This week in Bitcoin: a weak Bitcoin leads the way for The Dow Jones collapse, major credit card companies block Bitcoin purchases, Ukraine raids cryptocurrency miners, a puzzle from 2015 is solved for high stakes Bitcoin prize, and India’s Finance Minister comments cause a stir.
India’s Finance Minister comments cause a stir
Arun Jaitley, The Indian Minister for Finance, is in the news this week due to the controversial comments he made about cryptocurrency. Jaitley remarked that these alternative currencies are not regarded as legal tender and he wants to remove their illegitimate use.
“The government does not consider cryptocurrencies as legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these crypto assets in financing illegitimate activities.”
UnoCoin, an Indian wallet provider has responded to these recent comments, saying that the statement from Arun Jaitley has been misrepresented, and there will not be a significant change to the way they are currently doing business. In the midst of this, Crowdfire Founders have announced their plans to build their own Bitcoin Exchange in March.
Bitcoin has been consistently more expensive to buy on Indian exchanges due mostly to India’s capital control system, making the buying of Bitcoin abroad much more difficult for Indian natives. People outside of India, however, can take advantage of these high prices and can make a nice bit of profit.
Puzzle from 2015 Solved for Bitcoin Prize
A picture painted in 2015 by @coin_artist and Rob Meyers, containing a secret hidden code with the promise to unlock a wallet containing Bitcoins, has finally been solved. The painting in question, curiously named TORCHED H34R7S, has escaped the grasps of crypto enthusiasts in recent years. This all changed, however, when a new programmer found the puzzle last month and made it their business to crack the code which had evaded others for years.
@coin_artist said she was ecstatic to hear that someone had solved the mystery and had beaten her puzzle, securing for themselves the coins within the wallet. She added:
“The painting was also created during the toughest part of the bear market and those original bitcoins I loaded into that address were half of everything I had to my name. It was essentially a prayer that things would get better.”
@coin_artist did not really think that the puzzle would take this long to solve, the reveal of this puzzle was originally announced on Bitcointalk (a popular forum for discussing all things Bitcoin) and it did not take long for a community to form that was dedicated to solving the puzzle. The interest began to wane months down the line when it still remained unsolved until a 30-year-old programmer referred to as Isaac was able to crack the code and claim the cash. Isaac’s true identity has not been revealed as he wishes to remain anonymous, but he was able to prove he was in possession of the coins through screenshots of his conversations with other puzzle players. Isaac is probably kicking himself now, wishing he had solved it sooner, not in the middle of this crash.
Ukraine raids cryptocurrency miners
In the midst of the world’s media reporting on new laws that Ukraine may introduce that would encourage cryptocurrency mining within the country and give it a clear legal status, The General Prosecutor’s Office launched raids against miners in Kiev and other major cities within Ukraine. The raid consisted of the widespread confiscation of mining equipment and other tools.
The raids were backed by the claims that miners were funding separatists involved in armed conflict in areas of Russian occupation like Donetsk and Lugansk.
Credit card companies block Bitcoin purchases
JP Morgan and Bank of America were the first to make their anti-crypto moves, banning purchases of cryptocurrencies through credit cards. It seems that their British counterparts have followed suit, with Lloyds and Virgin Money joining in on the crypto bashing bandwagon.
The companies in question have either issued an outright ban or reclassified the transactions as advance cash payments, and in doing so this increases the transaction costs by up to 10%. You might think that these companies need a good reason to be so against crypto and you would be right. The companies involved all stated that the market is just not stable enough for them to condone these types of purchases, and that they need to protect their clients from generating debt through the purchase of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. The ban is purely for credit cards so for now, debit card purchases are still possible. This move will make it even more difficult for new entrants to buy Bitcoin at the right moments, so it’s important to have your eyes keenly trained on the market.
Bitcoin leads the way for Dow Jones collapse
The market may have shown signs of recovery over the weekend, but this was short-lived, unfortunately. Bitcoin has experienced further losses across the board, so severe that it has gone through dips of up to 25% in a day. At the moment Bitcoin is sitting at around $7000 but it’s incredibly weak at the moment and could slip even more.
Bitcoin is not alone in its current state of weakness. The US stock exchange is also in tatters and the Dow Jones, in particular, suffered a huge 1175 loss of points from yesterday. Every market seems to be in turmoil at the moment, let’s hope that these hard times pass swiftly.