Feb 8, 2021 • 6M

#9: Bitcoin Senator, Visa crypto & Nigeria ban

 
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Some say Crypto is a scam. Others swear it's a breakthrough technology. But which is it? Join us, as we explore Crypto in real life (IRL).
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Each week, I cover the “so what"?” of 5 key crypto developments in about 5 minutes. Let’s go.

  1. Bitcoin Senator joins Banking Committee

    • Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming is the only member of Congress who has disclosed owning cryptocurrency; she first bought bitcoin in 2013 based on a recommendation from her son-in-law

      So what?

    • The Senate Banking Committee host hearings on the development of the Digital Dollar and stablecoins like the Facebook-backed Diem project

    • Senator Lummis could bring fresh perspectives as Wyoming has led the US in developing crypto policy and regulation

  2. Visa launches crypto infrastructure for banks

    • Visa is piloting APIs that enable banks to offer digital currency services within their consumer experiences

    • Visa’s partner, Anchorage, a federally chartered digital asset bank, will provide hold the digital currency

      So what?

    • Most banks do not have the technical capacity or risk profile to build custodial services; this partnership plays to the strengths of the participants

  3. Protego gets national bank charter

    • Protego became the second digital asset firm to obtain a national bank charter from the OCC

    • The trust bank will offer a trading platform for clients, a service for issuing new digital assets and a peer-to-peer lending platform

      So what?

    • A growing number of digital asset firms have gained licenses in Wyoming or the OCC both licenses enable banks to operate across the country

    • Protego has already secured commitments for $1.5B assets under custody

    • Seattle-based Protego could partner with traditional banks and institutional investors to offer consumers new solutions

  4. Nigeria bans crypto

    • This week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) banned banks from supporting crypto payments and transfers to digital currency exchanges

      So what?

    • In October 2020, the CBN ordered banks to shut down accounts associated with organizers of nationwide protests against police brutality, rape and extortion. Nigerians turned to bitcoin to fund the protests.

    • A few years ago, Pakistan banned cryptocurrencies. Since then local bitcoin mining has increased and P2P activity increased

    • Nigeria is already one of the largest markets for P2P cryptocurrency exchange, with over $560M traded between 2015 and 2020; the ban will likely drive activity

    • The ban is bewildering as the CBN had previously banned transfers in and out of the country via traditional means like Western Union, MoneyGram, TransferWise etc; crypto-related transfers via startups like SendCashAfrica had been growing, these are no longer permitted.

  5. Billionaires pushing crypto

    • Elon Musk, the world’s second richest man, and Ricardo Salinas Pliego, the third richest man in Mexico both changed their Twitter bios to include #Bitcoin

      So what?

    • Ricardo Salinas Pliego first purchased bitcoin in 2013 for $200, calling it “the best investment I ever made”

    • The disclosures and change in Twitter bios signal growing adoption by the ultra high net worth individuals

    • This week, MicroStrategy held it’s Bitcoin for Corporations conference where it shared it’s playbook for bringing for adding digital currency to its treasury; the event was targeted at executives of public corporations and could stir further conversations