Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.
Top Stories This Week
Bitcoin’s price seems to have stalled below $60,000 after surging to all-time highs earlier in March. But on the bright side, Friday’s $6-billion expiration of options — a record-breaking sum — didn’t deliver the slump that some were dreading.
The ever-optimistic PlanB says that we are “nowhere near the end” of the bull run, tweeting: “Bitcoin is just getting started.”
YouTuber and derivatives trader Tone Vays also believes the best is yet to come, telling Cointelegraph: “While it is still possible for Bitcoin to make a lower low for the month in the $48,000 range, I believe we will go up to above $70,000 before June.”
In recent days, BTC plunged to depths of $51,212.85 — the lowest price seen in two weeks. Soon afterward, Michaël van de Poppe warned that BTC needed to regain the $53,200–$53,800 area to revive bullish momentum in the near term, or else more downside was possible. So far this weekend, that threat appears to have been averted.
With tech stocks also taking a hammering at certain points this week, even Elon Musk’s announcement that Tesla now accepts Bitcoin from U.S. customers only delivered a temporary boost to BTC’s price.
The billionaire CEO and “Technoking” said that the electric vehicle manufacturer would hold on to the Bitcoin it accumulates through sales rather than convert it into fiat. He also confirmed that support for crypto payments would be rolled out internationally later this year.
Tesla’s decision to shun “fork products” such as Bitcoin Cash proved calamitous for BCH, which tumbled to new all-time lows against BTC.
But some experts have warned that snapping up a Tesla using crypto might not be a smart move… for now, at least. Ark Invest founder Cathie Wood has urged investors not to use their BTC for purchases until the Internal Revenue Service introduces some more sensible tax policies on crypto assets.
The U.S. currently regards Bitcoin as property rather than currency. This means that irrespective of whether you sell BTC for profit or use it to buy a shiny car, it’s considered to be a taxable event.
It’s now time for our whistle-stop tour of NFT news. You ready? Here goes.
First up, a New York Times reporter got a pleasant surprise when he decided to try and auction off one of his articles as an NFT. Just one day later, it sold for 350 ETH (worth almost $600,000 as of Saturday) — with the proceeds going to charity.
Another big sale came when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold a tokenized representation of his first-ever tweet for more than $2.9 million, also for good causes.
Data from Google Trends suggests that interest in nonfungible tokens has now surged to levels last seen during the ICO craze of 2017. Lego also dropped a hint that it may be getting involved in this flourishing sector after writing a cryptic tweet that said: “Zeros and ones but still a brick.”
Inevitably though, it wasn’t all good news. SEC commissioner Hester Peirce — also known as “Crypto Mom” — has warned that selling fractionalized NFTs could end up breaking the law as this could result in the creation of an investment product.
The crypto-powered esports streaming app Theta announced this week that it was delaying the launch of mainnet 3.0 until June.
In an announcement, the company said that it is still working “to incorporate some building blocks” for a nonfungible token marketplace. This is one of the reasons why a “more thorough code review and testing is required,” prompting the expected launch date to be pushed back from April 21 to June 30.
The network added: “While delays are never ideal, we think this change is the prudent way forward to ensuring a successful mainnet 3.0 launch.”
Investors in Theta took a dim view of the announcement. The token had hit all-time highs of $14.99 on Wednesday, but it fell by more than 25% in the 24 hours that followed.
Forget Tesla CEO — Elon Musk has been promoted. According to a new SEC filing, the billionaire should now be referred to as “Technoking of Tesla.”
His chief financial officer, Zach Kirkhorn, has also been given a promotion… to “Master of Coin.” Both men are going to retain their respective positions.
Musk has reason to celebrate, with figures suggesting that Tesla has been sitting on close to $19 million in unrealized profit per day since announcing its $1.5-billion Bitcoin purchase. This almost eclipses the $721 million in profit it made from selling 500,000 cars in 2020.
The billionaire also waded into the trendy world of nonfungible tokens this week when he announced he was planning to sell a musical NFT, with lyrics based on the hype surrounding the technology — “It’s verified, it’s guaranteed.” Very catchy.
Despite bids exceeding $1.1 million on the Valuables platform, Musk later took his ball home, tweeting: “Actually, doesn’t feel quite right selling this. Will pass.”
What a shame.
Announcement of the week
It’s now been a month since Cointelegraph Markets Pro launched — bringing professional crypto market intelligence to every investor.
New figures this week showed that 41 of the 42 trading strategies tested by Markets Pro are currently beating Bitcoin’s investment returns, and 36 of them are winning against an evenly weighted basket of the top 100 altcoins.
Two key features are offered to subscribers. The first is the VORTECS™ Score, which is derived from an algorithm that examines multiple different variables (including sentiment, tweet volume, price volatility and trading volume) and compares those with historically similar marketscapes.
