Pioneering Crypto Bank, Sygnum, Launches Bitcoin and Ethereum Options Contracts

Pioneering Crypto Bank, Sygnum, Launches Bitcoin and Ethereum Options Contracts

Swiss-based Sygnum has launched bitcoin and ether options for customers who want to execute more sophisticated cryptocurrency trading strategies.

Digital asset bank Sygnum has launched over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency options for customers, per its official press release. Synum received regulatory approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in September 2020, allowing the bank to offer regulated digital asset trading services.

Sophisticated Trades and Premiums

The crypto bank says the new asset offering would enable its clientele to execute sophisticated investment and trading strategies. The options would be available on both BTC/USD and ETH/USD trading pairs. The press release explains,

“Options have long played an important role in traditional financial markets as a tool to help investors navigate through unpredictable market conditions. By paying the option premium, buyers can participate in larger price swings, while sellers leverage elevated volatility levels and collect premium payments to generate additional yield on existing holdings.”

Crypto options are a form of financial derivative that gives the investor the right, not the obligation, to buy assets at a specific price on an agreed date in the future, for which they pay sellers a premium. If the asset’s price on expiration is higher than the agreed price, buyers can execute their contract and take profit or refuse and lose the premium. They are the new rave of the crypto trading world and are slowly outpacing spot trading.

Sygnum’s regulated options offerings include long and short positioning, European OTC call and put options, fully customizable strike and expiry date, and cash settlement. Dominic Lohberger, Head of Brokerage at Sygnum Banknotes said,

“With options, clients can now profit from any price movement – be it a bull, bear, or sideways market. They can also use them to hedge positions, take leveraged exposure to the market or trade volatility.”

A Multitude of Crypto Services

Headquartered in Zurich, Sygnum is known for its forward-thinking approach. The Swiss firm launched a stablecoin (DHCF) pegged to the Swiss franc in 2020. The stablecoin is backed 1:1 with funds kept with the Swiss National Bank. DHCF enables fast and seamless settlements on Sygnum’s platform. Last December, the bank tokenized its shares on the blockchain as it prepares for a public offering.

Sygnum described the move as an essential milestone on its journey towards creating more access to ownership and value. The crypto bank said tokenizing its shares simplifies the process of updating shareholder registry and reduces the administrative bottlenecks in transferring share ownership.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

67% of Millennials Believe Bitcoin Is A Superior Safe Haven Compared to Gold

67% of Millennials Believe Bitcoin Is A Superior Safe Haven Compared to Gold

Millennials believe that Bitcoin is a better safe-haven than gold. Despite its increased adoption, Bitcoin has experienced several social problems in its continued rise to prominence.

Over the last few years, we have seen first-hand how millennials deal with their personal finances.

The older generation believed in gold as the last resort in beating inflation, but with central banks printing more money than ever before due to the pandemic, many have had to search for better ways to hedge against inflation.

Millennials Believe In Bitcoin’s Future

A recent study from SimpleMoneyLife shows that cryptocurrencies are getting more adoption worldwide, despite their high volatility. The increased popularity, along with recent price rallies, has made these assets more preferable to legacy investment options like gold or government bonds.

In its research, SimpleMoneyLife, a personal finance platform, quoted a study from the deVere Group. The study revealed that about 67 percent of millennials see Bitcoin as a better store of value than gold.

The consistent adoption from millennials and increased institutional investment, has bolstered cryptocurrencies’ popularity worldwide.

Social networking apps like Twitter also play major roles in spurring crypto adoption. As SimpleMoneyLife explained, the social networking site churns out over 70,000 Bitcoin-related tweets daily.

Many of these tweets come from verified accounts of Bitcoin evangelists like Anthony Pompliano, Peter McCormack, and even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Several experts have pointed to Bitcoin possibly overtaking gold due to its increasing popularity.

Yesterday, Brett Messing and Anthony Pompliano of New York hedge fund SkyBridge Capital recently explained that crypto investments are as safe as gold and government bonds. The investment experts listed increased regulation and an enhanced Bitcoin infrastructure for its safety, adding that its value should skyrocket on the back of increased investment from institutions and millennials.

Social Concerns

Despite adoption being on the rise, SimpleMoneyLife pointed out that Bitcoin is experiencing some social problems with its distribution.

