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Bitcoin (BTC) remains strong as new data shows institutional investors are buying the coin in droves

After the volatility that we saw over the last few weeks, it seems like Bitcoin (BTC) is starting to show a lot of resilience. The coin has regained $40, 000 and new data shows that the flow of institutional money is playing a big role in this. Here are the facts so far:

  • New data shows that nearly all trades in BTC consist of transactions above $100,000.

  • Institutional money has dominated BTC liquidity since 2020.

  • At press time, the coin was trading at $40,974, virtually unchanged in 24 hours.

Data Source: Tradingview 

Bitcoin (BTC) – is $50,000 in sight?

Early predictions for Bitcoin in 2022 were quite ambitious. There were some analysts who even thought that coin would hit $250,000 by the end of the year. In fact, the most conservative estimate had BTC at $100,000 by year-end. 

This could still happen. After all, we are not even in Q2. But the way the broader crypto market has started, Bitcoin will go through a wide period of volatility. It is highly unlikely that we will get to $50,000 in the near term. 

For most parts of 2022, BTC has largely bounced off between $45,000 and $35,000 and we expect this to remain the case for the foreseeable future. The flow of institutional money is also going to ramp up by the end of the year.

Why are institutions buying Bitcoin (BTC)?

Well, there are several reasons. For starters, the coin has dipped quite significantly from all-time highs. This provides large capital holders the perfect entry point to ride the Bitcoin and the crypto wave. 

But also, Bitcoin is a safe bet in the crypto market. It is seen as the gold standard and as such, institutions largely focus on it for the safety and longevity, it has to offer.

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Bitcoin falls below $40,000 as inflation in the US continues to pose major risks

The recent Bitcoin (BTC) rally has halted. After days on the up, the mega-cap coin has fallen below $40,000 once more. The drop has largely been attributed to growing inflation in the US and the threat of economic slowdown due to the crisis in Ukraine. Here are some highlights:

  • $40,000 is a key support, and BTC could see more weakness in the coming days.

  • US inflation is expected to hit 7.9%, higher than expected and the highest in 40 years.

  • At press time, BTC was trading at $39, 200, down about 7% in 24 hours.

Data Source: Tradingview 

Will Bitcoin (BTC) fall further?

The last few weeks have been quite volatile for Bitcoin (BTC). However, even amidst this high volatility, $40,000 has remained a crucial support zone. Every time the mega-cap has fallen below this mark, it has gone on to slide further. 

Most analysts are watching the $37,000 mark. If weakness continues and BTC drops below $37,000, then you can expect it to bottom at around $32,000 before the next rally. But if bulls can somehow push the price action back up to $40,000, we may see some sustained resilience on BTC.

But with high US inflation, threats of economic slowdown, and the crisis in Ukraine, it is highly unlikely there is enough sustainable upward momentum for BTC.

Is this the best time to buy BTC?

Even with recent challenges, overall, the long-term outlook on Bitcoin looks very promising. There are in fact estimates that are looking at $100,000 before the end of 2022. Buying at $39,000 or thereabout could be a great idea. 

Even if BTC does not hit six figures in terms of value, there is a chance it will hit a new all-time high this year. This would still represent gains of over 100% from the current price.

The post Bitcoin falls below $40,000 as inflation in the US continues to pose major risks appeared first on Coin Journal.

The reason why Bitcoin and crypto market at large is plummeting after a short-lived surge

After jumping by over 8% on Wednesday, Bitcoin has fallen again followed by a majority of popular cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin has staged a spirited bullish trend in the past week or so that had seen it rise above $42,000 by yesterday before the tables turned and pushed it to around $39,000 at the time of writing.

Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has followed suit by nose-diving again and it is now trading at around $2,500. The bear market has affected the majority of the top 100 coins; most of which were skyrocketing for the past few days.

In this article, we are going to look at what is causing the rough tides within the crypto market? Why is it that it is crashing every time it tries to make a comeback?

Why has Bitcoin and the majority of coins fallen today?

The main contributor to today’s crypto market crash is the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The Russian invasion of Ukraine appears to only bear a heavy burden on the stock market but also on digital assets like bitcoin (BTC).

While some analysts like Mark Mobius claim that the conflict in Eastern Europe has most likely helped bitcoin stay strong, the fact is that the crypto market could be heading for a major drop if the conflict continues. And it is evident from how the market has been behaving.

