Crypto Market in Recovery Mode After ‘Fake’ News Volatility Amidst Increased Regulatory Scrutiny

The mainstream media outlets decry crypto after jumping fast on the fake Walmart press release announcing support for Litecoin payments while CT started dissecting the news right from the moment it got published and declared it “fake.”

The crypto market had a rough Monday as rumors of crypto derivatives exchange FTX being hacked floated on Twitter which turned out to be fake.

FTX CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried then took to Twitter to clarify that,

“For those who don’t know, Bitcoin withdrawal processing involves combining together UTXOs from deposit addresses etc; a few days ago we consolidated some UTXOs into an address to make processing quicker.”

Before this, Litecoin (LTC) pump and dump news shook the market as crypto asset prices experienced a bout of volatility. Today, we are back on track, i.e., upwards with Bitcoin (BTC) trading above $46k, Ether (ETH) $3,300, and the total market nearly at $2.2 trillion.

However, the mainstream media outlets picked up on the fake Walmart press release announcing support for Litecoin payments pretty quickly.

This news sent the price of Litecoin up by more than 30%, only to tumble back on the ground after it became clear that the press release sent out by GlobeNewswire was fake. Walmart spokesman also confirmed the inauthenticity of the PR.

GlobeNewswire then issued a “notice to disregard” the original release and said that a fraudulent user account was used to issue the release. A spokesperson said,

“This has never happened before, and we have already put in place enhanced authentication steps to prevent this isolated incident from occurring in the future.”

“We will work with the appropriate authorities to request – and facilitate – a full investigation, including into any criminal activity associated with this matter.”

Even the Litecoin Foundation tweeted out the fake news, which was then quickly deleted. In a statement, the Litecoin Foundation said one of their social media team members “was a little too eager” and shared the story and that they have taken steps to correct the future issues.

Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin and managing director of the Litecoin Foundation, also described the incident as an “unfortunate situation.”

The Crypto community started dissecting the news right from the moment it became public and already declared it “fake” with Neeraj Agrawal of CoinCenter noting how it was not in Walmart’s newsroom, the wire account for “Walmart Inc” didn’t post anything, and Walmart’s contact email in the PR was owned by a squatter. Not to mention, ​​the retail giant’s email domain used in the PR was registered just last month and didn’t link back to any official website.

In the aftermath, mainstream media is now talking about the industry needing regulatory oversight.

“It’s hard to know what’s legitimate in the anything-goes world of cryptocurrencies,” reads an opinion piece on Reuters.

Bloomberg also wrote that the incident “will only add to the perception that cryptocurrency is at best a play thing for investors and at worst a hotbed of corruption.”

Meanwhile, the article on Reuters talked about US regulators routinely cracking down on such scandals in the stock market and expects similar enforcement here.

“This happens with the regular stock market also. It happens a lot more with the regular stock market than with crypto,” said Litecoin creator Lee.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, meanwhile, has said it does not comment on such matters.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler has recently called crypto the “Wild West,” adding,

“This asset class is rife with fraud, scams, and abuse in certain applications. We can do better.”

Regulators around the world have already increased their scrutiny of the cryptocurrency industry and are working on trying to strike a balance in regulating the market to protect investors and punish the wrongdoers while ensuring that innovation continues to flourish.

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Author: AnTy

Jack Dorsey’s Square Starts Building ‘Mainstream Self-Custody’ Bitcoin Hardware Wallet Integrating with Smartphones

Jack Dorsey’s Square Starts Building ‘Mainstream Self-Custody’ Bitcoin Hardware Wallet Integrating with Smartphones

“We’re doing it,” said Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey, adding to his last months’ Twitter thread where he talked about his payment company Square considering making a hardware wallet for bitcoin.

Now just over a month later, Jesse Dorogusker, head of hardware at Square, said late on Thursday that they are going forward with their plan to make a hardware wallet for the leading cryptocurrency. He said in a Twitter thread,

“We have decided to build a hardware wallet and service to make bitcoin custody more mainstream.”

The plan, as Dorsey agrees with, is to have a hardware wallet for Bitcoin that integrates with smartphones.

As Dorsey announced the go-ahead with their bitcoin wallet plan, he responded that the idea is to make it so easy to use that even a grandma would be able to use it while ensuring that the company won’t be able to access these wallets.

He also said that they would be looking at adding the functionality for users to “dedicate a percentage of daily sales to auto invest in Bitcoin.”

