Visa will start settling transactions with stablecoins - Crypto weekly update
This week, the total market capitalization exceeded 1.63 trillion EUR. Increase at the 7-day interval is 16 %. Bitcoin increased by 12 % during the week to a current value of over 49.700 EUR. Bitcoin dominance is 58.2 %.
VISA will allow settlement of payments through USDC stablecoin
On Monday, the American corporation Visa announced that digital currency payments have arrived on Visa’s settlement platform. The payment giant revealed that the company will leverage USD coin (USDC), the regulated token built on top of the Ethereum network. Stablecoin USDC is a type of cryptocurrency that is pegged to U.S. dollar in a ratio of 1:1.
VISA already made testing payments through USDC stablecoin using Ethereum blockchain earlier this month in partnership with Crypto.com. The main reason for introducing USDC payments is to try to abolish the needs of transfer cryptocurrencies to FIAT money before the payment itself is made. This step forward entails a significant increase in acceptance of crypto assets in the traditional financial system. Source
CME Group set to launch Micro Bitcoin futures
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has unveiled plans to launch a new Bitcoin (BTC) derivatives product that will enable traders to speculate on fractional units of the flagship digital currency. While so far, every futures contract on CME has been tied to a contract of up to BTC 5, the new contracts will be tied to only BTC 0.1 . The smaller contract size provides market participants with an additional tool to hedge their Bitcoin price risk.
Tim McCourt, CME Group’s global head of equity index and alternative investment products, says that “ The introduction of Micro Bitcoin futures responds directly to demand for smaller-sized contracts from a broad array of clients and will offer even more choice and precision in how participants can trade regulated Bitcoin futures in a transparent and efficient manner at CME Group.“ Source
Paypal allows payments through cryptocurrencies in the US
Payment giant Paypal officially launched the upcoming „Checkout with Crypto“ service this week, which allows its users to pay for goods and services using cryptocurrencies. However, this system will perform an instant conversion of cryptocurrencies through the payment gateway to fiat money in real time and deliver them directly to a specific merchant.
In practice, however, this means that after all, the trader gets FIAT money, and not the cryptocurrencies. Currently, the service is only launched for clients in the U.S., but it is expected that it will be availible in other continents soon. The service will support payments in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash. Source
Stablecoin Tether has passed a successful audit
Tether Holdings Limited, a company behind the world’s largest stablecoin Tether (USDT), has released an assurance opinion to confirm that Tether tokens are fully backed by its reserves. The statement from Tether also included an audit report called the Consolidated Reserves Report (CRR) from the audit firm Moore Cayman.
The report was officially signed on March 26, 2021, but the state of reserves used to cover the USDT was assessed on the last day of February. The audit firm states in the report that “In our opinion, the CRR as prepared by the management of Tether Holdings Limited Group as of February 2021 at 11:59 PM UTC is presented in accordance with criteria set out therein and it, in all material respects, fairly stated.“
The report goes on to state that Tether’s reserves for USDT stablecoin exceed the amount required to redeem the digital asset tokens as consolidated total liabilities amount to $35.2 billion, while consolidated total assets amount to “at least” $35.3 billion. Source
New Zealand retirement fund reportedly allocates 5% to Bitcoin
KiwiSaver Growth Strategy, a pension fund from New Zealand has reportedly allocated 5% of its assets to Bitcoin by the end of 2020. The fund’s chief investment officer said that over time, Bitcoin had become increasingly perceived as a gold-like investment asset, so they decided to allocate part of their assets to it.
The company explained that they purchased Bitcoin for the first time in October 2020, when it was valued at $10,000 (€ 8400 ). Bitcoin’s price peaked of $61,000 earlier this month, which would give KiwiSaver a 6x return in just five months. On the other hand, pension funds are perhaps the slowest to adopt the digital asset class. Source
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