Venezuela Sets Bitcoin Trading Record With New Hyperinflated Banknotes

bitcoin venezuela bolivar hyperinflation

New currency reforms in Venezuela accompanied a decisive surge in Bitcoin trading this week, with informal markets setting new all-time highs.


Bitcoin Boom As Central Bank Re-adds Zeros

Data from monitoring resource Coin Dance reveals that in the seven days ending June 15, Venezuelans transacted over 46 billion sovereign bolivars (VES) on P2P Bitcoin exchange Localbitcoins.

The figure stands far above the previous record of 40.9 billion VES set earlier in May.

As Bitcoinist has frequently reported, the ongoing Bitcoin activity in Venezuela has become an indictment of the VES, which began circulating in August 2018.

Under the regime of president Nicolas Maduro, the previous bolivar saw five zeros disappear from its exchange rate overnight, a controversial move which laid the foundation for the issuance of similarly dubious national cryptocurrency Petro.

In BTC terms, Venezuelans are not exchange substantially more value. From a VES perspective, however, the week-on-week growth is immediately obvious.

Hyperinflation has plagued the currency since its inception, with annual rates forecast to reach a giant 8 million percent in 2019.

Venezuelans Ridicule Bolivar

This week, Maduro again rejigged the VES, issuing new banknotes in larger denominations to counter its constantly slipping value.

Venezuela’s central bank claimed the move was in order to “make the payment system more efficient and facilitate commercial transactions,” yet there was little sign of appreciation from consumers, who appeared to take the new notes as government surrender to hyperinflation.

Others pointed out the irony of re-adding zeros to a currency which had previously lost them.

Elsewhere, the BTC price uptick, which set in towards the end of last week, appeared to spur renewed enthusiasm on the part of traders in countries such as Argentina, Colombia and Peru. The latter two have seen increasing exposure to the Venezuela crisis with reports now surfacing that officials are attempting to tighten border controls to stem to flow of refugees.

Last week also saw a suggestion from Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, that Latin America should introduce its own version of the euro.

Commenting after he cancelled a project aimed at integrating Brazil’s native Indian population using cryptocurrency, Bolsonaro publicly stated he simply “did not know” what Bitcoin is other than being a “virtual currency.”

Argentina, as Bitcoinist noted, has been more progressive, the country’s leader even conducting talks with billionaire investor and Bitcoin bull Tim Draper earlier this year. Part of the talks included Draper making a bet about the exchange of the Argentinian peso.

What do you think about Venezuela’s Bitcoin trading? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Coin Dance, Shutterstock

The post Venezuela Sets Bitcoin Trading Record With New Hyperinflated Banknotes appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Is Binance – US Clash The Reason Why The Anonymous Beam & Grin Gained Over 80% This Week?

Privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies Beam (BEAM) and Grin (GRIN) have managed to increase in value substantially over the past few days. Most of the gains were made following Binance’s recent announcement that they will no longer allow US traders to use the exchange.

Privacy-Focused Crypto On The Rise

A few privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies have seen splendid increases throughout the past few days. Namely, these include Beam, Grin, and Monero (XMR). Let’s have a look at each one individually.

Beam (BEAM) has increased by about 115% over the last 7 days. During the past 24 hours alone, the cryptocurrency is up more than 23%. BEAM prides itself as a cryptocurrency which allows completely private transactions without revealing the address or any other private information. Moreover, it also claims that users have complete control over their privacy.

Another fairly popular cryptocurrency which is also oriented towards complete privacy is Grin. Over the past 7 days, GRIN is up about 82%, while also marking an impressive increase of about 12% on the day.

Both Grin and Beam are based on the Mimblewimble protocol which became popular fairly recently. It relies on strong cryptographic primitives and it provides a framework for a blockchain which is centered around fungibility, privacy, and scalability.

It’s also worth mentioning that what is perhaps the most popular privacy-oriented cryptocurrency out there, Monero (XMR), has also seen a notable price appreciation. It’s up about 17% during the last week.

