Binance Scores Big Win as Newly Licensed Exchange in Italy

Binance cryptocurrency exchange has just scored a big win as its Italian offshoot, dubbed Binance Italy, has received approval to operate in the country by the Organismo Agenti e Mediatori (OAM).


With the new license, Binance can now work, and offer its products and services to Italians, marking the firm’s gradual influence growth in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Back in 2021, several regulators around the world, including those from Italy warned Binance to stop offering exchange-related activities on their shores. 

With the restrictions from regulators and watchdogs mounting massively, CEO, Changpeng Zhai, known on social media by ‘CZ’ changed the firm’s strategy which now prioritizes inking custom-made relationships with regulators in each region.

The approval of Binance Italy is a testament that the new model is working for the company as it has also received approvals from regulators in Dubai amongst others.

“Clear and effective regulation is essential for mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. We thank the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the OAM for their efforts in defining and controlling the necessary requirements to operate in Italy in full transparency,” said CZ,

“Binance has always put its users first and, with actions such as the implementation of the register,  they can be confident that our platform is among the safest and most trustworthy in the world,” he added. 

The emergence of Binance as a Digital Assets Service Provider in Italy has also been preceded by the ‘Yes’ the firm received from the AMF in France as well as from regulators in Bahrain.

One crucial way the exchange hopes to capture the hearts of regulators is by establishing a defined regional headquarters such that interactions with the firm will be easier for watchdogs as well as customers as a whole. In relation to this, the company has been sampling a lot of locations, including Dubai and Ireland, to establish its global headquarters.

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ECB Officials Urges to Accept Digital Euro in Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Fabio Panetta, a member of the Executive Council of the European Central Bank (ECB), suggested an acceptance of the digital euro in brick-and-mortar stores and online entities to help promote the use of the fiat digital euro.

A digital euro needs to allow easy payments between people if it follows a trend of adoption like the fiat euro 20 years ago. A nominal survey showed in a statement released on Wednesday. And the masses are more receptive to the digital euro, which is widely accepted in various brick-and-mortar and online stores.

Panetta said:

“The introduction of euro banknotes made it possible for us to pay with physical euros anywhere in the euro area. So it is no surprise that people expect to be able to use the digital complement to banknotes wherever they can pay digitally or online.”

In April last year, The European Central Bank (ECB) has published its public consultation results, an initiative launched last year to evaluate Europeans’ stance regarding a central bank digital currency (CBDC) backed by the European Union.

The majority of the respondents, including private citizens and professionals, want a digital Euro, but only if it can be built with elements of privacy.

Fabio Panetta said the ECB would hold another round of focus groups on the digital euro by the end of 2022, adding that:

“We are getting a clearer picture of what citizens and merchants want, so we can finetune all the design features of a digital euro before any potential issuance. And co-legislators have a key role to play, for instance to enable greater privacy.”

The ECB is amongst the major monetary watchdogs with a vested interest in the Digital Euro pursuit. The ECB President Christine Lagarde has often reiterated the bank’s plans to launch the CBDC to serve as a complementary digital payment alternative to relieve the existing fiat Euro alternative.

Other economies, including Japan, China, and Sweden, are also exploring the Digital Currency initiative across the board.

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WisdomTree Expands Crypto Offerings in Europe, Launching Cardano, Polkadot & Solana ETPs

WisdomTree Investments, Inc., a New York-based exchange-traded fund and exchange-traded product provider and asset manager, announced on Tuesday that it has launched three new crypto exchange-traded products (ETPs) backed by Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), and Polkadot (DOT) in Europe. - 2022-03-30T115517.333.jpg

The three new physically-backed cryptos ETPs include WisdomTree Solana (SOLW), WisdomTree Cardano (ADAW), and WisdomTree Polkadot (DOTW). WisdomTree said that it designed the ETPs to provide investors in Europe with another option to enable them to gain exposure to the price of Polkadot, Solana, and Cardano via regulated exchanges.

