Immature Bitcoin Market Data Is ‘Garbage’ But It’s Sign of ‘Being Early’ – MicroStrategy CEO

Since first announcing bitcoin purchase in August and again in September, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor had become a very vocal bitcoin supporter, a big change from seven years back when he thought its days were numbered.

Now, it is the ultimate hedge, according to him.

He constantly tweets about Bitcoin and how “it is an ark of encrypted energy to escape the currency flood.”

Recently, he talked about “The Long-Term Bull Case” for Bitcoin in an interview with Keith McCullough to convince Hedgeye CEO to “change his opinion of Bitcoin and join the cyber hornets.”

McCullough actually sold all his BTC earlier this month, just a couple of weeks before Bitcoin rallied 23% following Square’s $50 million investment, UK’s public listed Mode converting 10% of its cash reserves into BTC, and PayPal announcing buy, sell, hold, and shopping support for it.

“Bitcoin is an asset, not a commodity. Commodities are abundant and should be traded. Assets are scarce and should be owned. Pure monetary energy is the ideal treasury reserve asset, and for the first time in history, we can now own some,” is Saylor’s message to McCullough.

The “Garbage” Market Data

On Tuesday, he argued his Bitcoin investment by comparing it with Google and Apple investments.

“The thing with technology, Figure out the thing that is gonna eat the world, if you are right, own it, hold it and wait,” said Saylor.

In the current environment, bitcoin is the choice when the monetary expansion is expected to double, he said. Adding that the Federal Reserve has crowded everybody out of Treasury and debt with yield being effectively zero, which has been “stampeding investors into a store of value.”

As a matter of fact, Apple has been more volatile than bitcoin in the past three months, said Saylor. This has been because while monetary stimulus has been debasing fiat currencies, it has been pushing the stock market to new highs.

He particularly talked about the market data during the interview, which he argued is just “garbage.” The trading volume figures of the bitcoin market, according to him, are widely inflated as he challenged Bitcoin’s $25 billion volume to Apple stocks’ $24.76 billion.

“I know for a fact you can’t buy more than $35 million a day without people knowing, so there’s no freaking way there’s $24 billion trading,” Saylor said.

It isn’t even surprising, but a known fact as a 2019 report to the US SEC concluded that 95% of reported volume on crypto exchanges is actually fake.

According to Saylor, false market data is holding the leading digital currency back as it could erode trust in Bitcoin as an asset.

But on a positive note, Saylor said he “love[s] the fact that the data is a little immature” as it represents “the pain and the work of being first or being early.” But of course, the market “needs” high-quality data.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Decoupling from The Stock Market is Here as BTC Eats Up Altcoin and DeFi Market

Bitcoin 2, everything else 0.

This is the tally after Bitcoin continues to move up following yesterday’s jump above $11,800.

Today, the leading cryptocurrency actually hit $12,000 on Bitfinex, last seen on Sept. 1st.

Since yesterday, BTC/USD has jumped over 5% on the back of $1.7 billion in real trading volume.

Interestingly, altcoins are not following this move up; as a matter of fact, they are recording losses, which means money is flowing out of the altcoins and into Bitcoin.

“Bitcoin about to consume the entire DeFi market and all the alts in the greatest consolidation crypto has/will ever see,” noted analyst Mati Greenspan.

Among the top cryptos, Chainlink is down the most, 5.43%; however, according to IntoTheBlock data, the number of LINK holders keeps on growing to hit a new record of 249.55k.

Ether is also down about 3% to just under $373.

“Eth is really lagging now but I think this recent move was probs some derivs bears tryna get out of their underwater btc shorts by nuking alts lol, waiting for eth derivs to give me more market info but honestly might actually punt an eth long soon,” said trader Loomdart.

DeFi tokens are experiencing even more severe losses between 5% to 15%, and in the past week, it has been up to 35%.

Besides altcoins, everything else is also not feeling as good or as bullish as BTC.

The equity market started with greens but soon dropped with S&P 500 trading at 3,448. The same is the case for tech-heavy stocks Nasdaq at 11,532 and Dow Jones Industrial Average at 28,370.

Unlike yesterday, today, gold is making some moves as it rises to $1,910. The USD Index actually went under 93 and is currently trading around this level.

