Cryptocurrency update – 29 October 2019

Bitcoin surges as China declares blockchain ‘beneficial’

Bitcoin prices fell during the week as Facebook executive Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by US Congress over plans to develop a global cryptocurrency called Libra.

However a strong Friday surge took Bitcoin up 14 per cent over the week after Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly told his party chiefs that China will seize the blockchain opportunity. One state owned Chinese Bank has already apparently followed the leader and invested heavily into a Bitcoin Wallet.

Xi Jinping declared the technology underlying Bitcoin and other crytpos to be beneficial for data sharing, removing operating costs, developing national digital economies and encouraging economic and social development.

Bitcoin price chart – 1 week

The President said China has a strong foundation in blockchain and should look to take a leading position in the sector.

China must “clarify the main direction, increase investment, focus on a number of key core technologies and accelerate the development of blockchain technology and industrial innovation,” said President Xi.

The embrace by president Xi Jinping is particularly significant and surprising to many because China hasn’t encouraged trading in Bitcoin in the past. Trading exchanges were shut down in 2017.

However using, developing and mining blockchain technology has been encouraged in China, making the relationship between the world’s leading crypto and the world’s biggest population of people uncertain.

Now China’s distaste for trading in Bitcoin may also be thawing.  The Bank of China recently published a guide to Bitcoin.

And endorsement of blockchain as “an important breakthrough for independent innovation of core technologies” from President Ji could be a powerful signal that Chinese attitudes to crypto, and Bitcoin in particular, are evolving rapidly.

President Xi told the Communist Party’s Central Political Bureau that blockchain had potential benefits for many industries including finance, education, health care and food security, reported Xinjua, the Chinese state-run media outlet.

Bitcoin price chart – 1 year

China is currently developing a state-run cryptocurrency of its own and is just now, reportedly, speeding up those efforts in response to the possible imminent creation of Facebook Libra.

One Bitcoin is now worth around A$13,700 according to Coinbase.com, up A$1,760 in seven days.

Bitcoin is up more than 55 per cent over 12 months. One year ago, Bitcoin was trading at A$5,012.

Bitcoin’s all-time high was in December 2017 when it traded briefly above A$25,000.

Bitcoin has held its price over the weekend and into Monday trading. And other cryptos are also on the move.

Ethereum prices rose sharply on 25 October, up more than 5 per cent or $14.39 to over A$267. Ethereum is up 6 per cent over the last month but down 3.47 per cent over 12 months. In January 2018, Ethereum traded briefly above A$1,500. 

Ethereum price chart – 1 week

Ripple is holding at 44 Australian cents this week. XRP is up 8 cents (22 per cent) in a month.

XRP Ripple price chart – 1 week

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