Tag Archives: Cryptocurrency

Citibank Report Says Asset Tokenization a Killer Use Case for Blockchain and CBDCs What About Crypto?

Citibank Report Says Asset Tokenization a “Killer Use Case” for Blockchain and CBDCs. What About Crypto?

Citibank's latest global perspectives and solutions report claims that tokenizing financial and real-world assets could be the "killer use-case" and a multi-trillion dollar opportunity. The report focuses on Asset Tokenization as the “killer use case” that blockchain needs to drive a breakthrough, with trillions of dollars worth of securities tokenized by the decade's end, forecasting up to $4 trillion. 

Citi is an investment bank on the list of the “Too Big To Fail” banks. Its 165-page research report is titled ‘Money, Tokens, and Games. Blockchains Next Billion Users and Trillions in Value’ and contains bold projections for Blockchain, NFTs, and Central Bank Digital Currencies. 

The report noted that the crypto industry is “approaching an inflection point,” and conversations by a few key figures in the crypto industry were aggregated in the research paper. The list includes Algorand founder Silvio Micali, Aave founder Stanley Kulechov, Ava Labs president John Wu, Polygon Labs president Ryan Wyatt,  and even Zooko Wilcox, the founder of Zcash.

The report pdf is very long, so here’s a summary of a few noteworthy sections and some counter-arguments of why it may be a little askew in these areas. Could it be intentional, or  maybe it’s just wishful thinking on their part? And what does it mean for the crypto industry?

Image credit: Citi GPS pdf

Report’s Brief Introduction 

The report begins with a brief introduction from Kathleen Boyle, the managing editor at Citibank, who, presumably, put this report together. She commences by explaining that the potential of blockchain has been overlooked primarily because it's a back-end technology, not a front-end technology like ChatGPT. She says successful blockchain adoption will be achieved when “Blockchain has a billion-plus users who do not even realize they are using the technology.” 

However, she does not say this adoption will come from crypto; it will come from Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). She also implies that the trillion-dollar opportunity of asset tokenization will come from the blockchains that power these CBDCs, not cryptocurrency blockchains. 

This starkly contrasts what the crypto headlines say about the report. – As DeFi Edge points out there are already some prominent crypto protocols focusing on real-world asset tokenization. This underscores the importance of whenever you hear an institution, be it a mega bank or a government, talking about the benefits and potential of blockchain technology, 99% of the time, they are not talking about cryptocurrency. In almost every case, they talk about private and permissioned blockchains they will control. 

This is why it's a bit scary to see Kathleen explain that blockchain needs “decentralized digital identities, zero-knowledge proofs, oracles, and secure bridges to achieve mass adoption.” She's probably not talking about the same technology we use in crypto. She's talking about different technology. Kathleen also notes that “regulatory considerations are also necessary to allow adoption and scalability without ‘hindering innovation’.” 

Image credit: Citi GPS pdf

Kathleen and her crew estimate the mass adoption of blockchain, not crypto, is 6 to 8 years away. Some would argue that the mass adoption of crypto will come much sooner than that, and the value of the assets tokenized on cryptocurrency blockchains will exceed the $4 trillion the report is projecting. Moreover, the sentiment of crypto heavyweights et al. believes the adoption of CBDCs and asset tokenization on private blockchains will be much lower than the authors' pitch. 

That's because data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the bank for central banks, shows that only 4% – 12% of people will voluntarily adopt CBDCs. The same goes for tokenized assets on private blockchains. If governments control these blockchains, then having all your assets tokenized means you won't truly own them; the government will own them. This is precisely what entities like the World Economic Forum are pushing for. This article explains how you can reject what the globalists are planning.

Central Bank Digital Currencies – CBDCs 

The first part of the report worth covering is about CBDCs. The report projects that between 2 and 4 billion people will voluntarily adopt CBDCs. This is inconsistent with the adoption projections from the BIS and actual CBDC adoption in countries like Nigeria, where adoption is a fraction of a percent. 

It begins by revealing that the obsession with CBDCs comes from the fact that they will allow governments and central banks to micromanage monetary and fiscal policy. In other words, they can control how much you can spend, how much you can save, what you can buy, and so on. Citi’s authors estimate that as much as 20% of all the currency in circulation will be converted into CBDCs by 2030. They also claimed that; 

“The successful launch and adoption of CBDCs would lead to more stablecoin projects becoming mainstream. This is because the stablecoin protocol is now able to hold reserves in CBDCs, which are more stable and liquid than money market instruments.” 

For context, stablecoins are currently backed primarily by US government debt. This is a double-edged sword because it allows the US government to subsidize its spending but also risks crashing the bond market in the event of a stablecoin run. It sounds like stablecoins will soon be backed by CBDCs instead. This is concerning because if CBDCs back stablecoins, it gives governments and central banks de facto control of all the stablecoins in circulation. 

This, in turn, would give governments and central banks control of cryptocurrencies, whose ecosystems rely on stablecoins, such as Ethereum. Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin said that stablecoins like USDC would have the power to decide future blockchain forks. What’s needed is a genuinely decentralized stablecoin to be developed that will protect crypto projects, like Ethereum, from future stablecoin control. 

The authors list countries that are working on CBDCs and include notes about which technologies they're using. Australia and Norway appear to use Ethereum as part of their CBDC development. It's safe to assume they will use some private version. To their credit, the authors also list risks associated with a CBDC rollout. These include competition between central banks because of currency competition, a loss of privacy, a loss of bank deposits leading to financial instability, and limited adoption. Critics argue that the latter isn't a risk.

Image credit: Citi GPS pdf

Regarding the adoption aspect, the authors highlight the less than 0.05% adoption rate of Nigeria’s eNaira and the slow adoption of the Bahamas Sand Dollar, with FTX’s collapse and C-19 said to be contributing factors to the loss in momentum. This makes their projection of wide-scale CBDC adoption that much more implausible. They blame the absence of said adoption so far on a lack of financial literacy. Arguably, financial literacy is precisely why people aren't adopting CBDCs. 

As explained in this article, it’s important to note the difference between CBDCs and cryptocurrencies. Certain institutions are already trying to market CBDCs as having the same benefits as cryptos as cryptocurrency adoption continues to rise.

Citi’s report presents timelines for when some CBDCs will be deployed. It states a digital Euro will be up and running around 2026. The digital pound will be ready by 2030, but the digital dollar is yet to be determined, and it slams the few brave US politicians for trying to stop its development. 

Decentralized Social Media – DeSo

The second part of the report is about decentralized social media (DeSo). Unfortunately, this chapter is relatively short because DeSo is highly critical due to the overwhelming efforts of governments to censor the internet. This article explains that governments worldwide are in the process of passing online censorship laws. In the European Union, these online censorship laws have already passed and are set to go into force in June this year. 

Since trust in institutions has been declining for decades and slumped after all the pandemic restrictions, their need for this crackdown makes sense. Trust in institutions is crucial for the financial status quo to continue. The recent banking crisis exemplifies what happens when that trust is entirely lost. This is why the authors note that “Blockchain's ability to create a shared, immutable, digital record of transactions could also help users see where particular information originated in order to judge its credibility. This could help build trust.”

The catch is that trust only exists when the blockchain is trustless. The report also notes that with DeSo, “ownership of content and control over the distribution channels remains with users.” This is required to resist online censorship, and it's the same principle that underlies all crypto. You are only financially free when you own and control your assets. 

The report’s authors include a conversation with Aave founder Stanley Kulechov; the remainder of the section is an interview with him. This is primarily because Stanley and the Aave team are working on the Lens protocol, a decentralized social media protocol that will serve as the backend for future DeSo platforms. Stanley believes that games and social media might be how most people become aware of blockchain technology. 

They are unaware that a monolithic crypto project in the DeSo space has been in development and is now up and running for the most part. The founder and architect of Markethive, Thomas Prendergast, envisioned the dystopian system we are experiencing currently and is ahead of the curve with a decentralized platform incorporating a social, marketing and broadcasting network for entrepreneurs that services as a cottage industry. Markethive is an ECOcentric DNA system. 

The Markethive ecosystem culminates with its unique, comprehensive economic center housing the wallets and account facilitation for the user, with merchant accounts for eCommerce facilitation, and enables creators to monetize their content. Its cryptocurrency, Hivecoin, is the cornerstone of this decentralized economic sanctuary and is a portal to sovereignty and financial freedom with gamification thrown in. This is where people are learning about and experiencing crypto and blockchain technology. 

Decentralized Digital Identity – DID

Another section of the report is about decentralized identity. Citi starts with a spooky sentence: "Decentralized identity is a core technology component that will enable regulatorily compliant uses of blockchain while still preserving anonymous/pseudonymous access.” 

They seem to suggest that the purpose of decentralized digital ID is not to do things like interact with cryptocurrency protocols but to be the “identity layer for the entire internet.” Logically, this means whoever controls this identity layer will have unprecedented power. 

Moreover, the report specifies that decentralized digital ID “Does not imply a lack of centralized parties in identity issuance or verification, but that the mechanism of owning, sharing and verifying identity is done in a permissionless, decentralized manner.” 

This is a problem because if the issuance and verification of a decentralized digital ID are centralized, the issuer or verifier can revoke your ability to interact with online services. That's not decentralization, underscoring the need for crypto to find a way to issue and verify digital ID in a decentralized manner. 

Consider that a decentralized digital ID tied to a government-issued document is no different from a centralized stablecoin. Ponder a scenario where your government-issued ID is digitized like the CBDCs backing stablecoins. Additionally, governments worldwide are actively working on rolling out Digital IDs. Countries are at different stages, but skepticism and pushback have existed. 

Naturally, the authors say that the need for digital ID comes from the relentless data collection by big tech. They don't say that most of these big tech companies are aligned with governments and that these so-called decentralized digital IDs will likely just provide this data directly to said governments. 

The authors showcase the recently released Polygon ID as an example of a decentralized digital ID solution, and the infographic suggests that it's built exactly how the authors describe it. There's a centralized issuer and verifier – you only control what you reveal on-chain. 

Image credit: Citi GPS pdf

The report also provides an example of an actual decentralized digital ID: the Ethereum Name Service (ENS). ENS lets you buy a decentralized domain name ending in .eth for those unfamiliar. It has no central issuer or verifier; it's entirely decentralized and is run by a DAO. With that said, you could argue that DAOs aren't that decentralized due to their governance structures. 

The authors appear to argue that an actual decentralized digital ID isn't a solution because it's not tied to so-called verifiable credentials such as government-issued IDs. Instead, they shill their version of decentralized digital ID, which they also call “Self-sovereign identity. They then provide examples of self-sovereign identities and include digital IDs developed by Microsoft and the European Union. To add insult to injury, the authors omit centralized control as one of the risks associated with this technology but imply that crypto is a risk. 

Smart Legal Contracts – SLC

The last part of the report is about so-called Smart Legal Contracts (SLC), also called Contracts 2.0. The authors start with a statistic, and that's that 60% – 80% of all business transactions involve a contract. They note that companies lose 9% of their profits and miss out on an additional 40% of profits from bad contracts. Nick Szabo is the creator of Smart Contracts; however, SLCs are not the same as his smart contracts. It’s the authors that deem them an official subset of Smart Contracts but with different characteristics. 

They clarify that smart legal contracts have no universally agreed-upon definition, but the main difference is they don't involve blockchains. Smart legal contracts are also legally enforceable in their countries of origin. By contrast, legal enforceability is rarely a consideration in smart contracts.

This begs the question of why smart legal contracts are required at all, and the authors reveal the answer. “Smart legal contracts are more dynamic to changing circumstances – to achieve legal compliance, they must include terms that allow them to be paused, modified, or rectified.” 

It sounds like the authors are insinuating that smart contracts cannot be legally compliant due to their immutability. If smart legal contracts don't exist on blockchains, can be adjusted on a whim, and occasionally require human execution, as noted by the authors, then it begs the question of what makes SLCs different from a standard digital contract. The authors don't have a clear answer here. 

To their credit, they concede that smart contracts are likely to be much more popular than smart legal contracts because they provide the following benefits. 

  • They can exist indefinitely.
  • They are transparent.
  • They are tamper-proof.
  • They are secure.
  • They are built on a single source of truth. 

This section of the report is long and consists of the authors tripping over themselves to try and explain why smart legal contracts are the future despite being objectively inferior to smart contracts.

Image credit: Markethive.com

What Does This Mean For Crypto?

So here’s the big question – What does Citibank’s report mean for crypto? If anything, it reveals that institutional investors are looking at the crypto industry through a radically different lens from us retail investors. CBDCs, de facto digital IDs, and changeable smart contracts are not crypto. 

The few sections of the report about crypto were much shorter than those about dystopian technologies inspired by crypto. As mentioned, the chapter about decentralized social media was the shortest of all and could be interpreted as not a coincidence. 

Consider that the purpose of cryptocurrency is to replace megabanks like Citi, as well as most of the institutions that the other authors of this report work for. The first step to this replacement is the awareness of what crypto offers and why it's valuable. This information can be found on social media for now; however, with all the plans and legislations to continually broaden censorship of what authorities deem as mis/dis-information may see it disappear from the mainstream. 

