Category Archives: Claim Coin

Altcoins Real Dominance Is Only 10 Of The Crypto Market Not 30: New Study Reveals

Altcoins Real Dominance Is Only 10% Of The Crypto Market, Not 30%: New Study Reveals


Bitcoin dominance is the crypto market share of the leading cryptocurrency,

Bitcoin, over the rest of the crypto market. The indicator has been fluctuating between a high of almost 96% in November 2013 and a low of 33.4% recorded in January 2018, during the craziest altcoin season. Following the BItcoin’s Bull Run of 2019, the dominance has risen from 51% at the beginning of the year to nearly 70% as of now. However, a new study suggests that the real dominance of Bitcoin is approximately 90%, a lot more than what we are used to.

Market Dominance Calculated

In order to obtain the percentage of each coin, the circulating supply must be multiplied by the coin’s price and then divided by the market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies. Doing this math shows that Bitcoin has always been the most dominant force in the cryptocurrency community. As per Coingecko, Bitcoin’s market dominance today is 68.13%, which is near to the year-to-date high of 69.73%. However, new research by Arcane shows that different numbers may arise when adding trading liquidity to the mix.

90% Bitcoin Dominance

When liquidity is considered as well, Bitcoin’s presence appears to be even more dominant at around 90%. Liquidity is the key to receiving the most accurate market capitalization numbers as per the person who conducted the research – Bendik Schei,

who explains:

“The main reason is that one could easily create a cryptocurrency with 1 billion pre-mined coins, and do one trade at say three dollars each. This would lead to a total market capitalization of $3 billion, which would represent 1% market dominance with today’s valuations and inflate the total market capitalization. The problem is that the calculation does not take liquidity into account. One might be able to sell one token for three dollars, but what happens if you want to sell 1 million? Without accounting for liquidity, market capitalization becomes a meaningless measure.”

What is Left for Altcoins?

By modifying the numbers when liquidity is in the mix, altcoins appear to be in an unenviable position. Even the highest altcoins in regular market capitalization like Litecoin, Ripple, and Ethereum struggle to achieve 10% combined. Schei also added: “Everyday Bitcoin stays ahead, it becomes less likely that any other cryptocurrency can compete as money.”

Article Produced By
Yordan Lyanchev .

He began writing about blockchain technology in 2017. He has managed numerous crypto-related projects and is passionate about all things blockchain.


Bitcoin Flashback To Bearish 2018: Is BTC Forming Another Descending Triangle With Target At 6100?

Bitcoin Flashback To Bearish 2018: Is BTC Forming Another Descending Triangle With Target At $6,100?


Bitcoin has been on a rollercoaster over the past few days,

after rebounding at $10,000 only to reach the resistance at $10,800 and rolling over to return down to $10,000, where it traders now.Looking at the Bitcoin weekly chart, we can see that the coin might be forming a descending triangle pattern. The interesting thing to note is that this pattern is remarkably similar to the massive descending triangle seen during most of 2018. The last was finally broken during the middle of November 2018, ignited the gigantic drop from $6,000 to 2018-low at $3,120.

Two Similar Triangles: Different Size

Analyzing the weekly chart above, we can see that Bitcoin has been trading within the triangle over the past few months now. The Bitcoin price had surged from April through June 2019 but had failed to break above the Fibonacci retracement level at the $13,500.
As a reminder, the breakdown of the 2018 triangle resulted in Bitcoin price dropping roughly 45%. Similarly, in the current descending triangle, a breakdown of the bottom of the triangle would technically predict a target of approximately $6,100 (measured as the pole of the triangle) which is roughly a 36% price drop. On the other hand, if the bulls can defend the lower boundary of the triangle and push higher to break above the upper boundary eventually, this pattern will likely to become invalidated.

