Big Uptick in 1k BTC Addresses Shows Institutions Bought the Dip

Big Uptick in 1k BTC Addresses Shows Institutions Bought the Dip; Goldman Sachs says Still Just 1% of Institutional Money

Despite the healthy pullback, more correction cannot be ruled out yet but $30k will be protected because many institutional investors bought around this level.

Bitcoin is taking a breather and hovering around $35,000 after the deep pullback earlier this week. This profit-taking at an ATH of $42,000 was expected after Bitcoin rallied more than 1,000% from the March 2020 lows.

“There’s signs that retail investors are taking profit,” said Ryan Rabaglia, OSL’s global head of trading. “Heightened volatility is often correlated with an uptick in retail participation.”

The market is particularly focusing on the US Dollar Index right now, which has been gaining strength, currently hovering around 90.

“We think a pullback is healthy,” said David Grider, the digital strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors. According to him, the recent price action doesn’t indicate that Bitcoin has topped out.

However, further losses can’t be ruled out either, with miners continuing their selling while no significant stablecoin inflows in the picture. No outflows are seen from Coinbase either; as a matter of fact, BTC is flowing into exchanges.

On the basis of this, “We might have second dumping,” said Ki Young Ju, CEO of data provider CryptoQuant.

Still, $30k will be protected, and in the event of a dip, we might not go down below $28k because “there are many institutional investors who bought BTC at the 30-32k level,” Young Ju added.

These institutions were actually into buying the dips that came on Sunday and Monday. The large amounts of BTC holders that can be seen as a proxy for institutional adoption “increased significantly” since the start of 2021. This jump in address with at least 1,000 BTC shows that this institutional adoption is here to stay.

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However, according to Goldman Sachs’ Jeff Currie, the level of institutional investment in the market is still very small though “the market is beginning to become more mature.”

“The key to creating some type of stability in the market is to see an increase in the participation of institutional investors, and right now they’re small,” said the investment bank’s head of commodities research on CNBC., adding that the investment in BTC is, “roughly 1% of it is institutional money.”

While for institutions, Bitcoin is a hedge against fiat debasement and risk of inflation, as it emerges as a store of value, for some, it is a way to fix economic injustice as well.

“For the first time in history, we have a Plan B option to the current financial system which has seen years of redlining, racial discrimination and other egregious acts by retail banks to the Black community,” said Isaiah Jackson, author of “Bitcoin & Black America.”

According to him, Bitcoin gives Black people an opportunity to not only shift their money but also their mindset because the world’s leading digital currency is unconfiscatable and has no barrier to entry.

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Author: AnTy

ConsenSys Rolls Out MetaMask for Institutions to Bring DeFi to Crypto Funds & Custodians

Ethereum software company ConsenSys has announced a new offering of MetaMask that allows institutions, including crypto funds, custodians, and professional traders, to access decentralized finance (DeFi).

MetaMask is a popular Ethereum wallet with over 1 million monthly active users who recently introduced a token swap feature and increased privacy level.

With DeFi space exploding in 2020, growing to over $14 billion, “Custody providers increasingly seek exposure and access to the diverse, decentralized finance opportunities,” noted ConsesnSys.

According to the firm, professional trading firms’ current process to use the attractive DeFi protocols is inefficient; they are introducing an institutional-grade version of MetaMask.

ConsenSys is working with the digital asset security provider Curv which also announced Curv DeFi for institutions that will integrate MetaMask. Curv Co-Founder and CEO Itay Malinger said,

“Since there is no reliable and secure institutional solution for DeFi, organizations are reverting to retail-level use of MetaMask or custom integrations with individual apps as a workaround.”

“We believe by combining our unique multi-party computation (MPC)-based security infrastructure with MetaMask we will be able to play a significant role in the institutional adoption of DeFi.”

Curv is ConsesnSys’s first launch partner, and it will be collaborating with other custodians and professional trading firms.

Scams Promoted via Google Paid Ads

In other news, MetaMask informed its users about the new scam targeting crypto users – rotter seed phrase attack. These malicious pre-phishing scams are being promoted via paid ads on Google linked to fake versions of wallet websites.

In this attack, a malicious website mimics the original wallet’s website and imitates its onboarding flow. Toward the end of the fake onboarding process on the fake website, the user is instructed to backup their seed phrase previously generated by the scammer.

