Dub 22

Think Your Altcoin Will Beat Bitcoin ROI? Then Don’t Look at This Chart

Bitcoin dwarfs every other altcoin when it comes to return on investment (ROI) since initial exchange listing, data shows. Had you threw in just $100 bucks into BTC in 2010, you would be a millionaire today.


Bitcoin ROI Shows Why They’re Called ‘Altcoins’

A new visual graph from DataLight perfectly illustrates just how impressive Bitcoin ROI (return on investment) has been over the past decade.

Buying just $100 USD worth of Bitcoin in mid-2010 would have netted you a cool $1.3 million today. That is, if you managed to ‘hodl’ instead of ‘sodl’ your precious bits until today.

By comparison, every other cryptocurrency has been dwarfed by BTC when it comes to ROI since being first listed on an exchange.

Granted, when it comes to trading on exchanges, Bitcoin has an almost 3 year head start even on Litecoin, one of the oldest ‘altcoins’ and the first to use the Scrypt hashing algorithm. But for those banking on the ‘silver to Bitcoin’s gold’ to beat Bitcoin’s returns anytime soon may be out of luck.

Certainly, Litcoin has seen some impressive rips in recent years. However, the price of Litecoin has had a much different trajectory while being at the mercy of BTC market cycles.

For example LTC/USD peaked at around $35 in November 2013. These same price levels then repeated in July 2017….and again in January 2019. This is more reflective of speculative, pump-n-dump behavior than a (secondary) store of value.

Bitcoin, on the other hand, stands out  as it continues to post higher highs after every bubble making it the perennial leader of cryptocurrencies today.

Ethereum (ETH) 00 has been the best performing altcoin since its exchange debut in 2015. One hundred bucks into Ethereum would have netted you roughly $68,000 today at around $170 per ETH. Though, undoubtedly, this figure would be much higher at Ethereum’s all-time high of nearly $1,400 in January 2018.

Bitcoin-branded forks like Bitcoin Cash, meanwhile, have fared even worse, actually depreciating in value since their inception.

Bitcoin Apples to Altcoin Oranges

More recently, Bitcoinist highlighted the stellar performance of Binance Coin (BNB) 00, which has skyrocketed in value since launching in mid-2017. In fact, it has become the first cryptocurrency to surpass the January 2018 all-time high.

At the same time, comparing in-house digital tokens like BNB (and pretty much every other ‘alt’ with a foundation or a company behind it) to Bitcoin is like comparing apples to oranges.

In fact, every single altcoin is paired against bitcoin by default for a reason. Admittedly, some altcoins have performaned marvelously against BTC since their inception, particularly on shorter timeframes.

But as the saying goes: the faster they rise, the faster they fall.

That’s because their low market caps on exchanges are both a weakess and a strength. In bull-markets, for example, a lower cap means a coin can be pumped much easier allowing it to outpace the gains of high cap cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

On longer timeframes, however, the story repeats over and over again as Bitcoin demonstrates who’s king.

#REKT? Not With Bitcoin! Yearly ROI On Largest Cryptocurrency Still Tops 150%

Think Your Favorite Altcoin Can Beat BTC? Good Luck.

Therefore, it is no surprise that Bitcoin, being a truly leaderless, decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency, has attracted the most network effect and hashing power to be the most secure blockchain today.

Subsequently, this give investor confidence more confidence in Bitcoin above all. It also means that it’s the de facto choice for trustlessly transferring value over any other cryptocurrency regardless of fees.

It’s also no coincidence that the SEC is considering approving a Bitcoin ETF only. It’s why Bitcoin trading instruments have been the first to hit traditional markets; and why investors are increasingly calling it ‘irresponsible’ not to have exposure to BTC in 2019.

In fact, data has shown that allocating only 1 percent of one’s portfolio to bitcoin historically outperforms the S&P 500, gold and US Treasury bonds.

But, more importantly, it also highlights the possibility of a Lindy effect, suggesting that the ‘internet of money’ could be a zero sum game. If so, then betting on ‘the next bitcoin’ looks more like gambling. Whereas bitcoin is increasingly becoming the safer play and one of the best investment opportunities in generations.

As InterchangeHQ cofounder, Dan Hedl says:

You think the altcoin you’re holding will beat Bitcoin’s return? Good luck.

Is investing in altcoins a good strategy compared to only bitcoin? Share your thoughts below!


