Gemini’s Winklevoss brothers have plans for Bitcoin ETF approval

Gemini’s Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the CEO, and president, respectively, spoke about their plans to end the concerns of Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] that believes that Bitcoin markets are prone to manipulations. The famous Winklevoss twins, who had sued Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing their idea, appeared in Laura Shin’s podcast.
The twins have outlined a plan to win over regulatory approval for Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund [ETF]. The duo said that the quickest way to do so is by “answering their call and (requesting) … more market surveillance on the crypto marketplace,”. The duo added:
“…we’ve started to do that with the Virtual Commodity Association SRO and bringing NASDAQ’s smartest technology to our marketplace, and those are the step in the right direction to getting regulators comfortable with eventually approving an ETF-like product.”
The brothers’ company, Gemini has recently launched an advertising campaign in New York City. The duo have invested in the campaign and it is seen all around with plastered banners on subways, in taxis across the city and even have billboards. This is their first campaign and since the company is based in New York, they started off by running the campaign in the city itself, the twins informed. They explained further:
“…it also happens to be one of the financial capitals of the world, and also has one of the preeminent Bitcoin, or rather, virtual currency regulators, New York DFS. So, it felt like a great starting point to start a campaign.”
When asked about who the target audience for the campaign was, the brothers cleared that it is not aimed at the regulators, but for customers. The duo also said that the campaign has already struck a chord with the crypto followers and that they need no convincing on the dream of crypto or its promise, as they are already well-read.
The Winklevoss’s twins also acknowledged the real problem such followers face in the world of crypto. They said:
“What they’re unsure about is how to engage in crypto in a safe and compliant manner, and so we’re really trying to just start the conversation and let people know that there are regulated exchanges and custodians like Gemini where you can easily buy, sell, and store your crypto and it’s not some Wild West.”
The duo says that the focus here needs to be on the narrative. They cited an example of Silk Road days where one could read a single article without mention.
“I’m sure you remember the Silk Road days where you couldn’t really read a single article without some mention, usually it was a headline or you know in the first part of the article, about Silk Road and how Bitcoin is anonymous and only used for illicit activity, and we know how wrong that narrative is and really has proven to be, but that didn’t take weeks or months to shake. It took years and even to this day, there are a lot of people who still believe Bitcoin is truly anonymous.”
However, they do not believe this is the case. According to the brothers, it is important to start a dialogue and educate people that it is a valid technology and there are secure ways to engage with it and the duo reasoned this by saying:
“because what we really don’t want is a lot of sophisticated people who believe in the technology who miss out on that next wave of getting involved.
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Investors in Davos Separate Bitcoin and Blockchain, Claim BTC Will go to Zero

As the World Economic Forum (WEF) Continues in Davos, Switzerland, and the who’s-who of finance and politics enjoy $40 hot dogs, there is a significant amount of negative commentary coming from investors and analysts regarding Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies.
Most recently, one prominent investor drew a stark line between blockchain and Bitcoin, noting that he strongly believes in the future of the former, while disregarding the latter as a pseudo-currency that will likely “go to zero.”
Davos Not Bitcoin Friendly
The recent comments came from Jeff Schumacher, the founder of BCG Digital Ventures – a blockchain-focused investment firm – who told CNBC that although the Bitcoin as a technology is interesting, its value as a currency is null.
“I do believe it will go to zero. I think it’s a great technology but I don’t believe it’s a currency. It’s not based on anything,” he bearishly noted.
Another prominent investor who was on the CNBC panel, Glenn Hutchins, the chairman of North Island, shared a similar sentiment, claiming that his focus as an investor remains on Blockchain technology.
“I am much less interested in investing around bitcoin as a currency unit or a currency equivalent, or even the blockchain as an accounting ledger. I am thinking much more about the protocols. In other words, what is the underlying protocol going to do as a consequence of which, which tokens are valuable or not,” Hutchins explained.
Bitcoin and Blockchain are Thoroughly Intertwined  
Although these investors aren’t excited about Bitcoin, they are neglecting to recognize that Bitcoin and blockchain are largely intertwined with one another.
While giving a talk regarding the relationship between Bitcoin and blockchain, Andreas Antonopoulos said that blockchain cannot stand strong on its own without BTC, defining blockchain as “Bitcoin with a haircut and a suit you parade in front of your board.”
“Blockchain is one of the four foundational technologies behind Bitcoin and it can’t stand alone. But that hasn’t stopped people from trying to sell it. Blockchain is Bitcoin with a haircut and a suit you parade in front of your board. It is the ability to deliver sanitized clean comfortable version of the blockchain of Bitcoin to people who are too terrified of actually disruptive technology,” Antonopoulos explained.
Another popular figure within the cryptocurrency community, Joseph Young, referenced the recent Davos comments regarding blockchain being successful while Bitcoin fails, equating it to saying, “Airplanes will go to zero while engines have potential.”

