Bitcoin battered by POBC crypto punch

Bitcoin has taken a major body blow after the latest Chinese crypto crackdown was announced this morning.

People’s Bank of China rules crypto transactions are illegal

Volatility and Bitcoin: name a more iconic duo.

With the token starting the day in the green, traders were hoping to see a reversal to the bearish patterns and price action seen in September so far.

A fresh ruling from the People’s Bank of China put paid to that.

China’s central bank has said that all cryptocurrency transactions in the country are illegal and must be banned. As anti-crypto signals go, they don’t come much tougher than that.

A statement by the POBC said that all cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Tether and Ether, are not fiat currency, thus they should not be circulated on the market.

The ban includes services provided by offshore and international exchanges to domestic Chinese citizens.

China’s crackdown on digital currencies has been rumbling along across the year, but this is the most overt statement yet.

The nation already moved to ban crypto mining earlier in the year. China’s economic planning agency said efforts to completely root mining out are underway, which could pose big problems for the global BTC supply.

Additionally, the POBC is stepping up its monitoring of cryptocurrency transactions, including speculative investing.

“Financial institutions and non-bank payment institutions cannot offer services to activities and operations related to virtual currencies,” the bank said

Bitcoin’s response

Bitcoin, as well as other tokens such as Ethereum, have been sent reeling by this news. Associated stocks such as Coinbase and MicroStrategy have also begun to slide on the PBOC’s comments.

BTC had been trading over $45,000 prior to the bank’s proclamation. At the time of writing, it had lost 5% as it spirals back into the red. Bitcoin is now being traded for around $42,500 but will likely slide further as the day progresses.

Some analysts were expecting higher prices towards the weekend with talk of $47,000. Now, it looks like BTC is going to continue to trend downwards into next week.

Looking at crypto boards just shows red. Ethereum is down nearly 10% and so is Litecoin. Polkadot has dropped over 11% while Ripple has also dropped by 8%.

Consternation over another market drop has never been far away from the Bitcoin sector after it tumbled from all-time highs of over $65,000 earlier in the year.

Arcane’s Fear & Greed index, which measures general market attitudes regarding BTC performance, was flashing bearish signals at the start of the week and this has continued.

On a scale of 0-100, with 0 being extreme fear and 100 being extreme greed, BTC registered a 27 rating on Tuesday, suggesting fears the market may bottom out are coming to fruition.

Realistically, this move should have probably been spotted earlier. As mentioned above, China has not exactly been subtle in its government-led distaste for decentralised finance. This is a nation where pretty much everything passes through government control after all.

But just when things were looking good for BTC, it’s down once more. It only goes to show just how volatile cryptocurrency trading is and how susceptible the market is to external pressures.

Perhaps wider global regulation may cause stabilisation across the board, but for now, cryptocurrencies are probably going to continue to pitch on volatile seas.

Cryptocurrency update: Bitcoin wobbles on China concerns

Bitcoin starts the week in the red thanks to stock market woes and a potential tightening of regulatory oversight.

Cryptocurrency update

China and regulation fears rock Bitcoin

As Bitcoin becomes ever more prevalent, the influence of non-crypto markets on futures contracts is becoming larger.

As of Monday 20th September, Bitcoin had dropped roughly 5% on the day, thanks to a fall in S&P 500 futures triggered by the China Evergrande Group situation.

Property giant Evergrande fell 10% in Hong Kong during Asian trading this morning, causing globe-spanning stock market ripples. As the S&P 500 fell 1%, Germany’s Dax had also fallen 2%.

The fallout from this is investors looking to mitigate risks across their portfolios. As cryptocurrencies exhibit high volatility, Bitcoin and other tokens may be on the chopping block.

Anticipation of an October or November stimulus taper from this week’s Fed meetings has also strengthened the greenback, making the BTC/USD pairing a little weaker, hence the price drop.

Additionally, further scrutiny is being paid to stablecoins. Stablecoins are crypto tokens backed by the USD. The most prominent of these is Tether. This is meant to cut out much of the volatility we see in the most popular coins, but regulators aren’t so sure.

There are rumblings that further regulation is going to hit stablecoins, which promises big changes for the crypto market as a whole. Some observers believe they may be a threat to the US’ entire crypto situation. A formal review into stablecoins by the Financial Stability Oversight Council could be on the way.

The total market capitalization of all stablecoins has reached $115 billion, growing over ten times over the past 12 months.

Essentially, it will be a rocky week for cryptocurrencies. Right now, all of the major tokens are in the red.

AMC to accept crypto payments

Every so often, you get an overlap of two great internet sensations. Now, the worlds of crypto and memestocks are colliding as AMC Entertainment Holdings announces its plans to accept Bitcoin and crypto tokens as payment.

AMC is the meme stock de jour; one of the stocks exceptionally popular with a new breed of traders. The likes of GameStop have already seen their prices somewhat artificially pumped by a younger generation of traders and investors in an attempt to rattle the old guard.

We know cryptocurrencies are also a favourite of new, younger investors. It seems only right that these two paths should cross.

AMC CEO Adam Aron has been fairly clever here. By aligning AMC with the crypto market, he’s continuing to appeal to the types of investors and traders already interested in the meme stock.

Additionally, the crypto sector may help create further revenue streams for the cinema chain. One idea that Aron allegedly loves is tapping into the non-fungible tokens (NFT) sector. This burgeoning digital asset market has picked up steam massively across 2021, and AMC’s entry point could be to offer its own NFTs in the form of commemorative movie tickets users can buy and keep.