Images via Shutterstock

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Dub 21

Bitcoin Price Volatility Soars 200% in April

Bitcoin price volatility has tripled over the past 30 days as BTC/USD has made an impressive push above the $5,000 mark. At the same time, overall volatility is actually in decline as Bitcoin adoption spreads. 


Bitcoin Price Volatility Triples in April

The volatility of bitcoin price has surged nearly 200 percent from a monthly low of 1.26 percent to 3.31 between April 1 and April 2, according to Bitvol.info. Currently, the volatility stands at 3.54 percent.

bitcoin price volatility

This occurred as BTC/USD skyrocketed by 22 percent in just the span of one hour propelling the cryptocurrency above $5,000 for the first time in 5 months.

Since the early April surge, the price has remained in a relatively tight range between $4,900 and $5400 amid bullish forecasts and other indicators possibly signaling a market bottom.

Bitcoin Volatility Decreasing With Time

The given volatility index gauges the price movement of BTC price over the past 30 days. Currently, the volatility stands at 3.54 percent, the highest in 3 months.

Overall, bitcoin price volatility has actually been declining over the years. In fact, 2018 was one of the least volatile periods in Bitcoin’s history despite an 80 percent drop in USD value.

Last year, the volatility index remained under 4 percent for most of the year. The only exceptions being the tail-end of the January 2018 crypto market price peak and the November-December period when BTC/USD saw a steep plunge below the $6,000 mark.

bitcoin price volatility

Data from the past 8 years shows a clear downtrend in overall spot price volatility. Despite the 80+ percent changes in bitcoin price in 2018, today’s fluctuations are nothing compared to Bitcoin’s early years when the price could easily move +/- 100 percent in a single day.

No One Wants a Stable Bitcoin

One of the most common criticisms of Bitcoin is that it is too volatile. Its wild fluctuations in price, the argument goes, means it cannot be money. Because its USD equivalent value transferred can diminish (or rise) in seconds.

This concern falls flat though because this problem is solved by BTC payment processors, stablecoins and other solutions.

At the same time, fluctuations in spot price shouldn’t be too surprising as bitcoin emission doesn’t follow typical supply and demand. This is why many traders and investors actually love the chaos of bitcoin price 00 volatility. When price moves, everyone pays attention.

It is these volatile days, in particular, that have given traders the biggest returns, compared to the rest of the year. This is the time of maximum opportunity and likely why having a low time preference and ‘hodling‘ — instead of trying to time the market — has proven to be a successful strategy for many Bitcoin investors.

Volatility Boosts Bitcoin Awareness

As Bitcoinist previous reported, overall interest in bitcoin also lags behind price moves. Google search trends over the past month reveal that the phrase “buy Bitcoin” spiked a day after the price surge caught everyone off guard.

As price moves (in either direction), people want to know why. What is Bitcoin? Should they buy now? Should they sell? Why is it rising so fast?

Moreover, virtually everything in the cryptocurrency space mirrors the bitcoin price chart. From website traffic to trading volume, to the number of headlines seen in the press.

Admittedly, the majority of the public is all about ‘when moon?’ and not ‘in it for the technology.’

Unsurprisingly, greed and fear drive the market. Luckily, humans have the ability to learn from experiences.

Educating yourself about what bitcoin is, why it was created, and historic market cycles could spare you the FOMO (fear of missing out) next time around. It could also help prepare for the next spout of bitcoin price volatility and avoid buying high and selling low.

In the meantime, all eyes will be glued to the price of bitcoin as traders wait to catch the next wave.

Is the return of Bitcoin volatility another bullish sign for BTC price? Share your thoughts below!


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Dub 20

Binance CFO Talks About His ‘Exciting’ Journey in Exclusive Interview

It was the last hour of the final day at Paris Blockchain Week Summit. The charismatic Binance CFO Wei Zhao had been speaking back to back. Yet, despite the time and the fact that he must have repeated himself over and over for two solid days, he seemed undeterred. Wearing jeans and a Binance hoodie, he bounded up to meet me, vigorously shaking my hand, clearly enjoying being the man of the moment.


If this were a celebrity party, Binance would be the VIP guest. Changpeng Zhao (CZ)’s creation seems unstoppable. Every project wants to be on Binance, from regular token listings to holding IEOs on the Binance LaunchPad. The Binance Chain has just launched, its native BNB token is climbing in price, and the company has the power to influence the entire community and delist tokens at will.

