Binance Exchange To Restrict Crypto Trading For Japanese Users In The ‘Near Future’

  • Binance ready to phase out Japan residents from trading services in near future.
  • Further confirmation on details on the operations is set to be released at a later date.
  • Could regulation strictness be the case, similar to Binance’s troubles in the US?

In an announcement released on Thursday, January 16, 2020, on Binance blog, the world’s largest exchange will stop serving Japanese customers in the near future. The statement started out by thanking the support of their customers over the years since launch in 2017. The statement further read,

“Binance.com will be phasing out the provision of services to residents of Japan.”

The statement however confirmed that trading on the platform will continue as usual for Japan based customers. However, in the future the exchange will start slowly restricting Japan residents from trading on the platform with the official announcement expected to be released “shortly”.

The announcement will come as a blow to crypto investors in Japan as one of crypto’s largest exchanges closes its doors on the residents. Regulation has been one of the toughest barriers to entry for cryptocurrency companies in Japan and the latest closure may yet be a case of regulation uncertainty.

While all seems lost could there be a possibility of a “Binance US” situation unfolding in the country?

Binance Japan on the way?

The closure of trading services on Binance Global for US residents was indeed a big blow to the crypto industry in the biggest economy in the world. Every cloud has a silver lining though; Binance US, a regulated cryptocurrency platform sprouted to cater for US customers. Could such an effect take root in Japan?

While no official communication has been offered yet, the possibility of a highly regulated KYC compliant Binance Japan may be on the way.

As at publishing, no response to our questions has been received yet from Binance. We will follow up the story as it develops.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Etoro Looking To Launch Its Own Debit Card and Expand Its Services in 2020

eToro, the popular trading platforms which allow users to trade traditional shares as well as crypto assets is planning to launch their debit card services in 2020. The trading platform is also looking to expand their service base in the United States, Hong Kong and Africa.

Although the rumours of a possible debit card launch have been riffed for quite some time now, but in a recent interview eToro’s CEO confirmed that the company will be launching its debit card services this year.

Yoni Assia, CEO and co-founder of eToro in a recent interview confirmed the company’s plan on debit card and said,

“the card will expand the financial services that we currently provide to customers from over 100 countries around the world.”

Assia believed that the debit card service would help in crypto adoption as well as enhance the customer experience for its 12 million users. The CEO noted that the introduction of the Debit card would allow users to manage and spend their funds better.

Assia also believed the move would help them become the trading platform of choice as their platform is only among the very few which offers trading services for traditional shares and asset classes along with cryptocurrencies.

The firm is also planning to expand its services in the countries where it has a working base in and the target countries include the United States, Hong Kong and Africa. The firm’s CEO noted,

“Today, we offer US customers only trading in cryptocurrencies, but in the future, we’ll expand our activity there to trading in shares. In addition to the 42 US states in which we’re active, we’re planning to expand to other states, including New York.”

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Author: Lorraine Mburu

Binance Futures Adds Perpetual Contracts For Tron (TRX) With 75x Leverage

One of the largest futures trading platforms in the world, Binance Futures, has announced the introduction of TRX/USDT perpetual contract that will go live starting Jan.15.

According to a press statement released by Binance, traders will have a chance to choose from 1 up to 75x leverage. This means that a trader who opts for the highest leverage will have a chance to hold 7,500 USDT equivalent of TRX by only depositing 100 USDT which will act as collateral.

Binance has been looking at ways to attract more customers for its futures products and in October last year increased in leverage to 125x. Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO, has explained that high-leveraged trading pairs are on high demand especially among institutional investors, U-Today reports. CZ explained,

“Binance Futures offers a fast and stable platform that is designed by traders for traders. We have seen an increase in institutional participation in trading, and these professional traders seek out the most efficient ways to trade very quickly, both in terms of cost and performance.”

Binance Futures has been aggressive in efforts to increase its market share when it comes to derivatives and in the recent past has introduced perpetual futures contracts for different cryptos including Litecoin as well as XRP.

Although the futures exchange has risen in terms of popularity, derivatives traders have been asked to be cautious as the derivatives market is highly risky and can easily lose their funds when their trades don’t work out.

Binance stated that it has a price limit of ±1% on the mark price to prevent market manipulation. However, this limitation will only be implemented for just 15 minutes after trading kicks-off at exactly 08:00 AM (UTC).