Although created to be decentralized, only a few early investors are controlling the vast majority of BTC presently in circulation. The SimpleMoneyLife research showed that two percent of BTC wallets control about 95 percent of the assets in circulation. A further 70 percent of BTC addresses have less than 1 BTC in them.

Another social problem appears to be the gender inequality discovered in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Males are seen as more interested in cryptocurrencies in general than females, with SimpleMoneyLife reporting that 85.77 percent of Bitcoin-related engagement comes from men, while 14.23 percent of the network’s participants are female.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Nasdaq-listed Chinese Gaming Company, The9, to Buy 26k Bitcoin Mining Machines

Nasdaq-listed Chinese Gaming Company, The9, to Buy 26k Bitcoin Mining Machines

China-based Nasdaq-listed Internet company The9 Limited is diversifying its business with Bitcoin.

On Monday, the company announced that it had signed five legally binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with Bitcoin mining machine owners to purchase BTC mining machines.

To acquire 26,007 Bitcoin mining machines, the company will accomplish a hash rate of 549PH/S, accounting for about 0.36% of the global hash rate of Bitcoin.

The hash rate of the largest network is near its all-time high of 148.52 EH/s, while difficulty to mine BTC is at its peak at 20.82 trillion.

The9 Limited has already deployed the majority of these Bitcoin mining machines in Xinjiang, Sichuan, and Gansu in China.

For this, the company will issue a certain amount of Class A ordinary shares to each Bitcoin mining machine owner in exchange for these machines. Nasdaq-listed Canaan former Director and Co-Chairman Jianping Kong and other partners will assist The9 in developing the crypto mining business.

Its wholly-owned subsidiary NBTC Limited has started purchasing Bitcoin mining machines, “with the plan to establish cryptocurrencies mining machine facilities worldwide.”

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Author: AnTy

Monster Expiry: $100k Bitcoin Options Expiring This Friday

Monster Expiry: $100k Bitcoin Options Expiring This Friday

With a notional value of more than $3 billion, this will be the biggest expiry Deribit has seen to date, which in the light of the growing options market, will impact the spot market as well.

A record amount of Bitcoin options contracts are expiring on Jan. 29.

This monster expiry of 100k Bitcoin options contracts at a notional value of more than $3 billion will be the biggest expiry crypto derivatives platform Deribit has seen to date. However, the “uber bullish 29 Jan 52k strike needs the spot rate to advance for it to have any meaningful impact on the rest of the market; otherwise, it will decay to zero and have no delta impact,” noted Denis Vinokourov of Bequant.

The price of Bitcoin is currently seeing greens on the first day of the week, trading around $35,000. It’s to be seen if BTC will continue higher or range further after lack of momentum for two weeks following about a 30% pullback to just under $29k.

“As options become more influential in crypto, I expect increased volatility around expiry dates,” says trader AltcoinPsycho who anticipates deeper wicks in the days leading up to Jan. 29th expiry.

Interestingly, the pullback didn’t shake the market as only 61 contracts changed hands earlier last week.

“At current price levels, hedging large option notionals has a major impact on price,” noted trader and economist Alex Kruger.

Increased Institutional Interest

On Monday morning, open options contracts were worth around 250,440 Bitcoin with Deribit, which began offering the products in 2018, accounting for the majority 87.74% of it, as per Bybt. Options basically give the investors the right, not the obligation, to buy or sell the underlying asset at a specified price within a time period.

Interest in Bitcoin options has risen sharply over the past few months as the Bitcoin price broke past its previous ATH of $20,000 to climb to a new all-time high of $42,000 earlier this month.

In late June 2020, OI on bitcoin options contracts was a mere 147k BTC that surged to 265.81k BTC on Dec. 23, which was hit again just last week. The highest open interest of just over 21k BTC is for Bitcoin call options with a strike price of $52,000.

Given that Bitcoin options volume has exploded, from $4.1 billion in July 2020 to $15.36 billion in Dec. and already doing $23 bln in January, so far, the expiry can affect the spot market as well.

“It reflects just how volatile [Bitcoin] has become, even by its own standards, over the last couple of months,” said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Oanda. “The moves we’re seeing on a daily basis now are incredible, so it’s natural that options are being more utilized.”

Due to the complexity involved in options trading, it also indicates how much-sophisticated investors are involved in trading BItcoin. Also, the more institutional adoption, the more futures, and options volumes’ will grow.

