El Salvador Bitcoin 

On Tuesday, September 7, 2021, Bitcoin became legal tender in El Salvador. In preparation for the day, the country's president, Nayib Bukele, said that they have added to their Bitcoin bag.

El Salvador started with 200 Bitcoin, with Nayib promising to increase the amount "as the deadline" to BTC becoming legal tender approaches. True to his word, El Salvador increased the amount by an additional 200 BTC within hours. In a tweet, Bukele observed that the country "now holds 400 Bitcoin."

At the time of the purchase, Bitcoin's price was on an upward trajectory. However, this changed when the leading coin plummeted from above $51,000 to the $42,000 zone. El Salvador took the chance to buy more.

In a tweet, Bukele confirmed the purchase of an additional 150 coins. "Thanks for the dip. We saved a million in printed paper. El Salvador now holds 550 Bitcoin," the El Salvadoran president said.

Blame the crypto crash on Bitcoin Whales and "IMF and Boomer Elites"

Interestingly, some in the crypto community were skeptical about how the dip happened when El Salvador was officially putting the USD alongside BTC. For instance, a Twitter user observed that the "IMF and Boomer Elites" deliberately crashed the Bitcoin market to "send a message to El Salvador."

Another Twitter user observed that while technical analysis "pointed" in the direction of a possible dip, "the timing with El Salvador" was suspicious and wondered whether "some entity is trying to embarrass" the country for taking the Bitcoin route.

Peter Schiff, a BTC critic, noted that "the dip may end up being a much larger plunge than" expected. Apart from Bitcoin, the price plunge was felt across the crypto ecosystem.

Although most coins have considerably recovered from the crash, they are yet to return to their previous glory. At the time of writing, BTC had dropped over 10 percent in the last 24 hours, while Ethereum (ETH) had lost slightly above 11 percent within the same period.

McDonald's Starts Accepting Bitcoin in El Salvador

According to analysts, the crypto market crash was caused by BTC whales who dumped their holdings on the day El Salvador's Bitcoin law came to effect.

Now that BTC is legal tender in El Salvador, the country has said that merchants are obligated to process Bitcoin-related transactions. While appearing in an interview on a local media outlet, Bukele's legal counsel, Javier Argueta, noted that businesses could decide whether to keep the BTC after honoring the transaction.

In a translated version of the interview, Argueta clarified that failure to accept BTC would be a violation of the country's laws. A local media publication noted that "if [a] business does not accept it [BTC], it is exposed to referrals of infractions to the Consumer Protection Law."

Notably, the government-backed crypto wallet, Chivo, allows merchants to change BTC to USD automatically.

To adhere to the new law, McDonald's, a global fast-food giant, has started accepting the leading cryptocurrency in El Salvador. This was revealed by Aaron van Wirdum who went to test whether the fast-food restaurant accepts BTC.

Although he noted that he was "fully expecting to be told no," this was not the case. To his surprise, McDonald "printed a ticket with QR that took [him] to a webpage with  Lightning invoice."

Panama Follows El Salvador's Footsteps, Moves to Legalize Bitcoin

As El Salvador embarks on actualizing BTC as a legal tender, Panama has made a move towards following its footsteps. Gabriel Silva, a member of the Panamanian Congress, has crafted a bill meant to legalize cryptocurrencies.

Also, the bill seeks to make the leading crypto an alternative payment option in Panama. Dubbed the "Crypto Law," the Congressman tweeted that it aims to make the country "compatible with the blockchain, crypto assets, and the internet."

According to the lawmaker, the bill's contents majorly involve making cryptocurrencies an alternative payment method. If it becomes law, it will open the door for commercial use of crypto on fronts previously blocked from doing so.

Notably, the bill is divided into five segments. The first segment involves boosting the digitization of citizens and state entities in the country to enhance transparency. Another objective revolves around providing certainty around fiscal, regulatory, and legal matters. It also focuses on interfacing systems with smart contracts and other forms of "trust-building between people and business." Additionally, the bill seeks to improve ways to access the country's inhabitants.

