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CHINA’S CENTRAL BANK MAKING DIGITAL CURRENCY BECAUSE OF LIBRA

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CHINA’S CENTRAL BANK MAKING DIGITAL CURRENCY BECAUSE OF LIBRA

China’s central bank is said to be developing its own digital currency as an answer to Facebook’s Libra, as Libra could pose a risk to the country’s financial system. Wang Xin, director of the People’s Bank of China research bureau has commented on the matter, saying, “if [Libra] is widely used for payments, cross-border payments in particular, would it be able to function like money and accordingly have a large influence on monetary policy, financial stability and the international monetary system?” How will this affect relations between the USA and China?

Justin Sun the founder of the cryptocurrency, Tron, had some strange news out this week regarding a reported situation with the Beijing police. There have been mixed reports on this, from people saying that the police raided the Tron offices, to people saying they were just protecting the building. There is still much to be learned about this story, and we will see what happens in the weeks to come.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority have outlined regulatory compliance issues for cryptocurrency custodians in an announcement in recent days. As per to the joint statement, the organizations have yet to discover a set of circumstances in which a crypto custodian could comply with the SEC’s Customer Protection Rule. Will the regulations from the SEC help or hinder progress in the crypto space?

Crypto exchange Bitstamp has set up its own Lightning Network node to boost the network’s capabilities. The Lightning Network is designed to enable speedy and zero-fee transactions by creating payment channels between users. The key issue at play here is the network aims to address bitcoin’s scalability problem by keeping the majority of transactions off-chain. Will the Lightning Network continue to grow?

Mark Mobius, an emerging markets fund manager and also the founder of Mobius Capital Partners, recently said that if bitcoin continues to grow at the current rate, he would consider investing in the digital asset. In recent days, Mobius said that every portfolio needs to hold ten percent of gold to hedge against the global economy and the performance of the equities market. And now he is considering a Bitcoin investment.

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Data From LocalBitcoins Shows China’s BTC Volume on Hits 2-Year Low

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Data From LocalBitcoins Shows China’s BTC Volume on Hits 2-Year Low
Data From LocalBitcoins Shows China’s BTC Volume on Hits 2-Year Low

China’s Bitcoin (BTC) trading volumes have continued to drop, hitting a two-year low on peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins. According to the Bitcoin statistics website Coin Dance, China’s BTC trading volumes have been gradually dropping from late 2019 to the present, touching to their lowest weekly volume in more than two years. 

During the week ending on Jan. 25, China traded just about 4.5 million yuan ($648,000) on LocalBitcoins, down over 90% from the intra-year weekly high of more than 45 million yuan ($6.4 million). The all-time high of China’s weekly Bitcoin trading on LocalBitcoins was hit in January 2018 and accounts for 168.6 million yuan ($24.3 million).

Weekly LocalBitcoins volume for Chinese yuan. Source: Coin Dance

China’s Bitcoin (BTC) trading volumes have continued to drop, hitting a two-year low on peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins. According to the Bitcoin statistics website Coin Dance, China’s BTC trading volumes have been gradually dropping from late 2019 to the present, touching to their lowest weekly volume in more than two years. During the week ending on Jan. 25, China traded just about 4.5 million yuan ($648,000) on LocalBitcoins, down over 90% from the intra-year weekly high of more than 45 million yuan ($6.4 million). The all-time high of China’s weekly Bitcoin trading on LocalBitcoins was hit in January 2018 and accounts for 168.6 million yuan ($24.3 million).

Image result for LocalBitcoins

Correlating with the dropping Bitcoin indicators on LocalBitcoins, Bitcoin search volumes on China’s search engine and web services platform Baidu has reportedly slipped as well. According to the blockchain education platform Longhash, the Baidu search index of Bitcoin has recently seen a sharp drop, hitting a new monthly low of 12,913 searches. The overall decline of Bitcoin-related indicators in China comes amidst the country’s most important holiday, the Chinese New Year, which started on Jan. 25 this year. The beginning of 2020 according to the traditional Chinese calendar was troubled by the uncertainty brought on by a new coronavirus outbreak in China, which is suggested to be one of the factors behind a recent Bitcoin sell-off.

