Indian Government Again Discussing Ban on Cryptocurrencies —Apr 26, Coindesk
The government of India is said to be renewing its efforts to completely outlaw public cryptocurrencies. A recent report citing anonymous “government officials aware of details” said that a number of government departments in India have backed the idea of a complete ban on the issuance and trading of cryptocurrencies. Banks in India were barred by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last year from serving cryptocurrency firms and exchanges. Since then, a number of exchanges have filed legal petitions to overturn the RBI ban. The next Indian supreme court hearing regarding the subject is scheduled to take place in July.
High-Speed Traders Don’t See an Alternative to Tether—May 2, The Block
The ongoing Tether-NYAG dispute surprisingly did not reflect significantly on the price of tether over the past week. There are not many opportunities to short tether at the moment, because a lot of institutional investors are unwilling to lend the stablecoin out due to increased risk. Given the popularity of USDT, no other stablecoins in the market can substitute for it in the near future.
Facebook Seeks $1B for FB Coin Amid Talks With Visa, MasterCard—May 3, Cointelegraph
Citing people familiar with the plans, it was revealed that Facebook is talking to major payment networks—namely Visa and MasterCard—about potential support, along with payment processor First Data Corp. Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, dubbed “FB Coin,” has been fuelling rumors for about a year. According to the rumors, Facebook wants to provide in-house payments to users. As more information reaches the outside, it appears various payment options are under consideration by executives, including payments via users’ Facebook profiles.
OUR OPINION: Facebook is clearly looking to extend its reach into our lives by creating something in the form of a mobile wallet focusing on banking-like services for its users. Banks’ revenue per customer is said to be $800 per year, while Facebook’s average revenue per user is $7 per year. Putting these numbers together, Facebook adding payment services represents an opportunity for 100x growth. With its existing enormous ecosystem, Facebook could quickly grow—or even enforce—the adoption of their own cryptocurrency, even if in a more centralized way. An interesting thought here is that Facebook will not necessarily compete directly with other public blockchains such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, but rather with services like Google Pay and Apple Pay.
BTC/USD Trading at a $400 Premium on Bitfinex
The Bitfinex BTC/USD price difference on Bitfinex compared to the BTC/USD pair on BitMex has crossed $400 today, which is the highest it’s been since November when BTC broke $6k and fell by nearly 50%.
One trader says, “This price difference is a measure of the market’s lack of confidence in Bitfinex’s solvency. The simplest interpretation is that insiders who were confident in solvency are losing confidence and getting out and this will not end well.”.
The situation with Bitfinex’s premium, while at the time of this writing bitcoin is trading at north of $6k, means that people are willing to pay a premium for bitcoin in order to get out of USDT, which is only 74% backed by USD or equivalent assets, so many consider it a very risky position to hold. Meanwhile, the USDT price on Bitfinex remains steadily above its $1 peg, trading at $1.05, while most other exchanges where USDT trading pairs are available have it trading below $0.99. This percentage difference is then reflected in the $400 premium evident on Bitfinex.