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Author: AnTy

Celsius Network Grew 10x in 2020; ‘Huge’ Interest from Retail & Institutions for BTC, ETH & Others

Today, Bitcoin is keeping around $33,000 after recording an approximately 30% correction from January’s all-time high of $42,000.

The mainstream media and the likes of Scott Minerd of Guggenheim and JPMorgan are getting skeptical of this bull run extended further. Still, the cryptocurrency market has seen three of these bull runs and is expecting more uptrend.

According to Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius Network, “seeing a small correction is probably healthy for Bitcoin,” which is still the best performing asset class across 10, 5, or three year periods.

Not to mention, “at the same time, we are also seeing some of the other old coins close to hitting new highs. It is not just bitcoin outperforming. I think it was just a lot of migration of capital from the traditional markets, from the bond markets, from the stock markets into this non-correlated asset class,” Mashinsky said on Bloomberg.

Celsius, the second-largest asset management in the world, manages under $5.3 billion and works with over 350 institutions.

“We grew 10 times during 2020… We have seen huge adoption both in retail and from institutions,” he added.

Retail Front Running the Institutions

Bitcoin skeptics like UBS global wealth management still see Bitcoin failing due to regulatory threats and central banks issuing their own digital currencies.

However, while China is issuing a central currency, they do not promise limited supply, and just like the Fed is printing dollars, they will continue to print their digital versions, Mashinsky said. He added,

“The beauty of bitcoin is that it has limited supply. Everybody in the world knows that no one can print more of these, and the more people come in and buy Bitcoin, the higher the price is going to go.”

Besides the CBDCs, the mainstream media likes to point out how only 2% of buyers hold up to 95% of all Bitcoin. But what they miss about this data is that exchanges hold the BTC of a lot of users.

Mashinsky explains how Celsius has a bitcoin wallet with over $2 billion in it, but it doesn’t belong to one person. Unlike the traditional equities, you can’t really point to the owner. “We have 350,000 users that aggregate their coins into this wallet to earn yields,” he said.

“What we are seeing is that this is the first time in history where the retail guy got in on the next big thing ahead of institutions. The institution is just now running in,” with JP Morgan and Citi recommend Bitcoin for the first time.

The OG’s of the cryptocurrency space has been here for years, which are retail and the ones selling to the institutions.

This is why this time is different from 2017 as we see “some of the world’s smartest investors not just looking to diversify the asset class, but also generating yields and generating alpha on Bitcoin, and Ethereum and 42 other assets we manage. This is a new asset class that is now being adopted by a very broad base of investors,” said Mashinsky.

These institutions are coming in because of the macro environment. The problem is with the monetary system, which saw a half of the world’s dollars created in the last 12 months, basically when corona started.

This currency debasement is making a lot of people nervous and in their search for non-correlated assets to move away from the dollar or the euro, and because there are very, very few options, it is resulting in a stampede in Bitcoin, Mashinsky said.

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Author: AnTy

Nasdaq-Listed Bitcoin Miner Marathon Buys 4,812 BTC ($150M) for Treasury Reserves

Nasdaq-Listed Bitcoin Miner Marathon Buys 4,812 BTC ($150M) for Treasury Reserves

Marathon Patent Group, the North America-based Bitcoin mining company, has purchased 4,812 Bitcoin for an aggregate price of $31,168.

The company purchased $150 million worth of Bitcoin through the New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG). Merrick Okamoto, Marathon’s chairman & CEO said,

“By leveraging our cash on hand to invest in Bitcoin now, we have transformed our potential to be a pure-play investment into a reality.”

These BTC are held in Treasury reserves, which Marathon describes as a better long-term strategy than holding US Dollars.

The cryptocurrency miner has contracted to purchase 103,060 mining machines, which are expected to be delivered and deployed by the end of the first quarter of 2022. This capacity, based on the current difficulty rate, which is at an all-time high of 20.82 trillion, Marathon would be able to produce 55-60 BTC per day.

As of writing, BTC is trading around $35,000, down 23.5% from its all-time high of $42,000 hit earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the shares of Marathon are $18.30, down from $26.39 on Jan. 8 but up from $0.40 on April 1st, 2020.

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Author: AnTy

Uniswap Generating More Network Fees than Bitcoin; Total Fees on ETH Reaches BTC All Time High

Bitcoin has been the leader in generating more fees than any other network. But that has only been up until June 2020, when decentralized finance (DeFi) mania started kicking in.

