China is Blocking Cryptocurrency Exchanges on Social Media: Local Report

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Regulators in China have begun blocking social media accounts belonging to cryptocurrency exchanges that continue to offer services to customers located on the mainland.

China Blocking Cryptocurrency Exchanges on Social Media

On Tuesday Beijing-based media outlet Caixin reported that local authorities had forced social messaging platform WeChat to shut down accounts belonging to select cryptocurrency exchanges in a bid to further restrict the ability of mainland residents to trade cryptocurrencies.

As CCN reported, China had forced the closure of domestic cryptocurrency exchanges that offered fiat-to-cryptocurrency trading pairs last September, but some investors told Caixin that they were still able to access the offshore platforms. Other traders moved to over-the-counter (OTC) and peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms, often using social media to find trading partners and execute transactions.

Consequently, authorities began monitoring internet traffic to offshore exchanges, particularly those which had originally been headquartered on the mainland. Officials have reportedly suggested that banks should suspend service to clients found to have engaged in cryptocurrency trading under the pretense of preventing pyramid schemes, money laundering, and other fraudulent activities the government has attributed to cryptoassets.

Though a minor development overall, this move to freeze cryptocurrency exchange accounts indicates that regulators desire to further stifle the domestic cryptocurrency trading industry, which once dominated the global marketplace.

CCN has not been able to confirm which exchange’s WeChat accounts have been closed and which continue to be operational.

CPPCC Member Floats State-Controlled Digital Asset Exchange

Notably, this move to further restrict trading follows a report that a high-ranking member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) has called for the country to establish a state-controlled digital asset trading platform that would allow “enterprises to raise funds [and] trade digital assets.” It is not clear whether such an exchange — if created — would list cryptocurrencies.

Chinese officials and state-run media outlets have also lauded the potential of blockchain technology in recent weeks while also stating that these networks’ decentralized applications should be limited and always built on a centralized foundation.

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Canadian Financial Regulator Warns Of Potential Scam, Unregistered “Cryptobank” ICO

New Brunswick, Canada’s financial watchdog warned cryptocurrency investors of a potential scam website Bitcoin-bank.io that claims to be a “cryptobank” in an investor alert published Monday, Feb. 5.

According to the statement, the Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB) started investigating the company profile after Bitcoin-bank.io appeared in ads on a Canadian online classified website. FCNB found that the company is neither registered  for trading in New Brunswick, nor for advising on securities or derivatives, despite the fact that it claims to provide these services in the province.

On its website, Bitcoin-bank.io offers “Cryptobanking at its Best” services, such as payment card and cryptocurrency wallet solutions. The website also promote its own ongoing Initial Coin Offering (ICO), with one BTCB coin ‘starting’ at 0.000975 Bitcoin (BTC).

In its Whitepaper, the Bitcoin-bank.io team notes that the platform is geared towards newcomers in the cryptocurrency space, and does not require any previous trading skills to use:

“It is a perfect platform for those who wants [sic] to have a passive income on daily basis without having to learn the related crypto or trading skills or the time to watch the markets all day long.”

FCNB also reported that the company is not registered at the California address listed on its website. Moreover, according to the report, the list of the company employees consists of fake names with attached photographs taken from other websites and copied content.

Last month, Canadian securities regulators approved the launch of the country’s first Blockchain-based Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), Harvest Blockchain Technologies Index (HBLK).

In December 2017, researchers at the Bank of Canada released a report examining the feasibility of launching a state-issued Blockchain-based digital currency, the “central bank digital currency” (CBDC).

Cryptocurrency News Round-Up From Russia: Highlights

This is the first in a series of weekly news highlights about blockchain technology and cryptocurrency in Russia. Last week’s headlines included an endorsement of blockchain technology from President Putin, tax exemptions for cryptocurrencies and a legal decision that prevented the seizure of cryptocurrency assets in a bankruptcy case.

Putin Endorses Technological Development in Russia

During his conversation with Herman Gref, the head of Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he supports the development of new technologies, including blockchains, and stated that the country cannot be “late to the race” of blockchain development and adoption.

Gref, whose bank plans on implementing blockchain technology, spoke about the need for “professionals in this field.” He proposed that the government include blockchain technology in education and training programs in order to prepare specialists.

