Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Forecast – Bitcoin Prices Threaten All Time Highs

The bitcoin prices seem to have gone berserk and it appears as though it is only a matter of time before we see the all time highs being broken in the bitcoin market. There does not seem to be anything fundamental that has changed in the bitcoin industry to warrant such an uptrend but it is the general build up in demand from all across the world as the traders begin to gain more and more confidence in bitcoins. We have seen a surge in demand from South Korea and Japan as well and we have also seen Japan authorising bitcoin exchanges which is a ringing endorsement of the industry.

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Bitcoin Prices Target $5000

All the events point to the fact that the market is maturing in a slow and steady manner as time wears on and we believe that all this points to the continuing uptrend in the bitcoin markets. The prices are slowing down and consolidating as they near their all time highs and also the psychological mark of $5000 and we expect this consolidation to continue for some more time. The bitcoin market seems to like the weekend and so maybe we could see the new highs coming in the bitcoin prices over the weekend. Though the direct relationship between the strength of the dollar and bitcoin prices has not yet been established, we believe that increasing tension in the Korean region and weakening of the dollar could also have an impact on the prices.

Ethereum prices have been struggling to move higher during the past few days and the struggle continues over the last 24 hours. The prices made small progress towards the $300 region but it seems as though the upcoming fork next week is weighing on the markets and so we can expect it to stay weak in the short term.

Forecast

Looking at the rest of the day, we believe that the consolidation in the bitcoin and ETH markets are likely to continue for the rest of the day. The bitcoin traders would be watching for a break of $5000 which is likely to lead to a large breakout while the ETH traders would be hoping that the ETH prices can follow suit.

The Best and Safest Way to Buy and Sell Bitcoins

For those who are looking to take advantage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies price fluctuations, Some brokers provide traders with instant access to trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. The process is fast and easy with convenient and advanced trading platform (desktop and mobile), low spreads and instant execution. Click here for more details.

Market Snapshot – Bitcoin Prices Surge Higher

Bitcoin Prices Threaten All Time Highs

Bitcoin prices have been staging one of the biggest turnarounds in its short history after being hit severely by the action from the Chinese regulators banning ICOs and bitcoin exchanges as well. This action led to a 20% drop in the bitcoin prices in a matter of few days. But since then, the prices have been recovering in a slow and steady manner and now the prices seem to have gained momentum since the beginning of the week. The prices are trading near their all time highs and so far, it looks as though it is only going to be a matter of time before the prices break through this region and head towards $5000. It is just a reaffirmation that this market is here to stay and that it is going to be unavoidable to stop the bitcoin market in its track. It also explains the extent of maturity in the market as bitcoin and its underlying technology begin to be used for a variety of purposes.

Dollar on the Backfoot

The market has returned back to full liquidity today after the holiday in Japan, US and Canada yesterday and since morning, the dollar has been on the backfoot. The manufacturing production data from the UK came in today and this came in stronger than expected which has helped the pound to climb higher and has also helped to boost the stocks in the UK. This weakening in the dollar is likely to continue through till tomorrow when the FOMC minutes are to be released.

Cryptocurrencies are Certainly Becoming Hip

Bitcoin began its march back to the top of the pile after a nervous couple of weeks. A strong upward movement took it back to its previous highs approaching the all-important, psychological, $5000 level. It is trading way above the 21 EMA, the very strong support here, holding throughout this latest rally.

With interest in bitcoin increasing on a daily basis, and confident stories in the press, and on the internet, painting a favorable picture for this, and other cryptocurrencies, the $5000 point may well be breached this week. All of the indicators are strongly positive. The 14 ADX showed a brief wobble last week but is now strongly positive again as is our pulse signal, which is showing as bullish. The divergence indicator, too, is also showing a positive upward trend, with no sign of reversing.

Bitcoin Daily Chart
Bitcoin Daily Chart

Bitcoin’s performance is a massive temptation for anybody, of course, and Alex Hern, who posted in The Guardian yesterday, the story about cryptocurrency being the new celebrity, “must have” accessory.

Because of the massive popularity and PR that cryptocurrencies are gaining, companies raise funds through ICOs (initial coin offerings) and become an attraction to celebrities as well.

Some celebrities invest large amounts of their own cash in crypto, hoping to make a killing in the market and boost their wealth.

One of the people which Hern cites in his article is Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah. For those not familiar with the group, they started out in 1992, and hail from Staten Island, New York. They have had a string of hit hip-hop records, and have amassed a fortune for the various members of the band who collaborate, on an ad hoc basis to create their music. They have a syndicated clothing, video games, and all of the usual money-spinning merchandise associated with big-name musical acts. Ghostface Killah (a.k.a. Dennis Coles), one of the most prominent rappers in the group, is the first to venture out into cryptocurrencies though.

Coles has started Cream Capital as a cryptocurrency firm and is trying to raise $30 million in order to fund a network of ATMs which are based on the blockchain. In addition, he wants to use a cryptocurrency, pegged to the US dollar, as well as an exchange which can deal with both currencies.

Confident that he is au fait with the technology behind the blockchain and its role in the future he says, referencing his group, “Wu-Tang is for the children and the children will use the blockchain.”

Coles, though, is not alone in venturing into the crypto territory. Paris Hilton, the hotel heiress, socialite, and reality TV star, has turned her attention to LydianCoins ICO. LydianCoins intends to be a data marketing cloud for blockchain, based on artificial intelligence principles.

Also jumping onto the crypto bandwagon is the boxer, Floyd Mayweather. He has been involved with Stox.coms ICO. this is a “Bancor-based open source prediction market platform that is built on the digital currency Ethereum”, as the crypto industry news site Coin Telegraph quotes.

Cryptocurrencies are certainly becoming hip, they seem to be the ones to watch at the moment and it remains to be seen whether this is something which will gain traction, or fall by the wayside as just another fashion trend. For the moment though, the trend looks very much upwards…

Noble Gold specializes in IRAs and 401(k) rollovers through precious metals and cryptocurrencies investments.

Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Forecast – ETH Fails to Join the Bitcoin Party

In what is turning out to be an amazing turnaround in the bitcoin market, the prices have now soared towards the $4800 mark and the bitcoin prices trade just above this as of this writing. The market has well and truly shaken off the correction due to the action of the Chinese regulators and it now seems to be only a matter of time before the prices begin to challenge all time highs in the $5000 region. After the correction which took the prices below the $4000 region following the closure of bitcoin exchanges, it looked as though it was all over for the bulls and the market as a whole. But the prices have since rebounded and in a matter of a couple of weeks, the prices are back to where they were before the ban.

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Bitcoin Prices Continue Higher

This shows the resilience and the maturity of the market and it also shows that investors and traders continue to believe in the technology and the bitcoin industry and continue to view it as a viable alternative to the fiat currencies. The fact that the prices have been bouncing every time after there has been a strong correction only improves the confidence of the traders which would, in turn, mean that next time, the corrections would have a much lesser impact as there would be many traders willing to buy and thus support the prices.

Bitcoin 4H
Bitcoin 4H

It is the ETH market that seems to be suffering a big blow as a combination of the ban on ICOs by many regulators and the upcoming form in ethereum next week is weighing on the prices. It did try to make a breakthrough $300 yesterday but that has been promptly sold into and it now trades in a weak manner below $300 as of this writing. It is likely to continue to be weak in the short term, at least until the fork is complete.

