Russia aims to replace US dollar reserves with digital assets in long term

As Russia continues pushing de-dollarization, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA Russia) is reportedly considering replacing the United States dollar with not only traditional fiat currencies but also digital currencies.Aleksandr Pankin, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, reiterated the country’s plans to reduce the U.S. dollar share in Russia’s international reserves and its usage in settlement with foreign partners in a Tuesday interview with local news agency Interfax.The official said that MFA Russia isn’t excluding the possibility of replacing the U.S. dollar with “some digital assets” alongside other currencies:“It’s possible to replace the U.S. dollar with other currencies, both national and regional, as well as some digital assets in the long term.”Pankin added that such replacement would require significant efforts from the government, including rebuilding established cooperation models between jurisdictions and businesses, as well as creating new mechanisms for new settlement systems.The official noted Russia’s de-dollarization campaign comes in line with the country’s efforts to avoid challenges posed by sanctions from the U.S. government.“Payments in U.S. dollars go through American banks and a clearing system, which allows Washington to block any transactions they deem suspicious,” Pankin said. He added that the Russian government has not faced such issues with the euro or other fiat currencies and doesn’t plan similar measures for any other national currencies so far.Related: ​​Bank of Russia to assess Bitcoin holdings volumes as $36B leave banksFor several years, Russia has been considering steps to cut the U.S. dollar share in its $186-billion national welfare fund. Local authorities are planning to dramatically increase its holdings of Chinese yuan and invest in gold.The latest remarks from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs further reinforce Russia’s apparent interest in using crypto for international settlement. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that it was “a bit early” to use cryptocurrencies for settling oil trades. The president also admitted cryptocurrency’s potential for transferring funds globally.

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The differences in trading in a bullish and bearish market, explained

An automated trading platform can help users identify and execute cryptocurrency trades with less manual effort.  It can be difficult for traders to find the time necessary to spend in front of graphs as they attempt to determine the right time to buy and sell. As a result, many have found that they have lost out on many opportunities since they weren’t on their computers at the right time. Automated trading can help cryptocurrency traders take advantage of as many of these opportunities as possible and addresses many of the problems mentioned above.  TradeSanta is an automated trading platform that helps users automate trades on many of the major exchanges. With automated trading features, users can take advantage of different algorithms to execute trades across multiple accounts and various strategies at one time. The program scans for trading opportunities based on market analytics and calculations and works significantly faster than manual clicking. In the last year, TradeSanta has added TradingView signals for Binance, Huobi, and HitBTСX, all of which are based on the TradingView cryptocurrency screener. The platform has also rolled out the DCA bot for Binance (BNB)Futures in Alpha for the traders with the maximum subscription and added a last cycle option so the bot can finish the current cycle and stop. Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you with all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor can this article be considered as investment advice.

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French central bank pilots blockchain-based CBDC for debt market

The central bank of France continues actively exploring a central bank digital currency (CBDC), completing a significant trial of a blockchain-based CBDC in the country’s debt market.Over 500 institutions in France have participated in a 10-month experiment testing a CBDC issued by Banque de France for government bond deals, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.The CBDC trial was led by Belgium-based financial services firm Euroclear and used a system developed by American technology giant IBM. The CBDC test also involved the French public debt office alongside the central bank and a consortium of major financial companies operating in France, including firms such as BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole CIB, HSBC and Societe Generale.As part of the trial, the participants traded government bonds and security tokens, settling them using a CBDC supplied by the central bank. The project tested use cases of a CBDC in a range of everyday activities, such as issuing new bonds, using them in repurchase agreements, as well as paying coupons and redeeming deals.“We have together successfully been able to measure the inherent benefits of this technology, concluding that the central bank digital currencies can settle central bank money safely and securely,” Euroclear executive Isabelle Delorme said.According to Soren Mortensen, global director of financial markets at IBM, the project “went well beyond previous blockchain initiatives” because it successfully trialed “most central securities depository and central bank processes” while cutting off existing interim steps such as reconciliation between market intermediaries.Related: G7 leaders issue central bank digital currency guidelinesAfter launching an experimental CBDC program in March 2020, the central bank of France has been consistently testing various CBDC use cases. In June, Banque de France tested a CBDC to simulate the settlement and delivery of listed securities in collaboration with Swiss cryptocurrency bank SEBA. Previously, the central bank piloted a CBDC to issue $2.4 million worth of simulated shares using a private blockchain platform.

