Crypto Market Sees Green as Facebook and Institutional Investors Show Interest

The crypto and blockchain space was rife with promising news over the past 24 hours, and the markets reacted accordingly. Financial services giant Fidelity Investments, confirmed what many had long surmised: the institutions are coming. Next up was the WSJ, which reported that Facebook is actively recruiting leading payment processors and e-commerce merchants to support its crypto-based payments system. We also learnt that Ethereum 2.0’s first phase is “on track” to go live next month.

Bitcoin (BTC) led the way today, climbing 4.12% to $5,671. As for ether (ETH), it too finished in the green at $163.74 (+0.99%). The MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index enjoyed a 0.85% jump, reaching 2,797.90. (All pricing data is recorded at the time of writing.)

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WSJ: Visa, Mastercard Among Those in Talks to Support Facebook’s Crypto Payments System

Facebook is actively recruiting allies to support its under-construction cryptocurrency-based payments system, per a Thursday report from The Wall Street Journal. Internally dubbed ‘Project Libra’, the blockchain-powered initiative will reportedly feature a U.S. dollar-collateralized stablecoin, which Facebook hopes to collateralize with up to $1 billion in new capital put forth by its launch partners. Companies alleged to be in talks with the social media giant about supporting the cryptocurrency payments network include the world’s two largest payment network operators Visa and Mastercard, payment processors First Data as well as prominent e-commerce merchants. What’s more, the WSJ also reported Facebook is floating the idea of rewarding users with fractions of the stablecoin in exchange for viewing advertisements or even simply spending time on its social platform.

Fidelity U.S. Institutional Survey Augurs Well for Crypto

A ten-week-long survey conducted on behalf of financial services giant Fidelity Investments has indicated U.S. institutional investors view cryptoassets in a positive light. Of the 441 surveyed, roughly 22% revealed they already owned cryptoassets, “with most investments having been made within the past three years,” Fidelity stated in a press release. Among the survey’s various other findings was the fact 47% of institutional investors “view digital assets as having a place in their investment portfolios.” When asked about the obstacles facing the nascent asset class, respondents’ common concerns related to price volatility, regulatory uncertainty, and a lack of guiding fundamentals.

Ethereum PoS Blockchain’s Code ‘On Track’ for June Finalization

Code for Ethereum’s proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain is set to be finalized as early as next month, according to Ethereum Foundation researcher Justin Drake. Speaking in the fortnightly Eth2.0 Implementers Call’s seventeenth instalment, Drake shared he’s “been continuing to fine comb Phase Zero in preparation for the spec freeze, which [is being targeted] for the 30th of June.” Phase Zero represents the first phase of Ethereum’s transition to a PoS network. It will activate a new block validation system in which validators stake tokens on the Ethereum network and vote on different block proposals. Key elements of Ethereum 2.0 like sharding, however, won’t be introduced until later on in the multi-phase roll-out.

JPMorgan: Surging Gold Prices Reflect Lack of Confidence in Central Bank Currencies

Michael LaVere
  • JPMorgan analysts claim gold's rising price is indicative of a lack of confidence in central bank-backed currencies.
  • The report says the economic crisis has generated long-term concern over inflation and fiscal responsibility throughout the world.

JPMorgan analysts claim the recent surge in gold prices indicates an erosion in confidence for central bank-backed fiat currencies. 

According to a Weekly Asset View report authored by John Normand, head of cross-asset fundamental strategy at JPMorgan Chase, investors are raising concerns over the lack of rate differentials for the world’s major reserve currencies, including the USD, EUR, and JPY. 

Normand's team writes that lack of dispersion amongst reserve currencies on the global market should not be “misread as investor comfort with these reserve assets in an era of record budget deficits from high starting levels of indebtedness.”

The report continues, saying the economic crisis has generated long-term concern for “sovereign risk” in Europe and “inflation or fiscal responsibility” throughout the rest of the world. 

The report notes the surge in gold prices since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is an indication of a lack of investor confidence in fiat currencies. While the JPMorgan analysts caution that the move to gold should not be interpreted as a “dollar crisis” in response to loose Federal Reserve policies, it does give an indication of global sentiment towards fiscal policy. 

The report concludes, 

Instead, take this Gold move as a sign of eroding confidence in central bank-generated money generally, a trend that will probably continue until enough growth returns to put fiscal policy on a more efficient path.

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