What’s Causing The Surge?

As it’s always the case, determining the exact reason for the surge of those cryptocurrencies is rather challenging. However, there are a few things which need to be outlined.

All of the mentioned coins are oriented heavily towards providing users with increased privacy. On June 14th, Cryptopotato reported that the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, will no longer allow traders from the US to trade on the platform. Looking at the chart shows that the majority of the gains in all of the three cryptocurrencies that we mentioned above are made exactly after this period.

In other words, at times where the biggest cryptocurrency exchange is preparing to shut the door on US traders, we can see a notable surge in privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies. While Binance has also said that it’s working on an alternative for US traders, it will be a lot more limited compared to the currently existing solution.

Hence, it could be that users are looking for increased privacy at times when the major exchange is looking to cut them out.

On another note, it can’t be overlooked that Bitcoin (BTC) also surged quite a bit throughout the weekend. The cryptocurrency finally broke the $9,000 level, currently sitting at around $9,150. Big moves of the kind also tend to bring other altcoins up. However, the increase in Grin and Beam is a lot more notable compared to that of other major altcoins, which is perhaps a reason to consider Binance’s decision as a more likely cause of the surge.

The post Is Binance – US Clash The Reason Why The Anonymous Beam & Grin Gained Over 80% This Week? appeared first on CryptoPotato.

Source: Crypto Potato

Bitcoin.com Just Rebranded – Check out Our New Look

Bitcoin.com's Refined Branding: Check Out Our Whole New Look

You may have noticed that Bitcoin.com is looking a little different. We’re excited to unveil our new look after six months of hard work. Our domain has a long history, and as a company we’ve grown a great deal. After consideration of the crypto future ahead of us all, we decided to reshape Bitcoin.com’s design to present a greater image of things to come.

Also read: How to Exchange Your Amazon Gift Cards for Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin.com’s Revamped Design Is Here

Operating the domain Bitcoin.com has been a wonderful experience and we’re pleased to give our visitors the very best services when it comes to the growing crypto industry. Bitcoin.com is a very unique website and most people don’t know but the domain was registered in January 2008, a whole year before Satoshi unleashed his invention on the world.

Bitcoin.com Just Rebranded – Check out Our New Look
Bitcoin.com’s home page.

Since then, Bitcoin’s first angel investor, Roger Ver, took over the website in 2014 after it passed through many hands. Ver began to mold the web portal into a site that offers educational resources, news, and unique tools that help people use bitcoin. When we first created the Bitcoin.com brand, our website was much simpler. Over time, however, we added a plethora of tools, services, and resources that provide our visitors with everything they need to jump into the crypto ecosystem. In order to match the consistency of the powerful resources Bitcoin.com offers, we refined our design with a new logo, colors, and themes.

Bitcoin.com Just Rebranded – Check out Our New Look
Check out Local.Bitcoin.com, the private, peer-to-peer BCH marketplace.

You will probably notice our logo is missing the Bitcoin symbol. When redesigning the website, we decided it was best to distinguish Bitcoin.com from the various Bitcoin cryptocurrency networks out there today. The intention of the new logo is to prevent users from any potential confusion from the domain name mixed with the old logo. Moreover, after five years and the craziness of 2017, we felt it was time to update our appearance and express ourselves as a company that fosters innovation. You will notice that the new color scheme is more contemporary and reflective of the evolving industry we’re in. Every section of the website has been revamped to highlight our services such as the Bitcoin.com Wallet, Local.Bitcoin.com, cloud mining, Markets.Bitcoin.com, daily news, Buy.Bitcoin.com, bitcoin cash games, BCH developer SDKs, and our block explorer.

Bitcoin.com Just Rebranded – Check out Our New Look
Learn the basics of Bitcoin.

With our growing number of bitcoin cash resources, tools, and services it made sense for our branding to change too. During the design launch, Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver stated:

The rebrand is a bold new chapter for Bitcoin.com. It’s an invitation to everyone out there: let our products show you how economic freedom can empower you.

