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Bitcoin breaks records, what happens next, Coinbase IPO: Hodler’s Digest, Dec. 13–19



Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.


Top Stories This Week

Another day, another all-time high — Bitcoin hits $24,000 in weekend surge

On Dec. 18, 2017, Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $19,891.99. Years of price falls and drama followed. Nonetheless, believers remained confident that one day, one day, BTC would manage to crack $20,000.

And on Dec. 16, 2020, that day finally came. In quick succession, BTC smashed through $20,000, $21,000, $22,000 and $23,000, pausing for breath at $23,800. This stumbling block was eviscerated over the weekend when BTC headed above $24,000.

In an extraordinary run, Bitcoin’s price has surged by more than 25% in the space of a week, with Ether hitting yearly highs and altcoins such as Litecoin performing strongly, too.

On-chain analyst Willy Woo has proclaimed that $55,000 is the next landmark for Bitcoin to reach — asserting that $100,000 is a “ridiculously low” target. Meanwhile, Quantum Economics founder Mati Greenspan believes “things are just getting started.”

Early miners have been turned into millionaires, with the number of Bitcoin addresses holding at least $1 million surging by 150% this week. And for a time, anyone who had ever bought Bitcoin was officially in profit.

Bitcoin’s network fundamentals paint a very different picture to the 2017 bull run, but some things never change: as BTC surged beyond $20,000, both Binance and Coinbase suffered outages.


Bitcoin price can hit $25,000 before 2021 if this key support level holds

As the Lambo brochures land on doormats, with the moon in sight, what’s next?

Cointelegraph analyst Michaël van de Poppe says a drop to the $18,500 region in the short term shouldn’t be ruled out but adds there could be further room to run as price discovery continues.

He believes that $19,500 has now been turned into a critical level to hold. The next level of interest is found at $25,800, which could be the next marker for a potential top.

Van de Poppe wrote: “Such vertical rallies aren’t sustainable for long. Thus, a correction will occur at some point. However, predicting when it happens is anyone’s guess, as Bitcoin may easily run to $30,000 and then see a 30% correction.”

It’s also shaping up to be a “significant quarter” for altcoins. Historically, Bitcoin dominance tops out in December, and a strong quarter for smaller cryptocurrencies follows. The question now is if, and when, Bitcoin’s violent correction will occur.

The options market is pricing a potential Bitcoin rally to between $36,000 and $50,000, indicating many traders believe the surge will continue in 2021. A larger uptrend in the first half of 2021 would see BTC replicate the post-halving activity it saw in 2017.

“Now BTC has finally broken $20k, all bets are off,” crypto analyst and trader Cheds told Cointelegraph.


Bitcoin shortage as Wall Street FOMO turns Bitcoin whales into plankton

Institutions are now making mincemeat of whales — and they’re beginning to look like plankton. As long-term investors rush to offload Bitcoin at a profit, big firms are lining up to snap up their crypto en masse.

A shortage of BTC on exchanges, coupled with institutional buying at over-the-counter venues, has laid the foundation for a fight over the remaining supply. Price rises are the only logical solution.

“I’ll repeat… liquidity crisis incoming,” said Danny Scott, the CEO of U.K. exchange Coin Corner.

And there’s no sign of institutional activity slowing down, either, with some indicating that “there is going to be a generational allocation to this new asset class.”

Here’s the thing: Retail buyers aren’t even here. Twitter, Wikipedia and even Google search activity point to a world that’s unaware of Bitcoin’s surge. (That said, BTC has been getting increased coverage in newspapers — with my grandmother revealing she read about it over her morning cup of tea on Thursday.)

Tweets are only roughly where they were in January 2018; page views on Wikipedia are largely flat; and Google searches for “Bitcoin” have been less popular this week than they were in November.

BTC just doesn’t seem to have touched mainstream consciousness, and paradoxically, it seems many people are only prepared to buy crypto when it hits all-time highs.


The Coinbase IPO is coming, according to a SEC filing

One of crypto’s most-anticipated initial public offerings is now one step closer.

Coinbase has sent its draft registration for an IPO to the Securities and Exchange Commission. This is a big deal given how it’s one of the biggest names in crypto, with a reputation for working well with U.S. regulators.

According to the research company Messari, Coinbase could fetch a valuation of $28 billion if the IPO goes ahead. That’s a substantial rise compared with its most recent funding round in October 2018, which gave the company a price tag of $8 billion.

Reports suggest that Coinbase has approached Goldman Sachs to lead its IPO, but this is yet to be confirmed.


It’s here: Treasury proposes rule to monitor crypto going to self-hosted wallets

The Treasury has released its long-awaited proposal to restrict money services businesses, including U.S.-registered crypto exchanges, from dealing with self-hosted wallets.

