Cryptocurrency adoption is growing rapidly in Slovenia. More than 1,000 locations in the country now accept cryptocurrency payments, including cafes, restaurants, dentists, hair salons, and hotels.

Cryptocurrency Adoption Soars in Slovenia

The number of locations accepting cryptocurrencies through the Gocrypto payment system has surpassed 1,000, Gocrypto announced last week. These locations include cafés, restaurants, taxis, mechanics, dentists, hair salons, hotels, and sports facilities. Among them are major retailers, such as the Tuš supermarkets, Slovenia’s biggest electronic seller Big Bang, Atlantis Water Park, and Burger King Slovenia.

Noting that “you can just use your crypto wallet when getting around your daily life,” Gocrypto remarked:

Slovenia [is] taking the global lead as the country with the highest number of physical locations accepting cryptocurrencies.

According to its website, Gocrypto is currently present in 15 countries and more than 150,000 products can be bought using its system. The countries are Argentina, Austria, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Japan, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, the U.K., and Venezuela. In some countries, the system is operated by Gocrypto’s partner Xpay.

At the time of this writing, the Gocrypto website is showing 1,416 merchants using its system, only 95 of which are online stores.

The Gocrypto system consists of one or more point-of-sale (POS) terminals connected to the Gocrypto payment network. Customers can use bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, the euro token, and Gocrypto’s native token GOC to pay for goods and services. Merchants receive payments in their local currency. Currently, Gocrypto is compatible with the Elly wallet app and the Bitcoin.com Wallet.

The first version of Gocrypto, Elipay, was tested at BTC City Ljubljana, one of Europe’s biggest shopping centers, which has about 21 million visitors a year.

Merchants accepting cryptocurrencies can also be found on websites such as Acceptbitcoin.cash and Green Pages. In addition, map.Bitcoin.com currently shows about 500 merchants accepting bitcoin cash in Slovenia.

 

 

Goldman Sachs is considering creating its own cryptocurrency. Having recently appointed a new head of digital assets, the company indicated a possible collaboration with other companies, including JPMorgan and Facebook. JPMorgan has created the JPM coin and Facebook has proposed the Libra cryptocurrency project.

Goldman Sachs’ Cryptocurrency Plan

Global investment bank Goldman Sachs has recently appointed a new head of digital assets, Mathew McDermott, a managing director who ran the investment bank’s internal funding operations. He has now revealed that Goldman is exploring creating its own cryptocurrency, CNBC reported on Thursday, quoting the new digital assets chief as saying:

We are exploring the commercial viability of creating our own fiat digital token.

However, McDermott added that “it’s early days as we continue to work through the potential use cases.” He is expanding his team at Goldman Sachs, reportedly hiring Oli Harris, JPMorgan Chase’s head of digital assets strategy. Harris was involved in JP Morgan’s cryptocurrency, the JPM coin, and was also a vice president in charge of Quorum, the ethereum-based blockchain platform that underpins the JPM coin. The coin, pegged to the U.S. dollar, enables the instantaneous transfer of payments between institutional clients, JPMorgan explained on its website.

The new digital assets head said that it is crucial to build “consensus with other banks, institutional investors and regulators,” the publication noted. He believes that “The technology will only take off when it gains a critical mass of users across the world of finance” and “industry consortiums are the best way forward.”

McDermott further explained that he “spends a lot of time talking to other companies, including JPMorgan and Facebook.” The social media giant has proposed a cryptocurrency project called Libra, which recently updated its plans to better comply with regulatory requirements. According to CNBC, he indicated:

One Goldman project involves collaboration with JPMorgan, potentially regarding how the two banks’ nascent technology efforts could work together.

“In the next five to 10 years, you could see a financial system where all assets and liabilities are native to a blockchain, with all transactions natively happening on chain,” the new digital assets head opined.

He believes that “Since the boom days of bitcoin a few years ago, interest has shifted from retail and rich investors to large institutions,” the publication conveyed. “We’ve definitely seen an uptick in interest across some of our institutional clients who are exploring how they can participate in this space … It definitely feels like there is a resurgence of interest in cryptocurrencies,” McDermott was quoted as saying.

Goldman Sachs has not been pro-cryptocurrency in the past. In May, the investment bank told its clients that “cryptocurrencies including bitcoin are not an asset class.”

by Kevin Helms

Coinbase says more institutional investors are now using its platform to build direct positions in the cryptocurrency market.

Crypto fund managers are now getting more backing from institutional investors that see the crypto market as an alternative investment strategy.

