Candidate of NYC Comptroller Proposes Investing 1%-3% of Pension Funds in Crypto

Candidate of NYC Comptroller Proposes Investing 1%-3% of Pension Funds in Crypto

  • Reshma Patel, a candidate for the New York City Comptroller, launched her proposal to introduce policies around blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to the Big Apple.

In a proposal shared on Monday, Patel highlighted new policies and investment strategies to get New York back on track following a COVID-ridden year. In her proposal, Patel unveiled blockchain-specific aspects to her recovery plan, including adopting blockchain in the procurement system, researching new investments to blockchain funds, and investing a portion of the pension funds in crypto.

The Big Apple has suffered financially in the past year as COVID-19 ravaged businesses across the city. The incoming Comptroller will have a major task of getting the city back on track and a look towards blockchain and crypto could be the trick. Reshma Patel said,

“New York City has always been a leader in embracing innovation and progress,”

“That’s why as Comptroller, I would make it a priority to explore all options that technology has made available to us as we try to build back after COVID-19. I believe that cryptocurrency and blockchain offer untapped opportunities for the City that we can’t just ignore.”

The Comptroller oversees how the city allocates its funds by managing the government contracts and retirement funds. Patel aims to create a long-term recovery plan for NYC if she becomes Comptroller crypto and blockchain-based businesses at the core of her plans.

Under Patel’s policies, NYC will “work with the Trustees of the five New York City Retirement Systems” to invest up to 3% of the funds in top cryptos such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The investment in crypto aims to help the city fight inflation and provide a hedge if the S&P 500 falls. She said,

“With inflation expected to rise in the next few years, and bitcoin expected to continue its checkered but consistent upswing to “the moon,” a minimal allocation to the most dominant of all cryptocurrencies can help diversify and protect the City’s pension fund investments.”

“It will help guard against any potential downswings in the stock market while helping us capture the upswings of an emerging technology.”

Additionally, the proposal also plans to form a public-private task force to research a possible investment in “blockchain-specific funds.” The task force will research direct ways of investing in blockchain technology to “capture enhanced returns and support New York City-based fintech start-ups while learning more about how this cutting-edge technology can help New York City residents.”

She further proposes integrating blockchain technology systems and solutions in the procurement system across NYC. The procurement system in NYC faces a slow, convoluted process creating barriers for firms and businesses operating in the city. As a transparent and public network, implementing blockchains could treat these common problems related to tracking contracts, the statement reads. Patel said,

“A standardized system with fast-acting responses would make the contracts more accessible for smaller firms and require less bureaucracy to move projects forward.”

“A blockchain-based procurement system would provide better visibility and accountability by utilizing a fully transparent process that will also improve trust in our government.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Cathie Wood’s ARK Funds Buy More Coinbase (COIN) Shares, Now Owning Just Under 1.3 Million

Cathie Wood’s ARK Funds Buy More Coinbase (COIN) Shares, Now Owning Just Under 1.3 Million

Cathie Wood has rebalanced the company’s portfolio in favor of cryptocurrency stocks, yet again.

ARK funds bought 187,078 shares of Coinbase on Friday, adding to the 341,186 shares purchased on Thursday and 749,205 purchased on Wednesday. In total, Wood’s fund has 1,277,469 COIN shares worth almost $437 million at Friday’s closing price of $342.

The funds added to were the flagship ARK Innovation fund, the Next Generation Internet ETF, and the Fintech Innovation ETF.

Separately, it yet again sold 134,541 shares of electric car maker Tesla, valued at $99.5 million, from its flagship fund and Next Generation Internet ETF, but still, TSLA remains by far the firm’s biggest position by value on its major funds.

This big bet on Coinbase gives ARK more indirect exposure to cryptos on top of Tesla, which announced a $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin this year and started accepting cryptos as payment for its cars.

Founded in 2014, Ark invests in companies involved with disrupting trends.

While up 6.6% from Thursday closing prices, COIN share prices it is still down 21% from its debut peak of almost $430, about 42% above the reference price of $250.

