Equities and cryptocurrencies are being shaken by geopolitical risk and Ukraine concerns, with gold surging higher.

 Equities and cryptocurrencies are being shaken by geopolitical risk and Ukraine concerns, with gold surging higher.

Global markets were jittery on Wednesday after Ukrainian officials announced a state of emergency amid fears of a Russian invasion. During the day's trading sessions, Wall Street's leading indexes sank by more than 4%, while cryptocurrency markets fell by more than 4%. The price of gold, on the other hand, has risen 1.47 percent in the last four days, to $1,925 per ounce.

Global investors are worried about Russia-Ukraine relations, and Wall Street continues to see sell-offs.

While the world continues to remain worried over the ongoing issues between Russia and Ukraine, global markets continued to lose money on Wednesday. Russia is not backing down, according to the US State Department, and Ukraine has declared a state of emergency.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters that the Russian military is prepared to advance. "Russian forces are continuing to amass closer to the border, putting themselves in a state of advanced preparation to act and conduct military action in Ukraine at essentially any time now," Kirby said.

The global economy, weaker fiat currencies, and geopolitical tensions are causing fear among investors around the world. "If anything, despite the increasing sanctions, Putin is digging his heels in," Michael James, managing director of investment company Wedbush Securities, told the press on Wednesday. The Wedbush CEO went on to say:

This has heightened concerns about further aggressive steps and the implications for commodities and inflation as a whole.

The leading indexes on Wall Street have suffered huge losses as a result of the tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500) has fallen to its lowest point in eight months. On Wednesday afternoon, sell-offs resumed in the Nasdaq and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (EST).

By the end of the day, the Nasdaq had plummeted -344 points, the NYSE had dropped -196 points, the Dow had dropped -464 points, and the S&P 500 had plunged to -79 points. During the day, stocks in the information technology (IT) sector fell by 2.6 percent.

As the crypto economy falters, investors seek refuge in gold as the precious metal's value rises.

After some brief volatilit during the day, the 12,798 digital coins in the crypto economy had declined 4.7 percent versus the US dollar by Wednesday evening (EST). The crypto economy has shrunk to $1.71 trillion, with $78 billion in global trade volume, with stablecoins accounting for $50 billion of it.

While bitcoin (BTC) reached a high of $39,231.52 per unit on Wednesday, the leading crypto currency had fallen below $36K by 10:00 p.m. (EST). On Wednesday, Ethereum (ETH) reached a high of $2,752 per unit, but it also fell below $2,500 around 10:00 p.m.

While the stock and cryptocurrency markets have fallen, the price of gold has continued to rise. The price of gold per ounce traded hands for $1,925 at the 10:00 p.m. trading session on Wednesday evening.

Gold was trading at $1,897 an ounce four days ago, down 1.47 percent. The price of gold surged to its highest level ever two days ago in Japan, according to analysts, due to "geopolitical risk and concerns about a falling yen."


Huobi Co-Founder: We're in the Early Stages of the Bitcoin Bear Market, with the Next Bull Run Set to Begin in 2024

Huobi's co-founder has offered his thoughts on the present situation of the bitcoin market and when the next bull run will begin. "We are already in the early stages of a bear market," he stated, predicting that the next bitcoin bull market will begin around the end of 2024 or the start of 2025.

The Next Bitcoin Bull Market, According to Huobi's Executive

In an interview with CNBC published Sunday, Du Jun, co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, explored when the next bitcoin bull market would occur.

The halving, which occurs every 210,000 blocks or about every 4 years, is intimately linked to bitcoin bull markets, according to the exchange CEO. The next one is scheduled for 2024.

He went on to say that the last halving occurred in May 2020, and that bitcoin reached an all-time high of $68,000 in 2021. Similarly, the halving in 2016 resulted in BTC reaching a new high the following year. After reaching new highs, the price of bitcoin began to fall.

Du was reported by the news site as stating that if the pattern continues, bitcoin will decline by approximately 40% from its all-time high in November last year.

We're in the early stages of a bear market right now... Following this pattern, we won't be able to greet the next bull market in bitcoin until the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025.

"It's extremely impossible to anticipate exactly since there are so many other things that may effect the market as well," he said. "For example, geopolitical concerns, including conflict, or recent Covid, also affect the market."

