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Bitcoin to Hit Fresh Highs – But Standby for Regulator-Triggered Price Swings

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Bitcoin to Hit Fresh Highs – But Standby for Regulator-Triggered Price Swings

The Bitcoin price nears $50,000 and will continue to reach new highs in this first quarter of 2021 – but investors should also expect volatility due to increasing regulatory scrutiny.

This is the warning from Nigel Green, CEO and founder of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.

It comes after the cryptocurrency hit more than $49,700 for the first time in history on Sunday.

Mr Green says: “Last week was a massive one for Bitcoin, reaching new all-time highs amid soaring interest from institutional investors.

“Morgan Stanley, the U.S. investment giant is reported to be considering investing in Bitcoin through its $150 billion investment arm; Elon Musk’s Tesla announced it had invested $1.5 billion in the digital currency and was getting ready to accept it as payment; BNY Mellon confirmed that it had created a digital assets unit to build a custody and admin platform for crypto assets; and Mastercard said it would give its merchants the option to accept cryptocurrencies later this year.

“In addition, Miami confirms it is considering paying workers and collecting taxes in cryptocurrency and the mayor of the city wants to hold Bitcoin in the city’s treasury.

“This all follows the likes of PayPal’s decision last year to allow customers to buy, sell and hold Bitcoin and as Wall Street giants like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan issue RFIs (request for information) to explore Bitcoin and crypto asset custody.”

He continues: “There is a clear direction of travel: institutional investors are taking Bitcoin more and more seriously as a financial asset and a medium of exchange. They are increasing their exposure to it at a faster rate than ever before.

“This is pushing cryptocurrencies ever more into the mainstream financial system and, subsequently, driving the price skywards.”

The deVere chief goes on to say: “With the growing institutional demand combined with ultra-low interest rates, we can expect Bitcoin – which has already given a 55% return so far year to date after the 300% gain in 2020 – to reach new highs in this first quarter of 2021.

“However, with increasing dominance and value, comes increasing regulatory scrutiny.

“Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will come under the spotlight from watchdogs like never before and this can be expected to create volatility in the market.”

His warning comes as central banks and governments around the world ramp up their focus on digital currencies.

In the U.S. in recent days, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen raised again the prospect of future cryptocurrency regulation and as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could reportedly investigate Elon Musk over Tesla’s $1.5 billion Bitcoin purchase.

Nigel Green concludes: “Institutional investors are increasingly appreciating that in this tech-driven, ultra low interest rate, low growth world, and where there is diminishing trust in traditional currencies, digital and borderless cryptocurrencies may be becoming a better fit.

“We can expect the price of Bitcoin to surge to fresh highs as a result. But investors must be aware that regulatory pressures will cause price turbulence.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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MicroStrategy Acquires Additional 5,050 Bitcoins

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Business intelligence outfit and corporate Bitcoin (BTC) whale MicroStrategy has increased its BTC ownership with the additional purchase announced on Monday.

MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor announced the purchase of 5,050 BTC for about $242.9 million at an average of $48,099 per coin.

In a Form 8-K filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission published on Monday, MicroStrategy stated that it had added 8,957 BTC to its corporate Bitcoin treasury in Q3 2021.

As previously reported, MicroStrategy recently bought 3,907 BTC at the cost of about $177 million between July 1 and Aug. 23.

Following the latest Bitcoin acquisition, the company now holds about 114,042 BTC acquired at an aggregate purchase cost of $3.16 billion. Given the current BTC spot price, the company’s Bitcoin holdings are valued at over $5 billion.

According to the Form 8-K document, MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin cost comes down to about $27,713 per BTC, including fees and sundry expenses.

The additional 5,050 BTC purchase is yet another indication of its intention to expand its Bitcoin position. Despite paper losses on its Bitcoin investment in Q2, MicroStrategy has stated its Bitcoin appetite remained unaffected.

Since announcing its maiden BTC purchase back in August 2020, the business intelligence company has bought more Bitcoin becoming the largest corporate holder of the largest crypto by market capitalization among publicly traded firms in the United States.

Saylor has also become a prominent Bitcoin proponent, regularly encouraging other U.S. firms to add BTC to their balance sheets.

Monday’s purchase announcement comes amid a price decline for Bitcoin, with BTC down almost 3% in the last 24-hour trading period.

The total cryptocurrency market capitalization is down more than 4% as token prices slipped on Monday.

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El Salvador’s Bitcoin Rollout and Purchase is President’s Legacy and Start of ‘New World’?

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The CEO of a global, game-changing financial services group has said El Salvador becoming the world’s first sovereign nation to officially buy Bitcoin and to make the cryptocurrency legal tender ushers in the “start of a new world.”

The comments from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, one of the world’s leading financial advisory asset management and fintech organizations, come as El Salvador’s president confirmed that his government has bought 400 Bitcoin – worth about $21 million – just before the Central American country formally adopts the world’s most popular cryptocurrency as legal tender.