The user is then taken to the wallet’s real website, where they are instructed to install the wallet and import the rotten seed phrase whose access is with the scammer who waits for the user to add funds to their wallet and then drains the accounts.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin’s Moon Target Set at $318,000 in Dec. 2021 by Citibank Report

With Bitcoin turning bullish, the mainstream institutions are also taking a special interest in the leading digital asset. The latest is Citibank, whose bitcoin technical analysis sees lofty price targets at over $300k per BTC by the end of 2021.

Thomas Fitzpatrick, Global head of CitiFXTechnicals product, the author of the report, traces the historical price performance of Bitcoin, which reflects that timeframes for the rally are getting longer, which puts this rally to peak in December 2021 at $318k.

“Improbable though that seems it would only be a low to high rally of 102 times (the weakest rally so far in percentage terms),” with arguments in favor of Bitcoin at their most persuasive ever, he wrote.

The report notes how Bitcoin is all about “unthinkable rallies followed by painful corrections” but a type of pattern that sustains a long term trend.

As such though it’s to be seen if such lofty levels will be hit, “the price action we are looking at clearly suggest the potential for a major move higher nonetheless in the next 12-24 months,” reads the report whose snippets were first shared by trader and economist Alex Kruger.

Although “this kind of technical analysis is of little value,” Kruger noted, “what matters here is Citi’s clients being exposed to the bitcoin moon.”

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Citibank compared the digital asset’s first rally that took it to the mainstream with gold, which similarly “was allowed to float in the early 1970s after 50 years of trading in a $20-035 range.”

And that was a “structural change in the modern-day monetary regime” ushering in a world of fiscal indiscipline, deficits, and inflation. As for Bitcoin, its move happened in the aftermath of the Great Financial crisis.

In 2020, with all the MMT, gold is likely to gain from this, but the author of the report noted that gold has restrictions such as storage, non-portable, and could possibly be even called “yesterday’s news” in terms of a financial hedge.

“Bitcoin is the new gold,” reads the report.

The leading digital asset has a limited supply, is easy to move across borders, and offers opaque ownership. But the author also says that Bitcoin may be subject to more regulatory constraints going forward.

The report further mentions CBDC, which though a much more effective mechanism for distributing stimulus, “makes capital confiscation easier.” In both the scenarios, Bitcoin will give us the digital equivalent (Bitcoin versus Fiat digital) of what we saw in the 20th century when the financial regime changed (Gold versus FIAT paper).

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Author: AnTy

US Regulator Authorizes National Banks and Federal Saving Institutions as Crypto Custodians

U.S. regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC), allows federal banks and national savings institutions to officially custody cryptocurrencies for their customers. The statement released on July 22, confirms that any national bank or savings facility can now hold on to unique cryptographic keys of cryptocurrencies in their vaults pertaining to custody services.

According to the statement, the decision to allow banks to offer crypto custodial services follows a growing demand by investors to safely store their cryptographic keys, which, if lost, capitulates the value of the assets. This news opens up the field to large banks to provide these services, relieving current state-chartered crypto custodians such as Coinbase and Gemini.

Nonetheless, crypto custodial services differ from the traditional custody services banks offer, the statement explained. Given that the digital assets are not physical, digital wallets will be required to safely store the cryptographic keys.

The release, which comes a month after the OCC asked for public input on Crypto and DLT, further states that the increasing technological innovations in the financial world call for “banks and other service providers to leverage new technology and innovative ways to provide traditional services on behalf of customers.”

A modern form of traditional banking activities

Discussing the new regulation, the author of the statement, Jonathan V. Gould, the Senior Deputy Comptroller & Chief Counsel, claimed that cryptocurrency custodial services Is a new form of already existing asset custodian businesses of national banks.

The OCC permits national banks and savings to hold their customers’ cryptocurrencies in both a fiduciary and non-fiduciary role. Banks holding crypto in a fiduciary capacity will need to manage them in the same way as they manage other assets while non-fiduciary capacity targets holding cryptographic keys that control the actual transfer of the cryptocurrency.

Manage your cryptocurrency risk

Brian Brooks, the current head of OCC and a former executive at Coinbase, however, warns on the risk management of custody services across national banks. Focusing on customer assets protection, Brooks said,

“This opinion clarifies that banks can continue satisfying their customers’ needs for safeguarding their most valuable assets, which today for tens of millions of Americans includes cryptocurrency.”

The statement concludes by warning custodians to focus on risk management techniques, due diligence, and KYC/AML compliance as they begin the operations on holding crypto assets. No specific recommendation of customers was provided in the statement with banks open to deal with crypto institutions, as recently seen with JPMorgan onboarding Coinbase and Gemini.

This, however, should be done with the thought that cryptocurrencies do hold their risks and challenges. It states,

“A national bank or FSA engaging in new activities should develop and implement those activities consistent with sound risk management practices and align them with the bank’s overall business plans and strategies as set forth in OCC guidance.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Compound’s DeFi Craze Continues As Institutional Crypto Custodian, Curv, Opens Up Support

Curv, the crypto custody startup, is using the Compound protocol to help institutions earn passive income on their crypto assets. The startup has gained popularity among asset managers, exchanges, and other institutional clients. However, as of now, only deposits are made possible on the platform, and Curv said that as it reaches more people, it would add borrowing of crypto assets as well.

Curv integrates Compound protocol in its platform, which allows these institutional investors and hedge fund managers to lend their crypto assets and use smart contracts to earn passive income or withdraw loans in any ERC-20 tokens.

Josh Schwartz., Curv Chief Operating Officer, commented on their decision to integrate Compound in their platform and said:

“We got requests for it maybe about two, two-and-a-half months ago. The Compound is the first DeFi integration. They’ve seen a lot of growth lately, and they lead the way with 40% of DeFi value locked up in their protocol. Compound has a long list of institutions who would love to interact with them but need a secure stack to do so.”

The COO also highlighted that they had to build a separate policy engine to integrate Compound’s Ethereum-based smart contracts on its platform.

Curv is currently in an expansion mode and opened its first office in Asia in April of this year with an office based in Hong Kong in association with Japan-based Crypto Garage. The firm also raised $23 million in Series A funding round, which attracted investment from the likes of Coinbase Ventures and the investment arm of Germany’s Commerzbank.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Bitcoin Doesn’t Need Mass Institutional Adoption, Just 1% Would Do the Trick

Institutions are increasingly getting interested in bitcoin, about a third of big asset managers currently own bitcoin, revealed a recent survey by Fidelity. Also, just last month, billionaire Paul Tudor Jones divulged that he has about 2% of his portfolio in bitcoin.

These are growing times where people recognize the world’s digital currency as the hedge against inflation, fiat debasement, and unprecedented money printing.

The white whales of cryptocurrency, institutional investors, have “long been considered the most significant barrier between Bitcoin and a multi-trillion dollar market capitalization,” said Messari analyst Ryan Watkins.

In anticipation of their hopeful arrival, firms are investing billions of dollars in building infrastructure to serve them, and partnerships are picking up “as the perfect storm appears to be brewing for investment in Bitcoin.”

According to him, a horde of large institutional investors isn’t necessary to take bitcoin to the moon, just one percent is enough to pump its market capitalization to over $1 trillion and price to $50,000.

Currently, institutions have invested only a small percentage of their assets in bitcoin primarily due to regulatory uncertainty along with hacking, fraud, and unpreparedness of the infrastructure. In his latest analysis, Watkin tested a hypothetical scenario,

“What would inflows from a 1% institutional allocation to bitcoin look like?”

This allocation involved billions of dollars in double and triple digits from endowments & foundations, family offices, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, and mutual funds.

This much inflow could see an impact of 2x to 25x increase in the price of bitcoin and take the flagship cryptocurrency to a new all-time high of $50,000 and into the trillion market cap category.

But as we saw over the past decade, in which bitcoin has been the best performing asset, there were no institutional investors, and bitcoin has made new highs thrice purely on retail interest.

So, bitcoin may not even need institutions to succeed in the future, and retail is already increasingly jumping in amidst the economic and currency crisis. This coronavirus pandemic, political risks, and fiscal policies will also drive the institutions to it.

Moreover, retail will come rushing back and start FOMOing once the market begins seeing typical BTC moves.

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Author: AnTy

Japan’s Multi-Billion Asset Bank, Nomura, Launches Crypto Custody with Coinshares, Ledger

One of Japan’s oldest financial institutions, Nomura bank, announced the launch of Komainu, a digital assets custodial service aimed at financial institutions, in partnership with cryptocurrency fund manager, Coinshares and hardware wallet manufacturer, Ledger.

The service aims at offering a KYC/AML compliant and secure platform for institutions to store their crypto assets.

Nomura, with over $230 billion in assets under management (AUM), represents the largest bank yet to become a custodial service provider. Big banks are finally getting their hands dirty in the digital asset space, competing with nascent companies such as Coinbase and Gemini.

The Komainu Custody Service

The Komainu project, licensed by the Jersey Financial Service Commission, will be led by the CEO and co-founder of Coinshares, Jean-Marie Mognetti. The executive board comprises different experts in the financial field, including former fund manager at Credit Suisse Group AG, Kenton Farmer, as head of operations.

The former head of cyber defense at Banco Santander, Andrew Morfill, will be chief information officer and Susan Patterson, formerly at UBS and Credit Suisse will head the regulatory and compliance department.

Mognetti believes the Komainu platform will open up the field for more industrial partners to join the crypto field by harnessing the expertise of all the three partners. He further said:

“Komainu bridges the gap by bringing financial expertise and capabilities for institutional clients to feel confident their assets are in safe hands.”

Focus on KYC/AML Compliance

Institutional investment heavily ties digital assets custodial services choice to its ability to secure the capital raised and regulations observed, CEO of Ledger, Pascal Gauthier, said in a statement. He further added that failure meeting any of these requirements would “weaponize the digital assets against them.”

The competitive advantages that Komainu brings to institutions – KYC/AML compliance and secure cold storage services – aims to bridge this gap between traditional finance and digital assets. Jezri Mohideen, Global Chief Digital Officer at Nomura, aims at building the custodial service “as a regulated and secure digital asset custody solution” for its clients.

Further Efforts in Blockchain Development

Nomura Bank’s investment into the Komainu project signals a growing interest in the digital assets space by the largest financial institutions in the world. Previously Intercontinental Exchange’s, Bakkt, and Fidelity Investments were the highest-ranking regulated banks offering digital assets custody.

However, Nomura’s interest in blockchain technology has not started recently. For example, the Komainu project was first launched in May 2018, with the bank forming a Japanese Blockchain Alliance in early 2019.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Institutional Grade Crypto Custodial, Copper Technologies, Joins Global Central Bank Think Tank, OMFIF

Institutional-grade crypto custodian, Copper Technologies, joins the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum’s (OMFIF) Digital Monetary Institute (DMI) as a founding member. The non-profit organization launched in May 2020 aiming at formulating economic policy, public investment and central banking ideas for new and improved digital payment instruments.

Copper Technologies joins DMI as founding member

The London-based crypto firm becomes the latest founding member of DMI joining Giesecke+Devrient Currency Technology GmbH, Cypherium Blockchain and multinational bank, ING Group. The mission of the association is to provide an open platform for discussions and research on digital payment systems and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

The Institute will be publishing regular data, convening meetings with experts on new digital developments and innovations.

The statement from Dmitry Tokarev, CEO at Copper Technologies, showed delight in joining “policy makers, technologists, financiers and regulators” to develop new ideas and policies in the digital finance world. According to Dmitry, the OMFIF DMI forum opens up a gateway for public and private organizations to collaborate in “creating open and productive discussions” on the future of global finance and the opportunities digital payments offers. He added,

“As more and more institutions are beginning to see beyond the 2017 retail-driven image of the space, the real and long-term value of crypto, and blockchain more generally, becomes apparent. OMFIF has the potential to advance this cause, and move the needle on how the entire financial system views crypto.”

Copper Technologies promises an institutional grade custodial service with a keen eye on “accessibility, security and aligned compliance” aiming to bridge the gap between the digital asset world and the traditional finance systems.

Governments accelerated efforts

Governments, central banks and financial regulators across the globe are accelerating their efforts for a digital payment system in the wake of COVID-19. The spread of the pandemic through physical contact has shown the need for increased innovation in digital cash systems.

Moreover, the announcement of the Facebook-led Libra token also forced central banks to look into developing their own CBDCs. In his welcome statement to Copper Technologies, David Marsh, Chairman and Co-Founder at OMFIF addressed this saying,

“Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) has become a more pressing priority for central banks, first with the unveiling of Libra by Facebook, and more recently with the challenges of distributing financial help to citizens during the COVID-19 crisis.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

BitMex Research Suggest Bitcoin Ecosystem is Thriving With Diverse Development Work

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the financial institutions have come to a standstill and governments around the globe are pumping and printing fiats at their will to keep it going. Bitcoin, the decentralized digital currency which was created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis also registered a massive drop of almost 50% leading to panic selling.

