Crypto Scoop: Tesla buys Bitcoin, BTC reaches new ATH

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A week after CBN's restriction on crypto, Nigerians keep trading. BTC reaches new ATH as it nears $49k...

This week on Crypto Scoop:

  • Bitcoin hits fresh high thanks to Tesla

  • Response to Nigeria’s CBN ban on cryptocurrency

  • Mastercard to support digital currency transactions

  • Jack Dorsey and Jay Z to set up a Trust for Africa and India

Bitcoin hits new ATH of $48K

In an SEC filing on Monday, Tesla announced that it had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin. The company also announced that it would be accepting the cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

Following the announcement on Monday, bitcoin soared to about $44,000 and has continued to rise setting an ATH of $48,000 after the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (BNY Mellon), an American investment bank, announced that it would be holding bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrencies for its institutional clients.

Bitcoin’s 24-hour range for Thursday was between $44,057.64 - $48,635.86 before it finally peaked at $48,985.80 on Binance exchange in the early hours of Friday. The cause for the increase in price seemed to be the possibility that more big players are now accepting bitcoin.

On Nigeria’s ban on cryptocurrency

Last Friday, the Central Bank of Nigeria in a circular that was shortly populated on the internet asked that all banks and financial institutions with the country close the accounts of individuals trading in cryptocurrency.

The CBN Circular means that Nigerians will not be able to use a card from a Nigerian bank to facilitate transactions on any cryptocurrency exchange or make bank transfers. The directives stop Deposit Money Banks, Non-Bank Financial Institutions as well as Other Financial Institutions from processing payments from cryptocurrency exchanges.

While digital currencies as a matter of fact remain legal, performing transactions on crypto exchanges will need to take a new form for cryptocurrency exchanges and banks to obey the directive from the country’s apex bank.

The CBN does not provide a reason for the ban but the circular points to a 2017 directive given by the bank where it warned regulated agencies about dealing in digital currencies. However, some members of the Nigerian Senate opposed the CBN’s move and have summoned the CBN Governor and Chief Securities Regulator to testify.

Meanwhile many Nigerians have switched to other alternative options to continue using cryptocurrency in the country. Some exchanges have also begun listing NGNT (Nigerian Naira Token), a collateral-backed stablecoin pegged 1:1 with the naira, in a bid to ease the purchase of cryptocurrencies for the ever growing crypto market in Nigeria.

Mastercard to allow merchants accept payments in crypto

Last week, Visa moved to help traditional banks provide crypto services. This week, Mastercard joins the game and will be allowing merchants to accept payments in crypto. Although Mastercard was involved in a number of crypto projects, it only allowed for payments in cryptocurrencies. Their crypto partners converted the digital currencies to traditional currencies before it reached the merchant.

The company has yet to disclose what currencies it would be accepting but has said made it clear that they would only accept assets that are in line with the company’s principles for digital currencies.

With the announcement, Mastercard has now joined the likes of Tesla, BNY Mellon, Visa and Paypal as institutions becoming a major part of the cryptocurrency space.

Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z are setting up a bitcoin trust

Earlier today, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square announced that he and popular rapper Jay-Z would be donating 500 BTC which is worth about $23.6 million to a set up an endowment trust for Africa and India.

According to his tweet, this endorsement trust will be called "₿trust" and will "be set up as a blind irrevocable trust, taking zero direction from us." He also called for trust members of the trust adding a link for interested individuals to apply.