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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?
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: BTC spirals, XRP soars & SEC ETF review begins
Two major cryptos are gaining traction this week, with Bitcoin and XRP rallying. Elsewhere, the SEC is reviewing a new crypto ETF application that could bring more to the masses.
Musk tweet sends BTC spiralling
Elon Musk is up to his old Bitcoin tricks.
The enigmatic billionaire, and noted crypto champion, tweeted “…going to moon very soon” on Saturday 10th April, and lo and behold! BTC smashed through the $60,000 level once again.
Bitcoin prices hit $61,222 on Luxembourg-based exchange Bitsmap following Musk’s tweet, reaching above $60,000 for the first time since mid-March 2021.
Are all-time highs on the way again? We could be looking at even higher prices this week. At the time of writing, Bitcoin futures had exceeded Saturday’s price, and were trading at around $61,500.
Bitcoin prices have doubled in 2021 so far after starting the year around $30,000.
Elon Musk has been at the centre of the BTC boom with his itchy tweeting finger and appetite for cryptos. Earlier this year, Tesla made headlines for snapping up $1.5bn worth of BTC. Since then, it has made more profit on BTC price increases than by selling cars.
The effect of influential institutional idols like Musk is clear on Bitcoin markets, but it’s also the power of memes. The internet’s chief cultural currency has been a strong market force in 2021 (see /r/Wallstreetbets and GameStop’s tango) and using language like “to the moon” puts Musk firmly in meme territory.
“To the moon” is something of a rallying cry for a new breed of traders, particularly susceptive to big e-celeb names’ perceived wisdom.
It’s not clear if the latest price rally is all down to Musk, or if other factors are at play, but his influence on BTC prices cannot be underestimated.
XRP soars after beating legal challenges
XRP, the token for blockchain platform Ripple, soared 38% at the tail end of last week, after some key legal wins.
The currency has grown 110% in value across the last week as a federal judge ruled that Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse and former CEO Chris Larsen do not have to provide their personal financial records to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The SEC alleges Ripple raised capital via unregistered securities in 2013, to the tune of $1.3bn, but Ripple maintains its token is not a security. Bitcoin and Ethereum, for instance, are not considered securities by the SEC.
Presiding United States District Court Judge Sarah Netburn also ruled upon a motion of discovery which grants Ripple access to SEC memos and minutes “expressing the agency’s interpretation or views.” These records are expected to reveal why the SECr has not classed Bitcoin or Ethereum as securities.
If the requested documents state the SEC has referred to XRP as a “virtual currency”, instead of a security, it’s expected Ripple will be able to strengthen its case. That’s because the lawsuit, brought against Ripple in December 2020, revolves around the SEC’s determination that XRP is deemed a security.
As the case rolls on it looks like a settlement between the two parties is the most likely outcome.
As such, investor confidence in XRP and Ripple is going from strength to strength. That is feeding into higher XRP prices that we’re seeing today. In the seven days up to April 11th, XRP had made 118% gains – the highest weekly increases seen for three years.
SEC WisdomTree Bitcoin ETF review begins
Last week, the SEC kicked off its initial review process for WisdomTree’s latest Bitcoin ETF application.
The body will be reviewing the WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust, which the ETF giant filed with Cboe BZX Exchange. WisdomTree made its filing last month, following on from a previous attempt to set up a BTC-focused ETF in June 2020.
As you’ll no doubt have seen over the past couple of years, the cryptocurrency sector is still young, brimming with froth and volatility.
An ETF, like WisdomTree is proposing, could provide a safer option for retail investors to gain exposure to the sector without having to directly invest in potentially volatile Bitcoin via a regulated financial product.
WisdomTree’s BTC ETF is the second currently under review by the SEC. The other, by Van Eck, has closed its first comment period, generating only five comments from the securities regulator, which appears promising.
While several attempts have been made to get a crypto ETF to market, so far, the SEC has yet to approve any such fund. Over a dozen have been rejected over the last couple of years. However, commentators believe that a BTC ETF will be approved in 2021.
That would be a first for the US. Even so, several crypto ETFs have been launched globally on exchanges in Canada and Brazil.
