China’s Crackdown on Crypto Rears its Head as BTC Gets “Over-Extended” & PBoC Focuses on DCEP

As China accelerates its digital yuan development, it is taking steps to tighten its control on the cryptocurrency market.

In 2017, during the bull market, the reports came of China banning virtual currencies on domestic cryptocurrency exchanges but permit over-the-counter transactions.

Now, as BTC enjoys a bullish market structure, currently around $13,750, China is further taking more steps towards regulating the market.

Last month, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges of the country, OKEx’s founder, was arrested, which resulted in the platform suspending any withdrawals which are yet to resume.

The platform, however, maintains that the founder has been assisting in a separate investigation.

According to the latest local reports, another exchange, the biggest one this time, Huobi is facing a similar issue; its COO Zhu Jiawei being under police investigation. They have reportedly been planning in advance after the OKEx incident and are not expected to halt withdrawals.

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The exchange Huobi Global took to Twitter to deny the “rumors” of the arrest of a senior executive by local officials and that they are, in fact, “Operating Normally.”

Amidst this, as we reported, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong is planning to propose a new licensing regime under which retail investors are banned from trading virtual currencies.

Additionally, all the crypto platforms operating in the city and overseas ones targeting local investors, are required to obtain a license to protect investors and combat money laundering.

There are also reports that buying and selling crypto may violate foreign exchange control and anti-money laundering laws. Those making profits from their crypto investments failing to pay income tax could also be suspected of tax evasions.

“The timing of the Chinese OTC and exchange crackdowns is no coincidence. The PRC government is sending a strong message about its stance on cryptocurrencies other than the DCEP,” said an executive at the crypto fund The Spartan Group.

However, China’s stance on crypto isn’t anything new, “It just rears its head every now and then,” he said, adding: “BTC was getting over-extended from a short term technical standpoint anyway so this event likely triggers some profit-taking.”

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Author: AnTy

Strong Institutional Demand for Bitcoin, CME Becomes Second Largest BTC Futures Market

Bitcoin’s price made a big shift this week as the bulls gained control of the market and pushed it past $13,000.

A similar shift has been seen in the open interest recorded by the bitcoin trading platforms. The biggest change has obviously been in derivatives exchange BitMEX, which has been seeing a constant decline since earlier this month when CFTC brought down criminal charges against it.

From 55k BTC OI on Oct. 1st, it fell to 28k BTC yesterday, a decline of nearly 50%.

In USD terms, the OI has dropped from $781 million in late Sept. to under $600 million, but the recent jump in BTC price helped it get back above it but barely.

Interestingly, CME enjoyed a good uptick during the same period, showcasing strong institutional demand for bitcoin.

With $790 million in OI this month, the OI on CME recorded a growth of almost 130%, from $345 million on Oct. 2nd. And this uptrend helped the regulated trading platform become the second-largest futures market for bitcoin.

“The OI on the CME BTC futures has climbed aggressively lately. CME is currently the second-largest futures market for bitcoin, holding 15.7% of the total OI in the BTC futures market. This is still slightly below CME’s record share of the total market OI from August of 16.2%,” noted Vetle Lunde, an analyst at Arcane Research.

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Another crypto exchange seeing an incremental exchange in OI is FTX, which saw an increase of just over 103% from $166 million at the beginning of this month to $337 million.

Other exchanges Deribit (+79%), Binance (+72%), ByBit (+44.5%), Kraken (+41.4%), Bitfinex (+35%), OKEx (+25%), and Huobi (+18%), all recorded an uptick as well but of small percentage compared to CME.

Unlike others, Bakkt’s 50% wasn’t sustainable, and it continues to move up and down while keeping below $18 million.

Markets are healthy, not just OI, but solid activity has been recorded across spot, futures, and options as well. The big session has been the result of PayPal announcing support for cryptocurrencies.

Also Read: ‌PayPal Exploring Acquiring Crypto Companies, Already in Talks with Bitcoin Custodian BitGo

And with this, futures are no longer in backwardation.

“Bitmex, bybit BTC futures are now higher than spot ($10-25). An interesting shift of market sentiment. People are finally starting to become bullish. But that doesn’t mean this is the top. It can take weeks or months for the top to happen. Funding rate will be the key indicator,” noted trader Crypto Squeeze.

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Author: AnTy

Bitmain’s Wu Regains Power Over Micree Zhan As Jihan Named Legal Representative

The struggle for Bitmain’s control has taken a different turn, with Jihan Wu regaining the position of executive director and legal representative of this Chinese Bitcoin mining rig manufacturer. According to the latest update on China’s business registration record, Macree Zhan will no longer serve in the above capacities but remains a general manager in the company.

