Nouriel Roubini and Peter Schiff Can’t Stop Talking About Bitcoin Day In, Day Out

2020 has been all about people coming out of fiat’s influence and finding the importance of Bitcoin. But among these high-profile names, celebrities, legendary investors who have found love for Bitcoin do not include Nouriel Roubini and Peter Schiff.

These two people have been bashing Bitcoin for a decade now; either they like to be wrong way too much or are just holding Bitcoin secretly while keeping up with the appearances.

Like a broken record, they started calling names to the leading cryptocurrency yet again as BTC took a drop of 17% to nearly $16,300. Since October, the loss came after a new 2020 high of $19,500, a rally of more than 85%. Even now, BTC is up 135% YTD.

In his latest attempt to do… something, Peter Schiff, a gold proponent, attributed this rally to CNBC promoting Grayscale and covering Bitcoin non-stop positively, which led “greedy speculators” to jump in.

Meanwhile, Nouriel Roubini felt the need to share, yet again, that it is not a currency. A highly volatile store of value, “Bitcoin has no role in institutional or retail investors portfolios,” he said.

“In every bubble those who don’t participate always look like fools for missing out. It’s only after the bubbles pop and the air comes out that the real fools are exposed,” said Shiff in another tweet.

If only he would have just put his investment in Bitcoin, like his son, if not done already, that is, instead of seeing these declines after explosive rallies as a way to criticize bitcoin, he would have been buying the dips and accumulating wealth.

According to him, once bitcoin’s bubble deflates, “the real gold remains the best safe haven and store of value left standing.”

He didn’t share with his followers that ever since making a new all-time high above $2,000, the price of the precious metal has declined more than 13% to $1,800.

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Author: AnTy

PayPal CEO Explains Company’s Mission to Improve Bitcoin’s Payment Functionality

PayPal’s entry into the crypto space has been one of the most anticipated events of 2020 in the cryptocurrency sector. Besides increasing customers’ access to Bitcoin, the payment processor appears bent on improving its functionality for transactions.

Easy Payments Anytime

Earlier today, PayPal chief executive Dan Schulman spoke to CNBC’s Squawk Box. He explained that the company’s entry into the Bitcoin market was fueled by a desire to capitalize on digital payments growth. Schulman said that PayPal’s objective is to improve peoples’ ability to utilize crypto as a funding source, hence their mode of operation.

Schulman was incredibly bullish on Bitcoin in his interview. He explained that while it is challenging to give Bitcoin price projections, he believes the asset will increase in utility.

“When you start to move crypto as a potential funding instrument, I think that bolsters its utility and stabilizes it as well–because it can be used every day in your purchases.”

The CEO added that increased adoption could also improve Bitcoin’s stability. Detractors have often bashed Bitcoin for its volatility. Addressing this problem can be a game-changer for Bitcoin – both as an investment vehicle and a currency.

PayPal’s customers in the U.S can now buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin through its new crypto feature. The service will also provide compatibility with existing merchant platforms, allowing businesses to accept digital payments. Schulman told CNBC that business integration would be open to about 28 million merchants.

Co-Existing with CBDCs

Schulman also spoke on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC), explaining that many of these will grow as fiat loses prominence.

CBDCs have been a hot-button issue this year. Many countries have announced their intention to digitize their currencies, with most of them hoping to bolster their digital payment infrastructures. However, there have also been questions about what this could mean for top digital assets like Bitcoin.

For Schulman, CBDCs’ entry into mainstream finance could benefit Bitcoin. In part, he believes the dissipation of fiat from daily transactions could force central banks to find replacements. These replacements will ideally be the digital forms of their fiat currencies.

Many believe that increased fiat digitization could lead governments to take harsher stances against legacy cryptos – a reality that could hurt PayPal’s business.

However, Schulman explained that CBDCs’ proliferation wouldn’t negatively affect traditional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. As he explained, cryptocurrencies’ underlying structures like smart contracts could improve CBDCs and their operational efficiency when they get launched.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

BlackRock CIO: Bitcoin Will Replace Gold Because it is So Much More Functional

  • In 2020, everyone is finding a soft spot for Bitcoin.
  • The latest one to join the ranks is BlackRock.

