The strength of the cryptocurrency market is spreading appears to be spreading to privacy-focused coins. The calm price action of Bitcoin (BTC) often sets up an intense period for altcoins to rally, where several groups of coins can start becoming bullish.
One of those segments is the privacy coin segment. For example, Monero (XMR) rallied by more than 50% last week. Meanwhile, Dash (DASH) has more than doubled with a 125% gain while Zcash (ZEC) rallied by 70% during the same period.
Monero breaks out of USD downtrend
Prior to the rally, XMR was lagging behind Ether (ETH) as the construction is quite similar between the two. After a two-year-long accumulation period, ETH price finally broke to the upside at the beginning of 2021.
Such breakouts often see a support/resistance (S/R) flip, after which the price of the underlying asset can continue rallying. This S/R flip zone for Monero price is marked with the green box where support was found. This support zone held and XMR price continued accelerating toward the next resistance zone around $300.
The weekly chart for Monero’s BTC pair shows an entirely different view, however, as it’s still in a downtrend. Therefore, a rally in the XMR/BTC pair may be on the horizon. Specifically, a breakout above 0.006 sats would likely lead to more upside.
DASH leads the way
Frequently, when one coin from a segment starts to run, other coins follow suit. Such a correlation can be found between Dogecoin (DOGE), XLM, and XRP, as these often mirror each other’s moves and privacy coins aren’t any different, namely XMR, DASH, and ZEC.
Dash, for instance, has been breaking out of a two-year accumulation period as well. As long as Dash sustains support above the $150-170 region, further continuation toward $550-600 is on the table.
The DASH/BTC pair is also looking weak, however, similar to XMR. A breakout above the critical resistance zone of 0.007 sats would help generate upward momentum. If that level breaks and flips for support, continuation towards the 0.016-0.018 sats region becomes likely.
Such a rally would also be in line with more upside in the USD pair as the next level of resistance is found between $550-600.
Zcash is also showing strength
Zcash is the third major privacy coin, which also shows a similar chart structure. ZEC price broke out of a long, multi-year accumulation period and flipped the $80 area for support.
With this S/R flip, the price then rallied to $160-170, the next area of resistance. As long as Zcash holds above the $100-120 area, the resistance zone at $350-380 then becomes the next logical target.
But just like the other privacy coins, the BTC pair is still struggling to break out. The critical level for Zcash is 0.0036-0.0041 sats. If that level is broken, the 0.008 sats area should be the next level of defense for the bears.
Therefore, privacy coins are starting to wake up, showing decent strength, but more upside is possible, particularly in their BTC pairs, which may break out of their long downtrends. The critical levels of resistance must flip to support, however. If this occurs, privacy coins will be in a good position for their own “alt season,” which has been especially auspicious for the DeFi sector in the past months.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Privacy coin Monero pumps 31% amid US taxation plans
Coinciding with news that United States President Joe Biden’s proposed tax plan would require tax reporting on business transactions exceeding $10,000, the value of privacy coin Monero (XMR) climbed 31% on Friday.
Biden’s American Families tax plan would require exchanges and custodians to implement tighter reporting measures to help detect tax evasion and money laundering. Banks and financial institutions would also be required to report account inflow/outflow information to the Internal Revenue Service to help uncover unreported income.
The Treasury Department’s agenda, which was published on Thursday, stated that cryptocurrency business activity remained relatively small but was expected to increase in the next decade.
“Despite constituting a relatively small portion of business income today, cryptocurrency transactions are likely to rise in importance in the next decade, especially in the presence of a broad-based financial account reporting regime,” stated the report.
Just over 24 hours later, Monero led the charts among the cryptocurrency market capitalization top 100 with 31% growth. The coin price climbed from $230 to $304 overnight, adding to a now 84% rebound since Monero sank to a three-month low of $165 during Wednesday’s market crash.
Supplemental technologies that can anonymize the transactions of many well-known cryptocurrencies now exist, but Monero remains one of the few coins focused solely on privacy and is the largest of its kind by market cap.
Launched in 2014, Monero has since become a currency of choice on the drug markets of the dark web, replacing more well-known coins such as Bitcoin (BTC) in recent years. Blockchain analysis poses a threat to anyone using Bitcoin on the dark web, from drug dealers to anonymous journalists. Monero transactions cannot be traced in the same way. The technology has drawn the attention of government agencies worldwide, many of which have offered bounties to anyone who can make the opaque cryptocurrency transparent.
