jerry yang bitcoin

The co-founder of Yahoo is a big believer in bitcoin and thinks that in time it will become a global force for good when it’s treated like a currency.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Fortune Global Forum in Guangzhou, China, Jerry Yang, who leads venture capital fund AME Cloud Ventures, said to CNBC that:

Personally, I am a believer in where digital currency can play a role in our society, not only in the front end of doing transactions, but also in the back end of creating a more efficient system and a much more verifiable system. For now, it seems like it’s more driven by the hype of investing and getting a return rather than using it as a transaction currency.

Thursday saw bitcoin’s price reach a significant milestone of over $16,000 for the first time, pushing its market cap to an impressive $270 billion, according to BlockExplorer’s Market Cap.

This rise in value comes at a time when several promising factors are due to take place later this month, namely the launch of Cboe Global Markets and the CME Group’s bitcoin futures contracts. Last week, the two received regulatory approval from the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), enabling investors to trade in the digital asset via a regulated market.

Yet, while Yang is optimistic of bitcoin’s future, there are plenty who remain cautious of it.

Dennis Gartman, often referred to as a ‘commodities king’ said this week that while the launch of the futures trading will bring ‘some sense of legitimacy’ to the digital currency he’s still not buying into it.

Speaking on CNBC’s ‘Fast Money,’ he claimed:

It’s the volatility that frightens me.

Interestingly, billionaire hedge fund manager and bitcoin bull Mike Novogratz recently expressed his worries about bitcoin’s rising value. As reported yesterday, Novogratz said that nervous regulators could attempt to cool the market with the introduction of regulations on digital currencies.

One of the big risks out there right now is that prices are moving so fast that regulators are going to get nervous,” he said. “I could legitimately see bitcoin go $13,000, $14,000, $20,000, $25,000 and see somebody balk.

For now, though, regulators appear to be more intrigued with the cryptocurrency market, with several countries, such as Japan, accepting it as a legal form of payment. Last month, the former Fortress manager projected that bitcoin could ‘easily‘ reach $40,000 by the end of 2018. He also said that ethereum could experience a threefold gain in the same time.

jim cramer

Bestselling author and “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer warned prospective bitcoin investors that cryptocurrency is more like “Monopoly money” than a true asset and advised them to put their money somewhere less risky — a craps table, for instance.

Cramer, a former hedge fund manager who is best known for his market commentary on CNBC, made this sensationalist claim about bitcoin on the Wednesday episode of “Squawk Box”.

“It’s kind of like monopoly money,” Cramer said. “Obviously, there’s people who use it. If you ever say anything bad about it, there’s like this ‘bitcoin mafia’ that comes after you. But it is an oddity that has nothing to do with us” as investors.

Commenting on the recent bitcoin price upswing, Cramer alleged that buying bitcoin is “pure gambling” — not investing — and that those with the urge to gamble should go to Las Vegas instead.

“It’s just pure gambling at this point,” Cramer continued. “I mean if you want to gamble, go to Vegas. Vegas is fabulous.”

This was not the first critical statement Cramer has levied against bitcoin. Last week, he argued that its “parabolic” movement confirmed that it was in a bubble. He has also stated that announcements such as Square Cash’s bitcoin pilot program have made “people feel better” about cryptocurrency, causing it to steal some of gold’s luster

“I mean honestly, what’s the difference between bitcoin and trying to figure out the Super Bowl? I mean it’s gambling,” Cramer concluded.

Despite Cramer’s frustration, however, bitcoin continues to march forward at a breakneck pace. The bitcoin price ripped through the $14,000 mark on Wednesday evening, punctuating a single-day surge that saw bitcoin rise more than $2,000, or 20 percent. At the time of writing, bitcoin was trading at a global average of $14,510, according to the BlockExplorer bitcoin price index.

The impetus for the rally is most likely linked to the impending launch of bitcoin futures on Sunday afternoon, an event that many analysts believe will prove to be a watershed moment for cryptocurrency adoption.

Featured Image from CNBC

steam

This morning, Steam posted in their announcements forum that they are no longer supporting Bitcoin as a payment method on their game selling platform. They first started accepting Bitcoin back in 2016 – well before the Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash split. Citing issues with high transaction fees and the volatility of Bitcoin, Steam’s KURTIS said that ‘transaction fees that are charged to the customer by the Bitcoin network have skyrocketed this year, topping out at close to $20 a transaction last week (compared to roughly $0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin).’

