The state of California overhauls a bill on the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin, that has been inactive since last September. After being scrutinized, the proposed Act is now updated and no
longer proposes to license businesses engaged in financial applications
of the blockchain technology, but would instead create a Digital
Currency Business Enrollment Program.
According to the bill, digital currency businesses would be required
to pay a non-refundable $5,000 fee to participate in the program (a cost
equal to the New York BitLicense application fee). There is also a
continuing cost of $2,500 annually, and the text proposes giving the
program commissioner the authority to impose “a claim for civil
penalties” of up to $25,000. The proposed changes and especially
civil penalties are already heavily criticized by opponents of the
bill, which is now awaiting a second reading by Senate.
One of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges, Kraken,
published a warning regarding a potential phishing website.
The company warns that the fake Kraken website appears everywhere and
looks exactly like the real one, which is rather confusing, especially for beginners.
A number of cryptocurrency users have reported this fraudulent
platform, which appears in ads across all the major search engines
(Google/Yahoo/Bing). What is more, phishing ads look just like the
organic search results for the real site, and even appear above the real
Bitcoin prices surged higher late last week ahead of the G20 Summit
held in Hangzhou amid growing fears that Chinese policymakers will once
again devalue the Yuan to maintain economic activity. Now that the
Summit has concluded, the major takeaway from the comments of leaders of
major world powers was the emphasis on reducing trade protectionism and
doing more to offset the weakness of the global economy.
Growing trade restrictions were one of the focal points of the communique that followed the Summit,
with China calling for trading partners to reduce trade protectionism
while failing to address its own lopsided policies. However, the
comments about more tepid growth must be interpreted as a hint that more
aggressive measures will be taken to protect vital interests, namely
that further devaluation awaits the Yuan which will likely stoke
increased Bitcoin buying pressure.
China has been contending with a slowing pace of growth over the last
two years as efforts to spur economic activity with a combination of
fiscal and monetary stimulus have largely fallen flat of expectations.
With growth tapering to 6.70% on an annualized basis, inflation falling well below target to 1.80%, and bad debts mounting, further accommodation was deemed too risky.
As a result, the most useful tool for maintaining trade has been
devaluation of the Yuan to make exports more competitive. The rapid rise
in the US dollar over the last two years has hurt efforts to temper
strength in the currency, leading officials at the People’s Bank of
China to pursue the path of devaluation to maximize the impact of
policy. However, the result has been massive capital outflows and
tumbling foreign currency reserves.
The price of bitcoin rebounded sharply this week, climbing back above
$600 for the first time since August 1 as improved investor confidence
and technical trading brought more buyers to the market.
The BTC/USD closed at $621.80 on Friday, capping off a weekly gain of
8.3%, according to CoinDesk. The BTC/USD advanced 0.2% on Saturday,
reaching $623.19 as of 3:00 pm ET. At its current price, bitcoin’s
market capitalization is approximately $15.9 billion.
Bitcoin prices held steady Thursday, as the market continued to consolidate after a series of volatile moves.
The BTC/USD exchange rate edged down 0.3% to $606.24 at 4:42 pm ET,
according to CoinDesk. The pair traded within a narrow range of $804.66
The price of bitcoin was little changed over the weekend, as the market continued to hold support near $600 USD.
exchange rate was last down 0.2% at $600.71, according to CoinDesk. The
pair traded within a narrow range of $599.63 and $603.54. Trading
activity has remained subdued since Wednesday, when the digital currency
plunged around 2%.
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