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Coinbase Partners With MUFG Bank to Launch Operations in Japan

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Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has launched operations in Japan, offering part of its products and services to Japanese customers. The blog post communicating the news confirms Coinbase will strive to offer an easy-to-use and regulated cryptocurrency product to users in the country.

The firm led by CEO Brian Armstrong announced on Aug. 19 that it will first launch retail trading products including “a suite of five top assets based on trading volume,” with more assets and products to be listed in the coming months.

“We also plan to introduce more localized versions of globally popular services such as advanced trading, Coinbase for Institutions, and more in the future,”

The partnership with Tokyo-based MUFG will see the bank provide a fast fiat on-and-off ramp for Coinbase customers in Japan called MUFG Quick Deposit.

“In line with our global strategy, we will aim to be the easiest to use and most trusted exchange in Japan that’s fully compliant with local regulations.” the announcement reads.

The company will also evolve products via localization to offer its full line of products to the Japanese market, including advanced trading, Coinbase for Institutions, and more in the future. However, the service will launch offering “a suite of five top assets based on trading volume.” More products are to be added later on.

Coinbase did not enter the Japanese market alone. The company revealed a partnership with the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), a large Japanese bank with more than 40 million customers in the country. The bank will provide direct deposit services allowing its customer base to transfer funds to the exchange quickly through a service called “MUFG Quick Deposit.”

The exchange was approved to enter Japanese markets in June through a direct subsidiary by the FSA, the Japanese cryptocurrency regulator. At the time, the regulator approved the platform to conduct trading of bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH), stellar lumen (XLM), and litecoin (LTC).

Coinbase has had its eyes set on the Asian country since 2018 when it announced the launch of a local office in Japan. At that time, the exchange stated this movement was part of its effort to accelerate the global adoption of cryptocurrency and vowed to work with regulators to offer the same kind of compliance as in the U.S markets.

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Coinbase Bonds Fall Again After China Bans Cryptocurrency

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Coinbase Global Inc.’s debut junk-bond sale fell to fresh lows after the Chinese government banned all crypto transactions and vowed to stop illegal crypto mining.

Paper losses for investors that bought the two tranches of notes at par now stand at roughly $100 million.

The $1 billion 10-year 3.625% bonds dropped more than 1.5 points overnight to 94.5 cents on the dollar, while the $1 billion seven-year 3.375% notes fell more than a point to 95.5 cents, according to Trace bond pricing data.

Coinbase’s bonds had already whipsawed since pricing on Sept. 14 as markets traded down over fears that the Evergrande contagion could affect global markets, and after dropping plans to launch a new crypto lending platform after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission raised concerns over the plan.

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Here is Why Cryptocurrency, U.S-Dollar Quoted Commodities Drop this Week

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The United States is the world’s largest economy and cryptocurrency’s biggest investor, it means large number of capital inflow into the crypto space are from the United States and with the U.S economy battered and unstable due to COVID-19, foreign policy, etc US investors, mainly institutional investors, have been increasing their investments in crypto space, the new safe haven, in the last one year.

However, on Friday, the U.S commerce department released retail sales report, which measures US consumer spending that contributed over 70% of US GDP estimated at about $13.4 trillion. Retail sales that has been on the  decline for months and was predicted to come out at – 0.8%, unexpectedly came out at 0.7% in the month of August.

The unexpected improvement in consumer spending, in fact against the Consumer Confidence report that came out previously, bolstered U.S dollar attractiveness to 94 on dollar index as investors jumped on it and other dollar assets.

Why did investors jump on Dollar and how does it affect crypto and U.S dollar-quoted commodities?

The US dollar rose to a three-week high because capital inflow into American assets jumped as investors started predicting that the Federal Reserve (US central bank) could announce tapering (cutting down on bond buying -quantitative easing) at the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting scheduled to be hold next week.

Quantitative easing is when government is buying debt (bonds) to support the economy. However, when government is cutting bonds purchase, it means the economy has started doing well enough to sustain itself without support.

This is why capital flow out of crypto space rose as institutional investors that are sustaining the crypto are now dumping their money on dollar assets – the very reason dollar value rose since Friday.

Market is about demand and supply, no demand in crypto space means falling/bearish market and demand in dollar means stronger US dollar – I actually bought dollar -sold GBPUSD- on Monday.

Here is why dollar quoted commodities like crude oil dropped. It is simple, because dollar products is now expensive for holders of other currencies. Therefore, demand for crude oil dropped against constant supply.

If FOMC announces tapering earlier than expected next week, crypto could fall even more!

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Fintech CEO: India’s Former Deputy Governor of RBI Right on Crypto

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Recently, R. Gandhi, the former Deputy Governor at the Reserve Bank of India, went on the record, saying that cryptocurrencies should be treated as an asset or commodity. Such treatment would ensure that they are governed by existing laws and regulations for exchanges. Once this happens, Gandhi noted that “…automatically, people can start buying, selling and holding.” He also noted that regulators would be able to retrieve information on holdings for purposes of taxation.

“This is important for a few reasons. First, India is preparing to test out its own central bank digital currency, so it makes sense that they would take a look at how they regulate all digital assets before the launch. Second, India is a major power, which, until recently, has not been the friendliest towards cryptocurrencies, so this new approach should be a welcome change of direction for those involved in the industry. Finally, it’s also worth discussing when you consider how India has typically interacted with assets and wealth,” 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.

“India has long been a country which has been loyal to both cash and gold. Those kinds of cultural attitudes, many hypothesize, may be the largest hurdles for CBDCs. Can you educate enough of the populace to move them from cash to a digital asset of any kind? Now, you have a big name with RBI ties saying that the country needs to re-evaluate how it deals with cryptocurrencies. That’s telling,” noted Gardner.

“I’ve long believed that the education component will be as important as the technological component. You can build the most secure, most convenient digital currency on the planet. But, if it isn’t widely used, then it really doesn’t matter. Particularly in countries with a loyalty to a cash economy, the educational aspect of a central bank digital currency could present problems,” Gardner said.

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.

“If I’m looking to support a CBDC from the RBI, I’d begin the educational component now. According to surveys, cryptocurrency usage in India is up significantly over the past couple years. However, now is the time to work with stakeholders and give the citizenry peace of mind. They need to explain why a CBDC would benefit them, and, most importantly, let folks ask questions so they can feel comfortable with the transition. All that takes time,” said Gardner.

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