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Crypto is going public: Timing is key as Bakkt secures NYSE listing

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Digital assets marketplace Bakkt is set to go public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021, which could pave the way for more cryptocurrency service providers to follow suit. The Intercontinental Exchange announced on Jan. 11 that its cryptocurrency marketplace Bakkt would soon be listed on the NYSE public stock market. This will be done through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings.

The shell company will be used to merge with Bakkt in order for it to be listed on the stock market without having to undertake an initial public offering. Initial reports suggest that Bakkt will be valued at over $2 billion after the merger, and the exchange intends to raise a further $532 million to bankroll the ongoing development of its application, a wallet and rewards app targeting retail users, which is expected to be launched in March.

The company has indicated that the merger is expected to be wrapped up in the second quarter of 2021. This will then see the newly formed Bakkt Holdings Inc. listed on the NYSE.

A lot has been made of the investor presentation that was submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The document outlines the potential for the cryptocurrency market to be valued at $3 billion by 2025, underpinning the potential value of the space in the coming years. The total cryptocurrency market capitalization topped $1 trillion for the first time in January 2021.

Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael told Cointelegraph that the merger makes sense, given the amount of capital that has already flowed into the cryptocurrency space and the potential growth it predicts over the next three years:

“Bakkt and VPC believe there is enormous potential in building a marketplace for the nearly $2T of digital assets that exist today and the many others that will be created because a marketplace such as this exists for both brands and consumers.”

Michael added that the merger will give Bakkt access to the necessary capital to expand and provide more opportunities for consumers to unlock trillions of dollars held across various digital assets. The company also expects to benefit from the brand recognition that will come from becoming a publicly-traded company.

A sign of things to come?

Mati Greenspan, crypto analyst and founder of advisory firm Quantum Economics, told Cointelegraph that the timing of the merger and Bakkt’s decision to go public is not surprising, given that the cryptocurrency markets are currently booming.

Noting that the move will no doubt be lucrative for Bakkt, Greenspan also agreed that the push to go public is an indication that the traditional finance sector is beginning to recognize cryptocurrency and blockchain-focused businesses as mature and valuable: “It’s a reflection of where these companies are in their life cycle and how it coincides with the readiness of the traditional market to accept them.”

While some major institutional investors like MicroStrategy have made waves across the industry with their billion-dollar purchases of Bitcoin (BTC) in recent months, Greenspan highlighted the efficacy of diversifying investment in the space. While holding cryptocurrencies is a direct way to gain exposure to the ecosystem, Greenspan said investing in the right companies could potentially be more beneficial:

“There is a natural appetite for all investors to be as diverse as possible. Just as one whose portfolio consists of gold would also invest in mining stocks or an oil tycoon would invest within their own industry. Many times investing in a company directly can be more lucrative than buying a token whose value may be unknown.”

Joel Edgerton, chief operating officer of U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer, told Cointelegraph that the timing of the initial public offering was opportune, given the current market highs and a strong interest in cryptocurrencies. He also offered an alternative stance on the reasons behind the ongoing surge, suggesting that small investors and independent firms are driving the cryptocurrency boom: “Coinbase and Bakkt are taking advantage of the IPO window to allow their investors an exit event and use the subsequent publicity of their early moves to strengthen their brands.”

Edgerton also believes in the propensity of smart investors to fund companies involved in the cryptocurrency space without actually buying BTC or other altcoins. The lack of options to gain widespread exposure to cryptocurrency also plays a role:

“There is a definite appetite for investors to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency space by investing in crypto companies, while not directly holding cryptocurrency assets. […] Purchasing shares and indirectly profiting from the growth in the industry is definitely attractive. Since there is still no easy-to-purchase ETF or mutual fund for crypto, then crypto companies become a proxy cryptocurrency investment.”

Ben Caselin, head of research and strategy for digital asset exchange AAX, told Cointelegraph that Bakkt’s move does not necessarily reflect recognition from the wider financial industry. In contrast to the sentiments of Greenspan and Edgerton, Caselin also highlighted the fact that shareholders of Bakkt, when it is finally publicly traded, will be banking on the assumption that the exchange is successful in the future. While this is intrinsically tied into the cryptocurrency markets, Caselin draws a clear line between investing directly into cryptocurrencies and exchanges:

“It’s important to understand that investing in a cryptocurrency exchange is not a replacement for holding actual digital assets or trading futures. It is, in principle, a way to gain exposure to the wider industry, but more specifically, holding Coinbase or shares in Bakkt rests on the assumption that this particular exchange will fare well in the years to come.”

