Global Bitcoin ATM Installation Shoots Past 24,000 In 2021: Report

This year has seen a sharp increase in the number of crypto automated teller machines (ATMs) installed worldwide. Data from Coin ATM Radar shows that crypto ATM installation has increased by more than 70% to over 24,000 this year.

Over 10,000 Crypto ATMs Installed In 2021

No less than 10,000 new crypto ATMs have been installed this year alone, surpassing the 7,620 added in 2020, per Coin ATM Radar. These crypto ATMs are being installed at a speed of roughly 52.3 ATMs per day.

At press time, the crypto ATM tracker reported a total of 24,004 crypto ATMs globally. This represents a 71.73% growth from the 13,993 crypto machines earlier this year.

The US takes the lead for the country with the most installations, according to the report. There are over 21,161 ATMs in the US alone. Canada closely follows the US with 1,698 locations and the UK with 174 locations.

In terms of the manufacturers of the mahines, Genesis Coin tops the list with a total of 9,813 machines installed. This is closely followed by General Bytes with 5,720, Bitaccess with 2,766, and Coinsource with 1,684 machines.

The ATMs are operated by more than 600 different companies. Bitcoin Depot controls the market with about 15.8% market share.

Crypto ATM Operators Sealing Partnership Deals

Earlier this year, Bitcoin Depot started its expansion plans when it launched 115 kiosks across 24 US states, including Alabama, Minnesota, Florida, and California.

Bitcoin Depot has continued to grow its reach. Just last week, the crypto ATM operator sealed a partnership with convenience store chain Circle K.

Through this collaboration, Bitcoin Depot plans to expand its ATMs by installing over 6,000 kiosks across North America by the end of 2021.The partnership has resulted in the installation of more than 700 Bitcoin ATMs in the US and Canada.

Other operators like Coin Cloud and CoinFlip have also signed partnerships with celebrities to boost their operations. Coin Cloud partnered with Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Lee to promote cryptocurrency ATMs in an ad campaign.

The multimillion-dollar media campaign was tagged “The Currency of Currency” and was directed by Lee.

Last month, Coinflip also partnered with actor and bitcoin investor Neil Patrick Harris on a marketing campaign. The campaign titled “So Flippin’ Easy,” was aimed at promoting cryptocurrency investing.

Read Original/a>
Author: Jimmy Aki

Australian ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Firm Looking to Allow Users to Trade Crypto on Customer Demand

Australian ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Firm Looking to Allow Users to Trade Crypto on Customer Demand

Zip Co Ltd, an Australian buy now, pay later (BNPL) firm, explores the option to allow its users to trade cryptocurrencies.

Trading in crypto using Zip digital wallets was one of most requested new product features from users, said co-founder Peter Gray on Thursday.

Zip said it would likely launch the new service in the US first and then in the next 12 months in Australia. The US is driving its fourth-quarter growth and is set to soon become its biggest market by volume.

The company’s fourth-quarter volumes and revenue doubled, with transaction volumes hitting A$1.76 billion ($1.29 billion) in the June quarter and volume at its US unit quadrupled.

Zip’s Australian user base is mature, with about 30% of adults having a BNPL account.

This attempt by Zip to go into crypto is also propelled by the company’s established competitors like Afterpay and Klarna expanding into more countries and planning new offerings like a banking app. The BNPL sector is also attracting the giants like PayPal and even Apple.

“We know our younger generation of customers seek additional products and services that are relevant to them,” Gray told Reuters. The company itself is also looking at expansion in Europe and the Middle East.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Crypto Mining ETF Focused On Green Energy Launches On NYSE

Investment firm Viridi Funds has launched an environmentally friendly, crypto mining-focused exchange-traded fund (ETF). The fund aims to invest in crypto mining firms using cleaner sources of energy.

Viridi Funds’ New RIGZ ETF

The ETF dubbed the Viridi Cleaner Energy Crypto-Mining and Semiconductor ETF will trade on the New York Stock Exchange’s Arca platform under the symbol ‘RIGZ.’

According to the announcement, Viridi Funds will serve as a sub-adviser to the fund, with Alpha Architect creating the fund’s infrastructure.

The ETF, which has an expense ratio of 0.9%, was first filed by Viridi in April this year.

Viridi said 80% of the fund’s investment would go to publicly traded miners, while 20% would go towards semiconductors that take advantage of clean energy. The fund would only invest in miners who have switched to nuclear or renewable energy sources or are working on offsetting their carbon emissions with carbon credits.

