Crypto Tidbits: Meet JP Morgan Coin, SEC Drops Bitcoin ETF Application

After last week’s price action, the crypto market quieted down. Bitcoin entered a lull, while altcoins followed close behind. Yet, the wheels of the crypto train have continued to spin.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealed that his fintech upstart would eventually integrate Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, JP Morgan launched its own digital asset on a private Ethereum-based chain, a Filipino banking giant launched crypto ATMs, and Chainalysis secured millions amid this market rut.
Crypto Tidbits

Reality Shares Files Semi Bitcoin ETF, SEC Requests Application Withdrawal: Reality Shares, a California-based crypto-centric investment services provider, filed a peculiar application to the SEC, America’s leading financial regulator. This proposal outlined an ETF that was composed of both allocations in CME’s and CBOE’s Bitcoin futures and monetary instruments, like sovereign debt products denominated in the British Pound, Japanese Yen, Swiss Francs, among other government-issued currencies. But, in an odd turn of events, the governmental agency politely requested for Reality Shares to pull its innocuous application. Spokespeople told CoinDesk that the SEC enlisted such a move due to the fact that it wasn’t “appropriate to file a registered 40 Act fund with cryptocurrency exposure at this time.”
ICE CEO: Bakkt Is Our Moonshot Bet On Crypto: In the Intercontinental Exchange’s Q4 earnings call, chief executive Jeff Sprecher touched on crypto upstart Bakkt and its prospects in 2019. Sprecher, who is wed to the founder of Bakkt, explained that the company is “unique,” especially due to its independence and intentions. Yet, he explained that ICE has been able to apply its infrastructure — “settlement capabilities, warehouse and custody management capabilities, large treasury operations, and banking connectivity” — to the cryptocurrency venture. And thus, this “star power” has attracted “a lot of very very interesting companies,” such as Microsoft and Starbucks, giving Bakkt the potential to become a “very, very valuable company.” With all this in mind, the finance heavyweight concluded that if you boil Bakkt down, it could be classified as his firm’s very own “moonshot bet [on crypto].”
Chainalysis Secures $30M From Silicon Valley Venture Group: Earlier this week, Chainalysis, leading blockchain research and analytics boutique, revealed that it had scored over $30 million in funding for its Series B round, led by Accel, a Palo Alto-based venture group that also has investments in Circle. Accel’s deal with Chainalysis will also see the Bay Area investment group’s Philippe Botteri and Amit Kumar join the blockchain upstart’s board. Per Business Insider, the duo will aid Chainalysis in bolstering its presence, in the European region, along with its overall research efforts. The company explained that this influx of funding will help it double-down on its raison d’etre to make blockchain data easy to digest, useful, and accessible for governments, institutions, and native cryptocurrency firms.
Jack Dorsey Hints At Eventual Bitcoin Lightning Integration For Square: Just days after appearing on the Joe Rogan Experience to laud Bitcoin and releasing dozens of crypto-related tweets, Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of both Square and Twitter, took to Stephan Livera’s podcast to confirm that the integration of the Lightning Network onto Square is a matter of “when,” not “if.” Speaking on the rationale of eventually making such a move, Dorsey explained that his firm’s raison d’etre is to serve customers best, with Lightning only accentuating this goal. The Silicon Valley legend added that Square sees Bitcoin’s underlying nature as a currency, rather than solely a speculative asset. And as it stands, the widespread adoption of the Lightning Network is the most promising means to get to that ambitious end.
Philippines Banking Giant Has Launched Two-Way Crypto ATMs: According to reports from Filipino media, Union Bank of the Philippines, a banking giant that is the seventh largest in the country, is launching crypto asset automated teller machines (ATM). Per the statement, the company launched its first two-way cryptocurrency ATM earlier this week, allowing customers to purchase and sell assets like Bitcoin for pesos. Union Bank has purportedly collaborated with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the nation’s central bank, to ensure that this newfangled offering is compliant.
JP Morgan Launches Ethereum-like Chain For In-House Crypto Asset: In a move that was straight out of left field, JP Morgan Chase, the world’s sixth largest bank, took to CNBC divulging that it would be launching an in-house crypto asset, fittingly named “JPM Coin.”According to a comment from Umar Farooq, the Wall Street institution’s blockchain division lead, the asset will be backed by physical U.S. dollars and will first be based on Quorum, JP Morgan’s private Ethereum-based chain. Eventually, the asset will go multi-chain, with interoperability solutions allowing for JPM Coin to be transacted in different ecosystems. Farooq remarked that his team intends the venture to eventually be a multi-purpose asset for the bank’s operations, whereas “anything, where you have a distributed ledger, [that] involves corporations and institutions” will use the stablecoin. For now, however, the JP Morgan executive made it clear that the newfangled offering is intended to bolster the company’s internal, yet international corporate transactions.

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Even During Nuclear Winter, the Largest Crypto Asset Manager Controls Nearly $1 Billion

Cryptocurrencies have continued to stumble, but one organization has been making promising strides in the back offices of the Bitcoin space. Grayscale Investments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the crypto conglomerate that is the New York-based Digital Currency Group, revealed that its products secured millions in investment amid the so-called “crypto winter.”
Crypto Winter Has Been No Match For Grayscale’s Bitcoin Fund
Grayscale, headed by Michael Sonnenshein, recently released its “2018 Digital Asset Investment Report” to outline company performance over the course of yesteryear. And surprisingly, the statistics were arguably not foreboding, but optimistic.

BREAKING: We are excited to share our 2018 Digital Asset Investment Report!
2018 Highlights include:• Total Capital Raised into Grayscale Products: $359.5M • Majority of investment (66%) came from institutional investors
Read the FULL report https://t.co/Kjv3tBdqrl pic.twitter.com/GGvTJ2eqLJ
— Grayscale (@GrayscaleInvest) February 14, 2019

The company first accentuated that as it stands, it has $825 million worth of assets under management, 43.5% ($359.5 million) of which entered Grayscale’s care in 2018. While this figure was impressive in and of itself, it was later explained that 66% of inflows came from institutional investors, who Grayscale claims are “building core strategic positions in digital assets.” Doing some napkin math, that means that $237 million of investments in Grayscale’s products, which include in-house Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Stellar Lumens funds, came from institutional players.
While $237 million may not seem like a monumental sum, critics of Grayscale’s 2018 figures would be remiss to neglect fiat amplifiers. Alex Kruger, a leading cryptocurrency economist and researcher, recently did some analysis on how nominal fiat inflows affect the aggregate value of all cryptocurrencies.

According to JPM, only 2 billion dollars entered Bitcoin in 2017 => $2 billion propelled bitcoin's market cap from $15 billion in Jan/1/2017 to $250 billion by year end. pic.twitter.com/6vW0lJ5WvB
— Alex Krüger (@Crypto_Macro) January 3, 2019

Citing a 2018 report from JP Morgan regarding cryptocurrencies, the New York-based trader explained that that Wall Street institution is calculating a fiat amplifier of 117.5 ($1 million in fiat investment turns into $117.5 million in cryptocurrency value). But, this isn’t the whole story. Citi purportedly estimated an amplifier of 50, while Chris Burniske of Placeholder Ventures calculated the figure out to somewhere between two and 25.
Thus, considering a low-end estimate of a ten times fiat multiplier, Grayscale’s institutional clients could have infused $23.7 billion worth of registered market capitalization into this space over 2018.
Regardless, what was made clear is that institutions still are interested in allocating capital to the cryptosphere, as the heads of such groups look to accumulate when the price of Bitcoin remains in a lull.
2019: The Year Of Institutional Investors
These statistics haven’t gone unnoticed. Barry Silbert, the founder of Digital Currency Group, Grayscale’s parent organization, recently took to CNBC to express that the advent of institutional investors will continue to be an industry trend in the coming months. As reported by NewsBTC previously, Silbert commented that products like Bakkt’s futures only accentuate that bigwig firms are poised to make investments in Bitcoin.
Galaxy Digital Holdings founder Mike Novogratz also recently made a similar comment. In an interview with Bloomberg TV, the former Goldman Sachs partner noted that it is only a matter of time before institutional-sourced greenbacks appear on crypto’s marketplaces.
Echoing comments he has made over recent months, the Galaxy Digital chief executive noted that the “architecture” that would entice institutions to make noticeable capital and effort allocations are starting to be put in place.
Case in point, Fidelity Investments, a world-renowned financial institution with over ten thousand clients in its institutional Rolodex, recently revealed that it could launch its crypto custody offering by March. Novogratz explained that this service, along with products of a similar caliber, will pave the way for “smart money” to make a foray.
Related Reading: Novogratz: Institutions Will Drive The Next Crypto and Bitcoin Boom
While industry insiders are talking up a big game, some fear that there actually aren’t that many bigwigs waiting on the crypto sidelines. Case in point, over recent months, both Coinbase and Blockchain, which both have institutional investor-centric divisions that are some of this sector’s most prominent, dropped notable hires from Wall Street.
Representatives from the firms claimed that there has been a noticeable shift in the underlying status of cryptocurrency investment. More specifically, it was explained that “crypto-native firms,” like hedge funds, projects, and venture groups, were the institutions requesting services, rather than Wall Street hotshots.
Yet, some believe that this is just “noise,” which is trying to mask the fact that true financial incumbents are revving their crypto engines. Binance, BitGo, and Coinbase are all notable industry upstarts that launched over-the-counter (OTC) desks over the past months, indicating that some high-ticket clients are requesting for a more efficient trading medium.

