Bitcoin has been navigating choppy waters ahead of a potentially historic April in terms of bullishness for the digital asset. It remains an exciting time for the industry as Bitcoin ETFs loom on the horizon.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rose after Visa broke the news of its payments network using a stablecoin backed by the U.S. dollar to perform transactions, as blockchain technology grows more powerful with even further acceptance by established financial systems.
Visa Pilots Crypto Settlement
Visa is seeking to position itself as a leader in the booming cryptocurrency industry. On Monday, it announced it had accepted a virtual currency payment for the first time – a momentous landmark for the 62-year-old company. The payment heavyweight settled a transaction using cryptocurrency on the Ethereum blockchain, a distributed accounting ledger based on the technology behind Bitcoin.
The transaction was in the cryptocurrency USD Coin, a dollar-pegged virtual currency which Visa will now accept to settle transactions on its payment network. They cited the move as part of a pilot program to make life easier for cryptocurrency businesses.
Visa wants to eliminate the hassle of customers needing to convert their cryptocurrency holdings into fiat currency before settling their accounts on their network. The company said it plans to expand the feature to other members of its payment network and potentially to other virtual currencies later this year.
Visa partnered with digital asset bank Anchorage to complete this historic transaction, with Crypto.com sending USDC to Visa’s Ethereum address at Anchorage. Bitcoin jumped to a one-week high upon reacting to the news, rising as much as 4.5%, heading back toward its record-high hit earlier this month.
Ripple to Take 40% Stake in Asia Payments Specialist
Crypto firm Ripple is planning to acquire a 40% stake in Asian cross-border payments specialist Tranglo . Ripple’s statement on Tuesday explained the tie-up would help meet the demand for the use of its affiliated token XRP in transactions. The announcement comes a week after Brooks Entwistle – a former executive at Goldman Sachs and Uber – became Ripple’s managing director of Southeast Asia.
Entwistle said while interviewed that Ripple is expanding into new markets in the region to meet the demand for fast, cost-effective, and more reliable cross-border payments with the use of crypto. According to Ripple, Malaysian-based Tranglo has processed over 20 million transactions with a combined value of $4 billion since its inception.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are still suing Ripple and some of their top executives for allegedly misleading investors in XRP, by selling more than $1 billion of its native token without registering with the agency. Entwistle commented on the situation briefed by saying Ripple continue to be engaged in discussions with the regulators.
Bitcoin Heading to “Millions of Dollars”
One of the most bullish long-term forecasts of the past week came from statistician Willy Woo, who in an interview said that he believes a single Bitcoin could ultimately become worth millions of dollars.
He predicts that Bitcoin won’t stop at the market cap of gold, which is $10 trillion; he foresees it going far higher, which means that the value would skyrocket into the millions of dollars per coin. These were the sentiments shared with Real Vision’s Laura Shin.
The interview also featured veteran trader Peter Brandt, whose comment about completely changing his perspective on Bitcoin has been widely circulated. He said his shift in mindset came from once seeing Bitcoin as a trade, to now viewing it as a measure of wealth.
Insurers Come to Crypto’s Wild West Promising 50% Plus Returns
Those brave enough to operate in perhaps the most lucrative and risky corner of the cryptocurrency market are starting to feel some sort of safety net. Over the last year, hordes of investors have pumped billions into decentralised-finance applications that allow users to lend, borrow and trade crypto without intermediaries such as banks.
While the DeFi sector is exploding, it has also been the target of hacks, fraud, and a copy-and-paste coding culture where a modified app can siphon away users from an established rival.
Software developers are now introducing products that claim to reduce the risks of trading, something similar to insurance cover. But there’s a catch: They’re DeFi apps themselves. Unlike insurance offered through the likes of Lloyd’s to custodians and large crypto exchanges, these apps – which run on blockchains – let any investor buy coverage. Another feature of these insurance apps is they let anyone form investment pools to provide coverage, typically promising annual returns of at least 50%.
But how does it work? Investors usually decide to offer coverage to a specific DeFi app or vote on which DeFi apps everyone’s money should go into covering. This means there’s a possibility to get rich, sure; but also the real chance of losing everything by placing the wrong bet.
Do your research and have your wits about you when using these insurance apps of the future. They may be following the true nature of what DeFi is supposed to be, but they don’t reduce risk.
Hugh Karp, the founder of London-based Nexus, said that the fundamental purpose of this kind of insurance is to share risk, rather than that of gains. Hugh lost $8 million worth of NXM tokens in a phishing attack last year, before beginning to offer this type of coverage to its users.