Bitmain to Increase Hashrate By 50% With 600,000 New Mining Chips

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Bitmain to Increase Hashrate By 50% With 600,000 New Mining Chips

Showing renewed optimism, Bitmain is increasing its investments in the crypto mining industry. Now, Bitmain is reportedly buying 600,000 new crypto mining chips. As a result of this new investment, the company expects to make over $1 billion in profits.

Bitmain to Increase its Capacity By 50% Hash rate

The battle to produce fast cryptocurrency mining gear is heating up. In this context, Chinese Bitcoin mining giant, Bitmain Technologies Ltd, is placing orders for new mining machines with high hash rate capacity.

In this connection, and according to a Chinese news outlet, “Recently, a supply chain person close to TSMC broke the news.” This source reported that Bitmain has recently placed new orders for 600,000 mining chips.

As Bitcoinist reported earlier, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is Bitmain’s chip supplying contractor. TSMC ranks as one of the most profitable chipmakers in the world.

Moreover, according to the same source, some of these chips include the latest 7nm model, with a single power of 50 Tera hashes per second. The recent Bitmain order also comprises 16nm model chips.

Therefore, within a few months, observers believe that Bitmain’s total network computing power could skyrocket by about 50%.

Company Hopes to Reach a Valuation of $12 Billion

Despite losses in the first quarter of 2019, which reached approximately $625 million, Bitmain remains optimistic about the strengthening of the mining industry. In effect, with this new investment, the company expects to hit a valuation of $12 billion.

Last February, Bitmain announced its next-generation 7nm ASIC chip, BM1397, which boasts improvements in performance and energy efficiency. These chips are designed to mine cryptocurrencies using the SHA256 algorithm for proof-of-work purposes, such as Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

Moreover, the Antminer models come with enhanced hash rate capacity. Last April, the chipmaker announced the specifications for the latest 7nm Antminer 17 series. For example, the Antminer 17 Pro comes in two variants, a 53 TH/s and a 50 TH/s capacity models.

In addition, according to Bloomberg sources, Bitmain is working with specialists to prepare for a U.S. share sale that could occur as soon as the second half of 2019.

What do you think about Bitmain’s new investments in crypto mining? Let us know in the comments below!

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Bitcoin Price Analysis: Bullish Divergence Forms At $10K, is $11K Next?

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Bitcoin Price Analysis: Bullish Divergence Forms At $10K, is $11K Next?

Bitcoin breaks 5-day long up-trend, dropping back to key support levels at $9,800. Since then bullish divergence appears to have formed on lower time-frames and could spur a reversal in the coming days.

Bitcoin 1-Hour Analysis

On the 1 hour chart for the XBT/USD pair, we can see the ascending wedge that formed throughout the middle of August. This wedge was broken two days ago on the 21st of August and has since dropped to key support at $9,800, as mentioned in my previous analysis on Bitcoin.  Since re-testing key support, price action has begun to bounce, and form a short-term reversal.

MACD can be seen visibly rising at the same point in which Bitcoin created two lower lows around $9,800. This could indicate bullish divergence forming around this price point. POC (Point of Control) clearly acting as support around $10,100 as price action test this level multiple times within the last 24 hours.

The market price is seeing a small pump as candlesticks touch the 200 EMA. It’s likely another ascending channel will form over the coming days taking Bitcoin back up to re-test $11,100 which was previously rejected. 500 MA sitting at $10,900 will also be a big resistance point that Bitcoin will need to cross in order to sustain a breakout.

4-Hour Analysis

On the 4 hour chart for the XBT/USD pair, we can see the breakout zone highlighted. If price action can muster up enough volume, and bulls clearly re-gain control of the market once the breakout zone has been entered around $11,300, we should expect further upside. It’s likely once price levels breakout through the overhead resistance just below the breakout zone, Bitcoin will surpass both of these highs and proceed to create a higher high.

It appears as if Bitcoin has created a very large consolidation range from around $9,100 to $14,000 over the last few months. Once a break to the upside takes place, this consolidation phase will essentially act as fuel for another volatile move to the upside, similar to what we saw in June.

