Tag Archives: bitcoin

Here’s What Must Happen for 9k Bitcoin Price in the Coming Months

Here's What Must Happen for $9k Bitcoin Price in the Coming Months


Image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

        JAN 04, 2020

Bitcoin (BTC) made a sudden jump of 8% yesterday and is currently hovering at around $7,300. As the price bounced from $6,900, a higher low is presenting itself on the chart, but does this mean that the bottom is there?


Crypto market daily performance. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin still stuck in sideways range and downtrend


BTC USD 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

The price of Bitcoin is still moving inside this downwards channel since last year’s high of $13,900. Remarkably, the price corrected towards the “Golden Pocket” Fibonacci area (0.618-0.65 level) and is currently showing a potential higher low.

The green area is also a significant area from 2018, as that was the zone the price of Bitcoin bounced on for 6-months.

Given that the price bounced from $6,900 to $7,400, there’s buying pressure shown from this area, indicating that the price might be bottoming inside this range.

Linear chart showing potential wedge structure


BTC USD 1-day linear chart. Source: TradingView

The linear chart shows similarities with the log scale chart. However, there’s more of a falling wedge construction rather than a channel. Meaning that the price is gathering strength for a breakout through the coming weeks, marking this level as a bottom area.

The chart is also showing a bullish divergence, which marked the temporary low at $6,500. Generally, bullish divergences mark a trend reversal (also seen in the December 20118 low at $3,100).

If price maintains this red box as new support and a higher low is established, then Bitcoin could face a rally towards $9,000 over the coming months.

Total market capitalization hovering at support


Total market capitalization 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

Similar signs show the total market capitalization chart, which has retraced to April 2019 levels. A test was confirmed by a sharp bounce upwards, followed by a potential higher low construction as we speak. Aside from these signals, a substantial bullish divergence potentially marked the bottom of this retracement.

This retracement is currently hovering around the 0.618-0.65 Fibonacci level as well (similar to Bitcoin). If market capitalization can maintain this higher low and consolidate on this level, a breakout to the upside of this falling wedge looks more likely than further downside momentum.


Crypto fear & greed index. Source: Alternative.me

Usually, when an asset is marking a temporary top, the sentiment is euphoric and greed becomes palpable. The opposite effect is the case around bottoms. People are usually scared and depressed as they are expecting further downwards momentum. The Fear & Greed Index has been showing fear for the last weeks, indicating that the overall market sentiment doesn’t expect a breakout to the upside.

Is such a sentiment warranted?

The price is still moving south, which means that some fear is warranted in the market. However, as the price is trying to bottom here, it would be interesting to look at potential upside momentum rather than further downwards. The same can be spotted on altcoins, for example, Ethereum (ETH).


ETH USD 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

The ETH chart is showing a similar wedge formation as the Bitcoin and total market capitalization charts, meaning that a breakout to the upside is likely to occur in the next month. Aside from that, the price bounced from a support area here and is potentially making a bottom formation.


ETH BTC 2-day chart. Source: TradingView

On the BTC chart, many altcoins are facing a long term downtrend. Ether, for example, is in the midst of a 2-year old downtrend that it must break out of. Interestingly, the months of January/February have historically seen Ether price significantly increase and/or breakout of downtrends.

During 2016, a similar breakout was shown, after which 2017 repeats the same move. First, a bottom formation includes a bullish divergence. After this, a higher low is marked, followed by a breakout to the upside.

In 2018 and 2019, a significant move to the upside was seen in the ETH/BTC pair as well, though no breakout of the general downtrend occurred. This time it’s possible, however, as Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) are already breaking their downtrends that have been in place for two years.

The bullish scenario for Bitcoin

So what must Bitcoin price do now to generate such a breakout to the upside?


BTC USD bullish scenario. Source: TradingView

As discussed previously in the article, the price needs to maintain the blue area as a higher low and not drop below it. As long as that level is sustained as support, a breakout to the upside is likely to occur. This would cause the 6-month old downtrend to break to the upside, which potentially means the end of the downward momentum.

The targets based on previous support/resistance and Fibonacci levels first include $8,000. If that’s broken, the price is ready to aim for $9,100-9,500, which would typically shift the sentiment from fear to neutral.

