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Bitcoin Bulls in Danger as Price Drops $500 in Minutes Back Under $10K

For the past few days, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) has been hovering above the 20 Moving Average (MA) and drawing closer to the moving average as volume continued to taper off and lower highs were set each day. 

Crypto Market Data

Crypto Market Data Source: Coin360

The digital asset began to look bearish on multiple time frames and it seemed that a downward move was more likely than any other outcome. Once the 12 Exponential Moving Average (EMA) dropped below the 26-EMA on Sept. 16, aggressive intraday traders correctly predicted a double bottom bounce at $10,075. 

BTC/USD 6hr Chart

BTC/USD 6hr Chart Source: TradingView

As this price was hit for a third time on Wednesday amidst the continuation of lower highs, a bearish breakdown was on the cards. 

Surely, many traders are panicking given that the Bitcoin is fast approaching the termination point of the descending wedge. Everyone is expecting volatility and fingers are crossed in hopes Bitcoin will make an explosive upside move, which — when taking a view of the bigger picture — is certainly not off the table. 

BTC/USD Daily

BTC/USD Daily Chart Source: TradingView

The most recent drop brought Bitcoin price right to the 111 Day Moving Average (DMA), a point that has reliably functioned as a bounce point since Apr. 2. The 111 DMA lines up with the $9,600 support and a drop below this point brings BTC closer to exiting the base of the descending wedge at $9,385. This level has also functioned as a support and bounce point for Bitcoin since July 16. 

The pullback to the 111 DMA also lines up with the lower Bollinger Band arm and traders will note that the VPVR shows diminished demand below $9,500 until about $8,800. A drop below $9,300 would draw concern as there is minimal purchasing demand until below $8,600. 

BTC/USD Daily Chart

BTC/USD Daily Chart Source: TradingView

Macro trumps micro when it comes to Bitcoin investing

Bitcoin Golden Ratio creator Philip Swift recently advised traders to keep a hawk’s eye on Bitcoin’s historical volatility, which is dropping precipitously at the moment. Swift tweeted: 

“It’s now very possible that BTC just goes sideways for a while now. If that scenario plays out, then it is worth keeping an eye on Historical volatility — currently dropping quickly. It would present a lovely long position trade opportunity when it drops down to the green box.”

BTC/USD Daily Chart

BTC/USD Daily Chart Source: Philip Swift / TradingView 

Bitcoin Golden Ratio Multiplier

Bitcoin Golden Ratio Multiplier Souce: Philip Swift

Thought the indicator has a lag in reflecting Bitcoin’s spot action based on the API updates of the exchanges where it draws data, Swift’s Bitcoin Golden Ratio indicator shows BTC has dipped below the 1.6 (green line), which represents the higher level of a Bitcoin accumulation phase.  

While it’s unlikely that Bitcoin price will drop back to the 350 DMA (orange) at $6,562 it does suggest that if crucial supports fail to hold, Bitcoin could trade sideways for some time in a further prolonged accumulation phase into the 2020 halving event. 

All is not lost if this bearish situation was to play out, at this point, a drop to $9,350 or below could present an excellent opportunity to enter a low-leverage long position. If one backtests previous dips to $9,350 and $9,100, we can safely conclude that taking a low-leverage position at these price points would have produced satisfying profits. 

The weekly time frame is not bearish, yet…

Popular crypto analyst Filb Filb also zoomed out to the weekly timeframe and reassured investors that all is well with Bitcoin from a macro perspective.

BTC/USD

BTC/USD Source: Filb Filb / TradingView

 According to Filb Filb, this “wick fill narrative for the weekly BTC chart removes a lot of noise.”

He added:

“Prepared for the worst but this doesn’t scream descending triangle top into 50% selloffs to me. Also, VPVR gap at 6K was below — this time it is above. Just worth bearing in mind.” 

BTC/USD Weekly Chart

BTC/USD Weekly Chart Source: TradingView

As shown above, at the moment the weekly time frame is still encouraging with BTC continuing to pull away from a rising 20-WMA. The weekly high of $10,370 still reaches for the upper arm of the descending wedge but the succession of weekly lower highs does warrant attention. 

It’s natural that BTC’s price will tighten with occasional volume spikes as Bitcoin draws closer to the wedge termination point. 