He also called for “soft” regulation, without a ban of cryptocurrency, that would help promote technological innovation. To which Putin responded that technological development is incredibly important for Russian economics, and that, while Russia has oil, gas, metals and diamonds, it still needs a “spurt” to become one of the global technological leaders.

Putin confirmed this message in his annual address to the Federal Assembly on March 1, 2018, claiming that countries riding the new technology wave will move ahead, while all the rest will be outdone.

Tax Privileges for Cryptocurrency Income

A working group of the Ministry of Economic Development has proposed to create tax breaks for cryptocurrency income as an amendment to the draft law “On Digital Financial Assets.” This means that all the income from cryptocurrency businesses (trading, mining, ICOs) will be taxed less than other types of businesses.

Another suggested modification called for increasing the limit of individual investments in initial coin offerings (ICOs), from 50,000 to 500,000 rubles (equivalent to $900 to $9,000 USD). The working group also proposed that Russian investors be permitted to invest in foreign ICOs. The law is still under development, but it should be enacted in July 2018.

Cryptocurrency Cannot Be Seized as Debt Payment

The Moscow Arbitration Court has ruled that cryptocurrency cannot be used as a payment to creditors in the bankruptcy case of Ilya Tsarkov, a Russian citizen who filed for personal bankruptcy in October 2017.

The prosecutor proposed that Tsarkov’s crypto assets be seized as a debt payment and requested that Tsarkov disclose his cryptocurrency holdings. Tsarkov reportedly showed that he was in possession of a wallet containing bitcoin on blockchain.info but claimed that, as cryptocurrency is not considered property in Russia, it would not be possible to foreclose on them.

The court agreed and refused to grant the prosecutor’s request to seize Tsarkov’s cryptocurrency assets as a way to repay his debt.

Ripple Price Dives after Coinbase Quashes Support Rumors

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The Ripple price posted a double-digit percentage decline on Tuesday after cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage platform Coinbase squashed rumors that it had decided to add XRP to its list of supported assets.

Ripple Price Posts Double-Digit Percentage Decline

The cryptocurrency markets made a comprehensive retreat on Tuesday, and more than 90 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies lost value against the US dollar.

However, the Ripple markets endured one of the more significant sell-offs, driving the XRP price down  11 percent to a present value of $0.94 after trading as high as $1.08 on Monday. XRP now has a circulating market cap of approximately $36.8 billion.

ripple priceRipple Price Chart

XRP trading volume is still heavily concentrated on South Korean exchanges, although somewhat less than it was on Monday. Bithumb’s XRP/KRW trading pair accounts for nearly 26 percent of all Ripple volume, while fellow XRP/KRW markets Upbit and Coinone comprise another 12 percent. These Korean exchanges are now pricing Ripple at a four percent premium over its value in other markets.

ripple priceSource: CoinMarketCap

Coinbase Squashes XRP Listing Rumors

While it is true that cryptocurrencies fell across the board, Ripple’s decline was more than double that of the index, which fell by about five percent.

This is likely because, as CCN reported, the XRP price had been buoyed by rumors that Coinbase would announce support for Ripple this week. Similar rumors have swirled for several months, presumably because Ripple is the only top five-cryptocurrency not listed on Coinbase. At present, the platform supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

Ripple backers strongly believe that XRP will be added to Coinbase in the near future. However, the company tweeted on Monday that it had “made no decision to add additional assets to either GDAX or Coinbase,” adding that any “statement to the contrary is untrue and not authorized by the company.”

Unsurprisingly, Coinbase’s statement took the wind out of the rally’s sails, and the Ripple price quickly dropped below dollar parity and continued to decline as the market began its comprehensive retreat.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Japan’s Finance Giant SBI Buys 40% Of Taiwanese Crypto Hardware Wallet Company

Japanese financial services group SBI Holdings has bought 40% of Taiwanese cryptocurrency hardware wallet company CoolBitX, according to a press release published March 2.

In the latest venture in SBI’s increasing involvement with both the cryptocurrency and Blockchain industries, the finance giant made an undisclosed investment which transferred almost half of CoolBitX to its ownership.

CoolBitX currently manufacturers CoolWallet as its primary offering — a hardware wallet akin to a credit card which communicates to devices via Bluetooth.