If the 0.382 Fibonacci level at $9,600 is broken to the downside, it’s highly likely that a strong down-trend will form and will most likely play out for the remainder of 2019. Whichever direction BTC decides to go, for example breaking upwards into the aforementioned breakout zone, or breaking down through the 0.382 the prior phase of consolidation, will act as rocket fuel for that given market direction, whether that be bullish or bearish. Risk management is essential over the coming days and weeks as BTC looks to come out of this consolidation phase.

Do you think BTC will break upwards or start a new long down-trend? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below!

This article is strictly for educational purposes and should not be construed as financial advice.

Images via Shutterstock, XBT/USD charts by Tradingview

US Government Vague On Bitcoin Role In Fentanyl Drug ‘Epidemic’

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US Government Vague On Bitcoin Role In Fentanyl Drug ‘Epidemic’

The US government has singled out cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin as a funding mechanism for the ongoing trend for smuggling the drug fentanyl.

FinCEN Advisory Mentions Cryptocurrencies

In an advisory issued on August 21, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) highlighted the use of “convertible virtual currency” (“CVC”) in facilitating the black market.

According to the organization, the US is “in the midst of an unparalleled epidemic of addiction and death” from fentanyl, an opioid used in pain prevention and anaesthesia. 

Specifically, it claims, payments occur using Bitcoin 00, Bitcoin Cash 00, Ethereum 00 and Monero 00.

Also named were purchases “using money services businesses…, bank transfers or online payment processors,” both within the US and abroad.

The advisory further referenced “other, more general money laundering mechanisms” without naming specific examples.

The vague language of the advisory likewise gave no hint of the volume of funds involved for either cryptocurrency or other financing methods.

Nonetheless, mainstream media titles seized on the warning as proof that the Trump administration via FinCEN was looking to crack down on cryptocurrency once again. 

As Bitcoinist reported, Trump himself had delivered terse comments on Bitcoin in July, claiming all cryptocurrencies were “based on thin air.” The comments had only a temporary impact on markets. 

Bitcoin A Friend To Law Enforcement

FinCEN meanwhile noted crypto’s use in darknet markets to procure fentanyl, specifically via AlphaBay. 

“The Darknet is commonly used for a number of illicit activities, including fentanyl trafficking,” it reads. 

In July 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice seized AlphaBay servers and assets; AlphaBay was the largest criminal Darknet market on the Internet at the time. 44 AlphaBay required its users to transact in CVC (including bitcoin, monero, and ethereum) to obfuscate transactions and related parties.

Beyond fentanyl, the role of crypto worldwide in illicit activities remains a topic of constant debate. Despite various warnings from governments, independent studies routinely find that cash and other fiat-based options remain criminals’ medium of choice for transacting. 

Bitcoin’s traceability makes it suboptimal as an anonymous payment method, with even US authorities saying it would in fact be helpful to them if its use continued. 

Lilia Infante, an operations lead at the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), made the comments during an interview last year. 

“The blockchain actually gives us a lot of tools to be able to identify people. I actually want them to keep using [cryptocurrencies],” she said.

What do you think about cryptocurrency’s role in fentanyl trafficking? Let us know in the comments below!

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BitPay Under Fire For Rejecting $100K Bitcoin Amazon Rainforest Donation

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BitPay Under Fire For Rejecting $100K Bitcoin Amazon Rainforest Donation

A blocked Bitcoin donation to help the fight against the Amazon Rainforest fires has become the latest publicity headache for BitPay.

BitPay Fails To Resolve BTC Freeze

According to a social media exchange on August 23, the embattled cryptocurrency payment processor is facing fresh criticism after it failed to allow a $100,000 Bitcoin 00 donation to go through.

The payment came from a donor to the Amazon Watch charity, which uses BitPay to accept cryptocurrency payments. 

BitPay reportedly rejected the payment because Amazon Watch’s maximum permitted amount was lower than $100,000. After ignoring a formal complaint, BitPay staff told the charity on Twitter it could resolve the issue itself by changing the settings in its account.

This turned out to be untrue, however, as in order to allow a higher level, the company must first submit compliance documentation.

“…We tried to increase the volume but can’t do it through the dashboard and were told we needed to email compliance,” it confirmed. 

