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Bretton Woods 2.0 is knocking at our door, and it’s not here to help

With a new Bretton Woods agreement, the IMF would get endless decision-making power over our global monetary system, and there is nothing good about that….

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Barely 100 years ago at the start of the 20th century, people were able to exchange dollars for gold at their local bank. While gold was too hard to trade between people, banking institutions held gold and gave people cash for it. This was during what was known as the gold standard. Each sovereign currency’s value was determined relative to a fixed amount of gold. However, in the decades ahead, that standard quickly changed.

Toward the end of World War II, dozens of powerful people organized a meeting to discuss a new monetary agreement designed to minimize the economic damage done by the war. This meeting was named after the location where it took place: Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in the United States.

It was a long-term plan with several parts that spanned over decades. And the Bretton Woods delegates decided that multiple fiat currencies would now be backed by the U.S. dollar as opposed to gold itself. At first, the dollar proved to be stable enough to support the Bretton Woods agreement in 1944 — until it wasn’t in the decades ahead. During the Vietnam War, President Richard Nixon called for more money. There wasn’t any more money in circulation. So, he started printing.

In 1971, President Nixon ended the dollar’s convertibility to gold, which effectively ended the Bretton Woods agreement after nearly 30 years.

The removal of the gold standard turned each country’s fiat currency into a floating exchange rate that was no longer fixed. Money was not measured by the dollar anymore; now, each currency was measured in relation to every other currency, with prices that constantly changed, creating foreign exchange market volatility.

Today, one asset that fiat currencies are measured against is Bitcoin (BTC). As I mentioned in 2019, I think Bitcoin is the best investment when it comes to currencies in the sense of sound money.

In certain countries — such as Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela, to name a few — Bitcoin’s price is currently at an all-time high compared with their national fiat. Relatively speaking, that’d be equivalent to Bitcoin price already being around $20,000.

The problem is that Bitcoin is not ready to be a monetary system in and of itself. Most people who have Bitcoin are just holding it — they’re not selling it or using it as currency due to its potential to rapidly appreciate, despite the downside risks.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund is now calling for a second Bretton Woods era to be announced in 2020. This would establish the Special Drawing Right, or SDR, as the new reserve currency as opposed to the U.S. dollar. The SDR serves as the most stable investment option for the IMF. Its value consists of the top five global fiat currencies as a protection against volatile movements in forex markets. The problem with the SDR approach is that it could make the economic situation even worse than it is today.

History has shown that when people have an inflated amount of power with regard to money, they will use it. Just look at President Nixon during the Vietnam War and the original Bretton Woods agreement in the mid-20th century. Even worse is that now, nearly all central banks are printing more money, which in turn leads to inflation as fiat currencies lose their purchasing power.

We can’t have a single powerful entity with the power to print itself out of temporary trouble, especially while it would be putting us in future debt that would be impossible to manage. This is the opposite of democracy, where only a few people control big monetary decisions that affect everyone. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin aim to solve this dilemma, thanks to their limited supply, among other favorable qualities inherent in blockchain technology.

Blockchain has raised our standards to expect decentralization in the institutions that are meant to serve us. True decentralization is reached when the hierarchy is broken. Everything becomes transparent, and incentives are offered to push the system forward in the right direction.

Sogur, for example, is a startup tackling the ambitious challenge of creating a new monetary system based on its cryptocurrency SGR that models the SDR while leveraging blockchain and an intelligent economic design advised by world-renowned economists.

I like the idea of currency baskets that serve as a much more reliable, stable means of exchange. I don’t like that the IMF gets endless decision-making power over our global monetary system. Blockchain-based solutions are different — they have a foundation that’s governed by an assembly and, for example, can give SGR holders veto power over every decision at any given time.

Blockchain technology can combine the elements of decentralized governance into a classical corporate structure, in order to comply with international laws and Anti-Money Laundering requirements, while using a smart-contract-based bonding curve to tame inflation and volatility, which remain two of the biggest problems with traditional fiat currencies that can be solved.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Charlie Shrem was an early Bitcoin entrepreneur and has been a founding member of the Bitcoin Foundation since 2012, serving as vice chairman from 2012 to 2014. He is best known for founding BitInstant in 2011, one of the first platforms to buy Bitcoin. Starting in 2014, he spent two years in prison for operating an unlicensed money transmission business. Since then, Shrem has served as chief operating officer of Decentral, which developed the cryptocurrency wallet Jaxx, and founded Crypto.IQ. He currently hosts the podcast Untold Stories where he interviews crypto industry leaders.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/bretton-woods-2-0-is-knocking-at-our-door-and-it-s-not-here-to-help

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Cointelegraph

Chainalysis raises $100M in Series E funding led by Coatue

Chainalysis secures its second $100 million investment round in three months.

