10 Reasons Why BTC is Going for a Bull Run this Year
Just two days ago, Bitcoin's price reached a 40-day high, priced at $4,000. The transaction volumes of Bitcoin have also reached highs. The global digital currency market has been increasing as well with a market cap of $15 billion in just 2 days! This only makes investors optimistic that they are in for a bull run very soon. So here are a few reasons why we believe that Bitcoin will be experiencing a bull run this year: 1) Other top cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and EOS are also experiencing surges. EOS market value is taking charge, with an increase of 25% in just 48 hours. Meanwhile, Ethereum has bumped up 10% over the same time period, while XRP has also acquired gains. Altcoins such as these, and Bitcoin, definitely complement each other. When one is doing well, the other is also. The digital currency market is still smaller than the amount of fiat currency that is coming into it. It is safe to say that BTC and ETH are not competing against one another, instead they are competing with institutions and forms of currency such as PayPal, Bank of America, bonds, stocks, precious metals, real estate, and anything else that holds intrinsic value. 2) If the bull run does happen, it may be because of financial institutions. Crypto investors have noticed that financial institutions are looking to get a bite into the digital currency market, this is how you know that the trend is taking off. 2019 will be the year that institutional finance starts hodling BTC. 3) Exchanges and trading platforms have made it easier to access cryptocurrencies. In the last two years, it was not as easy to purchase cyrptocurrencies as it is now. Exchanges have been implementing digital wallets via mobile apps so everything can be accessed at the user's fingertips. 4) Technologies are making it easier for a BTC bull run to occur. One hindrance of Bitcoin, it the congestion that occurs on the network. But that is feature that consists of deflationary monetary design. This is why Bitcoin is considered as "precious". Developers have been creating second layer technologies to make the network more streamlined, and make it easier for more data to flow in and out. 5) Countries dealing with economic shortcomings are a big part of this bull run. Venezuela, is a nation that has recently been blown out of the water in terms of economic depression. The country is not only dealing with inflation, but also political upheavals. This has caused the nation to turn to Bitcoin, and has also led to a high demand for the cryptocurrency. 6) Bitcoin ATMs are making a big appearance and they are spreading fast. Not only are there many point of sales for digital currencies on trading platforms, but Bitcoin ATMs are also popping up in more locations nationwide, making it easier for people to purchase the cryptocurrency. Chicago just added 30 new BTC ATMs, bringing their count to a total of 100 ATMs. Philadelphia also has 100 Bitcoin ATMs! 7) More governments are adopting Bitcoin. Paraguay is converting its bountiful hydroelectric energy, to mine Bitcoin. Also, as mentioned earlier, Venezuela is also depending on the cryptocurrency to bring its nation's economic status back to the surface. 8) Large retailers are also adopting Bitcoin. Retailers such as Rakuten, which is also known as the, "Amazon of Japan", recently stated that they will be releasing Rakuten Pay. This will allow users of Rakuten to purchase items using cryptocurrencies. 9) Silicone Valley is also in a 2019 bull run. Silicone Valley has not stopped at producing talented tech business partners, such as the Winklevoss Bros. These big-time investors are not only adding growth to the industry but also adding development and capitilization. 10) The lower the volatility of BTC, the better chances of a bull run. Another drawback of Bitcoin, is the fact that it is so volatile. This has also caused many people to say that the cryptocurrency is not a real form of currency. Although this may have been the case, as of late, the price of Bitcoin is stabilizing. The standard deviation of the cryptocurrency has been decreasing. Is there any other reasons you think, that can cause a bull run this year?
Spain’s Second Largest Bank Relentlessly Freezes People’s Accounts, Claimed to be Racism
The second largest financial insitution in Spain, BBVA, has in total, frozen 5,000 accounts which belong to Chinese clients. This has led to outrage from the clients, and cries of racism. Bank representatives, however, are claiming that they are following guidelines of anti-money laundering regulations. This is just another in-your-face example that banks can take control of accounts and funds ruthlessly. This would never happen in the cryptocurrency market, where digital assets are fluidly transacted between users of different races, and ages. This is why many people should not be sleeping on having their funds invested in Bitcoin. Banks are of the past, and we are heading towards implementing the future, that is Bitcoin. Chinese bank customers protested outside of BBVA in Madrid. Many were carrying signs that included words like racism and discrimination. Bitcoin does not discriminate, and a person should have the right to access their funds under any circumstance.
BTC Trades in Venezuela are Booming!
he volume and trading patterns of Bitcoin in Venezuela are at an all-time high. LocalBitcoins, which is a digital asset platform, has reported that per week the volume of Bitcoin to Venezuelan Bolivar (VES) has been gone up to 2,454 BTC. Convert this to U.S. dollars and that is close to $9 million every week and $1.29 every day. Some analysts are even saying that at this rate, the volume can spike up to $14 million which is $5,800 per BTC. Recently, Venezuela has been dealing with a recession and many government officials were uncertain of the plight of their economy. Things got worse when the U.S. stopped their humanitarian aid. Venezuelans were struggling to even have a proper meal, with household items such as flour costing 80,000 bolivars. Bitcoin has created a hope for Venezuelans, and it allows people to utilize cryptocurrencies to purchase everyday needs. However, it is unlikely that the global market's top digital asset, will ever be Venezuela's main form of currency. Here is another instance, where Bitcoin is saving lives!
