Nigeria Central Bank Governor Reports ‘Overwhelming Interest’ for its Newly Launched CBDC eNaira

Nigeria Central Bank Governor Reports ‘Overwhelming Interest’ for its Newly Launched CBDC eNaira

Nigeria has launched its own digital currency, eNaira, to become the first African nation to do so. The central bank digital currency (CBDC) is expected to expand people’s access to banking, enable remittances, and help grow the economy by billions of dollars.

Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said there had been “overwhelming interest and encouraging response” to the CBDC.

During the launch, Emefiele further said that already 33 banks, 120 merchants, and 2,000 customers had registered successfully with the platform, available via an app on Apple and Android.

He added that about 200 million fiat currency worth of eNaira has been issued to financial institutions, which will maintain parity with the traditional currency.

President Muhammadu Buhari, meanwhile, said that the use of digital currency could grow the economy by $29 billion over ten years. It will also enable direct government welfare payments and even increase the tax base, he added.

The country is ranked 7th in the 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index, according to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis.

Ikemesit Effiong, head of research with Lagos-based consultancy SBM Intelligence argues that the central bank had not yet made it clear if users can transfer eNaira back into fiat naira, whether there would be physical locations to use and transfer eNaira, and if crypto can be used to buy or sell the CBDC.

“It’s not clear looking at the CBN’s body of work that Nigerians would be comfortable using this,” he told Reuters, adding:

“There are more questions than answers, even though we are looking at the launch of this digital currency. The fact that this is the case so late in the game is concerning.”

Only three local television channels were allowed to attend the launch of eNaira, and officials took no questions.

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Author: AnTy

OpenSea Killer, Coinbase NFT Marketplace, Sees ‘Insane’ Interest, Over 1M Users on the Waitlist

OpenSea Killer, Coinbase NFT Marketplace, Sees ‘Insane’ Interest, Over 1 Million Users Sign-up on the Waitlist

In a matter of 24 hours, Coinbase’s NFT marketplace has garnered an extremely positive response.

“We are getting a LOT of signups – so grateful for all your interest,” Coinbase vice president of product Sanchan Saxena wrote on Twitter.

“We are seeing insane loads on our servers and our team is working hard to get this resolved.”

The yet-to-be-launched marketplace for NFTs saw more than one million sign-ups on its waitlist on the very first day it opened, reported Bloomberg citing a person familiar with the situation.

In August, Coinbase had said that its customer usage had slowed at the start of the third quarter due to the crypto prices going down and that in response, it is seeking to diversify its revenue. NFT marketplace is the move in that direction.

“Fees are more likely to mirror retail than institutional crypto-trading commissions,” wrote Bloomberg Intelligence’s senior fintech analyst Julie Chariell in a report.

“NFT trading at our 3% fee estimate would bring much more revenue per trading dollar, along with less volatility to Coinbase operations than the crypto trading platform.”

While some of the signups could be duplicates and spam, it is extremely clear that Coinbase’s NFT extension has become a hot topic already. These numbers will beat the popular marketplace OpenSea very easily.

OpenSea’s total traders’ overtime on Ethereum, those registered users who have made at least one transaction, are currently at 535,345 while monthly active traders made a 281,400 high in September, according to Dune Analytics.

In the first half of 2021, Opensea had increased its market share from just 35% to a whopping 95%. Of the $2.8 billion spent on NFT marketplaces last month, the majority of it, $2.72 billion, changed hands on OpenSea.

But now, this dominance is being threatened by other entrants. After the leading crypto exchanges Binance and FTX jumped in this week, Coinbase also entered this race to lead the NFT marketplace space.

With its 68 million users, Coinbase can further expand the NFTs audience by making it “more accessible,” effortless, and putting the complexity behind the scenes.

In other news, OpenSea said it recently patched security flaws that would have allowed bad actors to loot its users’ digital crypto wallets. The issue was first brought to the attention by the researchers of Israel-based cybersecurity company Check Point, which noted that the attacker used “malicious” NFTs to lure users in.

“Security is fundamental to OpenSea….we investigated the matter and implemented a fix within an hour of it being brought to our attention,” said the company in a statement.