According to the CEO of Viridi Funds, Wes Fulford, the firm would use an internal proprietary screening algorithm to select the companies based on their current and planned energy source.

Viridi Funds is backed by several investors, including CoinShares, Alameda Ventures, Luxor Technology, Fundamental Labs, and Mechanism Capital.

Fulford commented on the recent movement of miners from China to North America. He said this was good news as North American miners have access to renewable energy sources.

“We believe that based on recent developments within the Chinese mining sector, North American miners that have access to sustainable low-cost power, large fleets of new-generation rigs, and access to capital are well-positioned to generate higher returns during the months and years ahead.”

With the migration of Chinese miners to North America, the country now accounts for nearly 17% of all global Bitcoin mining, CNBC reports.

Viridi’s ETF Amid Calls For Clean Energy

Viridi’s new product launch is part of the growing efforts of institutions in focusing on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.

Several partnerships have been formed lately by US crypto mining firms to make Bitcoin mining more environmentally friendly. Last week, Bitcoin miner Cleanspark partnered with ESG focused miner Coinmint to increase scalability.

Other companies like Hut 8 and Hive Blockchain have also signed deals recently purchasing new machines to increase their hashrate.

For months, all the buzz has been about Bitcoin exchange-traded funds. While countries like Canada and Brazil have already listed Bitcoin ETFs in their stock exchanges, the US is yet to approve any.

Viridi’s ETF differs because it will not invest directly in cryptocurrencies but will likely have indirect exposure to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. This is because many publicly listed miners have these assets on their balance sheets.

Read Original/a>
Author: Jimmy Aki

Non-Custodial Crypto Wallets Not Covered by Proposed Prohibition, Clarifies European Commission

Non-Custodial Crypto Wallets Not Covered by Proposed Prohibition, Clarifies European Commission

On Tuesday, besides prohibiting anonymous crypto transactions, the EU’s executive arm also added anonymous crypto asset wallets to its prohibition list, requiring the full application of AML/CFT rules to ensure complete traceability.

This created some confusion as to what exactly the crypto wallets meant here, which the European Commission confirmed is not applicable to non-custodial privacy wallets rather only to exchanges.

“Indeed, open-source, non-custodial wallets, will not be covered by the prohibition,” an EC spokesperson told Cryptonews.com.

Anti-money laundering (AML) frameworks are only applied to actors that are gatekeepers of the financial system, which in crypto means VASPs like exchanges that provide virtual asset services.

“But this requirement does not apply to un-hosted wallets that are retained by the users themselves,” the spokesperson added.

This week, European Union (EU) policymakers proposed tightening regulations on the cryptocurrency sector by prohibiting the anonymous transfer of crypto assets and requiring companies to collect data on both senders and recipients as part of its broad plan to crack down on money laundering and terrorist financing.

“The present proposal aims at introducing in EU law these new requirements of the VASPs, by providing an obligation for these actors to collect and make accessible data concerning the originators and beneficiaries of the transfers of virtual or crypto assets they operate,” reads the proposal.

The law, as we reported, basically extends the Financial Action Task Force’s “travel rule” that applies to wire transfers to the entire crypto industry.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Applying Travel Rule to Crypto, EU Proposes Prohibition of Anonymous Cryptocurrency Transactions and Wallets

Applying Travel Rule to Crypto, EU Proposes Prohibition of Anonymous Cryptocurrency Transactions and Wallets

The European Union says ensuring “full traceability of crypto-asset transfers” would help the crypto-asset industry develop in the region “as it will benefit from an updated, harmonised legal framework across the EU.”

The European Union is proposing to ban anonymous cryptocurrency transactions as well as wallets as part of its broader plan to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

Companies that transfer Bitcoin and other crypto assets are required to collect details of senders and recipients to help authorities in cracking down on dirty money, EU policymakers proposed on Tuesday.

These latest efforts to tighten regulation of the crypto sector would apply travel rules to crypto transactions, making them traceable. It is already applicable to wire transfers.

The law proposed by the EU is one of the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental watchdog. The Commission said in a statement,

“Today’s amendments will ensure full traceability of crypto-asset transfers, such as bitcoin, and will allow for prevention and detection of their possible use for money laundering or terrorism financing.”

The information collected by the company handling the crypto assets for a customer will include name, address, date of birth and account number, and the name of the crypto asset receiver whose service provider must collect required information as well.

Besides anonymous transactions, anonymous crypto wallets will also be prohibited, much like anonymous bank accounts are already banned under EU anti-money laundering rules.

The European Parliament and the EU states will be deciding the fate of these proposals as such could take about two years to become law.

