Bitcoin Today: Prices Eye $9,000 Mark as Global Crypto Push Intensifies

Bitcoin looked to regain traction on Tuesday as prices neared the $9,000 mark. In afternoon trading, bitcoin reached as high as $8,845, up more than $1,400 from the lows set over the weekend.

These are the headlines you can’t miss in crypto on Tuesday, March 20.

Lee: Alt-Coin Bear Market Over

Longtime bitcoin bull Tom Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors said Tuesday that the 2018 bear market in alternative cryptocurrencies is largely over. Lee has been urging clients to focus on large-cap coins such as bitcoin since January, when he said the “super cycle” for alt-coins was coming to an end. Now, Lee said the bulk of alt-coins’ retracement is completed following a 75% decline in alt-coins since January. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to pile into alt-coins just yet, Lee warned. “First purgatory, then a bull market,” he said, signaling to investors that large-cap coins are still the way to go as of now. Lee said the purgatory period, in which alt-coins will consolidate quickly, should last through August to mid-September. For Lee and Fundstrat, the top three coins at present are bitcoin cash, bitcoin and litecoin.

Venezuela Slams U.S. Sanctions

On Monday, President Trump signed an executive order prohibiting U.S. citizens and residents from purchasing or transacting in digital currency issued from Venezuela. On Tuesday, Diosdado Cabello, vice president of Venezuela’s United Socialist Party, said the following on Twitter: “Once again, imperialism is wrong in announcing sanctions and blockades against the brave and dignified Venezuelan people, the sell-out lackeys drool when our people suffer. Let’s raise the flags of Bolivar and Chavez, we will win!!” Trump’s sanctions were issued against the national oil-backed cryptocurrency Venezuela just launched, the petro. The petro token will kick off Monday following its month-long closed pre-sale. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said the pre-sale has raised up to $5 billion, but there is not proof of such funds yet.

Russia Close to Crypto Law

The Russian Federation is said to be close to agreeing on a law to govern initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency trading in the country, according to Russian news agency RIA. Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev reportedly said a jurisdictional disagreement between his Finance Ministry and the Bank of Russia has been resolved. The disagreement regarded the content of a draft law that would govern cryptocurrency activities in Russia. The two entities also were said to originally disagree as to whether there should be an imposed threshold for ICOs in an effort to allow token sales under state regulation. The Bank of Russia was said to disagree with the Finance Ministry on whether it was in the country’s best interest to allow token offerings to be exchanged using Russian Rubles, according to a report from Coindesk.

Treasury Offers Blockchain Tips

The U.S. Treasury Department has published a list of five tips for building blockchain protocols. The list was compiled by department employees using lessons the staff learned in creating a proof of concept blockchain system for tracking physical assets, according to the post from the Bureau of Financial Services. “Surprisingly, five of the most important lessons learned coming out of our blockchain proof of concept had nothing to do with the technology, but some points that deserve attention,” the team wrote. The Treasury offered a deeper look into each point in the post, but here are the five main tenets of creating a blockchain project: 1. Determine if blockchain is a good fit; 2. Understand pain points and good points; 3. Map business processes; 4. Build a diverse project team, and 5. Consider agency governance.

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