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Author: AnTy

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler Targets Crypto Lending Platforms, Starting with Coinbase Lend

SEC doesn’t want Coinbase Lend to allow its users to earn a 4% interest rate on USDC “over 8x the national average for high-yield savings accounts.”

Coinbase has been warned by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against launching a new product, Lend, that allows its users to earn interest on their crypto holdings.

The biggest crypto exchange in the US said it had received a Wells notice saying the agency will bring an enforcement action against them if the company goes ahead with its product. Coinbase said that it plans to delay the launch at least until October.

Coinbase Lend allows users to earn a 4% interest rate on USDC stablecoin, which it says is “over 8x the national average for high-yield savings accounts.”

In the company blog post, Paul Grewal, Chief Legal Officer, said they had been proactively engaging with the SEC about Lend for nearly six months. But didn’t get any response from the agency other than that the SEC considered Lend to involve security.

Instead of providing an explanation, the SEC has opened a formal investigation and has asked for documents and written responses, along with the name and contact information of every single person on their Lend waitlist.

“We have not agreed to provide that because we take a very cautious approach to requests for customers’ personal information. We also don’t believe it is relevant to any particular questions the SEC might have about Lend involving a security, especially when the SEC won’t share any of those questions with us,” said Grewal.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong also took to Twitter to share the “really sketchy behavior” from the SEC.

He also pointed out how in his confirmation hearing, SEC Chair Gary Gensler said that it is “important for the SEC to provide guidance and clarity.” And now, they are doing exactly the opposite.

Earlier that month, in an interview with FT, Gensler asked crypto companies to “Talk to us, come in,” adding, existing platforms are “begging for forgiveness, rather than asking for permission.” And when Coinbase did just that, the SEC didn’t provide any explanations.

“If you don’t want this activity, then simply publish your position, in writing, and enforce it evenly across the industry.”

As we reported, Gensler has been targeting two areas: crypto trading and lending platforms and stablecoins that are embedded on these platforms. He also asked for legislative priority on them, whether centralized or decentralized.

The CEO then argued that while SEC claims to be working to protect investors and create fair markets, who exactly “are they protecting here and where is the harm?”

Armstrong also met with every regulator and branch of government in the DC that he could in May this year except the SEC that “refused” to meet him, “saying “we’re not meeting with any crypto companies.” This was right after we became the first crypto company to go public in the US,” he said.

In response to Armstrong’s Twitter thread, Dallas Mavericks’ Mark Cuban advised him to go on the offensive.

Meanwhile, the crypto community pointed to the fact that Gensler is a former Goldman Sachs partner and speculated that the banking industry is making the moves behind the curtain to try and curb the crypto industry that is revolutionizing finance and working on putting them out of business. Others speculate that it could be a personal political power grab by SEC leadership.

“Hopefully the SEC steps up to create the clarity this industry deserves, without harming consumers and companies in the process. America could really use us all working together to figure this out right now,” concluded Armstrong.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Accounts for 73% of eToro’s Total Trading Commission in Q2, “Strong Interest from Retail”

Crypto Accounts for 73% of eToro’s Total Trading Commission in Q2, “Strong Interest from Retail”

Trading platform eToro reported its second-quarter results this week that revealed commission from crypto trading to be $264.2 million, an increase of 23x compared with $11.2 million in the Q2 of the previous year.

Crypto represented 73% of total trading commissions in Q2 compared to a mere 7% in Q2 of 2020.

When it comes to particular crypto assets, XRP is the one bringing in the most commission for eToro out of all the crypto assets along with ETH and ADA, “reflecting strong interest from retail investors in crypto markets.”

Bitcoin, which accounted for the most trading volume, only contributed 7% to total crypto commissions, even less than DOGE, which was added to the platform only in May.

Last quarter, eToro added ten new crypto assets, including Shiba Inu, and launched ETH 2.0 staking offering.

“The rise in self-directed investing and eToro’s growth are underpinned by long-term secular trends in investor behavior,” said Yoni Assia, CEO, and co-founder of eToro, in a statement.