IPO’s and mega deals

The likes of Bakkt and Coinbase have seemingly gained a headstart in the race to access public funding and publicity as they look to build on their current offerings. Despite Bitcoin hitting new all-time highs on separate occasions in recent weeks, Edgerton believes that the space is still in its youth, and investment from the wider public will become a key driver of growth over the next decade: “IPOs are obviously a major source of funding, and a successful IPO should also encourage VCs to invest in the next major crypto unicorn.”

Related: Coinbase IPO to further legitimize crypto, but limitations remain

Greenspan also sees more billion-dollar deals on the horizon for the cryptocurrency space, while suggesting that some of these might just be done using the nascent technology powering the future of finance: “As the industry grows, there will be many more crypto-related mega-deals. Perhaps one day soon, all IPOs, acquisitions and mergers will happen using distributed ledger technology.”

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/crypto-is-going-public-timing-is-key-as-bakkt-secures-nyse-listing

Blockchain

Bitcoin Exchange Outflow Continues as On-Chain Support Settles at $47K

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On-chain analytics provider, Glassnode, has revealed that there is solid support at the $47,000 level for Bitcoin. It came to this conclusion in its latest ‘Week on Chain’ report using analysis from chart guru Willy Woo and data scientist Rafael Schultze-Kraft (@n3ocortex).

It added that Woo noted a significant volume of BTC was transacted on-chain around $45,000, forming an on-chain support level late last week.

Schultze-Kraft highlighted that this support level has actually strengthened to rest above $46.6k, with 1.2 million BTC, or 6.5% of circulating supply, transacting in this zone.

Is BTC Accumulation Increasing?

Glassnode pointed out that the patterns suggest an increase in accumulation interest at these levels:

“When a large volume of coins move on-chain and an on-chain support level holds, it suggests that there is significant accumulation interest and buyers see it as a ‘value’ entry point.”

However, it also noted that should price fall below this support level, it would become a level where overhead supply may form equally strong resistance.

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Using the UTXO Realized Price Distribution metric, which shows which prices the current set of Bitcoin unspent transaction outputs were created, the on-chain support level at $47k is the largest since prices were $11k, it added.

“This range now represents one of the largest on-chain BTC accumulation levels in history, certainly the largest since the last cycle’s $20k ATH was breached.”

The balance of Bitcoin on exchanges also continues to decline which could indicate readying to sell or hodling in cold wallets. The report added that throughout February the rate of miner sales was declining, whereas today, it is almost net neutral meaning that miners could be accumulating also.

Bitcoin Price Update

At the time of press, Bitcoin was changing hands for $54,150 according to Tradingview which has reported a 24 hour gain of almost 7%.

It is the highest the asset has traded since Feb. 22 when it was falling back from the all-time high of $58,250 the previous day. Bitcoin is currently facing resistance here and needs to break above $55,900 to make a move towards a new ATH.

On the downside, support can be found in the $48,000 region however BTC is currently in the process of forming its fifth green candle in a row so the bulls are running the show at the moment.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-exchange-outflow-continues-as-on-chain-support-settles-at-47k/

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Blockchain

Coinbase is Valued at $100 Billion Before Direct Listing on the Nasdaq

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Coinbase has yet to go public, and the markets are already on fire in anticipation of the most awaited direct listing in the cryptocurrency world and the what will be the first major listing ever recorded on the Nasdaq.

An independent valuation based on the price of its shares in private markets determined that Coinbase has a potential valuation of between $90 billion and $100 billion before its direct listing.

During its Pre-Listing Days, Coinbase Went Up

According to activity in late February, this price would far exceed a previous valuation of $77 billion. At the time, confidential sources told Coindek that as the “big day” approached, speculators were bidding higher and higher on the stock.

“The third weekly transaction closed on Friday and the clearing price was $303 a share. The first week it was 200 bucks a share, the second week it was $301 a share, and the third week it was $303 a share. So you can kind of see price discovery happening.”

