“I Won’t Tell You To Short Bitcoin,” says Guggenheim CIO After Capitulating During June Drop

“I Won’t Tell You To Short Bitcoin,” says Guggenheim CIO After Capitulating During June Drop

It looks like Guggenheim Chief Investment Officer Scott Minerd didn’t get his sub $30k bids filled as he revealed this week that he is no longer invested in Bitcoin. In an interview with CNBC he said,

“The one thing I learned as a bond trader years ago, when you don’t understand what’s happening, get out of the market … So discipline tells me now I don’t fully understand this.”

The CIO first came into the limelight when back in December 2020, he said that Bitcoin could hit $400,000 only to increase this target to $600,000 two months later. During this period, BTC went from $20,000 to $60,000.

But in June, when Bitcoin lost more than 50% of its value from May ATH to just under $29k, Miners called for a drop to $15k. Now that Bitcoin is back on the rise, on the way to hitting its ATH as it trades around $64k, Minerd has completely got out.

“We were long going into that, we sold, it pulled back to where I thought it was and really after looking at it thought you know, we gonna probably go lower.”

“Well, we didn’t, so we’re not in.”

The latest euphoria in the crypto market is on the back of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF making its debut on NYSE to mark the launch of the first Bitcoin ETF in the US. The futures-based ETF will make it easy for institutional investors who want exposure to the cryptocurrency, said Minerd.

Besides crypto assets, crypto-miner stocks are also surging, with Marathon Digital Holdings Inc., Bitfarms Ltd., and Hut 8 Mining Corp., up at least 180% so far this year. Michael Novogratz’s crypto asset manager, Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. has also doubled in value this year.

According to Minerd, the upward moves in the stocks are “spilling over” into other asset classes, including cryptocurrencies.

“You see bitcoin and what it’s done over the last few weeks. I can’t tell you it’s a value but I won’t tell you that you should short it because you know it’s likely to be higher in the coming months.”

He also said that he still sees the potential for the price of Bitcoin to reach his first target of $400,000 based on its value and scarcity relative to gold.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Minerd also said that the majority of cryptos are worthless and bound to fail. Only a handful of big winners will remain in the end, he added.

“Seventy percent of the coins are garbage and will go away.”

“The question is, just like the internet bubble, which of the companies, survive. Will Amazon be the big winner or will Pets.com be the big winner?”

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Author: AnTy

Bitwise Launches Crypto Industry Innovators ETF After a Green Light from the SEC

The ETF won’t be holding Bitcoin or Ethereum directly but tracks the performance of public companies that are involved in the cryptocurrency sector.

Bitwise, a digital asset manager with $1.5 billion in assets under management as of May 7, 2021, is launching the Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (NYSE: BITQ) that provides exposure to public companies that are involved in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency sector. The ETF won’t be holding Bitcoin or Ethereum directly.

With this, it has become the first ETF with crypto in it to be approved by the SEC, while a Bitcoin ETF has yet to make it despite several, at least eleven, companies interested and having filed their applications.

But Hunter Horsley, CEO of Bitwise, is hopeful that SEC is moving closer to approving one.

“The bitcoin ETF journey has been almost a decade long,” Horsley told CNN. “But I think it will be possible. This is a big milestone for us.”

BITQ meanwhile seeks to track the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators 30 Index, which captures pure-play companies engaged in the crypto sector and has at least $100 million of liquid digital assets on their balance sheet.

Also, these companies derive at least 75% of their revenue from either directly holding crypto assets or serving the crypto market.

It basically tracks the performance of crypto stocks and not coins. A similar ETF (VanEck Vectors Digital Assets Equity – DAPP) has been launched by VanEck as well that trades on Nasdaq, London Stock Exchange, and Deutsche Boerse.

“Until recently, most great crypto innovators were private companies, but that’s changing rapidly. Today, there’s a growing set of public companies capitalizing on crypto,” said Matt Hougan, CIO of Bitwise.

Crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN), which recently went public, accounts for 11.63% of the index’s weightage joined by MicroStrategy, Galaxy Digital, Riot Blockchain, Voyager Digital, Canaan, Northern Data, Hive Blockchain, Bitfarm, and Marathon Digital Asset Holdings, along with PayPal, Square, Silvergate, and others.

“Over the past few years, many investors have had to watch from the sidelines as a select few have reaped the rewards of stellar cryptocurrency returns.”

