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  1. El Salvador could be the catalyst for the most audacious economic experiment since Bretton Woods. On September 7th 2021, they became the first country in the world to make the nascent digital currency, Bitcoin, legal tender. If other countries follow, it could lead to a new international monetary system. How did this come to pass? And what does it mean for Salvadorians? A beach and a palace bookend Bitcoin's story in El Salvador, and my film starts in the coastal resort of El Zonte, aka Bitcoin Beach, where I visit Michael Peterson, a US charity worker who developed this unique Bitcoin community. Most Salvadorians in El Zonte are unbanked, yet, with Bitcoin Beach, they were introduced to this new financial system. I also sit with the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, who, inspired by El Zonte, saw a chance to reset his country's fortunes. He took the unprecedented step to align his country's future with Bitcoin, taking on powerful interests at home and abroad. The El Salvadorian people lie between these two men, ravaged by civil war, gang violence, and political corruption. Bukele has a bold vision for a new future, but his changes have bred distrust in some and hope in others. I travel to meet those protesting against Bitcoin and those who believe it can be a force for good. On the day I published this video, El Salvador hosted 44 other emerging nations at a financial inclusion conference. What started as a small project in El Zonte may lead to Bitcoin becoming the standard for other countries worldwide.
  2. Former lead of Facebook's shitcoin project launches lightning project
  3. texas pacific land corp announces bitcoin mining venture
  4. financial leaders of 44 countries meet in El Salvador to discuss bitcoin
  5. The Oslo Freedom Forum is this week, activists from around the world will be sharing their stories and learning about bitcoin, consider watching the livestream if you cannot make it.
  6. According to research from Coinbase, the worst of the crypto market's macro capitulation is over, with a bullish second half of 2022 arriving. The exchange published a report which outlined several factors for its findings. Specifically, Ethereum's shift to proof-of-stake (PoS), which would reduce ETH supply and, ideally, make it a deflationary asset, is something bulls can anticipate, according to the report. Another factor might be the "commoditisation of Ethereum layer-2 networks," which would result in new L2 tokens and possibly a new crypto investment category. The report also highlighted that incoming regulatory clarity in the US will ground confidence for investors. https://www.coinbureau.com/news/coinbase-report-says-capitulation-mostly-over-bitcoin-supply-shock-in-play/
  7. The three co-founders of BitMEX crypto derivatives exchange, including former CEO Arthur Hayes, have been ordered to pay a total of $30 million in civil monetary penalties by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The order comes as a result of a suit lodged in October 2020 by the US regulator against the exchange and its executive team for facilitating the trading and processing of swaps without the necessary CFTC licensure in the US. In addition to failing to register with the CFTC, the firm failed to undertake adequate anti-money laundering and know-your-customer checks, according to the order. https://www.theblockcrypto.com/linked/145385/court-orders-bitmex-co-founders-pay-a-total-of-30-million-in-cftc-civil-case/
  8. After an initial pump in prices following the announcement of a half-point interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve, markets quickly tumbled as investors realised that a 0.5% interest rate hike was still rather high by historical standards. Moreover, there were concerns it may not still not be enough to stave off inflation. The initial pump was a sign of relief from investors who had expected the hike to be much higher. Bitcoin fell 8% in under 24 hours, dipping below $36,000 before stabilising. The crypto market as a whole dropped 7% within the same time period, with Ethereum losing 7% from yesterday's price and the rest of the top 10 losing between 5% and 9%. The Dow Jones and Nasdaq fell 3.1% and 5%, respectively. https://decrypt.co/99595/bitcoin-ethereum-continue-fall-losses-deepen-across-crypto-market
  9. The popular fashion label Gucci has announced that it will begin accepting crypto payments from customers in select store locations across the United States. The fashion label has been quite active in the crypto, web3 and metaverse space for a while now by acquiring land in The Sandbox and launching its own NFT collections. Gucci plans to accept crypto payments starting with five store locations with one each in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta and Las Vegas by the end of this month. Eventually, the label hopes to implement crypto payments across all its 111 locations in North America. Customers will be able to make cryptocurrency payments simply by scanning a QR code given by Gucci via email with their crypto wallet. Gucci has already begun training its employees through cryptocurrency and NFT education. https://decrypt.co/99504/gucci-begin-accepting-bitcoin-some-stores industry's energy use affects the local power infrastructure.