Binance Won’t Be Leaving Malta Any Time Soon

Minister for Digital Affairs Cedric O later said in a press conference that one of their goals was attracting Binance to France. Yet Zhao confessed to me that he had no idea the French had pushed forward new regulation until now.

With a rather high taxation rate for crypto companies at 30 percent, regulations around ICOs (that no one’s doing anymore) and a lot less flexibility than Malta, it looks unlikely that Binance will move to France anytime soon. Although I wasn’t privy to any backroom chats.

binance cfo wei zhao

My interview was with Wei Zhao, the man partially responsible for Binance’s epic growth. “I help companies to scale and to grow,” he tells me. Binance now has over 400 people in 30 countries. That’s “a decent sized organization.”

One thing that I have helped to launch is our fiat to crypto offering. In January, we launched our fiat to crypto, pound to BTC. We’re also doing Singapore. Last year, we launched in Uganda… My approach has been basically to build up our presence in the regulated world and build up more fiat.

Bridging the Traditional Financial World with Crypto

With a background of working in traditional finance, and grooming companies to go public, it’s unsurprising that another major focus of Zhao is institutional investors.

“I worked in Hong Kong, so I’ve been CFO for about four different companies, two of which went public. So, I am quite adept in dealing with bankers, and working with bankers, I am a banker myself. I helped to launch our OTC trading services, Binance off-exchange services. I help bring people from traditional bond traders and that type of trader to cryptocurrency.”

Indeed, the surge in Binance’s OTC trading drove the company’s near $80 million first-quarter profits.

What It’s Like Working at Binance

I ask why he made the leap from traditional finance to crypto. He says he would not have done it for any other company than Binance.

I think we are really different from other companies. Most are just exchanges, but we really fiercely want to make an impact in the world… The journey has been awesome so far and I’m in it for the long haul.

One of the best things about his job? Traveling to different places. “I flew around the world four or five times already,” he laughs.

It does speak to the borderless nature of cryptocurrencies. Yes, it’s a digital business but at the end of the day, it’s still a human business, it’s a very human business. The reason this industry is growing so much is that people in this industry travel so much. Like 10 times more than in any other industry.

There’s nothing like human interaction, face to face human talking about things, that’s how you can really impact change.

Does the Recent Leap in Bitcoin Mean the Bear Market Is Over?

It’s not a decisive “yes” when I ask if the bear market is over. Zhao pauses and leans back in his chair. There’s a short silence before he forms his answer, leading me to believe the opposite may be true. But with the most profitable exchange in crypto, bear market or no, nothing’s stopping Binance. He says:

I think there’s generally a lot more interest across the board despite adverse regulation and other adversities. You see general interest in bitcoin from traditional industries, and the rest of the world is showing interest in projects and I think all of it will contribute to the continued growth of the market. The fact that people are thinking “how is this going to impact my business?” Facebook JPMorgan… it lends credibility to the space.

I ask if companies like JPMorgan and Facebook lending “credibility” is rather ironic, considering how Bitcoin was born. He replies:

You need a push which is driven by guys like Facebook and JPMorgan, that gets people thinking about how that’s going to impact institutions and the market. It lends credibility, mindshare, and shows that our actions are getting noticed, that’s what it takes.

What It’s Like Working with CZ

So, what’s it like working with one of crypto’s biggest personalities? “Awesome, it really is awesome!” he enthuses, “he’s extremely transparent, diligent and extremely honest, he’s also extremely intelligent, and very patient.”

changpeng zhao cz binance

I ask if he was in complete agreement about the recent delisting of Bitcoin SV, to which he nods his head. Presumably, he’s been fielding questions on the subject all day long and his answer is extremely diplomatic.

“We have a very rigorous delisting process, and we also have a regular quarterly review. This quarter a lot of the comments we’ve written out our rationality… I don’t have any other comments on that.”

Finally then, who does Zhao believe that Satoshi Nakamoto is? Clearly, not Craig Wright.

“I think its a community,” he replies. “It’s like ‘I am Bitcoin’, you know that movie? ‘I am bah, blah blah’? It’s like that with Bitcoin. It’s a community. And we’re surviving… I believe that every day that you survive extends your survival… There is a reason why he or she wants to remain anonymous, because it’s not important, it’s a community.”