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Argentina Using Bitcoin To “Skirt Capital Controls” – Economist Alex Kruger

  • One BTC’s trading at $9,143 USD in Argentine exchange Ripio
  • Argentina’s black market peso fell 4.56% to an all-time low of 76.75 against USD
  • President Alberto Fernandez says Argentina is in virtual default, compares its economic solution to the 2001 crisis

Argentina is recording its highest volume week ever on LocalBitcoin, a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange platform. Although it has been at the highest volume in terms of the Argentine peso, the volume in terms of BTC is still small versus 2016.

In early April 2016, it hit its peak at 228 BTC, however, at that time, the value of 1 BTC was around $420. Today, 1 BTC is worth more than $7,365.

As per crypto exchange Ripio, the current value of 1 BTC is $548,197 Argentine peso which equals over $9,143 USD, trading at a premium of 23.5%.

On LocalCrypto, however, this is not the case as there are only about one hundred traders in Argentina in the past month. The Argentine peso is 25th by volume on the platform, reported LocalCryptos, but last month they added Bitcoin and could see these low volumes changing soon.

Capital Controls driving the need for Bitcoin?

Matt Ahlborg of UsefulTulips said, “Argentina had its highest volume day ever on Localbitcoins yesterday as capital controls on dollars increased earlier this week.”

Today, Argentina’s black market peso fell about 4.56% to an all-time low of 76.75 against the US dollar, pushing it further away from the official spot rate, which has been held steady by strict capital controls imposed in September.

Argentina’s new Cabinet chief, Santiago Cafiero said a new bill that is sent to Congress will hike taxes on goods and services purchased in US dollars to as high as 30%.

The move aims to stabilize peso that has lost over 80% of its value over the past four years, that fanned high levels of inflation, under former president Mauricio Macri.

On Sunday, new president Alberto Fernandez said Argentina is in virtual default, comparing its economic solution to the 2001 crisis. The country is currently in recession and its economy is expected to shrink by 3.1% in 2019.

“It is not the same as 2001, but it is similar. At that time poverty was at 57 percent, today we have 41 percent poor people; then we had a debt default, today we are in virtual default,” Fernández said in an interview.

Economist Says, That’s Not the case

Could it be that Argentineans are finding safety in Sats? According to economist and trader Alex Kruger, this is not the case.

“Bitcoin in Argentina is not used for safety, but as a temporary vehicle to skirt capital controls,” he said.

In September, he pointed out how the LocalBitcoin chart showing “exploring volumes” has been in the local term that has been because of the peso devaluation and not because Argentines are using the flagship cryptocurrency to “escape the economic crisis.”

In one of his recent tweets, he shared the findings of a poll he ran where he asked Argentine bitcoiners the reason behind their BTC purchase.

Out of the 3,000 people contacted, only 100 reverted that revealed only 10% bought BTC to protect themselves from the devaluing Argentine peso. The majority 80% is in it just for long or short term speculation.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Price Drops to $6,820, Trader says “We’re Just Getting Started”

And it has started…

In a sudden move, Bitcoin price after just over two weeks of trading above $7,000 today break down below this level, going to as low as $6,820 on Bitstamp.

With this move, trading volume saw a jump as well, going from $175 million earlier in the day to the current $321.4 million. During the weekend, the trading volume fell to $150 million.

But this move, though on the downside is bringing some volume back in the market.

Interestingly, just a few hours before this move, CME introduced additional bitcoin futures maturities to “manage bitcoin-related risk.” From now on, the listing cycle also includes six consecutive monthly contracts that involves the nearest two December contracts as well.

CME is also launching options on Bitcoin futures on January 13, 2020 on the back of “strong demand” and growing interest in cryptocurrencies.

“We’re Just Getting Started”

This time Ethereum led Bitcoin with a few minutes headstart.

But according to popular trader Majin, Bitcoin is just getting started with $6,900 being tested on the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. However, “this 6.9 wall will get munched.”

“We’re not done. We’re just getting started,” said Majin.

BTC longs on Bitfinex meanwhile going Parabolic

As we reported, Bitcoin longs on Bitfinex have been hitting an all-time high while shorts are nearing their all-time low.

If these longs get squeezed, we can drop to low $5,000s however, trader Josh Rager sees it highly unlikely that price will nosedive straight to mid to low $5ks right now. According to him, there would be a lot of bounces on this journey to the fall.

A Buy the Dip Opportunity like never before?

