Skip to content

Bitcoin Price Analysis: End of the Sideway Movement and Bitcoin All Set for the Next Big Launch

Anyone who has followed the Bitcoin price closely in recently would see a pattern Bitcoin prices have been following.  From the second half of 2016, the month over month price of Bitcoin has been increasing steadily, irrespective of the type of negative fundamentals the currency had to deal with. Momentary price dips have been countered effectively to keep the Bull Run going up until the start of the New Year. However, the scenario changed from the start of 2017 with Bitcoin prices remaining predominantly sideways in between the $1000-$1250 range. Irrespective of the fundamental reasons, Bitcoin has consolidated enough in terms of volumes to prepare for a good run. Let’s look into how fundamentally and technically Bitcoin stands in terms of an impending run.

Fundamental Analysis

Bitcoin has been contained between $1000-$1250 by various fundamental factors which include the consecutive ETF rejection and the scalability debate. Now that the Bitcoin community seems to have come to some kind of compromise over the block size, the prices have stabilized. More importantly, the block size increase would now accelerate the transactions and increase the Bitcoin’s utility by a great margin. Things look more favorable now for a Bitcoin bull run owing to the dynamics in Japan and Mexico. Japan has legalized Bitcoin as a digital asset and a valid way of transfer starting from April 1st. With 260,000 Japanese vendors all set to accept the digital currency, things are looking very bullish for Bitcoin.

In the western part of the world, Mexico has introduced a bill to legalize Bitcoin which would in turn fire up the remittance market and increase cross-border Bitcoin transactions. With strong adoptive fundamental factors driving the prices, Bitcoin looks charged up for the run.

Technical Analysis:

Technically, Bitcoin has been in a trend and has fallen into a temporary sideways pattern. While the market players are testing the $1200 psychological barrier (at the time of writing this article), the Bollinger bands suggest that a breakout can be expected, and, given the trend it can very well be in an upward direction. While the market still has the potential to drop till $1,100 before making a final launch, it would be wise not to short in such a market.  Even the RSI Indicator is in the mid region showing that there is still buying potential in the market and it’s not advisable to short recklessly in the market.

You heard it here first.

Japanese Bitcoin Exchanges Implement Stricter KYC Requirements

The amended Payment Services Act has long been discussed in Japan, but the date which it would enter into force was not previously set. Recently, the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) finally announced a date on which this act would become law.

As part of Japan’s amended Payment Services Act which would be enforced on April 1st, the Act on prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds has also been revised. This act requires Japanese Bitcoin Exchanges to Implement a Stricter Know Your Customers (KYC) process. Japanese financial Experts believe that this move would reduce the options of using Bitcoin to finance criminal activities in Japan.

What are KYC requirements

KYC Requirements are guidelines used to prevent banks from being used intentionally or unintentionally by criminal elements for money laundering activities. It also enables banks to better understand their customers and their financial dealings. This way banks or Bitcoin exchanges can investigate any unusual transactions being carried out through the bank. Recently a lot of Bitcoin critics have soiled the image of Bitcoin claiming it’s responsible for funding terrorism across Europe. This claim, however, has been rebuked by a large majority of experts in the Bitcoin ecosystem citing that these claims are baseless and politically motivated.

How KYC applies to Banking and Bitcoin Exchanges

The Japanese law amendment mainly affects Bitcoin exchanges across the country. KYC is a process by which banks obtain information about the identity and addresses of their customers. This ensures that banks’ services are not misused and it is to be completed by the banks while opening accounts. This move might not be a very good news to most Bitcoin users given the fact that many Bitcoin users enjoy the anonymity Bitcoin provides. But that same anonymity greatly hampers a country’s tax base since transaction carried out using Bitcoin are off the grid and basically cannot be taxed. Meanwhile, it’s a known fact that most users of Bitcoin don’t use the currency for any illicit activity but Bitcoin has gained the reputation as the currency of the dark web. Intelligence services across the world believe that a major crackdown on Bitcoin will badly hamper the operation of the dark web known for illegal trades and services.

Is the KYC requirement enforcement a long term solution


The major point of KYC is to prevent money laundering, combat financing of terrorism, to manage risk by creating risk profiles and assigning risk categories to customers. Banks can monitor any possible financial frauds and loan defaults. Additionally, KYC can help to check identity theft. With the current massive development in IT, hackers would be able to bypass these restrictions.  Soon, free online tools would be available to carry out Bitcoin transactions undetected on a stochastic scale and the attempt might turn out to be a guard rail, if not a complete masker, for the government authorities.