Bitcoin.com Just Rebranded – Check out Our New Look
Keep up to date with the latest crypto market price action at Markets.Bitcoin.com with the top 500 cryptocurrency market caps.

Improving the Overall Visual Experience of Bitcoin.com

For six months we’ve tirelessly worked on our brand and website design in order to present a cohesive visual interpretation of our company and its crypto evolution. Today, we’re thrilled to unveil our new brand and show off all the hard work we’ve put into every facet of the web portal. When you visit our landing page you will see the fresh new look accompanied with great resources on getting started with bitcoin basics.

Bitcoin.com Just Rebranded – Check out Our New Look
Mine bitcoin without having to buy equipment.

The homepage also includes guides on learning how to accept borderless BCH payments, access to our local BCH marketplace, a merchant directory so you can spend BCH online and in-store, and learn to mine bitcoin without technical knowledge or owning machinery. The new design gives us a better visual identity so we can continue to provide awesome looking charts, crypto market valuations, the latest news stories, podcasts, and videos.

Bitcoin.com Just Rebranded – Check out Our New Look
Look up bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC) transactions using our block explorer.

“Bitcoin is designed to be usable and accessible for all — Our new color palette, in addition to our products and tools, reflects that principle,” Bitcoin.com Head of Design Andrew Todd remarked during the launch. “Reimagining our brand, we took a step back and identified our values. With universal accessibility being our most important value, we set out to create a color palette that would not only resonate with people and help create a lasting identity, but would work seamlessly across devices, in different environments, and for people with visual impairments.” Todd continued:

Our new logo also exemplifies accessibility. It consists of bold and legible ‘Bitcoin.com’ logotype paired with a clean grid of blocks, which is representative of the intended scalable nature of Bitcoin blocks themselves. Color-wise, we have the brightest green moving in an upward-right trajectory, showing constant growth — This is finished by tight kerning of the Bitcoin.com lettering, reinforcing the solidity of our brand.

Bitcoin.com Just Rebranded – Check out Our New Look
Start accepting bitcoin cash (BCH) today and get help getting started with our merchant solutions.

It was important for us to update our brand to make it easier for you, the visitor, and we think the new design improves the overall experience and usability of the site. While the aesthetics of the brand were a large factor, we are still molding Bitcoin.com to be the perfect place to gain information and resources on all things bitcoin-related. We plan to continue to adding to the features of our web portal and we think the new style fits perfectly with the bright future ahead. So if you are just noticing the new changes, take a look around and explore Bitcoin.com in a whole new light.

What do you think about Bitcoin.com’s revamped brand and image? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Bitcoin.com


Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section. You can also enjoy the easiest way to buy Bitcoin online with us. Download your free Bitcoin wallet and head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can buy BCH and BTC securely.

The post Bitcoin.com Just Rebranded – Check out Our New Look appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Bitcoin Price Targets Next Key Resistance Level – Is 5 Figures in Play?

bitcoin price chart

The weekend has been extremely bullish for bitcoin price, which has surged to a new 2019 and thirteen month high. Those gains have held into Monday morning in Asia and analysts are now scouring the charts looking for the next move for BTC.


Bitcoin Price Painting a Bullish Picture

Bitcoin has held on to most of its weekend gains and remains over $9k during the morning’s Asian trading session. Yesterday’s surge of 8% from $8,600 to top $9,300 has lifted the king of digital assets to new highs not seen since early May 2018.

Over the past 24 hours, BTC has retested $9,300 twice before a minor pullback to $8,830. It has currently recovered back to 00 and looks set to retest resistance again.

bitcoin

BTC price 1hr candles – Tradingview.com

As usual, traders and analysts have been scouring the charts looking for the next levels of support and resistance. It appears that a previous high from May last year and a crucial Fibonacci level will come into play as the next major resistance level to be overcome before bitcoin can consider five figures. Trader Josh Rager has been looking at the charts.

