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UAE Did Not Ban Bitcoin.

The Central Bank in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) issued the ‘Regulatory Framework for Stored Values and Electronic Payment Systems’ on January 1 which appeared to ban all virtual currencies. However, the Bank’s Governor recently corrected this misconception, confirming that virtual currencies, including bitcoin, are not banned.

"All Virtual Currencies (and any transactions thereof) are prohibited"

This statement caused many people to conclude that the Central Bank has banned all virtual currencies. However, Gulf News recently obtained clarification from the Central Bank confirming that virtual currencies were not banned. Mubarak Rashid Khamis Al Mansouri, Governor of the Central Bank, told the publication:

"These regulations do not cover “virtual currency”  these regulations do not apply to bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, currency exchanges, or underlying technology such as blockchain"

The Governor also revealed that virtual currencies are “under review by the Central Bank and new regulations will be issued as appropriate.” He emphasized that the Regulation Framework’s core objective is “to facilitate robust adoption of digital payments across the UAE”.

Industry Thinks President Trump Will Be “Bitcoin Friendly” Ahead of Cybersecurity Order.

According to an attendee of private Bitcoin conclave Satoshi Roundtable III, both a congresswoman and CEO of Overstock Patrick Byrne believe President Trump, mired in a web of controversy in the US and globally, will be “bitcoin friendly” — even as a sweeping draft executive order on the nation’s cybersecurity framework awaits his signature.

Congresswoman Addresses Trump at Bitcoin Meeting,

According to OpenBazaar founder Brian Hoffman, the special guest for day one of the Cancun retreat called the Satoshi Roundtable was a congresswoman who gave the gathering a “rundown of what to expect” from the Trump Administration regarding Bitcoin and blockchain.

She had met with Trump personally and seemed very optimistic that he was going to do a good job,” he said. “Crazy like a fox, not crazy is how she characterized him.”

EY Uses Bitcoin ATMs to Raise Awareness at the World Web Forum.

At this year’s 2-day World Web Forum in Zurich, one of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms, EY, presented two Bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) to raise awareness for digital innovation. An EY team was also present to assist visitors with purchasing and spending bitcoin.

Accepting Bitcoin is Easy and Opens Businesses to New Customers.

As Bitcoin increases in value and popularity, merchants worldwide may wonder how they can accept the cryptocurrency at their ecommerce websites. Preparing to accept Bitcoin at your online shop is not only easy, but when complete it opens your business to a slew of new customers.
 
Bitcoin use worldwide has become widespread, and many are using the cryptocurrency for daily transactions. Because Bitcoin is gaining more acceptance online businesses may be enticed to accept the digital asset at their stores. Adding Bitcoin as a payment for services and goods opens the business to a whole new group of customers. Furthermore, the cryptocurrency has much smaller fees than traditional credit card networks, and is a decentralized currency for the people rather than funds issued by governments or corporations.

China crackdown sends Bitcoin sliding.

China's central bank said it wanted to investigate market manipulation, money laundering and unauthorised financing.
Chinese exchanges trading in the currency have seen the price of Bitcoin fall more than 16%.
The move comes as Beijing's tries to crack down on money flowing out of the country illegally. The weakening yuan has prompted many people to try to buy foreign currencies.

The Bitcoin currency had soared to record highs in the first days of 2017, a rise attributed largely to strong demand from China, where most Bitcoin trading takes place.
The Chinese central bank said that the "spot checks were focused on how the exchanges implement policies including forex management and anti-money laundering".
The currency traded at $760 (£624) on Thursday morning, down from more than $915 the previous day. Earlier in January, Bitcoin hit a $1,129 high.

Venezuelans Turn to Bitcoin to Escape Financial Hardships.

Venezuela has been suffering from significant economic decline and turbulent markets. Many worldwide and residents of the region blame the country’s socialist government and centrally planned economic choices. Over the past few months, it’s been reported quite frequently that Venezuelan citizens have been finding financial relief by utilizing the decentralized cryptocurrency bitcoin.

