Crypto News Updates

Jesse Powell: BTC Will Be the Currency of the World

Kraken CEO Jesse Powell is taking a page out of Jack Dorsey’s book and claiming that bitcoin will some day be a global currency.

Jesse Powell: BTC Will Beat All Fiat

Back in 2018, the CEO of both social media giant Twitter and payments company Square claimed that bitcoin would be a global currency. Rather, he stated that it would be the world’s only currency within ten years, and that it would replace all known forms of fiat. While bitcoin hasn’t quite reached this level yet, the idea of BTC and its digital counterparts is that they would one day replace all national forms of money and serve as the ultimate payment source for both goods and services.

Today, that dream is getting closer and closer to reality, as many large companies – including Tesla, Uber and General Motors – have stated in the past few weeks that they are now considering bitcoin as a potential payment method alongside cash and credit cards in the future. Jesse Powell is confident that bitcoin will ultimately be used by many different people in many different countries.

He was also quick to suggest that the asset could potentially reach a price of $1 million per unit, thereby pulling a page out of John McAfee’s book. While we’d all like to see BTC reach this price, it’s going to be a while before the asset ever crosses into seven-figure territory, as we learned with McAfee’s prediction for the year 2020.

The antivirus mogul commented in the past that bitcoin would reach this price at some point during the infamous year in which the coronavirus pandemic began striking all our global markets. He further stated that he would eat his own d*ck if this didn’t happen. Well, it didn’t occur, but as far as we’re concerned, McAfee is not missing any of his parts and was quick to defend himself by claiming that the entire prediction was nothing more than a joke.

$1 Million in Ten Years?

But for Powell, $1 million for bitcoin isn’t a joke. It’s something that could easily happen in the foreseeable future, as he claims that many national forms of currency are already suffering and showing “extreme signs of weakness.” In a recent interview, he stated:

The true believers will tell you it’s going all the way to the moon, to Mars, and eventually it’ll be the world’s currency… In the near term, people see it surpassing gold as a store of value, so I think $1 million as a price target within the next ten years is rather reasonable.

At the time of writing, Kraken is based in San Francisco, California and considered one of the largest and most powerful cryptocurrency exchanges of all time, presently managing digital assets worth more than $10 billion. Despite a recent rise beyond $50,000, BTC has fallen back to the $48,000 range.

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Canada’s BTC ETF Is Experiencing Slump in Activity

Canada’s first bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) was released to the public not too long ago. The idea of a bitcoin-based ETF had been in the back of investors’ minds for some time, and now that the product has been unveiled, it looks like many fantasies are becoming real, but is it possible that the product has already worn out its welcome?

The First Bitcoin ETF Is Already Seeing Trading Dips

According to new data, trading in the bitcoin-based ETF has already taken a serious dive, with transactions slowing down significantly from just last week. To be fair, we see this all the time with individuals. They want something so bad that they build it up in their heads. They obsess about it, they can’t stop thinking about it, and yet, when they finally get it or indulge in it, the excitement only lasts about ten minutes or so.

It appears they built it up so big in their heads that the reality of the product or event, whatever it may be, was far less joyous than the fantasy that was behind it. Could this be the case with the bitcoin ETF? Canada was the first country in the world to get the product approved, beating several rivals such as the United States for its place at the front of the line. However, not long after things began moving, they are already beginning to slow down.

The first bitcoin-based ETF was known as the Purpose Bitcoin ETF. It trades under the ticker BTCC and saw more than $17 million shares traded in just the first few days of its availability. Not long after, that $17 million shot up to about $400 million. By the early part of this week, the total peaked at a whopping $500 million. That’s half a billion dollars in a relatively short period.

Now that things have taken a serious slump, men such as Ben Johnson – Morningstar’s global director of ETF research – are working hard to explain what the problem could be. In a recent interview, he states:

The initial surge in interest was evidence of some combination of pent-up demand, investors switching from other means of getting bitcoin exposure, and the fact that bitcoin’s price was notching new highs as the Purpose ETF began trading. Longer term, I expect volumes will be correlated with bitcoin’s price.

Maybe This Can’t Be Attributed to Lagging Demand

In other words, it’s not so much that people’s demand has suddenly been waning. Rather, the ETF will work in tandem with bitcoin’s price, and thus if the currency is experiencing some sort of neutral period, like it is now, the ETF is likely to follow suit.

At press time, bitcoin has risen somewhat and is trading for around $50,400 per unit. This is certainly an improvement over the $47,000 it was experiencing last week, but it’s not a huge boost.

