Way of the Crypto

Something terrible has happened, Carl.  Who would have thought that the one who has the money (or the one who is friends with the disc jockey) orders the music.  Fox News reports that notorious trader George Soros has paid 54 influential media figures over the years, including CNN, NBC, CBS, Bloomberg, NPR and the Washington Post.

 According to a study by MRC Business, Soros has spent at least $131 million getting 253 media outlets to cover world events the way he wants.

 In turn, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that FTX spent $43 million on media funding to discredit his company.  (Who would have thought that in the world of competition this is possible 😅).

 Mcdonald’s, meanwhile, had a series of tweets with Binance and Elon Musk, raising the crypto community a little:

However, everything pales in comparison with the next news.  M&M's will refuse their mascots in advertising: in Mars, they almost directly explain the refusal by being tired of scandals around the gender and gender of candies.

 In the American media, each new color of M&M's caused a lot of scandals and controversy.  Fox News host Martha McCallum was so sick of it that in one of the broadcasts she succinctly described the whole absurdity of these disputes:

 “I think in China they think like this: ‘Oh, okay, keep focusing on this.  Keep focusing on giving people M&M's of their own color as we take over all the mineral deposits around the world.'"

 And the Celestial Empire manages to work on all fronts.  Chinese news agency Marsbit is also showing interest in buying CoinDesk.  Let me remind you that earlier the investors of the Marsbit agency are Binance, Huobi and OKX exchanges.

 At the same time, China is starting to tax crypto investors at a rate of 20%, but despite this, the authorities are not in a hurry to recognize private crypto and give the green light to its use.

 In turn, the National Assembly of France will vote for the mandatory licensing of crypto firms.

 By the way, miners are also subject to 20% tax in China.  And in Pennsylvania, the first US nuclear-powered crypto-mining center will open!

 Also this week in the US at popular Best Buy

 Ledger wallets, which I talked about in one of the first issues, began to be sold.

Also, US Senator Ted Cruz introduced a bill to accept cryptocurrencies in Capitol Hill buildings, restaurants and vending machines.

 In El Salvador, BTC is mined from volcanoes!  The Tekapa Volcano produces more clean geothermal energy than the local population can use.  That is, literally, the energy that the volcano produces feeds the video cards, which helps to reduce costs and balance the power grid!

 At the same time, longtime crypto fanatic, President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador, announced that the country has closed its $800 million bond debt, which was set to mature on January 24, 2023.  Previously, international rating agencies predicted the country's default due to investments in bitcoin.

 Not far behind El Salvador is the Central African Republic, which has created a committee responsible for developing a bill on the use of cryptocurrencies and tokenization in the region.

 In Europe, the Swiss bank Cité Gestion became the first private bank to tokenize its own shares.

 At the same time, the Swiss bank Credit Suisse believes that “The emerging multipolar world is destroying the power of the dollar” and gives the following arguments:

  •  The current account surpluses of Russia, China and Saudi Arabia reached record levels.  But now these surpluses are not being translated into traditional dollar reserve assets;
  • Instead of the dollar, these countries invest primarily in gold, commodity assets, and also carry out geopolitical investments.
  • The remaining surplus is held in bank deposits in a liquid form to ensure that it can be used.

 Moreover, de-dollarization is fundamentally accelerated by three fundamental trends:

  1. Reserves denominated in US government debt are declining;
  2. Settlements in national currencies greatly reduce the role of the dollar as a world equivalent;
  3. Digital currencies of central banks will allow transactions without using the infrastructure of the financial system of the West!

 And if I spoke in detail about the first point in previous issues, then I will analyze points 2 and 3 in more detail.  Moreover, this week there was a lot of important news related to them.

 In the coming week, Brazil and Argentina may announce the launch of work on the creation of a joint currency "SUR", it will be aimed at reducing the dependence of the economies of the two countries on the dollar!

