LIVE – Updated at 12:15
Bitcoin has bounced back from a monthly low on Tuesday, with its price returning above $30,000 on Wednesday after once again testing the key $29k support level.
The cryptocurrency started the week at the lower end of that range, spending the weekend bouncing between $31k-$32k, before crashing below $30k on Tuesday morning.
It has contributed to a broader downturn in the crypto market, with Ethereum (ether), Cardano (ada), Binance Coin and Ripple (XRP) all dropping significantly.
Video: China Crypto Crackdown Good for Bitcoin Long-Term: BitGo CEO (Bloomberg)
Analysts and experts remain divided over which way the market is heading from here. A market-wide crash throughout May and June is being labelled by some as a blip within a long-term bull market, while others fear it could be the beginning of a so-called crypto winter.
Among the more positive forecasts is billionaire investor Tim Draper, who this week stuck by his $250k price forecast for next year.
You can follow all the latest news, analysis and expert price predictions right here.
China’s bitcoin mining share plummets
12:15 , Anthony Cuthbertson
Bitcoin mining data from the latest Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index has revealed the extent of China’s crackdown.
After accounting for more than three-quarters of all mining output in September 2019, it is now less than half.
The exodus has benefited North America and Central Asia the most, with Canada, the US, Iran and Kazakhstan all seeing the biggest gains in overall mining share.
Despite bans throughout major mining regions in China, it remains by far the most dominant country in terms of average monthly hashrate.
Bitcoin price on the march
11:40 , Anthony Cuthbertson
Bitcoin has now shot above $31,000, returning to the zone it has been trading within for the past month just one day after falling out of it.
Ethereum (ether), Binance Coin and Cardano (ada) have also seen a massive bounce back – all rising by around 10 per cent over the last 24 hours.
The reason for the market-wide resurgence is as hazy as the flash crash that took bitcoin below $30k, though some analysts appear hopeful that Elon Musk’s appearance at Jack Dorsey’s “The B Word” bitcoin event later today could provide a boost to the overall industry.
The session the two tech figures will appear in at the event is named “Bitcoin as a tool for economic empowerment” and it will kick off at 11am PDT (7pm BST).
Biggest ever private crypto deal closes
10:13 , Anthony Cuthbertson
The world’s biggest ever private equity round in the history of cryptocurrency has just closed.
Crypto exchange FTX raised $900 million in a Series B funding round of more than 60 investors, which puts its valuation at $18 billion.
FTX only launched in 2019 but already processes over $10bn in daily trades. Just one year ago it was worth around $1.2bn. As part of its meteoric rise, FTX has landed ground-breaking sponsorship deals – most notably securing NFL all-star Tom Brady as a brand ambassador and landing the naming rights to the stadium of the NBA team Miami Heat.
“FTX is the high-quality, global crypto exchange the world needs, and it has the potential to become the leading financial exchange for all types of assets,” said Alfred Lin, partner at one of the Series B investors Sequoia Capital.
Bitcoin price bounces back above $30,000
08:50 , Anthony Cuthbertson
Bitcoin has returned above $30,000 on Wednesday morning, proving that $29k remains the key price support.
It is the second time since the price crash from mid April that the cryptocurrency has tested this level and bounced back.
Bitcoin reached as high as $30,895, according to CoinMarkertCap’s price index, but subsequently dipped slightly and is now trading at around $30,750.
Other leading cryptocurrencies have also seen a slight recovery, with Ethereum (ether), Binance Coin, Cardano (ada), dogecoin and Ripple (XRP) all rising by between 3-7 per cent since this time yesterday.
‘When in doubt, zoom out’
Tuesday 20 July 2021 17:07 , Anthony Cuthbertson
The price of bitcoin continues to linger below $30,000, though is yet to fall lower than $29,000.
While some investors and traders may be spooked by the latest price crash, others are urging people to look at the longer-term direction of the market.
Terms and phrases like “HODL” and “when in doubt, zoom out” are being shared across social media, with Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao – known as CZ – noting that bitcoin was below $10,000 this time last year.
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) July 20, 2021
Mastercard boosts crypto card capabilities
Tuesday 20 July 2021 14:54 , Anthony Cuthbertson
Mastercard has just announced a major update to its card programme for cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges.
Partnering with Evolve Bank & Trust and Paxos Trust company, as well as crypto firm Circle, Mastercard will enable more banks to allow people to spend their bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies wherever Mastercard is accepted.
“Today not all crypto companies have the foundational infrastructure to convert cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency, and we’re making it easier,” says Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice president of digital asset and blockchain products & partnerships at Mastercard.
“Through our engagement with Evolve, Paxos, Circle and the larger digital assets community, Mastercard expects to deliver on our promise of consumer choice to provide options to people around the world on how and when to pay.”
Bitcoin price has been here before
Tuesday 20 July 2021 12:04 , Anthony Cuthbertson
As bitcoin continues to hover just above $29,000, one prominent crypto market analyst has noted a similar pattern.
Cryptocurrency expert and author Glen Goodman notes that bitcoin is currently testing a key support level just below $30k, which it did at the start of the year before reaching a new all-time high, as well as several times following the mid-April price crash.
The direction bitcoin goes from here could prove crucial in determining the longer term trajectory of the cryptocurrency.
— Glen Goodman (@glengoodman) July 20, 2021
US federal government offers to pay for services in crypto for first time in history
Tuesday 20 July 2021 11:01 , Anthony Cuthbertson
The US Department of State is offering a cryptocurrency bounty for any intelligence relating to cyber attacks carried out by foreign governments.
The reward, which is worth up to $10 million, appears to be the first time the US government has offered to pay for services using cryptocurrency.