Airplanes will go to zero while engines have potentialhttps://t.co/w0gzzPPVAi
— Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) January 23, 2019

Furthermore, many prominent financial analysts who are not heavily involved in the cryptocurrency industry have dismissed the “BTC will go to zero” thought line.
Mohamed El-Erian, the chief economic advisor at Allianz, discussed cryptocurrencies late last year, saying that cryptocurrencies will survive their current bear market.
“I think cryptocurrencies will exist, they will become more and more widespread, but they will be part of an ecosystem. They will not be dominant as some of the early adopters believed them to be,” he explained.
Although cryptocurrencies are still seen as “fake money” in much of the traditional financial industry, as they gain more widespread adoption they will also garner greater respect from the financial industry as a whole.
Featured images from Shutterstock.
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Sindri Steffanson and six others sentenced for Iceland’s biggest mining rigs theft

Sindri Steffanson, who was accused and arrested for looting mining equipment worth over $2 million from the mining firm Advania Data Centre, has been slapped with a four and a half years sentence. Sindri and six partners of the major cybercrime in the history of Iceland, have been convicted for a total of nine years and seven months for their involvement in multiple episodes of crimes. After fleeing the jail on December last year, he managed to travel all the way to Germany and was arrested in Amsterdam.
Sindri and his partners stole 100 mining machinery from Algrim Consulting prior to this heist. The crew also attempted to steal rigs from Borealis Data Centre but failed after they accidentally set off an alarm. Advania has been compensated with $200,000. However, the stolen machinery that accounted for nearly 600 mining systems, have not been found yet.
The Bitcoin mining wave in the Nordic island nation escalated following the prices of the digital assets that soared during the mid-2017s. Owing to the cold-climate along with low-cost energy sources, the world’s five largest mining farms are located in this country. With the increase in crypto adoption, there has been an increase in cybercrimes. To tackle the burgeoning security issues in the space, BitGo has collaborated with the trading firm Genesis Global Trading to provide a secure mechanism to execute the trading process.
The clients on its platform can leverage the vast network of trading partners of Genesis and also solve the underlying issue of making liquidity accessible to its consumers, i.e., a platform that renders the crypto consumers to trade the digital assets by keeping it safe on the device and not on an online-mode. The digital currency traded by the users would be kept safe in the cold storage. For this service, the users would not require to create a new account. Besides, there will be no additional fee levied on the users.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Analyst: Recent Bitcoin Price Action May Confirm BTC is Nearing a Long-Term Bottom

Bitcoin (BTC) and the general cryptocurrency markets have stabilized following the recent bout of volatility they experienced this past weekend. Yesterday, however, Bitcoin’s price quickly dropped to lows of $3,550 on the aggregated markets before sharply surging back towards its current levels.
One analyst believes that this drop and surge, albeit relatively small, is the result of a confluence of factors that could suggest Bitcoin is nearing a long-term bottom.
Recent Bitcoin (BTC) Volatility Further Confirms Current Trading Range
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down nominally at its current price of just above $3,600. After trading choppily yesterday, Bitcoin rapidly dropped into the low $3,500 region for an incredibly short amount of time before quickly surging to highs of $3,620.
Bitcoin has been bouncing in the low-$3,500 range for the past couple of weeks, solidifying this price level as a strong region of support. It is important to note, however, that the resulting bounce after BTC touches this price region becomes smaller each time it visits it, which could mean it is weakening.
Mati Greenspan, the senior market analyst at eToro, discussed Bitcoin’s latest price action in an email today, saying that the multiple factors likely behind BTC’s recent drop and surge could signal that BTC is nearing its price floor.
“What’s interesting about this graph is the role of the key level of $3,500. As we’ve been discussing, bitcoin has been trading in a tight range between $3,500 and about $4,100…So when the downside broke, it very likely took out a lot of stop losses, causing a chain reaction of stops and liquidations. What’s exciting about yesterday’s move is that the direction was quickly reversed and in the aftermath, we even saw a mini rally. This is a very positive sign and could very well indicate that we’re at or nearing bitcoin’s price floor,” Greenspan explained.
Although this sentiment may appear to be overly bullish considering that the cryptocurrency’s recent price movements are miniscule compared to months and years past, another popular cryptocurrency analyst generally agrees with Greenspan’s assessment.
Cred, a popular analyst on Twitter, discussed the sharp downwards move and resulting bounce, saying:
“$BTC Price finally traded to 3430 support and bounced. Reclaiming/establishing support above the blue level (3560s) is bullish IMO. This has triggered a long setup for me, I’ll jump out if the level rolls over.”

$BTC
Price finally traded to 3430 support and bounced.
Reclaiming/establishing support above the blue level (3560s) is bullish IMO.
This has triggered a long setup for me, I'll jump out if the level rolls over. pic.twitter.com/zt8Gpu04I5
— Cred (@CryptoCred) January 23, 2019

Altcoins Trade Mostly Flat
Bitcoin’s recent bout of volatility has carried over into the altcoin markets, and today the markets are experiencing a mixed trading session.
Altcoins are trading mostly flat today following the market’s recent bout of volatility.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin Cash is the best performing major cryptocurrency, as it is currently trading up over 4% at $134. Yesterday, Bitcoin Cash fell to lows of $120 before rallying towards its current price levels.
Ethereum has dropped slightly over a 24-hour trading period and is trading down nearly 1% at its current price of $118.3.
XRP has also dropped today and is presently down 0.6% at $0.3177.
Featured images from Shutterstock.
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Bitcoin Philanthropy: Indian School Girl Receives Loaded Ledger Wallet

