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Raiz Will Soon Offer A Bitcoin Fund to Australian Retail Investors

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Raiz Will Soon Offer A Bitcoin Fund to Australian Retail Investors
Raiz Will Soon Offer A Bitcoin Fund to Australian Retail Investors

Australian micro-investment startup Raiz is set to bring Bitcoin (BTC) fund options to its users, Australian Financial Review (AFR) reports on Jan. 20. The firm cleared the last legal hurdle with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), the country’s financial watchdog agency. Raiz is a fin-tech startup offering micro-investment services to its 300,000 registered accounts. 

Like the United States-based Acorns and other worldwide startups, it “rounds up” the spare change from the users’ purchases to invest it in a set of investment products, generally comprising exchange-traded funds (ETFs). According to AFR sources, Raiz has been pushing to include Bitcoin in its offering and has reportedly obtained a relief from ASIC to operate the fund. 

This was seemingly the last legal hurdle, paving the way for implementation in the first half of 2020. The proposed Bitcoin retail fund is said to only allocate five percent to a direct Bitcoin exposure, with the remainder composed of ETFs. According to December figures, Raiz has 445 million Australian dollars ($305 million)  in funds under management from 211,000 paying customers.

Regulators have in the past taken a very cautious stance to cryptocurrencies. As reported in May 2019, the country’s regulators released detailed guidelines for miners, exchanges and initial coin offering projects. Specifically, it reiterated the need for cryptocurrency businesses to apply for all the relevant licenses and to adhere to its Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer regulations. Other government representatives remained skeptical of decentralized currencies. 

Australia’s Central Bank published a study arguing that cryptocurrencies are unlikely to replace the Australian dollar, citing primarily usability and scalability concerns. In November, the Australian Minister of Home Affairs warned that cryptocurrencies facilitated terrorism by obfuscating their financial activities.

Bitcoin News

Bitcoin Gold May Be Held Captive by Whale With Almost Half The Supply

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Bitcoin Gold (BTG)’s price is being manipulated by a whale controlling close to half of the circulating supply. These are the findings of an analysis conducted by an independent trader and analyst, who preferred to remain anonymous. He published his findings in a blog post, where he explained why he believes a single group of people accumulated their way into a huge Bitcoin Gold position, and are now using that supply to control the market.

The events started in August 2018, when Bitfinex margin long positions began its sharp ascent to include almost two million BTG. The exchange makes its margin data publicly available, which can help gauge the general trader sentiment in a particular coin — for example by comparing the ratio of short and long positions.

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In Bitcoin Gold’s case, the strong increase in margin positions was accompanied by lackluster price action. While the coin generally followed the broader crypto market, the price eventually spiraled downward.

The analyst estimated that the 1.9 million BTG held at some point in Bitfinex represents between 38% and 48% of its total circulating supply. Bitcoin Gold was born in 2017 after a network fork from Bitcoin (BTC), thus maintaining its original history up until that point. This means that Bitcoin Gold contains at least as many inactive coins as its parent, including Satoshi’s cache. He further elaborated how he reached that figure:

“Over 11 million Bitcoins (BTC) haven’t moved in the last year. Considering big wallets’ unwillingness to claim their coins due to fear of private key leak for a minimal return, it can be argued that a number even larger than 11 million BTGs are inactive or lost forever.”

He then estimated a figure of 4 to 5 million active BTG. When asked by Cointelegraph why he is so certain that this is the work of one whale, he explained:

“The accumulation was very consistent and systematic over the course of almost a year, it would be almost impossible for it to be a coincidence that multiple entities were using the exact same system to accumulate.”

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DeCurret Partners with KDDI So They Can Test A Digital Currency

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DeCurret Partners with KDDI So They Can Test A Digital Currency
DeCurret Partners with KDDI So They Can Test A Digital Currency

As the origin of cryptocurrency, Japan often leads the way when it comes to joint projects between companies in different fields, united by their desire to lead the pack in innovation. E-commerce giant Rakuten partnered with the East Japan Railway Company on June 5 to promote a cashless payment system. 

A new collaboration is in progress between the Japanese telecom giant KDDI and crypto exchange DeCurret. According to a Feb. 18 press release, the two companies — in collaboration with au Financial Holdings and WebMoney — will conduct a joint-project to test digital currency issued on a blockchain for real-world transactions.

As part of the implementation for this test, KDDI will make requests to WebMoney to issue and distribute digital currency, while the latter’s parent company au Financial Holdings manages the joint project. DeCurret will take a lead role by providing the platform for both the issuance and management of the digital currency. 

The joint-project, which runs from Feb. 18 to Feb. 28, is part of DeCurret’s efforts to increase the range of services on their platform. In this case, the platform will be tested using cryptocurrency for real-world transactions like those at cafes. DeCurrent has come a long way since its launch in April 2019. The crypto exchange has already gotten regulatory approval from Japan’s Financial Services Agency to allow its users to refill the country’s Suica transportation cards by using cryptocurrency.

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Bitcoin Annual Investment Flow Could Beat Visa Next Halving

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Bitcoin Annual Investment Flow Could Beat Visa Next Halving
Bitcoin Annual Investment Flow Could Beat Visa Next Halving

Bitcoin (BTC) is already processing 1% of the world’s GDP and the number is growing by “an order of magnitude” every halving cycle. According to statistician Willy Woo, who analyzed data from monitoring resource Coin Metrics, Bitcoin’s investment flow is $727 billion annually.

The number is almost 10% of payment processor Visa’s transaction volumes each year — Visa processes $8.8 trillion in transactions. “Bitcoin’s investment flow (aka annual investment velocity) is presently growing an order of magnitude (10x) every 4 years,” Woo summarized. Per the statistics, Bitcoin should “catch up” with Visa at some point after its next halving cycle, which begins in May. Smaller fiat operators such as PayPal are already falling by the wayside — in 2018, PayPal processed a total of $578 billion.

Woo acknowledged the data for Bitcoin was only an estimate and may include movements between cold wallets held by exchanges, which would not constitute true transactions. Circular payments between wallets, as well as multi-hop transactions with multiple steps, were excluded.

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The impressive statistics come as fresh highs in the number of low-balance Bitcoin wallets suggest that more and more private investors are experimenting with the cryptocurrency. According to Glassnode, there are now more wallets than ever with a balance greater than or equal to both 0.01 BTC ($101) and 0.1 BTC ($1,080).

Nonetheless, both private and institutional investors have been found to reward convenience over security when it comes to crypto fund storage. A recent survey revealed that more than 9 in 10 institutional investors, for example, used trusted third parties such as exchanges to store their coins. An industry effort, dubbed “Proof of Keys,” aims to raise awareness of the importance of self-ownership of wallet private keys, but its success so far is difficult to estimate.

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