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Cryptocurrency removes all the problems of modern banking Because it operates independently and in a decentralized manner without a bank or a central authority, new units can be added only after certain conditions are met.
You can make transactions at any time of the day or night, and there are no limits on purchases and withdrawals. And anyone is free to use cryptocurrency, unlike setting up a bank account, which requires documentation and other paperwork.
Twitter chief Elon Musk has reportedly instructed his developers to build the platform’s payments system in such a way that crypto functionality can be added in the future, Cointelegraph reports.
The payments feature will support fiat currencies to start but be built to accommodate cryptocurrencies should the opportunity arise.
Twitter has long teased bringing payments to the social media platform — forming part of Musk’s stated plan to make Twitter an “everything app.”
A bill has been introduced to the New York Senate that would make cryptocurrencies a legal form of payment in state agencies, Watcher.Guru reports. The legislation was set forth on January 26th and divulges changes to the state’s current financial law to introduce the use of cryptocurrencies.
The legislation states that the amendment would legally allow, “New York state agencies to accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.” Moreover, the document dedicates several sections to the defining of cryptocurrencies under the introduced amendment. Specifically, allowing the acceptance of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash as payment options.
The bill states that “Each state agency is authorized to enter into an agreement with persons to provide the acceptance, by offices of the state, of cryptocurrency as a means of payment of fines, civil penalties, rent, rates, taxes,” and more civil duties. The bill is set to change the very landscape of integrated digital assets in one of America’s largest cities.
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) continues to experiment on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) as it is currently working on a phase of a project that focuses on domestic wholesale CBDC use cases in collaboration with local banks and fintechs.
This project comes in line with several central banks CBDC initiatives across the globe and as part of SAMA's ongoing research and experimentation on CBDC. During this phase of the project, SAMA seeks to explore CBDC economic impact, market readiness, and potential robust and fast applications of a CBDC-based payment solution. In addition, SAMA seeks to review policy, legal and regulatory considerations before moving to the next phases of the CBDC journey to contribute to achieving the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.
The Governor of SAMA H.E. Fahad Almubarak stated that local banks and payment companies will always be a cornerstone of this project and its implementation, SAMA stated that it has engaged both local banks and fintechs, as well as other market players and third party consulting and technology providers, to gain a better understanding of CBDC's functionality and to test various design options.
SAMA is set to continue with its research on CBDC while consulting with relative international bodies, local government entities and public. Additionally, SAMA will continue to experiment on CBDC solution as an infrastructure enabler of innovation in financial services that has the potential to contribute to a more resilient payment ecosystem and accelerate digital transformation in the local financial sector.
SAMA stresses that although no decision has been made regarding the introduction of CBDC in the Kingdom, it continues to focus on exploring the benefits and potential risks of implementing CBDC. This will contribute to informed decision-making within SAMA and to CBDC explorations within the central banking community.
It is worth noting that SAMA successfully conducted CBDC experiment "Project Aber" in 2019, an initiative in collaboration with the Central Bank of the UAE to examine whether distributed ledger technology could contribute to seamless cross-border payments.
UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi hinted at the inclusion of cryptocurrency in the nation’s trade partnerships and policies in 2023, Watcher.Guru reports.
Appearing at the 2023 World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, Al-Zeyoudi stressed the importance of global governance in relation to cryptocurrencies and firms.
The foreign trade minister further claims that when the UAE creates its regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, the focus would be on making the Gulf nation crypto-friendly with standard security. Al-Zeyoudi further said,
We started attracting some of the companies to the country with the aim that we’ll build together the right governance and legal system, which are needed.
According to data sent to Cointelegraph by eToro, crypto is now the second most widely-owned asset class for women, second only to cash. This comes from eToro’s latest Retail Investor Beat, which surveyed around 10,000 global retail investors in 13 countries.
According to the survey results, there is a significant rise in crypto ownership among women. Data shows that ownership increased from 29% in the third quarter of 2022 to 34% in the last quarter. According to the eToro team, this suggests that crypto is “succeeding where traditional financial markets have sometimes failed, " which is by bringing in more women.
