Here’s what’s been happening in the crypto world over the past 7 days.

Cryptocurrency Community and Adoption News

“The Average Bitcoin Investor Is Young, Rich and Male” – Or Maybe Not?

Even though there is a common perception that Bitcoin is male-dominated and that the “average bitcoin investor is young, rich and male”, recent data indicates that that might not really be true. According to a new survey from Grayscale, 43% of respondents who expressed interest in Bitcoin were female.

Although both men and women perceive Bitcoin in the same way, they have different reasons for investing. “Women tend to see investments as a means for protecting themselves and their families from hardship more than a way to get rich. In our survey, 60% of women cared more about financial security than building wealth (compared to 48% of men),” the report says.

Also, more women than men (47% versus 39%) think that the Bitcoin price will only rise and that the best time to invest is now.

One interesting confirmation that this survey provides is that, as we all know, crypto education is extremely important. A whopping 93% said that “they could be more open to the asset class if they had more educational resources available to them”. So the authors conclude that “more education could lead to increased female interest in Bitcoin”.

Swiss Crypto Bank SEBA Welcomes Clients from 9 Additional Countries

Last Thursday, “the bank for the new economy” started accepting both institutional and private professional clients from nine other countries. In addition to those from Switzerland, SEBA now offers its services to clients from Germany, France, Austria, UK, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

ECB’s Christine Lagarde Acknowledges the Demand for Digital Currencies

On December 12, European Central Bank tweeted a video of its President, Christine Lagarde, talking about digital currencies. Speaking of stablecoin projects, she says that “we’d better be ahead of the curve”. She also adds that “there is clearly a demand out there that we have to respond to”.

Human Rights Foundation’s Chief Strategy Officer: Bitcoin Is a Way Out

In a recent CoinDesk opinion piece, Alex Gladstein shared his exceptionally positive views on Bitcoin, and why it’s important for the society.

Aside from working at the Human Rights Foundation, a non-profit that promotes and protects human rights globally, he has also been the Vice President of Strategy for the Oslo Freedom Forum since 2009.

In his article, he writes:

“Our world’s growing financial perils are much-discussed: rampant inflation, rising national debts, fiat devaluation, financial surveillance, and a fear of increasing corporate and government control over our money as cash disappears. You can’t go a day without reading about some aspect of global economic malaise in the front pages of your favourite newspaper or website. There are many pundits who claim to know why the world is going in this direction – but very few who understand that bitcoin is a way out. Many of those who do learn tend to do so out of necessity, not out of luxury.”

He also points out that Bitcoin is already “working as Satoshi intended”. He says it’s already powerful enough to help citizens of countries that implement financial repression. Moving forward, Gladstein urges the Bitcoin community to spend more time talking to new communities. “If they face financial obstacles, they’ll see the value in bitcoin, and spread it through their own networks. This could very well be a better use of your time than giving your usual talk to the same old crowd,” he concludes.

Crypto Twitter Philantrophy

Millionaire philanthropist and “inventor of Twitter Philanthropy”, Bill Pulte, recently bought some cryptocurreny for the first time. Eleven BTC to be precise. Now, he wants to give away some satoshis for free.

Pulte is already well-known for his social media philanthropy and “random acts of kindness”. In the past, he has been giving people money (or cars) just for retweeting his tweet.

This time, he is asking his followers to share in a comment why they need Bitcoin, in order to get a chance to receive some cryptocurrency for free. Why? “Cryptocurrency can help the world’s poorest…especially those who are ‘unbanked’… as a philanthropist, I therefore want to promote adoption,” he tweets.

Quadriga Ex-Users Asking Canadian Authorities to Exhume Cotten’s Body

According to BBC, lawyers who are representing Quadriga’s ex-users are requesting the exhumation of the exchange’s founder body due to “questionable circumstances” surrounding his death. When he died, back in December 2018, Gerald Cotten was the only person who had passwords to digital wallets. The amount of cryptocurrency locked inside these wallets is estimated at over US$100 million.

Blockchain News

Blockchain Used in the Jewellery, Supply Chain and Health Insurance Industries, and for Helping Migrants

In order to enhance transparency in the diamond industry, the largest diamond mining company, Russian ALROSA, will be using blockchain. This Monday, together with Everledger, they announced WeChat Mini Program e-commerce solution for Chinese retailers.

“The pilot, enabled by Everledger’s blockchain technology, will allow their customers to purchase diamonds with full transparency of their origin, characteristics and ownership history. That means secure and traceable diamond information (from mine to consumer) at the fingertips of potentially a billion active WeChat users,” explains Everledger in their Medium post.

