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European Investment Bank reportedly to issue bonds with blockchain tech

European Investment Bank reportedly to issue bonds with blockchain tech

The EIB has reportedly hired banks like Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale to explore a digital bond, registered and settled via blockchain.

The European Investment Bank, an international financial institution owned by European Union member states, is reportedly exploring blockchain technology for issuing digital bonds.

According to a Tuesday Bloomberg report, the EIB has hired major global banks like Goldman Sachs, Banco Santander and Societe Generale to look at a potential deal involving a euro-denominated bond issued on a blockchain. 

Citing a person familiar with the matter, Bloomberg states that the EIB is planning to deploy blockchain technology for the registration and settlement of digital bonds. Investor meetings for the inaugural sale will reportely start on April 15 and continue for several weeks.

The EIB did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph's request for comment.

Blockchain, the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), has been increasingly implemented in the bond market in recent years. According to HSBC, blockchain presents cost savings opportunities of “more than 10x” for the bond market, reducing the need for intermediaries and enabling issuance by smaller projects.

As the European Union’s investment arm, the EIB has often been at the forefront of innovation in Europe’s debt capital markets. Back in 2007, the EIB issued the world’s first green bond, labeled a Climate Awareness Bond. 

The news comes as the European Central Bank prepares to decide on whether it will begin exploring a digital euro. In late March, ECB President Christine Lagarde suggested that the digital euro initiative would take at least four years, should the bank decide to proceed with a pilot.



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US firm splashes out on 4,800 Bitcoin miners worth $34M

US firm splashes out on 4,800 Bitcoin miners worth $34M

A U.S. firm expects to double its Bitcoin hashing power after the purchase of 4,800 new S19J mining rigs from Bitmain.

Pennsylvania software firm Integrated Ventures has announced the purchase of 4,800 Bitcoin (BTC) mining rigs from Chinese manufacturer Bitmain. The deal is worth just over $34 million and will see 400 of Bitmain’s Antminer model S19J’s delivered to Integrated Ventures each month for the next year.

Integrated Ventures partnered with Wattum Management — a mining solutions provider — to carry out the deal, with Wattum expected to help host and manage INTV’s mining operations. The mining rigs deliver 100 terahashes each, giving IV close to 0.5 million TH/s by the time the full shipment of mining rigs is delivered in 2022.

Based on Bitcoin’s current hash rate of 170 million TH/s, this gives the firm a sizable, if still relatively modest share of the coin’s hashing power. It’s worth noting that Bitcoin’s hash rate doubled in the past year alone, meaning IV’s equipment could feasibly be worth much less come next year.

Perhaps with this in mind, INTV secured downside price protection for 12 months as part of the deal, as well as the right to replace the current S19J mining rigs with newer models when they are released in the coming year.

Few would expect the cryptocurrency market to remain static for any great length of time, however, INTV calculates expected revenues of between $19 million and $21 million in the next 12 months, based on the current Bitcoin price of around $60,000.

CEO of Integrated Ventures, Steve Rubakh, said the deal effectively doubled the firm’s existing Bitcoin hashing power, adding that he was pleased to secure the purchase of mining equipment at a time when the hardware was scarce.

“The Company is very pleased to secure this large scale purchase agreement, especially during a period of scarce supply of mining hardware. Going forward, INTV is committed to deploy any raised capital for purchases of the mining equipment,” said Rubakh.



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dHEDGE launches tokenized index tracking its top 10-ranked traders

dHEDGE launches tokenized index tracking its top 10-ranked traders

Funds will be rebalanced across dHEDGE’s top-ranked fund managers monthly.

Decentralized fund management platform dHEDGE has launched a tokenized index that tracks its top-ranked traders.

An ERC-20 token will also be issued for the index on automated market maker DEXes in futur.

dHEDGE allows fund managers to launch actively managed investment pools powered by synthetic assets provided by Synthetix.

“What dHEDGE is trying to do is crowdsource the best traders on the internet, and if you can create an index out of that, [...] I think that’s tremendously powerful,” Apollo Capital chief investment officer and dHEDGE co-founder, Henrik Anderson, told Cointelegraph.

The new pool, dubbed “dTOP,” will rebalance funds across the platform’s top 10-ranked fund managers on a monthly basis. The bot will also cover gas fees incurred through rebalancing, with the dHEDGE DAO paying for gas.

The performance of dHEDGE’s hundreds of pool managers is scored using the Sortino Ratio. The risk-adjusted measure considers a pool’s performance relative to its size and risk profile, considering historic volatility both to the upside and the downside.

“What we’re looking for is a risk-adjusted measure — we think it is really important you not just look at the returns,” Anderson said.

The dHEDGE DAO provided $50,000 to seed the dTOP pool, with Anderson predicting the organization will invest more funds into the index in future. The pool has a 10% performance fee that is distributed among the month’s top asset managers relative to their weight in the index.

Since exiting stealth mode in July 2020, dHEDGE has attracted a TVL of $30 million and facilitated more than $400 million worth of trades.

Anderson indicated that more indices will be launched on dHEDGE in future, and noted that the project is currently exploring Optimism for layer-two scaling.

“The team is excited to continue to deliver value and expand the capabilities of the protocol,” he said.



via cointelgraph.com
The biggest event in crypto this week ISN'T Coinbase’s IPO: Erik Voorhees

The biggest event in crypto this week ISN'T Coinbase’s IPO: Erik Voorhees

The first truly native cross-chain DEX is about to go live.

ShapeShift CEO and crypto industry stalwart, Erik Voorhees, has suggested the launch of Thorchain is arguably the biggest event in crypto this week.

And considering all eyes in crypto are on the direct listing of major US exchange Coinbase on the Nasdaq on Wednesday — with a potential valuation of $140 billion according to the FTX derivatives exchange — that’s a pretty big claim.

Thorchain’s launch is scheduled for Tuesday, April 13, and will mark the first time that native crypto assets can be traded on a DEX across unique blockchains without bridging technology or wrapping tokens.

In an April 12 tweet, Voorhees asserted that the launch of a native cross-chain decentralized exchange (DEX) will tread new ground for crypto.

“Thorchain has no bridges. It has no wrapping. It is native assets, swapped across chains in a decentralized way, for the first time ever,” Voorhees exclaimed.

Thorchain will host launch party on social platform Clubhouse on Tuesday at 18.00 EST. The event will be attended by some of the biggest names in crypto, including Voorhees and several ShapeShift executives, Multicoin Capital managing partner Tushar Jain, Delphi Digital co-founder Yan Liberman, and several others.

The DEX will initially host pairings for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Binance Coin pairings, with plans to support other crypto assets in future.

Thorchain operates like other automated market makers such as Uniswap, but with the important distinction that it enables the trading and swapping of crypto assets from completely different blockchains and networks.

Thorchain is based on the Tendermint consensus protocol which is also associated with the Cosmos ecosystem. The exchange is backed by its native token RUNE, which acts as collateral to facilitate trades.

Assets are supported by the protocol when blockchains get added to Thorchain's cross-chain network, called “chaosnet.” Chaosnet allows assets to be swapped without relying on third-party intermediaries such as the custodians of wrapped versions of BTC, for example.

To swap BTC for ETH, for example, the exchange would trade the BTC for RUNE, which is then swapped for ETH. This is all carried out at high speed to ensure the user is not impacted by the intermediary trade.

There has been increased demand for cross-chain solutions, especially from the DeFi sector. On April 8, Cointelegraph reported that cross-chain asset bridge and application hub ChainSwap had closed a $3-million strategic funding round led by Alameda Research.

Thorchain is also developing a native wallet called Asgard X which will be built to interact directly with the “chaosnet,” allowing the tokens of unique blockchains to be held by a single wallet.

The platform’s native token, RUNE, has been on fire recently, surging 13% over the past 24 hours to reach an all-time high of $12.65, according to Coingecko.



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CoinList 'Rally': 40K investors rush to buy RLY despite price pump

CoinList 'Rally': 40K investors rush to buy RLY despite price pump

Rally has generated $22 million in sales from its liquid token sale on April 4, which attracted 40,000 investors.

Social token platform Rally has completed its first “liquid token sale” on crypto asset issuance platform CoinList, with 40,000 investors snapping up RLY tokens for $0.60 each between April 1 and April 4.

The sale saw tokens distributed to investors at a set price despite RLY trading on exchanges since October, 2020. Token pricing was determined by a 20-day trailing average from March 11, 2021 to March 30, 2021 minus a 30% markdown to compensate for the RLY being locked up for 12-month a linear release.

However, investors had the opportunity to purchase RLY for less than half the price offered by CoinList on the open markets just five weeks ago.

The sale was approved through community governance in mid-March, with the 40 million RLY sodl having previously been allocated to Rally’s Community Treasury. The ballot saw 100% of the 7,400 participating token holders vote in favor of the sale. Nearly 30% of RLY are now held by Rally’s team and investors.

News of the sale appeared to drive bullish momentum for RLY, which has gained nearly 250% since trading for less than $0.29 on March 12. RLY consistently traded between $0.25 and $0.35 from mid-January until mid-May. As of this writing, RLY last changed hands for $1.

RLY/USD: CoinGecko

Half of the tokens will become tradable on Oct. 4, after which the remaining RLY will unlock gradually on a monthly basis. In a blog post on April 12, Coinlist revealed the offering generated $22 million. Investments were limited to $1,000 per person, with nearly two-thirds of the offering’s 115,000 registrants missing out on participating.

Rally is a blockchain-based social network that allows content creators to launch social tokens.

The social token sector — non-fungible tokens issued by content creators, brands, and communities — has been on the rise in 2021, with RLY and WHALE representing 83% of the social token market cap pack with $240 million combined.



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USDT, USDC, and BUSD represent 93% of stablecoin market cap

USDT, USDC, and BUSD represent 93% of stablecoin market cap

The three largest stablecoins represent a combined capitalization of $60 billion.

Research from on-chain analytics provider Glassnode has revealed that the top three stablecoins represent more than 90% of the sector’s entire market cap.

Glassnode’s April 13 “Week On-chain” report found that the top three stablecoins — Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), and Binance USD (BUSD) — have seen significant growth over the past six months to represent a combined capitalization of more than $60 billion, equal to 92.75% of the stablecoin market.

By contrast, six months ago the combined stablecoin capitalization for those three was less than one-third of its current levels at $19.2 billion. This time last year, stablecoins were worth just $7 billion combined.

The analysis compared the growth of stablecoins with Bitcoin’s market cap, identifying a clear correlation between the two. The report also found that USDT’s supply has continued to increase during recent weeks despite BTC trending sideways, whereas growth for USDC and BUSD has slowed.

BTC market cap vs stablecoin supply: Glassnode

The report notes historic lows for its Stablecoin Supply Ratio (SSR) metric, which measures Bitcoin’s market cap relative to the total stablecoin supply to estimate the global “buying power” of the stablecoin sector.

When BTC prices are low, the supply of stablecoins can buy a larger portion of it to push prices up. Conversely, as prices increase the available stablecoins can purchase less which reduces the influence on prices. Glassnode concluded:

“The growth of stablecoin supplies throughout 2020-21 has held the SSR metric near historical lows suggesting a relatively high buying power of digitally native dollars. The demand for digital dollars appears to be keeping pace with demand for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a whole.”

Tether’s market cap has over doubled since the beginning of 2021 to currently sit at a record $45.6 billion, according to the Tether transparency report. Circle’s website reported an all-time high of $11.5 billion USDC on April 9, while Goingecko estimated BUSD's supply to be $5.1 billion on April 13.

On April 7, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire predicted its USDC stablecoin could soon surpass PayPal by settlement value.



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NYSE celebrates historic 'first trades' with NFT series

NYSE celebrates historic 'first trades' with NFT series

The NYSE’s NFTs will celebrate the first trades made in the shares of Spotify, Unity, DoorDash, Snowflake, Roblox, and Coupang.

The New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, has jumped on the NFT bandwagon by minting nonfungible tokens celebrating the first trade made in the shares of prominent U.S. companies.

In an April 13th announcement, NYSE’s president, Stacey Cunningham, described NFTs as a “new, fun way to mark the moment” of a company’s first trade on the NYSE.

The first six NYSE NFTs commemorating the first trades for Spotify, Snowflake, Unity, DoorDash, Roblox, and Coupang, with Cunningham confirming “there will be many more NYSE NFTs to come.”

The first NFTs are already listed on Crypto.com’s NFT marketplace, with the tokens hosting a 10-second video clip presenting information about the company’s first trade — including its time, date, and listing price.

NYSE’s First Trade NFT for Spotify: Crypto.com

NYSE’s announcement received a mixed response on social media, with Twitter user “Aaron” saying he “had to check the calendar just to make sure it wasn’t April 1st” upon reading the news.

Infamous crypto Twitter troll “Bit Lord” was less political with his phrasing:

“You clowns haven’t even listed $BTC, get off my timeline scammers.”

Alex Gausman, the founder of nonfungible token fractionalization platform, NFTX, noted he could not find the contract address for NYSE’s tokens, adding: “That’s like the least cool/artistic thing ever. Just buy the stock.”

While NYSE’s NFT listings are yet to receive any bids, similar tokens issued by rival publications including Forbes, Times, and the New York Times have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars this year.

Forbes’ first NFT featuring its latest issue cover with Gemini owners and billionaires the Winklevoss twins sold for $333,333 on April 8 this year. Times Magazine has issued nine NFTs to date with each individual cover NFT selling for between $100,000 and $250,000.

A column in the New York Times was tokenized for charity in March, raising more than $550,000 for NYT’s Neediest Case Fund.



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Bitcoin’s time has come: TIME magazine to hold BTC on balance sheet

Bitcoin’s time has come: TIME magazine to hold BTC on balance sheet

TIME magazine has partnered up with Grayscale to drop a series of educational crypto videos, and has agreed to be paid in Bitcoin.

Institutional fund manager Grayscale has partnered with acclaimed New York-based magazine TIME to produce an educational video series on the subject of crypto assets.

The partnership was announced on April by Grayscale’s CEO, Michael Sonnenshein, with Sonnenshein revealing that TIME and its president, Keith Grossman, will receive payment in Bitcoin.

Further, TIME does not intend to convert the Bitcoin it receives through the deal into fiat, and will hold the crypto asset on its balance sheet. No further details of the partnership have been revealed so far.

TIME was first published on March 3, 1923, with the magazine and online publication having been active in the crypto space of late. In March, TIME cashed in on the NFT mania by dropping a set of tokenized magazine covers on NFT marketplace SuperRare, with the “TIME Space Exploration - January 19th, 1959” NFT fetching 135 ETH worth almost $250,000 on March 30.

The company also revealed they were seeking a crypto-friendly Chief Financial Officer in the same month after listing the position on Linkedin.

"The media industry is undergoing a rapid evolution. TIME is seeking a Chief Financial Officer who can help guide its transformation," the listing said.

According to Bitcointreasuries.com, TIME will become the 33rd publicly traded company to hold Bitcoin on its balance sheet. TIME joins the ranks of top U.S. companies Microstrategy — who have invested billions into BTC from August 2020, Square — who added 4,709 BTC to their treasury in October, and Tesla — which purchased $1.5 billion worth of BTC in January. Multinational investment corporation Blackrock also began dabbling in crypto during February, profiting more than $360,000 from a small long using Bitcoin futures.

This deal marks a significant partnership between giants of the mainstream and crypto worlds. Grayscale was founded in 2013 and has $46 billion worth of crypto assets under management, including roughly 3% of Bitcoin’s total circulating supply.



via cointelgraph.com
Bitcoin In Sports And What The Future Holds

Bitcoin In Sports And What The Future Holds

The sports industry represents a massive opportunity for Bitcoin adoption, as further sponsorships and deals are expected.

Bitcoin has experienced seismic growth in the past few months: its price has risen dramatically since January 2021 and is expected to continue to trend upward. This growth underscores bitcoin’s massive potential as an investment asset. For this reason, pro athletes and major sports clubs are capitalizing on Bitcoin. For instance, Russell Okung, a Carolina Panthers offensive tackle, recently became the first NFL player to receive a salary in bitcoin.

In this article, we will explore the future of Bitcoin in sports. But first, why are pro athletes shifting to investing in bitcoin?

Why Pro Athletes Are Investing In Bitcoin

1. To Have More Control Over Their Wealth

Bitcoin gives athletes more control over their money by cutting intermediaries. Many athletes have endorsements and corporate sponsorship deals. The agencies that manage these deals end up taking a significant amount of money.

By using bitcoin, athletes can enter deals without necessarily going through middlemen services like the kind agents offer. These endorsements involve large amounts of money. Using bitcoin for payment helps to avoid high taxation as the capital gain’s rate can sometimes be lower than ordinary income tax, depending on your jurisdiction.

2. Bitcoin Provides Privacy And Security

The government and sponsoring companies track athletes’ spending habits. In addition, their high profile and fame can get athletes targeted by fraudsters and scammers. Bitcoin gives high-profile athletes a sense of security by keeping their identities private should they decide to take the necessary privacy precautions.

3. Investment

Bitcoin is one of the fastest-growing sectors of financial technology. By investing in the industry, athletes are poised to reap massive profits. Some top athletes with massive investments in cryptocurrency include Lionel Messi, Nikita Kucherov, Floyd Mayweather, and Matt Barkley.

NFL and NBA Investments In Bitcoin

The Sacramento Kings became the first NBA franchise to accept payment in bitcoin in 2014. The aim was to enhance the customer experience when buying season tickets and merchandise. In April of 2020, the Kings announced, according to Forbes,  that players on the team would be eligible to receive their salary in bitcoin. 

In 2019, the Dallas Mavericks started accepting bitcoin as a payment method for merchandise and tickets. Similarly, the Miami Dolphins started accepting bitcoin payments during the 2019/2020 NFL season.

Athletes’ Involvement In Bitcoin

Russell Okung is the Vice President of the NFL Players’ Association and a former Los Angeles Chargers left tackle. However, his name hit news headlines when he became the first NFL athlete to receive a salary in bitcoin. It all started when he visited his ancestral home in Nigeria and was unsuccessful in trying to make a bank transfer from his US account.

This incident pushed Okung towards bitcoin. In fact, he tweeted, “Pay me in bitcoin,” in May 2019. Although the Chargers declined the request, Trezor offered Okung a free wallet. He recently received further good news: the Carolina Panthers will pay half of Okung’s $13 million salary in bitcoin. Nevertheless, the Panthers will not be paying the player in bitcoin directly. Instead, they will send the funds to Strike, a platform that converts payments to bitcoin, which will, in turn, pay Okung in bitcoin.

Strike is also planning to attract pro basketball and baseball athletes, according to Coindesk, and New York Yankees baseball players and Brooklyn Nets basketball players have joined the program. Matt Barkley is already into bitcoin mining, according to his twitter. Without a doubt, Okung has set the ball rolling.

Oakland Athletics Selling Tickets For Bitcoin

One critical development in Bitcoin adoption in sports is accepting bitcoin as payment for ticketing. The COVID-19 pandemic has discouraged the handling of paper money, a trend that was already in motion prior to the virus. Bitcoin is becoming more widely accepted for convenience and health reasons.

Accepting bitcoin is a meaningful way for teams to rake in more dollars as they wait for the normal resumption of sports activities. Essentially, a shift towards bitcoin will characterize the new normal. The Oakland Athletics are a pioneer of using bitcoin in professional baseball for full-service payment.

Bitcoin In Soccer Transfers

One of the most intriguing actions in soccer is the buying and selling of players. During every transfer window, soccer teams spend a gargantuan sum of money. Upcoming youngsters are fetching as much as €100 million.

Using bitcoin for transfers is a new milestone in the sports industry. In 2018, Harunustaspor from Turkey signed Omer Faruk Kirogul at a cost 0.0524 bitcoin. Inter Madrid also pulled off a unique signing by buying David Barral from Real Madrid B using bitcoin.

