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Bitcoin (BTC) is on the verge of its first back-to-back weekly gains of 2018.
With tax season in the books, analysts anticipate that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will begin to pull out of the doldrums and kick-start a rally in the second quarter.
In other cryptocurrency news, media outlets reported that Binance plans to open up a fiat trading pair option that would eliminate the need to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum before purchasing other cryptocurrencies.
Even though Bloomberg reported that Binance denied the rumors, the thought of how this new trading option would positively impact liquidity in the crypto market helped press prices in the space even higher.
A spokesperson at the company called the reports "fake news," while its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, said on Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) that the story was untrue and warned investors to avoid "predictive news."
Before we get to the other big developments in the cryptocurrency space, here's a recap of the performance of the top five cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
|Cryptocurrency||Market Cap||Price||Change (24h)|
|Bitcoin (BTC)||$144 billion||$8,510.40||+3.06|
|Ethereum (ETH)||$58 billion||$592.35||+6.24%|
|Ripple (XRP)||$34 billion||$0.87||+16.96%|
|Bitcoin Cash (BCH)||$19 billion||$1,127.89||+16.84%|
Now here's a closer look at today's Money Morning cryptocurrency insight, as well as the most important cryptocurrency updates you need to know…
Money Morning Insight of the Day
The "Bitcoin Misery Index" is a buy-sell indicator created by Fundstrat Global Advisors co-founder Tom Lee.
It debuted in March, and it's been flashing a "buy" signal for weeks.
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Money Morning Cryptocurrency Expert David Zeiler breaks down everything you need to know about this new indicator, right here.
Now, let's take a look at the top cryptocurrency stories from today (April 20)…
The Top Cryptocurrency Stories for Friday
- The New York Times reported more details on the abandoned ICO plans of Cambridge Analytica, the controversial consulting firm at the center of the ongoing Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) data scandal. The newspaper spoke with a former employee at the firm who said that they would have created a platform that would have allowed people to sell their personal data to advertisers. But the plan appears to have been much darker than initially reported. "The way that Cambridge Analytica was talking about it, they were viewing it as a means of being able to basically inflict government control and private corporate control over individuals, which just takes the whole initial premise of this technology and turns it on its head in this very dystopian way," Brittany Kaiser said in the interview.
- Japan is again considering additional regulations on cryptocurrencies. The CEO of Monex Group said that the nation's exchanges should be regulated in a similar way that the government provides oversight for banks. Monex is the third-largest brokerage in Japan and just purchased Coincheck in Q1 2018.
- Finally, one of the biggest stories that slipped under the radar came from Indonesian scholar Muhammad Abu-Bakar, who explored whether Bitcoin was compatible with Islamic law. His conclusion, as reported by The Independent, was that Bitcoin is Halal (permissible) with Sharia law. This is a key development – and one that will likely spur greater debate and studies by other Islamic scholars. Should his conclusion become mainstream, it could open up the global cryptocurrency markets to 1.8 million Muslims around the globe.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.