currency, which indicates the needed amount of the quote currency for buying the base currency.

In the case of EUR/GBP, the EUR is the base currency, as it comes first, while the GBP is the quote currency, as it comes second.

So, when it comes to trading EUR/GBP, we are looking at how much GBP is needed to purchase EUR. In other words, you are selling GBP to buy EUR.

Furthermore, there are two prices involved, which include the bid price and the asking price. The bid price is the quote currency amount for buying the base currency, while the asking price implies the quote currency amount acquired after selling the base currency.

Consider its low volatility

Volatility has to do with how fast or slow trading prices change. The forex market is volatile, considering the large number of currencies involved. However, the EUR/GBP pair has low volatility; their prices don’t change significantly very often.

As mentioned earlier, both EUR and GBP are among the most strongest currencies in the world. European countries use the Euro while the UK uses the Pound Sterling; hence, the EUR/GBP is a relatively stable currency pair, which makes them heavily traded. A major change in their prices would draw massive attention in the forex market and outside it.

Follow the economic news

When trading any currency pair via forex brokerage houses, it is ideal to follow the economic news so you don’t miss any event that could drive a major price change. This applies as well for the EUR/GBP currency pair; besides, EU countries and the UK are involved.

You should not miss important updates, including new monetary policies, capital input, capital withdrawals, inflation, etc. Notably, the short-term rates of both currencies are influenced by economic data announcements.

Therefore, you should check daily in the morning and evening for economic updates about the GBP and EUR. Furthermore, it is ideal to check political news because they can influence investor decisions.

Trade at the right hours

Trading activity in the Forex market usually reaches a peak during certain periods at major financial cities in the world. Hence, Forex trading is distinguished into three activity sessions: North America (New York), European (London), and Asian (Tokyo) sessions. Notably, the European Forex session in London starts from 7 am to 4 pm (GMT).

Although you can trade at any time in the 24/7 forex market, it is ideal to trade the EUR/GBP pair during the European Forex session; a simple way to remember this is “don’t trade when it is dark in London.”

Look out for trends

If you want to perform a profitable EUR/GBP trade, it is vital to identify ongoing trends. For the EUR/GBP pair, you should either use the EUR/GBP price analysis or a technical trend indicator.

Take, for instance, the 200-Day Period Simple Moving Average; if the chart is trending down and the prices shift below the moving average, it is a bearish trend. To avoid getting false trend signals, you should follow only short signals of the EUR/GBP pair.

Similarly, if the chart is trending up and the prices shift above the moving average, it’s an upward trend. To avoid getting false trend signals, you can follow only long signals of the pair.

Look out for correlation with other pairs

While you have your eyes set on EUR and GBP, you should always look out for other forex pairs and how they correlate. Ideally, you should look out for correlation from the past three months.

Pairs with strong correlation are likely to have EUR or GBP; For example, EUR/JPY and GBP/JPY.

With correlation, you can get trading signals for the EUR/GBP pair. Likewise, currencies with strong correlation are ideal for hedging.


Forex trading is a notable means for making money on the internet, while the EUR/GBP pair is a profitable one to trade.

However, as always advised, Forex trading is risky; there’s no guarantee of returns or profits. Therefore, you should only put in what you can afford to lose.

How the Blockchain Can Turnaround Africa’s Mining Industry

The use of the blockchain, otherwise known as the Distributed ledger technologies (DLT), involves the setting up of digitally stored databases around several privately held locations around the globe, enabling the creation of electronic records which can be verified using peer-to-peer mechanisms, without any verifying party having centralized control of the database. Such a record is secure, accessible to all, and is immutable.

The very structure of the blockchain makes it suitable for use in eliminating the various challenges that have beset Africa’s mineral sector, which is riddled with problems that are created from the relative opacity of all segments of the sector. Take any person living in a typical African mining community and ask whether he or she knows what happens to the minerals taken from their soil and you would be lucky to get an informed answer.

The opacity of the processes involved from the extraction point to when the precious minerals and the payments change hands provides the perfect cover for those who game the system at all levels.

In many African countries, national governments do not even know how much of their minerals leave their shores. Such is the level of decadence in the mineral sector in Africa.

The situations above probably operate where there are legitimate governments in place. When there are conflict situations or conditions where renegade movements are in control of the areas where the mineral resources are located, things take a gory turn. The problems of conflict minerals which the film “Blood Diamonds” portrayed in a toned-down manner are now well known.

The emphasis now is to deploy initiatives that can address all the problems associated with Africa’s extractive industry and to bring about improvements. The use of distributed ledger technology will directly address the problems with record-keeping, traceability, and management of the entire supply chain. The blockchain can be used to enforce standards that comply with international conventions on the extraction, processing, marketing, and distribution of mineral resources and their derivatives.

The Issues

The political, economic and social cost of illegal mining in Africa is immense. From Ghana to DR Congo, Nigeria to South Africa, the story is the same. The locals and the economy of the mining communities are left impoverished as vast lands that could be used for agriculture are destroyed by uncontrolled and unethical mining methods.

Local workers are subjected to slave-like, dehumanizing conditions with armed soldiers paid for by these companies, set over these workers. The countries bleed foreign exchange as revenues that could have gone to development projects is siphoned off by large foreign corporations. The only gainers are the big mining companies, their executives and local collaborators in government and the communities.

