21 May 2021 · 5 min read
CBDC in US Context, Bitcoin's Value Based on 'Wishful Thinking' + More News
Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell announced that the US central bank will issue a research paper on a USD central bank digital currency (CBDC), along with asking for public opinion. In the statement, he said, “To help stimulate broad conversation, the Federal Reserve board will issue a discussion paper this summer outlining our current thinking on digital payments, with a particular focus on the benefits and risks associated with CBDC in the U.S. context.”
- In a note published Thursday, Deutsche Bank' Macro Strategist Marion Labouré said that “the value of bitcoin is entirely based on wishful thinking.” Bitcoin (BTC)’s value will continue to rise and fall depending on what people believe it is worth, which is a phenomenon the note said is called the 'Tinkerbell effect', Yahoo Finance reported. Labouré added: "Just as a ‘fashion faux pas’ can happen suddenly, we just received proof that digital currencies can also quickly become passé."
- Environmental campaign group Greenpeace is not accepting Bitcoin donations anymore citing the cryptocurrency’s high carbon footprint as the reason, Financial Times reported. “As the amount of energy needed to run bitcoin became clearer, this policy became no longer tenable,” Greenpeace was quoted as saying.
- Exchange-traded fund (ETF) provider Teucrium Trading has applied for a Bitcoin-based ETF, a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows. The ETF would trade on securities exchange NYSE Arca, and the listing states that the ETF is “designed to provide investors with a cost-effective means to gain price exposure to the Bitcoin market.”
- Tesla's chief Elon Musk argued that the layer-2 payments network Lightning is “needed” for now. "Layer count depends on projected bandwidth & compute, both rising rapidly, which means single layer network can carry all human transactions in future imo," he tweeted.
- Two bitcoin ETFs run by Horizons ETFs Canada issued “market disruption” warnings during this week’s crypto turmoil, as s brief trading halt on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange posed a potential problem for two funds that track bitcoin futures. They said they would not be able to honour the day’s buy and sell orders if the futures price remained at its lower limit at the close of trading, reported the Financial Times.
- The team behind Ethereum (ETH) scaling solution Optimism, in collaboration with block explorer and analytics platform Etherscan, have announced optimistic.etherscan.io. Among other options, its users will be able to monitor deposits and withdrawals, while the option to complete withdrawals on Layer 1 is expected to come soon, said the announcement. The team suggested that they have another infrastructural integration in the pipeline. As reported, after March as the announced launch time fell through, Optimism’s new "rough estimate" is July.
- A British Member of Parliament, Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, argued that we’re seeing the flippening from Bitcoin to Ethereum and that the Treasury needs to help create space for UK innovation and its legal system to "learn what’s needed in a new economy." Tugendhat suggested he didn't have time "to go in the few moments left of the flippening and why I am going to be bullish on Ether and not Bitcoin, or the nature of the change in the Treasury that is needed to enable innovation that sees the sharing of prosperity on a global basis rather than a local one."
- Crypto platform BitMEX has decided to go carbon neutral, the company announced in a blog post. The first step they'll take immediately is to start carbon offsetting emissions caused by withdrawals from the platform through donating at least USD 0.0026 for every USD 1 of blockchain fees their clients pay out, they explained, adding that they encourage other crypto companies to join these efforts.
- The US Securities and Exchange Commission chief Gary Gensler said that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), with the SEC itself, “should be ready to bring cases involving issues such as crypto, cyber and fintech” in an effort to protect investors of crypto assets in the same way that traditional investors are protected.
- The Hong Kong government is moving to license virtual asset service providers (VASP) via a legislative proposal that has now moved past its consultation period. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) would be provided with "necessary intervention powers" to impose restrictions or prohibitions on companies providing crypto services and "associated entities where the circumstances so warrant," the document said. "The Government will proceed to prepare the amendment bill based on the consultation conclusions, with a view to introducing the amendment bill into the Legislative Council in the 2021-22 legislative session," said the announcement.
- Iran has reportedly enlisted the help of intelligence officials to track down illegal cryptocurrency mining farms, according to Bloomberg. The Ministry of Intelligence helped set up committees across the country to find and seize farms that mine crypto, like bitcoin, without a license, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported, citing Gholamali Rakhshani Mehr, the distribution coordinator at state-run grid operator Tavanir.
- Jane Hume, Australia’s Financial Services Minister, said in a speech that cryptocurrencies will grow as an asset class, and the Australian government will not stand in the way of crypto traders, per the Financial Review. Hume said that a boom in social media financial influencers is mostly a good thing, and that the government won’t step in to counter Dogecoin (DOGE) or FinTok influencers.
- Open data infrastructure provider Flux Protocol has raised USD 10.3m in its seed round led by investor Distributed Global, joined by Coinbase Ventures, CoinFund, Uncorrelated, Figment Capital, and many others, the company announced in a blog post. The event was oversubscribed and the funds will be used to “accelerate our development and mission to bring permissionless open finance to the masses.” according to Peter Mitchell, co-founder of the project.
- European NeoBroker Trade Republic has raised USD 900m in a Series C investment round led by Sequoia, as well as TCV and Thrive Capital. As one of the largest savings platforms in the market, they have also recently added cryptocurrencies to their offer “so people can adjust their portfolio to reflect inflation and negative interest rates,” the press release stated.