Bitcoin In “A Strong Position To Trend Higher” Due To Ongoing Supply Shock And Increasing Demand

“Renewed demand for BTC is increasingly clear,” as per different metrics while USD rebounded sharply today after its weakest one-month level on Friday, with the Fed expected to begin tapering from next month.

Bitcoin miners are accumulating more and more of the leading cryptocurrency, driving a supply shock, powering its rally, according to a report by the research arm of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken.

In its latest report, the exchange said that long-term holders and whales, along with crypto miners, are behind the ongoing supply shocks.

The report said that these long-term holders continue to hold onto their Bitcoin stash unperturbed by the drop in Bitcoin price in September or the surge in prices in October. Instead of reacting to the prices, they keep on accumulating Bitcoin.

An indicator called the o-hop supply that determines whether the miners are holding onto the coin they have mined has also risen about 50% since last month. Not just large-scale entities but even smaller miners and players are also beginning to hold, which can further exacerbate the short supply, said Kraken.

Renewed Demand Is Clear

The largest publicly traded miners, including Riot Blockchain, Marathon Digital, and Hut 8, have reported hoarding Bitcoin they mined last month. Some of the mines are even using these BTC to boost their balance sheets and funding.

The supply shock and the increased demand “put BTC in a strong position to trend higher,” Kraken wrote. One metric further shows that bitcoin sits below the halfway point between overbought and oversold territory, “suggesting that there’s still room for BTC to run,” it added.

This month, Bitcoin has rallied 42%, putting in a new all-time high at $67,000 in anticipation of the launch of the first Bitcoin ETF in the US. As of writing, BTC/USD is trading around $61,300.

“Validating the uptrend and highlighting strong demand for BTC, the excitement in the market is evident across several metrics and indicators.”

“Renewed demand for BTC is increasingly clear when looking at active addresses, new addresses, transaction count, velocity, and other metrics.”

Hedge Funds Go Record Short

Meanwhile, bitcoin net shorts hit a new record this week, but given that institutional investors always hedge their bets, these hedge funds whose short positions have climbed to $2.84 bln are also long Bitcoin.

According to crypto exchange OKEx, retail, however, is favoring longs. The BTC long/short has been keeping above 1.0 after first testing it last week.

“The ratio is bullish now and shows that retail investors are starting to believe in the possibility of higher prices in the near future. As long as this trend remains above 1.0, we can expect BTC to remain on an uptrend.”

This can also be seen in the basis for BTC futures contracts which has seen a minor retreat in line with Bitcoin’s price sliding from its ATH.

Time To Settle Down

Interestingly, the US dollar also weakened to its lowest level in a month due to a stronger euro on the back of earlier the expected hike in European interest rates. But today, in a sharp rebound from yesterday’s weakest level of 93.284, the greenback went up to 94.3 and is currently at 94.13.

This week, billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman also called for the Federal Reserve to begin raising interest rates “as soon as possible” and start tapering its monthly asset purchases “immediately.”

Ackman further said on Friday that in response to this, they are hedging their exposure to an upward move in rates, “as we believe that a rise in rates could negatively impact our long-only equity portfolio.” He said,

“We are continuing to dance while the music is playing, and it is time to turn down the music and settle down.”

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Author: AnTy

Over 160 Projects Are Launching on Terra by Early Next Year to ‘Amplify Demand for UST’ and Send it to $10 Bln

Over 160 Projects Are Launching on Terra by Early Next Year to ‘Amplify Demand for UST’ and Send it to $10 Bln, says Founder

As demand for UST rises with more projects joining the Terra ecosystem, it will accelerate “the expansion of the stablecoin supply and accruing value to LUNA holders,” said co-founder Do Kwon.

More than 160 projects will be launched on the South Korean blockchain project Terra by early next year, said co-founder Do Kwon in an interview with Asia Markets.

Terra is an algorithmically governed stablecoin platform with $8.86 billion worth of assets locked in it. According to DeFi Llama, currently, eight primary projects are running on it.

