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Commentary: Will Bitcoin become mainstream currency in Singapore one day?

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SINGAPORE: We are seeing increased interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as the price of Bitcoin rebounded and plummeted, seeing a nearly ten fold price increase over a period of a year.

Bitcoin is to date the highest rated or most expensive cryptocurrency in the world and has grown by 276 percent in the last year alone, far ahead of others such as ether used on the Ethereum network.

It peaked in April of that year before dropping to almost half its value in June. Singapore investors are also keeping an eye on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, with traditional institutions such as banks launching blockchain funds to give their wealthy investors the opportunity to invest in cryptocurrencies.

We even see traditional companies like Kopitiam in Funan announcing that they will accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. According to Statista, there were eight Bitcoin ATMs in Singapore in January and about 51 companies that accept cryptocurrencies for payment.

BITCOIN AS A TRANSACTION CURRENCY

However, Bitcoin has several properties that make it unsuitable for use as a transactional currency.

Bitcoin’s volatility suggests that both consumers and merchants bear the exchange rate risk that arises from the need to change fiat currency to bitcoin.

For example, in 2010 we saw the first commercial transaction using bitcoin to buy a pair of pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins – what was about $ 40 at the time, would cost nearly $ 400 million today.

People use a smartphone app to pay bills with Bitcoin, shop for groceries, or get their hair cut, and make a direct online transfer to AFP / Stanley ESTRADA

The inefficiency of the blockchain with transactions that take hours or even days to be confirmed and the use of proof of work in Bitcoin mining also leads to excessive power consumption, leading to sustainability issues.

As a result, Bitcoin is unlikely to be widely used locally as a currency for transactions, although other forms of virtual currencies or stable coins with values ​​pegged to specific fiat currencies may find wider acceptance as a currency for transactions.

In addition, there is limited regulatory protection for cryptocurrency customers, which means that, unlike e-money stored on an EZ-Link card or bank account, cryptocurrency customers may lose the if the company goes bankrupt lose entire amount.

READ: Comment: Bitcoin is now legal tender in one country. Regret may soon follow

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In this regard, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has required cryptocurrency firms to provide clear and reasonable information to their customers, including merchants, so that all customers are aware of the risks.

Cryptocurrencies are neither legal tender nor securities. Instead, they are considered a commodity, just like trading cards that you can buy from vending machines or in shops. And as a good they can be used as a medium of exchange.

BITCOIN AS AN INVESTMENT

However, as high net worth investors are increasingly interested in adding cryptocurrencies to their investment portfolios, and mainstream banks such as DBS offer customers with cryptocurrencies as part of the portfolio investment opportunities, we will, given its increased availability with banks.

However, it should be noted that the size of the Singapore cryptocurrency market remains extremely small, according to MAS. Over the years the MAS has repeatedly issued consumer warnings to warn the public of the risks of trading or investing in cryptocurrencies.

A Bitcoin Automatic Machine (ATM) is seen in the Hong Lim Complex in Singapore

A Bitcoin Machine (ATM) can be seen in the Hong Lim Complex in Singapore on February 7, 2018. Picture from February 7, 2018. REUTERS / Dewey Sim

The prices of cryptocurrencies can be very volatile and are often speculative in nature. This is not surprising, since cryptocurrencies are factually and scientifically nothing more than bytes of data that sit on computers in networks.

They are not tied to a nation’s economy or economic fundamentals, and their value cannot be objectively measured or determined. Their values ​​are just what people think is worth, very much like trading cards and even fluctuate according to the tweets of billionaires like Elon Musk.

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READ: Comment: Maybe Elon Musk should stop tweeting about Tesla

The massive, rapid increases in value are attractive to those hoping for quick gains – investors always hope they can buy at the bottom and sell at the top, especially since the cycles of rise and fall are frequent and rapid.

