Finance is the lifeblood of any business. Concerns about company closures in all sectors leave no entrepreneur indifferent. Some news on finance.
Amsterdam, Europe’s new stock exchange
London is losing its status as Europe’s leading financial center and leaving its throne to another European capital. Weakened by the Brexit and COVID-19, it is Amsterdam that benefits from the consequences of these two events by becoming the new European stock exchange. Nearly 9.2 billion euros worth of shares were traded each day on the various platforms of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange in January, “four times more than in December,” compared to 8.6 billion euros for the English City, according to data from CBOE Europe, one of the main European stock trading platforms. 6.5 billion euros worth of European Union transactions were transferred from London alone the day after its official separation from the customs union and the common market, in other European capitals such as Paris, London, Rome.
Optimistic forecasts for the European economy in 2021
Even if the pandemic is still rampant, the successive vaccination campaigns throughout the European Union implemented since the end of 2020 give economic experts cause for optimism. The European Commission expects growth of 3.8% in 2021 and 3.9% in 2022, while European GDP should return to its pre-crisis level next year. This is a lower forecast than expected, as Brussels was planning for 4.2% growth in the autumn before the announcement of numerous deconfinements in several European countries. But it is the gradual acceleration of vaccinations until the summer that should give good colors to the second half of 2021 and the first half of 2022. Europe, which has been severely weakened by an 8.3% drop in GDP in 2020, is expected to rebound more strongly than its neighbors with growth of 5.5% in 2021 and 4.4% the following year, thanks in particular to the stimulus plan.
Mastercard opens up to cryptocurrencies
Mastercard will add cryptocurrencies to its network later this year. The cryptocurrency craze seems to be hitting the most reluctant and the behemoths of the banking system. After the Bank of New York Mellon, America’s oldest bank, it’s MasterCard’s turn to be seduced by virtual currencies. The famous payment system company announced in mid-February that its customers will be able to spend their virtual currency at millions of merchants, whether online or in stores. However, for the time being, the banking giant only wants to open up to currencies with a stable exchange rate, “stable coins” such as Tether, Gemini Dollar and soon Diem, the virtual currency of Facebook. Exit therefore Bitcoin or Ethereum, which seem to be too unstable, unreliable and secure currently on the market. Proof that it wants more than anything to make a name for itself in the world of virtual currencies, it holds 89 patents on the blockchain, including solutions to keep cryptographic transactions private.
The Jay-Z/Jack Dorsey duo bets everything on Bitcoin
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, US Rapper Jay-Z Set Up Endowment ‘Btrust’ to Fund Bitcoin Development with Initial Focus on India and Africa.
Decidedly, 2021 seems to be off to a good start for cryptocurrencies. It is attracting the attention of a number of structures and personalities, including a rather atypical duo of Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey. The famous American rapper and the founder of Twitter have decided to join forces to launch the “BTrust”, a fund dedicated to the development of Bitcoin in India and Africa. The two businessmen have endowed this foundation with a significant sum of 23 million euros, the equivalent in Bitcoin of 500 BTC. The Twitter boss has moreover announced on his platform that he is looking for “three members for the board of directors to start.” The goal of the “BTrust” is highlighted in the title of the application form? “To make Bitcoin the currency of the internet” although it is particularly criticized especially for its use for illegal transactions.
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