Bitcoin Short-Term Bearish, But Long-Term (Still) Bullish

Analyzing the daily chart above, we can see that the base of the triangle is marked at the $9,400 region. Bitcoin is currently trading at the $10,000 support level as the buyers battle to remain above. However, it does look to me like the sellers will break beneath to possibly test the lower boundary of the triangle. Before it can reach the lower boundary, the bears will need to break beneath the support at $9,928 which is provided by a .618 Fibonacci Retracement level.
If the sellers can continue to break beneath this, they will also have to contend the support at the 100 day EMA which is just slightly below at the $9,630 level.The lower boundary is further bolstered by a short term downside 1.272 Fibonacci Extension level being located at the same price. If the sellers do break beneath the support at the lower boundary, we can expect immediate further support to be located at $9,196 (downside 1.414 Fib Extension), $9,000 and $8,794.
The technical indicators are all favoring the bearish case at this moment in time as the RSI trades beneath the 50 level, which indicates that the sellers are in control over the market momentum. However, if the bulls can defend the lower boundary of this triangle, this may be enough to bring the RSI back above the 50 level to help turn the market bullish once again.However, keeping in mind Bitcoin going back to $6,100 will still keep Bitcoin bullish when looking on the longer-term analysis. As long as Bitcoin stays above the $3000 – $4000 price area, the market is still on the uptrend for the longer time frame.Overall, Bitcoin has had seen a great bull-run during 2019 after being able to rise from beneath $4,000 to over $13,800.
Article Produced By
Yaz Sheikh
Yaz is a cryptocurrency technical analyst with over seven years of technical analysis trading experience. As an Economics graduate, he has taken a keen interest in the future potentials of blockchain in the financial industry. Removing crypto from the equation, Yaz loves to watch his favorite football team and keep up-to-date with the latest fights within the UFC.



Bitcoin Wealth Disparity: This Research Claims 2 Of Bitcoin Addresses Control 80 Of The Coin’s Total Supply

Bitcoin Wealth Disparity: This Research Claims 2% Of Bitcoin Addresses Control 80% Of The Coin’s Total Supply


Yesterday, the founder and CEO of TruStory Preethi Kasireddy,
presented some data alluding that bitcoin is concentrated in the hands of very few individuals.

She noted:

“Bitcoin wealth distribution: 2% of addresses control 80% of the wealth.”

Preethi Kasireddy, who previously worked at Coinbase and Goldman Sachs, then hosted a live debate involving Vinny Lingham, CEO of Civic, Dan Held, co-founder of Interchange and herself to demystify this bitcoin wealth distribution conundrum.

Bitcoin Is Unevenly Distributed – TruStory

Saurabh Deshpande, an analyst at TruStory published a report detailing how the firm arrived at the statistics on bitcoin’s uneven distribution. Deshpande attempted to explain this disparity using the Lorenz curve. He notes that this technique is prone to some degree of inaccuracy due to some inherent weaknesses which he tried to counter. Case in point, he introduced an error term that infers half of the identified addresses as the newly assumed addresses due to the fact that it’s nearly impossible to know all the bitcoin addresses. 

He also explains that he hypothetically removed bitcoin from wallets with large holdings and transferred it to addresses holding up to 1 BTC. In addition, he claims to have done the necessary adjustments to cater to the unavailable data for addresses containing 10-100 BTC. Deshpande then came up with the following curve after making the aforementioned adjustments:

He concludes his report stating:

“The distribution is nowhere close to being ideal. I hope the scenario changes and the distribution gets better as time passes. Till then, one of the greatest threats to bitcoin is this curve.”

Back to the live debate, Vinny Lingham agrees with Saurabh’s report indicating that early miners that spent significant energy mining bitcoin and risking their capital in the process should receive some sort of reward. When asked whether he thinks the uneven distribution was fair, he implied that the bitcoin market is a free market. Dan also pointed out that as long as an individual acquired their wealth through legitimate capital investment, he was not against the idea of one individual controlling even over 97% of the entire world’s wealth.

