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First Mover: Biden’s $1.9T Plan Shows ‘Blue Wave’ Bitcoiners Saw Coming

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(EDITOR’S NOTE: First Mover will not publish Monday, Jan. 18, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the U.S., a CoinDesk company holiday. The cryptocurrency market will be open, as it always is.) 

Bitcoin (BTC) was lower, trading around the $38,000 level where prices have gravitated for the past week.  

The market faces price resistance around $41,000, with support seen around $34,000, Mark Warner, head of trading for London-based BCB Group, a financial firm focused on digital assets, said in comments emailed by a spokeswoman. 

“A move above $42,000 will likely see a resumption of the heady gains we saw last week,” Warner said. Prices are up 29% so far in 2021, versus a 0.4% year-to-date loss for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of large U.S. stocks. 

In traditional markets, Asian and European shares fell and U.S. stock futures pointed lower on Friday, as anticipation of President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief proposal, rolled out late Thursday, yielded to sober assessments of the state of the economy. Gold was little changed at $1,847 an ounce. 

Market moves

First Mover wrote last October how a “blue wave” in then-upcoming U.S. elections – full control of the government by Joe Biden’s Democratic Party – could lead to trillions of dollars of new government spending on coronavirus relief and economic stimulus. 

That wave has arrived, in the form of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus-relief package proposed late Thursday by U.S. President-elect Biden. And some Wall Street analysts are now wondering openly if the economy and markets are becoming hooked on stimulus. 

“The market is back to an expectation that more fiscal stimulus is all but inevitable,” Ed Mills, of the stock-brokerage firm Raymond James, wrote early Friday in a note to clients.  

Cryptocurrency investors could jump straight to the implication: The Federal Reserve might need to print trillions of new dollars to help finance any extra borrowing by the U.S. Treasury Department. That in turn could spur more demand for bitcoin, seen by a growing number of investors as a hedge against inflation. 

“Stimulus targets could steadily increase on any setbacks with the coronavirus pandemic, and that has been one of the fundamental reasons why many continue to pile into bitcoin,” Edward Moya, a New York-based senior market analyst for the London-based foreign-exchange broker Oanda, wrote in an emailed note.  

Biden’s proposal, announced in a speech, earmarks $1 trillion for families and individuals and more than $400 billion to combat the pandemic directly, including money to accelerate vaccine deployment and safely reopen schools, according to the New York Times. There’s also $350 billion of aid for state and local governments.

Democrats, set to become the majority party in both chambers of Congress, might use a “budget reconciliation” process to push the legislation through with a simple majority of votes, according to Mills at Raymond James. 

“We would note that it would not prevent them from a second reconciliation package later this year,” Mills wrote. 

During the 2020 fiscal year that ended in September, the U.S. budget deficit hit a record $3.1 trillion, swollen from government relief packages signed by President Donald Trump as the coronavirus-related lockdowns devastated the economy.

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for the forecasting firm Pantheon, predicts the U.S. budget deficit could reach $4 trillion during the current fiscal year. 

With the economy now suffering from the recent uptick in coronavirus-related cases and a vaccine rollout still months away, fiscal discipline looks unlikely. A government report Thursday revealed a bigger-then-expected increase in weekly unemployment claims to 965,000, the highest since August. The past year’s shift toward remote working represents another potential source of widespread dislocation. 

Not to fear. As Scott Anderson, chief economist at San Francisco-based Bank of the West, a unit of the giant French bank BNP Paribas, told clients Thursday: “While the latest jobless claims report is sobering, the $900 billion coronavirus aid package recently passed and the promise of more fiscal aid coming shortly from the Biden administration should deliver some much-needed support to the unemployed and businesses in the current quarter until service-sector businesses are allowed to reopen as more Americans receive the vaccine.”  

The U.S. government’s public debt, which stood at about $5.7 trillion in 2000, is now hurtling toward $30 trillion.
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The U.S. national public debt stands at an already-elevated $27.7 trillion, and analysts say the Fed would likely have to help finance any extra goverment borrowings with more purchases of Treasury bonds, once considered an emergency measure. 

“Taxes will go up, but they are unlikely to rise by what could be an incremental $4 trillion in one year,” Dick Bove, a longtime bank analyst who now works for the brokerage firm Odeon, told clients Thursday. “Thus, the Fed must step in. This can cause the dollar to decline meaningfully, inflation to rise and interest rates to become a problem. It is a worrisome situation that a President Biden may be unable to control.”

Earlier this week, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan, who sits on the U.S. central bank’s monetary-policy committee, suggested that officials later this year might consider whether to taper their ongoing $120 billion-a-month of bond purchases, initially implemented as an emergency measure.  

But the drama was short-lived, with Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday squashing speculation of an imminent tapering. “Now is not the time,” he said during a virtual discussion

Bank of America estimates the Fed’s balance sheet will end 2021 at $8.8 trillion, up from about $7.4 trillion as of Wednesday. Before the pandemic hit at the start of 2020, the level was $4.2 trillion

But even those estimates might be subject to change. 

