We're pleasantly surprised by Netanyahu's take on Bitcoin. 😏

In my humble opinion...

don't shun the nonbelievers, pull out some crypto terms to educate them.

 

(CRYPTO: ZEN) Zen is a blockchain platform that helps users to buy, trade, and sell financial instruments. Current traditional exchanges are often complicated and heavily regulated, resulting in several inefficiencies such as long waits between transactions and dependence of transactions on intermediaries. While the regulations have been imposed in the interest of protecting investors, they are a huge impediment to novice investors from participating in financial markets. Zen’s vision is to provide secure and intuitive financial products to everyone. It offers ZF* - a language which allows developers to write fast, scalable and reliable smart contracts that are bug-free. With Zen, Bitcoiners will be able to participate in peer-to-peer trades with financial instruments without any third parties.

A quick global overview: you can't really regulate crypto. Unless you're South Korea, but it probably won't work out anyway.

Ah, Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve, is back at it again with the crypto talk! When asked about Bitcoin, she explained that she believed it is a "highly speculative asset," and isn't a store of value or legal tender (she isn't wrong, but crypto, in general, is much more expansive than that). Yellen rightfully pointed out that cryptocurrencies are a pretty small fraction of the American payment system. Finally, the words we were looking for were spoken: "the Fed doesn't play any role, any regulatory role concerning bitcoin" – we agree.

Meanwhile, in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the powerful statement that banks will probably disappear in the coming years and be replaced by decentralized digital currency, as the appeal of having third parties (like banks) mediate the risks diminishes. But not for long. South Korea seems to want to regulate cryptocurrencies, mostly for tax reasons, and have banned banks from issuing accounts related to crypto. Threatened much? FYI, users of South Korean exchanges have dramatically increased over the past year, while monthly transactions on the KOSDAQ, the Korean counterpart to the NASDAQ, have actually gone down. Gulp.

 

If Bitcoin's volatility this week has you sweating, let us remind you: it's just finding its footing after an insane few weeks of price bumps. Relax.

Bitcoin futures dipped 10% yesterday, not promoting a reaction from most crypto enthusiasts, but thoroughly freaking out Bitcoin newbies. The price decrease halted trading, as any relatively extreme price change in either direction freezes futures trading to decrease volatility. The whole market is seeming to adjust to a stellar run that ended only a few days ago, so while gold may have outperformed Bitcoin yesterday, it's no biggie. Bitcoin futures have been going so well, in fact, that two companies (REX Bitcoin Strategy ETF and REX Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF) applied to the SEC to be the world's first Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). Exciting stuff. Remember, the ETFs trade like stocks and have higher daily liquidity, and would only track the cryptocurrency – not hold it for the buyer.

Regulation of blockchain and crypto in the United States is very much up in the air as of right now. With 2018 fast approaching, Americans are left a little confused as to how taxes will impact the market. The rapidly changing price of crypto makes filing capital gains taxes a pain in the butt to figure out on your own (so read up). As for the impact the increasing interest rates in the U.S. will have on crypto, we'll have to wait. If anything, it'll push more people towards cryptocurrencies. Banks are certainly more than mildly interested, with Bank of America's cryptocurrency exchange patent being approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent includes three accounts: one to store digital funds, and two for "quick digital asset swaps," similar to ShapeShift. We like your style, Bank of America. Just don't have a backdoor to the exchange, please.

Yes, there's a difference between cryptocurrencies and digital currencies. Tl;dr, crypto is decentralized while digital currencies are centralized. You're welcome.

The VP of Facebook Messenger just joined the Coinbase board of directors, and our sources say to expect crypto payment methods embedded in messaging apps next year.

"What Bitcoin Conversations Sound Like to Me." There's no denying crypto enthusiasts can be a bit...overenthusiastic.

Coin to Watch

Yes, SALT (SALT) has had quite the ride the past few weeks, but it's stepping its game up. The project is exciting – blockchain-backed loans – check it out.

Daily LOL

Step right up and get yer shitcoins!