According to new research from London-based Nickel Digital Asset Management (Nickel), Europe’s largest regulated and award-winning digital assets hedge fund manager founded by senior traders and investment professionals formerly from major financial institutions including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, 72% of wealth managers, pension funds and other institutional investors expect the regulatory environment for crypto/digital to improve and become more constructive over the next two years. Nickel commissioned research with 200 professional investors from across seven countries who collectively manage around $329 billion in assets.
The study reveals 23% expect no change in the regulatory environment, and just 7% anticipate it will deteriorate.
Some 62% of professional investors expect Germany and the UAE to take a huge leap forward as market leaders in the crypto/digital asset space because of their proactive stance in developing a constructive and robust framework for the crypto/digital asset sector. However, this is likely to lead to other major countries following their lead as they fear missing out – this is the view of 63% of professional investors surveyed.
In terms of when professional investors believe financial regulators will agree a global framework for crypto/digital assets, 23% expect it to happen this year, 29% in 2023 and 28% in 2024, with the remainder anticipating it will take longer.
Overall, as regulation of the crypto/digital asset market develops, 20% of professional investors believe it will be a catalyst for a dramatic increase in wealth managers, pension funds and other institutional investors increasing their allocation to crypto and digital assets. A further 36% believe it will lead to a slight increase in their allocation.
Henry Howell, Head of Business Development, Nickel Digital, said: “We are only at the very beginning of the digital asset sector, and the most exciting developments have yet to happen. Record inflows of venture capital in 2021, continued product innovation at the blockchain level and ongoing adoption of the largest players in traditional finance all point to growth of the already multi-trillion-dollar asset class.”
Bitcoin Plunges Below $30k as Cryptocurrency Market Recovers from Bearish Trend
Bitcoin still remains the number 1 crypto asset in the market with a market dominance of 44.57%
Bitcoin (BTC), the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency, pared losses to trade at $29,844.20 a coin as the global cryptocurrency market recorded a surge of 4.87% over the last 24 hours.
The asset recorded gains of 0.57% in the last 24 hours but dropped 9.26% in the last seven days. The live market capitalisation of the asset is pegged at $564,744,032,506 USD, while the 24-hour trading volume of the coin stands at $31,166,243,069 USD.
While the global crypto market is recovering from the bearish trend that gripped LUNA Coin and other assets last week, only a few top cryptocurrencies have shown signs of recovery.
Bitcoin, which is one of the top-performing cryptocurrencies, hit a 24-hour low of $29,412.58 and a 24-hour high of $31,308.19.
However, the fundamentals show that some investors are holding on to their BTC. One of them is value investor, Bill Miller, who is still bullish about Bitcoin despite recent price declines.
The founder of Miller Value Partners told CNBC that he still owns lots of Bitcoin amid market volatility, noting that he is confident about the prospects of the asset.
Meanwhile, President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador has announced that a meeting of 44 countries to discuss Bitcoin and financial inclusion will hold on Tuesday, May 17.
Bitcoin’s popularity soared after El Salvador’s adopted the coin as legal tender. The meeting is expected to highlight the benefits of using Bitcoin.
”Tomorrow, 32 central banks and 12 financial authorities (44 countries) will meet in El Salvador to discuss financial inclusion, digital economy, banking the unbanked, the #Bitcoin rollout, and its benefits in our country,’’ Nayib Bukele said.
However, despite the popularity enjoyed by Bitcoin, the network has come under criticism over its proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm which is energy-consuming.
The PoW consensus algorithm, which validates Bitcoin transactions, relies on computers run non-stop to verify transactions and create new blocks for the network, a process known as mining. Over the years the number of computers doing this work has also steadily risen, leading to huge energy consumption.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of the fast-growing crypto exchange FTX, recently highlighted this concern when he stated that Bitcoin is not a suitable payments network.
To be clear I also said that it _does_ have potential as a store of value. The BTC network can’t sustain thousands/millions of TPS, although BTC can be xfered on lightning/L2s/etc,” he told he told the Financial Times via a tweet.
