Category Archives: Christine Lagarde

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Bitcoin Starts Week with March Towards $12,000

Bitcoin Starts Week with March Towards ,000

After a nondescript weekend whereby Bitcoin traded in relatively narrow ranges on a slight path of recovery, Monday trading seems to be displaying the intent of bulls to recover lost ground and reclaim USD 12,000.

That resistance level will prove to be quite strong, however, as the last time this year bulls rose past that, they actually roared past and touched USD 13,800, only to fall back spectacularly in a major retracement. However, there does appear to be some solid support at USD 11,000 anyway, as yesterday’s sellers could not break past that floor, while today’s bears in late North American trading could only push price down to the 24-hour low of USD 11,154, and that only for a couple of hours.

The most significant move today took place at 8:45 am UTC (Coindesk), as a belated London flurry of buys broke past existing order books at USD 11,400, taking price levels immediately upwards to USD 11,800. Since then, long traders have been enjoying gradually rising demand, and Bitcoin is now trading at its July highs very close to USD 12,000.

However you look at it, an almost 6% increase over the past 24 hours should provide some impetus for European bulls and speculators across the pond when they start trading in a few hours, to try complete this current march out of the trenches.

Bitcoin Price Nears $12K After Rising $500 in Minutes https://t.co/LFoR1Dw08k pic.twitter.com/Bdf81G45Z8

— TechNoobs (@Tech_Noobs) July 8, 2019

They will also take a lot of positivism from the fact that “bad news” no longer negatively impacts crypto price as easily as it used to. Just yesterday, new European Central Bank boss Christine Lagarde — the former IMF chief now replacing outgoing president Mario Draghi — had just issued a fresh warning that cryptocurrencies had inherent instabilities.

Earlier this year, speaking with an IMF hat on, she said Bitcoin and crypto were “shaking the system“:

“I think the role of the disruptors and anything that is using distributed ledger technology, whether you call it crypto, assets, currencies, or whatever … that is clearly shaking the system… We don’t want to shake the system so much that we would lose the stability that is needed.”

All that talk has failed to dent the price action of the world’s most traded digital asset so it could be seen as an opportunity rather than a threat, since ECB and other central banks in the world might be forced to take up a friendlier approach to Bitcoin and other crypto, knowing that the system is being disrupted, whether or not the traditional system likes it.

If they do, they won’t be the first crypto skeptics to change sides. Just last week, even Peter Schiff, gold advocate and long-time Bitcoin critic, received donations from Bitcoin users, leading to even he himself admitting that he might as well “hodl” the crypto he now owns.

Mark Mobius, the cofounder of Mobius Capital Partners and a genuine personality in the world of investment, was another high-profile wealthy person who has turned sides, from once calling Bitcoin a “real fraud” to now declaring it is “alive and well” and will continue to be so.

So if the net effect of high-profile investors and financial figures only means Bitcoin still goes up in price, then optimists will believe that when the tide of sentiment properly turns, a certain rally should happen.

If current parabolic phase is violated, we could expect either an 80% correction of 7-month advance or much smaller correction w/ definition of new parabola w/ shallower slope. $BTC Note formation of possible 2-wk H&S or H&S failure pic.twitter.com/6IF1bHREAv

— Peter Brandt (@PeterLBrandt) July 7, 2019

Of course, the permabears themselves have yet to give up on their doomsday analyses. Veteran crypto trader Peter Brandt himself paints a gloomy scenario that could set in as a result of its swift move to USD 13,868 last month. He believes that a fast and painful reversal could result in a fall all the way back to USD 3,000, the low of the year. He says:

“If current parabolic phase is violated, we could expect either an 80% correction of 7-month advance or much smaller correction w/ definition of new parabola w/ shallower slope.”

The only silver lining there, though, is that this is actually a worse-case scenario, so it doesn’t seem so bad for Bitcoin to reach the same depths it has already hit only half a year ago.

