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LCI backs cryptocurrency as a legitimate payment option

The cryptocurrency industry in India has been somewhat precarious lately, with a great deal of uncertainty regarding its future. A small glimmer of hope for the future global currency is starting to shine, however, from an unlikely source. Cryptocurrency was listed as a legal payment option last month in legislation being considered to legalize sports gambling in the country.

In a report entitled “Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting including Cricket in India,” the Law Commission of India (LCI) is considering digital payments – including crypto – in preparation of the legalization of sports gambling. The report was drafted following investigations by police into allegations of million-dollar bets on the part of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which discovered that IPL cricket matches were the target of “black money” for gambling, effectively bypassing the government’s attempts to control illegal gambling.

Upon the revelation that the controls were ineffective, Indian Supreme Court judges submitted a proposal to legalize sports gambling in the country. It appointed the Lodha Committee, in conjunction with the Board of Control for Cricket India, to explore the recommendation.

The committee reported that there is a distinct, but subtle, boundary between recreational betting and match fixing. It asserted that it would be possible for match fixing to still be illegal while making recreational betting a legal activity that could help to generate tax revenue.

The LCI, in its report, put cryptocurrency in the same category as credit and debit cards, as well as Internet banking. It said, “Similar restrictions should also be prescribed for the purpose of the amount one would be allowed to stake while using electronic money facilities of the likes of credit cards, debit cards, net-banking, VCs, etc.”

According to Nischal Shetty, founder of peer-to-peer crypto exchange WazirX, “It is the first time that a body appointed by the government has given recognition to virtual currencies that they have value and can be used for a transaction. Therefore, it is a very positive sign, especially considering the report has come out after a lot of deliberation.”

The crypto community had expected to hear the court’s decision on the subject of cryptocurrency this month. However, they will now have to wait until September 11 at the earliest.

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Bitcoin will see a major bull run in 2018, Experts claim

The year 2018 has been off to a bad start for all cryptocurrencies. Whereas some people already despair, good things will come to Bitcoin and altcoins. Various experts are convinced all of the top currencies will mount a strong comeback during late 2018. It is always important to keep the bigger picture in mind.

Top Crytocurrencies Will Continue to Dominate

There is a lot more to cryptocurrency than just the Bitcoin price. Unfortunately, the value of BTC dictates how the rest of the ecosystem will evolve in the coming months and years. Getting rich quick with cryptocurrency may not happen in 2018 as of right now. Even so, industry experts are not too worried about the current bearish market. In fact, one could say the markets are going through their regular volatility as of right now. BRD CMO and Co-founder Aaron Lasher comments:

“The game isn’t over, Digital scarcity is a major innovation in money and value, and we’re in the initial stages of a multi-decade trend towards tokenization of assets.”

Over the past seven days, all top currencies lost a fair amount of value. Declines range from 11.6% to 15.9%, with Ethereum getting the worst of it. Additionally, over 80% of the top 100 currencies ranked by market cap have decreased in value over the past week. Bitcoin is dragging everything down, as it always has in the past. This trend will not relent until the Bitcoin price effectively recovers the lost ground.

This is where things will get interesting later this year. It is not the first time Bitcoin has gone through a lengthy bearish cycle. At one point, the value per BTC dropped by almost 99%. Surviving that proved to be rather easy, hence this current dip doesn’t seem too problematic. These are still the very early stages for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The Impending Bitcoin Bull Run

Several things are going Bitcoin’s way as of right now. The launch of ETFs allows institutional investors to speculate on cryptocurrencies. Although the demand seems rather low right now, things are gradually improving. With a regulatory body to be formed for these products, things can only improve from here on out.

Speaking of regulation, Bitcoin is still a hot topic among government officials. Any regulatory measure will legitimize the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. Not everyone is in favor of this particular trend, though, but it is a “necessary evil” to take this form of money mainstream in the future.

Currencies other than Bitcoin are still evolving as well. Ethereum is set to undergo some big changes, including a switch to proof-of-stake. Additionally, there are rumors Vitalik Buterin may effectively introduce a hard cap supply for Ether. Ripple is still making inroads in the financial sector as well. Litecoin has seen a few setbacks due to Litepay falling apart, but the currency will bounce back eventually.

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Bitcoin is a bubble and a Ponzi scheme according to this top banker

The head of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) has warned that central banks must be prepared to act against cryptocurrencies, which he labeled “a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster”.