The Blockchain: The Tool for Audibility and Accountability

Distributed ledger technologies have certain features that make them adaptable as tools of audibility and accountability in the African mineral sector.

  1. They are decentralized and available to all
  2. The records stored on the databases are immutable
  3. The records are open to public scrutiny and validation

The lack of a single clearinghouse or a single point at which information is warehoused makes it very hard to alter records pertaining to the mining operations. A government can in an instant, know who has been granted mining licenses, who has commenced operations, and which companies are not listed on the national database of mining licenses.

Records are secure and cannot be altered or subjected to fraudulent accounting practices. No single person can lay hold of control on the ecosystem. The records can be viewed by all. Transactions can be scrutinized and validated. Tax records of mining companies can immediately be accessed. Prosecution of errant parties in the mining industry can be made a lot easier as incontrovertible evidence of wrongdoing can be gathered quickly. Opacity is sacrificed instantly on the altar of transparency; this is what the blockchain offers.

The blockchain can significantly degrade the ability of those who game the mining industry in Africa in an instant. Its efforts can be supplemented by the demands of increasingly aware consumers, who want to be sure that what they are buying was ethically sourced in an environmentally friendly manner.

Consumers also want to be sure that what they are getting was not produced by dehumanizing labor practices, and that it passed through an accountable supply chain management system that can pinpoint the pathway of the minerals from point of origin to destination.

Blockchain technology is not a fix-all solution to the problems in Africa’s mining industry. But the blockchain forms a very strong foundation on which fundamental change can occur.

Use Case Applications of the Blockchain in Africa’s Mining Industry

One of the ways in which the blockchain can be used to benefit Africa’s mineral industries is by the tracking of conflict minerals. One country that is already doing this is Rwanda. Rwanda became the first country in the world to adopt blockchain technology in addressing the problem of conflict minerals within its borders. Rwanda uses the blockchain to track the entire mining chain of Tantalum, from the mining pots to the refining furnaces.

Another example of the use of distributed ledger technology to track minerals in Africa comes from a private company. IAMGOLD Corporation is a gold miner which is using the blockchain to track responsibly sourced gold. IAMGOLD Corporation has its African operations in Burkina Faso and uses a blockchain technology solution developed by California-based company, Emtech.

These two are examples of how a government and a private corporation in Africa are helping contribute to the use of distributed ledger technologies to combat Africa’s mining problems.

Why Are Bitcoin Exchange Trading Volumes Dropping?

At the time Nicholas Vardy made this statement, the cryptocurrency markets were not in existence. You literally had to open multiple trading accounts with various brokers across the world to chase such opportunities. But the coming of cryptocurrency brokers changed the game and validated Vardy’s proposition. They brought the opportunity to open accounts and trade universal assets from anywhere in the world, with no regulatory-backed prejudices as to who could or could not participate in the market. Borderless trading became a reality, and it was now genuinely possible to seek the crypto bull markets where they could be found.

In many ways, Vardy was right, as the cryptocurrency markets found themselves as the primary destination for desperate traders in March and April 2020. During these times, the cryptocurrency markets began to see surging volumes, as traders who had lost money in other markets tried to recoup them from the strong performances of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple and other cryptos. At those times, exchange trading volumes posted new records as public participation increased.

However, the tide seems to have changed in just three short months. With Bitcoin struggling to get past the $10,000 mark, and with stock markets across the world greatly benefiting from the stimulus packages of central banks, Bitcoin exchange trading volumes have started to drop once more.

According to the latest data from a UK-based data company that specializes in crypto market statistics (CryptoCompare), the top exchanges witness a 36% drop in trading volume in June 2020. That was not all. Other crypto derivatives platforms have seen a decline of more than 35.7%, representing $393 billion in trading volume in the same month. Thus crypto derivatives platforms and exchanges have experienced some of the lowest trading volumes in 2020 on a month-over-month basis.

There is also another way to gauge the volume changes that have occurred in recent times on the charts of Bitcoin and other crypto derivatives. The Average True Range indicator (ATR), which shows the range of movement of an asset in any given day, is one tool that can gauge whether an asset has low trading volumes or not. Higher volumes produce greater volatility and therefore, higher ATR readings. The reverse is the same: lower volumes generate lower market volatility and lower ATR readings. If you look at the ATR for Bitcoin in June, it was not only half of its previous ranges in March/April 2020, but had also dropped to levels that were slightly above its lowest reading for 2020.

The lower volumes seen has cut across the top exchanges and platforms, as well as those exchanges classified as the lower-tier exchanges. This could explain why retail money has left in droves. But is this all that there is to it?

What’s Next for Bitcoin and Other Crypto Derivatives?

As discerning investors with a mind of using the statistics to our benefit, we need to understand what these trading volumes mean and how they will affect the market trends for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency derivatives.

Generally speaking, the cryptocurrency market is still at a stage where retail traders drive most of the trading volumes. These are those who drive the phase of public participation, according to Charles Dow, who first defined the components of a trend. As it is, many of these traders have either entered the HODLers paradise (i.e. have opted to hold their positions as opposed to actively trading them) or have moved their money elsewhere. This is partly responsible for the lull seen in cryptocurrency prices in June.

