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VOLATILITY IS CRYPTO’S BEST FRIEND

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Stephen Ehrlich, Co-Founder and CEO at Voyager Digital.

 

Volatility is good for crypto. It serves multiple purposes as the whole crypto ecosystem matures, which we have to remember is an industry and technology that is still only just over a decade old. New and emerging industries are by their nature volatile as they move towards mainstream adoption. But the volatility attracts people, investors and technologists, who drive the pace of adoption forward and as it grows, volatility naturally decreases. In the case of Bitcoin, its volatility has steadily been decreasing over time and even the recent sharp moves have not seen such a big rise in volatility compared to historically (see chart below).

Chart showing Bitcoin Price and Volatility

Source: https://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com/volatility-index/

Volatility continues to attract participants as it is unquestionably in our human nature to be drawn to assets that are subject to rapid price appreciation. Throughout history there have been numerous asset bubbles that have burst, with Dutch tulips of the 1600s being the one that most referenced in relation to crypto-assets. But do tulips really provide any utility apart from looking and smelling good? Many crypto-assets actually provide a purpose, a utility, and serve as the backbone to new technology protocols upon which useful apps are being built. This is why we are seeing greater adoption and as the whole market continues to grow, we are now seeing institutions embrace Bitcoin by diversifying into it as an alternative store of value. This is why volatility is good for crypto. But another harsh reality is that it allows people to learn about the risks, as well as the rewards, of getting involved. Hopefully this is done with the assistance of their chosen broker or through educational webinars, video, and other collateral.

Yes, there will be many that will get their fingers burnt, especially if they employ leverage into their trading without a disciplined approach to managing risk. The same can be said of the internet boom and bust in the late 1990s and early 2000s that saw many a “dotcom” go bust. Leverage was around in those days too, so unfortunately many people learnt the hard way, but it is a necessary evil for the industry to become even more established. For Bitcoin, we have seen multiple bubbles burst, with 2017/18 being the last cycle and soon after the sceptics were suggesting the end for crypto-assets was nigh. But those who see the technology’s potential were keeping their heads down and building amazing platforms and applications. If we take a look at Bitcoin today, it’s clear that the end is nowhere near.

Volatility also attracts the attention of regulatory authorities, another natural evolution of nascent industries. On occasions though, there can be overregulation. Whilst the sentiment behind the UK’s FCA ban on retail investors being able to trade crypto derivatives is right, in respect to trying to provide greater investor protection, it can limit choice and ultimately drive investors to offshore brokers that may afford much less regulatory protections. If an investor really wants to employ leverage in their trading then they’ll find a way to do it, so perhaps rather than an outright ban, perhaps limit the amount of leverage they can use instead.

Bans certainly don’t help liquidity and are actually counterproductive. We’ve seen multiple decisions to “ban” crypto reversed as authorities realise that people simply circumvented it by using a VPN or other means to buy Bitcoin. India is now set to vote on a crypto ban, but at the same time they are due to introduce their own Central Bank Digital Currency, which in itself sends out mixed messages. As governments become more knowledgeable on crypto-assets and understand how they are totally borderless, bans are likely to become less and liquidity will continue to improve further.

Coinbase’s prospectus filing and the fact that the SEC is allowing this anticipated $100b direct listing to come public, with significant consumer involvement, is further acceptance of digital assets by the authorities. The continued evolution of the industry going mainstream and public companies vetted and allowed to move forward by the SEC, foreshadows the long-term outlook by the SEC that this industry is here to stay and regulation and acceptance of digital assets as an asset class is forthcoming. Regulation adds legitimacy to the industry and will attract a broader audience of investors and participants, as oversight gives comfort to a larger group of investors.

Regulation is very important, but it needs to find the balance that protects consumers, yet also fosters adoption of what is a truly ground-breaking technology and asset class. So, for those people that complain about crypto markets being too volatile, we NEED volatility in order for the whole ecosystem to thrive.

 

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EXPERTS SHARE SIX STEPS TO RAISING MONEY SAVVY KIDS

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The ability to manage finances is not something that is known naturally; it must be taught to us as we go through life. From understanding the value of money, to knowing when to save or spend, it’s certainly a valuable life skill.

However, the way in which financial literacy is taught in schools around the world varies massively, often meaning young people grow up with limited understanding of how to manage their money.

To mark International Day of Remittances (16 June), which aims to improve access and understanding of remittances worldwide, experts at global cross border payments company, WorldRemit, have curated advice on how to give children an understanding and appreciation of money.