“With BITQ, our aim is to make crypto investment opportunities available through traditional investing platforms and a familiar, liquid, and cost-effective ETF.”

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Author: AnTy

Digital Asset Manager Grayscale Says It Is ‘100% Committed To Converting GBTC Into An ETF’

On conversion of GBTC into an ETF, the holders of GBTC shares won’t need to take any action, and the management fee, currently at 2%, will be reduced. Meanwhile, the world’s first Bitcoin ETF (BTCC) holds 16,462 BTC without a single outflow since its debut.

Today, the world’s largest digital asset manager clarified its intentions for a bitcoin ETF: they are fully committed to converting its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Launched in 2013, GBTC is currently a publicly-traded Bitcoin fund in the US and an SEC-reporting company.

Today, with $34 billion in AUM, GBTC only stands behind SPDR Gold Trust in terms of global commodity ETPs. With $2.6 billion in weekly volume, it stands in third place behind only GLD and iShares Silver Trust.

For several years now, Grayscale has been examining ETFs closely from both a commercial and regulatory perspective, said the fund in its official announcement on Monday.

Grayscale actually submitted an application for a Bitcoin ETF in 2016 and has been in conversation with the SEC since then. But they later withdrew the application because the regulatory environment for digital assets wasn’t advanced enough. So far, not a single Bitcoin ETF has been approved either.

This year, however, many applications for the same have been filed, and the market has high expectations from the SEC, especially with President Joe Biden’s nominee for the SEC chair Gary Gensler. The company said,

“While several firms have submitted Bitcoin ETF applications in the form of an S-1 or 19b-4 to the SEC, we are confident in our current positioning and engagement with the SEC.”

When GBTC converts to an ETF, the company says, the holders of GBTC shares won’t be needed to take any action. Also, the management fee, currently at 2%, will also get reduced accordingly.

Since late Feb., GBTC’s coveted premium has been running in the negative, which has been attributed to the rise of other products, including several Bitcoin ETFs trading in Canada.

The first-ever Bitcoin ETF from Purpose Investments (BTCC) currently holds 16,462 BTC, with $1.22 billion in AUM. Launched in mid-February, the Purpose Bitcoin ETF has seen only inflows, and not a single outflow has been recorded yet.

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Author: AnTy

PBoC Official Explains Why Digital Yuan Won’t Be Fully Anonymous

PBoC Official Explains Why Digital Yuan Won’t Be Fully Anonymous

Chinese officials are willing to ensure digital anonymity for the country’s central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), but only for a small class of transactions.

Total Anonymity of CBDCs Impossible

According to a local news outlet, an official of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), Mu Changchun, has said that a completely anonymous digital yuan is not possible given the underlying regulatory measures, local state news media STCN reports. These include requirements related to anti-tax evasion, counter-terrorist financing, and anti-money laundering. He explained,

“ A completely anonymous central bank’s digital currency is not feasible. It is an international consensus that the central bank’s digital currency achieves anonymity on the basis of controllable risks.”

However, this doesn’t mean the digital yuan won’t cater to user’s privacy and financial security.

Changchun said the digital yuan would provide more security and privacy than payment apps like AliPay and WeChat.

The bank official said the CBDC would work under a “controllable anonymity” that would protect the users’ transaction details and personal information. This partial anonymity also means the central bank can monitor transactions for illicit activity while the parties involved remain private.

The first set of CBDC users will be able to open an account with just their mobile number. No further information would be required, and they would enjoy a level of anonymity for transactions. However, this limited surveillance would only be permitted for small-scale transactions.

If a digital yuan user wants to conduct substantial transactions, they would need to provide more personal details to unlock this feature. Changchun says China choosing not to cave into the rising outcry for a totally digital state-backed digital currency is based on international consensus among regulatory agencies worldwide.

The Chinese government has outrightly banned private cryptocurrencies in the country, instead opting for a state-sanctioned digital currency. This address by the head of the country’s DCRI marks the first time the country has shared information on its CBDC program.

Changchun admitted that CBDCs would serve a dual role of being a financial surveillance tool to keep an eye on illicit transactions. According to him, total anonymity would see crimes like terrorist financing, money laundering, and tax evasion go unchecked.

The financial expert said that popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin were vetoed due to their propensity to support illegal transactions.

Crypto-related Crimes A Bane To Anonymity

The Chinese government has taken a firm stand against criminal elements operating under the pseudonymous canopy of cryptocurrencies to commit crimes. In a recent roundup of criminals, law enforcement officials have arrested several young men who allegedly used Bitcoin and USDt to launder illicit gains made from drug dealing and online gambling.

The government, which has cited these practices as a major reason for its firm stand against private crypto ownership, has gone as far as closing crypto exchanges in the country.

These recurrent money laundering and tax evasion themes have plagued fellow financial powerhouse-the US- from giving crypto a break. US regulatory agencies have become taciturn and combative, suing any crypto-facing company that it feels has broken any laid-down laws.

Even though the Federal Reserve (central bank equivalent) has since admitted that CBDCs use would feature in the economy, Fed Chief Jerome Powell said they would play a more secondary role to the US dollars.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Unlike Nvidia, AMD Won’t Block Crypto Miners From Using its Graphics Cards

Unlike Nvidia, AMD Won’t Block Crypto Miners From Using its Graphics Cards

While one is free to do what they want with the RDNA 2, it is best fit for gamers as “there are going to be limitations from an architectural level for mining itself.”

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD), the semiconductor company, has confirmed that it is not blocking mining operations on its graphics cards, reported PCGamer. This confirmation came after Nvidia’s limited Ether mining on its GPUs.

“The short answer is no,” said Nish Neelalojanan, a product manager at AMD, during a Radeon RX 6700 XT pre-briefing call. “We will not be blocking any workload, not just mining for that matter.” He added,

“However, mining specifically enjoys, or scales with, higher bandwidth and bus width, so there are going to be limitations from an architectural level for mining itself.”

As we reported last month, Nvidia said it is limiting the Ethereum hash rate by 50% with its latest RTX 2060 software drivers because they are designed for gamers, and Nvidia is “gamers, through and through.”

When it comes to AMD, their RDNA 2 isn’t the best crypto miners; they are primarily designed for gaming, which means their “Infinity Cache and a smaller bus width were carefully chosen to hit a very specific gaming hit rate.”

“All our optimization, as always, is going to be gaming first, and we’ve optimized everything for gaming. Clearly gamers are going to reap a ton of benefit from this, and it’s not going to be ideal for mining workload. That all said, in this market, it’s always a fun thing to watch.”

However, both Nvidia and AMD are struggling to meet the global demand as with the rising prices of cryptocurrencies, the need for mining hardware has been rising exponentially.

Chip shortages are also affecting the industries relying on semiconductors, which is expected to continue throughout this year and even into next year.

Christopher Rolland, a financial analyst at Susquehanna, warns that we risk heading into “danger zone” territory for lead times in terms of chip orders, where wait times are now exceeding 14 weeks, not seen since 2018.

Samsung, the world’s biggest computer-chip manufacturer, has also warned of a “serious imbalance in supply and demand of chips.”

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Author: AnTy

Uber CEO: We Won’t Invest in Bitcoin, Would Rather Keep the Non Existent Cash Safe

Uber CEO: We Won’t Invest in Bitcoin, Would Rather Keep the Non Existent Cash Safe

PepsiCo also doesn’t have any interest in investing in Bitcoin either, due to the digital asset being “speculative” and just like UBER share prices fell, PEP’s also took a hit, that too in spite of better-than-expected earnings and revenue.

Uber chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi says the company has discussed the idea of buying Bitcoin with corporate cash but “quickly dismissed” it.

After Tesla announced a $1.5 billion purchase of BTC and Twitter is also considering the option of adding Bitcoin to its balance sheet, Uber took the route that General Motors (GM) is taking, no investing in the cryptocurrency.

“It’s a conversation that’s happened that has been quickly dismissed,” Khosrowshahi said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “We’re going to keep our cash safe. We’re not in the speculation business.”

However, unlike GM, Uber doesn’t have any cash to spare with their free cash flow running in the negative.

The company’s decision not to invest in Bitcoin saw the share prices of Uber taking a hit initially only to rise to $63.53 but still just 0.5% up from Wednesday’s close. Khosrowshahi said,

“The upside in our company is in the business that we’ve built, not the investments that we invest in.”

Like Uber, PepsiCo CFO, Huge Johnston, said the beverage giant has “had the conversation” but is not going to follow in Tesla, MicroStrategy, and Square’s footsteps. Johnston said,

“The conclusion we came to pretty quickly was bitcoin is too speculative for the way we manage our cash portfolio.”

Just like Uber, PepsiCo’s shares also dropped by 1.22%; they have actually been falling ever since the beginning of 2021, despite the company’s better-than-expected earnings and revenue.

The ride-hailing and food-delivery provider, Uber, however, is interested in considering the option of accepting cryptocurrencies as payment, something GM is also evaluating. Khosrowshahi said,

“Just like we accept all kinds of local currency, we are going to look at cryptocurrency and/or bitcoin in terms of currency to transact.”

“That’s good for business. That’s good for our riders and our eaters. That we’ll certainly look at and if there’s a benefit there, if there’s a need there, we’ll do it. We’re just not going to do it as part of a promotion.”

The company reported mixed fourth-quarter earnings with revenue of $3.17 billion, below what Wall Street expected. The company’s overall loss for 4Q20 was $968 million, down from a $1.1 billion loss in the same period last year.

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Author: AnTy

ETH 2.0 on Track for a Late 2020 (November) Launch, Says Long Time Ethereum Contributor

An Ethereum core developer believes the community won’t have to wait for 2020 for the release of the ETH 2.0 beacon chain.

“The Ethereum 2.0 beacon chain will launch in November unless we find severe bugs in clients or protocol,” said Afri Schoedon, a long time Ethereum contributor.

As we reported earlier this month, Justin Drake, a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, said during a Reddit AMA that the “earliest practical date for genesis” is January 3, 2021, Bitcoin’s 12th anniversary.

At that time Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin had also said that he “personally quite disagree” with the 2020 launch date and favors “launching phase 0 significantly before that date regardless of level of readiness :D”

In a recent interview, Schoedon shared, “I don’t think that we necessarily need to delay Ethereum 2.0 into 2021 unless we find critical issues. We are well on track for a late 2020 launch.” Schoedon, who quit the Ethereum community in February last year, said he

“never left Ethereum (…) just ceased active contributions and retired my online-identity after threats of physical violence against my family.”

He shared that many people mistakenly believed his “volunteering in a key-role of hard-fork coordination for Ethereum (…) a role of power,” after he made an “unfortunate statement on Twitter.”

He is now working on launching testnets and benchmarking clients. Explaining ETH 2.0 in plain words, he said one has to put 32 coins in a wallet that you “will not be able to retrieve (again),” for which you get a “Validator” badge, and that gets you to earn rewards that eventually in future can be cashed out.

Currently, the team is preparing for the testnet release, and at least five clients have implemented the latest version of ETH 1.0 with Altona testnet appearing to be running stable.

This means they will be “launching the official multi-client testnet Medalla very soon, which would mark the final step towards an Ethereum 2.0 mainnet launch,” said Schoedon who is a layer-1 person and doesn’t follow the latest craze, DeFi, which align with exploding growth of stablecoin as helped Ethereum surpass Bitcoin in daily settlement value.

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Author: AnTy

OneCoin Won’t Be Investigated by NZ Authorities but May Have Shut ePayments Systems Down

While New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has announced that it won’t investigate OneCoin, the ePayments Systems shutdown may be related to it.

The first warning against OneCoin was issued by the Financial Markets Authority back in 2018. In 2019, NZ police filed a report detailing fraud related to OneCoin at the Commerce Commission. The organization has since reported it has decided not to pursue an investigation, claiming that:

“The scheme was no longer operational in New Zealand and there was likely to be little prospect of obtaining compensation for participants.”

The Samoan Religious Community Promoted OneCoin in NZ

Among the promoters of OneCoin includes the Samoan religious community, which promoted it in NZ. Since January 2020, 3 Samoan religious organizations have been placed under investigation for money laundering.

It remains unclear who will be held accountable for the loss of millions of dollars.

Is OneCoin Behind the ePayments Systems Shutdown?

ePayments Systems, the largest digital payment company in the UK, has been shut down by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on February 11th.

It’s believed that over £100 million in client funds were lost. Rumors of malpractice include OneCoin’s complicity in fraud because Robert Courtneidge – one of the former directors at ePayments Systems – worked for the law firm Locke Lord as a Global Head of Cards and Payments. Locke Lord also had, as a client, Ruja Ignatova, OneCoin’s founder.

Two months before Courtneidge left Locke Lorde, Ignatova suddenly disappeared, potentially with a lot of money in laundered investor funds from OneCoin.

Had Courtneidge Worked Closely with Mark Scott?

Back in November 2019, Mark Scott got a conviction for laundering more than 400 million euros for Ignatova, money that is unaccounted for at the moment.

It’s assumed that Courtneidge worked closely with Mark Scott in order to be appointed as ePayment Systems director. This relationship may have involved laundering enormous amounts of money for Ignatova through ePayment Systems.

Could this be why the FCA has shut down ePayments Systems under allegations of money laundering?

Courtneidge Had no Comment on Connections to OneCoin

When approached by the Financial Times on his connections to OneCoin, Courtneidge refused to comment. The same goes for ePayments Systems and Locke Lorde. The question remains whether ePayments Systems was used to steal money for Ignatova or not.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Justin Sun’s New ‘Secret’ Project Aiming to Disrupt Netflix & YouTube

  • The latest project won’t have any new token, to be purely based on TRX & BTT
  • PewDiePie live-streams on DLive, mentions BitTorrent and TRON
  • Tron is the 2nd largest Dapp platform, beating EOS
  • But TRX price isn’t showing any excitement
  • Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun is at it again.

This time he is making the announcement of an upcoming secret project for BitTorrent and DLive that according to “conservative forecast” will bring in millions of users and have at least multi-billion benefits not only for BTT but also for TRX ecosystem.

One good thing about this project is that there would be “no new token” and will be using BTT and TRX. It will be “purely” based on Tron and BitTorrent, explained Sun.

In his latest tweet, he said this “secret” project is aiming to disrupt Twitch, Periscope, Netflix, and YouTube.

That’s quite a secret project coming on. The community, however, is divided into two, with one side happy about yet another development while the other side wants Sun to just stop with all his announcements of announcements.

PewDiePie mentions BitTorrent and TRON

Recently, a famous YouTuber PewDiePie, who has 102 million subscribers on YouTube, live-streamed his content on DLive, a blockchain-powered streaming site that is migrating to the TRON network. Just a few days back, in late December, DLive announced its partnership with Tron.

Sun took to Twitter to announce this development on Jan. 10 although PewDiePie has been streaming on the platform for some time now. In his latest video, PewDiePie actually mentioned BitTorrent and TRON, saying Tron has “over 100 million users.”

Tron is the 2nd Largest Dapp Platform

In other news, Tron is the 2nd largest Decentralized Applications (Dapps) platform, as per DappReview, a dapp analyzing platform.

“The number of Dapps has increased dramatically at TRON and has surpassed EOS as the second-largest developer platform,” wrote Sun.

The report states, during H1 2019, casino and high-risk DApps contributed the most to the transactions on the Tron network. But as prices dropped, so did the users’ enthusiasm for speculation, leading to a “continuous decline” in transaction volume.

But TRX Price isn’t Showing any Excitement

When it comes to price, the 11th largest cryptocurrency is currently trading at $0.015, down 0.96% in the past 24 hours, as per Coincodex. In the past seven days, its value has increased by about 8% but is still down 95% from its all-time high of $0.30.

Released on Jan. 31, 2019, BTT is up by 6.21% in the past 24 hours while trading at $ 0.000320 but down 83% from ATH of $ 0.001875.

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Author: AnTy

Facebook’s Libra Has “Failed” As Central Banks Won’t Accept It – Switzerland Finance Minister

  • In its current form, the social media giant’s cryptocurrency won’t be approved
  • No central bank will accept the basket of currencies underpinning it

Facebook’s digital currency Libra has been a big miss so far and requires a revamp in order to be supported, said the finance minister of Switzerland and outgoing president. Where regulatory consent is concerned, Ueli Maurer, the president of Switzerland said,

“I don’t think (Libra has a chance in its current form), because central banks will not accept the basket of currencies underpinning it,”

“The project, in this form, has thus failed.”

Government debt and bank deposits held by the custodians are some of the assets backing Libra, which is meant to dodge the high volatility persistent in cryptocurrencies.

The Libra Association has shared their concerns regarding Libra with politicians and regulators that range from confidentiality to its possible ability to impact current fiat policy.

The cryptocurrency Libra scheduled to be launched in June next year may get delayed according to co-creator David Marcus and other officials running the project.

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Author: AnTy