The bearish scenario for Bitcoin


BTC USD 1-day bearish scenario. Source: TradingView

A bearish scenario can be warranted through the opposite of the bullish scenario and is pretty basic. If the price of Bitcoin is not able to hold the blue area as support, the bullish divergence is not confirmed, and the price is ready to continue downwards.

In that regard, a potential retest of the $6,900 level would grant an excellent short opportunity, and then the next support zones can be found in the $6,200-6,500 area.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Original article posted on the CoinTelegraph.com site, by Michaël van de Poppe.

Article re-posted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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As Global Tension Grows Analysts Believe Bitcoin Could Be Poised for Move to 8000

As Global Tension Grows, Analysts Believe Bitcoin Could Be Poised for Move to $8,000

Bitcoin has incurred some serious upwards momentum today, which comes close on the heels of the cryptocurrency’s recent sell off that sent it as low as $6,800. Today’s bullish surge further enhances the narrative regarding BTC’s recent lows within the lower-$6,000 region possibly marking a long-term bottom.

Further adding to this notion is the growing global instability that was sparked by yesterday evening’s US-led airstrike on an Iranian military official, which closely preceded a price surge for assets like Gold, Crude Oil, and even Bitcoin.

Will Global Instability Help Fuel a Bitcoin Rally?

Although the prospect of a war with Iran is grim, it would prove to be beneficial for some asset classes, including precious metals, commodities like crude oil, and possibly Bitcoin and other digital assets.

It still remains unclear as to whether or not BTC is truly a safe haven asset, as its short lifespan and the fact that it has never traded within a global economic recession makes it incredibly unclear as to how it would truly fair during any period of intense global turmoil.

In the near-term, however, analysts do believe that Bitcoin could see some upwards momentum, with CryptoBirb, a popular analyst on Twitter, telling his followers that BTC could soon surge up to $8,000 if it is able to break above $7,500.

“$btc may pull 8000s if 7.5k bull flag breakout is safely reclaimed as support. If you can’t monitor market today often playing any aggressive swing may be recipe for failure imo. Wouldn’t be surprised if US-Iran expanded tensions repeated China tensions May 2019 impact on Bitcoin,” he said while pointing to the chart seen below.

Although it also remains unclear as to what will ultimately result from the tensions between the US and Iran, it is possible that investors will flock to Bitcoin in anticipation of it trading like a safe haven asset.

Bitcoin Jack, another popular crypto analyst on Twitter, explained in a recent tweet that he believes it is still too early to go long on BTC, but that if it confirms the pending inverse head and shoulders pattern, it may be poised for significantly further upside.

“Best not ignore these technically correct (so far) potential bullish structures. Not completed, but formation so far follow iHS guidelines. Can’t go long here. 7470-7700 is short hedge but stop should go BE fast. Retracement is aggressive buy option. Break, retest for confirmation,” he explained.

How BTC trend in the coming days will likely either validate or invalidate the notion that Bitcoin’s current momentum is being catalyzed by the growing global tensions.

Original article posted on the EthereumWorldNews.com site, by Cole Petersen.

Article re-posted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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Bitcoin Ends 2019 On A Better Note Than Last Year

Bitcoin Ends 2019 On A Better Note Than Last Year

By Joji Xavier | Published: 12/31/2019 9:53 AM ET

Bitcoin may be standing nowhere near its all-time high of nearly $20000 reached two years ago, but as 2019 comes to a close, the most popular cryptocurrency has managed to regain the strength it lost a year ago.

The virtual currency was trading at $7,224 as of this writing – 95 percent increase from $3689 recorded on 2018 December 31.

From its weak position at the beginning of 2019, Bitcoin has been on a strong recovery path in the following months. Despite a struggling crypto market, Bitcoin continued to grow with frequent bullish movements.

The first two quarters proved decisive with more than 300 percent improvement in value.

Bitcoin touched the year's peak of $12575 on July 9. And a bearish outlook emerged in the third quarter of the year, which witnessed some dramatic fluctuations in price levels.

Bitcoin experienced mostly a downward trend during the rest of the year, and in the last quarter it struggled to break above $7500.

After dipping to $6538 on December 17, the price has remained consolidated above $7,000.

In a market where the trading volume and market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies suffered, Bitcoin managed to stand out, less affected.

Tuesday, Bitcoin's market capitalization remains at $131.98 billion, with a 24-hour trade volume of $21 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Article written by an RTT News Staff Writer, and posted on the RTT News.com website.

