Another Sign The Bitcoin Bubble Is Ending? China Launches An Unprecedented Crackdown On Cryptocurrencies…

Those that sold their cryptocurrencies at the peak of the market made a tremendous amount of money, but those that hold on to the bitter end are going to be gravely disappointed.  For a while there, it seems like cryptocurrency prices were going to go up forever.  2017 was the best year for cryptocurrencies ever, and lots of investors were becoming millionaires on paper.  But now the “Bitcoin bubble” has burst, and the losses are absolutely staggering.  Unfortunately for crypto investors, it looks like things are about to go from bad to worse, because China has just launched an absolutely unprecedented crackdown on cryptocurrencies.  Potential government intervention was always the “elephant in the room” for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, and now it is becoming a reality in a major way.

How would you feel if the value of your investments fell by 75 percent in just 7 months?

Well, that is precisely what has happened to cryptocurrency investors.  The following comes from the New York Times

After the latest round of big price drops, many cryptocurrencies have given back all of the enormous gains they experienced last winter. The value of all outstanding digital tokens has fallen by about $600 billion, or 75 percent, since the peak in January, according to data from the website coinmarketcap.com.

Sadly, this could potentially be just the beginning of big trouble for the cryptocurrency industry.

China has not completely banned cryptos yet, but they appear to be moving in that direction.  As Robert Wenzel recently noted, the crypto crackdown in China is becoming very intense…

Financial officials in an eastern district of Beijing issued a notice last week to stores, hotels and offices urging them not to host any cryptocurrency related speeches, events or activities. The document also asked that any activity be reported to local officials and said authorities were acting on behalf of a working group led by the central bank to clean up cryptocurrency trading, reports The Wall Street Journal.

In a commentary published in state media on Friday, according to the Journal, Sheng Songcheng, an adviser to the People’s Bank of China, said that after fundraisings called initial coin offerings were banned last year, government regulation will become even more restrictive. He wrote that earlier this week, authorities blocked a number of public accounts involving ICOs on the popular messaging app WeChat.

In addition, we have just learned that China has decided to permanently block over 120 offshore cryptocurrency exchanges

More than 120 offshore cryptocurrency exchanges have been blocked by Chinese authorities, the South China Morning Post reports. The exact reasoning is not entirely clear — the central bank didn’t respond to calls from SCMP reporters — though some speculate that the crackdown is a response to increasing financial risk and instability.

The government will continue to monitor for any new crypto news sites and announcements of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). If any appear, the government will shut them down immediately and deny user access by blocking their IP addresses.

That is an absolutely devastating blow to the cryptocurrency industry.

On top of everything else, Chinese tech giants have decided to ban crypto-related transactions

In a move that will likely make it even harder for cryptocurrency aficionados to trade Bitcoin and its ilk in China, the mobile payments titans of the country have barred crypto-related transactions.

WeChat Pay and Ant Financial’s Alipay are monitoring their platforms for transactions related to cryptocurrencies, with WeChat saying Friday that it would prohibit users from sending funds related to such digital assets on its social media platform. Its a notable move, Chinese citizens have rapidly adopted the technology. Over $12 trillion changed hands via mobile in the first 10 months of 2017 alone in the Middle Kingdom.

A coordinated effort to kill the cryptocurrency industry in the second largest economy on the planet appears to be well underway, and this is going to have very serious implications for cryptocurrency prices.

Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency industry just suffered another blow at the hand of U.S. regulators

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has rejected another round of attempts to list exchange-traded funds backed by bitcoin, blocking ETFs from ProShares, GraniteShares and Direxion, on concern prices could be vulnerable to manipulation.

In a trio of orders posted on the agency’s website Wednesday, the commission said proposals to allow the funds failed to show how exchanges seeking to list the products would “prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.”

For a long time I have warned that the ultimate fate of the cryptocurrency industry was going to be determined by what national governments decided to do.

They seemed to have a “hands off” policy for quite a while, and the cryptocurrency industry thrived.

But now a global crackdown has begun, and it could ultimately mean the death of the entire sector.

