Steady Rise in Small Businesses Accepting Bitcoin Payments in Kenya

Steady Rise in Small Businesses Accepting Bitcoin Payments in Kenya

Emerging Markets Kenyan health services provider Health Land Spa has started taking BTC and other cryptocurrencies as a means of payment with a view to increasing accountability and averting losses. Across East Africa, cryptocurrency acceptance is on the rise, with at least two restaurants in Uganda and Kenya selling food for virtual currencies. Also read: Wirex Introduces Iban for all European Crypto Card Accounts ‘Safe and Secure’ Currency Tony Mwongera, founder of Nairobi-based Health Land Spa, told Kenyan news site Bitcoinke that he resorted to BTC to plug revenue loss. “There was so much theft in my business. So I decided, why don’t I use a technology which is safe and secure, and I decided to accept bitcoin [core] as a mode of payment.” Tony MwongeraWith the introduction of cryptocurrencies, Health Land Spa customers will now be footing the bill for massages, pedicures and other health and beauty treatment services from their digital wallets. The company, which also accepts dash, is looking to add more cryptocurrencies in the coming months. Mwongera is not the first Kenyan service provider to make a bitcoin move. Boxlight Electronics, a Kenyan company that distributes a range of electrical gadgets including television sets and home theaters, now accepts payment in bitcoin core and bitcoin cash. Robinson Murage, chief executive officer of Boxlight Electronics, has said previously: “We have received tons of requests from our customers to pay using digital currencies. As a company whose 90 percent of customers are young, tech savvy and predominantly online we choose to be all inclusive and adapt to the needs of those that prefer this type of currency.”  Bitcoin for Roast Beef In Kenya’s rural town of Nyeri, Betty Wambugu operates a restaurant business, Betty’s Place, selling roast beef in digital currency. “Bitcoin is a means of payment like any other and we accept it here at the restaurant the way we do … cash,” restaurant owner Wambugu was quoted as saying. “Since the world is becoming more global, my place is also becoming a global restaurant. I attract different customers from different parts of the world, whichever coin they have. As long as it’s a viable coin we accept it,” she added. Wambugu’s relationship with BTC started much earlier than her acceptance of the digital coin.…

Just Two ASIC Bitcoin Mining Rigs Remain Profitable in Current Markets

Just Two ASIC Bitcoin Mining Rigs Remain Profitable in Current Markets

Amid the cryptocurrency market crash, even the newest crypto mining machines are struggling to seal profits for their operators, according to real-time data published by mining profitability data site ASICMinerValue.com (AMV) today, Dec. 11. AMV is a site that calculates real-time profitability rates for “ASIC” miners, hardware that uses Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips, tailored to efficiently mine cryptocurrency based on a specific hashing algorithm. Updated every minute, the site calculates profit yields for specific miners based on current power costs, network difficulty, block rewards, and cryptocurrency prices. As of press time, the site indicates that among ASIC mining machines geared to mine coins that are based on cryptographic hash function “SHA-256” –– such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) –– only two are currently making any profit. Both models were released in October 2018, and show $0.58 and $0.21 in daily profits. ASIC miners tailored for SHA-256-based cryptocurrencies, in order of profitability, Dec. 11. Source: ASICMinerValue.com The currently most profitable machine, the Ebit 11++, was released by Chinese mining hardware manufacturer Ebang Communication and is currently priced at $2,024. As reported just this week, mining manufacturing giant Bitmain has announced it will be closing its development center in Israel and firing local employees, with local reports attributing the decision to “the current situation” and “shake-up” of the global crypto market. This October, even ahead of the recent market slump, a report from crypto outlet Diar indicated that crypto mining is gradually becoming profitable only for “big guns,” whose pockets are “deep” enough to subsidize burgeoning electricity costs. A Cointelegraph in-depth report published this November analyzed the impact of the protracted crypto bear market on the mining landscape, including its impact on global sales of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs).