For the time being, however, there are some things to watch out for. The next few hours will probably see Bitcoin march past USD 12,000 but it will be a long 24 hours to see if a breakout can happen as hourly charts do seem to be vague about any symmetrical triangles. If the breakout does happen, it would have to be at high volumes to invalidate lower highs patterns, otherwise, we should see another retracement and further confirmation of a slightly overbought conditions that relative strength index (RSI) indicators are now beginning to show on a weekly chart, creeping over 80 RSI now in the past few hours.

 

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IMF Talks Up Fintech’s Disruptive Potential

lagarde, IMF, fintech

Reuters reports that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde has issued warnings over the increasing impact and presence of global tech giants who are using big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and fintech, possibly disrupting the global financial system.

Lagarde, in her address to the G20 finance leaders meeting in Fukuoka, Japan, specifically pointed to the rapid development of financial technology (fintech) resulting in cheaper payment and settlement systems for emerging economies where traditional banking networks are bare.

She said that this development could force policymakers the world over to reconsider the way they see banking and financial settlements should be regulated and made to comply:

“A significant disruption to the financial landscape is likely to come from the big tech firms, who will use their enormous customer bases and deep pockets to offer financial products based on big data and artificial intelligence.”

She admitted that financial markets would benefit from innovation but they could centralize and make vulnerable a small system controlled by a few tech giants: “This presents a unique systemic challenge to financial stability and efficiency, and one I hope we can touch on during the G20, and address in a cooperative and consistent fashion.”

She also pointed to China as a glaring example of fintech’s various benefits and shortcomings, showing how tech growth there has been extremely successful

Lagarde said China presents an example of the trade-off between benefits and challenges posed by financial technology, where millions now benefit from access to financial products and high-quality jobs, but where only two firms now control over 90% of the mobile payments market.

The IMF has had its past run-ins with the global community with its views and stance on fintech and emerging technology such as blockchain and crypto. It has its own quasi-crypto called Learning Coin but has warned the Republic of Marshall Islands over plans to launch their own crypto and told Malta there were significant risks of terrorism with blockchain.

 

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Could IMF’s “Learning Coin” Mean a Shift from Fear and Loathing to Acceptance?

Could IMF’s “Learning Coin” Mean A Shift From Fear and Loathing to Acceptance

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank’s recent announcement suggest that they are not quite going crypto, but are nonetheless launching a private blockchain complete with a coin. And this could have major implications for world finance.

Although the “Learning Coin” may be a new concept that the two financial giants have carefully designed to carry no monetary value, but with plenty of stored intellectual content, this could be seen as an indication that change is in the air when it comes to the financial establishment’s tolerance-come-actual-interest in cryptocurrency as 2020 approaches.

When these two agencies make a murmur, the financial establishment pricks up their ears. The intention seems clear when the IMF states that “the development of crypto-assets and distributed ledger technology is evolving rapidly, as is the amount of information (both neutral and vested) surrounding it”, without accompanying it with the usual criticism of abuse and misuse. That said, IMF chief Lagarde’s concerns are still clear. Her views indicate that it is very much about treading carefully and testing the water at this stage:

“…we don’t want innovation that would shake the system so much that we would lose the stability that is needed.”

Of course, the IMF is always ready to cast one keen protective eye across the global financial landscape, such as in the agency’s recent warnings to Malta regarding its rate of blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption, saying that unchecked proliferation carries “significant risks” for money laundering and terrorism. during a recent financial assessment carried out on the island.

Another hint that the financial establishment may be leading from the top in its softening attitudes towards cryptocurrency can be seen in its recent online poll, on its own website, asking the question asking “How do you think you will be paying for lunch in 5 years?”  — a clear attempt to measure public feelings on cryptocurrency.

This needs to be balanced with the IMF’s stance regarding state cryptocurrencies. To date, it has come down hard on countries considering the move. There is a critical view held by economists in some countries whose governments may be considering moves to adopt a national cryptocurrency, that a mass decentralization of financial power may result in the diminishing of IMF’s authority.

