$9.5T Asset Manager BlackRock is Studying Crypto, “We Believe That Will Play A Very Large Role”

$9.5 Trillion Asset Manager BlackRock is Studying Crypto, CEO says “We Believe That Will Play A Very Large Role”

Larry Fink, the CEO of the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock doesn’t understand much about Bitcoin but said he sees huge opportunities in digitized currencies.

“I see huge opportunities in a digitized crypto-blockchain-related currency and that’s where I think it’s going and that’s going to create some big winners and some big losers,” he said during his conversation with CNBC.

But when it comes to the trillion-dollar asset BTC, Fink said he is “not a student of bitcoin” and does not know where it’s going to go.

“I can’t tell you whether it’s going to $80,000 or zero.”

“But I do believe there is a huge role for a digitized currency and I believe that’s going to help consumers worldwide.”

Interestingly, Bitcoin jumped 5% to nearly $57,300 on Wednesday, continuing the green month in which the cryptocurrency is up more than 30%.

When further asked about JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon calling the leading cryptocurrency “worthless,” Fink said he’s “probably more on the Jamie Dimon camp.”

In an interview this week, Dimon said, “(Bitcoin) makes no difference to me” but added, “Our clients are adults. They disagree. That’s what makes markets.”

But that doesn’t mean, the asset manager isn’t interested in the crypto market as on being asked when he has shifted in his view in offering access to crypto to BlackRock investors, Fink said,

“We’re studying blockchain and the whole concept of crypto and we believe that will play a very large role.”

Back in February, BlackRock’s chief investment officer of global fixed income Rick Reider said the firm had “started to dabble” in crypto assets. Then in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dated July 31 showed that the BlackRock Global Allocation Fund had been trading Bitcoin futures. The asset manager giant has also invested millions in Bitcoin mining companies.

On Wednesday, the New York firm reported a 16% increase in revenue to $5.05 billion while its assets under management jumped 21% to $9.46 trillion, as of Sept. 30 from $7.81 trillion a year earlier.

Earlier this week, at the Institute of International Finance, Fink had commented on inflation, saying he doesn’t believe that it is transitory.

“I’m not calling for stagflation — I don’t see any evidence of that — but do I see persistence in inflation? Yes.”

“I think it’s more than transitory related to supply-chain issues and commodity prices.”

While President Rob Kapito said at the time some clients are increasing allocations to various alternatives from 1% to up to 20%, the CEO said some are allocating more to equities.

“I don’t think there’s one global trend of going in and out of one product because [there are] inflationary fears and some clients don’t believe in that.”

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Author: AnTy

White House Studying ‘Gaps’ in Cryptocurrency Market Oversight: Report

White House Studying ‘Gaps’ in Cryptocurrency Market Oversight: Report

While in wait-and-see posture, officials are reportedly discussing “whether guardrails on crypto can be imposed while still allowing the investors to “dogecoin to their heart’s content.”’

White House officials are studying potential “gaps” in oversight related to the crypto market after they were briefed by career staff members at the Treasury Department about the risks posed by cryptocurrency earlier this month, reported WSJ on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The issue has also been raised in conversation with federal regulators, including the department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) but didn’t involve the principal-level officials such as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

The Treasury Department is already targeting crypto as part of its broader effort to address tax avoidance.

Now, administration officials are looking into whether crypto can be used to finance illicit or terrorist activities. They are also discussing whether some protections are needed for average retail investors.

According to WSJ, federal regulators do not see the wild swings in the crypto market as likely to threaten the broader stability of financial markets, but they do see the need for monitoring.

Officials are basically discussing “whether guardrails on crypto can be imposed while still allowing the investors to “dogecoin to their heart’s content.”’

While aware of the risks and things to look out for, officials are “still largely in a wait-and-see posture,” said one person briefed on the matter.

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Author: AnTy

Jerome Powell: Fed is Studying Risks of Stablecoins As A ‘Very High Priority’

Jerome Powell: Fed is Studying Risks of Stablecoins As A ‘Very High Priority’

Meanwhile, the central bank isn’t feeling the “urge or need to be first” on CDBC’s as they already got the first-mover advantage with the U.S. dollar being the reserve currency.

The US Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, said on Thursday that the central bank needs to find “better regulatory answers” for global stablecoins, and it is their “high-level focus.”

“That’s been a high-level focus, and that will continue to be a high-level focus because they could become systemically important overnight,” Powell said while speaking at an online event hosted by Yahoo Finance and conducted by the Princeton economist Markus Brunnermeier in New Jersey.

