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Can Covid-19 Kill Cash and What Will It Mean for Bitcoin?

Can Covid-19 Kill Cash and What Will It Mean for Bitcoin?It has been argued many times that for purposes of money laundering and conducting black market activities Bitcoin in fact does not even come close to its predecessor—hard cash. In fact, some go as far as to claim it is foolish to rely on Bitcoin for traditional illicit activities while cash still exists. This argument was universally used to show how laughable it was to brand Bitcoin a “haven for criminals” all while the good old cash was a much better and more reliable tool for shady dealings. But the truth is regulators also understand this and they have been researching and developing solutions to possibly replace the physical cash or at least put it under tighter control. That being said, the general consensus has long been that while cash is fighting an uphill battle, it will not truly go away any time soon for a number of objective reasons. However, some recent developments in the world may catalyze this process and make the demise of cash inevitable.

Why Is Cash So Enduring?

Cash is in fact a fantastic means of payment. It does possess certain qualities that can not be easily replicated even by the most advanced technology. Cash is actually untraceable, secure, and accepted everywhere one goes. It does not rely on Internet connection, electricity, and the availability of certain devices. It can be stolen but is otherwise protected from most types of fraud. It is incredibly popular and widespread. For those who are poor and/or do not have reliable access to banking, cash is also absolutely vital. And of course, this all makes it a real haven for criminals.

Then Why Is Cash Doomed?

To be fair, we knew for a while that cash was not going to make it into the future. And arguably, Bitcoin was to cashless future what Elon Musk was to Martian colonies. We always knew we were going to have them, but now we fully expect them to happen in our lifetimes. For the past decade, the conversation about cash going away has reached its peak and became less theoretical and more observational. We now have a clear and logical understanding of why cash is not going to make it. The reality of our lives right now dictates that our day-to-day activities, including the financial ones, are increasingly moving online. Technologies are evolving while safety and transparency increasingly become more important values than privacy and anonymity. Regulators do not really want us to use cash, this vessel of corruption and criminal activities, and it seems that most of us begrudgingly agree. China is far ahead of everyone else on the frontlines of the war on cash. Being an authoritarian state it can safely ignore its citizens’ thoughts on privacy, and emphasize the need for safety and control. Even now the most popular instrument for payments in urban areas is online currencies maintained by Chinese online giants Alibaba and Tencent. And the latest developments suggest that China will emerge from the pandemic with a strong digital currency that will potentially be even more widespread than the existing digital payment methods. The USA is notoriously more liberal and until now was not ready to bail on cash. Some regulators are already fighting an uphill battle against the advance of cashless businesses. In Europe, regulators follow the opposite trend, artificially limiting the amount of cash that consumers are allowed to spend or transfer. Such limits exist in Italy, Spain, and some other countries. A similar restriction is being introduced in Australia. Scandinavian countries are already halfway to the cashless society. Many banks in Sweden no longer deal in cash. The use of cash for payments has plummeted to 10% by 2018. Despite all this, the general consensus saw the demise of cash questionable or at least gave it another 20 to 60 years. Covid-19 may have changed everything.

Dirty Money

We kind of always knew that licking fingertips when counting money was a gross and unhealthy habit. As early as 2014 researchers at New York University have identified as many as 3,000 kinds of bacteria living on dollar bills. While the Daily Mail noted, that there were more germs on a £1 coin than a toilet seat. But what really could be the bell tolling for cash was the WHO’s warning that banknotes may be spreading Covid-19. On March 3rd, the World Health Organization issued a warning against cash payments, suggesting to instead switch to contactless payment methods to avoid the transmission of the virus. Following this we have seen a slew of measures directed at handling paper money during the pandemic, including world governments quarantining banknotes, especially coming from abroad. Cash payments were already seeing a decline in many technologically advanced countries as more and more businesses transition to credit and virtual payments. But the lockdown posed a challenge before all businesses, who now had to respect the social distancing rules while serving their customers. According to Square, there were only 8% of self-described cashless sellers in the U.S. on March 1. But by April 23, that number went up to 31% and the growing trend is continuing. The numbers tripled in a matter of months and the pandemic is nowhere near its end. Moreover, it is not just cash that came under scrutiny during the Covid-19 pandemic but also instruments that facilitate its use. We have seen specialists warning the public about using ATMs too. And some studies show that credit cards may potentially be even more contaminated than currency. All this led to an increase in consumer demand for all forms of contactless payment. As reported by The Futurist Group in a March research, the WHO announcement initiated a huge shift in consumer payment preferences. According to the research, 38% of consumers evaluating a credit card offer with a contactless feature indicated that this feature is a “table stake” need, a 26.6% increase compared to the period prior to WHO warning.