Trader and analyst Tone Vays meanwhile already stated that Bitcoin would be breaking down below $7,000. This “low” he said would be the best time to buy the dip that won’t be coming for years to come.

However, this former Wall Street has been bearish on Bitcoin price throughout 2019 when BTC was rallying. He even bet 100 BTC that Bitcoin will drop below $2,000 before 2024.

Then last month, he said in order for this to be a bull market, we need to see a “very clear pullback of 30% and a sustained higher low.” This would put BTC somewhere between $4,000 and $5,000.

Just like Vays, another analyst is bearish on BTC and expects a new low for the world’s leading cryptocurrency.

Magic Poop Cannon expects BTC to drop to $3,000 level which he says would have the crypto market experience the exodus that the Internet did in 2000.

Mati Greenspan, founder of investment firm Quantum Economics newsletter and former eToro analyst, however, has just this to say, the current drop puts the BTC price where it was less than a month ago and “Any movement within this range is irrelevant in the long run.”

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Author: AnTy

Blood on the Streets: Bitcoin Miners Hurting and Operating at a Loss

  • BTC price remains above $7,000 but trading volume is extremely low at below $200 million
  • Miner price and electricity cost puts Bitcoin production cost at $8,941
  • Bitcoin miners are struggling at present with most operating at a loss
  • Bitcoin production price will double at halving, putting it at $17,800

We are almost in the middle of December and Bitcoin continues to trade above $7,000 level. We haven’t dropped below this level, not even once but it’s to be seen what will happen to BTC price once this accumulation phase is over.

At the time of writing, BTC/USD has been trading at $7,270 with 24 hours gains of 1.04%, as per Coincodex while managing the daily trading volume of just $193 million.

Just like the price which is trading sideways, the hash rate is behaving the same way. Ever since hitting the all-time high at 110 Th/s on October 23, the Bitcoin hash rate has been oscillating between 80 to 100 Th/s.

Recently, a report found that the majority (66%) of Bitcoin mining is still dominated in China. However, the mining is predominantly hydro-electric powered, so that’s good.

“Mining is highly encouraged in China now. They hope to control bitcoin by having all the miners in the country (ie, under their control),” said Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao.

Bitcoin Miners Taking Short-Term Losses

According to Bitinfocharts, Bitcoin mining difficulty has been declining since June when Bitcoin hit 2019 high at $13,900. Currently, at 0.133, the profitability is close to hitting a new low of 2019 at 0.118 reached on Oct. 24.

Charles Edwards of Capriole Investments says,

“Bitcoin miners are hurting. The last 12 months has been the least profitable in all of the prior 5 years to be a Bitcoin miner. There’s blood on the streets.”

In the blog post, the company points out that Bitcoin’s production cost and miner prices together suggest that Bitcoin miners are struggling and potentially taking short-term losses.

The current Bitcoin production cost in terms of the miner price is at $7,399 and electricity cost is at $5,365. This puts the total cost at $8,941.

Price dropped below the Bitcoin Production Cost, however, tends to be short-lived as high-cost miners go out of business, the hash rate plateaus and then falls, and miners are less inclined to sell at a loss.

Over shorter periods, bitcoin miners can operate at a loss. Bitcoin price however never quite reaches the electricity cost to produce a Bitcoin, despite coming close in November in 2018.

Historically, the electricity to produce a Bitcoin represents a price floor.

This suggests Bitcoin miners are struggling at present with most operating at a loss. In 2019, miners had average daily profitability of 10%. The year has been actually the least profitable for Bitcoin mining in all of the last 5 years, notes the firm.

However, because several of miner costs are sunk, meaning already paid for such as hardware and locked in such as rent, they can operate at a loss over short periods.

With Bitcoin reward halving less than five months away, estimated to occur in May 2020, the Bitcoin Production Cost will double. On this basis, if the hash rate and mining hardware efficiency were to remain unchanged, the Bitcoin production price at halving would be at $17,800.

But with halving, the inflation rate will drop from 3.7% to 1.8%, as such miner influence on supply and demand is dropping.

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Author: AnTy

Blockchain Capital’s 12 Bold Predictions For 2020: Number 7 is Controversial But Inevitable

2019 is coming to an end and Bitcoin price is currently trading at $7,265, down 63% from its all-time high of $20,000.

But according to Blockchain Capital’s bold predictions for next year, Bitcoin could very well make a new ATH. But that doesn’t mean we will get to see $500,000 by the end of 2020.