In fact, leaked documents from the Department of Homeland Security stated that the US government was looking to censor information on social media, which fosters distrust in the financial system. Whoever still doubts that the government would resort to censoring financial information look no further than the recent banking crisis. In the subsequent hearings about the crisis, multiple US politicians pointed to social media as the cause of the bank runs that precipitated it. 

If you read this article about bank bail-ins, you'll know that US government officials discussed censoring discussions of bank runs on social media in their bank bail-in simulation late last year. It's more than likely that other governments would secretly consider the same behind closed doors. Now, I mention all of this because Citibank's report is part of what can only be described as an ongoing information war against cryptocurrency by the establishment. 

Another example is mainstream media articles about how Bitcoin mining is killing the planet, which is untrue. When it becomes clear to the establishment that they are losing this information war, they will resort to censorship to ensure that the trust in their increasingly unstable financial system remains. 

This crossroads is coming sooner than people think because everyone is waking up to CBDCs. People are also starting to wake up to the fact that not all cryptocurrencies are created equal, and the establishment is co-opting some crypto projects, companies, and technologies to usher in a dystopian new system. This system requires a digital ID; their fake decentralized digital IDs are the trojan horse. 

Always remember that blockchain does not equal crypto, and take every statement about crypto from megabanks and central banks with a massive grain of salt. The same goes for headlines about how mega and central banks embrace crypto. The likelihood is that they're doing the exact opposite. 



This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


Editor and Chief Markethive: Deb Williams. (Australia) I thrive on progress and champion freedom of speech. I embrace "Change" with a passion, and my purpose in life is to enlighten people to accept and move forward with enthusiasm. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.





Tim Moseley

Meme Coin Mania Meets Bitcoin: BRC-20 Offers New Challenges for Bitcoin Investors

Meme Coin Mania Meets Bitcoin: BRC-20 Offers New Challenges for Bitcoin Investors.

The world of cryptocurrency is no stranger to innovation and disruption. From the advent of Bitcoin in 2009 to the rise of Ethereum and the explosion of decentralized finance (DeFi), the crypto space has been at the forefront of technological advancement and financial experimentation. But in recent months, a new phenomenon has taken the crypto world by storm: meme coins.

These digital assets have little to no fundamental value but have gained massive popularity thanks to social media hype and viral marketing. Some of the most famous meme coins include Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, and SafeMoon. These coins have captured the imagination of millions of people worldwide, leading to a surge in demand and a corresponding increase in their market value.

But meme coins may not totally be a fad. They are also changing how we think about digital assets and blockchain technology. And with the introduction of the BRC-20 token standard, meme coins are now becoming part of the Bitcoin ecosystem, offering new opportunities for investors and enthusiasts alike. Investors are now experiencing a massive shift in the Bitcoin (BTC) ecosystem thanks to the new experimental token standard called "Bitcoin Request for Comment," or BRC-20, which has attracted much interest.

Over 4 million Ordinal inscriptions have been recorded on the Bitcoin blockchain as of the time of this writing. This new invention has the crypto community buzzing, with about 18,266 BRC-20 tokens created utilizing Ordinals and a soaring market capitalization reaching $409 million. Recently, non-ordinal BRC-20 transactions have been eclipsed by transactions involving the deployment, minting, and transfer of tokens. The proportion of BRC-20 transactions peaked on May 7 at 65%, demonstrating the protocol's expanding uptake.

Video source: Coindesk.com

Unlocking Bitcoin's Potential

For usage in smart contract applications, BRC-20 tokens are a cryptocurrency that operates on the Bitcoin network. BRC-20 transactions, in contrast to standard Bitcoin transactions, require the user to inscribe a new ordinal, lengthening the queue in the Bitcoin mempool. The size of BRC-20 tokens is around ten times smaller than picture inscriptions, although the mempool memory utilization is now lower than in March.

The average transaction price increased to $18.9, the highest level since May 2021, despite the decreased mempool utilization. This is brought on by the lengthy mempool wait, which makes users pay a higher gas charge for the miners to complete their transactions. The percentage of fees from Ordinals transactions has risen to 61%, with 99.5% coming from BRC-20. The fact that there has been a noticeable increase from the previous levels shows that BRC-20 is becoming increasingly popular within the Bitcoin community.

The percentage of transaction fees increased significantly from the 1-2% level seen since July 2021 to 31% on May 7. It's vital to remember that the costs are modest when expressed in BTC, even though this fee increase may worry some Bitcoin users. 

The Revolutionary Approach And Utility Of BRC-20

BRC-20 tokens have attracted much interest in the cryptocurrency sector, but their usability and DeFi capabilities still have the potential for improvement. BRC-20 tokens may see an upgrade in their DeFi capabilities due to the possibility of a layer 2 solution like Stacks to bridge BRC-20s, which may draw in additional users and investors. It will be interesting to see whether BRC-20 tokens can surpass their present restrictions and gain more excellent traction as a cryptocurrency.

Despite rising popularity and market capitalization, the utility of BRC-20 coins is still constrained by the absence of smart contract functionality. However, the possibility for a layer 2 solution might improve their DeFi capabilities, which could lead to a cryptocurrency that is more commonly used.

Image source: Twitter

Bitcoin Community Reacts

Since its introduction by a developer going by the fictitious name Domo in March, the BRC-20 token standard has generated a lot of discussion within the Bitcoin community. Using the Ordinals protocol, BRC-20 tokens make it simple for developers to manufacture fungible crypto assets. Individuals must encode JSON data containing crucial token information to produce a BRC-20 currency. Similar to an ERC-20 token contract on Ethereum, this information would provide essential information about the token, such as its name, symbol, and total quantity.

As of this writing, there are over 300,000 unconfirmed transactions in the Bitcoin mempool due to the spectacular issue of over 18,266 BRC20 tokens and the spike in Ordinal inscriptions exceeding 4 million. Ordspace has a complete list of these 10K+ BRC20 currencies and a US dollar value for each token. The BRC20 token economy has seen tokens soar with increases in the triple digits.

These tokens include PEPE, MEME, ORDI, $OG$, PUNK, SHIB, and DOMO, to name a few. A contentious discussion about whether fungible and non-fungible tokens (NFT) built on BTC merit confirmation alongside financial transactions has been rekindled by the storm of BRC-20s and Ordinal inscriptions.

Ethereum supporter Ryan Berckmans described the rivalry between BTC Core devs, miners, and ordinals as a "civil war." BRC-20 meme coins and ordinals are viewed as spam by several developers, including Dashjr. As a result of the rising demand for block space, transactions, and fees have surged, giving the impression that it is experiencing an "Ethereum moment", yet they are advantageous to Bitcoin miners who are making huge profits from this disaster. Divisions within the Bitcoin community are nothing new; they have existed in the past and will probably do so again as long as the crypto sector continues to exist.

Image by Markethive.com

Final Thoughts

The current situation makes it untenable for many who want to use Bitcoin for its intended purpose. When you look at the ideas behind meme coins, you will understand that they are purely pump and dump coins with no actual utility attached to them. However, some argue that utility may come on afterwards, such as in the many NFT projects that started off as a joke. 

The thing here is that most of these meme coins are launched by rogues who anonymously build a community through massive advertising campaigns that make people believe in the project. After a while, the project dies off, causing people to lose millions of dollars. The bitter truth about meme coins is that the people are the products or the actual jokes in these projects. Having these projects launched on the Bitcoin Blockchain creates many uncertainties and opportunities, as many would believe.

If you are a Bitcoin maximalist, there's a reasonable probability you're angry. Why? Several people waste block space and pollute the king of crypto with pointless projects. Unfortunately, since NFTs and DeFi on Bitcoin are such a big concern, you can't stop people from doing this.

Bitcoin takes out the corruption of humans because the humans that created it stepped away. Certainly, people will build corrupt and disruptive systems around it, as we see with the meme coins, but Bitcoin remains a simple, pure, and elegant currency. Bitcoin's lack of control by any institution or government empowers individuals with economic freedom and personal sovereignty. It's a game-changer. However, will the era of meme coin end anytime soon? Is Bitcoin the ideal place for this kind of project? Most likely not! We will have to wait and see how it all works out.



About: Prince Ibenne. (Nigeria) Prince is passionate about helping people understand the crypto-verse through his easily digestible articles. He is an enthusiastic supporter of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.






Tim Moseley

Which Countries Are Set To Drive The Next Crypto Bull Run?

Which Countries Are Set To Drive The Next Crypto Bull Run? 

Many in the cryptocurrency industry have attempted to predict when the next crypto bull run will commence. Much of it is speculation, so we can’t be sure when, but a few crypto veterans believe they know what regions will drive the next crypto market bull run. In February of this year, Gemini crypto exchange co-founder, Cameron Winklevoss, said that the next crypto bull market would come from the East.

His statement on Twitter referenced that countries in the East have been embracing crypto by introducing sensible regulations that could result in record levels of institutional investment. As per the sentiments of Coinbureau.com, this article explores five countries that could be the primary drivers behind the next bull market, when they could pass pro-crypto regulations, and 
which cryptocurrencies will benefit. 

Image source: Twitter

United Arab Emirates

The first country to watch is the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE introduced its first pro-crypto regulations in 2018 when it announced its Blockchain Strategy 2021. However, it wasn't until early 2022 that the crypto industry started to migrate to Emirate cities like Dubai. That's because early 2022 is when the UAE announced that it would introduce a federal license for so-called Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), including cryptocurrency exchanges. 

This federal license effectively combined all the crypto licenses the country had created by that time. In the following months, there were plenty of headlines about businesses, such as international schools accepting crypto payments and government agencies dabbling in Metaverses and NFTs. The UAE Ministry of Economy even set up a virtual headquarters in a custom metaverse. 

Source: YouTube

By the end of 2022, the UAE was home to over 1.5K crypto projects and companies. Most of these projects and companies moved to Dubai, which caused FOMO from other Emirate cities, such as Abu Dhabi. It announced multibillion-dollar crypto initiatives to get in on the rush. Earlier this year, the UAE Minister for foreign trade announced that crypto would play a significant role in UAE trade. 

Although the UAE's crypto adoption is bullish, banking access is one minor issue holding it back from its full potential. According to UAE crypto regulation analyst, Wealthy Expat, pro-crypto regulation has yet to make UAE banks more comfortable opening accounts for crypto clients. It may have to do with the fact that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) put the UAE on its grey list last March. 

For reference, being grey-listed means it becomes harder to transact with the global banking system, as explained in this article highlighting five institutions' efforts to thwart the crypto industry. It’s not ideal for crypto projects and companies seeking to cater to International clients, and it's a big part of why the UAE has taken proactive steps to get itself off the FATF's grey list. 

Such steps include tightening regulations around privacy coins and demanding more information from crypto projects and companies. As noted by Wealthy Expat, these revamped crypto regulations should make UAE banks more comfortable servicing crypto clients. And with a bit of luck, also be enough to get the UAE off that grey list. If both outcomes occur, it will finally open the floodgates for crypto capital in the country. 

However, there is one hindrance to crypto investing in the UAE, as there continues to be uncertainty about which cryptos are allowed according to Islamic law. For context, gambling is forbidden in Islam; it's safe to say that much crypto investing is no different from gambling. That's why it makes sense that the UAE is especially keen on the Metaverse and NFTs. The digital property aspect of these two crypto niches makes them more palatable from an Islamic perspective. 

As such, Metaverse and NFT cryptos could see the most significant inflows from the UAE's ongoing crypto adoption. While it's unclear when the UAE will finalize its revamped crypto regulations or get off the FATF's grey list, both will likely happen by the end of the year. This ultimately depends on how much the UAE complies with requests from the US government, which controls the FATF. 

Image source: Al-Monitor

Saudi Arabia

The second country to watch is Saudi Arabia. In contrast to the UAE, the Saudi government banned banks from processing crypto-related transactions in 2018. The government also declared that crypto trading was illegal, but there are reportedly no punishments for those who trade. The absence of penalties is probably why a significant percentage of Saudi citizens hold and trade crypto. 

According to a survey by KuCoin in May last year, around 14% of Saudi adults had held or traded crypto over the previous six months. Another 17% were interested in crypto. Now, the apparent popularity of crypto in Saudi has given rise to so-called Halal-approved crypto products, which began making the crypto headlines late last year. 

Around this time, the Saudi Central Bank announced that it had hired a crypto expert to assist in crypto policy. Also, Binance is already doing business with the country, proving that Saudi is seriously considering pro-crypto regulations. Further evidence can be found in the unexpected announcement in February that the Saudi government had partnered with the crypto project, The Sandbox, for metaverse development. This further underscores the appeal of the Metaverse and NFT niches to countries with Islamic considerations. 

Although it's still too soon to say if Saudi Arabia will adopt crypto to the extent of the UAE, geopolitics is pushing the oil kingdom in that direction. As some may have heard, Saudi Arabia's relationship with the United States is getting weaker while its relationship with China is getting stronger. 

Saudi Arabia is reportedly considering pricing some of its oil sales to China in Yuan. This is a big deal because Saudi Arabia is supposed to price all its oil in US dollars. Pricing even just a portion of its oil in Yuan would weaken the US dollar, upsetting the United States. Here's where things get very interesting. 

