According to the recent report from Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM), Bitcoin has not gained popularity in the country, with two-thirds of Russians considering a purchase of the cryptocurrency as a bad investment. VTsIOM is the oldest polling institution in post-Soviet Russia.
As contained in the report, the word “bitcoin” is familiar to 74% of Russians, of whom only 2% acquired digital currency. 47% think that bitcoins can only be bought, but not produced by yourself, 43% – that for them you cannot buy real goods and services with bitcoin.
The report went further to say that more than half of Russians (56%) say they know about bitcoins (however, only 9% are in detail), another 18% have heard only the term itself. The level of awareness among the youngest age groups (67% among 18-24-year-olds), people with a higher education (71%), residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg (75%), men (66%), active Internet users (69%).
At the same time, the actual knowledge about this cryptocurrency is rather weak. So, among those who know/have heard about bitcoins, 37% are sure that anyone can buy them , and 12%, for example, believe that they are banned in Russia. The degree of protection of bitcoins, compared with conventional money, is estimated ambiguously: 28% believe that it is harder to steal digital currency, 29% – easier.
In general, it can be said that bitcoins have not yet gained popularity among our fellow citizens: two thirds of Russians who heard about them (65%) consider investing money in bitcoins as a disadvantageous investment, only 2% bought bitcoins.
It is pertinent to note according to a news outlet that in early 2018, VCIOM posted the results of another survey about cryptos. That survey also indicated that the level of knowledge about cryptocurrencies in Russia is rather low, as even those that claim to be familiar with Bitcoin often fail to state with certainty whether the Bitcoin can be legally bought in Russia. In fact, 16% of those claiming to have knowledge about cryptocurrencies said that Bitcoin is prohibited in Russia.
Bitcoin Price Rally, a Healthy Price Correction Looming
Bitcoin price has experienced a massive rally in 2019 as price keeps breaking out all major and minor resistance with the adoption of the blockchain technology by mainstream technology companies and interest by Wall Street firms. Will this rally continue or a healthy correction is due?
Let’s have a look at the $BTCUSDT chart
We can see price is forming a basic 5 wave pattern since December 2018.
We currently have a very nice set up at the top, an ending diagonal to complete the wave 3 around the $9400/9800 zone before breaking out for an healthy correction to wave 4 around $5800/600 zone.
Price is currently forming a Rising Wedge with a Bearish Divergence on the MACD. However, I’m still expecting a push up to $9400/9600 zone where volume becomes even more weaker before the sellers rally.
Bitcoin Donations Pouring In for Russia’s Main Opposition Alexei Navalny
Russia’s main opposition Alexei Navalny is once again on the spotlight having received up to 591 bitcoins valued at about $3 million at current market prices through his official donation address for his organization.
Alexei Navalny who faces so many backlashes from the Putin government in Russia and also political victimization and arrests even up to being banned from participating as a candidate in the last presidential elections in Russia against Vladimir Putin was recently reported by a pro-Putin television network to have most corruption investigative activities tied to huge donations pouring in alleging it to be involved in paid political hits.
Navalny runs an investigative center, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), a whistleblower organization that regularly publishes alleged corrupt activities of government officials, not sparing high ranking officials such as the prime minister Dimitri Medvedev and even the attorney general, Yuri Chaika
An anonymous Telegram channel on Monday known as “FBK Staffer’s Confession,” alleged the correlation between several huge donations to the Navalny organization’s wallet a few days before FBK published one of such investigation, alleging FBK is involved in paid political hits. This accusation was aired in major mainstream Russian media most of which are pro-Putin.
FBK through its chief of staff vehemently denied this allegation when contacted by Znak, a Russian news publication agency. Leonid Volkov FBK’s chief of staff denied any connection between the transactions and its investigations, in his rebuttal he said the anonymous blogger “dragged the non-existent facts together in by the head and shoulders.”
“You can say that each time Encke’s Comet approaches the Earth it coincides with a big war: 1914 (First World War), 1941 (World War II) and 2014 (War on Eastern Ukraine). But its rotation period is three years, and it approached the Earth many times when there were no big wars.”
Navalny’s bitcoin wallet address conspicuously appearing on its official website have seen as much as 2000 transactions including donations and withdrawals since 2016 after receiving its very first donation. This is noticed as every transaction on the bitcoin address is open and transparent for everyone to see due to its decentralized ledger technology.
Navalny is not only the dissenting voice or movement in the Russian political space that has been involved in bitcoin donations, there are many others including Zona.Media and The Insider, as well as internet freedom movement Roskomsvoboda accept donations in bitcoin or ether but FBK appears to be the most prominent.