The firm disclosed that it has listed the three ETPs on major European digital exchanges, including Deutsche Boerse’s Xetra, the Swiss SIX exchange, and the Swiss Stock Exchange. WisdomTree further stated that it plans to list the crypto ETPs on the pan-European exchange Euronext to be available in Amsterdam and Paris at the end of the month.

DOTW, ADAW, and SOLW have a total expense ratio of 0.95% and are available for sale in most of the European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, WisdomTree said.

Alexis Marinof, WisdomTree’s Head of Europe, talked about the development and stated that the new offering aims to meet the rising demand from institutional investors to diversify their crypto portfolio. “While Bitcoin and Ethereum grab the headlines, altcoins are now viable options for many institutional investors, providing more options to diversify their crypto holdings just like they would with any other asset class,” Marinof elaborated.

Supporting Investors on Their Journey into Digital Assets

Listing crypto ETPs on stock exchanges has continued to open up more access points for investors to conveniently trade cryptocurrencies. Since WisdomTree launched its digital assets platform in 2019, the company has witnessed a lot of development in the space. The continued product launch represents the growing acceptance of crypto, the evolving European regulatory landscape, and demonstrates that digital assets are here to stay.

In November last year, WisdomTree launched three crypto basket exchange-traded products in Europe. The firm listed the three crypto ETPs (the WisdomTree Crypto Market (BLOC), WisdomTree Crypto Altcoins (WALT), and WisdomTree Crypto Mega Cap Equal Weight (MEGA) on Swiss stock exchange SIX and Frankfurt-based Börse Xetra.

BLOC offers exposure to the most established crypto assets such as Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. WALT is focused on altcoins such as Cardano, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Polkadot, and Solana. MEGA focuses solely on Bitcoin and Ether as the market’s two “mega-cap” assets.

The funds are passported for sale across 12 European Union countries plus Switzerland and Norway.

In June last year, WisdomTree listed its physically-backed Bitcoin and Ether ETPs on Euronext exchanges in Paris and Amsterdam. The move came after the firm listed such products on Germany’s Börse Xetra and SIX, the Swiss Stock Exchange.

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44% of Germans Optimizes Crypto for the Future of Finance, Study Shows

Given that Germany is the first nation to recognize Bitcoin as a unit of value, 44% of respondents in the country view crypto as part of the future of finance, according to a study by crypto exchange KuCoin.

Based on the Cryptoverse 2022 Report Germany edition, KuCoin highlights that cryptocurrencies are being regarded as a means of passive income. Per the report:

“44% of Germans are motivated to invest in cryptocurrencies to be a part of the future of finance, 35% do it for the passive income opportunities, while 30% consider cryptocurrencies a reliable means of value storage.”

Some of the respondents also noted that cryptocurrencies would give them financial independence. 

The KuCoin study states that the ongoing legal regulation of the decentralized sector in the nation prompted 16% of the populace aged between 18 to 60 to invest in cryptocurrencies by either trading or owning them in the last six months. 

According to the report, the high crypto literacy on German soil has made 13% of the population curious about crypt- based on their desire to invest in them in the next six months.

The study noted:

“The high level of cryptocurrency literacy in Germany is showcased by the fact that 77% of crypto-curious investors are researching potential assets to invest in.”

Crypto lending emerged as the second most favoured strategy as it took up 13% of investors’ trading volume.

Meanwhile, a recent survey by KuCoin illustrated that Turkish women were investing and trading cryptocurrencies because their crypto curiosity topped that of men, Blockchain.News reported. 

Furthermore, a study published by payment giant Visa in December last year showed that a financial way of the future and to build wealth were the key drivers of owning cryptocurrencies. 

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FTX Crypto Exchange Announces Major Expansion into European Market

FTX, a major cryptocurrency exchange, announced on Monday it is launching a new European affiliate- FTX Europe, as part of efforts to establish its business in the continent. - 2022-03-08T095115.046.jpg

The exchange made such an announcement after securing approval from Cyprus’ financial regulator CySec. Following the approval, FTX Europe will start serving users across Europe.

FTX Europe is the second affiliate of the FTX crypto exchange. In May 2019, the exchange launched its American affiliate, FTX US.