The Saudi Riyal is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of 3.7 SAR to 1 USD, which has been the case since 1986. If Saudi Arabia was to do something to upset the US, such as sell its oil in foreign currencies, the US could retaliate by restricting Saudi Arabia's access to USD. The Saudi government is hyper-aware of this, and possibly why the Saudi Central Bank is considering the development of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). A digital Saudi Riyal could allow Saudi Arabia to eliminate its currency’s dependence on the US dollar. 

That approach may be problematic as other countries may feel uncomfortable accepting a Saudi CBDC as payment. One solution could be to develop a new kind of Reserve currency, such as the one being considered by the BRICS countries, or they could simply adopt cryptocurrency instead. 

The crypto approach may seem far-fetched until you consider that Iran, another Islamic country, allowed businesses to use crypto for trade last year. Moreover, China recently brokered a peace deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran, so Iran may use crypto for trade with Saudi Arabia which could make Saudi more comfortable doing the same. 

If Saudi Arabia does start using crypto for trade, the Gulf countries would likely follow suit because the currencies of most Gulf countries are also pegged to the US dollar. Chances are,  they're itching to escape US influence as much as Saudi is, and possibly why the UAE is rushing to roll out a CBDC too. 

Image source: Cryptopolitan

Hong Kong

The third country is Hong Kong which is essentially part of China, highlighting the importance of Hong Kong's crypto adoption because it bodes China doing the same. For reference, China banned crypto in 2018 and eradicated what was left of the industry in 2021. Hong Kong was initially seen as a safe haven for Chinese crypto companies and projects, but this changed after the heavy-handed takeover of the authorities following mass protests in 2019 and 2020. 

In late 2020, Hong Kong banned retail crypto trading and cracked down on the crypto industry. In early 2022, Hong Kong started targeting stablecoins. Officials later confirmed this was because stablecoins could undermine a Hong Kong CBDC. The Hong Kong dollar is also pegged to the US dollar, suggesting that Hong Kong could likewise be trying to escape US influence with a CBDC. 

In mid-2022, Hong Kong officials noted that some NFTs require additional regulations. This suggests that the country may not be as open to Metaverse and NFT niches as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and this may be due to China's strict control of social media and the desire to maintain it. In late 2022, Hong Kong officials noted they wanted CBDCs used in DeFi. Officials later explained that they wanted to create a CBDC-backed stablecoin. 

Then, Hong Kong officials out of nowhere announced they were considering legalizing retail crypto trading and investing. By the end of 2022, Hong Kong had committed to attracting over 1,000 crypto companies and projects to its jurisdiction over the next three years—a complete 180° in attitude. 

Earlier this year, Hong Kong officials specified that they wanted to restrict retail crypto investment to the largest and most liquid cryptocurrencies. This suggests that cryptos like BTC and ETH could be the biggest beneficiaries when retail crypto trading and investing become legal on June 1st, 2023. 

Image source: Twitter

Not surprisingly, it was reported that the Chinese government had signed off on Hong Kong's crypto plans. Also, Chinese banks are reportedly trying to provide banking services to crypto companies and projects in Hong Kong despite crypto being illegal on the mainland. Hong Kong banks have also begun offering crypto-to-fiat conversions to their clients. 

Meanwhile, in China, the courts confirm that holding crypto is entirely legal despite all the restrictions. In combination, this suggests that the crypto inflows from Hong Kong will be truly massive. However, there are just two caveats: First, Hong Kong officials appear to oppose everything except crypto investing. Non-CBDC stable coins will be off-limits, and DeFi will be restricted too. One Hong Kong official noted last year that financial privacy would not be permitted either.  

Still, the inflows into large-cap cryptocurrencies could be enough to kick-start a new crypto bull market. Consider that Cameron's comments about the crypto bull market coming from the East were a reference to Hong Kong. Other crypto heavyweights, like Arthur Hays, have said the same. If all this becomes evident, it will likely result in pro-crypto competition in East Asia, much like the pro-crypto competition in the Middle East. It could result in Hong Kong removing many of its stablecoin, NFT, Metaverse, and DeFi-related restrictions to remain competitive. 

Image source: CNN


The fourth country to watch is Singapore, which seems to have a love-hate relationship with cryptocurrency. The government denied hundreds of crypto licenses, banned crypto-related advertising, and shut down crypto ATMs early last year. On the flip side, however, KPMG found that crypto investments in the country had increased by more than 13x in 2021. 

Singaporean banks started expanding their services to retail investors in early 2022, and multiple large crypto companies, including Circle and Coinbase, secured crypto licenses. Moreover, Singaporean companies have been exploring crypto payments, and the Singaporean government has been exploring tokenizing assets on Smart contract cryptocurrencies.

Yet, between these bullish headlines, there's been no shortage of bearish crackdowns on the crypto industry. Most of the crackdowns came after the crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) collapsed, based in Singapore. Given that 3AC’s failure was caused by the implosion of Terra’s UST stablecoin, stablecoins were among the crypto niches Singaporean regulators targeted. 

Singaporean regulators also floated the idea of restricting the participation of retail investors in crypto but opted to introduce revamped crypto regulations for everyone instead. In late 2022, they discussed requiring retail investors to take an exam before investing. More recently, Singaporean regulators have been working on streamlining the screening process for crypto projects and companies seeking to secure bank accounts in the country. Note that banking access is the most prominent crypto industry issue, so this initiative could be very bullish. 

There are just two problems crypto could encounter in Singapore. First, the country experienced direct financial damage when FTX went bankrupt due to the government-owned investment firm Temasek losing around $275M when the exchange went down. This experience has made Singapore skeptical of cryptocurrency exchanges in general, and this has apparently been causing issues for Binance and others. 

That said, there seems to be more to Singapore's supposedly selective scrutiny of cryptocurrency exchanges and companies. Singapore has been reportedly working closely with the Federal Reserve on a CBDC. It suggests that the country is more geopolitically aligned with the United States and, unlike the other countries, is not trying to escape American influence using a CBDC.

It may explain why Singaporean authorities scrutinized Binance but not FTX, and the country continues to flip-flop between accepting and rejecting crypto. For those who don't know, Binance has been facing much scrutiny from US regulators as of late, as has the rest of the crypto industry, which means that Singapore's impact on the crypto market could go either way. 

It could be very positive if the country decides to compete with its neighbors on crypto regulations, but it could be very negative if it chooses to follow in the footsteps of the US. In all probability, Singapore will walk a very fine line. In any case, it's clear that the demand for crypto from elite investors in Singapore is very high. Once the country has finalized its crypto regulations, the inflows could be comparable to those from Hong Kong. The difference is that no crypto niches will be off-limits; Singapore will invest in everything. 

Image source: BeinCrypto


Last on the list of countries to watch is France. Some say France is a wild card, but it’s becoming the most crypto-friendly country in Europe, outside of Switzerland, and possibly the most crypto-friendly country in the West. It appears to be because of President Emmanuel Macron. Since Macron was re-elected in April last year, there has been an avalanche of pro-crypto news coming out of France.

For starters, Binance secured a digital asset registration in the country in May 2022. This move was significant because Binance has faced much scrutiny elsewhere in Europe. Last September, one of France's largest banks began offering crypto custody services to institutional investors and subsequently secured the same digital asset registration as Binance to provide even more crypto services. It came about when US banks started facing scrutiny for doing the same. 

Earlier this year, Binance partnered with a French company to test crypto payments in the country. French Regulators also announced that they would revamp and introduce better crypto regulations. This is noteworthy because the EU is working on its own crypto regulations, and France is front-running. As a cherry on top, USDC stablecoin issuer Circle recently chose France to host its European headquarters. Considering that Circle understands crypto regulations everywhere and has the money to set up anywhere, choosing France confirms that the country is highly pro-crypto. 

Notably, one of the only anti-crypto headlines from France was about DeFi from earlier this month. The Bank of France wants DeFi protocols to be certified and incorporated so they can be regulated. The silver lining is the bank wants different regulations for DeFi from TradFi, which is the opposite of what regulators in the United States and its other allies have been calling for. They've been saying that Decentralized Finance should be regulated the same as Traditional Finance. Therefore, France's deviation on crypto policy and other international issues could be evidence of substantial geopolitical changes. 

This article about online censorship laws being introduced worldwide highlights that the EU has introduced a set of laws that target US tech companies. It relates to the possibility, if not likely, that the EU's initial pro-crypto regulations were a similar kind of retaliation. 

The abridged version is that the US is trying to attract Europe's most prominent industries with significant incentives, particularly the renewable energy industry. These industries are struggling with high energy costs and inflation due to the war in Ukraine, which most know by now, is a proxy war between the US and Russia. Macron is the only European leader willing to protest the precarious position the EU has been put in because of the US's foreign policy. 

Case in point, he recently doubled down on his comments that the EU should not get involved in a conflict between the US and China over Taiwan. France’s pro-crypto stance seems to be an extension of this sentiment, and the countries and the continents attempt to retain economic growth in the face of terrible economic fundamentals. 

The question is, how long can France maintain this divergent stance? Well, nobody knows the answer but Macron. Something else to consider; France may not be the best place for a crypto Hub: Besides the high taxes and strict employment laws, France will constantly face pressure from other countries in the EU if it goes down this pro-crypto path, which could even result in punishments. Still, if France continues against the grain, it could inspire other countries to do the same, not just in Europe. 

French is one of the world's most widely spoken languages. More importantly, it's spoken in many African and Middle Eastern countries actively trying to escape the US dollar. It would be easy for these countries to follow in France's footsteps, which could lead to other unforeseen network effects in both regions. Eventually, every country will realize that crypto adoption is inevitable. The sooner they adopt it, the higher they will be in the new pecking order—Game Theory at its finest. 



Editor and Chief Markethive: Deb Williams. (Australia) I thrive on progress and champion freedom of speech. I embrace "Change" with a passion, and my purpose in life is to enlighten people to accept and move forward with enthusiasm. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.




Tim Moseley

Cryptocurrencies Could Be the Answer to De-Dollarization

Cryptocurrencies Could Be the Answer to De-Dollarization

In today's globalized world, cross-border transactions have become a routine part of our lives. However, these transactions can be expensive and time-consuming, often requiring intermediaries such as banks and payment processors. Moreover, the dominance of the U.S. dollar in international trade has created dependencies and vulnerabilities in the global financial system. As a result, many countries are exploring alternatives to the U.S. dollar and seeking ways to facilitate cross-border transactions that are cheaper, faster, secure, and, most significantly, an alternative that would be politically neutral.

Countries and organizations are using this de-dollarisation technique more frequently to lessen their reliance on the U.S. dollar, which has been the main reserve currency since the Bretton Woods monetary system was established after World War II. In this context, cryptocurrencies have emerged as a potential solution to the challenges posed by cross-border transactions and de-dollarization. Cryptocurrencies offer a decentralized, borderless, and secure way to transfer value across borders without intermediaries. 

In this article, we will explore the reasons behind de-dollarization's emergence and a possible solution to this problem. Let's get started!

Historical Overview of De-dollarization

The idea of de-dollarization is not new and has been discussed by economists and policymakers for decades. However, it gained more attention after the 2008 financial crisis, which exposed the vulnerabilities and dependencies of the global financial system on the U.S. dollar.

In the years following the financial crisis, countries such as Russia, China, and Iran began to take steps to reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar. For instance, in 2009, Russia proposed the creation of a new global reserve currency to replace the U.S. dollar, citing concerns about the stability of the dollar and the impact of U.S. monetary policy on the global economy.

China has also been taking steps to internationalize its currency, the Yuan, and reduce its reliance on the U.S. dollar. In 2016, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) added the Yuan to its basket of reserve currencies alongside the U.S. dollar, Euro, Yen, and Pound Sterling. This move was seen as a significant step towards the internationalization of the Yuan and reducing the dominance of the U.S. dollar in the global financial system.

Countries like Venezuela and Iran have turned to cryptocurrencies to bypass U.S. sanctions and reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar. Venezuela, for instance, launched its cryptocurrency, the Petro, in 2018, which it claimed would be backed by the country's oil reserves. Iran has also been exploring using cryptocurrencies to facilitate cross-border transactions and reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar.

Image source: Unacademy.com

The five major emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) represent nearly 42% of the world's population and have a combined GDP of over $16 trillion. They have been reducing their dependence on the U.S. dollar and promoting de-dollarization in the global financial system.

One of the critical initiatives of BRICS in promoting de-dollarization is the establishment of the New Development Bank (NDB) in 2014. The NDB is a multilateral development bank that aims to support infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies. It was created in response to the perceived inadequacies of existing international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in addressing the needs of emerging economies.

Another initiative of BRICS in promoting de-dollarization is the establishment of the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) in 2015. The CRA is a framework that allows BRICS countries to provide each other with financial assistance in times of crisis without relying on the IMF and the U.S. dollar. The CRA has a total pool of $100 billion, which can be used to provide short-term liquidity support to member countries.

In addition to these initiatives, BRICS countries have also been exploring using their own currencies in cross-border transactions to reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar. For instance, China and Russia have been conducting trade in their currencies since 2010, and India and Russia have also agreed to conduct trade in their currencies. Brazil and China have also signed a currency swap agreement allowing them to trade in their own currencies without using the U.S. dollar as an intermediary currency.

