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Weekly news (China, UAE, WA: Around The Globe)

America has a New President, The UAE moves to prohibit digital currencies, a 7% Bitcoin value rebound, Monero Market movements are mimicking Bitcoin’s and that is just the tip of the news this week. One thing is certain, if you use Bitcoin or another digital currency, you never have a lack for excitement in your life. Here is a Recap of the past week’s biggest stories.

America’s New Commander in Chief

Well, everyone knew it was going to happen. Many held out hope for some sort of last minute intervention by someone who could say, “Wait. Hold on a second. This is not right because…” Unfortunately for those of you who had that hope, it did not come to pass and Donald J. Trump is officially Mr. President.

Many others, however, welcome him with open arms. The belief on that side of the fence is that America needs someone who is unorthodox in their approach to politics. They are sick of party lines and government ran for the benefit of the individual parties, instead of for the best interest of the American people. So, they are now sitting patiently and waiting to see what their firecracker is going to do in order to shake things up a bit.

No matter what side of the fence you are on, one thing is for certain; President Trump is now POTUS and we can all get back to our daily lives. Sure, it was hot news and caused an uproar when he won the election in November. The world’s stock markets all fell in unison. Bitcoin, on the other hand, jumped up 3% in price on that November day. After Friday’s inauguration ceremony, the Bitcoin Price didn’t even act like it cared, staying right along the same trend it has been. Why is this? Simply because it is not a big deal who runs the United states from within the Oval Office. It still takes congress to pass laws. Sure, the president has some influence, but it’s not like he can just order a wall built, people deported or anything else without a majority approval from both houses of congress.

So, Bitcoin is fine and all the hype was essentially for nothing. Bitcoin users can go back to trading and living and doing whatever else it is that you do.

Bitcoin Markets Calm Amid News of Chinese Governmental Actions

Last week, we heard that The Central Bank of China, the nation’s regulatory body, sat down with the Chinese operated exchanges. While no specifics were released, all 3 exchanges quietly made changes to their markets. Most notably was the abrupt end to margins trading and lending. As the week ended, and this one began, there was still no solid news one way or the other out of China, or the owners of the markets in question.

In the rest of the world, it is causing people to hesitate on making any substantial trades. Nobody knows for sure what the news out of China will be, or if there will be any more news out of China at all for that matter. So, to play it safe, Bitcoin traders are taking the ‘Better safe than sorry’ and the ‘Let’s hold off and see what happens’ approach.

Washington State Senator Says “NO” to Bitcoin Highs

Senator Ann Rivers(R) spent a long time fighting for the legalization of Marijuana in the state of Washington, and in 2015, she finally saw her bill passed.

In the almost 2 years since the people of Washington have been able to legally smoke some herb, a number of marijuana retailers have adopted Bitcoin as a payment method. Now, Senator Rivers is propositioning a new bill that would prohibit Marijuana growers, retailers and others within the legal industry, from accepting Bitcoin as payment or using Bitcoin to make purchases of any Marijuana related product.

It isn’t that Senator Rivers is against Bitcoin; She fears that the very nature of Bitcoin will undermine her hard work in getting marijuana legalized. In a comment she made to CoinDesk, she stated that,

“One of the goals of my Cannabis Patient Protection Act, which became law in 2015, was to eliminate the black and gray markets for cannabis in our state. SB 5264 addresses another part of the regulatory challenge. After all the work we’ve done to get a handle on the cannabis industry and help move it out of the shadows, allowing the use of unregulated currency for cannabis purchases doesn’t promote the level of transparency we committed to develop.”

This causes a problem for the businesses within the marijuana industry. While the state of Washington, along with Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Florida (medical use only) have all legalized marijuana, none of the banks within those states (or any other) will allow these businesses to open accounts. This is due to Marijuana still being against Federal law.

The United States Department of Justice has openly stated that it would not act upon the federal law in states where the law allows use of marijuana, except in special cases, such as the sale of marijuana to children.

Of course, the bill itself is flawed. It specifically says that only the marijuana industry is prohibited from using Bitcoin and other digital currencies, making the bill discriminatory at best. The lawyers for both sides are sure to see a lot of overtime very soon.

Monero Looks More Like Bitcoin’s True Successor Every Day

Ever since it became apparent that Bitcoin was a success and was not going to fizzle out, there have been countless coins that have come and gone, all claiming the same thing: That they were the next, new and improved Bitcoin. Monero was no exception until now. It appears that Monero just might be up to the task of being the new and improved digital currency of the future.

One only has to look at the markets over the past few weeks and notice that Monero is running parallel to Bitcoin through almost every rise and fall. In fact, Monero and Bitcoin have had a correlation of 0.89 over the past 6 weeks and that number made it to 0.96 briefly a couple of days ago.

This is important because Bitcoin’s market action is being mimicked by Monero. That is the best sign for the success of any currency, digital or an ETF on a major Fiat exchange. It means that Monero is being traded, treated and utilized just as Bitcoin is, which is nothing no other coin has come close to doing yet.

UAE to Prohibit Digital Currency, Or Is That Not Right?

Not exactly. On the surface, a new regulatory framework released by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), appears to prohibit businesses from dealing in Bitcoin and other digital forms of currency. That is only on the surface. The wording of the new regulatory document does say things like “all virtual currencies (and any transactions thereof) are prohibited” and “any type of digital unit used as a medium of exchange, a unit of account or a form of stored value”, but it is more of a Cover Your Ass move by the UAE government, rather than an all-out ban.

The document is worded in such a way that the central bank officials would be able to have a lot of latitude when dealing with any situations that may arise. By doing it this way, the UAE can safely allow the digital currencies, while at the same time, having a sort of blanket to cover them in the event any type of legal issues arise.

Basically, it’s a lot of political mumbo-jumbo that really does not affect anything except the total length of the new framework, unless you happen to do something totally stupid that really upsets the UAE Government.

In Closing

Donald Trump is President of the United States, NFL Divisional Championship games are on, it’s really cold in Siberia and Bitcoin is still here. Yes, that sounds like status quo; normal; everyday life. That is a good thing and something that the future promises to see continue. While many new advancements in technology, the emergence of digital currency like Monero and changes in regulatory notions are on the way, the Idea of Bitcoin is what will always remain and that, my friends, is what is important, is it not?



Gene is an avid Bitcoin enthusiast and computer programmer who is currently studying to be a software engineer. He is 40 years old and lives in Daytona Beach, Florida with his girlfriend and their son.

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