This week on Planet Bitcoin - 10 April 2015

Friday 10 April 2015

Weekly market report and news from Dynacoins, first community-supervised mutual bitcoin fund.

Last week’s suggestion that we would see little activity and would have to wait until after the Easter weekend to see a decisive movement one way or the other turned out to be only half right. In the event, the market has ended up right back where it was a week ago, around the $240 mark. However, it was anything but a flat line in between. Instead, there was a steady rise into the $250s with a brief peak in the low $260s before settling back in the $250s, and finally dropping to where it started.

This need not mean anything particularly profound. Volumes have been relatively low, and so the market has been more prone to moving further on less action. However, it’s yet another week where uncertainty prevails. There has been no resolution: no fall back below the $200s to indicate that the bear market is still in session, and no sustained rise back above $300, which many traders require as a conclusive signal that it is over. Instead, bitcoin remains in a kind of no-man’s land. Some traders are treating it as an opportunity to accumulate a greater stake, others are staying away. Regardless of the weekly ups and downs, though, the overall picture for the last three months has been a relatively level market with a gentle incline.

3-month chart

Around Bitcoinland

Some interesting news this week was that Rand Paul, the Libertarian Republican candidate for the 2016 US presidential election, has included bitcoin as an option for campaign donations on his website, alongside credit card and PayPal. Rand has been a vocal critic of the Federal Reserve, campaigning for an end to the secrecy around its decisions on monetary policy. He has shown some interest in bitcoin in the past – at first acknowledging the potential of the idea but expressing some scepticism it would work, and more recently engaging constructively and suggesting some improvements that could accelerate cryptocurrency adoption, such as pegging a virtual currency to a ‘basket of stocks’ to give it a more stable value rooted in the physical economy. Paul’s inclusion of bitcoin in his campaign sends a message about what he stands for, and whilst it probably won’t win him a large number of votes (or cash) in its own right, it’s a signal to voters that he’s cast from a different mould to his competitors. It’s also a welcome counterpoint to Obama’s unexpected executive order at the beginning of last week, which will enable the US government to confiscate funds used in the course of cyber-terrorism and other online crime. That news saw a flood of bitcoin donations to Edward Snowden’s defence fund, since such causes could reasonably be interpreted as cyber-terrorism under the vague language of the order.

In other news, US exchange Coinsetter has acquired Canadian Virtual Exchange (Cavirtex). Cavirtex folded after a security incident in February, but is now set to re-open in the coming days. Finally, the Bitcoin Foundation – never a stranger to bad news – is said to be ‘effectively bankrupt’, having burned through millions of dollars and supposedly being forced to fire 90 percent of its employees. The picture painted by Olivier Janssens, a recently-elected member of the board, is one of an opaque and dysfunctional organisation that can no longer afford to pay its core devs. The Bitcoin Foundation has published its own rebuttal to address Janssens’ claims.


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