“Commensurate with the seriousness with which we view these cyber threats, the Rewards for Justice program has set up a dark web (Tor-based) tips-reporting channel to protect the safety and security of potential sources,” a press release states.
“The RFJ program also is working with interagency partners to enable the rapid processing of information as well as the possible relocation of and payment of rewards to sources. Reward payments may include payments in cryptocurrency.”
Anyone keen to take part in the Rewards for Justice program can find out more on the State Department’s official page.
Bitcoin price below $30k
Tuesday 20 July 2021 09:17 , Anthony Cuthbertson
Bitcoin has plummeted below $30,000 amid a market-wide collapse that has wiped more than $200 billion from the world’s leading cryptocurrencies.
The crash coincides with a similar downturn for the global stock market, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average experiencing the worst day since last October on Monday.
The latest price fall appears to add weight to the theory that bitcoin has entered a bear market, though some analysts remain undeterred that a new all-time high can still be reached by the end of the year.
You can read the full story here.
Bitcoin mines crushed by steamroller
Monday 19 July 2021 19:24 , Anthony Cuthbertson
More than 1,000 bitcoin mining rigs have been crushed by a steamroller in Malaysia after police uncovered an illegal mining operation.
Six people have been arrested and successfully charged, with punishments ranging from fines to imprisonment for stealing electricity. Local media quoted authorities in reporting that the electricity theft resulted in “frequent power outages”, and “in 2021 three houses were razed due to illegal electricity supply connections”.
You can read the full story – and watch the video – right here.
Bitcoin price bounce or break?
Monday 19 July 2021 16:25 , Anthony Cuthbertson
Bitcoin’s price has dipped below $31,000, leading experts to once again question the direction of the market.
Pseudonymous Dutch analyst PlanB, whose Stock-to-Flow model puts bitcoin’s price on a trajectory towards $100k+ before the end of the year, asks: “Bounce, or break, that is the question.”
With more than 600,000 followers on Twitter, there are plenty of adherents to PlanB’s S2F model – which is based on bitcoin’s inbuilt scarcity – though the last couple of months will have definitely raised some concerns.
Bounce, or break, that is the question pic.twitter.com/qJyyXFSIIw
— PlanB (@100trillionUSD) July 19, 2021
‘Bitcoin bill’ presented in Paraguay
Monday 19 July 2021 15:42 , Anthony Cuthbertson
Just over one month after El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly voted to introduce the Bitcoin Law, which will make the cryptocurrency legal tender in the country later this year, lawmakers in Paraguay have presented their own bitcoin bill.
If passed, it would go nowhere near as far as El Salvador’s legislation, however it is being seen as significant progress towards laying the regulatory and legal groundwork for broader cryptocurrency acceptance and adoption.
Presented by senators Carlos Rejala and Fernando Silva Facetti, the bill states: “This is not a legal tender, this is a commodity and the purpose of the law is to regulate and control this industry. That is the base project that we really have today.”
Bitcoin mining exodus from China sees new centres pop up
Monday 19 July 2021 13:49 , Anthony Cuthbertson
China’s crackdown on bitcoin mining in recent months has seen a mass exodus from the country and relinquished its control over the network.
New hotspots are now popping up in other regions, most notably North America and Central Asia.
The US and Kazakhstan have seen the largest influx of mining operations, with the former offering a significant shift towards renewable energy sources. Kazakhstan, however, may be even worse than the coal-guzzling Chinese operations. Only 1.4 per cent of its energy supply comes from renewable sources.
You can read the full story here.
Notorious bear claims stocks and bitcoin are ‘very dangerous’ right now
Monday 19 July 2021 12:19 , Anthony Cuthbertson
A prominent investor and former hedge fund manager has warned of an imminent market meltdown.
David Tice, who sold his bear fund during the 2008 financial crisis, told CNBC it is a “very dangerous” period for investors of both traditional stocks and cryptocurrencies.
“The [stock] market is very overpriced in terms of future earnings. We are adding debt like we’ve never seen,” Tice said, who is invested heavily in gold, silver and mining stocks.
“We had a bitcoin position when bitcoin was at $10,000, however when it got to $60,000 we felt like that was long in the tooth.”
Bitcoin price crash hit YouTube star KSI hard, he claims
Monday 19 July 2021 11:21 , Anthony Cuthbertson
YouTube star KSI claims to have lost millions of pounds over the last few months through various cryptocurrency investments.
Speaking on the podcast Private Parts, KSI – real name Olajide Olatunji – said he invested £2 million at the end of 2020 and quickly made £7m as the price sky rocketed.
Following the price crash in April and May, KSI said: “I’ve lost it all. It’s mental. It’s been a full journey, but I had to experience it.”
Bitcoin is still well above the price it was at in November, when KSI said he invested, so the losses were likely from another cryptocurrency.
You can read the full story here.
Bitcoin price approaches 2013 record
Monday 19 July 2021 11:02 , Anthony Cuthbertson
Bitcoin is approaching the price drawdown it experienced in 2013, when it plunged by 69 per cent from an all-time high before hitting a new record high 197 days after the first one.
For market analysts bullish on bitcoin, the current dip is seen as just a correction before a new all-time high is reached later this year. Bearish analysts believe the peak of this cycle has already been reached and that it will be closer to 1,000 days before the market is able to recover and set out on a new bull run.
With bitcoin’s price currently hanging in the balance, we will need to see a prolonged move in either direction before we see which way of thinking is correct.
— DNGK (@DNGcrypto) July 19, 2021
Hello and welcome…
Monday 19 July 2021 10:17 , Anthony Cuthbertson
To The Independent’s live coverage of the crypto market.
We’ll have all the latest updates from bitcoin, Ethereum (ether), Cardano (ada), dogecoin and other leading cryptocurrencies.