Category: Bitcoin

Bitcoin blows past $48,000 to hit another record high

Bitcoin blows past $48,000 to hit another record high as major financial firms warm to crypto

Bitcoin’s price soared past the $48,000 level for a second time this week, hitting a fresh all-time high as Bank of New York Mellon said it would provide custody services for digital assets. The world’s most valuable cryptocurrency hit an intraday record of $48,297 at roughly 8:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, according to data from industry site CoinDesk. It was last trading up by more than 7% to around $47,913.

BNY Mellon, America’s oldest bank and a major custody provider, said Thursday that it would begin financing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The company will eventually allow crypto assets to pass through the same financial network it currently uses for more traditional holdings like U.S. Treasury bonds and equities. “BNY Mellon is proud to be the first global bank to announce plans to provide an integrated service for digital assets,” Roman Regelman, CEO of asset servicing and head of digital at BNY Mellon, said in a statement Thursday.

“Growing client demand for digital assets, maturity of advanced solutions, and improving regulatory clarity present a tremendous opportunity for us to extend our current service offerings to this emerging field.”

Nigerians Look to P2P Exchanges After Crypto Ban

Nigerians Look to P2P Exchanges After Crypto Ban

Some Nigerians plan to continue using bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies despite a directive issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week ordering banks to close down accounts associated with cryptocurrencies. Some users think they can get around them by not using centralized exchanges. 

“Bitcoin is peer-to-peer, meaning that it can be transacted without intermediaries. Your bank may be able to shut down your account but no one can shut down your bitcoin wallet. This development, while concerning, will not be the end of bitcoin in Nigeria,” said Nigerian Bitcoin Core contributor Tim Akinbo on Twitter.

Exchanges such as Binance have been affected because payment partners that store the naira are no longer willing to deal with them due to the directive, putting an indefinite pause on naira deposits to exchanges. 

But there’s an alternative: peer-to-peer transactions, where two users connect directly to each other to trade cryptocurrency. In return for bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, a user might make a bank transfer directly to the other user, or pay that person with cash. Platforms such as Paxful and a Binance’s peer-to-peer platform help connect users to other users so they can coordinate these transactions. 

“As we all know, [peer-to-peer] can’t be stopped,” one trader in Nigeria, Lucky, told CoinDesk.

Despite CBN’s directive, several sources in Nigeria told CoinDesk they plan to continue trading bitcoin via peer-to-peer exchanges, and more aired similar conclusions on social media. 

“Most people will return to [peer-to-peer] transactions, some will leverage several alternatives that connect crypto to legacy financial systems, like reloadable Visa or Mastercard. Most will simply use crypto as a choice reserve asset. […] A lot of activities will also go clandestine, or underground,” said developer and cryptocurrency educator Chimezie Chuta.

He added he plans to use “alternative channels” to remain a part of the cryptocurrency community.

Crypto exchange Bundle made a similar comment in a statement to its customers about moving to “alternative channels” to ensure they can still buy and sell cryptocurrency. The email stated the exchange will provide more information about how this will work in the coming days. 

CBN did not respond to an inquiry from CoinDesk by press time about whether these alternatives are lawful.