NYDIG Sees Institutional Order Books Pushing BTC Holdings to $25B by Year-End

  • NYDIG believes it could grow its AUM to $25 billion as institutions are still hungry for Bitcoin.
  • Increasing institutional demand is growing at impressive levels, giving more hope for Bitcoin’s long-term trajectory.
  • Institutional demand remains a significant point of focus for the crypto market, with more firms expected to enter into the industry soon enough.
  • In line with the phenomenon, the New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) expects to quadruple its assets under management this year.

This week, Ross Stevens, the founder and chairman of NYDIG, made an appearance at the MicroStrategy World Conference 2021. In his session, the executive explained that the crypto investment company could be sitting on $25 billion in assets under management (AUM) by year’s end.

Stevens explained that NYDIG’s AUM figures currently stand at about $6 billion. However, the firm has seen enough institutional investors’ commitment to push the figure past the $25 billion mark. Considering that none of the investors have walked back their intention to commit to Bitcoin, the firm expects a windfall going into the year.

NYDIG is a fund management firm that operates as the crypto-facing subsidiary of Stone Ridge Holdings Group LLC. The company provides an avenue for large investors to improve their crypto exposure. Last year, it helped facilitate the purchase of $100 million by MassMutual, the Massachusetts-based insurance giant.

As the Wall Street Journal reported at the time, MassMutual, a company with about $235 billion in AUM, had made the purchase through a backchannel with NYDIG. The insurance giant also purchased a minority stake in NYDIG for $50 million. The deal will also see NYDIG custody MassMutual’s Bitcoin stash. Now that more institutions appear to be lining up to make purchases, NYDIG could be in for its most fruitful year.

Institutional Demand: A MicroStrategy Case Study

Stevens had made the revelation to Michael Saylor, a businessman who has become overly familiar with cryptocurrencies over the past year. Since August 2020, under Saylor, MicroStrategy has purchased over $1.3 billion worth of Bitcoin, becoming one of the industry’s largest institutional players.

The company has benefited immensely from the decision. MicroStrategy built a $425 million Bitcoin holding when the asset was only trading at about $11,000. When the asset eventually grew to $21,000 apiece, the firm announced that it had issued $650 million in convertible senior notes and would use most of the raised capital to purchase more of it.

Now that Bitcoin is in the high $30,000s, it is anyone’s guess just how much MicroStrategy’s decision to move to the Bitcoin standard has grown its reserves.

Along with its bottom line, MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin obsession seems to be helping its stock price. In December, Tyler Radke, an analyst at investment banking giant Citigroup, downgraded MicroStrategy’s stock based on fears that the company was overpricing its Bitcoin play. As the analyst explained, while the company had made a sizable return on its Bitcoin investment, the market appeared to have been overpricing its core business.

However, Bitcoin’s rally in December helped the company’s reserve to balloon even more. While Radke’s criticism of MicsoStartey’s core business has some merit, the market appeared to have overlooked that as its stock surged over 100 percent. The stock, which traded at $286.21 when Radke downgraded it, has now jumped past the $740 mark and is surging on.

The Virginia-based firm is precisely the type of client that NYDIG appears to be looking for. Deep-pocketed and not afraid to take risks, MicroStrategy has become a whale among whales in the Bitcoin market.

Although some could criticize the effects of increasing institutional action on Bitcoin’s liquidity, everyone seems to agree that it would benefit the market in the long run.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

$50,000 Per BTC ‘Is A Reasonable Price Target Even For Q1 To Q2 Of Next Year’

The appetite for Bitcoin among institutional investors continues to grow at a fast pace.

Every week, a new company or public figure announces its investment in Bitcoin or the digital assets’ potential as a store of value, much like gold.

This appetite can be seen with the Bitwise’s Crypto Index Fund — with 75% BTC, 13% Ethereum, and 12% other crypto assets weightage — which surged more than 70% in a couple of days of its launch, that too while the digital assets slipped by a few percentages.

But over the weekend, the crypto market took over as BTC went from $17,600 earlier in the week to $19,500 on Sunday.

Today, BTC/USD is trading around $19,150, down 0.09% with $2.24 billion in volume.

Ultimately Bullish

Still, the largest cryptocurrency is up 166% YTD, and this Bitcoin rally is “fundamentally sound,” according to Antoni Trenchev, co-founder of Nexo.