Forecast

Looking ahead to the rest of the day, we believe that the bitcoin prices could be challenging the all-time highs pretty soon and a visit to that region could be followed by some consolidation and correction as well. The ETH prices are likely to suffer in the short term as it has not been able to join the bitcoin party as yet.

The Best and Safest Way to Buy and Sell Bitcoins

For those who are looking to take advantage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies price fluctuations, Some brokers provide traders with instant access to trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. The process is fast and easy with convenient and advanced trading platform (desktop and mobile), low spreads and instant execution. Click here for more details.

RoboForex is launching trading CFDs on cryptocurrencies

Limassol (CY), October 9, 2017 – RoboForex, an international brokerage group, which provides online trading services on the global financial markets, has expanded the list of its offers available to clients and enabled access to trading CFDs on cryptocurrencies. Two of the most liquid digital currencies, bitcoin, and ethereum, have been added to the list of trading instruments in MT4 and MT5 terminals. Therefore, RoboForex responded to its clients, who requested to make virtual assets that were becoming more and more popular available for trading.

RoboForex gave its clients an opportunity to trade two of the most advanced and popular instruments, BTC/USD and ETH/USD. Not only traders will benefit from trading with new cryptocurrency instruments, but the partners, who will get their partner commission for cryptocurrency CFD orders, as well. All trading instruments mentioned above are already available to RoboForex clients.

At the moment, bitcoin and ethereum are one of the most popular and volatile trading instruments that draw the interest of both traders and investors. Over the last 8 months, bitcoin has almost tripled its price and once again attracted a lot of attention of professional traders and beginners of the currency market. Ethereum growth rates are also impressive: at the beginning of the year it cost just 8 USD, but nowadays its price equals to 295 USD. Right now, the market capitalization of ethereum is about 27.3 billion USD, of bitcoin – 64.5 billion USD.

The impressive growth of the cryptocurrencies market capitalization reflects the strong interest of buyers and investors to these assets. Kiryl Kirychenka, Product Manager at RoboForex, says: “We’ve decided to enable cryptocurrencies for CFDs trading in the first place because of the keen interest of traders from all over the world to these assets. From now on, our clients will be able to derive profit from the fast-growing cryptocurrency market without having to buy them. RoboForex offers one of the most favorable trading conditions for transactions involving digital currencies for both traders and investors. In the nearest future, we’re planning to continue developing in this direction and fundamentally improve our offers by adding new instruments and making trading conditions better”.

According to many specialists, the cryptocurrency market has a great potential. Today’s average daily turnover of transactions involving cryptocurrencies is worth about 3 billion USD. Since the beginning of 2017, this number has increased eightfold and is still growing. The interest in cryptocurrencies continues rising and some countries have already accepted them as an official payment instrument. The number of goods and services that can be bought or exchanged for cryptocurrencies is also increasing, which makes these assets more liquid.

Possible New Bitcoin Rally Once the €4,000 Resistance is Shattered

A new rally appears to be underway, and considering how poorly altcoins have performed this weekend, it might end up being a substantial leg up in price. The $4,679.97 monthly high is our near-term target, which is incidentally, almost €4,000 at the current exchange rate, and is serving as a psychological barrier that is holding back further growth.

BTC/USD 1H Chart
BTC/USD 1H Chart

This is right on cue, as the bitcoin cash community is having an elongated debate on removing the Emergency Difficulty Adjustment safeguard feature from their network protocol. Bitcoin gold is also drawing in some minor headlines.

Morgan Stanley’s CEO, James P. Gorman, has begun calling bitcoin more than a fad, praising the first cryptocurrency in a somewhat similar fashion to Goldman Sachs former VP, Matthew Goetz. Announcements from current and former high ranking banking officials will probably be prevalent until the months’ end, presumably from other top US bank executives and administrators as well.

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China and its regulators are prominent in the media too, with fresh articles primarily revealing more information on licensing issues, and how it will specifically pertain to local bitcoin exchanges.

Singapore has taken a different stance though and has decided to only regulate fintech businesses, not cryptocurrencies and assets in general. Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, answered questions on government policy relating to cryptocurrencies, the technicalities, and minutia of it all was covered in a new Bitcoin News article.

BitFlyer, a Japanese bitcoin exchange, has released a new bitcoin prepaid card, offering its user base additional benefits and perks in regards to fiat conversion. Japan looks to be on the forefront of new financial services, at least according to a new article from bitcoin.com. This is in stark contrast to the latest announcement from CryptoPay, which has disabled newly issued and shipped contactless prepaid cards and has as of late, garnered a lot of hate in the community.

Taiwan seems to be taking a slightly friendlier stance to crypto regulation and could begin to attract companies from China and other parts of the globe, with Taiwan’s FSC chairman opposing heavy-handed cryptocurrency regulation.

Bitcoin prices broke above $4500 on Monday morning and is trading at $4562.7 as of 9:15 GMT.

This post was originally published by EarnForex

The Best and Safest Way to Buy and Sell Bitcoins

For those who are looking to take advantage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies price fluctuations, Some brokers provide traders with instant access to trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. The process is fast and easy with convenient and advanced trading platform (desktop and mobile), low spreads and instant execution. Click here for more details.

Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Forecast – BTC Prices Move Higher, ETH Lags

The bitcoin market finally seems to have shaken off its lethargy and has since started moving higher over the weekend. Though it could be argued that the prices moved higher on low volatility during a weekend, it has to be noted that several moves in this market have happened only over the weekend only and the traders have been able to sustain the weekend moves through the week, in general. Though there does not seem to be anything fundamental that caused these moves, it could be due to the simple fact that the investors and traders have since been gaining more confidence in the bitcoin market and have tended to forget the happenings in the Chinese market.

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Bitcoin Prices Push Up

Though the Chinese market was once the dominant force in the bitcoin industry, over the last few months, we have seen many other countries pose a serious challenge to them, mainly the Asian countries. So, the action by the Chinese regulators did have a huge impact on the industry but was not a death knell to the market as such as the dependency on China has reduced over the last few months. It is in this context that we are seeing the prices move higher again as it now trades in the resistance region of $4600 as of this writing and it is likely to face some selling here but the uptrend seems to be back again.

Bitcoin 4H
Bitcoin 4H

On the other hand, the ETH market seems to be stuck as it is weighed down by the action of the regulators of various countries, on ICOs, which are basically built on ethereum. Also, the fork that is scheduled to happen in ETH next week is also likely to weigh on the minds of the investors and traders and hence we are seeing only slow and steady action in the ETH market.

Forecast

Looking ahead to the rest of the day, we are likely to see some consolidation happening in the BTC prices in this region where it is likely to see some strong selling. It is also very close to its all time highs which should also slow down the moves. The ETH market has broken through $300 which should serve as decent support for now.

The Best and Safest Way to Buy and Sell Bitcoins

For those who are looking to take advantage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies price fluctuations, Some brokers provide traders with instant access to trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. The process is fast and easy with convenient and advanced trading platform (desktop and mobile), low spreads and instant execution. Click here for more details.

Bitcoin Plough on Regardless

Bitcoin has finally shrugged off the volatility in the past weeks to regain some ground and get back to hover around the $4,500 level.

As can be seen from the chart above, it has since fallen back towards the 50 SMA and 21 day EMA markers. This is probably just a minor correction and we will have to watch whether it bounces back off of these averages. The trend is still upwards.