Japan Recognizes Bitcoin as a Method of Payment, Accounting Operations to be Finalized

2017 has seen a monumental shift in Bitcoin volumes as Chinese exchanges have banned withdrawals for their customers. Due to this, trailing countries in terms of Bitcoin volumes have stepped up to restore and maintain the price levels of the Bitcoin ecosystem. This was facilitated due to the increase in adoption levels and the kind of encouraging regulations that were put in place to promote digital currencies. Topping the list of countries that are committed to this cause are Japan and South Korea. Recently Japan has passed a bill to officially recognize Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a method of payment on par with fiat currencies. This can be heralded as a very important instance where Bitcoin has seen the light of mainstream adoption. Let’s look into the details of the bill and what might be the further implications.

How Bitcoin became a method of payment

In February 2016, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) which is the country’s financial regulator, looked into proposals to recognize bitcoin and digital currencies as equivalents to conventional currencies. This means, if approved, the revisions imply that Bitcoin would be getting the status of fiat currencies. In March, the Japanese cabinet passed a set of bills that deemed virtual currencies to have asset-like value. Owing to their transferable nature, they can be used to make payments like gold.

The accounting problem


While cryptocurrencies are legalized and would be effective as payment methods starting from April, there is a catch here for Bitcoin businesses and transactions. The Japanese Government has not come up with a regulatory or accounting framework to monitor the transactions. The set date for proposing and finalizing an accounting framework is due in six months  leaving cryptocurrency businesses in a limbo as any further movement on their part might turn out to be adverse for their business.

What this would mean for Japan and for Bitcoin


Japan has already moved into the Top 4 countries list of cryptocurrency exhanged and bought by volume. The Japanese government has made the first move towards mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies when they abolished the 8% sales tax on Bitcoin purchases. With this move, things look positive for Bitcoin proponents as the adoption has already paced up in Japan to  catalyze the growth of the cryptocurrency and set up a foundation for other countries to build their regulation on.

Bitcoin Transaction fee hits an all-time high, adoption pushing the prices higher

Bitcoin transactions have been experiencing an uptick thanks to widespread adoption across the globe. What started off as a pet peer to peer payments project has now become an alternative to the existing financial system. Tried, tested and facilitated by individuals who believe that the disruptive nature of the currency will find major applications, Bitcoin has indeed come a long way. What makes the cryptocurrency so lethal is its ability to provide near zero cost transactions and without the interference of a third party for confirming. Added to this, the network also ensures a degree of anonymity and consensual security that makes it more preferable. Eight years have passed from the inception of the cryptocurrency and something interesting is happening in the start of 2017. Let’s delve deeper into the details:

The transactional boom:

Gradually Bitcoin experienced a steady increase in adoption in 2016. With most of the countries advocating digitalization of transactions to promote a cashless society, things have looked good for Bitcoin. With the kind of attention Bitcoin has garnered, the positives of the currency have been highlighted and has caught the public attention. It was just a matter of time before the currency went from just a speculative asset to an alternative investment means. Finding mainstream adoption, the currency has experienced a boom in its transaction owing to heavy merchant adoption.

Increasing Vendor acceptance:

As referenced already, the merchant and vendor adoption has been increasing steadily. Coinmap shows that currently there are around 9000 recognized vendors accepting Bitcoin worldwide as compared to 4000 in 2015. The online merchant acceptance has also increased drastically with Japan itself having around 20,000 online merchants that accept Bitcoin in payments. The abolition of 8% sales tax and favorable legislation encouraged the transfer of this asset seamlessly. Same has been the case with rest of the Asian countries where the legislation has helped the innovation.

The all-time high transaction fee:

The Bitcoin transaction fees are at an all-time high, up by 1289% since March 2015. The Bitcoin transactional volume has gone up by 173% over 2015, equaling 3 transactions per second. The increase in the volumes can be reflected through local bitcoins. Localbitcoins has shown that countries where the inflation is high[Nigeria and Venezuela]  are significantly adopting to Bitcoin transactions. With steady increase in value and application, Bitcoin would surely become the prime means of exchange in good time.

Did Bitcoin finally slay the dragon?