In November 2017, John McAfee clarified that this price is based on the model that predicted $5,000 at the end of 2017 but Bitcoin accelerated much faster than his model assumptions. As such, he re-upped the bet from $500k to $1 million.

But Blockchain Capital doesn’t see this happening, at least not in 2020.

Positive Development…

Coming onto the 7th bold prediction for the Bitcoin network, it involves Bitcoin fees that the company is predicting to exceed $100 on the back of demand for Bitcoin transactions next year.

This prediction Spencer Bogart, General Partner at the company says is a controversial one but an “inevitable part of a successful Bitcoin trajectory.”

Given that the next block halving will cut down the rewards from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC, as Bogart says this would be a “positive development.”

Growth for Stablecoins but Tighter Regulation as well

Blockchain Capital sees growth in the crypto market next year with the prediction of a crypto company being acquired for more than $500 million. The value locked in DeFi is projected to hit a whopping $5 billion, currently, it’s nearly $672 million.

On the regulatory side, KYC/AML is projected to be DeFi’s “primary regulatory battleground.” But a federal judge might rule against the SEC in a crypto case.

When it comes to stablecoin, the company particularly talks about USDC, a US dollar-pegged stablecoin launched by Coinbase and Circle. It is expecting to see a 300% growth measured by transaction value, issuance, market cap, and trading volume.

However, FinCEN and FATF will hold stablecoin to a stricter standard than even paper cash by “requiring broad application of the travel rule.”

As for social media giant Facebook’s project Libra, Blockchain Capital predicts that it will receive the green light for a dollar-backed stablecoin, in the light of competition from China.

Amidst all these positive predictions the company also expects the privacy coins to continue to be delisted from major exchanges. Also, “not a single 2020 L1 network launch achieves top 10 status, as defined by network value.”

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Author: AnTy

Binance Us Lists 19 New Cryptos For Trading Including OMG, TRX, And XTZ; Evaluating 18 Others

Binance the world’s leading crypto exchange by trading volume is known for its rapid development work on its numerous platforms, and in the past two months, it has done the same on its recently launched crypto exchange for the US customers. Binance US was launched on September 23rd to cater to the crypto trading needs of 37 states of America.

The platform released a blog detailing their development on the platform in the past two months which included the addition of 19 new tokens to the training list apart from the seven listed at the time of launch. The platform also added support for debit card transfers, increased the ACH limit to $30,000 and also provided a 25% lower trading fee for BNB holders.

The platform has seen a rapid rate of development right after its US launch where it is trying hard to capture the crypto user market currently dominated by Coinbase. The platform has many offers to attract new consumers which include a $15 new user signup bonus along with 30 days of free trading. Apart from that the platform also provides FDIC insurance coverage for USD deposits.

Binance Is Working Tirelessly to Expand its user Base Across the Globe

Binance has built an entire ecosystem to not just progress and become the global crypto exchange but also facilitate the growth of new and upcoming projects in the decentralized space. It recently acquired Indian Crypto exchange WazirX to set its foot in the grand Indian market.

On the US front where the market is currently dominated by the likes of Coinbase, Kraken, Gemini and many more, Binance is looking to list as many tokens as possible. In addition to the 19 new tokens added in the past months, the firm is also looking into another 18 tokens including the Tron’s TRX token to list on the platform. Justin Sun also tweeted about the same and hoped to be listed on the exchange.

The firm promises to provide the highest level of security to its users against fraudulent blockchain projects and combat financial crimes.

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Author: Silvia A

Open Interest on CME Bitcoin Futures Drops to 6 Months Low But Bakkt’s Flying

Bitcoin is currently trading at $7,448 on spot exchanges as per Coincodex while managing the daily trading volume of $269 million on ten exchanges with real volume, up from $140 million earlier in the day and $120 from the weekend.

Unlike the low volume on spot exchanges, Bitcoin futures have been recording more than a billion on each platform.

When it comes to CME Group, BTC is trading at $7,470 as per Barchart.com. As for trading volume, on Dec. 6 it reported $133 million, down from $331 million on Dec.4, and $426 million at the end of November, as per the data analytics platform Skew.

Open interest on the CME BTC futures meanwhile dropped to over a six months low last week.

