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Crypto News Updates

BTC-Only Exchange Bitcoin Reserve Launches Across Europe

Bitcoin-only exchange Bitcoin Reserve has launched for users throughout Europe, offering retail and institutional stacking options.

According to a press release shared with Bitcoin Magazine, Bitcoin Reserve, an Estonia-based, bitcoin-only brokerage, has officially launched all of its services for clients throughout Europe.

With this launch, it appears that Bitcoin Reserve will become the first bitcoin-only exchange that is accessible to all European residents, according to a list on Bitcoin.org. Rather than present users with an abundance of other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin Reserve will now allow all new European users to strictly focus on accumulating bitcoin.

The brokerage provides two core services for users. The first, known as Flash, enables users to immediately buy and sell bitcoin with limits of up to about $60,000 (€50,000). This service could be an avenue for users to purchase small amounts of bitcoin at regular intervals, effectively euro-cost averaging their investment and hedging against some of BTC’s volatility.

Paired with this, Bitcoin Reserve’s Concierge service offers the option to buy and sell bitcoin in amounts over that roughly $60,000 cap (€50,000).

“Bitcoin is the future reserve currency of the world, but the onramps into the ecosystem are decidedly cumbersome,” said Bitcoin Reserve Founder Nik Oraevskiy, in the release. “As more people turn away from an increasingly bankrupt economic system, Bitcoin Reserve will be there to help anyone to take charge of their financial future.”

Bitcoin Reserve’s launch across Europe is a significant development in the space as it gives retail investors there and option to be onboarded onto a bitcoin-only exchange with relatively high buying limits. Simultaneously, Bitcoin Reserve allows institutions in Europe to work with a bitcoin-focused company to acquire BTC. 

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Crypto News Updates

Interview: Zac Watson On Bitcoin's Self Sovereignty

Zac Watson joined “Meet The Taco Plebs” to discuss Bitcoin’s impact on his life and freedom characteristics.

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In this episode of Bitcoin Magazine’s “Meet The Taco Plebs,” I sat down with the pleb Zac Watson (@zwatson on Twitter), to discuss his Bitcoin rabbit hole story, his thoughts on Bitcoin’s impact on life and his future price predictions.

Watson went into detail about his friends introducing him to Bitcoin in 2013 and the passion they had for Bitcoin sparking an interest in Bitcoin for himself. We discussed Bitcoin 2021 and all of the great experiences we had throughout the weekend.

To finish, we touched on what he believes to be the most amazing part of bitcoin: most importantly, the fact that Bitcoin allows people to alleviate themselves from government oppression to become self sovereign. And we also detailed how welcoming the Bitcoin community is.

Below are some more insights from Watson about his bitcoin journey.

What’s your Bitcoin rabbit hole story?

My rabbit hole story isn’t anything too exciting or extravagant.

I first heard about Bitcoin when I was back in high school around 2012 or 2013. A friend had mentioned wanting to get some of it, but I didn’t give it much thought besides “hmm, that’s interesting.”

Fast forward a few years later to 2016 to when I circled back to it: I had a few friends that were pretty into it and were quite tech-savvy and liberty-minded. These guys were pretty smart and I respected them quite a bit. They always seemed to be very forward-thinking, so I thought I should probably start paying attention and learn about this magic internet money. A little later in the year, some of us went to this music festival, Electric Forest, and my friend Brad had this massive flag pole with a planet earth flag and a Bitcoin flag. Seeing him enthusiastically and vigorously wave it around all weekend really planted a seed and helped orange pill me.

One of my takeaways from that trip was to start getting some of this bitcoin. I heard there was this halving coming up too, which apparently was bullish for price, so I bought some at the halving and have been stacking and HODLing ever since.

During 2017, I did fall for some of the shitcoin marketing and traditional “gotta diversify” talk and ended up dabbling in some of the shitcoins during that alt season. I stopped buying them in 2018 though and eventually ended up trading them for more bitcoin after I had gone deeper down the rabbit hole and had become more and more orange pilled. “The Bitcoin Standard” definitely helped quite a bit. Now I’m just a tunnel-visioned sat fiend doing my best to stay humble and stack as many sats as I can.

