An Iranian Think Tank Recommends the Use of Cryptocurrencies to Circumvent Sanctions

An Iranian Think Tank Recommends the Use of Cryptocurrencies to Circumvent Sanctions

A think tank affiliated with the Iranian Presidency has unveiled a study report that encourages the use of cryptocurrencies in circumventing sanctions against the country. In addition, the report also claims the government could potentially “generate US$2 million a day and $700 million a year in direct revenue from cryptocurrencies.”

Employment Opportunities

Meanwhile, as reported by one local media outlet, the authors of the report say Iran can increase employment opportunities across its economy if it enables the creation of more bitcoin mining farms. In their report, the authors assert that:

If large mining farms are established, the need to employ manpower for monitoring and repair, security, electrical engineers and technical staff related to hardware and software equipment will increase, which leads to more job opportunities in other sectors.

The authors then go on to suggest that “for every megawatt of electricity consumption about nine people are directly employed.”

However, the report seemingly urges the Iranian government to consider regulating cryptocurrency activities. In justifying this recommendation, the report states that “regulated cryptocurrency activity in Iran might also help to prevent foreign currency from leaving the country.”

Beating Sanctions With Newly Extracted BTC

Predictably, the report also touches on why cryptocurrency mining provides a unique opportunity for the Iranian government to circumvent sanctions. The report explains:

As the newly-extracted bitcoins are not easily traceable, domestic economic actors can use newly-extracted cryptocurrencies, which are (more) preferable than (those already) existing on international exchanges.

Also in the report, the authors claim that the creation of more cryptocurrency mining farms will help Iran to “reduce electricity losses.”

In their conclusion, the authors urge the Iranian government to enable the “collective mining” of cryptocurrencies as well as the “creation of mining pools next to power plants where possible.”

Do you agree that newly created bitcoins are not easily traceable? You can share your views in the comments section below.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

Bitfarms Purchases 48,000 Bitcoin Miners, Plans to Increase Hashpower by 5 Exahash

Bitfarms Purchases 48,000 Bitcoin Miners, Plans to Increase Hashpower by 5 Exahash

The publicly listed Canadian bitcoin mining operation Bitfarms has announced the firm is purchasing 48,000 Microbt Whatsminer mining rigs in order to expand capacity. Bitfarms highlights the acquisition of new miners will up the company’s hashpower by approximately 5 exahash per second (EH/s).

Bitfarms to Acquire 48,000 High-Powered Bitcoin Miners from Microbt

The Canadian bitcoin (BTC) mining company Bitfarms (TSXV:BITF, OTC:BFARF) announced on Tuesday the company has entered an agreement where it plans to purchase 48,000 mining rigs manufactured by Microbt. The China-based firm Microbt is the manufacturer of Whatsminer devices, which are some of the most powerful application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) machines in the world. For instance, the company’s Whatsminer M30S++ is the most-profitable SHA256 ASIC miner on the market today according to current data.

Bitfarm’s announcement on Tuesday explains that Microbt has become the firm’s “supplier of choice.” During the last eight months, Bitfarms said it acquired 12,000 machines from the Chinese mining rig manufacturer. Bitfarms stressed that the firm expects the mining rig shipments to begin “on or before January 2022.” “The miners will be installed at our existing and new facilities which are currently in development,” the company said. Microbt said the mining manufacturer looks forward to providing the 5 EH/s worth of miner to Bitfarms.

“We are very excited to enhance and expand our partnership with Bitfarms,” Vincent Zhang, Microbt’s global sales director said during the purchase announcement. “The miners to be supplied to Bitfarms are very reliable and stable. These miners will generate tremendous value to Bitfarms in its mining operations and [to] its investors,” Zhang added.

Bitfarms CEO Alludes to the global Shortage of Semiconductor Wafers

Furthermore, the CEO of Bitfarms, Emiliano Grodzki, explained the acquisition helps during a time of excessive demand for ASICs.