What Cashless Society Means for Bitcoin?

Some experts predict that the immediate future of money may not be in fact cryptocurrencies but the CBDC. Still, Bitcoin’s adoption will likely benefit from the governments’ efforts to discontinue paper money. An important thing to consider here is that without cash there will be no convenient and reliable means to transact value without the government tracking and controlling your money other than Bitcoin. If there is no cash then all illicit activities will indeed shift to Bitcoin. Yet without cash, it would be nigh impossible to money-launder darknet Bitcoins and withdraw them into the normal economy. This may lead to a situation where two economies exist simultaneously and do not really interact. One—absolutely transparent and controlled by the government, and another—anonymous, volatile, and shady. This leads to a surprising conclusion that Bitcoin perhaps needs the cash as a scapegoat and a buffer to avoid actually being marginalized and dogged by the state. Governments claim that CBDCs will enable them to better protect citizens from criminals and terrorists. This is true but still ignores the risk of the government itself becoming corrupt and tyrannical. Total control over money will make such a corrupt government incredibly potent and virtually invincible. Bitcoin can become the financial equivalent of the second amendment. A weaponized financial instrument to protect citizens from the corrupt government. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and join our Telegram channel to know what’s up with crypto and why it’s important.

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Can Covid-19 Kill Cash and What Will It Mean for Bitcoin?It has been argued many times that for purposes of money laundering and conducting black market activities Bitcoin in fact does not even come close to its predecessor—hard cash. In fact, some go as far as to claim it is foolish to rely on Bitcoin for traditional illicit activities while cash still exists. This argument was universally used to show how laughable it was to brand Bitcoin a “haven for criminals” all while the good old cash was a much better and more reliable tool for shady dealings. But the truth is regulators also understand this and they have been researching and developing solutions to possibly replace the physical cash or at least put it under tighter control. That being said, the general consensus has long been that while cash is fighting an uphill battle, it will not truly go away any time soon for a number of objective reasons. However, some recent developments in the world may catalyze this process and make the demise of cash inevitable.

Why Is Cash So Enduring?

Cash is in fact a fantastic means of payment. It does possess certain qualities that can not be easily replicated even by the most advanced technology. Cash is actually untraceable, secure, and accepted everywhere one goes. It does not rely on Internet connection, electricity, and the availability of certain devices. It can be stolen but is otherwise protected from most types of fraud. It is incredibly popular and widespread. For those who are poor and/or do not have reliable access to banking, cash is also absolutely vital. And of course, this all makes it a real haven for criminals.

Then Why Is Cash Doomed?

To be fair, we knew for a while that cash was not going to make it into the future. And arguably, Bitcoin was to cashless future what Elon Musk was to Martian colonies. We always knew we were going to have them, but now we fully expect them to happen in our lifetimes. For the past decade, the conversation about cash going away has reached its peak and became less theoretical and more observational. We now have a clear and logical understanding of why cash is not going to make it. The reality of our lives right now dictates that our day-to-day activities, including the financial ones, are increasingly moving online. Technologies are evolving while safety and transparency increasingly become more important values than privacy and anonymity. Regulators do not really want us to use cash, this vessel of corruption and criminal activities, and it seems that most of us begrudgingly agree. China is far ahead of everyone else on the frontlines of the war on cash. Being an authoritarian state it can safely ignore its citizens’ thoughts on privacy, and emphasize the need for safety and control. Even now the most popular instrument for payments in urban areas is online currencies maintained by Chinese online giants Alibaba and Tencent. And the latest developments suggest that China will emerge from the pandemic with a strong digital currency that will potentially be even more widespread than the existing digital payment methods. The USA is notoriously more liberal and until now was not ready to bail on cash. Some regulators are already fighting an uphill battle against the advance of cashless businesses. In Europe, regulators follow the opposite trend, artificially limiting the amount of cash that consumers are allowed to spend or transfer. Such limits exist in Italy, Spain, and some other countries. A similar restriction is being introduced in Australia. Scandinavian countries are already halfway to the cashless society. Many banks in Sweden no longer deal in cash. The use of cash for payments has plummeted to 10% by 2018. Despite all this, the general consensus saw the demise of cash questionable or at least gave it another 20 to 60 years. Covid-19 may have changed everything.

