ETH smashes records, Bitcoin’s brilliant quarter, PayPal’s big move: Hodler’s Digest, March 28–April 3

ETH smashes records, Bitcoin’s brilliant quarter, PayPal’s big move: Hodler’s Digest, March 28–April 3

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Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

ETH breaks record all-time high amid fresh price surge

Ether? Record high! Binance Coin? Record high! Polkadot? Record high! Bitcoin? Flat as a pancake!

Altcoins have been in the driver’s seat this week, with Ether breaking $2,100 for the very first time — besting the ATH of $2,036 that was set on Feb. 20. Curiously, several coins belonging to so-called “Ethereum killer” blockchains have been thriving, too.

ETH’s price broke out against Bitcoin for the first time in 23 days on Thursday, not long after credit card giant Visa announced it was piloting a program that will allow its partners to use Ethereum’s blockchain to settle transactions made in fiat.

Traders have now become exceedingly bullish on Ether’s prospects and are expecting more upside in the short-term, with $2,500 now in play. In particular, there’s interest in the price activity we could expect in June and July when a major improvement proposal called EIP-1559 is set to overhaul Ethereum’s existing fee structure.

The celebratory atmosphere following ETH’s all-time highs was dampened as the gas fee crisis rumbles on. The cost of using this blockchain has surged 77% in recent days, taking the average fee to an eye-watering $22.97.

April Bulls Day? Bitcoin just closed its best March and Q1 in eight years

Bitcoin may be struggling to find its footing above $60,000 right now, but at least we can take succor in how well the cryptocurrency has performed so far this year.

Despite March being a historically dreary month — with losses in six of the past nine years — BTC delivered gains of 29.84% over this 31-day period. Better still, we’re now heading into April, where BTC has only suffered negative returns twice since 2013.

Across the first quarter of the year, covering January to March, Bitcoin also gained 103%, clocking up the best performance in eight years.

Traditionally, Q2 is the strongest time of the year for Bitcoin — with only two years seeing negative returns, both under 10%. Bulls will now have their sights set on surpassing the gains of 159% seen between April and June 2019.

In other upbeat developments, BTC has just closed six consecutive monthly green candles for the first time since April 2013, and should history repeat itself, we could see further parabolic gains this year.

PayPal to start letting U.S. customers pay in Bitcoin at global merchants

Bitcoin’s bounce back from $55,000 was likely fueled by PayPal’s announcement that crypto will now be accepted as a medium of exchange at millions of global merchants.

The new feature, Checkout with Crypto, means U.S. customers will be able to “seamlessly” use their digital assets to make purchases. PayPal also supports Ether, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.

Crypto will be converted into fiat as soon as the transaction takes place, and the payments giant says this will create “certainty of value and no additional transaction fees.”

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said: “Enabling cryptocurrencies to make purchases at businesses around the world is the next chapter in driving the ubiquity and mass acceptance of digital currencies.”

One fly in the ointment here concerns how America’s taxman, the Internal Revenue Service, regards crypto as property rather than currency. This means that even spending Bitcoin that has risen in value could be regarded as a taxable event.

Coinbase expects direct listing on April 14

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has given its blessing for Coinbase to make its stock market debut, with the exchange confirming it will happen on April 14. It’ll feature on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol COIN.

Coinbase had been expected to go public in March but reportedly delayed its plans after paying a $6.5-million fee as part of a settlement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Crypto analyst Filbfilb says the direct listing could spark “increased volatility” for Bitcoin’s price, especially if Coinbase suffers immediate sell-offs like Deliveroo did during its ill-fated IPO in London.

In other developments, Messari has compiled a report concluding that the so-called “Coinbase effect” — a popular belief that new token listings on the exchange tend to outperform launches on other exchanges — is true.

Michael Jordan, Will Smith join $305-million funding round for NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs

Dapper Labs has raised $305 million in a star-studded funding round — meaning it now reportedly holds a valuation of $2.6 billion.

The company, which has brought CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot to life, says it wants to go beyond American basketball and extend the “same magic” to other sports franchises.

In other news, intrepid Cardano developers have found a way to mint bootleg nonfungible tokens — despite the fact that the blockchain doesn’t support smart contracts yet. Meanwhile, The Weeknd announced he’s releasing his first NFT via Nifty Gateway, featuring “new music and limited edition art.”

Nifty Gateway has also announced that it is planning to become carbon-negative in the near future by calculating its emissions and purchasing twice as many carbon offsets each month.

The craze behind NFTs now appears to have reached peak parody, too, after NBC’s famed Saturday Night Live sketch show addressed nonfungible tokens in a skit featuring Kate McKinnon as U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Announcement of the week

Markets Pro delivers up to 1,497% ROI as quant-style crypto analysis arrives for every investor

It’s now been a month since Cointelegraph Markets Pro launched — bringing professional crypto market intelligence to every investor.

New figures this week showed that 41 of the 42 trading strategies tested by Markets Pro are currently beating Bitcoin’s investment returns, and 36 of them are winning against an evenly weighted basket of the top 100 altcoins.

Two key features are offered to subscribers. The first is the VORTECS™ Score, which is derived from an algorithm that examines multiple different variables (including sentiment, tweet volume, price volatility and trading volume) and compares those with historically similar marketscapes. 

And the second is NewsQuakes™: alerts on events that have historically had a significant impact on an asset’s price over the following 24 hours. 

Cointelegraph Markets Pro is available exclusively to subscribers on a monthly basis at $99 per month, or annually with two free months included.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $59,699.22, Ether at $2,111.64 and XRP at $0.63. The total market cap is at $1,965,398,828,338.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Holo, BitTorrent and Helium. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Voyager Token, SwissBorg and Pundi X.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis

Most Memorable Quotations

“Expecting Ethereum to outperform Bitcoin for all of Q2.”

Rookie, crypto trader

“Is Theta actually worth all the hype? I am not sure because it’s too early to tell. I want to see how well their mainnet does.”

Marie Tatibouet, Gate.io chief marketing officer 

“SpaceX is going to put a literal Dogecoin on the literal moon.”

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and “Technoking”

“Bitcoin currently in between 2013 and 2017 tracks.”

PlanB, stock-to-flow model creator

“Tether-Winky, Buy the Dipsey, Laa Laa, Poor.”

@CryptoCred

“I do think Bitcoin is on an inevitable path to having the same market cap and then a higher market cap as gold.”

Mike Novogratz, Galaxy Digital CEO

“We are working closely with teams across the firm to explore ways to offer thoughtful and appropriate access to the ecosystem for private wealth clients, and that is something we expect to offer in the near term.”

Mary Rich, Goldman Sachs head of digital assets

“This is the first time you can seamlessly use cryptocurrencies in the same way as a credit card or a debit card inside your PayPal wallet.”

Dan Schulman, PayPal CEO

“A part of the problem with Bitcoin is 90% of it is not done in the United States. 90% of it is done in countries that have dirty energy. So that’s the reason why it’s considered to be a dirty activity.”

Francis Suarez, Miami mayor

Prediction of the Week

One BTC will be worth a Lambo by 2022, and a Bugatti by 2023: Kraken CEO

After previously declaring that Bitcoin will be worth “infinity” in the future (Digests passim), Kraken CEO is making a triumphant return to Prediction of the Week.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Jesse Powell was keen to offer alternatives to measuring Bitcoin’s value in dollars — by comparing future price action to high-end sports cars… which can also have their value measured in dollars.

Powell said that one Bitcoin, which is currently worth a Tesla Model 3, could be worth one Lambo by the end of this year… and one Bugatti by 2023.

He added: “There could be 10 times as many U.S. dollars out there a year from now, so it’s really hard to measure Bitcoin against the dollar.”

FUD of the Week 

iPhone user blames Apple for $600,000 Bitcoin theft via fake app

A scam cryptocurrency app in Apple’s App Store has reportedly swindled 17.1 BTC from one unsuspecting user.

Phillipe Christodoulou had thought he had downloaded official Trezor software, given how it had many five-star reviews. Little did he know that the company doesn’t currently provide such an app.

After entering his seed phrase, Christodoulou says his funds were stolen. His crypto haul was worth $600,000 at the time, but now it’s worth $1 million.

The Washington Post reports that he has now filed a report with the FBI, but it seems the victim is reserving most of his anger for the tech giant: “They betrayed the trust that I had in them. Apple doesn’t deserve to get away with this.”

Trezor spokesperson Kristyna Mazankova told Cointelegraph that the firm has been fighting fraudulent apps for years — but claimed the wallet company “never gets any response from either Apple or Google.”

Oops! A 100% Bitcoin hodl outperformed CNBC’s 2017 altcoin basket by 170%

Ah, 2017. A crazy time that was slap bang in the middle of the ICO boom.

An investment portfolio that was championed by CNBC at the time has now resurfaced, which was made up of 30% Bitcoin and 70% altcoins.

Four years on, those who invested $10,000 at the time would now have about $52,300. Had they just bought and hodled Bitcoin, they would now have over $140,000.

StatsBTC, which crunched the numbers, noted: “The 30% #BTC allocation is responsible for 75% of the return.”

South Korean government makes $10.5-million profit from four-year-old Bitcoin crime haul

South Korean prosecutors have finally sold a Bitcoin haul they confiscated from a criminal in 2017, and it’s worth $10.5 million more than it was at the time of the arrest.

This is believed to be the first time that authorities in the country have sold confiscated Bitcoin — and at the time the crypto was seized, it was worth a paltry $238,000.

In late March, the South Korean government enacted widespread crypto-specific laws for the first time, putting more pressure on exchanges and virtual asset service providers to use real-name trading accounts and to report their activities to Korea’s Financial Intelligence Unit. 

Best Cointelegraph Features

A new era of content monetization? Blockchain tech can get you paid

Current content monetization systems are seen as broken, but some blockchain solutions claim to hold the key to solving their issues.

Making DeFi idiot-proof with Kava’s gamer CEO, Brian Kerr

Kerr says a major reason that decentralized finance has not yet hit the mainstream is that “93% of holders are never gonna touch their own keys.”

This is how to make — and lose — a fortune with NFTs

The rise of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, has been nothing short of astounding this year. Google searches for “NFT” are up over 600% since mid-February.


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Bitcoin’s next move, Elon Musk’s promotion, the toilet paper NFT: Hodler’s Digest, March 14–20

Bitcoin’s next move, Elon Musk’s promotion, the toilet paper NFT: Hodler’s Digest, March 14–20

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Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Bullishness for Bitcoin continues despite its struggle to reclaim $60,000

Bitcoin dazzled us all last Saturday with a dramatic surge to new all-time highs at $61,683.86. But the market spent little time in record territory, with a sharp pullback taking prices to lows of $53,555.03 by Tuesday. Although BTC has recovered to some extent, it is now facing strong resistance at the $60,000 level.

CrossTower head of trading Chad Steinglass said some resistance is to be expected, and once these levels are surpassed, they become support. He added: “It will take a bit of chipping away to break through $60,000 with any kind of authority.”

But it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on Bitcoin’s progress. As Cointelegraph Markets analyst Michaël van de Poppe notes, BTC has accelerated from $11,000 to $60,000 in just six months. He believes $60,000 is “the final key resistance level before the next impulse wave toward $68,000 can happen.”

Speaking to Cointelegraph, eToro CEO Yoni Assia explained that a “confluence of circumstances” is contributing to the current bull run, including the economic situation in the U.S. sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. Kraken growth lead Dan Held added that BTC is currently experiencing a supercycle that could propel it all the way to $1 million and described it as a “one in 100-year moment.”

Morgan Stanley introduces Bitcoin investing for millionaire clients

The institutional banking powerhouse Morgan Stanley caused a stir this week when reports suggested it is going to give clients access to Bitcoin investing — a big nod of approval.

CNBC reported that the U.S. bank is launching access to three crypto funds… but only under specific conditions. It’s only open to clients who carry accredited investor status and hold more than $2 million in capital at Morgan Stanley — and even then, they’ll only be able to allocate 2.5% of their overall wealth to these funds.

There’s been a flurry of reaction to Bitcoin from other financial institutions this week, with Deutsche Bank saying BTC’s $1-trillion market cap has made the cryptocurrency “too important to ignore.” 

According to JPMorgan Chase, retail traders are flocking to buy BTC from mainstream fintech firms. Its data suggests that consumers have purchased more than 187,000 BTC from the likes of PayPal and Square this quarter, outpacing institutions, which have snapped up 173,000 BTC over the same period.

As you’d expect, not everyone is impressed. Bank of America analyst Francisco Blanch slammed Bitcoin as exceptionally volatile, impractical and environmentally disastrous. He was especially unimpressed by how BTC can only handle 1,400 transactions per hour, while Visa can handle 236 million.

Coinbase registers 114.9 million shares ahead of direct Nasdaq listing

Coinbase has registered 114,850,769 shares of Class A common stock ahead of its direct listing on the Nasdaq. An updated S-1 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission suggests a volume-weighted average price per share of $343.58.

Other platforms that also offer crypto trading have also been making moves this week. On Tuesday, eToro announced that it is planning to merge with a blank check firm and go public with a valuation of $10.4 billion.

Kraken is yet to confirm whether it will follow in Coinbase’s footsteps, but in a statement to Cointelegraph, it ruled out using eToro’s approach, which involves being acquired by a company already listed on a stock exchange. “We are too big to go that route,” a representative told us.

Robinhood — another company that has been exploring an IPO — has also revealed that it is planning to expand its crypto trading service “as fast as possible.” But in a fireside chat on YouTube, CEO Vlad Tenev admitted it may take a few months for the company to recover from the GameStop trading saga.

Buyer of Beeple’s $69-million NFT on Christie’s discloses identity

Cointelegraph has started a brand-new series called Nifty News that offers a neat round-up of the biggest developments in NFTs. Here are a few of our favorite developments from the space this week.

MetaKovan, the mysterious bidder who acquired Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” piece for a cool $69.3 million, has been unmasked as Vignesh Sundaresan. Prior to founding Metapurse, he created the crypto exchange Coins-e and co-founded the crypto ATM project BitAccess.

Elsewhere, the blockchain-based sports platform Chiliz has enjoyed an extraordinary surge of late, with its altcoin surging by 1,650% in the space of two weeks — a performance that puts Bitcoin and Ether to shame.

Even though one of the main selling points of NFTs lies in how they are non-divisible, projects that aim to fractionalize these tokens have been gaining steam. Owning just a portion of a piece of digital art is becoming more appealing to collectors, and it could allow NFT holders to realize some liquidity from their assets without selling the entire piece.

And last but not least, toilet paper is back in the news. The bog roll brand Charmin has created five types of nonfungible token paper — accompanied by a physical display for lucky owners. An auction has been taking place on Rarible, with all proceeds going to charity.

Technoking and master of coin — Elon Musk and Tesla CFO adopt new titles

Forget Tesla CEO — Elon Musk has been promoted. According to a new SEC filing, the billionaire should now be referred to as “Technoking of Tesla.”

His chief financial officer, Zach Kirkhorn, has also been given a promotion… to “Master of Coin.” Both men are going to retain their respective positions.

Musk has reason to celebrate, with figures suggesting that Tesla has been sitting on close to $19 million in unrealized profit per day since announcing its $1.5-billion Bitcoin purchase. This almost eclipses the $721 million in profit it made from selling 500,000 cars in 2020.

The billionaire also waded into the trendy world of nonfungible tokens this week when he announced he was planning to sell a musical NFT, with lyrics based on the hype surrounding the technology — “It’s verified, it’s guaranteed.” Very catchy.

Despite bids exceeding $1.1 million on the Valuables platform, Musk later took his ball home, tweeting: “Actually, doesn’t feel quite right selling this. Will pass.”

What a shame.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $59,206.87, Ether at $1,845.28 and XRP at $0.49. The total market cap is at $1,830,431,252,324.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Harmony, BitTorrent and Siacoin. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Chiliz, SwissBorg and Voyager Token.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis

Most Memorable Quotations

“NFT art is so hard to explain because it doesn’t make sense.”

John Carvalho, former Bitrefill chief communications officer

“Bitcoin has also become correlated to risk assets, it is not tied to inflation, and remains exceptionally volatile, making it impractical as a store of wealth or payments mechanism.”

Francisco Blanch, Bank of America analyst

“Sometimes a better bathroom experience goes beyond the seat, that’s why we’re rolling out the first-ever NFT art by a toilet paper brand.”

Charmin

“If Kraken would decide to go public, it would do so through a direct listing and not through a SPAC as we are too big to go that route.”

Kraken

“Collectors who are buying NFTs with their cryptocurrency gains could face large tax bills this year for deals that most probably thought were tax free.”

Robert Frank, CNBC

“Now, with the Reddit-fueled meme stock craze cooling and novelties such as digital artwork setting records, retail traders — some now armed with $1,400 stimulus checks — are taking control.”

Ed Moya, Oanda Corp senior market analyst

“Bitcoin is the preferred investment choice among check recipients.”

Mizuho Securities

“Effective as of March 15, 2021, the titles of Elon Musk and Zach Kirkhorn have changed to Technoking of Tesla and Master of Coin, respectively.”

Tesla

Prediction of the Week

$288,000 by December? Bitcoin “will not stop at $100,000,” says stock-to-flow creator

PlanB has doubled down on his stock-to-flow Bitcoin price model once again, arguing that Bitcoin has plenty of room to grow in its current bull run and “will not stop” at $100,000.

Many investors have been curious about where the 2021 bull run may end. Depending on the price indicator used, the peak could be uncomfortably near or still far off. But for followers of stock-to-flow, the answer remains firmly the latter: Compared with previous bull cycles, 2021 is just getting started.

PlanB says December is a realistic deadline for BTC to hit $288,000 and says Bitcoin’s price is following his model “like clockwork.” He added that this forecast is just an average, meaning the peak of this cycle could be double those figures or even more.

“We are only 3.5 months into the Bitcoin bull market,” he wrote.

FUD of the Week 

Phishing attack uses PancakeSwap and Cream domains to steal money

Two decentralized finance projects were targeted by a DNS spoofing attack on Monday.

Cream Finance and PancakeSwap, both deployed on Binance Smart Chain, were affected by the phishing incident.

In Cream’s case, a fake window loaded where users were asked to input their private key. There are almost no occasions when a user should input their seed phrase into a browser app, especially not when interacting with DeFi.

Both websites appear to be registered through GoDaddy. One possible explanation is that the teams’ accounts on the provider were hijacked, allowing the attacker to officially change the DNS routing point for the domains.

Each project stressed that funds were safe as long as users didn’t type in their private keys, and both managed to later regain control of their websites.

Arthur Hayes seeks voluntary surrender in Hawaii court with $10 million bail

Lawyers negotiating on behalf of Arthur Hayes, who is one of the four BitMEX executives accused of violating the Bank Secrecy Act, have finalized the terms of his proposed voluntary surrender to a Hawaii court on April 6.

The proposed bail conditions, which are subject to the court’s approval, stipulate that Hayes, who has lived in Singapore since January 2020, would potentially be released on a $10-million personal recognizance bond, secured by $1 million in cash and co-signed by his mother.

Further proposed conditions include Hayes’ retention of a passport for travel between Singapore and the U.S. and his execution of a waiver of extradition in a form that would be mutually agreed upon by the government and Hayes’ defense. 

Judge denies XRP Army a seat at the table in SEC v. Ripple case

A judge has denied a motion filed over the weekend on behalf of more than 6,000 XRP holders, who were attempting to insert themselves as third-party defendants in the SEC’s case against Ripple.

The motion to intervene argued that the interests of tokenholders — in this case, the XRP Army — were not being adequately represented in the lawsuit against Ripple and its executives.

Lawyer John Deaton had claimed that XRP holders had suffered $15 billion in losses following the SEC’s announcement of its lawsuit against Ripple, which caused the altcoin to crash.

U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres denied the motion “without prejudice,” meaning that lawyers representing XRP investors may be able to refile in the future.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Not just for gamers and fanboys: Why investors should take NFTs seriously

Some people are making a mint out of NFTs, and almost everyone can try their luck and experience the emerging niche.

Unpopular opinion? The problem with blockchain gaming is blockchain

Predicting the direction of Bitcoin’s price is not gonna cut it with the world’s 2.7 billion gamers.

Stocks of Bitcoin: JPMorgan offers BTC exposure, an ETF in sheep’s clothing

JPMorgan bunched proxy crypto stocks to give skeptical investors exposure to the crypto economy.


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Bitcoin nerves, Tesla told to dump crypto, NFT madness: Hodler’s Digest, Feb. 28–March 6

Bitcoin nerves, Tesla told to dump crypto, NFT madness: Hodler’s Digest, Feb. 28–March 6

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Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Bitcoin traders worry as price remains pinned below $50,000

After reaching lows of $43,500 last Sunday, Bitcoin staged a comeback, managing to hit $52,000 on Wednesday. There was optimism that the correction was over and that BTC would now have the chance to return to all-time highs.

Alas, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Fast forward to this weekend, and Bitcoin is once again struggling to break above $50,000 — a psychologically important milestone. Now, the nerves are starting to set in.

A drop below recent lows of $46,000 could open the door to further downward movement, endangering a bull run that’s been in place for almost a year… at least in the short term. Pseudonymous trader Rekt Capital believes BTC could bottom between $38,000 and $45,000 if this level fails to hold.

Traders are now beginning to speculate that Bitcoin may continue to trade sideways for now. A gloomy macroeconomic picture dominated by rising bond yields and a pullback in tech stocks certainly isn’t helping matters.

Then again, there’s always a metric that shrugs off the gloom… suggesting everything is fine. Glassnode’s Reserve Risk indicator suggests that BTC’s rally is still in the early to middle stage — even after this week’s pullback. Great. Nothing to worry about, then.

Analyst tells Tesla to dump Bitcoin for buybacks as shares plunge

Tesla is now coming under pressure to sell off the $1.5 billion it holds in Bitcoin. Since the electric vehicle maker announced its crypto buy-in, TSLA shares have fallen by a stomach-churning 30.8%.

Gary Black, the former CEO of Aegon Asset Management, tweeted that Tesla would generate “positive momentum” if it bows out of crypto, adding: “Highly unlikely, but shareholders would be very supportive.”

Bitcoin’s price correction has also been hurting MicroStrategy — the business intelligence firm that owns more than 91,000 BTC. MSTR’s share price has tumbled by 52.8% in less than a month.

The company doesn’t seem too worried, though. MicroStrategy bought another 205 BTC this week in a $10-million spending spree that coincided with the latest dip.

While the software company began putting its existing assets into BTC in 2020, back when Bitcoin traded at about $10,000, its latest purchases have yet to break even.

