- The Australian government has released a roadmap for blockchain adoption, including adding funding to the new initiative.
- Riot Blockchain plans its release of a fully SEC-regulated cryptocurrency exchange
- Bitcoin trading volume seems to be recovering, and
- Top cryptocurrencies have reached a stable level
This week has seen a number of developments in the crypto world, ranging from price stabilizations to major government backing for cryptocurrency.
The biggest news, in terms of government acceptance of blockchain technology, has been the Australian government’s development of a national government blockchain strategy, accompanied by AU $100,000 worth of funding. The policy is spearheaded by the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Investment. This is in addition to a AU$1,000,000,000 contract with IBM to develop blockchain standards for Australian federal agencies and improve data security and automation. The Australian move represents one of the largest government-backed bets on blockchain technology. Other government initiatives have been Venezuela’s Petro coin ICO and the Russian government’s mandate to introduce crypto regulation by this year.
Next up is the upcoming release of the Riot exchange, a fully accredited and regulated cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. The company, Riot Blockchain, has already filed the appropriate documents with the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), and is moving ahead with their launch, planning for Q2 of 2019. The company, previously known as biotech firm Bioptix, has faced scrutiny from the regulator after its name change last April.
Price movements have been bottoming out across BTC and all major altcoins this past week, reports financial analyst Rakesh Upadhyay for Cointelegraph. He notes that Bitcoin continues to lose dominance to altcoins, but that trading volume in BTC reached 11 billion USD on March 15th. Volume has not been this high since last April, says Upadhyay. This means that BTC is possibly on its way out of the current bear market, and that BTC traders and investors are slowly moving into a more bullish phase. Altcoins Monero, Dash, and Bitcoin Cash also all saw rises this past week, with Bitcoin Cash experiencing a 15% rise in value.
This dovetails with CoinMarketCap data, which has shown stability across all top cryptocurrencies. BTC continues to hover around the $4,000 mark, with similar, minor fluctuations across both Ethereum and Ripple. The leaders by trading volume remain BTC, ETH, and Ripple respectively.
But at least for BTC, this stability is not expected to last long, according to Fundstrat co-founder Thomas Lee. Lee predicts a bull market in the next three to six months, with an upswing around August. Says Lee, “ Bitcoin holds above $4,000, it’ll cross its 200-day moving average by August, so I think the outside window is five to six months before Bitcoin starts to look technically like it’s back in a bull market.” However, not every analyst on board - some have predicted a fall to $1,000 before the end of the current bear market.