Kenyan Crypto Adoption and Trading Grows Despite Warnings from Regulators

Kenyan Crypto Adoption and Trading Grows Despite Warnings from Regulators

Over the last two years, the Kenyan government and central bank have been discussing how to regulate bitcoin and other digital currencies. In March 2018, the Central Bank of Kenya warned the general public about cryptocurrency investments. After those warnings, the region’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA) cautioned the public again after investigating a project called kenicoin. Even though financial regulators are dressing down digital currencies, Kenyan merchants and traders in the region are still flocking toward the crypto asset economy. Also read: SEC Chair Explains Key Upgrades Needed for Bitcoin ETF Approval Kenyan Crypto Trade Volumes Show Increased Demand for Digital Assets The government in Kenya and the financial regulators have been leery toward regulating bitcoin and other digital currencies. The central bank mulled over regulatory guidelines in the summer of 2018, while last month Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA) warned the public about trading digital currencies because of an initial coin offering (ICO) called kenicoin. The project allegedly sold 10 million tokens and promised 10 percent monthly returns after the initial purchase. However, even though Kenya’s financial watchdogs are cautioning against investing and trading cryptocurrencies, they have been powerless to stop the steady trend of cryptocurrency acceptance and rising trade volumes within the country. KES volumes on Paxful have increased a great deal. Kenyans have a wide variety of exchange avenues to choose from if they want to purchase cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. This includes popular trading platforms like Remitano, Bitpesa, Coindirect, Paxful, Localbitcoins, and Belfrics. Localbitcoins volumes in Kenya have been consistently strong. At the time of writing, BTC trade volumes for Feb. 16, 2019 indicate 29,701,339 Kenya shillings ($297,000) traded on Localbitcoins in Kenya over the last two weeks. Paxful trade volumes in Kenya shillings (KES) are also significantly higher than usual with 4,679,664 KES ($48,000) traded over the last two weeks on the peer-to-peer exchange. According to Crypto Compare’s BTC pairs analysis, bitcoin core (BTC) purchases account for $3,418 (KES 341,876) in daily trades stemming from Stocksexchange. Localbitcoins trade volumes have remained steady despite the financial authority’s warnings. Merchant acceptance is still growing in Kenya as well according to a report from the BBC news outlet published on Feb. 22. The Blockchain Association of Kenya (BAK) explained in an interview that digital…

Back Above $4k: Bitcoin’s Price Jumps to a Two-Month High

Back Above $4k: Bitcoin’s Price Jumps to a Two-Month High

Bitcoin’s price climbed back above $4,000 on Saturday for the first time over over two months as the broader cryptocurrency market flashed green. At 18:00 UTC on Saturday, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization surpassed the $4,000 mark to ultimately reach $4,146 – its highest price since Dec. 24 of last year, according to pricing data from CoinDesk.  Bitcoin’s price has since pulled back slightly, now trading at $4,104, but current figures still represent a considerable 20 percent increase since the beginning of the month. Bitcoin is usually accompanied by the broader cryptocurrency market when its picks up a strong bid and the developments on Saturday were no exception. As a result, many other well known cryptocurrencies we able to record notable gains. Names like NEO, QTUM, and NEM have all appreciated more than 9 percent in the past 24-hours. Meanwhile, lesser known cryptocurrencies out of the world’s 100 largest are flashing even more impressive price growth, including NEXO and S4FE (S4F), who are up 24 and 78 percent at press time, according to data from Coinmarketcap. The capitalization of the entire cryptocurrency market has increased 16 percent over the past seven days to reach it highest value in over eight weeks of $141 billion. Also of note, the global weekly cryptocurrency trading volume is currently registering $176 billion, which is its most in a single week since the first week in May of 2018, Coinmarketcap data further reveals. Disclosure: The author holds BTC, LTC, ETH, ZEC, AST, REQ, OMG, FUEL, ZIL, 1st and AMP at the time of writing. roller coaster image via Shutterstock; charts by TradingView