Judge Sarah Netburn has directed Ripple to provide missing messages to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The order came despite Ripple opposing it on the basis that it would cost $1,000,000. According to Netburn, the over one million Slack messages are key to the SEC’s quest to unearth that the crypto-based company was dealing with securities.

In December last year, the SEC took Ripple Labs and top Ripple officials, Brad Garlinghouse and Christian Larsen, to court over selling XRP. According to the SEC, XRP is a security and was sold without following the securities laws.

The SEC reasoned that the messages from Ripple employees were “proportional to the needs of the case.” Apart from employees’ communications on Slack, the securities regulator also wants to get hold of email communications.

In August, the securities watchdog told the judge that messages earlier produced by Ripple seemed to be incomplete.

At the time, Ripple first said that it had provided everything but later admitted it could not provide all the messages due to a processing hitch. Interestingly, the glitch left out over one million messages.

Did Ripple Have Prior Knowledge on XRP’s Regulatory Status

The judge said Ripple’s conduct of withholding the communications was extensively “prejudicial” since the previously released messages indicated that the missing communications were critically important.

Notably, the communications left out covered Ripple’s intention to drive “speculative trading in XRP” and how announcements from the multi-billion company would affect XRP’s price. Also, the SEC believes the messages cover XRP’s regulatory status.

To protest providing the messages, Ripple argued that the process would cost be costly. Unfortunately, Judge Netburn reasoned that their importance outweighed the cost.

The judge added that “any burden to Ripple is outweighed by [...] the relative resources of the parties.”

The order compelling Ripple to produce more messages comes on the heels of a motion by Ripple seeking to know if the SEC’s employees hold any virtual currencies and its policies around cryptocurrency trading.

The SEC Reveals its Internal Trading Policies, Ripple Says It Needs More

In its motion, Ripple claims that the securities watchdog has failed to disclose a subset of information crucial to understanding how the SEC treats virtual currency trading.

The San Francisco-based virtual currency-focused company wants the securities regulator to tell whether its employees own XRP. Notably, this is not the first time Ripple is seeking to get the regulator’s internal trading policies.

Two months ago in June, Judge Netburn ruled in favor of Ripple and ordered the SEC to furnish Ripple with the guidelines. However, while the regulator produced them, Ripple observed that it needed more.

The regulator revealed its guiding rules governing its employees’ interaction with crypto trading. The information revealed that the SEC hadn’t prohibited its employees from investing in virtual assets up until the start of 2018.

Ripple extrapolated the guidance to mean that the SEC is yet to consider virtual assets “as securities.”

As such, Ripple noted, between 2013 and January 2018, the SEC allowed its employees “to buy, sell and hold XRP without any restriction by the SEC. [...] the SEC itself had not concluded that sales and offers of XRP were transactions in securities.”

SEC Made It Hard to Establish Whether It’s a Security or Not, Ripple

The timeframe also indicated that the SEC didn’t give XRP fair notice before labelling XRP a security. According to Ripple, the information provided regarding SEC’s internal trading policies indicated that after 2018, the regulator left a lot to interpretation, and it was hard to know which was or wasn’t a security.

Ripple also noted that the SEC’s decision on whether a digital asset was a security or not was based on a preclearance assessment based on a case-by-case analysis.

The San Francisco-based company argued that this made it difficult to know “whether the SEC actually prohibited or allowed transactions in XRP.” Ripple continued to observe that the regulator “has refused to provide [...] the preclearance documents.”

Recently, Ripple won against the SEC on other fronts. In a recent teleconference, Judge Netburn sided with Ripple noting that Brad Garlinghouse didn’t know XRP is a security until the SEC took it to court in 2020.

Ripple’s attorney also noted that the SEC is excessively relying on the deliberative process procedures to block scrutiny of its internal documents. After a heated exchange, Judge Netburn agreed to do a personal on-camera audit of the records before providing a ruling.