According to Ledger Insights, Glencore, British–Swiss commodity trading and mining company, is joining the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network for ethical sourcing and production of minerals. Current members already include carmakers such as Ford, Volkswagen and Volvo, cobalt supplier Huayou Cobalt, IT company IBM, and chemical company LG Chem.

A US healthcare insurance provider, Anthem, turned to blockchain for allowing their patients to securely access and share their medical data, reports Forbes. In the next three years, the company plans to secure the medical data of its 40 million members. “What blockchain potentially gives us the opportunity to do is not worry about those trust issues,” said Gail Boudreaux, CEO of Anthem.

The UN Migration Agency, International Organization for Migration (IOM), together with a blockchain solutions company, Diginex launched a blockchain-based tool that will help prevent the exploitation of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong. Diginex and IOM also plan to roll out the tool, IRIS-SAFER, to recruitment agencies globally.

Iot Industry “a Sweet Spot” for the Blockchain Adoption

According to a recent Gartner study, and as reported by CoinDesk, 75% of IoT technology adopters in the US have already adopted blockchain or are planning to do so by the end of next year.

UK’s Bottle Pay Shutting Down Due to 5AMLD EU Regulation

Bottle Pay, a company allowing users to send Bitcoin to anyone with a social media account, announced last Friday that it will be shutting down. It will stop operating on December 31, 2019. The reason – 5AMLD.

The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) is an update of 4AMLD Directives, coming into effect on January 10, 2020.

“The amount and type of extra personal information we would be required to collect from our users would alter the current user experience so radically, and so negatively, that we are not willing to force this onto our community,” wrote the company in their blog post.

Crypto Twitter expressed their sadnesses, but respected their decision, calling it “a powerful decision” and “a way to stick to your guns”.

According to CoinGeek, Netherlands-based crypto mining pool, Simplecoin, is also shutting down, at the same time, and for the same reason.

Bad Guys

Two Canadians Plead Guilty to a 23 BTC-Worth Fraud

Two Canadians pleaded guilty to defrauding a woman out of around 23 BTC, which is currently worth over US$164k. They created a fake Twitter account to impersonate a Hong Kong-based crypto exchange. They confessed conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering.

Ransomers Switching from Cryptocurrency to Prepaid Debit Cards?

According to a Kaspersky blog post, there is a new trend in demanding ransom – a prepaid debit card. In sextortion messages, hackers ask the victims to buy prepaid debit cards and top them up to a certain amount. They should then photograph both sides of those cards and send those photos to a specific e-mail address. It’s still not clear whether scammers are moving away from Bitcoin and will be focusing on this kind of ransom. However, as Kaspersky post emphasizes: “All the same, you shouldn’t pay.”

Bitcoin Market

For the past seven days, the price of Bitcoin ranged between around US$6,606 and US$7,288.

bitcoin price dec 12 - dec 19
Bitcoin price December 12 – 19; Source: CoinCheckup

Throwback: Bitcoin Price Two Years Ago and One Year Ago

As Blockonomi reports, two years ago, on December 18, Bitcoin reached its all-time-high of almost $20,000.

On the other hand, one year ago, on December 15, Bitcoin dropped below $3,200, which was its lowest point since August 2017. Even though Bitcoin fans are not happy about the recent price correction, compared to last year, Bitcoin is still up by over 100%, as U.Today reports.

Analysis and Predictions

While some see Bitcoin dropping to below $6,500, others think it could even go under $5,000. However, there are also those, such as Nicholas Merten, who are confident that Bitcoin will quickly reverse.

As Merten, founder of crypto YouTube channel DataDash, explains in a tweet, “For those who are worried, remember this: Markets are simply about inflows and outflows.”

One former Bitcoin bear, Mark Yusko, seems to have turned into a Bitcoin bull. Yusko, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Morgan Creek Capital Management, sees Bitcoin first reaching $100,000, all the way up to $500,000. “Between now and 2021, we’re likely to see $100,000 bitcoin. By 2025, we’re likely to see $250,000 bitcoin, and then some time out, 2030, we could see $400,000 or $500,000 bitcoin as it reaches gold equivalence,” according to Forbes, he told Business Insider.

We closed the day, December 18 AEST time, at a price of around US$6,696 (~ AU$9,773 / £5,118). The price has, however, this morning, December 19, jumped to over US$7,100 (over AU$10,365 / £5,427).