Reasons to Be Bullish About Bitcoin & Other Cryptocurrencies, According to Prominent Economics Professor

Panos Mourdoukoutas, an economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has argued that there are “a couple of signs” that the current cryptocurrency market rally could be “sustainable.”

Mourdoukoutas, who earned his Phd from the Stony Brook University, noted in a Forbes post (published on February 21st) that digital asset prices may continue to increase because the latest market rally “extended to the entire cryptocurrency chain.” Mourdoukoutas pointed out that the value of “only seven cryptocurrencies out of the top 100” depreciated in the past week.

Commenting on the recent surge in cryptoasset prices, Michael Noel, the CEO of Blockchain Consultants, remarked: 

Interestingly, it appears that the momentum behind the recent Bitcoin rise comes more from fiat and stablecoins than from other cryptocurrencies. This move from fiat currencies shows at least some consensus that BTC value, is better long term than in traditional currencies.

Bitcoin Usage Has Been "Really High Recently"

Noel added that the latest digital asset rally may also be partially attributed to increased enterprise interest in the crypto market. Established financial service providers and organizations including Western Union, the leading money transfer company, has been working closely with crypto firms such as American fintech Ripple Labs - in order to expedite cross-border payments.

Nasdaq, the world’s second largest stock exchange, recently introduced a new bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) tracking index. Meanwhile, Mastercard has been working with crypto payments solutions provider, Stellar - in order to make it easier to send money globally.

Bitcoin acceptance rates also appear to be increasing as Mati Greenspan, the senior market analyst at eToro, a leading social trading platform, revealed recently that BTC usage has been “really high recently.” Additionally, Greenspan mentioned that Google searches about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have picked up again.

JPMorgan Coin May Have Helped Legitimize Crypto Industry

Jeff Ramson, the founder and CEO of PCG Advisory, Inc., a company “dedicated to adding value in the small-cap, micro-cap and blockchain/cryptocurrency marketplace”, remarked:

Each day we are hearing of more well-known fiduciaries, banks, funds, etc. investing into crypto/blockchain infrastructure, and I believe Bitcoin is the proxy for most who want to have exposure to the crypto asset class, while these markets develop.

Ramson continued: “While not significant to the price of Bitcoin, in reality, [the introduction of JPMorgan’s own cryptocurrency or coin] has also given additional credibility to the space, which is helping with the price of Bitcoin; and I believe, this acceptance will help sustain the crypto asset class for the long run.”

Russia Will Not Legalize Facebook's Libra Says Top Official

A top Moscow official has said that Facebook's planned new cryptocurrency Libra will not be legalized Russia, according to a report this week from Russia's state-run news agency TASS.

Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, said Russia would not legalise the Libra stablecoin, due for launch next year, as it may pose a threat to the country's financial system.

No Russian Liberty for Libra

While Aksakov acknowledged Russians would be able to buy Libra on international cryptocurrency exchange platforms, he warned that the creation of any domestic mechanisms of exchange would be limited, or even prohibited.

TASS quoted Aksakov as saying:

With regard to the use of Facebook cryptocurrency as a payment instrument in Russia at this stage - my opinion is that in our country it will be banned.

He added that in Russia there were no plans to adopt legislation that "gives space for active use of crypto-tools created in the framework of open platforms and blockchains" that may pose a threat to Russia's financial system.

International Ministers Speak Out

Aksakov is not the first financial minister to express concerns over Facebook's cryptocurrency plans and their potential to damage sovereign currency markets and financial stability.

On Tuesday, French economy minister Bruno Le Maire, said that global governments must ask Facebook for "guarantees" that Libra will not be aimed as a disruptive force against sovereign currencies.

Facebook's plans have US government and regulatory officials so rattled that a Senate hearing by the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee has been scheduled for July 16. The government has asked Facebook to halt work on the project until the hearings have been held.

Sherrod Brown, senior Senator for Ohio and the Democratic Party's ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, said on his Twitter feed on Tuesday: "Facebook is already too big and too powerful, and it has used that power to exploit users’ data without protecting their privacy. We cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight."

While Aksakov has major concerns about the growth of the cryptocurrency sector, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said on Wednesday that the Russian government was set to adopt the country's crypto bill "On Digital Financial Assets" in the next two weeks.