Japan’s two primary cryptocurrency industry groups are merging to form a new self-regulatory entity following the recent $530 million hack of Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck. The unnamed new entity is set to launch April 1, the Nikkei reports, a year to the day after Japan’s revised Payment Services Act – which recognizes bitcoin as a legal method of payment – kicked in. The self-regulatory body will see the unification of the Japan Blockchain Association and the Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association. The former is notably founded around bitFlyer, Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The new entity aims to quickly enforce self-imposed rules surrounding the protection of exchange users’ assets, system downtimes, insider trading and even advertising. Additionally, penalties for breaches will also be considered. All of which sums up to a transparent foray to foster confidence from the public and the conventional financial industry in the cryptocurrency space, particularly in the aftermath of a major hack.
The Spanish government is reportedly preparing legislation that includes possible tax incentives to lure blockchain companies into the country. The People’s Party (PP) of Spain, the country’s ruling party, is weighing up legislation to specifically attract blockchain firms due to the technology’s potential in a number of industries including finance, education, and health, according to lawmaker Teodoro Garcia Egae. Speaking to Bloomberg, the lawmaker also pointed to ‘specific regulations’ that would make Spain a destination for entrepreneurs and firms to carry out initial coin offerings (ICOs) using blockchain(s).
The Bitcoin price rode a bullish wave this week, rising as high as $10,300 after trading below $8,000 as recently as Feb. 11. On Friday, though, the Bitcoin price dipped back below $10,000. As of the time of writing, Bitcoin was valued at $9,793 on Bitfinex, which translates into a $166.9 billion market cap and represents a slight increase over its previous-day level.
The decline correlated with the start of Chinese New Year but it is unclear to what extent the events are linked, given that Bitcoin surged in advance of the holiday. Conventional wisdom, though, suggests that the holiday could lead to some downward pressure on the markets, as regional investors exchange their cryptoasset holdings for fiat to finance their holiday spending.
With so much momentum affecting the Bitcoin price last week, it has become rather evident the year 2018 is anything but positive so far. With all prices crashing hard in the first six weeks of the new year, people are growing concerned about the future of cryptocurrencies. Even though such negative trends are rather common in the world of Bitcoin, this recent dip is quite spectacular. Percentage-wise, it’s not the worst in history, but the value dropping from US$20,000 to US$6,500 was quite scary for novice holders. According to Pantera Capital, it’s only a matter of time until the market turns around again. More specifically, they predict the Bitcoin price will see some major bullish momentum in the next two weeks. They initiated a 71-day countdown when the Bitcoin price started slipping. They’ve calculated that Bitcoin has lost 64% of its value since reaching its all-time high late last year. It is quite a steep retracement, but one that was bound to happen sooner or later.