“It is Worth $1 Billion,” says The Largest NFT Fund That Bought Beeple’s “The First 5000 Days”

“It is Worth $1 Billion,” says The Largest NFT Fund That Bought Beeple’s “The First 5000 Days”

Metapurse, founded by Metakovan, bought it for more than 42k ETH, worth nearly $69.35 million, calling it “the most valuable piece of art for this generation.”

Metapurse was the buyer of the $69,346,250 digital artwork “The First 5000 Days” by artist Mike Winkelman, famously known as Beeple.

An NFT production studio, Metapurse is the largest NFT fund in the world. Metakovan is the pseudonymous founder and financier of the fund that broke the record for the most expensive NFT ever sold by bidding 42329.453 ETH. Metakovan said,

“When you think of high-valued NFTs, this one is going to be pretty hard to beat.”

“And here’s why – it represents 13 years of everyday work. Techniques are replicable, and skill is surpassable, but the only thing you can’t hack digitally is time. This is the crown jewel, the most valuable piece of art for this generation. It is worth $1 billion.”

The auction ended on Thursday, which was hosted by the oldest auction house Christie’s, which had its first purely digital artwork with a unique NFT and also accepted cryptocurrency for it. Around 22 million viewers tuned in to Christies.com for the final moments of bidding, revealed the official announcement. Guillaume Cerutti, CEO of Christie’s said,

“The possibilities for what comes next in this field are inspiring, and we look forward to more collaborative innovations in the near future.”

The digital artwork is the third most valuable artwork ever sold by a living artist.

Twobadour, who operates the NFT fund along with Metakovan, said the sale of Beeple’s artwork had made “history” because this involved a renowned auction house, a contemporary artist, and a wholly digital masterpiece which is acquired by a person of color.

“This certainly is history. We also hope it is the future,” Twobadour said.

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Author: AnTy

Brave Acquires Open Search Engine, Tailcat; Breaking Away From Google’s Prying Eyes

Popular privacy-focused web browser Brave has bought out Tailcat, an open search engine, in its efforts to launch a private search engine.

On Wednesday, Brave announced the acquisition of Tailcat, an open search engine that was created by the team that was behind the Cliqz anti-tracking search-browser combo. Cliqz, now defunct, operated under Hubert Burda Media, exited the browser and search space in May last year.

As per the announcement, Tailcat will be used as a base for the much expected Brave Search. The Brave Search will be an inbuilt search engine that is developed to allow private and transparent surfing.

Brendan Eich, Brave co-founder, and CEO explained that the company is focused on launching Brave Search before the end of summer 2021.

“Brave is now working on integrating this technology and making it available to all as Brave Search, first via early access for testers, and then for general availability by this summer.”

At the moment, Brave browser highly depends on a number of external search engines, giving its clients a choice to use popular search engines such as DuckDuckGo that is also privacy-focused, and Startpage, and also the mainstream search engines such as Google. Brave claims that almost “all of today’s search engines are either built by, or rely on, results from Big Tech companies.”

On the other hand, Tailcat is developed on top of a fully independent index whereby it will not collect IP addresses and other personal information and data aimed at enhancing the search results. Eich explained that Tailcat engineers have been developing a privacy-focused search engine over the last seven years till Cliqz ceased operations. As part of the acquisition deal, the Cliqz development team will now move to Brave. The dev team is headed by Dr. Josep Pujol, who hailed the deal as a major breakthrough in offering an alternative to the Big Tech dominance.

The acquisition comes days after Brave announced a major achievement in its efforts to enhance its browser adoption. Brave doubled its monthly active client base from 11 to 26 million.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Growing Number of Clients Bought ETH, But Only A Select Group Is Investing in DeFi: Coinbase

Growing Number of Clients Bought ETH, But Only A Select Group of VC Funds & Family Offices Investing in DeFi: Coinbase

DeFi remains retail-driven just like the early days of Bitcoin adoption, says Coinbase whose clients are interested in Ethereum’s evolving potential as a store of value and its status as a digital commodity.

2020 brought “traditional hedge funds to the forefront of participation,” states Coinbase in its 2020 in the Review report.

Covering the year “crypto cemented its status as an institutional asset class,” said the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, which is planning to launch its IPO, noting that macro funds are the earlier adopters with several large funds now begun trading Bitcoin and Ethereum directly with investor capital as well.

The company’s clients invested in Bitcoin for a range of reasons, including as a store of value, as an inflation hedge and/or insurance against new potential monetary policy risks, as a portfolio diversification tool, and as a treasury reserve asset.