What do you think of Zhao’s comments? Let us know your thoughts below!


Images via Shutterstock

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Dub 20

Chinese Company Lost $23 Million Allegedly Mining Cryptocurrency in Secret

A subsidiary of Chinese firm Huatie has been sold off at 10 percent of its initial value following losses from suspected secret cryptocurrency mining activities amounting to about $23 million.


90 Percent Value Plunged Probably Due to 2018 Bear Market

According to Chinese crypto media outlet 8BTC, Huatie HengAn, a subsidiary of Huatie has been sold for $2 million. Reports indicate that the company’s value plunged by about 90 percent from an initial valuation of $25 million, all in the space of one year.

Huatie HengAn originally a construction company reportedly purchased 36,500 units of hardware listed as “servers” from Canaan and Ebang in 2018.

Given that both companies don’t sell servers but instead sell crypto mining hardware, the suspicion is that Huatie HengAn pivoted from construction to cryptocurrency mining.

Back in December 2018, Huatie’s end-of-year financial report showed losses of about $14 million for its subsidiary firm. By February 2018, the total net loss had risen to $23 million.

With the total loss just $2 million off from its initial $25 million investment into the business, it appears the parent company decided to count its losses and sell the business.

If Huatie HengAn was indeed engaging in cryptocurrency mining, it would be the latest in a growing list of businesses affected by the 2018 bear market.

During the year-long bear period, the entire cryptocurrency market fell by an average of more than 80 percent across the board.

2018 – A Dreadful Year for Mining Companies

For the first half of 2018, it appeared as though mining companies were immune to the hemorrhaging prices in the cryptocurrency market. However, by Q3 2018 reports of difficult financial situations began to emerge.

Cloud mining services like Hashflare were the first to shut down citing lack of profitability. Then reports began to emerge of massive losses for mining giant Bitmain – a situation further worsened by a bet on Bitcoin Cash that ultimately backfired.

The fallout from the suspected losses has seen the company downsize its workforce, firing entire departments. Bitmain has also appointed a new CEO.

Ebang, Bitmain, and Canaan abandoned plans for massive initial public offerings (IPO). GMO also incurred losses of $12 million forcing the company to shut down its mining hardware enterprise.

Even companies like Nvidia that sold hardware for miners weren’t left out as the company is reportedly trying to offload unsold inventory as demand shrunk in 2018.

Do you think Huatie HengAn was secretly mining cryptocurrencies under the guise of could computing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images via 8BTC and Twitter (@btcinchina), Shutterstock

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Dub 18

IEOs Guide Blockchain Through Murky Regulatory Waters

Blockchain entrepreneurs looking to raise capital through token sales are still navigating through a difficult regulatory landscape. Different countries still view cryptocurrencies and blockchain quite differently and finding the right location to capture the most investors is tricky.


ICOs have been an undoubtedly positive force for blockchain, giving exposure and capital to projects that have pushed the industry forward. Even so, they have been known to have issues with transparency and security, putting them at odds with regulators.

However, crypto exchanges are improving on the original model with the initial exchange offering (IEO). By managing the token sales for projects, exchanges provide greater compliance, and give investors trust that projects are likelier to succeed thanks to extensive due diligence. With more exchanges joining the growing trend, IEOs may be a major influence for crypto adoption.

Exchanges Pave The Way Ahead With IEOs

In typical blockchain fashion, IEOs are a largely bootstrapped yet functional way to add transparency to the original ICO model. A cryptocurrency exchange shoulders responsibility for vaulting all obstacles in the way of young blockchain projects. Regulations are just one aspect of this battle, as independent ICOs must carefully monitor their marketing language and advertising (the expectation of profit might alter a token’s asset classification). Additionally, they must create and manage an issuing smart contract, host the crowd sale successfully, identify destinations for listing the new token, and then finally manage their growing economy while pushing past technology milestones.

As changing trends make this process more difficult to undertake successfully, exchanges have leveraged their role as the primary beneficiary of crypto’s bull markets to use their capital and extensive reach to upgrade the fundraising model. IEOs issue tokens directly to a captive audience (exchange members) using their own user wallets and list the token on the exchange itself for instant liquidity. They also deploy exchange resources to help projects finish their unique compliance checklist for wherever they intend to launch, leaving young blockchain entities to focus exclusively on their solution.

