Category: Cryptocurrencies

Crypto remittances see adoption, but volatility may be a deal breaker

Crypto remittances see adoption, but volatility may be a deal breaker

Cryptocurrency adoption has been growing for a number of reasons. In emerging markets, research suggests crypto remittances are a factor, although some argue that the idea of using cryptocurrencies for these transactions is nothing more than a purist’s dream.The CEO of cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform BitMEX, Alexander Höptner, predicted earlier this month that by the end of next year, at least five countries will have accepted Bitcoin (BTC) as a legal tender, as crypto assets can be faster and cheaper for remittances.He believes that all five will be developing countries and that they would adopt cryptocurrencies because of the growing need for cheaper and faster cross-border transactions, increasing inflation and growing political issues.Various other commentators have suggested that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a solution to the high costs associated with remittance payments, as a cryptocurrency transaction can be much cheaper than a remittance payment while settling in a shorter amount of time.El Salvador was the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender with the country’sBitcoin Law officially coming into effect on September 7. The government launched a cryptocurrency wallet called Chivo that uses the Lightning Network, a layer-two scaling solution, to transact. The country has also purchased 700 BTC over time.Global remittances reached over $689 billion in 2018, and commissions were so high a $49 billion industry grew around them. To crypto proponents, El Salvador is a perfect example of how cryptocurrencies can positively change the world, but to others, volatility and a general lack of trust in the market make cryptocurrency adoption impractical and unadvisable.Are cryptocurrencies banking the unbanked?With the Chivo wallet, Bitcoin could effectively help offer financial services to El Salvador’s un- and underbanked population. The country’s president Nayib Bukele revealed in September 2021 that 2.1 million Salvadorans are actively using the wallet, despite the pushback against the new law that saw protests even burn a Bitcoin ATM machine.2.1 million Salvadorans are ACTIVELY USING @chivowallet (not downloads).Chivo is not a bank, but in less than 3 weeks, it now has more users than any bank in El Salvador and is moving fast to have more users that ALL BANKS IN EL SALVADOR combined.This is wild!#Bitcoin— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) September 25, 2021Per his words, Chivo isn’t a bank, but in three weeks gained more users than any bank in the country. That adoption may, however, be related to a $30 in BTC airdrop El Salvador sent to every adult citizen with the government’s wallet app.Speaking to Cointelegraph, Eric Berman, senior legal editor of U.S. finance at Thomson Reuters Practical Law, said remittances using cryptocurrencies are a “purist’s pipe dream.” While Höptner pointed out that remittances made up 23% of El Salvador’s gross domestic product in 2020, Berman countered that only a fraction of the nation’s businesses has taken a Bitcoin payment and that the government’s cryptocurrency app has been plagued by technical issues.Berman further added that “most of El Salvador’s $6 billion in annual remittances still comes via money transfers,” as many are wary of the cryptocurrency’s volatility. Because of the volatility’s impracticality, he said, Bitcoin hasn’t been widely adopted as a payment method among merchants, adding:“This impracticability is magnified exponentially for the disenfranchised and unbanked. No one wants to send mom $100 only to have it be worth $80 by the time it gets to her.”Berman added that “rather than the populist uprising that BTC purists have been touting for years,” Bitcoin’s adoption has instead been growing thanks to “some perhaps long overdue happy noises from U.S. and global regulators.”Indeed, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) head Gary Gensler has confirmed the regulator won’t ban crypto. In fact, the SEC approved the first Bitcoin futures-linked exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States, ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF, this week.Bitcoin’s growing adoption and price, Berman suggested, are the result of “institutional enthusiasm that is quite the antithesis of the grassroots movement for the disenfranchised and unbanked that spawned BTC over a decade ago.”Oleksandr Lutskevych, the founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange CEX.IO, seemingly disagrees with Berman’s assessment, saying El Salvador’s adoption highlights Bitcoin as “replacing the traditional, centralized rails used for remittances.”To Lutskevych, Bitcoin’s infrastructure is being adopted to also promote the transfer of stablecoins on top of its network, ensuring the cryptocurrency’s volatility won’t affect remittances. El Salvador’s move, he said, promotes financial inclusion by helping cut down remittance costs.Adoption out of “pure necessity”In emerging markets, crypto proponents suggest adoption may be a result of “pure necessity,” as the transaction fees paid on most blockchain networks dwarf the fees paid to some remittance vendors. According to Lutskevych, it’s “abundantly clear in the rationale behind Bukele’s campaign that made BTC legal tender” that the nature of the move was to drive BTC adoption forward through remittances. Lutskevych went on to add further:“One of the primary reasons why the country passed such legislation was to lower remittance costs, promote financial inclusion and boost GDP by leveraging BTC and its transfer infrastructure to promote financial inclusion.”Per his words, the adoption of new technology is often the result of “pure necessity,” and that may be the case with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in developing nations whose populations are heavily affected by remittance costs, which according to Markus Franke, a partner at cross-border crypto payments firm Celo Labs, averages 6.38% and can often go over 10% of the amount being sent.Driving his point forward, Lutskevych added that the Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index for 2021 shows that out of the top 20 countries by cryptocurrency adoption, two-thirds are “developing countries with a high percentage of GDP coming from remittances.”He added that developing countries are now recognizing the value of “BTC’s scalable transfer infrastructure, combined with Bitcoin’s sound money properties and decentralization.”Lutskevych also noted that Bitcoin’s Lightning Network capacity is up over 25% since El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law came into effect, while the number of payment channels routing payments on the network also moved up significantly and began a “parabolic trend right around the time of the law becoming effective.”To him, growing peer-to-peer (P2P) trading volumes in countries like Nigeria suggest cryptocurrencies like BTC are playing a role in “getting foreign money into the country.”Franke added to the line of thought, saying cryptocurrencies can be programmed, allowing for more complex financial operations without third parties. These features, Franke said, have seen remittance giants take an interest in cryptocurrencies.As an example, he pointed to MoneyGram launching USDC settlement using the Stellar blockchain, and added that the Asian Development Bank has revealed services like Ripple, Mobile Money and bKash helped “deliver faster settlement, greater operational efficiencies and more competitive foreign exchange rates during the COVID-19 pandemic.”Amr Shady, CEO of business-to-business payment and financing platform Tribal Credit, told Cointelegraph that Mexico could be another example of a country adopting cryptocurrencies for remittances, as estimates have shown they could reduce costs by 50% to 90%.It all comes down to numbersIf, indeed, five countries do adopt Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency as legal tender, adoption seems likely going to keep on growing. Emerging markets rely on remittances and the use of stablecoins appears to be a viable solution to the volatility of crypto assets like BTC.Projects like Facebook’s Novi are already using stablecoins to facilitate cross-border transactions, with the project’s marketing efforts having a heavy focus on remittances. Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) may offer similar cheap transactions that will help users move money across borders at a low cost.Related: Asian CBDC projects: What are they doing now?The problem with these two solutions is the central entities behind them who can easily start discriminating, and for example, geoblock users. Decentralized blockchains are working on scaling to accommodate thousands of transactions per second, bringing down remittance costs. Add in stablecoins, and the only thing blocking mass crypto adoption could very well be the specific knowledge needed to navigate different blockchains and understand how addresses work.User-experience improvements have for long been moving addresses and blockchain navigation to the back while helping users focus on payments. Once the use of blockchain technology happens behind the scenes at a low cost, remittances will inevitably turn to crypto. Yet, those transactions may be years away.

Sanctioned Russian oligarch urges central bank to embrace Bitcoin

Sanctioned Russian oligarch urges central bank to embrace Bitcoin

Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska has once again called on the Russian government to stop ignoring Bitcoin (BTC) after the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his homes in Washington and New York.In an Oct. 21 Telegram post, Deripaska argued that the Bank of Russia has been “infantile in ignoring the growing cryptocurrency market,” while the U.S. Department of the Treasury has been “investing particularly in this direction.”The billionaire emphasized that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have massive potential to not only help Russia avoid U.S. sanctions but also weaken the U.S. dollar, stating:“The U.S. had realized long ago that uncontrolled digital payments are capable of not only nullifying the effectiveness of the entire mechanism of economic sanctions but also taking down the dollar as a whole.”Deripaska specifically referred to a U.S. sanctions review published by the U.S. Treasury in October 2021. According to the oligarch, the U.S. authority “effectively admitted” that the growing fintech tools like cryptocurrencies pose a serious threat to the U.S. dollar.“This means that the development of the cryptocurrency market uncontrolled by the state can put the U.S. Treasury in front of a potential default due to its $30 trillion debt,” Deripaska argued.“It’s time to open your eyes and take cryptocurrency seriously. In the aging American establishment, there are still a lot of people willing to fight,” he stated.Last Friday, the U.S. Treasury published a brochure providing guidance for cryptocurrency companies to make sure that they are complying with U.S. sanctions. In the document, the authority said that sanctions by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) “apply equally to transactions involving virtual currencies and those involving traditional fiat currencies,” adding:“Members of the virtual currency industry are responsible for ensuring that they do not engage, directly or indirectly, in transactions prohibited by OFAC sanctions, such as dealings with blocked persons or property, or engaging in prohibited trade- or investment-related transactions.”Related: Russia aims to replace US dollar reserves with digital assets in long termDeripaska’s latest remarks come after FBI agents raided homes linked to the oligarch in Washington and New York City on Tuesday. A Deripaska representative reportedly said the searches were carried out on the basis of two court warrants related to U.S. sanctions. With reported close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Deripaska was placed under U.S. sanctions in 2018.The Russian oligarch has slammed the Russian central bank for rejecting Bitcoin before. In June, the billionaire argued that Russia needed to move into crypto to provide a “real financial instrument enabling independence in foreign trade settlements.”

Competition and Hype Drive Young Crypto Investors, UK Watchdog Finds

Competition and Hype Drive Young Crypto Investors, UK Watchdog Finds

A sizable majority of young investors seeking high-risk opportunities are motivated by competition and hype, a new survey has indicated. They often turn to cryptocurrency and forex products, according to the poll conducted by the U.K.’s financial regulator.
FCA Launches ‘Investsmart’ Campaign Targeting Risk Prone Investors
The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has carried out new research into the attitudes of young investors towards high-risk products. The watchdog has surveyed 1,000 respondents, aged between 18 and 40, as it launches a 5-year campaign to reach out to inexperienced investors that could cost the British taxpayer £11 million ($15 million).
Through the poll, the regulator has been able to establish that many of these investors are driven by competition with friends and family members when investing in cryptocurrency and forex. Three-quarters of the surveyed, 76%, said they felt a sense of competitiveness while two-thirds, or 68%, likened the experience to gambling.

At the same time, only a fifth of all respondents, 21%, were considering holding their most recent investment for more than a year and just 8% were expecting to keep the assets for at least five years. That’s despite a prevailing preference (60% of the polled) for long-term investments providing more stable, albeit lower, returns.
Hype in the news and on social media has been another driving force for new investors looking into acquiring high-risk products. Well over half of the participants in the study, 58%, said they felt encouraged to put funds into investments they were constantly hearing about in the news coverage, through social media channels, and from other people.
FCA’s new research also shows that most of the young investors who bought cryptocurrencies, a staggering 69%, believed these were regulated by the FCA and another 57% thought the same is valid for the forex products they purchased. The financial watchdog has concluded that these people were unable to understand the lack of adequate protection for them and their money.

The financial authority also notes that the survey has been conducted after around a million U.K. investors increased their holdings or made a high-risk investment between April and October 2020, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Announcing the results of its research, the FCA further emphasized:
The regulator is concerned that new investors are increasingly accessing higher-risk investments which may not be right for them, or reflect their risk tolerance.
The regulator now wants to help investors make the right decisions through its Investsmart campaign which was launched on Wednesday. The initiative is part of the agency’s consumer investments strategy. It was announced in September, with the goal to build investor confidence and limit the number of people falling victim to scams or being enticed to invest in products that are too risky.
Investsmart targets inexperienced investors through social media and online, the FCA detailed. The campaign urges investors to ignore the hype and directs them to the regulator’s website where they’ll be able to receive appropriate assistance. “With our InvestSmart campaign we’re taking an innovative approach to reaching those tempted by high-risk products so that they can better understand the risks and where to get advice,” said Sarah Pritchard, executive director of markets at the FCA.
Do you agree with the findings in the FCA survey? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Ark Invest founder Cathie Wood passed on buying the first Bitcoin Futures ETF

Ark Invest founder Cathie Wood passed on buying the first Bitcoin Futures ETF

Ark Invest founder and CEO Cathie Wood did not invest in the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy Exchange Traded Fund, or ETF, on opening day, according to Business Insider. Wood said about the ETF’s debut:“No, we did not [invest]. We’re looking at this very carefully […] there are some tax ramifications we’d like to understand more having to do with contango versus more normal backwardation.”The contango of the ETF refers to when the future price of the commodity is higher than the spot price. Backwardation is when the forward price of the futures contract is lower than the spot price in a downward trend.This past June, Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest partnered with 21 Shares to file for its own Bitcoin ETF. She is also no stranger to the equities market when it comes to investing in cryptocurrencies. One of her fund’s, Ark Investment Management, was approved to invest in Canada’s Bitcoin ETF under the Ark Next Generation ETF. Ark Invest owns 8.3 million shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), with Bitcoin and Ethereum making up a good percentage in Ark Invest’s portfolio. In the spring, Ark Invest also added Coinbase stock to three of its ETFs, Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK), Ark Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW), and Ark Fintech Innovation ETF (ARKF).Wood said she is looking for the next FAANG investment to help her investors. FAANG is a stock market acronym describing the five biggest American tech stocks: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google. The FANG term was initially coined by Jim Cramer in 2013. The Bitcoin Strategy ETF had the highest ever first day of natural volume for an ETF, and the second highest ETF on the overall volume on its first day of trading.

Following Bitcoin’s all-time high, DeFi TVL hits a record high above $233B

Following Bitcoin’s all-time high, DeFi TVL hits a record high above $233B

Bullish sentiment is running high across the cryptocurrency market on Oct. 20 as Bitcoin’s (BTC) surge to a new all-time high at $67,000 thrust the digital asset into uncharted territory and investors are closely watching to see how altcoins and DeFi tokens react to the move.Crypto Fear & Greed Index. Source: Alternative.meThe DeFi sector has also benefited from BTC’s bullish breakout and today the total value locked (TVL) across all DeFi protocols climbed to a new record-high.According to data from DeFi Llama, which collects data from DeFi protocols across all major blockchain networks, including Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Avalanche (AVAX) and wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), there is now more than $233.88 billion in value locked in protocols across the various blockchain networks. Currently, AAVE leads with $18.79 billion and Curve come in second place with $17.97 billion locked in value. Total value locked in DeFi. Source: DeFi LlamaAs a result of the surging price of Bitcoin, WBTC is now ranked fourth-ranked in terms of TVL with $14.51 billion in value being deployed across the DeFi landscape. The biggest gainers in TVL over the past seven days were Trader Joe with a 57.2% increase  and Rari Capital which saw a 50.57% surge. Yield Yak also gained 36.52%. Top TVL gainers in the past 7 days. Source: Token TerminalNew users flow into DeFiIn addition to the rising token values, the DeFi ecosystem also saw a sharp increase in new user inflow and data from Dune Analytics shows that 3,591,876 unique wallets have now interacted with at least one DeFi protocol. Total DeFi users over time. Source: Dune AnalyticsDespite the inflow of new users, trading volumes across decentralized exchanges (DEX) have remained below the highs set in May and are currently lower than the activity seen in recent months as well. Monthly DEX volume. Source: Dune AnalyticsOne possible explanation for this has been the increased focus on BTC over the past couple of months as speculation about when a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) would pass and whether or not BTC price will surpass $100,000 by the end of 2021 dominated conversations. Related: Ethereum nears its own all-time high as ETH price retakes $4KStablecoin growth hints at future demand for cryptoAnother factor contributing to DeFi’s growth could be the steady integration and infusion of stablecoins.There has been an interesting history of increases in the circulating supply of Tether coinciding in large part with run-ups in the price of Bitcoin, and this most recent rally is no exception because on the same day that BTC established a new all-time high, so to did the circulating supply of USDT. Tether has just surpassed $70B market cap pic.twitter.com/R0gO3Nk2SB— Chris (@ChrisBTCbull) October 20, 2021The importance of stablecoins to the overall DeFi economy is also evidenced by the total value locked on Curve, which specifically deals with the creation of stablecoin pools for use across the ecosystem. The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.635 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 47.5%.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Malta financial watchdog approves Iconic's crypto index fund for stock market listing

Malta financial watchdog approves Iconic's crypto index fund for stock market listing

The Malta Financial Services Authority has greenlit the crypto asset index fund from asset manager Iconic Funds for listing on the Malta Stock Exchange.In an Wednesday announcement, Iconic Funds said it expected to list its BITA20 XA Crypto Asset Index Fund on the exchange “in the coming days,” with the fund offering direct exposure to cryptocurrencies. The fund invests most of its capital in the top 20 cryptocurrencies in addition to depositing tokens into certain staking and interest-bearing accounts. According to Iconic, only individuals who qualify—and not the general public—will be eligible to invest in the fund.“While the crypto world seems hyper focused on the ever-elusive spot Bitcoin ETF, we decided to stay ahead of the curve and list the Iconic BITA20 XA Crypto Asset Index Fund on a regulated market in Europe,” said Iconic Funds CEO Patrick Lowry. “Investors are actively seeking access to crypto beyond just Bitcoin, and we hope our fund’s listing gives professional investors more opportunity to gain exposure to the crypto market.”While Malta is greenlighting crypto index funds, United States regulators are finally moving forward approving Bitcoin (BTC) futures-linked exchange-traded funds. This week, the Bitcoin Strategy ETF from ProShares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange prior to BTC reaching an all-time high price approaching $67,000. In addition, filings at the Securities and Exchange Commission suggest that similar shares of ETFs from crypto-asset manager Valkyrie and asset manager VanEck may soon appear on exchanges. Related: Crypto exposure has positive impact on investment portfolios, study showsIconic has already backed a Bitcoin exchange-traded product currently listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse’s digital stock exchange, Xetra. However, it claims the crypto index fund will be Europe’s first to provide direct exposure to crypto assets listed on a regulated market, with Coinbase Custody International acting as custodian.