With the explosion of Bitcoin’s price over the last few years, a lot of early believers suddenly found themselves with more money than they knew what to do with. This has often resulted in tremendous acts of charity from the community.
The latest involves a pseudonymous Twitter user who was the winner of a Binance Academy competition. The prize was a custom Ledger Nano hardware wallet, which the receiver has loaded up with various cryptos and gifted to a young girl from India.
Binance CEO Commends Bitcoin Donation and the Education it Brings
The news of the charitable act broke via a Tweet by the winner of the prize. Unfortunately, the Tweet does not disclose how the donation’s recipient was selected. All that can be inferred from the responses is that she is from India and is evidently of primary school age, given the photograph included:

"Catch them when they are young".I gifted her a @binance branded @LedgerHQ filled with a mix of #crypto worth 1 BTC. Will be interesting to see how many survive when she grows up.@cz_binance @justinsuntron $BNB $TRX $ETH $XRP @rallyqt @APompliano @tradingroomapp pic.twitter.com/ZCUVD5ePab
— CryptoPinapple (@nibupraju) January 23, 2019

According to the above Tweet and replies, the total amount of cryptocurrency donated to the girl is 1 Bitcoin, split up into various coins. The distribution of cryptocurrencies is as follows: 20% BTC, 20% ETH, 10% TRX, 10% XLM, 10% BTCABC.
This distribution was questioned by some who felt that a donation purely in Bitcoin would likely reap the largest gains in the future. To this, the competition winner replied:
“I have selected projects which I feel have a long term lifespan. Let’s see how it goes.”
Further down in the comments on the Tweet, the issue of security of such a donation was raised. One poster stated that the girl would probably lose the Ledger, rendering the act of kindness obsolete. To this, CryptoPineapple responded that it would remain in a locked safe until she was 18. Choosing to not disclose too much about the girl was also likely an effort to help protect the donation and its receiver.
The news of the philanthropic act was picked up by Binance’s CEO, CZ. He opined that the value of the educational opportunity presented to the young crypto recipient far outweighed the $3,600 (ish) donation as it is valued at the time of writing.

The 1 btc is nice, but I believe the invaluable part to her is the early education. Big impact in life! https://t.co/on2okkBUxU
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) January 23, 2019

CZ is, of course, no stranger to philanthropy himself. The CEO elected to donate 100% of new coin listing fees on his exchange to various concerns in October of last year, as well as setting up a charitable wing of his firm.
Certainly Not the First Crypto Philanthropy
For those readers who follow the digital currency space closely, the name CryptoPineapple might spark a memory of another recent act of kindness from a pseudonymous member of the cryptocurrency community. In December 2017, as a wild bout of speculative mania was just about to reach its devastating climax, The Pineapple fund project was set up.
The fund involved the giving of 5,057 BTC to over 60 different charities. Those in receipt of donations included organisations dedicated to conservation, human rights, and psychedelic drug therapy.
The Pineapple Fund was announced via a Reddit post on December 14, 2017. The user referred to themselves simply as “Pine” and stated:
“My aims, goals, and motivations in life have nothing to do with … being the mega rich. So I’m doing something else: donating the majority of my bitcoins to charitable causes.”
By the time the BTC was donated the value had dropped from $86 million to $55 million, owing to the start of the spectacular and ongoing bear market surrounding digital assets.
As far as we are aware, the name similarity between the Bitcoin Pineapple Fund and CryptoPineapple’s loaded Ledger are purely coincidental.
 
Related Reading: Unicef Australia Creates In-Browser Crypto Mining Website
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CBOE May Have Withdrawn Bitcoin ETF Filing to Avoid Automatic Rejection

The advent of a U.S.-based, fully-regulated Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) has long been a hope for crypto’s most fervent dreamers. Yet, these dreams, deemed quixotic by most, was quashed on Wednesday, as reports arose that the foremost cryptocurrency ETF application was withdrawn from the care of the (partially-defunct) U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Related Reading: 58% of US Investors Would Invest in Bitcoin via ETF: Major Hedge Fund
CBOE Pulls Out Of VanEck Bitcoin ETF Deal
On Wednesday afternoon, the SEC released one of the most important crypto-related documents to-date. The two-page document, authored by SEC deputy secretary Eduardo A. Aleman, revealed that the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) had withdrawn its proposed rule change that would have facilitated the listing of VanEck and SolidX’s collaborative Bitcoin ETF.
Therefore, the exchange, U.S.’ largest options market, effectively killed the proposal, which garnered mounds of support heading into 2018’s year-end. This document was filed on January 22nd, just earlier today.
Crypto’s analysts, industry commentators, and researchers quickly took to Twitter to touch on this unfortunate occurrence. Jake Chervinsky, a crypto-friendly attorney based in Washington, D.C., explained that the withdrawal “implies” that CBOE and its partners were already expecting an eventual denial.

CBOE has withdrawn the VanEck/SolidX bitcoin ETF proposal (https://t.co/812Ym7U7Hh).
They haven't given a reason yet, but withdrawal implies that they expected denial & didn't want another SEC order setting bad precedent for the future.
There will be no bitcoin ETF in Q1 2019.
— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) January 23, 2019

Chervinsky, who has quickly become a leading Bitcoin ETF commentator, added that the CBOE was likely acting in crypto’s favor, as it “didn’t want another SEC order setting a bad precedent for the future.”
Long story short, the Kobre & Kim lawyer made it clear that there will be no formal approval of a Bitcoin ETF in Q1 of 2019.
U.S. Government Shutdown?
While Chervinsky’s logic is sound, more speculation has raged regarding the application’s denial. More specifically, thoughts surrounding the ongoing U.S. shutdown, which has entered its second month, were rife.
Some claimed that if the ETF was approved by default, due to the SEC’s potential inability to issue a proper denial, the government entity would take swift action to take down the VanEck initiative. On the other hand, the SEC might have had to issue an automatic denial. Both of these scenarios would have likely dealt a larger blow than CBOE’s Wednesday withdrawal.
According to a Twitter user, who cited a purported Wednesday CNBC interview with VanEck chief Jan, the company claimed that the withdrawal of the proposed rule change was related to fears that the application wouldn’t get a green light. The Twitter user added that VanEck claimed that it needs more time to convince the SEC and other regulatory incumbents that Bitcoin’s market conditions can adequately support an ETF vehicle.

Jan Van Eck stated on air on CNBC ETF that it was because it wasnt getting passed and they needed more time to convince SEC about overseas bitcoin trading issues.
— JV (@JVWVU1) January 23, 2019

A tweet from Gabor Gurbacs, the head of VanEck’s crypto division, recently corroborated this. Gurbacs claimed that his firm still has ambitions to work with stakeholders and market makers to create a healthy ecosystem for such an investment instrument.
Interestingly, the crypto market has barely reacted to this news. At the time of writing, BTC has held above $3,550, while altcoins have also stood the ground. Yet, considering former crypto ETF developments, a move lower could hit the broader industry in the near future.
This news comes just days after Bitwise Asset Management and Wilshire Phoenix filed Bitcoin-related ETF proposals to the American financial regulator. Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has also made comments on crypto exchange-traded vehicles, claiming that it currently isn’t looking into approving such an offering, contrary to other reports.
This is breaking news, but NewsBTC will be sure to keep you in the loop in the hours and days to keep. Keep on checking in. 
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Special Bitcoin [BTC] wallet to be experimented by Dutch bank ABN AMRO

In a week that has seen many parts of the world take a step forward in recognizing digital assets and cryptocurrencies, Dutch multinational bank ABN AMRO today announced that it will be experimenting with a Bitcoin wallet.
The wallet, named Wallie will be tested among 500 random customers of the bank’s digital banking services for its long-term viability. This experiment comes in the shadow of many in the banking community raising concerns about the security of digital storage.
Although not revealed over a press release or an announcement, ABN AMRO confirmed the experiment after few of the randomly selected customers reported receiving an e-invite to try out a new app. Despite the app not being publicly available to all, screenshots of the same have gone viral and stoked interest.
When asked about whether such an experiment was legit or not, ABN AMRO responded:
“We are currently doing an experiment with 500 customers. :)”
About the intent behind such an experiment, ABN AMRO said:
“..at the moment, we are mainly investigating and scanning what role we can play in the crypto economy. In doing so, we have a lot of consultations with the AFM and DNB to establish together what is important for consumers.”
ABN AMRO also further suggested that if found that such an initiative would have benefits for both sides then, the bank wasn’t going to be averse to the Bitcoin wallet being developed further and made more widely accessible.
A day after the London Stock Exchange agreed to share trading technology with a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange, ABN AMRO’s participation in the market through developing a Bitcoin wallet will help legitimize the industry in the eyes of many who still view it with suspicion. In that respect, it’s a welcome step that also helps cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin become more accessible to people who know nothing about its use.
However, it does raise certain questions too. Cryptocurrencies in their decentralized form were intended to make sure that the individual is a bank in itself, and that all such currency circumvents the regulation and authority of big banks. ABN AMRO’s development of a Bitcoin wallet, on the other hand, will be a marriage of the two.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC Liquidity, Pennsylvania, Texas Clarity

Bitcoin Price likely to bounce above $3,800
Pennsylvania DoBS clarifies that crypto exchanges don’t need MTA licenses to operate
Average transactional volumes expected to rise in the short-term

After yesterday’s higher highs, Bitcoin is poised to extend their gains today. Gains are low but up from yesterday’s lows meaning our previous BTC/USD trade plan is valid. If our projections are accurate, then we expect BTC prices to retest $4,500 and $5,000.
Bitcoin Price Analysis
Fundamentals
There is a changing wave across the US. First, it was Texas, then Wyoming and now The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (“DoBS”) is responding to inquiries on whether the Money Transmitter Act (MTA) and more specifically, if the Money Transmission Business Licensing Law, applies for entities keen on delving into the crypto exchange business.
While answering “multiple inquiries,” the DoBS started by defining what money is while remaining categorical that under the MTA, Bitcoin is not money. They further expounded that businesses must comply with MTA requirements whenever fiat currency is involved.
Virtual exchanges, they note, are unique because they are facilitators and are don’t in any way handle fiat currency—classified as money under the MTA. This is so because exchanges only permit buying and selling of assets. As a result, they are not money transmitters and need not apply for Money Transmitter Business license to operate.
Candlestick Arrangements

