Bitcoin and its peers had a sluggish start to the week after sentiment was hurt by a bleak view on cryptocurrencies by the Basel-based central bank of central banks, but they recovered mid-week despite more negative news in the form of a hack of a major crypto exchange in South Korea. However, cryptocurrencies are likely set for a weak closing to the week as they were deep in the red Friday after the Japanese regulator ordered six cryptocurrency exchanges in the country to improve controls.
Overall cryptocurrency market capitalization shrunk to $260.48 billion as of 10.51 am ET on Friday at CoinMarketCap.
BIS Warns Cryptocurrencies Could Break Internet
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies suffer from a range of shortcomings and it could break the Internet, according to The Bank for International Settlements or BIS. The Basel, Switzerland-based Central Bank overseer warned that the digital currencies are not scalable and could suffer a breakdown in trust and efficiency as more and more people use it.
S. Korea’s Bithumb Hacked; Japan Orders Improvements
South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb lost coins worth around $30 million in hacking, following which it stopped all trading temporarily. On Friday, Japan’s Financial Services Agency that six registered cryptocurrency exchanges, including the leading ones bitFlyer and Quoine, were asked to improve their screening measures, especially those concerning money laundering. The Nikkei Asian Review reported that it was unusual for the watchdog to simultaneously punish so many registered exchanges. Elsewhere, Fundstrat co-founder and Bitcoin bull Tom Lee said the “gut-wrenching” declines witnessed in Bitcoin’s price in the week beginning June 10 was likely due to the expiration of futures linked to the top cryptocurrency.
Goldman Sachs CEO Says Bitcoin ‘Is Not For Me’, But May Succeed
Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of the investment banking giant Goldman Sachs, said he is not into cryptocurrencies and was at a loss to explain why they should be successful as an asset class. In an interview at the Economic Club of New York, Blankfein said, “But if it [cryptocurrency]did work, I will be able to explain in hindsight why it did.” Meanwhile, a study by the professional services firm Capgemini found that high net worth individuals, or HNWIs, are increasingly interested in cryptocurrencies as an investment and a store of value, but they remain cautious and are seeking wisdom from wealth management firms, results of a report.
UBS Chief Says Blockchain Almost A Must; BBVA CEO Warns Tech Is Immature
In an interview with CNBC, UBS Group AG Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti, who has expressed his dislike for bitcoin earlier calling it a speculative bubble, said blockchain technology is almost a must for business as it can help companies become more efficient, and thus reducing costs for certain operations. In contrast, Carlos Torres Vila, CEO of the Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA or BBVA , warned that blockchain technology is not mature and faces significant challenges, el Economista reported. However, he believes the advantages of blockchain technology are very important for the banking business.
Bitcoin Gets Reference By US Top Court; Expert Sees Blockchain Becoming Obsolete
Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, just got its first mention in a US Supreme Court opinion as a new type of medium of exchange or money. The reference came from the notably conservative source appeared in J. Breyer’s dissent in Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. United States case, which is dealing with whether employee stock options count as any form of money remuneration and taxable. Meanwhile, George Friedman, a geopolitical analyst, said Blockchain is useful, visible, but at some point will be obsolete. Speaking to CNBC in New York, the strategist on international affairs said, “I’ve never known any encryption technology not to be broken. I doubt between Russia, China, U.S. intelligence services that blockchain can’t be decrypted.”
Nasdaq, Clearing Firms Trial Blockchain Solution; EY, Microsoft To Track Content Rights
Nasdaq, the leading market services provider, and three clearing services companies in Europe – ABN Amro Clearing, EuroCCP and Euroclear – successfully tested a blockchain solution that settled margin calls within minutes. And EY and Microsoft joined together to launch a blockchain solution for content rights and royalties management in the gaming industry.
Russian Banks To Test Cryptos; New York Grants BitLicense To Square
Russia’s biggest two banks, Sberbank and Alfa Bank, are planning to test several private banking products based on cryptocurrencies in a regulatory sandbox environment hosted by the Russian central bank, the Kommersant newspaper reported. Elsewhere, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has granted BitLicense, the license of virtual currency activities, to mobile payments firm Square, Inc. to offer Bitcoin trading to New Yorkers.
US Executive Branch Officials Required To Disclose Crypto Holdings
The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has issued a legal advisory urging employees of the executive branch of the U.S. government to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings. OGE advised that filers must report their holdings in a virtual currency if its value exceeded $1,000 at the end of the reporting period or if the income produced by the virtual currency holding exceeded $200.
Europe’s First Blockchain Accelerator For Startups Opens In Paris
France has launched Europe’s first blockchain accelerator, Chain Accelerator, with a view to supporting new international blockchain startups. It is based in Paris’ Station F, the largest startup campus in the world. The move is expected to make Paris a major hub for blockchain development.
As of 10.50 am ET on Friday, Bitcoin was down 3.56 percent for the week at $6,175.70 and Ethereum was lower by 2.55 percent at $475.20 on Coinbase.
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