Total cryptomarket cap added $5.4 billion to its value since Monday, November 4 and now stands at $251.8 billion. Top ten coins remained mostly flat for the last 24 hours but we saw Stellar (XLM) and EOS (EOS) loosing 7.1 and 2.5 percent of their values respectively. At the time of writing bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $9,288 on the Bitstamp daily chart, while ether (ETH) stands at $188 and Ripple’s XRP moved up to $0.299.
Bitcoin made another step down on Sunday, November 3, and closed the day and week at $9,204, with 3.4 percent loss for the 7-day period.
The most popular cryptocurrency opened trading on Monday with a 2.3 percent increase and a green candle to $9,423. It peaked at $9,597 during intraday and successfully broke above the 38.20% Fibonacci level.
Bulls, however, were not able to hold their territory and retreated to $9,311 on the next day; we saw the BTC/USD pair trading as low as $9,174 during the session.
On Wednesday, November 6, bitcoin was trading lower around noon but managed to recover in the evening closing with at $9,347.
Notably in the news, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) signed a deal with the telecommunications giant Huawei. According to the official statement from Huawei’s WeChat channel from November 4, the company will collaborate with the Bank’s Digital Currency Research Institute on fintech research and development. No further details were shared, but given the recent interest by the Chinese government, we can probably expect a blockchain-oriented product or service in the near future.
Two days later, the Digital Currency Institute signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Interbank Clearing Limited of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). The HKMA announced the news on November 6 confirming the initial proof-of-concept (PoC) trial is expected to be launched in early 2020. The two financial institutions will reportedly work on improving their trade finance services by connecting HKMA’s financial platform eTradeConnect, which is entirely based on blockchain, with PBoC’s Trade Finance Platform.
The Ethereum token ETH continued to slide on Sunday, and stopped at 181.6 losing 1.5 percent on a weekly basis.
The ETH/USD pair started trading on the first day of the new week by successfully rebounding from the $180 support level. It added 3.3 percent to its value and climbed up to $186. The coin peaked at $189, one step shy of the important zone around $190.
On Tuesday, November 5, the ether was quite volatile. We saw it moving in the wide-area between $182 – $193 just to close at $188 with a small increase compared to the previous day.
Bulls were already eyeing the $190 as their next target and managed to reach it during the mid-week session on November 6. The ETH formed a third consecutive green candle on the daily chart and moved up to $191.
Could Cash Restrictions in Malaysia Boost Crypto Usage
Malaysia has joined a growing list of nations imposing capital controls on their people. Economic and geopolitical tensions are forcing governments to restrict the flow of money across their borders. As this is practically a form of financial subjugation, will more turn to crypto?
Crypto Over Cash Controls?
It was reported by local media this week that Malaysia’s central bank is planning to impose a cash transaction limit of RM25,000 (approx. $US6,000). Bank Negara (BNM) deputy governor and chairman of the National Coordination Committee to Counter Money Laundering (NCC), Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour, said that the measure was to address the abuse of physical cash used for illicit activities.
The restrictions will apply to all cash transactions including payments of goods and services and donations and transfers between parties and businesses. There are a couple of exemptions however including transactions to and from regulated financial institutions and humanitarian aid donations.
The banker asserted that it would not affect households since, according to their very small survey, 80 percent of them are of low and middle income with average cash transactions well below the limit.
“Our engagements with individuals suggested that a single transaction over RM25,000 by cash is really (unprecedented). This can also be seen with the average total expenditure of households across various income brackets.”
He added that the two-fold objectives of the cash embargo were to complement the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism framework in Malaysia and send a message that anonymous transactions will not be tolerated.
As another nation stomps on the rights of its people, the use of crypto currency may get a boost as a result. It has already been suggested that Bitcoin and crypto usage could spike as it has done in other countries that have imposed capital controls.
No Bitcoin Rush Just Yet
According to Coin.dance which has measured localbitcoins volume in MYR, there has been no increased activity yet which doesn’t mirror the yo-yoing of BTC price over the past couple of years.
LBC vol MYR – Coin.dance
A Reddit on the topic generated a response from a Malaysian in the crypto industry who suggested it may not cause a big Bitcoin rush. Reasoning would be that individuals can still use large amounts of cash providing they inform the bank the purpose of the transfer. This system is in place in many other countries already.