Steam will no longer accept Bitcoin payments

Since Valve has no control over the fee amounts, they have been incurring volatile and often exorbitant costs related to accepting Bitcoin as payment for games. Coupled with the fact that any bitcoin that they are in possession of could change drastically in value during drops, they’ve concluded that Bitcoin is not a viable method of payment for them to continue to support.

Historically, the price of Bitcoin has been somewhat volatile, but in the last few months that volatility has increased significantly, changing at times upward of 25% daily.  Occasionally the value changes quickly enough that the customer is asked to make up the difference in price after the transaction has cleared, resulting in yet another transaction fee.

Steam has promised to re-evaluate the viability of using Bitcoin as a payment method in the future for the Steam Community and pledges to continue working to resolve any pending issues for customers who are currently impacted by market-related underpayments or transaction fees.

bitcoin price

Legendary hedge fund manager and cryptocurrency bull Mike Novogratz is concerned that the surging bitcoin price could cause nervous regulators to attempt to cool down the markets by imposing regulations on cryptocurrency usage.

Novogratz, a former Fortress principal who is currently preparing to launch a $500 million crypto-asset hedge fund, stated on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” that he is not concerned by the price itself — he has predicted that bitcoin could “easily” reach $40,000 by the end of 2018 — but rather that the rapidity of its climb will encourage regulators to take a more active role in overseeing the markets, perhaps by placing new rules on cryptocurrency usage.

“One of the big risks out there right now is that prices are moving so fast that regulators are going to get nervous,” he said. “I could legitimately see bitcoin go $13,000, $14,000, $20,000, $25,000 and see somebody balk.”

Until now, he said, regulators in most parts of the world have been relatively accommodating of bitcoin. Although many in the community have bristled at regulations such as New York state’s notorious BitLicense, Novogratz said that most regulators have been working with bitcoin — rather than against it.

That may change, however, if the bitcoin price continues to rise at a breakneck pace and regulators begin to perceive it as a threat to the stability of the domestic economy.

“I’ve got concern that if price movements go higher we’re going to get more regulation,” Novogratz said. But “I think it’s hard to shut down. … I don’t think that’s a probability.”

While the government has little power to regulate the Bitcoin network itself, regulators could make life difficult for bitcoin users, and more significantly — businesses that engage with cryptocurrency or provide services to bitcoin users.

In the short-term, a hostile regulatory stance could render bitcoin even more volatile than it already is and potentially lead to a severe price correction. Nevertheless, as Novogratz pointed out, cryptocurrency usage is not isolated to one geographic region, limiting the ability of regulators to curtail its ascent.

“We’re in a speculative frenzy. Period. Stop. How long can it go? who knows,” Novogratz concluded, contrasting the rise of bitcoin with the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, which he says was largely a U.S. phenomenon. “What’s interesting about this is it’s global”.

Featured Image Source: Bloomberg / YouTube

sec ico pr

Today, the US Securities and Exchange Commission issued a press release regarding the IPO of PlexCoin stating that it had obtained an emergency asset freeze with the intention of stopping the ICO (Initial Coin Offering, see below) ‘scam’ that had gained traction extremely quickly. PlexCoin, the currency in question had raised $15 million in a month from a large number of investors. The SEC filed a complaint in a New York federal court stating that Dominic Lacroix, their partner Sabrina Paradis-Royer, and PlexCorps had sold PlexCoin over the internet to a large number of investors, claiming that it would provide a 1354% profit in less than a month. All three have been charged with violating anti-fraud provisions, while Dominic Lacroix and PlexCorps have also been charged with violating the registration provision in US federal securities law. The SEC has stated it also wishes to file permanent injunctions and discouragement with interest against all three, and that it wishes to ban both Dominic and Sabrina from offering digital securities in the future, and Dominic from holding an officer or director position in a public company.

PlexCoin is the first ICO scam punished by SEC, but not the first ICO scam

These are the first charges filed by the SEC’s new cyber unit, and the chief of the unit, Robert Cohen stated: “This first Cyber Unit case hits all of the characteristics of a full-fledged cyber scam and is exactly the kind of misconduct the unit will be pursuing”. Other ICO scams in the past include Langpie.

What is an initial coin offering?

Initial Coin Offerings are cryptocurrencies where you can purchase some currency before the coin launches. It is typically used as a form of crowdfunding for cryptocurrencies to get off their feet, for example, ethereum used an ICO in 2014 before its launch in July 2015. ICOs are also used as a scam, as it does not require much other than a website and some false promises – So long as you can get exposure and you make the right promises, there is quite a bit of (illegal) profit to be made