And the second is NewsQuakes™: alerts on events that have historically had a significant impact on an asset’s price over the following 24 hours.
Cointelegraph Markets Pro is available exclusively to subscribers on a monthly basis at $99 per month, or annually with two free months included.
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $55,261.18, Ether at $1,705.62 and XRP at $0.56. The total market cap is at $1,739,387,070,168.
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Dent, Ankr and AscendEX. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Avalanche, SushiSwap and Ren.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
Most Memorable Quotations
“By banning crypto, India will end up with the lowest reserve of the most important currency the world has ever seen.”
Raj Chowdhury, HashCash CEO
“Don’t try to act like Saylor won’t take profits eventually, cause he will along with every other fund on the planet. Then they’ll buy back lower.”
Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy CEO
“I think that it would be very likely that you will have [Bitcoin], under a certain set of circumstances, outlawed the way gold was outlawed.”
Ray Dalio, hedge fund founder
“I’m not a big fan myself of encouraging or asking or wanting us to participate in the issuing of currency.”
Brad Smith, Microsoft president
“There is little social value in helping Elon Musk earn yet another $1 million.”
Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum co-founder
“You made me a ton of money.”
Jim Cramer, CNBC host
Prediction of the Week
Bloomberg Intelligence senior commodity strategist Mike McGlone believes 2021 marks a watershed moment for the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.
He says BTC is “well on its way to becoming a global digital reserve asset” and it may be transitioning toward a risk-off asset.
Based on previous behavior, his analysis suggests that prices could peak at $400,000 this year. That eclipses other estimates such as the stock-to-flow model, which calls for an average of $288,000 between now and 2024.
FUD of the Week
Microsoft president Brad Smith has said fintech firms have no business issuing private digital currencies, arguing that money matters should be left to central banks and governments.
Speaking at an online conference organized by the Bank for International Settlements, he said: “I am not a big fan myself of encouraging or asking or wanting us [tech firms] to participate in the issuing of currency.”
The remarks put Microsoft at odds with Facebook, which is continuing to pursue the launch of its Diem stablecoin project. Formerly known as Libra, the project sparked fierce criticism from financial regulators — with many of them warning the digital asset could pose significant risks to the global economy.
An Instagram influencer has been charged with wire fraud after he allegedly scammed followers out of Bitcoin worth $2.5 million.
Jay Mazini — who had close to 1 million followers and was known for “cash giveaways” — is accused of promising victims that he would buy Bitcoin off them at inflated prices. But it’s claimed that, when the crypto was sent, he didn’t transfer the funds as promised.
An FBI official said: “A quick search of the interwebs today will reveal an entirely different image of this multi-million-dollar scammer.”
Mazini is currently being held on state charges in New Jersey and will face New York courts at a later date. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment.
And we end with a sorry tale that suggests Bitcoin has caused a break-up.
A man on Reddit claims his wife left him after he refused to sell his Bitcoin when prices hit $60,000 — and loaded up on more during the recent dip.
The user, u/Parking_Meater, said his wife packed her bags and has now gone to live with her sister.
He wrote: “She super mad that I didn’t sell at 60k and looks at the price often scolding me. I keep telling her we don’t need the money and have the cash. We live nice. However today she caught me buying the dip and was so pissed she almost hit me!”
Best Cointelegraph Features
While it could be a good sign for the industry if Microsoft accepts Bitcoin for its Xbox Games Store, Shiraz Jagati argues it is unlikely to have a major impact.
How has the Bitcoin bull run changed crypto media?
The upcoming Berlin update contains EIPs aimed at reducing transaction costs, but it may not provide a long-term solution.
Raise a PINT to Polkadot’s new index token: Six top projects sign up
The source code for the upcoming Polkadot Index Network Token, or PINT, has been made public, with half a dozen projects putting their hand up to be included in the index.
The project has outlined a four-phase roadmap that it expects to culminate in mainnet launch within three months.
According to an April 14 announcement, six of Polkadot’s leading projects have already given “soft commitments” for inclusion in the index, including Acala Network, Equilibrium, HydraDX, Litentry, Moonbeam, and Plasm.
The PINT token seeks to offer investors balanced exposure to the emerging Polkadot ecosystem, hedging the volatility of individual projects against the broader performance of the sector. PINT will be available for trade on decentralized exchanges in future, and can be directly minted using DOT.
PINT’s developers are hoping to see the index adopted as a “treasury reserve asset” across the Polkadot ecosystem, offering an alternative to exclusively holding native tokens as treasury reserve without the complexities associated with active treasury management.
A council will be tasked with governing the token’s index, and a ‘Constituent Committee’ formed with representatives from each project included in the index. The six index hopefuls have committed to joining it.
The PINT Council will govern all aspects of the index and oversee a native treasury that is partially financed by collecting fees from staked assets contained within the index. However the Constituent Committee will have veto powers on the Council’s decisions.