Under the proposed rules, exchanges would have to verify “the identity of their customers if a counterparty uses an unhosted or otherwise covered wallet and the transaction is greater than $3,000.”

The Treasury has now given stakeholders 15 days to respond with their comments, and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong was among the first to express reservations about the rumored plan in November.

Several lawmakers have expressed opposition to the proposals, which could be regarded as an assault on the nature of peer-to-peer transactions. That said, the measures on the table are not as radical as some had feared they would be.

Analysts believe that the mooted restrictions won’t impact Bitcoin’s rally, arguing that the possibility of extra regulation has already been priced into the crypto market.

Winners and Losers


At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $23,866.82, Ether at $663.73 and XRP at $0.58. The total market cap is at $674,326,311,469.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are SwissBorg, Elrond and Zilliqa. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Energy Web Token, Waves and Filecoin.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.


Most Memorable Quotations


“All you had to do to be a millionaire today, is mine a *single* #Bitcoin block between 2009 and 2012. You had 210,000 chances to do so.”

Rafael Schultze-Kraft, Glassnode CTO


“One of Robinhood’s primary selling points was that it did not charge its customers trading commissions. In reality, however, ‘commission free’ trading at Robinhood came with a catch.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission


“We are not at the all-time-high juncture where the BTC Top Cap Model starts curving upwards. Let’s see how high she runs in 2021. $100k is a ridiculously low target at the current trajectory. $55k is the next landmark -> Bitcoin becomes a $1T macro asset bucket.”

Willy Woo, on-chain analyst


“I’ll repeat… liquidity crisis incoming.”

Danny Scott, Coin Corner


“$ETH has started its run every December the last 3 years with at least 100%+ ROI over the following months. What makes you think this year will be any different? #Ethereum to $1000+ within the next few months IMO.”

Altcoin Sherpa, crypto analyst


“Settle in, because we will be visiting the $20-$22K level at least half a dozen times before we break through to the $30K range later in 2021.”

Alex Mashinsky, Celsius Network CEO


“Sustained growth is likely from here, at least for the time being. We are being driven by corporations and billionaires now, not just retailers.”

Brandon Mintz, Bitcoin Depot CEO


“#Bitcoin just popped. Experienced some scaling issues. Should be fixed for now. Underestimated demand. Adding A LOT more ‘servers’ still.”

Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO


“We have been waiting for this moment for years, and now that $BTC #Bitcoin has finally broken 20k, all bets are off.”

Cheds, crypto trader and analyst


“Glad I bought Bitcoin. Next stop $50k. Wall of institutional money coming 2021. Buy below $20k. If you missed Bitcoin, buy silver.”

Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad author


“I would NEVER recommend anyone take out a personal loan to buy ETH or other ethereum assets.”

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum co-founder

Prediction of the Week


DeVere CEO says Bitcoin will rise 50% and “possibly double” in 2021

There are oh so many predictions doing the rounds about what’s going to happen next.

DeVere Group CEO Nigel Green has proclaimed that Bitcoin will have another “record-breaking year” in 2021. 

Green believes prices will explode by 50% and hinted that they could even double. On this basis, he expects BTC to trade between $34,500 and $46,000 at some point next year.

Robert Kiyosaki — the bestselling author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad has also thrown his hat into the prediction ring. “A wall of institutional money” is coming to Bitcoin in 2021, he said, setting a target of $50,000.

There’s one man who is relieved that one of his predictions finally came true. Back in April, Mike Novogratz warned he may “hang his spurs” if BTC failed to reach $20,000 in 2020. He’s since tweeted to say he’s “glad I don’t need to.”


FUD of the Week 


Shock survey suggests most investors think Bitcoin won’t top $50,000 by 2030

Unrelenting optimism over how Bitcoin will perform in 2021 doesn’t appear to be matched by everyday investors.

A Genesis Mining survey of 1,000 current and former U.S.-based Bitcoin investors suggests that just 17% believe BTC prices will exceed $50,000 in 10 years’ time. That’s despite the fact that this would only require an increase of 108% from current levels — with BTC surging by 230% year-to-date.

In total, 50.1% of those who took part in the poll believe that Bitcoin will be worth $20,000 or less by 2030; a third think it’ll be under $10,000; and a tenth fear prices will fall below $1,000.


Trading app Robinhood settles SEC charges for $65 million

Robinhood has staved off a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission by agreeing to pay $65 million.

The SEC had accused the trading app of deceiving users as to where its money was actually coming from between 2015 and 2018.

