An analyst at the investment firm behind the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTC: GBTC) predicted that the Zcash price could reach $60,000 by 2025 if investors begin to use it in place of traditional offshore banking services.
Last week, Grayscale Investments published the investment thesis for the Zcash Trust, the latest fund in its lineup of cryptocurrency-based investment products that includes the wildly-popular Bitcoin Investment Trust and the Ethereum Classic Trust.
In the 20-page thesis, Grayscale analyst Matthew Beck writes that that Grayscale believes Zcash could prove to be the “first globally accessible ‘offshore’ investment opportunity” — the proverbial Swiss bank account in one’s pocket.
Advertisements, infographics, articles and more – all included in Hong Kong’s latest effort to educate the public on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies.
According to a recent press release, Hong Kong’s Financial Services and Treasury Bureau (FSTB), and Investor Education Center (IEC) have launched a public campaign to both educate and warn investors about the “risks” associated with both initial coin offerings and cryptocurrencies.
Included in the campaign are advertisements to be placed throughout Hong Kong’s public transit system, television and radio advertisements, and even government-sponsored educational videos to be posted on social media.
According to Under Secretary for the FSTB, Joseph Chan, the aim of the program is to provide a “correct and comprehensive understanding of ICOs and cryptocurrencies” so that the public has a better idea of what they’re investing in.
This wouldn’t be the first time that a country has pushed for a government-sponsored educational program on cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Just a few months ago, the Russian government announced a suggestion to include cryptocurrency in their financial literacy improvement strategy in order to educate the public on associated risks.
One of the main drivers behind the educational push is due to the dangerous volatility of the cryptocurrency markets that many traditional investors are not prepared for. As the media hype-cycle continues, more investors are becoming interested in joining these markets without doing their own due diligence beforehand.
“ICOs and ‘cryptocurrencies’ are high-risk products that are not suitable for everyone,” said Dr. Kelvin Wong, Chairman of the IEC. “Cryptocurrencies are highly speculative and are associated with various kinds of risks. Their prices may be susceptible to significant fluctuations due to speculative activities.”
Also included in the campaign will be articles and infographics on ICOs and cryptocurrencies provided by Hong Kong’s “Chin Family” website – the public financial education arm of the IEC. Information on the topic is already live on the website, and already covers a multiplicity of topics including scams and wallet security.
Hong Kong has generally been a bit more open toward cryptocurrencies unlike the hostilities faced in mainland China. One of the larger cryptocurrency exchanges, Gatecoin, operates in Hong Kong, and regulators have generally held a cautious but open approach. Their concern is mainly focused on protecting and informing investors rather than completely shutting the door on this emerging asset class.
This month, I spoke about bitcoin’s first bottleneck, the price and the second bottleneck, exchanges. I feel the series needs a brief interruption so that we can discuss, yet again, the price; before we move onto different subjects, more technology related.
Some are calling this correction a complete bloodbath. I’ve read in many places how this has to be connected with regulatory scrutiny in eastern Asia: due to heavier restrictions being applied to crypto exchanges and mining companies, people are fleeing the markets.
How many times have you read news about China or South Korea or Russia (and so on), imposing heavy restrictions on cryptocurrency?
How many times has China banned cryptocurrency trading?
And how often have do you read about the ‘impending bitcoin bubble‘.
I really don’t see that much of a connection between such news and what’s really happening in the market. We can conclude that, by looking into what’s been happening to volume over the last month or so.
The Korea Customs Service (KCS) has revealed an investigation into illicit Forex trading practices, and uncovered $600 million (637.5 billion won) worth cryptocurrencies that were exchanged illegally in South Korea.
The statement further disclosed four instances of illegal tradings. In the first case, money was transferred from Japan to an unknown country whereby 53.7 billion won were sent to another person/entity using cryptocurrencies. In the second case, funds worth 472.3 billion Korean won were exchanged between Australia and South Korea. KCS explained that transferring funds between countries with the sole purpose of avoiding bank and remittance fees is considered illegal.