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Polkadot unveils $770M development fund ahead of parachain auctions

Polkadot (DOT) founder Gavin Wood has unveiled a $777 million development fund ahead of the network’s parachain lease auctions. Wood tweeted on Oct. 17 that Polkadot’s treasury has allocated more than 18.9 million DOT (worth roughly $777 million at the time of writing) to a development fund that will be disbursed through community governance. Wood gave broad suggestions as to how the funds might be spent, stating the capital will be mobilized to realize the community’s vision for “building, improving, educating” Polkadot’s ecosystem, in addition to “anything else that the Polkadot governance believes valuable.According to Polkadot’s Wiki, the treasury funds can be spent if approved by the council, which votes on proposals put forward to them. The Polkadot council currently consists of 13 members, however the council plans to expand to 24 seats at some stage in the future.With many Polkadot governance votes seeing poor community participation in the past, the development fund may be intended to bolster DOT holders’ engagement with the governance process According to Polkassembly, three governance proposals put forward this past week have seen total voter turnouts of zero, six and seven votes respectively. Stakeholders wishing to put forward a proposal must reserve a deposit of at least 5% of the proposed spend, with the deposit being either slashed (a burn mechanism to deter validator misbehavior) if rejected, or returned if accepted. With funds being placed at risk in the event of an unsuccessful vote, Polkadot’s slashing mechanism may be a factor impeding governance engagement on the network. The new development fund was also revealed just weeks before Polkadot’s highly anticipated parachain auctions are scheduled to begin in early November, suggesting the funds could be intended to kickstart development targetingPolkadot’s forthcoming parachain ecosystem.Polkadot’s parachain auctions will be used to realize Polkadot’s vision for a sharded ecosystem. The auctions will see projects building on Polkadot compete to secure one of the 100 parachain slots by bidding to lock up DOT. Parachains are Polkadot’s sharded side-chains that can host decentralized applications and protocols, offer specialized computation, and communicate with Polkadot’s proof-of-stake “Relay Chain” to finalize transactions.Polkadot’s existing relay chain exclusively processes transfers, governance, staking services for the Polkadot network, with the forthcoming parchains being tasked with providing advanced features like smart contract functionality and cross-chain compatibility. As such, the new development fund may be intended to encourage developers to begin building on Polkadot in preparation of parachains going live.Related: Polkadot eyes breakout to $75 after DOT price rally sets up classic bullish reversalMany onlookers have singled out the Coinbase-backed Acala Network as a frontrunner to win the first parchain slot on Polkadot. Karura Network, Acala’s deployment on Polkadot’s siser-network Kusama, won the first parachain auction on Kusama by a significant margin in June. Karara pulled support from more than 15,000 entities to win its slot with a bid more than 500,000 KSM (worth roughly $184 million at the time of writing).

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Ghana to explore offline transactions for upcoming CBDC

Ghana is working to develop offline capabilities for its forthcoming central bank digital currency (CBDC) in a bid to promote its use across all segments of Ghanan society.According to a Oct. 18 report from Bloomberg, Kwame Oppong, head of fintech and innovation at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), revealed that the country’s digital currency “e-cedi” will support offline transactions during the Ghana Economic Forum on Monday.Oppong emphasized that offline functionality will allow Ghanans who lack reliable access to electricity and internet connectivity to embrace the country’s CBDC, stating:“The e-cedi would also be capable of being used in an offline environment through some smart cards.”A smart card is a plastic credit card-sized card with a chip that allows its user to transact using a pre-loaded balance. A similar system has been trialled by Oxfam to facilitate payments using the decentralized stablecoin DAI to provide relief from environmental disaster.According to World Bank data published during 2019, 84% of Ghanans then had stable access to electricity while just 53% were connected to the internet.Related: G7 leaders issue central bank digital currency guidelinesDuring August, BoG announced it had partnered with German financial firm Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) to pilot a retail CBDC in Ghana.The announcement came just one month after Ghanan vice president Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia advocated for African governments to embrace digital currencies as means to bolster trade across the continent during the Fifth Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference in July. Local adoption of decentralized cryptocurrencies is also on the rise, with analytics firm Chainalysis reporting that Africa’s cryptocurrency market has grown by more than 1,200% since 2020 as of last month.

