Grayscale Gets FINRA Approval to Offer Ethereum Trust to Individual Investors

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Grayscale Gets FINRA Approval to Offer Ethereum Trust to Individual Investors
Under the approval from FINRA, Grayscale’s Ethereum Trust (ETHE) will be available for retail investors which is a positive sign for the entire industry.
Grayscale Gets FINRA Approval to Offer Ethereum Trust to Individual Investors

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Bitcoin on Wallstreet: BTC Related Companies Trading on the Stock Exchange

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Bitcoin on Wallstreet: BTC Related Companies Trading on the Stock Exchange
In this article, professional stock trader and investor, Baran Giresunluoglu goes over Bitcoin-friendly companies trading on the public U.S. Stock Exchange.
Bitcoin on Wallstreet: BTC Related Companies Trading on the Stock Exchange

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Cryptocurrencies are No Replacement for Gold, World Gold Council (WGC) Backlashes #DropGold Advert

Is crypto really replace the gold.? As Grayscale’s #DropGold advert is on the rise, UK’s largest organization for the gold industry, World Gold Council (WGC) hit a new blog against #DropGold wherein its manager explained why ‘cryptocurrencies are no replacement for gold’.
#DropGold promo Ad received a number of positive responses from across the largest crypto community – some notable influencers such as Anthony Pompliano and others appreciated the idea behind advert and creative video by Grayscale team. Such a huge admiration seems a direct hit to the World Gold Council (WGC).
The whole idea of the campaign is to let investors believe in an idea that they should bid bye to gold and buy bitcoins or invest in digital currencies like bitcoin.

Today we unveiled our #DropGold TV commercial. We think it's a #MustWatch
sound ON! pic.twitter.com/SEGAmMItsE
— Grayscale (@GrayscaleInvest) May 1, 2019

Adam Perlaky, in his blog, posted on May 02, 2019,  entitled ‘Cryptocurrencies are no replacement for gold’, states that;
Although cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology look promising as a whole, they clearly do not represent a substitute for gold either in theory or in practice.
Mentioning about what puts gold in top spot than crypto, Mr. Perlaky explains it in the form of ‘regulation, demand, supply, and investment’. In his elaborating blog, he adds;
Gold is less volatile with having a more liquid market. As regulations around the crypto market are uncertain, he says that gold market trades occur in an established regulatory framework which makes it the best investment portfolio investors can consider over cryptocurrencies.
By disgracing Crypto over gold, he states
Extreme daily and intraday volatility disrupts its (Crypto) use as a medium of exchange and discourages strategic investments Gold’s volatility is slightly above the stock market as a whole, in line with most fiat currencies over time
Mr.Perlaky further mentioned the realized volatility of bitcoin, gold, S&P 500 and US Dollar in a graphical manner as follows;
However, he didn’t completely mark crypto in a negative way but he added the failure of crypto in 2018 as a hedge fund as a shred of evidence. Adding his views that remarks Gold over crypto, he concluded stating that we continue to acknowledge the innovation taking place; but
It is clear that cryptourreices are not a replacement for gold and gold should remain a component in all investmen portfolios.
You can read more about WGC’s report on Gold v/s crypto here
This article later got into attention of Garyscale’s Barry Silbert who quoted WGC’s tweet on and states;

What do you think is Gold better than Crypto.? or Crypto is better than Gold.? Let us know in the comment below
The post Cryptocurrencies are No Replacement for Gold, World Gold Council (WGC) Backlashes #DropGold Advert appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Grayscale Launches #DropGold Campaign to Place Bitcoin As an Alternative to Gold