Just a couple of months ago, China was a major fundamental driving factor for cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin price fluctuation is a flagship example of how one of the world’s biggest economies can manipulate the markets at will. Whether what has transpired was helpful or hindering for Bitcoin growth is debatable, it surely did have staggering effects on the cryptocurrency’s interesting journey. With PBOC’s intervention in the activities of major Chinese exchanges for the past three months, Bitcoin prices have been experiencing heavy volatility. But after Bitcoin markets took repeated blows, finally when the Chinese Bitcoin exchanges announced ban on withdrawals for a month, the price drop impact was relatively lower than expected. But it is evident that the prices sustained because the volumes were manifested elsewhere. Let’s dive deep into how adoption has beaten Chinese supremacy in Bitcoin markets:

The Chinese grip:


For a long time, China has had good control over Bitcoin with over 96% of Bitcoin volumes coming from China. With PBOC’s policies of devaluation of Yuan to increase the return on the imports, investors looked up to Bitcoin as a hedging instrument. Also, automated trading dominates the Chinese volumes owing to the zero transaction fees. With PBOC’s restriction and tightening grip over the activities of the exchange, things looked ominous for Bitcoin’s bullishness. But before China could do further damage, things stabilized and the prices regained traction.

The adoption and the towering expectations:


With exchanges shutting down withdrawals, there was a significant drop in volumes. This was immediately covered by the new found heavy adoption in Japan at merchant and institutional level. Bitcoin legislation in Japan turned favorable with the abolishment of 8% sales tax that attracted Chinese automated traders immediately after the exchanges levied transaction fee. With realistic policies and good regulations, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and the Philippines are handling increasing volumes easily and effectively. The start of 2017 marked a tectonic shift in the Bitcoin ecosystem. China’s authority over Bitcoin slipped away with increasing and probing regulations. This manifested in other Bitcoin markets which reflects the currency’s growth.

The prices are mooning owing to the speculations over Winklevoss ETF. If the ETF is approved we can surely see the currency sky rocketing by mid 2017.


Three years down and MtGox creditors find new hope in Hedge Funds

A little more than three years have passed since the single biggest setback in the history of Bitcoin has occurred. MtGox, a Japanese exchange has filed for bankruptcy under suspicious circumstances claiming that it was hacked off 850,000 Bitcoins. Later in 2015, CEO of MtGox Mark Karpeles was arrested by Japanese police and was charged with embezzlement. While the hackings are still unresolved, the fate of the creditors of the now defunct exchange took a turn for better last week:

Sale of MtGox Claims:

“Mygoxclaim” is the name of the website that was setup by MtGox creditors to connect claimants with buyers. Created in the first week of February 2017, the website serves as an information portal and acts as a liaison to help anyone’s claim in the MtGox bankruptcy. According to Financial times, Daniel Kelman who worked to set up the site, is an attorney representing creditor interest in the case and is a creditor himself. The website stated:

“We’re in touch with third parties who are interested in purchasing claims and can help broker a deal. Purchasers are interested in claims above $10,000 USD in value, but every claim will be considered.”

The creditors struggle:

Long before the exchange declared bankruptcy, MtGox stopped withdrawals from the exchange for its customers. This uncertainty that brewed up resulted in Bitcoin price falling very sharply. The exchange reported that on a final tally around 850,000 Bitcoins were missing. On thorough investigation in coordination with ‘Kraken’ another bitcoin exchange brought in by the Japanese court, it was found that the amount held by MtGox is approximately 202,185 bitcoins. Kraken has confirmed that 24,750 creditors had filed claims for their lost Bitcoin or Fiat Cash.

Sale of the Claims:

Selling the Claims for a sum of money is a very interesting concept and has gained quick traction in the fintech industry. According to Financial Times, atleast four hedge funds located in United States and Japan are interested in buying the claims. Claim holders can now sell their claims and receive 15 percent of the yen value of each claim in cash. There are 5 other legal disputes pertaining to MtGox which have to be settled before settling the claimants. This will indeed take a good amount of time till this gets settled. Hence people are considering to opt out of their claims in order to get to quick cash through the website.