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Here’s why analysts are saying ‘No FOMO’ ahead of Bitcoin’s ETF launch

The day the crypto traders have long-awaited is almost here. At the opening bell on Oct. 19, a ProShares futures-based BTC ETF is scheduled to launch and analysts are predicting that additional ETFs will rollout over the coming week. Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that an early morning attempt by bears to drop the price back below $60,000 was well defended by traders and at the time of writing their is a tug-o-war at the $61,000 to $62,000 zone. BTC/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewWhile many have predicted that the ETF launch is the fuel needed to push BTC to the $100,000 mark, not all analysts agree and some warn that the event could be another “buy the rumor, sell the news” event.A higher low would be “normal” price actionOne trader who is not completely enamored with the idea of a BTC futures ETF is pseudonymous Twitter user ‘Cry me a $COIN’, who posted the following tweet suggesting that the recent BTC price action is merely part of a normal price cycle. I don’t like the “ETF will be/has been approved. WAGMI” vibe.Don’t be surprised with a higher low. It will change nothing, and that is the beauty of it.$BTC pic.twitter.com/HJ6GyZtaMr— cry me a $COIN (@crymeaCOIN) October 17, 2021According to the price path outlined in the chart above, there’s a chance that Bitcoin tops out below $68,000 in the next few months before heading lower to establish a higher low near $46,000.A similar sentiment was expressed by ‘Ryan Cantering Clark’, who suggested that up to now, “the trade has been “long ETF approval” and we are here, so what else in the short term takes us much higher?”Clark said:“Everyone knows where this is going, so in the short term I think we get a deeper pullback.”FOMO buyers bewareA deeper analysis of what could possibly come next was provided by David Lifchitz, managing partner and chief investment officer at ExoAlpha. Lifchitz suggested that a small pullback might be in order, “especially after the torrid run from $40,000 just two weeks ago,” which translated into a BTC increase of 50%. While Lifchitz suggested that “the medium-term looks definitely higher,” the analyst offered a word of caution for potential buyers by saying, “these Bitcoin ETFs based on CME futures to track BTC price will underperform Bitcoin spot price due to ongoing futures roll costs.”According to Lifchitz, professional traders are likely to continue using Bitcoin CME futures or crypto derivative exchanges for their trading needs while “long-time crypto investors are all well equipped to directly trade and store Bitcoin spot.” Lifchitz said:“So these ETFs will likely be an easy Bitcoin access to unsophisticated retail investors with their broker accounts, who will not get the full return of BTC after all fees are accounted for. These ETFs will also bring arbitrage opportunities for smart traders. Wall Street at its best.”Related: Bitcoin RSI strength suggests BTC price is still far from its cycle top$90K BTC price if the classic cup and handle formation plays outA final scenario to be on the lookout for was offered by pseudonymous Twitter user ‘Nunya Bizniz’, who posted the following tweet outlining a bullish scenario for Bitcoin’s price action. BTC daily:”IF” there is going to be a correction, perhaps something like this?Giant cup and handle.What do you think? pic.twitter.com/LPSQ0320zl— Nunya Bizniz (@Pladizow) October 18, 2021

As seen in the chart provided, the analyst suggested that BTC price has the potential to drop back to the $53,000 support in the near term before resuming its uptrend. The trader believes that after the price pulls back to touch underlying support, BTC could then squeeze up to $98,000. BTC/USD 1-day chart. Source: TwitterThe overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.463 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 47.3%.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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US Treasury says it must 'modernize and adapt' to digital currencies

