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Bitcoin Slumps More than 10% as Fears of Crackdown of Cryptocurrencies Grew

Bitcoin fell 11.1% from Friday to $9,855 early on Monday, its lowest since July 2

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Bitcoin, Fear, Cryptocurrencies
FILE - Bitcoins created by enthusiast Mike Caldwell are seen in a photo illustration at his office in Sandy, Utah. VOA

Bitcoin slumped more than 10% over the weekend to a two-week low as fears of a crackdown of cryptocurrencies grew on mounting scrutiny of Facebook’s planned Libra digital coin.

Bitcoin fell 11.1% from Friday to $9,855 early on Monday, its lowest since July 2. The original cryptocurrency slumped 10.4% on Sunday alone, its second-biggest daily drop this year.

It was last up 1.3% at $10,319.

Politicians and financial regulators across the world have called for close scrutiny of Facebook’s Libra coin, with concerns ranging from consumer protection and privacy to its potential systemic risks given the social media giant’s global reach.

Bitcoin, Fear, Cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin slumped more than 10% over the weekend to a two-week low as fears of a crackdown of cryptocurrencies grew on mounting scrutiny. Pixabay

In a sign of widening U.S. attention, a proposal to prevent big technology companies from functioning as financial institutions or issuing digital currencies has been circulated for discussion by Democratic lawmakers, according to a copy of the draft legislation seen by Reuters.

U.S. President Donald Trump had last week criticized bitcoin, Libra and other cryptocurrencies, demanding that firms seek a banking charter and subject themselves to U.S. and global regulations if they wanted to “become a bank”.

Bitcoin, which initially shrugged off Trump’s Tweet, fell sharply after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell called for a halt to Facebook’s project until concerns from privacy to money laundering were addressed.

“Together they have increased the tail risk that the U.S. will look to crack down on it in some way,” said Jamie Farquhar, portfolio manager at crypto firm NKB Group in London.

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Underscoring the growing attention on Facebook’s plans, Japanese authorities have also set up a working group to look at Libra’s possible impact on monetary policy and financial regulation, government sources told Reuters.

European Central Bank policymaker Benoit Coeure is due to deliver a preliminary report on the matter at a meeting of G7 finance ministers this week in Chantilly, north of Paris.

Bitcoin climbed nearly 55% in nine days after Facebook unveiled its plans for Libra on June 18, touching an 18-month high of nearly $14,000. The project has boosted hopes among some investors that cryptocurrencies could gain wider acceptance. (IANS)

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UNICEF Accepting Donations in Cryptocurrencies Ether and Bitcoin

If digital economies and currencies have the potential to shape the lives of coming generations, it is important that we explore the opportunities they offer.

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UNICEF, Donations, Cryptocurrencies
This is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF. Pixabay

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has now started accepting donations in cryptocurrencies ether and bitcoin through its newly-established UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund.

The first contributions to the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund will be received from the Ethereum Foundation and will benefit three grantees of its Innovation Fund and a project coordinated by the GIGA initiative to connect schools across the world to the Internet.

“This is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF. If digital economies and currencies have the potential to shape the lives of coming generations, it is important that we explore the opportunities they offer. That’s why the creation of our Cryptocurrency Fund is a significant and welcome step forward in humanitarian and development work,” Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF, said in a statement.

When the charitable organisation receives a cryptocurrency donation, it will not cash it out for a national currency.

UNICEF, Donations, Cryptocurrencies
The first contributions to the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund will be received from the Ethereum Foundation and will benefit three grantees of its Innovation Fund and a project coordinated by the GIGA initiative to connect schools across the world to the Internet. Pixabay

Instead, it will hold onto the bitcoin or ether and send the funds to a charitable cause in that same tender.

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The launch of the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund is part of the organisation’s ongoing work with Blockchain technology. (IANS)