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Bitcoin Will Hit $20,000 In 2018, According To Tom Lee

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One of the biggest ‘bulls of Bitcoin’ as he is described by analysts, Tom Lee, recently made a new statement in which he again pinpointed another optimistic price target for the most dominant cryptocurrency out there, Bitcoin (BTC).

In his new prediction, while talking to CNBC, Lee stated that Bitcoin has the potential to reach $20,000 this year – despite the struggle of the emerging markets in which BTC (and the other altcoins) are. He also discussed the emerging markets and ETFs like the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF which enables investors to allocate funds into the diverse portfolio of assets and stocks in developing markets and regions.

According to Lee:

“Both really essentially peaked early this year, and they both have been in a downward trend. Until emerging markets begin to turn, I think in some ways that correlation is going to hold and tell us that sort of the risk on mentality is those buyers aren’t buying bitcoin,”

Tom Lee has been known to the crypto market for his optimistic price predictions. Previously, he stated that Bitcoin will reach $25,000 in 2019, after which he corrected the number to $20,000 about a month ago. His company named Fundstrat, on the other hand, issued a report which indicates that Bitcoin could rise to $64,000 next year.

However, he is now confident that the strong performance of assets and ETFs will lead to an increase in the price of BTC, given the correlation between the two especially during 2017, stating:

“So why do we think they’re connected? Well, there is two factors. The first is hedge funds — see hedge funds typically rent emerging market stocks. So they do risk-on, risk-off. So when they’re risk-off, Bitcoin also suffers because they are risk off. The second reason has to do with wealth effect. Wealth effect means that if you are living in an emerging market, and you see your stock market fall hugely, that you will have a lot less money to buy Bitcoin.”

Despite the weak performance of emerging markets like ETFs, Lee expects that the price of Bitcoin will surpass $20,000 by the end of 2018, expecting a massive surge before the year ends – just like the record price movement of BTC in December 2017.

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Altcoin News

Binance Plans To Expand To Eight New Countries But Declines To Confirm Six Of Them

The major crypto exchange Binance is again in the digital currency news, this time for its potential expansion to eight new locations around the world. What's interesting, however, is the fact that Binance has declined to confirm or even share a crypto press release in which it outlines the new locations. However, a report from The Block dubs a list of locations that may fill in the blanks. A day after it launched its new European-focused platform for fiat crypto trading in Jersey, Binance was featured in a report which included a spreadsheet allegedly outlining all of the locations for Binance's fiat-crypto exchanges that are already launched, intended and the ones under consideration. The latest launch in Jersey follows a list of countries including Uganda, Singapore, Malta, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Argentina, Russia, Turkey and Bermuda which sums up to eight prospective fiat platforms across four continents. Currently, Binance has confirmed only the Singapore and Malta expansion - both listed in the report as being slated for launch in 2019. However, the exchange did not unveil any information about the six other locations. One Binance spokesperson suggested that the spreadsheet featured in The Block was perhaps done by the team itself, as it was "definitely not from us" as he said. The most trusted exchange (according to one investor) recently announced that it would be launching a fiat-to-crypto exchange in Liechtenstein with support for Swiss francs (CHF) and Euros (EUR) even despite the company's refusal to The Block and its claims.
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Bitcoin News

The $400bn Tencent And Its Plans To Acquire Two Major Bitcoin Exchanges

If you haven't heard about Tencent and you are an avid reader of our cryptocurrency news section, you are not the only one. However, things are definitely going to change from now on - and you should know that Tencent is a company that might soon become the proud owner of two major Bitcoin exchanges. In fact, the $400 billion worth Chinese tech conglomerate is weighing a bid for the South Korean holding company that controls these exchanges. As Reuters reported, Tencent is actively pursuing the co-investors to purchase the South Korea-based NXC Corp. which is also the company behind the gaming firm Nexon. The stake at 98.64% which the founder wants to sell is worth approximately $7 to $9 billion. Even though the company is primarily known for gaming, NXC owns multiple cryptocurrency exchanges including a majority stake in Korbit (second largest exchange in South Korea) as well as a 80% stake in Bitstamp which is the oldest Bitcoin exchange and a top-50 exchange with a monthly volume that is more than $1.8 billion. If the plan works out for Tencent, it will definitely become one of the crypto pioneers and its share price could achieve an all-time high. Nonetheless, any NXC purchase would give Tencent a foothold in the crypto industry, providing it with the ability to quickly expand its reach if it ever had the inclination.
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Analysis

Bitcoin Could Soon Fall To $2,400 And Wall Street Could Buy The Dip

The latest Bitcoin news show that the price of the most dominant cryptocurrency is currently hovering around the $3,500 margin. However, no one is certain if Bitcoin will continue with this performance, especially not after last week's sell-off which led many analysts to believe about whether BTC could sustain its price movement. According to one crypto brokerage firm named BitOoda, a further decline is likely but may strengthen - and not weaken - BTC in the long run. As the Executive Vice President of the company Brian Donovan said when writing a daily note to clients, Bitcoin is right now mimicking the trajectory of the 2011 silver bubble during which the precious metal prices exploded to nearly $50 and then crashed soon after. Right now, silver is trading at $15.59 which is nearly 70% down from its April 2011 high. According to Donovan, the silver boom could provide hints about Bitcoin's mid-term prospects. Unfortunately for bulls, this may also bring the price of Bitcoin to $2,400 and a stormy forecast could see this flagship cryptocurrency drop before establishing its footing. As Donovan wrote:
"We believe this thesis still remains intact which could mean seeing a break of the lows in the coming weeks. A 25% selloff in BTC from the current lows of $3,200 would be to roughly $2,400."
He also shared that the next sell-off could be just what the crypto market needs in order to finally break the backs of the bears and reach a new bull momentum in 2019.
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Bitcoin News

Bitcoin ATM Operator Coinme To Start Selling BTC At Coinstar Counting Machines

The Bitcoin ATM operator Coinme based in the United States reaches our blockchain news today after partnering with Coinstar to be able to sell Bitcoin at coin-counting kiosks that are owned by Coinstar according to an official press release published on January 17. Coinme is actually the first bitcoin ATM operator to obtain a license in the US back in 2014 and was quickly able to add multiple locations around the US. The CEO of Coinme Neil Bergquist noted:
 “Bitcoin is now accessible at your local grocery store via Coinstar kiosks, and this offering will make it even easier for consumers to participate in this dynamic new economy.”
Coinstar, on the other hand, offers coin-to-cash conversion in their kiosks in multiple countries around the world but it still remains unknown whether the Bitcoin feature will expand just as quickly as it did in the US. Coinstar’s CEO Jim Gaherty noted: Coinstar offers coin-to-cash conversion kiosks in various countries throughout the world. It remains unknown whether the Bitcoin feature will expand beyond the U.S., while the company did not provide figures on how many machines will offer it.
“Coinstar is always looking for new ways to offer value to our consumers when they visit our kiosks.’’
According to CoinATMRadar industry monitoring resource, there are more than 4187 Bitcoin ATMs worldwide and more than 60 percent or 2516 are in the United States. The market has grown plenty over the years and many operators are trying to get control of what they think to become a fairly popular trend for crypto usage.
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