Bitcoin Daily Chart
Bitcoin Daily Chart

Rather like the news from North Korea, investors are treating news about bitcoin with far less knee-jerk panic than they were before. After digesting the news of China’s crackdown on exchanges and junior miners, as well as the various forks in the next two months, investors realize they have yet to see the sky fall in for bitcoin.

The cryptocurrency detractors like Jamie Dimon only seemed to stall progress slightly, and the emergence of gold-backed cryptocurrencies like ZenGold have helped to soothe investor fears too.

We remain bullish on bitcoin and see it as an emerging star rather than a down-at-heel bit player that now finds itself resting.

The comparison with gold, which seems to be a common way of knocking the validity of cryptocurrencies, is not altogether sound as an argument. Gold has been around as a means of finance for over 7,000 years, cryptocurrencies, in existence for just a few years, have a long way to go before they will be universally accepted as an alternative type of currency.

They have made a good start; and as the technology which safeguards them, develops, people will become more comfortable with using them, making them more widely accepted, and helping their value to increase.

One concern is the number of new miners (or altcoins) coming into the market and diluting the existing pool of cryptocurrency companies.

As this article in Business Insider points out, bitcoin has lost almost half its market share, because of this dilution. This report was done on June 27th – which, by cryptocurrency standards, is ancient history. The figure is likely to be even lower now.

As usual, our take is to watch the market and the charts closely and be prepared to move quickly in either direction.

Noble Gold specializes in IRAs and 401(k) rollovers through precious metals and cryptocurrencies investments.

Bitcoin Hovers Around $4,400 Ahead of Bitcoin Gold’s Impending Release

Bitcoin has endured a lot and vigorously persisted these past few days, with volume remaining relatively stable along the way. Regardless, we could end up staying in this sideways trading range if circumstances remain unchanged, or at least until the week-long Chinese national holiday has concluded.

Bitcoin cash has continued descending since its $972 all-time high, a resistance level that could be cleared if more favorable conditions are created after the golden fork. The $719 monthly and $484.9 weekly highs should also be kept under watch. The price was hovering around $360 today, which is uncomfortably close to the $342.11 previous weekly low. Secondary supports are at the $300.01 monthly and $190.1 all-time lows as well and are possible targets in case of a short-term breakdown. Moreover, bitcoin gold is impending release, so we have another fork on the horizon, scheduled for October 25.

Bitcoin has been performing rather well despite the expected schism and overwhelming community discord and was trading above $4,400 today, which is in all fairness, not that far from the previous $4,979.9 all-time high.

Supports are abundant, with the $3,602.79 August monthly low especially standing out, in addition to the $4,137.96 weekly and $2,972.01 monthly lows. Secondary supports are at $4,377.91, $4,215.40, $4,137.21, $4,120.57, $4,019.65, $3,849.78, $3,512.30, and at $3,461.38.

Bitcoin has been on the run since September 15, which was when the ongoing $2,972.01 monthly low was achieved (GMT 11:00). The last week was chiefly characterized by sideways trading, entirely between the $4,019.65 support and $4,453 weekly high. A breach of this high appears to be likely, but it may be postponed, in case of conditions form for another reversal.

This post was originally published by EarnForex

The Best and Safest Way to Buy and Sell Bitcoins

For those who are looking to take advantage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies price fluctuations, Some brokers provide traders with instant access to trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. The process is fast and easy with convenient and advanced trading platform (desktop and mobile), low spreads and instant execution. Click here for more details.

Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Forecast – Prices In Tight Range

The bitcoin market continued to trade in a sideways manner as the speculators and the traders begin to settle down for the long haul. The days of unending bull run which yield 20% returns in a matter of a couple of days in the bitcoin market are long gone. What we have now is a proper, mature market that is likely to move only based on demand and supply and with the demand tapering ever since the action from the Chinese regulators sent shock waves in the market, the prices have been numbed down into a small and tight range.

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Bitcoin Market in Flux

This is likely to last for the short term and probably for the medium term as well as the market tries to sort out where it wants to go and also we wait for the demand to pick up once again. But recovering strongly from the correction that we saw following the Chinese action, the market has clearly shown that it is here to stay. The next upcoming challenge would be the hard fork in November which is likely to bring in a new type of bitcoin similar to how bitcoin cash was born out of the fork in August. We will have to see how much of a hit the bitcoin industry would take due to this hard fork and that could also have a bearing on the price in the medium term.

Bitcoin 4H
Bitcoin 4H

The Ethereum market has also been trading within a tight range over the last couple of weeks and it is unlikely that the prices would go anywhere anytime soon. In fact, the ETH prices seem to be in a much smaller range than the bitcoin prices and there does not seem to be any escape from this ranging for now.

Forecast

Looking ahead to the rest of the day, expect the consolidation and ranging to continue for the day with the bitcoin prices being held by the $4400 region and the ETH prices being held under the $300 region for now.

The Best and Safest Way to Buy and Sell Bitcoins

For those who are looking to take advantage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies price fluctuations, Some brokers provide traders with instant access to trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. The process is fast and easy with convenient and advanced trading platform (desktop and mobile), low spreads and instant execution. Click here for more details.

Cryptos and the Regulatory Landscape around the World

The Landscape

Back in 2018, there was the talk of introducing a global regulatory structure for an asset class that has no borders.

While a standardized regulatory landscape did not materialize, a lot has happened since the crypto meltdown of 2018.

Governments and regulatory bodies had to decide whether to be a friend or foe to the crypto markets.

That decision saw some governments come down hard, while others welcomed exchanges and investors.

The More Rigid

Looking at some of the more significant crypto jurisdictions:

China

China is considered as one of the most anti-crypto governments. Back in 2018, the government banned initial coin offerings. The government also forced the closure of exchange platforms that trade cryptocurrencies.

While the government rolled out wide-sweeping changes, it is not actually illegal to hold, buy, or sell cryptocurrencies.

Government agencies in China had been swift to classify Bitcoin and other cryptos as a virtual commodity. By classifying cryptos as a virtual property and not as a currency, the freedom to buy, sell, or hold remains.

In contrast to many geographies, the government is very much in favor of blockchain technology, however. The government encourages only the development of blockchains that service the real economy.

While there are a number of government agencies involved in the regulation of cryptos, the PBoC is the more widely known regulator.

Other government agencies that issued bans on all ICOs included:

  • The Central Cybersecurity and Information Technology Lead Group of the Communist Party of China.
  • Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
  • State Administration for Industry and Commerce.
  • China Banking Regulatory Commission.
  • China Security Regulatory Commission and China Insurance Regulatory Commission.

South Korea

In July 2020, the South Korean government finalized a new tax rate for crypto trading income. The tax threshold for income from crypto assets is set at 2.5m won, equivalent to US$2,000 per annum.

Back in March 2020, the South Korean National Assembly also unanimously passed the amendment to the Act on Reporting and Use of Specific Financial Information.

Following a prolonged period of debate and review, the amendment provides a regulatory framework for cryptos and related service providers.

Cryptocurrency exchanges and service providers must be in compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) AML standards.

All G20 countries have declared their commitment to follow these standards.

Additionally, South Korea had introduced the real-name verification system in 2018. Real-name accounts is an AML measure. The law requires the assigning of verified individuals to single bank accounts. This then allows individuals to withdraw and deposit fiat currency to and from an exchange.

