This article has been written by CedarFX
2021 is shaping up to be the year of Bitcoin. After a brief overshadowing by the retail stock frenzy that took hold of Wall Street at the end of January, Bitcoin’s market price has spiked a whopping 15% in the first week of February. The world’s foremost cryptocurrency sent shockwaves through the crypto community as it neared the $40,000 mark. The crypto also made it into Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter bio; #Bitcoin, indeed.
So, what caused this BTC boost?
Visa – formerly one of Bitcoin’s foes – has recently announced a mammoth plan that will facilitate the roll-out of bitcoin-buying services by banks to the general public.
While Bitcoin is undoubtedly increasing in popularity, it appears that people are less eager to spend their coins. Head of crypto at Visa, Cuy Sheffield, explained that they view Bitcoin as digital gold. For this reason, Visa’s strategy focuses on purchasing Bitcoin rather than using it as an alternative means of payment.
The global payment provider has laid out a roadmap that aims to make cryptocurrency trading more accessible than ever before, by introducing a Visa crypto software program. The company has partnered up with the digital bank First Boulevard, based in Kansas, which will pilot the APIs designed to enable crypto integration for Visa’s clients.
First Boulevard focuses on creating generational wealth among the black community. It is expected that the company will be the first neobank to allow users to purchase, withdraw and trade digital assets being held by the digital-asset bank, Anchorage, which is also federally-chartered.
Rumour has it that Visa’s plans will come into fruition later on in 2021, one year after the company’s rival, PayPal, announced its own cryptocurrency endeavours. Paypal’s plan to enable crypto transactions through its platform is believed to have been the major driving force behind the major BTC bull-run of 2020, which saw the cryptocurrency’s price jump over 200% since last October. With Visa’s latest announcement, the sky is truly the limit.
Is Bitcoin the new GameStop?
The GameStop saga captured the attention of investors and laymen throughout the past few weeks, but new data suggests that Bitcoin could steal the show once again. Reports doing the rounds on Twitter and Reddit indicate that hedge funds have been heavily shorting Bitcoin with positions worth a total of approximately $1 billion.
Since Bitcoin began its record-breaking uphill climb in October 2020, the volume of short positions opened by hedge funds and big-time investors also reached an all-time high. Will social media come to the crypto’s defence and push Bitcoin even higher? With support from major financial companies such as Visa and Paypal, it appears that short-sellers may be in for another nasty surprise.
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