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Pandemic Will Speed Bitcoin Adoption, Says DBS Bank Economist

When it comes to bitcoin, Singapore’s DBS Bank sees a “pandemic-led acceleration of adoption.”

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“A pandemic-led acceleration of adoption.” 

That’s how Singapore-based DBS Bank describes the current state of digital assets in its quarterly report on cryptocurrencies published in August.

It’s interesting to hear such an observation from a respected multinational bank and its chief economist, Taimur Baig. However, there have lately been murmurings about certain large financial institutions – particularly in places like Singapore, Switzerland and Germany – fielding a new wave of demand for crypto, filtering through from smaller private banks and wealthy clients.

On the subject of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC), Baig identified two distinct phases of demand: pre-pandemic and post-pandemic.

“Pre-pandemic demand was largely speculative. People saw bitcoin had a spectacular run and wanted to be part of that game, so what’s wrong with putting in 1% of assets under management [into BTC],” Baig said in an interview. “But I think post-pandemic is beyond speculative. It’s more about, ‘This thing has fixed circulation, it will not be debased.’ People are worried about dollar outflow and wondering if they should hold crypto in addition to gold as a safe-haven currency.”

Read more: Bitcoin’s Correlation With Gold Hits Record High

DBS isn’t the only bank to notice this trend. Singapore-based digital asset bank Sygnum, which holds a banking license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, echoed this view.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19 there has been increased interest from family offices and private individuals who see digital assets as an alternative and a way to protect against a worrying inflation risk,” said Martin Burgherr, co-head of clients at Sygnum Bank. “Now that banks are awakening from the lockdown, we have had a significant uptick in national and international banks asking us to help in a B2B setup, to enable their clients to invest in digital assets.”

Digital gold

Baig – who has previously held senior economist roles at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Deutsche Bank and the International Monetary Fund – likes to zoom out and take a macro view of digital currencies and the potential play of central bank digital currencies (CBDC).

There has been a steady rise in gold, while fixed-income yields are heading towards zero, Baig said, and such conditions have also caused “bitcoin to come back quite convincingly.”

Read more: PTJ on BTC: Bitcoin Is Now the Macro Big Bet

It’s tempting to look at bitcoin through the lens of foreign exchange (FX), as yet another currency with an exchange rate against the U.S. dollar. But this is mistaken, Baig said, since a regular sovereign currency has accepted economic means of evaluation that determine productivity and long-term growth.

“You can’t value cryptocurrencies like that,” Baig said. “While they can have this credibility with a system-based circulation, they’re still not attached to a country’s fortune. So, of course, they will not go and up and down the way the U.S. economy goes up and down. From that perspective, it’s more akin to gold than an FX in my view.”

Dollar pegging

For countries experiencing a currency crisis or episode of hyperinflation, pegging to the U.S. dollar may bring some short-term credibility, but it doesn’t work out well for a lot of currencies, Baig noted, adding:

“If you look at Venezuela or even Lebanon, which is in the middle of a massive financial crisis, could you, at some point going forward, conceive that instead of linking your currency to the U.S. dollar, you link it to a cryptocurrency?” 

Provided that transactions can be viewed on the blockchain there are possibilities, said Baig. “As long as it’s tied to a limited-circulation currency, I see some similarities between that sort of anchoring versus anchoring against the US. dollar,” he said.

Digitizing the redback

The topic of CBDCs is also highly politicized, particularly between the U.S. and China.

There are two dimensions to think about when it comes to China and its CBDC efforts at “digitizing the redback,” said Baig. Firstly, a digital renminbi (e-RMB) is a way that China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), can exercise some control over the country’s sprawling fintech ecosystem. 

“There’s so much going on at the Alipay, Tencent level,” Baig said. “Deposits are being made by those fintechs, they are extending credit, so it doesn’t really matter what PBoC does with respect to interest rates. It’s like a whole parallel universe.”

Read more: China’s Digital Currency May Come With Hardware Wallets as Well

The other dimension concerns the potential for an e-RMB to become a way for certain countries to bypass the U.S. dollar settlement mechanism, which makes them “somehow answerable to the Southern District [Court] in New York” or the Securities and Exchange Commission,” said Baig. 

“The U.S. dollar has been used repeatedly as a weapon against Iran against other countries and also against China,” he said. “I think now with U.S.-China tensions so high the case for e-RMB becomes even more compelling.”

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Source: https://www.coindesk.com/dbs-bitcoin-crypto-pandemic

Blockchain

GBA Healthcare Working Group Releases White Paper as First Asset inBlockchain Ethical Design Framework for Healthcare

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WASHINGTON, DC –March 2021

Beginning early 2020, theGovernment Blockchain Association (GBA) Healthcare Working Group (HWG)began undertaking the development of an ethical design framework for blockchain solutions in the healthcare industry as a service to the public. The GBA HWG is releasing the first asset in the Blockchain Ethical Design (BED) Framework for Healthcare in the form of a White Paper.