While a lot of questions and issues to reconcile, the team is clear about the product direction, which Dorogusker said,

“bitcoin first, global distribution, multisig to achieve “assisted-self-custody, and prioritizing mobile use.”

Square will be moving on to the next step, which involves building a small, cross-functional team. And for this, they are hiring for key roles in hardware, software, security, and business and looking for people who want to “build mainstream self-custody” with them.

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Author: AnTy

City of Williston North Dakota Adopts Crypto Payments for Utility Services

Following mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies as a payment option, the City of Williston is joining a posse of US states accepting crypto payments.

Crypto Payment Cost-Effective

According to an announcement posted on its website, the North Dakota city said it would be accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment option. However, this would be limited to utility bill settlements only.

But it says it has plans to enable other bill payments soon. The city will conduct quality assessments to know if there is market demand for crypto payment in areas like landfills, permits, and licenses before supporting them.

Speaking on the initiative, Finance Director Hercules Cummings said the state is exploring the digital payment method to keep pace with a fast-changing financial landscape. Cummings said that it is also trying to meet growing market demand for these services and cater to users of all types.

He noted that digital payment methods like cryptocurrencies brought about convenience, cost savings, and security. Cummings stated the affordability of crypto payments, noting that Bitcoin payments attracts1% transaction fee against 3% from other payment options.

The City of Williston has selected Bitcoin payment company Bitpay as a partner.

Aside from crypto payments, the City of Williston said it would also be accepting fiat, checks, credit card, and automatic payment methods. This will see them support consumer payment platforms like Google Pay and Apple Pay.

It is also planning to add PayPal and Venmo to its virtual payment methods.

Williston Joins The Crypto Payment Wagon

Despite what many crypto investors believe about the US crypto space, there is growing interest in the volatile asset class. Across major cities in the U.S, more government officials are turning to cryptocurrencies. One of such is Miami.

The City of Miami has been pro-crypto for a long time. Its principal, Mayor Francis Suarez, has committed to making the state a crypto haven for crypto startups.

To facilitate this initiative, Suarez proposed that municipal workers should be paid with cryptocurrencies. He also said the City of Miami should begin receiving tax payments in Bitcoin.

Suarez has also reportedly hired Miami’s first CTO for crypto Saif Ishoof who he said would provide “concierge services” for crypto startups coming into the state.

In Jackson, Tennessee, Mayor Scott Conger said the city is working on paying workers in cryptocurrencies. The municipality will also be mining Bitcoin and adding it to the city’s balance sheet.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Bitcoin’s Rising Popularity Not an ‘Existential Threat’ to Gold’s Last Resort Status

Amidst the wild bull rally of 2020, several mainstream firms have commented on Bitcoin’s ability to outdo gold in the long term. In its recent report, JPMorgan also said that if Bitcoin continues to see the institutional adoption it is seeing, which has just “begun,” gold can “suffer” over the coming years.

However, according to Goldman Sachs Group, Bitcoin and gold can coexist despite the largest digital currency pinching some demand from the traditional safe haven asset. The bank said in a note,

“Gold’s recent underperformance versus real rates and the dollar has left some investors concerned that Bitcoin is replacing gold as the inflation hedge of choice.”

While the banking giant noted that there’d been some substitution, “we do not see Bitcoin’s rising popularity as an existential threat to gold’s status as the currency of last resort,” it added.

As we reported, Bitcoin flows have been increasing massively thanks to the cryptocurrency’s more than 210% rally this year. Meanwhile, the world’s largest gold ETF recorded the most significant outflow last month has not recorded any inflows. Goldman said,

“We do not see evidence that Bitcoin’s rally is cannibalizing gold’s bull market and believe the two can coexist.”

Dan Tapiero, co-founder-10T Holdings, a supporter of both Bitcoin and gold, agrees with Goldman Sachs and that there are not enough stores of value available for investors. He said,

“Non-financial market people do not understand that we have an overall SHORTAGE of stores of value available in the markets.”

“GOLD not losing its SOV premium any time soon, unlikely in my LIFETIME.”

According to Goldman, wealthy and institutional investors avoid digital assets due to “transparency issues,” and “speculative retail investment causes Bitcoin to act as an excessively risky asset.”

According to Jeff Currie, head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs, “Bitcoin is the retail inflation hedge.”

In an interview with Bloomberg, Currie said it is the copper chart that looks “similar” to Bitcoin, and what they have in common is they both are “risk-on growth proxies.”

He further added that gold remains a “defensive asset” and “there’s really no evidence” that Bitcoin hasn’t stolen demand from the precious metal.

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Author: AnTy

PayPal CEO: Entire World is Going to be ‘Digital First’ with ‘Consumers Abandoning Cash’

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said digital currencies are set to go mainstream as more merchants take a “digital first” approach to payments, which means cash is on the way out.

“The entire world is going to come into digital first,” Schulman said at the Web Summit conference on Wednesday. Merchants are moving to accept payments via smartphones and QR codes, and more customers have started to use digital wallets, which “are natural complements to digital currencies.” He added,

“So, over the long run, I’m very bullish on digital currencies of all kinds.”

These remarks came after the popular payment company announced support for cryptos just last month. PayPal is also planning to use digital currencies to shop at 26 million merchants on its network next year.

According to a recent survey by Mizuho, one-fifth of PayPal users have already traded Bitcoin on the app.

Bitcoin’s ongoing exuberance boosts user engagement, with BTC traders reporting over three times higher usage frequency than non-BTC traders. However, converting these non-BTC traders into crypto users is a challenge because only 8% say they plan to trade Bitcoin in the future on the PayPal app.

Schulman also sees China’s largest mobile-payment company Ant Financial as its biggest competitor who had “tremendous success” in the country with a digital wallet with “all elements of financial services, all elements of shopping,” Shulman said.

Drop the Cash

During the conference, Schuman said PayPal’s most significant opportunity is to move toward digital payments and away from cash. The trend that has already been happening is “accelerating” in the pandemic, and “you’re seeing an explosion in digital payments,” he said.

The USD Index has been on a decline ever since March, currently at a level not seen since April 2018 as “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell are once again on Capitol Hill begging Congress for some money.”

Meanwhile, Bitcoin has made a new all-time high, currently trading above $19,000.

According to analyst Mati Greenspan, currently, we are having a very similar setup playing out that we saw just before BTC broke through $14,000. He noted,

“The pattern resulted in an extremely rare upward breakout of an upward facing channel, despite a coinciding psychological barrier.”

While the natural thing for the market to do is have a pullback and test the lows before going for ATH, we are not in a “normal market right now,” and “the question isn’t really when we break $20,000 so much as how it will break,” said Greenspan.

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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

Why Are Only Small-Cap Coins Surging & Large-Cap Crypto’s Looking like ‘Trash’

In the past month, a lot of cryptocurrencies have popped and run a good rally. Dogecoin was covered by the mainstream media when zoomers on Tik Tok made it their mission to take this altcoin to $1 which wasn’t realized, but its volume surely skyrocketed with coins dormant for three years also getting active.

Today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk yet again gave DOGE a push after meming about Dogecoin standard eclipsing the financial standard being “inevitable.”

This week was meanwhile captured by XLM, which decoupled from Bitcoin to jump 25%. The social volume of the cryptocurrency hit an 8-month high last week, “foreshadowing this run-up.”

These greens have the DeFi token KNC seeing the “largest token age consumed spike of its ~3 year history” which was also its “largest 3-mth deviation of any of the top 100 assets.”

“Usually, a spike this large is one of the best leading indications of a long-term price direction shift,” said Santiment. These gains were the result of Kyber Network’s Katalyst upgrade and staking.

The Winner

The winner of 2020 so far, however, is Aave which is up 3,185%. The project is becoming a “VC darling” as this week, it announced the sale of $3M worth of LEND tokens to crypto funds Three Arrows Capital and Framework Ventures just a week after $4.5 million investment from ParaFi.

Aave’s native LEND token has been in high demand throughout this year with the number of daily transactions increasing by almost 10x. It’s large translation volume also hit an ATH at $26 million, double the previous peak. But soon it dropped which signals the most recent LEND rally is driven by retail investors.

However its holders are dropping, a decrease in the number of addresses with a balance means holders are realizing profits by selling their LEND tokens.

However, its growth is still more than just speculation based, “as the team has shipped innovative solutions and managed to substantially grow the usage of its lending protocol,” states The Defiant. It further notices that “on-chain indicators suggest that the current rally may be over-extended as retail users enter the frenzy and large players appear to be selling.”

