“Money is just data that allows us to avoid the inconvenience of barter. That data, like all data, is subject to latency & error. The system will evolve to that which minimizes both. That said, BTC [bitcoin] & ETH [ethereum] do seem high lol.” — Elon Musk
“Economic empowerment is about bringing access to financial tools more broadly, including to people who haven’t had it before. We think bitcoin is a way that could enable that for the future.” — Square CFO Amrita Ahuja
Weekly Headline News
1. Crypto collectibles are selling for thousands — and celebrities like Mark Cuban are cashing in
2. US Central Bank Explains ‘Preconditions’ for a Digital Dollar
3. Stock Price at Japan’s Top Brokerage Riding High Thanks to Bitcoin Boom: Report
4. Altcoins bounce to new highs as Bitcoin price trades sideways under $50K
5. Soaring Treasury yields are worrying economists — But what does this mean for Bitcoin?
6. Many Indian techies get paid in crypto, say it’s faster and easier
The Economic Times
7. Why Cathie Wood Thinks Bitcoin Could Replace Bonds
8. UK Must Act Quickly to Ensure Fintech Lead, Encourage Crypto: Treasury Report Urges
● The cryptocurrency world is abuzz with talk of digital collectibles, unique virtual tokens that can represent anything from art to sports memorabilia. People have been paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for these NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. Even Mark Cuban and other celebrities are cashing in on the NFT craze. The billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner has auctioned digital goods online and owns some himself.
● Sheldon Corey from Montreal, Canada, paid $20,000 for one of the thousands of computer-generated avatars called CryptoPunks. It isn’t a new phenomenon — it was released by developers Larva Labs in 2017. But it’s boomed in popularity lately, generating $45.2 million in sales volume in the last seven days alone according to the website NonFungible, and inspiring a broader “crypto art” movement.
● Hours after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell declared 2021 to be a pivotal year in consulting the public on the digital dollar, Fed Reserve Senior Counsel Jess Cheng, Payments Specialist Angela N. Lawson and Technology Lab Manager Paul Wong said the onus would be on broadly engaging the public regarding the pros and cons of a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC).
● Privacy issues, ease of use, security access and delivery mechanisms should all be on the table as Fed officials work to “sharpen” a digital dollar with the public’s help, the paper said. The Fed would need to clearly understand what a possible CBDC would be used for, the notes said. The technology used would also have to support the CBDC across different conditions while providing 24/7 instant settlement, secure transfer of assets and resilience.
● The stock price of Japan’s most expensive securities company is flying high largely in part due to its cryptocurrency business segment. According to a report by Bloomberg on Wednesday, Monex Group Inc. is currently the most expensive stock on the TOPIX index. The Japanese index is based on all domestic common stocks listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TYO).
● Monex, which owns the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, acquired the marketplace for $33.5 million in April 2018 and has since experienced phenomenal growth from investors looking to capitalize on BTC‘s latest bull run. The brokerage’s venture into cryptocurrency earned the company 2.42 billion yen (US$22.9 million) pretax profit in the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2020, increasing its quarter-on-quarter growth threefold, company filings show.
● Bitcoin struggles to hold the $50,000 level, while positive announcements help several altcoins break out to new all-time highs. The cryptocurrency market recovered some of the losses from the past couple of days on Feb. 25 as Bitcoin briefly pushed back above the $50,000 level and multiple altcoins have seen double-digit price gains.
● Several large- and mid-cap altcoins saw their prices breakout on Thursday as recent announcements and new integrations pushed trading volumes higher. The overall cryptocurrency market capitalization now stands at $1.533 trillion, and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 61.3%.
● The price of gold has also been stagnating, but this isn’t necessarily bad for “digital gold” Bitcoin. In recent weeks, the 10-year Treasury yield of U.S. government bonds has surged 35% to a new high of 1.44%, the highest point since the cross-asset crash in March 2020.
● The U.S. dollar currency index (DXY) index continues to show weakness as yields are rising, which is generally good news for Bitcoin bulls. This suggests that investors are fleeing the dollar toward higher risk, higher reward investments, such as Bitcoin which has become increasingly important in macroeconomics.
● Mumbai — International crypto companies are hiring engineers and back-end developers in India as contractors and paying them in cryptocurrencies to accelerate their adoption and bypass local taxes and laws regarding cross-border payments, crypto industry insiders told ET.
● India still lacks a regulatory framework on cryptocurrency, which means they are technically neither legal nor illegal. Many young engineers and freelancers are thus accepting payments in cryptocurrency due to the ease of transferring it across borders, and lower transaction costs compared to bank transfers.
● The ARK Investment founder discussed bitcoin’s opportunity to act as a replacement store of value at the Bloomberg Crypto Summit. Cathie Wood thinks Bitcoin could replace bonds. In this episode, NLW lays out:
1. How Cathie Wood made a name by being early in Tesla, Bitcoin and innovation
2. How ARK’s funds have grown
3. Why bonds aren’t performing anymore and why bitcoin could fill the gap in investor’s portfolios
● The U.K. Treasury has released a report calling for a new regime for the regulation and administration of crypto assets. An independent review initiated by U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak and led by Ron Kalifa shows the U.K. Treasury has set out a plan to retain what the report called the U.K.’s leadership position in fintech.
● The report, titled the “Kalifa Review of U.K. Fintech” states the country has the potential to be the global center for the issuance, clearing, settlement, trading, and exchange of crypto and digital assets. Kalifa highlights the European Union’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) proposal has been developing its propositions and the U.K. needs to “act quickly” to preserve and maintain its position as a hub for fintech firms.