New Entrants Help IEO Market Expand

The IEO concept was first pioneered by Binance’s Launchpad, which offered a more cost-effective platform for blockchain projects. In the time since, several other major exchanges have launched their own IEO platforms, including Bittrex and Huobi.

The newest entrant to the game, BitForex, is quickly catching up with some intriguing IEOs on the docket. The exchange’s Turbo platform has already launched four IEOs and is set to release its fifth with events marketplace Evedo.

The company’s EVED coin unlocks a central hub for the various stakeholders in event planning—promoters, talent, caterers, suppliers, events, and sponsors—to find each other and collaborate seamlessly without intermediaries. Evedo has already launched an alpha version and is gaining traction locally in its home country of Bulgaria.

BitForex has also recently launched successful IEOs for Adab, the First Islamic Crypto Exchange (FICE), as well as blockchain investment banking platform Azbit, with both showing promise in the early IEO stages. Outside of BitForex, some of the most successful launches so far include BitTorrent Token and Kamari, both of which surpassed $7 million in funds raised.

A New Direction For Blockchain Capitalization

Even though the regulatory market is still taking shape across the globe, IEOs offer a glimpse into how blockchain can advance its path towards greater compliance and transparency. While ICOs provided the sector the independence it craved from traditional venture capital and lack of control, they left some questions unanswered.

The biggest advantage exchanges can deliver to both investors and traders is their reputation and existing regulatory frameworks. Because they depend on their name and image, crypto exchanges are likely to back projects with bigger chances of success while meeting more stringent regulatory and compliance standards.

There are already an impressive number of IEOs in various states of progress, but it’s clear that this is definitely a new trend to keep an eye on. As blockchain finds new ways to add legitimacy and transparency to projects and capital raising, it’s also likelier to find greater mainstream respect and adoption.

Most importantly, IEOs reflect a conscious effort by an industry that has largely fought against regulation in the past to finally accept that it must meet regulators halfway to ensure its longevity. As more exchanges come around, IEOs could become the key way for retail investors to safely back promising projects and participate in the blockchain sector with greater assurances.

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Dub 17

Argentina Central Bank’s Inability to Stop Inflation is Forcing People to Bitcoin

As Argentina’s inflation rate skyrockets to its highest level since 1992, people are increasingly turning to Bitcoin as an alternative.


Inflation in Argentina Surpasses 54 Percent

Argentina’s central bank already tightened monetary policy three times in the last month, and inflation is still accelerating at a rate of nearly 55 percent. Bloomberg notes:

The inflation rate rose to almost 55 percent in March, with consumer prices rising 4.7 percent in the month, exceeding all of the forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

The unstable economic environment is driving many traders and investors to focus on Bitcoin. Thus, the volumes of Bitcoin traded in Argentina are reaching all-time highs, the latest data from LocalBitcoins/coin.dance shows.

Argentina’s economy suffers from chronic inflation to such an extent that no monetary measure seems to work. According to the Financial Times,

Argentina is trapped in a vicious circle. Demand of just a few million dollars in an illiquid market can weaken the peso, as has been the case since early March. Exchange rate depreciation leads quickly to increases in inflation, portfolio dollarization, and higher interest rates — now the central bank’s only means of defending the currency.

‘Replace Argentinean Pesos with Bitcoin’

The fact that Bitcoin is inflation-resistant makes it particularly attractive in this environment.
Consequently, many see Bitcoin as a potential alternative. They are advocating, even to the government, greater integration of the cryptocurrency into Argentina’s economy.

Bitcoin has already become integrated into many business activities. For instance, in 37 cities, public transportation users are indirectly using Bitcoin to pay for their rides, while Bitcoin ATMs are becoming more conspicuous in Buenos Aires.

Most relevant, President Mauricio Macri’s administration has already shown interest in Bitcoin and, its underlying technology, blockchain. For example, in March 2019, the government announced a partnership with Binance Labs, the blockchain technology incubator of Bitcoin exchange giant Binance. At the announcement, the government promised to match 1:1 Binance investment.

Moreover, in March 2019, serial investor and Bitcoin proponent Tim Draper recommended that President Macri attract foreign investors by dramatically transforming the country’s economy and replace the Argentinean peso with Bitcoin.

Draper even made a bet with Argentina’s president on the price of Bitcoin,

[I]f the peso is valued more than Bitcoin, I double the investment I am making in the country; and if Bitcoin acquires more value than the peso… that would be a perfect solution because there is no confidence in the currency.

How do you think the integration of Bitcoin into Argentina’s economy could help to minimize inflation? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via LocalBitcoins/coin.dance, Shutterstock

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Dub 16

Bitcoin Consolidating Above $5K a ‘Positive Sign,’ Says Crypto Hedge Fund

It’s safe to say that Bitcoin has had a good Q1 2019, gaining upwards of 30 percent of its value since January 1st. Now, a new report has it that if the price consolidates above $5,000, this could lead to further increases throughout the year. 


Bitcoin Price $5K Consolidation a ‘Positive Sign’

According to a new report by BitBullCapital, a cryptocurrency hedge funds manager,”the fact that Bitcoin has managed to retain gains from early April is a very positive sign.

Moreover, CEO Joe DiPasquale outlines that the bitcoin price 00 is seeing consolidation above $5,000. If this continues for another week or two, it could lead up to a shot at the $5,500 level.

Going further, the report reiterates that the latest BTC/USD rally was caused by a large order, which was executed simultaneously on multiple exchanges and was likely an algorithmic one.

Notedly, such a move should have been viewed with a certain skepticism as it’s not organic or steady in its nature. However, it brought back substantial market momentum, which is considered to be a positive sign.

It’s worth noting, though, that Bitcoinist reported that another reason for the latest rally might be hidden in the increased activity across the board, as data shows that the number of active wallets has risen by as much as 40-60 percent.

This, with a significant uptick in institutional interest, are also likely the reasons why Bitcoin managed to sustain the recent gains.

But 2017-Type Run ‘Not in the Near Future’

On the other hand, the cryptocurrency hedge fund also believes that a run similar to that back in 2017 is unlikely to be seen “in the near future.”

It notes that for this to happen, there needs to be a major catalyst such as “global governmental approval and integration with mainstream services and portals.”

…[W]e do not believe a run similar to the 2017 drive can be seen again, at least not in the near future and particularly not in the absence of major catalysts such as global governmental approval and integration with mainstream services and portals… [W]e do expect steady growth in the years the come, building the foundation for a surge when the timing is right.

DiPasquale also says that there is a real risk for the cryptocurrency failing to maintain its current range and to retest the $5,000 level in the coming weekend if the trading volume starts to drop. Reads the report:

If $5,000 breaks, we are likely to see support around $4,700 – $4,800 and reconsider market sentiment and fundamentals.

However, Bitcoinist reported that the Mayer Multiple by Trace Mayer, a key indicator which called 2015’s bottom, is flashing again, suggesting that the price may have already bottomed.

Other Cryptocurrencies Would Benefit

On another note, it also outlines that an increase in Bitcoin’s price could also cause other cryptocurrencies, especially those closely related to it, to surge as well.

This already happened with Litecoin, which gained upwards of 55 percent following Bitcoin’s rally.

The cryptocurrency has since lost some of its gains but is still substantially higher than prices from last month.

BitBull Capital manages cryptocurrency hedge funds, and is the “the first cryptocurrency fund of funds,” BitBull Fund manages a strategically selected bundle of 10 of the more than 600 crypto hedge funds for its investors, including gaining access to exclusive, closed funds and $M-minimum funds.

What do you think of the recent report? Do you think we’ve entered a new bull run or are the bears still in charge? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, TradingView

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Dub 15

Mexico Sets New Bitcoin Volume Record After Trump’s Remittance Threat

Bitcoin price remaining above $5000 resulted in new trading highs for several countries worldwide last week, the latest data shows.


Mexico, Venezuela Post Record Localbitcoins Volumes

According to monitoring resource Coin Dance, which tracks trading volumes on peer-to-peer exchange platforms Localbitcoins, Paxful and Bisq, certain markets continued to see spikes in Bitcoin activity.

As Bitcoinist reported, the moves form part of a trend which accelerated in many places in line with Bitcoin price climbing steeply earlier this month.

As with the previous week, it was Venezuela, Peru, Mexico, Kazakhstan and others leading the way over the past seven days, Localbitcoins data confirms.

The period to April 13 was especially successful for Mexico, which set a new all-time trading record of 10.67 million pesos ($568,000) on Localbitcoins.