Do Not FOMO

This past month, coins like Elrond network jumped 300%, Synthetix 200%, Aave 190%, Ampleforth 140%, Kava 137%, Swipe 123%, bZx Protocol 121%, VeChain 06%, LINK 95%, Celsius Network 95%, Compound 90%, Bancor 87%, TOMO 68%, THORChain 65%, Atom 62%, Cardano 51%, Kyber Network 50%, REN 47%, Algorand 44%, and Stellar 41%.

Amidst all these gains, one should refrain from FOMOing, advises economist and trader Alex Kruger. The key rule in trading is peace of mind as one can’t make good decisions if feeling FOMO, he said.

“Fine to chase if trading short-term. Have stops, move them to breakeven if trade works. If not speculating short-term, best to pick a few levels, adjust higher if price moves higher, and wait for corrections. Corrections always come. Particularly in illiquid cryptos,” Kruger said.

He added: “You’d have a very hard time not finding an asset that gives you another entry, over and over and over again.”

Moreover, what’s worth noticing is that these gains are primarily recorded by small-cap cryptos. Out of the large-cap altcoins, Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), BSV, Litecoin (LTC), EOS, and Cardano (ADA), every crypto “besides ETH and ADA look like trash,” said trader DonAlt.

“They’re bad altcoins,” said trader The Crypto Dog. “Money is flowing from old narrative bullshit (interbank settlement, digital silver) to new narrative bullshit – DeFi.”

This fund rotation, however, may turn out to be good for cryptos by being the start of another bull run.

He added: “Enough DeFi euphoria though will kickstart a bull run and eventually all of the garbage can get swept up and run with that.”

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Author: AnTy

Stock Market Madness Puts 2017 Altcoin Run to Shame

Mainstream media has time and again taken a dig at the parabolic returns experienced by the cryptocurrency market.

But the stock market is seeing something that even the crypto market hasn’t seen.

Car rental company Hertz enjoyed a 1400% increase in its share prices declaring bankruptcy.

“I’ve been trading for 7 years and I’ve never seen this stock market behave like any other market before. Even the Altcoin run of 2017, markets were over-reactive and bad news would still dump a coin,” said trader Altcoin Psycho. “This is just madness.”

This has been while the likes of Goldman Sachs compares the returns of Bitcoin and Ether with that of “Tulipmania” and equity bubbles in the Nasdaq and stating “cryptocurrencies moved beyond bubble levels in financial markets.”

As such, Goldman Sachs concluded in its client call from just a couple of weeks back, that they “do not recommend bitcoin on a strategic or tactical basis for clients’ investment portfolios even though its volatility might lend itself to momentum-oriented traders.”

They do not recommend gold either because the bullion doesn’t offer reliable downside protection and its correlation with inflation is also “very unstable.”

Retail Creates a Bubble

It wasn’t only Hertz Global Holdings Inc., that experienced such an increase, retailer J.C. Penney’s stocks have jumped 167% since May 15 and oil driller Whiting Petroleum is up 835% since April 1, are among those that have seen their shares more than double. This has been despite being in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a process allowing companies to keep operating while working on a plan to repay creditors.

Pier 1 Imports also more than doubled but is still down 97% since filing for bankruptcy on Feb. 17. Those that have begun planning or bankruptcy like Chesapeake Energy and GNC Holdings also recorded an increase of 182% and 106% respectively on Monday.

Tesla competitor Nikola Motors with zero revenue also surging over 100% is yet another indication of market exuberance.

Retail investors don’t know where to put their money and are buying big names that they recognize or have low prices. But what they aren’t realizing is that they are wagering against a court process where shareholders rarely get anything back.

Under US bankruptcy law, shareholders are the last in line, after lawyers, lenders, and vendors, to get any kind of payout.

This rally in bankrupt shares could be the result of short covering where traders who have bet against a company close their positions by re-buying shares which lifts prices and also fueled by amateur traders using platforms like Robinhood who are currently bored in lockdown and looking for quick money, reported Bloomberg.

“I’ve seen a lot of unusual micro-bubbles over the years. Cannabis. Blockchain. Fuel cells. Space. Electric cars. Etc. But I don’t think I’d have ever guessed before that *bankruptcy* itself would be an exciting investment theme,” tweeted Joe Weisenthal from BloombergTV.

Interestingly, over the last 10 weeks, not a single S&P 500 stock has been down while the economy is struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 20% unemployment rate, and riots across the US.

