The Central Bank Of Philippines Legalizes 10 Cryptocurrency Exchanges

The Central Bank Of Philippines Legalizes 10 Cryptocurrency Exchanges
The Central Bank Of Philippines has reportedly allowed three more crypto exchanges to start functioning in the country. With this addition, the total number of Bitcoin exchanges in this Pacific Ocean republic to 10.
The Central Bank Of Philippines Legalizes 10 Cryptocurrency Exchanges

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Coinbase Rolls Out Crypto-to-Fiat Visa Debit Card for UK and EU Customers

Coinbase Rolls Out Crypto-to-Fiat Visa Debit Card for UK and EU Customers
In a push towards greater crypto adoption, Coinbase’s Visa debit card will allow users to make in-store and online purchases by converting crypto to fiat instantly.
Coinbase Rolls Out Crypto-to-Fiat Visa Debit Card for UK and EU Customers

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Starbucks Receives Bakkt Equity to Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments in 2019


Starbucks Receives Bakkt Equity to Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments in 2019

It seems that Starbucks has received a significant portion of equity in Bakkt despite not being a direct cash investor.

Starbucks Receives Bakkt Equity to Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments in 2019

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Bitcoin [BTC]: Coin’s fundamentals stronger than they were during 2014-15 crypto-winter, says Pantera Capital

A year ago, the market cap for the entire cryptocurrency industry was over $800 billion and it has since, fallen by over 80 percent to its current valuation of $135 billion. This period came to be known as the “crypto-winter.”
Pantera Capital, a blockchain investment fund based in San Francisco, released a study that charted the price of Bitcoin in 2013 and compared it to 2017, based on the real-time and projected valuations. The report suggested that top cryptocurrencies, despite a decline in the prices, saw their fundamentals remain resolute.
In 2013, Bitcoin first shot up above the $1,000 mark and then closed the following year just above the $300 mark, with many referring to this period as the first crypto-winter. Dan Morehead, the CEO of Pantera, stated that he had, “more of a worry,” during the first winter as that was Blockchain’s first test. The technology survived and the currency it powered only surged over the following years.
With respect to the current bearish market, he said,
“Today, the underlying fundamentals are much, much stronger than they were in the 2014–15 crypto winter.”
According to Morehead, the stronger fundamentals in the current bear market is due to the rise of institutional interest. The digital assets trading platform Bakkt, backed by NYSE and ICE, is set to launch this year, Fidelity has launched a crypto-custody solution division and more recently, JP Morgan introduced a US dollar-backed cryptocurrency called “JPM Coin.”
He added,
“People have been talking for years about the impending institutional wave of money coming into the markets and I think we now actually have the required conditions for that to happen.”
When asked if retail investors drove the cryptocurrency market and when institutional investors would begin to flock in, Morehead stated that institutions were risk-averse and they preferred a more conservative approach, especially with something as volatile as cryptocurrency.
He added that several custody giants would join the likes of Fidelity and State Street to provide solutions to the cryptocurrency industry, looking at the wider institutional interest. However, the prices need to rise for this to happen. Morehead stated,
“I think that’s been the gating factor: that large institutions want a more institutional custodian like Bakkt or Fidelity. And once those come in, people will start buying and that’ll start the price moving up. But the massive amount of investment probably won’t occur until the prices have already really gotten going.”
Commenting on the ongoing blockchain scaling debate, Morehead stated that it would take a few years for the impact of scaling success to manifest as a success.  Morehead compared the lack of scalability of major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin [BTC] to streaming Netflix on a mobile device in the 90s, advising these proponents to be patient. He added,
“These protocols will scale. Even if it takes years for it to happen, you shouldn’t discount that eventuality out of the price today.”
Pantera had recently secured over $125 million out of its $175 million venture fund, which is the company’s third cryptocurrency venture fund. Their maiden fund back in 2013, when the first crypto-winter stormed through, was just $13 million, following which the second rose to $25 million.
In light of their whopping $175 million target, Pantera stated in August 2018, that this was a “function of how fast the space is moving, the talent coming in, the opportunities, and the sizing of rounds.”
The post Bitcoin [BTC]: Coin’s fundamentals stronger than they were during 2014-15 crypto-winter, says Pantera Capital appeared first on AMBCrypto.
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Strong Fundamentals: Bitcoin Daily Transactions Return to Bull Run Levels

During the 2017 Bitcoin bull run and meteoric rise to its all-time high price of $20,000, hype and irrational exuberance created a bubble effect, that later popped and led to a the longest bear market on record.
The resulting aftermath of the bubble effect has brought Bitcoin to new lows and the market into a state of depression and anger, with many claiming that crypto is dead, and have little to no use case driving its value. However, an argument can be made that Bitcoin is now fundamentally stronger than in late 2017, and daily transactions have again began to reach levels not seen since November 2017 when its price went parabolic.
Daily Bitcoin Transactions Revisit Bull Run Levels
Because Bitcoin hasn’t fully realized its potential as a store of value or global currency for the internet as many believe it will eventually become, analysts often look to fundamentals such as the amount of wallets and daily transactions to determine its value. From that perspective, Bitcoin is fundamentally stronger than it has been over the past year of bear market.
Related Reading | Bitcoin and Crypto Has Introduced Millennials to Investing in Markets, Despite Fears
Following December 2017’s price peak, daily transactions fell below 300,000 per day in mid-January and since then, Bitcoin has struggled to return to the levels previously seen during last year’s bull run. Many pundits suggest that it was the growing amount of  transactions that led to the network becoming congested, which made transaction fees sore and put a spotlight on how the first-ever cryptocurrency wasn’t yet ready for public consumption on a wide scale.
Over a year later, daily transactions have finally reached over 300,000 yet again, returning to levels not seen since December 2017, according to blockchain data from BitcoinVisuals.

Pantera Capital CEO: Fundamentals Are Much, Much Stronger
Despite Bitcoin transactions picking up again, fees remain low and the network uncongested thanks to further adoption of the SegWit second-layer protocol upgrade. The recent growth of the Lightning Network – another second layer technology – has only further improved Bitcoin’s value proposition from a fundamental perspective.
Related Reading | Analysts Watch for Crypto Decoupling, Stock Market Correlation, and $7K Bitcoin in 2019
The return to mean witnessed in Bitcoin transactions coupled with a smoother-running network thanks to advances in Bitcoin development prove that the number 1 crypto by market cap is much stronger fundamentally than December 2017 when media attention was at its boiling point.

On Unconfirmed, @dan_pantera of @PanteraCapital explains why this crypto bear market is different from the one that began in 2014, what he believes will give institutional money the confidence to enter the space, and where innovation is happening.
— Laura Shin (@laurashin) February 1, 2019

Dan Morehead, outspoken CEO of crypto investment firm Pantera Capital agrees, saying that Bitcoin and crypto’s “underlying fundamentals are much, much stronger” now than they were in the previous “crypto winter,” referring to the 2014-2015 bear market that the current one has now outpaced for the longest ever on record since cryptocurrency was first introduced.
“In the previous one, I had more of a worry in the pit of my stomach about whether blockchain was actually going to work. There were real regulatory risks,” he added.
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Pantera Capital’s Crypto Fund Reports 40.8% Loss Since Launch

Pantera Capital’s Digital Asset Fund has sunk in value since it began in December 2017.
A report which surfaced on social media revealed that the U.S. investment firm negated 40.8 percent returns to its investors to date. The figures contributed to the fund’s year-to-date losses, which rose to 72.7 percent. The fund’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) also dropped by more than 50 percent since launch.

Pantera releases some painful performance numbers for their new #crypto fund. #bitcoin #ethereum
— Collin Crypto (@CollinCrypto) October 5, 2018

The cryptocurrency industry also lost more than 70% of its market cap since the beginning of this year.
A large number of initial coin offering (ICO) projects reportedly sold out their token assets for fiat, causing a selling stir in the market. Many hedge managers such as the Digital Asset Fund were long on the outcomes of these blockchain projects and purchased their tokens to draw out maximum interim profits.
However, the health condition of the ICO market kept deteriorating throughout the year, and the investments made into them failed to yield any benefit.
At the same time, crypto funds’ top asset Bitcoin too failed to minimize their losses by maintaining its bearish bias throughout the year. A report published in August by Autonomous Next, a FinTech analysis firm, further validated that a majority of hedge funds had suffered at least 50 percent losses in HY18.
This includes Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital LP, which reported over $175 million in damages, as well as Multicoin Capital, Polychain Capital, amongst others. A total of nine funds, including Crowd Crypto Fund and Alpha Protocol, even went ahead by deciding to close down, after finding themselves unable to sustain through crypto’s intrinsic volatility.
“New capital has slowed, even for a higher-profile fund like ours,” said Kyle Samani, co-founder of Austin, Texas-based Multicoin Capital.
Lex Sokolin, the global director of fintech strategy at Autonomous Research, believes 10% of all the crypto funds will die by the end of 2018. Rick Marini, a crypto fund investor, also thinks that only a few hedge firms will be able to survive the crypto plunge.
Pantera Capital is also looking beyond its poor returns to diversify its assets into projects with maximum potential. The firm recently participated in an investment round led by TD Ameritrade for ErisX, a cryptocurrency spot, and futures exchange. Pantera Capital’s portfolio already boasts of notable blockchain projects including 0x, Abra, Brave, Shapeshift, and Ripple.
Bitcoin has also bottomed out, believes many crypto fund managers in hopes to revive profits from a potentially volatile upside correction. That, however, does not change the fact that crypto hedge funds will always be exposed to risks crypto investment brings.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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