$BTC Strong Weekly Close. Bitcoin has been extremely bullish & foresee a test of the major resistance between $9500 to $9600, the 0.382 fib (is a typical “take profit” area is at $9532). But last time everyone expected a major pullback in the $6ks it busted right through to $7k+

Max Keiser also doubled down, maintaining his ambitious price target saying that there is ‘hardly any bitcoin for sale at all” before here and $28,000.

Will the Uptrend Continue?

A big profit taking session from day traders is likely to send BTC correcting back to the high $8,000s. However, as pointed out above, many also expected a massive correction back to $6k which has yet to materialize. Looking at next moves for BTC, analyst ‘Big Chonis’ added.

one more step up the mountain as #bitcoin hits right at the 38.2% fib resistance making it the next target for the bulls to close over and also makes maintaining the 23.6 fib support that much more important for overall continuation…

The 23.6% Fib level for the big picture currently sits just below $7k so a correction back to this will be a huge move. At the moment the sentiment is bullish despite last week’s new from Binance that US customers will be forced to migrate to the soon-to-be-launched ‘Binance America’ for regulatory reasons.

A new high for the year could be imminent as the often expected ‘Red Monday’ following a strong weekend has yet to materialize. Most crypto assets are still in the green today and total market capitalization is at $284 billion, which is also around the highest it has been this year.

Will bitcoin hit five figures this week? Add your thoughts below.


Images via Shutterstock

The post Bitcoin Price Targets Next Key Resistance Level – Is 5 Figures in Play? appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

What’s the Deal With the Lightning Network?

What’s the Deal With the Lightning Network?

Remember that layer two scaling solution they promised for Bitcoin back in the day? Does anyone know what happened to it? It feels like we’ve been waiting for a finished Lightning Network longer than Mt. Gox victims have been awaiting restitution. For now, Lightning is accessible to users with the skills to navigate its quirks and complexities, but for beginners, LN can be bewildering – and its challenges don’t end there.

Also read: Bitcoin Trades for a Premium in Hong Kong During Protests

Scaling Solution or Solution in Search of a Problem?

As the first major layer two project to be built on Bitcoin Core, Lightning is literally a lightning rod for critics of offchain scaling. Building a second layer solution as ambitious as LN was always going to be a huge undertaking, even with millions of dollars of investment and the support and goodwill of a vast swathe of the BTC community. Regardless of whether Lightning sinks, swims or treads water, its development will not have been entirely in vain.

What’s the Deal With the Lightning Network?

At the time of publication, LN has a capacity of 949 BTC, down from its peak of over 1,000. The number of nodes and channels has also dropped in the last 24 hours, resulting in a current total of 8,780 nodes, around 60% of which have active channels. The average channel capacity stands at 0.027 BTC, while the average node capacity is 0.216. Lightning Network is presently capturing just 0.0045% of all available BTC. Critics have seized upon this as evidence that Bitcoin’s much-vaunted scaling and micropayment solution isn’t seeing use. Defenders have stressed that as an instant payment rail for small purchases, the amount of BTC locked up in the network is immaterial; provided there’s enough liquidity to easily send and receive sub-$100 payments, LN is fit for purpose.

What’s the Deal With the Lightning Network?

Lightning Network: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

One reason why the Lightning Network’s capacity has decreased, from its March high of over 1,000 BTC, is on account of a single provider, LNbig, closing a bunch of channels. This provider was granting the network at least 25% of its liquidity, and their channel closure and removal of BTC locked on the network did not go unnoticed. 16 of the 20 largest nodes on the network are operated by LNbig. Explaining their decision, LNbig observed:

When you open a lot of channels – everyone scolds you that you are capturing the network. When you close – there are also concerns. I would be very happy if other large players would now open channels and bring more liquidity to the network. But oddly enough this almost does not happen.

They added: “I would like to encourage everyone to run more nodes in the network and put their liquidity there … I will give up the place with great joy. I have a lot of open and not working channels in which liquidity is locked on my part. But for the future of the network, I do not close most of them.”

What’s the Deal With the Lightning Network?