Coinbase is particularly expanding its business in Europe and Asia, with Singapore as the staging post for Asia expansion because of its regulatory clarity. After opening its third office in Europe, Coinbase now has 120 full-time employees in the region.

A Trend Occurring out of View for Most of Wall Street

“While our institutional clients predominantly bought Bitcoin in 2020, a growing number also took positions in Ethereum,” reads the report.

The second-largest cryptocurrency, which has been more volatile than Bitcoin, is seen by Coinbase’s institutional clients as a “decentralized computing network that shares Bitcoin’s properties of trustless store and transmission of value, along with more flexible programmability via smart contracts.”

Ethereum’s evolving potential as a store of value and its status as a digital commodity required to power transactions on its network are the clients’ reasons for owning the digital asset. However, the community needs to settle on a clearer and simpler narrative, which Coinbase says is both a challenge and an opportunity for Ethereum.

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is also seen as one of the most important growth developments for the Ethereum network as Coinbase clients believe this sector has “potential to reinvent financial products and services.”

Coinbase hasn’t yet seen significant investment in DeFi assets from institutional clients, except for “a select group of venture capital funds and family offices.”

DeFi remains retail-driven; just like the early days of Bitcoin adoption, Coinbase added maturity would take time.

“We can imagine a future in which institutional investors can access both traditional and decentralized financial services through trusted, regulated onramps,” which may be difficult to imagine today given the relatively small size of the DeFi market, a bottom-up trend that is occurring out of view for most of Wall Street.

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Author: AnTy

Big Uptick in 1k BTC Addresses Shows Institutions Bought the Dip

Big Uptick in 1k BTC Addresses Shows Institutions Bought the Dip; Goldman Sachs says Still Just 1% of Institutional Money

Despite the healthy pullback, more correction cannot be ruled out yet but $30k will be protected because many institutional investors bought around this level.

Bitcoin is taking a breather and hovering around $35,000 after the deep pullback earlier this week. This profit-taking at an ATH of $42,000 was expected after Bitcoin rallied more than 1,000% from the March 2020 lows.

“There’s signs that retail investors are taking profit,” said Ryan Rabaglia, OSL’s global head of trading. “Heightened volatility is often correlated with an uptick in retail participation.”

The market is particularly focusing on the US Dollar Index right now, which has been gaining strength, currently hovering around 90.

“We think a pullback is healthy,” said David Grider, the digital strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors. According to him, the recent price action doesn’t indicate that Bitcoin has topped out.

However, further losses can’t be ruled out either, with miners continuing their selling while no significant stablecoin inflows in the picture. No outflows are seen from Coinbase either; as a matter of fact, BTC is flowing into exchanges.

On the basis of this, “We might have second dumping,” said Ki Young Ju, CEO of data provider CryptoQuant.

Still, $30k will be protected, and in the event of a dip, we might not go down below $28k because “there are many institutional investors who bought BTC at the 30-32k level,” Young Ju added.

These institutions were actually into buying the dips that came on Sunday and Monday. The large amounts of BTC holders that can be seen as a proxy for institutional adoption “increased significantly” since the start of 2021. This jump in address with at least 1,000 BTC shows that this institutional adoption is here to stay.

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However, according to Goldman Sachs’ Jeff Currie, the level of institutional investment in the market is still very small though “the market is beginning to become more mature.”

“The key to creating some type of stability in the market is to see an increase in the participation of institutional investors, and right now they’re small,” said the investment bank’s head of commodities research on CNBC., adding that the investment in BTC is, “roughly 1% of it is institutional money.”

While for institutions, Bitcoin is a hedge against fiat debasement and risk of inflation, as it emerges as a store of value, for some, it is a way to fix economic injustice as well.

“For the first time in history, we have a Plan B option to the current financial system which has seen years of redlining, racial discrimination and other egregious acts by retail banks to the Black community,” said Isaiah Jackson, author of “Bitcoin & Black America.”

According to him, Bitcoin gives Black people an opportunity to not only shift their money but also their mindset because the world’s leading digital currency is unconfiscatable and has no barrier to entry.

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Author: AnTy

Institutional Asset Manager, Stone Ridge, Buys 10,000 Bitcoin as its Treasury Reserve Asset

The $10 billion institutional asset manager has bought 10k BTC worth $115 million as its “primary treasury reserve asset.”

Publicly-traded MicroStrategy first started the narrative (twice), then last week, Jack Dorsey’s Square bought $50 million Bitcoin, representing 1% of company assets.

