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Price volatility strengthens public opinion against Bitcoin in El Salvador

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Price volatility strengthens public opinion against Bitcoin in El Salvador

Price volatility strengthens public opinion against Bitcoin in El Salvador Samuel Wan 路 9 hours ago 2 min read

Recent volatility has cast further doubt on the Bitcoin experiment, but El Salvador’s risk exposure remain low.

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Updated: June 20, 2022 at 7:48 pm

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The recent volatility in Bitcoin and the broader crypto market has strengthened public opinion against the leading cryptocurrency, adding to the narrative that the country鈥檚 Bitcoin experiment has failed, Julio Sevilla, a professor at the University of Georgia, told NPR.

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Recent volatility saw Bitcoin sink to聽 $17,600, below the previous cycle peak for the first time in its history, triggering further bearish sentiment. In conjunction with a deteriorating macroeconomic environment, namely rising inflation and the prospect of more rate rises, many predict worse is to come.

A Sunday relief rally took BTC back above the psychologically significant $20,000 level, but how long this holds is open for debate.

El Salvador鈥檚 Bitcoin exposure will not bankrupt the country

El Salvador made history in September 2021 by becoming the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender. President Bukele promoted the idea by declaring it a new era of economic opportunity for the Central American country, stating:

鈥淚t will bring financial inclusion, investment, tourism, innovation and economic development for our country.鈥

Fast forward to now, and BTC is down over 60% compared to when the Bitcoin Law passed. Critics argue that President Bukele, and the lawmakers who voted for the law, played fast and loose with public finances.

Commenting on this, Sevilla said $150 million of public funds were used to invest in the experiment. With this representing just 4% of the country鈥檚 reserves, the government would not be bankrupt in the unlikely event of BTC going to zero.

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However, Sevilla added that the amount invested is still not a sum to be taken for granted, especially as the country鈥檚 finances were already in a precarious position, to begin with, stating:

鈥淪o it is obviously not an amount that they can take for granted, but it鈥檚 not an amount that will necessarily, you know, bankrupt the country. The GDP is $25 billion right now.鈥

President Bukele remains popular

Citing recent studies on the popularity of BTC among Salvadorians, Sevilla said although two-thirds of the population downloaded the Chivo Wallet, this mainly was to access the free $30 incentive. Now the dust has settled, just 20% of those who did sign up remain using the app. Sevilla added:

鈥淪o the idea of bitcoin doesn鈥檛 seem to be very popular among the majority of the people of El Salvador.鈥

Despite that, President Bukele remains a popular figure among the electorate. The problem with that, said Sevilla, is the lack of pushback, in effect creating an echo chamber, to 鈥渢hese eccentric initiatives.鈥 He added:

鈥淚nterestingly, his popularity, at least until recently, continued to go up to a level of the 70s, 80%. So in Congress, basically, he can do anything he wants because, you know, his party has the qualified majority, and his legislators are very loyal to him.鈥

Regarding the consequences of Bitcoin adoption, the professor thought it valid to bring in the friction between El Salvador and the IMF. Sevilla said it was short-sighted to agitate the IMF as the country is heavily indebted to them.

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Goldman Sachs looks to buy Celsius鈥 assets for $2B as it is advised to file for bankruptcy

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Goldman Sachs looks to buy Celsius鈥 assets for $2B as it is advised to file for bankruptcy

Goldman Sachs looks to buy Celsius鈥 assets for $2B as it is advised to file for bankruptcy Liam ‘Akiba’ Wright 路 9 hours ago 2 min read

Goldman Sachs is seeking investors to raise $2B to buy Celsius assets if it files for bankruptcy following recent liquidity issues

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Updated: June 25, 2022 at 3:19 am

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Goldman Sachs is allegedly shopping around for investors to form a web3 fund to purchase Celsius assets.

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The multinational investment bank is raising $2 billion from a wide range of funds to take advantage of a potential discount on Celsius crypto assets.

Should Celsius be forced to file for bankruptcy, it may be required to sell off its assets quickly to pay back any creditors. The exchange has allegedly already been advised to file for bankruptcy by Citigroup and Akin Group.

The news was initially reported by Coin Desk, which cites people familiar with the matter as the source of information.

The struggling exchange reportedly had over $11 billion in assets as of May 2022, meaning if Goldman Sachs could purchase all of Celsius鈥 assets, it would be paying just 20 cents on the dollar. Whether the group is looking to take Celsius on as a going concern or strip and sell its assets is unknown at this time.

Celsius also received an unsolicited offer from rival exchange Nexo on June 12, which was not accepted. However, Coin Desk reported that Citigroup had been brought in to assess the deal. Nexo has over 4 million users compared to Celisus鈥 1.7 million who claimed

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鈥淣exo is in 邪 solid liquidity and equity position to readily acquire any remaining qualifying assets of Celsius, mainly their collateralized loan portfolio.鈥

The proposal to purchase Celsius鈥 鈥渃ollateralized loan portfolio鈥 is likely to have a similar focus to any potential Goldman Sachs offer. Investors currently without access to their funds held in custody with Celsius may not be enthused by Goldman Sach鈥檚 approach.

Upon filing for bankruptcy, a schedule would be created determining the order in which creditors are repaid. Investors will be hoping they will be paid out first, but there are no guarantees.

Celsius hired 鈥渞estructuring attorneys from law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP to advise on possible solutions for its mounting financial problems.鈥 The move may signal the end of Celsius, which has been silent on the issue since June 20.

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Bentley Motors gears up to drop its Genesis NFT collection on Polygon

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Bentley Motors gears up to drop its Genesis NFT collection on Polygon

Bentley Motors gears up to drop its Genesis NFT collection on Polygon Jinia Shawdagor 路 2 hours ago 1 min read

Bentley believes NFTs can help transform the luxury automotive space just like they disrupted the art industry.