“The supply of miners will be one of the greatest challenges for the foreseeable future due to a global shortage of wafers used to create semiconductor chips which is a vital component in mining rigs,” Grodzki detailed. “Our strategy will be to continue to grow our own infrastructure and professional operations and conduct mining in our own facilities which increase operational efficiency and profitability,” he added.

News.Bitcoin.com reported last week that Chinese mining manufacturers are hard-pressed from demand and nearly every manufacturer of next-generation rigs are completely sold out. Even the Bitfarm announcement itself notes that delivery is slated for at least by or in January 2022 and “the final mining rigs expected to arrive in December 2022.” Many publicly listed mining firms have leveraged their massive buying power in order to procure ASIC mining rigs in advance.

Moreover, Bitfarm’s 48,000 Microbt Whatsminer rig purchase, is the second-largest mining acquisition since Marathon Patent Group settled a record-breaking purchase for 70,000 high-performance Bitmain Antminer S19s at the end of 2020. Bitfarm’s deal announcement with Microbt did not disclose a dollar-purchasing amount for the 48,000 miners. Marathon did disclose in December that it spent $170 million in its agreement with the Chinese mining rig manufacturer Bitmain.

What do you think about the purchase Bitfarms made in order to acquire 48,000 high-powered bitcoin mining rigs? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Tezos Ties-Up with Wolfram Blockchain Labs to Simplify Smart Contract Deployment

Tezos Ties-Up with Wolfram Blockchain Labs to Simplify Smart Contract Deployment

Wolfram Blockchain Labs (WBL) and Tezos are forging a full integration of Tezos into Wolfram Language and Wolframalpha. The integration gives easy access to developers that want to interact with the Tezos blockchain and their smart contracts.

WBL-Designed Oracle Expands Tezos Developers’ Computational and Analytical Capabilities

Amid the accelerating race to simplify smart contract deployment, Tezos continues to build on its latest momentum after integrating Wolframalpha and the Wolfram Language via Wolfram’s blockchain.

Wolfram, a renowned computational technology provider, supplies computational languages and answer engines via its own distributed ledger technology. The two-way integration orchestrated by Wolfram Blockchain Labs (WBL) and the TQ Tezos is intended to allow both blockchains to pull and push data from each other.

This integration is made possible by a Wolfram-designed blockchain oracle that allows Tezos developers to tap into Wolframalpha data and computational facts while granting Wolfram users the ability to analyze Tezos blockchain data. An oracle essentially serves as a bridge between two blockchains, allowing a blockchain to pull data from an external source similar to an API via an off-chain transaction.

In the context of Tezos smart contracts, this oracle grants smart contracts the ability to pull computational data from Wolframalpha, like pricing data or other forms that might be needed to satisfy a contract condition or trigger an event. The analytical component of a smart contract can then be more readily automated without compromising security.

More Secure and Reliable Smart Contracts

The secure delivery of computational facts from Wolfram’s algorithmbase and knowledgebase via oracles perfectly complements the Tezos formal verification method, which corroborates smart contract properties’ correctness. Together, this means more shortcuts for developers as they seek to build more secure and reliable smart contracts.

By extension, this expanded functionality not only bolsters the Tezos development ecosystem but dovetails other moves like recent upgrades which have drastically reduced smart contract transaction fees. Moreover, the tie-up enlarges the potential for Wolfram Blockchain users to mine Tezos’ blockchain with statistical queries that effectively analyze smart contract activity.

The self-upgrading nature of Tezos and the constantly expanding toolkit marks another major milestone for this third-generation blockchain. Wolfram has also indicated that developers’ tools would continue to broaden as the collaboration grows amid reports that Wolfram is exploring a role as a “baker” in Tezos proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain.

What’s next for smart contracts? Where else do you see them being implemented? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

xSigma DEX Launch: More Than $100M in Liquidity Pooled on First Day

xSigma DEX Launch: More Than $100M in Liquidity Pooled on First Day

PRESS RELEASE. xSigma, a decentralized exchange for stablecoin swaps, has successfully launched on the Ethereum network on February 24, 2021.