Short-lived effect of Biden’s executive order

The fact is that the recent short-lived bullish trend was attributed to the much anticipated executive order by the president of the United States Joe Biden.  Immediately the executive order was signed it only took a few hours for the effect of the news to fade away leaving the market at the mercy of the ruthless bear forces caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.

The threat of the war becoming bigger is threatening the crypto market further since investors are either pulling out their money completely or taking a break from buying risk-based assets like bitcoin for fear that the assets will crash.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett warned that it is not wise to buy bitcoin during times of war and a majority of investors appear to be buying the advice. There are also uncertainties surrounding the future of the ongoing conflict with the majority asking themselves what position nations like the US, the UK, Germany, France, and China will take if Russia intensifies the attacks.

The post The reason why Bitcoin and crypto market at large is plummeting after a short-lived surge appeared first on Coin Journal.

Kraken to donate Bitcoin worth over $10 million to affected Ukrainian citizens

American cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has announced that it shall donate $1,000 in bitcoin (BTC) to each of the Ukrainian citizens who opened an account with the exchange before March 10, 2022. Overall, the total amount of funds that Kraken intends to donate to Ukrainians is over $10 million.

Kraken’s initiative aims at supporting the needy at a time when Ukraine is under attack by its neighbor, Russia. It is one among the worldwide support that Ukraine is receiving from the crypto community in terms of crypto donations the majority of the previous donations have been sent to crypto wallet addresses shared owned by the Ukraine government.

Kraken’s CEO Jesse Powell commented on the matter saying:

“We hope to continue being able to provide critical financial services in a time of need to both our clients in Ukraine and Russia. Cryptocurrency remains an important humanitarian tool, especially at a time when many around the world can no longer rely on traditional banks and custodians.”

Free conversion and immediate withdrawals

Once the Ukrainian Kraken account holders receive their donations, they will be free to withdraw the funds immediately. Besides the $1000 donation in bitcoin, Kraken shall also be distributing $1000 Kraken Fee Credits to allow the beneficiaries of the donations to make conversions at zero cost.

Kraken went ahead and explained that the $10 million worth of bitcoin that it wishes to donate to Ukrainians equals the total trading fees obtained from Russian-based clients within the first months of 2022. It is in a show of Kraken’s disapproval of the ongoing military operation in Ukraine and Kraken does not feel it is worthy benefiting from any transactions made by Russians.

Exchanges reaction to the Ukrainian invasion

Immediately Russia began its military operation in Ukraine, Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov made a plea to the leading crypto exchanges to freeze all addresses belonging to Russian users.

Binance and Kraken did not however agree with the prime minister’s plea, with Binance arguing that “crypto is meant to provide greater financial freedom,” and such a move would go against the core value of the industry. Binance also went ahead to say that a majority of those accounts belong to innocent individuals who are not for the war. Binance views of the cryptocurrency industry being about freedom were supported by Kraken.

Coinbase, on the other hand, went ahead and blocked about 25,000 addresses belonging to Russian clients supposedly connected to the ongoing war.

The post Kraken to donate Bitcoin worth over $10 million to affected Ukrainian citizens appeared first on Coin Journal.

Biden signs Bitcoin executive order and says CBDC is a matter of “urgency” to the US

The US President Joe Biden has signed an executive order that actively calls for policies on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and urgent action in researching and developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the US. The executive order outlines how the government as a whole shall work in approaching the issue of regulating cryptocurrencies. It calls on all regulatory authorities to collaborate in the regulation and development of digital assets.

The order states:

“My Administration places the highest urgency on research and development efforts into the potential design and deployment options of a United States CBDC. Any future dollar payment system should be designed in a way that is consistent with United States priorities.”

Recap of the executive order

According to the executive order, most regulatory agencies have between 120 days and one year to provide their reports on how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies operate within the US economy, how they can be regulated, and how to prevent their illegal use.

The order specifically gives a 210-day deadline on a proposal for CBDC development.

Of utmost importance is honing the illicit use of cryptocurrencies like cases of crypto being used in ransomware attacks and the order seeks to properly regulate digital payment methods and stablecoins.

The order states:

“The international Financial Stability Board (FSB), together with standard-setting bodies, is leading work on issues related to stablecoins, cross‑border funds transfers, and payments, and other international dimensions of digital assets and payments, while FATF [Financial Action Task Force] continues its leadership in setting AML/CFT [Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism] standards for digital assets.”