Operating nodes and funding channels is currently a labor of love for LN benefactors, but the network can’t rely on their benevolence in perpetuity. LNbig, for example, claims to earn around $20 per month in commissions for transactions they route at a rate of 2-300 tx per day. The cost of opening and closing channels, on the main BTC chain, however, has been estimated to cost them around $1,000 in fees to date.

Ultra-low fees are one of Lightning’s USPs, but if these fees are insufficient to cover the costs of liquidity providers, is it hard to see how LN is sustainable. Calculating the number of transactions per day that occur on LN is difficult due to its design, but LNbig has estimated this figure to stand at less than 2,000. This would suggest that LN is currently seeing just 5% of the usage of Bitcoin Cash for payments.

Coming Soon Since 2016

The Lightning Network was an ambitious project from the outset, which goes some way towards explaining it being constantly “18 months away” since its inception. Lightning’s complexity extends not only to under the hood, but to the front-end as well. At present, getting started with LN calls for a degree of technical know-how, particularly if you want to set up your own node and hold your funds non-custodially. Due to problems that have emerged during the network’s lengthy development process, Lightning Labs have had to develop new components, adding additional moving parts that must be mastered and maintained.

For example, watchtowers will be added to LN soon, tasked with keeping an eye out for fraudsters trying to double spend by broadcasting old transactions. While watchtowers are likely to enhance the network’s security, it adds another step to the setup process for businesses or individuals wanting to operate a routing node. Moreover, watchtowers will be data-hungry, meaning that they will likely be operated by a few major players. Creeping centralization is a recurring theme with the Lightning Network; there is nothing to suggest that influential actors will abuse their position of trust, but it’s hard to shake the sensation that the system is steadily moving away from Bitcoin’s permissionless design.

A Semi-Permissionless Network

In theory you can send funds to anyone on LN, but in practice there may be few channels to isolated users on the network, forcing you to go through a routing provider. It’s easy to imagine a scenario in which a U.S. routing provider refuses to have dealings with a known Iranian address for legal reasons, or where a dissident’s address is left isolated from the hub of the network for political reasons. It is evident that many of the greatest challenges facing the Lightning Network are not technical in nature.

One recurring issue is the lack of incentives between participants. At present, LN’s earliest adopters are bootstrapping the network out of the good of their hearts and because they want to see the project succeed. There’s nothing wrong with this of course; Bitcoin was born the same way. But at some stage, there needs to be economic incentives for participants to secure the network. Not only do channel providers make a pittance – or potentially a loss, depending on onchain fees – for their services, but watchtower operators also lack an incentive. Lightning Labs’ solution to this is to add in yet another function to the network – the ability for people to send funds to watchtower operators. It all seems like a lot of hard work, some would argue, to solve a problem that could have been fixed overnight by increasing the block size.

What’s the Deal With the Lightning Network?

But to make such assertions is to veer into deeply political territory. For ideological reasons, “big blockers” and their small block counterparts took opposing forks in the road to Bitcoin scaling long ago. Now that the Bitcoin Core camp is married to Lightning, there can be no going back. The economic and emotional ties run too deep. It’s unclear if or when LN will be considered production ready, but it remains a fascinating project that will likely exist in some shape or form, whatever happens. Even if it fails, Lightning will surely inspire the next wave of second layer solutions to be built on Bitcoin.

With Bitcoin Core supporters having spent the last two years arguing that BTC is a store of value and not a medium of exchange, their biggest challenge, in a post-Project Libra world, may be convincing the public to start spending bitcoin again.

