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Current State of The Crypto Market (May 19th, 2019)

Hackers:   The hacked New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia has urged its users to stop depositing funds to the exchange, as they are shutting down for good and going into liquidation.  Cryptopia has been appointed the consultancy and audit firm network Grant Thornton New Zealand as liquidators.  Now the exchange joins the likes of Mt. Gox, QuadrigaCX, and countless other hacked and liquidated crypto exchanges.  The $16 million Cryptopia hack in January of this year should be remembered as an example of what can happen to centralize crypto exchanges that hold their users’ cryptocurrency.  It can never be said too often: it’s of the utmost importance to hold the majority of your crypto holdings offline in a safe and secure hardware or paper wallet. These types of wallets cannot be easily hacked, if at all, and are highly recommended to any crypto user.

 

Bullish Key Players:   There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the Bitcoin price could finally be ready to make a prolonged move to the upside once again. The price has been generally on an upward trend since it sank as low as $3,200 in December 2018.  Just recently, however, there has been a much more dramatic price increase than we have seen since the days of 2017. During April and the start of May, Bitcoin’s price more than doubled to a yearly high of $8,320. It has since corrected back to just below $8,000.  The rising prices have been accompanied by other signs that new money might be ready to get back into the Bitcoin and crypto asset markets. Max Keiser believes recent financial policies initiated by the US have made the sound monetary policy offered by Bitcoin highly attractive once again. He also states that during this bull market, institutions are likely to fear missing out just as much as retail did in 2017. This could lead to the $100,000+ Bitcoin he has been calling for as clients of Fidelity, Bakkt, and TD Ameritrade all scramble against retail investors to buy up the increasingly scarce crypto asset.

 

Banks & Institutions:  The European Central Bank stated that cryptocurrencies do not have implications on monetary policy or factor into the real economy in a recent report.  In the report titled “Crypto-Assets: Implications for financial stability, monetary policy, and payments and market infrastructures,” looks into the potential impact of digital currencies on economic developments and monetary policy.  The bank specifically states that such implications could occur should cryptocurrencies became a credible substitute for cash and deposits, while currently they do not fulfil the functions of money.  The bank further says that cryptocurrencies’ deployment remains limited, with a small number of merchants ready to allow purchases of goods and services with digital currency, as the prices of digital assets remain volatile.  However, the they note that the development of stablecoins — the value of which is pegged to physical assets, fiat currencies, or is stabilized by an algorithm — warrants continuous monitoring because they could become less volatile if collateralized by central bank reserves.

 

 

Adoption: Leading tech powerhouse Microsoft, the company responsible for the format of modern computers and of course, Windows, aren’t strangers to Bitcoin and blockchain technologies. As a matter of fact, the founder of Microsoft, one of the most prolific tech-figures in the world; Bill Gates is often found to be talking about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, though his feelings on Bitcoin are a little unclear – Gates often remains cryptic in his messages.  Even so, Microsoft themselves have been working on blockchain based projects for some years now, it’s actually quite surprising they haven’t branched into the production of their own cryptocurrency yet, though many believe that cryptocurrency still remains a little underground for that just yet. In their latest move, as revealed earlier this month, Microsoft now hope to start using Bitcoin in more productive ways, namely in the protection of their users identities and personal data.

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