The order also directs the Treasury Department, the Financial Stability Oversight Council, Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, federal banking agencies, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission to come up with policies for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to combat the illicit use of digital assets and protect individuals from “systemic financial risks.”

The order states:

“We must mitigate the illicit finance and national security risks posed by misuse of digital assets.”

The executive order did not leave out the matter of national security and it states that a non-state currency can be used to circumvent sanctions issued against regimes by the United States.

Effect of the executive order on the crypto market

The order has been received well by the majority of crypto enthusiasts and the crypto market which has been rising in anticipation of the order has surged even higher after the order was signed.

Bitcoin for example has surged by over 8% today and currently trades above $42K while Ethereum is up by over 5% and currently trades at $2,701.22. Terra (LUNA) which is leading the current bounce back among altcoins has raised by over 16% and currently trades at $99.67.

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Kraken’s Ukrainian donations the perfect solution to Russian sanction dilemma

I feel like all I’ve written in the last couple weeks has been about Russia invading Ukraine and the impact on the markets. Obviously, it has been quite sombre. But today, there was some good news, albeit a bit trivial on a larger scale. Still, it’s a nice change.

Publicity Stunt?

Kraken announced they are to donate Bitcoin to all Ukrainian accounts registered prior to March 9, 2022. At first, I assumed it was likely a publicity stunt, with the qualification criteria stringent. But upon digging into the details, I have to give Kraken credit – it appears if you have a Ukrainian account, it is quite easy to claim.

  • Must be registered from Ukraine prior to March 9th, 2022
  • Must be an “Intermediate” or “Pro” account (this means you will have verified with photo ID, so pretty easy)
  • Must log in before May 1st , 2022 to claim the Bitcoin

The amount is substantial too. If you held a balance in your account at any stage, you are eligible to claim $1000 (Kraken refers to this as Tranche 1). If you have never held a balance (Tranche 2, as Kraken calls it), you are still eligible for $500 in Bitcoin.

There is actually more, too. A $1000 credit will be applied to accounts for purpose of offsetting currency conversion fees going forward. The aid package will also be increased by the amount of trading fees paid by Russia-based clients in the first half of 2022.

Moral Dilemma

I wrote a piece last week looking into the moral dilemma that crypto exchanges find themselves in regarding the freezing of Russian accounts, following the appeal on Twitter from Ukrainian Vice President Mykhailo Fedorov.

 

Kraken CEO Jesse Powell refused the above request, arguing “Bitcoin is the embodiment of libertarian values, which strongly favour individualism and human rights”. Given crypto’s roots in individual liberty, I have sympathy in that he (and other exchanges) found themselves in quite a tough spot. 

I believe that this initiave – avoiding freezing accounts, but donating the Russian fees collected to Ukrainian accounts, as well as further aid – amounts to a perfect solution to a difficult moral dilemma.

“We hope to continue being able to provide critical financial services in time of need to both our clients in Ukraine and Russia”, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell announced. “Cryptocurrency remains an important humanitarian tool, especially at a time when many around the world can no longer rely on traditional banks and custodians”.

In such a way, Powell has managed to delicately balance both crypto’s fierce defense of liberty, privacy and self-custody with the moral obligtion to come to Ukraine’s help, be that either directly or via levelling sanctions against Russia. 

On-Chain Impacts

Finally, I want to look at quite how much Bitcoin Kraken are giving away. Let’s take the lower band of $500 dollars worth of Bitcoin. At time of writing (Bitcoin trading at $42,300), $500 worth equates to 0.012 bitcoins. Given Bitcoin’s tendency for volatility, let’s round down a bit for conservatism and assume they receive 0.01 bitcoins.

Looking at on-chain data, only 23.6% of Bitcoin addresses actually contain more than 0.01 bitcoins.  That means even the Tranche 2 Ukrainian accounts, who will receive the lower amount of $500, will be in the top quarter of Bitcoin holders. Wow.

Cool move, Kraken.

The post Kraken’s Ukrainian donations the perfect solution to Russian sanction dilemma appeared first on Coin Journal.

Tether legal tender in Lugano, Switzerland – Interview with Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino

In September, El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. A seminal moment for the crypto world at large, and attention then turned to who would be next.

Last week, we got our answer. Not a country, but a city – Lugano, the Italian-speaking city in Switzerland. Yeah, we didn’t expect it either. 