Google Trends data shows that Monero search interest has increased by close to 1,000% in the past year, as the coin price rose 1,300% from March 2020’s valuation of $34. Despite the surge in interest, historic search queries remain a quarter of what they were in December 2017, when Monero’s presence in the market cap top 10 gave it a more visible position in the cryptocurrency shop window.
The good, the bad and the shoddy – Cointelegraph Magazine
Like most crypto journalists, Will Foxley has a horror story about a bad encounter he had with a dodgy PR person. The former tech reporter at CoinDesk recalls being embarrassed in his first few days on the job after he relied on bad information fed to him in an announcement.
“I got burned by a bad PR agent within, like, two or three weeks on the job, where they gave me false press release information,” he says. “I didn’t quite verify it enough and then got called out by one of the higher industry people. That’s like the quickest way to ruin your relationship with a journalist.”
He’s quick to add a disclaimer that “there are some great PR people out there,” but he estimates the good guys only account for about 20% of the industry. The “lower 80%” either don’t care about, or don’t understand the technology, or the fact journalists put their reputations on the line whenever they run a story.
“They only have an interest in pumping whatever the coin they’re tasked with pumping and getting whatever company they need into whatever headline, which is really unfortunate. And it leads to a lot of burnout among journalists, and a lot of frustration.”
Fortunately, the best crypto PR practitioners understand how to play the game and act accordingly. “The most important currency we have is trust,” says David Wachsman, founder and CEO of the eponymous PR firm. “We have to earn that because the one thing I know for certain is reporters are a cynical bunch, and they know when something feels off.”
It’s a dangerous game to get wrong because PR agents and sometimes entire agencies can get blacklisted by publications or develop a bad reputation industry-wide, explains Foxley.
“If you don’t like a PR person, you tell at least everyone that you’re working with at your organization,” says Foxley, who is now the editorial director at Compass Mining. “I saw that quite often. You’re like, ‘They’re from that firm? Don’t talk to them.’”
The world of crypto PR is an emerging industry of specialist PR firms that are responsible for a large proportion of the crypto news out there. Co-founding president of the Association of Cryptocurrency Journalists and Researchers Joon Ian Wong says that good PR agents play a much-needed role.
“I think PR people in any sector, including crypto, are an important part of the information landscape,” he says. “Their job is to ensure that information flows easily and freely to the media.” He adds: “But clearly they work for clients, so, you know, you can have issues with conflicts of interest.”
Samantha Yap says PR agencies do a lot of work behind the scenes as the interface between crypto projects and journalists. “Half our time is literally educating our client on how the media works,” she explains.
“We spend a lot of time telling them: ‘Oh, you can’t put this promotional angle out because journalists are not going to write about it,’ ‘we’ve got to take a more newsworthy angle,’ or ‘try to fit the story in the context of the wider industry.’”
She continues: “What the journalists see in their inbox is like two weeks of brainstorming work — at times it works, at times it doesn’t.”
Although Foxley is a big fan of Yap and calls her a “legend,” he has a laundry list of complaints about the vast majority of pitches he receives. But the biggest issue is that in a full-to-the-brim inbox, there are usually only a couple of useful leads among a sea of boring or irrelevant non-news.
“So 80% is just dog trash,” Foxley says. “I’ve just seen some horrendous pitches over my years at CoinDesk, and frankly, I don’t quite understand why those pitches are made the way they are.”
“They’re not helping themselves out.”
Some pitches massively oversell the potential benefits of whatever unproven technology they’re pumping, while others appear to have been bulk emailed to every journalist in the world. Many are unfamiliar with the fundamental requirements of journalism (which is that stories need to be newsworthy by being either important, unique or very interesting), but one common issue is a lack of technical understanding.
“More often than not, especially as a tech reporter, I saw PR pieces that didn’t understand the tech that they were describing,” he explains. “You get a PR guy or gal who doesn’t exactly understand it, and they’re trying to explain what a ZK-Rollup is. No, firstly, you don’t know how to describe it, and this is the wrong context.”
