Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Price Chart May Show $30,000 as Floor

Bitcoin has been grinding lower in a trading range just above $30,000, prompting cryptocurrency insiders to flag the round number as a potential floor for the virtual coin.

Crypto prognostication is fraught with risk, not least because Bitcoin’s price has roughly halved from a record high three months ago. Even so, some in the industry are coalescing around $30,000 as a support point, citing clues from options activity and recent trading habits.

In options, $30,000 is the most-sold downside strike price for July and August, signaling confidence among such traders that the level will hold, according to Delta Exchange, a crypto derivatives exchange. It “should provide a strong support to the market,” Chief Executive Officer Pankaj Balani said.

Traders are also trying to take advantage of price ranges, including buying between $30,000 and $32,000 and selling in the $34,000 to $36,000 zone, Todd Morakis, co-founder of digital-finance product and service provider JST Capital, said in emailed comments, adding that “the market at the moment seems to paying attention more to bad news than good.”

Bitcoin has been hit by many setbacks of late, including China’s regulatory crackdown — partly over concerns about high energy consumption by crypto miners — and progress in central bank digital-currency projects that could squeeze private coins. The creator of meme-token Dogecoin recently lambasted crypto as basically a sham, and the appetite for speculation is generally in retreat.

Bitcoin traded around $31,600 as of 9:26 a.m. in London and is down about 6% so far this week. It’s still up more than 200% over the past 12 months, despite a rout in calendar 2021.

Konstantin Richter, chief executive officer and founder of Blockdaemon, a blockchain infrastructure provider, holds out hope for institutional demand, arguing Bitcoin would have to drop below $20,000 before institutions start questioning “the validity of the space.”

“If it goes down fast, it can go up fast,” he said in an interview. “That’s just what crypto is.”

— With assistance by Akshay Chinchalkar

Source: Bitcoin (BTC USD) Cryptocurrency Price Chart May Show $30,000 as Floor – Bloomberg

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Critics:

The dramatic pullback in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies comes as a flurry of negative headlines and catalysts, from Tesla CEO Elon Musk to a new round of regulations by the Chinese government, have hit an asset sector that has been characterized by extreme volatility since it was created.

The flagship cryptocurrency fell to more than three-month lows on Wednesday, dropping to about $30,000 at one point for a pullback of more than 30% and continuing a week of selling in the crypto space. Ether, the main coin for the Ethereum blockchain network, was also down sharply and broke below $2,000 at one point, a more than 40% drop in less than 24 hours.

Part of the reason for bitcoin’s weakness seems to be at least a temporary reversal in the theory of broader acceptance for cryptocurrency.

Earlier this year, Musk announced he was buying more than $1 billion of it for his automaker’s balance sheet. Several payments firms announced they were upgrading their capabilities for more crypto actions, and major Wall Street banks began working on crypto trading teams for their clients. Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange company, went public through a direct listing in mid-April.

The weakness is not isolated in crypto, suggesting that the moves could be part of a larger rotation by investors away from more speculative trades.

Tech and growth stocks, many of which outperformed the broader market dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic, have also struggled in recent weeks.

Ethereum Co-Founder Anthony Di Iorio Says Safety Concern Has Him Quitting Crypto

Anthony Di Iorio, a co-founder of the Ethereum network, says he’s done with the cryptocurrency world, partially because of personal safety concerns.

Di Iorio, 48, has had a security team since 2017, with someone traveling with or meeting him wherever he goes. In coming weeks, he plans to sell Decentral Inc., and refocus on philanthropy and other ventures not related to crypto. The Canadian expects to sever ties in time with other startups he is involved with, and doesn’t plan on funding any more blockchain projects.

“It’s got a risk profile that I am not too enthused about,” said Di Iorio, who declined to disclose his cryptocurrency holdings or net worth. “I don’t feel necessarily safe in this space. If I was focused on larger problems, I think I’d be safer.”

Back in 2013, Di Iorio co-founded Ethereum, which has become the home of many of the hottest crypto projects, particularly in decentralized finance — which lets people borrow, lend and trade with each other without intermediaries like banks. Ether, the native token of the network, has a market value of about $225 billion.

He made a splash in 2018 when buying the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money. Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($22 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district.

In recent years, Di Iorio jumped into venture-capital investing and startup advising. He was also for a time chief digital officer of the Toronto Stock Exchange. In February 2018, Forbes estimated his net worth was as high as $1 billion. Ether’s price has more than doubled since then.

Decentral is a Toronto-based innovation hub and software development company focused on decentralized technologies, and the maker of Jaxx, a digital asset wallet that garnered about 1 million customers this year.

Di Iorio said he has talked with a couple of potential investors, and believes the startup will be valued at “hundreds of millions.” He expects to sell the company for fiat, or equity in another company — not crypto.

“I want to diversify to not being a crypto guy, but being a guy tackling complex problems,” Di Iorio said. He is involved in Project Arrow, run by a high-school friend that’s building a zero-emission vehicle. He is also consulting a senator from Paraguay.

“I will incorporate crypto when needed, but a lot of times, it’s not,” he said. “It’s really a small percentage of what the world needs.”

