$9.5T Asset Manager BlackRock is Studying Crypto, “We Believe That Will Play A Very Large Role”

$9.5 Trillion Asset Manager BlackRock is Studying Crypto, CEO says “We Believe That Will Play A Very Large Role”

Larry Fink, the CEO of the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock doesn’t understand much about Bitcoin but said he sees huge opportunities in digitized currencies.

“I see huge opportunities in a digitized crypto-blockchain-related currency and that’s where I think it’s going and that’s going to create some big winners and some big losers,” he said during his conversation with CNBC.

But when it comes to the trillion-dollar asset BTC, Fink said he is “not a student of bitcoin” and does not know where it’s going to go.

“I can’t tell you whether it’s going to $80,000 or zero.”

“But I do believe there is a huge role for a digitized currency and I believe that’s going to help consumers worldwide.”

Interestingly, Bitcoin jumped 5% to nearly $57,300 on Wednesday, continuing the green month in which the cryptocurrency is up more than 30%.

When further asked about JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon calling the leading cryptocurrency “worthless,” Fink said he’s “probably more on the Jamie Dimon camp.”

In an interview this week, Dimon said, “(Bitcoin) makes no difference to me” but added, “Our clients are adults. They disagree. That’s what makes markets.”

But that doesn’t mean, the asset manager isn’t interested in the crypto market as on being asked when he has shifted in his view in offering access to crypto to BlackRock investors, Fink said,

“We’re studying blockchain and the whole concept of crypto and we believe that will play a very large role.”

Back in February, BlackRock’s chief investment officer of global fixed income Rick Reider said the firm had “started to dabble” in crypto assets. Then in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dated July 31 showed that the BlackRock Global Allocation Fund had been trading Bitcoin futures. The asset manager giant has also invested millions in Bitcoin mining companies.

On Wednesday, the New York firm reported a 16% increase in revenue to $5.05 billion while its assets under management jumped 21% to $9.46 trillion, as of Sept. 30 from $7.81 trillion a year earlier.

Earlier this week, at the Institute of International Finance, Fink had commented on inflation, saying he doesn’t believe that it is transitory.

“I’m not calling for stagflation — I don’t see any evidence of that — but do I see persistence in inflation? Yes.”

“I think it’s more than transitory related to supply-chain issues and commodity prices.”

While President Rob Kapito said at the time some clients are increasing allocations to various alternatives from 1% to up to 20%, the CEO said some are allocating more to equities.

“I don’t think there’s one global trend of going in and out of one product because [there are] inflationary fears and some clients don’t believe in that.”

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Author: AnTy

$1.5 Trillion Asset Manager Franklin Templeton Eyes Crypto With Latest Filing

$1.5 Trillion Asset Manager Franklin Templeton Eyes Crypto With Latest Filing

The crypto space is seeing a paradigm shift, with more legacy-backed financial institutions gradually transitioning into the blockchain industry. The latest is American multinational holding company Franklin Resources Inc.

$20 Million Total Value For Pooled Venture Fund

According to a Wednesday filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the investment firm plans to raise $20 million for its Venture Capital Fund dubbed the Franklin Templeton Blockchain Fund I, L.P.

The asset manager admitted in the filing that it had raised $10 million or 50% of the targeted value. The venture is expected to channel the raised funds to blockchain startups and crypto-focused businesses in the coming months.

However, the expected value is minimal given the funds crypto startups gulp in fundraising rounds. Franklin Templeton may likely be testing the SEC’s resolve with the venture fund and could go all out if the results are favorable.

Founded in New York City in 1947, Franklin Resources is a global investment manager with over 12,000 employees spread across 34 countries. It serves clients in 160 countries and provides mutual fund investment services. It is better known as Franklin Templeton, with over $1.5 trillion worth of assets under management (AUM).

Franklin Templeton Diving Deeper Into Crypto

Franklin Templeton has a long history with the cryptocurrency industry.

In 2019, Franklin Templeton joined forces with cloud-based institutional wallet provider Curv to bolster the security of digital shares in its money market fund. This saw the investment firm use Curv’s patented multiparty computation (MPC) to secure its blockchain and connect with the Stellar network.

Franklin Templeton was also a key contributor in the $15 million series A funding round of digital asset data company, Amberdata.

The California-based company has also made overtures in establishing a “Tokenized Asset Development Department” following a job posting advertising for a cryptocurrency research analyst last month.

In the LinkedIn post, Franklin Templeton specified that the successful candidate would research the most liquid and tradable crypto-assets like Bitcoin, Ether, and others. Also, the research analyst will conduct a market overview on decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and build out investment strategies for the firm’s digital products.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

European Bank with $2.6 Trillion AUM Is Launching Crypto Custody Service

European Bank with $2.6 Trillion AUM Is Launching Crypto Custody Service

CACEIS, which has $4.96 trillion in assets under custody, is nearing the launch of a crypto custody service, reported CoinDesk, citing two people familiar with the plans.

The bank, which has $4.96 trillion in assets under its custody, is working with a Swiss-based custody technology provider Metaco. Metaco already provides its services to a number of European lenders, including BBVA and Standard Chartered.

CACEIS is looking for a comprehensive service provider which is integrated into the crypto market to address their various needs and not just custody.

The Paris headquartered bank is owned by Crédit Agricole (69.5%) and Banco Santander (30.5%) and provides its services to asset managers, insurance companies, pension funds, banks, private equity, and real estate funds, brokers, and corporate clients.

Earlier this year, the world’s largest custodian and the oldest bank in the US, BNY Mellon, announced that it would hold and transfer Bitcoin on behalf of its clients for which it invested in custody tech firm Fireblocks.

At the time, it further said that it would also cover stablecoins, tokenized securities, real assets, and eventually even central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in its digital asset unit.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Stays Above Critical 200-Day Moving Average as DeFi and Meme Coins Pump

The total market value of the cryptocurrency has risen above $2.11 trillion on Monday, down just 19% from its May 12 all-time high of $2.61 trillion.

This spike in the overall crypto market cap came as Bitcoin went above $48,000 only to slide back just under $46k. Reaching the highest level since May 16 is showing its staying power above its 200-day moving average.

To start the week, a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing by the Northern Investment Advisors disclosed that the Denver-based wealth management firm increased its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) holdings to 8,955 as of June 30, from 4,811 shares at the March-end.

The second-largest crypto Ether went past $3,345 and is currently trading just over $3,200, last recorded during the May 19 sell-off. ETH/BTC is also maintaining its support at around 0.07.

“Bitcoin continues above its critical 200-day moving average,” wrote Fundstrat strategists in a note Friday. “Also on our radar is Cardano (ADA), which after signaling smart contracts are soon to hit the platform earlier this week is up” significantly.

The biggest gains over the past week have been seen by Ravencoin (65.5%), XRP (64.7%), Axie Infinity (63.2%), Solana (62.7%), Terra (60%), Cardano (52.8%), Waves (51%), Holo (46%), Dogecoin (46%), Arweave (45.2%), and Polygon (42.1%).

And in the past 24 hours, AR, SOL, LUNA, DOGE, and SHIB really started going up.

Trader DonAlt, however, isn’t confident in the bullish market setup given that retail favorites DOGE and SHIB are pumping.

“I’ll give it 10-30 days and will cut every position I’ve got no matter how much I like the setup as we approach that window,” said the trader.

“Hope there is some retail blood left to squeeze otherwise we’ll be the bagholders this time.”

Much like the revival of meme coins, the DeFi ecosystem is also back on track, with the DeFi market cap surpassing $122 billion, the highest level since May 19th and nearing the May 12th peak of $150 billion.

Meanwhile, the latest gains came despite the fact that the amendment in the crypto provision of the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill failed to win as the original bill passed the Senate and is now in the House.

“The price of Bitcoin was surprisingly resilient in the wake of the news,” wrote NYDIG Global Head of Research Greg Cipolaro in a note on Saturday. “We interpreted this price action as extremely bullish,” and, “we think the recognition of the crypto industry by lawmakers was ultimately a legitimizing event, one that should give investors comfort that this industry is here to stay.”

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Author: AnTy

Stablecoins Facilitated $1 Trillion in Transaction Volume in Q1 2021

Stablecoins Facilitated $1 Trillion in Transaction Volume in Q1 2021

Stablecoin monetary base is also growing, on track to hit $100 billion after more than doubling so far this year.

Total stablecoin supply has nearly hit $80 billion. Starting the year just under $29 billion, these cryptos or fiat pegged stablecoins added about 33.33 billion to its supply in Q1 of 2021.

USDT remains the dominant stablecoin with a $51.86 billion market cap while doing 3.4x of bitcoin volume at over $68 billion, as per Messari. This week, the largest US exchange Coinbase announced support for Ethereum-based USDT.

Although USDT is still the king, its dominance is gradually decreasing over time.

USDC, BUSD, and DAI were the quarter’s biggest winners, growing their share to 17%, 6%, and 5%, respectively.

With a market cap of $10.85, USDC comes in second place, doing only a fraction of USDT’s volume at $2.3 billion.

Binance’s BUSD is also gaining momentum, as it records almost $10 billion in volume while having a market cap of $5.25 billion. DAI is a $3.58 billion market cap stablecoin handling $560 million in volume.

Overall, stablecoins facilitated $1 trillion in transaction volume in Q1 2021, which is more than the previous four quarters combined, noted Ryan Watkins, a researcher at Messari.

image1

Stablecoins had an incredible quarter, with their monetary base continuing to rise at an accelerating pace in line with the growing adoption.

This adoption is for a number of reasons including stablecoins being easy to accept as payments. These programmable digital currencies “allows developers to trivially build with them and deploy applications with global distribution.”

Moreover, they run on global public infrastructure that operates 24/7/365 while offering users stronger autonomy, privacy, and interoperability qualities than existing payments solutions which require KYC and often restrict access, said Watkins.

In the stablecoin realm, Facebook’s fiat-backed project, Diem Association is aiming to launch a pilot with a single stablecoin pegged with USD later this year. First proposed in June 2019 with the name libra, the project has received opposition from regulators around the world.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Having Almost No Correlation to Gold Since Late 2020

Compared to the $1 trillion crypto asset’s 85% YTD gains, the bullion is down -11.19% in 2021 so far. As for month-to-date, gold prices are again down 3%, while BTC is up nearly 20%.

It’s been nearly six months that the correlation between Bitcoin and gold has been on a downtrend. Currently, this correlation is near 0, which points to no correlation at all.

This made sense given that ever since hitting a new all-time high above $2,000, the prices of precious metal have been going down, hitting a nine-month low on Monday to $1,675 before making some recovery to $1,700 in tandem with all the other assets.

Based on BTC/GOLD 60d Spearman Correlation, “Bitcoin has had almost basically no correlation to Gold since late 2020,” noted Coin Metrics.

Compared to the $1 trillion crypto asset’s 85% YTD gains, the bullion is down -11.19% in 2021 so far. Even month-to-date, the spot gold prices are down 3%, while BTC is up nearly 20%.

image1

Source: CoinMetrics

Stock markets made a recovery on Monday on the back of a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan winning US senate approval on Saturday, only to end up lower. Tech-heavy Nasdaq is also selling off, now down 10.5% from Feb. 12 high of 14,095.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the package would fuel a “very strong” U.S. recovery, and as spending increases, she does not expect the economy to run too hot either.

However, investors are back to bracing themselves for another bout of sell-off in US Treasuries as a trio of large government debt auctions this week. “Investors will remain on pins and needles until the auctions are behind us,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, a rates strategist at TD Securities.

This could present a danger for all risky assets, including Bitcoin, as we have seen over the last couple of weeks.

Rising treasury yields are helping the US dollar strengthen, which fell to nearly 89 level earlier this year, a level not seen since April 2018. But since late February, the greenback has been climbing, going to 92.5 today before sliding to 92.

This is why the stock market and Bitcoin have been enjoying the gains finally, with BTC going above $54,000.

But in the near term, the macro presents a challenge in the form of rising yields and dollars. Additionally, March hasn’t been a bullish month for Bitcoin historically, which combined with 100k Bitcoin options outstanding for the March expiry points to continued volatility.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Seeing Strong Bullish Action But ‘Beware the Ides of March’

Any extreme March volatility, however, is temporary when it comes to $1 trillion cryptocurrency’s longer-term uptrend, says Delphi Digital.

The price of Bitcoin is enjoying an uptrend, marking a positive start to the week. Trading above $54,000, BTC price is just 8% away from its all-time high of $58,300.

While the leading digital currency has recovered from the losses, the market isn’t confident yet that it is all over for bears, given that it is March which has been a historically bearish month for Bitcoin’s price.

Also, 100k Bitcoin options are outstanding for the March expiry, which points to continued volatility.

As Delphi Digital says, “Beware the Ides of March,” which refers to Roman, who considered it to be a deadline for settling debts. The research firm notes how March has usually been a volatile time of year for bitcoin, which is no different this time.

Starting 2021 with its best performance since 2013, Bitcoin’s price nearly doubled in value over the first seven weeks of the calendar year. Even after the sell-off at the end of February, the crypto asset recorded its 5th consecutive month of gains.

But the price tends to struggle between mid-February and late March, just as we see a 21% correction over the last week of February, much like all the other times.

“BTC volatility tends to pick up in March, albeit from above-average levels when compared to traditional assets,” noted Delphi Digital.

Beware the Ides of March

Source: Delphi Digital

Bitcoin isn’t alone in this either, we have been seeing Ether struggling, falling under $1,300 during the sell-off, and it was on Monday that it finally went above $1,800 since that day.

However, 30% to 40% drawdowns in the crypto markets are commonplace and “do not change the current long term bull trends.”

“We have no reason to believe that the peak for BTC is behind us this cycle. Bitcoin is still outperforming every major asset class by 40-50 points YTD.”

Despite the heightened volatility, the end-of-year breakout was a strong confirmation of its uptrend. Not to mention, these past few months, Bitcoin has been “transitioning from taboo to accepted amongst institutions. This gives BTC a stronger floor in case of another violent selloff.”

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. revealed recently that it sees substantial demand for digital assets from institutions. In its survey of nearly 300 clients, 40% currently have exposure to crypto.

Besides the investment giants, insurance companies are also pouring in with more and more corporates wanting to add Bitcoin to their balance sheet. As we have been reporting, the Bitcoin fund AUM also continues to surge month over month.

And with the traditional safe haven struggling, gold and precious metal are down over 10% YTD, combined with Bitcoin getting more attention, Delphi Digital says, “we are seeing a greater divergence in fund flows between Bitcoin investment products and the world’s largest gold ETFs.”

As such, any extreme March volatility is transitory compared to the $1 trillion cryptocurrency’s longer-term uptrends, observes the firm.

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Author: AnTy

World’s Largest Custodian Pursues DeFi Project to Change its Brand Name

BNY Mellon, the world’s largest custodian and asset services company with nearly $2 trillion in assets under management (AUM), asks the decentralized assets management project Melon Protocol to change its brand name.

“BNY Mellon has deployed a team of lawyers to pursue taking the Melon name away from our community,” shared the project on Twitter.

As such, they are now hunting for a new name, adding, “our community & values extends beyond a name, so we’ll focus efforts on taking their outdated business model & democratizing it so that ANYONE can be a fund manager.”

This isn’t the first time BNY Mellon has targeted the project. Two years back, they sent a cease and desist letter to Melonport, the Zug-based startup that built the Melon Protocol, allowing asset managers to create their own tokenized investment vehicles.

Started as a private company, in February 2019, it delivered v1.0 of the protocol and handed the control over to Melon Council DAO.

The investment company at that time also declared concerns regarding trademark applications by Melonport and announced that they would file an opposition against MELON CHAIN, MELON PROTOCOL, MELON FUND, and MELON MAIL trademark registrations.

Built on Ethereum, its DeFi protocol has $1.8 million of total funds locked (TVL), down from a peak of $2.5 million last month.

It’s token MLN, trading at $24.44, has a market cap of just over $13 million.

On Friday, Coinbase Custody announced deposit and withdrawal support for the token, yet another addition to the San Francisco-based crypto exchange’s DeFi steak that has them listing many other DeFi tokens in the past couple of months.

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Author: AnTy

Biggest Banks Involved in Moving $2 Trillion Illicit Funds, Reveals FinCEN Documents

And they say bitcoin is used for criminal activities.

The leaked documents of $2 trillion transactions, a tiny proportion of the SARs submitted over the period, revealed that some of the world’s biggest banks have been allowing criminals to move dirty money around the world.

The FinCEN files, having over 2,500 documents, were sent by banks to the US authorities between 2000 and 2017. FinCEN is the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network that combats financial crime and deals with transactions made in the US dollar even if they took place outside the US.

The agency requires the banks to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) if their clients are involved in some nefarious activities.

Unlike the number of big leaks regarding financial information over the recent years, including the 2017 Paradise Papers, 2016 Panama Papers, 2015 Swiss Leaks, and 2014 LuxLeaks, this time, not just a few companies but several banks are involved in wrongdoing, which isn’t surprising.

As per the leaked documents, the banks involved were HSBC, JP Morgan, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, and Standard Chartered.

HSBC allowed fraudsters to move millions of oilers of stolen money, even after learning from the US investigators that the scheme was a scam. In turn, its shares fell 5% to the level last seen in 1995.

Just like HSBC, Standard Chartered’s shares crashed 5%, to a level last seen in 1995. The bank moved cash for Arab Bank for over a decade after clients’ accounts at a Jordanian bank were used in terrorism funding.

The central bank of the United Arab Emirates’ also failed to act on warnings about a local, from which was helping Iran evade sanctions.

In the light of plunging shares of the banks, Binance CEO Chagpeng “CZ” Zhao said, “Might be a good time for their treasury to buy bitcoin?”

Read Also: Out of $1T In Crypto Transactions, Only 1.1% Were Used In Illicit Activities: Chainalysis

While the most prominent investment bank, JP Morgan, allowed a company to more than $1 billion without knowing who owned it, later to be found that it belonged to a mobster, Barclays was used by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest associates to avoid sanctions. The shares of the bank dipped the most, 6.3%, to the April 2020 level.

Deutsche Bank laundered money for organized crime, terrorists, and drug traffickers and saw its shares tumbling 5.4% to May 2020 level.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Difficulty Sees 2nd Largest Drop of 2020 to 9.29%; Hashrate & Price Continue to Dance

Today, the bitcoin network difficulty took a drop of 9.29% to 13.73 trillion, as per Coinwarz.

This is the fourth downwards adjustment this year after -0.3% in February, -15.9% in March, and -6% in May. Also, the second largest downward adjustment of 2020.

Bitcoin-Difficulty
Source: CoinWarz – Bitcoin-Difficulty

This decline will make mining bitcoin easier as while difficulty was high, more and more hash power was being added to the network, hash rate is currently near 120 Th/s, making it hard to mine BTC.

Post halving, the time to find the block went over 14 minutes, 40% higher than the average 10 minutes, as per Bitinfocharts.

On May 20, the block time dropped under 10 minutes but soon found its way above 10 minutes and had yet to find the balance.

This downwards difficulty adjustment, the second after the halving will help in bringing the block time to 10 minutes. This adjustment took the difficulty back to early January levels but while the price was under $8k at that time, currently we are trading around $9,750.

On March 10, the bitcoin network difficulty reached its all-time high of 16.5 trillion. At that time, BTC/USD was trading around $8,000.

Hash Rate and Price Dance

After the third bitcoin block halving last month, the bitcoin hash rate dropped nearly 50% from the high of 151.9 Th/s on May 11, the day of halving. Since then, the hash rate has been gradually trending upwards.

“Hashrate and price continue their dance: up and down. Sometimes lagging, sometimes not,” stated F2Pool, the China-based second-largest bitcoin mining pool.

After the bitcoin price crashed in March, revenue per Th/s was not sufficient for some miners to remain profitable as such they had to either switch off or move machines.

Unprofitable miners from China, Canada, USA, or Europe, usually end up in locations like Kazakhstan, Russia, the Middle East, and South America, said to Thomas Heller, Global Business Director at F2Pool.

Bitcoin halving further made things worse for miners as the miner inflow got reduced by 50%. But now, the hydro season is coming in China, which occurs from the end of May to the end of October resulting in the “all-in hosting” price to drop to $0.03/kWh from $.055/kWh.

The drop in cost will make mining less expensive, as such “May’s hashrate growth matches BTC’s move up, despite the post-halving revenue drop.”

Meanwhile, transaction fees, which as a proportion of mining revenue is still significantly higher, are providing some “additional buffer” for miners to keep their older mining rigs online post-halving.

However, over the past week, miners sold more BTC than they generated. The same behavior is seen this week as on June 2nd, the miners sold 9% more BTC than they mined. However, given that miner flow is cut in half, BTC sent to exchanges by miners is low in comparison to pre-halving numbers.

Miners selling might also not really be a bad thing because miners HODL during a weak market as it can’t take the pressure while miners selling indicates the market is well supported.

The miner’s rolling inventory (MRI) is still high at 105% today, above 100% means miners are selling more than they mine and below 100 indicates miners are amassing inventory.

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Author: AnTy