Regulated entities are required to go a step further and obtain an Information Security Management System (“ISMS”) certification. The Korea Internet Security Agency (“KISA”) is responsible for issuing certifications.

Japan

The Financial Services Agency (“FSA”) is responsible for the regulation of cryptocurrencies and the crypto market.

Earlier this year, the FSA made amendments to the Payment Services Act (“PSA”) and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (“FIEA”).

The new cryptocurrency regulatory framework was introduced and made effective on 1st May.

In summary,

  • The PSA regulates crypto-asset exchange service providers. These include persons engaged in the business of selling, purchasing, or intermediating the sale and purchase of or providing custody services for, crypto assets.
    • Previously, custody service providers that are not engaged in the business of selling, purchasing, or intermediating the sale and purchase of crypto assets were not previously regulated under the PSA.
  • The FIEA regulates crypto asset-related derivatives businesses and registration under the FIEA is required.
    • Previously such businesses had fallen under the purview of the PSA.
    • In the event of a business also providing custody services, they must also register as a crypto exchange that falls under the purview of the PSA.

In addition to the above regulations, the FSA also announced the approval of 2 self-regulatory organizations.

  • Japan STO Association
  • Japan Virtual and Crypto Assets Exchange Association (“JVCEA”)

Both organizations work alongside the FSA to enforce strict standards on the crypto sector.

Legal Classification

Currently, Japan neither treats nor considers cryptocurrencies as fiat money.

Virtual currencies are also not considered securities. The PSA defines a virtual currency as follows:

  • The proprietary value that may be used to pay an unspecified person the price of any goods purchased or borrowed or any services provided and which may be sold to or purchased from an unspecified person (limited to that recorded on electronic devices or objects by electronic means and excluding Japanese and other foreign currencies and Currency Denominated Assets) that may be transferred using an electronic data processing system.
  • The proprietary value that may be exchanged reciprocally for the proprietary value specified in the preceding item with an unspecified person and that may be transferred using an electronic processing system.

Currency Denominated Assets means any assets which are denominated in Japanese Yen or other foreign currency, and which do not fall under the definition of Virtual Currency.

The EU

While cryptocurrencies are legal, regulations vary by each member state. One consistency, however, is in regard to taxation. Here, the European Court of Justice 2015 exempted cryptocurrencies from value-added tax.

Aligned with other G20 nations, all EU member states have introduced regulatory standards as per the recommendations made by the Financial Action Task Force (“FATC”).

FATC states that any crypto site should comply with KYC and AML standards. Additionally, all cryptos sites must share data with their respective regulators.

In 2020, the 5th AMLD came into effect. This requires that crypto exchanges register with financial regulators and provide client wallet addresses to them.

The UK

In the UK, the crypto market falls under the purview of the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”).

Since January 2020, The FCA monitors crypto businesses to ensure their compliance with AML and counter-terrorist financing.

By contrast to more rigid jurisdictions, however, the FCA is not responsible for the oversight of crypto exchanges in general. This means that the FCA is not monitoring how exchanges protect the assets of its clients.

Under the Inland Revenue, the amount of tax due from cryptocurrency earnings depends on the individual’s personal circumstances. This includes the consideration of an individual person’s residence and domicile status.

For UK tax residents, the buying and selling of crypto assets by an individual will normally amount to investment activity. In such cases, if an individual invests in crypto assets, they will typically have to pay Capital Gains Tax on any realized gains.

The U.S

Regulatory authorities that are relevant to Bitcoin and the broader crypto market include the SEC, the IRS, FinCEN, and the CFTC.

Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”)

The SEC’s main area of focus has been on assessing the legality of ICOs and approvals of crypto ETFs.

Under SEC guidelines, an ICO must be evaluated under the Howey Test to determine classification as a security.

Howey Test: An investment contract exists when there is the investment of money in a common enterprise with a reasonable expectation of deriving profits from the efforts of others.

Inland Revenue Services (“IRS”)

As a government tax agency, the IRS enforces the taxation of earnings from crypto assets.

Follow this link to access the FAQ section of the IRS website related to virtual currency transactions.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”)

As a branch of the U.S Treasury Department, FinCEN ensures that crypto-related businesses are compliant with AML and KYC regulations.

FinCEN also assesses whether individuals or firms operate as money transmitters.

The Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”)

The CFTC is a government agency responsible for approving and regulating the trading of crypto futures and options. Certain levered spot transactions also fall under the purview of the CFTC.

Unwelcoming Governments and Regulators

Some governments made it simple and introduced absolute bans or implicit bans on cryptocurrencies. The following countries have reportedly imposed outright bans on cryptocurrencies:

Algeria, Bolivia, Ecuador, Egypt, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, and the UAE.

Other countries that have imposed implicit bans or restrictions include:

  • Bangladesh (Banking ban)
  • Cambodia (Banking ban)
  • Canada (Banking ban)
  • China (Banking ban)
  • Columbia (Banking ban)
  • Indonesia (Illegal as Payment Tool)
  • Iran (Banking Ban)
  • Jordan (Banking ban)
  • Russia (Banking ban)
  • Saudi Arabia (Banking ban)
  • Taiwan (Banking ban)
  • Vietnam (Illegal as payment tool)

Jurisdictional Arbitrage

A number of exchanges have established in crypto-friendly jurisdictions to woo crypto investors and traders.

As the crypto market matures, however, there has been a material shift in the profile of investors and traders.

Exchanges have had to adapt to meet the needs of the diverse set of requirements.

For some, security and anonymity remain key and supersede all other attributes. In such cases, crypto exchanges have sought crypto-friendly havens. For others, however, there is a preference for a solid regulatory environment and transparency.

As the crypto market develops further, the loopholes in maintaining anonymity may erode further.

For many governments and regulators fighting financial crime and the funding of illegal and terrorist activity will continue remain high on the list.

Until then, however, crypto-friendly jurisdictions include:

Bermuda, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Malta, Mauritius, Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands, and Seychelles.

Conclusion

The outcome of the regulatory reforms over recent years achieved one key goal. Bitcoin and the broader markets failed to return to the dizzy heights of late 2017.

While that may be bad news for those in search of 1,000% returns, the market has seen much less volatility relative to 2018.

Back in 2018, the crypto market had been in the hands of governments and regulators.

Regulatory chatter and raids on exchanges had caused unprecedented daily swings. For now, regulatory risk has abated.

The good news, however, is that the crypto market has stabilized and the talk of bubbles has all but ended.

More reforms are likely, though the market may now remain under the radar until levels begin to approach 2017 highs.

As we have seen within the banking world, light-touch regulatory jurisdictions may be forced to eventually tighten controls. This may not happen, however, until there is a more standardized global regulatory framework is in place.

Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Forecast – Prices Not Going Anywhere Soon

Bitcoin prices continue to stall during the last 24 hours and the prices seem to be coiling into one of the most tight ranges in recent times. Though the price action appears to be like coiling, we believe that this is going to be the order of the times going forward. The bitcoin market is fast maturing and in a mature market, large moves cannot be expected on a daily basis. The times of unending bull runs seem to have been exhausted and what we are seeing is more of trading and investing rather than pure and blind speculation in the hope of huge unidirectional moves. In a way, this is good for the market as it helps to gauge trading and direction in the right manner and helps the investors to place trades with confidence.