Dirty Money

We kind of always knew that licking fingertips when counting money was a gross and unhealthy habit. As early as 2014 researchers at New York University have identified as many as 3,000 kinds of bacteria living on dollar bills. While the Daily Mail noted, that there were more germs on a £1 coin than a toilet seat. But what really could be the bell tolling for cash was the WHO’s warning that banknotes may be spreading Covid-19. On March 3rd, the World Health Organization issued a warning against cash payments, suggesting to instead switch to contactless payment methods to avoid the transmission of the virus. Following this we have seen a slew of measures directed at handling paper money during the pandemic, including world governments quarantining banknotes, especially coming from abroad. Cash payments were already seeing a decline in many technologically advanced countries as more and more businesses transition to credit and virtual payments. But the lockdown posed a challenge before all businesses, who now had to respect the social distancing rules while serving their customers. According to Square, there were only 8% of self-described cashless sellers in the U.S. on March 1. But by April 23, that number went up to 31% and the growing trend is continuing. The numbers tripled in a matter of months and the pandemic is nowhere near its end. Moreover, it is not just cash that came under scrutiny during the Covid-19 pandemic but also instruments that facilitate its use. We have seen specialists warning the public about using ATMs too. And some studies show that credit cards may potentially be even more contaminated than currency. All this led to an increase in consumer demand for all forms of contactless payment. As reported by The Futurist Group in a March research, the WHO announcement initiated a huge shift in consumer payment preferences. According to the research, 38% of consumers evaluating a credit card offer with a contactless feature indicated that this feature is a “table stake” need, a 26.6% increase compared to the period prior to WHO warning.

What Cashless Society Means for Bitcoin?

Some experts predict that the immediate future of money may not be in fact cryptocurrencies but the CBDC. Still, Bitcoin’s adoption will likely benefit from the governments’ efforts to discontinue paper money. An important thing to consider here is that without cash there will be no convenient and reliable means to transact value without the government tracking and controlling your money other than Bitcoin. If there is no cash then all illicit activities will indeed shift to Bitcoin. Yet without cash, it would be nigh impossible to money-launder darknet Bitcoins and withdraw them into the normal economy. This may lead to a situation where two economies exist simultaneously and do not really interact. One—absolutely transparent and controlled by the government, and another—anonymous, volatile, and shady. This leads to a surprising conclusion that Bitcoin perhaps needs the cash as a scapegoat and a buffer to avoid actually being marginalized and dogged by the state. Governments claim that CBDCs will enable them to better protect citizens from criminals and terrorists. This is true but still ignores the risk of the government itself becoming corrupt and tyrannical. Total control over money will make such a corrupt government incredibly potent and virtually invincible. Bitcoin can become the financial equivalent of the second amendment. A weaponized financial instrument to protect citizens from the corrupt government. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and join our Telegram channel to know what’s up with crypto and why it’s important. Source: https://forklog.media/can-covid-19-kill-cash-and-what-will-it-mean-for-bitcoin/

Blockchain

The Digital Age Is Here: Crypto And Fintech Companies Soar, While Bank Stocks Tank

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2020 has been so far a challenging year. Issues such as the Australian wildfires and the global COVID-19 pandemic have harmed the planet and its inhabitants. The financial world has also suffered, especially during the first several months.

The effects are evident within different sectors of the financial industry. While some have felt adverse consequences during these uncertain times, others have thrived and reached for the stars.

BNN Bloomberg’s senior anchor, Jon Erlichman, recently published some stocks’ price performances for banks and fintech companies and the two largest cryptocurrencies – Ethereum and Bitcoin.

CryptoPotato exemplified it with the graph below. It concludes that innovative fintech companies such as Square and PayPal have massively outperformed the old dogs – the banking sector. Bitcoin has also experienced a notable YTD price surge, while Ethereum has trumped them all with a substantial triple-digit surge.

YTD Price Performance Of Crypto, Fintech Companies, And Bank Stocks. Source: CryptoPotato
YTD Price Performance Of Crypto, Fintech Companies, And Bank Stocks. Source: CryptoPotato

YTD: Bank Stocks Haven’t Enjoyed 2020

The stocks of some of the world’s largest banks were on a roll since the previous financial crisis over a decade ago. Bank of America shares had increased approximately ten-fold since 2009 to their highs in February 2020 of about $35.

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In the same period, Citigroup stocks went from $15 to $80, JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM) from $20 to $140, and Wells Fargo (WFC) surged from $11 to above $50.

However, the COVID-19-prompted crisis took the world by storm this year. March alone saw price slumps not seen in decades. Most of the aforementioned bank stocks lost about 50% of its value in merely days.

