51% of Young British Investors Trading or Holding Crypto: Charles Schwab Survey

51% of Young British Investors Trading or Holding Crypto: Charles Schwab Survey

This is more than double the number of young investors, aged between 18 and 37, involved in stocks.

Young British investors are more interested in cryptocurrencies than they are in stocks, revealed a survey by U.S. financial group Charles Schwab.

The retail investing behemoth, which is also looking at the crypto market “closely” and awaiting regulatory clarity before they start offering crypto investment, surveyed investors aged between 18 and 37.

Its finding showed that 51% of these young investors have traded or held cryptocurrencies, double the number, 25% of those who are buying or owning equities.

Meanwhile, a mere 8% of investors over the age of 55 have traded cryptocurrencies.

Compared to Bitcoin’s 70% and Ether’s 205% returns YTD, which is after the recent 23%-26% pullback from all-time highs, S&P 500 surged 10.09%, gold -5.85%, and WTI 33.33% during the same period. The press release from Charles Schwab presenting the survey read,

“As more young people purchase speculative products, there is a fear that these investors are not diversifying their portfolios enough to mitigate risks in case cryptocurrency markets decline.”

The survey’s findings revealed that seven out of ten young investors were uncertain about building protections against losses in the current financial environment.

Schwab conducted the survey earlier this year, between February and March 2021, among 1,000 UK investors holding at least one type of investment.

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Author: AnTy

Survey: UK Investors See Cryptos as Better Investment Attractions To Stocks

A poll carried out by Censuswide for UK firm Parliament Street shows British investors closely monitor the crypto space.

UK Investors Have Crypto FOMO

The survey carried out in Feb. 2021 aimed to know how responders intend to diversify their investment portfolio following the economic uncertainty occasioned by the pandemic.

According to the 2,000 participant poll result, one-third of those questioned said they failed to take advantage of owning cryptocurrencies earlier and won’t consider joining due to current prices.

Despite feeling left out, 31% of investors believe the crypto market is expected to continue its bullish run. According to them, Bitcoin will likely hit the £50,000 mark before the year runs out. A further 18% of responders said BTC would surpass the £100K mark sooner rather than later.

For investors who were late to the crypto party, 25% of participants say they would have become millionaires if they had bought crypto at the start of 2020. Also, 37% of those questioned said that traditional assets like stocks, bonds, and shares were less profitable given the economic impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the capital markets. To them, cryptocurrencies are better investment attractions.

Cryptocurrencies have grown tremendously since the start of the year. Institutional demand has risen as corporate bodies see digital currencies as a hedge against the fast-eroding fiat currencies. With some of them converting all their cash reserves to cryptocurrencies, the industry has surpassed the $1 trillion mark in less than five years.

Bitcoin currently trades above $56,000, and there are many reasons why the prices are expected to rise even further. Increasing adoption of BTC as a speculative asset and medium of exchange are two essential factors. The limited 21 million supply restriction is also gradually turning it into a scarce commodity, leading many investors to call it “digital gold.”

But, Bitcoin is not alone. Ethereum stands heads-over-shoulder over other digital assets suitably called “altcoins.” With many altcoins fulfilling different specific purposes, the digital economy has become a wonderland for many investors. As a result, the traditional asset class has seen money moving into the crypto space due to its lower ROI.

Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile, falling sometimes 30% in a day, but their higher ROI and the utopian ideal of no central authority intermediating in transactions has seen the nascent industry continue to grow. Its underlying technology, distributed ledger technology (DLT), has also been praised for its myriad applications.

Rise of Bitcoin’s Addition to Corporate Treasuries

Last year, the addition of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to corporate balance sheets became a thing. Business executive and CEO of MicroStrategy Michael J.Saylor made it popular. Saylor was instrumental in convincing other industry heavyweights to join the crypto train. One of these tech veterans is Tesla’s Elon Musk.

