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January 12th, 2018- In This Issue:


Bitcoin On Sale !!


We believe the market is in a consolidation stage which we have seen repeated over and over again over the last 15 months or so. This is a prime buying opportunity that should not be passed up.

The smart money buys when the price drops. Be smart, take advantage of the 25% discount on Bitcoin today.  We expect to see a rally in the very near term perhaps by the middle of next week.

So if you have additional funds to invest, now might be the best time to add to your holdings.

As always, buy the dips, hold on to your bitcoins for as long as you can and spread the word. Tell your friends, your relatives and anyone else who will stand around long enough to listen about Bitcoins, believe me you will be doing them a huge favor.

Visit BitvestIRA for information on using your IRA to invest in bitcoin at 20% below spot price. Or call us directly with any questions at 1-844-BIT-VEST (1-844-248-8378)

Wall Street Strategist Tom Lee Says Bitcoin Could 'Easily Double' in 2018



Tom Lee, co-founder and Wall Street strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors, seems confident that the market is still going through a "price discovery process", predicting Bitcoin could "easily double" in  an interview with CNBC Jan. 9.

In late November 2017, Lee was similarly bullish about the leading cryptocurrency,  encouraging his clients to invest, and likely making many a small fortune as a result.

In August 2017, Lee confidently  predicted highs over $6,000 by the end of 2017, but his prediction was way outperformed, as Bitcoin  hit $10,000 by late November, 2017.

Basing his prediction today on steady growth in the first quarter of 2018, Lee went on to suggest that Bitcoin could well surpass the highs seen late in 2017.

"We think that by mid-2018, we're going to be part of the way there, and that's why we get Bitcoin to $20,000. If Bitcoin can actually rise close to that level in the first half of this year, I think in the second half of 2018, we'll see a move bigger than that. So I think Bitcoin is still something you should own."



Goldman Sachs Admits Bitcoin is Real Money, Cites Use Cases in Developing World




White shoe investment bank Goldman Sachs has admitted that Bitcoin and other digital currencies could succeed as real money in developing economies. Goldman strategists wrote in a recent report:.

"In recent decades the U.S. dollar has served its purpose relatively well. [But] in those countries and corners of the financial system where the traditional services of money are inadequately supplied, Bitcoin (and cryptocurrencies more generally) may offer viable alternatives."

Outsized importance

Goldman Sachs holds outsized influence in the world of finance and politics. Both 
The Independent and  Al Jazeera refer to Goldman as the bank that controls the world. The Atlantic is only slightly more subtle, referring to Goldman Sachs' growing influence in the US government as " The Quiet Coup."

Likewise, the Huffington Post has written extensively about the "revolving door" between Goldman Sachs and the US government.  The publication points out  that two Goldman Sachs CEOs - Rubin and Paulson - have served as US Treasury Secretary, and former CEO Jon Corzine became a US senator. Other Goldman alums serve in various positions throughout government and finance.



Cryptocurrencies stage big comeback after trading ban fears wane; 
bitcoin surges 7 percent from low




The world may not be ending for digital currencies after all.

South Korea's Justice Minister Park Sang-ki said on Thursday that a bill is being prepared to ban all cryptocurrency trading on the country's exchanges, which drove digital currency prices sharply lower.

The price of bitcoin tumbled more than 12 percent from its day's high following Park's remarks, according to Coinbase data. The cryptocurrency then rallied more than 7 percent off its low after Reuters reported South Korea's presidential office said the ban plan "had not yet been finalized" and is just one of the things being considered.

After the 7 percent comeback, bitcoin was down 5 percent Thursday, according to Coinbase.

The news agency added a ban bill "could take months or even years" to pass the country's legislative body.

Industry experts said fears over the South Korean ban proposal are overblown.
Cedric Jeanson, founder and CEO of BitSpread, one of the largest digital currency market makers in the world, downplayed the developments in the Asian country.

"It is understandable why the authorities are acting in Korea, which is different to other digital currency markets in several respects. Prices of digital currencies there are much higher than the rest of the world because of local circumstances," he said. "Developments like this should be seen in the broader context of the continued evolution and development of digital currencies globally."

Jeanson explained "the authorities in Korea are making sure the country's digital currency exchanges have the "proper AML/KYC customer identification, and suitable cyber-security, tax reporting procedures and accounting."



3 Lies Bitcoin Skeptics Tell Themselves



Bitcoin's amazing price rise in 2017 led to everyone and their mothers commenting on the topics of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies over the past few months, which means there were plenty of skeptics around who wanted to tell everyone about how bitcoin is a fraud that has no underlying value at all.