According to the EU, these proposals are designed to “find the right balance between addressing these threats and complying with international standards while not creating excessive regulatory burden on the industry,” helping the crypto-asset industry develop in the region “as it will benefit from an updated, harmonised legal framework across the EU.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

China Has No Final Date for Launch of e-CNY, the ‘Cash Substitute’ with Smart Contract Feature

Declining use of cash and rapid rise in crypto, especially stablecoins, drove POC’s digital fiat development, which will coexist with physical RMB. In its whitepaper, e-CNY claims to offer anonymity for small value and collects less transaction information than traditional electronic payment unless, of course, “stipulated otherwise in laws and regulations.”

China’s central bank has released the whitepaper of its digital fiat, e-CNY detailing the progress in its research and development. While People’s Bank of China aims to continue the advancement of the pilot in line with its 14th Five-Year Plan, there is “no preset timetable for the final launch” yet.

According to the whitepaper, it is seeking public comments on its digital fiat that is driven by the development of the digital economy, which calls for new retail payment infrastructures.

“As the Chinese economy is shifting from high-speed growth to high-quality development, technological innovation represented by the digital economy has become an important driver of development.”

The bank noted that in China, there is a significant decline in the usage of cash, with the number of transactions done via mobile accounting for 66%, those paid in cash 23%, and cards making up 7%, as per the PBOC survey in 2019.

Also, during the survey period, 46% used no cash.

Besides the foundation of money changing, the “rapid” rise of cryptocurrencies, especially global stablecoins, is another factor driving the need for digital fiat.

Claiming to be decentralized and entirely anonymous, their lack of intrinsic value, acute price fluctuations, low trading efficiencies, and huge energy consumption can hardly serve as currencies used in daily economic activities, wrote the central bank.

As for commercial institutions launching their global stablecoins, it will bring risks and challenges to the international monetary system, monetary policies, and cross-border capital flow management, it added.

The Digital Version of Fiat

“E-CNY is the digital version of fiat currency issued by the PBOC and operated by authorized operators,” notes PBOC as he explains just what exactly is digital fiat.

e-CNY is China’s legal tender with all the basic functions of money, which adopts a centralized management model and a two-tier operational system. This means the right to issue e-CNY belongs to the state with PBOC at the center, which issues e-CNY to authorized operators, which are commercial banks that exchange and circulate e-CNY to the public.

It is simply a “substitute for cash in circulation” and will coexist with physical RMB, which the PBOC will continue to supply as long as there is demand for it, the country’s apex bank wrote.

With e-CNY, the central bank’s objective is to diversify the forms of cash and satisfy the public’s demand for digital cash.

While mainly serving domestic retail payment demands, the PBOCs objective is also to explore the improvement of cross-border payments.

Cross-border payment involves various complicated issues, but “the internationalization of a currency is a natural result of market selection,” it said. Given that e-CNY is “technically ready for cross-border use,” the central bank will explore a cross-border pilot while upholding the principle of having a two-tier and risk-free system “to meet regulatory and compliance requirements of various countries,” it said.

PBOC also claims to offer anonymity in its e-CNY but only for small value and traceable for high value. For this, it will set up a firewall for related information.

“The e-CNY system collects less transaction information than traditional electronic payment and does not provide information to third parties or other government agencies unless stipulated otherwise in laws and regulations.”

The digital fiat also features programmability, deploying smart contracts that don’t impair its monetary functions, enabling self-executing payments according to predefined conditions or terms agreed between two sides.

When it comes to a wallet, there are different types based on the strength of a customer’s personal information, which the PBOC, together with authorized operators and relevant organizations, jointly build, own, and share.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

“Explosion” of Crypto Among Younger People has FCA “More Rigorous,” Launches $15M Marketing Campaign

“Explosion” of Crypto Among Younger People has FCA “More Rigorous,” Launches $15M Marketing Campaign

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is launching an £11 million (just over $15 million) marketing campaign to warn the younger generation of the risk of investing in crypto assets.

It was revealed during the FCA’s business plan webinar titled, “Transforming to a forward-looking, proactive regulator,” by the head of the agency, Nikhil Rathi.

“We’ve seen an explosion among younger people speculating on cryptocurrencies or other high-risk investments,” said Rathi, noting nearly 2.5 million people in the UK had bought crypto assets in the last year.

FCA described this investor group more on the younger side and more likely from an ethnic minority while comparing it to the GameStop episode where people see investment as entertainment – behaving less rationally and more emotionally. It added,

“This is a category of consumer that we are not used to engaging with – 18 to 30-year-olds more likely to be drawn in by social media.”