While crypto adoption among women has taken flight in the last quarter of 2022, ownership among men only increased by one percent in the same time period.
Bitcoin rose on Saturday above $20,000 for first time in over two months, CNBC reports.
Bitcoin, the world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, rose 4.6% to $20,853 at 01:01 GMT on Saturday, adding $922 to its previous close.
The cryptocurrency is up 26.4% from the year’s low of $16,496 on January 1.
Ether , the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, rose 5.91 % to $1,536.9 on Saturday, adding $85.90 to its previous close.
Speaking in a Twitter space session hosted by the US Army late Wednesday, SEC Chair Gary Gensler said that the crypto industry is the “wild west,” reports Watcher Guru.
The SEC Chair asked traders and companies to exercise caution because most cryptos are currently “non-compliant” and aren’t adhering to the law. He commented:
Most of these, again, are not complying with the securities laws, but they should be.
Further elaborating on why most tokens will fail, Gensler said:
Most of these 10 or 15,000 tokens will fail. That’s because venture capital fails, new startups fail, but also because history tells us that there’s not much room for micro currencies, meaning, you know, we have the US dollar and Europe has the euro and the like.
Coinbase is cutting about a fifth of its workforce as it looks to preserve cash during the crypto market downturn, CNBC reports.
The exchange plans to cut 950 jobs, according to a blog post published Tuesday morning. Coinbase, which had roughly 4,700 employees as of the end of September, already slashed 18% of its workforce in June citing a need to manage costs and growing “too quickly” during the bull market.
“With perfect hindsight, looking back, we should have done more,” CEO Brian Armstrong told CNBC in a phone interview. “The best you can do is react quickly once information becomes available, and that’s what we’re doing in this case.”
Coinbase said the move would result in new expenses of between $149 million and $163 million for the first quarter. The layoffs, along with other restructuring measures, will bring Coinbase’s operating expenses down by 25% for the quarter ending in March, according to a new regulatory filing. The crypto firm also said it expects adjusted EBITDA losses for the full year to be within a prior $500 million “guardrail” set last year.
Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini and its founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are reportedly being sued by investors that are accusing the company and Mark Zuckerberg’s arch nemeses of selling interest-bearing accounts while failing to register them as securities, Gizmodo reports.
The story initially broke on Bloomberg which highlights that the case—Picha et al v. Gemini Trust Company, LLC et al—was filed in the U.S. District Court of Southern New York in Manhattan on Tuesday. The suit alleges that Gemini sold high-interest accounts through a program called Gemini Earn, and investors lent Gemini crypto assets in exchange for interest payments. While Picha et al argue that Gemini failed to register these accounts as securities prior to selling them to investors, the plaintiffs also claim that these accounts were marketed with misleading statements.
Bill Miller, a famed American investor, fund manager, and philanthropist, is still bullish on Bitcoin despite the recent crypto meltdown that has seen the price of the flagship cryptocurrency plunge by around 75% compared to its all-time high, cryptonews.com reports.
In an interview with Barron’s on Thursday, Miller said he is surprised Bitcoin has not lost more value amid the recent collapse of FTX, once the third-largest crypto exchange in the world that filed for bankruptcy in early November. He said:
I’m surprised Bitcoin isn’t at half of its current price given the FTX implosion. People have fled the space, so the fact that it’s still hanging in there at $17,000 is pretty remarkable.
He mentioned that part of Bitcoin's poor price performance could be attributed to raising rates. "I would expect that if and when the Federal Reserve begins to pivot [toward easier monetary policy], Bitcoin would do quite well," he added.
Miller further noted that he differentiates between Bitcoin, which he sees as a potential store of value like digital gold, and all the other cryptocurrencies. He said other digital assets can be categorized as venture speculation.
He stated that Bitcoin is still up by around 190% compared to its 2020 low of $5,800, arguing that Bitcoin has performed quite well overall.
Core Scientific Inc (CORZ.O), one of the biggest publicly traded cryptocurrency mining companies in the United States, said on Wednesday it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the latest in a string of failures to hit the sector, Reuters reports.
