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Bitcoin drops below $7,000; Cblocks: Crypto mystery box; OpenBazaar raises $5 million

By Ilias Louis Hatzis

The Blockchain Bitcoin & Crypto Weekly CXO Briefing is all you need to know, each week, jargon free for CXO level business leaders and investors who will use this technology to change the world. Each week we select the 3 news items that matter and explain why and link to one expert opinion. 

News Item 1: Bitcoin is falling back to Earth. It's now below $7,000 

Decrypted: The market cap of cryptocurrencies dropped from $820 billion high to under $300 billion. This is not the first time cryptocurrencies have experienced such significant losses and it certainly won’t be the last. 

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, went even further below the $7,000 on Friday morning dropping to $6,726 on March 30, 2018. This was a huge slide from the day before, when Bitcoin was trading around $8,000. 

This was the first time since February when Bitcoin dropped below $7,000. Bitcoin was not alone in this free fall. Other major cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Ripple, also had significant price drops. 

Our take: Bitcoin has dropped roughly 50%, since the start of the year, below $7,000 on Friday. This is less than four months ago, when it was trading close to $20,000. 

To say Bitcoin is volatile is an understatement. Its price can swing wildly on the turn of a dime, making and breaking fortunes in the process. 

What affects the price of Bitcoin, anyway? 

Well, this may be the another turn in what has been a long battle against the public image of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. The fact that Bitcoin challenges the status quo and breaks the lucrative positions of middlemen in the financial world is enough reason to assume that these attacks will continue and increase in intensity and in scope. 

The latest losses follow moves to step up regulation of cryptocurrencies in Europe and Asia. In Japan, two currency exchanges shutdown down, amid increasing scrutiny from the country’s financial services watchdog. New rules in Europe that limit the amount of money that investors can borrow to trade cryptocurrencies could also be weighing on bitcoin’s price, said Innes, who is betting it has further to fall. 

Last week, Snapchat and Twitter announced they would no longer be running ads tied to cryptocurrencies in the coming weeks and months. Reddit, a community hub popular in the crypto community, no longer accepts Bitcoin payments. Both Facebook and Google have announced similar bans on ads, including for initial coin offerings, a fundraising method using cryptocurrencies. 
Denmark's largest financial institution, Danske Bank, warned investors about the threats of investing in cryptocurrencies due to the lack of backing by a central bank. 

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has been trying to rein in cryptocurrency trading in recent months, saying that investors should only buy and sell crypto on registered exchanges. 
Google Trends, a barometer of how popular a certain topic is, shows that worldwide searches for Bitcoin are at their lowest level, since October 2017. 

This week's Newsweek headline, predicted Bitcoin would reach $30,000 by the end of the year. The past few weeks have been full of articles predicting higher and higher highs for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, predicting $100,000 by the middle of 2018. 

Just like any new technology, there will be more challenges in early development and adoption phases. But Bitcoin has been running non-stop for nine years, with almost zero financial loss on the chain itself. Bitcoin has become the most reliable and secure financial network in the world. When you send a valid Bitcoin transaction, you can bet it will be sent. Its as certain as death and taxes. 

For better or for worse, Bitcoin is flawed, yet beautiful. Today you might not be able to use it to buy a cup of coffee, but it has proven to be an excellent solution to safeguard wealth. The next recession is not a question of if, but when. Bitcoin was originally created in response to these worries, as a way to transfer money outside the traditional financial system. As the world turns toward recession again, cryptocurrencies could fulfill that purpose and also act as a store of value not tied to traditional currencies or assets. 

Also with new layers right around the corner, like Lightning Network, transacting with Bitcoin will become even easier. Banking, currency exchanges, hedge funds, social networks, advertising, education, energy, real estate, IoT and mesh networks and every industry will settle their accounts on the Bitcoin blockchain, including your neighborhood coffee shop. 

The Lindy Effect states that every additional period of survival implies a longer remaining life expectancy for things like technology. Nine years after its inception, Bitcoin has overcome most major risks that would pose a threat. With each passing day, with each block added to the chain, the confidence increases, and its network effect grows stronger. 

Yesterday was Lazarus Saturday in the Greek Orthodox Church. In the past Bitcoin has shown its resilience, bouncing back from the dead. It will rise again. 

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