The money market project Anchor currently accounts for 39.3% of Terra’s all TVL at $3.5 billion, followed by Lido ($2.52 bln), Mirror ($1.28 bln), and TerraSwap ($1.14 bln).

But soon, the number of projects on Terra will increase significantly due to a “smooth” upgrade of the Terra network to ‘Columbus-5’ last month, he said.

“Now that Columbus-5 is live, more than 60 projects are preparing to launch in the next six to eight weeks, and more than 100 have recently announced plans (for) the end of the year or early 2022,” Kwon told the publication last week.

The launch of more projects on the platform will “amplify the demand for UST,” he added. TerraUSD (UST) is a stablecoin that attempts to maintain a value of $1 but isn’t backed by US dollars in a bank account; rather, to mint 1 UST, $1 worth of LUNA, the reserve asset of TerraUSD, is burned.

As demand for UST will rise with more projects joining the Terra ecosystem, it will accelerate “the expansion of the stablecoin supply and accruing value to LUNA holders,” Kwon said.

The native token of the protocol LUNA is currently a $14.38 billion market cap cryptocurrency which is up 5,364% YTD but still down 48% from an all-time high of $50 two weeks back.

Ambitious Targets

Columbus-5 has been the most significant upgrade ever since the launch of the Terra protocol, which has been in the works through this year and required numerous upgrades to the Terra core.

This upgrade is expected to help enhance the protocol’s scalability and interoperability. As Kwon said, Columbus-5 also updated “some of the economic mechanics of the protocol so that 100% of seigniorage generated by the expansion of the UST supply is burned, augmenting the per-unit value capture of LUNA as the demand for UST grows.”

Earlier this year, Kwon predicted UST’s market cap to exceed $10 billion by the end of this year, but currently, it stands at only $2.74 billion. Still, according to Kwon, his target is achievable.

Not only dozens of projects have been “anxiously” awaiting Columbus-5’s launch to release their mainnets, he said, adding: regulatory action against the most popular centralized stablecoins like USDC and Tether (USDT) has “reinvigorated the emphasis for a decentralized stablecoin in crypto like UST.”

The founder further pointed out that custodial stablecoin models do not scale well and “serve as hubs of risk in a decentralized financial stack,” as such, he expects the adoption of decentralized stablecoins to only increase from here on.

Additionally, the launch of IBC will enable UST to be exported to any IBC-enabled chain, particularly Cosmos chains and ThorChain, and flow freely outside of Terra. Wormhole support — a cross-chain bridge to Solana, Ethereum, and BSC — meanwhile will allow UST to be ported to the largest chains by TVL. ATOM -1.85% Cosmos / USD ATOMUSD $ 31.86
-$0.59-1.85%
Volume 313.52 m Change -$0.59 Open $31.86 Circulating 223.13 m Market Cap 7.11 b
7 h Over 160 Projects Are Launching on Terra by Early Next Year to ‘Amplify Demand for UST’ and Send it to $10 Bln, says Founder 3 d Decentralized Smart Contract Platform, Cypherium, Joins China’s BSN to Boost Blockchain Development 3 w South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Operator Raises $85 Million at an $8.65 Billion Valuation
RUNE -1.39% THORChain / USD RUNEUSD $ 7.66
-$0.11-1.39%
Volume 34.42 m Change -$0.11 Open $7.66 Circulating 224.41 m Market Cap 1.72 b
7 h Over 160 Projects Are Launching on Terra by Early Next Year to ‘Amplify Demand for UST’ and Send it to $10 Bln, says Founder 5 d New Non-Custodial, Cross-Chain Browser Wallet to Compete with MetaMask by Focusing on DeFi and NFTs 1 mon DeFi Autumn after Solana Summer? Traders Still Short as Bitcoin Jumps to $48k and Ether to Nearly $3,700
SOL -2.02% Solana / USD SOLUSD $ 157.26
-$3.18-2.02%
Volume 1.68 b Change -$3.18 Open $157.26 Circulating 300.54 m Market Cap 47.26 b
7 h Over 160 Projects Are Launching on Terra by Early Next Year to ‘Amplify Demand for UST’ and Send it to $10 Bln, says Founder 11 h Over $2 Billion in New Money Has Flowed into CME Bitcoin Futures This Month 3 d Decentralized Smart Contract Platform, Cypherium, Joins China’s BSN to Boost Blockchain Development
ETH -2.74% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 3,752.44
-$102.82-2.74%
Volume 17.24 b Change -$102.82 Open $3,752.44 Circulating 117.98 m Market Cap 442.72 b
7 h Over 160 Projects Are Launching on Terra by Early Next Year to ‘Amplify Demand for UST’ and Send it to $10 Bln, says Founder 11 h Over $2 Billion in New Money Has Flowed into CME Bitcoin Futures This Month 2 d Euphoria is Back Ahead of ETF Listings: Bitcoin Hits $63k and Ether Nearly $4k as NYSE Certifies “Approval for Listing”
BNB 2.94% Binance Coin / USD BNBUSD $ 484.82
$14.252.94%
Volume 2 b Change $14.25 Open $484.82 Circulating 166.8 m Market Cap 80.87 b
7 h Over 160 Projects Are Launching on Terra by Early Next Year to ‘Amplify Demand for UST’ and Send it to $10 Bln, says Founder 5 d China Update: Binance, OKEx, and Gate Kicks Out CNY & Existing Users, WeChat Blocks Searches, Mining Share Goes to Zero 6 d BSC Is Back in the Game as Binance Announces $1 Billion Incentives Program to Pump the Ecosystem