What are your thoughts on Lightning Network? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

The post What’s the Deal With the Lightning Network? appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Wilshire Phoenix’s Bitcoin Trust Product Checks all the Regulatory Boxes

BTC Emerging from the Clouds in Heaven

In an interview with BTCManager, the CEO of the New York-based investment firm Wilshire Phoenix Funds LLC. said that their United States Bitcoin and Treasury Investment Trust product is one of the most promising yet. Alongside the rise and fall of the BitWise and VanEck Bitcoin derivative offerings, William Herrmann thinks his team have the

Read MoreRead More. The post by Liam J Kelly appeared first on BTCManager, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency News

Source: BTC Manager

Amazon Customers to Make Purchases with Ether (ETH) Thanks to Startup Partnership

Ethereum Electric Charge Blue

In a press release issued on June 13, 2019, crypto payments firm CLIC Technology Inc. announced a partnership with B2B blockchain infrastructure company Opporty to jointly develop an in-browser extension that would enable customers to make purchases from Amazon with the ether (ETH) cryptocurrency. Make Purchases from Amazon with ETH Amazon customers will soon be

Read MoreRead More. The post by Aisshwarya Tiwari appeared first on BTCManager, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency News

Source: BTC Manager

Nevada Governor Signs Multiple Blockchain-Focused Bills

Hands Sifting through a Stack of Papers

Nevada has passed several distributed ledger technology (DLT) related bills to boost blockchain investment in the state. This according to a report by Coindesk, published June 14, 2019. Establishing a Fintech-Focused Regulatory Sandbox In a bid to create a conducive environment for blockchain businesses, the state of Nevada has passed many significant bills that are

Read MoreRead More. The post by Aisshwarya Tiwari appeared first on BTCManager, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency News

Source: BTC Manager

Crypto Margin Trading Is Going Mainstream, Poses Tremendous Risks

It is no secret that traders make up the majority of crypto adopters, with exchanges serving as by-far the most active players in the blockchain space. The trading framework has thus far mirrored that found in legacy financial markets, such as those specializing in stock, bond, and fiat currencies. Margin trading, a very common legacy practice, is now growing and promises to bring dramatic changes to all aspects of how cryptocurrencies are valued, exchanged, and held.

Margin trading creates the potential for significant profits, yet also comes with increased risk. To do it, an investor will borrow a substantial amount of a given asset, and provide a small portion of his own as collateral. After the trade, if the asset increases in value, the investor is entitled to the full profit, but must also cover the entire cost of any losses. For example, if a person chooses to trade one Bitcoin with 10X leverage, he will trade a full ten Bitcoins, nine of which are borrowed. Should the Bitcoin increase in value, his return will be tenfold than if he had only traded one, yet he must cover the full loss if the price decreases. Exchanges typically liquidate the collateral if the price drops substantially, which is known as a “margin call.”

Until recently, few options existed to trade cryptocurrency on margin. Poloniex has offered it for some time, yet with limited options. Krakken also offers it as does Bitmex and Prime XBT. Notably, however, is the recent confirmation by Binance that it, too, will soon offer margin trading. This move is all but certain to push other large exchanges into the practice.

Simply put, margin trading is not for the faint of heart. Even in relatively stable financial markets huge sums can be gained or lost within minutes. Experts recommend it only for seasoned veterans of any given asset class, with many considering it little more than gambling. Thus, given the tremendous volatility of the crypto space, the practice has the potential to be very disruptive. For example, Bitmex recently had over USD $10 billion in crypto assets traded on margin in a twenty-four hour period.

The cryptocurrencies that Binance offers for margin trading are all but certain to see significant boosts in value, at least in the short term. Nevertheless, if Bitmex is any guide, the process will be quite painful for those that trade without due diligence. It is also certain to bring in more traders from the traditional markets, and perhaps be the catalyst that prompts government oversight of crypto space.

The most important takeaway from recent announcements is that margin trading will soon become a common element of the crypto market. This is, of course, expected and could very well bring greater legitimacy to blockchain assets in the eyes of consumers. Nevertheless, it will also require a degree of responsibility by those that choose to participate in it.

Featured Image via Bigstock

Source: Crypto News

Bitcoin Trades for a Premium in Hong Kong During Protests

Bitcoin Trades for a Premium in Hong Kong During Protests

Right now, thousands of citizens from Hong Kong are protesting certain leaders and opposing a proposed extradition law. Alongside the protests, the country’s political issues are reportedly pushing wealthy Hong Kong residents to move their capital offshore. Since last week, the price of bitcoin core (BTC) has gained a premium in Hong Kong as the digital asset has been trading between $75-150 higher than the global average.

