Over the last week, we have seen a Bitfinex premium build and then drop from between 6% to its current 1.5%, meaning the price gap between itself …
Bitcoin has broken out again as it continues along its short-term parabolic advance to fully retrace the November 2018 capitulation event.
One piece of news that is acting as fuel to propel the current trajectory is that non-Tether backed exchanges have now closed the Bitcoin price gap to under $100 between them and Bitfinex, which is currently in the midst of a legal challenge from US authorities.
Since the project’s inception, price action for Bitcoin has seen 13 separate corrections of over 30% in price (in USD terms). The most recent of which took BTC price from a $20,000 top all the way down over 80% to settle at its most recent low of $3,100 in December 2018.
One common factor through all the ups and downs has been a pattern of higher highs and significantly higher lows for each of its subsequent corrections. Another key factor to note during the history of the now decade-old asset class is a growing list of HODLers.
This large and growing group of believers in an open-finance protocol have been battle-hardened through a cycle of various bull/bear markets to preserve their economic stake in a future ecosystem that they believe to be free, global, and open to all.
Bitcoin’s latest parabolic rise is reminiscent of prior bull runs, as they too were filled largely with bad news and anxiety in the early stages of the trajectory.
Over the last week, we have seen a Bitfinex premium build and then drop from between 6% to its current 1.5%, meaning the price gap between itself and its rivals like BitMEX, Coinbase, and Gemini has fallen sharply. To add to this ongoing legal and proof of reserve debacle, the market has also witnessed the first major hack of Binance.
Binance’s hack saw the loss of around 7,000 Bitcoin. However, history shows that any potential re-org debate is a non-starter from the get-go, as the Bitcoin market has once again stood firm to preserve its 10-year immutability claim.
Back in 2017, the main rhetoric prior to the bull run involved fear about how the community and exchanges would deal with a chain split (which eventually took place as the Bitcoin Cash fork) and also a scaling dilemma that was resolved through the UASF and NO2X incidents.
Following a break above $6,200, the market will most likely look to wait and see what support may form above this historically relevant support/resistance band. If margin shorts continue to get squeezed at places like Bitfinex, we can expect them to potentially support the current upwards trend in the markets.
If the parabolic advance continues, prior targets look to suggest that a five-figure valuation may not be as crazy as it sounded just a few weeks ago. However, a period of sideways action is more likely, as both bullish and bearish traders may give some short-term gains back to the exchanges that let them play around with high leverage.
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Issuing a blanket ban on commerce in merchant currencies, however, punishes … It explicitly forbids advertising digital currency exchanges, ICOs, and …
Advertising is a special challenge for cryptocurrency startups because so many of the largest ad networks prohibit cryptocurrency in their advertising policies.
When the crypto bubble reached its height in 2017 and popped, Google, Facebook, and others issued blanket cryptocurrency bans the following years.
It’s understandable that these companies want to protect their users from scams and unrealistic promises on their ad platforms.
Issuing a blanket ban on commerce in merchant currencies, however, punishes an entire industry instead of removing individual actors for specific violations.
This kind of policy is blatantly anti-commercial and anti-industrial. It’s also an admission of defeat in the face of a specific, technical problem: How to make as much ad revenue as possible by having as many legitimate and professional advertisers on your platform as you can while weeding out whatever makes it a bad experience for the user.
That problem is on the face of it not nearly as overwhelming as the myriad challenges and edge cases that have been sorted out by a can do Silicon Valley attitude and some engineering. And the rewards are certainly worth it. The crypto industry is massive.
Double Standards for Crypto Advertising
There is also no shortage of scammy, ridiculous ads for all kinds of other industries’ absolute junk products on these platforms.
Google “penis enlargement” and you’ll find Google allows merchants to place ads for their business selling penis enlargement products. Google even serves ads for healing crystals. Yet the company banned all ICOs from Google Adwords in 2018.
So it’s clear enough that the wildly disruptive cryptocurrency industry has to play by a different set of rules than everyone else.
Entrepreneurs working to offer goods and services in this promising technical revolution are guilty until proven innocent, scams until proven professionals.
They’ll also have to dig deeper, find more creative ways to reach prospects, and work harder on optimizing their product and their sales offering to maximize opportunities.
The following is a review of ad policies on major advertising networks where cryptocurrency businesses can’t advertise, can advertise with no special permission, and can advertise only with a special permit from the ad platform.
The ad policies are linked, and the commentary about them is all current as of the date of publication, but note these policies can change quickly.
Google and Facebook’s Previous Cryptocurrency Advertising Bans are Now Restrictions
Shortly after crypto winner started in early 2018, Facebook and Google banned all cryptocurrency related advertising on the two most massive online ad platforms.
A few months later the search and social media giants relaxed their bans, but Google says only regulated merchants with special permission can advertise on its platform.
“Ads may not promote cryptocurrency and related products and services without our prior written permission.”
So if you’re running a legitimate cryptocurrency business offering a real product, and if your business plan and marketing methods are all above board and white hat, then you can advertise crypto goods and services on Google and Facebook.
It will, however, take extra effort over more traditional businesses. But if your crypto business is doing something real that shouldn’t stand in anybody’s way.
“Even if legal in the applicable jurisdiction, LinkedIn does not allow ads related to gambling, sweepstakes or the sale of virtual currency or cryptocurrency.”
Too bad that’s what LinkedIn thinks of cryptocurrency, since it was founded by Reid Hoffman, one of the “PayPal” mafia. It could be said that Entrepreneur called cryptocurrency gambling too, when it said Hoffman is betting big on Bitcoin.
Microsoft Ad Policy Does Not Currently Permit Any Cryptocurrency Advertising
Although for some time Microsoft did allow cryptocurrency advertising on its ad platforms, crypto ads are now prohibited by Microsoft:
“Advertising for the following products and services is not permitted:
-Cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency related products including, but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, and cryptocurrency wallets.”
So even a transaction as straightforward as a hardware wallet, an electronic device in exchange for a retail purchase price, is prohibited by Microsoft at this time.
“Ads for financial products and services must clearly and prominently disclose all applicable material terms and conditions to consumers prior to the submission of an application.”
“Cryptocurrency including: Wallets, Trading Platforms, and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) unless prior approval is obtained from Snap.”
Twitter Does Allow Limited Crypto Advertising to Some Crypto Businesses with Certain Restrictions
Initial Coin Offerings and any kind of cryptocurrency token sales are globally prohibited on Twitter, but currency exchange, trading, and related services, cryptocurrency exchanges, and cryptocurrency hot wallets provided by publicly traded companies are allowed with certain restrictions and a special permit from Twitter.
Taboola Prohibits Cryptocurrency Advertising
You would think an ad network with standards as low as Taboola’s would let anyone advertise anything on their third party ad platform.
Yet cryptocurrency advertising is currently not allowed on Taboola. But enjoy your “new sleeping pill ‘better than Ambien’ and no prescription.”
Outbrain Prohibits All Crypto Advertising Except Editorial
Another major third party ad network in the same league as Taboola, Outbrain also restricts cryptocurrency advertising. It explicitly forbids advertising digital currency exchanges, ICOs, and investment and trading advice. Outbrain does make an exception for “editorial content from premium publisher sites,” that discuss cryptocurrency.
Reddit Allows Crypto Advertising
Cryptocurrency entrepreneurs are allowed to advertise on Reddit, but they cannot advertise crypto payment cards, wallets, ICOs, or any individual currencies or tokens themselves. That still leaves a world of opportunities open.
Crypto Ads Are Fine on Tumblr
There is currently no ban on advertising cryptocurrency goods and services to Tumblr’s audience. In the past the Tumblr user base, while smaller than that of Facebook, has been shown to spend more money on average after being referred from an advertisement on Tumblr to a retail website.
Advertising on The Cryptosphere
While platforms like Google and Facebook have globally massive users bases, the audiences on niche cryptocurrency news and information websites are the most valuable prospects for cryptocurrency businesses.
These audiences are more educated than general audiences about merchant currencies and digital assets, more likely to already use or own cryptocurrency, and more likely to have problems related to crypto that they would pay to have solved.
Back in Februry, Abra said its app will utilize the bitcoin blockchain and smartcontract technologies to support fractional investments in stocks and …
Cryptocurrency wallet and investment app Abra now allows users to connect accounts from “thousands” of U.S. banks, the firm announced Thursday.
The expanded bank options come courtesy of an integration with Plaid, a fintech service that enables applications to connect with users’ bank accounts using APIs.
Until now, Abra users in the U.S. and EU have had the option to fund their wallets via a bank transfer. With the new feature, they will have banks connected in-app for funding their purchases.
Bill Barhydt, CEO of Abra, said:
“The addition of these new liquidity enhancements in our app gives users more ways to move between crypto and fiat.
“Consumers need to be able to invest their money wherever they choose, regardless of where they bank,” said Plaid’s head of sales, Paul Williamson. With the integration, Abra users who bank with smaller institutions will have more investment options, he said.
In the same announcement, Abra said it has expanded native withdrawal support to all 30 supported cryptocurrencies. Previously, it users could withdraw only bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC) and ether (ETH).
With the extra withdrawal options, users will have more options for storing their holdings, including hardware wallets, the firm said.
Abra is also expecting to expand crypto deposit support “in the near future,” the firm’s VP of product, Willie Wang, said.
Notably, the firm will soon allow global users to buy fractions of traditional investment instruments.
Back in Februry, Abra said its app will utilize the bitcoin blockchain and smart contract technologies to support fractional investments in stocks and exchange-traded funds. The app currently offers investment in 50 fiat currencies and 30 cryptocurrencies.
Before much was known about cryptocurrencies, PayPal was the go-to for any digital transferring of cash. However, as the mainstream has woken to Bitcoin and its related cryptocurrency industry, the online payments giant has been forced to take note.
PayPal’s perception of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency in general, as well as the underlying blockchain technology, has been quite fluid and ever-changing. There have been suggestions from a co-founder of the company that Bitcoin is a scam, while there have also been recent predictions from a board member that Bitcoin could surge 250 times its current value.
The latest from PayPal, with regards to their stance on the entire ecosystem, is that they are still much more pro blockchain while still not being fully vested in the cryptocurrency side of things; this according to their CFO John Rainey.
A need for maturing
Speaking about the company’s future cryptocurrency plans in an interview with Yahoo Finance, Rainey said:
“We have teams clearly working on blockchain and cryptocurrency as well, and we want to take part in that in whatever form that takes in the future — I just think it’s a little early on right now [for Bitcoin],” Rainey said.
PayPal has dipped a toe into the Bitcoin market before, and perhaps their experience in that very new and raw market was enough to spook them. The firm previously allowed its merchants to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, but subsequently saw the instability and volatility of the currency.
“If a merchant accepted that [Bitcoin] they would quickly convert it to a more stable currency like the euro or dollar,” Rainey added.
There are a few pieces of evidence to suggest that PayPal, today, is showing signs of interest in getting involved in both blockchain and Bitcoin – the former more so than the latter – because, as the CFO has stated, they want to be a part of whichever is the future.
To this end, the evidence of PayPal’s blockchain involvement is more obvious as most of the growth in the ecosystem currently has been in enterprise blockchain use cases and adoption.
A prime, and recent example, of PayPal’s involvement in the blockchain space is the firm’s investment in a blockchain technology startup known as Cambridge Blockchain. The startup focuses on empowering individuals to decentralize the storage of their online digital identities without requiring intermediaries.
Some cryptocurrency cases
While the investment in Cambridge Blockchain indicates a keen and direct interest in building towards blockchain opportunities for PayPal in the future, there are also some indications that the payment company does not want to move away from any potential cryptocurrency growth, integration, and adoption.
Patents seem to be one way in which PayPal is looking to keep abreast of the space with the firm, In mid-April of this year, winning a cybersecurity patent for a system entitled: “Techniques for cryptocurrency ransomware detection and mitigation.” The intention with this patent is to improve the detection of ransomware and prevent it from locking up users’ access to their files.
Even more relevant to the blockchains space is, last year, PayPal filed another patent to increase the speed of cryptocurrency payments by using secondary private keys to reduce wait times for transactions between merchants and consumers.
Rightly Blockchain over Bitcoin
The notion of ‘blockchain over Bitcoin’ is not that unusual. Many institutionalised, or traditional, enterprises and organisations have quickly noted the benefits of blockchain technology, but have in the same breath expressed their concerns over the speculative cryptocurrency space.
However, a lot of these concerns and the questioning of Bitcoin and the related cryptocurrencies has to do with the maturation of the market. Bitcoin has only come into the mainstream spotlight in the last two or three years and in that time there has been a notable speculators bubble that burst.
PayPal has felt the sting of the immature market before, which was prone to such swings of volatility that in their experience merchants were racing to be rid of the ever-changing asset. Conversely, blockchain, as more of a pure technology, does not have to have the direct financial ties to cryptocurrency and thus is far more enticing to companies and enterprises that are looking to utilize it as a tool for efficiency and growth.