Overall, the company reported $362 million in total trading commissions, up from about $161 million in the same period last year, and a net trading income of $290 million.

Additionally, eToro processed 127 million trades in Q2 of this year, up from 74 million from the previous year.

In Q2 of 2021, the company still posted a net loss of $89 million due to a non-cash charge of $71 million in stock-based compensation for its employees. Also, eToro incurred a $36 million transaction cost for its future merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), FinTech Acquisition Corp. V.

Back in May, the firm announced its plans to go public via a SPAC that gave it a valuation of $10.4 billion and a commitment for a $650 million private placement from investors including Fidelity Management & Research Company, Third Point LLC, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Wellington Management, and ION Investment Group.

eToro added 2.6 million new clients in the second quarter, bringing its total users to 23.2 million at the end of June. The company saw an increase of 121% from the same period last year but added 500,000 fewer users than it did in the first quarter of 2021.

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Author: AnTy

Open Interest & Funding Rates Indicate “Lack of FOMO” in Crypto Market

Open Interest & Funding Rates Indicate “Lack of FOMO” in Cryptocurrency Market

Instead of an elevator, Bitcoin seems to be taking the staircase to the almost $65k all-time high as Crypto Twitter (CT) gets increasingly convinced that we are in the second inning of the bull market.

BTC is currently trading above $46,500, up from $29,350 low on July 20, recording 56.6% year-to-date gains.

The next levels for the leading cryptocurrency to reach are $48k and $50k.

To start the week, the market found strength on Asia open, but the European and North American sessions saw sellers push most things lower, noted Delphi Digital.

Ether is also enjoying the support above $3,000 as it hovers around $3,250, up 333% YTD. ETHBTC has also been trading near 0.07 since earlier this month.

As we reported, the buzzing, however, has been around coins like SOL, YGG, and LUNA that are hitting fresh all-time highs while DeFi and meme coins are also enjoying a bounce.

SOL actually hit another ATH a couple of hours back at $74, currently in a euphoric mode and sitting at the 10th spot with a $20.8 billion market cap, a step under Polkadot (DOT), a $27 billion project trading at $26.55. SOL 3.68% Solana / USD SOLUSD $ 64.70
Volume 4.06 b Change $2.38 Open $64.70 Circulating 286.44 m Market Cap 18.53 b
11 h Open Interest & Funding Rates Indicate “Lack of FOMO” in Cryptocurrency Market 1 d Bitcoin Stays Above Critical 200-Day Moving Average as DeFi and Meme Coins Pump 1 d Fastest Horse of the Second Inning of Bull Run? Solana (SOL) Hits New ATHs

Projects from the Solana ecosystem like Audius (AUDIO) and Arweave (AR) are also enjoying gains. AUDIO 7.90% Audius / USD AUDIOUSD $ 2.89
Volume 912.65 m Change $0.23 Open $2.89 Circulating 400.24 m Market Cap 1.16 b
11 h Open Interest & Funding Rates Indicate “Lack of FOMO” in Cryptocurrency Market 1 d Fastest Horse of the Second Inning of Bull Run? Solana (SOL) Hits New ATHs 9 mon Blockchain-Based Music Streaming Platform, Audius, Moves to Solana Due to Scaling Issues on Ethereum
AR 11.17% Arweave / USD ARUSD $ 21.68
Volume 64.25 m Change $2.42 Open $21.68 Circulating 33.39 m Market Cap 723.94 m
11 h Open Interest & Funding Rates Indicate “Lack of FOMO” in Cryptocurrency Market 1 d Bitcoin Stays Above Critical 200-Day Moving Average as DeFi and Meme Coins Pump 1 d Fastest Horse of the Second Inning of Bull Run? Solana (SOL) Hits New ATHs

Ethereum, Terra, and Solana are also leading the way in the DeFi as the total value locked (TVL) in the sector reaches $148 billion, rapidly approaching new ATHs.

