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Zimbabwe to Hike Benchmark Rate to 200%, Central Bank Minted Gold Coins to Act as Store of Value

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Zimbabwe to Hike Benchmark Rate to 200%, Central Bank Minted Gold Coins to Act as Store of Value

After seeing the country’s inflation rise to 191.6% in June, Zimbabwean monetary authorities said they have resolved to increase the benchmark interest rate to 200% per annum. In addition, the central bank said it will introduce gold coins which will act as an instrument that will “enable investors to store value.”

Discouraging Speculative Borrowing

Monetary authorities in hyperinflation-stricken Zimbabwe reportedly plan to hike the benchmark interest rate to 200% per annum, one of the highest in the world. According to an official quoted by Bloomberg, this plan is expected to help put the brakes on the country’s runaway inflation. The latest data from Zimbabwe’s statistical body shows the country’s inflation rate now stands at 191.6%.

Explaining the rationale behind the planned move, Persistence Gwanyanya, a member of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s monetary policy committee, said that by hiking the benchmark rate the central bank will discourage speculative borrowing. Gwanyanya added:

At a time when banks were still adjusting their interest rates, they will be confronted with steep rates.

Before this latest announcement, the RBZ had on June 17 asked banks to cease lending at rates below 80% starting on July 1, 2022.

Gwanyanya is also quoted in the same report conceding that the central bank’s initial year-end inflation target of between 25% and 35% can no longer be achieved. Due to the effect of what he called “external shocks,” the monetary policy committee has now upped its inflation rate forecast to a figure that is above 100%.

Gold Coins as Alternative Store of Value

Meanwhile, in a statement, the RBZ said its monetary policy committee (MPC) had resolved to introduce “gold coins into the market as an instrument that will enable investors to store value.” According to the statement, the gold coins will be produced by the country’s sole buyer of gold and will be “sold to the public through normal banking channels.”

In addition to recommending the minting of gold coins, the MPC is resolved to hike the medium-term accommodation interest rate from 50% to 100%. On the other hand, the “minimum deposit rate for ZW$ savings is set to be hiked from 12.5% to 40% while the minimum rate for local currency time deposits is set to jump from 25% to 80%.”

What are your thoughts on this story? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Grayscale Launches New Investment Product While Bitcoin Trust Crashes to 35%

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Grayscale Launches New Investment Product While Bitcoin Trust Crashes to 35%

Grayscale Investments is offering investors an opportunity to invest in Bitcoin mining hardware in the bear market.

The new investment opportunity, called the Grayscale Digital Infrastructure Opportunities LLC (GDIO), is now open to qualified individual and institutional investors, even as the asset manager allows ETF-related court proceedings to run their course.

Grayscale putting capital to work

Grayscale will use investor capital from the GDIO to buy mining hardware for a minimum of three years. It will use the hardware to mine and subsequently sell bitcoin. Mining is the energy-intensive process undertaken by a computer network to create a new transaction block and verify it. The node in the network that creates the block is known as a miner. A miner is rewarded in bitcoin for his effort, which typically requires large amounts of cheap electricity and computing power.

Part of the proceeds Grayscale will earn from its efforts will be paid out quarterly to GDIO investors.

“Grayscale’s unique position at the center of the crypto ecosystem enables us to create offerings that allow investors to put capital to work through differing market cycles,” stated Michael Sonnenshein, Grayscale’s chief executive.

GDIO represents another way the company has sought to provide investors with exposure to bitcoin without directly holding the asset.

Investors can also purchase shares from its GBTC trust and gain exposure to bitcoin through Grayscale’s legally regulated business in the U.S.

But Grayscale has a problem. Because investors cannot redeem shares in the trust for bitcoin, the price per share has dropped drastically, trading at a discount of 35% to its Net Asset Value. 

At the close of the trading day on Oct. 5, shares were trading at a shade over $12, despite being backed by $18.45 worth of bitcoin.

To mitigate this discount, Grayscale has pursued the conversion of GBTC into a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund, which has so far been unsuccessful. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission denied the company’s latest application in June 2022, prompting Grayscale to pursue legal action against the federal agency. 

Nic Carter of Castle Island Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage public blockchain startups, said that Grayscale could wind down the ETF:

watching the GBTC discount. looks like ATL at -35%. on top of discounted spot BTC. paths to breaking open the piggy bank: SEC can approve ETF conversion, or Grayscale can wind down the trust themselves if they so choose.

— nic carter (@nic__carter) June 17, 2022

The SEC maintains that spot bitcoin ETFs are prone to underlying market manipulation.

Grayscale undeterred by SEC rejection

Despite consistent resistance from U.S. regulators, Grayscale launched its first European ETF in May 2022, which tracks the Bloomberg Grayscale Future of Finance Index, offering customers exposure to institutions at the crossroads of finance, technology, and cryptocurrencies.

Grayscale raised investors’ eyebrows recently when it announced that it had applied with the SEC to distribute 3 million ETHPoW tokens that were distributed to all Ethereum (ETH) holders after the controversial proof-of-work fork went live. 

At the time, Grayscale said it was seeking the rights to sell the tokens and pay out shareholders. 

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Colorado is accepting crypto for tax payments — it could be a mess or a shining example

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Colorado is accepting crypto for tax payments —  it could be a mess or a shining example

Colorado is now accepting crypto for tax payments — but if you choose to use that option, it could change the amount you owe…
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BNB Chain confirms BSC halt due to ‘potential exploit’

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BNB Chain confirms BSC halt due to ‘potential exploit’

Rumors of a significant hack on the BNB Chain were confirmed by the blockchain’s team, with all deposits and withdrawals suspended on the network…
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