By Jacob Pouncey | Saxo Bank Analyst | Crypto Current Contributor
This week the entire crypto market cap rose by 4.5%, bringing the market cap to just above USD 180 bn. Bitcoin and Ethereum rose by 5.5% and 7% respectively. CME reported record volumes last Thursday with a notational value of 112,700 BTC or USD 546 mn.
- China looks to curb Bitcoin mining
This past Monday the National Development and Reform Commission released a list of sectors that it plans to restrict or eliminate. Bitcoin mining was on that list put out by China’s top economic planning agency. Some in the industry believe that China could outright ban mining. An ban on mining could influence energy producers as Bitcoin miners predominantly run on renewables, meaning that miners often buy excess capacity. Additionally, most of the global mining activity takes place in China, and China could tax a large slice of the industry which pulled in over USD 4 billion last year.
- XBT Provider list new products
Cryptocurrency exchange-traded note supplier, XBT Provider, recently launched several new ETNs on a Swedish stock exchange. The notes track the spot price of Ripple’s XRP and Litecoin in both SEK and EUR. These offerings now double the number of ETNs from the provider. These give investors that ability to invest in these assets through a regulated exchange. Currently, ETNs from XBT provider is the only way on SaxoTrader to gain pure exposure to digital assets. Since the peak in early 2018, investors have gained multiple avenues to get exposure to digital assets without leaving the comfort of traditional exchanges and brokers.
- Facebook looking for outside funding
Nathaniel Popper, a New York Times tech writer, stated that Facebook is looking to raise USD 1 bn for their cryptocurrency ambitions. This comes at a time when Facebook is sitting on over USD 40 bn in cash and cash equivalents. Facebook aims to launch a stable coin that is backed by a basket of traditional currencies held in reserve. Popper states that the outside capital raise could be a device to give an air of decentralization to the initiative since outside investors will have a stake in the Facebook-led project. I doubt Facebook will have trouble raising funds considering that the Whatsapp rival Telegram has raised over USD 1.7 billion. A Barclays analyst believes that Facebook coin could add USD 3-19 bn to the company’s revenue stream. The launch of FB Coin and its subsequent trading on exchanges could do a lot in terms of exposing and onboarding millions of new users to the cryptocurrency sector.