Japan’s Mitsui Sumitomo Introduces New Bitcoin Insurance

The cryptocurrency revolution is opening up new markets for conventional businesses as well. The insurance industry is one such sector that can capitalize on the increasing demand. Mitsui Sumitomo, the Japanese insurance major has announced its plans to offer a new product exclusively for the cryptocurrency sector.

Cryptocurrency exchange platforms around the world are under constant threat of being hacked. Many exchanges including Japan’s own Mt Gox had been a victim of such cyber threat. Now, with insurance companies opening up to the high-risk industry segment, confidence among investors is bound to grow. According to reports, Mitsui Sumitomo’s insurance product is co-developed with the Japanese Bitcoin exchange — bitFlyer. Both cryptocurrency exchanges and its users are set to benefit from the new product offering.

The total coverage offered by Mitsui Sumitomo ranges from 10 million yen to 1 billion yen. It will factor in damages and losses caused by hacking incidents, unauthorized access, other cyber-attacks, human error and impropriety by employees. The product is available for the domestic Bitcoin market and it will also cover the costs incurred by the insurer while dealing with international lawsuits.

The announcement of a new insurance product by Mitsui Sumitomo comes at a time when the adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain based systems are at an all-time high in the country. Businesses and individuals are increasingly using custom cryptocurrency solutions to meet their requirements. Apart from Bitcoin, Counterparty is one of the widely-adopted cryptocurrency platforms in Japan at the moment.

The increased confidence among the cryptocurrency community in Japan is expected to increase digital currency related activity in the coming years. The transaction and trading related growth during 2016 and 2017 is expected increase beyond the previously estimated figures by Seed Planning, a market research firm.

As Asian countries of Japan, China, and India continues to adopt cryptocurrency in the rapid pace, due to various economic factors, Bitcoin is expected to display huge growth in the coming years.

Ref: Nikkei | Image: NewsBTC


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That’s it out of Europe for the day, and we are now heading into what’s probably going to be a wasteland for bitcoin price traders this afternoon in the US. Thanksgiving is going to suck volume out of the markets, and in all likelihood, we’re going to see no real action until Asia wakes up for the Friday session. We’re going to set up against price anyway – sometimes some of the biggest moves come on thin volume sessions – and see what we can glean from the market if/when things move.

So, take a look at the chart below to get an idea of our focus levels.

It is an intraday chart that shows a screenshot of the latest action in the bitcoin price (somewhere around twelve hours’ worth of price action) and it’s got our key levels overlaid in green. Once you’ve familiarised yourself with that, we’ll get to the nitty gritty.


As the chart shows, the range in focus for this evening’s session out of the US, and beyond into the Asian session early morning on Friday, is defined by in term support to the downside at 740 flat, and in term resistance to the upside at 748. This is a pretty narrow range. Not quite narrow enough to stop us going at price with an intrarange approach, but in line with our decision to decline the intrarange entry this afternoon, we are going to stick with our breakout strategy for the time being.

So, that means that if price closes below in term support, we are going to get in short on the candle close towards an immediate downside target of 733. A close above resistance, on the other hand, will put us in a long entry towards 755. Stops just the other side of the entry on both trades keeps risk tight.

Let’s see how things play out.

Happy trading all!

Charts courtesy of SimpleFX

Financial infrastructure is on the brink of being disrupted by new technologies. Mainly blockchain technology is one of the contenders to disrupt the financial sector as we know it. Swift, one of the world’s leading money transfer protocols, will make sure they are not replaced by distributed ledgers. A very bold statement that will require a lot more than just strong words.

The vast majority of international interbank messages and transfers takes place on the Swift network. Even though the group operating this protocol is keen on innovation, they do not see blockchain technology as a competitor. While they admit the technology has its merits, both ecosystems will co-exist for the foreseeable future.