The current trajectory is upwards. After yesterday’s bull pin bar and a spike in participation levels, traders expect prices to surge. Nonetheless, today’s price action could trend in limited ranges after yesterday’s bounce off $3,500.
All these are projections based on hard figures. Moreover, from the chart, the rejection of lower lows from off a critical Fibonacci level mean there is underlying demand. Therefore, prices could snap back to trend and rally towards $4,500.
At the moment though, traders should exercise patience and note that even in the midst of this optimism, BTC is trending in a broader bear market and this short-term uptrend prints within a bear breakout pattern where ideal resistance or retest lies at $5,800–$6,000 level.
Technical Indicators
Transaction volumes are tight and even with yesterday’s improvement—18k versus 13k, the path ahead is tough for bulls. To repeat our stand, and lift off above $3,800 should be via high transaction volumes preferably above those behind Jan 10 losses at 35k. Such high-volume break and close above would shift momentum from bearish to bullish as price action aligns with Dec 17 gains.
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Bitfury Releases New Set of Tools Aiming to Push the Adoption of Bitcoin Lightning Network

CoinSpeaker

Bitfury Releases New Set of Tools Aiming to Push the Adoption of Bitcoin Lightning Network

Bitfury strives to tackle one of Bitcoin’s eternal issue, limited scalability, with the brand-new toolkit released to boost the user experience of Bitcoin’s lightning network.

Bitfury Releases New Set of Tools Aiming to Push the Adoption of Bitcoin Lightning Network

Continue reading at Coinspeaker
Source: CoinSpeaker

Lightning Network Capacity to Explode in Coming Months in the Light of Ongoing Trend

Key highlights:

Bitcoin Lightning Network capacity has crossed 563 BTC, over 2 Million at the current price
Litecoin Lightning Network capacity is up 128% in the past month
With the current trend, Lightning Network capacity could explode to $1 Billion in about 15 months

Bitcoin & Litecoin Lightning Network Capacity Already Surging
According to the data provided by the 1ML, the Bitcoin Lightning Network capacity has reached 563.98 BTC with a 12 percent increase in the past 30-days. At current Bitcoin price, this amounts to just above $2 million. The number of channels is seeing a surge of about 37 percent at 21,616 while the number of nodes has reached 5,614 with 17.79 percent increase in the past 30-days.

Meanwhile, the performance of Litecoin Lightning Network is already seeing an explosion with a surge of 128 percent in Litecoin capacity at 60.73 LTC that amounts to just about $2,000 at its current price. While the number of nodes at 124 is seeing an increase of 25 percent in the past month, with 79 percent surge, the number of channels are currently 524.

While the Bitcoin and Litecoin capacity on Lightning Network is already increasing, in the coming months it is expected to explode.
In the light of upcoming developments on the Lightning Network in terms of Neutrino, Submarine Swaps, Dual Funded Channels, Atomic Multi-Path Payments (AMP), Splicing, Wumbology, Sphinx-send, and Watchtowers that are in line for this year, 2019 is expected to be a progressive and interesting one.
Also, a Redditor shared an interesting post, “If the current trends continue, the lightning network will have a capacity of over $1B within the next 15 months.” However, the Redditor expects the public channels to be possibly more than what being advertised.

Recently, Bitrefill, a business that allows their customers to buy prepaid phone minutes, gift cards among other digital goods with cryptos has been working on building the infrastructure around Bitcoin Lightning Network.
“If someone’s looking to receive bitcoin, as tips or other earnings, this is a quick and easy tool to get started. Bitrefill’s node is a highly interconnected in the Lightning network,” reads the company’s announcement about Thor.
Bitrefill’s John Carvalho recently revealed that the Lightning Network now accounts for more payments than any of the altcoins that they accept. “It’s increasing every day almost,” said Carvalho and further added, “It’s actually double most of the altcoins.”
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Source: CoinGape

58% of US Investors Would Invest in Bitcoin via ETF: Major Hedge Fund

58% of American investors would prefer to invest in Bitcoin via an exchange-traded fund (ETF), a formal survey found.
Conducted by Bitwise Asset Management, a San Francisco-based crypto hedge fund, the survey saw participation from 150 financial advisors in the US market. When asked what would make them allocate Bitcoin in their client portfolios, 54% of them said “better regulations” and 35% said “the launch of an ETF.”
Investors Looking for Easy Access to Bitcoin
Bitcoin’s value dropped by three-quarters in 2018. The retail investors that fueled the rally of the digital currency fled during the crash, leaving behind early-adopters and traditional firms to protect its remaining value. Now, there is an adequate supply of discounted Bitcoins available in the market, but with inadequate takers.
Meanwhile, in the same bearish year in 2018, more high profile investors started bridging the gap between crypto and traditional finance. The relationship between the two distinctive industries improved when:

CBOE and CME launched and settled the world’s first bitcoin futures;
Fidelity became the first Wall Street firm to offer cryptocurrency custody and trading services;
The endowment of prestigious US universities, including Harvard and Yale, included cryptocurrencies in their funds;
ICE-backed Bakkt announced the launch of the first regulated physical bitcoin futures;
Nasdaq announced that it would launch Bitcoin futures 2.0 in early 2019.

