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Russia to Avoid US Sanctions with $10 Billion Bitcoin Investment

According to a Russian economist with ties to the Kremlin, the superpower is preparing a massive $10 billion USD investment in Bitcoin to replace its US dollar reserves. Russia’s Bitcoin investment is a step to minimize US sanctions on the country.

Russia’s Bitcoin Investment

Vladislav Ginko, an economist at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, said the Bitcoin investment was a step taken to avoid US sanctions on Russia.

Ginko believes that Russia’s decision to hold Bitcoin as a reserve currency instead of the US dollar is a move being made to “protect [Russia’s] national interests” in light of a possible interruption of “US nominated payments flows for Russian oil and gas.”

Russia’s Bitcoin investment is expected to begin in February. Mr. Ginko furthered:

“[The] Russian government is about to make a step to start diversifying financial reserves into Bitcoin since Russia [is] forced by US sanctions to dump US Treasury bonds and [take] back US dollars […]These sanctions and the will to adopt modern financial technologies lead Russia to the way of investing its reserves into Bitcoin.”

US Sanctions Behind the Bitcoin Investment?

US sanctions have hit the Russian rouble hard. Now the superpower wants to replace some of its US dollar reserves with the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

>> Are Stablecoins the Future? The Winklevoss Twins Seem to Think So!

Recent US sanctions on Russia came after the poisoning of former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal in London. The former Russian military officer was a double agent for the UK’s Intelligent Services. Two active Russian military intelligent officers attacked Sergei and his daughter Yulia, with a nerve agent.

Russia and Crypto

Cryptocurrencies are very popular in Russia and even receive approval by the country’s President Vladimir Putin. According to Ginko, the cryptocurrency industry accounts for 8% of Russia’s GDP.

The Bitcoin investment is not the only sign of ‘de-dollarisation’ by the country. It has recently bolstered its supply of the euro, Chinese renminbi, and Japanese yen.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © KostyaKlimenko

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Bitwise Files Bitcoin ETF With SEC

According to a US Government SEC registration form, cryptocurrency index fund provider Bitwise Asset Management has applied to launch a new Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) with the government body.

An ETF is a platform that tracks and trades an asset in the same way as stocks are traded on an exchange.

Will Bitwise manage to succeed where so many others are failing?

Bitwise Files Bitcoin ETF

Bitwise’s proposal is for an ETF that tracks the value of Bitcoin via the Bitwise Bitcoin Total Return Index. This value is “calculated based on the prices of Bitcoin that the Index Provider derives from Bitcoin price transactions occurring on cryptocurrency exchanges.”

Basically, the index will take Bitcoin’s value from a variety of crypto exchanges and will, therefore, offer a more accurate and precise market value for the coin.

This is one difference that Bitwise’s ETF proposal offers that previous ETF proposals—which have all been rejected—did not.

Another Vital Difference

Another difference on offer with Bitwise’s ETF proposal is that it would need “regulated third-party custodians to hold its physical bitcoin.”

The company’s Global Head of ETFs, John Hyland, spoke of this in the press release:

“Having a regulated bank or trust company hold physical assets of a fund has been the standard under US fund regulation for the last 80 years, and we believe that is now possible with Bitcoin.”

>> Ethereum Classic Attack: Gate.io Will Return Most Funds

Pending

Bitwise is still awaiting a decision from the SEC on a previously filed ETF that would track the Bitwise HOLD 10 Private Index Fund.

The approval of a crypto ETF has yet to happen, although the industry has been crying out for one. In December 2018, the SEC postponed its decision on a Bitcoin ETF by investment firm VanEck and blockchain company SolidX. It is now expected to make a decision by the end of February.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © cookelma

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Litecoin’s Charlie Lee Sparks Twitter Battle Over “Bitcoin Extremists”

Charlie Lee is at it again. The Litecoin founder isn’t shy when it comes to voicing his opinion on crypto via Twitter and yesterday was no different. It seems this time, he’s targeting Bitcoin maximalists.

Charlie Lee vs. Bitcoin Maximalists

It all started with a poll.

It seems Mr. Lee isn’t happy with a group of self-proclaimed Bitcoin maximalists. The Litecoin founder goes even as far as calling them “extremists,” which isn’t generally a positive thing to call someone.

In 23 hours, Charlie Lee has collected over 28,000 votes on his poll and Bitcoin maximalist has taken over the majority of it. At press time, Bitcoin extremist has 9%, altcoin maximalist has 33%, and nocoiner has 10%. That leaves the remaining 48% to individuals who deem themselves Bitcoin maximalists.

Traditionally, maximalists believe that Bitcoin (BTC) is the top cryptocurrency and the one to use day-to-day. Where Lee seems upset is that a group of these maximalists have attacked his own project and feel there is no space for any altcoins in the industry. This is what prompted the Twitter poll and attack on these so-called “extremists.”

Others had their own take on the poll and subject, as usual.

