Singapore cafe to take payment in plummeting bitcoin as regulators issue warnings

A cafe in Singapore has the distinction of the being the city-state’s first completely cashless outlet, and allows customers to pay in bitcoin as well as credit and debit cards.

Ducatus Cafe is wholly owned by a cryptocurrency firm of the same name, and naturally allows customers to pay using its own Ducatus currency, as well as bitcoin and other digital currencies.

It appears to be aimed at the young and affluent, specialising in “hand-brewed” coffee and artisanal sandwiches, as well as a range of eco-beauty products.

“We just want to make sure people understand that cryptocurrencies are here to stay,” Ducatus CEO Ronny Tome, pictured left, told Reuters, who said that he had plans to open more cafes in other countries and was looking to the future with plans to form partnerships with hotels and travel agencies.

The news comes in the same week that Singapore’s financial watchdog warned that bitcoin is a bubble that will burst soon, causing a lot of pain to a lot of investors.

Sopnendu Mohanty, fintech chief for Singapore’s monetary authority (MAS), said, “Bitcoin has no natural intrinsic value.

“Can you buy a house with it? Can you use it for daily interactions? It may be valued at US$18,000 right now but what I want to know is how you convert it into fiat currency and realise that value.

“The risk comes at the moment of conversion.”

And Patriarch Equity investment group chief executive Eric Schiffer tells potential investors not to jump the bitcoin bandwagon as is convinced the cryptocurrency will crash soon, leading to what he calls “slaughter”.

Schiffer told Express.co.uk, “I don’t want people to walk through what is going to be the bloodiest financial danger of the 21st century.”

In the US, Washington-based regulator the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority issued an investor alert warning investors to beware of “potential stock scams” in connection with companies associated with cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, that promise high returns.

Bitcoin plummets amid ‘bubble-and-burst syndrome’ fears
Such warnings appear to be hitting the cryptocurrency’s value.
Bitcoin prices plummeted almost 20% today, from $15,600 to as low as $12,560, following such warnings by global regulators and financiers.

The slump comes after a volatile week for Bitcoin, which soared to an all-time high on Sunday of $19,666 following the launch of Bitcoin futures, up from just $1,000 at the start of the year.

But since that dizzying height, just a few days later, bitcoin is down 30%.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney this week warned that global regulators will soon take action on cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, amid fears of a bubble-and-burst syndrome.

Carney said that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will come under the scrutiny of global regulators, shortly after America’s largest digital currency exchange said it would be investigating potential insider trading, according to The Times.

‘Irrational exuberance’

South Korea’s central bank chief this week warned of “irrational exuberance” in trading of digital currencies.

“Looking at recent frenzy over virtual currencies worldwide, I worry whether there is some dose of irrational exuberance there,” Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol said.

A South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Youbit, said this week it was shutting down and filing for bankruptcy after it was hacked for the second time this year, highlighting security and regulatory concerns as trading in these virtual currencies shift on to mainstream platforms, Reuters reported.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eugene Costello
Eugene Costello has been a journalist for some 20 years, and has written for a wide variety of UK and international newspapers and magazines.

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