He added that there were many migrant workers in Malaysia that exclusively use cash and it has yet to develop the digital payments systems that are abundant in China. Additionally, crypto usage for payments is also very low there;
“I have yet to stumble on a place that accepts cryptos. And I’m living in the city. Most crypto fans here are probably like me too – more interested in the speculation and trading part although we know quite a bit about the technology too.”
So initially it does not look to be happening though the pattern of regime enforced capital controls is increasing across the world.
$15 Million Property Bought With Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple Reports Surge in XRP Transactions, and Ethereum Upgrade Countdown Begins – Crypto Newsflash
A $15.3 million luxury condo in Manhattan has reportedly been purchased using Bitcoin.
According to the real estate outlet The Real Deal, Magnum Real Estate Group sold the property to a group in Taiwan called the “Affluent Silver International LLC.”
“To complete the transaction the parties used Bitpay and Starr. Eric Hedvat, a broker with Jet Real Estate who represented Magnum, said it was a ‘seamless process.’”
This is the third unit in the building that Magnum has successfully sold using BTC.
Ripple and XRP
Ripple is reporting a surge of transactions on its XRP-based remittance network.
The company says the number of transactions moving through its cross-border payments product called On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) has increased seven-fold since the first quarter of this year.
“In less than a year since the commercialization of ODL, we have seen tremendous growth and customer interest with two dozen customers signed on to use the product.
Some of the notable customers committed to using ODL include MoneyGram, goLance, Viamericas, FlashFX and Interbank Peru. There have been more than 7x the number of transactions using ODL from the end of Q1 to the end of October.”
Ripple launched xRapid, now ODL, in October of 2018 and says 24 companies have signed up to use the product.
The countdown to Ethereum’s Istanbul upgrade is on.
Ethereumnodes.org has created a countdown clock for the event. At time of publishing, the update will be implemented on Friday, December 6th.
The Istanbul hard fork is a system-wide update designed to improve the blockchain’s efficiency and security. It’s the eighth hard fork since Ethereum’s launch in July of 2015.
Ethereum’s core developers are currently searching for any critical errors in the code, and if any are discovered the launch date will be pushed back to January.
ARGO BLOCKCHAIN NOW EMPLOYS 7,000 CRYPTO MINING MACHINES
Argo Blockchain, increased the number of its crypto mining machines to 7,000, with plans to add additional 10,000 machines in 2020.
ARGO TO INCREASE CRYPTO MINING MACHINES BY 10,000
The crypto mining industry saw a surge in interest due to recovering prices in 2019, with many of the miners who previously left the industry making a comeback. Crypto mining heavyweight Argo Blockchain, also saw some positive development, mostly in terms of upgrading their mining gear.
The company has been working on increasing its crypto miners, with quite an ambitious goal in mind. In a recent announcement, Argo stated that it plans to employ as many as 17,000 miners by the end of Q1 2020. The mining firm has already ordered 10,000 machines that should arrive in the following months.
Meanwhile, the UK crypto miner stated that the number of machines that are currently being used was already increased to 7,000. Once the additional 10,000 devices arrive — likely in batches, starting from early December — the company will reach its current goal of having 17,000 miners, total.
ARGO OFFICIALS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE NEW INVESTMENT
Argo Blockchain’s plans may seem ambitious at first, particularly since mining equipment can be pretty heavy on pockets. However, this industry saw quite an improvement in 2019, with many expecting that the trend will continue in 2020.
So far, 1,026 S17 Antminer machines, which were being used since May of this year, have already achieved a full payback on the investment, indicating that crypto mining is still very profitable. Argo’s executive chairman, Mike Edwards, commented on the new strategy by saying that the company wishes to ensure that the new mining hardware will deliver the strongest possible results.
Of course, crypto mining hardware itself is evolving and becoming stronger and more capable with release of improvised versions. That is why companies like Argo have to make major investments, in hopes that crypto miners will deliver results with their expectations. Doing so also creates long-term value for shareholders.
In other words, everybody wins. While it remains unknown how crypto prices might perform in 2020, experts appear to be optimistic, which is likely what inspired Argo to make such a decision.