How has Bitcoin changed your life?

Bitcoin has really helped change my perspective on basically everything. It has lowered my time preference to focus on the big picture, encouraged me to show up every day as the best version of myself that I can be, has given me a whole new sense of clarity like never before and just overall given me immense hope for the future of this world and humanity.

It is very exciting to be going through this paradigm shift and entering this new age renaissance of abundance and prosperity. It has helped me find some peace and certainty in this current state of chaos and uncertainty that the world seems to be in. Overall, it has helped me refocus on what’s most important to me in life and reconnect with my principles and values. I have a whole new sense of motivation and inspiration since falling down the rabbit hole. You don’t change Bitcoin, Bitcoin changes you.

What is the most amazing thing about Bitcoin to you?

Wow, that is a tough question. There are so many amazing things about Bitcoin.

I think if I had to narrow it down, I would say either the sovereignty it comes with or else the people involved with it. I love how it is liberating and empowering so many people worldwide and creating a legion of sovereign individuals. It also seems to attract some of the greatest, brightest minds. Some of the smartest, kindest, most awakened people seem to be involved with Bitcoin and building it. I’ve met some of the coolest people in the space.

Some people say the Bitcoin community isn’t a thing or is just too toxic. I believe this is one of the greatest features of it. Starting to go to some IRL meetups was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I love to be surrounded by people who inspire me. It is honestly so refreshing to meet so many people that see clearly through the lies and propaganda and have a strong solid grasp of the insanity happening in the world. Shoutout to all the plebs, cyber hornets, sovereigns and freaks.

What are you most looking forward to in the Bitcoin space?

I’m really looking forward to all of the tools being built for self-sovereignty and overall freedom for humanity. It’s so awesome to see how many people are getting plugged into an open monetary network and being able to take back control of their money and not have it melted away. It is allowing many to become much more self-sovereign in the process.

It’s really cool to see all that is being built with open-source projects; they’re literally building tools for individual sovereignty. There was this one project in the FOSS Dome [at Bitcoin 2021] where this guy literally had this weatherproof case with a node setup in it, and it connects via Starlink and a hotspot. A literal off-grid node.

I also think privacy is going to become one of the biggest priorities for people, and has been for me. I’ve been trying to learn a lot more about what RoninDojo and Samurai are building. These projects seem to be next level.

I, like many others, am also very hyped for what is being built with Lightning. It’s super awesome to see how quickly that is blossoming and where that is headed. There are so many cool projects in that area, like Zeus for instance.

At the end of the day, Bitcoin was created to be a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system” and that is going to need privacy and speed to fulfill that role. I think we are right on track and it’s exciting to see while gaining sovereignty in the process.

Price prediction for the end of 2021, and the end of 2030?

I think we hit sat/cent parity before the end of 2021 (over $1,000,000). I think we could potentially do it by Halloween. I think it’ll be over $10,000,000 by the end of 2030 and hit sat/dollar parity ($100,000,000) before the end of 2033.

I think this is very bearish and that we can do it much sooner, especially with all the money printing happening and the world going full Weimar Republic hyperinflation. I think we’re on the tipping point of “suddenly” and are approaching escape velocity to go full-blown hyperbitcoinization quickly.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Crypto News Updates

Report: MicroStrategy Boosts Latest Note Offering To $500 Million, After Receiving $1.6 Billion In Orders

MicroStrategy has raised its latest note offering, meant to fund additional bitcoin purchases, after receiving major interest.

Software intelligence firm MicroStrategy has reportedly raised its latest note offering from $400 million to $500 million, bearing an interest rate of 6.125%, which will fund more bitcoin purchases by the company, according to a recent report by Yahoo Finance.

MicroStrategy released an announcement on the pricing update.