Apart from the price drop, the Bitcoin network has also seen falling hashrate input, decreased mining difficulty which created a sense of uncertainty among many. However, a recent report from BitMex Research suggests that Bitcoin is going strong and the network is healthier than that of 2014.

The research report suggests that the development of the Bitcoin network is getting stronger not just from the Bitcoin core community, but the contribution has poured in from different walks of the crypto ecosystem who are continuously working to make the network more scalable.

Lightning Lab and Blockstream Biggest Contributors

Source: BitMEX Research

The BitMex report revealed that Lightning Lab and Blockstream are the biggest contributors to the Bitcoin network. Both these platforms have continuously worked on scaling the sidechain solutions. Bitcoin’s scalability has been one of the biggest talking points in recent times and layer 2 solutions in the form of lightning network and liquid are being actively developed as a sidechain to contain the congestion on the main network.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Square app comes in the third position in terms of their contribution to the Bitcoin network. Square is well-known for its belief in the lightning network and has worked in accordance with them to make it more reliable and user friendly.

The research also makes note of independent developers contributing to the network and believe there are at least 33 core developers working on the platform, but there are many other anonymous contributors as well which cannot be easily tracked.

Altcoins Do Not Enjoy Same Diversity in Development

While it’s very evident from the research that the Bitcoin network still attracts a lot of developers both known and unknown to its platform, the same does not hold true in the case of altcoins. The research report revealed that the development community for the majority of the altcoins is quite centralized.

Ethereum and IOTA top the list with over 100 developers working on the foundation tram. While centralization in the developer team has its drawback, it also ensures a clear vision for the platform which streamlines the flow of development and subsequent progress of the network.

As for the financial aspect of the development, the exact details of the funding is obscure as contributions pour in from many non-profit organizations like Chaincode Labs and MIT DCI, while the likes of Square and Blockstream has raised significant amount as well.

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Author: James W

4 Major Financial Institutions Invest In Series-A for Ethereum-based Platform FundsDLT

  • Financial Institutions in Europe have teamed up in a series A funding of FundsDLT.
  • The FundsDLT supported on Ethereum would help streamline the whole investment sector making it cheaper and more efficient to both clients and Asset managers.

Some major titans in the European financial industry have teamed up to unleash a FundsDLT. This is a Blockchain platform tailored for the investment space. The dream team comprising of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, Credit Suisse Asset Management, Natixis Investment Managers, and Clearstream announced a joint series A funding for the FundsDLT.

The project was an initiative of Luxembourg Stock Exchange and their affiliate Fundsquare were eventually joined by the other firms.

Based permissioned Blockchain Tech on Ethereum

Notably FundsDLT’s underlying technology is the Permissioned Blockchain Technology that is supported by Ethereum. This will afford it better performance while still prioritizing privacy. FundsDLT will essentially facilitate all the changes of the fund distributions of value chain thoroughly and consequently covering the whole funds lifecycle.

The actors in the industry inclusive of asset managers, distributors, asset servicer’s will then be able to chip off processes that they deem as surplus to the system and in that way reduce costs and ensure efficiency in the system. If transparency in the system is addressed it could go a long way in appeasing investors who are key players in the investment sector as highlighted in the announcement.

The top brass of the respective firms all seem to share the sentiment that this was indeed a milestone in digitalization of the investment realm. Luxembourg Stock Exchange and CEO Robert Scharfe, was particularly excited on the prospect of their brainchild being at the epicenter of the whole ecosystem.

“The Luxembourg Stock Exchange has played a catalyzing role in this development, and it is exciting to see the expanding ecosystem around FundsDLT.”

Credit Suisse lead on Asset Management Switzerland and EMEA Michel Degen was confident that FundsDLT would streamline the whole process making it cheaper and more efficient which is a win -win for both customers and managers of assets.

Whereas Joseph Pinto, Chief Global Operating Officer of Natixis Investment Managers is convinced that Blockchain technology will be instrumental in digitalization of the whole financial sector.

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Author: Lujan Odera