Korea is Close to Passing the Country’s Very First Crypto Legislation
South Korea, a lucrative market and key player in the global crypto market, is almost complete in the process of passing their first blockchain and crypto legislation. The passing of this form of legislation will ensure the blockchain and digital asset industry is legitimate, in the nation. South Korea has had the intention to regulate the digital currency market with stricter rules and frameworks, so investors are protected from fraud and startups are able to flourish in the blockchain industry. Government employees have disclosed that they felt that the legislation would not pass originally, because the passing of this would cause people to feel that the country embraces the crypto industry with open arms. However, two security breaches occurred with South Korea's top crypto exchanges, BitThumb and Coinrail. This led the country to research and enforce stricter regulations. In the past, exchanges were considered communication vendors and were outside the scope of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), which is the financial regulatory body of the country. Upon the passing of this new bill, crypto platforms will be considered as regulated financial institutions in the scope of the FSC. If this bill is passed before the year's end, it will increase the capital flow into the local digital asset market in the next few years, especially through 2019.Many analysts are predicting the price of major cryptocurrencies to rise by the end of this year, and they will sustain their prices in the upcoming years.
WEEKLY REVIEW: Cryptocurrency Current Events and Bitcoin Price Surges
Price Watch -The price of Bitcoin increased 18% this week after it has been on the decline, the last few months. The price reached a little over $7,500. We hope this trend lasts for a long time.  CEO of BitMex, Arthur Hayes, believes the price of BTC will surge even higher to $10,000. -Ethereum is also doing good this week, with an increase of 5%, and a price of $466.65. The digital asset reached $500 before it went back down to $466. -The global market's entire crypto market cap is up by 11% this week, after a mini-bull run that occurred throughout the market. Stellar, increased by 35% this week.
Bitmain Has Arrived in Silicon Valley!
The crypto industry's highest ranked (in value) company, Bitmain, has opened up shop in Silicon Valley. They made this move before their IPO, which is set to occur later on this year. The China based mining hardware manufacturer has settled into a 20,000 square foot office space that is located in San Jose, California. Bitmain is among many other tech companies that occupy the Riverpark Towers office building. It is not surprising that Bitmain has selected Silicon Valley as their next location, as the company is worth $12 billion. With more value, comes expansion. Bitmain believes it can reach as high as $40 billion, after they become public. Even though the idea of cryptocurrency is to be decentralized, many companies have centralized their locations to be in the same geographic areas. Many analysts have been saying that Bitmain is expanding because they are uncertain of what the future holds in the Chinese market. This is why they feel that expansion in North America is necessary. Bitmain has also invested in tech startups so a move to Silicon Valley would be a big plus for them. Stay tuned, because we think Bitmain is making big waves.
The Globe’s Biggest Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) Provider Looking into Digital Currencies
BlackRock, which is known to be the world's biggest asset manager, is delving into the world of cryptocurrencies. Just six months ago, BlackRock's CEO made some criticising remarks about Bitcoin. However, we typically see a trend with companies changing their minds when they see how lucrative the global crypto market is.The asset management firm has a net worth of about $6.3 trillion! The company has been determining whether they want to invest in BTC futures and ways to get more visibility with blockchain technologies and other cryptocurrencies. Departments in the company will also be looking into how competitors are investing in the crypto market and whether their ventures propose a threat to BlackRock's market share. Goldman Sachs, another asset management company, has already set up help desks to assist their clients with having access to the nascent asset class. The CEO of BlackRock, Larry Fink, made statements six months ago saying that "Bitcoin is an index of money laundering". However, he did have positive things to say about blockchain technologies, and since then has had his company do some research on cryptocurrencies and how they will be investing in the industry in the near future.
Crypto Brokerage Firm Octagon Strategy Still Going Strong with Bitcoin
A digital currency brokerage company, Octagon Strategy, is still bullish on Bitcoin. Although the prices have been dropping, Octagon Strategy still believes in the number one ranked cryptocurrency. Many analysts believe that the price dips of Bitcoin can lead to the digital currency reaching the same heights it did last year. A trader from Octagon Strategy has stated that there is a lot to look forward to, when it comes to Bitcoin, as it is still in a growth phase. The company is bullish with Bitcoin because it comes from a market that is still fairly new, and has only been around for eight years. Bitcoin has maintained a yield of 100 percent year after year. The digital asset brokerage firm is not the only company that is bullish over Bitcoin. BitMEX CEO, Arthur Hayes, is a firm believer that the decline in the market will not be forever. He also claims that Bitcoin can even reach higher prices than it ever has in the past. What is our take on this? We feel that business owners and investors should chill out and be confident in their holdings, as the price dip won't be here to stay. This market is a revolution, and with revolutions come volatility!
How Did Bitmain Become the Largest Digital Currency Company?
