The recent fluctuations in Bitcoin and altcoin prices has resuscitated the debate on cryptocurrencies functioning as a true store of value. After rising about $20,000, this dip in price had seen the most popular cryptocurrency slump to almost $6,000 before rising again and then trading around the $8,400 region as at the time of writing. Rising and falling, and rising again has been one of the usual characteristics of the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency price trend. However, probably due to the increased level of awareness and the literal monetary value of the current price dip, the anti-crypto campaigners found a reason to make loud their criticism of the technology. Delivering his speech in London on February 8 2018, Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB noted that the wild fluctuations in the value of virtual currencies (VCs) mean that businesses pricing in VCs could find themselves with a large and detrimental gap between their actual price and their optimal price. He explains that when there is considerable uncertainty around how many goods and services an asset can buy in the future, or indeed whether it can be used to purchase anything at all, the asset becomes a poor store of value.
As cryptocurrency evolves, so does its relationship with government. While lawmakers in some countries seek to suppress a financial force they don’t understand, in the U.S., the reverse appears to have started to take hold, indicating an opportunity is at hand for a dialog between the industry and lawmakers. In a Senate Banking Committee hearing this month on virtual currencies, the chairmen of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission asked Congress to consider expanding federal oversight over bitcoin. But they emphasized consumer protection without a heavy-handed ban on development of cryptocurrencies. In response, the jump in bitcoin’s price marked a gain of more than $2,000 in just over a day. Shortly before last week’s hearing, bitcoin fell below $6,000 to $5,947.40, its lowest since Nov. 13, amid a plunge in U.S. stocks. Many observers held their breath as the committee hearing began, expecting calls for a government clampdown on cryptocurrency trading. But instead of fear, cryptocurrency investors reacted with glee. The day brought a 26 percent recovery to bitcoin, while Ethereum managed to achieve a 30 percent return. Altogether, the cryptocurrency market cap surged by $89 billion, a 24-hour increase of 29%. Bitcoin has since been inching upward, currently hovering around $9,000.
Beat the game, win a Bitcoin. Simple, right? That’s the premise of MonteCrypto: The Bitcoin Enigma, a PC game scheduled for release next week. The mysterious game, the latest in a long tradition of public treasure hunts, offers players the opportunity to achieve a lucrative payday — if they can solve the game’s two dozen puzzles, that its. At its core, MonteCrypto: The Bitcoin Enigma is a first-person maze exploration game, and players will be tasked with solving 24 “mind-bending puzzles.” Embedded in the game’s files is a wallet.dat file containing the private key to an address with a 1 BTC balance. The wallet is encrypted with a 24-word seed that players will unlock once they beat the game. Only one player, however, will be able to claim the prize, and the rest will be met with an empty wallet.
The FCC emphasized continuous interference with the telecom’s mobile network through the utilization of bitcoin miners is against federal laws, and the failure to cease operations or prevent the device in question from emitting harmful radio emissions to the LTE network of T-Mobile is in violation of an FCC regulation. “The operator of a radio frequency device shall be required to cease operating the device upon notification by a Commission representative that the device is causing harmful interference. Operation shall not resume until the condition causing the harmful interference has been corrected,” the FCC’s document added, noting that the device can continue to operate if it stops harmful radio emission from affecting local networks. Most bitcoin mining facilities and centers are based in regions with cold climate and cheap sources of electricity. Miners tend to relocate to regions like Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Canada that abundant sources of renewable energy. Countries like Iceland that have virtually all of its electricity generated with hydroelectric power plants and solar power plants have cheap electricity readily available for bitcoin miners, that lead to a significant decrease in operating costs.
In a press release published today, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) said there has been a sharp rise in the number of ICOs launching in Switzerland, resulting spike in inquiries about the regulations that apply to them. With the situation currently “partly unclear,” the new guidelines have been released to clarify the status of projects wishing to launch a token sale project within the country. “Creating transparency at this time is important given the dynamic market and the high level of demand,” the authority states. Notably, FINMA will determine the applicability of regulation to crypto tokens on a case-by-case basis, taking a similar stance to that of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in guidance released last July. When assessing ICOs, FINMA said it will focus on the “economic function and purpose of the tokens,” with the “underlying purpose of the tokens and whether they are already tradeable or transferable” being primary factors in how they will be classified.