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Bitcoin – Prices Down, ATMs Up, Chinese Sentiment Cold

November 18, 2019 at 16:37 by Matt Jackson

Bitcoin prices have continued to fall further, briefly reaching a low of $8,350 over the weekend. Prices have settled at around $8,500 for the time being, but analysts are warning of further reductions ahead. Bitcoin’s slide has dragged most of the cryptocurrency market down with it. Most coins and tokens have seen losses against the dollar over the past 24 hours.

At the end of October, traders had high hopes of reaching and sustaining the $10,000 mark once again. Many commentators attributed price increases to a softening of opinion by the Chinese government. President Xi Jinping, who had previously taken the step of banning the use of cryptocurrency exchanges, had seemingly warmed to Bitcoin by stating that citizens should make the most of the opportunity that blockchain had presented them. However, recent TV interviews have reiterated the point that China supports blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin, not Bitcoin itself. Officials have described smaller coins, and ICOs, as scams.

In the UK, a group of legal experts has published a paper stating that they would clearly define cryptocurrencies as digital assets, and not as a currency. They also went on to say that digital contracts are still contracts, in the eyes of the law, and that they have the same contractual force as physical contracts.

The question of whether cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are legally viewed as assets or currency has a major bearing on traders and holders, as well as those that collect Bitcoin payments for products and services. In particular, it will affect how the assets are taxed.

Crypto prices may have taken a tumble over the past few days, but the number of Bitcoin ATMs, has continued to grow. According to Coin ATM Radar, there are now more than 6,000 BTC machines in the world that enable users to withdraw their Bitcoin holdings as cash.

The increased availability of these machines has led to the IRS focussing their attention on Bitcoin kiosks. Bloomberg News reported that an agency official has said that they are “very” focussed on how to deal with tax implications of these machines. No cases have been brought against ATM users, yet, but the IRS has started to look at the ways in which the kiosk operators are running anti-money laundering checks.

Bitcoin (BTC) prices had fallen 1.68% to $8,482.86 at 16:30 GMT. Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) have also seen their prices falling, losing 2.01% and 2.7% to $182.47 and $0.2596 respectively. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has seen the greatest losses of the major coins, trading at $259.38 after losing 4.19%. Litecoin (LTC) has also seen a sizeable loss, falling 3.39% to $57.98.

If you have any questions and comments on Bitcoin today, use the form below to reply.

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