Austin, Texas-based Core Scientific attributed its bankruptcy to slumping bitcoin prices, rising energy costs for bitcoin mining and a $7 million unpaid debt from U.S. crypto lender Celsius Network, one of its biggest customers.
Core Scientific said in court filings that it had suffered a net loss of $434.8 million for the three months ending September 30, 2022, and had just $4 million in liquidity at the time of its bankruptcy filing.
The company engaged restructuring advisers in October and has been negotiating with creditors about a potential bankruptcy filing since that time.
More than a trillion dollars in value has been wiped out from the crypto sector this year with rising interest rates exacerbating worries of an economic downturn. The crash has eliminated key industry players such as crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and Celsius.
The Bahrain telecom operator, STC Bahrain, has started acceoting cryptocurrencies, ostensibly making it the first in the kingdom to do so, Bitcoin.com reports.
Nezar Banabeela, the CEO of STC Bahrain, said:
Rapid digitization across the globe is transforming all aspects of our lives, and payments are the most crucial element. From online shopping and streaming videos to money transfers, almost every digital activity relies on a payment system.
Banabeela also claimed the telecom operator’s move to accept crypto payments demonstrates STC Bahrain’s “strong focus on advancing Bahrain’s fintech sector as world-class digital enablers.” In addition, the CEO said his company plans to make the acceptance of crypto “a seamless process and increase adoption as crypto is the future of payments.”
Canadian entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary today slammed crypto exchange Binance—and claimed it caused the collapse of FTX on purpose, Decrypt reports.
Speaking at the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs hearing, the celebrity businessman also said Binance is a “massive, unregulated monopoly now.”
O’Leary—who was heavily invested in FTX—told the hearing: “I have an opinion, not the records. One put the other out of business—intentionally.”
Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, played an early part in the collapse of mega exchange FTX last month. Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao announced that he would be selling the exchanges holdings of FTX’s native token, a move that triggered a liquidity crisis. Days later, FTX filed for bankruptcy.
The exchange’s bankruptcy trashed the crypto market—including several companies with exposure to the behemoth.
O’Leary also argued for stronger regulation today, noting that FTX-owned derivatives trading platform LedgerX was the “only entity that didn’t go to zero” following the crash because it was regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
CoinDesk reports that the Royal Bahamas Police Force arrested FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, a press statement said.
The arrest came after the U.S. filed criminal charges against Bankman-Fried, the statement said, and the nation expects the U.S. to request The Bahamas extradite Bankman-Fried in short order.
"As a result of the notification received and the material provided therewith, it was deemed appropriate for the Attorney General to seek SBF’s arrest and hold him in custody pursuant to our nation’s Extradition Act," the statement, attributed to Attorney General Ryan Pinder, said. "At such time as a formal request for extradition is made, The Bahamas intends to process it promptly, pursuant to Bahamian law and its treaty obligations with the United States."
A tweet from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York confirmed that prosecutors in the U.S. indicted Bankman-Fried, though the indictment remains under seal.
USA Damian Williams: Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the U.S. Government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the SDNY. We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time.— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) December 12, 2022
Bitcoin could drop to $5,000 next year in a market surprise that investors are under-pricing, according to Standard Chartered, CNBC report.
If that level is reached, it would mark a roughly 70% plunge from Monday’s price of just over $17,000 for one bitcoin.
In a note entitled “The financial-market surprises of 2023,” Standard Chartered outlined a number of possible scenarios that “we feel are under-priced by the markets.”
Eric Robertsen, global head of research at Standard Chartered Bank, said in the note Sunday:
Yields plunge along with technology shares, and while the Bitcoin sell-off decelerates, the damage has been done. More and more crypto firms and exchanges find themselves with insufficient liquidity, leading to further bankruptcies and a collapse in investor confidence in digital assets.
Robertsen said the somewhat extreme scenarios “have a non-zero probability of occurring in the year ahead, and ... fall materially outside of the market consensus or our own baseline views.”