“Depending on the extent of U.S. fiscal expansion and deficits in coming years, there is a risk the Fed might not be able to withdraw themselves completely from the U.S. Treasury market for fear of disorderly market conditions,” Bank of America’s economists wrote this week. 

The upshot for crypto traders and investors? If bitcoin is a hedge against Federal Reserve money printing, the use case doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.  

– Bradley Keoun

Bitcoin watch

Bitcoin’s two-day rally has stalled as the U.S. dollar gains ground in the wake of President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion fiscal-stimulus proposal.

The cryptocurrency was changing hands around $39,600 when Biden spoke at around 00:15 coordinated universal time (UTC), and prices have since traded down to about $38,000, based on CoinDesk 20 pricing.

The pullback marks a weak follow-through to the two-day rise, which saw prices revisit $40,000 resistance. The lack of a bullish response by the bitcoin market is perhaps surprising, given that fiscal and monetary stimulus is seen as inflationary, and bitcoin is seen by a growing number of investors as a store of value.

The strength of the U.S. dollar against major currencies could be playing spoilsport, with the greenback gaining in foreign-exchange markets early Friday. Over the past year, bitcoin prices have shown an increasingly negative correlation with the U.S. dollar, meaning they typically move in opposite directions.

– Omkar Godbole

Read More: Biden’s $1.9T Relief Package Proposal Fails to Stir Bitcoin Market

What’s hot

Paxos teams up with Chainlink in fresh push to make its asset-backed tokens paxos standard (PAX) and paxos gold (PAXG) more widely available across DeFi (CoinDesk

Some Asian traders are using Polkadot to predict bitcoin’s future (CoinDesk

Fed Chair Jerome Powell sees “years rather than months” before digital dollar is released (CoinDesk)

Grayscale raises $3.3B in 4Q 2020, most ever (CoinDesk), adds 2K+ BTC to reserves in first day back after three-week pause on new investment; reserves addition is 2.4x number of new bitcoins minted by the blockchain (Decrypt) (EDITOR’S NOTE: Grayscale is owned by Digital Currency Group, which also owns CoinDesk.) 

Trading in the BTCEetc Bitcoin Exchange Traded Crypto (BTCE) on Germany’s Deutsche Borse has climbed to levels typically only seen in the most popular European ETFs (FT

Lido Protocol, a new DeFi and staking protcol, lets users stake ether in Ethereum 2.0 while receiving “tokenized staked ether” of a similar value (CoinDesk)  

Bahamas-based Deltec, bank to Tether, says it invests customer funds in bitcoin, renewing questions on whether the USDT dollar-linked stablecoin might be backed by bitcoin (CoinDesk

Galaxy Digital launches proprietary mining, miner financial services (CoinDesk

Some analysts (and data) cast doubt on narrative that bitcoin miners were responsible for recent price dips (CoinDesk

Analogs

The latest on the economy and traditional finance

Jobless claims surge more than expected to 965K, highest weekly total since August (CNBC

Retail arm of Thailand’s state-owned energy giant PTT plans initial public stock offering with fund-raising goal of 54B baht ($1.8B), potentially sign of booming year (Nikkei Asia Review)

Australian fintech firm AfterPay becomes 13th largest stock by market cap on ASX following coronavirus pandemic (Australian Financial Review)

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Disclosure

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/first-mover-biden-plan-shows-blue-wave-bitcoin

Blockchain

Circle K to Host Bitcoin ATMs Across its Convenience Stores

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Major bitcoin ATM operator Bitcoin Depot has inked a long-term partnership deal with convenience store chain Circle K to install Bitcoin kiosks in the United States and Canada.

Bitcoin Depot and Circle K Partner to Install Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin Depot announced the deal via a press release on Thursday (July 22, 2021). According to the company, there are more than 700 Bitcoin ATMs already installed in Circle K locations in 30 states across the U.S.

The partnership provides individuals with a more convenient way to purchase bitcoin, thereby encouraging widespread adoption of the flagship cryptocurrency. Bitcoin Depot already has over 3000 BTC ATM kiosks located in almost every state in the U.S. and also allows users to buy more than 30 cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, and LTC.

Speaking on the latest development, Brandon Mintz, CEO of Bitcoin Depot, said that the partnership deal with Circle K enables the crypto ATM company to expand its services internationally. Mintz also said that the installation of the Bitcoin ATMs would grow the number of customers visiting the convenience store chain while providing financial access to “underserved communities.”

Circle K’s Senior Vice President Global Merchandise and Procurement, Denny Tewell, also made a statement, saying:


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“At Circle K, we are passionate about making our customers’ lives a little easier every day, and we are continually looking at ways to enhance their experience in our stores and be their favorite shop for a growing range of needs and occasions.”