It’s a shrewd move from AMC no doubt – but is banking on NFTs help alleviate the company’s potential future woes around declining cinema attendance?

Litecoin activity outstrips Dogecoin and Bitcoin Cash

Move over Doge: crypto users have a new best friend.

According to Litecoin Foundation Director Jay Milla, the number of active addresses on the Litecoin network has overtaken the number using Dogecoin and Bitcoin Cash.

The growth of wallet activity has overtaken many other large-cap tokens, as Milla recently tweeted:

At 450,000, active Litecoin addresses is over double that of Cardano’s 214,000. Bitcoin Cash’s network user numbers clock in at 101,000. Surprisingly, Dogecoin’s only totals 60,890.

Active addresses are used to monitor and rate on-chain network activity across the crypto market. Analysts use it to sport patterns across the wider sector. It is not necessarily an indicator of the number of traders or investors buying a particular cryptocurrency.

Litecoin recently took a hit thanks to some fake news. It was reported that Walmart had agreed to partner with Litecoin to accept the token as payment. This is false. No such partnership exists.

According to Litecoin, the confusion was caused by an employee tweeting the partnership announcement without authorisation. Walmart has subsequently confirmed it has not partnered with the Litecoin foundation.

Cryptocurrency update: Is the BTC bull market back on?

After making strong gains across the past couple of weeks, crypto analysts are suggesting the Bitcoin bull market is back.

Cryptocurrency update

Analyst says crypto bull market could make a return

Bloomberg’s Mike McGlone has stated he believes bitcoin will hit $100,000 this year in a “refreshed” crypto bull market.

McGlone, a commodity strategist, predicts the massive price, despite the May broad crypto sell-off tanking BTC prices. In terms of other coins, Ethereum was McGlone’s other top pick, predicting $5,000 being the path of least resistance.

In September’s Bloomberg Crypto Outlook, McGlone said: “Crypto-assets appear in a revived and refreshed bull market with the 2H benefit of a steep discount from previous highs at the start.”

“We see Ethereum on course toward $5,000 and $100,000 for bitcoin. Portfolios of some combination of gold and bonds appear increasingly naked without some Bitcoin and Ethereum joining the mix,” McGlone continued.

Diminishing supply but a higher level of adoption for practical use may be behind the ETH support. Ethereum’s status as the primary denominator for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are dramatically rising in popularity, could also help put prices on an upward trajectory.

The London Fork, a change to the Ethereum blockchain protocol, caused significant coin burn and a drop in overall ETH supply when it went live last month.

Looking to Bitcoin, McGlone believes the $100,000 price is “highly probable, especially after last year’s supply cut. Post-halving years have seen the greatest appreciation, and 4x in 2021 would be quite tame for the No. 1 crypto compared with 55x in 2013 and 15x in 2017.”

Anything can happen in the world of cryptocurrencies. Volatility is the watchword. It will be interesting to see if this most bullish of predictions comes true – especially when we’ve seen the brutal market effects a sustained sell-off can bring.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin futures were trading at $51,812.91 and were up 3.15% on the day.

Ethereum was trading for $3905.05.

Bitcoin price pump El Salvador movement gains traction on Social Media

Twitter and Reddit users are organising plans to support El Salvador’s adoption of BTC as legal tender by buying small amounts of Bitcoin.

By buying up to $30 worth at a time, the users hope this will bring attention to El Salvador’s controversial plan.

On September 7th, El Salvador brings BTC fully into its economy as legal tender. ATM machines have been installed around the country to allow Salvadorans to exchange US dollars for Bitcoin. The government has also a $150m fund to back nationwide conversion efforts.

The $30 amount comes from the fact Salvadorans will be able to download the government’s digital wallet, enter their ID number and receive $30 in Bitcoin going forward.

The whole thing smacks of the recent Gamestop/memestocks market manipulation tactics employed by the more vociferous members of the online trading community. The fact that thousands of online traders could start snapping up more BTC at one time could create ripples that end up with higher BTC/USD conversion rates. That may drain El Salvador’s conversion fund at a rapid rate, and semi-scuppering the launch.

Additionally, the citizens of El Salvador are not particularly keen on the introduction of BTC into their currency system anyway.

A poll by the local Central American University showed that of 1,281 people surveyed, at least 67.9% of 1,281 people disagree or strongly disagree with the use of Bitcoin as a legal tender.

South Korea introduces its first blockchain mutual fund

KB Asset Management, an investment-focussed branch of KB Financial Group, has launched South Korea’s first mutual fund for blockchain technologies.

The KB Global Digital Chain Economy fund will invest in three main areas:

  • Hardware – This includes investment in businesses specialising in the physical products needed to run blockchain servers and/or crypto mining, Companies like NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel are just some of those mentioned by KB Asset Management.
  • Software – Under this umbrella are software suppliers involved in sustaining and creating blockchains, such as IBM, Amazon Web Services and China’s Baidu.
  • Users – The third segment covers companies that have integrated blockchain into their businesses. According to KB, this means it will invest in businesses such as PayPal, Square, NTT Data and Tencent amongst others.

US firms are KB’s primary investment target. A smaller allocation of funds will be put towards companies operating in Japan, Europe, and China.

KB Asset Management had more than $90 billion under management as of February, according to Korea Financial Investment Association data.