Bitcoin briefly flippens Swiss franc after rally to new ATH

Bitcoin briefly flippens Swiss franc after rally to new ATH

After hitting a new all-time high price approaching $67,000 earlier on Wednesday, the market capitalization of Bitcoin briefly surpassed the total market cap of the Swiss franc.According to data from Fiatmarketcap, Bitcoin’s market cap was more than $1.263 trillion when the price of the crypto asset reached an all-time high of roughly $67,000 earlier on Wednesday. This briefly exceeded the value of the circulating supply of the Swiss franc at 1,158,489,000,000 CHF, or roughly $1.26 trillion. AssetDash also lists the total Bitcoin (BTC) market cap within $500 billion of Amazon.The price rise that led to Bitcoin flippening the franc in value came as crypto futures-linked exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, were being approved for trading on major United States stock exchanges. The Bitcoin Strategy ETF from ProShares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 19 as the BTC rose above $63,000 for the first time in months. In addition, filings at the Securities and Exchange Commission suggest that similar shares of ETFs from crypto-asset manager Valkyrie and asset manager VanEck may soon appear on exchanges. The regulatory body has yet to approve any BTC futures ETF application from Invesco, with Global X and Galaxy Digital also awaiting the approval of funds with direct exposure to crypto.Related: The great crypto flippening: Can Ethereum overtake Bitcoin?Bitcoin’s market cap was already worth more than the total value of many fiat currencies. Most recently, it flippened the Russian ruble in February after car manufacturer Tesla announced it had purchased an aggregate of $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and suggested its clients would soon have the ability to purchase its products using the crypto asset. The Brazilian real, with a market cap of more than $1.5 trillion, would be next for Bitcoin to potentially overtake.Though the price of Ether (ETH) also rallied to rise above $4,000 for the first time since May, BTC remains the top-rated asset with a market capitalization that is $750 billion more than that of ETH. At the time of publication, 18,849,193 BTC are currently in circulation.

Altcoins take the next leg up as the total crypto market cap tops $2.63 trillion

Altcoins take the next leg up as the total crypto market cap tops $2.63 trillion

Crypto markets are in an absolute state of euphoria after Bitcoin (BTC) caught a bid and hit a new all-time high at $67,000. Bitcoin’s surge to $67,000 also helped to spark double-digit gains for multiple altcoins as the age-old adage of a rising tide lifting all boats appears to be in full effect. Top 7 coins with the highest 24-hour price change. Source: Cointelegraph Markets ProData from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the biggest gainers over the past 24 hours were OriginTrail (TRAC), Kadena (KDA) and Cartesi (CTSI). OriginTrail makes a moveOriginTrail is a protocol that operates on the Ethereum (ETH) network and specializes in harnessing blockchain technology to improve logistics and supply chain management. According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, market conditions for TRAC have been favorable for some time. The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. TRAC price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets ProAs seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for TRAC began to pick up on Oct. 19 and reached a score of 72 around one hour before the price increased 48% over the next day.The spike in price for TRAC comes as the project is in the process of rebranding its image as the “world’s first decentralized knowledge graph” and has been collaborating with Dr. Bob Metcalfe as part of its advisory board. Kadena undergoes a revampKadena, an enterprise-focused blockchain project, has seen a healthy price breakout over the past 24 hours as momentum across the market increased.Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that after hitting a low at $2.60 on Oct. 19, the price of KDA reversed course and surged 33.65% to an intraday high at $3.47 on Oct. 20 following a spike it is its 24-hour trading volume. KDA/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingViewThe rise in the price of KDA comes following a revamp of the project’s website and partnership with Immutable Records that aims to bring a fully functioning nonfungible token marketplace to the Kadena network. Cartesi bridges to AvalancheCartesi is a blockchain protocol focused on integrating the traditional tools used by the developer community with decentralized tools that will help to evolve smart contracts and make them widely accessible to all. Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the price of CTSI has rallied 51% from a low of $0.70 on Oct. 19 to an intraday high at $1.07 as its 24-hour trading volume spiked 587% to $288 million.CTSI/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingViewThe spike in the price of CTSI comes as the project announced the launch of a bridge to the Avalanche network and prepares for its mainnet launch, which will include delegated staking. The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.637 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 47.5%.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Crypto market cap hits new all-time high as BTC, ETH soar