Although their shares have picked up from the March bottoms, the graph above demonstrates that their year-to-date performance is still in the red. JPM is down by 30%, Bank of America by 33%, Citigroup by 46%, and Wells Fargo has it the worst – 58% YTD dump.

Other financial service corporations, such as Western Union (-17%) and American Express (-19%), have also lost significant chunks of value since the start of the year.

It’s worth noting that one of the most old-school investors and biggest supporters of the banking sector, Warren Buffet, sold the majority of his bank stocks this year.

Financial Companies In The Green

Although the crisis reached all companies on the graph above, some have not only recovered but actually increased in the following months. MasterCard stocks plummeted from $345 to $203, while Visa’s nosedive started from $213 and ended at $135. Nevertheless, both companies’ shares are slightly in the green on a year-to-date basis.

Two other financial service companies, but primarily focusing on online endeavors, have marked substantially more impressive YTD results.

PayPal’s stocks (PYPL) started 2020 at $110 and have increased by 94% since then, despite the mid-March slump to $85. Jack Dorsey’s Square’s yearly gains have even seen triple-digit percentages. The 55% dump in March was only a brief obstacle in SQ’s way towards a 178% surge since January 2020.

Interestingly, both firms have embarked on cryptocurrency-related activities in recent months. Square purchased $50 million worth of Bitcoin, while PayPal announced that it will enable its US-based customers to buy, sell, and store several digital assets.

What About Bitcoin And Ethereum?

The cryptocurrency market was not exempt from the mid-March madness. Some alternative coins lost up to 80% of value in hours. The two most well-known representatives, namely Bitcoin and Ethereum, dipped to $3,700 and below $100, respectively.

Percentage-wise, those developments equaled about 50% of losses. However, the rest of the year has been significantly more positive for both. Bitcoin, regarded by some as a safe haven tool with similarities to gold, has overcome its massive slump.

Whether it’s the growing interest from institutional investors, the third halving, or giant companies buying BTC for its store of value characteristics, Bitcoin has surged by more than 80% YTD. Just a few days ago, the primary cryptocurrency charted a new yearly high of over $13,000.

Ethereum, on the other hand, has been widely utilized this year in the ongoing decentralized finance trend. Its blockchain operates as the underlying technology behind most DeFi projects.

This increased utilization led to some unfavorable consequences such as slow transactions and high fees and highlighted a few of the network’s weak points. Price-wise, though, none of that matter as ETH has been on a roll during most of the year, especially since the summer.

As a result, the second-largest cryptocurrency has become the best-performing asset from the ones mentioned above, with an increase of over 200%.

What Could All Of This Mean?

The world is undoubtedly going through changes, primarily prompted by the COVID-19 reality. Social distancing and people working from home have driven society into becoming even more digitally-focused.

The financial world won’t be left behind. People seek more online ventures, and digitally transferred funds will eventually become the new normal.

As such, the decline of traditional financial institutions like banks, and the rise of innovative technologies, including cryptocurrencies, could be just the start of the mass transition to the online world.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/the-digital-age-is-here-crypto-and-fintech-companies-soar-while-bank-stocks-tank/

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These Are Ripple’s Relocation Options if it Moves Out of the United States

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Ripple has expressed dissatisfaction over the regulatory uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrencies in the United States. Apart from this, the San Francisco-based firm has also decided to act. By moving out of its home turf. But where will Ripple move next? Here are the relocation options.

Ripple’s Asia Options: Japan, Singapore & the United Arab Emirates

When Ripple’s co-founder and Executive Chairman Chris Larsen threatened to move out of the United States over the federal government’s anachronistic attitude towards cryptocurrency regulation, the message was clear.

During a virtual interview with Fortune at the LA Blockchain Summit, Larsen dropped the ‘relocation bomb.’ The Ripple co-founder also added that the US is far behind in the cryptocurrency regulation game compared to its counterparts. To the point that it actually risks losing its financial innovation edge to China (in particular).

Continuing his commentary, Larsen said that the U.K. and Singapore are the most probable destinations for the company to relocate if it moves base out of the country.

However, yesterday, in an interview with Bloomberg, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse added Japan and the United Arab Emirates too to the list of Asia options. Elucidating the reason for extending the list, he said:

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The common denominator between all of them is that their governments have created a clarity about how they would regulate different digital assets, different cryptocurrencies.

He reiterated Chirs Larsen’s stance about the United States’ uncertain regulatory roadmap. He also referred specifically to the conundrum of categorizing cryptocurrencies into a commodity, a currency, a property, or security.

