Kvě 21

Argentina: Bitcoin Bought at $20K Retained More Value Than the Peso

Bitcoin has proven to be a store-of-value in Argentina where you would have been better off buying BTC at its peak rather than hold the peso.


Argentina Ensnared Political and Economy Turmoil

The Argentinian economy continues to shrink, afflicted by stubbornly high inflation, which President Mauricio Macri, who is running for re-election, has been unable to rein in. Hence, he is becoming increasingly unpopular.

On May 19, 2019, the country’s grim economic outlook became even muddier when former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced she was running for the vice presidency alongside Alberto Fernandez (her former cabinet chief), in the upcoming presidential elections in October 2019.

Ms. Kirchner made the announcement a few days before the beginning of her trial for alleged corruption offenses related to public works contracts. The trial is scheduled to start on May 21, 2019. Reuters wrote,

Cristina Fernandez is considered by investors to be a riskier prospect because of her past populist policies. She introduced currency controls and tax increases on farm exports while in office between 2007 and 2015.

Fearing that if Ms. Kirchner returns to power it would bring populism back to the country, investors are now more than ever seeking refuge in safe-haven currencies, such as US dollars and Bitcoin.

In effect, Bitcoin’s value in relation to the Argentinian peso and Bitcoin’s trading volumes are reaching all-time highs. Likewise, the US dollar is an all-time high against the Argentinian peso. This set of circumstances will most likely reinforce Argentina’s inflationary spiral.

Argentinians Better Off Holding Bitcoin

Officially, as of March 2019, Argentina’s annual inflation rate reached over 55 percent. But even this elevated rate of inflation is questioned. Economist Steve Hanke argues that when using high-frequency data, the inflation rate in Argentina is over 80 percent.

Such a high inflationary rate significantly erodes the purchasing power of the peso, to such an extent that replacing the peso with Bitcoin to save Argentina’s plummeting economy no longer seems like a crazy idea.

As a result, many are turning their attention to Bitcoin’s deflationary attributes. For example, one strong argument put forward is that Bitcoin is a better store-of-value than the peso.

In this regard, Partner at Sixtant, Josu San Martin, noted:

If an Argentinian had bought Bitcoin at the highest point of the ‘biggest bubble in history,’ in 2017, he would have been better off than leaving his money in his Argentinian bank account. So tell me again how Bitcoin is a horrible store of value.

As a completely new asset class, Bitcoin is still volatile. Nevertheless, in the long run, Bitcoin is proving to be a better (and rapidly appreciating) store-of-value than gold, even more so in a digital economy.

In this regard, Grayscale Investments, one of the largest cryptocurrency asset managers, details key features to highlight Bitcoin’s superiority to gold in, verifiability, divisibility, durability, fungibility, portability, and recognizability.

Moreover, a compelling and most relevant argument for the Argentinian economy is Bitcoin’s inflation-resistant nature, which is strengthened by its scarcity. Only 21 million bitcoins will ever be created by around the year 2140.

Furthermore, Grayscale compares the cryptocurrency to gold in the features shown in the chart below.

To save the failing economy, President Macri has already received advice to bear Bitcoin in mind. In March 2019, serial investor Tim Draper advised him that to attract foreign investors he must dramatically transform Argentina’s economy and replace its peso with Bitcoin.

How do you think that Bitcoin can help Argentina to minimize inflation? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via  Grayscale, Shutterstock

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Dub 17

Argentina Central Bank’s Inability to Stop Inflation is Forcing People to Bitcoin

As Argentina’s inflation rate skyrockets to its highest level since 1992, people are increasingly turning to Bitcoin as an alternative.


Inflation in Argentina Surpasses 54 Percent

Argentina’s central bank already tightened monetary policy three times in the last month, and inflation is still accelerating at a rate of nearly 55 percent. Bloomberg notes:

The inflation rate rose to almost 55 percent in March, with consumer prices rising 4.7 percent in the month, exceeding all of the forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

The unstable economic environment is driving many traders and investors to focus on Bitcoin. Thus, the volumes of Bitcoin traded in Argentina are reaching all-time highs, the latest data from LocalBitcoins/coin.dance shows.

