ECB’s interest in identifying the best cross-border payment solution stems from the fact that it serves as the central bank of the 19 European Union countries which have adopted the euro.
A recent study conducted by the European Central Bank (ECB) on identifying the ultimate cross-border payment medium crowned central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as the winner against competitors, including banking, Bitcoin (BTC) and stablecoins, among others.
ECB’s interest in identifying the best cross-border payment solution stems from the fact that it serves as the central bank of the 19 European Union countries which have adopted the euro. The study, “Towards The Holy Grail of Cross-border Payments,” referred to Bitcoin as the most prominent unbacked crypto asset.
EBC’s opinion of Bitcoin as a bad cross-border payment system boils down to the settlement mechanism of the highly volatile asset, adding that:
“Since the settlement in the Bitcoin network occurs only around every ten minutes, valuation effects are already materializing at the moment of settlement, making Bitcoin payments actually more complicated.”
While the study highlighted Bitcoin’s inherent scaling and speed issues, it failed to consider the timely upgrades — Taproot and Lightning Network — that improve the network performance, concluding that “The underlying technology (and in particular its “proof-of-work” layer) is inherently expensive and wasteful.”
On the other hand, the ECB recognized CBDCs as a better fit for cross-border payments owing to greater compatibility with forex exchange (FX) conversions. Two major advantages highlighted in this regard are the preservation of monetary sovereignty and the ease of instant payments via intermediaries such as central banks.
Contradicting the ECB’s reliance on CBDCs, Australian central bank Governor Phillip Lowe believed that a private solution “is going to be better” for cryptocurrency as long as risks are mitigated through regulation.
Mitigating risks related to crypto adoption can be fended off by strong regulations and state backing, stated Lowe, adding:
“If these tokens are going to be used widely by the community, they are going to need to be backed by the state or regulated just as we regulate bank deposits.”
In Lowe’s view, private companies are “better than the central bank at innovating” the best features for cryptocurrency.
Markus Thielen of Singapore asset manager IDEG believes ETH could be headed for a consolidation phase, turning “cautious” on the cryptocurrency.
In a report shared with Cointelegraph on Monday, the author of the report, Markus Thielen, said he while he has been bullish on ETH prices six weeks ago, he has now turned “cautious.”
The thesis has been based on macro factors and price analysis of the cryptocurrency, noting that the Fed still continues to “ramp up its Quantitative Tightening (QT) program which drains liquidity,” while noting that ETH’s prices had reached technical resistance at around $1,800.
The asset management firm also noted that this has come as Ethereum has seen a 47% drop in network revenue, a decrease in total volume locked (TVL) and there was also a decrease in the stablecoin market cap with USDC experiencing $1.1 billion of outflow over the last week.
Speaking to Cointelegraph on Tuesday, IDEG chief investment officer Markus Thielen noted that the recent price rally has not been supported by a change in fundamentals.
Thielen also believes that hype around the Ethereum Merge is now experiencing a downward trend, illustrated by recent Google search data.
Thielen suggested that this “Merge fatigue” indicates that ETH is set for a consolidation period prior to the upcoming Merge on September 19. But, Thielen also added that this may open up doors for more buying opportunities:
“Ideally, a drop into the end of August would set us up for another great entry-level.”
Thielen also commented on the interesting correlation between ETH price and Ethereum Merge Google search results that are currently at play:
“It is a good indicator for sentiment and interest, but it will eventually break down and become irrelevant. Nevertheless, it might offer some insights into timing current Ethereum's price change into the event.”
Following the Merge, Thielen is of the view that ETH price will be mostly influenced by how fast adoption rates increase:
“While gas fees might stay the same, the adoption curve might not rise initially as fast as many hope, this could make ETH slightly valued, when measured in pure cashflow terms”.
ETH is currently priced at $1,587 at the time of writing, down 6.24% over the last 24 hours.
The firm, whose data centers are located in the United States, generated $40 million in sales last year.
On Monday, W3BCloud, a firm building global data centers for the Web3 and blockchain sectors, announced that it was going public via a takeover by special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC) Social Leverage Acquisition Corp I.
Social Leverage Acquisition Corp I is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has $345 million in trust and has received commitments from AMD, ConsenSys, SK Inc., and others for an additional $50 million in new investments. The combined transaction will value W3BCloud at $1.25 billion.
Last year, W3BCloud's seven data centers, all of which are located in the United States, generated $40 million in sales, with 85% operating on renewable energy. Joseph Lubin, the founder of ConsenSys and co-founder of Ethereum, currently serves on W3BCloud's board of directors. The firm is tailored to th storage, staking, and computing infrastructure in anticipation of a Web3 boom, projecting 685% growth in its revenue in 2023 compared with 2021.
W3BCloud targets decentralized finance, nonfungible tokens and Metaverse projects, as well as tech firms seeking to enter the blockchain space as its core clients. Crypto projects such as Ethereum, Solana, Alchemy, Filecoin, Lido Finance and others all use its data center services. Historically, its decentralized computing and bandwidth segment has generated most of its revenue. Regarding the development, W3BCloud CEO Sami Issa said:
"This transaction allows us to expand our support to Web3 developers and scale with the Web3 economy's anticipated significant growth."
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.