Gold ETF Records Biggest One-day Reduction in Over 4 Years

Gold is losing its appeal, is what the bitcoin proponents say time and again. But it looks like it’s not just what the crypto enthusiasts have been saying; rather, it has actually been happening.

The latest data from Bloomberg shows that gold ETF holdings have had their biggest one-day reduction since November 2016. An exchange-traded fund (ETF) tracks an asset, commodity, or index that can be purchased or sold on an exchange like a regular stock.

Reportedly, total holdings have dropped 23.5 tons to 3058 tons, the lowest since last May.

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This makes sense given the price of spot gold is trading around $1,770 an ounce, in a downtrend ever since hitting a new all-time high in August last year at $2,075 per ounce.

Compared to gold’s -6.50% performance this year, so far, Bitcoin, aka ‘digital gold,’ has increased 88% in value YTD, while still being down over 16% from its ATH of almost $65,000.

“Bitcoin is stealing gold’s shine,” noted Mike McGlone of Bloomberg. “Accelerating trends in decarbonization, electrification, and digitalization.”

Even the largest gold ETF, SDPR Gold Shares (GLD), is recording a decline in its assets under management (AUM) at $58 billion, last seen in May 2020, down from $84.24 billion in August.

This has been despite the fact that “we’re in an everything bubble,” in which we are seeing asset inflation increasing.

This bubble can be overwhelmingly attributed to one singular trend, QE, which makes asset prices go up, notes Travis Kling, who runs the Ikigai fund.

With the Federal Reserve continuing to add trillions of dollars to the market, everything is running hot, and “Bitcoin appears to have been purpose-built for a time such as this. A perfect mirror reflection of monetary and fiscal policy irresponsibility. Money printer go brrr and number go up,” he said.

This is why in the last 11 years, as the total assets of the world’s central banks went straight up, BTC price went from nine cents to $65k. Kling said,

“Anyone in the world with an internet connection can buy $1 worth of Bitcoin & begin protecting themselves against monetary debasement & the rapidly increasing risk that the largest monetary experiment in human history will end poorly.”

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Author: AnTy

TIME Now Accepts Crypto as Payment for Subscriptions in the US and Canada

TIME, a global media brand with an audience of 100 million around the world, has announced that it has started accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment for digital subscriptions.

As was reported previously, the company would be HODLing any BTC that they receive, much like electric car maker Tesla when it announced that they are accepting only BTC as payment soon after investing $1.5 billion in it.

This announcement follows TIME’s recent expansion into the cryptocurrency space after it offered an exclusive series of three TIME covers as NFTs at auction.

“We are thrilled to offer cryptocurrency as a payment option for our digital subscribers for the first time.”

Bharat Krish TIME Chief Technology Officer

Currently, this pay with the crypto feature is only available in the U.S. and Canada. But the company plans to roll up the global access in the next several months.

Those subscribers who pay with crypto will receive unlimited access to content across Time.com for 18 months with their one-time purchase, as well as subscriber-only events and offerings.

TIME will accept crypto through its partnership with the cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com that will also offer Pay Rewards of up to 10% back for subscribers who pay with CRO, the native coin of the exchange.

“As TIME continues to innovate and find new ways to build upon our existing community of 2.3 million subscribers, we are proud to offer this new payment option through our partnership with Crypto.com.”

Keith Grossman TIME President

Last month, TIME also opened the position for CFO who has “Comfort with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.”

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Author: AnTy

It’s Time for Ethereum: Two Ether ETF Approved by Canadian Securities Regulators

It’s Time for Ethereum: Two Ether ETF Approved by Canadian Securities Regulators

One of the products is from Purpose Investments, which launched the world’s first Bitcoin ETF that has amassed 18,500 BTC in just two months, and another is from Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital.

While Bitcoin exchange-traded funds have been the talk of the town, Ethereum is not far behind as Canada approves two Ether ETFs in one day.

Canadian securities regulators have cleared asset manager Purpose Investments to launch the first direct Ether ETF in the world.

The Purpose ETF is designed to provide investors exposure to the second-largest cryptocurrency by investing directly in physically settled Ether (ETH) tokens.

“While Bitcoin tends to get a lot of attention as it was the first major cryptocurrency, what Ether and the Ethereum ecosystem represent is one of the most exciting new technology visions today in society.”

Som Seif Founder, and CEO of Purpose Investments

On February 18th, the company launched the world’s first Bitcoin ETF, which currently manages nearly 18,500 BTC, with assets under management (AUM) reaching CAD 1.43 billion ($1.14 billion). BTC -1.26% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 60,885.86
-$767.16-1.26%
Volume 65.98 b Change -$767.16 Open $60,885.86 Circulating 18.69 m Market Cap 1.14 t
11 h It’s Time for Ethereum: Two Ether ETF Approved by Canadian Securities Regulators 1 d Miami-Dade County Task Force Is Looking at Ways for Residence to Pay Taxes Using Crypto 1 d UK Hedge Fund Brevan Howard Plans to Invest 1.6% of $5.6B Capital in Cryptocurrencies

“Ether is the cryptocurrency we believe has the most potential for the future and is where our expertise really lies. Building this ETF is not only a natural extension to the Purpose Investments digital asset lineup, but a natural fit for us at Ether Capital working alongside Purpose.”

Brian Mosoff Ether Capital CEO

Purpose will act as the manager of the ETF while Gemini is the sub-custodian and CIBC Mellon Global Securities Services Company acting as fund administrator.

The second Ether ETF approved is CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF by CI Global Asset Management and Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital.

With a management fee of 0.40%, the ETF will also invest directly into Ether and is expected to start trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”) on April 20, 2021, subject to TSX approval.

They also launched a CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF last month with the lowest management fee.

CI GAM is the manager of the Ether ETF, and Galaxy Digital Asset Management serves as the sub-advisor.

“The CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF gives investors a simplified path to benefit from the explosion of decentralized applications being built on Ethereum.”

Steve Kurz Partner and Head of Asset Management at Galaxy Digital

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Author: AnTy

Band Protocol Integrated on Google Cloud to Enhance Financial Time Series Analysis

Band Protocol Integrated on Google Cloud to Enhance Financial Time Series Analysis

Chainlink rival Band Protocol is joining the Google Cloud public data network to enable accurate financial time series data analysis.

Decentralized oracle service, Band Protocol, is integrating to Google Cloud in a bid to “enable immediate and accurate analysis of financial time series data,” a blog post by Kevin Lu, head of business development at Band reads.

Band Protocol oracles, specifically the Band Standard Dataset, is now live on Google BigQuery, a fully-managed, platform-as-a-service cloud data warehouse. The platform is built to enables scalable analysis over petabytes of data through its machine learning mechanism.

“Google Cloud Public Data has a wealth of data available for unique analysis.”

“This is especially interesting for real-time financial time series data using novel approaches to Machine Learning.”

Band’s data sets will enhance analysis on financial time series data, which requires a ton of real-time data, by connecting decentralized, trustable, and secure oracles to BigQuery.

Lu believes the partnership with Google Cloud will expand the possibilities that Band Protocol offers, adding they are looking for more partners.

“With Band Protocol oracles fully integrated into Google Cloud Public Data, this is the first of many use-cases we are exploring with partners to bridge traditional enterprises and blockchain applications.”

“Our focus is to continuously and rapidly expand the support of data available on BandChain — pushing the use-cases far beyond just Web 3 alongside many enterprises.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Theta Mainnet 3.0 Delayed Till June; Devs Needs More Time for Elite Edge Nodes & TFUEL Staking

Theta Mainnet 3.0 Delayed Till June; Devs Needs More Time for Elite Edge Nodes & TFUEL Staking

A long-term NFT strategy and scalability issues were noted as causes for the delay. The Theta Mainnet 3.0 launch is postponed until June 30th, 2021.

On Wednesday, the Theta development team announced the “Theta Mainnet 3.0” launch would be delayed from the designated April 21 ate to June 30, 2021. Theta Labs, a leading developer of Theta blockchain, stated the launch would be delayed due to the growing NFT market and ensuring the platform works efficiently once it scales.

Theta is a decentralized video content streaming platform that allows users to share content and earn rewards in crypto. Towards the end of 2020, Theta announced its mainnet 3.0 launch in April, promising the release of Elite Edge Nodes and TFUEL staking and burning programs. This was meant to increase the value of the token by adding more utility and reducing its supply.

However, the new upgrade mainnet will not be released till the start of summer as the development team requested “additional time to conduct a more thorough code review and testing.”

The team is building out its Theta NFT marketplace in response to the booming non-fungible token (NFT) market in 2021, the statement reads. The team is building ‘key partnership opportunities” in the NFT marketplace to incorporate these foundational elements before the mainnet launches.

Additionally, the platform aims to expand its video streaming platform to reduce minting costs and offer NFTs on Ethereum. The team will integrate cross-chain bridges between Theta, Ethereum, and other blockchains to enable seamless transfer, storage, and minting of assets on the blockchain. The post further reads,

“In the longer term, we believe that Theta’s Elite Edge Nodes can become a true, universal decentralized edge storage for all NFTs and does not rely on any centralized platform.”

However, this delay is not new to Theta, who postponed the launch of Mainnet 2.0 in spring last year. The platform was launched later in the year without any technical hitches, making the team confident with the latest postponement.

“So the team is confident this is the right choice for the long term,” a spokesperson said.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Fed Is Investing ‘Time and Labor’ As A Digital Dollar is ‘High Priority’ says Chairman Powell

Fed Is Investing ‘Time and Labor’ As A Digital Dollar is ‘High Priority’ says Chairman Powell

The Federal Reserve is also “committed” to solving the tech problems. Treasury Secretary, unlike her predecessor, also says it “makes sense for central banks to be looking at.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress on Tuesday that a digital dollar is a “high priority project for us.”

While the central bank is “looking carefully” at the prospect of issuing a digital currency, Powell said there are “significant technical and policy questions” related to it. Powell said,

“We are committed to solving the technology problems and consulting very broadly with the public and very transparently with all interested constituencies as to whether we should do this.”

Much like always, the Chairman said that as the world’s reserve currency, the US doesn’t have to be the first, but the point is in getting it right.

“This is something we’re investing time and labor in, across the Federal Reserve System.”

Just this week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also said that the Biden administration supports research into the viability of a sovereign digital currency, unlike her predecessor Steven Mnuchin who didn’t see any need for that at the point.

“It makes sense for central banks to be looking at” issuing a digital dollar, Yellen said at a virtual conference on Monday hosted by the New York Times.

According to her, the digital version of fiat currency can help with the financial inclusion of lower-income groups.

“Too many Americans don’t have access to easy payments systems and banking accounts, and I think this is something that a digital dollar, a central bank digital currency, could help with.”

“It could result in faster, safer, and cheaper payments, which I think are important goals.”

Janet Yellen Treasury Secretary

While positive about a digital dollar, Yellen echoed Powell’s views about needing to address the issues first.

“There’s a lot to consider here, but it’s absolutely worth looking at,” she said.

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Author: AnTy

Auction House Christie’s Is Accepting Ethereum for the First Time for Digital Art Sale

Auction House Christie’s Is Accepting Ethereum for the First Time for Digital Art Sale

Christie’s, the world’s leading auction house established in 1766, will start accepting the cryptocurrency Ethereum (ETH) as payment.

This decision came following the announcement that it will auction a work by Beeple, “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” in a standalone sale that will run from Feb. 25 to March 11.

“Christie’s is excited to announce that, for the first time, it will accept Ether as a payment option for the sale of beeple’s ‘First 5000 Days.’ We are grateful to beeple +makersplace for its partnership on this monumental sale,” shared the auction house on Twitter.

While the principal price would be accepted in Ether, the premium, which is their fees, will be paid in dollars.

“We’re at this precipice where crypto is going to be such a more established and mainstream mode of conducting business,” Noah Davis, the Christie’s specialist who’s organized the auction, told Bloomberg.

“With this [sale], I think it’s the perfect way to dip our toes in and give this a shot.”

According to analyst Mati Greenspan, it isn’t about the top auction house accepting crypto for art, “In fact, you might call it a revolution.”

Digital artist Beeple, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann and has 1.8 million Instagram followers, put out a digital artwork last October. Each of the 100 editions cost $1, and they were sold out in less than a second. Beeple said about this mania,

“The rabbit hole of possibilities that this is going to bring to the art world—I don’t think people are fully recognizing that this is going to be a massive, massive shift.”

Non-fungible tokens (NFT) have exploded in popularity over the last few months, some pieces being sold for as much as millions of dollars.

“NFTs are now going mainstream, and the innovative gameplay is worth learning,” noted Jau Hao, CEO of crypto exchange OKEx, who said, “we need more liquid NFT markets for mass adoption.” Hao added,

“Leveraging the VR and the open-world gaming market to build a digital realm during the pandemic is another way we can bring NFTs to the masses.”

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Author: AnTy

DeFi Outgrowing Ethereum, Time for DeFi Mania to Move On to Other Layer 1 Solutions?

DeFi Outgrowing Ethereum, Time for DeFi Mania to Move On to Other Layer 1 Solutions?

“Ethereum gas fees are breaking the market structure of DeFi,” noted Tushar Jain of MulticoinCap as the second largest network becomes unusable for small users, “suffering from anti-network effects.”

For the last two days, the average fees in USD on the Ethereum network have been at a new all-time high of about $23.8. Today, it has fallen to $21.7.

This resulted in a whopping $60 million paid in ETH tx during the past 48 hours. On Friday, Ethereum miners earned $3.5M in a single hour, the highest hourly revenue to date, as per Glassnode.

As we reported before, while the fees have been yet again hitting a new high in USD terms, the same is not the case in terms of ETH. At the current rate of 0.015 ETH, the average gas fee is nowhere closer to the Sep. high of nearly 0.032, as per Blockchair.

The same is the case for average gas prices, which went over 250 Gwei but is still far off from DeFi peak high of about 550 Gwie, more than 700 Gwei in June 2020, and over 800 gwei in Dec. 2016.

As the price of Ether and DeFi tokens take a drop, the average gas price has also come down to 195 Gwei.

Breaking DeFi’s Market Structure

Gas prices on the Ethereum network are not the only headache for decentralized finance (DeFi) users as DeFi projects charge more fees on top of the Ether network fees.

Tushar Jain, the managing partner at MulticoinCap, noted how sending some ETH can cost a small player about $10. While trading on popular decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap is costing about $100 in gas, another DEX Balancer can cost $150 in gas fees with an additional fee of the DEX itself.

And if one doesn’t choose to go with high gas fees, they can get front run by other traders. “DeFi has outgrown Ethereum,” he said.

Even the billionaire owner of Dallas Maverick, Mark Cuban, who is also invested in AAVE and SUSHI, complained about the high fees on DeFi. Jain said,

“Arb bots can’t even keep the prices in line between Uniswap, Sushiswap & Balancer right now! There are hundreds of bps of arbs right now. All because the gas fees are too high for these arbitrages to be profitable. Ethereum gas fees are breaking the market structure of DeFi.”

The Big Adoption Moment is Now!

Crazy high fees are the result of high activity and clear sign sustained activity in spite of high gas, all of which shows great demand for Ethereum; it is also becoming unusable for many users, especially the smaller ones.

“Ethereum is suffering from anti-network effects,” which means new users are reducing the utility of a platform for existing users, said Jain.

This, according to him, can have bad implications for the Ethereum network. Jain expects more than 50% of DeFi activity to be off of Ethereum by the end of this year. From here, it could move to Layer 2 solutions, which are “just a gateway drug to move to another layer 1,” he said.

While Ethereum has launched the first phase of ETH 2.0 that allows people to deposit their ETH in contract, 2.9 million Ether are already locked in for staking; the full-on transition can take years.

“ETH 2.0 will take too long to ship. DeFi is having its big adoption moment now, and the best solution is the one which works today,” Jain added: “Do you think new users will wait years for ETH 2.0 or just go to another platform?”

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Author: AnTy

GBTC Premium Collapses Under Zero For the First Time Ever, But its Biggest Holder Calls for ‘Up’

Another day, another Elon Musk induced pump. However, this time, it was a smaller one as Bitcoin only went to $34,700, and we are back under $33,000.

While sharing his support for BTC, Musk said he sees Bitcoin on the “verge of getting broad acceptance by conventional finance people.”

That’s to be expected as ever since last year, with central banks around the world printing money and debasing fiat currencies, institutional investors, family offices, and endowment funds have been taking a special interest in Bitcoin.

“As Bitcoin gains more mainstream adoption, participants are now more sophisticated investors,” said Joel Revill, CEO of Two Ocean Trust, a wealth management firm.

Hedge Funds Short on Bitcoin

While Bitcoin is resting, for now, the market sees this as a healthy sign for a higher move later. Not to mention, the network fundamentals are stronger than ever, with a hash rate near ATH and difficulty at its peak.

January actually saw the Bitcoin network at its all-time high with more than 22.3 million unique addresses active in the network sending or receiving BTC – the highest monthly number in Bitcoin’s history to date, as per Glassnode.

Bitcoin may also finally get the attention of retail investors from Wall Street Bets, given that hedge funds are record short on Bitcoin.

Wall Street bets have been pushing the prices of the heavily shorted company shares to the moon, which has led to the largest active hedge fund deleveraging to happen since Feb. 2009, as per Goldman Sachs.

As retail traders come together to pump the prices, hedge funds are selling their long positions and covering their shorts in about every sector in an attempt not to be the next Melvin Capital, which lost 53% on its investments in January.

While the traditional market investors have started to take the crypto route after Robinhood halted trading for the popular stocks and later limited their buy limits, we have yet to see the herd come for Bitcoin.

GBTC Premium Plunges into Negative

Hedge funds on CME are short on Bitcoin futures for more than $1 billion, which means they are betting that the price of the leading digital will fall. They have been increasing their short positions since October when the BTC price started climbing.

During this period, the price of Bitcoin went from about $10,000 to an all-time high of $42.000 in early January, and ever since then, it has been raging between $30k to $40k.

As data provider Skew has previously shared, these leveraged funds, while short on CME Bitcoin futures, are likely to be long on Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) trying to collect the Grayscale premium and the CME futures basis.

Interestingly, for the first time ever, the GBTC premium, the difference between the market price of bitcoin and the implied price by GBTC, has gone negative today. This premium has been dropping ever since Dec. 22nd, 2020, when it was above 40%.

On Friday, as GBTC shares traded at a discount of -1.5%, Crypto enthusiast with Twitter handle AusteritySucks commented, “Whales who got in at NAV impatient, or retail dumping scared? guessing the former.”

This could be because of fading demand for Bitcoin over $30k or increasing competition with BlockFi, Ninepoint Partners, and other filings for a Bitcoin trust. Overall, it needs to be seen if it’s only been a blip or it will persist.

What’s important is that Three Arrows Capital, the biggest GBTC holders, are bullish on Bitcoin, with one of the co-founders Kyle Davies calling for “up.”He tweeted,

“BTC 30k to 40k, the mkt got greedy with leverage and was punished for its sins back to 30k. Reborn deleveraged, Robinhood’s centralized gaffe, and the planet’s wealthiest innovator publicly joining the winning team. The time has never been better for a decentralized future.”

Moreover, Guggenheim’s proposed SEC filing to buy $500 million in Bitcoin via GBTC has been officially effective from Jan. 31st, 2021.

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Author: AnTy

Buy Bitcoin Ads Pop Up in the UK, Australia, and Other Parts of the World

“… it’s time to buy Bitcoin,” is what one of the many adverts posted in different cities of different countries says.

As Bitcoin rallies strongly towards the end of 2020, up 78% in Q4 and 166% YTD, and everyone from retail, institutional investors, high net worth individuals, insurance companies, and family offices take a liking to the largest cryptocurrency, exchanges are also taking advantage of this to attract even more attention.

Cryptocurrency exchange Luno has been pushing Bitcoin advertisement to different parts of the globe.

From street signs and buses in Australia, underground billboards in the UK to newspapers, online ads in Malaysia, bus shelters, lamp posts in Nigeria, and malls and premier league matches in Zimbabwe, buy Bitcoin posters are being put up to attract the masses.

Nasper Lt.-backed crypto exchange, Luno, was acquired by New York-based digital investment firm Digital Currency Group, the company behind Genesis, Grayscale, Foundry, and Coindesk, this year.

Grayscale actually ran the famous campaign #DropGold last year focused on Bitcoin, which aimed to make the investors understand the limits of using gold as a hedge while bringing awareness to digital gold, the store of value.

In August this year, it launched another national advertising campaign where it told investors to move to Bitcoin and Ether via its products by showing how it has evolved all these years in the 30-second commercial that aired on CNBC, MSNBC, and FOX.

Another exchange, London-based Coinfloor, had its “first outdoor advertising campaign on the London Underground.”

“Bitcoin is DEAD… Easy with Coinfloor,” reads the posters plastered across central London.

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Author: AnTy