Article reposted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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Economist Brands Bitcoin a Scam and Ponzi Scheme on Yahoo Finance

Economist Brands Bitcoin a “Scam” and “Ponzi Scheme” on Yahoo Finance

For the longest time, critics of Bitcoin have questioned if the cryptocurrency is a Ponzi-like/pyramid scheme.

Wikipedia defines a “Ponzi scheme”: A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud that lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors.

While this is rather ambiguous, critics say that this applies to Bitcoin, for the cryptocurrency, due to the inflationary pressures of block rewards and such, requires constant capital input for prices to maintain their current levels of growth. The idea the critics that believe Bitcoin is a Ponzi tout is that without fresh capital, this market would collapse, much like a pyramid scheme would if new investors stopped entering the pyramid.

Bitcoin Given “Ponzi” and “Scam” Treatment Again

Once again, Bitcoin has been given the “Ponzi scheme” and “scam” treatment. This time, it was on a Yahoo Finance segment covering the cryptocurrency market.

Tendayi Kapfidze – Lending Tree Chief Economist – recently sat down with the media outlet to talk Bitcoin. While the hosts branded the cryptocurrency an investment, or at least as a speculative investment, Kapfidze said that he thinks it’s a “Ponzi” and a “scam,” claiming that he believes you can only make money in the cryptocurrency space by taking what others put in. Kapfidze continued that he thinks this space has yielded no technological developments or applications with inherent value.

Peter Schiff, a prominent gold proponent and anti-government investor (someone that would like Bitcoin’s seeming premise in another reality), has echoed this sentiment in the past. Per previous reports from this very outlet, the Bitcoin hater quipped that BTC is only “popular as a speculative asset, not as a currency,” before going as far as to say that as Google Trends shows, BTC is “running out of new buyers to keep the Ponzi going.”

Whether or not you believe Bitcoin is a Ponzi or not, it’s been very lucrative as a speculative asset over the years, not to mention that it is functional as a medium of exchange and as a long-term store of value.

Over the past decade, the price of the leading cryptocurrency has surged by a jaw-dropping 9,000,000%, making it the best performing asset of all time, not to mention that it saw these gains within a ten-year time span, which is relatively irrelevant on a macro basis.

Even in the past year alone, Bitcoin has surged by 95%, outpacing the stock market by triple and other top asset classes by dozens of percent. This strong performance comes in spite of the 50% downturn that has taken place since the peak of $14,000 was established in June.

Original article posted on the EthereumWorldNews.com site, by Nick Chong.

Article re-posted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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Square May Soon Add These Bitcoin Investment Features

Square May Soon Add These Bitcoin Investment Features

During the previous crypto bubble, Square, the fintech startup run by Twitter’s chief executive Jack Dorsey, delved into the Bitcoin game, offering its clients with the ability to buy and sell BTC via the Cash App, its flagship application. This marked the first time that a serious player in the fintech industry had formally embraced cryptocurrencies.

While this was positive news in and of itself, since the launch, some users have grown unsatisfied with the Bitcoin feature, which is relatively barebones when compared to traditional digital asset exchanges like Coinbase and BInance. The reason: there are a number of investment features that remain missing on the Cash App that may aid Bitcoin investors.

Square May Add Bitcoin Investment Features

According to a report from The Block, Square recently put out a job offer for a Crypto Investing Product Manager at Square’s Cash App division, which has held the #1 spot in finance on the Apple App Store for years at a time.

Per the job description published to LinkedIn, this future employee will be working to “push the boundaries in finance” as “Bitcoin sits at the very forefront of these efforts” — a statement that echoes the sentiment of Square’s chief executive, who has said on multiple occasions that Bitcoin is likely going to become the native currency of the Internet and that he “loves” the cryptocurrency.

As to what exactly Square has in mind, the job description mentioned that the employee will “own the Crypto Investing product,” meaning expanding the adoption of the product by including new functionality, such as limit orders and auto-investing, along with the creation of new features like “BTC gifting (P2P).”

The “auto-investing” feature, should it launch, is likely to do really well within the cryptocurrency community.

You see, for the past few months, Bitcoin investors, including Square’s chief executive, have been championing what is known as the “stacking sats” or “stacking satoshis” movement. This investment thesis and movement promotes for investors to buy a small portion of Bitcoin on a reoccurring basis and at any price to remove bias and feeling of “FOMO” or doubt in investing.