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Bitcoin Prices Stagnate

The bitcoin prices seem to be caught in a tight range between $4200 and $4400 for now and this is likely to continue in the short term. This is a sort of middle ground where both the bulls and the bears seem to agree on the prices and that is why we are seeing a lot of ranging and consolidation happening in this price region. Of course, this is likely to make trading a bit difficult for long term traders but this is how it is going to pan out, atleast for the short term.

Bitcoin 4H
Bitcoin 4H

Ethereum prices have been caught in an even more tighter range as it ranges between the $280 and $300 mark over the last few days and like bitcoin, this range is set to continue in the short term. The Ethereum prices are also under additional pressure as most of the regulators seem to be going after ICOs, which are based on ETH, more than the bitcoin market and this has brought uncertainty into the ETH market in recent times.

Forecast

Looking ahead to the rest of the day, we do not see the range being broken anytime soon and we expect this consolidation to continue for today as well. With the hard fork in the bitcoin market also looming ahead in November, it is difficult to expect the bitcoin prices to go anywhere soon.

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Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Forecast – Prices Still in Consolidation

Bitcoin prices corrected slightly lower during the course of trading yesterday but considering the kind of large corrections that we had seen in the market over the last couple of months, the correction that we saw yesterday was very small. We had mentioned in our forecast yesterday that the region around $4400 is likely to see a lot of selling in the coming days and hence the progress higher in the bitcoin prices would be slow henceforth. This is what we saw yesterday as the prices tried to break through the $4400 region but was met with heavy selling and now it has corrected back into the smaller support region around $4200.

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Bitcoin Prices Continue Consolidation

This kind of consolidation is likely to continue in the short term as the market digests all the developments around it. We are seeing a lot of media attention on the bitcoin market and the crypto market in general and some of it has been good and some of it has been bad. But the fact that the industry has been able to make even central bank leaders talk about it, should be hawkish for this industry and should point to the health of this market in the short term.

Bitcoin 4H
Bitcoin 4H

The Ethereum prices continue to lag behind the bitcoin prices as the effect of the ICO ban from many countries like China and South Korea is being felt in this market. It is likely to keep the ETH prices under pressure in the short term but it has to be said that ETH is based on stronger fundamentals and hence the prices should move higher in the medium and long term as well.

Forecast

Looking ahead to the rest of the day, with the stock markets doing well and with the crypto market being hit hard with news every day, the consolidation in BTC and ETH is set to continue for the short term. As the stock markets do well, it is likely that some of the funds get diverted from the BTC and ETH markets as the bullishness in the markets is likely to attract them with the promise of comparatively safer and good returns. So expect some more consolidation and ranging today.

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Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Forecast – Prices in Congestion Zone

Bitcoin prices continued to trade in a steady manner during the course of the day yesterday as the prices are now trading in a congestion region around $4400. We had mentioned in our forecast yesterday that the progress from here would be pretty slow as far as the bitcoin prices are concerned as they are now getting towards the top of their range where the selling is likely to be heavy. Also, we now have speculators who are weary of the prices reversing pretty quickly on some bad news for the industry, which have been quite many over the past month or so. Due to a combination of such reasons, the prices can be expected to be in a consolidation phase for quite some time.

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Bitcoin Prices Trade in a Range

The bitcoin market is still trying to sort out and digest all the news that has been running through the industry over the last few weeks. Though the trend is up for now and the prices seem to have shaken off the correction that took place due to the news from China a few weeks back, the traders are still not yet in a position to commit themselves fully. We also have the upcoming hard fork in November and it is still not clear what the effect of that fork will be. It is reported that it will lead to a third variant of the bitcoin but what impact it will have as far as trading and mining of the main bitcoin is concerned, is not yet known.

Bitcoin 4H
Bitcoin 4H

Ethereum has been trading in a pretty weak manner over the last week or so and it has not been able to join the bitcoin prices in the uptrend so far. The ETH market has been weighed down by all the bans on ICOs from China and South Korea and it is likely that other countries may also follow suit in banning unregulated ICOs. With many ICOs having ETH as the base, it is natural for the ETH traders to feel short changed and that is why we are seeing pretty much less buying in this market.

Forecast

Looking ahead to the rest of the day, we believe that both the ETH and BTC markets are likely to continue to trade within a range as they consolidate with no specific direction. As mentioned before, we believe that the prices are now in a congestion zone and hence prone to ranging and consolidation in the short term.

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Bitcoin Monthly Outlook – October 2017

The bitcoin market probably faced its biggest challenge yet, or at least for this year, during the course of last month. Just when the bitcoin traders heaved a sigh of relief after the hard fork in August did not lead to a large breakup of the bitcoin industry as was widely expected, came the month of September. This was a month of rapid and debilitating developments as far as the bitcoin market was concerned but it ended the month down but still not out.

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Bitcoin Markets Face a Challenge

The first half of the month saw the news that the Chinese regulators had banned all ICOs and said that no one in China should be investing in ICOs anymore. They also began to trace out the older ICOs as well and said that the owners of those ICOs had to return the funds back to the investors. Considering the fact that China constitutes a large part of trading as far as the crypto markets are concerned and many ICOs target China specifically as there is a huge market, this was a big blow to the industry as a whole.

Bitcoin 4H
Bitcoin 4H

Though it has been said that the regulators would block everything now only to regulate and release it back later, the market was having none of it and this led to a drop in the prices by about 20% within a matter of days. The prices had been trading close to their highs near the $5000 region but this announcement saw the prices crash down to the $4000 region.

If this were not enough, the Chinese regulators also order all the bitcoin exchanges in China to shut down their operations as they felt that they were being used for money laundering. This was another blow to the industry which saw the bitcoin prices move below $4000 during this period and all looked lost as there was not much buying support. If the bitcoin industry needed to show some maturity and resilience, this was the time. Then followed a period of consolidation and then began the process of slow recovery, a recovery which has since managed to carry the prices back above the $4000 region.

Bitcoin Prices Rebound

With the rebound continuing through to the new month, what does the month of October hold for the bitcoin? The market has shown some remarkable maturity and support during the latter half of last month. As the market shows some strength, we are also seeing more and more traders, who had rushed out on first signs of trouble, coming back into the markets as they now realize that the market is not going to crash but it is here to stay. We are also seeing the market becoming more resilient to shocks as the news of the ICO ban by South Korea has not had the effect that it was expected to have.

Looking at all these, we believe that the bitcoin market is going to have a positive month of October. It has also been getting support from many financial leaders as well like the ECB President Draghi and this should only increase the trust in this market. As trust grows, more traders are drawn into the markets and this helps the market to grow and mature. But another point to note here is the hard fork that is scheduled to be held in November. It is feared that this fork is likely to have a much bigger impact on the bitcoin market than the one in August and with the industry now breaking into three, after the November fork, it is likely to become a battle of which is the bigger and better bitcoin and that isn’t great news for the industry.

So, we expect a positive upcoming month for the bitcoin market but this is likely to be tempered by the uncertainty of the upcoming hard fork. We see resistances coming in at $4400 and then at $4800, where the all-time high lies, and these should limit the moves of the bitcoin prices for the short term. On the downside, the price region around $4000 should serve as a good cushion. Expect some tight range with consolidation being the key for the month.

