Tunisia’s Economy Minister says He’s Going to Decriminalize Buying Bitcoin

Tunisia’s Economy Minister says He’s Going to Decriminalize Buying Bitcoin

The latest country working on changing its rules and regulations around cryptocurrencies is Tunisia which plans to decriminalize owning Bitcoin and crypto.

Tunisia’s minister of economy said over the weekend that he wants to change the law around cryptocurrencies which condemns people for mining cryptos and using them as payment. He said,

“I will change the law, we cannot put a Tunisian young man in prison for buying Bitcoin.”

Back in 2020, Marouane Abassi, Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia, said that “we must follow” Bitcoin and the technology and prepare for effective monitoring of its use cases.

A year before that, Tunisia, along with Afghanistan, was looking to issue bitcoin-based bonds to help save their ravaged economies. At the time, Marouane said the country had created a special group to explore functionalities of a sovereign Bitcoin bond and that crypto and blockchain offers.

“central banks an efficient tool to combat money-laundering, manage remittances, fight cross-border terrorism and limit grey economies.”

The same year, in 2019, Tunisia became the first African country to move its national currency to a blockchain platform with the help of the universal contracting platform, Monetas.

“eDinar” can be used to make money transfers, pay for utility bills, and manage official government identification documents, which is also available to transfer between citizens at shops, cafes, and restaurants amidst the central bank’s plans to integrate it in cross-border payments and circumvent the need for US dollars.

Tunisia is currently in discussion with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding a new program focused on the size of the loan as talks continue on reforms for the country’s troubled economy.

It is discussing phasing out subsidies as Tunisia is considering the gradual removal of subsidies on food, electricity, and natural gas by 2024.

Now, finally, the country may take some constructive steps towards cryptocurrencies as more and more countries announce their support for crypto.

El Salvador is one such crypto-friendly country that is all set to make Bitcoin legal tender and use volcanic geothermal energy to mine the cryptocurrency.

“The President of the Central American Bank (BCIE), a bank with 13.5 billion dollars in assets, supports our Bitcoin Law,” tweeted President Nayib Bukele over the weekend after the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) said they would hold a press conference this week to talk about their approval of El Salvador’s support for Bitcoin.

Elsewhere, think tank Lobby New Zealand has sent a letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern “asking that the New Zealand Government recognize Bitcoin as a foreign currency in eighty-six days when Bitcoin becomes legal tender in El Salvador.”

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Author: AnTy

Hungary to Cut Tax on Crypto Earnings to 15% from 30.5% to Help the Economy Recover

Hungary to Cut Tax on Crypto Earnings to 15% from 30.5% to Help the Economy Recover

The finance minister expects “several billion forints” of revenue from this tax reduction while its inflation spiked to above 5% in Q2, the fastest in Europe and the highest since 2012 as it sees no reason to make substantial cuts in spending next year.

Hungary is all set to reduce tax on cryptocurrency earnings by more than 50%, from the current rate of 30.5% to 15%, said Finance Minister Mihaly Varga in a Facebook post.

“Tax cuts and tax simplifications will continue next year: we will also help relaunch the economy through tax policy.”

As part of the post-COVID19 relief efforts, the government is considering cutting the taxes on crypto trading. It expects “several billion forints” of revenue from it, as per the video message posted by the finance minister.

In Hungary, buying and selling crypto assets are classified as “other income” for the purpose of taxation.

Hungary, which has also been involved in a discussion of central bank digital currency (CBDC) like the rest of the world, has been seeing an uptick in cryptocurrency trading this year, much like everywhere else, thanks to the raging bull market.

On Monday, Varga also said that he was not afraid of the economy overheating as it recovers from the pandemic and that there is no reason to make substantial cuts in spending next year.

“We are not afraid of the economy overheating, but we continuously monitor inflation, the forint’s exchange rate, and deficit and debt indicators,” he said in an interview on business website portfolio.hu.

“We do not see any problems that should force us to cool the economy already in 2022 … and make bigger spending cuts.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orban had said he would insist on an expansionary budget for 2022 following a deep 2020 recession caused by the pandemic and resulting lockdowns.

However, inflation is spiking to above 5% in the second quarter, increasing more than estimated.

Inflation in Hungary has been increasing the fastest in Europe and the highest since 2012. However, core inflation, which doesn’t include volatile food and energy prices, only rose 3% in April, the lowest in two years.

