Bitcoin in the New Year: Mining Difficulties and Chinese Interest

The world’s biggest cryptocurrency by trading volume and most popular digital asset –Bitcoin– is starting the new year on a bullish note after weeks of being bearish. Over the course of the past week, the coin‘s USD price oscillated mildly when compared to previous weeks, dropping down by over $200 only to recover and go back up again. Currently, Bitcoin is trading near $3,800, similar to where it was last week, with the current market signals suggesting that there may be another price increase coming.

The new year also brought us an increase in mining difficulty, which has been adjusted higher for the first time since the start of October this year, according to Hacked magazine. Over the last quarter of the year, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty dropped down by 31.5% as miners withdrew hash power from the network, but since last week, the difficulty has increased by 3%.

When compared to previous years, the last three months brought the most severe drop in mining difficulty as no similar trend was observed throughout Bitcoin’s history. But this is natural, considering the massive drop in market capitalization for the entire cryptocurrency market as well as the shutting down of millions of mining rigs during the last month.

Buying Interest Returns

When compared to a week ago, Bitcoin’s price hasn’t really changed that much. Throughout this period, the cryptocurrency went through two drops and increases only to end up near the same point it hit last Wednesday. The lowest price point during the week was reached on Thursday evening, when Bitcoin fell to $3,658.16, while the highest price was hit on Sunday, when Bitcoin climbed up to $3.951.42.

The 24-hour trading volume has remained mostly low in the past seven days, circling around $5 billion. As of now, the volume has fallen down even further to $4.4 billion while the market capitalization is at $66.9 billion. Our technical analysis shows that the market is pro-buy, with 8 out of 12 oscillators and 9 out of 12 moving averages sending a “buy” signal. The SMA 100 is also over the SMA 200, showing less resistance on the upward course. With a low trading volume and strong bullish interest, Bitcoin seems to be headed for a slow and steady increase, but only as long as the buying interest survives.

China to Help Increase Bitcoin Adoption?

Bitcoin has had a really tough year, marking a decline after decline throughout 2018. In 2017, the cryptocurrency saw stellar growth, peaking in December amidst a global hype to a price point near to $20,000 just before the holidays. Naturally, the following year was expected to bring a real explosion in Bitcoin adoption. However, things actually went in the opposite direction.

But, as a new Forbes report notes, interest in the cryptocurrency is once again surging in China – the country which was once seen as a vital contributor to Bitcoin’s price growth. According to Forbes and based on a new survey from PANews, around 40% of 4,200 survey participants in China are willing to invest in crypto in the future. Furthermore, 50% of all respondents said that they were familiar with the terms “cryptocurrency” and “Bitcoin”.

This is positive news for the coin, especially when you consider other similar surveys from the past couple of months. Reportedly, in the UK one in five people believe Bitcoin will become as common a payment method as a card or cash in the future, while another survey from Coinbase found that students in the US are particularly interested in owning the digital currency.

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