7.30am MORNING HEADLINES
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of all things cryptocurrency, including price, regulation, innovation and financial crime.
Bitcoin is currently priced at $11,587, a $487 rise on the day so far. Ethereum is at $964 with ripple at $1.22.
The big news this morning comes from Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England who told students at London’s Regent’s University that bitcoin has “pretty much failed” as a currency by standard benchmarks and is neither a store of value nor a useful way to buy items.
Mr Carney said: “It has pretty much failed thus far on … the traditional aspects of money. It is not a store of value because it is all over the map. Nobody uses it as a medium of exchange.”
Read the full report here.
Updates below throughout the day….
9.39am – UPDATE – Venezuela prepares Petro launch
Venezuela is preparing to launch its very own cryptocurrency today and President Nicolas Maduro hopes the digital currency will help the country make financial transactions and get around Western economic sanctions.
He said: “The difference with this crypto-currency is that the government says it is backed by one barrel of oil, so it’s a way for the Venezuelan government to say that this currency has some extra real-world value.”
Matthew Newton, Analyst at eToro, told Express.co.uk that the Venezuelan government is looking to take advantage of one of the key features of cryptocurrencies – decentralisation.
He said: “Through ICOs, cryptocurrencies have shown that start-ups have been able to circumvent traditional finance and fundraising by reaching a global audience through technology and pitching their ideas directly. With Petro, we are witnessing this opportunism on a much grander scale, and the first of its kind.
“Other sanctioned nations will be watching closely as Petro could set a precedent. In our view, if Petro goes ahead and the Venezuelan government manages to raise a considerable amount from investors, this could bring more international scrutiny from regulators.
“However, this will also enhance the power of cryptocurrencies’ decentralised component. If sovereignty is enhanced through cryptocurrencies, and regulators are unable to do anything about it, what more is there left to prove? Cryptocurrencies will be truly decentralised.”
8.03am – UPDATE – New low realised
BTC has recovered 88 percent from the $6000 low posted on February 6th.
In other news, a South Korean cryptocurrency official who was in charge of developing policies to regulate Bitcoin has been found dead at his home in Seoul.
Jung Ki-joon, Head of the Economic Policy Coordination Office for the South Korean Government, is thought to have suffered a heart attack while sleeping on Saturday night.
Mr Jung had been handed a new job leading the Seoul crack down on the cryptocurrency industry near the end of last year.
Read the full report here.