Bitcoin markets reached new all-time highs last week, following a direct listing from Coinbase. The currency pulled back after Turkey announced a ban on Bitcoin payments, in a move intended to protect the local lira. The U.S. continues to see bipartisan support of Bitcoin in forward looking policy.
Turkey Bans Bitcoin As Goldman Sachs Declares Confidence In The Currency
Bitcoin briefly hit a new all-time high around $65,000 before a sharp selloff. The currency is trading at $55,000 at the time of writing. Last Friday, Turkey’s Central Bank announced its plans to ban Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency payments, citing volatility, illegal activity, and regulatory challenges. In recent months, Turkish citizens have heavily relied on Bitcoin as an alternative to the increasingly unstable Turkish lira. Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon stated that his firm cannot trade in Bitcoin principally, but that the currency is "important to the future of global financial systems." Goldman Sachs previously announced plans to offer its private wealth division access to bitcoin-related products.
Bitcoin Gains Acceptance From A Broader Audience
Coinbase made a direct listing on the Nasdaq on Wednesday. Shares are currently trading around $330, valuing the company at $65 billion. English Premier League team Southampton F.C. announced a policy which would allow players to receive their bonuses in Bitcoin. Time Magazine announced an incoming educational Bitcoin series with Grayscale. Additionally, Time Magazine declared that it was holding Bitcoin on its balance sheet and would accept bitcoin for subscriptions. The Swiss branch of insurance company AXA had begun accepting Bitcoin as payment for policies in order to “meet growing demand”. AP7, the Swiss government's alternative pension fund, currently owns Tesla and Square stock. As a result, half of the Swedish population has exposure to bitcoin.
United States Embraces Bitcoin As Inflation Picks Up
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy believes the United States government needs to embrace Bitcoin, stating that “those who are in Government that make policy better start understanding what it means for the future, because other countries are moving forward”. McCarthy was particularly worried about competing with China, where the digital Yuan was recently released. The Senate confirmed digital asset advocate Gary Gensler as the next SEC Chief, following a nomination from Joe Biden in January. March represented the largest monthly gain for the index in two and a half years. Miami has proposed legislation which would allow residents to use Bitcoin to pay their taxes. CPI rose 2.6% in the last 12 months, including 0.6% in March alone.
Turkey provides the most recent example of Bitcoin acting as a viable alternative when fiat currencies fail to facilitate stable economic activity. The market impact on Bitcoin of individual companies or legislative bills speaks to a market that is still very immature. The United States government continues to support Bitcoin adoption as inflation numbers pick up.