US ETF Ruling to Inform South Korean Cryptocurrency Market

US ETF Ruling to Inform South Korean Cryptocurrency Market

Local media has reported that a South Korean exchange is waiting for regulators in the United States to make a ruling regarding the highly anticipated Vaneck cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund (ETF) before determining its stance pertaining to virtual currency ETFs. Also Read: Markets Update: Altcoins Gain on BTC Exchange Awaits US Ruling to Develop ETF Policy A report published by The Korea Herald has asserted that officials at a South Korean exchange are waiting for United States lawmakers to establish a precedent regarding cryptocurrency ETFs. The report quotes an anonymous source claiming to work as an official at South Korea’s main bourse operator, Korea Exchange. The source asserted that “The US has been the front-runner on the cryptocurrency market and related derivatives,” noting that despite “strong voices supporting the launch of bitcoin ETFs within the market,” they are “observing the progress and response of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision on bitcoin ETFs.” The source also stated that the launch of cryptocurrency ETFs would require “a solid index, adding that the prospective index is “being discussed expansively at [The Korea Exchange] because it would eventually concern investor protection issues.” Permissive Korea Exchange’s Policies for Bitcoin ETF Likely to Be Accompanied by Strict KYC Guidelines Lee Kyung-ho, a professor at Korea University’s Graduate School of Information Security, described the Korea Exchange’s framework as intended to “minimize the risk of integrating ETF transactions” in South Korea’s cryptocurrency sector. The professor emphasized that a permissive framework pertaining to cryptocurrency ETFs would require strict know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) procedures, stating that “The government has been requesting cryptocurrency exchanges to adopt what is known as the rules of KYC and AML to boost transparency in transactions.” Lee also asserted that South Korea’s government has recently been expanding its investments into the “research and development of blockchain technology.” When do you think the cryptocurrency industry will see an ETF receive regulatory approval? Share your thoughts in the comments section below! Images courtesy of Shutterstock. At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much…

The Infamous Bet: John McAfee’s 2020 Price Target Shows BTC Undervalued by $37K

The Infamous Bet: John McAfee’s 2020 Price Target Shows BTC Undervalued by $37K

John McAfee is once again discussing the notorious wager he made back in November 2017 when he predicted that bitcoin will reach a million dollars before the end of 2020. McAfee is reportedly on the run from the IRS, but his worries don’t end there: according to statistics, his bet is currently $37,000 light of reaching its $1 million per bitcoin target. Also Read: Digital Currency Donors and Crypto-Backed Endowments Fuel Higher Learning Bitcoin Price Needs to Go Parabolic to Reach John McAfee’s $1M Prediction by 2020 Back in the summer of 2017, bitcoin core (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies saw their fiat values start to heat up before prices rocketed in the fall. In July the former antivirus tycoon John McAfee told his Twitter followers that the price per BTC would touch a high of around $500,000 in three years. The software mogul doubled down on his wager and said if his prediction wasn’t right then he would “eat his dick” on television. However, when cryptocurrency market prices went parabolic at the end of November McAfee revised his bet and upped the stakes. “When I predicted Bitcoin at $500,000 by the end of 2020, it used a model that predicted $5,000 at the end of 2017,” McAfee explained on Nov. 29, 2017. “BTC has accelerated much faster than my model assumptions — I now predict Bitcoin at $1 million by the end of 2020. I will still eat my dick if wrong.” John McAfee told the public if BTC didn’t reach $1 million USD by 2020 he would “eat his dick” on national television. McAfee’s statements naturally got the entire cryptocurrency community talking. Even the most hardened believers had a hard time accepting the price would make it to $1 million per coin in three years’ time. Oh! I’ve had a @officialmcafee cartoon for awhile … 😉 #bitcoin pic.twitter.com/43cPNKB93N — luis buenaventura (@helloluis) January 2, 2018 McAfee: ‘Dec. 31, 2020, Not an Exact Date’ However, a website dedicated to observing the bitcoin price alongside McAfee’s 2020 target called Dickline.info says the current price is approximately 89.55 percent below McAfee’s forecast. The data is shown on either a linear or logarithmic scale chart with a trendline that plots a default 0.484095526 percent daily growth trajectory. At…

Bitcoin Hovers Under $4,000 as Top Cryptos See Mixed Movements

Bitcoin Hovers Under $4,000 as Top Cryptos See Mixed Movements

Saturday, Feb. 23 — the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting mixed movements on the day by press time. Bitcoin (BTC) is hovering under the $4,000 mark again, according to Coin360 data. Market visualization from Coin360 At press time, Bitcoin is down 0.26 percent on the day, trading at around $3,976 after a brief mid-day high of $4,005, according to CoinMarketCap data. Looking at its weekly chart, the current price is over 8 percent lower than $3,643, the price at which Bitcoin started the week. Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Ethereum (ETH) is keeping its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which is nearly at $15.6 billion. The second-largest altcoin, Ripple (XRP), has a market cap of about $13.3 billion. Ethereum is up by little over a tenth of a percent over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading around $148, after having started the day at the same price and reporting a mid-day low of about one dollar lower. On its weekly chart, Ethereum has seen its value increase nearly 17 percent from $123, the price at which the coin started the week. Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Ripple has lost 0.33 percent in the 24 hours to press time and is currently trading at around $0.32. On its weekly chart, the coin gained nearly 6 percent from $0.302, the price at which XRP started the week. Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the ones experiencing the most notable price action are Maker (MKR), which is up over 6 percent, and NEM (XEM), which is up over 5 percent. As Cointelegraph recently reported, the vice president of blockchain and digital currencies for IBM, Jesse Lund, said that he expects Bitcoin’s price to eventually hit $1 million. On the other hand, co-founder of Reddit and known crypto bull Alexis Ohanian claimed that this week the crypto hype is gone, leaving space for true crypto believers.