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Chainalysis has secured hundreds of millions of dollars in the second quarter as venture firms allocate more resources to the emerging blockchain sector.

Chainalysis raises $100M in Series E funding led by Coatue

Blockchain analytics company Chainalysis has secured $100 million in Series E financing, bringing its total valuation to a staggering $4.2 billion and highlighting once again the tremendous growth of the cryptocurrency industry.

The round was led by global investment manager Coatue, with additional participation from 9Yards Capital, Altimeter, Blackstone, GIC, Pictet, Sequoia Heritage and SVB Capital, Chainalysis announced Thursday.

Chainalysis said the funds will go toward expanding its blockchain data capabilities, which includes investing in new data tools, software and APIs.

“We believe blockchain data is the asset that can help public and private sector organizations understand the risks and opportunities surrounding this asset class and promote its adoption safely and successfully,” the company said.

Chainalysis’ valuation has more than doubled in the last quarter thanks to several strategic investments. As Cointelegraph reported, the company closed out a $100 million Series D round in March led by Paradigm, a crypto-focused investment firm. At the time, Chainalysis’ director of communications Maddie Kennedy told Cointelegraph that the funds will be used to expand the company’s enterprise data offering.

Related: Crypto-finance company Amber Group valued at $1B following $100M raise

Mega-million-dollar funding rounds have become commonplace in the cryptocurrency industry over the last six months. Venture firms have poured billions into crypto startups this year alone, with the likes of Andreessen Horowitz going a step further by announcing a new $2.2 billion crypto venture fund.

What’s more, dealmaking seems to be happening irrespective of current market conditions, which marks an important evolution from the 2017 bull market that saw venture funding dry up once the initial coin offering mania faded.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/chainalysis-raises-100m-in-series-e-funding-led-by-coatue

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Crypto miners eye cheap power in Texas, but fears aired over impact on the grid

Can Texas meet the electricity demands of migrating Chinese Bitcoin miners?

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The recent crackdown on crypto mining in China has seen concerns expressed over the potential impact a hashrate migration could have on Texas’ unreliable electricity market, as an increasing number of dislocated miners eye the Lone Star State.

Texas’ abundant sources of renewable energy and highly deregulated power grid make the state an obvious choice for migrating miners from China and elsewhere, with 20% of Texan electricity being generated by wind as of 2019.

Speaking to CNBC, Brandon Arvanaghi, a former security engineer at crypto exchange Gemini, predicted Texas will see “a dramatic shift over the next few months” as miners look to set up shop.

“We have governors like Greg Abbott in Texas who are promoting mining. It is going to become a real industry in the United States, which is going to be incredible,” he said, adding:

“Texas not only has the cheapest electricity in the U.S. but some of the cheapest in the globe.”

Castle Island Ventures’ founding partner, Nic Carter told CNBC that half of the world’s hashing power could ultimately exit China’s borders and will need new homes, stating:

“Every Western mining host I know has had their phones ringing off the hook. Chinese miners or miners that were domiciled in China are looking to Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the U.S., and Northern Europe.”

Global hash rate has fallen by one-third since early May following reports that China’s mining industry would be subjected to stricter supervision.

But is the Texan power grid up to the challenge of providing power for an influx of more crypto miners? The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has just requested that Texans curb their electricity usage amid the recent heatwave that saw many residents turning up their air conditioners earlier this week.

Roughly 12,000 megawatts of generation capacity was offline as of Monday — enough to power 2.5 million homes. ERCOT described the scale of forced outages as “very concerning.”

The regulator warned that a failure to heed the request could result in a repeat of the widespread winter power failures that left 69% of Texans without electricity, and roughly half without water in February. According to Buzzfeed, February’s outages could have resulted in up to 700 deaths in the state.

Angela Walch, a Texas research associate at University College London’s Centre for Blockchain Technologies, tweeted her concerns regarding the share of Texas’ electricity being devoted to Bitcoin mining, emphasizing that her family has been “asked to reduce our air conditioning use, not run washing machines & dryers, etc.”

Obviously, Bitcoin is not the sole cause of this cluster*^% that our poor political leadership in Texas has caused.

