Heinz Tännler, the finance director of the canton of Zug, home of the Swiss Crypto Valley, speaking to the Financial Times, said that he expected Swiss politicians and regulators to remove the obstacles in the coming months, which would allow crypto companies based in the country to operate with banks just like any other business. He added:
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.
According to Mr. Tännler, the country’s central bank, financial supervisor and federal government “are willing to help.” He also stressed that “We have to push certain national institutions to resolve this problem quickly and effectively, but that now seems to be going well.”
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Bitcoin whales and long term holders are always looking for places they can spend their cryptocurrency without having to touch fiat. Fancy allows just that, with a huge catalog of luxury shoes, high-end gadgets and much more. The site now accepts both BTC and BCH, and offers a special discount for crypto shoppers.
Fancy.com, a curated luxury goods marketplace featuring over 250,000 products, will offer a 3% discount for anyone paying in crypto.
Fancy CEO, Joe Einhorn, said “Maybe we can be a part of the start of an enduring effort where all eCommerce companies adopt crypto and share the cost efficiencies with consumers.”
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A year after the Japanese government recognized cryptocurrency as a legal form of money, bitcoin payments are steadily going mainstream. Bic Camera is one of the most profitable electronic, cosmetic and duty-free goods stores in Japan. It has now revealed that even though less than 1% of payments have been made in BTC since it started accepting bitcoin last year, the number of Japanese bitcoin spenders is slowly and steadily increasing, it observed.
In an interview with news.Bitcoin.com, Masanari Matsumoto, Bic Camera’s PR and IR Chief, revealed that the average bitcoin spenders were younger Japanese males.
“When Bic Camera first installed the Bitcoin payment system in its stores, we expected that the customers paying in Bitcoin would mostly be foreigners,” he said. But it turned out to be quite different. “We noticed that Bitcoin was becoming very popular. Then the government announced that Bitcoin was officially legal, so we finally felt more comfortable introducing Bitcoin as a method of payment in our stores,” Matsumoto explained. “Bic Camera always aims at responding to its customers’ demands, and there was a huge demand at the time.”
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Last January news.Bitcoin.com reported on the Brisbane Airport in Australia preparing to accept cryptocurrencies. Now all the merchants and airport terminals accept various digital assets such as bitcoin core, dash, bitcoin cash, ethereum, nem, and steem making it one of the friendliest cryptocurrency airports in the world.
Individuals traveling to Brisbane or the South East Queensland area in Australia can now spend various cryptocurrencies at the Brisbane International Airport. The airport is the third busiest airstrip in the country and every merchant there now accepts digital currencies.
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It was a big moment for Bitcoin late last year when the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) launched the first futures contracts in mid December 2017.
It had already been a very big year.
Bitcoin’s meteoric rise from around USD$900 to almost $20,000 all took place over 2017, as fevered investors poured into the digital currency market for the first time. The Winklevoss twins, who had begun trying to launch a Bitcoin ETF in 2013, were knocked back in March 2017 by the SFC. Through that northern hemisphere spring and summer, well known analysts from the Wall St giants – Goldman Sachs in particular – started commenting on the coin’s price moves and making predictions. Retail investors kept piling in, pushing prices higher and higher.
When the imminent arrival of the futures contracts from the CME and CBOE was announced, many took it as the acceptance of Bitcoin into the fold of traditional assets. The price rose higher still.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin bears, with no way to bet against what they saw as a speculative bubble, could only stand on the sidelines. Until December. With the launch of the futures contracts, those who thought prices were unreasonably high had a way to make money by a fall in the digital currency’s value.
And that’s exactly what happened. Bitcoin hit its all-time high the very day the CME futures contract launched. And then Bitcoin prices began to fall. Coincidence? Academics from the San Francisco Federal Reserve don’t think so. In an Economic Letter published earlier this month, they said:
The rapid run-up and subsequent fall in the price after the introduction of futures does not appear to be a coincidence. Rather, it is consistent with trading behavior that typically accompanies the introduction of futures markets for an asset
For Bitcoin bulls, this could actually be a very good thing. The more institutional investors see digital currencies behaving like more traditional asset classes, the more comfortable they will be and the further digital currencies will penetrate into the overall financial ecosystem.