BitFlyer Launches Visa Powered Prepaid Bitcoin Card

Japan’s largest Bitcoin exchange, bitFlyer, have announced that they will launch a Bitcoin debit card powered by Visa. This development will bring the ever-growing Japanese crypto market closer to being able to use Bitcoin at a variety of locations accepting Visa cards.

According to bitFlyer, the cards will facilitate the spending of crypto at “more than 40 million merchants in more than 200 countries and regions.” However, purchases won’t actually be made using Bitcoin. They will be made with Japanese yen. The card just facilitates the instant exchange of Bitcoin for government-backed currency.

Applications for the cards opened with their initial announcement on Friday, and will end on October 22. With only 1,000 cards up for grabs, there will be a draw to determine the eventual recipients.

However, there are quite harsh limits on just how much a customers can use their bitFlyer prepay debit cards. They cannot load it with more than around $250 at a time, and the monthly limit is just shy of $1,000. If that wasn’t enough, the maximum lifetime limit of the cards are around $7,500 and the balance on which cannot exceed $754.25 at any one time. Finally, each card will expire after only 5 years. Such limits suggest that the scheme may be a testing ground for later ventures. By keeping the total number of customers in possession of one of the cards down to just 1,000, they should be able to identify and solve any issues that occur with them before a potential widespread release. This remains the author’s opinion, however, and there is nothing else from bitFlyer to back up this notion.

The cards being launched by bitFlyer are not the first Visa-powered, prepay cards which can be loaded with Bitcoin. Quite a few cryptocurrency ICOs are currently trying to make an impact on the ever-contested space. Atlanta-based BitPay announced earlier in 2017 that they would launch their own card that could be used in 131 legal jurisdictions. However, their offering has run into a few issues since it was launched. Chief among these is delays affecting transactions. Trials like these could be the reasoning behind bitFlyer’s decision to create such a bafflingly small number of cards.

However, one of the principle difference between the bitFlyer scheme and those of others within the space is the lack of fees the former is striving for. The company have announced that there will be no admission, annual, or usage fees.

This breaks from the current industry norms as third party services providers could make money from funding, transaction, and other service related fees.

To qualify to enter the bitFlyer draw, you must have an active account with the exchange, and submit the necessary identification documents. There are also references on the website to a mobile companion application being developed by Vandle.

Image source: Visa

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Despite rumors about the Central Bank of Russia’s short-term plans to restrict access to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading platforms, the Bitcoin price has surpassed the $4,860 mark and is heading towards $5,000.

According to various sources including Reuters and CNBC, Sergei Shvetsov, the first deputy governor at the Russian central bank, stated in an conference that the Russian government should not provide direct and easy access to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for retail investors and traders. Shvetsov said:

“We can not stand apart. We can not give direct and easy access to such dubious instruments for retail (investors).”

Why Russia’s Potential Ban on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Trading Has Had No Impact on Bitcoin Price

The Chinese government’s imposition of a nationwide ban on cryptocurrency exchanges and Bitcoin trading platform had an evident impact on the price of Bitcoin. Although the Bitcoin price has recovered from the Chinese government’s ban on cryptocurrency exchanges, the Bitcoin market had stalled for over a month, as the global cryptocurrency exchange market underwent restructuring.

But, the Russian government’s supposed plan to restrict Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading activities within the country had had virtually no effect on the short-term Bitcoin price trend because according to trusted Bitcoin market data providers including CryptoCompare, the Russian Bitcoin exchange market only accounts for 0.12 percent of global Bitcoin trades. That is, less than the daily trading volume of Bitcoin Suisse, a Bitcoin asset manager based in the city of Zug in Switzerland.

To put into perspective, the daily trading volume of the Russian Bitcoin exchange market is thirty times smaller than the daily trading volume of a major South Korean Bitcoin exchange in Bithumb, which had processed more than $1 billion at its peak in September.

Previously, the official announcement from the Chinese government to close down local cryptocurrency exchanges including OKCoin, Huobi, and BTCC led the Bitcoin price to free fall, from $4,300 to $3,100 within weeks. The Bitcoin price did recover from the fall, beyond the peak it had reached prior to the ban on local cryptocurrency exchanges by the Chinese government. Still, it is certain that the ban on Bitcoin exchanges by China had a large impact on the short-term price trend of Bitcoin.

Regardless of its relatively small trading volume–as the Chinese Bitcoin exchange market only accounted for 10 to 13 percent of global Bitcoin trades–China has always been considered as a highly potent market for Bitcoin due to its rapidly growing economy and the penetration rate of its local fintech market.

