The trajectory of the Bitcoin (BTC) kept crypto traders, investors, and enthusiasts guessing as a July 15 relief rally registered a high of $21,140. Bitcoin continues to trade in the $20,000-22,000 range. The US CPI data that pegged its quarterly inflation at 9.1%, the highest in 40 years, seems to not have affected the markets as yet. BTC and other crypto assets are following the global stock indices which have been in the green in the second half of the week.
On a weekly basis, however, BTC is down by 4.7% and by more than 50% compared to a year back. Celsius Network’s bankruptcy plea dampened the spirits at the start of the week though there have been some positive developments along the way. The story of the week could well be that South Africa is all set to regulate crypto as a financial asset. We discuss this and other stories of the week below.
South Africa’s crypto cue for India
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB)’s announcement that it will start regulating cryptocurrencies as a financial asset in the coming year should have some
in India. The Government of India has been ‘treading carefully’ while a regulatory code to ease things for crypto investors and businesses is being worked on.
The SARB said cryptocurrencies, specifically Bitcoin, provide numerous advantages to the monetary system. With an estimated six million South Africans owning cryptocurrencies, the nation has emerged as a pioneer in the adoption of cryptocurrency.
South Africa’s National Treasury budget review published in February 2022 formally introduced the move to declare cryptocurrencies as financial products. The state also plans to enhance the monitoring and reporting of cryptocurrency transactions to comply with exchange regulations in the country.
Central banks face key decisions on digital currency
In a related development, international agencies are proactively asking central banks to consider interoperability early in the design of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Interestingly, the Union Finance Ministry had asked the Reserve Bank of India to come up with a digital currency in the previous Union Budget.
The Bank for International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank have urged CBDCs to ‘programme in advance’ to address any interoperability issues that could arise. The major aspect that central banks need to foresee and manage will be the cross-border access for the digital version of their currencies to serve as a means of payment.
International collaboration on CBDC design is necessary to overcome cross-border payment challenges, and many CBDC design features remain undecided in the numerous CBDC projects currently underway.
Bitcoin price prediction: Is $10K in the offing?
If surveys are anything to go by, here are two results that say Bitcoin will hit the bottom of $10,000.
At least 40% respondents to a survey on Chinese social media platform Weibo said they saw a $10,000 priceline for Bitcoin in the near future. Another survey by Bloomberg MLIV Pulse saw 60% respondents calling for a similar price. The surveys, one in Asia and another in Wall Street, have drawn strikingly similar results reflecting the bearish sentiments of crypto traders. However, the on-chain activity analysis also suggests that US traders have been relatively more bullish than their Asian counterparts in June 2022.
Disney Accelerator Program to develop AR, NFT, and AI
In the world of entertainment, Disney announced the 2022 participants of its accelerator program which begins this week and the sole blockchain-based platform chosen from the six companies is Polygon.
Previously known as Matic Network and rebranded in 2021, Polygon is a scaling and interoperability framework for building Ethereum-compatible blockchains that seek to address some of Ethereum’s significant limitations.
This business and development program, designed to spur the growth of innovative companies, is part of Disney’s efforts to develop new technologies in augmented reality (AR), non-fungible tokens (NFT), and artificial intelligence (AI).
Top gainers this week (as of 6 pm, July 16, 2022)
Lido DAO (LDO): 59.49%
Quant (QNT): 34.83%
Top losers this week (as of 2 pm, July 16, 2022)
STEPN (GMT): -12.44%
Fantom (FTM): -10.75%
THORChain (RUNE): -10.64%
Note: Analysis includes top 100 cryptocurrencies only.