Bloomberg reported that, during the last day of private trading before the direct listing, investors traded Coinbase stocks at a range between $350 to $375, which would raise Coinbase’s valuation by as much as 33% in a matter of weeks, and over 300% higher than what analysts expected for its IPO (priced at just $28 million).

Before going public, credited investors could trade Coinbase shares on the Nasdaq Private Market, a restricted market with low volume and high volatility, where a limited number of participants can speculate on the price of some shares of companies that are not yet publicly traded.

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The numbers, however, do add up to its expected performance. After registering a bad year during the bear period of the crypto markets back in 2018, Coinbase grew to become the colossus it is today.

A Small Step for a Crypto Exchange, a Giant Leap for the Crypto Industry

Due to its characteristics, the private market is not necessarily an accurate indicator to determine what will happen when Coinbase becomes publicly available; however, it is an excellent reference to see what the markets expect to happen… And the future looks promising.

And we’re not just talking about Coinbase, but almost the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem. Coinbase going public is one of the most significant supports for the crypto industry in recent times.

The United States is one of the countries with the highest volume of exchange trading, has one of the world’s largest GDPs, concentrates a significant number of cryptocurrency startups, and yet is known for having strict laws when it comes to digital assets.

A stock exchange listing could provide an additional layer of legitimacy in the eyes of potential new users, stimulating the growth of its customer base. This would simply accelerate a trend that has been growing over time, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 market crisis.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/coinbase-valuation-100-billion-usd-before-direct-listing-nasdaq/

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Bitcoin price cracks major resistance as analyst eyes $70K ‘destiny’

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Bitcoin (BTC) tackled pivotal $52,000 resistance overnight on March 9 to come within 6% of historical all-time highs.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: Tradingview

BTC price hits 2-week highs

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and Tradingview showed BTC/USD hitting local highs of $54,500 on Tuesday.

The latest attempt to break out of its sideways trading corridor, the move was still consolidating at the time of writing. Amid heavy volatility, a retracement on the day targeted $53,500 — still above crucial resistance.

As Cointelegraph reported, analysts were eyeing $52,000 as a line in the sand for securing the next stage of the Bitcoin bull run.

While the weekend produced healthy upside, Bitcoin had still to cement even $50,000 as strong support as the week’s trading began.

On the back of 24-hour gains topping 8%, however, the picture on Tuesday was fast improving, after evidence showed that $47,000 had become conspicuously strong support.

“Bitcoin jumps >$54k aided by more signs of institutional interest in the largest cryptocurrency,” markets commentator and contributor to German news daily Die Welt, Holger Zschaepitz, summarized to Twitter followers.

“Institutional interest sets the latest bull run apart from 2017’s retail-driven surge, Goldman says. Much of the institutional demand has been driven by fears around asset devaluation.”

Zschaepitz was referencing findings from Goldman Sachs, which among other things also revealed that 40% of its own clients already have exposure to cryptocurrencies.

Analyst on $70,000 Bitcoin: “Destiny awaits”

The institutional picture became even more bullish on Monday after one of Norway’s richest people launched a Bitcoin-focused spin-off firm using BTC as its sole treasury asset.

“Bit­coin can be ver­i­fied, di­vid­ed, re-as­sem­bled, stored, and trans­port­ed at vir­tu­al­ly no cost. It’s the per­fect scarce digi­tal as­set. By de­sign,” Kjell Inge Røkke wrote in a widely-circulated shareholder letter.

“All that’s re­quired to keep the net­work run­ning, is al­lo­cat­ing the cheap­est elec­tric­i­ty in the world. Elec­tric­i­ty se­cures the net­work. No trust­ed par­ties or peo­ple with guns are need­ed. I call that progress.”

Elsewhere, hodlers were watching a bullish setup unfold in Bitcoin’s daily moving average convergence/ divergence (MACD) indicator, which on Monday was primed to repeat behavior which previously resulted in February’s march to $58,300 record highs.

BTC/USD 1-day candle chart (Bitstamp) with Fibonacci levels. Source: filbfilb

“Destiny awaits,” Cointelegraph Markets analyst filbfilb added in an update to Telegram channel subscribers, highlighting a target area of $70,000 and higher using Fibonacci levels.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-price-cracks-major-resistance-as-analyst-eyes-70k-destiny

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