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UK Government Pushes the Nation to Be a Global Crypto Hub, Says Digital Minister

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UK Government Pushes the Nation to Be a Global Crypto Hub, Says Digital Minister

Chris Philp –  digital minister of the United Kingdom – revealed that the Johnson administration plans to turn the country into a “global crypto hub” while reiterating a cautious stance regarding the potential crimes within the digital asset space.

  • In a radio interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, the minister stated that the government would push to develop the country and London into crypto centers. It came after the UK treasury touted such a strategy in April, as the crypto industry had sparred with the nation’s regulators that imposed overarching oversights on the sector.
  • Philp’s latest response came as a relative relief to the industry. However, he insisted that cooperating with regulatory authorities such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England is necessary for ensuring that “balance is struck in the right way.”
  • FCA is notorious for its unfriendly stance on digital assets. Its controversial ban on retail investors trading crypto derivatives in 2020 cited that they tended to have inadequate knowledge of futures, options, and others which could lead to a great loss on their own costs. Nonetheless, a survey later suggested that 97% of all participants disagreed with such a ban.
  • Earlier this year, the watchdog said it was prepared to strengthen rules on cryptocurrencies, limiting individuals from accessing the digital assets market. The authority views bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a novel risk of harm to consumers.
  • Philp also stressed the importance of having a set of frameworks in place to tackle crimes such as money laundering and using crypto to circumvent sanctions.

“We’ve got to do that in a way that protects the public and in particular pays attention to issues concerning for example money laundering, and making sure that crypto is not used as a way to circumvent things like sanctions.”

  • To addresses crimes and scams in the crypto space, prime minister Boris Johnson reportedly was set to introduce a bill that enables law enforcement agents to confiscate and recover such assets “more quickly and easily” in case they are employed in criminal activities.
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Malaysia plans record $18 billion subsidy spend in inflation fight

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Malaysia plans record $18 billion subsidy spend in inflation fight

Malaysia plans record $18 billion subsidy spend in inflation fight
© Reuters. A Malaysia Ringgit note is seen in this illustration photo June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/Files

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia is expected to spend 77.3 billion ringgit ($17.6 billion) in subsidies and cash aid this year, the largest amount in history, to help temper the effects of rising prices, its finance minister said on Saturday.

Prices of goods have jumped in Malaysia in recent months due to supply chain disruptions, labour shortages and the impact of war in Ukraine. Food inflation rose 5.2% from a year earlier in May, the highest since November 2011, government data showed this week.

Malaysia is projected to spend 51 billion ringgit on consumer subsidies including for fuel, electricity, and food, assuming that commodity market prices remain at current levels, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said in a statement.

The government will also distribute 11.7 billion ringgit in cash aid, and 14.6 billion ringgit in other subsidies, he said.

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Malaysia said on Wednesday it would disburse nearly $400 million this month to help households cope with rising food and living costs.

Earlier this month, it said an increase in government revenue from rising commodity prices was insufficient to offset an expected spike in subsidy spending this year.

($1 = 4.4000 ringgit)

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China’s central bank, BIS set up renminbi liquidity arrangement

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China’s central bank, BIS set up renminbi liquidity arrangement

China's central bank, BIS set up renminbi liquidity arrangement
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Headquarters of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, is pictured in Beijing, China September 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s central bank said on Saturday it had signed an agreement with the Bank for International Settlements to establish a Renminbi Liquidity Arrangement (RMBLA) that will provide support to participating central banks in times of market fluctuations.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said the arrangement’s first participants, in addition to the PBOC, would include Bank Indonesia, the Central Bank of Malaysia, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Central Bank of Chile.

Each participant will contribute a minimum of 15 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) or the U.S. dollar equivalent, it said. The BIS said in a separate statement that the funds could be contributed either in yuan or U.S. dollars, and that they would be placed with the BIS, creating a reserve pool.

($1 = 6.6878 renminbi)

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Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Down by 25% Since Early June

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Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Down by 25% Since Early June

Bitcoin’s energy consumption has reportedly declined drastically since only three weeks ago. Estimates from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index on Friday show that the network now consumes more than 25% less power than it did at the start of the month.

  • According to the index, Bitcoin’s current electricity consumption is approximately 10.65 gigawatts. That’s down from the 14.34-gigawatt estimate recorded on June 6th.
  • At these levels, Bitcoin estimated annualized power consumption now sits at 93.33 terawatt-hours – down substantially from May’s high of 150 terawatt-hours.
  • The estimates are based on a “profitability threshold” that uses “different types of mining equipment as the starting point,” according to the index’s methodology page.
  • This puts Bitcoin’s energy consumption back below Argentina (125 TW/h) and Norway, but still greater than that of Finland (82 TW/h)
  • Bitcoin’s power consumption primarily stems from its proof of work consensus mechanism. The mechanism incentivizes Bitcoin “miners” to consume electricity in a race to construct Bitcoin’s next block. The winner earns a fixed number of Bitcoin.
  • That said, when Bitcoin’s price falls, miners become less profitable. This disincentivizes less efficient miners from staying online, which can lead to reduced power consumption and hash rate.
  • This month, Bitcoin’s price dropped below its previous all-time high in 2017. Its hash rate rapidly declined in short order, despite charting an all-time high just two weeks ago.
  • A recent report from Arcane research found that public miners cumulatively sold off more Bitcoin than they generated in May. The selloff is expected to be higher in June.
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