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Cryptocurrency news roundup, April 15, 2018

This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments.

New developments:

Islamic scholar claims Bitcoin is Sharia law compliant

Mufti Muhammad Abu Bakar, a Sharia advisor and compliance officer at Blossom Finance, recently argued Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be Sharia law compliant in certain cases. According to Bakar, Bitcoin can be Halal (permitted) if it is used as a payment method, or is recognized as a legal currency. If this conclusion were to be accepted in the Islamic wor,d the market could now be open to as much as 1.6 billion Muslims. His research paper reads:

  • “In Germany, Bitcoin is recognized as a legal currency and therefore qualifies as Islamic money in Germany. In countries such as the US, Bitcoin lacks official legal monetary status but is accepted for payment at a variety of merchants, and therefore qualifies as Islamic customary money.”

Santander uses Ripple technology to launch blockchain payments app

Spanish banking giant Banco Santander recently used Ripple’s xCurrent to launch a blockchain-based payments app dubbed “One Pay FX.” Reportedly, Santander is now the first bank to “roll out a blockchain-based international payments service to retail customers in multiple countries simultaneously.” The app is available in Spain, Brazil, Poland, and the United Kingdom. It is set to roll out in other countries in the future. Through a press release, the financial institution’s executive chairman Ana Botin stated:

  • “One Pay FX uses blockchain-based technology to provide a fast, simple and secure way to transfer money internationally – offering value, transparency, and the trust and service customers expect from a bank like Santander. From today, customers in the UK can use One Pay to transfer money across Europe and to the US. In Spain, customers can transfer to UK and US, while customers in Brazil and Poland can transfer to the UK.”

Rockefellers, Rothschilds & George Soros to start investing in cryptocurrencies

Some of the largest institutional investors out there are reportedly about to start investing in cryptocurrencies. This week, reports emerged suggesting George Soros is preparing to invest as Adam Fisher, who controls his Soros Fund Management, revealed he received internal approval to enter the crypto markets. The Rockefellers, through Venrock, the family’s venture-capital arm, may also be getting in on the markets as the cryptocurrency investment fund recently revealed a partnership between the two organizations.


The Rothschilds, another extremely wealthy family, is reportedly also entering the cryptocurrency space as Russia Today reports it purchased Bitcoin through the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. These big investors likely entered the market thanks to the recent dip.

World affairs:

Venezuela claims Trump’s Petro ban doubled the number of interested investors

According to reports, the executive secretary of Venezuela’s Blockchain Observatory, Daniel Peña, claimed in an interview that US president Donald Trump’s Petro (PTR) ban, barring US citizens and residents from purchasing the country’s oil-backed cryptocurrency, was actually beneficial as it doubled the number of buyers looking to acquire it. Peña implied that if someone as important as Trump spent time addressing the Petro, it only meant the country was going in the right direction by launching it.

Per his words, Venezuela had “more or less 400 clients” looking to buy the oil-backed cryptocurrency per day before Trump’s Petro ban. After his ban, the number doubled to 800.

India and Pakistan clamp down on cryptocurrencies

India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), barred banks from having links to cryptocurrency-related businesses this week, citing various concerns. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), another central bank, issued a separate statement clarifying that cryptocurrencies aren’t legal tender in the country, and telling banks to refuse doing business with customers seeking cryptocurrencies.

According to CNBC, Pakistan’s central bank further warned those who attempt to use cryptocurrencies to move funds outside the country will be prosecuted. Responding to India’s move – before Pakistan released its announcement – billionaire Tim Draper stated that the country was making a “huge mistake.”

He was quoted as saying:

  • If I had a meeting with Modi [India’s prime minister], I would have let him know he is making a huge mistake.”


Bitcoin at $8,046 as market starts recovering

This week the bears started on top, but the cryptocurrency market soon recovered as Bitcoin jumped as much as $1,000 in about 30 minutes. The flagship cryptocurrency then surprisingly maintained its gains and managed to stay around the $8,000 mark. At press time, Bitcoin is trading at $8,046, while its market cap is of $132 billion. Its dominance is of 42.6%.

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