Already 15 public companies have bitcoin in their Treasuries, and several small businesses like Tahini and Snappa have converted their US dollars in the balance sheet with the leading digital asset.

Now, Stone Ridge Holdings Group has jumped on the BTC as a reserve asset train. The investment was based on the thesis that “the long term growth of an open-source monetary system—in assets like bitcoin,” co-founder Robert Gutmann told Forbes.

Its crypto subsidiary NYDIG also announced on Tuesday that it had raised $50 million in funding led by VC fund FinTech Collective along with Bessemer Ventures and Ribbit capital.

NYDIG, which offers prime brokerage and custody services to institutional customers, is among the handful of companies that have obtained New York state’s BitLicense.

Gutmann, who has taken over as co-founder and CEO of NYDIG, also shared that they are seeing “pretty dramatic acceleration in the count of institutional investors who want to participate in the market since March of this year.”

The unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus post-COVID-19 pandemic, according to him, will drive more and more people to hedge their investment portfolio with digital assets.

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Author: AnTy

Salt Lending to Begin the Process of Refunds to Investors in Early 2021

“Anyone who bought SALT from us directly before and including 12/31/2019 will have an opportunity to submit a written claim at a later date to recover the consideration paid plus interest,” tweeted SALT Lending.

This has been in response to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ordering Salt Blockchain, the owner of the lending platform that offers dollar-denominated loans collateralized by cryptos that it has to refund the raised amount to investors.

As per the SEC’s decision, the token is deemed a security because Salt told investors they could expect to make a return on their investment. Investors will have three months after the filing of a registering statement to submit their claims to Salt, which the company is obligated to pay back with any agreed interest.

“We’re in the early stages of registering the token with the SEC,” said Salt adding that the claim form is expected to be available “in the early part of 2021.”

The refunds for tokens purchased will be provided directly from the company, as per the SEC Order, and if one no longer holds the tokens, they will be asked to provide the evidence of loss or damages.

The company raised $47 million in its initial coin offering (ICO) starting in 2017 through 2019.

Interestingly, the news of Salt reaching a “settlement” with the SEC, which means the company doesn’t have to agree or deny the agency’s findings, worked in its token’s favor. In the past 24 hours, the SALT price has spiked nearly 150%.

At the time of writing, SALT has been trading at $0.131 with a 24 hour ‘real’ volume of $106,183

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Author: AnTy

MicroStrategy CEO: Bitcoin is the “Ultimate Inflation Hedge,” 1000x Better than Gold

Publicly traded MicroStrategy has taken a deep dive into Bitcoin, having bought a total of 38,250 BTC at a rate of $425 million and making the leading digital asset a part of their reserve, replacing cash.

This is a big conversion from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor’s tweet about “bitcoin days are numbered. It seems like just a matter of time before it suffers the same fate as online gambling,” in 2013.

However, in a conversation with Anthony Pompliano on his podcast, Saylor shared that he is “ashamed” for tweeting what he did, which he didn’t even realize until the crypto community reminded him of when the company first announced buying $250 million worth of bitcoin. He said,

“I’m like oh my god, I literally forgot I ever said that…but I took it as kind of like, kind ribbing like I didn’t get all worked up about. I’m like you’re right, I was wrong, what an idiot I was.”

Because They’re Going to Crush Everything

During his conversation, Saylor further talked about how before agreeing on bitcoin is the right idea, “we all needed to collectively be of the opinion that we were going to be generating cash at infinitum,” for which they went on a journey through corporately over the past year.

The company had $500 million in cash, and they had to decide whether to buy-back stock, buy another company, or keep it for a rainy day.

Saylor credited his friend Eric Rice, who owns bitcoin investment fund and kept on advising him on bitcoin, which the CEO kept on dismissing until “one day we’re sitting around my pool in Miami and he starts explaining it and something clicks in my head that maybe this is a pretty good idea.”

So, here they had to decide between precious metal and bitcoin after dismissing commercial real estate and equities and “I want something that can go up by a factor of 10,” Saylor said.

He compared Bitcoin to Amazon and Apple when they first came out — a good investment that has a digital dominant network and dematerialized something fundamental. So, you invest in that thing when they have a hundred billion dollar market cap because,

“When they’re ten times bigger than the next biggest thing, and they’re a hundred billion dollars, they’re probably going to crush everything.”

This is the Real Deal

Saylor, however, isn’t interested in hundreds of other cryptos available in the crypto space. Because, while it’s “great” to have all that innovation which may or may not work, an outsider needs something in which one can put in their $500 million and,

“Everybody in the community is going to spend every iota of their energy to make sure no one f’s with that network.”