Agustin Carstens, the general manager of the BIS, said bitcoin raises concerns about consumer and investor protection.

“Appropriate authorities have a duty to educate and protect investors and consumers, and need to be prepared to act,” Carstens said during a speech in Frankfurt.

Carstens said digital tokens “masquerading as currencies” must not subvert trust in central banks.

​He described bitcoin as “a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster”, with his last point in reference to the huge amount of energy it takes to create the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin’s price has tanked in the past week, and on Sunday it dropped below $8,000 a coin for the first time since it surpassed that level in November 2017. The asset has been under pressure since the start of the year as the threat of regulatory crackdowns around the world weigh.

Despite the drop in price and the chorus of “cryptocurrency naysayers”, the bitcoin market is actually maturing, according to David Coker, the former vice president of global risk management at Deutsche Bank.

“In truth these events are nothing more than a further sign that the bitcoin market, and cryptocurrencies in general, are maturing; in other words, business as usual and much ado about nothing.”

He explained that the decisions by Lloyds Bank and Virgin Money yesterday to ban credit card purchases of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were taken with the view that bitcoin represents a new asset class, exhibiting characteristics of both commodities and currencies.

“Viewed from this perspective, prohibiting credit card customers from charging their purchases of bitcoin makes good sense and is a sign that the market is adapting to the peculiarities of cryptocurrencies, without the need for top down regulation,” said Coker, who now works as a lecturer at the University of Westminster.

Bitcoin continues to yo-yo after a particularly rough month for the notoriously volatile cryptocurrency,

The price dipped back below $8,000 on Sunday morning after briefly surpassing $9,000 earlier on Saturday, the latter being a week high.

Bitcoin has lost more than half its value since hitting an all-time high of more than $19,000 at the end of last year.

The cryptocurrency has landed in the sights of regulators in recent weeks, dampening some of the appetite among investors.

Last week Lloyds became the first major bank in the UK to ban the buying of bitcoin with its credit cards. And Irish banks are the latest to be revealed to be monitoring the situation, following on from others in the UK.

An official from the ECB called it a gold rush with no gold, while finance heads in France and Germany called for a crackdown.

Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin’s rollercoaster ride after hitting $17,000

Bitcoin continued its rollercoaster ride on Friday, briefly crossing the $17,000 (£12,615) mark before plunging more than $2,500.

The digital currency breached new highs before falling below $14,500, down 14% on the day according to Coindesk.com.

Bitcoin had soared about 70% this week, with its dramatic rise being likened to a “charging train with no brakes”.

As concerns mount, an industry group has warned plans to start Bitcoin futures trading have been “rushed”.

Critics have said Bitcoin is going through a bubble similar to the dotcom boom, but others argue it is rising in price because it is crossing into the financial mainstream.

“Bitcoin now seems like a charging train with no brakes,” said Shane Chanel, from Sydney-based ASR Wealth Advisers.

The surging price of Bitcoin has been helped by the start of trading on the Chicago-based Cboe Futures Exchange on Sunday. The world’s largest futures exchange, CME, will begin its Bitcoin offering a week later.

Trading on futures exchanges allows investors to buy and sell contracts for the crypto-currency at a certain point in the future at an agreed price.

But the Futures Industry Association, which includes Wall Street’s largest banks, brokers and traders, has written to the US regulator over concerns that the contracts were approved “without properly weighing the risks”.

“A more thorough and considered process would have allowed for a robust public discussion among clearing member firms, exchanges and clearing houses,” the association said.

While Goldman Sachs is a member of the association, it is also one of the banks that will work as an intermediary to help clear Bitcoin futures contracts for some clients.

A spokeswoman for the investment bank said it was evaluating the risks as part of its due diligence process.

Many big investors have been reluctant to pile into the cryptocurrency market unless it is regulated.

However, the prospect of a Bitcoin futures market has raised hopes that it will be regarded as sufficiently “regulated”.

‘Major gamble’

While Bitcoin has become more mainstream in recent weeks, many observers warn the market could be a bubble waiting to pop.

“Bitcoin remains a major gamble as it is very much an asset that remains in uncharted waters, we’ve simply not experienced this before,” said Nigel Green, founder and chief executive of deVere Group.

“An asset that goes almost vertically up should typically raise alarm bells for investors.”

Even a crash or a major correction is unlikely to pose risks to the global economy, some analysts say.

While billions of dollars have been invested in Bitcoin, its $268bn total market value is still small compared to other asset classes.