Daily Archives: October 7, 2021

‘Public’ Adds Cryptocurrency Trading Citing Millions of Investors See Crypto as ‘Compelling Asset Class’

'Public' Adds Cryptocurrency Trading Citing Millions of Investors See Crypto as 'Compelling Asset Class'

Investing platform Public, with over 1 million users, is rolling out cryptocurrency trading. “Crypto is gaining momentum as a compelling asset class for millions of investors,” the company said.

Public Launches Cryptocurrency Trading

Investing platform Public describes itself as “the investing social network where members can own fractional shares of stocks and ETFs [exchange-traded funds], follow popular creators, and share ideas within a community of investors.” The company announced Thursday:

Today, we’re adding crypto on Public. Members will be able to buy, sell, and hold crypto assets in the same app they use to manage their stock market portfolios.

“Members can now explore ten cryptos in the app: bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), cardano (ADA), dogecoin (DOGE), litecoin (LTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), stellar (XLM), ethereum classic (ETC), dash (DASH), and zcash (ZEC),” the company detailed. “The offering will be rolled out to eligible members gradually over the next several weeks.” Users on Public can invest with as little as $1 when the feature is available to them.

The company said it has more than 1 million members, 90% of whom are first-time investors. After a fundraising round in February, the company’s valuation reportedly rose to $1.2 billion. Actor Will Smith is among the investors of the company. Public competes with platforms like Robinhood but is much smaller.

Trading of cryptocurrencies on Public is powered by Apex Crypto, which provides cryptocurrency execution and custody services. Apex Crypto currently does not have a Bitlicense so Public’s new crypto feature will not be immediately available to residents of New York.

Furthermore, Public currently does not provide a crypto wallet but said it is working toward offering one in the future. The investment company wrote:

Crypto is gaining momentum as a compelling asset class for millions of investors.

What do you think about Public offering trading in cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.

Phemex Is a Rebellion Against Traditional Finance, and It’s Winning

Wall Street is often touted as the place where dreams come to life, but the world’s economic epicenter can also be an absolute nightmare. From brokers screaming at each other across trading floors to the modern electronic trading systems of today, money talks in Wall Street. However, while the NYSE houses over $28.5 trillion in assets, there’s still a lot left unsaid.

On Wall Street, it is believed that history doesn’t repeat itself, but rhymes. The world’s financial systems have failed consistently over time, but when Phemex’s founder Jack Tao initially joined Morgan Stanley in 2009, nothing could have prepared him for the restrictive design financial markets utilized towards retail investors. From censoring trades inflating fees to conducting deals with exclusive partners away from the public’s attention, Jack started seeing the system as it was — skewed in favor of the rich and influential.

The name ‘Phemex’ comes from two words — ‘Pheme,’ the Greek God of fame, who was a conduit for the public’s opinion, and ‘MEX’ (short for mercantile exchange). Phemex believes our financial systems can be better, but only when everyone has an equal footing, and no one’s views can eclipse the others.

Jack saw the potential for a whole new world of financial services — one where everything was reset, and everyone was given a fighting chance. During his search to figure out ways to implement his design, Jack eventually discovered blockchain.

His adventure began as a Bitcoin miner, joining a reputed cryptocurrency exchange to begin investing into the technology. However, technical loopholes and poor regulation caused Jack to lose a significant part of his holdings through an exchange malfunction. This was a problem.

In his mind, digital assets represented the ideals of decentralized control, financial freedom, and individual sovereignty, but these ideals were only being implemented on the surface. Phemex’s origin story truly begins here.

In 2019 Jack, along with eight other Morgan Stanley executives, founded Phemex to enable a blockchain-powered future for the world’s economies, where power would never become saturated within a select few, and opportunities could never be stifled.

Peddling Freedom

The concept of money has remained centralized from the start. Before Bitcoin, the idea that a currency could hold value without a trusted intermediary was completely foreign. Blockchain is humanity’s response to the inefficient management of capital by centralized entities, allowing for censorship-resistance, distributed control, and trustless value transfer without borders.

In the last two years alone, Phemex has expanded into one of the top-ranking global derivatives exchanges in the cryptocurrency industry, boasting a user-base of 1.5 million, with a quarterly trade volume of over $266 billion. Designed from scratch by a squad of Wall Street veterans, Phemex was made to bring financial services to the masses using its intuitive design, lightning-fast trading engine, and positive approach to community feedback.