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Bitcoin Ignores All Problems, Trades near $4500

Bitcoin has gradually coasted upward from the $3,552 weekly low, with a new $4,462 weekly high being achieved today. The general impression appears to be that government regulation, and by extension, the activities of regulatory agencies, only influence price movement and momentum in the short-term.

Preparations for the golden fork are currently underway, although there could be more to this event than meets the eye. Furthermore, SegWit usage has managed to rise up to 7%. However, despite the increased adoption, there were 19,000 unconfirmed bitcoin transactions still waiting on miners 24 hours prior, and the figure has now risen up again to 17,000 total, after only a short period of being below 3,000 unconfirmed transfers.

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Bitcoin cash, on the other hand, has stumbled in price, with some speculating that the recent Xapo unlock, might be the main source of the drop in price. Regardless, the spin-off currency looks like it might have found a bottom, and we may be in for some sideways action if trading volume picks up in the next few days.

China’s market remains vibrant, even amidst the severe regulation and prior interventions of its many government agencies. New legislation is to be enacted on October 1, and all cryptocurrencies and assets, are going to be legally perceived as virtual property. Interestingly enough, BTCC and ViaBTC were shut down today, but Huobi and OKCoin have been allowed to operate until October’s end. Many expect the two juggernaut exchanges to continue with service, once this “probationary period” has come to pass.

The US government may soon start pressing for comparable legislation as well, at least according to articles from Coindesk and the Merkle. Keith Noreika, who is leading the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, has spoken on a possible national licensing program for bitcoin businesses. There has even been talked of legally adhering to bitcoin exchanges as if they were banking institutions.
media has also begun to cover this new crypto regulatory wave, which has managed to permeate across multiple jurisdictions and countries. The Wall Street Journal seems to be leading the charge, and in a recent article, pointed out numerous examples of comparable licensing practices in both Japan and South Korea.

There has been nothing but growth since the $3,552 previous week low on September 23, in what amounts to a series of markups, with minor temporary reversals along the way. The last correction touched down to $4,019 daily low on September 29 (GMT 04:00) and was followed by a run-up to the new $4,462 daily high. Bitcoin was trading at $4420 as of 9:30 GMT.

This post was originally published by EarnForex

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Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Forecast – Prices Continue Strong Recovery

The bitcoin prices continue their rebound as more and more traders begin to gain confidence in the market and the fact that it is here to stay for the long term. The market had been shaken up badly during the month of September but it has shown some great resilience and the faith shown by the buyers during times of trouble for the market is now being repaid in a handsome manner as the prices now challenge the $4400 as of this writing which should see some selling.

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Bitcoin Prices Push Towards $4400

All these are signs of a maturing market as every shock in the market is being absorbed well. Even on Friday, the news of a ICO ban in South Korea, which had been emerging as one of the largest markets for cryptos in Asia, did not have too much of an impact on the prices and in fact, we have seen the prices rise during the course of the weekend. The way that a market absorbs shocks is a measure of the resilience and the trust that traders have in a market and in that aspect, the bitcoin market has shown that it is here to stay and it is in the process of maturing pretty fast.

Bitcoin 4H
Bitcoin 4H

Compared to the bitcoin market, it is the Ethereum market that has been hit by all the ICO ban news and the reason for that is that most of the ICOs have ETH as the base and hence every such ban on them is likely to affect the demand and supply of ETH. But, in the long run, we believe that ETH will manage to show that it is as good and useful as bitcoin in this industry which should keep the ETH prices well bid in the medium term.

Forecast

Looking ahead to today, we have the bitcoin prices just below the resistance at around the $4400 region and we have the ETH prices also trading near the $300 resistance and this is likely to keep the prices under pressure. We expect both the markets to consolidate for today.

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Weekly Market Outlook, Oct 2 – Oct 6, 2017

RBA to Keep Rates Unchanged

We anticipate that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will leave key interest rate at 1.50% while maintaining its neutral policy stance. On the economic front, the economy has expanded in 2Q by a healthy 0.8% q/q, indicating that GDP growth in 2017 will likely hit the higher end of the central banks’ forecast. The labor markets, which remain a concern for the RBA as unemployment ticked higher in the early part of the year, is now has trended lower. Australia unemployment rate has fallen to a 3-year low at 5.60%. Yet, inflation remains weak as 2Q printed at 1.9% y/y, below the RBA’s target range of 2-3%. Concern over the soft inflation outlook was amplified as AUD strengthen, causing policymakers to voice their displeasure over the last two meetings. The strong currency was seen as a drag on the economy, through higher commodity price but slowed

The strong currency was seen as a drag on the economy, through higher commodity price but slowed the momentum of inflation via imports. The fall in AUD over the last two weeks has not eased the RBA thinking that the currency was the primary risk factor. The RBA needs to see a clear trend of AUD weakness before hinting that tighter monetary policy is coming. Higher US Treasury yields have affected yield sensitive currencies in the G10 and EM. Pause in the rise of US interest rates has given AUD bulls time to recovery but not much else. In addition, renewed weakness in iron ore futures has also hurt AUD. AUDUSD need to close below 0.7807/10 support to establish

AUDUSD need to close below 0.7807/10 support to establish an extension of current correction phase. Elsewhere, the RBNZ languages around the NZD was slightly less aggressive stating, depreciation” would help” and “increase tradable inflation and deliver more balanced growth.” RBNZ left the OCR at 1.75% for the 6th consecutive meeting and seems in no hurry to increase rates. With strong economic developments and monetary tightening that will materialize in late 2017 AUD, EUR and GBP should outperform NZD in the near future.

Mario Draghi Does Not Threaten Bitcoin

This was one comment that seems at first sight very bullish for the bitcoin,
the most famous digital currency. Earlier last week Mario Draghi, in its
statements to the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and
Monetary Affairs has mentioned that the European Central Bank has not
the mandate to prohibit or regulate Bitcoin. There is now not a single
week without at least a mention of the cryptocurrency. Out of this
comment, the price has gotten a boost and is back above $4200.
For the time being, it turns out that big institutions are not in a hurry to
regulate. Yet, we believe that the power of money creation is one very
important power that is not going to be given up. Cryptocurrencies
remain unregulated at the moment but, ironically, new derivatives are
going to be introduced by next year on the Bitcoin and should, by the
way, likely weigh on prices.

The story repeats itself and gold price has been driven lower by paper contracts. The ratio between paper and physical is currently higher than 200 according to the latest disclosure from the CME. One can perfectly imagine what impact it may trigger when derivatives are going to be introduced on Bitcoin.
Right now, the Bitcoin price is holding above $4000 and there are consistent upside pressures. The price is likely to rise again. We do not consider that this is a “tulip mania” the bubble name of the hyperinflation that occurred in Netherlands. It is rather another way to store wealth. The debate is still open regarding this question but there is something that we know for sure. The bitcoin price is not in a bubble, there are plenty of upside for the digital currency. It is just a matter of time before we get back above $5000.

CAD Looks Exposed

Bank of Canada was one of the first Central Banks to honor the thinking
that inflation would no longer the primary determinate of interest rate
policy. The bank’s unexpected 25bp hike on 6th September policy
meeting backed up the talk with real action and caught the market short
CAD. Since then the pace of the BoC tightening cycle has been hotly
debated. A combination of rising US yields and comments by the BoC
policymakers stalled the USDCAD downwards trajectory. Whether the short squeeze is a lasting trend or merely a temporary distortion will be based on external events but also Canadian policymakers comments.
Governor Poloz’s assertion that their interest rate path is not preordained
and data depended, is a common central bank tactic.