The uptrend in share prices came as the price of Bitcoin recovered after falling to $60,000, and Loop Capital Markets analyst Kenneth Hill advised clients to buy shares of the largest crypto exchange in the US. BTC -8.23% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 56,246.00
-$4,629.05-8.23%
Volume 97.65 b Change -$4,629.05 Open $56,246.00 Circulating 18.69 m Market Cap 1.05 t
9 h A New Record: Over 1 Million Traders Liquidated for a Whopping $10.1 Billion 10 h Cathie Wood’s ARK Funds Buy More Coinbase (COIN) Shares, Now Owning Just Under 1.3 Million 11 h BitMEX Co-Founder Arthur Hayes Puts Ether Moon Target Above $20,000

The latest analyst to call for buy highlighted “lots of runways” for the company ahead of a “takeoff.”

“Coinbase’s market valuation may seem excessive to some given the prospects of increased competition in digital wallets business, which should rapidly eat into Coinbase’s sweet profit margins,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote, told Bloomberg.

“On the other hand, the competition is not here yet, while large trading volumes continue boosting Coinbase’s revenues for the moment.”

Besides the funds, retail traders also jumped in on COIN. Day traders purchased a net $57 million of shares during the debut on the Nasdaq Stock Market, as per VandaTrack.

Retail accounted for 7% of the $822 million individuals spent on all US stocks and ETFs on the day, making Coinbase the fifth-most popular debut with day traders since 2017.

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Coinbase was also the most traded stock on Fidelity’s platform on the day, with over 148,000 shares changing hands, nearly 9x more than Tesla.

The exchange going public has been seen as a watershed moment for the crypto industry, taking it further into the mainstream.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong called this direct listing a “shift in legitimacy” for the entire industry.

“Crypto has a shot at being a major force in the financial world.”

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Author: AnTy

Evolve Files for a Ethereum ETF After Launching its Bitcoin ETF Last Month

Evolve Files for a Ethereum ETF After Launching its Bitcoin ETF Last Month

Evolve Funds Group has filed for an Ether exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the Canadian Securities regulators.

After launching the Bitcoin ETF (EBIT) on the Toronto Stock exchange, just a day after the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund ever — Purpose Bitcoin ETF which gained the first-mover advantage and raised $421 million in just two days of its debut.

As a result, last week Evolve lowered the management fee on EBIT to attract investors. EBIT currently has $40 million in assets under management, as at March 1, 2021.

Now, Evolve with $1.7 billion in AUM is aiming to be the first mover in Ether ETF and has filed a preliminary prospectus to provide investors exposure to the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency.

The price of Ether is currently trading around $1,550, up over 113% YTD. Raj Lala, President, and CEO, at Evolve said,

“Ether is a digital asset that is not issued by any government, bank or central organization and was intended to complement rather than compete with bitcoin.”

ETHR aims to provide investors with exposure to the daily price movements of the U.S. dollar price of Ether which will be based on the ETHUSD_RR, a once-a-day benchmark index price for Ether administered CF Benchmarks which is currently the settlement index for futures contracts listed by CME Group as well.

ETHR will offer Canadian dollar-denominated unhedged units (“CAD Units”) and U.S. dollar-denominated unhedged units (“USD Units”). Elliot Johnson, CIO, and COO at Evolve says,

“Ether is the building block for a revolution in digital finance which is still in its infancy.”

“Ethereum is the most actively used blockchain with Ether being used to pay for transaction fees and computational services.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Sellers Are Running Out of Ammo; Sees Green Start of the New Month

Meanwhile, Warren Buffett says Fixed-income investors worldwide, from pension funds, insurance companies to retirees, all are facing a “bleak future.”

Last week has been a brutal one for Bitcoin as the prices continued to go lower and lower. The low, for now, has been set at around $43,100, representing a drop of 26% from the Feb 21 high of about $58,300.

“BTC has not yet seen a capitulation wick but sellers running out of ammo,” commented trader and economist Alex Kruger. “Stocks & bonds opened sharply higher. Playbook is strong week up, not just a strong open.”

Still, another drop lower will take us to the January high of $42,000, which still won’t be anything out of the ordinary.

