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The White House Can Possibly Ban Bitcoin Someday, Tom Lee Says

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As Trump’s administration is seemingly getting ready to issue a ban on flavored e-cigarettes, prominent cryptocurrency commentator and head analyst at Fundstrat Global Advisors, Tom Lee, said that this is a signal that the White House can issue an “executive order” banning anything, including Bitcoin. 

Nothing’s Out of Reach

The administration of the United States is apparently preparing to issue a ban on flavored e-cigarettes upon worries of a worsening epidemic of teenage vaping, Bloomberg reported yesterday, September 11th. 

While seemingly unrelated to cryptocurrencies, prominent Bitcoin bull and head analyst at Fundstrat Global Advisors, Tom Lee, said that this demonstrates how the US administration can issue an “executive order” banning pretty much anything, including Bitcoin.

Now, what’s alarming is that we already know that President Trump’s position on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in general, is not particularly peachy. 

Back in July, Trump said that he’s not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. He also said that their value is highly volatile and that it’s based on thin air. He also mentioned that they can facilitate an illicit activity which includes drug trade and others. 

Bitcoin’s Regulatory Statute In The US

Bitcoin’s statute in the US is perhaps one of the most highly discussed topics within the crypto community. 

For what is worth, back in 2018, an SEC official said that Bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities. The official said that Bitcoin is not a security because it is decentralized. He outlined that there is no central party whose efforts are a determining factor in the enterprise. The same goes for Ethereum, according to the official. 

On the other hand, back in March 2018, the US tax authority, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), issued a reminder to taxpayers that income from virtual currency is reportable on their very own income tax returns. 

The document outlined that virtual currencies, as they are generally defined, are a digital representation of value “that functions in the same manner as a country’s traditional currency.”

In other words, as far as the IRS is concerned, Bitcoin is a form of currency when it comes to taxation. 

In addition, however, the same document also states that “general tax principles that apply to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency.”

To sum it up, when it comes to taxation, Bitcoin can be viewed as currency, as property, and as pretty much everything that can be taxed. 

It’s unclear how a potential ban would be formulated, given Bitcoin’s decentralized nature, especially without any prior definitions and regulatory clarifications. Yet, on paper, Lee is right that nothing’s “out of reach” when it comes to the White House and its executive orders. 

Source: .cryptopotato:

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Hodl Hodl Wants You to Clone Its Bitcoin Exchange

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Hodl Hodl plans to make its software freely available so anyone can launch their own version of the peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange.

Announced Saturday at the Baltic Honeybadger conference in Riga, Latvia, the plan is, in part, a recognition that Hodl Hodl’s business model is vulnerable to regulatory crackdowns.

“History teaches us that if a government wants to shut you down, it will,” Hodl Hodl CEO Max Keidun told CoinDesk.

Open-sourcing the code for its smart contracts, which Hodl Hodl intends to do sometime next year, is a way to deal with the threat, Keidun said, explaining:

“Let’s imagine, our domain gets blocked — some activist would be able to just take the code from Github, fork it and launch something new.”

Already, people in Africa, Asia and Latin America have reached out to the company, asking about such an opportunity, he said. “Peer-to-peer is something emerging markets, in particular, are interested in.”

Rare breed

Hodl Hodl is a rare animal in the 2019 crypto world: as a matter of principle, it focuses on bitcoin (the only cryptocurrency that the company’s founders trust), it doesn’t do know-your-customer (KYC) checks and it has no plan to start.

Why not? “Because we don’t like three-letter abbreviations,” Hodl Hodl’s CTO, Roman Snitko, joked in a slide for his presentation to the Riga conference.

In all seriousness, Hodl Hodl is averse to holding the sensitive personal information that financial institutions are mandated to collect from customers under global anti-money-laundering (AML) regulations.

“We think KYC/AML does more harm by exposing law-abiding users to fraudsters and criminals,” Snitko told CoinDesk. “The information and documents users upload to exchanges has been stolen many times in the past. It also does very little to prevent actual money laundering and criminals from using those services. They always find ways.”

Yet regulators across the globe are tightening the screws on the industry to identify the parties to transactions. Most notably, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body, has directed its member countries to make exchanges collect and store information about who their customers trade with.

Winds of change

Hodl Hodl’s founders believe they don’t have to identify customers because the exchange never takes custody of users’ funds.

Rather, it lists offers to buy or sell bitcoin and provides an escrow service in which the seller locks bitcoin in a multi-signature smart contract until the buyer sends fiat. Releasing the bitcoin requires 2 out of 3 signatures, belonging to the buyer, seller, and Hodl Hodl (which steps in as a referee when there’s a dispute).

“We don’t touch the crypto, don’t match users automatically and don’t keep funds in our wallets,” Keidun said. “We create multisigs in a public blockchain,”

In the same June guidance, the FATF said even peer-to-peer platforms may be subject to such regulations in cases “where the platform facilitates the exchange.” It’s unclear whether Hodl Hodl’s escrow service counts as “facilitating.”

But the founders see the way the wind is blowing.

“We’re not switching to the open-source model exclusively because of the regulatory pressure,” Snitko told CoinDesk. “In fact, we haven’t experienced any due to the fact that we’re a non-custodial exchange. However, we do foresee regulators becoming more desperate in their attempts to contain the spread of bitcoin and we refuse to be the victims of desperate actions.”

Passing the reins

At some point, Keidun and Snitko might hand management of Hodl Hodl to others so they can focus entirely on supporting and upgrading the code. (The exchange says it has no head office; employees work remotely, serving 10,000 users worldwide.)

