THE price of Bitcoin has surged to a new record high after two finance giants announced their own cryptocurreny projects.
The price of a single Bitcoin hit nearly $48,000 (£34,400) after the announcement, which investors believe shows the the cryptocurrency markets are beginning to be embraced by the traditional finance world.
Both Mastercard and BNY Mellon, America’s oldest bank, announced their plans to incorporate Bitcoin into their multi-billion dollar businesses.
Mastercard said they would begin allowing their platform to support Bitcoin payments this year, while BNY Mellon went a step further and said they will be transferring and issuing the cryptocurrency.
The latest Bitcoin surge began on Monday when Tesla announced it would soon be allowing customers to purchase items using Bitcoin.
That announcement came with the revelation that the Elon Musk controlled firm had also invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin itself.
Now crypto-market watchers now believe a wave of Silicon Valley billion-dollar investments could spark another surge, with Twitter among several companies rumoured to be planning a Tesla-style share purchase.
Before investing in any cryptocurrency, you should be aware of the risks and how volatile the market is. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has warned investors to be prepared to lose everything they put in.
Follow the latest Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news on our rolling live blog below..
LONDON TOLD TO SLASH RED TAPE AND EMBRACE BITCOIN
Finance expert Professor David McMillan has said that London should embrace bitcoin as it seeks to maintain its status as Europe’s premier trading hub.
In an article for The Conversation, he wrote: “No longer having to coordinate and agree with 27 EU countries should enable the UK to be more nimble… which could be a big advantage in attempting to corner emerging areas such as green investment and fintech.
“This could include developing and regulating new financial products that allow investors to positively engage with climate change finance and cryptocurrencies.
“This would be a more beneficial approach to taking the financial sector forward than to focus on deregulation in a ‘big bang 2.0’.”
Global shares rose for the 11th day in a row today amid optimism about the rollout of Covid vaccines and new stimulus aid in Washington DC.
Japan’s Nikkei led the way, climbing 1.9 per cent to reclaim the 30,000-point level for the first time in more than three decades.
E-mini futures for the S&P 500 were also higher, up 0.3 per cent.
RECAP: WHAT IS BITCOIN?
Bitcoin is a virtual currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown computer whizz using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto.
Individual Bitcoins are created by computer code.
Transactions are made without middlemen, so there are no transaction fees and no need to give your real name.
You can set up a virtual wallet website like Blockchain to store, keep track and spend your digital money.
FLORIDA TO EMBRACE BITCOIN
Miami will embrace bitcoin as a way to attract big tech companies, Mayor Francis Suarez has said.
The city commission last week approved bitcoin to be used to pay city workers, and for city residents and businesses to make fee and tax payments with the cryptocurrency.
“Cities like Miami, we’re trying to attract tech town,” Suarez said in a telephone interview on Thursday.
MUSK SUPPORTS DOGECOIN HOLDERS SELLING COINS
Billionaire Elon Musk has said that he supports holders of the meme-based digital currency dogecoin selling most of their coins.
“If major Dogecoin holders sell most of their coins, it will get my full support. Too much concentration is the only real issue imo”, Musk said in a tweet.
Musk’s electric vehicle company Tesla Inc revealed on February 8 it had bought $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency bitcoin and would soon accept it as a form of payment for cars.
Bitcoin has dropped more than 5 per cent to $45,914 during Asian trading hours earlier today.
Meanwhile, rival cryptocurrency ethereum dropped more than 8% to $1,655.
It came after both hit record highs in recent days as the asset class gains more mainstream acceptance.
FIVE RISKS OF CRYPTO INVESTMENTS
- Consumer protection
- Price volatility
- Product complexity
- Charges and fees
- Marketing materials
FUTURE OF PAYMENTS
Shoppers could soon use cryptocurrencies to pay in shops more easily after MasterCard said it would support transactions on its network later this year.
The card and payments processor revealed it is preparing for changes in the way people pay for items and wants to provide “more possibilities for shoppers and merchants.”
APPLE PAY JOINS FORCES WITH BITPAY
Apple Pay has announced its support for Bitcoin and crypto payments by joining forces with a bitcoin payment processor.
BitPay Mastercard holders can now add their crypto-funded cards as a mode of payment on their Apple Pay wallet.
