a16Z Launches Largest Ever $2.2 Billion Cryptocurrency-focused Fund

Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has launched the third and biggest multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency-focused fund to continue to invest in the market.

Founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, the firm announced its new $2.2 billion fund on Thursday. It plans to deploy capital across blockchain, digital assets, next-generation payments, decentralized finance (DeFi), Web 3, and more. Katie Haun and Chris Dixon, partners who run Andreessen’s cryptocurrency group said,

“The size of this fund speaks to the size of the opportunity before us: crypto is not only the future of finance but, as with the internet in the early days, is poised to transform all aspects of our lives.”

The company launched its first crypto-focused fund three years ago during crypto winter. Currently, Bitcoin has halved from its all-time high, and altcoins have lost even more of their value.

But as Haun and Dixon noted, “prices may fluctuate but innovation continues to increase through each cycle.”

“We believe that the next wave of computing innovation will be driven by crypto,” they wrote, adding that they’re “radically optimistic about crypto’s potential.”

The firm is known for its early bets on companies like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Lyft. It made the first move into the crypto asset space in 2013 through Coinbase, which went public this year. Additionally, it is now an early investor in Facebook-backed stablecoin Diem, previously known as Libra. The firm has also joined the NFT boom by investing in Dapper Labs and OpenSea.

Andreessen Horowitz said it plans to hold these crypto investments for a decade or more.

The firm also announced new hires for the fund, including former SEC director Bill Hinman as an advisory partner and former undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs Brent McIntosh as an advisor.

For the global head of policy, Tomicah Tillemann, the former chair of the Global Blockchain Business Council and an adviser to the White House, has been appointed. Anthony Albanese, who left the New York Stock Exchange last year, will serve as the new COO, while Rachael Horwitz, who led communications at Twitter, Facebook, and Google, is joining as an operating partner.

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Author: AnTy

More Than a Third of Millennial Millionaires Have at least 50% of their Wealth in Crypto

More Than a Third of Millennial Millionaires Have at least 50% of their Wealth in Crypto: Survey

Meanwhile, none of the baby boomer millionaires has more than 10% of their wealth in crypto, with 83% of American millionaires having none of their wealth in crypto.

Almost half of the millennial millionaires have at least 25% of their wealth in cryptocurrencies, according to the CNBC Millionaire Survey of 750 investors with at least $1 million in investable assets.

About 47% of these millennial millionaires surveyed have over 25% of their wealth in crypto assets, while more than one-third of them have at least half of their wealth in crypto.

“Seems understated,” commented Su Zhu, CEO of Three Arrows Capital.

“I actually don’t know any millennials who have a reasonable amount of wealth who don’t have at least 50% in crypto.”

The survey shows that millennials are the ones who prefer cryptocurrencies to traditional assets, and this helped them make a fortune by recognizing the trend early on. This is resulting in the “industry responding,” with more and more traditional providers offering access to crypto investing.

Older people are not as interested in crypto and have been unable to really understand digital currencies, refraining from investing in them.

“The younger investors jumped on it early when it was not as well known,” said George Walper, president of Spectrem Group, which conducted the online Millionaire Survey in April and May.

“The younger investors were more intellectually engaged with the idea even though it was new. Older investors and the boomers were largely saying, ‘Is this legit?’”

This can be seen in that 83% of American millionaires have none of their wealth in crypto, with only 1 in 10 having more than 10% of their wealth in crypto assets. And none of the baby boomer millionaires or older generations has more than 10% of their wealth in crypto.

The survey also revealed the generational divide among millionaires when it comes to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which gained mainstream attention primarily this year which makes the older generations even further behind on the understanding.

While most millionaires say, they don’t know what an NFT is, more than a third believes it to be an “overhyped fad.” But a good two-thirds of millennial millionaires say NFTs “are the next big thing.”

Nearly half of millennial millionaires surveyed own NFTs, and 40% of those who don’t currently own one have “considered” it. Comparatively, almost all the baby boomer millionaires, 98%, say they don’t own any NFTs and aren’t considering either.

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Author: AnTy

Billionaire Investor Daniel Loeb’s Third Point “Outed as a HODLr”

Billionaire investor Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC is the latest firm to own cryptocurrency.

