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Here’s what you need to know on Wednesday

Markets

BTC/USD is currently trading at $9530 (+3.50%), as the bulls make a decent push for breaking down $9500 barrier. 

ETH/USD is currently trading at $200.30 (+6.05%), the buyers trying to make a convincing move above $200. 

XRP/USD is currently trading at $0.2770 (+4.25%), a surge in upside pressure as the price breaks down $0.2500 barrier. 

Among the 100 most important cryptocurrencies, the best of the day are HBAR $0.021180 (+24.55%), LSK $1.40 (+17.49%) 0.442355 (-9.75%) and MAID $0.108486 (-8.30%).

Chart of the day: BTC/USD daily chart

Market

The deposit contract for ethereum 2.0 is hopefully to launch this spring in one of the many ethereum related events. “Formal verification of the contract was just released,” Danny Ryan, the ethereum 2.0 coordinator said, adding: “This work needs to be out for public review and comment for at least 6 weeks before we launch the deposit contract.

Terry Duffy, the chairman, and CEO of derivatives marketplace CME Group has compared Bitcoin (BTC) to gold (XAU), indicating the growing trust of investors in the leading digital asset. “We’re seeing more and more people participate in Bitcoin,” according to Duffy in an interview for CNBC’s ‘Closing Bell’ on Monday. “I think it’s more of safe haven, similar to a gold trade.”

Regulation

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has made changes to its registration fees structure for crypto businesses. The new structure is based on income crypto firms generate. If their income from U.K. crypto activity is up to £250,000 (~ $325,000), businesses will be charged £2,000 (~$2,600) registration fees. While those firms with an income of more than £250,000, will have to pay £10,000 (~$13,000). Previously, the FCA had proposed a flat fee of $5,000 (~$6,500) for all crypto businesses, but based on feedback it received from the community, it decided to amend the fees. The main feedback was £5,000 charge would be “too high for small firms and start-ups.”

Industry 

The application that was recently used in the Iowa Democratic caucus was “not mobile voting,” according to major blockchain voting firm Voatz. The mobile software designed to calculate votes in the Iowa Democratic caucus on Feb. 3 has become the center of discussion after an alleged error in the smartphone app resulted in the Democrats delaying all public reporting of the results of Monday’s caucuses.

Binance, the second-largest crypto exchange by daily trading volume, has enabled instant purchases of four major digital currencies with the Russian ruble. The development allows Binance users to link their Visa banking card and purchase Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB) and XRP with the ruble, according to a Feb. 5 announcement. The exchange claims that users can complete a purchase in less than a minute and do not have to make deposits prior to purchase.

Former Banque de France governor, Christian Noyer, suggested that a consumer-focused central bank digital currency (CBDC) could still be 10 years away, despite current interest from over 50 central banks. However, he did predict that digital payments between commercial banks will happen fairly soon, according to an article on FT.com. 

Noyer stated that the decline in cash usage, along with the rise of private cryptocurrencies such as Facebook’s Libra, had spurred a large number of central banks to investigate the possibilities of a CBDC. Sweden and Uruguay have even launched pilot-projects for consumer-based digital currencies. Sweden in particular fears that its entire payments market may be reliant on the private sector without one. However, Noyer added that there was ‘clear hesitation’ from top financial institutions, due to fears over privacy and impact on monetary policy control.

He said: Whether they will enact the projects in the next 10 years remains to be seen. I don’t think we are close to the departure lounge, but the fact that they want to study it means a lot of work will continue this year.

Quote of the day

We’re seeing more and more people participate in Bitcoin.

Terry Duffy, chairman, and CEO of CME Group