Bitcoin: Get Ready to Take Cover if FOMC Meeting Misses the Mark

Market sentiments are in Bitcoin’s favor as on-chain data signals an influx of retail and with stimulus checks coming in, as long as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell doesn’t pull the rug on equities.

This week, the cryptocurrency market is experiencing some losses. Bitcoin went down to just under $53,350, not long after hitting a new ATH near $62,000 on Saturday.

The new high came amidst the highly leveraged trading as seen in the flying funding rates on perpetual contracts. As we reported, this means not only intense upward momentum but also equally extended drawdowns that normalize the funding rates, which also went negative for the first time in two months.

“There’s just an insane amount of leverage in the system at all times,” Jeff Dorman, CIO for Arca, an investment management firm specializing in digital assets, told Bloomberg.

“During any period of exuberance, you see investors borrowing to lever up, and over the weekend we saw all the risk metrics we watch start to really get frothy. Generally, when that starts to happen, it’s only a matter of time before the slightest hiccup starts to liquidate those levered positions.”

Keep Them Coming

Not only the stock market is looking good, adding to positive market sentiments, stimulus-fueled bets that some of this money will move into Bitcoin also helped prop up the crypto over the past weekend. “The stimulus news was bid up by everyone in the Bitcoin world over the weekend,” said Dorman.

“Then we came in last night, futures were flat, 10-year was flat, and all of a sudden that started to unwind because there wasn’t nearly as much of a bullish overtone as some of the Bitcoin traders thought there might be.”

While this weekend was just some front running, according to a survey released Monday by Mizuho Securities, the majority of Americans are planning to spend their $1,400 stimulus checks on Bitcoin. 100 million checks will be sent to people over the next ten days, as per President Joe Biden.

In the short-term, stimulus checks are bullish for Bitcoin price, but any equity rebalancing and bearish Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting this week can bring more pain for the crypto asset, according to trader and economist Alex Kruger.

“I lean higher, but if Powell tanks the equity market on Wednesday, take cover aggressively,” said Kruger.

US Treasury yields have also been climbing up, which is not good for the risky-assets, including Bitcoin, ahead of the meeting. This would be time for Chairman Jerome Powell to assuage market expectations’ that the bonds sell-off won’t continue. Yields and prices and are inversely related.

The influx of Retail Traders

The amount of BTC held by exchanges is climbing in 2021. After reaching an all-time high in early 2020, BTC held on exchanges dropped after the March 2020 crash.

BTC reserves trended downward for most of the last year, only for the trend to reverse in November 202. Most of it is because of an increase in supply held by Binance and Gemini.

But this can be taken as a bullish sign as Coin Metrics says, “this potential signals an influx of retail traders holding their supply in exchanges instead of in their own wallets.”

Retail adoption continues to see a big jump as we reported; they are beating the institutions in Q1 of 2021. In Norway as well, a recent Arcane Research survey found that 7% of all Norwegian adults now own cryptocurrency. This is a growth of 75% since 2019.

As such, in the long-term, the “outlook remains very bullish, as many more leading financial institutions are considering adopting cryptocurrencies,” said Atichanan Pulges, CFO of Bitkub Capital Group Holdings Co., operator of Thailand’s biggest crypto exchange.

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Author: AnTy

Binance Supports Bitcoin’s Taproot Upgrade; Over 91% Mining Network in Favor Now

Binance Supports Bitcoin’s Taproot Upgrade; Over 91% Mining Network in Favor Now

The leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has also announced its support for Bitcoin’s first big protocol change in three years.

Binance’s mining pool is fast climbing up the ranks, accounting for 11.23% of the bitcoin hashing power.

There are only two other mining pools, F2Pool and Poolin have a higher share at 19.28% and 12.49% respectively. Antpool and another exchange’s Huobi Pool are also among the top, but below Binance, with 10.05% and 9.71% share respectively.

Now, 91.05% of the total hashrate is in support of the Taproot upgrade that will bring privacy and smart contract flexibility to the world’s largest cryptocurrency network.

The last time such a big update was made to Bitco was in 2017 in the form of Segregated Witness (SegWit) that increased the block size limit, clearing up space or capacity to add more transactions to Bitcoin’s blockchain.

While the broad Bitcoin community is in support of this planned upgrade, there is yet to have a detailed activation plan to be settled upon as there are a few activation proposals.

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Author: AnTy

82% of Bitcoin Mining Pools in Support of Taproot Activation

The majority of the Bitcoin hash rate is in favor of Taproot, the biggest upgrade to the largest cryptocurrency network since SegWit implementation in 2017.

This upgrade will expand Bitcoin’s smart contract flexibility while bringing more privacy to the network.

“Taproot has a lot of use cases that will help with user privacy, save on block space, and should marginally reduce the overhead to run a node,” noted a developer.

As of writing, A total of 82.05% of Bitcoin mining pools have announced their support. That number was sitting at around 30% just two weeks ago.

This has been made possible because of the biggest Bitcoin mining pools, Poolin, F2Pool, Antpool, and, all of which account for 10 to 20% of the global hash rate in the past month. Combined, they account for more than 50% of the Bitcoin mining hash power.

When it comes to the exchange mining pools, Huobi, which has a share of more than 10%, has also given its nod to the upgrade. The mining pool of the leading spot exchange, Binance Pool, which accounts for just under 10% of Bitcoin’s total hash rate, is yet to announce its support.