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Former Bakkt CEO Who Is Now A Senator Loeffler Delays Disclosing Assets

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Former Bakkt CEO Who Is Now A Senator Loeffler Delays Disclosing Assets
Former Bakkt CEO Who Is Now A Senator Loeffler Delays Disclosing Assets

The clock is ticking on former Bakkt CEO senator Kelly Loeffler’s Financial Disclosure Report, with ethics watchdogs on guard.

Loeffler filed an extension that would give her until May 5 to submit her Financial Disclosure Report. The report, which all officials are required to submit, airs potential conflicts of interest by identifying asset holdings. In the case of Loeffler, these are presumed to be substantial. Craig Holman, an ethics lobbyist at Public Citizen, said, “Extensions on filing are not uncommon. The purpose really is just transparency, obviously, of one’s potential conflicts of interest.” Following her Jan. 8 senate appointment, the Republican from Georgia was then appointed to the Senate Agriculture Committee, giving obvious grist to ethics analysts. Image result for Loeffler

The committee oversees the body — the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) — that oversees her husband’s company — Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). As a voting member of the committee, Loeffler, who raised eyebrows with her appointment last month, will vote on issues and appointments that affect the reported $600 million personal fortune of her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, CEO of ICE, the company that owns Bitcoin options contracts regulator Bakkt. The Agriculture Committee oversees the CFTC, which monitors ICE, which owns the New York Stock Exchange. As a member, Loeffler would consequently be at risk of casting conflicting votes on commissioners of and appointments to the CFTC.

“I’m not aware of any upcoming votes,” said Holman, “although there very likely are votes that directly affect her and her husband’s wealth. I mean, she’s treading right into the middle of one big conflict of interest.”

Failure to file a Financial Disclosure Report risks both civil and financial penalties.

Some ethics analysts consider rules of ethical oversight to have been defanged. Senators don’t need to divest from conflicting assets, nor must they place them in a blind trust, a move that would ease ethical concerns. “She could avoid all of those problems by putting her money in a blind trust, and that would largely resolve the issue,” said Holman. Presented as an outsider when appointed, Loeffler and her husband have donated a reported $3.2 million to political candidates, mostly Republicans. She also pledged $20 million of her own money to her campaign in November.

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Deutsche Bank Says Cryptocurrencies Won’t Replace Cash In Near Future

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Cash is unlikely to disappear anytime soon despite declining use as a payment method and the surge of digital currencies, Germany’s largest bank says. Deutsche Bank, a German multinational investment bank that previously predicted that cryptocurrencies will replace fiat by 2030, now claims that cash “will be around for a long time” as a preferred method of payment. The bank has forecast a tentative future for cash in one of its recent “The Future of Payments” reports carried out by Deutsche Bank’s research arm Deutsche Bank Research. Titled “Cash: the Dinosaur Will Survive … For Now,” the report was issued on Jan. 21 and represents the first part of a series of reports on the future of payments. The second part, called “Moving to Digital Wallets and the Extinction of Plastic Cards,” was published on Jan. 23, while the third and final part of the series, “Digital Currencies: the Ultimate Hard Power Tool,” was issued on Jan. 27. Despite expressing its confidence that cash will remain a major payment method in the near future, Deutsche Bank admits to a growing role for the ongoing digital payment revolution. The bank wrote in its “Cash” report: “In this report, we argue that cash is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. However, a real digital payment revolution has been underway for the past ten years. Cash is losing ground as a payment method. Several countries have recently removed large notes worth $100 or more and implemented policies to replace traditional payment methods with digital solutions. In the midst of these changes, non-sovereign cryptocurrencies pose a threat to political and financial stability.” As part of the cash-focused report, Deutsche Bank Research conducted a survey indicating that a third of people in developed countries consider cash to be their favorite, while more than 50% are sure that cash will always be around. Additionally, the bank found out that Germans hold the highest average rate of cash among advanced economies, which accounts for 52 euro or about $57 at press time. According to Deutsche Bank, Germany plans to use even more cash in the coming six months. Deutsche Bank further outlined that the future of cash will greatly depend on further developments in China and India, which are the world’s two most populous countries. Specifically, the bank emphasized that both countries have been encouraging greater use of digital currencies and blockchain. As such, China's President called for the country to accelerate its blockchain adoption in late 2019, while India’s securities regulator recently urged on Jan. 23 that exploration of the best possible usage of blockchain in securities markets. As China has reportedly seen progress with its government-backed digital currency, Deutsche Bank warned that the adoption of such a currency poses a serious threat to the United States dollar: “China is working on a digital currency backed by its central bank that could be used as a soft- or hard-power tool. In fact, if companies doing business in China are forced to adopt a digital yuan, it will certainly erode the dollar’s primacy in the global financial market.” As to the growing trend of crypto and blockchain industry, Deutsche Bank has also been actively working in the developments in this area. In September 2019, Deutsche Bank joined JPMorgan’s blockchain-based network, the Interbank Information Network to reduce the cost of processing difficult payments and offer better client services.
Deutsche Bank Says Cryptocurrencies Won’t Replace Cash In Near Future

