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Bitcoin drops as China cracks down on crypto mining

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Chinese authorities have increased their crackdown on crypto mining labelling it as an “extremely harmful” practice that threatens the country’s efforts to reduce CO2.

A spokesperson for China’s National Development and Reform Commission blasted Bitcoin mining during a press conference today in Beijing.

Meng Wei stated that activity “consumes lots of energy” and “produces lots of carbon emissions.”

Ms Meng stated that the NDRC — the country’s top economic planner — will launch a “full-scale” clampdown on cryptocurrency mining by focusing on commercial mining and the role of state-owned businesses in the industry.

Meng also said that crypto production and trade produce “prominent risks,” and blasted the industry as “blind and disorderly”.

As part of the organisation’s push, the NDRC stated that it would raise electricity prices for any institution found to be abusing its access to subsidised power to participate in crypto mining.

Chinese authorities have traditionally offered schools, community centres, or other public welfare institutions lower prices for electricity.

The price of Bitcoin fell after the remarks were made, with the cryptocurrency dropping by more than 7 per cent to US$60,889 – its lowest value in more than a week.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

Crypto

Is Twitter Changing its Name?

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Just days after Jack Dorsey resigned for the second time as CEO of Twitter, his other company, Square, is getting a name change

The parent company of Cash App and Tidal will now go under the new corporate name of “Block”.

Other individual businesses owned by Block, referred to by the company as “building blocks”, will keep their original names except for the company’s Square Crypto initiative.

Square Crypto, whilst keeping it’s ticker name of SQ on the stock exchange, will be renamed as Spiral.

These name changes follow Dorsey’s well known interest in cryptocurrency, with the business having $220 million in bitcoin in its treasury according to the Wall Street Journal.

This contributes to Dorsey, who Forbes estimates to be worth $10.8 billion, as being one of the most influential cryptocurrency advocates worldwide.

Square’s name change comes just over a month after Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook group to Meta.

Square’s business involves payment systems such as banking products for retailers as well as those small square card readers you see at some vendors.

The company’s name change is therefore is simply the introduction of a new corporate name to “tie” the company’s building blocks together.

There will be no organisational change as a result of the name change which is expected to go legally into effect around December 10th..

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Crypto executives put under microscope at Congress hearing

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The executives of eight major crypto firms will testify at a US Congress hearing on December 8, set to face tough questions on the sector

The bosses of eight major cryptocurrency agencies have been called to testify before a US congressional committee on the 8th of December. Among those called to appear include Coinbase’s Alesia Haas, Circle’s Jeremy Allaire and Bitfury’s Brian Brooks.

It will be the first time agencies representing the controversial sector have been questioned in this particular way, following American politicians across the political spectrum calling for more regulation on crypto.

Elizabeth Warren on the left of the Democratic Party has called for tougher regulation of the sector and Donald Trump has described crypto-currencies as “a scam”.

Mr Brooks, an executive of Bitfury previously served as a top banking regulator under the Trump administration and had a role in policy-making around cryptocurrencies.

Digital coins are not traditional currencies in the traditional sense, however they can sometimes be used to make payments. They are stored online in a “digital wallet” and act more like an investment often carried with a high degree of volatility.

The anonymity of paying using crypto means they have been favoured for criminal activities such as drug dealing, money laundering and ransomware attacks. However their supporters say the view that they are predominantly for circumventing the law is outdated and that innovation in this area offers huge potential.

Countries around the world have taken radically different approaches to crypto, with nations like El Salvador embracing it – making it legal tender – and others like China imposing bans.

China has declared crypto-currency transactions illegal, a move India looks set to follow. Many other central banks are eyeing the sector warily and discussing regulation.

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Regulation warning for all crypto investors

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Cryptocurrency is gaining popularity with nations like El Salvador embracing digital coins

However, the sector remains mostly unregulated, and there’s a new warning for those wanting to invest.

In a world turning to digitalisation, cryptocurrencies are on the trend. They’re volatile, and just a single tweet by Elon Musk can see them rise or fall.

As more people start investing there remains plenty of talk around risks associated with cypto – and how regulated it really is. 

Nations around the world are working through regulatory framework, including in most recent weeks, The European Union

The EU’s framework for regulating crypto is one step closer to ratification.

Last week the European Council, which sets the EU’s political agenda, adopted its position on the Markets in Crypto Assets framework, according to a statement on its website. 

This means that the Council and the European Parliament can now enter into negotiations on the proposal for regulation before it is formally adopted as law. 

But in most recent weeks the spotlight’s been on Australia – after the countries biggest bank made a bold move. 

As more younger Australians choose cryptocurrency investments to fast-track their savings, The Commonwealth Bank, now wants a slice of the pie.

CBA’s head of retail banking, Angus Sullivan, says the bank is now setting up its own pilot platform to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies.

So – as popularity grows – could we see more banks around the world like HSBC, CITIBANK OR ANZ join the party? 

Within Australia,  legal framework for cryptocurrency investments appears to be in the works

The industry made hundreds of submission to a Senate Select Committee chaired by Liberal MP Andrew Bragg looking into how to tighten up the industry, however while players in the cryptocurrency industry say they want more regulation, history shows investors respond poorly to new rules.

In November 2019, the price of Bitcoin crashed when China accelerated a crackdown on cryptocurrency businesses.

In most recent weeks India now plans to join China – proposing a ban on private cryptocurrencies. 

It follows – just months ago – a major scam linked to the popular Netflix series Squid game – where someone on the internet created SQUID COIN and soon later took off with millions of dollars from those that invested in it. 

Cryptocurrencies are known for their wildly unpredictable price fluctuations, damage to the environment and use by criminals to try to disguise illegal activities, such as money laundering.

The boss of the CBA says One of the biggest risks banks face when it comes to cryptocurrencies is being left out of the market altogether.

You can learn more about the world of cryptocurrencies on our episode of Turning Point tonight as Ahron Young speaks to top executives from Crypto.com

Tune in for that episode – at 6:30 PM AEDT right here on ticker news or catch up on Turning Point with Ahron Young on demand here

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