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Here’s what you need to know on 

Markets:

BTC/USD is currently trading at $9,693 (+0.95% on a day-to-day basis). The coin attempted a recovery above $9,700 during early Asian hours, but but the upside proved to be unsustainable. At the time of writing, BTC/USD is changing hands within a short-term bearish trend amid shrinking volatility.

The ETH/USD pair is currently trading at $261.5 (+0.64% on a day-to-day basis). Ethereum has regained some ground after a sell-off towards $251.00 on Thursday. The short-term trend remains bearish.

XRP/USD settled at $0.275, down 0.30% on a day-to-day basis. XRP/USD recovered from an intraday low of $0.2683 amid short-term bullish sentiments. 

Among the 100 most important cryptocurrencies, the best of the day are Algorand (ALGO) $0.4552 (+23.16%), Aion (AION) $0.1384 (+18.5%), ICON (ICX) $0.4130 (+13.0%). The day’s losers are, ABBC Coin (ABBC) $0.1213 (-10.5%), Decentraland (MANA) $0.0554 (-10.4%), and Siacoin (SC) $0.0029 (-6.2%).

Chart of the day:

BTC/USD, 1-hour chart

Market

MarkYusko from Morgan Creek Capital retains an optimistic stance on Bitcoin even as the first cryptocurrency fails to stay above $10,000. Speaking in the interview with CNBC’s Fast Money, he pointed out a number of positive fundamentals, including the growing number of new accounts and the snowballing process of mass adoption. Apart from that he said that halving event that would come in May and reduce miners block reward from $12.5 to 6.75%, would eventually reduce the supply and decrease the selling pressure from the miners. Taking into account the positive fundamental setup, the expert believes that Bitcoin will continue growing in the first half of the year. 

The CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Chanpeng Zhao also believes that Bitcoin’s halving is not priced in, which means it will result in a massive price increase. However, he emphasized that the history may not be repeated, but the price is always driven by supply and demand rather than the cost of mining. But miners may be reluctant to sell their coins below the cost of production, which will lead to further supply decrease.

Industry

Norwegian Air may start accepting digital currencies as payment for flight bookings as soon as the next spring.  One of the largest European airlines is in talks with local crypto exchange NBX that may facilitate the payment infrastructure for the airlines. The news was revealed by Stig Kjos-Mathisen, chief executive of Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX), in an interview with local news outlet DN. He also noted that everything was ready from the side of the company.

Regulation

French economist and a member of the Governing Board of the European Central Bank, Benoit Coeure, said that the world of digital money still needs fiat currencies issued as a structural backbone. Speaking in the interview with CNBC Asia, he explained that it is needed to ensure the stability of the system.

It will be part of the backstop because that’s what’s needed for the stability of the system. 

Notably,  Benoit Coeure, heads the task group created by leading global central banks, including the ECB, Bank of England, Bank of Japan and Bank of Canada, to explore the concept of digital currencies. 

Quote of the day

People foolish enough to speculate with bitcoin on high leverage and far away stops (i.e. longer term trades) would do well to remember $BTC can move 10%-40% in a matter of hours, and take all your money away.

Alex Krüger (@krugermacro)

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