Its been a decade since Bitcoin came into existence and it’s almost the same time frame that crypto enthusiasts have been claiming Bitcoin to be “digital gold”. Considering how investment dynamics in Gold works, Grayscale Investment has launched a campaign to promote Bitcoin as an alternative to investing in gold calling it #DropGold.
Investments in Gold will be reallocated to Bitcoin by millennials says, Barry Silbert
Gold is currently the asset that is often found safe and is used widely as a hedge against market dislocations. But as the world is slowly progressing to the digital age, a lot of people, especially the millennials, have already started questioning Gold’s status as the best store of value.   
Understanding this changing time and preferences, Grayscale Investments, a global leader in digital currency asset management, has launched a campaign which focuses on the emergence of Bitcoin as an alternative to investing in gold. This came is branded as #DropGold. The whole purpose of this campaign is to shift the mindset around modern investment opportunities and portfolio allocations. Although the campaign’s initial positioning is about promoting the emergence of Bitcoin as a viable digital asset, it is also expected to build  awareness around Grayscale’s flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ( OTCQX: GBTC )
Barry Silbert, Founder, and CEO of Digital Currency Group and its subsidiary Grayscale Investments candidly put forward the whole thought process behind this campaign. He was quoted by Associated Press saying
“There is a generational shift in how individuals are approaching investing. We strongly believe that investments in gold will be reallocated to Bitcoin as Baby Boomers begin transferring their wealth to a younger generation of investors, one that wasn’t raised on the gold standard,” “The gold industry has done a fantastic job of marketing an overpriced metal, but Bitcoin has superior physical properties and market utility. I believe that Bitcoin will become the store-of-value for our digital age.”
The webpage of the campaign has a commercial that put forward the question: Why is gold still in your portfolio? The commercial follows two heroes who escape an apocalyptic, gold-obsessed setting by embracing a digital future.
Also Read: 1 Billion XRP Moved From Ripple’s Escrow; Missing Link to Decentralization Explained?
Speaking on this campaign idea Michael Sonnenshein, Managing Director at Grayscale Investments said
“We wanted to create a compelling, provocative, and illustrative story to showcase the absurdity of gold in our modern world. #DropGold is a call to action – investors should reassess and reallocate the gold in their portfolios, invest in Bitcoin, and reap the benefits of a diversified investment strategy,”
Grayscale has played really smart to attract the millennial investors to look beyond Gold and chose Bitcoin as an investment option. With this campaign, Grayscale believes that shifting a portion of a portfolio’s gold investment into Bitcoin could improve performance and enhance diversification.
Do you think this campaign will be successful in attracting more investment to Bitcoin? Do let us know your view on the same.
The post Grayscale Launches #DropGold Campaign to Place Bitcoin As an Alternative to Gold appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Grayscale Reports Highest $20 Million Fund-Raising This Week; Is Institutional Investors Bullish on Crypto This Year?

Is bull really continued? Although the downtrend in the price of Bitcoin since late 2017 saw 74% decline, this seems to have very less effect on New-York based Grayscale Investment venture. According to CEO, Barry Silbert, the firm has raised over $20 million in the latest week which is reportedly the highest value since 2017.
Barry Silbert, CEO of Grayscale Investment took to Twitter on April 26, 2019, and adds that $20 million funds raised have quickly marked as the highest week since 2017.
BIG week for @GrayscaleInvest -> we raised over $20 million into the Grayscale family of funds, our highest week since 2017
Grayscale’s investment counts some of the hedge fund, family offices, pensions endowments, and high net-worth individuals. The upside-down move in terms of Bitcoin price in the year 2017, 2018 and then 2019 certainly affected and influenced the investment firm’s inflows.
Thomas Lee – Another Sign, 2019 is Better than 2018
Nevertheless, the bull signal of Bitcoin this year has led the increasing interest for crypto among investors. As Co-founder of Fundstrat Global, Thomas Lee expressed his opinion – this highest week fund is a clear sign behind the rising in institutional net buying. With this view, Mr.Lee notes ‘2019 is way better than 2018 for crypto’.
Source: Twitter
Nevertheless, Bitcoin begins the month of April with all new value after a long term – it began trading at more than $5000 against USD. The value recently jumped higher and hit the value over $5500, but at press time, the value seems unfavorable.
According to coinmarketcap, Bitcoin is now trading with a decline of 0.76 percent over the past 24 hours which eventually marked its value at $5248 against US Dollar. Moreover, in terms of market cap, the currency is still holding its ruling position and valuing the trading capitalization of $92,731,637,413.
Source: Coinmarketcap
As experts view more institutional investors are entering the crypto space for a while now, do you agree with the opinion.? Let us know your thought.
The post Grayscale Reports Highest $20 Million Fund-Raising This Week; Is Institutional Investors Bullish on Crypto This Year? appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust’s [GBTC] rise sharper than Bitcoin’s [BTC] price; institutional investors on an upswing?