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Analysts Differ on Where Bitcoin Will Go in the Coming Weeks

It looks like the trouble bitcoin has been experiencing as of late is coming to an end. The world’s number one digital currency by market cap has been traversing the doldrums as of late, falling even further into the mid-$40,000 range, though at the time of writing, things have improved somewhat. The currency is back above the $50,000 line and trading more in the range that investors have become used to these past few weeks.

Bitcoin Is Starting to Improve

The present price of $50,600 is a bit of a downward slope from the $52,000 mark that bitcoin was trading at during the early morning hours of Wednesday, but the fact that bitcoin has remained above $50K is certainly a positive sign.

Not long ago, bitcoin had fallen to about $46,000 per unit – a near $10,000 drop from where it had been just a few days beforehand. Naturally, the currency is nowhere near where it was early last week, and it will take time to recover some of the lost ground (as is the case with most corrections), but analysts appear confident that the asset is looking to turn itself around rather swiftly.

Constantin Kogan – managing director of Wave Financial Group – believes that the asset is in line for another upswing, and that this recent jump past $50K is going to place bitcoin in a stronger position rather soon. He states:

With this surprising move overnight to $52K, we may see further upside resistance at the $52,500 and $55,000 levels, and obviously gain again at $58K, as the market will test and discover how many market participants are willing to buy at that price. On the downside, weak support may be found in each key psychological level and ranges where high volume previously occurred, such as $50K, $48K, $44K and ultimately $39K, strengthening as price lowers and becomes more attractive to a wider range of investors.

Are We in for Another Bearish Round?

Kiana Danial – CEO of Invest Diva – believes this recent jump to be only temporary and is confident that we may see another bearish round for crypto investors before bitcoin really takes the time to heal itself. She comments:

Bitcoin has bounced off the $44K support level and is currently attempting to break above the Ichimoku cloud on the four-hour chart. While we have several medium-term bullish indicators on the daily chart, the Ichimoku indicator’s conversion moving average is just about to cross below the baseline moving average which indicates that we may see another round of bearish sentiment longer term. The key Fibonacci retracement levels tracing the uptrend that started in January 2021 and ended in February are set at $47,174, $44K, $40K and $35,754, respectively. Due to bitcoin’s volatile nature, there’s a possibility that we see a break above the all-time highs and a visit to a new high at $67,810 before another pullback.

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Citibank: Crypto Crime Really Isn’t That Common

There is still much concern amongst government regulators surrounding cryptocurrency fraud and illicit usage. Everyone is so terrified that cryptocurrencies are being used to commit crimes and engage in wrongful behavior, but according to a new report issued by Citibank, this really isn’t something that people need to be so concerned with, as fraudulent activity involving bitcoin and its digital cousins has gone down significantly over the past few years.

Citibank: Crypto Crime Doesn’t Happen as Often as We Think

At the time of writing, there are still several figures and financial heads that are oozing with worry about how bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are being used. Janet Yellen, for example, has recently stated as the new Treasury Secretary that she is considering placing limits on all BTC activity in the future considering that it is not only volatile, but allegedly opens the doors to financial misdoings.

In addition, Gary Gensler – the nominated chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – has stated that the organization is looking to do all it can to combat fraud and protect investors.

However, per data from Citibank, people may be worrying just a bit too much. The report explains:

In total, just over two percent of the activity in the cryptocurrency space was linked to illicit activity in 2019, and that total was down to only 0.3 percent in 2020. However, the extent of such activity can often seem overblown based on news headlines alone.

No doubt financial crime centering on crypto has occurred in the past. The biggest examples include Mt. Gox and Coincheck, two of the biggest and most prominent crypto exchanges in Japan. Both saw hundreds of millions of dollars-worth of crypto funds disappear overnight, and to this day, much of that money has still not been recovered.

Of course, these situations occurred when less protections were in place and the crypto world was more reminiscent of the wild west. Now, things are becoming different, and illicit activity is really in the minority, Citibank assures its readers.

The document does mention, however, that while crime may be at a new low, there are still hindrances to bitcoin and crypto-based payment systems, and that adoption isn’t likely to become widespread for a while granted these problems remain. Among some of the major problems occurring in the crypto space are volatility and price swings. Citibank says:

Security issues with cryptocurrency do occur, but when compared to traditional payments, it performs better. The entrance of institutional investors has sparked confidence in cryptocurrency, but there are still persistent issues that could limit widespread adoption.

Still Some Barriers to Cross

Still, the outlook is positive as bitcoin’s persona continues to change with time. The report says:

Perceptions about what makes bitcoin important continue to evolve and create new opportunities while increasing its perception towards becoming mainstream.

