Autor Cointelegraph By Joseph Hall

Nations to adopt Bitcoin, crypto users to reach 1B by 2023: Report

There’s a beacon of hope for battered Bitcoin (BTC) bulls. A promising report from Crypto.com predicts that global crypto users could reach one billion by the end of 2022.The report reaches the conclusion that a combo of developing nations copying El Salvador’s orange-pilled example and a “friendlier stance” towards the crypto industry means that “Nations can no longer afford to ignore the growing push towards crypto by the public.”Looking back on 2021, the global crypto population increased by 178% in 2021, rising from 106 million in January to 295 million in December. While 2021 kicked off with Tesla and Mastercard joining the party with crypto payments and adoption, BTC drove growth in the second part of the year, effectively outperforming Ether (ETH) adoption.In the run-up to El Salvador’s Bitcoin legal tender bill, August was an outstanding month for adoption as shown in the graph below:In light of the number of crypto users in 2021 tripped, Crypto.com estimates that “If we extrapolate a similar rate of increase in 2022, we are on track to reach 1 billion crypto users by the end of 2022.”However, it will take more than just one Latin American nation adopting Bitcoin and some healthy crypto regulation in the United States to get there. Related: Crypto liquidations pass $700M as altcoins take a hit from Bitcoin sinking below $40KFortunately, a recent Fidelity report agrees on nation-state adoption; they “wouldn’t be surprised” to see more countries adopting BTC in 2022. As for the second part of the Crypto.com prediction on a friendlier stance to crypto, the jury is out. Given that the potential rocket fuel that is a U.S. Bitcoin ETF continues to be rejected, and the recent U.S crypto mining hearing was cautious at best, Crypto.com’s predictions are a saving grace. As price action grinds lower, the report is welcome hopium for hodlers.

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Turkish and Salvadoran presidents meet, Bitcoiners left disappointed

Bitcoin (BTC) took more than just a beating in the markets. The orange coin got the cold shoulder as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan welcomed his Salvadoran peer Nayib Bukele in the capital of Turkey to talk about a number of topics. While Bitcoin failed to be a talking point, it did not stop the Twitter rumor mill from going into overdrive. As part of the state visit, Bukele and Erdoğan kicked off with an official ceremony. Shortly afterward, they inaugurated the new Salvadoran embassy before agreeing on six deals covering the economy, trade, defense, diplomacy and education.The deals seek to increase trade volume between the two countries to $500 million in five years. Trade volumes for 2020 and 2021 were $27 million and almost $50 million, respectively. Mainstream media outlets watched closely to see whether Bukele would attempt to orange-pill Erdoğan. However, there was no mention of Bitcoin or cryptocurrency during Thursday proceedings. That did not stop Twitter from speculating and deceiving audiences about the nature of the encounter. A coordinated news burst made by fake Twitter accounts imitating popular accounts Deltaone, Zerohedge and a Bukele parody account LaDictatore simultaneously announced that Turkey would announce Bitcoin as legal tender by February 2022.The announcement was false. LaDictatore’s account has since been suspended, but the screenshot of their announcement lives on:In the hours following the fake news, Bitcoin bulls regrouped to pump the price to within touching distance of $43,000 before falling off a cliff to $38,000 this morning.Related: El Salvador explores low-interest loans backed by BitcoinAs the Turkish lira continues to struggle, analysts expected Bukele to make the case for Bitcoin. Given that the Turkish ruling party recently held a meeting in the metaverse, the tide may be turning. And if any discussion did happen Thursday, it happened behind closed doors.

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Canadian Bitcoin platform Shakepay raises $35M in Series A funding

It’s another shake-up for the finance industry as Montreal-based Bitcoin (BTC) startup Shakepay raised $35 million from investors. The fresh funding from the United States-based venture capital firm QED Investors values the company at $251 million. Founded in 2015, Shakepay allows Canadians to buy and sell BTC and pay their friends. It also supports the purchase of Ether (ETH).The startup aims to use the funds to consolidate growth, focus on bringing on additional products to market such as the recently launched Shakepay Visa Prepaid Card, and expand the team. Speaking to Cointelegraph, ShakePay CEO Jean Amiouny said: Shakepay’s seen demand boom for adopting Bitcoin and we’re really excited about this raise to be able to offer more Bitcoin products to our fellow Canadians.”The funding supports a swathe of encouraging stats for 2021. The company surpassed $6 billion in total volume reaching more than 900,000 customers last year. According to the Shakepay blog, the company reached 1% of Canada’s population, or 380,000 people, in March last year and 2% of the population in November. The company grew its userbase by 381% in 2021. Canada is increasingly becoming pro-Bitcoin. A recent survey showed that 62% of Canadians want to get paid in crypto by 2027, while a Bitcoin ETF launched in Canada late last year. For Shakepay, it’s all about retail adoption, as the group seeks to make “it easy for Canadians to buy and earn the soundest money to ever exist: Bitcoin.”Related: Canadian restaurant chain reports earning 300% gains on BTC investment to weather pandemicJean Amiouny illustrated the company’s vision in the official announcement:With our Series A funding, Shakepay is excited to welcome QED Investors, who have deep experience in the financial technology industry, and who will support the continued growth of Shakepay’s vision to be a leader in financial applications that help Canadians achieve financial wealth through investing in bitcoin.”