President Nayib Bukele said the government plans to “buy a lot more” too.

The price of Bitcoin rose following the announcements on Twitter to trade at around $52,680.

Mr Green says: “It’s almost universally recognized that the future of money is inevitably digital, in some form or another.

“El Salvador has today made history by not only becoming the first country in the world to declare Bitcoin as legal tender, but by also becoming the first sovereign nation to officially buy it.

“I believe this is a threshold moment in the evolution of digital currency and that it ushers in the start of a new world as we can expect more nations, especially those with developing economies, to follow El Salvador’s historic lead.”

On Monday, the deVere CEO conceded that there are major risks attached to the move, including that there is a possibility that El Salvador could run out of dollars and that institutions, such as the IMF, might not look favorably on a nation that has adopted Bitcoin.

These risks prompted some El Salvadorans last week to take to the streets to protest against the adoption of Bitcoin as an official currency.

However, he set out five reasons why he “cautiously welcomed” the Bitcoin decision.

“First, El Salvador chose to be reliant upon a major ‘first-world’ currency, the U.S. dollar, to complete transactions. But this reliance on another country’s currency also comes with its own set of, often very costly, problems.

“The El Salvadoran government cannot print its own money and the economy cannot benefit from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s money-printing agenda. Therefore, El Salvador must either borrow or earn the dollars it needs.

“A stronger U.S. dollar can have a crippling impact on emerging-market economies, such as that of El Salvador.

“By adopting a cryptocurrency as legal tender these countries then immediately have a currency that isn’t influenced by market conditions within their own economy, nor directly from just one other country’s economy.

“Bitcoin operates on a global scale and is, as such, largely impacted by wider, global economic changes.

“Second, central banks around the world have been devaluing their currencies, while Bitcoin’s supply is not only limited, but also new coins are mined at a decreasing rate too. El Salvadorans could, therefore, find their new adopted currency gives them more purchasing power when they buy from overseas.”

He went on to say: “Third, El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin could cut the cost of remittances, a major source of income for millions of people. The remittances would be made faster and easier too, compared to money transfer services or bank wires, so remittances are likely to further increase.

“Fourth, by diversifying the nation’s dollar reserves into the cryptocurrency, there could be additional opportunities to earn yield, meaning the size of the reserves would grow.

“And fifth, El Salvador could benefit from significant foreign investment and capital inflows as digital asset organizations are likely to relocate to the Bitcoin-friendly nation.”

Of El Salvador’s Bitcoin legal tender rollout and massive purchase, Mr Green concludes: “The world is watching. This is likely to be President Bukele’s legacy in the making.”

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Fintech CEO: Instability in Afghanistan Offers Real-World Test for Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies

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 As the Taliban seized control of the structures of power throughout Afghanistan, inflation has begun to skyrocket, and there has been a run on the banks, many of which were forced to close when they ran out of cash. The country is without payment processors like Paypal, and Western Union has stopped operating in the country.

“The Afghan economy is still largely a cash economy, and, while its unlikely that many will be able to immediately exchange their cash into cryptocurrency, there are signs that some in the country began to use digital assets before the government fell. Seeing the conditions on the ground, it was easy to see the allure of a decentralized digital currency as a way to protect the value of assets,” said Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus, a US-based developer of ultra-high-performance trading and surveillance technology that powers global equities, derivatives, and digital asset exchanges.

“Obviously the current geopolitical situation is a mess, but, economically, Afghanistan is an extreme case of inflation and instability. In principle, the same theory of storing value, which applies in places like Nigeria, would apply to Afghanistan. The difference is in the technological infrastructure, which, of course, is more abundant in Nigeria,” said Gardner. “Even still, there are reasons to believe that, for some, it could provide a safe haven.”

Earlier this year, the Fantom Foundation, in conjunction with the Afghanistan Ministry of Health, announced that a trial run of the National Medical Importation Security Initiative was successful. The initiative used blockchain-based technologies to stop the counterfeiting of pharmaceuticals sold throughout the country.

“Not unlike other developing countries, education is the best way to expand access to technology. Of course, those with access to technology are going to be more interested in digital assets. There have been reports of students in universities in Afghanistan who learned about such things as opening a digital wallet,” Gardner explained. Anecdotal surveys also show that interest in Afghanistan has increased significantly over the past year, and, according to CNBC, Google Trends data shows that searches for cryptocurrency-related terms rose significantly in July.

Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable exchanges, with a client list which includes NASA, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.

“When you look at what’s happened in Afghanistan, and when you realize that the citizenry of the country is likely to see significantly more financial hardships before the situation normalizes, it is easy to see the allure of cryptocurrencies. It will be interesting to see how the CBDC race bears out. In the future, will citizens of countries like Afghanistan look around to neighboring countries, identify a CBDC which they believe to be stable, and invest their savings there to prevent against inflation? If there aren’t regulations against it, that’s a significant possibility — and another reason why all central banks should want to move to develop their own CBDC with vigor,” said Gardner.

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