This article originally appeared on The Economic Collapse Blog.  About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

War On Cryptocurrencies: Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup And Capital One Have Banned Their Customers From Buying Bitcoin With Credit Cards

A war on cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin has begun, and it threatens to destroy the entire cryptocurrency industry.  If you think that I am exaggerating, just keep reading.  Government agencies are cracking down hard, Bitcoin traders that don’t file the proper paperwork are being sent to prison, Facebook and other online ad platforms have banned all cryptocurrency advertising, and now major credit card companies are banning their customers from using their credit cards to buy cryptos.  What is an industry supposed to do if it can’t advertise and it can’t take credit cards?  Such moves would kill virtually any consumer-oriented industry, and right now the cryptocurrency industry is absolutely reeling.  If this war on cryptocurrencies continues to intensify, I honestly don’t know how the industry is going to survive.

On Monday, another shot was fired in the war.  Wells Fargo formally announced that their customers would no longer be permitted to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with Wells Fargo credit cards

Wells Fargo customers can no longer buy cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin on their credit cards, the company announced Monday. But they can still buy firearms.

The San Francisco-based bank joined some of its Wall Street peers in banning the purchase of cryptocurrencies on credit cards and said its decision is “in line with the overall industry.”

Of course this follows decisions by virtually all of the other major credit card companies to ban cryptocurrency transactions as well

J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup announced in February they would no longer let customers buy cryptocurrencies using credit cards, and like Wells Fargo cited credit risks and market volatility.

Capital One Financial said it has decided to ban cryptocurrency purchases with its cards, and Discover Financial Services has effectively prohibited cryptocurrency purchases with its credit cards since 2015.

All of these banks are deeply tied in to the existing world order, and obviously the elite have decided that now is the time to make a move against cryptocurrencies.

In the online world, cash and checks are rarely used.  And so if people can’t use their credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies, what are they supposed to do?

There is always Paypal and other online platforms, but it is probably only a matter of time before they start banning cryptocurrency transactions as well.

And the same big banks that have already banned credit card transactions could very easily start banning direct bank transfers as well.

The 800 pound gorilla in the room has started to wake up, and that is really, really bad news for the cryptocurrency industry.

It is absolutely absurd for banks to be telling us what we can and cannot buy with our own money, but unless somebody does something they are going to get away with it.  A few of them have even started putting restrictions on gun transactions, and they will keep pushing the envelope until they are stopped.

Meanwhile, government agencies have decided that now is the time for a crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry as well

The SEC investigation, which Bloomberg reported last month, is the U.S.’s latest effort to crack down on the booming Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry and will look into illegal practices that can influence prices.

On Friday the Wall Street Journal reported U.S. government investigators demanded several bitcoin exchanges hand over trading data, putting the price on the back foot ahead of today’s sell off.

Federal prosecutors are working with the U.S. financial regulator that oversees derivatives tied to Bitcoin, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

And it isn’t just the exchanges that are getting hit.

Individuals that have not filed the “proper paperwork” with the government are being arrested and sent to prison

This week in Southern California a Los Angeles woman who called herself the ‘Bitcoin Maven’ will be sentenced this Monday after pleading guilty for illegal money transmission. According to law enforcement, the woman made close to $300,000 USD annually by selling BTC on the peer-to-peer exchange Localbitcoins.

U.S. law enforcement has arrested and convicted another Localbitcoins seller who reportedly made $300K per year selling digital assets. The 50-year-old Theresa Tetley used the alias ‘Bitcoin Maven’ and sold bitcoins without registering with the financial authorities. Prosecutors say Tetley’s operations “fueled a black-market financial system in the Central District of California that purposely and deliberately existed outside of the regulated bank industry.”

So where do things go from here?

Are these just temporary bumps in the road to a promising future for the cryptocurrency industry, or is this the end of the road?

Well, cryptocurrency evangelist John McAfee believes that now is a perfect time to buy more coins…

“Do not panic about the drop in Bitcoin’s price. It is an overreaction to the news that Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit, and Kraken are being investigated for price manipulation. This will delay the bull market by no more than 30 days. Don’t buy into the fear. Buy the coins.”