With its team of experts in the realm of finance, Phemex is marching towards its goal of being the most secure and dependable digital asset exchange in the world.

Break Through, Break Free

The general sentiment that inefficient middlemen spoil the system catalyzed the birth of cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology offers people the ability to trade without restrictions. The traditional stock market consists of roughly $80 trillion in assets, and with so much money on the line, it can be hard to remember that there’s a real person involved behind every shifting market metric.

This month, Phemex is also giving its user interface a complete overhaul, including a full redesign of its visual design so users can more easily take part in the ongoing blockchain revolution. Contrary to popular belief, the world’s financial systems weren’t designed to be unfair, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are.

Trading is fundamentally competitive, but that doesn’t mean the competition can’t be unbiased. Phemex wants to power an economy fueled by freedom, equal opportunity, and organic growth by allowing its users to make meaningful market contributions on their own terms.

By removing barriers created by exclusivity or privilege, Phemex offers a platform where winners are decided based on their abilities and foresight — not their connections.

Cryptocurrency investors are on an adventure to break through the obstacles formed by the world’s traditional financial ecosystems. Carve your own path, and break free with Phemex.


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Matt Furie Adds to 2016 NFT Card Collection — ‘Rare Pepe Directory Is Complete,’ Says NFT Wallet Creator

Matt Furie Adds to 2016 NFT Card Collection — 'Rare Pepe Directory is complete,' Says NFT Wallet Creator

About five years ago, Bitcoin.com News reported on the notorious Pepe the frog getting added to the blockchain collectible world after the non-fungible token (NFT) cards were minted on the Counterparty protocol in 2016. Now the creator of Pepe the frog, Matt Furie, has added his flare to the mix with a special NFT featuring his original green amphibian creation.

Crypto Fans Get Their First Introduction to Counterparty Rare Pepe NFTs in 2016

Back in 2005, when Matt Furie introduced Pepe the frog to the world, he did not expect it to garner such virality across the web. At the time, he didn’t even know what a meme was when he crafted the green frog that is now shared far and wide across the web.

More than ten years later, in 2016, Pepe the frog was a legend and cryptocurrencies were in the midst of changing course toward another climactic bull run. In October 2016, Bitcoin.com News reported on the Rare Pepe blockchain cards that were introduced via the Counterparty blockchain.

At the time, our newsdesk noted that “Rare Pepes are cards depicting the infamous frog, traded as XCP assets over the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain much like Spells of Genesis cards.” Since then, the Rare Pepe Directory indicates the team minted a total of 36 series featuring the internet’s favorite green frog and many other characters.

Five years later in 2021, old NFTs like Nilicoins, Rare Pepe, and Curio Cards saw fresh demand. In fact, some of the Rare Pepe cards that are ultra-rare have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Opensea features old Rare Pepe cards and people have been selling Lord Kek dust.

Rare Pepe Wallet Creator: ‘And With That, the Rare Pepe Directory Is Complete’

On October 5, the NFT marketplace chainsaw.fun and Matt Furie’s Pegz NFT project introduced Furie’s FEELSGOODMAN Rare Pepe card. On Twitter, Chainsaw wrote: “Chainsaw NFT, Pegz DAO, and Matt Furie are ecstatic to announce the auction of the Matt Furie FEELSGOODMAN Rare Pepe. A piece of blockchain history, originally minted in 2016.” Chainsaw added:

A collaboration with rarepepewallet.com creator @wasthatawolf, we see this Rare Pepe as a peace treaty of sorts, between bitcoin and ethereum, between Pepe lovers of all shapes and sizes.

After the Chainsaw announcement, the creator of the Rare Pepe Wallet, @wasthatawolf said: “And with that, the Rare Pepe Directory is complete.”

On the Chainsaw website, the advertisement for the NFT Furie crafted explains that the team of creators have a “desire for this Pepe to bring peace between BTC and ETH communities.” The announcement for the auction — which aims to go live on Thursday — adds:

500 cards issued, 400 burned, 99 will remain in the Pegz DAO, and ONE is being auctioned here.

“Pegz DAO recognizes Pepe as an icon of great cultural significance, one that can, and has been, appropriated by dark forces,” the NFT creators noted. “We recognize that one cannot own all the frogs, but our hope is that our stewardship will lead to a predominance of feel good amphibians now and forever.”