Cryptocurrency update: Institutions ride correction into Bitcoin

More institutional investors entered the crypto world last March, helping support a sector some are still reluctant to back.

Cryptocurrency update

Wood suggests Bitcoin correction tempted institutions into crypto

Founder and CEO of ARK Investment Management Cathie Wood has said March’s cryptocurrency market correction was a buy signal for institutional investors.

Referencing on-chain analysis undertaken by ARK researchers and data from crypto research firm Chainalysis, Wood said institutions moved money into Bitcoin during this time.

According to Chainalysis, large institutional trading transactions, i.e., those transactions above $10 million, accounted for over 60% of decentralised finance (DeFi) market movements in Q2 2021. In Q3 2020, the share was more like 20%.

Institutions now hold close to $70bn in Bitcoin, according to research from Buy Bitcoin Worldwide. $40.1bn of that total is controlled by BTC asset managers. Of thee, Greyscale is the largest digital asset manager, holding around $31bn in the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.

Greyscale itself is an important vehicle for institutional-level investors looking for crypto exposure. It’s also interesting that Cathie Wood flagged how such investors made a move into digital tokens in March. She was very likely one of them. Wood’s own ARK Investment Management is the largest shareholder in the Greyscale Bitcoin Trust with a $350 million stake of 9 million shares.

Bitcoin itself broke above $50,000 for the first time in months last week. At the time of writing, it was trading for around $47,412, down some 2.76% on the day. The coin is eyeing support at $49,000.

We’ve seen plenty of institutional-level support from moneyed investors for BTC and other tokens across the past year. However, some are not so convinced of cryptocurrency’s validity as an investment vehicle.

Paulson goes hard on Bitcoin

Billionaire investor John Paulson has fired a few harsh words Bitcoin’s way.

Paulson, who gained notoriety as a subprime shorter back in 2008, has stated that cryptocurrency’s inherent volatility would put him off from “even shorting it”.

Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg, Paulson said Bitcoin and digital tokens are not an ideal store of value since they are a “limited supply of nothing”, and hold “no intrinsic value”.

Paulson went even further. The investor said he would not recommend investing in digital tokens to anyone.

“Cryptocurrencies, regardless of where they’re trading today, will eventually prove to be worthless,” Paulson told Bloomberg. “Once the exuberance wears off, or liquidity dries up, they will go to zero.”

So, what does Paulson recommend investors put their cash into? The old standby gold. The talk of Bitcoin becoming the new “digital gold” has been floating around the markets for a while now, but many investors still prefer gold as a store of wealth over its upstart rival.

Some investors prefer the physical nature of gold, plus its inherent value, as making it a stable value store over cryptocurrencies.

Expecting increasing inflation to result in the metal appreciating thanks to it being regarded as a safe haven asset, Paulson heavily supports gold.

On-chain metrics could spell the return of BTC & ETH bull run

Despite Poulson’s protestations, there is a growing belief that Bitcoin and Ethereum could be about to stage another bull market surge.

Glassnode, a crypto and blockchain analytics firm, has said there is a tremendous crossover with today’s on-chain metrics and those seen in mid-to-late 2020 when cryptocurrencies began a fresh surge.

“As the Bitcoin and wider cryptocurrency market rallies higher, a remarkable on-chain divergence continues to form across both Bitcoin and Ethereum,” Glassnode’s latest Week-on-Chain report states.

“On-chain activity on both chains has remained quiet relative to bull market highs, even as price momentum continues upwards, and bullish trends in supply dynamics remain in play.”

Indicators that a new bull run is on the way are currently observable, including higher network participation and record transaction values.

Active entities on the Bitcoin blockchain are particularly noteworthy. Despite prices being near $50,000, these are still one-third below all-time highs but growing rapidly.

“It is notable that current activity on both chains is similar to the stable pre-bull accumulation range established in mid to late 2020,” Glassnode said.

“Whilst the divergence between price and on-chain activity is historically abnormal for a full-scale bull market, it is not an uncommon signature for the pre-bull, and pre-supply-squeeze dynamic,” the report continues. “These periods often accompany the end of bear market accumulation where the investors who remain, are the strong hands, those with the highest conviction.”

Cryptocurrency update: Bitcoin passes $50,000 in 3-month uptick

Bitcoin starts the week in fighting form as it reaches heights not seen since mid-May.

Crypto update

Bitcoin continues fightback after breaching $50,000

Bitcoin started the week strongly by building on weekend momentum to break above $50,000 for the first time in three months.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency is currently trading at $50,345 and is up over 3.25% in a 24-hour period. According to Coindesk data, Bitcoin is now up 71.4% year-to-date.

A couple of new reports have helped push BTC towards new highs.

Firstly, Coinbase has announced it plans on adding a further $500 million worth of new crypto assets, including BTC, to its holdings. Institutional support tends to be a big support for Bitcoin. It’s no different here.

We’ve also seen PayPal announce it will offer crypto wallet services to UK customers. More on that later.

Price action remains above the 200-day moving average. That could mean we’re seeing a sustained rally, rather than a flash-in-the-pan trading moment. That said, trading volumes have remained relatively flat since the weekend, despite the uptick in price action.

Bitcoin is the crypto industry’s bellwether. With it back in the green, several other popular tokens are subsequently rallying. Cardano is up over 7%, XRP, is up over 3.75%, and Ether is showing a 2.31% rise.

Is Bitcoin back in business? We all know how quickly things can change in the world of digital finance and token trading. We’ll just have to wait and see, but the fundamentals suggest we could at least see the rally continue across the week.