On the other hand, Mike Adams believes that we are witnessing the collapse of a Ponzi scheme that was always destined to implode at some point…

Even though Bitcoin is clearly an electricity-wasting Ponzi scheme built on zero real assets, some newbies are just now hearing about it, and they think they’ve discovered a perpetual motion get rich quick scheme that will allow them to acquire wealth without effort. (This is, of course, the key selling point among Bitcoin speculators, who have convinced themselves they’re actually “shrewd investors.”) In truth, they’re just being suckered into a collapsing crypto-fairy tale that never panned out because it was based on bad economics in the first place. Remember when Bitcoin enthusiasts promised that Bitcoin transactions would be extremely low cost and almost instant? Yep, and Obama said if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, too. Both promises turned out to be utter nonsense.

If the major banks and governments around the world had left the cryptocurrency industry alone, it probably would have done just fine.

But now a full blown war against the cryptocurrency industry has begun, and it is going to be exceedingly difficult for “crypto mania” to survive in this type of environment.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Government Crackdowns In China And India Threaten To Absolutely Crush The Cryptocurrency Bubble

Taxation and regulation are weapons, and governments often use these weapons to target things that they do not like.  Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin threaten to shatter the existing paradigm of financial control that the elite have carefully crafted, and that is making government officials all over the planet very nervous.  So the latest rumblings about “government crackdowns” on cryptocurrencies in China and India shouldn’t come as any sort of a surprise.  Those two governments hate anything that even smells like freedom, and so it was only a matter of time before they pulled the trigger.  And the bigger the cryptocurrency bubble becomes, the more national governments around the world are likely to take action to “get it under control”.

The reason why I have always been so cautious when it comes to cryptocurrencies is because government intervention is the ever-present elephant in the room.  At any time big national governments can step in and ruin the party, and that now appears to be happening in China and India.  The following comes from TruNews

China, arguably the biggest market for cryptocurrencies as many citizens aim to avoid the government-controlled economy, recently released a report that showed more than 400 fake cryptos occupying its domestic marketplace. In response the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology signaled it’s going to crack down hard, citing “certain risks that cannot be ignored” with initial coin offerings, pyramid schemes, and fraud.

Simultaneous to that bit of bad news, CoinTelegraph reported the Central Board of Indirect Taxes in India is considering an 18 percent tax on cryptocurrency exchanges, deeming the digital currencies as “intangible goods.” Last month the Reserve Bank of India formally banned domestic banks from servicing any cryptocurrency business but that failed to ebb the increase in new exchanges in its marketplace.

Let’s talk about India first.  As I mentioned earlier, taxation is a weapon, and a massive 18 percent tax is being proposed on all cryptocurrency trading…

The Indian government is in talks of levying an 18% tax on cryptocurrency trading. The knowledge allegedly comes from people with a direct knowledge of the matter.

The news, as reported by Bloomberg, states that cryptocurrencies could be taxed pending their declaration as intangible goods. Even as they are on par with software with respect to their classifications, the source added that their use in illegal activities would have to be regulated using other laws.

The proposal is currently under consideration by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs and will be submitted to the GST Council after its finalization for approval.

Needless to say, such a tax would absolutely devastate the emerging cryptocurrency industry in India.

In China, in addition to cracking down on “fraud”, the government has also come out with a list of their preferred cryptocurrencies

The Ministry of Industry and Information technology of China has decided to release its own ranking sheet, in which it created a list of 28 cryptos. The cryptos were ranked according to three criteria, which include technology, application, as well as innovation.

According to China, the best crypto seems to be Ethereum (ETH), which is dominating the list. It is closely followed by Steem and Lisk, as well as Neo and Komodo. These five are also making the top 5 according to China. It is surprising that Komodo managed to rank this high since it is a lesser-known platform that holds the 58th place according to market cap. Another one that stands out from the rest is Steem, which does not allow for creating smart contracts, while the rest of them do.

It turns out that Bitcoin was only number 13 on the list.

At least China is not banning cryptocurrencies yet, which many feared that they might do.  Cryptos have become wildly popular in China, and even though the Chinese government is one of the most repressive regimes on the entire planet, at least they are trying to be at least somewhat reasonable in this case.

Of course all of this troubling news was going to have a major impact on cryptocurrency prices, and on Wednesday we witnessed quite a bloodbath

Digital currencies were in free fall Wednesday, with some major coins in the red by more than 10%.

