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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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Bitcoin Price | Another Sudden Sell-Off After a Steady Month

At this point, there doesn’t need to be a reason for Bitcoin price to drop suddenly. The market is so volatile by nature it is almost pointless to look for why. So, in true fashion, yesterday’s sudden sell-off confirms just that.

There was no major market news reported, and despite this, Bitcoin price dropped 10% in a 24-hour period. Go figure.

The drop ended what was a (relatively) steady month for the coin.

Bitcoin Price Drop

Of course, where Bitcoin goes, others tend to follow, and so the entire market entered another period of sell-offs yesterday. Until this point, you could almost believe that the market would recover from December 2017’s mighty crash.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin price is valued at $3,693.

Crypto Market

The Bitcoin price decline was bad, but it wasn’t the worst. Other altcoins fared worst yesterday. Some of the day’s biggest losers included Ethereum (ETH), which traded down 15.4% selling for $126.31. Ripple (XRP) was also down 11.1% selling for $0.33. Litecoin (LTC) was down 14.9% at $32.99, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was down 16.8%, selling for $131.92.

According to CoinMarketCap, the entire cryptocurrency market value was down 10.6% in the 24-hour period, standing at $122.7 billion.

>> Bitwise Files Bitcoin ETF With SEC: Another ETF Hopeful

Volatile

As stated, the crash needs no explanation, and no doubt won’t be the last. Bitcoin is a different looking coin in 2019 than it was in 2017. At its current value, Bitcoin price is down 80% what it was worth from its peak in December 2017.

It is for this reason that many people are torn over cryptocurrency’s ability to serve as a viable form of currency usable in everyday situations. The underlying technology of the blockchain underpinning every coin is considered a technological achievement useable for many purposes. The coins, as a payment system, however, tell a different story.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © sinenkiy

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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 | Holding Steady Near $3,800, Corrections Across the Market

Bitcoin price is currently down 2% on the day and selling for $3,792. Today’s action is reminiscent of previous days in the week where the coin has dropped a few percents but then gained a few more and vice versa.

Bitcoin Price

Disappointingly, the coin has failed to break back above the $4,000 mark that it fell below one month ago. It seemed like it might do that this week, as we saw several bursts. However, Bitcoin price remains steady as it holds firmly, and predominantly, between the $3,800-$3,900 price points.

Despite today’s red hue, overall, Bitcoin price is trading up 3.5% on the week. We are in a very strange time for Bitcoin, and it’s hard to predict if this trend will stay much longer or if there is another dramatic fall on the horizon. Comparatively to the beginning of 2018, Bitcoin in 2019 looks set to be a totally different beast.

Top Twenty

All the top twenty coins today are seeing some further corrections after the market tipped into the red yesterday.

Ripple’s XRP has lost even more than Bitcoin. XRP is down over 3% and selling for $0.35 at the time of writing. This brings the coin close to full circle on its weekly and monthly charts.

Also down is recently forked Bitcoin SV (BSV), IOTA (MIOTA), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). All these coins are experiencing bigger losses around the 4% mark.

>> EOS and Ethereum (ETH) Update, is 2019 Their Year?

Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum is putting Bitcoin price to shame. The second largest coin by market cap is the only gainer in the top ten today.

It is in the green only by 0.5% and selling for $150 at the time of writing. But on its weekly chart, ETH is fairing much better as it is 28% in the green. It has also grown an impressive 34% on the month.

Ethereum looks set to capitalize from the launch of new European digital trading platform DX.Exchange. The platform offers fully EU-regulated, tokenized stocks on the Ethereum blockchain and kicks off next week. Excitingly, DX uses Nasdaq’s Financial Information exchange (FIX) protocol to deliver the product.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © leungchopan

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