A warning by IMF deputy director Dong last year clearly suggests that the organization may be secretly worried at the movement towards global digital currency adoption. While admitting that cryptocurrency had an advantage over banks when it comes to speed, anonymity, and divisibility, Dong claimed then that Bitcoin’s fixed supply was a disadvantage since that would lead to deflation, which is theorized to reduce economic activity due to money hoarding. According to him, a stable monetary system must protect against deflation.

It remains to be seen how long the IMF can tread this middle path of warnings and dabblings, caught between fear and acceptance of what many in the crypto space see as the inevitable global adoption of cryptocurrency. What of its latest toe in the water; its so-called “hub for knowledge”? It could be just a possible novelty or distraction for the agencies’ Washington-based employees at first glance, but although the two giants watching over the world’s monetary control are not predicting a permanent place for blockchain anytime soon amongst the worlds banking system and even less for cryptocurrency, they are nonetheless peeking under the carpet; not quite fear and loathing, but apprehension with interest.

 

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HSBC Whistleblower Is Developing His Own Cryptocurrency

Hervé Falciani, the French-Italian whistleblower who helped track down tax evaders with 130,00 Swiss bank accounts in the 2008 Valencia Polytechnic University crash, is to launch a new cryptocurrency.

Falciani became renowned as the HSBC ex-employee turned whistleblower who provided several European countries classified information on thousands of Swiss bank clients who were evading taxes, most of which were managed by a subsidiary of his employers at the time, HSBC Private Bank.

He created what became known as the “Lagarde list” of HSBC account holders who allegedly used the financial institution’s services for money laundering and tax evasion, leaking the list to the current International Monetary Fund (IMF) head, Christine Lagarde, who was French finance minister at the time.

Continuing his anti-banking crusade, Falciani has now fallen back on crypto to clean up the financial space, by creating his own cryptocurrency – Tabu, which has been developed by ‘Tactical Whistleblowers’, a non-profit organization founded by Falciani.

To date, the Tabu token project has raised €1.3 million (appr. $1.47 million), however, an additional €2 million of capital is required in order to ensure adequate funding for the project’s ongoing development. Falciani’s mission is to cut corruption caused by what he sees as inefficiencies of the traditional banking documentation system, by also developing a blockchain powered registration system.

Tactical Whistleblowers, with its HQ in Valencia, is comprised of several academics with a strong background in Mathematics from the Valencia Polytechnic University.

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French Regulator Tightens Controls on Unauthorized Crypto Firms

Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the body responsible for regulating financial markets in France has noted in its last update that four cryptocurrency websites have been blacklisted.

This follows the regulators blacklisting 20 new investment websites, mostly cryptocurrency-related ventures, back in September. At the time, AMF advised French citizens investing in these new projects that “no advertising materials should make you overlook the fact that high returns always involve high risk”.

Now, nine more websites have been listed as “proposing atypical investments without being authorized to do so,” on the AMF website on December 14th. The blacklisted websites contain four crypto websites which reportedly centre on unauthorized investment offerings.

According to the AMF, websites such as one of the blacklisted sites elos-patrimoine.com were accused of offering monthly returns to investors between 3% and 5% without the authorization to offer guarantees. The other cryptocurrency websites were live-crypto.com.net, iminage.com, and infoconso.info.

French investors were warned that many new cryptocurrency projects are still awaiting AMF’s approval to offer services, and unfamiliar websites should be treated with caution by the public, particularly given the current wave of new crypto websites coming online.

The move by the AMF is part of an increased focus in ensuring that new ICO’s are fulfilling regulator’s legal registration and operating requirements. In September, the French Parliament passed the Autorité des marchés financiers framework drafted early in the year, designed to protect those investing in ICOs.

Earlier this year, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire described cryptocurrency as a “revolution”. Another prominent national, former French finance minister Christine Lagarde, now IMF head, described future international digital currency regulation as “inevitable”.

In September, France’s Minister for the Economy and Finance announced that the government had accepted an article of the Business Growth and Transformation bill (PACTE) dedicated to Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) which stipulates that prior to any ICO, a firm must apply for a license from the AMF providing detailed information on the offer and issuer.

