⭐ Features Alex Morris

Is Cryptocurrency Dead? Why Are Bitcoin and Altcoins Hitting a Snag?

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While the bearish market is reigning supreme, U.Today tries to determine whether this is the end of cryptocurrencies. What’s the reason behind the downtrend?
Is Cryptocurrency Dead? Why Are Bitcoin and Altcoins Hitting a Snag?
Contents

A new yearly low

Is crypto dead? What is happening to cryptocurrencies today? Bitcoin’s turbulent week has recently been on everyone’s lips — the flagship currency has dipped to a new low, and news outlets are struggling to keep up with Bitcoin’s dramatic plunge, which is already poised to be the third biggest sell-off in history. That means that the king of crypto lost almost 80 percent off its December’s high. This marks Bitcoin’s worst string of losses in its whole history. The most concerning fact is that there is no clear indicator of what caused this dramatic crypto rout. Last time such a major sell-off happened, the Mt. Gox exchange, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange at that time, was hacked, causing a frenzy in the cryptocurrency market.

At the time of writing this article, Bitcoin is still struggling to breach the $5,000 mark. As a result of this crypto rout, more than $50 bln of Bitcoin’s value has been wiped off in a snap.

A new yearly low

Last Thanksgiving, the phrase ‘Should I buy Bitcoin?’ was probably one of the hot topics during family dinners. CNBC has recently estimated that Bitcoin is down by more 45 percent since last November. On Nov. 20, the flagship currency hit its 14-month low of $4,048. Steve Ehrlich from Wall Street Blockchain Alliance claims that many ordinary people who earlier felt dismissive about crypto started experiencing FOMO (‘fear of missing out’) when Bitcoin became part of pop culture.

Altcoins are experiencing the same woes

Bitcoin Cash fork turns messy  

After Bitcoin kissed goodbye its new ‘stablecoin’ status, falling down below the $5,000 range, many altcoins followed the same trend. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) even ceded ground to Stellar Lumens (XLM) that subsequently became the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. However, this doesn’t mean that XLM wasn’t affected by Bitcoin’s downfall — its market cap lost nearly 300 million in the nick of time. It’s just that Bitcoin’s offspring, which recently underwent a hard fork, turned out to be such a weak competitor. At the time of writing this article, Bitcoin Cash regained its fourth place, but the gap between the two currencies is not significant, which means that they will continue seesawing until the market settles.

Ethereum is inching closer towards double digits

Still, there was another major development on CoinMarketCap: XRP dethroning Ethereum as the second biggest currency. The battle for second place on CMC is nothing new — XRP already dethroned Ethereum back in September during its unprecedented surge caused by the xRapid rollout. This time, however, XRP is firmly holding grip, surpassing Ethereum’s market cap by more than $3 bln. At press time, Ethereum is sitting at $134.90, but there is a looming possibility that Vitalik Buterin’s creation, which was once predicted to make Bitcoin obsolete, may indeed test double digits if this negative trend continues. The fact that Ethereum had the sharpest drop is not quite surprising — as U.Today reported earlier, Buterin doesn’t rule out the possibility that Ether could become worthless.  

Ethereum is inching closer towards double digits

Altcoins remain in the green, refusing to die     

Going beyond the top 10, one can notice that CMC has already listed more than 2,000 coins. Does this milestone mean that the market is booming? Well, not exactly. As CNBC reported earlier, there are more than 800 dead cryptocurrencies that are worthless and abandoned. Moreover, only a minor share of coin offerings managed to exceed their initial valuation.

Still, at press time, some top 100 altcoins made sizable gains over the last 24 hours with Aurora (AOA) being the biggest gainer.

Altcoins remain in the green, refusing to die    

Possible reasons behind the collapse

It might be challenging to grasp what was behind the decline as the whole cryptocurrency market remains in the doldrums.

