First US Bitcoin ETF is Reaching its Limit After Becoming the Fastest Fund to Amass $1B in Assets

This issue can potentially set the path to a Bitcoin spot ETF approval, for which Grayscale has already filed. But for now, GBTC shares are trading at a steep 19% discount.

The ProShares Bitcoin exchange-traded fund has become the fastest ETF to reach $1 billion in assets.

The first Bitcoin Futures ETF started off solid by amassing more than $1.1 billion of inflows in just the first two days and reaching over $3 billion in volume in the first week of launch.

The demand for the Bitcoin ETF outpaced the performance of GLD, the dominant gold-tracking ETF, which took three days to reach the milestone in 2004.

Mike McGlone, a commodities analyst at Bloomberg, calls the approval of futures-based ETF “a baby-step” toward getting the real deal, which is a spot Bitcoin ETF. US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Gary Gensler approved the CME Bitcoin futures-backed ETF because they offer more investor protection.

“By saying they are focused on protecting investors, the SEC may have been doing the opposite,” said McGlone. According to him, the regulatory foot-dragging could have prospective investors miss out on sizable returns.

Bitcoin hit a new all-time high earlier this week at $67,000. Since then, BTC/USD has slipped and is now trading around $63k.

“Crypto is finding its footing as an investment vehicle, and the rollout of ETFs could be a big step in that direction,” said Lindsey Bell, the chief investment strategist at Ally Invest.

But this explosive start could be limited by regulated futures exchange CME.

The Proshares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) is on track to breach the limit on the number of contracts it is permitted to hold by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

After two days of trading, BITO owns almost 1,900 contracts for this month, ready to surpass the 2,000 limit as per CME rules that cap the number of front-month contracts one entity can own.

To avoid hitting this limit, the ETF has already gained 1,400 November contracts, but at the rate it is going, the limit might still be hit sooner rather than later.

One solution to this is CME raising the limit. Additionally, the launch of competing products such as Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF, which is to start trading today, and VanEck ETF next Monday, may help here by diluting the demand for BITO.

Another solution is Gensler approving using Canadian Bitcoin ETFs in Future exchange-traded funds. The issue with BITO could also set the patch for getting the Bitcoin spot ETF.

Interestingly, in anticipation of this, the leading digital asset manager Grayscale filed to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF this week.

This week, Grayscale’s parent company Digital Currency Group (DCG), also obtained authorization to up its purchase of GBTC shares to $1 billion, from $750 million. As of Oct. 19, the firm has bought $388 million worth of GBTC shares.

DCG “plans to use cash on hand to fund the purchases and will make the purchases on the open market, at management’s discretion,” said the company in a statement.

This is the company’s attempt to narrow the discount between GBTC shares, currently at a steep 19%, and their net asset value (NAV).

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Pimco is Already Trading Crypto But Now Plans to Invest in Certain Assets & Learn DeFi

$2.2T Fixed-Income Giant, Pimco, is Already Trading Crypto, Now Plans to Invest in Certain Assets & Understand DeFi

“We’ll take baby steps in an area that’s rapidly growing,” said Pimco CIO Daniel Ivascyn.

Pimco, the asset manager giant with $2.2 trillion in assets under management, has been dabbling in cryptocurrency for some time and now plans to gradually invest more in crypto assets.

“Now we’re looking at potentially trading certain cryptocurrencies as part of our trend-following strategies or quant-oriented strategies, then doing more work on the fundamental side,” said chief investment officer Daniel Ivascyn in an interview with CNBC.

“So this will be a gradual process where we spent a lot of time on the internal diligence side speaking to investors. And we’ll take baby steps in an area that’s rapidly growing.”

Ivascyn’s comments came as Bitcoin hit a fresh all-time high at $67,000, and today Ether nearly touched its $4,380 ATH.

Some of the company’s hedge fund portfolios are already trading crypto-linked securities, he said.

“We’re trading from a relative value perspective. So we’re not taking directional exposure, but we’re looking to take advantage of mispricings between the cash product, popular trust that trades on the exchange, and then the futures.”

“So that was a starting point for us in a very narrow segment of our business.”

Pimco is also taking an interest in decentralized finance (DeFi), which one has to understand because “it will be disruptive…in our business in particular,” Ivascyn said.

The firm is currently working on scenarios where it could provide them with a competitive edge “in a rapidly changing environment that offers a pretty significant value proposition,” particularly for younger generations — the new generation of the investment community.

Unlike Pimco, hedge fund manager David Einhorn finds cryptocurrencies “very complicated” as such; he hasn’t chosen to invest in them.

Greenlight’s Einhorn prefers gold as an inflation hedge, in contrast to billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones, but said,

“I’m not negative on [cryptocurrencies]. … They may continue to do extremely well. I just haven’t chosen to invest in them.”

