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

Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the first player rewarded with cryptocurrency tokens

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Cristiano Ronaldo received 770 Fan Tokens $JUV ahead of Juventus' match against Benevento on Sunday as a way of marking his record-breaking goal milestone.

It's the first time a footballer has been rewarded with cryptocurrency, which is becoming prominent in terms of fan interaction in the game.

Fan Tokens $JUV allows Juventus fans to interact with their club and participate in various decisions through the Socios app.

Continue reading at marca.com

Amundi warns bitcoin in for ‘brutal’ price correction as regulation hits sector

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Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could face a “brutal” price correction when regulators eventually weigh in on the sector, Europe’s largest asset manager Amundi has said.

The firm’s deputy chief investment officer Vincent Mortier said cryptocurrencies cannot be viewed as money or an asset worth investing in, in comments published as part of an upcoming report on the sector, seen by Financial News.

It is the first time Amundi – with €1.7tn of assets under management – has taken a public stance on cryptocurrencies.

“To date, [crypto] is neither a proven store of value, nor a recognised unit of account and even less a universal means of payment,” Mortier said. “Cryptocurrencies have no real economic underlying asset. As a result, there is no valuation model.”

Speaking to FN in a virtual interview, Mortier said the price of bitcoin above $50,000 was difficult to justify.

The cryptocurrency reached an all-time high of above $61,000 earlier this month, and was trading around $56,800 as of 12:20 GMT on 24 March.

Continue reading at fnlondon.com

Bitcoin Traders Brace for Record $6B in Options to Expire Friday

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They call it “max pain” in the bitcoin options market: How to make one’s trading counterparty suffer the most. 

Although the largest cryptocurrency was changing hands Wednesday around $56,500, traders were handicapping the odds of a plunge to about $44,000 by Friday, when a record $6 billion of options contracts is set to expire. 

A drop to that price level would inflict “max pain” on buyers of options contracts, and it might be the most profitable price point for options sellers. It’s a remote risk, but not one to be discounted.

The max pain theory states that the market will gravitate toward the pain point while heading into the expiry. That’s because sellers – typically institutions or sophisticated traders with ample capital supply – often try to push the price toward the max pain point by buying or selling the asset on spot or futures markets. 

The bullish spin is that if bitcoin makes it through Friday without a major correction, a major overhang will be lifted.

Continue reading at nasdaq.com

Coinbase to Pay $6.5 Million to Settle CFTC Investigation Over Trading

Cryptocurrency-exchange operator Coinbase Inc. agreed Friday to pay $6.5 million to settle regulatory claims that it reported misleading information about its trading volumes.

Coinbase, which last year filed plans to go public, resolved the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s investigation without admitting or denying the regulator’s claims. The outcome clears one cloud hanging over Coinbase as it prepares to become a public company through a direct listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Coinbase issued a statement saying the investigation didn’t allege any harm to customers. “We proactively engaged with the CFTC throughout their investigation, and we believe that our conversations were constructive and contributed to an outcome that is satisfactory for both parties,” the company said.

The enforcement action shows how Wall Street regulators such as the CFTC, which oversees derivatives markets, have moved to police conduct in the new world of cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

Continue reading at wsj.com

Treasury Yields, Interest Rates, $1.9T Stimulus–What Does It Mean for BTC?

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As changes in US monetary policy continue, more institutional investors appear to be stacking BTC.

Bitcoin (BTC) reached another new all-time high last Saturday, March 13th, with its passage over $61,680. However, BTC was unable to maintain levels over $60K for the rest of the week. It slid briefly below $54K on Tuesday and has since recovered to nearly $58K at press time.

A number of analysts attribute the short spike above $60K to the passage of the so-called ‘American Rescue Plan’ on March 10th. The bill included plans to distribute roughly $1.9 trillion in stimulus payments across the United States economy. Officials at the US Federal Reserve have expressed that they expect to keep interest rates close to zero until at least 2024. Both factors have caused concern that USD inflation is in the relatively near future.

According to Coindesk, concerns about inflation were ignited by a marked increase in the 10-year Treasury note yield. The figure surpassed 1.75% for the first time since January 2020, two months before the pandemic began. While higher yields on long-term U.S. Treasuries can signal an increase in investor confidence, they can also be a signal of concern over rising inflation.

Continue reading at financemagnates.com

Spanish Ministry of Economy Proposes to Create a Financial Customer Ombudsman for Crypto-Related Matters

Crypto regulation in Spain remains on the political talks amid the current bull-run seen in the bitcoin prices. Now, the country’s Ministry of the Economy is about to create a new Financial Customer Ombudsman for crypto-related matters.

Independent Financial Customer Body Will Abide by the MiCA Ruling

Per La Información, Minister Nadia Calviño seeks to extend its guardianship to the financial body to cover topics such as protecting consumers in cryptocurrency services. To make it a reality, the minister will submit the initial proposal to a public consultancy “as soon as possible.”

Overall, Calviño also wants to canalize all conflicts between banks and their customers through the Financial Customer Ombudsman, including all businesses in the fintech sector.

Continue reading at news.bitcoin.com

Central Banks are Running Scared of Cryptocurrencies

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It’s one thing when your worst fears remain in your mind, but when they manifest in your markets, then it’s time to gear up for action.

A growing number of high profile investors and institutions are cottoning on to cryptocurrencies and central bankers are running concerned.

Itwas easy for Samantha Reid to ignore the signs at first — a tracking cookie on her computer (who didn’t have those?) and the sense that someone was following her after she knocked off work.

But she dismissed those fears, convinced that they were always bigger in her mind than they were in her reality.

Continue reading at bbntimes.com

Ethereum price dips below $1,500 in midst of marketwide correction

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The last 24 hours were marked with a lot of drama for Ether, especially as the premier altcoin was beginning to showcase signs of another breakout after scaling up to the $1,625 mark. However, after hovering around the $1,600 region for around 12 hours running, the currency started to slide rapidly, dropping by a staggering 7% within no time. As a result, the second-largest cryptocurrency by total market capitalization is now sitting at $1,480.

This latest downward trend comes a few days after the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged he "would be concerned" by tightening financial conditions, especially as the American government's bond yields have been putting an increasing amount of pressure on borrowing costs.

Commenting on the subject, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange OKEx, Jay Hao, pointed out to Finder that in the wake of US Treasury yields beginning to rise — with 10-year yield levels rising to their highest since February 2020 — most crypto assets including Ethereum have taken a hit and may continue to be at the receiving end of some solid bearish momentum, adding:

"We're also approaching a year since the March 12 selloff and a month that is traditionally challenging for cryptocurrencies and other risk assets. So, I believe that the near-term outlook for Ethereum is neutral. There are some significant headwinds but if ETH bulls can maintain this newfound momentum, we could see it testing the $2K level once again."