Whether they're claiming Ripple is a fork of Bitcoin or GPUs are still useful for mining bitcoin, so-called "experts" are responsible for a lot of misinformation regarding this new technology in the mainstream press. This is possibly due to many of the people quoted in various media outlets specializing in more general areas of study rather than just Bitcoin itself.

Bitcoin skeptics have been proven wrong more than 200 times when it comes to predicting the death of the digital bearer asset. Here are three of the lies these critics tell themselves, which are at the root of these false predictions.

Lie #1: Bitcoin Is A Ponzi Scheme

The claim that bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme is likely the  oldest and most common argument used by those who have a negative view of Satoshi Nakamoto's invention.
Skeptics point out that those who wish to profit from their early speculations on the bitcoin price rely on more people to enter the system for their gains, in addition to talking about how there is no practical use of the cryptocurrency network.  As Eric Posner wrote in Slate back in 2013 :

"Unless a bitcoin has value as a currency, it has no value at all, and its price in dollars will fall to zero. A regular Ponzi scheme collapses when people realize that earlier investors are being paid out of the investments of later investors rather than from the returns on an underlying asset. Bitcoin will collapse when people realize that it can't survive as a currency because of its built-in deflationary features, or because of the emergence of bytecoins, or both. A real Ponzi scheme takes fraud; bitcoin, by contrast, seems more like a collective delusion."

One of the points Posner missed in his 2013 assessment of bitcoin as an asset is that it provides a censor and seizure-resistant store of digital value. This property was further solidified in 2017 as  the Bitcoin network proved resistant to the contentious SegWit2x hard fork attempt and the bitcoin price continued to rise despite historically high on-chain transaction fees ( see my explanation for why this happened).

Furthermore, if one considers bitcoin a Ponzi scheme, then the same logic must be applied to all other forms of money. Is gold also a Ponzi scheme due to the non-industrial uses of the precious metal? Are the fiat currencies widely used in the world today Ponzi schemes since they were bootstrapped by a peg to gold?

Lie #2: Bitcoin Is Not Secure

There have been many hacks and thefts in Bitcoinland over the years, but this does not mean the system is not secure. These thefts have occurred at the layers above the base Bitcoin blockchain.

In reality, the hacks on bitcoin exchanges illustrate the value of the underlying Bitcoin blockchain from a security perspective.

It should be noted that Bitcoin is likely to become even more secure due to technical developments that have taken place over the past few years. By implementing the Lightning Network or a federated sidechain (such as Blockstream's Liquid), the level of risk associated with trading on a bitcoin exchange can be drastically reduced.

Lie #3: Bitcoin Cannot Be Used as Money

The idea that bitcoin cannot be used as money is one of the more puzzling claims made by skeptics. It's similar to someone pointing out that Crocs are not shoes. Whether they're called shoes or not does not matter. What matters is people are walking around with them on their feet .

The main criticism usually made in terms of bitcoin's usefulness (or lack thereof) as money is that the price is far too volatile. A point that is missed here is those who are already using bitcoin as a store of value don't care about the short-term price volatility ( see my explainer on this point using an analogy of Bitcoin as a social network).

The reality is people have found Bitcoin to be so useful that the developers working on the project have been unable to scale the system to keep up with demand while also retaining its decentralized properties.



What Does the Futures Hold for Bitcoin in 2018?




Predicting is a big part in cryptocurrencies, especially when it  comes to prices, but in this volatile market it is not only the price that can see-saw, all kinds of occurrences are affecting this burgeoning market.

This has led to people to speculate already what 2018 will hold for the cryptocurrency world. 2017 was definitely a massive platform on which a sturdy foundation was built for this market, but what does 2018 hold?

1. Bitcoin will still be king

As Bitcoin  peaked to $20,000  just before Christmas last year, it was unstoppable in both its growth and dominance, but since then it has dropped away in both respects as altcoin seasoned opened up the new year.

The original cryptocurrency saw its dominance fall to  below 33 percent as others such as Ripple, Stellar and Tron have snatched some of the overall market cap.

However, already on the comeback trail, the belief is that Bitcoin will still be the market leader through 2018.

Erik Voorhees, CEO of digital asset exchange ShapeShift, has said that there has been a decline in Bitcoin's dominance in transactions since a year ago on their platform, but that Bitcoin is actually benefiting from growth in Altcoins.

"Bitcoin has such magnificent network effects that I don't see another altcoin that's a little better at payments" or some other function right now, Autonomous' Global Director of fintech strategy,  Lex Sokolin said.


