Galaxy Digital’s Novogratz Does Not Expect Bitcoin Price to Sink Much More

Galaxy Digital’s Novogratz Does Not Expect Bitcoin Price to Sink Much More

Mike Novogratz, an ex-Goldman Sachs partner and founder of crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital, said that he does not expect the Bitcoin (BTC) price to decline much further in an interview published by Bloomberg on Dec. 18. Speaking on Bloomberg Television, Novogratz opined that there will not be much further decline in the Bitcoin price, despite the recent slump in the market. Novogratz projected that the Bitcoin price will stay between $3,000 and $6,000 in the foreseeable future. Novogratz continued, saying that the macro trading environment has become more interesting than the digital assets market: “We are entering a cool era for macro. Crypto is less exciting now versus macro. Macro got quite boring for many years, and crypto was really exciting.” The investor also stated that he is “fairly certain” that Bitcoin will be a digital store of wealth, along with the decentralized worldwide computing system web 3.0. In Novogratz’s view, there will be “a lot of tokenized objects,” like limited partnerships, funds, art and “all kinds of things” in the near future. Earlier in December, Novogratz compared cryptocurrency market performance to a “methadone clinic.” He characterized Bitcoin’s meteoric growth in late 2017 –– which peaked at $20,000 per coin –– “a drug.” He called the period a “speculative mania,” adding that the “audience is more sober now — the drug is gone.” At the time, the hedge fund manager said that the market was characterized by “pessimism” and “fear,” with people expecting the leading cryptocurrency to go “to zero.” In November, Novogratz said that he expects cryptocurrency to “flip next year” since “that’s when prices start moving again.” Novogratz predicted that financial institutions will transition from “investing in cryptocurrency funds to investing in cryptocurrencies proper in the first quarter of next year.”

Only Sharks Will Feed on the Crypto Market’s Elusive Price Bottom

Only Sharks Will Feed on the Crypto Market’s Elusive Price Bottom

Markets and Prices 2018 was a year of market bull traps and sliding prices. Now, as the year comes to an end, many cryptocurrency traders have been discussing the elusive “price bottom” for their favorite digital asset. However, pro traders understand that catching a falling knife is difficult and that elusive market bottoms can disappear within the blink of an eye. Also read: A Look at Some of 2018’s Most Popular Cryptocurrency Traders Catching the Falling Knife When the market is up and extremely bullish it’s easy to predict swings in either direction and make some quick bucks. But when the price of a certain asset has been in a downward spiral for close to 12 months, guessing where the coin will bottom out is a lot harder. Guessing the exact moment of capitulation is almost impossible and usually only the lucky catch extreme price bottoms. In reality, a digital asset like BTC drops a few legs down in price and the value ‘flash crashes’ momentarily. Only a handful of brave souls will catch the candle’s deepest wick. Traders are walking on a razor’s edge shorting the price of BTC with 100x leverage on Bitmex in the hope they will catch that elusive bottom. Some sharks with deep pockets have extremely low orders placed on exchanges waiting to feed on capitulation. Wagers Placed on Lower Crypto Prices A great indicator of the ‘bottom feeding’ trend is the short positions placed on various markets that offer margin trading. BTC/USD short positions are extremely high this week on Bitfinex with 38,488 shorts resting on the exchange on Tuesday, Dec. 18. Short positions for BTC/USD touched an all-time high on Dec. 7, surpassing 42,000 shorts on Bitfinex. Other top cryptocurrency markets like ETH and BCH have also seen a great number of short calls over the last few weeks. The same day on Dec. 7, ETH/USD shorts on Bitfinex reached the highest level ever with over 426,000 positions. Although since then ETH/USD shorts have dropped considerably, there are still more shorts today (302,000) than there have been all year long. This indicates that a large portion of traders believe that the price bottom of the top cryptocurrencies has not yet been found. BTC/USD short positions on Bitfinex on Dec. 18,…

JPMorgan Chase Analysts Say Prolonged Crypto Bear Market Is Scaring Off Institutions

JPMorgan Chase Analysts Say Prolonged Crypto Bear Market Is Scaring Off Institutions