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Crypto to Come Under Microscope at Vienna EU Talks

The EU is ready for its next round of talks with the 28 member states ready to discuss digital assets and whether further legislation is needed.

The next round is scheduled to be held in the Austrian capital Vienna on 7 September and is said to include certain issues surrounding cryptocurrencies such as money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing, all subjects which have been of concern to EU legislators over recent years.

It’s thought that the focus on money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing planned for Vienna has been motivated in part by concerns that EU laws don’t provide enough protection to investors, particularly in light of Asian moves to tighten regulation following hacking incidents this year. Also, the fact that unregulated exchanges fall outside of global financial regulations has caused some extra concern.

It should be acknowledged that while these concerns continue to dominate EU discussions, it has been noted by the both the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that both digital currencies and blockchain technology can bring great benefits to capital markets and commerce in general.

Regulators in Europe are also keen on harnessing the new technologies unleashed by digital currencies, according to the updated document. Initial coin offerings “have established an effective and efficient way to raise capital”, it said, adding that this development could also help integrate capital markets in the bloc.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire recently described cryptocurrency as a “revolution”. Income tax on crypto has been axed by the French government and former French finance minister Christine Lagarde, now IMF head, described future international digital currency regulation as “inevitable”.

Lagarde said that not only could Bitcoin enable fast and inexpensive transactions but that the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies, blockchain, could make financial markets safer.

Other states have made positive comments with the German federal government stating that cryptocurrencies don’t pose any threat to financial stability and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announcing the launch of a collaborative entity, the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN).

An EU document obtained by Bloomberg says that ICOs “have established an effective and efficient way to raise capital”. The document reportedly also states that ICOs could help integrate capital markets in the EU.

 

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Germany Says Bitcoin No Threat to Financial Stability

The German Federal Government has stated that cryptocurrencies do not pose a threat to financial stability, reports Cointelegraph.

The government stated on 12 June that the volume of cryptocurrencies, when juxtaposed to the overall size of the German financial system, is comparatively low and, therefore, simply needs careful monitoring and regulatory measures put in place in order to control the space. This assessment is a view generally shared by the G20, of which Germany is a significant member state.

The statement was made in reaction to a parliamentary inquiry from the Euroskeptic right-wing Alternative for Germany Party who cited alleged problems including money laundering, illegal revenue, use of such currencies in online gambling and terrorist financing. It backs the government’s national risk analysis scheduled for next year. The government stated:

“In order to address the risks of Bitcoin and other “cryptocurrencies”, there are already important regulations in Germany: for example, German-based crypto traders must follow the same anti-money laundering regulations as other financial service providers – especially when it comes to identifying customers.”

Once again, the German government has expressed the necessity for careful international controls on cryptocurrency, noting that the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) will oversee any new legislation:

“… there is a need for coordinated action at European and international level. The Federal Government is, therefore, pressing for a harmonized handling of crypto-tokens at this both levels.”

The federal government’s current view reflects the recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) position on cryptocurrencies, which is that it also considers that cryptocurrency is no threat to global financial stability, providing that it is carefully monitored to protect users.

In March this year, IMF chief Christine Lagarde expressed positive outcomes for the crypto space, stating: “Just as a few technologies that emerged from the dot-com era have transformed our lives, the crypto assets that survive could have a significant impact on how we save, invest and pay our bills.”

Lagarde calls for an even-handed approach which will both exploit the benefits of the new technology and minimize the risks in using and trading cryptocurrency, clearly a view shared by German legislators.

 

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IMF: Fiat Needs New Ideas to Compete with Crypto

Fiat currencies need work, according to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) official, suggesting that they need new ideas to make them more of an attractive proposition for users in the “digital age”, according to Cointelegraph.

Dong He, IMF’s Deputy Director of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department, has published an article suggesting that the way to make fiat currencies “more attractive”, and, thereby, more competitive in the light of potential competition from cryptocurrencies, require three main areas needing improvement.