Already, after mostly laughing, then shunning, then finally taking note, the Wall Street-types have been forced to  pay attention to Bitcoin.  It has led to more institutions either accepting Bitcoin or even joining the fray.

The likes of  CME and CBOE taking up Bitcoin futures are indicators of this.

"Our institutional investor base is very interested in learning more and getting exposure," said Michael Graham, a Canaccord Genuity analyst, said.

"With the regulated futures markets going live in 2017, the stage is set for ETFs to gain approval in 2018," Nolan Bauerle  said  "In fact, the CBOE filed for six cryptocurrency ETFs at the end of 2017 which could go live in 2018. This would dramatically increase how institutional investors can get exposure."

3. Regulators also ready to jump in

 
Up until now, regulation has been a  symptom treatment rather than an established procedure  on the cryptocurrency market as they are still playing catch up.

However, 2018 will be a year for them to consolidate and make up ground as cryptocurrencies steady and slow somewhat in their pioneering ways.

"One of the things we'll see is enforcement here from the regulators,"  Canaccord's Graham added. He expects that greater regulation will cause a "major price dislocation event for the whole sector."

Regulators will no doubt cause some issues in the growth as they spook the burgeoning but fragile market.

Spencer Bogart, managing director and head of research at venture capital firm Blockchain Capital is predicting big losses in regulation.

"I think we could easily purge 60-75 percent of crypto hedge funds in this type of market," Bogart  said  "In this environment, funds that can call capital and deploy it counter-cyclically stand to benefit significantly."

4. Volatility will still be synonymous

You cannot talk about Bitcoin without making mention of its volatile market nature, and although it is a year older and wiser, it will still be a wild ride.

"We think we're going to have more forks in 2018 than 2017," Canaccord's Graham continued. "Ultimately we think those forks are going to be a short-term tailwind to Bitcoin's value and a long-term headwind."



Exponential Growth: Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Adding 100,000+ Users Per Day




Major Bitcoin and  cryptocurrency trading platforms within the global market have been adding more than 100,000 users per day.

Many of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges such as  Coinbase (GDAX), Binance,  BittrexBitstamp and  Kraken have struggled in dealing with the abrupt surge in demand for cryptocurrencies. Some exchanges have overhauled their systems to improve their scalability, while others have temporarily stopped opening new user accounts.

Unexpected growth rate

This week, Changpeng Zhao, the founder and CEO of Binance, the global market's largest cryptocurrency exchange with a staggering  $9.5 bln daily trading volume, revealed that it has added more than 250,000 users on a single day.

"Sorry guys, servicing existing members is higher priority at this point. Full team working around the clock. Both tech and support. Just too much demand. Added 250,000 new users in the last 24 hours," said Zhao, referencing the official statement released by the company.

On Jan. 4, Binance stated, "due to the overwhelming surge in popularity, Binance will have to temporarily disable new user registrations to allow for an infrastructure upgrade. We apologize for any inconvenience caused."

In December, both Kraken and Coinbase allocated a significant portion of their resources and capital in improving customer support and the scalability of their platforms. On Dec. 23, Kraken, which has found difficulty in processing account verifications, disclosed that it has implemented major system upgrades and improvements in performance and will continue to develop its trading platform to support new users.

The Kraken development team admitted that its current infrastructure is "degraded and unreliable," and vowed to improve it throughout January.  The company said




In late 2017, South Korea's third-largest cryptocurrency exchange Korbit was acquired at a valuation of $140 mln by a $10 bln gaming giant in Nexon. Given the size and the market valuation of Korbit, major exchanges like Bithumb, Bitstamp, Kraken and Binance could be worth more than $1 bln, as Coinbase was valued at $1.6 bln in its latest funding round.

Even with such large market valuation, high-profit margins, and many resources, cryptocurrency exchanges are struggling to address the exponentially increasing demand from investors because of the strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems the companies were  forced to implement by the authorities.

Each user application must be manually approved and verified. The failure to segregate fraudulent accounts from legitimate users could result in large fines and lawsuits for exchanges. Consequently, the vetting process of users is rigorous and requires significant efforts from the employees of exchanges.

Given that exchanges are adding more than 100,000 users per day, it is likely that exchanges are also receiving more than one mln trading account approval requests per month, at least.

That is, if the approval process of accounts take around 10 minutes per account, 166,666 hours on a monthly basis that employees have to cover manually.

In the next few months, global cryptocurrency exchanges will make drastic changes to their systems. Until then, users, especially newcomers, will find it difficult to open approved trading accounts.



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