According to a study by EY, China has demonstrated an unprecedented rate of growth in the Internet, financial technology, and banking industries.

“While there are lessons to be learned from the rise of FinTech in China – including from the response of regulators and incumbents – it is clear that not all products and services can simply be replicated in the West. China’s heady mix of rapid urbanisation, regulatory acquiescence, a massive and underserved SME market, escalating e-commerce growth, and explosion in online and mobile penetration, have created a fertile ground for innovation in commerce, banking and financial services more broadly,” read the study of EY.

In the mid and long-term, the ban on cryptocurrency exchanges by the Chinese government and potential restriction on Bitcoin trading by the Russian government will be of less importance. The US, Japan, and South Korea, three of the largest Bitcoin exchange markets, have led the Bitcoin price to recover and will take it to new highs in the upcoming months.

Image License: Dennis Jarvis, For commercial use

Another day is about to draw to completion out of Europe in our bitcoin trading efforts and things are really starting to move now. When we covered the bitcoin price this morning, we noted that there was real potential for a break of the $5,000 level and that, if we do see this break, we will almost certainly see a continuation of the upside momentum towards $5100 as excitable bulls pile into the markets and as stop losses on short entries are picked off in a short squeeze type fashion.

From a longer-term perspective, then, that is very much the key level to watch. If we do see it broken, bitcoin is going to make headlines globally tomorrow and this in and of itself could feed into the upside action.

We’re here this evening, however, to set up some intrarange trades, so let’s do just that.

As ever, before we get started, take a quick look at the chart below so as to get an idea of where things stand right now and how action brought us to current levels today. It is a one-minute candlestick chart and it has our key range overlaid in green.

As the chart shows, the range we are looking at for the session this evening comes in as defined by support to the downside at 4803 and resistance to the upside at 4820. This is a very tight range, so we are going to go at price with a pure breakout strategy for the time being.

So, if we get a close above resistance, we will jump into a long trade towards an immediate upside target of 4835. We need a tight stop loss on the position and somewhere in the region of 4850 looks as though it should do the job. Looking the other way, a close below support will have us in short towards 4785. A stop loss on this one at 4810 works well.

Chart courtesy of Trading View


Over two days and strong bear volume spikes-at 1M, price action broke through support trend line. Stochastics are still bearish and if price manages to stay below the 20 period moving average today, then the first bear target at $20 will likely be hit. Minor Support level of $26 is acting like a neckline in that M-formation. Advised from this technical formation, sellers initiating short positions in lower time frames should place a safe stop loss above yesterday’s highs of $34 while those who shorted yesterday are advised to move their stop losses to break even. Refer Figure 1 (above): NEOUSD-Daily Chart-10.10.2017


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Figure 2: DASHUSD-Daily Chart-10.10.2017

As yesterday’s candlestick closed, a bearish break out was confirmed. Yesterday’s candlestick was important not only because of that bear validation but by its intrinsic characteristics. Note the bear volume spikes breaking above daily average range meaning yesterday’s activity was full of bear participants who drove prices lower. Secondly, note how lower and upper BB are widening in response to increased volatility-price action moved $70 yesterday in contrast with daily averages of about $40. In doing so, the first Take Profit level at $270 was hit. As price action aligns with the lower BB-classic BB banding, sellers should be in charge. Second resistance turned support level of $220 should be the next target.


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Figure 3: IOTUSD-Daily Chart-10.10.2017

Immediate support of $0.50 was broken through yesterday as price oscillated lower. As price action continues to band along the lower BB, seller momentum as shown by the stochastic bear signal and bear volume spike-should continue. Given the buy-seller dynamics, the first level of strong price reaction is expected at 04.09.2017 and 15.09.2017 lows of $0.36. $0.36 is the lower range of our take profit zone on the daily chart and that is the ideal take profit level.


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Figure 4: Monero-XMRUSD-Daily Chart-10.10.2017

Finally, as yesterday’s candlestick closed, price action was boosted by bear volumes and spiked $8. In doing so, there was a break out below the support trend line and the wedge. Price also managed to close below the 20 period moving average and the momentum-sapping BB squeeze. Like all other major alt-coins, you can see seller momentum is high as lower BB banding begins to take shape. Bear targets at $80 and $60 are viable. As we were waiting for this bear break out, a safe stop losses should be above yesterday’s highs of $90.