The peak contrasts sharply with the previous week, in which 8.6 million changed hands, and just clipped the previous record of 10.62 million set in March 2018.

Topping the list of motivations for the behavior remains US foreign policy, president Donald Trump threatening to target traditional fiat-based remittance channels. This, Bitcoinist explained, opens up the door to Bitcoin as an alternative.

A glance at other jurisdictions tracked by CoinDance tells a similar story, while Venezuela joined Mexico in beating all its previous weekly records.

In terms of the country’s highly-volatile fiat currency, the Sovereign Bolivar (VES), last week saw the equivalent of 30 billion units trade across Localbitcoins, beating the previous all-time high of 26.4 billion set the week before.

Kazakhstan, Tanzania Get Taste For Bitcoin

Beyond South America, as before, Kazakhstan continued its trading boom, also setting higher volumes last week than ever before – 55 million tenge ($145,000).

The uptick accompanies political upheaval in the Central Asian country, after veteran president Nursultan Nazarbayev unexpectedly quit his office last month.

In a fresh wave of interest, Tanzania also produced recent highs, with 165 million shillings ($71,000) across Localbitcoins. The country’s all-time high of 294 million from April last year, however, remains intact.

As Bitcoinist noted, the Bitcoin price surge also led to the reemergence of other Bitcoin financial phenomena. Focused on Asia, both Chinese and South Korean buyers began paying fiat premiums for cryptocurrency this month.

In China, over-the-counter purchasers of stablecoin Tether (USDT), from which they can diversify into other assets, faced higher CNY prices than their USD counterparts.

South Korean exchanges meanwhile saw the return of the so-called ‘Kimchi Premium,’ a mark-up for Bitcoin and other assets in won terms which last week averaged around 1.5 percent.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, overall 24-hour trading volumes for Bitcoin on regular exchanges totalled approximately $10.9 billion Monday. Adding altcoins, the figures reaches just over $38 billion.

What do you think about last week’s Localbitcoins volumes? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock, Coin.dance

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Dub 14

It’s ‘Irresponsible’ For Investors Not To Have Any Bitcoin Exposure – Says Xapo CEO

Xapo CEO, Wences Casares, believes that it would be “irresponsible” for any investor not to have at least a one percent position in bitcoin as it could have a bigger impact on the world than the internet. 


Minimal Bitcoin Exposure, Maximum Gains

In an essay published by Kana and Katana back in March 2019, the Xapo chief laid down an argument for Bitcoin to take up one percent of every investment portfolio. According to Casares, a $10 million with a one percent allocation to BTC could yield close to $25 million within seven to ten years.

Casares based his analysis on his forecast that BTC could top $1 million within the stated timeframe. Conversely, if Bitcoin fails, the portfolio would only have lost the original one percent – $100,000.

Wences Casares

According to Casares:

Bitcoin offers a unique opportunity for a non-material exposure to produce a material outcome. It would be irresponsible to have an exposure to Bitcoin that one cannot afford to lose because the risk of losing the principal is very real. But it would be almost as irresponsible to not have any exposure at all.

Investment legend, Biller Miller is a popular example of Casares’ logic. In July 2017, Miller took up a one percent position on BTC. By mid-December 2017, BTC accounted for 50 percent of Miller’s total asset under management, simply because BTC/USD gained almost 700 percent in value during that period.

The 2018 bear market probably, reduced Bitcoin’s proportion with respect to the rest of Miller’s portfolio. However, with BTC price still double what it was in July 2017, Miller’s bitcoin bag is still in the green.

Bitcoin Resembles the Early Internet

For Casares, whose company stores over $10 billion in BTC for clients in Swiss ‘bunkers,’ the signs pointing towards Bitcoin’s long-term success continue to become evident as time passes. For one, the Xapo chief says Bitcoin resembles the early internet in many ways.

Casares highlighted how since the establishment of the Internet, the world has seen little of protocol developments and with more emphasis on creating companies. Bitcoin, according to the Xapo CEO represents a new paradigm-altering protocol that could have even greater ramifications than the Internet.

Coming from a purely technical standpoint, Casares does agree that there exists the possibility that Bitcoin might not necessarily fail, but become obsolete. He says companies could create solutions on a protocol level that appeal more to users than Bitcoin’s current state.

Casares has previously made expressed similar sentiments, describing Bitcoin as an intellectual experiment that could still fail.