“We fully expect the demand for UST in cross-chain environments to accelerate the expansion of the UST supply further, potentially reaching the $10 billion market cap mark by year’s end.”

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Author: AnTy

A Flood of Demand Has Coinbase Boosting the Size of its Debut Junk-Bond on Lower Rates

A Flood of Demand Has Coinbase Boosting the Size of its Debut Junk-Bond on Lower Rates

Moody initiated a debit-issuer rating for Coinbase at non-investment grade or junk, citing an “uncertain regulatory environment and fierce competition” for not rating the company higher.

The demand for the crypto sector in the traditional markets is so high that cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has to boost the size of its junk-bond offering to $2 billion from $1.5 billion.

In fact, at least $7 billion of orders poured in, according to a Bloomberg report citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

“Institutional investors are aggressively buying Coinbase debt,” said Su Zhu, CEO, and co-founder of Three Arrows Capital. “Huge endorsement of supercycle.”

Coinbase had announced that it is raising debt just this week, and now it has sold equal amounts of 7-year and 10-year bonds at interest rates of 3.375% and 3.625%, respectively, which is lower than the initially discussed borrowing costs.

The new bonds are rated one step below investment grade, and according to Bloomberg bond indexes, a similarly rated debt has a 2.86% yield on average.

Before Coinbase (COIN), MicroStrategy (MSTR) sold $500 million of notes in June to fund its Bitcoin purchases. Meanwhile, the crypto exchange is earmarking its proceeds for general corporate purposes, including product development and potential mergers and acquisitions.

“The strong demand is clearly a big endorsement by debt investors,” said Julie Chariell, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

Non-Investment Grade Rating

Moody’s Investors Service initiated a debit-issuer rating for Coinbase at non-investment grade or junk, citing an “uncertain regulatory environment and fierce competition” as the reason for not rating the company an investment-grade debt issuer. Moody’s analysts in a report published Tuesday wrote,

“Coinbase’s financial profile suggests investment grade credit strength, but for now the uncertain regulatory environment and fierce competition offset these strengths.”

The credit rating agency assigned a Ba1 rating to Coinbase’s senior guaranteed notes, saying three factors viz. increased regulatory clarity, a big expansion to boost revenue, and prudent cost management during fallow periods could lead to an upgrade of Coinbase’s overall rating.

According to Moody, the fact that Coinbase earns “a percentage of the notional value of trades matched on its platform” can be “very lucrative” in an up market, but when prices decline, the firm’s transaction revenue will also decline.

And while Coinbase is diversifying its products and expanding its subscription-based revenue to address its reliance on transaction revenue,

“it will take time for this strategy to have a material effect.”