Bitcoin, the world’s biggest digital currency, fell through $8,000 late Tuesday and the slide has not abated. Bitcoin tumbled to a multiweek low of $7,442.92. Bounces have been limited, with a single coin last worth $7,528.89, down 7.1% from late Tuesday Eastern U.S. levels on the Kraken exchange.

The collapse in cryptocurrencies has seen the total value of all coins fall to $326 billion, down some $50 billion in just 72 hours, according to Coinmarketcap.

Overall, the value of all cryptocurrencies has fallen nearly 500 billion dollars from a peak of 820 billion dollars in January.

That is not just a crash – that is a cataclysm.

However, it is important to note that cryptocurrencies are still way, way up from where they were a year ago at this time.

So those that got in early are still big winners.

And there are many that believe that cryptos will do extremely well during a “flight to safety” during the next great economic crisis.  Omid Malekan, the author of a new book entitled The Story of the Blockchain: A Beginner’s Guide to the Technology That Nobody Understands, is entirely convinced that many will view Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as very safe alternatives when a coming crisis forces national governments to impose draconian capital controls

Government officials don’t like cryptocoins because they transfer the sovereignty of money from their control to a decentralized consensus mechanism, a transfer that they view as a downgrade in the quality of money. If our existing system of money and banking was always stable, they would have a point.

But every time there is a crisis, it reminds the public that the folks in charge are not as smart as they think they are. When those same leaders respond to the crisis with draconian capital controls (or selective bailouts for their once and future employers on Wall Street) they remind the public that they aren’t as fair as they think they are, either. Bitcoin might be volatile and hard to understand, but it’s always fair, because math does not discriminate, nor does it change the rules when people start to panic.

In addition, it is very interesting to note that the Rothschild banking dynasty also appears to be investing very heavily in the cryptocurrency industry

“In February, it became known that the Tether accounts of Bitfinex were opened in the Dutch bank ING, owned by The Rothschild Group. At the same time, the profit indicators of this bank have grown significantly. On February 26th, the Fintech company, Circle, the main shareholder of which is Goldman Sachs (also The Rothschild Group), acquired Poloniex, a US-based crypto exchange”, – Zycrypto states.

It has recently come to light that not only Rothschilds dynasty invest in cryptocurrency, they are actively preparing several projects of their own. Private discussions have been sparked among large cryptocurrency investors following the leak which subsequently flowed into the open crypto community. One of the Rothschild’s projects name has emerged: IMMO. As Coindoo writes “… the implementation of IMMO is being monitored by Alexandre de Rothschild himself”.

Do they know something that the rest of us do not?

In the end, the debate over cryptocurrencies will rage on.  The skeptics will continue to point out that cryptos have no intrinsic value and that national governments can end the party any time that they wish.  And advocates will continue to point out that government intervention has not ruined the party so far, and that some national governments and some big financial institutions are actually embracing the cryptocurrency revolution.

Ultimately the jury is still out on whether or not this revolution will be successful, and it will be fascinating to see how everything plays out.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist.  He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Study Finds That 22 Percent Of Bitcoin Investors Are Using Debt To Fund Their Investments

Investing in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum and Litecoin is extremely risky, and experts all over the country are warning that people should only invest what they are willing to lose.  Unfortunately, many are getting swept up in the current euphoria surrounding cryptocurrencies and are not listening to that very sound advice.  A disturbing new survey that was just released found that 22 percent of all Bitcoin investors are either directly or indirectly investing in Bitcoin with borrowed money…

According to LendEDU, a personal loan research firm, more than 18 percent of Bitcoin investors have used borrowed money to trade the cryptocurrency. In a global survey of 672 active Bitcoin investors, researchers asked traders the method they used to fund their cryptocurrency trading accounts. The majority of investors used banking systems such as credit cards and ACH transfers to fund their accounts.

But 22 percent of traders revealed that they have not paid off their credit and debit cards after purchasing Bitcoin, effectively investing in the cryptocurrency with borrowed money.

Credit card debt is one of the most toxic forms of debt that you could ever carry, and investing in anything when you still have credit card balances is extremely unwise.

Yes, cryptocurrencies went on an epic run in 2017, but there is absolutely no guarantee that they will continue to rise in 2018.

