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Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchanges to Establish New Self-Regulating Body

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Japan’s two major cryptocurrency organizations will merge and form a new self-regulating body, the Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association (JCBA) and Japan Blockchain Association (JBA) said on March 2. The move comes amid deepening discussions about stronger regulations, and was triggered by Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc.’s loss of massive amounts of NEM coins in late January.

The agreement on forming the new body was made by 16 cryptocurrency exchanges that have completed registration with the Financial Services Agency (FSA). However, the new body will not include exchanges such as Coincheck, whose applications are pending. Currently, details are unclear regarding the new body, such as its name, location and time of establishment, but the aim is to make it a body with legal backing. Companies aiming to complete registration with the FSA will be able to join the organization in the future.

The aim behind establishing the new organization is to strengthen self-regulation of Japan’s cryptocurrency business. The new organization will merge the major players in the cryptocurrency business that had been split before the Coincheck incident.

More major companies in Japan are going to get involved in the cryptocurrency business. Megabanks Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) and Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. are developing their own cryptocurrencies, respectively MUFG Coin and J-Coin, with the latter to be pegged to the Japanese yen.

LINE, a social media platform used by many Japanese, is also expanding into the cryptocurrency business, and Mercari, a flea market app popular in the Japanese domestic market, has also announced its intention to participate. Currently, there is said to be 100 companies on the FSA waiting list for assessment of eligibility to become an exchange.

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Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin Tie on Transaction Levels

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When a cryptocurrency catches up with a rival it terms of transactions it could be a sign of greater adoption, or maybe not. Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash have been duking it out over the past few months coming ever closer until the inevitable happened. Yesterday BCH caught up with LTC with number of daily blockchain transactions.

According to Bitinfocharts Litecoin has been on a slow downtrend since the beginning of the year with fewer transactions per day. Its last spike was 225k transactions on January 4 when price was also heading over $300. Bitcoin Cash only surpassed LTC once in the past three months on January 14 when it reached 110k transactions.

Litecoin has been above Bitcoin Cash since mid-January by almost double though the two have been slowly coming together. Yesterday BCH transactions reached around 38.5k whereas Litecoin recorded 37.5k. There have been a number of smaller spikes in the transaction numbers for both altcoins so it has yet to be determined whether this is a long term change in trends or just another spike.

Litecoin did not get the boost it expected from the launch of LitePay which was supposed to bring the altcoin to the masses with easy credit card payments. This never happened and only the merchant component of the service was rolled out. As a result LTC has failed to maintain its first upward spurt since early December and has started to slide back towards $200.

Bitcoin Cash has also been on a downward slide since mid-December and it has lost almost 70% of its value since its all-time high of just over $4,000. Its transaction chart looks far more linear than Litecoin’s which rises and falls with natural usage of the asset. Litecoin forefather Charlie Lee has already made a number of comments about a ‘flappening’ in which the LTC market capacity surpasses BCH.

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Harvard Economist Says Bitcoin is Likely to Reach $100 in 10 Years, But For the Wrong Reason

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Opinions on the Bitcoin price are very different in nature. Some people expect six-digit figures by 2020, whereas others expect a major decline in value. Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff is convinced the BTC value will head to $100 soon enough.

Kenneth Rogoff is at it Again

Most people in the cryptocurrency world are familiar with Kenneth Rogoff. He has made some interesting Bitcoin price predictions over the years. The Harvard economist is convinced cryptocurrencies will not succeed. In fact, he regularly states how these markets will eventually collapse when common sense returns to this industry. Only time will tell if those concerns will effectively become a factor in the future.

According to the Harvard economist, Bitcoin will hit $100 in the near future. It is a “greater chance than it hitting $100,000  a decade from now”, according to Rogoff. That is a remarkable statement, albeit he has some good reasons for making this prediction. Once money laundering and tax evasion are removed from the equation, the use cases for Bitcoin are pretty minimal. The Harvard economist mainly sees BTC as a tool for criminal activity, a sentiment shared by most governments around the world today.

