Read in the Digest;
- Institutional Investors Prepare for Market Re-Entry, as Cryptos Top $2 Trillion
- Crypto Firms to Exit U.K. for Failing FCA Registration, Honduras Retracts Bitcoin as Legal Tender
- Russia to Accept Bitcoin for Oil and Gas, Exxon Considers Extending Gas-to-Bitcoin Pilot
- Facebook to Lose its Longest Serving Board Member, Marc Andreessen
Institutional Investors Prepare for Market Re-Entry, as Cryptos Top $2 Trillion
After pulling a combined $157 million from cryptocurrencies over the last two weeks, institutional investors look set for possible re-entry. The move is headlined by Goldman Sachs, which recently became the first U.S. firm to buy Bitcoin over the counter.
The investment bank has revamped its website following the purchase, reflecting its newfound bullishness toward crypto. Grayscale continues the trend, launching a new smart contract fund for Ethereum competitors. BlackRock is also bullish, opining that the crisis could accelerate the adoption of digital currencies.
The bullish outlook from investors comes as Bitcoin hits a new three-week high of $44,801, driving the global crypto market cap above $2 trillion for the first time since mid-February.
The seven-day chart of the global crypto market cap. Source: Tradingview
With Bitcoin and 95% of the top 100 cryptos in the green, the global crypto market cap has gained 13% over the last week. The recent market rally has seen the global crypto market recover over 33% from its January low when it bottomed at $1.49 trillion.
- According to experts, Bitcoin’s ‘overvaluation,’ which led to its November crash, was a result of institutional investors backing the asset.
Crypto Firms to Exit U.K. for Failing FCA Registration, Honduras Retracts Bitcoin as Legal Tender
Several crypto firms based in the United Kingdom could be looking to leave the country or register with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) before March 31. These crypto firms received temporary registration from the financial watchdog in December 2020 but have been unable to complete their registration.
The list of crypto firms with a temporary FCA registration includes multi-billion fintech firms Revolut and Copper. Many experts have expressed concerns about the FCA’s handling of the crypto register, with some calling it a disaster.
Since El Salvador legalized Bitcoin as a legal tender, many have anticipated the next nation to follow suit. Many rumors suggested that Houndoras could be the next, especially after President Xiomara Castro declared that El Salvador shouldn’t be the only one “escaping dollar hegemony.”
However, on March 23, Honduras’ central bank issued a statement debunking the rumors that Bitcoin or other digital currencies are not legal tenders, nor are they regulated.
- While crypto adoption hits a roadblock in the U.K. and Honduras, the state of Colorado has confirmed that it now accepts tax payments in crypto.
Why You Should Care
While different regions have taken up different approaches to cryptocurrencies, experts have suggested it is only a matter of time before cryptocurrencies get global adoption.
Russia to Accept Bitcoin for Oil and Gas, Exxon Considers Extending Gas-to-Bitcoin Pilot
In a bid to evade the multiple strict sanctions Russia has been hit with over its invasion of Ukraine, the country is now considering accepting Bitcoin as payment for its oil and gas exports.
According to a Thursday news conference, Pavel Zavalny, the chair of Russia’s Duma Committee on energy, Russia is looking to allow more flexible payment for “friendly” countries. This could see the likes of China or Turkey paying for oil and gas using Bitcoin or their local currencies.
Crypto in oil and gas could be extended further, as industry giant Exxon considers expanding its gas-to-Bitcoin pilot. In January 2021, Exxon began using excess natural gas in North Dakota that would have been burnt off to mine Bitcoin.
Exxon is now considering expanding the program to four regions, including Alaska, the Qua Iboe Terminal in Nigeria, Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale field, Guyana, and Germany.
- Global crypto exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, Huobi, KuCoin, Bybit, and Whitebit have been under pressure from governments to restrict their services in Russia.
Why You Should Care
As the crypto industry matures, it finds more and improved use cases, leading to its growing adoption.
Facebook to Lose Its Longest Serving Board Member, Marc Andreessen
Meta could lose one of its most influential boosters, Marc Andreessen, from its board due to conflicting interests. Andreessen, famous for his VC firm, a16z, is Facebook’s longest-serving board member, having joined in 2008.
Andreessen’s avid interest and investment in the emerging Web3 space isn’t news. However, Meta has plans for its own web3 projects, applying for 8 patents in fields relating to NFTs, web3, and the Metaverse on March 18.
Andreessen’s continued investment in potential competitors has raised conflicting interests. His VC firm, a16z, recently helped Yuga Labs, creators of the BAYC NFT, launch a $450 million metaverse fund. The firm has also invested in Uniswap, OpenSea, MakerDAO, and Compound.
According to those familiar with the matter, the tech billionaire could walk the path of PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel in leaving Meta’s board of directors after investing billions in rival web3 projects.
- After leaving Meta, ex-Diem employees have recorded major success, raising $200 million for a new blockchain project named Aptos.
Why You Should Care
Meta is looking to create a future where it becomes the dominant digital experience provider.