Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin tank as investors take cover

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Fortune 08 July, 2021 - 04:53am 16 views

When is ETH London hard fork?

Ethereum's long-awaited London hard fork is likely to launch on Aug. 4 between 13:00 UTC (9 a.m. ET) and 17:00 UTC, with block 12,965,000. Many Ethereum enthusiasts are excited for the delayed release, while some are watching on with “cautious optimism.” Yahoo FinanceEthereum’s London Hard Fork Expected to Launch on Aug. 4

Wall Street banking giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc sees potential in Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) becoming a better-suited store of value than market-leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC).

What Happened: In a report seen by Business Insider, the bank highlighted Ethereum’s utility in being the smart contract platform of choice for the majority of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications as one of the reasons why it could eventually overtake Bitcoin.

"[Ether] currently looks like the cryptocurrency with the highest real use potential as Ethereum, the platform on which it is the native digital currency, is the most popular development platform for smart contract applications," said the Goldman Sachs analysts in a note to clients on Tuesday.

Why It Matters: According to the analysts, Bitcoin’s dominance as the leading cryptocurrency by market cap, and its reputation as a store of value, comes from its “stronger brand” driven by its first-mover advantage.

However, Bitcoin’s relatively slow transaction speed and lack of “real use cases” puts Ethereum in a better spot to become the more dominant store of value in the realm of cryptocurrencies.

The analysts referred to both Bitcoin and Ethereum as a risk-on inflation hedge and said that comparisons to the more conventional store of value assets, like gold, weren’t suitable at the time.

"Gold is competing with crypto to the same extent it is competing with other risky assets such as equities and cyclical commodities. We view gold as a defensive inflation hedge and crypto as a risk-on inflation hedge," they said.

"This competition among cryptocurrencies is another risk factor that prevents them from becoming safe-haven assets at this stage.”

Price Action: Bitcoin was trading at $34,627 at the time of writing, slightly up by 1.53% over the past 24-hours.

Ethereum was up 2.21% during the same period and traded at $2,349 at press time.

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China Is Leaving No Stone Unturned With Cryptocurrency Ban

Yahoo Finance 07 July, 2021 - 06:48am

The Beijing office of the People’s Bank of China announced yesterday that it had called for the shutdown of a company developing software for cryptocurrency transactions. The authorities also warned citizens against trading cryptocurrencies due to the risks attached.

The authorities shut down the operations of Beijing Qudao Cultural Development Limited, claiming that the company provides software services that support crypto trading activities. Following the ban, Beijing Qudao has now been deactivated, and its website has been suspended.

Beijing Qudao Cultural Development was established in 2016 and is popular for providing services in the marketing, public relations, modeling and entertainment sectors. According to the regulators, companies operating in Beijing are no longer permitted to provide business premises, ad display, marketing or paid online traffic services to crypto entities.

The regulators also said banks and financial institutions are not allowed to provide any service directly or indirectly to customers related to crypto transactions.

The cryptocurrency market has gotten used to the numerous bans issued on cryptocurrency activities in China. Over the past month, the Chinese authorities have banned crypto-related activities on more than three different occasions.

The People’s Bank of China directed banks and payment companies in China to stop providing financial services to cryptocurrency entities. The move made it almost impossible for cryptocurrency trading to thrive in China.

The Sichuan government also joined other Chinese provinces in banning cryptocurrency mining in the region. The shutdown of 26 mining farms and other smaller cryptocurrency miners ultimately affected Bitcoin’s hashrate.

However, despite the constant FUD from China, Bitcoin’s price has maintained its position in recent weeks. Bitcoin is still trading below $35k, down by over 40% from its all-time high.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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Software Firm Meitu Loses US$17.3M On Bitcoin

Forkast News 07 July, 2021 - 06:32am

Hong Kong-listed software company Meitu Inc. is expected to suffer a US$17.3 million impairment loss on its investments in Bitcoin, according to an announcement.

Meitu, known for a Photoshop filter app, wrote that a US$17.3 million drop in the price of Bitcoin was expected to be recognized as impairment loss in its interim results. Meitu gained US$14.7 million on its Ether investments, but that will not be recognized as a revaluation gain because the company regards acquired cryptocurrencies as intangible assets and adopts a cost model for measurement, in compliance with related standards.

Meitu acquired a total of 31,000 ETH and about 941 BTC in March and April, valued collectively at US$100 million at that time. Currently, the fair values of its acquired ETH and BTC are approximately US$65.2 million and US$32.2 million, respectively, a 2.6% drop in total value.

Meitu wrote in its announcement that the impairment loss would not impact its cash flow or operations. It said it has no plans to sell or acquire more cryptos in the near future, as the board reiterated its view that the blockchain industry is still in the early stages of its development and that “cryptocurrencies have ample room for appreciation in value over the long term.” 

Based in the Chinese city of Xiamen, Meitu is the only Hong Kong-listed major Chinese company to invest directly in cryptocurrencies, like western companies such as Business intelligence software company MicroStrategy and electric-car maker Tesla. Other formerly non-crypto Chinese companies such as gaming operator The9 and lottery company 500.com have pivoted to the crypto mining industry instead. 

“Bitcoin’s recent mass adoption was primarily fueled by institutional and corporate buyers … Their participation paved the way for large-scale corporations to follow,” said Yulong Liu, head of global partnerships at Babel Finance.  

“While I do see this trend continuing, it may this time do so at a slower pace. The fundamentals of Bitcoin’s value have not changed and remain strong. Among the reasons for this is that Bitcoin has been under regulatory pressure because of renewed [environment, social and governance] and [anti-money laundering] requirements. But despite the hiccups, the long-term future still looks bright for a unique asset class like Bitcoin.” Liu told Forkast.News.

Meitu tried to pivot to Blockchain and cryptocurrencies three years ago. In January 2018, it published its first blockchain white paper on building a blockchain-based ecosystem, including a  “Meitu Intelligent Passport,” a decentralized intelligent identification file system based on facial recognition and blockchain technology. 

Benefiting from the Bitcoin bull run this year, Meitu’s stock price surged to as much as HK$4.11 on February 17, its highest since March 2019. Meitu’s stock price has been in decline since April, and closed today at HK$1.65.

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