• South Korean government is planning to adopt a cryptocurrency tracking system within the first half of 2021.
• The system aims to monitor and analyze crypto transactions, particularly to uncover sources of illegal funds.
• The move follows Financial Supervisory Service’s plan to develop crypto monitoring tools regularly inspect risks associated with crypto assets.
South Korean Government to Adopt Crypto Tracking System
The South Korean government will adopt a cryptocurrency tracking system within the first half of this year, according to the country’s Ministry of Justice. The tracking system will be used to monitor and analyze crypto transactions, particularly to uncover sources of illegal funds.
Justice Ministry Announces Plan
South Korea’s Ministry of Justice reported that it would implement a cryptocurrency tracking system in the first half of 2021. In its 2023 task report, the Justice Ministry explained that the tracking system would be used for monitoring and analyzing cryptocurrency transactions, particularly for identifying sources of illegal funds.
FSS Develops Crypto Monitoring Tools
In addition, Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Governor Lee Bok-hyun said earlier this month that the regulator is planning to develop crypto monitoring tools regularly inspect risks associated with crypto assets. Last October, National Police Agency formed an agreement with five major crypto exchanges in South Korea to collect data for crime investigations related to cryptocurrencies.
DOJ Establishes Digital Asset Coordinator Network
In the U.S., Department of Justice (DOJ) established nationwide „Digital Asset Coordinator Network“ comprising over 150 federal prosecutors in September last year in order combat criminal uses of digital asset technology. Blockchain data analytics firm Chainalysis estimated earlier this month that global illicit transaction volume involving cryptocurrencies hit an all-time high at $20 billion in 2020 compared with $14 billion in 2019 illicit activity.
South Korea is poised to adopt a cryptocurrency tracking system within 5 months as part of its efforts towards curbing illegal use of cryptocurrencies by criminals and money launderers. This comes as other countries like US have also taken similar steps towards tackling criminal activities involving digital asset technologies through initiatives like Digital Asset Coordinator Network established by DOJ last year
• The Ghanaian Cedi is the second worst-performing among Sub-Saharan Africa’s top 15 currencies in the first 17 days of the new year.
• The Cedi’s short-lived resurgence in late 2022 has dissipated, with the currency depreciating by 12.7%.
• The Ghanaian government is trying to stabilize the economy through an IMF loan package and a gold-for-oil scheme.
The Ghanaian Cedi has been one of the world’s worst-performing currencies in recent years, and the trend is continuing in the first few weeks of the new year. According to the latest Bank of Ghana data, one U.S. dollar was recently worth 13.10 units of the cedi on the parallel market, showing a 12.7% depreciation in the Cedi within the first 17 days of the new year. This makes the Ghanaian currency the second worst-performing among Sub-Saharan Africa’s top 15 currencies, with only the Egyptian pound depreciating faster at 16.5%.
The Cedi’s short-lived resurgence in late 2022 appears to have dissipated, as the currency is now trading close to its all-time low of around GHS14:$1. The currency had rallied from around GHS14:$1 to under 9:1 in just four days, fueled by reports suggesting the Ghanaian government had secured a $3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The loan was intended to help stabilize the country’s economy.
In addition to the IMF loan package, Ghana, one of Africa’s top gold producers, is also hoping to ease the pressure on the cedi through the recently launched gold-for-oil scheme. The scheme allows Ghanaian gold producers to exchange gold for oil, in a bid to boost the country’s foreign currency reserves.
The Ghanaian government has acknowledged that the Cedi’s depreciation is a cause for concern, and is taking steps to tackle the currency’s volatility. However, it remains to be seen if these measures will be enough to prop up the currency and bring it back to its pre-2022 levels. In the meantime, the Cedi is likely to remain one of the world’s worst-performing currencies, at least until the Ghanaian government can find a way to turn things around.
• Bitcoin (BTC) rose to its highest level since September, hitting a peak of $21,438.66 in the early hours of Wednesday’s session.
• Ethereum (ETH) also moved marginally higher on Wednesday, as it continued to trade near a ceiling of $1,600.
• Markets are preparing for the release of U.S. retail sales figures, which are expected to decline to -0.8%.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have been on the rise lately, with both hitting multi-month highs in the past few days. Bitcoin rose above the key resistance level of $21,400, climbing to $21,438.66 earlier this morning. Ethereum also saw a slight increase, trading near a ceiling of $1,600.
The surge in prices comes as markets prepare for the release of U.S. retail sales figures, which are expected to decline to -0.8%. This could be a sign of a recession, as consumers tighten their spending. Despite this, Bitcoin and Ethereum have been able to continue their upward momentum.
Looking at the technical analysis for both cryptocurrencies, the 14-day relative strength index (RSI) is tracking at 87.92 for Bitcoin and 84.18 for Ethereum. This means that both are deep in overbought territory, and could indicate a potential drop in prices in the near future. However, the current trend of bullishness in the cryptocurrency market could be enough to push prices higher in the coming days.