“We don’t begin to have our arms around the potential risks and how to manage those risks. The public will expect that we do and have every right to expect that. So that’s something that we’ve been working on with our colleagues around the world… It’s a very high priority.”

Just last month, the U.S. President Trump’s Working Group on Financial Markets said stablecoins must meet the same regulatory standards as banks and other financial institutions.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde shared similar views when in November, she warned in an op-ed that if stablecoins became widely adopted, they could “threaten financial stability and monetary sovereignty” around the world.

This week, she called Bitcoin a “highly speculative asset” that is facilitating “funny business.” As such, “there has to be regulation,” Lagarde added, “This has to be applied and agreed upon.”

No Need for CBDC Yet

The Fed, meanwhile, is in no hurry regarding a central bank digital currency (CBDC); it is actually estimated to take “years rather than months” before the central bank releases a CBDC, said Powell. “We don’t feel an urge or need to be first” on CDBCs, reiterated Powell while continuing,

“Effectively, we already have a first-mover advantage because (the U.S. dollar is) the reserve currency.”

Still, the Fed is “investing heavily” in understanding the technology and studying all the policy risks CBDCs pose.

According to him, it was when private-sector money, like Bitcoin and other cryptos, was created that the Fed looked into CBDC. But while people think of these cryptocurrencies as money, “at some point, they find out that it’s not money and that’s a really bad thing we need to avoid,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

Bank of Russia Is Studying Pros & Cons of a Digital Ruble; May Start Developing CBDC In 2021

  • The Bank of Russia (BOR) is studying the possibility of launching its digital ruble.
  • BOR and the Ministry of Finance investigate the advantages and cons of adopting a national digital currency within Russia.
  • Can a digital ruble replace the use of the dollar in Russia?

According to Izvestia, a Russian finance news site, the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Russia investigate other nations’ efforts in releasing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The post, published on Monday, highlights some of Russia’s advantages of launching its own digital ruble, including reducing the cost of transactions, more opportunities for cross-border payments, and ending dollarization in its economy hence reducing sanctions from other countries.

Despite the advantages of the digital ruble, the Ministry of Finance cautions on the problems a CBDC could bring along. Digital currencies have long been associated with high volatility risks, poor network security, and its use in promoting illicit activities.

The central bank aims to increase its efforts in launching a digital ruble. While the final decision is yet to be made, BOR plans for the digital ruble to follow FAFT recommendations on digital assets. The digital coin is set to boost the overall domestic economy by enhancing online payments – allowing offline use of the digital ruble if there’s no internet.

According to Anatoly Aksakov, head of the State Duma Committee on the financial market, the digital ruble may start to be built as early as 2021. Once the consultation period elapses, the digital ruble will be released in a pilot phase, with several citizens using it.

Read More: Russian Central Bank To Curb Total Digital Assets An ‘Unqualified’ Investor Can Acquire

Can a digital ruble help in de-dollarization?

The Russian government is working on finding a way around its economy’s dollarization – a digital ruble is expected to do so. The central bank explains that the token will help end corruption, reduce the costs associated with distributing physical cash, and help Russia avoid sanctions.

The bank did not clearly say how the digital ruble will end sanctions from other countries, with Plekhanov Denis Domashchenko, a PRUE lab research lead. G.V., stating it ‘may not be the solution to sanctions.’ According to him, the digital ruble’s launch has more to do with the private cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) circulating in the country rather than the dollar.

Russia has had a stern stand against the use and distribution of cryptocurrencies in the past. The digital ruble will not be any different from the regulator, stating that only the issued CBDC will be accepted as money across the country.

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Author: Lujan Odera

China’s Digital Yuan Trial in Full Force, DCEP Lottery Winners Using Digital RMB at 3,300 Stores

While other countries are still busy studying the opportunities and risks associated with central bank digital currencies (CBDC), like the US, China’s digital yuan trial is in full force.

People have already received the DCEP and started using it at convenience stores. Shenzhen metro ticket machine also has features to top-up metro cards with the digital yuan along with “DCEP accepted here” signs.

According to BlockBeat, nearly 2 million people in Shenzhen applied for the “Luohu Digital RMB Red Packet” lottery on the blockchain-based public services app operated by the Shenzhen government.

However, the lottery’s winning rate has been only 2.61%, as only 50,000 received 200 RMB ($30) from the government through the lottery, which brings the total DC/EP giveaway to RMB 10 million ($1.47 million).

The red envelope is basically the “digital renminbi,” which is under development. The wallet, meanwhile, has been already launched by China Construction bank at the end of August.