Club And Team Sponsorships

If you are a keen sports enthusiast, you might have seen the names of major bitcoin exchanges on sports attire. Bitcoin exchanges’ names are now commonplace in tournaments. A deal between FTX cryptocurrency exchange and the NBA for the naming rights to the Miami Heat’s arena is close to completion, at a price of $135 million for 19 years.  

In 2014, BitPay sponsored the St. Petersburg Bowl to promote Bitcoin. Similarly, eToro, a trading platform based in the UK, is sponsoring several EPL soccer clubs, including Crystal Place, Tottenham Hotspurs, Leicester City, Southampton, Brighton, and Hove Albion FC. The EPL is one of the biggest soccer leagues in the world and boasts immense popularity.

In general, bitcoin can be used to pay for player transfers, reduce ticket scalping, and authenticate merchandise. Another example, In 2018, Gibraltar United football club paid their players in bitcoin. These developments highlight Bitcoin’s massive potential in sports.

The Future Of Bitcoin In Sports

With Bitcoin increasing in popularity, its adoption in sports will continue to rise. In the next year, we will likely see more clubs entering into sponsorships with bitcoin-related firms. Moreover, more clubs will shift to using bitcoin as their payment method for players’ wages and transfers. Like in other industries, the future of Bitcoin in sports is bright.


via bitcoinmagazine.com
Paxful: Hacked User Data Offer Is “Fake”

Paxful: Hacked User Data Offer Is “Fake”

A recent forum post offering the personal data of millions of Paxful users has been called “fake” by the exchange’s CEO.

Last week, a user called “Mafufi” took to stolen data marketplace RaidForums to offer user and employee data from cryptocurrency exchange Paxful including their “first name, last name, date of birth, gender, address, phone number, email [and] passwords,” in exchange for 1 BTC.

Shortly afterward, Paxful CEO Ray Youssef took to Twitter to clarify that the offered information could not really be for sale.

“Any KYC data is never on our servers. We don’t take asking for people’s identities lightly,” Youssef tweeted. “1 BTC for millions of users? We get this leak spam all the time. Always fake. No user data leaked.”

Youssef went on to write that he was “still confirming if some employee data was leaked from [a] third-party payroll site.”

Nevertheless, the forum post received significant attention from the Bitcoin community, which is particularly adverse to the idea of user data being collected, shared or sold without consent. As a decentralized, middleman-free platform, the ultimate vision for Bitcoin is to enable users to operate pseudonymously and without their private information being recorded or shared. Furthermore, a long history of hacks and scams in the space has led to innumerable funds being lost and potential harm to data hack victims who would be known to hold significant amounts of bitcoin.


via bitcoinmagazine.com
Galaxy Digital Files For Bitcoin ETF, Joining Growing List

Galaxy Digital Files For Bitcoin ETF, Joining Growing List

Galaxy Digital is now among the handful of groups that have filed for regulatory approval to offer a bitcoin ETF.

Galaxy Digital, a digital-asset-focused investment firm owned by Mike Novogratz, has submitted a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The move sees Galaxy Digital join a steadily growing list of applicants interested in regulatory approval to offer a bitcoin ETF in the U.S., though none have yet been approved.

Ever since recent management change in the SEC, several investment firms have submitted proposals to offer bitcoin ETFs, including Valkyrie Digital Assets, NYDIG and more. Now, Galaxy has joined the race, with plans to trade on the NYSE Arca and reflect the Bloomberg Galaxy bitcoin index's performance, per the proposal.

It is still uncertain if any of the proposals submitted will be accepted, but the ETF market would represent a great coup for any cryptocurrency investment firm that manages to corner it. ETFs have several advantages as investment vehicles, including cheaper and more accessible shares. Though a bitcoin ETF would not offer bitcoin exposure directly, it would allow investors closer access to one of the greatest-performing assets in history.

For instance, the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, the first such product granted regulatory approval in North America, quickly broke investment records upon becoming available. Given bitcoin’s recent price performance and the influx of more typically risk-adverse investors into the BTC market, it’s more than likely that a U.S.-based bitcoin ETF would see immediate and sustained success.


via bitcoinmagazine.com
Riot Blockchain Bitcoin production jumps 80% over pre-halving levels

Riot Blockchain Bitcoin production jumps 80% over pre-halving levels

The company said it held more than $94 million in crypto as of March 31, all from Bitcoin it has mined.

In an announcement on Monday, Riot Blockchain reported that it produced 187 Bitcoin (BTC) — roughly $11.2 million — last month, an 80% increase over its BTC mining in March 2020. The company said it held more than 1,565 Bitcoin on its balance sheet as of March 31, representing more than $94 million in crypto.

The mining report follows Riot's $138 million purchase of 42,000 S19j Antminers from crypto mining giant Bitmain. Roughly 6% of the rigs — 2,400 Antminers — are reportedly already on route to Coinmint’s facility in New York, where Riot runs a portion of its mining operations. By the end of April, Riot claimed it will have 16,146 Antminers in operation capable of producing 1.6 exahashes per second.

As more of the Antminers are put into operation, Riot expects its hashing power to rise significantly. By the end of the year, the mining firm expects to achieve a hash rate capacity of 3.8 EH/s, while the total fleet capacity of 81,146 Antminers — expected to be fully operational before the fourth quarter of 2022 — may produce a hash rate of 7.7 EH/s. According to blockchain data, this would represent more than 4% of the hash rate of the entire Bitcoin network, roughly 171 million terahashes per second at the time of publication.

Riot is also reportedly planning to purchase a major mining facility in the state of Texas. The mining firm said last week that it would buy the Northern Data-owned Whinstone company for $650 million. The deal would seemingly allow Riot to run its rigs in Texas with a total capacity of 750 megawatts, with an additional 300 MW expansion planned.



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The Conclusion Of The Long-Term Debt Cycle And The Rise Of Bitcoin

The Conclusion Of The Long-Term Debt Cycle And The Rise Of Bitcoin

The conclusion of the long-term debt cycle is an inescapable economic reality that coincides with the ascent of the Bitcoin Network.

In this article, I will detail why the incumbent global financial system is irreversibly broken, how it got to this point, and what the world will look like coming out the other side of the present crisis. I will use the frameworks presented in Ray Dalio’s Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises along with my own analysis to contextualize the global economic landscape, and I will detail how the emergence of bitcoin as a global monetary asset will serve as a release valve.

For an abridged version of Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises, watch this excellent 30-minute video produced by Dalio himself.

The Cyclicity Of Debt

To put it simply, debt is cyclical. When you borrow money today, you increase your buying power today at the expense of the buying power of your future self. Buying something you cannot afford today means that you are spending more than you make: you are borrowing not only from the lender but also from your future productivity/output. In an economic system built on credit, expansions and contractions of credit availability serve as drivers of economic growth/activity and contraction/recessions, respectively.

This holds true at both the individual and macroeconomic levels. When an individual borrows money to consume or invest and does not receive a positive return, it decreases that person’s future investment/consumption/spending. The same framework applies to sectors of an economic system, or more broadly, economic systems as a whole.

Although productivity is the most important aspect of an economic system over the long term, not productivity but the forces of debt/credit are the main driving forces in volatile economic swings.

Time Value Of Money

The time value of money is a very important concept in the roles of debt and credit in an economic system. Explained simply, any rational economic actor would prefer to receive money today rather than the same amount of money in the future. There is an opportunity cost to parting with money, and the return that one could earn on their money tomorrow by parting with it today should theoretically be positive to compensate for risk and opportunity cost.

The Interplay Between The Short- And Long-Term Debt Cycles

Although most are familiar with the short-term debt cycle, many are unfamiliar with the concept of the long-term debt cycle, which is of much greater significance. The reason why many are unfamiliar with the long-term debt cycle is because it repeats very rarely, about once every 75–100 years. Most people live their entire lives without experiencing the conclusion of a long-term debt cycle, and thus, its significance is rarely understood.

Below, I will outline the archetypal short- and long-term debt cycles and present some historical context and current statistics to frame the current state of the domestic and global economy.

The Short-Term Debt Cycle: ~7–10 years

Debt cycles can be observed by viewing debt-to-income ratios and interest rates, among other metrics. Although there has not been a completely free market for the cost of capital during the era of central banking, interest rates set by central banks serve as the “risk-free rate,” upon which the economic foundation is built. With the advantage of hindsight, one can clearly see many examples of short-term debt cycles, more commonly known as the “boom-and-bust cycle,” by looking at the interest rates set by central banks.

The Long-Term Debt Cycle: ~75–100 years

The long-term debt cycle is made up of numerous short-term debt cycles. Debt crises occur because debt and debt servicing costs rise more rapidly than incomes are able to support them, which necessitates deleveraging. In response to credit contraction, central banks can lower interest rates, which reduces relative debt servicing costs and provides the economy with a stimulative boost. This process repeats itself as productive investments are made, and the self-reinforcing upward boom of credit expansion then brings about speculative activity and misallocation of capital. Eventually, the debt burden and interest expenses grow far too large to service, and central banks respond by again cutting interest rates.

Over the course of each cycle, interest rates at the cyclical peak and trough are lower than those at the peak and trough of the previous cycle. This process repeats until the interest rate reductions that enabled each subsequent expansion can no longer continue, as interest rates reach the lower bound of zero. Interest rates hitting zero marks the beginning of the end for a currency regime, as it signifies that debt loads across the economic system have reached unsustainable levels. The logical path from that point, if we follow policy makers’ incentive structure with a historical perspective, is to sacrifice the value of the currency.

Types Of Monetary Policy

In a deleveraging event, three main forms of monetary policy can be used to ease the debt burden. As defined by Dalio in Big Debt Crises:

Monetary Policy 1: Interest rate-driven monetary policy. This is the go-to tool used by central banks and is the most effective tool to “stimulate” the economy. This is because lowering rates

1) raises the present value of assets, 2) makes it easier to buy items and invest with credit, and 3) reduces the debt-servicing burden. Interest-rate reduction is almost always the first response to a debt crisis, if there is room to cut the rates any further.

Monetary Policy 2: Quantitative easing (QE), or “printing money” to buy debt securities/financial assets. QE places cash in the hands of investors, who then seek to redeploy it into other financial instruments. Some economists argue that QE is not money printing money because simply entails swapping out a financial asset. This logic is flawed, as the freshly printed cash places bids in the credit markets that would not have otherwise existed.

QE positively affects investors and asset values but does very little to help those without assets. In many cases, including the present-day situation, this widens the wealth gap significantly. The more that QE is used, the less effective it becomes. QE is the most effective when there is a lack of liquidity in financial markets, but once credit markets become sufficiently reinflated, the effects diminish with each marginal unit of currency that is printed.

Monetary Policy 3: “Stimulus payments.” This form of policy puts money directly in the hands of the people. The recent popularization and support for universal basic income and stimulus checks are examples of Monetary Policy 3. This form of monetary policy is used because the first two forms disproportionately benefit the investor class, leaving the middle and lower classes struggling to get by. Political acceptance of this type of monetary policy becomes most prevalent late in a debt cycle, when wealth gaps are the most severe and the masses are looking for any possible way to “get ahead.”

Another form of this type of monetary policy is debt-financed fiscal spending monetized by the central bank, or what is today being called “Modern Monetary Theory.”

Brief Overview Of Monetary History

The dollar and the global monetary order changed considerably in 1971 with the Nixon Shock. With other nations having previously agreed to peg their currencies to the US dollar, and the US dollar redeemable for gold by global central banks, the decision by Nixon to “temporarily” close the gold window in August 1971 changed the global monetary order forever. Shortly following this decision, in March 1973, the currencies of the G10 nations abandoned the fixed exchange rate standard and began to float in the open market.

For the first time in history, nearly the entire world—with an increasingly developed and interconnected global economy—had free-floating (i.e., purely fiat) currencies. As a result, a very interesting dynamic has become increasingly prevalent whereby nations are incentivized to competitively devalue their currencies (and thus the cost of capital within their domestic economies) to attract foreign capital inflows and boost their export markets.

If a nation maintains the strength of its currency and does not devalue it along with the rest of the world’s fiat currencies, the country’s buying power appreciates significantly, but its domestic manufacturing base and competitiveness in international trade diminish significantly.

Although the dollar and the monetary policy decisions of the Federal Reserve are domestic, the decisions made by policy makers do not exist in a vacuum and are influenced by the dollar's role as the international economy’s global reserve currency.

The Endgame

It is clear that we are in the final stages of a debt supercycle that has played out over the last ~80 years. We are in the endgame of the current monetary order, and something new will have to fill the void.

Effective Federal Funds Rate, 1955–2021

Over the last 4 decades, interest rates have been in a secular downtrend, and conversely, debt loads have continued to pile up across the economic system. Every economic boom that has occurred since 1981 has been aided by stimulus in the form of looser monetary policy.

This can be observed in a chart of the Effective Federal Funds Rate as well as the y/y percentage change in real GDP. Long-term growth in productivity and technology result from human entrepreneurship and ingenuity, but over the short–medium term, credit cycles have important impacts on economic activity.

Note the reduction of interest rates that follows every decline in real GDP.

Year-over-year % change in real Gross Domestic Product, 1981–2021

Interest rates peaked at 19% in 1981, and over the last 40 years, they have been in a secular downtrend. In other words, for the last 40 years, the discounted cash flows have caused every asset to skyrocket. Bonds, equities, and real estate have all appreciated by orders of magnitude based on the valuations supported by ever-decreasing interest rates, and these price increases cannot be effectively measured with the flawed CPI metric. Now, with the Federal Reserve’s funding rates at the zero lower bound, reducing interest rates is no longer an option.

Below are charts that illustrate three of the latest short-term debt cycles, as observed by the Effective Federal Funds Rate.

0.25% → 2.25% → 0.25% rate cycle, 2015–2020
1.0% → 5.25% → 0.25% rate cycle, 2004–2009
3.0% → 6.5% → 1.0% rate cycle, 1994 –2004

Second-Order Effects Of Easy Monetary Policy

A side effect of the increasingly easy monetary policy over the past decades has been significant asset price inflation. The majority of the increase in asset prices has not been the result of increased productivity or output, but rather the result of massive credit expansion and lessening discount rates following each subsequent “bust” or deleveraging event. Asset price inflation concentrates wealth into the hands of the few, and social unrest and popular polarization are second-order effects of this.

“Wealth gaps increase during bubbles, and they become particularly galling for the less privileged during hard times… It is during such times that populism on both the left and the right tends to emerge. How well the people and the political system handle this is key to how well the economy and the society weather the period. As shown below, both inequality and populism are on the rise in the US today, much as they were in the 1930s. In both cases, the net worth of the top 0.1 percent of the population equaled approximately that of the bottom 90 percent combined.” - Big Debt Crises

With this framing, the polarization and political division that have emerged in the United States over the last decade make sense. There is nothing new under the sun, and if we turn back time, we can view similar instances throughout history. The increasingly popular populist movements and policies that have taken hold in the United States are an expected response from a class of people who have been hurt by monetary policy decisions that have spanned across decades. Anyone focusing on the individual actors and not the systematic inequality created and enabled by easy money monetary policy is missing what has truly taken place.

“In some cases, raising taxes on the rich becomes politically attractive because the rich made a lot of money in the boom—especially those working in the financial sector—and are perceived to have caused the problems because of their greed. The central bank’s purchases of financial assets also disproportionately benefit the rich because the rich own many more such assets. Big political shifts to the left typically hasten redistributive efforts. This typically drives the rich to try to move their money in ways and to places that provide protection, which itself has effects on asset and currency markets.” - Big Debt Crises

A recent example can be seen in the push by Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders to pass a wealth tax. Different from a standard capital gains tax, a wealth tax would confiscate a percentage of one's wealth above a certain net worth threshold. Many people across the political spectrum believe that these policies are needed because of the “ills of capitalism” However, the irony is that the massive economic imbalance and wealth inequality currently present in the United States (and worldwide) are not the results of free market capitalism. The large proportion of wealth held by the 1% and the investor class is not the result of productivity gains, but rather financial engineering enabled by easy monetary policy.

“Free-Market Capitalism?” Not So Fast...

Although the United States is frequently described as being “free-market capitalist,” this statement is not exactly true. Here is why:

In a free-market capitalist economic system, the most important pricing mechanism is that of money. When there is a monopolist institution setting the price of money, the market is inherently not “free.” There is nothing free about reducing the price of money whenever there is an economic downturn, including the most recent injections of hundreds of billions and now trillions of dollars into financial markets whenever a major liquidation of malinvestment occurs. This monopolistic pricing of money has partially enabled past systemic crises and will ensure the growth of future imbalance and excess. This is what has enabled the gross misallocation of capital, the effects of which are most glaringly obvious in the negative real interest rates offered in sovereign debt markets.

Time Value Of Money = Negative?

Real yields of United States Treasury Bonds at the time of writing

With the Federal Reserve pegging interest rates at zero, along with conducting massive QE programs to monetize federal deficits, the underlying “risk-free rates” of the financial system actually promise return-free risk. As a result, asset valuations have soared, and the holders of said assets have gotten exponentially more wealthy.

The wealth divide has been further exacerbated since the 2008 financial crisis. Below is the S&P 500 Index, which has risen nearly 500% in just 12 years, fueled by the ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) and QE.

A recent study by the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances found that the top 10% of U.S. households owned 84% of all U.S. equities, whereas the bottom 50% of households held just 1%. This alone establishes that when Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell states that Fed policies “absolutely don't contribute to wealth inequality,” he is flat-out lying to save face, full stop.

What Comes Next?

So, what happens next? The gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” has never been wider, central banks have been promising to keep interest rates at 0% for quite some time, and debt loads across the entire economy are larger and more unsustainable than ever before.

There is mathematically no way out of the current economic environment. The only path forward that policy makers know is more of what caused the problems in the first place: More stimulus in the form of QE (to provide financial markets with additional liquidity and suppress yields) and fiscal stimulus in the form of direct checks and aid to the people to minimize unrest.

This is not a sustainable system, as it is supported by exponentially expanding the monetary base, which simply exacerbates the problems of the current economic environment. In this reality, asset prices will continue to go parabolic, and it will become increasingly hard to get by for the lower and middle classes as real wages decrease due to monetary policy coupled with technological advancement stripping away automatable jobs that were previously performed by humans. The current actions being taken are simply not a long-term solution, as a look at the empirical data shows.

Displayed below is a series of charts that show various debt and income metrics since 2000. Feel free to draw your own conclusions from them.

Corporate Earnings: +55% since 2000
Corporate debt: +166% since 2000

Median household income: +63% since 2000

Total liabilities, households and nonprofit organizations: +146% since 2000
Gross domestic product: +115% since 2000
Debt securities and loans, all sectors: +206% since 2000
Federal debt: +380% since 2000

Technology Changing The Rules

The problem with chasing perpetual “growth” fueled by ever-increasing credit expansion is that the rules of the game have changed. Technology has fundamentally changed the rules of our economic system, and our monetary system is unable to adjust.

We live in a world where rapidly improving and advancing technology continues to give us more for less. As jobs of the past are automated away, and technology continues to drive the costs of many aspects of life to near zero, our monetary system necessitates that everything continue to increase in cost in nominal terms in perpetuity. Even though technological advances should be giving everyone the gift of a higher standard of living for less real cost, the incumbent monetary system must avoid deflation at all costs.

In a world that is experiencing exponential technological growth, exponentially more stimulus and debt are needed to keep the system glued together. Without ever-increasing amounts of stimulus in the form of central bank balance sheet expansion, the debt loads that have built up over the last 40 years would unwind, the cost of debt would explode in real terms, all of the banks would become insolvent, and the global economic system would experience a massive depression. Remember, it is only possible to consume more than you produce for so long, at both the microeconomic and macroeconomic levels.

Shown below are the balance sheets of the world's major central banks. Although this piece has focused on the U.S. domestic economy, this figure shows that we have been describing a global phenomenon.

Policymakers are trapped by decisions made decades before their tenures. Their actions make sense with this framing, but that does not make said actions “right” or a practical long-term solution for the global monetary and economic system.

Human civilization is at an inflection point. Inflationary monetary policy against the backdrop of technological deflation means either that ever more power will become concentrated in the hands of the state, or that one by one, individuals will voluntarily opt into and adopt a superior monetary system, the rules of which cannot be arbitrarily changed.

The Solution: Bitcoin

“At this stage [in the long term debt cycle], policy makers sometimes monetize debt in even larger quantities in an attempt to compensate for its declining effectiveness. While this can help for a bit, there is a real risk that prolonged monetization will lead people to question the currency’s suitability as a store hold of value. This can lead them to start moving to alternative currencies, such as gold. The fundamental economic challenge most economies have in this phase is that the claims on purchasing power are greater than the abilities to meet them.” - Big Debt Crises

We are seeing this play out today. The global economic system is so over-indebted that there would be a deflationary collapse without ever-increasing liquidity injections/stimulus. As a result of rates being stuck at the zero lower bound and exponentially increasing debt monetization, a mass default is occurring not explicitly but implicitly. The error term is the value of the currency itself, which in this case is the dollar. A debt jubilee is coming in the form of creditors having their purchasing power wiped out.

During a period of debt monetization, the rational economic incentive is to protect one's wealth by seeking out assets that cannot be devalued or “printed,” like bitcoin. There will only ever be 21,000,000 bitcoin. With its perfectly inelastic, programmatic supply issuance, it is the logical choice for every rational economic actor to adopt as a primary store of value, medium of exchange, and eventually unit of account for all economic calculations.

Monetary policy of Bitcoin

“Quite often, they are motivated to move their money out of the country (which contributes to currency weakness), dodge taxes, and seek safety in liquid, noncredit-dependent investments (e.g., low-risk government bonds, gold, or cash)... This typically drives the rich to try to move their money in ways and to places that provide protection, which itself has effects on asset and currency markets.” - Big Debt Crises

As previously mentioned, wealth taxes and increasingly ambitious taxation methods are being floated around the political sphere as “solutions” to the record wealth gap. History and economic reality tell a different story: these taxes are rarely effective, as the wealthy find a way to move their wealth outside of the taxable domain. Now, with the emergence of bitcoin, there is a seizure- and censorship-resistant asset that is outside the domain of any one jurisdiction. With Bitcoin, it is possible to store wealth in a self-sovereign way with absolutely zero counterparty or credit risk. Any individual or entity facing unfavorable tax codes can simply protect their wealth behind a wall of encrypted energy, free from the state’s needy hands.

The incumbent monetary order is irreversibly broken. In a process that has unfolded over nearly a century, the monetary system of the United States and the world has changed, and a small class of people have benefited at everyone else’s expense. If you are pro-humanity, then you must agree that a system of rules is superior to a system of rulers. Against the backdrop of technological advancement, a compatible monetary system is needed. Money is the coordination function of every action in the economy, and Bitcoin is the best tool humanity has ever had at its disposal to harness this function. With Bitcoin, money is once again a free-market phenomenon, and humanity will flourish as a result.

Bitcoin in Logarithmic View - image via https://bitbo.io/

For 12 years, Bitcoin has entrenched itself worldwide as an alternative monetary system that individuals are free to voluntarily adopt. Despite neverending streams of denouncement from “economic experts” and “monetary authorities,” bitcoin continues to exponentially increase in value.

Now, with the incumbent monetary order cannibalizing itself, here stands Bitcoin, a digital monetary network that provides direct incentives for every individual and entity on the planet to adopt it.

A great debt jubilee is coming, and it will later be known as hyperbitcoinizaiton. 


via bitcoinmagazine.com
Boson Protocol raises $25.8M via public token sale

Boson Protocol raises $25.8M via public token sale

The new BOSON token will enable users to access the decentralized commerce ecosystem. The project has so far raised $36 million through public and private sales.

Boson Protocol, a project that aims to connect physical commerce and smart contracts, has concluded a $25.8 million public token sale ahead of several exchange listings on Bitfinex, Kucoin and Gate.io.

With the token sale, Boson has successfully raised $36 million in support of its decentralized commerce platform. The company raised $10 million in March 2021 ahead of its public sale, with participation from Outlier Ventures, FBG, TRG Capital, Walsh Wealth Group and several others.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, Boson is aiming to create a decentralized commerce platform with minimal arbitration, or a “DEX for physical assets,” according to Justin Banon, the project’s founder. The Ethereum-based solution utilizes nonfungible token, or NFT, vouchers that serve as a two-way escrow between buyer and seller.

Boson was created to replace the existing e-commerce system, which “separates people and companies from the value they create,” Banon said on Monday. He continued:

“We are creating the building blocks that will underpin a swarm of specialised applications to disrupt de-monopolise and democratise commerce.”

Decentralized commerce has been touted as one of the most promising use cases of blockchain technology. The unprecedented growth in online shopping and the continued shift away from brick-and-mortar retail could benefit this growing vertical as more users look beyond centralized marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. Blockchain technology could transform traditional e-commerce marketplaces in several ways, including revamping payments, lowering costs, providing faster transactions and improving supply-chain management. 



via cointelgraph.com
5 largest regulated US digital asset managers hold over $46B of crypto

5 largest regulated US digital asset managers hold over $46B of crypto

Forbes ranks the top traditional asset managers, but who ranks the top regulated digital asset managers?

Cointelegraph Consulting’s 2021 ranking of the top five United States-based regulated crypto asset management firms highlights that Bitcoin’s explosive growth in price has catapulted many digital asset managers past the half-billion-dollar mark. 

As more and more investors are turning to the digital asset market, these companies are on track to becoming important players in the U.S. financial industry.

Grayscale Investments

Grayscale is one of the largest and well-known firms in the crypto world, which was founded in 2013 by its parent organization — Digital Currency Group. Grayscale now has a total of more than $40 billion in assets under management, which consist of investments in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Zcash (ZEC), Stellar (XLM), Horizen (ZEN) and more. The fund offers various products to its clients, both single-asset products and diversified baskets.

Pantera Capital Management

Pantera Capital was founded in 2003 by Dan Morehead and is headquartered in California. Pantera is focused on a wide range of assets connected with the digital economy — private equity, tokens and more. Pantera’s $4 billion in AUM is distributed among four main funds: liquid token fund, early-stage token fund, Bitcoin fund and venture fund.

Bitwise Asset Management

Bitwise was founded in 2017 by a team of software experts combined with experienced asset managers and is located in San Francisco. This company has more than $1 billion in AUM, which is concentrated in several funds: 10 crypto index fund, decentralized finance crypto index fund, Bitcoin fund, and Ethereum fund, among others.

Galaxy Digital

This firm has several offices across the world including London, Hong Kong and Amsterdam with its headquarters in New York. Galaxy Digital focuses mainly on BTC and ETH, although it also has a diverse crypto index fund. In total, Galaxy Digital’s AUM is more than $800 million. The CEO of Galaxy Digital, Mike Novogratz, is a regular commentator on traditional TV news networks such as Bloomberg. He recently claimed he believes that nonfungible tokens will stay “for the rest of our lives.” They are also known to be involved in mining proof-of-work-based digital assets and launching a regulated investment vehicle for retail investors.

Wave Financial

Located in California, Wave Financial offers several investment solutions such as funds: Select 5 Index fund, a BTC Income & Growth Digital Fund, Tokenized Real Asset fund (tokenized Kentucky Whiskey Barrels), Active Hybrid VC fund. Additionally, the fund offers wealth management solutions for crypto treasury and wealth management, alongside protocol treasury and inventory management. According to data shared by Wave Financial, the fund has $500 million in assets under management.

The ranking

The Cointelegraph Consulting’s 2021 ranking of the largest U.S.-based and regulated digital asset managers only includes asset managers that are dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain. Traditional asset managers that have a small allocation to digital assets were not included.

This list also does not include crypto-focused asset managers that are only invested in venture capital and private equity. Cointelegraph Consulting prepared the list, but it’s for investors to decide which of the funds are most in line with their interests.

This article was prepared by Cointelegraph Consulting, and the results of the ranking are based on publicly announced AUMs and data acquired by emailing several digital asset managers. Cointelegraph Consulting is not an investment company, investment advisor or broker/dealer.

This publication is for information purposes only and represents neither investment advice nor an investment analysis or an invitation to buy or sell financial instruments. Specifically, the document does not serve as a substitute for individual investment or other advice.

Disclaimer: Wave Financial is a featured fund from one of Cointelegraph Consulting’s sponsors, and its inclusion did not affect this ranking.



via cointelgraph.com
Bitcoin is 'caged bull' ready to escape at $60K — Bloomberg Intelligence

Bitcoin is 'caged bull' ready to escape at $60K — Bloomberg Intelligence

Bitcoin is stuck in a "tame" post-halving scenario and has far to run before reaching its cycle peak, says the popular research outlet.

Bitcoin (BTC) is a "caged bull" and the end of its current price run is nowhere near at $60,000, says Bloomberg Intelligence.

In a tweet on April 12, senior commodity strategist Mike McGlone delivered his latest bullish verdict on the state of Bitcoin this month. 

Analyst: 2021 bull market is "tame"

According to McGlone, who eyed a declining BTC supply coupled with roaring demand from new investors, Bitcoin has far to go before it reaches a cycle top, or "plateau."

"Still in Price-Discovery Mode, Bitcoin Plateau Appears Distant — Bitcoin supply is declining and demand is rising, leading us to expect continued price appreciation and the establishment of a higher plateau as the crypto matures," he commented.

BTC/USD with Bollinger Bands and 30-day moving average chart. Source: Mike McGlone/ Twitter

An accompanying chart described Bitcoin as a "caged bull, well rested to escape." It included Bollinger bands for Bitcoin, a popular tool for assessing upside and downside volatility.

Compared to the year after its two previous block subsidy halvings in 2012 and 2016, meanwhile, 2021 for McGlone is "tame" in terms of price action.

This chimes with other analysts' perspectives, among them the popular Ecoinometrics Twitter account, which on Monday again highlighted just how modest Bitcoin's post-halving growth has been over the past year compared to cycles past.

McGlone is a well-known Bitcoin fan, frequently voicing his excitement for the cryptocurrency's growth based on various macro and on-chain metrics.

Galaxy moves in on Bitcoin ETF

At the time of writing, BTC/USD hovered at around $60,400, having briefly broken below $60,000 support in what remain choppy trading conditions.

The upcoming Coinbase direct listing on Nasdaq was fuelling excitement among analysts, with altcoins likewise surging ahead of the launch on Wednesday this week.

Exchange coins, notably Binance Coin (BNB), led the gains, while largest altcoin Ether (ETH) also hit historic all-time highs.

The total cryptocurrency market cap stood at $2.087 trillion on the day.

Among institutions, crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital became the latest actor to apply to launch a Bitcoin exchange-traded fun (ETF) in the United States. Regulators are yet to approve any of the now nine applications, but anticipation is high that they will finally do so after Canada beat the U.S. to the punch in February.



via cointelgraph.com
ConsenSys-backed poker platform secures $5M investment

ConsenSys-backed poker platform secures $5M investment

The injection of additional funding will be used to facilitate Virtue Poker’s mainnet launch slated for May 2021.

Ethereum infrastructure firm ConsenSys and venture capital fund Pantera Capital have led a group of investors in a $5-million funding round for Virtue Poker, according to an announcement on Monday.

Other participants in the strategic investment round included blockchain investment outfit DFG and FunFair founder Jez San.

Virtue Poker, an Ethereum-based decentralized poker platform, was founded back in 2016 within the ConsenSys suite of blockchain projects. Back in 2020, the company secured a B2C — Gaming Service License from the Malta Gaming Authority.

The $5-million investment will be used to bootstrap the mainnet launch of the blockchain poker platform scheduled for May 2021. The mainnet launch comes after four years of development and two years of beta testing.

According to Ryan Gittleson, CEO of Virtue Poker, the company’s status as a licensed operator provides a suitable platform to challenge legacy providers for players. According to Gittleson, Virtue Poker will lead the charge to make crypto wagering mainstream.

Commenting on the $5-million funding round and the plans to release the mainnet platform, ConsenSys founder Joe Lubin remarked:

“I’m excited to see the Virtue Poker team realize its mission in bringing transparency and trust to the online poker industry. By working with regulators in becoming the first licensed blockchain-based platform, Virtue Poker legitimizes the use of this technology in the industry long-term going forward.”

Poker legend Phil Ivey, an ambassador for the company, also commented on the project’s progress, stating that Virtue Poker will play a “major part” in the future of poker.

Poker and the crypto space have a storied history with Bitcoin (BTC) creator Satoshi Nakamoto, which includes scraps of code for an online poker game in the first iteration of the Bitcoin code.

Back in April 2020, crypto charity outfit The Giving Block partnered with many industry stakeholders to organize an online poker game to raise funds for nonprofits helping to combat the coronavirus.



via cointelgraph.com