RULES AGAINST ABUSE

Not only does the MAS warn consumers about the speculative nature of many of these virtual assets, it also has rules to combat the misuse of cryptocurrencies to finance terrorism and the proliferation of weapons, as well as money laundering such as laundering drug revenues and the use of cryptocurrencies Combat ransom or other illegal payments received.

The ability to move or use cryptocurrencies quickly, relatively anonymously, and the cross-border nature of such transactions make them ideal mechanisms for money laundering.

In addition, cryptocurrency assets stolen from cryptocurrency companies with poor governance or cybersecurity measures can be laundered unnoticed either by other companies with equally poor governance or cybersecurity measures or by DeFi – decentralized financial systems – that have no intermediaries for transactions.

REGULATION FOR PROVIDERS

In Singapore, companies that offer trading in cryptocurrencies are regulated as providers of digital payment tokens under the Payment Services Act and must be licensed.

Likewise, companies that trade in cryptocurrencies or facilitate the transfer of cryptocurrencies or offer custodian bank services must be licensed and meet all requirements.

Crypto 03 cryptocurrency cryptocurrency bitcoin ethereum litecoin atm - file photo

A cryptocurrency ATM in The Arcade in Raffles Place Singapore (Photo: Jeremy Long)

Although the regulatory intent is to address money laundering and terrorist financing risks, the requirements on companies are quite high, which in turn can discourage companies from offering the services fully.

For example, a strict duty of care towards customers is required before every transaction, combined with constant and continuous monitoring.

READ: Comment: Cryptocurrency powers the underground economy of vice and crime

READ: Comment: Dogecoin and Why We Should Stop Taking Cryptocurrencies Seriously

In addition, the MAS has now been given the authority to quickly impose additional measures on cryptocurrency companies if necessary. All of this will put a damper on cryptocurrency providers and investors.

Overall, we believe Bitcoin is unlikely to go mainstream as a transaction currency. Cryptocurrencies that can become a currency that supports transactions should be stable and efficient – attributes not associated with Bitcoin.

Bitcoin could attract increasing interest from investors who have to deal with the inherent volatility, as Bitcoin is not tied to an underlying asset, but its value is highly dependent on investor expectations – which is why a tweet from Elon Musk is all too strong Lead to fluctuations in value.

Hannah Yee-Fen Lim is Associate Professor of Business Law at Nanyang Business School, NTU and one of 15 international legal experts appointed by the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law to draft new international model laws on cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. Boh Wai Fong is the assistant dean and professor of business informatics at Nanyang Business School, NTU.

In this episode of the Money Mind podcast, hear experts discuss the risks and rewards of decentralized finance:

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Cryptocurrency

Neobank launches real-time cryptocurrency conversion

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California-based MovoCash, a neo bank that Launched in 2017, released a new cryptocurrency service for its users last week. The technology called MOVO Chain acts as a curfew on cryptocurrency investments and enables customers to quickly convert 10 different cryptocurrencies into fiat currencies that are stored on a debit card.

The fintech works with the Coastal Community Bank and offers its customers five core services: MOVO Cash, MOVO CASH Cards, MOVO Pay, MOVO Digital Banking and MOVO Chain. MovoCash CEO Eric Solis said the company had registered more than 1.2 million accounts and issued half a million cards.

The company said “United States-based cryptocurrency users can convert and send / spend funds by debit card to anyone with an email address or cell phone number.

The new service can make crypto more important as a medium of exchange. Solis’ vision for the service is for customers to “use Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies as long-term savings and fiat for their daily payments.”

In order to process the conversion of cryptocurrency into cash, neobank has teamed up with the payment service provider BitPay.

According to Solis, Bitpay acts as a firewall “between the bank and the crypto” so that “over time [the payment] If you get anywhere near the bank, it’s back in fiat currency. “More specifically, the payment is stored in the form of tokens on an electronic debit card that can be sent to another electronic device.

Partnership with bank

Eric Sprink, President and CEO of Coastal Community Bank, said he was proud to work with neobank.