Dong said that fiat currencies, in the hands of central banks, need to become “more stable units of account” with fresh ideas, referring back to an earlier statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde who claimed that “…the best response by central banks [to crypto] is to continue running effective monetary policy while being open to fresh ideas and new demands, as economies evolve.”

IMF boss Lagarde has developed a positive, if not guarded, approach to cryptocurrency development in past months, according to an earlier report by Bitcoin News. In the last weeks, the French lawyer commented in an official IMF blog post that both “crypto-condemnation” and “crypto-euphoria” should be substituted by taking a clear-minded and rational approach to the regulation of cryptocurrencies. She wrote:

“Just as a few technologies that emerged from the dot-com era have transformed our lives, the crypto-assets that survive could have a significant impact on how we save, invest and pay our bills. That is why policymakers should keep an open mind and work toward an even-handed regulatory framework that minimizes risks while allowing the creative process to bear fruit.”

Dong echoed Lagarde’s view that regulation is necessary but added that it necessitates a way of ensuring that a soft- handed regulation of cryptocurrencies would give them an “unfair competitive advantage” and that this should be avoided. He said, “That means rigorously applying measures to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism, strengthening consumer protection, and effectively taxing crypto transactions.”

The deputy director went on to say that the issuing of a CBDC could reduce transaction costs for individuals and small businesses as well as allow long-distance transactions. This he said would make “central bank money user-friendly in the digital world by issuing digital tokens of their own to supplement physical cash and bank reserves”.

In March, Lagarde said that crypto markets must be regulated by the same laws that apply to traditional markets and that regulations must be developed on a global scale with help from the IMF.

 

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Regulation and Innovation, a Crypto Future in France

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire recently described cryptocurrency as a “revolution”; income tax on crypto has been axed  by the French government, and former French finance minister Christine Lagarde, now IMF head, described future international digital currency regulation as “inevitable”.

Lagarde even expressed interest in the creation of an IMF cryptocurrency last year, after comments she made about the benefits of weaker economies having their own digital currencies.

With such apparent Gallic positivity, where then, is France at this moment in time in its journey down the blockchain and crypto trail, and what lies ahead in the future?

A recent report in Coin Telegraph suggests that France is in a good position for more leadership in the crypto industry, providing that clarification of current rules is established and new legislation is brought to bear.

According to Jonathan Klein, president at Tresorio, a French-based blockchain mining and trading company, Emmanuel Macron was ahead of his peers launching discussions within France with other members of the crypto community even before his election as president. In 2017, Macron, as minister of the economy, passed a bill authorizing what could become a blockchain mini market. Klein also suggests that as a former banker and technophile, Macron could be at the forefront of driving cryptocurrency in France.

Likewise, Le Maire’s comments in Buenos Aires earlier this year, saying that “France will not miss the blockchain revolution” indicates that there is genuine interest at the highest level to continue to develop and regulate the space to promote, rather than curb, the new technology.

Clearly, the French government has not been static on the subject of regulation. In recent months a decree was published by the government related to the possibility of transferring financial securities through a blockchain. A government cryptocurrency working group was formed and new tax guidelines governing cryptocurrency were formulated.

ICOs have also been under the microscope. William O’Rorke, legal advisor at Blockchain Partner, explains:

“France is about to introduce a completely novel framework for ICOs: a voluntary visa system that incorporates much of the ‘best practices’ advocated for by the French crypto-industry. ICOs that comply with these best practices will thus be able to apply for official approval by the regulator.”

He continues, “As of today, simple things like opening a bank account can prove difficult for crypto-projects.” O’Rorke argues that the visa system will enable ICOs to interact simply with institutions such as banks who elsewhere might be overprotective to towards the client in case of cryptocurrency transactions, such as in the US.

France has recently been described as one of the most forward-looking governments in Europe. The French government’s latest announcement, to lower the tax rate for gains generated by cryptocurrencies, seems to indicate that France has set its path towards adapting to what lies ahead in the coming years, as it moves towards finding the right regulatory processes for the country’s crypto future.

 

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