The Bitcoin and crypto market, on the other hand, have been holding steady for the last few weeks.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Featured in Billions Season 5 Premiere: A Signal Towards Mainstream Adoption?

  • Bitcoin, the largest crypto in market cap, is gradually finding its way to mainstream TV with the latest mention being in Billions season five.
  • The Satoshi coin was featured in the premiere episode of this finance savvy TV show and has since sparked adoption sentiments across industry stakeholders.

This BTC highlight will undoubtedly come a long way in creating more discussion around crypto given ‘Billions’ popularity in TV. The show is based on a hedge fund billionaire in constant wrangles with the U.S State Attorney who is seeking to nail him for ‘dubious’ operations.

The Bitcoin Highlight in ‘Billions’

In the new episode, BTC comes up in a discussion between the U.S Attorney and a suspect alleged to be leveraging crypto mining to commit financial fraud. An exchange ensues between the two with each making a point to support their stance towards Bitcoin. As one would expect, the U.S Attorney role in this scene paints a skeptical approach towards BTC based on the narrative that it is not backed by any asset,

“So your multitude of computers and services solve some abstract math equations resulting in the mining of what, Bitcoin? Worth millions right now, backed by what?”

The suspect is quick to defend BTC’s consensus nature; he, in turn, asks what the USD is backed on having removed the gold standard in the 20th century,

“What’s the Dollar backed by since we went off the Gold Standard?”

Though the highlight seems to have favored the status quo, it is evident that Bitcoin’s adoption and the potential disruption is no longer a far-fetched thought. Notably, Billions had previously featured digital currency talk in an earlier season where the hedge fund billionaire offered a $1 million crypto payment to a trader; he, however, did not specify the digital asset at the time.

Tweets have now revealed that this first episode in season five was written in collaboration with Ben Mezrich, the writer of Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House. Mezrich echoed his excitement on this milestone via his twitter handle, “Bitcoin on Billions! It’s beautiful, baby. :):):):)”

Other Crypto TV Mentions

Apart from Billions, cryptocurrencies have been featured in several TV shows with a prominent status. Some include big screen names such as Goosebumps and Haunted Halloween. Crypto oriented movies have also been pioneered; a recently released documentary on Monero topped the chats in IMDB’s section for crypto content. Its sales have, however, been affected since the COVID-19 pandemic which forced most economies into a lockdown.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Bitcoin Has Evolved Into A Savings Technology And A Tool for Freedom: Fidelity Digital Assets

As the past decade ends, the latest mainstream big shot entrant in the crypto industry Fidelity Investments reflected on the maturation of the infrastructure of the Bitcoin market. The report states,

“In a few short years, Bitcoin’s story has critically evolved to recognize the true potential of the network — as a new type of value transfer system, a tool for freedom, a savings technology and possibly more that we have yet to discover.”

Despite there being unanswered questions, Fidelity Digital Assets says Bitcoin has “cemented” its position and its “potential cannot be ignored.”

Making Progress

Taking a deep dive into its progress, it can be found that trading and investment on regulated platforms are growing while value transferred over Bitcoin is “competitive with incumbent value transfer systems.”

The launch of regulated physically settled futures contracts has been the major development in 2019, noted the asset manager. This launch made the market less subject to manipulation by removing the need for an index of spot exchange prices to determine the price.

2019 also saw Square rolling its support for BTC buying and selling, with $339 million worth of BTC purchased by its customers via Cash App.

Square efforts are driven by CEO Jack Dorsey who believes bitcoin can become the currency that will power the Internet. Dorsey has also invested in Lightning Labs and CoinList while launching Square Crypto.

Bitcoin’s Core Properties Will Drive Its Adoption

When it comes to key performance indicators, Bitcoin’s realized value, the average fair value of mined BTC adjusted with short-term volatility, reached its all-time high. 2019 also saw the network’s hash rate climbing to ATH of 110 million TH/s driven by rising prices, improvements in the efficiency and computational power of mining gear, and more mining operations joining the network.

The adjusted transaction volume on the Bitcoin network in 2019 although less than the previous year recorded the same as PayPal. However, the average transaction size is comparable to the ACH transaction size.

The leader of the market has been seeing an increasing and “diverse and entrenched” community of users, especially in the past two years. All the while, maintaining its core properties of being borderless, decentralized value storage, antifragile, and censorship and seizure resistant. And these properties will be what will drive the adoption, says the report.

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Author: AnTy