The Downside To Institutional Bitcoin Buying

The recent Bitcoin rally to as high as $42,000 has been predominantly been driven by institutional investors suddenly waking up and realizing the asset’s long-term value potential. Buying in now, means not paying ultra-high prices some day down the line if it ultimately catches on.

And while FOMO from wealthy individuals seeking to protect that wealth has been rewarding for cryptocurrency investors, the ongoing centralization of BTC and wealth could have dangerous consequences down the line, that the asset’s creator had sought to avoid. Here’s why the wave of institutional buying might not be as positive as it seems on the surface.

The Great Wealth Transfer From Cash To Bitcoin, Nothing More

Bitcoin price is trading at $37,000 per coin currently and has never been in higher demand, all while the world is still under the grips of a global pandemic. Unemployment has also never been higher, and normal everyday citizens are clamoring for stimulus money to help them pay the bills, or to cover the cost of food and other basic necessities.

Yet more capital is flowing into Bitcoin than ever before. And unlike 2017, it isn’t only retail money. Retail investors are back, but the price per BTC is even higher this time around. They aren’t the ones buying up a massive share of the limited cryptocurrency’s supply at these levels.

Related Reading | Bullish For Bitcoin: US Inflation Expectation Breaks Out From Decade Long Downtrend

They’re buying negligible amounts that do contribute to the overall upside momentum, but the price appreciation has predominantly been due to wealthy institutions buying Bitcoin in large sums.

Massive OTC buy orders taking place behind the scenes are taking what little supply out of the market that used to be sold. It has made a lot of early crypto investors and retail investors who survived the bear market wealthy, and that’s been a positive change in global wealth distribution.

bitcoin btcusd

Institutional buying is said to be driving up the price per BTC | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

However, with whales absorbing such a sizable share of the Bitcoin supply, in isn’t the same decentralized asset that caught the attention of early evangelists hoping for a better financial situation for all.

Forget Financial Freedom If Cryptocurrency Becomes Centralized By Current Wealth

Bitcoin as a technology enables a free financial future, but because it is offered on a free market – as it should be – over time it is coming into possession and therefore the control of the world’s currently wealthy.

The cryptocurrency’s original creator, Satoshi Nakamoto sought to free the world from third-party’s control over money. But if most of the Bitcoin supply is owned by the few, has the distribution of wealth at all been affected by its emergence as originally intended?

bitcoin wallet btc bitcoin wallet btc

Whale wallets with 1000+ BTC or more continue to accumulate | Source: glassnode via Arcane Research

Sadly, the answer is no. Even with the recent cryptocurrency “crash,” wallets who already own 1,000 BTC or more kept on buying coins. Only those already wealthy can afford to keep buying coins at $35,000 each, and those who already own $35,000,000 USD worth in a single wallet absolutely can be classified as “already wealthy.”

Bitcoin could have made them that wealth, and that’s wonderful. But will cryptocurrency evangelists cheer when the bulk of the supply is controlled and centralized at corporate treasuries and not citizens seeking financial freedom?

Related Reading | On-Air Screw-Up: Fox Business Correspondent Claims Entire Bitcoin Supply Is Lost

Over 2400 wallets own 1,000 BTC or more, for a combined 2.4 million of the 21 million total Bitcoin supply. That means only 2400 individuals or entities posses as much as 10% of the most scarce resource to ever exist.

And while these entities are pumping the price of Bitcoin for any crypto investors who got in before they did, the original intent of Bitcoin is becoming clouded by increased centralization of the same old wealth.

Without a real changing of the guard, the cryptocurrency will have failed at least a portion of its original mission.

Featured image from Deposit Photos, Charts from TradingView.com

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Ripple Co-Founder Jed McCaleb Sells 28.6 Million XRP After 25-Day Pause

Jed McCaleb, a co-founder of Ripple Labs, has sold 28.6 million XRP tokens, worth over $8.78 million at press time, after pausing his sales for 25 days. McCaleb, it’s worth noting, sells the funds he was awarded for co-founding the firm.

McCaleb is said to have started working on Ripple back in 2011, and was part of its founding team when the firm launched in 2013. While he left the firm in 2014 to work on Stellar (XLM), he was awarded 8 billion XRP tokens for his role in developing and founding OpenCoin, which was later rebranded to Ripple.

