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Bitcoin Needs Unified Global Regulations: ECB President Christine Lagarde

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Christine Lagarde, the President of the European Central Bank (ECB), believes that bitcoin requires a unified global regulation framework to work properly.

Interestingly, Canadian businessman and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary also noted that the cryptocurrency could become “something of tremendous value” if world regulators back it up.

ECB President On BTC Regulations

The 65-year-old French politician and current President of the ECB has been calling on clear regulation for bitcoin for a while. Back in 2020, she outlined that cryptocurrencies, and BTC in particular, present new opportunities but also unknown risks, and they need clear legislation to reach their potential.

Earlier today, Lagarde doubled-down on her narrative during an interview at the Reuters Next conference. She noted that BTC’s alleged involvement in illicit activities prevents it from reaching the mainstream.

“[Bitcoin] is a highly speculative asset, which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity.

There has to be regulation. This has to be applied and agreed upon … at a global level because if there is an escape, that escape will be used.”

Although several countries have already implemented their version of regulatory frameworks in regards to bitcoin, the unified global standards are still absent.

lagarde
Christine Lagarde. Source: Reuters

Shark Tank’s O’Leary Thinks So Too

Kevin O’Leary, a businessman, author, and politician, seems to share Lagarde’s opinion on the matter. The Shark Tank star has previously blasted bitcoin, and he reaffirmed his stance during a recent interview with the BTC bull Anthony ‘Pomp’ Pompliano.

O’Leary said that he sees bitcoin’s value as “a nothing burger – a giant nothing burger.” However, he asserted that the cryptocurrency could grow to become “something with tremendous value” if world watchdogs are behind it:

“If there was an attempt to either take bitcoin itself or some other currency that could be traded everywhere with the regulator agreeing to it and would be agnostic – in other worlds, you could trade it to buy assets in Switzerland, trade it to buy assets in France, or in England, or in the United States, everybody would take that digital currency.”

Despite his criticism, O’Leary admitted during an appearance on Pomp’s podcast in December that he actually owned “some” BTC. He even hinted that he could increase his holdings up to 2.5% of his entire portfolio in the future.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-needs-unified-global-regulations-ecb-president-christine-lagarde/

Blockchain

Bitcoin price hits $50K after bullish outlook from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs

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On March 1 cryptocurrency investors woke up to the sight of Bitcoin (BTC) rising from it weekend correction to $44,000 as the market found its bullish momentum and altcoins rebounded from their swing lows.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows that the price of Bitcoin increased 16.6% from its low of $43,504 on Feb. 28 to the $50,000 level which bulls are attempting to flip back to support.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Earlier in the day, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor tweeted that the firm had purchased another $15 million worth of Bitcoin, bringing its total holdings to 90,859 BTC and further demonstrating that institutional demand for the top cryptocurrency continues to grow as firms buy each dip’

Analysis of key BTC price indicators also shows that bulls were eager to buy the $43,000 retest which occurred over the weekend.

Not every analyst is bullish

Bitcoin’s surge above $49,000 has some calling for new all-time highs in the near future, but according to veteran analyst Peter Brandt, nothing is certain when it comes to the cryptocurrency market.

Today Goldman Sachs announced that it would restart its crypto trading desk and Brandt was quick to tweet the following chart and point out that its launch didn’t work out so well for the cryptocurrency market in December 2017. 

BTC/USD 1-week chart. Source: Twitter

According to David Lifchitz, Chief Investment Officer of ExoAlpha, it’s still “too early to tell” if the pullback in Bitcoin is over but $44,500 appears to have provided strong support.

In terms of whether the top cryptocurrency could breakout to new highs in March, Lifchitz said he’s uncertain on exactly what might happen as March is historically a bearish trading month for BTC.

According to Lifchitz, tax season in the U.S. could put bearish pressures on the market as investors may need to “sell some of their holdings to pay for earlier realized capital gains.”

From a bullish perspective, the 20% correction during the second half of February may have signaled an “early start” to the usual March weakness, with the worst of the downturn already transpiring.

Lifchitz said:

“Despite the 20% pullback, we’re still in an upward sloping trend since the October $10K breakout. The big unknown is what the miners will do as they are net sellers. They are the real short-term risk.”

Analysis of Glassnode’s Net Unrealized Profit and Loss (NUPL) metric shows that while both 20% corrections experienced during this cycle have created the “signature sideways and choppy” price action typically seen during bull markets, buyers have been stepping in sooner than they had in previous bull cycles and fewer long-term holders are willing to sell their BTC. 

