Around the Blockchain with Huobi Global (14 Feb 2022)

Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
According to a new survey of 2,000 adult US residents aged 18 to 99 (the majority of whom were millennials and Gen Z) by brokerage firm eToro, 33% of the respondents would be more likely to go on dates with those who mentioned crypto in their online dating profiles. Still, some crypto community members say this could be a “double-edged sword”. For instance, Crypto Connect founder Hailey Lennon said there were people who would “make the entire conversation about BTC” or who still associated crypto with “this false narrative of it being used only for criminal activity and money laundering”.
Young crypto investors have become a major force in South Korea’s 9 Mar election, such that all the presidential candidates have announced crypto-friendly stances to try to win them over. Many South Koreans under 24 earn $2,176 a month on average and pay high rents in Seoul, making them unable to afford their own apartments. As such, many have turned to stocks and crypto. According to Edward Hong, head of crypto VC firm Hashed, there are over 5 million individual crypto accounts across the country’s top three crypto exchanges, and about 10% of this year’s voters are crypto investors. Last Sep, the current administration’s proposal of a 20% tax on annual crypto gains of over $2,122 was scrapped after backlash from crypto investors, but South Korea still lacks regulatory clarity in the crypto space.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) MD Kristalina Georgieva has said crypto assets and stablecoins “may not be a match” for well-designed central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which she believes can “potentially offer more resilience, more safety, greater availability, and lower costs than private forms of digital money”. Speaking last week at the Atlantic Council in Washington DC about the future of money, crypto and CBDCs, she also said the IMF’s role was to “support the interoperability of CBDCs” and stressed that “financial stability and privacy considerations” should be key priorities in CBDC design, urging central banks to “tailor their plans to their specific circumstances” as every economy was different. Lastly, she emphasized the need for a “balance between developments on the design front and policy front”.
The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), in partnership with Bank ABC, recently announced its successful testing of cross-border fund transfers using JPMorgan’s JPM Coin, fulfilling the CBB’s goal of providing customers with “safe and efficient settlement solutions” as it prepares to roll out its CBDC. CBB governor Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj said the bank would try to “address and eliminate inefficiencies and pain points” in the traditional cross-border payment space, but the CBB did not state if it would conduct further tests, or give a launch date for its CBDC.
Canadian YouTuber Dan Olson has called NFTs and crypto in general a “big scam”. His two-hour YouTube video, Line Goes Up: The Problem with NFTs, went viral earlier this month and in a recent NPR interview, he said NFTs were merely “digital objects that use crypto as the backbone to give them a form of scarcity”. He added that there was “no underlying value to BTC or ETH” and argued that crypto revolved around “gambling” on whether “someone in the future” would be willing to pay more for it, as opposed to actually generating a “good product people want to use for a reasonable price”.
Show me the money
According to data from Huobi Global, BTC is in the process of a rebound after seeing sideways oscillation during the day. ETH experienced a similar pattern and remains relatively weak amid signs of a downward trend. Contracts-wise, Huobi Futures data showed no changes in the open interest (OI) both BTC and ETH contracts, amid a drop in contract trading volume and a relatively inactive contract market.
BTC rose very slightly on Sunday but remained far below where it had started the week, trading at about $42,200, while ETH was trading at around $2,880. CEO of fund manager BitBull Capital Joe DiPasquale said some believed the slide in crypto prices on Friday was “correlated to reports of Russian military exercises indicating that an invasion and possible resulting war is imminent”.
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