Bitcoin Dip Moves With External Elements
Yesterday, Bitcoin dropped below $30,000 before recovering a portion of those losses. The selloff has been part of a multi-day slide that goes well beyond Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The three major American stock exchanges also closed Monday with losses, including with the S&P 500 dropping to its lowest point in more than twelve months. Thursday, the Dow Jones and NASDAQ both posted their worst single days since 2020.
“As Bitcoin continues to track similar movements with the stock market, particularly tech stocks, the correlation gets continuously clearer. While that may not bode well for arguments that cryptocurrencies are still inflation hedges, it does indicate that they have value in their own right,” 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.
“It is important to see this slide in its full context. Inflation is staggering, the war in Eastern Europe rages on, and there’s a great deal of uncertainty and fear in the markets. However, while Bitcoin is making the headlines, there’s unfortunate news for most financial vehicles,” noted Gardner.
“The Australian and Canadian dollars have taken a hit, and oil just dropped 6% in one day — in part because there are worries that Covid-19 lockdowns in China may continue to affect economic activity,” 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. 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.
“Bitcoin continues to track with tech stocks. The issue isn’t industry related. We’re seeing selloffs across the markets. Consumer confidence is low, inflation is up, and fear is high,” Gardner said.
Which African and Latin American Countries Next to Adopt Bitcoin as Legal Tender?
Bitcoin will be adopted as legal tender in at least one more African and one Central or Latin American country in 2022, predicts the CEO and founder of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations.
The prediction from Nigel Green of deVere Group comes as the Central African Republic (CAR) on Wednesday adopted Bitcoin as an official currency, becoming the first country in Africa and only the second in the world to do so.
A bill governing the use of cryptocurrency was adopted unanimously by parliament last week, said a statement signed by Obed Namsio, chief of staff of President Faustin-Archange Touadera.
Speaking to Reuters, he said: “The president supports this bill because it will improve the conditions of Central African citizens. He added: “It’s a decisive step toward opening up new opportunities for our country.”
The CAR is one of six central African countries that share the CFA franc – a regional currency that is backed by France and pegged to the euro.
Last year, El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, alongside the U.S. dollar.
Nigel Green comments: “We can expect an increasing number of countries to follow the example of El Salvador and now the Central African Republic and adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.
“In January I predicted that at least another three nations, besides El Salvador, would declare the world’s largest cryptocurrency legal tender in 2022. One now already has done so.
“I’m doubling down on this prediction. There’s a real sense that momentum is picking up.
“I expect Bitcoin will be adopted as legal tender in at least one more African and one Central or Latin American country before the end of the year.”
He continues: “In Africa, we believe Tanzania could be one of those countries. Its central bank said last year it was working on a presidential directive to prepare for cryptocurrencies.
“In Latin and Central America, it could potentially be Paraguay or Mexico next.
“A Paraguayan bill moving to regulate the trading and mining of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the country passed the Senate in December, which is widely being regarded as the first step to making Bitcoin legal tender.
“Meanwhile I’m confident that a Bitcoin bill will be introduced to Mexico’s Congress this year. Indira Kempis – a high-profile Mexican senator – amongst others, are going on record as saying they want their country to follow El Salvador’s example.”
Low-income countries have long suffered because their currencies are weak and extremely vulnerable to market changes and that triggers rampant inflation.
This is why most developing countries become reliant upon major ‘first-world’ currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, to complete transactions.
However, reliance on another country’s currency also comes with its own set of, often very costly, problems. A stronger U.S. dollar or euro, for example, will weigh on emerging-market economic prospects, since developing countries have taken on so much dollar and euro-denominated debt in the past decades.”
The deVere boss goes on to add: “Adopting cryptocurrency currently is more attractive to those countries with a track record of financial instability. By adopting 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.”
The deVere CEO concludes: “In nations where the current national currencies don’t work as well as they should as a means of exchange, store of value and as a unit of account; where there is unpredictable inflation and an inefficient, out-dated and costly financial system; and where GDP is reliant upon remittances from overseas, Bitcoin is increasingly seen as the answer.
“First, El Salvador, now the Central African Republic – and this is just the beginning. The pace of national adoption is now going to pick up on a global level.”
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