However, Bitcoin’s leaderless open-source and borderless approach to both its tech and economics are diminishing this possibility alongside its ever-growing network effect and first-mover advantage.

Meanwhile, there is a growing unease with the policies of governments and central banks that are making BTC become an even more attractive proposition to investors as a hedge.

Forget Altcoins, BTC is the Real Deal

Casares also adds that the other over 2,000 altcoins don’t stand a chance. The Xapo CEO says Bitcoin as a protocol is already on its way to succeeding in ways altcoins can’t.

5 Altcoins with Major Events the week of April 1, 2018 (Gains Likely to Beat BTC Returns!)

Elaborating on the gulf in utility and adoption, Casares noted:

Over 60 million people own Bitcoin and over 1 million people become new owners every month. The other 1,000 cryptocurrencies [that process at least one transaction per day] have less than 5 million owners combined, so Bitcoin will add more users in the next 5 months than those 1,000 cryptocurrencies added in their combined history.

Back in August 2018, Casares declared that altcoins will eventually face a “mass extinction event.” Commentators like Matt Hougan of Bitwise and Barry Silbert of Digital Currency group also believe that most altcoins will not survive the crypto version of the dot-com bubble bursting. After which, most altcoins will go to zero.

Bitcoin’s superiority becomes even more apparent given that its value transfer dwarfs all cryptocurrencies despite having fewer BTC transactions per day than some altcoins.

Should investment portfolios consider taking up a one percent position on Bitcoin? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


Image via Twitter (@wences), realidadeconomica.com.ar

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Uber IPO: Cryptocurrency Will Be a ‘Huge Beneficiary’

Uber Technologies Inc. expects a valuation of about USD 100 billion when listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Large IPOs such as Uber’s and others could bring spectacular benefits to the crypto industry. At the same time, business solutions allowing Uber users to pay with Bitcoin are now moving to center stage.


Uber IPO: Bigger Than Bitcoin’s Market Cap

On April 11, 2019, Uber filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to offer shares of its common stock. In its recently released prospectus, Uber does not mention the magnitude of the IPO, which could be one of the biggest ever.

However, according to The Financial Times,

The company is aiming to raise $10bn from its IPO and recently told some of its investors that it could be valued at $90bn to $100bn, according to people familiar with the matter. The company was last valued at $76bn in a private fundraising in August.

Thus, the estimated valuation would surpass today’s Bitcoin market capitalization of about $89 billion.

The transportation company bases its projections on its leading technology, expertise, and massive network, which comprises millions of drivers, users, shippers, and other participants around the globe.

Moreover, Uber details in its prospectus financial data as follows:

  • Revenue derived from our Ridesharing products grew from $3.5 billion in 2016 to $9.2 billion in 2018.
  • Gross Bookings derived from our Ridesharing products grew from $18.8 billion in 2016 to $41.5 billion in 2018.
  • Consumers traveled approximately 26 billion miles on our platform in 2018.

Uber has become omnipresent. Its global ridesharing footprint covers 63 countries, encompassing a population of over 4 billion people, as shown in the graph below:

Digital Currency Group CEO, Barry Silbert adds that billions of dollars in private company stock will be unleashed from IPOs this year.

“The crypto asset class is going to be a huge beneficiary,” he says

You Can Already Use Bitcoin

Uber’s direct acceptance of payments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may still be a long way off, however.

In the meantime though, some Uber drivers around the world are unofficially accepting BTC instead of their local fiat currency.

Some users in Argentina, for example, have expressed interest in paying for Uber with bitcoin while some drivers wouldn’t mind receiving some bits instead of the depreciating peso.

For instance, an Uber driver, under the Reddit username bjandrus, wrote that he was already accepting bitcoin off the books for rides. However, he complains, the process is problematic because the Uber app does not support BTC payments.

It remains to be seen which ride-sharing company will officially begin accepting bitcoin first.

However, paying for Uber in bitcoin indirectly is already possible. For example, there’s the gift card option from Bitrefill and others, including the Coinbase e-gift card supported in select EU countries and Australia.

There are also third-party services as well as cryptocurrency debit cards that allow you to pay for anything, including Uber, Lyft etc. using bitcoin.

https://twitter.com/VenditExchange/status/1088929593577357313

How do you think IPOs such the one expected from Uber could benefit the crypto industry? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Uber Technologies Inc., Shutterstock

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