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Friday Focus: Moon Landing

Coinbase, Visa, Bitcoin Transactions, CBDCs, and news from #CryptoPH news.

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Good morning. Bitcoin just went crazy and even went as high as $23,000, where it currently is. It appears trying to not just land on the moon, but stay there in preparation for another leg up.

Welcome to Friday Focus, part of our new series: BitPinas Daily. We will look at the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum and the major cryptocurrencies. Crypto is global, but sometimes news that matters happens while we sleep. So we bring to you what’s happening in our space here and abroad. 

Market Price as of December 18, 2020:

Bitcoin $22,841 5.8%
Ethereum $649.98 0.9%
XRP $0.59 4.9%
Tether $1.00 0.2%
Litecoin $111.27 20.6%
SLP $0.027 -14.7%

Bitcoin closed December 17, 2020, at $22,841 per BTC. We’re up 26% in the last 7 days and 222% since the year began. This is the new all-time high.

Bitcoin’s market capitalization stands today at $428,266,070,510 which is 64.6% of the entire cryptocurrency market. 

Just in case you want to buy or sell Bitcoin now, we’ve rounded up the virtual currency exchanges and P2P marketplaces where you can do that locally.

Table of Contents.

Philippines: #CryptoPH

17 virtual currency exchanges in the Philippines

The BSP updated its list of virtual currency exchanges in the Philippines. We know about Appsolutely but we didn’t know about TopJuan Tech. Also, VHCEX and Telcoin were removed. Here’s everything we know about the licensed VCEs

PacPay to launch next year

PacPay or Manny Transfer? Ano ba mas bagay?

Senator Pacquiao’s company Pac Technologies is launching Pac Pay next year with the aim of increasing financial inclusion in the country. We have an article coming up soon but check out our 2019 article about Pac Token and PacPay here.

Should Bitcoin also become a central bank reserve asset?

Atty. Rafael Padilla kick starts the conversation on whether central banks should consider putting Bitcoin in its reserve assets. Read here: Counterweight: The Case for Bitcoin as Central Bank Reserve Asset

Bicol-based SparkPoint does Defi

SparkPoint, a crypto and blockchain company in Bicol has been busy with a new roadmap for SparkDefi, its governance-based DeFi platform. You can read more about it here. You can also check out the 2019 Year in Review article that the SparkPoint team contributed to BitPinas last year: Local Action, National Vision (2019 Bicol Blockchain and Crypto Year in Review)

Exchanges

Coinbase says it filed to go public.

Amid months of speculation and rumors, Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange confirmed that it has filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to go public. 

In a statement, Coinbase said it expects its draft registration filing to become effective after the SEC completes its review process. The company did not give further details beyond that.

Coinbase was last valued at $8 billion in 2018 after it received funding of $300 million from films like Tiger Global Management.

Industry pundits say this is a “watershed moment” for the digital currency industry now that the entire crypto market cap is at $663 billion. Analysts suggest it would also provide a way for investors to bet on the crypto industry without betting on a  specific asset. (Bloomberg)

Bitcoin Transactions

Bitcoin transaction fees doubled this week.

Bitcoin fees are up, thanks to all activities happening right now on the Bitcoin blockchain. According to BitInfoCharts, the average cost to send a Bitcoin transaction was $2.7 last Sunday. Yesterday, average cost to send was $5.

But you thought the whole point of Bitcoin was to make transactions cheaper? I actually have a whole article about transaction fees written all the way back to December 2017, the time of the previous bull run. Transaction fees at that time reached as much $55! If you are inclined to know more, please check “Why Bitcoin Transaction Fees are High and Ways to Ease Cost.”

With Bitcoin at all-time high levels, these transaction fees could still be higher in the future before it normalizes (hopefully) again. (Decrypt)

Central Bank Digital Currencies

Visa proposes method for offline digital currency payments.

Central banks around the world, including the BSP, are researching central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Visa has released a research paper exploring how CBDCs could be used to make offline transactions. 

Visa’s proposal is a system that would use “open source technology and public key infrastructure” so transaction messages could be signed without the need to be connected to the internet. 

Note that some countries have already launched CBDCs albeit in trial phases.

In the Philippines, the House of Representatives recently consolidated 4 bills that aim to promote CBDCs and e-payments. But the BSP was firm: No CBDCs until at least 2023. (Decrypt)

What Else is Happening?

  • Crypto Bankis are the sector’s game-changers (Cointelegraph)
  • Bitcoin is ‘more religion than solution’ says Billionaire Mark Cuban (Cointelegraph)
  • Compound’s new blockchain readiesDeFi for central bank digital currencies (Coindesk)
  • Seychelles, longtime home of BitMEX is bending to U.S. pressure on KYC (Coindesk)

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Blockchain

Bitcoin can be purchased with MoneyGram using Coinme ATM operators

TL;DR Breakdown • MoneyGram will work with physical cryptocurrencies.• Coinme expects to expand its crypto operations globally by 2022. The North American money transfer company, MoneyGram, announced its merger with Bitcoin last Wednesday. This company will allow its clients to buy in Bitcoin and withdraw their holdings of the crypto converted into cash. This measure […]

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TL;DR Breakdown

• MoneyGram will work with physical cryptocurrencies.
• Coinme expects to expand its crypto operations globally by 2022.

The North American money transfer company, MoneyGram, announced its merger with Bitcoin last Wednesday. This company will allow its clients to buy in Bitcoin and withdraw their holdings of the crypto converted into cash. This measure is applied globally so the Bitcoin investor will have freedom in withdrawing cash.

This news has captivated many merchants with a long relationship with North American banking. For the process to complete, MoneyGram had to partner with Coinme, the largest crypto exchange in the United States. With this huge collaboration, Coinme promises to support over 20 thousand physical locations in the country.

