Internet users take on ‘the Wall Street elites’
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A forum on Reddit where people discuss finances and where to invest their money. For some in the group, one goal is to "fight the system" - large financial firms and people with power and authority.
There are numerous hurdles banks will need to clear before centralised digital currencies become a reality, but the biggest will surely be convincing users to give them access to all their transactions, with no option to back out later.
Banking & Finance
The crash in cryptocurrencies shows how the fundamental principle of DeFi – the pursuit of higher yields in the era of cheap money to disrupt and replace traditional banks – has been upended by rising interest rates.
The shakeout in the cryptocurrency sector is prompting renewed questions about the foundations of the highly volatile digital asset market. Such assets were never meant to be a hedge against inflation, and the end of an era of cheap money has accentuated their long-standing weaknesses.
While Japan may have no plan to launch a CBDC, its moves to study it in conjunction with digital assets belie a deep interest in Web 3.0 and the metaverse. A digital yen could boost digital payments by offering a widely accessible, zero-fee solution, even as Web 3.0 generates more interest in cashless payments
More companies are collaborating to explore how the metaverse could make operations more efficient, which could form the building blocks of the next-generation internet. Just as the internet allows information and innovations to be shared across borders, the world will benefit most from having an open metaverse.
By creating greater value and promoting financial accessibility to the masses, DeFi complements traditional banking, rather than replacing it. Its transparent and permissionless nature has also allowed it to evolve quickly.
While mobile payment rates are growing, a massive proportion of the region’s population remain unbanked and thus lack access to savings, loans and other financial products that are the backbone of financial security and moving up the economic ladder.
Cryptocurrency promoters are pushing digital currencies as a viable alternative amid Russia’s search for ways to navigate Western sanctions. Efforts to move cryptocurrencies into the mainstream are doomed, though, as long as their many practical problems remain unresolved.
Cryptocurrencies’ decentralised nature makes the large-scale transactions needed to evade sanctions unfeasible. A central bank digital currency could offer an alternative, but Russia’s digital rouble lacks the scale required, and China is very unlikely to allow the digital yuan to be used for this purpose.
If central bank assets are no longer inviolate, then countries, China especially, could finally be pushed into dumping reserve dollars and cutting dollar reliance in trade, finance and banking.
These CBCDs, which will soon include the Russian rouble, are likely to finance a good deal more bilateral trade, thus weakening the US dollar’s role in trade. While the dollar will still carry weight as a transaction currency in which countries invest their international reserves, the balance of power seems destined to shift.
China’s digital payment market is big enough for the e-CNY, Alipay and WeChat Pay to survive and thrive alongside one another. The digital currency will benefit from more visibility while payment platforms will benefit from the additional payment flows generated.
Ultravox fan Neil Newman Dances with Tears in His Eyes and Laments over dumping his record collection during a Sleepwalk, as he ponders if transferring art exclusively into the digital world is the right move.
A bill being prepared for the Legislative Council that is expected to bar retail investors from trading such currencies is both timely and welcome.