While the regulator will support innovative companies through its Digital Sandbox by making it permanent, it would only apply to those who meet their regulatory expectations. The FCA said,

“Firms should expect us to be even more rigorous on upholding high standards – especially on governance, conflicts of interest and conduct, including considering diversity and inclusion as regulatory issues.”

It particularly mentions crypto firms applying for anti-money laundering registration as high-risk businesses and complex markets.

These increased measures from FCA come on the heels of the Advertising Standards Authority’s plan to tighten its monitoring of the crypto market. Earlier this month, it said instead of their previous reactive approach, they would now be proactively looking for irresponsible or misleading ads for crypto products.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Unaffected by Macro, is Driven by Idiosyncratic Variables But Still Facing A Major Headwind

Crypto assets are in the red this week.

Bitcoin price keeps down around $31,500, and in tandem, Ether has fallen under $1,900. Altcoins are getting hammered except for selective ones like Axie Infinity, with the total market cap now at $1.35 trillion, down 48.5% from the mid-May peak. ETH -3.92% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 1,916.60
-$75.13-3.92%
Volume 15.72 b Change -$75.13 Open $1,916.60 Circulating 116.71 m Market Cap 223.68 b
8 h SEC Extends Decision On WisdomTree’s Bitcoin ETF Application 9 h Bitcoin Unaffected by Macro, is Driven by Idiosyncratic Variables But Still Facing A Major Headwind 9 h Solana Based Crypto Wallet Phantom Raises $9M to Scale Operations
AXS 2.74% Axie Infinity / USD AXSUSD $ 23.96
$0.662.74%
Volume 2.07 b Change $0.66 Open $23.96 Circulating 60.91 m Market Cap 1.46 b
9 h Bitcoin Unaffected by Macro, is Driven by Idiosyncratic Variables But Still Facing A Major Headwind 2 d SLP Farming Is Turning Out to Be Very Lucrative, While Axie Infinity (AXS) Has the Lowest P/E Ratio 3 d KuCoin (KCS) Rallies as Degens Turn to KuCoin Community Chain (KCC)

Meanwhile, the stock market is keeping around its all-time highs hit just this week. The US dollar shows strength around 92.55, with gold recording some gains at $1,825.

The latest price action in the stock market is after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments on inflation to remain high for some time and assuring that tapering is not coming just yet.

While Bitcoin sometimes responds to macro events like the last FOMC meeting and the latest CPI data, which showed the highest inflation in 13-years, it does so on rare occasions.

image1

The leading cryptocurrency remains an uncorrelated asset, for the most part. For Bitcoin, the dominant factor contributing to risk measures, basically the percentage of volatility due to factor exposure, is “residual.”

This means the cryptocurrency is mainly driven by bitcoin-specific (i.e., idiosyncratic) variables. And for Bitcoin, these idiosyncratic drivers have been money flows lately.

“Equities, rates, inflation, gold, the dollar, these all matter as everything is interconnected, yet most of the time are of secondary importance when it comes to BTC,” said trader and economist Alex Kruger. “Don’t need to have an explanation for every time the price goes up or down.”

This week, the data showed that the price of food, energy, travel and primarily used cars increased dramatically, the most since 2008, which makes sense given that the costs of these things also fell sharply when the lockdowns were implemented last year.

A significant increase in the prices of everyday items makes crypto assets more attractive as in the past year, compared to other investments, crypto has provided much higher returns and more money to spend.

“When it comes down to inflation, most of it is, in fact, transitory,” Kruger noted.

“Inflation is a rate of change. Prices are supposed to increase in aggregate. Price increases are indeed not transitory. High inflation likely is” because central banks’ reserves creation is slowing down, supply-side bottlenecks are temporary, the population is aging, household savings will mean revert leading to fewer dollars to spend, and employers will hire less than before due to limited wage pressures, he added.

In a fireside chat, American economist Ben Bernanke said that the central bank wants to see some modest inflation. The Fed’s target inflation rate is 2%.

According to him, the Fed will be successful in getting it in low 2% for a time before getting it down to 2.0% while noting that in the 1990s, inflation averaged 3% over that whole decade.

Persistent 3% inflation, however, would produce anxiety this time as it would question credibility, given the 2% target, according to him.