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El Salvador explores low-interest loans backed by Bitcoin

It’s full steam ahead for El Salvador’s Bitcoinization. The next point on the orange agenda is in providing low-interest loans backed by Bitcoin (BTC) to small and micro-businesses.While the details of the BTC loans are currently not disclosed, Mónica Taher, an advisor for the government of El Salvador, was straight-talking in a Facebook Live Audio held yesterday. The discussion was called “Bitcoin loans with lower interest rates.” Paul Steiner the President of CONAMYPE (the national institute for small and micro-businesses) shared that the implementation of loans would work with the government-created El Chivo wallet.El Salvador’s business landscape is dominated by small and micro-businesses and Bitcoin-backed loans are an opportunity to remediate the situation. Steiner illustrated: El Salvador has roughly 1.2 million businesses in the country. Roughly 66% are micro-businesses or “subsistence” businesses. Over 90% of micro-businesses are self-funded via informal loans or loan sharks.He cites the example that a $100 loan taken out by a micro-business will typically come with terms of full repayment in 20 days while the interest rate could be up to $15 a day. In some cases, the annual interest rate for such loans “exceeds 10,000%.” Ultimately, the interest rate provided by BTC-backed loans would be lower than that of informal lenders, loan sharks, and banks. Andrea Martia Gomez, a project manager for Acumen, a DeFi lending protocol shared that “some crypto enthusiasts in El Salvador are already using crypto solutions such as Defi as they offer an ease of use and a higher interest rate than banks.”Related: El Salvador’s Bitcoin wallet onboards 4M users with Netki partnershipAlessandro Cecere, Community Manager for Ledn, a Canadian Bitcoin company also participated in the discussion. Ledn recently launched BTC-backed mortgages. He asked if El Salvador might copy their example and if Bitcoin might be considered as collateral for mortgages in the future. Steiner was open to the discussion and optimistic about the future of Bitcoin. However, his priority is to improve the business environment for SMEs. When prompted in the chatbox about loans for other avenues or housing, Mónica Taher reiterated that the loan product would only be available to small and micro businesses for the moment, “we will discuss mortgages later.”Steiner summed up the vision when referring to the challenges that micro-businesses face in El Salvador:Businesses need an entry point for financing: Bitcoin is that opportunity.

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Bearish sentiment may soon abate according to Coinshares and Bitcoin metrics

While key Bitcoin (BTC) metrics don’t paint a pretty picture, the bears could be running on fumes. Contrary to analysts warning that Bitcoin could dip to $38,000 “before an eventual breakout”, CoinShares and Arcane Research suggest that the tide could be turning. In brief, Bitcoin institutional outflows were negative four out of the last five weeks, totaling $55 milion. The total assets under management fell to a three-month low of $35 billion midweek last week. CoinShares’ findings illustrate that large investors in the Bitcoin ecosystem; those using companies such as Grayscale, CoinsXBT, ProShares, and ETC Group have been reducing their exposure to the digital asset. Their actions are compounded by the fear and greed index hogging the “extreme fear” dial for two months, as Bitcoin spot buying volume hit a six-month low. If the fear and greed index enters a third consecutive month of extreme fear, it will be the second time to do so in the metric’s existence. Traders are also trepidatious. According to Arcane Research, the seven-day average real BTC trading volume sits at $3.4 billion. It’s the lowest figure since July 2021, remembered as the trough of the mini bear market that occurred from May to July 2021. Investors and spectators in the space will remember that following that moment, from August to October 2021, the BTC price swelled by more than 60%, buoyed by robust institutional investment. Related: 43% of Bitcoin trading volume during US market hours: Arcane ResearchPlus, with Bitcoin 30-day price volatility constrained to the lowest level seen for twelve months, at 2.5%, the spring is coiled. Twitter analysts clamor for upside action. Popular Bitcoin bull @GalaxyBTC tells followers that $80,000 is on the horizon while @Tradermayne says the “bottom is in for the nth time.”

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