During the 2017 bull cycle, Bitcoin had several drawdowns of an average of 30% to 40%, and such a pullback this time would take us just under $35,000. This means we can see another leg lower especially given that March is not historically a bullish month for Bitcoin rather just the opposite.

$45k is actually very strong support, and “any dip into $39k is a no-brainer BTFD,” said on-chain analyst Willy Woo.

Moreover, the recent sell-off has been ignited by the macro environment. As we reported, the stock market has been dragging Bitcoin down along with it in the aftermath of bond prices soaring.

The sudden US treasury lift-off has been on the changing outlook for inflation and economic growth following unprecedented stimulus and monetary easing along with the increasing COVID-19 vaccinations. This further pushed the US dollar up.

Still, with the recent uptrend, the rates have only gone to pre-COVID levels. Even Warren Buffett mentioned it in their annual letter to his followers Saturday where he wrote, “bonds are not the place to be these days.”

The billionaire mentions how the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds has fallen 94% from Sept. 1981 levels. “Fixed-income investors worldwide – whether pension funds, insurance companies or retirees – face a bleak future,” reads the letter.

Commenting on this, Bitcoin bull MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor said if we agree with this that “bonds are broken as a store of value, then corporate treasury reserve strategies employing bonds no longer work to preserve shareholder value,” and of course, the answer according to him is the leading cryptocurrency.

Buffett, however, didn’t mention Bitcoin, Robinhood, or WallStreetBets in his letter at all. Meanwhile, his company’s cash stockpile, known for being massive, has come down a bit to $138 billion.

A low yield has been actually positive for Bitcoin and risky assets; as such, rising yields impact the prices in the market.

On the first day of March, Bitcoin went just over $48k, making a green start of a new month, following positive sentiment in the risky asset driven by three variables: bond panic over, Powell to calm markets, and fiscal package approved, noted Kruger

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Author: AnTy

Second Bitcoin ETF Goes Live in Canada as US Firms Await SEC Approval

Canada has approved an exchange-traded fund from Evolve Funds Global Group Inc. The country is blazing the trail, while American firms hope 2021 finally becomes the year of the Bitcoin ETFs.

Canada’s crypto space continues to grow significantly as the country marks yet another milestone in adoption.

This week, Evolve Funds Global Group Inc., a financial services firm in the county, secured approval for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF)

Evolve Joins the ETF Club

Official documents have shown that the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), Canada’s financial regulator, has approved Evolve’s launch of its ETFs, providing additional exposure to investors looking to get into the crypto market.

A receipt published yesterday also showed that the company had partnered with Cidel Trust Company, a subsidiary of Cidel Bank Canada, to provide custody, while the Gemini Foundation will be a sub-custodian.

Evolve only filed the prospectus for its ETF earlier this month. Per the filing, the ETF will have two ticker symbols – EBIT for Canadian-denominated units, and EBIT.U for American-denominated units. Both variants will provide exposure to daily price movements of Bitcoin in the respective country’s fiat currency.

The fund will track price data using the Bitcoin Reference Rate from CF Benchmark, which aggregates data from several BTC/USD markets into a single-day benchmark index.

The fund’s prospectus explained that it hopes to provide holders to price movement while reducing tracking error by using specific creation and redemption processes.

To achieve this goal, the fund will invest in long-term BTC holdings purchases through several platforms – including Gemini NuSTAR LLC. Evolve has also gotten conditional approval to list on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

The fund is available in all of Canada’s provinces and three territories.

Evolve’s fund is only the second ETF to be approved by the OSC this month. Last week, the agency greenlit the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, an investment vehicle from Toronto-based investment firm Purpose Investments. The fund will offer units denominated in USD and CAD, with a 0.75 percent management fee. Like the Evolve fund, it also plans to list units on the TSX.

“The ETF will be the first in the world to invest directly in physically settled Bitcoin, not derivatives, allowing investors easy and efficient access to the emerging asset class of cryptocurrency,” Purpose Investments said in its announcement.

Uncle Sam Lags Behind

Over in the United States, there is some hope that the new administration – and, by extension, new head at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – will be more welcoming of a Bitcoin ETF.

This year, crypto investment firm Bitwise Asset Management filed for an ETF with the SEC, hoping to make it through for the third time. New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG), a crypto-focused investment fund, has also made a similar application, with investment banking giant Morgan Stanley acting as an authorized participant.

While several ETF applications have come and gone, none has passed through the SEC’s iron barrier. However, with the new administration showing a propensity towards progressive crypto policies, the anticipation of approval is high.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Canadian Firm, Accelerate, Files for a Bitcoin ETF (ABTC) on Toronto Stock Exchange

Companies have a growing demand to launch Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as the cryptocurrency market settles above the 41 trillion market cap. Accelerate Financial Technologies, a Canadian fintech firm, is the latest to file and obtain a receipt for a preliminary prospectus with the Canadian financial regulators to launch its Accelerate Bitcoin ETF under the ticker “ABTC.”

In a statement released on Wednesday, Accelerate confirmed a share of ABTC units have filed for listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange but are yet to receive conditional approval on the listing. ABTC will offer U.S. dollar-denominated units and Canadian dollar-denominated units, with a management fee of 0.70%.

Accelerate launched its first Bitcoin fund in 2017, providing its clients with one of Canada’s most innovative and fastest-growing alternative investment solutions. Julian Klymochko, CEO and founder of Accelerate, said, “he has always been an advocate of the asset class” given the coins’ past performance. Klymochko added,

“Bitcoin has been one of the best-performing asset classes on a 1-year, 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year basis, both absolute and risk-adjusted. Given bitcoin’s historical track record and future potential, along with its portfolio diversification properties, we are looking forward to offering investors exposure to the asset class in an easy-to-use, low-cost ETF.”

The demand for Bitcoin ETFs seems to be back after a long layoff in the market following VanEck’s rejected proposals by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2018. The company has once again filed for a Bitcoin ETF, claiming it will hold physical BTC this time.

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Author: Lujan Odera

As Adoption Sets In, 60% of Crypto Investors Are Storing Funds On Exchanges: Binance

As Adoption Sets In, 60% of Crypto Investors Are Storing Funds On Exchanges: Binance

Binance’s latest report shows that most crypto owners are hodlers. The prevalence of Bitcoin hodlers could also lead to a liquidity crunch as traders’ demand rises.

The cryptocurrency market is getting more diverse. Many have had different preferences and reasons to stay in the market, with different facets and sub-industries available.

In a new report, top crypto exchange Binance shared details of the market’s status and how investors see digital assets in general.

Hodl, Hodl, Hodl

This week, the top exchange shared its 2021 Global Crypto User Index, a report showing crypto users’ perception of digital assets across the board. The report outlined a survey conducted between September 15 and October 25, 2020. Binance took responses from 61,000 crypto users across 178 countries and regions.

Most prominent in the report is the distribution of crypto users by reason. As Binance noted, the vast majority of crypto users are “hodlers.” Hodlers is a crypto term used to describe investors who purchase digital assets to keep long term. The poll shows that 39 percent of respondents are hodlers, followed by 28 percent who claimed to be keeping their cryptos to buy other cryptos.

22 percent of respondents said that they primarily use their digital assets for lending and staking, the latter of which has been prevalent in the past year. Only 11 percent of investors claimed that they use their cryptocurrencies for payments, showing that the asset class has yet to fulfill its potential as a viable payment method.

Solidifying Fears of a Liquidity Crisis

The prevalence of hodlers in the industry shows that a lot of investors are using their assets as a store of value. While many in the traditional finance space have criticized digital assets for their volatility, assets like Bitcoin have consistently delivered higher returns than their competitors.

However, having more hodlers in the industry also reinforces the fears of a possible liquidity crisis. Day traders have been left to fend for themselves, with Bitcoin in short supply. Earlier this month, Glassnode reported that 78 percent of the Bitcoin available in circulation is illiquid, with only 4.2 million tokens changing hands. Mining rig manufacturers are also working extra to push out new hardware to mine new bitcoins.

Last week, Reuters reported that mining companies had been running out of inventory as miners are working double-time to meet the increasing demand for Bitcoin. Bitmain, the industry’s top mining rig manufacturer, has maxed its production capacity and won’t have any inventory until August.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

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

$7.8T AUM Firm, BlackRock Gears Up For Bitcoin Exposure; Approves 2 Funds to Invest In BTC

$7.8T AUM Firm, BlackRock Gears Up For Bitcoin Exposure; Approves 2 Funds to Invest In BTC

With more than $7.8 trillion in assets behind it, BlackRock represents one of the largest asset managers in the world and has recently indicated a turn towards cryptocurrencies. This turn is according to filings it recently approved from two of its funds. Specifically, BlackRock approved BlackRock Global Allocation Fund Inc. and BlackRock Funds V, according to prospectus documents filed and submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

For the moment, BlackRock has yet to specify which commodities exchanges would be used in order to complete the purchase of Bitcoin Futures. But, according to the asset manager, the approved funds will only be allowed to invest in cash-settled futures, to mitigate risk, and there are still some that BlackRock observes:

“A Fund’s investment in bitcoin futures may involve illiquidity risk, as bitcoin futures are not as heavily traded as other futures given that the bitcoin futures market is relatively new.”

BlackRock’s Steady Walk to Bitcoin

BlackRock’s move towards investing in Bitcoin comes as a profound surprise for many. Up until recently, the investment management company had done little to allude to such a move. However, any filings under the SEC have proven to serve as a pretext for diving into new investments.

During a panel discussion in December, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink hinted at the growing legitimacy of digital assets as their asset class, but expressed caution to those expressing impetuosity, stating that “we have to go through many markets to see if it’s going to be permanently real.”

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Author: James Fox

Crypto Mining Service, Titan, Receives Investment Funds From Coinbase Ventures

Crypto Mining Service, Titan, Receives Investment Funds From Coinbase Ventures

The developer of Bitcoin mining software and services Titan has announced a strategic investment fund from Coinbase Ventures. The investment fund was made during Titan’s seed fundraising round.

The investment will allow Titan to expand its offerings, which enable Bitcoin mining firms to achieve growth, profitability, efficiency, and sustenance.

Titan’s Expansion Goals Continue

Titan has been very active in the market lately. Last month, the company announced a partnership with North American mining leaders CoreScientific and CoinMint. The partnership is part of the agreement to become members of the Titan Pool. It is designed to help miners in the cryptocurrency industry meet opportunities and deal with challenges that may come in the future.

The Titan Pool is currently undergoing a high-volume test, as the firm is planning to launch its closed beta this month. Co-founder and chief executive officer of Titan Ryan Condron have commented on the development.

“The investment from Coinbase Ventures serves as a powerful endorsement of the Titan team, roadmap and vision,”

He added that the mining industry had advanced a lot, as it started from being a hobby to becoming an industry. Now, it’s a critical global computing infrastructure. Condron also reiterated that Titan is now equipped to help top miners in the world to overcome their challenges.

Titan says it makes mining less complicated, scalable, and profitable using its advanced mining management software. The company was launched in September 2018 by Matthew Roszak, Jeff Garzik, and Ryan Condron.

Coinbase Prepares for IPO

In another development, Coinbase is certainly one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S, as the cryptocurrency exchange is highly profitable. However, despite its popularity, the company isn’t a publicly listed exchange and doesn’t make its financial figures available to the public.

This may come as a surprise to many, considering the popularity of the exchange. This may change as the company is preparing for an IPO.

Most of the company’s profits are from trading fees from Bitcoin and other crypto assets. The company filed an S-1 form intending to launch an IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on December 22.

The firm has been involved in several projects and partnerships. It has also invested in a lot of startups to expand its portfolio and encourage more cryptocurrency adoption.

The investment with crypto mining pool Titan is another strong indication of where the exchange’s goals lie. While it has invested in several projects, the firm also received funds from top investment firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Tiger Global Management.

With the firm’s massive growth, many investors would want to participate in its upcoming IPO, which may likely be the biggest in 2021 as Bakkt and Gemini prepare for IPO’s as well.

This is not the first mining investment of Coinbase. In 2018, the exchange also invested in mining hardware startup Coinmine.

The Titan investment will help the crypto mining pool complete its beta testing phase, which is expected to end in February. Mining giant Core Scientific is among the clients currently testing the pool.

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Author: Ali Raza