Welcome to Crypto Currently, our three-times-a-week update on digital currencies here in Australia and overseas.
Despite the multimillion dollar hacking of exchange and digital wallet Coincheck, crypto prices remained relatively stable over the Australia Day weekend. Bitcoin especially has demonstrated some rare stability over the past week and has remained firmly in the AU$12,500 to $14,500 region. Ripple made some moderate losses and is down about 3.6 percent over the weekend while Ethereum has achieved a handy gain of almost 10 percent.
There's been talk that these stable prices reflect a maturing market—one that's hopefully more resilient to bad news and speculative outbreaks of panic. But maybe the calm we're seeing is also the result of major retail outlets potentially, one day, maybe accepting virtual cash.
It's worth pointing out that none of the big names have signed on, but there's a push underway to get companies like Amazon to accept Bitcoin. #paywithcrypto began trending over the weekend, which is an exciting prospect, but one with problems.
Firstly, large corporations like Amazon are worried about the prospect of holding large quantities of cryptocurrency. As 2014's hacking of Mt Gox, as well as the recent hacking of Coincheck demonstrates, cryptocurrency is a security risk. On top of this problem is the way crypto's value bounces around, potentially rendering it less valuable by the time it gets converted and banked. For a company like Amazon, these are serious financial risks.
On the other hand, if major companies did start accepting crypto, its mainstream acceptance might downgrade the threat in the minds of investors about regulation, which could extend crypto's relative stability. But the other thing going mainstream would do is drive another price boom.
We'll see how much traction #paywithcrypto gets over the next week. But in the meantime, let's just enjoy the calm.
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