And, of course, regulatory uncertainty is a big risk. Recently, Coinbase said they are getting pushback from the SEC on the launch of its lending product. On Tuesday, SEC Chief Gary Gensler said that crypto lending and staking services fall under securities laws.

“Given the novelty of crypto assets, many questions remain unanswered relating to the future regulatory frameworks of the plethora of tokens, blockchains and products and services that are part of decentralized finance.”

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Author: AnTy

Southeast Asia’s Largest Bank Sees Increasing Crypto Demand from Corporate Investors & Family Funds

Southeast Asia’s Largest Bank (DBS) Sees Increasing Crypto Demand from Corporate Investors and Wealthy Family Funds

DBS Group’s DBS Digital Exchange is “growing very rapidly” and is expected to double the number of clients on the members-only bourse as investors gradually explore cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

Singapore’s DBS Group is seeing robust demand from accredited individuals, corporate investors, and investment firms that manage the fortunes of wealthy families for its DBS Digital Exchange.

DBS Digital Exchange, set up in December as a members-only bourse, expects to double the number of members on its new platform for crypto trading to 1,000 by the end of December, reported Reuters. It is further expected to grow by 20-30% annually for the next three years as digital tokens gain acceptability.

“We are growing very rapidly. Investors are gradually exploring cryptocurrencies and digital assets,” said Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, head of capital markets at Southeast Asia’s largest bank by assets and the chairperson of the DBS exchange.

Eng-Kwok also said that the bank’s position as one of the biggest wealth managers in Asia and its expertise in originating deals in capital markets would help it attract more users and grow trading volume.

She added that the exchange is also hoping to list at least half a dozen security tokens by the end of next year. DBS DIgital exchange currently offers trading services between Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and XRP against U.S., Singapore, Hong Kong dollars, and the yen.

DBS’ brokerage arm has already received in-principle approval for the new regulatory framework introduced by Singapore’s central bank that came into effect in January 2020. This license allows its crypto exchange to directly support companies and asset managers to trade in digital payment tokens through its platform.

Kwee Juan Han, DBS’ group head of strategy and planning said,

“Our aim was to create a platform that could serve the entire digital asset value chain, from deal origination to tokenisation, listing, trading, and custody – all within a trusted and regulated bank franchise.”

Han expects new businesses, including the digital exchange and a carbon exchange, to bring a total revenue of S$350 million ($260 million) by 2022-end.

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Author: AnTy

Increased Demand in Crypto has Citigroup Considering Offering its Biggest Clients Bitcoin Futures Trading

Increased Demand in Crypto has Citigroup Considering Offering its Biggest Clients Bitcoin Futures Trading

Citigroup is now considering whether to offer its biggest clients the option to trade in Bitcoin futures, citing increased demand in the cryptocurrency space.

According to the reports, the banking giant is currently awaiting approval to begin trading CME Bitcoin futures.

According to a Financial Times report, the bank first started weighing the option of providing crypto-related services in May.

“Our clients are increasingly interested in this space, and we are monitoring these developments,” Citigroup said in a statement this time.

Other banking giants JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs, are also working on allowing all of their wealthy clients access to cryptocurrency funds.

Citibank further said they are currently only considering futures for some of its institutional clients due to the fact that they operate under strong regulatory frameworks. The bank is basically being “very thoughtful” of how they approach the crypto industry due to many unanswered questions around regulatory frameworks, supervisory expectations, and other factors.

Sights on the Regulated Product

Bitcoin futures are also presently the popular product for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to be based on after SEC Chair Gary Gensler signaled that he is more open to a futures-backed Bitcoin ETF under the 1940 Act, which offers more investor protection instead of physically-backed ETF that are filed under the 1930 laws that allow stock exchanges to list products.

Tennessee-based Valkyrie Investments is one of the firms to file for the Valkyrie XBTO Bitcoin Futures Fund that would be listed on the Nasdaq exchange. Their request was only revealed on Tuesday as smaller issuers are allowed to file confidentially for new offerings.