“The decoupling is upon us. Makes sense that BTC will continue to be correlated in short timeframe trading; but not in the longer timeframes. BTC is a safehaven, just that “risk-on” (meaning it’s very new) is skewing this fact,” said on-chain analyst Willy Woo.

Meanwhile, for Bitcoin, the ongoing spike in the price is resulting in millions in liquidations, with the largest single liquidation order happening on Bitmex-BTC value $5.57 million.

The good thing for the Bitcoin market is that the BTC exchange balance continues to fall ever since March 15th. During this period, the net outflow has been 450,000 BTC, and the total exchange balance has reached the lowest point since November 2018.

On the other hand, the number of addresses holding at least $1 worth of BTC topped 24 million for the first time last week.

Additionally, institutional sized traders on CME, although don’t make up much of the open interest (OI), were only holding long positions last week. Overall, CME futures OI rose sharply yesterday, adding nearly 1,500 contracts on the October expiry.

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Author: AnTy

FinCEN Penalizes ‘First’ Bitcoin Mixer, Helix, for Violating Anti-Money Laundering Laws

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network charged Larry Dean Hamon, the founder, and CEO of bitcoin mixer Helix and Coin Ninja, for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.

FinCEN imposed a penalty of $60,000,000.

Currently, he is being prosecuted in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on the charges of money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, Helix, from 2014 to 2017.

FinCEN argues that as per its 2013 Guidance, exchangers and administrators of digital currencies are money transmitters under the BSA and obligated to register with it. As per the 2019 clarification, the same rules extended to the mixers of virtual currencies.

FinCEN’s report says between June 2014 to December 2017, Helix conducted more than 1,225,000 transactions with at least 356,000 BTC transactions.

“Mr. Harmon operated Helix as a bitcoin mixer, or tumbler, and advertised its services in the darkest spaces of the internet as a way for customers to anonymously pay for things like drugs, guns, and child pornography.”

The bitcoin mixing service allegedly laundered tens of millions of dollars in crypto for darknet markets like Agora, Abraxas, Hydra, Hansa, and Wall Street Market. Former darknet giant AlphaBay allegedly also had close ties to Helix as it laundered $27 million in Bitcoin for the now-defunct marketplace.

Besides circumventing BSA’s requirements, they failed to collect and verify customer names and addresses of over 1.2 million transactions. Helix also deleted the minimal customer information it collected, and Harmon was also engaged in transactions with fraudsters, narcotics traffickers, counterfeiters, and other criminals.

This action, which FinCEN said to be the “first” one against a bitcoin mixer, is the first time such activity is called “crime” by the Department of Justice (DOJ), which could mean further troubles for services using obfuscation to make bitcoin not traceable.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin in For Another Bull Cycle as BTC Supply Continues to Get Eaten Up Like Never Before

Over the weekend, the price of Bitcoin started rising and is currently trading above $11,650.

Interestingly, it has been three months, 93 days exactly, since Bitcoin was founded in 2009, that it has spent above the current price of $11.5k.

More importantly, it’s the first time that bitcoin has been above $10,000 with realized volatility extremely low, as per Skew.

While trading in the green, the ‘real’ amount of the BTC traded in the past 24 hours has fallen drastically to just over $700 million.

This lack of volume could be on one side due to the lack of price action in the market and the weekend. On the other hand, the BTC balance on exchanges is on a constant decline. An analyst noted,

“More and more Bitcoin getting out from exchanges and most probably being transferred to non-custodial wallets. This suggests slightly lower liquidity and lower selling pressure going forward.”

BTC Balance on Exchanges
Source: Glassnode

According to Chain.info, in the past 24 hours, the biggest outflow of BTC has been recorded on OKEx of 6,269.

Last week, the exchange suspended all digital currency withdrawals after one of its key holders who has been helping the authorities in an investigation was unreachable.

Additionally, as per Coin Dormancy, a measure of “old hands selling out,” which usually sold the tops have been acting differently in the current cycle. “They sold the bitcoin bottom at $3-$4k, they are selling right now,” observed on-chain analyst Willy Woo.

Coin-Dormancy
Source: Glassnode

Another Bull Cycle in the Making

While Bitcoin continues to move out of exchanges in favor of cold wallet storage, for the first time, public companies are gobbling up more and more BTC by making it part of their Treasury. Grayscale, yet again, for the third time in a row, had a record inflow in Bitcoin.

According to Grayscale’s Q3 report, they bought 77% of all the BTC mined in the quarter, up from 70% in Q2 and 27% in Q1. Dan Tapiero, co-founder of 10T Holdings said,

“SHORTAGES of Bitcoin possible. Barry’s Grayscale trust is eating up BTC like there is no tomorrow. If 77% of all newly mined turns into 110%, it’s lights out. Non-miner supply will get held off mkt in squeeze. Shorts will be dead. Price can go to any number.”

Overall, the market is bullish on digital assets, as Pantera Capital wrote in its last week’s investor letter; besides the network fundamentals, all the money printing the Federal Reserve and other central banks are doing works in bitcoin’s favor.

“We strongly believe we are in the early stages of a large bull market fueled by both a powerful global macro tide and growing fundamentals in the underlying technology.”

Major Bitcoin Price Cycles
Source: Pantera Capital

In its decade long life, Bitcoin has gone through three major prices already and seems to be primed for yet another one.

“My intuition from trading waves for 35 years is we’re in for another one,” wrote Dan Pantera, adding, “it’s still a massive hype cycle roller coaster.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Miners Generating BTC at Fast Pace & ‘Running Down Inventory’ Just as Hard

Bitcoin started this week on a bullish note, reaching above $11,700 only to drop to nearly $11,200 level on Friday after crypto exchange OKEx announced that cryptocurrency withdrawals had been suspended.

According to the local media, two of the executives, including its founder, Star Xu, arrested by the police, have been released on bail. Star Xu has been reportedly assisting in the investigations.

The exchange maintained that the investigation is “not related in any way to anti-money-laundering or to OKEx,” and that the funds are safe and all other functions are unaffected.

OKEx actually holds 1.1% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply (200,000 BTC worth $2.3 billion), and before the suspension of withdrawals, large BTC outflows were observed from the exchange.

As per Glassnode, “a total of 10,000 BTC ($113 million) were withdrawn in two large batches in the past 48h.”

Market Unchanged

Yesterday, what made matters worse for the already jittery markets was the Deribit exchange that was temporarily out of action due to maintenance that had not only BTC price falling but also the futures curve flattening yet again.

On-chain analyst Willy Woo actually expects the last CME gap around $11,200 to get filled as he sees hidden distribution at spot exchanges, with volume sell-off not yet reflected in the price.

But in the near term and overall, he remains bullish, signaled by the growing market fundamentals.

“The on-chain fundamentals which are 3-6 weeks at the minimum timeframes are still unchanged in bullish mode, if we do get a pullback, I’d take it as a chance to deploy capital into BTC if you missed it in the 10k zone,” said Woo.

Still, Some Weakness in Near Term

While the network fundamentals, the hash rate has made an all-time high, miners are “running down inventory quite hard today.” With MRI currently above 100%, it means miners are selling more Bitcoin than they are mining.

This, according to Charlie Morris of ByteTree, is an indication of a “Healthy market to sell into.”

Interestingly, with more than ever hash power used to mine bitcoin, the standard 10 minute time to generate a bitcoin has fallen to 8 minutes 8 seconds, as per Bitinfocharts. In the second half of 2020, the block time has been kept between 12 to 8 minutes.

Overall, bulls haven’t lost yet, and they could further continue higher, especially if equity markets trade up given their correlation that continues to increase, currently above 57%.

“Recent BTC breakout was legit, but more effort needs to be coming from the bulls. Price action remains in a three-wave corrective move after bearish impulsion. Break of $11,740 & $12,500 Highs needs to commence, otherwise bears might try to force more consolidation/downside,” says one analyst.

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase Adds Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) & Custody Service to Support Filecoin (FIL)

In its DeFi listing spree, Coinbase Pro has added the popular and fast-growing Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC).

The San Francisco-based exchange has taken to list all the hot and happening DeFi products, and WBTC, which has grown to become the third-largest DeFi project with nearly $1.2 billion in total value locked (TVL), is the latest one.