In a report, the exchange says it observed a “noticeable uptick in institutional business’s growth” in the first half of the year.

According to Coinbase, the “greater visibility of reputable investors warming up to digital assets” is also helping to fuel growing “confidence among this community.”

In May, a hedge fund, Tudor Investment Corporation, disclosed it had taken positions in bitcoin. At the time of this announcement, there were reports quoting the hedge fund’s CEO, Paul Tudor Jones, arguing that bitcoin is a better hedge against inflation.

Jones predicted that the record central banks’ monetary expansion of 2020 will be a “potential catalyst for an increased interest in bitcoin.”

On Monday, July 27, the price of bitcoin passed $10,000 for the first time in several weeks before breaching the $11,000 mark. At the time of writing, the price of bitcoin is oscillating between $10,500 and $11,000.

The recent bitcoin price movement coincided with reports suggesting an imminent release of a second stimulus check for Americans.

In the meantime, Coinbase acknowledges that its “investors are still in the early days of untangling the relationship between macroeconomic policy and crypto.”

Nevertheless, Coinbase says it is seeing a “growing base of our institutional clients organizing around the thesis that BTC provides exposure to an alternative monetary policy system with supply mechanics that are diametrically opposed to those of central banks in 2020.”

Coinbase’s institutional investors demand deeper capabilities to help them allocate and trade. In response to client demand, the exchange says it is building market-leading brokerage services.

The recent acquisition of Tagomi fits the leading exchange’s plan to bolster “our offerings for advanced traders and the most sophisticated crypto investors.”

Coinbase adds it will continue to invest in leading data analytics businesses through Coinbase Ventures.

By Terence Zimwara

Goldman Sachs has warned that the U.S. dollar may lose its status as the world’s reserve currency. The investment bank is bullish on gold as fears over governments debasing their fiat currencies grow and real interest rates are pushed to all-time lows.

Goldman Sachs’ Dollar and Gold Predictions

American investment bank and financial services company Goldman Sachs warned on Tuesday that the U.S. dollar is at risk of losing its status as the world’s reserve currency. Goldman Sachs’ strategists wrote:

Real concerns around the longevity of the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency have started to emerge.

The strategists explained that the U.S. dollar faces several risks. Citing that the debt level in the U.S. has now exceeded 80% of the country’s gross domestic product, they anticipate that the government and central bank may allow inflation to accelerate.

“The resulting expanded balance sheets and vast money creation spurs debasement fears,” they described, adding that this creates “a greater likelihood that at some time in the future, after economic activity has normalized, there will be incentives for central banks and governments to allow inflation to drift higher to reduce the accumulated debt burden.”

Other factors such as increased political uncertainty and growing concerns of another coronavirus infection spike also impact the dollar.

Meanwhile, the price of gold hit an all-time high on Monday, climbing to $1,931 an ounce, prompting a widespread expectation that $2,000 an ounce could soon be reached. Gold’s record-breaking rally even had Goldman Sachs revise its forecast to $2,300 an ounce in the next 12 months after the firm previously discarded its own forecast of $2,000. Gold is up around 7% over the past month while the ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY dropped 3.7%.

The Goldman strategists explained:

Gold is the currency of last resort, particularly in an environment like the current one where governments are debasing their fiat currencies and pushing real interest rates to all-time lows.

Bitcoin has also been named a safe haven asset for the current environment. Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz, for example, believes that with central banks mass printing money, it is “an amazing environment for both being long gold and long bitcoin.”

Even JPMorgan’s analysts wrote in a February report that cryptocurrencies should be in a portfolio “because they can uniquely hedge a yet-unseen environment entailing simultaneous loss of confidence in the domestic currency and its payments system.” Like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan has also questioned the U.S. dollar’s status as a reserve currency, the company outlined in a report published in October last year.

Bitcoin is currently trading at about $10,978, after crossing the $11K mark the previous day. The cryptocurrency is up approximately 17% since last week and 54% since the beginning of the year.

Do you think the USD will lose its status as the world’s reserve currency? Let us know in the comments section.

By Kevin Helms

C’est un scénario contre lequel certains courtiers en bourse mettent en garde depuis un certain temps: l’élection présidentielle américaine pourrait bien déclencher une tempête sur les marchés. Et le tweet de Donald Trump sur un éventuel report du scrutin ne fait que jeter de l’huile sur le feu.