While not a perfect measurement of adoption, TVL does show “how much value people are entrusting to smart contracts,” said Ryan Watkins of Messari, noting Ethereum TVL has climbed to $116 billion, with Aave (AAVE) and Curve (CRV) being at the forefront. Compared to Terra’s $5 billion, Solana printed a new ATH at $2 bln. AAVE -7.73% Aave / USD AAVEUSD $ 381.13
Volume 662.49 m Change -$29.46 Open $381.13 Circulating 12.96 m Market Cap 4.94 b
2 mon Coinbase Enables its Over A Million Wallet Users to Use DeFi — DEXs, NFTs, & More 3 mon Software Provider Temenos Enables Crypto Trading for Banks 3 mon Aave Is Testing Private Pools for Institutions to Ape into DeFi, Reveals CEO Stani Kulechov
CRV -9.34% Curve DAO Token / USD CRVUSD $ 1.93
Volume 246.9 m Change -$0.18 Open $1.93 Circulating 402.48 m Market Cap 774.97 m
11 h Open Interest & Funding Rates Indicate “Lack of FOMO” in Cryptocurrency Market 1 w Spot Volume Fell to Lowest Level of 2021; Derivatives Continue to Gain Market Share with NFTs 1 mon Digital Asset Bank Sygnum Now Offers Ethereum 2.0 Staking To Clients

Other popular chains include Polygon (MATIC) at $6 billion, which has drawn the attention away from BSC, which now only has $20 bln in TVL. MATIC -5.18% Polygon / USD MATICUSD $ 1.35
Volume 1.25 b Change -$0.07 Open $1.35 Circulating 6.46 b Market Cap 8.71 b
11 h Open Interest & Funding Rates Indicate “Lack of FOMO” in Cryptocurrency Market 4 d Poly Network Declares the Hacker a “White Hat” After He Returns Almost All the Stolen $610 Mln 4 d Kimchi Premium Turns into A Discount, Binance Removes Korean Won Trading Pairs & Trading Options

Degens Aren’t Here Yet!

As we have been reporting, the latest strength in the market has not been on the back of leverage which was very heightened in April and May, painting a bullish picture.

Currently, the market is gradually moving towards its peak without the leveraged long traders, just like when the market broke 2017 ATHs at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021.

As of writing, the highest funding rate on Bitcoin perpetual contracts is 0.02% on FTX, while on some exchanges like OKEx and BitMEX, it is still in the negative, according to Bybt. Traders are not in a rush to get long BTC, meaning frothy conditions are way off.

As for the open interest, it is currently at $16.53 bln on Bitcoin futures and $8.72 billion on Ether futures.

With price “moving at a faster pace than open interest, implying some degree of doubt from futures/perp traders that this rally is real. Or in crypto terms — a lack of FOMO,” said Delphi Digital.

While ETH’s structure looks fairly similar to Bitcoin, the difference between price and open interest growth is a little wider. This lower leverage implies a healthier market with less fuel for liquidations and stop hunts.

In the options market, premiums increased as people bought calls to speculate on the upside, but implied volatility also increased significantly that could signal the market’s expectation of near-term pullback, it added.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto “Presents An Interesting Opportunity For Robinhood,” Clear Interest In The Asset Class

Crypto “Presents An Interesting Opportunity For Robinhood,” Clear Interest In The Asset Class

“I think it’s becoming a more and more widely accepted asset class,” said Robinhood co-founder Vlad Tenev pointing to the institutions taking a bigger role in crypto and being “an accelerant potentially for international expansion.”

“We’re going to be a participant,” in the cryptocurrency industry in the long-term, said Robinhood co-founder and CEO Vlad Tenev in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” this week as the company went public.

“It’s clear that our customers are interested in this asset class, and I think it’s becoming a more and more widely accepted asset class,” said Tenev pointing to the “institutions taking a bigger role” in it.

On being asked about the regulatory aspect of the crypto market, with Senator Elizabeth Warren talking about crypto in the context of snake oil and how it might affect the company, the co-founder of the zero-fee trading app is pretty clear that they are going to be a part of it.

“It’s global by nature which I think presents an interesting opportunity for Robinhood because it’s an accelerant potentially for international expansion into certain markets. So, of course, we’re gonna have to continue constructive dialogue and people are trying to figure out what the regulatory framework is going to be and we welcome that.”