The BRICS countries are playing an increasingly important political game in promoting de-dollarization and reducing the dominance of the U.S. dollar in the global financial system. By establishing their multilateral institutions and exploring the use of their currencies in cross-border transactions, they are challenging the existing order and promoting a more multipolar world. Cryptocurrencies, with their borderless and decentralized nature, play an unimaginably essential role in this process, offering an alternative to traditional currencies and financial institutions.

Video source: FirstPost.com

How Would De-dollarization Impact The Rest of The World?

The new currency that replaces the U.S. dollar will significantly influence how de-dollarization affects the rest of the globe. As nations and organizations would need to adapt to the changes in their financial systems, a new reserve currency would probably result in significant volatility for the global financial system. The new reserve currency may also impact the system of international commerce since different nations may need to alter their currency exchange rates to account for it.

There will be an increased rivalry between the BRICS nations and the other countries which utilizes the SWIFT system. The BRICS partners are working to create international alternatives to SWIFT and other U.S.-dominated payment systems. The BRICS is motivated by the growth of international commerce and a need to create an alternative global payment network that can't be susceptible to U.S. government sanctions. 

As international banking transactions involving multiple currencies require conversion into U.S. dollars, banks participating in the potentially sanctions-busting alternative to SWIFT risk retaliation from the U.S., which could use its power to exclude sanctioned banks and corporations from the global banking infrastructure. This calls for using intermediate banks with U.S. roots and SWIFT, which, according to nations like China, Russia, Iran, and Turkey, allows countries targeted by the most recent U.S. foreign policy to be cut off from global trade. 

China, the world's second-largest economy in nominal terms of GDP, is attempting to promote the Yuan as a trade alternative to the U.S. dollar. An increasing de-dollarization trend has sparked trade agreements involving Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. This agreement has captured the interest of 19 countries that recently declared their intentions to join the BRICS.

Apart from the U.S. faltering economy, the government is notorious for its debt trap policies. For countries to maintain the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency, the U.S. government must keep it politically neutral and not use it as a weaponized tool against any nation through sanctions.

The Rise of Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies have significantly increased in popularity and adoption over the past decade. Bitcoin, the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, was created in 2009, and since then, thousands of other cryptocurrencies have been developed.

One of the main drivers of the rise of cryptocurrencies has been the increasing use of blockchain technology, which underpins most cryptocurrencies. Another factor contributing to the rise of cryptocurrencies has been the growing distrust of traditional financial institutions and government-backed currencies. Many people see cryptocurrencies as a way to bypass traditional financial systems and gain more control over their money with a high degree of privacy and anonymity. 

The rise of cryptocurrencies offers a potential solution to the problem of de-dollarization, although more is needed. Cryptocurrencies can help countries reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar and mitigate the impact of U.S. economic policies and sanctions by providing a stable and reliable means of exchange that operates independently of governments and central banks. 

Countries that rely heavily on the U.S. dollar for trade and finance are vulnerable to U.S. policy decisions, which can have significant economic consequences. By diversifying away from the U.S. dollar, countries can reduce this risk and mitigate the impact of U.S. policies.

Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, offer several potential advantages for countries looking to reduce their reliance on the U.S. dollar. For example, Bitcoin is not subject to the same geopolitical pressures as traditional fiat currencies, offering high transparency and security. Bitcoin can provide a more stable store of value than fiat currencies, which can be subject to inflation and other economic pressures.

However, significant challenges are associated with using cryptocurrency as a solution to de-dollarization. For example, the value of cryptocurrencies can be highly volatile, making them an unreliable store of value. The regulatory landscape surrounding cryptocurrencies is complex and can change rapidly, making it difficult for countries to incorporate them into their monetary systems.

Despite these risks, the rise of cryptocurrencies shows no signs of slowing down, and they will likely continue to play an increasingly important role in the global financial system in the years to come.

Image by Markethive.com

Cryptocurrencies Offer Freedom In A World Of Financial Slavery By Design

Although cryptocurrencies have long been debated and studied, they are only recently beginning to gain acceptance as financial instruments that may be useful to those who aren't die-hard crypto enthusiasts. Cryptocurrencies have the potential to enable social and economic improvement worldwide, particularly in developing countries, by facilitating access to finance and financial services.

Although there are many advantages that users of cryptocurrencies can take advantage of, the most important one is an unmatched degree of freedom, such as mental and financial independence from controlling one's resources.

Early adopters who became rich overnight and discovered opportunities for financial growth had witnessed the incredible rate at which the crypto sector is evolving. The most well-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has already enabled many people and businesses to prosper. The economy is gradually adapting to fulfill these expectations, and cryptocurrencies can assist.

Over one-third of the world's population lacks access to essential banking services like loans and account opening that might help them during personal financial crises. Even within India, banks charge interest rates significantly over what is fair, making consumers who sought loans feel even more uneasy. Cryptocurrencies can help with this because of their high volatility and straightforward usage.

Using cryptocurrency is made simpler and more accessible by several programs and tools. Massive crypto adoption will usher in an era of economic transformation where everyone will have greater control and empowerment over their finances.

Final Thoughts

De-dollarization is a significant trend to watch because it will significantly impact the U.S. dollar, the U.S. economy, and the rest of the world. It's still being determined how this will play out, but it seems possible that cryptocurrencies will play an essential role in de-dollarization. In the meantime, it's worth watching how countries are moving away from the U.S. dollar and how this affects their economies.

Cryptocurrencies offer several potential solutions to the challenges of cross-border transactions, bypassing U.S. sanctions and reducing reliance on the U.S. financial system. Increased adoption of cryptocurrencies could significantly impact the global financial system. It could reduce the dominance of traditional financial institutions and provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer transactions. 

However, there are potential challenges to adopting cryptocurrencies, including regulatory and security concerns and the need for infrastructure and adoption. Other factors, such as geopolitical developments, trade policies, and macroeconomic trends, are likely to play a significant role in shaping the future of the global financial system. As such, the impact of cryptocurrencies on cross-border transactions and de-dollarization will depend on how quickly these challenges can be addressed and how widely cryptocurrencies are adopted.


About: Prince Ibenne. (Nigeria) Rapid and sustainable human growth is my passion, and getting a life-changing opportunity into the hands of people is my calling. Empowering entrepreneurs provides me with enormous gratification. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.





Tim Moseley

What Is The State Of Crypto In 2023? A Paradox Unpacked

What Is The State Of Crypto In 2023? A Paradox Unpacked. 

We are currently seeing an antithesis in the crypto world and its market. In one respect, proposed crypto regulations worsen; unbalanced, even nonsensical, and interest rates are increasing. Conversely, coins and tokens are hitting multi-month highs, and new crypto projects are raising billions. 

Crypto VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, also called a16z, unpacks this paradox in its State of Crypto Report for 2023. It was published on March 11, 2023, revealing which issues are holding crypto back and which cryptos are about to explode. This article summarizes a16z's report and explains what it says and means for the crypto market. 

Image source; a16zcrypto.com

The report begins with an overview of what's been happening in crypto. There's been progress in research and development, setbacks from crypto companies collapsing, prices have been following the crypto cycle, bad regulation is creating uncertainty, and decentralization is becoming an opportunity. Note that all of these are related.

Most of the setbacks we've seen have been due to centralization. This centralization occurred because some entities wanted to maximize crypto market cycle gains. It has resulted in harmful regulations, and decentralization is the only real solution to both problems. 

Why Web3 Matters

The report's authors explain that they view Web3 as being more than a financial movement; it's an “evolution of the internet.” They see crypto blockchains as computers, not just ledgers, and therefore see crypto itself as a computing platform, not just an alternative to the existing financial system. 

Replacing the existing financial system is arguably the top priority of crypto projects and their sponsors. If the existing financial system continues on its current trajectory, it will result in Central Bank Digital Currencies and the loss of our economic freedom. But it widens the scope for upcoming decentralized social market networks and their communities’ sovereignty and potential wealth.

Image source; a16zcrypto.com

The authors explain that Web3 is built on decentralized cryptocurrency blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is governed and owned by the communities of their respective projects and accrues value to the community rather than a centralized tech company, as is the practice with Web2. 

The Crypto Market Cycle

The second part of the report is about the crypto market cycle. According to the authors, crypto market cycles are caused by a positive feedback loop. Prices go up, which drives interest to go up, which generates new ideas to emerge, which causes new projects to appear, which causes prices to go up. 

Image source; a16zcrypto.com

The authors say there have been four crypto market cycles so far. This is consistent with the market cycles driven by the Bitcoin halving, which happens every four years; however, there is no mention of the Bitcoin halving and the vital role it seems to play in crypto market cycles. Instead, they focus on financial and product cycles that also follow a four-year cycle. 

For reference, macroeconomic conditions, such as interest rates, drive financial cycles and can fluctuate unpredictably. By contrast, product cycles are driven by supposedly more predictable consumer behavior and tech trends. As stated in the report, great products get built regardless of financial upswings and downswings. 

Image source; a16zcrypto.com

Some would argue that consumer behavior and tech trends depend heavily on macro conditions. After all, most of the funding for speculative technologies happens during low-interest rate periods. As such, entering a new period of higher interest rates could be bad for more speculative crypto projects. 

Trends To Watch

The third part of the report identifies what trends to watch, saying that blockchains are scaling through multiple promising paths. The authors highlight new Layer 1 blockchains, like Solana and Aptos, application-specific blockchains, like Cosmos and Polkadot, Layer 2s like Optimism and Polygon, and data storage cryptos, like Celestia as areas of interest. 

The authors then applaud Ethereum for cutting its energy use by 99.9% by changing its consensus from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake, known as The Merge, in September 2022. They then highlight the comparison with YouTube’s energy consumption rather than Bitcoin. The authors pointed out that Ethereum consumes 0.001% of YouTube's energy annually. It seems like an odd choice, but maybe they had emerging decentralized social media in mind.  

They reviewed the rising popularity of zero-knowledge proofs, stating that once practically impossible new technologies are becoming very real. The authors then examined the rapid growth of Web3 gaming, which has remained relatively unscathed by the crypto bear market. They say that Web3 games are a huge opportunity to welcome new users to crypto. 

Similarly, it's worth mentioning Markethive, a social media, marketing, and broadcasting platform in the decentralized arena, is ramping up its gamification as a way to earn crypto and for people to familiarize themselves and experience the cryptocurrency landscape. 

Participation in DAOs has also been steadily increasing. The spike in DAO participation over the last few months may have been due to increasing regulatory uncertainty as well as all the exploits and issues that have resulted in emergency proposals. The recent de-pegging of USDC is one of the many examples.

Regarding developer activity, the authors point out that the United States is falling behind. The percentage of crypto developers in the country has been declining for years due to the initially uncertain and now outright hostile regulatory environment, which could continue for some time. 

The authors then say to watch for three proposed crypto regulations. They include the bipartisan crypto bill by Senator Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand, seven pending crypto cases, including the SEC's case against Ripple, and three proposed crypto rules, including the SEC's crypto custody rule.

Image source; a16zcrypto.com

Crypto Market Metrics

The fourth part of the report lays out a series of crypto market metrics. The authors begin with the above image, which essentially means, ‘If you build it, they will come.’ This popular approach to cryptocurrency adoption has been successful for many worthy projects.

The first crypto market metric is the number of active developers. They found that the number of active developers rises during bull markets and stays high during bear markets. The second crypto market metric is the number of smart contracts, which continues to hit new, all-time highs, despite the crypto bear market. 

The third crypto market metric is the number of academic research publications related to crypto. The number spiked in 2021 and again in 2022, indicating crypto has become a significant area of academic research. 

The fourth crypto market metric is the number of people seeking crypto-related jobs. This statistic peaked soon after the crypto market did in late 2021, suggesting rising crypto prices generate interest in the crypto job market. The number of people looking for crypto-related jobs has remained high ever since.

Crypto Adoption Indicators

The first indicator is the number of active crypto wallet addresses, which grows steadily as Web3 adoption increases. The same is true for the second indicator, the number of blockchain transactions, which also continues to hit all-time highs due to better scaling technologies reducing transaction fees. 

The third indicator is the amount of transaction fees paid. According to the graph in the PDF report, it’s been on the decline stating that fees increase as demand rises but decrease as scaling tech supplies more blockspace

A similar decline is seen with the fourth indicator, the number of mobile wallet users. The authors give one possible explanation: There are increasingly more ways to engage with blockchains and web3 applications. From DeFi to Web3 games, various new applications create addresses for users to interact with without downloading or connecting a wallet.

The fifth indicator is the amount of trading volume on decentralized exchanges. (DEXs) DEX volume has been rising recently, likely due to a crackdown on centralized exchanges. The most recent spike in DEX volume is plausibly from Curve Finance when it de-pegged USDC

The sixth indicator is NFT buyers. The number of NFT buyers appears to be rising again over the last few months, possibly because NFTs have decreased in price and new buyers have been buying the dip. Also, no official legislation applies specifically to NFTs, so they have been safe from regulations. 

The seventh indicator is stablecoin trading volume which continues to grow. This could be due to the crackdown on centralized exchanges and the loss of trust crisis after FTX collapsed in late 2022.  

Image source; State Of Crypto 2023.pdf

What’s Next?

