This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:

New developments:

JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon strikes Bitcoin again, says it’s “worth nothing”

Last week, as reported by DeepDotWeb, JP Morgan’s chief executive Jamie Dimon called Bitcoin a “fraud” and stated that he would fire any employee trading the cryptocurrency, as according to him it was both “stupid” and against the bank’s rules. The banker even compared Bitcoin to the tulip bulb craze in the 17th century. His comments led the cryptocurrency’s price down by about 24% and, the same day the price went down, JP Morgan bought about €3 million in Bitcoin ETNs. The bank later stated that the purchase was made on behalf of clients, but that didn’t stop a cryptocurrency market maker, Blockswater, from filing a market abuse report with the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority.

This week, in an interview with CNBC-TV18 in New Delhi, India, Dimon spoke about Bitcoin again. Notably, he stated:

“Right now these crypto things are kind of a novelty. People think they’re kind of neat. But the bigger they get, the more governments are going to close them down.”

One of the problems Dimon identified with Bitcoin was that it wasn’t fiat currency formed by a government and backed by a central bank. Per his own words, its “money created out of thin air,” that banks don’t like because they “like to know who has it, where it is going and why is it going there.”

Litecoin creator says rumors of China banning Bitcoin mining are false

Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, a cryptocurrency designed to be the silver to Bitcoin’s gold, recently tweeted out that a trusted source revealed China isn’t banning Bitcoin mining, and that rumors of it happening were being spread by large-scale traders attempting to manipulate the cryptocurrency’s price. He added that he didn’t trade on the knowledge, and that he doesn’t plan on doing so.

Charlie Lee joins other influencers like John McAfee in contradicting rumors that suggest China would ban cryptocurrency mining. Lee suggested that spreading Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) about China’s crackdown “works and cannot be proven wrong”, hence its being spread.

World affairs:

Australia finally introduced the bill that will kill double taxation on Bitcoin

Australian Bitcoiners have, for a long time, had to pay the goods and services tax (GST) twice, once when purchasing Bitcoin, and once when using Bitcoin to pay for goods and services subject to the GST. Now, the Australian government is finally introducing the bill that stops the double taxation of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as promised earlier this year. The move, according to Australia’s treasurer Scott Morrison, will “further cement Australia’s reputation as a global Fintech center”. In a statement, Morrison wrote:

“The Bill will ensure that Australians are no longer charged GST on purchases of digital currency, allowing it to be treated the same way as physical money for GST purposes. The law change will retrospectively apply from 1 July 2017, in line with the 2017 Budget announcement.”

One of South Africa’s biggest retailers tested Bitcoin payments

Pick n Pay, South Africa’s second-largest supermarket chain store, recently tested Bitcoin payments in one of its stores, according to an announcement made by the company that provided the payments platform for the transactions, Electrum. The initiative, according to the company’s deputy CEO Richard van Rensburg, is no longer active and was limited to the company’s cafeteria. In an interview with Business Day, he revealed that Pick n Pay doesn’t plan on accepting Bitcoin payments until regulations help manage the risks associated with the cryptocurrency.

The CEO stated:

“We don’t expect that in the near term accepting Bitcoin will unlock any significant new business and we are unlikely to roll out the solution until the payments industry and regulatory authorities have established a framework for managing the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. We have proved to ourselves, though, that it is technically possible to roll out a solution very quickly.”

Malaysia’s central bank is drafting Bitcoin regulations

Malaysia’s central bank governor Muhammad bin Ibrahim recently revealed that the country’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will develop “clear guidelines” for local cryptocurrency users. These guidelines are expected to come into effect this year. The banker said:

“We hope that by year end, BNM will be able to come out with some guidelines on cryptocurrency, particularly those related to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. We want to ensure that there are clear guidelines for those who want to participate in this sector.”

EU looking to strengthen penalties for cryptocurrency-related crimes

The European Commission recently announced it plans on strengthening the penalties for cryptocurrency-related crimes. The Commission noted that ransomware attacks grew by 300% in the last three years, and that the problem is only expected to worsen in the future, with the total economic impact of cybercrime rising five-fold between 2013 and 2019. To fight the problem, the Commission will expand the scope of cyber offenses such as fraud to every type of transaction, including those with cryptocurrencies.

The commission’s announcement reads:

“The proposed directive will strengthen the ability of law enforcement authorities to tackle this form of crime by expanding the scope of the offences related to information systems to all payment transactions, including transactions through virtual currencies.”


Bitcoin at $3,819.21 as it struggles to recover

China’s crackdown on Bitcoin, as well as JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon’s comments affected the cryptocurrency’s price last week, and although it recovered from a low of about $3,000 to $3,819.21 at press time, the cryptocurrency is still below the $4,000 mark It was at last month. Recently, the cryptocurrency’s price surged by about $200 as Charlie Lee’s tweet on China not banning mining operations brought investors a little hope. Bitcoin’s market cap is currently of $63.3 billion, and its dominance is of 48%.

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