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

Cryptocurrency Community and Crypto Adoption News

Nigerians and South Africans Love Bitcoin

Many experts have been of the opinion that Africa is “next frontier for cryptocurrency”. And it does seem true that Bitcoin and other crypto continue to gain in popularity in two African countries with a large number of unbanked citizens, Nigeria and South Africa. According to recent Google Search Heat Ranking of “Bitcoin”, most searches come from those two countries. The third country with the most “Bitcoin” searches is Austria, then comes Brazil, the fifth is Switzerland. Australia came in eighth place.

Google Trends shows Bitcoin interest surging in Africa
Source: Micky.com.au

A US Sports Bar Accepts Crypto

Last time, adoption news came from France. This time, it comes from the US. A sports bar, Terminal One Sports Bar, in New Jersey, has started accepting cryptocurrency payments, including BTC and LTC. 

Asian Institutional Investors Become Fonder of Crypto Hedge Funds 

We all know that institutional investors in many countries have been showing interest in the crypto space for some time now. However, that wasn’t the case in Asia so much. According to CoinDesk, Asian institutional investors have also recently started showing interest in crypto hedge funds.

Ripple Expands European Operations

In order to further expand its operations in Europe, a few days ago Ripple announced its operations launching in Iceland and the acquisition of the crypto trading firm Algrim. According to the company, Iceland will serve as one of Ripple’s engineering hubs.

Libra Losing Support?

Former Libra supporters and financial partners, such as Mastercard and Visa, seem to be “reconsidering their involvement”, according to The Wall Street Journal.  The reason for this is a negative reaction from both European and US government officials.

Bitcoin Mining Farm Burns Down

According to Crypto Twitter, a Chinese Bitcoin mining farm, allegedly Innosilicon (though they do deny it), caught on fire earlier this week. 

The fire destroyed $10M worth of mining machines.

“Free National and International Payments” for Venezuelans

Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela, has announced that the country will soon activate a crypto payment method for its citizens. He said that The finance minister and Venezuela’s central bank have new instruments which we will activate very soon so that everyone can do banking transactions, as well as national and international payments through the central bank’s accounts. Venezuela is working within the cryptocurrency world.

Blockchain an Ally in Fighting Against VAT Fraud?

Even though Europeans might need to wait a few more years before the governments start widely using blockchain for VAT reporting, there has been some progress. EU, which is supposed to be pouring millions of euros into blockchain projects, believes that the technology might come in handy in fighting VAT evasion.

The EC’s director general for taxation is looking at the use of blockchain to facilitate the exchange of information between tax authorities. This is something that is being built as part of the European blockchain services infrastructure, said European Commission principal manager in the Directorate for Information, Workplace and Innovation, Spyridon Pilos.

Regulation: Russia Updating Legal Crypto Classification 

In order to regulate the industry easier, the Russian Ministry of Finance might start legally classifying cryptocurrencies into three distinct categories. And those categories are technical tokens, virtual assets, and digital financial assets.

Bad Guys in Crypto

Fake Bakkt

As you may know, Bitcoin futures platform Bakkt launched last Monday. Unfortunately, there is also a fake Bakkt site that launched just a few days later.

Queen Elizabeth II “Asking for Help” to Save Great Britain’s Economy 

A slightly different scam has emerged in the UK. What’s different about this scam is that it’s in the form of a physical letter “sent by” Edward Young, the private secretary of Queen Elizabeth II.

The letter states that for the second time in the last 30 years, […] Queen Elizabeth II appeals to a certain number of people to save Great Britain’s economy after the upcoming Brexit.

UK crypto scam Queen Elizabeth II
Source: Cointelegraph

Thankfully, not many people have fallen for this, as the Bitcoin address that the scammer provided has so far received a total of 0.00032652 BTC (~ US$2.70 / $AU4.03 / £2.20).

Masad Clipper and Stealer

Juniper Threat Labs’ security researchers have warned that there is a malware that is targeting crypto wallets. Malware is delivered by a Trojan and uses the messaging app Telegram to exfiltrate information.

According to Juniper, the spyware steals browser data, which might contain usernames, passwords and credit card information. Masad Stealer also automatically replaces cryptocurrency wallets from the clipboard with its own.

In order to protect yourself, the best is to download any software or tools directly from the manufacturer website or through an official app store.

Bitcoin Price

Even though last week Bitcoin’s price had one of its worst moments this year – when the price fell under US$8000, for the first time since June – many are still pretty bullish.

Commodity trading veteran, Peter Brandt believes that Bitcoin will fall more, until it reaches US$5,500, but will then rally to US$50,000. John McAfee agrees, and still stands firm on his previous prediction that BTC will be worth US$1 million by the end of next year.

Founder of Ikigai Asset Management, Travis Kling, believes that bitcoin will reach its new all-time high, i.e. US$20,000, within the next 18 months. On the other hand, a German bank, Bayern LB, predicted that Bitcoin will hit US$90,000 after the halving in May 2020.

As for this recent drop, many are blaming Bakkt and its “underwhelming launch”, such as JP Morgan Chase & Co. Kling also attributes the latest price crash to the “disappointing” launch.

In any case, digital asset research firm Delphi Digital reminds us that the dip is not that bad at all. On the contrary, it’s a great opportunity to buy some BTC. [Those] with long-term conviction in this asset class should welcome this pullback with open arms as it presents an opportunity to buy or add to existing positions at lower prices, they say in a new report, as reported by Forbes.

We closed the day (AEST), October 02 2019, at a price of US$8,222 (~ AU$12,261 / £6,686).