The debacle adds further fuel to the criticism which frequently engulfs BitPay. Overzealous bureaucracy, compounded by a separate scandal about fake transaction fees, have led to frequent calls for businesses to use open source alternative payment processors.

The logic, as one Twitter user pointed out in comments on Amazon Watch’s difficulties, is that Bitcoin is a free and open payment system. Third parties vetting transactions arbitrarily contradicts its sole purpose.

“…You don’t need (BitPay) to reject your transactions when you can verify them yourselves for free,” the response reads.

A Lesson In Bitcoin Principles

BitPay’s PR difficulties have a long history. As far back as 2017, executives opted to support the controversial SegWit2x Bitcoin scaling proposal, which led to hardware wallet Trezor publicly ditching the company.

Amazon Watch said it would look into using BTCPay, an alternative open source option, in a move which would copy that of travel agent CheapAir last year.

A backlash over BitPay’s previous actions meanwhile had led to many wallet providers freezing out support for its invoices. Unless they use a handful of wallets, Bitcoin holders find themselves unable to send transactions to BitPay addresses. 

The company has curiously sought to make it as hard as possible to extract Bitcoin addresses from invoices. Doing so requires technical knowledge far beyond the scope of the average user.

BitPay says the setup is in order to mitigate risk from bad actors, and advises clients to use its own wallet instead.

What do you think about BitPay? Let us know in the comments below!

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Bitcoin Panic Unwarranted But Ethereum Still ‘Ugly’ Below $200

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Bitcoin Panic Unwarranted But Ethereum Still ‘Ugly’ Below $200

The week has ended with reclamation of five figure prices by bitcoin. Some of the altcoins have been marginally dragged up with it, but many including Ethereum are still looking extremely weak.

Bitcoin Back Over $10k

The past five instances bitcoin has dropped into four figures have been brief encounters. There is clearly a mass of buyers waiting in the upper $9,000 price zone to keep the digital asset from falling further. Yesterday, analysts were leaning towards a bearish stance predicting further declines, even into the $8k region.

The lowest price tapped by BTC was $9,750 according to During today’s Asian trading session it returned to $10,250 and has started to consolidate around there, currently trading at 00.


BTC prices 1 hour chart –

The market chop has continued and there is no sign of clear direction at the moment which makes the fear and panic totally superfluous. Yesterday the bitcoin fear and greed index dropped to its lowest level for over a year hitting 5, today it is back up to 33. Crypto warlord John McAfee called for a halt to this unnecessary panic:

Bitcoin jitters? Just stop it! Short term fluctuations are meaningless. Bitcoin is still up almost 300% from 6 month’s ago. Every time there’s a dip I have to calm people in replies, DMs, etc. GET A GRIP! You know in your heart Bitcoin cannot lose. Relax!

Ethereum Not Out Of The Woods

The same cannot be said for Ethereum however, and there appears to be greater reason to be concerned for anyone holding large amounts of it at the moment. ETH has made a 3.5% gain on the day to recover to $193 but it is still looking extremely weak. Some may see this as a greater risk/reward opportunity but popular crypto analyst Josh Rager remains bearish.

$ETH will surely increase in value but has been outperformed by $BTC ever since the ICO boom busted. I wouldn’t compare ’19 ETH to pre-euphoria ATH BTC. If BTC breaks down to $8ks, ETH will follow with a break under $150. ETH chart is ugly. Not the time to accumulate ETH IMO.

Ethereum market share has dropped to just below 8% which is its lowest level for over two years. All of the altcoins have been battered though so ETH is not alone in its suffering. The network is still healthy and new improvements are constantly being made. The upcoming two phase Istanbul hard fork will bring in a number enhancements on the road to ETH 2.0 so it is only a matter of time before the world’s second largest crypto asset starts to recover.

Will Ethereum make a recovery this year? Add your thoughts below.

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @Josh_Rager, @officialmcafee, BTC/USD chart by Tradingview

EOS is De Facto Centralized, Says Wikipedia Co-founder

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EOS is De Facto Centralized, Says Wikipedia Co-founder

Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger does not want to develop his decentralized applications atop EOS blockchain.