What do you think about the Matt Furie crafted Rare Pepe NFT trading card? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Lawmakers in Kazakhstan Propose Registration for Crypto Farms, Higher Electricity Rate for Miners

Lawmakers in Kazakhstan Propose Registration for Crypto Farms, Higher Electricity Rate for Miners

Members of the parliament in Kazakhstan have proposed the establishment of a state register for cryptocurrency farms operating in the country. Alarmed by the growing consumption of energy in the sector, the lawmakers also want to charge miners a higher price for the electricity they use.

Mazhilis Members Want Miners in Kazakhstan to Register With Government, Pay More for Power

A group of deputies from the Mazhilis, the lower house of Kazakhstan’s bicameral legislature, have voiced concerns over the growing electricity demand. The parliamentarians believe the surge is due to the influx of crypto mining companies into the country, attracted by its low energy prices.

Lawmakers in Kazakhstan Propose Registration for Crypto Farms, Higher Electricity Rate for Miners

Members of the People’s Party of Kazakhstan have put forward proposals to deal with the escalating situation. According to a report by Tengrinews, the lawmakers have urged Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar to create a special register for crypto farms that mint digital currencies in the country.

Zhambyl Ahmetbekov, one of the deputies, noted that the increasing number of mining entities moving to the Central Asian nation significantly affects the volume of available energy. Foreign miners consume enormous amounts of electricity but they receive their revenues abroad, bringing no benefit to Kazakhstan, he pointed out, further stating:

In this regard, it is proposed to create a legislative register to account for the so-called mining farms and introduce a special increased electricity tariff for them.

Besides the higher electricity rate, the Mazhilis members have also called for the reintroduction of differentiated tariffs for the respective time zones of the day. Thus, prices will take into account peak hours of consumption and grid loads.

The proposals come after Kazakhstan’s energy minister Magzum Mirzagaliev revealed that power consumption this year jumped by 7% in comparison with 2020. “This is a very big increase,” the official said at a press conference last week, making it clear that the government is considering restrictions on mining facilities.

The spike in demand is largely due to the growing number of data centers devoted to cryptocurrency mining, Mirzagaliev told reporters. At the same time, he stressed that Kazakhstan needs to develop its crypto mining sector and announced the country intends to build new power plants with a combined 3,000-megawatt capacity in the next five years.

Amid an ongoing crackdown on bitcoin mining and other crypto-related activities in China, the region of Central Asia has attracted many businesses from the industry with its cheap energy. However, in Kazakhstan miners compete for electricity with other industries and households, which is worrying authorities in Nur-Sultan.

In June of this year, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a law amending the country’s legislation “on taxes and other obligatory payments to the budget.” The bill, adopted in parliament earlier that month, introduced a surcharge of 1 Kazakhstani tenge (approx. $0.0023) per kilowatt-hour used by cryptocurrency miners. The new fee will be imposed on Jan. 1, 2022.

Do you think Kazakhstan will introduce restrictions for cryptocurrency miners due to its power shortages? Tell us in the comments section below.

Bitcoin ETF Approval Expected by Month’s End, Prominent Hedge Fund Puts More Weight Behind BTC

Bitcoin ETF Approval Expected by Month's End, Prominent Hedge Fund Puts More Weight Behind BTC

The price of bitcoin soared past the $55K handle on Wednesday for the first time in four months giving proponents hope the crypto bull run has been re-ignited. Speculators are predicting a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) will be approved soon and some believe bitcoin will outperform other crypto assets this month.

ETF Analyst Eric Balchunas Discusses Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund Approval Odds

While 13 digital currencies outperformed bitcoin (BTC) this past week, BTC has been a top performer gathering 34.2% over the last seven days. On Wednesday, statistics indicate that BTC gained more than 7% in value and tapped a daily high of $55,800.

One of the reasons behind bitcoin’s price spike is the rumor that an exchange-traded fund (ETF) may get the green light from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas discussed his opinion of the possibility on October 2 and shared a screenshot of the odds. Balchunas also mentioned SEC chairman Gary Gensler, calling him “Genz,” and how he likes the futures version of the bitcoin ETFs.

“Yes, the SEC has kicked can on bitcoin ETF approval,” Balchunas tweeted. “BUT that is for the physically-backed ones under ’33 Act. The futures ETFs filed under the ’40 Act (which Genz loves) are very much alive and likely on schedule (we think 75% chance approved in Oct).”

