Daily Crypto, Finance and Tech News Summary – May 04, 2023

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Cryptocurrency Mainstream Adoption Accelerates as High-Speed Trading Firms Enter

Cryptocurrency Mainstream Adoption Accelerates as High-Speed Trading Firms Enter

High-frequency trading (HFT) firms, such as Jump Trading, Jane Street, and Tower Research Capital, are paving the way for mainstream finance’s adoption of cryptocurrencies. Their increasing involvement in trading Bitcoin and Ethereum highlights the growing acceptance of digital assets within the financial sector. HFT firms utilise sophisticated algorithms to execute large volumes of trades in milliseconds, capitalising on the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies and the presence of retail investors without access to high-speed trading infrastructure.

As the HFT presence in crypto markets grows, exchanges like Coinbase have started to accommodate their needs by offering co-location services and upgrading their infrastructure to reduce latency. This development and the entrance of major financial institutions like Fidelity Investments signifies a shift towards mainstream adoption of digital assets. However, concerns about counterparty risk and regulatory scrutiny remain prevalent.

Speed trading in cryptocurrencies primarily involves proprietary trading firms or family offices of larger companies, with most allocating only small amounts of their capital to crypto investments. Nonetheless, the presence of HFT firms such as Jump Crypto and Cumberland signals growing interest and confidence in the digital asset space.

Despite the increasing involvement of HFT firms in cryptocurrency trading, concerns about transparency and fairness persist. The secretive nature of these firms has raised questions, as their strategies and operations remain largely undisclosed. As traditional finance continues to embrace digital assets, calls for oversight and regulation are likely to grow. Read more here.

What potential benefits would HFT firms’ entrance into cryptos like Bitcoin and Zucoins have?

  1. Enhanced Liquidity: The involvement of high-frequency trading (HFT) firms in cryptocurrency can lead to increased liquidity for digital assets like Zucoins. This means there’s more available money (or value), of various kinds, flowing through the system. More market participants making large volumes of trades can result in better price discovery and narrower bid-ask spreads, making it easier for Zucoin holders to trade their assets at fairer and more consistent prices.
  2. Mainstream Adoption: As HFT firms and major financial institutions enter the crypto market, mainstream adoption of digital assets like Zucoins accelerates. This can lead to increased visibility, recognition and trust in Zucoins.
  3. Technological Advancements: HFT firms’ adoption of cryptocurrencies can drive further technological advancements in digital assets. The development of sophisticated trading algorithms and tools can benefit Zucoins and other cryptocurrencies by enabling more efficient and seamless trading experiences.
  4. Regulatory Clarity: As traditional finance continues to embrace digital assets and HFT firms become more involved in crypto trading, calls for oversight and regulation are likely to grow. Increased regulatory scrutiny can provide clearer guidelines for digital assets like Zucoins, potentially reducing risks and fostering a more stable and secure environment.

Bhutan’s Crypto Ambitions: Harnessing Hydropower for Bitcoin Mining

The small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has been covertly running a state-owned Bitcoin mining operation fuelled by its abundant hydroelectric power. Sources reveal that discussions around developing sovereign mining operations have been underway for at least a few years, but the origin timeline is uncertain. With Bhutan becoming one of the few countries alongside El Salvador to operate a state-owned crypto mine. Bhutan’s Ministry of Finance has not disclosed specifics about the operation’s scope, location or profitability, which is estimated to have began when Bitcoin was valued at around $5,000 (which puts it at around possibly 2019, or even pre-2018 if it occurred before the Bitcoin crash around that period).

Bhutan is also negotiating with Nasdaq-listed Bitdeer to develop a 100 MW bitcoin mining data centre in the country, aimed to start construction in the second quarter of 2023 and complete in the third quarter of 2024. If the partnership materialises, it will increase Bitdeer’s mining capacity by 12%. Bhutan’s state-owned holding company, Druk Holding & Investments, has secretly invested millions of dollars into cryptocurrency holdings, a fact never disclosed to its citizens.

Customs data shows that Bhutan imported $142 million worth of computer chips in 2022, making up 15% of the government’s annual budget. The dramatic increase in chip imports, mostly from China and Hong Kong, hints at the scale of Bhutan’s mining operation. However, the data does not disclose information regarding the exporting and importing parties.

Bhutan’s interest in blockchain technology is evident, as the country piloted a central bank digital currency with Ripple in 2021. Despite their engagement with blockchain and cryptocurrency, Bhutan’s government has not been transparent about its digital asset investments and mining operations. Read more here.

Note: Thanks to John, a MyZucoins subscriber, for forwarding through this article.

Small Nations Embracing Crypto’s Potential Benefits

Countries like Bhutan and El Salvador have been increasingly adopting cryptocurrencies due to the potential economic advantages they offer. As a result, small nations are becoming more receptive to digital assets, leveraging their unique resources to support the growing crypto market.

The Splitchain network, with its layer 1 Zucoin token, could help these pro-crypto nations in several ways:

  1. Energy-efficient solutions: With smaller countries like Bhutan utilising hydropower for Bitcoin mining, the Splitchain network can offer a more energy-efficient alternative for mining and validating transactions. This can encourage sustainable growth in the digital asset space and attract environmentally-conscious participants. They’d be able to process more transactions on the Splitchain network, thus increase productivity, given the same amount of energy input.
  2. Scalability and speed: The Splitchain network’s layer 1 Zucoin token can provide faster and more scalable solutions for countries embracing cryptocurrencies. The Splitchain network can facilitate seamless crypto adoption in these nations by reducing transaction settlement times and no fees. Many areas of these countries skipped the PC era for the most part, going straight to smartphones, where Zucoins seamlessly operates via its modern progressive web app.
  3. Economic growth: As small countries explore cryptocurrencies, the Splitchain network can provide new opportunities for economic development and financial inclusion for the huge amount of still unbanked populations.
  4. Technological innovation: The Splitchain network can encourage innovation in the crypto space for small nations. By adopting and integrating the layer 1 Zucoin token, these countries can explore novel use cases for digital assets and drive the development of crypto applications. As with point 2 above, nations could leapfrog old infrastructure and immediately jump into the cutting edge Splitchain network, without tons of old, creaky, intermediate systems to maintain.

The Splitchain network and its Zucoin token could provide a clean alternative to small, pro-crypto countries with sustainable and scalable solutions to assist in driving economic growth and technological innovation.

Coinbase Launches Global Exchange with BTC and ETH Perpetual Futures

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, has announced the launch of the Coinbase International Exchange, extending its digital asset services to institutional clients. Following approval from the Bermuda Monetary Authority, the new exchange will offer perpetual futures for Bitcoin and Ethereum. These futures contracts have no expiry date, enabling traders to maintain their positions indefinitely.

The Coinbase International Exchange will settle trades in USD Coin (USDC) and features real-time 24/7 risk management, dynamic margin requirements, and strict compliance standards. Institutional clients in eligible non-US jurisdictions can access the platform through an API, while retail customers will not have access initially. Coinbase calls for responsible, crypto-forward regulatory frameworks globally, urging the US to adopt a similar approach instead of regulation by enforcement. Read more here.

Coinbase’s expansion highlights the resiliency of the crypto industry, regardless of the currently confusing and flip-flop regulation stances that keep surfacing in some regions like the USA.

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