This isn’t to say crypto journalists always cover themselves in glory either when they receive a newsworthy pitch. Yap sums up up the mission of PR agents simply and eloquently:
“The sign and the skill of a good PR person is to pitch journalists the best possible angle in the way we want them to write it.”
In an ideal world, of course, journalists would use a story pitch as the starting point, research the background, and speak with outside experts before producing a well-thought-out and balanced article that contributes to better understanding in the cryptosphere.
What actually happens far too often is that press releases are given the barest rewrite before being uploaded.
There are many reasons for this: low rates of pay on some crypto sites and a constant need to “feed the beast” — i.e., the website — updated and new content. It leads to what is known as “churnalism.”
Foxley concedes that writing four or more news stories a day can be “mind-melting,” and it’s “very easy just to lean on the press release and the story that’s given to you. It’s just fodder for the story. But it’s not good for the industry; it’s not good for readers.”
“That’s why I’m a fan of less stories per day from a news publication per day because I don’t see another way of getting rid of that.”
Leslie Ankney has been on both sides of the fence, as a contributor to The Merkle and Forbes, a PR specialist at Ditto PR and communications lead at Anchorage Digital Bank. “I’m sure there are times when you’re under deadline — it’s probably tempting,” she says, adding:
“Hopefully, as a reporter, you have insights and questions to follow up with, something that the press release didn’t cover. But I understand that maybe if you have to turn out five pieces a day you may not have time.”
Wong says this is not a problem unique to crypto media. “I think you see the same thing with a lot of finance reporting,” he says. “You see the same thing with listed stocks, penny stocks, and so on. There’s lots of blogs and publications out there that do the same thing.”
The ACJR aims to improve standards in crypto journalism, and Wong points out that the more well-resourced a crypto publication is, the more likely the staff has been conditioned to be wary of running any messages a PR person wants to convey:
“Based on what I know of the reporters who work at some of these places […] they tend to be more skeptical and more critical about announcements and other notices put out by crypto PR folks, and because they work in crypto media, they are better equipped to actually cut through a lot of the marketing speak or the PR speak and get to the heart of the matter.”
Foxley agrees that some journalists always view PR people with suspicion. “I had some colleagues at CoinDesk that refused to interact with any PR people because they saw it necessarily tainting their work.”
How did we get here?
Wachsman is one of the biggest players in crypto PR, with 80 staff across offices in New York, Dublin and Singapore and clients including Cosmos, Hedera Hashgraph and NEM. The Financial Times recently named it one of the 500 fastest-growing companies in the Americas.
It traces its history back to when David Wachsman bumped into the CEO of Coinsetter in a bar in 2014. This led to Wachsman learning about Bitcoin and taking the exchange (later sold to Kraken) on as a client. He struck out on his own as a crypto specialist in 2015 and quickly signed up clients including Trezor, Slush Pool, Airbitz and the Coinsource Bitcoin ATM network.
Wachsman wasn’t the first crypto PR specialist. He credits Michael Terpin’s Transform PR with that honor, but he says those two firms were pretty much the extent of the crypto PR industry at that time.
“It wasn’t the wild west; it was non-existent,” he recalls. “Most of the time it was founders directly emailing reporters. They didn’t know the right protocol. Sometimes, they weren’t very informative; they didn’t answer questions appropriately or in a timely fashion.”
“I remember reporters being thrilled when you could do something like send them a high-resolution headshot,” he says.
When crypto firms needed publicity, they sometimes used mainstream PR agencies. Wong recalls how non-specialist often had zero understanding of what it was they were promoting. “I often knew a lot more than the PR person about what their client was doing,” he says.
“Whether it was a PR who was telling me about Bitcoin mining or some esoteric financial thing, a lot of folks at big agencies … have no clue what’s going on in cryptocurrency.”
Wachsman says a critical mass of specialist crypto PR firms didn’t appear until after the initial coin offering boom in 2017–2018. “Very few reporters, and consequently PR professionals, were paying attention,” he says.
Scams, spam and pay for play
Into the void stepped crypto’s infamous guerilla marketing and PR campaigns. Michael Whitlatch is now the creative director at North Equities, which conducts respectable digital marketing and PR campaigns for regulated listed companies.
But during the ICO boom, he fell into a very different job after convincing 300 people in six weeks to use his referral code to buy a coin. “I realized I kind of had a knack for this kind of thing,” he says.