Cryptocurrencies have begun to take a significant share in the company’s transaction-based revenue, with one-fifth of its Q1 revenue coming from crypto and one-third of that is from Dogecoin alone.

When asked about Dogecoin becoming a massive part of their business, if that’s sustainable, and what does it mean to have these meme moments, Tenev said, “there’s going to be idiosyncratic moments where something becomes more culturally relevant like a particular cryptocurrency or a particular stock and, of course, we have to be available for our customers.”

As for Robinhood itself becoming a meme stock, the CEO hasn’t given it much thought. But the first day of trading Robinhood shares doesn’t reflect that as plenty of its users didn’t take up the chance to take part in the IPO.

Robinhood priced its share at $38, valuing it at $31.7 billion after raising $1.89 billion from the offering, setting the stage for the company to start trading on Thursday under the symbol HOOD.

But unlike the hype around Coinbase’s direct listing or many other ICOs that saw their prices rocketing, this time, “HOOD” shares opened around $38 level only to decline right from the first few minutes of its opening.

HOOD shares ended its first day as a public company 8.4% below its IPO price, failing to win over the retail investors, or it could be an efficient market in play.

Robinhood set aside around 35% of its IPO shares for the retail business and ended up selling around 20% to 25%, according to the New York Times, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

The company’s debut also came in a crowded and diminished week in the capital markets, with the record-setting year of US listings losing momentum. Meanwhile, the IPO made its co-founders billionaires with Tenev’s holdings valued at about $2.4 billion and co-founder Baiju Bhatt worth $2.8 billion.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Tenev said he’s striving for a “large portion” of the company’s customers to be long-term investors.

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Author: AnTy

There’s “More Interest in Ether,” says Fidelity Digital Assets President

There’s “More Interest in Ether,” says Fidelity Digital Assets President

And they “want to be ahead of that demand,” something also recognized by SkyBridge Capital which has rotated its Bitcoin profits into Ether. Client type is also expanding from hedge funds and family offices previously to now cover retirement advisers and corporations.

Fidelity Digital Assets is looking to increase its staff by about 70% as demand for cryptocurrency services from institutional investors continues to be strong.

FDA is a unit of Boston-based asset manager giant Fidelity Investments Inc.

The company plans to add about 100 new employees in technology and operations in Dublin, Boston, and Salt Lake City, said Tom Jessop, president of Fidelity Digital Assets, in an interview.

This increased headcount will help the business develop new products and further expand into the crypto sector besides Bitcoin, he said.

Last year “was a real breakthrough year for the space, given the interest in Bitcoin that accelerated when the pandemic started,” said Jessop adding.

“We’ve seen more interest in Ether, so we want to be ahead of that demand.”

Besides Fidelity Digital Assets, as we reported, a big bitcoin proponent, SkyBridge Capital, has also ventured into the second-largest cryptocurrency.

The company trimmed its position in BTC to keep it from growing further and rotated “a small amount of the capital into Ethereum,” revealed Co-Chief Investment Officer​ Troy Gayeski in an interview.

Gayeski defined Bitcoin as the market leader in terms of store value and Ethereum as the market leader in terms of transaction use.

Institutional investor demand for Bitcoin, Ether, and other crypto-assets is only rising, said Fidelity Digital Assets’ President.

He further noted that while previously their clients tended to be hedge funds and family offices, they have now expanded to retirement advisers and corporations who want to hold crypto as an asset class.

“Bitcoin has been the entry for a lot of institutions,” Jessop said. “It’s now really opening up a window on what else is going on in the space.” A big shift is in “the diversity of interest” from new and existing customers, he said.

The company is also pushing to offer trading throughout the week, as is the norm in the cryptocurrency industry, unlike the traditional market.

“We want to be at a place where it’s full-time for most of the week.”

Besides trading and holding Bitcoin, Fidelity Digital also allows its institutional customers to use the crypto asset as collateral against cash loans through its partnership with BlockFi.

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Author: AnTy

A ‘Significant Amount of Interest’ Pushes Goldman Sachs to Offer Ether Options & Futures Trading

A ‘Significant Amount of Interest’ Pushes Goldman Sachs to Offer Ether Options & Futures Trading

Mathew McDermott, head of digital assets at the bank, said clients are eager to trade crypto assets at current prices, which are currently at a “more palatable entry point” following the “cleansing exercise” in terms of leverage reduction.

Goldman Sachs Group is expanding into Ether.

The banking giant is now planning to offer futures and options trading in Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, in the coming months, according to Mathew McDermott, head of digital assets at Goldman.

Currently trading above $2,600, the $300 billion market cap cryptocurrency is still up 254% YTD after experiencing a drawdown of 60% from its all-time high of $4,380 last month.

The recent sell-off in the crypto market has resulted in the activity falling significantly, which has the average fees on the Ethereum Network at about $3 after going for $100 towards the end of May.

Since last month, the market has been in a deep rut; it makes sense that it will take time to attract interest again.

Meanwhile, it was only this year that the bank restarted its trading desk to help clients trade futures tied to Bitcoin. McDermott said Goldman also plans to facilitate trades via exchange-traded notes tracking Bitcoin. BTC -0.94% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 40,116.98
Volume 40.11 b Change -$377.10 Open $40,116.98 Circulating 18.74 m Market Cap 751.63 b
6 h SEC’s 2021 Regulatory Agenda Does Not Include Bitcoin or Crypto 7 h Bitcoin Has Only Been This ‘Cheap’ Relative to Trend 20.3% Of The Past Eleven Years: Pantera Capital 8 h To Acquire Even More Bitcoin, MicroStrategy will Now Sell up to $1 Billion of its Shares

“We’ve actually seen a lot of interest from clients who are eager to trade as they find these levels as a slightly more palatable entry point,” McDermott told Bloomberg in an interview on Thursday.

“We see it as a cleansing exercise to reduce some of the leverage and the excess in the system, especially from a retail perspective.”

McDermott joined Goldman last year as the head of its digital currency efforts, and under him, the business has grown from four to 17 people. This year, the bank also invested in crypto start-ups. Last month, Goldman led the $15 million investment into Coin Metrics, and this month it put $5 million into Blockdaemon.

“We are looking at a number of different companies that fit into our strategic direction.”

In his interview, McDermott said his conversations with clients show that digital currencies aren’t just a fad. In a survey of 850 institutions last week, Goldman found that close to one in 10 are trading crypto, and 20% are interested in it. He said,

“Institutional adoption will continue. Despite the material price correction, we continue to see a significant amount of interest in this space.”

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Author: AnTy

JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon Still Has ‘No Interest’ in Bitcoin Despite Growing Adoption

JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon Still Has ‘No Interest’ in Bitcoin Despite Growing Adoption

Institutional demand has played a critical role in the surge of cryptocurrencies in the past year, with many tech companies and large banks planning to custody virtual currencies.

But despite what many may call a significant victory for the nascent technology, critics still abound, with some openly declaring they cannot support the idea of digital currencies replacing fiat as a medium of exchange.

Jamie Dimon Still Not Intrigued by Bitcoin

One such detractor is JPMorgan Chase’s boss Jamie Dimon who has remained resolute in his criticism of the burgeoning industry.

JP Morgan Chase was once a critic turned supporter as the investment bank prepares to launch a Bitcoin fund in the coming months. But despite what has been a radical shift in mindset, JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon is still a skeptic of the volatile asset class.

While speaking at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council Summit, the billionaire investor said he isn’t interested in Bitcoin, despite the growing interest from institutions.

Dimon’s firm JPMorgan is working on a Bitcoin custody service due to ongoing client demands, Dimon noted. Beyond this, JPMorgan’s CEO won’t touch the asset class. Despite his skepticism of the influence of crypto, he remains a believer in the power of the blockchain.

Dimon explained that he believes in the real-life use cases for blockchain technology, especially for the financial sector. He revealed that his firm is also leveraging the technology to serve customers.

“But people have to remember that a currency is supported by the taxing authority of a country, the rule of law, a central bank.”

The former board member of the Federal Reserve has repeatedly kicked against the world’s first-ever virtual currency, calling Bitcoin once a “fraud” at a conference organized by news outlet CNBC.

However, Dimon has since said that he regretted his outburst while noting his indifference to the Bitcoin narrative. But he has retained a lukewarm attitude towards the emerging asset class, constantly claiming disinterest and citing volatility as a reason for it not going mainstream.

Nevertheless, JP Morgan has been quite active in the crypto space rolling out its in-house built digital token-styled JPM Coin in 2019. It has since gone on to create a blockchain unit to stay innovative in a fast-changing world.

Wall Street Piling On Crypto

Despite what might seem a bad take on crypto by Dimon, other investment firms have not remained hostile to crypto.

In the last year following Bitcoin’s unprecedented surge, institutional demand has grown following major investment in BTC and the proliferation of other crypto projects.

With decentralized finance (DeFi) radically changing the narrative on legacy-backed services like savings, deposits, borrowing, and lending, more and more banks have started joining the crypto wagon.

One such is investment bank Goldman Sachs reportedly planning to issue a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the coming months. The proposal, which is still under review with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), joins a long list of Bitcoin ETF proposals brought forward to the agency.

Banks like US Bank and Bank of New York (BNY) Mellon have shown interest in cryptocurrencies in the past few weeks.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Fed Promises to Keep Monetary Policy Loose; Interest Rate Near Zero & Inflation Above 2%

Fed Promises to Keep Monetary Policy Loose; Interest Rate Near Zero & Inflation Above 2%

The dovish tone from the Fed is pushing the USD down, which has been falling throughout this month while the risk-on environment is good for both stocks and bitcoin.

“The economy is beginning to move ahead with real momentum,” Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve chair, told reporters Wednesday after the central bank held interest rates near zero and kept bond purchases at $120 billion a month.

Powell reiterated that it is not the time to discuss scaling back asset purchase. “When the time comes for us to talk about talking about it, we’ll do that. But that time is not now,” not until there is more than one great job report, he said.

As for the concerns around inflation due to the Fed’s aggressive support, Powell said though prices are likely to rise amidst surging demand, it is just,

“An episode of one-time price increases as the economy re-opens is not the same thing as, and is not likely to lead to, persistently higher year-over-year inflation.”

The central bank is interested in keeping the inflation above the 2% target and only when it was to move “persistently and materially above 2%” that threatens to move longer-term inflation materially above 2% that the Fed will use its tools to bring it down to mandate consistent levels, he said.

“Markets are having a hard time digesting this.”

“The Fed is saying, ‘I hear you. Inflation is going to be above 2% for a while, but I am trying to tell you we are not going to do anything about it.”

Michael Gapen Chief U.S. Economist at Barclays Plc

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, is all set to unveil a $1.8 trillion plan after a $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal and the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package was signed into law last month. This time to expand educational opportunities and child care.

“I took away that not even any preliminary discussion of a change in policy is imminent.”

“He gave a spirited defense of the Fed’s view on inflation and employment. They are very happy with the course they are on and not likely to change it soon.”

Carl Tannenbaum Chief Economist at Northern Trust in Chicago

How’s the Market Feeling…

This opens the doors for the continuation of a risk-on environment, which means investors are willing to enter into higher-risk investments like Bitcoin and stocks, wrote Deutsche Bank in a report published this week.

S&P 500 jumped to a record high in part bolstered by Fed’s same dovish tone and in part the ongoing tech earnings report. However, the promise of keeping the monetary policy loose is not turning out good for the dollar.

The USD index has been going down throughout this month and is currently near 90.6, while gold is still around $1,780 per ounce.

As for Bitcoin, it is hovering around $54k, which is giving altcoins a perfect chance to run higher.

Amidst this, the White House released a slew of tax increases in its “The American Families Plan,” as per which top personal income tax rate is raised from 37% to 39.6% for all taxable income north of about $550,000 for individuals and about $650,000 for married couples.

The top individual tax gain rate on long-term capital gains and dividends would be increased from 23.4% to 43.4%.

It is also proposing to give the IRS the authority to regulate paid tax preparers. They would get an annual report on the money deposited and withdrawn from every bank account in America.

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Author: AnTy