Nouriel Roubini and Peter Schiff Can’t Stop Talking About Bitcoin Day In, Day Out

2020 has been all about people coming out of fiat’s influence and finding the importance of Bitcoin. But among these high-profile names, celebrities, legendary investors who have found love for Bitcoin do not include Nouriel Roubini and Peter Schiff.

These two people have been bashing Bitcoin for a decade now; either they like to be wrong way too much or are just holding Bitcoin secretly while keeping up with the appearances.

Like a broken record, they started calling names to the leading cryptocurrency yet again as BTC took a drop of 17% to nearly $16,300. Since October, the loss came after a new 2020 high of $19,500, a rally of more than 85%. Even now, BTC is up 135% YTD.

In his latest attempt to do… something, Peter Schiff, a gold proponent, attributed this rally to CNBC promoting Grayscale and covering Bitcoin non-stop positively, which led “greedy speculators” to jump in.

Meanwhile, Nouriel Roubini felt the need to share, yet again, that it is not a currency. A highly volatile store of value, “Bitcoin has no role in institutional or retail investors portfolios,” he said.

“In every bubble those who don’t participate always look like fools for missing out. It’s only after the bubbles pop and the air comes out that the real fools are exposed,” said Shiff in another tweet.

If only he would have just put his investment in Bitcoin, like his son, if not done already, that is, instead of seeing these declines after explosive rallies as a way to criticize bitcoin, he would have been buying the dips and accumulating wealth.

According to him, once bitcoin’s bubble deflates, “the real gold remains the best safe haven and store of value left standing.”

He didn’t share with his followers that ever since making a new all-time high above $2,000, the price of the precious metal has declined more than 13% to $1,800.

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Author: AnTy

Poker Websites Buying Millions of Dollars Worth of BTC Per Day to Meet Crazy High Customer Demand

Bitcoin is helping people get hilariously rich as it continues to surge. According to Bloomberg, online gamblers have also taken to cashing out in BTC to get their winnings bigger and bigger.

Winning Power Network, which operates AmericasCardRoom.eu is one of the poker websites that reported buying millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin a day from the over-the-counter (OTC) trading desks in recent weeks to meet the demands of its players, which is dominated by Americans despite online poker being illegal in most states, said Chief Executive Phil Nagy. He said,

“Right now, 90-95% of our payouts are people asking for Bitcoin because it’s going up.”

“We are constantly having to go out and buy Bitcoin — lots. Lots. More than we’ve even had to before.”

More than 60% of its transaction volume, which is about $100 million a month, is currently in Bitcoin. Due to this crazy high demand, brokers are charging up to a 1.5% premium.

This makes sense given that Bitcoin beats the traditional asset by a wide margin, up 150% YTD reaching $18,600, a level last seen right around the peak of December 2017.

While before this rally, 60 of WPN’s customers were cashing out in Bitcoin, this has now shot over 90%.

Poker sites have been accepting Bitcoin since 2014. Just last year, a Guinness World Record for the largest crypto jackpot in online poker was set for $1 million.

In 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the poker business exploded, growing a whopping 43%, as people were stuck home with business shutdowns as part of the lockdown measures.

WPN, whose long-term customers can make both the deposits and withdrawals in Bitcoin, doesn’t hold it but instead converts BTC into fiat right away. Nagy said,

“When Bitcoin drops or does something significant, inevitably, we have people send us $100,000 or $200,000 in Bitcoin because it’s the fastest way to liquidate it.”

“And we are kind of stuck with it.”

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Author: AnTy

Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams Name Drops Bitcoin; Did Arya Stark Help Propel BTC’s Run Today?

It is no wonder that as Bitcoin continues to rip higher and higher, more and more people are name dropping the leading digital currency. Currently trending on Twitter with 167,000 tweets.

The latest is Maisie Williams, known for her role of Arya Stark in the popular Game of Thrones series.

On Monday, she asked her 2.7 million followers on Twitter, whether she should “go long on Bitcoin.”

This got the crypto community started with memes and encouraging her to go in Bitcoin. Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is also a Bitcoin proponent, joined in with his “Toss a bitcoin to ur Witcher.”

With a few hours still left in the voting, out of the current 889,833 votes, the majority, 53.6%, voted against going long on BTC.

Going long on an investment means purchasing with the expectation that it will go up in the future, while shorting is expecting it to decline in value.

This has been while the leading digital asset is up about 22% in November and 56% in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Just today, we hit just shy of $17,800, a level last seen on Jan. 7, 2018. But market participants still believe we are way short of the bubble levels, which saw BTC hitting the all-time high of $20,000 in 2017.

“While reversals are entirely possible, the best assets trade like this. Overboughtness can be cyclical and reversible, but it can also be sustained for long periods, especially for high growth assets,” noted Charlie Morris of ByteTree.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Comes to the Rescue of Nigerian Protesters as Account Gets Suspended

It’s been more than a week now that people across Nigeria have been protesting against police brutality and demand reform and accountability.

The younger generations are using social media to document the event in real life to amplify their cause and counter false narratives.

The youth-led rallies in several parts of the countries target the federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Authorities have announced that SARS will be disbanded, but the promise is not enough to quell the anger.

Nigerians continue to protest and fight for accountability, calling for an end to police violence and a complete overhaul of the system.

As part of the protests, various organizations have been asking for support. One such activist, the Feminist Coalition Group, which has managed large funds, reported having its accounts suspended.

“For demanding an end to police brutality, we are now under attack! Our bank account has been deactivated, and so has the Flutterwave donation link. Our members lives are also being threatened!” it was written on twitter earlier this week.

Amidst this attack, Bitcoin came to the rescue as the official twitter account of Nigerian feminists fighting against the injustice of SARS through peaceful protests, fundraising, and social media organization shared the option to donate with BTC.

The platform accepts BTC through BTC Pay Server, a self-hosted cryptocurrency payment processor, which is a “free, secure, and censorship-resistant platform.”

Already, over 180 transactions have been made to their addresses and raised about $10,800 (0.94749255 BTC) at the current BTC price.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, a Bitcoin proponent, also mentioned the protest in several tweets and asked people to donate via BTC to support the protest.

“Donate via Bitcoin to help EndSARS,” tweeted Dorsey.

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Author: AnTy

Trader Calls for an Extended DeFi Winter for the Best Performing Assets of 2020

The decentralized finance (DeFi) rage made many people in the crypto community very rich. With DeFi tokens surging by as much as 10,000% and more, they have become the best-performing assets of 2020, so far.

2020 saw everything from stocks, bonds, and commodities flying, hitting new all-time highs (ATH). But nothing compares to the success of DeFi.

In the macro, the YTD returns have been: gold 25% and S&P 500 2.62%.

In the crypto market, Bitcoin recorded 45.7% returns YTD. The center of the DeFi world, Ether, which according to Bloomberg strategist Mike McGlone, “appears to be maintaining its platform leadership status” meanwhile rallied 160%.

Now, in the DeFi market, the top year-to-date performers include Cream (+98,900%), Aave (+2,617%), YFI (+2,144%), Loopring (+953%), and Melon Protocol (+877%).

Crypto assets performed well during the Covid-19 crisis thanks to Bitcoin becoming a “refuge” like gold and offering a store of value amidst the concerns of fiat devaluation, weakening dollar, and inflation propelled by huge stimulus injections to counter the pandemic.

“A purely ethereal instrument performs well when the real economy is on pause,” said Marc Fleury, CEO of crypto asset management and fintech firm Two Prime.

As for DeFi solutions, they basically port financial functions like lending, borrowing, trading, earnings, and insuring on blockchains.

DeFi also led to a surge in interest in Ethereum contracts, with 5.2 million ETH now locked in the sector, as per DeFi Pulse.

“Retail cryptocurrency users have increasingly turned to derivatives to maximize their returns,” said Aziz Zainuddin, chief product officer of Fasset.

Time for a Break?

However, recently the growth of DeFi is slowing down. On Sept. 18, the DeFi collateral levels reached over $13.2 billion from less than $700 million at the start of the year.

This week, the losses recorded by DeFi tokens have the TVL of DeFi declining to $6.3 billion, currently around $8 billion.

While the deposits are struggling to get back up, the price of the tokens has been taking a hard beating for the past few days.

In the past seven days, DeFi projects have lost a considerable amount of their value, including Swerve (65%), Rune (59%), Balancer (32%), UMA (30%), YFI (30%), Bancor (25%), and Curve (20%) to name a few.

“Been expecting a DeFi mini-winter since two weeks ago, but the kind of obnoxious shit that happened last few days makes think we are headed for a much longer winter. Could easily be invalidated by price action but need to be mentally prepared whether you’re an investor or founder,” said entrepreneur and quant trader, Qiao Wang.

While the past week, the largest DEX by volume Uniswap launched its much anticipated token UNI, this week, a group of large accounts were caught dumping their coin.

This week, we also saw Curve fork Swerve’s TVL crashing from over a billion-dollar last week to a mere $44 million today.

But while the Defi bull market might take a pause, the builders aren’t stopping

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin’s Role as a Hedge Against the Global Financial System Back in Question

As markets go through a rough time, along with the bitcoin, people are back to questioning the largest cryptocurrency’s role as a hedge against the macro disorder.

The same was said in March when bitcoin crashed along with the rest of the stocks, oil, gold, and other assets.

That time, the coronavirus pandemic rattled the markets that pushed oil futures into negative for the first time ever and bitcoin to $3,800.

Unlike the traditional markets, crypto markets don’t have any plunge protection, no circuit breakers to prevent the asset from plunging further.

However, crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX did prevent BTC from going to zero by shutting the exchange down because of a DDoS attack, and the digital asset only plummeted to $3,600 level on the platform.

This time again, as markets make a U-turn after flying high since the March crash, bitcoin followed suit.

According to on-chain analyst Willy Woo, this is because bitcoin is still finding its foot and isn’t big enough yet.

Additionally, the asset that has replaced cash as a reserve asset in the balance sheet of three companies in the past month wasn’t the only one to plunge.

Traditional safe-haven asset gold is down just the same. This week, the precious metal lost 3.8% of its value.

Does it mean the bullion is no more a store of value? Not at all!

As a matter of fact, Warren Buffett, for the first time ever, invested in gold after ditching his bank shares.

This move from the billionaire came after the yellow metal crashed hard during the March sell-off, just like it did in 2008 before surging upwards.

The same could be said for the digital gold, which is still a nascent asset class with a growing adoption rate and still down 50% from its all-time high, which means a lot more potential for a new peak.

Why the Pullback?

The flagship cryptocurrency briefly breached $12,000 on Tuesday only to drop to about $10,000 level on Wednesday. The asset has fallen 16% since Tuesday that puts in on pace for its worst two-day stretch since the second week of May.

“Part of the reason for the sell-off is technical in nature; its price broke below key support, confirming a head and shoulders pattern, which accelerated the decline,” noted research firm Delphi Digital.

The short-term pain in the crypto market has come amid the worst daily decline for the S&P 500 since early June and the largest one-day spike for the VIX Index in almost three months.

This sell-off, besides being technical in nature and mirroring the broader sell-off in traditional markets, is also because of the DeFi craze that was “overdue for a pullback.”

According to some like trader Crypto Whale, the digital asset can still go down to $3,500 and fill the CME gap, which has happened 99% of the time.

“I believe there’s still a likely chance Bitcoin drops below $3,500 and fill the lowest CME gap before we see a real bull market,” he said.

Could this happen, sure, but will this happen, that’s to be seen. The market already saw it in March, and after falling momentarily to this level, it went back to $6,000 level the next day.

For now, bitcoin is struggling at the key psychological level of $10,000, having fallen under it today.

The fall in price had the open interest in CME bitcoin futures continuing its correction that started last week, shedding another 1000 contracts this week. While Leveraged Funds increased their shorts positioning noticeably this week as did the asset managers long.

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Author: AnTy

Switzerland’s Canton to Allow its Citizens to Pay Taxes in Bitcoin & Ether Starting 2021

Switzerland’s canton of Zug will start allowing people to pay taxes in Bitcoin and Ether from 2021, as per the official statement.

“Tax settlement by means of crypto currency will be available to both companies and private individuals up to an amount of 100,000 Swiss francs ($109,670).”

Home to crypto firms, hedge funds, and commodity traders, the region has about 127,000 people and will be collaborating with the Zug-based broker Bitcoin Suisse AG, which converts the digital currency into local currency, francs, and transfers the amount to the state.

Zug isn’t new to accepting digital currencies; back in 2016, bitcoin payments were accepted for certain government services. Finance Director Heinz Tännler said,

“As the home of the Crypto Valley, it is important to us to further promote and simplify the use of crypto currencies in everyday life. By being able to pay tax debts with Bitcoin or Ether, we are taking a big step in this direction.”

Known for the low corporate taxes, crypto firms in Switzerland have gained a lot of traction propelled by favorable regulations.

“Everybody cares about a $0.5 trillion-market,” said Niklas Nikolajsen, founder and Chairman of Bitcoin Suisse, who first started buying BTC when it was worth less than $1.

“There’s almost nothing controversial about trading Bitcoin anymore. It’s completely mainstream.”

Bitcoin Suisse, which made a profit of 2.4 million francs last year and revenue of 20.9 million francs, recently applied for Swiss and European banking licenses. With this license, the company would be able to focus on Germany primarily, while its primary client base is also in Switzerland and Scandinavia.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Futures Trading at a High Premium; Already Hitting $12,000 on CME

Bitcoin has yet again gained momentum, with people expecting for $12k to hit soon. According to analyst Mati Greenspan, for a sustainable rally, a small retracement before we blast through $12,000 would be good for the largest digital currency.

“But judging by the current temperature, I’m not even sure a cooldown period is possible,” he said in his daily Quantum Economics email.

However, bitcoin has already jumped the $12,000 resistance on CME Group. Yesterday while people were awaiting $12k, BTC futures went as high as $12,100 before dropping back under $12k level.

The positive thing is while the spot price is around $11,780, CME Bitcoin futures are trading at $11,955, at a premium of nearly 1.5%.

Source: TradingView

The futures premium has been soaring since last week amidst the bitcoin rally, a trend which is continuing this week as well while the digital asset continues to rise further.

When it comes to September contracts, CME bitcoin futures contracts are trading at even a larger premium than the retail exchanges. The September premium has increased from 2.05% to 2.76% over the last week, as per Arcane Research. Denis Vinokourov of Bequant noted,

“The futures term structure remained in deep contango, suggesting risk appetite is aplenty, and this demand for leverage has been particularly evident in the lending market, where traders were seeking to borrow fiat versus crypto holdings to maximise basis trading strategies.”

The premium rates at retail exchanges have also been rising during this period, indicating strong bullish sentiments. At the time of writing, BTC was trading at $11,800 on Bitfinex, $11,824 on Coinbase, and $11,831 on Bitstamp and Gemini.

Increasing institutional demand

As bitcoin started rallying last week, the futures market saw a sudden increase in its funding rates, a tool to reassure the price of the perpetual swap is kept close to the underlying asset. The funding turns positive when the perpetual contract is trading above the BTC spot price, which has long trades paying a fee while short trades received a rebate.

The funding rates soared this week, on Binance they peaked at 0.14% as “investors sought to get leveraged exposure to the upside,” only to fall back to near normal state at 0.021%. The crypto data provider states,

“This is a healthy sign in the market, as it indicates that the market is stabilizing, and the leveraged longs are on a decline.”

Besides all this, trading volume is also enjoying a surge. Bakkt had its moment when it hit a new all-time high of $132 million, 200% higher than the old record signaling a shift in institutional sentiment to bitcoin exposure after it broke $10,000.

The total open interest on Bakkt futures jumped to $24 million last week, a spike of 550% from the lows on July 16th. This week, it has further grown to $26 million.

CME’s OI has been having even more eventful days as it reaches $830 million, currently holding 16.8% of the total open interest in the BTC futures market, a record high dominance for CME — a clear indication of increasing institutional demand for bitcoin.

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Author: AnTy

Tron Founder Justin Sun Cashing In On DeFi’s Boom With Launch of JUST BTC, LEND & SWAP

He is back!

As people in the crypto community have been expecting, Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun is here to ride the DeFi boom. But no TRX isn’t being turned into a DeFi project, but he’s announcing new plans altogether.

The “marketer” of crypto space who called his creation a “shitcoin” took to Twitter on Friday to share that Tron-based IEO JUST (JST) — which was launched on the Sun acquired Poloniex exchange in early May and then airdropped to TRX holders — will be launching not one or two but three DeFi projects.

“JST will become the core DeFi token of the entire TRON,” said Sun adding this DeFi ecosystem will cover areas in decentralized loans, decentralized trades, and cross-chain.

JUST DeFi team will be launching three new DeFi products. The first one is “JUST Lend” that will allow Tron users to earn interests or borrow assets against collateral.

The second is “JUST Swap,” which is apparently a fully decentralized on-chain protocol for token exchange. The last is “JUST BTC,” a TRC20 token backed 1:1 by Bitcoin.

“We can’t wait to see the series of JUST products’ all-rounded empowerment, community governance, and fully shareable dividend integrated into the TRON DeFi ecosystem,” he said.

Sun warns about a DeFi Project

In separate news, Sun distanced himself and his company from a DeFi project called Oikos (OKS), which is built on Tron.

Earlier this week, Sun said the DeFi project was developed by the community and has “nothing to do with Tron” and himself.

He warned investors against this project, saying the smart contract wasn’t verified. Investors need to be cautious of their investment, and the risk of getting hacked as “Justin Sun would bear no responsibilities,” he said while referring to himself in the third person.

Also, he denies OKS having any relationship with IEO on Poloniex.

“OKS is at its early stage, the risk is very high, we don’t encourage investors to participate/invest in this project,” said Sun.

Oikos has been a popular project among the Chinese crypto community, reports China-based 8btc.com. The token was reportedly listed on Chinese crypto exchange Hoo.com upon Sun’s recommendation and then on MXC exchange that saw OKS surging 4x.

Sun’s announcement resulted in the token briefly crashing 30% in minutes.

Oikos also announced that negotiation with Tron broke down and has now updated its token sale report.

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Author: AnTy

Lebanon Protests Escalates amidst Currency Collapse & Economic Crisis

Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of Lebanon amidst the escalating protests as the country faces a collapse in its fiat currency.

The Lebanese pound, which is officially pegged at L£1,500 to the dollar for two decades fell to L£6,000 to the dollar. The pound started the week at L£4,000 to the dollar and fell 50% amidst panicked trading, local media reported prices as low as L£7,000 to the dollar in some places.

According to Nasser Saidi, a former central bank vice-governor, there was little the government could at this point. “This is a cash market, not your usual forex market. The central bank is no longer able to intervene.”

Demonstrators are blocking roads across Lebanon to protest against the government’s handling of the crisis as their purchasing power plunged. There have also been reports of fire outside the central banks’ office in the northern city of Tripoli.

In response, prime minister Hassan Diab held an emergency cabinet meeting, attended by the central bank governor.

Hedging with Bitcoin

In Lebanon, currently there are multiple exchange rates, the union of money changers at its exchange rate at just under L£4,000 while commercial banks’ at about L£3,000. On Friday, the central bank issued a circular instructing commercial banks to sell at the union’s rate.

The government announced that it would take steps to lower the exchange rate while President Michel Aound said the central bank would inject more US dollars into the market.

The Lebanese pound has tumbled to new lows, having lost 70% of its value since October when protests began — plunging the country into its worst economic crisis in decades.

The volatile price swings were driven by four main factors: printing currency to cover fiscal deficit left by falling tax receipts, uncertainty among currency traders about government policy, the economic impact of coronavirus, and the panic in the exchange market of neighboring Syria where the impact of new US sanctions are expected next week, said Saidi.

The official foreign exchange market has about disappeared in Lebanon since last year after a severe shortage. Meanwhile, in order to stem the outflow of dollars, depositors have been cut off from their savings.

A third of the population is unemployed and about 48% of the population was living in poverty, as per the Government’s April estimate which is expected to hit 60% by the end of 2020.

Amidst this turmoil, Lebanese citizens are turning to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies which are being “embraced as an alternative to dollar assets.”

The plunging currency of Lebanon has the price of bitcoin on peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins ranging from 14 million LBP ($9,200 USD) to 56 million LBP ($37,000 USD).

Bitcoin is gaining popularity and adoption especially in emerging markets that are struggling with currency crises, social unrest, and failed government policies as we first saw in Venezuela then in Argentina and now Lebanon.

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Author: AnTy