In June when BTC price went to its 2019 high at about $13,900, CME had two consecutive $1.5 billion sessions where the total open interest reached about 35% of popular derivatives platform BitMEX that offers 100x leverage. Skew states,

“Remember max leverage on CME is ~2.5x so this is probably more collateral committed to trade than on most (all?) of the retail off-shore derivatives platforms.”

ICE’s Bakkt meanwhile is consistently growing. On Nov. 27, it made a new all-time high at 5671 BTC. Last week, however, total volume was down 34% from the week prior at $82 million. Skew states,

“The physical settlement of the contracts – with the introduction of the Bitcoin Bakkt warehouse – makes it more complex / longer for market participants such as clearing members to integrate.”

Open interest however on Microsoft and Starbucks backed Bakkt is surging, increasing by 52% from the week before at $6.5 million.

Today, Bakkt launched the first CFTC regulated option on the futures contracts for Bitcoin that will attract a new set of market participants interested to trade the volatility. CME is also preparing to launch options on Bitcoin futures on January 13.

As per the official announcement, the options contract is based on the Bakkt Bitcoin monthly futures contract and settles the underlying futures contract two days before the expiry.

The platform also launched new cash-settled futures contracts that are available on ICE Futures Singapore. It is different from the September launched Bitcoin futures in the way that while these are physically delivered contracts, the latest one is cash-settled.

However, as we reported, the physically settled Bitcoin futures of Bakkt, that differentiates itself from CME and other platforms’ contracts aren’t exactly completely backed by Bitcoin either.

For starters, 37% of Bakkt futures are “backed by dollars or treasuries.” Also, as economist and trader Alex Kruger explained, “almost nobody takes physical delivery.” Though this isn’t a problem and is normal in future deliveries, and Bakkt is still very much bullish for Bitcoin, it is “no panacea.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Bottom Close, Bulls Signal a “Strong” Reversal

  • Trading volume drops to just $120 million
  • MVRV, unrealized profits, and SSR paints a bullish picture
  • Investor momentum tracking indicator suggests bottom most likely in

Bitcoin is not seeing much action and is stuck around $7,500 for over a week now. However, the volume has taken a severe drop, falling to a mere $120 million. Such low volumes make it easier for a large amount of transactions to move the prices and the market.

Indicators Painting a Bullish Picture

According to the on-chain data analytics platform, Glassnode, the bottom of the market is “close” and when that will happen the “reversal will be strong.”

MVRV that historically has indicated the bottom of the Bitcoin market cycle is consolidating towards   1. The Market Value to Realized Value (MVRV) is the ratio between market cap and realized cap that gives an indicator of when the traded price is below fair value.

Another indicator pointing towards a similar bullish picture is unrealized profits. Relative unrealized profit is the total profit in USD of all coins in existence whose price at realization time was lower than the current price normalized by the market cap.

Now that investors have less profit to realize, the selling pressure on Bitcoin has started to diminish what is allowing for an upward momentum to build, notes Glassnode.

Another positive factor is SSR, the ratio between Bitcoin supply and that of stablecoins, USDT, TUSD, USDC, GUSD, PAX, DAI, and SUSD, denoted in BTC.

When SSR is low, that means the stablecoin supply has more “buying power” to purchase Bitcoin.

Currently, it is at 26.9, down from last month’s nearly 33 indicating high buying power which is “good in a bottoming market.”

“The more capital waiting on the sideline, the stronger the reversal once investor sentiment turns bullish again.”

Prominent analyst Willy Woo also pointed out that on-chain momentum is “crossing into bullish” and is advising to prep for the upcoming Bitcoin reward halving front running from here on.

As per the indicator that tracks investor momentum, the bottom seems to be most likely in, with “anything lower will be just a wick in the macro view.”

Long Target of $100k Intact but More Pain Expected Still

However, TraderXO shares his favored scenario where he sees Bitcoin price dropping further to $5.8 to $6k. This, however, is just one of his scenarios for BTC price and he says “nothing is certain,” but one should have a plan.

Veteran trader Peter Brandt is also expecting the Bitcoin to bottom soon but not before July 2020 when according to him BTC will complete ts 80% correction at $5,500.

This bearishness in the near term is because there have been four violated parabola since 2011 and massive capitulation by crypto bulls will lead to a bottom next year.

In the immediate term, however, he is bullish as the bottom of the multi-year channel will hold and “6-month bear channel on the daily chart will provide launch for renewed parabolic phase.”

As for the long term, the historic bull trend remains intact with a target of $100,000.

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Author: AnTy