Blockchain Technology Is No Threat To Swift

In fact, Swift recently unveiled their proof of concept to manage the lifecycle of a bond trade. Rather than using distributed ledger technology, they leverage the protocols “own unique set of capabilities”. Moreover, the Swift project is in a prime position to leverage their network of connections.

Swift Labs head of R&D Damine Vanderkerken told the media:

“There is a strong push from GPI banks to see how DLTs can be applied to improve correspondent banking. We will specifically be looking at how we can leverage our considerable assets and bring something that has value to the community over and above what others could provide.”

At the same time, the group did not reveal specifics as to what their new plan will encompass exactly. Leveraging their network of bank partners is one thing, but the technology used for their concept remains shrouded in mystery. We do know their offering will be “distinctive from DLT projects under development in the financial sector”.

On the one hand, it is commendable to see Swift acknowledge existing technologies will not necessarily be replaced. Blockchain technology can speed up global money transfers and do so at far cheaper costs. However, that doesn’t mean existing technologies cannot offer a similar feature. Swift seemingly has an ace up their sleeve to one-up blockchain-based projects.

At the same time, one can easily question the decision by the payment group. Opposing blockchain technology may not be the best idea in the long run. This announcement does not mean the group is not looking into DLT projects, though. But for now, they remain confident the usability of this technology is vastly overstated.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

The eyes of the cryptocurrency community are on Coinbase ever since it got served with a John Doe summons by the IRS. The summon requires Coinbase to hand over all information pertaining to the platform’s users between 2013 and 2015.

The issue of generic, blanket information request by the IRS has given rise to few questions regarding the powers of the government institution and constitutional rights of individuals. Even though Coinbase has filed an appeal against the summons in the court, actions of the government taxation body are worrying. The information demanded by the IRS includes a list of all accounts along with their information, balance, records of activity and transactions.

For starters, the jurisdiction and authority exerted by the IRS itself are questionable. Bitcoin enjoys a unique position in the US financial ecosystem. The digital currency is categorized as money, property, commodity and what not, making it fall under the jurisdiction of multiple government agencies. Even though John Doe summons is issued on multiple occasions by the IRS to banking institutions in the past, it was mainly for fiat currency related transactions and the banks were required to furnish information on US citizens alone.

In the case of Coinbase, a multinational cryptocurrency wallet and exchange service, the information requested is too broad and it may also compromise the private information of many people of different nationalities and domicile. Also, IRS website itself mentions the necessary purpose of the John Doe summons :

  1. “The purpose of a John Doe summons must be to investigate the tax liability of a specific unidentified taxpayer (or a group of such taxpayers), even if a secondary purpose is to gather information for research purposes.”
  2. “The Service should no longer be in the information-gathering or research stage of a project when it decides to seek court authorization to serve a John Doe summons. The project research should be sufficiently developed to enable the Service to identify a specific tax compliance problem. The Service should be prepared to investigate the tax liabilities of specific taxpayers based on the information received from the John Doe summons. A John Doe summons cannot be used to conduct a “fishing expedition.””

By issuing John Doe summons, the IRS has just labeled every Coinbase user as a tax evader. The exercise goes beyond the legal structure which considers every individual to be innocent until proven otherwise. Here IRS has indirectly classified every cryptocurrency user as guilty. In addition, with flawed policies towards virtual currencies (the department’s own admission), the issued summons indicates a potential fishing expedition by the IRS.

The recent development gives rise to another debate about whether the Banking Secrecy Act will be applicable to Coinbase or not. If it does, then will it signify Bitcoin’s legal position as an acceptable mainstream currency in the region? There is only one way to find out, and that is by waiting for the new developments to unravel themselves.

Ref: IRS | Image: NewsBTC

To all our American readers, let’s kick things off with a Happy Thanksgiving! I’m guessing volume is probably going to be down a little bit throughout the session today, with the major financials markets shut down across the US, and the early finish tomorrow on the stocks exchanges, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t get any volatility. Sometimes as a result of the low volume we get choppy action, which might make today’s trading a little difficult, but if we set up with some relatively wide stops, and go after some respectively wide targets, then we’ve got nothing to worry about.

