This week on Planet Bitcoin - 13 March 2015

Friday 13 March 2015

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

Bitcoin is a notoriously volatile and fickle market, and this week the surprise it delivered was to be completely measured and predictable.

Last week we left the market trading in the $270s after two steps up from the mid-high $230s and low $250s. Each time, the pattern has been to test a high, then to fall back a little to stabilise at a higher point than the previous plateau. Once again, that has been the situation here; after peaking just short of $300, bitcoin has oscillated around the mid $290 range for the last three days.

Monthly chart

For bitcoin, characterised as it is by frequent wild swings in value, this has been an unusual month. Volatility has been low, with the only sharp movements being the small jumps of $15-20 to the next levelling-off. This appears much more like sustainable growth rather than the peaks and troughs that are frantically bought and sold by traders hoping to make the most of every swing. The question is, what happens next?

There’s good reason to think a change might be on the cards after four weeks of fairly consistent rises. $300 is, like all round numbers, a psychological point to overcome, but there is also the recent high of around $315 that occurred back in January when Coinbase released news of their ‘regulated’ exchange. High selling volumes saw the price crash back to the $220s almost immediately. It’s reasonable to think that the low $300s might once again prove cause for hesitancy.

Otherwise, barring that Coinbase spike, the picture since the crash to $155 in mid-January has been one of unremarkable but steady gains, perhaps indicating that the market had been oversold and has been reclaiming ground in a sustainable way ever since. With every week that passes it looks more likely that the downtrend is over and we won’t be revisiting those lows again.

Around the Bitverse...

BTER is almost fully back up and trading again after a month in the dark after it was hacked for 7,170 BTC. It has vowed to pay back customers in full, committing all of its profits to that ends until it has done so. BTER has partnered with security firm, which owns the largest concentration of mining capability in the world – accounting for 20 percent of all hashing power. Jua are taking on the security of BTER’s wallets, whilst also providing a 1,000 BTC interest-free loan to get them running – 500 of which has already been distributed to account holders who lost coins. It will be a long road for BTER. At the time of the hack on February 14, the loss was equivalent to $1.75 million. With the appreciation in value over the past few weeks, 7,170 BTC is now worth $2.1 million.

IBM has been considering the possibility of using blockchain technology to create digital versions of real-world currencies, and has been in informal discussions with a series of central banks about how it might provide the infrastructure to do so. Phone operator T-Mobile has started offering a 20 percent bonus for bitcoin payments for top-ups in Poland, the latest of numerous companies to start accepting the virtual currency. Lastly, news emerged that a mysterious company called 21 had raised a record $116 million in venture capital funding for an undisclosed bitcoin-related project.


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