Overall, Bitcoin and Ethereum have been seeing a surge in prices recently, and the release of U.S. retail sales figures could be the catalyst for a further jump. With both cryptocurrencies deep in overbought territory, investors should keep an eye on the technical analysis to get a better understanding of the market. Only time will tell if the current bullish trend can continue and lead to more gains.
• Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman stated that the Fed does not wish to inhibit innovation in the cryptocurrency space despite recognizing the potential risks posed to consumers, businesses, and the larger financial system.
• Bowman suggested that by inhibiting innovation, growth in the space could be pushed into the non-bank sector, leading to much less transparency and potential financial stability risk.
• She also discussed the Fed’s efforts to fight inflation and the overall state of the U.S. economy.
Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman recently spoke at a Florida Bankers Association Leadership event in Miami, addressing a range of topics including cryptocurrency, the U.S. economy, and the Fed’s effort to lower inflation.
Regarding cryptocurrency activities, Bowman stated that the Federal Reserve does not wish to inhibit innovation in the space despite recognizing the potential risks posed to consumers, businesses, and the larger financial system. She noted that recent events, such as the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, have made it clear that cryptocurrency activities can pose significant risks. She also suggested that by inhibiting innovation, growth in the space could be pushed into the non-bank sector, leading to much less transparency and potential financial stability risk.
The Fed governor noted that the banking industry must evolve to meet consumer demand, and that she expects some banks to continue exploring how to engage in crypto-related activities. She also acknowledged that the Fed and other banking agencies will continue to focus on this area due to the significant risks posed by these activities.
Bowman also touched on the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation and the overall state of the U.S. economy. She noted that the Fed has been monitoring inflation and that it is committed to keeping inflation low and stable. She also said that the U.S. economy had been performing well and that there were some signs of improvement in the labor market in recent months.
Overall, Bowman’s remarks highlighted the Fed’s position on cryptocurrency activities and its efforts to lower inflation in the U.S. economy. She emphasized that the Fed does not want to impede innovation in the space, and that it is committed to keeping inflation low and stable.
• Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB) surged to multi-week highs on Thursday.
• DOGE/USD climbed to an intraday peak of $0.07503, while SHIB/USD rose to a peak of $0.000008531.
• The rise in price came as the 14-day relative strength index (RSI) broke out of a key resistance zone.
On Thursday, the crypto market saw two of its most popular meme coins, Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB), surge to multi-week highs.
Dogecoin (DOGE) raced to a multi-week high on Jan. 5, as the coin climbed for a second straight session on Thursday. The coin moved away from a recent spell of consolidation and climbed to an intraday peak of $0.07503 earlier today, which is its highest point since December 27. This comes ahead of Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls numbers.
Shiba Inu (SHIB) also rose for a back-to-back session and surged to a peak of $0.000008531 earlier today. This sent the token to its strongest point since December 18, prior to the holiday season consolidation.
As can be seen from the technicals, the rise in price also comes as the 14-day relative strength index (RSI) has marginally broken out of a key resistance zone. The index is currently tracking at 42.81 for DOGE and 51.63 for SHIB, which is slightly above a ceiling of 42.00 and 50.00 respectively.
The surge in both coins today is evidence of the renewed bullish sentiment that has been seen in the crypto market in recent days. With traders finally returning from the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, the meme coins have been in the green, with Dogecoin and Shiba Inu leading the charge.
It remains to be seen if the current price breakouts will be sustained in the days ahead, but for now, it appears that the meme coins are continuing to climb higher.
• Bitcoin consolidated marginally below $17,000 following the recent Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes.
• Inflation is expected to be at 3.5% in 2023, higher than the 3.1% previously expected.
• Ethereum also remained close to recent highs on Thursday, trading above its long-term resistance level at $1,230.
Recent FOMC minutes have indicated that the U.S Federal Reserve is set to maintain its rate hikes in the coming months, as inflation in the economy remains close to historic highs. As a result, Bitcoin (BTC) consolidated marginally below $17,000 on Thursday, while Ethereum (ETH) remained close to its recent highs.
The Fed expects inflation to be at 3.5% in 2023, higher than the 3.1% previously expected. This comes after the bank agreed to maintain hiking rates in December’s meeting. Following the news, BTC/USD dropped to an intraday low of $16,789.75, with the 14-day relative strength index (RSI) moving below a resistance zone of 51.00. As of writing, the index is now tracking at 49.14, and seems to be moving towards a support level of 46.00.
In addition to Bitcoin, Ethereum also consolidated in today’s session, with momentum marginally shifting on Thursday. ETH/USD dropped to a bottom of $1,246.21, which comes less than 24 hours after hitting a high of $1,264.81. Despite the drop, sentiment remains somewhat bullish, as ETH continues to trade above its long-term resistance level at $1,230. The 10-day (red) and 25-day (blue) moving averages also remain close in proximity, maintaining chances of an upwards crossover.
Overall, the market volatility remains high following the recent FOMC minutes, and both Bitcoin and Ethereum are continuing to consolidate as investors await further news on the upcoming rate hikes.