In an interview with CNBC this morning, BlackRock, CIO of Fixed Income Rick Rieder said Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are here to stay.

Talk about a sharp U-turn, although not at all surprising for the bitcoin community given all the new bitcoiners we see this year thanks to the fiat devaluation and bitcoin’s over 150% YTD rally to $18,500.

BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, with $7.4 trillion in AUM as of end-Q4 2019, whose CEO Larry Fink said in 2018 that they are evaluating cryptocurrencies but don’t see “huge demand” for them.

Last year, the company’s global chief investment strategist said they see them “potentially becoming more widely used in the future as the markets mature,” Richard Turnill warned that one should invest only if you’re ready for “complete losses.”

Now, Rieder said that “millennial receptivity of technology and cryptocurrency is real, and the digital payments system is real, so I think the bitcoin system is here to stay.”

As for being a bitcoin bull, he isn’t really sure bitcoin is worth the price it is trading today. But Reider’s vague statements suggest he might be a closeted bitcoiner and not ready to reveal it to the world yet. He said,

“I don’t do a lot of it or much any of it.”

Like everyone, JPMorgan and Deutsche, he also sees Bitcoin replacing the precious metal – the traditional safe-haven asset with advantages over gold. He said,

“Do I think it is a durable mechanism that will take the place of gold to a large extent.. yeah I do because it is so much more functional than passing a bar of gold around.”

BlackRock is already getting exposure to Bitcoin via MicroStrategy, in which it has a 15.24% stake, and Vanguard Group holds an 11.72% stake. In August, the software company replaced cash with Bitcoin in its balance sheet as a reserved asset.

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Author: AnTy

DeFi Hacks Rise from Trivial to $98 Million in 2020: CipherTrace Report

In the last 10 months of 2020, losses from cryptocurrency hacks, thefts, and frauds have declined a good $1.8 billion compared to last year. But at the same, the crimes in the “decentralized finance” (DeFi) sector jumped.

Crypto crime reached $4.5 billion globally in 2019, as per the report from crypto intelligence company CipherTrace.

“What we have seen is that exchanges and other cryptocurrency players have implemented more security procedures,” Dave Jevans, CipherTrace’s chief executive officer, told Reuters.

“They have taken the guidance and implemented the procedures to secure their funds better. So you’re going to see less mass-scale hacks.”

So far, in 2020, losses from thefts and hacks increased to $468 million, excluding fraud and misappropriation of funds. This is a jump of 30% from $361 million in the entire last year.

20% of these hacks, at around $98 million, belong to DeFi space, which currently has a record of $13 billion of total value locked (TVL), as per DeFi Pulse. The sector has grown by 1,825% since the beginning of this year.

The DeFi mania attracted criminal hackers to space, which resulted in the most hacks for the sector this year. In 2019, the DeFi hacks were negligible.

“Companies and individuals have rushed DeFi products to market that have not gone through security verification and validation,” said Jevans. “So people are figuring out that there’s a weakness here.”

After a crazy bull run in August that topped out the next month, this week, as Bitcoin’s price took a breather following its run-up to almost $16,000, DeFi tokens are yet again enjoying a hot rally.

Some of the blue-chip DeFi tokens are up 60% to over 100% this past week, as per Messari.

According to Jevans, because of these networks being permissionless by designs, they can easily become a haven for money launderers.

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Author: AnTy

Grammy-Nominated Rapper Logic Makes a ‘Big Investment’ in Bitcoin

It’s happening again.

As Bitcoin rallies to make new 2020 highs, reaching closer and closer to its all-time high of $20,000, everyone is paying attention to the crypto king.

Retired rapper Logic, who has two Grammy nominations to his name, shared with his 2.4 million followers on Twitter that he has made a big investment into the digital asset. He didn’t reveal exactly how much.

The crypto community congratulated him and celebrated another bitcoiner in his comments section.

In 2020, the leading digital currency has already turned many skeptics to pro-BTC. Nouriel Roubini, who once called BTC the “mother of all scams,” called Bitcoin a store of value in a recent interview.

Even legendary investor Bill Miller is “strongly” recommending buying Bitcoin despite the digital asset not generating any yield, like gold.