In a recent article, Fortune determined three main reasons why Bitcoin keeps struggling, and why cryptocurrency investing is becoming less popular:

  1. While relations with the SEC haven't been exactly smooth, it got past the boiling point on Nov. 16 when the US-based securities watchdog cracked down on two ICOs that operated without obtaining a license. Many believe it's only a stepping stone to further regulatory clampdown. The Bitcoin craze led to another phenomenon known as the ‘ICO bubble’ when numerous startups raked in tons of money while having nothing but a white paper.

    Possible reasons behind the collapse
  2. The Bitcoin hard fork. The hard fork didn't bring anything good to the table. While forking seems like a mundane practice in the crypto space, the messy fork still dominated the news cycle, supposedly being one of the driving factors behind the recent crypto rout.

  3. The decline in cryptocurrency mining. Such giants as Nvidia and AMD already jumped the ship after releasing quarterly earnings reports that showed a sharp decline in the cryptocurrency sector. While the timing of these reports doesn’t exactly coincide with the recent crypto rout, it is just another match that ignited the great powder keg.

Finally, there is also the opinion that cryptocurrency market is simply showing its true colors, playing into the hand of the many crypto doomsayers who still believe that Bitcoin doesn’t have any value.

The drop in price could only be the tip of the iceberg

Notably, there was one currency that performed better than its competitors — XRP. Actually, the coin, which is constantly slammed by critics as too centralized, even managed to bounce back in the middle of the bearish trend. This is not necessarily a good thing for Bitcoin, the very first decentralized digital asset. The reign of centralized currencies in the likes of Ripple may shoo away institutional investors from Bitcoin (the recently announced delay of Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures could be the first warning sign). The main power of Bitcoin consists in in its decentralization, but the world of crypto, ironically, is getting more centralized. Obviously, the fact that decentralized cryptocurrencies are crashing doesn’t help, and it might be an indicator that the completely decentralized financial system will remain nothing but a pipe dream of ardent Bitcoin evangelists.   

Here’s what industry bigwigs are saying

Traditionally, November is a bullish month for Bitcoin, but the current bloodbath shows that it’s rather unlikely that 2018 will follow suit.

According to Forbes, cryptocurrency trader Altcoin Thoreau believes that this is not the end of Bitcoin’s decline, and a further drop is expected since the bottom hasn’t been reached yet. Speaking of short-term predictions, he states the prolonging bearish trend that started right after Bitcoin reached its peak, may continue up to 2020 (until the Bitcoin halving). Meanwhile, he also believes that there are several catalysts that could propel the market’s growth. There are high hopes that Bakkt, an ICE-backed cryptocurrency trading platform, will be a boon for the market’s further growth. However, the CEO of Bakkt has recently made an announcement about the postponement of the much-anticipated Bitcoin futures launch. Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao also recently made an appearance on CNBC’s Crypto Trader, claiming that they are ‘not really’ worried about the market woes — they are still profitable, and there will be a catalyst for a bigger market growth.

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Sooner or later, something will trigger it,” CZ said      

Meanwhile, Arthur Hayes, the CEO of Bitmex, doubles down on his bearish prediction, claiming that Bitcoin may plunge even lower. Just like Thoreau, he is certain that the trend will continue in 2019, and BTC testing the $2,000 range is a viable possibility.  

Even amidst the cryptocurrency market crash, there is also a place for bullish predictions with Adam Back, who spearheads Blockchain startup Blockstream, claiming that Bitcoin could reach a whopping $500,000 if a flippening scenario between Bitcoin and gold translates into reality. That forecast was made in response to Charlie Lee who earlier drew parallels between Bitcoin and gold.

Still, these predictions are very far-fetched, and given that Charlie Lee is the brother of a well-known crypto permabull Tom Lee, these predictions should be taken with a grain of salt. Tom Lee already had to lower his year-end Bitcoin prediction to $15,000 ($25,000) since the current market sentiment doesn’t look promising. The same goes for Mike Novogratz who was recently ridiculed on Reddit for not being consistent with his predictions.    

Of course, the infamous crypto baron John McAfee who earlier made an outlandish claim that Bitcoin will hit $1 mln by 2020, stands his ground, asking everyone to ‘relax’ and wait for a glorious ‘winter’ since this bearish market seems like a mundane situation, judging by his own experience.