The last part of the report is aptly titled, What's Next? The authors commenced by estimating that crypto adoption is where internet adoption was in the 1990s, specifically, the mid-90s. Assuming crypto adoption follows the same trajectory, they forecast it will take until 2031 to hit one billion users. 

As per the image above, the authors list 12 things they expect to happen in crypto in 2023 and beyond. The first expectation is that some of the best Web3 products and protocols will be developed during the remainder of the crypto bear market. 

The second is that smart contract security will improve. The authors don't discuss the role of AI in this equation, but it can be used to create and audit crypto code. This will supercharge crypto development and security, providing it’s used ethically.

The third expectation is that zero-knowledge proofs will continue to become more popular. This makes sense, considering institutional investors require financial privacy, which is something that zero-knowledge proofs can provide.

The fourth expectation is that big tech will continue to take greater control of the Web2 internet, showing the average person just how vital Web3 is. We've covered this in the Markethive blog in the context of internet censorship; decentralized social media is the only solution. 

The fifth expectation is that Web3 gaming will become more popular. In short, there are three reasons why people adopt cryptocurrency; speculation, convenience (possibly necessity), or entertainment. That third adoption category has yet to be tapped, but it's coming. 

The sixth expectation is that there will be more crypto-specific hardware, particularly for zero-knowledge proofs. As blockchains have attracted millions of users, two critical demands around privacy and scalability have emerged. There is a movement to optimize algorithms for consumer-grade hardware to preserve decentralization and privacy.

The seventh expectation relates to the fourth: decentralized social networks will become popular due to issues with centralized social media. As previously mentioned, with all the internet censorship and more coming, trust in institutions and legacy media is declining rapidly, and more people will migrate to decentralized platforms. 

Interestingly, the eighth expectation is that “light” clients will make it possible for mobile devices to become more involved in crypto infrastructure. As a fun fact, over 90% of people access the internet from a mobile device. Logically, this means bringing crypto to mobile is a massive untapped opportunity. 

The ninth expectation is that there will be new forms of community governance in DAOs. Many believe that the existing token-based voting systems are leading to centralization; what's required is a radically new approach to governance.

The tenth expectation is that governments will pass bipartisan crypto regulations. This is a direct reference to US crypto regulations, but it could well apply globally.  It won't take long for politicians everywhere to realize that crypto is an economic and social opportunity, never mind all the crypto lobbyists wielding influence with incentives.

The 11th expectation ties into the fifth, and that's that non-speculative crypto use cases will emerge. Hopefully, these non-speculative use cases are related to convenience and not necessity. If they relate to need, it's probably because we're dealing with some seriously dystopian issues. 

The twelfth expectation is a relatively new phenomenon: hiring treasury management and sustainable funding will be a focus for DAOs. This seems to be a subtle reference to a new crypto niche called ReFi or Regenerative Finance, which involves investing in tokenized carbon credits. 

Image source; State Of Crypto 2023.pdf

What Does A16z’s Report Mean For the Crypto Market? 

One of the takeaways stated in the a16zcrypto overview of the report states that,

“Prices have steadied this year from the dizzying highs of 2021. The industry seems to be settling: speculation has cooled, and the story of how people durably, organically use, and interact with Web3 is starting to unfold.”

To others, the report reveals a lot more about how institutional investors are seeing the crypto market rather than how the crypto market is doing or how it's likely to perform in the future. Institutional investors are interested in being on the cutting edge of Web3 and cryptocurrency. However, they're also interested in ensuring they have some say in running these projects and protocols. This is fundamentally at odds with their decentralization imperative. 

It is also why institutional investors are so focused on crypto regulation. Some argue that they don’t care about how these regulations impact financial freedom. Ultimately, they want to know how to legally invest in and influence these projects and protocols.

The incumbents are hyper-aware of this and are actively trying to prevent sensible crypto regulations from being passed. They know that the actual end game of the crypto lobbyists is to replace the old financial system with a new, primarily centralized financial system, not a new decentralized one. 

A prime example is Circle; the stablecoin issuer has been aggressively lobbying politicians worldwide to pass regulations that set up its stablecoin as the gold standard and ban the circulation of decentralized stablecoins. This is not in the best interests of crypto; it is a blatant traditional finance tactic. 

That said, mass crypto adoption won’t happen overnight. Most proposed crypto regulations may be inconsistent with cryptos' core philosophies, but they are a necessary first step. Over time the centralization issues they cause will become more evident, and better crypto regulations will be passed. 

More importantly, the average person will start to understand the significance of things like decentralization. But before they understand the importance, they must know what they are and be comfortable with the associated annex. This will take years, per the author's projections. 

The upside to this situation is that we are, in fact, still in the early stages of crypto adoption, considering the relative absence of crypto regulations in developed countries. Ultimately, crypto regulations are required for institutions to invest in the industry; realistically, institutions have most of the money. They have the means to turn the crypto into a multi-trillion dollar asset class.

A Favorable Scenario

According to Coinbureau, the best part is that retail investors like us will eventually have the advantage because most understand there's more to crypto than paper money profits. The institutions don't see it that way, meaning they will sell every time a coin or token hits some arbitrary number in fiat currency terms. Meanwhile, retail investors will continue to buy regardless of the paper price, and for once, they won't be the ones getting dumped on. 

The money institutional investors get in return will lose value until it's converted into a CBCD, and all their assets will be tokenized on a blockchain the government controls. And when their CBDCs and tokenized assets are frozen because they did or said something against the state, they'll realize that crypto is the only asset that offers true financial freedom. By then, it'll be too late for them. All the retail investors who realize this early on will become the new institutional investors.

In closing, the report has identified an opportunity that recent setbacks emphasize the failure of opaque, centralized systems in contrast to the resilience of decentralized infrastructure. Decentralized crypto computing platforms can also counter the trend of power consolidating into the hands of a few giant tech corporations. The internet needs web3, and those who understand this will fight for the future of these technologies.



Editor and Chief Markethive: Deb Williams. (Australia) I thrive on progress and champion freedom of speech. I embrace "Change" with a passion, and my purpose in life is to enlighten people to accept and move forward with enthusiasm. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.





Tim Moseley

From CBDCs to Cryptocurrency Regulations: G-7 Plans to Promote Financial Inclusion and Investor Protection

From CBDCs to Cryptocurrency Regulations: G-7 Plans to Promote Financial Inclusion and Investor Protection.

A closer assessment of the global events on cryptocurrencies today shows a trend toward more regulation and maturity. Many countries see the potential advantages of blockchain technology across many industries. The regulatory environment surrounding cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is continuously changing as those sectors of the economy continue to develop and find widespread use.

The Group of Seven (G-7) meeting this year will be presided over by Japan to prioritize cryptocurrency regulations. Politicians perceive a greater need to control crypto assets in light of the bankruptcy of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX last year. Although different nations have differing opinions on regulating cryptocurrency, Masato Kanda, Japan's Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, told Reuters that the overall consensus is to control the market.

Also, to help developing nations introduce central bank digital currencies (CBDC) following necessary international standards and define G-7's public policy guidelines for retail CBDC. Talks will focus on these issues. Retail CBDCs, instead of wholesale CBDCs are created for institutional uses such as moving money between banks. According to Kanda, the other area of concentration would be on the debt vulnerabilities of middle-income nations like the Gambia, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Sri Lanka.

Kanda noted that while the quick development of digital technology has its benefits, it has also given rise to new issues like cyber-security, the spread of false information, social and political divisions, and the potential for instability in the financial markets.

Brief History of the Group of Seven (G-7)

The group first came together informally in Paris in the early 1970s when leaders from the United States, United Kingdom, France, West Germany, and Japan gathered to discuss the recession and oil problem of the time. The French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing was then encouraged to invite the presidents of those nations and Italy to Rambouillet in 1975 for additional discussions on world oil, this time with the country's leaders joining the finance ministers, an attendance list that has persisted for several years. Canada was sent an invitation to join the group the following year.

The host of the G-7 summit, also known as the presidency, rotates annually among member countries in the following order: France, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada.

G7's Expansion to G-8

The G-7 had reacted as the world economy changed, particularly when the Soviet Union announced that it would hold its first direct presidential election and commit to building an economy with more open markets. President Boris Yeltsin organized meetings with the G-7 member nations after a G-7 summit in Naples, Italy, in 1994. These conversations became known as the P-8 (Political 8).

An official Group of Eight, or G-8, was established in 1998 when Russia joined the G-7 as a full member at the encouragement of world leaders, particularly U.S. President Bill Clinton. The G-8 ultimately had a brief existence. 

Russia was expelled from the organization in 2014 due to the annexation of Crimea and the unrest in Ukraine. Russia has yet to receive a G-7 invitation as of this writing.

Image Sourced @ Council on Foreign Relations

G-7 Aims to Assist Developing Nations With the Establishment of CBDCs

The Group of Seven (G-7) announced its commitment to promoting financial inclusion for developing nations by using central bank digital currencies. This move comes as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the need for greater access to financial services.

The G7 has recognized the potential of CBDCs to increase financial inclusion and reduce poverty in developing nations. By providing access to digital financial services, CBDCs can help people currently excluded from the traditional financial system, such as those living in remote areas or without access to banking services.

Moreover, CBDCs can facilitate cross-border transactions and reduce remittance costs. This is particularly relevant for developing nations, where remittances play a significant economic role. In 2020, remittances to low- and middle-income countries reached a record high of $540 billion, according to the World Bank.

The G-7's commitment to promoting CBDCs for financial inclusion is a significant step towards a more inclusive and sustainable global financial system. However, there are challenges to overcome, such as ensuring that CBDCs are accessible to everyone, including those without internet or digital devices, and that people will accept it as a means of exchange. From the look of things, most people may want to transact with Bitcoin and not the CBDC, which keeps them under the government's radar.

Moreover, the G-7 must work with developing nations to ensure CBDCs align with their specific needs and priorities. This requires collaboration and dialogue between the G-7 and developing countries and the involvement of the private sector and other stakeholders.

Image Sourced @ Coingeek.com

G-7 Meeting to Focus on Investor Protection

The leaders will advocate stronger laws to safeguard investors and more openness for cryptocurrency firms. Before meeting later this year in Japan, they intend to progress rules to achieve their goals.

Following the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin in early May of last year, the G-7 advocated additional and stricter regulations, according to the report published by Reuters. Japan is one of the G-7 nations with stricter cryptocurrency legislation, while the European Union will implement its Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) law in 2024. The primary goal of the MiCA is to protect consumers and investors from the growing risks of digital assets while improving financial stability within the entire crypto market.

The United Kingdom is progressively establishing its crypto framework, introducing a dedicated category for cryptocurrency holdings on tax forms and ongoing preparations for a digital pound. The Congress of the United States is considering various measures. While we wait, the securities watchdog has taken enforcement action against businesses they claim have broken the law on securities. 

Many crypto enterprises have moved from the United States to Singapore, the United Kingdom, Dubai, and the EU due to what crypto industry participants perceive as lacking commitment to establishing clear regulations for crypto businesses in the States.

Recommendations on controlling, monitoring, and overseeing the markets for crypto assets, stablecoins, and related activities are expected to be presented by July and September. But it still needs to be apparent what the outcome would be.

Some time ago, the IMF urged nations to remove cryptocurrencies' legal currency status in an action plan on crypto assets published in February. It is commonly known that the IMF opposes using cryptocurrencies as legal tender, especially in light of El Salvador's adoption of Bitcoin as its official currency in September 2021.

However, the group has been pushing nations to embrace stricter crypto regulations while also developing an open-source infrastructure for central banks to connect their digital currencies and facilitate international trade.

FASB To Act on Travel Rule

The G-7 leaders’ meeting with the Financial Accounting Standards Board means they could impose rules on the international crypto movement. The leaders work in close relations with the FASB to handle stability risks associated with crypto assets.

They asked the FASB to advance the swift development and implementation of consistent and comprehensive regulation of crypto-asset issuers and service providers intending to hold crypto-assets, including stablecoins, to the same standards as the rest of the financial system.

The G-7 leaders demand further action concerning the travel rule for cryptocurrency assets. Delegates to the Financial Action Task Force plenary in Paris recently resolved to put revised guidelines for the Travel Rule into effect. These standards will enforce the "transmission of originator and beneficiary information" for cryptocurrency.

The virtual asset legislation implemented in 2019 was followed by these stricter enforcement criteria. This rule at the time included a requirement to gather information regarding the origin and destination of transfers of virtual assets.

Image sourced @ CoinDesk.tv

In line with all the fights against cryptocurrency, one cannot help but think whether the G-7's crypto regulation is a weaponized tool against people's Freedom or whether they are acting in their best interest. Decisions made about the issuance of CBDC will undoubtedly impact our financial system and society as a whole. Stakeholders are essential since an isolated decision-making process would certainly be detrimental.

Therefore, the Freedom of stakeholders should be in consideration in the regulation process to ensure that the inclusivity in payments infrastructure and finance that crypto and blockchain technology take satisfaction in contributing to is preserved. If at all, the G-7 should indeed be acting in the people's best interest.

The influence of CBDCs on nations' economies is extensive and varied. CBDCs may undermine conventional banking practices, but they also give banks much more room to innovate and expand financial inclusion. The adoption of CBDC calls for a transparent legislative environment, financial investment in digital infrastructure, and strong security precautions. Nations will need to adapt and change to compete in a world that is becoming increasingly digital as CBDCs gain popularity throughout the globe.