Source: Ethereum Co-Founder Anthony Di Iorio Says Safety Concern Has Him Quitting Crypto – Bloomberg

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Critics:

Anthony Di Iorio is a Canadian entrepreneur primarily known as a co-founder of Ethereum and an early investor in Bitcoin. Di Iorio is the founder and CEO of the blockchain company Decentral, and the associated Jaxx wallet. He also served as the first chief digital officer of the Toronto Stock Exchange. In February 2018, Forbes estimated his net worth at $750 million–$1 billion.

Di Iorio grew up with two older siblings in north Toronto, Ontario. He graduated with a degree in marketing from Ryerson University. Di Iorio began developing websites during the early 1990s, and eventually entered the rental housing market as an investor and landlord in Toronto, Ontario. In 2012 he sold his rental properties in order to invest in Bitcoin, and began to organize companies in the field of cryptocurrency.

He first learned about bitcoin from a podcast called Free Talk Live in 2012. According to The Globe and Mail, he “had an anti-authoritarian streak” and  questioned “the fundamentals of mainstream economics.” Di Iorio bought his first bitcoin the same day for $9.73. He created the Toronto Bitcoin Meetup Group which held its first meeting at a pub in the same year.

It was at this first meeting where he met Vitalik Buterin who went on to be the founder of Bitcoin Magazine and one of the original creators of Ethereum. As the Meetups grew from about eight attendees to hundreds, Di Iorio formed the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada.

References:

Visa And BlockFi Launch 2% Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card

In this photo illustration a Visa logo is seen on a mobile...

Cryptocurrency services company BlockFi launched its first-ever crypto rewards credit card, in conjunction with Visa, to approved clients in the United States on Tuesday. BlockFi’s plans for a credit card were initially disclosed in December 2020 when the exchange released a waiting list for US-based clients, which is now over 400,000 people. BlockFi CEO Zac Prince expects everyone on the waitlist to receive their card around the end of July.

The new offering provides clients with a simple way to acquire bitcoin without having to pay fees or navigate the sometimes complicated onboarding processes at exchanges. BlockFi stands to benefit from utilizing the card as a customer acquisition tool as well as from the fees it will receive from money spent on the card.

“The crypto industry has come a long way since the first Bitcoin payment transaction 11 years ago,” Flori Marquez, Co-Founder and SVP of Operations at BlockFi said. “Today, nearly everyone knows about the important role crypto plays in reshaping the financial space, and our new credit card is set to be another game-changer. This card will make it easier than ever for people to earn Bitcoin back while making day-to-day purchases.”

Holders of BlockFi’s Rewards Visa Card will be able to earn 1.5% back in bitcoin on every purchase, with the payout increasing to 2% on every dollar spent over $50,000 annually. As an incentive to new users, they will receive a 3.5% bitcoin rewards rate for the first 90 days or until they receive $100 worth of bitcoin. The card also offers other benefits such as rebates on trading fees and comes with no annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

These rewards are competitive when compared to other traditional cards. For example, Bank of America’s Customized Cash Rewards credit card offers 3% cash back in one spending category of the customer’s choosing, 2% back automatically on grocery purchases and 1% back on all other purchases.

However, depending on an individual’s spending habits they could be outshone by Gemini, the crypto exchange headed up by the Winklevoss twins, when it launches its crypto rewards credit card this summer in partnership with Mastercard. While BlockFi only offers rewards in bitcoin for now, Gemini will give clients 3% back on dining purchases in any cryptocurrency offered on the exchange on purchases without annual fees or exchange fees. However, the rewards drop to 2% on groceries and 1% for all other purchases.

The launch of the BlockFi crypto rewards credit card also marks a new offering in Visa’s expanding crypto business. The electronic payments company has partnered with several crypto firms to offer Visa debit cards and supported over $1 billion worth of volume through crypto-linked cards in the first half of 2020, but the partnership with BlockFi will bring its first crypto rewards credit card. In 2021, Visa appeared on Forbes’ Blockchain 50 list after applying for over 150 blockchain-related patents and announcing an integration with US-dollar pegged stablecoin USDC.

Card users will receive a 1.5% cashback on an accrual basis for every transaction made through the card, which will then be converted to bitcoin and placed into a BlockFi account in a regular monthly cycle.

“Crypto rewards programs are a compelling way to engage consumers in the crypto economy,” Terry Angelos, SVP and Global Head of Fintech at Visa said. “We’re excited to see programs like the BlockFi Rewards Visa Card, which offer rewards that are relevant to the growing community of digital currency adopters.”

The move by BlockFi comes after PayPal Holdings Inc in October said it would allow customers to hold bitcoin and other virtual coins in its online wallet and shop using cryptocurrencies, a move which could help bitcoin and rival cryptocurrencies gain wider adoption as viable payment methods.

Bitcoin has surged about 160% this year, fueled by demand for riskier assets amid unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, interest in assets perceived as resistant to inflation and expectations that cryptocurrencies will win mainstream acceptance.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

 

Source: Visa And BlockFi Launch 2% Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card

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Critics:

BlockFi is a New York City-based start-up cryptocurrency financial institution. It lends U.S. dollars against bitcoin and other cryptocurrency collateral, as well as accepting deposits of cryptocurrencies which pay interest to the depositor. BlockFi Co-Founder and CEO Zac Prince has a background both in consumer lending and start-ups.