In fact, there is a very real possibility that we could see a cryptocurrency crash, and there are many investors that are actually eagerly anticipating one

Well, as many traders expected, it appears that institutions are using the futures product to slowly but surely build a short position in bitcoin. According to the CFTC Commitment of Traders report (available CBOE futures), non-commercial traders held a net short position of around $30mn as of Tuesday Dec 26, or around half of the total open interest.

Separately, the Traders in Financial Futures breakdown provided by the CFTC show that the leveraged funds category that consists largely of hedge funds and various money managers had a short of around $14mn, or around a quarter of the total open interest.

In other words, spec investors have used the futures contracts to establish Bitcoin shorts.

On the other hand, there is also the possibility that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin could continue to defy gravity and soar even higher over the next 12 months.

In fact, a rumor that Amazon.com will soon start accepting Bitcoin has lots of people buzzing

As a backdrop to all of this, there is a strong rumor that Amazon is about to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment. Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock, has stated that Amazon will soon have no choice but to start accepting it. He is quoted as saying, “… they have to follow suit. I’ll be stunned if they don’t because they can’t just cede that part of the market to us if we are the only main large retail site taking Bitcoin.” Scott Mullins, an Amazon executive has confirmed that Amazon is, “working with financial institutions and crypto-experts to spur innovation, and facilitate frictionless experimentation.”

If the Amazon rumor turns out to be true – Bitcoin will probably go into orbit! Be prepared…

If someone knew exactly what would happen throughout 2018, that individual could make an absolutely obscene amount of money.

Unfortunately I don’t know where cryptocurrencies are heading, but it does appear that things are about to get a whole lot more interesting.  According to Reuters, it looks like you will soon be able to invest in Bitcoin using leveraged ETFs…

The new idea is to build “leveraged” and “inverse” funds that would rise – or fall – twice as fast as the price of bitcoin on a given day.

Direxion Asset Management LLC plans to list such products on Intercontinental Exchange Inc’s NYSE Arca exchange if U.S. securities regulators give the nod, according to a filing by the exchange this week.

In the filing, the exchange said the listing “will enhance competition among market participants, to the benefit of investors and the marketplace.”

So if Bitcoin rises or falls a thousand dollars in a single day, those financial instruments will be designed to move by about twice as much.

That should be fun.

Meanwhile, some are asking what will happen to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum and Litecoin if the long-awaited collapse of global financial markets finally happens this year.

Well, some believe that it would be doom for cryptocurrencies, but others believe that cryptocurrencies would be like gold and would actually do extremely well during the next great financial crisis…

The question is what will happen to Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies once the financial collapse takes place. The signs are that when economic circumstances start to deteriorate the price of Bitcoin rises. A prime example of this is during the Cyprus and Greece bailout which saw the price of BTC rise considerably during this period. With banks stopping access to cash in ATM machines, Bitcoin was the perfect solution to be able to store it safely out of the banks and Governments’ hands.

What also happens during a depression is interest rates skyrocket and start to see hyperinflation. This will mean it is extremely hard to get finance from banks and the cost can make it unsustainable. The ICO market is a perfect solution to this problem and as the banking sector suffers, ICOs will boom. More companies will look to these as a cheap way to raise money and will create their own cryptocurrency.

It will be fascinating to see how all of this plays out.

There are some financial experts that believe that Bitcoin is going to zero, and there are others that are absolutely convinced that it is going to a million dollars.

As with so many things in life, timing is everything.  If you are investing in Bitcoin, let us just hope that you got in at the right time and that you will also get out at the right time.

Michael Snyder is a pro-Trump candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

Is Ripple The Next Hot Cryptocurrency? Some Are Calling It ‘The Bitcoin That Banks Like’

After Bitcoin, can you name the second largest cryptocurrency?  Until recently it was Ethereum, but now it is Ripple.  At the start of last year, Ripple was trading for less than a penny, and even just a few months ago you could still get Ripple for about 20 cents.  But now the price of Ripple has absolutely exploded, and as I write this article it is sitting at $3.15.  At this point Ripple has a market cap of more than 120 billion dollars, and those that got in when Ripple was under a penny have seen their investments go up by more than 40,000 percent.