Whitlatch and his team were responsible for spreading the word on social media about projects. If you’ve ever interacted with someone on Reddit, Facebook or 4Chan who has a high degree of knowledge about a coin and a very positive attitude toward it, you may have met them. If social sentiment in a project’s Telegram group was turning sour, it was the job of Whitlatch and his team to jump in the chat to spread positive vibes and information to help turn it around.
It was a much more sophisticated effort than the infamous bounty campaigns of the era that saw armies of people liking pages and writing spammy tweets about a project, often in broken English, for a handful of coins per task.
“Often, I would say bounty campaigns eventually wound up hurting companies,” Whitlatch says. “Because they did come across with the full shilly force of mistyped posts,” he says.
Whitlatch’s team stopped working in the area due to increasing regulations. “It was looking like it was going to go the way of securities, and we didn’t want to get involved with anything illegal,” he says.
Whitlatch’s team was at the more respectable end of such endeavors and genuinely believed in the projects it promoted — seeing it as a way to invest in them as they were invariably paid in tokens.
But others were much more mercenary. One ICO promotion outfit email doing the rounds in 2018 asked for a $22,000 monthly retainer for astroturfing an entire social media campaign, in which fake posts would be retweeted by fake accounts with fake followers, and entire Reddit threads fabricated by one guy with 10 sock puppet accounts:
“I can put you on the front page of any subreddit I want. I can get you a positive reaction from the basement dwellers at /biz (who spend a lot on crypto by the way). I can put you on the front page of Hacker News … I can kindle positive organic discussions about your company in places where other ICOs get torn to shreds.”
Other shady crypto and marketing PR firms openly offered guaranteed placement in publications like Forbes and Huffington Post for a flat fee. TechCrunch reporter John Biggs wrote in 2018 that he was offered payment for posts “almost every day and almost all the journalists I talked to reported the same.” Most declined, but some did not. “I heard about these things,” says Ankney, who adds:
“I found that really appalling. I was really angry and frustrated because even though I don’t have a journalism degree, I still held myself to a high journalistic standard. And I was shocked that others did not.”
There are still some echoes of these services today, such as Bitcoin PR Buzz, which bills itself as the “World’s First Crypto PR Agency” and claims to have helped 850 clients raise half a billion dollars. It offers the “Breakthrough Article Pack” for $13,997, which includes the services of a writer to put together a bespoke article that’s distributed on a variety of crypto sites including BeInCrypto, Bitcoinist and NewsBTC, among others.
Of course, there’s nothing unethical about running a sponsored article as long as it’s clearly identified as such, and it can only be presumed this is Bitcoin PR Buzz’s practice. However, these examples linked on this site are not tagged as sponsored posts.
Fortunately, as the industry became more and more professional, the PR and marketing cowboys began to disappear.
“I think it’s professionalized,” says Foxley. “I was not there in 2017 and 2016, so I won’t say anything about that. But I think PR people are more available; they understand the space more; they have an interest in maintaining relationships for the long term.”
There were a few false starts along the way. Wachsman explains that the first wave of professional PR specialists emerged in 2018 — only to be hit hard by crypto winter toward the end of the year.
“We saw the exit of a number of firms, including global agencies at the time. And not many of them were there for the real ascent of the industry in 2020.” Wachsman himself was forced to lay off 16 out of the 110 staff.
“It was rough because our team is so tight-knit that it felt like it was ripping out your left arm,” he says. But Wachsman survived and has since been joined by a raft of new firms.
One of those firms is Yap Global. Samantha Yap began her career as a broadcast journalist in Asia before jumping the fence to PR and later becoming enamored with crypto. She founded Yap Global in 2018, which has now grown to a team of 10 with clients including FTX, Enjin and Nexo.
One of the most misunderstood things about PR, explains Yap, is that it’s not just about creating and sending out messages. It’s also about carefully cultivating relationships with journalists and editors. “People forget that PR is not like advertising and marketing. It’s about relationships,” she says. “It’s a two-way street.”
At its best, PR and journalism are a mutually beneficial relationship, in which journalists are connected to relevant information and interviewees, while PR agencies are able to get coverage for their clients.