  10. Fidelity Investments, a U.S. financial services firm, will allow investors to put Bitcoin (BTC) in their 401(k) retirement savings accounts later this year. 401(k) accounts are company-sponsored retirement accounts in the U.S. to which employees can contribute income, while employers may match contributions. As per Fidelity’s plan, a maximum of 20% of contributions can be allocated to investments in Bitcoin. However, this limit may be lowered by employers. This move is expected to allow several first-time investors to gain exposure to bitcoin and other digital assets that may potentially be included by Fidelity in the future. According to Dave Gray, Head of workplace retirement offerings and platforms. “There is a need for a diverse set of products and investment solutions for our investors. We fully expect that cryptocurrency is going to shape the way future generations think about investing for the near term and long term.” https://www.wsj.com/articles/fidelity-to-allow-retirement-savers-to-put-bitcoin-in-401-k-accounts-11650945661/
  11. For the second time in April, the Bitcoin network reached a new all-time high (ATH) in network difficulty, increasing from the previous ATH of 28.587 trillion to 29.794 trillion. This is positive as a greater network difficulty demands greater computational power to successfully mine a Bitcoin (BTC) block, leading to increased security and decreased vulnerability to network takeovers by malicious actors. https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-network-difficulty-breaks-into-a-new-all-time-high-of-29-794t
  12. According to a new report from Bitstamp, the vast majority of large investment firms are bullish on the future of crypto markets. According to Bitstamp’s survey, eight out of ten institutional investors predict that cryptocurrencies and blockchain will dominate traditional financial products within the next decade, however, only 54% of retail investors concur. The survey also notes that 88% of institutional investors and 75% of retail investors expect crypto will become mainstream in the same time frame. Interestingly, it appears that institutions are more trusting of cryptocurrency and related technology than retail investors. https://www.coinbureau.com/news/majority-of-major-investment-houses-bullish-on-crypto-new-bitstamp-report/
  13. Panama approved a bill regulating the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. The bill sponsored by Panamanian Congressman Gabriel Silva passed on Thursday and seeks to regulate the trading and use of crypto-assets, the issuance of digital value, tokenisation of precious metals and other assets, and payment systems among many others. While Panama hasn’t formally recognised Bitcoin as legal tender, the new legislation allows for the free use of crypto as means of payment for any transaction. This means that businesses and individuals retain the right to accept or refuse payments in crypto. The law also formally recognises Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) as legal entities and sets the framework for the country to issue tokenised securities and commodities, like gold and silver, via security token offerings (STOs). The bill just needs to be signed by the country’s president before it comes into force. https://decrypt.co/98962/panama-regulate-bitcoin-crypto-daos
  14. It seems like Wall Street gets deeper into crypto with each passing day. In what can only be deemed bullish for the ecosystem, Goldman has offered its first loan facility backed by bitcoin. This means that crypto investors can now borrow fiat money from Goldman using their bitcoin holdings as collateral. This is the first time in Goldman Sachs' history, that such a product has been offered. According to a spokesperson from Goldman, the most interesting part of the facility was its structure and round the clock 24-7-365-day risk management system. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-28/goldman-offers-its-first-bitcoin-backed-loan-in-crypto-push
  15. ...Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and Palantir, revealed his issues with Ethereum and even called the famous Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a “sociopathic grandpa from Omaha”!! Thiel also expressed his negative feelings towards JPMorgan top-dog, Jamie Dimon. According to Thiel: “The central banks are bankrupt. We are at the end of the fiat money regime,” Thiel believes that BTC and ETH are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum and that gas fees must decrease and that Ethereum should be completely ‘frictionless’ if it is to work. Thiel further commented negatively on big tech companies like Meta that are “quasi controlled by the government in a way that Bitcoin never will be”. If this wasn’t enough, he also called ESG firms that consider environmental factors when it comes to investment, a “hate factory” in their attitude to Bitcoin. He even went so far as to compare them to the Communist Party in China! “When you’re thinking ESG, you should be thinking CCP” One thing is for certain and that is that PayPal’s founder speaks his mind and isn’t afraid to make waves in the space! ...