Panic Mode? What a Wall Street Chart Tells Us About Bitcoin’s Price

Panic Mode? What a Wall Street Chart Tells Us About Bitcoin’s Price

Investing in financial markets can be an emotional roller-coaster and the bitcoin market is no exception. When it comes to investment, human emotions tend to oscillate between two extremes – fear and greed – and the constant balancing act between the two creates a cycle of market emotions.   For years, traders and investors alike have studied the cycle of market emotions with the help of a chart known as the “Wall Street Cheat Sheet.” As seen above, at the top of the market cycle is “euphoria” – a point of maximum financial risk. This is the time when investors think nothing can go wrong and a self-feeding cycle is established: more investors enter the market for its stellar returns, leading to a further rise in price and valuations reach dizzying heights before, eventually, reality bites hard. The cryptocurrency market was gripped by euphoria in the last quarter of 2017. Bitcoin prices rose from $6,000 to $20,000 within seven weeks on speculation that futures launch would open floodgates for large institutions to buy cryptos. Further, every other altcoin, regardless of its fundamental story, had rallied to record highs by the first week of January. Most pundits came out with bitcoin targets of $50,000 or more at the time. The bubble, however, was pricked just two weeks into January by a regulatory crackdown in China and South Korea – two of the biggest sources of demand for cryptocurrencies back then. Where are we now? Since then, the bitcoin market has arguably gone through “complacency,” “anxiety” and “denial.” In this interpretation, the denial stage, it could be argued, lasted for five months as BTC’s repeated defense of $6,000 offered hope that the broader market and altcoins with strong fundamentals would recover lost ground before the year-end. Those hopes, however, were shattered as BTC nosedived below $6,000 on Nov. 14, pushing the bitcoin market into the “panic” stage, causing investors to look for an exit with no price floor in sight. The price of bitcoin has since fallen nearly 50 percent from the $6,000 mark, trading at an average price of $3,327 according to CoinDesk data at press time. More importantly, trading volumes jumped more than 30 percent month-on-month in November. That high-volume sell-off likely indicates many weaker…

The Biggest Rises and Falls of Bitcoin, Explained

The Biggest Rises and Falls of Bitcoin, Explained

5. What is it about Novembers? Over the course of 2018, Bitcoin has had an annus horribilis — with prices tumbling by more than 83 percent when compared to the all-time high of $19,783. This is worse than the Nasdaq’s plunge when the dot-com bubble burst in the U.S. — and it has also delivered catastrophic consequences for many other digital currencies, which have now been rendered worthless. This is because the fate of many coins, and indeed other cryptocurrencies, is tied to blockchain in some way or another. Just take a look at Ethereum as a case in point, which has tumbled from $1,400 toward the start of 2018 to about $110 at the time of writing. To get an idea of the enormity of this drop, Bitcoin hadn’t dipped below $4,000 since September 2017 before November’s bloodbath began. In the space of a week, Bitcoin Cash plummeted more than 56 percent — and was even overtaken by EOS briefly from a market capitalization perspective, leaving it relegated to the fifth-largest coin in the marketplace. Following the ups and downs of the crypto market doesn’t need to be a daunting experience. Keeping an eye on the news can help ensure that you stay one step ahead — and get an idea of when major events are going to have an impact on prices. Sites such as Coin360 have also been making the market easier to navigate — offering a visual representation of cryptocurrencies and coins in real time. The size of each graphic reflects the cryptocurrency’s market capitalization — with prices and percentage changes illustrated in red and green so enthusiasts can see where the industry is heading at a glance.   Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