 

Bitcoin Bull 

Plan B, the creator of the Stock-to-Flow (S2F) model, has stood by his earlier predictions. In his recent observations, he said that Bitcoin (BTC) reaching $64K wasn’t the end of this year’s BTC bull run. Last week, he retweeted a tweet he posted early last month.

Notably, the retweet was accompanied by the words “just to reconfirm this message from last month.” On July 2, Plan B observed that BTC’s bull market is only getting started despite the leading cryptocurrency losing more than 50 percent from its all-time high.

At the time, Plan B, who also operates under the @100trillionUSD account on Twitter, referenced his S2F model, which indicated that “this bull is not over and $64K was not the top.”

The Bitcoin supporter also indicated that Bitcoin will close this month changing hands at not less than $47K.

The retweet was one of the many documentations of Plan B’s S2F model since 2019. On the first day of this month, he noted that the trend was favoring the leading virtual currency because of an increasing realized capitalization.

Bitcoin Needs to Rally Above $45K for The Bulls to Be In-Charge

According to him, the realized capitalization represents “the average price at which all 18.77 BTC” last changed hands. He added that BTC investors liquidating their assets are doing so at a profit, unlike “in May and June.”

The S2F and its updated version, S2FX (S2F cross-asset), focuses on scarcity and BTC’s issuance rate. These two factors are expected to push the king coin’s value higher over time.

However, others in the crypto space are skeptical of the return of a bull run. For instance, a Twitter user commented on Plan B’s retweet, noting that for BTC to resume an upward trajectory, it needs “to cross the 45K” something “that may not happen until mid to late” September.

Luckily, Bitcoin may not take that long to return to its glory after momentarily touching the $45K mark over the weekend. At the time of writing, BTC was trading at $45,785 and had a 24-hour low of $42,848.

Stay Calm, Cool, and “Keep Euphoria Low”

Others were supportive of Plan B’s comments. For instance, @ming_yuh replied to @100trillionUSD, saying, “I like your approach. Stay calm and cool throughout these little pumps. Keep euphoria low, and don’t let the bears think for a moment there is reason to sell.”

As Plan B defends his BTC prediction, Gary Gensler, the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s chairman, considers Satoshi Nakamoto’s innovation to be real. While speaking at the virtual Aspen Security Forum on August 3, Gensler revealed his regulatory vision towards cryptocurrencies.

The SEC chairman started his remarks by quoting BTC’s whitepaper and the coin’s anonymous creator. Gensler said that Nakamoto’s “innovation spurred the development” of virtual currencies and the technology that underpins them, blockchain.

The SEC executive also noted that the asset is nearing a valuation of two trillion US dollars ($1.83 trillion).

Gensler said that before joining the SEC, he covered a lot about crypto and its technology while at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Due to his work at the learning institution, he “came to believe that” BTC creator’s “innovation is real,” despite the crypto ecosystem being covered by excessive “hype masquerading as reality.”

Nakamoto’s Innovation Is A “Catalyst for Change”

The executive added that the innovation is likely to continue being a “catalyst for change” in the traditional finance industry. Gensler also pointed out the difference between fiat and crypto.

According to him, “Nakamoto was trying” to come up with money that’s outside the control of traditional financial institutions like central banks.

Unfortunately, he noted that cryptocurrencies are yet to honor “all the functions of money.” For the SEC chairman, virtual currencies can be considered as extremely “speculative stores of value,” adding that they are yet to gain mainstream adoption as an accounting unit and “as a medium of exchange.”

Despite all the praises on BTC and the technology behind it, Gensler pointed that crypto is mainly being used to circumvent laws meant to prevent money laundering “sanctions, and tax collection.” He added that crypto assets are powering “extortion via ransomware.”

