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Bitcoin Will Face Tougher Regulation as Popularity Grows, Says Riksbank Governor

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The Swedish central bank’s governor says bitcoin will face tougher regulation given its sheer popularity that continues to grow.

“When something gets big enough, things like consumer interests and money laundering come into play,” said Stefan Ingves, Governor of the Riksbank.

On Monday the governor said that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are unlikely to escape regulatory oversight due to their sheer popularity, Bloomberg Reported.

Even though regulators have voiced their concerns about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, they continue to gain popularity. They have attracted the biggest financial institutions to enter the space, including major investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which now offer crypto investments to their clients.

A growing number of companies now accept bitcoin for payments, offer crypto-related services, and put BTC on their balance sheets. Goldman Sachs recently said that bitcoin has become a new asset class, seeing huge institutional demand for cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s market cap recently surpassed a trillion dollars.

Governor Ingves opined: “When something gets big enough, things like consumer interests and money laundering come into play. So there’s good reason to believe that [regulation] will happen.”

Sweden’s Minister for Financial Markets, Asa Lindhagen, revealed the government is already working on tightening the standards for crypto exchanges, the publication conveyed. However, she noted that it is a “work in progress at the international level,” pointing out that cross-border cooperation with other governments is necessary to address the risk of money laundering involving cryptocurrencies.

Riksbank Deputy Governor Per Jansson raised concerns on Tuesday that the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies keeps fluctuating excessively and they have “nothing concrete or substantial” underpinning their actual value.

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin ‘Whales Are Re-Entering As Risk Appetite Returns’, Says Stack Funds Research

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On Wednesday, Lennard Neo, Head Of Research at Stack Funds, a Singapore-based crypto-focused fund management company, explained why they believe that “Bitcoin is very close to the bottom.

His comments about Bitcoin were delivered in a research note (titled: “Strong support observed as Bitcoins get scooped up at $30,000”), which was published yesterday.

The research analyst wrote:

“We have observed a meltdown in long liquidations (7D MA) over the past few weeks. This coupled with the Leverage ratio (grey line) falling to a 2-year low after dipping below that of March 2020 levels, provides evidence that traders are more cautious in taking positions.

“Inflows for Bitcoin have skewed to spot accumulation as opposed to speculation, as investors match their expectations towards a longer-term horizon – signaling less propensity to sell.

“In the face of the recent sell-off, we also see significant support levels around the $30,000 handle, with substantial bids coming in to fill up the offers. The strength comes on the back of Microstrategy accumulating more Bitcoins, and we have noticed that Whales are also re-entering the market as risk appetite returns. Short squeeze hunters have also begun waning away in the near term as markets continue to establish ground on a consolidation phase.“

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Canaan Begins Its Own Bitcoin Mining Operations in Kazakhstan

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Bitcoin mining machines manufacturer Canaan has started mining bitcoin in Kazakhstan, following the crackdown on bitcoin mining in China.

Canaan said its AvalonMiner units are already in operation in Kazakhstan. When asked how many units and of which model has been deployed, a Canaan spokesperson declined to comment on specifics but said “a first batch of small-scale mining machines” have been deployed to start with.

Canaan foresees “a gradual ramp-up to full operational functionality over time,” the spokesperson added. The company has partnered with local mining companies in Kazakhstan for the initiative, they said.

China-based Canaan has been preparing to launch a crypto mining business in Kazakhstan for some time now. Earlier this month, the Nasdaq-listed company opened its first overseas after-sales service center in Kazakhstan as its global sales continue to increase.

Kazakhstan appears to be growing in popularity for bitcoin mining after China moved to shut down local bitcoin mining farms last month. Kazakhstan is close to China and has one of the cheapest electricity rates in the world.

Earlier this week, China-based BIT Mining, formerly known as 500.com, also shipped some of its bitcoin mining equipment to Kazakhstan. The company is set to send more machines to the country next month.

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Visa, Paypal Invest in Crypto-Focused Blockchain Capital’s New $300 Million Fund

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Visa Inc. and Paypal have invested in Blockchain Capital’s new fund. The venture capital firm focuses exclusively on the crypto ecosystem and blockchain technology.

Blockchain Capital announced Tuesday that it has raised $300 million for its 5th venture capital fund (Fund V).

Paypal and Visa were among the investors. Others include pension funds, major university endowments, and family offices from around the world, the company said, adding that select investors, including Paypal and Visa, will participate in its strategic partnership program.

Blockchain Capital described itself as “the first venture capital firm founded to focus exclusively on blockchain technology and the crypto ecosystem.” The firm has invested in more than 110 companies, protocols, and crypto-assets across the ecosystem since its inception in 2013. Its portfolio includes major crypto companies such as Coinbase, Kraken, Anchorage, and Opensea. In addition, it includes Defi players: Aave, Nexus Mutual, and UMA.

It is also one of older and larger crypto-native venture capital firms with over $1.5 billion under management, General Partner Spencer Bogart told CoinDesk. He said the firm’s fifth fund also received backing from pension funds and university endowments but declined to name additional LPs.

By Bogart’s telling, the payments giants are hungry for bolder investment opportunities across an industry they believe in but need the help of a “field guide” to fully navigate.

“There’s nothing better than walking an early-stage startup into the likes of a Visa or PayPal and helping them secure a commercial agreement, and helping make sure that on Visa and PayPal’s side, they have solutions for the products that they want to launch,” he said.

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, Paypal’s vice president and general manager of blockchain, crypto and digital currencies, commented: “Paypal is committed to fostering an ecosystem of companies making digital currencies more accessible, useful and secure. Investing in Blockchain Capital’s new fund allows us to engage with the entrepreneurs driving the future of the decentralized economy and the new wave of financial services.”

Paypal has been offering a crypto service since late last year. CEO Dan Schulman said in the first quarter that the company’s crypto business showed “really great results” and demand for cryptocurrencies was “multiple-fold” the company’s initial expectations. The payments giant said last month that it will allow withdrawals of cryptocurrencies to third-party wallets.

Visa has also been working on some crypto projects. Last month, CEO Al Kelly outlined five key areas in the crypto space the company is working on. He said, “Our focus is on five different opportunities that we see in this space. And I would say that this is a space that we are leaning into in a very, very big way and I think are extremely well-positioned.”

Regarding Visa’s investment in Blockchain Capital’s fund, Vasant Prabhu, Visa Inc.’s chief financial officer, opined:

We’re focused on enhancing all forms of money movement, whether on the Visa network or beyond. Through our relationship with Blockchain Capital, we are deepening our efforts to shape and support the role that digital currencies play in the future.

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