The ETF analyst Balchunas’ odds are pictured below.

Titan Crypto Adds More Weight Behind Bitcoin

In addition to the odds from the ETF analyst, the mobile hedge fund and investment firm backed by a16z, Kevin Durant, Ashton Kutcher, and Will Smith, Titan, revealed that the actively managed crypto fund for Titan clients will be changing positions in the space to put more weight behind bitcoin.

“We’ve slimmed our other positions to put our weight behind bitcoin. We believe it’s bitcoin’s time to shine,” Titan said on Wednesday evening (EST). “After a very rocky end to September in the crypto markets, October has kicked off with meaningful gains. Some were surprised that bitcoin held $40K through September, despite an onslaught of bad news.” Titan added:

But — as noted in our previous updates — on-chain data continued to show bullish broader accumulation trends by institutional investors and whales, who seemed wholly unfazed in spite of heightened volatility. We’ve now seen bitcoin spike as high as ~$55K this week, but we see more room to run.

Titan gives four specific reasons why Titan researchers believe bitcoin’s value will “exponentially grow in October, while other crypto assets may plateau.” Titan’s reasons include:

  • “We believe bitcoin ETFs are coming: Approval of U.S.-based bitcoin futures ETFs could come as soon as this month, with promising comments from SEC Chair Gary Gensler.”
  • “Bitcoin is playing catchup: We’ve seen altcoins make new all-time highs over the last month, while bitcoin has consolidated between $40-50K. We believe Bitcoin is about to catch up to the pack.”
  • “Taking a pause from altcoin season: The Altcoin Season Index shows that altcoin season may have already reached a local peak, with the market returning to bitcoin season in the short term.”
  • “Institutional flows reversal: After suffering its longest run of institutional outflows, bitcoin has started to see strong inflows over the last two weeks. We believe this decisive turnaround in sentiment is due to growing confidence in the asset class among institutional investors. Once an institution buys bitcoin, you can generally expect them to HODL.”

Crypto Derivatives Exchange CEO: ‘Money to Rotate Into Bitcoin From Alts Going Forward’

The crypto derivatives exchange Delta Exchange and its CEO Pankaj Balani share a similar view that BTC is expected to outperform other crypto assets. “Bitcoin has spiked up after its seasonal correction in September,” Balani said in a note sent to Bitcoin.com News. “The price action looks very bullish given that there is strength in bitcoin despite weakness in the global macro. Bitcoin has also digested all the negative news that has come out of China in the past few weeks which is a very positive sign.” Balani added:

There has been fresh spot buying activity in bitcoin and looking at the price action we expect to see a fresh ATH in the coming weeks. We also expect bitcoin to outperform altcoins and the money to rotate into bitcoin from alts going forward.

What do you think about the prediction that the month of October will see bitcoin outperform other crypto assets? Do you think a bitcoin ETF will get approved? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Cash2Bitcoin: As Bitcoin Greatly Outperforms S&P 500, Bitcoin ATMs Gain in Popularity

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and after an initial dip, the stock market has performed exceptionally well for such an economically uncertain time. The SPDR S&P 500 electronically traded fund (ETF), which provides a good indicator of the stock market’s overall performance, has increased in value by 32% year-over-year (YoY) and 39% since the beginning of January 2020.

While these returns are impressive, the performance of Bitcoin has surpassed expectations and greatly exceeded the performance of the S&P 500. Bitcoin’s value has drastically increased by 554% since the beginning of 2020 and by 352% YoY. As Figure 1 highlights, these are far beyond those of the stock market and most any other asset class. Bitcoin’s price during this time rose from $7,175 and $10,382, respectively, to $46,898.

For the past 4 years, Cash2Bitcoin has helped new investors across the United States gain access to this asset by providing physical locations where Bitcoin can be purchased, in the form of ATMs. Ubiquitous access to these ATMs has enabled investors at all levels to reap the benefits of this growing asset.

Figure 1: Price change of Bitcoin and SPY ETF between January 1, 2020, and September 7, 2021

Cash2Bitcoin: As Bitcoin Greatly Outperforms S&P 500, Bitcoin ATMs Gain in Popularity

Investors rewarded throughout the pandemic

On account of its marked performance, investing in Bitcoin has greatly rewarded its supporters and many short, medium, and long-term investors have made notable gains in the past two years. Figure 2 illustrates returns for investments made at eight different periods leading up to the present day, September 7, 2021. For instance, if an individual purchased Bitcoin nine months ago and sold it now, they would have made a profit of 145%. Similarly, if they purchased Bitcoin 18 months ago and sold it now, they would have made a profit of 425%.