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.
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.
Cryptocurrency update: Visa introduces crypto trading, Elon Musk backs Bitcoin, and memes, memes, memes
In this week’s crypto update, Visa announces plans to integrate crypto into its network, meme traders send Dogecoin sky high before bringing it back down to Earth, and Elon Musk weighs in on the crypto debate.
Visa to add crypto trading to its network
According to comments made in its latest earnings call, Visa will soon add cryptocurrency trading to its network.
CEO Alfred Kelly has said Visa’s “global presence, its partnership approach as well as its trusted brand” makes it well placed to help make cryptocurrencies more safe.” Kelly also added how Visa’s move can make cryptos more applicable and useful for payments.
So, what will this look like in practice? Visa will split its crypto offering into two segments: cryptocurrencies and digital currencies.
When asked about assets held in the cryptocurrency segment, Kelly said they will be viewed “as digital gold.” According to Kelly, such currencies are “predominantly held as assets that are not used as a form of payment in a significant way at this point.”
Kelly said Visa will be working with wallets and exchanges to use their Visa credentials to acquire cryptocurrencies or to cash out onto a Visa credential to make a fiat purchase at payment points where Visa is accepted.
On the digital currencies front, Kelly said this segment would be made up of “fiat-backed digital currencies including stablecoins and central bank digital currencies.” Stablecoins are tokens whose value is tied to an asset like gold or fiat currency.
Musk backs Bitcoin, prices up, but effect doesn’t last long
Bitcoin’s been on another rollercoaster recently all thanks to the world’s richest man Elon Musk.
Last week, the Tesla CEO changed his Twitter profile to read simply “#bitcoin#”, following that up by tweeting “it was inevitable”. Ably showing the power of social media, or at least the influence of a tech-savvy billionaire, BTC soared, reaching over $38,000 for the first time since January’s major price spikes.
Cooler heads once again dropped the price back down to the $33,000 level. At the time of writing, BTC futures were trading at around $34,400.
Musk looks like he is strengthening his support for the most popular crypto on the market.
“I think bitcoin is really on the verge of getting broad acceptance by sort of the conventional finance people,” said Musk on Sunday 31st January during a Clubhouse chat session. “I don’t have a strong opinion on other cryptocurrencies.”
Will the Musk effect help Bitcoin in future? It probably depends on how many more pro-BTC statements Musk makes, but just from the price movements we’ve seen from a simple Twitter bio update, anything Elon Musk says related to the crypto could cause big upward movements.
Dogecoin: sending a meme to the moon?
With Redditors over on /r/Wallstreetbets deciding to take on the entire global trading system, their cryptocurrency trading cousins on the lesser known /r/Satoshistreetbets subreddit are doing their best to bump Dogecoin.
Dogecoin, originally started as a joke based on the Doge meme (basically a shiba inu dog with a funny face), is being pumped up by Reddit speculators. Its price action has gone wild in the past couple of days, soaring 420% on Friday January 29th, at one point gaining 1000%.
It’s essentially the product of an /r/Wallstreets copycat, backed by added meme power, itself a huge social currency on the internet. Even Elon Musk, who else, is getting on the act.
“The most entertaining/ironic outcome is the most likely, and the most entertaining outcome would be that $DOGE coin become the currency of the future,” Musk told Clubhouse.
Despite this, Dogecoin has now crashed as meme-based traders use it as a pump and dump and turn their attention to other tokens.
At the time of writing, XRP is surging, with investors pulling money out of doge and into Ripple’s crypto currency. Prices are up more than 100% in the last 48 hourson XRP, so maybe it’s not the power of memes dragging prices higher, more organised trading blocs pumping money into different cryptos.
XRP capitalisation is now around $28bn following the surge. That means it has now climbed back to the fourth most valuable cryptocurrency on the market today by market cap.
But, as we’ve seen from other historic and current spike-then-crash crypto cycles, nothing is certain in the world of cryptocurrencies. Volatility is an ever-present reality. Will XRP be trading as high this time next week? Will /r/Satoshistreetbets grow bored of sending XRP to the moon and look elsewhere? Anything can happen in the world of cryptos right now.