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Binance to discontinue GBP stablecoin

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The largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading platform, Binance has made the decision to delist and put an end to its Great Britain Pounds stablecoin; BGBP. 

The stablecoin which is pegged at 1:1 to the GBP is to be discontinued today 17th November, 2020. Also, the trading pair of the stablecoin on the exchange is to be delisted today. The stablecoin is said to have been listed for the first time by the cryptocurrency exchange in mid-2019. 

The reason for the delisting was addressed by a representative of the exchange in an interview with news agency; The Block.

It was said by the representative of Binance that the stablecoin was a “proof-of-concept” and the very first experiment the exchange is carrying out on a stablecoin that is backed by a fiat currency. The spokesperson said the exchange has issues with issuance of the BGBP as users were not really familiar with it and they had no choice but to put an end to the issuance of the stablecoin.

 “It worked, but the issuance/redemption process was not friendly for most users. As such, to offer our users with better services, we have discontinued BGBP and will direct users to our other available fiat on-ramps that offer GBP”

Other Possible reasons for discontinuation of the Binance GBP

The Binance’s United States dollar stablecoin, BUSD has a better issuance/redemption compared to the BGBP. The BUSD has a very friendly user experience on the exchange compared to the BGBP counterpart which. This has in turn fostered the growth in the circulating supply of the BUSD to an impressive figure of about $662 million dollars.

 The BGBP on the other hand had a problem of users not getting familiar with the stablecoin. This in turn might have led to the lack of demand for the stablecoin on the exchange. Demand and supply are forces that work together to determine a number of things such as price, circulating supply and trading volume of a coin. Lack of demand for BGBP led to a poor circulating supply figure. 

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SEC and Finance Ministry in Nigeria to collaborate to draft Crypto regulation

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The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) together with the country’s Finance Ministry will put hands together to draft a proper regulation as regards purchase and usage of cryptocurrencies in the country. This is because there is no clear regulation yet as regards cryptocurrencies and its usage in the country.

The revelation of the collaboration was made in an event organized by MasterCard and the Economist Unit tagged ‘Fintech in Nigeria: State of Play’ held in Lagos on the 24th November, 2020. At the event, Armstrong Takang, a special adviser on ICT to the Minister of Finance noted that the government of Nigeria sees an opportunity in the blockchain and cryptocurrency and is trying to draft a regulatory document that will benefit all its stakeholders. He also mentioned that the collaboration between the two parties is owed to the cross-border payment usage of cryptocurrencies. Hence, the finance ministry will be working with the Nigerian customs as well as the ministry of Trade and Industry.

The mission of the drafted adoption framework is said to be “to drive the adoption of blockchain technology in government in a way that supports efficiency, transparency, and productivity”, according to a report of the event. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission only declared cryptocurrencies as securities around mid-September 2020 and listed trading of cryptocurrencies as an activity that is regulated by the rules of the commission. The release by the commission marked the first time the government had a stance on cryptocurrencies even though it was not a clear regulation yet. The government as well gave full legalization and recognition of cryptocurrencies.

Prior to the SEC’s release that cleared the air about the government’s stance on cryptocurrencies, there were rumors around the Nigerian cryptocurrency industry about local banks freezing accounts that had anything related to cryptocurrencies. The news of the legalization was a relief to the individuals in the space as cryptocurrencies were a means of making a living for a number of people in the hard economy.

Reaction to the disclosure by Takang

However, the President of the Blockchain Association in Nigeria, Paul Ezeafulukwe has reacted to the disclosure by Takang at the event. He said as reported by Beincrypto;

“With CBN being one of the key stakeholders in the proposed blockchain adoption strategy, I do not think that CBN will eventually introduce a policy or regulation that is not aligned with the principles and strategies in the proposed document. Besides, CBN, through its representative at the stakeholder engagement, indicated its readiness in principle to provide regulatory support.” 

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CNBC’S crammer says Bitcoin is a “great alternative” to Gold

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The popular host of the “Mad Money” show on CNBC, Jim Cramer has shown an intense support for bitcoin with the bullish comment he made about the digital asset recently. The show host was said to have been previously skeptical about Bitcoin as of late 2017 when the biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization (Bitcoin) witnessed a bull run and reached its all time high as well.

Crammer is also said to be known for picking on the stock markets and being bearish but joined the moving train when he became positive about the Tesla stock before the stock witnessed mind-blowing rallying from the first quarter in 2020. However, he made a change to his stance on Bitcoin by giving a supportive statement to the asset in a tweet. 

Anthony Pompliano, who is bullish on crypto, tried to convince the TV host (Crammer) yesterday, 25th November, 2020 to get familiar and involved in Bitcoin as reported. He listed a number of persons in CNBC who are not yet involved in cryptocurrency. Crammer made a revelation in a Podcast with Pompliano that he has discovered Bitcoin to be a hedge against inflation and an asset his kids would understand;

“I’m not a, you know, a paid spokesman for why I need gold or why I need crypto but I just need something that my kids will understand as a hedge to inflation, and they will never understand gold.”

Bitcoin; cause of fall in price of gold?

Pompliano stated that “Bitcoin is stealing the market share of gold”. Looking at the price of gold since Bitcoin rallied up to about $19,000+, it could be seen that gold has fallen significantly. Could it be that institutions and individuals are moving from gold to Bitcoin?

Also, since the recent rallying, attention of institutions has been shifted to Bitcoin. Giant companies like Paypal, Grayscale have injected substantial amounts into the asset and analysts suggest these companies could be the cause in the increase. But could they be the cause for the fall in the price of gold?

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Bitcoin become a payment option as Western Union stops US-Cuba transfers

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Western Union, a payment transfer company with a market capitalization of over $9 million dollars revealed that it will be withdrawing its services from Cuba due to the sanctions imposed on the Cuba communist government by the US government. The decision to end their services in the country will come to effect beginning from this week, 23rd November, 2020. 

The decision was due to the new restrictions published by president Trump administration through the US Treasury department. The payment remittance company decided to put an end to its services to Cuba;

“For more than 20 years, Western Union has been moving money to Cuba on behalf of our customers to family and loved ones to pay for food, rent, and other expenses including micro businesses. We sincerely regret this situation and its impact on our customers.”

According to a research result by the Florida international University, over $2-4 billion dollars is sent from the United states to Cuba per year via a number of channels. This figure will definitely have a role to play in the economy of Cuba. But the Trump administration is said to have posed a threat to US-Cuba payments/remittances. A number of former president Obama’s policies were reversed by Trump in a bid to have good relations with Cuba.

 The US treasury department once stopped issuance of dollars to government officials in Cuba last year, 2019.

Bitcoin; a reliable payment option

Cubans have been left to look for a way to send and receive money across their national borders and Bitcoin is that option. Cuba is said to be experiencing high inflation and a number of sanctions according to a data analyst, Boaz Sobrado. 

The analyst also noted that the major two sources of foreign currencies (tourism and foreign exchange) have been shut due to the pandemic and the sanctions as reported by Decrypt.

He also included that Bitcoin orders in the region have increased significantly. He specifically said selling one bitcoin a day would have been a hard task last year but over 12 bitcoins are easily sold per day now.

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