• Bitcoin edges higher to test USD 7,000 resistance once more
  • The Chinese government has announced a 71-member committee to oversee blockchain and DLT standards, represented by 15 organizations including a state agency and the central bank
  • Bitcoin halving search enters an all-time high frenzy with just 28 days to the event

Just as it seemed to some that Bitcoin might be heading into a short-term downtrend, the buying action has seen some solid and steady growth all day today, with price moving sideways in early Tuesday trading before inching up higher to the day’s high so far at USD 6,972 (CoinDesk) as the American East Coast enters the market.

As market analysts wonder just which way the industry will look in the face of a global economic downturn, we see a suddent stirring from China, where the blockchain industry was hardest hit during recent months and weeks. With economic slowdown already stunting growth amid US-China trade tensions, the coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown in Wuhan, China had caused almost all blockchain activities to be cancelled. Events and conferences were called off, and even Bitcoin mining operations were shut down to respect and adhere to lockdown instructions from the Chinese government.

But today, the ruling regime published an announcement that signaled its intent to progress blockchain in China had not softened. With federal authorities now stating that they are cobbling together a technical committee of 15 organizations to work on national blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) standards, this is a fast turnaround from Friday, where the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) requested public feedback on its standards for blockchain data security and and other technologies.

These 15 organizations are diverse, with 71 listed experts in politics, finance, industry, academia, and research, all coming together to ensure standards comply with existing legislation, and to see best how the sector can develop. Among these is the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Digital Currency Research Institue, MIIT, Baidu, Tencent, and Zhe­jiang Uni­ver­sity.

MIIT vice-min­is­ter Chen Zhaox­iong has been named the chair, supported by five vice chairs, including one represented by PBOC Digital Currency Research Institute deputy head Di Gang.

This latest development does signal a strong wave of progress from the East as China displays not only progress in technical implementation and regulatory reforms, but a desire to support research and development moving forward.

Meanwhile, with just over 28 days left to the estimated time of the Bitcoin reward halving event, search interest in the hard-coded Bitcoin phenomenon has seen record levels, outstripping those witnessed during the last event in 2016.

According to data from Google Trends today, on 14 April, we are now witnessing the peak of interest, with the interest level gauged to be even 16% higher than the previous all-time high, back in 2016, when Bitcoin halving rewards came down to 12.5 Bitcoins from 25 Bitcoins.

Interestingly, the data from the past 30 days shows that most of the countries in the top five — Luxembourg, Latvia, Estonia, Switzerland, and Lithuania — are from Northern and Eastern Europe, and Luxembourg is where a lot of Bitcoin nodes are located.

And one related term, the narrower “Bitcoin halving 2020”, takes the geography farther south: lead by Nigeria in Africa, then Venezuela in South America.

Why is this important? Simply because the new supply entering into the circulation will be halved. Exactly 50% less new bitcoins will be entering the circulation as the current reward to miners solving Bitcoin blocks — on average every 10 minutes — will change from 12.5 Bitcoins to 6.26 Bitcoins in the second week of May.

Two previous halvings already occurred, in 2016 and 2012, each time prompting huge interest as speculators, miners and enthusiasts expect a psychological increase in demand and, therefore, price since Bitcoin will have become more scarce.

DeFi Toronto co-founder Victor Li said last year that this latest halving would put Bitcoin’s inflation rate on par with gold at 1.8% (based on new gold mined to total inventory). By November 2019, Google Trends data already picked up a significant increase in global searches for related terms, and now, even as the world lives in the shadow of Covid-19, people have not forgotten about Bitcoin


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