PayPal offers crypto services to UK customers

As digital token trading gets more popular, an increasing number of platforms are starting to offer crypto buying, selling, and holding on their platforms.

The latest to throw its hat into the digital currency ring is PayPal. It is now offering crypto services to its UK customers. Users will be able to exchange or hold four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.

Crypto derivatives, like CFDs, are banned for retail customers in the UK. However, retail clients can still buy and hold the physical coins themselves, circumventing this ban. That’s essentially what PayPal is offering here.

The same service was launched in the US fairly recently. Users there can also pay for transactions using their crypto holdings too.

For some, PayPal’s decision to accept digital currencies on its platform came as a bit of a shock. There have been questions around money laundering and potential fraud caused by cryptocurrency users’ anonymity. Such critics have thought maybe PayPal and other institutions may have been put off by this.

There’s also volatility to consider. While we’ve seen Bitcoin reach a new 3-month high this week, it fell away dramatically from its all-time highs in April to below $30,000 weeks later. This may have been seen as an impediment to adoption by the likes of PayPal in the past.

This is obviously not the case. PayPal is now happy to ride the crypto train until the wheels fall off.

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice president and general manager for blockchain, crypto and digital currencies at PayPal, said his company’s new service could help introduce more people to cryptocurrency.

“The pandemic has accelerated digital change and innovation across all aspects of our lives, including the digitisation of money and greater consumer adoption of digital financial services.

Global digital currency adoption soars over two years

The adoption of cryptocurrencies has grown 2,300% over the past two years Chainanalysis research has revealed.

Those stats represent the acceleration in crypto trading at the end of Q2 2021 against Q2 2019. Chainanalysis data also reveals it is up 881% across the last year.

The blockchain specialist said it rated activity in 154 countries against three criteria to establish its results:

  • The amount of on-chain crypto received
  • On-chain retail value transferred
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange trade volume

The above metrics were weighted by purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita. P2P exchange trade volume was weighted by the number of internet users in a given country.

Institutional support, i.e., that from banks, businesses, and brokers, is what drove adoption in North America, Western Europe, and East Asia.

According to Chainanalysis’ report, digital tokens have been seen as “compelling” by such players, particularly as prices were reaching all-time highs at the start of the second quarter.

On the other hand, peer-to-peer activity pushed growth in emerging markets. Crypto users and investors in these areas see digital currencies as a to preserve savings in the face of currency devaluations. They also can use it for overseas remittance or carry out business transactions.

“Central and Southern Asia, Latin America, and Africa send more web traffic to P2P platforms than regions whose countries tend to have larger economies, such as Western Europe and Eastern Asia,” the report states.

Cryptocurrency update: BTC rally pushes crypto market above $2 trillion

Key tokens start the day with greens across the board, with Bitcoin and Ethereum leading the charge.

Cryptocurrency update

Global cryptocurrency market hits $2 trillion

With BTC and ETH reaching highs not seen for months, the total value of the global crypto market has exceeded $2 trillion for the first time since May.

Bitcoin crept above $48,000 on Monday morning, although it fell back towards $47,175 as the day progressed. Ether, which has strengthened on a successful network upgrade, is on a seven-day high after gaining 11% throughout the week. Cardano is up 53% across the last seven days.

It’s a good sign of market confidence in digital tokens. Bitcoin in particular had been experiencing a torrid couple of months recently. A strong sell-off in July, precipitated by falling token prices influenced heavily by China’s crypto crackdown, caused prices to dip below $30,000. Now, they’re rallying strongly and eyeing up the next resistance level.

During the BTC sell-off with prices at their lowest in July, the overall crypto market cap was around $1.12 trillion. Its peak, recorded in May when Bitcoin was trading at all-time highs, totalled $2.5 trillion.

There is still ground to recover. Volatility, however, is never far away from the world’s cryptocurrency markets.

While the bulls are feeling pretty good, there is still time for prices to go south again. Analysts predict the current BTC surge could top out at around $55,000. After that, the token may begin to fall away below $30,000 again.

The impact of the upcoming US Infrastructure Bill’s crypto tax provisions has yet to be truly felt.

That said, some are still optimistic. Others are predicting BTC hold its place above $40,000 and possibly over $50,000, going forward.

Singaporeans prefer Ether

A joint survey by digital token exchange Gemini, crypto market data analysts CoinMarketCap, and finance platform Seedly has revealed Singapore’s favourite coin: Ether.

78% of those surveyed by the group stated they hold onto Ether, compared to 69% that hold Bitcoin. Cardano was the third most popular token with 40% of respondents saying they had invested in it.

4,000 adults were surveyed as part of this study. 67% of respondents said they included digital tokens in their portfolios, and two-thirds of that group said they had increased their crypto holdings during the pandemic.

A fifth of those surveyed said that half or more of their investments are in cryptocurrencies.

Ether has been tipped to overtake Bitcoin as the world’s most popular digital token in the future. Many decentralised finance (DeFi) apps run off the Ethereum blockchain network, for instance, and users wishing to use said blockchain must pay a small fee in ETH to do so.

The network’s recent London Fork upgrade has introduced more user-friendly features, which may explain why ETH is rallying right now.

Still, with Bitcoin accounting for up to 68% of the total worldwide crypto market, Ether has some way to go before it can challenge for the top spot. It does appear, however, to be moving in the right direction – particularly if one nation’s traders and investors are seeing high potential in Ether.

