Crypto Espresso: China is a Bitcoin mining superpower again in today’s quick shot of the latest crypto news
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They stopped it. But it’s started. Again. China is back in the mining business baby.
Emirates, Ethereum, Goldman Sachs and Barclays – all making a stop this Wednesday morning in Cryptoland.
According to the University of Cambridge, China’s share had recently been reduced to zero due to a ban on mining operations, but the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF) estimates that in January the country’s share was 21.1%, second only to the United States’ 37.8%.
Third place went to Kazakhstan with 13.2%.
Recap: China’s central bank banned mining in May last year, telling banks not to deal in services for crypto in June. There upon China’s global output fell to zero in July.
But apparently in September it popped back up to 22.3% and has been hovering around 20% since then.
“Under the Chinese government ban, which was a lot stricter as opposed to previous bans, the safest thing for large miners to do was immediately stop and ship out their equipment as soon as they could to Kazakhstan, the US and Russia. But small and medium-scale miners tended to kind of wait and see and then started spreading around operations,” the CCAF’s Michel Rauchs told Nikkei.
Ethereum, the number #2 cryptocurrency, has already shed some 58% of its market cap since hitting November highs.
Now 22V Research chartist John Roque fears it will continue to slide – possibly by as much as 80% – to fresh and exciting lows of circa $US420 if the coin can’t find its feet.
While Ethereum is currently holding steady around US$2000, Bloomberg reports Mr Roque was not liking the charts, writing in a note earlier this week that the currency is “oversold daily and oversold weekly and cannot rally”.
Goldman Sachs and Barclays have just tied up a deal to invest US$500 million in institutional crypto investment platform Elwood Technologies. That’s a more positive signal for long-term investors in the crypto space according to eToro’s market analyst and crypto expert Simon Peters.
The firm, founded by billionaire Alan Howard, is focused on providing crypto investment solutions to institutional investors, and comes despite widespread market troubles of recent months. A series of other venture capital firms including Dawn Capital and Galaxy Digital.
The move is an interesting moment in the market, beset by the noise of turmoil in crypto prices. It shows that behind the scenes, the work of major institutional players is going ahead despite the adversity.
Major movers and shakers such as Goldman and Barclays are clearly looking at the growing relevance of institutional crypto investing and the growing trend that has changed the nature of the crypto market in the past two years. Retail investors are no longer alone in seeing the value of the sector, and in the background long-term investor plans are still being built.
Simon is also back on Musk-watch. And I’m afraid he says Elon has pronounced on Dogecoin again.
The billionaire tech investor commented this week on a tweet from the co-founder of Dogecoin, saying he believed it could still function as a currency.
The comment comes despite major adversity for the token which has seen its value plummet 66% in the past six months. The token reached as low as US$0.07999 but has bounced on Musk’s comments to trade around US$0.08639 now, an 8% bounce back.
While it will take more than Elon Musk to shift Doge from its current position to a viable digital currency, adoption is underway with his firm beginning to accept the cryptoasset for certain memorabilia products.
Musk has also suggested Twitter could accept payments in Dogecoin and also that he will work to combat crypto scams and other issues on the Twitter platform, which could be a boon for the sector.
Emirates Airlines has said it will begin accepting Bitcoin as a payment for flights, as it moves to embrace blockchain tech, NFTs and the metaverse. It is now the largest such airline in the world to make the move into accepting Bitcoin.
Emirates is onboarding new staff to manage metaverse and NFT projects, COO Adel Ahmed Al Redha revealed at the Arabian Travel Market this week.
Bitcoin will for now function as a payment service for the firm – akin to paying using PayPal or another online payment service. Emirates will convert Bitcoin back into fiat currency in receipt.
It’s a step forward for crypto as a payment method, a growing area for Bitcoin often lost in the fog of war over the usual focus on value.