On cryptocurrency regulation, the SEC executive noted that he’s “anything but public policy-neutral.” Gensler explained that this entails protecting financial stability, consumers, and investors. It also involves “guarding against illicit activity.”

delete button 

An electronics engineer from South Africa has deeply regretted a decision to erase a document containing keys to his Bitcoin (BTC) wealth. The now inaccessible Bitcoin wallet had 20 BTCs worth over $900K at the current exchange rates.

As reported by Mybroadband, a South African media outlet, the engineer is only 24 years old and uses the alias, Mark Michaels. According to the publication, Michaels entered the BTC mining scene after reading about it “on the internet.”

At the time, the engineer was in seventh grade, and the leading cryptocurrency was worth far less than a dollar at $0.08.

Explaining how he got access to a computer at such an early stage, Michaels said they “had a home computer” which their parents would allow them to use but under supervision.

The engineer later built his own computer that was powered by an “AMD X3 processor and 512 MB of RAM.” After a few other upgrades, including using a dedicated card from Nvidia, GeForce GTS 250, he used the machine as a Bitcoin mining rig.

However, the young engineer noted that he doesn’t remember how much time the mining process took. Unfortunately, since the cryptocurrency was in its early stages, there were no trading avenues.

Michaels’s Mined Bitcoin “Was Practically Worthless”

As such, Michaels lost value of his stash of 20 Bitcoins. The engineer noted that he “got bored of it” because the mining process minced every power out of his computer, and he “couldn’t do much” with the machine “while it was busy.” After waiting for it to finish, the final product “was practically worthless.”

Seven years after mining the coins, the price of the leading crypto rose to $1K per coin, and Michaels tried to gain entry to his wallet. In the recovery attempt, the engineer collected “all the hard drives, memory sticks, CDs, and DVDs in the house” and perused through each one of them.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t lucky after seven days of looking. Apart from going through the storage devices, Michaels also attempted to recover deleted data from his “main hard drive” but to no avail.

Interestingly, after the failed attempts, the South African electronics engineer made peace with himself. He added that he was not in it for the money.

Notably, Michael seems to have now entered the cryptocurrency space for the money. According to the South African media outlet, the engineer holds small amounts of cryptocurrencies and mines the second-largest cryptocurrency.

Beware of A BTC Trading Company Promising 400% ROI in Less Than 24 Hours, CMA Tells Kenyans

As Michaels makes conservative crypto investments, Capital Markets Authority, a Kenyan investments watchdog, has cautioned Kenyans from investing with Fxbitinvest, a firm dealing with BTC trading. According to the financial watchdog, the firm is promising unrealistic and mouth-watering ROI to lure investors.

In a statement, the CMA observed that the Bitcoin trading company offers an ROI (return on investment) of up to 400 percent in less than 24 hours. Notably, the regulator disclosed two paybill numbers used. According to CMA, the numbers are registered under “CRYPTO FX INVESTMENT [and] FXBITINVEST.”

The regulator also identified three persons behind the company. Two of the named, Hassan Juma and Geoffrey Koome, are Kenyans, while the third is “an anonymous director (domiciled in North America).”

In its cautionary statement, the regulator urged those who have already fallen victim to “report to the nearest Police Station.” However, to prove their claims, they’ll need to provide documents such as the national identity card and “bank deposit slip or Mpesa statement.”

PBoC Fights Illegal Cryptocurrency Trading in Shenzhen

More than lodging their claims with the police, defrauded investors can directly engage the Capital Markets Authority through the regulator’s complaints portal.

Apart from Kenya, China has taken the fight against illegal crypto trading to Shenzhen city. According to reports, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, has closed more than ten firms suspected of facilitating illegal activities involving cryptocurrencies.

The reports also indicated that PBoC has pinpointed a website adverting oversees deposits and foreign exchange against the law.

Interestingly, the Chinese central bank has launched a program to educate Shenzhen residents on how to operate within existing financial laws. The move by PBoC is the latest in the country’s decision to drive out cryptocurrency-related activities, including Bitcoin mining and trading.