SBI is currently spearheading a mass trial of Ripple’s technology in a separate major venture involving around 60 banks, the majority of which are based in Japan.

One participant in the trial, South Korea’s Woori Bank, has announced it intends to commercialize Ripple-based remittances by the end of this year.

The company meanwhile has delayed the launch of its own cryptocurrency exchange, it announced Feb. 27, citing the need to increase security.

That consideration will also form a focus for CoolBitX going forward, SBI noting its practices with others in its “virtual currency ecosystem.”

“…We have been looking for security sophistication by capturing advanced technologies of external companies in addition to thorough risk management within the company, making the protection of customer assets the top priority,” the press release states, continuing:

“In the future, while considering CoolBitX’s technology utilization, we aim to further enhance security.”

Cryptocurrency Market Erases Yesterday’s Gain, Ripple Drops 11%

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Yesterday, on March 6, the global cryptocurrency market moved closer to the $500 billion mark, as it peaked at $475 billion. Today, the market dropped by nearly $30 billion in value, as major cryptocurrencies recorded losses.

On March 5, CCN reported that the price of Ripple gained momentum due to unverified rumors which claimed Coinbase, the world’s largest cryptocurrency brokerage and wallet platform, will integrate Ripple this week. CCN’s report emphasized that if the unconfirmed rumors do not turn out to be true and Coinbase does not integrate Ripple, the price of the cryptocurrency could fall by large margins.

“This anticipation could also lead to a large drop in the price of Ripple if Coinbase ends up not integrating Ripple, as it did last year, when similar rumors emerged. It is unlikely that Coinbase will integrate Ripple this week, given that it is still dealing with class action lawsuits regarding insider trading allegations against Coinbase employees,” CCN reported.

Over the past 24 hours, almost immediately after Coinbase released an official announcement that clarified the company’s plans to not add any new asset on the Coinbase trading platform or GDAX in the short-term, the price of Ripple fell by more than 11 percent.

The official statement of Coinbase read, “our January 4th, 2018 statement continues to stand: we have made no decision to add additional assets to either GDAX or Coinbase. Any statement to the contrary is untrue and not authorized by the company.”

Ripple’s price peaked at 1.08 percent on March 5, recording a staggering 20 percent increase in value. As of March 6, the price of Ripple remains below 0.92.

On January 4, Coinbase released a statement entitled “Our process for adding new assets” after a flurry of rumors emerged, which falsely claimed that Coinbase was planning to integrate Ripple. The price of Ripple spiked by more than 20 percent during that week, similar to this week.

At the time, the Coinbase team wrote, “a committee of internal experts is responsible for determining whether and when new assets will be added to the platform in accordance with our framework. These individuals — and all employees at Coinbase — are subject to confidentiality and trading restrictions,” emphasizing that the company is more cautious in adding new assets and strict in sustaining confidentiality regarding new cryptocurrency integrations.

Buying rumors or trading based on unconfirmed news can be extremely risky. If the rumors don’t turn out to be true, and in most cases they don’t, traders can experience a significant drop in the asset they invested in.

Market Recap

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Cardano, five of the largest cryptocurrencies in the market apart from Ripple, have also recorded around 4 percent decline in value on average, as the market fell by over $30 billion.

Other smaller cryptocurrencies like Ziliqa, Factom, Nano, and Ethereum Classic experienced major losses, with Nano and Ethereum Classic dropping by more than 12 percent.

In the futures market, short positions targeting major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum have been opened, and many long positions have been closed.

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Paytomat Will Run a Token Sale to Bring Cryptocurrencies to Your next Door Cafe and Grocery Store

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This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the press release.

Having successfully integrated with over a hundred of point-of-sales in Ukraine, Paytomat will be holding a token sale to scale its blockchain-based solution to the global level.

March 1-st , 2018, Tallinn, Estonia and Kyiv, Ukraine Paytomat, the decentralized system for cryptocurrency payments, announces its token sale, which will start on March 12th. The idea behind Paytomat is increasing the transactional usage of cryptocurrencies in everyday life, providing additional incentives for businesses, customers and crypto core teams. Launched from Ukraine in 2017, Paytomat is expanding its business globally and aims to develop its own unique blockchain-based loyalty program, fueled by PTM and PTX tokens.