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Ruffer: Bitcoin Adoption Is Going to Shoot Through the Roof

Bitcoin has been exploding over the past year. Aside from experiencing heavy price booms that saw the currency rise from about $10,000 to $40,000 in just three months and attain all kinds of new highs, the currency has also been seeing fresh waves of institutional interest from the likes of companies such as MicroStrategy and Tesla, which have both purchased billions of dollars-worth of the asset. Now, asset manager Ruffer claims that things are just getting started for the world’s number one digital coin by market cap, and adoption is going to increase tenfold throughout the year.

Ruffer: Bitcoin Hasn’t Come Close to Peaking

Bitcoin has been experiencing loads of new respect and support over the past several months, though according to Ruffer, we’re nowhere near the peak yet. The company is adamant that adoption for the currency is still low, and that we’re only in the early stages. In a statement, the company looks at how the asset has exploded by nearly 500 percent in a rather short period:

We think we are relatively early to this, at the foothills of a long trend of institutional adoption and financialization of bitcoin. Think of bitcoin’s bad reputation as a risk premium. As we move through the process of normalization, regulation and institutionalization, the compression of this premium can have a dramatic effect on the price.

At the time of writing, Ruffer manages nearly $4 billion in assets, of which three percent are based in bitcoin and cryptocurrency. The company itself invested in the digital asset late last year, marking another turn for institutional support in the cryptocurrency arena. The company has commented that its investments have more than doubled in the last three months alone.

The company was initially attracted to BTC largely because it felt it added something unique to its portfolio and would ultimately help to diversify things a bit. Ruffer mentions:

Due to zero interest rates, the investment world is desperate for new ‘safe havens’ and uncorrelated assets.

At the same time, the company acknowledges that bitcoin and other forms of crypto are consistently straddled by volatility and price fluctuations, and that anything could happen overnight. That’s why the company’s present bitcoin assets will not go more than the three percent it invested in last November. Right now, it’s simply watching and waiting to see what BTC does next.

Trying to Stay Safe

Ruffer states:

If we are wrong, bitcoin will return to the shadows and we will lose money. This explains why we have kept the position size small but meaningful.

At press time, many regulators and officials are expressing similar sentiment that traders need to be wary when it comes to bitcoin including Janet Yellen – the new Treasury Secretary – and Gary Gensler, the current nominee for chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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Canada Is Now Looking to Unveil an Ethereum ETF

It’s only been a few weeks since Canada introduced the world to the first bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF). Now, it looks like an Ethereum-based ETF may be on its way.

The Case for Canada and the Crypto ETF

Evolve Funds is the company behind Canada’s BTC ETF, and it looks like the company is already experiencing heavy success with this product. So much, in fact, that it wants to bring similar products to the market, and it feels that Ethereum may be the way to go. As the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap and the number one competitor to bitcoin, chances are plenty of people exist out there that will look to take advantage of additional ETH trading.

In a press release, the company announced:

Ether is the building block for a revolution in digital finance which is still in its infancy. All ether transactions are recorded on the Ethereum computer network, which is a decentralized, open source blockchain featuring smart contract functionality. Ethereum is the most actively used blockchain with ether being used to pay for transaction fees and computation services.

Ethereum is widely considered a stronger blockchain than bitcoin in many ways thanks to its capabilities with smart contracts. Many developers seek to utilize Ethereum for building new decentralized apps (dapps) and coins, which has led to heavy traffic congestion and high fees in the past. Co-creator of ETH Vitalik Buterin has even stated that Ethereum was no longer scalable, though the release of Ethereum 2.0 is likely to make some of these problems vanish.

In addition, the idea of a bitcoin or crypto-based ETF has been in the back of traders’ minds for several years. North America was widely considered a leader when it came to financial revolution, though the release of a crypto ETF wasn’t something that came easily. Many companies – from Van Eck to Bitwise – have struggled to get approval from organizations such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), only to come up empty handed in the end.

A “Complementary” Product?

Finally, it looks like Canada has come to the rescue. Raj Lala – president and CEO of Evolve Funds – says:

As a leader in disruptive innovation, we look forward to providing Canadian investors with access to another leading cryptocurrency through an ETF structure. Cryptocurrencies are fundamentally transforming digital finance and Evolve is quickly establishing itself as a leading facilitator for investing in this space. Ether is a digital asset that is not issued by any government, bank or central organization and was intended to complement rather than compete with bitcoin.

Right now, the Ethereum ETF is in its early filing stage, and no approval has been given, though the move is leading many investors and traders to feel confident that developed nations such as the U.S. will soon follow in Canada’s footsteps and unveil similar products.