Argentina’s economy suffers from chronic inflation to such an extent that no monetary measure seems to work. According to the Financial Times,

Argentina is trapped in a vicious circle. Demand of just a few million dollars in an illiquid market can weaken the peso, as has been the case since early March. Exchange rate depreciation leads quickly to increases in inflation, portfolio dollarization, and higher interest rates — now the central bank’s only means of defending the currency.

‘Replace Argentinean Pesos with Bitcoin’

The fact that Bitcoin is inflation-resistant makes it particularly attractive in this environment.
Consequently, many see Bitcoin as a potential alternative. They are advocating, even to the government, greater integration of the cryptocurrency into Argentina’s economy.

Bitcoin has already become integrated into many business activities. For instance, in 37 cities, public transportation users are indirectly using Bitcoin to pay for their rides, while Bitcoin ATMs are becoming more conspicuous in Buenos Aires.

Most relevant, President Mauricio Macri’s administration has already shown interest in Bitcoin and, its underlying technology, blockchain. For example, in March 2019, the government announced a partnership with Binance Labs, the blockchain technology incubator of Bitcoin exchange giant Binance. At the announcement, the government promised to match 1:1 Binance investment.

Moreover, in March 2019, serial investor and Bitcoin proponent Tim Draper recommended that President Macri attract foreign investors by dramatically transforming the country’s economy and replace the Argentinean peso with Bitcoin.

Draper even made a bet with Argentina’s president on the price of Bitcoin,

[I]f the peso is valued more than Bitcoin, I double the investment I am making in the country; and if Bitcoin acquires more value than the peso… that would be a perfect solution because there is no confidence in the currency.

How do you think the integration of Bitcoin into Argentina’s economy could help to minimize inflation? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via LocalBitcoins/coin.dance, Shutterstock

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Led 05

A New Bitcoin Bull-Run is Here, Google Trends Show

· January 5, 2017 · 5:00 am

As Bitcoin nears parity with gold, Google trends indicators are showing that this may only be the start of another major run-up in value on the way to higher highs.


Bitcoin Uptick in Global Trends

Bitcoin performed amazingly well throughout 2016, increasing over 120% in value, reaching its all-time high market cap, breaking the $,1000 mark on the first day of 2017.

Although the $1000 surge was expected by many, the continuous rise of Bitcoin continues to amaze the public at large. Driven by political and economic factors throughout the world, global interest in Bitcoin is once again surging in Google search trends:

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China is a well-known driving force in the Bitcoin price, a super-power in both mining and trading of the cryptocurrency. Although interest in Bitcoin was high at the time of the first $1,000 surge in 2013, the Chinese population is becoming more interested in Bitcoin.

Bitcoin’s popularity in China is strongly connected to the devaluation of the Chinese Yuan and the tightening of capital flight restrictions. In fact, both the price of Bitcoin and the devaluation of the CNY seem to be correlated, as noted by J. Scigala of Vaultoro:

As a larger portion of China’s enormous population enters the cryptocurrency scene, Bitcoin may continue to increase in value exponentially.

Regional Interest

While the price phenomenon is largely driven by China, searches for “Bitcoin” are soaring particularly in countries where it is most needed.

It is also becoming increasingly popular especially in Africa. For example, Nigeria and Ghana topped the list of countries most interested in Bitcoin, according to Google Trends. In both countries, the national fiat currency suffers from high inflation rates.

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Elsewhere, inflation and demonetization continue to push citizens towards Bitcoin. This can be noted in both trading volumes and Google trends. In Venezuela, Bitcoin searches have also reached all-time figures, a country where inflation is unmatched and demonetization threatens to worsen the situation.

Searches for “Bitcoin” in the country have been ever-increasing as a result:

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But demonetization has perhaps affected India the worst, with the highest denomination notes being removed much quicker than anyone anticipated. Trading volumes reached all-time high figures in November when the demonetization took effect. Searches for “Bitcoin” have also reached an all-time high, as Indian citizens look for ways to escape the effects of the war on cash.

india

Both trading volume and search trends also broke records in Pakistan following the announcement of similar demonetization policies.

As price continues to rise, on more sustainable terms than the first time, and the public begins to notice, these countries may become increasingly interested in Bitcoin. This could mean the start of a new era for Bitcoin, as a five figure Bitcoin becomes more and more realistic.