Paytomat has already introduced an extension to receive payments in crypto on existing POS (point-of-sale) terminals using Poster, Profit Solutions and 1C. For the past year it has gained solid traction, having been successfully deployed across 150 merchants. Starting in 2018, Paytomat began their active expansion into CEE countries and already secured partnerships with various retailers in Poland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, as well as Georgia. Currently, the team is beta-testing customer mobile wallets and a standalone Paytomat Mobile POS for both payment processing and a blockchain-based loyalty program. In the long run, Paytomat plans to focus on the decentralized franchise for the local markets and on reaching out to various industries outside of HoReCa.

Yurii Olentir, Paytomat CEO, says: “There are over 1,500 coins and tokens in the world, but how many of them are actually used? Paytomat is designed to connect cryptocurrency core teams, consumers and businesses, so they all benefit from the new crypto economy. Our intention is to nurture the market, offering real life applications to various cryptocurrencies by enabling local stores and online merchants to accept payments in crypto. We are a liquidity network, a point of sale interface, a smart asset platform, and best of all, a loyalty program with incentives for both merchants and customers.

The Paytomat Ecosystem will operate using three cryptos: PTI, a utility Waves-token issued for the purpose of the token sale; PTM, a coin based on its own blockchain; and PTX, a non-tradable token built on top of PTM and used to get loyalty rewards from merchants.

Whitelist registration opens March 2nd, followed by the pre-sale (March 12—17). The overall softcap for the PTI token sale is 4,555,000  PTI, the hardcap is 17,555,000 PTI. The initial price for 1 PTI is 0.1 mBTC or 10,000 satoshi. The following cryptocurrencies will be accepted: BTC, ETH, LTC, DASH, BCH , NEM, Waves. Paytomat will announce its referral and bounty programs later on in March.  

About Paytomat

Paytomat is a global blockchain-based payment processing system created to help merchants, consumers and crypto core teams to find each other and create real life traction for cryptocurrencies as emerging method of everyday payments. Built as a decentralized autonomous organization and decentralized franchise, Paytomat features a unique loyalty program based on the PTM coin, incentivizing merchants to accept payments in crypto, and PTX tokens, thereby incentivizing customers to pay with crypto. For more information visit https://tokensale.paytomat.com. Media contacts: [email protected]   

What is Tinkering in Bitcoin Core’s Toolbox, Developers Divulge

Even though SegWit was released on Aug. 1, 2017, it is only in the last few weeks where there has been a genuine uptick and adoption of the scaling upgrade. To this end, Bitcoin Core v0.16.0 was released announcing full support for SegWit.

As SegWit gets adopted by more exchanges, and more transactions with SegWit addresses happen, those who have contributed to Bitcoin’s development in the past are already getting excited about the next few upgrades in the pipeline.

Of course, many will be thinking that the Lightning Network is what will really be hitting the headlines in the next few months as it gains more traction. Some Bitcoin Developers and contributing developers, are also excited about things like BIP159, Signature Aggregation and even Graftroot.

Bitcoin Core, and its developers are an import facet of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. In fact, the developers of Bitcoin Core hold an important function in shaping Blockchain, but have little say in its direction – that all comes down to the community and the democratized vote.

There are a few lead developers, such as Wladimir J. van der Laan and Jonas Schnelli, as well as a host of contributors who work on different aspects at different times.

How is SegWit performing?

The percentage of Segwit transactions on blocks has spiked in the last few days and is increasing daily. This of course has a lot to do with Coinbase and Bitfinex announcing the implementation of SegWit in their exchanges, but is also a result of the v0.16.0 upgrade by Bitcoin Core.

Peter Todd, who announced on Twitter that the v0.16.0 upgrade had been implemented, spoke to Cointelegraph about the importance of this move by the Bitcoin Core client.

“The Segwit wallet support is of course useful – a lot of services use Bitcoin Core’s wallet as it’s robust and very well reviewed,” Todd explained. “Those services now have a simple upgrade path to Segwit, saving money. For instance my own OpenTimestamps calendars can now use Segwit directly – previously they used a bit of a hack to get around the lack of support in the wallet.”

Nicolas Dorier, one of Bitcoin Core’s other contributing developers (although he did not work on this latest release), has a bit of a different opinion compared to Todd’s – believing that most platforms won’t be using the Bitcoin Core client for their SegWit needs.