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Michael Burry: Bitcoin’s Sudden Rise Is Unsustainable

Bitcoin has been doing quite well as of late, but as we’ve seen in the past, not everyone is set to be convinced by the world’s largest and most popular digital currency by market cap. Michael Burry – a legendary investor and the subject of both the book and the film “The Big Short” – is one such person and believes that bitcoin is trapped within the confines of a massive bubble.

Michael Burry: Bitcoin Is Headed Downhill

In a tweet he was quick to get rid of, Burry claimed that bitcoin is rising too fast, and that the recent gains the currency has garnered are not sustainable. He appears to be taking a page out of the JPMorgan book, which issued similar sentiment in a recent report. He says that many current investors are likely to experience heavy losses they will not recover from.

He comments:

$BTC is a speculative bubble that poses more risk than opportunity despite most of the proponents being correct in their arguments for why it is relevant at this point in history. If you do not know how much leverage is involved in the run-up, you may not know enough to own it.

As discussed in “The Big Short,” Burry made quite a bit of money off the collapse of the housing market in the year 2007, so it would be wrong to doubt his words right away. He appears to know a thing or two about bubbles and is quick to recognize the signs. He says that bitcoin’s sudden rise to fame bears many similarities to what he witnessed during the housing market boom 15 years ago.

Burry isn’t the only one who at press time is warning against bitcoin and advising caution. Gary Gensler – the present nominee for chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – commented after his recent Senate hearing that cryptocurrency is likely to present several challenges to the world of finance, and he is warning regulators to keep their heads up.

Gensler is concerned that the volatility of cryptocurrencies is too much to handle, thereby echoing the words of new Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. He claims that the risks outdo the positives when it comes to bitcoin and feels that limits need to be in place.

In addition, Letitia James – the attorney general of New York – has also stated that cryptocurrencies are not to be taken lightly. Her words come after a long legal battle with both Bitfinex and Tether in the Big Apple, and both companies are being forced to pay $18.5 million in fees following a settlement.

Everyone Seems Worried

In a recent statement, James commented that the crypto space is marred with greed and fraud:

Too often, greedy industry players take unnecessary risks with investors’ money, but today, we’re leveling the playing field and issuing alerts to both investors and industry members across the nation.

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Survey Participants Think Its 2018 All Over Again for Bitcoin

Bitcoin, despite a few ups and downs over the past week, appears to be doing quite well when compared with where it’s been in the past. No doubt the asset has proven itself in the past 12 months, and the currency is turning out to be one of the top assets a person can invest in. Sadly, not everyone is convinced, as according to a new survey, many of the world’s financial traders view BTC as being trapped in another bubble and feel its recent surges have nothing to do with growing legitimacy.

Bitcoin Is Doing Well, but Not Everyone Sees This

Over the past year, bitcoin’s price has spiked by a whopping 475 percent. This is extremely impressive, but the news appears to be failing to make any sort of impression on traders, who according to data from a recent survey, believe that 2021 will exhibit the crypto behavior traders were privy to in 2018, and with last week’s drop by roughly $10,000, one can understand why they would feel that way.

2018 was a disastrous time for crypto. If 2017 was a period of power and stability, 2018 suggested that crypto was weak and illegitimate. 2017 saw bitcoin reach a pinnacle in that the currency hit its then all-time high of nearly $20,000 per unit. Everybody got excited, and immediately began jumping on the bitcoin bandwagon out of fear that they were going to miss out on something revolutionary.

While everyone foresaw bitcoin continuing its meteoric rises into the new year, the exact opposite occurred. The world’s number one digital currency by market cap began dropping as soon as 2018 showed itself. By early February, the currency had lost more than $10,000 and was trading in the low $9,000 range. By summer, it was at $6,000, and by Thanksgiving of that year, bitcoin had fallen to about $3,500 per unit. Thus, BTC had failed in everyone’s eyes.

Not as Much Harm as One Might Think

Now, bitcoin has surged to a record high, shooting beyond the $50,000 mark in early February and more than doubling its 2017 high. However, not everyone is convinced that 2021 is going to be a stellar year. In fact, the survey suggests that many traders think 2021 and 2018 will be one and the same. As many as 394 investors took part in the survey, and nearly 72 percent shared the opinion that bitcoin was trapped in another bubble – a bubble that wasn’t going to last much longer.

There is some positive news in that many of the participating investors do not see a huge bitcoin crash as anything significant… At least not significant enough to do any serious damage to the economy. Only about 29 percent of participating individuals feel that the currency dipping to new lows would cause serious economic harm to global markets, while more than 30 percent feel the impact would be small or nonexistent.