In February 2018, BlockFi received a $1.55 million funding in a seed round from ConsenSys Ventures, SoFi and Kenetic Capital, among others. In July it secured another $50 million in funding from Michael Novogratz‘s Galaxy Digital Ventures

References

Say Goodbye To Bitcoin And Say Hello To The Digital Dollar

https://img.particlenews.com/img/id/2mPBQk_0aeawgZp00?type=thumbnail_1600x1200

Yesterday we talked about the prospects of a digital dollar coming down the pike. It seems clear that global governments will not allow non-sovereign forms of money to continue to proliferate.

The Senate Banking committee’s hearing on the digital dollar two weeks ago was not only a public exploration and introduction to the concept a central bank-backed digital currency, the hearing was also used as a platform to publicly assassinate the viability of the private (“bogus” in the words of Senator Warren) cryptocurrency market (bitcoin, stablecoins, etc.).

With this in mind, the Chinese government has continually tightened control over the crypto market in China, most recently cracking down on cryptocurrency mining in the country. The U.S. Justice Department announced a few weeks ago that it “recovered” $2.3 million in cryptocurrency of the ransom collected from the Colonial Pipeline hack. And today, it was reported that South Korea seized almost $50 million of crypto assets from citizens accused of tax evasion.

So the benefits of the private cryptocurrency market are being deconstructed by governments. Add to that, even after gaining traction, the private crypto market continues to be used primarily as a tool of corruption and speculation. With that, this chart set up argues for a typical bubble outcome (crash).

I founded billionairesportfolio.com — an online investment advisory site that gives the average investor access to sophisticated hedge fund analysis and strategies, all in an easy to understand format. I am also CEO of Logic Fund Management. I started my career with a London-based family office hedge fund that managed money for a French billionaire.

Source: Say Goodbye To Bitcoin And Say Hello To The Digital Dollar

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Critics:

A pair of U.S. congressmen have introduced a bill that would require the Treasury Department to evaluate the digital yuan, digital dollar and the actual dollar’s role in the global economy.

The bipartisan bill, introduced by Reps. French Hill (R-Ark.) and Jim Himes (D-Conn.), seeks to ensure the U.S. dollar remains the world’s reserve currency and directs the Treasury Department to publish a report that evaluates current policy and governance around the currency. This report would include details around central bank digital currencies (CBDC), among other issues.

Under the terms of the bill, dubbed the “21st Century Dollar Act,” the Treasury secretary (currently Janet Yellen) would submit a report to the Senate Banking and House Financial Services committees that includes “a description of efforts by major foreign central banks, including the People’s Bank of China, to create an official digital currency, as well as any risks to the national interest of the United States posed by such efforts.”

The report would update these committees on the Federal Reserve’s current status in researching a digital dollar. The bill would also require the Treasury Department to develop a strategy for boosting the dollar’s reserve status.

The report would detail “any implications for the strategy established by the secretary pursuant to subsection (a) arising from the relative state of development of an official digital currency by the United States and other nations, including the People’s Republic of China,” the bill said.

Keeping the dollar as the world’s reserve currency would be “good for American companies and workers as well as U.S. global influence,” Hill said in a statement.

USD Coin (USDC) is a digital stablecoin that is pegged to the United States dollar and runs on the Ethereum, Stellar, Algorand, and Solana blockchains. USD Coin is managed by a consortium called Centre,which was founded by Circle and includes members from the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and Bitcoin mining company Bitmain, an investor in Circle.

Circle claims that each USDC is backed by a dollar held in reserve. USDC reserves are regularly attested (but not audited) by Grant Thornton, LLP, and the monthly attestations can be found on the Centre Consortium’s website. USDC was first announced on the 15th of May 2018 by Circle, and was launched in September of 2018.

On March 29, 2021, Visa announced that it would allow the use of USDC to settle transactions on its payment network. As of June 2021 there are 24.1 billion USDC in circulation.

See also

Phemex Is Empowering Everyone To Trade Simply and Manage Risk Efficiently

Led by 8 former Morgan Stanley Executives, Phemex’s goal is to build the worlds most trustworthy cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform. Its leverage a “User-Oriented” approach to develop far more powerful features than any existing exchange.

Above all, they place customers first. All of the features and tools are designed with this philosophy in mind. This is why their development team is directly available and constantly gathering feedback, comments, and requests from our community on social media.

Back in 2017, as experienced professional Wall Street traders and investors, Jack Tao and other founding members of Phemex identified a lack of professionalism, trustworthiness, and customer support within the crypto industry. In the following two years, the number of users engaging in cryptocurrency trading increased significantly.

Nevertheless, existing exchanges showed little to no improvement. Realizing the seriousness of the problem, the team left Wall Street and founded Phemex in the summer of 2019. They then dedicated themselves to building a simple, efficient, but most importantly, a trusted cryptocurrency trading platform. Then, on November 25th, 2019, the Phemex platform officially went live.

Pheme (Fama) is the personification of fame and of the public’s voice in Greek mythology. While MEX stands for mercantile exchange. This name was chosen to highlight our vision and their dedication to stand as the most trustworthy trading platform.

From day one, their mission was and will always continue to be the empowerment of individuals. They want everyone in this world to have access to the right set of tools that will allow them to manage risk efficiently and trade simply. They sincerely believe this to be a fundamental right that all traders should enjoy.

