Market Weekly Wrap Up
Week of 21st — 26th of June
Crypto markets are still trying to reach the bottom as we continue hearing negative news coming from China. Equity markets went on grinding higher this week. S&P 500 index shook off the negativity from the week before and climbed right back to the all-time highs. This rise was fuelled mainly by the technology stocks that woke up after being subdued in the first half of 2021.
1. China cracks down on crypto again
China’s anti-crypto policies have once again pushed the markets lower this week. China’s central bank told institutions to stop providing clearing and settlement for crypto transactions. This is not news to the Chinese financial institutions. The government laid out the first rules about crypto in 2013. However, this time the institutions took the warning very seriously, and we already started seeing consequences. The Agricultural Bank of China, for instance, already stated that it will implement processes to spot cryptocurrency trading. Even Huobi, one of the largest crypto exchanges, has started putting restrictions on Chinese users. This fresh reminder from the Chinese government might become even a bigger scare for the crypto markets than the recent crackdown on crypto mining.
2. John McAfee found dead in a Spanish prison
Antivirus software entrepreneur and cryptocurrency supporter John McAfee was found dead in a Spanish prison. According to Spanish media, all the evidence points to suicide. It happened right after the media publicly announced that McAfee would be extradited to the US on tax-related charges. American prosecutors charged McAfee with evading taxes on income made from promoting cryptocurrencies as well as income from several other sources.
3. SEC delays decision on another Bitcoin ETF
This decision came only a week after delaying an application from VanEck. Therefore, this postponement does not come as a surprise. The designated date for the decision is set on the 10th of August. The crypto market would welcome some positive news, but it will have to wait just a bit longer. On the other hand, Brazilian regulators approved the first Bitcoin ETF in Latin America. The ETF from investment firm QR Capital will be listed on the Brazil stock exchange.
4. El Salvador’s Bitcoin law will come into effect in September
President, Nayib Bukele, announced that on September 7th, Bitcoin becomes a legal tender in the country. The government will use Chivo e-wallets. Once people go through the identification check, they will get access to their wallets, where there will be a little gift in the form of $30 in Bitcoin waiting for them. Bitcoin will become a compulsory currency, which has been a somewhat criticized feature of the Bitcoin Law. The merchants in the country, therefore, must accept payments in Bitcoin. Athena Bitcoin, a firm manufacturing automatic teller machines for bitcoin, will place 1500 new ATMs throughout El Salvador. An attempt, which aims to make the currency transition easier for the citizens.
5. Bakkt launches first crypto debit card
A subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange, Bakkt, launched a debit card allowing people to use crypto for retail purchases. It is a fully digital Visa debit card that can be used for in-store and online shopping. People, therefore, do not have to exchange their Bitcoin for fiat currency and then shop. Instead, they can directly use crypto to go on a shopping spree. This is how CEO of Bakkt describes his recent new product:
“Imagine a Bitcoin user who sees a significant gain. Now, instead of selling and waiting to transfer to a bank, they can simply walk into their favorite store, tap their Bakkt Card and buy that new item they’ve been eyeing.”
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Head Analyst at Virtuse Exchange