A number of individuals feel we are in the midst of a crypto winter, including analysts at UBS, Switzerland's largest bank, who recently warned of a crypto winter amid Fed rate rises and regulation concerns. Veteran trader Peter Brandt also noted last week that bitcoin price corrections "may be protracted."


JPMorgan: Global Regulation for Banks to Help Clients Invest in Cryptocurrencies is Urgently Needed

 JPMorgan: Global Regulation for Banks to Help Clients Invest in Cryptocurrencies is Urgently Needed.

According to a JPMorgan official, a worldwide consistent crypto regulatory framework is urgently needed to allow banks to handle crypto assets on behalf of major customers. "We require a global regulatory system that is uniform." It's critical that we find a solution as soon as possible."

According to JPMorgan, a global regulatory framework is urgently needed to allow banks to offer crypto exposure to clients.

At an event hosted by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association on Tuesday, Debbie Toennies, managing director and head of Regulatory Affairs at global investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co., discussed worldwide cryptocurrency regulation that applies to banks.

New laws are urgently needed, according to the JPMorgan executive, to give banks confidence in handling crypto assets on behalf of major customers seeking exposure to this asset class.

A rising number of significant institutions, including hedge funds, are interested in investing in the crypto asset class and acquiring exposure to it. Cryptocurrency has entered the "hyper adoption era," according to Wells Fargo.

Toennies commented, "Some very major players have requested JPMorgan to hedge their exposures to crypto assets," noting that "some very large players have asked JPMorgan to hedge their exposures to crypto assets."

I believe that a worldwide consistent regulatory structure is required. It's critical that we find a solution as soon as feasible.

At the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, global banking regulators are debating how banks should deal with crypto assets. The Committee advocated splitting cryptocurrency assets into two classes and regulating them based on market, liquidity, credit, and operational risks to banks in June of last year. Final rules, on the other hand, are not expected until at least next year.

Toennies disclosed that the global investment bank has been discussing "interim treatment" for crypto assets with various jurisdictions while waiting for the Basel Committee to draft suitable guidelines.

According to JPMorgan's head of regulatory affairs,

The fundamental risk to all of our economies is that until we find a solution that allows banks to connect with their clients in a hedged manner, this activity will go outside of the regulatory perimeter, and I am concerned about financial stability.


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Today, the ETPs Cardano and Polkadot make their debut on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

DeFi Technologies' subsidiary Valour has been granted permission to trade Polkadot (DOT) and Cardano (ADA) exchange-traded products (ETPs) on the Boerse Frankfurt Zertifikate AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange).

The product will be known as Valour Polkadot (DOT) EUR and Valour Cardano (ADA) EUR, according to a press release. On Monday, February 14, 2022, trading in the ETPs commenced.

DOT's value will be tracked via the Valour Polkadot (DOT) EUR ETP. This comes after the network underwent major development, including the integration of the Ethereum Virtual Machine into its parachain network.

The Valour Cardano (ADA) EUR ETP, on the other hand, will monitor ADA's performance. Cardano's decision to offer the product on the basis of cost-effectiveness, according to the business.

Varlour's existing product range includes the Valour Uniswap (UNI), Solana (SOL) ETPs, Bitcoin Zero, and Valour Ethereum Zero products, among others.

The offering is aimed at individual and institutional investors looking for exposure to the Polkadot and Cardano networks, according to DeFi Technologies. Investors will be able to buy shares more easily by exchanging the items.

Cryptocurrency items are becoming increasingly popular.

Furthermore, according to Valour CEO Tommy Fransson, the product introduction is based on rising interest. Fransson claims that:

"Through these listings on Boerse Frankfurt, we are increasing our product options in the big German market." We've seen a lot of interest in Valour Polkadot and Cardano in Scandinavia, where they're already listed. We are excited to provide additional investors in Europe with access to premier industry ETPs.

Valour, a Swiss company, has hastened the introduction of several crypto-related goods in recent months. For example, in October of last year, the company announced intentions to launch the world's first exchange-traded product (ETP), which would track the Uniswap token.

The company's financial results have also been impacted by the products. The company had over $370 million in assets under management as of November 2021, thanks to the trading of its goods on the NGM and Frankfurt stock exchanges.


Bitcoin Can't Be Used for Payments - Russian Regulators Find Common Ground

Although Russian authorities have yet to achieve a complete agreement on the future of cryptocurrencies, all official organizations are united in their desire to prohibit bitcoin payments. Other digital asset transactions will be allowed and controlled, according to Russian industry groups.