BTC/USD Daily RSI

BTC/USD Daily RSI Source: TradingView

As discussed previously, the daily Relative Strenght Index (RSI) is falling toward 37, a point which has thrice been followed by an explosive upside move on Jan. 28, Feb. 7 and Aug. 28. 

BTC/USD OBV

BTC/USD OBV Source: TradingView

The same could be said for the daily On Balance Volume and traders should watch to see if a lower than 1.311, a point not breached since July 29.

BTC/USD Weekly RSI

BTC/USD Weekly RSI Source: TradingView

The weekly RSI is also clearly up to something. Perhaps in a worst-case scenario Bitcoin price will fall to $9,300, touch the bottom of the triangle on the weekly RSI, then reverse course, working its way back above $10K and on towards the overhead resistance at $10,250. 

Ultimately, Bitcoin price has flashed bearish signals for a few days now and a downside break seemed imminent. Now that it has occurred the next step is to see which supports hold and if Bitcoin will mirror previous bounces at the 111 DMA and descending wedge base. 

Already we have seen buyers step in around $9,600 to buy the dip. One would imagine that a dip to $9,350 would inspire even strong purchasing demand.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

US FDA to Hold Meeting on Blockchain and AI in Food Traceability

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a public meeting at which it will discuss its “New Era of Smarter Food Safety” initiative.

Per a Sept. 17 announcement, the FDA set up a meeting with a group of international stakeholders on October 21, 2019, to discuss public health challenges and the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Specifically, the FDA intends to establish “a more digital, traceable, and safer system” to protect consumers from contaminated food.

Efficient tracking of contaminated food

The initiative proposes to deploy technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and sensors to develop a digital food system, which will allow users to trace the sources of food products and assess associated risks.

The new approach was initially announced in late April by Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless and Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannas. Per the announcement, emerging technologies could greatly reduce the time needed to trace the origin of contaminated food and respond to public health risks.

Food industry players are focusing on blockchain

Blockchain technology has the potential to transform and improve the food industry as many food retail and produce companies are making a pivot to its application. Just recently, Nestlé said it had to adopt a “start-up mindset” in order to push ahead with its challenging blockchain venture.

This summer, tech giant Oracle and the World Bee Project revealed the development of a blockchain-based sustainability assurance system for the honey supply chain. In addition to blockchain technology, BeeMark also plans to make use of data science to monitor environmental factors pertaining to the bees’ surroundings.

According to recent research conducted by the University College London center for blockchain and retail blockchain consortium, the grocery sector is currently responsible for nearly half of all distributed ledger technology-based supply chain projects.

‘Get Ready for Bitcoin $20K,’ Says BitMEX CEO as Fed Panic-Prints $53B

Bitcoin (BTC) could soon shoot to $20,000 as a result of emergency measures from the United States Federal Reserve, also known as The Fed, one of the industry’s biggest firms has said.

Fed echoes 2008 crisis moves

In a tweet on Sept. 18, Arthur Hayes, CEO of derivatives giant BitMEX, forecast that fresh quantitative easing (QE) would further decrease faith in fiat currency.

The comments come a day after the Fed swooped to decrease interest rates on some loans which reached more than 10%, or four times its target. More than $53 billion was pumped into the economy. 

“QE4eva is coming. Once the Fed gets religion again, get ready for #bitcoin $20,000,” Hayes wrote. 

The Fed’s QE injection marked its first emergency intervention since the end of the 2008 financial crisis, an event directly leading to Bitcoin’s creation. 

While the cryptocurrency has yet to see a global crisis of the same scale, markets have shown that Bitcoin price benefits from political and economic uncertainty.

Hayes doubles down on Bitcoin price

Not just the Fed, meanwhile, but also the European Central Bank (ECB) is following the QE trend once more this year. 

Completing its latest move last week, commentators believe markets want the ECB to continue the same behavior, giving rise to the “QE4eva” phenomenon described by Hayes.

Earlier this month, Hayes already said Bitcoin would again hit its all-time high of $20,000. As Cointelegraph reported, BitMEX is still grappling with unwanted attention from U.S. regulators, who suspect that Americans are bypassing BitMEX geoblocking and accessing the platform.

Bitcoin Addresses Worth $100,000 or More Hits All-Time-High

The number of Bitcoin (BTC) wallet addresses holding a minimum of 10 BTC — worth over $100,000 to press time —  has hit an all-time high, multiple data sources reveal.

According to BitInfoCharts’ Bitcoin Rich List, as of Sept. 17, there are 157,210 addresses holding between 10 and 1,000,000 BTC. 

Earlier this month, Coin Metrics’ State of the Network report had plotted the latest data historically to reveal that these mega-holders are at an all-time high for the network.

Addresses Holding At Least 10 BTC

No. of Bitcoin wallet addresses holding >10 BTC. Source: CoinMetrics, Sept. 4, 2019

Breaking down the data

Bitcoin wallet address holdings, Sept. 17, 2019

Bitcoin wallet address holdings, Sept. 17, 2019. Source: BitInfoCharts

The Bitcoin Rich List reveals that the holdings of the 10-100 BTC group — split between 140,940 unique addresses — are worth in excess of $46.1 billion.

Meanwhile, among the 1,942 addresses holding between 1,000 and 10,000 BTC each, the total value of their holdings is greater than $48.2 billion.

Just 4 addresses hold between 100,000 and 1 million BTC, worth a total of $5.35 billion.

Notably, the top 4 addresses on BitInfoCharts are centralized exchange wallet addresses, meaning that each reflects assets held in custody for tens of thousands of individual users. 

As Cointelegraph reported, the number five spot was just taken by a mystery 94K BTC transaction that occurred earlier this month. 

In a separate chart devoted to unique wallet addresses analyzed in terms of fiat currency value alone, BitInfoCharts’ data indicates there are 2,118 wallets worth over $10 million each and 17,273 addresses with holdings worth $1 million or more.

The top 1%

Parallel to data on these Bitcoin mega-holders, XRP users have been circulating metrics for the token this week revealing that holders of 70,000 XRP or above — worth $18,900 to press time — qualify as falling within the top 1% of XRP holders.

This June, as crypto winter saw the first sign of thawing, Cointelegraph reported that Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, founders of the Gemini crypto exchange, saw their fortune more than double to hit a combined $1.45 billion — restoring the twins’ erstwhile status as Bitcoin billionaires once again.

$10K Bitcoin Stronger Than Ever But No One Seems to Care: Google Trends

Bitcoin (BTC) has hit a four-month low this week — as a search term on Google, with market fatigue and boredom spreading beyond traders.

“Bitcoin” least Googled since May

Data from Google Trends confirms that the term “Bitcoin” is less popular now than at any time since the end of April. 

Despite the largest cryptocurrency actually trading higher this week than then — at $10,200 versus $4,100 — it appears Bitcoin currently attracts little mainstream interest.

On a normalized scale of 1 to 100, “Bitcoin” currently charts at 38 worldwide, after briefly hitting 100 in late June. That performance coincided with BTC/USD hitting its 2019 high of $13,800. 

12-month worldwide Google search popularity for “Bitcoin.”

12-month worldwide Google search popularity for “Bitcoin.” Source: Google Trends

Interest follows price

As Cointelegraph has previously reported, mainstream attention tends to fluctuate in line with Bitcoin price volatility.

Overall searches have rocketed since the beginning of April when Bitcoin price began its rise from months of sideways trading around $3,500. 

Other episodes of parabolic moves have likewise increased Bitcoin’s stance, as mainstream media titles frequently choose to cover cryptocurrency price performance over any other event.

BTC/USD has remained similarly flat around the $10,000 since mid-August, while commentators continue to suggest that volatility is ripe to return during the rest of the year.

$250K Bitcoin Price Prediction Is Now ‘Conservative,’ Says Tim Draper

Major Bitcoin (BTC) bull Tim Draper now thinks that his own prediction that BTC price will hit $250,000 by 2022 may be understating the power of Bitcoin.

BTC price to grow with adoption

In an interview with crypto news network Blocktv on Sept. 13, the famous American venture capital investor has once again expressed his bullish stance to Bitcoin, forecasting the soon-to-come mass global adoption that will push the price of Bitcoin higher and higher.

Draper stated in the interview:

“$250,000 means that Bitcoin would then have about a 5% market share of the currency world and I think that maybe understating the power of Bitcoin.”

Bitcoin still too complex 

According to Draper, people are still preferring fiat money over Bitcoin so far because fiat money seems to be an easier option to pay for services. The VC billionaire argued that Bitcoin’s lack of ease of use is the main impediment of the cryptocurrency to the mass adoption to date, claiming that “engineers have not made it that easy enough for everyone to use Bitcoin.”

However, in the longer term, people will have Bitcoin as the currency of choice because fiat currencies are subject to political influence due to its centralized nature and they will depreciate in value due to a natural inflation rate, Draper said. 

He also reiterated his stance that Argentina will be a great market for Bitcoin as a number of local entrepreneurs tend to lose their fortune in local fiat currency due to currency manipulation and devaluation.

Still, even in countries such as the United States, people will generally want a currency that is trusted and decentralized over a currency controlled by entities like the Federal Reserve, which can be very political, Draper concluded.

Draper’s new claims follow his recent forecast that there might be a slight delay in Bitcoin’s path to a $250,000 price. 

On Aug. 9, the investor predicted that Bitcoin price will hit the threshold by Q1 2023. On Sept. 9, Draper joined the board of directors of EOS-based decentralized application (DApp) firm MakeSense Labs.

Report: OKEx Delisting Monero, Dash, Privacy-Cryptos Over FATF Demands

The South Korean arm of cryptocurrency exchange OKEx is removing support for five major altcoins due to new international regulations. 

FATF rules halt privacy coins trading

According to crypto news outlet The Block on Sept. 16, OKEx’s Korea unit will halt trading of Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), Zcash (ZEC), Horizen (ZEN) and Super Bitcoin (SBTC) on Oct. 10.

The reason, says the exchange, is that as since they are focused on privacy, the coins fall foul of new guidelines set out by the intergovernmental body the Financial Action Task Force, or FATF.

As Cointelegraph reported, the sweeping changes to crypto transaction rules demand businesses to identify the two parties sending funds to each other if a transaction is worth more than around $1,000. 

More exchanges could follow

More than 200 countries should theoretically implement the rules by June 2020, despite concerns that doing so is physically impossible for many decentralized blockchains. 

The five cryptocurrencies outlined by OKEx all make it all but impossible to identify the sender and recipient of a transaction by design. 

It remains unclear whether the exchange will apply the restrictions globally. Cointelegraph has reached out to OKEx for comment but did not receive a reply by press time.

Ethereum Price Flashing Bullish — Can ETH Trigger an Altcoin Revival?

For the past two weeks, the Ether (ETH) price has been a frequent topic of discussion among traders. Investors are beginning to wonder if the altcoin has finished its retrace from a 2019 high at $364. This week Ether settled at the $170 support and proceeded to reverse course.

Cryptocurrency Monthly Performance

Cryptocurrency Monthly Performance. Source: Coin360

While this is not terribly exciting, and not convincing enough to indicate a trend reversal, the excitement comes from the interpretation that if Ether bottoms and reverses course, other ailing altcoins will follow suit. 

Traders will remember that starting December 2018, Ether and Litecoin (LTC) kickstarted the rally that would affectionately be dubbed “altseason.” This is probably where all the excitement surrounding Ether’s recent 15.31% is coming from. 

Let’s take a look at the ETH/USD and ETH/Bitcoin (BTC) charts to see what’s going on.

Ether attempts to change the trend

ETH/USD Daily Chart

ETH/USD Daily Chart Source: TradingView

As the daily chart shows, Ether managed to pop above the descending wedge after a double bottom slightly below the $167.50 support. The 12 EMA and 26 EMA have yet to converge but given the strength of the recent move, it seems they will shortly. 

ETH/USD Weekly Chart

ETH/USD Weekly Chart Source: TradingView

The weekly chart shows Ether attempting to reverse the trend and a move above $196 would set a higher high. 

Purchasing volume is less than fantastic and something traders should keep an eye on. Some analysts are attributing Ether’s rise to the network’s demand skyrocketing over the past month. 

Ethereum Total Gas Used

Ethereum Total Gas Used. Source: Glassnode Studio

According to Placeholder partner Chris Burniske

“This can be read as: demand for #Ethereum’s world computer is at ATH.” 

