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| August 19, 2018

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Trump escalates his criticism of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes

July 21, 2018 |

Before this week, it had been more than a quarter-century since a sitting U.S. president publicly pressured the independent Federal Reserve on interest rates.

On Friday, President Trump did it for the second day in a row.

In unprecedented back-to-back statements, Trump escalated his criticism of…


L.A. Times – Business

Federal Reserve says U.S. economy is in a sweet spot despite the trade war

July 14, 2018 |

The U.S. economy is in a sweet spot where it’s growing but not overheating, the Federal Reserve said Friday in its latest official report to Congress.

Growth is solid, unemployment is low and price increases are modest, the Fed said. The only real notes of caution in the 63-page report were sharply…


L.A. Times – Business

US Federal Reserve Launches Cryptocurrency Index

June 22, 2018 |

US Federal Reserve Launches Cryptocurrency Index

This week the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis added cryptocurrency to their Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) database. It’s a seemingly small gesture, but one that signals to most observers crypto’s maturation, at least in the eyes of arguably the most important central banking institution in the world.  

Also read: Troll Slayer: Derek Magill Defends Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash Against Defamation

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Adds Four Cryptos to its FRED Database

“FRED has added four series on the prices of different cryptocurrencies,” the St. Louis Federal Reserve posted without much fanfare this week, including “Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The price data are updated daily and span from as early as 2014 to the present. All data were obtained from Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange company, whose overall digital asset performance is depicted in the above graph (Coinbase Index).”

The St. Louis Fed is one of 12 regional banks within the system, collectively constituting the most powerful central bank on the globe. Known to be part of the 8th District, which includes midwestern Fed banks, it is also considered an economic research powerhouse.

US Federal Reserve Launches Cryptocurrency Index

It maintains its FRED database at its famed research division. The bank uses more than half of a million data points, derived from 81 sources. Exchange rates, GDP, interest rates, consumer indexes, banking, producer price indexes, among other sectors, comprise its focus. FRED-published statistics carry massive weight in the professional financial world.

That some government agency creates yet another index isn’t particularly newsworthy. However, that both proponents and opponents frequently set cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin cash (BCH) as distinctly operating in defiance of central banks, and how the Fed appeals to crypto bank Coinbase for its metric, means decentralized currencies have come of age.

Out Ahead

Going forward, it would also appear as Coinbase adds more currencies perhaps FRED would be compelled to monitor them as well. Whatever the case, the St. Louis Fed has been consistently out ahead of most central banks and economists when it comes to crypto.US Federal Reserve Launches Cryptocurrency Index

That’s a marked contrast to its brethren. Atlanta’s Fed bank openly chastised younger investors to steer clear of crypto. The San Francisco branch pegged bitcoin core’s (BTC) price considerably lower than its near $ 6,000 present figure, insisting one BTC is probably worth around the cost of mining, slightly under $ 2,000 per coin. Even the Minneapolis Fed, in trying to be charitable, urged ignoring the currency aspect altogether and instead look toward ‘blockchain technology.’

Again, the St. Louis Fed thinks differently. Just a few months ago it caused a stir within the ecosystem by publishing a meditation on BTC, putting forth the idea it can be considered alongside the dollar. Its Governor James Bullard, however, is much more cautious. Acknowledging crypto as being a real future of money, he explained, “Cryptocurrencies may unwittingly be pushing in the wrong direction in trying to solve an important social problem, which is how best to facilitate market-based exchange.”

Is the arrival of a FRED crypto index important? Let us know in the comments. 


Images via the Pixabay, FRED.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post US Federal Reserve Launches Cryptocurrency Index appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Golix Exchange Files Lawsuit Against Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Cryptocurrency Ban

May 23, 2018 |

Golix Exchange Files Lawsuit Against Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's Cryptocurrency Ban

On May 13 2018, the Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe (RBZ) issued guidelines in a circular that detailed cryptocurrency activities taking place within the country are now banned. The RBZ further stated that domestic digital currency operations had sixty days to become compliant. Local reports now reveal the Zimbabwe-based cryptocurrency exchange Golix plans to take the central bank to court for banning digital assets, as the firm emphasizes that the RBZ has no authority to ban cryptocurrencies across the country.

Also read: How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core, Part 4 of 4

Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe Faces Legal Backlash

Last week cryptocurrency enthusiasts and businesses in Zimbabwe got some bad news as the central bank decided to ban all digital currency activities. The RBZ warned about the ‘risks’ involved with cryptocurrencies and told financial institutions not to deal with digital asset businesses.

Golix Exchange Files Lawsuit Against Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's Cryptocurrency Ban
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe released a circular which effectively banned cryptocurrencies this month.

The ban would affect Localbitcoins trades within the region alongside the country’s three exchanges Golix, Bitfinance, and Styx24. News.Bitcoin.com spoke with Golix representative Tawanda Kembo last month when the exchange installed a Bitcoin ATM. Our newsdesk also received an email from the Golix exchange shortly after the ban.         

“On Friday, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe issued a statement to all banks instructing them to stop providing bank accounts to cryptocurrency companies within the next sixty days,” the Golix exchange explains.  

This means that unless the central bank changes its position prior to the expiry of the sixty-day window, you will not be able to send or receive fiat currencies for cryptocurrency trades.  

Golix Exchange Files Lawsuit Against Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's Cryptocurrency Ban
According to the regional publication Zimeye.net, Golix is taking the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to the High Courts.

Golix Files a Lawsuit Against the RBZ with the High Court

Shortly after the email, the regional publication Zimeye.net reported that Golix was now planning to “slap a lawsuit” against the RBZ for issuing a countrywide cryptocurrency ban. Golix says they are taking the central bank to the High Court and state that the RBZ governor has no experience with managing a local currency giving him no right to ban it. The exchange argues that the central bank has no authority to ban digital currencies and only parliament has the means to make such laws.  

”I submit that the ban in effect outlaws and classifies as illegal Applicant’s operations,” a Golix official said to the Zimeye publication.

The respondents are in fact purporting to classify the trade in cryptocurrency as illegal. That will amount to law making, a function that belongs to the legislature and not the respondents. Respondents are thus clandestinely usurping Parliament’s law making powers.

Golix Has Yet to Receive Instructions From Their Bank — Continues Business as Usual

News.Bitcoin.com reached out to Golix for further information on this lawsuit but has yet to hear back from the exchange. According to other reports, even though the RBZ has issued a ban in its circular to banking institutions concerning virtual currencies, Golix is still organizing an initial coin offering (ICO). “Thus far we are yet to receive instructions from our bank as to what will happen, if at all anything. Once we do, we will update,” an official from the Golix exchange detailed.

What do you think about the Golix exchange slapping a lawsuit against the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Golix. 


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Golix Exchange Files Lawsuit Against Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Cryptocurrency Ban appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto

May 16, 2018 |

Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto

St. Louis Federal Reserve President, James Bullard, was recently interviewed at this year’s Consensus conference in New York City. That a top US economic policy maker was in attendance is victory enough; however, he was asked his opinions on cryptocurrency going forward by CNBC Global Markets Reporter Seema Mody. He explained he found the phenomenon “interesting,” and how more cryptos being issued all time necessitates keeping an “eye” on them. Mr. Bullard also compared the use case for cryptocurrencies with that of the dollar, and whether the former posed a threat to the latter.  

Also read: Bitpay Enables Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) for Tax Payments

Federal Reserve President Attends Crypto Conference

Federal Reserve President, James Bullard, gave a presentation at this year’s giant Consensus conference in New York City. Reread that sentence. A sitting Fed policy maker thought it important enough to attend a crypto soiree. That’s news enough. But more importantly, President Bullard gave a presentation on the government’s current thinking about cryptocurrency.

In his talk, he acknowledged crypto is facilitating trade that might otherwise not occur. He couldn’t help himself by mentioning illegal activity (and we all know fiat currencies are never used in illegal activity), but he did describe decentralized money’s lean toward frictionless transactions (especially with regard to costs/fees) as being an advancement.

Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto
Mr. Bullard and Ms. Mody

The Fed policy maker reserved the bulk of his comments, both in the presentation and during a post-game interview with CNBC, to talk about the problems in crypto as he sees them. One issue is simply the number of currencies being offered. The 12th St. Louis Fed President feels this over complicates matters, especially with regard to exchange rates and volatility.

Asked if cryptocurrencies pose a threat to the dollar, Mr. Bullard, 56, answered he didn’t think so. Global Markets Reporter Seema Mody, who is covering Consensus for CNBC this year, quickly followed up with a “but it could be?” The Fed President was noncommittal, choosing instead to shrug and give the pat answer about no one really knowing what the future holds. He emphasized how since its creation the US dollar has vanquished nearly all currency competition due to its being backed by the world’s strongest economy. It’s abundantly clear, Mr. Bullard suggested, people want the dollar and not crypto … at least at the moment.

Fed Coin on the Horizon?

Ms. Mody pressed Mr. Bullard about his presence at the conference, asking if this was a hint of things to come with regard to a future coin birthed by the Fed, a Fed Coin? Interestingly he didn’t dismiss the idea outwardly, and instead said they’d for sure look at the possibility, as the Fed does with many different types of financial innovations. He also assured there wasn’t any plan being hatched at the moment, no imminent Fed Coin coming. Mr. Bullard also wondered aloud what the gains would be by creating such a coin. He smiled subtly, assuring he’s keeping an “open mind.”

Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto

His comments seem to be less strident than statements issued by the St. Louis Fed on the very subject not even one month ago. “The St. Louis Federal Reserve has published an essay critically evaluating the notion of cryptocurrencies that are issued by central banks,” we detailed. “The article is highly dismissive in presenting what it describes as ‘the non-case for central bank cryptocurrencies,’ concluding that ‘a central bank will not issue cryptocurrencies in the sense of a truly decentralized and permissionless asset that allows users to remain anonymous.’”