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Author: AnTy

Germany Passes Law to Allow Electronic Securities on Blockchain

Germany, the largest economy in Europe, has passed a law that will allow all-electronic securities to be recorded and traded based on blockchain technology. According to Reuters’ report, this is part of a more effective strategy by the country’s Finance Ministry to integrate existing ecosystems with blockchain.

The newly passed legislation does away with paper certificate requirements for selling securities within Germany’s financial markets. Stakeholders who pivoted towards this shift cited lengthy administrative processes that have often been a barrier.

While the paper certificate may have acquired sentimental value, the future belongs to an electronic version, according to Olaf Scholtz, Germany’s Minister of Finance. Scholtz said that,

“The paper certificate may be dear to some for nostalgic reasons, but the future belongs to its electronic version.”

Meanwhile, Germany is still making significant strides in the nascent crypto industry has released new guidelines that recognize crypto assets as financial instruments earlier this year. Its second-largest stock exchange, Börse Stuttgart, is also working to integrate security tokens to shift to virtual assets.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Brazil Becomes The Latest Country To Confirm Plans to Launch A CBDC

Brazil’s Economy Minister recently spoke during the celebration of the Caixa Economica Federal’s 100 millionth digital savings account, and he used the opportunity to announce Brazil’s own CBDC.

The Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) trend is larger than ever, with countries worldwide announcing their intention to create their own digital currency, one after another. The latest in this long line is Brazil, whose Economy Minister personally confirmed plans to launch digital real.

Brazil announces its upcoming CBDC — digital real.

Brazil’s decision to launch its own digital currency does not come as a major surprise. After all, as soon as China announced digital yuan, many countries started developing their own CBDCs in China’s fear of obtaining too much influence.

As soon as a few nations’ central banks showed their willingness to start creating their own crypto, the rest were bound to follow. Brazil comes as the next one in line, as confirmed by its Economy Minister, Paulo Guedes.

Guedes made his statement yesterday, November 5th, during a special ceremony that celebrated the opening of the 100 millionth digital savings account in Caixa Economica Federal.

He said that the central bank is once again autonomous and that the digital dimension is booming. With that being the case, he revealed that Brazil would have its own digital currency and remain ahead of many other countries.

Brazil was prepared for work on CBDC, but it did not address it before

Interestingly, this was the first time that the country’s Economy Minister addressed this subject. However, he still did not reveal any more details regarding the upcoming digital real.

Of course, Brazil has been keeping an eye on crypto in the past. Its central bank even announced setting up a study group for potential CBDC issuance back in August.

Its president, Roberto Campos Neto, also said that Brazil requires improvement in its currency. However, he expected that this would happen within the scope of a new federal digital payment system, Pix. He said,

“In our case, Pix is very important because from now on, we see the union of an instant, open and interoperable form of payment with an open data system. They will meet somewhere in the future with a currency that has yet to be perfected.”

Brazil’s CBDC to arrive in 2022

As mentioned, there are currently no available details on the digital real, as not even the central bank has released new information about it. However, Campos Neto did reveal that digital real will be in circulation in 2022.

Another interesting thing regarding this announcement is its timing. As some may know, Pix just recorded its first transaction this Monday, and it will be officially available as of November 15th.

According to the central bank’s statement, it will only be used for foreign exchange transactions in and out of the country as for digital real.

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Author: Ali Raza

Australian Senate Sees Blockchain Technology As The Future Of FinTech And RegTech

Australian Senate releases a report on the impact of blockchain technology on the country’s economy, technology status, and regulation technology. Released earlier this month, the 281-page interim report, “Select Committee on Financial Technology (FinTech) and Regulatory Technology (RegTech)”, focused on innovative technologies, laying out the benefits of implementing blockchain technology across the economy.

The interim report further mentioned the myriad of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the benefits it could bring despite the wave seeming to have already passed.

The potential of blockchain is immense

In a full section dedicated to blockchain technology and associated cryptocurrencies, the interim report mentioned the benefits of the innovative currencies in shaping the future of the Australian economy. The Senate highlighted the potential of the blockchain in growing economic value and benefited a range of industries – financial and insurance services, scientific and medical research, technical and service industries.

“Other areas include healthcare and social assistance, agriculture as well as real estate services.”

The benefits of blockchain technology are expected to translate into financial growth for these industries, the report stated. In the next five years, blockchain technology will help raise an estimated $175 billion annually with a $3 trillion target in the next decade.

Further supporting integration and building on blockchains is Michael Bacina, Partner at Piper Alderman, a fintech and blockchain firm, stated,

“Most fintech and regulation technology projects will either be built predominantly on distributed ledger technology or blockchain or heavily using that within the next 10 years”

A closer look on initial token offerings

The ICO wave seems to have passed with newer and more decentralized methods of raising capital using crypto emerging by the day (tsk, DeFi). However, the report mentioned the ICO ecosystem asking why Australians are not yielding from them anymore.

Highlighting the disparity between Australian and the global ICO ecosystem, Power Ledger’s co-founder and Executive Chairman, Dr. Jemma Green, stated the continental state only contributed to less than 1% of the $26 billion raised in public token offerings. Dr. Green said,

“And so I think there’s a bigger play around capturing the value for those markets in the Australian economy, as opposed to them being based outside Australia. It’s stimulating the fintech sector, providing employment opportunities, and delivering better quality services to the Australian people.”

According to Green, ICOs provides a potentially large industry that would help build job opportunities for thousands of Australians. However, regulations need to be set in place to promote the growth of decentralized capital raises, the report further explained.

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Author: Lujan Odera

The Bigger the Hit to a Country’s GDP, the Higher the Stock Market Jumps

The US economy shrank by an annual rate of 32.9% between April and June, the sharpest contraction triggered by the coronavirus pandemic since the second world war.

This economic shock in April, May, and June was over three times as sharp as the previous record of 10% in 1958 and about four times the worst quarter during the Great Recession.

“This is something we have never seen before,” said Jason Reed, assistant chair of finance at the University of Notre Dame.

“At first I felt it was like a natural disaster that had hit the entire country at the same time. Now it is evolving into something worse than that.”

The record-settling fall in the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity compared to the same time last year after for the second week in a row following a four-month decline 1.43 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week.

Economists expect the economy to recover sharply later this year, but the recent rise in infections across the US is clouding that outlook.

Interestingly, during this time, the S&P 500 jumped 24% thanks to all the money printing the Federal Reserve did. After the initial $3 trillion stimulus package, another trillion-dollar aid is expected soon. For now, Congress is struggling to strike a deal on the new round of financial support.

On Wednesday, the Fed said the US economy is facing significant challenges from the coronavirus pandemic and vowed to continue to take aggressive action to support the economy to recovery.

The US’s GDP report came as Germany, Europe’s largest economy, recorded a slump in economic growth, contracting by 10.1% in Q2, the most significant decline since 1970, while its stock market DAX jumped 28%.

The fall in GDP came as parts of the US economy shut down in an attempt to halt the spread of coronavirus across the country. The closures led to a historic number of layoffs that sent unemployment soaring to levels not seen since the 1930s Great Depression.

Now, as the first month of the third quarter comes to an end, the S&P 500 jumped 3.6% in July. But it was precious metals that stole the show.

Gold jumped 10.6% this month and broke the 2011 record to hit a new all-time high in Q2. This has been in part due to a 1.6% decline in the US dollar index, which further hit over two-year low with a 4% decrease in July.

Meanwhile, bitcoin the ‘digital gold’ woke from the slumber just last week and spiked 23.6% in July, after a 68% jump in Q2, now trading above $11,300.

“Gold, Silver, Bitcoin all hitting, or going, to new ATH,” said Max Keiser adding the bad news is all of this is because,

“global central banks are staging a debt-for-equity coup disenfranchising 7.6 billion people who will be left for dead unless they have some Gold, Silver, Bitcoin.”

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Author: AnTy

Global Coronavirus Fiscal Stimulus of $8 Trillion with More Coming Up Fuels Crypto Boom

In quarter first of 2020, the US economy is contracting at a rate not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Also, a total of 30 million Americans filed for unemployment claims in just six weeks.

Amidst this, the Federal Reserve printed trillions of dollars to soften the blow of the coronavirus lockdown on the economy. But it wasn’t only the Fed, other major central banks around the world fired up their money printer to print a coronavirus-triggered collapse of their economy.

And this money supply lifted up the price of stocks this month.

But what all this free money that has been created at the fastest rate ever cannot do is keep people from losing their jobs or restore lost production.

This means while the money supply is shooting up, the supply of goods is shrinking. Bruce Ng and Juan Villaverde of Weiss Crypto Ratings noted,

“More and more dollars chasing fewer and fewer goods is the textbook definition of inflation. And as inflation comes roaring back, it’s going to send safe-haven demand for top-rated cryptocurrencies blasting up.”

The authors argue that this excessive amount of fiat currencies supply has been at a time when buying crypto has become easier than ever.

Moreover, while the world is having quantitative easing, bitcoin is preparing for quantitative hardening in less than 10 days.

Becoming a safe haven

In its latest report titled “Quantitative Tightening,” Grayscale Investments also noted that bitcoin is the best bet against central banks’ money printing as unlimited fiat money could result in the debasement of the US dollar. The report states,

“Untenable levels of debt and fears of widespread default are driving the most aggressive monetary policies since Bitcoin’s creation.”

Currently, we are in an environment where government bonds are offering zero or negative yield, fiat currencies are at risk of debasement, and the coronavirus-lockdown highlighted the delivery issue with the traditional safe-haven asset gold.

The options to hedge are limited and according to the largest crypto asset manager, bitcoin is one such option that will go through supply shock this month. It summarizes,

“Bitcoin is showing signs of becoming a safe haven while maintaining an asymmetric return profile.”

The company that reported a record-breaking Q1 despite the crypto prices tanking amidst the global market rout also advised investors to “understand the effects of government monetary and fiscal intervention.”

Bitcoin market participants are also expecting this quantitative hardening to spark a bull run but Charlie Shrem recently said it will happen just not immediately.

During Virtual Blockchain Week, Shrem shared how the halving coinciding with coronavirus “a black swan event” is “crazy.”

Now as people start getting their unemployment benefits while sitting at home and suddenly bitcoin daily supply is going to be cut in half, according to him, all this money could flow into the bitcoin market.

Latest Bitcoin Price News and Crypto Market Updates

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Exchanges Are On a Hiring Spree in Anticipation of Heightened BTC Halving Interest

The commerce department announced this week that the US economy shrank 4.8% in the first three months of the year, the steepest decline since the last recession. The same is the case for Europe that covers 19 countries, its economy shrank by 3.8% in Q1 of 2020, the biggest fall since 1995 when eurozone statistics first began.

Meanwhile, another 3.8 million people lost their jobs in the US last week but the pace of layoffs is slowing. Overall, an unprecedented 30 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the six weeks.

The US unemployment is on course to reach the levels unseen since the Great Depression as with a backlog of claims, these figures are undercounting the number of people out of work.

In March, the jobless rate rose to 4.4%. JP Morgan predicted that unemployment could reach 20%.

Exchanges focused on expansion

In the crypto market, however, crypto exchanges are on a hiring spree. Kraken that was planning to hire 250 staffers, will be recruiting 350.

Binance recently shared that its staff has grown to over 1,000 expand its workforce 25% in the first quarter. They are hiring for more people to support its recently launched mining operation, Binance Pool.

Coinbase has posted dozens of openings while crypto exchange OKEx plans to hire more staff in May to expand its workforce of over 1000 employees.

“There’s a greater awareness of crypto as an asset class among the general public,” said Nic Carter, co-founder of Coin Metrics about this trend that just added five full-time employees as well.

But the crypto sector has had its share of exodus too with ConsenSys cutting workers. Crypto-carrers.com also saw a decline in new positions, from 300 last year to 84 in April this year.

This could be because exchanges, which make the bulk of its money from trading fees, are benefiting immensely from the heightened volatility in not April but also from the March crash.

Halving in Effect

With halving less than 12 days away now, the speculation in the market is particularly heightened as we saw spot exchanges leading the current rally.

During the last two halvings as well, the bitcoin price exploded. In the wake of the 2012 halving, BTC price jumped from $12 to $1,000 and following the 2016 halving, the price had a 1,000% spike.

So, this workforce expansion could be crypto exchanges anticipating a flood of speculators and investors who don’t wanna miss out on the halving. Lex Sokolin of ConsenSys told Bloomberg,

“It is really nuts to me that there’s such speculation, since everyone already knows it is going to happen, and should be pricing it in as past information.”

“What we can learn is that the crypto markets are still irrational and short-term oriented, and that companies are betting on the speculation of others to drive their own staffing decisions.”

For now, Bitcoin’s price is trading just under $9,000 preparing for the miner inflow to be cut down in half.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin’s in A Consolidation Period, History Says the Next Top Won’t be Before March 2021

The US economy could face 18 months of rolling shutdowns without an effective vaccine for the novel coronavirus as the outbreak flares up again, said Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari. He said,

“We’re looking around the world. As they relax the economic controls, the virus flares back up again.”

As we have seen, shutdowns in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus have led unemployment to skyrocket in the US and markets and economies are taking a massive hit.

Kashkari warned that “this could be a long hard road that we have ahead of us,” and it’s hard “to see a V-shaped recovery under that scenario.”

The Federal Reserve has responded aggressively to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on the US economy by launching several unprecedented emergency programs including slashing interest rates to zero and $2.3 trillion in the stimulus. And more is expected to come.

With Fed printing money like crazy, experts are advising to jump out of cash and invest in hard money like gold and bitcoin.

Last week, Cleveland Fed chief Loretta Mester said the central bank was “likely not done” to keep credit flowing in the economy. She said,

“We’re always looking for things where if we have a tool to be able to do it, and if we think it’s needed, we’re going to do it.”

We are in consolidation

The world’s leading digital currency, Bitcoin, is a hard asset with a limited supply of 21 million, unlike the money which the Fed keeps on printing. Last month, in the market-wide sell-off, bitcoin crashed hard and is now trading around $6,780.

Industry commentators are emphasizing the need to invest in bitcoin during this economic turmoil because this is why the crypto asset was created in the first place and it is BTC’s biggest opportunity.

Currently, the flagship cryptocurrency is in a consolidation period while investors are accumulating the dip.

According to trader MoonOverlord this consolidation period will last longer as the higher we go the longer the period. But there is no need to be concerned because we have been at this point before and bitcoin was built exactly for this.

“The bigger the gain, the more money added to the market cap, the higher the blow off top. = The longer the consolidation,” explained the trader.

If we take a look at Bitcoin price historically, in 2011, BTC’s top led to a 92% drawdown and it took 622 days to return to its all-time high, noted analyst Ceteris Paribus.

In 2013, the drawdown was 85% from the top and this time it took 1,181 days to make a new high.

In 2017, we had an 84% drawdown and it’s been 848 days since ATH. In order to match the 2013-2017 cycle, we need 333 days more to reach ATH which puts the top of the cycle in March 2021.

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Author: AnTy

Fed Unleashes Another $2.3 Trillion In Loans But Bitcoin’s Not Reacting Unlike Stocks & Gold

Today, the Federal Reserve has dramatically amped up its efforts to save the economy. The central bank is now adding junk bonds to the list of assets as businesses are anticipated to have trouble after the coronavirus pandemic hit.

The stock market jumped and Treasury yields rose while the dollar dropped after the Fed announced its $2.3 trillion program to cover small and mid-sized businesses. The statement reads,

“The Federal Reserve remains committed to using its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and promote a swift recovery once the disruptions abate.”

Lender of all resorts

After the announcement, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank could add other programs as well while announcing the expansion of its corporate lending programs that will include ETFs of companies that are rated below investment grade.

“Now outside of buying stocks, every asset class is open for the Fed to buy,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group.

“They’re worried about credit. They consider themselves a lender of last resort. They’re now the lender of all resorts.

Going below investment grade into the high-yield junk area is now a dangerous area they’re headed to, but that’ll be a discussion or another day.”

The US weekly jobless claims today further jumped over 16 million after 6,606,000 were reported from last week. The US job opening also fell in February, suggesting that the labor market is losing momentum.

Lucky to just be in a recession

With 90% of the US economy affected by the several weeks of state shutdowns, the economy is already expected to be in a recession. Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York said,

“The economy would be lucky to just be in a recession right now instead of what is looking more and more like the twilight zone of depression if Washington policymakers aren’t careful.”

The Fed has been aggressive in its approach by slashing interest rates to zero, adding massive amounts of liquidity to the market and committing to purchasing a massive amount of Treasuries.

Congress has already authorized a $2.2 trillion aid package and is now discussing expanding it. “We acted forcefully to get our markets working again,” said Powell, adding their efforts have improved market conditions.

Bitcoin doesn’t care about the stimulus

On the back of stimulus, S&P 500 and Dow each jumped 1.3%, crude oil took a big spike of over 9% after reports that Saudi Arabia and Russia are pacing towards an agreement to cut output.

While gold increased 2.33%, Bitcoin unexpectedly in a reverse move is trading at $7,278, down 0.69%.

Crypto commentators like VanEck’s Gabor Gurbacs, digital asset strategists at VanEck, however, maintain that “Central banks buying assets from self-printed money” which is “a modern form of nationalization,” Bitcoin fixes this.

“Expect not a market meltdown, rather a gold & bitcoin melt-UP,” said Tuur Demeester of Adamant Capital.

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Author: AnTy