Earlier this month, he had put crypto in a “too hard” bucket because it was unregulated and unlimited. “I don’t have a strong view that this is some enormous waste or this is some phenomenal opportunity. I think it’s too difficult,” he said at the time.

In his interview this week with CNBC, Einhorn said that the Federal Reserve “doesn’t have the stomach to fight inflation” because policymakers are afraid to trigger a market correction or a recession. This means, “they are really left with bad choices.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Facebook’s Digital Wallet Novi ‘Ready To Come To Market’ Having Secured Approvals In The US

Facebook, whose Payments system is already being used in more than 160 countries in 55 currencies, is beating Twitter, which plans to integrate BTC Lightning Wallet in every account. Meanwhile, Ethereum co-founder is skeptical of both the social media giant’s plans in the crypto space.

“Novi is ready to come to market,” wrote social media giant Facebook’s David Marcus in a blog post. Novi is a digital wallet that is tied to the Diem blockchain-based payment system.

Facebook’s stablecoin project Diem, previously named Libra, was first introduced in June 2019 with the original plan to be backed by a wide mix of fiat currencies and government debt. Now, it’s meant to launch as a stablecoin backed by only the US dollar.

But it ran into resistance from global regulators leading to its rebranding as Diem. In his blog post, Marcus reported the increased obstacles the project has been facing, which is yet to be launched.

Marcus, the former PayPal chief hired by Facebook in 2018 to lead its blockchain efforts, said on Wednesday that the global payments system is flawed, being too slow and too costly, among other things, and they can fix it. And Novi can play an instrumental part in that, he said.

“Change is long overdue. It’ll happen one way or another,” said Marcus, the co-founder of Diem Association, a non-profit consortium overseeing the development of Diem stablecoin.

“We feel that it’s unreasonable to delay delivering the benefits of cheaper, interoperable, more accessible digital payments.”

Marcus noted that they are seeking necessary regulatory clearances and have already secured licenses and approvals for Novi in nearly every state in the US. “We will not launch anywhere we have not yet received such clearances,” he added.

He further said the Diem Association is currently engaged in dialogue with US and global regulators and has addressed every legitimate concern raised so that it can build high-quality and compliant stablecoin with extensive consumer protections.

The Time is Now

Novi, previously called Calibra, is designed to allow users to add money to their wallets that would be converted to a Diem digital currency which then could be sent to others worldwide. But for now, Novi would only start with offering fiat currency within the digital wallet but still, “it would bring people a lot of value,” Marcus said.

Marcus further noted that Facebook is already ‘an actor’ in the payments industry. It has enabled over $100 billion in payments volume in the last four quarters while being used in more than 160 countries for payments in 55 currencies.

“I strongly believe if there was ever a chance to create an open, interoperable protocol for money on the internet and truly change the game for people and businesses around the world, it is now.”

Much like Facebook, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is working on bringing payments to his social media platform. Last week, Dorsey said he is using “Lightning to enable a currency for the internet” by allowing every account on Twitter to link to a Bitcoin Lightning Wallet.

“FB beat twitter to the punch again. And jack owns a crypto currency focused payments company,” tweeted @IamNomad, a cryptocurrency market maker.

However, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is skeptical of both Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg’s big plans in the cryptocurrency space.

Commenting on Dorsey’s plans to create a new business focused on decentralized financial services using Bitcoin (BTC), Buterin said in an interview with Bloomberg; it doesn’t really have the functionality to do that as it was designed largely to be a “currency of the house.”

This is unlike Ethereum, which allows one to directly put ETH or Ethereum-backed assets into these smart contracts where arbitrary conditions govern how those assets get released, “Jack is basically going to have to create his own system that enforces those rules,” he said.

As for Zuckerberg’s plan to turn Facebook into a “metaverse company,” Buterin pointed to a “huge amount of mistrust” about the social media platform; as such, he recommended Zuckerberg to build on the existing blockchain instead.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Fastest Horse of the Second Inning of Bull Run? Solana (SOL) Hits New ATHs

Solana has yet again bounced off the recent lows the fastest, already hitting new all-time highs.

SOL is known for its resilience and bounce off of lows in down markets, and it didn’t disappoint this time either. Trading at $62.08, SOL is currently 2.58% down from its $63.68 ATH hit a couple of hours back.

Up 36% in the past 24 hours, SOL recorded gains of 1,835% YTD and 12,170% from a year ago in May. It is also the 63rd most held crypto asset on Coinbase.

With this latest uptrend, SOL has become the 10th largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $17.750 billion.