However, the tone of his speech indicated that a pause is more probably than a follow-up hike in October. Governor Poloz stated there was “is no predetermined
path” for rates, the policy will be “particularly data dependent” and the BoC
will “feel” its way through policy development. Despite nothing new in
these comments, Governor Poloz cautious tone suggests a shift from
hawkishness and a pause in the BoC tightening cycle after back-to-back
hikes. Given the change in language and softening in broader economic
data we have penciled the next move in December.

USDCAD has become increasingly sensitive to disappointing economic
data indicating the uncertainty around the BoC policy path. Positive USD
sentiment, the repricing of the Fed policy path and increasing expectations
for US tax reform has given the USD a new lease on life. Given our
expectations for higher US rates, US-Canada yields spread is likely to
widen benefiting USD. In the mid-term, we become more optimistic on
Cad but for right now we would remain long USDCAD for a test of
1.26/1.27.

China Online

Chinese stocks are still reeling from the all-out collapse of local equity
markets. Yet while valuations have suffered, the fundamentals remain
enticing.
China is undisputedly the largest internet market in the world in terms of
its user base, with 620 million users -nearly double that of India and triple
that of the USA. Yet the penetration rate is only 45%, compared with 84%
for the USA, which means there is significant room for growth. According
to Kantar Retail, China has become the world’s largest e-commerce
the market, with sales of $589 billion in 2015. China has developed its own
online offering catering to the country’s unique culture. Western
companies have had a challenging time breaking into the market due to
structural and cultural issues. The result has been the incubation of
innovative world-class private enterprises. As China shifts from
investment- to consumption-led growth, these agile entrepreneurs will
also benefit from support and protection from Beijing. With valuations in
the single digits, these names offer significant upside potential.
For this theme, we included social media, search engines, retail and B2B
commerce, travel and key hardware manufacturers.

This analysis was written by Swissqoute

Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Forecast – Hit By South Korean Ban

The bitcoin market today woke up to the news that the South Korean regulators have banned the issuing of ICOs. This brought back the spectre of a similar ban from the Chinese just a few weeks back but unlike the Chinese news, the impact on the bitcoin prices through this news has only been limited so far. South Korea had emerged as one of the biggest markets for cryptocurrencies in recent times and the bitcoin exchanges in that country had been pretty active of late, maybe due to the Chinese moving to these exchanges once the Chinese exchanges were shut down.

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Bitcoin Prices Fall Towards $4000

Also, unlike the Chinese ban, this ban in South Korea is only for new ICOs and does not specify anything about the funds that were collected through the older ICOs. This should prove to be a bit of a relief for many but it shows the continued crackdown from several governments on the bitcoin industry which is likely to keep the bitcoin prices under pressure. So far, the prices have managed to stay above the $4000 region but it remains to be seen whether there will be a strong test of this region once the rest of the world wakes up to the news.

Bitcoin 4H
Bitcoin 4H

The Ethereum market has also been hit hard by the news and the magnitude of the fall so far has been larger in the Bitcoin market than in the ETH market. This is understandable as most of the ICOs have Ethereum as the underlying and a ban on these is likely to affect the demand for ETH. The prices have since dropped below $300 and are likely to stay weak for the short term as the market digests the news.

Forecast

As for the rest of the day, as we have mentioned above, we have to wait and see how the rest of the markets wake up to the South Korean news but we believe that they are unlikely to take it kindly and this is going to keep both the ETH and the bitcoin markets under a lot of pressure during trading today.

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Watch Out: What Do Elon Musk and Bill Gates Know about Artificial Intelligence

The talk of robotics and artificial intelligence is nothing new, with the world having been exposed to sci-fi movies for decades, the most lifelike robots in films such as The Blade Runner, which was certainly ahead of its time and now, a more reasonable image of what lies ahead. And let’s not forget C3PO and R2DT, George Lucas’s creation.

Artificial Intelligence is not just down to robotics, however, but any form of intelligence that is exhibited by machine, rather than natural life form, the intelligence element being the machine’s ability to demonstrate cognitive functions akin to those of human minds, including learning and problem-solving.

As of today, according to Forbes, 10 powerful examples of artificial intelligence used today include Google’s DeepMind, but more common AI forms in existence today are:

Siri: Apple’s personal assistant, which is computer voice-activated, uses machine-learning technology to get smarter and therefore more adept at predicting and understanding questions and requests.

Alexa: Introduced by Amazon, is able to decipher speech from anywhere in the room, helping users to search the web for information, shop online, schedule appointments, set alarms, etc.., not to mention create a smart home environment.

Tesla: Self-driving a key feature, Tesla also has predictive capabilities, with the vehicles getting smarter and smarter.

Cogito: Considered to be one of the most powerful A.I. forms in existence today, is able to improve the emotional intelligence of customer support reps in the market. Cogito is a fusion of machine learning and behavioral science.

Boxever: Emphasis is on machine learning to improve customer experience within the travel industry.

John Paul: Predictive algorithms for client interactions, allows John Paul to determine the needs and desires of travelers at an extreme level, the company providing concierge services for millions of customers across the globe, including Visa.

Amazon: Perhaps little surprise that Amazon.com appears twice on the list, with the company becoming exceptionally good at predicting what buyers are interested in buying based on online behavioral patterns.

Netflix: Another successful example of predictive technology, which analyses billions of records to then be able to suggest appropriate movie choices based on previous selections and ratings.

Pandora: Music technology that is being labeled as music DNA, recommending songs based on 400 musical characteristics.

Nest: This is a learning thermostat acquired by Google back in 2014 and can now be voice-controlled by Alexa. Nest uses behavioral algorithms to learn the heating and cooling needs, managing the internal temperatures at home and in the office.

Considering where we are today on A.I., the pace of advancement is likely to accelerate, as we see smart cars, smartphones, smart watches turn into pretty much smart anything, taking the necessary control away from the user.

We will expect A.I. to evolve to such an extent that by the time robotics are beyond the manufacturing industry and ever-present within the services industry, the combination of the above 10 and more will likely be just a small component of the capabilities of modern tech.

Who needs to remember an anniversary or a birthday and struggle with selecting the right gifts, when our home robots will already have analyzed and assessed the most suitable gift and purchased it online without even a word from the less, but naturally intelligent buyer.

Bill Gates, Stephan Hawking and Elon Musk Warn us about AI

There is a pretty mixed view on the advancement of artificial intelligence and like anything new, there are the scaremongers and those who embrace.

Elon Musk has perhaps been the most vocal anti-A.I. figurehead in recent times, despite being amongst the most forward-thinking CEOs of modern times, Tesla certainly not from the dark ages and likely to make further advancements in A.I. than many of its competitors.

Musk sees Silicon Valley’s thirst for artificial intelligence as a scary one and believes that everyone should be afraid of what’s on the horizon, a possible take-over by machine-learning overlords.

One of the more well-known creators of A.I. is Demis Hassabis, the co-founder of London Laboratory DeepMind.

The two were sitting at Musk’s SpaceX rocket factory, with Musk talking about what he considered to be the most important global project, facilitating interplanetary colonization.

Hassabis had an altogether different view, this project being the most important project in the world, not just artificial intelligence, but artificial superintelligence.