 By the way, fun fact.  Remember, I said that inflation in Argentina reached 100%?  So it became known that local banks do not have enough space to store cash pesos!

  We return to the topic.  According to the FT, Argentina and Brazil, which are members of the Mercosur trade bloc, plan to invite other Latin American countries to join their work.

 It is clear that the work on the creation and adjustment of this system will take years, but nevertheless, the very fact of this discussion is important.  The two countries with a combined population of 260 million that make up the G20 understand that the time has come to reduce dependence on the US dollar.  Yes, now they are unlikely to be able to create a single currency, given the confusion and vacillation in their own finances.  But as they say, water wears away a stone.

 More and more countries want to reduce the use of dollars in their settlements.  And when there is a desire, sooner or later it will be at least partially realized.  It's just a matter of time.  Moreover, the process of moving away from the dollar has been accelerating lately.  For sure, China will intensify its efforts on this issue with the countries of Latin America.  If the PRC has almost reached a consensus with Saudi Arabia on oil trade in yuan, then it will certainly be possible to agree with the countries of Latin America.

 It’s funny that the CEO of the American Coinbase suggests that Brazil and Argentina follow the example of El Salvador and use BTC instead of the joint currency “SUR”.

 And Tether reports that in Brazil, 11 million companies are already accepting USDT through SWAPIX.

But the President of Brazil does not even think to stop there and has already proposed to think about the possibility of creating common currencies of the BRICS association (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) for use in mutual settlements!

 "I think that over time we will come to this. And I think that this is necessary, since many countries have difficulties with buying the dollar," he explained

 Meanwhile, Turkey has successfully completed a deal to pay for grain in rubles, and now the Russian Federation is working on the issue of such supplies to Egypt, Deputy Prime Minister Abramchenko said.

 Also, Russia has already proposed to Cuba to create a settlement center based on the digital peso.

 At the same time, the State Duma confirmed the possibility of creating a stablecoin in Russia for export settlements.  Russia can issue stablecoins backed by gold refineries for international settlements, including with Iran, said Anatoly Aksakov, Head of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market, after the visit of a delegation of parliamentarians to Iran.

 “We discussed the issue related to the issuance of stablecoins, digital financial assets (DFA) backed by certain values.  For example, I spoke about gold, about gold bars, refineries can provide them ... and CFAs are issued against these gold reserves, and then they act as a means of payment, for example, in mutual settlements between Russia and Iran,” Aksakov noted.

 The token can be used for the first time this year, when the special economic zone in Astrakhan will begin to accept cargo from Iran.

 In turn, the National Bank of Australia announced its own stablecoin AUDN on the Ethereum blockchain.  It will allow real-time transactions on the blockchain using the Australian dollar and a 1:1 peg.

 Also this week we learned that Visa is working on a number of CBDC and stablecoin initiatives and Moody’s is working on a stablecoin scoring system!

 Observing how the authorities of almost all states by 2023 have turned their close attention to the crypt and are already actively involved in the regulation, tokenization, implementation and development of CBDC - old-school cypherpunks are starting to think about where we turned the wrong way.

 But the founder of the Ethereum cryptocurrency, Vitalik Buterin, instead of talking, presented the concept of hidden, or invisible addresses, which can solve the problem of the anonymity of crypto users - a new development will help to anonymize transactions, the transfer of NFT.

 According to him, privacy remains the most significant problem of the blockchain of the second largest cryptocurrency by capitalization.

 According to the solution, the user creates a spending key used to generate a meta address for transmission to the sender.  The latter uses the data to create a hidden address through cryptographic calculations to send assets to it.  Along with the transaction, it publishes an ephemeral pubkey that helps the recipient discover the address.

 What will come of this - time will tell.  And finally, I will give an example of how some things become visible only after a certain number of years.

 On January 24, 2010, 13 years ago, the first attempt was made to sell an item for BTC — one digital picture for 500 BTC ($1 at the time):

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