Recent research by Blockchain Intelligence Group shows Bitcoin is used far less in the illegal circuit right now. It still accounts for nearly one in five transactions, though. Even so, it shows criminals are flocking to other solutions in this regard. Whether this means they use altcoins or traditional financial solutions, remains unknown at this point. It seems the Harvard economist has not taken this research into account before making this $100 price prediction.

Government Regulation is a Non-factor

No one can deny more governments are looking to regulate cryptocurrency. Doing so successfully will be a challenge. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies makes it virtually impossible to apply traditional regulation. Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff thinks government regulation will crash the Bitcoin price. He does acknowledge this degree of regulation will take a fair amount of time to come to fruition.

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US Government to Sell Over 2,000 Seized Bitcoin at Auction

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2,170 bitcoins, worth more than $24 million, are up for auction as the U.S. Marshals Service plans on selling off digital assets seized in federal crimes. With the value of Bitcoin continually predicted to increase, this might prove to be a lucrative opportunity for investors on the sidelines to cautiously make regulation-insured purchases.

Bitcoin to the Highest Bidder

The U.S. Marshals Service has announced that they will be auctioning off approximately 2,170 bitcoins, currently worth over $24 million, that were originally seized in federal crimes later this month. A majority of the listed crimes are associated with DEA administrative forfeitures, which consist of drug-related offenses.

The bitcoins will be broken up into 14 blocks consisting of 70, 100, or 500 units. To participate in the auction, individuals are required to put down a deposit of $200,000 and complete all the required registration forms by March 14th.

The winning bidders are to be notified by March 19th, but the release mentions that the “complexity of the review process” might lead to delays.

Dirty Wallets Need Not Apply

Related to the lack of fungibility that Bitcoin currently suffers from, the terms of sale imply that the provided receiving address will be screened thoroughly to ensure that it hasn’t come in contact with malicious activity.

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Ripple Falls as Coinbase Inclusion Rumor is Officially Quashed

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The price of Ripple’s XRP token which spiked on Monday falls back beneath a dollar as the Coinbase rumor is officially quashed on twitter.

Ripple Falls Back Under One Dollar Mark

The third largest trading cryptocurrency Ripple lept up 17 percent on Monday amid rumors it was to be listed on Coinbase, one of the worlds most popular exchanges. Only to fall back beneath $1 today as Coinbase officially denied the listing on Twitter.

The rumor which gained momentum on social media over the weekend and through to Monday was based in large part from announced appearances of both Brad Garlinghouse CEO of Ripple and Coinbase CEO Asiff Hirji on CNBC’s “Fast Money” program.

Although there was never an official announcement nor even an indication the two would be appearing together or if it was just a coincidence the news helped push XRP’s price over a dollar to trade at $1.05, a 17% increase over 24 hours according to coinmarketcap.com.

Coinbase which is the leading U.S. marketplace for buying and selling cryptocurrency currently trades bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, and etheruem. The addition of a new coin to the lineup would likely bring in many new buyers and boost its selling price.

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Cardano [ADA]: Coin Review – The Only Leading in the Green Zone

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It has not been that long since Cardano entered the top ten list of cryptocurrencies by market capitalization [$7.75 bil]. However, the project itself is studying ways to overcome current blockchain-based difficulties for more than 4 years now.

The platform is a security-oriented ground base for developing distributed applications and smart contract, which is very-like the very famous second in lead – Ethereum. However, what makes it different from various other cryptocurrencies that have similarities in purpose, it is that the technology is the first project born of a scientific philosophy based on academic research.

Cardano is chasing strongly to find a balance between privacy, decentralization and regulation to give a more welcoming feeling to all parties that approach it – which makes governments and individual citizens see and have benefits from it.

In addition, Haskell is used as a programming language which many put down as one of the safest developing languages concluding with less errors. The platform uses layers to make the system more flexible and scalable than other cryptocurrencies. It also makes it easier and safer to update and update the system.

The team that is backing up the idea and working on it is divided into three major firms with all of them having specific responsibilities:

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Ethereum Classic Price Technical Analysis – ETC/USD Retested Key Support

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Key HighlightsEthereum classic price declined sharply recently and tested an important support near $26.10 against the US dollar. There are two important bearish trend lines forming with resistance near $28.50 and $29.50 on the hourly chart of the ETC/USD pair (Data feed via Kraken). The pair may correct higher in the near term, but it won’t be easy to break $29.50.

