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I visited a McDonald’s in Saudi Arabia to see how it compared to the US and UK, and can say the McArabia and Chicken Mac are a force to be reckoned with

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  • I went to check out a McDonald’s while in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in January.
  • I was interested to see the menu, and compare it to those I’ve seen in the UK and US recently. 
  • Here’s what it was like, and how the famous McArabia went down. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

I visited a McDonald’s restaurant in central Riyadh in January 2020 while visiting Saudi Arabia.

I was intrigued to see how it’s menu different from those in the UK and the US, especially as pork in any form isn’t permitted in the country, as it’s the home of Islam.

McDonald’s is extremely popular in Saudi Arabia. There are 163 outlets, the first of which opened in 1993, and there’s one in most malls you visit. 

Here’s what it was like, and what interesting menu options haven’t yet made it to the UK or US.

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/review-mcdonalds-saudi-arabia-mcarabia-wrap-delight-2020-2

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Bitcoin Price Prediction: BTC/USD Falls to $9,800 Low, Resumes Upward Move

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Bitcoin (BTC) Price Prediction – February 16

Bitcoin appears to have dropped to a low of $9,800. One of the reasons is that BTC was previously in the overbought condition of the daily Relative Strength Index. Another reason is that the bulls fail to break the next major resistance at $10,400.

BTC/USD Long-term Trend: Bearish (Daily Chart)

Key Levels:
Resistance Levels: $10,000, $11,000, $12000
Support Levels: $7000, $6000, $5000

BTC/USD - Daily Chart

BTC/USD – Daily Chart

Today, BTC/USD retraced to the low of $9, 800 which incidentally is the next support after a retracement. It was earlier anticipated that if the bulls break the resistance at $10,400, the coin will rally above $11,500. On the other hand, if the bulls fail to penetrate the resistance level, the coin will fall to a low of $9,800. Undeniably, BTC ought to rebound at a low of $9,800. The previous rebound at the low of $9,100 resulted in the bulls reaching a high of $9,800. Today, if the coin rebounds at the $9,800 low, BTC will reach a high of $10.400. Nonetheless, if the current low continues its downward move, the coin will fall the low of $9,100.

At the moment, the pair is trading at level 58 of the Relative Strength Index period 14. It means that Bitcoin is in the uptrend zone. It is also above the centerline 50 which means it is likely to rise. The pair fell to the support of the 12-day EMA. Bitcoin will rise again if the 12-day EMA support holds.

BTC/USD Medium-term Trend: Ranging (4-Hour Chart)
On the 4-hour chart, Bitcoin fell to the support of the trend line. Presently, the price is consolidating above the trend line. Bitcoin will rebound above the support of the trend line if the support holds. The rebound is expected to reach the next resistance at $10,400.

BTC/USD - 4 Hour Chart

BTC/USD – 4 Hour Chart

Conversely, if the bears break below the trend line, the downtrend will resume. The coin will fall to a low of $9,200 and then $8,400. Meanwhile, BTC is above 20% range of the daily stochastic indicating that the coin is in bullish momentum. The rise of Bitcoin is expected.

 Please note: Insidebitcoins.com is not a financial advisor. Do your research before investing your funds in any financial asset or presented product or event. We are not responsible for your investing results.

Source: https://insidebitcoins.com/news/bitcoin-price-prediction-btc-usd-falls-to-9800-low-resumes-upward-move/250528

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Not All Central Banks Have an Interest in CBDCs

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The recent survey results published by the Bank of International Settlements produced bullish and bearish sentiments with regard to Central Bank Digital Currency adoption. While banks in Emerging Market Economies (EME) are moving more rapidly toward issuing government-sponsored CBDCs, those in established countries appear to be taking a more cautious stance on the transition from fiat currencies to digital.

The irony here is that the banks that could potentially catapult the world into the digital currency age are the ones that are the least likely to be the early adopters. What’s driving — or not driving — their reluctance to move faster?

1.6 billion people could have access to CBDCs in the next three years

That’s the most startling finding of the study, which was appropriately titled “Impending arrival — a sequel to the survey on central bank digital currency.” Respondents of the survey included 66 banks representing 75% of the world’s population and 90% of its economic output. Ten percent of the banks reported they would issue the first general-purpose CBDCs in the next three years, representing 20% of the world’s population.

This means that digital currencies, although centralized, have the potential to achieve an almost immediate mass adoption that the creators of cryptocurrencies and stablecoins have been working toward for the past 10 years.

