| submitted by /u/cliff-hanger
Bitcoin price (BTC) slid to a new low this month, after crashing below the $8K support level. The largest coin is trading at around $7,300 today and altcoins are also been dwindling at a fast pace. The broader market selloff has snatched $150 billion out of the cryptocurrency market in the last two weeks alone.
Tom Lee again blamed lack of regulatory clarity for the huge selloff. The market pundits, however, are thinking about how low bitcoin price value can go.
How Low Can it Go?
The bounces were limited in the freefall of Bitcoin Price in the last two weeks. The largest coin has breached several key supports levels without facing any resistance from bulls.
“Last week’s $9k support has turned into this week’s $8k support. And thus far it is giving every indication that $7k will become next week’s support. I hope you see the trend here,” Jani Ziedins said.
Technical analysts, on the other hand, are indicating the bearish trend to extend momentum in the days to come.
They claim a new bearish crossover pattern could kill Bitcoin price. Based on technical charts, the five-month moving average (MA) is set to cut the ten-month moving average from the top – which indicates a bearish pattern for bitcoin price.
The previous two bearish spells had pulled Bitcoin price in the range of $6,000 before bouncing back to $10K range. This time market pundits have set a support level at $7K. If price slid below that level, the next support level would be $6,000 for bitcoin price.
Can it Crash to Zero?
The debate over the Bitcoin’s potential to work as a viable currency has been impacting the value of the entire cryptocurrency market. Although Fed’s officials and other investing experts claim a complete crash of the cryptocurrency market, some other reports are showing the only handful of cryptocurrencies will survive in the future. And, Bitcoin is one among them. Tom Lee still holds his buying rating with the one-year price target of $25K.
Featured Image: twitter
Fintech payment platform Revolut has today announced that it has added XRP and BCH to its list of offerings, further cementing itself as a digital banking alternative.
Launched in 2015, the London-based platform is aiming to revolutionise the foreign exchange currency market by providing the best exchange rates, the lowest fees, and no interest charges among its 25 supported fiat currencies. Calling itself a ‘banking alternative,’ the platform provides its nearly two million customers with a debit card, a payment app, and travel insurance.
In a bid to open its market and make itself more accessible to people, Revolut added Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin to its services last year. By doing so, the platform enabled them to buy, hold, and exchange the three altcoins directly from Revolut’s app.
Now, less than six months later the payment company has revealed that it is adding a further two cryptocurrencies to its portfolio. Users will be able to instantly exchange any of the 25 supported fiat currencies into XRP or BCH, according to a company blog.
“With hundreds of thousands of customers now actively exchanging cryptocurrencies in the app, the popular view was that we needed to add more digital currencies in addition to Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ether,” it reads.
According to Revolut, most exchanges and brokers often impose fees that can cost consumers between five and nine percent for exchanges. However, with them it only charges a 1.5 percent fee, and according to a report from Quartz, this is to offset the volatility risk.
Due to the popularity that the cryptocurrency market is continuing to experience, Revolut have said that they handle 100,000 daily digital token exchanges from its users, whereas, 20 percent of its customers have unlocked the cryptocurrency feature so far. It’s expected that as the platform adds more tokens more users will turn to this feature where they can access an array of currencies under one app.
With banking institutions failing to provide support to services that would enable users to access cryptocurrencies, startups like Revolut are working at filling the gap.
Earlier this month, it was reported that BTC.com, a Chinese digital currency platform, had launched the first mobile cryptocurrency wallet on Huawei’s AppGallery. With many Android users unable to access Google Play they remain on the outskirts of being about to pay for things with cryptocurrency.
BTC.com’s wallet gives Huawei users a chance to interact with a digital currency app for the first time, as it taps into the $12.8 trillion mobile payment market in China.
Surkus Inc, the Los Angeles-based industry leader in event technology, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by EOS Global, a $200 million venture fund formed in earlier this year. The fund is designed to leverage the EOSIO blockchain to catalyze the transformation of the digital assets space. Of the investment, EOS Global states, “We fully believe in the mission of Surkus and our shared vision of the need for a scalable and global solution in the marketing/advertising space. We are excited for the EOS blockchain to support that growth ahead.”
In addition to the Series B funding, Surkus announced the expansion of its platform into Asia. Hong Kong will be the first international city available on the app, which connects people to brands and events in their area.