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Updated: June 24, 2022 at 7:02 am

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British luxury car manufacturer Bentley Motors Limited is dipping its toes into the Web3 ecosystem with the launch of a non-fungible token (NFT) collection on Ethereum scaling platform Polygon, the company announced today.

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Today we announce our first venture into the NFT marketplace with a one-time NFT drop on the carbon-neutral @0xPolygon network, scheduled for September 2022 and limited to just 208 pieces. Discover more: https://t.co/hWnrz69L4g pic.twitter.com/ppSqq5MRAS

鈥 Bentley Motors (@BentleyMotors) June 22, 2022

According to the announcement, the one-time NFT collection is set to drop in September 2022 and will feature 208 pieces only. The number of NFTs is symbolic in that it represents the highest speed of Bentley鈥檚 fastest Grand Tourer 鈥 the Continental GT Speed. 208 also represents the total number of the 1952 R-Type Continental.

Building a greener future

Bentley Design will be in charge of creating the NFT collection. Collectors that purchase the NFTs will get unique access and rewards from Bentley. The car manufacturer did not disclose the NFTs鈥 price tag.

However, Bentley promised to direct the sale鈥檚 proceeds towards supporting students interested in engineering, design, and manufacturing. Additionally, the company plans to use the funds to support organizations that push for sustainability, especially in the transportation industry.

The car manufacturer chose to drop its NFT collection on Polygon because the network is carbon neutral. Per the announcement, the Bentley NFTs will be eco-friendly, helping the company build on its commitment to achieving end-to-end carbon neutrality by 2030.

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NFTs continue catching on among vehicle manufacturers

Through today鈥檚 announcement, Bentley has become the second automobile company to enter the NFT market. Hyundai came first after collaborating with NFT project Meta Kongz in April. This partnership is part of Hyundai鈥檚 Metamobility, the company鈥檚 concept of the metaverse.

Hyundai and Meta Kongz marked the partnership by launching 30 limited edition Hyundai x Meta Kongz NFTs.

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Conservative MP Matt Hancock advocates for 鈥渁ttractive鈥 tax and regulatory regimes in the U.K.

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Conservative MP Matt Hancock advocates for 鈥渁ttractive鈥 tax and regulatory regimes in the U.K.

Conservative MP Matt Hancock advocates for 鈥渁ttractive鈥 tax and regulatory regimes in the U.K. Abdulrasaq Ariwoola 路 7 hours ago 2 min read

The Conservative MP Matt Hancock stated that the UK needs to be more liberal in its approach to crypto regulation. Looking to “Regulate for growth,”.

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Updated: June 24, 2022 at 4:59 am

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Conservative MP and crypto advocate Matt Hancock in a keynote speech delivered at Crypto A.M.鈥檚聽4th anniversary on June 22 called for a crypto-friendly tax and regulatory regime. Despite the extreme downturn in the market, the MP argued that the UK should be liberal in its approach to crypto regulation.

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He stated that the UK needs to introduce an 鈥渁ttractive鈥 tax system and regulatory regime to become a 鈥渏urisdiction of choice for crypto.鈥 The tax and regulatory regime, he said, needed to be dealt with quickly.

He argued that a stable and attractive tax regime gives space for growth rather than stifling it. Also, he stated that achieving this requires a proactive attitude and 鈥渢hat a smaller part of something is worth more than a larger share of nothing.鈥

The conservative MP further urged that the UK should not walk around crypto on eggshells. Rather than be concerned about failure, 鈥渞egulate for growth, for high-quality,鈥 he said.

Crypto Matt Hancock

The former health secretary is a long-term advocate of crypto adoption in the UK and has continued to be despite the extreme market downturn.

Speaking on the recent crypto crash, he said:

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鈥淭he underlying technology is so powerful. Just because the Dotcom bubble crashed in 2001, we didn鈥檛 discredit the internet as a technology.鈥

He compared the restricted adoption of crypto to the struggles of the internet in the 1990s. He stated that crypto would need to break similar barriers and prejudice.

The MP has also canvassed for the adoption of crypto as an enabler of growth. Stating 鈥淏ritain succeeds when it embraces new technology,鈥. Cryptocurrency could 鈥渕ake financial systems more transparent and reduce crime.鈥

However, the MP publicly mentioned that he does not hold any crypto-asset because 鈥渉e wants to be able to talk freely about it.鈥

Likewise, Rishi Sunak, the chancellor of the exchequer in April outlined a plan to make the UK 鈥渁 global cryptoasset hub.鈥 The plan also included legislating on the use of stablecoins and for the Royal Mint to create an NFT.

Continued crypto restriction in the UK

The FCA on the other hand has doubled down on its effort to regulate crypto use in the UK. The regular has repeatedly warned against the risk of crypto investments, especially as the market has declined this year.

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However, the FCA held its first CryptoSprint in May which many termed as the regulator exploring the crypto ecosystem. In a statement released on its website, it stated that the CryptoSprint explored issues facing the crypto world and how the FCA can support and balance innovation with standards that protect consumers.鈥

Also, the U.K. recently made a turnaround on its proposed KYC rule for users transacting with unhosted or private wallets.

However, Matt Hancock is as critical of the restricted regulations as he is a cryptocurrency advocate. Mentioning 鈥淚 hate the patronising idea of regulators telling people what they can and can鈥檛 do with their money,鈥.

On that note, he also remarked his opinions on the role of a regulator:

鈥淭he job of the regulators is to make sure there is high-quality information and that the market functions effectively. What remit does the state have to tell them what they can and can鈥檛 invest in? I think that鈥檚 incredibly patronizing,鈥

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