Bitcoin price up 

Vinny Lingham, an ex-Gyft CEO and Civic’s co-founder said that Bitcoin (BTC) still has a chance to reach $100,000 before the end of this year. Coming from Lingham, the Bitcoin price projection carries some weight considering other such forecasts made by the executive.

His past correct predictions have earned him the title “oracle.” His current BTC forecast comes as the leading cryptocurrency has lost more than 40 percent in the last 90 days.

Although his predictions aren’t always a 100% hit, he has more hits than misses compared to other people. Also, Lingham takes a conservative approach in his predictions, and they are not always positive. In his latest projections, the Civic co-founder exuded confidence in the leading cryptocurrency’s price being expressed in six figures before we bid 2021 goodbye.

In a tweet, Lingham said that Bitcoin would only reach 100,000 USD “if $30K continues to hold.” His tweet was met with comments from those with a vivid history of the executive’s former predictions. For example, Twitter users responded by saying that “the legend has spoken.” They continued to note that Lingham’s previous predictions about BTC, Ethereum (ETH), and FIL came to pass.

A Big Bitcoin Rally Is Coming Later This Year

Other commenters were more optimistic, noting that the leading cryptocurrency can go close to $170K “by Christmas.”

Notably, his recent prediction came four days after he revealed that a “big rally” is brewing and will manifest “later this year.” However, the anticipation of a big rally was only a reminder of what he had said in May this year. At the time, Lingham told his 184K followers on Twitter that this year’s Bitcoin behavior mirrors similar trends in 2013.

Crypto enthusiasts camped on the tweet’s comment section to thank the ex-Gyft CEO for being bold at a time when the market is experiencing negative pressure. One of the commenters thanked Lingham for being “pretty bold,” adding that the Bitcoin market hasn’t been this “bearish for a long time.”

The ex-Gyft executive also commented on El Salvador’s move to legalize Bitcoin. Accompanied by an emoji of an exploding head, he said the leading cryptocurrency has transitioned “from being non-state sanctioned” to “state-sanctioned money.” However, he noted he’s undecided on whether such a move is beneficial “or bad.”

Bitcoin Can Reach $160K in 2021, Celsius CEO

While Lingham sees a high of $100K, Alex Mashinsky, the CEO of Celsius, thinks the king coin is on its way to 160,000 USD before the end of this year. Although the executive admitted that BTC is yet to reach its high this year, he noted the market had to experience a correction after BTC’s historic high of more than $63K

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Mashinsky said that he had tweeted about the current market situation way back in February and March this year. The Celsius CEO compared Bitcoin to a spring that had been stretched “too much and we put too much leverage.” Along the way, a lot of “people got greedy.”

Unfortunately, not everyone sees a bring future for Bitcoin. For instance, Scott Minerd, Guggenheim’s CIO, thinks BTC is yet to see its bottom. For Minerd, BTC’s real bottom is at $15,000. Minerd is the CIO of Guggenheim Partners and the chairman of Guggenheim Investments. The investment firm has approximately 270 billion USD in assets under management.

Last week, the CIO tweeted that Bitcoin will first enjoy support at $20K before declining further. According to Minerd, the recent price rally has been propped by liquidity from “central bank.” As such, a decline in the central bank liquidity leads to a decrease in BTC price.

A Lower BTC Price Motivates Investors

The Guggenheim executive even advised people not to be in a hurry to invest in Bitcoin even at $20K, saying that he doesn’t see a need for people “to be putting money in Bitcoin right now.”

However, Mike Novogratz, the CEO of Galaxy Digital, sees falling prices as a motivation for institutional investors to join the space. In an interview with CBNC last week, he said that Bitcoin could reach lows of $25K. However, Novogratz noted that although he’s “less happy” compared to when the king coin was at $60K, he is “not nervous.”

The Galaxy Digital CEO backed his lower BTC price projection with the ongoing cryptocurrency crackdown in China. According to him, Asia, China, to be specific, accounts for a large chunk of crypto activities. Therefore, with the current regulatory pressure in the country, “it’s hard to call a bottom” just yet.