Today, this DeFi craze even saw popular DEX Uniswap beating Bitcoin in daily fees of $2.3 million, as per Cryptofees.Info. While BTC only had $1.8 million, Ethereum is unreachable by collecting $8.8 million in fees.

Uniswap, which accounts for 48.5% of DEX volume market share, even without the liquidity incentives, saw $12.7b in traded volume, $36.543 million in fees, and liquidity increased to $3.6 billion over the past 15 days, as per IntoTheBlock.

Another DEX SushiSwap had just under $1 million in daily fees, followed by Synthetix and Balancer, but they only had about $100k to $200k.

In the past week, Ethereum did more than 3x of Bitcoin’s 7-day average fees of just over $3 million, while Uniswap recorded $2.4 million.

“It’s the first DeFi protocol, but not the last. The key feature here is that fees in DeFi benefit not only miners but also LPs and token holders,” noted Santiago R Santos, a partner at ParaFi capital.

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Ethereum entered the space in 2015, and its daily total fees in USD surpassed Bitcoin’s several times since then. But it wasn’t until DeFi exploded that ETH was able to beat the world’s largest network by a wild margin.

During the peak of the 2017 bill market, Bitcoin did nearly $21.4 million in total fees, while at its peak, Ethereum did only $4.55 million.

But earlier in June 2020, compared to Bitcoin’s $383k in total fees, Ethereum recorded a whopping $3.55 million. From here, as DeFi gained more traction, so did Ethereum fees, and this gap between BTC and ETH fees continued to grow.

At the peak of DeFi mania in Sept. 2020, the Ethereum network was used so much that it became unusable as the average fees and gas prices continued to hit new highs. On Sept. 1st, the Ethereum network received more than $17 million in total fees compared to $1.48 million on Bitcoin.

Bitcoin overtook Ethereum for a brief period, a fortnight and a small margin, from late October to early November.

Since then, Ethereum continues to generate millions of dollars in fees every day, setting yet another new record at $21.38 million on Jan. 11, the day the crypto market saw a sell-off.

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Author: AnTy

NexTech Panic Sold its Bitcoin on Dip Because of Double Spend FUD That Never Happened

NexTech Panic Sold its Bitcoin on Dip Because of Double Spend FUD That Never Happened

Bitcoin flowed from weak hands, NexTech, which moved back into cash, to strong hands, MicroStrategy, which bought 314 BTC for $10 million.

  • It didn’t even take one month for NexTech AR Solutions to panic sell their Bitcoin. The company couldn’t even weather the first dip of the bull season.
  • This week showed how Bitcoin flowed from the weak hands, NexTech, to strong hands, MicroStrategy, which bought 314 BTC for $10 million.

On Friday, the company announced that it had sold its Bitcoin ownership of approximately 130.187 Bitcoins with $200,000 in profit. NexTech first bought these BTC in late December and said they “may add more in 2021.”

“The average retail that stayed during the bear market is probably more sophisticated and stronger handed than the average institution that got in Q3/Q4 2020,” noted analyst Qiao Wang.

What’s even more surprising is the reason for this sale, double-spend, never even happened. NexTech CEO Evan Gappelberg said,

“This sale reflects our awareness that something potentially has changed with Bitcoin, which is seen as the digital version of gold. The news that has emerged is that a critical flaw called a ‘double spend’ may have occurred, which if true allows someone to spend the same Bitcoin twice, undermining faith in the system.”

He continued: “If the system is built on scarcity and faith in the system, then a ‘double spend’ would eliminate both -essentially destroying the store of value it was meant to be.” And this made him move back into cash.

The double-spending FUD was the latest one to permeate the cryptocurrency market, which propelled some people to sell their holdings.

As Andreas Antonopoulos explained in detail, this chain re-organization that happened Thursday is a “common occurrence that is part of Bitcoin’s normal operation.”

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Something good did come out of this as Google searches for “Bitcoin double-spend” spiked as people took time to understand it. It can be expected that they might refrain from falling for this FUD the next time, and instead of panic selling their BTC, buy the dips.

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Author: AnTy

Legendary Investor Bill Miller Gives Even More Reasons to be Bullish on Bitcoin

Legendary Investor Bill Miller Gives Even More Reasons to be Bullish on Bitcoin

Bitcoin is unlike any other asset that can match BTC’s liquidity with its upside potential, says Miller, who bought MicroStrategy’s convertible bond that was used to buy more BTC, which he says had “very little downside and an almost-free call option on Bitcoin.”