While PayPal integrated Bitcoin and crypto deep into its business just last month, JPMorgan sees BTC as an alternative currency that is in intense competition with gold.

Besides billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones calling Bitcoin a hedge against inflation, the fastest horse, the digital asset, also found its way into publicly listed companies’ balance sheet as a reserved asset.

We recently reported how mainstream media has started to cover Bitcoin while rapper Kanye West and comedian Kevin Hart dropped the Bitcoin bomb.

Bitcoin has entered another cycle that sees it hitting new all-time highs. With the awareness and adoption increasing vastly, it would be interesting to see just how high we go this time.

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Author: AnTy

PayPal CEO Reveals Big Plans for Crypto to Become a ‘Market Leader in the Digital Currency Space’

In its Q3 2020 earnings call on Monday, PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) discussed increasing the utility of cryptocurrencies and to embrace new forms of central bank digital currencies (CBDC), which are just “a matter of when and how they’re done, not if.”

Dan Shulman, the President and chief executive officer of PayPal, shared that over the next year, both PayPal and Venmo will be undergoing a “fundamental transformation” that expands to crypto as well.

“We are entering a new era of financial services where our wallets and all the services around them are moving from physical to digital.”

This is why last month, the online payments company announced that they would allow its account holders to buy, sell, and hold cryptos; a decision made after a “lot of research.”

“Very Eager” Users

The service is opened in the US, for now, which will be then expanded to international markets and then Venmo platform in the first half of next year, that too in “in close partnership with regulators.”

The early reactions to this announcement has been “well beyond our expectations,” said Shulman.

“Our base is very eager for us to offer these capabilities,” which is rolled out to only 10% of the user base with a waiting list two to three times the expectations. It will be rolled out to 100% of the user base in the US in the next two to three weeks, with the limit increased from $10,000 per day to $15,000 per day based on this demand.

“We’re beginning to already see some halo effects that go on with that,” said Shulman.

“My conversations with central banks, with the regulators, with a number of folks in the crypto field, there is no question that digital currencies are going to be rising in importance, having increasing functionality and increasing prominence.”

So Much More

Shulman is “really excited” about “dramatically increase the utility of cryptocurrencies” by enabling a crypto holder to instantaneously transfer that crypto in PayPal account into fiat currency with no incremental fees charges.

Through its platform with digital wallets and its scale, Shulman believes PayPal can help shape the utility of digital currencies that ranges from interoperability between wallets, between currencies, and “importantly into our network of merchants for commerce” — a way of using crypto as a lower-cost funding mechanism.

At the beginning of the next year, consumers will also be allowed to shop across all 28 million merchants, a solution that will not involve additional integrations, volatility risk, or incremental transaction fees for consumers or merchants that will “fundamentally bolster the utility of cryptocurrencies.”

“This is just the beginning of the opportunities we see as we work hand in hand with regulators to accept new forms of digital currencies,” to be “a market leader in the digital currency space,” Shulman said.

As the company looks ahead to Q4 and 2021, they also see “multiple tailwinds from the permanent shift towards a digital economy.”

Also Read: PayPal Exploring Acquiring Crypto Companies, Already in Talks with Bitcoin Custodian BitGo

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Author: AnTy

Genesis Reports Largest Ever Quarter, Q3 Driven by ETH, Stablecoins, & DeFi

Digital currency prime broker Genesis reported a record quarter third of 2020 with $4.5 billion in spot volume — up 285% from the same quarter in 2019, $1 billion in bilateral derivatives volume — which was driven by the BTC spot becoming more tightly coupled to risk assets in the broader macro and the embedded optionality in DeFi, and $5.2 billion in new loan originations.

First, Grayscale announced its biggest quarter ever, the third time in a row, and now Genesis is reporting “tremendous growth in its lending business.”

According to its Q3 2020 Digital Asset Market Report, the company’s active loan outstanding grew 50% QoQ to $2.1 billion, adding $5.2 billion in new originations in just Q3, “marking its largest quarter ever by a landslide.”