SetProtocol Head of Product Marketing Anthony Sassano explained that in his opinion an increase in gas usage does not necessarily mean that prices are lagging or will “catch up” in the future. Sassano said:

“The reason the gas usage is higher is because of more complex transactions (DeFi txs aren’t just simple ether or token sends — they use a lot more gas).”

The weekly Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) histogram flipped to positive and is nearly at 0 but the MACD has yet to pull above the signal line. 

Weekly MACD ETH USD

Weekly MACD ETH USD Source: TradingView

Meanwhile, the weekly Stoch is flashing bullish.

Weekly Stoch ETH USD

Weekly Stoch ETH USD Source: TradingView

Since Nov. 14, 2016, Ether bottoms at 0 on the weekly Stoch have been followed by strong moves upward. 

This occurred most recently in December 2018 when Ether bottomed near $80 and lifted off to the 2019 high at $364. As one will note, there is a bull cross on the weekly Stoch and traders should keep a close eye on what follows over the coming weeks. 

4-hr ETH/USD

4-hr ETH/USD Source: TradingView

Currently, Ether trades within an ascending wedge on the 4-hour timeframe and following the touches on the ascending wedge. A drop in volume or overbought conditions could see Ether pullback to the 20-MA of the Bollinger band indicator at $181. 

Ether price is already appearing to lose some steam as it broke slightly above the upper Bollinger Band arm so the next candle close could possibly see the asset reverse course. 

It’s not all roses and sunshine

Popular crypto-trader Josh Rager also appeared to question the longevity and strength of Ether’s current move. According to Rager: 

“Lots of people talking hype for ETH… we’ll it’s good that it’s above the 20 MA — could be confirmation (so it continued to make new lows after each time this has happened since Nov/Dec 2018) The only problem is it looks like price has hit the overhead resistance cluster above.”

Rager cautioned that going all-in on Ether could be a risky move as Bitcoin price continues to consolidate within a narrowing wedge and Bitcoin “breaking down will only lead to a loss for all assets including ETH and BTC will likely retrace less than ETH overall if that happens.”

Chart

Ether dominance also might have bottomed and Ether’s dominance rate rose from 7.11 to 7.92 over the past two weeks. 

Ether Dominance Market Cap Weekly Chart

Ether Dominance Market Cap Weekly Chart. Source: TradingView

It will be interesting to see if the market cap sets a lower high and traders should watch to see if other altcoins move in tandem if Ether moves up in price and market capitalization. 

The daily ETH/BTC chart shows ETH above the 20 daily moving average for the first time since early June and the altcoin is above the descending triangle. Ether appears to have topped out at the upper Bollinger band arm — and as volume dries up — a Doji candle has formed. 

4-hr ETH/USD

4-hr ETH/USD Source: TradingView

As suggested for the ETH/BTC pair, Ether could pull back to the 20DMA over the short-term. 

Cautious traders might consider waiting for ETH to overtake 0.01989 and 0.02239, whereas ambitious traders will probably take a position now with a tight stop loss and attempt to capitalize on the 8 to 23% gains to collected if ETH moves to 0.02239. 

ETH/BTC Weekly

ETH/BTC Weekly. Source: TradingView

It’s clear Ether still has plenty of work to do. One hopes it will rally to the 20 WMA at 0.02330. Those brave souls already in a position might consider placing a stop loss at 0.01725, which rests atop the upper arm of the descending triangle. 

Following the trend of oscillators being reset, the weekly RSI on the ETH/BTC has changed course from 25.68. 

ETH/BTC Weekly RSI

ETH/BTC Weekly RSI. Source: TradingView

The daily RSI on the ETH/BTC has moved above 45, which has functioned as an overhead resistance since July 1. 

ETH/BTC Daily RSI

ETH/BTC Daily RSI. Source: TradingView

Similar to the ETH/USD pair, the weekly Stoch on the ETH/BTC pair has reset and if previous performance can be looked to as a guide, the current bullish cross on the oscillator could mean Ether is positioned for impressive gains.   

ETH/BTC Weekly Stoch

ETH/BTC Weekly Stoch. Source: TradingView

Bearish Scenario

If Ether corrects and drops back below the $170, losses could accelerate to last support at $146. A drop below this point could open the door to a precipitous drop to the $80s. 

