In today’s edition of Bitmama’s weekly crypto news roundup, we cover interesting developments in the cryptocurrency industry. Top picks – Elon Musk’s Tesla sells most of its bitcoin holdings of the cryptocurrency, Buying crypto with credit cards is now indirectly banned in Taiwan, Argentinian government excludes crypto investors from buying dollars
Let’s get started.
Elon Musk’s Tesla sells most of its bitcoin holdings of the cryptocurrency
Tesla, which made waves last year when it revealed a major investment in Bitcoin, has now sold off most of its holdings of the cryptocurrency.
The electric car firm has offloaded 75% of its Bitcoin, which was worth about $2bn (£1.7bn) at the end of 2021. It is backing away as the value of the cryptocurrency has plunged, falling by more than 50% this year.
Tesla said it bought traditional currency with the $936 millions from its Bitcoin sales.
Tesla boss Elon Musk has been among the most high profile champions of cryptocurrency, with his pronouncements on social media often driving significant trading activity.
Tesla’s $1.5bn investment in Bitcoin, revealed in February 2021, prompted a surge of demand in the currency. The price of the notoriously volatile cryptocurrency soared last year to almost $70,000 in November before crashing.
Buying crypto with credit cards is now indirectly banned in Taiwan
Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), a chief financial regulator, issued a note to the banking industry, indicating that they should not grant the virtual assets providers (VASPs) the status of merchant in operations with credit card holders. That means a de-facto ban on buying crypto with a credit card on the island.
As the local media reported on Thursday, July 21, the Financial Supervisory Commission sent a letter to the Association of Banks in early July, reminding the members of the Association of Banks that virtual assets are highly speculative and risky, and the cash flow is complex and challenging to monitor transactions effectively.
The regulator has also specified that credit cards are essentially consumer payment tools, not investment and wealth management or payment tools with high speculative, high risk and high financial leverage transactions. It referred to the longstanding tradition of preserving credit card holders from paying for online gambling, stocks, futures and options, among other things.
The FSC requires banks to adjust to the new guidelines within three months. After that, the audit unit must review its internal compliance and report the results to the regulator.
It is not the first time FSC has taken action or voiced its skepticism about crypto. Last year, the regulator issued several press releases to remind the public of related risks associated with virtual assets.
Argentinian Government Excludes Crypto Investors From Buying Dollars
The Argentinian government is trying to stop the escalade that the exchange rate of the blue dollar, the price of the U.S. dollar in informal markets in the country, has had since some weeks ago. The Argentinian Central Bank has issued a resolution that excludes companies and individuals that have purchased cryptocurrencies from accessing dollars at the official rate.
The communication, identified with the number 7552, declares that access to the official dollar markets will be open to individuals and companies that:
‘’Have not delivered funds in local currency or other local assets (except funds in foreign currency deposited in local financial entities) to any human or legal person, resident or non-resident, related or not, receiving as prior or subsequent consideration, directly or indirectly, by itself or through a related, controlled or controlling entity, foreign assets, crypto assets or securities deposited abroad.’’
These restrictions will have to be fulfilled 90 days prior to the purchase of dollars in the official market.
According to local sources, the new set of restrictions would be directed to close the loophole that some organizations use by leveraging the exchange control channels to benefit themselves, purchasing cheap dollars at an official rate, and then using these to buy cryptocurrencies to exchange them at a higher rate. The Argentinian Central Bank also introduced a new restriction that forbids buyers of these dollars to purchase any cryptocurrency in the 90 days after the operation, to avoid the situations described.