For its crypto derivatives products, Phemex allows you to trade with leverage. This means that you can receive a higher exposure towards a certain crypto’s price increase or decrease, without actually holding the necessary amount of assets. You do this by “leveraging” your trade. In simple terms, this means that you borrow from the exchange to bet more. You can get as much as 100x leverage on this platform.

Leveraged trades are risky though. For instance, let’s say that you have 100 USD in your trading account and you bet this amount on BTC going long (i.e., going up in value). If BTC then increases in value with 10%, you would have earned 10 USD. If you had used 100x leverage, your initial 100 USD position becomes a 10,000 USD position so you instead earn an extra 1,000 USD (990 USD more than if you had not leveraged your deal).

As we mentioned above, in terms of Spot Trading, Phemex has adopted a zero trading fee model. Instead they just charge for monthly Premium Memberships (prices are $9.99 for 30 Days, $19.99 for 90 Days and $69.99 USDT for 365 Days). Becoming a premium member will also allow you to set conditional spot orders, you will enjoy hourly withdrawals with no limits, and will be able to gift trial premium memberships to friends.

With respect to contract trading, Phemex separates between “takers” and “makers”. Let’s describe these terms real quick. Every trade occurs between two parties: the maker, whose order exists on the order book prior to the trade, and the taker, who places the order that matches (or “takes”) the maker’s order. We call makers for “makers” as their orders make the liquidity in a market. Takers are the ones who “take” this liquidity by matching makers’ orders with their own..

Phemex previously didn’t accept any other deposit method than cryptos, so new investors were restricted from trading here. Starting 18 June 2020, however, they partnered with a company called Banxa which is a payment gateway that accepts credit and debit card purchases of crypto.

Since then, Phemex has also partnered with Koinal, Coinify, MoonPay, and Mercuryo. You have a variety of payment options (ranging from bank transfers to Apple Pay) and rates to fit your needs.

To our understanding, Phemex does not charge any fees of their own when you withdraw crypto from your account at the platform. Accordingly, the only fee you have to think about when withdrawing are the network fees. The network fees are fees paid to the miners of the relevant crypto/blockchain, and not fees paid to the exchange itself. Network fees vary from day to day depending on the network pressure.

Generally speaking, to only have to pay the network fees should be considered as below global industry average when it comes to fee levels for crypto withdrawals.

Source: https://phemex.com

Crypto’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

It started even before Elon Musk took the stage on Saturday Night Live. The May 8-14 issue of The Economist arrived in the mailbox, delivering a quiet, existential blow to cryptocurrency as we’ve known it for the last decade or so. The publication’s cover package offered a vision of “govcoins,” digital currencies backed by central banks:

Government e-currencies would score highly, since they are state-guaranteed and use a cheap, central payments hub. As a result, govcoins could cut the operating expenses of the global financial industry, which amount to over $350 a year for every person on Earth.

Although the motivation for these “govcoins” is not to push existing cryptocurrencies to the margins, that would be the likely effect. Then, as Musk appeared on SNL, the price of Dogecoin plummeted. Although news stories attributed Dogecoin’s tumble to a Weekend Update skit that labeled the joke-coin a “hustle,” the selloff started at least half an hour before that. It felt more like a classic “buy the rumor, sell the news” dynamic.

But Musk reserved his true market-moving power for midweek, when he tweeted that Tesla will stop accepting Bitcoin as payment for cars. The reason, Musk said, was “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.” In a later tweet, Musk called the amount of electricity used to produce Bitcoin recently “insane.” Critics pointed out that Musk and Tesla could easily have known about Bitcoin’s energy suck when they embraced the currency months ago; nonetheless, the price of Bitcoin sank by as much as 15% that day.

Musk’s pronouncements put the spotlight on cryptocurrencies that claim to require less electricity to produce. All of a sudden, everyone is touting cryptocurrencies that operate on a more efficient standard than Bitcoin’s “proof of work” standard. The flurry recalls the hype around sustainable aviation fuel or ‘70s-oil-crisis car advertising, in which the sole marketing criterion was which vehicle got the most miles per gallon.

The recently launched Chia Network, for example, plays up its “proof of space and time” standard as more energy efficient. Other cryptocurrencies, like Nano and Cardano, took to Twitter to boast about their supposed energy efficiency. On The Defiant podcast, crypto coder Preston Van Loon insisted that Ethereum—a versatile cryptocurrency that’s still valued about 400% higher than on January 1—is “about six months from proof-of-stake.”

Of course, the dramatic dropoff in Bitcoin and Dogecoin prices is both predictable and relative; the idea that Dogecoin is still trading at over 50 cents a coin is ludicrously mind-blowing. Nonetheless, the Musk-Tesla decision around Bitcoin feels like a watershed moment. Cryptocurrency mining’s energy use has gone from a fringe concern to front and center in a matter of weeks. As FIN noted last week, some state legislatures are beginning to discuss limits on crypto mining. It’s going to get harder for crypto enthusiasts to avoid this issue.

Don’t Miss Out on Future FIN

This edition of FIN is going out to our full list of e-mail sign-ups, which we provide about once a month. For the full FIN experience, be sure to subscribe: you’ll gain access to FIN’s exclusive industry interviews, timely charts, and groundbreaking analysis.