According to him, any dips are just Christmas coming early — “a great entry point for you to purchase some Bitcoin just before liftoff,” said Trenchev in a recent interview with Bloomberg.

These price drops, according to him, are profit-taking and the rumor about last-minute legislation from the Trump administration, which according to him are just going to be more anti-money laundering and know-your-customer policies “just like in the banking sector.”

However, the new legislation will ultimately be a “very valid bridge bullish sign for Bitcoin, and that will set the stage for the next leg up,” he said.

The regulatory threat has been taking the edge off the market, and Trenchev is extremely bullish on BTC price.

Nowhere Near the Top

According to Trenchev, his predicted a $50,000 BTC target price by the end of the year “is a reasonable price target even for Q1 to Q2 of next year.”

The reason for his bullishness is simple, since the summer, the market has seen retail, institutional investors, high net worth individuals, and family offices positioning themselves and purchasing Bitcoin and other cryptos. And this is

“very different from what we had 2017 and 2018 where this was a really retail-driven frenzy where everybody was maxing out on leverage and credits to buy bitcoin.

This has not yet happened.”

Although retail has come, it is nowhere near what we saw in 2017, which makes this rally “fundamentally much more sound,” he added.

In the macro scheme of things, all the stimulus unleashed by the central banks and government in 2020 will continue moving into next year. As we reported last week, the ECB has already announced its big numbers, and the US might reach a compromise on the relief package soon.

Morgan Stanley chief rates strategist also noted that G10 central banks would inject another US$2.8 trillion of liquidity next year – just in their government bond purchases.

This is to be seen if and when all this liquidity will find its way into the financial and Bitcoin market. We are already seeing some rotation out of gold and into Bitcoin this year, thanks to the latter’s digital gold narrative.

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Author: AnTy

Nearly 1% of Bitcoin’s Circulating Supply Now Tokenized on Ethereum

Bitcoin on Ethereum continues to grow at a fast speed. Over the last weekend, a record 175.4k BTC has been locked on the Ethereum network through DeFi protocols.

This figure is currently around 170k, representing nearly 1% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply being tokenized and locked in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space.

Here, Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) leads the way with over 124k BTC worth about $2.2 billion. WBTC represents 20.23% of the total market cap of DeFi tokens in Ethereum, and 73% of all the BTC locked on Ethereum.

Following WBTC, Compound has 24.8k BTC locked in it then Curve Finance (24k BTC), Harvest Finance (22k BTC), RenBTC (just over 17k BTC), Maker (15k BTC), Aave (12.6k BTC), and Uniswap (6.7k BTC), as per DeFi Pulse.

Compared to just over 170k BTC locked in DeFi, the sector has a total of 7.7 million ETH deposited, which has declined 13.5% this week and still nearly 20% away from its 9.2 million high in late October.

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Author: AnTy

Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) Beats Aave & Curve to Become the Third Largest DeFi Project

Bitcoin on Ethereum continues to grow at warp speed, reaching above $1.6 billion, on pace with 145k BTC.

Several projects like renBTC, imBTC, HBTC, TBTC, pBTC, and sBTC are putting BTC on the second largest network. Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) dominates this growth by accounting for 73.6% of the BTC on Ethereum.

105,132 WBTC worth $1.2 billion has been minted so far, which has increased a whopping 9,380% since the beginning of 2020.

With this, WBTC has jumped past the likes of Yearn.Finance, Synthetix, Compound, Curve Finance, and Aave to become the third-largest DeFi project.

Uniswap, with a record of $2.73 billion in total value locked (TVL) and dominance of 24.12%, and Maker with nearly $2 billion of crypto funds locked are the only ones bigger than Wrapped Bitcoin.

wbtc
Source: DeFiPulse

WBTC is one of the fastest-growing DeFi projects, much like the overall sector, which is hitting new highs of $11.4 billion in TVL.

Interestingly, yesterday, the largest WBTC was minted in a single day by CoinList. This largest mint of 5,000 WBTC was made in two separate transactions — the first one involved 1,299.48 WBTC while the second transaction involved 3,697.5 WBTC.

This record breaks the last one made by FTX CEO Sam Bakman-Fried’s crypto trading firm Almeda Research that one-upped the previous record with 2,316.5 WBTC.