These Analysts Support A Different School Of Thought

Ari Paul, CIO and Managing Partner of BlockTower Capital disagreed with this research saying that the “% of addresses” methodology does not paint a clear picture as someone can manipulate the data by creating multiple new addresses.

According to him:

“I don’t view “% of addresses” as meaningful. I could create 1 million new addresses with dust in each script, and drive that number down further. The problem is that the denominator is kind of a nonsense number. What does the total number of addresses mean or matter?”

“A more meaningful measure is something like # of addresses with at least 0.1 BTC. Still doesn’t tell us much, but at least here an “address” has some meaning,” Paul concluded. In addition, as per data by Coin Metrics, the number of bitcoin addresses holding 1 billionth of the coin’s total supply is now at an ATH indicating that bitcoin is gradually becoming further distributed. This was first noted by Jameson Lopp, CTO of CasaHODL on twitter yesterday. The nagging truth is that at no point in time will wealth distribution in the world become even. There will always be two groups of people: the haves and the have-nots. Therefore, this report is no cause for alarm, albeit the question of whether or not bitcoin can do anything to rectify this imbalance remains unanswered.

Article Produced By
Brenda Ngari

Brenda is a crypto and Blockchain enthusiast and has been crafting articles for at least a year. She has a solid background in Economics and Finance. When she is not writing crypto stories, she’s spending quality time with her family and friends or trying out different cuisines in the kitchen. Contact: Brenda.Ngari [at]


Binance Unveils Venus’ An Open Blockchain Project That Could Challenge Facebook’s Libra

Binance Unveils ‘Venus’, An Open Blockchain Project That Could Challenge Facebook’s Libra


Binance has unveiled plans to launch the Venus public blockchain for stablecoins deployment.

On August 19, the exchange annouced the planned launch of a public blockchain branded Venus. This aims to develop a global market of stable currencies. Meanwhile, according to the Chinese version of today’s report, the Venus project is named the “regional analog” of Mark Zuckerberg’s Libra project.

To implement the initiative, the company is going to team up with global businesses that are into the blockchain industry. It will be possible to issue new stable currencies on the Venus blockchain, which rate will be tied to fiat currency, oil or other valuable assets. Venus’s key audience will be emerging economies and volatile national currencies.

The company invites all interested businesses and government agencies to participate in the blockchain deployment. The exchange has already put into practice the technology of public decentralized networks and international transfers on the Binance Chain blockchain. It has released several stablecoins, for example, BitcoinBrand (BTCB) and BGBP Stable Coin (BGBP). The price of the first coin is tied to the Bitcoin (BTC) rate and the second one – to the British Pound. Venus will become a direct competitor to Facebook’s Libra platform. The social giant has already begun work on creating a blockchain and stablecoin, which will be available to users of the WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram apps.

The Libra project will be managed by the Libra Association, headquartered in Switzerland. The association included 28 institutions such as payment operators, trading platforms, telecommunications firms, blockchain startups, VC, and educational centers. Binance keeps pushing forward with new improvements, all of which aids in the growth of the crypto space. Such steps not only increases the popularity of the exchange in particular but also boosts the global adoption of cryptocurrencies all over the world. Building mainstream innovations are becoming easier, which means the progress that is already moving at a fast pace cannot be obstructed.

Article Produced By
Victoria Tiebienieva

Victoria is a Professional Fintech writer and a graduate of the Kharkiv Institute of Finance Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics. Contact: Victoria.Tiebienieva [at]


Bitcoin Sentiment Shines in Turkey Diminishes in the Rest of Europe

Bitcoin Sentiment Shines in Turkey, Diminishes in the Rest of Europe

A report published by ING shows that the percentage of the population

that believes in Bitcoin is slowly decreasing, indicating skepticism for cryptocurrencies in general. With the exception of Turkey, Poland, and Romania, most of Europe does not believe that cryptocurrencies will be an integral part of the financial system in the coming years, August 16, 2019.