An auto-investment feature, which exists on a platform like Coinbase but not on Square’s Cash app, would allow for thousands, maybe millions of Americans, the chance to more easily participate in this investment strategy.

Original article posted on the EthereumWorldNews.com site, by Nick Chong.

Article re-posted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Wins Patent For Transacting Bitcoin Via Email

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Wins Patent For Transacting Bitcoin Via Email

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 12/23/2019 9:46 AM ET

Brian Armstrong, CEO of US-based crypto exchange Coinbase, has been awarded the patent for a system and method for transacting Bitcoin or BTC via email to an email address owner.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO officially granted the patent for sending cryptographic currency to an email address to Armstrong on December 17, nearly five years after he applied for it in March 2015.

According to the patented process, a bitcoin exchange allows for users to set prices that they are willing to sell or buy bitcoin and execute such trades. The instant exchange allows for merchants and customers to lock in a local currency price. No miner's fee is paid by a host computer system.

The patent refers to a system for processing a request to perform a Bitcoin transaction using a bitcoin address.

A hot wallet functionality is provided that transfers values of some Bitcoin addresses to a vault for purposes of security. A private key of a Bitcoin address of the vault is split and distributed to keep the vault secure.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Article written by an RTT News Staff Writer, and posted on the RTT News.com website.

Article reposted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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Can Bitcoin BTC Price Rally 3400 in 36 Months? CNBC Analysts Break Down Prediction

Can Bitcoin (BTC) Price Rally 3,400% in 36 Months? CNBC Analysts Break Down Prediction

For years now, prominent investors in and out of the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency community have been making predictions, predictions about the crypto market’s future — often deemed uncertainty by many skeptics.

One of the most prominent of these predictions has been one from Tim Draper, one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent venture capitalists, having made early investments in companies from Skype and SpaceX to Tesla. Draper, notably, bought his first Bitcoin over five years ago, buying millions of dollars worth of the leading digital asset in an auction held by the U.S. government.

Draper, for over a year now, has been saying that the price of BTC will easily hit $250,000 — over 3,400% higher than the current price of $7,200 — by the end of 2022 or by early 2023.

Per previous reports from this very outlet, the legendary investor backed this prediction in a recent yahoo finance interview by reasoning that using fiat monies, which he calls “poor” (referring to their quality), are illogical, citing their controllability, lack of transparency, and subjectivity to political and social whims on the day-to-day. And as the American investor argues that most of the brightest developers, engineers, and academics are working on digital assets, Draper opines that there could be a large capital flight from fiat to crypto over time. He elaborates:

“My belief is that over some period of time, the cryptocurrencies will eclipse the fiat currencies. That would be a 1,000 times higher than what we have now.”

But do others agree with his assessment?

CNBC Assesses $250,000 by 2022 Bitcoin Sentiment

CNBC’s “Fast Money” segment, which has long hosted crypto investors and discussion surrounding the industry, recently broke down Draper’s $250,000 calling, in a seeming attempt to determine whether or not what the long-time venture capitalist’s prediction is at all feasible.

Interestingly, the consensus was a tentative yes. More on that now.

Brian Kelly, an investor that focuses on crypto assets and blockchain investments, noted that if you look at BTC’s long-term logarithmic growth channel, the upper bound of that channel, which the asset has been trading in for eight years now, is somewhere in the $200,000 range by 2022-2023. Considering the importance of this channel and the fact that Bitcoin has interacted with it for years implies that technically speaking, the prediction has a fair likelihood of becoming reality.

As for the fundamentals and the historical trends, the CNBC analysts also argued that the case is there for a $250,000 Bitcoin by 2022, looking to the fact that the cryptocurrency is known for its outsized volatility.

Original article posted on the EthereumWorldNews.com site, by Nick Chong.

Article re-posted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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Your Guide to Avoiding Bitcoin Fraud

Your Guide to Avoiding Bitcoin Fraud

“Bitcoin is a remarkable cryptographic achievement. The ability to create something which is not duplicable in the digital world has enormous value. The Bitcoin architecture, literally the ability to having these ledgers that can’t be replicated is an amazing advancement.” – Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google,March 2014.

With Bitcoin price increasing over the years and reaching billions of dollars in market capitalization, all kinds of people see its value and appeal. This brings out both the good and bad in human nature.

