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Monday, June 27, 2016

New Records in LocalBitcoins Volumes in Several Countries - Volume in Norway Almost Doubles After Brexit

LocalBitcoins volumes are spiking again in several countries: China, Malaysia, New Zealand and Norway saw new records for the week ending 2016-06-25. While other countries like Australia and Hong Kong showed the highest volumes since the begging of 2016.


China's previous record was 5,065,611 for the week ending 2016-06-11, but the past week set a new all-time high of 5,296,533 Chinese Yuan worth of trades, according data compiled by!


Bitcoin trading volumes in Malaysia set a new high on 2016-06-11, but data for the week ending 2016-06-25 shows a 2nd consecutive all-time high at 602,886 Malaysian Ringgits.

It's also interesting to note that Google Trends shows a distinct increase in Bitcoin-related searches coming out of Malaysia for the past two months:

New Zealand:

The LocalBitcoins weekly volumes chart shows three distinct spikes in New Zealand; the first one for the week ending 2013-11-30, coming in at $116,418 NZD; the second one is $127,905 NZD, which came in on 2016-01-09; and the newest & highest volume was recorded last week, totaling $130,950 NZD.


The biggest spike in LocalBitcoins volume came out of Norway, where 1,307,166 Norwegian Krone worth of trades took place for the week ending 2016-06-25; this is almost double the previous all-time high of 777,231 kr!

Google Trends data doesn't seem to show any spikes in Bitcoin-related searches coming out of the country, however, the Norwegian Krone took a big hit in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. According to Bloomberg, the Norwegian Krone is the biggest looser of Brexit, losing more than 2.5%:

Most of the major financial news networks have suggested that Bitcoin may be increasingly seen by investors as a safe-haven asset in times of global economic turmoil, but many have dismissed these theories as unfounded speculation. Norway's LocalBitcoins volume data may lend some credibility to this theory.

Image credit: CoincCommerce

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Important Pivot Levels on the EURUSD, GBPUSD, AUDUSD and NZDUSD for 06/27/2016

EUR/USD: 1.107

The EUR/USD opened with a 74-pip gap on Sunday, but that gap has been filled now and the 1.107 level has turned into a double resistance zone.

GBP/USD: 1.3236

The GBP/USD opened with a 250-pip gap that still hasn't been filled. The market has sold-off another 300 pip since the open and the 1.3236 price level - which marked the low point of the Brexit crash - has now turned into resistance. This is a critical level as the market has failed to break above this level several times since the open.

AUD/USD: 0.7445, 0.7390 and 0.7360

The 0.7445 area was used as support last Friday and the market gaped under this level on Sunday. Since the open, the 0.7445 area has acted as resistance twice already. The 0.7390 area was also quite active last week and this level showed its strength during the London session again, acting as support another two times. The 0.7360 area - which I outlined in last week's post - is still valid; this level is now acting as resistance.

NZD/USD: 0.715, 0.71 and 0.7015

The AUD/USD and NZD/USD are very correlated pairs and both pairs have managed to fill their Sunday gaps. The 0.71 area is still a formidable level - this pivot prevented the market from rallying higher several times since the start of the week. Last Friday, the importance of the 0.7015 pivot area was outlined on the NZD/USD charts, and this level is being used by the market today as well.

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Indian Bitcoin Exchange Coinsecure Partners with BitPay

Coinsecure, one of the biggest names in the rapidly-growing Indian digital currency space, has announced a new partnership with Bitcoin payment processor BitPay. The deal will enable Indian merchants to accept Bitcoin payments from customers through Coinsecure, while simultaneously receiving payouts in the Indian Rupee.

The volatility of the digital currency may have dissuaded some business owners in the country from integrating Bitcoin, but this new deal between Coinsecure and BitPay may set the stage for the next phase of Bitcoin adoption throughout Asia, "This is a huge step forward in getting Bitcoin to become more mainstream in India," says Coinsecure.

While BitPay has been very active in India over the past year, merchants could only accept Bitcoin payments through BitPay's platform and fiat currency conversions were not allowed. Despite this limitation, "In 2015, the country ranked among our top 20 countries for bitcoin transaction activity and contributed to a 388% growth in Asia's BitPay transaction volume," writes James Walpole, Marketing Associate at BitPay.

Walpole adds:
"For India's merchants, bitcoin offers a new way to receive online payments from customers anywhere in the world, including in areas of Asia without widespread credit card access."

In April of this year, Coinsecure raised $1.2 million in a Series A funding round from multiple private investors to expand its presence in the country, and to improve its infrastructure. In today's blog posting, Coinsecure announced that four new merchants have already signed up for the new payment service; technology-focused consulting firm First Principal Ventures; Indian graphic design firm Lazy Eight Design; software as a service eCommerce platform Kartmagic; Bangalore-based custom furniture designer firm Zraya.

A representative from First Principal Ventures outlined the company's approach to new payment methods, “Accepting payments from our clients in the form of Bitcoin perfectly aligns with our work in the new technologies and innovations sector.”