Figure 2: Profit made if Bitcoin were purchased 1-21 months ago and sold on September 7, 2021

Cash2Bitcoin: As Bitcoin Greatly Outperforms S&P 500, Bitcoin ATMs Gain in Popularity

Excluding the period of six months ago, individuals who purchased Bitcoin at any of these periods made gains averaging 267%. Although the prices decreased approximately six months ago, hence the return of -7% if it was purchased then, the price has been steadily rising and may reach its peak again soon.

ATMs provide easiest way to acquire Bitcoin

Even before the pandemic began, Bitcoin started finding its way into the portfolios of retail and institutional investors. Bitcoin’s performance during the past year and a half has created a positive feedback loop, with its price skyrocketing from $7,175 to just above $63,000 at its peak—a price it may very well reach again soon. Cash2Bitcoin is a key enabler of this uptick in the United States, having deployed over 470 Bitcoin/crypto ATMs across the country. Cash2Bitcoin also supports hundreds of other independent operators by providing customer support services, monitoring machines, and purchasing and exchanging Bitcoin on their behalf.

Unlike acquiring Bitcoin through online exchanges, using Cash2Bitcoin ATMs requires no more technical savvy than using a traditional ATM. Individuals simply deposit their cash and have Bitcoin directly deposited to their virtual wallets or can print a temporary QR code that can be used to deposit the Bitcoin into a digital wallet later on. This has reduced barriers to entry for retail investors at all socioeconomic levels, and therefore has allowed many more individuals to profit from this investment. Full details on how purchasing Bitcoin at these ATMs works are available on Cash2Bitcoin’s site.

As highlighted in the map below, Cash2Bitcoin provides ATMs across the United States and continues to expand its footprint. Its ATMs are located everywhere from small-town gas stations to corner markets in cities such as Dallas, Jacksonville, Detroit, and Indianapolis. The number of ATMs that Cash2Bitcoin installs each month has grown exponentially, mirroring the price increases of the currencies they provide and further bolstering Bitcoin’s value and demand.

Figure 3: Cash2Bitcoin’s ATM locations across the United States

Cash2Bitcoin: As Bitcoin Greatly Outperforms S&P 500, Bitcoin ATMs Gain in Popularity

Source: Cash2Bitcoin

Increasing number of people using Bitcoin ATMs

Throughout the pandemic, customers performed an increasing number of transactions at Cash2Bitcoin’s ATMs. The number of transactions performed at its ATMs per month more than doubled from just under 2,000 in January 2020 to approximately 5,200 at its peak in March 2021 and approximately 4,100 in August 2021. Importantly, the rise in the number of transactions per month mirrored the increase in the number of unique customers per month, as highlighted in Figure 4. This suggests that an expanding customer base supported this rise rather than a stagnant but increasingly interested group of individuals.

Figure 4: Number of transactions and unique customers per month performed at all Cash2Bitcoin ATMs

Cash2Bitcoin: As Bitcoin Greatly Outperforms S&P 500, Bitcoin ATMs Gain in Popularity

To meet this rising customer demand, Cash2Bitcoin quickly expanded its operation. On January 1, 2020, Cash2Bitcoin operated under 100 Bitcoin ATMs. This number will have ballooned to over 470 by the time this paper is published. This rapid expansion has led to a relatively consistent average number of transactions per month per ATM; however, this ratio is likely to increase as internal analysis has shown that even successful ATMs often have slow starts in terms of attracting users after initial placement.

Due to the proprietary nature of the data, this paper cannot delve into the specific figures relating to the average number of transactions per month per ATM. Irrespective of whether this ratio continues to rise, a stable number of average customers per month per machine suggests demand exists, at the very least, in untapped markets. This demand has risen, at least in part, because of a positive feedback loop. As the price of Bitcoin rises, it gains the attention of new investors, creating more demand and raising prices further. This type of loop is common for other assets and is commonly seen in the stock market. At times, the price of Bitcoin has decreased and demand has followed suit, but each time the price has returned to then surpassed the previous high. As long as this demand exists, Cash2Bitcoin will continue to expand into new markets. Figure 5 compares the price of Bitcoin with the number of transactions across all of Cash2Bitcoin’s ATMs.

Figure 5: Weekly number of transactions at Cash2Bitcoin locations and weekly average price of Bitcoin

Cash2Bitcoin: As Bitcoin Greatly Outperforms S&P 500, Bitcoin ATMs Gain in Popularity

Profit and investment examples

As highlighted earlier in Figure 2, many individuals who purchased Bitcoin throughout the pandemic earned profits averaging over 200%. Put in more tangible terms, the Table 1 provides examples of potential profits made if users purchased Bitcoin on January 1, 2020, and sold it now.

Table 1: Potential profits if Bitcoin was purchased on January 1, 2020, and sold on September 7, 2021

Initial investment ($) Present value ($) Potential profit ($)
25 163 138
50 325 275
100 650 550
250 1,625 1,375
500 3,251 2,751
1,000 6,501 5,501
2,500 16,253 13,753
5,000 32,507 27,507
10,000 65,014 55,014

Note: “Present value” and “Potential profit” based on price of Bitcoin on Sept. 7, 2021

Such profits and the convenience of using physical locations significantly outweigh the nominal ATM fees Cash2Bitcoin charges customers. In essence, these are convenience fees for bringing Bitcoin purchases to the physical world.

Investing $5,000 or more in Bitcoin by purchasing it at ATMs is relatively common. Approximately 10% of individuals who obtained Bitcoin through Cash2Bitcoin’s machines purchased a total of $5,000 worth or more during the period under review. Even more importantly, 6% purchased a total of $10,000 or more during this time. People investing higher amounts may be drawn to ATMs because they purchase smaller amounts consistently over time, have a significant amount of cash on hand and prefer to quickly exchange it for a growing asset, or find the registration process for ATMs more convenient than the process for online exchanges.

Future outlook and the impact of ATMs on your ability to invest in Bitcoin

Analysts attribute Bitcoin’s price increase to a wide variety of factors. Particularly during the pandemic, as inflation with many traditional currencies has crept in, investors have sought currencies and assets that cannot increase in supply, thereby dropping in value. Bitcoin, for instance, has a maximum supply of 21 million coins, just as the supply of gold is limited to what can be mined. Furthermore, many companies have begun holding Bitcoin on their balance sheets and/or accepting it as a form of payment, such as Tesla, Newegg, Microsoft, AMC Theatres, and Square. To keep up with this demand, some payment processors, such as Paypal, have announced or already enacted plans to facilitate payments between customers and vendors using Bitcoin.

With interest in Bitcoin showing few signs of slowing, many expect the price to continue increasing and passing its previous record of $63,000 because of its uptake by large companies, increased use cases, and the positive feedback loop mentioned above. To keep up with demand, both for the currency itself and ways of acquiring it, Cash2Bitcoin will continue to install ATMs across the country, ultimately making it easier for retail investors, such as yourself, to purchase it.

 

Cash2Bitcoin aims to create seamless Bitcoin ATM transactions for consumers interested in Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. Through partnerships with ISOs and merchants, its substantial network of Bitcoin ATMs continues to grow. This network extends throughout the United States in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. For details, please visit: www.cash2bitcoin.com

Cash2Bitcoin are not financial advisors and this paper does not constitute financial advice.


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Nigerians Optimistic CBDC Will Improve Payments and Help Promote Cryptocurrencies

Nigerians are hopeful the planned central bank digital currency (CBDC), also known as the e-naira, is going to enhance cross-border payments and make it “easier for the naira to be widely used and accepted.”

E-Naira Launch a Boon for Cryptos

In fact, according to a VOA report, some Nigerian blockchain experts like Janet Kaatyo believe the e-naira launch will work in favor of cryptocurrencies. Prior to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s February directive, cryptocurrency usage and trading in Nigeria had surged due in part to pandemic-related movement restrictions.

However, this growing popularity as well as the depreciation of the naira eventually forced the CBN to act. Soon after ordering banks to squeeze out crypto players, the CBN began promoting the e-naira which it claimed would “ease monetary transactions and improve the long-term value of Nigeria’s currency.”

CBDC Role in Fighting Corruption

While the CBN has yet to announce the new launch date for the e-naira, some Nigerians like Daniel Yerimah, a digital strategist, are still hopeful this central bank digital currency (when rolled out) will help authorities curb corruption and money laundering.