But after the lull period comes a period of activity, with prices either surging or undergoing a selloff that drives prices lower. Many of these instances occurred in 2019. Usually, a whale who may have accumulated Bitcoin or other cryptos such as Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash or Ripple at a lower/cheaper price, may then decide to sell a large chunk of such holdings for a profit. This action usually triggers panic among retail traders who are still holding, and they start to sell, further accentuating the selloff. Sure enough, when prices have fallen far enough, we see another whale or an institutional player coming into the fray to snap up these cryptos at what can be considered as bargain prices, sending price back up.

This process also works in reverse. A whale could make a mass purchase and drive up prices, but more importantly, wake up the neutral retail traders who have been sitting on the fence and get them to join the fray. This increase in public participation then drives prices even higher, allowing the positions of the initial whale buyers to get into massive profit territory.

The lull forms when no new money is available to buy new positions at prices that are now expensive, and then the whales start to dump their cheaply acquired cryptos at high prices, making huge profits in the process. Of course, this ends up triggering a price fall, more selloffs, and drags down more panicked HODLers among the retail participants, and continues the cycle all over again.

This is a time-tested and proven market sequence which can be predicted to some extent using trading volumes. If you look at the charts, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple and several of the top cryptocurrency CFDs are all trading in a range. It seems as though the markets may be in for a storm after the present calm.

What 2020 Has in Store for Kenyans in Online Forex Trading

This pandemic has as it were, taken up most of the first half of the year, which effectively leaves us six months to rescue what is left of 2020.

Almost every sphere of economic activity has been shut down, except the world of online trading which continues to thrive. This period has seen all financial markets brimming with opportunities.

Bi-directional markets such as the online forex trading market hold a lot of opportunity at the moment and will hold even greater opportunities after COVID-19 has been contained. For Kenyans, there is a lot of opportunities to get started in forex trading right now. Do not buy into the schools of thought that say the forex market is too risky to invest in at this time. Many financial fortunes were changed for the better in the period immediately trailing the 2008 global financial crisis. These were those who understood market cycles and knew how to play the market both ways by buying when they needed to, and shorting when the time was right.

Is the religion of Kenya in the way of forex trading?

Unlike some other African countries like Morocco, Egypt where live over 98% Muslims who often struggle with the question whether is forex trading halal or haram, Kenya has only about 10% Muslims, so only a slight percentage of Kenya’s citizens have to decide whether forex trading is prohibited by Islam or not. Nearly all the rest of the population (85%) are Christians. This means one simple thing. Religion will not stand in the booming popularity of forex trading in Kenya.

Why was the popularity of FX trading so heavily boosted in Kenya?

The popularity of FX trading was given a boost by the introduction of regulation by the capital markets authority. The entrance of the first local forex provider into the market generated a lot of media buzz. This first brokerage was not a 100% indigenous brokerage, but a subsidiary of a Cyprus-based brokerage carrying a CIF license. A second player has since entered the local market, but they are doing so at a time when offshore brokers have had more of a foothold in Kenya than the local ones.

This article highlights what the rest of 2020 has in store for Kenyans in online forex trading. So what lies ahead?

  • More Broker Scrutiny

At the heart of the institution of forex authorization and licensing by the Capital Markets Authority in Kenya is regulation. Kenya is coming from an era where many local traders lost their money to fly-by-night operators. Many of these were shadowy companies with unclear regulation or licensing, and worked with local partners, some of who were also doing things on their own without the consent or knowledge of their principals.

For instance, it was not unusual to see an individual claiming to be a representative of an offshore broker, and offering to manage funds for clients without track record or without any form of regulation. Cases of such persons absconding with the money of their clients were rampant. At this time, the Capital Markets Authority was in existence, but only regulated the Kenyan Stock Exchange and brokers offering trading in local stocks.

With traders suffering such mishaps in the past and the CMA stepping up with regulation, Kenyans can be sure that unregulated forex brokers will not have a field day in the country. Even offshore brokers who step into the market know they have to get their licensing sorted out before they come or they will get nowhere.

  • Quest for Greater Forex Education

With greater forex trading awareness has come the clamour for forex education. Forex brokers now know that forex education is no longer an optional bonus but a necessity for getting and engaging new clients. Competition in providing comprehensive forex education means that Kenyans who want to start online trading will now be able to get access to top quality forex education content that can make a difference for them.

  • More Robust FX Market Due to COVID-19

The world is at a critical juncture and like it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic has created immense trading opportunities in the financial markets. Many currency pairs are trading in price ranges that have not been witnessed before. To put it in another way, if the EURUSD was giving you a daily trading range of 100 to 200 pips a day. All the forex market is asking is this: do Kenyan forex traders have the skills and strategies to take their own share of the COVID-19 opportunities in the forex market?

COVID-19 looks like it will be with the world for several months ahead. This means that there will be lots of opportunities. Many brokers are already reporting increases in new registrations as offline jobs and opportunities dry up. Online opportunities such as forex trading will continue to be around for a lifetime. Therefore, Kenyans need to use this window of opportunity that the increased volatility in the FX market has brought their way to make money from the market.

  • Local Brokers Will Run Alongside Foreign Brokers

It is true that CMA has regulated forex trading, but it cannot prevent Kenyans from trading with offshore brokers. So Kenyans will see a situation in 2020 where regulated offshore brokers will operate alongside the two locally-based forex broker brands. So you still have a choice of what brokers to use. Whatever your choice is, ensure the broker is regulated and has a good track record. Considering that the oldest of the local brokers in Kenya is only 2 years old, there are those Kenyans who would still choose experience and track records over location.

These are some of the things that 2020 has in store for Kenyans in online forex trading. Are you ready for them? Hope you are.

Forex Regulation Across Africa – The Complete Guide

Partly, this intense growth was caused by the fact that ESMA enforced new restriction laws on the maximum leverage that EU traders can use (this caused FX brokers to focus on other big markets, like Africa)

An average of over $5.1 trillion is traded daily in the Forex market. Though worldwide, there are major forex trading centres which include London, Tokyo, Paris, Sydney, New York, Zurich, Singapore, and Hong Kong. A Forex trading day starts in Australia and ends in New York. The market stays open for 24 hours a day and five and a half days a week.

There are specific regulations in countries, continents that oversee the trading of Forex. In some countries, FX trading is restricted and banned while in others, it is fully supported. In this post, our focus is on Africa as we’ll be looking at Forex regulation across the continent.

Overview of Forex Trading In Africa

Forex trading is a very competitive activity, and in Africa, it is no different. The market has experienced speedy growth over the last two decades as more Africans are being enlightened on what Forex entails.

Significantly, the last decade has seen the Forex market go from almost unnoticed to becoming one of the most dynamic industries in the content. This can be attributed to the advent of mobile devices and other technologies.

There are about 1.3 million Forex traders in Africa. South Africa and Nigeria lead the way as both countries constitute a large percentage of the total figure.

Other countries where Forex trading is gaining ground are Kenya, Egypt, Angola, Namibia, and Tanzania. This has attracted international Forex brokers like IQ Option, IC Markets, XM Forex Trading, ForexTime (FXTM), and Olymp Trade.

With this vast amount of forex traders, it is expected that government financial regulatory bodies will be interested in monitoring trading activities in individual countries.

Forex-Friendly African Countries

A lot of African countries are Forex-friendly, but there are minor restrictions from the government. Forex can be traded in Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Namibia, Ivory Coast, and many other African countries.

Whereas Forex trading cannot be said to be legalized in these countries, it also does not break the law. Before a Forex broker can offer Forex trading services to a country’s citizen, it is mostly mandatory to acquire a trading license.

Forex-Prohibited African Countries

Currently, a complete Forex ban is not placed on any country in Africa, unlike world countries like North Korea and Israel. As stated earlier, there are minor restrictions from the government in some countries. These restrictions do not prohibit the trade of Forex but are imposed to prevent fraudulent and scam activities.

Some of these restrictions are on the maximum trading amount and the maximum amount you can have in your Forex account. These are similar to Forex restrictions imposed in countries like China and Russia. Furthermore, Forex trading with non-licensed Forex brokers is prohibited in some African countries. Likewise, you can only trade Forex for yourself and not for anyone else (identification is mandatory for most Forex brokers).

Forex trading is usually not welcomed in countries governed with strict sharia laws. As a result, countries like Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Egypt, etc., may not be the best to engage in Forex trading.

Let’s consider how Forex trading is regulated in some major African countries:

Forex Regulation In South Africa

In South Africa, various regulatory trading rules are put in place to minimize Forex trading risks. These regulations are imposed by the South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), formerly known as the Financial Services Board (FSB). The FSCA is the body responsible for monitoring and controlling all financial activities in the country. It is the most vigorous Forex market regulation in Africa.

The FSCA regulatory policies are in line with what is obtainable from regulatory bodies overseas. Notably, all OTC derivative brokers must report all trades in a bid to organize CFDs. Through the FSCA, Forex brokers can relate with each other without resulting in conflict.

According to, the FSCA license incorporates some immense benefits like that FX brokers regulated by the FSCA treat their customer in good faith and that they help them with financial education and financial literacy. Not to mention that if anything goes south, a South African trader who is trading with FSCA regulated broker can go to FSCA if they think they have been scammed by their broker or mistreated.

Forex Regulation In Kenya

In Kenya, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) regulates all financial activities, including foreign exchange trading. Before a Forex broker can do business in Kenya, they must be registered and licensed by the CMA.

Forex was previously unregulated in Kenya. Before 2016, lots of Kenyans were trading with unregulated brokers, and there were too many reports of fraudulent activities. As a result, the Kenyan government authorized the CMA to regulate Forex trading activities in the Finance Act 2016. The principal aim of the regulation is to make the market transparent and protect investors’ funds.

The CMA drew regulatory leads from international regulatory bodies like the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Forex Regulation In Nigeria

Forex trading in Nigeria is still unregulated despite the market being one of the most active ones in the continent. However, it is perceived that the country’s apex bank is working with the Securities Exchange Commission to commence Forex trade regulation.

Despite the absence of regulation in the country, the government does not consider Forex trading illegal. There are local Forex brokers who register just like other businesses and carry out foreign exchange activities as usual. Most Forex traders in Nigeria make use of foreign Forex brokers rather than the local ones due to this lack of regulation. The trading risk is totally on the trader, so they assume the foreign brokers are more trustworthy.