An Ethereum token, WBTC represents Bitcoin on the Ethereum blockchain, where 1 BTC can be converted to 1 WBTC and vice-versa. This protocol allows bitcoin holders to participate in the popular DeFi space.

WBTC listing is announced with two trading pairs, USD and BTC.

Starting Monday, Oct. 19, WBTC will be available in all Coinbase’s supported jurisdictions except New York state.

Recently, Coinbase has added support for the likes of Yearn.Finance (YFI), Balancer (BAL), Uniswap (UNI), UMA, REN, Loopring (LRC) BAND, Compound (COMP), Celo (CGLD), Numeraire, and OmiseGo (OMG) along with supporting additional European and UK order books.

Amidst this, the same day, Coinbase Custody also announced at-launch support for Filecoin (FIL), which after years of first coming into the market, finally launched its mainnet.

“We’re thrilled that Coinbase Custody is providing secure custody for FIL. Coinbase has a great track record of building new, innovative tools for its users,” said Juan Benet, Filecoin founder.

Filecoin is a decentralized storage network and marketplace where miners earn FIL tokens by renting open hard drive space, and clients pay them to store and retrieve their data.

Its testnet took off in China, and already “roughly $100M of storage hardware is humming on the testnet.”

“Buying hardware and converting it directly to crypto is key here,” said Muneeb Ali, co-founder of Blockstack.

Yesterday, the mainnet of the Filecoin network was launched at block 148,888, a number the team said signifies “prosperity for life” in Chinese, chosen “to honor the epic contribution by our Chinese mining community to Filecoin’s long-term success.”

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase to Sponsor Bitcoin Developers to Help the Grow & Maintain the BTC Protocol

“Excited to be supporting more Bitcoin protocol development. This is a great start, but hopefully, we can expand this program over time,” said Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong as the exchange announced that it is sponsoring Bitcoin developers who contribute directly to the Bitcoin Core codebase or closely associated Bitcoin projects.

Coinbase has already begun its search for at least two Bitcoin development grant recipients from anywhere in the world.

“Bitcoin launched without a fundraise, while bootstrapping an entire industry, and the open-source community has provided critical support for Bitcoin development.

Our goal is to similarly support developers who are committed to growing and maintaining the Bitcoin ecosystem.”

This is yet another step from Coinbase to grow the crypto-economy, which is essential to building the open financial system.

The Crypto Community Fund aims to improve the entire crypto industry. Although it started with the leading digital currency, the company intends to expand the program to other projects if successful.

Interested people can start applying for the grant, which will be shortlisted by current Bitcoin Core developers and community members, with Coinbase making the final decision.

While the focus is on one-year-long developer grants, shorter projects are also encouraged.

Coinbase is looking to support the likes of those projects that contribute directly to Bitcoin core, Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) review, contributor tooling, Bitcoin Core libraries, and tools, or improvement to testing.

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Author: AnTy

Interlay to Bring Tokenized Bitcoin to Polkadot Via PolkaBTC in 2021

A tokenized BTC coming to Polkadot as it is integrated with blockchain through a cross-chain bridge to Bitcoin that will go live in the Q1 of 2021. It would enable users to transact BTC as PolkaBTC on various platforms falling under the umbrella of decentralized finance (DeFi).

Interlay is behind the development of PolkaBTC, backed by Parity Technologies, and funded by the Web3 Foundation. Integration aims to accelerate Polkadot’s young DeFi ecosystem.

In the case of transferring a tokenized BTC (as like BitGo’s WBTC) out of its native blockchain, a copy of the underlying token is declared, where real BTC gets locked. And these copies of BTC are burned whenever a user shifts back to the Bitcoin blockchain.

On the contrary, PolkaBTC would get labeled in a 1:1 ratio and supported in many decentralized exchanges, lending protocols, and stablecoins.

Moreover, Interlay revealed that the permissionless and trustless nature of the ecosystem makes users have more control over their money as its working infrastructure doesn’t include any central or monitoring sector.

BTC-Parachain, since its initiation, is run by multiple nodes around the world, including community members and various companies, as a decentralized platform.