This turn of events comes as an upper hand to Wu’s side of the company, given the powers embedded within the legal representative and executive director role in Chinese-domiciled entities. Wu is now the one in control of Bitmain’s seal hence broad powers to act on behalf of the company as well as sign strategic decisions into effect.

Bitmain’s Power Brawl

With cryptocurrencies on the rise, Bitmain pivoted as one of the leading mining rigs manufacturers, but the firm’s internal brawls since late 2019 have cost the business a fortune. The real trouble began when Wu ousted Zhan towards the end of 2019; a move that Zhan later termed to be illegal and took the battle to the courts. Since then, Bitmain’s operations have been at the mercies of the two opposing camps.

Fast forward, Zhan was able to regain control of Bitmain’s Beijing offices in June 2020 and proposed to buy Wu’s shares at a valuation of $4 billion. His helm at the firm, however, seems to have been cut short with the latest developments. Nonetheless, Wu has maintained that Bitmain’s respect for Zhan remains unchanged in a recent WeChat post on the Bitmain AntMiner brand account.

Bitmain’s Woes Might Be Far from Over!

While the latest changes may have signaled calm waters for Bitmain’s operations, it is still too early to predict whether the firm’s internal power struggles will persist. For starters, a lawsuit between the two divides is still pending in the Cayman Islands, where Bitmain’s holding entity is domiciled. This regulatory uncertainty has ultimately threatened the firm’s operational side as well; Wu, however, noted that they are looking to find long-term solutions for the troubles caused to Bitmain stakeholders.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

OFAC Blacklists Three Russians’ Crypto Addresses Linked to 2016 US Presidential Election

The Treasury Department of Foreign Assets Control, OFAC in short, announced sanctions for three Russian hackers involved in meddling in the 2016 Presidential elections. The statement further added cryptocurrency addresses attached to the Russian Troll group, Internet Research Agency, were also sanctioned.

The sanctions stretch to several crypto addresses, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Zcash (ZEC), and Bitcoin SV (BSV). As of the publishing of the sanctions, “all property and interests in property of these targets that are subject to U.S. jurisdictions are blocked,” the statement adds. U.S. citizens are also prohibited from engaging in transactions with the listed persons.

The three sanctioned persons – Artem Lifshits, Anton Andreyev, and Darya Aslanova – are listed for controlling the crypto wallet accounts and dealing with the IRA. The statement reads,

“Russian nationals Artem Lifshits, Anton Andreyev, and Darya Aslanova, as employees of the IRA, supported the IRA’s cryptocurrency accounts. The IRA uses cryptocurrency to fund activities in furtherance of their ongoing malign influence operations around the world.”

OFAC first listed IRA operations using cryptocurrency in 2018, accusing the firm of participating in meddling in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.

Russia is not the only nation the U.S. agency is focusing on. In November 2019, BEG reported OFAC was accelerating its efforts to sanction cryptocurrency addresses from two Iran nationals in relation to ransomware attacks within the country.

The list of Russian cryptocurrency addresses that have been blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitcoin Will Emerge Stronger Out of the Ongoing Crisis: Congressman Tom Emmer

It is the fact that no one has centralized control over Bitcoin that makes it stand out in comparison to fiat currencies that are tightly controlled, said US Congressman Tom Emmer on “Pomp Podcast.”

Born in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the situation isn’t much different from the ongoing distressed economic scenario which is spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, noted Emmer. He pointed out how now people are back to looking for new safe haven assets amidst the unprecedented money printing by the US government.

According to him, the world’s leading cryptocurrency is here to stay. “As we come out of the crisis, Bitcoin ain’t going away. It’s gonna get stronger,” Emmer said.

Bitcoin along with the underlying technology will see further advancements and “continue to become more and more important.”

“You just watch, it has value, when something has value, people are going to take risks and it’s going to advance,” he said.

He also touched upon the OCC’s announcement from last week allowing national banks to hold bitcoin and cryptos for their clients — a big move for the cryptocurrency industry as banks have been reluctant in providing their services to businesses dealing with cryptos.

“Now [Acting Comptroller of the Currency] Brian Brooks is saying ‘Hey, institutions, you can start banking this stuff. You can provide a home for it, you can start working with it,’” Emmer told the host Anthony Pompliano, co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital.

We’re moving into the next phase

The Congressman is known for his bitcoin support, just last month when the major accounts of Twitter were hacked to promote a bitcoin scam, he defended the digital asset stating, “Bitcoin isn’t the problem. Centralized control is.”

Emmer further explained that bitcoin wasn’t one that screwed up rather Twitter was the one whose security “wasn’t adequate.”