A small city of only 62,000, a quick Google Image search will tell you that Lugano is magnificent; the city nestled stunningly by the eponymous lake in Switzerland. Now, it has a swanky new currency to match its jaw-dropping views. In fact, it has three of them. Lugano announced, via a partnership with Tether, that Tether, Bitcoin and LVGA (a CHF stablecoin launched by the city) are now “de facto” legal tender.

This means citizens can pay their taxes, parking fines, tuition fees, tickets to public events and more in crypto (I also managed to confirm that you can even pay your cemetery tax via the blockchain, in case you were wondering).

Plan B

The goal of the project goes beyond simply accepting crypto day-to-day, however. The aim is to establish Lugano as the blockchain hub of Europe. The city wants to attract crypto talent, startups and investment from around the world.

Tether Chief Technology Officer Paolo Ardoino spoke at the launch event, confirming a 100 million CHF ($107 million) fund for “start-ups that want to relocate here and want to put their headquarters here”. There will also be “3 million CHF investment into practical grassroots blockchain projects”, “a start-up hub for 25+ innovative companies”, a “space for meetups and workshops open to the public” and “500+ student grants for education in bitcoin and decentralised technologies”.

It’s certainly a tempting sales pitch for any young, enthusiastic crypto entrepreneur. And that’s before you catch a glimpse of Lake Lugano…

A very pretty Lake Lugano, via Paolo Ardoino’s Twitter

New Market

While El Salvador’s announcement perhaps had more of an impact on a macro scale, given Bitcoin was adopted by an entire country, the Lugano initiative is absolutely fascinating. It represents crypto’s first “official” foray into a first-world market. Furthermore, the inclusion of a stablecoin like Tether in the bill means there is a whole new layer here compared to the Central American country, who went all-in on Bitcoin alone. A large portion of the critics of El Salvador’s move centred on the violent volatility that Bitcoin can be prone to, and the harm that may cause citizens. Obviously with Tether (and LVGA), there is a peg to fiat and therefore the volatility is not an issue.

Naturally, we were very curious about the whole process and had some questions on the initiative. So we managed to interview the man closest to the action – Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino himself.

CoinJournal: Would it be possible (or could you ever forsee) a city or country adopting a stablecoin such as Tether as legal tender alone, or will it always be in conjunction with Bitcoin? 

Paolo Ardoino: There will be more collaboration than competition between Bitcoin and stablecoins. Stablecoins, such as Tether, laid the groundwork for CBDCs.

Privately issued stablecoins will continue to grow and eventually, many governments will realize that stablecoins have distinct advantages over standard banking protocols.

Currently, the entire banking system relies on outdated technologies, so stablecoins have been a way to modernize it in a few quick steps.

I expect that 10 years from now, the technology layer being used by banks will be phased out and replaced with more advanced rails.

CJ: How many (or what percentage) of transactions do you expect will be conducted via crypto in Lugano, rather than Swiss franc?

PA: The City of Lugano aims to become a blockchain center of excellence and a global hub for European blockchain initiatives. We hope to see at least one out of every five transactions conducted via crypto as scaling and implementation occurs.

The current plan is to evaluate the flow of Bitcoin use, evaluate our treasury, and make an informed decision tied to the market as implementation takes place.

CJ: Switzerland’s cost of living is notoriously high. Do you think this will affect Plan B’s ambitions to attract businesses and entrepreneurs to the city?

No. Tether makes a significant contribution to a more connected ecosystem by introducing digital currency benefits, such as instant global transactions, to traditional currency and incorporating traditional currency benefits like price stability to digital currency. As such, Tether’s partnership with Lugano advances its mission to provide the most secure, fastest, and lowest cost way to transact with money, opening the door for businesses and entrepreneurs.

CJ: You mention a large goal of this process is to bring financial freedom to all citizens of Lugano. Do you think a decentralised stablecoin could be better positioned to do this? Or do you think given the fact it is still pegged to fiat, that stablecoins cannot facilitate this and a city needs to also adopt Bitcoin? 

PA: In general, stablecoins are less volatile than other forms of blockchain because they are represented by fixed assets. They are built to withstand the volatility of the current market. As adoption becomes wider and we see more practical use of bitcoin, we estimate that blockchain and crypto will enter a period of stability and normalcy.

CJ: Did Lugano seek assurances on whether Tether was 100% backed, or were they content with what Tether has already released publicly on the matter?