Coinme and its partnership with MoneyGram to give Bitcoin

Bitcoin

Alex Holmen, SEO at MoneyGram, said this partnership with Coinme opens up a new space for crypto investors to profit. The company wants the digital currency to become a fiat currency, such as the dollar or the euro. However, the volatility of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is not compared to that of local currencies.

The new service will be rolled out to all MoneyGram locations in the United States in the coming months. Coinme also plans to take this method globally, partnering with other crypto exchange companies.

MoneyGram points out that it has 150 million users around the world. This popularity of the company will increase as the new Bitcoin withdrawal system is known.

MoneyGram joins the Bitcoin business with other companies

The American company was founded in 1940, and its headquarters are in Dallas, Texas. MoneyGram competes with Western Union to be the best national and international transaction company.

For the year 2017, MoneyGram became interested in cryptocurrencies, and since then, it has grown in popularity. Although the company’s guidelines with handling Bitcoin are not clear, their intentions could be very good.

The international transaction company joins the crypto game after other similar companies have seemingly invaded. For February, Mastercard said it would support cryptocurrencies starting this new year. This slight attraction is achieved after Bitcoin had a rise that would take it to reach its all-time high in price.

But PayPal also announced that it would work with Bitcoin to make the purchase/sale more secure. These American crypto pioneers are making good decisions that attract traders. Since October of last year, cryptocurrencies can be bought in the PayPal wallet.

MoneyGram will release an official statement when its crypto transactions are approved. After the announcement, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are expected to increase in value and reach new all-time highs.

Going from buying digital to physical cryptocurrencies can be a great idea and provide secure storage. Coinme has a great reputation in American exchange banking and is a great partnership with Moneygram.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.cryptopolitan.com/bitcoin-can-be-purchased-with-moneygram/>

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Goldman Sachs executive resigns after making a fortune from Dogecoin

TL;DR Breakdown Aziz McMahon makes fortune from Doge investment Doge metric rise over the year Aziz McMahon is another person who has hit the jackpot thanks to his Dogecoin crypto investment, as he reportedly made millions from the meme coin. The London-based executive took a bow from his job with the bank after working with […]

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TL;DR Breakdown

  • Aziz McMahon makes fortune from Doge investment
  • Doge metric rise over the year

Aziz McMahon is another person who has hit the jackpot thanks to his Dogecoin crypto investment, as he reportedly made millions from the meme coin.

The London-based executive took a bow from his job with the bank after working with the financial institution for more than 14 years, his LinkedIn profile shows, according to eFinancialCareers.

According to the site, McMahon might be starting a hedge fund that cited sources at Goldman as he is yet to respond to requests for comment, but Goldman confirmed his departure to Insider.

Also, the exact amount McMahon made from his Dogecoin holdings was not made public. Sources claimed that it was a substantial sum, pointing out that DOGE rallied over 1,000% in value this year.

The former Goldman Sachs executive made his Dogecoin fortune trading with a personal account and was not affiliated to Goldman Sachs.

Dogecoin metric rise over the year

Although at press time, the meme coin is on a decline and has been over the past seven days, however, this does not diminish the success the meme coin has enjoyed so far in the year.

The meme coin has recorded landmark gains outstripping the largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC), in the number of related internet search queries.

Doge has emerged as the fastest-growing digital currency since 2021, began posting up to 13,500% growth year-to-date, and surging from just $0.005 to an all-time high of $0.68 on May 7.

Dogecoin’s recent tumble came after Musk called the meme token a “hustle” on SNL, adding that it’s “as real” as a dollar bill. However, the meme coin is having a run for its recent surge as a clone, and rival coin, Shiba Inu, has been surging above it recently.

The coin has broken to a new ATH but has seen a 13 percent decline at press time.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.cryptopolitan.com/banker-resigns-after-fortune-from-dogecoin/>

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BitMEX Executives to Face Trial in March 2022

BitMEX’s former executives Arthur Hayes, Benjamin Delo, and Samuel Reed will face trial in March 28th, 2022.

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The executives of the derivatives trading platform – BitMEX – will face trial in March next year. The money laundering case will come 18 months after charges were first filed. The former members of BitMEX can face up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if found guilty.

The Trio Heads to Trial

Last year, US officials accused the CEO of the company Arthur Hayes, the co-founder Benjamin Delo, and the chief technology officer Samuel Reed of violating the Bank Secrecy Act. Moreover, the members of BitMEX were served with money-laundering charges.

On May 11th – 18 months after the first accusations against them – New York District Judge John Koeltl set the trial date for March 28th, 2022. Furthermore, Gregory Dwyer – BitMEX’s head of business development – also faces charges but will appear in court separately.

Even though the company’s headquarters are in the Seychelles, the US Department of Justice accused BitMEX of failing to apply anti-money laundering procedures while doing business with US-based customers.

Interestingly enough, the ex-CEO of BitMEX – Arthur Hayes – said that the exotic island was a more convenient place for business as it was much easier to bribe Seychelles’ authorities rather than the US ones. The former executives of the cryptocurrency exchange could face a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


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Where Was Arthur Hayes?

Attorney Jessica Greenwood told the court that Hayes has ”discussed a surrender date of April 6th, 2021 in Hawaii.” She added that ”the plan is to notify the Court in advance of that appearance and discuss logistics” around his submission.

As CryptoPotato reported, even after his remote announcement Hayes continued to reside abroad and explained that he would only visit the United States whenever has to face the trial in New York.

In the end, the former BitMEX CEO indeed turned himself in on April 6th, 2021. However, the officials released him on a $10 million bond pending the future court process.

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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitmex-executives-to-face-trial-in-march-2022/

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