Banking policies do have effects on Forex trading in Nigeria. Some Nigerian banks may prevent customers from using their electronic cards to make payments or withdraw from foreign exchange platforms. Presently, there are imposed restrictions on the amount of foreign currency a Nigerian can spend outside the country. These are individual policies that could be eliminated if the Nigerian government properly legalizes Forex trading.

How To Select The Best Forex Broker For Africa

Due to the risks involved in Forex trading, it is vital to be cautious when deciding on the best Forex broker to invest in Africa.

Firstly, you should check for the broker license. If Forex trading is regulated in your country, check to see the Forex brokers licensed by the regulatory body. For a country like Nigeria, where the market is not restricted, consider foreign brokers who are licensed by global licensing authorities.

The next thing to do is to check out the trading platforms offered by these brokers. Check for their deposit bonuses, ratings, minimum deposit, and payment options before making a decision. For a practical trading experience, a Forex demo account should be featured where you can try your hands before going live. Do not invest real money if you haven’t fully understood how the platform works.

How To Stay Safe While Trading Forex

You should avoid any unlicensed Forex broker in Africa. The amount of Forex scams in African countries is on the high side, and it has resulted in grave losses for the victims. By going with a well-licensed broker, this risk is almost eliminated, and you can trade more assuredly.

Additionally, you should be cautious when making a substantial investment when you don’t fully understand the Forex market. Likewise, you should control your emotions and don’t spend all your money on Forex trading.

Conclusion – The Future Of Forex In Africa

Interest in Forex will undoubtedly continue to rise in the coming years. The sensitization level is currently high as Forex trading is advertised on newspapers, TVs, radios, websites, etc.

There are equally Forex seminars and programs to create awareness. More overseas Forex brokers are also picking interest in offering their services to African countries. Consequently, better regulatory policies will be imposed in countries that lack them so that aspiring traders can trade safely.

Actionable Tips For Day Trading Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies can be day traded, and they come with a huge advantage: the markets are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means that for each trading day, you get more hours to day trade than you would have for trading stocks. You also have an advantage over day trading forex in the sense that there are no specific overlap hours where volatility is at its highest.

However, cryptocurrencies also come with some baggage as well: they come with super crazy volatility. Moves of up to hundreds and even thousands of dollars can occur in as little as one hour, especially when trading very volatile cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Just last week, Bitcoin shed nearly 40% of its value in less than 30 minutes as a massive selloff hit the markets. Such volatility means that cryptocurrencies are usually offered by brokers on a low leverage, high margin basis. Moreover, the BTCUSD crypto pair incurs hefty rollover charges, so it is usually not in your best interest to leave cryptocurrency positions overnight on your FX platforms. That’s why day trading cryptocurrencies is the pathway to follow.

To be able to trade cryptocurrencies successfully, there are some actionable tips you have to follow. These actionable tips cut across trading practices, asset selection and attitude.

Tip 1: Decide on How You Want to Day Trade Cryptocurrencies

There are two ways to day trade cryptocurrencies. You can either buy a crypto on an exchange and hope its price goes up during the day’s trading hours, after which you sell them off, or you can speculate on the contracts-for-difference assets (CFDs) of the cryptocurrency of your choice using long and short orders on the platform of your FX broker.

Each method has its nuances, advantages and disadvantages. So you need to decide on which form of crypto day trading will work for you after taking all these factors into consideration.

Tip 2: Stick to the Popular Cryptos

All cryptocurrencies are not created the same and therefore do not have the same characteristics. You cannot compare cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Monero and Ripple which are ranked by TradingBeasts as the best cryptocurrencies to day trade with deadbeat coins that are probably listed on one deadbeat exchange and which hardly even gets a look-in from the trading public.

The popular cryptocurrencies are your money-makers. They have more volatility, greater trading volume and therefore are more likely to deliver the kinds of movements you need to see within a few hours to make profitable intraday trading possible.

It is best you stick to pairings that feature the cryptos mentioned above, so you can be sure you have a good range of movement to make your crypto trading profitable. You can also scan the markets to see which of the listed cryptocurrency pairs on your platforms are doing very well in terms of range of movement.

Tip 3: Ensure Your Account Is Adequately Funded

The margin requirements for cryptocurrency CFD trading are very high: usually, you will be asked to provide half of the cost of setting up a position on your selected cryptocurrency as margin. Let’s take for instance you want to trade a Mini-Lot of the BTCUSD pair (i.e. 0.1 lots). Some brokers may charge up to $200 to setup a mini-lot position on the BTCUSD pair. What this means is that you would have to come up with half of this amount as margin, which would be $100.

The risk management rule requires that no more than 3% of your account size must go into a trade. If you were to trade BTCUSD with a margin of $100, you would need an account size of a minimum of $5,000 to be able to trade such a lot size. The reason is simple. A loss of 3% of your account will not cause undue problems for your account size. However, a loss that translates to 20% or 30% of your account is a major loss. Your account will struggle to recover thereafter. When you have an adequately funded account, it will enable

Tip 4: Low Capital? Trade Other Less Demanding Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that demands the highest margin of all traded cryptos. You can always trade other cryptocurrencies that do not attract high margin requirements. For instance, the trading of other cryptocurrencies such as Ripple and Litecoin attracts margin costs which are far lower than that of Bitcoin.