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Figure 5: LSKUSD-Daily Chart-10.10.2017

Yesterday’s candlestick was evenly matched between sellers and buyers as it closed as a doji. There was also a retest at $5.0 which is the support turned resistance trend line. However, the lower BB banding after yesterday’s close means USD demand is high. $4 remains a bear target but today’s close and nature of participants-buyers or sellers-will determine the short-to-medium trend of this pair.

Contributed by Dalmas Ngetich, an expert with 3 years in Forex, Commodity and Cryptocurrency trading. All charts, courtesy of Trading View

Bitcoin companies have a difficult decision to make right now. With the upcoming SegWit2x hard fork, tough calls are on the horizon. Not every company wants to support this solution, for obvious reasons. Xapo has explained their stance o the blog earlier this week. Rather than clearly picking one side of the other, the company keeps things pretty vague for now. They will support the chain with the most accumulated difficulty. That makes a lot of sense after all.

It is good to see Bitcoin companies take a clear stance on the Bitcoin hard fork. After all, there is no reason to claim support for one over the other. Everything has yet to be decided, which makes the decision-making process very difficult. Xapo acknowledges this, which is why they keep things rather vague. The company will support the chain with the most accumulated difficulty. This means they can support either Bitcoin or SegWit2x moving forward. The minority chain will be made available for withdrawals and sell orders.

Xapo leaves Things Open for the Future

For the time being, it remains unknown which chain will be the minority. It does appear SegWit2x has more mining support. However, that situation can always change in a heartbeat. Nothing has been set in stone yet, that much is evident. A lot can change between now and November 18th of 2017. With the decision being left open, Xapo takes an interesting position in this regard. One has to commend this company from not openly picking one over the other. After all, the public decides how Bitcoin needs to evolve.

This also means there will be no changes to the Xapo service for the foreseeable future. Instead, things will remain as they are right now. It is possible trades and deposits will be halted on the platform during the hard fork, though. For now, the company focuses on continuing to work without interruptions. However, there may be some security compromises which can’t be overcome all that easily. Without proper replay protection, SegWit2x remains a big security risk to deal with until the network settles down.

It is expected other companies will render their ‘verdict” in the coming weeks. There is some bad blood between BTC and SegWit2x supporters already, though. It is obvious most people want the best for Bitcoin, whereas others want to push their political agenda. Rest assured this situation will continue to evolve for a few more weeks. Once everything is said and done, we may be looking at a very different Bitcoin landscape. It is equally possible nothing major will occur and everything remains as it is today.

The Bitcoin price is en route to achieving a new all-time high, as it nears the $5,000 region. Over the past three days, the Bitcoin price has increased from $4,330 to $4,893, leading analysts to establish an interim target of $10,000.

In the short and mid-term, the price of Bitcoin heavily depends on three major factors: the performance of major markets including Japan and South Korea, the rate of Segregated Witness (SegWit) adoption, and the SegWit2x hard fork in November.

Rapid Adoption by Major Markets: Japan and South Korea

Already, the Japanese and South Korean governments have imposed practical regulatory frameworks for businesses and investors, providing an efficient ecosystem for cryptocurrency exchanges and startups. Earlier this month, the Japanese government introduced a nationwide licensing program for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges. Companies like BitFlyer were granted with licenses to operate as regulated and authorized financial services providers in the country.

Since January, some of Japan’s largest conglomerates including major electronics retailer Bic Camera, leading budget airline Peach, largest budget hotel chain Capsule, and most recently, the largest energy supplier in the country, Remix Point, have been accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. Bic Camera has played a vital role in encouraging mainstream adoption of Bitcoin in Japan and throughout Asia, promoting the usage of the digital currency across its outlets in Japan.

More importantly, high profile conglomerates such as Remixpoint have started to operate independent Bitcoin exchanges and cryptocurrency trading platforms to process their payments and provide a better infrastructure for other companies. Bitpoint, the Bitcoin exchange of Remixpoint, was one of the 11 cryptocurrency exchanges which were authorized by the Japanese government last month.

SegWit Adoption Rate: At 10 Percent and Increasing Rapidly

As Bitcoin investor and the Atlanta Digital Currency Fund partner Alistair Milne revealed, the adoption rate of SegWit is at 10 percent, and is increasing at a rapid pace. Earlier this month, ShapeShift, a popular instantaneous cryptocurrency exchange that accounts for 3 percent of global Bitcoin transactions, integrated SegWit, triggering a rise in adoption in SegWit.

