Crypto Deals in 2021 ‘Already on Track to Significantly Surpass’ $1.1B from Last Year: PwC Report

Crypto Deals in 2021 ‘Already on Track to Significantly Surpass’ $1.1 Billion from Last Year: PwC Report

The value of overall crypto fundraising increased by 33% in 2020 from the year prior, a greater percentage of it happening in Europe and Asia.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the cryptocurrency sector surged in 2020 and are expected to keep on climbing this year, according to a report by PwC.

The total value of this activity in crypto more than doubled last year to $1.1 billion from 2019, PwC said in a market overview released Monday. The average deal size has also risen from $19.2 million to $52.7 million.

Overall, the value of crypto fundraising has increased by 33% from the year prior. A greater percentage of this deal activity is taking place in Europe and Asia.

While crypto fundraising and M&A made a record last year, 2021 “is already on track to significantly surpass it from every single metric,” said Henri Arslanian, PwC global crypto leader.

According to him, cash-rich crypto platforms, large investors, and institutional players will drive activity.

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The latest report supports the case that the crypto market is expanding as the price of Bitcoin rises to a new all-time high of nearly $62,000 this month.

PwC also predicts that the cryptocurrency industry will become more institutionalized, citing the gains seen in the market and the buzz surrounding central bank digital currencies (CBDC), stablecoins, decentralized finance (DeFi), and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

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Author: AnTy

Israeli Asset Manager Invests $100 Million in Bitcoin via GBTC

“A little intimidated” by the speed at which BTC gained in value, the firm has already sold one-third of its holdings after doubling its investment. Now holds $150 million GBTC shares.

Altshuler Shaham Investment House, an Israeli asset manager, invested $100 million in Bitcoin by purchasing the shares in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) late last year, reported a local publication.

At the time, Bitcoin was trading around $21k; since then, the crypto asset has soared to a new ATH at $58,350.

Grayscale Investments is the world’s largest asset manager with north of $40 billion in AUM.

One of the largest investment managers in Israel, Altshuler Shaham, already sold some of its stake in early February when BTC price was around $40k, as co-CEO Gilad Altshuler said his group was “a little intimidated” by the speed with which bitcoin gained in value.

The price of Bitcoin has appreciated more than 13.5x in value since its March low, becoming a trillion-dollar asset. Still, the fund was able to double its investment before selling about a third of it. He said,

“This is a new investment for us. It took a few months until we got all the relevant approvals and all the opinions that approved our investment in the field.”

This is the first time an Israeli institutional body gained Bitcoin exposure. Altshuler Shaham had over $50 billion in assets in long-term savings associates’ accounts – provident funds and pension funds as of the end of January.

Currently, the company holds $150 million GBTC shares. As for increasing this investment, Altshuler said, “It depends on the price.”

Meanwhile, investment company Altshuler Shaham Horizon, a subsidiary of Altshuler Shaham, is looking to expand into the cryptocurrency market.

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Author: AnTy

Tesla has Already Made $1 Billion on its $1.5 Billion Bitcoin Investment

Tesla has Already Made $1 Billion on its $1.5 Billion Bitcoin Investment

Equity analyst Dan Ives expects about 5% of public companies to follow the same route as Tesla until more regulatory clarity comes.

The electric car company has doubled its Bitcoin investments in less than two months.

The leading digital currency made another all-time high at about $58,360 on Sunday, appreciating more than 14x in value since the March 2020 low. These gains helped Bitcoin become a trillion-dollar asset.

This week, however, the market is experiencing a sell-off after a 71.5% uptrend this year.

Bitcoin’s rally, before this recent pullback that went into action over the weekend, has racked up Tesla’s profits worth $1 billion, according to estimates by Dan Ives, an equity analyst at Wedbush Securities. Ives wrote in a note published Saturday,

“Based on our calculations, we estimate that Tesla so far has made roughly $1 billion of profit over the last month from its Bitcoin investment given the skyrocketing price of Bitcoin, which now tops a trillion of market value.”

At the time of the announcement in January, when the BTC price was between $30k to $40k, the company didn’t specify when or at what price it bought Bitcoin. But Tesla is ready to make more from its BTC investment than by selling the cars throughout the last year.