The integrated DEX and liquidity mining platform xSigma, which is backed by a NASDAQ-listed company, has seen great interest in its stablecoin liquidity pools which enable assets to be swapped seamlessly and with minimal slippage. Within the xSigma ecosystem, liquidity providers (LPs) earn SIG tokens, with a 2x bonus to bootstrap liquidity in place for the next fortnight. SIG is the platform’s native utility token with built-in voting and value accrual mechanisms.

$150 million of liquidity has been pooled in xSigma DEX (as of February 28) and almost $10m of SIG has been allocated to LPs. Pool 1 and 2 continue to offer some of the highest yields in the defi space, at 125% and 2700% respectively. DEX volume has surpassed $700k per day.

$20m worth of SIG tokens were traded on launch day and there is over $100 million of stablecoins pooled, comprising USDC ($40m), USDT ($40m) and DAI ($23m), as of 1st March. The SIG token has also been listed on major aggregators such as CMC and CoinGecko. xSigma recently integrated into 1inch.exchange, the leading DEX aggregator.

 

About XSigma

xSigma is a stablecoin DEX powered by a governance token that gives holders the right to determine how the protocol should be managed. Token-holders receive a percentage of all DEX fees, with team and LP tokens vested gradually for two years to align incentives between the platform and its community. xSigma is backed by its parent company ZK International Group, a NASDAQ-listed corporation.

 


This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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An Ethereum and Web3-Compatible Sidechain Is Coming to Bitcoin Cash

An Ethereum and Web3-Compatible Sidechain Is Coming to Bitcoin Cash

On March 2, 2021, the average fee on the Ethereum network costs around 0.0083 ETH in gas or around $12.89 per transaction. Transaction fees of this caliber have dampened Ethereum-based decentralized finance (defi) applications and Web3 platforms. On February 23, however, crypto proponents were introduced to an alternative solution called Moeing chain. The Moeing chain project aims to provide the same benefits as Ethereum 2.0 scaling solutions but with help from the Bitcoin Cash network.

Moeing chain to Introduce an EVM and Web3-Compatible Sidechain for Bitcoin Cash

Decentralized finance (defi) has been a hot topic in 2020 and into 2021. Defi has also been dominant on the Ethereum (ETH) network, but during the last year, defi has leaked over to a number of other blockchains.

An Ethereum and Web3-Compatible Sidechain Is Coming to Bitcoin Cash
The Moeing chain project introduced itself on February 23, 2021, on Twitter.

For instance, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) proponents have recently welcomed the noncustodial exchange Detoken and the Anyhedge protocol built by the startup General Protocols. Additionally, on February 23 a project called Moeing chain announced its arrival onto the scene on Twitter.

The Twitter account dubbed “Moeing chain” said:

Hello World. Moeing chain is an EVM & Web3-compatible sidechain for Bitcoin Cash. It will allow for a block gas limit of one billion, and provide the same benefits of ETH2.0 very soon—so stay tuned.

The tweet leads to a web portal called moeing.org, which explains what the project is with a similar description. A sidechain compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and Web3 wallets and other infrastructure can open up numerous possibilities.

The benefits of leveraging Bitcoin Cash (BCH) means that users can utilize extremely low fees and lightning-fast confirmations while using Ethereum. Developers can get some perspective on the Moeing chain project’s Github repository.

Bitcoin Cash Proponents Anticipate Possible Launch in June 2021

According to sources, Jihan Wu the cofounder of Bitmain is backing the Moeing chain project. A recent report notes that the project has been under development for some time now and is expected to launch in June 2021. The crypto blogger on read.cash Claudio83 who authored the report explains the various benefits of the Moeing chain concept.

“The Moeing team is implementing many improvements in order to reduce the cost of gas on the chain for any type of transaction and offer users maximum efficiency and simplicity with minimum costs,” Claudio83 writes. “The sidechain will guarantee the Bitcoin Cash blockchain a high number of transactions.”