The veteran technologist, who chose EOS to run his decentralized content distribution platform Everipedia, threatened to fire the blockchain project. He criticized EOS for becoming a de facto centralized ledger controlled entirely by the Chinese entities. Stating that Everipedia couldn’t function atop a heavily centralized blockchain, Sanger said the dapp would eventually quit EOS. Excerpts:

We cannot continue to build dapps on EOS if the network is de facto centralized in the hands of the Chinese. I’ve been making noise internally at EP about this since I learned about it earlier this summer. Sorry, but it can’t go on much longer, as far as I’m concerned.

The statements appeared twenty months after Sanger announced they would develop a “truly censorship-proof system” on the top of EOS blockchain. As Everipedia’s chief information officer, Sanger noted that EOS would make the process of approving articles, making edits and storing information more distributed. His latest comments merely highlighted that the project did not assist Everipedia in becoming an authentic, decentralized version of Wikipedia.

EOS Problem

Despite becoming one of the most remarkable public blockchains, EOS has a problem concerning its integrity.

There are only a few people who own a vast a majority of the project’s tokens. That gives them an oversized influence on the right to select block producers, a total of 21 entities that validate and add transaction records on the native blockchain. The structure reminds one of a corrupted democratic process, wherein one individual can vote 100 times because he has 100 different identity cards (tokens). That increases the probability of potential cooperation, where malicious actors can join together to seize the EOS funds or alter transaction records on the blockchain.

Nevertheless, the real trouble lies in the inability of Block.One, the parent company of the #8 cryptocurrency, to solve the problem. That became worse when Dan Larimar, the CTO of Block.One, confirmed that decentralization is not their topmost priority.

Blockchain rating agency Weiss Crypto Ratings downgraded EOS score after recognizing the issues in their voting mechanism, with researcher Juan Villaverde saying:

“EOS developers have seen the flaw in their voting scheme. But they have not offered a viable solution. To us, this amounts to an admission of defeat.”

What do you think about Larry Sanger’s comments regarding EOS? Add your thoughts below.

Images via Shutterstock, video via Youtube @Colin Talks Crypto

How Key 2020 U.S. Presidential Candidates Are Showing Support For Bitcoin

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How Key 2020 U.S. Presidential Candidates Are Showing Support For Bitcoin

Among the numerous issues that will define the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the topic of Bitcoin and blockchain technology is inching its way to the forefront. Indeed, in varying degrees, top democratic presidential contenders have already referred to Bitcoin and its technology.

Andrew Yang’s Vision Is Consistent with Crypto Community

Among the democratic candidates, Andrew Yang has taken the most innovative stance on issues since announcing his run for president. He has not avoided discussing cryptocurrency-related topics. Most recently, during an interview on The Coin Chat show, Yang declared,

“My vision of the economy is very consistent with the people who are in the cryptocurrency community.”

Thus, his comprehensive set of policy proposals includes one entitled “Crypto/Digital Asset Regulation and Consumer Protection.”

Yang’s campaign recognizes that the crypto industry has great potential, but it has outpaced the U.S. control framework. In this regard, his campaign website declares,

Investment in cryptocurrencies and digital assets has far outpaced our regulatory frameworks in the US. We should let investors, companies, and individuals know that the landscape and treatment will be moving forward to support innovation and development. The blockchain has vast potential.

Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk Support Yang’s Candidature

As a testimony to Yang’s pro-technology stance, innovative investors and technology CEOs are helping to fund his campaign. The Tech 1,000 is a list of such campaign contributors, including

• Jack Dorsey, Square/Twitter
• Sam Altman, YCombinator
• Miles Lasater, F-Prime Capital Partners
• Patrick Comer, Lucid
• Mike Gamson, LinkedIn

Another key innovator supporting Yang is Elon Musk. On August 10, 2019, Musk published a Tweet announcing his support for Yang.

Joe Biden Has Bitcoin-Friendly Supporters

Joe Biden, as of this writing, leads the democratic field. Biden also has Bitcoin-friendly supporters in his camp. So far, however, Biden has not explicitly mentioned the cryptocurrency.

However, during the 2016 presidential campaign, the Draft Biden Super PAC expressed its willingness to receive bitcoins to fund his eventual campaign. As The Hill reported at that time, Draft Biden director Joseph Schweitzer, announced,

Ready your mobile wallet and you’ll be able to simply scan-and-donate. There’s no hassle with a card number, no delay and unparalleled cryptographic security.