Analysts from global investment bank JPMorgan Chase believe that the protracted crypto bear market is driving away institutional investors, Bloomberg reports on Tuesday, Dec. 18. Analysts from JPMorgan, along with global market strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, have reportedly stated that involvement of institutional investors in Bitcoin (BTC) “appears to be fading.” In a jointly released research note, analysts have concluded that “key flow metrics have downshifted dramatically,” including a decline in the Bitcoin futures market. The experts reportedly noted the decreasing index of open interest (OI) — the amount of open contracts on Bitcoin futures — on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) global markets. They purportedly claim that in the past month the index reached its “lowest levels” since the launch of Bitcoin futures trading on Dec. 10, 2017. Citing data from the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the report says that the “more widely used” contracts by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) are “near the bottom of 2018’s range.” With that, the CME reported in mid-October that BTC futures had continued to grow in the third quarter this year. Moreover, JPMorgan reportedly stated that the average transaction size in the crypto market has dropped to lower than $160, opposed to about $5,000 one year ago. Additionally, analysts mentioned that altcoins are continuing to “suffer disproportionately during this correction phase.” The research note also touched on the issue of the crash of crypto mining profitability that is associated with the overall decline of crypto markets. Citing the dropping Bitcoin hashrate — the measure of mining’s computational difficulty — JPMorgan states that mining is no longer economical for many miners, who are subsequently forced to sell off their equipment. JPMorgan’s reported stance on the downward trend in crypto markets echoes that of CoinShares CSO Meltem Demirors, who claimed that the recent crash is caused by institutions “taking money off the table.” Yesterday, crypto research firm Diar published an analysis claiming that institutional investors have turned to higher liquidity over-the-counter (OTC) physical Bitcoin trading.

Institutional Crypto and a New Generation of Wall Street Leaders

Institutional Crypto and a New Generation of Wall Street Leaders

Donna Redel is an angel investor focusing on financial technology, blockchain and emerging technologies, professor of blockchain and a former chairman at the Commodity Exchange. The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review.  If there’s any doubt institutions are moving fast on crypto asset adoption, take it from a teacher. In developing the syllabus for Fordham Law and Gabelli School of Business, which both offered my new course on blockchains and crypto assets, I was all too aware of the dramatic changes the industry underwent. The ever-shifting landscape and break-neck pace meant that the class, the guest speakers and myself had to remain nimble, adjusting on an almost weekly basis to innovations in technology and regulatory issues. We were witnessing and learning in real time as the SEC and CFTC officials made speeches, issued settlements or statements that would shape the industry. Yet, as we head into 2019, I’m reminded that our industry faces even more urgent questions: How will the marketplace find ways to employ digital assets in risk management? Is there an overarching framework, a consistent set of standards and terminology for the industry to subscribe to? Is the movement to institutional acceptance fundamentally at odds with decentralization? What are the market opportunities? What role is regulation having in the migration to institutionalization? Still more important, however, will be a larger question that will define all of the above: Who are our leaders leading the charge to institutional adoption of digital assets? This answer may prove critical to overcoming the challenge of attaining broad institutional acceptance. The long move toward digitization In order to put the dramatic changes of 2018 into context, consider the historical perspective. In 1992, I was elected Chairman of The Commodity Exchange where during my tenure it merged into the NYMEX to create the largest physical commodity exchange. At that time, the exchanges occupied a 50,000 square-foot column-less trading floor, populated with thousands of people in brightly colored trading jackets, screaming and waving their arms violently to buy or sell a commodity – things such as gold, silver, oil, sugar, orange juice. If you never had the occasion to visit a vibrant trading floor watch the movie “Trading Places” with Eddie Murphy to get the gist. Though it…

Ethereum tokens Dai (DAI), Golem (GNT), Maker (MKR), and Zilliqa (ZIL) are launching on Coinbase…

Ethereum tokens Dai (DAI), Golem (GNT), Maker (MKR), and Zilliqa (ZIL) are launching on Coinbase…

Support for GNT and DAI will initially be available for Coinbase Pro users in the US (excluding NY), the UK, EU, Canada, Singapore and Australia. MKR and ZIL will not be available to customers in the US, but will be tradable in the UK, EU, Canada, Singapore and Australia on Coinbase Pro. Earlier this year we announced our intention to support the ERC20 technical standard across Coinbase. Following our launches of 0x (ZRX), Basic Attention Token (BAT), and our stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC) across all Coinbase platforms, we recently added Civic (CVC), district0x (DNT), Loom Network (LOOM) and Decentraland (MANA) to Coinbase Pro. Today we’re announcing support for DAI (DAI), Golem (GNT), Maker (MKR), and Zilliqa (ZIL). Of these, GNT is not technically an ERC20 token, but is an Ethereum-based token. Each of these tokens has associated functionality, some of which may be in beta. Moreover, each token’s associated functionality is not currently directly accessible via the Coinbase Pro platform. For example, the Golem GNT token provides access to a distributed compute farm, the Zilliqa network can be used to experiment with high-performance smart contracts, and the MKR and DAI tokens form a paired set of assets in which MKR provides governance, and DAI is a type of algorithmic stablecoin. In particular, direct access to smart contract functionality will not be immediately available through Coinbase Pro. As a result, users who want to engage in MKR governance, use their GNT tokens to submit rendering tasks to the Golem beta network, utilize functionality like Compound, or exit DAI positions in the event of global settlement will need to move their assets from Coinbase Pro to a local wallet. Other digital assets and ERC20 tokens may follow, as described in our related posts regarding exploration of new assets. Our US Pro platform, operated by Coinbase, Inc., will support trading in DAI and GNT only. International Coinbase affiliates will support trading in MKR and ZIL for clients in select jurisdictions outside of the US. We recognize that there are popular assets that we have not yet added to our platform. Our decision to add ERC20 tokens first arises in part from the relative ease of integrating the standard with our existing infrastructure, particularly from a security standpoint. However,…