The massive Bitcoin [BTC] price rally that began earlier this month, not only reaffirmed faith in virtual currencies, but also oversaw a wave of institutional growth. Grayscale Investment Group, the crypto-centric asset management firm, saw its Bitcoin Trust [GBTC] grow, relative to the price of the king coin.
Alex Krüger, an economist and trader, drew the difference in valuation surges between Bitcoin and the GBTC, citing “new money” that is being injected into the digital assets realm. He stated that Bitcoin saw a 28 percent rise against its price since April 2, while GBTC had risen by a whopping 47 percent, over the same time period.
His tweet read,
“$GBTC 10% today, outperforming $BTC.
– GBTC +47% since Apr/2 breakout
– BTC +28% since Apr/2 breakout
Another symptom of new money coming into crypto”
GBTC has seen massive growth since the beginning of February. The market price per share, as recorded on 5 February, stood at $3.60, and by the close of the first week of March, it stood at just under $5, a 38.88 percent pump. Over this period, Bitcoin saw a mere $300 increase in its price.
Prior to the April 1 price rally, the market price remained under $5. At its peak, on April 11, the price per share had risen by 47.19 percent to reach $7.36. However, this past week’s market correction not only dropped the collective market’s capitalization to under $180 billion, but also the price of GBTC to under $6.50.
Source: Trading View
GBTC as a metric of Bitcoin and its institutional effects is noteworthy as it is the maiden “publicly quoted security solely invested in and deriving value from the price of Bitcoin.” At press time, one GBTC share was valued at 0.00098409 the price of Bitcoin, or $5 when based on the price of the top cryptocurrency.
With respect to the above ratio, investors are paying a 37 percent premium on top of a 2 percent annual fee.
GBTC is one of the few products to allow investors to partake in the risk and reward of investing in the virtual currency market, without the hassle of private key storage. Brokerage accounts are also eligible for GBTC.
Hence, the growth of GBTC, especially relative to the price of the underlying digital assets, overstates the influx of institutional investors. Given the institutional target infrastructure, Krüger opined that this increase is due to large scale financial players.
Fundstrat’s Tom Lee commented on the GBTC’s rise in early February, stating that institutional increase is firmly behind this rise.
However, some crypto-proponents do not see this investment vehicle as a net gain for the industry in the long term. They dispute GBTC as an investment rather than a store of value or a medium of payment. If Bitcoin wants to eventually replace fiat currency, it needs to be seen not as a get-rich-quick scheme and more of a method of payment.
Additionally, in a recent Diar report, it was noted that institutional products have been on a rise, when compared to the rest of the digital asset market. Since dropping to 10 percent of the total volume in December 2018, their share has jumped to 19 percent by the beginning of April. Given the success of GBTC, the 25 percent mark looks breakable.
The post Grayscale Bitcoin Trust’s [GBTC] rise sharper than Bitcoin’s [BTC] price; institutional investors on an upswing? appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin [BTC] trading volume sees continued growth on institutional front: Diar Report

Bitcoin [BTC] has seen a massive spike in not just its price, but also in institutional momentum. As an April 8 report by Diar stated, the institutional BTC products have continued rising against their US exchange equivalent for the fourth month in a row.
Diar charted the month-on-month institutional BTC products as a percentage of the total Bitcoin trading volume and saw a notable trend. After plummeting to 10 percent in December 2018, the share has been on a rise in the new year.
Increasing by 5 percent in January alone, the month of April saw the percentage share standing at 19 percent of the total volume, well above even October 2018. The highest level of the institutional products share was witnessed in July 2018, when the aforementioned market was almost one-fourth of the global volume.
Source: Diar
Bitcoin Futures have also seen a variance in their share with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange [CME] now leading the charge as the Chicago Board of Options Exchange [CBOE] decided to delist their future contracts last month. Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust [GBTC], which also trades on the OTC market, has seen a decline as well.
GBTC began the previous year by holding 50 percent of the market share among the three players. By August, 2018, its share fell under 20 percent and despite rising above 30 percent towards the start of the current year, it now stands at 24 percent. CBOE holds 12 percent, while CME, seemingly unrivaled, climbed to over 60 percent of the total market share.
Source: Diar
The large-cap digital assets fund fronted by Grayscale has seen a significant reshuffle in its composition for this quarter. Released last week, the crypto-asset management firm stated that they reduced the share of Ethereum [ETH] and XRP while increasing Litecoin [LTC] and Bitcoin Cash [BCH].
Diar also looked at the demand in terms of cryptocurrency market volume categorized between virtual currency exchanges and their institutional counterparts. As was expected, the decline in prices has not resulted in an increase in volume.
However, the only silver lining from the crypto-winter is that the volume distribution has been fairly consistent. For example, the BTC trade volume via institutional products as a percentage to that of the exchanges was 15.11 percent in January 2018, and a year later, it edged up marginally to 17.74 percent.
Overall, BTC trading volume took a massive hit in 2018, dropping from $30 billion at the beginning of the year to well under $5 billion by October 2018.
Source: Diar
It should be noted that exchange-reported trading volume may not concur with the verified figure. As Bitwise Asset Management pointed out in their March report to the SEC, 95 percent of volume data reported by exchanges is fake or non-economic in nature; the same was mentioned by Diar in their recent report.
The post Bitcoin [BTC] trading volume sees continued growth on institutional front: Diar Report appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

Grayscale Investment Large Cap Fund chides XRP in favor of bullish Litecoin [LTC]

Grayscale Investment Group, a crypto-centric asset management firm has reshuffled its digital large-cap fund [DCP] composition for the next quarter with a notable change. Litecoin [LTC], the fourth largest cryptocurrency has seen its dominance increase while XRP saw a sharp decline in its dominance.
Interestingly, Grayscale is a subsidiary of the Digital Currency Group, a venture capital firm operating within the crypto-space which also acquired CoinDesk in January 2016.
Announced on April 5 via a series of tweets, Grayscale mentioned that the notable composition change would sustain from April to June 2019. Many cryptocurrency proponents were in shock at the devaluation of XRP, given the strides the coin and their parent company Ripple have been making over the past few months.
Grayscale stated that their DLC was a passive, rules-based strategy providing exposure to highly valued virtual currencies with 70 percent target total market coverage.
Source: Twitter
While Bitcoin’s price hike over the $5,000 mark has seen its dominance increase from 66.8 percent to 68.3 percent, the role of other coins have dipped. The top-altcoins Ethereum and XRP have seen their share drop. The former saw a minimal 0.3 percent cut from 13.9 percent to 13.6 percent, while XRP saw a whopping 2.8 percent drop to 11.9 percent.
Bitcoin Cash in the DCP managed to increase from 2.8 percent to 2.9 percent while the biggest gainer was Litecoin, seeing its weightage almost double from 1.8 percent to 3.3 percent. Litecoin’s 2019 price rally, coupled with the imminent halving are key indicators for Grayscale’s confidence in the coin.
The Digital Silver has been on several investors shopping carts since the year turned with the coin inching closer to touching a three-figure price. Trading at under $95 at press time, the coin’s price was under $40 when the year began. With solidified defenses against 51 percent attacks, a significant growth in hashrate, a host of development and adoption cases, and the imminent August 2019 halving, the coin has seen a massive rise of over 200 percent in price.
Since the Bitcoin price-rally began earlier this week, Grayscale has seen their assets soar above $1 billion for the first time in several months. Their Digital Large Cap Fund accounts for $11 million of the total, while other single-asset products cover virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic [ETC], Zcash [ZEC] among others.
Furthermore, the next composition change would take place in June 2019, prior to which the mixture of the DLC would be unchanged.
Unsurprisingly, the XRP camp was left annoyed, while Litecoin enthusiasts were buoyed. @dennis56922936 stated:
“Less XRP?? Going the wrong way.”
@XRPisVelocity added:
“Less XRP? Not a very wise investment decision.”
@LitecoinPope was ecstatic:
“We are moving in the right direction!  Go LTC!”
The post Grayscale Investment Large Cap Fund chides XRP in favor of bullish Litecoin [LTC] appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

CME Bitcoin Futures See Record Volumes, Crucial Signal For Rising Institutional Demand

This week saw the highest ever volume for Bitcoin futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as volume exceeded 18,000. The big signal is that institutional investors are paying attention as futures contracts get snapped up at an ever-increasing rate.
Record BTC Contract Volumes on CME
According to stats from the CME there were 18,338 on Wednesday, the highest figure ever recorded. This is equivalent to 91,690 Bitcoins or roughly $365 million at today’s prices.
Source: CME
Futures contracts enable speculators to bet on the prices rather than purchasing the physical assets themselves so these figures may be a little misleading. What they do indicate however is that there is a lot more interest in crypto futures now than ever before.
When new products that offer physically settled contracts hit the market, they will be paying out in BTC which will drive massive momentum for crypto markets. Over the past year or so the anticipation of a crypto exchange traded fund (ETF) being launched has dominated the news. 2018 has been the year of regulation and cooling off which was only to be expected after the previous year of rampant FOMO and parabolic market action.
This year will be different and many industry experts predict the launch of at least one institutional investment vehicle. Bakkt is the primary candidate but it has been in a holding pattern with a few others while US regulators finally wake up from their month-long imposed vacation.
According to The Block European exchange giant, Eurex, is gearing up to launch crypto futures so the list of institutional offerings is growing rapidly. The derivatives exchange operated by Germany’s Deutsche Börse will be offering Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP imminently according to the report.
Exchange Traded Funds are The Future
In addition to these future products, there is already one type of ETF that is actually traded through an ETN (exchange traded note) which allows investors to get direct exposure to Bitcoin prices. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) bypasses the technicalities of buying and storing Bitcoin but still allows investors to get in on the action by buying shares that trade at around a thousandth of the price of BTC, so a few dollars instead of thousands.
GBTC has been wildly popular with over $800 million already invested in the Bitcoin fund:

2/21/19 UPDATE: Holdings per share and net assets under management for our investment products
Total AUM: $872.1 million$BTC $BCH $ETH $ETC $ZEN $LTC $XLM $XRP $ZEC pic.twitter.com/tzQxkd7ilX
— Grayscale (@GrayscaleInvest) February 21, 2019

In addition to BTC are 8 other crypto assets but clearly, Bitcoin is the most popular. The fund eliminates the volatility of buying and owning Bitcoin directly which is something that institutions want, slow and steady wins the race. The outlook for 2019 is currently taking shape and the institutions are already involved. Buckle up and get ready for the ride!
Image from Shutterstock
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Source: New feedNewsBTC.com

Institutions Bet on Bitcoin Despite Year-Long Bear Market, Grayscale’s Report Reveals

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Institutions Bet on Bitcoin Despite Year-Long Bear Market, Grayscale’s Report Reveals

Grayscale revealed that Bitcoin products were invested in most, with 66 percent of inflows received from institutional investors.

Institutions Bet on Bitcoin Despite Year-Long Bear Market, Grayscale’s Report Reveals

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Majority of US Investors are Waiting for Crypto ETFs, Bitwise’s Latest Survey Reveals

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Majority of US Investors are Waiting for Crypto ETFs, Bitwise’s Latest Survey Reveals

While crypto industry has dreamed of a Bitcoin ETF since at least 2013, and crypto companies were pushing it hard to get an approval, the SEC hasn’t given green light to any yet. What Bitwise explained is that the SEC are not against crypro ETFs at all.

Majority of US Investors are Waiting for Crypto ETFs, Bitwise’s Latest Survey Reveals

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Unclear Crypto Regulations Forcing Institutional Traders To Move To OTC Trading Desks Claims Diar Research

If you ask 10 people, 9 people would say that Institutional money is expected to trigger the next bull run in crypto markets. It was assumed that the Bitcoin ETF would open floodgates for institutional money, but umpteen number of rejections and delays seems to have forced institutional investors to take various routes into cryptos. The recent research report from Diar Research believes it’s the OTC market where all the institutional and traditional money is going to.
OTC market proving out to be the perfect platform for Institutional investors
According to the research put forward by Diar, the institutional investment in OTC markets offered by Coinbase has seen a stark increase especially in the last few months of the year. The research found that Coinbase’s OTC markets performed better than Grayscales’s Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) in terms of trade volumes despite OTC markets were open only for just 31 percent of yearly tradeable hours.

The report also references Diar’s previous research which said that in the first three quarters of this year Grayscale saw net inflows of $216Mn into its Bitcoin Investment Trust. And now even while the interest has slightly worn off from peak hype, Grayscale now sits on a holding custody of over 1% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply
On the other hand, in 2018, Coinbase reportedly saw a 20 percent increase in BTC trading volume during OTC markets hours, while GBTC saw a 35 percent drop in volumes compared with the same period in 2017.
The report suggests the reason for this shift to be time restrictions, 24/7 operational availability, and regulation. The report mentions
“The shift could be a sign of investors seeking private placement in a market that has seen regulatory clarity, at least in terms of Bitcoin, the development of custody solutions, many of whom have also secured insurance cover, as well as multiple Over-the-Counter trading desk avenues.”
It also mentions that scrutiny in and around Bitcoin is significantly enhanced which is keeping them away from the tradition exchange
“problems still arise as large fiat transactions linked to Bitcoin remain to be scrutinized by the banking sector despite providing ample documentation clearing Know-Your-Client requirements.”
With respect to 24/7 availability the report states
“Coinbase which represents only a fraction of global markets sees over 30% more trading outside of traditional exchange hours. With no time stop on trading, institutions and big money would require access around the clock from fears of a rude awakening in a market that remains highly volatile, despite that decreasing to new lows this year”
With so much of attention moving to OTC markets, its no surprise that nearly All major exchanges in the US now offer OTC services, with many other players addressing the market solely. Let’s see if the trend changes in near future.
Will volumes come back to exchanges once the BTC ETF is cleared? Do let us know your views on the same
The post Unclear Crypto Regulations Forcing Institutional Traders To Move To OTC Trading Desks Claims Diar Research appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Institutions Still Bullish On Crypto: Grayscale Owns 1% of All Bitcoin

As Bitcoin continues its chaotic price action, ceaselessly falling and ascending through key levels, some paranoid traders have feared that institutional investors have been alienated from the crypto market. Yet, reports indicate that Grayscale’s growing war chest has continued to swell, while institutional players continue to express interest in crypto assets. This, of course, makes it more than palpable that institutions see immense value in cryptocurrencies, and potentially, that a market bottom is inbound.
Grayscale Owns $826 Million in Bitcoin
According to a research report released on December 3rd, from the offices of crypto analytics unit Diar, Grayscale Investments, a self-proclaimed “trusted authority on digital currency investing,” has accumulated thousands of BTC for its in-house Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC).
Since the start of 2018, Grayscale, owned by Barry Silbert brainchild Digital Currency Group (DCG), has seen its Bitcoin coffers swell by 30,600 BTC to 203,000 total, now accounting for more than 1% of the asset’s total circulating supply. 
As seen in the chart above (sourced from LongHash), the wallets pertaining to Grayscale’s GBTC, a vehicle that allows retail and investors to purchase custodied BTC on the U.S. OTC market, has seen month-over-month increases. Diar wrote on the matter:
“Record inflows however have resulted in record Bitcoin equivalent holdings with December notching up a little versus the start of the previous month.”
Although GBTC’s user base also consists of retail investors, the steady rise in BTC holdings indicates that capital continues to flow into this market through trusted third parties (ironically enough), a plausible positive sign.
Institutional Players Continue Crypto Foray
Grayscale isn’t the only DCG subsidiary to see a spike in investment interest. Genesis Trading, also owned by the New York-headquartered conglomerate, recently saw its CEO, Michael Moro, take to CNBC to note that his firm’s lending service has seen an “incredibly strong reception.”  This “incredibly strong reception” has seemingly taken the form of interest originating from “60+ institutional counterparties,” who have requested for cryptocurrency loans across “nearly a dozen digital assets” in the past six months. According to statistics from the firm itself, these loans amounted to a monetary value of $553 million, a jaw-dropping sum to put it lightly.
Moro added that while many of its institutional debtors have already paid their loans in full, there is still $130 million worth of active loans,  a figure that has only grown of the course of the lending service’s seven-month lifetime. This indicates that the crypto market downturn hasn’t deterred these industry participants one bit, contrary to popular belief.
This continual institutional interest hasn’t gone fully unnoticed, with a number of institutions and forward-thinking crypto innovators establishing products, services, and platforms, aimed at high net-worth individuals and Wall Street. Nasdaq, for instance, recently announced that it joined hands with VanEck to work on a Bitcoin and “crypto 2.0” futures contract, aimed at institutional and retail investors alike.
Related Reading: Why Are Novogratz, Fidelity, And Bakkt Banking On Institutional Crypto Investors?
Fidelity Investments, which sports the business of 13,000 institutional clients, even announced its own digital asset-centric subsidiary, slated to offer top-notch cryptocurrency custody and with trade execution.
Even Without Institutional Investment, Crypto Still Valuable
But even if institutional money doesn’t continue to flood in and the aforementioned platforms falter, as skeptics expect, Bitcoin and its altcoin brethren will still have big shoes to fill. As reported by NewsBTC last week, at BlockShow Asia 2018, Tom Lee, head of research at the crypto-friendly Fundstrat Global Advisors, claimed that Bitcoin is “bent, not broken.” The long-time cryptocurrency advocate, somewhat infamous for his irrational price predictions, added that Bitcoin’s $1.3 trillion in on-chain transaction value, reportedly 2.5 times that of PayPal, indicates that this innovation has “staying power.”
He added that there’s still “enviable profitability” in the cryptosphere, with BitMEX alone, who will likely generate $1.2 billion in fiscal 2018, making more than the Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s parent and Nasdaq. This profitability factor alone should entice investors to continue to invest in cryptocurrencies and related projects.
Jackson Palmer, CEO of Dogecoin, echoed the sentiment that cryptocurrencies have and will continue to maintain inherent value, even without support from Wall Street hotshots. In an op-ed posted to Diar, Palmer, a developer at Adobe, noted that the grassroots projects, namely the Lightning Network and Plasma framework, can help “cryptocurrencies fight back” and keep the heart of the decentralized revolution burning.
Related Reading: Dogecoin Creator: Bakkt, Fidelity, and Bitcoin ETF Are Bad for Cryptocurrency
Palmer wasn’t alone in his anti-centralization, pro-crypto statements, with Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Marc Andreessen, one of the world’s foremost venture capitalists, and even Edward Snowden lauding cryptocurrencies for their ability to transcend traditional entities.
Featured Image from Shutterstock
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Source: New feedNewsBTC.com