The read.cash author continued:

An exciting 2021 for Bitcoin Cash that is gaining particular attention from the crypto world and is considered to be among the most underrated projects to date. In my opinion, Moeing’s implementation will be BCH’s turning point and yet another demonstration of the enormous potential compared to the surviving Bitcoin.

As of right now, the Moeing chain website allows interested people to subscribe to the mailing waitlist in order to get updates concerning this upcoming project.

Meanwhile, ETH fees have been over $12 per transaction this week and upwards of $38 last week according to bitinfocharts.com average ETH gas data. The web portal bitcoinfees.cash indicates that the cost to get into the next BCH block is $0.0027 per transaction, a fee that’s considerably less than ETH’s average fee.

What do you think about Moeing chain’s EVM&Web3-compatible sidechain for Bitcoin Cash? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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China’s Inner Mongolia Plans to Shut Down Bitcoin Mining Operations by April This Year

China’s Inner Mongolia Plans to Shut Down Bitcoin Mining Operations by April This Year

Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region in northern China, is planning to shut down all cryptocurrency mining activities in the area by April 2021, as part of efforts to improve energy efficiency.

Regulating the Electrical Consumption in Inner Mongolia

The government of Inner Mongolia will also stop approving new projects in energy-intensive industries such as steel and coke production, Reuters reported on Mar. 1, citing a draft policy to regulate energy consumption in the region.

Chinese journalist “Wu Blockchain” tweeted that the decision might be due to China’s need to meet its carbon emissions commitments under the U.N. climate change treaty. Much of the energy produced in Inner Mongolia is coal-based, a major source of climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions. China, the world’s second-largest polluter after the U.S., aims to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2060.

Together with the likes of Sichuan and Xinjiang provinces, Inner Mongolia is a favorite destination for miners looking to extract bitcoin (BTC) at low electricity prices. According to Cambridge University’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Inner Mongolia accounts for eight percent of the global hash power total, and China 65%, though these figures have been brought into question.

Beijing’s Energy Consumption Targets Carbon Neutrality Before 2060

However, the region drew criticism from the central government in September after it failed to meet Beijing’s energy consumption and energy intensity targets in 2019. It was the only one of 30 Chinese mainland areas that failed to do so, according to the Reuters report.

Now, China’s second-largest coal-mining region is going all out to cut consumption from sectors considered to be using a lot of electricity, including bitcoin mining. Crypto mining, which requires large amounts of computing power, will be shut down by April this year. Other affected industries have until the end of 2022 to wind down their operations.

Per the Reuters report, Inner Mongolia “aims to cap energy consumption growth at around five million tonnes of standard coal equivalent in 202.” It also plans to cut “the amount of energy consumed per unit of economic growth, by three percent from 2020

“[(Inner Mongolia] will tighten its energy control measures and bear the targets throughout all economic and social aspects,” said the draft policy. The region’s energy intensity rose by 9.5% during the period 2016-2019.

What do you think about the impending closure of crypto mining in Inner Mongolia? Let us know in the comments section below.

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The Largest US Options Exchange Cboe Applies to List Vaneck’s Bitcoin ETF

The Largest US Options Exchange Cboe Applies to List Vaneck’s Bitcoin ETF

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) has applied to list the Vaneck Bitcoin Trust, as an exchange-traded fund (ETF) if the fund is approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The filing Form 19b-4, if approved by financial regulators, would allow Cboe to “list and trade shares of the Vaneck Bitcoin Trust.”

Cboe Aims to List the Vaneck Bitcoin Trust BZX

On March 1, 2021, the largest U.S. options exchange, Cboe filed a registration with the U.S. SEC in order to list shares of the Vaneck Bitcoin Trust under the ticker “BZX.” The filing written by Cboe’s associate general counsel notes that the shares may be redeemable for bitcoin (BTC). The Cboe registration is based on the Vaneck proposal the company applied for on December 30, 2020.

The Largest US Options Exchange Cboe Applies to List Vaneck's Bitcoin ETF
Cboe filed to list the Vaneck Bitcoin Trust on March 1, 2021.

New York-based investment management firm Vaneck applied with the SEC at the end of 2020, following the successful listing of a crypto ETF in Europe. The announcement back in December revealed the fund’s shares would start trading on Cboe.

“The Vaneck Bitcoin Trust (the ‘Trust’) is an exchange-traded fund that issues common shares of beneficial interest (the ‘Shares’) that trade on the Cboe BZX Exchange Inc.,” Vaneck said at the time.

So far, however, U.S. financial regulators have not approved a U.S. bitcoin-based ETF and have rejected numerous filings over the years. However, last month the Evolve and Purpose bitcoin ETFs were listed in Canada and were dubbed the “first North American bitcoin ETFs.” Vaneck is also facing ETF competition, as many others have filed for a U.S.-based bitcoin exchange-traded fund in recent times.

Competitors and Cboe’s Continued Cryptocurrency Interest

New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) registered for a bitcoin ETF and named Morgan Stanley as a participant in the SEC filing. At the end of January Valkyrie Digital Assets also filed an ETF registration proposal called the Valkyrie Bitcoin Trust with hopes to list the fund on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Moreover, back in 2018, Cboe filed for a prospective bitcoin-based ETF and also initiated the first regulated bitcoin futures markets in December 2017. Both crypto projects were eventually discarded from Cboe’s playbook. In March 2019, Cboe discontinued its bitcoin-based futures and ether futures as well.

In the latest attempt with Vaneck’s prospective ETF listing, Cboe is showing it is still very much interested in the cryptocurrency industry.

What do you think about Cboe filing to list the Vaneck Bitcoin Trust if the SEC approves the ETF? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Winner Cashes Out $160,000 from Bitcoin.com Games with a 13,870x Multiplier

Winner Cashes Out $160,000 from Bitcoin.com Games with a 13,870x Multiplier

Bitcoin.com Games gave this player 160,000 reasons to be happy this spring!

Lucky Player Bags Two Epic Wins Within Minutes

What started as a perfectly normal month of March for this player turned out to be a life-changing experience when they won, not one, but two big rounds of The Dog House Megaways slot on Bitcoin.com Games.

Starting off with a small bet of $22, the wheels of fortune started turning for the player when the reels started spinning in their favor, landing the player their first win of $17,600. A chunky 788x of the original bet amount!

A win like that could take anyone’s head for a spin, but little did the player know what the future had in store for them. As they kept spinning the reels of this one-of-a-kind Megaways slot, Lady Luck decided it was time to bring massive fortunes to the player. Only this time the bet was $11, and the win? $164,170.

13,870x and 788x multipliers applied to player’s bets resulting in a total win amount of $181,770 on The Dog House Megaways!

A celebratory pause would ensue as the player gathers themselves back into a winner’s composure and spins the reels a few times before cashing out $160,000 from the crypto casino.

Online casino games are well-known for churning out massive amounts of money on the most unlikeliest of bets, no matter how small. The Dog House Megaways video slot on Bitcoin.com Games is loaded with over 100,000 ways that a player can win. With amazing graphics and great gameplay, this and many other slot games on the premium bitcoin casino offer big win multipliers that can land players in the lap of ludicrous fortunes.

Play The Dog House Megaways now or check out other games with big jackpots that you can exclusively play on Bitcoin.com Games.


