Bitcoin or Gold? Why Investors Should Consider Both in the Current Market

Bitcoin or Gold

Bitcoin or Gold? Why Investors Should Consider Both in the Current Market

Now that we’ve seen how popular Bitcoin (BTC) has become over the past year, there is probably one question that almost every opportunistic investor is now asking: Is bitcoin worth the investment now?

The simple answer to that — of course — depends on one’s background, objectives, and wealth.

But an interesting proposition that’s been thrown around lately revolves around bitcoin becoming a topical investment that could even rival gold. Could bitcoin function in the same way as gold? Could it also …

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The Indonesian Government Is Cracking Down Further On Bitcoin Use In Bali

Retailers in Bali are being forced to stop accepting bitcoin at their shops and restaurants.


The actions of governments and regulatory authorities in Asia have been a hot topic in the cryptocurrency space over the last few weeks. The recent crash is widely seen as being driven by reports that the South Korean government indicating it is set to crackdown on cryptocurrency usage. A similar concern is hanging over the already heavily regulated Chinese market right now, rooted in potential government actions to limit access to international exchanges for users within its borders.

Bali A Hive Of Bitcoin Activity?

But it doesn’t stop there.

The latest news out of Asia is that Indonesian authorities are looking to investigate bitcoin-associated activity in Bali, one of Southeast Asia’s most popular tourist destinations and – if the reports are to be believed and the concern’s of the Indonesian government validated – a hive of bitcoin-related activity.

Here’s what Iman Karana, head of Bank Indonesia’s representative office in Bali, had to say on the development:

We found out from some postings on social media that Bali appeared to have become a haven for bitcoin transactions.

Using bitcoin as a point of sale transaction token in Bali is illegal, as per regulatory action taken by policymakers in the region back in December 2017. Shortly after the regulatory action was put in place, however, police on the island went undercover to investigate reports of businesses still accepting bitcoin as a payment method.

The results of this undercover operation led to only two businesses being uncovered as still accepting bitcoin, with a further 44 (with operations ranging from car rental to jewelry and more) having just recently stopped.

What’s Next?

Karana went on to say this in response to the undercover operation:

The next step is we will ban them as mandated by the law. We ask them not to use it anymore. Along with the Directorate of Special Crime Investigation unit, we will enforce the rule that all transactions in Indonesia must use rupiah.

How this will play out longer term remains to be seen. The viability of bitcoin as a point of sale asset has come under scrutiny of late as scaling issues have resulted in longer transaction times and higher fees. With developments such as Lightning set to change that in the near term, however, retailers and spenders may once again push to be allowed to use BTC or one of its peers to pay for goods and services.

If this happens, Indonesian authorities may have a tougher time enforcing restrictive rules in the region.

What do you think about this restrictive activity? Does it spell further trouble for bitcoin going forward? Let us know below!


Image courtesy of Pexels

The post The Indonesian Government Is Cracking Down Further On Bitcoin Use In Bali appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Reuters Reports the Gov. of India Has Sent Tax Notices to Crypto Traders and Investors

Reuters Reports

Are you involved in cryptocurrency trading or investing? If so, do you live in India? If your answer to both of those questions is yes, this article is for you.

Reports have now surfaced that the government of India has sent out tax notices to anyone trading and/or investing in cryptocurrency after a nationwide survey was dispensed.

Cryptocurrency is huge in our world today, so it doesn’t surprise me that India’s government has conducted a survey to see who is involved in the cryptocurrency sector. In fact, I think most governments would benefit from …

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Exchange Wars: Bitstamp Calms Users As Blockchain Takes On Coinbase

Bitstamp CEO Nejc Kodrič has sought to distance his platform from Coinbase’s technical problems as exchanges worldwide feel the strain of mass adoption.


Bitstamp Prioritizes ‘Good Communication’

In a message to users Thursday, Kodrič sought to reassure traders that despite “lengthy delays” and “satisfaction levels plummeting,” Bitstamp would work to resolve capacity issues.

“…The best way to attend to doubts and fears is by providing good communication and constant updates, which is why I want to address you directly to explain why these delays are happening and how we will overcome them,” he stated.

Bitstamp

The update comes as turbulent times continue for legacy cryptocurrency exchanges. An influx of new users has resulted in almost a year of stress and underperformance for Coinbase in particular, with Kodrič visibly keen to avoid analogies with the struggling US exchange giant.

“…Despite all the difficulties we have encountered, we are proud to have maintained an almost flawless level of platform uptime and availability since demand began to surge,” he continued, thanking customers for their “continued patience.”

Blockchain To Provide US Crypto Exchange

Criticism has inundated Coinbase due to its lack of response to user-reported problems such as missing funds or wire transfers, with some well-known Bitcoin figures publicly threatening legal action over the errors.

Despite its own promises of improvements, other exchange operators appear to be sensing an opportunity to reshape the market.

This week saw preliminary announcements from wallet provider Blockchain (previously known as Blockchain.info) that it would now offer Bitcoin buying and selling, with altcoin assets following “in a few weeks.”

