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Top Regulator Says US Banks Can Use Stablecoins for Payments

A federal financial regulator is informing US banks that they can adopt new technologies such as stablecoins for their payment functions. In a new letter offering guidance to financial institutions, Jonathan Gould of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) says banks can use stablecoins for payments while serving as a node on […]

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A federal financial regulator is informing US banks that they can adopt new technologies such as stablecoins for their payment functions.

In a new letter offering guidance to financial institutions, Jonathan Gould of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) says banks can use stablecoins for payments while serving as a node on an independent node verification networks (INVN).

“INVNs and related stablecoins represent new technological means of carrying out bank-permissible payment activities. We therefore conclude that a bank may validate, store, and record payments transactions by serving as a node on an INVN. Likewise, a bank may use INVNs and related stablecoins to carry out other permissible payment activities.”

The OCC says banks may buy and sell stablecoins as well as issue their own coins to facilitate payments. The largest dollar-pegged stablecoin currently is Tether (USDT) with a market capitalization of over $22 billion. USD Coin (USDC) follows with a market cap of over $4 billion.

The OCC adds that any stablecoin arrangement that a bank chooses to engage itself in must fulfill Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering policy requirements.

“… stablecoin arrangements ‘should have the capability to obtain and verify the identity of all transacting parties, including for those using unhosted wallets.’”

Gould says the benefits of stablecoins and independent node verification networks include enhancing efficiency, effectiveness and resiliency of payments provision.

He also warns of the demerits, saying that the use of cryptocurrencies in payment services increases compliance risks.

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Source: https://dailyhodl.com/2021/01/06/top-regulator-says-us-banks-can-use-stablecoins-for-payments/

Blockchain

Going long: 270K Bitcoin moved into storage in a month

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Despite surging prices, Bitcoin investors are rapidly locking up their BTC for the long-term, with 270,000 BTC being taken out of liquid supply in the last 30 days.

According to data published by crypto market data aggregator Glassnode, “liquid” Bitcoin wallets have shed 270,000 BTC over the past month, up from 175,000 Bitcoin at the start of January.

Bitcoin Monthly Liquid Supply Change. Source: Glassnode

The data shows that Bitcoin’s (BTC) liquid supply has consistently fallen over the last nine months, with liquid supply currently sitting at 21.3% and showing no signs of reversing.

Bitcoin’s increasingly illiquid supply could be bullish for its price, with new retail and institutional traders vying for an increasingly diminishing supply. Glassnode estimates that nearly 80% of the 18.6 million circulating Bitcoin are currently stored in “illiquid” wallets.

According to Glassnode, a Bitcoin wallet is considered illiquid if less than 25% of the Bitcoin received has been transferred out across the entity’s life. In contrast, to be deemed highly liquid, the majority of Bitcoin must be transferred back into circulation, with less than 25% of the inflows held onto.

Bitcoin liquidity supply. Source: Glassnode

Of the 3.9 million BTC Glassnode describes as being highly liquid, 61% or 2.38 million is held by centralized exchanges. Their balances have also been dropping, with data from analytics firm CryptoQuant indicating exchanges’ reserves have shrunk by 13.8% since July.

Increasing institutional investment may be a significant force driving the depletion of Bitcoin’s liquid supply, with wallet tracking service Bitcoin Treasuries currently estimates that 33 institutional entities have accumulated more than 1.2 million BTC or 6.5% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply.

In the last few days, Grayscale has increased its holdings by approximately 25,000 BTC with a portfolio of 641,523.7 BTC as of January 20, 2021. To put this in perspective, approximately 900 Bitcoin are minted each day. According to Glassnode, however, on average only one-third of those are actually being sent to exchanges since July 2020.

Data from Investment firm SwissBorg shows that in the second half of 2020, institutional investors purchased on average more than 230% of the newly minted BTC. Adding in the purchases from PayPal and Square (along with the estimated amount of Bitcoin lost each day) demand could be running as high as 500% of the new supply.

Earlier today, the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock filed with the SEC, listing Bitcoin Derivatives as a possible investment. The firm entered 2021 with $7.81 trillion in assets under management, more than seven times crypto’s entire market cap.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/going-long-270k-bitcoin-moved-into-storage-in-a-month

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Blockchain

Justin Roiland’s tokenized Rick and Morty ‘crypto art’ sells for $150,000

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Animator and video producer Justin Roiland’s tokenized art piece has been sold for $150,000 in a silent auction on 19 January. The art work titled “First Rick and Morty Crypto Art” was sold on Nifty Gateway, a non-fungible token marketplace. 

