Thursday Checkup: Early Friday Edition
Happy Friday Morning to you crypto-fans! How’s your week been going? Do you have any big plans for the weekend? We can tell you that we do, and they will mostly be eyeing the bitcoin and stock market charts, Will BTC end the week above or below $10k? Will the stock market continue its downward slide? Which country will be next to announce regulatory plans for bitcoin, and how will the market lose its mind over them? These are all pertinent questions whose answer any serious trader needs to be aware of, as the exact relationship between Wall Street and cryptocurrency is still revealing itself to curious analysts on both sides of the equation.
Hints at Regulation Both Help and Hinder Price of Bitcoin
Bitcoin fumbled its winning streak earlier this week by sinking below the $10k mark, after surging up from yearly lows in the $6000s earlier this month. While traditionally regarded as having a negative impact on the price of bitcoin, plans for government regulation are becoming welcome news for cryptocurrency investors who are tired of massive price swings and extreme volatility in the industry. Governments of the U.K., India, South Korea and Malaysia all hinted at plans to begin formulating regulations for cryptocurrency in their respective countries.
In the U.K., Treasury Committee members announced a framework for taxation of bitcoin — not only for the purposes of revenue generation, but also to get their government more familiarized with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. By doing so, members of parliament may be better able to cast more informed votes on measures regarding the up-and-coming industry. In the process, the U.K. government aims to create a compromise where its citizens are protected from some of cryptocurrency’s risks without stifling the blockchain’s potential for innovation.
Small Cap Coins Continue Downward, Investor Confidence Not Renewed
Out of the top 50 coins by market cap, only 2 showed gains for the day, as of Thursday afternoon. While altcoins tend to move in the same direction as bitcoin, this has certainly not been the case this February, as investor enthusiasm has waned from the more experimental blockchain investments in favor of the two, big established cryptos: bitcoin and Ethereum. Out of the top 100 coins by market cap, the total number of coins posting gains over 1% was small enough to be published as a short list:
Nano (XRB) – up 18%
Bitshares (BTS) – up 2%
Dentacoin (DNT) – up 3.5%
Bitcore (BTX) – up 3.75%
Factom (FCT) – up 2%
Long Blockchain Corporation (LBCC, formerly Long Island Iced Tea Corp.), a Nasdaq-listed Wall Street investment firm that made headlines last year after adding the word “Blockchain” to its name and seeing its stock explode in price as a result, is now in danger of being de-listed as its price is sinking to pre-announcement levels. Not impressed with the group’s decision to capitalize on the crypto boom, Nasdaq accused Long Blockchain of making “public statements designed to mislead investors and to take advantage of general investor interest in bitcoin and blockchain technology” in a delisting notice mailed earlier this week. The relatively tiny company saw its stock price raise almost 5-fold in price after the December rebranding, which has thus far amounted to little else besides a name change.
Also in the News: Bitcoin Robberies on the Rise
- In the second event of its kind to make the headlines this year, another armed robbery over bitcoin took place, this time in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei. The crime is being called the first of its kind in the small country and has attracted media attention worldwide, even though it later came to light that the victim and assailants knew each other and the victim is refusing to press charges.
- In January, a prominent bitcoin trader and his girlfriend were accosted at a rural England home, but apparently the attempt was all for not as the transaction to the assailant’s account was never actually recorded by the bitcoin blockchain. Late last year, a New York man held a victim at gunpoint, forcing him to hand over his cell phone, from which the attacker transferred $1.8 million worth of ether to his own account.
- In perhaps the most brazen case of attempted bitcoin robbery yet, four employees of a Canadian bitcoin exchange were confronted by three armed robbers who were looking for cash. At a certain point during the incident, one of the robbers attempted to force an employee to make an outbound cryptocurrency transaction, but the attempt was stymied after a fifth employee managed to contact the police.
- Its no surprise that fear of being robbed over cryptocurrency is an increasing concern among users. Now that bitcoin and others have had some time to shine under the limelight of the mainstream, a second wave of criminals is finding it worthwhile to learn the basics of cryptocurrency. Instead of using the anonymous nature of cryptocurrency for crimes like money laundering or the peddling of illegal goods, this new wave is more attracted to the value of bitcoin itself.
- Regardless of the fact that you are more likely to be struck by lightning than be the victim of a bitcoin stick-up, there are simple precautions individuals can take to avoid such situations. In addition to the basic safety measures you would employ when guarding your wallet or valuables, it is recommended that cryptocurrency users not carry vast sums of coins in phone wallets. Any type of serious crypto stash (especially if it meant for savings or a long-term investment) should be kept in either a paper wallet or hardware storage device at home – or even better – in a safe. It is easy to get so wrapped up in taking full advantage of modern advancements in technology that it might not occur to people that they are walking around with thousands of dollars on them, whenever they have their phone. Even if the money isn’t cash itself, it can soon be turned into cash, and unlike with credit card theft, you won’t be getting any of it back.