This cataclysm could be kicked off if Bitcoin price drops from the descending wedge or to the mid-$9,000s again. Fortunately, the weekly time frame looks okay and setting a higher high above $196 would be encouraging. 

Bullish Scenario

Traders should keep an eye out for a steady increase in purchasing volume and hopefully the achievement of a higher high on the daily timeframe. A move to $196 would also bring Ether above the ascending wedge and closer to the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement level at $211. 

Given that Bitcoin price could be nearing the end of its consolidation phase and traders are anticipating wild volatility, those trading Ether should be using a tight stop loss and taking a percentage of profits on the way up, assuming Ether manages to continue gaining. 

As labeled on the daily chart, taking some profit at $202, $215 and $230–$240 might be wise. 

While trailing stops are not supported by most exchanges, traders can be vigilant and adjust their stops in the event Ether continues to rally higher.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Coinbase Pro to Add Support for DASH Trading

United States-based major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced that its professional trading platform Coinbase Pro will launch support for DASH token next week.

According to a Medium post published by Coinbase on Sept. 12, Coinbase Pro will start accepting DASH deposits starting Monday “for at least 12 hours prior to enabling full trading.” The launch of DASH trading, on the other hand, is planned for 9 AM Pacific Standard Time on Sept. 17. The company also noted:

“Once sufficient supply of DASH is established on the platform, trading on the DASH/USD, and DASH/BTC order books will start in phases, beginning with post-only mode and proceeding to full trading should our metrics for a healthy market be met.”

Not a global feature

The firm also added that not everyone will be able to enjoy the new features. According to the announcement, DASH will be available in Coinbase’s supported jurisdictions, with the exception of New York State and the United Kingdom. Additional regions “may be added at a later date.”

The post explains that while DASH is a cryptocurrency optimized for payments with optional speed and privacy features, the trading platform will not support them “at this time.” The exchange also claims that DASH is accepted by over 4,000 merchants worldwide.

As Cointelegraph reported in July, Coinbase Pro also added support for Tezos (XTZ).

US Treasury: Non-Compliant Fintechs Won’t Survive the War on Terror

United States Treasury undersecretary Sigal Mandelker stated that cryptocurrencies could become “the next frontier” in the war on terrorism.

According to a press release published on the U.S. Treasury’s website on Sept. 11, Mandelker made her remarks during the 19th annual international conference on counterterrorism.

Cash is still predominant

While Mandelker admitted that most terrorist organizations still rely on various traditional means of financing such as cash, she also said that she believes crypto could become “the next frontier”:

“Terrorist organizations and their supporters and sympathizers are constantly looking for new ways to raise and transfer funds without detection or tracking by law enforcement.  While most terrorist groups still primarily rely on the traditional financial system and cash to transfer funds, without the appropriate strong safeguards cryptocurrencies could become the next frontier.”

Hamas already tried to use Bitcoin

She also noted that in February Palestinian Sunni-Islamist fundamentalist militant organization Hamas asked for Bitcoin (BTC) donations via social media. By March, it is claimed that the two specified addresses received at least $5,000 each. Mandelker added:

“While this may not seem like a lot of money, a FinCEN analysis found remittances linked to terrorism averaged less than $600 per transaction.  As we know, the cost of carrying out a terrorist attack can be very low. But the human costs to victims is always extraordinarily high.”

Non-compliant networks won’t survive

According to Mandelker, she recognizes that cryptocurrencies are developments in the field of value transmission that require a “tremendous amount of energy and expertise.” However, she also warned that cryptos may never become compliant if a system capable of preventing illicit finance is not in place, and that now is the moment to put the same technological expertise to work. Mandelker added:

“Absent appropriate safeguards to keep our nations and our communities safe from terrorists, rogue regimes, and others who threaten us, the U.S. will work with governments around the world to make sure that non-compliant networks and fintechs do not survive.”

Congressman is not so sure

The last statement seemingly contradicts the declarations made in July by U.S. congressman Patrick McHenry, who represents North Carolina’s 10th District. McHenry is confident that any attempts to stop Bitcoin are futile:

“The world that Satoshi Nakamoto, author of the Bitcoin whitepaper envisioned, and others are building, is an unstoppable force.”

