Archive April 2021

Turkish Central Bank Considers Becoming Bitcoin Custodian

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Turkey’s fiat currency, the Lira (TRY), is in serious trouble – especially against Bitcoin – with consumer price inflation reaching an alarming 16% in March of this year. In January of 2008, the Lira traded at near-parity with the US Dollar but is currently near its all time low of 8.5 TRY to the USD.

Perhaps in response to the surging demand for reliable hard money alternatives like Bitcoin, the Turkish central bank, the CBRT, banned cryptocurrency as a payment method for goods and services in mid-April of this year.

The Plan

The subsequent failure of two Turkish crypto exchanges, Thodex and Vebitcoin, was perhaps a fairly predictable consequence of the harsh and sweeping new restrictions. While the CBRT’s governor has denied any blanket ban of crypto, according to a report published on Bloomberg and attributed to a senior government official, the CBRT is now planning to aggressively regulate the Turkish crypto industry. Much of the proposed regulation appears designed to prevent further exchange failures.

Continue reading at newsbtc.com

‘Digital gold’: Visa bets big on cryptocurrency

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Visa CEO Al Kelly detailed the card brand's push to take advantage of trends such as central bank digital currencies and financial inclusion.

Visa is working with central banks on CBDC policy and is advocating for public-private partnerships to support CBDCs, a model that many digital currency experts believe will be the prevailing model, particularly given the complex work required to digitize currency in different nations. Visa has filed a patent application for technology that would support connections between financial institutions and central banks.

"Central bank digital currencies could end up being quite valuable in countries where the infrastructure is unavailable or limited," Kelly, who is also Visa's chairman, said during the company's earnings call. He estimated there's an addressable market of more than 1.7 billion consumers that could be reached and suggesting there's space to expand its work with government clients.

Continue reading at americanbanker.com

Bitcoin at Inflection Point Amid Recent Selloff, Technicals Show

Bitcoin is facing a make-or-break moment following a recent bout of selling, according to technical analysis.

Though the cryptocurrency has rebounded above its average price over the past 100 days, it’s still trading below its 50-day moving average. Such a dynamic typically indicates an asset is nearing an inflection point. If Bitcoin can’t overtake its 50-day mean -- which currently sits at about $57,042 -- then it might be in for a period of volatility as the gap between the two trend lines converges. Technical indicators suggest breaking out might not be an easy feat -- Bitcoin failed to do so on several occasions last week.

Trading in the world’s largest digital asset has been choppy in recent days after it hit a record high in mid-April above $64,000. It’s down more than 15% since then, though it rebounded earlier this week amid positive news, including comments from Tesla Inc.’s chief financial officer that reiterated the company’s commitment to the cryptocurrency.

Continue reading at bloomberg.com

Bitcoin bottomed after a textbook 20% selloff, and a new uptrend is likely underway, Fundstrat’s Tom Lee says

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Bitcoin's recent sell-off looks to have found support and a new uptrend is "likely underway," Fundstrat's Tom Lee said in a note on Wednesday.

The most valuable cryptocurrency sold off more than 20% in recent weeks after topping out just below $65,000 amid the Coinbase IPO. Bitcoin broke below $50,000, which represents a key psychological level for investors, but has since recovered and is trading near $55,000 as of Wednesday afternoon.

Now, bitcoin has found support near $47,000, which coincided with a "9" count buy signal generated by the DeMark indicator. This counter-trend indicator, created by Tom DeMark, helps measure price exhaustion in securities.

Traders should look for bitcoin to move above $62,000 to affirm that the sell-off is over, according to Lee.

Continue reading at businessinsider.com

European Central Bank Points To Privacy As Pivotal In eMoney Future

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What people want most from digital currency is privacy, the European Central Bank (ECB) said in its report from public consultations about the possibility of a central bank coin.

The ECB said that 43 percent of the respondents pointed to anonymity as a main requirement for any digital currency. People also stated that any digital euro should also be integrated with the methods and resources already being used for payments and other financial services. 

Further, citizens and businesses answering the survey indicated that they want a no-fee solution in addition to security, usability, and non-digital use. The ECB is still in the research stages of deciding whether it makes sense to pursue eCurrency. 