The company received a large number of orders totaling $1.6 billion from hedge funds, according to Yahoo Finance, prompting the company to increase the note sale from $400 to $500 million. The significant amount of interest for MicroStrategy’s recent junk bond sale comes as the price of bitcoin has decreased by more than 40% over the last month.

Recent mainstream news narratives have apparently hampered bitcoin’s price movements, yet institutional investors seem unbothered, as bids for notes from MicroStrategy, a company that holds 92,079 BTC in its corporate treasury, have been massively oversubscribed.

It is important to note that, though the company received a total of $1.6 billion in interest, this does not mean that the company will sell $1.6 billion in bonds to buy bitcoin, as CEO Michael Saylor and company may see the annual debt service at that amount as unserviceable.

The company predicts that after deducting purchaser discounts and commissions, as well as other expenses, the net proceeds will be $488 million. The recent move comes after the company recently announced the launch of MacroStrategy, a new subsidiary that will manage its bitcoin holdings.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Crypto News Updates

Luno Forced To Remove Bitcoin Ads In U.K.

British regulators have forced bitcoin exchange Luno to take down ads recommending bitcoin purchases.

A creative advertising slogan curated by Luno, a United Kingdom-based bitcoin exchange, has been banned by the U.K.’s Advertising Standard Authority (ASA), according to a recent report from CNBC.

Posters displayed across the London Underground network and on London buses prominently stated slogans like, “If you’re seeing bitcoin on the underground it’s time to buy.” The ASA quickly demanded that the ads be taken down, declaring that the campaign failed to highlight the risks associated with investing in bitcoin.

The ASA declared that Luno must ensure that their future marketing communications make “sufficiently clear that the value of investments in bitcoin was variable and could go down as well as up,” per CNBC.

Paired with this, the ASA said that Luno needs to highlight that it and the bitcoin market at large are unregulated.

The ASA banning ads due to concerns that the price of bitcoin fluctuates while implying that the asset is not a safe store of value coincides with the beliefs of many central bankers across the globe. Yet these statements are inherently hypocritical, as all fiat currencies issued by central banks have devalued at a rapid pace over the course of history, clearly seen by the British pound’s massive devolution over time, for instance.

Source

The ASA proclaiming that the ad is “irresponsible” is a ridiculous notion. Most entities would rather promote fiat currencies than bitcoin. Yet, bitcoin is the only tool that protects one’s time from being stolen away. In reality, not promoting bitcoin is an irresponsible choice.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Crypto News Updates

Bitcoin Usage Continues To Accelerate In Argentina

The country is a haven for the digital asset as it embraces the revolution of independent money.

The presence of bitcoin continues to accelerate in Argentina, a country that has been severely affected by government-sanctioned anti-free market policies. Citizens of Argentina have long utilized the U.S. dollar as a means to transact outside of the traditional system, yet bitcoin has been gaining traction in the country over the last few years. Recently, the Latin American director of digital exchange Binance told AFP News, “The number of user accounts for investing in ‘cryptos’ has multiplied by ten in Argentina since 2020,” detailing a staggering increase in the number of users.

The Economic History Of Argentina

Argentina entered the 20th century as one of the wealthiest countries throughout the entire world. Prior to World War I, Argentina was richer than the traditional European superpowers of France, Germany and their Spanish colonizers. The country continued to grow throughout the first half of the 20th century, albeit at a slower pace than the rest of the world but still maintaining a positive growth rate.

Yet, in 1975, the economic scenario in the country quickly changed; from 1975 to 1990, the country experienced economic stagnation and dramatic inflation. Starting in 1975, the government enacted the Rodrigazo, a series of centrally planned government policies that aimed to centralize economic decision-making. As a result, inflation averaged over 300% per year from 1975 to 1990, reaching severe hyperinflation rates of 2,600% in 1989 and 1990. These bouts of government-induced hyperinflation destroyed the savings of citizens preserving their wealth in the Argentintian peso and set the country into a devastating downward spiral.