“MOVO Chain is providing MOVO customers with a unique solution that enables them to seamlessly convert and send cash values ​​from their Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency holdings,” he said in a statement.

MovoCash caters to a wide audience with its mobile banking services, from celebrities to those who make a living from paycheck to paycheck. Solis does not expect MOVO Chain to be used by all or even most of Neobank’s customers.

“I think the percentage of our users using Bitcoin is probably the same as what you would find in a general sample of society,” he said. The service fills a niche for selected customers who want to use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum as an asset class, but want to access these funds for payments at any time.

The company recently signed up to Equity crowdfunding on StartEngine. To date, MovoCash has raised $ 219,204 from 106 investors on the crowdfunding site. In total, the fintech has raised around $ 1.5 million for a convertible bond. MovoCash has more than 420.8 million US dollars in user deposits and cites a growth rate of 242% in 2019 and 2020. neobank cites its security and the contactless end-to-end payment experience as reasons for its success.

Solis said he anticipates user accounts growth will grow organically as customers send payments and suggest the app to friends and family.

Movo has competition

MovoCash is hardly the first Neobank to offer its customers services related to cryptocurrencies. Update recently released a Bitcoin Rewards credit card that offers customers 1.5% bitcoin refunds when they use the card. Fintech Paybby plans share a cryptocurrency platform this summer as the company seeks to increase the popularity of crypto with minority investors. The Neobank electricity plans to launch crypto products in the future.

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Why Ethereum Could Surpass Bitcoin In The Near Future – Crunchbase News

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By Ahmed Shabana

Even after major cryptocurrencies experienced a threatening collapse from their all-time highs in April, most have soared 200 percent to 300 percent or more from that point in the past year. Bitcoin is making all the headlines, and there are legitimate concerns about its roller coaster nature.

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But what about Ethereum? Ethereum was conceived in 2013 and is an open source platform that helps develop and implement new decentralized applications with the same core concepts as blockchain.

The difference between Ethereum and Bitcoin has caught the attention of large market players like Goldman Sachs, who recently advised investors that Ethereum has a good chance of surpassing Bitcoin’s market cap of $ 660 billion.

The Ethereum network holds more promise because of its real world applications and its ability to store value. Ethereum represents the future of programmable money and smart contracts in ways that older cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin cannot.

Ethereum simplifies worldwide payments

Since the Ethereum network supports the development of new applications in its infrastructure and enables their creation, it is potentially a more valuable resource in the long run. Ether (ETH) will be used to pay for these transactions, as last seen with the booming popularity of NFTs this spring. The result is a much higher usage rate for Ether with far more transactions than Bitcoin in the last 12 months.

Ahmed Shabana from Parkpine Capital

Despite the recent decline in cryptocurrencies, ether rose nearly 1,000 percent in the past 12 months, compared to the 300 percent increase in Bitcoin. Where a Bitcoin is a pure token of value – a currency that is backed by the perceived value of those who own it – Ethereum and the ETH blockchain fuel each other. The recent upgrades to the Ethereum network are helping it to scale much faster and lower transaction costs on the network, which further drives the price of the tokens up.

Instead of having a central instance that monitors how the applications run on the Ethereum network and which transactions are processed, Ethereum-based apps are booming. The most common types of these apps are DeFi. These apps saw 2,000 percent growth in 2020, with more than $ 16 billion in crypto assets stored in their logs by the end of the year.

The future of ETH

Ether started 2020 at $ 125.63 and grew nearly 500 percent to $ 729.65 by the end of the year. It hit $ 4,380 briefly in 2021, but has since hovered between $ 1,700 and $ 2,500, sometimes rising or falling as much as $ 1,000 in a single week.

The big question is where will ETH end in 2021. Many projections are relatively optimistic, with an average price target of between $ 3,500 and $ 4,500 by the end of the year and average long-term projections of $ 11,170 by 2025. However, there are some who see it even faster and more substantial during this time grows.