Also Read: How to Exchange Your Amazon Gift Cards for Bitcoin Cash

Political and Economic Unrest in Hong Kong Spurs Capital Movement Offshore

Tens of thousands of Hong Kong protestors have filled the streets of downtown Victoria Park and started marching toward government buildings on Sunday, June 16. The crowds of people dressed in black have been chanting things like “resign” and “withdraw” due to their hatred for the proposed extradition law. The ruling would basically allow Chinese authorities to come in and extradite any Hong Kong citizen to mainland China if they are accused of a crime. It all started in 1997 after Beijing took over and promised to keep Hong Kong’s government intact under “one country, two systems.” Before 1997, Hong Kong was a British dependent territory but the sovereignty over Hong Kong was transferred to China. Everything was fine up until 2014 when pro-democracy protests called the Umbrella Movement stirred the Chinese government and things have never been the same since.

Bitcoin Trades for a Premium in Hong Kong During Protests
Sunday’s protest in Hong Kong was one of the largest turnouts so far.

Crypto proponents believe the current political strife will push more people toward decentralized assets. The protesters demand that Chief Executive Carrie Lam resigns and withdraw her plans to initiate the extradition law. “Our demands are simple. Carrie Lam must leave office, the extradition law must be withdrawn and the police must apologize for using extreme violence against their own people,” John Chow a Hong Kong-based banker, told press on Sunday. Additionally, a few days ago, Reuters reported that wealthy Hong Kong residents have started moving funds offshore to escape possible economic turmoil.

“Some Hong Kong tycoons have started moving personal wealth offshore as concern deepens over a local government plan to allow extraditions of suspects to face trial in China for the first time, according to financial advisers, bankers and lawyers familiar with such transactions,” Reuters explained on June 14. One specific tycoon who wished to be unnamed revealed that the capital outflow has “started,” adding:

We’re hearing others are doing it, too, but no-one is going to go on parade that they are leaving — The fear is that the bar is coming right down on Beijing’s ability to get your assets in Hong Kong. Singapore is the favored destination.

Bitcoin Trades for a Premium in Hong Kong During Protests
The reason Hong Kong tycoons are moving money is because if the bill becomes law, Chinese courts can request Hong Kong courts to freeze and confiscate assets related to crimes committed in mainland China.

The BTC/HKD Premium

In addition to the wealthy individuals moving capital, crypto enthusiasts have noticed a premium on BTC growing larger in Hong Kong. For instance, over the last few days on the cryptocurrency exchange Tidebit, the price of BTC has been $75-150 higher than the global average. At the time of writing, 1 BTC is currently 73,100 HKD or US$9,337 in Hong Kong which is more than $100 higher than the Bitstamp price at $9,230. Speculators believe the unrest in Hong Kong has sparked some flow into bitcoin so people can hedge against uncertainty. Other exchanges such as Bitpoint and Liquid show similar BTC/HKD premiums as well.

Bitcoin Trades for a Premium in Hong Kong During Protests
Local.Bitcoin.com buyers in Hong Kong looking for bitcoin cash (BCH).

There’s also been some demand in Hong Kong for bitcoin cash (BCH) on Local.Bitcoin.com as there are buyers looking to purchase BCH in person for cash and alternative payment methods as well. On the data aggregation website Coin Dance, BTC/HKD volumes have been rising week after week on Paxful as well. It’s difficult to say how the Hong Kong government will handle the large protests and whether more money will flow into the crypto economy. As of right now, Hong Kong is not China and they are still two very distinct systems but many citizens fear that some day that will change.

What do you think about the recent political and economic climate in Hong Kong? Do you think the unrest will push more people into seeking out cryptocurrencies? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Getty, Merlin, and Twitter.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH, and other coins, on our market charts at Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Bitcoin Trades for a Premium in Hong Kong During Protests appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com