To use PolkaBTC at decentralized apps, you need to have some DOTs (Polkadot’s native token) used as collateral to mint the PolkaBTC. Three things you must have to mint are BTC wallet, Polkadot’s Wallet, and some DOTs. Interlay stated:

“In the case that a vault misbehaves, you will be reimbursed from the Vault’s collateral and will make a very profitable trade between BTC and DOT. At launch, collateral will be put down in DOT. In the mid/long run, this may be extended to stablecoins or token-sets to improve stability.”

If one wants to redeem the PolkaBTCs equivalent to a whole bitcoin, he needs to burn the tokens on the BTC-Parachain first. Interlay added,

“PolkaBTC can remain on Polkadot indefinitely (no expiry date) and can be redeemed for BTC at any point in time.”

The first Alpha testnet will be held next month for PolkaBTC, and Beta tesnet is expected in January 2021, and the mainnet launch is scheduled in the first quarter of 2021.

Also, the projects based on Polkadot would be integrated with PolkaBTC. Some of them include Moonbeam, Equilibrium, and Polkaswap.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Taproot and Schorr Merged into Bitcoin Core to Enhance Privacy

Earlier today, Schnorr and Taproot proposals were implemented to Bitcoin Core.

The Bitcoin network rarely undergoes such big changes, but after a decade still, as the network continues to grow and mature, it innovates along the way.

The much-awaited updates to Bitcoin, when finally activated, will increase the leading cryptocurrency’s privacy features and enhance its transactional capabilities.

Last month, Bitcoin developer Pieter Wuille made a pull request, meaning other developers were invited to review the code before its release. Taproot proposal alone had more than 150 developers review the code.

After a month of testing, the proposals finally made it to bitcoin, as per commit history on Github.

The activation mechanism for these proposals haven’t been decided yet; once chosen, it may still take time, even a year, before it is activated.

Formally, these two updates are Bitcoin improvement proposals (BIP) 340 and 341, which represent perhaps the biggest changes to the network since Segregated Witness (SegWit) was implemented to increase Bitcoin’s block size limit in 2017.

Schnorr targets the size by combining multiple keys to a single one when facilitating transactions from a wallet while providing the added benefit of privacy.

Taproot allows Schnorr signatures to be used to allow new ways for users to define conditions to spend Bitcoin. This upgrade is designed to add smart contract flexibility to Bitcoin.

The Taproot implementation was also part of the Bitcoin 0.21.0 release, which also included support for Tor’s anonymous communication software.

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Author: AnTy

Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) Beats Aave & Curve to Become the Third Largest DeFi Project

Bitcoin on Ethereum continues to grow at warp speed, reaching above $1.6 billion, on pace with 145k BTC.

Several projects like renBTC, imBTC, HBTC, TBTC, pBTC, and sBTC are putting BTC on the second largest network. Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) dominates this growth by accounting for 73.6% of the BTC on Ethereum.

105,132 WBTC worth $1.2 billion has been minted so far, which has increased a whopping 9,380% since the beginning of 2020.

With this, WBTC has jumped past the likes of Yearn.Finance, Synthetix, Compound, Curve Finance, and Aave to become the third-largest DeFi project.

Uniswap, with a record of $2.73 billion in total value locked (TVL) and dominance of 24.12%, and Maker with nearly $2 billion of crypto funds locked are the only ones bigger than Wrapped Bitcoin.

wbtc
Source: DeFiPulse

WBTC is one of the fastest-growing DeFi projects, much like the overall sector, which is hitting new highs of $11.4 billion in TVL.

Interestingly, yesterday, the largest WBTC was minted in a single day by CoinList. This largest mint of 5,000 WBTC was made in two separate transactions — the first one involved 1,299.48 WBTC while the second transaction involved 3,697.5 WBTC.

This record breaks the last one made by FTX CEO Sam Bakman-Fried’s crypto trading firm Almeda Research that one-upped the previous record with 2,316.5 WBTC.

WBTC is an ERC-20 token backed by bitcoin in a 1:1 ratio, where the BTC is held in the custody of BitGo.

With this, DeFi users can participate in various applications without actually using their Bitcoin. It further brings Bitcoin’s vast liquidity, with a $210 billion market, to the $42 billion market cap Ethereum network.

Demand for WBTC continues to soar, as seen in its growth as this allows Bitcoin holders to take part in exciting DeFi apps like yield farming and earn income on their BTC without giving it up.

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Author: AnTy