If there are any doubters on Musk’s view on Artificial Intelligence, his response was clear. Interplanetary colonization was all the more important to provide humans a plan B in case A.I. goes rogue and turns on the human race. Hassabis may have been joking, but retorted with “A.I would simply follow humans to Mars.”

Hassabis is considered the Yoda of A.I., so how quickly progress is made will have little to do with whether the concept is embraced, artificial intelligence creeping into everyday life with few aware of where we are today and where we will be tomorrow.

It’s pretty obvious that Musk is afraid of what lies ahead. Perhaps the doomsday outlook akin to The Terminator, where Artificial Intelligence started World War III and took over the world, is where Musk sees things going and let’s face it, if we get to the point where machines are capable of self-teaching, there’s little hope for natural intelligence and its limitations.

Shane Legg, who is Hassabis’s partner at DeepMind has a more simplistic view, believing that human extinction will probably occur, with technology likely to play its part.

It may sound like headline-grabbing egotism, but if you think about it, it’s a more reasonable view than suggesting global warming will bring the ecosystem to an end.

Musk was an investor in DeepMind before it was acquired by Google back in 2014 and when asked why he had invested, he saw it as an opportunity to keep an eye on the development of A.I. The CEO of Tesla may want to reconsider developing self-driving cars that may decide it’s better for you to go home than go for a drink with friends on a Friday night, or worse yet, attend an anti-A.I strategy meeting.

Musk is not the only modern CEO to listen to, however, with Bill Gates certainly up there when it comes to technological advancements.

As the former richest man on the planet, there’s good cause for the Microsoft co-founder to want control of planet earth to remain in the hands of mankind. Surprisingly, Gates has a different view and of all the things he would like to see advance the most in his lifetime, he simply stated that he would like to see A.I. develop to the point where computers can read and understand information in the same way as humans.

While Gates would like to see A.I.’s advancement, he did elaborate saying that humans should be worried about the threat of Artificial Intelligence, adding that he was somewhat perplexed as to why people were not more concerned with the possibility that A.I. could eventually become too advanced for humans to control.

Gates says that he agrees with Elon Musk, concerned over how Artificial Super-Intelligence will eventually take over.

If Gates and Musk are not high profile enough to raise some red flags over what lies ahead, not for our generation, but perhaps the next, Professor Stephen Hawking has also expressed concern, saying that he believed machines with A.I. could “spell the end of the human race.”

Microsoft’s Mr. Horvits, who runs Microsoft Research Lab, disagrees with Musk, Gates, and Hawking, seeing only the advantages and there are plenty, but as always, there’s always a price tag.

The Next Battle? Man vs Artificial Intelligence

Man vs Machine has been a battle of the ages, with the continued advancement of computers having already impacted multiple sectors, leading to less need for human involvement.

In recent times, perhaps the biggest loss to the machine has been automation in the manufacturing industry as robotics evolved in the last few decades and some companies looked to reduce fixed costs in the world of ever decreasing margins.

Well-known manufacturer Foxconn announced at the end of 2016 that the Company has a 3-phased plan in place to automate its Chinese factories, using software and in-house robotic units, known as Foxbots.

  • Phase 1 involves replacing the work that is either dangerous or involves repetitious labor that humans are willing to do.
  • Phase 3 involves automation of entire factories with only a minimal number of workers assigned to production, logistics, testing and inspection processes.
  • Projections are for 30% automation by 2020 at Chinese factories.
  • Foxconn can produce 10,000 Foxbots per annum and in March announced that the company had automated away 60,000 jobs at one of its factories.

The initial investment may be expensive, but as production costs for robots soften through greater demand and competition for market share, we expect automation to accelerate.

  • Worldwide annual supply of industrial robots is forecasted to have an annual increase of 15% between 2009 – 2018.
  • Supply of automated machines to Asia / Australasia is forecasted to see the largest growth rates.

In the last 6-years, the use of industrial robots has nearly tripled, the growth attributed to the Asian market where there are less social pressures.

The numbers are certainly telling and this is just the tip of the iceberg as robotics begins to stretch beyond manufacturing into Medicine, Transportation, and many other sectors.

While we have continued to be comforted with the knowledge that not all jobs can be given away to the machine, artificial intelligence evolution in the coming years may well question whether there are any jobs out there that a machine would not do better. Humans still have higher qualities than machines.

The Good, the Bad and the Scary

Taking a step back, we could consider the good, the bad and the scary from an A.I perspective and with governments more interested in controlling other sectors such as medical advancements. For now, at least, all three scenarios are more than just possibilities, in what is likely to be a 3 phase process, the human race expected to initially embrace the advancement of A.I. and all the benefits, before A.I. just gets too intelligent.

Obviously, the benefits are endless when we consider all of the menial tasks, but the key advantage considered by many is the expectation that A.I. will replicate human decision and actions, whilst eliminating the failings of mankind, these being fatigue and emotion.

We’ve seen the development and advancement that has given companies more consistent performance through the use of machines in place of man, the only errors in production apparently coming from human error, in the decision-making process rather than the actual production process itself.

You only need to see the hours worked by doctors and surgeons. Would you prefer to be under the knife in a lifesaving operation, with a fatigued surgeon at the table or a fully charged Robot?

With robotics also creating the possibilities of replacing humans in more dangerous jobs such as mining, some may view this as a positive, whilst others will perhaps be anxious over the fact that machines have continued to replace man in recent decades and, the smarter they get, the more rapid the pace of displacement will become.

We’ve talked about the fears of some over the advancement of A.I. and there are of course the ethical and moral values to consider, but ultimately the most negative element of Artificial Intelligence must be the fact that machines are able to store massive amounts of data. If A.I eventually reaches the realms of the unthinkable, why would companies even consider hiring humans, when robots are able to work for free and 24-7, without the world of Human Resources, pay rises and bonuses, the only cost to the company being the purchase, development, and servicing of the robots.

Once the world falls into mass unemployment, anarchy will undoubtedly prevail and if A.I is given the free reign that its developers crave for, it would only be a matter of time before the creators become the victim of their own success, losing control, with mankind ruled by the kind that is not voted into office.

Human nature has a self-destructive element to it, human life fallible to the creation of mankind. Artificial Intelligence has been seen as a way to address the weaknesses of mankind, but in the end, A.I is more than likely going to identify the very weaknesses and take over than to sit back and be dominated. John Connor and the human resistance against the machine, with Skynet to blame. Which company will be Skynet’s reality is yet unclear, but a reality it will likely be and Gates, Musk or Hawking will have very little influence over it.

Stepping away from the fear of machine and the realities of what lies ahead, we have seen plenty of evidence with algorithms on the financial markets, with flash crashes and inexplicable market movements becoming the norm. Trading is electronic and worse yet, if you look towards cryptocurrencies, there’s not even a hard copy certificate of ownership. Do certain individuals merit wealth and who decides? Today it’s the regulators on the developed markets, not quite yet on Bitcoin or other digital currency. A shutdown of the world wide web with the evolution of machine domination and the prospect of humans sending viruses would not be completely farfetched. What value would cryptocurrencies have in should there be an end to the internet as we know it? The days of analysts scouring macroeconomic reports are at peril, with it only being a matter of time before machines know best, but it will ultimately be an implosion of the markets as we know it today, with a return to physical and more importantly, Cash being King…

Afterall, if machines are ruling the world, who will be left to invest?