But, I am curious to know the portion of the grid it uses. Maybe Bitcoin miners are the first to be shut down in times of grid stress.

— Angela Walch (@angela_walch) June 15, 2021

However Tierion CEO Wayne Vaughan responded by asserting that much of the electricity used to power Texan mining operations comprised stranded resources that “would never be able to reach your home to power your appliances.”

Others argued that wholesale Bitcoin mining operations could actually alleviate Texas’ power issues, with Texas’ seasonal surges in electricity demand incentivizing miners to sell power back to the state’s grid that otherwise go uncaptured.

In September 2020, the Peter Thiel-backed crypto miner Layer1 in West Texas reported it had reaped profits exceeding 700% by selling renewable electricity back to the grid amid surging summer demand.

While up-to-date data for global hashrate distribution is not available, the Cambridge University’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (BECI) estimates that China represented 65% of the world’s hashing power as of April 2020.

Earlier this month, district regulators in Western Xinjiang and Yunnan issued notices mandating the suspension of virtual currency mining enterprises. BECI estimates the two regions account for 40% of the country’s hash rate.

Castle Island Ventures’ founding partner, Nic Carter told CNBC that half of the world’s hashing power could ultimately exit China’s borders and will need new homes, stating:

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/crypto-miners-eye-cheap-power-in-texas-but-fears-aired-over-impact-on-the-grid

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Bitcoin price hits $40K as Paul Tudor Jones slams Fed inflation claims

Bitcoin price action is back at $40,000 as Paul Tudor Jones recommends a 5% BTC portfolio.

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Bitcoin (BTC) passed $40,000 on June 14 as a consolidation period snapped to unleash a solid breakout.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingViewBTC price breaks out past $40,000

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD gaining 3% in under an hour, reaching $40,500 on Bitstamp.

The largest cryptocurrency capitalized on upside which resulted from a new positive tweet from Elon Musk over possible acceptance by Tesla in the future.

Earlier, Cointelegraph reported on traders betting on a leg up to around $47,000 before a correction.

A look at buy and sell positions on major exchange Binance showed support at $38,000, wit resistance at $40,500 the next hurdle for bulls.

Buy and sell levels on Binance as of June 14. Source: Material Indicators/TwitterTudor Jones advocates 5% BTC allocation

Bitcoin reached a $2 trillion market cap because of a “dichotomy” in Federal Reserve policy which “questions” its credibility, says famous trader Paul Tudor Jones.

In an interview with CNBC on June 14, the founder of Tudor Investment Corporation sounded the alarm over advancing inflation.

After last week’s consumer price index (CPI) report showed that U.S. inflation had hit a 13-year high, Bitcoin’s deflationary nature has rarely looked so appealing.

For Tudor Jones, the idea that higher inflation is just temporary due to recent events, as suggested by the Fed and central banks in general, is a myth.

“It’s somewhat disingenuous to say, for them to say, that inflation is transitory,” he told CNBC’s Squawk Box segment.

Today’s environment is entirely different to that which saw episodes of inflation in the past, such as 2013, and as such, there is little sense in the Fed applying the same forecasts.

CPI was much lower then, Tudor Jones noted, while now, unemployment and jobs also roughly equal each other.

Related: Paul Tudor Jones says Bitcoin is ‘like investing early in Apple or Google’

Meanwhile, gold and Bitcoin have provided a refuge for many. Despite the precious metal vastly underperforming Bitcoin in terms of gains, it remains near record highs.

“When you look at the Fed today and the Fed back then, you wonder how can you have such wildly different policy views on what constitutes the right levels for employment, the right levels for inflation,” he continued.

“How can you have that with an eight-year timeframe? It’s almost like a split personality and you wonder why Bitcoin has a $2 trillion market cap and gold’s at $1,865 an ounce. And the reason why is you have this dichotomy in policy that again questions — questions — the institutional credibility of something.”

Ultimately, a 5% Bitcoin allocation is one of the only things he advocates to those seeking portfolio advice.

“I say, ‘OK, listen, the only thing I know for certain is I want to have 5% in gold, 5% in Bitcoin, 5% in cash, 5% in commodities at this point in time,'” he added.

A look at buy and sell positions on major exchange Binance showed support at $38,000, wit resistance at $40,500 the next hurdle for bulls.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-price-hits-40k-as-paul-tudor-jones-slams-fed-inflation-claims

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