Harvard Economist: Bitcoin’s Future Value More Likely to Be $100 Than $100K

Harvard Economist: Bitcoin’s Future Value More Likely to Be $100 Than $100K

The former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has characterized Bitcoin (BTC) as “a lottery ticket,” in an article for major United Kingdom daily broadsheet The Guardian Dec. 10. Writing in the midst of the recent crypto market price collapse, current Harvard University Professor of Economics and Public Policy Kenneth Rogoff suggested that the “overwhelming sentiment” among crypto advocates is that the total “market capitalisation of cryptocurrencies could explode over the next five years, rising to $5-10 [trillion].” The historic volatility of the emerging asset class, he conceded, indeed indicates that Bitcoin’s decline from its all-time highs of $20,000 to under $3,500 earlier today is “no reason to panic.” Nonetheless, the economist dismissed the “crypto evangelist” view of Bitcoin as digital gold, calling it “nutty,” stating its long-term value is “more likely to be $100 than $100,000.” Rogoff argued that unlike physical gold, Bitcoin’s use is limited to transactions – making it purportedly more vulnerable to a bubble-like collapse. Additionally, the cryptocurrency’s energy-intensive verification process is “vastly less efficient” than systems that rely on “a trusted central authority like a central bank.” Even if Bitcoin should not necessarily be “worth zero,” Rogoff argued that national governments and “regulators are gradually waking up to the fact that they cannot countenance large expensive-to-trace transaction technologies that facilitate tax evasion and criminal activity.” This, in his view, places Bitcoin in a double bind, with implications for its future value: “take away near-anonymity and no one will want to use it; keep it and advanced-economy governments will not tolerate it.” While the economist noted that governments worldwide may in due time “regulate and appropriate” the innovations of the new asset class –– as shown by the interest of multiple central banks in digital currency issuance –– he argued that coorinatinated global regulation would eventually seek to “stamp out privately constructed systems,” with only certain geopolitical outliers as a possible exception: “The right way to think about cryptocurrency coins is as lottery tickets that pay off in a dystopian future where they are used in rogue and failed states, or perhaps in countries where citizens have already lost all semblance of privacy. It is no coincidence that dysfunctional Venezuela is the first issuer of a state-backed cryptocurrency (the…

Blockchain-Friendly UK Lawmaker Calls for Crypto Tax Payments

Blockchain-Friendly UK Lawmaker Calls for Crypto Tax Payments

Eddie Hughes, a member of the U.K. parliament, has proposed allowing taxes and more to be paid with cryptocurrencies. According to a report from the Daily Express newspaper on Monday, Hughes wants people to have the option to pay council tax to local authorities, as well as household bills to utility firms, with bitcoin or crypto alternatives. Council tax is levied monthly on households in the U.K. to fund local services, based on the estimated value of a property and the number of people living in it. Hughes, an MP from the ruling Conservative party, said in the article: “Only recently I met with the RNLI [Royal National Lifeboat Institution] which is now accepting charitable donations through cryptocurrency – if we can do that, what’s to stop us being able to pay council tax and other bills with bitcoin?.” The MP added that he would like to see a local authority setting up a scheme to enable crypto payments. “We need to be seen as a progressive country,” he said. The politician has been optimistic about cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech for some time now. Back in June, he highlighted the benefits of blockchain at Prime Minister’s Questions, a weekly session in parliament held with MPs, stating that some countries have been able to save up to 2 percent of gross domestic product with the tech. Later in July, Hughes released a paper on blockchain published by FREER, an initiative from the country’s Institute of Economic Affairs for promoting freedom in the economy and society. In the paper, dubbed “Unlocking Blockchain: Embracing new technologies to drive efficiency and empower the citizen,” the lawmaker proposed several initiatives, including the establishment of a UK-based international blockchain competition and a public-facing chief blockchain officer. He further recommended a “blockchain departmental target,” a long-term aim for government departments to make a 1-percent efficiency saving by embracing blockchain and other emerging technologies. In today’s report, Hughs also said wider adoption of cryptocurrencies is being held back by lack of knowledge on the technology. “It needs to appear like an app that people will use so they can become familiar with it in a safe and secure way,” he said. The comments come soon after Ohio last month announced it would allow local businesses to…