FTX said that it would begin offering its products to European customers through a licensed investment company with accreditable licenses across the European economic area. The new entity will be headquartered in Switzerland, with an additional base in Cyprus.

Patrick Gruhn, a partner at the Swiss legal firm Crypto Lawyers LLC, will be the head of FTX Europe. Gruhn talked about the new development and said: “Europeans will now be able to use FTX’s best-in-class trading platform to invest in a wide range of cryptocurrencies derivatives thru a regulated investment firm.”

Meanwhile, Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO and founder of FTX exchange, also commented about the business development and stated: “As we continue to grow, we are constantly looking at opportunities to become appropriately licensed and regulated in every market we enter. We’ll be interacting with regulators in various countries across Europe to continue to provide a safe and secure environment for people to trade crypto.”

Global Expansion into Emerging Markets

Founded in 2019, FTX is a Bahamas-based exchange that offers derivatives products as well as spot trading. In October last year, the exchange raised $420 million in a funding round with participation from top investors, including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Temasek, Sequoia Capital, Sea Capital, IVP, ICONIQ Growth, Tiger Global, BlackRock, Ribbit Capital, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. FTX planned to use the funding to expand its product offerings and push it into new markets worldwide.

FTX’s US, the American subsidiary of crypto exchange FTX, has captured attention after growing its user base to 1 million. Last month, FTX’s US announced plans to add stock trading to its platform and therefore set a pace to compete with the likes of Robinhood. FTX has been planning to add features that would enable traders to view company fundamentals on their screens, see up-to-date price quotes, and track their portfolio performance.

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Ukraine Cancells Crypto Airdrop Program, Instead Embraces NFTs Plan

Ukraine’s government announced on Thursday that it cancelled its plan of a crypto airdrop for receiving donations towards its fight against last week’s Russian invasion. The authorities have instead stated that they will sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to raise funds to support its armed forces.

Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister, informed the public on Thursday that the nation has made the decision to cancel an airdrop for crypto donations that was announced on Tuesday and instead now plans to raise more funds through the sale of NFTs.

“After careful consideration, we decided to cancel airdrop. Instead, we will announce NFTs to support Ukrainian Armed Forces soon. We DO NOT HAVE any plans to issue any fungible tokens.” Fedorov announced on his Twitter account.

Ukraine’s government expected to start the airdrop yesterday (on Thursday) at 6 p.m. Kyiv time. However, the crypto airdrop program took an unexpected turn on Wednesday when scammers started targeting Ukraine’s fundraising attempts by creating a fake token designed to look official. Scammers created a fake token and made it look like it was the official airdrop token for crypto donors.

The fake airdrop started almost an hour before the officially announced time, but Etherscan eventually flagged it as fake. Several hours later, Fedorov announced that Ukraine has cancelled the crypto airdrop program and now plans to use NFTs to support the country’s armed forces. Although the airdrop program is now dropped, it was a successful marketing tool in getting further donations. After the airdrop was announced, the official Ukrainian crypto wallet for donations reportedly obtained $7 million in donations.

Though the minister didn’t reveal the reason why the government cancelled the airdrop, some in the crypto community were disappointed about the U-turn and others also found it strange.

Cryptocurrency Helping Ukraine

According to Chainalysis, Ukraine is one of the world’s biggest adopters of cryptocurrency, ranking behind only Vietnam, India and Pakistan. Ukraine began accepting cryptocurrencies as donations toward its military as Russia’s invasion continues. The use of crypto in the country is evidence of the technology’s benefits.

Ukraine announced the airdrop program on Wednesday after it received strong support from the crypto community and millions of dollars in digital asset donations.

In the previous week, Ukraine has been getting crypto donations in the form of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other crypto coins. The Ukrainian government first announced on February 26 that it was accepting crypto donations. The government is reported to have received over $10 million and $16 million in Bitcoin and Ethereum respectively. To date, the total amount of crypto funds raised has reached more than $50 million.