If you can believe it, the price of Ripple is up more than 1,000 percent in the last 30 days alone.  So why is Ripple doing so well right now?

Well, many analysts are pointing to the very strong relationships that Ripple has been building with financial institutions

XRP’s price has benefited significantly from Ripple’s new partnerships with banks, noted Chris Keshian, co-founder of the Apex Token Fund, a tokenized crypto fund-of-funds.

He added that as XRP “surpassed ETH as the second largest cryptocurrency, market hype continued to drive the price.”

There are some that believe that Ripple will eventually surpass Bitcoin simply because it is a better way to send and receive money.

And without a doubt, functionality is the key for the long-term survival of any cryptocurrency.  Speculative investment can take a cryptocurrency a long way, but at the end of the day it needs to function well in the real world, and that is one key advantage that Ripple appears to have.  According to the Express, Ripple is being called “the Bitcoin that banks like”…

Bitcoin is feeling the pressure from another cryptocurrency hot on it’s heels.

Ripple has attracted tens of millions of dollars worth of investment leading to it being dubbed the Bitcoin that banks like.

The company uses block chain technology, powered by its own cryptocurrency, to send money across the world in real time settlements, according to the company’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse.

It does not hold the level of anonymity that bitcoin does, which makes the currency more favourable to banks.

One thing that has been holding back the price of Ripple is the fact that it is not listed on some of the key exchanges.  But there are persistent rumors that Ripple will be listed on Coinbase very soon, and that could potentially drive the price of Ripple much higher.

Before you get too excited, let me share a word of caution.  Investing in cryptocurrencies is extremely risky, because they are purely digital creations that do not actually possess any intrinsic value at all.  Right now there are more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies in existence, and most of them are eventually going to zero.

But for the moment, those that were able to capitalize on the cryptocurrency trend in a major way have become incredibly wealthy.  Ripple’s co-founder Chris Larsen is now worth an astounding 37 billion dollars, and that makes him the 15th richest person in America.

Of course he doesn’t actually have 37 billion dollars.  If he does not sell his coins and Ripple eventually goes back to zero, all of that “paper wealth” will be gone.

The big danger is that global governments will start cracking down on cryptocurrencies in a major way, and in late December we did see South Korea impose restrictions on the trading of cryptocurrencies in order to “limit speculation”.  If more governments start piling on, that could absolutely crush the cryptocurrency bubble.

For now, Bitcoin has been rebounding from that announcement, and Ripple just continues to roar higher.  But let us not forget that a single big announcement could change all of that in a single moment

The South Korean Government’s threats of shutting down exchanges seemed to have little influence on Ripple at the end of the year, but with news hitting the wires of just how much of an impact South Korean exchanges had on Ripple’s December rally and it’s not surprising that Ripple has been defending its gains at the start of the year.

Bitcoin may have been the fallout guy when it came to the regulatory chatter at the end of the year, but if the exchanges are closed, it’s not just Bitcoin that will suffer and, if the reports are correct of the South Koreans driving up Ripple trading volumes, things could get messy very quickly.

Whatever happens in the short-term, it appears that Ripple has a real chance to be a long-term solution for global payments.  In a recent statement, the Ripple team noted that using Ripple is faster, cheaper and more efficient than using Bitcoin…

In a year punctuated by the dramatic rise of digital assets, XRP has out performed the entire sector and looks likely to end the year up more than 45,000%. XRP’s performance is driven by a keen focus on solving a real global payments problem for real customers – and at fractions of a penny and about 3 seconds per transaction – it is cheaper, faster and more efficient than BTC or ETH. As others have pointed out, Bitcoin isn’t going to solve a payments problem when a transaction costs $40 and takes hours to complete.

The market seems to increasingly understand that there’s real utility for XRP in solving a massive cross-border payments and liquidity problem that is measured in the trillions of dollars.

It is that sort of utility that could make Ripple a long-term success.

But of course new competitors are coming online with each passing day.  The “Facebook of cryptocurrencies” may not have even been invented yet, and this industry is evolving at an absolutely breathtaking pace.

So Ripple may be the hottest cryptocurrency for the moment, but that could change completely by next week.

Nobody knows exactly what is going to happen next, and that is what makes the cryptocurrency market so exciting.  Fortunes will be won and lost in the blink of an eye, and there will be some very big winners and some very big losers.