The relationship is important to tend to, as when it goes wrong, it can be very bad indeed. Foxley recalls a long-running feud between a well-known crypto PR agency and CoinDesk after the editors had become unhappy with how some stories had played out and blacklisted them.
“Some higher-profile people kept pitching us during it, and I think we stopped taking their stuff,” he says. Foxley recalls getting an ear-bashing from the PR firm’s founder one day.
“He just went off on me about how we weren’t correctly running (the agency’s) stories. And I was like, ‘Bro, I’ve never talked to you before,’ and then it ended up just him and (executive editor) Marc Hochstein talking for two hours on the phone and him complaining about CoinDesk and then I think things normalized.”
PR on news stories
While PR agents are often tasked with chasing journalists, what is equally important is how they deal with journalists when they start being chased themselves.
Journalists — who always need a response by five minutes ago — may not appreciate how much work goes on behind the scenes, says Ankney. She works in-house for Anchorage, which in January was given the approval to launch the first federally chartered crypto bank in the United States.
“Pretty much everything that we say has to be legally approved, which I think is probably a part of why it’s hard for reporters if you need a source in two hours,” she says. “It’s definitely difficult sometimes to get things approved in time.”
One of the trickiest situations for any PR professional is how to respond publicly during a crisis. One of the biggest “bad news” stories any crypto PR firm is likely to deal with is an exchange hack, where millions of dollars and millions of unhappy users are involved.
Wachsman has worked with Kraken, Binance, Bitfinex and Bitso over the years and says the first order of business is to prepare a detailed plan on how to respond to a potential hack accounting for all the different stakeholders while keeping one eye on the legal ramifications across multiple jurisdictions.
“When you work with an exchange, one of the first things you do is you prepare that playbook, and it’s quite extensive,” he says. Timely and accurate updates are the only way to play it, according to him. “You need to go and give them as much information as you can, that you know for certain is accurate,” he explains.
“Or else, what you’re going to do is create — I’m going to call it — the shitstorm.”
In the past, plenty of exchanges have attempted to spin a cover story about “system maintenance” to cover up a hack, but that’s playing with fire in a world of crowdsourced fact-checking by highly motivated users on social media.
“Everything is found out at some point,” says Foxley. “That’s just how it goes. Like you can’t keep a secret in crypto. That’s, like, the tagline, right: ‘Don’t trust, verify.’ So, I would not do that. I would be honest.”
*Thank you to Elias Ahonen for interviewing Samantha Yap for this story.
ETH smashes records, Bitcoin’s brilliant quarter, PayPal’s big move
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
Bitcoin suddenly hits $60,000 as a new resistance battle liquidates $850 million
A bout of long-overdue volatility has hit the crypto markets, propelling Bitcoin to highs of $61,276.67 on Saturday.
A sudden push allowed BTC/USD to exit the $50,000 price range in the early hours of the morning. This move had been weeks in the making, with the digital asset repeatedly trying (and failing) to break $60,000 for most of March.
Analyst Lex Moskovski said Bitcoin is now grinding up to a new all-time high, writing: “Being a bear is expensive.”
But it’s unclear how much staying power this rally has, and as we’ve seen over recent months, erratic market movements over weekends don’t always endure.
The favorable market conditions led to new all-time highs for Ether and Binance Coin on Saturday… and another altcoin has also been making a comeback, too.
XRP surpasses $1 for the first time since 2018: What’s behind the new rally?
XRP has had a remarkable week, and over the past seven days, it’s almost doubled in price. On Tuesday, the altcoin smashed through the $1 zone for the first time since March 2018, with its price going from strength to strength in the days that followed.
It is currently trading above the next resistance level at about $1.20, prompting some to set their sights on a macro sell-wall of $2 that dates all the way back to December 2017.
XRP has now regained the coveted position of the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. The uptick in trading volume may have been linked to Ripple unveiling a new acquisition designed to enhance its cross-border payment capabilities.
There was also some upbeat legal news for Ripple this week. Ripple Labs has been granted access to the SEC’s documents “expressing the agency’s interpretations or views” on the subject of crypto assets.
Counsel representing Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, believes it may be “game over” for the SEC’s suit should they find any evidence that the regulator has deemed XRP akin to Bitcoin or Ether.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Ripple Labs chief technology officer David Schwartz urged U.S. regulators to “look at the rest of the world,” warning America risks falling behind when it comes to crypto and blockchain regulation.
