Bitcoin nears US$40,000 on Amazon's crypto move

Finance | Bloomberg and Reuters 27 Jul 2021

Bitcoin surged near US$40,000 (HK$312,000) as a crypto-related job ad from Amazon.com stoked speculation about the company's involvement in the industry.

The job posting, which was reported by CoinDesk last week, said the Amazon is looking for an executive to develop the company's "digital currency and blockchain strategy."

Analysts have also wondered whether the move could eventually lead to Amazon accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment.

Bitcoin rose 11 percent to US$38,302 last night, and earlier prices came within a few hundred dollars of reaching the US$40,000 mark. Ether and other digital currencies also advanced.

Yesterday's surge brought crypto markets back to life after they've been stuck in the doldrums for months. There's been little volatility in Bitcoin since mid-May and the enthusiasm for crypto has dissipated amid a regulatory crackdown in China and criticism for its toll on the environment.

Some analysts said short covering also fueled the gain. More than US$940 million of crypto shorts were liquidated on Monday, the most since May 19, according to data from Bybt.com.

"The extent of the jump was probably driven by over-leveraged shorts," said Vijay Ayyar, head of Asia Pacific at crypto exchange Luno in Singapore.

Meanwhile, Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, said that it would stop offering cryptocurrency margin trading involving the Australian dollar, euro and sterling.

The exchange's curbs on its services come as a string of regulators across the globe have been issuing warnings about the platform and some of the services it offers.

From August 10, Binance will suspend margin borrowing for bitcoin, ether and other large cryptocurrencies and their Australian dollar, euro and sterling pairs, the company said in a statement. The platform will cancel all pending orders, automatically settle any open trade and delist the pairs on August 12.

Financial authorities in Hong Kong, Britain, Japan, Italy and Thailand have all raised concerns about Binance for carrying out unauthorized financial services.

After a German watchdog's warning in April, Binance stopped offering stock tokens to its users earlier this month. The platform's chief executive, Zhao Changpeng, also said in a tweet that it was limiting the maximum leverage for trading cryptocurrency futures for new users to 20 times the money a user puts up from 100.



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