Michael Snyder is a pro-Trump candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

The Washington Post Ominously Warns That Bitcoin Is Being Used By ‘Extremist Groups’

Demonization is the first step toward making something illegal.  Over the past couple of months, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have experienced a tremendous surge in popularity.  Personally, I was completely floored the other day when my nephew wanted to ask me questions about investing in Bitcoin.  It seems like the whole world is getting caught up in the cryptocurrency revolution, and needless to say, the powers that be cannot be thrilled about this.  Independently-controlled cryptocurrencies represent an existential threat to the global debt-based central banking system that we have today, and so the elite have a very strong incentive to bring about the demise of Bitcoin and other emerging cryptocurrencies.

So it is no surprise that one of the key mouthpieces for the elite, the Washington Post, has begun to demonize Bitcoin.  And if you are going to demonize something, one of the fastest ways to do that is to link it with racists.  The following is an excerpt from an article that the Post just published entitled “Bitcoin’s Boom Is A Boon For Extremist Groups”

Even before Charlottesville, Richard Spencer, a prominent member of the alt-right, a group that espouses racist, anti-Semitic and sexist views and seeks a whites-only state, had gone as far as declaring bitcoin “the currency of the alt right.” But far-right political leaders and experts on extremist movements alike say the adoption of bitcoin gained new urgency after Charlottesville as extremists looked for ways to operate beyond the reach of government control and the shifting policies of U.S. tech companies.

For those of us that are accustomed to thinking critically, we see right through what the Washington Post is trying to do.  The Bitcoin phenomenon has absolutely nothing to do with Richard Spencer and his ilk, but every time the liberal elite want to demonize someone or something they trot out their favorite boogeyman once again.

Just like every other currency, Bitcoin can be used for good purposes or for bad purposes.  But the Washington Post article would have us believe that Bitcoin is at the core of some great “racist conspiracy” that is about to take America by storm…

Extremist figures who invested in bitcoin as a bulwark against efforts to block their political activity now find themselves holding what amount to winning lottery tickets. The proceeds could be used to communicate political messages, organize events and keep websites online even as most mainstream hosting services shun them, experts say.

The truth, of course, is that these sorts of racists are a very, very small fraction of one percent of the U.S. population.  They are so small in numbers that they are not even worth mentioning, but the Washington Post and other liberal outlets love to give them attention because they make the perfect enemies for the narratives that they are trying to promote.

Later on in the article, there was an effort to link Bitcoin to drug traffickers, money launderers and those who use the Internet for other dark purposes…

Extremists are hardly alone in benefiting from surging bitcoin values. Early buyers include cryptography enthusiasts, libertarians and professional investors – as well as drug traffickers, money launderers and others who regularly conduct transactions on the “dark Web,” a part of the Internet only accessible using specialized software that helps shield online activity.

The “logical conclusion” that many on the left are going to come to after reading such an article is that Bitcoin must be banned.

In the months and years ahead, I would expect to see a major push to crack down on cryptocurrencies.  And once independent cryptocurrencies have been dealt with, the elite will promote their own versions as the long-term solution.

According to the Post article, the Southern Poverty Law Center is currently tracking 200 Bitcoin wallets that they believe are owned by extremists.  Apparently, every single transaction that involves these accounts is being monitored…

Public blockchain records make such monitoring possible. Researchers can study the times, dates and amounts of any transaction, along with what accounts are involved. That does not include the actual names of account holders, but such records can illuminate identities. The SPLC, for example, looks on the donation pages of extremist websites for bitcoin accounts that are seeking contributions.

If the elite are ultimately able to convince the general public that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are for racists, criminals, tax evaders and drug dealers, that will make it much easier to crack down on them.

But of course blockchain technology is here to stay.  Once the elite are able to move the public away from “unregulated cryptocurrencies”, they will simply introduce “Fedcoin”, “Utility Settlement Coin” or whichever other digital currency that they want to promote at the time.

For the moment, however, the cryptocurrency revolution is still raging.  Even as I write this article, the price of Bitcoin is flying all over the place.  At the moment it is sitting at $14,730, but that will change in a few moments.