Unfortunately, with the bad comes scammers. The bottom line is scammers also want to profit somehow from Bitcoin, but through nefarious means. This typically involves targeting unprepared victims, who end up losing their Bitcoin as a result.

In this guide we will walk you through the most common Bitcoin scams. We’ll show you how to spot them, and make sure you don’t become the next victim.

Fake Bitcoin Exchanges

Fake Bitcoin Exchange

Often on social media you’ll see a link saying something like “Buy bitcoin for 5% under market value. Save big!” This is a marketing trick to get you to visit and use their fake exchange.

If you visit any exchange site the very first thing you want to do is make sure it’s HTTPS secured and not HTTP. This means that the web traffic is encrypted and secured; if it’s just HTTP without the “S” that is a big red flag and means stay away.

Another red flag to look out for are fake exchanges that offer selling Bitcoin for PayPal. On these sites you’ll see a web form to enter your PayPal email and amount to sell. After submitting, you will be presented with a QR code to send your bitcoin to. But the money never arrives.

Most of these fake exchanges are here one day and gone the next. You will see them pop up but will quickly disappear, and then re-emerge with a different domain name later.

To be sure you are going to a real Bitcoin exchange, visit our exchange portal on Bitcoin.com to ensure you aren’t being scammed.

Fake Bitcoin Wallets

Spotting fake Bitcoin wallets is a bit tougher, because wallets primarily are about storing bitcoin and not buying or selling it. It has less to do with money than it does with the software you may use. Typically, fake Bitcoin wallets are just scams for malware to infect your machine in order to steal your passwords or private keys.

Just like with fake Bitcoin exchange sites, you should trust your instincts and look for red flags. Does the wallet site use HTTPS? Is the name of the wallet site trying to resemble another reputable Bitcoin wallet by impersonating it? Outside of the obvious, it may be hard to tell if a wallet is fake. A good practice is to ask your peers if someone has used the wallet before. You can do this on the Bitcoin Forum or Bitcoin Reddit.

If the wallet is a downloadable client, another good practice is to check the site for malware. Sites like VirusTotal are a great resource for checking executables to see if they contain viruses.

To be sure you are going to a real Bitcoin wallet, visit our wallet portal on Bitcoin.com to ensure you aren’t being scammed.

Phishing Scams

This is a very common scam. Phishing is when someone tries to trick you into thinking they are a trusted company or website by having you visit a fake site.

Typically, phishers contact you via email or through a fake web advertisement. The end result is you go to their website by mistake and either get malware, or lose your bitcoin through a fake sale.

With emails you have to be careful to not take the bait. You may receive an email from a wallet or exchange you already use, either by coincidence or through past database hacks. Maybe hackers obtained your email address on the black market; for example from a Yahoo! or other service hack.

Best practice is to not click on any hyperlinks in an email or open attachments. Go directly to the website if you have to do business there. A common tactic is to make a hyperlink look real, but if you hover over it you will see the fake website URL. Always check the sender email to see where it’s coming from (although this is not 100% reliable as emails can be spoofed).

With fake web advertisements, you have to be careful on the site you are visiting. This usually happens when searching on the web for things like “blockchain.” The top result could actually be an advert via Google for example, but may end up being a fake Bitcoin wallet. Best practice is to not visit sponsored ad content in search results, and just manually type the real website address directly into your browser.

To be sure you are going to a real Bitcoin wallet, visit our wallet portal on Bitcoin.com to ensure you aren’t being scammed.

Ponzi Scams

Bitcoin Ponzi Scams

Ponzi scams are promises from websites that you will “double your bitcoin” overnight, or some similar outlandish claim. Ponzi sites may be harder to spot, but they’re easy to figure out once you understand this: the only way to double your money is to first send it to them.

Ponzi sites also typically have referral programs, so if you get others to sign up for the site by visiting your affiliate link, you may make a few cents. This is another red flag, as many times you will see on social media shared links with referrals within the URL. Usually it will look something like this (referral link is in bold): domain.com/ponzi/?ref=12345

If you’re unsure whether this Bitcoin site is a scam, visit our Scam thread on the Bitcoin Forum to see if others have used it before.

Cloud Mining Scams

This can be a bit tricky because not all cloud mining operations are scams. Some are completely legitimate, however many are scams, so it’s best to warn people (especially newcomers) to be careful when looking into cloud mining.