Kings of Leon is releasing an album as an NFT

Buckle yourselves in… we’ve got so much NFT news to get through. One of the more attention-grabbing headlines this week came when Kings of Leon announced it is releasing its eighth album in the form of a nonfungible token.

Three types of NFTs are on offer, with the rarest offering front-row seats to Kings of Leon concerts for life, a personal driver and the chance to hang out with the band before shows.

Frenzied activity in the NFT sector doesn’t end here. The rarest Pepe of them all — “Homer Pepe” — went under the hammer for 205 ETH this week… that’s worth $323,000 at the time of writing. Meanwhile, an NFT made up of 100 individual pieces from 100 different artists sold out within minutes on Rarible.

Aavegotchis — NFTs inspired by the Tamagotchi devices that were oh so trendy in the late 1990s and early 2000s — were snapped up in under a minute. And as sales on NBA Top Shot continue to go through the roof, the executive chairman of the sports merchandise company Fanatics, Michael Rubin, said: “It’s almost a frenzy happening right now.”

If all of this wasn’t crazy enough, an original artwork by Banksy has been burned and turned into an NFT. Ironically, the piece is called “Morons” and depicts buyers at an art auction bidding on a piece emblazoned with the words “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this shit.”

Tether hit with 500 BTC ransom demand, but says it won’t pay

Still dusting itself off after a showdown with the New York Attorney General, Tether is really struggling to catch a break right now.

This week, hackers threatened to release sensitive company documents that supposedly belonged to Tether… unless they were paid a 500-BTC ransom — a staggering sum worth $23.8 million at the time.

Tether announced what was happening on Twitter and declared: “We are not paying.”

The deadline has now passed, but what remains unclear is whether the extortionists are attempting a simple cash grab, or whether it’s all part of a greater effort to undermine Tether and the rest of the Bitcoin ecosystem.

“Either way, those seeking to harm Tether are getting increasingly desperate,” the company added.

No crypto ban in India: Finance minister predicts “very calibrated” stance

There’s been another dramatic twist in the “will they, won’t they” saga of India’s planned crypto ban.

On Saturday, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said reports that the government is pursuing a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies are overstated. She stressed that regulations won’t be as “severe” as previously reported and that the authorities were determined to take a “very calibrated” stance.

The comments will no doubt come as a relief for crypto businesses and investors in the world’s second-most populous country following years of uncertainty.

At one point, India was considering introducing jail terms of up to 10 years for anyone caught dealing in cryptocurrencies — along with a hefty fine. The country’s central bank also introduced a ban that stopped banks from offering services to crypto businesses, causing several to collapse. Those restrictions were sensationally overturned by the Supreme Court last year.

Sitharaman’s latest remarks are at odds with a Bloomberg report last month that claimed crypto assets would soon be completely banned in India.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $48,445.86, Ether at $1,607.45 and XRP at $0.46. The total market cap is at $1,484,740,419,357.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Chiliz, Enjin Coin and Flow. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Cardano, 1inch and Stellar.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis

Most Memorable Quotations

“You should look for relative strength when others are weak. Global macro sold off yesterday and BTC did not give a donkey.”

Kyle Davies, Three Arrows Capital co-founder

“Bitcoin is holding up against the macro spectacularly well.”

Lex Moskovski, Moskovski Capital CEO 

“The fact that Bitcoin continues to show strength even with GBTC acting like a resistance band holding it back is very encouraging and shows to me that the overall story, that of accelerating adoption, is still intact.”

Chad Steinglass, CrossTower head of trading

“I think there’s going to be tremendous value created, but also there’s so many people getting into it, I don’t think everyone’s going to be successful.”

Michael Rubin, Fanatics executive chairman

“It’s early stages, but in the future, I think this will be how people release their tracks: When they sell a 100,000 at a dollar each, then they just made $100,000.”

Josh Katz, Yellowheart CEO

“I think Reed Hastings is a very innovative guy and has a lot of creative thinking, and I think he still controls the reins at Netflix, and so I think that might be the next big one to fall.”

Tim Draper, serial investor

“What we are seeing built with crypto today is just proof of concept. As tech continues to get better/cheaper/faster there will be new applications and maybe even something that supersedes what we know as crypto today.”

Mark Cuban, billionaire

“I see HOMERPEPE as the most important NFT in art history because its headline-making sale in 2018 influenced so many of the original crypto artists to believe we could put our art to work building both a market and belief around this new technology.”

Matt Kane, artist

“Is Bitcoin a currency? Property? An asset? Maybe all of the above, I’m going in with a 3% portfolio allocation.”

Kevin O’Leary, Shark Tank investor

“Bitcoin has returned almost 200% (so nearly tripled your money), every single year for 10 years, *compounded*.”

CaseBitcoin

“We’re sending a clear message to the entire industry that you either play by the rules or we will shut you down.”

Letitia James, New York Attorney General

“Those seeking to harm Tether are getting increasingly desperate.”

Tether

“There are a host of risks and obstacles that stand in the way of Bitcoin progress. But weighing these potential hurdles against the opportunities leads to the conclusion that Bitcoin is at a tipping point.”

Citi

Prediction of the Week

Bitcoin price is going to “infinity” — Kraken CEO

Hodler’s Digest has been home to some pretty sky-high Bitcoin price predictions over the years — $500,000 here, $1 million there. Determined not to be outdone, Kraken’s CEO has gone nuclear… predicting that BTC will be worth “infinity.”

Jesse Powell believes that, one day, humanity will simply give up pricing Bitcoin in U.S. dollars — telling Bloomberg that a $1-million price tag in 10 years’ time is reasonable.

Research from the company he runs is perhaps a little more realistic. Kraken’s latest analysis suggests Bitcoin could next top out somewhere between $75,000 and $306,000.

FUD of the Week 

BitMEX’s Arthur Hayes and Ben Delo negotiate surrender to U.S. authorities

The former CEO of the crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX is in negotiations to surrender to U.S. authorities next month.

Arthur Hayes and fellow executives are accused of violating the Bank Secrecy Act by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Transcripts from a virtual court hearing suggest he’s going to surrender to the U.S. in Hawaii on April 6 — six months after he went on the run.

McAfee faces crypto-related fraud charges from NY court

Criminal charges are piling up for John McAfee. The crypto advocate and internet security pioneer has now been accused of fraud and money laundering conspiracy crimes. Allegations relate two schemes where cryptocurrencies were “fraudulently promoted” to investors.

Prior to today’s news, McAfee already faced charges from U.S. governing bodies for tax evasion and initial coin offerings that he allegedly advertised for compensation without properly informing the public. 

After going on the run from the U.S. government in 2019, McAfee was arrested in Spain in October 2020.

Dev says $31 million Meerkat Finance exploit was a “test” and funds will be returned

Alarm bells rang this week when Meerkat Finance, a decentralized finance protocol based on Binance Smart Chain, lost BNB worth $31 million — hours after it had launched.

The team initially claimed it had been the victim of an exploit but then deleted all its social media channels. Due to the nature of the breach, some believe that a “rugpull” scam had taken place.

But there might be some good news on the horizon for the victims of the exploit, which is one of the largest in DeFi’s short history. A Meerkat Finance developer posted in a newly created Telegram channel and revealed the exploit was a “trial” testing users’ greed and “subjectivity” — adding that the team was preparing to refund all victims.

Best Cointelegraph Features

DeFi who? NFTs are the new hot stars on the crypto block

NFTs are taking over from where DeFi left off, and data suggests asset tokenization will dominate 2021.

Crypto Pepes: What does the frog meme?

Cointelegraph Magazine talks to BarnBridge founder Tyler Ward, who has inadvertently created a Pepe the Frog NFT meme craze.

Pricing the hype: Crypto companies valued at billions as market booms

Crunching the numbers: Analysts and industry experts weigh in on crypto firms like Coinbase and Kraken being valued in the billions.


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Bitcoin plunges, Ethereum suffers, Musk loses billions: Hodler’s Digest, Feb. 21–27

Bitcoin plunges, Ethereum suffers, Musk loses billions: Hodler’s Digest, Feb. 21–27

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Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Increasing stock market volatility drags Bitcoin and altcoin prices lower

Bitcoin has had an exceptionally trying week, and it doesn’t bode well for March — a month that’s traditionally bearish for the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.

After hitting record highs of $58,300 last Sunday, Bitcoin suffered a dramatic reversal of fortunes — crashing to $46,000 on Tuesday. Elon Musk might not have helped matters… in the run-up to the correction, he had tweeted that BTC and ETH seemed high.

Analysts and investors alike breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday when Bitcoin managed to retake $50,000 — with some proclaiming that the asset had undergone a “healthy correction.” But this narrative proved shaky when BTC plunged yet again on Friday to lows of $44,454.84.

All of this comes amid a backdrop of unease in the traditional markets, and this week’s price activity suggests BTC faces an uphill struggle if it’s going to appreciate further. Generally, analysts are looking for $50,000 to become an established support before expecting any bullish continuation.

MicroStrategy purchases another $1 billion worth of Bitcoin, now owns 90,000 BTC

A flurry of good news throughout the week may have prevented things from going bad to worse for Bitcoin. Early in the week, two institutions announced they were doubling down on their BTC buy-ins. 

MicroStrategy purchased an additional 19,452 coins, with CEO Michael Saylor declaring that his company has no intention of slowing down. It came after Square announced it had purchased 3,318 BTC for $170 million — following on from a $50-million spending spree in October 2020.

Bitfinex and Tether also announced that they had reached a settlement with the New York attorney general, linked to ongoing allegations that Tether misrepresented the degree to which USDT stablecoins were backed by fiat collateral. Under the terms of the deal, both companies will have to pay $18.5 million in damages, report on their reserves periodically, and stop serving customers in the state.

On Friday, JPMorgan helped to cheer up the markets by telling clients that allocating 1% of a portfolio to Bitcoin would serve as a hedge against fluctuations in stocks, bonds and commodities.

Cardano is now a top-three cryptocurrency as ADA price soars 27% in 24 hours

Moving beyond Bitcoin, there’s been a lot of movement in the altcoin markets. 

Last week, Binance Coin had stolen the show with a stunning triple-digit surge that helped it become the world’s No. 3 cryptocurrency. Fast forward to this week, and it’s now been overtaken by Cardano’s ADA.

A fresh wave of optimism and buying volume on Friday pushed its price to a new all-time high, and momentum for the project has been building throughout February. Open interest for ADA futures also rose to $580 million, surpassing Litecoin to become the third-largest derivatives market.

Despite NFTs entering into a bull market — with a report suggesting that they’ll explode in popularity even more as 2021 continues — it’s definitely been a week to forget for Ether. After touching new all-time highs of $2,000 last weekend, ETH has tumbled by more than 26% this week… taking it below $1,500 at times.

All of this comes as an exodus from the Ethereum blockchain continues, with 1inch becoming the latest DeFi project to expand to Binance Smart Chain.

Musk no longer world’s richest man after Tesla and Bitcoin slump

As the old saying goes: “The sun don’t shine on the same dog’s ass every day.”

The sun was certainly shining on Elon Musk when the week began. One analyst had suggested that Tesla had made $1 billion in profit since making its Bitcoin investment. That’s more than the profit generated by selling electric vehicles (what it’s known for) across the whole of 2020.

Alas, that was before the carnage seen on the crypto markets. To make matters worse, Tesla’s share price has dropped by more than 20% from the highs of $890 seen on Jan. 26. These joint factors prompted Musk to lose his crown as the world’s richest man. Some analysts wasted little time in attributing TSLA’s crash to its association with Bitcoin.

But there’s another threat on the horizon, with reports suggesting that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could investigate Musk’s alleged impact on BTC and DOGE through his many, many tweets.

The billionaire made a concerted effort to shrug off these concerns, suggesting he would even welcome such a probe.

Coinbase has held Bitcoin on its balance sheets since 2012

We’ve been learning a lot more about Coinbase this week as it gears up to launch on the stock market. One particular hipster-ish announcement came when the exchange declared that it’s held Bitcoin and other cryptos on its balance sheet for nine years.

Coinbase sought to package this announcement as a paean to other corporations that might be considering a similar move — touting itself as an authority in advising institutions about how to deal with their own prospective investments.

In other news, the company submitted its S-1 report to the Securities and Exchange Commission this week. The filing revealed that the exchange generated revenues of $1.1 billion in 2020 — 96% of which came from transaction fees. Net income in 2020 came in at $327 million… a stark contrast to the $46 million loss seen the year before.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $46,609.99, Ether at $1,470.17 and XRP at $0.43. The total market cap is at $1,429,222,267,885.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Fantom, Pundi X and Cardano. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Dodo, Horizen and Venus.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis

Most Memorable Quotations

“As gas price stays too high, we see a lot of projects, tokens and users coming to BSC, and this is the right moment for 1inch to expand to other blockchains.”

Sergey Kunz, 1inch co-founder

“Since our founding in 2012, Coinbase has held bitcoin and other crypto assets on our balance sheet — and we plan to maintain an investment in crypto assets as we believe strongly in the long-term potential of the cryptoeconomy.”

Coinbase

“Incredible scale for a technology that critics claimed couldn’t scale.”

Ryan Watkins, Messari researcher

“It’s very rare to see pre-GPU era bitcoins move, it only happened dozens of times in the past few years. And no, it’s probably not Satoshi.”

Antoine Le Calvez

“The company now holds over 90,000 bitcoins, reaffirming our belief that bitcoin, as the world’s most widely-adopted cryptocurrency, can serve as a dependable store of value.”

Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy CEO

“[I’m] very positive on Bitcoin, very happy to see a healthy correction here.”

Cathie Wood, Ark Investment Management founder

“We are now sitting on 2.35x the previous cycle ATH OF 20k. WE ARE JUST GETTING STARTED.”

Bitcoin Archive

“Square believes that cryptocurrency is an instrument of economic empowerment, providing a way for individuals to participate in a global monetary system and secure their own financial future.”

Square

“I think you can expect that we’ll have a billion people storing their value — in essence, a savings account — on a mobile device within five years, and they’re going to want to use something like Bitcoin.”

Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy CEO 

“We’ve experienced 2018 & 2019. This is nothing.” 

Michaël van de Poppe, Cointelegraph Markets analyst

“I do think people get drawn into these manias who may not have as much money to spare. So, I’m not bullish on Bitcoin, and my general thought would be: If you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out.”

Bill Gates, Microsoft founder

“But we’re now to the point where ETH 1.0 — oh, we need ETH 2.0 so soon, come on, Vitalik, get it going, man — ETH 1.0, most regular users are priced out of using the majority of applications on Ethereum.”

Lark Davis, crypto influencer

“I lost most of my life savings and haven’t received a response from a human. I’d think they would refund or they would lose all their customers. I’m sick to my stomach but will join the lawsuit with plenty of proof(screenshots) if not refunded.” 

u/dtk6802, Reddit user

“In our view, many institutional investors are entering with a buy-and-hold mentality given their understanding of Bitcoin as digital gold.”

Martin Gaspar, CrossTower research analyst

“I think Tesla is going to double down on its Bitcoin investment.”

Dan Ives, Wedbush analyst

Prediction of the Week

1 billion people will store life savings on their phone in Bitcoin by 2026 — MicroStrategy CEO

We love an outlandish prediction here at Hodler’s Digest… and Michael Saylor certainly delivered the goods this week.

The MicroStrategy CEO declared that Bitcoin will be the savings method of choice for a staggering 1 billion people in just five years’ time. That’s despite the fact that just 21 million BTC exist… and his company already owns 90,000 of it.

Saylor’s comments came after U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen launched her latest attack on Bitcoin, describing it as “inefficient.”

In a confident interview with CNBC, he declared that Bitcoin “is the dominant digital monetary network,” adding: “I think you can expect that we’ll have a billion people storing their value — in essence, a savings account — on a mobile device within five years, and they’re going to want to use something like Bitcoin.”

FUD of the Week 

Bill Gates warns Bitcoin buyers: If you have less money than Elon Musk, watch out

Microsoft founder Bill Gates had a big warning for Bitcoin buyers this week.

Speaking to Bloomberg, he warned: “Elon has tons of money, and he’s very sophisticated so, you know, I don’t worry that his Bitcoin would randomly go up or down.”

Gates said it would be a mistake for the average investor to blindly follow the mania of optimism surrounding Musk’s market moves, telling those who aren’t billionaires to “watch out.” 

Criticizing Bitcoin’s energy consumption, he added: “I do think people get drawn into these manias who may not have as much money to spare. So, I’m not bullish on Bitcoin, and my general thought would be: If you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out.”

This isn’t to say that Gates thinks digital currencies are a bad thing. He just believes that they should be transparent, reversible and (essentially) centralized.

Whale who sold Bitcoin before 2020 crash cashed out $156 million before this week’s 20% dip

As you’d expect, a post-mortem is now fully underway after this week’s carnage in the crypto markets.

Curiously, data from Santiment suggests that the initial crash may have been linked to a huge transaction that took place after Sunday’s all-time high of $58,300. The transfer of 2,700 BTC — worth $156 million at the time — was the second-biggest transaction of 2021.

It’s possible that this whale cashing out contributed to unbearable selling pressure in the market, which snowballed into the largest one-hour candle in Bitcoin’s history. If enough alarm bells weren’t ringing, this self-same wallet also dumped 2,000 BTC just before last March’s infamous flash crash.

Crypto influencer warns Ethereum fees will drive users away

A prominent crypto influencer has warned that Ethereum’s competitors will continue to siphon away users should Eth2 fail to launch soon amid ever-increasing gas fees.

Lark Davis said Ethereum’s skyrocketing fees has meant that only “rich investors” can afford to use the network, prompting smaller users to switch to competitors like Binance Smart Chain. 

Describing the current gas fee prices as “totally loco,” Davis urged Ethereum developers to expedite the launch of Eth2 in response to the skyrocketing to prevent a further exodus of users to cheaper alternatives.He added: “We’re now to the point where ETH 1.0 — oh, we need ETH 2.0 so soon, come on, Vitalik, get it going, man — ETH 1.0, most regular users are priced out of using the majority of applications on Ethereum. […] A transaction on Uniswap costs $50 on average these days, and that is just crazy.”

Best Cointelegraph Features

Sam Bankman-Fried: The crypto whale who wants to give billions away

He’s just 28 years old, but Sam Bankman-Fried has already amassed a $10-billion fortune. But unlike most people in crypto, he’s building up this fortune to give half of it away.

Can’t beat ‘em? Join ‘em: Mastercard and Visa make a case for Bitcoin

Mastercard is set to open the shop doors to crypto as a means of payment in 2021, but it will likely be a challenge for the firm.

Bitcoin price flies solo? Institutional crypto push may be overrated

Bitcoin’s market cap broke the $1-trillion barrier without a final push from institutions — could their influence be overrated?


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Thanks a trillion Bitcoin, Binance Coin goes parabolic, NFT mania: Hodler’s Digest, Feb. 14–20

Thanks a trillion Bitcoin, Binance Coin goes parabolic, NFT mania: Hodler’s Digest, Feb. 14–20

The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — one week on Cointelegraph in one link!

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Bitcoin hits $57,500 — And $1-trillion market cap signals it’s here to stay

Bitcoin’s price continued to smash records this week, surging by more than 20% and hitting highs of $57,505.23 at one point. But the most significant milestone came when BTC’s market cap exceeded $1 trillion for the very first time.

This is a feat that took the likes of Amazon and Google decades to achieve, with Bitcoin cementing its status as a major global asset in just 12 years. BTC even managed to overtake Tesla and Tencent as bullish momentum shows no signs of slowing down.

Recent historical data suggests that Bitcoin rallies in 2021 have tended to occur on weekends, and many analysts believe the world’s biggest cryptocurrency could attack the $60,000 level as the weekend progresses.

BTC has outshone Ether over the past seven days, which has clocked gains of just 10% by comparison. ETH has been struggling to smash through the $2,000 barrier in recent days but did manage to break through this threshold on Monday.

MicroStrategy raising $600M… no, $900M to buy more Bitcoin

BTC’s surge came as MicroStrategy upped the ante in its aggressive acquisition spree, announcing that it is selling $900 million in convertible senior notes to institutional buyers so it can “acquire additional Bitcoin.”

Should the purchase go to plan, the business intelligence firm will hold more than 90,000 BTC in its reserves, and control 0.48% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply.

MicroStrategy’s spending splurge began back in August 2020, when it purchased 21,454 BTC for $250 million — a price of about $11,650 per coin. At the time of writing, this stash alone will have generated a paper profit of $950 million. Two further bulk buys occurred in September and December.

Binance Coin becomes third-largest crypto following parabolic rally

This week’s drama has led to a rather radical shake-up in the crypto rankings. Binance Coin is now the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap for the first time in history.

BNB’s price has more than doubled this week, and at one point, the coin hit highs of $342.88. It was issued by Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, with a view to giving users discounted fees.

The surge comes amid the success of PancakeSwap, a decentralized exchange based on the Binance Smart Chain. The platform overtook Uniswap as the largest DEX by trading volume this week.

Binance’s chief executive officer, Changpeng Zhao, noted that BNB has also been setting new all-time highs against Bitcoin. He said: “From a humble 0.00001 BTC per BNB, we have grown 480x against BTC in the last three-and-a-half years.”

Over $100M in crypto collectible NFTs sold in last 30 days

Nonfungible token sales have been booming, with sales of crypto collectibles over the past 30 days surpassing $100 million in value. 

NBA Top Shot represented the lion share of NFTs sold, with CryptoKitties, the platform that started it all, enjoying a 305.92% surge in sales over the past month.

This week, a unique Spiderman drawing by Marvel Comics artist Adam Kubert sold for 12.75 ETH ($25,387) after being converted into an NFT. Christie’s also announced plans to auction its first-ever “purely digital work of art.”

But there are concerns that the NFT frenzy is turning into a bubble that’s fit to burst. Litecoin founder Charlie Lee has predicted that NFT prices will eventually crash because tokens lack the legitimate scarcity of “real art.”

He warned: “Because of the near zero cost to create another NFT, the market will eventually be flooded with NFTs from artists trying to cash in on this craze. Supply will overwhelm demand and the prices will eventually crash.”

Dogecoin drops 23% as Elon Musk slams DOGE rich list

The loud, unmistakable bark of DOGE has turned into a whimper this week, with prices falling by 19% over the past seven days.

Dogecoin sank by 23% in a matter of hours on Monday after Elon Musk drew attention to the vastly unequal distribution of DOGE tokens — and urged major holders to sell.

Dogecoin has one of the most unequal coin distributions in the cryptocurrency space, with 28.7% being held by just one person and the top 12 holders possessing almost 50% of the supply. 