I would anticipate even more volatility as we head into 2018, and other experts seem to be of the same opinion.  For example, just consider what Nick Colas is saying

Nick Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, has been following the bitcoin phenomenon for at least four years. Looking ahead to 2018, he sees more volatility for an asset that has soared nearly 1,600 percent over the past year.

In fact, he figures bitcoin could slosh in a range between $6,500 and $22,000; it was around $15,750 in Wednesday morning trade.

“Bottom line: bitcoin can rally to $22,000 and still be reasonably priced, or plummet to $6,500 and also be correctly valued,” Colas said in his daily note. “We expect to see bitcoin trade for both prices in 2018.”

But as I have said before, the key to this phenomenon is not how high the price of Bitcoin can climb.

Rather, the key is if Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies can truly become methods of exchange that are widely used outside of the control of national governments and global central banks.

If we can create a truly autonomous financial system that is independent of the current debt-based system, that would be a wonderful thing for humanity.

Unfortunately, the elite are going to fight very hard to keep that from happening, because control over currencies is one of the main factors that allows them to have so much control over the entire planet.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

Are The Banksters Creating Their Own Cryptocurrency Called ‘Utility Settlement Coin’?

Independently-controlled cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin may or may not survive in the long run, but blockchain technology is definitely here to stay.  This technology has revolutionized how digital financial transactions are conducted, and it was only a matter of time before the big boys began to adopt it.  Previously, I have written about how the Washington Post is hyping something known as ‘Fedcoin’, but Fedcoin does not yet exist.  However, a digital currency that uses blockchain technology that is called ‘Utility Settlement Coin’ is actually very real, and it is currently being jointly developed by four of the largest banking giants on the entire planet.  The following was recently reported by Wolf Richter

UBS, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, Santander, the market operator ICAP, and the startup Clearmatics formed an alliance in 2016 to explore the use of digital currency between financial institutions and central banks, using blockchain.

The ultimate goal of the project is to create a digital currency known as Utility Settlement Coin (USC), which will facilitate payment and settlement for institutional financial markets.

I decided that I had to know more about Utility Settlement Coin, and so I decided to go to the source.

This is what the official Deutsche Bank website says about Utility Settlement Coin…

USC is an asset-backed digital cash instrument implemented on distributed ledger technology for use within global institutional financial markets. USC is a series of cash assets, with a version for each of the major currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, CHF, etc.) and USC is convertible at parity with a bank deposit in the corresponding currency. USC is fully backed by cash assets held at a central bank. Spending a USC will be spending its paired real-world currency.

UBS and Clearmatics launched the concept in September 2015 to validate the potential benefits of USC for capital efficiency, settlement and systemic risk reduction in global financial markets. The project was initially incubated as part of the UBS Crypto 2.0 Pathfinder Program, UBS’s initiative for research and experimentation on blockchain.

This could ultimately turn out to be a complete and total gamechanger.  UBS, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank and Santander are four of the biggest banks in the western world, and the fact that they are working on this project together is a sign that they are very serious about succeeding.

Will the general public still be willing to pay a huge premium for independently-controlled cryptocurrencies once the banksters start coming out with their own versions?

The cryptocurrency revolution is still in the very early stages, and nobody is exactly sure how it will end, but without a doubt the banksters will be a major player in this drama.  If you doubt this, just consider what one of the top executives at UBS is saying about Utility Settlement Coin

“Digital cash is a core component of a future financial market fabric based on blockchain technologies,” said Hyder Jaffrey, Head of Strategic Investment & FinTech Innovation at UBS Investment Bank. “There are several digital cash models being explored across the Street. The Utility Settlement Coin is focused on facilitating a new model for digital central bank cash.

Digital central bank cash?

I don’t like the sound of that at all.

We definitely do not want the banksters to co-opt this movement.  Blockchain technology should be used to free humanity from debt-based central banking, but instead the exact opposite could end up happening.

If someday independently-controlled cryptocurrencies are completely banned or suffocated nearly out of existence by oppressive regulation, the way would be clear for the banksters to force everyone to use their own digital currencies.  There are many nations around the world that have already gone nearly cashless, and the potential for tyranny in a cashless system where all digital currency is controlled by the banksters would be absolutely off the charts.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.