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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.

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