Cryptocurrency update: Bitcoin rockets, Dash dashes upward & major XRP backer plans mergers

Could Bitcoin be about to breach new levels? Will Dash keep heading upwards? Will XRP surge following an announcement by one of its biggest backers? Let’s take a look in our latest crypto update.

Cryptocurrency update

Bitcoin sets its sights on $50k

The price of BTC rocketed to a new high watermark of $49,719 on Sunday, smashing its all-time high as investor interest gathers intense momentum.

While commentators are not exactly sure, it’s highly possible that institutional interest is behind the recent price drive, as BTC eyes up a tantalising $50,000 level. Take a look at the recent developments that may explain why BTC has rocketed once more:

  • Deutsche Bank’s plans to offer crypto currency and prime brokerage were revealed in a WEF report last week. The world’s 21st largest bank plans to create “a fully integrated custody platform for institutional clients and their digital assets providing seamless connectivity to the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem,” according to a World Economic Forum report.
  • Morgan Stanley’s $150 billion Counterpoint Global investment unit is considering placing a bet on bitcoin, Bloomberg reported on February 13th.
  • Tesla has invested $1.5bn in BTC
  • ARK Management increased its stake in the Greyscale Bitcoin Investment Trust in Q4 2020, bringing its holdings of the market-leading institutional bitcoin investment vehicle to 7.31 million shares.
  • BNY Mellon will role out a new crypto custody unit this year

A lot of big hitters are throwing their not inconsiderable heft behind Bitcoin this year. Will that $50,000 target be smashed? There’s even talk from some that $100,000 may be in sight this year. Support looks like it is being established around $44,000 with BTC futures currently trading at around $48,000. We all know volatility is never far from Bitcoin, but the level of backing the crypto is getting in 2021 so far suggests even higher prices may very well be on their way.

SBI Holdings plans crypto joint venture

Japanese financial monolith SBI Holdings has announced it is intalks with foreign financial firms to form a cryptocurrency joint venture.

“To become number one in the world, our choice is buying a leading company or creating an alliance with major global companies,” Kitao told Reuters. “Investors once lived in the world where they invested in stocks or bonds, it’s not an either-or situation anymore.”

In the nine months through December 2020, SBI recorded a huge increase in profits derived from cryptos. Pre-tax profit from its crypto business stood at 6.7 billion yen ($64 million), an 83% increase against the same period in 2019.

SBI has already been busy on the acquisition front. It bought Japanese cryptocurrency exchange TaoTao in 2020, and also acquired crypto trading firm B2C2 in December of the same year. According to Kitao, two deals are underway towards forming a new joint venture, but he did not reveal the names of any potential partners.

SBI is a big supporter of XRP, the token associated with the Ripple blockchain.   Despite recent pullbacks, trading at $0.56 at the time of writing, bullish investors believe XRP will be able to hit $1.0 in 2021. SBI announced recently that it will allow customers to trade XRP for interest, noting that, according to Japanese regulators, XRP isn’t a security.

Dash heads upwards bringing other privacy coins with it

Dash is leading gains in the so-called privacy coins, growing 125% over the past week, and dragging other tokens with it.

According to Coin Telegraph, Dash is breaking out of a two-year accumulation period, heading towards an $15-170 support area. If that holds, Coin Telegraph postulates, then Dash could be heading towards a $550-600 level at some point in 2021.

Last week, Dash trading volumes soared 282% as commercial adoption increases.

Other privacy tokens are following Dash’s lead. Monero, for instance, rallied 50% in the last week, while Zcash also grew by 70%.

These great rallies are relatively impressive, but privacy coins only cover a fraction of the total crypto market at the moment. Dash, the largest of the segment with a market cap of $1.1bn, is only the 44th largest crypto currency in the world.

Privacy tokens place a higher degree of importance of users’ anonymity and privacy when making transactions. While good for the end user, the alleged lack of transparency gives some investors cold feet. Indeed, Dash has been delisted from several cryptocurrency exchanges as some fear it may be used for money laundering.

However, Dash is in the midst of a rebranding. It claims its security protocols are no stricter or opaque than BTC’s. Dash Core Group, the developers behind the crypto, has been preparing the DashPay mobile app to allow more functionality and help its repositioning as a transparent, easy-to-use cryptocurrency for everyday payments.

Explaining cryptocurrencies: What is Dash?

Dash is the most well-known of the group of cryptocurrencies known as “privacy coins”. As their name suggests, these are cryptos that place a higher degree of importance of users’ anonymity and privacy when making transactions. 

Dash is a portmanteau of “digital and cash”. It had previously gone by the names Xcoin and Darkcoin before Dash was chosen on. 

It has been accepted as a payment method by 300 organisations around the world since its launch in 2014, including Apple Pay. Dash CEO Ryan Taylor believes Dash may eventually overtake Bitcoin as the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. 

However, it has not always been smooth sailing for Dash. Its previous focus on private transactions has caused investors to take a cautious view toward the crypto.Some exchanges have delisted Dash as a result. Bittrix was the latest to delist Dash at the time of writing.  

This is for regulatory reasons to protect against money laundering, which privacy coins have been linked to in the past. 

Dash claims its privacy protocols are no stricter than Bitcoin, and it has been repositioning itself.It wants to become a medium for daily transactions.The Dash website proclaims it is “instant, global, and easy to use”. 

Dash Core Group, the developers behind the crypto, has been preparing the DashPay mobile app to allow more functionality and help it reposition itsself as a transparent, easy-to-use cryptocurrency. 

Dash price movements 

Like most cryptocurrencies, Dash is subject to high levels of price volatility.  

Its all-time high, seen in December 2017, was $1,441. 

At the time of writing, 11th January 2021, however, Dash was trading at $133.17 – up from the $94.58 valuation seen the previous week.  

It’s likely Dash’s future prices though will be tied into its public perception.If it can be seen as being more open and transparent, and lose its privacy coin tag, it could become more attractive to investors. 

How is Dash traded? 

For investors, Dash coins can be bought on numerous cryptocurrency exchanges. Binance is currently the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. 

However, many traders prefer to trade the currency using derivatives like CFDs and futures. Dash futures are available on ourMarketsx platform. 

Please be aware trading any financial product contains risk of capital loss. Only trade if you can afford any potential losses. 

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