George Soros Owns Bitcoin, But CEO says It’s ‘Less Interesting’ Than DeFi Use Cases

George Soros Owns Bitcoin, But CEO says It’s ‘Less Interesting’ Than DeFi Use Cases

According to Dawn Fitzpatrick, Bitcoin has “crossed the chasm to mainstream” and sees CBDCs to be here “quicker than people expect.”

Soros Fund Management, the family office of billionaire investor George Soros has invested in Bitcoin, reveals the CEO Dawn Fitzpatrick.

In an interview with Bloomberg this week, Fitzpatrick talked about the Fund with $27 billion in assets under management owning BTC, but only some.

“From our perspective again, we own some coins, not a lot, and the coins themselves are less interesting than the use cases of DeFi and things like that.”

While there have been previous reports that the Soros Fund had started trading Bitcoin and has also been an investor in the space through NYDIG and Lukka, this is the official confirmation from the CEO.

“I’m not sure bitcoin is only viewed as an inflation hedge. Here I think it’s crossed the chasm to mainstream.”

She pointed to the cryptocurrencies market cap, which has surpassed $2 trillion, and more than 200 million people around the world being involved in crypto to support the fact that “this has gone mainstream.”

As Soros being a Bitcoiner spread the market, Bitcoin price went to hit a five-month high of $55,700 and claim back the status of being a trillion-dollar asset class.

While Bitcoin is leading the crypto market right now, altcoins also see gains sending the total crypto market cap to almost $2.4 trillion.

Besides crypto, Fitzpatrick also commented on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), saying they are “going to be here, I think quicker than people expect.”

According to her, China’s digital yuan would be a “potential threat to other bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” But this will only be temporary, “I don’t think they’ll be successful in permanently destabilizing bitcoin,” she added.

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Author: AnTy

“This Isn’t Just BTC Anymore,” It’s Digital Assets Creating an Ecosystem of New Opportunities: BofA

“This Isn’t Just Bitcoin Anymore,” It’s Digital Assets Creating an Ecosystem of New Opportunities, says Head of BofA Global Research

Bank of America has finally launched coverage of cryptocurrencies due to “growing institutional interest” and the massive appetite among retail clients.

Candace Browning, head of global research at BofA Securities, shared in an interview with Bloomberg that the number of corporates mentioning crypto on their earnings calls has increased to about 147 in the most recent quarter, from merely 17 in the last year.

“This isn’t just Bitcoin anymore, this is digital assets and it’s creating a whole ecosystem of new companies, new opportunities, and new applications.”

The bank has published its first research coverage focused on crypto titled “Digital Assets: Only the first inning” while noting that the industry has grown to over $2 trillion with more than $200 million users. The “digital asset universe is too large to ignore” now.

BofA’s cryptocurrency research coverage for which the team was appointed in July is headed by former tech analyst Alkesh Shah, the bank said.

“This is growing, this is mainstream, and it’s not just Bitcoin.”

In other news, Inuit Inc., the maker of QuickBooks and TurboTax software which recently acquired privately held email marketing firm Mailchimp for $12 billion, has launched a new venture arm to invest in emerging financial technology, including crypto.

Talking about crypto’s role in Intuit’s future and just how excited the company is about the nascent asset class, Sasan Goodarzi, CEO of Intuit, told Bloomberg that “It’s important to intentionally place your bets on the future.”

He believes betting on emerging, and unproven trends is important because some will work and some won’t. Also, it gives an opportunity to pick great talent, he added.

“We believe crypto and blockchain will play an important role,” said Goodarzi, noting they are all about making sure that everything that they do is about making customers manage their cash flow, only to add, “but they (crypto) are going to play an important role.”

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Author: AnTy

Govt. Doesn’t “Do Banking Well,” JPMorgan CEO says It’s All About Transparency, Rule Of Law, And Governance

Govt. Doesn’t “Do Banking Well,” JPMorgan CEO says It’s All About Transparency, Rule Of Law, And Governance

Jamie Dimon says Bitcoin is “going to be regulated” and sees speculation due to the “tsunami” of money flows and liquidity to send it to $400,000 in five years.

While banking giant JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has no love lost for Bitcoin and continues to blast the leading cryptocurrency, he can still see the digital asset rising 10x in value in coming years.

As of writing, Bitcoin is trading just above $43,400, and a 10x jump would mean BTC would be worth $430k by 2026 end.

Dimon shared his views on Bitcoin in an interview with the Times of India, where he yet again criticized the cryptocurrency, saying, “I don’t really care about Bitcoin.”

According to him, “people waste too much time and breath on it.” Not to mention, he doesn’t know if it’s an asset, foreign exchange, or a currency.

What he does know is that the cryptocurrency “is going to be regulated” because “governments regulate just about everything.”

Bitcoin, he further said, would be subjected to securities laws “that will constrain it to some extent.” Personally, he’s not a buyer of bitcoin and thinks,

“if you borrow money to buy bitcoin, you’re a fool.”

But at the same time, “that does not mean it can’t go 10 times in price in the next five years,” and the billionaire CEO doesn’t care about that.

Dimon compared the crypto asset to beanie babies, tulip bulbs, and internet stocks, saying,

“Speculation happens in every market around the world… So, I don’t know why there is a surprise with a lot of speculation, particularly when there’s as much liquidity in the system.”

While Dimon personally hasn’t shown interest in the cryptocurrency publicly, the bank has started to allocate to the market and allowed its wealthy clients to invest in the asset class.

During his interview, the CEO also talked about the fear of inflation which he said is a “legitimate concern” because “the world has embarked on massive amounts of quantitative easing and fiscal stimulus. They are powerful drugs into the system.”

But with growth being the antidote for everything and money printing driving growth, he sees inflation as transitory.

“The stock market anticipates healthy growth and earnings. The bond market may not anticipate that, and that may be because the flows of money and liquidity are so high — it’s like a tsunami coming over them.”

He further commented on banking, which he says governments “don’t do well.” As for bank privatization, he said it’s about “transparency, rule of law, ability to operate governance, accounting, all those various things,” which, if done right, could provide “very vibrant banks.”

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Author: AnTy

Another Futures-backed Bitcoin ETF Filed for “Significant Investor Protections”

This time it’s from Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital under the Investment Company Act of 1940.

Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital has filed for a Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the SEC.

The Fund will not invest directly in Bitcoin rather in the futures trading on the regulated platform CME.

This prospectus has been filed under the Investment Company Act of 1940, much like four other applications from VanEck, ProShares, Valkyrie, and Invesco, after SEC Chair Gary Gensler signaled openness to futures-based ETFs that provides “significant investor protections.”

The SEC, however, has yet to approve a single crypto ETF while several, in double digits, have been filed with the US regulator.

Unlike the physically-backed ETF that would track Bitcoin more closely, “Bitcoin futures ETFs, if approved by the SEC, could cost investors 5-10 percentage points in annual returns by rolling contracts from one month to the next, potentially limiting their appeal,” wrote ETF Analysts for Bloomberg, Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart in a note.

Galaxy also filed for a Bitcoin ETF in April and is the sub-advisor to the CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF, which has $256 million in assets along with the CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF, which has almost $510 million in assets.

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Author: AnTy

Tanzania’s Central Bank says It’s Working on President’s Directive to Prepare for Bitcoin Adoption

Tanzania’s Central Bank says It’s Working on President’s Directive to Prepare for Bitcoin Adoption

The central bank of Tanzania said it is working on President Samia Suluhu’s directive to prepare for cryptocurrencies, which could reverse the ban put on digital assets in 2019.

The new president came to power in March after the death of her predecessor John Magufuli and is much more open to foreign investment than him. Earlier this month, she said the arrival of crypto assets in the East Africa nation was inevitable.

“In the financial sector, we have witnessed the emergence of blockchain technology or cryptocurrency,” Hassan said during the opening of a new central bank branch in Mwanza this month.

“Many countries in the world have not accepted or started using these currencies. However, I would like to advise the central bank to start working on those issues. Just be prepared.”

These comments came not long after El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender.

Back in November 2019, Tanzania’s central bank banned crypto, saying they were not recognized by local law as legal currencies, and warned its citizens to stay away as they might lose money if they invested in such speculative assets.

But now, the Bank of Tanzania is adapting following the president’s comments.

“The bank is working on the directives given,” a central bank spokesperson told Reuters this week but declined to give further detail.