“Everything built on blockchain is very safe and secure. Another thing again is it’s universal, parts of the benefits they intend to achieve with the eNaira is it will be used for both international and local trade and also it’s going to be to fight corruption,” the report quotes Yerimah explaining.

Despite the optimism exhibited by both the CBN and blockchain experts, there are ongoing concerns “the emergence of CBDCs will cut off roles played by intermediary banks and give the central bank more control over citizens’ financial rights,” the report notes. Still, another Nigerian blockchain expert, Jadel Chidi, says he disagrees.

Instead, Chidi says he foresees the CBN eventually creating “a portal where each e-naira user will be able to access their e-wallet through the database they already have with their bank.”

Do you agree that the emergence of the e-naira will help curb corruption and money laundering? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Local Experts Say Zimbabwe Not Softening Its Stance on Cryptocurrency Just Yet

Zimbabwean crypto and economic experts have suggested Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube’s positive comments about cryptocurrencies do not necessarily mean monetary authorities are about to remove restrictions that were imposed in 2018.

The Case for Blockchain

Instead, the experts claim the remarks show that the government is only interested in aspects of blockchain technology that are beneficial to it. They insist, however, that because the Zimbabwean government — just like its peers in Africa — will not countenance ceding monetary control to anyone, it will not lift restrictions on cryptocurrency trading.

The experts’ comments, which were published by Aljazeera, follow Ncube’s tweet in September which extolled cryptocurrencies. As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, Ncube suggested in the tweet that cryptocurrencies could “lower charges for diaspora remittances.”

The minister’s pro-crypto remarks are reiterated by Clive Mphambela, chief director of communications for the Ministry of Finance, who said: “With disruptive blockchain technology, the cost can come down significantly.”

Misplaced Optimism

However, in the Aljazeera report, William Chui, a cryptocurrency trader and promoter, is quoted suggesting that the renewed hopes that authorities are about to change their crypto policy are misplaced. He explained:

Unfortunately, the government has to this day not recognised cryptocurrencies as an asset class. I think his tweet was more personal and didn’t represent the government’s view in any way.

The report also quotes another crypto trader, Batanai Moyo, who insists the Zimbabwean government would be unwilling to “give up a portion of their power in terms of control of the monetary system.”

Crypto Scams Slowing Adoption

On the other hand, Victor Bhoroma, an independent economist, said because the country was “far too behind compared to Dubai” he did not see the Zimbabwean government softening its hardline stance on cryptos anytime soon. Also complicating matters according to Bhoroma, are reports of people losing millions to crypto pyramid schemes. Such incidents will ultimately slow down the adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Despite expressing reservations, Chui nonetheless suggested Zimbabwean authorities should consider making changes slowly, as doing so will protect crypto traders from scammers. He explained:

“I think more can be done to protect people trading in cryptocurrencies. If regulated exchanges are approved and licenced, it would help bring transparency and certainty to the market.”

Do you agree that Zimbabwean authorities will not change their stance on cryptocurrencies anytime soon? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Ukraine President Zelensky Returns Law ‘On Virtual Assets’ to Parliament

Ukraine President Zelensky Returns Law ‘On Virtual Assets’ to Parliament

The Ukrainian president has sent the recently adopted law “On Virtual Assets” back to the Verkhovna Rada, the country’s legislature. The head of state has come up with his own suggestions and opposed the establishment of a new regulatory body that would require additional financing.

Setting Up New Crypto Market Regulator Will Be Expensive, Zelensky Warns

Ukrainian parliament adopted the long-awaited law “On Virtual Assets” in early September when lawmakers approved the bill on second and final reading. The legislation, designed to regulate crypto-related activities in the country, passed its first reading last December, after which it was revised and presented again in the Rada in June of this year.

In order to enforce the new legislation, authorities in Kyiv need to make amendments to the Tax Code and get the president to sign the virtual assets law. However, Volodymyr Zelensky has decided to return it to Ukrainian deputies and request certain changes.

Besides introducing key legal definitions pertaining to cryptocurrencies, such as “financial virtual assets,” the document also allocates responsibilities among government institutions expected to oversee the circulation of digital assets under Ukraine’s jurisdiction. For instance, if the assets are backed by currencies, they will be regulated by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), and if the underlying asset is a security, the National Securities and Stock Market Commission (NSSMC) will be tasked with the job.