Fintech Meets Healthcare

One of the most powerful fintech applications imaginable is in American healthcare space. The United States spends trillions of dollars a year on health care, and yet the outcomes are consistently below those of other developed countries. There are dozens of reasons for that, but one that seems ripe for solving is how payments work.

The system of private health insurance is tremendously inefficient, to the point where it actively interferes with patient care. Americans almost never know what a given procedure is going to cost, how much their insurance will or won’t cover, or even when they will be billed. Surveys indicate that more Americans stress out over medical bills more than over their actual care. This chart shows why half of all Americans have been late to pay a medical bill:

For their part, doctors and other medical providers feel swamped with paperwork and antiquated billing systems. One company that’s trying to fix this broken mess is Waystar, a Chicago-based healthcare technologies that offers a cloud-based billing system to help rationalize payments. Waystar claims to currently handle about one out of every four healthcare transactions in the US.

In an interview with FIN, Waystar CEO Matthew Hawkins acknowledged that while the American health care system has for decades been slow to digitize, recent legislative changes—such as 2009’s “meaningful use” law—have spurred positive changes. Moreover, the shift to telehealth services brought on by the COVID pandemic should make the system more efficient. Hawkins said his company’s ultimate goal is “paving the way toward price transparency.”

He laments that “we’ve all gotten comfortable behaviorally with going to a provider, receiving health services, and then not really knowing the cost of those services.” Imagine an app that would tell you in advance what a surgical procedure was going to cost you, and even gave you the option to set up a payment program before you see the doctor!

Robinhood’s Customer Service Glitches Explained

Sheelah Kolhatkar is one of the most talented business writers in the world. And given the connection that former officials of S.A.C. have to the Robinhood story (Kolhatkar wrote the book on S.A.C.), she’s by far the best person to write about Robinhood for The New Yorker. Unfortunately for her and the publication, Robinhood has been so heavily covered since January that a lot of her current piece feel overly familiar.

But the one thing she really nails is Robinhood’s terrible customer service. According to her story, Robinhood outsourced its customer service in 2016 to a company called Voxpro, located in Ireland. Voxpro’s poorly paid employees didn’t have the licensing or certification to deal with investors’ problems. In 2017, Robinhood made the conscious decision to eliminate the option for its users to call and speak to anyone. The company later restored an option for an investor to get a callback, but these years of customer-service neglect explain a lot.

FINvestments

🦈Number of the Week: In the April 11 issue, FIN predicted that Better.com would go public this year. Sure enough, that is happening, via SPAC. The company, which made its fortune selling mortgages but clearly plans to expand into a broader range of financial services, will be valued at $7.7 billion.

🦈PayPal’s march to become an overall e-commerce hub continues; this week it bought Happy Returns, a Santa Monica-based company that makes it easy for people to return in person items that they’ve bought online.

By: James Ledbetter

Source: Crypto’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week – James Ledbetter’s FIN

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Mexican Bitcoin Exchange Bitso Raises $250 Million, Becomes Latin America’s First Crypto Unicorn

Today, Bitso, the largest cryptocurrency platform in Latin America, announced it raised $250 million in Series C investment. The round, co-led by hedge fund giant Coatue and investment firm Tiger Global, puts the company’s valuation at $2.2 billion, making it one of the largest fintechs in the region and its first crypto unicorn. Other investors in the round include Paradigm, BOND, Valor Capital Group, QED, Pantera Capital and Kaszek. In December 2020, Bitso raised a $62 million Series B at an undisclosed valuation.

The investment will be used to continue providing access to cryptocurrencies for local residents and expand operations, says Bitso’s co-founder and CEO Daniel Vogel. “We want to make sure that folks in the region really benefit from accessing these global financial services that are getting built on top of blockchain.”

Founded in 2014, the Mexico City-based company offers multiple cryptocurrency products and services to more than 2 million customers across Mexico, Argentia and Brazil. These include the Bitso App that lets users buy, sell, send, or receive bitcoin and 8 other cryptocurrencies; Bitso Alpha, a professional-grade crypto trading platform; and Bitso Business, a suite of cross-border products for local enterprises.

The company claims it has more than a 95% crypto market share in Mexico and more than a 60% share in Argentina. In January 2021, Colombian regulators reportedly chose Bitso as one of the nine companies allowed to test crypto use cases under the government’s pilot program. Bitso is also preparing to introduce a crypto derivatives trading platform and interest-bearing crypto accounts.

In the U.S., Bitso is perhaps better known for its crypto remittances services conducted in partnership with San Francisco-based Ripple, which also invested in the company. Last year, Bitso processed about $1.2 billion in remittances, amounting to 2.5-3% of the yearly remittances volume between the U.S. and Mexico, according to Vogel. The lion’s share of those flows was powered by Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity Service (ODL), delivering instant cross-border payments without pre-funding through Ripple’s cryptocurrency XRP.

In December, several cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms, including Coinbase and Crypto.com, delisted XRP following SEC’s lawsuit accusing Ripple of running a $1.38 billion unregistered offering of XRP, which the regulators deemed a security and not a cryptocurrency. Vogel noted that the joint initiative “lost some of the momentum” but declined to provide details on the company’s current relationship with Ripple. The company later issued a separate statement in an email to Forbes: “Bitso has not made any changes to XRP trading at this time and will keep monitoring the regulatory situation.”

