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Germany Starts Selling Its Bitcoin Billions, Sparking Market Volatility

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Germany has started liquidating its substantial Bitcoin holdings, which were seized from the operators of a movie piracy website. This move has triggered concerns about potential market volatility and the long-term implications for the cryptocurrency market.

Key Takeaways

  • Germany has sold over $195 million in Bitcoin within the past 24 hours.
  • The government still holds approximately $3.05 billion worth of Bitcoin.
  • The Bitcoin was originally seized from the operators of Movie2k.to, a film piracy website.
  • The sale has already impacted Bitcoin’s market price, causing a dip.
  • Experts are divided on the long-term effects of this liquidation.

Background

The German government has begun selling its sizable stash of Bitcoin, which was seized from the operators of Movie2k.to, a film piracy website that was last active in 2013. The Bitcoin was transferred to the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) in mid-January following a voluntary handover from the suspects.

Recent Transactions

According to blockchain analytics firm Arkham, the German government has sold over $195 million in Bitcoin within the past 24 hours. The government moved around even larger sums on Wednesday between multiple wallets. This significant move follows a recent pattern of large-scale Bitcoin transactions initiated by German authorities, with substantial amounts being funneled to major exchanges such as Coinbase, Kraken, and Bitstamp.

Market Impact

The large-scale sale has already had a noticeable impact on Bitcoin’s market price. Bitcoin is down about 0.5% over the past 24 hours to a current price of about $64,700, pushing its 14-day dip to nearly 9%. Experts believe that the size of the sale has dragged Bitcoin lower as a result.

Expert Opinions

Robert Quartly-Janeiro, chief strategy officer at crypto exchange Bitrue, believes that the German government’s actions suggest a bearish perspective. He noted that the BTC being sold was seized due to illicit activity, and it’s worth considering what the German government plans to do with the capital once sold.

Ben Kurland, CEO of token management platform DYOR Labs, highlighted the historical implications of such sales. He noted that significant Bitcoin sales by governments typically lead to immediate price declines and short-term volatility. However, prolonged selling could cause further slumps as negative sentiment grows.

James Davies, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Crypto Valley Exchange, doesn’t believe there is any market sentiment behind the selling. He expects it to be a “boon time for over-the-counter traders,” but will result in “some short-to-medium-term volatility for the rest of us.”

Future Outlook

As Germany continues to sell off its Bitcoin holdings, the move has sparked a debate about the balance between immediate financial gains and long-term economic strategy. While the liquidation has already raised a significant amount of money, experts caution that the broader implications for Germany’s financial sector and its position in the global cryptocurrency market could be profound.

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Stripe Launching Bitcoin Purchases in Europe

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Stripe, the global payment processing giant, has expanded its cryptocurrency integration into the European Union, allowing consumers to purchase Bitcoin, Ether, and Solana using their credit or debit cards. This move aims to simplify crypto transactions for European shoppers and online vendors.

Key Takeaways

  • Stripe enables crypto purchases in the EU, including Bitcoin, Ether, and Solana.
  • Online vendors can add a crypto-purchasing widget to their sites.
  • The expansion aims to make crypto transactions easier and more accessible.

Stripe’s European Expansion

Stripe, founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison, has made a significant move by enabling cryptocurrency purchases in the European Union. This expansion allows consumers to buy popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, and Solana using their credit or debit cards. The initiative is part of Stripe’s broader strategy to facilitate "normal transactions" using digital assets.

Benefits for Online Vendors

Online vendors in the EU can now integrate a crypto-purchasing widget on their websites. This widget not only simplifies the purchasing process but also manages charges, disputes, and Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance. According to John Egan, Head of Crypto at Stripe, this expansion will help merchants focus on growing their business and serving their customers by reaching a more global audience.

Previous Announcements and Partnerships

This latest development follows Stripe’s recent announcement to support USDC stablecoin payments for customer transactions. Additionally, Stripe has partnered with Coinbase to incorporate the crypto exchange’s Layer 2 network, Base, into its crypto payout products. These moves indicate Stripe’s commitment to expanding its crypto-related services and making digital asset transactions more seamless.

Market Impact

Stripe’s expansion into the European crypto market is expected to have a significant impact. Ireland, where Stripe is jointly headquartered, regularly scores highly in European surveys on per-capita cryptocurrency ownership. The company’s latest financial update revealed that it handled over $1 trillion in payments in 2023, marking a 25% increase from the previous year. With a valuation of $70 billion, Stripe continues to be a major player in the online payment industry.

Conclusion

Stripe’s decision to enable cryptocurrency purchases in the European Union marks a significant step in making digital asset transactions more accessible and straightforward. By allowing online vendors to integrate a crypto-purchasing widget, Stripe is helping to bridge the gap between traditional financial systems and the burgeoning world of cryptocurrencies.

