Private businesses and government agencies around the world are testing the capabilities of the distributed ledger (DLT), which is well known to those who settle in bitcoin and other digital currencies. Germany has expanded the protocol's capabilities by introducing payments in the official currency.
The Bundesbank, which is involved in this project together with Deutsche Boerse and the German government's Debt Agency, recently announced that it is the first interbank entity in the world that will allow securities traders on blockchain platforms to receive income from the Central Bank.
Germany does not plan to stop, going to extend the protocol to the entire euro area even before the launch of the digital euro.
According to the representatives of the Bundesbank, the participants in the chain have demonstrated that it is possible to establish a technological bridge between blockchain technology and conventional payment systems to settle securities in central bank money with no need to create central bank digital currency.
In total, six banks were involved in the test: Citibank, Commerzbank, DZ Bank, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, and Societe Generale. During testing on the blockchain, a 20-year benchmark government loan bond was issued.
Transactions were calculated using the blockchain through the "trigger chain" scheme, which connects assets from the distributed registry with the Eurocurrency payment system (Target 2).
It should be noted that proponents of progressive views in the use of cryptocurrencies often focus on the shortcomings of traditional financial instruments. NFT tokens gradually, but inexorably, win back all new markets, having a number of advantages, in particular, ignoring inflationary mechanisms.
Now, the European Central Bank is exploring the possibility of creating a digital euro, most likely based on the same blockchain. It is planned to complete the development by 2026.
However, the top officials of the Bundesbank watched the project without interest, later stating that the introduction of such a settlement scheme at the present time could destabilize the economy, distracting depositors from investing in bonds during the crisis.
It is a pity, because in this way the Central Bank of Germany could well attract additional savings of the progressive part of citizens.
Meanwhile, Elon Musk announced the possibility of calculating buyers for Tesla cars in bitcoins. In view of recent scandals and the active reshaping of the electric car market by Volkswagen and Geely, which are stepping on Tesla's heels, such a move once again brings the company to the flagships of innovative technologies.
It will be possible to buy a Tesla with BTC by the end of the year. Musk has no plans to force buyers to cash out the cryptocurrency. It is possible to pay for the purchase directly using bitcoin.
Other major manufacturers, such as General Motors Co, are still reticent about the idea of paying through crypto systems. India has come very close to a complete ban on cryptocurrencies. However, the situation can change at any time.
Interestingly, Microsoft Corporation president Brad Smith is also skeptical about the legalization of digital money. He believes that money supply should be managed by an organization that is responsible to society and thinks about its interests, that is, the government. He further admitted that he is not a fan of cryptographic currencies. However, Smith is easily suspected of bias. After all, he not only hopes to grab a quarter of the funds allocated to fight cyberattacks as part of the Biden package. So, recently, data on the Biden administration's ties to this conglomerate and other tech moguls were made public. Smith's words are especially suspicious amid another round lost to hackers in the fight for the security of user data. Now, Smith is in dire need of an infusion from the budget pocket, and his words can be viewed through the prism of the latest news.
At the same time, official statistics indicate a steady decline in cash as the main means of payment.
The pandemic has contributed to this process by accelerating the transition to cashless transactions and digital payments, and recent massive government subsidies and savings from isolation have fueled interest in bitcoin and its brethren. Bitcoins and tokens are now considered both as an investment and as a settlement tool, but their nature is different.
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Politicians are concerned about this situation with the outflow of investment from traditional instruments - stocks and government bonds. One by one, officials are asked to consider the volatility of the markets. But, how can you stop traders if they are led by Musk?
Back in March 22, Jerome Powell said that the Fed is considering the use of various coins: "We need to be at the forefront of technological solutions, as well as the problems associated with the digital dollar. But there's no hurry."
Agustin Carstens, CEO of BIS, notes that the main catch is that the crypto dollar can not fail for a second. To provide the necessary stability for it, it will take a lot of effort.
Following Powell, the world community warns Oystein Olsen, the manager of Norges Bank in Oslo. "It is unthinkable that bitcoin will replace real currencies. It is far too resource-intensive, far too costly, and most importantly, it doesn't preserve stability." His statement came immediately after the optimistic words of one of the most famous Norwegian businessmen, Kjell Inge Rokke, that in the end he "will be on the right side of the history of monetary relations."
Indeed, bitcoin is causing concern among "green" activists around the world in connection with the excessive consumption of electricity associated with its production. According to a report from Bank of America's Commodities and Derivatives Research Department, the level of thermal pollution has increased by 40 million tons over the past two years. And when bitcoin is trading at a good profit, its energy intensity is about 0.4% of all global energy consumption.
Meanwhile, the Harris Poll shows that about 1 in 10 American adults have never heard of bitcoin. About 50% said they have heard of cryptocurrencies, and 16% are familiar with them well. However, about 61% of the adult population has a poor understanding of how they work.
Despite the survey data, this ratio seems to be a fairly good indicator, considering the large percentage of those who live in rural areas or small towns, where the hand of companies that use terminals for payments and cashing out bitcoins has not yet reached.
In the meantime, bitcoin has again grown by 4%, to $57,140.8, which pleases the hearts of traders around the world. However, after the statement of the head of Micrisoft, the market slightly adjusted and now the price is $56,551.8.
In the meantime, it is advisable to pay attention to the NFT token market.
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