Japanese Lawmaker Proposes 4 Tax Cuts for Crypto Users and Traders

Japanese Lawmaker Proposes 4 Tax Cuts for Crypto Users and Traders

Taxes A Japanese lawmaker has proposed four changes to Japan’s tax law to benefit crypto users and traders as well as widen the adoption of cryptocurrency in the country. The current tax rate of 55 percent could be lowered to 20 percent while crypto-to-crypto trading and small payments could be exempt from taxation. Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations Changing Crypto Taxation Representative Takeshi Fujimaki of Japan’s Nippon Ishin no Kai political party has proposed four changes to the current taxation system for cryptocurrencies. Fujimaki, who was formerly an adviser to billionaire investor George Soros, announced on Friday: We believe that it is necessary to change the current virtual currency taxation system to an appropriate tax system in order to develop virtual currency / blockchain technology. The tax system should not deprive the future of virtual currency and blockchain. The proposed changes are designed to “promote the wider adoption of virtual currency” as well as “encourage the development of blockchain technology,” he clarified. Representative Takeshi Fujimaki.From 55% Tax Rate to 20% Currently, Japan taxes profits from cryptocurrency transactions as miscellaneous income, which could be as high as 55 percent. Fujimaki explained that unlike salaries which are fixed amounts, gains from crypto transactions — like stocks and mutual funds — vary and losses could be incurred over a number of years. Capital gains from stocks and mutual funds are taxed separately from other income sources, at a flat rate of about 20 percent. “From that point of view, it is necessary to [similarly] apply separate taxation with a tax rate of 20% to the gains from virtual currency transactions,” he said. Fujimaki has also proposed allowing losses from crypto transactions to be carried forward, which the current law does not permit. Taxpayers with losses from crypto transactions this year and profits the next, for example, are not able to offset their gains with losses. He elaborated: Losses from stock trading … can be carried forward and can be deducted from the profits in the following year. From the perspective of tax fairness, you should also allow for deduction carryforward of losses from virtual currency transactions. Exemptions for Crypto-to-Crypto Trading and Payments Trading between cryptocurrencies, such as between XRP and BTC,…

Ukrainian Village Distributes Dividends From Crypto Investment

Ukrainian Village Distributes Dividends From Crypto Investment

Featured Despite the market slump, the head of а village council in Ukraine has managed to earn profit from a cryptocurrency investment he made on behalf of the residents of the Elizavetovka, Dnipropetrovsk region. Earlier this year, Maxim Golosnoy bought a small amount of cryptocurrency using his own savings and has recently distributed dividends to the villagers. Also read: Australian Company Issues Loans Backed by Cryptocurrencies Everyone in Elizavetovka to Receive 100 Hryvnias Maxim GolosnoyWhen Golosnoy announced the investment this past spring, he emphasized that he hadn’t used any budgetary funds for his “crypto experiment.” Ukrainian media reported the local official had spent some of his own money, around $500, to purchase the cryptocurrency. Golosnoy said he bought the digital coins for the people of Elizavetovka, stating that every adult resident owns a share. During a recent town hall meeting, the villagers learned each one of them is now entitled to receive 100 hryvnias, Ukrainian outlet Segodnya reported. The dividend is worth only around $3.60 but no one really expected any revenue in the current market situation anyway. Golosnoy told them: This was a cryptocurrency experiment. No budgetary funds have been spent and you still have the cryptocurrency. The funds you have just received are only dividends. In May, Maxim Golosnoy reportedly purchased for the villagers some cardano, one of the coins recognized as means of payment in Elizavetovka, along with bitcoin core and ethereum. At the time, the price of the cryptocurrency was $0.14 per coin. A month and a half later, when its value reached 39 cents, he sold some of the coins to recover his initial capital investment. Golosnoy did not go into details about his subsequent crypto deals. ADA is currently trading at around $0.03 after it fell from its all-time high of $1.15 per coin in January of this year. Crypto Revenues to Be Spent for Road Repairs The residents of Elizavetovka have decided to use part of the revenues from Golosnoy’s crypto investment to fix some potholes on the road that passes through their village. They have already collected 1,200 hryvnias, a little over $400, to finance the repair works scheduled to begin as soon as the snow melts away next spring, the local TV channel Ukraina reported. Maxim…