Regional trends

In Latin America, crypto is used primarily for speculation, trading and capital mobilization, driven by remittance needs, the devaluation of local currencies and expensive financial services.

But even though steep exchange rates and the constant devaluation of fiat or local currencies favor crypto adoption, there are still barriers to entry for new users, explains Samuel Gómez Milano, executive director and co-founder of CoinGroup, a Venezuelan research firm specialized in crypto and blockchain technology.

According to Gómez Milano, there is no overarching body that regulates crypto and blockchain-related financial services in the region. Mexico was the first country to enact a comprehensive fintech law in March 2018, but the legislation is ambiguous about crypto, providing a clear framework only for banks and fintechs’ use of virtual assets.

Another disadvantage of crypto usage in the country is the economy’s over-reliance on cash, which accounts for 90% of all transactions, and a largely unbanked population. Instead of setting up their own crypto wallet through popular platforms, those interested in venturing into crypto prefer to find experienced individuals who already have a wallet and offer their services for a commission.

“WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, are the default channels people use to buy and sell crypto in Latin America. They prefer to find an experienced user with a good reputation, even when there are platforms like LocalBitcoins, Buda and Panda, because they think it’s easier,” says Gómez Milano. Even though there’s a higher risk of getting scammed using these popular messaging apps, he thinks people prefer this method because crypto is still confusing to many, and direct communication helps bridge that information gap.

Despite these challenges, remittances could be one of the main drivers of increased crypto usage. Mexico alone took in $4 billion in remittances in March last year, up 35% from the year prior. In 2020, amid the economic slowdown, remittance flows into the region remained largely the same compared to the previous year, at $96 billion.

Banks like Western Union WU -0.6% are the most expensive channel to send remittances, with an average fee of 10.9% per transaction, requiring the recipient to collect the money at an agent location if it’s needed immediately. Direct account deposits can take up to five days. In comparison, the transfer cost via cryptocurrency is 0.1% and goes directly to the recipient in a matter of minutes.

“In Mexico, Bitso made evident the advantages of using crypto for remittances. The exponential growth of this platform proves that it is really helping [recipients],” says Eloisa Cadenas, CEO of consulting firm CryptoFinTech and professor at the Mexican Stock Exchange Group.

Cadenas believes this inefficiency provides ample opportunity for crypto exchanges to grow in the financial services industry. Banks in Latin America are known for lending at high interest rates and charging exorbitant fees with APRs as high as 70% in countries like Mexico, compared to 5.9% crypto platforms like Nexo charge.

Mass adoption has a long way to go, with the region representing between 5% and 9% of all crypto activity per month over the last year. But remittances and high lending fees from the incumbents are not going anywhere, which will continue to incentivize crypto usage.

“The remittances market will continue to grow as long as the U.S. is rich and Latin America isn’t,” says Gómez Milano. “There will always be migration, driven by the financial and labor disparities [between them].”

*Interviews with Samuel Gómez Milano and Eloisa Cadenas were conducted in Spanish and translated by co-author Maria Abreu.

I report on cryptocurrencies and emerging use cases of blockchain. Born and raised in Russia, I graduated from NYU Abu Dhabi with a degree in economics and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where I focused on data and business reporting.

I’m an assistant editor at Forbes covering money and markets. Before joining Forbes, I worked at NextEra Energy, Inc. developing and implementing successful media relations and public relations campaigns in the energy industry.

I graduated from Stetson University with a degree in Finance, and have a master’s degree in Journalism and International Relations from New York University, where I worked as a staff writer for Latin America News Dispatch and New York Magazine’s Bedford + Bowery.

Source: Mexican Bitcoin Exchange Bitso Raises $250 Million, Becomes Latin America’s First Crypto Unicorn

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk Says Bitcoin Purchase is “Less Dumb” Than Holding Cash

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Says Bitcoin Purchase is "Less Dumb" Than Holding Cash

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is talking more about the automaker’s bitcoin purchase. In response to a comment from Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, he called Tesla‘s $1.5 billion bitcoin purchase “adventurous enough for an S&P500 company.”

Tesla CEO defends bitcoin purchase

Zhao told Bloomberg in an interview that he was surprised that Musk was “so gung-ho on Dogecoin.” Binance is the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by volume, and it recently launched Dogecoin futures. However, Zhao also pointed out that Tesla purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin rather than Dogecoin.

In response, Musk tweeted that Tesla’s bitcoin purchase “is not directly reflective” of his opinion. He also said owning bitcoin is “simply a less dumb form of liquidity than cash” and is “adventurous enough for an S&P 500 company.”

The Tesla CEO also said that he isn’t an investor and doesn’t even own any publicly traded stock aside from Tesla. He added that “when fiat currency has negative real interest, only a fool wouldn’t look elsewhere.”

“Bitcoin is almost as bs as fiat money,” Musk tweeted. “The key word is ‘almost.'”

Bitcoin price hits a new record

Following Musk’s tweet, the bitcoin price soared above $52,000 to a new record high. Bloomberg notes that the Tesla CEO’s remarks highlight one of the markets’ biggest problems right now. With governments pumping so much cash into the financial system due to the pandemic, investors are getting concerned about inflation and looking for other places to invest. This week alone, the bitcoin price is up by approximately 10%.