Disgruntled by this statistic, Tesla’s CEO tweeted: “If major Dogecoin holders sell most of their coins, it will get my full support. Too much concentration is the only real issue imo.”

It’s worth noting that it’s unlikely this pullback wasn’t just down to Musk’s missives. There was an enormous pullback across the altcoin markets as the week began, with Bitcoin’s push to a new all-time high sucking volume out of smaller coins.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $57,387.27, Ether at $2,017.56 and XRP at $0.55. The total market cap is at $1,752,064,723,211.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Ravencoin, Dodo and PancakeSwap. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Dogecoin, Avalanche and Algorand.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis

Most Memorable Quotations

“I think that now, after all the hacks we’ve had, we basically understand that if you have two audits, three audits, it doesn’t mean you’re safe.”

Emiliano Bonassi, DeFi Italy co-founder

“The amount of consolidation Bitcoin has seen since January is unreal. It really allowed fundamentals to catch up and indicators to reset. Looks like $48k is the new $35k now.”

Yann Allemann and Jan Happel, Glassnode co-founders

“There are now more 94,000 #Bitcoin addresses holding at least $1 million worth of $BTC. The steep increase in mid December marks the point when BTC crossed $20,000 — making all early miner addresses (50 BTC rewards) millionaire addresses.”

Glassnode

“While Bitcoin may very well continue to be volatile in the short term, we think it has 10x potential from today’s levels over the long term as part of a diversified portfolio.”

The Motley Fool

“North Korea’s operatives, using keyboards rather than guns, stealing digital wallets of cryptocurrency instead of sacks of cash, are the world’s leading bank robbers.”

John Demers, U.S. assistant attorney general

“Big picture $BTC Bitcoin is undergoing its third parabolic advance in the past decade. A parabolic advance on an arithmetic scale is extremely rare — three on a log scale is historic.”

Peter Brandt, veteran trader

“Cryptocurrency-related crime is falling, it remains a small part of the overall cryptocurrency economy, and it is comparatively smaller to the amount of illicit funds involved in traditional finance.”

Chainalysis

“Finance leaders who are tasked with ensuring financial stability are not prone to making speculative leaps into unknown territory.”

Alexander Bant, Gartner chief of research

“You don’t want to go to a non-uniform currency where you’re walking into Starbucks and maybe you’ll pay with Ethereum, maybe you’ll pay with Ripple, maybe you’ll pay with Bitcoin, maybe you’ll pay with a dollar — that isn’t how we do this.”

James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

“Because of the near zero cost to create another NFT, the market will eventually be flooded with NFTs from artists trying to cash in on this craze. Supply will overwhelm demand and the prices will eventually crash.”

Charlie Lee, Litecoin founder

“If major Dogecoin holders sell most of their coins, it will get my full support. Too much concentration is the only real issue imo.”

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO

Prediction of the Week

Motley Fool adding Bitcoin to its “10x portfolio” — Has a $500,000 price target

The Motley Fool has announced that it will invest $5 million into BTC and predicted that Bitcoin will rise to $500,000 in the next 15 years.

The financial and investment advisory giant says it will be buying Bitcoin directly rather than gaining exposure to “overpriced ETFs.”

Setting out the three core reasons behind its purchase, The Motley Fool said Bitcoin is a better store of value than gold, it’s an effective hedge against inflation, and it has the potential to become a transactional asset.

The company added: “While Bitcoin may very well continue to be volatile in the short term, we think it has 10x potential from today’s levels over the long term as part of a diversified portfolio. We plan to hold this Bitcoin investment for many years.”

FUD of the Week 

People don’t want a “non-uniform currency” like Bitcoin, says Fed president

The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis seemingly doesn’t understand why many are looking to cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange instead of a uniform currency like the U.S. dollar.

Speaking to CNBC, James Bullard was bullish on the dollar’s prospects and said the greenback won’t be affected by Bitcoin or gold.

Expressing concern with privately issued currencies, he added: “You don’t want to go to a non-uniform currency where you’re walking into Starbucks and maybe you’ll pay with Ethereum, maybe you’ll pay with Ripple, maybe you’ll pay with Bitcoin, maybe you’ll pay with a dollar — that isn’t how we do this.”

Bullard also warned that private currencies aren’t able to maintain a stable value against goods and other currencies, nor is their future supply “at all clear.”

U.S. charges three North Korean hackers over crypto attacks and WannaCry ransomware

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced charges against three North Korean hackers.

Assistant Attorney General John Demers didn’t mince his words when he made the announcement, declaring: “North Korea’s operatives, using keyboards rather than guns, stealing digital wallets of cryptocurrency instead of sacks of cash, are the world’s leading bank robbers.”

With a country largely sequestered from the international economy, North Korea’s hacking program has been a critical source of revenue. 

Many have linked hacking income from sources like the WannaCry malware and crypto exchange Coincheck with the nuclear weapons program. 

YouTuber regrets spending 37 BTC — now worth $1.8 million — on used Hondas

Spare a thought for this Honda enthusiast, who has called himself an “idiot” after spending 30.5 BTC on two used cars back on Valentine’s Day in 2017.

Chris Cut thought he was getting a “great price” of $30,500 back then, given how BTC was trading at $1,000 per coin. But fast forward to today, and his crypto stash would have been worth more than $1.7 million.

The YouTuber said that he wasn’t bothered about paying in Bitcoin for the cars at the time — but the enormity of his lost gains have set in four years later.

He said: “I started doing some math and it made me kick myself in the ass and I feel pretty depressed.”

Cut later added: “I obviously have regrets about that because I can buy a lot of NSXs today for that price. […] Essentially I turned 37 Bitcoins into 2 Bitcoins.”

Best Cointelegraph Features

Ethereum joins the $200 billion club — But is it worthy?

Ethereum broke the $200-billion market cap mark, surpassing secular companies such as Novartis and AT&T.

NFT “art revolution”: Beeple on his 5,040-day labor of love

Beeple — whose digital creations are going under the hammer at Christie’s — thinks that NFTs are “the start of the next chapter in art history.”

Algorithmic stablecoins aren’t really stable, but can the concept redeem itself?

Amid much fanfare, many algorithmic stablecoins have not been stable. Is the problem intractable, or is it just the algorithms that aren’t good enough?


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The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — one week on Cointelegraph in one link!

Bitcoin’s rollercoaster ride, Ether shines, XRP mystery: Hodler’s Digest, Jan. 3–9

Bitcoin’s rollercoaster ride, Ether shines, XRP mystery: Hodler’s Digest, Jan. 3–9

The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — one week on Cointelegraph in one link!

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Brace for impact? After hitting $42,000, Bitcoin price volatility may rise

Another week, another spate of all-time highs. Bitcoin managed to crack $42,000 on Friday, surging by 9% in just three hours. 

A sharp correction soon followed, with prices tumbling by 7% in the following eight hours. This may seem rather tame in percentage terms — but that’s a drop of almost $3,000.

Whales have been selling en masse since the start of 2021 and taking a profit on their positions. They’re currently locked in a battle with new buyers in the U.S. who are aggressively accumulating BTC. Key metrics to observe right now include Bitcoin outflows from Coinbase and stablecoin inflows into major exchanges.

Raoul Pal has warned that a “New Year Head Fake” could cause a nasty correction in the BTC and gold markets. It’s unclear whether this would be as brutal as the flash crash last March, but it’s worth noting BTC is overbought on weekly and monthly charts.

Long term, JPMorgan Chase believes that BTC could hit $146,000 by crowding out gold, however, it warned a short-term surge to between $50,000 and $100,000 will prove “unsustainable” this year.

At the time of writing, BTC’s market cap has vaulted beyond Facebook, Tencent and Alibaba, and it has come close to overtaking Tesla. The jaw-dropping rally has helped the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies exceed $1 trillion for the very first time.

ETH en route to overtake its 2018 all-time high

Bullish fervor surrounding Ether intensified this week, with the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency breaking above $1,200 for the first time in three years.

The gains were largely driven by a confluence of fundamental factors, including Bitcoin’s parabolic rally, the anticipation of ETH futures contracts and a surging DeFi sector.

Year-to-date, ETH has surged by a staggering 66.5%, continuing last year’s theme, where it handsomely outperformed BTC.

Google searches for “Ethereum” have now hit an all-time high, prompting some optimistic pundits to suggest that ETH could smash its previous record of $1,432.88 between Jan. 10 and 16.

So… what would be the key levels to watch if ETH is propelled into uncharted territory? Cointelegraph Markets analyst Michaël van de Poppe says the Fibonacci extension finds potential top structures at $1,800 and $2,700–$2,800. However, he cautioned investors and traders to expect a potential correction soon, as nothing goes up in a straight line.

XRP price soars 55% to “crucial” level, despite legal problems at Ripple persisting

One of the most head-scratching developments in the crypto markets this week saw XRP abruptly come back from the dead.

Having lost a substantial amount of its value due to legal issues at Ripple, a curious renaissance occurred for the embattled No. 4 cryptocurrency — with prices rising from $0.23 to $0.35 in a single day.

Michaël van de Poppe has said $0.35 represents the make-or-break level for bulls to hold in order to continue their gains, which come despite no real movement in legal proceedings.

In other news this week, crypto exchange Uphold said that it won’t delist XRP until the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is resolved — and urged rival platforms to avoid “rushing to judgment ahead of the court’s decision.” Meanwhile, Revolut warned its users to “constantly reassess” their crypto holdings, including XRP.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse also broke his silence to answer five key questions about the SEC lawsuit. Slamming the “regulatory chaos” in the U.S., he revealed that the company has tried to reach a settlement with the SEC and said new attempts will be made once Joe Biden is in power. He also warned that the legal process can be slow.

Can Coinbase keep up with the crypto rally?

Coinbase has been under the microscope this week, not least because the U.S. crypto exchange is known for experiencing serious connectivity issues during periods of peak trading activity. 

The disruption has occasionally prevented traders from taking advantage of price gains and dips — robbing them of profit-taking and reentry opportunities.

Coinbase is not the only major exchange to suffer issues during price rallies. Binance also routinely goes offline when BTC clocks up big gains. Commenting on the problem back in December 2020, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao remarked that a 5% BTC surge is often accompanied by a 30x increase in trading volumes.

On Jan. 7, it was announced that Coinbase has acquired the Routefire platform for enhanced trade execution — a move that could go some way to restoring confidence.

Morgan Stanley now holds 10% stake in Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy’s massive push into Bitcoin is paying off, with the firm securing a huge investment from Morgan Stanley. The bank has acquired 792,627 shares in the crypto-friendly company, representing a stake of 10.9%.

The purchase apparently happened on Dec. 31. MicroStrategy shares have had a colossal month — with shares moving from $289 on Dec. 8 to $531 by Jan. 8.

MicroStrategy has made Bitcoin its primary reserve asset and has made a concerted effort to raise funds so it can buy even more. As of Dec. 21, the company had stockpiled 70,470 BTC, with a staggering valuation of $2.9 billion.

Institutional investors like Morgan Stanley have warmed up to crypto assets considerably over the past year. Many have attributed Bitcoin’s recent bull market to renewed interest.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $40,599.80, Ether at $1,220.34 and XRP at $0.32. The total market cap is at $1,077,848,908,371.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are IOST, Bitcoin SV and Avalanche. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Enjin Coin, Solana and Nano.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis

Most Memorable Quotations

“The next correction is absolutely going to be painful for all the #FOMO buyers.”

Michaël van de Poppe, Cointelegraph Markets analyst

“A lot of that [stimulus] will find its way into the markets. Certainly, when it comes into young people’s hands, they’re going right to their Robinhood accounts. One of the most unique things last time was seeing how many people bought Bitcoin with the exact amount of stimulus. Boom, boom.”

Mike Novogratz, Galaxy Digital CEO

“While the narrative is institutional money, this phase, IMO, it’s really institutions have given Bitcoin validation, and now we have family offices serving the wealthy rushing in needing exposure. There’s a lot of requests for $1m+ buys happening.”

Willy Woo, statistician

“FYI, Coinbase outflow on Jan 2 was an all-time high. It seems institutions bought $BTC when the price above 30k. $BTC bull market isn’t over.”

Ki Young Ju, CryptoQuant CEO

“A #bitcoin now buys you a Tesla. So, when will you accept it, @elonmusk?”

Documenting Bitcoin

“Would be a shame to buy Model 3 now, when you can buy a Roadster for 1 BTC later this year.”

Juri Bulovic, Fidelity director of Bitcoin mining

“I was wondering what to do for the rent, for a week now. And just remembered I had over 14000 Moons here in r/Cryptocurrency. Sold them and made my rent. It was like a stone lifted out of my chest. Not able to find the right word for this feeling.”

Satoshinakamoto7, Reddit user

“A crowding out of gold as an ‘alternative’ currency implies big upside for Bitcoin over the long term.”

JPMorgan Chase

“It’s important that you constantly reassess your crypto holdings, specifically XRP, and whether you remain comfortable with the associated risks.”

Revolut

“#Ethereum gas fees soaring again, basically making #defi unusable.”

Lark Davis, YouTuber

“On the 1st business day of 2021, #Bitcoin takes its rightful place atop the Financial Times.”

Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy CEO

“A vital part of the SEC’s remit is the protection of consumers. It is hard to see how a judgment rendering XRP essentially worthless and inflicting billions of dollars of losses on retail investors who purchased XRP in good faith would square with that remit.”

Uphold

“Where maybe we thought maybe $50,000 made sense, this number is definitely going to be a little bit higher than that in my opinion. I think we’re going towards $75,000 to $100,000 for Bitcoin by the end of 2021.”

Catherine Coley, Binance US CEO

“The number of unique Twitter accounts tweeting about #Bitcoin has just hit an all-time high of 66,832, surpassing the previous high of 64,652 set on 12/27/2017.”

The Tie

Prediction of the Week

Mike Novogratz predicts young people will buy Bitcoin with their stimulus checks

Joe Biden has said he is working on a multi-trillion-dollar package that will deliver $2,000 stimulus checks to U.S. citizens, helping them to weather the economic repercussions of COVID-19.

And according to Mike Novogratz, such measures could be further good news for the markets. He said: “When it comes into young people’s hands, they’re going right to their Robinhood accounts. One of the most unique things last time was seeing how many people bought Bitcoin with the exact amount of stimulus. Boom, boom.”

The Galaxy Digital CEO argued that there’s still plenty of “speculative excess” on Wall Street, pointing to Tesla’s dramatic surge as an example.

However, Novogratz says that the disconnect between the markets and the economy is likely to spell trouble at some point. In his interview with CNBC, he added: “You’ve got to watch for the cracks. One day we’ll wake up, and markets will be reversing, and then they’ll reverse hard. I just don’t know when that is.”

FUD of the Week 

Rapper Hiiikey confirms YouTube channel hack, fake crypto giveaway steals $70,000

A YouTube page belonging to U.S. rapper Hiiikey was hacked this week and taken over by fraudsters promoting a fake Bitcoin and Ether giveaway.

Hiiikey, whose real name is Keyshawn Butler, has 249,000 subscribers on the video-sharing site. His page was rebranded as “[Ethereum FUND]” and a livestream featuring an old video of Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin was launched.

At one point, the livestream had more than 56,000 viewers, and the hackers received at least 39.1 ETH, which was worth almost $50,000 at the time of writing.

Worryingly, the fraudulent livestream was active for several hours before being taken down.

Bitcoiner loses almost $100,000 of BTC in wallet transfer bungle

A crypto enthusiast has issued a warning to “overconfident” hodlers after losing the password to their wallet by not acting cautiously enough.

Reddit user Onnar said they had lost access to 2.6 BTC while attempting to transfer a wallet to a new computer purchased over the holidays. The user claimed they formatted the drive of their old system without double-checking whether the password manager still contained the password needed to access the private keys.

Onnar wrote: “I’ve spent the past week and a half going through all my remaining disk files and notes, the password is nowhere to be found.”

Many Reddit users were sympathetic to Onnar’s plight, and some stepped up with advice to avoid similar accidents in the future. 

“The standard now is to use a hardware wallet and write down the seed on paper plus on a metal plate. The standard is not to encrypt your seed words in a computer file for very good reasons,” one wrote.

Trump bans Chinese payment apps, including Alipay and WeChat Pay

With less than two weeks left in office, President Donald Trump has sent out a new executive order targeting Chinese payment apps

The order bars United States citizens or people located in the U.S. from using nine apps — including Alipay and WeChat Pay.

The executive order takes effect in 45 days, by which time Trump will already have been out of office. Given that his earlier order to get ByteDance to divest from TikTok was stonewalled in court while he was still in office, there’s not a ton of reason to believe that Trump will get his way here. 

Biden’s transition team had not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment as to whether the new administration plans to see Trump’s order through.

The focus on payment apps is particularly significant. Recent moves from the U.S. national security apparatus have definitely indicated concern over China’s payments systems, particularly its upcoming central bank digital currency.

Many in crypto, as well as the broader tech industry, have warned of a cold war in technology between China and the U.S., including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and several leaders of Ripple Labs.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Bitcoin turning 12: From the genesis block to Wall Street adoption

The Bitcoin network as we know it today officially kicked off 12 years ago this week, when Satoshi Nakamoto released the first software client.

The rise of crypto: Bitcoin sets landmarks, but alts can go independent

Unfounded hype? This time around, investors have begun to realize the value proposition of Bitcoin and Ether.

Bullish crypto events of 2020 that will drive historic adoption

These are 2020’s most important events in crypto that will have a lasting effect on the adoption of blockchain and digital currencies.


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Bitcoin breaks records, what happens next, Coinbase IPO: Hodler’s Digest, Dec. 13–19

Bitcoin breaks records, what happens next, Coinbase IPO: Hodler’s Digest, Dec. 13–19

The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — one week on Cointelegraph in one link!

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Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Another day, another all-time high — Bitcoin hits $24,000 in weekend surge

On Dec. 18, 2017, Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $19,891.99. Years of price falls and drama followed. Nonetheless, believers remained confident that one day, one day, BTC would manage to crack $20,000.

And on Dec. 16, 2020, that day finally came. In quick succession, BTC smashed through $20,000, $21,000, $22,000 and $23,000, pausing for breath at $23,800. This stumbling block was eviscerated over the weekend when BTC headed above $24,000.

In an extraordinary run, Bitcoin’s price has surged by more than 25% in the space of a week, with Ether hitting yearly highs and altcoins such as Litecoin performing strongly, too.

On-chain analyst Willy Woo has proclaimed that $55,000 is the next landmark for Bitcoin to reach — asserting that $100,000 is a “ridiculously low” target. Meanwhile, Quantum Economics founder Mati Greenspan believes “things are just getting started.”

Early miners have been turned into millionaires, with the number of Bitcoin addresses holding at least $1 million surging by 150% this week. And for a time, anyone who had ever bought Bitcoin was officially in profit.

Bitcoin’s network fundamentals paint a very different picture to the 2017 bull run, but some things never change: as BTC surged beyond $20,000, both Binance and Coinbase suffered outages.

Bitcoin price can hit $25,000 before 2021 if this key support level holds

As the Lambo brochures land on doormats, with the moon in sight, what’s next?

Cointelegraph analyst Michaël van de Poppe says a drop to the $18,500 region in the short term shouldn’t be ruled out but adds there could be further room to run as price discovery continues.

He believes that $19,500 has now been turned into a critical level to hold. The next level of interest is found at $25,800, which could be the next marker for a potential top.

Van de Poppe wrote: “Such vertical rallies aren’t sustainable for long. Thus, a correction will occur at some point. However, predicting when it happens is anyone’s guess, as Bitcoin may easily run to $30,000 and then see a 30% correction.”

It’s also shaping up to be a “significant quarter” for altcoins. Historically, Bitcoin dominance tops out in December, and a strong quarter for smaller cryptocurrencies follows. The question now is if, and when, Bitcoin’s violent correction will occur.

The options market is pricing a potential Bitcoin rally to between $36,000 and $50,000, indicating many traders believe the surge will continue in 2021. A larger uptrend in the first half of 2021 would see BTC replicate the post-halving activity it saw in 2017.

“Now BTC has finally broken $20k, all bets are off,” crypto analyst and trader Cheds told Cointelegraph.

Bitcoin shortage as Wall Street FOMO turns Bitcoin whales into plankton

Institutions are now making mincemeat of whales — and they’re beginning to look like plankton. As long-term investors rush to offload Bitcoin at a profit, big firms are lining up to snap up their crypto en masse.

A shortage of BTC on exchanges, coupled with institutional buying at over-the-counter venues, has laid the foundation for a fight over the remaining supply. Price rises are the only logical solution.

“I’ll repeat… liquidity crisis incoming,” said Danny Scott, the CEO of U.K. exchange Coin Corner.

And there’s no sign of institutional activity slowing down, either, with some indicating that “there is going to be a generational allocation to this new asset class.”

Here’s the thing: Retail buyers aren’t even here. Twitter, Wikipedia and even Google search activity point to a world that’s unaware of Bitcoin’s surge. (That said, BTC has been getting increased coverage in newspapers — with my grandmother revealing she read about it over her morning cup of tea on Thursday.)

Tweets are only roughly where they were in January 2018; page views on Wikipedia are largely flat; and Google searches for “Bitcoin” have been less popular this week than they were in November.

BTC just doesn’t seem to have touched mainstream consciousness, and paradoxically, it seems many people are only prepared to buy crypto when it hits all-time highs.

The Coinbase IPO is coming, according to a SEC filing

One of crypto’s most-anticipated initial public offerings is now one step closer.

Coinbase has sent its draft registration for an IPO to the Securities and Exchange Commission. This is a big deal given how it’s one of the biggest names in crypto, with a reputation for working well with U.S. regulators.

According to the research company Messari, Coinbase could fetch a valuation of $28 billion if the IPO goes ahead. That’s a substantial rise compared with its most recent funding round in October 2018, which gave the company a price tag of $8 billion.

Reports suggest that Coinbase has approached Goldman Sachs to lead its IPO, but this is yet to be confirmed.

It’s here: Treasury proposes rule to monitor crypto going to self-hosted wallets

The Treasury has released its long-awaited proposal to restrict money services businesses, including U.S.-registered crypto exchanges, from dealing with self-hosted wallets.

Under the proposed rules, exchanges would have to verify “the identity of their customers if a counterparty uses an unhosted or otherwise covered wallet and the transaction is greater than $3,000.”

The Treasury has now given stakeholders 15 days to respond with their comments, and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong was among the first to express reservations about the rumored plan in November.

Several lawmakers have expressed opposition to the proposals, which could be regarded as an assault on the nature of peer-to-peer transactions. That said, the measures on the table are not as radical as some had feared they would be.