  1. Talk money 

As a parent, it may seem natural to not discuss finances around children. Instead, try to involve them in conversations about everyday expenses such as food shops and transport. Giving them exposure to these conversations in their everyday life will allow them to understand the essential things that need to be bought before they can have games and clothes, helping to build an appreciation of money and budgeting from an early age.

  1. Introduce money during playtime

When your children reach an age where they begin to understand numbers, starting to show them physical money can be beneficial. Teach them to count cash and understand it at its most basic level. Games such as Monopoly or playing cashier are perfect for this and makes showing them the value of money an enjoyable yet educational experience.

  1. Start budgeting

Once your kids are at an age that they are earning pocket money, you can teach them how to budget. Doing this visually works best and can show them how much money they’re getting and where they need to spend it. Creating a very basic budget with your children will teach them that they can’t just spend all their money on treats, and that it needs to last until their next instalment of pocket money.

  1. Start saving

Not everything can be bought from your paycheck, and kids need to learn that expensive items must be saved for. Start a savings account for them, whether that’s a piggy bank or an actual bank account, to give them somewhere to put money aside and give them sight of this once they’re old enough to understand. Not only will they be able to save for a new bike or video games, but they will also learn discipline and the reward of goal setting.

  1. Spending responsibly

Now they know the value of money, how hard they have to work for it, and what they need to use it for, you can let them spend it with set limits. It can be easy to go too far and make money feel like something that isn’t to be enjoyed, so it’s important to show the joy that can come with buying their favourite toy or sweet treat. Your children will finally feel the reward of treating themselves to something new, whilst being careful not to overspend and appreciating where the money has come from.

 

A spokesperson for World Remit commented: “It’s easy to get caught up in the many lessons and subjects our children are taught at school and forget some of the fundamentals of being an adult. At WorldRemit, we are passionate about educating everyone, adults and children alike, about how to use money wisely.”

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CORE BANKING FINTECH OHPEN APPOINTS JERRY MULLE AS UK MD TO FUEL CONTINUED GLOBAL EXPANSION

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Ohpen, the first fintech platform to bring a bank to the cloud, today announces the appointment of Jerry Mulle as its new UK Managing Director, signifying its commitment to the UK market. Bringing 30+ years’ experience gained from prior roles at Sopra Banking Software, IE Digital and RBS / Natwest, Jerry will ensure Ohpen’s solutions are firmly placed in the UK market for financial institutions to leverage.

 

Last year, Ohpen’s acquisition of Davinci, Europe’s STP number one loan and mortgage software company, made it the only cloud-native core banking engine to offer a full suite of products across savings, investments, loans and mortgages. Now with a 100% configurable platform fueled by powerful APIs, Jerry will continue to position Ohpen as the go-to partner for financial institutions, helping them to navigate the explosion of digital tools at pace and scale.

 

Jerry has driven digital change since internet banking came to the fore. A visionary when it comes to technology enablement in financial services, he has also led the digital evolution of specific financial products, like mortgages. His decade of experience at Natwest / RBS across retail and commercial banking means that Jerry has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing UK financial services organisations today.

 

In this role, Jerry will be dedicated to bringing Ohpen’s serverless, microservices-based solutions to all types of UK financial institutions, from lenders and building societies to pension providers. Taking an initial laser focus on the mortgages proposition, he will enable FIs to harness Ohpen’s one-of-a-kind platform to free them from legacy systems and embrace true digitisation.

 

“It continues to be an extremely exciting time for Ohpen. We have been busy working on putting the 25% increase in R&D, gained through the acquisition, into practice – with a clear focus on this market. Our technology continues to disrupt banking and liberate financial institutions of burdensome software. Jerry’s experience and deep knowledge of the market, teamed with his proven track record, is why I have no doubt that he will be critical to our success in the UK.” said Matthijs Aler, CEO of Ohpen.

 

On his appointment, Jerry said, “Ohpen’s commitment to the UK market makes this an exciting opportunity. Now is absolutely the time to bring this innovative technology, built on decades of expertise, to UK providers and their customers in a way that works for them.

 

“In the mortgages space, UK customers are crying out for a less complex and more streamlined process, and with Ohpen’s STP ability, I genuinely believe that our proposition allows financial institutions to offer exactly this. Ohpen is positioned to be the number one driver of this in the UK and I look forward to being part of the growth journey.”

 

Jerry joins a growing team of senior executives, with his hire coming shortly after the appointment of Xandra Niehe as Chief People & Culture Officer (CPCO). She will be dedicated to building a culture that facilitates this level of growth while keeping its combined core values in place.

 

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