Bill Miller is getting more passionate about Bitcoin with each passing day.

The veteran investor Bill Miller in his latest investor note this week, talked about the thought process behind their “recent and unique purchase,” MicroStrategy’s 0.75% convertible bond.

MicroStrategy is betting big on Bitcoin and now holds approximately 70,784 BTC, representing 0.38% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply. The company issued convertible bonds last month, the proceeds of which were used to buy even more BTC.

In Miller’s assessment, the bond had “very little downside and an almost-free call option on Bitcoin.”

Besides having “minimal analyst coverage and a CEO that owns over a quarter of the company,” the reason for purchasing the bond was the company’s Bitcoin bet, wrote Miller. His view of the world’s largest cryptocurrency is,

“There is no other asset that combines Bitcoin’s liquidity with its upside potential.”

Bitcoin proponent Michael Saylor, the chief executive officer of MicroStrategy, also played a big part in Miller’s decision as he said, “Saylor is among the longest-tenured CEOs of all publicly traded companies, and he is the only sitting CEO we can find that has thrived after presiding over a 99.86% decline in his company’s equity price.”

The mutual fund legend further pointed to Saylor’s “unique ability to catch an emerging, scalable trend early and build an enduring business around it.”

MicroStrategy was the first publicly-traded company to replace all of its cash in its balance sheet with Bitcoin; a technology Miller has “long supported.’

The digital currency with a market cap of $592 billion, according to Miller, “is still an emerging and under-owned technology in an enormous addressable market.”

With Bitcoin, buyers know what they are getting as there is no other currency in the history of the world with more information and transparency around them, he added. Not to mention, BTC has been the best performing asset over eight of the past ten years and beats even the Nasdaq.

“Not owning any Bitcoin has been a massive mistake, and we expect that will continue to be true,” further wrote Miller.

He also points to Bitcoin’s demand growing consistently faster than supply and a long-term candlestick chart showing progressively higher lows despite significant volatility. Miller said,

“Preferred mediums of exchange tend to move in long cycles, and we may be in the midst of a major global transition that continues to go largely unnoticed.”

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Author: AnTy

Latin America’s Leading Exchange, Mercado Bitcoin, to Scale Operations After $38M Raise

Latin America’s Leading Exchange, Mercado Bitcoin, to Scale Operations After $38M Raise

Mercado Bitcoin, a leading crypto exchange in Latin America, is set to expand its operations into other jurisdictions following a successful investment round. The contributions were over $37 million (200 million BRL). According to the press release, this exchange, which has been operating almost exclusively in Brazil, will scale to other Latin American countries, including Argentina, Chile, and Mexico.

Started back in 2013 by the Chamati brothers, Mercado Bitcoin is one of the veterans and reputable crypto exchanges in Brazil. The firm has been growing exponentially in recent years; currently, over 2 million users leverage the exchange for crypto operations. It touts close to $3.7 billion in cumulative transactional volume.

Mercado Bitcoin’s latest investment round was led by Latin America industry heavyweights Parallax Ventures and GP Investimentos. Other players who contributed include Gear Ventures, Banco Plural, HS Investimentos FIP, and Evora Fund. With these stakeholders’ financial support, the exchange is now looking to capitalize on the larger Latin American crypto market.

Generally, Brazil has been crypto-friendly jurisdiction compared to other countries yet embraces a legal scope for crypto activity. This Latin American giant has attracted notable crypto ventures, with Mercado Bitcoin leading the pack. It now seems that they are ready to bite more in terms of market share; the firm’s CEO Reinaldo Rabelo highlighted the potential in this move,

“We want to develop the crypto ecosystem in Brazil and create a market as developed as that of the United States. To do this, we want to be one of the five largest digital exchanges in the world. Today, we are already the largest exchange in Latin America, operating almost exclusively in Brazil. Now, we’re going to look at the other markets, like Chile, Mexico, and Argentina, which have a regulatory culture closer to ours.”

Mercado also said that it would invest in two strategic fronts to consolidate its leadership; the investments will be allocated to Bitrust and Meubank. The former is a qualified crypto custodian to provide a gateway for institutional clients. At the same time, the latter is a digital wallet provider in the process of being approved by Brazil’s Central Bank.

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Author: Edwin Munyui