The public consultation — conducted from October 2020 until January of this year — is just one step in determining what will work for consumers and businesses alike. About 25 percent of respondents also said they believed that a digital euro should advance cross-border payments, and make the transactions fast, seamless, and less expensive.

The ECB is just one of many central banks worldwide looking into launching digital currency that would be on par with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin but also more usable and predictable.

Continue reading at pymnts.com

Tesla urged to review its payment practices after two Australian buyers lose thousands to scammers

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When Andrea Hammond decided to buy a Tesla 3 electric vehicle, her choice was not about the car's slick design or prestige badge.

"Spending that amount of money was not an easy decision, but my commitment to wanting to drive without polluting the atmosphere was my motivation," she said.

"The Tesla cars seemed to stack up in terms of being a car that I could drive for the rest of my days."

At first, the process of buying a Tesla seemed as modern as the car itself.

Continue reading at abc.net.au

Coinbase, A Bitcoin Startup, Goes Public. Is Crypto Really The ‘Future Of Finance’?

Coinbase, a San Francisco startup that allows people to buy and sell digital currency, became the first major cryptocurrency company to go public when it made its stock market debut on Wednesday.

Trading began around $381 a share, pushing the company's valuation close to $100 billion. That's about what Facebook was worth when it had its initial public offering in 2012.

Coinbase's listing on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "COIN" was heralded by enthusiasts as a turning point for once-obscure digital currencies.

"Today was a landmark moment," said cryptocurrency investor Ian Lee. "Crypto is the future of finance."

Bradley Tusk, a political consultant and venture capitalist who financially backed Coinbase, said the company's public offering shows that more Wall Street banks and other traditional investors are warming up to the idea of cryptocurrency.

Read more at mainepublic.org

China Creates its Own Digital Currency, a First for Major Economy

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A thousand years ago, when money meant coins, China invented paper currency. Now the Chinese government is minting cash digitally, in a re-imagination of money that could shake a pillar of American power.

It might seem money is already virtual, as credit cards and payment apps such as Apple Pay in the U.S. and WeChat in China eliminate the need for bills or coins. But those are just ways to move money electronically. China is turning legal tender itself into computer code.

Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have foreshadowed a potential digital future for money, though they exist outside the traditional global financial system and aren’t legal tender like cash issued by governments.

China’s version of a digital currency is controlled by its central bank, which will issue the new electronic money. It is expected to give China’s government vast new tools to monitor both its economy and its people. By design, the digital yuan will negate one of bitcoin’s major draws: anonymity for the user.

Continue reading at wsj.com

Bitcoin Volatility Decreasing as Price Movement Begins to Mirror Gold, Analyst Says

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The price of Bitcoin rose 100.8% in the first quarter and has increased 447.2% since October 2020, but reduced volatility may be the key to future price rises, analysts believe.

U.S. stocks gained 6.4% in the first quarter of 2020, while bond yields rose 3.6% and gold fell 10.3%.

"In the context of Bitcoin's historical returns, which have been quite remarkable, this period stands out as notable," Greg Cipolaro, global head of research at New York Digital Investment Group, said in a research report.

However, reduced volatility—not manic price swings ratcheting upward—could boost Bitcoin's long-term valuation as major institutions move into the cryptocurrency to diversify their holdings.

Continue reading at newsweek.com

Bitcoin And Crypto Market Smashes Through $2 Trillion As The Price Of Ethereum, Binance Coin, Litecoin And Ripple’s XRP Suddenly Soar

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Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices are soaring, pushing the value of the entire cryptocurrency market over $2 trillion for the first time (though some think the bull run could be just getting started).

With the bitcoin price hovering around $60,000 per bitcoin, the psychological $2 trillion barrier was broken by sharp increases in the price of smaller cryptocurrencies ethereum, binance coin, Ripple's XRP and litecoin, according to data from crypto price website CoinGecko.

The bitcoin and cryptocurrency market has more than doubled in value so far this year, rising from around $750 billion at the beginning of the year. Bitcoin, by far the biggest cryptocurrency by value, makes up more than half of the cryptocurrency market capitalization and has traditionally led the market.

Continue reading at forbes.com