Elaborating on centralization being the real culprit, he pointed out how during the coronavirus pandemic, the Chinese government in control of fiat currency “shut everybody down,” which means you can’t go out of Wuhan, the city where the virus originated, or even go out to buy groceries.

In a centralized system, someone is always in charge of the allocation of money which is “never” a good thing, said Emmer citing “The Road to Serfdom,” a book by economist Friedrich Hayek.

And that’s where the crypto comes.

“I think we’re just moving into that next phase, which is why crypto, the area, excites me,” Emmer said.

According to him, the government will have a role in this next phase but not a big one as “people can police themselves.” “I don’t like the fact that my colleagues think everybody is so dumb they’re all gonna get fleeced all the time. You know, the greatest game is through the greatest risk,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

Bitmain’s Internal Brawl Drags On After Ousted CEO, Micree Zhan, Halts Mining Equipment Shipments

Bitmain’s battle for control seems far from over after a recent shipment disruption by Micree Zhan. The ousted CEO physically took over Beijing’s office at the beginning of June after hiring private guards. Reports have now emerged that Zhan is interfering with the shipment of mining devices from Bitmain’s factory in Shenzhen.

BlockBeats, a Chinese media publication, quoted its sources who allege that Zhan prohibited Bitmain employees from delivering client orders. Notably, the reason behind the move is yet to be clarified. This comes amid the ensued brawl between Zhan and Jihan Wu since October 2019 over Bitmain’s control.

Despite being a market leader in the production of crypto mining equipment, Bitmain came under pressure when this internal wrangling started. Wu ousted Zhan by claiming to ‘save the ship’ and regaining the top position within the firm’s hierarchy. It was then that it got messy and noisy for the Beijing headquartered firm.

Zhan has since filed multiple lawsuits noting that the takeover was illegal. In May, the situation escalated after a brawl erupted over Bitmain’s deal. Recent developments now indicate that Zhan might have regained partial control of Bitmain’s operations. However, Bitmain had issued a statement towards the end of May confirming Zhan’s ouster.

Wu: Situation is Under Control

Following this shakeup, Jihan Wu’s side of Bitmain has come out to assure employees that things are under control. According to the update, the team is pursuing damages caused by Micree Zhan through legal channels. It goes on to reassure that Bitmain will compensate all damages suffered by the employees, urging them to “work together to protect Bitmain.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Ethereum (ETH/USD) Price Analysis (February 10)

• The Cryptocurrency is in an uptrend.
• The bulls remain in control of the market.

ETH/USD Medium-term Trend: Bullish

• Distribution Zones : $230.00, $240.00, $250.00
• Accumulation Zones: $115.00, $110.00, $100.00

ETH/USD is in an uptrend in its medium-term outlook. The bulls increased momentum pushed price up to $230.00 in the distribution area, as the market opens yesterday.

The momentum was lost as the bears set in at $228.33 and drops the price of the coin as the market opens today. The cryptocurrency initial price is $219.10 in the accumulation area.

Price is above the two EMAs and the stochastic oscillator signal pointing down at level 90% in the overbought region suggests downward momentum in the cryptocurrency price in the medium-term.

ETH/USD Short-term Trend: Bullish

The coin is in an uptrend in its short-term outlook. The bulls made a progressive movement to the north breaking the EMA 9. $228.56 in the distribution area was the high attained by the cryptocurrency during yesterday’s session.

Today’s 4-hour bearish opening candle at $228.33 sustained the downward momentum with ETH/USD down to $218.23.

Price is below the EMA 9 and the stochastic oscillator signal pointing down at 35% suggests downward momentum in the price of the crypto in the short-term. Hence a price reversal may likely occur in the future.

Disclaimer: The presented information is subjected to market condition and may include the very own opinion of the author. Please do your ‘very own’ market research before making any investment in cryptocurrencies. Neither the writer nor the publication (bitcoinexchangeguide.com) holds any responsibility for your financial loss.

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Author: Ben Jordan

Litecoin Price Analysis (February 9)

• The Medium-term outlook and the Short-term outlook are in an uptrend.
• The bulls remains in control of the market.

LTC/USD Medium-term Trend: Bullish

• Resistance Levels : $80.00, $90.00, $100.00
• Support Levels:      $35.00, $25.00, $15.00

LTC/USD MEDIUM-TERM

LTC/USD MEDIUM-TERM

The cryptocurrency is in a bullish trend in its medium-term outlook. After breaking the $77.58 of the resistance line the bulls pushes the price further up at $78.45 in the resistance area during the session today.

Price is up to $78.45 in the resistance area as the journey up north continues.