The entrepreneur received the funds on a fixed schedule and has made it clear via XRP Talk, a forum for XRP investors and proponents, that he plans on selling the funds he receives, as he has already donated part of the funds to charities such as Give Directly, Literacy Bridge, and others.

Since then he has been periodically selling XRP. The most recent sale was spotted by researcher Leonidas Hadjiloizou.

His 25-day pause may have been related to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) lawsuit against ripple and its other co-founders, Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen, alleging the firm and its executives “raised over $1.3 billion through an unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities offering.”

Hadjiloizou noted that Jed has in the past halted his XRP sales to allow a charity he donated the funds to sell. He added there is “no way to know why he resumed” the sale.” Speculating, he said he “could have waited for some advice from his lawyers or for a million other reasons.”




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The lawsuit saw the price of XRP plunge over 50% over a  plethora of delisting announcements from major cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bitstamp, Coinbase, Binance.US, Bittrex, and others. Asset managers, market makers, wallets, and brokers soon stopped supporting XRP as well.

On top of that, the price had been inflated thanks to Flare network’s Spark (FLR) token airdrop in early December. Data shows that once rumors of the lawsuit started circulating, XRP dropped from about $0.60 to a low of $0.18 before recovering.

At press time, XRP is trading at $0.306.

XRPUSD Chart via TradingView

The price of the cryptocurrency seemingly did not recover over any news related to the SEC lawsuit against Ripple, but instead because of the community rallying behind it. As CryptoGlobe reported, over 39,000 XRP supporters have asked the United States government to recognize XRP as a currency in a petition.

The petition seemingly seeks to counter the SEC’s claim by asking the federal government to intervene and evaluate XRP as a currency. Moreover, while various trading platforms delisted XRP as a preventive move, crypto exchange Uphold affirmed it will keep XRP listed until the lawsuit is resolved.

It further pointed out that the SEC’s goal is to protect consumers, and believes it’s hard to see “how a judgment rendering XRP essentially worthless and inflicting billions of dollars of losses on retail investors” would square with that goal.

Featured image via Pixabay.

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BTC’s Triangle Formation Is Likely To End With a Huge Move

While the crypto market is celebrating a new all-time high to the second-largest crypto, Ethereum, Bitcoin saw a minor 3% price spike over the past 24 hours as it trades slightly below $38K. On a larger scale, BTC has been trading sideways for the past 12 days after nailing its ATH level at $42,000 On January 8, 2020.

From there, Bitcoin started to consolidate as it forms a giant symmetrical triangle pattern, as can be seen on the following 4-hour chart. Over the weekend, Bitcoin fell from the resistance at $37,940 – $38K (short term bearish .618 Fib) and headed to the support at $34,800 (.5 Fib Retracement) – the lower ascending angle of the triangle.

Yesterday, BTC re-tested that support line again and after breaking out from a short-term rising channel during the time of this writing, made its way back towards $38K and the upper boundary of the symmetrical triangle, at around $38,300.

In case Bitcoin breaks out of the triangle to the bullish side, we can definitely expect a retest of $40K, followed by the ATH levels.

BTC Price Support and Resistance Levels to Watch

Key Support Levels: $37,000, $36,000, $34,800, $34,000, $33,135.

Key Resistance Levels: $37,940 – $39,000, $38,300, $30,000, $39,720, $40,000.

The first level of resistance lies in the range of $37,940 (bearish .618 Fib Retracement) and $38,000. This is closely followed by resistance at the upper boundary of the triangle at $38,300.

The next targets would be $39,000, $39,720 (bearish .786 Fib Retracement), $40,000, and $40,775 (bearish .886 Fib Retracement).

On the other side, the first level of support lies at $37,000. This is followed by $36,000 (.236 Fib Retracement), $34,800 (.5 Fib Retracement & the lower boundary of triangle). Further support lies at $34,000, followed by $33,130 (short term .618 Fib) and $32,500 (.382 Fib).

The daily RSI rebounded from the mid-line, which is in favor of the bulls.

