Bitcoin Price Analysis - The bottom is likely in » Brave New Coin (bravenewcoin.com)

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Bitcoin Price Analysis - The bottom is likely in L Josh Olszewicz , 13 Feb 2018 - Bitcoin , Opinion , Price Analysis Bitcoin ( BTC ) has risen ~50% over the past week following a ~60% drop throughout early January and February. The leading cryptocurrency now has a market cap of ~US$150 billion, with over US$3.5 billion traded over the past 24 hours. The mining sector is heating up rapidly all over the world, bringing additional decentralization to an industry that has been concentrated in China for many years. While being compared to a gold rush, there is an increasing focus on hardware and energy demands. Nvidia stock continues to soar , in part due to GPU mining demand. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang admitted crypto was a “real part” of their business in Q4 2017 and that, “crypto is a real thing, it’s not going to go away.” Later this month the Toronto stock exchange will list the Vancouver-based Hut 8 Mining Corp, a company backed by Georgian mining company Bitfury - one of the main competitors of China-based Bitmain. In order to maximize returns, miners are generally concentrated where electricity is cheap. These geographic locations typically have renewable or alternative energy sources, as is the case in Washington State and Iceland. Washington State has seen a large uptick in mining activity recently due to relatively cheap hydroelectric power and a large quantity undeveloped land. Mining is slated to become a multimillion-dollar business in Chelan County, where the local power provider, Chelan Public Utility District (PUD), is dealing with a surge of requests to build large-scale mining facilities. The county of 72,400 residents already has 16 cryptocurrency mining operations up and running. Iceland may be using more power to mine BTC than they use to power homes by the end of 2018, according to reporting from the BBC. Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson, a spokesman for Icelandic energy firm HS Orka, said that there is so much demand for BTC mining data centers in Iceland that the country wouldn't have enough electricity to supply them all were they to be built. Japanese e-commerce company DMM also announced plans for a 1,000 unit mining farm in the Ishikawa Prefecture, taking advantage of low ambient temperatures and cheap electricity costs, while Italian utility company Enel Italy has decided against selling power for the purposes of cryptocurrency mining as it is an “unsustainable practice that does not fit with the business model.” While mining operations across the globe expand, crypto has entered the zeitgeist of several central bankers and economists. The previous U.S. chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, held a hawkish stance on BTC, calling it a “highly speculative asset” that “doesn't constitute legal tender.” The Executive Director of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Austria’s central bank, agreed. Kurt Pribil said that “bitcoin price is pure speculation.” French and German finance ministers have also raised concerns over education and risk management, and plan to propose restrictions on BTC at the Argentinian G20 meeting in March. International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde believes international crypto regulation will be necessary and “inevitable,” in regards to activities involving dark markets rather than crypto itself. President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, has a warmer approach, suggesting “banks will show positive interest” and that the ECB cannot and will not regulate BTC. Arizona state legislators have taken a warmer stance as well. A bill recently passed into legislation that allows taxes to be paid using cryptocurrencies. Several Libertarian-leaning U.S politicians have already accepted campaign donations in BTC, including; Colorado Democrat Jared Polis in 2014, Kentucky Republican Rand Paul in 2016, and most recently, Missouri Republican Austin Petersen. In the meantime, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) and other police agencies remain focused on money laundering and other illicit activities using cryptocurrencies. The Executive Director of Europol, Rob Wainwright, estimates that about 3-4% of the £100bn in illicit proceeds in Europe are laundered through cryptocurrencies. In the U.S., a resident of Ohio was recently arrested for allegedly running a fake ID ring where US$4.7 million of BTC was confiscated. In Russia, scientists were recently arrested for using a nuclear supercomputer to mine BTC. Computers within nuclear facilities are rarely connected to the internet as a preventative measure against hacking. However, the scientists apparently connected the computer and were promptly arrested. In less nefarious bitcoin adoption this week, real estate sales for BTC transactions also continue to increase. A Florida company recently completed its third bitcoin-only transaction, selling a Miami townhouse for 41.35 BTC, or US$338,878. A previous bitcoin-only Miami transaction included a penthouse for 33 BTC, or US$547,000 ...