Bitcoin Payment Processor Closes Seed Investment Round Backed by Tim Draper

Bitcoin Payment Processor Closes Seed Investment Round Backed by Tim Draper

Bitcoin (BTC) payment processor OpenNode has completed a seed investment round with investment from American venture capitalist Tim Draper, according to an announcement on Dec. 18. Founded in April 2018, OpenNode is a multi-layered Bitcoin payment processor for merchants developed by a group of Lightning Network designers and Bitcoin developers, that aims to improve and simplify the use of Bitcoin. Per the announcement, OpenNode has raised funds from Draper and early stage venture capital firm Draper Associates. The startup plans to spend the funds on scaling the team and building the network. Financial details regarding the investment have not been disclosed. Draper — a vocal Bitcoin advocate — shared his vision for blockchain-based digital governments in May. He stated that blockchains utilizing smart contracts in conjunction with artificial intelligence (AI) will massively change the role and responsibilities of states. “If we combine Bitcoin, blockchain with smart contracts and artificial intelligence, we could create the perfect bureaucracy,” he said. Speaking at the Web Summit summit conference in November, Draper questioned the need for fiat currencies, or “political currencies.” In Draper’s view, banks issue money “whenever they feel like it for whatever reason they want it,” and the emergence of a “totally apolitical,” global, and open currency would cede control of money from banks to common people. According to a report published by research firm Diar in September, “traditional” venture capital  investment in blockchain and crypto firms almost tripled in the first three quarters of 2018.  Blockchain and crypto-related firms reportedly raised almost $3.9 billion in venture capital by that time — a 280 percent rise as compared with last year. Yesterday Cointelegraph also reported about the launch of Tagomi Holdings Inc., an electronic brokerage startup backed by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel’s venture capital firm Founders Fund among other investors. Tagomi reportedly raised $16 million.

Blythe Masters, CEO of Blockchain Startup Digital Asset, Is Stepping Down

Blythe Masters, CEO of Blockchain Startup Digital Asset, Is Stepping Down

Blythe Masters, the CEO of distributed ledger technology provider Digital Asset Holdings, has stepped down after three years running the firm. The company announced Tuesday that Masters will remain as a shareholder, strategic advisor and member of the company’s board of directors, but that she would vacate her position as chief executive for personal reasons. The departure was first reported by Fortune. In a note to employees sent earlier today, Masters wrote that “working as part of the DA family means the world to me, but I also work for my family’s future and I need to focus on this for a while.” Masters will be temporarily replaced by AG Gangadhar, who joined the firm’s board this past April and has been appointed as its chairman. He will serve as acting CEO while the company looks for a new chief executive, according to a press release. In a statement, Masters said the company has “evolved” from being an idea to operating as a technology firm worldwide. She praised Gangadhar, saying: “We are fortunate to have a deep bench of accomplished executives on the management team and Board, including AG, who have the requisite experience to take the company to the next level. Having come to know and trust AG as an advisor and Board member, I am convinced that he brings what’s needed to guide the company through its next phase.” Gangadhar has previously worked at Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Cruise (GM) and Uber, according to the release. Masters began leading Digital Asset in 2015, the year after it was first founded. The firm has since grown to work with companies including the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, Google Cloud and the Australian Securities Exchange. Michael Bodson, president and CEO of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation and member of the Digital Asset board, thanked Masters in a statement, saying “her leadership and vision … has propelled the company from a promising startup to a globally recognized leader in DLT. We are excited to have a world-renowned technologist like [Gangadhar] to help take the company forward.” Blythe Masters on stage at the DC Blockchain Summit, March 2015. (Photo credit: Michael del Castillo)