About: Prince Ibenne. (Nigeria) Rapid and sustainable human growth is my passion, and getting a life-changing opportunity into the hands of people is my calling. Empowering entrepreneurs provides me with enormous gratification. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.





Tim Moseley

Become Your Own Bank

Become Your Own Bank

It seems that traditional banking is on life support. This article looks at the recent update in support of this premise and explores how to become your own bank in light of our crumbling banking system.

Current Reality | Traditional Banking

You will already be aware of the collapse of Silvergate Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, and Signature Bank, and many are predicting that this is only the beginning of a domino effect. If you live outside America, you may be concerned about where your bank now stands. 

You could check in with your bank to see whether they conducted a recent stress test and, if so, how they fared. A stress test looks at a bank’s financial capacity to tolerate sharp economic downturns.

The problem with relying on this feedback is that banks do not wish to cause panic because this would result in a bank run. So it may be wise to hold that data on a loose palm, so to speak.

Bear in mind that when you deposit money into the banks, it does not stay in your account. The banks trade deposits for profits without your permission and keep any profits while continuing to charge you for custody of your money. 

Since the stock market is also collapsing, if a bank run were to occur, there would not be enough money for everyone to access their accounts.

With the implosion of the markets surpassing that of 2008 while economic depression looking likely to overtake the Great Depression of the 1930s, the signs are that traditional banking is coming to an end.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

There is a growing concern that the bank collapse is entirely orchestrated to bring down cryptocurrency, remove cash from our society and usher in the Central Bank Digital Currency. (CBDC) In other words, any competitor to the CBDC is being removed by fair or foul means.

If you still think this is not imminent, take a look at this latest CBDC chart of which stage countries are at with the adoption of the CBDC. You can see the reality playing out, which lends credence to the theory of orchestration.

Image source: Atlantic Council

There is no democratic process about this either. In Nigeria, for example, they started to bring in their digital currency, the eNaira, which very few people wanted. 

The government declared cash as no longer valid or legal, then charged citizens as much as 20% for withdrawing cash. Riots and violence broke out in the wake of this. Through lack of cash, more than half of their population has reportedly been forced to adopt the eNaira.

Europe is following closely behind, with Christine Lagarde imposing a $1000 spending cash limit with the threat of imprisonment if you do otherwise! With each passing conversation, CBDCs are revealing themselves to be about surveillance and control and not about enjoying the fruits of your labor.

America seems to be about to do something of a segway to a CBDC via their FedNow instant payment service, which is due to launch this summer of 2023. It doesn’t look good for the world in general. If this plays out to the mapped agenda above, then cash and traditional banking have their days numbered.

Also, be mindful that there is a move to depart from the dollar as the world's default currency. This is true of the BRICS countries, who are discussing their own digital currency, possibly backed by precious metals such as gold.

The Alternative | Become Your Own Bank

The question arises as to what you can do about it and how you can protect your personal assets as well as your business concerns. Some consider we have no choice but to accept the new global agenda, but that depends on how much we care about people and democracy. We have been here before in 2008 on a smaller scale, so we have an opportunity to learn from the lessons this imparted.

While nothing is guaranteed in life, what is certain is that if you do not prioritize finding an alternative safeguard that protects your interest against this draconian agenda, it will be dictated to you and not for your benefit.

So what does it mean to become your own bank? Since banking is supposed to be about the safe custody and access to your funds, it is about how you can replicate that for yourself in a decentralized manner. 

When Richard Werner carried out his 15-year study about banks and the double-entry bookkeeping that takes place to give the illusion of money, he also concluded that we need more community banks that will support local businesses. You may want to listen to his thoughts here.

You may wish to research community banks in the quest to find a safer haven for your business and personal affairs.

In a recent Markethive webinar, our CEO Thomas Prendergast pointed out another option in America that is open to businesses worldwide and is both decentralized and supportive of cryptocurrency.

He demonstrated how to set up a Wyoming Corporation first of all, even if you do not live in the USA. Here is a document you can download that walks you through the particulars of setting up your Wyoming company.

This is an important first step to acquiring banking through a fintech company called Mercury which facilitates banking services through its partners with decentralization at its core and solid insurance cover.

You may also want to consider using physically allocated gold and silver to transact with. It used to be that you could only hold these as a long-term store of value. However, platforms like Kinesis and Glintpay now make it possible to digitize gold via a debit card so that you can transact accordingly.

There is much ambivalence about cryptocurrency, given the volatile nature of its market and the frequent rise of pump-and-dump schemes. However, bitcoin remains the longstanding cryptocurrency that continues to gather in adoption, so you can research businesses that accept bitcoin and do so yourself depending on the demand.

For example, PostFinance, a major government financial organization in Switzerland, has partnered with Sygnum to offer cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin to its customers. A more transitional approach may be to consider gold-backed cryptocurrencies such as Tether Gold or DigixGlobal.


The other consideration around cryptocurrency is taxes, and this will vary from country to country. Here in the United Kingdom, the following needs to be factored into money management.

Starting in 2024/2025, the self-assessment form will have a place for capital assets to report gains and losses in cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency will be subject to capital gains tax. In 2024 the capital gains tax-free allowance will be heavily reduced from the current 12, 300 ton 3,000.


Security is essential when becoming your own bank, hence the layers of security that Markethive are building into their own wallet.  Security is often an afterthought for many delving into the world of cryptocurrency, but responsibility is a key part of any money management system, particularly a decentralized system.

The password concept with opening crypto wallets is different in that you are usually assigned a mnemonic of 12-24 words which act as your security password for that wallet. If you lose it, there is no calling upon a central authority to issue you with a new one, as in a password recovery. So the buck stops with you.

Therefore it is important to write your words down safely on paper rather than online, where you are open to being hacked, and then ideally to put them in a small fireproof safe.

Many decentralized platforms have two-factor authentication as part of their security setup. You must pass this security layer to access the platform in question. It can also be used to confirm transactions. You can learn more about how that works in this Markethive tutorial example.

While there are decentralized exchanges like Yobit and decentralized exchanges within wallets such as Atomic Wallet, it is also important to have a cold storage wallet. This is a physical wallet offline which enables safe custody of your assets.

Cold wallets like Ledger and Trezor are well-known options, but there are other alternatives, such as secure encrypted flash drives in which you can place your wallet. They do not involve KYC or ‘Know Your Customer,’ and you can boot off the stick itself rather than the hard drive using a Linux operating system.


It stands to reason that the long-term acceptance of any cryptocurrency or alternative currency will be determined by the combination of a growing community and the use value of its native cryptocurrency. 

This is where Markethive is innovating and leading the way to show that it is possible to establish an ecosystem outside of traditional banking and the proposed CBDC.

You can also appreciate why such innovation is so painstaking, particularly as Markethive is building the technology in such a way to be independent of third parties, who may become compromised by their government mandates and, therefore, negatively disrupt the ecosystem.

As Markethive nears launch, we now have the visible signs and tangible formation of what it is like to have an operational ecosystem that puts the destiny of entrepreneurs back in their hands. 

Entrepreneurs can now trade their products and services and transact with a native coin or token without the censorship or threats to privacy that are now commonplace online. 

With a growing community of beyond 200,000, this is what is possible when the entrepreneur arises and comes together in a community with like-minded entrepreneurs to solve real-world problems in service to humanity as a force for good.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.



About: Anita Narayan. (United Kingdom) My life's work is about helping individuals to greater freedom through joy and purpose without self-sabotage, so that inspirational legacy can serve generations to come. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.





Also published @ BeforeIt’sNews.comSubstack.com:

Tim Moseley

The Battle for Control: Why Governments Fear the Decentralized Nature of Bitcoin

The Battle for Control: Why Governments Fear the Decentralized Nature of Bitcoin

Why is the government wary of Bitcoin? The simple answer to that question is "the loss of control!"

The government's most potent instrument for influencing the economy is controlling the money supply. The government wants total economic control because doing so would be politically advantageous. To make fresh money, the government borrows from banks. As a result, the government is increasing the amount of future debt that must be repaid to produce fiscal stimulus.

Thankfully, the government may depreciate the currency by reducing the debt's value. You get into trouble because you could want to hold onto the money as a store of value. Your savings will eventually lose value even if you have placed your funds in an interest-bearing account.

Governments are willing and ready to fight Bitcoin and other altcoins, not the blockchain technology that powers it. Several governments and banks have praised blockchain technology's workings, and they are keen to incorporate it into the system to move toward improving operational effectiveness. 

Governments worldwide are preparing to implement digital currencies (CBDC) to simplify the electronic transfer procedure. The government intends to use blockchain technology so that digital transactions are traceable and can be taxed because it records every transaction in the ledger. The caveat is the type of blockchain they will implement for their digital currencies. It is permissioned, so only central banks will see the transactions, not the public. 

Image source: 101 Blockchains

People's confidence was shaken by the tremendous financial crisis that the world was experiencing. Once the banking system fell, Bitcoin rose from the ashes, giving consumers a different way to control their money. Anybody with an internet connection may buy Bitcoin and safely save their money. Peer-to-peer technology powers the payment network. It is a decentralized coin that the government, and any third parties, cannot manipulate.

Fiat currencies credibility

Fiat refers to the traditional currency issued by the government. The government has declared that these currencies are valuable. People have understood that this pledge is meaningless because real assets do not back fiat currencies over time. Fiat money typically lacks both intrinsic value and utility value. It only has value because those who use it as an accounting unit or, in the case of currency, a means of exchange believe it has value. They believe businesses and other individuals will accept it for transactional purposes.

You will never be able to trade the money in for a can of beans or a bar of gold with the government. People only believe in fiat currencies because the government has the credit to issue them. To purchase either of those items, you must pay the seller of beans or gold in fiat money. 

Fiat currencies gained credibility through legal tender laws, central bank credibility, government backing, and the network effect. While a physical commodity does not support fiat currencies, it is backed by the government's ability to enforce legal tender laws and collect taxes, creating demand for the money. As long as people believe that the government will continue to back the currency and maintain its value, fiat currencies will continue to be accepted as a means of exchange.

The essence of control

Fiat money is totally under government control. They give central banks the authority to create or destroy money through monetary policy to affect the economy. The government also sets the rules for how these currencies may be moved so they can be traced and taxed. It makes it evident who stands to gain from this movement and aids in investigating illicit activity.

Control is necessary to ensure the safety and security of individuals and institutions. The government can set rules and regulations to prevent fraudulent or illegal activities, such as money laundering, and to protect consumers from financial scams or predatory lending practices. It also helps to prevent excessive speculation or manipulation of financial markets.

The government can regulate the money supply and influence economic activity by controlling the currency. By adjusting interest rates and using other monetary policy tools, central banks can help to stabilize inflation, support economic growth, and mitigate economic downturns. Central Banks like the Fed aim to protect the banks, giving them enormous powers to control the citizens. Money is power, and whoever controls the money controls power. This is exactly what the government wants.

How is Bitcoin valuable?

Long before Satoshi published his white paper on the Cryptography Mailing List in 2008, Bitcoin's history had already begun. Cryptographers first fought the battle for privacy and freedom in the digital era, then the Cypherpunks took up the cause, and now the Bitcoiners are carrying on the struggle.

Without question, Satoshi was brilliant, but he didn't create something from nothing. Instead, Satoshi shrewdly utilized existing technologies to produce the revolutionary new currency, Bitcoin. Note that because Satoshi Nakamoto chose to stay incognito, speculation has it that Satoshi could be a group rather than a single person.

Users of Bitcoin can escape the current financial system. Bitcoins don't actually exist in the physical world. They are produced by "miners" in cyberspace. Bitcoins are created by solving challenging algorithms that operate as a kind of global transaction verification rather than being written on paper or carved on metal.

This digital money (more accurately, cryptocurrency) can only be held digitally and transferred between buyers and sellers without an intermediary and is also awarded to miners when they correctly solve a block. The same idea applies to airline reward points on a more compact scale. The points may be used to pay for travel-related expenses like hotel and aircraft tickets. All of them utilize airline miles as virtual money.

The entire financial system's framework will collapse if Bitcoin is broadly embraced. This was a fantastic solution in light of the instances when the financial sector became corrupt. 

In a research paper from Galaxy Digital, the energy used by the Bitcoin network was quantified and compared to that of other industries, such as the banking industry. It was discovered that while the banking sector uses 263.72 TWh annually, Bitcoin uses just 113.89 TWh.

By analyzing some of Bitcoin's distinctive qualities and how they relate to and affect its energy consumption, the research provided context for Bitcoin's energy usage. Regrettably, such important information won't be permitted to appear in the mainstream media due to the world powers' campaign against Bitcoin.

Why do governments fear Bitcoin?

  • Unbeatable

When Bitcoin first emerged, many who opposed it painted it as a hoax. But Bitcoin is still there and in the news fourteen years later. There is always a long way to go before most people use Bitcoin. More businesses and services are embracing Bitcoin daily, making it a legitimate payment option. Anybody wishing for cryptocurrency to disappear will not get their dream since it is here to stay.

