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  1. Bill Miller said in a new investor letter that bitcoin's performance in the past year shows promise — and more companies decide to move portions of their balance sheets to bitcoin, wider adoption could move very quickly, according to the fund manager. In his fourth-quarter Miller Value Partners investor letter, Miller closed with his meditations on bitcoin's climb past $31,000. Despite having a market capitalization higher than JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway, Miller said bitcoin is still early in its adoption cycle. It's best thought of as digital gold, according to Miller, but has "many advantages" over traditional gold. As the Federal Reserve continues to pursue a policy "whose objective is to have investments in cash lose money in real terms for the foreseeable future," he said, companies like Square and MicroStrategy have moved their balance sheets into bitcoin. Both firms allocated millions to bitcoin this year, and Miller said if inflation picks up or if other factors cause more firms to pour into bitcoin, the floodgates of adoption will open. "Warren Buffet famously called bitcoin 'rat poison.' He may well be right," said Miller in his letter. "Bitcoin could be rat poison, and the rat could be cash." © 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. View the full original article
  2. The Sweden-based XBT provider Coinshares saw roughly $202 million in XBT certificates swap hands on the market’s first day of trading in 2021. Meanwhile, on the same day, the bitcoin exchange-traded product BTCE saw $100 million in trade volume. Coinshares Group is a European firm dedicated to crypto-finance and exchange-traded products. The bitcoin exchange-traded note (ETN) provider is approved by the Swedish FSA and the firm’s digital currency ETNs are traded on Nasdaq Nordic in Stockholm. On the market’s first day of trading in 2021, Coinshares says the firm’s bitcoin certificates saw $202 million in volume shattering previous records. “Coinshares had the highest volume traded in any European listed crypto ETP,” the company said. Frank Spiteri, Coinshares’ Chief Revenue Officer explained that the firm has seen colossal demand and much of it stems from the ranks of institutional investors. “We are seeing an unprecedented volume of interest in bitcoin from institutional investors,” Spiteri detailed. “As wealth managers, private banks, and European institutions look to add Bitcoin to their portfolios, our ETPs are the logical choice.” In addition to the $202 million in daily turnover, Coinshares also has $2.9 billion in assets under management (AUM). Jean-Marie Mognetti, Coinshares’ CEO says the company has seen a transformation during the last six months. “The narrative shift around bitcoin over the last six months has been profound. Investors used to consider it a risk to allocate to bitcoin. Now it’s a risk not to allocate to bitcoin,” Mognetti added. Alternate investment opportunities from companies like Coinshares, ETC-Group, Grayscale, and more allow investors to gain exposure to bitcoin without holding the asset directly. This week the ETP provider, ETC-Group, also saw record numbers for the start of 2021 for BTCE, the firm’s exchange-traded product that trades on Deutsche Boerse (XETRA). BTCE saw record trade volumes of over $100 million on January 4. BTCE also has roughly $350 million AUM after launching back in June 2020. “Bitcoin has seen phenomenal interest as the price has increased from $20,000 in mid-December to $31,000 yesterday,” Maximilian Monteleone, head of business development at ETC-Group said. “Investors seem to be moving into bitcoin because of concerns around major currency devaluation as a result of massive stimulus packages being tabled by governments in response to the COVID crisis.” What do you think about the record volumes for bitcoin exchange-traded products? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. The post Regulated Bitcoin ETPs Skyrocket, Coinshares Cites ‘Unprecedented Interest from Institutional Investors’ appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full original article
  3. The website accepting comments on the proposed FinCEN rule shows crypto users have until Jan. 7, not Jan. 4 as the regulator claimed. View the full original article
  4. The supply shortage for the latest generation of bitcoin miners isn't just causing a bidding war -- it's revived the market for older models as well. According to multiple sale channels on both Telegram and WeChat seen by The Block, the volume and frequency of sale quotes for past-gen mining equipment has risen since mid-December. As of the time of writing, bitcoin's price has reached a new all-time high, crossing the $36,000 mark for the first time ever. Bitcoin's price jump above $20,000 in mid-December resulted in older hardware, rolled out between 2016 and 2018, significantly surpassing their breakeven points (mostly between $13,000 to $18,000), according to profitability figures tracked by mining pools F2Pool and Poolin. In light of the recent price climbs, miner resellers are posting quotes for machines like Bitmain's Antminer S9 or Canaan's equivalent model, the Avalon 851, with a price range between $80 to $130 per unit. By contrast, such models were being liquidated for less than $50 after China's hydro-season ended in October. Some mining companies have also started looking for facilities to host machines previously thought to be obsolete by the end of 2020, like the S9s, which were launched almost five years ago and dominated the market between 2016 to 2019. Thanks to the price surge, bitcoin miner's revenue per each terahashes second (TH/s) of computing power is reaching highs not seen since September 2019, according to The Block's Data Dashboard. S9 revival With