On Thursday, The Block exclusively reported that LJ Brock, who hails from Chicago hedge fund giant Citadel’s C-suite, would be joining Coinbase. In a company email obtained by the outlet, Coinbase chief Brian Armstrong remarked that he’s “really excited” to have Brock join the team, especially due to the new hire’s people experience and stints on Wall Street.
While this move is unlikely to affect institutional investors with a growing penchant for crypto directly, this move could underscore that Coinbase and its competitors are still looking to entice non-consumer populations to take the plunge. But will they?
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Bitcoin Giant BitMEX: Major Financial Crisis Could Be Several Years Away

The economy is doing just fine, they say. No, maybe not. A growing number of economists (and notable ones at that) have begun to tout theses accentuating that the world’s economy isn’t in clear waters, in spite of the seemingly ever-rallying stock market. Bitcoin giant BitMEX’s research division broke down this subject matter on Tuesday, as it released an extensive study regarding the “anatomy” of the potentially inevitable global fiscal imbroglio.
Hold on to your hats, what they wrote wasn’t all too pretty.
The Impending Crisis & Bitcoin
The research unit at the Hong Kong-headquartered exchange first laid out a number of ground rules, explaining that since the rise of modern society, financial crises have brutalized investors every decade or so. BitMEX Research went on to leverage dozens of statistics to outline the state of the global economy as it stands.

MUST READ. IT’S HAPPENING.
Anatomy Of The Next Global Financial Crisis – BitMEX Blog https://t.co/YuEx7Bxt9R
— Max Keiser, tweet poet. (@maxkeiser) February 12, 2019

Long story short, the team of researchers and analysts noted that the current financial system is currently unstable and fragile, backing their claim by drawing attention to the dichotomy between the overall lack of volatility and sudden spikes in the VIX. They noted that this instability has only been underscored by low-interest rates and a tumultuous political climate (think Brexit, Trump/China, and the Yellow Vests), making it all the more likely that a crisis is brewing under the surface.
And with all that in mind, BitMEX’s research team noted that maybe it would be wise for investors to start building portfolios that mitigate risk. The exchange’s team wrote;
“Maybe one could construct a portfolio of VIX calls, long dated corporate bond ETF puts, index-linked government bonds, hedge funds specializing in volatility, gold and maybe to a lesser extent, even Bitcoin. Again, although one cannot know when these events will occur, perhaps now is a time to adjust one’s investment portfolio.”
Related Reading: European Central Bank Exec: Bitcoin is the “Evil Spawn of the Financial Crisis”
Financial Incumbents Are Waving Red Flags Too 
Even the mainstay in the legacy financial realm, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has begun to express a sentiment that should have both institutions and common Joes worried. In a recent speech at the World Government Summit in Dubai, IMF’s Christine Lagarde remarked that there are “four clouds” closing in on the global financial environment, even quipping that a “storm” might strike.
Lagarde explained that these clouds include the trade spats between the U.S. and China, quantitative tightening, Brexit, and, arguably most importantly, the “heavy debt” that governments, individuals, and corporations alike have garnered.

And according to a recent piece from MarketWatch, the amount of U.S. national debt just breached a record $22 trillion earlier this week, solely cementing the idea that the world’s economy could be in dire straits. In response to this swelling statistic, the Peterson Foundation, an American financial services group that is focused on amending the nation’s economic issues, claimed that the fiscal situation is “not only unsustainable but accelerating.”
While some claim that by some holy miracle, the U.S. government will find a way to pay its debts (or default on them without a macro meltdown), a mass of economists is seemingly claiming that the end is nigh.
Ray Dalio, the co-founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, recently drew eerie parallels between today’s environment and the one seen in the midst of the Great Depression. In a comment made at Davos, the world-renowned investor, who has become a market pessimist as of late, explained that from 1929 to 1932, there was a lot of “printing of money, and purchases of financial assets,” much like today.

If you don’t want to hear it from one of America’s wealthy men, for some reason, others have made similar comments. Dr. John Hussman, an American economist & investor with a track record of prediction crises, noted that the earnings growth that investors have postulated is likely to “fall short of what we’ve observed over the past couple of decades.” Hussman coupled this with the idea that investment advisors are tacitly promoting “reckless speculation” to conclude that stocks are trading at “most obscene valuations” ever.
Even Kenneth Rogoff, an economics professor at Harvard University and a former IMF chief economist, expressed dismal sentiment in a recent Guardian op-ed. Rogoff remarked:
“Unfortunately, an inexorably growing financial system, combined with an increasingly toxic political environment, means that the next major financial crisis may come sooner than you think.”
Could Crypto Be The Answer?
Travis Kling sure does think that cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, could be the answer to a crisis, or at least the asset that will be left standing after such an event. Kling recently stated that Bitcoin is a perfect hedge against “fiscal and monetary policy irresponsibility.” He stated that the monumental rise of employed quantitative easing (QE) strategies is “how you would write the script” for the adoption of cryptocurrencies, especially ones that tout a decentralized nature.
Trace Mayer, a long-time Bitcoiner and a zealous anti-establishment thinker, echoed Kling’s concerns regarding the buildup of public debt. In a recent tweet, Mayer remarked that it’s been a mere 11 years since the 2008 recession, but that governments and society at large haven’t learned, accumulating $87 trillion more debt as humanity’s relentless lust for growth continues.

https://t.co/7mqtD0i5M2
11 years later with $87T more debt. Second verse is little bit louder & little bit worse.
Except now liquidity pyramid's safe & liquid tip $gold has new neighbor: #Bitcoin
And 99% cash & 1% $BTC can be a very good risk/reward portfolio construction. pic.twitter.com/wZy29LvXAN
— Trace Mayer (@TraceMayer) February 13, 2019

Echoing analysis done by PlanB, Mayer then concluded that a portfolio consisting of 99% cash and 1% Bitcoin could be great from a risk/reward perspective, and could outperform in a worldwide bear market.
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Wall Street Crypto Advocate Says Bitcoin ETF Is A Matter Of When: What’s Behind the Confidence?

All eyes may be on the QuadrigaCX imbroglio, but talk regarding the implications that a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) could propose have continued. This isn’t without reason. Since the Winklevoss Twins effectively started the race for a publicly-traded crypto fund, deemed a “paradigm-shifting” product by post, the subject matter has plagued the front pages of crypto’s media outlets.
Anecdotally, it has been said that the launch of such an investment opportunity could be the rocket booster that could take this industry to the proverbial ‘moon’. While discussions about crypto-backed ETF are often imbued with an overarching sense of uncertainty and disbelief, a leading pro-crypto Wall Street investor claims that such a vehicle is “virtually certain” to eventually come into existence.
Related Reading: No One Needs A Bitcoin ETF & Bakkt, BTC Already Is Money: Crypto Investor
Launch Of A Bitcoin ETF Is “Virtually Certain”
This optimistic comment came by the way of Ric Edelman’s appearance on CNBC’s “ETF Edge” segment. Edelman, who runs a preeminent financial services company that shares his surname, told the financial outlet that there an inevitability to a Bitcoin ETF, in spite of the current market concerns and conditions.
Speaking with Bob Pisani, the Philadelphia native explained that a Bitcoin-backed product making it through the hoops the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) throws at it is a question of “when,” rather than “if.” Edelman did laud the SEC’s efforts to keep this nascent sector clean though, likely referencing the fears of manipulation, a lack of liquidity, insufficient custodial offerings, and minimal market surveillance mediums.