Such an institutional breakthrough could change the future course of Bitcoin, predicted financial experts from both mainstream and crypto space. A Bitcoin ETF, according to them, could serve as the stepping stone for a tropospheric crypto adoption among the mainstream investors.
“The answer is that ETFs are a well-understood construct that is plug-and-play with the existing software platforms, paperwork, processes, and workflows that professional investors and firms use,” wrote Bitwise in Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano’s Off the Chain newsletter. “At a 0.25%-10% allocation, crypto isn’t a deep focus of most investors, and most aren’t going to reinvent the wheel [just] to access it. They need it to be easy.”

The team at @BitwiseInvest dropped knowledge bombs in today’s free installment of Off The Chain newsletter.
Everything you need to know about crypto ETFs. Read it and learn https://t.co/SaMCVeLGbl
— Pomp (@APompliano) January 22, 2019

US Government Shutdown
Pomp, also a founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital, also said that a true capitulation would happen when a Bitcoin ETF will get approved or when crypto regulations will become more transparent.
“I think our target from August of 2018 has been $3000, we came close once already, so we may just actually go back there or somewhere close,” he told BlockTV. “Along with that, over a long period of time, I tend to think that some of the bigger numbers that are thrown out will likely be accurate.”
Now, the ETF applications of both VanEck and Bitwise remain under review at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The US securities regulator would likely announce its decision the VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF by February 27. However, the ongoing government shutdown led by President Trump has furloughed 94% of SEC staffers. Bitwise believed that the political situation could prompt SEC to delay its decision on VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF.
“The likelihood of giving the filing a complete review is in doubt,” the company wrote. “Bitwise’s own filing is complicated by the shutdown as well.”
In the same breath, Bitwise maintained its optimism, saying that political delays would not impact the growth of the crypto ecosystem.
“Each day brings greater regulatory clarity, improving custody options, greater futures trading volume, more established exchanges and trading venues, and more widespread understanding,” it said.
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Why a Major VC Investor Believes Bitcoin Will Overtake Market Cap of Visa at $302 Billion

“Long Bitcoin (BTC), short the bankers” has long been the war cry of crypto’s diehards, known for their use of rhetoric to convey a point. While many cynics cast aside these enthusiasts as near-religious zealots, blinded by “magical internet money,” these anti-establishment tones were validated on Tuesday, as reports arose that a legendary financial services provider was slapped with a fine. And it wasn’t any old fine, it was a $650 million one.
Related Reading: Bitcoin is Criminal Money Says the Media While Deutsche Bank Gets Raided for Laundering
Mastercard Slapped With $650 Million Bill
On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal divulged that the European Commission, a regulatory facet of the E.U., hit Mastercard with a hefty €570.6 million fine, which equates to about $648 million U.S. dollars. Europe’s antitrust entity claimed that the New York-headquartered payment giant, valued at $206 billion on the public stock market, “artificially” raised credit and debit card fees in the Union’s nations.
The Wall Street darling purportedly accomplished this by preventing European retailers from accessing the bargain bank offerings outside of their home country, leading to higher prices overall for merchants and consumers alike. The E.U.-backed entity added that this act limited competition across borders, stunting economic growth in the bloc. Margrethe Vestager, an antitrust powerhouse in the E.U. who has tackled multi-billion dollar cases against Google and Apple, said on the matter:
“By preventing merchants from shopping around for better conditions offered by banks in other member states, Mastercard’s rules artificially raised the costs of card payments, harming consumers and retailers in the EU.”
Funnily enough, Mastercard representatives said that the $650 million fine is an “important milestone for the company,” claiming that the closure of this questionable bit of its history is welcomed. In fact, the firm had suspected that such a charge was flying its way, revealing that it collaborated with the European Commission to get a 10% reduction on its jaw-dropping fine.
Across the pond, in Mastercard’s home stadium, the conglomerate’s regulatory prospects haven’t looked much better. In September, the company paid $108 million for setting fees and card acceptance rules that favored banks processing transactions, rather than the merchants accepting transactions.
In the case, it was argued that merchants were subject to exorbitant fees that weren’t reasonable. Mastercard competitor Visa, whose CEO has been hesitant to comment on cryptocurrencies and related technologies previously, was also involved in this case.
With credit card companies often charging an average of 1.5% in interchange fees for each and every transaction, it makes sense why some forward-thinking futurists are turning to crypto and Bitcoin.
Crypto Pundit Believes Bitcoin To Surpass Visa’s Market Cap
Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, the founder of Morgan Creek Digital Assets, is one of those futurists. The former Snapchat and Facebook employee, who has downed the crypto red pill, recently took to Off The Chain, a crypto-centric publication he founded, to draw attention to his thought process that the market cap of Bitcoin could surpass that of Visa and Mastercard in 36 months’ time.
Citing data from blockchain research unit Diar, Pomp explained that Bitcoin’s miners were“paid a total of $5.8 billion in revenue (fiat value of BTC produced) in 2018.” While the Morgan Creek head acknowledged that the $5.8 billion sum wasn’t entirely accurate, considering depreciation of ASICs, operating costs, and other nuances, he noted that this “top line revenue figure” would help put Bitcoin “into context.”