Moving out of the US is more of a compulsion than a desire, Mr. Garlinghouse explained. Ripple would have continued to operate from their home turf if the cryptocurrency regulation scenario was not colloidal.

Ripple is definitely a proud US company and we’d like to stay in the US if that was possible, but we also need regulatory clarity in order for us to invest and grow the business.

Love For London And The United Kingdom

Apart from Asia, Ripple is also strongly considering the UK as an option. This became clear when in an interview with CNBC, the CEO applauded the clarity regarding XRP’s regulatory status in the country.

“What you see in the U.K. is a clear taxonomy, and the U.K.’s FCA took a leadership role in characterizing how we should think about these different assets and their use cases,” Garlinghouse said.

The outcome of that was clarity that XRP is not a security and is used as a currency. With that clarity, it would be advantageous for Ripple to operate in the U.K.”

This is clearly where the US is failing, Mr. Garlinghouse remarked. Although the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is clear on Bitcoin and Ethereum not being securities, when it comes to XRP, the authority has mostly stayed mum, which in turn has left the cryptocurrency’s status ‘shrouded in uncertainty.’

The clarification regarding XRP’s ‘security status’ is crucial for Ripple. Even though the company claims total disassociation from the XRP ledger and the token, it still owns 55 billion of the total 100 billion XRP supply.

Apart from the United Kingdom and the aforementioned countries in the Asian continent, Ripple has also shown interest in Switzerland for setting up its headquarters.

Ripple (XRP) price climbed up higher but not necessarily in response to Ripple’s decision to leave the US. The rally can be mostly attributed to bitcoin rushing for the stars with its explosive break past the $13,000 mark.

Will the cryptocurrency-based fintech firm be able to operate with total and unequivocal regulatory clarity in the above countries? It still remains to be seen.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/these-are-ripples-relocation-options-if-it-moves-out-of-the-united-states/

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ETH Cools Off After 13% Weekly Gains, What’s Next? (Ethereum Price Analysis)

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ETH/USD – Bulls Retest Bearish .618 Fib Resistance

Key Support Levels: $410, $400, $387.
Key Resistance Levels: $416, $421, $439.

Ethereum saw a strong 13% price surge this past week as it reached as high as $421 (1.414 Fib Extension). More specifically, the buyers could not close a daily candle above the resistance at the bearish .618 Fib Retracement at $416.

After heading back into $400 yesterday, the bulls have rebounded and are now retesting the aforementioned level.

ethusd-oct24
ETH/USD Daily Chart. Source: TradingView

ETH-USD Short Term Price Prediction

Looking ahead, once the buyers break $416, the first level of resistance lies at $421.50 (1.414 Fib Extension). This is followed by resistance at $434, $439 (August 2018 Highs), and $445 (bearish .786 Fib). $450, added resistance lies at $462 and $475.

On the other side, the first level of support lies at $410. Beneath this, support is found at $400, $387 (.382 Fib), and $377 (.5 Fib).

The RSI is approaching overbought conditions but still has room to push higher before becoming truly overbought.

ETH/BTC – Bulls Testing 100-days EMA Resistance

Key Support Levels: 0.0311 BTC, 0.0305 BTC, 0.03 BTC.
Key Resistance Levels: 0.0327 BTC, 0.0337 BTC, 0.0341 BTC.

Against Bitcoin, Ethereum struggled this week as it dropped as low as 0.0305 BTC. It has since bounced higher to climb back above 0.031 BTC to trade at the current 0.0318 BTC level. It is now testing resistance at a 100-days EMA and must overcome this to head back toward the October highs at 0.0337 BTC.

ethbtc-oct24
ETH/BTC Daily Chart. Source: TradingView

ETH-BTC Short Term Price Prediction

Looking ahead, if the bulls can break the 100-days EMA, the first level of resistance lies at 0.0327 BTC (bearish .236 Fib Retracement). This is followed by resistance at 0.0337 BTC (March 2019 Support – now resistance), 0.0341 BTC (bearish .382 Fib), and 0.035 BTC.

On the other side, the first level of support lies at 0.0311 BTC (.618 Fib). Beneath this, support lies at 0.0305 BTC, 0.03 BTC, and 0.0295 BTC (200-days EMA).

The Stochastic RSI recently rebounded, which put an end to the downward pressure. For a bullish recovery above the 100-days EMA, the RSI must pass the mid-line to indicate bullish momentum within the market.

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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


Source: https://cryptopotato.com/eth-cools-off-after-13-weekly-gains-whats-next-ethereum-price-analysis/

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