Mainstream Media Paying Attention

In an interview with CNBC, BTCC CEO Bobby Lee notes the political effects of global demonetization policies. He adds that Bitcoin could be setting up for higher highs saying,

In the past few years what we’ve seen is whenever we’ve hit it all-time high, Bitcoin will actually exceed its last all time high and go up by a factor of three to five x or even more. So if it cross the 1,300 dollar all-time high, it might even go up to several thousand dollars per bitcoin.

Indeed, as Bitcoin has just broken its all-time high and a new bull-run may be upon us with a good chance of higher highs in 2017.

You can check out the full interview below:

Is this only the beginning of a new bitcoin bull-run? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, googletrends, twitter

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Kvě 18

Bitcoin Price Stays Put, Can Traders Finally Relax?

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin Price

Since our last bitcoin price piece, the markets haven’t gone anywhere. Presently, the price is hovering around $455, which is relatively unchanged from where it previously held ground. Bitcoin has found a comfortable place that it evidently enjoys, so we probably shouldn’t expect dramatic change any time soon.

Also read: Bitcoin Price Stagnates, What Happens Next?

Bitcoin Price Takes a Rest

But as one source puts it, things are set for a flash of the old gloom and doom:

“A price downdraft, today, has pulled the price to $454… Given the bearish indications in the 1-day and 1-week candle charts that were explored in last week’s analysis, there is also a high probability that the market eventually declines to $430… The bitcoin market’s capacity for slow torture may see the slow, upward strain continue for several more weeks… Bitcoin’s price range is narrowing as the market progressively trades price into the high-pressure corner of a contracting wedge… The technical analysis outlook remains that price will most likely unfold a downward correction…”

One troublesome side effect that seems to come with being a Bitcoin enthusiast is that you learn to expect (and thereby prepare) for the worst. This isn’t always a bad trait; after all, it keeps us on alert. We’re ready for when things get rough, and when that day comes, we’re far from being like a family of deer in the headlights.

However, maybe the time has come to relax a little. In our previous price piece, one user explains:

‘What’s wrong with Bitcoin having a stable price? We wouldn’t like it if the value of a dollar kept jumping all over the place. A loaf of bread could be $2 one day, and $5 the next. Stability is what bitcoin needs to make it a currency and not a commodity.’

Interesting words indeed, and this user certainly has a point. Despite being eight years old, bitcoin still needs little breaks here and there to make its bones and develop a steady future for itself. Things cannot be 24-hour ascension. We’d certainly like that, but the fact is, such an idea is unrealistic. Things need time to patch themselves up. Time is necessary to heal wounds and fix mistakes, and considering the fluctuations bitcoin has endured in the past, a little stability really wouldn’t be so terrible. How can bitcoin ever truly be taken seriously as the currency of the future if it can’t learn to step back and smell the roses here and there? How can regulators ever look at bitcoin as something that’s less problematic if it can’t focus and stay still for a moment or two?

Ironically, this user’s words also seem to bear a sense of foreshadowing. One of today’s biggest headlines is rising inflation rates in the United States. In fact, they’re the highest they’ve been in about three years. Maybe USD can learn a thing or two from Bitcoin after all…

Will Bitcoin stay as it is for a little while? Post your thoughts and comments below!


Images courtesy of City A.M., Bitcoinist.net.

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Úno 05

Cash is An Interesting Investor Portfolio Diversification Tool Next to Bitcoin

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Cash

With the stock markets being subject to high volatility these days, investors around the world are looking at different options to diversify their portfolio. While some of them have taken a keen interest in Bitcoin, most of the investors are looking at cash as their preferred solution. This may seem odd to some people, but it makes a ton of sense at the same time as well.

Also read: Simplex Offers Bitcoin Exchanges Risk-Free Credit Card Purchase Solution

What Makes Cash So Appealing To Investors?

Based on statistics provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, roughly US$208 billion of inflows can be attributed to cash and money market funds. In this day and age of financial insecurity in the stock markets, cash seems to be the only remaining traditional financial vehicle worth gambling on. But at the same time, various banks around the world are pushing for the abolishment of cash altogether.

Most people would assume investors are flocking to bonds and stocks, as they have been one of the most popular investment vehicles for quite some time now. Nothing could be further from the truth, however, as close to US$50 billion has been pulled out of bonds as well. Only stocks have seen a poor growth in attention, although the numbers are nothing to sneeze at.