A graph depicting the annual inflation rate in Argentina from 1975–1990

Throughout the 1990s, Argentina had a law of convertibility that fixed the peso’s exchange rate at par with the U.S. dollar, meaning every peso had to be backed by a 1:1 U.S. dollar reserve ratio. This temporarily stalled inflation for about a decade, yet meant that politicians could not print exorbitant amounts of money. As a result of the government’s desire to increase spending, in 2001, they quickly enacted a series of government policies known as the Corralito. During this attack on economic freedoms in the country, the Argentinian government froze citizens’ dollar-denominated bank accounts within the banking system. Simultaneously, they altered the peso to USD exchange rate then proceeded to steal the dollars within the banking system as all were converted to Argentinian pesos under the new exchange rate, simply to finance government spending at the expense of the common citizen.

The Present Economic State Of Argentina

After the Corralito, the economy had a slight return to growth as government-imposed restrictions were slowly lifted from 2002 to 2012. In 2012, rising inflation and capital flight led to a massive decrease in the country’s dollar reserves pushing the government to enact new capital controls, specifically centered around limiting citizens’ access to U.S. Dollars. These capital controls led to a steady increase in the black market for dollars transacted outside of the traditional banking system, known as the blue dollar rate.

From 2012 to 2015, capital controls continued to be enacted under President Cristina Kirchner, leading to a steady increase in the blue dollar conversion rate. Under President Mauricio Macri from 2015 to 2018, some capital controls were lifted, decreasing the size of the black market for U.S. dollars, yet the loosening of restrictions did little to prevent a steady rise in the blue dollar rate.

In August 2019, President Macri lost the primary vote, marking an end to the free-market policies the administration had instituted. This led to a massive stock market sell-off and currency devaluation as the peso dropped 15% in a single day. In September 2019, new capital controls were instituted that prevented citizens from converting pesos to dollars at a rate that exceeded $10,000 per month. A month later, after Macri officially lost the election, citizens were limited to just $200 of dollar savings from the previous $10,000 allowed.

Under the current Alberto Fernandez administration, capital controls have been greatly increased. The administration announced after entering office in December 2019 that all purchases made in any foreign currency would be subject to a 30% tax, hampering official avenues for citizens to transact with relatively stable fiat currencies such as the U.S. dollar. As of April 2021, the government has confirmed that all capital controls will remain in place for the foreseeable future, doubling down on policies that have destroyed the free market in Argentina, devalued the peso, and forced citizens to transact on the black market to maintain any level of prosperity.

A Steady Shift Toward Bitcoin

Coinciding with the new capital controls within the country, bitcoin adoption has been steadily increasing. The amount of peer-to-peer volume within the country has significantly increased since 2018 and is continuing to maintain a consistent volume.

As seen in the chart above, the clear upward peer-to-peer volume trend beginning in early 2020 coincides with new capital controls within the country. These volumes may continue to increase as the current administration recently confirmed that all capital controls will remain in place, a move that will induce capital flight and continue to force citizens to transact outside of the traditional financial system.

On the corporate side, South American e-commerce giant MercadoLibre, headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, recently disclosed a $7.8 million bitcoin purchase, with plans to hold bitcoin on their balance sheet. The company has accepted bitcoin for payments since 2015, as a result of South American customers being relatively financially disadvantaged and effectively being forced to rely on bitcoin as a reliable payment method.

Bitcoin Can Empower Argentinians

Argentinians have been consistently robbed of their ability to preserve capital within their own country. Dramatic domestic inflation as a result of government money printing and heinous economic policies have forced citizens to abandon the peso for the U.S. dollar. Yet, in an attempt to finance government spending, citizens have had the only reliable form of currency outright stolen from them time and time again.

On the surface, bitcoin is the best savings technology in the world, providing an avenue for the citizens of Argentina to preserve their wealth in a perfectly constructed deflationary piece of technology. This is not bitcoin’s only usage for the economically disadvantaged citizens of Argentina; bitcoin cannot be censored or confiscated regardless of government intervention. This facet alone will allow Argentinians to prosper outside of the arms of a corrupt government that has consistently shown a disregard for the well-being of its citizens.