Another person actually knocking Litecoin said:

Not sure why the person above bought Litecoin because they thought Charlie Lee was a “good person” but that’s probably someone that shouldn’t be investing—just my opinion. Binance’s CEO even joined into the conversation.

>> Monero “Mistake”—Now You Can’t Pay for Fortnite Merch with Monero

From all the rest of the conversation via the initial tweet, it seems Lee isn’t the one who made up the term Bitcoin maximalists. He took that from Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder. It remains unclear why Bitcoin (BTC) supporters need to be placed into a category, but the altcoin leaders, like Charlie Lee, obviously feel it’s necessary.

According to CoinMarketCap, BTC broke over the $4,00 threshold recently and is currently trading at $4,044.75 a coin, down – $0.97%, in 24 hours.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © GekaSkr

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Bitcoin Price | Coinbase President Asiff Hirji Optimistic for New Year

Crypto players from around the globe are chiming in on the direction of the Bitcoin price in 2019. Will it continue to see price crashes? Or will the current recovery continue? Better yet, has the industry had a good year and will it continue to have significance in the new year?

Earlier in the week, we heard from bears, like Erik Finman who called Bitcoin “dead;” and we heard from Spencer Bogart, a Bitcoin bull, who not only said BTC will continue to rise, but that 2018, contrary to popular belief, has been one of the best years for the cryptocurrency.

Today, word surfaced that the President of Coinbase, Asiff Hirji, believes something similar to Bogart.

2018: A Good Year for BTC, Despite Bitcoin Price Crashes

Despite the crashes experienced in 2018 (such as the bearish run that sent the Bitcoin price to a low of $3,200), Asiff Hirji believes BTC is recovering.

In his interview with CNBC’s Fast Money, Hirji said this recovery isn’t surprising and that it’s likely to continue into 2019. That’s a statement in complete opposition of the thoughts of Erik Finman. “Some things are never as good as they seem,” said the Coinbase President, “and never as bad as they seem.”

During the interview, Hirji spoke on the performance of the crypto market in the last year. According to Hirji, there’s been more innovation this year in the market. “We’ve never had as much innovation as we have today,” Hirji explained, citing, for instance, how cryptocurrencies are getting more visible.

>> Facebook Cryptocurrency: Is the Tech Giant Developing a Stablecoin?

Spencer Bogart, also during a Fast Money interview, spoke on something similar, calling 2018 a “fantastic year” for BTC, despite the Bitcoin price crashes. Speaking also on innovation, Bogart said this year is the first time we have scaled the digital currency “with a lightening network,” making transactions quick and cheap.

Bitcoin Price

At the time of writing, the BTC price is $3,905.13.

Bitcoin price
Source: CoinMarketCap

The Takeaway

It’s vital to take comments such as Asiff Hirji’s into consideration. While it’s easy to oust BTC from your mind due to the recent Bitcoin price crashes, we must also recognize the good that occurred during the year, such as an increase in innovation.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/Piter2121

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Bitcoin Gains 18% | Quinone CEO Says 2019 Will Bring New All-Time High

Despite Bitcoin’s intense price drop in recent months, some still believe it is going to turn it around next year. And there’s nothing to say it definitely won’t; in the last three days, Bitcoin has packed on 18% in gains.

Sudden Gains

The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap jumped from $3,181 to $3,776 in under three days, proving further that nobody can truly know where this coin is headed next.

One advocate for its future upturn is Mike Kayamori, CEO of Quinone, a Japan-based crypto exchange platform. Speaking with Bloomberg TV, Kayamori believes that by the end of 2019, Bitcoin won’t just have increased its price, but it will hit a new all-time high. Is he just being hopeful or is there anything to back this up?

Promising 2019

The future can always appear promising, but 2018 has been anything but for Bitcoin. The crypto market has been truly bearish all year, wiping 80% of its value off the board since January. Bitcoin was priced at around $20,000 this time last year; now it is struggling to stay above $3,000.

There have been some brief bullish runs here and there, but overall, Bitcoin has been on a steady downward spiral for most of the year. It doesn’t help that it’s taken most altcoins with it.

>> Spencer Bogart: Bitcoin Price Can Go Lower or Higher, Either Way It’s a Good Asset

Lack of Newness

But for Kayamori, the reason for the current state of Bitcoin is simply a lack of newness in the crypto market. Believing that “there’s nothing new, no catalyst” to propel the market forward, he could be right. Cryptocurrencies grew their value from hype, after all, and there has been very little newness to continue the momentum.

But what is new in Kayamori’s opinion is that Japanese exchanges are adapting to Japan’s regulations and the country is open to more industry players. This, he thinks, will help to spur on adoption, at least in Japan anyway.

The CEO also went on to say that the arrival of Fidelity Digital Asset Services by Bakkt, as well as other investor-focused products in early 2019, will give “new momentum and sentiment” and could drive a bullish Bitcoin rebound.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© dmvasilenko

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