“Netherlands Must Ban Bitcoin Now,” says Director for Economic Analysis

Pieter Hasekamp is calling for a complete ban on crypto — mining, trading, and holding because they are only good at privacy which is used by criminals, while government money works just fine with “hardly any currency devaluation…although inflation is now slowly picking up,” he said.

The director of the Dutch Bureau for Economic Analysis is calling for a complete ban on the mining, holding, and trading of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

This comes after crypto trading platform Bitonic won its case against the Dutch Central Bank last month regarding the apex bank’s wallet verification requirement. The regulator formally acknowledged at the time that its requirement was unlawful and should have never been called for the purpose of crypto exchange platform registration.

Now, today in an opinion piece on the local publication FD which had 3.72 million visitors in May, Pieter Hasekamp, director of the Central Planning Bureau, said the bursting of the crypto bubble is inevitable, and the Netherlands needs to act now, or the consequences of the crash will be “too great.”

Pointing to Gresham’s law, “Bad money crowds out good money,” Hasekamp said Bitcoin fits this pattern with cryptos exhibiting “all the hallmarks of “bad money”’ — unclear origin, uncertain valuation, and shady trading practices.

That’s Not Going to Happen

According to Hasekamp, cryptocurrencies do not fulfill the three functions of money, while government money “scores well in terms of value retention.”

Interestingly, the buying power of one euro (1€) has depreciated by a whopping 30% between 2000 and 2020 from 1€ to 0.7€. Hasekamp wrote,

“In recent decades, there has been hardly any currency devaluation. Although inflation is now slowly picking up, few people believe that we are returning to the figures from the 1960s and 1970s.”

All in all, the current monetary system works very well in practice, he said while arguing further improvements are conceivable through central bank digital currencies (CBDC).

While fiat currencies work so well, private cyber currencies “perform far worse than public money on all counts,” he added.

But Hasekamp did find one area where cryptocurrencies do better, and that’s in the privacy aspect, and “that anonymity is exactly what makes them attractive to criminals.”

As for its use as a store of value, Haskamp wrote that it is based on the hope that cryptocurrencies will one day replace real money, “but that’s not going to happen.” He wrote,

“Cryptocurrencies are essentially neither money nor a financial product, but… a contagious story in which people believe because other people believe in it. Gresham’s law is replaced by Newton’s law: what goes up must come down. The ultimate collapse of the crypto bubble is inevitable.”

As countries take steps to curb the crypto hype, Hasekamp wants the Netherlands to move fast and “ban Bitcoin” because “whoever moves last is the loser.”

He points out how China has already made its move by banning several crypto activities while the Netherlands is lagging behind. While the Central Planning Bureau concluded in 2018 that stricter regulation was not yet necessary, cautious regulation can now “backfire,” he said.

Regulation simply “legitimizes crypto as a bona fide financial product. Recent developments show that it is time to act: the longer we wait, the greater the negative consequences of the eventual crash,” said Hasekamp.

As such, he is recommending a total ban on the production, trading, and even possession of cryptocurrencies.

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Author: AnTy

Bitwise Launches Crypto Industry Innovators ETF After a Green Light from the SEC

The ETF won’t be holding Bitcoin or Ethereum directly but tracks the performance of public companies that are involved in the cryptocurrency sector.

Bitwise, a digital asset manager with $1.5 billion in assets under management as of May 7, 2021, is launching the Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (NYSE: BITQ) that provides exposure to public companies that are involved in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency sector. The ETF won’t be holding Bitcoin or Ethereum directly.

With this, it has become the first ETF with crypto in it to be approved by the SEC, while a Bitcoin ETF has yet to make it despite several, at least eleven, companies interested and having filed their applications.

But Hunter Horsley, CEO of Bitwise, is hopeful that SEC is moving closer to approving one.

“The bitcoin ETF journey has been almost a decade long,” Horsley told CNN. “But I think it will be possible. This is a big milestone for us.”

BITQ meanwhile seeks to track the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators 30 Index, which captures pure-play companies engaged in the crypto sector and has at least $100 million of liquid digital assets on their balance sheet.

Also, these companies derive at least 75% of their revenue from either directly holding crypto assets or serving the crypto market.

It basically tracks the performance of crypto stocks and not coins. A similar ETF (VanEck Vectors Digital Assets Equity – DAPP) has been launched by VanEck as well that trades on Nasdaq, London Stock Exchange, and Deutsche Boerse.

“Until recently, most great crypto innovators were private companies, but that’s changing rapidly. Today, there’s a growing set of public companies capitalizing on crypto,” said Matt Hougan, CIO of Bitwise.

Crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN), which recently went public, accounts for 11.63% of the index’s weightage joined by MicroStrategy, Galaxy Digital, Riot Blockchain, Voyager Digital, Canaan, Northern Data, Hive Blockchain, Bitfarm, and Marathon Digital Asset Holdings, along with PayPal, Square, Silvergate, and others.

“Over the past few years, many investors have had to watch from the sidelines as a select few have reaped the rewards of stellar cryptocurrency returns.”

“With BITQ, our aim is to make crypto investment opportunities available through traditional investing platforms and a familiar, liquid, and cost-effective ETF.”

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Author: AnTy

51% of Young British Investors Trading or Holding Crypto: Charles Schwab Survey

51% of Young British Investors Trading or Holding Crypto: Charles Schwab Survey

This is more than double the number of young investors, aged between 18 and 37, involved in stocks.

Young British investors are more interested in cryptocurrencies than they are in stocks, revealed a survey by U.S. financial group Charles Schwab.

The retail investing behemoth, which is also looking at the crypto market “closely” and awaiting regulatory clarity before they start offering crypto investment, surveyed investors aged between 18 and 37.

Its finding showed that 51% of these young investors have traded or held cryptocurrencies, double the number, 25% of those who are buying or owning equities.

Meanwhile, a mere 8% of investors over the age of 55 have traded cryptocurrencies.

Compared to Bitcoin’s 70% and Ether’s 205% returns YTD, which is after the recent 23%-26% pullback from all-time highs, S&P 500 surged 10.09%, gold -5.85%, and WTI 33.33% during the same period. The press release from Charles Schwab presenting the survey read,

“As more young people purchase speculative products, there is a fear that these investors are not diversifying their portfolios enough to mitigate risks in case cryptocurrency markets decline.”

The survey’s findings revealed that seven out of ten young investors were uncertain about building protections against losses in the current financial environment.

Schwab conducted the survey earlier this year, between February and March 2021, among 1,000 UK investors holding at least one type of investment.

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Author: AnTy

BlackRock Discloses Bitcoin Exposure in SEC Filing; Holding .5M in CME BTC Futures

BlackRock Discloses Bitcoin Exposure in SEC Filing; Holding $6.5M in CME BTC Futures

The world’s largest asset manager BlackRock with $8.7 trillion in assets under management (AUM), disclosed in its latest filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it already has exposure to Bitcoin.

As the investment giant said earlier this year that they have “started to dabble,” the filing published on Wednesday indeed showed that.

The asset manager that held $6.5 million in CME Bitcoin futures contracts at the beginning of 2021 has these appreciating about $360,457 on reporting day. These holdings, however, are just 0.03% of BlackRock’s Global Allocation Fund.

It was in January they gave two of its funds the green light to trade Bitcoin futures.

Ever since last year, when corporates and legendary investors started warming up to Bitcoin, BlackRock also showed its interest in the leading cryptocurrency.

While the fund CEO Larry Fink had said they are watching Bitcoin and that it can become a store of value, the BlackRock CIO Rick Rieder noted that three is clearly greater demand for BTC than supply, which can even replace gold one day.

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Author: AnTy

Indian Securities Regulator to Restrict IPO Promoters from Holding Bitcoin: Report

India’s securities regulator is reported to be working on barring all IPO organizers from holding cryptocurrencies. This is another statement move from the government following its cryptocurrency ban.

The Indian government has shown no subtlety in its approach to banning cryptocurrencies from the country.

Now, it appears to be extending its anti-crypto stance to the traditional financial industry. Initial Public Offerings (IPO) promoters would be the first to feel its wrath.

No Crypto for Fundraisers

Recently, the Economic Times reported that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), India’s securities regulator, is planning to force all IPO participants to divest all crypto holdings before proceeding with their listings.

Per the report, crypto selloffs will most likely become a prerequisite for anyone looking to raise funds through an IPO, forming what the latest in New Delhi’s plans to eradicate digital assets is.

The news source reported that the SEBI plans to send notices to merchant banks, underwriters, securities lawyers, and all other stakeholders in India’s IPO space, warning them to stay off digital assets.

A securities lawyer told the news source that this would most likely be a government directive, as they could believe that an IPO promoter holding an illegal asset could pose a risk to investors.

Some investment bankers have also explained that the SBI might move ahead with the restriction even if the Reserve Bank’s ban on digital assets doesn’t pass parliamentary approval – an improbable process on its own.

Mahesh Singhi, an executive at investment banking firm SInghi Advisors, explained that SEBI is looking to avoid a situation where IPO promoters divers their raised funds to crypto investments, which remain highly speculative.

SEBI has yet to release any written notifications to that effect, but many stakeholders seem to believe that this restriction will come into effect soon.

No Time to Waste

The IPO restriction is the latest approach from the Indian government, which has vowed to disrupt the crypto sector in the country. First announced last month, the ban is gaining traction ahead of a presentation at the country’s lower parliament.

Titled the “Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill,” the proposal is already in consideration at the Rajya Sabha, India’s upper house of parliament. However, the current budget session is expected to run till April 8, with a recess session already ongoing until March 7.

Earlier this month, local news source CNBC-TV18 reported that the government might as well skip the parliamentary process altogether. Per the report, it could look to take the “ordinance route” to ban the use of private digital assets while also allowing the Reserve Bank to create a digital framework for its planned Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

CNBC-TV18 reported that all appropriate parties had already begun drafting the ordinance as they look to pass the crypto ban proposal within a month. Ordinances usually allow the Indian government, through President Ram Nath Kovind, to bypass parliament and take action.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Reddit User Finds Private Keys to A Forgotten Bitcoin Wallet Holding 127 BTC

Reddit User Finds Private Keys to A Forgotten Bitcoin Wallet Holding 127 BTC

  • Reddit user finds private keys to a wallet holding 127 BTC.
  • The lucky ‘schooling’ man is set to invest the profits made in low-risk investments.

One Reddit user, BitcoinHolderThankU, has raised the curiousness of several crypto fanatics on the app after he claimed that he accidentally HODLed 127 BTC for the past 8-9 years. The user cashed out his gains, totaling $4.24 million, on over the counter (OTC) trading desks and plans to invest the profits on investments in the S&P 500.

Following a flurry of messages and crypto media taking up the story, BitcoinHolderThankU wrote a post to explain the journey of finding the crypto and how to cash out. According to the post, the user found the private key on December 22 when the price of one Bitcoin was roughly $23,000 – a total fortune of $2.92 million at the time.

The user spent the next week figuring out how to safely and securely liquidate the large sum of Bitcoins at the best price with the cheapest fees. While centralized crypto exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase were an option, their daily withdrawal limits hindered the user from selecting them as he wanted a quick exit while the price of Bitcoin was still high.

“Not only would it take forever due to the daily withdrawal limits, but at the time, I was also worried that the price of Bitcoin would suffer a major drop throughout the lengthy liquidation process.”

Finally, he selected an unnamed OTC desk to complete the trade, selling all the BTC for a price of $33,439.02 per coin minus a 0.15% fee, bring him a net total of $4.24 million.

Despite the sale’s profits, the user still faces regret aversion on selling all his 127 BTC. Over the past fortnight or so, the price of BTC doubled from previous all-time highs to trade at $41,000 before retracing to current levels of $34,000, as of writing.

“Looking back at things, I would not have sold all 127 Bitcoins if I were given a second chance,” the Reddit post reads. “Instead, I would’ve sold the majority of them and kept a handful to hold for years to come.”

So what next for the lucky Bitcoin HODLer?

The user plans to reinvest the profits in a “safe, low-risk investment channel” once he completes paying his taxes on the gains. At the moment, he plans to keep the money in S&P 500 till he is done with his schooling. The fortunes, however, will not influence his lifestyle at all, he stated in the post. He wrote, “No expensive luxuries, no new house, no new car, nada.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

FinCEN to Amend FBAR Rules Regarding Foreign Accounts Holding Crypto

FinCEN Intends to Amend the FBAR Rules Regarding Foreign Accounts Holding Cryptocurrencies

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury shared its intent to amend the FBAR for cryptocurrencies.

