Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Expanding Horizons in a Bearish Month

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Expanding Horizons in a Bearish Month

With banks in Europe, America and Asia doing “everything to crush cryptocurrencies,” Binance CEO CZ says Africa can become a leader in their implementation. The major crypto exchange is thinking about opening an office in Uganda and we have covered the story in today’s Bitcoin in Brief. Also, online trade with cryptos spikes in Bahrain, while in Georgia, luxury real estate is being sold for bitcoin. All this has been happening in an otherwise bearish May.   

Binance to Open Office in Uganda

Binance is considering the possibility of opening a new office in Uganda, company CEO Changpeng Zhao revealed at The Africa Blockchain Conference 2018, which took place at the end of May in Kampala, the country’s capital. The move is part of the trading platform’s plans to support the economic transformation of the African nation and increase youth employment through blockchain technology implementation. The leading cryptocurrency exchange has offices in Japan, Hong Kong, Malta, and intends to establish a global compliance center in Bermuda.

With the help of companies like Binance, “Uganda will be able to join the 4th Industrial Revolution, subsequently a lot of new jobs will open and the flow of investment into the country will increase,” Zhao said. “Watching this conference I was very impressed by the enthusiasm of Africans to introduce cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. It was surprising to see that cryptocurrencies enjoy not only an increased interest from the people, but also the active support of many representatives of African banks and government officials,” he stated.

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Expanding Horizons in a Bearish Month

In April, Binance’ CEO announced a partnership with Crypto Savannah, an African blockchain innovation hub, Msingi, an organization working to build the East African industries of the future, and the “Made in Africa” Initiative. In a post on Twitter, Changpeng Zhao promised “thousands of jobs and bringing investments to Uganda.” “Expect more news on Africa!” he added in the comments.

In a statement during the conference in Kampala, Zhao noted that most banks in Europe, the US, and China criticize cryptocurrencies and do everything possible to crush them, and added: “It seems to me that Africa has real chances of becoming one of the leading regions in the implementation of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.”

Bearish May Brings Down Trading Volumes

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Expanding Horizons in a Bearish MonthMore than $606 billion in cryptocurrencies have been traded last month through over 1,600 different cryptocurrencies, according to Coinmarketcap. The total is less than half the $1.4 trillion in more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies traded during the previous monthly period, 24/7 Wall St reports. The data shows a bearish May following a rather bullish April. With a 30-day volume of $184.31 billion, bitcoin (BTC) is the most traded cryptocurrency.

The last several months have seen another negative trend – in futures trading. Since March, the contracts have dropped by a third. Nymex bitcoin futures have lost more than 51% since trading began in January. Bitcoin June futures on Cboe traded down about 1.9% at noon on Wednesday. The expiration of CME bitcoin futures on May 25 also influenced cryptocurrency prices.

Crypto Trade Booming in Bahrain

In some parts of the world, however, things do not look so bleak. Since the beginning of this year, more jurisdictions have begun to legally recognize cryptocurrencies, one way or another. These include the US, Canada, many members of the European Union, and several African and Asian nations.

Bahrain, a country credited for building the first post-oil economy in the Persian Gulf, has recently enjoyed a spike in online trade using cryptocurrency, according to local media. In the absence of official regulations, bitcoin transactions have been booming on Bahraini websites and social media. A shop selling crypto-priced items is set to open soon in the Riffa area, Albawaba Business reported.

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Expanding Horizons in a Bearish Month

The island nation has also indicated it may soon emerge as a global cryptocurrency exchange hub. In March, the government in Manama set up a “regulatory sandbox” for that purpose. “As long as the business qualifies as fintech, we will welcome it,” said Khalid Saad, CEO of Bahrain Fintech Bay, quoted by Business Line. At least four crypto trading platforms are already registered there.

The sector, however, is still awaiting a final decision on the legal tender status of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. It is supposed to come from the Central Bank of Bahrain, which is the country’s financial regulator.

Real Estate Sold for Bitcoin in Georgia

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Expanding Horizons in a Bearish MonthA luxurious apartment has been put on sale for 25 bitcoins (~$190,000) in Georgia. According to local realtors, the owner has explicitly asked the price to be announced in cryptocurrency, Geomigrant reports. The current legislation does not mention crypto payments. Despite the lack of a regulatory framework, cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity as a means of exchange and trade among Georgians.

The Caucasian country is known as a major crypto mining hub in Eurasia thanks to some tax incentives and low electricity rates. According to a recently published study by the World Bank, around 5% of Georgian households participate in cryptocurrency trading and investing. Blockchain technologies have also spread in Georgia.

What are your thoughts on the topics in today’s Bitcoin in Brief? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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