Singapore’s Central Bank Chairman Shows Openness to Stablecoins

Bankers and government officials around the world are proving more welcoming to crypto than ever before. Tharman Shanmugaratnam – Singapore’s Central Bank Chairman – recently stated that cryptocurrency has a place in the country’s financial sector. All it needs are some regulations around illicit finance.

A Place For Stablecoins

The chairman showed his support at the Asia Financial Markets Forum on Wednesday. He said that the technology’s financial use-cases could extend beyond those of “pure speculation” and “illicit finance.”

The minister’s interest appears most concentrated in stablecoins, which he believes have a role to play in traditional financial systems. However, he acknowledges that such assets must be regulated to combat their use for “illicit finance.”

This appears to be a common perspective among regulators. Jerome Powell – Chairman of the US Federal Reserve – said he has “no intention” to ban cryptocurrencies but shows heightened concern for how stablecoins are utilized. Likewise, SEC chairman Gary Gensler has referred to stablecoins as “poker chips” at the casino gambling tables.

For Shanmugaratnam, however, stablecoins offer great economic benefits, despite their associated risks.


“I think the future will be one where regulated Stablecoins will have a useful role in a traditional payment system that innovates and becomes more interoperable across borders for cheap, fast, and instant payments,” he said.

The central bank said they are remaining open-minded on cryptocurrency altogether in the name of technological innovation. Singapore has recently been building its status as a global crypto tech hub. A survey this summer showed that half of Singaporeans own cryptocurrencies.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Chairman of Singapores’s Central Bank. Source: CNBC

‘Fintech,’ Not ‘Crypto’

The minister refrains from using terms like ‘crypto’ or ‘cryptocurrency’ and instead approaches digital assets as ‘Fintech.’ As he sees it, financial technologies are expanding financial services to the unbanked while forcing traditional financial systems to improve.

To call such assets ‘currency’ is foolish, however, as their volatile prices make them unsuitable as a medium of exchange.

“If you have an instrument that is volatile in pricing, it’s never going to become money,” he said. “It’s going to be a speculative asset, for both the wise and foolish.”

El Salvador remains the only country to make Bitcoin legal tender. To adjust for Bitcoin’s price fluctuations, the nation’s state wallet “Chivo” allows recipients of Bitcoin to automatically convert their earnings into fiat money.


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El Salvador President Buys the Dip, Adds 420 Bitcoin to Treasury

Nayib Bukele, the president and self-described “Emperor of El Salvador,” has taken advantage of today’s drop in Bitcoin prices to increase his country’s BTC reserves.

Bukele announced today on Twitter in English (the lingua franca of the Bitcoin ecosystem, but not his citizens) that he had bought the proverbial dip. BTC, which reached an all-time high above $67,000 last week, fell today to below $60,000, according to CoinGecko.

The amount of BTC he bought was the icing on the cake: 420 BTC. (For those unfamiliar with the internet, 420 is a meme number associated with the cannabis culture.)

El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as legal tender on September 7. In the past two months, Bukele has ordered four BTC purchases for the country’s coffers. According to Disruptiva magazine’s estimates, El Salvador bought 200 BTC at $51,300 on September 6, then another batch of 200 BTC at $51,500. A day later, it purchased 150 BTC at $52,000, and finally, on September 19, El Salvador bought the dip, acquiring another 150 BTCat $45,700. 

After racking up a portfolio at over $11 million in unrealized losses, the price of Bitcoin started to recover, reaching a new high. With this new purchase, Bukele has increased El Salvador’s stated Bitcoin reserves to 1,120 BTC, at an average price of $53,324.29. With the price tag of Bitcoin at nearly $59,000, it’s made a tidy (though unrealized) return on its investment. 

If Bukele issues a buy order of 69 BTC during Bitcoin’s next dip, Decrypt will be the first to report it.