Coinbase’s first-quarter revenue hits record $1.8 billion ahead of its Nasdaq listing
It’s been a week of upbeat statistics for the crypto sector. We saw the total market cap hit $2 trillion, meaning that the industry is now worth as much as Apple. There was a big milestone as 100 cryptocurrencies all secured their own $1-billion market cap for the first time. It was also revealed that the crypto industry got more funding in Q1 than all of last year.
Next week is also shaping to be a significant one as Coinbase gears up to make its stock market debut. And ahead of Wednesday’s direct listing, we got an insight into the company’s finances — revealing that revenues hit $1.8 billion from January to March.
The exchange’s numbers seem very healthy, indeed, undoubtedly because of the bull run that emerged during the first quarter. Net income has been estimated at between $730 million and $800 million for the period — with monthly active users now exceeding 6 million.
But not everyone is cracking open the champagne. Some analysts have warned that Coinbase’s $100-billion valuation is far too high.
David Trainer, CEO of the investment research firm New Constructs, wrote in a note to clients: “It’s hard to make a straight-faced argument that the firm can justify the lofty expectations baked into its valuation given increasing competition in a mature cryptocurrency trading market and the lack of sustainability in its current market share and margins.”
Paris Hilton drops surprisingly well-informed article about NFTs
Paris Hilton has written an impassioned article about NFTs, declaring that she sees them as “the future of the creator economy.”
The entrepreneur and former reality star appears to be aiming to position herself as an authority on the NFT space, at least for a mainstream audience, as she readies to release a new drop soon.
Celebrating their role when it comes to digital art and fashion — not to mention bringing the world of trading cards into the 21st century — she wrote:
“Some of these applications might even change the way we live. What if we could use NFTs as collateral for physical items? Or as a way to trade for them?”
Hilton sold her first NFT in August 2020 before the mania arrived in 2021 — an NFT depicting a painting of her cat, which sold for $17,000. She donated all the proceeds to charity.
Couple gets married on Ethereum blockchain for $587 in transaction fees
Coinbase employees Rebecca Rose and Peter Kacherginsky have gotten married using the Ethereum blockchain — adding a whole new meaning to the vows “for richer or poorer.”
In addition to a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, Kacherginsky wrote an Ethereum smart contract named Tabaat that issued tokenized NFTs, the “rings.”
The ceremony itself consisted of two transactions: the transfer of the NFT “rings” from the contract to Rose and Kacherginsky. In total, the ceremony took four minutes to be validated by the Ethereum network and incurred $50 in miner fees.
By contrast, the average physical wedding in the United States costs roughly $25,000.
The NFTs depict an animation of two circles merging to become one and were illustrated by artist Carl Johan Hasselrot.
Rose wrote on Twitter: “The blockchain, unlike physical objects, is forever. It is unstoppable, impossible to censor, and does not require anyone’s permission. Just as love should be. What could possibly be more romantic than that?”
Announcement of the week
Markets Pro delivers up to 1,497% ROI as quant-style crypto analysis arrives for every investor
It’s now been a month since Cointelegraph Markets Pro launched — bringing professional crypto market intelligence to every investor.
New figures this week showed that 41 of the 42 trading strategies tested by Markets Pro are currently beating Bitcoin’s investment returns, and 36 of them are winning against an evenly weighted basket of the top 100 altcoins.
Two key features are offered to subscribers. The first is the VORTECS™ Score, which is derived from an algorithm that examines multiple different variables (including sentiment, tweet volume, price volatility and trading volume) and compares those with historically similar marketscapes.
And the second is NewsQuakes™: alerts on events that have historically had a significant impact on an asset’s price over the following 24 hours.
Cointelegraph Markets Pro is available exclusively to subscribers on a monthly basis at $99 per month, or annually with two free months included.
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $60,531.89, Ether at $2,165.46 and XRP at $1.31. The total market cap is at $2,054,795,567,223.
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Bitcoin Gold, KuCoin Token and XRP. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Klaytn, Holo and Dent.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
Most Memorable Quotations
“Fascinating to see that since inception ETH has outperformed BTC by 250%. It only fell below its initial price in BTC for the first 5 months of its existence in 2015.”