The company “is on a trajectory to make more from its Bitcoin investments than profits from selling its EV cars in all of 2020,” he added.

Tesla, whose CEO is Elon Musk, who repeatedly tweets about Bitcoin and cryptos, also announced at the time of Bitcoin investment that it would soon begin to accept the cryptocurrency as payment for its products.

As the Crypto Twitter (CT) has been calling and hoping, the analyst also expects other companies to follow in Tesla’s footsteps. Ives said in the note,

“While the Bitcoin investment is a sideshow for Tesla, it’s clearly been a good initial investment and a trend we expect could have a ripple impact for other public companies over the next 12 to 18 months.”

However, per him, less than 5% of public companies will take the same route at least until more regulatory clarity comes around.

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Author: AnTy

Holiday Crypto Dip & Reversal; Strong Week Ahead After Leveraged Longs Rinsed Out

The cryptocurrency market is already recovering fast after the weekend dip.

Late Sunday or early Monday, the price of Bitcoin went down to about $45,700 level not long after hitting a new all-time high at nearly $50,000.

Already, BTC/USD has traded above $48k and is now back to targeting the ATH.

However, this time this buying power didn’t come from Coinbase, the biggest exchange in the US, as there has been no premium on the exchange compared to Binance, Huobi, and OKEx.

Bitcoin’s losses came despite the dollar keeping near two-week lows on disappointing employment data and looking for evidence that the US rebound would outpace the economies of other major countries.

However, many financial markets are out in the United States for Presidents’ Day, and in Asia, the markets remain closed for Lunar New Year.

The prominent reason for the dips has been simple, according to trader and economist Alex Kruger, which is also the only bearish thing, “degen longs abusing leverage.”

This can be seen in the almost $1.9 billion liquidated in the last 24 hours, as per Bybt. Among the 303,349 traders liquidated, the largest single liquidation order happened on Huobi-BTC, valued at $21.25 million, and the highest liquidated amount on Binance at nearly $1 billion.

Interestingly, only $582 million of it belongs to Bitcoin liquidations, the majority of them long.

Most of the liquidations belong to altcoins that include not only Ethereum but DeFi coins, including the likes of AAVE, CRV, UNI, 1INCH, BAL, and COMP.

And this is why Kruger is bullish on the risky assets this week noting,

“I expect a strong week across risk asset and crypto assets. Crypto needed leveraged longs to get rinsed out. We just got that.”

The funding rates across exchanges on both Bitcoin and Ethereum perpetual contracts have calmed down to 0.01% to 0.04%, as per Viewbase.

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In tandem with Bitcoin, the rest of the cryptocurrency market took a fall, with Ether dropping to $1,655 level ETH -0.10% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 1,813.21
-$1.81-0.10%
Volume 37.76 b Change -$1.81 Open $1,813.21 Circulating 114.69 m Market Cap 207.95 b
5 h Canadian Singer, Grimes, Entering the NFT Scene; Volume Jumps 2.6x This Month 7 h Contentious EIP-1559 Seeking Community Consensus as Ethereum Miner Revenue Hits an ATH 8 h Holiday Crypto Dip & Reversal; Strong Week Ahead After Leveraged Longs Rinsed Out
. While Ether is aiming for $1,800 yet again, the overall market capitalization has recovered half of its $110 billion losses and yet again is on the way to the $1.5 trillion mark.

1% to 4% gains are recorded across the crypto assets, which for some cryptocurrencies goes up to 7%.

As for those, who might see this as the top of the market, the total market cap is only up 1,150% from the March 2020 lows, which are nowhere near the 2017-2018 bull market that resulted in the total market cap increasing by 4,500%.

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Author: AnTy

Deeper Pullback in Precious Metals Indicates Flows Are Moving Towards Bitcoin

However, if the dollar rally continues on “that would sink a few boats.”

Cryptocurrencies are already leading the market gains in 2021.

On Friday, Bitcoin price nearly hit $42,000 and is currently holding strongly above $40k with over $14 billion in ‘real’ volume.

This week, BTC started with a dip to about $28,500 and since then has seen a 42% increment in its value.