Cloud mining is shared mining hashpower, where people pool their funds together to rent Bitcoin mining machines. For legitimate operations, this works and can be profitable. For scams, returns may be low or non-existent. As we’ve established above, it’s best to trust your instincts and look for red flags.

Does the site use HTTPS? Did you find the site from a referral link on social media? Does the cloud mining operation not give any insight into what pool they use to mine, or let you select the pool you want to direct your hashrate to? These are just a few things to look for; you can read some other tips here.

If you’re unsure whether a certain Bitcoin site is a scam or not, visit our Bitcoin Mining Forum and ask someone for help and/or their opinion to ensure you aren’t being scammed. 

Original article posted on the Bitcoin.com site.

Article re-posted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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Boost for Ethereum: Financial Giant Fidelity May Support ETH in 2020

Boost for Ethereum: Financial Giant Fidelity May Support ETH in 2020

Financial Giant May Soon Support Ethereum

According to a recent report from The Block, which cited a podcast interview with Fidelity Investments’ crypto chief, Tom Jessop, Fidelity Digital Assets intends on adding support for Ethereum in 2020.

Jessop, a Wall Street veteran that is looking to bring his experience to the relatively-new crypto services branch of Fidelity (Fidelity being the financial services giant with over $2 trillion under management at this moment), claimed in the interview that his team has “done a lot of work on Ethereum.”

As to why Ethereum support has not been launched yet, Jessop cited a strong institutional appetite for Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency market’s de-facto king, and a relative lack of demand for the custody and/or trade execution for something like ETH or, say, Litecoin. The Fidelity executive elaborated:

How do I know that if I buy this thing, it’s gonna be around tomorrow? Like what indication of durability or longevity do I have based on the fact that the history of this asset is 10 years old?

Earlier this year, Jessop claimed that hard forks and consistent changes in the Ethereum protocol may delay Fidelity Digital Assets’ attempts to get support for ETH online.

These latest comments come hot on the heels of news that the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) granted Fidelity Digital Asset Services a trust license. In layman’s terms, this new license will give Fidelity’s cryptocurrency branch the permission to launch a cryptocurrency custody and trade execution platform for institutions and individual investors for New York residents — which is notable as this is where much of American wealth is managed and traded.

Why is Fidelity Important for Crypto?

So why is Fidelity so important for Bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency space?

Well, it can act as an alternative on-ramp for fiat into the digital asset markets, replacing something like a Bitcoin ETF.

Speaking on a CNBC “Fast Money” segment earlier this year, Brian Kelly of BKCM argued that a Bitcoin ETF isn’t essential for continued development and growth in this budding space. While many may take this statement as blasphemous, Kelly went on to back up his comment, drawing attention to the fact that there are other up-and-coming on-ramps.

The industry investor looked to Fidelity and TD Ameritrade — two giants in the American finance realm — adding that “ultimately you’re going to be able to buy Bitcoin in a regular brokerage account, or it’s going to look like a regular brokerage account. So I’m less concerned that you need a bitcoin ETF at this point in time.”

Original article posted on the EthereumWorldNews.com site, by Nick Chong.

Article re-posted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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How Blockchain Is Changing Banking and Financial Services

How Blockchain Is Changing Banking and Financial Services

It won't just "disrupt," it will transform

BY JUSTIN PRITCHARD Updated December 02, 2019


Dong Wenjie / Getty Images

Blockchain technology makes transactions fast and easy, and it can do more than just support Bitcoin. Blockchain is already transforming payments, and you may see more mainstream banking services that rely on blockchain soon.

What Is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a technology that facilitates trust between trading partners. If you’re familiar with Bitcoin, blockchain is the underlying technology that makes it possible to transfer currency and have confidence that transactions are successfully completed. But banking and other industries are using blockchain (with or without Bitcoin) in a variety of ways.

A blockchain is a secure “ledger” or a list of transactions. The benefits of blockchain come from two key features:

Distributed

There are numerous copies of the ledger. A public blockchain, like the Bitcoin blockchain, gets published and copied in multiple places. New transactions get broadcast to a broad network of participants, who add those transactions to the ledger. Nobody controls the ledger, but the system is designed so that everybody’s ledger contains identical information.