So, with this in mind, and as we move forward, let’s take a look at what happened overnight, and where we are heading this session.

Before we get started, take a quick look at the chart below to get an idea of what’s on.


As the chart shows, the levels in focus for this morning’s early European session are in term support to the downside at 738 flat, and in term resistance to the upside at 754. This is a pretty tight range, so we aren’t going to try ad force anything by way of an intrarange strategy.

Looking at our breakout, then, if we see price cross above resistance, and close above this level, we will look to get in towards 752. A stop loss somewhere in the region of 742 will ensure that we are taken out of the trade in the event of a bias reversal. Conversely, and looking to the downside, if price breaks below support, we will look for a close below this level to give us an excuse to get in short towards an immediate downside target of 730. Again we need a stop on the position, and somewhere in the region of 741 works well to manage our risk on the trade.

Happy trading!

Charts courtesy of SimpleFX

Zimbabwe is a country that has gone through several financial crises already. Every time such an event takes place, there is someone to solve the problem. The last person to do so is Tendai Biti, who now has a radical plan to save the country’s economy. Rather than introducing new denominated bills, he feels Bitcoin may hold the answer to every problem. A rather unconventional turn of events, but an intriguing thought process nonetheless.

Solving the economic crisis in Zimbabwe will not be an easy task by any means. The country is running out of cash, due to a shortage of US Dollars. Banks deal with long queues of people looking to withdraw funds. Most of these people are unsuccessful in their efforts, only making problems worse than before.

Enterprises in the country find it difficult to import stock, further collapsing the economy. Property renters can barely pay their landlords, which will eventually lead to people losing their housing. Moreover, the government can’t even process salaries on time right now, and it will only get worse from here on out.

Tendai Biti Eyes Bitcoin To Fix Zimbabwean Economy

These woes are nothing new in Zimbabwe, though, as the country has gone several crises in the past. Printing new notes is completely out of the question, as previous attempts utterly failed. With hyperinflation plaguing the nation for over a decade, new bills and coins offer no solution whatsoever.

Ever since the Zimbabwean dollar was replaced by a basket of foreign currencies, things have gone from bad to even worse. As there is a huge shortage of these currencies right now, the economy continues to falter. Finding a solution to all of these problems will be a bigger challenge than originally anticipated, though.

One radical solution involves the usage of Bitcoin as the new national currency in Zimbabwe. Tendai Biti feels confident this solution could work, despite any political opposition that may occur. Although the cryptocurrency has gained popularity over the recent years, Bitcoin is far from a mainstream currency right now.

Tendai Biti explained his thought process as follows:

“If Zimbabwe establishes a privatised bitcoin national currency, if the market naturally went to a bitcoin type currency, as other currencies around the world indicate weakness with money printing happening, you’d have a whole lot of currency flowing into Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe would transform from a basket case to a global banking centre in a stable crypto currency. And that would be fairly quick.”

Tendai Biti feels the unbacked nature of Bitcoin might make it easier for Zimbabweans to adopt it. Moreover, the country would not sacrifice autonomy by any means. Bitcoin can provide a stable money alternative, even though markets have been somewhat volatile in the past. However, that volatility can also lead to value increases, rather than only downtrends as we see with fiat currency.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

Key Highlights

  • Ethereum classic price extended its downside move, and almost tested our long waited target of 0.00100BTC.
  • Yesterday’s highlighted bearish trend line formed on the hourly chart (data feed via Simplefx) of ETC/BTC acted as a resistance at 0.00108BTC and pushed the price down.
  • The price remains at a risk of more declines in the short term as long as below 0.00108BTC.

Ethereum classic price declined towards 0.00100BTC, and it looks like the bearish pressure on ETC/BTC is here to stay.