Somehow, Bitcoin always stays there (and some people can’t stand it)

Does all this turmoil mean that cryptocurrency is dead? Not exactly. Since Bitcoin is basically a utopian idea that turned into a billion-dollar industry overnight, everyone and their uncle have already called it a ‘Ponzi scheme’ and predicted its demise. The rejection of Bitcoin ETFs, Goldman turning its back on Bitcoin and finally the recent drop in price are all supposed to be the sign that BTC will never recover from its current predicament, and cryptocurrency naysayers in the likes of Nouriel Roubini are certainly having their field day.

Somehow, Bitcoin always stays there

Let’s recall the 2011 article written by Tim Worstall that states how Bitcoin will never go mainstream due to its extreme volatility and numerous issues connected to its liquidity and security. The article was published when Bitcoin was trading at $15.5 — now it’s at $4,500 (even considering the recent decline in price, that’s almost a gargantuan increase). Of course, that’s not an attempt to poke fun at Worstall and his ludicrous predictions — there have been hundreds of articles with the same connotation over the last seven years that try to diminish the cryptocurrency future (even the Economist came up with a 24-page piece on how Bitcoin is inherently useless).

Will cryptocurrencies crash? Of course, such a possibility exists, but it pertains to any industry in the world. Think that Bitcoin is a bubble? Take a look at a myriad of Silicon Valley startups that were deemed to fail from their very inception, but you won’t see any articles (or at least very few of them) about the global tech industry coming to a head. While the nascence of Blockchain that its number one use case could be the reason behind this ‘bias’, the relentless slander directed at cryptocurrencies represented the attempts of traditional economists to remain relevant in the world that is inching closer towards decentralization. Blockchain is on track to reshape many industries (from healthcare to real estate), making any intermediaries obsolete.

The bottom line

If you are a run-of-the-mill investor, you should take everything you read on the Internet with a grain of salt since there is too much bias, depending on who’s side you pick. As the cryptocurrency market is losing billions, Bitcoin critics are rejuvenating, but cryptocurrency evangelists believe that investors shouldn’t be deterred by the prolonging bearish trend, bracing themselves for a great influx of institutional money. The same pertains to the majority of other altcoins that usually follow Bitcoin’s lead.    

One thing is certain: the market is inching closer towards greater centralization and Bitcoin is losing its main power, which completely contradicts Satoshi’s vision.

Decentralization

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⭐ Features Stavros Georgiadis

Tron Price Prediction 2019 – A Bottom at $0.0255 Has Formed. Will It Last in February?

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Tron (TRX) has a 1-year performance of about -34%, which is much better compared to the collapse of prices of other cryptocurrencies
Tron Price Prediction 2019 – A Bottom at $0.0255 Has Formed. Will It Last in February?
Contents

Tron Price Prediction 2019 – A Bottom at $0.0255 Has Formed. Will It Last in February?

Tron (TRX) has a 1-year performance of about -34%, which is much better compared to the collapse of prices of other cryptocurrencies. In fact, Tron has a year-to-date performance of +35.94%. In this article we will mention some Tron price prediction ranges from various sources, plus we will make our own Tron price prediction for February 2019 based on our technical analysis. Some key stats for Tron as of Feb. 2, 2019 are the following:

  • Price of Tron (TRX) is $0,026339
  • Market Cap: $1.755.963.777 USD, 503.847 BTC
  • Volume (24h): $200.614.221 USD, 57.563 BTC 
  • Circulating Supply: 66.666.917.581 TRX
  • Total Supply: 99.266.129.237 TRX
  • Rank 8 on CoinMarketCap based on top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization

Tron price prediction February 2019 based on various sources

What are some Tron price prediction opinions?