Bernanke, who served two terms as the Federal Reserve Chairman from 2006 to 2014, believes the tapering of the current $120 billion per month bonds buying will be a year-long process, $10 billion per meeting was how it was down in 2013. An increase in its rate won’t happen until the end of tapering, which pushes into 2023.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

You Wouldn’t Need Crypto If You Have CBDC; ECB & Fed Selling Their Digital Fiat As Better Than Bitcoin

You Wouldn’t Need Crypto If You Have CBDC; ECB & Fed Selling Their Digital Fiat As Better Than Bitcoin

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday came out strongly supporting a digital dollar, saying it could undercut the need for cryptocurrencies and stablecoins.

When asked during the congressional hearing if having a digital currency issued by the central bank would be a more viable alternative than cryptos in the payments system, Powell agreed and said:

“I think that may be the case and I think that’s one of the arguments that are offered in favour of digital currency. That, in particular, you wouldn’t need stablecoins, you wouldn’t need cryptocurrencies if you had a digital US currency – I think that’s one of the stronger arguments in its favour.”

Powell said a discussion paper would be released in early September for the same, which he described as a key step in accelerating the Fed’s efforts to determine if it should issue its own central bank digital currency (CBDC).

During the hearing, Powell also shared his skepticism towards crypto assets becoming the primary payments vehicle in the US. But he does see stablecoin gaining more traction, and because of that, they need more regulation.

“We have a pretty strong regulatory framework around bank deposits,” which Powell said, “doesn’t exist currently for stablecoins.”

If stablecoins are going to be a significant part of the payments universe, which crypto assets won’t be “but stablecoins might be – then we need an appropriate regulatory framework,” Powell added.

European Central Bank (ECB) also shared similar views on the same day as it said a digital euro would be more “environmentally friendly” than the energy consumption of Bitcoin.

This comparison came as ECB announced that it had launched the investigation phase of a digital dollar project that will last 24 months. ECB President Christine Lagarde said,

“Our work aims to ensure that in the digital age, citizens and firms continue to have access to the safest form of money, central bank money.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

$9.5T BlackRock CEO says, Investors May Not Come to Them for Crypto, Not That “Type of Demand”

$9.5T BlackRock CEO says, Investors May Not Come to Them for Crypto, Not That “Type of Demand”

This could be why Larry Fink didn’t take a single question about crypto in the past two weeks while on his business travels but for the US stock market, he believes “the trend line is still going to be upward,” due to “the amount of cash that is looking to be put to work.”

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said he does not see much demand for crypto assets.

In an interview with CNBC Squawk Box published Wednesday, Fink said while he has been asked about Bitcoin and cryptos, in the past two weeks of his business travel, not a single question has been asked about digital assets.

“That is not part of the focus on retirement and long-term investors,” he said, adding, “We see very little in terms of investor demand on those types of things.”

While acknowledging that that kind of demand may not come to the asset manager, he said retirement funds are more interested in their portfolio over the long term. Fink said,

“Quite frankly, they may not come to BlackRock for that type of demand, but I would say for all the pension funds and insurance companies, for all that RIAs that we are talking to for their clients on behalf of their retirements, the dialogue is about how should I navigate my portfolio and how should I think about my portfolio over the long horizon.”

Previously, the CEO of the world’s largest manager said the leading cryptocurrency “had caught the attention and the imagination of many people” who are “fascinated” by it but noted that it hadn’t proven its long-term viability.

Just back in April, he said, Bitcoin can become a “great asset class.”

At the time as well, he said, “We make money on it, but I’m not here to tell you that we’re seeing broad-based interest by institutions worldwide,” adding that institutions may be “talking to somebody else.”

Upwards Trajectory

The asset management firm reported an adjusted quarterly profit of $10.03 per share during the quarter, beating the estimate, and had its assets under management surging to a record $9.49 trillion.

Still, BlackRock today fell 1.4% in premarket action.

Meanwhile, in his interview with CNBC, Fink said the long-term trend remains strong while talking about the US stock market. But, of course, he’s “not” saying that it’s going to be a straight-line upward. He added,

“But overall, with the amount of fiscal stimulus and monetary stimulus, and more importantly with the amount of cash that is looking to be put to work, I believe the trend line is still going to be upward.”

This, combined with low or negative rates is why, “Asset owners are the biggest beneficiaries of monetary policy,” he said.

As for meme stocks, Fink is hoping for improved financial literacy so that instead of only focusing on speculating, more people are investing in the long run — “I look at this as a possibly good first step,” he said.

However, he does not believe that inflation will be transitory as the Federal Reserve has been emphasizing; rather, it will be “more systematical.” Fink said,

“I believe it is a fundamental, foundational change in how we navigate economic policy…now we are saying jobs are more important than consumerism.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy