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.”

image1

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

Is Bitcoin’s Store of Value Narrative Really in Danger with its Correlation with Stocks on Rise?

While Bitcoin is holding $10,000 firmly, it did slide to nearly $10,400 on Friday following the news of President Donald Trump testing positive for coronavirus.

And so did the stocks by 1%. This has been because of Bitcoin’s correlation with the S&P 500, which is just above +47%.

This, according to some means, BTC is “a mature, highly-correlated asset that does poorly during episodes of political uncertainty.”

While gold did exactly the opposite of Bitcoin’s, uptrending to $1,917 and its one-month correlation with BTC declining to -20% down from the peak of +76.3% on Sept. 19, as per Skew, today, the precious metal moved back under $1,900.

Bitcoin, meanwhile moved above $10,550 today, trading in the green.

Also, as trader Qiao Wang said, “Bitcoin is up 44% in the single most politically uncertain year of my life outperforming virtually every single macro asset class.”

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The markets, in general, are uncertain and directionless ahead of elections in the first week of November, which means October is expected to be choppy.

“We need more clarity on the election cycle and additional stimulus to help get things moving again in equities — and also in Bitcoin,” said Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer of CoinShares. “Bitcoin has stayed range-bound despite a slew of positive news, largely because there is not enough inflation due to weak aggregate demand. We need Bitcoin’s behavior to match its narrative before we see a breakout.”

For the leading cryptocurrency, in the last few days, several incidents curbed its upside but didn’t drag it on the downside either. The third biggest $281 million KuCoin exchange hack and CFTC bringing criminal charges on popular crypto derivatives platform BitMEX only added pressure to the market sentiments, which have turned to “fear” this month.

In the near term, bitcoin is expected to stay range-bound. But an environment of limited upside for equities and bonds could benefit the digital asset, as per Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, Mike McGlone.

“Bitcoin is unique due to its limited supply, which unlike most assets isn’t influenced by prices, tilting the bias toward appreciation,” said McGlone. Moreover, it “appears as the leader in the early days of a paradigm shift toward digital money and stores of value. It may fail, but we see that as unlikely.”

He further said the coin is “growing up fast,” with many of its adoption indicators positive.

Over the past three months, the long-term supply bands in HODL waves that show BTC supply shift over time have been growing, signaling Bitcoin’s use as a store of value – a positive sign for the long-term health of the network.

The percent of BTC supply held for at least one year also continues to grow, going to its highest level since 2012 at over 63% on Sept. 30th. Additionally, the number of addresses holding at least 0.1 BTC had a noticeable uptick since March, suggesting more users might be joining the largest network.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin’s Realized Cap Adds $43 Billion Since the 2017 Peak to Hit A New ATH; A 60% Increase

While the price of bitcoin is struggling around $10,000, although still holding strong to the key psychological level, Bitcoin realized its cap has hit an all-time high.

Compared to the $197 billion market cap of the leading digital asset, which takes into account the current price and circulating supply, the realized cap has reached $115 billion.

Realized cap values each coin at the time they were last moved, as such, serving as an estimate for investors’ aggregate cost basis. This metric eliminates some of the lost, unclaimed, unused coins from the total value or “an indicator of the sum of levels where groups of long-term, legit, buyer-hodlers entered into their Bitcoin positions, with local and immediate emotions and manias stripped out.”

Since BTC price hit the peak at $20,000 in 2017, the realized cap has grown by a whopping $43 billion, an increase of 60%.

glassnode btc realized cap at ATH
Source: Glassnode

Meanwhile, on the price front, after falling to $10,150 level yesterday, today we are back around $10,400, the pre-drop level. Traders are expecting this correction to extend further to fill the CME gap at around $9,700.

“Bulls want to reclaim $11.2k. Bears want to see price below $10.2k,” noted one trader.

Interestingly, despite the selling pressure, there has been a lack of aggressive liquidations, and the bitcoin futures curve has been flat for much of this month.

Meanwhile, unlike spot and futures trading volume that remains subdued with the total open interest on bitcoin futures also falling to $3.8 billion, OI on bitcoin options reclaimed its ATH before the expiry of 88,000 contracts this week.

What needs to be noted is these pullbacks are nothing new for the bitcoin market. As we have reported, during the last bull cycle, Bitcoin had several pullbacks of 30 to 40%.

Moreover, historically, September hasn’t really been a bullish one for the digital asset. Not to mention, the macro environment is also at play here, with the Supreme Court Justice seat vacant now after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, delayed stimulus, and Presidential election just a month away.

While a stimulus before the elections is unlikely to come, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell argued for Congress to do more to support the economic recovery the same as Charles Evans, Chicago Fed president.

Quarter four of 2020 can bring a new wave of gains as it has been historically a green month, and after a pullback, the digital asset is expected to recover the losses and surge higher.