  • WalletInvestor is pessimistic about the price of Tron in the long-term, but according to its forecast trend line the price of Tron may be above $0.030 in February 2019. It has a Tron price prediction for the next 14 days as $0.0331 USD to the upside and $0.0256 to the downside.
  • PrevisioniBitcoin is bullish on Tron, estimating that it will have a minimum price of $0.030 in February 2019.
  • CoinFan makes the following Tron price prediction range. A minimum price of $0.051126476 and a maximum price of $0.069171114. This seems to be a very optimistic price forecast as the minimum price is almost 96% above the current price of about $0.02633 as of February 2, 2019.
  • DigitalCoin only provides as a forecast the price of $0.03284536.
  • ExpressTricks has a Tron price prediction of $0.50 for February 2019, another very optimistic forecast.
  • CryptoGround is on the other side of forecasts, with a conservative Tron price prediction of $0.0270 for a time period of one month, a return of +1.79%.

Tron price prediction based on technical analysis

What does the weekly and daily chart for Tron tell us trying to make a forecast for February 2019? We will examine the two charts, trying to make an unbiased Tron price prediction for February 2019.

Tron price prediction based on weekly chart
Tron price prediction based on weekly chart
Tron price forecast based on daily chart
Tron price forecast based on daily chart

The two scenarios, the optimistic and the pessimistic ones, bullish and bearish for the price of Tron in February 2019 can provide some possible ranges.

Tron price February 2019 prediction bullish scenario

A very positive note is that both on the daily and weekly chart there is a trend shift from downward to upward. On the daily chart the price made a bottom around the level of $0.011, retested the low level of $0.012 and made a nice rally up to the level of $0.036 on January 10, 2019.

The price of $0.0257 as of Feb. 10, 2019 is above the 50-day and the 20-day exponential daily moving averages. The fact that both these moving averages are trending up is positive for the price of Tron. It means buying pressure. On the weekly chart the MACD indicator is trending up, and its histogram is positive, Momentum indicator is rising, and price is above the 50-period and 20-period exponential moving averages.

Switching back to the daily chart, the ADX/DMI indicator shows a strong trend and the +DI line is above the -DI line, with values of 25.41 and 20.20 respectively. A first target price is the upper daily Bollinger band at $0.029. Next potential targets would be the high prices of $0.0312 and the recent high price of $0.036.the 20-day exponential moving period with a value of $0.026, where current price of Tron is now, should provide a strong support.

Tron price prediction February 2019 bearish scenario

On the weekly chart the level of $0.0296 is a very strong resistance. Other strong levels od resistance are $0.0279, and $0.0288. On the daily chart the MACD indicator has made a bearish crossover, the Momentum indicator has lost its upward direction and now is pointing down, and there are strong levels of resistance at $0.0264, $0.027 and $0.0275. If the current uptrend is to pause and reverse, then possible targets are $0.0243, $0.0237 which coincides with the 50-day exponential moving average and then $0.022.

Traders should monitor the trendline that extends from the low price of $0.0127 on Jan.10, 2019 to the high price of $0.0263 as of Feb. 2, 2019. If this trendline does not hold as support, then lower prices are very likely.

For February 2019 we prefer the bullish scenario, as odds are for now in favor of it. As always it is not an investment recommendation, just an analysis and a forecast.

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⭐ Features Yuri Molchan

Is Tron Merely Another Pump and Dump Project? An Interview with Crypto Chico, ‘Truth Lover’ and ‘I-Dotter’ Regarding Crypto Projects

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Tyler Swope, also known as Crypto Chico, shares his personal vision of the Tron project on the particular case of the BTT ICO that happened on Binance the other day
Is Tron Merely Another Pump and Dump Project? An Interview with Crypto Chico, ‘Truth Lover’ and ‘I-Dotter’ Regarding Crypto Projects
Contents

On Wednesday, Jan. 30, Tyler Swope, nicknamed Crypto Chico, published a YouTube video claiming Tron and Binance plotted to grab some money by launching the BTT token on Binance Launchpad. U.Today prepared a news story, reporting this untypical point of view regarding Tron, Binance and their CEOs.

We have gotten in touch with Tyler Swope and asked him to clarify his position regarding Tron and their marketing strategy in particular.

‘I swear to tell truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’

U.Today: Why are there so many crypto communities on Twitter who have a negative opinion about you?

Tyler S.: They have negative opinions on me cause I tell the truth of what goes on in crypto, and the truth hurts the most.

‘Tron is nothing but a pump and dump scheme’

U.Today: Tron has been making a lot of progress recently, having taken on several big games, including TronGoo (formerly EtherGoo) and MMORPG KuaiXiYou. It has managed to advance from beyond the top-ten list of crypto assets inside it pretty quickly, raising its market cap.

On dappradar.com many of the top ten dApps, those that show a great cash flow, are Tron-based, and none are powered by its rival Ethereum, for example.

Is Tron Merely Another Pump and Dump Project? An Interview with Crypto Chico, ‘Truth Lover’ and ‘I-Dotter’ Regarding Crypto Projects

Still, in the video about BitTorrent you poured some harsh criticism on Tron and Binance, along with their CEOs. What is the reason you are publicly criticizing those projects?

Tyler S.: Because it was an obvious pump and dump, marketing ploy and I would like the public to know this.

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‘Justin Sun is no relative of mine’

U.Today: How are you connected with the Telegram channel ‘TRON (TRX) Announcements’, which posted a link to your video and claims that they know what indeed is happening with Tron?

Tyler S.: I have no connection to them and never heard of them before in my life before 30 January 2019.

‘Crypto market is irrational’

U.Today: What do you think the future of Tron is, in light of your video regarding the BTT ICO? Does it have any chance of reaching the list of the top-four coins in 2019, as Justin Sun promised?

Tyler S.: No, I don't believe it does, but who knows, this market is irrational.

‘Deceptive marketing tactics’

U.Today:  How can Tron be so popular with the community and dApp developers if you claim that Tron’s code contains a great number of bugs?

Tyler S.: They used deceptive marketing tactics and any good developer is not building on Tron. I used open source tools SonarCloud and SonarQube, you can check for yourself.

image

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⭐ Features Darryn Pollock

Bitcoin Obituaries Keep Rising But Why Is Bitcoin Still Not Dead?

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Bitcoin has been pronounced dead multiple times in its 10-year life; its recent fall brought about another obituary, but why is it that Bitcoin is NOT dead?
Bitcoin Obituaries Keep Rising But Why Is Bitcoin Still Not Dead?
Contents

A popular site called 99Bitcoins keeps a close eye on the number of times that Bitcoin has been declared dead in the mainstream media. Currently, it has accrued 336 obituaries for the digital currency.

The latest drop in the price of Bitcoin, which took it from the mid-$6,000 mark down to near on $3,000, sparked fresh panic and capitulation as many believed that the cryptocurrency had had its last days.

There were concerns over its utility and usefulness, as well as the potential for a so-called death spiral in the mining of Bitcoin as many miners shut up shop. Yet, Bitcoin continues to exist, and at time of writing, has bounced back to over $4,000.

So what is it that is keeping Bitcoin alive? It has no CEO, no company headquarters, and because of its decentralised nature, has no one to drive it to keep it alive; it relies solely on those who are interested in it.

The underlying blockchain

Bitcoin, or cryptocurrencies in general, have a very special relationship to their underlying technology, blockchain. They are of course dependent on each other to operate, but they also move independently of each other in many respects.

Blockchain is advancing in a very different path to that of Bitcoin, but it was Bitcoin’s initial explosion in the mainstream financial space that made people take blockchain seriously.

Now that the cryptocurrency bubble has essentially burst, there is a lot less hype and interest in it. However, blockchain, the technology behind it all, is getting a chance to come out and shine for its technological reasons alone.

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For this reason, Bitcoin is still very much relevant. Blockchain progression is building steadily, and solidly, and because of its adoption across all centres, people still appreciate the usefulness of a digital token.

Bitcoin, as the major digital token that encapsulates all the main points of cryptocurrency and blockchain — such as decentralisation and transparency, and of course distribution — is the epitome of a functioning token economy.

Manageable mining

Another reason why Bitcoin hasn’t totally capitulated is because of its built in mining difficulty adjustment. Many people feared that Bitcoin could go under if the miners, an important part of any proof-of-work cryptocurrency, decided to abandon Bitcoin because of the increased difficulty and the loss of profitability.

Indeed, when the price dropped significantly in November, many miners did shut down and the hash rate also fell. But, because Bitcoin has a built in adjustment, the lower hash rate caused the mining difficulty to increase, and thus caused profitability to increase again, enticing miners back.

With more miners mining, there was increased health and activity on the blockchain, which leads to better interest and investment in the markets. This, in turn and in a compound way, then helps boost the price and drive more miners back in, again increasing profit and price.

Shedding the speculators

There is also a big difference between a burst speculative bubble and the death of a market. Some markets can be destroyed by the bubble pop, but in the case of Bitcoin, it is mirroring the dot com bubble because it has a similar nature.

With its underlying blockchain equitable to the internet, and the ICO hype and other factors equitable to Dot Com companies, one can see that this type of burst bubble is a chance for Bitcoin to shed its foolish speculative investors, and allow for those who are serious and successful to rebuild the market based on the important technology underneath.

Bitcoin will continue to be called dead, and erroneously so because it has only hit the mainstream in the last 18 months or so.

However, if one is to zoom out a bit, one would see that an investor who bought Bitcoin two years ago rather than, say, one year ago, would still be over 300 percent up on their investment.

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⭐ Features Guest Author

GameCredits Bittrex Review: The Detailed Guide for Beginners

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GameCredits (GAME) is an in-game payment platform that is poised to become a major disruptor in the multibillion-dollar gaming industry
GameCredits Bittrex Review: The Detailed Guide for Beginners
Contents

GAME (a.k.a. GameCredits) is an innovative cryptocurrency that has been very popular within the international gaming community. Thanks to the recent strategic partnerships with Microsoft and Xsolla, the team behind GAME crypto managed to achieve the incredible leap in promotion of this cryptocurrency.

Why should you exchange GameCredits on Bittrex?

There are so many exchange services out there. Why should you use the services of Bittrex in order to exchange or trade your GAME coins? The main advantage for beginners — Bittrex has never been hacked unlike other large platforms. Since 2017 all user accounts of this U.S. exchange service are solidly protected.

Also, this project implements the multi-level wallets strategy. About 90% of customer funds are stored offline. 2-factor authorization is offered for users (in particular, for withdrawal of their funds from wallets). If it is not activated, the exchange sets certain limits on withdrawals.

Features of Bittrex for GAME users

Bittrex offers a modern trading platform that is always accessible offline. If you type GAME in the search field on the main page, you will instantly see the chart with prices changing in real time. For example, currently (5th December 2018) you may see that the price of 1 GAME in the pair USD/GAME on Bittrex is $0.07.

Below the chart is a window with platform’s apps. The platform is designed for both beginners and experienced traders. You may check the possibility of a thorough technical analysis of any assets using technical indicators is implemented.

By default, an algorithm for calculating volumes is set straight on the chart of GAME/USD and GAME/BTC. The site features 450 currency pairs traded with Bitcoin. There are quite good trading opportunities with both BTC and ETH for GAME owners.

However, Bittrex does not have currency pairs with fiat money. Buying Bitcoin, Ethereum or Tether is possible by bank transfer. In order to use this service, you must pass the account verification. Traders have the opportunity to open different types of orders.

For example, they can buy GAME and other available assets at the market price or choose pending orders for the purchase of a particular cryptocurrency at the desired value. The only drawback - Bittrex does not offer any margin trading.

Deposit and withdrawal of GAME funds of the Bittrex exchange provides wide opportunities for those who want to replenish their account and withdraw money from it with GAME cryptocurrency. Two stages of verification actually mean that the base level is the inclusion of 2FA and filling in the "About me" fields. To withdraw more money (more than 4 BTC), full verification is required.