Not to mention, bitcoin is the dominant crypto, and nothing comes close to it. Also, community ethos is one of the key drivers of their belief in its success.

And although BTC is volatile, what other choice does anyone have in the current environment.

“Let’s be honest there’s a negative real yield on everything else,” whether it’s gold, bond, or cash.

“Every other non-volatile asset is a negative real yield, which means that everything else is lifeblood draining out of my veins,” said Saylor, adding he would choose the asset with volatility over “non-volatile cash that bought 30 percent less in a matter of eight weeks.”

Moreover, in the next ten years, with people coming into move hundreds of millions of dollars, they will tend to damp all the volatility because it’s in their interest.

“I think people were kind of oblivious to the need to slash the role of bitcoin and the bitcoin narrative of digital gold – this is the ultimate inflation hedge,” said Saylor, who sees the digital asset as a 1000x better than the yellow metal.

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Author: AnTy

Barstool’s Founder Doesn’t Understand BTC, It’s ‘Mario Brothers’ But ‘Can’t Get Enough’ of it Either

Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy, who has recently become a day trader, then bought one stock before the coronavirus lockdown shared his views about Bitcoin.

After the lockdown shut down sports and closed local casinos, the value of Penn’s stock tanked that Portnoy owns “a ton of” — Penn National Gaming bought a considerable stake in Barstool Sports. Out of that carnage emerged “DDTG” Davy Day Trader Global.

Portnoy’s newfound popularity in the trading universe is the result of “doing something the financial community hasn’t seen before and making it fun.”

“We are ‘Barstooling’ it, we are making hype videos, we are getting behind it, we are live-streaming it,” he said on CNBC Fast Money. Portnoy, 43, livestreams to his 1.5 million Twitter followers with the caveat: “I’m not a financial advisor. Don’t trust anything I say about stocks.”

Portnoy touted airline stocks and is dissing the likes of Warren Buffett. “I’m sure Warren Buffett is a great guy, but when it comes to stocks, he’s washed up,” he tweeted. “I’m the captain now.”

Bitcoin is like Mario brothers

Portnoy who is now using random scrabble letters to choose a stock, took to Twitter today to tell everybody who is trying to get him into BTC that he feels the same way about bitcoin today as he did in 2017.

Near the peak of the bull market, Portnoy invested in bitcoin because everyone was going on about the leading digital currency. However, he doesn’t “even know what the fuck cryptocurrencies or bitcoin is,” he said in the video that he made at that time.

He doesn’t get all the fuss about bitcoin mining, for him, “It’s like Mario brothers when you hit something a mushroom pops up, except that it’s bitcoin.”

It’s “not real,” but it’s worth thousands of dollars ($11k at that time), up more than 65% in just three months when he first tried to buy it. “It just keeps going up, keeps going up, keeps going up…”

Portnoy has all the same questions that any other outsider has, that it’s a scam, a Ponzi scheme and that you can’t buy groceries or pizza with it (Tell that to Laszlo Hanyecz who paid 10,000 bitcoins for two pizzas in 2010).

So, he doesn’t get bitcoin or cryptos, but everyone; the homeless guy, Instagram models, and Nick from the office (who has 20% of his net worth in BTC) is talking about bitcoin, and everyone is getting rich.

Though he believes it’s going to crash, he would instead crash with it then just sit on the sidelines.

And he “can’t get enough” of bitcoin.

Unlike the time when the crypto community tried to make Harry Potter author JK Rowling understand Bitcoin, this time, the community restrained.

Moreover, he’s already in bitcoin.

Stimulus checks driving millennials

Since the mid-March crash, when everything from Bitcoin, stocks, gold, to Treasuries, tanked, the stock market has been surging like crazy reaching their all-time highs yet again thanks to Federal Reserve’s money printing.

During this period, Bitcoin jumped 150% but this time, instead of piling into the crypto market, millennials and Gen Zs who are stuck at home with free time and government stimulus checks have found their way into stocks through apps like Robinhood.

Robinhood added over three million funded accounts in the first four months of 2020, and half of them are those who opened accounts are first-time investors.

With commission-free trading, “the barriers to entry are essentially zero, and the cost to transact is essentially zero,” said Julian Emanuel, chief equity and derivatives strategist at BTIG LLC.

Although these first-time investors are not really qualified, “You learn more when you’re losing,” Emanuel said.

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Author: AnTy

Institutional Investors Are Scooping Up All the Newly Minted BTC, Leaving Not Much Left to Buy

Over the last three months, Grayscale Investments bought up to 33% of all newly minted bitcoin.