As the development team of Ledger, one of the most successful hardware Bitcoin wallet manufacturers in the sector explained, Bitcoin users handling SegWit transactions can experience around 35 percent reduction in fees and confirmation time optimization. While that only applies to users using SegWit-enabled wallets, users that receive SegWit-enabled transactions can also begin experiencing drastic decrease in transaction fees.

“Segwit introduces the concept of block weight which changes the way the transaction size is computed by splitting the signatures in a different area — you can typically save 35% of the fee paid when sending a transaction immediately,” explained the Ledger development team.

As the adoption rate of SegWit increases, major markets such as Japan and South Korea continue to demonstrate positive indicators of growth, and the market loses confidence over the upcoming SegWit2x hard fork, the Bitcoin price will likely position itself to achieve new all-time hgihs and the interim target of prominent analysts such as Max Keiser, at $10,000.

Image License: For commercial use

If your funds have not found their way to the $15 – 20 trillion international trade markets or for that matter, the $1.4 trillion real estate investment market yet, they eventually will. Now, regulating monetary movement of such humongous proportions is not at all an easy proposition. However, the process becomes pretty streamlined by putting relevant contracts in place.

But, the fact is, that enacting such contracts involve significant risks. And in addition to these risks, which originate from the exchange itself, all parties have to spend significant resources to create and maintain the contract.

Enter Confideal (ICO scheduled for 2nd – 22nd November 2017), a platform, which leverages smart contract technology powered by the Ethereum blockchain to solve pressing issues faced in modern contractual processes.

Realizing the fact that smart contracts may at times require coding which can only be done by software professionals, Confideal developers will launch a whole bunch templates for smart contracts in the platform, which can form the basis of any desired contract.

These templates can be customized as per requirement, for mining gear rentals, real estate rentals, ICOs, freelancing etc. This in turn will eliminate the need for experienced professionals to create room for entry-level participants.

Thus, all kinds of businesses will have a free solution for creating and using smart contracts. Beforehand, the cost of creating a new code for every new smart contract would draw up tons of expenses (code creation, audit of the code etc.)

Confideal is opening up new avenues for the development and implementation of blockchain based smart contracts and decentralized applications in various business scenarios. With the increasing adoption of cryptocurrency technology among masses, the service can be the most convenient option for may in the coming days.

This in turn enables companies from across the globe to enter into contracts with each other inside the Ethereum eco-system. Fulfillment of each contract is made possible by a software code which is independent of human interference.

The terms of the contract and the money (in Ether) is released only upon compliance of all included conditions within the contract, sort of like an escrow feature.

Confideal offers a platform where parties participating in contracts can utilize the necessary tools available at their disposal to predefine conditions, while providing conflict resolution services by hiring arbitrators.

This mechanism is the most crucial aspect of the Confideal eco-system, which caters to users by letting them enter into typical commercial contracts for delivery of goods and services through a user-friendly interface.

Confideal Token (CDL) developed as per ERC20 standards, will facilitate payments in the Confideal eco-system. The tokens created during the ICO will be made available at the rate of 1000 CDL/ETH. The platform is intended for individuals, small businesses, large enterprises, and online businesses.

More information about Confideal is available on the platform’s website.

As the world races towards a decentralized web space, so are investment opportunities cropping up in assets that are based on decentralized markets. One of the biggest businesses on which the Web 3.0 concept will be built is cryptocurrencies. The first cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) was initially devised as a means of exchange that cuts out centralized control and connects buyers and sellers using a peer-mediated distributed ledger system. Subsequent cryptocurrencies have gone far beyond this concept. They can now be traded for money and used to run various types of projects.

For instance, Ripple is being considered as the future of cross-border payments. Imagine a situation where investors in CrowdWiz can have their own crypto-based banking system which runs cross-border payments in a matter of seconds. Or imagine a system where real estate investments and transactions which are strictly crypto-based are organized from the CrowdWiz ecosystem. Consider a situation where a crypto-based app store is

Consider a situation where a crypto-based app store is setup to sell software and apps for different aspects of daily work and life. As a CrowdWiz investor, your money can be channeled into any of these promising investments quickly and without delay, once the entire investor crowd have granted their affirmation through voting.

The democratic nature of decision-making also eliminates a situation where investors buy shares of the company, only to have a few making all the decisions. Your money gives you a voice in CrowdWiz.