Bitstamp BTC/USD Daily Chart

BTC/USD Daily Chart. Source: TradingView

Bitstamp BTC/USD 4-Hour Chart

btcusd-4hr-jan19
BTC USD 4-Hour Chart. Source: TradingView
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Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.

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Crypto finance provider Amber surpasses $530M AuM

Amber Group, a crypto finance service provider, announced today it has recently surpassed $530 million in assets under management (AUM), a 275% increase from $142M AUM reported in 2019.

With an increasing number of new investors entering the scene, Amber’s surge in demand stems from the extension of their global strategic layout and the launch of the Amber App, an all-in-one crypto finance mobile application geared toward individual investors.

“This year was revolutionary for the crypto industry with the number of new companies and investors entering the space,” said Michael Wu, Founder, and CEO of Amber Group.  “We are thrilled to be a part of the growing ecosystem by providing investors with a fully-integrated product suite, where retail and institutional investors can experience a seamless digital asset experience.”

Amber App

This year, investors have cumulatively traded over $250B (an 85% increase YTD) through the Amber Group with transactions exceeding over $10B in December alone. The Amber Group has grown to serve clients in over 80 countries and regions, such as the Greater China area, South Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, U.S., Canada, Europe, South America, among others.

Since the launch of the Amber App in September for retail customers, the App has gained over 25,000 registered users (280% MoM increase) exceeding 15,000 new registered users within the last month of 2020. By offering both sophisticated crypto investors and non-crypto natives a set of highly-intuitive crypto finance tools that enables investors to participate in the crypto markets for the long term, the Amber App has successfully grown to manage over $200M assets (a 30% MoM growth) and has reached over $680M cumulative user deposits since its launch.

The Amber App is integrated with investment features including interest rate products, a way to earn yield (up to 100% APR), the ability to trade to hedge portfolio assets or to capture market upside in volatile markets, and provides spot trading opportunities supporting major cryptocurrencies and stable coins.

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Enjin Coin (ENJ) Price Explodes by 90% as Japan’s JVCEA Approves it for Coincheck Listing

Less than two years after entering the Japanese market, Enjin Coin has received approval from the country’s JVCEA to be listed on the cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck. Thus, the asset has become the first gaming token authorized for usage in the Asian nation.

JVCEA Approves Enjin Coin’s Listing On Coincheck

Launched following several high-profile exchange hacks in 2018, Japan’s Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) received approval from the country’s financial regulator, the FSA, to serve as a self-regulatory organization to enforce strict legislation on the crypto ecosystem.

Digital asset projects that wish to be listed and traded on Japan-based platforms go through a thorough examination process by the Association.

Coincheck, the exchange that fell victim to one of the most notorious hacks with $535 million in NEM stolen, has only 15 currencies listed as of now due to the stringent regulations.

However, it has received a new addition. Enjin, the team behind the popular gaming token – Enjin Coin – announced earlier that it had received approval for its first listing on a Japanese exchange – Coincheck. This comes after more than a year of due diligence and examinations following Enjin’s partnership with the Tokyo-based HashPort in 2019.

Enjin CEO, Maxim Blagov, emphasized Japan’s significant role in the gaming industry and predicted that the Asian market will produce the next big projects in the field:

“From Super Mario to Pokemon and Final Fantasy, Japan is home to pioneering games that hold a lasting place in pop culture. Japan’s culture of innovation is directly aligned with Enjin’s. We believe some of the world’s best blockchain gams will come from the Japanese gaming industry, and we will be able there to help them leverage this powerful technology to the fullest.”

Japan’s video game market is among the fastest expanding niches with an annual growth rate of 7.1% and estimated revenue of over $18 billion in 2021.

Japan Video Game Market. Source: Enjin

Enjin Coin Explodes In Price

Enjin’s native cryptocurrency reacted with an immediate price surge to the announcement. ENJ traded at about $0.23 before skyrocketing by almost 90% to a new three-year high of $0.43.

Thus, ENJ came just inches away from following today’s example from Ethereum and painting a new all-time high above $0.465 (according to CoinGecko).

Despite retracing slightly to $0.37, Enjin Coin has entered the top 100 currencies by market cap as its own reached $350 million.