Europe Losing Faith in Crypto?

The study, which covers 12 countries in Europe as well as the United States and Australia, is a signal that people are losing faith in the potential of Bitcoin. Indeed, the deficiencies of statistics are the first defense that comes to mind while reading this report. Firstly, it is difficult to paint an accurate picture through a study with a small sample size relative to the country’s population. Second, not many people have truly grasped the value of Bitcoin as a censorship-resistant, disinflationary economic protocol. As per the report, sentiment in Austria has deteriorated the most, with a mere 13 percent of the sample population answering that they are positive on the adoption and development of Bitcoin.

In 2018, this number was 2o percent, evidencing a major reduction in trust. The study also compared the average level of knowledge regarding cryptocurrency in a particular country and found that Austria had the most knowledgeable population. This is ironic considering Bitcoin’s economic framework draws inspiration from the Austrian school of economic thought. This could be attributed to the large number of scams occurring in the space. However, there is still hope as Bitcoin is making a positive impact on the regions that need it the most. A whopping 36 percent of the sample population in Turkey would be willing to receive their monthly salary in bitcoin.

Volatility is the Biggest Struggle

Regulators and ordinary citizens alike see the short term volatility in bitcoin as the biggest setback. Long term bitcoin charts dwarf the impact of volatility, but the day to day volatility has been enough to scare a lot of investors out of the space. Successful investing in bitcoin entails the investor developing emotional resilience to noise in the market and gaining a sound understanding of why bitcoin is valuable in the first place. Once you understand what bitcoin and a decentralized economy bring to the table, it’s easy to shrug off the volatility and accept the short term movements for the sake of large scale wealth creation in the long term.

Article Produced By
Ashwath Balakrishnan

Ashwath is a financial market and technology junkie. He is a cryptocurrency investor, trader, and enthusiast. He has expertise in market psychology and explaining complex technology in a simple way. He aims to battle misinformation in the cryptocurrency space.


CoinCorner Cryptocurrency Exchange Paying Staff Salaries in Bitcoin BTC

CoinCorner Cryptocurrency Exchange Paying Staff Salaries in Bitcoin (BTC)

Staffers at CoinCorner, a British bitcoin trading venue and exchange founded in 2014,

now receive part or all of their salaries in cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether, and XRP, via CoinCoiner Checkout, a crypto payments solution that eliminates the risks of price volatility for users, reports IOMToday on August 19, 2019.

CoinCorner Fostering Bitcoin Adoption

Per sources close to the matter, staffers at CoinCorner exchange have all shown interest in getting paid in bitcoin and supported altcoins like ether, XRP, and litecoin. Reportedly, the firm gave workers an option of getting paid a part or all their monthly earnings in cryptos and seamlessly convert it to fiat at any point in time using the CoinCorner Checkout crypto payments service.

Bitcoin is the Future of Money

Explaining the reason behind its decision to pay staff salaries in blockchain-based virtual currencies, Danny Scott, CoinCorner’s co-founder reiterated that the company strongly believes bitcoin and established altcoins are the future of money and it is CoinCorner’s goal to enable as many people as possible gain easy access to cryptocurrency. Scott also noted that CoinCorner, as one of the world’s oldest bitcoin exchanges, has provided a quick and easy way for consumers to start using cryptocurrency and it plans to keep doing so.

He also made it clear that one of the primary objectives of the exchange is to enable new businesses to accept bitcoin payments through its innovative service, CoinCorner Checkout and ultimately promote the widespread adoption of digital assets on the long run. The team claims its new payment gateway helps to mitigate the risk of bitcoin price fluctuations by making it possible for individuals as well as businesses to quickly convert their cryptos to fiat GBP in real-time and receive it through the U.K.’s Faster Payments Service (FPS).

Scott added:

‘We hope to see this set a precedent for how other companies could manage salaries in the long-term and hope that it encourages them to try innovating by offering employees the choice to be paid in Bitcoin,’

Scott who also receives part of his payment in cryptocurrency further outlined that workers at CoinCorner can swiftly convert their cryptos into GBP and there are no issues pertaining to the payment of income tax. Despite the super volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, more and more entities are latching onto the crypto bandwagon with each passing day, thanks to the borderless nature cryptoassets and freedom that comes with them. On August 15, 2019, BTCManager informed that the NBA team, Dallas Mavericks will begin accepting bitcoin as payment for game tickets and merchandise, shortly.

Article Produced By
Ogwu Osaemezu Emmanuel


Japanese Giant Rakuten Enters Crypto Trading Business

Japanese Giant Rakuten Enters Crypto Trading Business

                             Japanese Giant Rakuten Enters Crypto Trading Business 101

In another victory for the crypto side of Japan, Rakuten Wallet, a cryptocurrency exchange and a subsidiary of Japanese e-commerce platform Rakuten, announced today the launch of a spot trading service for crypto assets. The Rakuten Wallet app is available for Android users, while the iOS version to be released in an unspecified future, the company said. Currently, bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), and bitcoin Cash (BCH) can be traded. Opening and managing an account, purchasing or selling cryptos, as well as depositing JPY or cryptocurrency are all free, while withdrawals of JPY and crypto come with fees.

In regards to safety, Rakuten Wallet stated that:

  • it separates money deposited by customers from the company's funds in a Rakuten Trust Co., Ltd. trust account
  • crypto assets owned by Rakuten Wallet and customers are physically separated and managed
    cryptographic assets owned by customers are managed with cold wallets and private keys are managed through a multisignature scheme
  • two-step authentication is required when logging in and withdrawing money or assets.

Rakuten was awarded a cryptocurrency exchange operating permit from the regulatory Financial Services Agency (FSA) in March 2019. Also as reported, Rakuten is gearing up for a flurry of cryptocurrency-related activities – expanding on the scope of a forthcoming token launch and lobbying Tokyo for legislative reform. Rakuten is one of Japan’s biggest companies, and has been dubbed “Japan’s Amazon.” In addition to its e-commerce business interests, it also operates a mobile network and financial services. The company also owns chat app Viber, and plans to launch a Rakuten Coin.

Article Produced By
Sead Fadilpaši?

Sead is a staff journalist at who covers cryptocurrency and blockchain news daily, writes analysis pieces, tests blockchain and cryptocurrency products. He's based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prior to joining he was a freelance, also was a journalist for Al Jazeera web. He spends his free time in music studios, recording songs for movies and cinema. Loves to break gadgets so he could fix them, enjoys exploring new music and loves tasty and equally unhealthy food.


Why Are S Korean Crypto Projects Going Cool on Domestic Exchanges?

Why Are S Korean Crypto Projects Going Cool on Domestic Exchanges?


South Korean cryptocurrency projects are abandoning domestic exchanges

in favor of overseas platforms, per a new report. Fn News states that some of the country's newest crypto projects are looking to list in “hotter” markets, such as Singapore and the United States. The bear market of 2018 took a near-fatal toll on many of South Korea’s exchanges, with crypto fever soon turning into a massive slowdown that – despite a recovery in 2019 – has failed to reignite the domestic industry. The industry comprises some 200 exchanges. The report makes note of three factors it says are driving the change:

Low trading volumes in South Korea

Per Fn News’ calculations, only five of the global top 100 exchanges (by trade volumes) are now based in South Korea. “It is no exaggeration to say that outside the market leaders, 97% of domestic exchanges are in danger of closure due to low trading volumes,” author Kim So-ra writes. The news outlet quotes a crypto project CEO as stating, “We were discussing a possible listing with the Prixbit exchange on August 7. Then, two days later, we read in the news that it was closing down!”