Bitpay Mastercard had said Google and Samsung were next, according to reports from Crypto Briefing.
The move follows a recent RBC Capital Market report, which has found Apple can significantly increase its earnings by supporting crypto payments.
HOW MUCH WOULD YOU HAVE IF YOU INVESTED BACK IN 2009?
The soaring value of the bitcoin likely has many of us wishing we had jumped on the crypto-bandwagon way back in 2009.
The cryptocurrency rallied to a fresh high on Thursday, surpassing the $48,000 level, according to data from CoinDesk.
Those who have held the currency long term, have reaped incredible rewards.
If you got into the game when a bitcoin was 10 cents, around October 2010, and invested $100, you’d have been able to buy about 1,000 bitcoins, CNBC reported.
At its all-time high Thursday, those 1,000 bitcoins would’ve been worth more than $48 million, not accounting for compounding and assuming you bought and held the asset the entire time.
MAYORAL CANDIDATE WOULD TURN NYC INTO BITCOIN HUB
New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang has vowed to transform the city into a Bitcoin hub if he’s elected as mayor.
“As mayor of NYC – the world’s financial capital – I would invest in making the city a hub for BTC and other cryptocurrencies,” Yang wrote on Thursday night.
Yang is a prominent advocate for bitcoin and has called for a set of uniform rules around its use.
Yang, a former presidential candidate, formally announced his candidacy for the post last month in a campaign video.
The next mayoral election for NYC is scheduled for November, later this year.
‘MOVE TO MAKE THE CRYPTOCURRENCY EASIER TO USE’
Bitcoin soared to a new high at $48,930 in Asian trade, after MasterCard and US bank BNY Mellon moved to make it easier for people to use the cryptocurrency.
The dollar edged higher versus both the euro and yen.
Markets were awaiting a virtual meeting of finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of Seven rich nations to discuss pandemic fallout, climate change and digital taxation.
Britain joins Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States for the group’s first gathering since Joe Biden was elected US president.
BITCOIN FORGED NEW RECORD
European equities struggled Friday with investors awaiting US stimulus and vaccine news after holiday-thinned Asian trade, but bitcoin forged a new record as it crept towards $50,000.
London stocks firmed 0.1 percent and Paris turned flat as the session progressed, clawing back initial losses, but Frankfurt declined 0.5 percent.
“Recent gains brought about from US stimulus and vaccination optimism has faded to bring a more ‘wait-and-see’ approach from markets,” said Joshua Mahony, senior analyst at online trading firm IG.
London sentiment was dented somewhat by news that the coronavirus-ravaged UK economy shrank by a record 9.9 percent in 2020, despite an upturn in the second half.
In order to answer the question, Rohrbaugh reportedly brought on his boss, JPMorgan co-president Daniel Pinto.
Pinto signalled he was open-minded about bitcoin, according to inside sources who attended the meeting.
When asked by CNBC to clarify his remarks, Pinto reportedly said the firm’s decision would be informed by whether a critical mass of clients wanted the firm to trade bitcoin.
“The demand isn’t there yet, but I’m sure it will be at some point,” he said.
PRESSURE ON WALL ST BANKS TO ACCEPT BITCOIN
Pressure is reportedly building from within Wall St banks to accept and trade with bitcoin.
According to CNBC reports, the topic was brought up during a town hall meeting held for thousands of JPMorgan Chase traders and Sales personnel last month.
Global markets head Troy Rohrbaugh acknowledged a question that was increasingly being asked by employees – when would the bank get involved in bitcoin?
PAYPAL EXPANDS CRYPTO BUSINESS INTO UK MARKET
The United Kingdom will be the first non-US market to get PayPal’s crypto products, as the digital payment giant concludes plans to expand its crypto launch.
The news comes just days after PayPal removed its waitlist for cryptocurrency services, to allow eligible US customers to buy and sell virtual coins like Bitcoin.
The success of the crypto launch reportedly exceeded expectations, and PayPal now wanted to expand into other regions, Finance Magnates reported.
While it was not clear whether the company had received the backing of UK’s regulatory bodies, the plan was to expand the crypto offerings this year.