Why Trump would be the Bitcoin Volatility driver in 2017

2017 saw Donald J Trump take the office as the new President of United States of America. Right from the moment trump took to office, the global markets were facing uncertainty which lead to price fluctuations over speculation. Economists around the world predicted that Trump’s election might crash the markets. After taking to office, Trump has come out with policies that surely impacted the markets in ways more than one expected. President Trump has been delivering on his promises and has been resilient in sticking to his policies. While the global markets are certainly impacted by the policies, let’s look into how Bitcoin will be affected:

Trump’s initial firm steps:

When Trump announced the Visa ban for seven small economies, things didn’t seem so bad for the markets. The commotion that followed the decision, where major tech giants have joined forces to fight the policy has created uncertainty in the market. This lead to rise in Bitcoin prices during the period as a hedging measure by major market players. Later, Trump suffered a major set back in the appeals court on his immigration ban. The Bitcoin markets have turned a blind eye to this decision showing Trump’s credibility to affect the markets with policies whereas Trump’s setbacks weren’t that important. This only means Bitcoin markets would thrive on the uncertainty created by Trump’s surprise policies.

How Trump’s next steps would be impacting Bitcoin:

President Trump promised phenomenal tax plans last week which prompted for trades going long on dollar and US equities and short on Treasuries. Added to that Trump’s meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Abe is set to have a short term bullish effect on Dollar-Yen Trading pair. Abe is bringing loads of investment promises which Trump is sure to promote heavily. If Trump does it, without thinking of currency manipulation, then USD/JPY can have a decent spike higher.

Nevertheless any shortcoming on his tax plan promises or mentions of currency manipulation with Japan would see a lot of turmoil in the market and hedging in Bitcoin. This would lead to increased volatility in Bitcoin prices. The first year of Trump’s administration with policies inflicting too much volatility in global markets would inturn make Bitcoin markets volatile.

Japanese Bank to power payments through IoT Devices, push for a cashless society

When it comes to Fintech innovation and regulation, Japan has shown full perseverance over the last decade. It has placed innovation at the core of its developmental objectives and carefully maneuvered through the various challenges the country has faced in terms of calamities. Owing to the convenient technological topography, Bitcoin was able to thrive fluently in Japan. Proponents of the cryptocurrency would surely remember about Mt.Gox debacle and the drama that ensued which affected Bitcoin development for some time. Recently Japan’s Mizuho bank announced the development of Fintech payments platform for IoT devices. Let’s delve into the details of the announcement and the impact:

IoT Payments Overview:

The Internet of things is the internetworking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings, and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data. The idea of IoT powering payments is not new and has been under experimentation by various Tech giants. Smart watches, mobile phones and other gadgets have been piloted as simple payment devices by many companies.

Mizuho Bank’s plan:

Mizuho bank is planning to develop a secure Fintech payment platform to be used by connected IoT devices such as smart devices, home devices, phones, cars and wearables. In order to develop the platform for IoT devices, Mizuho will partner with SORACOM Inc., a Japanese IoT platform provider. Cellular SIM cards and circuit cards that are commonly found on all smartphones and communication devices will be used by the bank. This enabled connectivity will be jointly developed by the bank and the connectivity provider, with SORACOM’s IoT platform used as the core technology.

What this would mean for Bitcoin and digital currencies:

A IoT connective payments platform would certainly improve the prospects of Bitcoin adoption. With the evolution of the platform, there would be heavy demand for fiat to cryptocurrency conversion apps and might even pay way for Bitcoin payments platform. Additionally Bitcoin itself has numerous applications in the IoT world owing to its micro-payments feature. This would lead to possibilities where Bitcoin usage oriented applications would power IoT. This might even lead to  the development of an IoT Payments platform Bitcoin ecosystem that will thrive on micro-payments and real time applications. How feasible this platform would be and contribute to Japan becoming a cashless society, only time will tell.

Adoption takes reigns in Japan, replaces US in terms of monthly volumes

Bitcoin markets change significantly over time, which creates an intriguing paradigm shift. China remains the largest market for Bitcoin trading in terms of volume with a whopping 96% domination. It is followed by the USD market which held this place firmly for a good period of time. Over the past few days, there has been a significant growth in the Japanese market, catapulting it to the second place in terms of volume. After the Mt. Gox debacle, the Bitcoin scenario in Japan has recovered cautiously from that point. Let dive deep into the dynamics to know how exactly Japan took volumes away from USA:

Drop of sales tax and efforts of exchanges:



The Japanese Government has dropped the sales tax on the purchase of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies in October. Initially a sales tax of 8% was levied on purchase of any cryptocurrency. While this move is attracting traders, it is also influencing the merchants across Japan for better adoption. Major exchanges in Japan like BitFlyer, Coincheck and Zaif have all launched campaigns that would attract the masses. BitFlyer launched a sophisticated trading platform for professional traders and an illustrated Blockchain explorer that have gone famous. Zaif bitcoin exchange launched an investment service that has been gaining lot of attention. The investment service is dollar cost averaging investment service, shielding users from bad investments.

