Cryptocurrency’s Rugged Road: China’s ICO Ban

In the awaken of China’s ICO ban, what befalls the world of cryptocurrencies?

The biggest event in the cryptocurrency world recently was the affirmation of the Chinese authorities to power how to earn bitcoins on android down the transactions on which cryptocurrencies are traded in. As a result, BTCChina, one of the largest bitcoin transactions in China, said that it would be ceasing trading activities by the end of September. This news catalysed a sharp sell-off that left bitcoin (and other stock markets such as Etherium) in a freefall approximately 30% below the record altitudes that were reached earlier this month.

So, the cryptocurrency rollercoaster continues. With bitcoin having increases that exceed quadrupled values from November 2016 to September 2017, some analysts predict that it can cryptocurrencies can live through the recent falls. Josh Mahoney, a market analyzer at IG comments that cryptocurrencies’ “past experience tells us that [they] will likely brush these latest challenges aside”.

However, these sentiments don’t come without opposition. Mr Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, remarked that bitcoin “isn’t going to work” and that it “is a fraud… worse than tulip lamps (in mention of the the Dutch ‘tulip mania’ of the 17th century, realised as the world’s first risky bubble)… that will blow up”. He goes to the extent of saying that she would fire employees who have been stupid enough to trade in bitcoin.

Questions aside, what is actually going on? Since China’s ICO ban, other world-leading economies are taking a fresh look into how the cryptocurrency world should/ can be regulated in their regions. Rather than banning ICOs, other countries still recognise the technological benefits of crypto-technology, and are looking into controlling the market without completely stifling the growth of the stock markets. The big issue for these economies is to work out how to do this, as the alternative nature of the cryptocurrencies do not allow them to be classified under the policies of traditional investment assets.

Some of these countries include The japanese, Singapore and the US. These economies seek to determine accounting standards for cryptocurrencies, mainly in order to handle money laundering and fraud, which have been caused to become more elusive due to the crypto-technology. Yet, most regulators do recognise that there seems to be no real benefit to totally banning cryptocurrencies due to the economic flows that they carry along. Also, probably because it is practically impossible to power down the crypto-world for as long as the internet exists. Regulators can only focus on areas where they may be able to exercise some control, which seems to be where cryptocurrencies meet fiat stock markets (i. e. the cryptocurrency exchanges).

While cryptocurrencies appear to come under more scrutiny as time on, such events do benefit some countries like Hong Kong. Since the Chinese ICO ban, many founders of cryptocurrency projects have been driven from the landmass to the city. Aurelian Menant, CEO of Gatecoin, said that the company received “a high number of inquiries from blockchain project founders located in the mainland” and that there’s been an seen spike in the number of Chinese clients signing up on the platform.

Looking slightly further, companies like Nvidia have expressed positivity from the event. They claim that this ICO ban will only fuel their GPU sales, as the ban will likely increase the demand for cryptocurrency-related GPUs. With the ban, the only way to obtain cryptocurrencies mined with GPUs is to my own them with processing power. As a result, individuals looking to obtain cryptocurrencies in China are in possession of to obtain more processing power, as opposed to making straight purchases via transactions. In essence, Nvidia’s sentiments is that this isn’t a from top to bottom control for cryptocurrencies; in fact, other industries will obtain a boost as well.

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