Cash is unlikely to disappear anytime soon despite declining use as a payment method and the surge of digital currencies, Germany’s largest bank says. Deutsche Bank, a German multinational investment bank that previously predicted that cryptocurrencies will replace fiat by 2030, now claims that cash “will be around for a long time” as a preferred method of payment.

The bank has forecast a tentative future for cash in one of its recent “The Future of Payments” reports carried out by Deutsche Bank’s research arm Deutsche Bank Research. Titled “Cash: the Dinosaur Will Survive … For Now,” the report was issued on Jan. 21 and represents the first part of a series of reports on the future of payments. The second part, called “Moving to Digital Wallets and the Extinction of Plastic Cards,” was published on Jan. 23, while the third and final part of the series, “Digital Currencies: the Ultimate Hard Power Tool,” was issued on Jan. 27.

 Despite expressing its confidence that cash will remain a major payment method in the near future, Deutsche Bank admits to a growing role for the ongoing digital payment revolution. The bank wrote in its “Cash” report:

“In this report, we argue that cash is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. However, a real digital payment revolution has been underway for the past ten years. Cash is losing ground as a payment method. Several countries have recently removed large notes worth $100 or more and implemented policies to replace traditional payment methods with digital solutions. In the midst of these changes, non-sovereign cryptocurrencies pose a threat to political and financial stability.”

As part of the cash-focused report, Deutsche Bank Research conducted a survey indicating that a third of people in developed countries consider cash to be their favorite, while more than 50% are sure that cash will always be around. Additionally, the bank found out that Germans hold the highest average rate of cash among advanced economies, which accounts for 52 euro or about $57 at press time. According to Deutsche Bank, Germany plans to use even more cash in the coming six months.

Image result for Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank further outlined that the future of cash will greatly depend on further developments in China and India, which are the world’s two most populous countries. Specifically, the bank emphasized that both countries have been encouraging greater use of digital currencies and blockchain. As such, China’s President called for the country to accelerate its blockchain adoption in late 2019, while India’s securities regulator recently urged on Jan. 23 that exploration of the best possible usage of blockchain in securities markets. As China has reportedly seen progress with its government-backed digital currency, Deutsche Bank warned that the adoption of such a currency poses a serious threat to the United States dollar:

“China is working on a digital currency backed by its central bank that could be used as a soft- or hard-power tool. In fact, if companies doing business in China are forced to adopt a digital yuan, it will certainly erode the dollar’s primacy in the global financial market.”

As to the growing trend of the crypto and blockchain industry, Deutsche Bank has also been actively working in the developments in this area. In September 2019, Deutsche Bank joined JPMorgan’s blockchain-based network, the Interbank Information Network to reduce the cost of processing difficult payments and offer better client services.

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