The cryptocurrency market is expanding. Bitcoin's strong growth potential is underpinned by strong demand for cryptocurrency from large market players. The corporate segment invests large capital in bitcoin, and these are long-term investments and financial projects that will make blockchain and cryptocurrencies a full-fledged part of the economy.
Bitcoin price continues to rise significantly this year after a spurt in 2020. Back in November 2020, it was three times lower (about $16 thousand) than in early February 2021 (about $51 thousand). One of the reasons for this became announcements of support and the purchase of bitcoin from large companies.
On February 17, the cost of bitcoin on the Binance crypto exchange grew to $51.3 thousand. The sharp rise came after the world's largest custodian bank, Bank of New York Mellon, announced that it would store and conduct cryptocurrency transactions. The service is now under development and allegedly will be available this year.
A week ago, on February 11, the international payment system Mastercard announced it will start to support several cryptocurrencies
. First, it is about maintaining stablecoins - cryptocurrencies tied to a stable asset. They have minimal volatility and may be suitable for day-to-day purchases rather than investments.
In 2021, Mastercard will include crypto payments in its universal payment system. The company managers do not expect to maintain all actual cryptocurrencies when many of them do not meet conditions yet, as Raj Damodaran, Executive Vice President of Digital Assets, Blockchain Technologies, and Partnerships, emphasized.
Mastercard also revealed their associations with some world central banks. The company helps financial regulators in the design and improvement of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
announced the release of its cryptocurrency system (API) and its integration by financial organizations by the end of 2021. Digital bank First Boulevard is going to become the first customer of the crypto service by Visa.
In 2020, the PayPal payment system started to support cryptocurrencies
, and their users can buy and sell cryptocurrencies, as well as store them in the built-in wallet. Besides, in 2021, the application will be able to pay with digital assets in 26 million retail outlets, the payment system announced.
Since the beginning of January, Bitcoin has risen in price by 69%. The latest wave of growth in the value of cryptocurrency began after the automaker Tesla announced the purchase of bitcoins for $1.5 billion. The company added that they plan to provide the ability to pay for cars with bitcoins.
Bitcoin market capitalization exceeded $891 billion with daily trading volumes of $86 billion. The total value of the digital money industry was $1.443 trillion, according to Coinmarketcap
Despite the increased attention to cryptocurrencies and possible overheating of the market, it now looks more reliable than in 2017 and has a fundamental rationale. Back then, the value of most digital money rose amid massive interest from retail investors who bought assets largely due to FOMO (fear of missing out). But now, bitcoin investments are being announced by big companies.
In September 2020, Mastercard introduced a blockchain platform
for testing national cryptocurrencies. It is a system that allows central banks to issue digital currencies in a controlled environment.
Since the problem of volatility remains, companies that accept cryptocurrencies for payment have to indicate prices in national currencies. Therefore, soon, the main competitor to fiat will not be bitcoin or altcoins, but stablecoins, such as cryptocurrencies of central banks. They can be as convenient as cryptocurrencies, but with a stable exchange rate and government protection of transactions
. With sufficient support, they can claim a significant share of the foreign exchange market.
is the closest of all major countries to the release of a national cryptocurrency. The timing of the release of the digital yuan has not been disclosed, but at the moment, the Chinese People's Bank is evaluating its stability
and practical value of functions, as well as ease of use, the possibility of using it on various websites, and controlling risks. High-level development, standards creation, feature research, and integration testing of the coin have been completed.