Archives February 2022

Mexican senator plans to propose Bitcoin legal tender bill

Mexico could soon follow in the footsteps of El Salvador in legalizing Bitcoin as legal tender if a proposed bill passes the Senate.

Mexican senator for the State of Nuevo León, Indira Kempis, has stated that she wants to make the country second after El Salvador to adopt Bitcoin. However, the chances of this actually happening are slim at best.
Speaking to local media this week, she noted that she aims to promote the use of Bitcoin in the country and use her political position to achieve that goal.
“We need bitcoin to be legal tender in Mexico, because if it is not so, if we do not make that decision as El Salvador did, it is very difficult to take action.”
During the interview with Diario El Salvador, she added that El Salvador is “undoubtedly becoming the most important hub or laboratory in the world about the future with bitcoin.”

Bitcoin Adoption in Mexico

She commented on the problems of financial exclusion and the unbanked, citing cryptocurrency as a viable solution.
“It is clear to me that financial exclusion is one of the public problems that few of us have addressed with feasible alternatives, and that this type of technology is allowing us to generate an alternative, a way, a solution so that millions of people can be included in the financial system.”
Kempis, working on a legal framework for cryptocurrencies, continued to emphasize the need for legislation that would allow BTC to be used as a currency. She intends to introduce a bill proposing such in the current parliamentary session.
The initiative could be an uphill struggle, however. Last year, Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said his government is not interested in Bitcoin adoption and is more concerned with tax evasion. His term ends in 2024, so there could be a long wait for Kempis. The central bank also plans to roll out a digital Peso by 2024, as reported by CryptoPotato.
Mexico’s third-richest man, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, thinks otherwise and has doubled down on previous Bitcoin statements. Over the weekend, he tweeted, “You have to buy bitcoin (keep buying when the price is low), then just hold your BTC, forget about selling … Trust me, you’re going to thank me later.”

El Salvador BTC Bonds in Demand

El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin has had a mixed reaction; however, it was recently reported that there had been a lot of demand for its BTC Bonds.
According to Blockstream’s Samson Mow, who is backing the effort, the Bitcoin bonds have already got $500 million in “verbal commitments.” This is halfway to hitting the $1 billion target in less than four months.

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Crypto News: Bitcoin and Ethereum Rose — After Sank — After Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The U.S. Capitol is pictured on Dec. 3, 2021. Executives from cryptocurrency companies testified before the House Committee on Financial Services on Dec. 8.

The U.S. Capitol is pictured on Dec. 3, 2021. Executives from cryptocurrency companies testified before the House Committee on Financial Services on Dec. 8.

The prices of Bitcoin and Ethereum plunged Wednesday night after news that Russia had invaded Ukraine. Bitcoin dropped back below $35,000, and Ethereum dropped below $2,400 — though both had risen by Friday afternoon.

It’s been a slow start to the year for crypto. Bitcoin dropped below $34,000 in January — the lowest Bitcoin’s price had been since July 2021. After climbing back up and staying above $40,000 for most of February, Bitcoin dropped back into the $30,000 range on Friday, and lagged throughout the weekend. Ethereum’s price also dropped in recent days.

Meanwhile, a New Jersey lawmaker released an early draft of a bill on regulating the stablecoin market. The New York Stock Exchange filed a trademark application for its own NFT marketplace. Colorado will begin accepting crypto payments for taxes by the end of summer. JP Morgan has officially entered the metaverse. And crypto exchange Coinbase will allow crypto recipients in Mexico to cash out in local currency.

Here’s more on the latest crypto news investors should know about:

  • Cryptocurrency made a splash at the Super Bowl this year, with multiple cryptocurrency exchanges airing ads. The crypto ads captured America’s attention, but not everyone loved them. Senate Banking Chairman Sherrod Brown blasted them during a senate committee hearing last week, saying the ads lacked transparency and “left a few things out.” The hearing was another government meeting on stablecoins, where U.S. lawmakers echoed similar past sentiments about how more regulation is needed.
  • The New York Stock Exchange, the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalization, wants to be the marketplace for NFTs just like with stocks. The exchange filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to provide an online marketplace for digital goods including NFTs, cryptocurrencies, digital media, and artwork. If the exchange’s plan comes to fruition, it would compete with other popular NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible.
  • Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced that the state will begin accepting crypto payments for taxes and other state-related transactions by the end of summer. Polis said during an interview with CoinDesk that Colorado will partner with crypto companies to effectively accept and convert Bitcoin into U.S. dollars. “We don’t want to take the speculative risk of holding crypto, so we will have a transactional layer there and it will be entered in our system as dollars,” he says. “For consumer convenience, we want to accept payment in a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, just as we do with credit cards.”
  • New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer unveiled an early draft of legislation last week that would place clear definitions around U.S. dollar-backed stablecoins. The proposed legislation would designate certain stablecoins as “qualified,” making them redeemable on a one-to-one basis for U.S. dollars, and institute traditional deposit insurance on stablecoin holdings. The bill also states that qualified stablecoins would only be issued by banks or non-bank institutions that satisfy certain regulations.
  • JP Morgan has officially entered the metaverse, opening a lounge in Decentraland, a virtual world based on blockchain technology. The “Onyx lounge” was unveiled along with a report from the bank outlining “limitless” opportunities for businesses in the metaverse and why there is “explosive interest.” JP Morgan is the largest bank in the U.S. and the first to participate in the metaverse.
  • Coinbase announced it’s launching a service that allows cryptocurrency recipients in Mexico to cash out their funds in pesos. The service will be offered at over 37,000 locations across the country, free of charge through March 31, after which customers will be charged a “nominal fee that’s still 25-50% cheaper” than traditional international payment options, according to a Coinbase blog post. Cryptocurrency has drawn interest for cross-border payments and money transfers, because of its potential as a faster and cheaper method to transact compared to more traditional options.

Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, and a good indicator of the crypto market in general, since other coins like Ethereum (and smaller altcoins) tend to follow its trends. Even though Bitcoin recently set another new all-time high, it was a pretty normal uptick for the crypto, which is notorious for its volatility. That’s not to say investors should take swings in either direction lightly, and this is also why investing experts recommend not making any major investment changes based on these normal fluctuations.

Cryptocurrency is still very new, and everything from innovation to regulation can have outsize impact for investors. Here’s how you can invest smartly, regardless of what’s making news or Bitcoin’s price swings.

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