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this week, Mandelker also recently stated that Facebook’s Libra stablecoin must meet the highest anti-money laundering and terrorism financing standards.

German Gov’t Speaks Against Approval of Facebook’s Libra in Europe

The government of Germany has spoken against the authorization of the development of Facebook’s forthcoming Libra stablecoin in the European Union.

As German weekly news magazine Spiegel reported on Sept. 13, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) parliamentarian Thomas Heilmann — who is responsible for the blockchain policy of the CDU and Christian Social Union in Bavaria set to be approved later in September — the government will deny projects like Libra.

“Not to allow market-relevant private stablecoins”

Heilmann stated that it was agreed in the grand coalition “not to allow market-relevant private stablecoins.” He further explained:

“Up to now, the economy has done a great job in countering crises and inflation with measures taken by central banks. Once a digital currency provider dominates the market, it will be quite difficult for competitors.”

The report, however, notes that in its blockchain strategy the federal government envisions the development of a state-run digital currency.

Europe’s own public cryptocurrency

Heilmann made his statement on the heels of French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire’s allegation that Europe should consider its own “public digital currency” that could challenge Facebook’s Libra.

At a meeting of EU finance ministers in Helsinki, Le Maire said that he would be discussing the potential for a European public digital currency with his counterparts on the continent next month. He also reiterated his concerns that the proposed Libra stablecoin could pose risks for consumers, financial stability and even “the sovereignty of European states.”

Switzerland is open to Libra

Contrary to Germany and France, Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority director Mark Branson said on Sept. 12 that the agency is open to international cooperation and oversight of the way in which it regulates Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency network.

Branson stipulated that Libra’s global significance can only be tackled through international coordination and consultation, and added:

“Such a ‘beauty contest’ did not exist. Our first contact with the initiators took place after the decision for Switzerland had already been made and communicated. That’s positive. The ‘jurisdiction shopping’ you alluded to would be very sensitive. It would put pressure to get as loose as possible standards.”

Cubans Are Turning to Bitcoin to Access Global Economy: Report

Bitcoin (BTC) trading is opening new avenues for citizens in communist-run Cuba, which has been financially isolated for years under a United States trade embargo.

A Sept. 12 report from U.S. News claims that, with the recent advent of mobile internet in the country, Cubans are increasingly using cryptocurrencies to make online purchases, as well as to invest and trade.

“Opening new doors” in retail

Without access to debit or credit cards for international use, cryptocurrency-enabled purchases are a welcome opportunity for consumers. In an interview with U.S. News, local resident Jason Sanchez said cryptocurrencies were “opening new doors” for Cubans. 

The 35-year-old said that he was now able to purchase spare parts for his cellphone repair shop in Havana from an online Chinese store because of BTC.

Alex Sobrino — the founder of Telegram channel CubaCripto — estimated that roughly 1,000 Cubans were using cryptocurrencies, adding:

“We are using cryptocurrencies to top up our cellphones, to make purchases online, and there are even people reserving hotel rooms.” 

With credit cards uncommon, many local crypto users reportedly need to ask relatives abroad to help them to enter the cryptocurrency markets or turn to social media channels such as CubaCripto. 

Exchanges where cash is swapped for Bitcoin in person — using a mobile or laptop to carry out the transaction — are another option, the report notes.

A solution to financial exclusion

About 1,300 users are currently using Fusyona, which claims to be Cuba’s first cryptocurrency exchange. The platform allows people abroad to send remittances to the country, or to invest in nine different cryptocurrencies via a larger exchange — with services charged at a fee of up to 10%. Fusyona founder Adrian C. Leon told U.S. News:

“For foreigners, cryptocurrencies is just another option. But for Cubans, it is a necessity and can be a solution to their exclusion from the global financial community.”

Sobrino noted that uncertainty and fear remain over how the government might react to the fledgling cryptocurrency trend. Fusyona is registered in Brazil but has started talks with central bank officials to investigate whether the platform could seal formal approval. 

“We worry the government will restrict us, prohibit things, start to say this is illicit enrichment,” he said. 

The central bank reportedly revealed earlier this week that it was exploring the benefits and risks of digital currencies. 

In July, Cuba’s economy minister Alejandro Gil Fernandez said the government was consulting with academics to study the potential use of cryptocurrency for its national and international commercial transactions.