an average electricity cost of $0.05 per kWh, the breakeven price for the Antminer S9 is around $16,500. A single unit of S9 is able to yield a rough daily profit of $1.50 at a cost of $0.05 per kWh of electricity. With a daily profit of $1.50 per unit, new buyers of these machines in the secondary market could have a static payback period of around two to three months. Hashage, a local Chinese mining company, has been posting WeChat feeds looking for facilities with 20 megawatt of capacity to host their Antminer S9s. Based on the S9's standard specification, a 20-megawatt capacity can power up about 14,000 units. "This is right now a business that can make guaranteed payback," Nicholas Feng, COO of Poolin's cloud mining business, said in a call with The Block. That, of course, depends on whether such businesses have access to suitable hosting spots and well-structured put options to hedge against price declines. Still, not every mining farm operator would necessarily be willing to host old models. Such a move carries more maintenance overhead and higher risks of shutdowns compared to the newest generation of machines. “Yeah, we see the same in Russia [of S9's revival], but we strategically decided not to host S9s in our core facilities," said Igor Runets, founder and CEO of Russia-based mining farm operator BitRiver. "Demand [for the] newer generation of machines is also very strong. And we strategically decided to prioritize requests for new-gen machines as they are more sustainable over time." A lower barrier to entry Yet even in light of the price increases, the ongoing bidding war for top-of-the-line equipment is setting an increasingly higher entrance barrier. And that may leave smaller-scale players with few options. Some mining farms that use past-gen models like Bitmain's S17 or MicroBT's M20 series are also trying to get in on the action, based on offers made by farm operators and brokers on WeChat. The supply shortage for new-gen models is a factor that contributes to the revival of these older models, ecosystem players say. "I’ve seen some of my clients looking for S19 and not being able to source them started looking for M20S, etc.," said Runets. "Such shortage makes manufacturers less keen to cater small players and naturally prioritize bulk orders from larger players," Poolin's Feng told The Block. It appears that smaller players who want to capture gains in the mining space are now turning to cloud mining as one option. Feng said Poolin launched its cloud mining business less than two months ago and has already sold nearly 100,000 TH/s of computing power to retail investors. The hash rate is powered by some 800 units of the latest models hosted and maintained in Poolin's facilities and was sold to retailers by each unit to lower their entrance threshold. Feng expects the firm will increase its cloud mining hash rate in the coming months, given that Poolin has placed bulk preorders for Bitmain's S19 or equivalent models worth over $15 million. © 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. View the full original article
  5. Bitcoin bulls bought the dip and produced enough momentum to send BTC price to a new all-time high above $36,500. View the full original article
  6. Post-secondary institutions appear to be flocking the Uniswap exchange. A Stanford student group just confirmed it has become a Uniswap delegate with more than 2.5 million votes. View the full original article
  7. Bitcoin's slow crawl toward $36,000 has given select altcoins the green light to rally higher. View the full original article
  8. The DeFi market has boomed in 2020, attracting billions of dollars across use cases like lending, derivatives, decentralized exchanges, and others. But along with that came outsized risks. Scams and rugpulls became as common as 2017 during a short period in 2020, with even storied projects like Eminence, Harvest Finance, and others suffering from poor smart contract execution and losing millions of dollars in the process. It’s something Joseph Weinberg has a thing or two to share about. Weinberg, who heads Shyft Network, is a long time crypto veteran known for his previous work with Coinsetter and Paycase. Joseph Weinberg. Image: CryptonitesIn case you wondered: Shyft Network is an infrastructure that allows for self-regulation, digital identity, and the secure sharing of personal data. Its live network is an identity, consent, and self-regulation framework that grants users transparency into and control over their engagement with public networks, decreasing individual risk and greatly improving UX. In this week’s Cryptonites episode — a crypto edutainment platform powered by Swissborg that brings inside stories, serious alpha and insights, and critical considerations of the crypto market — Weinberg sat down with host Alex Fazel to discuss the major topics of the crypto market today, such as DeFi, decentralized exchange risks, and other crypto trends. Here’s what they said. Bitcoin, the anonymity and privacy Fazel kicked off with what Bitcoin really meant to Weinberg. “Bitcoin is not inherently an anonymized system, right? And it gets really lost in translation. And there’s different sects of you know, the community that have different beliefs,” Weinberg said, echoing a popular sentiment of Bitcoin actually having different use cases for various groups and serving each in its own way. He added: “That’s my perspective, at least. It’s about how do you allow people to have more freedom and give them the ability to have a choice, an option, whether that’s more private, whether it’s just your choice of privacy.” Weinberg noted that, furthermore, the most fundamental (and realist) thing was that the world is not totally going to be in an anonymized system all the time, as people have different trade offs. “The majority of the