The spokesperson didn’t share if they plan to adopt existing cryptocurrencies or look to issue their own central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Tanzania Bankers’ Association chairman Abdulmajid Nsekela welcomed the President’s push for the $63 billion economy that relies heavily on cash transactions.

“The most challenging element for regulators is to be caught by surprise by innovations,” he said, adding: gradual preparations would help them assess the risks and come up with ways of addressing them in advance.

However, analysts warned that progress might be slow because while the change in tone from the president is clear if it’s to be seen “whether the central bank will take concrete steps towards embracing cryptocurrencies,” said Faith Mwangi, an analyst at Tellimer.

Similar moves to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender is being made by Paraguay and Panama as well.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin and Ether Options Market Experiences a Boom

While it’s all supply and demand in the long term, in the shorter term, options flow can “definitely drive” some of the price action.

The cryptocurrency options market continues to get bigger and bigger.

Last month, an average of $1.4 billion in notional amounts changed hands every day at the largest options exchange, Deribit. This represents a 13-fold increase from last year. Institutional investors represent some 80% of flows on Deribit.

Open interest in Bitcoin totals $6.1 billion, 186.6k BTC, as of writing. Deribit accounts for 85.42% of this OI. OI on Bitcoin options has increased from less than $2 billion a year back but is down from an all-time high of $14.77 billion on March 18.

OKEx, CME, LedgerX, and FTX all have less than 4% market share, while Huobi has only 0.2%.

When it comes to Ethereum, Deribit has a 92.61% share of its OI market at 1.42 million ETH out of the total 1.53 million ETH. OKEx, Bit.com, and Huobi have a market share of 4.18%, 3.14%, and 0.05%, respectively.

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ETH options market had come a long way over the past year when the OI was a mere $170 million, which climbed to a peak of $7.4 billion on May 12.

As we reported, even Goldman Sachs is now moving into Ether derivatives.

This growth of the options market has money managers and retail traders selling crypto options for yield, a common strategy in mainstream assets, and a sign that the industry is growing up fast.

In this trend, options are sold for yield in a wager that crypto price swings will be lower than the market has priced in, similar to earning premiums on an insurance policy.

“In the absence of interesting yields for these alternatives, option strategies become more relevant,” said Deribit chief commercial officer Luuk Strijers.

Hedge fund manager Shiliang Tang of $130 million LedgerPrime has earned a 78% return this year on his flagship fund in the options market and running systematic strategies like price arbitrage and momentum across exchanges.

“Option flow can definitely drive some of the shorter-term price action,” Tang said. “Longer-term, it’s still supply and demand.”

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Author: AnTy

US ETFs’ Record Inflows, Bitcoin Weekend Volatility, & Crypto Mining Machines on Sale

It’s the weekend, and the crypto market is volatile yet again.

For the past few weeks, weekends have been bearish, and the same is true this time as Bitcoin price trades around $35k, as it continues to chop between the $32k and $42k range. Eth is also down at $2,400, and the total market cap is around $1.5 trillion.

Amidst this, on Friday, Scott Minerd, the CIO at Guggenheim Partners, decided to impart knowledge with which the crypto market has already been familiar, having seen for weeks now.

Minerd, known in the crypto community for his bad takes on Bitcoin price, warned crypto investors of a volatile weekend.

The crypto market would have liked to share similar warnings about the traditional stock market as the US Dollar index took a spike to 90.44, but unlike crypto, they are not open 24x7x365.

The latest slump in Bitcoin price isn’t really affected by anything, although a lot is still going on in the market. With volume low, especially over the weekend, it is easier to move the prices.

According to Ian Rogers, chief experience officer at Ledger SAS, volatility is a feature and not a bug for cryptos; as he explained in his interview with Bloomberg, during volatility, people go from Bitcoin and into stablecoins and back into BTC when they think the cryptocurrency has bottomed.

“If you’re investing in cryptocurrency, it’s a long term game,” which means a time horizon of four years as crypto as an asset class overall “will grow for the foreseeable future,” he added.

The Money Flow

While China remains a risk to the price in the short term, there is no clarity from the country on banning crypto mining. Chinese state media, meanwhile, is collectively launching attacks on highly leveraged futures and quoting screenshots of Binance futures.

