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The International Monetary Fund periodically publishes studies assessing the potential and consequences of the introduction of cryptocurrencies in the market. In the middle of this week, the IMF presented a new report in which he spoke about the risks of recognizing bitcoin as legal tender.
Meanwhile, Russian authorities are expressing concern over the activities of underground miners. Irkutsk Governor Alexander Kobzev sent a letter to the government calling for the introduction of separate tariffs for crypto miners, who have sharply increased energy consumption in 2021.
Noteworthy is the statement of Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev. He emphasized that Russians retain the right to buy and sell digital currencies on foreign exchanges. This is a revealing statement by the official, since until now the Russian authorities have consistently put pressure on the blockchain industry and forced people to refuse to invest in cryptocurrencies.
What does the growing interest in bitcoin futures indicate?
Institutional investors enter the cryptosphere through a variety of channels. One of the most popular products are futures for bitcoin and other digital currencies. According to Coinbase Institutional, open interest in BTC futures has been steadily growing since the beginning of October. This week, the amount of contracts in the futures market came close to $20 billion.
According to ByBt, Binance and FTX account for the largest share of contracts for this product, at $4.49 billion and $3.36 billion, respectively.
There is another channel that is popular among hedge funds and asset managers – options. Open interest in such products in the middle of this week rose to $11.04 billion. The first place is occupied by the Deribit exchange, the amount of contracts on which exceeds $9.81 billion.
Institutionalists are also entering the realm of digital currencies through Grayscale cryptocurrency trusts. At the moment, this giant manages assets totaling up to $49.5 billion. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust has accumulated BTC worth $36.725 billion.
Russian authorities are afraid of miners?
Irkutsk Governor Alexander Kobzev turned to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy Alexander Novak for help. The head of the region said that this year the volume of energy consumption in the region has risen sharply. Compared to last year, they may be higher by almost 160%.
This trend was the result of the activation of the inhabitants of the Irkutsk region, secretly engaged in mining. Cryptocurrency miners have increased the load on the power grid, and there is a threat of a disruption in the supply of infrastructure facilities. The problem can only be solved with the help of the federal government, according to Kobzev’s letter to Novak.
According to Vedomosti, the governor calls on the Russian government to introduce separate tariffs for miners. In neighboring China, crypto mining has been banned. After that, equipment began to be delivered to the Irkutsk region and launched on the territory of Russia.
Underground mining worries the leadership of many Russian regions. Recently, the Ministry of Energy obliged entrepreneurs mining cryptocurrency to enter into an agreement with electricity suppliers and pay for it at special rates. However, neither businessmen nor citizens are in a hurry to come out of the shadows and prefer to steal electricity.
Russians can still buy bitcoin
The day before, an important statement was made by a representative of the Russian government. Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev reminded citizens that in Russia it is impossible to pay for goods and services with cryptocurrency. However, buying and selling virtual coins on foreign exchanges is not prohibited.
People can freely use the services of marketplaces registered in other jurisdictions. On such platforms, they can register wallets and buy bitcoin or other tokens.
The IMF opposes the legalization of cryptocurrencies
The legalization of military-technical cooperation in El Salvador creates huge problems for the stability of the global financial sector. A dangerous precedent has been set, the International Monetary Fund report says.
Cryptocurrency is not controlled by central banks, respectively, the state is not able to ensure the transparency of such a market. The authorities need to limit the use of decentralized cryptocurrencies in a variety of ways, including tightening monetary policy.
In parallel, central banks should accelerate the development of native tokens (CBDC) pegged to fiat currencies. Citizens and businesses will have an alternative tool that will reduce their attention to bitcoin and other virtual coins. The IMF pays special attention to stablecoins.
The fund’s study says regulators need to force Tether and USDC issuers to disclose the holdings of reserves needed to back the tokens. The capitalization of stablecoins already exceeds $120 billion.
No one controls such tools either, so international structures and the United States need to join forces in developing a regulatory framework for such digital assets, IMF analysts say.
Sources: RBC, ByBt, CoinDesk, Twitter, CoinMarketcap, Vedomosti
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