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Ripple’s Garlinghouse forecasts further loss of U.S. dollar value

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After what has been a crazy year in almost every sense of the word, businesses are left wondering how to proceed, Ripple Labs CEO Brad Garlinghouse said.  

“The pandemic is throwing so many playbooks out the window,” he posited in an Aug. 28 tweet. “Yesterday’s action flies in the face of decades of precedent,” he said, pointing toward an Aug. 27 article from the Wall Street Journal on the U.S. Federal Reserve choosing to keep interest rates low at the possible expense of higher inflation.

“Signs point to further dollar debasement in the near term (leading to further diversification of assets which will certainly be good for crypto),” Garlinghouse added. 

Since the beginning of COVID-19 fears and prevention measures in March, the U.S. economy has been flipped on its side. High jobless claims, money printing, business closures and a plethora of other factors have created a giant puzzle when it comes to uprighting the struggling scene. 

Interest rates and inflation hold as two tools the U.S. government has fiddled with as part of its attempted solutions. Although problems remain, a possible outcome might be further Bitcoin adoption as a viable hedge, noted by a number of participants in the crypto industry.

Comparing the asset with gold, seen as long-time store of value hedge, Gemini crypto exchange co-founder Tyler Winklevoss mentioned a possible scenario in which Bitcoin hits $500,000. 





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Regulation

El Salvadorians take to the streets to protest Bitcoin law

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Protesters calling themselves the Popular Resistance and Rebellion Block have come out against El Salvador’s government passing a law making Bitcoin legal tender.

A Tuesday tweet from local news outlet El Mundo shows El Salvadorians carrying banners saying “no to Bitcoin” in the streets of San Salvador demanding a repeal of the country’s Bitcoin law. Legislative assembly members Anabel Belloso and Dina Argueta addressed the protesters after first meeting the group separated by a barrier of razor wire.

In a letter made available at the protest, the Popular Resistance and Rebellion Block group claimed that President Nayib Bukele passed the law making the cryptocurrency legal tender in the country without proper consultations with the people. It also cited the volatility of Bitcoin (BTC), comparing investing in the cryptocurrency to playing the lottery: “betting on the lottery is a voluntary act, while Bitcoin is required by law.”

Related: Coercion and coexistence: How El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law may change global finance

However, the group’s main grievance around the Bitcoin legal framework seemed to be centered around a perceived disparity in the cryptocurrency’s usage by the government when compared with the average resident in El Salvador. Protesters said Bitcoin “only serves some large businessmen, especially those linked to the government, to launder ill-gotten money.”

“Entrepreneurs who put their capital in Bitcoin will not pay taxes on their earnings,” said the letter. “In addition, to apply Bitcoin the government will spend millions of dollars of the taxes paid by the people.”

They added:

“Bitcoin would facilitate public corruption and the operations of drug, arms and human traffickers, extortionists and tax evaders. It would also cause monetary chaos. It would hit people’s salaries, pensions and savings, ruin many MSMEs, affect low-income families and hit the middle class.”

Though passed by El Salvador’s government and signed into law by Bukele in June, the law recognizing Bitcoin as legal currency in the country will not go into effect until Sept. 7. The Popular Resistance and Rebellion Block’s protest was aimed at government officials to demand the law be repealed. In addition, the World Bank has also refused to help El Salvador transition to a Bitcoin-friendly framework, given its “environmental and transparency shortcomings.”

Related: What is really behind El Salvador’s ‘Bitcoin Law’? Experts answer

During a scheduled visit by the U.S. State Department earlier this month, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland suggested El Salvador ensure Bitcoin is well regulated and transparent, but did not explicitly say anything against the country’s move to a more digital economy. Some proponents of the law including Bukele have suggested Bitcoin could help facilitate remittance payments from El Salvador citizens living abroad and lessen the country’s reliance on the U.S. dollar.