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US Spot Bitcoin ETFs Witness $300 Million Inflows Amidst Seven-Day Positive Streak

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US spot bitcoin ETFs have experienced a remarkable $300 million inflow, marking the seventh consecutive day of positive flows. This surge is led by BlackRock’s IBIT, highlighting the growing investor confidence in bitcoin as a legitimate financial instrument.

  • US spot bitcoin ETFs reported a daily net inflow of $301 million, extending a seven-day positive streak.
  • BlackRock’s IBIT recorded the largest net inflows of $117.25 million.
  • The total net inflow for US spot bitcoin ETFs since January has reached $16.11 billion.
  • Bitcoin’s price has surged past $64,000, trading at $64,770.
  • Spot ether ETFs are expected to launch on July 23.

BlackRock Leads the Charge

BlackRock’s IBIT, the largest spot bitcoin ETF by net asset value, recorded the highest net inflows of $117.25 million. The fund also saw the most trading activity, with a volume of $1.24 billion. Other notable inflows included Ark Invest and 21Shares’ ARKB with $117.19 million, Fidelity’s FBTC with $36.15 million, and Bitwise’s BITB with $15.24 million.

Market Performance and Investor Sentiment

The total trading volume for US spot bitcoin funds on Monday was $2.26 billion. Although this is lower than the trading volumes seen in March, the ETFs have accumulated a total net inflow of $16.11 billion since their launch in January. The price of bitcoin has also seen a significant recovery, breaking above $64,000 and currently trading at $64,770.

Institutional Endorsement

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink recently stated that bitcoin has become a “legitimate financial instrument,” a significant shift from his previous skepticism. This endorsement from a major financial institution has likely contributed to the growing investor confidence and subsequent inflows into bitcoin ETFs.

Upcoming Launches and Market Outlook

Spot ether ETFs are anticipated to launch on July 23, further expanding the range of cryptocurrency investment options available to investors. The continued positive inflows and institutional endorsements suggest a bullish outlook for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the near future.

The recent inflows into US spot bitcoin ETFs underscore the growing acceptance and legitimacy of bitcoin as a financial instrument. With major players like BlackRock leading the charge and upcoming launches of ether ETFs, the cryptocurrency market is poised for continued growth and investor interest.

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Trump Picks Pro-Bitcoin Vice President

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Donald Trump has announced Ohio Senator JD Vance as his vice-presidential running mate for the 2024 election. This decision underscores a significant shift towards pro-Bitcoin and cryptocurrency policies, as Vance has previously declared owning between $150,000 and $250,000 worth of Bitcoin in 2021

  • Pro-Crypto Stance: Both Trump and Vance are vocal supporters of cryptocurrency, aiming to reshape the regulatory landscape.
  • Financial Disclosure: Vance holds between $100,000 and $250,000 in Bitcoin, highlighting his personal investment in the sector.
  • Legislative Efforts: Vance has introduced multiple bills to make crypto regulations more industry-friendly.
  • Political Implications: The choice of Vance could sway crypto voters, a growing demographic in swing states.

A Pro-Cryptocurrency Ticket

Donald Trump and JD Vance have created a pro-crypto presidential ticket, signaling a major shift in the Republican Party’s approach to digital assets. Vance, a former venture capitalist and author of the best-selling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” has been a vocal critic of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) stringent crypto regulations. He has introduced and supported various bills aimed at making the regulatory environment more favorable for the crypto industry.

Financial Interests

Vance’s financial disclosures reveal that he owns between $100,000 and $250,000 in Bitcoin, held on the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. He also has investments in a gold ETF, a crude oil ETF, and a brokerage account with Charles Schwab. His estimated net worth ranges between $5 million and $10.5 million.

Legislative Efforts

Vance has been actively involved in drafting legislation to revamp how the U.S. regulates digital assets. His proposed bills aim to overhaul the roles of the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in policing the crypto market. One of his notable efforts includes a bill to protect banks from regulatory pressure to cut off services to crypto firms, prohibiting regulators from citing “reputational risk” as a reason for action against lenders.

Political Implications

The choice of JD Vance as Trump’s running mate could have significant political implications. A Harris Poll survey found that one-fifth of voters in swing states consider cryptocurrency policies important enough to influence their vote. With political action committees raising substantial funds to support pro-crypto candidates, the Trump-Vance ticket could attract a considerable number of crypto voters.

Criticism of SEC Chair Gary Gensler

Vance has been a staunch critic of SEC Chair Gary Gensler, calling him “the worst person” to regulate the crypto industry. He has accused Gensler of injecting too much politics into securities regulation and has opposed the SEC’s enforcement actions against crypto firms. Vance’s stance aligns with the broader Republican agenda to create a more favorable environment for digital assets.

Trump’s selection of JD Vance as his running mate marks a significant shift towards pro-crypto policies in the 2024 election. With Vance’s strong financial and legislative backing for the crypto industry, the Trump-Vance ticket aims to attract a growing demographic of crypto voters, potentially influencing the election outcome.

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