JAY-Z AND JACK DORSEY TO FUND BITCOIN DEVELOPMENT
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and American music star Jay-Z are giving BTC 500 (£17,270,654) to fund development of the cryptocurrency.
The funds would be set up as a blind irrevocable trust, he said, and would have “zero direction” from the pair. They were on the lookout for “3 board members” to start.
MIAMI PROPOSES PAYING WORKERS IN BITCOIN
Miami’s Mayor, Francis Suarez, has proposed paying municipal workers and collecting taxes in Bitcoin.
The move would be an expansion of a campaign to promote cryptocurrencies.
A resolution passed by the city’s governing commission proposed that City of Miami’s workers choose to receive all or a portion of their pay in Bitcoin.
Suarez also proposed allowing people to pay property taxes or city fees in crypto.
The commission, which approved the resolution 4-1, significantly dialed back its original wording; agreeing only to study the practicality of such steps, rather than taking action.
CANADIAN REGULATOR APPROVES BITCOIN ETF
The Ontario Secretaries Commission has approved a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund – the first to be listed on a North American stock exchange.
Dubbed ‘Purpose Bitcoin ETF’, the fund would be managed by Purpose Investments Inc, Finance Magnates reported.
The fund was filed under the Multilateral Instrument Passport System in several Canadian jurisdictions on Thursday.
The fund, which would deduct the fees and expenses of the manager, was designed to track the market price of Bitcoin.
YANG SAYS HE’LL MAKE NY A BITCOIN ‘HUB’
Andrew Yang has said he will make New York a ‘hub’ for bitcoin if elected.
He made the announcement in a tweet posted Thursday evening but didn’t announce any specific policy measures.
The former Democratic presidential hopeful has also previously advocated blockchain voting.
NAVALNY GETS $300K IN BITCOIN DONATIONS
Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s movement has received bitcoin donations worth nearly $300,000 this year.
His anti-Kremlin movement has accepted donations in bitcoin since 2016 via its network of regional political headquarters, an attempt to make it harder for Russia’s intelligence services to track and potentially disrupt its funding.
Navalny made headlines in January after he returned to Russia for the first time since being poisoned in Siberia last summer.
He was arrested and last week handed a nearly three-year jail term in a case he says was politically-motivated.
BITCOIN HITS NEW HIGH AFTER MORE ACCEPTANCE
Bitcoin hit a record high after two major US financial institutions announced they would accept cryptocurrency.
Mastercard said on Wednesday that later this year it would begin moving cryptocurrencies directly across its card payments network.
Then on Thursday, Wall Street player BNY Mellon announced plans to accept digital currencies.
The announcements helped to push the price of a single bitcoin above $48,000 for the first time.
US ‘OLDEST BANK’ TO ACCEPT BITCOIN
Bitcoin and other crypto currencies took another leap towards the financial mainstream when Wall Street player BNY Mellon announced plans to accept digital currencies.
BNY Mellon, which is known as the oldest US bank, said it will form a new digital assets unit to transfer, safeguard and issue digital assets in response to client demand.
The move comes as bitcoin values continue to climb to new heights after receiving a legitimacy boost when Tesla and Mastercard announced they would accept the digital currency.
UBER WON’T BUY BITCOIN WITH CORPORATE CASH
Uber’s CEO has “quickly dismissed” the idea of buying bitcoin with corporate cash.
Darah Khosrwoshahi told CNBC Thursday the company planned to keep its cash safe, as it wasn’t “in the speculation business”.
However, he left open the possibility of Uber eventually accepting cryptocurrencies as payment.
“Just like we accept all kinds of local currency, we are going to look at cryptocurrency and/or bitcoin in terms of currency to transact,” he said.
Khosrwoshahi said this kind of move was “good for business”.
TESLA PURCHASE PROMPTS MOVEMENT FROM BITCOIN WHALES
Tesla’s recent exploration of the crypto realm is believed to be prompting movement from bitcoin whales; individuals or entities who hold huge amounts of the cryptocurrency.
An anonymous crypto user moved 2,292 BTC from crypto exchange, Coinbase to an unknown wallet today, Finance Magnates reported.
The total value of the transaction stood at around $101.8 million.
Whale traders can influence markets by transferring the currency from exchanges to wallets, in an effort to create a supply shortage.