WBTC is an ERC-20 token backed by bitcoin in a 1:1 ratio, where the BTC is held in the custody of BitGo.

With this, DeFi users can participate in various applications without actually using their Bitcoin. It further brings Bitcoin’s vast liquidity, with a $210 billion market, to the $42 billion market cap Ethereum network.

Demand for WBTC continues to soar, as seen in its growth as this allows Bitcoin holders to take part in exciting DeFi apps like yield farming and earn income on their BTC without giving it up.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Locked on Ethereum Explodes Higher while Lightning Network Value Unmoved

The number of Bitcoin locked on Ethereum continues to grow at a fast pace.

A total of 18,221 BTC are now locked in WBTC, which has its market cap reaching a new all-time high as well, in the north of $200 million.

An ERC20 token, Wrapped Bitcoin brings the value and liquidity of Bitcoin to the DeFi world. Here, one WBTC equals one BTC.

Being an Ethereum-based token, it is integrated into Ethereum smart contracts, wallets, and dapps. Also, the transfer of WBTC is faster than the usual bitcoin.

Launched in January 2019 as a collaborative project by Dharma, Compound, Kyber, Maker, Set Protocol, Ren, and BitGo, it is an attempt to bring more liquidity into the Ethereum network as the overall value of Bitcoin is much larger than Ether.

WBTC is used to borrow and lend on platforms like Compound or even for margin trading on the likes of Fulcrum dapp.

The growth of WBTC has eclipsed the layer two solutions on bitcoin, Lightning Network that makes payments on bitcoin faster and cheaper, whose network capacity is stuck under 1,000 BTC.

This growth happened just in the past three months when the market cap of both the Lightning Network and WBTC was at the same level only for the latter to grow by more than 1,600% during this time.

Recently, Blockstream released its major version of c-lightning, its implementation of the Lightning Network, dubbed “Rat Poison Squared on Steroids.”

This release comes with Multi-part payments (MPP) to improve LN’s user experience, making it easier to support fraud-fighting component Watchtower, and laid the groundwork for a tool that tracks “all” the coin movements of a user for tax purposes.

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Author: AnTy

China’s Digital Yuan will “Certainly Erode the Dollar’s Primacy in the Global Financial Market” – Deutsche Bank Report

  • Cash to remain part of the economy for decades to come but digital payments will grow at “light speed”
  • Mobile payments to quadruple in the next five years while blockchain wallets by decade end
  • Cryptocurrencies have the potential to revolutionize payment standard

The latest research on “The Future of Payments,” by Deutsche Bank titled “Part I. Cash: the Dinosaur Will Survive … For Now,” talks about the existence of cash even though there would be a transition to the digital payments.

The first in a three-part series where the bank forecasts trends in cash, online, mobile, cryptos, and blockchain, it predicts that cash will be part of the economy for decades to come because people have developed a deep-rooted trust in the paper during uncertain times.

Factors contributing to Cash‘s long-term existence involves the paper money being easier to monitor the spending, faster to pay, really convenient, accepted almost everywhere, a secure method of paying, and keeping the purchases anonymous. Cash is also easier to tip and to avoid cyber-attacks on users’ money, said the 3,600 customers surveyed across the US, UK, China, Germany, France, and Italy by the bank.

Digital Payments to Grow at “Light Speed”

While cash will exist, this period will also see digital payments growing at “light speed,” which it says would lead to the extinction of the plastic cards.

Despite encountering regulatory hurdles, blockchain wallet users continue to “mirror” the Internet users which the bank expects to hit 200 million, quadruple, by the end of the decade.

Over the next five years, the German multinational investment bank says mobile payments are expected to quadruple, the effects of which are expected to arrive sooner in emerging markets.

“As China (and India) develop electronic, crypto, and peer-to-peer strategies, the epicentre of global economic power could shift,” it says.

The bank points out how China is already working on a central bank-backed digital currency that could be used as “a soft- or hard-power tool.” Companies in the country are, in fact, forced to adopt a digital yuan which Deutsche Bank says “will certainly erode the dollar’s primacy in the global financial market.”

Further experimentation expected in a post-financial-crisis environment

While providing a detailed explanation of the most famous cryptocurrency Bitcoin, it notices that BTC is a highly volatile currency. To minimize the fluctuations, fiat-backed stablecoins have been embraced whose “price stabilisation usually requires some kind of trusted intermediation or centralised infrastructure.”