Sentiment Analysis Service Predicoin Launches for Cryptocurrency Traders

Sentiment Analysis Service Predicoin Launches for Cryptocurrency Traders

Markets and Prices Keeping abreast of cryptocurrencies means frequently browsing and interpreting vast amounts of content from various online sources. As the crypto markets expands and matures, information overload becomes a problem. Astute traders are increasingly seeking crypto-specific tools that can distill the noisy input data into quality insights. Predicoin is one such potential solution. Also read: Meet the New Sentiment Analysis Tools Empowering Smarter Trading Predicoin Goes Live With “Sentscore” Functionality In August, news.Bitcoin.com previewed Predicoin, which was then in early stage development. The data analytics platform, which is now open to the public, aggregates news and social media content before extracting the sentiment using machine learning. In addition to serving up crypto news and social media content, Predicoin provides its own built-in analytics in the form of “Sentscore” (sentiment score). This functions as a general sentiment indicator for the cryptomarket, powered by algorithms that compute sentiment from five verticals: Amount of content and article context from crypto news sites Social media sentiment (currently Twitter and Reddit) and volume from crypto influencers Macro and micro economics/fundamentals of a coin (team, developers etc.) Technical indicators on a coin’s price Popularity and trending characteristics of a coin Predicoin plans to use its datasets and analytics framework to derive trends between sentiment and price. “We’re still tuning our algorithms and regularly backpropagating updates to prior data,” explained Pierre-Alexandre Picard, Predicoin COO. “These metrics could change, but we’re very excited to start seeing some potential correlations on our charts. We continue to work hard on identifying patterns to provide the most accurate indicators to our users.” BCH social sentiment leading up to the hard forkGauging Social Sentiment Although Predicoin is still in beta, testing shows the platform to be quite efficient in some cases at accurately conveying social trends. For instance, at the height of the recent Bitcoin Cash fork, Predicoin detected a significant upward shift in volume of news and social media that mentioned BCH. While this finding isn’t surprising, seeing the data overlaid with that of BCH price action suggests the degree to which sentiment can be used to predict price. This is best seen in the case of Ripple’s eponymous cryptocurrency. XRP’s price run-up in September, which was linked to the announcement of U.S.-based PNC…

Galaxy Digital and Block.One Lead $30 Million Funding Round for US Disruptor Bank

Galaxy Digital and Block.One Lead $30 Million Funding Round for US Disruptor Bank

Cryptocurrency-focused merchant bank Galaxy Digital and Block.One have led a $30 million Series A investment round in U.S. neo-banking platform Good Money. The news was confirmed by a press release Dec. 10. Aiming to balance user ownership with part donation of profits and equity, Good Money provides banking services and a handful of associated financial instruments to U.S. account holders. The investment came mostly via Galaxy and Block.One’s joint Galaxy EOS VC fund, one of several funds under the Block.One umbrella. “Modern banking is a primary driver of so many issues we face as a society – from economic inequality, institutional racism, environmental destruction to political corruption,” Good Money founder Gunnar Lovelace commented in the press release. The neo-banking market is quickly gaining ground over traditional providers both within and outside the U.S. As Cointelegraph reported, European entities such as Revolut have sought to combine blockchain and cryptocurrency offerings with banking services, targeting banks’ high transfer fees to woo users out of their comfort zone. Good Money follows a similar ethos, abandoning ATM fees and offering each user equity in the company. Ahead of its launch, it remains unknown whether the latest funding input creates room for cryptocurrency support. Galaxy itself meanwhile has faced a tough year. It has emerged that the company lost $136 million through Q3 as the drop in cryptocurrency prices took its toll. CEO Michael Novogratz remains buoyant on Bitcoin (BTC) making a comeback, telling mainstream media an institutional investor influx should produce results by Q2, 2019.