“We still thought a physical bitcoin ETF was a little further away and, with futures, the way they are regulated and the way they trade with the CME, they are already. It is a regulated product. So it’s kind of a one-step, two-step way to get a physical ETF, but we thought there were a lot of opportunities with futures,” said Steven McClarge, CIO at Valkyrie Investments, in an interview.

While Valkyrie is the first to file for a futures-backed Bitcoin ETFs, several others have filed since Gensler’s statement, with two dozen filing sitting at SEC’s desk for approval.

“The SEC is trying to be cautious here – which they should be doing,” McClarge said.

“While I believe the market is ready for physically backed ETFs, I know they are trying to be extra cautious before putting anything in the market that could hurt retail investors, and that is their reason to do so.”

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Author: AnTy

Green Light to Invest $423B in Crypto Can ‘Increase Demand’ for Them But Pose ‘Significant’ Liquidity Risks: Fitch

Green Light to Invest $423B in Crypto Can ‘Increase Demand’ for Them But Pose ‘Significant’ Liquidity Risks: Fitch

One of the ‘Big Three credit rating agencies’ doesn’t expect large volumes in crypto-exposed funds in the next one to two years, but if other regulators follow Germany’s suit, AUM could eventually reach levels sufficient to pose greater financial stability risks.

One of the ‘Big Three credit rating agencies, Fitch Ratings, says German funds’ crypto investments will pose liquidity risks.

This is regarding the new regulations that came into force on August 2 applying to Spezialfonds, reserved for institutional investors with insurance companies and pension funds dominating their investor base, allowing them to invest up to 20% of their assets in cryptocurrencies.

Open-ended Spezialfonds had 2 trillion euro (nearly $2.35 trillion in USD) assets under management at end-March 2021, implying a maximum crypto-investment of up to EUR360 billion (almost $423 billion), which compares to Bitcoin’s current market cap of $845 billion and the total crypto market cap of $1.95 trillion, noted Fitch in its report.

However, the firm does “not believe that allocations to crypto-assets will reach close to the 20% threshold, considering the traditional risk-averse asset allocation patterns of the main institutional investors in Spezialfonds, as well as other regulatory restrictions on their asset allocation.”

According to Fitch, these regulatory changes can “increase demand for cryptocurrencies” but at the same time pose significant risks, notably liquidity risk, for the funds that invest in such assets.

These changes bring cryptocurrencies into the traditional and more regulated financial system. They could result in increased exposure for crypto assets to retail investors whose assets, such institutions, manage insurance policies and retirement benefits.

Still, volatility in crypto will present challenges for these fund managers, according to Fitch.

Interestingly, amidst these concerns for volatility and riskiness of crypto from the traditional markets, Japan’s new 10 trillion yen ($90 billion) university fund is looking to invest in alternative riskier assets as it seeks returns that would beat those of the country’s more conservative pension funds.

But Fitch feels managing the liquidity risk of mutual funds invested in such highly volatile assets would be important for these managers. These liquidity risks could increase if crypto investments become material in the asset class.

“If these factors caused a temporary suspension of fund redemptions (known as ‘gating’), or fund failure, this could result in reputational damage to the relevant fund managers,” that could potentially heighten regulatory scrutiny, said Fitch while noting that these risks are not limited to crypto-asset funds, several European funds investing in traditional assets gated in March 2020 due to material price movements.

Overall, the rating agency doesn’t expect large volumes in crypto-exposed funds in the next one to two years. Still, if other regulators follow suit, AUM could eventually reach levels sufficient to pose more significant financial stability risks.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin and Ether Options Market Experiences a Boom

While it’s all supply and demand in the long term, in the shorter term, options flow can “definitely drive” some of the price action.

The cryptocurrency options market continues to get bigger and bigger.

Last month, an average of $1.4 billion in notional amounts changed hands every day at the largest options exchange, Deribit. This represents a 13-fold increase from last year. Institutional investors represent some 80% of flows on Deribit.

Open interest in Bitcoin totals $6.1 billion, 186.6k BTC, as of writing. Deribit accounts for 85.42% of this OI. OI on Bitcoin options has increased from less than $2 billion a year back but is down from an all-time high of $14.77 billion on March 18.

OKEx, CME, LedgerX, and FTX all have less than 4% market share, while Huobi has only 0.2%.

When it comes to Ethereum, Deribit has a 92.61% share of its OI market at 1.42 million ETH out of the total 1.53 million ETH. OKEx, Bit.com, and Huobi have a market share of 4.18%, 3.14%, and 0.05%, respectively.

image1

ETH options market had come a long way over the past year when the OI was a mere $170 million, which climbed to a peak of $7.4 billion on May 12.

As we reported, even Goldman Sachs is now moving into Ether derivatives.

This growth of the options market has money managers and retail traders selling crypto options for yield, a common strategy in mainstream assets, and a sign that the industry is growing up fast.

In this trend, options are sold for yield in a wager that crypto price swings will be lower than the market has priced in, similar to earning premiums on an insurance policy.

“In the absence of interesting yields for these alternatives, option strategies become more relevant,” said Deribit chief commercial officer Luuk Strijers.

Hedge fund manager Shiliang Tang of $130 million LedgerPrime has earned a 78% return this year on his flagship fund in the options market and running systematic strategies like price arbitrage and momentum across exchanges.

“Option flow can definitely drive some of the shorter-term price action,” Tang said. “Longer-term, it’s still supply and demand.”

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Author: AnTy

Despite ‘Significant’ Demand, Denmark’s Biggest Bank Will Maintain ‘A Very Cautious Approach’

Despite ‘Significant’ Demand, Denmark’s Biggest Bank Will Maintain ‘A Very Cautious Approach’

The Nordic region is simply staying away from crypto due to a lack of regulation in the sector.

Danske Bank says it won’t allow trading of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on its platform despite the growing interest from its clients.

The reason for not lifting the ban on trading crypto is the lack of transparency and regulation in crypto trading, as per the bank’s website. Denmark’s biggest bank also warned of volatility, “opaque” pricing, and the carbon footprint of crypto mining being at odds with its goal of sustainable banking.

“We recognize that there is a significant global market for crypto currencies and that many customers find cryptocurrencies interesting,” the bank said.

“However, as a financial institution, Danske Bank for several reasons maintains a very cautious approach towards cryptocurrencies.”

The bank is currently under investigation for money laundering in the U.S. and Europe.

Danske said it was waiting to see the developments to be made under new European Union legislation, Regulation of Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), and that it will review its position if crypto assets get properly regulated.

“We continuously monitor developments in the area of cryptocurrencies, and as the cryptocurrency market matures and is further regulated, we will review our position.”

Nordic Region Staying Away From Crypto

A Swedish hedge fund Volt Capital Management also said it wouldn’t invest in Bitcoin because they prefer a regulated market.

Nordea Bank Abp has also banned Bitcoin, saying it is too risky to explore without regulations and won’t let employees trade it either.

Earlier this week, the head of Sweden’s financial regulator, Erik Thedeen, further warned of a “significant risk” that crypto assets may be used for criminal purposes.

“Financial firms need to ask themselves whether they really want to invest in or encourage the growth” of such assets when they have “no obvious valuable, legitimate use,” he said.

Not Everyone Is Onboard

Elsewhere, a Coinbase user complained on Reddit that he is having issues with withdrawing money from Coinbase to their Citibank account via instant debit card.

“They informed me that they are no longer accepting incoming credits from Coinbase or other cryptocurrency-related institutions,” wrote the user.

However, this isn’t the first such incident. Back in 2018, four banks Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Capital One, prohibited purchasing cryptocurrencies at the platform using their credit cards.

But now banks have started to get comfortable with crypto, with big giants like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan offering crypto trading services to their clients.

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Author: AnTy

Colonial Pipeline Capitulates to $5 Million Ransomware Demand: Report

Colonial Pipeline Capitulates to $5 Million Ransomware Demand: Report

Emerging reports have revealed that the cybercriminals that attacked the US fuel pipeline, Colonial Pipeline Co, were paid $5 million in cryptocurrency.