In a recent Forbes article, a panel of crypto experts including Sagi Bakshi and Lex Sokolin predict that ETH could climb as high as $ 19,842 by 2025 and that by the end of 2022, due to its growing utility in the world, it could increase the The most common cryptocurrency could be the marketplace.

These experts name a number of upgrades that will be made to the network in 2021 that will lower the currently high transaction costs and dramatically increase the benefits. An expert on the panel, Sarah Bergstrand, estimates that ETH could reach US $ 100,000 by 2025.

The biggest upgrade contemplated by investors is EIP-1559, which will overhaul the transaction fee system used by Ethereum. Instead of sending charges to miners who perform tasks on the network, users send the charge to the network itself, which wipes out the charge, reduces the overall supply, and then increases the value of the currency.

The future of cryptocurrency regulation

Ethereum represents a sustainable, function-oriented approach to cryptocurrencies that will support the future of DeFi. But many people stay on the sidelines waiting for government regulations to be implemented.

While longtime cryptocurrency investors lament the idea that regulations limit the freedoms currently available in the market, large investors and corporations see the inevitable implementation of such regulations as a source of stability that could lead to mass adoption.

After several months of chaos, the Biden government is examining how to tackle the markets. A congressional committee has been set up to review digital currencies, the FDIC has asked banks to provide documentation on how they use digital assets, and auditor Michael Hsu is reviewing all current and past guidelines on cryptocurrencies. The chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission warns bad actors of impending enforcement and regulation.

Overall, many view these changes as good. When markets are regulated, they become safer for everyday users, and Ethereum can go “normal” with the range of decentralized apps that support and enable it.

Ahmed Shabana is a venture capitalist, startup advisor, investor and entrepreneur. He is Managing Partner of Parkpine Capital, Founder of the Global Ventures Summit, and Creator of The Hungry Company.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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Google’s New Cryptocurrency Ad Policy Goes Into Effect – Featured Bitcoin News

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Internet giant Google’s new advertising policy has come into effect. The company now allows certain cryptocurrency displays, such as: B. those that advertise the exchange of cryptocurrencies and wallets. Advertisers must meet certain requirements and be certified by Google.

Google now allows some crypto ads

Google’s new advertising policy for financial products and services, announced in June, has come into effect. A note on the internet giant’s website:

Starting August 3, advertisers offering US-targeted cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets will be able to advertise these products and services if they meet the following requirements and are certified by Google.

To be certified by Google, advertisers must either be registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a money services company or be a federally or state-recognized bank. They must also meet the relevant legal requirements and their ads and landing pages must comply with Google’s advertising guidelines.

In 2018, Google banned ads related to “cryptocurrencies and related content (including, but not limited to, Initial Coin Offerings)”. [ICOs], Cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets and cryptocurrency trading advice) ”as well as advertisements for crypto-related“ aggregators and affiliates ”. Google then allowed selected crypto ads in the US and Japan.

Last June, Sydney-based law firm JPB Liberty filed a class action lawsuit against Google, Facebook and Twitter for banning cryptocurrency ads.

While the new policy allows certain crypto ads, Google still doesn’t allow ads for ICOs, defi-trade protocols, and those that “promote the buying, selling, or trading of cryptocurrencies or related products.” In addition, “ad targets that aggregate or compare issuers of cryptocurrencies or related products” are prohibited.

One of the prohibited ad categories is “Celebrity Cryptocurrency Recommendations”. Many scammers have taken advantage of Google and Youtube to promote fraudulent Bitcoin giveaways. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak sued Google and Youtube last July for promoting Bitcoin advertising fraud using his name and likeness. However, the court ruled in Google’s favor.

What do you think of Google changing its policy to allow ads in cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comment section below.

Photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer of liability: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation to make an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any product, service, or company. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author are directly or indirectly responsible for any damage or loss caused or allegedly caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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