Regulators wrote: “One of Robinhood’s primary selling points was that it did not charge its customers trading commissions. In reality, however, ‘commission free’ trading at Robinhood came with a catch: Robinhood’s customers received inferior execution prices compared to what they would have received from Robinhood’s competitors.”

Speaking to Cointelegraph, the head of Robinhood’s legal team stressed that this is all in the past, explaining: “The settlement relates to historical practices that do not reflect Robinhood today.”

Unfortunately, Robinhood’s legal woes may not end here, with reports emerging that securities regulators in Massachusetts are weighing up whether to file a case against the company for subjecting inexperienced investors to “unnecessary trading risks.”


IRS tax form question leaves U.S. crypto users confused and concerned

Crypto users in the U.S. have been left confused and frustrated over the wording of a question about digital currencies on this year’s tax return form.

Form 1040 asks: “At any time during 2020, did you receive, sell, send, exchange, or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency?”

This question has now been placed much more prominently — near the top of the form. But here’s the problem: There’s a lack of explicit guidance on the definition of a “virtual currency.”

One crypto tax specialist has likened the question to a “perjury trap.”


Best Cointelegraph Features

How to build an exemplary crypto exchange

Building a crypto exchange can be a daunting process, but there’s one question that’s often overlooked: How do you build an excellent exchange? Cointelegraph Magazine takes a look. 

When will Ethereum 2.0 fully launch? Roadmap promises speed, but history says otherwise

What updates have been added, and how soon can they be implemented? Here’s Julia Magas.

Traditional crypto custodians ramp up security to accommodate institutional demand

Offline storage solutions are necessary for traditional custodians and banks supporting digital assets, as Rachel Wolfson explains.

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BTC crash, DOT crushes XRP, man risks losing $262M: Hodler’s Digest, Jan. 10–16




Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Bulls buy Bitcoin’s $35,000 support retest as altcoins push higher

Scream if you want to go faster. The crypto markets have been a rollercoaster ride this week — with Bitcoin’s price falling by more than $10,000 to lows of $30,549.60 on Monday.

Analysts maintained that the correction was “healthy and necessary,” with the sharp sell-offs prompting the total crypto market cap to fall by more than $200 billion

ExoAlpha CIO David Lifchitz said the crash “would purge the excessive growth of the past 10 days, allowing Bitcoin to build a new base toward $50,000 and above.”

And indeed, Bitcoin refused to die. Just three days after the sudden downturn, BTC reached $40,000 on Coinbase once again, amid fresh evidence of new large buys on exchanges. Tyler Winklevoss had a clear message: “Don’t listen to the noise, stay focused.”

Alas, it seems like $40,000 is now shaping up to be a tough nut to crack. Despite Joe Biden unveiling an eye-watering stimulus package worth $1.9 trillion, there was not a surge to be seen in Bitcoin’s price. Indeed, BTC actually fell under $35,000 at one point.


eToro warns users it is running out of crypto to trade due to unprecedented demand

An email sent out by eToro suggests that the exchange is struggling to keep up with users who are clamoring to snap up Bitcoin.

In a message to customers, it warned that “unprecedented demand for crypto coupled with limited liquidity” meant limits on crypto buy orders may need to be enforced over the weekend.

It seems the company has been a victim of its own success. The email came a day after eToro marketing manager Brad Michelson revealed that 380,000 users had opened accounts in the first 11 days of January — with crypto trading volumes running 25 times higher than they were last year.

Quantum Economics founder Mati Greenspan — formerly a market analyst for eToro — told Cointelegraph that the warning notice was “a symptom of a potential upcoming liquidity crunch” and advised users against trying to move funds off the platform.

An eToro spokesperson told Cointelegraph: “Our experience of the 2017 crypto rally means that we understand the possible consequences of extreme volatility in crypto markets. We want to ensure that our clients fully understand the possible risks.”

DOT flip: Polkadot overtakes XRP to become the fourth-largest cryptocurrency

There have been some big movers as the crypto market rally resumes and Polkadot’s DOT token is among them.

DOT has flipped Ripple’s XRP in terms of market capitalization following a massive gain of 29% over the past 24 hours. This makes it the new fourth-largest cryptocurrency, with a market cap of $15.6 billion at the time of writing. Over the past week, DOT has surged by an impressive 83.26%.

Polkadot is a fully interoperable platform that allows other blockchains to connect to the network, and it has been described as an “Ethereum killer” because of how it can process thousands of transactions per second.

The most recent update, which may be driving momentum, was the launch of its Rococo parachain testnet, which went live in late December.

Other factors driving momentum include the issues with DeFi on Ethereum as demand for scaling intensifies.