Report: Russian State Duma to Review Crypto Regulation, Oil-Backed Crypto in Development

Report: Russian State Duma to Review Crypto Regulation, Oil-Backed Crypto in Development

The Russian State Duma (the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia) plans to review and adopt new cryptocurrency regulation in March.  The former Energy Minister Igor Yusufov is also proposing an oil-backed crypto, Russian financial outlet Rambler reported on Feb. 21. Furthermore, Rambler reports that the head of the Energia investment-oriented corporation, former Energy Minister Igor Yusufov, also has tangible prospects for proposing an oil-backed cryptocurrency. The construction of the project’s roadmap is reportedly almost at the final stage. In an interview with Rambler, Yusufov reportedly said that the introduction of a crypto settlement system on the energy market could allow for the avoidance of costs associated with the use of not-backed-up currencies and the fluctuations of their exchange rates. He also cites savings on currency exchange commissions and trade restrictions as other examples of advantages that the proposed system could bring. The article also that underlines counties member of the informal Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries + (OPEC+), including Russia, would benefit the most from such a system. The reason provided is that the cryptocurrency platform would permit them to circumnavigate financial and trade restrictions. Moreover, Yusufov is also quoted as explaining that the blockchain would also be used to track and verify every barrel of oil alongside the entire chain, without any additional costs. The former head of the Federal Securities Commission of Russia, Igor Kostikov, reportedly commented on the idea, suggesting that not only oil and gas could be connected to it, but any exchangeable resource. He concluded: “Perhaps the oil-backed cryptocurrency will be the pioneering project that will create a reliable structure for the cryptographic market as a whole.” The idea of a state-issued oil-backed cryptocurrency closely resembles the Petro, an oil-backed crypto first announced by Nicola Maduro, the president of Venezuela, in 2017 and launched in February last year. However, the oil-backed coin has thus far failed to materialize. As Cointelegraph reported at the end of January, the chairman of the upper house of the Russian parliament has urged MPs to expedite their work on digital economy bills that include a draft on crypto regulation.

The First Car Purchased With Bitcoin Is Now the World’s Most Expensive Prius

The First Car Purchased With Bitcoin Is Now the World’s Most Expensive Prius

Forget Lambos. The first car ever purchased with Bitcoin was a Toyota Prius. Owner Michael Tozoni takes us for a drive and tells CoinDesk what he loves – and regrets – about his purchase. Subscribe to CoinDesk on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c… https://www.coindesk.comFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/CoinDeskTwitter: https://www.twitter.com/coindeskInstagram: https://www.Instagram.com/coindeskNewsletter: https://www.coindesk.com/newsletter/Twitter (Markets): https://www.twitter.com/coindeskmarkets CoinDesk is the leading digital media, events and information services company for the crypto asset and blockchain technology community.

Markets Update: Altcoins Gain on BTC

Markets Update: Altcoins Gain on BTC

The recent bounce in the value of many leading cryptocurrencies relative to fiat currency has comprised the first bullish action in several months. Since bottoming out during the third quarter of 2018, many leading altcoins have made significant bullish moves against BTC. Also Read: BTC-e Operator Alexander Vinnik Terminates His Hunger Strike BTC and BCH Produce Sideways Consolidation BTC has entered its fourth day of consolidation at approximately $4,000, with bitcoin core currently trading for $3,940 on Bitstamp and $4,040 on Bitfinex. As of this writing, BTC appears to be on the verge of posting its first green monthly candle since July 2018. BTC/USD – Bitstamp – 1WBitcoin core currently has a market capitalization of $69.88 billion and a dominance of 51.9%. Approximately $7.3 billion worth of BTC has changed hands during the last 24 hours. BCH is currently in its fourth day of consolidation above $140 following Feb. 18’s 15% rally. January is presently poised to comprise the first green monthly candle for BCH since July 2018. BCH/USD – Kraken – 1WWhen measured against BTC, BCH has similarly consolidated for several days at the 0.036 BTC area. BCH/BTC – Bittrex – 1WBitcoin cash is currently the sixth largest crypto asset with a capitalization of nearly $2.55 billion and a dominance of 1.89%. Almost $1.18 billion worth of BCH was traded over the previous 24 hours. Leading Altcoins Make Significant Gains Over BTC in Recent Months A number of top altcoins have made considerable strides over BTC in recent months, suggesting that an altcoin season may be quietly underway. Ethereum currently appears poised to post its second green monthly candle in months against BTC. ETH is currently trading for approximately 0.0376 BTC, up roughly 50% from December’s low of 0.025 BTC. ETH/BTC – Poloniex – 1WETH is currently trading for nearly $150. Ethereum is the second largest crypto asset by capitalization with a market cap of $15.6 billion. Despite posting a bearish performance during February so far, XRP has generated three green candles since September, with XRP currently trading for 0.000081 BTC, more than 95% higher than last year’s low of 0.000041 BTC. XRP/BTC – Poloniex – 1WCurrently trading for $0.32, XRP is the third largest cryptocurrency with a capitalization of nearly $13.24 billion. LTC…