Bitcoin Payments on Amazon Now Possible via Moon
As announced by Moon earlier this week, the crypto payment processor initiative will enable users with a lightening wallet to utilize Moon’s latest browser extension to pay for products on e-commerce sites such as Amazon by connecting the browser extension to the Coinbase exchange account.
According to Ken Kruger – Moon CEO
The extension will pop up a QR code and it will have the lightning invoice, which you could also copy and paste if you can’t use the QR code for some reason. And you’ll be able to pay with your favourite lightning wallet.
It is not clear if Amazon fully backed the initiative. However, it has been tested to be fully operational using the specified Coinbase exchange. A further inquiry into the simple working process of the conversion of the bitcoin cryptocurrency to fiat (which is the generally accepted payment) for Amazon merchants has proven to be more private than expected- as no financial institution has accepted to be in charge of this.
However, Kruger stated that by 2020, the Lightning-enabled feature is expected to work on an e-commerce site. Whether that platform accepts Bitcoin directly or not, does not matter. Currently, users spend their crypto from their wallet on Amazon, via the plugin.
This good news is sure to launch on Wednesday 24th April 2019, and it will be on a Chrome web browser.
Speaking about Integration, Kruger said that VISA and Mastercard partnered to make integration work, and so they are going to earn a percentage equivalent to plastic cards on every transaction on the network.
In his words;
There’s no direct merchant integration. However, we’re integrating with the Visa and Mastercard network and we get a cut of the interchange fees that merchants pay every time they receive a credit card transaction.
While many argue that its a step in the right direction for Bitcoin and blockchain Adoption, others are still on the sidelines to see how it pans out in the long run.
— paywithmoon (@paywithmoon) April 15, 2019
About Moon Company
Moon is a crypto payment processing company set up in New York last year. Its staff includes only three people with just $100,000 invested by the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator. she is planning to run a Series A in 2019 together with learning users’ behavior for building its activity’
Moon browser is currently available on Chrome Browser, Brave browser, and Opera.
It is not out of place to say that the company is set to initiate support for other major retail stores like eBay, Dominos, Aliexpress Target And Etsy.
Adoption is on a steady rise in Asia in the transportation sector, in Europe in areas of remittances and insurance while in Africa, we still ask questions like “can you receive your payments in Cryptocurrency?” However, Could these moves from Moon and others be responsible for the recent bitcoin price rise?
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94% of Endowment Funds are Allocating to Crypto Investments
Endowment Funds– which go to non-profit organizations are of recent being redirected and allocated to crypto-related investments. This trend began in early 2018 and this fact-finding was conducted in the last quarter of that same year. According to The Trade Crypto, the continuous support and release of funding without minding the concerns for regulation, liquidity, and volatility.
The majority of these Endowments are based in the United States and Canada while the others are scattered across the United Kingdom.
The summary of the research showed that despite the current shortcomings in the industry, endowments remain firm in their resolution to provide funding for them. This is a show of belief in the industry and it will, in turn, spur regulatory bodies to rise up to the occasion of securing the people’s asset which is long overdue.
In contrast, only a minor 7% of respondents were skeptical and predicted a reduction in funding it the coming years.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Watkins who happens to be the managing editor at Global Custodian and The Trade had this to say about the survey:
“All the talk over the past 18 months has been around when institutional investors will begin participating in cryptocurrency investments, but it turns out they had already arrived, in the form of endowment funds”
More insights got from the survey clearly show that 54% of the respondents are directly investing in crypto assets, and 46% are investing in various kinds of funds. But most definitely, the important characteristics the endowments would be looking out of are that they comply with robust regulation, have sufficient capital flow and liquidity and finally account security.
The Trade suggests cautious optimism is an apt overall summary of endowment sentiment in regard to the nascent asset class, citing one respondent’s belief that crypto “is the future of investing,” and others’ characterizations of the process as “a very wild ride” and “hair-raising.”
In February, it was reported that part of the $12 billion endowments set aside was invested in a Cryptofund managed by the United States venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Later that same year 2018, information about crypto fund investments from the big wigs in the university endowment category showed that Havard and Yale- with Harvard making provision for over $39.2 billion endowments for the fiscal year. Among other universities with crypto investments are Stanford University, Dartmouth College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of North Carolina.
As reported this month, Harvard’s endowment is set to become a direct investor in a planned $50 million token sale from decentralized computing network Blockstack. If approved, the sale would be the industry’s first Securities and Exchanges Commission-qualified offering.
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