“I am unsure exchanges are using Bitcoin Core for handling their UTXOs, they most likely have their own developed solution,” Dorian told Cointelegraph. “Bitcoin Core is not adapted for large volume of address and transactions.”

“Coinbase now is using SegWit, but I doubt they are using the Bitcoin Core wallet feature for their processing. The most exciting thing is not really SegWit wallet in my opinion, but signaling of BIP159.”

What is BIP159?

Along with the support for SegWit in the v0.16.0 update, a new one was included:

“Pruned nodes can now signal BIP159’s NODE_NETWORK_LIMITED using service bits, in preparation for full BIP159 support in later versions,” states Bitcoin Core’s official release. “This would allow pruned nodes to serve the most recent blocks. However, the current change does not yet include support for connecting to these pruned peers.”

It is quite complicated, but it comes down to storage space on the Node as a full node requires storing over 120 GB of Blockchain data, which is not always viable, hence some often run pruned nodes off older computers or even Raspberry Pis.

Dorien explains how someone like BTCPay can benefit from this latest upgrade:

“Signaling of BIP159, which decreases the space resource for running a full node, is exciting. For example for BTCPay, merchants without BIP159 need to store the full Blockchain to make it work, around 250 GB. BIP159 will make it around 5 GB. Though not everybody might benefit from it, BTCPay hosts will.”

Todd also believes that the storage aspect of BIP159 is promising, but looks a little more at how this can help the overall Blockchain.

“So, BIP159 is important because it sets the stage for pruned nodes to contribute bandwidth,” Todd said. “That isn’t directly all that important – we have no shortage of node bandwidth – but it does improve privacy by making it harder for the bad guys to observe the network as there are more nodes relaying blocks and transactions.”

“Don’t get me wrong, BIP159 is absolutely a performance improvement. It’s just that we have lots of space bandwidth on the P2P network, so the real-world impact to performance will be minimal at this time. In the future that may change if people currently running non-pruned nodes switch to running pruned nodes, but at the moment that’s just not a major problem.”

Of course, there is quite a journey in order for improvements on the Bitcoin Blockchain to come to fruition, but Dorien is looking even further ahead, getting excited about Signature Aggregation.

Signature Aggregation and Schnorr Signatures

In January 2018, four Bitcoin developers released a paper outlining how Schnorr multi-signatures (‘multisig’) can help scale the Bitcoin Blockchain.

Greg Maxwell, Andrew Poelstra, Yannick Seurin and Pieter Wuille discuss and illustrate how the technology, which ‘bunches’ multisig data together to reduce its size in a transaction, “could improve both performance and user privacy in Bitcoin”.

Dorian says that this idea is another exciting improvement for the Bitcoin Blockchain.

“The next awesome thing will be signature aggregation through Schnorr Signatures. it will have an impact on the size of transaction. This is very exciting.”

“Signature Aggregation makes the transaction smaller for the same features and enables interesting tricks which have no impact on the size of the blockchain. The most obvious thing is having an arbitrary number of co-signers for the same transaction, but no doubt crypto wizards will find more interesting stuff.”

“It has no impact on the resources individual nodes need for running a full node while considerably increasing what is possible.”

Todd is also excited about the possibility of Signature Aggregation, but is a little more weary of looking so far ahead, as the Bitcoin environment is quite political when it comes to making changes.

“All exciting improvements, but who knows how long they’ll take to implement? Quite possible the likes of Bitmain will try to block those obvious performance improvements for political reasons, for example, to try to get negotiation leverage for something else. So we’ll see…”

While many could get annoyed about these power plays blocking improvements, Todd is one of the few that embraces this political staging.

“I’m sure other developers would think otherwise, but for me personally, one of the reasons I got into Bitcoin development was I thought the political side of it would be interesting!”

Adding on Graftroot

Finally, the developers are also getting excited about the idea of introducing a form of smart contracts onto the Bitcoin Blockchain through Graftroot.

Gregory Maxwell, a highly respected Bitcoin developer published a paper on something called “Taproot” in January with ideas about improvements upon the privacy of Merkelized Abstract Syntax Trees (MAST), an idea long in the making that is geared towards Bitcoin’s smart contract abilities.

He followed that up with another proposal called Graftroot, explained by Jimmy Song in a YouTube video as well.