Indeed, a platform we reviewed showed that the margin requirement for a Standard Lot position for Litecoin was $7.37, while that for Bitcoin on the same platform was $1,733, nearly 235 times more than the LTCUSD position. Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash are correlated with the price movements of Bitcoin, so you can use them as mirror assets of Bitcoin, at highly reduced trade costs.

Tip 5: Use Correlations to Improve Your Outcomes

Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin are highly correlated with the price of Bitcoin. They were both designed using the Bitcoin blockchain and therefore track the price moves of Bitcoin with a high degree of accuracy. Ripple also correlates with Bitcoin’s movements, but to a lesser degree.

Sometimes, you have to know what is happening in one correlated asset in order to predict what may happen with the other correlated asset. There are instances where one asset makes a move before its correlated asset. Use this to your advantage.

Tip 6: Pay Attention to the News

You have to really be on top of things when it comes to trading cryptocurrencies using the news. The snag here is that unlike what is obtainable in the FX market, the cryptocurrency market has no news calendar that is specific to it. Therefore, you have to find a way to source for the latest crypto news, especially when you notice some very abrupt, sharp price moves on any crypto.

The best news sources for crypto market-moving events are usually the social media platforms. There are many people who have made it their job to track events in the crypto market and report on it. So when there is news of a partnership between a crypto project and a mainstream company, they tend to hear it faster than others because of the networks they have built. It is your job to identify such sources and use them as your news sources.

Conclusion on tips for day trading cryptocurrencies

These are the actionable tips you can use to improve your chances of success as you engage in crypto day trading. Ensure you follow these tips to the letter.

Bitcoin Price Prediction for 2020

This is a very important question and it is always good to have some ideas as to what the price trajectory for Bitcoin will be heading down towards this halving event, and thereafter for the rest of 2020.

Bitcoin had a very interesting 2019. That year’s price moves can best be described as a roller coaster because the present price levels that have been attained by the BTCUSD pair (i.e. from $9500 to $10,500) were resistance areas that were tested at least four times in 2019, but all tests failed to break this price range to the upside. This resulted in price dropping to as low as $6,800, where BTCUSD eventually found support.

Bitcoin started off this year on a bullish note. However, the fundamentals responsible for this move did not come from BTCUSD itself, but from other external factors. Let us look at what these factors are and how they will play a role in the price outlook for Bitcoin in 2020.

The Fundamentals

The unheralded Istanbul hardfork is doing some great things within the Bitcoin blockchain itself. A recent report by Coin Metrics, a company that provides analytics of individual blockchain networks and the crypto market, indicates a strong improvement in some of the Bitcoin network metrics.

  • Ether’s realized cap climbed 3.6% last week.
  • Mining difficulty is up by 3.6%
  • The hash rate jumped 3.7%
  • The Ether network is attaining better supply distribution, spreading out Ether hitherto trapped in ICO crowdsales into the hands of new owners. ICO addresses which once held up to 60% of all circulating Ether in 2016, now hold only 40%.

As indicated by crypto economist Alex Kruger, there is evidence that an entity has been mopping up a lot of Ether tokens, with the trading volume for ETHUSD rising nearly 4 times in the last week than was witnessed in the entire second half of 2019.

So we can say that things are looking up on the fundamental side of the equation. There is some fundamental basis for the recent uptick in prices. But what do the charts say?

Bitcoin Price Outlook for 2020

Many self-professed gurus have come out to project some astounding prices for Bitcoin in 2020. Now that BTCUSD has hit a road block at $10,500, many of them have started to walk back on their comments. A few have stuck to their guns. But what do we advocate here? We follow what the charts say.

The year 2020 is still very young: only two months old. However, we shall attempt to provide our Bitcoin price projection for 2020 using quarterly projections and not monthly projections. Any price projections made here are not set in gold and they are definitely not a definitive recommendation to buy or sell Bitcoin or any crypto-asset for that matter.

So what do the charts say?

Forget any of the rallies in price which have just occurred. The long-term chart shows clearly that Bitcoin still remains in a downtrend. All that has been happening is rallies within a downtrend, and that explains why sellers re-enter after the deceived traders who know nothing about the Dow theory of price action rush in with their buy orders.

What happens? Bitcoin price rallies to some extent, and then a relentless selloff begins as the informed traders who were waiting all along for the right moment, go in and initiate a hard selloff that burns fingers all the way down. According to popular TradingBeast’s Bitcoin Predictions this downtrend of Bitcoin should further deepen in 2020 and the bitcoin price should on average hover around the 8 000 dollar mark.

See, when the so-called “gurus” come out to say that Bitcoin will hit $100,000 or $250,000 a coin, they are not stupid. Some of them deliberately sell this narrative through recognized media houses, who of course will render the stories and interviews for the ratings.

But what uninformed investors may not realize is that some of these “gurus” actually have shorts hanging around at just the right levels. Once the goon traders buy the “predictions” that these guys are selling, all they end up doing is driving rallies within the downtrend, making Bitcoin cheap for the professionals to sell once price hits the relevant points.

We have seen it happen all over again this week. Take a look at the weekly chart below, and you can see that the recent price levels that got all the gurus touting a 6-figure price spike had actually been tested before in 2019. All three tests of those levels failed.