Crypto market cap hits new all-time high as BTC, ETH soar

The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies rose to new all-time highs on Wednesday, capping off a dramatic months-long recovery that reaffirmed the bullish narrative for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).The crypto market cap — an important barometer for the overall health of the digital asset economy — reached a high above $2.63 trillion on Wednesday, according to Cointelegraph Markets Pro. That represents a gain of 5.9% over the previous 24 hours. A buying frenzy in the market lifted Bitcoin to new record highs, as the flagship cryptocurrency touched an intraday peak of $67,016.50. Ether, meanwhile, crossed the $4,000 mark for only the second time since May. With the exception of stablecoins, every cryptocurrency in the top-ten market cap rankings printed gains. The new market cap peak marks an important milestone for digital assets after a months-long correction during the summer threatened the bullish narrative. During the low point of the summer correction, the crypto market cap plunged below $1.2 trillion. A pair of Bitcoin ETF approvals in the United States appears to have sparked the latest rally for BTC and the broader crypto market, though bullish momentum has been building for months. A favorable macro environment, strong on-chain fundamentals and technical confirmation of a July bottom helped secure Bitcoin’s relief rally over the past three months. Related: Bitcoin futures ETF debuts with highest-ever first day ‘natural’ volume of $1BThat Bitcoin has been the major catalyst for the relief rally is further reflected in the BTC dominance index, which has increased to 47.7% Bitcoin dominance bottomed near 39% in May during the height of the altcoin rally. Cointelegraph’s Altseason Indicator, which tracks the extent to which altcoins outperform Bitcoin, is only at 15%. (In crypto, “altseason” refers to a period where altcoins outperform Bitcoin.)

Russia Considers Partially Replacing Dollar Reserves With Digital Assets in Future

Russia Considers Partially Replacing Dollar Reserves With Digital Assets in Future

Amid ongoing sanctions, the government of Russia has been working to limit the country’s dependence on the U.S. dollar. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs now says it’s possible to partially replace the greenback in currency reserves and trade settlements with other currencies and even digital assets in the future.
Foreign Ministry Official Sees Russia Acquiring Digital Assets to Reduce US Dollar Dependence
In its efforts to counter the negative effects of expanding U.S. sanctions, the Russian Federation is putting an emphasis on “dedollarization,” Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin remarked in a recent interview with the Interfax news agency. The “purposeful work” aimed at limiting the influence of the U.S. dollar on the domestic economy and foreign trade operations is decreasing the “sanctions risks,” the high-ranking diplomat added.
However, challenges associated with these sanctions still remain, and Pankin stated that Russia’s “settlements with major trading partners need protection and stability in the context of the currency used.” For the time being, Moscow is not facing sanction threats with euro settlements and transfers, but U.S. dollar payments. Pankin explained these go through U.S. banks and clearing systems which allow authorities in Washington to block any transactions they view as suspicious.
Alexander Pankin
In these circumstances, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s deputy thinks the expediency of further reducing the share of the dollar in the nation’s foreign currency reserves as well as its use in international settlements is beyond doubt. Russia can replace the U.S. fiat money with other national and regional currencies “and in the future, probably, with some kind of digital assets,” Pankin pondered.
This would require significant efforts in bilateral, regional, and multilateral formats, noted Alexander Pankin, who oversees international economic cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Established models of cooperation between states and commercial structures would have to be reorganized and appropriate mechanisms to support the functioning of new settlement systems would need to be introduced, the government official elaborated.

Pankin’s comments come after President Vladimir Putin warned Washington that “the United States is cutting the branch it is sitting on” by undermining the dollar for the sake of momentary political gain. Speaking with CNBC’s journalist Hadley Gamble, the Russian leader admitted that cryptocurrency has value and “the right to exist.” In the interview, published by the Kremlin last week, he stated that crypto can be used for settlements in the trade of oil and other energy resources in the future.
Cryptocurrencies and related activities have been partially regulated with the adoption of the law “On Digital Financial Assets” which went into force this year, but Russia needs to further amend its legislation to ensure comprehensive regulation. While digital coins are viewed as money surrogates and prohibited as payment tools under current law (which affirms the ruble as the only legal tender), the government in Moscow has recently indicated it’s not planning to ban Russian citizens from acquiring cryptocurrencies.
Do you expect Russia to add digital assets to its currency reserves in the future? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Crypto, crypto assets, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, currencies, currency reserves, deputy foreign minister, Digital Assets, Digital Currencies, Dollar, Euro, national currencies, Official, Payments, regional currencies, reserves, ruble, Russia, russian, Russian Federation, russians, Settlements, trade, U.S., U.S. dollar

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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