Dorian explains that if Aggregated Signatures go through, then it will be easy to see Graftroot in play:

“For Graftroot it is something quite easy to implement once we have signature aggregation and which allows artificially big smart contracts. The fact that only the condition executed is revealed is very interesting.”

Still on the frontier

Bitcoin, as the original Blockchain cryptocurrency, is often shrouded with this perception that it is stale and not evolving as other coins spring up around it promising to have made the required improvements.

However, there is a constant buzz of improvement that is going on behind the scenes with developers that often does not make it onto the news. Improvements are being proposed, and pushed to happen, however given the environment of Bitcoin development, these improvements take time.

Zero Edge Raised Significant Funds in Pre-Sale

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This is a submitted sponsored story. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the content below.

Zero Edge Raised 5 million USD from Private Investors

Zero Edge is set to fully revolutionize the online casino industry with its brand new cryptocurrency-based online gambling model. In its run up to Pre-ICO and ICO, Zero Edge has already attracted widescale global investment, giving it the impetus it needs to push through with their plans to turn the online gambling industry inside out.

At the time of writing, the Zero Edge online gambling model, which includes a unique cryptocurrency-based money system known as Zerocoin, has raised in excess of 5 million USD from a broad cross-section of private investors. However, more is predicted to stream in on the heals of pre-sale demand and an ever-increasing global interest in the Zero Edge 0% house edge casino model.

Zero Edge Revolutionary Model Explained

ZeroEdge.bet offers 0% edge Casino games. World first 0% edge games attract demand for Zerocoin, because of this, its value rises. Players can play 0% games while Zerocoin price rises. Simply put, the ultimate solution to the problem is creating a platform where playing games is “free”. Players are not required to pay any fixed amount of money to be able to play at the casino. This can only be achieved by creating a closed loop economy with its own token where players purchase the token with fiat or crypto. Since the supply of ZERO is limited, its value is directly proportional to demand.

Blockchain & Smart contract technology allow to create a fully transparent and truly fair gambling environment where players have more opportunities to participate, can completely trust the platform, and have a real chance of winning while at the same time being a part of a bigger community which fosters social inclusion and mutual values.

Pre-ICO is Live with 79% discount & low hard cap – 1500 eth!

Zero Edge is introducing its own unique cryptocurrency known as Zerocoin, the only way that gamblers will be able to participate in true 0% house edge online casino games through the Zero Edge online casino network. The value of Zerocoin is set to rise rapidly, as more and more people flock to Zero Edge to enjoy true 0% house edge games.

This is also the perfect opportunity to learn about the pre-ICO or Initial Coin Offering which is set to start on the 28th of February 2018, closing out on the 15th of March 2018. During the Zerocoin pre-ICO, Zero Edge are presenting a no soft cap,while the hard cap is initially set at 1500 ETH.

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Bitcoin Transaction Volume Hits Two-Year Low, Despite Rock-Bottom Fees

Bitcoin’s sideways price action has led to the lowest number of confirmed transactions per day since March 2016, according to Blockchain.info.

Data shows BTC transactions falling in line with downward trends in price since the all-time highs of December 2017.

The number of transactions reached a two-year low on Feb. 26 with only 180,000 confirmed transactions, while Sunday, March 4 saw just 195,500.

Confirmed Transactions Per Day

The slump comes at a time when Bitcoin struggles to regain the sky-high USD value it achieved late last year, when it reached $20,000 on some major exchanges.

Despite the release of support for Segregated Witness (SegWit) technology by Bitcoin Core and exchanges Coinbase and Bitfinex in February, faster and cheaper Bitcoin transactions appear to interest investors less than overall trading potential.

SegWit is slowly cornering the BTC transaction market, constituting almost 30% of transactions according to data from monitoring site SegWit Party.

A glance at popular trading platforms likewise confirms the current consumer desire to ‘hodl’ on to one’s bitcoins and watch the market, rather than cash out or convert currencies. P2P resource Localbitcoins posted six-month lows in weekly trade volumes across global markets, with a total of just under $57 mln transactions during the week ending Feb. 24.

Low transaction numbers and the small size of BTC’s catalog of unprocessed transactions continue to create some of the cheapest fees seen in months, with Earn.com’s calculator currently recommending 40 satoshis, or about $0.005, per byte.