Increasing merchant adoption:


Right from their launch, BitFlyer and Coincheck have pushed for merchant adoption by promoting Bitcoin transactions across merchants. So as to make Bitcoin a part of daily life, Coincheck has enabled payment of utility bills through Bitcoin. They have a dedicated ‘Coincheck Electricity’ platform that makes this possible.  Having bitcoin payment available for something like a utility bill, that has a reliable image, has definitely put bitcoin in positive light. These efforts have surely paid off as Japan now has around 5,270 merchants and websites accepting Bitcoin. BitFlyer has even initiated talks with the Japanese Government for transacting in Bitcoin for Government operated websites and payments.

How does the future look like?



The given rise in volumes should not be treated as a momentary surge but rather as fruits of steady adoption. With Chinese exchanges looking to impose transaction costs on BTC-Yuan trading pair, BTC-Yen looks to be the better alternative. With no service tax, traders would find it lucrative to trade across Japanese exchanges. Especially automated traders that provide volumes to the market would look to cut down on cost through Japan. If not a complete Chinese volumes, at least a part of it would be redirected to Japan restoring its previous glory prior to Mt. Gox debacle.

Japan Firm Shows Love to Bitcoin With Insurance for Bitcoin Exchanges

It is no longer news that Japan is one of the most conducive countries for Bitcoin operations. Bitcoin is already recognized as legal tender on par with the Yen in terms of acceptability. Of course, Japan used to be home the world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange, the now defunct Mt. Gox. In October, Japan decided to curb sales tax on Bitcoin purchases as part of efforts to boost the use of the cryptocurrency in the country.

The Nikkei Asian Review reported that the Japanese Financial Ministry and the country’s Financial Agency are in talks to end the 8% consumption tax rate. Now, there’s another piece of good news for Bitcoin coming out of Japan that will gladden the heart of Bitcoin investors. The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Tokyo-based insurance firm Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is developing an insurance product that will cover damages and losses at Bitcoin exchanges.

Here’s what we know about the new insurance coverage for Bitcoin exchanges

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is reportedly working with bitFlyer to develop an insurance product for Bitcoin exchanges. The insurance premium payable will vary from one exchange to the other but actuarians forecast that the premiums will range between several hundred thousand Yens to several million Yens.

One of the great perks of having insurance coverage for Bitcoin exchanges is that it would ease anxiety among Bitcoin owners that their precious crytocurrency could be lost overnight in an hack. Security experts observe that a single successful cyberattack on a Bitcoin exchange could wipe out billion of yen in Bitcoin. Most small exchanges don’t have enough resources to create a security system that might keep the bad guys out and even the best security defenses might still succumb to the efforts of a determined hacker.

Bitcoin exchanges can now enjoy insurance coverage

In the last couple of years, the Bitcoin industry has suffered setbacks in the form of data breaches, hacks, and stolen Bitcoin at exchanges. If you lost money in the last couple of hacks targeted at Bitcoin exchanges, you might want to relax because the trouble days are over. According to the report, the Japanese insurance firm will provide coverage against damage and loss to Bitcoin exchanges for 10 million yen to 1 billion yen, which is between $88,000 and $8.8 million.

Another great feature of the insurance coverage is that it protects Bitcoin owners in the event of losses due to internal issues. Bitcoin exchange might make dumb business moves or its workers might perpetrate fraud but insurers are not usually willing to cover losses that happen because of internal issues. For instance, in 2015 BItpay suffered the theft of 5,000 Bitcoins during a phishing attack. Its insurer has refused to cover the losses which is running under a million dollars.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance has also revealed that its insurance policy for Bitcoin exchanges will also cover other costs that might accrue after an incident. For instance, the insurer will bear the costs of reaching out to customers in the event of a data breach; the insurer will also settle damage suits that might be filed against the exchange in the event of theft, losses, hacks, or data breaches.

Bitcoin Exchanges Now Get Insured