Elizabeth Warren, one of Biden’s closest contenders, has weighed in on issues affecting the crypto industry. According to her, crypto assets are easy to steal, and scammers take advantage of investors through ICOs. However, according to Forbes, Warren stated,

“The challenge is how to nurture productive aspects of crypto with protecting consumers.”

On the other side of the political spectrum, Donald Trump has already declared his stance against Bitcoin. However, his former political strategist Stephen Bannon has predicted that Bitcoin and other crypto assets will disrupt the banking system. And, according to The New York Times, Bannon advises entrepreneurs and countries to issue their own cryptocurrencies.

So far, the topic of Bitcoin has not been mentioned in the debates. Bitcoin enthusiasts will most likely keep an eye on the 10 democratic candidates in the next debate, which is scheduled for 12 and 13 September 2019.

What Bitcoin-related question would you ask presidential candidates in their next debate? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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Research Shows Low-Quality Exchanges Dominate Crypto Trading Volume

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Research Shows Low-Quality Exchanges Dominate Crypto Trading Volume

Crypto exchanges with the lowest rating still dominate the industry, according to crypto analysis and pricing data provider, CryptoCompare.

D-E Rated Crypto Exchanges Account for 64% of Trading Volume

On Wednesday, CryptoCompare published a report on crypto exchange’s activity in July. According to the research, exchanges with lower ratings accounted for about two-thirds of the trading volume last month. This may be due to the lighter know-you-customer (KYC) verification procedures, if existent at all.

The rating is based on CryptoCompare’s proprietary exchange benchmark grading. It rates platforms based on their jurisdiction, regulatory compliance, data provision quality, trade surveillance, and market quality, among others. Thus, exchanges get a double-A for the best score and an F for the poorest service.

In July, D and E rated providers accounted for a combined 64% of the total trading volume. Those rate with AA and A accounted for a combined 25%.

Thus, more crypto traders would choose exchange platforms like Bitmax, Gateio, Ethfinex, HitBTC, IDEX, Kuna, and CoinEX over counterparts like Coinbase, Bitstamp, and Poloniex.

To clarify, CryptoCompare lists far more D and E rated exchanges than AA and A ones, which might also influence the volume distribution figure.

The good news is that the trends have been changing over the last three months, and high-quality exchanges saw more activity in July than June. AA-rated exchanges saw an increase of 28.7% in trading volume while D rated ones saw a decline by 19.4%. The biggest surge in trading volume for the month was recorded by C rated exchanges. This category includes platforms like Luno, Kucoin, CoinJar, Bibox, and Coinfloor, among others.

LBank Notes Biggest Surge in Trading Volume

Trusted exchanges (AA-B) saw their aggregate volume expand by 4.4%. On the other side, volume from untrusted crypto exchanges only rose 0.7%, though the latter category dominates the market.

Untrusted crypto exchange LBank had the largest average trade sizes and the largest increase in trading volume compared to June. LBank’s average trade size was 3.7 Bitcoin while the trading volume in July was $45 billion, up 42% since June.

The Hong Kong-based platform was followed by Coinsbit and Coinbene in terms of average trade size and by OKEx and Coinbene in terms of trading volume.

What do you think of LBank’s July performance? Do you think the surge in the crypto exchange’s trading volume is somehow related to the mass demonstrations in Hong Kong?

Images via Shutterstock, Cryptocompare

China May Release Libra Competitor Before Facebook Launches It, Report

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China May Release Libra Competitor Before Facebook Launches It, Report

Facebook’s Libra may be facing multiple threats from regulators, but the same critics are now racing to beat the social media giant at its own game.

Experts: Chinese Libra May Come First

The US, China and European Union are all concerned about Facebook’s digital currency. According to fresh reports, however, it is China which is now looking to release its own competitor before the Libra currency itself debuts.

As local English-language news outlet China Daily revealed on August 20, unnamed experts consider it increasingly likely Beijing will put its central-bank digital currency (CBDC) to work first.

“Experts predicted that if things go well, the Chinese government-backed digital currency may come out earlier than the official launch of Libra,” the publication wrote. 

