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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
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The Influence of Cryptocurrency on the World Economy

bitcoin

If you don't know what crypto or digital currency is and you've never heard the word Bitcoin being bandied about in a cocktail conversation then welcome to the new millennium, we are happy to have you! Yes, cryptocurrency has taken hold and the world economy has certainly taken notice. Consider that the leading crypto, Bitcoin, was born only a dozen years ago and Martti Malmi, a Finnish developer who helped BTC founder Satoshi Nakamoto work on Bitcoin, sold 5050 Bitcoins for $5.02 which equated to a value of $0.0009 per BTC.

Malmi might have wanted to hold on to that initial investment as Bitcoin is now trading at over $49,000 which means instead of the price of a cup of coffee, today his fortune would be estimated at around a quarter of a billion. In fact, digital currency has become so popular that the best bitcoin sportsbooks welcome it for those who like to make a wager or two, on anything from soccer to American football to Nascar racing. The world has come to know and love - while some might say loathe - Bitcoin and the march towards mainstream acceptance has been slow but steady.

Bitcoin ATM's Growing More Popular

Buying Bitcoin is now as simple as going to your local 7-Eleven, Rite Aid, or CVS , thanks to a business named LibertyX. That's because the seven-year-old startup increased its network of bitcoin ATMs, cashiers, and kiosks to include 20,000 of the aforementioned retailers, bringing the total number of ATMs to 25,000 across 45 states.

Earlier last year, LibertyX embarked upon its "Bitcoin on Every Block" campaign and heralded, "Consumers can now use cash to purchase bitcoin with LibertyX at 20,000 retail locations around the U.S., including major convenience stores and pharmacy chains, such as 7-Eleven, CVS Pharmacy, and Rite Aid."

Chris Yim, co-founder & CEO of LibertyX, stated in a press release. "Bitcoin is one of the most exciting innovations over the last decade, but adoption has been limited by trust and accessibility. We wanted to expand our footprint so anyone can buy bitcoin at familiar locations they drive or walk by daily. Now, everyone is only a few miles away from owning bitcoin and becoming part of its global community. Buying bitcoin is as easy as scanning a barcode while shopping for groceries."

But news has broken that LibertyX is being acquired by Fortune 500 company NCR Corporation and Yim had this to say about it, "This is the first acquisition by any company, public or private, of a bitcoin ATM operator."

"We look forward to offering NCR's customers the ability to quickly and easily offer the digital payments and cryptocurrency capabilities consumers want, while significantly expanding the scope, scale, and reach of our software," said LibertyX's Yim.

Crypto In Your Portfolio?

It is not surprising that institutional investors, the Wall Street wise guys whom politicians universally rail against but never refuse their campaign donations, have been reluctant to embrace digital currency but that trend could be changing. The first hint of a thaw was when renowned investor, Paul Tudor, added Bitcoin to his fund.

"(I have) just over 1% of my assets in bitcoin. ... Every day that goes by that bitcoin survives, the trust in it will go up."

Ryan Watkins, an analyst at bitcoin and crypto research firm Messari, wrote, "Institutional investors are the white whales of cryptocurrency depending on your assumptions, an aggregate 1% institutional allocation to bitcoin can easily bring bitcoin's market cap above $1 trillion. Ever so elusive, institutional investment in cryptocurrency has long been considered the most significant barrier between bitcoin and a multi-trillion-dollar market capitalization."

Bitcoin has not only avoided getting Covid but hasn't even gotten a sniffle during the global pandemic. Stunningly, it has thrived as evidenced by the nearly 500 percent gain over the last 18 months, spanning back to February of 2020.

Early in the pandemic, BlockFi CEO, Zac Prince, stated, "Bitcoin has already bounced back from its losses stemming to pandemic market reaction. It's increasingly being seen as a safe haven investment to diversify portfolios and as more people see the value, on top of ongoing peripheral retail pressure, we believe we will see the price rise steadily, and at times rapidly, over the next few years."

Antoni Trenchev, managing director of crypto-lender Nexo, said, "Critics can disparage Bitcoin as much as they like, but it's by far the best performing asset of the past decade. We're bullish about its future."

And let's not forget that although Bitcoin is the undisputed leader of the crypto pack, there are others to consider that are far less pricey like Ethereum that has soared to over 10 times its previous value since the pandemic began, currently trading at approximately $3200. Cardano, Binance Coin, and XRP are among a few others with market caps over 50 billion dollars. So yes, digital currency is impacting our global economy and it looks like it's here to stay. 

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