Both men have done for crypto what Steve Jobs did for the internet. Saylor broke into the crypto space much earlier with a $625 million investment in BTC. At press time, his intelligence company holds a staggering $4.45 billion stake in Bitcoin alone. Musk came a little later, but his impact cannot be disregarded. In early February, Tesla’s $1.5 billion stakes in BTC saw BTC leave the support level of $42,000 to a new ATH of $58,000 in less than a month, climbing 20%.

Key collaborations from large firms like MasterCard, Square, Paypal, and assets management firm Grayscale have also made cryptocurrencies an exciting project.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

A Growing Number of British Investors Believe Crypto is as Safe as the Stock Market

A Growing Number of British Investors Believe Crypto is as Safe as the Stock Market

A recent poll suggests that Brits are getting more comfortable with cryptocurrencies. American investors also appear to be warming up more to crypto as their appetite for risk grows.

  • Despite their growing maturity over the past few years, cryptocurrencies have continued to face criticism over their perceived volatility and susceptibility to massive price swings.
  • However, the tide appears to be turning in Britain, as investors are getting more comfortable with the fledgling asset class.

Crypto on the Same Pedestal as Stocks

This week, market research and consumer insights provider, Piplsay, shared the results of a survey conducted on British investors about cryptocurrency. The survey consisted of 6,070 British investors above the age of 18, showing that a growing number of them now view cryptocurrencies as safe investments.

As the survey showed, over 40 percent of respondents described cryptocurrencies as safe, compared to 31 percent who viewed them as dangerous. Another 27 percent responded neutrally. Comparing cryptocurrencies to stocks, 41 percent claimed that both asset classes are on equal risk footing, while 45 percent believe that stocks are still safer than cryptocurrencies.

Of those who expressed concern about cryptocurrencies, almost 30 percent cited the potential for fraud and hacks as their primary concern. 26 percent also expressed concern over regulatory uncertainty, while only 19 percent pointed to the issue of price volatility.

Despite the growing sentiment over cryptocurrencies’ safety, 57 percent of respondents claimed that they didn’t have any desire to own digital assets. Of these, 46 percent claimed that they stayed away from cryptocurrencies because they had little to no knowledge of the asset class.

At the same time, 46 percent of all respondents also opined that large brands in the country should accept crypto payments. Most of these people cited the recent increased demand for crypto as payment methods as their reason.

American Investors Beef Up Risk Appetite

Investors’ growing desire to trade in cryptocurrencies isn’t native to Britain alone. Across the pond, professional investors are also trooping into the crypto space, encouraged by the market’s growth over the past year.

Last month, a fund manager survey from Bank of America showed that Bitcoin had become the most crowded trade in the country. Per a Reuters report, 36 percent of respondents in the survey identified the “long Bitcoin” bet as the most crowded trade, beating out “long tech.”

The Bank of America report marked the first time that “long tech” will be knocked from atop its perch since October 2019. It also marks a growing positive investor sentiment for Bitcoin, which was only third on the list in December 2020.

Several fund managers have also been hyping Bitcoin as a safe asset to invest in. Last month, Anthony Scaramucci and Brett Messing of New York hedge fund SkyBridge Capital wrote in an op-ed that Bitcoin is just as safe an investment as stocks or government bonds. The hedge fund managers wrote,

“[…] increased regulations, improved infrastructure and access to financial institutions — like Fidelity — that hold investors’ money have made bitcoin investments as safe as owning bonds and commodities like gold, which are also used to balance portfolios.”

With the cryptocurrency market delivering steady returns over other investment classes, investor sentiment remains strong.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

UK’s Leading Crypto Miner Increases Bitcoin Holdings by 30% in November

British digital currency miner Argo Blockchain reported an average monthly mining margin of 57% for November compared to 40% in October.

Last month was a good one for the price of Bitcoin, as it rallied 45%, and as a result, good for companies working with the cryptocurrency as well.

Argo Blockchain reported higher revenues for the period, recording a surge from £1.2mln to £1.48mln.

