Bitcoin Bounces Back Above $8,000 Level After Earlier Slump

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Bitcoin Bounces Back Above $8,000 Level After Earlier Slump

Bitcoin rebounded back above the $8,000 level in Asian trading, hours after dipping below that threshold for the second time in a week as Twitter Inc. joined other social media platforms in banning advertisements for initial coin offerings and token sales on its service.

The largest cryptocurrency rose as much as 4.8 percent and was trading at $8,193 at 8:59 a.m. in Hong Kong, reversing an overnight decline that took Bitcoin down to about $7,850 according to consolidated Bloomberg pricing. Rival coins Ripple, Ether and Litecoin also advanced. Bitcoin remains down 22 percent in March.

Cboe Global Markets Inc., which was the first U.S. exchange to list Bitcoin futures last year, continues to have plans to introduce more cryptocurrency-related products. The exchange operator prodded U.S. securities regulators Monday to consider approving crypto exchange-traded funds in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Since Bitcoin reached a peak of almost $20,000 in mid-December at the height of the cryptocurrency frenzy, the digital currency has lost more than half of its value as investors weigh the future of the emerging space amid intensifying scrutiny from global regulators.

Twitter confirmed Monday it’s banning the advertisements on its platform due to concern the content is often related to deception and fraud, according to a company spokesperson. The decision comes after Facebook Inc. banned cryptocurrency ads in January and Alphabet Inc.’s Google said it would do the same starting in June.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-27/bitcoin-bounces-back-above-8-000-level-after-earlier-slump

Bitcoin Ban Expands Across Credit Cards as Big U.S. Banks Recoil

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A growing number of big U.S. credit-card issuers are deciding they don’t want to finance a falling knife.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. said they’re halting purchases of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on their credit cards. JPMorgan, enacting the ban Saturday, doesn’t want the credit risk associated with the transactions, company spokeswoman Mary Jane Rogers said.

Bank of America started declining credit card transactions with known crypto exchanges on Friday. The policy applies to all personal and business credit cards, according to a memo. It doesn’t affect debit cards, said company spokeswoman Betty Riess.

And late Friday, Citigroup said it too will halt purchases of cryptocurrencies on its credit cards. “We will continue to review our policy as this market evolves,” company spokeswoman Jennifer Bombardier said.

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Allowing purchases of cryptocurrencies can create big headaches for lenders, which can be left on the hook if a borrower bets wrong and can’t repay. There’s also the risk that thieves will abuse cards that were purloined or based on stolen identities, turning them into crypto hoards. Banks also are required by regulators to monitor customer transactions for signs of money laundering — which isn’t as easy once dollars are converted into digital coins.

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Bitcoin has lost more than half its value since Dec. 18, falling below $8,000 on Friday for the first time since November. The drop occurred amid escalating regulatory threats around the world, fear of price manipulation and Facebook Inc.’s ban on ads for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings.

Now, cutting off card purchases could exacerbate those pressures by making it more difficult for enthusiasts to buy into the market. Capital One Financial Corp. and Discover Financial Services previously said they aren’t supporting the transactions.

Mastercard Inc. said this week that cross-border volumes on its network — a measure of customer spending abroad — have risen 22 percent this year, fueled partly by clients using their cards to buy digital currencies. The firm warned that the trend already was beginning to slow as cryptocurrency prices fell.

Discover Chief Executive Officer David Nelms was dismissive of financing cryptocurrency transactions during an interview last month, noting that could change depending on customer demand. For now, “it’s crooks that are trying to get money out of China or wherever,” he said of those trying to use the currencies.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-02/bofa-to-decline-all-cryptocurrency-transactions-on-credit-cards

    Did Bitcoin Just Burst? How It Compares to History’s Big Bubbles

    Bitcoin’s recent wobbles have given fresh urgency to a question that’s gripped market observers for much of the past year: Will the cryptocurrency go down as one of history’s most infamous bubbles, alongside tulipmania and the dot-com craze?

    The magnitude of Bitcoin’s boom (before it lost as much as 50 percent from its Dec. 18 high) suggests investors have reason to be worried.

    As the chart shows, the cryptocurrency’s nearly 60-fold increase during the past three years was truly extraordinary.

    It dwarfed the Nasdaq Composite Index’s gain during the headiest days of the 1990s. Going further back, it comfortably outstripped the Mississippi and South Sea bubbles of the 1700s. It even topped the Dutch tulipmania of the 1630s, though that last comparison should be taken with a grain of salt given the scarcity of recorded tulip values. (The chart includes prices for just one varietal; consistent post-peak figures were unavailable.)

    Bulls say that Bitcoin’s boom is far from over, and that there’s more to analyzing a market than just measuring price gains. While the recent tumble has alarmed some investors, the cryptocurrency has bounced back from several previous swoons exceeding 50 percent. If Bitcoin did become a widely-accepted form of digital gold, as predicted by Cameron Winklevoss of Facebook fame, it could have a lot further to surge.

    Read more: Crypto Hedge Funds Soar More Than 1,000% Amid Bubble Debate

    There’s also more than one way to slice a rally. On an annualized basis, Bitcoin’s three-year rise has been slower than the gains seen during several of history’s biggest manias — most notably the Mississippi and South Sea bubbles.

    Still, skeptics abound. Howard Wang of New York-based Convoy Investments LLC and Jeremy Grantham of GMO LLC have analyzed Bitcoin’s advance relative to past frenzies and concluded that it’s unsustainable. Grantham, who helps oversee about $74 billion as GMO’s chief investment strategist, summed up his concerns in a Jan. 3 letter to investors:

    “Having no clear fundamental value and largely unregulated markets, coupled with a storyline conducive to delusions of grandeur, makes this more than anything we can find in the history books the very essence of a bubble,” he wrote.

    The strategist has a mixed record of success with such warnings. While Grantham was correct to call the 1990s surge in tech stocks a bubble, he exited too soon and missed out of some of the market’s biggest gains.

    Only time will tell whether Grantham and other bears are right, wrong, or just too early when it comes to Bitcoin.

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    For a menu of cryptocurrencies on Bloomberg: VCCY
    For bitcoin prices: XBT Curncy

      Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-17/did-bitcoin-just-burst-how-it-compares-to-history-s-big-bubbles