The loss of control presented by Bitcoin is a crucial issue that worries governments and financial institutions. They still need to devise a mechanism to tax Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. The government cannot monitor the transactions or the revenue generated by them. You can see why the government discourages the idea, given that taxation is the primary source of governmental income.

The lack of a centralized authority and blockchain technology are the two defining characteristics of Bitcoin that give it power and acceptance. It establishes a secure network where users can remain pseudonymous. Yet when considered from the government's standpoint, this is a field it cannot regulate or meddle in. A lack of regulation for the government entails a lack of control and revenue. 

Additionally, because Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer system, there is no need for a central clearing house or authority to oversee the transfers. What earnings are being produced, who is selling, and who is buying the Bitcoins remain entirely hidden from the sources, which is something the government hates so much.

  • Provides a lifeline

Even the most essential products and services are sometimes unavailable to many in nations like Venezuela, which has suffered hyperinflation. Reports demonstrate how Venezuelans are surviving hyperinflation with the help of Bitcoin. They use this cryptocurrency to order internationally couriered items online. This nation illustrates how the people have been let down by the government and conventional banking institutions. Yet, the government has attempted to crack down on the Bitcoin miners and traders rather than finding a solution to the financial crisis.

  • Community Control and Crime Concerns

The two-headed monster of government hostility to cryptocurrency is because it continues to remain out of their total control. Yet, it also suggests that they sincerely worry about protecting the rights of residents and those looking to invest in risky assets.

Having said that, it is crucial to remember that not all government worries are unwarranted. It was premised on the idea that financial transactions were anonymous, and thus criminal activity was inevitable. Crimes like drug trafficking, terrorism, money laundering, and tax evasion may worsen with such a system. These may harm the rest of society. 

However, we must understand how Bitcoin can address the problems that traditional systems have caused, putting aside the likelihood of a wide variety of illegal acts that have garnered the headlines and painted them negatively. Recessions and unemployment have repeatedly been triggered by the central bank changing the money supply. The welfare of individuals is at risk because the global financial system thrives on avarice and corruption.

It's okay to try your luck with Bitcoin; remember that you're entrusting a very sophisticated system with your money. You may need to be more thoroughly knowledgeable about this industry; because you are interacting with individuals you don't know and entering a situation where you have few legal options.

The fight against Bitcoin requires large-scale coordination among nations 

Bitcoin's growth has been a concern for various governments, including the United States. The US government is projected to run a $1.4 trillion deficit in 2023. Even if the government shuts down the entire military and eliminates the Department of Defense's projected $800 billion budget, the budget would still be projected to operate in the red for 2023.

This indicates that the U.S. government's resources to fight against Bitcoin are limited. Still, it is clear that the government is targeting cryptocurrency to expand the reach of its financial surveillance. Approximately 86% of central banks are actively exploring the development of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). This development could threaten the growth of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.

Wall Street's push to open up access to Bitcoin investment is meeting resistance from a bipartisan group of lawmakers and regulators in Washington, which might also hinder the growth of Bitcoin. Some years ago, China, another country that has shown concern about the growth of Bitcoin, attempted to crack down on Bitcoin miners who effectively power the digital coins' accounting system by forcing its own banks to stop facilitating crypto use. If China can’t stop it, what do you think the countries that still practice freedom are going to do?

While the U.S. government's resources might be limited to fight against Bitcoin, the government might expand its arsenal through multilateral relations in targeting cryptocurrency to broaden the reach of its financial surveillance. 

As Bitcoin is internationalized, effective regulation would require the cooperation and approval of practically every nation-state. Still, it might be challenging to see countries focusing on Bitcoin in unison; even though the major world powers such as the United States and China have a bloc-like effect, there has been more coordination, often led by the U.S. government.

Extensive cooperation is needed to shut down the network effectively; otherwise, users will successfully conduct transactions and maintain the Bitcoin network in other countries. A gradual, nation-by-nation prohibition might harm total acceptance. 

At its most extreme, a very improbable state-led ban in the United States could prevent Bitcoin from accessing American-led financial institutions and markets with almost all global reach. However, a "global ban" or "government crackdown" will not be possible as Bitcoin can be used for transactional purposes across international borders.

The libertarian view

The allure of Bitcoin extends beyond its autonomy and financial stability. Digital money appeals to libertarians as well since they favor private property rights and minimal government involvement. Libertarians see Bitcoin as a method to avoid conventional financial institutions, which they believe are governed by governments and susceptible to heavy regulation. Bitcoin provides a decentralized financial system free from governmental control and inflationary monetary policies.

Because Bitcoin transactions are safe and transparent, they are consistent with libertarian values such as individual freedom and privacy. Bitcoin transactions cannot be controlled or changed thanks to permissionless blockchain technology, offering an unmatched level of security compared to conventional banking systems.

Bitcoin stands for control over one's financial future and the shielding of assets from governmental meddling for libertarians and those who share their views. Even if the appeal to libertarians may appear specialized, it is a sign that digital currencies can alter the financial landscape. It's conceivable that cryptocurrencies will become more widely accepted and used for various purposes as more people become aware of their benefits.

The bottom line 

Governments are wary of Bitcoin for several reasons, including its lack of central control, illicit activity use, consumer protection, volatility, and potential threat to national currencies. While some governments have taken steps to regulate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, others have banned them altogether. As Bitcoin continues to gain mainstream acceptance, it will be interesting to see different approaches to how governments respond to this new form of currency.

It's important to note that while governments are wary of Bitcoin, they also recognize the potential benefits of blockchain technology, which underlies Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Blockchain technology can potentially revolutionize various industries, including finance, healthcare, and logistics. The relationship between governments and cryptocurrencies is complex and evolving, and it will be interesting to see how it develops in the coming years.




About: Prince Ibenne. (Nigeria) Rapid and sustainable human growth is my passion, and getting a life-changing opportunity into the hands of people is my calling. Empowering entrepreneurs provides me with enormous gratification. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.





Tim Moseley

The Trust Crisis Of Banks Worsens Ensuing Initial Collapse Of SVB A Plus for Crypto

The Trust Crisis Of Banks Worsens Ensuing Initial Collapse Of SVB. A Plus for Crypto

The US banking sector is facing a crisis of trust following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, which has left many Americans, particularly those without insurance for their deposits, anxiously trying to determine if their money is safe. A recent report found that more the 186 banks, or 5% of all banks in the country, are in danger of failing. The article outlines the analysis, identifies the risk factors to watch out for, and explains why investing in cryptocurrency could be a genuine safe-haven option.

Source: SSRN Papers-Full Study

As the above screenshot shows, the study is titled ‘Monetary Tightening and US Bank Fragility in 2023; Mark-to-Market Losses and Uninsured Depositor Runs?’  It was written by four academics from distinguished universities in the United States on March 13th, 2023. 

The report begins with a brief explanation of why so many US banks are at risk of going under and pertains to all the assets banks hold on their balance sheets. These are US bonds (US government debt) and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) (bundles of mortgages). US Bonds and MBSs are the safest assets a bank can hold, at least according to regulators, and why banks tend to invest most of their customers' deposits in US bonds and MBSs.

Images sourced at Investopedia.com

These assets earn interest for the banks and thus make it possible for them to offer services with low or no fees. However, when interest rates rise, the value of US bonds and MBSs decreases. The reasons for this are many, but the main takeaway here is that higher interest rates result in US bonds and MBSs crashing. If the value of these assets falls too much, banks can become temporarily insolvent. 

This insolvency is temporary because when US bonds and MBSs mature, meaning the loan terms end, the bank receives the total value of the underlying asset. Again, the mechanics of this are many, but just know that US bonds and MBSs don't lose money if they are held to maturity, and why banks don't report the losses on US bonds and MBSs when interest rates rise. 

Most information about losses on debt securities held by banks is immersed in the glossaries in their SEC filings. It is not considered a significant problem until that bank has major liquidity issues. It’s because it's not a loss until they sell, and in the case of US bonds and MBSs, they won't lose anything if they hold them to maturity. 

This accounting practice is arguably controversial. These so-called unrealized losses are acceptable if the bank isn't forced to sell any of these assets at a loss, specifically customer withdrawals.  It’s what happened to SVB and why it sank. However, there is one crucial detail to keep in mind. 92.5% of SVB's deposits were uninsured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). 

For context, the FDIC only ensures bank deposits up to $250,000 per account. Any amount above that is considered uninsured. SVB experienced a bank run because its uninsured depositors could see that it had many unrealized losses. This led to speculation that SVB didn't have enough money to honor all withdrawals. 

As such, this bank run may not have happened if most deposits were insured, i.e., under $250K per account. SVB had so many uninsured deposits because the bank provided accounts and banking services primarily to small and medium-sized businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. These clients typically require lots of cash liquidity to pay their employees, make acquisitions, etc. 

Around $9 trillion of bank deposits in the United States are uninsured, roughly 50% of all bank deposits. Banks have been happily investing these uninsured deposits into US bonds and MBSs. The problem is that interest rates have risen, and their unrealized losses have proliferated. At the end of 2022, US banks collectively had unrealized losses totaling more than $600 billion. Interest rates have risen more since then, so these losses are likely even more prominent now.

In short, US Banks have lots of unrealized losses and also lots of uninsured depositors who are concerned that banks can't honor withdrawals because of these unrealized losses. The authors examined over 4,000 banks in the study to see which ones were most at risk and why. 

Unrealized Losses

First, the study highlighted that 42% of all bank deposits had been invested into regular MBSs, with another 24% invested in commercial MBSs, i.e., commercial real estate loans, US bonds, and other asset-backed securities (ABS). The authors then tried to calculate the unrealized losses on these assets. After crunching the numbers, the authors found the following, 

“The median value of banks' unrealized losses is around 9% after marking to market. The 5% of banks with worse unrealized losses experience asset decline of around 20%.” 

Note that ‘marked to market’ means ‘assuming sold today.’ In lay terms, the average American Bank has unrealized losses of around 10%, and 5% of the most vulnerable banks have unrealized losses of 20%. 

So if depositors were to rush and withdraw from these banks, they would get 90% of their money back at the average bank and 80% back at a vulnerable bank. Not surprisingly, these unrealized losses were the smallest for Global Systemically Important Banks (GSIB), including JPMorgan and Bank of America. GSIBs have less than 5% of unrealized losses. The average non-GSIB has 10% unrealized losses, and SVB wasn't even the worst. 

The authors found that more than 11% of US banks had larger unrealized losses than SVB when it collapsed. They estimate that as many as 500 other banks could have failed based purely on unrealized losses. The reason why only SVB went down was because of the high number of uninsured deposits. The authors then provide a series of scenarios to showcase how uninsured depositors could react to rising interest rates.

Uninsured Depositors Waking Up

The first scenario assumes that the uninsured depositors stick around and wait. The other three scenarios surmise they withdraw and invest in other assets, which provides a higher interest rate than a savings account. Understand that insolvency fears related to unrealized losses aren't the only reason why uninsured depositors withdraw money from a bank. 

The primary reason why they would do this is that they want to earn a high-interest rate on their large deposits. This desire for yield increases as interest rates rise. Unfortunately for the banks, it's hard for them to provide competitive interest rates on savings accounts without losing lots of money. This is why many US banks haven't increased their interest rates on savings accounts, despite interest rates increasing. They’re making lots of money off their depositors. However, if they were to raise interest rates on savings accounts, they wouldn't make nearly as much money. 

In the study, the authors assume that most uninsured depositors are sleepy, meaning they aren't rushing to withdraw to earn a higher interest rate elsewhere. However, this is starting to change; besides the banking crisis, the high-interest rates that are still rising in other regions tempt those sleepy uninsured depositors into waking up and moving their money elsewhere. If they do this, banks with large, unrealized losses will start going under as they won't be able to honor all withdrawals. 

How Many Banks At Risk?

Naturally, the authors assess whether banks have enough assets to honor these upcoming withdrawals from uninsured depositors. They assume that the FDIC doesn't close down banks that come under stress, which is significant because the FDIC is likely to do this if banks start getting squeezed. 

The good news is that all bar two American banks have enough assets to honor withdrawals from uninsured depositors. The bad news is that the authors don't specify which two banks are at risk, but they conclude that this little risk means additional bank runs are unlikely for the time being. 

For Good Measure

As an extra, the authors analyzed the possibility of what would happen if uninsured depositors ran. They did a number of simulations of bank runs, from 10% to 100% of uninsured depositors withdrawing their assets. 

Source: SSRN Papers-Full Study

What's concerning is that the ten banks most at risk of experiencing a bank run are large. As the authors cite in the study, 

 “The risk of run does not only apply to smaller banks. Out of the 10 largest insolvent banks, 1 has assets above $1 Trillion, 3 have assets above $200 Billion (but less than $1 Trillion), 3 have assets above $100 Billion (but less than $200 Billion), and the remaining 3 have assets greater than $50 Billion (but less than $100 Billion).” 

Unfortunately, the authors don't specify which banks these are but reveal how sensitive US banks are to bank runs. They concluded that even if just 10% of uninsured depositors withdrew their money from banks, 66 banks would go under. If 30% of uninsured depositors withdrew their money, 106 banks would go under. If half of all uninsured depositors ran, 186 banks would fail. This underscores that at least a few dozen banks are at risk of going under over the coming months. 