Analysts believe that the mooted restrictions won’t impact Bitcoin’s rally, arguing that the possibility of extra regulation has already been priced into the crypto market.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $23,866.82, Ether at $663.73 and XRP at $0.58. The total market cap is at $674,326,311,469.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are SwissBorg, Elrond and Zilliqa. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Energy Web Token, Waves and Filecoin.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“All you had to do to be a millionaire today, is mine a *single* #Bitcoin block between 2009 and 2012. You had 210,000 chances to do so.”

Rafael Schultze-Kraft, Glassnode CTO

“One of Robinhood’s primary selling points was that it did not charge its customers trading commissions. In reality, however, ‘commission free’ trading at Robinhood came with a catch.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

“We are not at the all-time-high juncture where the BTC Top Cap Model starts curving upwards. Let’s see how high she runs in 2021. $100k is a ridiculously low target at the current trajectory. $55k is the next landmark -> Bitcoin becomes a $1T macro asset bucket.”

Willy Woo, on-chain analyst

“I’ll repeat… liquidity crisis incoming.”

Danny Scott, Coin Corner

“$ETH has started its run every December the last 3 years with at least 100%+ ROI over the following months. What makes you think this year will be any different? #Ethereum to $1000+ within the next few months IMO.”

Altcoin Sherpa, crypto analyst

“Settle in, because we will be visiting the $20-$22K level at least half a dozen times before we break through to the $30K range later in 2021.”

Alex Mashinsky, Celsius Network CEO

“Sustained growth is likely from here, at least for the time being. We are being driven by corporations and billionaires now, not just retailers.”

Brandon Mintz, Bitcoin Depot CEO

“#Bitcoin just popped. Experienced some scaling issues. Should be fixed for now. Underestimated demand. Adding A LOT more ‘servers’ still.”

Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO

“We have been waiting for this moment for years, and now that $BTC #Bitcoin has finally broken 20k, all bets are off.”

Cheds, crypto trader and analyst

“Glad I bought Bitcoin. Next stop $50k. Wall of institutional money coming 2021. Buy below $20k. If you missed Bitcoin, buy silver.”

Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad author

“I would NEVER recommend anyone take out a personal loan to buy ETH or other ethereum assets.”

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum co-founder

Prediction of the Week

DeVere CEO says Bitcoin will rise 50% and “possibly double” in 2021

There are oh so many predictions doing the rounds about what’s going to happen next.

DeVere Group CEO Nigel Green has proclaimed that Bitcoin will have another “record-breaking year” in 2021. 

Green believes prices will explode by 50% and hinted that they could even double. On this basis, he expects BTC to trade between $34,500 and $46,000 at some point next year.

Robert Kiyosaki — the bestselling author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad has also thrown his hat into the prediction ring. “A wall of institutional money” is coming to Bitcoin in 2021, he said, setting a target of $50,000.

There’s one man who is relieved that one of his predictions finally came true. Back in April, Mike Novogratz warned he may “hang his spurs” if BTC failed to reach $20,000 in 2020. He’s since tweeted to say he’s “glad I don’t need to.”

FUD of the Week 

Shock survey suggests most investors think Bitcoin won’t top $50,000 by 2030

Unrelenting optimism over how Bitcoin will perform in 2021 doesn’t appear to be matched by everyday investors.

A Genesis Mining survey of 1,000 current and former U.S.-based Bitcoin investors suggests that just 17% believe BTC prices will exceed $50,000 in 10 years’ time. That’s despite the fact that this would only require an increase of 108% from current levels — with BTC surging by 230% year-to-date.

In total, 50.1% of those who took part in the poll believe that Bitcoin will be worth $20,000 or less by 2030; a third think it’ll be under $10,000; and a tenth fear prices will fall below $1,000.

Trading app Robinhood settles SEC charges for $65 million

Robinhood has staved off a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission by agreeing to pay $65 million.

The SEC had accused the trading app of deceiving users as to where its money was actually coming from between 2015 and 2018.

Regulators wrote: “One of Robinhood’s primary selling points was that it did not charge its customers trading commissions. In reality, however, ‘commission free’ trading at Robinhood came with a catch: Robinhood’s customers received inferior execution prices compared to what they would have received from Robinhood’s competitors.”

Speaking to Cointelegraph, the head of Robinhood’s legal team stressed that this is all in the past, explaining: “The settlement relates to historical practices that do not reflect Robinhood today.”

Unfortunately, Robinhood’s legal woes may not end here, with reports emerging that securities regulators in Massachusetts are weighing up whether to file a case against the company for subjecting inexperienced investors to “unnecessary trading risks.”

IRS tax form question leaves U.S. crypto users confused and concerned

Crypto users in the U.S. have been left confused and frustrated over the wording of a question about digital currencies on this year’s tax return form.

Form 1040 asks: “At any time during 2020, did you receive, sell, send, exchange, or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency?”

This question has now been placed much more prominently — near the top of the form. But here’s the problem: There’s a lack of explicit guidance on the definition of a “virtual currency.”

One crypto tax specialist has likened the question to a “perjury trap.”

Best Cointelegraph Features

How to build an exemplary crypto exchange

Building a crypto exchange can be a daunting process, but there’s one question that’s often overlooked: How do you build an excellent exchange? Cointelegraph Magazine takes a look. 

When will Ethereum 2.0 fully launch? Roadmap promises speed, but history says otherwise

What updates have been added, and how soon can they be implemented? Here’s Julia Magas.

Traditional crypto custodians ramp up security to accommodate institutional demand

Offline storage solutions are necessary for traditional custodians and banks supporting digital assets, as Rachel Wolfson explains.


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Bitcoin carnage, Eth2 milestone, Libra launch, PayPal blunder: Hodler’s Digest, Nov. 21–27

Bitcoin carnage, Eth2 milestone, Libra launch, PayPal blunder: Hodler’s Digest, Nov. 21–27

The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — one week on Cointelegraph in one link!

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Buy the Dip

Bitcoin price tumbles, falling below $17,000 in biggest crash since March

At the start of the week, the crypto markets were brimming with optimism. Bitcoin was one resistance zone away from all-time highs, altcoins were rallying by triple digits, and the surge was making a splash on the homepage of The Wall Street Journal.

With Bitcoin’s market cap at all-time highs, it was time to celebrate with a nice turkey dinner and all the trimmings. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving left the crypto world with a rather bitter aftertaste. 

On Nov. 26, BTC’s price suffered one of its biggest dollar losses since March. All told, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency collapsed by more than 15%. Massive liquidations were blamed for the crash from $19,484 to $16,334 in the space of a day.

As Cointelegraph analyst Michaël van de Poppe noted, market corrections are rarely elegant things. “They are often vertical and painful. Staircase up, elevator down,” he wrote.

Three reasons traders now expect Bitcoin hitting $13,000 before a new rally

So… what happens next? Are hopes of hitting $20,000 dashed in the short term, or was this a mere blip in the road that should be shrugged off?

Well, it depends very much on who you ask. Some traders are anticipating another steep pullback in the not-too-distant future, pointing to historical patterns that suggest BTC could fall back down to the $13,800–$14,500 range.

A pseudonymous trader known as “Salsa Tekila” said BTC needed to break $17,500 to remain in bullish territory, adding that $18,700 is the only big resistance before all-time highs. However, the trader warned that things are looking bearish below $17,500… and this could prompt a drop to the $11,000–$13,000 range.

Others, such as the crypto index fund provider Stack Funds, have described the pullback as a “healthy correction” that was needed before Bitcoin continues its upward trajectory.

The firm said BTC has been at overbought levels since October, meaning some heat desperately needed to leave the market.

Meanwhile, Quantum Economics founder Mati Greenspan said the correction may have already bottomed out, adding: “A 17% pullback is rather tame for this stage of the cycle.”

Ethereum 2.0 confirmed for Dec. 1 launch, just hours before deadline

Eth2’s beacon chain has been confirmed for Dec. 1 after 16,834 validators transferred 524,288 ETH into a deposit contract.

There had been doubts over whether the deposit contract would hit the minimum threshold by Nov. 24, paving the way for Phase 0 to begin in earnest a week later.

But transfers rapidly increased as the deadline neared. There was a celebratory atmosphere in the ETH community, not least because it finally marks the beginning of an upgrade that has been plagued by delays and complications.

While genesis participants will not be able to withdraw their coins until Eth2 reaches Phase 1.5 — which will merge the Ethereum mainnet with Eth2’s beacon chain and sharded environment — many hodlers are waiting for third parties to launch withdrawal-enabled staking services, despite the potential risk of exit scams.

Yearn Finance is going on an acquisition spree

Away from the major cryptocurrencies, Yearn Finance has had a very busy week. In a sign that consolidation is coming to the DeFi markets, the protocol has performed three high-profile mergers in as many days.

On Nov. 25, Yearn Finance announced a partnership with Pickle Finance to boost yield farming incentives. It’s also hoped that the move will compensate those affected when $20 million was lost in a recent Pickle exploit.

A day later, YFI was yearning for more. The protocol’s founder, Andre Cronje, announced details of yet another integration. This time, Yearn planned to join forces with Cream, a lending protocol similar to Compound and Aave.

But the acquisition spree was far from over. On Saturday, a new collaboration was also unveiled with the market coverage provider Cover.

Observers say Yearn is “scooping up developers and monopolizing talent,” but critics have claimed that none of these acquisitions have actually been approved through a community vote.

Facebook’s Libra to reportedly launch in January 2021 as USD stablecoin

After months of uncertainty and regulatory drama, Facebook’s embattled Libra project might be nearing launch at last… kind of.

Reports suggest that Libra will initially take the form of a U.S.-dollar-backed digital currency — and it could see the light of day as soon as January 2021.

According to the Financial Times, the Libra Association will eventually add more fiat currencies to the basket of assets that back Libra’s value.

The exact launch date is still unknown and would depend on the Libra Association receiving approval from regulators in Switzerland to operate as a payments service.

Winners and Losers

Winners and losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $17,707.60, Ether at $541.01 and XRP at $0.62. The total market cap is at $530,787,776,807.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Stellar, Horizen and XRP. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Energy Web Token, NXM and Synthetix.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“It’s quite common that market corrections don’t happen in a smooth manner. They are often vertical and painful. Staircase up, elevator down.”

Michaël van de Poppe, Cointelegraph analyst

“#Bitcoin has been compared negatively to a lot of things over the years, such as tulips, rat poison, Ponzi schemes, snake oil, etc., but the one that has hurt the most by far has been the comparison to the Segway.”

Tyler Winklevoss, Gemini co-founder and CEO

“The New York Times is planning to publish a negative story about Coinbase […] The story will likely imply that Black employees were discriminated against during this process; this is false.”

Coinbase

“Everyone should put 2% to 3% of their net worth in Bitcoin and look at it in five years, and it’s going to be a whole lot more.”

Mike Novogratz, Galaxy Digital founder and CEO

“WHAT CRAP — new to coinbase — and all my XRP trades went into limbo then finally showed up only AFTER the bottom fell out — causing me to lose a ton of money!!!”

Mike Palagi, Coinbase user

Prediction of the Week

Institutional money may propel Bitcoin to $250,000 in a year, says macro investor

Global Macro Investor CEO Raoul Pal has predicted that Bitcoin could hit $150,000 by November 2021 in the most conservative scenario — and could even surge to $250,000 owing to the large amount of institutional money currently flowing into the market.

According to Pal, most of Bitcoin’s additional supply is currently being absorbed by PayPal, Square and Grayscale. He believes that the resulting supply squeeze is the catalyst for Bitcoin’s latest surge.

“I’ve never seen a market with this supply and demand imbalance before,” Pal said, pointing out the macroeconomic factors that are playing in Bitcoin’s favor.

Pal went on to predict that additional monetary stimulus to sustain economies in the wake of COVID-19 will devalue fiat, and this, together with low interest rates, will propel Bitcoin’s price to new highs.

“It’s life-changing. No other asset has an upside of 5x, 10x, 20x in a short space of time,” he told Cointelegraph.

FUD of the Week 

XRP price spikes to $0.90, crashes in seconds as Coinbase goes down

Altcoins weren’t immune from the Bitcoin bloodbath, and it was red across the board in the immediate aftermath of the nightmare before Thanksgiving.

But just before this correction happened, something crazy was happening with XRP.

The No. 3 cryptocurrency, not known for being a digital asset that delivers big gains, has had a blockbuster November. At the time of writing, it’s risen 154% since the month began — rallying from $0.24 to $0.61. Most of these gains were concentrated over a few days.

At one point this week, XRP hit highs of $0.76, but over on Coinbase, it briefly spiked to $0.90 before crashing back down by 30% in a matter of seconds. This was the highest price level since May 2018.

The rally was apparently driven by Coinbase users as the price of XRP did not see the same heights on other exchanges.

Some disgruntled traders flocked to Downtector and claimed they had lost “a ton of money” after their trades failed to process.

PayPal suspends user for crypto trading using PayPal’s own service

Well this is awkward. A PayPal user has claimed their account was restricted… because they were performing too many trades on the platform’s new crypto service.

On Reddit, the user in question claimed that PayPal had sent them a message, informing them that their account was being permanently limited “due to potential risk.” But “TheCoolDoc” claimed they had only made 10 crypto transactions over a week — purchasing during dips and selling when prices were high.

Bizarrely, PayPal had asked for an explanation for each transaction. Hours later, the user was told they would not be able to conduct any further business using the platform — and the funds in their account were placed on a 180-day hold.

Other Reddit users pointed out that the service is supposed to be more of a Bitcoin bank account than a trading account. Nonetheless, TheCoolDoc has vowed that they will “never buy a Satoshi of crypto” from PayPal again.

Chinese police seized crypto assets worth $4.2 billion today from PlusToken Ponzi

The PlusToken scandal has reportedly resulted in a titanic seizure of crypto assets by Chinese authorities — worth $4.2 billion at today’s prices.

Court rulings posted by The Block show authorities have seized 194,775 BTC and 883,083 ETH — alongside millions of Litecoin, Dogecoin and XRP.

Gains from the seized crypto assets will be forfeited to the national treasury. The precise details of how the assets will be dealt with and processed in accordance with national laws have not been fully spelled out.

The PlusToken scheme had presented itself as a South Korean crypto platform that could generate 8%–16% returns per month, drawing in 2 million members. It later turned out to be one of the industry’s biggest-ever exit scams.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Hodl or spend? Retailers offer Black Friday deals for those paying with cryptocurrency

As crypto enters the mainstream, major retailers are offering discounts and promotions to get customers to pay using cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin and blockchain topics to discuss with the crypto curious this Thanksgiving

Experts explain how to address common questions newcomers may have regarding Bitcoin and the blockchain space over the holidays.

Ethereum 2.0 to boost DeFi but delayed launch may set the network back

The launch of Ethereum 2.0 is bound to support DeFi growth, but would it be capable of handling the pace at which DeFi is growing?


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The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — one week on Cointelegraph in one link!

Bitcoin nerves, DeFi defiant, PayPal debut, Coinbase warning: Hodler’s Digest, Nov. 9–15

Bitcoin nerves, DeFi defiant, PayPal debut, Coinbase warning: Hodler’s Digest, Nov. 9–15

The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — one week on Cointelegraph in one link!

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Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Bitcoin price at $16,000 and beyond? Here are the bear and bull cases

We’re undoubtedly in a bull market right now. This week, Bitcoin hit $16,000 for the first time in years. 

Even this weekend’s volatility hasn’t been enough to derail BTC’s momentum. Although prices abruptly dropped to $15,670 overnight on Sunday, traders quickly stepped in to defend $16,000.

It is exceptionally rare for Bitcoin to perform this well. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency has only closed above $16,320 on 12 days in its history — just 0.28% of the time.

Naturally, the question now is whether BTC’s strength will remain, given how it’s in touching distance of surpassing the current all-time high of $20,089.

Analysts at IntoTheBlock say there is little resistance between $16,300 and $18,750, indicating that further upside is possible.

However, with “extreme greed” flashing on the Fear & Greed Index, Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe has warned a correction is almost inevitable in the short term.

Fund execs offer $1M bets that Bitcoin’s S2F model won’t come true

PlanB, the creator of the stock-to-flow model, has doubled down on his assertion that BTC’s best days lie ahead, saying he has “no doubt whatsoever” that Bitcoin prices will have reached $100,000–$288,000 by December 2021.

His model has caused controversy over the years, and now, one hedge fund executive is inviting S2F enthusiasts to put their money where their mouth is.

Eric Wall, the chief investment officer at Arcane Assets, is offering a $1-million bet that Bitcoin won’t have come within 50% of PlanB’s target range by 2025, let alone by next December.

“This is not a joke. I’m willing to lock up the money for it with a 3rd party we both trust, and you must too,” he wrote.

DeFi the odds: Total user numbers up 55% in just six weeks

October was a grim month for many decentralized finance tokens. Faced with heavy losses, some were hastily proclaiming that the DeFi bubble had well and truly burst.

But wait a minute. Data from Dune Analytics shows there has been sustained, sector-wide growth in activity — with user numbers growing 55% since the start of October.

Lending protocol Compound and decentralized exchange dYdX were among DeFi’s strongest gainers, increasing their user bases over the past 30 days by 250% and 50%, respectively.

Also this week, research from IntoTheBlock suggested that institutional money is flowing into DeFi — with Yearn.finance’s YFI among the top beneficiaries. On-chain transactions of $100,000 or higher have increased by 282% over the past week, including almost $134 million worth of activity on Tuesday alone.

PayPal’s crypto trading service goes live in the U.S.

The wait is over. PayPal now allows all eligible customers in the United States to buy, sell and hold Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.

Crypto purchases are limited at $20,000 a week — double the originally announced $10,000 — and customers are set to be informed of the new services within the coming days. No fees are being charged on crypto transactions until the end of the year.

These features are also set to be unveiled globally at the beginning of 2021, and the e-commerce platform’s 26 million merchants will soon be able to accept crypto as a payment method, too.

It’ll be interesting to see whether the rollout will encourage greater levels of crypto adoption among the masses, especially in light of BTC’s recent surge. Google Trends data suggests there has been little retail interest in Bitcoin’s boom of late, indicating that institutional investors have been driving the cryptocurrency up.

EU will decide on digital euro in January 2021, ECB president says

European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde has said that the bank should reach a decision on whether to release a digital euro early next year.

However, she stressed that the ECB is not “racing to be first” in the quest to launch a central bank digital currency.

Hinting that the institution is leaning toward pushing ahead with a central bank digital currency, she added: “My hunch — but this is a decision that will be taken collectively — is that we might well go in that direction.”

And Lagarde also revealed that it will probably take “two, three, four years” for a digital euro to see the light of day.

This week, a Deutsche Bank report warned that this non-urgent approach to CBDCs might not be good enough.

Germany’s largest banking institution said it is confident that CBDCs will replace cash in the future and said the U.S. and Europe could suffer consequences unless it starts catching up now.

“They may find that their companies are forced to adopt the digital currencies and policies of other countries as payment mediums,” Deutsche Bank wrote.

Druckenmiller embraces Bitcoin

Winners and Losers

Gainers and Losers of the Week

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $16,036.69, Ether at $455.47 and XRP at $0.27. The total market cap is at $459,967,203,314.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are SushiSwap (94.55%), THORChain (72.34%)and Uniswap (50.27%). The top three altcoin losers of the week are HedgeTrade (-14.86%), The Midas Touch Gold (-13.63%) and Augur (13.35%).

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“XRP would have been declared as a security if the SEC understood cryptos. This is a classic case of a market being manipulated by a bag-holder.”

Peter Brandt, veteran trader

“There’s a lot of scope for upside. Most of the gains that come are the year after the halvening, and we’re seven months into that year after the halvening, and Bitcoin’s doing what it should do.”

Brian Kelly, BK Asset Management

“This is the death knell of Bitcoin. It was fun whilst it lasted. $3k here we come.”

Crypto Emporium

“Many levels beneath the current price are untested on the weekly timeframe. A healthy way to build up a new cycle is the backtesting of previous resistance levels as new areas of support.”

Michaël van de Poppe, Cointelegraph analyst

“Looking for validation that Bitcoin whales are confident in their assets? The number of addresses holding at least 10,000 $BTC has just matched a 2020 high of 111. Additionally, those with 1,000–9,999 $BTC are now just 6 below the ATH of 2,135 wallets.”

Santiment

“[In January 2021] we will make the decision as to whether or not we go forward with the digital euro. My hunch — but this is a decision that will be taken collectively — is that we might well go in that direction.”

Christine Lagarde, European Central Bank president

“#Apple could generate $100 billion or more in shareholder value if they integrated #Bitcoin into Apple Pay, built a secure crypto wallet into the iPhone, and began buying #BTC with their Treasury Reserves.”

Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy CEO

“I bet $1,000,000 that the S2FX model will be broken less than five years from now. This is not a joke. I’m willing to lock up the money for it with a third party we both trust, and you must too. I define ‘broken’ = it won’t have reached even 50% of its target range.”

Eric Wall, Arcane Assets chief investment officer

“If you have failed to report holding Bitcoin or other virtual currencies on your past returns or filed an incomplete or misleading picture of your cryptocurrency holdings, the time to act to correct this is now.”

The Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing

“People ask if I still believe in my model. To be clear: I have no doubt whatsoever that #bitcoin S2FX is correct and #bitcoin will tap $100K-288K before Dec2021.”

PlanB

CBDCs are the future

Prediction of the Week

Macro factors could bring Bitcoin to $1 trillion market cap, strategic investor says

Lyn Alden believes Bitcoin’s growing network effect, coupled with favorable macroeconomic factors, may bring its market capitalization to $1 trillion in the next few years.

The strategic investor said that the environment generated by the coronavirus pandemic favors Bitcoin.

Central banks have been forced to embark on money-printing sprees to shield their economies of late, while interest rates have been at historic lows.

All of this makes scarce assets that retain their value in an inflationary environment, such as gold and Bitcoin, far more appealing.

Over the coming years, she’s predicting there will be a significant capital spillover from traditional assets into the world’s leading cryptocurrency.

FUD of the Week 

U.S. law firm says IRS is coming after Coinbase users who evade taxes

If you’re a Coinbase user in the U.S., listen up. 

A boutique Californian tax firm has warned that the IRS is stepping up its efforts against those who fail to comply with tax and reporting requirements.

Klasing Associates said: “If you have failed to report holding Bitcoin or other virtual currencies on your past returns or filed an incomplete or misleading picture of your cryptocurrency holdings, the time to act to correct this is now.”

The accountants added that it will be too late to make amends once an audit or a criminal tax investigation has begun.