The top five crypto-investing banks revealed

Institutional support for cryptocurrencies has been steadily building throughout the year, even with Bitcoin’s erratic price behaviour. Banks have stepped up their digital finance services and offers and been keen to grab their slice of the $2 trillion market.

A report from Blockdata has put together the 13 banks investing the most capital into blockchain networks and cryptocurrency wallets. Together, they represented over $3bn in investments. This includes token purchases and acquisition, as well as investment into tech companies and others in the digital finance ecosystem.

Blockdata said it reviewed banks in terms of size of funding rounds as a proxy of investment into the crypto space, saying it used that measure as banks participated in funding rounds with multiple or many other investors.

The top five crypto-investing banks as identified by Blockdata are:

  • Standard & Chartered – $380m in 6 investments
  • BNY Mellon – $321m in 5 investments
  • Citibank – $279m in 14 investments
  • UBS – $266m in 5 investments
  • BNP Paribas – $236m in 9 investments

While the above banks represent those betting the most on the crypto sector, it’s starting to pick up steam amongst other financial institutions.

55% of the world’s 100 biggest banks by assets under management are investing directly or indirectly in companies and projects related to digital currencies and blockchain, according to Blockdata research.

 

Cryptocurrency update: global crypto userbase soars

The first half of 2021 sees record numbers of people engaging with cryptocurrency markets.

Crypto update

Global cryptocurrency users skyrockets in H1

The number of people actively using and trading digital tokens exploded in the first half of 2021 according to data from Crypto.com.

Data was taken from 24 digital asset exchanges, including Binance, Bitfinex, and Gemini.

Up to June 30th, 220,000,000 people – more than the population of Brazil – have had some level of interaction with cryptocurrencies this year. In January, the figure was closer to 106 million.

Crypto.com states its Bitcoin that’s driven the largest number of new users.

“We can see that January, February, and April were exceptionally strong months, driven by Bitcoin’s stellar performance,” Crypto.com said in a statement. “However, May was also extraordinary, given Bitcoin and Ethereum’s price plunge.

“Notably, it only took four months to double the global crypto population from 100 million to 200 million. By comparison, it took nine months to reach 100 million from 65 million since we began tracking these numbers.”

Institutional support also drove up the numbers.

“Bitcoin led growth from January to April, as heavyweight institutions like PayPal, MicroStrategy, Visa, and Mastercard announced plans to support crypto,” said Crypto.com Similarly, Ethereum saw significant growth in May and June as institutional investors continued to favour the token.”

In terms of altcoins, i.e., not mainstream tokens like BTC or Ether, it was perennial meme favourites Dogecoin and spin-off Shiba that helped attract more retail clients.

Bitcoin drops off on US infrastructure bill uncertainty

If you’re a keen crypto market follower, you’ll probably know that Bitcoin has had a bit of a struggle recently.

Falling away from record highs seen earlier in the year, the token has struggled to gain meaningful momentum. It climbed above $42,000 on Saturday, but as of now has fallen back below the $40,000 mark.

One of the key reasons for this is uncertainty around the new proposed $1 trillion US infrastructure bill currently being debated.

Provisions within the bill call for about $28bn to be generated from taxing cryptocurrency transactions. Bitcoin, being the most popular crypto for US and global traders, hasn’t responded well to this proposed idea. In fact, traders have got cold feet regarding Biden’s plans.

The definition of the word “broker” for tax purposes is what’s riling up BTC traders. In the amended bipartisan bill, people who provide digital asset transfers would be treated as a broker, thus be susceptible to greater information reporting and taxation requirements.

“Any person who (for consideration) is responsible for regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person” is now included in the definition, according to the bill.

This has caused a lot of doubt, fear, and uncertainty around the whole US BTC sector.

Other factors at play include China’s central bank aping the CCP’s tough crypto stance. The People’s Bank of China has said it will continue to crack down on digital asset trading throughout China, citing financial risks to the Chinese economy.

Bitcoin has now slumped 5.5% from its Saturday high.

Ether whales move over $500m in hours

Whales holding onto large Ether caches moved over half a billion dollars’ worth into new wallets last week.

Research from blockchain tracker Whale Alert revealed multiple transactions had taken place on Friday.  236,419 ETH tokens, worth approximately $$557,777,068, was moved in one ten-hour window.

Here’s the breakdown of key transactions:

  • 36,168 ETH worth $89.1 million transferred from unknown wallet to unknown wallet.
  • 36,168 ETH worth $88.4 million transferred from unknown wallet to unknown wallet.
  • 33,000 ETH worth $79.8 million transferred from unknown wallet to unknown wallet.
  • 25,119 ETH worth $59 million transferred from unknown wallet to unknown wallet.
  • 5,891 ETH worth $13.9 million transferred from unknown wallet to Gemini.
  • 33,000 ETH worth $77.5 million transferred from unknown wallet to unknown wallet.
  • 6,487 ETH worth $15.1 million transferred from OKEx wallet to unknown wallet.
  • 6,309 ETH worth $14.7 million transferred from unknown wallet to Binance.

Interestingly, ETH is trading down. Bitcoin falling tends to bring all of the other key tokens down with it, and Ether is no exception. The above tells us that there’s significant behind-the-scenes interest in ETH, as well as the scale of coins held by moneyed investors. Could these be institutional? It’s hard to say.

Cryptocurrency update: Bitcoin on the rebound?

