Bitcoin price LIVE: Switzerland ‘crypto capital’?
8.00am MORNING HEADLINES
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of all things cryptocurrency, including price, regulation, innovation and financial crime.
Bitcoin is priced at $6,464 at the start of the day after falling from its high of $6,628 last night.
Ethereum has fallen a little to $462, and Ripple is priced at $0.48, down from $0.50 yesterday.
Bitcoin was boosted yesterday after the Financial Times revealed that Switzerland could yet become the global capital for crypto with the emerging industry getting full access to conventional banking services by the end of the year.
Switzerland’s fast-growing cryptocurrency industry could have full access to conventional banking services by the end of the year, a Swiss expert has said.
The longer-term trend for the price of Bitcoin has been downwards – it is down over 50 percent since the start of the year.
Heinz Tännler, finance director of Zug canton, told the FT that politicians were moving to allow crypto companies to work with banks, adding that Switzerland’s central bank, financial supervisor and federal government “are willing to help”.
He said: “We hope to clarify relationships by the end of the year at the latest.
“Time is pressing — other jurisdictions such as Malta and Singapore are very active and making a lot of effort to attract these companies. The lack of access to bank services is a significant competitive disadvantage.”
“We have to push certain national institutions to resolve this problem quickly and effectively, but that now seems to be going well.”
Bitcoin price live: Bitcoin is up 10 percent
Reacting to the news, Dr Michael McCann Senior Lecturer in Economics at the Nottingham Business School told Express.co.uk that the rise of 10 percent on its opening price on 2nd July is potentially related to greater regulatory certainty surrounding the trading of cryptocurrencies.
However he remains pessimistic.
Dr McCann said: “Firstly, The Financial Times reported on Monday that the Swiss authorities were poised to allow cryptocurrencies full access to conventional banking services. Secondly, last week, South Korea clarified guidelines to prevent money laundering using cryptocurrencies.
“However, whether this rally is a turning point is difficult to assess.
“Similar ones in both February and April petered out and the longer-term trend for the price of Bitcoin has been downwards – it is down over 50 percent since the start of the year.
“Since there are no fundamentals to base any underlying valuation on, estimations of its future price are highly speculative and investments highly risky”.
Got something to add? Send your reaction / thoughts / analysis / price predictions over to @DavidGDawkins.
Updates below throughout the day….
9.55am – ‘Chief Blockchain Officer’ needed says MP
Member of Parliament Eddie Hughes says embracing blockchain will lead to increased social freedom, trust, and efficiency savings.
The Conservative MP for Walsall North has put his name to a paper, Unlocking Blockchain: Embracing new technologies to drive efficiency and empower the citizen, arguing that the government must embrace the opportunities of blockchain and associated technologies.
Eddie Hughes MP proposes that the state – alongside private developers – should use blockchain technology to rebuild societal trust.
The paper argues for: “An extensive international ‘blockchain competition’ should be set up in the UK to drive homegrown entrepreneurship, and to entice leading global players to develop technology here.”
Also, “a public-facing ‘Chief Blockchain Officer’ should be appointed from within the government’s existing taskforce to coordinate the UK’s strategy regarding the application of DLT to public services and data.”
In terms of saving money, “government departments should show leadership by putting in a place a long-term target of making a 1 per cent efficiency saving, by embracing these new technologies.
“A 1 per cent saving across government would take a great deal of time and effort to implement, though some departments would find such a target much easier to meet than others. For context, however, total managed expenditure for 2017-18 is anticipated to be around £802bn—therefore, a 1 per cent saving would be £8bn.
Bitcoin price live: BTC moving in the right direction?
11.42am – Crypto crime in the UK
At 2pm today the UK treasury committee will hear from experts on economic crime and digital currencies.
Ilia Kolochenko, CEO of web security company High-Tech Bridge told Express.co.uk that there are three main vectors of wrongdoing.
She said: “The first one, is large-scale attacks, usually phishing and related scam campaigns, targeting the owners of cryptocurrencies.
“The second one is targeted attacks against exchanges and companies that process or store digital currencies for third-parties.
“The last one is ICO fraud, when after collecting the funds, an alleged unicorn disappears with the funds of unexperienced investors.
On how the Treasury might react, she said: “I think many governments are perplexed and are currently in a protracted bewilderment.
“Many self-proclaimed experts claim opposite opinions and conflicting ideas, the cybersecurity industry mostly remain sceptical, while the banking and financial sector is amorphously divided into ardent proponents and antagonists of digital gold.”
12.34pm – BTC climbs
Bitcoin has added $13 on the day so far at lunch.