“This has been an extremely exciting month for cryptocurrency miners,” Argo chief executive Peter Wall said in a statement.

“We have seen the value of Bitcoin climb exponentially to over £14,000 as investors and payment service providers are turning their interest to cryptocurrencies.”

Despite the firm mining 115 Bitcoin compared to 126 BTC in October, this has been attributed to changes in the mining difficulty and Zcash halving. In total, the firm has mined 2,369 BTC year-to-date.

As of November 30, the London Stock Exchange-listed company held 178 BTC worth nearly $3.5 million, up from 137 BTC on October 31. The company also has a mining capacity of 16,000, increased from 5,000 machines in the first half of 2019. Wall said,

“At Argo, we are continuing to prioritise efficiency in our mining operations, and this has enabled us to increase our revenue by 23% this month and achieve our highest mining margin since the halving earlier this year.”

The shares of Argo are trading around $11, up 147% in the past two months.

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Author: AnTy

Gibraltar Govt Joins the Global Blockchain Business Council as an Observing Member

Gibraltar, of the British Overseas Territories, has been appointed as an observing member of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC). According to a Twitter announcement on the official handle of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar, the admission into GBBC is an opportunity for the British Overseas Territory to collaborate with stakeholders in blockchain advance research and adoption.

The GBBC is roughly three years old and constitutes various industry experts from over 50 jurisdictions, all of whom Gibraltar will now be working alongside. This initiative was launched three years ago in Davos to strengthen the blockchain community by enhancing partnerships, advocacy, and education.

Gibraltar noted that it would contribute its innovative approach in regulation and share ideas with other members of the GBBC. They also plan to expand collaborative partnerships to increase their contribution to both local and international blockchain regulation.

Gibraltar’s Minister for Digital and Financial Services, Hon Albert Isola, said that GBBC’s goal to grow the blockchain space by ‘engaging and educating enterprises and regulators is totally aligned with our own mission.’ GBBC CEO Sandra Ro was also optimistic about the announcement,

“The Global Blockchain Business Council welcomes the Government of Gibraltar into our global network as a GBBC Observing Member.

We look forward to highlighting the important digital assets and blockchain technology work and innovation from Gibraltar as we advance global collaboration, adoption, and opportunities.”

It is quite noteworthy that Gibraltar has previously been progressive on embracing blockchain technology; they introduced a DLT legislation as early as 2018 and recently made an update to feature the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidelines that were passed last year. The British Overseas Territory is also a member of an EU blockchain-focused group dubbed ‘INATBA.’

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Author: Edwin Munyui

The Cayman Islands Releases Phase 1 of Its Regulatory Framework for VASPs

The Cayman Islands, the Caribbean British Overseas territory, has announced through its Ministry of Financial Services that it has commenced developing a regulatory framework for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) within its jurisdiction. The island, which is notoriously famous for its ‘tax haven’ status, is looking to clear up ambiguities in running crypto operations as part of compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidelines, which were rolled out last year.

According to the press release on Oct 31, Cayman Islands classifies a virtual asset as a ‘digital representation of value that can be electronically traded and used for investment purposes.’ It has already enacted a set of rules to guide developing a VASP regulatory framework; these came into effect on Oct 28. Going forward, the island plans to roll out this process into two phases, with the initial one having commenced on Oct 31.

The first phase focuses on the compliance, supervision, and enforcement of Anti-money laundering (AML) and terror financing rules in line with the FATF and Cayman Island’s local guidelines. Prospective VASPs and those already operating in this tax haven will be required to register with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA). The second phase is slated for June 2021, and will focus on licensing requirements and prudential supervision.