“The surge in Bitcoin is indicative of froth but not only in that market, in many other areas where risk premiums have come down sharply in the past year despite a recession,” said Kevin Caron, portfolio manager for Washington Crossing. “We view Bitcoin as a proxy for risk appetite.”

Besides Bitcoin, altcoins also enjoyed a good week with notable mentions including Nano (256%), Pundi X (146%), YFL (130%), Stellar (128%), Loopring (126%), ROOK (118%), Nexus (107%), Verge (96%), ALPHA (87%), YFI (82%), SOL (78%), MATIC (67%), KIMCHI (62%), KP3R (60%), IOTA (58%), and Ethereum (58%).

These gains led to the total cryptocurrency market capitalization to climb to $1.09 trillion.

Bitcoin awakening

While cryptocurrencies are enjoying just another green week, the same is not the case for metals.

As we reported, precious metals have been taking a beating for three days in a row. Since Wednesday, spot gold has lost 6.6% of its value and is now seeing a slight relief to $1,847 per ounce. The same is the case for silver, which slid a good 12.8% during the same period.

These losses have been the result of the US dollar index rising and keeping above the 90 level. Unlike the traditional safe-haven asset, Bitcoin and the stock market remained unaffected by the greenback’s strength.

According to Charlie Morris of ByteTree, the deep slide in precious metals could be the result of flows moving towards Bitcoin. “If this continues, expect a dollar counter-rally. That would sink a few boats,” he said.

Much like gold, treasuries also sold off as investors focused on further stimulus. The sell-off in 10-year US Treasuries pushed their yields to their highest levels since March. Despite the UK economy losing 140,000 jobs in December, the first time in eight months. Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Swiss wealth manager Prime Partners, said,

“Investors are buying the end of an erratic Trump administration and looking forward to something new, which is a Biden presidency and the prospect of a significant spending program.”

The Biden administration is expected to be good for cryptocurrencies with the expectations for more stimulus and money printing. Frank Spiteri, chief revenue officer at CoinShares, said,

“It seems like we’re in the middle of a simultaneous awakening among institutions to Bitcoin as an uncorrelated store of value assets with the possibility of serving as an inflation hedge in the face of a highly unconventional monetary policy environment.”

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Author: AnTy

Why Does Bitcoin (BTC) Continue to Tear Up Without Ever Stopping?

It’s the magic of demand and supply.

2021 started above $28,500 and Bitcoin has already been up over 20%. Meanwhile, the traditional markets have yet to open.

On the day of its 12th birthday, January 3rd, Bitcoin first broke above $33k, went down to $30,500 only to smash through $34k, and missed $35k by a few hundred dollars.

On Bitcoin’s Birthday, these gains helped the pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto become the 40th richest person in the world, with $34 billion.

Bitcoin is now marching towards $50k.

But…

Demand > Supply

But why exactly does the Bitcoin price keep on going up and up and up?

The most simple answer is there are more buyers than sellers in the market currently.

As we have been seeing throughout 2020, the cryptocurrency exchange reserves have been declining. Bitcoin holders have been increasingly moving their BTC off the exchanges to keep them safe in hardware wallets as they don’t have any interest in selling them because they believe the price will go higher.

“BTC is leaving exchange wallets which imply less supply for buyers with insatiable demand. The price goes up,” states Joe McCann, a crypto enthusiast working at Microsoft.

These uptrends came despite the flagship cryptocurrency being in overbought territory, as per technical indicators. The underlying buying on spot exchanges and the long term buying for investment are strong with USDC flows to support this buying off the charts.

FOMO Buying

This buying can particularly be seen on institution-focused Coinbase Pro, whose outflows indicate institutions’ FOMO buying. Over 35k BTC worth more than $1 billion were moved out of the exchange early Saturday, just a day after 12,063 coins also left, as per data source CryptoQuant.

Retail isn’t much far behind.

According to economist and trader Alex Kruger, “Bitcoin is being driven by spot demand,” as can be seen in the flat funding and Bitmex perpetual – Coinbase spot basis being negative.

Any Pullbacks?

The digital asset is now also approaching the midpoint of its logarithmic adoption curve channel, and “if ever there were a moment to blast straight through magic resistance, it’s right now,” said analyst Cole Garner. Given BTC’s current momentum, it can blast through it as well.

“People started getting a little ridiculous today, as can happen with large price action. I’m very bullish but we’re not going to magically teleport to $100k in one day,” tweeted trader Resolute right before the call for $100k next week.

While many believe $20k isn’t coming back now, another trader Jonny Moe notes how the BTC weekly RSI has hit 93.2, higher than 90.2 seen at Dec. 2017 top. BTC weekly RSI higher than the current one was in November 2013 at 96.3.

With the current market looking like 2013 rather than 2017, the market sees potential for a big drop before continuing higher. In the meantime, today BTC price casually dropped 18% to $28,540 and is already near $31k.

The market has been calling for tops ever since Bitcoin broke the $20k, last year ATH. Although the market did see some small drops here and there, they were sharply reversed.

In the current market, it is anyone’s guess if a big correction will even be coming the market’s way.

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Author: AnTy

Gold Investor Forecasts Continued Bullish Rally for Bitcoin and Ether in 2021

While 2020 has already proven to be a stellar year for several large-cap cryptos, some analysts are already predicting what 2021 might look like.

Major gold bug Frank Holmes has given his prediction on Bitcoin and Ether. He believes both digital assets could do much better in the new year as they capitalize on 2020’s performance.

Increased Investor Interest and a DeFi Boom

Holmes is the chief executive of U.S. Global Advisors, a Texas-based asset management firm. Speaking with Kitco News, Holmes explained that he expects digital assets to notch improved performances in 2021 along with gold. He argued that the leading cryptocurrencies had seen growth in their underlying value drivers, leading to higher adoption and price gains.

Speaking on Bitcoin, Holmes explained that the asset is seeing greater adoption. He noted the increase in the number of new wallets, maintaining what seems to be a three-year trend. However, while many have pointed to an influx of institutional investment as to why Bitcoin is surging, the gold bug attributes the rally to the halving event.

As he pointed out, a comparable halving event in the gold market could see the asset rise to $10,000 an ounce. He added that the halving had affected the supply of the asset. Joined by the quick adoption by institutions (which have a penchant for absorbing Bitcoin in large numbers), Bitcoin’s demand has grown significantly, leading to a jump in value.

Moving to Ether, Holmes highlighted that the asset had enjoyed most of its 2020 rally from the decentralized finance (DeFi) boom. DeFi Pulse shows that the total value locked in DeFi projects is at an all-time high of $14 billion. Since much of DeFi activity is done on the Ethereum blockchain, the network is seeing new usage. That will undoubtedly increase Ether’s value in the future.

Holmes further predicted that continued growth in the DeFi market would help Ether going into 2021. The investor predicted a “two-standard deviation” to occur to the asset in the next few months on gold. Estimating the occurrence’s effects, he claimed that gold could hit $2,600 an ounce before 2021 draws to a close.

Not Drawing Comparisons

Holmes refrained from speaking on Bitcoin’s potential to displace gold as the global reserve currency that many believe could happen in the next decade.

A recent Bloomberg piece explained that several Wall Street stalwarts had begun debating Bitcoin’s potential to usurp gold as the global reserve currency. Bitcoin had gotten support from names like Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmiller. Several large investment firms are even considering moving large chunks of their portfolios into BTC.

Bitcoin’s market cap is still a paltry $346 billion compared to gold’s $2.6 trillion. However, continued growth in the asset’s investor base should force a considerable change.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Japan Joins the CBDC Race With A ‘Digital Yen’ Trial; 30 Major Firms Will Start Experiments In 2021

While China has already successfully run the pilot test of its digital yuan, now Japan is getting ready to do the same.

In its attempt to catch up, Japan’s 30 major firms will begin experiments of issuing a private digital currency next year, said the group’s organizing body on Thursday, reported Reuters.

The group consists of the three largest banks in the country, along with retailers, utilities, brokerages, and telecommunication firms. Using a common settlement platform, the group will conduct the experiments for issuing a digital currency. Hiromi Yamaoka, a former BOJ executive in an online briefing, said,

“Japan has many digital platforms, none of which are big enough to beat cash payments.”

“We don’t want to create another silo-type platform. What we want to do is to create a framework that can make various platforms mutually compatible.”

Recently, the Bank of Japan announced its plan to experiment with issuing a digital yen in a country where cashless payments make up only 20% of total settlement than China’s 70% and the United States’ 45%.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, and Mizuho Financial Group — the megabanks of Japan have already rolled out their own digital payment systems.

Yamaoka said while private banks will be in charge of issuing the digital currency in the experiments, other entities’ prospects also issuing a digital yen won’t be ruled out.

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Author: AnTy

Over 100k Bitcoin Worth Nearly $1.2 Billion Tokenized on Ethereum; WBTC & RenBTC Leading

The number of Bitcoins locked on Ethereum continues to hit new records. It has already surpassed $1 billion.

Currently, nearly $1.2 billion worth of Bitcoin has been tokenized on the second-largest platform. At the beginning of 2020, only 1,110 BTC worth less than $7 million were tokenized.

Now, 108,240 BTC are tokenized on Ethereum, representing 0.51% of fully diluted BTC supply, as per Dune Analytics.

The biggest contributor to this is Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) that has minted 77,586 tokenized BTC since the project’s launch in early 2019. The largest tokenized bitcoin project represents over 71% of the total tokenized BTC supply at $825 million.

The second-largest tokenized bitcoin project, with dominance, is RenBTC, which has issued 20,766 BTC, worth $224 million, since May.

Other projects contributing to this success include HBTC (4,810 BTC), sBTC (3533 BTC), imBTC (1,408 BTC), and pBTC (136 BTC).

In the growing DeFi sector, which has yet again surged to $9.77 billion (TVL), WBTC is the 6th largest protocol with $827 million in deposits, grown from just $175 million at the beginning of August.

The yield framing mania in the decentralized finance world is driving this demand, and the same is the case for BTC, for which much of the demand is from over the counter. Interestingly, a whopping 70% of WBTC is being minted by FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research. The firm also lobbied for increasing the amount of collateral, from 0% to 40%, placed on WBTC to earn interest on the DeFi project Compound in July.

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Author: AnTy

Tether Finally Flips Bitcoin: Seizing Increasing Share of On-Chain Transfers

The popular stablecoin, Tether (USDT), has already long been managing more than double the ‘real’ trading volume of bitcoin. Still, now the 7-day average adjusted transfer value of it has also finally flipped the largest digital assets.

Tether’s 7-day average transfer value finally reached above $3.55 billion compared to Bitcoin’s $2.94 billion, taking more and more share of on-chain transfers, states Coin Metrics in its latest report.

USDT vs BTC Transfer Val
Source: CoinMetrics

Stablecoins are increasingly used in popular DeFi applications like Uniswap and Curve, both of which contributed to Tether’s recent surge.

Popular in Asia for on and off-ramps, Tether has also been used for capital flight in China, as per Chainalysis report. Chinese investors moved about $50 billion overseas over the past year due to the devaluation of yuan and trade wars.

The Rapid Growth

USDT has been enjoying massive growth in 2020, whose total supply has also hit the milestone of reaching over 13 billion on August 21st. The supply grew at a rapid rate, as it was less than 10 billion on June 1st, 2020.

In less than five months, Tether supply has grown over 2.6x, from less than 5 billion on March 1st.

Over 66% of Tether’s supply is issued on Ethereum, while the remaining 34% is spread on Tron, Omni, EOS, Liquid, Algorand, SLP.

Tether is further expanding to more networks as it recently announced that this expansion would now cover OMG Network. On August 19, a new USDT integration went live on the Ethereum-based layer 2 protocol.

This resulted in the daily active addresses of OMG Network shooting up to their highest levels since August 2018 and bringing record ETH fees, which went up to new all-time highs due to the rapid rise and fall of YAM, back down to earth.

Tether is the biggest gas guzzler after Uniswap on Ethereum Network and paid $6.4 million in fees in the last 30 days, as per ETH Gas Station. Despite a 28.4% drop week-over-week, ETH total fees remain relatively higher which resulted in bringing ETH average daily transaction fees over the large week to $3.8 million compared to bitcoin’s $1.4 million.

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Author: AnTy