Programmer has two password guesses left to avoid losing $262 million in Bitcoin

Two gut-wrenching stories emerged this week — both with a similar theme.

One man told The New York Times that he has forgotten the password to a hard drive holding 7,002 BTC — a crypto haul that’s worth a jaw-dropping $262 million at the time of writing.

Stefan Thomas has just 10 guesses before the hard drive is encrypted forever… and so far, he has used eight of these attempts to no avail.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, a Welshman is offering the city of Newport a staggering $72 million for help in tracking down a hard drive storing 7,500 BTC. There’s just one problem: It was thrown away several years ago and is languishing in a landfill. Unfortunately for James Howells, the council has said it isn’t prepared to help over concerns that the search would be damaging for the environment. That means he’s going to miss out on a $280-million fortune.

Thankfully, it isn’t all bad news. A student has claimed that they have found private keys that they accidentally Hodled as early as 2011, unlocking $4 million in the process.


ECB president Lagarde renews calls for global regulation of Bitcoin

The president of the European Central Bank has doubled down on calls for Bitcoin to be regulated globally.

Speaking at the Reuters Next conference, Christine Lagarde said: “[Bitcoin] is a highly speculative asset, which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity.”

During the interview, Lagarde did not reportedly refer to any specific instances of money laundering involving Bitcoin but alluded to her awareness of criminal investigations into illegal activities connected with its use. 

She told reporters: “There has to be regulation. This has to be applied and agreed upon […] at a global level because if there is an escape that escape will be used.”


Winners and Losers


At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $37,271.25, Ether at $1,255.16 and XRP at $0.28. The total market cap is at $1,038,320,969,138.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are HedgeTrade, Voyager Token and IOST. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Bitcoin SV, EOS and Verge.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis


Most Memorable Quotations

“They said #Bitcoin died on Monday, but now it’s above 37k. Don’t listen to the noise, stay focused.”

Tyler Winklevoss, Gemini co-founder


“Did nocoiners really think #Bitcoin wouldn’t bounce back? This is the year of the Metal Bull. $100k is inevitable.”

Samson Mow, Blockstream CSO


“This whole idea of being your own bank — let me put it this way: Do you make your own shoes? The reason we have banks is that we don’t want to deal with all those things that banks do.”

Stefan Thomas, locked out of 7,002 BTC 


“The unprecedented demand for crypto, coupled with limited liquidity, presents challenges to our ability to support BUY orders over the weekend.”



“[Bitcoin] is a highly speculative asset, which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity.”

Christine Lagarde, European Central Bank president


“I look at the asset value of Bitcoin versus the asset value of all things traded and Bitcoin is still a nothing burger — a giant nothing burger.”

Kevin O’Leary, businessman



Prediction of the Week

Pantera Capital CEO doubles down on $115,000 Bitcoin prediction for 2021

Dan Morehead has maintained his bullish prediction for 2021, with the Pantera Capital CEO claiming that Bitcoin is on track to have surged 800% by August and hit $115,000.

The exec initially made this prediction in August 2020, when Bitcoin was trading at about $11,600. At the time of writing, it is now worth $37,000.

Setting out why Bitcoin has plenty of room for growth, he added: “Is Bitcoin overvalued? I would say no. […] Bitcoin has spent three years well below its long-term compound annual growth trend line, it’s still below it, and although Bitcoin has rallied a great deal over the last six months, I think it is fairly valued.”


FUD of the Week 


British financial adviser calls on the government to ban crypto transactions

A veteran financial advisor has called on the British government to ban crypto transactions.

Neil Liversidge started a petition urging local financial authorities to stop Bitcoin payments in the United Kingdom.

He argued that digital assets have no intrinsic value, adding they can have a “destabilizing influence on society, and are often used for criminal activity.”

In an interview with Professional Adviser, Liversidge urged retail investors to cash out immediately, adding: “If the UK government takes a lead by banning transactions on cryptos as my petition requests, that will set off a chain reaction, crashing cryptos overnight.”

Liversidge needs 10,000 signatures for a response from the government. At the time of writing, he’s got just 112.

Ledger owners report chilling threats after 20,000 more records leaked

Ledger users are receiving threatening emails in the wake of the hardware wallet manufacturer reporting that 20,000 more of its customers have been affected by another massive data breach.

One Reddit user said his father, who owns a Ledger wallet, received a message including his name, home address and phone number. The extortionist demanded 0.3 BTC or 10 ETH, worth roughly $12,000, or he would face physical violence.

The Redditor wrote: “I know that those scammers sending emails by hundreds are just trying their luck by creating fear, but when it comes to the safety of your family it’s another story.”