Bitcoin makes some big strides in trading today. Are we looking at a BTC bounce back?

Cryptocurrency update

Bitcoin gains 35%, starts week in the green

What a torrid couple of weeks it’s been for Bitcoin. The world’s most popular cryptocurrency has been battered recently, with prices falling below $30,000 for the first time since last year.

Now, it looks like BTC is preparing to bounce back. As of Monday, the crypto had gained 35% in early trading, reaching over $39,000. This was the first time Bitcoin had breached that level since June 16th – but still some $26,000 off the currency’s all-time highs.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin had retreated to around $38,355.

Datamish data shows a short squeeze appears to have driven prices higher in the short-term. Those taking short positions have apparently had to sell as price action turned positive.  Why is currently unknown.

Datamish is an independent service that tracks Bitcoin long and short positions.

One of the key reasons why Bitcoin may have rekindled its fighting spirit is the news Amazon is planning to accept BTC as payment, potentially by the end of 2021.

According to reports from City A.M., the online retail colossus is exploring how cryptos can be fully integrated into the Amazon ecosystem. Bitcoin would be the launch point, with Ethereum, Cardona and Bitcoin Cash potentially being acceptable payment for Amazon transactions going forward.

Either way, the bulls will be happy with this price action – but let’s not get too hasty. This is cryptocurrency after all. We’ve seen volatility that would sink any other asset become normal in the world of crypto trading. Anything can change at any minute.

While the outlook is currently good, there are some global stories and opinions that could knock BTC off its current upward course.

Bitcoin mogul suggests Chinese crypto trading could soon be a thing of the past

According to Bobby Lee, one of China’s first Bitcoin trading pioneers, cryptocurrencies could face an outright trading ban if the Chinese crypto crackdown intensifies.

Lee, the former owner of BTC China, the nation’s first Bitcoin exchange, is speaking from experience. He was forced to sell BTC China in 2017 following the first of the Chinese government’s crypto clampdowns.

Chinese authorities have been ruthless in their pursuit of crypto market regulation in 2021. So far, we’ve seen outright bans on crypto mining within China, and tougher restrictions on retail trading and institutional banking services.

According to Lee, the next logical step for China’s government to take is an outright ban on crypto trading.

“The next thing they could do, the final straw, would be something like banning cryptocurrency altogether,” Lee said in an interview with Fortune. “I put it at the odds of 50-50.”

Lee did not mention how this would be enforced from a practical standpoint.

China’s authoritarian stance on crypto trading has been the catalyst for BTC prices crashes in 2021. When China announced its mining ban back in May, Bitcoin prices were in free fall. While this has opened up mining operations in other countries, China was responsible for the vast bulk of BTC token mining.

The global hash rate, the rate at which new BTC tokens are created, as fallen dramatically since the ban.

Will Lee’s prediction ring true? It’s hard to say. Control is the Chinese government’s modus operandi. There are many exchanges, including Binance, still operational in Chinese jurisdictions. If the nation is really serious about clamping down on crypto trading, these could fall next.

Keep an eye on China. Its actions will likely define BTC price movements going forward.

Man Group chief likens cryptocurrency trading to Dutch tulip bubble

Luke Ellis of Man Group has claimed that cryptocurrencies hold “no inherent worth’, comparing the current situation to the 17th Dutch tulip bubble.

Man Group is the world’s largest listed hedge fund, controlling assets worth $127bn for clients worldwide.

According to Ellis, cryptocurrencies are mainly popular with traders because of their price swings, rather than any practical application. Much of the actual trading is done by market participants who doubt crypto’s ultimate utility.

“If you look at cryptocurrencies as a whole, it is a pure trading instrument. There is no inherent worth in it whatsoever. It is a tulip bulb,” Ellis said. Ellis also described crypto tokens as “things to trade because they go up and down a bunch”.

Tulip bulb refers to the Dutch tulip trading bubble. In the 17th century, prices of tulip flowers skyrocketed before massively collapsing, leaving hundreds of tulip traders and speculators bankrupt.

Could the same be happening with cryptos?

We’ve seen similar rhetoric from a number of institutional sources recently. Governor Andrew Bailey of the Bank of England, for instance, has warned cryptocurrency traders may stand to lose all their money due to the product’s inherent volatility.

But some tokens have an actual practical use. Ether is used as payments for transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. The Ethereum blockchain is rapidly expanding in scope and is thought to be the leading network for the decentralised finance sector. We’ve also seen the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs); artworks and media held digitally and bought exclusively with cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin, however, may have gained too much value to be used as an actual means of exchange. But when you have countries like El Salvador enshrining it as legal tender, it may still yet serve a purpose beyond simply being a tradeable project.

Digital currency is such a young asset that bubbles may likely occur during these development stages. However, this just requires extra vigilance on the part of traders and investors. Volatility is never far away – and all bubbles have to burst eventually.

Cryptocurrency update: Bitcoin tipped for global finance shakeup

Bold predictions for Bitcoin this week, despite its recent woes. Could we be on the cusp of a worldwide financial revolution?

Cryptocurrency update

BTC to overtake USD by 2050?

A panel of 42 cryptocurrency experts believe Bitcoin will replace fiat currency as the dominant form of finance by 2050.

The survey, undertaken by personal finance site Finder.com, showed 54% of respondents thought hyperbitcoinisation, i.e. the shift from fiat to BTC tokens, will occur by then. A further 29% believe this will happen by 2035.