Restricted to Bitcoin selling for UK customers only at present, CEO Peter Smith told CNBC in an interview that a US market entry was forthcoming, providing direct competition with Coinbase.

“If we are prioritizing short-term gains, we would prioritize buy – that is what most people have done. But it’s really time to make sure we nail that experience,” he said in brief comments Thursday.

What do you think about the plans from Bitstamp and Blockchain? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Exchange Wars: Bitstamp Calms Users As Blockchain Takes On Coinbase appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Bitcoin Gold Price Technical Analysis – BTG/USD Approaching Key Support

Key Points

  • Bitcoin gold price is slowly recovering and is currently trading above the $200 level against the US Dollar.
  • There is a key bearish trend line forming with resistance at $250 on the hourly chart of BTG/USD (data feed from Bitfinex).
  • The pair may continue to move higher, but it could face sellers near the $240 and $250 resistances.

Bitcoin gold price is recovering from the $140 support zone against the US Dollar. BTG/USD might recovery further and it could test the $240-260 resistance zone.

Bitcoin Gold Price Resistance

After trading as low as $143, bitcoin gold price started a recovery against the US Dollar. The price moved higher and broke the $200 resistance level to set the pace for more gains. It also cleared the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $340 swing high to $143 low. The current price action is positive and there are chances of more gains above $220 in the near term.

At the moment, the price is testing a key resistance at $218-220 and the 100 hourly simple moving average. The $218 level is also the 38.2% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $340 swing high to $143 low. Above the $220 level, there is a major bearish trend line forming with resistance at $250 on the hourly chart of BTG/USD. The trend line resistance around $250 is the most important barrier for buyers on the upside. An intermediate resistance is around the 50% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $340 swing high to $143 low at $241.

Bitcoin Gold Price Technical Analysis BTG USD

The current momentum is positive, but it won’t be easy for BTG/USD to break the $240-250 resistance area.

Looking at the technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD for BTG/USD is slowly moving in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTG/USD is moving higher towards the 60 level.

Major Support Level – $200

Major Resistance Level – $250

 

Charts courtesy – Trading View, Bitfinex

The post Bitcoin Gold Price Technical Analysis – BTG/USD Approaching Key Support appeared first on NewsBTC.

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Spain: First Real Estate Sale Using Only Bitcoin in Country

A real estate company based in Barcelona, Spain has sold an apartment for Bitcoin as cryptocurrency enters the mainstream. 


A New Way To Pay

Mister Piso, a real estate company based in Spain, has sold the first piece of real estate using Bitcoin as legal tender. The company is hoping that a shift into cryptocurrency could accelerate sales and revitalize the housing sector.

Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies have steadily gained popularity since its inception around 2009, but why does this appeal to businesses or the consumer?

Bitcoin was initially created as an alternative to the current financial system, a device used to circumvent middlemen such as banks and other regulatory bodies. This works because Bitcoin, like other currencies, was created as a peer-to-peer platform and does not require any central body to store the information associated with transactions. Simply put, property buyers and sellers can hinder the influence of banks and greatly reduce the cost of commissions by using Bitcoin.

Flat sells for Bitcoin in Spain

A Volatile Market

The owner of the apartment closed the deal for 40 bitcoins, a modest amount of money. One bitcoin is worth about $11,840 as this article is written, meaning the residence sold for approximately $475,000.

Bitcoin does not have a fixed rate, however, and has experienced large swings in price over the past year. This causes Mister Piso to take on some risk when accepting Bitcoin, but this risk is calculated. Although the currency has the potential to drop significantly overnight, it should be remembered that the value of Bitcoin rose almost 1,500% over the course of the past year.

The company is fully embracing the risk associated with the currencies though, already announcing they have a second piece of property for sale in Bitcoin.

Mister Piso

Changing Times

The aforementioned piece of real estate had been on the market for five years before the current owner, Anna Durango, agreed to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. Durango said that Mister Piso suggested the idea to ensure that the property would hold a high value in relation to its initial price, as well as to streamline the sale.

The manager of Mister Piso’s Tarragona office, Gerard Platero, elaborated on the position, stating,

It’s a much cleaner transaction, and you do not have to have cash in the moment, you can have this bitcoin wallet and have something that is not tangible. If I saw a flat and liked it, instead of paying and signing and having to go to a notary, I could make the transaction very quickly in the moment, according to the value of bitcoin, and all parties are happy.

Platero explained that this “cleaner” transaction allows property owners or buyers to circumvent banks, and, therefore, avoid or reduce additional costs such as commissions.

Will we see more people making purchases using cryptocurrency? Will crypto be used for bigger purchases or will we see more day-to-day uses? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


Images courtesy of Pixabay, ACN

The post Spain: First Real Estate Sale Using Only Bitcoin in Country appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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Here’s What Well-Known Financial Leaders are Saying about Virtual Currency Bitcoin

Financial Leaders

Most people have an opinion on Bitcoin at this point. Considering it took both this year and last year by storm, it would be hard not to form an opinion on the virtual currency, whether you are interested in it or not.

But it’s not just enough for the general public to speak out about their opinions on Bitcoin, because, let’s face it, we only really listen to credible and authoritative sources.

