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A Sunday afternoon crypto price pump has sent the price of bitcoin to highs not seen since December and kicked off a wave of celebration that a much-feared return to so-called crypto winter isn’t going to happen.
The bitcoin price has rocketed to over $47,000, up from under $45,000 just days ago, with bullish traders quick to predict the rally will take bitcoin to over $50,000. Speculation as to the precise cause of the rally was rampant on crypto Twitter last night, with many looking to the founder of Terraform Labs, Do Kwon, who was out making bullish statements last week amid claims he’s buying billions of dollars worth of bitcoin, as a potential catalyst. Do Kwon, the creator of protocol Terra and its luna coin, said in a Twitter Spaces that he plans to buy billions of dollars in bitcoin and keep it in a reserve to back the stablecoin terraUSD, it was reported by Decrypt. Luna Foundation’s official bitcoin wallet address currently holds over $1.1 billion and he said he plans to accumulate up to $10 billion worth of bitcoin.
Ethereum and the rest of the crypto top ten are looking equally as strong going into a new week, with ethereum firmly over $3,000. Ethereum rival solana is leading the market higher this morning, up almost 10% on the last 24 hours, while Ripple’s XRP is bringing up the rear, adding almost 4%. Apecoin, the governance token of the ApeCoin DAO, a community-led organization to manage the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) ecosystem, has surged 13% after swinging wildly last week.
🇬🇧 The U.K.’s planning a crackdown…
Sunak on stablecoins: The U.K. government is gearing up to unveil plans for regulating the crypto market in the coming weeks, according to a bombshell CNBC report out yesterday, with British finance minister Rishi Sunak thought to be focusing on traditional currency-linked stablecoins.
Three cheers for clarity: Unnamed sources told CNBC the new rules are likely to be “favorable to the industry, providing legal clarity for a sector that has so far been mostly lacking in regulation.” Treasury officials have reportedly “shown a willingness to understand the complexities of the crypto market” and have met with a number of companies and trade groups. The stablecoin market, dominated by the controversial tether and USDC coins, are worth a combined $130 billion, up from under $10 billion in early 2020, after seeing explosive growth in recent years in order to ease entry into the crypto market.
Anything U.S. can do… The U.K.’s move is being viewed as a response to a Biden administration executive order calling for coordination from different U.S. federal agencies on regulating crypto while the U.S. Congress is also working on specific regulations for stablecoins over potential risks they may pose to financial stability.
Beyond britcoin: Late last year, the Bank of England said it will begin consulting on plans for launching a pound sterling-based central bank digital currency (CBDC) that some have branded “Britcoin” in 2022—but cautioned that no such central digital currency will arrive before 2025.
Look out for… the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) crypto-asset register deadline of Thursday this week, when some crypto companies could be forced to wind down their crypto operations in the U.K. if they don’t satisfy regulator concerns they’re doing enough to prevent money laundering. The FCA said a “high number” of crypto businesses aren’t meeting the required anti-money laundering standards, CBNC reported, with just 33 making it onto the register.
Crypto crisis: Last week, the U.K.’s Bank of England central bank warned that crypto could pose a risk to international markets if it continues to grow and called for more powers to oversee and rein in the space. “If the pace of growth seen in recent years continues, and as these assets become more interconnected with the wider financial system, crypto-assets and decentralized finance (DeFi) will present financial stability risks,” according to a report published by the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee, which is responsible for monitoring stability risks.
... As U.S. officials dismiss crypto 🇺🇸
🤨 Crypto is playing a significant role in investment decisions across the U.S., according to Treasury secretary Janet Yellen. However, Yellen told CNBC on Friday she’s still skeptical about crypto, despite recognizing some benefits.
🗣️ “I have a little bit of skepticism because I’m—there are, I think, valid concerns around it. Some have to do with financial stability, consumer investor protection, use for illicit transactions and other things,” Yellen said. “On the other hand, there are benefits from crypto and we recognize that innovation in the payment system can be a healthy thing.”
🥱 Meanwhile, Federal Reserve board member Christopher Waller, said on Friday that “blockchain is totally overrated” and compared certain research papers on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to infomercials.
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The week ahead 📆
👀 Keep an eye out for these cryptocurrency and crypto-related events this week.
👛 Today, U.S. president Joe Biden will send his bumper 2023 budget proposal to Congress. It reportedly includes a request for $813 billion in national security spending, an increase of 4% on 2022’s budget, and a controversial billionaire tax that would require U.S. households worth more than $100 million in combined traditional income and unrealized gains on investments to pay at least 20% in tax.
💷 Also today, Bank of England governor and outspoken crypto critic Andrew Bailey is talking about “macroeconomic and financial stability in changing times” with Bruegel director Guntram Wolff. Watch along here.
📢 Two crypto conferences will likely generate some headlines this week. Binance Blockchain Week gets underway today in Dubai and bitcoin mining-focused Empower kicks off on Wednesday in Houston, Texas.
🏴☠️ Thursday will see European Union’s parliament again voting on anti-money laundering regulations that could see a crackdown on unhosted crypto wallets. Check out this Twitter thread for full details.
💼 On Friday, the latest U.S. monthly jobs report will drop. Economists are predicting the jobs market remained red-hot in March, adding 460,000 jobs with the unemployment rate ticking down to 3.7%.
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