Tesla is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest companies that are still managed by their founders. Although Musk said Tesla’s bitcoin purchase doesn’t reflect his opinion, it seems clear that he had something to do with it. The automaker probably wouldn’t have bought the cryptocurrency if Musk hadn’t become a believer in it recently.

Some speculated that Tesla’s bitcoin purchase would lead other major companies to dive into the cryptocurrency, but Fortune reports that it isn’t happening. Gartner Finance conducted a survey earlier this month asking chief financial officers if they plan to buy bitcoin this year. Ninety-five percent of respondents said they didn’t intend to buy the cryptocurrency this year.

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Source: Tesla CEO Elon Musk Says Bitcoin Purchase is “Less Dumb” Than Holding Cash

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In this clip Gali asks Elon Musk about Bitcoin and what he thinks of the cryptocurrency. Big thank you to Third Row Tesla Podcast for allowing us to use the clip. You can subscribe to them here: https://www.youtube.com/thirdrowtesla Original date of video: 01/31/20 Clip taken from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxmO_… Become a HyperChanger & support us on Patreon to receive the exclusive weekly HyperChange Newsletter!! https://www.patreon.com/hyperchange HyperChange YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/hyperchangetv HyperChange Twitter: https://twitter.com/HyperChangeTV HyperChange Instagram: http://instagram.com/Hyperchange HyperChange Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HyperChange/ Music by Marko: https://soundcloud.com/markothedon & Fritz Carlton: https://soundcloud.com/fritzcarlton Tags: #ElonMusk #Bitcoin #Cryptocurrency
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Meet Lily The 3-Year-Old Girl Who Explains How Bitcoin Works With Sweets

Meet Lily, the 3-Year-Old Girl Who Explains How Bitcoin Works With Sweets

Lily, just 3 years old, has her own program in which she explains simple things to her followers on Facebook and Twitter (for now). In her fifth chapter, she explains how Bitcoin works with the help of sweet Skittles , her stuffed animals and of course, her parents.

She started Lily’s Show in August 2020, but on February 2 she posted a video of just over two minutes explaining the basics of Bitcoin , something that many adults still have doubts about.

The information is based on Michael Caras’ children’s book, ” Bitcoin Money: A Tale of Bitville Discovering Good Money.”

The little girl begins by saying that Bitcoin is “decentralized digital money!” In other words, it does not need a bank to exist, in addition to the fact that there are only 21 million of them in the world and it was created by Satoshi Nakamoto, whom he identifies as “a mystery”.

To explain how a transaction works, he uses wallets with sweets and pieces of wood, which represent bitcoin wallets and the blockchain . The various purses belong to her, her Teddy bear, a unicorn and Dolly, her stuffed animals.

In this way, each that a sweet ( Skittles ) passes from one bag to another, it represents a transaction that generates a piece of wood and when several of them are stacked it symbolizes the blockchain , which no one can see because it is anonymous.

Lily wonders “why is it so expensive?” . So he explains that it is because of the security he has; Money cannot be stolen, bank accounts cannot be hacked, only you have access with a 12-digit code, but if you lose it you are in “trouble” and you can lose all your money .

To finish little Lily takes off her glasses and tells her mother that she doesn’t need them to look smart, “silly mommy .” Besides mentioning that he loves bitcoins… and skittles .

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Coinbase Has ‘Temporarily’ Stopped The Buying And Selling Of Cryptocurrencies

Coinbase – a platform used to buy and sell currency – has temporarily disabled its users from being able to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using US dollars.

Users who have attempted to make purchases over the past day have received a message that reads, ‘USD purchases are temporarily disabled,’ while other currencies, including the British pound, are also reported to have been blocked from making purchases.

Coinbase hasn’t commented since its users started getting the message, however the platform has reported experiencing difficulties due a recent surge in interest following a rise in the price of Bitcoin.

It’s unclear whether the temporary issue is related to the technical issues the app has been experiencing, or whether it’s a move from Coinbase to try and slow or restrict purchases.

However, it comes in the wake of trading platform Robinhood suspending sales of hugely popular Reddit stocks, GameStop and AMC, causing concern that similar blockages could be happening with Bitcoin too.

If the latter were to be true, it would be an incredibly unpopular move given all the backlash Robinhood is facing for allegedly protecting hedge fund millionaires at the steak of Reddit investors. Donald Trump Jr, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ted Cruz are among those who have criticised the platform.

One Reddit user has even filed a class action against the platform, after it blocked any further sales of GameStop stock due to ‘volatility of the market’.

Meanwhile, the value of Bitcoin has soared over the past couple of days, after Tesla founder Elon Musk changed his Twitter bio to simply read ‘#bitcoin’.

In just one hour after the multibillionaire updated his profile, the cryptocurrency’s value soared from around $32,000 (£23,500) to above $37,000 (£27,000,) per online trading site Coinbase.

Elsewhere, a cryptocurrency that began as a joke, has also soared in value by 140%, following the recent success of Reddit-fuelled stocks.

Dogecoin, which is based on the popular ‘doge’ meme, saw huge increases after a Reddit thread called SatoshiStreetBets called for the currency to reach the value of $1 per coin.