A rather curious fact about the St. Louis Fed, one of twelve jurisdictions in the Federal Reserve system (the 8th district serves Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas), is how it has recently become very chatty about crypto. As these pages reported back at the beginning of this year, “Aleksander Berentsen and Fabian Schär of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis have recently published an article that emphasizes many of the benefits of cryptocurrencies. The article states that ‘cryptoassets are well suited to become an important asset class,’ in addition to offering praise regarding a number of the major applications associated with cryptocurrencies.”

Do you think a Fed president attending a crypto conference is meaningful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, Twitter.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Wells Fargo will need a formal vote from the Federal Reserve before growth restrictions are lifted

May 11, 2018 |

Wells Fargo & Co. will have to receive formal approval in a vote taken by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors before its growth restriction is lifted, Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell has decided — a move that could cut into the bank’s profits.

Powell disclosed his determination in a letter Thursday…


L.A. Times – Business

Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn’t Currency

April 23, 2018 |

Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn't Currency

The current president and chief executive officer of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, and the man expected to soon be the New York Federal Reserve Bank, John Williams, has rejected the suggestion that cryptocurrencies comprise currency.

Also Read: Trading Sanctions Imposed on Tezos Co-Founder Amid FINRA Settlement

New York Federal Reserve Nominee Rejects Cryptocurrencies as ‘Currencies’

Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn't CurrencyMr. Williams, the man nominated to head the New York Federal Reserve, has stated that “Cryptocurrency doesn’t pass the basic test of what a currency should be.”

Mr. Williams asserted that currencies should comprise “basically something with a store of value,” also emphasizing the need for currencies to be “elastic” in order to adapt to a wide range of economic conditions and circumstance. Despite the criticisms, Mr. Williams failed to further elaborate on how cryptocurrencies fail to or could better fulfill the aforementioned monetary functions.

The current San Francisco Federal Reserve president also stated that “The idea of the supply of currency and thinking about currency really belongs more in the sphere of government and central banks. My view is it’s really more of a promise of technology.” At least, Mr. Williams acknowledged that his extensive experience in central banking had left him “very biased” regarding issues pertaining to cryptocurrency.

Mr. Williams also criticized “The setup [and] institutional arrangement[s] around bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” claiming that the cryptocurrency sphere suffers from “problems with fraud, problems with money laundering, terror financing. There’s a lot of problems there,” Mr. Williams stated.

Mr. Williams is expected to be appointed as the head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank in June when the current president, William Dudley, will step away from the position.

U.S. Federal Reserve Officials Criticize Cryptocurrency

Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn't CurrencyMr. Williams’ comments come following weeks of increasingly hostile rhetoric issued representatives of various federal reserve banks in the United States.

At the start of April, Federal Reserve Board of Governor member, Lael Brainard, indicated that the institution is “monitoring is the extreme volatility evidenced by some cryptocurrencies.”

For instance, Bitcoin rose over 1,000 percent in 2017 and has fallen sharply in recent months,” Mrs. Brainard said. “These markets may raise important investor and consumer protection issues, and some appear especially vulnerable to money-laundering concerns.”

At the end of March, the president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Raphael Bostic, rejected the proposition that cryptocurrencies comprise money. Mr. Bostic discouraged consumers from investing in the virtual currency markets, stating “Don’t do it. They are speculative markets. They are not currency. If you have money you really need, do not put it in these markets.’’

In January, the president of the Federal Reserve bank of Chicago, Charles Evans, stated that bitcoin is “Not money-like at the moment,” adding that cryptocurrency investors are “swimming with all the sharks in the world because of all the anonymity.’’

Do you think that cryptocurrencies fulfill the basic functions associated with ‘money’ or ‘currency’? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikipedia


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The post Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn’t Currency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Sen. Elizabeth Warren pushes Federal Reserve to hold formal vote on Wells Fargo reform plan

April 4, 2018 |

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is requesting that the Federal Reserve Board of Governors hold a formal vote on whether to accept a plan from Wells Fargo & Co. to address consumer abuses.

In a letter to Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell released Tuesday, Warren said it was important for Senate-confirmed…


L.A. Times – Business

Top Federal Reserve pick, another white male, criticized for Wells Fargo oversight

April 4, 2018 |

The Federal Reserve’s top official on the West Coast has been chosen to head its powerful New York regional bank, putting a seasoned economist into a key monetary policymaking role to help offset new Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell’s lack of an economics background.

But the choice of John C. Williams,…


L.A. Times – Business

Despite stumbling before the financial crisis, Federal Reserve would get new discretion in Senate banking bill

March 13, 2018 |

As the financial system teetered on the brink of meltdown in the fall of 2008, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan — known for years as “the Oracle” — admitted he had been blindsided by the housing crash and breakdown in the credit markets.

“This crisis … has turned out to be much broader…


L.A. Times – Business