JP Morgan is the First U.S. Financial Institution to Release their Very Own Cryptocurrency
The colossal investment institution which is run by CEO Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan, has become the first bank in the United States to introduce their own digital currency. The new digital token will be called JPM Coin. It will be used by JP Morgan banks, to instantaneously settle payments between clients. According to reports, JP Morgan transacts about $6 trillion per day! A JP Morgan representative claimed that the digital token can also lead to digital securities in the future. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, has had a long battle between the distinction of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. He has stated, "I could care less what Bitcoin trades for, and why people are trading it." However, he is a believer of blockchain technology and has heavily invested into research on it. JP Morgan has shared with us what they will be doing with their coin, but they are not so transparent when it comes to technicalities on the token. It has been shared that the token will be implemented on a blockchain but we do not know how it will look like, as well as how the ledger will work. Nevertheless, with a big company like JP Morgan investing into their own token, perhaps naysayers will be willing to give digital currencies a shot!
SEC Chief Confident that Bitcoin ETF is Coming Soon
Commissioner Robert J Jackson is a believer that Bitcoin ETF will soon make its appearance in the global market. In an interview that wasn't supposed to be public until February 11th, Jackson mentioned that it is difficult to obtain the SEC's approval on this. People have to realize that it is important because if the SEC puts their stamp on something, they have to deal with the risk of Americans getting hurt. In the beginning of this fiscal year, the SEC put out a list of priorities they would be focusing on in 2019 and cryptocurrencies were one of them. Let's see how far we can get this year with the SEC.
Samsung Pay Integrating Digital Currencies on All Their Devices and the Galaxy S10 is the Guinea Pig
According to reports in Korea, Samsung Pay wants to offer a crypto wallet on all their smartphones. Currently the Samsung Pay community has 10 million users and that just in South Korea alone. The launch of the new smartphones, will be a boost in popularity for the crypto wallet in South Korea. As we mentioned previously, Samsung believes that smartphones are more trusted in storing cryptocurrencies because of a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE). If a wallet is stored on a Windows or Mac, malware can be introduced to their operating systems very easily. By Samsung integrating a new crypto wallet on the Galaxy S10, this could prove that the security of TEE is a big factor in keeping data safe. Although Samsung hasn't made any official announcements, every company and investor will benefit from this. Samsung will be more appealing to millenial users, since they feel that digital currencies are efficient and easier to use.
Iran Launching State Cryptocurrency to Bypass US Sanctions
Iran is getting crushed by US sanctions, and it is looking gloomy for their economy. The Islamic nation will be announcing their state-backed digital currency. Many analysts believe that the new cryptocurrency will help with the effects of the sanctions that were put on the nation. It has been reported that this announcement will be made at the Electronic Banking and Payment Systems Conference in Tehran, on January 29, 2019. Donald Trump put the sanction on Iran last year, due to "malign activities". By the end of last year, SWIFT was not permitted to provide financial service to the nation as well. Many Iranian business owners and investors have not been able to receive and send international transactions. The country has since been exploring their own state backed cryptocurrency, which would allow Iranian citizens to continue their international transactions. The state-backed digital asset will be launched in two phases. The first phase will only be rolled out to local and commercial Iranian banks, and the cryptocurrency will be called Rial. The second phase will allow public access to the cryptocurrency. This just proves that SWIFT is not needed by banks, once cryptocurrencies have come into play.
Messaging App Kik to Fight SEC on ICO
The messaging app company based in Canada, Kik, will be battling the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over its 2017 ICO release. The SEC believes that the company's digital token, kin, is an unregistered security. However, the CEO of Kik Ted Livingston, states that it works like a currency. Kik has already made about $100 million from its token sales. ICOs have been dwindling in number because of firm regulations. The final verdict on this case, could be serious for the crypto world. Livingston is arguing the case that the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 clearly says, " the definition of a security 'shall not include currency.'" He also shared that kin does not pass the Howey Test which is a test in the U.S. that concludes whether something is a security. The next step in this battle is for the SEC to determine if they will pass this along to the SEC commisioners so they can justify a case against Kik. Stay tuned.
Circle CEO at Davos: Humanity Cannot Survive Digital Era without Digital Currencies
The CEO of Circle, Jeremy Allaire, states that all humanity needs cryptocurrencies in order to survive the digital age. He also went on to say that digital assets decentralized nature make it indispensable. Skeptics are wary of cryptocurrencies because they do not know much about it. Cryptography is at the core of protecting human privacy in today's world and it is a fundamental tool for cyber protection. Today's society is also adopting digital infrastructure and humanity will not be able to get through the digital era without cryptocurrencies. Allaire is also a firm believer that cryptocurrencies and financial insitutions can co-exist and this is what makes cyrptocurrencies more versatile. Allaire has a bullish prediction in that the value of BTC will spike within the next 3 years. We support this prediction! 
Coinstar Can Exchange $62 Million Pocket Change to Bitcoin
A recycling and waste company, Covanta Holding Corporation, has shared their findings that Americans throw away $62 million dollars in change every year. Coins are tossed accidentally, but this is a serious piece of spare change. Currently economists have calculated that there is an average yearly inflation rate of 2%. Ever since the Federal Reserve started circulating banknotes and coins, change has never been worth as much as it has been now. It's certainly hard for people to purchase something nowadays with just pennies, nickels, and dimes and change can accumulate quickly. So typically what some people do, besides throwing their coins away, is to stow them in plastic bags until enough accumulates to take it to a supermarket coin machine such as Coinstar. People might be more keen to save their spare change, if it was worth something more valuable to them. Recently, Coinstar has announced that they are planning to allow people to exchange their coins into Bitcoin. After depositing the coins into the machine, people will be able to retrieve a voucher with a redemption code for Bitcoin. Coinstar is joining ATM company Coinme, to implement the conversion of change into Bitcoin. Stay tuned, cryptocurrencies are trickling their way into all kind of ATMs slowly but surely!

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