When discussing the report’s findings with Cointelegraph, Himanshu Yadav, the co-founder and managing partner of Woodstock Fund, a multi-asset investment fund, said: “As CBDCs are rolled out, more and more people will want to understand what a digital currency is.” He went on to add:

“Some will ignore them, and some will explore them further, leading to a net positive gain in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Developers will build tools that will allow for seamless exchange between CBDCs and cryptocurrencies, and the race for digital currency supremacy will take center stage in this decade.”

Most of the CBDCs will be issued in emerging market economies

This makes perfect sense for EMEs, which have historically struggled with issues including payment efficiencies, safety and financial inclusion. Issuing a CBDC could reduce or even eliminate some of these system inefficiencies that stand in the way of serving current markets and expanding their reach globally.

Nataly Simson, the chief operating officer of Coinsbit.io, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Estonia, discussed what this new and large potential user base means to cryptocurrency to Cointelegraph:

“By increasing the number of users utilizing blockchain technology, industries will need to adapt to support these currencies for everyday purchases, not only trading. New marketplaces can grow in the underdeveloped countries that are considering CBDC implementations and is why our marketplace connects directly to Amazon and eBay, to empower acceptance and use of CBDCs and cryptocurrency. More consumers benefit the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem when unlocked.”

There’s an increase in cash, but its use for payments is declining

This trend reported by the banks provides insight into how consumers use money. Cash is being used to store value, not as a payment. The movement toward a cashless society continues to advance as people choose alternative forms of payment. The CEO of Element Zero, Jude Regev, told Cointelegraph that “brands issuing forked CBDCs may receive greater adoption than asset-backed government currencies.”

As consumers become more comfortable using digital means to exchange value, the transition to CBDCs is a natural progression. When predicting the future impact CBDCs will have on cryptocurrency, Monica Singer, the South Africa lead for Consensys, an Ethereum-focused innovation firm, stated:

“Once users are aware how easy CBDCs are to use, they will be keen to invest and experiment with cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies will in the future be used as a store of value, in particular, those that are collateralized and where the governance is understood and properly risk-managed.”

Dr. Wulf Kaal, professor of law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, told Cointelegraph that he also believes that cryptocurrencies may benefit from increased CBDC usage:

“Bitcoin benefits from the increasing adoption of CBDC, as it will be considered as a staple and default investment in digital assets. The degree of benefit for Bitcoin, again, depends on the ability to convert CBDC into Bitcoin and vice versa.”

Despite this notion above, so far, decentralized tokens remain under the radar. Consistent with the results of the 2018 survey, the banks reported no significant change in the use of cryptocurrencies for payments, but 60% said they are “considering” the impact of stablecoins on current monetary systems. Many of these institutions are researching the potential risks to their businesses associated with the potential for stablecoins to become mainstream.

Banks in advanced economies are more confident in their current institutional systems

Looking at the survey responses from the central banks, it’s apparent that some do notice the value blockchain presents to their current systems used to manage currency transfer and issuance. Their motivations for issuing a general purpose CBDC also include financial stability, payment efficiency and safety, but financial inclusion was low on their list.

This indicates these banks are sure that they are presenting individuals and businesses with affordable financial offerings that meet their needs. As one of the initial premises of Bitcoin (BTC) was to provide a means for people from all walks of life to exchange assets in a peer-to-peer system, a CBDC may not be necessary or desirable in these economies — at least not yet. When discussing the reluctance for more advanced economies to issue CBDCs, Justin Newton, CEO and co-founder of Netki, a KYC and AML provider, said:

“Current fiat-to-crypto exchanges are like the modems of the internet days. They provide a critical bridge between the legacy world and the new digital world as adoption grows. In the case of the internet, it wasn’t really until the advent of DSL and cable modems — and then fiber — that we saw the ubiquitous uses of it that we have today. Similarly, CDBCs are always on, always available digital versions of their older, analog counterparts. With their availability, it will make it easier for people to move in and out of truly open and permissionless networks.”

Advanced economies are cautious about CBDCs

As good as the survey information presented by the BIS is, responding banks may be holding back on their plans to issue CBDCs due to their very competitive nature. But many of these banks reported that they continue to research digital currencies and the feasibility of issuing their own.

While central banks are moving in the direction of issuing their own digital currencies, central banks in more advanced economies may see less of a need for radical change and development. Svet Sedov, the founder of SvetRating, a decentralized due-diligence platform, told Cointelegraph:

“It’s difficult to imagine why any central bank would want to design a currency, which won’t be a subject of direct [governmental] control. Therefore, it’s difficult to predict what future barriers for cryptocurrency’s mass adoption will be mounted by various government agencies across the world. Until recently, all those efforts have proved to be only marginally effective — slowing but not stopping the spread of crypto.”