“At Surkus, our goal is to help our members experience the world around them and to help our clients engage with their target audience,” said Surkus CEO Stephen George. “With this investment, we’ll be able to offer a more diverse array of campaigns and events in more cities around the world, starting with Hong Kong. We’re also looking forward to incorporating blockchain technology into the platform to increase automation and help us scale as we grow.”
Surkus members get rewarded for engaging with different events and campaign, and in turn, the platform learns more about their interests and better serves brand clients, who are able to hyper-target members by interests and demographics. As Surkus’ first international market, Hong Kong is expected to add hundreds of thousands of new members to the app’s 500,000+ US member base.
“Hong Kong is a thriving city with over 7 million people. The city is accepting emerging technology more and more, and platforms like Surkus can really move the needle. Hong Kong tastemakers will now have access to exclusive events and campaigns, which will further connect them back to the city they love,” said George. “Hong Kong is a strategic initial market for us as we look to launch Surkus across the region.”
The Surkus platform began as an event-based promotion company primarily servicing the nightlife industry. While clubs and venues can certainly still use Surkus to bring in guests, the platform has expanded its offerings and now includes experiences like comedy shows, brand activations, charity events, acting classes, extra work, movie screenings and more. George, who started his career with Groupon and led operations through the deal site’s IPO in 2011, was an investor in Surkus before becoming CEO in early 2017 with the goal to automate, scale and diversify the platform.
“We know that our members have a variety of interests, so we want the experiences on Surkus to reflect that,” George said. “It’s been exciting to work with so many different brands and businesses as a part of their marketing programs. We envision Surkus as being the go-to platform for brands large and small looking to find a hyper-targeted community. Our members provide meaningful engagement, and as we grow, so does their value to brands.”
On April 5, India’s Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made a big move in the ongoing global regulatory push on cryptocurrencies as it decided to no longer provide services to any person or business that deals with cryptocurrencies.
Since then, there has been a battle building up, with the latest skirmish set for July 20 – the Supreme Court of India’s next hearing date for the latest petitions against the bank’s decisions.
Many commentators felt this was not a ban in the conventional Chinese sense, because the Indian government also announced that they would support blockchain and even look into potentially launching their own cryptocurrency.
However, as time has gone on, those involved in cryptocurrency in India have felt the pinch of the RBI’s decision to cut ties with them. It has led to a lot of pushback and even court cases amidst crypto businesses closing.
India’s relationship with Bitcoin is rocky at best, but also confusing and convoluted, and well worth examining as so much has happened in just the past few months.
Bitcoin and blockchain in review
India had a very productive 2017 in terms of the growth, adoption, and acceptance of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
One of India’s leading trade associations, ASSOCHAM, held a global summit on Bitcoin and blockchain in March 2017.
In May 2017, the demand for Bitcoin grew exponentially and abruptly, so much that India’s largest exchanges had to put a limit on Bitcoin purchases due to lack of supply.
In June, Zebpay, one of India’s leading Bitcoin exchanges established back in 2012, became the seventh most popular app in the finance category on India’s Apple app store, even higher than the apps of many national banks.
In October, it was reported that the major Bitcoin exchanges in India were attracting more than 200,000 new users every month.
This was all going on with negative rumbling from the RBI already in the background, as it was issuing warnings throughout the year cautioning people about buying Bitcoin.
The rumbling gets louder
While there was huge growth and interest from individuals and companies in cryptocurrency and blockchain, the RBI was mostly unswayed, and in the government remained similarly unimpressed.
In the hopes of deterring buyers, India’s Ministry of Finance called Bitcoin a ponzi scheme and said it had no intrinsic value, but this was announced only a few days after Bitcoin topped a high of $20,000, and mostly fell on deaf ears.
But those warnings started turning into actions as the banking sector took tangible steps to try to slow down Bitcoin’s growth and progress.
Banks dig in their heels
On January 21, 2018, it was reported that a number of major banks in India had suspended or greatly curtailed functionality on exchange accounts.
State Bank of India (SBI), Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Yes Bank had all taken strong actions against crypto exchanges, either closing accounts or severely limiting functionality. The reason given was the risk of dubious transactions, according to local reports.
On February 14, Citibank India banned its customers from using credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies. It also took the measure one step further by banning the use of debit cards for crypto purchases, Quartz India reported.
The move by the banks, coupled with a negative mention about Bitcoin by finance minister Arun Jaitley during his budget speech, had an impact as Bitcoin businesses started feeling the heat and were unprepared to operate in such a negative climate.