With the price of LTC/USD above the two EMA’s and the stochastic oscillator indicator at the overbought region suggests an upward momentum in price of the coin in the medium-term.

LTC/USD Short-term Trend: Bullish

The cryptocurrency is in a bullish trend in its short-term outlook. The bulls made a progressive movement to the north with a touch at the EMA 9, $77.92 in the resistance area was the high attained by the cryptocurrency during yesterday’s session.

Today’s 4-hour bullish opening candle at $77.60 sustains the upward momentum with LTC/USD up to $78.45 in the resistance area.

Price is above the two EMA’s and the stochastic oscillator indicator in the overbought region indicates an upward trend in the price of the cryptocurrency in the short-term.

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Author: Ben Jordan

BCH Hash Rate Taken Over by Unknown Miner with 50% Control for Full 24 Hours

  • It is unclear if the 50% control was the result of the work of one or multiple miners.
  • Some proponents believe that this ability points to an issue with security and liability with Bitcoin Cash.

In the cryptocurrency industry, every platform thrives on a lack of majority control. Decentralization relies on this idea, as it allows the industry to remain free and unregulated. However, a recent article by Cointelegraph points out an issue with the Bitcoin Cash hash rate, which was in control of 50% of the hash rate for a total of 24 hours.

From 10:00am on October 24th to 10:00am on October 25th, the miner appeared to mine 73 blocks. Notgrubles, a crypto Twitter user, stated that this action is proof that “BCH is a security risk and liability,” and that the coin should be delisted.

With this level of control, the miner, or miners, cannot be far from having control of the entire network. One of the crypto proponents on Reddit suggested that this type of control would lead the miner to do “nefarious things.” Another Redditor – Bitmeister – stated that it is more likely that Bitcoin miners are trying to experiment with their BTC hash power by directing their attention to BCH.

Bitcoin’s network hash rate recently had a major dip of 40% at the end of September, which is still unexplained at this point. Considering the massive highs that Bitcoin experienced in their hash rates over the summer, this drop was even more surprising. Cointelegraph even reported that the hash rate passed 102 quintillion hashes, which was a major milestone for the digital asset.

With a higher hash rate comes greater competition to mine new blocks. At the same time, it increases the resources that would be required for a 51% attack, which secures the network.

Along with the sudden rise in Bitcoin’s price, Bitcoin Cash is also seeing some success, though the value of the token has declined since then. At the time of writing, the token was down by 2.45% with a value of $250.12 per BCH.

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Author: Krystle M

Banks are Feeling Threatened of Bitcoin and for Good Reason, Tim Draper

  • A new opportunity for a new currency
  • Governments have to adapt to not control through currency

Venture capital investor and Bitcoin bull Tim Draper currently in an interview shared how currencies today are based on faith in the government. But Bitcoin is a currency that isn’t backed by the government rather frees us from that control.

These fiat currencies, he said started as a promise of gold but not a promise that the government will back you up.

But

“all of a sudden, we have a currency that is not tied to a government and not tied to a geographic territory,”

said Draper.

“That frees us because governments have always used that currency to control us,”

he added.

Governments control people by keeping control of their currency, but with Bitcoin, we can operate across borders much more easily and further move money all over the globe. The digital asset also reduces friction significantly.

A New Opportunity for a New Currency

Draper further pointed out the reason behind the banks being so big and rich, two and a half percent of every transaction that we do is picked by credit card companies and banks get the bulk of that.

But now that people use Bitcoin, this would go away and

“banks are feeling threatened and for good reason.”

Moreover, if you use bitcoin instead of dollars, the bank does not control your BTC. As such, there is a new opportunity for a new currency that is not just frictionless and transparent but also open, cross border, and a

“great store of value.”

According to Draper, Bitcoin is going to be faster and cheaper than the Visa network. However, currently, it is much lower than the credit card processing companies like Visa, and Mastercard at around 800,000 transactions per day.

But the network has also seen a huge amount of money being moved with just a small fraction of fee paid in the traditional payment system.

And Govt. has to Adapt to Not Control through Currency

“It’s a sea change,” said Draper adding, there is a new technology that is better, faster, and cheaper than anything else out there. “

“We are gonna move that way,”

said Draper which means, governments have to figure out how they are going to adapt to not controlling everybody through the currency.

Recently, Draper, who has been standing firm on his $250,000 price prediction for Bitcoin, said it is a conservative number for the leading cryptocurrency. He said $250k would mean BTC would have 5% of the market share of the currency world and that may be

“understating the power of bitcoin.”

Moreover, as it becomes easier for people to use the flagship cryptocurrency, they would make the decision that they like it better than fiat because

“they know that their fiat will depreciate in value,”

he said.

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Author: AnTy