Immutable

A blockchain should maintain an accurate history of transactions. Because there are multiple copies of the ledger, it’s hard to alter or delete transactions (or add new information that’s false). To do so, you’d need to change every copy of the ledger in every location. That would require successfully hacking thousands (or more) of computers simultaneously—which is believed to be impossible.

So, how will this affect you? Most people don’t care about the technical details—but you should expect a transformation in banking and other financial services.

Money Transfers

Sending money to another country is an area ripe for improvement, and banks are already using blockchain for remittances. Consumers and businesses transmit hundreds of billions of dollars internationally every year, and the process has traditionally been cumbersome and expensive.

Bitcoin provided an “alternative” way to move money, but mainstream banks and service providers are also using blockchain technology to improve remittances and minimize exposure to cryptocurrency. For example, several major banks have partnered with Ripple to facilitate cross-border payments using blockchain technology, and other service providers are busy developing solutions.

Blockchain-based transfers save banks time and money, but consumers can also benefit. For example, assume a worker in the U.S. wants to send funds to her home country. In the past, she’d have to travel to a money transfer office, wait in line for an agent, pay cash, and pay fees of 7 to 10 percent to complete a transfer. The recipient might follow a similar process. But with blockchain technology, both parties can complete an electronic transfer with mobile phones—and pay far less.

Inexpensive Direct Payments

When you send or receive a payment, the funds typically move through banks, credit card processing networks, and other intermediaries. Each step adds complexity, and every service provider expects to earn a fee for the part they play in your payment.

Merchants can benefit from blockchain technology in several ways:

Swipe fees

When customers pay with plastic, merchants pay processing fees, and those fees eat into profits. Less-expensive blockchain payment networks may be an option for some merchants. If nothing else, more competition should lower prices.

Insufficient funds

Customers who pay by check may bounce checks, causing losses and fees for merchants. Electronic payments from customer checking accounts may also fail. But blockchain-based payments can provide merchants with certainty within a few minutes (or less).

Individuals also enjoy receiving payments with confidence. Online “buyers” may try to scam you, but blockchain-based payments should be quick and irreversible. Plus, they’ll likely be easier and less expensive than bank products. For example, if you’re selling a high-priced item like a vehicle, it’s critical to receive payment before handing over the keys. The safest ways to get paid currently include cash, wire transfers, or cashier’s checks. But cash is dangerous, wire transfers are labor-intensive, and cashier’s checks can be faked.

Transaction Details

Banks can use blockchain for more than moving money. The technology is excellent for keeping track of transactions, and that may be useful in several areas.

Title details

Because ledgers are hard to tamper with, they can make it easier and more efficient to track ownership. Each transfer of ownership (as well as liens and other events) can go in the ledger, resulting in a trustworthy source of information about almost any type of property.

Smart Contracts

It may be possible to automate activities that previously added cost, complexity, and delays to transactions. One such method is with the creation of smart contracts. These computer protocol contracts can monitor when a buyer makes a payment, when a seller delivers on her end of the deal, and handle a variety of problems that may arise. Plus, they don’t take vacations or make mistakes—assuming they are programmed correctly. Smart contracts can be as simple as an indifferent third-party between a buyer and seller (like the escrow providers we know today), and they can get substantially more complicated. Combined with open banking, encrypted smart contracts could lead to faster, automated lending decisions in a marketplace of bidders.

Financial Inclusion

By keeping costs low and allowing startups to compete against big banks, blockchain, and other technologies can promote financial inclusion. Blockchain-based solutions may better serve those who avoid bank accounts because of high fees, minimum balance requirements, and lack of access. Instead of needing assets and regular income for banks, they need a mobile device. In situations where it’s traditionally hard to identify individuals, digital IDs can provide a large-scale solution.

Reduced Fraud

Blockchain technology resists hacking, DDOS attacks, and other forms of fraud. It can also help banks and others identify individuals quickly and accurately through a blockchain-enabled digital ID. With less fraud, the costs of doing business decrease, and presumably, the savings benefit everybody.

What We Don’t Know

Blockchain is still relatively new, although banks and other industries are already innovating with blockchain technology. At this point, the technology is probably ahead of regulations, and it’s not always clear what to expect in terms of protection, privacy, potential risks, and dispute resolution. Those issues can all be solved, but it’s critical to research and understand what problems may arise before using blockchain for significant transactions.

Original article written by Justin Pritchard, and posted on the TheBalance.com website.

Article reposted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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