Cointext Rolls Out Mobile BCH Services in Bangladesh, Now Services 38 Countries

Cointext Rolls Out Mobile BCH Services in Bangladesh, Now Services 38 Countries

Emerging Markets Cointext has launched internet-free mobile BCH wallet services to users in Bangladesh. The announcement comes following the recent rollout of Cointext’s services in many new regions, bringing the total number of countries now able to access the company’s services to 38. Also Read: How to Spend and Give Bitcoin Cash Over the Holidays Cointext Launches BCH Services in Bangladesh Cointext, a BCH wallet provider that enables users to conduct bitcoin cash transfers without internet through text message, has announced the launch of its services for Bangladeshi citizens. A press release published by Cointext cites GSMA’s findings that Bangladesh had only 21 percent mobile phone penetration and a meager smartphone penetration of just 5.4 percent at the of end 2017. According to GSMA, Bangladeshi mobile phone adoption is expected to roughly double by 2025. Cointext founder and chief technology officer Vin Armani described Bangladesh as comprising “the ideal country” for his company, stating: “Very few people have smartphones or cellular data in Bangladesh. Cointext enables basic feature phones to access international currencies like bitcoin using SMS.” Following the introduction of services to consumers in Ukraine, Italy, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic earlier this month, Cointext now services 38 nations, including those located in Latin America, Europe, Oceana, Asia, and North America. Crypto and DLT Gradually See Greater Adoption Throughout Bangladesh Since reports emerged in 2014 asserting that Bangladesh had prohibited the use of bitcoin, Bangladesh appears to have softened its stance regarding cryptocurrency, with the country’s central bank issuing a “Cautionary Notice” during December 2017. Earlier this month, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) announced that Bangladeshi start-up W3 Engineers will be among the first distributed ledger technology (DLT) companies based in emerging markets to receive investment from its Innovation Fund. W3 Engineers is one of six emerging DLT companies that UNICEF has announced will each receive $100,000 in funding. According to data recently published by Mineable, Bangladesh is among the cheapest countries in which to mine cryptocurrency, with a single BTC estimated to cost $2,379 to mine. Do you think that bitcoin adoption will continue to increase in Bangladesh? Share your thoughts in the comments section below! Images courtesy of Shutterstock At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance,…

Behind Coinbase Learn: An Exercise in Listening to Our Customers

Behind Coinbase Learn: An Exercise in Listening to Our Customers

Since Coinbase was founded in 2012, we’ve always prioritized listening to our customers as we’ve built our products. The earliest adopters of crypto came to us largely sold on crypto already — their primary questions tended to focus on the “what,” “which,” and “when.” But more recently, as the space has gotten more attention and moved into the mainstream, we’ve started to see people visit Coinbase to learn more about “why” crypto exists. Coinbase launched its user research department in April 2018 with its first full-time user researcher (me). Today, our team of three is dedicated to understanding our customers (and potential customers)–and we use the learnings to design and continuously improve our products. Our job is to understand customers’ needs, goals, and motivations, as well as uncover how to serve a growing audience we have come to call the “crypto-curious” — new entrants to crypto who are interested in learning about the basics. We bake all of our consumer insights into products as they’re being built by collaborating with product managers, engineers, designers, and writers. To see how this works in action, we wanted to share an end-to-end view of Coinbase Learn, an educational resource we launched in September 2018 that we created based on insights that came directly from our customers. Where we started Since I joined Coinbase, we’ve conducted more than 200 interviews to understand what will lead the way to mass adoption of cryptocurrency. We’ve talked to folks who’ve been crypto enthusiasts for years, as well as people who experimented with buying $10 of bitcoin to see what all the fuss was about. And, perhaps most importantly, we’ve talked to many people who have never purchased any crypto at all. Across all audiences, people were telling us that they wanted a better understanding of how it all works. Cryptocurrency is complicated, and there are lots of loud voices in the room, so it can be hard to know where to turn for information. Many of our research participants told us they had tried Googling for answers, but that the “beginners’ guides” they found were too complicated. We realized that if we aspire to be the most trusted place to get started with cryptocurrency, we have to do more to educate people — not only those who are potentially…

Japan: Crypto May Be Classified as ‘Crypto-Assets’ to Prevent Confusion With Legal Tender

Japan: Crypto May Be Classified as ‘Crypto-Assets’ to Prevent Confusion With Legal Tender

The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) is considering placing cryptocurrencies into a new legal category called “crypto-assets,” Cointelegraph Japan reported Dec. 15. By classifying cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) this way, the government reportedly “hopes that traders will no longer purchase them believing that they are legal tender recognized by the government.” On Friday, an FSA advisory panel filed a report requesting the term “virtual currency” be changed since, according to the panel, it could confuse people into believing the asset is legal tender in the country. As Cointelegraph reported recently, Japan’s FSA is set to introduce new initial coin offering (ICO) regulations to protect investors from fraud. Business operators conducting ICOs will reportedly be required to register with the FSA. This month, news broke that there has been a significant wave of reports of suspicious crypto transactions to the Japanese police. The increase reportedly came after the implementation of a law in April obliging cryptocurrency exchange operators to report suspect cryptocurrency transactions to the police.