“BTC ranges between 10k and 11k for the rest of the year. This would be amazingly bullish,” said analyst Wolf.

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Author: AnTy

Altcoins Get A Beatdown While Bitcoin Remains Stable Just Under $11,000

The crypto king, bitcoin, is holding strong around $10,900 after it started uptrending over the weekend.

From $10,200 on Sunday, the digital asset has been making its move up, climbing to $10,950 today. At the current price of just above $10,900, 83.68% of the addresses holding BTC, which are 26.38 million, are in profits.

Trader SalsaTekila noted that “yesterday night gold pumped from this exact hour, BTC then followed.”

The precious metal jumped to $1,970 level, keeping to its range, which is getting smaller, formed after hitting the new all-time high at $2,070 in early August. Meanwhile, the USD index is struggling around the 93 level.

“At a certain point when Bitcoin gets big enough (I’d say above $1T), it will shed its risk-on factor, then its fundamental gold-like properties moves front and center,” noted on-chain analyst Willy Woo on bitcoin’s short-term correlation with the equity market.

And then, “even our 4-year cycles will get locked into the gravitational pull of the ~10 year cycles that macro markets exhibit,” he said.

For now, besides the altcoins and DeFi’s losses supporting flow into bitcoin, MicroStrategy’s acquisition of 16,796 additional bitcoins helped the digital asset maintain its resilience.

Altcoins’ Experience a Hangover after the Bull Party

Trading in the green with $1.8 billion in ‘real’ volume, the dominance of BTC has also taken to trend up. BTC dominance has been on a constant decline since early May when it was at 69% to the 15-month low of 59% on Sept. 13. But the weakness in alts has bitcoin’s dominance riding up over 61%.

While Bitcoin is looking stronger, the altcoin party has died down.

Among the top cryptos, Ether is down 4% at $363 with other notable mentions, including LINK and BNB; both are down 9% while TRX dropped 8%.

In the DeFi world, the top loser is CREAM, which fell by 40%. Interestingly, today Binance announced trading for the DeFi token against BNB and BUSD.

Other notable mentions include bZx Network (28%), SUSHI (-21%), CRV (-20%), SWRV (-15%), SNX (-14%), LEND (-12%), YFI (-11%), and UMA (-10%).

Unlike the price of these DeFi tokens, the total value locked in the sector increased to $8.9 billion, as per DeFi Pulse.

Users continue to deposit in these new projects, especially in Swerve, whose TVL has jumped to $953.8 million, and KIMCHI, whose deposits are currently at $1.8 million. Other projects that see an increase in their TVL today are Mooniswap, YFII, ForTube, DODO, CREAM, Yearn, and Maker.

Some of the cryptocurrencies are still moving north in the current red environment, including Pickle (50%) and LUNA (7%).

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Becoming Unusable Due to Being Super Slow or Insanely Expensive

  • Ethereum price is holding just fine as ETH slowly makes its way towards $400. Currently trading around $388, the digital asset has seen an increase of 62% in the past month.
  • Investors continue to be bullish on this uptrend as more and more traders go long on the crypto asset.

The ever increasing ETHUSD longs have reached $700 million in notional volume, spiking 10.5% in the past ten days, and 127% in the past three months.

However, Ethereum’s daily active addresses have hit a 67-day low, closing out at 351.3k addresses transactions on the network. The last time Ether’s DAA was this low was on June 7th.

This is possible because of the ever-increasing network fees.

The network fees are going insanely high as such more than 42% of the miner revenue is currently deriving from the network fees. And it makes sense that the hashrate of the Ethereum Network has also grown to November 2018 high.

On-chain transaction fees on Ethereum that first outpaced Bitcoin in June have extended this gap to $1 million a day now.

The second-largest network is working at full capacity with the gas used nearing all-time highs, which have been making new records every other day. But all this usage is making the network too slow to use or too costly.

The average fee per transaction on Ethereum had reached $7.43, the highest since 2015, when the network was launched. Median transaction fees, which stayed below historic highs of $3, have also gone up to $3.89, as per Blockchair.

It was in mid-July when transaction fees started to soar on the network coinciding with the surging activity in the DeFi world.

The median gas price that has spiked to 41.39 Gwei, with average gas price at 223.68 Gwei, has been because of decentralized exchange Uniswap V2, most popular stablecoin Tether (USDT), and DEX aggregator 1inch which have been the top gas guzzlers, as per Etherscan.

Other prominent gas users include Chainlink that continues to hit new ATH, Curve DEX that is seeing explosive growth, and just launched, collapsed, and is on to launch another version, Yam.

All the activity has pushed the pending transactions on the network to reach 176,431; this congestion further drives the fees higher.

While Ethereum developers are working on reducing fees and scaling the network, the solution remains months away.

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Author: AnTy