ENJUSD. Source: TradingView
ENJUSD. Source: TradingView

 

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SETL completes first CBDC fund transaction on live market infrastructure » CryptoNinjas.net

SETL, a London-based settlement and payments Infrastructure provider, today announced that Banque de France (BDF) has successfully completed a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) transaction, using the SETL blockchain that powers the IZNES fund platform.

The CBDC tokens were used to subscribe to a fund on the platform and represented the world’s first successful live settlement of a fund using CBDC tokens. The experiment was carried out on the IZNES platform in collaboration with CITI, CACEIS the custody bank of Groupe Credit Agricole, Groupama Asset Management, OFI Asset Management, and DXC Technology.

“Further to the successful delivery of our two market infrastructures – the Fund Platform IZNES and the ID2S Central Securities Depository, we are now excited to take our Payments offering to the next level. Together with our proven track record in delivering regulated Market Infrastructures, this further strengthens SETL’s strategic capabilities.”
Philippe Morel, SETL CEO

As part of this experiment, shares of the money market fund ‘Groupama Enterprises’ were subscribed and then redeemed on the IZNES Platform using Central Bank Digital Currency tokens created by Banque de France. The global amount of the transactions exceeded two million Euros.

SETL provided both the distributed ledger technology (DLT) as well as the infrastructure underpinning the issuance and redemption of the CBDC tokens, in collaboration with the BDF and IZNES technology teams.

CITI and CACEIS acted as the participating commercial banks to purchase CDBC tokens from Banque de France. CACEIS also acted as the Custodian of the Groupama funds.

“The successful completion of a central bank digital currency live experiment with BDF confirms that SETL is uniquely positioned to help transform Financial Markets. We are delighted to be recognized for the role we play in these significant market transformation programs.”
Sir David Walker, SETL Chairman

As reflected in the Banque de France’s own statement, this experiment represents a significant step forward in assessing the contribution that CBDCs can make in the real economy.  The successful fund experiment tests the levers that a central bank digital currency provides for enhancing the efficiency and resilience of the settlement of financial assets in a blockchain environment.

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Ethereum daily transaction volume going “parabolic,” ETH price breaks $1400

The daily transaction volume of Ethereum is going “parabolic,” according to researchers. This trend buoys the short to medium-term bull case of ETH, which has been outpacing Bitcoin in the past few days.

Ryan Watkins, a researcher at Messari, said:

“Ethereum’s daily transaction volume is going parabolic. It now settles $12 billion in transactions daily – $3 billion more than Bitcoin. Imagine not being bullish $ETH.”

The fast growth of the Ethereum blockchain network can be attributed mainly to the exponential expansion of the DeFi market.

DeFi continues to uplift Ethereum

DeFi has many sub-sectors within the industry. There are lending protocols like Aave, automated market makers (AMMs) like SushiSwap, and decentralized derivatives exchanges, such as Perpetual Protocol.

DeFi protocols, especially decentralized exchanges, are beginning to see hundreds of millions of dollars in daily volume.

Even complex futures exchanges, like Perpetual Protocol, have begun to record around $30 million in volume per day.

The clear increase in the user activity of DeFi protocols directly buoys the sentiment around Ethereum because DeFi users utilize ETH to pay gas as fees.

Hence, as long as the fundamentals of Ethereum, such as the fees paid per day and the daily transaction volume continue to strengthen, the outlook of ETH remains bright.

What do traders think?

Traders are short-term cautious as ETH approaches $1400 because it remains as a major resistance level.

ethusd ethereum
The price chart of Ethereum. Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.com

A pseudonymous trader known as “Loma” said that although an all-time high for ETH is becoming more likely, there is a high probability of a flush drop at $1,350. He said:

“Still think $ETH ATHs are a formality at this point, especially with the conditions in the market as we’re pushing up but… If there were ever an area for $ETH to scam mfers one more time, it’s here at the ~1350 area.”

But, once ETH surpasses its all-time high, industry executives say that it would further legitimize cryptocurrencies as an asset class.

Tyler Culler-Ward, the co-founder of BarnBridge, noted that ETH and BTC hitting an all-time high together would be a highly positive factor for the cryptocurrency sector in general. He wrote:

“I think ETH and BTC both hitting all time highs will legitimize crpto for a lot of people because they’ll start to realize it always comes back when it drops making it easier to ride out down markets if you truly believe in the technology.”

