“We’re Past the Point of No Return,” says Former NYSE President Who is Bullish on Crypto & DeFi

“We’re Past the Point of No Return,” says Former NYSE President Who is Bullish on Crypto & DeFi

Thomas Farley, the former president of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), is bullish on the entire growing cryptocurrency industry.

“The only thing I find more exciting than debating on tax policy is talking about crypto. I’m all in, and I think Coinbase (COIN) is a great company,” said Farley in an interview on CNBC.

He then shared how the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, Coinbase is the 8th largest exchange in the world but “if you ask the everyday American they would probably think it’s the biggest exchange in the world.”

According to him, the crypto space is “amazing,” notwithstanding the press that it has been getting. In fact, “it’s the best-kept secret in the world and maybe the history of the financial markets,” he added.

Farley then went to talk about decentralized finance (DeFi). “There’s this corner of crypto called DeFi where essentially very smart Kids are putting code up on a blockchain of their choosing, and then you have a self-operating smart contract,” said Farley.

“DeFi exchanges are doing as much volume if not more than Coinbase today,” he added.

The burgeoning DeFi space is home to DEXs, volume on which went parabolic in Q1 of 2021. Recording as much as $217 billion, volume on decentralized exchanges is up 236% from the previous quarter and a whopping 8,000% from Q1 2020, as per Messari.

While Ethereum-based Uniswap continues to lead the pack, BSC-based PancakeSwap was the winner as its market share grew from a mere 2% to 37% in the quarter.

Farley further notes that this growth has been ignored by traditional competitors like banks along with retail brokerages.

“The wall street banks who for a century have made markets in every asset around the world have ignored this and abdicated their role and allowed Coinbase to become an $80 billion company,” said Farley, adding that as retail brokerages ignored it as well, retail found other ways to access this asset class.

“I think it’s fascinating, and I think it’s here to stay. We’re past the point of no return,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

Users Asked to Return Bitcoin Purchased After Glitch Drops The Price to $6,000 On This Exchange

Users Asked to Return Bitcoin Purchased After Glitch Drops The Price to $6,000 On This Exchange

  • The Philippines-based crypto exchange, Philippines Digital Asset Exchange, or PDAX, experienced a ‘serious glitch’ causing a huge price discrepancy on Bitcoin (BTC) prices, which dropped to $6,000 on Feb 16.
  • The exchange halted trading and is asking users to return BTC bought during the 88% price collapse.

On Tuesday last week, the largest Philippines-based crypto exchange, PDAX, suffered a glitch due to the increased user traffic and volumes on the exchange. This led to a system outage, causing the price of Bitcoin to collapse to the $6,000 mark, allowing users to buy the top crypto at a massive discount.

Several unknown users on the platform we’re able to cash in on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ making thousands of dollars during that period. PDAX exchange then stopped all trading services on the exchange for 36 hours for a maintenance period before bringing the platform back live on February 18th.

However, in a few hours, the glitch was still active; several users could withdraw their ‘discounted’ Bitcoins up to their set withdrawal limits in a day. In an email sent to the users, PDAX demanded these lucky traders to return the crypto, threatening them with a legal suit if they don’t.

In a press conference held on Tuesday to explain the system outages, CEO Nichel Gaba stated increased trading volumes as the primary reason that the exchange experienced its outage. He further stated that the cause of the huge drop in Bitcoin’s price rose from “unfunded orders” (when one side of an order is not funded) being matched with buyers. Gaba said,

“Because the buyer was able to purchase assets from an unfunded order, the buyer can then resell the same asset via the order book system, resulting in a chain of transactions. Thus the resulting balances of users are a mix of unfunded and funded orders.”

The exchange has since demanded users who bought the discounted BTC return them or face legal action. Gaba agreed that “this was the right thing to do” to protect its integrity and protect the market’s interest. Gaba explained,

“Understandably, a lot of users will feel upset they were able to buy what they thought an order was there for Bitcoin at very low prices.”

“But unfortunately, the underlying Bitcoins were never in the possession of the exchange, so there’s never really anything there to be bought or sold, unfortunately.”

PDAX obtained its crypto exchange clearance license back in 2018 from the Philippines’ Central Bank, allowing crypto to Philippines pesos (PHP) conversion. The exchange was the first to offer users direct fiat to crypto trading, including other top cryptos such as Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), XRP, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

PDAX has grown into an institutional investment hub with top firms getting digital assets exposure through the firm. To boost its roots, PDAX received an undisclosed amount of financial support from ConsenSys and BitMEX to boost its “sphere of influence” in the South-east Asia region.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Coinbase Launches Staking Program For Cosmos, ATOM Holders Can Earn 5%

In a blog post released on Wednesday, Coinbase introduced staking on ATOM, promising up to 5% return per annum on the value staked. The Cosmos Staking Reward will be available to select customers across 48 states in the U.S and across Europe, including the U.K., Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and France.

This is an automatic process generated by Coinbase. Users only need to deposit ATOM or buy the tokens directly on the exchange to start earning rewards. At launch, ATOM rewards will be distributed every seven days – Tezos (XTZ) rewards are distributed every three days.

‘Coinbase is always looking for ways to enable easy and secure participation in the crypto-economy,” the statement reads.

Cosmos is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain that allows users to “stake” their tokens to participate in the governance of the network and receive rewards in the process. The blockchain provides interoperability across blockchain and their native tokens.

A spokesperson from Coinbase to The Block states ATOM staking will charge a commission of 25% is lower than that of XTZ. The latter offers a 15% annual return being the only staking platform on the exchange before ATOM joined. Since launching in Q4 2019, Tezos holders have received more than $2 million in rewards from Coinbase.

Coinbase stated they would be adding more tokens to its staking program in the future.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Kraken Returns to Japan; Subsidiary Payward Asia Granted Crypto Exchange Permit

Kraken crypto exchange is making a return into the Japanese market, two years after it exited this space owing to regulatory hurdles at the time. According to the firm’s announcement on September 8, Kraken’s crypto trading services will now be offered again to Japanese clients through its local subsidiary, Payward Asia Ltd.

This progress follows the approval of Payward Asia to operate a crypto exchange under Japan’s Payments Services Act. Notably, this entity is also part of Japan’s crypto self-regulatory Association; Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA). With this regulatory foundation, Kraken stated that it is now confident of its re-opening business in the booming Japanese crypto market. The announcement reads,

“Kraken feels 2020 is the best year to restart the business in Japan because of the healthy market environment among other reasons.”

The exchange has scheduled mid-September as the target launch date with five crypto assets set to feature initially; Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and XRP. Consequently, prospective Japanese users have been guided to open new accounts with Payward Asia Inc. so as to be able to leverage its crypto-crypto and JPY-crypto trading services. This includes previous users of Payward Japan K.K as the exchange noted there will be no transfer functions.

Kraken’s re-entry into Japan comes barely two months since it was licensed by U.K’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to offer Crypto Facilities which are basically ‘Kraken Futures’. This milestone gave exposure to sophisticated institutional investors in Europe who previously could not access licensed crypto derivative markets. Jesse Powell, the exchange’s co-founder and CEO, was particularly enthusiastic about the move,

“This particular license means that a sophisticated class of investors, limited by their own requirements to interface with a regulated venue such as an MTF, will now have access to crypto derivatives in Europe for the first time. More participants means more liquidity and a better experience for everyone.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin & Gold Outperform Traditional Equity/Bond Portfolios In Q1 2020

  • Over the long-term, Bitcoin and S&P 500 correlation likely to return near zero levels
  • Allocating a small percentage to either gold or bitcoin increases the resistance of a portfolio

Historically, Bitcoin has been relatively uncorrelated with the S&P 500, staying between .15 and -.15 since 2012. Over the last month, however, the correlation shot up. It peaked on Black Thursday when both crypto and equity markets experienced historic and sudden losses.

But it doesn’t mean Bitcoin and S&P 500 are suddenly correlated because this short-term correlation spike has been under very unique circumstances, shared Coin Metrics in its latest report.

The news of spreading COVID-19 pandemic also has the correlation between SPY and GLD suddenly surging to its highest level since 2013, likely due to liquidity crunch leading to sell-offs across the board.

As a matter of fact, Bitcoin fundamentals didn’t change over the last month although the outside world did. In the short-term, it is expected to continue but in “over the long-term, Bitcoin and S&P 500 correlation are likely to revert to the mean and return to levels of near zero.”

As for its correlation with gold, historically it wasn’t very strong but suddenly increased in March just like with SPY.

“Although Bitcoin and gold may not act as safe havens during a global liquidity crisis, they may act as a safe haven during increases in monetary inflation and quantitative easing.”

Just a small allocation to Bitcoin outperforms other portfolios

Interestingly, both bitcoin and gold outperformed traditional equity portfolios.

In Q1 of 2020, risky assets across the world retracted as lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19 put pressure on the world economy. While both of these hard assets declined alongside US equities as investors fled to cash, Bitcoin and gold have recovered the majority of their losses.

Crypto data tracker TradeBlock analysed three different model portfolios, Equity + bond 60:40, Equity + bond + bitcoin 55:35:10, and Equity + bond + gold 55:35:10.

This revealed that a portfolio with just a modest allocation to bitcoin outperformed the equity and bond only portfolio and also the one containing gold.

“Allocating a small percentage to either gold or bitcoin increased returns.”

Source: TradeBlock

This week, US banks will be reporting their first-quarter earnings which were ridden with the challenge of near zero interest rate and a free-falling US economy.

Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is expected to lose nearly $17 billion for their tech-focused Vision Fund. Wells Fargo’s profits plunged about 50% in the Q1 and its shares dropped over 40% YTD while JP Morgan’s net income was down 69% and its shares are down 30% YTD.

Public crypto companies also reported losses but for Q4 2019. In the past week, Galaxy Digital reported a net income loss of $32.9 million and experienced layoffs in February 2020. Canaan reported a net income loss of $148.6 million loss for the fourth-quarter ending 2019. The Bitcoin miner equipment manufacturer’s net income declined and its share price (CAN) dropped 60% since its IPO.

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Author: AnTy

3 Drivers That Will Push Bitcoin Above $14,000 in 2020: Fundstrat Research

  • BTC’s impressive 92% return in 2019 was driven by the significant policy and regulatory headwinds
  • In 2020, Bitcoin and crypto total return should exceed that of 2019, Tom Lee founded a research company

In 2019, the Bitcoin price surged about 90%, going from $3,750 to end the month at about $7,200.

What contributed to these gains in 2019 was the events in Q2 that took Bitcoin to its yearly high at $13,900, recording the gains of 160%.

According to Fundstrat Research, these were on the back of Facebook announcing its Libra plan in June and then US President Donald Trump, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin publicly talking about Bitcoin and digital currencies.

“Bitcoin returned 92% in 2019, trouncing all other major assets classes, an impressive return given the significant policy and regulatory headwinds that emerged in 2019 — the Congressional blowback from Facebook’s Libra and the correlated White House bashing of Bitcoin marked the highs for 2019.”

In 2020, Fundstrat says Bitcoin would be seeing yet another such bullish momentum that would push BTC prices up by 100%, meaning we would be climbing to a level that would be higher than that of 2019 and moving closer to its peak of nearly $20,000. The 2020 Crypto outlook” report to its clients:

“For 2020, we see several positive convergences that enhance the use case and also the economic model for crypto and Bitcoin — thus, we believe Bitcoin and crypto total return should exceed that of 2019. In other words, we see strong probability that Bitcoin gains >100% in 2020,” states the company in.“

What will bring over 100% of restaurants for bitcoin in 2020?

But what would push BTC prices at above $14,000? According to Bitcoin bull, Tom Lee founded a research company that has three main drivers for this uptrend.

One of the drivers is the much-anticipated halving event scheduled to occur in May 2020. This event will decrease the coin reward from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 coins and cut down its inflation from 3.68% to 1.80%. This supply shock, while many commentators believe to be a non-event this time, Lee says,

“Bottom line: financial markets tend to discount 1-3 months, and maybe 6 months (max). So highest probability is halvening not priced in.”

The second driver is the 2020 United States presidential election to be held on Nov. 3. The race for the White House has already begun in earnest and the outcome of the election will not only have an impact on BTC but also around the world.

“We’ve never listed U.S. domestic politics as the top risk, mainly because U.S. institutions are among the world’s strongest and most resilient,” write Ian Bremmer and Cliff Kupchan, president of Eurasia Group, a New York City headquartered political risk research and consulting firm.

“This year, those institutions will be tested in unprecedented ways.”

Apart from the 2020 elections, Fundstrat believes geopolitical risks will also contribute to BTC’s 100% bull run.

We already saw Bitcoin reacting to the US-China trade war and US-Iran’s crisis. This year, US-China tensions, U.S. policy toward Iran, Iraq, and Syria, discontent in Latin America over sluggish growth, corruption, and low-quality public services, are some of the top geopolitical risks for the world in 2020 that could play a role in driving BTC prices up.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Exchange Bittrex to Return the Frozen Funds of Customers From Sanctioned Regions

Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex is reportedly looking to return the digital assets to the customers in sanction nations, as per the letter posted by an ex-Bittrex user Ziya Sadr on Twitter.

According to this document, Bittrex is looking to contact past clients who have been residing in a country or region for which the crypto exchange wasn’t permitted to operate by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Bittrex explains in the document they filed in 2018 in which asked for permission to return frozen funds to their rightful owners.

“This application was recently granted and we are writing to let you know that you may withdraw your funds to another exchange,”

the letter further read.

However, there are a few restrictions applied to this withdrawal. In accordance with the US law, the exchange says the funds can only be withdrawn to an exchange or hosted wallet that is not located in Iran, Syria, Cuba, the Crimea Region of Ukraine, or otherwise subject to the OFAC sanction or any other US-based sanction regions.

In order to receive the funds, apart from creating an account on a cryptocurrency exchange or hosted wallet that isn’t a US sanction region, the customer needs to create an account at support.bittrex.com as well and register the Bittrex account. Now, the user has to fill all the details on the OFAC Withdraw Request.

However, if the balance in your Bittrex wallet is below the minimum withdrawal amount of the wallet, you won’t be able to withdraw. As per the Bittrex website, the minimum withdrawal for “all coins must be greater than 3 times the fee.”

The exchange also says that it will also ask for “additional identification procedures” to release the funds. Users need to follow the procedures set in place in order to retrieve their funds by March 15, 2020.

Recently, the exchange halted its trading services for 31 countries including Iraq, Somalia, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

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Author: AnTy