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MGI Shares Plummet 22%, MoneyGram Relationship with Ripple on Hold

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The shares of MoneyGram may bounce back to better days as the legal team representing Ripple reportedly had a great showing in the first court hearing.

The shares of American money transfer giant Moneygram International Inc (NASDAQ: MGI) are coasting down the drains as the company has placed its business relationship with embattled blockchain payments outfit Ripple Labs Inc on hold. As reported by Coindesk, the move by the former firm was attributed to the latter’s ongoing legal battle involving the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In a statement issued back in December 2020, MoneyGram said it will be monitoring the Ripple-SEC situation as it has not been officially informed of the harmful impact of the lawsuit on its business relationships.

“The Company has not currently been notified or been made aware of any negative impact to its commercial agreement with Ripple but will continue to monitor for any potential impact as developments in the lawsuit evolve,” MoneyGram said at the time, reiterating that it “has had a commercial agreement with Ripple since June 2019; this agreement represents the use of Ripple’s foreign exchange (FX) blockchain trading platform (ODL) for the purchase or sale of four currencies.”

The recent development features MGI halting its Ripple partnership, until there is at least, a regulatory clarity with the SEC over the status of XRP as investment security or not. The Dallas-based money transfer company revealed on Monday it “is not planning for any benefit from Ripple market development fees in the first quarter” of 2021. The firm accrued as much as $12.1 million in related revenue from the blockchain company in the same period in 2020.

The news has turned out bearish for both MoneyGram and XRP as the shares of the former closed Monday’s session down by 22.91% to $8.38, and XRP is in a bear market with over 23.78% loss to $0.4565 in the past 24 hours. MGI has been stretched on the losing streak shown by a further drop of 2.74% in the after-hours trading.

Hopes of MoneyGram Shares Rebounding amid Ripple’s Compelling Court Case

The shares of MoneyGram may bounce back to better days as the legal team representing Ripple reportedly had a great showing in the first court hearing held yesterday, February 22nd. As revealed, the blockchain firm threw a bombshell argument against the SEC, recalling a move back in 2019 when a crypto exchange approached the regulator to demand clarity on the status of XRP, prior to listing the coin on its platform.

The SEC was unable to provide this clarity as demanded, forcing the exchange to conduct its own research, succeeded by the listing of the cryptocurrency. Ripple argues to note what has changed from 2019 to date which inspired the commission’s drive to prosecute the firm.

Ripple also revealed other nation’s regulators have ruled that XRP is a cryptocurrency further highlighting the confusion the SEC is plunging the firm and its ecosystem into.

As the legal battle proceeds in the coming days, MGI shares may rebound if the Ripple argument works in its favor against the Gary Gensler-led commission.

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Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.



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‘Shift 1% of Portfolio into Bitcoin’, JPMorgan Advises Investors as Bull Run Cools Off

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Analysts of JPMorgan highlighted the evaporating liquid supply as multi-billion dollar institutions and corporations are buying substantial quantities at a fast rate.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) strategists have suggested that investors should consider moving 1% of their portfolio into Bitcoin to serve as a hedge against fluctuations in traditional asset classes including stocks, bonds, and commodities.

Many people over the years including the majority of Wall Street saw Bitcoin as a commodity without any strong backing, hence doubting its ability to perform and stay in the financial scene. It seems the narrative about the biggest digital coin is gradually changing which is evident in the new wave of institutional influx in the crypto market. 

The latest endorsement from the US multinational investment bank, JPMorgan has boosted the already existing notion which has seen many experts tout Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation. The bank has told its investors that they can shift 1% of their portfolio into Bitcoin only if those investors have just a small interest in Bitcoin.

Analysts from the bank highlighted the evaporating liquid supply as multi-billion dollar institutions and corporations are buying substantial quantities at a fast rate. “The demand for bitcoin is significantly higher than the actual supply and investors could put 1% of their portfolio in BTC,” JPMorgan advised. 

Bitcoin’s last halving which happened in May last year, saw the production rate of new Bitcoins slashed into two. The increasing demand that followed the halving, coupled with its decreasing liquid supply drove the price of the coin up as it has gained over 50% value since January 1.

The latest interest from institutions has further fueled the decreasing liquid supply as MicroStrategy Inc (NASDAQ: MSTR) now owns over 90,000 Bitcoin, with Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) allocating $1.5 billion in the asset while Grayscale is purchasing new coins at record levels. 

JPM strategists Joyce Chang and Amy Ho in a note to clients stated that “in a multi-asset portfolio, investors can likely add up to 1% of their allocation to cryptocurrencies in order to achieve any efficiency gain in the overall risk-adjusted returns of the portfolio.”

Bitcoin’s insane bull run looks to have hit a wall as its value has seen a 20% decline since its all-time high of over $58,000 on February 21. JP Morgan’s latest comments have been met with criticisms as it contradicts earlier statements made by other strategists from the bank, which stated that “crypto assets should be treated as investment vehicles and not funding currencies such as USD or JPY.”

The bank also claimed that “crypto assets continue to rank as the poorest hedge for major drawdowns in equities,” but looks to have circled back on its words. 

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Crypto fanatic, writer and researcher. Thinks that Blockchain is second to a digital camera on the list of greatest inventions.



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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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