Ethereum classic price declined substantially against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. ETC/USD is currently testing an important support above $26.00 and it may correct higher.

There was a new downside wave initiated from the $34.50 swing high in ETC price against the US dollar. The price traded lower and settled below a few key support levels such as $32.00 and $30.00. There was also a break below the $28.00 support and a close below the 100 hourly simple moving average. ETC traded as low as $26.10, which represents a major support area for buyers.

At the moment, the price is correcting higher from $26.10. An initial resistance is around the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $31.32 high to $26.10 low. However, the most important hurdles is around $28.50. There are two important bearish trend lines forming with resistance near $28.50 and $29.50 on the hourly chart of the ETC/USD pair. Moreover, the 50% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $31.32 high to $26.10 low is also near $28.40. Therefore, it seems like the $28.50 and $29.50 levels are crucial barriers for buyers in the near term.

On the downside, the $26.10-00 region is a major support. A break and close below the stated $26.00 support could push the price towards the $25.00 handle.

Hourly MACD – The MACD for ETC/USD is attempting to move back in the bullish zone.

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Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC/USD Trying to Sustain Its Breakout

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Bitcoin Key Points to Look At

Bitcoin price has bounced off a long-term rising trend line support, signaling it could be ready to resume the climb. Price has also formed an inverse head and shoulders reversal pattern and is breaking above the neckline. There are some signs of hesitation, though, as technical indicators are hinting at a potential turn. 

The 100 SMA is safely above the longer-term 200 SMA on the daily time frame to indicate that the path of least resistance is to the upside. This means that the uptrend is more likely to continue than to reverse. However, price is trading below the 100 SMA dynamic inflection point so this might still hold as near-term resistance.

This also lines up with the $12,000 major psychological level, which has been a former support level. If it holds as resistance from here, bitcoin could resume the drop to nearby support areas at $10,000 then $8,000. Stronger selling pressure could even lead to a break below the trend line and a sharper selloff.

Stochastic is already indicating overbought conditions and looks ready to turn lower, so it might drag bitcoin back down when bearish momentum returns. RSI is on the move up, though, so the rally could still be sustained.

Other Factors To Note

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Mapped: Cheapest & Most Expensive Countries To Mine Bitcoin

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Where you live in the world affects how profitable your Bitcoin mining operation is, according to an analysis of worldwide electric prices by lighting company Elite Fixtures. We reviewed the data and mapped the energy costs for mining 1 BTC across the globe.

Electricity = Bitcoin

Energy prices around the world vary depending on a range of factors, including government subsidies and access to natural resources. These same factors impact how much it costs to run the energy-demanding computers known as Bitcoin miners, which crack highly complex math problems to earn Bitcoin.

One of the most efficient miners, the Bitmain Antminer S9, drains 1350 Watts while working. That’s the same amount of electricity a blow dryer on a max setting can use up.

With an average of $12,203 in electricity costs per Bitcoin, the island-dotted region of Oceania is the most expensive area on the globe for mining, followed by South America at $7,150, Europe at $6,695, Asia at $6,378, the Middle East at $6,249, and North America at $5,456. Africa is the cheapest region for mining, costing an average of $4,626 in electricity per BTC.

The average electrical cost to mine 1 bitcoin across all the nations is $7,295. Electricity costs in Canada and the United States both fell more than $2,000 below the average. And with 1 BTC earning more than $10,000 in today’s market, high electricity bills can justify the payoff.

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Litecoin Price Analysis: LTC/USD is Struggling to Bounce Back

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Litecoin price is holding the $204 support level against the US Dollar. LTC/USD needs to move above the $210-212 resistance to challenge sellers near $218.

Key Talking Points

·         Litecoin price succeeded in holding the $204-205 support zone (Data feed of Kraken) against the US Dollar.

·         There is a short-term bearish trend line forming with resistance at $210 on the hourly chart of the LTC/USD pair.

·         A break above the $210 resistance could push the pair towards the $218 and $220 resistance levels.

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