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BTC/USD Weekly Chart Showing Previous Failed Attempts to Break Above 10,500

BitMEX exchange reported that over $150 million worth of long positions on its exchange were liquidated in the latest price crash of February 26, 2020; the largest for 2020. Hardly surprising: too many people got sucked in again.

Now let’s look at the daily chart for Bitcoin below. We can see that the magical $10,500 price level had actually been tested last year and it was not broken. In fact, price fell all the way below $7000 from that rejection at that price. Moreover, the presence of the bearish engulfing pattern right at that point told smart traders what to do: it was time to start selling.

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BTC/USD Daily Chart Showing Bearish Engulfing Sell Signal at the 10,500 Resistance

So what are the realistic Bitcoin price predictions for 2020?

Q1 2020

The last time that BTCUSD tested the 10,500 level and failed to break it to the upside, we witnessed a calamitous drop that took the pair to 6,500. This was in Nov/Dec 2019. If we base our Bitcoin price predictions for the rest of the first quarter of 2020, it may be safe to say that history may repeat itself. It is hard to see Bitcoin trading above 9,500, but again, it is hard to see BTCUSD fall all the way to 6500.

A careful look at the daily chart for BTCUSD will show that the asset is actually trading within the corrective phase of the Elliot wave pattern.

BTC/USD Daily Chart and Elliot Wave Pattern

The question is, is the c-wave correction over, especially with price now at a 50% retracement from the swing low that marks the start of impulse wave 1, to the swing high marked by the peak of wave 5/start of corrective wave a?

It is likely that BTCUSD may make another push to the upside, but it is hard to see it trading above 9,900 or below 8000 (61.8% Fibo retracement shown above). So the Q1 2020 target should be between 8,000 and 9,900.

Q2 and Q3 2020

Q2 2020 brings along the Bitcoin halving event. There is still a lot of division among experts as to how this halving event will affect the price of Bitcoin. 85% of minable Bitcoin has already been mined, and a large chunk of this is either in wallets with missing private keys (and therefore lost forever), in stolen caches which are getting harder to get rid off or in the hands of law enforcement agencies.

The Finnish government was revealed to have close to 6,600 BTC it seized in drug busts, and unlike the US authorities who typically auction theirs after some time, the Finnish authorities do not plan to sell theirs anytime soon.

What this means is that no one actually knows how much Bitcoin is freely circulating. Now we may be wrong, but we do not really believe that the Bitcoin halving event will have long-term price effects on the BTCUSD. Short term, it may lead to a lot of demand buying just before the event, but we think this will be replaced by coin offloads once people realize that this is not going to be apocalyptic event.

So we have the possibility of BTCUSD actually testing the 10,500 or even 11,000 price levels in April/May 2020. But after then, we expect a selloff that would take prices back to the 8,000 to 9,900 mark by June.

Q3 and Q4 2020

Election season in the US could trigger some changes in the cryptocurrency markets in terms of policy. This may be the period when institutional trading in BTC starts to get some serious attention. Institutional involvement could see a bull run on BTCUSD that may allow it to start approaching its 2017 highs.

Only then can we truly start to think of BTC turning a corner. However, institutional involvement will bring less volatility on BTC, and so any price increase in BTC will be much slower than we are seeing at the moment.

We expect to see BTCUSD trading anywhere from 10,000 to 13,000 at this time, but only if the institutional players get involved. If this is not the case, then we may have to deal with range-bound prices that spill on from Q3 to Q4 2020. $8,800 to $11,000 may be a reasonable price range, but a shock drop to $7000 and back up again cannot be ruled out.

Anything can happen on the fundamental front and if this is the case, any price predictions can be totally upset by such events, rendering these null and void.

What Does 2020 Have in Store for the Blockchain?

2018 and 2019 could be described as years in which there was a redefinition of blockchain technology and to what uses it should be channelled to. The decline of the market in 2018 as well as the rollercoaster ride of 2019 gave room for real-life use cases for blockchain technology to come to the fore.

So what does 2020 have in store for the blockchain? We can expect to see the following:

1. Greater Regulation

A bill has been submitted to the US Congress seeking to provide a proper regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, with legal backing. Harnessing the full potential of the blockchain and cryptocurrencies is only possible when this industry is regulated just enough to root out the bad guys, but not too much as to stifle innovation.

Many countries may perhaps be waiting to see what model of regulation the US brings to the table. Successful deployment of a regulatory framework in the US could spur a slew of similar actions across the globe.

2. Greater Institutional Footprint

If blockchain assets and other digital currencies are brought into regulation in the US, this may finally give the confidence to other institutional players to bring money into the market, knowing that they have a cover for their humongous investments. Enterprise adoption is going to increase and we will see further deepening of the cryptocurrency market as well as adoption of more real life use cases for blockchain projects.

3. The Death of More ICOs of Yesteryears

Many more of the much-hyped ICOs of 2017 and 2018 that were on one form of life support or another may finally be killed off this year as disillusioned investors jettison whatever they can of their battered holdings in order to recover some of their investment. Many of those ICOs were simply riding the moving horse. With that horse starting to tire, it became aware of all the deadweight and started to throw them off its back. This is exactly what has happened to all the deadbeat ICOs which had no real product, no value to add, but only served as a way for the founders to make money off gullible people who could not predict what would happen down the road.