In the third case, foreign currency was sent to an overseas organization (as cryptocurrencies) which were then converted and remitted to the recipient. In the fourth case, funds worth 164.7 billion won were received by a paper company, citing ‘purchase of software’ as a coverup. KCS mentioned that it will start investigating cryptocurrency agents and forex operators for money laundering and illegal trading charges. Other areas that will undergo critical inspection include smuggling of drugs using virtual currencies. The names of the suspects were not revealed in the press release.
The announcement came on the same day the finance minister, Kim Dong-yeon, said that cryptocurrency market and exchanges will not be banned in the country. Instead, South Korea will be focusing on regulating cryptocurrency exchanges. The country has been working on adopting cryptocurrencies, after the ministry of justice initially banned ICOs last year. The ministry also stated that it would be banning cryptocurrency trading earlier in January. However, this move was not supported by the Ministry of Finance, as reported in their official statement, “We do not share the same views as the Ministry of Justice on a potential cryptocurrency exchange ban.”
While the majority of the ministries continue to support cryptocurrency activities, the South Korean government is doing its best to prevent illegal trading proceedings.
Two British Bitcoin traders became the victims of what local media outlets are calling the “UK’s first Bitcoin heist” after they were robbed at gunpoint by masked men and forced to transfer an undisclosed amount of cryptocurrency to the criminals’ accounts.
The incident — which took place on Jan. 22 — occurred in the tiny village of Moulsford, Oxfordshire, where cryptocurrency trader Danny Aston and his girlfriend, Amy Jay, lived with their infant.
According to a report in The Mail on Sunday, four men wearing balaclavas kicked down the couple’s door and took the couple’s baby outside while they forced Aston and Jay to transfer their cryptocurrency holdings.
Aston, 30, had reportedly executed more than 100,000 trades under the pseudonym “Goldiath,” and he and Jay, 31, jointly owned Aston Digital Currencies, a company they operated out of their home.
“No one was seriously injured during the incident,” the publication cites a Thames Valley Police spokesman as saying.
Many investors, especially traders outside of the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange market, remain curious as to why local cryptocurrency exchanges like Bithumb and Korbit only list a few cryptocurrencies at a time.
China’s internet finance association is warning citizens against participating in overseas cryptocurrency trading and initial coin offering (ICO) investments.
The National Internet Finance Association of China (NIFA), a major self-regulated internet finance guild has issued a new public notice urging investors to be wary of risks involved in cryptocurrency trading on overseas platforms. Chinese authorities, led by the People’s Bank of China (the country’s central bank), issued a sweeping ban on ICO’s in September 2017 and ordered the shuttering of domestic cryptocurrency exchanges. Highlighting the regulatory clampdown, NIFA claims it has “monitored” individuals and institutions in China who continue to operate in the cryptocurrency space by trading on overseas trading platforms.
“In this context, domestic investors will face certain risks in moving to overseas platforms to participate in [cryptocurrency trading] transactions,” read an excerpt from the notice.
The notice went on to add:
Howard Schultz, who recently revealed an ambitious 30,000 square-foot Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai in partnership with Alibaba, expressed his enthusiasm towards the cryptocurrency market.
Cryptocurrency For Retailers
In the next few years, Schultz stated that he believes several legitimate cryptocurrencies will emerge, endorsed and adopted by retailers. He said:
I personally believe that there is going to be a one or a few legitimate trusted digital currencies off of the blockchain technology. And that legitimacy and trust in terms of its consumer application will have to be legitimized by a brand and a brick and mortar environment, where the consumer has trust and confidence in the company that is providing the transaction.
WeMakePrice, better known as Wemepu, one of South Korea’s largest e-commerce platforms, is integrating 12 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin in collaboration with Bithumb, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.
First Major Retailer and E-Commerce Platform in South Korea
The financial technology chief of Singapore’s central bank does not foresee a scenario where bitcoin would trigger a global financial meltdown akin to the 2008 collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers.
In an interview with Channel News Asia, Sopnendu Mohanty – chief of financial technology at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country’s central bank, opined bitcoin will not cause a global financial crisis in the event of a price collapse. The central bank official insisted global regulators are “getting serious about this whole cryptocurrency market”, suggesting authorities would step in with regulations when bitcoin markets continue to grow globally.
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