Bitcoin Overcomes Technical Hurdle; Ethereum Prints 7 Consecutive Green Monthly Candles

Before moving into the weekend, Bitcoin started seeing traction and made its way past $58,500.

As of writing, we are still keeping around $57k on the back of very low funding rates. The highest Bitcoin funding rate is currently 0.0376% on Binance despite the price of Bitcoin increasing by about 11.5% to its highest level since mid-April.

Low funding rate has been the case ever since April 17, when over a million traders were liquidated for $10.1 billion. The funding even further minimized after another $4 billion were liquidated on April 22nd.

The same has been the case for ETH funding rates which are the highest at 0.056% on OKEx, while the price continues to hit a new all-time high — up 44% in the last 8 days to climb to $2,955.07 today and 0.052 BTC on Friday.

With seven straight green months in a row, Ether had its largest-ever monthly close. ETH 0.19% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 2,951.18
$5.610.19%
Volume 28.03 b Change $5.61 Open $2,951.18 Circulating 115.71 m Market Cap 341.49 b
11 h Bitcoin Overcomes Technical Hurdle; Ethereum Prints 7 Consecutive Green Monthly Candles 1 d Binance Smart Chain (BSC) TVL Reaches $45 Billion, Catching Up Fast to Ethereum 2 d “Institutional Money is Moving Toward Ethereum,” says Guggenheim’s Scott Minerd

With funding remaining flat, it means the rally is being led by spot buying, which makes it more sustainable and less prone to get wiped out by a brutal liquidation.

Open interest on Bitcoin futures also has yet to recover as it is currently at $19.8 billion, down from $27.68 billion on April 13. OI on Ethereum futures meanwhile continues to increase, perched on a record $8.5 billion, up from $2 billion at the beginning of this year.

Amidst all the positive action, hedge funds on CME that have been record short on Bitcoin since late last year to earn all the yield have also decreased their short exposure. Overall, the net short position has fallen to early March level.

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The latest price action has helped Bitcoin surpass the technical hurdle of its 50-day average price. According to traders, Bitcoin’s move above $57,000 is a bullish sign for further continuation, but it needs to be seen if it will be able to maintain this level.

Trader SmartContracter sees the current momentum to take bitcoin to $74,000.

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Interest in both Bitcoin and Ethereum continues to grow, especially the second-largest cryptocurrency, which has its big upgrade, London hard fork, with EIP 1559 coming in July. As we reported, Rothschild bought the shares of Grayscale Ethereum Trust for the first time in Q1, and Guggenheim’s CIO shared that money is also flowing into ETH and other credible cryptos.

Assets in Bitcoin products, including ETFs and ETPs, meanwhile have reached a record high of $9 billion at the end of the first quarter, as per ETFGI.

“If you make an investment today or you make an investment in early December like we did, you have to expect multiple 20% to 30% pullbacks in the bull-market phase,” Troy Gayeski of Skybridge Capital said this week on Bloomberg. “But that being said, I mean, the combination of extraordinary supply growth, we still think we’re in the early innings of the adoption cycle.”

Meanwhile, Mike McGlone of Bloomberg continues to see Bitcoin’s diminishing supply combined with the historically low interest rate and a substantial amount of money being pumped into the system to act as catalysts to take it to $100,000.

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Author: AnTy

Tesla has Already Made $1 Billion on its $1.5 Billion Bitcoin Investment

Tesla has Already Made $1 Billion on its $1.5 Billion Bitcoin Investment

Equity analyst Dan Ives expects about 5% of public companies to follow the same route as Tesla until more regulatory clarity comes.

The electric car company has doubled its Bitcoin investments in less than two months.

The leading digital currency made another all-time high at about $58,360 on Sunday, appreciating more than 14x in value since the March 2020 low. These gains helped Bitcoin become a trillion-dollar asset.

This week, however, the market is experiencing a sell-off after a 71.5% uptrend this year.

Bitcoin’s rally, before this recent pullback that went into action over the weekend, has racked up Tesla’s profits worth $1 billion, according to estimates by Dan Ives, an equity analyst at Wedbush Securities. Ives wrote in a note published Saturday,

“Based on our calculations, we estimate that Tesla so far has made roughly $1 billion of profit over the last month from its Bitcoin investment given the skyrocketing price of Bitcoin, which now tops a trillion of market value.”

At the time of the announcement in January, when the BTC price was between $30k to $40k, the company didn’t specify when or at what price it bought Bitcoin. But Tesla is ready to make more from its BTC investment than by selling the cars throughout the last year.

The company “is on a trajectory to make more from its Bitcoin investments than profits from selling its EV cars in all of 2020,” he added.

Tesla, whose CEO is Elon Musk, who repeatedly tweets about Bitcoin and cryptos, also announced at the time of Bitcoin investment that it would soon begin to accept the cryptocurrency as payment for its products.

As the Crypto Twitter (CT) has been calling and hoping, the analyst also expects other companies to follow in Tesla’s footsteps. Ives said in the note,

“While the Bitcoin investment is a sideshow for Tesla, it’s clearly been a good initial investment and a trend we expect could have a ripple impact for other public companies over the next 12 to 18 months.”

However, per him, less than 5% of public companies will take the same route at least until more regulatory clarity comes around.

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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

SEC Commissioner Urges to ‘Embrace’ the Personal Financial Liberty as Crypto & DeFi Gains Adoption

Commissioner Hester M. Peirce of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made new remarks on Thursday urging regulators to honor the right to financial freedom.

Talking about the digital assets sector, Peirce, who is known as ‘Crypto Mom’ in the industry, said crypto-regulation is one area where “intersection between personal liberty and regulation looms large.”

She noted the new challenges posed by crypto because they are rooted in a key principle of people’s fundamental right to engage with one another without a trusted third party. At the same time, regulators are used to dealing with intermediaries “because they are easy to grab hold of and regulate.”

Peirce discusses how these challenges are growing as crypto evolves while the SEC struggles with the issues with their regulatory nature.

Now with the explosion of decentralized finance, they “will pose thorny questions and decisions for us in the coming years.”

Reembrace national passion for personal freedom

Peirce remains an advocate for the crypto industry. Once again, she wants regulators to “figure out a way to embrace the personal liberty principles undergirding it,” especially now that crypto is gaining adoption outside and inside the legacy financial system. She said in her speech,

“If we were instead to steamroll the technology’s liberty-enhancing features under the weight of regulation, we would lose a lot of the power of the new technology to afford opportunities to people whose autonomy has previously been curbed by.”

According to her, regulators are using climate policy as a disguise as it “does not raise the same kind of fears that other types of central planning would.” Peirce said,

“The decentralization of crypto is the opposite of central planning, which is making something of a comeback, with financial regulation as one of its primary tools. After an unsuccessful history, people would reject central planning out of hand unless it came in a disguise. The disguise of the day is climate policy.”

Directing these efforts through financial regulation will only make the capital markets less effective and more brittle at serving all sectors of the economy.

The crypto-friendly SEC commissioner also touched upon the accredited investors, which requires a person to be wealthy or have a high income. Although the accredited investor category has been expanded slightly, Peirce added,

“the presumption that people need to entreat a regulator for permission to invest still offends principles of personal liberty, which allow people both to earn and spend money as they see fit.”

Today’s “well-intentioned regulations” are very much in tension with personal liberty, and Peirce wants the regulators to “reembrace our national passion” for individual freedom.

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Author: AnTy

Former Coinbase Exec Nominated by President Trump to Lead US Comptroller of the Currency

President Trump has made several nominations, amongst them being that of the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC), where former Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Brian Brooks is currently at the helm acting capacity. He has now been nominated to serve in a permanent position for the next five years, should the lame-duck senate approve his appointment.

Brooks assumed his acting role at the OCC in May after Joseph Otting resigned from the position, prompting Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to replace him. Before this, he had served as Coinbase’s general counsel, a background that made stakeholders optimistic of a more crypto-friendly OCC. Unsurprisingly, Brooks has introduced significant changes in line with Fintech and crypto services.

One of his office’s most popular moves was the announcement that regulated U.S banks could offer crypto custodial services. Since then, U.S banks have loosened their gun-shy approach towards crypto with some launching services in this niche. The OCC also announced in September that these financial institutions could further extend their services to stablecoin providers.

In a recent Forbes interview, the acting OCC head elaborated some options that payment companies, including crypto, can pursue to receive a federal bank charter. Per the breakdown by Brooks, firms can acquire this charter by applying for a non-depository bank charter, National Trust Bank Charter, or buying a depository institution.

Confirmation Still Uncertain

With the U.S elections just recently concluded, the Brooks appointment by outgoing President Trump could face some challenges if the senate does not act before Jan 20. This is when President-elect Joe Biden is expected to assume office, which means he could nominate another person for the position.

Notably, Brooks has faced a backlash from the Democrats in the past, especially with handling the COVID-19 pandemic. His appointment will first go through the U.S banking senate committee, which will hold a confirmation hearing before a decision is voted in the senate.

Meanwhile, Brooks has already welcomed the nomination by President Trump, noting that he will continue to advance the mission of the OCC if confirmed,

“As Acting Comptroller of the Currency, I am proud to contribute to this 157-year-old mission.

If confirmed, I will work ceaselessly to ensure the agency continues to fulfill its critical mission and the men and women of this agency have the resources, training, and leadership they need to succeed in their duties.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Capital Influx in Bitcoin Is The Highest its Been Since the Last Bull Market

Over the weekend, the price of the Bitcoin fell to the $15,700 level, but today, we made another attempt to test high levels. Going back to nearly $16,400, currently, Bitcoin is trading in the green with $1.85 billion.

According to on-chain analyst Willy Woo, Bitcoin is shaking off the bearishness technicals that make short and mid-term on-chain fundamentals bullish as more coins get scooped off exchanges still. This means more users arriving, indicating a buy the dip scenario.

This price action is rather organic, means instead of dominated by short term derivative traders, it tracks closely with investor capital entering and leaving.

The Realised Price of BItcoin, which estimates the average price the market paid for their BTC, is currently at its steepest slope for this cycle, “meaning capital influx into Bitcoin is at its highest rate since the last bull market,” said Woo.

Given that it is higher than last year’s $4k-$14k move, the current move signals to be more organic.

BTC-Realized-Price
Source: @Woonomic

“If you missed 2013 and 2017 bull markets: current bitcoin price rise to $16K is just a small taste of what will come next. We are just warming up,” said analyst PlanB.

As we reported, after JPMorgan’s bullish view of Bitcoin, Citibank released a report where it set the moon target for BTC at over $300,000 by December 2021, calling it the gold of the 21st century.

Already, the aggregate open interest (OI) continues to rise to new highs with that of the regulated venue, the CME, not lagging behind its peers either, a critical factor to consider.

“The outperformance is led by venues that provide stablecoin margined futures as opposed to Bitcoin margined products. As a result, the market is in a much healthier condition than it would have been if the said movement into stablecoin margin products did not happen. This leads to belief that higher levels will be achieved with much less strain on the market,” said Denis Vinokourov of Bequant.

The market cap of stablecoins has exploded this year, with that of the largest one, USDT surpassing $18 billion. All this dry power could further help the market run higher when prices start trending up again.

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase Expands its Regulatory Compliance Team with Two New Hires

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has made two new additions to its growing legal and compliance team. The company hired Milana McCullagh as Vice President, Deputy General Counsel for Product and Commercial, and Katherine Minarik as Vice President, Deputy General Counsel for Litigation.

Both the new hires will help drive Coinbase’s momentum to ensure its internal and external operations remain regulatory compliant.

While Milana spent over a decade at Google supporting the tech giant’s some of the most notable products, Katherine previously has been with Dyson, Cleverbridge, and over a decade at Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott law firm. Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer, wrote,

“One of our key priorities at Coinbase is to be trusted as we create an open financial system for the world.”

A Hiring Spree

Coinbase is currently hiring for many roles, 182 to be exact, across different departments, including security & privacy, legal & compliance, international expansion, data, and engineering. The exchange is also hiring a Director for the position of Belonging Inclusion & Diversity. The job description reads,

“This individual will be responsible for owning, executing, and advancing our newly refreshed BID Strategy, which rests on the vision that every employee feels they belong and can succeed.”

This remote job for the USA follows its CEO Brian Armstrong’s apolitical mission statement, for which, while he received support, he also got a public backlash.

This led 5%, about 60 of its employees, to accept a company’s severance package to employees that aren’t comfortable with Armstrong’s position.

The previous head of belonging, inclusion, and employee experience, Tariq Meyers, left over the summer for unclear reasons. Meyers was one of Coinbase’s senior Black employees. Before Armstrong made his political mission public, there have been reportedly a walkout of an employee because of an internal Ask-me-Anything session about Black Lives Matter.

Now, for the new head of BID, the person is required to take a data-driven approach to get “an understanding of BID’s impact on culture and the Coinbase experience” and then “leverage” all the new and existing data to attract and select talent & further grow and retain it.

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Author: AnTy

Strong Institutional Demand for Bitcoin, CME Becomes Second Largest BTC Futures Market

Bitcoin’s price made a big shift this week as the bulls gained control of the market and pushed it past $13,000.

A similar shift has been seen in the open interest recorded by the bitcoin trading platforms. The biggest change has obviously been in derivatives exchange BitMEX, which has been seeing a constant decline since earlier this month when CFTC brought down criminal charges against it.

From 55k BTC OI on Oct. 1st, it fell to 28k BTC yesterday, a decline of nearly 50%.

In USD terms, the OI has dropped from $781 million in late Sept. to under $600 million, but the recent jump in BTC price helped it get back above it but barely.

Interestingly, CME enjoyed a good uptick during the same period, showcasing strong institutional demand for bitcoin.

With $790 million in OI this month, the OI on CME recorded a growth of almost 130%, from $345 million on Oct. 2nd. And this uptrend helped the regulated trading platform become the second-largest futures market for bitcoin.

“The OI on the CME BTC futures has climbed aggressively lately. CME is currently the second-largest futures market for bitcoin, holding 15.7% of the total OI in the BTC futures market. This is still slightly below CME’s record share of the total market OI from August of 16.2%,” noted Vetle Lunde, an analyst at Arcane Research.

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Another crypto exchange seeing an incremental exchange in OI is FTX, which saw an increase of just over 103% from $166 million at the beginning of this month to $337 million.

Other exchanges Deribit (+79%), Binance (+72%), ByBit (+44.5%), Kraken (+41.4%), Bitfinex (+35%), OKEx (+25%), and Huobi (+18%), all recorded an uptick as well but of small percentage compared to CME.

Unlike others, Bakkt’s 50% wasn’t sustainable, and it continues to move up and down while keeping below $18 million.

Markets are healthy, not just OI, but solid activity has been recorded across spot, futures, and options as well. The big session has been the result of PayPal announcing support for cryptocurrencies.

Also Read: ‌PayPal Exploring Acquiring Crypto Companies, Already in Talks with Bitcoin Custodian BitGo

And with this, futures are no longer in backwardation.

“Bitmex, bybit BTC futures are now higher than spot ($10-25). An interesting shift of market sentiment. People are finally starting to become bullish. But that doesn’t mean this is the top. It can take weeks or months for the top to happen. Funding rate will be the key indicator,” noted trader Crypto Squeeze.

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Author: AnTy

Biggest Challenges Ahead for Crypto as Regulators Declare War on Privacy & Self-Custody

The start of the new quarter saw a slew of regulatory moves targeting the cryptocurrency space – “we’ve made the world stage,” which Fundstrat Global Advisors LLC believes is good for the overall crypto market because it’s just regulators “clearing up bad actors.”