It is basically the smaller mines that have to signal their support, although a few like ViaBTC, 58COIN&1THash, SlushPool, and NovaBlock, which accounts for 7.85%, 6.36%, 2.60%, and 1.04% share respectively, have given their yes.

So, basically, Binance Pool and SigmaPool are the only ones left.

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Author: AnTy

European Countries Support EU Stablecoin Regulation

European countries are in favor of regulating fiat-backed cryptos, stablecoins.

Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and the Netherlands backed the European Commission’s goal to regulate stablecoins.

Until the regulatory, legal, and oversight challenges have been addressed, the five countries said on Friday that stablecoins should not be allowed to operate in the EU.

According to European countries, the regulatory framework of the EU for these coins should address risks to monetary policy and protect customers while maintaining their monetary sovereignty.

All stablecoins should be pegged 1:1 with fiat currency and the reserved assets denominated in the euro or any other currency of EU member states deposited in an EU-approved institution, they said.

Much like the Bank of England Governor said last week, the draft joint statement from these countries seen by Reuters, also wants the entities operating these stablecoins to be registered in the EU.

Facebook’s Libra has pushed stablecoins on policymakers’ agenda. Given that its governance body Libra Association is based in Geneva, it can impact their plans to issue its stablecoin.

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Author: AnTy

DigixDAO (DGD) Jumps 17% After ‘Project Ragnarok’ Gets Approval

DigixDAO holders have voted in favor of the dissolution. Although Digix itself is “against the dissolution,” with over 96% votes, DigixDAO holders have agreed to propose a dissolution mechanism according to which DGD holders will be given the option to dissolve their tokens at the start of each quarter.

With this, DGD token holders are allowed to dissociate themselves from its ecosystem in “the fairest manner possible.” For this, a preset 40% quorum ad 50% quota has been initialized.

As per this Project Ragnarok, after unlocking their DGD from DigixDAO, the token holders will be able to claim a prorated portion of remaining ETH, depending on the amount of DGD they hold, if the dissolution vote passes. In case it fails, DigixDAO will continue the same in the next quarter. According to DigixDAO,

“There will no longer be any transaction fees that will be rewarded to DGD holders in the governance platform as it will cease to exist.”

The approval also means the projects that have currently funded or unfunded milestone on the platform will cease to be funded.

Founded in 2014, DigixDAO builds a decentralized autonomous organization that tokenizes physical assets. With the first ever crowdsale in March 2016, DGD was hosted on the Ethereum network.

To date, DigixDAO holds about 386,000 ETH, currently worth $64,462,000, to continue funding projects build on the DGX ecosystem. DigixDAO on Twitter,

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Author: AnTy

Fundstrat Tom Lee: Current Bitcoin Market too Small to Keep Up with ETF Market Demand

Cryptocurrency and especially Bitcoin investors have long been arguing in favor of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) from the regulators, but up until now, not a single application (the last rejection being that of Bitwise) has been approved by the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). These investors believe that an ETF would lead to a large inflow of capital into the market and give it a much wider outreach.

But, looking at the rejections of the applications by the SEC it does not look like regulators believe its the right time for the cryptocurrency market to have its own fund.

Recently, Thomas Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors came up with his reasoning behind why the crypto market does not need an ETF at present. Lee said that the cryptocurrency market is not big enough to handle the demand for ETF. He said the present cryptocurrency market needs to be 18 times its current value to handle the ETF demand. Lee said,

“If you’re involved in crypto, the SEC can look like an obstacle,” 

“They’re establishing protections for individuals and right now it’s not convenient for the industry, but if the SEC is someone that people trust to protect them, that’s how you get the mainstream willing to get involved in crypto. Institutions aren’t going to touch crypto if they think the SEC isn’t doing a good job,”

As per a report in Bloomberg, Lee claimed that only when Bitcoin reaches a value of $150,000 to cope up with the daily demand of an ETF. Lee’s comments came during the Blockshow conference in Singapore.

The SEC’s Concern

Bitwise was the latest exchange whose application for a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund was pending before the SEC which like every other previous application was rejected as well. However SEC like before responded with an 112-page reply on why the application was rejected. SEC’s main concern lies towards market manipulation which they believed would be a concern given the small liquidity of the market.

Many analysts claimed that the rejection was a clear sign that the crypto market is still years away from getting an ETF. Todd Rosenbluth, Director of Mutual & Exchange Traded Fund Research of CFRA explained that the ETF is not the issue, it’s the value of the underlying asset. He said,

“It’s not the wrapper, it’s not the ETF product that’s the concern, it’s the underlying asset that the SEC is worried about from a fraud standpoint. They don’t want to pull off that band-aid too quickly.”

Lee was right to point out that Bitcoin needs to have much higher liquidity almost 18 times its present value and trade at a value of around $150,000 to attain the level of liquidity required to meet the demands for an ETF. However, looking at the present price which is hovering around the $9,000 mark and it’s all-time high of near $20k it would be highly speculative to think about a $100,0000+ trading value.

However, crypto trader and analyst PlanB who has been in the limelight recently for his stock-to-flow chart believe looking at the scarcity factor, the $100,000 price point is achievable.

Bitcoin is only behind gold in terms of stock-to-flow value and the chart predicts that the next bull run could start after the block reward halving scheduled in the first quarter of 2020.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh