Cryptocurrency: A Cross-Border Money Transfer Solution?

Making international remittances fair and simple was among the first use cases invented for Bitcoin. Even though the initial concept of low fees and high-speed transactions is now threatened by the increased load on the network and complete absence of any consensus regarding the scalability issue, bitcoin remains a preferable solution for those willing to send money abroad without any involvement of banks and payments processors.

Still, cryptocurrency payments lack the simplicity of traditional payment mechanisms like plastic cards. When one wishes to send money abroad via international remittances services, they don’t have to learn to work with cryptocurrency exchange services. Even though most of them try to offer a user-friendly interface, they mostly focus on traders, not those wishing to exchange their fiat for crypto and then forget the experience as soon as possible. In any case, dealing with cryptocurrency transfers on your own implies many more steps than a card-to-card transfer.

The relative complexity of dealing with bitcoin has urged numerous startups and companies to develop solutions that could make the entire process simple even for rookie cryptocurrency users.

There are numerous solutions that seek to facilitate money remittances for both international and domestic purposes.

One of the world’s most promising markets in this regard is Africa where most people have no access to bank accounts and mostly rely on cellphones. There are numerous services like BitPesa or Bitwala that offer instant remittances of fiat currencies. Such startups are mostly based on concealing cryptocurrency from users. The user’s fiat currency is invisibly converted into BTC, transmitted to a different user, and then again invisibly converted back to fiat. For instance, BitPesa exchanges bitcoins for local fiat currencies by sending the assets to a user’s cellphone account.

In Nigeria, the Central Bank has prohibited the Nigerian citizens to use

A Guide to Trading Cryptocurrency Part 4: Renko Charts

Renko charts are another Japanese technique that is easy-to-use and reliable for making profitable trades. Similar to candlesticks charts, Renko charts are even easier to analyse as these charts abstract from time and volume, focusing only on a substantial part of the price action.

Consider the Past and You Will Know the Future

There are individual blocks that form Renko charts, known as bricks or Renko candles. It may be the case that the actual name for the chart, Renko, comes from the Japanese word for bricks, ‘renga’ (レンガ).

For a Renko chart, a brick is only drawn in a certain direction on the chart if the underlying asset moves by a certain amount. The size of the brick is decided by the user. For instance, if there is a green brick, indicating that the market moved higher by a fixed amount, a new green brick is only drawn if the market advances by a predetermined amount. Therefore, bricks in the Renko chart are always the same size.

The Renko chart only uses closing prices for a given trading session. This can be daily, 4-hour, 1-hour, etc. So, for instance, if you look at the 4-hour chart, a Renko will either form or it will not form at the end of that 4-hour trading session, depending on whether the market has moved the predetermined amount. No matter how big the markets moves are, numerous Renko candlesticks will be used to display this on the chart. For example, see the 4-hour Renko chart for ZCash below, where most of the chart is for the period immediately after the launch, which saw some crazy volatility.

Given its simplicity, trading techniques used in conjunction with this chart are limited compared to other indicators. Nevertheless, the signals that are given are profitable and

Investment Firm Fidelity Allows Clients to Track Funds in Bitcoin

Fidelity Investments, one of the largest financial services and investment firms in the US with over $2.13 trillion assets under management and $15.9 billion annual revenue, has announced the integration of Coinbase. According to Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson, its clients will be able to see their investments in bitcoin and ether on Fidelity’s main platform by the third quarter of 2017.

Since the beginning of 2016, both institutional and casual investors have begun to perceive bitcoin as digital gold and a safe haven asset. Prominent investors including the founder of precious metal broker GoldSilver.com, Mike Maloney, have encouraged investors to purchase and hold bitcoin to avoid inevitable economic uncertainty and financial instability.

Emphasizing bitcoin’s decentralized nature and its transportability, high liquidity and transparency, Mike Maloney explained:

“You want to have an alternative monetary system that is already ready to go and those actually exist today. They are called cryptocurrencies. It started with Bitcoin. There have been several others that have been introduced. I own a few of them. I don’t own a lot of cryptocurrencies, but I think it is something that is necessary to be prepared because if the monetary system fails, you’ll be able to do transactions right away with other people and you can do them over long distances.”

Large-scale investment firms and financial service providers such as Fidelity Investments have also realized the importance of bitcoin as a mandatory asset to protect the wealth of clients amidst severe economic instability. Because the value of bitcoin solely depends on the supply and demand of investors within the market, the decline in the value of stock markets, bonds and currencies do not affect bitcoin negatively.

Speaking of this unique market-based value of digital currencies such as bitcoin and ether, Johnson stated at the New York Consensus

LocalBitcoins Seller Pleads Guilty to Running an Unlicensed Currency Exchange

On May 2, Missouri-based tech entrepreneur Jason R. Klein pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of running an illegal money transmitting business by converting bitcoin into cash without a license using the popular peer-to-peer marketplace LocalBitcoins. For his actions, Klein could face up to five years in federal prison.

Instead of bringing the case in front of a grand jury, Klein decided to waive this right and pleaded guilty before the U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush on charges of “conducting an unlicensed and unregistered money transmitting business.”

Klein was the former owner of tech companies Logic Forte and Datality Networks and was the president of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), which focuses on technology education for business professionals.

According to a release by Department of Justice, an undercover federal agent responded to an online advertisement posted on LocalBitcoins by Klein. Klein informed the undercover agent that his exchange rate included a 10 percent transaction fee for an in-person $1,000 cash exchange. Following this transaction, two further in-person cash transactions and several online transactions took place between Klein and undercover federal agents, which generated a total profit of $2,122 in fees for Klein.

“Under federal statutes, Klein is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole. […] A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office,” the release states.

By pleading guilty, Klein admitted to exchanging bitcoin for cash without being a licensed money transmitter in the state of Missouri as required by both federal and state law. This sets a scary precedent for market makers on peer-to-peer bitcoin exchanges such as LocalBitcoins. This could mean that anyone exchanging bitcoin for cash and taking a commission for the transaction may be

India is Potentially a Massive Market For Bitcoin If Legalized

After years of operating without clear regulatory frameworks, self-regulated bitcoin exchanges and businesses will most likely be introduced to a new set of regulations and policies by the Indian government in the next few months.

Ever since the launch of Bitcoin in 2009, analysts and experts have stated that largely unbanked countries such as India present a potentially massive market for bitcoin. India has about 800 million unbanked citizens whose financial ecosystem and system worsened as a result of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to demonetize the widely used 500 and 1,000 bank notes.

The removal of the two banknotes led to nationwide financial turmoil and instability. Hundreds of millions of citizens have struggled to obtain cash to fund day-to-day operations and purchase necessities. India’s financial system deteriorated further when the country’s ATMs began to run out of cash.

According to State Bank of India (SBI) deputy general manager Ajoy Kumar, more than 90 percent of ATMs in India have no cash to dispense, and around 70 percent of ATMs in three districts are out of cash.

“Nearly 70 per cent of our 648 ATMs in the three districts are out of cash. The rest will also become dry in the next few days as we do not have cash to refill the machines. We are helpless from our side,” said Kumar.

While the state-supported monetary system has declined and demonstrated a high level of incompetence over the past few months, the demand for bitcoin has been on the rise. Major bitcoin exchanges including Zebpay and Unocoin have experienced huge mid-term growth in their trading volumes and user base.

Sunny Ray, co-founder of Unocoin, wrote:

“It took two years and ten months for Unocoin to reach 100,000 users. It only took another six months to reach 200,000

Billionaire Novogratz: Ten Percent of my Wealth in Crypto-assets like Bitcoin and Ether

Despite the Winklevoss bitcoin ETF’s disapproval, could an investment drive by one billionaire ignite a larger movement of money into cryptocurrrency. Michael Novogratz, estimated to be worth billions, stated at a Harvard Business School Club of New York forum on April 19:

“Ten percent of my net worth is in this space.”

Investment Opportunity of a Lifetime?

The cryptocurrency play was the “best investment of my life,” Novogratz said, whose exact wealth is not known but has appeared on the Forbes billionaire list in 2008 and is a former hedge fund manager for Fortress Investment Group. During his stint at Fortress, Novogratz stated he had put his personal wealth into bitcoin as early as October 2013, and the firm were looking at the cryptocurrency. It is no surprise that Novogratz picked up ealry on bitcoin, given that Fortress is a macro fund, focusing on macroeconomic fundamentals to make investment decisions.

Bitcoin, which demonstrates a decreasing supply of new bitcoins, has been such a stronger performer against fiat currencies because of a key macroeconomic fundamental; inflation. The bitcoin ecosystem enjoys progressively lower inflation levels as the block reward is reduced over time, whereas inflation for fiat currencies is determined by a variety of factors, including discretionary monetary policy, versus the fixed, rules-based policy of Bitcoin. Consequently, the price of bitcoin has broken many key psychological levels against the US dollar (as well as other major currencies); the $1 handle, the $10 level as well as the $1,000 mark more recently.

In 2013, Novogratz justified his long position and said that he sees bitcoin growing as a payment system, especially in developing nations. Later in 2015, Novogratz left Fortress. The macro fund suffered a setback in 2015, losing as much as 17 percent on the year.

Diversification is Imperative for