Ethereum Classic Price Decline

ETC price failed to recover intraday against the Bitcoin and the US Dollar, and declined further. There was a minor rise in ETC/BTC towards the 0.00106-108BTC levels where the sellers appeared and protected an upside move. The best part was yesterday’s highlighted bearish trend line formed on the hourly chart (data feed via Simplefx) of ETC/BTC. It acted as a perfect barrier at 0.00108BTC and pushed the price down.

There were other reasons as well for the recent rejection. The 100 hourly simple moving average was also positioned near it along with the 38.2% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the 0.00114BTC high to 0.00104BTC low. The price declined below the last low of 0.00104BTC, and almost tested the all-important 0.00100BTC support.

Ethereum Classic Price Technical Analysis

A new weekly low was formed at 0.00101BTC where the buyers are attempting to stop the downside. Any correction from the current levels may find sellers near the same trend line resistance area, Moreover, an initial resistance is at the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the 0.00114BTC high to 0.00101BTC low. Selling rallies may be opted in the short term with stop above the trend line resistance.

Hourly MACD – The MACD is strongly placed in the bearish zone, calling for more losses.

Hourly RSI – The RSI is well below the 50 level, which is a bearish sign.

Major Support Level – 0.00100BTC

Major Resistance Level – 0.00106BTC


Charts courtesy – SimpleFX

Key Highlights

  • ETH price continue to struggle against the US Dollar even after a successful Ethereum network 4th Hard Fork.
  • There is a bullish trend line formed on the hourly chart (data feed via SimpleFX) of ETH/USD, which is currently holding the downside.
  • A break below the trend line support area may open the doors for more losses.

Ethereum price is under a bearish pressure once again versus the US Dollar, and it looks like the ETH/USD pair may break the $9.50 support.

Ethereum Price Support

We all know that the Ethereum network 4th Hard Fork was successful. However, it did not help ETH price much, as there was no major upside move against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. In fact, the price moved down after the hard fork was completed. The price is currently under a bearish pressure, and trading near a major support area at $9.50, which holds the key in the short term.

The stated level is important because a bullish trend line formed on the hourly chart (data feed via SimpleFX) of ETH/USD is positioned near it. Also, the 100 hourly simple moving average is around the same trend line support. Lastly, the 76.4% Fib retracement level of the wave from the $9.36 low to $10.08 low is also around the same zone. So, we can say that the $9.50 support is a crucial juncture for the ETH/USD pair.

Ethereum Price Technical Analysis

It won’t be easy for the pair to break it. However, if there is a break below it, then it may open the doors for more losses in the short term. So, if you are a seller, watch out for the highlighted trend line and support area.

Hourly MACD – The MACD is now back in the bearish slope, but with less momentum.

Hourly RSI – The RSI has moved below the 50 level, which is not a good sign.

Major Support Level – $9.50

Major Resistance Level – $9.80


Charts courtesy – SimpleFX

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

  • Bitcoin price has formed lower highs and higher lows, creating a symmetrical triangle pattern visible on its short-term chart.
  • Price is currently testing support and might be due for a bounce back to the resistance.
  • Technical indicators are giving mixed signals, although a downside break seems possible.

Bitcoin price is consolidating inside a symmetrical triangle formation, possibly gearing up for a strong breakout.

Technical Indicators Signals

The 100 SMA just crossed below the longer-term 200 SMA to indicate that the path of least resistance is to the downside. In other words, a break lower could be more likely than an upside breakout from the resistance near the yearly highs as bullish momentum is slowing.

Stochastic is on the move up to show that buyers are still in control of bitcoin price action, suggesting that another test of the triangle resistance around $760-765 could be in the cards. Once the oscillator reaches the overbought zone and turns lower, selling pressure could return and force a move below $750.

RSI is on middle ground, barely offering strong directional clues at the moment. It appears to be on its way down, though, so bearish pressure is still present.