Regulatory difficulties

Banking remains a very thorny problem for South Korean exchanges. The country’s “big four” exchanges – market leaders Upbit, Korbit, Bithumb and Coinone – have agreements with major commercial banks that allow them to adhere to government guidelines that require users to verify their accounts with real names and social security numbers. They have also agreed to abide by guidelines that require corporate and customer accounts to be handled separately.

And there are signs that the “big four” are now set to ramp up their restrictions on customer activities yet further, possibly moving as a response to government pressure. Smaller exchanges, however, would prefer to use their corporate accounts to conduct the entirety of their banking activities. This has led to accusations that “blind spots” can appear in crypto banking operations – a factor that leads many banks to reject trade with smaller cryptocurrency exchanges.

Overseas exchanges are looking for South Korean customers

Many platforms are now actively wooing South Korean projects and investors, adding Korean won markets. The report makes mention of exchanges like BW, which already lists South Korean projects Ziktalk, Storychain, PayExpress and Sigma Chain, and plans to open won trading “later this month.” The Singapore-based company began offering transaction fee-free deals to South Korean customers last week to celebrate Korean Liberation Day (August 15).

Watch the latest reports by Block TV.Much-talked about projects like MediBloc, Bezant and Temco are also listing outside South Korea.The Singapore-based Bitholic exchange – soon to rebranded as Bithumb Singapore – also has a “number of domestic blockchain project portfolios” among its listings, notes Kim.A number of South Korean-owned exchanges are actively pursuing overseas expansion – with all four “big four” exchanges opening branches in either the United States or other Asian cities in recent months.
Article Produced By
Tim Alper

Tim Alper is a British, South Korea-based journalist, a regular contributor to, who covers cryptocurrency and blockchain related news daily, writes in depth analysis pieces about the latest trends in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. Tim has over 12 years of media experience. He has written for the BBC, the Guardian, the Jewish Chronicle, Chosun Ilbo and many other media outlets, covered cryptocurrency and blockchain related news. He has also collaborated on media projects with the likes of Samsung, Sony, LG, Hyundai, Korean Air, TÜV SÜD and Shell.




Bitcoin Is an Excellent Safe Haven Asset Fundstrat’s Tom Lee Declares

Bitcoin Is an Excellent Safe Haven Asset, Fundstrat’s Tom Lee Declares


According to reports, Tom Lee, who serves as one of the senior analysts at Fundstrat Global Advisors,

Bitcoin is an excellent safe haven asset. Lee recently affirmed the status of the number one asset class calling it the “genuine safe haven asset.” Bitcoin is trading above the $10k mark as of press time. It has held this position in recent weeks.

Lee Claims Crypto Prices Increase When There’s Political Turmoil

The Fundstrat analyst made the affirmation during a recent interview on Fox Business. According to Lee, whenever there’s political turmoil, the price of cryptos tend to go up very high. The reason why this occurs is that most people in the space are looking to protect their digital assets from devaluation, hence a key reason why they use Bitcoin. Note that the premium in markets like that of Hong Kong is current proof of this ideology.

Lee Claims That Bitcoin Is the Ideal Diverse Portfolio

The investor and Fundstrat analyst also affirmed that Bitcoin has been doing very well this year. After last year’s extended bear market that ended in the early part of 2019, the number one asset was worth $3,000. But now it has once again surpassed the $10k mark and even moved to 13k.despite dropping under 13k, the asset class has remained above $10k. The future appears set to be better for Bitcoin according to Lee, who expects the all-time high price to be broken before this year ends. Lee also affirmed that Bitcoin is a great strategy or model for diversification. According to Fundstrat analyst, this is mainly because it isn’t really correlated with the reminder of the digital currency market, hence, it does well when traditional markets aren’t not doing well.