The official document “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) Filing Requirement for Virtual Currency” notes that currently, FBAR regulations do not define a foreign account holding virtual currency as a type of reportable account.

This means, at the time, a foreign account holding cryptocurrencies is not reportable on the FBAR.

But now, FinCEN is sharing its intention to propose to amend the regulations implementing the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regarding reports of foreign financial accounts (FBAR) to include virtual currency as a type of reportable account under 31 CFR 1010.350, it states.

“This seems targeted at users of non-US exchanges & shouldn’t apply to assets in self-custody,” said Jake Chervinksy, General Counsel at Compound Finance.

According to him, it could be primarily about tax evasion and bringing non-US crypto companies into compliance with the BSA.

“Anyone claiming to have blocked US citizens (as BitMEX claimed) will have a tough time if/when hundreds of FBARs come flooding in.”

Jake Chervinksy General Counsel at Compound Finance

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin OTC Indicators Point to Ongoing Institutional Buying And This Means Only One Thing

Bitcoin is holding firmly to its gains made during the wild rally of 4Q20. Trading above $24,000, yes, another all-time high on the weekend, with $4.7 billion in ‘real’ volume, BTC/USD is up 230% this year.

Despite these substantial gains, bitcoin is not looking like it will correct anytime soon. Many are expecting the digital asset to run even higher up before any pullback could be expected.

Similar views are of Ki-Young Ju, CEO of data provider CryptoQuant, and the reason for this continued bullishness is the ongoing institutional buying.

“This BTC bull-run never stops as long as these OTC indicators keep saying institutional-buying,” said Ju pointing to all the large over-the-desk deals still going on vigorously.

For starters, massive outflows can be seen in Coinbase BTC outflows going to their new cold wallet for custody that held 6k to 8k BTC. Whenever the US’s biggest exchange moves a significant amount of Bitcoins to other cold wallets, it indicates OTC deals.

The largest digital asset manager, Grayscale, which continues to add up BTC to its stash, uses Genesis Trading for buying Bitcoin, which in turn uses Coinbase OTC desks for that. Coinbase was the one that helped MicroStrategy in its initial $250 million investment. Ruffer also confirmed that they purchased their BTC via Coinbase.

Another indicator is the Fund Flow Ratio for all exchanges, the ratio of network transaction volume of exchanges among all the tokens transferred on the network. If this value goes up, it implies most of the network transactions are exchange deposits/withdrawals; otherwise, transaction volumes are coming from non-exchange wallets. Young Ju noted,

“Since the price is eventually determined on exchanges, massive non-exchange transaction volume is considered as a bullish signal. These transactions include OTC deals.”

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Currently, only 5% of the network transactions are used for exchange deposits and withdrawals. The same level was seen in February 2019 when major exchanges launched OTC desks.

Looking at Tokens Transferred, which is the number of Bitcoins transferred on the network, this indicator has been trading up ever since early August.

If the value of Token Transferred goes up and the fund flow ratio for all cryptocurrency exchanges goes down, it again “implies that huge OTC deals are ongoing.”

Based on these on-chain indicators that estimate OTC deals going under the hood by institutional investors, large OTC deals are happening, and they point out that “institutions are continuing to buy BTC.”

So, much like this week, which saw several levels and all-time highs getting breached, we could continue further up.

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Author: AnTy

“Outrageous Demand” for Bitcoin & Crypto from Retirement IRAs

  • Grayscale continues to add Bitcoin to its stash, currently holding 570,860 BTC.
  • In the past six months, GBTC’s holdings have grown by 56% to represent more than 3% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply.

As we reported, Michael Sonnenshein, Managing Director of the Grayscale Investments, said the most extensive digital assets manager had seen inflows that “are now probably up 6x what they were last year.” Sonnenshein said in an interview on Thursday,

“It’s some of the world’s largest investors and the allocations that they’re making are bigger than we’ve ever seen before and their time horizon for this is generally something over the medium to longer-term.”

This growing demand can be further seen in the premium that people pay to get exposure to digital assets through Grayscale.

GBTC shares are currently trading at a premium of more than 30%. This premium has been slowly grinding up since early October, when it was just around 6%. However, we are nowhere near the 132% premium people paid in March 2017. On-chain analyst Willy Woo said,

“Wow 33% GBTC premium, that’s outrageous demand for Bitcoin via retirement IRAs.”