Notably, the prospectus VASP regulatory framework will feature the FATF guidelines, some of which include the popular ‘Travel Rule.’ Currently, the island’s compliance with FATF is under assessment by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), which will later report its FATF ratings. The Cayman Islands is optimistic that developing a regulatory framework will attract more firms to launch within its jurisdiction. The press release highlights,

“The Cayman Islands’ ability to regulate and attract persons and entities that deal with virtual assets as a business is now strengthened, with the commencement of legislation for virtual asset service providers (VASPs).”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

HM Treasury to Establish Regulatory ‘Gateway’ For Cryptocurrency Promotions

The British government intends to bring some certain cryptocurrencies in to the scope of financial promotions regulations in a bid to protect UK based consumers. They announced at the beginning of this week that they would be looking to put an end to misleading adverts that put retail investors at risk.

According to a proposal published today that was tabled by John Glen, UK financial sector City Minister, the Crypto firms would have channeled through a regulatory gateway before being greenlighted to advertise crypto assets. The Financial Conduct authority (FCA) would play the oversight role for the promotions. Therefore, companies seeking to access the products from these unauthorized firms would require approval from the financial watchdog.

This was after a report from the 2018 crypto taskforce collaborative efforts from the HM treasury, FCA and Bank of England, highlighted that in as much as the crypto sphere and the underlying Distributed Ledger Technology potentially had a lot to offer, they should take steps to protect consumers and markets from looming risks. The risks identified include: Money laundering and terrorist funding and consumer and firm understanding of regulatory framework.

In the statement, the Minister remarking at the deficiencies of the current regulatory framework to catch up with the dynamic products flooding the markets, insisted that the proposal would look to categorize crypto promotions as other financial product promos.

Notably, a recent FCA crypto survey estimates that at least 1.9 million Britons translating to almost 4% of their population own some sort of cryptocurrency. With the number of citizens that have possessed crypto assets increasing to 5.35% in 2020 from last year’s meagre 3%. Bitcoin is the most popular crypto product, with almost 22% of the respondents acknowledging to have heard of Facebook’s Libra initiative despite not being operational yet.

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Author: Lujan Odera

BTSE Exchange Lists Turkish Stablecoin, BiLira, While Turkey’s Economy Is Struggling

BTSE, British Virgin Islands-based cryptocurrency futures and OTC exchange has added support for digital Lira, the Turkish stablecoin also known as BiLira (TRYB).

BiLira is currently paired against USDT and would be available for trading on BTSE’s spot market. TRYB has become the 19th currency to be available for trading on the exchange.

The listing comes just as the Turkish economy has been experiencing a crisis; with the value of the national fiat falling to an all-time low against the US Dollar. The introduction of a digital fiat would make it easier for Turkish users to make cross-border payments with real-time settlements and low remittance fees.

Amid the growing financial unrest in Turkey, cryptocurrencies have found a high level of acceptance in the country. It has been a growing theme around the world that countries with troubled economies have looked towards crypto for an alternative.

Jonathan Leong, the CEO and co-founder of BTSE explained that the Turkish market has had quite a positive outlook towards crypto and since their entry in the country early this year, they have garnered a strong and growing community. Long also noted that the decision to list TRYB was prompted by huge community demand for the same.

Turkey Has Great Potential For Crypto Adoption

BiLira’s co-founder Vidal Artditi emphasised that Turkey has the potential to become a blockchain and cryptocurrency hub. Especially since the Turkish community has a high crypto literacy rate, with those not only understanding how crypto and blockchain functions, but also the importance of it in the current financial scenario. He cited further that Turkish citizens are known for hedging risk and trading crypto with high adoption rates.

Artditi also claimed that trading is a cultural phenomenon in Turkey and thus it aligns well with the idea of blockchain and crypto. Given mobile phone usage is in excess of 90% in the country, which could prove to be a driving force in crypto usage and adoption, Turkey has everything it needs to become a hub for crypto adoption.

Artditi also asserted that they are not interested in creating any sort of bubble and are true believers in the principle of cryptocurrencies. He explained:

“We’re not here to create a bubble. We’re here to create real use cases, which is why we’ve set up our system and our platform in a way that people can buy up to 100,000 euro per month without paying even a lira on commissions. It’s to be able to make it as easily accessible, even if it’s going to be damaging financially to our company in the short term. Just to make sure we highlight the value proposition of this product and how it can really change the lives of these people.”

