bigX social post: the filter: the five most important stories in crypto [30 Dec 2020 – 06 Jan 2021]

RECORDS TUMBLE: #Bitcoin price breaks $35k // DIGITAL GOLD: JP Morgan predicts $146k Bitcoin // BANKS: US banks can use #stablecoins for settlement // #XRP DEAD? Grayscale sells ALL #Ripple after $1.3bn SEC suit // SNEAKY: #FinCEN AML #cryptocurrency rules ‘will drive users offshore’

bitcoin bulls in charge as price breaks $35k [6 Jan 2021]

The Bitcoin bull market is in full flow as the price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency added more than $10,000 per coin this week. After breaching an historic resistance level of $20k milestone on 16 December 2020, the Bitcoin price has gained a further 64% to hit more than $35k. It remains the world’s best performing asset and all signs point to a further attractive price jump as a swathe of new investors are excited by booming prices. Read more here.

JP Morgan predicts $146k Bitcoin [5 Jan 2021]

One of the world’s biggest investment banks says that Bitcoin could reach prices of $146,000 per coin and compete with gold in a new report this week. JP Morgan has certainly changed its tune: back in 2018, CEO Jamie Dimon called cryptocurrency “a fraud”, but the bank now custodies cryptocurrency for large digital asset funds and has its analysts predicting stunning price rises. There is one catch: this long-term upside, which would make Bitcoin’s market cap match that of gold for investment purposes, is conditional on Bitcoin’s volatility dropping, JP Morgan strategists wrote. With more institutional investors now putting a portion of their reserves into the cryptocurrency, this lower volatility seems more likely than ever. Read more here.

ruling: US banks can use stablecoins for settlement [4 Jan 2021]

In perhaps the most important regulatory update in crypto history, the US banking regulatory has ruled that American banks can both use stablecoins for settlement and also act as nodes on public blockchains. The interpretative letter by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency says both national banks and federal savings associations can even issue their own stablecoins if they wish, as long as they comply with existing laws.The letter also specifically mentions the use of stablecoins for transactions, saying blockchain networks can mitigate costs for cross-border transactions as a “cheaper, faster and more efficient means of payment”. Read more here.

XRP Dead? Grayscale sells all Ripple after SEC suit [5 Jan 2021]

One of the world’s most important digital asset managers, Grayscale, announced it had dropped Ripple from its Large Cap Digital Fund and sold all of its XRP reserves. Grayscale becomes just the latest in a long list of companies to turn their backs on Ripple following the lawsuit filed by the SEC. On 22 December the US market regulator filed suit against Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founded Christian Larsen for conducting a $1.3bn unregistered securities offering. Read more here.

FinCEN AML rules ‘will drive crypto users offshore’ [5 Jan 2021]

New rules proposed over Christmas by US financial regulator FinCEN will drive users away from regulated exchanges and cripple businesses who deal with cryptocurrency, Square’s Jack Dorsey has warned. FinCEN wants to put in place new anti-money laundering rules that force users who want to send cryptocurrency to report the name and physical address of the recipient or face the transaction being rejected. More worryingly is the fact that FinCEN only allowed 15 days of public comments, instead of the normal 60 days, and snuck the consultation in over the New Year. Read more here.