Therefore, today we are going to look at what some of the most well-known Bitcoin bulls and bears are saying about the …

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Russian Tourists Lost 4 Million Baht in Bitcoin to Fake Interpol Officials

Over the years, we have seen multiple stories regarding people scamming Bitcoin holders. It is a very worrisome trend which only grows more popular, it seems. More specifically, a group of fake Interpol agents scammed Russian tourists out of their Bitcoin holdings. A total amount of 4 million Baht worth of BTC was taken from them. It is not the first nor the last time such incidents will occur. An official investigation is underway to hopefully retrieve the stolen money.

According to Thai Visa, the incident took place in Muang District. More specifically, a Russian couple found themselves face to face with two Russian men. At that time, the men identified themselves as Interpol agents. They immediately claimed the couple was involved in some irregular Bitcoin activity. No evidence of these claims was ever provided during the incident. That is not surprising, as it is clear these individuals were looking to scam the Bitcoin holders regardless.

Fake Interpol Agents Want Your Bitcoins

By taking the couple by force, the tone was set rather quickly. A third Russian man entered the room shortly afterward. His demand is simple: the password for the netbook computer. Additionally, he obtained the Bitcoin account password. It is unclear if this applies to an exchange or a desktop wallet. For now, the details regarding that particular aspect remain rather vague. Either way, the account held a total of 100,000 Euro worth of Bitcoin.

The couple was scared and eventually gave in. Facing a threat of being drugged and handed to the Thai police is not all that appealing. It took a total of five hours before the fake Interpol agents got what they wanted. Thankfully, no physical harm is done to the couple, although they are still pretty shaken up. After contacting the Thai police, we now have to await what the investigation turns up. Bitcoin transactions are rather easy to trace due to the transparent nature of its blockchain.

So far, it seems the fake Interpol agents have fled to Malaysia. This seems to confirm the Thai police knows all too well what is going on or who is behind this theft. Assuming that is the case, it should be easy to rectify the situation. Whether or not the Russian couple will get their money back, seems highly unlikely. It is evident cryptocurrencies will continue to attract criminals all over the world. This is a rather problematic development, but there’s little one can do about it. Criminals have become very bold in their attempt to steal BTC, though.

The post Russian Tourists Lost 4 Million Baht in Bitcoin to Fake Interpol Officials appeared first on NewsBTC.

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First Bitcoin Futures Expired and Settled

Crypto markets have been in free fall for most of the week as a result of panic selling on the back of news of further crackdowns in Asia. There could be a number of other catalysts for the declines, including the expiration of the first Bitcoin futures contracts.


Launched last month amid some technical problems, the first CBOE Bitcoin XBT contracts have just expired with a settlement price of $10,900, according to reports determined by the 4:00pm ET Gemini Exchange Bitcoin auction. CNBC reports a settlement price slightly higher at $11,055 for the XBT F8 contract. The price of BTC at the time of launch on December 10th surged from $13,400 to over $15,000 in a day.

Paying Salaries in Bitcoin is Becoming Trendy

Shorting Wins

Over 124,000 contracts were traded across expiries, representing a notional value of over $1.5 billion. The cash-settled contracts were designed to allow investors to bet on whether the price of Bitcoin would be higher or lower than the opening price, and as it turns out, those that shorted it came out on top.

Chairman and CEO of CBOE Global Markets, Ed Tilly, hailed the settlement as a success:

Our regulated market experienced a smooth operational close and the settlement process worked as designed. This is an encouraging initial milestone, and we look forward to working with customers to power the growth of this nascent market.

Coincidental or not, the price of Bitcoin started heading back up just after the expiration and is currently trading at $11,100. This is after hitting a low of $9,600, where it has not been since the end of November.

The Long and Short of Bitcoin Futures

Further Products

According to the CBOE product website, the exchange’s G8 two month contract is trading at $11,170 at the time of writing. Further reports suggest that there could be more Bitcoin and crypto-related products in the pipeline. If regulators come on board, an ETF could also be offered in the near future. Ed Tilly went on to state:

Before you get into mainstream [exchange-traded products], we need to get through a series of settlements before that makes sense to regulators. Those boxes have to be checked before theres’ a mass roll-out of exchange-traded products.

Recent market drops could be an annual cycle which have other influences, such as major holidays in Asia, regional clampdowns, or the approaching end of the tax year. The full impact of these first contracts on the crypto markets as a whole will become clearer in time.

Will further futures contracts have a major effect on crypto markets? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Bitcoinist archives.

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ICO News: Gluon Partners with Stratis for Automotive Blockchain Platform

Gluon Partners with Stratis

The blockchain development platform company Stratis has chosen Gluon to be one of its flagship ICOs.

Gluon, a software company, has created a platform aimed at creating an interconnected network of vehicles. Both individuals and businesses will be able to use the Gluon platform to monitor, track, tune, and diagnose hardware issues with their vehicles, through the use of IoT (Internet of Things) devices, AI, and blockchain.

The Gluon platform, from the minds of an experienced team of automotive and technology executives and entrepreneurs, works well with Stratis’ desire to meet the needs of …

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