  16. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has come under increasing regulatory scrutiny in the Western world with recent executive orders and more from President Biden emerging in the US, controversy over proposed changes to the MiCA directive in the European Union and Treasury announcements expected in the UK regarding new crypto regulatory frameworks in the UK. Meanwhile, the Middle East has fast been establishing itself as both friendly to and a hub for cryptocurrency companies and actors in the space. Dubai in particular has been showing open arms to digital asset companies and this has been reaffirmed via recent announcements from some blue chip institutions in the space. In a statement released yesterday, Crypto.com released plans to construct a “significant” presence in the region. What’s more, ByBit made clear it’s intentions to move its global headquarters to the emirate, in a recent blog post. ByBit will begin operations in the jurisdiction as early as April of this year having been granted approval to carry out a “full spectrum” of digital asset operations in Dubai. Both Crypto.com and ByBit join the likes of Binance and FTX in expanding their operations to the UAE and it only goes to show that not all states are hostile and skeptical of cryptocurrency. Even Singapore, previously touted as a home to the likes of Crypto.com and Binance, tightened restrictions around consumer-facing marketing earlier this year… https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-03-29/crypto-com-bybit-announce-plans-to-set-up-operations-in-dubai - guy from CoinBureau
  17. US President Biden has released his budget proposal for the 2023 fiscal year and it isn’t all sunshine and roses for cryptocurrency in the States, despite local support from states like Florida, New York and Texas. Biden intends to impose mark-to-market rules to digital assets which are ‘actively traded’. This effectively means that investors are tax-liable for cryptocurrency gains that they have not yet realised by selling the asset in question. The above presents an hugely onerous obligations to investors which will surely push innovation and investment away from American shores. Biden dubs this the ‘modernisation’ of crypto regulations and expects the move would generate $6.6 billion in tax-revenue between 2023 and 2032. Furthermore, Biden wants to impose reporting requirements on US residents that hold more than $50,000 in offshore accounts. According to the Treasury, which expects the reporting tightening to generate $2.2 billion in revenue in ten years: "The global nature of the digital asset market offers opportunities for U.S. taxpayers to conceal assets and taxable income by using offshore digital asset exchanges and wallet providers," It is no secret that, as presidents go, Joe Biden is a big spender indeed. Though it seems foolhardy to force an emerging industry, like cryptocurrency, to shoulder to burden of his aggressive fiscal policy which is no doubt prompted by re-election pressures… https://decrypt.co/96270/biden-eyes-5-billion-2023-revenue-applying-new-tax-reporting-rules-crypto
  18. On Monday, March 14th, the European Parliament ECON Committee will vote on MiCA, the comprehensive crypto regulatory proposal for Europe. At the last possible moment certain parties offered amendments to MiCA that would ban Proof of Work consensus protocols, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other popular blockchains and crypto assets in Europe, issuing an ultimatum to the rest of Parliament: “accept our bitcoin ban or we will oppose the entire MiCA package.” Individuals and organizations should be free to choose the technology most appropriate to their needs. Policymakers should neither impose nor discriminate in favor of a particular technology. This is deeply concerning and would have serious consequences for Europe. Here’s why: The innovative and growing digital asset economy in Europe will vanish. Without Bitcoin and Ethereum, crypto exchanges and other crypto service providers cannot operate profitably. They will be forced to close, move, or block access to Europeans. DeFi protocols dependent on ETH will not be able to legally serve Europeans. Let’s be clear, this activity won’t stop, it will simply move to the United States or Asia, where it is currently welcomed. For example, U.S. President Biden just this week signed an Executive Order stating: “We must reinforce United States leadership in the global financial system and in technological and economic competitiveness, including through the responsible development of payment innovations and digital assets. The United States has an interest in ensuring that it remains at the forefront of responsible development and design of digital assets and the technology that underpins new forms of payments and capital flows in the international financial system[.] Continued United States leadership in the global financial system will sustain United States financial power and promote United States economic interests.“ Europe’s loss will be the United State’s gain, and through MiCA, Europe will permanently cede the leadership and control of Web3 to the U.S., just as it did with Web2, which remains dominated by a handful of U.S. tech giants. It is crucial that Europe stays in the innovation race and takes the chance to build the champions and leaders of the Web3 world to come, creating thousands of jobs in the process. Consumer protection will be harmed by a bitcoin ban in Europe. Due to the nature of digital assets, even if ‘banned’ digital assets will remain available in Europe, just not on safe and regulated EU platforms. This would present severe consumer protection concerns as consumers will be forced to access foreign platforms that may be hard to understand and have less (or no) regulatory oversight. As a French founded and European business, we at Ledger will always protect freedom and self-custody, particularly in our backyard. That is why we are calling on YOU to contact your Member of European Parliament (MEP) and let them know that you oppose a Bitcoin ban in Europe. Here is how: Look up your MEP here. E-mail, call or tweet your MEP and tell them: “An outright ban of proof-of-work assets will cripple the EU market, encourage circumvention of law, worsen consumer protection, and push the industry outside the EU – all with no benefit to the environment! Please ask the ECON Committee to oppose Amendments ALT A and ALT G.” For more information on the proposed proof-of-work ban, we recommend this report prepared by the ADAN.
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