PA: Tether and the city of Lugano sat down and openly discussed the misconceptions about the company. Tether has publicly stated that it has ongoing conversations with regulators and law enforcement and has made valiant efforts in complying with all requests for transparency.

Tether remains a leader in transparency and in getting information to the community and its stakeholders, and demonstrating full backing, and it wants to preserve that position. Tether is not just keeping up with regulation changes and assurances but helping law enforcement and regulators globally shape them.

Tether is committed to being a positive force in this space and its actions speak to that.

CJ: Are you in talks to partner up with other cities/countries, or do you foresee other places following Lugano’s lead? 

PA: As we did with Lugano, we are eager to work with all the municipalities and countries of Europe; we would be honored to realize our vision and the future of finance in other areas.

CJ: At the Plan B conference, you referenced the force for good that crypto can do, in relation to the crypto donations accepted by Ukraine. But do you have concern crypto could also have an opposite effect, in that it could be used to circumvent economic sanctions (such as the sanctions being levelled on Russia)?

PA: In these uncertain times, we have seen an uptick in the utility of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. For one, they are being used to raise funds for legitimate civilian organisations that are helping people who are displaced or in danger. That is the beauty of this technology: the borderless and censorship-proof nature of bitcoin allows it to act as a safe haven during turbulent times.

With that being said, Tether is constantly conducting market monitoring to ensure that our operations are not in contravention of international sanctions. This is part of Tether’s rigorous compliance programme.

Tether regularly cooperates with global regulators and law enforcement requests and will comply with sanctions, as applicable, on assets pursuant to relevant law. We vow to continue to explore how Tether, as a platform can put procedures in place to protect all Tether users and the wider community.

 

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Bitcoin (BTC) has fallen for five consecutive days now – Where does it all end?

The crypto market has slumped in the last few days. Bitcoin (BTC) has in fact dropped for four consecutive days now despite threatening to return to $50,000 in recent days. But is this downtrend temporary, and how far can it go? Well, here are some highlights first.

  • The weakness came as China reaffirmed its commitment to crack down on crypto.

  • Increased volatility due to the war in Europe is also a big risk factor.

  • Bitcoin (BTC) is likely to fall to $35,000 before finding enough demand to rise again.

Data Source: Tradingview

Bitcoin (BTC) – What to watch next?

From a technical analysis point of view, the most important thing to watch right now is the $35,000 support. This price has proved very resilient in recent weeks, and it is likely BTC will hold above it. At press time, the mega-cap coin was trading at $38,800. 

If we see increased bear pressure that pushes the coin below $35,000, the next support zone will be $32,000. There are also some additional fundamental factors to watch. The crypto crackdown in China is the main thing, but most investors were expecting it. The war in Europe however has escalated fast and could trigger more volatility in the market in the near term. 

But if BTC can somehow pull up above $40,000 and keep the price action there, then we may see some positive moves in the coming week.

Why This Is the Right Time to Buy BTC?

Bitcoin (BTC) has declined quite substantially from its all-time highs. There are in fact, warnings that the coin could fall further during the first quarter of the year. But the long-term outlook for the mega-cap still remains very positive. In that case, the price pullback we have seen so far in 2022 offers the ideal opportunity to get in.

Want to learn how to safely invest in Bitcoin? Check out our comprehensive Bitcoin buying guide here or purchase from our recommended platform below!

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Lugano, Switzerland takes leaf out of El Salvador’s book

When El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender in September, excitement rippled through the cryptocurrency world. It was a big step for crypto at large, and a giddy indicator of what the future could hold. Soon, enthusiasts started speculating if another country would follow.

Most believed it would be another low-income country, given weak currencies are typically very prone to shifting market environments and high inflation. Panama was perhaps the favourite, as they swiftly announced a bill to make Bitcoin legal tender following El Salvador’s move last year. Paraguay was another guess often floated, buoyed by their bill to regulate Bitcoin mining and trading before Christmas. All the frontrunners seemed to be Latin American, however, with Honduras and Guatemalan rumours also circulating on Internet forums.

Nobody got it right though. Because yesterday, the winner was announced as…a small city in southern Switzerland by the name of Lugano.

With a population of 62,000, Lugano is the ninth largest city in Switzerland. Sitting beautifully on Lake Lugano, it looks every bit as idyllic as a Windows screensaver.

So, what does the crypto announcement mean?