In another email, the scammer wrote: “Are you able to imagine all the possible consequences that can occur to you and your loved ones? I hope you do not ruin every little thing for yourself by making the wrong choice.”

Bitcoin payments are the “second stupidest idea I’ve heard,” says Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert, the charismatic host of CBS’ The Late Show, isn’t holding back his punches or his jokes when it comes to Bitcoin.

He referenced a recent Vice report that revealed how hackers had taken control of internet-connected chastity cages — devices worn by men to prevent them from engaging in any sort of sexual activity — and demanded Bitcoin to unlock them.

With a wry smile, he said: “Getting paid in Bitcoin? That’s the second stupidest idea I’ve heard.”

Colbert first covered Bitcoin on his show in April 2014 when Bitcoin was fluctuating between $50 and $300. Since then, BTC has risen by more than 40,000%.


Best Cointelegraph Features

Bitcoin has become nothing but the new Che Guevara T-shirt

Cassio Gusson argues Bitcoin promised to create a new normal in finance, but it turned out to be nothing but the old normal with a new face.

Here’s how institutional investors ignited Bitcoin’s rally to $40,000

In this article by Benjamin Pirus, experts weigh in on the main events from 2020 that impacted Bitcoin’s price the most.

Strap in: New institutions wait for Bitcoin price rollercoaster to end

Bitcoin market volatility is scaring off new institutional investors, but meanwhile, old ones continue to buy up the BTC dips. Here’s Shiraz Jagati.

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Four cryptocurrency block reward halvings to look out for in 2021




Block reward halvings cut the rate at which new coins are generated on a given blockchain by 50%. Such events, known jokingly as “halvenings,” have long been anticipated by cryptocurrency traders as catalysts for pushing up the price of their cryptocurrency holdings.

Past attempts to predict when Bitcoin’s (BTC) price would increase in relation to halvings have proved inconsistent at best. However, few would be willing to quickly discount the mechanisms described in the law of supply and demand. All things being equal, as the number of coins available on the market decreases, the demand for those coins — and thus the price of each — increases.

With that in mind, here are four cryptocurrency projects that are due to undergo block reward halvings in the coming year, when their issuance rate will be cut in half.

Verge (XGV)

Verge is set to undergo a halving on Jan. 25 when its chain reaches a block height of 4,700,000. At this point, the current reward of 200 XVG which is issued to miners every 30 seconds will be cut to 100 XVG.

With just over 11 days to go before the halving, it may be assumed that the opportunity to get ahead of the reduction in Verge’s supply has already passed. However, capitalizing on block reward halvings has never been an exact science, and often times a coin fails to react to the event until after the fact.

The XVG price hit an all-time high of $0.30 back in December 2017, before suffering a near three-year slide down to the $0.001 mark by 2020. Since the winter surge, which sent Bitcoin to a new all-time high, however, Verge’s fortunes have reversed. The coin recorded growth of 219% between November and the time of writing.

Tomochain (TOMO)

Tomochain’s halving will occur on Feb. 7, when the number of TOMO coins issued yearly will be reduced from 2 million to 1 million.

The Tomochain blockchain features block times of two seconds, and every 900 blocks make up an epoch. For each epoch, a total of 250 coins are issued to miners at the current time. This figure will be halved to 125 coins in February.

Launched in 2017, Tomochain uses a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism and is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine. The upcoming halving will be only the second in the coin’s history, and also its last. From here on, the TOMO issuance rate will remain the same until the coin’s total supply of 100,000,000 has been reached.

Vertcoin (VTC)

Vertcoin’s block reward halving is scheduled for Dec. 8, at which point the number of VTC issued to miners will be reduced from 25 to 12.5 per block.

Vertcoin was forked from Litecoin (itself a Bitcoin fork) in 2014, as a response to the application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) machines that were invented for Litecoin mining the same year. Vertcoin aims to remain ASIC resistant and can be mined with a GPU.

Once a feature of the top hundred coins by market capitalization, Vertcoin now finds itself ranked in the mid-500s after a 98% decline from its all-time high in December 2017.

Ravencoin (RVN)

Although not technically scheduled to take place until January 2022, Ravencoin’s first block reward halving is just 12 calendar months away and will see the issuance rate cut from 5,000 to 2,500 RVN per block.

Launched in 2018, Ravencoin is geared towards the registration and trade of real-world assets on the blockchain. In 2018 the then little-known project received a surprise investment of “millions of dollars” from online American retail giant, Overstock.

Ravencoin reached an all-time high in the $0.08 range in June, 2019. Today the coin trades at a price of $0.016 — a 48% increase since recent lows in November 2020.