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 11/24/2016 - Eyes on This Triangle

Market Events

Bitcoin price has been on a tear lately, owing to the influx of investing activity from Chinese investors seeking to hedge against their yuan-denominated holdings. The Chinese government has been setting the trading band lower in order to engineer local currency depreciation and maintain its advantage in trade, thereby eroding returns in Chinese investments.

However, the US dollar is putting up a fight against bitcoin price, especially since the Fed is moving closer towards hiking interest rates next month. A 0.25% hike seems to be in the bag, as confirmed by the FOMC minutes and Fed Chairperson Yellen’s testimony.

FOMC minutes revealed that majority of policymakers thought that a rate hike is appropriate soon since this would prevent the economy from overheating as it approaches full employment and is looking at a likely increase in fiscal stimulus from the Trump administration. Profit-taking ahead of the Thanksgiving holidays has weighed on bitcoin gains but thinner liquidity this long weekend could set the stage for more volatile breakouts.

Charts from SimpleFX

When last we covered NAV Coin, they were in the midst of some massive upgrades. Instead of forking their blockchain, however, they decided to start a new one, which recorded the old balances in its genesis block.

Despite warnings, exchanges such as Poloniex were slow to switch over, resulting in unprecedented arbitrage opportunities. Many speculators were probably disappointed when the new NAV tokens (tradeable on Bittrex at the time) didn’t rise to Poloniex prices upon upgrade, but the price spiked again at the beginning of August and then tripled in September.

So, what’s driving these massive spikes? Since NAV Coin’s most prized attribute is the anonymity it provides, it was likely some players in the dark net who had been following NAV’s development. They caused price explosions in coins like Monero and ZCash, and might be hoping that NAV will earn similar support from dark net markets.

Such dark markets still constitute a significant fraction of cryptocurrency transaction volume, and for them, anonymity is key. With that in mind—as well as common financial privacy concerns—the NAV team began developing an improved system called NAVTech, releasing the white paper at the end of September. They successfully tested the beta in October, and then announced it would be released November 1st.

The launch proved successful, and NAVTech is now up and running. To the user, it looks very simple: just tick the box to “Send NAV Anonymously” and it will do exactly that to the specified address. The only requirement is that you send between 10 and 10,000 NAV coins.

Behind the scenes, however, some new innovations are at work. Normally, you send cryptocurrency directly from one person to another, leaving a trail from the sender to the recipient. Although both parties are pseudonymous, this permanent record on the blockchain provides clues that can help to piece together your identity. That’s why the Bitcoin economy has developed “mixers,” which jumble transactions together to obfuscate the flow of coins.

Mixers charge considerable fees, however, and require a lot of trust. NAVTech decentralizes the process using clusters of servers, with each server designated for either incoming or outgoing transactions. When you issue an anonymous transaction, you choose an incoming server at random, which provides you with one of many NAV holding addresses to send your coins to.

The recipient address is encrypted and sent over to the incoming server. The incoming server then chooses a random outgoing server in the trusted cluster, all of which share a secret passphrase to screen for malicious actors. The outgoing server generates and provides a temporary public key, which the incoming server uses to re-encrypt the recipient address as well as the amount of NAV to send.

This encrypted data is then inserted into a secondary blockchain called the Subchain, allowing us to verify everyone’s balances without revealing their identities. Only the outgoing server with the corresponding private key can decrypt the recipient address, but anybody can encrypt another address and compare to see if they match. To obfuscate the flow of funds on the primary blockchain, incoming servers send the anonymized NAV to outgoing servers in bulk every 2 minutes, and the batch is held for one transaction cycle.

The outgoing servers issue NAV from the previous transaction cycle to the intended recipients, which means that they receive entirely different coins. The actual process is more complicated, and not necessarily in that order, but you don’t really have to worry about it. You can give NAVTech a try on Windows, OSX, Linux or Android by downloading from here.