Lugano have played it a little differently than El Salvador, who went all-in on Bitcoin alone. The Swiss city have announced that Tether and LVGA (a CHF stablecoin), as well as Bitcoin, are now “de facto” legal tender.

El Salvador’s bet on Bitcoin is a lot more impactful and economically consequential on a macro scale, and not only for the fact that it is a country rather than a small city such as Lugano. But that’s not to say this won’t change anything in Lugano.

Citizens can now pay taxes in crypto, as well as parking tickets, tuition fees and public services. 200 businesses are also anticipated to accept payment for goods and services. So, while Bitcoin is not on equal footing to the Swiss franc, I think its especially interesting that stablecoins have been included as an option for citizens.

A repeated criticism of El Salvador’s decision was the detrimental impacts that Bitcoin’s notorious volatility would have when adopted as legal tender. But with stablecoins, price is obviously not a concern given the peg to fiat. It gives citizens a neat extra option – want to hold your savings in stablecoins, farming yield on a DeFi protocol, before seamlessly transferring over cash for your parking ticket? Well, that’s now possible.

Criticism

Of course, people will criticise the move as pointless and a publicity stunt. But in reality, what is bad about that? Here we are talking about a city of 62,000 in the middle of Europe, which never would have happened otherwise. What does the city have to lose? Blockchain startups, crypto unicorns and freelance enthusiasts are all the target of this change, but even if it only leads to a small bump in tourism, that’s still a win.

As I said above, the scale of the law is so minor that it is unlikely to cause any serious ramifications, such as what sceptics on El Salvador claim. The IMF, who urged El Salvador last month to “narrow the scope of the Bitcoin law by removing Bitcoin’s legal tender status”, won’t be knocking on the Lugano mayor’s office anytime soon. The concern surrounding financial integrity, protection of citizens and fiscal liabilities (given El Salvador’s small pool of government resources) won’t be a concern in Switzerland.

Tether

Tether are in partnership with Lugano, with chief technical officer Paolo Lugano saying at yesterday’s Plan B event that the firm had fund of 3 million Swiss francs together with Lugano officials, in order to push the adoption of Bitcoin, Tether and the LVGA token. He repeated the main goal – an initiative focused on making the city a buzzing blockchain hub in Europe.

It’s a fun episode in the exciting world of crypto, and it will be interesting to track whether Lugano can attract talent, businesses and traders to their beautiful city.

So, who is going to be next?

 

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Malaysian minister says cryptocurrencies are not suitable for payments

The Malaysian minister says Bitcoin and Ethereum do not exhibit characteristics of money.

Malaysian Deputy Minister Yamani Hafez has among other several points, noted that digital assets such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are not suitable when looked at from the perspective of being used for payment purposes.

In a wide-ranging response to a question on the topic of cryptocurrencies and their growing use as money, the minister said:

Digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are not suitable to be used as a payment instrument as these assets do not exhibit characteristics of money.”

Volatility in cryptocurrencies

While people are free to hold and trade digital assets in the largely crypto-friendly country, the authorities have not allowed it for use as legal tender. And the minister appeared to reiterate this stance by referring to why Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are lumped into this digital asset basket but cannot be used as digital currencies.

“In general, digital assets are not a store of value and a good medium of exchange. This is due to the state of digital assets which is exposed to volatility as a result of speculative investments,” Hafez explained.

The minister’s response followed a question in parliament regarding the government’s outlook on crypto regulation and plans for a central bank digital currency (CBDC)

Bank Negara yet to make clear CBDC move

He added that Bitcoin’s approximately 10 transactions per second pales in comparison to say, the 65,000+ capable on the Visa network. This according to the official’s suggested perspective, makes the legacy payment remain king in the payments space.

The minister then explained that Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara, has so far not allowed the use of digital assets for payments. Neither has it made any concrete plans for the issuance of a CBDC.

The monetary policy tools and existing finances [also] remain effective in maintaining monetary stability and the country’s finances,” he noted.

But not to dismiss cryptocurrencies altogether, Hafez said they are now an investment class that people can explore. To this, he said, Malaysia’s Securities Commission (SC) views crypto as a security.

This week saw Bitcoin and other cryptos get into the global spotlight following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Just hours after the war started, crypto holders donated hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of crypto to a nongovernmental organisation (NGO).

The donations spiked past the $4 million mark on the second day, crossing $10 million in three days. And apart from BTC and ETH, Polkadot (DOT) was also accepted by the Ukrainian government.

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