Q1 Reading: New Loans Issuance Hits $2B In Q1 For Its Largest Quarter Ever

Q2 Reading: Hunt for Yield Drives a Record Q2 for Genesis Lending

Active Loans Outstanding
Source: Genesis Report

Its Cumulative originations increased 61.5% from the prior quarter, seeing the tenth consecutive quarter of strong growth and bringing total originations to $13.6 billion since launching the lending business in March 2018.

“Our loan portfolio substantially increased in value through increased cash and altcoin loan issuance, along with a modest increase in the notional value of crypto loans outstanding.”

The report also noted a growing “appetite for yield” on digital assets as it recorded 165 unique institutional lenders, up from 47.3% from the previous quarter and 275% from last year.

But it hasn’t been Bitcoin that was driving this growth as BTC as a percentage of loans outstanding fell sharply QoQ from 51.2% to 40.8%. It was actually ETH, USD, and equivalents, and “other” altcoins drove the increase in book size in Q3.

“The main driver of this portfolio shift came from the impact of liquidity mining on DeFi protocols,” leading to the active borrowing of ETH and stablecoins.

The report further noted “ample cash on the balance sheets of top tier trading firms,” which indicates that there has been a significant increase in credit distributed by banks to prime brokerage lines across hedge funds, trading firms, and high net worth individuals.

This was also seen in the vastly increased institutional participation in the CME that became the second biggest futures market in OI this month.

And Genesis expects these trends to persist for at least another quarter because Federal Reserve balance sheet expansion may continue in Q4. This means CME growth can continue into 2021.

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Holders Not Staking ETH Altogether Is “Not Unreasonable” – ConsenSys DeFi Report

Ethereum 2.0 is likely to launch its genesis block in Q4 2020, says Ethereum developer ConsenSys in its latest DeFi report.

With the launch of the first phase, Phase 0 – Beacon Chain, the long-anticipated staking will come to ETH. The Proof of Stake consensus mechanism will allow the holders to earn rewards through staking Ether. For this, validators have to lock up their ETH. But this may become a problem as the report states,

“Some community members expressed concern that DeFi could be the number one threat to getting a significant amount of staking participation in Eth2.”

The Risk of Locking ETH

DeFi has been the star of Q3 2020 as it saw “the largest bull run since the ICO boom of late 2017 and early 2018.”

This DeFi bull run started with Compound’s governance token (COMP) release, leading to a frenzy of activity and an exuberant amount of yield.

With various DeFi protocols offering higher returns than staking, ETH holders may elect to direct their tokens elsewhere that wouldn’t even require them to lock ETH up for an unspecified amount of time.

“It is not unreasonable to worry that ETH holders would (at best) wait to see how early staking returns compare to DeFi returns, or (at worst) decide altogether not to “risk” locking up ETH until Phase 1.5 (which is likely at least a year away) in case another similar bull run occurs in the meantime.”

But the team sees the emergence of derivative tokens representing the users’ pooled token. As we reported, recently launched project Lido has already announced the same intentions.

However, it remains to be seen how the holders will really react when the time comes with considerations like the amount of liquidity an ETH holder can access, the volatility of Eth1.x vs Eth2, and the evolving user experience of being an ETH holder to play into their decision making to lock funds.

Major Changes Expected

The report also covered how it was the rise of Automated Market Makers (AMM), governance tokens and yield farming, forks, derivatives, and network effects, and weird DeFi where it “began to incorporate memetic internet culture into the lexicon,” were the trends that defined Ethereum DeFi in Q3.

Although the excitement has come down extensively and the price of DeFi tokens are in capitulation mode, in the afterglow still, “smart financial and technical minds are increasingly attracted to the financial capabilities of Ethereum,” states the report.

These rapid innovation periods also saw an increase in ETH locked in DeFi protocols and a spike in the average gas price. But,

“As the Ethereum community prepares for an upgrade to the base protocol, and the Eth2 Deposit Contract goes live in Quarter 4 of 2020, this cycle could see major changes as DeFi continues to drive major activity on Ethereum.”

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Author: AnTy

Digital Assets Beat Traditional Assets by a Wide Margin & Ethereum Outperforms Bitcoin

In 2020 to date, Bitcoin has seen a positive performance of 80% and Ethereum 217%.