The idea here is to promote the demand for the new digital yuan as Dan Wang, the chief economist at Hang Seng Bank, told the South China Morning Post, the program is predicted to generate 50 million yuan in total demand.

These DC/EP will be spendable at 3,389 designated shops in Luohu this week, from 12th to 18th October 2020.

“China is doing blockchain airdrops using central bank digital currency. Technology moves forward. Don’t get left behind,” tweeted Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.

According to him, although “Nothing beats bitcoin in terms of decentralization,” despite the being “fairly restrictive/centralized,” these CBDCs will “get the masses exposed to and comfortable with blockchain technologies.”

However, these centralized digital versions of fiat cryptos only give governments more power and control over their citizens.

While for cashless societies, the latest change of payment channel is just another way to move money around, what they miss is targeted stimulus policy, and helicopter money will be at a “much more granular level” in the future, said Dovey Wan of Primitive Crypto.

This further means easy seizure of personal wealth, all with just a few lines of codes.

“When retail has been so spoiled by the convenience of digitalization of fiat, and now into digital fiat, they can easily trade self-sovereignty and enslaved by the ultimate efficiency those central servers offer It’s more critical than ever for everyone to really own their keys,” she added.

Amidst this, the Ministry of Public Security of China has announced a nationwide “Card Breaking Campaign,” that could affect Chinese crypto OTC because while criminals in China use crypto to launder money, merchants also borrow and buy bank cards.

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Author: AnTy

Web3 Foundation’s Polkadot Ecosystem Looks To Implement Kadena’s Pact Smart Contacts

The Web3 Foundation, known for the creation of its Polkadot protocol, is currently studying how to integrate the Pact smart contract programming language created by a startup called Kadena to it. Right now, the two organizations have started a partnership to find solutions for this integration together.

Pact was originally created as a way to make smart contracts easier to execute on different types of blockchains. When the language was created, Kadena hoped that it would be adopted as a standard in the future, just like USB is today.

The founder of Kadena, Stuart Popejoy, revealed the project to the world back in June 2019 and affirmed that it could be used in both private and public blockchains, making it a hybrid language. Also, the project is supposed to be the first smart contract technology that can be read by humans, not only machines, which is also something very important to make it more mainstream.

Kadena’s blockchain platform went live this month after the announcement of a $20 million USD token sale. At the moment, there are ten proof of work blockchains running it and they are supposed to allow data to be shared in several different networks.

As the project created by the Web3 Foundation has the goal of uniting proof of stake protocols, the two companies saw as fit the idea to partner and connect the services that they provide.

The Web3 Foundation was created by one of the co-founders of Ethereum, Gavin Wood. The company has just recently launched its DOT tokens and has a network valued at around $1.2 billion USD but it is not being freely commercialized right now.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Huawei Could Open Blockchain Operations In The Latin American Market

Huawei-Could-Launch-Blockchain-Services-In-The-Latin-American-Market

Huawei Could Launch Blockchain Services In The Latin American Market

  • Huawei is studying the South American market to release blockchain-related products
  • Although there is nothing confirmed, the company is in talks with the Brazilian government

The Chinese giant Huawei is currently analyzing the possibility of expanding in the Latin American market through blockchain services. The information was released by Cointelegraph Brazil on June 13. The report says that a Huawei executive informed that blockchain-related products will be available on the continent.

Huawei Wants To Expand In Latin America

Although there is nothing confirmed, they showed that they are working so as to deploy blockchain-related services in the future. The firm is now focused on other areas such as 5G, storage and telecommunications.

About it, a Huawei executive said at the CIAB Febraban conference on June 11:

“Everything will depend on the outcome of our market analysis and in case there is a market demand for blockchain we will make our services available in this area. Today we are focused on storage, 5G and telecommunications.”

The firm explained that they have been working with the Brazilian government for storage solutions and to deploy the necessary 5G infrastructure in the country. Back in April 2018, the company launched its blockchain-as-a-service offering through its cloud platform. As per some reports, this service allows interested parties to create and manage blockchain apps at low cost.

The executive has also talked about the US-China trade war and how it could affect the company. He said that he is confident that it will be solved and it will not affect users around the world. Additionally, he commented that one of the issues that must be solved is related to Google’s Android software licensing.

It is worth mentioning that CIP, a facilitator of financial infrastructure or banking issues in Brazil, launched a blockchain ID platform working with IBM and using the Hyperledger Fabric. The blockchain market is expanding around the world and South America is clearly a hub for innovation.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Carl T