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Crypto Bank Expands in India — Confident Government Will Approve Legitimate Use of Cryptocurrencies

Crypto Bank Expands in India — Confident Government Will Approve Legitimate Use of Cryptocurrencies

Crypto bank Unicas, a joint venture between Cashaa and United Multi State Credit Cooperative Society, has expanded its operations by opening another physical branch. The bank believes that the Indian government will introduce positive crypto regulation and not impose an outright ban on cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

New Physical Crypto Bank Branch Opens in New Delhi

Physical crypto bank Unicas has opened another branch, Cashaa announced last week. Unicas is a joint venture between crypto banking platform Cashaa and United Multistate Credit Cooperative Society. Noting that this will be the first of many branches in the city, the announcement details:

Unicas – the world’s first crypto financial institution with physical branches today opened in India’s capital, New Delhi. Unicas is banking on the Indian government introducing a bill to approve the legitimate use of cryptocurrency.

“We are proud to bring Unicas to the nation’s capital,” Unicas CEO Dinesh Kukreja commented. “Delhi is a key market for us and we look forward to opening many branches to service India’s rapidly growing crypto market in a regulated manner.”

The new branch is located at 611 A Devika Tower, Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019. This location is a short drive from the Parliament of India. The bank is headquartered in Jaipur and currently has one more branch located in Gujarat. According to Cashaa:

Unicas will continue to roll out its branches across NCT, Gujarat and Rajasthan. It plans to open 50 branches in 2021 and 100 branches by the end of 2022.

Customers will have access to a number of cryptocurrencies through Unicas, including BTC, ETH, XRP, and CAS, Cashaa’s native token.

Cashaa CEO Kumar Gaurav opined:

We are very confident that the government will create regulations that will reduce scams related to cryptocurrency, while encouraging its legitimate use. Such regulations will enable India to become a global leader in blockchain technology.

The Indian government is getting ready to introduce the cryptocurrency bill. It seeks to provide a regulatory framework for the digital rupee to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) but ban private cryptocurrencies. The finance ministry recently confirmed that the bill is still being finalized. Meanwhile, the governor of the central bank revealed last week that the bank is working on the digital rupee and has communicated its concerns about cryptocurrencies to the government.

What do you think about Unicas opening more physical bank branches? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Goldman Sachs Brings Back Bitcoin Trading Desk as the Firm Sees Crypto Market Becoming More Mature

Goldman Sachs Brings Back Bitcoin Trading Desk as the Firm Sees Crypto Market Becoming More Mature

Global investment bank Goldman Sachs has brought back its bitcoin trading desk and will start handling bitcoin futures next week. The firm is also reportedly exploring the potential for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) and plans to provide a crypto custody service.

  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has restarted its cryptocurrency trading desk, Reuters reported Monday, citing a person familiar with the matter. Goldman first set up a cryptocurrency desk in 2018, after a bull run as the price of bitcoin was falling from record highs, muting investor interest in the cryptocurrency.
  • The desk will “begin dealing bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards for clients from next week,” the publication conveyed. It will also take on projects involving blockchain technology and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
  • The crypto desk will be within Goldman Sachs’ global markets division and will serve as a market-maker, buying and selling on behalf of clients but not actively managing cryptocurrencies itself, according to Forbes.
  • “The bank is also exploring the potential for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund and has issued a request for information to explore digital asset custody,” the source detailed. Currently, North America has two bitcoin ETFs, recently approved in Canada.

  • As bitcoin continues to outperform other assets, more companies are seeking to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency. For example, the Nasdaq-listed Microstrategy announced Monday that “it had purchased approximately 328 bitcoins for $15.0 million in cash” and “now holds approximately 90,859 bitcoins.” Moreover, 42 companies now collectively hold more than $65 billion worth of bitcoin.
  • The price of bitcoin has risen about 56% since the beginning of the year, currently standing at $48,677, based on data from markets.Bitcoin.com. Former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein recently warned, “If I were a regulator, I would be kind of hyperventilating at the success of it [bitcoin].” Meanwhile, Goldman’s current global head of commodities research, Jeff Currie, said that the bitcoin market “is beginning to become more mature,” calling the cryptocurrency “a retail inflation hedge.”

What do you think about Goldman Sachs bringing back its crypto trading desk? Let us know in the comments section below.

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