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Crypto Price Prediction: Ethereum Could Double In 2022 Amid ‘Strong Competition’ From Rivals BNB, Solana, And Cardano

Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin that’s seen its price soar over the last year, is fighting to maintain its dominance in an increasingly crowded market.

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The ethereum price has rocketed 2,500% since the beginning of 2020 with its market capitalization ballooning to almost $400 billion. Meanwhile, ethereum’s biggest smart contract blockchain rivals Binance’s BNB, solana and cardano have all risen at an even faster clip as investors bet they could win market share from ethereum.

Now, a survey of crypto experts has revealed an ethereum price prediction of $7,600 in 2022—double its price at the beginning of the year.

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“While the network certainly has advantages in global market awareness and developer base, it is also against increasingly strong competition that bitcoin does not face by contrast,” said Finder founder Fred Schebesta, who predicts ethereum will peak at $7,000 in 2022 before dropping to $6,000 by the end of the year due to “heavy competition.”

Longer-term, the 33-strong panel surveyed by personal finance comparison site Finder predicted that the ethereum price will reach almost $11,000 by the end of 2025 and an eye-popping $26,000 by the end of 2030. Just over half (52%) of the panel think it’s time to buy ethereum, while 30% recommend investors “hold.” Just 19% think it’s the right time to sell ethereum.

Meanwhile, almost 80% of panelists think ethereum’s long-awaited move to a proof-of-stake model, away from the more energy-intensive proof-of-work model used by bitcoin, will likely lead to an increase in the ethereum price.

“Scalability and throughput are king, but doing this in a decentralized manner with security is critical—proof-of-stake on ethereum in 2022 should get them there,” said panelist and Thomson Reuters technologist Joseph Raczynski, who thinks the ethereum price will climb to $8,000 by the end of 2022 and soar to $15,000 by the end of 2025.

Ethereum began moving toward proof-of-stake, expected to help ethereum scale, reduce fees and increase transaction times, at the end of 2020. The process is expected to be completed by June 2022.

“If the ethereum 2.0 model is successful and proof-of-stake is properly implemented, we can expect ethereum to moon real hard,” said panelist and CoinSmart chief executive Justin Hartzman.

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However, other panel members aren’t convinced and have warned the ethereum network’s high fees, known as gas, will remain detrimentally high.

“The improvements provided by proof-of-stake will not outweigh the negative impact of excessive gas prices,” said Panxora Group chief executive Gavin Smith, who expects a price drop following the move to proof-of-stake and thinks it’s time to sell. “The change made recently to gas calculations will cancel out any reduction in gas prices that proof-of-stake would have provided.”

Ethereum has seen a surge in use and demands on its network over the past 18 months due to the soaring popularity of decentralized finance (DeFi)—designed to recreate traditional financial services with crypto technology—and non-fungible tokens (NFTs)—blockchain-based collectibles that have been widely adopted by the art industry, musicians and the world of sport.

However, some think Binance’s BNB, solana and cardano—which boast faster transactions times and lower fees—could attract users away from ethereum’s blockchain, where almost all DeFi and most NFTs are currently based.

In January, Wall Street giant JPMorgan warned ethereum’s high transaction fees and network congestion risk handing NFT market share to rival blockchain solana—something that could be a “problem for ethereum’s valuation.”


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JPMorgan Reveals Bitcoin’s ‘Biggest Challenge’—Along With A Surprise Bitcoin Price ‘Fair Value’

Bitcoin, after soaring through much of last year, has had a tough start to 2022—despite some huge bitcoin price predictions.

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The bitcoin price hit lows of $32,000 per bitcoin in January, down from a peak of around $70,000 per bitcoin, but has recently bounced back, climbing over $45,000 for the first time in over a month.

However, banking giant JPMorgan has calculated bitcoin’s “fair value” to be far lower than its current price—and warned bitcoin’s “boom and bust cycles” are its biggest challenge when it comes to institutional adoption.

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“The biggest challenge for bitcoin going forward is its volatility and the boom and bust cycles that hinder further institutional adoption,” JPMorgan strategists wrote in a note to clients this week, it was first reported by Bloomberg.

JPMorgan’s calculations are based on bitcoin’s volatility in comparison with gold, with bitcoin roughly four times as volatile. However, if bitcoin’s volatility differential narrows to just three times gold’s, the bitcoin price fair value rises to $50,000. Over the longer term, JPMorgan has maintained its huge $150,000 bitcoin price prediction—a price that would give bitcoin a market capitalization of $2.8 trillion and put it on par with all gold held privately for investment purposes.

“With no fundamental value, like commodities, stocks or bonds have, bitcoin’s price is influenced by investor interest, making it a purely speculative asset,” Alex Kuptsikevich, a senior financial analyst at FxPro, said in emailed comments.

“Simply put, its price is determined not so much by volatility as by crowd interest. Without investor interest, it quickly goes sour, and with it, it picks up just as fast. In bitcoin’s favour is the reduced supply growth rate and its finiteness.”

By some measures, the bitcoin price is becoming less volatile over time, which could increase its appeal to institutional investors.

“We should also note that the entry of institutional investors, the increasing acceptance of bitcoin as an asset for portfolio diversification, and the increased trading turnover in cryptocurrencies make the price less volatile over time,” Kuptsikevich added, pointing to the bitcoin price climbing around 18 times from bottom to peak during the 2020-2021 growth cycle, while after the previous halving, in 2016-2017, the price rose 52 times. “This is comfortable for corporates and institutional investors but hardly to the liking of retail investors.”

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Despite putting bitcoin’s fair value under its current price, JPMorgan analysts are feeling more bullish than they did during bitcoin’s latest major crash in May last year, but pointed to a “more long-standing and thus more worrisome position reduction trend” as cause for concern.

Bitcoin and crypto investment funds saw large outflows through January, according to CoinShares data, as institutional investors took profits and reduced their positions. However, investors returned in February. About $71 million flowed into bitcoin-focused funds last week, the largest amount since early December.

In October, the first U.S. bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) launched in New York to huge hype that didn’t last. The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy fund became the first of its kind to start trading and debuted to record-setting demand, absorbing $1.1 billion in just two days but the pace of growth quickly cooled.


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Algorand Foundation Names Former JP Morgan Executive as CEO, ALGO Soars 10%

Today, the Algorand Foundation announced the appointment of Staci Warden as their CEO. On the board of the foundation since September 2021, according to a press release, Warden will take on the responsibilities as its leader.

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The Algorand Foundation will nurture from Warden vast experience. Before joining the organization, she ran the Global Market Development practice at the Milken Institute, a nonprofit think tank created with the objective of aiding people at “building meaningful lives”.

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At the Milken Institute, Warden led the nonprofit’s work on capital market development, innovative finance with sustainable development goals, and crypto and blockchain solutions, according to the release. Its subsequent participation in the Algorand ecosystem seems like a logical step.

This network aims at becoming the hub for the “future of finance” running on its Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain by merging decentralize and traditional finances. Designed with a non-carbon emission approach, with low-cost and a scalable network, Warden has acknowledged its potential.

According to Kieron Guilfoyle, the Foundation’s Board Chairman:

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Staci understands the potential for Algorand to become a dominant Layer One blockchain, and she has the experience and expertise to drive our global efforts to scale and to deliver outstanding value to our community. I know she will waste no time in shifting the Algorand Foundation into its expansion phase.

In addition to her experience at the Milken Institute, Warden ran JP Morgan’s Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) practices. She also led the Nasdaq’s two market for microcap companies and held senior positions in the public and nonprofit sector at the U.S. Treasury Department, according to the release.

Furthermore, Warden worked for the Center for Global Development, and the Harvard Institute for International Development. The new member at the Foundation has experienced doing business in over 50 countries with a vast knowledge of the use cases and potential for crypto to aid people and mitigate real world issues.

The Algorand Foundation, And How Crypto Can Help The World

The Foundation believes the current year will be “key” in the development of ALGO network. In 2022, they expect the DeFi sector, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), to continue to gain relevance and increase their adoption rates.