The asset manager continues to stockpile the world’s leading digital asset for its clients having added nearly 70,000 BTC to its Bitcoin Trust Fund between February to May 17, reads a researcher’s post on Reddit. The researcher noted,

“The rate of acquiring bitcoin in gbtc has actually accelerated after April. However, even at the rate of 600 bitcoins per day that GBTC has bought every day for the last 100 days, the GBTC is buying Bitcoins equal to 2/3rd of all supply of newly minted Bitcoin.”

After the halving especially, Grayscale’s bitcoin acquisition became even more aggressive. 34% of BTC added during these three months were bought in 17 days of May where the price of bitcoin remained between $8,000 to $10,000 and the digital currency experienced its third halving.

Last month, the investment fund reported a record first quarter, its Bitcoin Trust seeing quarterly inflows of $389 million.

Grayscale that provides institutional investors exposure to cryptocurrencies operates nine other crypto investment products. At the end of April, it had also bought about 50% of all the Ether minted Ether since the starting of this year.

Overall, Grayscale holds about 2% of all bitcoin and 1.1% of all Ether in circulation.

At the rate Grayscale’s BTC stash has been growing, it would accumulate 3% of the total supply by March 2021 while consuming 75% of all newly minted BTC.

At Grayscale, however, one doesn’t control their keys and all of BTC are kept with Coinbase Custody, as such, reducing the circulating supply of all BTC in the market.

The Real Flow of Bitcoin

Grayscale’s products are exchange-traded vehicles backed with cryptocurrencies, with over 90% of its inflows coming from the institutional players. While initial shares are only available to accredited investors, secondary trading is open to any investor.

Both Bitcoin and Ethereum at times trade at a high premium here, with ETHE’s premium at times surging as high as over 400%.

“GBTC demand is just institutions arbing the GBTC premium and isn’t long term capital,” argued Nic Carter, co-founder of Coin Metrics.

“The persistent premium is evidence of strong retail enthusiasm for brokerage-held BTC,” he added.

As we reported, in Q1 of 2020, Grayscale sold 29.4% of all BTC mined in the quarter. Grayscale combined with Square took in more than 50% of all new BTC minted in Q1.

This means, “there are not much bitcoins left to buy. Buyers will have to bid them out of the hands of hodlers,” said analyst PlanB.

While the exchanges can only sell existing coins, exchange and miner fees are also existing BTC as such only block subsidy that is 6.25 BTC every ten minutes since halving are the only new coins entering the market.

“I am starting to believe that miner flow is the only real flow out there, like gold. Most of btc volume is wallet reorg and trading,” he added.

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Author: AnTy

Kraken Futures Pushes Into The Under-Appreciated Cryptocurrency Market In Russia

The licensed futures provider that was bought off by Kraken late last year known as Crypto Facilities, has announced the hiring of Aleksey Bragin to expand its operations in Russia. The firm intends to intensify in-person visits as well as operate various social media groups using the Russian language.

According to CoinDesk, the subsidiary currently provides XRP, Litecoin, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ether futures contracts. The company rakes in $17 million per day in volume coming from Bitcoin futures only.

According to Kraken Futures overall in charge of business development, Kevin Beardsley, Russia ranks top among the under-appreciated crypto markets today. He explained that the presence of well-trained tech developers dealing with the crypto industry makes Russia a highly lucrative crypto market.

Beardsley went ahead to say that the US and China and to a lesser extent Korea and Japan dominate the crypto conversation. However, Russia has proved itself as a leader, especially in the development of infrastructure and ranks high in terms of crypto community but gets much less coverage. Beardsley gave examples of Telegram as well as TradingView whose teams are made up of Russians and surrounding countries.

Bragin has a vast experience in the Russian crypto industry and in 2011 he started ICBIT, a crypto futures exchange which was later bought out by Safello, a Swedish crypto exchange, in 2016. He explained that Russian traders have highly adopted cryptos and take them like other currencies or commodities.

According to Bragin the number of persons trading cryptos is growing at a fast rate and there is a high crypto trading acceptance which makes Russia attractive destination for futures trading. He however admitted that Russian derivative market is still at its nascent stages but it’s quickly becoming a critical market. He explained that crypto derivatives began to attract traders in 2018 and developed rapidly in 2019 and analysts have predicted the trend will be maintained this year.

The Russian market is fast becoming an attraction to many renowned exchanges such as Huobi that launched its operations there in November 2018.

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Author: Joseph Kibe