Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
Switzerland’s Seba Bank has predicted that the price of bitcoin could hit $75,000 this year. At the Crypto Finance Conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland, CEO Guido Bühler said: “Our internal valuation model indicates a price right now between $50,000 and $75,000. I’m quite confident we are going to see that level. The question is always timing.” He explained that institutional investors will help boost the price of bitcoin, and added that while BTC will test some of 2021’s record highs, “volatility remains high”.
India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) — a specialized financial investigation agency under the Ministry of Finance’s Department of Revenue — has seized assets worth approximately $5 million belonging to Kerala-based businessman Nishad K, in connection with an alleged cryptocurrency scam. The scam involves a non-existent cryptocurrency called Morris coin, for which Nishad and his companies conducted an initial coin offering (ICO), and has reportedly cheated over 900 investors of $162 million. This money was then used to buy immovable properties, luxury cars, and cryptocurrencies (including BTC, ETH and USDT) as well as to pay for premium hotels and resorts.
Representatives across Thailand’s political spectrum warned against the Finance Ministry’s proposed 15% tax on crypto profits. Kla Party leader Korn Chatikavanij said further clarification was needed to prevent double taxation of crypto-related income, which is a possibility should the Revenue Department start “collecting VAT like crypto is a product” and requiring traders to “pay the VAT when selling the product and pay another VAT from selling crypto in baht”. Pheu Thai Party registrar Jakkapong Sangmanee highlighted how an additional tax atop the personal income tax crypto traders already pay would benefit organizations but hurt retail investors, while Thai Sang Thai leader Sudarat Keyuraphan said any policy to tax digital asset profits should be “fair” and “not take advantage of taxpayers”.
The Economic Affairs Committee of the UK’s House of Lords has concluded that there is “no convincing case” for the UK to have a central bank digital currency (CBDC), following a Sep 2021 enquiry into CBDCs. In a report published today, the committee stated that “while a CBDC may provide some advantages, it could present significant challenges for financial stability and the protection of privacy”, and that “technical specifications alone may be insufficient to counter public concern over the risk of state surveillance”.
A group of Wikipedia editors have voted against classifying NFTs as a form of art and have agreed to shelve the issue until a later date. This comes after a survey and debate that began on the platform in Dec 2021 about whether NFT art sales should be considered “art sales” or simply “NFT sales”, with much of the discussion focused on whether an NFT represented the art or if it was just a token separate from the underlying art. One of the editors, ‘jonas’, said: “Wikipedia really can’t be in the business of deciding what counts as art or not, which is why putting NFTs (art or not) in their own list makes things a lot simpler.”
Bank of America’s digital asset strategist Alkesh Shah has predicted that Ethereum competitor Solana could become the “Visa of the digital asset ecosystem”. He implied that Solana is encroaching on Ethereum’s market share with its low fees, user-friendliness and scalability, while Ethereum may be limited to “high-value transaction and identity, storage and supply chain use cases”. Ethereum’s 12 transactions per second (TPS) on mainnet pale in comparison to Solana’s theoretical limit of 65,000 TPS, while Visa processes 1,700 TPS on average (though theoretically, the network can handle a minimum of 24,000 TPS). Shah also admitted, however, that “Solana prioritizes scalability but a relatively less decentralized and secure blockchain has tradeoffs, illustrated by several network performance issues since inception.”
Show me the money
According to data from Huobi Global, BTC rebounded from below 40,000 to reach a high of over 44,000, before falling back to 43,500, with daily charts still showing signs of a downward trend. ETH experienced a slight dip to near 3,330, and like BTC, daily charts are also showing signs of a down-trend.
Shiba inu (SHIB) jumped 16% today to as high as $0.00003, leading gains among major cryptocurrencies amid rumors of a Robinhood listing. Robinhood, however, has not responded to requests for comment, and CEO Vlad Tenev had already previously denied plans to list SHIB in Oct 2021 when it hit an all-time high of $0.00008. Since then, it has fallen 62% and is currently the 13th largest cryptocurrency, with a market cap of $17 billion.
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