The Russian Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance have agreed to prohibit cryptocurrency payments.

The Russian Central Bank, Ministry of Finance, and government have reached an agreement on how to manage Russia's crypto area. Following a discussion on digitization, Alexander Shokhin, the chairman of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), warned reporters that decentralized digital currencies would not be recognized as a form of payment.

Last month, the Bank of Russia called for a broad ban on cryptocurrency-related activity, including payments, exchange, and mining. Other agencies, like the finance ministry, objected to the tough policy suggestion, which came up with its own perspective of how cryptocurrencies should be addressed. The federal government, siding with the Treasury Department, approved a scheme that prioritizes regulation over prohibition.

"It is apparent that both sides in this debate have become closer in general. If we're talking about bans, it's more about prohibiting the use of cryptocurrencies as a method of payment, while other elements are regulated," Shokhin was cited as saying by the newspaper Izvestia. Coins can be bought, traded, and sold, according to the government-approved regulatory idea, according to the article.

Vladimir Potanin, president of Nornickel and co-chairman of the RSPP Coordinating Council, said the regulatory authorities are still working out the details of Russia's crypto framework, but that they all support a prohibition on the use of bitcoin as legal cash.

According to Forklog, "the corporate community has formed a consensus with the government, the central bank, and parliamentarians that cryptocurrencies are more sophisticated and difficult to regulate than digital financial assets."

While the Russian law "On Digital Financial Assets," which went into effect in January of last year, regulated some areas of the crypto economy, such as token issuance, it left many concerns unresolved. A working committee in the State Duma, parliament's lower chamber, is now drafting legislation to close the loopholes.

Based on the finance ministry's ideas, a new law setting complete restrictions for the circulation of cryptocurrencies in Russia is anticipated by February 18. Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the Financial Market Committee, indicated earlier this week that a draft was already on his desk. Deputies intend to vote on it at the Duma's spring session.


For the past 18 months, Russians' idle Bitcoin wallets have been steadily increasing.

 For the past 18 months, Russians' idle Bitcoin wallets have been steadily increasing.

When it comes to cryptocurrency adoption, Russia has been at the forefront of the debate over regulation, with estimates claiming that taxing digital currency transactions would benefit the country tremendously.

According to Kommersant, citing a survey by the MEXC cryptocurrency exchange, citizens are not in a hurry to play the market since investors prefer to hold crypto rather than speculate, with up to 60% of Russians' crypto wallets in a "dormant" state.

Market participants ascribe this to the perception of cryptocurrencies being long-term investments, however strict market regulation also plays a role in inhibiting digital asset investment.

Nikita Soshnikov, director of the Alfacash cryptocurrency exchange, notes that the percentage of "sleeping" Bitcoin wallets has been rising for the past year and a half, with Russia ranking among the top five countries in terms of this statistic.

For four months, 80 percent of accounts had no activity.

According to MEXC estimates, more than 80% of Russian accounts had no activity for at least four months. 68 percent of these users, on the other hand, looked into their accounts at least three times a year, indicating that they did not forget their passwords.

Andrei Gusev, Managing Partner of Borenius Russia, stated:

"The lack of activity on them suggests that Russians do not regard cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, but rather as a means of accumulating wealth over time."

Meanwhile, Roman Nekrasov, the founder of the ENCRY Foundation, believes that the concept of amassing long-term cryptocurrency assets has gained appeal globally in recent years.

Many Russians, according to Nekrasov, are among the so-called early Bitcoin adopters. Within the first five years, the latter became interested in the virtual money and had no intention of selling it.

A measure to regulate cryptocurrency in Russia has been introduced.

In Russia, the issue of cryptocurrency legislation is still up in the air. After originally planned it for February 11, the Russian government and the Central Bank of Russia want to have a law governing the circulation of digital currencies in the country by February 18.

In addition, the Ministry of Finance is considering the issue of a transition period for the taxation of cryptocurrency transaction proceeds.

Finally, many analysts believe that, even if the bill passes, Russians will be reticent to reveal their cryptocurrency holdings in order to safeguard their anonymity. Cryptocurrencies in Russia "will remain an iceberg, nine-tenths of which is concealed from sight," as EXANTE's senior strategist Jnis Kivkulis put it.