The law “On Virtual Assets” also envisages the establishment of a new regulatory body for the crypto market, subordinate to the executive power. That, according to Zelensky, “will require significant expenditures from the state budget,” the Ukrainian presidency explained in an announcement providing his motives to ask for further revisions to the bill. The head of state proposes the NSSMC take charge of these duties instead.

The newly adopted legislation recognizes virtual assets as intangible goods and divides them into two main categories: secured and unsecured. Cryptocurrencies will not be accepted as a legal means of payment in Ukraine and their direct exchange for other goods or services will not be permitted.

The bill introduces a licensing regime for crypto service providers which means that exchanges and other digital asset platforms will need authorization from the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation to operate in the East European nation. The legislation does not determine the legal status of mining but it doesn’t prohibit it either. The upcoming tax amendments will address accounting procedures applicable to the various crypto-related activities.

Do you expect Ukrainian lawmakers to accept President Zelensky’s proposals and amend the law “On Virtual Assets”? Let us know in the comments section below.

Smartbch Poolside Puffers NFT Collection Sells Out in 3 Days — 100% of Proceeds Goes to Orphanage in Vietnam

Smartbch Poolside Puffers NFT Collection Sells out in 3 Days — 100% of Proceeds Goes to Orphanage in Vietnam

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been extremely popular in recent times as a great number of collections have been dropped and billions of dollars worth of NFTs have been exchanged. Just recently, a collection of NFTs stemming from the Smartbch protocol called “Poolside Puffers” was introduced to the Bitcoin Cash community. The entire collection of 2,100 Puffers sold out in less than three days and all proceeds are being donated to an orphanage in Vietnam.

Meet Poolside Puffers — 2,100 Unique Generative Art Collectibles Built With Smartbch

The Smartbch protocol has been gathering traction as people are minting a myriad of tokens, leveraging decentralized exchange (dex) platforms like Misty Lake (lake.mistswap.fi) and Benswap, as well as discussing new Smartbch ideas across a variety of forums. While blockchain NFT collections like Cryptopunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and others have been all the rage lately, a Smartbch-minted NFT collection sold out in three days this week. The NFT collection called “Poolside Puffers” was launched by Corbin Fraser (@maplesyrupsuckr) on October 3.

“Introducing Poolside Puffers,” Fraser wrote on Twitter. “2,100 unique generative art collectibles. 100% of proceeds from minting are being donated to a local Orphanage that supports abandoned and disabled children in Da Nang, Vietnam.”

Each Puffer sold for 0.0035 BCH per unit which is roughly just over $2 using today’s BCH exchange rates. “$PP is a friendly art project to introduce Bitcoin Cash and wider crypto users to the new EVM sidechain Smartbch, which is enabling Ethereum smart contract capabilities, including SEP721 NFTs,” Fraser further detailed in his introductory Twitter thread. He added:

There are 2,100 collectible Poolside Puffer art pieces based on eight traits, including: Body, Tail, Tail Fins, Fins, Face, Accessories, and Background, and of course Spikes. Each puffer is 100% unique. There also exist various more rare puffers. The more solid colour the puffer, the more rare. Certain features are also more rare such as animated backgrounds, and bloodshot eyes. Along with some accessories.

Smartbch Innovation Still Nascent

Fraser’s Puffer NFTs have been popular on Twitter and the collection’s smart contract address can be viewed via the smartscan.cash explorer. Fraser and many others believe that it is still early when it comes to the things that can be built with Smartbch.

“It’s still very early days for Smartbch — It has a long ways to go to compete with major projects like FTM, MATIC, AVAX and others,” Fraser noted this week. “But as they say. Early bird gets the worm. Or in this case, the Puffer. Who knows, maybe someday $PP will be a rare delicacy.” Another set of interesting NFTs minted on the Smartbch protocol is the BArobots collection. There are only 10,000 BArobots in total and each robot is unique and has an NFT provenance seed.

Many others have said the same as Fraser in recent times, as Smartbch has been getting usage from a variety of BCH proponents. “The vast majority of the market has no idea Smartbch exists or the crazy amount of activity happening over here. Very early days here,” the Twitter account dubbed ‘Cheap Lightning’ tweeted on Sunday.

What do you think about the Smartbch protocol gaining traction and Corbin Fraser’s Poolside Puffer NFTs? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.