In the Daily: Token Delistings, Paybear Is Savvy, Revolut and Hackers

In the Daily: Token Delistings, Paybear Is Savvy, Revolut and Hackers

In this edition of The Daily, crypto exchange Upbit is preparing to delist four tokens, while several projects have accused Kucoin of suggesting market making services to pump their volume and avoid delisting. Also, crypto payment processor Paybear has rebranded to Savvy, and British online bank Revolut is hiring hackers to test its systems. Also read: Quadrigacx Transfer, Tokenized Bonds, Beam Investment, Rakuten Pay Upbit Marks Tokens for Delisting South Korean crypto exchange Upbit has added several tokens – blocktix (TIX), salus (SLS), salt (SALT) and wings (WINGS) – to a category of digital assets that can be delisted in the future. The trading platform provided the reasons for its decision in an announcement published on its website. The company explained for example that Blocktix, a project to build an event ticket sales platform, has not launched any working products for a long time and is not developing. Similar conclusions have been drawn regarding Wings Dao, a crypto price forecast service, and Salus, a proof of stake coin whose low liquidity exposes it to manipulation. The salt token has been added to the list due to an inspection launched by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. SEC is investigating the connection between Salt Landing Holdings Inc. and Shapeshift CEO Erik Voorhees, as well as the possibility of fraud in the distribution of the tokens during the 2017 initial coin offering. Upbit now expects to receive clarifications from the projects and if they are not satisfactory, the exchange will proceed with the delisting of their tokens. Kucoin Accused of Blackmailing Coin Projects Four token projects have reportedly been asked by crypto exchange Kucoin to pay up to $180,000 in fees for volume-boosting services. After their daily trading volumes fell into the bottom 18 percent on the Hong Kong-based platform, Jibrel, Encrypgen, Publica, and Unikrn were told there’s a quick way to recovery, The Block reported, quoting different sources. Talal Tabbaa, COO of Jibrel, told the outlet that the startup was advised in an email how to improve the volume of its crypto to avoid the risk of being delisted. “Then they recommended market making firms that would help us reach the minimum daily volumes they set for projects. I was honestly shocked at the requests they…

Derivatives Giant Fidelity Investments Receives and Passes on the Lightning Torch

Derivatives Giant Fidelity Investments Receives and Passes on the Lightning Torch

Financial derivatives giant Fidelity Investments received and passed on the Lightning Torch, as revealed by tweet by the company sent on Feb. 22. Just like the Olympic torch, the Lightning Torch is being passed between members of the Lightning Network community. The trend first reportedly started when Twitter user and Bitcoin (BTC) enthusiast Hodlonaut sent 10,000 satoshis (the smallest, indivisible fractions of a Bitcoin) to another Lightning user, and the user added another 10,000 satoshis and passed it on. Fidelity passed the torch to the Harvard School Blockchain & Crypto Club in the wake of its upcoming dedicated conference. Previously, the torch famously has been held by the 88-year-old grandma of a crypto enthusiast as well as by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who held it at the beginning of the current month. As Cointelegraph recently reported, Dorsey, who is also the founder and CEO of United States-based Bitcoin-supporting payments service Square, said that rolling out the Lightning Network on Square’s Cash App is a question of “when, not if.” The Lightning Network is a payment protocol that works as a second layer on top of a blockchain. A large number of those in the cryptocurrency community have suggested the Lightning Network as a fix to Bitcoin’s scaling problem. Fidelity Investments manages over $7.2 trillion in client assets. In October last year, the investment giant announced the launch of a new company, Fidelity Digital Asset Services, targeting institutional crypto assets investors.