The firm’s warning came off the back of Coinbase’s first-ever transparency report, which was released back in October. It said that the hundreds of information requests filed by U.S. bodies such as the IRS should serve as a “major wake-up call” to crypto owners.

“This data makes it clear that the IRS is requesting information from Coinbase for the express purpose of checking it against its own taxpayer data and looking for discrepancies where holdings on Coinbase have not been reported on taxpayers’ returns,” the firm added.

Sam Bankman-Fried believes even ETH 2.0 can’t handle DeFi’s potential growth

Ethereum is about to launch a brand-new blockchain that will substantially increase the number of transactions per second it can handle. But according to Sam Bankman-Fried, even this upgrade won’t be futureproof.

The FTX exchange co-founder has claimed Ethereum 2.0 won’t be able to handle decentralized finance’s continued growth, which has already seen transaction fees go through the roof.

He told the Defiant podcast that Ethereum was holding DeFi back, and the only solution was to start building on other networks.

Bankman-Fried claims to have tested more than 30 blockchains, including Ethereum, before deciding to build his DeFi project Serum on the Solana blockchain due to its speed and infrastructure.

He also predicted that DeFi could one day be used by 1 billion people worldwide and said radical action is needed to ensure that blockchains can cope with such a user base. Setting out what’s needed, the entrepreneur added: “Not just 100 times faster than Ethereum, we need, like, a million times faster than Ethereum.”

Crypto crimes declined in 2020 but DeFi hacks are on the rise, report warns

Cryptocurrency-related crimes have slowed down in 2020… but the decentralized finance sector has become a new hotbed for hacks and thefts, according to CipherTrace.

The blockchain analytics firm said total losses from crypto thefts, hacks and fraud dropped from $4.4 billion in 2019 to $1.8 billion over the first 10 months of 2020.

Although these statistics seem really encouraging on the face of it, they don’t tell the whole story. DeFi hacks were “virtually negligible” in 2019, but now account for 20% of all losses.

“Companies and individuals have rushed DeFi products to market that have not gone through security verification and validation. […] So people are figuring out that there’s a weakness here,” CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans said.

Best Cointelegraph Features

As Bitcoin price rises, institutions get down with digital assets

Institutional interest in Bitcoin continues to rise as bullish sentiment around BTC prevails.

Simple in practice: Crypto education is key to curbing phishing scams

Even though wallet operators have a large role to play in protecting funds, customers also need to educate themselves to avoid phishing scams. 

Silence is not golden: OKEx still quiet as customers seek answers

The way OKEx has handled its nearly month-long withdrawal ban has left many of the company’s loyal customers confused and angry.


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The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — one week on Cointelegraph in one link!

Bitcoin special! New 2020 high, election fallout, DeFi suffers: Hodler’s Digest, Nov. 2–8

Bitcoin special! New 2020 high, election fallout, DeFi suffers: Hodler’s Digest, Nov. 2–8

The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — one week on Cointelegraph in one link!

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Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Bulls keep running as Bitcoin notches a new 2020 high at $15,950

It’s been another extraordinary week in the crypto markets. Over the course of Thursday, BTC surged by more than 10%. As well as breaching $15,000 for the first time since January 2018, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency romped to highs of $15,950.

To understand how significant this is, data from Messari shows that BTC has only been above this price point for 0.4% of its existence. A rare event indeed.

“People will never again say Bitcoin is dead,” Grayscale CEO Barry Silbert approvingly noted.

Cointelegraph analyst Michaël van de Poppe said Bitcoin was nearing the final hurdle before a new all-time high can be reached, with one last resistance zone between $15,800 and $16,800 standing in its way.

However, he cautioned: “The probability of a breakthrough in one go is not high, given that the price of Bitcoin has already surged by more than 50% in recent weeks.”

Not all analysts agree. Some believe BTC’s dazzling rally may not stop at $16,000, with the number of Bitcoin held on exchanges continuing to drop.

Parabolic predictions

Three ways Bitcoin’s price and stocks may react to a Biden presidency

Bitcoin has cultivated a reputation of being a “safe haven asset,” meaning that investors tend to flock to it during times of uncertainty.

We saw uncertainty by the bucketload this week. BTC appreciated steadily when the U.S. election result wasn’t clear on Wednesday and as ballots continued to be counted. Donald Trump also claimed, without evidence, that many votes were fraudulent.

But look what happened on Saturday when major news outlets officially projected that Joe Biden would be the next president of the United States. Bitcoin fell by 5.67% in the hours that followed. And then it bounced back again in less than 24 hours.

So does this mean the crypto markets fear a Biden presidency? Love the idea? Don’t know what to think? Or are we just seeing heat leave the market now that the results are clearer? And what’s next for BTC?

Well, Biden’s election brightens the prospect of a stimulus package by the end of the year — and this could positively affect Bitcoin, boosting investor appetite for high-risk assets. Analysts also anticipate the U.S. stock market to recover now that the results have been confirmed.

There’s still something we don’t know: the president-elect’s views on Bitcoin. “For now, it really isn’t a big enough issue to warrant his attention,” Compound Finance’s Jake Chervinsky said.

Bitcoin at $15,000 is now bigger than PayPal, Coca-Cola, Netflix and Disney

Early September seems like a lifetime ago now, doesn’t it? Back then, Bitcoin was hovering at about $10,000, with a market cap of approximately $190 billion.

Fast forward to now, and BTC appears to have found support at $15,000. This has also helped Bitcoin’s market cap rise by 50% to $280 billion — and it means the world’s biggest cryptocurrency is now more valuable than most major companies.

Data suggests that, if BTC’s valuation is compared with publicly listed firms in the U.S., it would be the 18th largest. This dwarfs the likes of Verizon, PayPal, Disney, Netflix and Bank of America.

Bitcoin could now end up setting its sights on overtaking Home Depot, which is in 17th place with a market cap of $306 billion. If BTC rises further and grabs 16th place, it would also demote Mastercard — sending a powerful signal about where the future of money lies.

That said, BTC has a long way to go before it can catch up with Apple’s $2 trillion market cap, which makes it the most valuable company in the world. For Bitcoin to eclipse this, we’d need to see a price per coin of $120,000.

Binance’s DeFi index crashes 60% as Bitcoin overshadows altcoins

Bitcoin’s time in the spotlight has been bad news for altcoins… and it appears to have taken the shine off DeFi, too.

Binance’s DeFi Composite Index is now trading under $400 — a 60% decline from all-time highs. To make matters worse, most DeFi tokens have erased 70%–90% of their gains since early September.

The exchange also said that it’s been an “underwhelming month” for large-cap cryptos such as ETH, XRP, BCH and LTC, all of which only eked out “modest gains” in October.

That said, it isn’t all doom and gloom for DeFi. Although the value of governance tokens has taken a beating (perhaps unsurprising given how some of them, such as YFI, were designed to be worthless), the total value locked in protocols hasn’t crashed. It currently stands at $12.16 billion — not far off the record highs seen in late October.

“Extreme Greed” and FOMO taking hold as BTC nudges $16,000

Bitcoin’s surge could tempt traders to take some profit, and all of this could result in a pullback.

But the bigger danger is this: With Bitcoin prices touching their highest levels in 33 months, we’re beginning to see greed seep into the crypto market once again.

The latest Fear and Greed Index rating is flashing a score of 82, placing it firmly into the “Extreme Greed” category. Earlier this week, the score hit 90. The last time it was this high was last June, when it reached 92 as BTC powered to 2019 highs of $14,000.

As billionaire and former hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz noted: “The hardest thing to do in a bull market is to sit. My pal Paul Jones calls it the ‘pain of the gain.’ This is a $BTC bull market. Your job is to sit on your hands and lock away your phone.”

Winners and Losers

Winners and losers week of 11/8

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $15,336.80, Ether at $452.55 and XRP at $0.25. The total market cap is at $443,512,630,806.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Aave (76.51%), HedgeTrade (56.00%) and Synthetix (49.09). The top three altcoin losers of the week are ABBC Coin (-16.15%), CyberVein (-13.61%) and Crypto.com Coin (-13.13%).

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis

Most Memorable Quotations

“All eyes may be on Bitcoin and the surge past the $15,000 level. However, the recent development update related to Ethereum may result in some capital rotating back into Ethereum and its broader ecosystem.”

Denis Vinokourov, Bequant head of research

“Regulation is certainly going to be an area of focus in the crypto space going into this next year. It’s only a matter of time before an increasing number of jurisdictions adhere to regulations.”

Sasha Ivanov, Waves CEO

Dan Tapeiro on the Sweet Spot

“All in all, the sentiment is heavily bullish at this point, with the price at multi-year highs and only one major resistance level remaining at $16,000 before a new all-time high comes into play.”

Michaël van de Poppe, Cointelegraph analyst

“Thanks for flying with us today ladies and gentlemen. Off to the left you’ll see we’ve just passed $15K #Bitcoin and coming up on the right you’ll see $16K bitcoin. Please make sure to fasten your seatbelts as we begin our ascent to the moon.”

Cameron Winklevoss, Gemini co-founder

“Rising prices during an uptrend while open interest is also on the rise could mean that new money is coming into the market.”

Messari

Prediction of the Week

Bitcoin sees record 100 days above $10,000 as one analyst eyes “parabolic” 2021

If all of this excitement wasn’t enough, Bitcoin has also officially broken a new record after trading above $10,000 for 100 consecutive days.

Now, a well-known analyst believes BTC could go “parabolic” in 2021 if it follows its behavior after previous halvings.

Bloomberg Intelligence’s senior commodity strategist, Mike McGlone, says it’s a simple matter of supply and demand. The number of new Bitcoin being mined fell yet again in May, yet appetite for the crypto among institutional investors is soaring.

“New highs are a next potential iteration and may be only a matter of time unless something we don’t foresee trips up the trend of greater adoption and demand vs. limited supply,” he predicted.

FUD of the Week 

“I destroyed my life” — Uniswap trader spends $9,500 in fees on $120 transaction

Away from Bitcoin, let’s have a look at some FUD stories. And we begin with a clumsy trader who says they have “destroyed” their life after inadvertently paying $9,500 in fees for a $120 transaction on Uniswap. Whoops.

On Reddit, “ProudBitcoiner” revealed that they accidentally stumped up 23.5172 ETH in fees after getting the Gas Limit and Gas Price input boxes confused in the MetaMask wallet.

Uniswap is a non-custodial exchange for ERC-20 tokens, meaning that trades are executed directly from a user’s wallet, allowing them to manually set the gas prices they are willing to pay for a transaction.

Other Reddit users are now calling for MetaMask to introduce safeguards that would force users to confirm a transaction when the inputted gas price significantly exceeds the estimated price calculated by the wallet.

No surprises from Binance

QuadrigaCX trustee only has $30 million to pay claims worth $171 million

Ernst & Young has received $171 million worth of claims from customers who lost their funds when the doomed crypto exchange QuadrigaCX collapsed. There’s just one problem: The trustee only has $29.8 million in funds to distribute.

More than 17,000 users filed claims — with $90.2 million in Canadian dollars, 24,427 BTC, 65,457 ETH and 87,031 LTC among the assets that are missing.

Gerald Cotten, the founder of QuadrigaCX, died in India of complications linked to Crohn’s disease. He was the only person who had keys to the exchange’s wallets — and in recent months, speculation has grown that he may not be dead at all.

Ernst & Young also noted that Cotten traded using customer funds, which has likely contributed to the discrepancy between assets and liabilities.

$1 billion from Silk Road wallet moves for the first time since 2015

An anonymous crypto user has just moved 69,370 BTC from an address associated with the Silk Road darknet market.

According to CipherTrace, the transfer was made in two transactions. The crypto user first sent 1 BTC, likely as a test transaction, before moving the bulk of the coins.

The blockchain intelligence firm speculated the anonymous user made the transactions “to stay up to date with the Bitcoin network” by switching between address formats.

It’s possible that hackers may have been responsible for moving the funds.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Bitcoin price nears $16,000, but it’s Ethereum that may shine in November

After Bitcoin’s strong breakout above $15,000, analysts are looking toward Ether as the market sentiment around Ethereum strengthens.

Coinbase, Gemini and others join forces to combat human trafficking

Leading exchanges are tracing suspicious crypto transactions to combat human trafficking.

The cryptocurrency sector is overflowing with dead projects

Blockchain technology is just a tool that solves a problem, it cannot be the goal of the entire project.


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The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — one week on Cointelegraph in one link!

Twitter Hack Special: $120K Stolen, FBI Investigate, Calls to Ban BTC — Hodler’s Digest, July 13–19

Twitter Hack Special: $120K Stolen, FBI Investigate, Calls to Ban BTC — Hodler’s Digest, July 13–19

Top celebrities, politicians and businesses are caught up in a “social engineering attack” on Twitter — with theories swirling around that it could have been an “inside job.”

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Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Elon Musk, Kanye West and Bill Gates’ Twitter accounts hacked by Bitcoin thief

This week, Twitter and Bitcoin suffered a PR disaster. In a coordinated, ambitious attack, about 130 high-profile accounts were hijacked. Top celebrities, entrepreneurs, politicians, businesses and crypto exchanges were affected. Many posted similar tweets that promised followers that Bitcoin payments sent to a specific address would be doubled. Fraudulent messages were speedily deleted — but on some profiles, such as Elon Musk’s, they quickly reappeared again. Twitter had little choice but to suspend all verified accounts as it struggled to get on top of the breach. It’s estimated the attackers received 375 payments worth $120,000 as a result of the attack, with one Japanese wallet sending $40,000 in BTC. Blockchain intelligence firms have said some of the crypto has been moved and sent through mixing services, and the FBI has launched an investigation.

Twitter hack: “Social engineering attack” on employee admin panels

The attack has been described as a threat to national security. We still don’t know whether the criminals managed to access sensible information found in direct messages. It seems the scammers were able to succeed with their audacious hack because employees have high levels of access to information and control on the platform. Twitter has vowed to add more security measures in an announcement that smacks of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Tron founder Justin Sun is offering a reward of $1 million to those who track down the attackers. Early detective work suggests the hackers aren’t sophisticated Bitcoin users as they left trails leading to and from major exchanges that presumably hold the keys to their identities. Research from Whitestream indicates they appear to be consolidating their funds to an address that had earlier sent money to BitPay and Coinbase.

Twitter account of Joe Biden

Twitter hack: The crypto world responds

One mystery behind the hack is how the attackers obtained access to so many high-profile accounts. Some theories suggest it was an “inside job” and the work of a disgruntled former or current Twitter employee. Others claimed it was clear that the hackers had a “super low IQ” as anyone with access to so many influential accounts could have easily chosen to manipulate the markets through FUD rather than run giveaway scams. One journalist, Josh Barro, tweeted: “You know, we wouldn’t have to worry about this sort of thing if cryptocurrency was illegal. I’m not kidding. Crypto has no socially beneficial uses and quite a few socially harmful uses. Why is it allowed?” This argument was quickly shot down in flames — with others pointing out how Twitter’s centralized controls led to this mess in the first place. As Anthony Pompliano tweeted: “Twitter was hacked. Bitcoin has never been hacked.”

Bitcoin price charts suggest $9,000 deadlock may finally end next week

Let’s move on to some other news now. Bitcoin prices largely snoozed through the Twitter fiasco — remaining oddly serene and stuck in the low $9,000s. Cointelegraph analyst Michaël van de Poppe says there’s conflict in the markets, as both bullish and bearish arguments exist. He believes the bullish scenario is primarily built around breaking through the $9,200 resistance level, while the bearish scenario involves rejecting $9,200 and then losing support at $9,000. Van de Poppe added: “As Bitcoin’s price is most likely going to accelerate once it breaks above the $10,500 barrier, the opposite is true for the bearish case if $8,600 support does not hold. This is likely because there aren’t many support levels beneath $8,600, suggesting that the price can quickly drop $1,000 in a few hours as traders’ stop/losses may also add to downward pressure with the price dropping below a critical two-month-long support level. The next major support level beneath $8,600 is the $7,500 range.”

PayPal letter seems to confirm crypto capability rumors

PayPal has confirmed that it is developing capabilities in the cryptocurrency space in a letter to the European Commission. In the letter, the payments giant said it was “continuously monitoring and evaluating developments in the crypto and blockchain/distributed ledger space.” The company also stressed that it favors a “harmonized” regulatory approach that wouldn’t compromise innovation. Earlier in June, it was reported that PayPal was considering introducing direct sales of crypto assets and offering users to store their crypto using the company’s in-house digital wallet. When asked to confirm or deny this, a representative told Cointelegraph that “PayPal does not comment on rumors or speculation.” Around the same time, PayPal announced two crypto-related openings, as it was looking for blockchain and crypto engineers.

Winners and Losers

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $9,119.49, Ether at $233.83 and XRP at $0.19. The total market cap is at $270,461,997,967.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Aurora, Nimiq and Swipe. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Ampleforth, Nexo and Quant.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis

Most Memorable Quotations

“We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools. We know they used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf.”

Twitter Support

“We cannot depend on centralized platforms, no matter how good their intentions are. These are single points of failure that you do not control.”

Scott Melker, crypto trader

“It looks like all verified Twitter accounts have been hacked by someone running a #Bitcoin scam. For once not being verified has its advantages. I wonder if this is a harbinger of Bitcoin itself being hacked? Better to play it safe and just buy #gold.”

Peter Schiff, crypto skeptic

Jack Dorsey

“Our users today don’t ever know we’re using Bitcoin when they’re using dollars. It’s just kind of like we’ve melted it in the background. I think tens of millions of people will be using this stuff in the next few years, and that just takes a little bit of capital.”

Jack Mallers, Zap CEO

“We have seen a huge change in the tone towards blockchain technology in congress just since the pandemic. We have seen almost a 180 in that conversation. The pandemic has forced congress to go digital.”

Perianne Boring, Chamber of Digital Commerce founder

“BTC bulls need to reclaim $9,400 quick sharp.”

filbfilb, Cointelegraph Markets analyst

Prediction of the Week

“Worthless coin” — McAfee says he never believed Bitcoin would hit $1 million

In July 2017, John McAfee boldly predicted that Bitcoin would hit $500,000 within three years — proclaiming he would “eat his own dick” on national television if he was wrong. Last year, he doubled down on that bet — and said he was adamant BTC would hit $1 million. Now, in a sign that such wild predictions aren’t to be trusted, McAfee has said he never believed Bitcoin would reach seven figures, describing it as an “old, tired worthless coin.” (Note: He’s previously said that his predictions were a joke designed to encourage newcomers to buy BTC.) Bitcoin investor and TV host Max Keiser sarcastically said that McAfee must be recovering in hospital after following through on his promise. “John McAfee honored his bet, made three years ago, to bite off his dick if Bitcoin wasn’t at $500,000. GOOD NEWS: He’s doing well at the hospital and expected to make a full recovery,” he said.

FUD of the Week

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion says he lost Bitcoin bought in 2015

A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter has revealed he was one of the poor souls who missed out on Bitcoin’s all-time high in 2017 after misplacing his coins. Craig Jones, who is based in Australia, had bought the crypto in 2015 when the price was roughly $200–$400. Unfortunately for him, the 29-year-old champion couldn’t cash in when the price topped $20,000. He said: “Me and a couple of mates bought some bitcoin for s—-s and giggles and then forgot about it almost immediately. Then when things went crazy a couple of years later we were all frantically trying to work out who had the password but nobody could remember how to get our account back.” Now that’s a body blow.

Texas man allegedly used $1.1 million in COVID-19 relief funds to buy crypto

A Texas resident has been accused of fraudulently filing loan applications for $1.1 million through the Paycheck Protection Program. Although he claimed he was seeking COVID-19 relief, it’s claimed he actually used the funds to purchase cryptocurrency. Joshua Thomas Argires submitted applications on behalf of two companies named “Texas Barbecue” and “Houston Landscaping,” falsely claiming that both businesses had numerous employees and hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll expenses. According to a federal criminal complaint, he then began a series of transactions that ultimately resulted in $956,250 being transferred into a Coinbase account. Officials claim the 29-year-old committed wire fraud, and he has been charged by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas.

Two teens arrested after paying Bitcoin to see livestream murder on dark web

Two Italian 17-year-olds have been arrested for paying Bitcoin to see children sexually abused, tortured and murdered on live streams. The deep web website used by the teenagers also allowed users to pay extra to decide what torture the children would be subjected to next. According to local media, viewers could request for hot oil to be poured over a victim, or for their arm to be amputated. The two were searched as part of an ongoing investigation that has so far involved 25 people — 19 minors and six over 18 — residing in 13 Italian provinces. It is unclear whether the website offering the services was shut down, but presumably, only some of its viewers were caught.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Twitter wouldn’t be hacked if it were backed by blockchain technology

The recent Twitter hack shows us that centralized infrastructure is still vulnerable — but Oleksii Konashevych argues blockchain can change the paradigm.

Peckshield

Bitcoin could be the next big inflation hedge

High-profile investors are concerned about the possibility of rising inflation — and they are turning to cryptocurrency to hedge against it. Mark Hipperson has more.

The Cashaa hack: Investigators stay silent as inside job rumors emerge

As 336 BTC gets stolen from crypto-friendly bank Cashaa, there is still no clear explanation for what happened. Anirudh Tiwari has the latest.


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Top celebrities, politicians and businesses are caught up in a “social engineering attack” on Twitter — with theories swirling around that it could have been an “inside job.”

Dogecoin Surges, Coinbase Rumors, Brave Legal Threats: Hodler’s Digest, July 6–12

Dogecoin Surges, Coinbase Rumors, Brave Legal Threats: Hodler’s Digest, July 6–12

Bitcoin has practically turned into a stablecoin, Dogecoin has experienced a huge resurgence in popularity, and Coinbase might be preparing to list on the stock market.

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Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Bitcoin’s price has hardly moved an inch in the last six weeks — barely moving 2% in either direction from its average. This long period of stagnation resembles what happened in early 2017. BTC stayed around $900 for the first three months of the year, which was followed by an explosive 300% move in the second quarter. Of course, Bitcoin is facing stubborn levels of resistance before it clears $10,500 — and this week, BTC’s correlation to the S&P 500 reached an all-time high. On Thursday, a bad day for stocks saw Bitcoin abruptly drop below $9,200. Key metrics do show that institutional interest in crypto is high and rising, but even some of the world’s biggest Bitcoin bulls are sounding a note of caution. Mike Novogratz, who wrongly predicted BTC would hit $20,000 by the end of 2019, has said he doesn’t recommend investors putting the majority of their funds in crypto. “My sense is that Bitcoin way outperforms gold, but I would tell people to have a lot less Bitcoin than they have gold, just because of the volatility,” he told CNBC on Tuesday.

Dogecoin gains 20% amid TikTok pumping challenge

Weird, weird, weird news this week: Dogecoin is back from the dead. The novelty crypto asset leaped 50% in 24 hours this week thanks to a viral TikTok challenge encouraging its young user base to pump the coin. The most popular video under the hashtag #DogecoinTiktokChallenge has amassed more than 500,000 views — and in it, the user appears to describe a classic pump scheme, saying: “Let’s all get rich! Dogecoin is practically worthless. There are 800 million TikTok users. Invest just $25. Once the stock hits $1, you’ll have 10 grand [$10,000]. Tell everyone you know.” The frenzied action prompted the owner of the @Dogecoin Twitter account to warn its followers. On Wednesday, the account tweeted: “Be mindful of the intentions people have when they direct you to buy things. None of them are in the spot to be financially advising. Make choices right for you, do not ride other people’s FOMO or manipulation. Stay safe. Be smart.” Bitfinex listed DOGE in response to the demand — with “how to buy Dogecoin” overtaking “how to buy Bitcoin” on Google Trends. DOGE’s price has cooled substantially since hitting highs of $0.0054 on Wednesday — falling 32% to $0.0036. Looks like it’s a long way off before hitting $1.

Picture 1

Coinbase reportedly preparing for stock market listing later in 2020

Coinbase is reportedly preparing to list on the U.S. stock market as early as this year. If successful, it would be the first crypto exchange to make its debut on traditional markets. But hurdles do lie ahead, and Coinbase would need the green light from the Securities and Exchange Commission first. According to Reuters, the plans are rather fluid at the moment and subject to change — but the company has been in talks to hire investment banks and law firms. Should the SEC give Coinbase the go-ahead, it would likely represent a landmark victory for crypto advocates vying for mainstream endorsement. Coinbase was valued at more than $8 billion during its last private fundraising round in 2018. It’s thought the exchange isn’t pursuing a traditional initial public offering where new shares are sold; instead, it’s exploring a direct listing where existing investors aren’t bound by lock-up restrictions.

This news will be music to Facebook’s ears… not. Monetary historian Barry Eichengreen has declared that “Libra is an interesting idea that will never see the light of day.” Speaking at the virtual Unitize conference, the UC Berkeley professor warned that the stablecoin sector is largely ignorant of monetary economics — and claimed Libra faces too many “insoluble” problems and too much resistance from governments. Eichengreen said his work had led to invitations “to a series of lunches at excellent San Francisco restaurants with the founders and funders of prospective stablecoins.” But he added: “My conclusion was that my luncheon companions knew all about blockchain, but they didn’t know much about monetary economics.” According to Eichengreen, many executives were unaware of past speculative attacks on pegged exchange rates and are struggling to grapple with the “big uncertainties” that need to be resolved in order for projects to get off the ground.

A blockchain browser that was forked from the open-source Brave browser has rebranded itself after receiving legal threats. Braver Browser, which was launched in June following reports that Brave was auto-filling affiliate links, has now confirmed it will be known as the Bold Browser. In a tweet, the project said: “We are immediately changing the name and removing all association to ‘the browser that shall not be named.’” Brave co-founder and CEO Brendan Eich was unapologetic about the move, warning there’s “no free riding on our servers” and that his company will defend its trademarks.

Winners and Losers

Picture 2

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $9,232.51, Ether at $238.18 and XRP at $0.20. The total market cap is at $272,147,891,610.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Ampleforth, Elrond, Aave. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Compound, Celsius and Verge.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“Such wow! MegaDOGE on @bitfinex ! Release the gud boi!!!!!!!!!”

Paolo Ardoino, Bitfinex CTO

“Tether routinely assists law enforcement in their investigations… Through the freeze address feature, Tether has been able to help users and exchanges to save and recover tens of millions of dollars stolen from them by hackers.”

Stuart Hoegner, Bitfinex general counsel

“Most alts should gain on Bitcoin in near future.”

Peter Brandt, crypto trader

“Libra is an interesting idea that will never see the light of day.”

Barry Eichengreen, UC Berkeley professor

“2020 need not be a repeat of 2019. Proper levels of investment in people, processes and IT would result in significantly fewer ransomware incidents and those incidents which did occur would be less severe, less disruptive and less costly.”

Fabian Wosar, Emsisoft CTO

“We are immediately changing the name and removing all association to ‘the browser that shall not be named.’”

Bold Browser (formerly Braver Browser)

“With global currency vols off historic lows and a huge wave of new debt, fireworks are coming to the currency market.”

Max Bronstein, Coinbase analyst

Picture 3

“Make choices right for you, do not ride other people’s FOMO or manipulation. Stay safe. Be smart.”

@Dogecoin Twitter account

“Let’s all get rich! Dogecoin is practically worthless. There are 800 million TikTok users. Invest just $25. Once the stock hits $1, you’ll have 10 grand [$10,000]. Tell everyone you know.”

jamezg97, Dogecoin user

Prediction of the Week

“Fireworks are coming” — FX markets will boost Bitcoin, says analyst

Coinbase analyst Max Bronstein has predicted that “fireworks” are coming to the global currency market — and a spike in volatility might largely benefit the price of BTC. He said: “A lot has been said on BTC’s performance during bouts of equity volatility, but not as much on how BTC would perform during bouts of FX/currency volatility. With global currency vols off historic lows and a huge wave of new debt, fireworks are coming to the currency market.” Bronstein said the global monetary system was fragile even before the pandemic hit the international economy, with many countries at risk of seeing their currencies decline in value. He believes Bitcoin could benefit as fears of hyperinflation and devaluation hit, adding: “In a regime where nearly every government has an incentive to debase their currency, few monetary systems stand to benefit as much as Bitcoin does. Never before has an open-source competitor to fiat currency been so needed.”

FUD of the Week

Islanders demand return of .IO domain from colonizers

An unusual row has been brewing this week that has the potential to be bad news for crypto companies. Although the “.io” domain was formally the country code top-level domain designation for “Indian Ocean,” the extension was acquired on the open market by a U.K.-based firm in the 1990s. The U.K. government receives an undisclosed share of revenue from sales of .io domain names, in what a legal complaint claims is part of the ongoing colonial exploration of the economic property and livelihood of those in the region. The complaint notes that “thousands of crypto asset platforms” that “generate vast sums of unregulated and untaxed revenue” use .io — and accuses the U.K. of tolerating “massive criminality” in overlooking the existence of “criminal entities.”

New York court rejects Bitfinex appeal over $850 million in lost funds

New York’s Supreme Court has ruled that the Bitfinex crypto exchange and sister stablecoin company Tether must face claims they concealed the loss of corporate and client funds. The state’s Attorney General Letitia James alleges that the loss of $850 million was hidden. Bitfinex asserts that its funds were deposited with Crypto Capital — a Panamanian firm accused of providing shadow banking services to virtual currency exchanges — before being seized by government authorities in various countries. They are working to recover the money. The court rejected the firms’ claim that the court does not have jurisdiction over Bitfinex — noting several of its staff work in New York, and USDT had been used by local residents. In other news this week, it emerged that Tether has blacklisted 39 Ethereum addresses worth $46 million in USDT. General counsel Stuart Hoegner said: “Tether routinely assists law enforcement in their investigations… Through the freeze address feature, Tether has been able to help users and exchanges to save and recover tens of millions of dollars stolen from them by hackers.”

Picture 4

Telegram will shut down the TON testnet by August 2020

Support for Telegram Open Network’s testnet is going to be discontinued by the start of August. Participants are being encouraged to save all of their relevant testing data and stop their testing processes. Even though the testnet is going to be turned off in less than a month, users will still be able to continue their experimentation by installing their own validators. Telegram launched the TON testnet on Sept. 6, 2019, ahead of an anticipated launch on Oct. 31 last year — but the plans were never realized because the SEC suddenly deemed the company’s $1.7-billion ICO illegal in mid-October. After a long-running legal battle, Telegram agreed to shut down its TON project, as well as return $1.2 billion to investors in line with a court-approved final settlement.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Why banks keep blockchain cryptocurrency-related transactions

The close interaction between traditional finance and regulators is the key element in the development of the cryptocurrency industry, Alex Axelrod argues.

Much-anticipated central bank digital currencies raise privacy concerns

CBDCs are one of the hottest topics in the fintech space, but as their inception comes closer, serious privacy concerns come with it. António Madeira has the story.

How the U.S. and Europe are regulating crypto in 2020

Cryptocurrencies have been around for more than 10 years, but the legal status of Bitcoin and other altcoins remains unclear. Elena Perez looks at the state of play right now.


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Bitcoin has practically turned into a stablecoin, Dogecoin has experienced a huge resurgence in popularity, and Coinbase might be preparing to list on the stock market.

Bitcoin’s Battle, Robinhood Tragedy, $2.1B Black Hole: Hodler’s Digest, June 15–21

Bitcoin’s Battle, Robinhood Tragedy, $2.1B Black Hole: Hodler’s Digest, June 15–21

Why Bitcoin hitting $9,600 could be a big deal, Robinhood vows to make improvements after customer’s suicide, and Wirecard’s missing billions.

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Should Bitcoin traders stay bullish if BTC price corrects to $7,700?

Bitcoin is at a pivotal point — and the next few weeks are likely to be critical in establishing a medium-term price trend. The resistance zones are still clear: $10,100 to $10,500. According to analyst Michaël van de Poppe, another test of this resistance zone should end in a breakout to the upside. The more often a resistance gets tested, the weaker it becomes, as sellers get exhausted. He believes that the moment $9,600 breaks, a rally toward $10,000 should be expected — and if the bullish scenario plays out, further upward momentum is possible. “The $10,500 resistance has been tested several times, which means the price can quickly run to this level once more,” Michaël wrote. “If this happens, it wouldn’t be surprising to next see a price of $11,600 to $12,000 per Bitcoin very quickly.” He added that even if BTC retraces toward $7,500, it’s still bullish on the higher timeframes: “Corrections are healthy in markets and should be qualified as potential buy the dip opportunities.”

Robinhood vows to improve platform following customer tragedy

The stock and crypto trading platform Robinhood has vowed to make changes after a user took his own life. Alexander Kearns had reportedly seen an erroneous negative balance of more than $730,000 in his account. He left a note saying: “How was a 20-year-old with no income able to get assigned almost a million dollars’ worth of leverage?” The tragedy has prompted the platform to promise that improvements will be made to its offering — with stricter eligibility requirements, educational content on options trading and changes to its user interface set to be rolled out. 

Tone Vays

Major crypto debit card issuer reportedly missing $2.1 billion in cash

Wirecard, which issues Crypto.com’s debit cards, has a black hole of $2.1 billion in its finances. The major fintech company’s stock price plummeted by almost 50% after the issue came to light. According to the Financial Times, Wirecard staff in Dubai and Dublin appear to have conspired to falsely inflate sales and profits for almost a decade. Aside from Crypto.com, Wirecard also issues debit cards for Wirex, TenX and Cryptopay. While it is unlikely that user funds are directly threatened, the hole in the reserves could result in service disruptions. There are few providers willing to work with cryptocurrency companies, and the crypto debit card industry largely remains vulnerable to struggling principal issuers. In January 2018, the sudden collapse of WaveCrest left virtually all crypto debit card companies without a product.

Reddit asks Ethereum community for help to scale tokens for 430 million users

Reddit is continuing to push forward with its Ethereum-powered “Community Points” reward system — announcing that it is seeking developers to help it scale the tokens for use by all of its 430 million monthly users. The social network wants to hear from projects that are building ETH scaling solutions, with its criteria warning “all demos need to simulate Community Points usage for 100,000 users.” Another important requirement is to ensure that tokens can be transferred relatively inexpensively. Interested projects have until July 31 to get in touch — and successful applicants are being warned that no cash reward is on offer. Reddit’s crypto-powered rewards were launched in two subreddit communities last month. While 17,413 r/Fortnite Redditors have signed up, just 3,646 r/CryptoCurrency members have created a wallet. You’d think it would be the other way around!

UAE resident who took out $100,000 crypto loan saved by ex-coworkers

And a nice story to end our news roundup with. Last week, we told you about a flight attendant who was facing up to three years in jail after being unable to keep up with repayments on a $100,000 loan he took out to invest in cryptocurrency. Now, it looks like he might be able to avoid prison time after receiving 25% of the total debt in donations from former coworkers. The funds are enough to cover about 12 months of repayments, providing some much-needed breathing space as he and his wife look for a new job. He joked: “Can’t wait to take a new loan and buy Bitcoin.”

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $9,357.87, Ether at $230.54 and XRP at $0.19. The total market cap is at $266,092,696,674

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Aave, Nexo and SwissBorg. The top three altcoin losers of the week are DigiByte, Zilliqa and Numeraire.

Winners and Losers

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis

Most Memorable Quotations

Pavel Durov

“Payments will need to be interoperable between fiat and cryptocurrency, and easy to send and receive across the globe.” 

Mike Kayamori, Liquid Group Inc CEO

“Despite XRP having only closed above $1.00 on just 2.1% of its trading days, XRP’s aggregate estimated cost basis is $1.38. This suggests most XRP investors are deeply in the red.”

Ryan Watkins, Messari crypto analyst

“Our goal is to find a solution that will support hundreds of thousands of Community Points users on mainnet today, and can eventually scale to all of Reddit (430 million monthly users).”

Reddit

“There is no circumstance where police will contact individuals requesting Bitcoin. These scammers typically contact hundreds of people hoping someone will send them money.”

Chantelle Kelly, RCMP officer

Prediction of the Week

Paul Tudor Jones to be biggest Bitcoin holder in two years — Max Keiser

It’s time to welcome back Max Keiser, a long-time friend to Prediction of the Week. He’s told Cointelegraph that he believes legendary investor Paul Tudor Jones will be the biggest HODLer of Bitcoin within two years. Elsewhere in the interview, he said: “My target for BTC since 2011 has been $100,000 and I recently upped that to $400,000. The timing depends on when exactly the $USD collapses.” Keiser also claimed that this could “happen any day” — and warned that those who aren’t already positioned for this happening are going to end up “eating dirt.”

FUD of the Week

Donald Trump told Treasury Secretary to “go after Bitcoin”

A damning new book has claimed that Donald Trump wanted to take his apparent dislike of Bitcoin off Twitter and on to the regulatory level. John Bolton’s book, The Room Where It Happened, alleges that the U.S. president told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to “go after Bitcoin” in May 2018. It’s not the first time Trump has expressed a dislike of the cryptocurrency. He went on a Twitter tirade in July 2019 — describing BTC as “not money” and “based on thin air.” A judge has rejected the Trump administration’s bid to halt the publication of Bolton’s book.

XRP army’s cost basis per coin is $1.38 — seven times the current price

New data suggests that most XRP investors are “deeply in the red.” According to Messari crypto analyst Ryan Watkins, the cost basis for XRP is $1.38. As its current value is $0.19, this means token holders paid seven times more on average. XRP has had a turbulent start to 2020. It lost its position as the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency in May when it was overtaken by the Tether stablecoin. And to make matters worse, Messari data also shows that XRP was the worst-performing crypto asset among the 25 biggest coins between January and March.

Bitcoin scam artists under investigation for impersonating police

Fraudsters in Canada have been impersonating local authorities to extort their victims for money. One victim received a call from a person who claimed to be from the Canada Revenue Agency — and in another case, the scammer pretended he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Both victims were asked to withdraw cash from a bank and deposit it into a Bitcoin machine, and they were threatened with arrest if they failed to comply. One of them lost $8,836 due to the scam. “There is no circumstance where police will contact individuals requesting Bitcoin. These scammers typically contact hundreds of people hoping someone will send them money,” the RCMP said in a statement.

Best Cointelegraph Features

A multimillion mystery: Likely ETH fee “victim” steps into spotlight

Read Stephen O’Neal’s deeper dive into the story of a potential scam operation paying millions in ETH transaction fees twice in a row.

Bitcoin price at pivotal point, crypto traders divided over BTC short-term future

The price of Bitcoin is now at a pivotal point after a 45-day range period, as crypto traders see both strong bearish and bullish scenarios. Joseph Young has more.

Marna Ricker

One month left to crypto tax season — five critical mistakes to avoid

Keen to correctly inform the IRS about your crypto? Our Lokay Cohen has everything you need to know as 2020’s tax season looms.


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Why Bitcoin hitting $9,600 could be a big deal, Robinhood vows to make improvements after customer’s suicide, and Wirecard’s missing billions.

BTC in Peril, Quadriga “Ponzi,” Coinbase Punished: Hodler’s Digest, June 8–14

BTC in Peril, Quadriga “Ponzi,” Coinbase Punished: Hodler’s Digest, June 8–14

The Bitcoin uptrend could be in peril, QuadrigaCX described as a “Ponzi scheme,” and Coinbase is punished for outages.

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Bitcoin price drop to key $9,000 support could place the uptrend in peril

Will the drama surrounding BTC’s price ever end? Probably not any time soon. This week, Bitcoin fell $800 in a matter of hours to reach lows not seen since May 28. That came after yet another unsuccessful attempt to gain firm support above $10,000. On the same day, the S&P 500 slumped, too, in what was its worst single-day performance since mid-March. The plunge shows BTC’s multi-year resistance level remains a challenge for bulls to overcome. Some analysts believe a major stock correction is imminent, and there are fears this could be calamitous for Bitcoin, with the appetite for high-risk assets declining. Nonetheless, Cointelegraph Research shows that BTC remains the best-performing asset class of 2020 so far. Analyst Michaël van de Poppe says it is crucial for Bitcoin to remain between $9,050 and $9,300, or we could see a protracted retracement toward the mid-$7,000s. But he added: “We should remember that the price of Bitcoin has rallied massively since the March 12 crash. A correction of 25% to 30% is healthy and not unnatural in a market that trends upward.”

Regulators: Deceased Quadriga founder committed fraud

Damaging new revelations have been made about the doomed crypto exchange QuadrigaCX. The Ontario Securities Commission has compared the company to a Ponzi scheme, describing its founder, Gerald Cotten, as a “fraud.” In 2018, Cotten suddenly died on his honeymoon in India due to complications of Crohn’s disease. He was the only person who held the private keys to the exchange’s account, and user funds worth $124 million were lost. According to the OSC, Cotten opened several accounts under aliases and credited himself with “fictitious currency.” The regulator claims he was unable to meet his client’s withdrawal requests when the price of crypto assets fell — causing him to create a Ponzi scheme covering the demands using funds from other Quadriga clients. Because of his death, the OSC says legal action is impractical.

Tesla stock soars above $1,000, surpassing Bitcoin’s market cap

Shares in the electric car company Tesla zoooooomed to a record high of $1,027 this week — propelling its market cap to $188 billion, $7 billion more than Bitcoin’s. There’s something of a symbolic comparison between the two, as the investor FOMO that drove several BTC rallies appears to be present in the stock market. Analysts believe the rally may have been fueled by Elon Musk’s plans to push ahead with the release of an autonomous semi-trailer truck. A retail frenzy has gripped the stock market of late, and professional traders have described the demand as unprecedented. Unfortunately for Bitcoin, it hasn’t enjoyed the same popularity of late — prompting uncertainty in the short to medium term.

Picture 1

Users punish Coinbase for outage by withdrawing record amount of BTC

After suffering a series of outages that coincided with major price moves in Bitcoin, it looks like some Coinbase users have had enough. On June 7, disgruntled traders withdrew 22,000 more BTC than they deposited — the biggest outflow in almost three years. To put that into context, that’s an astonishing $214 million. Speculation has been growing that Coinbase is being punished for its unreliability, which left some users unable to log in when prices were plummeting. The company, which is the largest exchange in the U.S., recently said its autoscaling had been unable to keep up with a huge traffic spike on June 1, and this was why so many people had difficulty accessing their accounts.

“Bitcoin Billionaires” movie to tell Winklevoss Bros’ crypto story

They’ve already had their time at university chronicled in a film called “The Social Network” — and now, the lives of Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are going to return to the silver screen once again. The twins’ journey to becoming the world’s first crypto billionaires is being adapted into a movie — and according to producers: “This is Rocky II meets Wall Street in a world filled with unique and mesmerizing characters.” It’s going to be based on the book Bitcoin Billionaires by Ben Mezrich. After winning a lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg in 2011, who they accused of stealing the idea for Facebook, the Winklevosses made their fortune by investing $11 million of the settlement in BTC.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $9,406.49, Ether at $235.82 and XRP at $0.19. The total market cap is at $266,929,829,690.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are SwissBorg, Kyber Network and Verge. The top three altcoin losers of the week are HedgeTrade, WAX and Unibright.

Picture 2

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“No family should have to experience hunger simply because they don’t have a bank account.”

Stephen Lynch, congressman

“$9,850 is now less important as a resistance. $10,000 is now more important.”

Koroush AK, cryptocurrency investor

Prediction of the Week

eToro CEO predicts market crash “within three weeks” — safe haven Bitcoin?

I mentioned earlier how some people think that a stock market crash could be calamitous for crypto. And according to eToro’s CEO Yoni Assia, catastrophe could strike Wall Street in the next three weeks. “Someone, not sure whom, is going to sell/short their position and crash the markets,” he warned. The grim alert follows weeks of unusually buoyant growth in stocks, which have clocked gains despite mass protests and the economic impact of COVID-19. Not everyone subscribes to the theory that Bitcoin will tank with the markets, though, and some believe it could prove a viable safe haven for those wishing to escape the risk.

FUD of the Week

Indian government again proposes blanket ban on cryptocurrencies

The Indian crypto community had been starting to roar back to life after the threat of an outright ban on cryptocurrencies appeared to fade. But now, it looks like they’re back to square one. The country’s Ministry of Finance has renewed the proposals — despite the Supreme Court overturning the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on banks providing services to individuals and firms that deal in cryptocurrencies just three months ago. Last summer, the government’s controversial draft bill had suggested that those caught mining, holding, selling or using crypto could face a jail term of up to 10 years — and/or a fine of $3.2 million.

Picture 3

Fake SpaceX YouTube channels scam victims out of $150,000 in Bitcoin

Crypto scammers have stolen at least $150,000 by impersonating SpaceX YouTube accounts and hosting fake Bitcoin giveaways. The fraudsters hacked legitimate pages and changed the branding and content to emulate Elon Musk’s official SpaceX channel. Archived footage of Musk was then broadcast as if it was a live event, and viewers were asked to send Bitcoin. It’s believed at least 80,000 people watched the stream, and estimates suggest the scammers have netted 15.31 BTC as a result.

UAE flight attendant faces jail over $100,000 crypto loan default

Spare a thought for this flight attendant who is facing up to three years in jail in the United Arab Emirates for being unable to pay installments on a $100,000 loan he took out to invest in crypto around the all-time high. Reddit user Crypthomie lost his job with Etihad due to the pandemic, and he can no longer afford to pay his monthly dues of $2,230. He’s got until the end of 2021 to settle the debt. The unfortunate investor took out the loan on Dec. 18, 2017 — the same day Bitcoin reached its all-time high of $20,000. After less than a year, he reported an 85% loss on his digital investments — primarily because he had also invested in “some shitcoins that lost 95% of their value.”

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Best Cointelegraph Features

Bitcoin post-halving report for Q2 2020

Strengthening network fundamentals support the bullish case for Bitcoin’s price one month after the halving, according to research by Cointelegraph Markets.

Bitcoin market dynamics see change after BTC reward halving

One month after the Bitcoin halving, several key factors seem to point to a pivotal change in the BTC market and investor behavior. António Madeira has more.

Building empires: Biggest crypto exchanges push for global presence

As Gareth Jenkinson writes, crypto exchanges, such as OKEx, Binance, Huobi, Kraken and BitMEX are outlining the key challenges they face in pushing to establish global operations.


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The Bitcoin uptrend could be in peril, QuadrigaCX described as a “Ponzi scheme,” and Coinbase is punished for outages.

Bloomberg BTC Bombshell, Coinbase Fury, Ether vs. Tether: Hodler’s Digest, June 1–7

Bloomberg BTC Bombshell, Coinbase Fury, Ether vs. Tether: Hodler’s Digest, June 1–7

Bloomberg thinks Bitcoin could return to record highs of $20,000 this year, but warns Ether may not be the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency for much longer.

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Forget $10,000, Bitcoin’s $12,000 breakout will catch everyone off guard

Once again this week, BTC suddenly soared into five figures — hitting $10,380 soon after Donald Trump mobilized police and the National Guard to disperse protests outside the White House. The surge helped break a long-term descending trendline of $10,250 that had been in place since Bitcoin hit all-time highs in December 2017. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to last — and once again, the multiyear resistance of $10,500 was too much for BTC to handle, with the world’s biggest cryptocurrency plummeting by 14% in less than 15 minutes. Analysts, such as Michaël van de Poppe, believe bearish sentiment isn’t warranted right now, as an upward structure that has been in force since March 12 remains intact. Meanwhile, Keith Wareing believes these constant tests of $10,000 are becoming all too predictable — and thinks an eventual breakout could be much higher, catching everyone off guard. He wrote: “The bullish scenario of extending towards the first key resistance of $10,500 looks likely in the short term. Finally breaking out from this level would put $12,000 firmly within reach before experiencing heavy overhead resistance at $13,900.”

Bloomberg: “Bitcoin will approach record high of $20,000 this year”

June’s crypto outlook from Bloomberg was great news for Bitcoin — but less so for Ether. According to its analysts, “something needs to go really wrong for BTC to not appreciate.” At present, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency is mirroring the 2016 run to its all-time high — and if history were to repeat itself, Bloomberg says a return to $20,000 could happen this year. The report even suggests $28,000 may be possible, writing: “Last year, the high was about $14,000, which would translate into almost double in 2020 if rotating within the recent band.” Bloomberg also warned that Ether’s time as the second biggest crypto by market cap might soon be coming to an end. According to its analysis, it’s only a “matter of time” before the Tether stablecoin takes the No. 2 spot. One withering line read: “We see little upside in the ETH price absent a rising tide from Bitcoin.”

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Coinbase repeats pattern of shutting down when Bitcoin gets volatile

“Temporarily unavailable” is a phrase that’s become all too familiar for users of Coinbase. The exchange has gone offline four times in the last three months during major BTC price moves — and those who rely on the service are furious. Some are even claiming that the outages may be deliberate, with one Twitter user speculating that Coinbase has a built-in algorithm to automatically shut it down anytime there is a BTC price movement over $500. Crypto Capital Venture’s Dan Gambardello asked: “How does an exchange with an $8 billion valuation crash every time Bitcoin pumps 5%?” There’s not been much in the way of an official statement from Coinbase’s CEO, Brian Armstrong. Does the exchange realize that its reputation is taking a beating, and will it do anything to salvage it?

$1.4 billion in crypto stolen in first five months of 2020, CipherTrace says

CipherTrace says 2020 is on track to become a record-breaking year for cryptocurrency-related thefts, hacks and fraud. From January to May, the value of ill-gotten funds siphoned through cryptocurrency crimes has reached almost $1.4 billion. It’s possible that the amount lost to bad actors will outstrip the $4.5 billion recorded in 2019. As you’d expect, criminals have been capitalizing on the coronavirus crisis in recent months — rolling out a range of new crypto-related phishing campaigns, ransomware and darknet marketplace fraud. And in case you were wondering if these scammers have any scruples, it appears not: Evidence suggests they have mimicked the World Health Organization and the Red Cross in an attempt to achieve credibility.

Revolut confirms firing 62 employees in wake of coronavirus

The U.K.-based crypto trading platform Revolut has confirmed that it has dismissed dozens of people — blaming the cuts on the impact of the coronavirus. It followed a rather grim story by Wired, in which some workers claimed they were given a choice: be fired because of poor performance, or sign terms saying they departed of their own accord and receive a slight payout. “Some of the employees allegedly pressured to leave have been left stranded in a foreign country without a job or health insurance in the middle of a pandemic,” Emiliano Mellino’s report revealed. In response, Revolut said it strives to create a positive culture for its workforce — adding that it tries to make it as “painless as possible” for employees to leave its business.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $9,496.41, Ether at $238.09 and XRP at $0.20. The total market cap is at $270,084,847,325.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Xensor, Loopring and Divi. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Matic Network, Electroneum and Ren.

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For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“Absent an unlikely reversal in predominant crypto trends, it should be a matter of time until Tether passes Ethereum to take the No. 2 spot in total assets behind Bitcoin.”

Bloomberg

“We see little upside in the ETH price absent a rising tide from Bitcoin. The pre-eminent crypto is breaking away from the pack in terms of adoption and is supported by almost-ideal macroeconomic conditions for stores-of-value amid quantitative easing.”

Bloomberg

“Alert Issued: We have received reports that billions of XBG were minted despite having a max supply of 21M.”

CoinMarketCap

Prediction of the Week

Could Bitcoin trading volume really increase 100x in four years?

Coin Metrics has predicted that Bitcoin’s daily trading volumes could eclipse the U.S. equity market in a few short years. At present, BTC has a daily spot market volume of $4.1 billion in USD markets — a stark contrast to the $446 billion value of the U.S. equity market. It seems like an exceedingly tall order, but Coin Metrics believes this is achievable by the middle of the decade. “If historical growth rates can be maintained, however, Bitcoin’s current daily volume from spot markets of $4.3 billion would need fewer than four years of growth to exceed daily volume of all U.S. equities,” its report said. “Fewer than five years of growth are needed to exceed daily volume of all U.S. bonds.”

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FUD of the Week

Crypto ransom amounts skyrocketed 200% in 2019

The amount of money demanded by ransomware attackers rose 200% in 2019, according to a new report by Crypsis Group. According to the digital forensic firms, victims are now being told to pay a median of $115,123 in order to unlock access to their information. It seems cybercriminals are now becoming increasingly selective over how they target and focus on victims who would be capable of paying “exorbitant” ransoms. Their tactics are also evolving — allowing them to sidestep the defense strategies often adopted by businesses and consumers. Just this week, it was revealed that three U.S.-based universities have been struck by the NetWalker ransomware group. Meanwhile, new data suggested that Singapore suffered a 300% rise in cryptojacking attacks in the first quarter of 2020.

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BitGrin minted billions of tokens despite 21 million supply cap, CoinMarketCap warns

The BitGrin network appears to have minted billions of XBG tokens — despite a declared maximum supply of 21 million. CoinMarketCap has added a warning to the page it maintains on BitGrin and alerted users to the anomaly on Twitter. BitGrin’s lead developer, Pharazen, told Cointelegraph that exactly 5 billion XBG were issued as a reward for a single block on the blockchain, causing the total supply of the cryptocurrency to reach 5,021,000,000 XBG. Although he claims he rendered the coins inaccessible by transferring them to an address that he himself cannot access, he admitted this cannot be proved.

Home seller sues buyer over payment in “fool’s gold” token

A California-based psychologist is suing a buyer who attempted to pay for 30% of her property’s value in the form of a “worthless” crypto asset called Troptions.gold. Mary Shea says the dispute has left her unable to sell the home because Mike Cherwenka’s company still claims an interest in it. Cherwenka and his firm, Best Buy Homes, are accused of violating securities and state racketeering laws by misleading her about the nature of the Troption digital currency. According to her complaint, “confusing and false statements” were entered into the real estate contract. “Every day that Best Buy wrongfully claims an interest in her property, Shea cannot find a buyer who will pay legal tender,” the suit says.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Decentralization: Preserving personal privacy while fighting COVID-19

Decentralized technologies can help to avoid jeopardizing citizens’ private data in the name of public health during the global pandemics, writes Muneeb Ali.

Crypto crime on the rise — good odds of 2020 becoming a record-breaker

Experts believe that a more holistic crypto ecosystem, especially one that is more AML-centric, is needed to help prevent the spread of crypto scams in 2020. Shiraz Jagati has more.

Blockchain to disrupt music industry and make it change tune

António Madeira explores how blockchain technology is tipping the scales of the music industry, shifting the power from intermediaries back to artists.


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Bloomberg thinks Bitcoin could return to record highs of $20,000 this year, but warns Ether may not be the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency for much longer.

Bitcoin Breakout Hopes, R.I.P. TON, Trump Threatened: Hodler’s Digest, May 11–17

Bitcoin Breakout Hopes, R.I.P. TON, Trump Threatened: Hodler’s Digest, May 11–17

In this week’s Hodler’s Digest, Bitcoin on the verge of an exciting breakout, Telegram abandons TON, and ransomware group threatens to air Trump’s “dirty laundry”

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Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Bitcoin price charts hint at the most exciting breakout in over a year

The halving has been and gone — and so far, it hasn’t been the cataclysmic event that some in crypto circles feared. Some market analysts have now set their sights on what will happen next. Cointelegraph’s Keith Wareing says Bitcoin is on the cusp of ending a 46-week descending channel if it manages a weekly close above $9,200. (At the time of writing, BTC stood at $9,728 — giving it plenty of headroom even in the event of a sudden fall.) According to Wareing, achieving this “will be the single most bullish sign that Bitcoin has seen since before the 2017 bull run” — with $9,980 as the next level of resistance and a target of $11,600 lying ahead. Failing to hold $9,200 means $8,790 is the first level of support, followed by $7,600. Even if this happens, Wareing says he would maintain a bullish bias. “A bearish outlook for Bitcoin is simply not something I see as likely,” he adds.

Telegram abandons Telegram Open Network and Gram tokens

After months and months (and months) of wrangling with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Telegram has admitted defeat and abandoned the Telegram Open Network, as well as Gram tokens. The encrypted messaging platform said its decision was in response to U.S. court prohibiting Telegram from distributing Gram tokens worldwide. In a withering blog post, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov wrote: “This court decision implies that other countries don’t have the sovereignty to decide what is good and what is bad for their own citizens. If the US suddenly decided to ban coffee and demanded coffee shops in Italy be closed because some American might come there — we doubt anyone would agree.” Before scrapping the embattled project, Durov had offered a reimbursement scheme offering TON investors two choices: an immediate 72% refund, or a 110% refund in 12 months. It appears over 80% chose to get their money back right away, but don’t expect the drama to end here — reports suggest many investors are now contemplating a lawsuit.

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Ransomware gang demands $42 million or it releases Trump’s “dirty laundry”

Already under fire over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. President Donald Trump might have another problem on his hands: a leak of compromising information ahead of November’s all-important election. The REvil ransomware group — also known as Sodinokibi — claims it has got its hands on files that would embarrass Trump after it hacked a law firm representing some of the world’s biggest film stars. It has now doubled the ransom it is demanding from Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, and it has warned leaks about Trump are coming next. “There’s an election going on, and we found a ton of dirty laundry on time,” the hackers said. The group’s post was accompanied with a chilling message to Trump, urging him to “poke a sharp stick” at the law firm within a week if he wanted to remain in the White House. Voters were also warned: “We can let you know that after such a publication, you certainly [won’t] want to see him as president.”

YouTube cancels Cointelegraph’s BTC halving livestream for being “harmful content”

Here at Cointelegraph Towers, we had big plans to cover Bitcoin’s third halving last Monday — meticulously planning a full day of programming for a YouTube live broadcast. Then, six hours and 42 minutes in, the livestream was abruptly deleted. Thankfully, the show was almost at an end, but it meant almost 2,000 viewers were locked out of our special coverage. YouTube is notorious for bans and censorship of crypto-related content, and it’s driven a number of crypto content creators to competing platforms that operate on decentralized principles. The reason given for cutting the feed was that the halving program was “harmful or dangerous content” that violated YouTube’s community policy — alas, despite appealing the decision, we’re yet to find out specifics on how we flouted the rules.

Crypto Twitter fails to explain Bitcoin to an exhausted JK Rowling

It started with a simple tweet to a crypto journalist. The renowned author of the Harry Potter series, one of the world’s richest women, had written: “I don’t understand Bitcoin. Please explain it to me.” We were among those who were most happy to oblige — explaining how the cryptocurrency works and describing it as “magic.” Alas, it seems the cacophony of tweets proved too much for Rowling. She was confronted with a barrage of complicated charts, GIFs of baboons, and endless howls of outrage from Bitcoin devotees who demanded to know why she hadn’t bought into the asset yet. Rowling later tweeted that she feared she’d be unable to log into Twitter ever again without someone getting angry that she wasn’t a hodler. “One day you’ll see a wizened old woman in the street, trying to trade a Harry Potter book for a potato. Be kind. She did try to understand,” Rowling wrote.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $9,732.72, Ether at $207.21 and XRP at $0.20. The total market cap is at $265,552,334,617.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Electroneum, Unibright and Zilliqa. The top three altcoin losers of the week are ABBC Coin, Numeraire and Status.

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For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis

Most Memorable Quotations

“I don’t think it’s very easy to buy cryptocurrencies in Africa right now overall, so we want to help improve that situation. […] It is very much an untapped market.”

Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO

“The next person we’ll be publishing is Donald Trump. There’s an election going on, and we found a ton of dirty laundry on time.”

REvil ransomware group

“The idea that some random startups are going to build their own stablecoins, perhaps with hundreds of millions of installs of a messenger client, whether it’s Facebook or Telegram or someone else, potentially challenge the sort of central bank digital currency or existing central bank currencies? […] That’s got to be triggering for regulators.”

Dr. Steven Waterhouse, Pantera Capital founding partner

“I put at least a 10% chance on a kind of big flash crash.”

Zach Resnick, Unbounded Capital managing partner

“One day you’ll see a wizened old woman in the street, trying to trade a Harry Potter book for a potato. Be kind. She did try to understand.”

JK Rowling, author

Prediction of the Week

Veteran investor says Bitcoin price surge to $467,000 is “achievable”

The sky-high predictions for BTC prices are coming in thick and fast, folks. Real Vision founder Raoul Pal believes Bitcoin can reach $467,000 in the long term — joining hedge fund managers such as Mark Yusko in insisting that the coin can increase 4,714% from current levels. A crucial milestone for this to happen seems to involve BTC’s market cap overtaking gold’s, with Pal predicting that “a $10 trillion number is easily achievable within that process.” It is worth noting that Bitcoin has a loooong road ahead to make this a reality. If you combine the value of every BTC in circulation, you get a figure of about $179 billion — barely 2% of the precious metal’s $9 trillion market cap.

FUD of the Week

The VC who argued “death spiral” scenario might be right after all

Not everyone is teeming with optimism about the current state of the Bitcoin market. Prior to the halving, Unbounded Capital managing partner Zach Resnick had warned that BTC was at risk of a death spiral that would see transaction fees peak, block times increase and the mempool become congested. All three of these things have now started to happen, meaning the signs of the apocalypse could be upon us. Resnick argues that the “death spiral” scenario isn’t priced in and that the BTC community underestimates the probability that it could happen. Although he estimated there’s just a 2% or a 3% chance that the halving would kill off the blockchain completely, he told Cointelegraph that BTC is being priced as if this was impossible. In any case, Resnick believes there’s another dangerous scenario that’s more likely: “I put at least a 10% chance on kind of a big flash crash.”

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Kim Jong Un may be using stolen crypto to offset economic fallout

Reports suggest that North Korea is ramping up crypto-based phishing scams in an attempt to prevent a financial meltdown during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the U.K. Mirror, seclusive leader Kim Jong Un is backing a gang of hackers known as the Lazarus Group, who appears to be launching a campaign of advanced persistent threat attacks. ESTsecurity, a Seoul-based firm, claims Lazarus is “increasingly engaging” in cybercrime activities — and some of these attacks are happening in the U.S. Many of these incidents appear to be targeting people trading crypto, with Emsisoft threat analyst Brett Callow warning they “undoubtedly represent a serious threat.” He also stressed that it’s exceedingly difficult to establish ties between Lazarus and Pyongyang, even if the claims are well-evidenced.

PlusToken scammer implicated in China’s second 10-figure crypto Ponzi

A scam that took in roughly $1 billion worth of crypto from over 715,000 victims may be linked to a notorious Ponzi scheme. One of Wotoken’s core perpetrators reportedly has ties to PlusToken, a multibillion-dollar ruse that is believed to have impacted the price trajectory of Bitcoin on numerous occasions throughout 2019. Wotoken has been described as a “super large MLM network,” and a trial began in China’s Yancheng City on May 14. It’s alleged that the scam claimed to generate returns for users through employing algorithmic trading bots, offering referral commissions to affiliates. However, as with most MLM scams, the advertised software didn’t exist. Wotoken had 715,249 registered users when it was active from July 2018 through October 2019, resulting in the illicit company accumulating a haul including 46,000 BTC and 2,000,000 ETH.

Best Cointelegraph Features

How to keep data private with Google and Apple’s contact-tracing app

Victor Zhang argues that tokenized technological solutions would be a better option for identity verification at scale without sacrificing people’s data and their privacy.

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As U.S. pumps trillions into economy, Bitcoin price likely to be affected

The U.S. is printing dollars and slashing interest rates to help the people, but will it affect the crypto market? Shanna Fuld takes a look.

Time for ETH to rise and shine as futures trading now available in the U.S.

Bitcoin futures trading debuted back in 2017 — and three years on, it’s ETH’s turn. Osato Avan-Nomayo delves into how it’s going to work, and what it’ll mean for spot prices.


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In this week’s Hodler’s Digest, Bitcoin on the verge of an exciting breakout, Telegram abandons TON, and ransomware group threatens to air Trump’s “dirty laundry”

Bitcoin Tests $10,000, ‘Halving Dump,’ $1M BTC Predicted: Hodler’s Digest, May 4–10

Bitcoin Tests $10,000, ‘Halving Dump,’ $1M BTC Predicted: Hodler’s Digest, May 4–10

In this week’s Hodler’s Digest, all of the latest buzz ahead of the Bitcoin halving — including why some think a $1M BTC is more likely than ever

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Three reasons for the Bitcoin “halving dump” from $10,000 to $8,100

We’re less than 48 hours away from “the halvening” — and there’s been no end of drama over the past week. Initially, there was hype as Bitcoin soared, with the world’s biggest cryptocurrency testing $10,000. But over the weekend, a dramatic and sudden sell-off began — a sharp correction that caused BTC to slide all the way back to $8,100. Bitcoin plunged by 9% in a single hour as it failed to tackle the $10,200-to-$10,500 range, which has historically served as a strong level of resistance. Some analysts had been arguing that a sell-off was inevitable because BTC was overbought, but even they were predicting that this would happen after the halving. The big question now is whether that “fear of missing out” remains, whether Bitcoin can bounce back, and whether crypto executives, such as Decred Founder Joseph Young, believe prices will “roughly double” in the short term.

What the Bitcoin halving means for miners

It’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the impact that the halving will have on miners. A supply shock is imminent — and once it’s taken place, only 900 new Bitcoin will be entering circulation per day, a sharp decrease from the 1,800 we’ve had for four years. Data suggests that miners are hoarding BTC ahead of the halving, with ByteTree suggesting that higher prices are ahead of us. Many miners will see the expense associated with mining a single Bitcoin rise substantially, far beyond the average of $6,851 reported earlier this year. Some estimates suggest that it could cost anywhere between $12,000 and $15,000 in the not-too-distant future, and this means prices would have to rise if miners have any hope of breaking even.

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Stairway to scarcity: Bitcoin sentiment to rise despite halving impact

There are several one-off factors that make this halving different from the ones we saw in 2012 and 2016. One of them is the coronavirus crisis — and as countries around the world print trillions of dollars in new money to save their economies, some pundits believe investors will plow into Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation. There’s also substantially more institutional interest in BTC than there was before. Even senior analysts at Bloomberg, such as Mike McGlone, are bullish — arguing that Bitcoin has a big advantage over long-established assets such as gold. “Restricted supply means adoption is the metric that matters, and most indications remain positive in an unprecedented environment where virtually every central bank is aggressively adding liquidity,” he said.

TON community launches free version of Telegram Open Network

Telegram suffered a massive slap to the face this week when an independent group of software developers, validators and users launched the “Free TON Blockchain.” The rival platform comes as the messaging app continues to be embroiled in a long-running legal dispute with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This breakaway community says Telegram “can no longer be involved in the project.” The launch came after U.S. investors who invested in TON were told that they won’t be eligible for a 110% refund of their money in April 2021 — and instead, they’ll only get 72% of their capital back now. Telegram’s founder, Pavel Durov, has reacted furiously to the legal battles brought by the SEC, describing the U.S. as a “police state” and discouraging entrepreneurs from moving their businesses to Silicon Valley.

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PewDiePie to leave blockchain video platform for exclusive YouTube deal

YouTube has signed a new deal with one of the world’s most popular content creators. PewDiePie has been wrestled away from the blockchain platform DLive, meaning he’ll be broadcasting exclusively on the Google-owned video-sharing site. Although PewDiePie was full of praise for DLive because of how they didn’t take large chunks of his revenue as commission, he failed to build anywhere near as much of an audience — attracting barely 1% of the 104 million subscribers he had on YouTube.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $8,747.34, Ether at $189.88 and XRP at $0.19. The total market cap is at $240,096,291,123.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are 0x, Crypterium and ABBC Coin. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Quant, EOS and Ethereum Classic.

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For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“The power has shifted away from miners. They’re not in the same position as they used to be ten years ago or even five years ago.”

Arnaud Salomon, Mt Pelerin CEO

“BTC has just scraped above $10,000 for the first time since mid-February, and an understated aspect of this impressive price surge (overshadowed by halvening news) is the fact that Bitcoin’s development activity rate has grown notably throughout 2020.”

Santimant, on-chain data research firm

“I definitely think that there’s a role for blockchains — and Ethereum in particular — to play in being this kind of neutral global player role [for] these systems, currencies, and applications to interact. I think anything created and maintained by nation-states can’t play that role.”

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum co-founder

“Legal proceedings in the U.S. mean that Telegram, the initial creator of TON (Telegram/The Open Network) blockchain, can no longer be involved.”

Free TON Community

“He [Schiff] tweets more #bitcoin than gold. And his commenters/followers are all bitcoin people. He is the sheep in wolf’s skin.” 

Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO

“If there’s no halvening dump soon, BTC could run straight to ATH.”

Logan Han, hedge fund manager

“I will go dark if the model is successful because if the model is successful, it will not be a pretty picture.”

PlanB, crypto analyst

“If this relationship holds… bitcoin would peak at $115,212 /BTC… I realize that price may sound ludicrous to some today… Just sayin’ that there’s more than a 50-50 chance bitcoin goes up – and goes up big.”

Dan Morehead, Pantera Capital founder and CEO

“Now that Buffett is out of the game and stock buybacks are rightly being called out as fraudulent, investors will ask… If Buffett was dead wrong about so much, was he also wrong about #Bitcoin and Gold? ANSWER: YES. Buffett killed his reputation by being stupid about BTC.”

Max Keiser, TV host

Prediction of the Week

“Perfect wedge” makes $1 million Bitcoin more likely than ever — Raoul Pal

The chances that Bitcoin will hit $40,000 and even $1 million have “risen dramatically” after it hit $10,000, according to Global Macro Investor CEO Raoul Pal. The sky-high figures fall in line with similar findings by PlanB, who has projected that BTC/USD could hit $288,000 between 2020 and 2024, with the potential to at least double that as a maximum. There have been plenty of other upbeat predictions this week. Morgan Creek CEO Mark Yusko believes Bitcoin’s price will shoot up by more than 1,000% as early as next year — adding that, if BTC’s market cap achieves the same value as that of gold, Bitcoin could soar beyond $100,000 at some point between 2021 and 2022. That forecast was echoed by Pantera Capital Founder and CEO Dan Morehead, who said there’s more than a 50/50 chance that Bitcoin goes up “and goes up big” — with $100,000 possible by August next year.

FUD of the Week

Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb sold 54 million XRP in April

Analysis of Jeb McCaleb’s wallets appears to show that the Ripple co-founder sold off at least 54 million in XRP over the course of April. According to The Crypto Associate, McCaleb is liquidating his supply of tokens on a regular basis — and on average, he flogged 1.8 million XRP every day in April. The proceeds from these sales would come to a grand total of $11.7 million. McCaleb is a key figure in cryptocurrency’s history, having created the Mt. Gox exchange and co-founding Stellar. He also co-founded OpenCoin in 2012, which later became Ripple, and was allocated 9.5 billion XRP when the 100 billion supply was pre-mined.

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Craig Wright’s Satoshi case goes to trial on July 6

It’s a case that’s gripped the crypto community for years. Now, we know that the trial between self-proclaimed Bitcoin investor Craig Wright and the brother of his former business partner is going to begin in July. Ira Kleiman lays claim to half of the 1.1 million BTC that the Australian entrepreneur allegedly mined with Dave Kleiman before his death. Wright, one of the crypto world’s more colorful characters, has certainly had quite a week. He has faced yet another allegation of committing plagiarism — this time, in his doctoral thesis. A blogger has posted purported screenshots of Wright’s 2017 thesis that appears to show similarities with other publicly available sources. 

Crypto investor sues New York teen for $71.4 million in SIM-swap saga

A teenager is being sued for $71.4 million in damages for allegedly stealing $23.8 million in cryptocurrency from an investor in 2018. Ellis Pinsky was just 15 at the time of the alleged crime, and it’s claimed he and his co-conspirators pulled off the theft by swapping Michael Terpin’s SIM without his knowledge. Terpin says that he has managed to recover $2 million — but now Pinsky is 18, and he has filed a lawsuit to sue for the remaining funds, plus damages. The plaintiff has already managed to win a $75 million civil case against an alleged co-conspirator, and according to court documents, he says: “On the surface, Pinsky is an ‘All American Boy.’ The tables are now turned.”

Best Cointelegraph Features

Bitcoin gains ground on gold, bolsters claim as the asset of tomorrow

Experts weigh in on the ongoing gold-versus-Bitcoin debate: Which asset is more capable in these current times?

Five things to do other than worry about coronavirus and Bitcoin price

The Bitcoin halving and coronavirus are still dominating media headlines. Here are five things to do while waiting for both events to end.

Crypto regulatory clarity in India: The missing piece to mass adoption

Regulation is one of the biggest hurdles for crypto in India as exchanges continue the legal battle to establish a clear framework, as Jinia Shawdagor explains.


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In this week’s Hodler’s Digest, all of the latest buzz ahead of the Bitcoin halving — including why some think a $1M BTC is more likely than ever

Crucial Moment for BTC, Bull Run Prediction, Halving Frenzy: Hodler’s Digest, Apr. 20–26

Crucial Moment for BTC, Bull Run Prediction, Halving Frenzy: Hodler’s Digest, Apr. 20–26

In this week’s Hodler’s Digest, Bitcoin faces a key weekly close, Bloomberg releases exceedingly flattering report about BTC, and hodling activity goes through the roof

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Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Bitcoin pushes to clear $7,750 as key weekly close approaches

It’s a nail-biting time for Bitcoin owners. The cryptocurrency mounted a strong rebound and surged from $6,800 to $7,600 this week — with a dramatic surge on Thursday taking many traders by surprise. But the question now is whether these higher prices are here to stay. On Sunday, Bitcoin needed to hold above $7,475 or else its price was prone to retest underlying support levels. Two technical factors could push BTC to $8,000 near-term as traders anticipate a strong weekly close. Some Cointelegraph analysts, such as Michaël van de Poppe, also believe BTC has the potential to hit $9,000 — with just over two weeks to go until the halving. Alas, there are also signs that the upsurge was a bull trap, not least because altcoins aren’t rallying in tandem with BTC. The Crypto Fear & Greed Index shows investors remain extremely cautious about Bitcoin’s short-term prospects. Currently, the score stands at 21 — “extreme fear.”

Bloomberg: Bitcoin is setting up for a 2017-like bull run

A new Bloomberg report this week was exceedingly flattering about Bitcoin and suggested that the cryptocurrency is preparing for a mahoosive bull run. The report claimed that Bitcoin and gold stand to be “primary beneficiaries” of the coronavirus-induced market turmoil. With BTC’s correlation to the precious metal hitting all-time highs, it added that Bitcoin could be about to transition from a “risk-on speculative asset to the crypto market’s version of gold.” The “Bitcoin Maturation Leap” report adds that the inception of BTC futures has tamed “the raging bull market” — with authors predicting that volatility will continue to decrease. This is significant since the all-time low volatility in October 2015 “marked the beginning of the bull market.”

Bitcoin investors hodl $530 million more BTC each day as halving nears — data

Hodlers are accumulating more coins every day than at any time in over a year, according to data from Glassnode. The monitoring resource says we’ve seen a significant increase in BTC positions this month. At current rates, hodlers are adding in excess of 75,000 BTC to their positions each day. All of this comes as mentions of the Bitcoin halving spike on Twitter — with data from TheTIE suggesting that crypto media coverage may be starting to shift away from the coronavirus. Block rewards are going to be slashed by 50% next month, and as ever, there’s lively debate over whether the event has already been priced in. If you’ve been to our homepage today, you’ll know that we’ve now got a shiny new countdown to the halving, and it’s estimated to happen on May 12. If you want to read more about what a halving actually is, you can find our handy guide here.

GoDaddy email confirmed: New details on KuCoin’s legal troubles in Singapore

Earlier this month, Cointelegraph reported that KuCoin’s primary web domain Kucoin.com has been locked by a Singaporean court. The exchange hit back — alleging that the article was “untrue” and “unverified.” This week, Cointelegraph published new evidence surrounding its original report. Andrew Capon’s original story had included a screenshot of an email that GoDaddy had sent to KuCoin, in which the exchange was told that its domain name was locked in light of an order issued by the High Court of Singapore. (Note: the KuCoin website remains accessible in Singapore, as the order means that the domain name cannot be transferred from one owner to another.) Cointelegraph has since obtained the original email file, and we have been able to authenticate that the email was indeed sent by GoDaddy. There’s a lot we don’t know about the court order, but we do know one exists. Neither KuCoin’s representatives nor any of the entities involved in the legal action have responded to requests for comment.

Ripple files lawsuit against YouTube: “Enough is enough”

A new legal fight is also brewing in California. Ripple Labs has filed a lawsuit against YouTube, and the company is seeking damages for the video-sharing site’s alleged failure to stop XRP scammers and impersonators. Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s CEO, claims the scam — often referred to as “The XRP Giveaway” — has already defrauded victims out of crypto worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The sophisticated scam allegedly sees the owners of legitimate YouTube channels targeted with a malicious email, meaning attackers gain control of their accounts. It’s claimed these credentials are then used to strip the creator’s YouTube accounts, with the channel transformed into one that impersonates the official pages of Ripple and Garlinghouse. Viewers are then urged to send “between 5,000 XRP and 1,000,000 XRP” to a listed address, which promises 5 times the returns from the recipient. YouTube is accused of profiting from the scam by “knowingly selling paid ads on behalf of fraudsters” — and awarding verification badges to channels taken over by the scammers.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $7,646.84, Ether at $197.84 and XRP at $0.19. The total market cap is at $220,694,686,067.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are DigiByte, Aave and MaidSafeCoin. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Terra, Synthetix Network Token and Swipe.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis

Most Memorable Quotations

“We see that significant quantities were cashed out during bull markets of Bitcoin, and net new positions were accumulated by HODLers in bear phases.”

Adamant Capital, Bitcoin alpha fund

“A bet on Bitcoin is a bet that the deflationary pressures will win. When everyone gets nervous, they all go to cash, that includes selling Bitcoin, but it’s still one of the best stores of value that exists out there.”

Alex Mashinsky, Celsius Network CEO

“This year will confirm Bitcoin’s transition from a risk-on speculative asset to the crypto market’s version of gold.”

Bloomberg report

“The most influential group of new adopters since the early days of Bitcoin is just entering the arena.”

Gabor Gurbacs, VanEck digital asset director

“My only question is whether Bitcoin is actually living up to its high expectations. This question does NOT make me a hater.”

Peter Brandt, veteran trader

Prediction of the Week

“Boomers are f*cked” — new macro report forecasts $1 million Bitcoin by 2025

A damning new macro report claims Bitcoin can rally to $1 million, but the coronavirus means that the baby boomer generation is, well, “f*cked.” Global Macro Investor CEO Raoul Pal says the COVID-19 pandemic is inflicting “incomprehensible” damage on the U.S. pension system. Summarizing the market losses seen since March, he wrote: “The Baby Boomers will sell every rally they can to protect their last, rapidly diminishing nest egg. The Baby Boomers are totally f*cked. I have been publicly warning and warning about this.” Since the report was published, we’ve seen a bizarre trend where stocks have been recovering even as record levels of unemployment have continued to worsen. Pal believes BTC represents a striking exit opportunity from the rapidly deteriorating status quo over the next five years, estimating: “I think it can get to $1M in the same period. I think it can go from a $200B asset class to a $10T asset class.”

FUD of the Week

Vitalik Buterin trolls Craig Wright over patent trolling

Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin took a veiled swipe at Craig Wright this week, the Australian entrepreneur who claims to be the pseudonymous Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright has previously claimed that nChain, where he works as chief scientist, has filed more than 800 applications for blockchain patents, and has been granted between 50 and 100. In a scathing tweet, Buterin argued that this is beside the point, writing: “If you’re bragging about how many ‘blockchain patents’ your country/company/organization has, you don’t understand blockchains.” Meow. This prompted vitriolic responses from others on crypto Twitter, with Wright’s mentor, Calvin Ayre, firing back: “You tech has been used for more scams in the ICO shitecoin storm than the world has ever seen.”

COVID-19 domain seized after attempted sale for BTC

The United States Attorney’s Office has seized a fraudulent COVID-19 domain name after its owner attempted to sell it in exchange for Bitcoin. CoronaPrevention.org was put up for sale on a “hackers forum” the day after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in response to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Justice alleges. An undercover agent engaged with the domain’s owner on the forum and pretended to be selling fake coronavirus kits. The site’s owner said this was “genius,” and allegedly added that there had been the intention to do the same but “couldn’t get enough cash to bulk buy them on Alibaba.” The domain name has now been taken down and redirected to the Justice Department’s notice of seizure.

City’s ransomware denials exposed, still faces 100 BTC demand

A ransomware gang has published personal and financial data from the Californian City of Torrance online — and threatened to reveal 200GB more unless their demands are met. “DoppelPaymer” is demanding 100 BTC, worth about $760,000 at the time of writing, in exchange for not releasing any more of the files stolen in the March 1 cyberattack. The incident exposed the city’s local backups and encrypted approximately 150 servers and workstations. The StateScoop website reports it has examined the files and uncovered individuals’ names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and other personal information. Despite Torrance’s bad luck, a recent report by Emsisoft actually showed there was a significant drop in the number of successful ransomware attacks in the first quarter of 2020.

Best Cointelegraph Features

The road to Bitcoin adoption is paved with whole numbers

A cup of coffee can’t be 0.00071428571 Bitcoin or 71,420 Satoshis. Paul de Havilland has been writing for Cointelegraph Magazine about the challenges BTC faces in becoming appealing for retail buyers and sellers.

The next Bitcoin halving: To halve and to hold?

The upcoming Bitcoin halving may result in greater demand and higher prices, but what are the challenges for the 2020 halving? Here’s Ashish Singhal.

Litigation and steady price decline — can XRP sustain such attrition?

Ripple’s user support is in decline and its price continues to drop as experts share the possible reasons behind the negativity. Joseph Birch has the story.


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In this week’s Hodler’s Digest, Bitcoin faces a key weekly close, Bloomberg releases exceedingly flattering report about BTC, and hodling activity goes through the roof

Bitcoin Correction Fears, Libra U-Turn, Maker Sued: Hodler’s Digest, April 13–19

Bitcoin Correction Fears, Libra U-Turn, Maker Sued: Hodler’s Digest, April 13–19

In this week’s Hodler’s Digest, Libra’s massive U-turn, Bitcoin in danger of a massive correction, and crypto-friendly Square gets green light from U.S. government

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Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Weekend trap? Bitcoin hits $7,300 in attempt to finally break out

At the start of the week, we knew a big move for Bitcoin was brewing — but it was unclear whether or not the world’s biggest cryptocurrency was heading to $6,000 or $8,000. After a scary slip below $6,666, we got our answer on Thursday: BTC was heading upward. Bitcoin vaulted past $7,000 with ease and headed toward $7,300 as the weekend roared on. But wait a second. Cointelegraph analyst Michaël Van de Poppe has warned the gains may not be sustainable as volume starts to drop significantly in the markets. To make matters worse, three technical factors have emerged that show BTC is vulnerable to a severe correction: There’s a deviation from the descending trendline, the emergence of a fractal resembling the 2019 top and an increase of Tether supply. Search volumes for “Bitcoin halving” may have reached all-time highs this week, but it seems there’s a real risk it will be overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout.

Dorsey’s crypto-friendly firm Square joins Paycheck Protection Program

COVID-19 continues to dominate the headlines. On Monday, the crypto-friendly payment firm Square Capital — which was founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey — announced it was among the first Bitcoin-related companies to become an authorized lender under the U.S. government’s Paycheck Protection Program. It means Square can now provide small businesses with low-interest loans that will be 100% forgiven if used to cover approved costs. This is a big deal considering that many fintech firms have been struggling to participate. In other news, data from Coinbase suggests that a small portion of Americans may be using their coronavirus stimulus checks to buy crypto. The number of new deposits worth $1,200 — identical in value to the funds being sent to eligible consumers — has spiked in recent days.

Libra just made a bunch of changes to play more nicely with regulators

Remember Libra, Facebook’s controversial stablecoin project that looked dead in the water after receiving a firm pushback from global regulators? It’s back. Sweeping changes have been made to Libra’s white paper with a view to making the product more palatable for governments and central banks. Now, single-currency stablecoins pegged to the U.S. dollar, pound and euro are going to be created alongside a Libra coin backed by a basket of assets. Plans for a permissionless network have now fallen by the wayside, limiting what people will be able to do on the network. We’re yet to see how lawmakers in Washington will respond to the watered-down measures. Although it may seem like this massive U-turn is great news for Bitcoin, economists such as John Vaz believe Libra could still be a threat to crypto. Whereas BTC continues to grapple with scalability concerns, Libra has been purpose-built as a payments network that can accommodate a surge in demand. Vaz warned that the project could quickly become a major competitor, not least because Facebook already has billions of users on its books.

Maker faces new lawsuit demanding $28 million for Black Thursday liquidations

A new class action lawsuit has been filed against the Maker Foundation, with the DeFi giant accused of misrepresenting the risks investors in the ecosystem faced. Maker allows crypto users to use ETH as collateral for loans paid using DAI stablecoins. But it is alleged that these “collateralized debt position holders” lost $8.325 million when Ether plummeted on March 12 because their ETH was auctioned off with $0 bids. The suit is demanding these funds are reimbursed and that $20 million in punitive damages is also paid as compensation. “The Maker Foundation neglected its responsibilities to its investors by either fostering or, at the very least, allowing the conditions that led to Black Thursday,” court documents filed in California add.

Andreessen Horowitz looks to double down on crypto with new $450 million fund

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz may have plans for another crypto asset fund. A report in the Financial Times revealed it is looking to garner $450 million in crypto. It’s not clear at this stage how big the new crypto fund will be. Also going by the name a16z, Andreessen Horowitz has previously invested in Coinbase, and it’s also a financial backer of the Libra project. The company, which was established by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz over 10 years ago, already has a $350-million crypto fund in operation.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $7,212.70, Ether at $183.48 and XRP at $0.19. The total market cap is at $208,547,116,707.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Komodo, Hyperion and DigiByte. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Insolar, Swipe and Nervos Network.

Picture 1

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“The claims of a ceasefire made by ransomware groups are irrelevant [and] should be completely disregarded. Would you leave your front door unlocked simply because the local burglars had pinky-promised not to rob you? Probably not.”

Brett Callow, Emsisoft threat analyst

Picture 2

“Soon [it] will be difficult to value money. If so, all society’s values realign. Expect volatility.”

Dan Taperio, Gold Bullion International co-founder

“There’s been a gargantuan explosion of phishing emails related to COVID-19. People are getting so many legitimate emails from their employers and vendors about the virus that ransomware attackers have an opportunity to blend in.”

Bill Siegel, Coveware CEO

Picture 3

“CORONA CRISIS great for GOLD SILVER BITCOIN. US gov printing $10 trillion in FAKE US $ to save U.S.”

Robert Kiyosaki, “Rich Dad Poor Dad” author

“The Maker Foundation neglected its responsibilities to its investors by either fostering or, at the very least, allowing the conditions that led to Black Thursday, all after actively soliciting millions of dollars of investment into its ecosystem.”

Court document

Prediction of the Week

“Mathematics works!” — CZ predicts QE will drive Bitcoin prices up

Speaking at the virtual BlockDown 2020 conference, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said he believes there are big things ahead for crypto. Although he admitted he was shocked by the impact that the aggressive pullback on global markets had on crypto, CZ insisted that trading activity has risen substantially and exchanges are “actually doing quite well.” He also believes that aggressive quantitative easing measures enforced in response to the coronavirus pandemic — where central banks effectively start printing new money — could spark a bull trend in the coming months. CZ added: “Mathematics works. If you increase supply of the fiat currency and Bitcoin is a limited asset, mathematics will eventually work.”

Picture 4

FUD of the Week

Don’t trust ransomware groups amid pandemic, expert warns

Ransomware groups may have made promises to halt their activity against medical organizations during the coronavirus pandemic, but one cybersecurity expert says these assurances should be taken with a massive pinch of salt. Emsisoft threat analyst Brett Callow told Cointelegraph that these promises are irrelevant, adding: “They’ve put lives at risk by attacking hospitals in the past, and it would be a mistake to assume that they would hesitate in doing so now.” He also compared taking these assurances at face value to leaving a front door unlocked because burglars had “pinky-promised” not to rob you.

Hospitals still being attacked despite big fall in ransomware

Perfectly proving Brett Callow’s point, a new report from Chainalysis this week found that hospitals are still being attacked by ransomware gangs. (That said, the overall number of attacks has dropped significantly since the coronavirus pandemic intensified in March.) The company’s senior economist, Kim Grauer, told Cointelegraph: “This is probably because they [hospitals] can’t afford to lose access to vital, often sensitive, patient data and, therefore, are considered more likely to pay up, especially during a health crisis.” She also cautioned that it’s difficult to accurately assess the true scale of ransomware incidents because there is a “massive underreporting problem.”

Criminals are selling COVID-19 infected blood on the darknet

Chainalysis also revealed this week that criminals claim to be selling coronavirus-infected blood on the darknet. These illicit marketplaces have not been immune to the adverse effects of the pandemic, with a 33% decline in the volume of cryptocurrency sent to scam addresses. In a new low for the darknet, one vendor claimed to be offering COVID-19-infected blood that was extracted from his hospitalized father that had been injected into bats. It’s not clear whether this listing is real or an attempt to scam users. To be fair, there are some signs that darknet operators are trying to take a dignified approach. Several venues have banned the sale of so-called COVID-19 “cures” altogether.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Journeys in blockchain: Akon of Akoin and Akon City

Darren Kleine speaks to the Grammy-nominated singer-turned-crypto evangelist who is looking to create an entire city in Senegal that’s a model for African financial empowerment.

Crypto scams on the rise and can still affect Bitcoin’s price

Bolstered by the new coronavirus pandemic, scams continue to be rampant in the cryptocurrency world. As António Madeira explains, they still have the potential to hit the market where it hurts.

Wright v. Kleiman enters final act — document reveal may set precedent

Some attorneys say this long-running court case may set legal precedents that could impact the future of Bitcoin. Andrew Singer has been speaking to them.


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In this week’s Hodler’s Digest, Libra’s massive U-turn, Bitcoin in danger of a massive correction, and crypto-friendly Square gets green light from U.S. government