Grayscale Makes Multi-Million Dollar Bet on Cryptocurrency ZEN

Grayscale Investments is making a $6.3 million investment in the cryptocurrency ZEN. The investment will be through a new fund whose entire focus is on Horizen, a small and relatively unknown platform that hosts a cryptocurrency, called ZEN.
Grayscale Investments is best known in the cryptocurrency community for their Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), which enables retail investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin through their traditional brokerage accounts, without having to deal with any of the issues and complexities involved in buying physical Bitcoin from a cryptocurrency exchange.
What is Horizen and ZEN?
ZEN is a privacy focused cryptocurrency underneath the Horizen project, and it hosts several unique features, including censorship-resistant publishing, a platform to build privacy applications on, and the generation of universal basic income through personal data ownership.
Grayscale invested in the Horizen project by purchasing ZEN, which is essentially the Horizen project’s cryptocurrency. Horizen came about after the ZEN team conducted a rebranding of sorts, in which they expanded what was originally called the ZenCash platform in order to focus more on its privacy features and other features. Horizen became the general name to refer to the project, while ZEN became the cryptocurrency of the project.
Grayscale’s ZEN Investment Comes After 51% Network Attack 
ZenCash was originally founded in 2017 and rebranded to Horizen this summer.
The rebranding came about after ZenCash was the victim of a 51% attack in June, in which hackers essentially took control of the majority of the network’s nodes, enabling them to falsify transactions and to steal ZEN.
Horizen’s co-founder, Rob Viglione, claimed that the Horizen team quickly contained the hack, and has since updated the network’s security in order to prevent this type of attack from occurring in the future. The attack, however, already generated a significant amount of negative press, which was likely the impetus for the rebranding.
Grayscale is now investing $6.3 million in the Horizen project, proving that the investment group believes that the platform has sufficiently fixed the network’s flaws and is developing a unique enough product to compete with its competitors, including the popular cryptocurrency, Zcash.
While speaking about the multi-million-dollar investment, Grayscale’s managing director, Michael Sonnenshein, said:
“We’ve been very impressed with the Horizen team and its vision for ZEN as a leading privacy coin. Grayscale is at the forefront of asset management in this emerging industry, and we will continue to offer our clients access to the most interesting blockchain projects in the world.”
Horizen’s co-founder and president also spoke about Grayscale’s investment, saying:
“The launch of the ZEN Investment Trust on Grayscale’s platform marks a significant milestone in the continued global expansion of the Horizen platform and the services we offer. Grayscale conducts unparalleled research and due diligence on their investment products, striving to offer regulated and professionally managed exposure to the digital currency market for institutional and accredited investors worldwide.”
Horizen (ZEN) was trading up nearly 5% at the time of writing, trading at $18.49 according to CoinMarketCap.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
The post Grayscale Makes Multi-Million Dollar Bet on Cryptocurrency ZEN appeared first on NewsBTC.
Source: New feedNewsBTC.com

Crypto Week In Review: Sentiment Starts To Shift As Bitcoin Moves Up 15%

Sentiment regarding the cryptocurrency market took a large shift this past week, as Bitcoin rallied 15% due to a series of positive technical and fundamental indicators.

IBM To Use Stellar-Based Stablecoin For Faster Financial Payments

IBM, one of the largest technology firms in the world, has just announced that it will be exploring the utilization of a Stellar-based token for cross-border payments.  The token in question was created by asset management firm Stronghold and was fittingly named Stronghold USD, which is a stablecoin that is pegged to the value of the U.S. dollar.

Unlike other stablecoin projects like Tether, prospective Stronghold USD users will make a deposit to the Nevada-based Prime Trust bank, with Stronghold issuing tokens on a 1:1 ratio. Additionally, this project was created with institutions in mind, rather than consumers, making the aforementioned stablecoin a much better choice for IBM in comparison with something like Tether or TrueUSD.