“If I was a Euro Pacific shareholder I’d be wondering why the company is not getting in on that obvious growth business. Like Kodak revolutionized photos until one day it didn’t run towards digital.”

However, it’s not just Bitcoin that Grayscale users are after. The premium on other products is even higher than GBTC except for its BCH product, which is actually on a discount (-13%).

ETHE is trading at 170% premium, ETCG 43%, and LTCN at the most significant 2,259% premium. Trader and economist Alex Kruger said,

“When crypto heats up, premiums to Net Asset Value (NAV) for Grayscale products skyrocket.”

“Driven by dumb money buying Grayscale products from a brokerage.”

Grayscale is currently holding 2.94 million ETH, 948.34k LTC, 12.29 million ETC, 225k BCH, 35.65 million XRP, 18.94 million XLM, 192.7k ZEC, and 450.11k ZEN.

In an attempt to protect the average folk by restricting access to asset purchases, SEC has ended up creating “a racket where the many subsidize the few,” said Alex Kruger. Because primary issuance is for accredited investors, an average person has to buy in the secondary market to pay a premium.

The institutions that are buying GBTC do so directly from Grayscale at a 2% fee with a 6-month lock-up but gain a premium twice a year.

The crypto market has repeatedly pointed out that more competition and ETF getting approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission will push these premiums down.

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Author: AnTy

This Election Week is Won by Markets; US Dollar Under Pressure with Risk On

On Thursday, the price of Bitcoin went nearly to $16,000 and is currently holding around $15,500. Having rallied 20% this week, the digital currency seems to be now in consolidation mode providing the altcoins the chance to surge.

These gains came during the US election week, which helped the leading digital currency beat major asset classes this year.

With 115% gains in 2020, Bitcoin exceeds gold’s 28% returns and S&P 500’s 8.60%.

Everything is aiming for their all-time highs following the Nov. 3 election as Joe Biden’s lead strengthened with the possibility of a Republican Senate. Such an outcome of a split government, according to some, could lead to an increase in fiscal stimulus.

“We still anticipate that there will be a fiscal package in excess of $1 trillion next year,” said James Knightley, chief international economist at ING Group in New York.

Besides the escalating pandemic and looser monetary policy, the sliding greenback helps push the digital asset higher as investors seek stores of value.

The dollar has its worst week since March, and according to Kit Juckes, a strategist at Societe Generale, “If you had to write a playbook that would get people to say ‘I need an alternative to the dollar,’ this whole process fits that story.”

During the period BTC rallied, the risk-on backdrop triggered a sell-off in the dollar, which fell to a 2018 low.

“Gold, silver, and Bitcoin have worked like a dream in the weak U.S. dollar environment and has attracted huge client interest,” wrote Chris Weston, head of research with Pepperstone Group Ltd., adding, further weakness in the dollar would encourage “an even more constructive view” on both gold and Bitcoin.

Crypto markets also have a history of wild swings, and it is currently on its third such cycle, riding a tide of liquidity.

Mania isn’t Here Yet

In the stock market, tech stocks are rallying on expectations that key progressive goals like antitrust reforms won’t be implemented by Biden.

According to Goldman Sachs analysts, financial services companies will also benefit from better capital markets and a lower likelihood of tighter regulation.

Already, more than $4 trillion has been added to global equity markets this week, putting it on track for the third-biggest week of 2020.

And with this, investors are back into pouring cash into global markets with a force that hasn’t been seen in months. The same is happening in the crypto markets, which added about $50 billion during the same period.

This can be seen in the open interest in Bitcoin options, which is reaching $4 billion. As per CME’s latest COT report, short interest from hedge funds has made a new all-time high, the same as short interest from dealers and intermediaries.

According to on-chain analyst Willy Woo, Bitcoin is not topping; rather, it will see more bullish action after consolidation.

As for the price action that we have recently, it was the “most organic pump” instead of a squeeze from derivatives traders as a “ridiculous amount of coins were scooped up and moved off to individual wallets,” — the largest one day scoop up in 5 years.

Before the pump started, the influx of new HODLers has been “through the roof,” the kind of momentum last seen in Oct. 2017, just one month before the mania started.

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Author: AnTy