Volatility is putting the fear into hearts of investors these days. Local markets are somewhat safer compared to overseas investments, but it is impossible to predict how either will evolve in the coming months. This is part of the reason bonds are far less attractive, as they require investors to “lock” their funds for an extended period.

Furthermore, interest rates remain far too low to make any traditional investment even remotely appealing right now. While cash may not offer any interest rate at all, it is more accessible and usable all over the world. Plus, with cash, it is rather easy to move funds around the world, which is of high importance to investors.

However, cash is losing a small portion of its value at every time, simply because there is a lot of inflation. Central banks keep printing money to provide a financial stimulation when the economy is struggling. At the same time, this decreases the value of all other cash bills and coins in circulation by a small margin.

While cash may not hold all of the answers investors are looking for, it’s one medium of value that will be affected less if a new financial crisis were to hit right now. While the money will lose some value due to increased inflation, at last, there will be no funds missing from savings and retirement accounts, like what happened in 2008.

So What About Bitcoin Then?

Bitcoin holds more answers than cash right now, although the modern digital currency is still struggling with adoption by both merchants and retailers around the world. Even though Bitcoin has the potential to become the new global currency in a few years, banks and governments are thoroughly opposing the idea of letting digital currency take off without regulation.

At the same time, cash is being opposed by these same institutions, and investors seem to flock to that medium of value exchange. Bitcoin could become the next major asset in every investor’s portfolio in the future although there is no guarantee this will ever take place. But the digital currency sure looks appealing right now, as it operates outside of the realm of traditional finance altogether.

What are your thoughts on investors gambling on cash as an investment vehicle? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: CNN Money

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bank of America

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Pro 29

Ukraine Economy Bailout Presents Bitcoin Opportunity

Source: bitcoin

Ukraine Economy Bailout Presents Bitcoin Opportunity

For some countries around the world, times are very tough as local economies are starting to fall apart. Ukraine is one of those countries, as inflation will be hitting a record-high of 44 percent later this year. Combine that number with a near 25-percent inflation, and anyone can see why the Ukraine economy needs a bailout. At the same time, Ukraine’s central bank is warning people about the use of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Also read: Pirate Bay Co-Founder Attacks Music Industry With New Gadget

Ukraine Economy Collapses After Conflict With Russia

There are several factors to blame for the collapse of Ukraine’s economy, although the biggest culprit comes in the form of a conflict with Russia. On top of that, the Ukraine economy is plagued by capital controls, making it all but impossible to move funds in and out of the country altogether.

With inflation hitting a whopping 44 percent, the situation in Ukraine is more than dire right now. Prices for goods and services have been soaring due to the Hryvnia losing a fair share of its original value, and consumers are faced with less purchasing power. Considering Ukraine was already subject to nearly 25% inflation back in 2014, things have not improved at all over the past twelve months.

But it looks like help is on the way, as capital controls will be lifted gradually in the coming months. Thanks to bail-out cash from international lenders, the Ukraine economy will survive, and hopefully be able to reduce its inflation rate to 5 percent by the end of 2019. In total, US$9bn in rescue cash will be coming to the Ukraine economy in the near future.

As one would come to expect, that money has to come from somewhere. The International Monetary Fund (US$4.5bn), the European Union (US$1.5bn) and a loan guarantee from the US (US$1bn) are pooling together the necessary funds to give Ukraine’s economy  a chance to recover in the next few years.

Time For Plan Bitcoin?

Similar to most central banks all over the world, Ukraine’s central bank is not too keen on Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Just a few months ago, a warning was issued regarding the dangers of Bitcoin, and consumers were advised to steer away from this type of currency as it is not controlled or guaranteed by the central bank.

At the same time, residents of the country have been struggling to make ends meet for quite some time now. With tight capital controls in place, there are very little options at the disposal of Ukrainians who want to safeguard some of their wealth from further economical demise. Bitcoin provides them with that option, despite warnings by the central bank. Plus, a new Bitcoin exchange will be launching in the country very soon.

What are your thoughts on the economic situation in Ukraine? Will Bitcoin provide a solution to the turmoil? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Telegraph UK

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Russia-Insider, Your News Wire

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Ukraine Economy Bailout Presents Bitcoin Opportunity

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