Last month, Loeb took to Twitter to share that he has been “doing a deep dive into crypto.” On the reports of Third Point owning crypto, Loeb tweeted, “Outed as a hodlr.”

The $17.6 billion hedge fund holds an unknown amount of cryptocurrency through crypto exchange Coinbase’s custody arm.

The biggest crypto exchange in the US is all set to go public through a direct listing on Nasdaq next week. The company had said that it expects “meaningful growth” thanks to custody in part, driven by the increased institutional interest in the crypto asset class.

In its earnings call, Coinbase revealed that out of the $223 billion held by the exchange, $122 billion belongs to institutions.

Additionally, in Q4 of 2020, 64% of its volume came from institutions which is a drastic change from Q1 of 2018 when retail accounted for 80% of the volume.

Coinbase helped several big names accumulate Bitcoin, including Tesla, MicroStrategy, Meitu, Ruffer Investments, and Paul Tudor Jones.

Three Point’s crypto exposure, it had said, could be direct or indirect through derivatives contracts and is also open to staking and lending cryptos.

The company is also backing crypto and stock exchange eToro, which announced that it is going public through a merger with FinTech Acquisition Corp. V ( FTCV).

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Author: AnTy

Billion-Dollar Hedge Fund, Third Point, CEO Is Doing A “Deep Dive Into Crypto”

Billion-Dollar Hedge Fund, Third Point, CEO Is Doing A “Deep Dive Into Crypto”

Daniel S. Loeb, the chief executive officer of the billion-dollar hedge fund, Third Point, is taking a special interest in cryptocurrencies which he shared with the world over Twitter Monday.

Loeb shared this detail in response to venture capital firm a16z partner Chris Dixon’s piece on NFTs. He said,

“I’ve been doing a deep dive into crypto lately. It is a real test of being intellectually open to new and controversial ideas. Culturally I compare bridging the crypto world with the old as akin to finding a portal between two distinct worlds in the multiverse.”

Given that the hedge fund manager is an avid art enthusiast, it makes sense that the NFTs have captured his interest. He also enjoyed Dixon’s “article as an art collector and investor.”

Talking about his latest interest in the cryptocurrency market, which recently surpassed $1.5 trillion in total market cap, he said it is important to understand it while keeping a healthy skepticism about it. Loeb said,

“Maintaining healthy skepticism while also deepening one’s understanding requires one to engage in what Steve Jobs (and Fitzgerald before him) described as requisite for a superior intellect: “to maintain two opposed ideas in one’s mind and retain the ability to function.”

During his Twitter thread, Daniel Loeb also talked about that being late to the crypto party doesn’t mean that you would be suffering the losses. During the ongoing bull cycle, Bitcoin has hit a new peak at $58,300, and after last week’s losses, BTC is back to surging today, nearing $50k.

Since last year, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have gained mainstream recognition, with traditional investors and major companies jumping on the crypto bandwagon. The real estate investor and stock and bond analyst said,

“Another conflict to overcome is the idea that being late to the crypto party will inevitably lead to one taking the sucker seat at a high stakes poker table versus this still being early days in what is just now being adopted in the mainstream.”

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Author: AnTy

Algorand Blockchain Adds Canadian Dollar Backed Stablecoin, QCAD, On Its Platform

Algorand blockchain welcomes its third stablecoin, QCAD, the Canadian dollar stablecoin built, issued, and managed by Stablecorp, a Canadian based fintech firm founded in a joint partnership with 3iQ, Canada’s largest crypto asset manager, and Mavennet Systems, a blockchain development firm.

In a press release statement on Thursday, Stablecorp Inc, a Canadian dollar stablecoin issuer, announced its partnership with Algorand to launch its digital asset on the latter’s blockchain. Algorand offers decentralized applications and projects a secure, scalable, and decentralized network that Stablecorp aims to leverage by launching QCAD on top of the blockchain. Algorand Foundation also released a grant to Stablecorp to incentivize the development of the stablecoins capabilities atop Algorand.

Jean Deagagne, CEO of Stablecorp, is looking forward to leveraging Algorand’s “robust and secure high throughput infrastructure” upon integrating QCAD stablecoin, he said in a statement. Furthermore, Algorand’s unique capabilities aim to expand the use cases of QCAD to spark mass adoption of the asset and “explore and scale new enterprise and consumer implementations,” he added.