In that sense, the Foundation has set out to make the network a core “building block” for the digital economy of the future. Warded stated the following on her new role:

1.7 billion people in the world do not have access to finance, and the Algorand protocol has the speed, the security, and the decentralization to address the problem of global financial inclusion at scale. By both ratcheting up our global ambitions as well as doubling down on our commitment to the DeFi ecosystem, I know that we will deliver tremendous value for both the Algorand ecosystem as a whole and the end-users it supports.

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As of press time, ALGO trades at $1,01 and has seen an almost 10% profit in the last week as the crypto market continues to trend to the upside. As the year enter the end of its first quarter, it’ll be interested to see if ALGO and the market in general will be able to sustain their bullish momentum.

ALGOUSDT moving sideways on the daily chart. Source: ALGOUSDT Tradingview


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It’s ‘Still Early’—Wells Fargo Issues Huge Bitcoin And Ethereum Price Prediction As Extreme Volatility Hits BNB, Solana, Cardano And XRP

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies had a huge boom in 2021 with the combined crypto market exploding from under $1 trillion to around $3 trillion—with some predicting the market could grow much further.

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The bitcoin price soared to almost $70,000 per bitcoin late last year before crashing back to just over $30,000. Ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies, including Binance’s BNB, solana, cardano and XRP, saw similar volatility. Crypto prices have rebounded over the last week but remain highly volatile.

Now, banking giant Wells Fargo has predicted global crypto adoption could “soon hit a hyper-inflection point”—adding “it is still early in the cryptocurrency investment evolution.”

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“For today’s investor trying to figure out if we are early or late to cryptocurrency investing, looking at technology investing in the mid-to-late 1990s seems reasonable,” Wells Fargo’s global investment strategy team wrote in a report this week. “At that time, the internet hit a hyper-adoption phase and never looked back. Cryptocurrencies appear to be at a similar stage today.”

The analysts pointed to research from the bitcoin and crypto exchange that found the number of global cryptocurrency users reached 221 million in June 2021, or just under 3% of the world’s population, highlighting that “it took only four months to double the global cryptocurrency population from 100 million to 200 million.”

“If this trend continues, cryptocurrencies could soon exit the early adoption phase and enter an inflection point of hyper-adoption, similar to other technologies. There is a point where adoption rates begin to rise and do not look back […] Precise numbers aside, there is no doubt that global cryptocurrency adoption is rising, and could soon hit a hyper-inflection point.”

However, the team—part of Wells Fargo Investment Institute, the research division of Wells Fargo Wealth and Investment Management—cautioned that “cryptocurrency investment options today are still maturing” and they “advise patience,” adding they “are hopeful that greater regulatory clarity in 2022 brings higher quality investment options.”

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Bitcoin and crypto regulation has been pushed up the agenda of governments around the world after 2021’s huge bull run, with the growth of blockchain-based stablecoins setting off regulator alarm bells.

Last month, it was reported that the Biden administration in the U.S. is preparing an executive order that will outline a comprehensive government strategy on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and ask federal agencies to determine their risks and opportunities.

Meanwhile, a sudden sell-off that hit bitcoin, ethereum and others late last year was triggered by expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will repeatedly hike rates this year, increasing the cost of borrowing and beginning to taper its pandemic-era stimulus measures.

The crypto price crash—hitting all major cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ethereum, Binance’s BNB, solana, cardano and XRP—has sparked fears that a new so-called crypto winter could be setting in, similar to the 2018 bear market that saw many of the biggest coins lose 90% of their value.

“Even though the current crypto trend looks bearish, we have to take in consideration that the structure of crypto investments is quite different now compared to the previous peaks at the end of 2017,” Andras Ivan, an analyst at international broker comparison site BrokerChooser, said in emailed comments.

“The market cap is significantly higher now and institutional investors joined in the past 1-2 years. That might help the market to avoid such serious drops and disappearing interest that we experienced in the crypto winter of 2018-2019.”


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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 26,617.13 2.12%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,585.12 2.73%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 64.57 0.36%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 207.57 3.79%