In the past couple of years, cryptocurrencies have found more traction from countries where the economy is struggling for various reasons, be it hyperinflation like in Venezuela or trade sanctions imposed in Israel. Even African countries where poverty rates are quite high with a majority of the population being underbanked, crypto has emerged as a financial bridge.

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Author: Silvia A

UK Crypto Financial Service Provider Becomes First ‘Authorised Payment Institution’ By FCA

A British crypto company similar to Bitstamp, Galaxy Digital and Coinbase was awarded a license for payments by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The announcement was made on Monday, by the BCB Group. It’s saying that BCB Payments Ltd., a subsidiary of BCB Group, is the first and only UK crypto company to be registered as an Authorized Payment Institution.

Banks in UK Aren’t Too Keen on Crypto Firms

Since British banks don’t really want to work with crypto companies, BCB stands as the only option for cryptocurrency enthusiasts. It has mentioned that it provides B2B payment services like cryptocurrency market liquidity and business accounts for some of the largest crypto financial institutions in the world. This is what the CEO and founder of the BCB Group, Oliver von Landsberg-Sadie, had to say about the latest FCA license award obtained by BSB Payments:

“This regulatory approval for our firm, a leading crypto-dedicated payment service provider, is a testament to how we’re able to push ahead with digital asset innovation while remaining in full compliance with some of the most stringent regulations in force globally.”

BCB Payments Already Registered as a Small Payment Institution

BCB Payments hasn’t been a stranger to the FCA, as it has been registered as a Small Payment Institution with the regulator ever since June 2018. Becoming an Authorized Payment Institution is more like an “upgrade”. The Swiss BCB OTC Trading SARL has also been regulated by an organization which is self-regulated, with the supervision of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). With the new license, BCB Payments expects to gain new international clients from both Switzerland and the UK.

BCB Group Working with ClearBank

The problem with banks in UK being reluctant to the crypto space came into attention in July 2019, when Coinbase had to put the transactions denominated in the British pound on hold because it was dropped by Barclays. In October, it reinstated its services, after closing a partnership with ClearBank. The BCB Group is also collaborating with ClearBank to offer British clients the UK Faster Payments scheme. In July last year, BCB started to provide this service for the crypto exchange Bitstamp.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Dubious ‘Royal House’ Letter to Raise Bitcoin to Save British Economy in Post-Brexit Era Circulates

Scammers have allegedly asked for $2.5 Million BTC from the British residents. They claimed that the funds would be used in taking care of the financial system after Brexit.

Emails Vs Letters

These fraudsters dispatched out to the British bodily letters pretending to be the non-public secretary of Queen Elizabeth II. This is according to one of the many copies disclosed by the executive of a local tech agency.

The CEO at a United Kingdom-based IT firm Smart task; Paul Ridden posted on LinkedIn on Sept. 24 an image of the letter. He was raising concern over the failed fraudulent activity and asking if there was someone else who had received something similar.

The letter dated Sept. 16 claimed that it was the second time until now that the Queen was appealing to several folks to save Britain’s financial system. In the letter, the Queen’s side has already garnered 82% of the 19 billion British pounds. This is technically the amount of cash that should be paid to the European Union to save many financial systems.

High Gratuity Guaranteed

The letter has it that the Royal home seeks to borrow from 450,000 to 2,000,000 British pounds (up to $2.5 million) from the British residents. The letter also asked the recipients to transfer the cash to the Royal home via Bitcoin.

In return for participation, the potential Bitcoin donors were promised a 30% interest rate at an interval of three months. They would also have the chance to be a member of Royal Warrant Holders Affiliation.

The British tech-focused publication IT expert contacted Buckingham Palace following the news, but they did not reply during press time. Ridden was sure that no one in their right mind would send Bitcoin to the scammers. He termed the attempt as poor because the letter was written in poor English and also said there is monetary consciousness in Britain.

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Author: Daniel W