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Citibank Praises BTC, While China Seeks to Limit Mining Activity

From both ends of the world, bitcoin is the target of much speculation. In the west, it appears to be the subject of positivity, with the likes of Citibank commenting that bitcoin is likely to be at the center of much cultural and revolutionary change. In the east, countries like China are looking to implement serious limits on bitcoin and crypto mining. With both sides offering opposing views, it looks like bitcoin has used this time to heal some of its wounds and bounce back by roughly nine percent at press time.

Citibank Is Working to Push BTC Forward

Paolo Ardoino – CTO of Bitfinex – examined the current situation surrounding BTC and said:

Bitcoin seems to have bounced back today as cryptocurrency markets start the week in a resurgent mood. The backdrop of huge pent-up institutional demand and interest from long-term investors may be here to stay, but time will tell.

The world’s number one cryptocurrency has been suffering as of late. The asset ultimately fell by more than $10,000 last week, dipping down from around $57,000 per unit to just over $46,000. Now, at the time of writing, the currency has surged back into the $48,000 region, thereby incurring a $2,000 spike over the course of a few days.

It’s nowhere near as impressive as some of bitcoin’s past figures, but it’s a step in the right direction – especially when one considers how much has been lost in the space of just one week. The move appears to stem from words offered by Citibank, which in a recent report, acknowledged that there were risks involved with both mining and trading crypto, but that the positives heavily outweighed the negatives.

The document explains:

There are a host of risks and obstacles that stand in the way of bitcoin progress but weighing these potential hurdles against the opportunities leads to the conclusion that bitcoin is at a tipping point and we could be at the start of massive transformation of cryptocurrency into the mainstream.

In addition, Citibank also suggested that bitcoin could ultimately serve as the primary form of currency for international trade between countries.

By contrast, the words and comments from Citibank are potentially being countered by the likes of China and its Inner Mongolia region, which is famous for the heavy amounts of crypto mining that occur there and its low electricity prices. Recently, the area said that it was looking to ban all crypto mining within the next month, and that all present operations will cease by mid-April.

Too Much Expended Energy!

The goal is to limit high-energy projects within China and reduce environmental strain. In a recent draft of the bill working to reduce energy costs, the following is written:

[Inner Mongolia] will tighten its energy control measures and bear the targets throughout all economic and social aspects.

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NY’s Letitia James: You Must Be Very Careful Investing in Crypto

New York attorney general Letitia James has issued a statement to all residents of New York warning them that cryptocurrencies are risky, and that they should think twice before investing in them.

Letitia James Warns Against Crypto Usage

In the statement, she also takes aim at all cryptocurrency businesses, claiming that if they do not follow the rules set forth by New York and the rest of the country, they are likely to face serious monetary and legal consequences. This is no doubt a nod to the recent court battle James faced with the likes of Tether and Bitfinex; a case that was ultimately settled and has barred both companies from ever doing business in New York again.

James mentions:

Too often, greedy industry players take unnecessary risks with investors’ money, but today, we’re leveling the playing field and issuing alerts to both investors and industry members across the nation. All investors should proceed with extreme caution when investing in virtual currencies. Cryptocurrencies are high-risk, unstable investments that can result in devastating losses just as quickly as they can provide gains… We will not hesitate to take action against anyone who violates the law.

Cryptocurrencies, despite having legions of loyal fans and users across the board, continue to face scrutiny in recent months and years given how vulnerable to price fluctuations they can be. These swings have often caused several traders to lose most or all their crypto savings within specific periods, as we saw in the year 2018 when bitcoin fell apart.

In addition, the space is often fraught with fraud and other illicit activity that causes losses and poses serious threats to users.

James recently “won” her legal standing against both Tether and Bitfinex within the Big Apple. While the case reached a settlement and was never placed in a judge’s hands, both entities will be forced to pay as much as $18.5 million in legal fees and can no longer administer their services to residents of the state.

Both firms have been accused in the past of hiding losses that amount to a whopping $850 million. Furthermore, James has accused Tether of lying to investors about how much money it had in its reserve accounts and about the status of its stable currency, which is allegedly backed by USD. James has stated that at the time the suit began, Tether had no USD in its bank reserves and thus the stable currency it had established wasn’t so stable.

Tether Feels the Same Way

Neither Tether nor Bitfinex has admitted to any wrongdoing, though the former has issued a formal statement explaining:

We share the attorney general’s goal of increasing transparency. Contrary to online speculation, after two and a half years, there was no finding that Tether ever issued tethers without backing or to manipulate crypto prices.

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