Bitcoin does not align with the goals and incentive structure of the Argentine government, but fills the goals of the average citizen to perfection. Argentinians now have the ability to opt out of a system that has treated them unfairly for decades.

Bitcoin is freedom money. 

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Crypto News Updates

Argentina Authorities Require Bitcoin Exchanges To Provide Transaction Data

Government authorities in Argentina are requiring cryptocurrency exchanges in the country to provide monthly data on users and transactions.

Despite various anti-free market policies discouraging bitcoin use in Argentina, adoption has continued to accelerate in the capital control-stricken country. In the government’s most recent move, the Federal Administration of Public Revenue (AFIP), essentially the Argentinian version of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), has ordered all cryptocurrency exchanges operating within the country to file comprehensive transaction data on their customers every month, according to a report from local outlet Bae Negocios.

The agency is requiring all exchanges to identify all of their clients, as well as all modifications that occur for all accounts. Paired with this massive information grab, exchanges must report total income as well as final account balances to the AFIP by the fifteenth of every month.

For decades, the people of Argentina have been hit by strict capital controls and dramatic inflation spirals, hampering their ability to preserve capital. Citizens have opted to denominate their wealth in the U.S dollar, the global reserve currency, yet have essentially been stripped of that ability through recent strict government policies.

Bitcoin provides a safe haven for the citizens of Argentina to store their wealth in a deflationary asset that is censorship-resistant, cannot be confiscated and operates outside the far-reaching arms of all government entities. The AFIP’s attempt to access all user information on regulated bitcoin exchanges will ultimately prove futile, as it will only incentivize users to use peer-to-peer Eexchanges, hold their own private keys and become increasingly vigilant when conducting transactions.

The Argentinian government has suppressed its citizens’ ability to store wealth in all fiat currencies, but no policy will be able to stop the unstoppable monetary force that is Bitcoin.

Bitcoin will empower individuals and check all authoritarian government agencies. 

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Square Bought 3,318 BTC, Made $3.51 Billion In Bitcoin Revenue In Q1 2021

Per an earnings report, Bitcoin-focused payments company Square has purchased 3,318 more BTC and earned $3.51 billion in bitcoin revenue.

Today, Square (NASDAQ: SQ) reported its 2021 first quarter earnings. The company remained committed to holding bitcoin as an “instrument of global economic empowerment,” seeing tremendous gains from its $220 million in bitcoin purchases.

“In February 2021, we invested $170 million in bitcoin as we believe cryptocurrencies are an instrument of economic empowerment, which aligns with the company’s purpose” per the earnings report.

With this $170 million purchase, the company bought an additional 3,318 bitcoin at an average price of $51,235.68 per bitcoin. This supplemented Square’s initial purchase of 4,709 bitcoin for $50 million that the company announced in October 2020, which are now worth approximately $263.2 million at the time of writing. The company currently holds 8,027 bitcoin, worth approximately $448 million, giving it the third-largest bitcoin holdings of any publicly-traded company.

“We see bitcoin as the internet’s potential to have a native currency, and we want to further that as much as we can,” Jack Dorsey, Square’s CEO, said during an earnings call. “Our focus is enabling bitcoin to be the native currency, it removes a bunch of friction for our business and we believe fully that it creates more opportunities for economic empowerment around the world.”

Square generated a staggering $3.51 billion in bitcoin revenue during the first quarter of 2021, along with $75 million of bitcoin gross profit, each up approximately 1,000% year over year. The company’s gross profit was $964 million, up 79% year over year.

Cash App, Square’s payments app and bitcoin sales portal, also had phenomenal growth this quarter, finishing with $495 million in gross profit, up 171% year over year.

 At the end of the quarter, Square had $4.8 billion in available liquidity, with $4.3 billion in cash and cash equivalents, paired with $500 million available to withdraw from the company’s revolving credit facility.

In the future, Square will continue to provide bitcoin services to customers and hold bitcoin as an instrument for economic empowerment, putting itself ahead of competitors. 

Source: Bitcoin magazine