• Bitcoin records a new high above USD 13,000 for the year, stirring hopes of a bullish end to the year
  • PayPal finally allows buying of Bitcoin within its platform, fueling an extended rally for crypto
  • Bahamas launches the first CBDC

What a week it has been! After last week’s stimulus talks and MicroStrategy investment into Bitcoin, yet another old name in money has stepped forward to proclaim its love for Bitcoin in the shape of payment processor PayPal.

For weeks, Bitcoin traders and investors have been so enamored with increasing Bitcoin fundamentals, with adoption in terms of wallet numbers ever on the rise, and hash rate continuing to creep up with all time highs, even as price seemed to be in a sideways motion.

But Monday seemed to have really stirred a beast, with Bitcoin smashin the USD 12,000 levels and not relenting until it stepped up towards and past USD 13,000 on Wednesday. The rest of crypto were not immediately on board, with the likes of ETH actually losing ground on Monday, but by Wednesday had shaken off inhibitions and powered past USD 400 where it hasn’t looked back, and neither has much of the rest of crypto.

Political economists will point to the seemingly unshakeable feeling in the US, where, just weeks away from the next Presidential elections, the Democrats seem to be gaining in power — leading to a lot of sentiment that believes more economic relief is coming in the form fiscal stimulus (read that as money printers go ‘brrr’).

Stock markets in the early week actually did drop off some numbers but Bitcoin moving in the opposite direction also seemed to lend some hope to Bitcon purists that the digital asset had indeed decoupled from traditional markets.

Perhaps what really moved the markets though, was the announcement that UK public listed fintech company Mode had announced a Bitcoin investment — 10% of their total cash, apparently. Their own stocks jumped 9% on the news, but American payment company PayPal took over and hogged the limelight with their own announcement, making good on earlier rumors that it would support trading of crypto on its own platform.

The PayPal announcement was like a shot of adrenaline, pumping Bitcoin prices by 10% in a single day. The prospect of millions of existing users already on PayPal for years all over the world, who will now be able to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash next year, strangely enough, pushed Bitcoin’s market capitalization to exceed that of PayPal itself!

The bullish news led to Galaxy Digital CEO and multi-millionaire Mike Novogratz gushing all over the news on CNBC Squawk Box. He stated:

“I think that’s, in some ways, the shot heard around the world on Wall Street,” Novogratz said in an Oct. 23 interview about PayPal’s recent news. “PayPal has 346 million accounts,” he said, adding: “They’re the 30th biggest bank in the U.S. in deposits and all of a sudden every financial institution says, ‘Wait a minute, what am I doing?'”

Meanwhile, the talks surround central bank digital currencies (CBDC) has not abated but one small jurisdiction, the Bahamas, has gone on ahead and pushed out its own CBDC. Dubbed the ‘Sand Dollar’, the Central Bank of Bahamas announced that the new currency is now available nationwide. Bearing the motto “inclusive, convenient, secure”, the new project seems to begin with an initial rollout phase that will involve players from the private sector — banks and credit unions preparing for personal and enterprise wallets supporting the Sand Dollar for compliance procedured.

These wallets are said to be mobile-first, and are secured by multi-factor authentication on a smartphone. Well, we wish Bahamas good luck, and at least hope the Sand Dollar won’t go the unfortunate way of Venezuela’s Petro.


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