Google Searches for Bitcoin up Over 400% in Venezuela Over the Past Week.

Eventually, Venezuelans have developed a keen awareness of emerging technologies and stores of value like bitcoin. In fact, over the past week, Google searches for the keyword “bitcoin” in Venezuela rose by over 400%. Some Venezuelans have begun to allocate their capital — which is rapidly losing value due to the devaluation of the Venezuelan bolivar — in bitcoin mining, with hopes to obtain a legitimate currency in bitcoin to purchase goods and items internationally on platforms like Amazon through bitcoin applications such as Purse.io.

The rising demand and interest in bitcoin in Venezuela also make the possibility of the replacement of national currency with a digital store of value such as bitcoin likely, considering that the national currency has already lost its value amongst Venezuelans. People are trying anything within their capacity to obtain US dollars, gold and bitcoin to ensure they can support their daily living.

Bitfury Receives $43 Million Bitcoin Sale Requests, Firmly Declines

Major bitcoin mining and blockchain technology firm Bitfury reportedly received bids from various investors and assets under management (AUM) funds over the past week as bitcoin price surged past US$800. In response, Bitfury Vice Chairman George Kikvadze firmly declined their offers, stating that the company isn’t and will not be interested in selling their bitcoin in the future.

Halving History Suggests Bitcoin Price Is Heading for $11,210

The two network halvings in bitcoin’s almost eight year history probably play more of a role in pricing than is continuously acknowledged in the financial analysis of the Bitcoin price.
In November 2012, the halving propelled interest, demand and disinflationary mechanisms; all which led to a continuation of the price increase, according to many Bitcoin participants.
Bitcoin’s major price gains the following year were well broadcast by mainstream media, with Bitcoin being featured on flagship television shows across the globe. The context of July 2016’s halving has likewise taken place amid attention-grabbing Bitcoin price increases. The correlation and/or causation between these two events are still subject to much speculation.

The halving in November 2012, when the price was $13, preceded the aforementioned $238 all-time high reached in early April 2013 by nearly six months. That’s a 1,731 percent increase from the halving to the next peak, a Bitcoin all-time high of approximately $1,122. The next halving took place on July 9, 2016.
On January 14, 2015, Bitcoin traded at $177, it’s nadir since the previous $1,122 high had been reached in late 2013. On the halving day 2016, the price of Bitcoin stood at $648. It had steadily climbed. Its topsy-turvy price formations had by-and-large helped people miss the newly awoken bull.
Since July, when the halving took place, Bitcoin’s price increases have only become more dramatic. Where this current price increase ends is anyone’s guess. 1,730 percent (the percentage price increase after halving 2012) of $648 comes to about $11,210.

Bitcoin Investors Should Send A Thank You Note To Modi And Maduro

Bitcoin is racing towards the $1000 mark again. And the recent currency policies of India's Modi and Venezuela's Maduro may have something to do with it.
How? By pushing people into Bitcoins—the digital currency rally coincides with Modi’s and Maduro’s efforts to get rid of old currency notes.
Prime Minister Modi and President Maduro have very little in common -- except they have pursued policies recently that replace large notes in circulation with new notes (India) or with coins (Venezuela).
For a good purpose, of course. Prime Minister Modi has been trying to fight corruption, a widespread problem in India. And President Maduro has been trying to fend off capital flight from the ailing Venezuelan economy.
While both policies have had some success in achieving their objectives, they’ve had a serious side effect, too: undermining public confidence in national currencies as a store of wealth. Why hold a currency that can be printed in unlimited amounts and which has an expiration date?
Of course, the public can hold dollars, euros, yen, and yuan, but those can be manipulated, too.
That’s not the case with Bitcoins, which cannot be manipulated by governments, and therefore, can serve as a good alternative to national currencies.

Walmart Testing Blockchain Technology for Supply Chain Management.

U.S. retail giant, Walmart, is about to start a major test of blockchain technology for supply chain management, The Wall Street Journal reports. A pilot project, which will start in the first quarter of 2017 and run for four months, plans to leverage distributed ledger technology to track and trace pork in China and produce in the U.S. — two high-volume product categories with large markets.

