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JPMorgan Says Fintech Not Bitcoin Will Dominate Financial Services as COVID-19 Persists

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Before now, strategists at JPMorgan compared Bitcoin with gold, viewing BTC as a new digital store for it.

Investment banking giant JPMorgan Chase &Co (NYSE: JPM) believes that fintech, not Bitcoin, will dominate the financial services amid the persisting Covid-19. According to JPMorgan, Bitcoin is just an “economic side show.”

Despite the crypto frenzy over the past months, analysts at JPMorgan said cryptocurrency still lacks some factors preventing it from becoming a mainstream asset.

Notably, Bitcoin has been pulling in increases over the past year and has also recorded new highs. On the 20th of February, Coinspeaker reported that Bitcoin hit a new all-time high of over $56,400. Also, the overall crypto market value spiked above 5% to $1.7 trillion in 24 hours.

Since news on Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin became public, BTC has continually recorded increases. Since then, Bitcoin has jumped about 40%. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is down 10.11% to $50,133.41.

Apart from Bitcoin, altcoins have also been performing excellently. Recently, top altcoins also reached respective highs. Ether (ETH) topped $2,000 for the first time in history. Currently, ETH is down 13.63% to $1,596.26. Ethereum has been surging since the beginning of 2021. The second-largest crypto asset by market cap has gained about 170% in its year-to-date record.

The native cryptocurrency of the Binance blockchain, Binance Coin (BNB), also recorded the most outstanding increase of over 120% on weekly charts. The Coinspeaker report noted that BNB reached a new ATH of $332. However, BNB price has corrected and is currently down 15.02% to $234.64.

JPMorgan Says Fintech Is Real Financial Transformational Story of Covid-19 Era

According to a CNBC report, analysts at JPMorgan tied Bitcoin’s constant gains to Tesla’s announcement to begin accepting BTC as a form of payment. Also, the analysts noted the announcement by the world’s largest custodian bank BNY Mellon (NYSE: BK) to offer Bitcoin services as a factor fueling Bitcoin’s rally. Moreover, Mastercard Inc (NYSE: MA) has also announced plans to begin facilitating crypto transactions.

Despite the crypto rally, JPMorgan wrote:

“But fintech innovation and increased demand for digital services are the real Covid-19 story with the rise of online start-ups and expansion of digital platforms into credit and payments.”

Before now, strategists at JPMorgan compared Bitcoin with gold, viewing BTC as a new digital store for gold. The strategists considered Bitcoin’s limited supply of $21 million. Additionally, JPMorgan strategist predicted earlier that Bitcoin could climb as high as $146,000.

In early January, JPMorgan wrote in a note that BTC could hit $146,000 as it competes with gold as an alternative currency. However, the investment giant said that Bitcoin’s volatility would need to reduce significantly to boost investment confidence among institutional investors.

In the CNBC report, JPMorgan revealed that digital finance and demand for fintech alternatives is “the real financial transformation story of the COVID-19 era.”

“Traditional banks could emerge as endgame winners in the digital age of banking due to their advantage from deposit franchise, risk management and regulation,” added the investment banking company.

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Ibukun is a crypto/finance writer interested in passing relevant information, using non-complex words to reach all kinds of audience. Apart from writing, she likes to see movies, cook, and explore restaurants in the city of Lagos, where she resides.



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New Record Made for Individual NFT as Beeple’s Project Sold for $6.6M

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According to reports, “Crossroads” by Beeple was purchased on November 1, for $66,666.60 by a user identified as Pablo. Interestingly, the new user offered a whopping sum of $6.6 million to repurchase and stay anonymous.

Beeple, also known as Mike Winklemann, a Buzzy digital artist, has smashed the previous selling record of $1.5 million with his “Crossroads” project after its being resold for $6.6 million. According to reports, “Crossroads” by Beeple was purchased on November 1, for $66,666.60 by a user identified as Pablo. Interestingly, the new user offered a whopping sum of $6.6 million to repurchase and stay anonymous. This is said to be 100 times more than the original purchase amount. The record of the single NFT sale of Beeple’s project was held by a user identified as “CryptoPunk 6965” which according to reports sold for 800 ETH, equivalent to $1.55 million last week. 

It is disclosed that the Crossroads project was largely influenced by the 2020 US presidential election. The project has rare creativity which projected one of the two animations that may depend on the results of the election. One of the animations portrayed a triumphant Trump, and the other portrayed a forgotten and despondent one. 

The hard work and effort coupled with the creativity of digital art are highly appreciated by many, but a few people think the value of these pieces of art is exaggerated. Lark Davies, a Cryptocurrency Youtuber believes that the $6.6 million selling price of the artwork by Beeple shows NFT mania is heating up. He stated that the NFT selling price is an indication that “people have more money than sense”. 

The artist behind the project is on the verge of making another history as the first-ever NFT to be sold in a traditional auction house. His work is being listed by Christie’s Inc in partnership with Makersplace, an NFT marketplace. This will end on March 11 in a two weeks program. The artist has over the last 14 years produced a little over 5000 unique images with one produced each day. Some of the themes include the Desire and Resentment of Wealth, Society Obsession with and Fear of Technology, and Turbulent Political Scenes in America. A piece titled “Everyday: the First 5000 Days” being auctioned for $100 has received about 120 bids with $2.2 million as the latest. 

Digital artists are receiving increasing attention in recent times with the likes of Trevor Jones being the center of attraction. An edition art opened by Jones entitled “The Bitcoin Angel” was very patronized. He ended up selling 4157 editions in just 7 minutes. Selling each of them for $777, he made about $3.2 million. 

Noah Davies, a Christie’s specialist in post-war and contemporary art leading the Beeple’s sale stated that as an organization, Christie’s is excited to see about $3.5 million appearing out of thin air. He explained that the world is seeing an era where different things excite the younger collectors. This could be a demographic shift, a generational shift, or a drastic shift. 

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Excellent John K. Kumi is a cryptocurrency and fintech enthusiast, operations manager of a fintech platform, writer, researcher, and a huge fan of creative writing. With an Economics background, he finds much interest in the invisible factors that causes price change in anything measured with valuation. He has been in the crypto/blockchain space in the last five (5) years. He mostly watches football highlights and movies in his free time.



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DigitalOcean Becomes Latest Company to File for IPO

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DigitalOcean has filed to go public on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “DOCN.” DigitalOcean joins Coinbase in a list of tech companies listed this wee

DigitalOcean, a cloud service provider and hosting company, has filed a registration statement for a proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO). The tech company joins a long list of tech companies looking to capitalize on the current stock frenzy. More specifically, DigitalOcean is the second high-profile tech company to push for listing after Coinbase. The crypto exchange on Thursday opened its books to the public.

There is also a huge similarity between the two companies looking at their 2020 financials. Coinbase disclosed that it recorded a profit of $322 million on revenues in excess of $1.2 billion. DigitalOcean hit $300 million in revenue in 2020. Both of these are impressive given how many companies struggled to record profits since the pandemic struck.

Though the DigitalOcean has every intention to go public and is taking a straightforward approach. However, the number of shares and price have not yet been disclosed. Furthermore, there are no assurances as to the date their offers will end or the terms. In its filing, the company noted:

“DigitalOcean intends to list its common stock under the ticker symbol ‘DOCN’ on the New York Stock Exchange. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. The offering is subject to market conditions, and there can be no assurance as to whether, or when, the offering may be completed or as to the actual size or terms of the offering,”

The digital company in 2020 raised $50 million with a valuation of $1.5B. Now, it is seeking to raise an additional $100 million.

Is It The Right Time for DigitalOcean to Go for IPO?

TechCrunch reports that DigitalOcean’s financial results do not tell the whole story. While the company took $300M in profit, it also saw a huge layoff early in the year as well as a $100M debt raise. This is however unlikely to sway interested investors who will only be interested in the profit recorded at the end of the year.

The listing comes at a time when companies are partnering with special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). These are shell companies that help raise money before a listing and guarantee a valuation. They have further been a sure way to get positive hype around the stock in its first few days of trading.

DigitalOcean and Coinbase are therefore listing in an ideal time that is at the very least guaranteed to see them soar in the short term. in the long term, performance will likely be influenced by the wider market trend.

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Kiguru is a fine writer with a preference for innovation, finance, and the convergence of the two. A firm adherent to the groundbreaking capability of cryptographic forms of money and the blockchain. When not in his office, he is tuned in to Nas, Eminem, and The Beatles.



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ZM Stock Drops 5.32%, Zoom Shares Down for Seventh Day in Row

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Although Zoom stock is now experiencing hard times, it still holds a Zacks #1 Rank, which is a Strong Buy. Besides, Robert W. Baird analyst William Power is also maintaining a Buy rating on Zoom Video Communications. On Wednesday, he set a price target of $550.00 for Zoom shares.

Online conferencing giant Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ: ZM) is going through a bad patch. Zoom stock has been down for a week already, falling for the seventh day in a row. On Thursday, Zoom stock ended the session at $364.73 per share, or 5.32% down. In pre-market trading, it is plunging further, its price makes up $363.00 as of the press moment. The one-month performance of Zoom stock is also not much to boast of, as Zoom shares have fallen by 1.97% during that period.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom was growing. During the global quarantine and stay-at-home policy, the company also was performing well. It turned out to be one of the winners in the economic downturn. Within one year, Zoom stock gained as much as 247.36%, with its market cap hitting $112.44 billion. However, now the economy is bouncing back, and investors’ attention is slightly shifting toward “reopening” names that will benefit from the economic recovery.

Although Zoom stock is now experiencing hard times, it still holds a Zacks #1 Rank, which is a Strong Buy. Besides, Robert W. Baird analyst William Power is also maintaining a Buy rating on Zoom Video Communications. On Wednesday, he set a price target of $550.00 for Zoom shares.

On March 1, after the market close, Zoom will release its Q4 fiscal 2021 financial results. As the expectations of the company’s performance are big, its stock may soar amid the report.

How to Mitigate ‘Zoom Fatique’?

Lately, Zoom has been a subject of criticism because of a phenomenon called Zoom fatigue. The phenomenon describes the taxing feeling you get after having too many video calls. Researchers from Stanford were among the first to start closely studying how videoconferencing affects people on a psychological level. The results of their research have been published by Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab.

According to the researches, it all started with the pandemic. In 2020, videoconferencing became a critical tool that allowed schools and businesses to continue working during shelter-in-place. While it helped millions of people worldwide, it provoked some psychological consequences of spending hours per day online. In particular, those using videoconferencing tools feel tiredness, worry, or burnout.

The reasons for Zoom fatigue include excessive amounts of close-up eye gaze, cognitive load, increased self-evaluation from staring at video of oneself, and constraints on physical mobility.

To fix these problems, Jeremy Bailenson offered to increase face-to-face communication, create a larger field of view, take an “audio-only” breaks on days when you have several long meetings, and from time to time use the “hide self-view” feature on Zoom. And of course, if the real face-to-face meeting is available, it is better avoid using a device to run it.

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Daria is an economic student interested in the development of modern technologies. She is eager to know as much as possible about cryptos as she believes they can change our view on finance and the world in general.



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