Bruno Colmant, le CEO de la Banque Degroof Petercam, l’avait déjà évoqué en septembre 2017. Selon lui, il est possible que les élections américaines, prévues pour le 3 novembre, ne se déroulent pas bien, voire pas du tout.

Et il n’est pas le seul à tenir compte des manœuvres non conventionnelles de Donald Trump pour se maintenir au pouvoir. ‘Les ingrédients d’un changement de régime politique sont en place’, a encore prévenu Bruno Colmant au début du mois. ‘Je réponds à mes propres préoccupations en rappelant la résilience d’un système institutionnel qui a surmonté tant de défis, y compris la guerre civile.’

Les démocrates, compte tenu des sondages favorables à leur candidat à la présidence, Joe Biden, seront certainement prêts à utiliser tous les moyens offerts par ce système institutionnel pour permettre aux élections de se dérouler. Car Donald Trump a laissé entendre ouvertement pour la première ce jeudi que le scrutin pourrait être reporté.

Le président actuel a en effet lancé quelques scuds sur le vote par correspondance. Ce système de vote gagne du terrain aux États-Unis, alors que l’épidémie de coronavirus continue à faire rage et qu’elle rendra la tenue de l’élection plus compliquée. Mais Donald Trump affirme que le vote par correspondance ouvre la porte à une fraude massive.

‘Risque de fluctuations importantes’

Selon la banque de Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, les investisseurs devraient de toute manière s’attendre à de fortes fluctuations de prix en novembre-décembre. Les conseillers de Goldman ont mis en garde, dans un mémo envoyé à leurs clients au début du mois, contre ‘un risque accru de volatilité liée aux élections et qui pourrait se poursuivre au-delà du jour du vote’.

Les experts de la banque ont dressé un parallèle avec l’élection présidentielle de 2000 et le duel entre George W. Bush et Al Gore. La bataille des urnes, dans l’importantissime État de Floride, a dégénéré en un recomptage chaotique. Il aura fallu plus d’un mois à Al Gore pour jeter l’éponge. Dans une récente interview à Fox News, le président Trump a reconnu ‘qu’il ne prendrait pas aussi bien sa défaite’.

‘Le tweet de Trump sème le chaos, et le chaos est mauvais pour les marchés boursiers », a estimé Jim Cramer, commentateur boursier de CNBC, dans une première réaction.

Source: BusinessAM

 

By Emmanuel Vanbrussel

Independent researcher Kevin Rooke estimates that Grayscale has ramped up its Bitcoin accumulation to a rate equivalent to 150% of the new BTC created since the halving.

Crypto fund manager Grayscale Investments is accumulating Bitcoin at a rate equivalent to 150% of the new coins created by miners since the May 11 block reward halving.

According to data published by independent crypto researcher Kevin Rooke, Grayscale has added 18,910 BTC to its Bitcoin Investment Trust since the halving, while only 12,337 Bitcoins have been mined since May 11.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao reposted the chart, commenting: “There isn’t enough new supply to go around, even for just one guy”.

Grayscale absorbs BTC supply

Last week, Rooke estimated that Grayscale had been buying Bitcoin at a rate equal to between 33% and 34% of new supply during the first quarter of 2020, having accumulated 60,762 BTC over 100 days.

During the quarter, Grayscale also saw average weekly investment into its trust reach $29.9 million — comprising an 800% gain year-over-year.

In response to Rooke’s tweet publishing the figures, Grayscale founder Barry Silbert commented: “just wait until you see Q2.”

Rooke’s latest data indicates that Grayscale is now purchasing nearly double the number of coins per day on average — with Rooke’s post-halving estimate equating to 1,112.35 BTC per day, up from 607.62 BTC during Q1.

Grayscale sounds off on CBDCs

In a recent report published by Grayscale, the firm sought to rebuke analogies comparing Bitcoin to central bank-issued digital currencies (CBDC).

“CBDCs are sometimes viewed as synonymous to, or as replacements for, digital currencies like Bitcoin, but they represent a meaningful departure from the decentralized protocols inherent to many cryptocurrencies,” the report stated.

“CBDCs attempt to upgrade payment infrastructure while Bitcoin is an attempt to upgrade money. If CBDCs gain traction, they may actually bolster the value proposition for Bitcoin and other digital currencies,” Grayscale added.

The report echoed the sentiment of economist John Vaz, who recently told Cointelegraph that CBDCs comprise “a kind of rearguard action being fought by the central banks because they don’t like cryptocurrency”.

“Central bank digital currencies are probably more about tracking money than providing benefit,” Vaz observed.

By SAMUEL HAIG

 

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