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

Albania’s Parliament Approves ‘Comprehensive’ Crypto Bill into Law, Joining France and Malta

  • Albania’s parliament has signed a new ‘comprehensive’ crypto bill into law on May 21 as part of its approach towards a legal framework for the industry.
  • It will now join the likes of Malta and France among the countries with the most advanced crypto laws in Europe.

The bill was first introduced to Albania’s Committee of Economy back in 2019 in a bid to create legislation around crypto activities. Dubbed the ‘law on Financial Markets Based on the Technology of Distributed Ledgers’, it was approved yesterday with a majority of 88 votes against 16 with only 3 in absentia.

The New Albania Crypto Law

Anila Denaj, Albania’s Minister of Finance and Economy, is the one who presented the draft law. Following the milestone, she highlighted that:

“The draft law aims to regulate the conditions for licensing, exercising the activity of operators and stock exchanges and supervising them, as well as preventing abusive practices in the market, where severe fines are stipulated for anyone who violates the provisions of the law.”

Notably, the law will also be used to combat money laundering, which has thrived in the crypto market in recent years. In fact, International regulatory bodies like the FATF have already implemented regulations such as the ‘travel rule‘ to ensure proper KYC/AML practices in crypto operations.

Crypto Law Advancements

This volatile market remains quite grey in most parts of the world. However, some countries such as Japan have been touted as leaders in crypto regulatory frameworks.

The Asian superpower recognized Bitcoin and other digital assets to be legal as early as April 2017. In addition, crypto exchanges are also legal provided they register with the Financial Services Agency (FSA).

Other than Japan, the European Union also introduced the 5AMLD (Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive) which came into force in early 2020.

These advanced guidelines basically provide clarity on the ambiguity that existed within digital asset logistics. Crypto Exchanges and digital wallets are also highlighted as part of the exposure avenues to money laundering activities.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Iranian Parliament Proposes to Regulate Cryptocurrencies Under ‘Currency Smuggling’ Laws

The Iranian parliament has proposed to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges and digital currencies under the existing ‘foreign currency exchange’ regulations and ‘money smuggling’ laws, reported a local daily.

If the proposal is passed in the form of a law, then crypto exchanges would be required to obtain a license from the Central Bank of Iran just like foreign exchanges. This could especially turn problematic for a new emerging industry like crypto and might discourage budding startups and entrepreneurs due to fear of arrests and even sanctions from the United States.

The sudden decision by the government to heavily regulate the crypto industry could be motivated by the falling prices of the national currency due to hyperinflation and it appears that the government is trying to keep a check on the capital outflow.

Not so long ago the Iranian government looked bullish towards crypto industry and there were rumors that the government might be looking to launch a central bank-issued digital currency as well. Many believed cryptocurrency would be the saviour of the Iranian economy which has been in shambles due to numerous sanctions put by the USA.

While the proposal is on the table, it is still unclear how the government plans to regulate crypto exchanges based on rules formulated for the fiat system. The other factor that might make it even more complex is the fact that a majority of the Iranian crypto exchanges are legally based out of foreign countries.

For example, UtByte and the KingMoney token project which are clearly funded by Iranian businessman and meant to cater to the Iranian public are registered in Sweden. A couple of media outlets have flagged the two projects as a scam, despite that it is aimed at aiding Iranians in cross-border transactions.

While these foreign-based exchanges find a way around the new rules, the local small time businesses and startups would be the worst hit if these regulations are put in place.

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Author: James W

German Federal Parliament: Bitcoin is Not Money, a Store of Value or Payment System

Cryptos like Bitcoin (BTC) are not really money, at least according to the German Federal Parliament. According to a recent announcement, digital assets such as cryptos cannot be considered money because they lack several features that would be expected of traditional forms of money.

The official statement was given by the government to the Free Democratic Party parliamentary group. According to government officials, proper money is expected to be used in three ways to be actually considered money: it has to be a store of value, a means for payment and a unit of account.

One of the main points in which cryptocurrencies fail is that they are simply not widely used when compared to fiat currency. They have very limited uses, you cannot simply go to the nearest shop and use Bitcoin to buy coffee, as there is a large possibility that the store will not accept it.

The authors of the statement also affirmed that the high volatility is another issue that gets in the way of using cryptocurrencies as a store of value. If the price goes up and down, the value is not being properly stored, in their opinion.

Stablecoins are appointed as an attempt to solve these issues, however, the government is not very keen on them. The report affirms that the government intends to ban stablecoins from Germany to ensure that they will not work as an alternative to the existing monetary system.

The document ended by talking about Facebook’s Libra project. According to it, at the moment it was still not possible to evaluate if the asset was compliant with the German law or not. This happens because the white paper for the project was not deemed appropriate as a source to really understand how the project will work.

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Author: Gabriel Machado