While the “prevailing bull market trend is intact,” the ideological war over self-custody & privacy means “our biggest challenges still lie ahead,” said Jake Chervinsky, general counsel at Compound Finance.

As the crypto market continues to grow, the change is now coming.

Policymakers have taken a stern approach to KYC and AML on a global scale intended to prevent criminals from abusing the financial system.

With the goal that “crime doesn’t pay,” AML regulations deputize the “gatekeepers” financial institutions to act as government agents such as identify customers, surveil transactions, and file reports with the government.

Although AML regulations break down in the context of cash, which govt. are trying to get rid of it, it has its limitations because cash works only in-person and isn’t easy to move in large amounts over long distances.

As such, regulators are much more concerned about digital transfers.

Pursuing Crypto Aggressively

Up until now, they weren’t concerned much because, in their belief, crypto’s main utility comes from conversion into fiat, they can track crypto transfers via blockchain fairly easy, and there isn’t much criminal activity in crypto.

But, over the last year, as bitcoin gained geopolitical significance & fiat-pegged stablecoin volume exploded upwards, governments are now concerned about both illicit activity & the threat to their monetary sovereignty, noted Chervinsky.

Now, they’re enforcing AML regulations more aggressively.

As we saw in the case of BitMEX, which not only got tagged by CFTC for unregistered derivatives trading as expected, but DOJ also turned the case criminal, which “doesn’t happen often.”

The key takeaways from this action are that not only law enforcement and the regulators are paying attention to what you do, but those non-U.S. entities may also be subject to U.S. laws and willful ignorance or violation of US AML laws is serious, said Phil Liu, chief legal officer at Arca.

The Main Challenge

Last week, DOJ released a framework to cryptos where it described anonymous transactions as “a high-risk activity…indicative of possible criminal conduct” and an ominous warning in the form of “anonymity enhanced cryptocurrencies” for exchanges.

This war over privacy and restricting access to crypto is global as the international standard-setting body for AML regulation FATF said in June that the “lack of explicit coverage of peer-to-peer transactions…was a source of concern.”

“Swiss Rule” is already prohibiting self-custody “in the guise of verifying the owner of a private key.” And just last week, BIS said in its report on CBDCs that “full anonymity is not plausible.”

With FATF red-flagging hardware wallets, Europol prioritizing privacy wallets, and UK’s FCA banning crypto derivatives, the situation is serious.

“I fear we’re heading for a world where withdrawing crypto from exchanges to self-custody is restricted as a means of attacking privacy,” said Chervinksy, which according to him, is the main challenge for the crypto market for years to come.

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Author: AnTy

Binance’s Plan to Return to Japan Falls Through The Cracks As Deal With TaoTao Collapses

In a report first made public by Coindesk Japan, Binance exchange’s deal with Japan-based crypto trading exchange, TaoTao, has fallen through. According to the statement, the two companies have called off the strategic alliance that could see Binance services return to the island nation.

The largest global cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, announced in 2019 they will be restricting their services to Japan residents with increased scrutiny from the Financial Service Authority (FSA). In January this year, BEG reported Binance was in a strategic alliance agreement with TaoTao, the crypto exchange wing of Z Corporation. The two latter firms are under Z Holdings, the firm in charge of the Yahoo Japan enterprise.

After nine months of discussions, the deal has been abandoned, however, the statement from TaoTao, released Monday, did not give a clear explanation as to why the deal was abandoned.

Binance announced its restrictions to Japan residents shortly before the discussions with TaoTao began. Trading services to Japan-based clients will continue as normal in the future.

Binance is also facing a possible lawsuit in Japan after the locally-based crypto exchange, Fisco (formerly Zaif), which was hacked in 2018, that claimed over $9 million in crypto stolen was transferred and withdrawn from their platform. Binance has yet to comment on the alleged money laundering claims from Fisco.

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Author: Lujan Odera