Additionally, miners remain cautious and have been moving overseas. Miners are also selling their equipment that has the Antminer S19’s cost drop from their previous highest point of $12,000 to now a minimum of $8,000, and continue to decline as more and more machines are being listed for sale.

This selling is by miners who “are worried about the government’s subsequent anti-mining policy,” noted local publication Wu Blockchain.

Bitcoin hash rate, however, isn’t showing any notable weakness, currently at 142 Th/s, down from about $171 Th/s all-time high from May 13, as per Bitinfocharts.

At the same time, US President Joe Biden is preparing for a big $6 trillion budget for the next fiscal year, sending the valuation of risky assets even higher.

All the money printing due to loose monetary policy has led to investment into US exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to rise to record levels, $324 billion in the first four months of this year, as per Refinitiv data. This is an increase of 180% from the same period last year.

The Joe Biden administration’s proposal to increase the U.S. capital gains tax also fuelled interest in ETFs. Besides tax liabilities, what makes ETFs attractive are their lower fees, benign passively managed, and redemption mechanism called “in-kind transfer,” which doesn’t involve paying cash but rather delivering the asset precluded from being taxed.

“The relaxation of the exemption rule requirements has allowed ETFs to be structured to cover narrower segments of the market such as marijuana stocks, ‘high conviction’ stocks, crypto-focused, etc.,” said Warren Ward, founder of financial planning firm Warren Ward Associates. And when one can have a basket, why would one choose a single stock, he added.

This growth can also be seen in Bitcoin ETFs and Ether ETFs in Canada, and such products in the US are expected to have similar spectacular results, but the SEC is yet to approve a single one.

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Author: AnTy

Paris Hilton Reveals She is a Bitcoiner, says “It’s Definitely the Future”

Paris Hilton Reveals She is a Bitcoiner, says “It’s Definitely the Future”

“Original influencer” Paris Hilton is a Bitcoiner and has been for a while, revealed the socialite and entrepreneur in an interview with CNBC this week.

While Hilton has been busy with the non-fungible tokens (NFT) recently, she is very excited about the leading digital currency and has invested in it.

“I’m very, very excited about (Bitcoin)… It’s definitely the future.”

Hilton is definitely not new in the cryptocurrency industry, and the crypto community was quick to point out that “she’s more OG than all the hedge fund managers who entered in 2020.”

Early on Saturday, Hilton also changed her profile picture with laser eyes.

Currently, Hilton’s interest is in NFTs, in which she got involved last year. “I did my first NFT in March of 2020, and it won the NFT Charity Award, the best one of the year.”

In 2021, NFTs exploded in the scene as artists started to make a fortune out of them.

“To see it just blow up in the past couple months has been so exciting, and I’ve been working together with some incredible artists and doing my first drop in a few weeks.”

Her upcoming NFT is about art, and after that, she will be launching one about music and memorabilia. What’s amazing to her is the endless possibilities with this, and she said she is “learning so much.”

According to her, “it’s amazing that artists can really take back their power,” and all of this has her “fascinated” with it.

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Author: AnTy

Morning Brew Replaces Gold with Bitcoin Because Simply Put It’s “Noteworthy”

Morning Brew Replaces Gold with Bitcoin Because Simply Put It’s “Noteworthy”

“We think our Markets section will be more relevant with bitcoin in it,” says the daily newsletter with over 2.5 million traffic.

“The time has come,” announces Morning Brew as it adds Bitcoin to its markets section and removes gold.

The daily newsletter website with over 2.5 million visitors gives its subscribers a stock market recap every morning, a few short briefs on the most important business news of the day, and a small section with lifestyle content.

On Tuesday, the company announced that they have “finally” added Bitcoin because “Simply put: Its price is noteworthy.”

It then goes on to note how the flagship cryptocurrency has grown tremendously as an asset over the last decade. During this time, it has been “earning wider acceptance among Fortune 500 companies, institutional financial firms, and individual investors alike,” it says.

“We think our Markets section will be more relevant with bitcoin in it.”

This makes sense given that the price of Bitcoin has risen about 14.5x from the March 2020 low, surging to a new ATH of nearly $62,000 this month. Up more than 100% YTD, BTC is currently trading around $58.7k.

On the other hand, gold is down 9.56% this year so far, currently at $1,685 per ounce.

