Merrill Lynch chooses to side against Bitcoin
An American finance and asset management firm, Merrill Lynch, has recently instructed its brokers not to offer Bitcoin-related investment products to their clients. They are not alone in this anti crypto movement as Wells Fargo, another large American financial institution, have also released a similar instruction to avoid Crypto at all costs as well as a number of other companies who do not believe in the global crypto movement we are currently experiencing.
James Faucette, a Morgan Stanley analyst, has also expressed his lack of faith in Bitcoin saying that the value of Bitcoin could really be closer to $0 in a report that compared its use and relative value to Gold and usable real life currencies. While it was not a completely unbiased opinion, some valid points were brought up related to its difficulty scaling as a payment network. However, it was recently revealed that Morgan Stanley reportedly has an 11% holding in Bitcoin dependent business “Overstock.com” who are gearing up to attempt a $500 Million ICO, showing that business opinions and analytical opinions can differ a lot. At the end of the day, it’s a constantly fluctuating market that could go either way, whether it’s to $0 or $1 Million.
Nicehash CEO pays the price with his resignation
Marko Kobal, CEO of Nicehash, has recently announced his resignation from the company. NiceHash is a company allows users to offer up the processing power of their computer to aid with the calculations needed to create new Bitcoins. If you remember Nicehash was hacked back in early December and lost an estimated $60 Million dollars worth of Bitcoin. Many have speculated that his resignation is a necessary move that is part of the price of the Nicehash bailout.
He announced on Linkedin an explanation that new management was going to take over from him following the hack;
“I shall now stand aside and allow new management to lead the organization through its next, exciting period of growth – therefore I have decided to resign as CEO of NiceHash.”
Kobal was the original founder of NiceHash along with Matjaž Škorjanc, who will be staying on as the Chief Technology Officer for the company.
Time up for Bitconnect as Ponzi scheme collapses?
Bitconnect has recently been served a cease and desist order from the Texas State Securities Board, stopping them from offering more if its tokens for sale and describing the whole operation as fraudulent. BitConnect, which is based in England, issues its own currency, called BitConnect Coins. The company has said that it has placed 9.4 million of the coins into the online cryptocurrency marketplace, which represents a market value of $4.1 billion. The company has said it will issue a maximum of 28 million coins.
A statement from Texas State Securities Board revealed their opinion on the project;
“BitConnect has disclosed virtually nothing about its principals, financial condition, or strategies for earning profits for investors. It has not provided a physical address in England.”
Bitconnect were offering a guaranteed return of up to 40% per month for investors who bought the coin, surrendering their Bitcoin by doing so. However, apart from talking about lending schemes they have yet to release any sort of detail on how they planned on making sustainable profits. Adding in the fact that their currency has not even been mined yet, many are skeptical of Bitconnects practices and believe it is a Ponzi Scheme.
Visa pulls the plug on many crypto-credit cards
Credit card users across the world have been rudely awakened by the recent crackdown the use of these prepaid cards. Access to the visa network has come to a halt so that transactions can no longer be done through this payment method, which created a bridge between fiat and cryptocurrency. Across the board, all companies that were dealing with Wave Crest, a supplier registered in Gibraltar, have had to stop trading following the cancellation of the Visa membership for Wave Crest citing “continuing non compliance with operating rules”. Cards affected by this recent development include CryptoPay, Bitwala, TenX, and Wirex.
While this may look terrible for the future of crypto card companies, it’s not all doom and gloom. Visa reported that it does have other member providing similar services that are not flouting the operating rules and the would continue to work with Visa unaffected.
“Visa has other approved card programmes that use fiat funds converted from cryptocurrency in a number of jurisdictions. The termination of WaveCrest’s Visa membership does not affect these other products.”
Bitcoin regains strength as Peter Thiel buys in
Media hype surrounded Peter Thiel today as he has been involved in the investment of millions of dollars into Bitcoin. Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal and an early Facebook investor, directed his San Francisco- based venture capital firm “Founders Fund” towards the investment. A $15-20 Million dollars investment by the fund, made last year, has reportedly grown into hundreds of millions as since January 1st Bitcoin has risen by close to 1400 percent. It is unclear however as to whether or not any of the founders have sold or held their number of coins.
Thiel, who serves on Donald Trump’s technology advisory council, has spoken positively about Bitcoin in the past;
“While I’m skeptical of most [cryptocurrencies], I do think people are a little bit underestimating bitcoin, specifically, because it is like a reserve form of money. If bitcoin ends up being the cyber equivalent of gold, it has great potential.”
It seems as though Bitcoin is still the hot cryptocurrency to back, its constant comparison to gold and firm backing from investors proves that it is still the reigning crypto king.