Crypto Black Monday: Bitcoin Lost $700 on Rising COVID-19 Second Wave Fears
The cryptocurrency market cap lost about $18 billion of value since yesterday. Bitcoin plummeted by nearly $700 to $10,300 at one point, while the altcoins have it worse with some vigorous double-digit drops.
Bitcoin Falls Hard
Just a few days ago, Bitcoin attempted to overcome the psychological $11,000 level on two occasions. However, the asset couldn’t succeed on either and remained trading just beneath $11,000.
Yesterday, though, the situation rapidly worsened as BTC began freefalling from about $10,990 to its daily low of $10,296 (on Binance). Since then, Bitcoin has recovered slightly and currently trades around $10,380, which is still a 5% decrease on a 24-hour scale.
Bitcoin’s adverse developments resembled those of other financial markets. The price of gold went from its daily high of $1,960 per ounce to about $1,880 in a matter of hours as well. The precious metal has also regained some ground since then, and it trades above $1,900.
The three most prominent Wall Street stock market indexes also began yesterday’s trading session with significant decreases and closed in the red. The movements followed declining European stocks on the possibility of implementing more stringent restrictions due to rising COVID-19 confirmed cases.
Altcoins Bleed Out
As it typically happens after a vigorous price dip from Bitcoin, most alternative coins followed suit. Ethereum is 10% down since yesterday to $336. Ripple (-6%) fights to stay above $0.23.
Polkadot (-15%) and Binance Coin (-12%) are the most substantial losers from the top 10. Bitcoin Cash (-7%), Chainlink (-9%), Crypto.com Coin (-5.5%), and Litecoin (-9%) are also deep in the red.
As seen in the above chart, red dominates the entire market. From the lower-cap alts, Uniswap leads the way with a 30% drop, and UNI trades at $3.8. Just a few days ago, Uniswap’s recently launched governance token was at $7.
Elrond follows with a 21% decrease. NEO (-21%), Aragon (-20%), HedgeTrade (-18%), SushiSwap (-22%), Arweave (-18%), Kusama (-18%), Ren (-15%), and Balancer (-16.5%) are some of the tokens plummeting by double-digit percentages.
In total, the crypto market cap has dropped from yesterday’s peak at $349 billion to about $328.5 billion as of writing these lines.
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Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.
Xcoins: Simple Way To Buy Bitcoin Online With a Credit Card
It’s safe to say that cryptocurrencies have come a long way in the past couple of years. Not so long ago, it was very challenging, if not impossible, to buy Bitcoin using a credit card.
Users had to go at extra lengths to be able to purchase BTC, but that’s no longer the case. There are plenty of ways and companies that allow retail investors to buy cryptocurrencies using traditional payment methods such as bank wire or even a credit card.
Xcoins is one such platform – it allows its customers to buy a few different cryptocurrencies quickly, using only their debit card.
What is Xcoins?
Xcoins is a platform that was founded back in 2016, and it allows users to buy Bitcoin and a few other cryptocurrencies quickly, using a standard Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card.
According to the official website, they’ve already facilitated the exchange of more than $250 million in digital cash for over 250,000 users across 167 countries.
One of the more exciting things about Xcoins is the delivery guarantee. Basically, the team promises that the bitcoins you purchase will be in your wallet 15 minutes after successfully making the payment. If this isn’t the case, the following transaction will be entirely free from fees.
How Does it Work?
To use the platform, buyers would first have to create an account. The process is relatively simple, and it involves three basic steps.
There’s a verification procedure that gives an additional sense of security.
Once the account is created, users can proceed to buy the selected cryptocurrency. At the time of this writing, Xcoins supports Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC).
Following a successful debit or credit card payment, the cryptocurrency will be sent to the user’s wallet within 15 minutes of the payment approval.
The buying process itself is rather easy and can be summarized in a few very simple steps.
- First, the user has to select the cryptocurrency they’d like to buy.
- Next, they’d have to specify the amount they want to buy and click on the ‘buy’ button.
- Third, they’d have to enter the address of their wallet where they want to receive the crypto.
- After that, they’d have to fill out the payment details and click on the ‘buy now’ button.
It’s important to note that some cards might be protected with a 3D password where they’d have to either receive a confirmation call, a push notification, or a code sent to their phone.
Once the above steps are completed, the card processor will start handling the transfer, which normally takes a few seconds or minutes. Once the payment is approved by the provider and the user approves it from the email confirmation they receive from Xcoins, the cryptocurrency will be sent within 15 minutes, and the buyer will be able to track it on-chain.
There are a few more things to be considered before buying Bitcoin through the platform. Right off the bat, it supports two fiat currencies at the moment – the US Dollar and the Euro. The minimum order size is set to $50 or EUR 50. Xcoins supports 167 countries.
As mentioned above, the platform supports both VISA and MasterCard debit and credit cards. They are currently unable to accept payments from American Express, PayPal, or Discover.
Xcoins appears to provide a very straightforward and easy way for users to buy Bitcoin & crypto. It brings forward a convenient bridge for those who want to convert their fiat into Bitcoin and doesn’t require any prior knowledge.
All the user needs is a debit or credit card and a secure cryptocurrency wallet to store their digital assets.
US Banks Can Now Hold Reserves on Behalf of Stablecoin Issuers: OCC
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is turning out to be the greatest supporter of the US cryptocurrency industry.
Yesterday, the banking regulator issued a letter that greenlighted national banks and federal savings associations to hold “reserves” on behalf of stablecoin issuers. The stablecoins in the discussion are fiat-collateralized, i.e., backed by the US dollar or fiat currency of any other nation.
US Banks Allowed To Hold Reserve Funds For Stablecoin Issuers
On Monday, the OCC published an ‘interpretive letter’ directing ‘federally chartered’ financial institutions in the United States to hold reserve funds for stablecoin issuers.
…a national bank may hold such stablecoin “reserves” as a service to bank customers…
The above will apply to only the stablecoin issuer that ‘has sufficient assets backing the stablecoin in situations where there is a hosted wallet’. Also, stablecoins need to be “backed on a 1:1 basis by a single fiat currency where the bank verifies at least daily that reserve account balances are always equal to or greater than the number of the issuer’s outstanding stablecoins.”
Commenting on the development, Brian P. Brooks, Acting Comptroller of the Currency said:
National banks and federal savings associations currently engage in stablecoin-related activities involving billions of dollars each day. This opinion provides greater regulatory certainty for banks within the federal banking system to provide those client services in a safe and sound manner.
US SEC Adds To The OCC’s Stablecoin’ Interpretation’
Soon after the OCC issued its letter of stablecoin reserve holding guidance for national banks and federal saving associations, the SEC jumped in to add its opinion as well. A staff statement from The Securities and Exchange Commission Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology Staff (FinHub Staff)impressed more on the ‘security’ aspect of crypto assets.
Whether a particular digital asset, including one labeled a stablecoin, is a security under the federal securities laws is inherently a facts and circumstances determination. This determination requires a careful analysis of the nature of the instrument, including the rights it purports to convey, and how it is offered and sold.
The message is clear for stablecoin and crypto token issuers in general. ‘Market participants,’ as the SEC mentioned them collectively in the statement, should work within the confines of the securities laws. And refrain from engaging in activities that attract punitive federal action.
…market participants may structure and sell a digital asset in such a way that it does not constitute a security and implicate the registration, reporting, and other requirements of the federal securities laws.
The Fin Hub staff also admitted that a certain cryptocurrency or digital asset may not necessarily fall within the regulatory framework that the SEC has defined. It has encouraged crypto token producers to work in unison with the SEC so that the structuring, marketing, and functioning of digital assets comply with the federal securities laws.
The Staff stands ready to engage with market participants to assist them and to consider providing, if appropriate, a “no-action” position regarding whether activities with respect to a specific digital asset may invoke the application of the federal securities laws.
Circle CEO Welcomes OCC’s Letter
Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of the USDC stablecoin issuing company Circle, expressed his appreciation at the OCC’s guidance letter. According to Mr. Allaire, it recognizes the efforts of his company to revolutionize the web-based usage of ‘digital dollars’:
As an issuer of USD Coin (USDC), the guidance validates the approach we have taken in building a resilient, powerful and open standard for the use of digital dollars on the internet.
He added to his statement by saying that the OCC guidance will empower more stablecoin-based businesses and firms to continue building on this aspect of cryptocurrency technology while remaining compliant with federal laws.
With this clarity from the US Treasury Department around the standards for banks to hold reserves on behalf of stablecoin issuers, businesses of all sizes, fintech firms and banks can have more confidence in building on this innovation, while also ensuring that the guardrails and risk management expected from the US banking system can be applied to this new age of internet money.
Not The First Crypto-Friendly Gesture From The OCC
Earlier last month, Brooks, who functioned as Coinbase’s former Chief Legal Officer, said that financial payments need to happen ‘virtually instantaneously.’ He added to the sentiment by stating that ‘the crypto phenomenon cannot be ignored.’
As reported by CryptoPotato, the Acting Comptroller of the Currency, in an interview with CNN’s Julia Chatterley, mentioned that a blockchain and crypto-friendly ‘payments charter’ needs to be introduced. And that his job as the Comptroller of the Currency is to identify innovation that can solve the inefficiencies that currently plague payments.
In July this year, Mr. Brooks allowed banks regulated by the Federal Reserve to offer crypto custody services.
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