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

Cryptocurrency Community and Adoption News

Online Travel Agency Now Accepts 6 Cryptocurrencies

Last week, a Spanish online travel agency, which operates globally, started accepting additional five cryptocurrencies as payment methods. Aside from Bitcoin, which the agency started accepting back in 2014, travellers can now see prices in, and pay for their accommodation and flights with Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, EOS, and Dash.

Venezuela Gets a New Bitcoin ATM

The largest (and crypto-friendly) department store in Venezuela, Traki, installed a Bitcoin ATM in one of its stores last Friday. At the moment, the Bitcoin ATM supports Bitcoin and Dash. Also, for now the customers can only buy these cryptos, not sell them for fiat. According to data from Coin ATM Radar, the new machine seems to be only the third crypto ATM in the country.

Crypto Tipping Service TipJar Shuts Down

TipJar, a service that was making it easy to send micropayments over social media, is shutting down. A free, Ethereum-powered service which allowed Redditors to easily send micropayments to each other, exists since May 2017. However, according to the TipJar developer, “there has been very little activity on the [Reddit] bot”, so it “is being shut down immediately”. Although the website will be live until April 10, 2020, the developer is urging everyone, who has an existing balance in their TipJar account, to withdraw it “as soon as possible”.

Crypto Donations on the Rise

According to a new report, the number of charities accepting cryptocurrency donations in Australia, Europe, and North America, has increased by up to 100%.

And one concrete example comes from UNICEF, which launched Cryptocurrency Fund on 9th of October. Through the Crypto Fund, the organisation will be able to “use cryptocurrencies to fund open source technology benefiting children and young people around the world”, according to the statement. The fund, which is part of UNICEF’s ongoing work with blockchain technology, will accept BTC and ETH contributions.

We don’t see the Crypto Fund so much as being crypto. What we really see it as is being ready for a digital future. We’re going to need to be ready to deal with digital assets whether that be bitcoin, or ether, or some other government-backed digital currency, Christina Lomazzo, Blockchain Lead at UNICEF, told Forbes.

Aside from the NPO and NGO sector, crypto donations are welcome in the political world as well. Japanese politicians are allowed to accept donations to fund their election campaigns, but only if those donations are in cryptocurrency. All other forms of donations are unlawful.

US Tried to “Take Down” Bitcoin

According to Katie Haun, former US Justice Department’s prosecutor for Bitcoin-related felonies and today’s crypto expert and investor, the US attorney’s office asked her to look into “shutting down” Bitcoin, back in 2012. They said ‘we have this perfect assignment for you’ — there’s this thing called bitcoin and we need to investigate it, she told CNBC.

Working on the case, she realised one extremely important thing – that Bitcoin is similar to cash in terms of criminal activity. And that means that Bitcoin could enable criminal activity but it wasn’t responsible.

Bitcoin a “High-Tech Cry for Help” 

This Sunday, Forbes chairman and editor-in-chief, Steve Forbes, was a guest on ARK Invest podcast. He shared his thoughts on cryptocurrencies, describing Bitcoin as “a high-tech cry for help”. Bitcoin has performed a very important role in helping people in distressed situations around the world: getting around governments (institutions, really) that want to control you, starve you, and hurt you, he said

Yet Another Deadline for Bitcoin ETF

The road to Bitcoin exchange-traded fund approval has been a pretty long one. October 13 is yet another SEC deadline for approving or rejecting a Bitcoin ETF – this time from Bitwise Investments. 

Matt Hougan on CNBC’s “ETF Edge”

We’re closer than we’ve ever been before to getting a bitcoin ETF approved, said the company’s managing director, Matt Hougan. Sometime before Monday, the SEC has to give its decision: yes or no. They have no more ways to postpone it at this point.

Blockchain News

Land Records on Blockchain 

UAE’s Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities will be using blockchain for land records. The solution for Abu Dhabi citizens, called SmartHub, will store all property-related documents on a blockchain. In this way, tracing land records will become easier and the processing time it takes to do real estate transactions will be reduced.

NBA Uses Blockchain for a Reward Program

NBA’s Sacramento Kings are no strangers to the crypto space. Five years ago, they were the first NBA team to accept Bitcoin payments in the arena. In 2018, they even started minig cryptocurrency as part of a charitable program, MiningForGood. This Monday, they announced their new blockchain-powered reward program. The program will be an enhancement to the NBA’s predictive gaming app “Call the Shot”.

We have only just begun to see the benefits of blockchain technology as it transforms the way business is conducted worldwide, ensuring secure transactions across multiple sectors and customers, said Vivek Ranadivé, Sacramento Kings Chairman, CEO and Governor in a statement.

Regulation

Liechtenstein’s Blockchain Act

Last Thursday, the already crypto-oriented, Liechtenstein Parliament approved the Token and TT Service Provider Ac, i.e. the Blockchain Act. This is a very significant step in terms of developing the regulatory framework. With this act, according to the statement, Liechtenstein will be positioned as an innovative and legally secure location for providers in the token economy.

According to the same statement, Liechtenstein is the first country to have a comprehensive regulation of the token economy. The aim of the Blockchain Act is to improve investor and client protection, combat money laundering and establish clarity in regards to digital securities.

Hong Kong’s Regulations for Crypto Fund Managers

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued rules on cryptocurrency funds and fund managers investing in “virtual assets”. A document called “Proforma Terms and Conditions for Licensed Corporations which Manage Portfolios that Invest in Virtual Assets”, is effective immediately.

UK Tightening the FCA Crypto Regulations

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) intends to enforce strict rules on crypto exchanges, ATMs, and open-source projects. Some experts also believe that the ban on selling crypto-derivatives to retail investors is almost certain.

In response, the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) is urging the FCA not to ban the sale of crypto derivatives to retail consumers while supporting the regulator’s desire to better protect vulnerable consumers.

Brazil Clearing the Crypto Industry of Scams

On the other hand, Brazil has declared war on crypto scams in order to increase confidence in the industry. The aim is to improve the security of the crypto sector, so the courts have been targeting and shutting down illegal cryptocurrency “investment” firms. The country is trying to eliminate, or at least, reduce the number of scams, as that would positively impact the industry’s legitimacy.

Cryptocurrency Market

Despite the recent price dip, Bitcoin is the best performing asset of 2019, since the price has more than doubled.

As far as the predictions go, a new one aligns well with some mentioned in our previous review. They don’t align as much in terms of the exact price, but rather in the sentiment that May 2020 will be a significant period. Based on the fractals identified by a crypto commentator @davthewave, BeInCrypto analysis suggests that Bitcoin will be worth around US$15,000 in May 2020, right before halving. As mentioned in our last week’s review, a German bank predicted that Bitcoin will reach US$90,000 after the halving.   

Bitcoin price October 02 – October 09; Source: CoinDesk

Speaking of the price, in the last seven days, Bitcoin has been between US$8,067 and US$8,377 for the most part. The only exception was the weekend, when the price dipped below $8,000, and it was trading for around $7,815. However, it quickly recovered on Monday, and went above $8,150. We closed the day, October 09 2019 (AEST), at a price of US$8,170 (~ AU$12,148 / £6,692).