Bitcoin

As Egypt Restricts Banking, Bitcoin seen as alternative

COVID-19 is a name that resonates fear. What started in China has now spread to the entire world with European countries affected the most after the USA. The USA currently is leading with maximum cases followed by Italy and Germany. Amidst this havoc, Eygpt’s Central bank is taking all the necessary precautions by limiting cash deposits as well as withdrawals across all its branches.

According to local news reports, the central financial authority has clearly mandated banks to limit the withdrawal to 10,000 Egyptian and 50,000 Egyptian pounds for individuals and business enterprises respectively. Limitations on ATM withdrawals also was initiated at 5,000 pounds. The authority has encouraged people to transact electronically and have asked people to restrict the use of hard cash.

The main reason behind this urgent appeal and decision has been the fear of COVID-19 spread. WHO had earlier claimed that currency notes cannot be a source of spread but the way the virus has spread, it implies that the virus can last pretty long on surfaces including currency notes. 

The Egyptian banking authorities are urging people to adopt the digital wave and bring about a transformation in the manner one makes payments. The need for adoption has been doubly stressed especially when the banks are forgoing the transaction fees for ePayments.

Amidst the commotion, Bitcoin appears as a resurgent tool especially now that people are going cashless due to the virus. There are many pluses when it comes to bitcoin, as there are no losses registered in FX and the settlement of transaction takes place within 30 minutes. Like an invisible hand, the BTC addresses have increased due to COVID-19 fear almost putting economies on standstill.

Digital platforms are being pushed as feasible alternatives. It will prove to be a doubt edged sword which will inculcate habits of using the electronic media as well as ensure people do not touch hard cash often. This would go a long way in ensuring the spread risk is eliminated. 

The virus has made inwards in the country claiming lives. The tourism industry which is what drives the economy has been destroyed as the people across the world have quarantined themselves and restricted their travel. 

Image Source – History.com

Dutch Central Bank Supports Blockchain, Not Cryptocurrencies

De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has declared cryptocurrencies aren’t real money. However, it won’t stop its citizens from using it.

Bank’s Director Says You Cannot Save Cryptocurrencies

Petra Hielkema, the bank divisional director, explained in a bank publication on financial technology (fintech), how cryptocurrencies could not be compared to fiat currencies, what the world considers to be ‘real money.’

She said, ‘If something wants to be treated as money, you have to be able to spend, save and calculate with it. However, things are not often bought with cryptocurrencies, it is too volatile for savings, and its value is expressed in real money. So we do not consider it to be money as such.’

The Dutch finance minister, Wopke Hoekstra, has a similar approach to cryptocurrencies. Earlier this year, he said, ‘Investing in cryptocurrencies is not without risk. In contrast to savings, money put into cryptocurrencies does not fall under a deposit guarantee system, and there is generally no central issuer to claim from in the event of abuse.’

Hielkema also stated people are taking significant risks when they decide to get involved with cryptocurrencies. Nonetheless, the Dutch central bank has no intention of banning citizens from using them.

The Dutch Central Bank Wants To Use Blockchain But Can’t

Like many other institutions and nations, the DNB recognizes the potential of the technology underneath Bitcoin, the blockchain. The bank has reportedly been working and experimenting with blockchain technology over the past three years.

Hielkema revealed the bank developed four prototypes as a result of their research, but their findings concluded the Dutch payment system could not implement the new systems. Nevertheless, the director remains optimistic about future opportunities in which they will successfully implement blockchain technology.

Dutchmen Are Backing Cryptocurrencies At Full Speed

A local news report, the Dutch News, stated half a million Dutch households hold, invest, or trade in cryptocurrencies. According to a study by Statista, there are roughly 7.8 million households in the Netherlands — meaning 6.4% of the nation’s population deals with cryptocurrencies. While it might not be an impressive percentage, this number is rising daily.

The country’s finance minister also said he wants to reach an agreement with credit card companies — he proposes companies should warn their customers against purchasing cryptocurrencies using credit cards.

Remember folks, Crypto is comin!

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