Steam Official: 'Current Structure Is No Longer Fit for the Purpose' as Global Regulators 'Go Full Steam' on Crypto.

 Steam Official: 'Current Structure Is No Longer Fit for the Purpose' as Global Regulators 'Go Full Steam' on Crypto.

Cryptocurrency legislation is moving at a "breakneck speed" over the world. "With the expansion of cross-border digital market activity, the current framework is no longer suitable for purpose," stated the chairman of France's markets watchdog AMF.

Regulators throughout the world are going all out to regulate cryptocurrency.

At a virtual conference hosted by Afore Consulting on Wednesday, Robert Ophèle, chairman of France's markets watchdog, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), and a member of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), reportedly discussed worldwide cryptocurrency regulation.

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) is an international organization that examines and offers recommendations on the global financial system. Ophèle is also the second deputy governor of France's central bank, the Bank of France.

According to Ophèle, regulators all around the world follow the same "global core premise," adding:

I believe we will see international regulatory convergence for some of them... Stablecoins and digital asset service companies are the most common.

Regulators have not been aggressively supervising the crypto sector, according to the AMF chairman, because crypto assets are not currently considered as a threat to financial stability. Ophele, on the other hand, highlighted that crypto is now at the top of the FSB's priority list. The central banker expressed his opinion as follows:

I believe we can achieve and deliver on these challenges in the next quarters... The FSB is pursuing this matter with vigour.

Despite the fact that the FSB only gives suggestions and does not have the authority to enact binding rules, its members are committed to developing regulatory frameworks in their respective jurisdictions.

Ophele argues that, like the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Union needs a powerful market watchdog. He went on to say:

With the growth of cross-border digital market activities, the current framework is no longer suited for purpose.


UBS, Switzerland's Biggest Bank, Offers Cryptocurrency Investing Alternatives

 UBS, Switzerland's Biggest Bank, Offers Cryptocurrency Investing Alternatives

UBS, Switzerland's largest bank, has proposed various investment alternatives for clients looking to obtain exposure to crypto assets while avoiding the risk of directly investing in bitcoin, ether, or other cryptocurrencies. The UBS analysts added, "There are many basic ways investors might tap this potential while avoiding the extreme volatility and regulatory hazards of holding bitcoin or competing cryptos."

Crypto Investing Advice from UBS

Last week, the UBS Global Wealth Management team released a research report on alternate strategies to holding cryptocurrencies directly

"Direct exposure to cryptos is highly speculative," according to UBS analysts lead by Chief Investment Officer Mark Haefele. They believe bitcoin's recent decline from a record high in November of last year has "undermined two of the asset class's most prominent defenses."

"The first is that it provides an effective form of diversification from traditional financial assets, such as shares," according to the UBS analysis. Second, it's becoming more difficult to consider cryptos as a type of 'digital gold' that protects against rising inflation."

While emphasizing that direct exposure to crypto assets is highly speculative, UBS analysts stressed that "this does not mean that the technology behind digital assets does not hold promise for investors." They explained:

We believe that a variety of potential uses, ranging from financial services and healthcare to luxury products, might result in a USD 1 trillion boost in global GDP over the next decade.

The UBS analysts stated, "There are five basic ways investors might tap this potential while avoiding the extreme volatility and regulatory risks of holding bitcoin or competing cryptos."

The first method advised by the analysts is to invest in companies that construct the crypto ecosystem's infrastructure, claiming that they will gain from the increased use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) applications.

"The rise of DLT applications will require more hardware to validate network activities, including application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), application processors, and graphics processing units," according to UBS analysts (GPUs). Other enablers include software developers and data center-related businesses that aid in the infrastructure's development."

Second, according to the UBS analysts:

Platform firms who can embrace DLT-based applications, in our opinion, have an even bigger opportunity.

"We see opportunities from the introduction of new product services and categories, prospective savings from the use of technology, perhaps cheaper costs, and an overall increase in company efficiency as technology is more used over the next 5–10 years," they explained.

"These firms span industries such as internet, fintech, software, IT services, consumer services, and insurance, and can use digital asset technology to provide a wide range of services such as payments, trade finance, custodianship, supply chain management, automation, and consulting," according to the UBS report.

UBS predicted a crypto winter in January, citing expectations of Fed rate hikes and regulation. Widespread bitcoin speculation "invariably" necessitates increased regulatory regulation.


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