Cryptocurrencies, the banks says is still in the early adoption stage but “we should expect further experimentation to take place in the context of a rapidly digitising society and a post-financial-crisis environment.”

As for the crypto adoption, though stores have started accepting cryptos as a payment method, the number is small but the growth trend is noticeable among online travel booking platforms and through retailers like AT&T and Newegg.

Payments made by Bitcoin have also taken off but they still represent a “tiny fraction” of global payments.

“Nevertheless, cryptocurrencies have the potential to revolutionise payment standards,” said Deutsche.

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Author: AnTy

Ripple: Asia-Pacific Remittance Market Seeing Growing Demand And is Ripe for Digitalization

  • APAC digital transfer and remittance market expected to grow by 24.2% from 2018 until 2025
  • But what’s astounding is the expensive services charging as high as 10.34%

In its latest insight report, Ripple shares the growing demand the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is seeing.

“More remitters than ever are sending money home to their loved ones,” the San Francisco-based company points out adding APAC saw a growth of 12% in remittance flows in 2018, as per World Bank. About 2bln in remittance transactions flow in the area every year.

APAC region to see a growth of over 24%

Remittance flows in the Philippines, makes them the 3rd largest remittance-receiving nation worldwide, and another staggering number that is reaching record highs of $529 billion last year is Thailand, and is also anticipated to see exponential growth as the Philippines greatest help for external financing.

On the opposite side, Australia and Thailand entice a remarkable amount of migrant workers. Australia’s payment outflows are $7.2 billion to China, India, Vietnam, the UK, and the Philippines. Also becoming a major destination for foreign workers is Thailand, with $7.5 billion set against ejaculations of $4.9 billion estimated payment inflows.

From 2018 until 2025, APAC digital transfer and remittance market is actually expected to experience a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 24.2%.

But traditional payment channels charging fees as high as 10%

The rise of worldwide remittances is “significant” but even more astounding are the expensive services. Ripple notes,

“The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is seeing significant growth in remittances, yet the high cost of cross border payments leaves remitters with few options.”

Here blockchain technologies have a huge part to play as they can offer a fast, smooth encounter for global payments with reliability, and transparency, that people are accustomed to and require from services like email.

The global median cost of transferring $200 was 6.84% in 3Q19, with banks charging an average fee as high as 10.34%.

There is also a high price variance by corridors, from Thailand to Vietnam, Lo PDR, and China has remittance fees exceeding 10% in 2018.

Blockchain provides a solution

Financial businesses desire a cheaper, simpler, and more effective way of processing cross-border transactions and blockchain has created a resolution.

With APAC market “ripe for digitization,” Ripple is already working and seeing much activity in the Philippines and Thai market.

Recently, the company along with Thailand’s oldest bank Siam Commercial Bank announced that they were working on enabling cross-border payments via QR codes.

Through its partner FlashFX, Ripple has opened payment channels in Mexico, the US, and the Philippines with Australia next on the list. Apart from SendFriend, MoneyGram is also using XRP to conduct transactions in Europe, Australia, and the Philippines as well to tap this growing demand in APAC region.

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Author: AnTy

Alibaba Uses Blockchain to Participate in China’s Single’s Day Celebration, Generates $30 Billion in Sales

As the blockchain technology continues to grow and expand in different markets, many individuals and companies have developed an interest in the market. The blockchain industry is well established in the Chinese market. From being china’s favorite technology, it has expanded into a world success. Recently, a giant Alibaba used blockchain as it joined in the celebration of China’s Singles day this year. The Single’s day is celebrated on November 11 each year for the last past decade.

Alibaba is celebrating the Single’s day as a sales day together with happy singles as well as couples. During this year’s Single’s day, a couple of days ago, Alibaba generated sales amounting to $30 billion in one day, November 11, 2019. Apart from earning such a huge amount of money, the blockchain company set a precedent that will take shape in future celebrations of the Single’s day.

A fintech firm of Alibaba, Ant Financial, used the blockchain tech to offer ID verification, supply-chain tracking, and supply-chain financing solutions during the celebrations. This helped in the elimination of counterfeit goods in the market. The day was an ideal opportunity for the company to experiment with its blockchain understanding.

Hong Kong remains as an ideal market for Chinese technology companies to test their blockchain tech despite the protests. Early this week, a giant tech company Tencent announced that it would be rolling out a new blockchain-based virtual bank in Hong Kong. Tencent has already been registered under the Futures Commission and Hong Kong’s Security.

Hong Kong is trying to maintain the grips of its position as Asia’s fintech hub. However, the Chinese government is investing in other tech centers and mainland businesses such as Shenzhen. The government is trying so hard to starve Hong Kong to the extent that the island might soon witness a recession. Despite all that, Hong Kong is fighting to remain competitive and innovative to remain relevant in the tech industry. In May this year, Hong Kong began issuing licenses for virtual banks to leading technology companies such as Xiaomi and Alibaba.

Tencent will be rolling out a blockchain bank in Hong Kong after forming a JV with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The new blockchain bank will offer an invoice-financing platform and a supply chain with McDonald’s. The virtual bank will have a huge customer-acquisition potential with the aid of Wechat, a platform used for all sorts of financial transactions.

As more blockchain-based banks are being developed, Alibaba might soon launch its blockchain online virtual banking solution. The company will ride on its advance e-commerce, its large market share, and its fintech firm, Ant Financials. The competition in China’s blockchain industry is a race towards fintech supremacy.

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Author: Denis Miriti

Blockchain Tech In China Is Booming, Even With Only 52% Of Top 50 Internet Companies in Support

As the blockchain technology continues to grow and expand in different industries, it has been received warmly in most of the sectors. In China alone, 26 of the leading 50 internet companies, about 52%, have ventured into the blockchain tech. These Chinese giant internet companies are helping in the promotion of its application and development. Only two of the top 10 internet companies have not embraced blockchain technology; ByteDance and Meituan.

Chinese leading internet companies like Tencent, Alibaba, and Huawei are related to blockchain technology in one way or another. Huawei and Tencent support blockchain coinless consortium, which currently targets hyperledger fabric while on the other hand, Alibaba invested in a blockchain project QEDIT through its firm Ant Financial.

About sixteen internet companies are taking part in the application of the blockchain tech, 6 in the research field and ecological services, 6 companies in the development of the infrastructure, and 13 companies participating in the development of the technology.

Progressive tech development and technical strength are requisite for the development of blockchain technology. Internet companies such as Xunlei have outstanding technical strength and can put that into better use in the development of the blockchain infrastructure.

Weibo, which is a blockchain-oriented social media platform in China, has been drawing much attention from the cryptocurrency industry over the past couple of months. Weibo, also referred to as lvzhou, to mean “oasis,” is the Chinese “Twitter.” Back in October 2018, the state’s media house People’s Daily Online launched a blockchain-based channel that focuses on providing information on the blockchain technology.

Social media, crypto mining, and games are the mainstream industries targeted for blockchain applications. However, internet companies in China also cover other fields such as medicine, public welfare, and traceability.

Most of the top high-tech Chinese companies are launching their blockchain-as-a-service solution. Going by the trend, blockchain is becoming compulsory for Chinese internet enterprises by default as many of these companies and entering into the blockchain industry.

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Author: Denis Miriti

Despite a Love or Hate Relationship, New Futures Investments Are Making Cryptos More Popular

Futures markets can help economies to grow a lot, but some people see them as very speculative. The situation would not be different in the case of crypto futures, which are even more speculative to some experts but are helping the market to grow.

Bloomberg has recently published an article affirming that Bitcoin futures show how the market has matured. According to the post, futures went from almost being meaningless to around 50% of all the spot trading activity in the market in just a couple of years.

What consequences has this brought to the market? The investor base has grown in numbers and the volatility has been decreased during this timeframe.

Crypto futures are so popular right now that most crypto exchanges are offering them together with services of lending and borrowing cryptocurrencies. This makes it very easy for crypto holders to make considerable profits just using these financial tools.

The article also notices that the volumes of contracts in traditional exchanges that started their futures during 2017 such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) have doubled their volume in 18 months. This shows that, despite being still a small market, the growth has been exponential so far.

While there are still doubts among some investors about if cryptos will represent a revolution in the markets or not, the fact is that they can be pretty profitable right now.

New exchanges such as the Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt have just appeared and will probably leave their mark in the industry, too. With all these improvements, it is hard to see a future in which cryptocurrencies will not be popular investments.

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Author: Hank Klinger