Central banks play a critical role in the global economy, so any blockchain implementation has the potential to grow the ecosystem in a positive way. While central banks from more established countries will proceed cautiously, the strength of blockchain technology will be recognized by government agencies.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/not-all-central-banks-have-an-interest-in-cbdcs

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Crypto Tidbits: Bitcoin Slides Under $10,000, JP Morgan & Ethereum, and the US’ Cryptocurrency Crackdown

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Another week, another round of Crypto Tidbits. If you look at the below chart, it may seem like Bitcoin had a subdued week in terms of price action; however, the past few days for this budding market has been filled with ups and downs, like the surge to $10,600, then the subsequent strong retracement to $9,700 on Saturday morning as bulls failed to keep up the pressure.

Whatever the case, BTC ends the past seven days up a mere 0.33%. Though, Bitcoin’s non-performance on the week is abnormal, with altcoins such as XRP and Ethereum exhibiting massive gains of over 10%, despite the relative stagnation in the cryptocurrency market’s leader.

This trend has resulted in Bitcoin dominance tanking by a handful of percent — a trend actually impressive for a market worth hundreds of billions.

Aside from the market, the underlying cryptocurrency industry saw a relatively productive week, with there being a number of news stories showing the growth and adoption of these technologies, though others casting light on issues in crypto.

Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Bitcoin Nears $10,000, Tron CEO’s Warren Buffett Rendezvous, Ethereum DeFi Hits $1B

Bitcoin & Crypto Tidbits

  • Pro-Bitcoin Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang Leaves Race: If you’ve been on Twitter over the past few months, you’ve likely heard the name Andrew Yang mentioned many a time. Yang is a businessman-turned-presidential candidate who decided to try and leverage his experience creating jobs and building companies, joining the race to become the President of the United States. A key part of his campaign has been technology, and unsurprisingly, Bitcoin and blockchain have been mentioned. Yang has expressed his support for the technology, on one occasion posting a photo of him and Litecoin’s Charlie Lee, and on other occasions mentioning how he believes blockchain and cryptocurrency are a positive technological class for the future. Unfortunately for Bitcoin bulls optimistic about a Yang presidency (which would likely be marked by better crypto regulation), the candidate dropped out of the race over the past week after a poor showing in a Democratic primary.
  • JP Morgan May Dip Toes Into Ethereum, AgainThis week, Reuters reported that one of the world’s largest financial institutions, JP Morgan, is looking to merge its blockchain unit called “Quorum” with the New York-based Ethereum development studio ConsenSys. On why this is bullish for ETH, market commentator Satoshi Flipper said:

“So why is this so bullish for ETH? Because cash is king and JPMorgan has much of it. With the pending release of 2.0, JPMorgan could desire an increased presence in the enterprise blockchain arena. And Ethereum is a quick ticket to get there,” he explained while referencing the news report.

  • Treasury Secretary Confirms Crypto Crackdown: Last year, after Libra launched,  Steven Mnuchin, the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, said that cryptocurrencies pose a “risk to the financial system” and are a “national security issue.” It seems that Mnuchin has begun to respond to the rising threat. Speaking during a hearing held by the Senate Finance Committee, Munchin said that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) branch of the Treasury will soon roll out “significant new requirements” for cryptocurrencies and the respective providers of Bitcoin trading and so on and so forth. He did not expand on these comments, though a recent budget proposal from the White House indicated that a crackdown is coming regarding crypto’s use in money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • Federal Reserve Working on Digital Currency… Finally: In Tuesday’s meeting of the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, Powell said that the central bank for America has started to really get to work on digital currency efforts:

    We’re working hard on it, we have a lot of projects going on, lot of efforts going on on that right now.

  • CNBC Anchors Show Interest In Bitcoin: This week, the anchors of CNBC’s “Fast Money” show showed optimism towards the prospects of Bitcoin. Host Timothy Seymour, CIO of Seymour Asset Management, argued that Bitcoin’s recent uptrend is a result of developments in institutional involvement in the cryptocurrency space. Another anchor on the panel said a world where central banks are devaluing their money to keep the economy “healthy” is a world where Bitcoin “wins”:

    In a world where central bankers are tripping over themselves to devalue their currency, Bitcoin wins. In a world of fiat currencies, Bitcoin is the victor.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/2020/02/16/crypto-tidbits-bitcoin-10000-jp-morgan-ethereum-us-cryptocurrency-crackdown/

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