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Bitcoin Exchange Balances Decline To Three-Year Low Amid Rising Prices

Bitcoin exchange balances have been on the decline since the bull rally began. The volumes were expected to go up once the digital asset had hit a new all-time high in October. However, this was not the case. Previous trends have often pointed to exchange balances seeing an increase in bull markets when investors moved their holdings to exchanges in order to take profits. This bull market has defied all expectations for it and continues to do so.

Outflows from exchanges outpace inflows as investors withdraw BTC from exchanges en masse. Exchange balance volumes relative to the circulating supply of bitcoin have declined towards three-year lows. BTC exchange balances now sit at levels not seen since January 2018. This has led to a supply squeeze on exchanges, causing sell pressures to drop tremendously.

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Big Exchanges See Declining Balances

Big exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, and Huobi have seen large volumes of bitcoin withdrawn from their exchanges. Binance recorded the highest outflows for the last week with 21,000 BTC withdrawn from the crypto exchange. This is one of the sharpest declines recorded in the market.

Chart showing bitcoin exchange reserves

Chart showing bitcoin exchange reserves

BTC exchange balances continue to decline | Source: Arcane Research

Huobi also saw thousands of BTC leave the exchange in the past week. The past seven days save 8,000 BTC withdrawn from the cryptocurrency exchange. The outflows from the exchange culminated in a 9% drop in the volume of bitcoin held on Huobi.

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These outflows are no longer surprising given that the market has continuously followed this trend for the past few months. Growing scarcity has led to mounting buy pressures as investors scramble to get their hands on as much of the digital asset as they can.

Exchanges Hold 12.94% Of Bitcoin Supply

The share of the total circulating supply held by exchanges has plummeted in October. Currently, exchanges hold 2.44 million BTC on their balances. This translates to 12.94% of the total circulating supply, a new three-year low. A total of 27,500 BTC left exchanges in the past week alone.

Related Reading | Brace For Impact: Wall Street Is Headed Straight For Bitcoin, Says Analyst

Chart trends show that the volume held by these exchanges has consistently declined as the price of bitcoin has grown. Exchange balances had peaked for the year in June after the market had experienced a crash that put an end to the bull rally in April. Sell pressures eased in the months following June, leaving room for further accumulation by investors. Investors are choosing to leave their assets in cold storage rather than moving to exchanges to take gains from the market.

Bitcoin price chart from

Bitcoin price chart from

BTC trading in the mid-$58K | Source: BTCUSD on

Glassnode’s data shows that Coinbase holds 29% of global exchange reserves. Despite the sharp decline in its balances, Binance still holds 21% of global bitcoin exchange reserves. Gemini holds the third-largest volume with 12% of global reserves. The report however did not include balances from the crypto exchange, FTX.

Featured image from Bitcoin News, charts from Arcane Research and


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Litecoin transactions near an all-time high after gaining ground in consumer finance

The number of Litecoin (LTC) transactions has rebounded to over 140,000 in recent days after falling close to the 100,000 mark in early October. Three days prior, the Litecoin Foundation tweeted about the launch of its LTC Visa Debit card, powered by fintech firm Unbanked. 

According to the card’s homepage, potential customers would first register for a Litecoin Card account, deposit LTC into a specific wallet address, pass a know-your-customer check, and receive a virtual Litecoin Card. The service claims that the sign-up process takes less than five minutes.

The Litecoin card is meant to enable users to spend their LTC at all digital merchants that use Visa as their payment processor — a number the Litecoin Foundation estimates to be around 50 million.

The day after, the Litecoin Foundation issued another tweet about Verifone’s partnership with BitPay. Verifone is one of the world’s biggest point-of-sale payment processors, facilitating close to $440 billion each year in annual transactions. BitPay is a cryptocurrency payment processor handling over 60,000 consumer transactions each month involving Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), LTC, and more.

Litecoin launched in 2011 with the stated objective of becoming “the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.” Based on data from cryptwerk, there are now 3,111 businesses worldwide that accept LTC directly as payment, up from 2,230 in the same period last year. The digital currency’s merchant acceptance is currently slightly less than half that of Bitcoin’s.