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Once a Bitcoin Skeptic, O’Leary Talks Increased Portfolio of Digital Assets

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Kevin O'Leary

In a recent interview, Kevin O’Leary talked about increasing the share of his portfolio which is invested in digital assets, noting that traditional investment entities and banks, which aim to increase their return on assets, will be left behind. In the interview, he talks about stablecoins as the entity which would make such an increase possible, noting that the regulation currently prohibits such investment. As regulators revise the way they look at stablecoins and other digital assets, he believes there will be the ability to increase assets in the space.

“There are some talking about the fall of cryptocurrency because Bitcoin hasn’t yet hit the $100,000 mark. However, the reality is that you have Kevin O’Leary, a man who was once a premier skeptic, saying that he’d like to invest even more into digital assets. That really tells you all you need to know about where this industry is,” 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.

“He talks about the regulatory environment being key to the expansion of his investment, and that is one of the areas which I believe we’ll see movement in 2022. But another key area to consider is custody. Institutional investors are already beginning to consider professional custodians as necessary for expanded interest in digital assets, but the companies currently offering such services have failed to provide the kind of security required,” said Gardner.

Fireblocks, which is among the best known providers, found itself embroiled in a lawsuit with StakeHound, which alleges the custody company lost roughly $70MM of Ethereum, after the key vanished. As a result, StakeHound could not access over 38,000 ETH.

“There are further issues with the current crop of custodial providers, for sure. But I think we’ll see the market correct mid-year, as investors demand greater attention here. This is not unlike regulators beginning to move toward providing more guidance as the big banks look for a more pronounced rulebook,” said Gardner.

Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Modulus has provided its exchange solution to some of the industry’s most profitable digital asset exchanges, including a well-known multi-billion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable institutions, 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.

“Institutional investors are way ahead of Main Street investors in recognizing the custody issue, to be sure. However, as custodial providers continue to run into greater issues which gain more publicity, I think savvy investors of all shapes and sizes will demand greater accountability. The digital assets space has come to be known as a kind of Wild West, and it is time that we end that narrative. Enhanced custody services will help with that,” said Gardner.

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Cryptocurrency

YouTube To Explore NFT Features For Video Creator

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American online video sharing and social media platform YouTube has announced plans to explore Non-Fungible Token (NFT) features to help video creators capitalize on emerging technologies.

According to YouTube Chief Executive Officer, Susan Wojcicki, the introduction of NFT is to enhance the experiences of creators and fans on the platform, she said, “we’re always focused on expanding the YouTube ecosystem to help creators capitalize on emerging technologies, including things like NFTs while continuing to strengthen and enhance the experiences creators and fans have on YouTube.”

NFT, Non-Fungible Token is a unique unit of digital assets such as art, music, videos, and pictures built on a blockchain network. They can be bought and sold on NFT Marketplace.

Aside from YouTube, other social media platform has begun exploring NFT. Twitter now allows users to post NFTs as profile pictures while Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is reportedly working on a similar offering where users can display the tokens they own.

Susan Wojcicki in an annual letter informed content creators that the company is considering web3, internet service and mobile apps rebuilt on decentralized blockchain technology as a “source for inspiration”.

According to the CEO, YouTube is continuously exploring ways to serve its creators by adding tools like fan payments and e-commerce thereby creating more means of income generation.

In her letter, Susan Wojcicki affirmed YouTube’s priorities on gaming, shopping, music, and Shorts. The CEO wrote that Shorts has already generated 5 trillion views since its debut in late 2020. However, YouTube did not provide additional details on when and what NFT features would look like.

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Bitcoin

Stop Using Bitcoin as Legal Tender, IMF Tells El Salvador

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El Salvador’s Bitcoin Rollout = Investors king

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged El Salvador to drop Bitcoin, the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency, as a legal tender over rising concerns about “financial stability, financial integrity, and consumer protection.”

The Executive Board of the Fund said in a report released on Tuesday after it concluded the Article IV consultation with El Salvador.

The report said “Directors agreed on the importance of boosting financial inclusion and noted that digital means of payment—such as the Chivo e-wallet—could play this role.

“However, they emphasized the need for strict regulation and oversight of the new ecosystem of Chivo and Bitcoin. They stressed that there are large risks associated with the use of Bitcoin on financial stability, financial integrity, and consumer protection, as well as the associated fiscal contingent liabilities.

“They urged the authorities to narrow the scope of the Bitcoin law by removing Bitcoin’s legal tender status. Some Directors also expressed concern over the risks associated with issuing Bitcoin-backed bonds.”

The board, however, said while the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted a decade of growth, “El Salvador is rebounding quickly.” The economy contracted by 7.9% in 2020 and is projected to grow by about 10% in 2021 and 3.2% in 2022, the board said.

“Against this backdrop, public debt vulnerabilities emerged,” the board said. “Persistent fiscal deficits and high debt service are leading to large and increasing financing needs.”

El Salvador became the first country to accept bitcoin as legal tender in 2021 despite the uncertainty surrounding the unregulated coin and the entire crypto space. The government gave $30 in free bitcoins to citizens who signed up for its national digital wallet, known as “Chivo,” or “cool” in English, to deepen its adoption.

However, with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies falling with the United States plans to raise interest rates in 2022, the country and citizens that invested in the digital currency could be in trouble.

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Dogecoin

Elon Musk Puts Pressure on McDonald’s to Accept Dogecoin

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Doge and Ethereum -Investors King

Billionaire Elon Musk, the CEO and Cofounder of Tesla, on Tuesday, took to his Twitter page to challenge Mcdonald’s, one of the world’s iconic fast-food restaurants, to accept the popular meme coin, Dogecoin as one of its numerous payment methods across its outlets globally.

The billionaire promised to eat the company’s happy meal on tv if the company accepts the meme coin as payment.

Dogecoin immediately responded to Elon Musk’s tweet with a picture of Mcdonald’s meal containing Kabosu, the dog in the doge meme logo.

This is coming a week after Tesla and Elon Musk announced that the company has started accepting Dogecoin as payment for Tesla’s merchandise. The value of the digital asset surged by 20 percent immediately the billionaire made the announcement via his Twitter handle.

The value of Dogecoin rose by 3.76 percent on Tuesday to $0.1415 a coin, still below its all-time high of $0.7.

Cryptocurrency started falling in early December when it became clear that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in 2022 to curb rising inflation and rein in prices.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the “Federal Reserve officials at their meeting last month eyed a faster timetable for raising interest rates this year, potentially as soon as in March, amid greater discomfort with high inflation.

“Minutes of their Dec. 14-15 meeting, released Wednesday, showed officials believed that rising inflation and a very tight labor market could call for lifting short-term rates “sooner or at a faster pace than participants had earlier anticipated.”

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