With these gains, digital currencies are leading this year, with both the top digital assets outperforming traditional asset classes, that too by a wide margin.

image2
Source: TradeBlock

Clearly, Ether has enjoyed much higher performance than Bitcoin, just yesterday it also caught up with BTC’s latest move. ETH went to $420 and is currently trading around this level only.

The realized price of Ether, the average price for each ETH at the time it last moved on-chain, actually hit a 21-month high, at $246, a level not seen since January 2019. In the past six months, it has increased by 21%.

According to one quant trader, benign bearish on the network, which is the center of the fast-growing DeFi and stablecoin space, just doesn’t make sense.

“I get not being long ETH, but I don’t get why anyone would be short ETH against what is to me the single most important protocol upgrade and token incentives change since the beginning of Ethereum in 2014,” said Qiao Wang.

Outperforming Bitcoin

It has been because of DeFi and stablecoins crazy growth this year, which saw Ethereum beating Bitcoin not just in terms of price but also in transaction volume as it transacted two times more value than BTC daily.

“Ethereum’s progress has been so incredible that it will likely becomes the first public blockchain ever to settle $1 trillion in a year,” said Ryan Watkins, a researcher at Messari.

ETH vs BTC Daily Transactions
Source: Messari

Much of this growing activity has been because of stablecoins, especially ERC-20 USDT, with Tether alone doing more volume daily, nearly double, than Bitcoin.

When it comes to DeFi, Yield farming phenomena and decentralized exchanges (DEX) play a big part. DEXs now comprise 13.6% of total volumes from all exchanges (CEX+DEX). Uniswap and Curve did more than $20 billion in combined volume last month, resulting in a boom in on-chain liquidity on Ethereum.

However, as Ethereum becomes the “epicenter of crypto finance,” it comes at the cost of extremely high fees pricing out retail users and pushing some apps out too.

And this allows alternative platforms to gain attention and adoption. According to Messari, 5 layer 1 alternatives raised a combined $138 million over the quarter.

“The next 12 months could come to define the smart contract market as almost every high-profile Ethereum competitor will be live by year-end. And these networks are barrelling towards a head-to-head battle with Ethereum’s bevy Layer-2 scaling solutions,” said Wilson Withiam of Messari.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Overtakes Disney & Netflix After Beating BoA to Become 23rd Largest Asset by Market Cap

Bitcoin is enjoying a bullish this week as the price sets a new 2020 high.

As the leading digital currency surpassed $13,000 for the first time since early June 2019, Bitcoin’s market cap also jumped to $230.5 billion.

Bitcoin’s market cap is on an uptrend ever since the March sell-off, which resulted in it going under $100 billion. But now, we are on a level not seen since mid-January 2018, as per Bitinfocharts.

At the peak of the 2017 bull run in December, Bitcoin recorded a market capitalization ATH of nearly $325 billion.

If Bitcoin’s market cap breaks this high, it will put the digital asset at 16th place, replacing Mastercard based on market cap, 7 spots above its current place while beating the likes of PayPal, JPMorgan Chase, and Home Depot.

Currently, Bitcoin is at 22nd place by market cap, overtaking Coca-Cola, Netflix, Intel, Disney, Salesforce, and Verizon, as per Asset Dash.

Just before this week, Bitcoin had entered the top 30th place flipping Bank of America but this week’s gains of 16.6% thanks to PayPal announcing support for the flagship cryptocurrency has it flying. Jake Chervinksy, General Counsel at Compound Finance said,

“Bitcoin’s value has increased extraordinarily since its price last peaked in 2017. We’ve spent 3 years building mature market infrastructure, resolving regulatory issues, & gaining legitimacy & adoption in mainstream circles. Price will reflect all of this work sooner or later.”

The digital asset still has a way to go. The top spot sits Apple with a whopping over $2 trillion market cap followed by three other trillion dollar brands Microsoft, Amazon, and Alphabet.

For Bitcoin to enter into the trillion-dollar category, the price of each BTC must spike to about $54,000. And to replace Apple to become the biggest asset, Bitcoin’s price needs to jump past $100k. But as Dan Tapiero, co-founder of 10T Holdings, notes,

“It’s still so early for bitcoin. Still at the birth of a new global asset class.”

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Author: AnTy