4. More Funding for Viable Blockchain Projects

Ripple was able to raise an additional $200m in December 2019 despite the underwhelming performance of its token in the market. The reason is simple: it has a working product which is gathering loads of attention from the relevant market and more players in that sector are signing up. Projects which have great use case scenarios will keep attracting more funding and more clientele. It will only be a matter of time before the boys are separated from the men.

5. Bitcoin to Continue Its Market Domination

Bitcoin looks good to continue its dominance in the cryptocurrency market. According to TradingBeasts cryptocurrency guide for novice traders, it still commands the market capitalization, the trading volumes and market interest all across the world to maintain this position. Mention some other cryptocurrency in some parts of the world and many would draw blank; mention Bitcoin and the lights come on.

We expect this to continue in 2020. This will be more pronounced in countries whose national currencies would struggle in the face of economic turmoil. In these areas, Bitcoin would become the new safe haven asset, which only serves to continue Bitcoin’s market domination.

6. Launch of a Few National Cryptocurrencies

Some countries are in the stage of conceptualization, or are already in advanced stages of development of their national cryptocurrencies. Examples of countries that are considering launching digital versions of their national currencies include Switzerland and China, although the latter continues to keep mum over such a development. 2020 may also see more countries opening discussions and consultations to kickstart the digitalization of their national countries. However, these discussions seem to be well pronounced in Europe, less so in Asia and virtually non-existent in Africa and Latin America. Will the lagging countries be open to the idea? 2020 will tell.

7. The Make or Break Year for Libra

Libra is yet to take off the blocks and already the project has started to face hitches with stiff opposition from the US, France and a few other countries. Some of its consort partners have also pulled out of the project. 2020 will determine if this project will take off or if Mark Zuckerberg and his team will decide to either kill off the project or replace it with something that is more agreeable to regulators and finance ministers.

So these are the events we think will shape the blockchain industry in 2020.

3 Stock Sectors with the Biggest Potential in 2020

However, we need to define what we mean by the biggest potential. We mean stocks that give the potential for good returns in terms of percentage returns on investment. We will not include sectors that necessarily pay the highest dividends as this will be a bit too limiting.

Also, there are alternative ways of getting your investment funds into these sectors apart from buying the stocks directly. You may buy options or even get into funds that provide sectorial exposure so as to maximize returns with as little risk as possible.

So without further ado, here are the three stock sectors with the biggest potential in 2020.

Healthcare Stocks

Advances in various aspects of healthcare in the last three years have made this sector a pretty hot one. Some people call these the biotechnology stocks. They are mostly listed on the Nasdaq. This is where you will find stocks such as EDITAS, CRSP Pharmaceuticals, Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Acadia Pharmaceuticals.

Companies in this sector have been involved in ground-breaking research into areas such as genome editing, which aims to use gene-based therapies to treat previously incurable ailments such as sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis. Other companies are revolutionizing treatments and diagnostic processes, or developing new medication to replace existing ones.

Traditionally, these companies usually see bursts of growth in their share price whenever they make a major product breakthrough or get a huge approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US. With companies such as EDITAS already in advanced clinical trials, watch out for big announcements from some of the biotech stocks that will make them quite attractive to investors.

Semiconductor Stocks (Chipmakers)

Chipmakers did not have a good 2019 as a result of the US-China trade war. However, a key event this year may change everything for chipmakers. The Bitcoin halving event is due to come up in May 2020. This will reduce by half, the yield for every Bitcoin block that is mined on the blockchain. Already, Bitcoin has been mined by more than 85%. Some of the already mined Bitcoin has either been stolen, being hoarded or lost forever.

Therefore, with very little BTC left to mine, and with cryptocurrencies forecast to have a generally bullish year, we feel that there will be a race to develop even more advanced mining rigs to grind out the last bits and pieces of Bitcoin that there ever will be. The race to develop the most advanced miners using graphic cards from chipmakers could be on. With chipmaker prices at the lower end of the rack, there could be good opportunities in these stocks in 2020.

Technology Stocks

Just take a look at what some of the tech companies are already doing on the Nasdaq and S&P 500 in the first two weeks of 2020 and you will know why this category of stocks has been added to this list. The technology companies listed in the S&P 500 have doubled the returns on the market in the last 5 years, posting a healthy 109% returns and trumping nearly every other sector.

In fact, tech stocks returned 40% in 2019 alone. In contrast, energy stocks have dropped more than 30% in the last 5 years! So why should tech stocks not be on the top 3 sectors with the biggest potential in 2020?

Picking Stocks in the Sectors with Biggest Potential

This is not a specific buy and sell recommendation, but rather a guide on what to look for when researching stocks from these sectors to invest in. Ideally, you need to look at the earnings reports of your potential interests to see if they are doing the following:

  1. Are they increasing sales and revenue over time?
  2. Are they having healthier operating margins when compared to other companies in the same sector? Operating margin is derived by dividing the year’s income by the total sales figure for the quarter, or on an annualized basis.

Ok, let’s cut out all the terminologies that may confuse beginners. You need to check to see if the company you want to invest in is actually making larger amounts of money or not. What is the returns on investment like? In the case of biotech stocks, are you attracting investment and meeting the milestones for a research or a clinical trial?

These are the questions to answer so as to position yourself in the stocks from these three sectors that can turn your finances around.