world is comfortable with a different type of system,” he remarked. “And that’s the reality, there’s trade offs in the system, but having a base system and a base layer that ensures privacy first, to then opt out of that privacy is I think, the most important piece of what Bitcoin is, Bitcoin is a lot of things, and many things to different people. And that’s what I love about it so much,” he said. The rise (and risks) of DEXs Towards the next part of the interview, the conversation shifted towards how DEXs operated and have gained popularity in recent times. And for Weinberg, the innovation is one to stay. “I think [DEXs] are going to flourish over the next few years. And I think it has, it’s an amazing place in the world, right? centralization is good in some things, but it’s also bad and other things, right? “Whether you’re looking at regulation, we’re starting to see a lot of changes and, and like, my view has always been like, you have to have optionality, right?,” he remarked. He added: “Scalability has always been an issue. There’s a lot of problems and liquidity and slippage is and how you get those things right. And if we can get them right, I am sure this ecosystem can. And I think it just provides a really good option to a certain set of people.” Weinberg added his current focus is more on allowing the largest majority of the world to start getting access to digital assets and crypto, for which DEXs become a good contender. “How do you onboard the next 8 billion people? And so I think that as these things evolve, you know, we need these options.” What does Wienberg, who has worked closely with policymakers think of stablecoins, DeFi, and crypto in the broader sense? What happens to Bitcoin then? Check out the entire interview available for streaming right below to find out! The post Shyft Network’s Joseph Weinberg on the meaning of Bitcoin (and DEXs for 8 billion people) appeared first on CryptoSlate. View the full original article
  9. The publication explores whether Bitcoin will become the new gold standard. View the full original article
  10. The Israel Securities Authority (ISA) recently ruled that utility tokens issued by companies are securities and, therefore, cannot be classified as assets. The ISA’s decision comes after Israeli tech startup Kirobo sought to convince the regulator that its planned token issuance did not amount to a security offering. Token Value Growth However, in response to Kirobo’s claims, the ISA published a position paper explaining why the planned token offering should “be subject to Israeli securities regulations.” In brushing aside Kirobo’s averments, the ISA insists that the “tokens should be regarded as securities, whether due to the risk of holding them or the expectations of the buyers to receive a short or long-term return.” The regulator also highlights an important aspect of Kirobo’s proposal, which appears to undercut the utility token claims. In the position paper, the ISA reveals that “Kirobo’s plans to keep hold of 0.8% of the tokens indicate that it is planning for the value of the tokens to increase.” The regulator adds: There is a probability that there will be investors who will purchase the token for financial purposes and out of the expectation that the value will rise, which characterizes investments in securities. Regulators Moving to Regulate Cryptos Meanwhile, the rest of the report, which does not reveal how the tech startup reacted to the ruling, implies that the ISA’s stance is similar to the one taken by the U.S. against Ripple’s token. Towards the end of 2020, regulators in the United States said the issuance of the XRP token violated the U.S. Securities Act. The SEC has now launched a $1.3 billion lawsuit against Ripple and its executives for these alleged violations. In the meantime, the report explains that the two countries’ decisions have come at a time when “financial regulators are still assessing how they should regulate cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and its rivals.” The report ends by suggesting that “future court battles could determine whether cryptocurrencies make the leap from a niche to a mainstream asset.” What exactly should be designated a utility or security token? You can tell us your views in the comments section. The post Israeli Regulator Designates Utility Tokens Issued by Companies as Securities appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full original article
  11. With Bitcoin on a dramatic price run, 2021 could be an eventful year for the crypto industry. View the full original article
  12. ShapeShift, one of the oldest cryptocurrency trading platforms in the crypto market, is pivoting. It announced the integration of a decentralized exchange, adding Ethereum and ERC20 tokens first. Since it is a decentralized exchange, it will not be able to immediately process Bitcoin trades. Hence, ShapeShift said it would integrate Bitcoin in the first quarter of 2021. The team wrote: “Ethereum and ERC20 assets are available as of today for decentralized trading through ShapeShift’s interface. Bitcoin—the world’s largest and most liquid digital asset—will be added in Q1 2021 (native BTC, non-wrapped). By using ShapeShift to trade through DEX protocols, users get the best rates across multiple venues and earn FOX Tokens on every trade.” Why this switch and what does it mean for Ethereum? Cryptocurrency platforms, in general, inclusive of ShapeShift, have faced strong regulatory pressure for user data for many years. ShapeShift’s change in direction to a DEX makes sense in this environment where the usage of DEX is rapidly growing. Erik Voorhees, the CEO of ShapeShift, described the pace of innovation in decentralized technology as “inspiring.” The ShapeShift team also pinpointed the rise in popularity of decentralized exchanges, stating: “Over the past year, decentralized exchanges—which are software protocols for individuals to trade transparently and without any intermediary—have grown in popularity. They give users unprecedented auditability and control over their digital assets, offer generally lower fees and reduce counterparty risk.” ShapeShift has also introduced a new token called FOX, which users would be able to earn by trading through ShapeShift. Voorhees sees a massive catalyst in 2021 In an interview with CryptoSlate, Voorhees said that the biggest catalyst to Bitcoin and crypto in 2021 would be the bull run itself. The 15-minute price chart of Ethereum. Source ETHUSD on TradingView.comAs the value of cryptocurrencies increase, he noted that the ecosystem would go from 50 million to 250 million crypto users. He said: “Well maybe this is tautological, but the biggest 2021 catalyst will be the bull run itself. The price rise gets interest more than anything else, and will bring millions of new people into the ecosystem. I think we go from around 50 million crypto users in the world to around 250 million by end of the year. The whole industry better be ready to scale.” This prediction goes in line with many industry executives who anticipate the total value locked in decentralized finance (DeFi) to achieve $100 billion. Out of the millions of users that newly enter the cryptocurrency space, analysts expect the DeFi space to continue to see exponential growth throughout the year. As DeFi expands throughout 2021, the positioning of ShapeShift to a DEX and to a token that rewards users based on utility and trading activity could be a positive mid to long-term shift. The post New DeFi entrant? ShapeShift pivots to DEX, integrating Ethereum and ERC20 tokens appeared first on CryptoSlate. View the full original article
  13. Bitcoin price rallied back to $35,000, but key indicators show top traders are proceeding with caution. View the full original article
  14. The price of ether (ETH) surpassed $1,200 on Coinbase Pro on Wednesday afternoon. On January 3rd, ETH price had just eclipsed $900, surpassing market highs last seen in February 2018. TradingView data shows the price of ETH at $1,210.96 at the time of writing — the highest point since January 2018. ETH's market capitalization on January 3rd exceeded $100 billion, according to CoinGecko. It now sits at $136 billion. © 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. View the full original article
  15. As the United Kingdom enters a third national lockdown to get rising infection rates linked with a newly identified strain of Covid-19 under control, the nation’s crypto startups are taking steps to boost staff morale. The government's new restrictions mean people must stay at home and work from wherever possible, while most non-essential shops have been closed. The Block spoke to several UK startups who are taking action to maintain staff well-being. Sergey Zhdanov, chief financial officer of the crypto exchange EXMO, said the lockdown "affects the social part a lot." “Some employees feel more drive and energy when they work from the office with other colleagues. So there is an increased risk of being burned out for such employees,” he said. EXMO has been forced to cancel a new year team-building exercise, in lieu of which it has gifted bitcoin to all staff, according to Zhdanov. The exchange operator's plans to open a new office in London last year have been booted into 2021. Data analytics business CryptoCompare has also been trying to lift employees’ spirits. Chief executive Charles Hayter said the firm runs pub quizzes, as well as handing out occasional Deliveroo vouchers and, more recently, Christmas hampers. Most startups in the space do not appear overly concerned about the prospect of a prolonged period of remote working, but Hayter described the situation as a mixed bag. “Some parts of the business work better remotely and some better in an office. But remote work does mean an increase in things falling through the cracks overall,” he said, adding that the firm is encouraging more face-to-face calls and exercise so that staff “maintain a connection, health and normalcy." Investors in crypto have also had to adapt to the new normal. George MacDonaugh, chief executive of the crypto-focused investment firm KR1, said his business is “inherently remote” because of the globally distributed nature of the industry in which it invests. “Before any lockdown our business ran on two tracks, conferences and zoom. And although we’ve lost the former, the latter, Zoom, has been enough to give us continued access to a pipeline of interesting projects,” he said, adding: “The conference circuit was great for morale as it’s a niche space, where everyone knows each other and it’s always good to meet face-to-face, so they have become a time for catching up and in particular talking business. In time, this part of our industry will return in full force.” Of course, crypto founders do at least have some cause for cheer in the form of the surging price of bitcoin, which is currently sitting near all-time highs. The bull run has prompted a corresponding rise in volumes for a variety of U.K.-based operators. Ziglu, the crypto wallet app, has seen trading volumes more than double during the past month, according to chief executive Mark Hipperson. At the same time Copper, the digital asset custody startup, has grown its assets under custody by 8% in Q1, 87% in Q2, 66% in Q3 and a whopping 463% in Q4. “For us, we have been distributed for a while so work continues uninhibited. Morale is high at the moment, mostly driven by the bitcoin price,” said Andrew Clover, co-founder of the crypto firm Quantave. © 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. View the full original article
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