Lee Advises Investors to Invest 1 to 2% of Their Portfolio in BTC

Additionally, Lee also believes that if crypto investors choose to invest at least 1 or 2% of their portfolio in Bitcoin will be a good bet. He says it is the best bet for situations like the one we are currently in. Lee went on to say that the cryptocurrency community surely wants his assertions to be right. If we follow history, we will see that the market is usually very popular whenever the prices of digital assets were going up. In fact, this was the case only a few months ago. It is not surprising that the majority most people still believe that the price of BTC will rise more and even reach the all-time high.

They are hoping that the asset class will take the whole digital currency market together higher in a fresh altcoin season. Lee isn’t far from the truth regarding his analysis and description of BTC. Calling BTC the perfect diverse portfolio is correct. Tagging Bitcoin a safe haven asset class will only make investor hearts sweet. The price of Bitcoin is likely going to stay above the 10k mark for the main time. And this might extend to the next few months. According to data given by CoinMarketCap, the price of BTC is trading at $10,425.03. The digital asset is up by 0.75% in the last 24 hours. CoinMarketCap lists Bitcoin’s total market capitalization as $186,434,448,263 as of when this content was published.

Article Produced By
Brian Lubin

Brian Lubin is a Crypto News Reporter for Smartereum. He's well-known for his reports on the crypto markets.


Bitcoin as protest: Hong Kong demonstrators withdraw their money from banking system

Bitcoin as protest: Hong Kong demonstrators withdraw their money from banking system


Protesters in Hong Kong have taken to a new non-violent tactic,

withdrawing cash in mass from ATMs and banks and converting it to U.S. dollars—foreshadowing things to come for Bitcoin. On Aug. 16, protesters in Hong Kong announced plans to withdraw their cash from the banking system in protest of overreach from mainland China, reported Business Insider. Bitcoin may play a key role in these kinds of protests in the near future. The demonstration, said organizers, is meant to protect people’s wealth from the possibility of devaluation following a mainland military crackdown while reasserting the freedom of Hong Kong’s independent financial regime.

Background on the Hong Kong extradition protests

Protests began in response to an extradition bill ordered by Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam. The bill would have allowed case-by-case transfers of fugitives to jurisdictions without extradition treaties with the city—including mainland China. The inclusion of mainland China in the treaty is a major concern for pro-independence activists. In part, people fear that Hong Kong’s judiciary would be abused by the Communist party via the treaty, potentially using the treaty to eliminate political opponents and dissidents who were previously out of reach in Hong Kong.

And, those fears are not unsubstantiated. When Xi Jingping rose to power in 2012 the space for dissenters shrunk substantially. Human rights activists say forced ‘disappearances’ have been on the rise, while the BBC described the Communist Party’s control becoming “tougher and more systematic.” As a result, there is a very real concern that the inclusion of an extradition treaty could lead to more overreach from the mainland. However, as protests turned into clashes with police, mainland China started to flex its military strength—seemingly to intimidate Hongkongers into submission. State run media outlets ran videos of military vehicles amassing near the border of the city. Military buildup was reaffirmed in a tweet from President Donald Trump:Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!

Battle for independence

As tensions escalated, the protests morphed into a much broader debate over Hong Kong’s relationship with mainland China. After over 150 years of British rule, many people in the region have developed more affinity for Western ideals and culture. As a point of emphasis, some protesters even waved British and American flags and sang the U.S. national anthem—acts of irreverence that are totally preposterous on the mainland.

Now, the Communist Party is attempting to rein-in the freedom of the administrative region as the Chinese federal government continues its quest of unifying its 1.3+ billion citizens. Fearing the loss of privileges, protesters are calling for much broader reforms than initially demanded in the extradition protests.
The main demands include:

  1. Completely withdraw from the extradition bill;
  2. Retract statements saying that the protests were riots;
  3. Withdraw criminal charges against all protesters;
  4. Thoroughly investigate the abuse of power by local police;
  5. Have chief executive Carrie Lam resign and dissolve the pseudo-democratic Hong Kong Legislative Council by administrative order;
  6. Immediate implementation of universal suffrage (democratic voting) for the Legislative Council and chief executive elections.

Cash out Hong Kong

Protestors are getting more creative in their tactics as things escalate with law enforcement. For example, after a university leader was arrested for using laser pointers against police—which the police branded as “offensive weapons”—the device gained mass popularity among demonstrators. Now, protesters have taken to a new tactic: sucking the cash out of the local banking system. Posts on Hong Kong social media board LIHKG, the local equivalent to Reddit, show hundreds of photos of people withdrawing hard currency from banks and ATMs. Some protesters are even making trips to multiple ATMs to circumvent the HK$20,000 (~$2,500) limit per transaction.

There are yet to be any confirmed reports of the amount of money that is being withdrawn but Business Insider reported that at least 400 protesters recorded their withdrawals. However, there are reports of ATMs around the city running out of cash. Although things aren’t dire for Hong Kong banks just yet, should enough people participate in such an event has the potential to disrupt cash access in the city—and in an extreme scenario, precipitate a bank run.

Bitcoin as protest

People peacefully opting-out of local monetary systems could foreshadow the power of Bitcoin. There are currently tight capital controls in China that allow the mainland government to maintain an artificially low trading peg with the U.S. dollar to stimulate exports. This manifests itself in strict financial limitations on the mainland. Chinese citizens can only acquire and move up to $50,000 out of the country per year. These currency transactions are centrally recorded and closely tracked. There are also controls on domestic currency movement. As a relevant example, people going from Hong Kong to Shenzhen people are limited to bringing a maximum of the equivalent of $5,000 without onerous declarations.

The systematic devaluation and management of the yuan means that Chinese citizens are deprived of the real purchasing power of their money. Most Chinese people are unable to invest in safer and more lucrative foreign investments because of these controls. Furthermore, a weak currency drastically decreases the purchasing power of consumers, decreasing consumption and further making the Chinese economy dependent on exports. Not only that, China’s currency reserves and financial controls will be further stress-tested as the trade war with the United States escalates. Just two weeks ago, the yuan weakened past the 7 RMB per USD peg for the first time since 2008 in response to President Donald Trump’s abrupt escalation of tariffs on Chinese goods.

One thing to keep in mind is that Hongkongers have their own respective currency under the “one country, two systems” compromise. Since 1983, the Hong Kong dollar has had a linked exchange rate system that pegs it to the U.S. dollar at a 7.8 to 1 ratio. And, given that the dollar is the most stable and highly traded currency on the planet, it would be strange for the protesters not to use it for their demonstrations. But, if dollars were not accessible in the city then it wouldn’t be unreasonable to use Bitcoin. Along that line, there are still reports of increased demand for BTC in the city in response to protests.  With tensions with mainland China rising, expect HKD’s peg to the USD to be stressed while capital to flees from the independent administrative region.

Opting-out of government control

With the advent of Bitcoin, people living under financially controlling regimes, like China’s, have the opportunity to opt-out of the system. Instead of enduring implicit wealth transfers through currency devaluation or inflation (arguably another form of taxation) people can instead buy BTC. Bitcoin is an ideal protest instrument. Bitcoin can be stored in such a way where it is near-impossible to confiscate and can be used in a way to transfer huge amounts of wealth without regard for borders.

As such, data shows that black markets are quickly forming—and growing—in countries which are financially restrictive (and have adequate internet penetration), as evidenced by strong growth in peer-to-peer trading volume in places such as Venezuela, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Ultimately, Bitcoin has the potential to hold governments accountable for unscrupulous currency management. If the trend in cryptocurrency adoption continues then countries such as China should be rightfully worried.

Article Produced By
Mitchell Moos

Mitchell is a software enthusiast and entrepreneur. In addition to writing, he runs a non-profit that teaches people about the blockchain. In his spare time he loves playing chess or hiking.