The United States Department of the Treasury has issued a review on sanctions and suggested the government do more to develop its infrastructure and policies in regards to digital assets.In an Oct. 18 report, the Treasury Department said the growing use of digital assets was hampering the implementation of sanctions while balancing funds from legitimate humanitarian organizations. The department suggested that better communication between itself and the crypto industry, financial institutions, and others in addition to “deepening its institutional knowledge and capabilities” could help improve current policy. “Sanctions are a fundamentally important tool to advance our national security interests,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo. “Treasury’s sanctions review has shown that this powerful instrument continues to deliver results but also faces new challenges. We’re committed to working with partners and allies to modernize and strengthen this critical tool.”The report added:“If left unchecked, these digital assets and payments systems could harm the efficacy of our sanctions.”According to the report, the Treasury Department suggested the government adopt a structured policy framework, coordinate with allies and partners when possible, ensure sanctions are understood, enforceable, and adaptable, and implement them “to mitigate unintended economic, political, and humanitarian impact.” The department added it should modernize to include the “right expertise, technology, and staff” to handle the challenges of digital assets.Related: Rogue states dodge economic sanctions, but is crypto in the wrong?The U.S. Treasury Department has been employing sanctions as part of the government’s efforts to fight ransomware attacks threatening the country’s infrastructure — for example, when Russia-based DarkSide hackers attacked the Colonial Pipeline system in May. Last month, the department announced it would impose sanctions on the Czech Republic as well as Russia-based business Suex OTC for allegedly allowing hackers to access cryptocurrency sent as payment for ransomware attacks.

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Bitfury CEO confirms IPO considerations are part of expansion plans

Bitfury, one of the world’s largest companies in the blockchain industry, is mulling a potential initial public offering, or IPO, as part of the company’s global growth plans, the company’s CEO confirmed to Cointelegraph.“As Bitfury and its portfolio of companies continue their global expansion in the digital assets space, Bitfury will be considering an IPO as part of its broader expansion and growth plans,” Bitfury co-founder and CEO Valery Vavilov said.According to the executive, Bitfury has not yet determined when and on what exchange the company is willing to proceed with an IPO. The company’s last funding round took place in 2018, with Bitfury raising $80 million at a $1 billion valuation.Bitfury’s investors include European venture capital fund Korelya Capital, South Korean internet giant Naver Group, Asian institutions Macquarie Capital and Dentsu Japan as well as Michael Novogratz’s crypto investment company Galaxy Digital.British news agency The Telegraph originally reported on Bitfury’s potential IPO plans on Oct. 10, citing anonymous sources claiming that Bitfury tapped Big Four accounting firm Deloitte to review its readiness for going public. The publication noted that Bitfury operates its main headquarters in the Netherlands even though it is legally based in the United Kingdom. Bitfury did not immediately comment on its legal headquarters to Cointelegraph.Founded back in 2011, Bitfury is a major company in the industry, operating a wide number of services like crypto mining hardware design, software and semiconductor chips’ manufacturing as well as running mobile data centers. The company’s United States-based Bitcoin mining subsidiary, Cipher Mining, was valued at over $2 billion as of March 2021.Related: Bitcoin miner Stronghold will list almost 6M shares in its $100M IPOApart from focusing on cryptocurrency mining, Bitfury has been actively working on cryptocurrency security, blockchain research and compliance, running platforms like Crystal Blockchain, LiquidStack and the most recent spin-off Axelera AI. The firm is also a software provider for some global applications through its Exonum private blockchain framework, which was trialed for Russia’s blockchain-based voting system in 2020

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Ankr Network, Stacks and Kadena rally while most altcoins cool off