Again, cryptocurrency fan Musk has touched on the dogecoin, with many Reddit users calling on him to help spread the word about the currency.

Back in April 2019, he tweeted, ‘Dogecoin might be my fav cryptocurrency. It’s pretty cool,’ later sending its value soaring by 20% when he simply tweeted, ‘doge.’

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via story@unilad.com

By : Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

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•Nov 17, 20206911ShareSaveThe Bitcoin Express

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Catherine D. Henry on LinkedIn: I Had My First Kiss In VR, And I Blushed http://www.linkedin.com – January 29#technews : Here is My article on intimacy, anonymity, and ethics (and the potential perils smooching wit […] Please share your thoughts: #innovation #technews #socialmedia #socialxr #altspace #immersivetechnology #blacksintechnology #virtualcampus #faceboo […]N/A

Sophia the Robot may be mass produced to provide company during COVID http://www.dazeddigital.com – January 29SCIENCE & TECHNEWS Manufacturer Hanson Robotics aims to sell ‘thousands’ of lifelike robots in 2021, to help wit […]4

About OftenTech – medium.com – January 29TechNews, Gadgets, Games and ReviewsN/A

缺櫃現象有解,航運商協調有功| TechNews 科技新報 – 科技新報 TechNews http://www.feed.easybranches.com – January 28近期貨櫃缺乏現象嚴重衝擊海運,並導致運價暴漲,可幸的是在農曆年前,或許就會出現轉機。 德國調研機構 Container xChange 指出,目前中國上海周邊地區的貨櫃供需已開始恢復到正常。去年由於中國工廠正逐步恢復生產,導致航運需求大幅增加,也使貨櫃短缺非常嚴重,不過目前如青島等港口…0

TechNews 987 || Airtel 5G, FAUG Vs PUBG , Apple, UFO, Twitter , Xiaomi, Samsung Etc.. http://www.youtube.com – January 281

缺櫃現象有解,航運商協調有功| TechNews 科技新報 – 科技新報 TechNews http://www.feed.easybranches.com – January 28近期貨櫃缺乏現象嚴重衝擊海運,並導致運價暴漲,可幸的是在農曆年前,或許就會出現轉機。 德國調研機構 Container xChange 指出,目前中國上海周邊地區的貨櫃供需已開始恢復到正常。去年由於中國工廠正逐步恢復生產,導致航運需求大幅增加,也使貨櫃短缺非常嚴重,不過目前如青島等港口…N/A

各國都找台灣要晶片!彭博:全球依賴台灣已到危險等級| TechNews 科技新報 – 科技新報 TechNews http://www.feed.easybranches.com – January 28缺櫃現象有解,航運商協調有功| TechNews 科技新報 – 科技新報 TechNews Technews.tw1 days ago 近期貨櫃缺乏現象嚴重衝擊海運,並導致運價暴漲,可幸的是在農曆年前,或許就會出現轉機。 德國調研機構 Container xChange 指出,目前中國上海周邊地區的貨櫃供需已開始恢復到正常。去年由於中國工廠正逐步恢復生產,導致航運需求大幅增加,也使貨櫃短缺非常嚴重,不過目前如青島等港口…N/A

Bumble is set to ban users who body shame their matches http://www.dazeddigital.com – January 28SCIENCE & TECHNEWS The dating app will use an algorithm to flag derogatory terms about someone’s appearance 28Januar […]N/A

〈財報〉微軟Q2營收增、Azure亮眼成長50% 盤後大漲逾4%登新高 – Anue鉅亨 http://www.feed.easybranches.com – January 28缺櫃現象有解,航運商協調有功| TechNews 科技新報 – 科技新報 TechNews Technews.tw1 days ago 近期貨櫃缺乏現象嚴重衝擊海運,並導致運價暴漲,可幸的是在農曆年前,或許就會出現轉機。 德國調研機構 Container xChange 指出,目前中國上海周邊地區的貨櫃供需已開始恢復到正常。去年由於中國工廠正逐步恢復生產,導致航運需求大幅增加,也使貨櫃短缺非常嚴重,不過目前如青島等港口…0

Technews Telugu,Mi11 India Launch Soon ,Airtel 5G Ready,Realme more iot Products || In Telugu || http://www.youtube.com – January 28N/A

ACM TechNews technews.acm.org – January 28About ACM | Membership | Publications | Media Center | Advertise with ACM Privacy Policy | Code of Ethics | Accessibility | Contact us Copyright © 2021, ACM, Inc.0

Fujifilm Has a New Mirrorless Digital Camera, the FUJIFILM GFX100S – techtography.com – January 28[…] For More TechNews See more news and updates all about tech, the internet, gaming, startups, and even abou […]N/A

缺櫃現象有解,航運商協調有功| TechNews 科技新報 – 科技新報 TechNews http://www.feed.easybranches.com – January 28近期貨櫃缺乏現象嚴重衝擊海運,並導致運價暴漲,可幸的是在農曆年前,或許就會出現轉機。 德國調研機構 Container xChange 指出,目前中國上海周邊地區的貨櫃供需已開始恢復到正常。去年由於中國工廠正逐步恢復生產,導致航運需求大幅增加,也使貨櫃短缺非常嚴重,不過目前如青島等港口…

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