On February 28, crypto exchanges BTCXIndia and ETHEXIndia then informed their customers via email that they were stopping trading activities, citing the “stress” on their business caused by governmental actions discouraging crypto.
This all led up to the RBI’s big announcement of its ‘ban’. They explained in their statement that the move was justified by the associated risks that the government had been warning against all this time.
Thus, it has been decided that, effective immediately, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling VCs. Regulated entities that already provide such services shall exit the relationship within a specified timeframe.
While the news was seen as semi-positive since it was not a direct ban on cryptocurrencies, it was still a blow for India’s burgeoning cryptocurrency environment.
However, a day after the ‘ban’ was announced, hope was slightly renewed as the RBI also said that it was considering creating its own cryptocurrency. RBI Deputy Governor B.P. Kanungo had some positive things to say about the technology. He told The Times Of India:
“Technological innovations, including virtual currencies, have the potential to improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of the financial system. We recognize that the Blockchain technology has potential benefits for the financial sector and we believe that they should be encouraged to be exploited for the benefit of the economy.”
A big backlash
Despite the positivity about the technology and the economic potential cryptocurrencies could offer India, the fact of the matter was that the damage was done, and already the fledgling crypto ecosystem was taking hits as exchanges closed.
This triggered a backlash from Indian citizens as well as some big crypto-influencers.
Tim Draper, the well-regarded tech investor, called the RBI’s decision a huge mistake and warned that it would drain India of cryptocurrency experts, which it would clearly need if it did see potential in the technology.
Furthermore, a petition garnered over 17,000 signatures, urging the RBI to reverse its decision on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. The reason for signing this petition for many was expressed as:
“It could lead to an increase of irregular cash trading of cryptocurrencies in India. In addition, the ban could take away potential revenue to the government from crypto exchanges, and instigate a crypto market price drop ‘due to the knee jerk reaction in which prices got impacted.’”
This unfortunately was not strong enough to sway the RBI’s decision, which then led to sterner measures being taken.
On April 22, 2018, the High Court of Delhi reportedly issued a notice to the RBI, the Ministry of Finance, and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council alleging that RBI’s decision to end dealings with crypto businesses violates the constitution.
However, as this issue began to climb up the judicial ladder, it was halted when the Supreme Court of India was called upon. On May 12, the Supreme Court declined to grant an interim injunction against the RBI.
Later on, the Supreme Court came forward again and said that no petitions could be filed in any High Court of India against the RBI crypto decision. This decision will be in place until July, when the Court will set a hearing date for the existing petition on July 20.
What’s happening on the ground floor?
For all the rumbling coming out of India from court battles and petitions to these bans on dealing with crypto, it is always important to see how the news is affecting the crypto-users on the ground floor.
Evan Luthra, an Indian cryptocurrency investor and entrepreneur, spoke to Cointelegraph about what is going on, and how the government is really just looking to play it safe.
“What most people need to understand is that the views and opinions of a few people in the government don’t make a law,” Luthra told Cointelegraph. “The Indian government is just trying to play it safe and actually bringing light to the whole industry.”
“The process taken by the government is not the wrong intention. It is for putting a stop to people who are doing scams and running ponzi schemes. The actions taken will only slow down the process but it cannot stop the adoption. That’s the beauty of decentralization, that it cannot be stopped or controlled by any central authority. If people choose to adopt Bitcoin, crypto, or Gladage, or any other token, for example, directly without converting into fiat, it will next leap in the industry.”
“The government has only put a stop to conversion into fiat but they are actively promoting the technology. Even the Prime Minister is going out in public and explains the benefits of adopting the technology. In the coming days things will get much better even on the regulatory side.”
Luthra’s point, that the government has good intentions, does make sense. However, their implementation is rubbing people the wrong way in the short term. Still, down the line, when this move has cleared away scams and ponzi schemes, perhaps it will be viewed in a better light.
The battle rages
It is a baffling situation that the Indian cryprocommunity finds themselves in as their central bank is slowing the progress of Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies in general. The government does not have a positive outlook on crypto, but they are not banning it.
Rather it is being choked out by the banking system which is now under pressure from the community, who is involving the courts. India is fighting internally about the future of cryptocurrency with even the banks admitting that there is a lot of promise in the technology.
The next step in India’s battle for cryptocurrency legitimacy will come on July 20, when the courts sit down and look over the new petitions, but until then, the cryptocummunity has to try to survive even with the banking squeeze.