According to the statement, the QCAD project is the first fully-regulated and mass-market stablecoin, “currently supported by over 22 different ecosystem partners, including exchanges, custodians, payment providers, and decentralized exchanges (DEXes)”.

Apart from providing a secure and robust platform for the stablecoin, Algorand also allows microtransactions, instant confirmation times, and wallet support for the token. Algorand testnet recorded over 1000 transactions per second, way faster than Bitcoin or Ethereum transaction times – at 7TPS and 15TPS, respectively. Sean Lee, the CEO of Algorand Foundation, said in a statement to BEG,

“The global scale and speed of the Algorand protocol will enable the high transaction volumes that will facilitate new and innovative consumer innovation using QCAD.”

QCAD becomes the third stablecoin built atop Algorand blockchain following the additions of dollar-backed Tether (USDT) and Circle’s USDC stablecoin. As a high throughput blockchain, Algorand opens up the use of high volume stablecoins on its unique globally scalable, secure, and instant platform.

The Canadian government has also been on its feet monitoring digital currencies, the benefits and flaws of launching a CBDC, and the role of blockchain systems in the economy. Recently, Canada announced plans to team up with other G7 countries to launch the CBDC, calling for more global cooperation between nations.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Genesis Reports Largest Ever Quarter, Q3 Driven by ETH, Stablecoins, & DeFi

Digital currency prime broker Genesis reported a record quarter third of 2020 with $4.5 billion in spot volume — up 285% from the same quarter in 2019, $1 billion in bilateral derivatives volume — which was driven by the BTC spot becoming more tightly coupled to risk assets in the broader macro and the embedded optionality in DeFi, and $5.2 billion in new loan originations.

First, Grayscale announced its biggest quarter ever, the third time in a row, and now Genesis is reporting “tremendous growth in its lending business.”

According to its Q3 2020 Digital Asset Market Report, the company’s active loan outstanding grew 50% QoQ to $2.1 billion, adding $5.2 billion in new originations in just Q3, “marking its largest quarter ever by a landslide.”

Q1 Reading: New Loans Issuance Hits $2B In Q1 For Its Largest Quarter Ever

Q2 Reading: Hunt for Yield Drives a Record Q2 for Genesis Lending

Active Loans Outstanding
Source: Genesis Report

Its Cumulative originations increased 61.5% from the prior quarter, seeing the tenth consecutive quarter of strong growth and bringing total originations to $13.6 billion since launching the lending business in March 2018.

“Our loan portfolio substantially increased in value through increased cash and altcoin loan issuance, along with a modest increase in the notional value of crypto loans outstanding.”

The report also noted a growing “appetite for yield” on digital assets as it recorded 165 unique institutional lenders, up from 47.3% from the previous quarter and 275% from last year.

But it hasn’t been Bitcoin that was driving this growth as BTC as a percentage of loans outstanding fell sharply QoQ from 51.2% to 40.8%. It was actually ETH, USD, and equivalents, and “other” altcoins drove the increase in book size in Q3.

“The main driver of this portfolio shift came from the impact of liquidity mining on DeFi protocols,” leading to the active borrowing of ETH and stablecoins.

The report further noted “ample cash on the balance sheets of top tier trading firms,” which indicates that there has been a significant increase in credit distributed by banks to prime brokerage lines across hedge funds, trading firms, and high net worth individuals.

This was also seen in the vastly increased institutional participation in the CME that became the second biggest futures market in OI this month.

And Genesis expects these trends to persist for at least another quarter because Federal Reserve balance sheet expansion may continue in Q4. This means CME growth can continue into 2021.

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Author: AnTy

Apple Can Buy 145k Bitcoin With Just 1% Of Its $191 Billion of Dollars Held in Cash

Apple has a total of $191.83 billion cash on hand, down from quarter third of 2020, when it was $193.8 billion. Apple is known for having one of the largest cash piles among the companies.

At Bitcoin’s current price of $13,300, if the tech giant Apple, hypothetically, decides to buy as much BTC as it can with the cash on hand, it can gobble up 14,423,308 BTC.

Currently, 18,529,856 BTC is circulating in the cryptocurrency market.

This represents 88.24% of Bitcoin’s total 21 million supply but doesn’t include millions of coins lost forever.

Apple is the biggest asset by market cap of $1.9 trillion, while Bitcoin is just 13% of this with a $246 billion market cap at 21st place.

Follow in the footsteps of MicroStrategy

When it comes to other tech giants, Microsoft had $137.98 billion at the end of its fiscal first-quarter. In comparison, Google and Amazon had $121.08 billion and $71.77 billion, respectively, at the end of the second quarter.

With so much money sitting in cash and short-term investments at these big companies, it has captured the crypto community’s attention, especially following publicly listed MicroStrategy and Square replacing a portion of that with Bitcoin.

“Apple’s cash is decreasing in value. Perhaps they should follow in the footsteps of MicroStrategy and test the waters with even 1% percent in BTC,” wrote one trader.

Even with just 1% of its investment, Apple can buy 144,233 BTC.

MicroStrategy was the first one, and since then, others have come forward to announce Bitcoin as a reserve asset as a hedge against the debasing US dollar. MicroStrategy CEO Micahel Saylor actually revealed this week that he personally owns 17,732 BTC and has been running a full node of Bitcoin Core version 0.20.1 for over a month now.

Bitcoin is at the early stages still, and in 2020 it sees increasing adoption with PayPal, JPMorgan, and billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones all feeling its effect.

Compared to gold’s trillion market cap, this digital gold is just starting and has a long way to go.

“We’ve talked about $5T of cash sitting in public company corporate treasuries. What hasn’t been talked about is the $8.5T sitting in sovereign wealth funds, i.e., ‘the wealth of nations’ Their exposure to bitcoin is zero, their optimal portfolio will require it,” said on-chain analyst Willy Woo adding to the hopium.

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Author: AnTy

Third Time’s the Charm? Bitcoin Breaks Above $12k; Top Altcoins Coming Out of Hibernation

Bitcoin has broken above $12,000 today to hit $12,222 on Bitfinex. This has been the third time this month and is to be seen if we will be able to sustain this level.

On CME, bitcoin futures are trading about 1% higher.

Today, the market is experiencing a green day that has Binance going down. The community wasn’t happy, one trader quipped, “just add some more financial instruments to the site, that will work.”

The largest digital asset has been making good progress in 2020 with altcoins enjoying the bulls too. But trader and economist Alex Kruger says a sharp reversal here would be very bad for altcoins.

“Leverage in many alts is now sky high. BTC still in a measured uptrend within a positive macro environment. A good path to cleanse excesses would be a sharp break and V-reversal at 12K. If that happens, alts should puke,” he said.

coin360-8-17
Source: Coin360.com

Among the top cryptocurrencies, LINK is the biggest gainer that has been hitting new highs every other day.

The likes of Cardano (ADA) and Tezos (XTZ) have been able to see gains as well, with the later looking to be “on similar market structure” as Chainlink (LINK).

Ether started leading the market after it gained momentum last week.

Now looks like the gains are spilling into other top altcoins as total market cap adds over $6 billion today.

“ETH has recently broken out from its Bull Flag. Since then, money has been flowing into other Large Caps as well. Here are three Majors with identical market structures, in various stages of their breakouts,” noted analyst Rekt capital.

LTC, BCH, and EOS all three have been breaking out.

With 25% gains, Litecoin has finally recorded some greens. LTC has been slowly sliding down as other coins took its place.

The 8th largest cryptocurrency by market cap of $4.2 billion is now trading at $64.4 on the back of increasing volume but still down 84% from its ATH.

According to TraderX0X0, if bitcoin lets it, Litecoin can see a 50% pump too early 2020 highs.

Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, who is infamous for selling his LTC stash at the top, took to Twitter to point out that “Litecoin SegWit usage has reached 80%, whereas Bitcoin is only at 50%,” for which Blockchain.com not implementing SegWit is the primary cause.

Bitcoin Cash and EOS meanwhile are up only by 46% and 44% YTD while being down 92% and 83% from their ATH, respectively.

Even Justin Sun’s Tron (TRX) has been enjoying the gains lately, hitting a 52-week high over the weekend, up 30%.

Interestingly, XRP, still down 92% from its peak, is also recording greens today of 5.63% to move back above $0.30.

XRP’s competitor Stellar Lumens (XLM) is trending up even harder, with 9.12% gains trading at $0.115.

Other notable gainers include OMG (22%), YFI (20%), 0x (14%), REN (13%), and STEEM (11%). Meanwhile, BTT, NEO, and NEM all are up about 8%.

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Author: AnTy

Bank of Thailand Extends Tests Of Digital Baht; Integration With Hong Kong Later In 2020

Thailand is currently in its third developmental phase of building its central bank digital currency (CBDC), a local newspaper, and Nation Thailand reported on Thursday. The paper stated that the Assistant Governor of the Bank of Thailand, Vachira Arromdee, who said the bank is already rolling out its CBDC to large companies.

The Bank of Thailand recently announced its plans to develop a prototype digital payments system, integrating the CBDC in an aim to keep up with the developments across Asia in China and Japan. According to the report, the launch of the CBDC will be followed by a partnership with Hong Kong in the latter part of 2020, to integrate the countries’ digital payment systems.

A Closer Look at Implementing a CBDC

Vachira stated that digital currencies have yet to affect the financial market in the country, despite the increasing use of these assets. She further explains that blockchain technology and digital payment systems are impactful in reducing the cost and speed of transactions – improving the financial system.

Conversely, sustained growth of the digital asset market could present challenges to the traditional financial system by replacing banks as middlemen in the system. To avoid this, Vichira calls for a comprehensive study before the implementation of a ‘digital baht.’

“The central bank is also thinking about expanding the use of the cryptocurrency to the general public, but a comprehensive study must be completed before taking such action.”

Asset-Based CBDC?

The digital baht will be backed by government-owned assets such as international reserves and precious metals. In essence, the digital baht will resemble a stablecoin rather than China’s, Russia’s, or Japan’s CBDC, which is to be issued by the central bank directly.

Thailand’s government is further looking into the use of digital wallets and electronic wallets jointly with a decision to be made on whether or not to use them.

The spread of CBDC development fever is on a trail across Asia following the announcement of similar projects in China and Japan recently. While China’s motives in developing a digital yuan have been in the works for the past few years, Japan’s recent interest in developing a digital yen raises a few eyebrows.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitcoin Doesn’t Need Mass Institutional Adoption, Just 1% Would Do the Trick

Institutions are increasingly getting interested in bitcoin, about a third of big asset managers currently own bitcoin, revealed a recent survey by Fidelity. Also, just last month, billionaire Paul Tudor Jones divulged that he has about 2% of his portfolio in bitcoin.

These are growing times where people recognize the world’s digital currency as the hedge against inflation, fiat debasement, and unprecedented money printing.

The white whales of cryptocurrency, institutional investors, have “long been considered the most significant barrier between Bitcoin and a multi-trillion dollar market capitalization,” said Messari analyst Ryan Watkins.

In anticipation of their hopeful arrival, firms are investing billions of dollars in building infrastructure to serve them, and partnerships are picking up “as the perfect storm appears to be brewing for investment in Bitcoin.”

According to him, a horde of large institutional investors isn’t necessary to take bitcoin to the moon, just one percent is enough to pump its market capitalization to over $1 trillion and price to $50,000.

Currently, institutions have invested only a small percentage of their assets in bitcoin primarily due to regulatory uncertainty along with hacking, fraud, and unpreparedness of the infrastructure. In his latest analysis, Watkin tested a hypothetical scenario,

“What would inflows from a 1% institutional allocation to bitcoin look like?”

This allocation involved billions of dollars in double and triple digits from endowments & foundations, family offices, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, and mutual funds.

This much inflow could see an impact of 2x to 25x increase in the price of bitcoin and take the flagship cryptocurrency to a new all-time high of $50,000 and into the trillion market cap category.

But as we saw over the past decade, in which bitcoin has been the best performing asset, there were no institutional investors, and bitcoin has made new highs thrice purely on retail interest.

So, bitcoin may not even need institutions to succeed in the future, and retail is already increasingly jumping in amidst the economic and currency crisis. This coronavirus pandemic, political risks, and fiscal policies will also drive the institutions to it.

Moreover, retail will come rushing back and start FOMOing once the market begins seeing typical BTC moves.

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Author: AnTy