Raoul Pal, Real Vision co-founder
“The pandemic, quite frankly, was a catalyst for institutional adoption, and specifically Bitcoin and the narrative, or use-case, around digital gold.”
Tom Jessop, Fidelity
“Industries from across the global economy are beginning to decarbonize their operations. We can do the same in crypto. We have the opportunity to decarbonize the industry.”
Crypto Climate Accord
“What we need is for the United States to be the leader here. We need to embrace this, so we need to make sure that we use this technology to continue to be a leader on the global stage.”
Anthony Pompliano, Morgan Creek Digital co-founder
“Even though I’m a pro-crypto, pro-Bitcoin maximalist person, I do wonder whether if at this point, Bitcoin should also be thought of in part as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S.”
Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder
“I’m not using crypto to buy fiat; I’m not using crypto to buy houses. I just want to keep crypto. And I don’t plan to convert my crypto into cash in the future.”
Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO
“Not for nothing, $XRP technically has taken all necessary strides to be bullish. After the exchange delistings and write-off by most of CT, this essentially left the market short from both a positional and sidelined standpoint. This can move much higher.”
Cantering Clark, crypto derivatives trader
“If you look at gold as a $10 trillion market cap, Bitcoin is about 10% of that, and if we believe Bitcoin is a 100 times better version than that, then it’s fairly safe to say that there’s a stark chance that Bitcoin captures a lot of gold and market share, and more.”
Yassine Elmandjra, Ark Invest analyst
Prediction of the Week
Ark Invest and JPMorgan expect Bitcoin to hit $130,000–$470,000
JPMorgan Chase expects Bitcoin to reach $130,000, while Ark Invest anticipates the market valuation of BTC to surpass that of gold.
The optimistic macro prediction from both funds revolves around the scarcity of Bitcoin, which has buoyed its popularity as a safe-haven asset.
Bloomberg Intelligence also has high hopes when it comes to the second quarter of 2021. This week, it predicted that the second quarter was more likely to deliver a further surge to $80,000 than a capitulatory move to $40,000.
FUD of the Week
Bitcoin to zero? Not while this Redditor has $187,000 to spend
There have long been doomsday predictions that we’ll see Bitcoin prices plummet to zero, but one person has vowed that this won’t happen, not on their watch.
Reddit user u/Substantial-Ad-5012 wrote: “Bitcoin will never go to zero in my lifetime. Because I am willing and able to buy all the Bitcoin ever mined at one cent each.”
In the unlikely event that Bitcoin does in fact drop to $0.01, it would cost a mere $187,000 to pick up every coin in circulation — not accounting for the fact that up to 20% of all Bitcoin are inaccessible.
They’re not alone. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao told his followers last March that they shouldn’t be worried about BTC hitting zero. “So long as I have a penny left, it won’t happen,” he wrote.
Paxful denies reports of customer data leak
An anonymous online source was recently spotted trying to sell private customer and employee data allegedly obtained from crypto exchange Paxful.
However, a spokesperson from the company has told Cointelegraph that no customer data has been jeopardized.
Explaining that Paxful hasn’t fallen victim to a data breach, the spokesperson added: “The employee data that the person claims to have was obtained illegally from a third party supplier that Paxful previously used; Paxful terminated its contract with this supplier in September 2020.”
The person attempting to sell the information claimed to have phone numbers, names and addresses, as well as other private information belonging to users — and the “dump” purportedly boasted more than 4.8 million entries.
Ledger faces class action from phishing scam victims
Ledger and Shopify have been hit by a class-action lawsuit over a major data breach that saw the personal data of 270,000 hard wallet customers stolen between April and June 2020.
Phishing scam victims John Chu and Edward Baton filed the lawsuit in California against the crypto wallet provider and its e-commerce partner Shopify on Tuesday.
The plaintiffs alleged that the firms “negligently allowed, recklessly ignored, and then intentionally sought to cover up” the data breach.
The data was stolen when rogue employees of Shopify accessed the company’s e-commerce and marketing database for Ledger, with the hackers then selling the data on the dark web.
“Had Ledger acted responsibly during this period, much of that loss could have been avoided,” they claim.
Chu lost $267,000 worth of Bitcoin and Ether, and Baton lost $75,000 worth of Stellar in phishing scams that impersonated correspondence from the firms.
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