Bitcoin Entity-adjusted NUPL. Source: glassnode

Steadying yields help to stabilize traditional markets

The traditional financial markets also rallied on Monday as Treasury yields stabilized and optimism related to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout boosted investor sentiment about the future of the global economy.

The S&P 500, Dow and NASDAQ all closed the day in the black, finishing up 2.38%, 1.95% and 3.01% respectively. The strong performance from each index occurred as global central banks world continue to reaffirm commitments to accommodative policies that will support the global economic recovery.

Altcoins also recovered their recent losses as Bitcoin price broke out to $50,000.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Binance Coin (BNB) was the best performer in the top 10, increasing 21% to $248, while Ethereum (ETH) saw its price rise 9.46% to $1,525. PancakeSwap (CAKE) and Fantom (FTM) both rallied price 36% and currently trade for $12.30 and $0.558 respectively.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.52 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 61%.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-price-hits-50k-after-bullish-outlook-from-citigroup-and-goldman-sachs

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Goldman Sachs Plans to Relaunch Its Cryptocurrency Trading Desk

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Reports on Reuters today revealed that American multinational investment bank, Goldman Sachs, will offer bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards on behalf of its clients starting next week.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the move is part of the bank’s effort to take advantage of the fast-growing crypto space, which is gradually becoming an investment of choice for institutional players. 

Notably, the bank is also considering developing a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) soon as part of its commitment to fully venture into the industry. 

Based on this regard, the unnamed source noted that Goldman Sachs had already “issued a request for information to explore digital asset custody.” 

Goldman’s First Shot At Crypto

In late 2017, Goldman Sachs became the first Wall Street biggest firm to ever consider offering crypto-related products, as the bank was planning to open a cryptocurrency desk.

At the time, the Wall Street financial institution was working on how to address security challenges associated with the business, as well as how it would custody the assets.

Plans were on the way for the launch slated for late 2018 when reports emerged in September that same year that the bank has chosen not to offer crypto-related investments. 

Sources said that the bank dropped its crypto plans due to the regulatory concerns associated with the industry, with regulators breathing down the neck of most projects. 

The issue of regulatory uncertainty has been the major stumbling block that hindered several institutional players from getting involved with cryptocurrencies. 

Interestingly, there have been clearer regulations in recent times luring institutional investors like Microstrategy and Tesla. 

The entrance of these large corporations has given other institutional investors the greenlight that crypto is safe compared to how it was viewed in 2018. 

Thus it could be the reason Goldman Sach is making plans to restart its cryptocurrency trading desk in earnest.

A Change Of Heart? 

However, Goldman Sachs’ second shot at launching a cryptocurrency trading desk comes less than a year after the bank told its clients during a conference call that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are not an asset class.

Reports at the time suggested that part of the reason for the call was to discourage its customers from including bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in their portfolio.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/goldman-sachs-plans-to-relaunch-its-cryptocurrency-trading-desk/

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Bitcoin Still Has an Uncertain Future: Citibank Analysts

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In a 100-page deep-dive report dubbed “Bitcoin, at the Tipping Point,” Citibank’s global perspectives and solutions team noted that the cryptocurrency could potentially “become the currency of choice for international trade.”

The analysts acknowledged that the massive interest shown by several large institutional investors like Tesla, Microstrategy, and PayPal is one of the major propellants for the digital asset gaining mainstream adoption.

The team further noted that several other factors, including a wide range of digital payment options like stablecoins and Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), could also increase the chances of bitcoin adoption for cross-border settlements.

An Uncertain Future

The report also pointed out that a side-by-side comparison of the risks associated with bitcoin and the opportunities it presents makes it very easy to conclude that the digital asset is at a tipping point.

They wrote:

 “There are a host of risks and obstacles that stand in the way of Bitcoin progress… Weighing the potential hurdles against the opportunities leads to the conclusion that Bitcoin is at a tipping point… Bitcoin’s future is thus still uncertain, but developments in the near term are likely to prove decisive as the currency balances at the tipping point of mainstream acceptance or a speculative implosion.”

Bitcoin Going Mainstream Already 

The concluding part of the report quoted the famous philosopher, Schopenhauer, who said,

“All Truths pass through three stages, first it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

The team states that the positive change in stance on issues about bitcoin by several financial institutions very well prove these words of Schopenhauer, which he said more than 150 years before the bitcoin idea was born.

Several banks had actively shunned bitcoin in the past, arguing that it has no intrinsic value as it is allegedly backed by mere speculations from its proponents.

However, bitcoin’s immense growth has forced its former critics to re-evaluate their stance and join the bitcoin adoption trend. Some of the biggest banks in the world have started offering bitcoin services to their clients.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-still-has-an-uncertain-future-citibank-analysts/

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