The Rick and Morty co-creator’s art piece is a part of his collection dubbed “The Best I Could Do.” The crypto art collection also includes other works inspired by popular shows such as The Simpsons, as well as the Rick and Morty series, among others.  

At press time, there were about six hours left for Roiland’s The Smintons” auction. According to Nifty Gateway, all proceeds from this ongoing auction will go toward helping the Los Angeles homeless encampments. 

An early adopter of the leading asset, Roiland went public with his Bitcoin endorsement back in 2015.

However, this is his first venture into the NFT art sector—one that has a niche audience that propelled the market to fame after enthusiasts poured in huge amounts on crypto art.

On 14 January, Nifty Gateway welcomed Roiland for his first ever crypto art release. His entire collection went live on Tuesday, 19 January.

Nifty Gateway, which is owned by Gemini, crypto exchange facilitates a significant volume of NFT sales almost every day. According to the market place, a Star Wars-themed tokenized artwork sold for $777,777, last year in December, on the platform. 

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/justin-roilands-tokenized-rick-and-morty-crypto-art-sells-for-150000

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Blockchain

After Notching A New All-Time High, Ethereum Is Now Eyeing $10,500: Fundstrat Financial Strategist

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After Notching A New All-Time High, Ethereum Is Now Eyeing $10,500: Fundstrat Financial Strategist

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Ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has been blossoming with decentralized finance, better known as DeFi, and some market pundits believe the cryptocurrency could see further upside after recently hitting a new lifetime high. 

An analyst at leading market research firm Fundstrat Global Advisors, David Grider, says ETH could easily surge more than seven-fold to $10,500 by year-end, as reported by Bloomberg.

Fundstrat Issues A $10,500 Target On ETH

Only four weeks after bitcoin (BTC) crossed past its old record high registered back in December 2017, the price of ethereum clocked a new all-time high on Tuesday. The cryptocurrency rallied past $1,400 after breaking out of a week-long consolidation period.

Now, the second-biggest crypto could advance further to make a new all-time high of $10,500. Grider’s target is based on the popularized DeFi sector that makes it possible for people to lend and borrow without the complexities of a third party. DeFi, in particular, makes a very strong case for the real-world utility of the ethereum blockchain.

The strategist noted that “blockchain computing may be the future of the cloud.” He added that the ethereum cryptocurrency is currently “the best risk/reward investment play in crypto”. 

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The ethereum 2.0 network upgrade adds credence to the optimistic outlook. The blockchain recently transitioned smoothly to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, an upgrade that promises high scalability and the ability to process awe-inspiring transactions just like card payment giants such as Mastercard and Visa, Grider observed.

The Beacon Chain went live early last month after months of delays. It should be noted that the launch set the stage for more transitions in the future that are aimed at making ethereum a blockchain network capable of supporting a new financial system. Grider believes that any delays to the forthcoming network upgrades could deal a heavy blow to the price of ethereum. Additionally, a crypto bear market could also pose a risk to his ETH rally forecast. 

What’s Next For Ethereum In The Short-term?

Ether has enjoyed a spectacular bull rally over the past couple of months. Its price rose from $305 lows in August 2020 to recently testing $1,437.

The price of ETH has, nevertheless, slipped since breaking records on Tuesday. The cryptocurrency is trading at $1,318.51 at press time, down 4.60% on the day.

After Notching A New All-Time High, Ethereum Is Now Eyeing $10,500: Fundstrat Financial Strategist
ETHUSD Chart By TradingView

ETH’s price trajectory in the short-term is largely dependent on the performance of the flagship cryptocurrency. This means that if BTC tumbles below the key $34K level, ETH and other altcoins may suffer a huge pullback. Similarly, if BTC recovers and soars to new highs, then ether and the altcoin market, in general, will likely start a fresh increase. 

Regardless, Fundstrat’s David Grider is confident that the world’s biggest altcoin is primed for massive gains in the course of 2021.


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The views expressed in the article are wholly those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, ZyCrypto. This article is not meant to give financial advice. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the various cryptocurrencies available.

Source: https://zycrypto.com/after-notching-a-new-all-time-high-ethereum-is-now-eyeing-10500-fundstrat-financial-strategist/

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