“We want to create a community around us, so that at some point we could pass the reins to other people,” Keidun said. There is no timeframe for that yet.

In his Riga presentation, Snitko also announced Hodl Hodl’s intention to open “a bitcoin smart contract app store.”

Another way people can utilize the code is payments for e-commerce, and in the coming months, the team will focus on making the technology plug-and-play, so people who are not proficient coders can easily deploy it in their online store and accept bitcoin.

“We want to launch a platform for bitcoin smart contracts, so that anyone who wants to sell homes online or do [over-the-counter] trades could use it,” Keidun said, adding that it might be a multi-sig with more than three signatures and it can be used for multiple use cases.

Aside from bitcoin-to-fiat trades, Hodl Hodl’s multi-sig escrow is used in a peer-to-peer predictions market when people bet on things like the price of bitcoin or publicly traded stock, sports results and other measurable outcomes. A real estate platform is also in the works, with a launch tentatively scheduled for 2020, Keidun said.

source.coindesk.

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Bitcoin’s Record Hash Rate May Hint at Price Gains to Come

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  • With the hash rate or miner’s confidence hitting record highs, bitcoin’s three-day narrowing price range looks set to end with a bullish breakout.
  • A range breakout would open the doors to $10,956 – the bearish lower high created on Aug. 20.
  • A break below Friday’s low of $10,154 would confirm a range breakdown and could yield a sell-off to $9,855 (Sept. 11 low).

Bitcoin’s latest bout of consolidation may end up with bullish breakout, as a key metric of miner confidence has hit all-time highs.

The top cryptocurrency by market value has clocked lower daily highs and higher daily lows over the last three days and is currently trading at $10,300 on Bitstamp, little changed on a 24-hour basis.

The cryptocurrency has charted the narrowing price range amid a surge in non-price metrics including a rise in the network’s hash rate – a measure of the computing power dedicated to mining bitcoin.

Notably, the two-week average hash rate reached a record high of 85 exahashes per second (EH/s) around 19:00 UTC on Friday. Further, mining difficulty – a measure of how hard it is to create a block of transactions – also jumped to a new all-time high of nearly 12 trillion.

Hash rate can be considered a barometer of miners’ confidence in the bitcoin price rally. After all, they are more likely to dedicate more resources to the computer intensive process that secures the network and processes transactions if they are bullish on price. Miners would likely scale back operations if a price slide is expected.

Hence, many observers, including the likes of Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, and former Wall Street trader and journalist Max Keiser believe prices follow hash rate.

Zhao tweeted on Friday that, a rising hash rate means “more miners are investing in BTC,” while few other observers stated that sellers should think twice before betting against the most secure blockchain (the higher the hash rate of a cryptocurrency network, the more expensive it is to attack).

It is worth noting, though, that the market is divided on the relationship between price and hash rate.

Some observers believe the hash rate follows price and the metric’s stellar performance represents overtly exuberant miners.

That said, the price is likely to follow the hash rate this time, as over-exuberance is typically observed at market tops or near record highs. As of now, BTC is down almost $10,000 from the record high of $20,000 reached in December 2017.

Further, with the next reward halving (supply cut) due in less than a year, market sentiment is quite bullish. The sustained uptick in miners’ confidence is more likely to draw fresh bids, possibly leading to a positive feedback loop.

Daily and 4-hour charts

Bitcoin has charted (above left) back-to-back inside bar candlestick pattern on the daily chart over the last three days. The first inside bar appeared on Friday as that day’s high and low fell within Thursday’s trading range. The second and the third inside bar candle was created on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Inside bars indicate consolidation and lack of volatility, often ending with an explosive move on either side. A break below the first inside bar’s (Friday) low of $10,154 would imply range breakdown and could yield a stronger sell-off to levels below $9,855 (Sept. 11 low).

A break above Friday’s high of $10,458 would imply range breakout and open the doors to $10,956 (July 20 high).

The falling wedge breakout confirmed on the 4-hour chart (above right) last week is still valid. So, the probability of range breakout is high.

source.coindesk.

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Bitcoin (BTC/USD) forecast and analysis on September 16, 2019

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Cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC/USD) is trading at 10308. Cryptocurrency quotes are trading above the moving average with a period of 55. This indicates a bullish trend on Bitcoin. At the moment, cryptocurrency quotes are moving near the middle border of the Bollinger Bands indicator stripes.

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) forecast and analysis on September 16, 2019

As part of the Bitcoin exchange rate forecast, a test of the level of 10220 is expected. Where can we expect an attempt to continue the growth of BTC/USD and the further development of the upward trend. The purpose of this movement is the area near the level of 10850. The conservative area for buying Bitcoin is located near the lower border of the Bollinger Bands indicator strip at the level of 9950.

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) forecast and analysis on September 16, 2019

Cancellation of the option to continue the growth of the Bitcoin exchange rate will be a breakdown of the lower border of the Bollinger Bands indicator stripes. As well as a moving average with a period of 55 and closing of quotations of the pair below the area of ​​9840. This will indicate a change in the current trend in favor of the bearish for BTC/USD. In case of breakdown of the upper border of the Bollinger Bands indicator bands, we should expect an acceleration in the fall of cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) forecast and analysis on September 16, 2019 implies a test level of 10220. Further growth is expected to continue to the area above the level of 10850. The conservative area for buying Bitcoin is located area of 9950. Cancellation of the growth option of cryptocurrency will be a breakdown of the level of 9840. In this case, we can expect further the fall.

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