In the near term, the declining ETH reserves on exchanges is an optimistic sign as it shows there is lower selling pressure across trading platforms.

This trend explains why ETH has seen low volatility when BTC was falling steeply in the past week and saw a sharp uptrend when BTC rallied.

Ethereum, currently ranked #2 by market cap, is up 13.45% over the past 24 hours. ETH has a market cap of $158.94B with a 24 hour volume of $41.05B.

Ethereum Price Chart

ETHUSD Chart by TradingView

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Binance Coin (BNB) hits a new ATH right before a burn event

TL: DR Breakdown

  • A Binance Coin burn is expected to happen shortly
  • BNB has already reached a new ATH

The last six months have been rosy for the crypto market, and Binance Coin (BNB) has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the revigorated bull run. The upward streak continues in 2021 as market dynamics heat up. Back in October 2020, Binance did a BNB coin burn, locking out around 2.25 million coins. Now, another coin burn is about to happen, and things are already good pricewise.

Right before the coin burn planned for this January, BNB made a sharp surge that resulted in a new All-Time-High of around $46.80 on January 18, 2021. The crypto has since pulled back a bit to trade at the current value of $45.40. BNB is now at position 11 in the charts with a total market cap of around $6.4 billion.

Binance Coin burn is a routine

Coin burn conducted by Binance is a quarterly routine, with the last one having happened back in October 2020 as mentioned. The ultimate goal of these burn events is to discard the excess coins to reach a final figure of around 100 million Binance Coins in circulation.

Scarcity to increase demand

For one, a coin burn reduces the number of BNB tokens in circulation. Such a reduction results in a corresponding increase in demand and value. In fact, the crypto’s price has already spiked even before the coin burn.

Three million BNB staked

Besides coin burning, Binance has other factors backing up the market value and popularity of BNB. These include the Binance Launchpad and Binance Chain, fast blockchain networks that facilitate the creation and running of smart contracts and DeFi applications.

The chains now host over 60 projects with around 600,00 unique addresses. The validators operating in the network have already staked upwards of three million Binance Coins.

BNB Twitter buzz

Of late, Binance Coin has been a topic of discussion in various social media platforms, most notable of which is Twitter. Crypto Twitter has been known to offer extensive coverage of debates concerning the developments in the blockchain and crypto space. In the case of BNB, the twitter buzz heighted back in September 2020 after the launch of the Binance Smart Chain. As has always been the case, a crypto token gets more favored by investors when there’s a big social hype about it.

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Bitcoin Block Number 666,666 Carries A Biblical Message – Cryptovibes.com – Daily Cryptocurrency and FX News

Bitcoin is offering strange revelations in these strange times. In the latest news, a hidden Biblical message was discovered embedded in a transaction in block number 666,666 of the bitcoin blockchain.

The message is a quotation obtained from the sixth book in the New Testament, the Epistle to the Romans. That message was first spotted by @emzy@bitcoinhackers.org, it reads:

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good – Romans 12:21.”

Biblical reference in Bitcoin block 666,666. Source: Bitcoinhackers.org

The highlighted transaction saw a total of 432,100 satoshis ($160) sent to two different addresses. Interestingly, the first several characters of these addresses have the words ‘Bible’ and ‘God’.

Addresses outputs. Source: Blockchain.comAddresses outputs. Source: Blockchain.com

Whoever sent these satoshis paid at least $50 in fees, which equates to five times more than Bitcoin’s peak average transaction fee on the day, as published by Bitinfocharts.com. It means that the sender’s goal was to have their transactions, and the underlying message, included in block 666,666 particularly.

It is not the first time a hidden message has been unearthed embedded in the bitcoin blockchain. Previously, the most famous example is the message that was embedded in the first bitcoin block ever mined, the ‘Genesis block.’

“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”

A follow-up came amid the first phase of the US Federal Reserve’s money-printing spree in 2020 while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Block 630,000 contained the following statement:

“NYTimes 09/Apr/2020 With $2.3T Injection, Fed’s Plan Far Exceeds 2008 Rescue.”

Embedding such messages within the blockchain has become the norm in recent years. Past messages have also come in the form of eulogies, poetry, marriage proposals, and general profanity.

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