We are excited to offer this guidance to healthcare policymakers, decision-makers and innovators in implementing blockchain featured technology in the healthcare space. The BED Framework for Healthcareis being developed collaboratively by members in the HWG including caregivers, entrepreneurs, healthcare technologists and legal professionals from around the world. We cover a comprehensive spectrum of use cases, regulatory and legal scenarios, and procedural insights based on real world experience in healthcare technology innovation. This White Paper is only the first asset in a suite of guiding tools the GBA HWG will be releasing through 2021, and we are looking forward to the feedback of our audience.” –Marquis Allen, GBA Healthcare Working Group Chair

The purpose of this publication is to:

  • Identify potential ethical issues of blockchain used in health service delivery
  • Discuss potential ethical issues for stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem including regulatory and compliance segments
  • Propose a conceptual framework of blockchain ethics as it applies specifically to its design, implementation and use in healthcare.
  • Create an outlinefrom which the Blockchain Ethical Design (BED) Framework for Healthcare and its assets, tools, documents and content will be developed by the GBA HWG.
  • Raise awareness and stimulate further debate on the ethics of blockchain in the healthcare IT,health system governance and regulatory communities.

The GBA invites you to contact them for more information.

Learn more about the GBA: gbaglobal.org

For more information about the GBA Healthcare Working Group: gbaglobal.org/HWG

To download the whitepaper: gbaglobal.org/download

Contact: Kathy Dache @ Kathy.Dache@gbaglobal.org

________________________________________________________________________

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Blockchain

Big Data Protocol Staking Surges Over $6 Billion in Latest DeFi Frenzy

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Boasting three and four-digit annual percentage yields, Big Data Protocol (BDP) has become the latest DeFi frenzy as total liquidity on the protocol has skyrocketed to $6.1 billion just two days after liquidity mining incentives were launched.

The protocol announced its fair launch on March 6 where 100% of the initial circulating supply, which is 30% of the total of its BDP token, will be distributed to the community over six days. It is backed by a team of technologists, crypto investors, and data scientists and designed to incentivize liquidity mining over the long term.

There are liquidity pools for twelve different DeFi assets and they have attracted a lot of collateral in just two days.

Big Returns for DeFi Stakers

Over a million ETH has been deposited in the wrapped Ethereum pool according to the BDP data vault, earning an APY of 40%. Almost 17,000 BTC is currently in the wBTC pool earning 82% APY while the Tether vault has gained 728 million USDT earning 96%.

The top earning pools are boasting four digit returns with OCEAN at 1,375% and TOMOE at 1,315% at the time of writing.

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A blog post explaining the tokenomics elaborated:

“Users provide liquidity to earn bALPHA over the course of 3 months. Subsequent data tokens, named bBETA and bGAMMA, will launch after bALPHA, which will further incentivize liquidity.”

A portion of BDP and data tokens are burnt as the usage of the Protocol and marketplace grows over time, it added.

The total supply of 80 million tokens will be divided as follows: 30% distributed in the initial six day yield farming incentive, 35% allocated to future staking rewards, 25% held as an ecosystem reserve, and 10% to the team and advisors.

The bALPHA data token will have a total supply of just 18,000 tokens which will all be allocated to liquidity mining rewards. Two more data token sets, bBETA and bGAMMA, will be announced in due course the blog post added.

BDP Price Update

At the time of writing, BDP was trading at $5.85, falling 19% on the day after hitting a peak of just over $14 on Sunday, March 7.

The bALPHA price is a little over $10,000 per token after skyrocketing to over $40,000 at the weekend according to Coingecko.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/big-data-protocol-staking-surges-over-6-billion-in-latest-defi-frenzy/

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Blockchain

TA: Bitcoin Turns Attractive Above $50K, Why BTC Extend Its Rally

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Bitcoin price gained bullish momentum above the $50,000 resistance against the US Dollar. BTC traded towards $52,000 and it remains supported for more upsides.

  • Bitcoin started a fresh increase above the $50,000 and $50,500 resistance levels.
  • The price is now trading well above $50,000 and the 100 hourly simple moving average.
  • There is a key rising channel forming with support at $50,500 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The pair could correct a few points, but the bulls are likely to protect $50,000 and $49,500.

Bitcoin Price Starts Fresh Increase

After a strong close above the $48,000 level, bitcoin started a fresh increase. BTC was able to clear the key $50,000 and $50,500 resistance levels to move into a positive zone.

There was also a break above a major bearish trend line with resistance near $48,400 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. The pair extended its rise above the $51,000 level and traded to a new weekly high at $51,853.

It is now correcting lower, but it is trading well above $50,000 and the 100 hourly simple moving average. An initial support is near the $50,750 level. It is close to the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the upward wave from the $47,141 swing low to $51,853 high.

Bitcoin Price

Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

There is also a key rising channel forming with support at $50,500 on the same chart. The next major support is near the $50,000 level. Any more losses may possibly lead the price towards the 50% Fib retracement level of the upward wave from the $47,141 swing low to $51,853 high near $49,500. The main support is now forming near the $48,800 level and the 100 hourly simple moving average.

More Upsides in BTC?

If bitcoin stays above $50,500 and $49,500, it could start a fresh increase. An initial resistance on the upside is near the $51,500 level. The first major resistance is near the $52,000 level.

A successful close above the $52,000 resistance level could open the doors for a larger increase in the coming sessions. The next major resistance could be $53,200, followed by $54,500.

Technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD is now gaining momentum in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is now well above the 50 level.

Major Support Levels – $50,500, followed by $50,000.

Major Resistance Levels – $51,500, $52,000 and $53,200.

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Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/analysis/btc/bitcoin-turns-attractive-above-50k/

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