According to Bloomberg, sources familiar with the situation confirmed the extortion fee was paid to enable them to resume fuel shipments.

Colonial Pipeline Attack Associated With DarkSide

The hefty ransom fee was reportedly paid within hours of the attack due to the mounting pressure on the pipeline operator to get gasoline and jet fuel flowing again across cities.

This is contrary to earlier reports asserting that Colonial Pipeline was refusing to negotiate with the attackers.

The FBI had earlier confirmed that the hackers were part of a Russia-linked DarkSide group specializing in digital extortion.

The Georgia-based Colonial ransomware attack crippled gas delivery systems in Southeastern states. Half of the gas stations in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and South Carolina were reported empty.

The cybergang had reportedly demanded that the ransom be paid with a privacy coin like Monero (XMR).

However, the ransom payment goes against the advice of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The government agency has repeatedly discouraged American ransomware victims from paying hackers. According to them, payment isn’t guaranteed to work and could incentivize cyber crimes.

Crypto Surge Propelling Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware refers to a category of malicious computer programs that force users into paying a ransom fee before they can access their data. The hackers involved in this type of cybercrime lock up victim’s files and demand ransom or payment for them to unlock it.

According to data from the blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, crypto payments via ransomware attacks rose in 2020.

In its annual Crypto Crime Report released in January, Chainalysis said the amount paid by victims increased by 311% in 2020, reaching about $350 million in cryptocurrency. The average ransom paid by organizations in 2020 was $312,493, as stated in the report.

The vast majority of criminal crypto payments included in the report had to do with darknet markets and the general category of scams. A major reason for the increase in ransomware-connected payments during 2020 was coronavirus work-from-home measures, which opened up new vulnerabilities for many organizations.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

“Customer Demand” Pulling Them In; Goldman Sachs Joins Coin Metrics’ $15M Investment Round

“Customer Demand” Pulling Them In; Goldman Sachs Joins Coin Metrics’ $15M Investment Round

Money is pouring into the crypto market; as of April 27, 156 startups focused on digital technology had raised $3.1 billion, compared to just $2.3 billion raised in 341 deals in the entire 2020.

Coin Metrics has raised $15 million in a Series B investment round led by Goldman Sachs.

“We think this is a huge day for us,” Tim Rice, a co-founder and the firm’s chief executive officer said. “A huge credentialization.”

While Castle Island Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Fidelity Investments, Avon Ventures, Communitas Capital, and Collab+Currency increased their investment in the company, new investors to join included Acrew Ventures, Morningside Group, BlockFi, and Warburg Serres Investments.

Founded in 2017, Coin Metrics is a cryptocurrency and blockchain data provider to institutional clients which plans to use the proceeds to grow in Europe and Asia, create new products and expand its current offerings.

Mathew McDermott, global head of digital assets for Goldman Sachs’s global markets division, will join Coin Metrics’ board of directors, Rice said in an interview.

According to Rice, the way large institutions such as asset managers and Wall Street banks are approaching crypto is different from the 2017 bull market as “This time around you have people looking for a holistic data solution,” he said. “They need to have solid data to get into the asset class.”

Fidelity Investments, one of Coin Metrics’ investors, is also its client. “We’ve definitely seen the institutions behave very seriously; they’re now signing contracts with us,” Rice said.

Banks that have been staying on the sidelines are also getting comfortable with the $2.47 trillion market.

“Customer demand is starting to pull them in,” Rice said.

Earlier this week, we reported that the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, Coinbase, also acquired data analytics platform Skew for an undisclosed amount to better serve its institutional and trading clients.

Money has been pouring into the crypto market amidst the ongoing bull run. Not just crypto assets but projects like Digital Asset Holdings LLC, Chainalysis Inc, Blockchain.com, Paxos Trust Co. are raising a lot of funds.

As of April 27, 156 startups focused on digital technology had raised $3.1 billion, compared to just $2.3 billion raised in 341 deals for all of 2020, according to CB Insights.

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Author: AnTy