China’s exchanges are closing down following government action, and Jamie Dimon considers Bitcoin a fraud. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 37:
- China dominated the news this week. Rumors that China was planning to make it illegal to operate a bitcoin exchange within the country surfaced last week, and were confirmed to be true this week. China’s National Internet Finance Association (NIFA) asserted that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have become a tool for speculation among investors, while also serving as a payment conduit for illegal fundraising and money laundering. The organization has specifically stated that “any trading platform for any kind of so-called ‘coin’ has no legal base of foundation in China”.
- One of China’s biggest Bitcoin exchanges immediately said it would stop trading after the government warning over virtual currencies. BTCC said it would stop buying and selling on 30 September in response to tightening regulation. ViaBTC became the second to do so. Huobi and OKCoin followed too, although they received an additional month of time to enforce the new regulation.
- In the meanwhile, Russia is in the midst of legitimizing cryptocurrencies. It is developing a legal framework that will govern transactions using digital currencies like Bitcoin. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov conveyed this at a recent financial forum in Moscow. He assured Russian users of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that the government will not outlaw nor penalize people who use cryptocurrencies. It is a complete turnaround from the Russian Ministry’s stance last year, emerging after President Vladimir Putin signified approval for digital currencies. Putin had met with Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin, who ingrained the merits of Russia’s usage of the Blockchain, the technology underlying Bitcoin.
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said he would fire any employee trading bitcoin for being “stupid.” The cryptocurrency “won’t end well,” he told an investor conference in New York on Tuesday, predicting it will eventually blow up. “It’s a fraud” and “worse than tulip bulbs.” If a JPMorgan trader began trading in bitcoin, he said, “I’d fire them in a second. For two reasons: It’s against our rules, and they’re stupid. And both are dangerous.”
- Compared to the previous week the price of Bitcoin has decreased by around 15 percent, with the exchange rate currently at about $3,555 per BTC. The price of Ethereum decreased by more than 17 percent over the same period, taking Ether down to a rate of $242 per ETH. Ethereum Classic lost about 32 percent, with the price decreasing to $10.00 per ETC. Zcash lost 20 percent. One ZEC is now trading at roughly $166 per coin.