Currently, there are two types of accounts on Bittrex:

  • Basic. Users provide name, address of residence, indicate the date of birth. This data is verified through open sources (social networks, for example). However, if security officers of the company fail to verify the information, more detailed verification will already be required with the participation of the user;

  • Advanced. To open such accounts, the user must provide scanned copies of identification documents along with a selfie attached;

How to buy and sell GAME on Bittrex?

According to almost any user’s review of GameCredits on Bittrex, the website offers the opportunity to trade market and limit orders. The first allows you to buy a cryptocurrency at the current price at which it is offered on the market.

Let’s suppose, GAME coin is worth $1. A user wants to buy it and is ready to pay that price. In this case, he chooses a market order, enters the volume of the transaction and presses the “Buy” button. If the user already has bitcoins and he wants to sell them, at the same time, the current price on the market fully suits him, this can also be done by placing a market order, only for sale.

Fees for services here are considered average for the global market. Bittrex charges 0.25% commission for all transactions. At the same time, payments from traders can be reduced depending on the time of the user’s trading status.

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⭐ Features Joseph Young

Gov’t of India Reportedly Plans to Regulate Crypto, What’s the Motive?

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The government of India is exploring the possibility of legalizing crypto and regulating exchanges
Gov’t of India Reportedly Plans to Regulate Crypto, What’s the Motive?
Contents

Several local publications have reported that the government of India is exploring the possibility of regulating crypto.

At an official government meeting hosted by the interdisciplinary committee, a task force led by members of the Ministry of Economics and information Technology and the Ministry of Home Affairs, the committee ruled in favor of regulating cryptocurrencies with strict policies.

Sudden Change in Stance Toward Crypto

In April, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a blanket ban on cryptocurrency trading, prohibiting the country’s financial institutions from dealing with cryptocurrency-related businesses.

The unexpected ban on cryptocurrency exchanges implemented by the country’s central bank effectively disallowed trading platforms from obtaining banking services from local financial institutions.

Several exchanges tried to pivot to cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency trading but with the dominance of Binance, OKEx, Huobi, and other crypto-only exchanges, local digital asset trading platforms failed to compete and shut down their businesses.

At the time, the RBI threatened to end its relationship with any local bank that deals with digital asset exchanges. A circular released by the central bank read:

“In view of the associated risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling VCs (virtual currencies). Regulated entities which already provide such services shall exit the relationship within a specified time.”

In July, industry leaders, associations, and companies challenged the controversial decision of the RBI by filing a complaint with the Supreme Court of India. Within several months after the filing, the court ruled in favor of the RBI, allowing the central bank to impose a ban on cryptocurrency trading.

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However, on December 26, a senior government official told The New Indian Express in an interview that the government believes cryptocurrencies cannot be dismissed as illegal currencies and the asset class has to be regulated with strict policies.

“We have already had two meetings. There is a general consensus that cryptocurrency cannot be dismissed as completely illegal. It needs to be legalised with strong riders. Deliberations are on. We will have more clarity soon,” the official said.

The change in the stance toward cryptocurrencies from the government of India likely comes from its acknowledgement of the risk in unregulated cryptocurrency trading. By placing a ban on digital asset exchanges, it forced investors out of a self-regulated market to unregulated peer-to-peer and over-the-counter markets that are difficult to regulate and monitor.

If the intent of the government is to prevent money laundering through the usage of cryptocurrencies, a more effective way of doing so is to allow cryptocurrency trading on exchanges with strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems in place.

When Could It Take Place?

Many reports were released in the past anticipating the legalization of cryptocurrencies by the government of India. Yet, the government showed no signs of regulating the asset class in the past 12 months.

With the G20 agreeing to regulate cryptocurrencies to crack down on money laundering, India, which is a part of the G20, could follow the global trend of regulating the asset class.

Given the history of India in the cryptocurrency sector, it may take several months to potentially years before cryptocurrency trading is revitalized and completely legalized with stable banking services provided by local financial institutions.

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