Tewell  added:

“Our partnership with Bitcoin Depot further builds on this commitment, giving our brand an important, early presence in the fast-growing cryptocurrency marketplace as a convenient destination where customers can buy Bitcoin.”

Bitcoin ATMs Continue Exponential Growth

The growth of crypto ATMs globally signals an increasing demand for bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets. According to data from Coin ATM Radar, there are currently 23,915 crypto ATMs in 75 countries, up from 11,665 ATMs recorded in November 2020. This shows that the number of machines has more than doubled in eight months.

Statistics further show that the United States continues to lead with over 21,000 Bitcoin ATM locations, controlling more than 86% of the market. Canada comes second with BTC ATMs installations in 1696 locations, amounting to 6.8% of the world total.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/circle-k-to-host-bitcoin-atms-across-its-convenience-stores/

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Blockchain

Jack Dorsey Sees Bitcoin as a Big Part of Twitter’s Future

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Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter – one of the largest social media platforms on Earth – said that Bitcoin will be a big part of the company’s future.

  • Yesterday, July 22nd, Twitter published its Q2 2021 letter to shareholders, as well as its Q2 Earnings Conference Call.
  • During the call, Jack Dorsey discussed many things, but Bitcoin and digital currencies took somewhat of a central stage, especially in light of current events and the fact that he’s been talking about it quite a bit.

I think this [read: Bitcoin] has a big part of our future. I think there’s a lot of innovation above just currency to be had, especially as we think about decentralizing social media more and providing more economic incentive. So I think it’s hugely important to Twitter and to Twitter shareholders that we continue to look at the space and invest aggressively in it. – Said Dorsey.

  • He also stressed on the fact that if there were a global currency of the Internet, Twitter would benefit a lot because it could move quickly with some of its products such as the Tip Jar, Subscription, Commerce, Super Follows, and so forth.
  • The CEO has been quite vocal about the importance of Bitcoin and its mass adoption.
  • Earlier, as reported by CryptoPotato, the CEO revealed that his financial services company, Square, plans to build a hardware Bitcoin wallet to improve and spread its adoption.
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/jack-dorsey-sees-bitcoin-as-a-big-part-of-twitters-future/

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Blockchain

‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Jordan Belfort: Elon Musk Is Filthy Rich To Pump And Dump Bitcoin

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Binance CEO CZ Lambasts Tesla CEO Elon Musk For 'Irresponsibly' Manipulating The Crypto Market

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Jordan Ross Belfort, best known as the “Wolf of Wall Street” portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, doesn’t believe that Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk really manipulates crypto prices contrary to countless claims.  

Speaking with Fox Business on Thursday, Belfort posited that Musk is stinking rich to be pumping and dumping dogecoin, bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies in order to make a quick buck off of it. 

“I like Elon Musk and I think he’s rich enough. He doesn’t have to make an extra few dollars pumping and dumping.”

Jordan Belfort, the former Wall Street penny-stock broker who pleaded guilty to stock market fraud in 1999, explained that while Musk himself might not be pumping and dumping, traders might be using his endorsement and they pump and dump around the hype that the billionaire tycoon creates.

Musk, famous for his odd-timed tweets, has constantly been accused of being a master manipulator. Notably, his tweets on major cryptocurrencies like DOGE and BTC, have sent their prices up and down within seconds.

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At The B Word conference held on Wednesday, Musk shared details of the three cryptocurrencies that he personally owns as well as the cryptos held by his two companies. He also admitted that he might occasionally pump crypto prices, but he doesn’t dump. “If the price of bitcoin goes down, I lose money,” Musk explained.

The Tesla chief went on to state that he is interested in seeing bitcoin succeed — not just getting the price high and cashing out at higher prices.

Belfort, however, maintains that Musk is most likely “inadvertently being used” to pump and dump cryptocurrencies. 

Belfort Is Hoping Bitcoin Price Rips Lower

During his interview, Belfort also affirmed that he is invested in bitcoin (BTC), and ethereum (ETH) and is in it for the long haul. In fact, he hopes the price of the bellwether cryptocurrency falls again to as low as $5K per coin so that he can grab some more.

“I would love it to go lower because I’m a long-term investor so I don’t care if it goes up or down in the short term. I would love it to go back to $5000 and buy a ton of it here and that would be a great thing.”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is a0l8zUyF.png
BTCUSD Chart By TradingView

At the time of publication, the bitcoin price is in the process of attempting a sustained breakout above $32,400 where the price has been hovering for 48 hours or so.

The Wall Street criminal-turned-author also noted that no one actually knows where the price of bitcoin goes next and if anyone says they do, they are definitely lying.

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Source: https://zycrypto.com/wolf-of-wall-street-jordan-belfort-elon-musk-is-filthy-rich-to-pump-and-dump-bitcoin/

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