The index is a collaborative effort between staking service provider, Stateless Money, and blockchain development team ChainSafe. Stateless Money will coordinate the project, while ChainSafe will serve as its primary development partner. Cross-chain DeFi DAO, StakerDAO, also voted in favor of PINT’s creation using treasury funds, and will receive a share of the fees generated by the index.
$420M in leveraged long traders liquidated after XRP rallies to $1.96
XRP holders couldn’t have asked for a better year as the cryptocurrency rallied almost 800% and flirted with a $2 level in the early hours of April 14.
In addition to achieving its highest level since January 2018, this robust price increase signals that investors are not worried about the ongoing SEC “unregistered securities offering” dispute.
However, just 6 hours after rallying to $1.96, XRP price crashed by more than 20%. During an interview, DCG Group CEO Barry Silbert said it would be risky for exchanges and companies in the United States to relist XRP ahead of receiving the SEC’s blessing. These remarks may have contributed to the unprecedented $420 million long liquidations on derivatives exchanges today.
Over the past couple of weeks, the primary catalysts for XRP’s rally have been victories in Ripple’s legal battles. Lawyers representing Ripple were granted access to internal SEC discussions regarding cryptocurrencies, and more recently, a court denied the disclosure of two Ripple executives’ financial records, including CEO Brad Garlinghouse.
Considering the recent rally, pinpointing a single reason for the price correction will likely be inaccurate. Nevertheless, the impressive $420 million long liquidations past 24-hours exceed those of Feb. 1 when XRP price crashed by 46% in two hours.
The only logical reason behind this staggering liquidation is excessive leverage used by buyers. To confirm such a thesis, one must analyze the perpetual contracts funding rate. To balance their risks, exchanges will charge either longs or shorts depending on how much leverage each side is demanding.
The chart above shows that the 8-hour funding rate is surpassing 0.25%, which is equivalent to 5.4% per week. Although this is excessive, buyers will withstand these fees during strong price rallies. For example, the current upward price move lasted for almost three weeks, and prior to that another took place in early February.
Blaming the liquidations exclusively on leverage seems a bit extreme, although it certainly played its part in amplifying today’s correction.
Moreover, the record growth in XRP futures open interest was accompanied by a hike in the volume at spot exchanges. As a result, the eventual impact from more significant liquidations should have been absorbed by the increased liquidity.
Cascading liquidations will always take place in volatile markets. Thus investors should focus on how long it takes until the price recovers from it.
Fundamentally, a 10% or 20% intraday drop should not be interpreted differently. The correction depends on how many bids were previously stacked at exchange orderbooks and is not directly related to investors’ bullish or bearish sentiment.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Garry Tan’s 2013 investment of $300K in Coinbase is now worth $2.4B
Garry Tan, a prominent angel investor and the founder of Initialized Capital, was one of the first investors to provide seed funding to Coinbase eight years ago.
Less than a decade later, and after today’s highly anticipated Nasdaq listing for Coinbase’s COIN stock, Tan’s 2013 investment of $300,000 into Coinbase is now worth $2.4 billion.
Coinbase debuted on the Nasdaq on April 14 at $381 per share, making it one of the most hyped listings in the U.S. stock market of the year.
How did $300,000 become $2.4 billion?
In 2013, when Tan invested in Coinbase, it was unclear whether Bitcoin would be recognized as a global asset and an established store of value.
At the time, there were not many reputable exchanges, and the few that existed were often hacked. Tan’s investment took place before the monumental Mt. Gox hack that saw billions of dollars worth of BTC stolen.
Even after launch, Coinbase was not always in an uptrend. According to Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, from 2014 to 2017 the company faced numerous hardships.
“Over time, crypto grew, and so did the company. A simple #Bitcoin wallet evolved into individual and institutional products to support a blossoming cryptoeconomy. 2 nerds who met on the internet (yes, @brian_armstrong and I met on @reddit ) turned into a company of 1000+. There was serious hardship. In the 3 years between 2014 and 2017, the outside world thought crypto was dead. Over a third of employees left. Yet crypto kept building. @ethereum came on the scene and showed that crypto native applications were possible, opening up a whole new world of possibilities.”
Even if the listing fails to impress, Coinbase has alluring financials
Coinbase is the first publicly listed major cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. stock market and its availability on Nasdaq now provides mainstream investors with exposure to the crypto sector. Even if the listing fails to impress on day one, the company still has strong financials and user metrics.
1) Today, an exchange will list an exchange.
One of them:
–lists innovative assets
–allows users to onboard
–has a mobile app, website, and API
–made $1b last quarter
The other one is NASDAQ.
— SBF (@SBF_Alameda) April 14, 2021
Coinbase made $1 billion in the last quarter and has more users than every financial institution in the U.S. apart from JPMorgan, making it a highly compelling trade for investors in the traditional financial market.
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