Pomp remarked that from a revenue multiple (revenue to market capitalization) perspective, BTC is undervalued when compared to Visa and Mastercard, which both operate a slightly higher multiple than the flagship cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency investor, known for his incessant touting of anti-establishment rhetoric on Twitter, added that Bitcoin was never meant to be valued by revenue multiple ratios, but that this figure accentuates the network’s performance and growth potential.
In fact, he claimed that “given the fast growth rate and historical premiums” of promising upstarts and networks, the cryptocurrency could begin to make a move on Visa’s and Mastercard’s valuations. Pomp quipped:
“Today, it is 1/4th the market cap of Mastercard and 1/6th of Visa, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Bitcoin surpasses both within the next 36 months. The legacy networks were built for a world that we no longer live in and the decentralized network is built for the future.”
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Novogratz: Billionaires Disappearing In China Presents A Bitcoin Bull Case

The world’s your oyster. No, no it’s not. Since capitalism became the norm, every common Joe and Jill, whether confined to suburban sprawl or trapped in rural farmland, have had dreams of making it big in the world. However, for many, these vision of grandeur are quixotic — out of reach for all but the luckiest. And as such, joining the billionaires (or even millionaires) club has become a raison d’etre for many materialists. But maybe not for China’s hopefuls. However, that’s where Bitcoin and crypto step in.
Related Reading: How Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, Became a Crypto Billionaire
China’s Wealthy May Not Be Living The Dream Life
In 2011, Ray Kwong, a Forbes contributor, dropped an article that changed the world’s perception of China’ rapidly swelling upper-upper class. Kwong, citing data from local news outlets, claimed that China’s crème de la crème have fallen victim to a number of “unnatural deaths.” The Forbes contributor even joked that China’s then-current billionaires “should be more than a little nervous.”
Kwong revealed that from 2003 to 2011, the mortality rate of billionaires had spiked, and in a suspicious way at that. 15 were flat out murdered, 17 supposedly took their own lives, seven died from out of the blue accidents. 19 also died from a handful of illnesses and health conditions, while 14 were executed.
While murder, suicide, accidents, and illnesses aren’t uncommon, the fact that so many of these qualms befell such a small group of individuals left Kwong intrigued. Kwong was even intrigued to the point where he speculated that the “homicide toll” for billionaires may be much higher than local media suggests.
While these statistics are old, with new reports indicating that there are now over 800 billionaires housed in the Asian powerhouse, supposed disappearances have still occurred. In mid-2018, Fan Bingbing, China’s most famous actress presumably with hundreds of millions, if not billions, suddenly disappeared. Her Weibo account, followed by dozens of millions local and abroad, effectively became a ghost town, with daily posts whittling down to pure silence.
Four months later, after her fans feared the worst, Fan resurfaced, revealing that she had pled guilty to tax evasion, with China’s courts and authorities mandating her to pay the equivalent of $181 million in Chinese yuan. While she didn’t die, disappear forever, or fall victim to some unexplained illness, her career has come to a screeching halt.
What Does This Mean For Bitcoin?
But what does China’s seeming billionaire debacle have to do with crypto & Bitcoin?
Mike Novogratz, chief executive at Toronto-listed Galaxy Digital, a crypto-friendly merchant bank with a number of facets, recently put it best on Twitter. Novogratz, a long-time Bitcoin bull and visionary, noted that the statistics cited in the Forbes article are “scary,” adding that they make him bullish on Bitcoin, but also worried about China.

These are scary stats. Makes me more bullish Bitcoin and more worried about China. https://t.co/srjuQTaia7
— Michael Novogratz (@novogratz) January 22, 2019

As this statement was nebulous, Novogratz was required to further explain his innocuous comment in a sub-tweet, writing:

“My assumption is if there is that much instability in having wealth, people are probably trying to move at least some portion offshore and BTC is part of that.”

The Galaxy Digital founder, a former institutional investor, is likely referring to the control that Beijing has on China’s cash flow, especially the assets of billionaires who aren’t exactly aligned with party policy. In fact, in recent years, China’s authorities, under the leadership, mandate, and direction of president Xi Jinping, have begun to make moves against those that aren’t working with Jinping’s agenda, creating an environment rife with distrust and banking debacles.
And with rumors indicating that Bitcoin has played in big role in the lives of China’s wealthy, with the seemingly newfound crackdown, the asset’s value proposition in the region as a pseudo-offshore bank may continue to swell into the future.
In one of the most-watched crypto interviews of all-time, Ryan Selkis, chief executive at Messari, also touched on the value that Bitcoin presents to offshore banking. Speaking to Bloomberg TV, Selkis made it clear that Bitcoin is best used as digital money, adding that if the cryptocurrency captures “a single quarter of offshore banking and emerging market fiat reserves,” then it alone will swell to a $10 trillion valuation. And considering Alex Krüger’s Twitter thread on fiat multipliers, the exact valuation may be far above a low-double-digit trillion sum.
Yet, if history is any indicator, the Chinese government, which recently doubled-down on its crackdown against Bitcoin and blockchain, will do its utmost best to stop capital from leaving the country.
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Bitcoin [BTC] could soon see an imminent breakout due to recurring bear pennant pattern

The price of Bitcoin is currently in a consolidation phase after formation of a recurring pattern twice within the span of a month. The current price of Bitcoin, at the time of writing, was $3,580, with the market cap hovering at $63 billion.
1-hour
Source: TradingView
Bitcoin’s price action, as seen in the chart above, is the best example of history repeating itself. The overall trend of Bitcoin is a downtrend as it has consistently been forming lower lows as seen in the hourly charts.
Pennant
There is a clear formation of a pennant in the price action chart, which breaks out to the top and then moves in a sideways fashion before dropping to retrace the same pattern all over again. However, it will be in a slightly lesser proportion compared to the one before.
Pennants usually show how the price gets caught up between forming lower lows as they head towards the peak of the pennant, where they have no more room, thus causing a breakout.
The first pattern started its formation on December 27, 2018, and it proceeded to ricochet between the trend lines consistently. The price broke out of the pennant pattern caused a massive spike of 6.56% as the prices rose from $3,838 to $4,090, The spike was followed by a sideways movement, which caused a sudden collapse in prices.
Fibonacci Retracement
The sudden collapse in the prices took place in two distinct steps, which occurred at the 0.618 Fibonacci level. The 0.618 level or the 61.8% level is deemed as the most important level by most traders. The price drop happened from $4,026 to $3,618, making a pit stop at $3,812, which, in total, was a drop of 10.13%. By observation, it can also be noted that the second collapse was almost half of the first one.
The second pattern that formed, followed the footsteps of the previous pattern and the price broke out of the pennant at $3,625 and reached $3,728, which was a total percentage increase of approximately 3%, which is half of the previous breakout. This followed by yet another sideways/downtrend movement, which collapsed again at the same Fibonacci level as the previous pattern. The collapse took place from $3,689 to $3,514 with a stop at $3,587 at the 0.618 or 61.8% Fibonacci level. The total decline was 4.74%, which is approximately half of the previous collapse.
Moreover, before the formation of the second pennant, the sideways movement of the prices found support at 0.886 or 88.6% Fibonacci level of the first pattern which was eventually broken as the prices fell lower.
At the moment, the prices are being supported at the 0.86 or 88.6% Fibonacci level of the second pattern, which is at $3,514, a perfect correlation. If the prices ever decide to break below this support, there is going to be a collapse.
1-day
Source: TradingView
The one-day chart also shows a consistent downtrend with prices forming lower lows, indicating a strong bear trend for Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s fall into the abyss is currently being supported by two supports, the first and the imminent support is at $3,477, which was tested multiple times. The second support is the lowest that Bitcoin reached in 2018, which is at $3,139.
Volume 
The volume indicator shows a very important indication of decreasing volume that has been in play since mid-November, which confirms that the price will undergo a massive and sudden change in the future.
The change, as per the technicals, indicates that the price should move downwards, however, the prices could go either way.
The Relative Strength Index also shows a declining trend, indicating that the selling momentum for Bitcoin is increasing.
Conclusion
The one-hour chart shows a recurring pattern in which the prices are being supported at the 0.86 Fibonacci level. If the price ever decides to drop to below the current support it would face the next immediate support at $3,136. In a worst-case scenario, the price would go into a free fall until $1,900 and the price was last seen at this point on July 14, 2017.
If the breakout happens to the upside then the price would have no resistance until $4,422 to $5,000, where the prices will be tested before it moves up. However, the one-day chart shows a declining volume trend, which indicates a strong movement in price that might happen in a few days.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin [BTC] and other cryptocurrency exchanges are not money transmitters under MTA, says State of Pennsylvania

The State of Pennsylvania has released a statement on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on their official portal. This guidance is in relation to the Money Transmitter Act [MTA] aka Money Transmission Business Licensing Law applicable to virtual currency exchanges.
The official statement also reveals that the Department of Banking and Securities [DoBS] of Pennsylvania has received multiple inquiries from businesses engaged in providing services related to buying, selling and trading cryptocurrencies. This was followed by the DoBS stating that the guidance is being published as they will not be addressing all the requests on a case-by-case basis.
According to MTA, money is defined as currency or legal tender that is recognized as a medium of exchange. To add on, the law of Pennsylvania stated that currency issued by the US government is only recognized as money in Pennsylvania. Due to this, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not classified as money according to the act. The statement also points that in the US, there has been not a single jurisdiction that has declared digital currency as a legal tender.
“…Thus, in order to “transmit” money under the MTA, fiat currency must be transferred with or on behalf of an individual to a 3rd party, and the money transmitter must charge a fee for the transmission”
They stated that a majority of the requests related to guidance on the applicability of the MTA were from cryptocurrency exchanges that were web-based. This was further followed by the DoBS deeming that these platforms are “not money transmitters” under the Money Transmitter Act.
“The Platforms, while never directly handling fiat currency, transact virtual currency settlements for the users and facilitate the change in ownership of virtual currencies for the users. There is no transferring money from a user to another user or 3rd party, and the Platform is not engaged in the business of providing payment services or money transfer services.”
The DoBS also gave an official statement on Kiosks and ATMs. They said:
“In both the one-way and two-way Kiosk systems, there is no transfer of money to any third party. The user of the Kiosk merely exchanges fiat currency for virtual currency and vice versa, and there is no money transmission. Thus, the entities operating the Kiosks would not be money transmitters under the MTA.”
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Source: AMB Crypto