That official launch remains vague. Facebook is unable to set out a timeline before it appeases global regulators, something executives say they are committed to doing.

China has taken a unique stance among world powers by aiming to compete with Libra. Earlier this month, the deputy director of the country’s central bank confirmed the CBDC was technically almost ready for issue.

Previously, the central bank had publicly voiced worries over Libra, inasmuch as it could be pegged to the US dollar and involve overwhelming participation of US finance firms.

The network’s potential node operators, who say they will pay $10 million each to be involved, include PayPal, Visa and MasterCard.

The Sea Of New Competitors

Outside government, meanwhile, the trend to ‘be’ Libra before Libra even exists has captured the imagination of businesses. 

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is among the players saying they will launch an analog to Facebook’s offering. Binance will create a project called Venus, a blog post confirmed this week. 

Even Erik Finman, the world’s youngest Bitcoin millionaire, has revealed an option, in the form of Metal Pay, which he claims will both “kill” Libra and take traction away from the cryptocurrency that made him his fortune. 

“We want to be the digital bank for the world,” he announced in an introductory video to the platform, which launched August 19.

The Bitcoin community, instead of arguing Bitcoin fulfils Libra’s remit, remains cautious. Speaking to CNBC, Coinbase CISO Philip Martin said it was simply too early to determine anything about Libra in the real world.

“From our perspective, Libra has the potential to bring cryptocurrency to a billion people, because of the folks that are involved,” he explained. 

“I think that while the potential is there, it’s really too early to be talking about the technical implications of the coin, their protocols and the currency, because it’s still under development.”

What do you think about China beating out Libra? Let us know in the comments below!

Images via Shutterstock

How Bitcoin Demand is Driven by Central Banks Devaluing Their Currencies

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How Bitcoin Demand is Driven by Central Banks Devaluing Their Currencies

The demand for bitcoin has certainly been tangible over the past few months. Even with a correction of around 30% the digital asset is still up over 160% this year. That growth could have been spurred by central banks devaluing their own currencies as economic skies darken.

Big Banks Boosting Bitcoin

Demand and fervor for bitcoin is most prevalent in Asia. Trading on markets during the Asian time zone has dictated the mood for the rest of the day elsewhere on countless occasions. China is one of the leading players in the BTC trading arena despite ongoing efforts from Beijing to crush it and control the flow of finances from its burgeoning population.

According to reports, the volume of purchases of bitcoin and other crypto assets in China has surged by 50% during the current quarter. The report added that buying demand increased on the day the People’s Bank of China confirmed that it will adopt its own digital currency. Other catalysts that have driven the Chinese towards bitcoin also include the devaluation of the Yuan.

The government is clearly concerned about capital outflow and has already introduced measures to stem it by capping the amount that can be taken out of China. The PBoC clearly views cryptocurrency as a threat to its own domination over finances, and the people are waking up to this fact. A chief Asia economist for one major international bank said;

Only a central bank is allowed to issue base money. They are defending their own monopoly.

Japanese Outlook

Japan, which is nowhere near as autocratic as China, has a completely different outlook on digital assets. A senior official at the Bank of Japan told the Nikkei Asian Review:

Because of their fear of capital outflows, the Chinese see every financial asset as the enemy. But we don’t worry about outflows. We are in love with the technology behind it and we are in touch with the technology community. We promote bitcoin but only with controls,

Japan’s regulatory body already monitors crypto trading patterns but is more concerned with money laundering than people hedging on different currencies.

Central banks are clearly contributing to bitcoin demand by deflating their respective currencies in order to stimulate their economies. Escalating trade wars only exacerbate these issues as their promotion of protectionist policies stifles growth everywhere.

US president Donald Trump has publically threatened to devalue the dollar in response to efforts by the Chinese to undermine his trade tariffs. Earlier this month, it was widely reported that Chinese investors were stocking up on BTC as their currency dropped to a seven year low against the USD.

Both the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve have taken deflationary measures and they are unlikely to be reversed in the foreseeable future. This has all been good news for bitcoin which has increased in value as demand is driven by central banks in developed markets.

Are central banks having an impact on bitcoin demand? Add your thoughts below.

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