Developing and emerging economies may be the driving force behind this global change. We’ve already seen El Salvador commit to using Bitcoin as legal tender. Other countries, such as Venezuela, may pursue similar options to extract themselves from the dollar in the long term.

Survey respondents were also feeling bullish regarding BTC prices. The consensus seems to be a price of $66,000 will be reached by 2021’s end. This was only slightly higher than the all-time high seen in April this year, prior to the BTC crash.

The most bullish price prediction comes from Morpher CEO Martin Fröhler, who suggests BTC token prices could climb as high as $160,000 by the end of the year.

This seems wildly optimistic. BTC has struggled to clear $32,000 and its predicted it may fall below $30,000 again soon.

Another thing to remember when looking at this survey’s results is participants’ vested interest in high crypto prices. At cryptocurrency experts, traders, and investors, they want to see high prices as it will pay off for them in the long-term. Take this survey with a grain of salt.

Indeed, not all respondents are bullish. University of Canberra senior lecturer John Hawkins is among the most bearish survey respondents. He gave an EOY prediction of US$20,000, stating that countries adopting Bitcoin may actually have negative impact on its price:

“I’m assuming El Salvador adopting it as legal tender puts a floor for a while. But after the price has dropped a lot, they may remove the legal tender status.”

Ethereum co-founder walks away

Anthony Di Iorio, one of Ethereum’s eight co-founders, has announced he is leaving the world of cryptocurrencies.

It’s a leftfield move from a man who has done a fair amount to promote decentralised finance and digital currencies through his work on the Ethereum blockchain and token.

Di Iorio has cited fears around his personal safety as one of the key reasons for pulling out.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Di Iorio said he doesn’t “feel necessarily safe in this space”. He also and warned that cryptocurrency is not what the world needs.

“[Crypto is] really a small percentage of what the world needs,” Di Iorio said, adding he wants to “to diversify to not being a crypto guy, but being a guy tackling complex problems. I will incorporate crypto when needed, but a lot of times, it’s not.”

According to Di Iorio, he has hired security teams to safeguard himself while attending meetings and travelling since 2017.

The world of decentralised finance is all built around personal freedom. But, because it is decentralised, it has also attracted a large following from the world’s criminal element. Money laundering and fraud is a big problem in the DeFi sector. Thieves and criminals have been particularly attentive to cryptocurrencies recently thanks to the staggering price increases we’ve seen across the past year.

Di Iorio will instead be focussing his attention and resources on more entrepreneurial endeavours.

ETH has struggled to find its footing again after Bitcoin’s collapse sent nearly the whole crypto market into the red.

Whales snap up more XRP tokens

XRP, the token for the Ripple network, has seen an upswing in whale transactions in the past week.

For context, whales are single-address entities that own 1,000 or more tokens in a single wallet.

In this case, the number of XRP coins involved has scaled into the hundreds of millions. Research from Whale Alert, a leading blockchain tracker, has revealed 124 million in XRP transfers, sourced from two transactions, took place in the past couple of days.

On 19 July 2021, a leading XRP address moved 84.3 million coins to an unknown wallet. The total value of the mentioned transaction, recorded by Bithomp.com, stands at around $50 million.

In a separate transfer, around 40 million XRP coins worth over $23 million were moved from a crypto wallet to the digital exchange Binance on Saturday 17th July.

We’ve recently seen a high level of growth in the number of Bitcoin tokens sitting in whale wallets. Because of the price collapse, canny investors are buying the dip, in the hopes of another BTC price rally.

This may be the same here. It’s been reported that the XRP 50-day moving average is about to fall below the 200-day moving average. This so called “death cross” could spell disaster for XRP token prices – but it does present an acquisition opportunity. The trouble is with crypto is that prices are so volatile that death crosses such as the one mentioned could become more frequent.

Right now, the market is in a depression – but if enough whales hoover up enough tokens, the principles of supply and demand could kick in, and thus support prices again.

Cryptocurrency update: Bitcoin price drop prompts trading fall

The ongoing BTC lull and previous market crash may have caused a freefall in crypto trading volumes.

Cryptocurrency update

Crypto trading volumes fall as BTC price stalls

Trading volumes on major cryptocurrency exchanges dropped over 40% in June according to CryptoCompare data.

The market researcher found that trading activity had plummeted on the largest exchanges, including Binance, Coinbase, Kraken and Bitstamp.

Bitcoin’s current price is likely behind the drop. After peaking at record highs in April, the world’s most popular token has struggled to regain value after crashing to below $29,000 in June.

China’s move to crackdown on crypto mining operations and wrest control of decentralised finance markets into the hands of the government has led to Bitcoin’s struggles. Notably, with Bitcoin miners having to move out of China, the hash rate, or the rate at which new BTC tokens are minted, has fallen. Supply may be even tighter than usual.

Other criticisms around the Bitcoin from an environment, social and governance perspective has also put a dampener on BTC performance. In an increasingly environmentally conscious world, stories of BTC mining consuming as much power annually as Sweden may have put investors off.

The regulatory framework around crypto trading in general is still being hashed out on a global scale. When it comes to Bitcoin, however, intergovernmental bodies like the Financial Action Task Force, are keeping a close eye on its network. Money laundering and using BTC to fund illegal activities is something many watchdogs are keeping a close eye on.

Other financial and institutional bodies are stepping up their efforts to safeguard retail investors against the massive volatility and uncertainty crypto trading can bring too.