This is ultimately due to the fatal combination of significant unrealized losses due to rising interest rates and withdrawals from uninsured depositors seeking higher yields from these rates. The final simulation was if 100% of uninsured deposits withdrew all their assets from US banks. They insisted that this simulation is worth doing to assess the state of the US banking sector. Surprisingly only about half of US banks would go under. 

The authors then conclude by highlighting that the value of assets held by US banks is more than $2 trillion lower than what's being reported, thanks to unrealized losses-based accounting. They reiterate that hundreds of banks are at risk of going under if uninsured depositors withdraw. They warned that even small numbers of withdrawals from uninsured depositors could lead to unrealized losses being realized. This would lead to more bank runs, evolving into an even bigger banking crisis than we've seen. They go as far as to suggest regulations to address this. 

For starters, banks should start changing how they report their unrealized losses so that bank depositors have a better sense of how underwater their banks are. Because of the lack of transparency, the authors manually calculated these unrealized losses using complex maths. The authors acknowledge that this won't solve the insolvency risks many banks face, so they recommend that banks be forced to increase their capital requirements. 

This coincides with what Michael Barr, the Fed’s Vice-chair for Supervision, has been busy doing. Michael had been examining capital requirements for banks before the banking crisis began. Maybe he saw the banking crisis coming or was preparing to take advantage of it to introduce regulations. Michael Bar’s anti-crypto speech indicates the second possibility is the most likely. Michael has been desperate to increase his powers, presumably to consolidate the banking sector to assist in the rollout of a central bank digital currency

Be Vigilant of The Risk Elements

Which risk factors should you be aware of when analyzing banks? I am not a financial adviser. Still, my research into this convoluted accounting system revealed that the two main risk factors are unrealized losses and uninsured deposits. It is at risk if your bank has many unrealized losses and uninsured deposits. The problem is that it takes work to estimate these unrealized losses. Moreover, not all uninsured deposits are prone to flight. Remember that most of them are required to pay employees at small companies. 

Also, as mentioned above, most banks with many uninsured deposits tend to be smaller, i.e., not GSIBs. In theory, this makes them inherently riskier than GSIBs. In practice, though, when a non-GSIB goes under, it gets acquired by a GSIB. This means your assets could be safer at a small bank. If you read the article about bank bail-ins, you'll know that GSIBs can be risky. 

If a non-GSIB goes under, it gets acquired by a big bank, and customer deposits are kept, but if a GSIB goes under, customer deposits are used to bail them out. As recently happened with Credit Suisse and its takeover by UBS. The arguably political deal required capital from somewhere to satisfy UBS. According to WSJ, the Swiss government was desperate to avoid the appearance that this was a taxpayer-funded bailout.

GSIBs are also more likely to comply with investment ideologies, like ESG. As discussed in this article, the Bank of America is one of the big institutions behind the ESG movement. Some of its affiliates are introducing individual ESG scores for their customers. 

Small banks may also have challenges because around 80% of commercial real estate loans come from small banks. In addition to being wrecked by higher interest rates, commercial real estate is struggling because people must return to the office. 50% of office spaces in the US are empty. This means that small banks are at a higher risk of sitting on larger unrealized losses, which is consistent with the findings of the study. 

If that weren't bad enough, these losses would likely increase as time passes, even if interest rates start coming down because work from home is probably here to stay. Even if uninsured depositors are less likely to withdraw from small banks due to the purpose of these deposits, just a small number of withdrawals could therefore cause severe issues for small banks. 

The findings of the study suggest this risk is already there. All it takes is 10% of uninsured deposits to move. In sum, small and big banks come with their own risks, and it's up to you to decide which risks you'd instead take. Diversifying your deposits is an option, but the fact that every bank operates using this fractional reserve model means your money will never be genuinely risk-free in their coffers. 

Image credit: Markethive.com

Cryptocurrency To The Rescue

This is where cryptocurrency comes in. Cryptocurrencies ostensibly have only one risk: their current price volatility. There are, of course, risks associated with things like improperly written code, but the largest and most established cryptocurrencies have been battle tested every day for over a decade. 

Aside from that, cryptocurrencies are one of the best hedges against the banking system. When you hold a cryptocurrency, there is no counterparty risk. That crypto is genuinely yours, and there isn't some greedy banker going and investing your crypto into a basket of risky, commercial real estate loans behind your back. 

This characteristic alone makes cryptocurrency valuable. Also, cryptocurrency lets you send a transaction to whoever you want, whenever you want, and for however much you want. This is the true definition of financial freedom, and its importance was fully displayed when Nasdaq halted the trading of bank stocks during the recent banking crisis. 

Nobody can turn off the decentralized cryptocurrency exchange and prevent people from trading. You will always be able to trade. Take a second to consider; that blocking transactions, halting trading, and freezing assets will only become more common as CBDCs are rolled out. This will make the financial freedom aspect of cryptocurrency ever more critical, along with the decentralization that underlies it. 

Without decentralization, crypto's value proposition quickly disappears. That's why instead of wasting time assessing the unrealized losses and uninsured deposits of banks, you should learn about what makes a cryptocurrency genuinely decentralized. After all, the days of commercial banks are numbered; the thousands of existing banks will inevitably consolidate into a handful of mega banks, and governments will nationalize these mega banks. 

Financial freedom in the traditional financial system will be gone when that happens. At the same time, economic freedom in the crypto ecosystem will only continue to grow. By the grace of God, it will rise to the point that it's capable of accommodating the billions of people who will pull out of the traditional financial system as it becomes ever more centralized and ideological. 

Both monetary mechanisms will take years to play out, but it's already clear that the global financial system is splitting into two structures: free and sovereign and one that is not. You now have the once-in-a-millennium opportunity to choose which system to participate in. It’s critical to make that decision before it's made for you. 

This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.



Editor and Chief Markethive: Deb Williams. (Australia) I thrive on progress and champion freedom of speech. I embrace "Change" with a passion, and my purpose in life is to enlighten people to accept and move forward with enthusiasm. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.






Also published @ Substack.com

Tim Moseley

Understanding Your Options: Is Investing in Bitcoin or the Bank a Wise Financial Move?

Understanding Your Options: Is Investing in Bitcoin or the Bank a Wise Financial Move?


Many people are concerned that the recent banking crisis may have precipitated a global financial crisis.

In fewer than a week, three banks have failed. In an effort to avert more panic, U.S. government authorities have stepped up to backstop losses. In addition to the possibility that other banks will fail, there are legitimate questions about whether it was the proper decision to bail out two poorly run institutions with serious irregularities while allowing the third to fail.

So, should you withdraw funds from your bank and hide them under your mattress or invest in cryptocurrency?

Crypto and traditional banking are two very different options for storing your money. While banks are a familiar and trusted option, crypto, such as bitcoin, is a decentralized and volatile digital currency. So, the question arises, should you keep your money in Bitcoin or a bank?

This article will help you consider the options of either keeping your savings balances in cryptocurrency or in the bank. We will start by looking at what Bitcoin is before moving on to why people choose to use it as an investment vehicle and how they can use it safely and securely.

Image source: https://bitcoinbriefly.com/21-million-bitcoin/

Why was Bitcoin Created?

As many have already stated, the early financial crisis of 2008, known as the great recession, gave rise to the creation of bitcoin. The very first block of the blockchain came with a message concerning bailouts for banks. In contrast to the tightly entwined public and private banking sectors, it was created to remove third parties as an intermediary from the internet money system by making users accountable for their own keys.

The 2008 financial crisis was a significant event that shook the global economy, causing widespread unemployment, foreclosures, and bank failures. It highlighted the shortcomings of the traditional financial system and the need for alternative systems that could provide excellent stability, security, and decentralization.

Bitcoin was created as a decentralized digital currency that operates outside the traditional financial system. Its underlying technology, blockchain, allows for peer-to-peer transactions without intermediaries like banks. This gives users more control over their money and eliminates many fees and delays associated with traditional banking.

While Bitcoin's creation was not a direct response to the financial crisis, it is often seen as a product of the growing dissatisfaction with the traditional financial system and the need for more transparent and secure alternatives. Bitcoin was initially created as a response to the flaws of the traditional financial system. Still, it has since grown into a global phenomenon with unique characteristics and potential benefits.

One of the key advantages of Bitcoin is its decentralized nature. Unlike traditional currencies, which governments and financial institutions control, Bitcoin is not controlled by any central authority. This makes it more resistant to government or institutional manipulation and potentially more secure from hacking or other types of cyber attacks.

Another advantage of Bitcoin is its potential for anonymity. While Bitcoin transactions are not completely anonymous, they offer privacy that is not always available with traditional banking. This can be particularly useful for individuals concerned about their financial privacy or living in countries with strict financial regulations, such as China or Russia.

Bitcoin's potential as a global currency has also been touted as a potential benefit. With Bitcoin, sending and receiving payments across borders is possible without currency conversions or other barriers. This could make it easier for people to conduct business internationally and help level the playing field for small businesses and individuals.

While Bitcoin was not explicitly created as a response to the 2008 financial crisis, it is viewed by many as a potential solution to some of the problems highlighted by the crisis. Its decentralized nature, the potential for anonymity, and global accessibility make it a unique and potentially valuable addition to the financial landscape.

Are We on the Verge of Another Global Financial Crisis?

A systemic banking crisis can be extremely damaging. They tend to push the affected economies into deep recessions and sharp current account reversals. Some situations were contagious and quickly spread to other countries with no apparent weaknesses.

The many causes of banking crises include unsustainable macroeconomic policies (including large current account deficits and unsustainable government debt), excessive credit booms, large capital inflows and weak balance sheets, and various political and economic requirements resulting in political paralysis.

In September 2008, a global financial crisis caused by the collapse of housing markets led to a worldwide recession. The United States has recovered, but the rest of the world is still in recovery. This global financial crisis is the second largest in history and is predicted to be even bigger than the first.

Experts are worried that the United States is heading towards another global financial crisis, but it will be much worse this time. Many factors lead experts to believe that it will be more challenging to recover from the economic recession this time. Some of the reasons are increased global debt, over-leveraged banks, low economic growth, and rising oil prices.

There are concerns that the recent bank collapse and other economic crises could lead to another global financial crisis, as noted by several news articles. According to a report by The Guardian, the global banking system is reeling from a series of shocks over the past week, prompted by the collapse of California's Silicon Valley Bank. This has stoked fears that this is the start of a more severe crisis.

Similarly, an article by ABC News states that the potential next phase is a global credit crunch, which could lead to another worldwide financial crisis. However, regulators and central banks are pulling out all stops to prevent that.

In addition, an article by The New York Times notes that the banking crisis hangs over the economy, rekindling recession fears, and even optimistic forecasters on Wall Street in recent months have said that the chances of a recession had risen ten percentage points to 35 percent.

However, it is important to note that the situation is still developing, and it is difficult to predict with certainty whether or not we are on the verge of another global financial crisis. It will depend on the effectiveness of the measures taken by regulators and central banks to mitigate the risks and prevent the crisis from spreading.

Which is Better: Bitcoin or Bank?

Money saved in a bank account is typically considered a safer option for storing the value as it is backed by government guarantees, such as deposit insurance, which can protect a certain amount of funds in case of a bank failure. Bank accounts also offer the convenience of easy access to funds, as well as potential interest earnings. However, these are currently quite low in many countries due to low-interest rates.

On the other hand, Bitcoin has shown the potential for significant gains over the long term, and it also carries the risk of substantial losses, particularly in the short term. Bitcoin is not backed by government guarantees, which means there is no protection for investors if the value of Bitcoin were to decline sharply or if their Bitcoin were to be lost or stolen.

Bitcoin's status as a safe haven asset during times of crisis varies depending on the situation. Cryptocurrencies acted as a store of value during the COVID-19 crisis and as a safe haven. Also, before the pandemic, Bitcoin served as a safe haven, a hedge, and a diversifier versus a range of international currencies.

However, Bitcoin's volatility remains a concern as it can experience massive price swings, making it a risky store of value asset in the short term. On the other hand, money saved in the bank may provide stability and security, but its value may be affected by inflation, changes in interest rates, and other economic factors.

Whether to use Bitcoin or money saved in the bank as a safer store of value is subjective and depends on an individual's risk tolerance and investment goals. However, it's important to note that Bitcoin's status as a safe haven asset during times of crisis is not guaranteed and may vary depending on the situation. It's essential to consider each option's potential benefits and risks carefully and to seek the advice of a financial professional before making any investment decisions.

Bottom Line

Today's bank failures are incredibly unusual and would likely result in a great deal of anxiety, as was the case with the collapse of Silvergate Bank, a free-floating entity cut off from the rest of the economy. How distinct can private and public interests truly be when SVB and Signature participated in both the ups and downs of the Fed policy-created tsunami of cheap money? 

Considering the previous and recent economic upheaval, should you retain your money in a bank if the U.S. government is formally bailing out banks, or should you seek a better alternative?

Ultimately, the decision of where to keep your money depends on your individual circumstances, risk tolerance, and financial goals. It may be helpful to speak with a financial advisor or conduct additional research to make an informed decision.



About: Prince Ibenne. (Nigeria) Rapid and sustainable human growth is my passion, and getting a life-changing opportunity into the hands of people is my calling. Empowering entrepreneurs provides me with enormous gratification. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.





Tim Moseley