How Freelancers in India Use Bitcoin to Increase Their Real Wages.

Bitcoin activity in India has been on the rise over the past few months, and a new partnership between bitcoin exchange, Unocoin, and payroll service, Bitwage, may help that growth continue. This new partnership is designed to allow freelancers or employees in India to receive a better rate on the payments they receive from outside the country.



Freelancers in India have already been taking advantage of the better rates they get by telling their employers to pay them via Bitcoin rather than PayPal, and Bitwage has the potential to make the process of getting paid via Bitcoin much simpler for remote workers in the country.

New Developments in Quantum Computing Impact Bitcoin

Quantum computing might be closer than we thought, thanks to a series of newly developed scientific methods. Furthermore, a new implementation of Shor’s algorithm increases the urgency of getting Bitcoin ready for the advent of quantum computing.

Bitcoin’s Price Teasing Towards New Highs.

The past two weeks has seen Bitcoin’s price value soaring to new levels since Bitcoin.com’s last price trend analysis. The fiat value per BTC came very close to this past June’s high but fell short at $778 on December 2. Since then, the cryptocurrency’s price has dipped roughly 2.3% to a low of $748 at press time. However, charts still look as though the price will continuing pushing through higher paths of resistance.

EY Switzerland Accepts Bitcoin and Installs ATM

Big Four accounting firm EY (Ernst & Young) has just announced its Switzerland branch will be accepting bitcoin. Furthermore, the professional services company will install a bitcoin ATM in the main building of its Swiss office.

India to Ban Gold Importation; Bitcoin Price Rally, Market Shock Imminent

Gold, which most investors and traders consider as the world’s safe haven asset, may be banned by India in the upcoming months.

India is one of the largest gold importers around the world, purchasing around 700 tons of gold per year. Experts state that the demand for gold in India is higher than most assets and reserve currencies, arguably making gold the most valuable asset in the country.

However, reports suggest that the government may be planning a ban on the importation of gold, as gold premiums reached two year highs this month.

Korea Steadily Becoming a Cryptocurrency and Fintech Hub.

South Korea has become a hotbed for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology startups. Just recently the Korea Exchange launched its Korea Startup Market (KSM) based on blockchain technology, provided by Korean blockchain startup Blocko. Furthermore, the Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC) plans on regulating virtual currencies like bitcoin in 2017.

Bitcoin Price Jumps on Trump Victory

The shocking news of Donald Trump’s election victory rattled markets across the world, leading some investors to seek refuge in assets outside of stocks and bonds. The price of gold surged, as it usually does during times of uncertainty, but it wasn’t the only asset to benefit.

The cryptocurrency bitcoin also jumped to a recent high of $738 overnight, and was trading at around $726 on Wednesday morning according to Coindesk. That represents around a 3% increase from the $708 mark that was on 8th November bitcoin price.

South Korean Bank Creates Cross-Border Bitcoin Service

One of the oldest banks in South Korea, Shinhan Bank, has revealed it will launch a cryptocurrency remittance service using Bitcoin. A joint effort between the bank and Streami Inc. will oversee the cross-border service between Korea and China.

Parliamentary Member in Ukraine Declares Bitcoin Assets

(NewsBTC) – Ukraine is among one of the few nations to have a supportive cryptocurrency ecosystem. Even the major banking institutions in Ukraine have started accepting Bitcoin payments through their merchant solutions. In a first, Alexei Mushak — a member of the Ukrainian parliament — became the only politician in the country to declare Bitcoin as assets.

Scotland to Start Own Stock Exchange Using Blockchain Technology

(Bloomberg) – Scotland may get its own stock exchange using the latest, if unproven, technology to underpin the system. Scotex is seeking to raise as much as 15 million pounds ($18.4 million) to start a regulated equity market next year, according to a statement on Thursday. Executed trades will be processed by the type of distributed-ledger technology that drives bitcoin.