Then there are other concerns around the naivety of BTC investors and traders. Many are total newcomers to these two disciplines. They may not have the capital or the experience necessary to whether a Bitcoin bear market, as they only just got in when goings are good.

Even if trading volumes have slumped in June, they are still some of the highest volumes seen in crypto trading yet. But with half the market gone, and the BTC price in the midst of a lengthy correction, it may take something big to entice investors back.

Of course, many large scale buyers with the capital to match may be using this as a period of accumulation. We’ve seen Bitcoin whales snaff up tokens left right and centre during price lulls, and this may be what we’re seeing in the here and now.

El Salvador BTC plans may put a squeeze on the global network

El Salvador’s plan to introduce Bitcoin as legal tender continues to draw flack.

JPMorgan has warned that this would have negative ramifications for both the token and El Salvador should plans go through.

According to a report from the US megabank, such a scheme would put enormous strain on the Bitcoin blockchain network. It would severely limited Bitcoin as a method for exchange, the report said, with issues around illiquidity and the token’s trading nature causing big hurdles.

JPMorgan analysts said that Bitcoin is highly illiquid, noting that most Bitcoin trading volumes are internalized by major exchanges, with more than 90% of Bitcoin not changing hands in more than a year.

“Daily payment activity in El Salvador would represent 4% of recent on-chain transaction volume and more than 1% of the total value of tokens which have been transferred between wallets in the past year,” the report said.

JPMorgan also has worried about convertibility. A continuous imbalance of demand for conversions of Bitcoin and the United States dollar could “cannibalize onshore dollar liquidity” and eventually introduce fiscal and balance of payments risk, according to JPMorgan.

El Salvador’s government passed a bill in June that states Bitcoin would be accepted there as legal tender alongside the US dollar. Under the bill’s stipulations, merchants across El Salvador must accept BTC if offered as a method of payment.

The country also wants to be Central America’s mining hub, with an audacious plan to harness the power of volcanos to power its mining operations.

Coinbase a “tactical trade” says Goldman

Coinbase, the US’ largest crypto exchange, may be on course to beat Wall Street earnings.

The exchange’s Q2 2021 results are due soon as earnings season has begun on Wall Street. Goldman Sachs has identified the stock, which trades under the COIN ticker, as buy.

In an interesting bit of analysis, Goldman researchers say that the current parade of negative crypto headlines could actually be benefiting Coinbase. What Goldman calls “significantly higher elevated crypto asset volatility”, or the wild price action we’ve been seeing in recent months, may have led to increased pre-BTC collapse trading volumes. Coinbase can then capture this activity through its fees.

Even if BTC’s price stays low, Coinbase may be able to profit off uneasy traders looking to divest and others looking to buy in a market downturn.

Goldman acknowledged its analyst’s earnings per share estimate for Coinbase is “11% above consensus” for the year ahead – way ahead of the Wall Street consensus.

CySEC (EU)

  • Client’s funds are kept in segregated bank accounts
  • FSCS Investor Compensation up to EUR20,000
  • 1,000,000 insurance cover** 
  • Negative Balance Protection

Products

  • CFD
  • Share Dealing
  • Strategy Builder

Markets.com, operated by Safecap Investments Limited (“Safecap”) Regulated by CySEC under licence no. 092/08 and FSCA under licence no. 43906.

FSC (GLOBAL)

  • Clients’ funds kept in segregated bank accounts
  • Electronic Verification
  • Negative Balance Protection
  • $1,000,000 insurance cover** 

Products

  • CFD
  • Strategy Builder

Markets.com, operated by Finalto (BVI) Ltd by the BVI Financial Services Commission (‘FSC’) under licence no. SIBA/L/14/1067.

FCA (UK)

  • Client’s funds are kept in segregated bank accounts
  • FSCS Investor Compensation up to GBP85,000
    *depending on criteria and eligibility
  • £1,000,000 insurance cover** 
  • Negative Balance Protection

Products

  • CFD
  • Spread Bets
  • Strategy Builder

Markets.com operated by Finalto Trading Ltd. Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) under licence number 607305.

ASIC (AU)

  • Clients’ funds kept in segregated bank accounts
  • Electronic Verification
  • Negative Balance Protection
  • $1,000,000 insurance cover**

Products

  • CFD

Markets.com, operated by Finalto (Australia) Pty Ltd Holds Australian Financial Services Licence no. 424008 and is regulated in the provision of financial services by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (“ASIC”).

Selecting one of these regulators will display the corresponding information across the entire website. If you would like to display information for a different regulator, please select it. For more information click here.

**Terms & conditions apply. Click here to read full policy.

Marketsi
An individual approach to investing.

Whether you’re investing for the long-term, medium-term or even short-term, Marketsi puts you in control. You can take a traditional approach or be creative with our innovative Investment Strategy Builder tool, our industry-leading platform and personalised, VIP service will help you make the most of the global markets without the need for intermediaries.

La gestión de acciones del grupo Markets se ofrece en exclusiva a través de Safecap Investments Limited, regulada por la Comisión de Bolsa y Valores de Chipre (CySEC) con número de licencia 092/08. Le estamos redirigiendo al sitio web de Safecap.

Redirigir

Are you lost?

We’ve noticed you’re on the site. As you are connecting from a location in the you should therefore consider re-entering , which is subject to the product intervention measures. Whilst you’re free to browse here on your own exclusive initiative, viewing the site for your country will display the corresponding regulatory information and relevant protections of the company you choose. Would you like to be redirected to ?