Given the turmoil in currencies and market structures, it’s not surprising that this past week saw a plethora of articles hypothesising about the emergence of a new financial order and bitcoin’s potential role. It seems that even those who have been studying this sector for a while don’t know what bitcoin’s eventual role will be and are mulling it over. Makes for some really interesting reading and podcasts, a selection of which we’ve curated for you in our Big Ideas section below, along with some other big reads from the past 7 days we’ve found interesting.
Stablecoins Booming During Coronavirus
As legacy markets fall and crypto remains at a standstill, some investors might be moving toward stablecoins in a flight to liquidity. The stablecoin market has surged by $1.5 billion in the last month and is now valued at over $7 billion and stablecoins saw record transaction volumes of over $90 Billion in Q1 2020. As a point of reference, the total transactional volume for stablecoins was $250 billion last year, while that for PayPal was $712 billion.
Which Digital Currencies are Most Useful in a Crisis?
Which digital currencies are most useful in a crisis, asks a Brazilian central banker, CBDCs, bitcoin or libra?
Marcelo M. Prates, a lawyer with Brazil’s central bank, argues that a public/private cryptocurrency collaboration is more likely to succeed than one that is all one or the other. Marcelo points out that cryptocurrencies are an “elitist” type of money, not accessible to all. And many central banks face a trust problem. Both issues will be extremely difficult to overcome, and would require a structural and social overhaul of expectations. Times of turmoil are the most likely catalyst for the conversations that could actually lead to those sort of changes.
WHO, IBM and Microsoft Launch Blockchain Hub to Track Coronavirus
The World Health Organisation has teamed up with tech giants IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft, as well as decentralised platform Hacera, to create an open-data blockchain hub that lets people check whether they have been near anyone who’s been infected with COVID-19. The project, called MiPasa, is based on enterprise-grade blockchain Hyperledger Fabric. It comprises various analytics tools and data sources that help citizens and public health officials detect coronavirus infection hotspots.
Crypto in the Crisis
Pantera Capital recently published their monthly update named Crypto in the Crisis. In short, they are long tokens, think crypto is now uncorrelated with the broader market and that bitcoin will outperform other assets. Pantera’s investment team hosted a conference call to share perspectives on the global macro situation and how they believe it will impact the cryptocurrency markets. You can watch their presentation here.
A few of the tastier big reads and discussions of the week looking at bitcoin’s potential future in the new emerging new financial order included:
How ‘The Great Wealth Transfer’ Could Give Bitcoin a $1 Trillion Boost
The coming decades will see the most significant wealth transfer in history, as Generation X and Millennials in the U.S. alone inherit almost $70 trillion from the Baby Boomers. This development is expected to drive a major shift in investment trends, and bitcoin stands to capture its share of investment as wealth passes to generations whose preferences, experiences and expectations align more with its fundamental characteristics. Kraken’s analysis on this looks at the possibilities ahead, developing a quantitative estimate of how much money could flow to Bitcoin and what the effects on its valuation could be.
U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency
Chris Giancarlo, former CFTC Chairman, has named 22 new Advisory Group Members to establish a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency. Here he shares his thoughts on how the U.S. will go about digitizing the dollar.
Binance Working on Crypto Visa Debit Card
According to a new website, GetBinanceCard.com, Binance will allow users to load cryptocurrencies into their Binance card wallet and spend them at any VISA merchants worldwide. The initiative will open crypto debit card payments to Binance’s 15+ million user base, providing a boost to cryptocurrency payment use cases. Coinbase launched their crypto visa debit card offering for their UK and EU customers last year. The Coinbase card currently serves customers in over 29 European countries.
Useful: Bitcoin Halving Explainer
In May 2020, Bitcoin’s third “halving” will take place. Here’s what you need to know about the most hotly anticipated cryptocurrency event of the year.
Daily COVID and Crypto Livestream
Messari’s Ryan Selkis offers a daily roundup of all things COVID and crypto, which is well worth tuning in for. Episodes at the end of last week covered the mammoth U.S. jobless claims and U.S. stimulus package.