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Bitcoin soars after Citi says it could become ‘currency of choice’ for global trade

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The world’s largest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, bounced back above $ 48,000 on Monday, following a report by Citi which suggested that the digital asset could one day become the preferred currency for international trade.

Bitcoin was up almost nine percent as of 2:22pm GMT, at $ 48,193.

According to Citi, bitcoin’s recent performance has been inspired by involvement of institutional investors in recent years, in contrast to its heavy retail investor focus for most of the past decade. With the recent embrace of the likes of Tesla and Mastercard, bitcoin could be at the start of a “massive transformation” into the mainstream, Citi said.

“The entrance of institutional investors has sparked confidence in cryptocurrency but there are still persistent issues that could limit widespread adoption,” the US investment bank’s analysts wrote. “For institutional investors, these include concerns over capital efficiency, insurance and custody, security, and ESG considerations from bitcoin mining. Security issues with cryptocurrency do occur, but when compared to traditional payments, it performs better,” they added.

The bank has pointed out that if businesses and individuals gain access via digital wallets to planned central bank digital cash and so-called stablecoins, then bitcoin’s global reach, traceability and potential for quick payments would see it “optimally positioned” to become the “currency of choice for international trade.”
Also on rt.com Max Keiser: What if bitcoin is not the bubble, but the pin?
Such a dramatic transformation for bitcoin to the de facto currency of world trade would depend on changes in its market to allow wider institutional participation and closer oversight by financial regulators, Citi said. Still, shifts in the macro-economic environment may also make the demand for bitcoin less pressing, it added.

The recent surge in interest in bitcoin has driven the cryptocurrency to a record high of $ 58,354 and a $ 1 trillion market capitalization. The crypto, however, has since pulled back, losing around 20 percent of its value last week.

“Bitcoin’s future is thus still uncertain, but developments in the near term are likely to prove decisive as the currency balances at the tipping point of mainstream acceptance or a speculative implosion,” Citi’s analysts said.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

China’s economy could double in size by 2035, eclipsing US along the way – Bank of America

In terms of post-Covid recovery, China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and has a good chance to double its GDP by 2035, according to Helen Qiao, head of Asia economics at Bank of America Global Research.

She told CNBC that some reform measures would help China get there. The doubling of China’s GDP would require an average annual growth of 4.7 percent for the next 15 years. “We think China would be able to achieve it,” Qiao said.

The economist predicted that, in addition to doubling its gross domestic product, the Asian nation will surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy in around 2027 to 2028.

Also on rt.com China partners with SWIFT to boost global use of yuan & cut reliance on US dollar

The Chinese economy expanded by 2.3 percent last year, official data showed. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said China will grow 8.1 percent this year. Meanwhile, the United States contracted by 3.5 percent in 2020, according to the latest government estimates. The IMF expects the US economy to grow by 5.1 percent this year.

In a report published earlier this month, Qiao addressed the common concerns – such as aging population, high debt-to-GDP ratio, and the country’s investment-led growth model – that could prevent China from reaching its 2035 economic goals. Those concerns will slow, but not derail, China’s overall growth trajectory, Qiao said.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Could Nintendo Switch Pro offer new Pokemon Legends Arceus 4K experience?

Nintendo might not have announced it yet, but plenty of reports suggest that the Nintendo Switch Pro will be announced in 2021.

Several sources have already predicted the arrival of the Nintendo Switch Pro in 2021, but there’s a good chance that the console could be delayed.

With the current worldwide situation putting constraints on production and hardware, it could prove a real challenge to have something like a Switch Pro hit the market successfully.

However, there are still hopes that a Nintendo Switch Pro consoles will be announced in 2021 and could still hit shelves by the end of the year.

And this has also raised the question of what kind of specs and games the new console could offer.

One insider named NateDrake provided the latest reports on the Nintendo Switch Pro, raising the idea of 4K functionality on ResetEra.

The report from the online forum reads: “Won’t really talk more about the tech specs than I have. It has DLSS & it has 4k functionality.

“No reason to go deeper than that right now. That’s enough to illustrate the device is a meaningful upgrade. First party support with span the new hardware and current Switch for at least a couple of years

Commenting on the release date, Nate Drake, via Wccftech, added: “Let’s say I’m confident it gets announced this year.

“A delay to 2022 would need to be communicated in the next few months, as dev kits and third-party partners begin to plan software for the device. As of this very moment (Feb 18, 2021), I believe the hope remains for a 2021 launch.”

This all needs to be taken with a pinch of salt until Nintendo announces its plans if they have any.

But it does lineup with recent reports from other global outlets, which suggests the Nintendo Switch 4K will be a notable upgrade from the base model.

So what new games could Nintendo use to help highlight that jump in handheld performance?

Well, today we saw that an ambitious new open-word Pokemon game is being released and could be a massive hit.

Not only is Pokemon Legends: Arceus looking like the next big step for the Pokemon franchise, but it’s also been given an early 2022 release date.

This would prove brilliant timing for a Nintendo Switch Pro launch, as it would provide a brand-new Pokemon game experience soon after the new console hit shelves.

And if there is a delay in the Switch Pro release date, Pokemon Legends could become a launch title instead.

It would also give Nintendo a chance at providing a Pokemon game in 4K, if the recent reports are to be believed.

The idea that Nintendo could market a Nintendo Switch console at a reasonable price, with 4K features, seems like a tall order, especially when you consider what the current models can do.

Fans don’t buy Nintendo consoles for the best visual experience, and Nintendo hasn’t put much emphasis on supporting such features.

But whatever is announced for the next Nintendo Switch console, we would expect it to offer the best experience for the new Pokemon Legends game coming in 2022.

The official game description for Pokemon Legends adds: “The fun of exploring while catching Pokémon and filling in a Pokédex has always been a core part of the Pokémon video game series. Pokémon Legends: Arceus was developed with the desire to deliver an experience infused with new action and RPG elements that go beyond the framework established thus far, while honouring the core gameplay of past Pokémon titles.

“As Trainers explore the natural expanses in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, they’ll encounter Pokémon that call these grand vistas home. To catch wild Pokémon, players can study the Pokémon’s behaviours, sneak up to them, then throw Poké Balls. Players can also battle wild Pokémon with their ally Pokémon. By throwing the Poké Ball holding their ally Pokémon near a wild Pokémon, players will seamlessly enter battle. This new gameplay angle is intended to provide Trainers with an immersive experience.

“Pokémon Legends: Arceus brings Trainers to the vast Sinnoh region as it existed in the past, long before the setting for Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl was established. Rich in nature and with Mount Coronet towering at its heart, this is a Sinnoh unlike anything Trainers have experienced before as they embark to create the region’s first Pokédex.

“As they start off on their adventure, Trainers will be able to choose either Rowlet, Cyndaquil, or Oshawott as their first partner Pokémon. These three Pokémon arrived with a Pokémon Professor, who encountered them on research excursions to various regions.”

Daily Express :: Gaming Feed

Pokemon Direct LEAK: Reliable leaker could have revealed two new Nintendo Switch games

Still here? Okay. So according to the PracticalBrush12 leak remakes of “Brilliant D and Shining P” are coming this year.

So those rumours of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Remakes launching on the Nintendo Switch in 2021 look to be true.

However, in a turn up for the books the leaker claims the Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Remakes will have battles like Pokemon Sword and Shield.

It had been thought the Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Remakes would be more like the Let’s Go games than the more recent mainline entry in the Pokemon series.

Elsewhere, PraticalBrush12 said the Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Remakes will have “weird chibi 3D”.

Daily Express :: Gaming Feed