The biggest mining manufacturer on the global crypto market, Bitmain, has raised a whopping $12 billion in a Series B funding round. This makes the company the biggest conglomerate in the history of digital assets. Some other major conglomerates to note are Coinbase, Ripple Labs, and Binance. Coinbase is known to have a major role in the institutional market and digital currency brokerage, while Binance is in control of the digital currency-only exchange market. Ripple Labs manages the development of its own Ripple blockchain network and it is the first choice of banks for tailored blockchain protocols. Bitmain is a leader in bitcoin mining equipment and is competing with Samsung. In the last year, the company has been concentrating on changing Bitmain's investment arm, which has been successful in multi-million dollar rounds of funding. Within seven years, the mining manufacturer giant has gained billions of dollars in profits, causing the company to make investments in ICOs, digital asset companies, blockchain projects, and other platforms in the financial sector. This week, Bitmain informed that it will be finishing plans to acquire Opera Internet Browser, and they have already invested $50 million. Opera is looking to raise $150 million in their initial public offering. Bitmain has already made as much money as the world's largest chip manufacturers, Nvidia. They have surpassed Nvidia's record in less than four years! It took Nvidia 24 years to reach their $3 billion profit. Not only have they beat Nvidia's record, but Bitmain is also looking to become a major competitor to Nvidia, by delving into the artificial intelligence (AI) industry. A product marketer at Bitmain stated that AI will be everywhere in the future, so it makes sense for the company to get started on this revolution now. Bitmain definitely has the budget to compete with the big dogs, and we are excited to see what other records they can beat!
ZCash Community is Not Down with Prioritizing ASIC Resistance
The ZCash foundation created a voting poll for its community and a majority voted against the prioritization of ASIC resistance. The panel for voting was made up of 64 elected people from the community. Just two months ago, Bitmain launched the very first ASIC mining device for ZCash. A lot of people were not happy and expressed that the ASIC miners would cause centralization of the mining concept, and becoming ASIC resistant is a key component to decentralization. In response to the votes, the ZCash foundation stated that they would make ASIC resistance a priority. Executive Director of ZCash said that they will be having a board meeting to look at the ASICs on their network. Although the ZCash panel is not implementing resources in making their digital asset ASIC resistant at the moment, it is preparing to make their mining operations more efficient and usable so that the network is decentralized at a maximum level. The ZCash network already went through its first hard fork sometime last week. The developers of the network believe the upgrade of the network will help clear the way for future upgrades.
Japan’s Longest Regulator Will Be Leaving Sometime This Summer
Japan's longest tenured regulator, Nobuchika Mori who is also the Chief of Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA), will be leaving sometime this summer. Mori is known to be crypto-friendly and has had a huge impact on the crypto regulations that have been imposed by the government of Japan. Japan has been known as strict when it comes to money laundering and fraud policies and it is considered a conservative region, in the global crypto market. Mori was responsible for establishing strategies that accept and allow emerging markets, new innovations, and asset classes. Mori and his team of regulators have focused on creating policies that can make a better ecosystem for fintech companies and startups. Mori's forward thinking ideas, has led Japan to become one of the most lucrative cryto exchange markets in the world. The global market statistics are that Japan has 62% of the global Bitcoin trades which is three times higher than the United States. Although Japan was victim to a $500 million hack to their largest crypto exchange platform, Coincheck, they are still a dominant force in the global crypto market. Mori's effective leadership skills has been a major influence on other digital currency markets, such as the United States and South Korea. Hopefully Japan continues to implement new policies and Mori's impact will continue the momentum for the country's market.
Digital Currency Regulations Being Set for Abu Dhabi Market
The regulating power for Abu Dhabi's free zone and international finance center has released a regulatory framework. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) is trying to enforce safe marketplace practices to ensure a successful market. Companies and businesses in Abu Dhabi that are participating in anything crypto related, must follow the policies and procedures that are in the framework. The FSRA has categorized digital assets as commodities. Any security tokens that are issued to investors, must be practicing the regulatory requirements. Utility tokens will also be categorized under commodities. Off-shoot funds that have relations with any crypto assets, will also have to abide by the regulations and will be considered "Specified Investments". Under the new regulatory framework, if a new exchange would like to operate, there is a fee of $125,000, and an annual cost of $60,000. Digital wallet companies, or crypto custodians will pay a starting fee of $20,000 then an additional $15,000 annually. The regulations also include a levy that are based on dialing trading that uses a sliding scale. Exchanges that have transactions that are lower than $10 million, the levy that will be applied will be 0.0015% which equals up to $15,000 per month. Exchanges that have a higher average daily value of more than $250 million would have to pay 0.0006% which comes out to around $150,000 per month.
Co-founder of Cardano Believes Wall Street Will Rake in Trillions for the Crypto Market
Cardano and Ethereum Co-founder, Charles Hoskinson, believes that Wall Street's entrance into the digital currency market, will bring in trillions of dollars. He reassured investors by saying that the market will pick back up compared to its current situation. Wall Street companies and firms are jumping on the cryptocurrency wagon. Many high profile people have been investing in the market. For example, Mike Novogratz used to be a Wall Street executive until becoming the CEO of Galaxy Digital Capital Management. He was working for Goldman Sachs prior to putting in 10% of his funds into the digital asset market. Hoskinson made a prediction that the market would experience a price correction and a condensation. He also stated that this would weed out the companies that did not have a strong enough business model. Seems like his predictions have served to be true, so we hope that the market will also advance to its former levels.

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