Tammy Camp, the founder and CEO of Stronghold, explained the use cases of the token more in-depth, stating:

“The token allows folks to do payments, foreign exchange between companies in a very seamless and frictionless and more secure way. It enables people to be able to trade that token with other assets and other tokens as well.”

Despite The Bear Market, Greyscale Investments Sees An Influx of Institutional Capital

Grayscale Investments, a digital asset focused investment firm, recently revealed that it had received an influx of institutional investment and interest, despite market woes.

Grayscale, which is headed by cryptocurrency expert and long-time investor Barry Silbert, released a report that cited that it had received just around $250 million from investors, looking to invest into Greyscale’s array of investment products. Although this is an impressive figure by itself, Silbert noted that 56% of the aforementioned figure was generated from institutional investors, potentially noting that these firms see a good entry point at current prices.

Bithumb To Expand Into New Asian Markets

Bithumb, a popular Korean exchange, has announced that it has plans to expand into the Japanese and Thai markets within the upcoming months. The exchange is currently working on obtaining the required regulatory approval from the local governments, namely the Japanese Financial Services Agency and the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Thai Bithumb branch is the furthest in development, with its parent company creating a webpage for the platform, along with allocating 3 million Thai Baht (~$90,000 U.S.) to the newly-opened subsidiary.

It is expected for Bithumb Thai to launch by the end of October, while Bithumb Japan is expected to open its doors early next year, despite harsh regulation imposed by regulators. The exchange will not be any ordinary platform, with ZDNet Korea noting that Bithumb “plans to set up an exchange that supports the largest number of coins (cryptocurrencies) in Japan.”

Tom Lee And Barry Silbert Call For Bitcoin To Continue Upwards

CNBC’s “Fast Money” show hosted industry leaders Tom Lee and Barry Silbert this week, with the two stating that they hold positive sentiment regarding Bitcoin’s price.

Barry Silbert, who is a long-time cryptocurrency investor and the aforementioned founder of Grayscale Investments, expects an influx of institutional “dry powder,” or highly liquid assets, in the near future. Silbert also stated that the bears have “run out of energy,” and have no more Bitcoin to sell, therefore resulting in less selling pressure placed upon prices.

The Bitcoin proponent later pointed out that the criticisms placed upon the industry by regulatory bodies don’t hold any value, and come unwarranted. He said:

“So I started buying Bitcoin in 2012 when the price was ten dollars and I’ve gone through now two 80 percent corrections, and this was a 65 percent correction. It’s the same old criticisms… Its just (that) they’re uninformed because everybody on this desk, anyone who spends the time to look into what is this asset class, why is it important, why does it have so much potential comes out of it being a believer.”

Tom Lee, the head of research at market analysis firm Fundstrat, also pointed out that fundamentals and technical indicators are starting to turn bullish once again, expecting for the world’s foremost cryptocurrency to head upwards from here.

Crypto Experts Hold Bullish Price Predictions

Arthur Hayes, the co-founder and CEO of the BitMEX exchange, tripled-down on his $50,000 price prediction, while also making an appearance on the CNBC show that seems to cover cryptocurrencies each and every day. Despite stating that he believes the market hasn’t “seen the worst” yet, expecting for Bitcoin to bottom at $5,000, he is betting that the cryptocurrency market will return to a bullish state as we move into the second half of the year.

Hayes noted:

“I don’t actually think we’ve seen the worst. I would like to see us test $5,000 to really see if we put a bottom in. But come back in Q3, Q4, I think is when the party is going to start again.”

Bitcoin Holds Weekly Gains, As Altcoins Slightly Pullback 

On Tuesday, Bitcoin saw an astonishing run-up, easily surpassing the heavily contested resistance levels at $6,800 and $7,000. Altcoins quickly followed, with a majority of the cryptocurrency market posting ~8-9% gains on that day alone. Many attributed this run-up to a series of positive news that was released prior to the run-up, namely discussion regarding institutional involvement, with this variety of investment being held as the primary catalyst for the expected bull-run of 2018.

Additionally, as Tom Lee stated on CNBC, the technical indicators were starting to become more favorable as discerned by a variety of analysts.

Since then, many altcoins experienced a slight pullback, with Bitcoin’s market dominance rising from 43% to 45%. Bitcoin has continued to hold the gains it made earlier this week, with the cryptocurrency sitting at around $7,450.

It has become apparent that the sentiment surrounding the cryptocurrency market is starting to change, with an onslaught of positive news coming from all corners of the industry. Arthur Hayes put it best when he said:

“But come back in Q3, Q4, I think that is when the party is going to start again.”

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