Putin VS. Cryptocurrencies, EU Debates Crypto Investment Risks, Japan Sails to CBDC Development While BTC Chases the Six-Figure Price

In this edition:

  • Putin to Fight Illegal Cross-Border Transfers of Digital Assets
  • EU Securities Regulator on Crypto Risks
  • Bank of Japan Governor Announces New Steps Towards a CBDC
  • BTC Price Predictions for 2021

Hey there, my fellow Anchorians! Did you miss us? Well, we’re back again and ready to discuss some international crypto topics. Before we begin, I hope you and your families are all safe and sound, wherever you are. 

So, this 82nd edition of Crypto Roundup is very international, as I said, since we’re commenting on the recent events in Russia, the EU, and Japan. At the end of today’s Roundup, we’ll focus on BTC predictions for this year. Excited? 

It’s never boring here in the world of crypto, no matter if there’s good or bad news. And this 82nd issue is no exception – President Putin’s being strict on ‘’illegal cross-border crypto transactions’’, the EU still points out the risks regarding cryptocurrencies, but Japan’s ready to roll on their CBDC. Not to mention the BTC price predictions! Okay, enough spoilers – without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Putin to Fight Illegal Cross-Border Transfers of Digital Assets

By jannoon028, Freepik

While speaking at a board meeting of the General Prosecutor’s office on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his concerns regarding “criminal elements that have been increasingly deploying digital financial assets,” and called for special attention from the government.

President Putin said it’s crucial to develop new measures in the fight against illegal cross-border transactions of digital financial assets and to do it now:

“There is one more point — quite new, but essential: we should take additional measures to suppress the illegal cross-border movement of digital financial assets,” were his exact words. 

While the President didn’t specify which activities are in question, or how exactly the government will fight them, both local and federal authorities will be engaged in the financial monitoring. Nikita Soshnikov, director of Alfacash, shared his thoughts:

“It is not the first time when the President asks law enforcement agencies and a Russian financial intelligence unit to pay special attention to crypto transactions in such a negative context. But it is unclear what is meant by “cross-border” crypto operations which are world-wide by their nature and how law enforcement measures could apply.”

The main point here is that cryptocurrency transactions are cross-border simply by their nature. To be fair, President Putin didn’t exactly call out cryptocurrencies, but their illegal deployment. Though what’s illegal… is a good question. 

Reminder, Russia has a new cryptocurrency law dubbed “On Digital Financial Assets”. By that law, it’s allowed to hold crypto assets and mine them, but transactions are something else entirely. It seems crypto enthusiasts in Russia are once again in the hot seat. We only hope this initiative will focus on criminals laundering money who indeed should be prosecuted, not mere crypto lovers.

EU Securities Regulator on Crypto Risks 

The ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority) highlighted the new crypto-related risks while analyzing the impact of COVID-19 on financial markets.

‘’As crypto-assets, including so-called virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, continue to attract public attention, the European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, EIOPA, and ESMA – together the ‘ESAs’) recall the continued relevance of their previous warnings,’’ is how the newest report dubbed Trends, Risks and Vulnerabilities started.

The report mentioned how 2020 brought a surge in Bitcoin price due to high demand and ‘’positive newsflows’’ such as PayPal’s initiative. However, the ESMA believes these investments bring a lot of risks: “Prices of non-regulated crypto assets at all-time highs imply significant risks for investors.”

Apart from Bitcoin, the report also mentioned stablecoins and CBDCs: ‘’Developments around global stablecoins continue to be under regulatory scrutiny, while sentiment towards Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) is shifting positively.’’

COVID-19 pushed the world towards digitalization, especially in terms of finances. We shop online, work online, have fun online, and now, invest online. While accepting the current landscape, the report stresses the risks, but not the gains. People do their research, and it’s their money in the end. 

What lies behind this slightly patronizing tone is fear for the eurozone and the European market, especially now when everything is still vulnerable due to Covid. 

Bank of Japan Governor Announces New Steps Towards a CBDC

Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda Haruhiko announced that CBDC experiments for digital yen will begin in spring 2021.

While Japan still doesn’t have a long-term concrete plan for CBDC development, there is an interest in this global trend, and the first phase of research is scheduled to begin soon.

“Central banks share the view that it is not an appropriate policy response to start considering CBDC only when the need to issue CBDC arises in the future,” said Haruhiko while reflecting on the Bank of International Settlements’ report that indicated that 86% of central banks globally are currently exploring CBDCs with 60% of them actively being at an experimental or proof-of-concept stage of development.

So, Japan is preparing and researching since ‘’the preparation cannot wait until the hour of need’’. Kudos!

“There is also a recent trend toward unbundling financial services that financial institutions used to provide as tightly coupled, thereby enabling componentized financial services to be combined with services of non-financial firms. This is referred to as ‘Banking as a Service’ also known as embedded finance,” Haruhiko concluded.  

Well, yes, the last couple of years certainly have brought us closer to a change in the traditional financial landscape, and CBDCs are just one of the ‘’hybrids’’. Private and public, centralized and decentralized – these partnerships are on the rise and 2021 will surely bring more of them. 

BTC Price Predictions for 2021

By biefreepik, Freepik

And now to the fun part – BTC price predictions for this year! While some people do thorough research and analyze data, others are just hyping up the community.  In the end, all we do is speculate. But speculating is fun, and it’s not entirely subjective. 

While demand is increasing, the supply is decreasing. By simple economic logic – this will send the BTC price to the Moon. Or Mars. Depends on who you’re asking. 

The Stock-to-Flow (S2F) model by PlanB is well-known when it comes to price predictions. By taking into account the amount of BTC in existence, and the amount of newly mined coins entering the market, S2F predicts that the BTC price will go up to $288,000 by the end of the year. That’s a 400% increase! 

Anthony Pompliano predicts $200,000. The famous crypto naysayer, Peter Schiff, actually believes that the price will eventually go to $0. To each their own, as the expression says.

We still have 9 months ahead of us, and a lot can happen in that time. A baby can be born, and Bitcoin can go to a six-figure price. So, between 0 and 288,000, what’s your bet? 

Final Thoughts

And this is the end of another interesting edition of Crypto Roundup! I hope you found it insightful and learned something new. 

We traveled the world, from Japan to Europe, and ended our journey here. CBDCs are emerging all over the world, regulators and policymakers are still concerned about cryptocurrencies (essentially, that’s their job), but BTC continues to surge. All is well in this big wide world. 

I will see you in two weeks, my fellow Anchorians, but until then you know I wish you fair winds and the following seas. Stay safe and take care!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not legal, accounting, or financial advice. I am not a lawyer, accountant, or financial advisor. I am not registered as an investment adviser with any federal or state regulatory agency. The Information should not be construed as investment or trading advice and is not meant to be a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any cryptocurrencies.