Waiting on a #bitcoin ETF? @ricedelman says it's an inevitability. https://t.co/WGxnMOvoEy
— CNBC's ETF Edge (@ETFEdgeCNBC) February 11, 2019

Yet, the Edelman Financial Services chairman commented that he’s confident that eventually, innovators in this space will push proper solutions to combat the SEC’s harrowing concerns. He even noted that moves to leave the financial regulator’s worries in the dust have already begun to come to fruition.
In response to a question regarding custody, Edelman name-dropped Fidelity, explaining that the Wall Street powerhouse is nearing the launch of its digital asset-centric platform. Case in point, just a week ago, the Boston-based institution revealed that it will launch its crypto custody product in a few months, potentially by some time in March. The American investor also lauded Kingdom Trust, along with a “number of other very serious players” in the custody field. He even noted that in “very short order,” VanEck and its partners should be able to satisfy the SEC’s qualms, effectively explaining that the SEC’s custody box has been ticked.
He added that from a fundamental point of view, institutional demand for solving crypto’s issue only accentuates that there is capital, human resources, and energy backing a Bitcoin ETF. Thus, the investor concluded that:
“Eventually we will see a bitcoin ETF and it’s at that stage that I will be much more comfortable recommending that ordinary investors participate.”
Edelman’s pro-crypto ETF comments come as another hopeful has joined the fray. According to a document filed to the SEC on Monday, Eric Ervin’s Reality Shares, a crypto-centric investment services provider, a semi-Bitcoin ETF is seeking to launch on NYSE Arc. 15% of the fund’s assets will be allocated towards CBOE and/or CME Bitcoin futures, while the remaining will be left for sovereign debt instruments denominated in fiat currencies like the British Pound, Japanese Yen, Swiss Francs, along with money market mutual funds.
While the product will only have a maximum 15% allocation into Bitcoin futures, some claim that this unique feature should allow the product to get a noticeable foothold in the SEC’s chambers.
Pent-Up Demand For Crypto Investment Still Present
While the incessant stream of applications may create a cause for concern that this yet-to-launch market is already oversaturated, this could be far from the case.

Per previous reports from NewsBTC, a survey conducted by Bitwise Asset Management, a San Francisco-headquartered crypto investment services provider, revealed that 35% of 150 financial advisors based in the U.S. would advise their clients to purchase cryptocurrencies if an ETF saw a launch.
Tom Lydon, the head editor at ETFTrends.com, echoed this sentiment in an interview with CNBC. Lydon noted that 74% of the advisors his outlet has interviewed have talked to their clients regarding a Bitcoin investment, yet few have gone through with a bonafide allocation. But with this launch of an ETF, an allocation would become that much easier to procure.
It is more than clear that there is demand for such a form of investment, but will the SEC bite?
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Bitcoin Hasn’t Performed Well in 2018 But Analysts Say It’s Just Fine to Hold BTC

The performance of Bitcoin (BTC) over 2018 hasn’t been pretty — that goes without saying. Yet, taking a step back, many optimists would argue that it is more than apparent that crypto assets are doing just fine. Case in point, the asset ran from sub-$0.01 to an all-time high of $20,000 in a decades’ time, outperforming any other investment opportunity that has existed, ever.
And while prospects look dismal for Bitcoin’s remaining holders, believed to be few and far between, some claim that copious upside might just be inbound.
1% Bitcoin, 99% USD Portfolio Outperformed S&P 500 Over Past Decade
A common criticism thrown at BTC believers is that “it’s risky.” According to the data seen through the eyes of crypto researcher PlanB, from a long-term perspective, the cryptocurrency is far from. In a recent Twitter thread that garnered the attention of Anthony Pompliano, PlanB explained that a 1% BTC and 99% cash portfolio beat the performance of the S&P 500 over the last ten years.
Related Reading: Crypto VC: Bitcoin And S&P 500 Trading At Near-Zero Correlation

Holding 99% cash and 1% Bitcoin over the last 10 years was a better investment than investing in the greatest stock market bull run in history.
Crypto will outperform stocks for next 10 years too. https://t.co/KPVr4ymN4X
— Pomp (@APompliano) February 3, 2019

Although the difference between the two portfolios was marginal, with mere percentage points separating their performance, PlanB claimed that Bitcoin simply has a better risk-to-return profile than U.S. equities.
Commenting on the subject matter in a follow-up tweet, PlanB explained that while BTC’s yearly returns range drastically, from -80% to 1,000%, there is an “opportunity to tame risk by resizing [your position].”
In response to this remark, one of the commentator’s followers, who goes by the “Wall St. Dropout” moniker, noted that even a portfolio with a 1% allocation into Bitcoin that is rebalanced yearly makes sense. And with this in mind, the investor added that it makes sense for institutions, whether it be hedge funds, venture groups, and other Wall Street mainstays, to make a foray.
To back his point, he drew attention to data gathered by Hedge Fund Research and Bloomberg, compiled by the Financial Times, which indicates that funds’ annual returns have waned. From 1989 to 1999, as the Dotcom bubble was ramping up, the average hedge fund posted 18.3% per annum. The next decade, 6.4% a year. And even over the past decade, as stocks have begun to trade at their “most obscene valuations in U.S. history,” performance posted by Wall Street hotshots isn’t all too pretty. 3.4% — that the type of average yearly returns we’re talking about.
PlanB, issuing a statement in response to the harrowing Financial Times chart, added that he can “100% confirm” that institutional money is looking at this data, specifically in a bid to improve returns through diversification.
Why Does A Crypto Allocation Make Sense?
This may leave some wondering, why would Wall Street siphon money into Bitcoin? The returns, that’s why.
As explained earlier, a mere 1% allocation into the cryptocurrency, coupled with 99% of depreciating fiat, has ousted the entire S&P 500 over the past decade.
Holding Bitcoin can’t hurt… right?
There’s a chance that Bitcoin could continue to trade within a relatively tight range, with little volatility no less — thus defeating the diversification theory. Yet, most believe that it is only a matter of time before BTC heads to the moon, as crypto’s diehards and content creators like to say.
Over the past few months, an array of industry pundits have done their best to rationalize where cryptocurrencies could head in the coming years. One optimistic analyst, Filb Filb, noted that per his compilation of the Internet’s historical growth cycles, Bitcoin’s adoption curve, among other fundamentals factors, $333,000 for each Bitcoin could make sense eventually. He even explained that the asset could swell well beyond the one million dollar range.
Even if BTC follows conservative estimates, portfolios with the asset in-hand would likely outperform their so-called “nocoiner” (don’t hold cryptocurrency) counterparts. Per previous reports from NewsBTC, a survey conducted by crypto investment group Bitwise Asset Management indicates that investment/wealth advisors are bullish on BTC. 55% of the 150 advisors surveyed believed that BTC would appreciate in value in the next five years, with predictions averaging out to $17,570.
The now-tamed Tom Lee, the head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, recently remarked that $25,000 is a “fair value” for the leading cryptocurrency, citing the thirst for an uncorrelated digital asset that isn’t only used for speculative purposes, but as a newfangled form of money and store of value too.
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Crypto Investor Urges Consumers to Accumulate Bitcoin Before Halving, Rally Expected?

Bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto assets may be nearing their one-year lows, but copious amounts of optimism still exist in the minds of believers the world over. Case in point, while many analysts are unfaltering in their belief that lower lows are inbound, with even one short-term sardonic commentator calling for a $1,700 BTC, hope has persisted.
Almost as if they’re grasping for a light at the end of a tunnel, diehards’ hearts have remained ablaze, as they await key industry events that could push this market higher, all while marshaling adoption.
Related Reading: How Bitcoin Could Plunge To $1,700 In June: Prominent Crypto Analyst
Do You Even Crypto? 
Capitulation has become an industry theme in recent weeks. Liqui, a crypto exchange based out of Ukraine, folded entirely, while a number of notable industry startups, participants, and groups divulged that they had been subject to a bear market-induced pressure.
Yet, a number of sector commentators claim that now isn’t the time to capitulate, but to accumulate BTC in anticipation of the next parabolic rally. Through the use of a long-term chart, PlanB, a leading Bitcoin researcher and chartist, noted that as Bitcoin is fifteen months away from its block reward reduction, the so-called “halvening” or halving, there should be a renewed cause for optimism.
Couple this with the fact that the leading blockchain underwent a -25% difficulty adjustment, seemingly a sign of a bottom per PlanB’s historical charts, and it seems that BTC is cooking up a recipe for success.
Although some could argue that historical analysis is baseless and unwarranted, especially considering that the cryptocurrency space is extremely nascent and unpredictable, others quickly picked up PlanB’s torch.

If you aren't accumulating Bitcoin over the next 3-6 months, do you even crypto? https://t.co/HxmQUuH7Mm
— Alistair Milne (@alistairmilne) February 4, 2019

Referencing the data, Alistair Milne, a Monaco-based crypto investor that heads the Digital Currency Fund, joked that those who haven’t conclusively decided to accumulate Bitcoin over the next three to six months don’t “do crypto.”
Milne and PlanB aren’t the only pundits to claim that the issuance reduction will be decidedly bullish for the value of the flagship cryptocurrency. In an interview with CCN, 200M_Trader, a moniker for a highly-profitable trader that secured over $290 million trading Ethereum in 2017, claimed that the pertinent industry occurrence should catalyze some semblance of market growth. He remarked that as we near the auspicious halving, the closer this industry will be to defrosting.
In fact, the trader seemed so adamant that the event would be a bullish happenstance that he advised readers to “count down the remaining days [to the] halving.”
And it seems that 200M isn’t alone in touting his optimism either. Moon Overlord, a well-followed cryptocurrency trader, remarked on Twitter that since Bitcoin historically bottoms one year (on average) before its halving, the asset could see a renewed uptrend in May 2019. Elaborating, he remarked:
“The next halving is estimated to be May 2020, meaning that the uptrend will begin in May of this year… In which case you’d only have a few months left to buy BTC at this low of price.”
FOMO Will Be “Larger Than Ever” When Bitcoin Rallies
Milne’s most recent quip, likely made partially in jest, comes after he issued an eye-opening thread about Bitcoin’s underlying value proposition. Per previous reports from NewsBTC, the venture capitalist explained that BTC clearly has an asymmetric risk-return profile, echoing comments made by Anthony Pompliano of Morgan Creek Digital Assets.
Industry insiders are still bullish on Bitcoin.
Milne, likely referring to the dichotomy between crypto analysts’ forecasts, then noted that due to its asymmetry, BTC may continue to drop “and/or eventually retest its all-time high… at a minimum.” And the investor seems to be betting on the latter, as Milne went on to explain that he’s putting his money on the belief that if crypto asset valuations start to run again, the increased number of consumers, coupled with exponentially increasing “price expectations of “HODL’ers,” will push BTC above and beyond $20,000.
Milne’s pseudo-prediction wasn’t only chalked up to the number of industry participants, as the Monaco-based investor went on to touch on industry fundamentals.
Rebutting a recent comment from Chris Burniske, a Placeholder Ventures partner, that the mainstream consciousness has lost track of cryptocurrencies, Milne noted that Bitcoin has achieved “mainstream awareness.” So, when BTC finally shows signs of life, monumental amounts of FOMO will begin to show its lovely face. Milne added that the institutional groundwork that is getting laid will also help propel the digital asset to new heights in the coming years.
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Crypto Researcher: Bitcoin Interest On Twitter Drops, Very Bearish

Although many compare crypto and blockchain to the early stages of the Dotcom Bubble, some believe that it is much more than that. This simple belief that cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, are paradigm-shifting has led industry insiders to enlist the use of exotic, yet often eerily accurate indicators to forecast what’s to come for this budding space. On Sunday, this theme was only cemented, as a leading researcher employed social media statistics to convey a prediction.
Related Reading: Research Shows BTC Price Linked to Public Sentiment on Social Media
Bitcoin Related Tweets Waning
The Bitcoin community is no stranger to Twitter, Reddit, and other social media outlets. In fact, since the cryptocurrency came into being, the hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts that have grown a connection to the innovation have coalesced on Twitter, forming what is now affectionately known as “Crypto Twitter.”
Many argue that crypto’s seeming enamorment with digital social engagement, whether taking the form of 280-character eye-opening messages, Medium posts, in-depth Youtube videos, or the like, is no accident. As stated by Jack Dorsey, chief executive of both Square and Twitter, in a recent appearance on Joe Rogan’s world-renowned podcast, the cryptocurrency was born, lives, and thrives on the presence of the Internet.
So, it should come as no surprise that cryptocurrency researchers have sought to take advantage of social media-centric indicators to foresee eventual price action. While such methods of analysis would be deemed unorthodox, even zany in legacy markets, such as U.S. stocks, many think it is apt to weigh social concepts and trends in this nascent market, which is deemed inherently emotional by most.
Murad Mahmudov, a Princeton graduate turned crypto crusader and hedge fund hopeful, recently used BitInfo’s Bitcoin-related tweets measure to do some impromptu analysis. Mahmudov, who is a long-term believer in the potency of this asset class, divulged that tweets regarding the cryptocurrency have reached 2014 levels, lower than any point in 2016.

1/ This screams bearish.Tweets about Bitcoin at the same level as 2014 and lower than at any point in 2016, like nothing has changed.
That is an absolute disaster for the price in the medium-term in my opinion. pic.twitter.com/DTdsUepx1t
— Murad Mahmudov (@MustStopMurad) February 3, 2019

Explaining the importance of this statistic, Mahmudov remarked that it’s almost as if “nothing has changed,” adding that this is an “absolute disaster for the price in the medium-term.” He noted that this accentuates how there are “far fewer people who care about decentralized, sovereign, uninflatable currency” than it may seem from the surface, and how little effect 2017’s parabolic run-up had on this community’s size.
In fact, Mahmudov quipped that more than 99% of all humans on Earth, whether poor, rich or from any other socioeconomic background, don’t care about the values that Bitcoin’s raison d’etre exemplifies. And as such, Bitcoin’s popularity boils down to its potential as a speculative asset, rather than libertarian, anarcho-capitalist, or cypherpunk ideologies.
Not only is the cryptocurrency’s value proposition as a speculative asymmetric asset waning, but Mahmudov even commented that the overall weakness in the global macroeconomy, coupled with the fact that Bitcoin is still a risk-on asset, accentuates that this bear market is still in full swing.
With all this in mind, he noted that cryptocurrencies likely have further to fall, especially as so-called “value investors” seek to buy lower lows, rather than current prices.
$1,700 BTC Inbound?
Mahmudov’s most recent harrowing comment comes just days after he issued an eerie price prediction for Bitcoin. Per previous reports from NewsBTC, through the use of historical analysis and key technical levels, like the 200-week moving average (200MA), 300MA, and 400MA, he determined that Bitcoin’s “steady support” will be found at an MA300 of around ~$2,400. However, Mahmudov made it clear that Bitcoin could “wick down” to as low as MA350~400 in the $1,700 range, “due to past patterns and how particularly overstretched the 2017 bubble was.”
In even earlier reports, he touted this $1,700 price prediction — a seeming level of utmost importance in his eyes. Speaking to Tone Vays in a Youtube podcast, Mahmudov observed that for the most part, crypto assets, like XRP, Ethereum, and EOS, are still overvalued, thus indicating that more optimism needs to be fleshed out of this market.
Despite the mortifying comments, Mahmudov is bullish for Bitcoin’s long-term potential. In fact, he’s so bullish that he once stated that he wouldn’t logically spend the flagship cryptocurrency for at least a decade, as the asset’s potential upside and asymmetric risk profile makes it nonsensical to use BTC at current rates.
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Crypto Trader Adamant That Bitcoin Bear Market “Cannot Last Forever”

Since Bitcoin (BTC) began to stumble in early-2018, posting losses that would even make gamblers cringe, many skeptics of digital assets have claimed that the cryptocurrency is on a path of failure. In fact, cries that Bitcoin is in the midst of its death throes even sparked a scathing op-ed ‘exposé’ from MarketWatch, in which the author stated that Satoshi Nakamoto’s creation would enter a so-called “death spiral” to fall to $0.
While Andreas Antonopoulos, along with some of the crypto sector’s other fervent crusaders, debunked this so-called FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt), some cynics are adamant in their belief that BTC and its altcoin brethren will plunge to zilch. In fact, at Davos’ recent World Economic Forum convention, blockchain venture investor Jeff Schumacher noted that the flagship cryptocurrency would likely fall to null, especially as its value is “based on nothing.”
Related Reading: Why Does Mainstream Media Spread So Much Crypto FUD?
Yet, a leading crypto trader recently made it abundantly clear that this bone-crushing bear season won’t last forever.
Current Bitcoin Bear Season Now Longest Ever
A mere week ago, NewsBTC reported that Galaxy, a leading, well-followed crypto trader, took to Twitter to let his/her followers know that BTC was approaching the 420-day milestone of its current bear market. For those who missed the memo, the 2014/2015 downturn amounted to 420 days. And as such, Galaxy concluded that if history was to rhyme, BTC could move higher to start a bull rally in mid to late-2019.
Yet, in a tweet posted Friday, Galaxy divulged that history has just been created, as BTC entered its [421st] day in the current bear season — “the longest since Bitcoin was born.”

Today, we're creating history with 411 days of bear market and the longest since #Bitcoin was born. No one can tell us exactly when is going to end, but it is important to remaining focused on the long-term and remember that it cannot last forever. pic.twitter.com/IkDFwnnRN5
— Galaxy (@galaxybtc) February 1, 2019

This newfangled, disconcerting industry trend was only underscored by the fact that according to Bloomberg, BTC posted six months of consecutive losses for the first time… ever. Per a report from the outlet, according to data from Dow Jones, which dates back to July 2010, BTC started a renewed collapse in August and hasn’t stopped falling (from a monthly candle perspective) since.
While history was seemingly made on Friday, Galaxy made it clear that while he can’t predict when this downturn will end, he is sure that it cannot last forever. Galaxy even added that it would be wise to focus on the long-term, rather than day-to-day price action.
Galaxy isn’t the only industry insider to hold the belief that BTC won’t eternally be trapped in a death spiral or trend of similar caliber. According to previous reports from this news outlet, Alex Pack, the managing partner at Dragonfly Capital Partners, explained that while prices may not reflect his sentiment, the cryptocurrency achieved a major milestone in 2018.
Pack explained that while BTC could fall to $2,000 or even $1,000, it would be preposterous to assume that the asset could collapse to $0, as the cryptocurrency has developed a material value proposition. The investor, who heads the aforementioned crypto-centric venture capital group, added that this non-zero chance that Bitcoin will always have value is a “milestone.”
The Dragonfly managing partner noted that Bitcoin, a “landmark in the history of money,” has become a “dependable store of value.”
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Researcher: Bitcoin Will Easily Surpass Market Cap of Gold at $8 Trillion

Crypto’s most fervent crusaders have sought to keep their heads up in this drastic, bone-crushing bear market. While optimism has often taken the form of the “institutional herd is coming” narrative, a number of Bitcoin (BTC) natives have begun to revisit the asset’s underlying value proposition.
And no, in their eyes, BTC isn’t digital cash. Instead, the flagship cryptocurrency has quickly taken up the mantle of being a digital form of gold, rather than digital cash through and through.
Max Keiser, an anti-establishment figure and popular industry commentator, put it best when he claimed that Bitcoin is a “peer-to-peer electronic gold system.” In a later tweet, he lauded Bitcoin’s nature as “unparalleled digital gold,” calling it simply “world-changing.”
Related Reading: No One Needs A Crypto ETF & Bakkt, BTC Already Is Money: Crypto Investor
There’s Not Enough Bitcoin To Go Around
Scarcity is one of Bitcoin’s mainstays. According to a Twitter thread from Dan Held, a former product manager at Blockchain, Satoshi Nakamoto himself mentioned his brainchild’s scarce nature in emails, BitcoinTalk threads, and through other mediums of digital communication. While the cryptocurrency godfather, to so speak, seemingly never mentioned the words “digital” and “gold” in a single sentence, Bitcoin has been extolled as a replacement (not alternative) for the precious metal.
In a recent tweet, Willy Woo cemented this belief system. The Australian crypto researcher, known for his in-depth technical analysis of cryptocurrencies, explained why he expects for Bitcoin’s market capitalization to “easily exceed” surpass that of traditional gold.

This is the reason why I think Bitcoin will easily exceed golds market cap.
*Mathematical scarcity beats perceived scarcity*
Perceived scarcity comes only from the technological limitations of today. https://t.co/TtIh41zz3F
— Willy Woo (@woonomic) February 1, 2019

Woo, citing a space-related article outlining the infantile off-Earth mining industry, noted that mathematical scarcity, which Bitcoin enlists, “beats perceived scarcity.” Referencing the article, which claimed that trillions, even quadrillions &  quintillions of dollars worth of gold and other precious metals could exist in near-Earth asteroids, Woo noted that “perceived scarcity comes only from the technological limitations of today.”
In other words, gold’s hegemony as the de-facto store of value may be usurped over time, especially as humanity’s relentless demand for gold continues and as on-Earth supplies wane, creating a gold rush in outer space.
Misir Mahmudov, the supposed brother of short-term crypto bear Murad Mahmudov, echoed Woo’s pro-scarcity sentiment in a different context. Misir, a student of Austrian Economics, noted that even if every millionaire in the U.S. proper wanted to obtain one BTC, “they wouldn’t be able to.” The crypto enthusiast added that there will always be fewer BTC than millionaires in the world, accentuating Bitcoin’s hard cap of 21 million coins.

If every millionaire in the US wanted to have just 1 bitcoin they wouldn't be able to.
There will always be fewer bitcoins than there are millionaires in the US (let alone the whole world).
Ignore this at your own risk.
— Misir Mahmudov (@misir_mahmudov) January 31, 2019

Although Misir’s statement may seem flawed, especially considering that CNBC report claims 10.7 million Americans have seven-figure net worths, this crypto researcher is likely taking other factors into account. Per previous reports from NewsBTC, a research paper from Chainalysis, a New York-headquartered crypto analytics unit, revealed that up to 3,790,000 BTC could be lost to the ether.
While this is already a jaw-dropping sum in and of itself, as that amount of cryptocurrency clocks in at a value of $13.25 billion, the figure is only excepted, nay slated to swell. Case in point, on Thursday, major Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX divulged that it had purportedly lost access to its cold storage wallet, as the death of the upstart’s founder killed operations and logistics.
Moreover, it is presumed that the Winklevoss Twins, Tim Draper, along with hundreds of other so-called “crypto OGs” have millions of BTC under lock and key, and have no intention to liquidate their holdings in the near future. Venture capital heavyweight Tim Draper alone, who paid $18 million for his first batch of Bitcoin, owns 29,656 coins at a bare minimum, while his entrepreneur son has likely matched his father’s holdings.
Semantics and exact specifics aside, Misir’s point was there’s not enough Bitcoin to go around, and that if demand for the asset surges, supply won’t be able to keep up. This simple belief of rapidly waning supply and dramatic demand, which is only underscored by the backdrop of BTC evolving into a global reserve asset, could single-handedly propel the cryptocurrency past its previous highs and beyond.
What Does This Mean For The BTC Price?
But what would Bitcoin’s classification as the second coming of gold do for its value?
In the eyes of Lou Kerner, the answer is simple. Speaking with Bloomberg, the CryptoOracle founding partner noted that as consumers continue starting to come to the realization that gold underperforms Bitcoin, the asset could easily surpass $100,000 apiece. Kerner added that he sees the U.S. dollar as a Ponzi scheme, which could be a catalyst for money to flow into BTC in the future.
The Winklevoss Twins, the two founders of the Gemini Trust, believe Kerner’s thought process. The two preeminent industry insiders explained that BTC is simply a better version of gold, adding that the only thing the precious metal has on the cryptocurrency is a 3,000-year head start. Twin Cameron, breaking down the “Bitcoin is a digital form of gold” argument, remarked that if you boil it down, the digital asset is better at fungibility, scarcity, portability, and divisible than the precious metal itself.
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How Bitcoin Could Plunge To $1,700 In June: Prominent Crypto Analyst

Just as the hype surrounding the next Bitcoin block reward halving has heated up, sparking claims that a bull reversal is inbound, a leading crypto analyst has come to play whack-a-mole with optimists. Bulls may be preparing to run, but bears may have one last hurrah, as they savagely draw blood before their eventual bout of hibernation.
Related Reading: Why Investment Advisors Expect Bitcoin To Reach $17,570 By 2023
Bitcoin Could Bottom At $1,700 In Coming Months
In a recent Twitter thread, Murad Mahmudov, a Princeton graduate turned diehard crypto trader and hedge fund head hopeful, broke down why the “famous 200-week moving average (MA) support” for Bitcoin will break in coming months.
Drawing attention to the crypto market’s historical cycles, three of which have been fleshed out so far, Mahmudov noted that the key MA25, MA50, MA100, and MA200 were shifted “‘one level’ back with each cycle.” In fact, as depicted in the chart below (courtesy of Mahmudov), each multi-year market cycle, the importance of each MA level decreases, as averages pertaining to longer time frames takes their place.
And as such, Mahmudov remarked that just as the 200-week moving average was a level of utmost importance for BTC from 2015 to 2018, MA300 (and potentially MA400 too) will be integral lines to watch in the coming months.

Using his theory that the cryptocurrency market rhymes, not repeats, Mahmudov subsequently drew up an investment thesis for BTC in the coming months, citing historical trends, technical levels, and underlying fundamentals. As depicted above, the trader concluded that he expects that Bitcoin’s “steady support” will be found at an MA300 of around ~$2,400. However, he made it clear that Bitcoin could “wick down” to as low as MA350~400 in the $1,700 range, “due to past patterns and how particularly overstretched the 2017 bubble was.”
300 MA… What?
Although Mahmudov presumably had the best intentions in mind, the analyst’s use of the 300 moving average quickly made him take flak from his peers. In response to Placeholder partner Chris Burniske’s quip on Mahmudov’s harrowing thread, Alex Krüger, a New York-based macro markets researcher, remarked, “300 MA, what a joke, only in crypto.” Four Aces echoed Krüger’s comment, noting that the 300 MA doesn’t have as much inherent importance as the 200 MA does.
Others cast Mahmudov’s use of obscure moving averages aside to note that the call for lower lows in and of itself could have holes, citing market psychology and traders’ inability to be right 100% of the time. Armin Van Bitcoin, a skeptic of much in the crypto industry, noted that the monumental run-up of 2017 saw Parabolic Trav, who capitulated, become a popular figure. By the same token, he noted that the bear market of 2018/2019 had Mahmudov, rhetorically asking the analyst when he would end his enamorment with issuing predictions.
While Mahmudov use of lesser-known technical levels was quickly lambasted, the bearish forecaster’s previous comments on this market may give his sub-$2,000 forecast a tad more credence. Per previous reports from NewsBTC, the trader recently confirmed that a long-term downtrend line for the aggregate value of all cryptocurrencies was hit for the eighth time in a row.
In even earlier tweets, Mahmudov established that “titanium level resistance” levels at $4,000 will disallow Bitcoin from breaking out convincingly, and could thus be stuck under $3,000 for months on end, potentially fall to as low as $1,800 before a trend reversal.
All this aside, Mahmudov seems bullish, even overly so, from a long-term point of view. In an interview with Tone Vays, one of Mahmudov’s fellow fervent crypto traders known for their (somewhat) inflammatory calls, Mahmudov remarked that he’s so bullish, that he wouldn’t spend the cryptocurrency for at least ten years, as the asset’s potential upside and asymmetric risk profile makes it nonsensical to use BTC at current rates.
The Tone Vays guest added that not only are cryptocurrencies like the Dotcom industry in 1994 — quite minuscule, but a potential for dramatic upside — but that there are trillions of dollars worth of equities that can flow into blockchain-based tokens over time.
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Crypto VC: Bitcoin And S&P 500 Trading At Near-Zero Correlation

The crypto market‘s lack of correlation with traditional equities, like American stocks, bonds, and real estate, has always been an integral part of the tantalizing, entrancing nature of Bitcoin. And while the broader cryptocurrency space has matured drastically over yesteryear, data indicates that the legacy financial system and the realm of blockchain-based assets have aren’t two peas in the same markets pod.
Related Reading: Bitcoin: If History Repeats Itself, BTC May Not Reach Previous All-Time-Highs Until 2021
Bitcoin And U.S. Stocks Remain Non-Correlated
In late-December, mere days after Christmas, legendary American financial journalist Andrew Sorkin questioned the belief that cryptocurrencies aren’t correlated with notable U.S. stock indices. Speaking with Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Sorkin explained that a majority of crypto holders “have a lot of money in technology stocks,” and thus simultaneously pushed FAANG stocks and BTC lower in December’s downturn.
However, Pompliano, a founder of Morgan Creek Digital known for his anti-bank, pro-Bitcoin rhetoric, begged to differ. In the CNBC interview, the former Facebook employee noted that the correlation between BTC and the S&P 500 (SPX) is practically non-existent near-zero, adding that this is much of the same with the U.S. dollar index.
And while both cryptocurrencies and equities have moved drastically since Pompliano’s interview, recently-compiled data indicates that this non-correlated nature is as prominent ever. Per Su Zhu, the chief executive and investment officer at Three Arrows Capital, the two aforementioned benchmarks have continued in a non-related matter, even through periods of high and low volatility. Zhu elaborated on the matter, writing:

“Through high prices and low prices, high volatility and low volatility, correlation between $BTC and $SPX continues to be near-zero.”

Zhu added that when U.S. stocks were nearing their lows, it was “very popular to [postulate that]” when a high level of correlation between the SPX and BTC was achieved, the cryptocurrency should be sold. By that logic, the Three Arrows C-suiter remarked that subscribers to that theory should buy BTC to be “logically consistent.”
Crypto’s Non-Correlated Nature 
While BTC’s non-correlated nature with the traditional financial world has been practically 100% verified by data, what does this characteristic mean for the crypto space? Well, as explained by Pompliano in a December installment of Off The Chain, the investor’s crypto publication side-hustle, Bitcoin could (and should) become a mainstay in the portfolio of pension funds across the globe. And with that, the adoption level of cryptocurrencies could see a hike, as pensions endorse this budding class of assets.
Per reports from NewsBTC, after breaking down the current financial gun barrel that pensions, such as California Public Employees’ Retirement System, are facing down, Pomp noted that BTC could be a perfect, but lesser-known answer.
The prominent industry commentator explained that a “potential solution” to solve this multi-billion dollar pension crisis, which may leave millions of Baby Boomers without adequate financial security, is to simply buy Bitcoin, “seriously.”
BTC, for one, is a non-correlated asset, with Pomp even dubbing the cryptocurrency “the holy grail of any portfolio.” Pomp isn’t alone in touting such sentiment regarding the asset’s novel characteristics. Delphi Digital, a New York-headquartered research/analytics unit, confirmed that having a small allocation into Bitcoin is better than none at all. More specifically, Delphi determined that allocating 3% of investable capital towards the flagship cryptocurrency produces the most optimal Sharpe Ratio, a preeminent metric used by investors looking for balanced portfolios.
Pomp isn’t the only Morgan Creek representative to have lauded Bitcoin’s inability to stand out in a crowd of often mundane, correlated assets. Mark Yusko, the founder of the overarching Morgan Creek brand and a crypto zealot himself, claimed that he expects for U.S. equities, namely publicly-tradable stocks, to post “basically no returns” in the months and years to come. On the other hand, Yusko added that he reckons that cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, will post “great returns,” especially from a decade-long investment horizon.
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Crypto Investor: Bitcoin Is Evolving, May Become Global Reserve Asset

Since Bitcoin (BTC) came into being, the narrative surrounding the asset’s value proposition has varied drastically. At first, the cryptocurrency was seemingly pure, digital cash. Now, BTC has been deemed a digital gold by many pundits, who claim that the asset’s non-inflationary, borderless, and fungible nature makes it reminiscent of the precious metal.
However, throughout the handful of civil war-esque debates on the subject matter, many investors have claimed that Bitcoin is rapidly becoming the next global reserve asset. Yet, one industry commentator claims that the crypto industry’s de-facto king isn’t ready for such a title, in spite of fundamental developments.
Related Reading: Crypto Exec: Bitcoin Was “Purpose-Built” To Be Store Of Value, Not Cash
Bitcoin Still A “Risk-On” Asset
In a recent Twitter thread, Dan Zuller, a partner at Vision Hill Advisors, a “cryptoasset & blockchain focused fund of funds,” expressed his thoughts on the rationale that Bitcoin could likely pick up steam in universal, dismal recessions. The former Citi employee claimed that as it stands, “digital assets are still ‘risk-on’ assets,” and could thus be more susceptible to “contagion,” especially in a macro bear-induced market winter.

1/ Sharing some thoughts on what happens to #crypto & digital assets during the next economic downturn. Some think digital assets are still “risk-on” assets & thus expectedly carry the risk of contagion (w/ higher correlations) in a global macro bear market.
— Dan Zuller (@danzuller) January 24, 2019

Zuller, rebutting Fred Wilson’s recently-released 2019 theses blog post, noted that the fintech economy, which includes cryptocurrencies, will not be immune to a market downturn.
Backing his claim that BTC likely won’t hold up in an equities market collapse, Zuller explained that historical downturns have affected public stock markets, Silicon Valley stocks especially, due to the high beta values and ability to facilitate volatile trade. And with this in mind, the investor added that this is likely to be the same with cryptocurrencies.
Yet, he did go on to note that Bitcoin (and potentially Ethereum too) is evolving, and well on its way to becoming a global reserve asset. But, he remarked that he would be remiss not to note that BTC’s eventual hegemony in that area of finance won’t be established for “multiple macro cycles,” as cryptocurrencies still need to prove their “monetization and economic independence.”
Interestingly, this is contradictory to sentiment touted by Travis Kling of Los Angeles-based Ikigai, who once took to Twitter to claim that as the U.S. Federal Reserve begins to ease, well, Quantitative Easing (QE), crypto could outperform any other asset in existence during fiscal 2019.
Great Hedge Against “Inflationary Recession”
Ryan Selkis, the chief executive of Messari, a leading crypto data aggregator and content portal, recently touched on Bitcoin’s potential upside as a hedge against “inflationary recession.” In other words, Selkis claimed that BTC is a digital Store of Value (SoV), and will garner traction in the next financial meltdown, which he predicted is right around the corner.
Per previous reports from NewsBTC, the industry insider, who came under fire due to his firm’s exposé on XRP, noted that investors will “flock” to stores of value, like a digital gold, in trying times. As it stands, the digital embodiment of gold is best represented by Bitcoin, and as such, BTC would likely see an influx of buying pressure once consumers lose faith in traditional markets.
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Crypto Analysts: Bitcoin Strong After ETF Mishap Is Sign Of Bottom

Crypto’s worst nightmares came to life on Wednesday, as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed that the long-awaited Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) from VanEck had lost steam. Interestingly, however, the value of cryptocurrencies barely budged. This simple bout of nonaction sparked a newfound influx of bullish sentiment, in spite of the ostensibly bearish news.
Related Reading: 58% of US Investors Would Invest in Bitcoin via ETF: Major Hedge Fund
VanEck: U.S. Shutdown Curbed Bitcoin Discussions With SEC
As reported by NewsBTC previously, the American entity claimed that the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), one of VanEck’s crypto-friendly partners, had withdrawn a proposed rule change that would have allowed for the listing of such a vehicle.
With that, the CBOE single-handedly killed one of the anticipated developments in the crypto industry’s decade-long, but short history. Although this move came straight out of left field, with some claiming that CBOE did it out of malintent, it was quickly revealed that this was far from the case.
In a comment conveyed on CNBC‘s “ETF Edge” segment, Jan Van Eck, VanEck’s chief executive, explained that his firm was in agreement with CBOE’s decision to fold from the application.
Speaking to Bob Pisani, Van Eck claimed that the U.S. government shutdown, which entered its second month just days ago, affected his firm’s ability to convene and discuss Bitcoin-related matters with the SEC. More specifically, the ETF hopefuls were unable to satisfy the SEC’s qualms with market manipulation, custody, lack of liquidity, and the like due to the shutdown.
And as such, the VanEck C-suite head remarked that instead of trying to “slip through [the cracks],” his firm’s two partners, SolidX and CBOE, decided to pull the plug. However, Jan made it clear that this was temporary, adding that his firm would refile the application once “the SEC gets going again.”
Crypto Market Holds After ETF Withdrawal
While the withdrawal/denial of Bitcoin ETF applications has historically dealt large blows to investors’ confidence levels, this time, the effect on the market was minimal. BTC fell by a mere $70 and crypto assets followed suit, losing tenths of a percentage point en-masse. Long story short, the ETF withdrawal effectively had no noticeable effect on the broader cryptocurrency market. And as this is an industry first, the minds of this sector’s foremost analysts began to churn.
Moon Overlord, a crypto trader that has long dreamed of skyrocketing to the “moon” (hence his/her name), pointed out that the market “didn’t move an inch” following CBOE’s sudden change of heart. Overlord added that the lack of red candles, often seen following the release of harrowing news, indicated that “people didn’t want to sell at $3,500,” indicating that a long-term bottom may be festering.

ETF withdrawn and we didn't move an inch… hmm
Looks like people don't want to sell at $3500
I'm starting to sense a bottom https://t.co/kcjxGrswGc
— Moon Overlord (@MoonOverlord) January 23, 2019

Rhythm Trader, a self-proclaimed “cryptocurrency enthusiast,” echoed this sentiment. Rhythm, who has embarked on a mission to laud Bitcoin incessantly, explaining that the “lack of reaction to the largest negative news on the horizon” is a clear sign that cryptocurrencies have entered a state of “despair.” In the eyes of many, this pseudo-phase accentuates that “capitulation” has finally occurred, and that lower lows are unlikely, if not a near-impossibility. The astute trader touched on this, drawing on lines on Bitcoin’s multi-year chart that indicated that BTC could return to $6,000+ in a few months time.
Others also began to tout this narrative too. Pseudonymous Benjamin Blunts, a crypto-friendly trader, noted that bear markets don’t end on good news, but rather when markets stop “falling on bad news.” And with that in mind, it seems that sentiment has begun to shift in cryptocurrency markets yet again, even while calls are mounting that BTC could fall lower.
Mahmudov, a Princeton graduate turned well-respected crypto trader, explained that as a number of altcoins, like Ether, EOS, XRP, are still drastically overvalued, the broader market could be overvalued. Mahmudov subsequently noted that Bitcoin could bottom within the $1,800 to $2,400 range, citing crypto’s historical drawdowns. Joey Krug, the chief investment officer at Pantera Capital, recently noted that he expects for “choppy waters” to continue to haunt Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies throughout 2019.
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Analyst: Bitcoin to Bottom Out At Below $3,000 But it Could Easily Achieve 6-Figure Price

Crypto’s most fervent diehards have often been lambasted for their Bitcoin (BTC) price forecasts. Blockchain project promoter John McAfee, the eccentric millionaire behind the cybersecurity company that shares his surname, called for BTC to surpass $1 million by 2020’s end, claiming that he would consume his family jewels if the prediction doesn’t come to past. And while there’s a lot on the table — literally — his irrational claim, not backed by any form of technical or fundamental analysis, has put the now-crypto insider in a tough spot.
Yet, there are analysts out there that have tried to rationalize ludicrous BTC forecasts. And one such commentator recently took to Twitter, conveying his thoughts on why the foremost cryptocurrency may eventually burst out of its quintuple digit cell.
Related Reading: Big Predictions for 2019: Bitcoin Heading for New All Time High
The $333,000 Bitcoin Prediction
Weeks ago, as reported by NewsBTC previously, Filb Filb, a pseudonymous crypto trader known for conveying some zany price predictions, took to his Twitter feed to post a single chart, released in tandem with a nebulous message — “this time it will be different.” The chart, which highlighted Bitcoin’s entire history as a liquid asset, accentuated the asset’s multi-year cycles, seemingly bred from BTC’s issuance schedule.
Basing his chart on historical analysis, Filb drew lines that indicated that BTC could bottom anywhere between $2,500 and $3,100 in the following 12 months. It was noted that if the cards play out correctly, the cryptocurrency could breach $10,000 for the first time since late-2017, starting a run to the auspicious $333,000 price point.
While Bitcoin’s historical price action lined up with this pseudo-prediction, no fundamentals were explained. And as such, skepticism ensued. Yet, nearly four weeks later, Filb has taken to Twitter again, releasing a 14-part thread on why his $333,000 call makes sense from a fundamental point of view.
Crypto Analyst Rationalizes Forecast
In a recent tweet storm, built on the premise of coming “up with a demo as to [prove] how BTC could easily achieve a six-figure valuation,” Filb laid out a number of fundamental inputs, including Bitcoin’s supply & rate of adoption, total global financial transactions, and worldwide debt.
After combining data sets and crunching an array of numbers, the trader, who sports over 10,000 followers on Twitter, determined that new BTC supply is “positively correlated with price.” The trader added that Bitcoin likely processes a minimum of 0.03% of all global transactions, citing an estimate that one billion financial processes are completed each day.
Doing some napkin math, taking the swelling worldwide debt sum of $274 trillion and combining it with BTC’s current level of adoption, Filb determined that a fair valuation for Bitcoin is ~$74 billion. Claiming that four million BTC is lost to the world, likely referring to a Bitstamp report on the matter, Filb then calculated that the cryptocurrency should be valued at $5,500 per unit, meaning that the broader market is currently undervaluing the asset by 37%.
However, that’s not to say that the cryptocurrency can’t see its use swell in the years to come. And this didn’t slip under Filb’s radar, as the trader went on to impose this model on a “long form valuation” chart for Bitcoin, which took all the aforementioned factors and variables into account.

By his logic, considering the Internet industry’s historical growth cycles of staggered booms and busts, he illustrated trends that accentuated that if all pans out for the world’s first blockchain, BTC could eventually enter the million dollar range.
Yet, remaining cautiously optimistic, Filb noted that his model is inherently flawed, even quipping that there are areas “where you could drive a bus through it.” Regardless, he made it clear that the cryptocurrency market will be in for the ride of its life, even if his model doesn’t click with investors worldwide. He even stated, “when the herd comes… hold on to your pants.”
Filb isn’t the only industry insider who has attempted to bring rationality and cold, hard numbers to price predictions. Trace Mayer, one of the earliest Bitcoiners and an advocate for anti-establishment movements, explained that with the advent of Lightning Network and other innovative protocols, coupled with the eventual influx of Wall Streeters, BTC will become the de-facto go-to investment for any intelligent consumer. Mayer even quipped that holding BTC will easily outpace an IRA or 401k, as the latter investments may get nationalized over time, or get printed straight out of existence (hyperinflation).
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Celebrities May Be Scooping Up Millions Worth Of Bitcoin

Bitcoin started out as a grassroots movement. At first, developers, anarchists, and the internet zany were the first to adopt the cryptocurrency. Yet, over time, the crypto community has devolved into an array of demographics, with millions of individuals from across the globe investing time, money, and brainpower to bolster this industry. Recently, reports arose that even celebrities — and over a dozen at that — may be scooping up millions of dollars worth of BTC, and/or investing boatloads of capital into up-and-coming blockchain projects.
Leave it to the celebrities to hop on the gravy train.
Celebrities Have Experienced Bitcoin FOMO Too
Celebrities, like common Joes, are simply humans. That means that they too are subject to FOMO. And over the years, especially as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies ran several times, this Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) quickly influenced celebrities to make a foray into this nascent industry. Per a recent Business Insider report breaking down celebrities’ involvement in crypto, at least thirteen hotshots, who hail from the music, feature film, fashion industry, and — surprise — tech industry, could be holding hefty bags of the world’s favorite digital asset.
In 2013, as BTC surmounted its long-standing double-digit boundary, Snoop Dogg began to sell his albums for 0.3 BTC a pop. While the foray’s impact was quantified, Snoop set a ball rolling that hasn’t stopped since. Just a year after Snoop’s attempt at taking advantage of crypto-enabled e-commerce, British pop star Mel B sold her 2014 Christmas single, “For Once In My Life,” for BTC via CloudHashing. The former Spice Girl purportedly claimed that she’s enamored with the ability “new technology” has to make humanity better.
But, celebrities’ involvement in this sector has gone far deeper than pseudo-guerilla marketing through the acceptance of Bitcoin. Madonna purportedly joined hands with Facebook and Ripple for an online fundraiser. Johnny Depp, the eccentric yet extremely successful actor, became a partner at TaTaTu, a blockchain startup focused on providing consumers with rewards for content interaction.
In the realm of sports, Lionel Messi, who sports a jaw-dropping 107 million followers on Instagram, once became a brand ambassador for Sirin Labs, an Israeli startup with visions of providing blockchain-centric smartphones. It isn’t clear how much Sirin paid the soccer powerhouse, but Messi’s involvement in the upstart likely didn’t run cheap.
And while his billionaire peers are mostly skeptical of Bitcoin, Microsoft founder Bill Gates once lauded blockchain technology, ballyhooing BTC’s decentralized, cost-effective, and borderless nature in a Bloomberg interview. While has since turned his back on the crypto realm, Microsoft has kept its eye on the ball, accepting BTC for its online store, while embarking on a number of blockchain forays.
Bill Gates at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting at The Shertaon New York Hotel, Photo From Shutterstock
But it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. As reported by NewsBTC previously, Floyd Mayweather, one of the most well-recognized faces in boxing, was recently indited by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for promoting fraudulent, shady ICOs without disclosing his business relationships. Regardless, the fact that he made a conscious decision to overtly back a blockchain project indicates that maybe, Mayweather has a vested interest in BTC. Yet, since the regulatory imbroglio, Mayweather hasn’t made a mention of Bitcoin.
Crypto & Rap Worlds Collide
Interestingly, crypto has found a home in the hearts of rappers and hip hop artists across the globe. As aforementioned, Snoop, the American stoner that has garnered clout over his decades, first sold albums for BTC, before appearing at Ripple’s Consensus carouse. Mr. Worldwide, better known as Pitbull, has also dipped his feet into the proverbial crypto pond, once revealing that he would be launching a music-related blockchain project. More recently, a featured artist on Eminem’s Kamikaze album, Royce Da 5’9 name-checked Bitcoin.
However, there have been some fakers, if you will. In early-2018, 50 Cent took to Instagram to brag that he made millions of dollars of paper profits from a 700 BTC stash he garnered in 2014. Yet, in an expose, 50 Cent was revealed to have sold the stash, worth $14 million at BTC’s all-time high, in 2014. Woops.
Just recently, as reported by NewsBTC, Soulja “Drako” Boy, a Chicago-based artist of “Crank That” fame, regened on his passion for the cryptocurrency world. In an interview with Cheddar, the rapper, who released a track titled “Bitcoin” in October last year, claimed that cryptocurrency’s glory days are now in the rearview mirror. The American artist noted that “it’s a gamble,” before adding that the potential returns are lackluster, as too many individuals know of Bitcoin now.
While none of this is conclusive proof that these stars are purchasing millions worth of BTC or other cryptocurrencies, the endorsements have likely become tailwinds for this industry. Regardless, many still hold onto hope that Messi, Gates, and other high net-worth, well-known individuals are buying Bitcoin for the long haul.
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