CrowdWiz for Investors

The CrowdWiz tokens are up for pre-sale on October 24, 2017, at 1000hrs UTC. There is a 15% bonus for first-day investors, so early adopters will get even better value. WIZ tokens created using the Ethereum blockchain technology, will be issued to all those who participate. Here are some of the advantages which WIZ token owners will have:

  • Access to trade on some of the major cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Secure privileged access to investments in new crypto-based assets.
  • A platform to set up an Initial Fund Offering (IFO) for your own projects (using WizFund).
  • Voting rights and being the decision-maker on how your investments are used and managed (using WizVote).
  • Trade directly on the fast-moving cryptocurrencies, which is fast becoming the new face of online financial trading. Using WizExchange, CrowdWiz will integrate with existing cryptocurrency exchanges. This will provide deep liquidity in cryptocurrency trading, ensuring that your WIZ tokens can be monetized at an appreciated value.
  • Use your WIZ tokens to create access to the proposed CrowdWiz app store, which will house projects that are built to run and be paid for using these tokens. For instance, it is possible to create apps exclusively for financial trading which cover the entire range of products: trading software, trading indicators, market data and expert advisors, all within the app store. Payments for these apps can be made using WIZ tokens, which will be available as a payment system to all users of the CrowdWiz ecosystem.

There are loads of benefits awaiting CrowdWiz investors. Cash in on the 15% early bird bonus when you sign up for the presale

We are off on another day’s trading in the bitcoin price and what a twenty-four-hour period we are having. Things just don’t want to slow down right now and – while that’s a great thing from the perspective of our intraday breakout approach – it does have us on alert for a potential correction near term.

So long as we stay vigilant on the risk management side of things, any correction isn’t too much of a big deal – we’ll still be able to jump in and out on any volatility, whatever direction price moves.

So, with that all said, let’s kick things off for the session.

We’re going to outline some key levels as a starting point and then we’ll take a look at how we can use these levels to navigate the markets throughout the session. As ever, take a quick look at the chart below before we get started so as to get an idea where things stand and where we are looking to execute on our entries. It’s a one-minute candlestick chart and it’s got our key range overlaid in green.

So, as the chart shows, the range we have in our sights for the session today comes in as defined by support to the downside at 4751 and resistance to the upside at 4798. Just as was the case yesterday evening, we are going to stick primarily to our breakout strategy for the early session.

There are two trades on, with our entries as follows:

  • A close above resistance and we’ll jump into the markets long towards an upside target of 4840. A stop on the trade at 4785 will ensure we are taken out of the trade in the event of a bias reversal.
  • Conversely, a close below support will signal a downside entry towards 4710. A stop on this one at 4762 looks good.

Let’s see how things play out.

Charts courtesy of Trading View

Quite a few discussions regarding SegWit2x are taking place as we speak. A lot of enthusiasts assume this blockchain will gain traction. That is mainly due to the current level of mining support for this concept. However, Just because there is so much intent to signal doesn’t mean S2X will become the new Bitcoin all of a sudden. There is a very long way to go before that can be the case.

SegWit2x has proven to be a rather interesting creature in the world of Bitcoin. This latest hard fork wants to combine SegWit with larger blocks. Whether or not this will be a successful version, remains to be seen. There is a lot of support from mining pools, by the look of things. More specifically, pools signal the intent to support this new solution. That doesn’t mean they will all switch over to this blockchain in the future, though.

SegWit2x Will Face its own Struggles

One determining factor will be the profitability factor. Right now, SegWit2x is one-third as profitable as mining Bitcoin. Moreover, a lot of coins will be distributed to BTC holders during the initial stage. There will be plenty of coins getting dumped across exchanges, that much is rather evident. This will push the mining profitability of this new currency down even further.  There is no reason for miners to automatically switch over to the new chain if it generates less income.

It is true the world’s largest mining pools all signal SegWit2x. Miners stick with these pools because they still mine Bitcoin right now first and foremost. This initial “support” is no indication of the miners sticking around when they make less money.  We have seen the same issue affecting Bitcoin Cash as well. Miners will go after the chain which offers the most profitability. In the case of BCH, there is an interesting difficulty adjustment which can make it more profitable to mine. SegWit2x will not have such an EDA, which is a good thing.

Assuming the mining power would shift, though, things will get pretty ugly for Bitcoin. It would render the current blockchain seemingly useless as the next network block would take hours, if not days, to be discovered.That is not a situation anyone is looking forward to, for obvious reasons. It remains unclear what the future will hold in this regard, though. SegWit2x will not become the new Bitcoin chain by default, that much is certain.