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What is the future of cryptocurrency?

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To assess the future of cryptocurrency, we need to start by looking back.

Bitcoin and Ethereum have dropped more than 50% since their all-time highs in late 2021. While there were some modest gains in late 2022, the cryptocurrency market remains relatively stagnant. Some analysts believe cryptocurrency values might fall considerably further before seeing a lasting rebound.

According to a senior market analyst at brokerage firm OANDA, the crypto market might yet undergo one more significant sell-off before it begins to rebound, with Bitcoin plummeting close to $10,000. According to crypto specialist Wendy O, Ethereum is at risk of falling as low as $750, a 50% drop from its current price.

"We're in a full-fledged bear market, not a bear cycle," says one analyst.

"Just because we're seeing some good pricing activity doesn't mean we're out of the woods," says another. "We're now trading around $1,500 for Ethereum, and to be very positive on Ethereum, it would need to see us break over $2,248. That is a 50% price increase."

Furthermore, crypto firms have laid off employees, halted withdrawals, and attempted to offset losses, increasing concerns about the industry's viability.

Terraform Labs went bankrupt in May, but the bear market has affected numerous companies since then. Coinbase, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, stated in June that it was laying off 18% of its workforce. This followed layoffs at other cryptocurrency firms, such as Gemini, BlockFi, and Crypto.com.

Due to "extreme market conditions", crypto bank Celsius unexpectedly ceased withdrawals towards the end of 2022. The future of cryptocurrency hedge firm Three Arrows Capital was also thrown into doubt. When Bitcoin fell below $19,700, alarm bells rang.

Crypto investors should invest between 2 and 5% of their net worth, according to Vrishin Subramaniam, founder and financial planner at CapitalWe.

"We often see 2 to 3% for most clientele who only watch crypto markets weekly", he added.

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Future of cryptocurrency regulation

Lawmakers in Washington DC and worldwide are debating how to create regulations and norms that would make cryptocurrencies safer for investors and less enticing to hackers.

Additional regulation may be the future of cryptocurrency. More regulation might lead to greater stability in the famously turbulent cryptocurrency sector. It could safeguard long-term investors, deter fraudulent conduct inside the crypto ecosystem, and give clear advice to allow enterprises to develop in the crypto economy, if there's a correct balance.

A recent Biden administration paper details potential laws that would increase regulation of the crypto sector. In recent months, US Fed Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and SEC Chairman Gary Gensler have expressed concern about the absence of cryptocurrency regulation.

Despite all the back-and-forth, a few critical themes on the issue of new US cryptocurrency legislation have emerged: preventing cryptocurrency crime and tax fraud, stablecoin regulation, and the possibility for investment vehicles such as crypto ETFs and other funds.

The decentralised nature of digital currencies, which, unlike traditional currencies, are not backed by any organisation or government authority, is a significant appeal for many crypto enthusiasts. However, regulatory guidelines can assist in protecting investors.

"As much as I admire the decentralisation and absence of government involvement, I am pleased they are paying attention since there are many scams with cryptocurrency", says Kiana Danial, author of Cryptocurrency Investing for Dummies.

One potential provision would broaden the definition of a brokerage firm to include entities that handle digital asset trading, such as cryptocurrency exchanges. This move would imply higher tax reporting duty to assist the IRS in tracking crypto tax evasion.

Furthermore, Gensler has stated that stronger legislation is needed to help avoid future ransomware attacks like the one that took down the Colonial Pipeline in May 2021. The pipeline assault was one of several high-profile examples of hackers demanding Bitcoin ransoms.

While Gensler did not specify how the SEC planned to assist in prosecuting these offences, he did state that the agency will continue to use its full authority. The SEC will continue to push its authority as far as it can, Gensler said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado. According to a recent US Treasury assessment, cryptocurrency "poses a serious detection difficulty by promoting illicit conduct, including tax evasion".

Future of cryptocurrency: Stablecoin regulations

The ease with which stablecoins may be exchanged, along with their stable value, has figures like Yellen and Gensler concerned that they pose threats to the financial system and economy. As a result, they must regulate.

Stablecoins, which act as a bridge between cryptos on various blockchains, might make it easier and cheaper to perform trades on an exchange without using fiat currency. Stablecoins are tied to other assets, often less volatile than cryptocurrencies, such as fiat currency or precious metals, and may price them similarly.

Therefore, the coins are more "stable" than other cryptos, whose values fluctuate with the markets.

Assisting in reducing or eliminating potential transaction costs since certain exchanges prefer trading from stablecoins to other cryptos over trades from a dollar-based bank account. Many exchanges, like Coinbase, do not charge fees when converting US dollars for USD Coins, which are used to purchase other cryptocurrencies.

According to a recent study from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Working Group on Financial Markets, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, some stablecoins' purpose is to circumvent money-laundering laws or even finance rogue states or terrorists. This has grown even more prominent in policymakers' minds in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with the possibility that Russia may utilise cryptocurrency to avoid sanctions.

However, there are fears that stablecoins would weaken established US banking institutions, causing financial system difficulties. In other words, the more stablecoins used by investors, the more likely any problems with them would damage the economy. According to White, systemic risks frighten regulators the more, which is why stablecoins are at the tip of the regulatory spear. For example, if you purchased $1,000 worth of stablecoins to decrease or eliminate costs on your cryptocurrency trades, but the stablecoin collapsed before you could utilise it, you'd be down $1,000.

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Author: Emmanuel Baiden

Author: Emmanuel Baiden

7 years experience within the financial services sector most notably in Sales, Trading, research and writing articles within the crypto space. I have a bachelor's degree in International Business and a Master's in Investment and Risk Finance . I am also an associate member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.

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