Unrest in Kazakhstan Shakes Cryptocurrency Market and Shows Vulnerability as Global Currency

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TripleA, a Singapore-based crypto firm that according to its website “helps businesses to increase their revenue by accessing the growing cryptocurrency users,” estimates that over 300 million people currently use or own cryptocurrency assets. India leads the way with over 100 million users, followed by Nigeria and the United States. Bitcoin was initially created as a digital alternative to fiat currencies, allowing users to circumvent the authority of banks and governments. But as cryptocurrency gains popularity and becomes increasingly entangled in finance and commerce, it may no longer be able to escape regulation, he said. Most of this adoption came in the last two years, with the total market cap of cryptocurrencies soaring by over 900%, from around $200 billion in 2019 to more than $2 trillion today.

“I think we’re going to see more of that around crypto the same way we’ve seen it happen with social media,” the source added. “When there are protests, some governments choose to shut down social media and we will likely see the same thing with cryptocurrencies.” “State control of Internet access is obviously concerning, particularly when states have unilateral ability to be able to shut down the internet for political purposes,” a cryptocurrency expert told Newsweek under condition of anonymity.

Speaking to the same point, Alan Dorjiyev, President of the National Association of Blockchain and Data Centers Industry in Kazakhstan, told Newsweek that, “In the medium term, the greatest obstacle to the industry is regulation, countries wanting to use cryptocurrency and local governments preventing that.” The event reveals the vulnerability of cryptocurrencies to non-market forces, with government action and regulation emerging as two major impediments for an industry that seeks to challenge the U.S. dollar and other fiat currencies for international currency hegemony.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Security and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler have both expressed concern over the lack of standard cryptocurrency regulations. Powell told reporters in December that he views crypto currencies as “really speculative assets.” But despite some initial hesitation, an official regulatory framework is currently being discussed by Congress and the Federal Reserve. Governments responses and regulations to this emerging industry have ranged from an outright ban on mining operations to adopting crypto as legal tender.

At the same time, massive price volatility, a surge in cryptocurrency scams and hacks and the opportunity for tax evasion have alarmed central governments and regulators around the world, pushing them to take action. The rising popularity of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum or stablecoins, as well as decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), has attracted the interest of both institutional and retail investors.

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  • Unrest in Kazakhstan Shakes Cryptocurrency Market and Shows Vulnerability as Global Currency
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