Australia's market is surging as it encourages regulation that won't choke traders and Russia's clampdown on apps could actually boost them. The Tradefair team brings you the latest news in cryptocurrency...
"Current events in Russia could bolster the case for investment in Telegram."
- Nolan Bauerle, Director of Research at CoinDesk.
The interest in cryptocurrency continues as global traders and financial regulators try to get their head around Bitcoin and emerging digital currencies. Here is our roundup of the latest stories and developments in the industry:
Understanding the spike
A report from the Independent looks to explain the sudden spike that happened at the end of last year and the unexpected price surge earlier this month. During trading on April 12, Bitcoin's value increased by more than $1,000, taking it over $8,000 for the first time since March.
"Over the past two years, Bitcoin has exhibited significant volatility," Bitcoin expert David Shrier told The Independent. "It's important to remember that it is a highly speculative asset and a handful of actors have the ability to significantly impact the price."
Shrier, a co-convener of Oxford Saïd Business School's Fintech course, highlights the impact the market's key traders can have on the industry as a whole. He says the "huge holdings" they have has led to "a disproportionate market impact".
Another factor to explain Bitcoin's behaviour is the so-called "hodlers" of the cryptocurrency. A term used to describe owners that want to hold onto their assets rather than sell them, hodlers means that no matter how low the price goes, it's likely there won't be a wholesale sell-off.
Is the Telegram ban good news?
The Russian government has shutdown the messaging app Telegram, Forbes reports. The software is used by what the periodical describes as "globetrotting anarcho-libertarians of the cryptocurrency world" and its founder Pavel Durov has been at loggerheads with the Kremlin over his app for a while.
The Russian intel agency FSB has been after Telegram to declare the encryption keys it uses, but Durov has said "privacy is not for sale" and that "human rights should not be compromised". He has maintained that the interest in his app is based on money, with the government being able to influence investors and stock performance.
However, the shutdown could actually be good news for Telegram and cryptocurrency as a whole. "Current events in Russia could bolster the case for investment in Telegram," Director of research at CoinDesk Nolan Bauerle told Forbes, as the app is set to launch its own cryptocurrency.
He said: "If Telegram gave FSB the keys, the investment case in their coin would be greatly weakened."
Downunder becomes the new home of cryptocurrency
Coin Telegraph highlights the progress Australia is making in terms of its Bitcoin trading. Although it is currently only ranked 14th in the world for its Bitcoin market, it is one of the fastest growing.
Unlike other nations, Australia has been has been keen to implement regulation for trading. These have been fairly progressive, according to Coin Telegraph, and avoided being "unreasonable, stifling or damaging".
This could be encouraging news for investors, allowing the cryptocurrency market to further grow.
Earlier this month, the Australian government announced its plans to implement new rules on exchanges, bringing it in line with other financial trading. It states that "digital currency exchanges must meet the government's AML (anti money laundering) / CTF (counter terrorism financing)" standards.