Senators urge E-CNY ban; Russia woos crypto-miners
US Senators urge E-CNY ban while Russia woos crypto-miners
Welcome to The Daily Forkast, July 20th, 2021. I'm Angie Lau, Editor-in- Chief of Forkast.News, covering all things blockchain.
Coming up, U.S. Senators urge ban on use of the digital yuan at Beijing Olympics. Russia woos crypto miners with green credentials. And street performers embrace accepting digital payments.
Let's get you up to speed from Asia to the world.
A trio of U.S. senators are pushing back against the potential use of E-CNY by American athletes at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Now, China is expected to launch the digital yuan at the Games.
And now in a letter, senators Marsha Blackburn, Roger Wicker and Cynthia Lummis are all urging the U.S. Olympic Committee to forbid American athletes from receiving or using the digital currency.
The letter raises concerns over privacy, stating that Olympic athletes should be aware that the digital yuan may be used to surveil Chinese citizens and those visiting China on an unprecedented scale.
But one expert told Forkast.News that athletes may struggle to get by without the digital currency.
"Within the Olympic village, and that shouldn't be a problem. But as soon as you step out of the Olympic village, you know, not having access to digital currencies may potentially be a challenge. And yes, while there's numerous apps that people can download, you know, from Tencent pay, Alipay, that have over 90% of the market share. The reality is, if you don't have a Chinese bank account, you cannot use those four payments. So as a foreigner, you're pretty much unbanked in China."
China has already made huge leaps towards becoming a cashless society, with almost 90% of smartphone users having made proximity mobile transaction payments in the last year. And Arslanian says the domestic economy in China is what is actually driving the development of the digital currency.
Meanwhile, over in Russia.
Russia is looking to woo green crypto miners.
The Russian Association of Crypto Industry and Blockchain, or RACIB, has announced a project to encourage crypto miners to move to Russia.
RACIB says it has formed working groups with authorities in state-owned enterprises that will look to entice mining firms to the country.
And that includes boosting the country's green credentials by constructing eco mining farms powered by renewable sources.
Russia has already started building wind farms, providing almost 1,200 megawatts of electricity this year, with more to come.
The association says it's already working with a consortium of Chinese mining companies, which control together more than 25% of the global hash rate for Bitcoin.
And onto the markets now.
Investors during the Asian trading hours were bearish on Bitcoin, down almost 6% at just under the USD$30,000 mark. That's as of 4 p.m. local Hong Kong time today.
And in the top 10 for cryptocurrencies, PolkaDot down 13% and Binance coin down 11%. The global crypto market cap shrinking close to 7% from the same time the day before.
And finally today, could crypto be key to the survival of the world's buskers?
You heard right. Melbourne's RMIT University researchers found street performers in Australia who embraced taking digital payments during the pandemic, which drove people, of course, away from carrying cash, often received a lot more money.
Data was gathered from 3,500 performers who are all members of the online platform, "The Busking Project".
The study's author told us there's been an explosion in digital payments with the amount of donations received this way, jumping 44x since the beginning of the pandemic.
Not only has the number of digital payments increased, but the average donation also rose to AU$ 20, or almost US$ 15.
And street circus performers have reported the greatest success as they interact with the crowd the most.
"They cooperated into what they call a 'hat line'. So you can give me 10 dollars an hour with your photos, you give me 20 dollars, you can take me out for dinner and you know, they can put these elements into back into their chat."
Elkin says broadening as street performers options to include digital payments has actually provided a natural next step for these creative entrepreneurs.
Well, I think it might be time to learn how to juggle.
And that's The Daily Forkast from our vantage point right here in Asia. For more, visit Forkast.News. I'm Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau. Until the next time.