The precious metal along with oil has been removed from their market’s section to make space for Bitcoin and a “flex” spot which any stock can take, it could either be a tech stock or “Dogecoin (DOGE),” whichever asset made a notable move the day before.

Morning Brew has also put Bitcoin in its bio and clarifies that this in no way is an endorsement of BTC rather simply recognition that finance is changing just like anything else, and they want their newsletter to reflect that.

“All these changes were made to make the market data you read in the morning, more relevant, more timely, and more useful Now go ahead and party on bitcoin bulls, the day is yours,” it concluded.

In other news, Chipotle is also promoting Bitcoin, putting it in its bio and tweeting “bitcoin anyone?” which apparently is part of their “Burritos Or Bitcoin” giveaway of $200,000 to celebrate National Burrito Day, making Chipotle the first U.S. restaurant brand to offer a cryptocurrency giveaway to consumers. Or it could be an elaborate April Fools day prank since the contest takes place on April 1st. But either way, it is drawing a lot of attention to Bitcoin.

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Author: AnTy

Brad Garlinghouse on Asia: Business As Usual For Ripple Despite SEC’s XRP Lawsuit

According to Ripple Labs CEO Brad Garlinghouse, it’s business as usual for the blockchain company in Asia despite its issues with regulators in the U.S.

Asian Market Keeps XRP Afloat

The San-Francisco digital payments firm, which is in a legal tussle with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the classification of its XRP token, says the case hasn’t had much of an effect on its operations.

During a guest talk show with network news Reuters, Garlinghouse said that its Asia interests were still thriving despite the ongoing legal storm. To him, the clear regulatory signposts in the Asia-Pacific nations have made it easier for Ripple to model its digital products to the taste of regulators.

Talking down the impact of crypto exchanges delisting its digital currency in America, Garlinghouse said that XRP was traded in 200 exchanges worldwide, and only three or four exchanges ever listed the virtual currency in the United States. Garlinghouse explained,

“We have been able to continue to grow the business in Asia and Japan because we’ve had regulatory clarity in those markets.”

Garlinghouse and Ripple have witnessed some wins in the past months. Ripple had initially suffered a slump following the lawsuit in December but has since rallied, with the majority of the crypto market posting strong gains. It also announced a pilot for its central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) private ledger targeted at countries interested in digitizing their fiat currencies.

The CBDC Private Ledger is an offspring of its XRP Ledger (XRPL) technology and will run on the same blockchain the digital currency uses.

The private transactions logbook is created for large payments and will help central banks issue and maintain their digital currencies.

When the lawsuit was made public, large crypto houses like Coinbase and Kraken delisted the XRP cryptocurrency from their exchanges. But Asian exchanges continued to list the struggling crypto-asset.

Ripple has a good working relationship with APAC countries like Japan and Thailand, according to Garlinghouse. The cryptocurrency company is said to be in partnership with Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings. The Japanese powerhouse is already planning to leverage Ripple’s digital payments expertise to establish itself in the Asian continent.

Garlinghouse also spoke on the apparent lack of regulatory goalposts to guide corporate holdings of digital assets. To him, the SEC’s continued aggression will only end up stunting the growth of the crypto industry in the US.

Gensler Expected To Bring Regulatory Clarity

The Ripple case which has dragged on for months and may likely last longer, has seen crypto lawyers wade in on the discussion. Joseph Hall, a legal practitioner at David Polk’s law firm and former SEC commissioner, reportedly said the SEC was being biased in its suit against Ripple and its top executives.

Hall pointed out that Ethereum and Bitcoin sharing similar attributes with XRP, were confirmed as commodities by the SEC’s sister agency – the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

To him, XRP deserves the same treatment. Stating that the SEC took a long time before it made up its mind to file a case against XRP, Hall said it may not be a slam-dunk case.

At his confirmation ceremony in Congress, President Biden’s SEC Chair pick Gary Gensler promised to bring an end to the uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrencies in the United States.

Gensler is an MIT professor who teaches cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and public policy. He had previously served as the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Gensler told Congress at his confirmation hearing,

“Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have brought new thinking to payments and financial inclusion, but they’ve also raised new issues of investor protection that we still need to attend to.”

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Author: Jimmy Aki