Anurudh, Director of Kartmagic, explained that the Indian payment processor is now accepting Bitcoin payments though Coinsecure, adding that Kartmagic "will offer Bitcoin payment gateway to our merchants all across India."

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Key Forex Pivot Zones in the Aftermath of the Brexit Vote

EUR/USD: 1.118 & 1.104

The historic Brexit vote caused a sell-off in the EUR/USD that sent the exchange rate down to 1.0914, but the market has now stabilized somewhat and price started to trade in a clear sideways range; 1.118 is now acting as resistance; 1.104 has been used multiple times as support/resistance over the past 24h.

GBP/USD: 1.355

USD/JPY: 103.10 & 102

Much like the EUR/USD, the USD/JPY is now trading in a tight range, sandwiched between two significant pivot zones.

USD/CAD: 1.297, 1.291 and 1.286

The USD/CAD managed to make it over the big pivot zone at 1.297 today. If this area continues to act as support - just as it did earlier today - the USD/CAD may trade up to the highs at 1.3055.

AUD/USD: 0.753, 0.746, 0.742 and 0.736

The 0.753 pivot zone is of great technical significance as it acted as support/resistance on multiple occasions during the Brexit vote. The market has still not recovered from the sell-off that took place off this pivot zone, so I would recommend to have this level marked on your charts!

EUR/JPY: 118.33, 115.48 and 112.66

GBP/JPY: 139.33

NZD/USD: 0.715, 0.71 and 0.7015

The 0.715 level is probably the most important pivot on the NZD/USD chart due to how many times the market stalled at this area. During the Brexit vote, 0.715 was used several times as support as well.

XAU/USD: 1312

The $1312 on the XAU/USD was smashed quite hard during Brexit voting, however, this area is now providing ample support. This level was also used as resistance two times on the 16th of June!

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Forex Industry Growing in Belarus as Alpari Group Obtains License

Two new FX brokers have been given permission to operate in Belarus today. Alpari Group and Gerchik&Co have been granted foreign exchange licenses by The National Bank of Belarus and will be required to deposit $55,000 in a deposit insurance fund, which is administered by the Belorussian Currency and Stock Exchange (National Forex Center).

According to a Financial Magnates report, Gerchik&Co and Alpari's licenses will go into affect following an inspection that will verify the integrity and compliance of the firms' trading systems with the standards of the National Bank of Belarus.

Alpari has had an office in Minsk - the capital of Belarus - since 2010, but the brokerage registered its new branch, Alpari Eurasia, in April of 2016. Alexander Sabodin, Director of Alpari Eurasia, said that the company has been actively engaging with the country's authorities in establishing an appropriate regulatory environment for the foreign exchange industry:

"This is why we have become one of the most active firms in the region that has taken part in the definition of the regulatory framework for the forex industry.”

Sabodin explained that Alpari's new license is a "positive development" for the firm, "It is important to note that this is the start of a new era for the financial industry in the country." he added.

The Belorussian retail foreign exchange market has been growing at a steady pace since the beginning of 2016. In April, Cyprus-based Forex Club and Open Investments became the first FX brokers to get licenses in the country. And in May, TeleTrade and FTM Brokers also received permission from The National Bank of Belarus.

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Bitcoin Technical Analysis and Support/Resistance Levels for 06/23/2016

In my previous Bitcoin technical analysis article I explained some of the important technical levels and pointed out a candle formation that was signaling that the market was overbought, however, I honestly was not expecting the massive drop that started two days later, on the 20th. The $720 pivot level, which I outlined in my previous article, is very much still relevant. In fact, the range between $715 & $720 is now a giant pivot zone, as the $715 area acted as resistance on the 21st.

The $668 level has been invalided as price has traded through this area multiple times now, so I would not consider it very important, but the $680 level has established itself over the last 2-3 days; once as support; twice as resistance yesterday. The 30-minute chart also shows $630 having technical importance, so mark this pivot on your charts as well.

During the final leg of yesterday's selling, the market found support between $550-$560, which happens to be another important technical level that goes to back to end of May, when this area was first used as resistance. The $560 area also acted as support on June 7th, and this area also acted as support today. This range is now another major pivot zone that needs to be marked on every Bitcoin trader's charts.

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Charts source: OKCoin

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

San Francisco Bitcoin Exchange Coinbase Integrates PayPal & Credit Card Payments

San Francisco-based Bitcoin exchange Coinbase has announced today a new PayPal withdrawal option for its US clients. Traders on Coinbase will be able to sell their bitcoin and request a withdrawal into their PayPal accounts.

Coinbase users will also have the ability to deposit funds into their account via credit card. According to today's blog post, the new payment options are still in beta, and Coinbase has plans to roll-out the new services to the rest of its 4-million-strong client base over the next few weeks.

The PayPal funding option is currently limited to US-based clients, with support for additional countries coming in a few months. Coinbase stated that "many funding mechanisms" will be added in the future to open up the digital currency markets to everyone in the world:

"With the addition of credit card support, we are getting closer to a world where customers can purchase bitcoin with any card in their wallet."

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