Even with Bitcoin (BTC) price on the verge of a new all-time high, the cryptocurrency market projects an aura of anxious optimism on Oct. 18 as investors await the official launch of the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), which is set to begin trading on Oct. 19. While the market waits for the historic ETF launch, BTC bulls are battling to hold the $62,000 level as support. Meanwhile, a handful of altcoins posted double-digit rallies on Oct. 18 as traders look to capitalize on the gains they provide when Bitcoin price consolidates. Top 7 coins with the highest 24-hour price change. Source: Cointelegraph Markets ProData from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the biggest gainers over the past 24 hours were Ankr Network (ANKR), Stacks (STX) and Kadena (KDA).Ankr Network partners with the Sacramento KingsAnkr Network’s blockchain solution is designed to use idle computing power from devices and data centers from around the world to help power the crypto ecosystem. VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for ANKR on Oct. 17, prior to the recent price rise. The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. ANKR price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets ProAs seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for ANKR began to pick up on Oct. 17 and climbed to a high of 70 around four hours before the price spiked 46% over the next day. The jump in price for ANKR comes following the project’s multi-year sponsorship deal with the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Sacramento Kings. Stacks advances toward launching smart contracts on BitcoinStacks (STX) is a layer-one blockchain solution focused on bringing smart contracts and decentralized applications to the Bitcoin network.VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for STX on Oct. 11, prior to the recent price rise. VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. STX price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets ProAs seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for STX began to pick up on Oct.11 and reached a high of 88, around five hours before the price began to increase by 55% over the next week. The rise in prominence for STX comes as the possible launch of multiple BTC ETFs has excited the wider investment community about the possibility of smart contract capabilities on the Bitcoin network. Related: Grayscale confirms Bitcoin ETF plans and adds exposure to Zcash, Stellar Lumens and Horizen to its trustsKadena adds NFT capabilitiesThe price of Kadena (KDA) also took a bullish turn over the last 24 hours.Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that after hitting a low of $2.14 on Oct. 16, the price of KDA has rallied 30% to a daily high at $2.79 on Oct. 18 as its 24-hour trading volume spiked 313% to $9.4 million. KDA/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingViewThe increase in momentum for KDA comes following the protocol’s partnership with Immutable Records, which will bring a fully-built nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace to the Kadena ecosystem. The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.462 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 47.2%.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Rarible introduces zero-cost NFT minting feature

Nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace Rarible has introduced a new functionality titled “lazy minting” that promises users the ability to create nonfungible tokens at zero cost — all while enhancing environmental sustainability on the platform.Instead of the traditional method whereby data is stored on the blockchain immediately after minting, Rarible announced Monday that, under its new program, NFTs are “minted not at the moment of creation, but at the moment of purchase. It’s the buyer who pays the gas fees when purchasing the item.” In this case, data will be stored on a decentralized peer-to-peer storage system called IPFS.Amid the influx of new retail participants into the NFT space over the past year, a large segment has been perturbed by the consistently high gas fees on the Ethereum network, increasing their barrier-to-entry and diverting many investors to alternative blockchains, such as Solana. According to data from Rarible Analytics, the current average gas price on Rarible for minting a single ERC-721 token is 0.022ETH, equivalent to $82.26 at current prices. This is actually a favorable time to mint on the platform, in comparison to frequent times of high network activity where gas fees can soar to hundreds of dollars.This is why the Rarible implementation will be welcomed as a positive initiative by the community, though it is yet unknown as to its potential impact on the wider market. Related: Rarible’s daily transactions see a rapid declinePopular cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase, FTX and Binance have been among the latest iteration of crypto firms expressing intent to build products and services in the NFT space. Coinbase garnered enormous social attention for the upcoming launch of its NFT marketplace, registering 1.1 million email signups in the first 24 hours. One week on, this figure is now 2.35 million.To add greater context to this figure, leading NFT marketplace OpenSea has recorded a little over 263,000 unique users across the last 30-days, in addition to in excess of $3 billion in total volume.Coinbase recorded 68 million verified users and 8.8 million monthly active users across the second quarter of 2021, according to its latest shareholder report.Analytics data from DappRadar reveals that Rarible has recorded 10,100 unique users over a 30-day period, RARI, the platform’s native token, has experienced positive growth over the past month, rising 80% from one year lows in late September to the current value of around $22.20.

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