It wasn’t only SOL alone either; other projects in the Solana ecosystem are also enjoying a surge in their prices. The likes of Step Finance (86%), Arweave (41%), Raydium (34%), Serum (30%), and Audius (12%) have recorded a spike in prices in the last 24 hours.

Solana is a base layer, layer 1 blockchain, and a competitor of the second-largest cryptocurrency with a market of $383 billion Ethereum (ETH) along with Cardano (ADA), BSC, and Polkadot (DOT), all of which sits in the top 10.

“Solana ecosystem is the second-largest behind Ethereum but growing at a much faster rate. IMO it’s insane that Solana is valued at just ~5% of Ethereum’s market cap (fully diluted),” said Tushar Jain of Multicoin Capital which is long SOL.

While Ethereum is transitioning towards the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism to tackle the issue of scalability and high fees, Solana already uses the PoS consensus algorithm to help secure the network while featuring a new timestamp system called Proof-of-History (PoH) that enables automatically ordered transactions.

Compared to Etherem’s 15 transactions per second, Solana boasts about 50,000 TPS.

Solana also has a record $1.96 billion of total value locked (TVL) in it, with Raydium leading with its $825 million, having dominance of 42.18%, according to DeFi Llama.

It is slowly looking to finally turn out to be a Solana Summer, with Solana enthusiasts working on making it a reality. Recently, decentralized, cross-margin trading platform Mango Markets built on Solana raised $70.5 million in its token sale.

NFT is also coming to Solana with the airdrop of Degenerate Ape Academy getting sold out in less than 10 minutes with $9 million volumes recorded on the first day. Not to mention, Solana has the backing of the rapidly growing FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

“SOL will be one of the fastest horses in the next leg of the bull run. The Solana ecosystem continues to build momentum with development activity booming and TVL soaring past ATHs. Even at current val. It still offers one of the best R/R in crypto. SOL summer is coming,” noted DeFi investor Daniel Cheung.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Riksbank Governor Believes Crypto Regulation is Certain, But Exchanges & Trading Is Already Regulated

Riksbank Governor Believes Crypto Regulation is Certain, But Exchanges & Trading Is Already Regulated

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin won’t evade regulation, according to Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden’s apex bank) boss Stefan Ingves.

Crypto Regulation Coming Soon

Sweden’s central bank governor Stefan Ingves said that Bitcoin’s popularity had caught the attention of regulators worldwide, Bloomberg reports.

“When something gets big enough, things like consumer interests and money laundering come into play.”

“So there’s good reason to believe that regulation will happen.”

Cryptocurrencies have boomed as more investors look for ways to protect their wealth.

Given the belief that these digital currencies are better stores of value than traditional fiat and precious metals like gold, the industry rode the high waters with Bitcoin surging 90%, leading the crypto market to its first trillion-dollar valuation in just 12 years.

This phenomenal growth has attracted legacy-backed financial institutions like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase.

The shift to digital forms of financial settlement has caught the eye of regulators like Ingves.

However, the Riksbank boss noted that regulatory oversight of the burgeoning industry would likely come at different times in different areas.

Echoing the thoughts of her counterpart, Sweden’s Financial Markets Minister Asa Lindhagen noted that the Nordic nation is working on tightening regulatory standards for crypto exchange platforms.

However, she said regulation of these exchanges was a work in progress at the international scene.

Lindhagen also spoke on the need to address money laundering risks in the crypto space, which she describes as a “very important issue” that would require cross-border cooperation to succeed.

Providing regulatory clarity in the crypto sector can be a daunting task, as US Federal Reserve’s Vice Chairman of Supervision Randal Quarles pointed out at a congressional hearing in Washington. Quarles stated that Federal officials are working on regulating the crypto sector. However, he believes the government would need time to develop a dynamic regulatory framework.

However, in a Twitter post, crypto enthusiast @VentureCoinist pointed out that the call for crypto regulations only surfaces when there is a market slump. He mentioned how the government was already regulating the sector through tax laws, compulsory KYC updates, and geo-limiting leveraged products.

Crypto Still Has Supporters

The regulatory uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrencies is not a problem for Asian giant China. In a fresh burst of sanctions, Chinese regulatory agencies have called for the end of crypto payments in the country. This is following renewed efforts to stop Bitcoin mining in its Inner Mongolia region.

However, crypto is still supported by several countries. Australia and Canada are two crypto-friendly countries that have welcomed the industry with open arms.

Australia’s Financial Services Minister even stated recently that the government wasn’t considering a crypto ban in the country.

Canada has enabled institutional investments in the digital asset space through the approval of Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs). So far, the region boasts of eight crypto ETFs in the country.

Read Original/a>
Author: Jimmy Aki

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.

image1

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).

Read Original/a>
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.

Read Original/a>
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.

Read Original/a>
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.

image1

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%.

Read Original/a>
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.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy