Morgan Creek Digital has scored what it says is probably the first investment in the crypto asset universe from a U.S. pension fund. Two pension plans in Fairfax County, Virginia are anchor investors in a new $40 million venture-capital fund, according to a statement from the company. Other investors include an insurance company, a university endowment and a private foundation, said Morgan Creek Digital founder Anthony Pompliano, who declined to provide further details.
Many institutional investors, which crypto enthusiasts believe will be drawn to digital assets because of their volatility and potential out-sized gains, have been deterred by market manipulation and a lack of regulation. The Virginia pension funds join a handful of institutions to invest in the crypto world, including Yale University, the second-largest endowment in higher education that invested in a digital assets fund last year.
Fairfax County Retirement Systems manages three separate defined benefit plans, two of which invested in the Morgan Creek Digital fund, said Pompliano. Katherine Molnar, chief investment officer of one of the funds, said in a statement that blockchain technology, which was first developed to record the movement of Bitcoin, is an “emerging opportunity” that offers an “attractive asymmetric return profile.’’
Pompliano said his new fund is structured like a traditional venture capital fund that will invest in the equity of companies in the blockchain and digital assets industry. The fund will also hold a small percentage of its value in liquid cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, said Pompliano. Bitcoin lost about 75 percent of its value in 2018.
“There’s a belief in the institutional world that if the industry will be around for a long time, it will be very valuable,’’ Pompliano said in a phone interview. “The smart money is not distracted by price but looks at the long-term trends, and believes they’re betting on innovation as a great way to deliver risk-mitigated returns.’’
Morgan Creek Digital, which is an affiliate of the investment manager Morgan Creek Capital Management LLC, exceeded its original target of $25 million for the fund. Its pitch: all traditional assets will eventually be represented by digital tokens, while the influx of intellectual capital into digital assets will create positive returns. It also argues that cryptocurrencies are not correlated to traditional assets, giving investors unique exposures.
BiKi.com Compares Favorably Against Top Exchanges Binance, OKEx and Huobi
The numbers are in and fast-growing exchange BiKi.com is proving it is no flash in the pan. According to official reports, BiKi.com’s revenue figures in the second quarter exceeded USD 15 million, which is a 500% increase when compared to figures from the first quarter. This works out to one-eighth of leading exchange Binance’s reported Q2 revenues.
BiKi’s June trading fees is also currently 20% of OKEx’s. Its total registered users have now reached 1.5 million, with 130,000 daily active users, numbers which are comparable to top tier exchanges like Huobi. The trading platform now provides 220 trading pairs and ranks amongst the top 20 on exchange ranking sites such as Feixiaohao and Mytoken.
BiKi.com has continued to forge an impressive progression since it began in June 2018 and this has attracted investments of nearly USD 10 million the past year from investment institutions and individuals the likes of Du Jun, Zhu Huaiyang (Genesis Capital), FBG Capital, and ChainUp.
Cryptocurrency exchanges generally operate within an extremely competitive environment and many exchanges undertake wash trading to maintain their competitive edge. BiKi.com claims it does not practice wash trading and attributes its success to two factors – project selection and how it gains and retains market share.
BiKi adopts an astute set of criteria when choosing projects to list and one of them requires that all listed projects have strong communities of token holders behind them. This is contrary to cryptocurrency exchanges who charge high listing fees and then have to rack their brains to bring in users to trade. As was the case with FCoin Exchange, the “Transaction Mining” mechanism devised by its team did indeed attract a huge user base within a short period of time. However, once the dividend period was over, it was simply a matter of time before its user base had all but dissipated.
BiKi chooses its projects wisely – listed projects on BiKi have large communities and frequent traders who possess diverse assets. Additionally, BiKi already has 5 Wechat community leaders with over 1 million followers who are community token holders and over 10 Wechat community leaders with over 100,000 followers, which contribute to 80% of the exchange’s traffic volume. By leveraging on the strengths of its projects and BiKi’s own strong Wechat communities, BiKi has managed to carve out a fast track to gaining liquidity and trading volume.
BiKi’s strategy of maintaining long term relationships with venture capitalists and investors ensures that BiKi has opportunities to either list top tier projects on a moment’s notice, or be the first exchange to list a certain project. As a result, BiKi’s users have access to a wide variety of high quality tokens to trade – clearly a factor why BiKi has emerged as the industry dark horse.
Conversely, projects who list on BiKi see the exchange as a stepping stone to gain a new level of recognition in the industry. Listing on BiKi has become somewhat of a yardstick measure of project quality, aided in no small way by BiKi’s 130,000 daily active users who organically generate demand for their tokens.
Gaining and Retaining Market Share
The sustainability of an exchange is actually not dependent on its current profitability, but on its ability to retain its users and effectively recruit new ones. BiKi was the first exchange to acquire users through its ‘community fission’ model, which is a way of scaling communities using recommendations from present users to attract more users.
Blockchain projects cannot succeed without strong communities, and the network dynamics BiKi uses to acquire users are one of its core competitive advantages. Presently, BiKi has more than 200 official community groups, more than 100,000 community members, and is still growing at a rate of 300 new members per day.
Using its “Community Partners Programme” to attract new users daily, BiKi currently has over 1000 Community Partners and is increasing at a rate of 30 per day. BiKi’s targeted 10,000 Community Partners within 2019 is estimated to bring with them 500,000 new users to the exchange.
Similar to Chinese e-commerce platforms Yunji and Pinduoduo, BiKi’s Partner Program rewards Community Partners who introduce more active users to the platform. The ‘community fission’ model shifts the responsibility of customer acquisition to present customers themselves and its inherent network dynamics builds a base of new users that continues to ‘grow’ other users.
What is important to note, though, is that despite the program restricting the network to only two tiers of membership, the efficacy of this model speaks for itself – BiKi has managed to amass 130,000 daily active users and USD 15 million in Q2.
During a bear market, BiKi.com acquired 1.5 million registered users on the exchange, setting an industry precedent in user acquisition. BiKi’s strong base of relationships and users provides a clear value proposition that projects can tap into to reach their milestones. The exchange continues to welcome projects to join the growing community of choice projects currently listed on BiKi.com.
Headquartered in Singapore, BiKi.com is a global cryptocurrency exchange that provides a digital assets platform for trading more than 100 cryptocurrencies and 220 trading pairs. Since beginning operations in June 2018, BiKi.com is considered one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrency exchanges in the world with an accumulated 1.5 million registered users and 130,000 daily active users, ranking within the top 20 exchanges globally.
Cuba Studying Cryptocurrency as Part of Economic Crisis Measures
Cuba’s Communist government said on Tuesday it was studying the potential use of cryptocurrency as part of a series of measures to boost its economy amid a deepening crisis exacerbated by U.S. sanctions. Cryptocurrency, which allows financial operations to be carried out anonymously, has been used in the past to get around capital controls. Cuba’s top ally Venezuela introduced a cryptocurrency last year aiming to avoid U.S. sanctions and weather hyperinflation, although it never properly got off the ground.
Cuba’s inefficient state-run economy is facing a crisis due to a sharp decline in Venezuelan aid, lower exports and the tightening of the decades-old U.S. trade embargo under President Donald Trump.
The new measures, announced on a roundtable on state-run TV by President Miguel Diaz-Canel and his government, will raise income for around a quarter of the population and deepen market reforms of one of the world’s last Soviet-style command economy’s started by the island nation’s previous president, Raul Castro.
The aim is to raise national production and demand in order to boost growth as U.S. sanctions target tourism and foreign investment. Diaz-Canel, working to establish his legitimacy after assuming the presidency in April 2018, said the government was working on the details of the implementation.
“We are studying the potential use of cryptocurrency … in our national and international commercial transactions, and we are working on that together with academics,” Economy Minister Alejandro Gil Fernandez said.
The most popular measure in the new package will likely be the hikes in some pensions and wages for workers in public administration, social services and state-run media, bringing the medium monthly wage in those sectors up to the equivalent of $44.5 from around $25 previously.
Many Cubans say the measure still will not be sufficient to breach the gap between salaries and the cost of living. Nonetheless it should boost purchasing power, as long as inflation is kept in check.
“It’s not ideal, but it’s an advance,” said Pavel Joaquin Hernandez, 46, a general practitioner who will go from earning the equivalent of around $40 per month to $64.
Cuban economist Omar Everleny said the raise was crucial given how demotivated workers were, with many emigrating.
“For the first time, (the government) is linking the fact that everything can be achieved if workers are motivated,” he said.
Gil Fernandez said the government was also broadening a series of measures aimed at decentralizing and thus improving state-run company performance and stimulating local production, substitution of imports and increasing exports. For example, he said, financial service companies would be established to provide cash in the face of opportunity more quickly than the centralized planning system.
The government would also expand a system allowing some companies to keep a percentage of the hard currency they earn in order to reinvest it immediately rather than have to apply for credit.
State companies, agricultural entities and other economic actors that supply a growing number of firms in the Mariel Special Economic Zone, a project resembling China’s first capitalist oasis, would receive a percentage of sales in hard currency, Gil Fernandez said.
The government was also studying how to allow the growing number of small private businesses to export through the state-run businesses, he said.
While there’s still interest in cryptocurrencies, just one-in-ten understand how they work
The Kaspersky’s report, ‘Uncharted territory: why consumers are still wary about adopting cryptocurrency’, reveals that whilst 29% of people have some knowledge of cryptocurrencies and there is a demand among many to use the technology, just one-in-ten (10%) fully comprehend how they work.
The rate in which cryptocurrencies are being adopted by global consumers is slowing down, despite celebrities like Johnny Depp and YouTube influencers such PewDiePie embracing the technology. Many consumers still lack a proper understanding of how cryptocurrencies work and this is continuing to halt mainstream adoption. To date, four-in-five people (81%) have never purchased cryptocurrency, highlighting just how far away we are from it being accepted as a common form of payment or investment.
Kaspersky’s survey found that there is a desire amongst many consumers to use cryptocurrency, but a knowledge gap is getting in the way of taking the plunge. In addition, many people who thought they knew with what they are dealing with, later decided against using cryptocurrency. Nearly a fifth (18%) stopped because it became too technically complicated.
This lack of understanding could be leading to mistrust in cryptocurrencies’ ability to keep consumers’ money safe. For instance, nearly a third (31%) of respondents stated that they believe cryptocurrencies are quite volatile and they need to be stabile before they are prepared to use them. There is also a common perception amongst consumers that cryptocurrency will not be around forever. A third (35%) believe cryptocurrencies are a fad that is not worth bothering about.
While widespread interest in cryptocurrencies may have already peaked, there is still a demand to use the technology. Almost every sixth (14%) of those surveyed said that while they are not using cryptocurrency at the moment, they would like to do so in the future. Yet there is still doubt amongst consumers – often led by a fear that there is a real risk to their finances. Fraudsters can use cryptocurrencies to their advantage, with around one-in-five (19%) of those surveyed saying they have experienced hacking attacks on exchanges. Criminals also create fake e-wallets to attract people to unwisely invest their money, and 15% of consumers have been victims of cryptocurrency fraud.
Following several years of cybersecurity research into crypto start-ups, Kaspersky recommends crypto businesses adopt best security practices for smart contract developers, use proven frameworks for smart contracts (such as https://openzeppelin.org/) and conduct a third-party assessment of the smart contract to ensure any potential vulnerabilities are not missed.
“It is clear that mainstream adoption and growth of cryptocurrency is being held back due to the vulnerable nature of the technology. While there is a high appetite to use it, giving your hard-earned cash to something you don’t fully understand, or trust, is a hurdle. With the safety of investments being of paramount importance to consumers, it is vital that they take their own steps to safeguard it. Like with any cyberthreat, there is no substitute for vigilance – if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is. If you want to trade crypto-assets on any exchange, pay attention to the safety of your account’s credentials. If your goal is long-term investment or use crypto-currencies for payments, then store it in safe environments and use multiple wallets, or distribute between both software and hardware. We also encourage crypto businesses to organize themselves effectively to show they are able to protect their customers’ investments,” Vitaly Mzokov, Head of Commercialization at Kaspersky comments.
To help improve stability and foster trust in cryptocurrencies, Kaspersky partners such as Merkeleon have developed legitimate marketplace platforms, online auction platforms, cryptocurrency exchanges and crypto payment systems.
“Cryptocurrency certainly has its benefits but, as we can see, many consumers are still unaware of what they are due to concerns over security and how the technology works. It is an exciting industry to be involved in but it is one that is built upon trust. It is, therefore, imperative that cryptocurrency businesses do all they can to protect their networks and ensure their customers’ finances are safe and secure,” explains Alexey Sidorowich, Head of Sales and Business Development at Merkeleon.
For further information on how we provide transparent and powerful protection for crypto-trading platforms and token offering projects, please click here. To learn more about protection for consumers, please visit our website.
To find out more about how consumers feel towards cryptocurrencies, visit https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/cryptocurrency-report-2019/
Bitcoin Cloud Mining Startup Miningzoo Receives Strategic Investment from Institutional Investors
Long crypto, short fiat! Looking for an easy and smart investment solution for the crypto market? Cloud mining of bitcoin at Miningzoo.com is the answer for you. This cloud mining provider, though newly launched, has already gained a solid reputation for its convenience, efficiency, and stability. Miningzoo, a rising start in cloud mining, is on its way to become one of the best cloud mining platforms, gaining attention from global investors.
Already in a strategic partnership with Lpool and Li De United Co. Ltd, over the past few months, Mining zoo has obtained new funding from Ceyuan Ventures, a high-tech focused VC and United Capital, adding to its existing investors’ list of Longling Capital, Consensus Fund, etc.
Miningzoo boasts large-scale miners based in distributed locations across the globe, equipped with professional operation and maintenance teams, and top-of-the-line miners. Miningzoo provides users with a one-stop efficient bitcoin mining service. At present, the Miningzoo platform focuses on bitcoin mining power for rent. Miningzoo is committed to creating the smoothest experience in cloud mining for clients.
Miningzoo was officially launched at 14:00 on June 5, 2019, Hong Kong time. At present, the Miningzoo’s business involves two parts: cloud mining service and supercomputer server rental hosting service.
Currently, with Miningzoo spot delivery products, you start to receive bitcoin income the next day. The prices start with $55 per Terra mining power, with daily costs as low as $0.1529 per T, with a current bitcoin mining revenue being $0.28896/T. If bitcoin price stays at $8600, the full-year return is expected to be $122.4, an annual yield of 222.4%, easily surpass the 200% threshold for annualized income.
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Top 5: BTC, ETH, XMR, NEO and LTC
Neo (NEO) co-founder Da Hongfei had recently announced a new $100 million EcoBoost fund that aims to provide support to various projects at different stages of development to build the NEO ecosystem. The first phase of the project has kicked off wherein official partners will be recruited.
The recent upgrade of its consensus algorithm on its mainnet is a key step in the development of NEO 3.0, which is expected to be released by the second quarter of next year. Can these developments prop prices higher? Let’s find out.
The NEO/USD pair has not shown any fireworks in its rise from the bottom. After every small upwards move, it enters into consolidation before rising again. This looks like an accumulation by stronger hands. The price has sustained above 20-week EMA for the past three weeks and the RSI has rallied into the positive territory, which shows that bulls are in command.
Currently, the pair is facing stiff resistance at the 50-week SMA, above which the rally can extend to $20. If this level is also crossed, a move to $25 is probable. The cryptocurrency will pick up momentum if it makes a large range move and follows it up with further gains. Traders can watch for such a move before hopping on to benefit from the positive momentum.
Our bullish view will be invalidated if the price reverses direction from the current level and plummets below the 20-week EMA. The next support to watch on the downside is $8.17090666.
Litecoin (LTC) has continued to perform well on the back of its upcoming halving, which is 50 days away. In a sign of growing adoption, Glory kickboxing is not only accepting litecoin, but it is also offering an opportunity to pick up a VIP ticket by paying using the cryptocurrency. This adoption is a positive sign. However, after the runup, is it time to book profits or can it move higher? Let’s find out.
The digital currency has cleared the resistance line of the ascending channel and is now attempting to ascend the overhead resistance at $140.3450. If successful, it can rally to its target objective of $158.91, above which the upward move can extend to $184.7940.
We have spotted a large rounding bottom that is developing on the LTC/USD pair. This bullish setup will complete on a breakout and close (UTC time frame) above $184.7940, with a target objective of $346.498. However, we will not get overly bullish until the pattern completes.
The 20-week EMA is sloping up and the RSI has entered into the overbought zone, which shows that the bulls are in command. Nonetheless, the overbought nature of the RSI points to a mild correction or a consolidation in the short-term.
If the pair turns down from the current levels or from $140.3450, the bulls will try to defend the support line of the ascending channel. If successful, the uptrend will continue, otherwise, the pair might re-enter the channel. The uptrend will weaken and our bullish projections will be negated if the bears sink the cryptocurrency below the support line of the channel.
Bitcoin (BTC) is on fire as every dip is being bought aggressively. Some of the critical news and events that might be helping the rise are the upcoming testing of futures trading on the Bakkt platform, the end of the bear market, the ongoing trade war between China and the U.S., the reported launch of Facebook’s own stablecoin, etc. Can the rally continue and force the investors sitting on the sidelines to jump in, or will the rally fizzle out near the overhead resistance? Let’s find out.
The BTC/USD pair is looking strong with the 20-week EMA sloping up and the RSI in overbought territory: this suggests that bulls are in command. The pair has broken out of the recent high at $9,053.12 and will now attempt to reach the next overhead resistance of $10,000. This is a psychological resistance where we anticipate a consolidation or a minor correction.
However, the sentiment has become positive and any favorable news is likely to attract buyers. The traders who are waiting to buy at lower levels are feeling left out. Hence, if the bulls propel the price above $10,000, the momentum can pick up and can carry the pair to $12,000.
Currently, there is no negative setup on the chart. The first indication of exhaustion will be if the bears sink the cryptocurrency below $7,413.46. That can drag the price towards the 20-week EMA and below it to the critical support of $5,900.
Enigma released the testnet of its discovery network and the developers can now build decentralized applications that can be deployed immediately once Enigma goes live on the Ethereum (ETH) mainnet . In a first, Coinbase has also added a course on the Ethereum-based stablecoin dai (DAI) to its Coinbase Earn platform. This provides an opportunity for enthusiasts to know more about the token and earn some DAI. Can ether breakout of the overhead resistance and head higher?
The ETH/USD pair is consolidating roughly between $225 and $300 for the past three weeks. This is a positive sign as it shows demand close to $225. The moving averages are on the verge of a bullish crossover, which indicates a change in trend.
The longer the consolidation, the stronger the eventual breakout from it will be. If the bulls push the price above $307.67, it is likely to start a new uptrend that can carry the pair to $500, which is likely to act as a stiff resistance.
Our bullish assumption will prove to be wrong if the bears defend the overhead resistance zone of $280 to $307.67 and sink the cryptocurrency below the moving averages.
A web address is spreading a botnet that installs a monero (XMR) mining component and also holds DDoS capabilities, according to cybersecurity firm Trend Micro. However, in a positive for monero, the CEO of Binance tweeted that if India pushes through the crypto bill, the crypto enthusiasts of the country might shift to privacy coins.
The XMR/USD pair has been consolidating between $81 and $100 for the past three weeks, which is a positive sign. The price has sustained above both moving averages, which are likely to complete a bullish crossover. This will indicate a change in trend.
If the bulls push the price above $100, a rally to $150 in the medium-term is probable. It is unlikely to be a straight dash to this level as the cryptocurrency might face minor hiccups at $114.840 and $128.650. However, if the sentiment remains positive, these levels will be crossed.
The first sign of weakness will be a breakdown and close (UTC time frame) below $81. That can drag the price lower to the 20-week EMA and below it to $60.147.
The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.
Fast-Growing BiKi.com Secures Investments from Genesis and FBG Capital
12th June, Singapore, Singapore – Fast-growing cryptocurrency exchange BiKi.com has recently attracted yet another slew of investments, this time from influential blockchain investment institutions Genesis Capital and FBG Capital.
Crypto fund Genesis Capital’s purported mission of discovering and supporting early-stage projects with the most potential is particularly apt in the case of BiKi.com. In under a year, the infant exchange has managed to accumulate more than 1.2 million registered users and more than 100K daily active users, not to mention its impressive climb to top 15 rankings on the rungs of the global crypto exchange ladder. Genesis’ current investment portfolio includes esteemed projects the likes of Tron, Quarkchain, Egretia and Arcblock, to name a few. In total, Genesis has invested 2 million in BiKi.com, the first million on 27th May followed by another million on 29th May.
Previously backed by Silicon Valley VC Sequoia, digital asset management firm FBG Capital, whose past investment projects have increased 10 to 100 times, has also set its sights on BiKi. FBG has long gained industry respect for discovering and investing in projects such as 0x, Zilliqa, OmiseGO, IOST and Aelf, years before they became successful. FBG’s strategic investment in BiKi will see multi-level co-operation between the two parties which includes FBG providing professional and market resources that will aid BiKi in increasing its market share and implementing trading platform improvements. The enthusiasm of FBG CEO Zhou Shouji, who has been featured on the cover of Forbes, has certainly improved branding for the young exchange, with his friendly recommendations of BiKi skyrocketing the value of its token by 300% in one week.
“We are extremely honored that FBG has such great faith in Biki,” said Ethan Ng, CEO of BiKi.com SEA. “FBG has continually shown amazing foresight in their investments and this partnership is a clear signal that FBG believes BiKi is going places; especially now, with their support, we will no doubt achieve even better project quality, services and branding.”
Not Just Another Exchange
Notably, BiKi.com’s strategy of listing not only the top 100 most popular tokens but also emerging high quality projects on the exchange has stood it in good stead. With the tendency of investors to flock to trending projects, using users to attract other users is a core competitive advantage for exchanges.
Its focus on conversion marketing during a bear market in late 2018 and early 2019 using unconventional user-growth tactics has also proven to be effective. By converting a non-crypto audience into new exchange users through Chinese e-commerce platforms, BiKi was able to generate daily real transaction volumes of 20 to 100 million USDT, with its net profit in May reaching RMB 10 million, approximately USD 1.5 million.
Targeting foreign market expansion within a competitive timeline, building community partners worldwide as well as providing substantial support for listed projects also sets BiKi apart from its peers.
With corporate giants like Facebook, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan coming out with digital currencies, coupled with mainstream media’s constant coverage, cryptocurrencies have finally gained mass acceptance. Should market conditions continue to improve, a high influx of new investors entering the market can be expected, with exchanges being the greatest benefactors of this new wave of users.
As Huobi co-founder and BiKi.com’s largest investor Jun Du has gushed, “This year’s ‘miracle’ should belong to BiKi.” With quality digital assets and strong consumer demand going hand-in-hand, BiKi will likely emerge a dark horse when the bull market breaks out again.
Headquartered in Singapore, BiKi.com is a global cryptocurrency exchange that provides a digital assets platform for trading more than 100 cryptocurrencies and 127 trading pairs. Since beginning operations in Aug 2018, BiKi.com is considered one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrency exchanges in the world with an accumulated 1.2 million registered users and 100,000 daily active users, ranking within the top 15 exchanges globally.
Bitcoin is the ‘King of the Asset Class Hill’ in 2019
Bitcoin’s price rose more than 60 percent in May — the highest monthly return in over a year and a half. This means the world’s most popular cryptocurrency has performed better than almost any global asset in 2019. Boutique analysis firm Delphi Digital even labeled Bitcoin the “King of the Asset Class Hill” in its latest market commentary, after it posted four consecutive months of solid returns.
“The acceleration in BTC’s performance comes at a time when conventional risk assets, notably global equity markets, continue to see selling pressure […],” said Delphi Digital. “May’s outperformance has been especially important given the broader weakness across many other asset classes.”
Investors flee risky assets, but Bitcoin remains unfazed
Delphi Digital explained that public equity markets are currently “riddled with concerns.” The New York Stock Exchange is one example of a public equity market.
Trade war disputes, stagnating earnings expectations, and waning sentiment for economic growth in the remainder of 2019 have convinced investors to flee riskier positions for “safe haven assets” like long-term US treasuries.
Still, according to the firm’s data, Bitcoin has absolutely crushed those assets this year. Its list includes the Japanese Yen, Gold, and WTI crude oil.
“Contrary to its recent history, Bitcoin has remained largely unaffected by the sell-off in risk assets, though expectations for market volatility are trending higher,” said its analysts. “It is still too early to claim victory yet, but BTC’s uncorrelated nature has so far proved true.”
Delphi Digital determined that even small Bitcoin allocations in “traditional” investment portfolios (60 percent stocks, 40 percent fixed income) over the past three years significantly boosted risk-adjusted returns.
This is understandable, considering this timeframe includes Bitcoin’s monstrous 2017 bull-run to $20,000.
“Just a 3-percent allocation (which we acknowledge is still a sizable position for most conservative investors) would have generated a compound annual growth rate of 12 percent over the last 36 months, without raising the portfolio‘s volatility or maximum drawdown by much,” said the firm.
‘Big Money’ Accumulates Bitcoin Driving Bull Market Return
Last time Bitcoin saw current price levels was on its way downwards in August 2018. But the landscape of Bitcoin supply holdings has shifted ever since the most recent bottom was met this past Christmas. The number of addresses holding between 1000 and 10K Bitcoins each has seen a steep rise with a whopping accumulation of 450,000 Bitcoins in less than 9-months.
Over 26% of circulating supply, $36Bn worth of Bitcoin, now sit in addresses that have a balance of 1000-10k BTC. In August 2018 when Bitcoin was also at $8000, these ‘Firm Size’ addresses held under 20% of the circulating supply showing a sharp accumulation of nearly 7% in less than a year.
With that said, a surge in the 1-10k Bitcoin address bracket in December 2018 was likely the result of Coinbase shifting approximately 5% of supply into new cold storage security facilities.
At the time, Coinbase moved 856,000 Bitcoins across 107 addresses. These now stand at 11% less with 760,000 Bitcoins in 96 addresses. Diar has excluded these Bitcoins from this analysis.
|| BOTTOM BUY-IN
The number of Bitcoins held by this ‘Firm’ size bracket, seeing as the minimum address now accounts for multi-millions, surged in December 2018 when the largest cryptocurrency met its most recent bottom of $3200. Since December 2018, in a short six month period, Bitcoin accumulation has seen over 1.2Mn added to this bracket, by and far the largest growth across all address groupings (see chart 1).
And while accounting for potential Coinbase-held coins brings the tally down, the 450k that has been added remains leaps and bounds of growth against every other segment.
|| BILLIONS ADDED
These addresses stand today at $6Bn more (excluding Coinbase coins) than the last time Bitcoin was at $8000 in August 2018. And these are not stale addresses or lost bitcoin as most have been active in the past three months.
Since the start of 2019, over 100K Bitcoins have found their way into this bracket. And while this only accounts for 40% of newly minted Bitcoins this year, there has been a 10% increase in the number of addresses. Whether or not these are multiple entities or for the sake of security management is, of course, an unknown.
But what is notable is the long-term trend that on-chain data shows since the start of the bear market in January 2018. Since then, 955k Bitcoins have been minted through inflation as a reward to miners. For the same period, firm size addresses have slurped up half the new market supply.
|| RETAIL STEADY
Retail size wallets between 0-100 Bitcoins have also seen a 126k increase in Bitcoins and a continuous upward trend to the number of addresses (Diar, 25 February). Overall, these addresses hold, as of date, 38% of Bitcoins circulating supply (see chart 4). Accounting for inflation, however, this segment remains fairly stable and unlikely the driving cause of recent price spikes.
|| SUPPLY SQUEEZE ON TRADING VENUES?
Bitcoins held by major addresses – mostly of which are exchanges – have seen an exodus of over 300K Bitcoins since the start of 2018. At peak, these addresses held 750,000 more Bitcoins than they do today, 21% of the total circulating supply versus 16% today (see chart 4).
Had Coinbase wallets before its security migration fell in these higher brackets, then it would effectively be a wash despite seeing nearly 100k Bitcoins out of their cold storage.
But with trading volumes hitting new highs this year, recent surges in prices could have added to the effect in part been due to the now restrained supply on exchanges as far as on-chain data can tell (Diar, 21 May).
Japan Eyes Cryptocurrencies as it Toughens Money Laundering Laws
Last year authorities arrived at cryptocurrency exchange operator FSHO’s one-room office in a Yokohama business district for an on-site inspection. They discovered multiple suspicious transactions.
The company had overlooked numerous transactions over a short period of time in which the same client converted large amounts of digital currency to cash, a person familiar with the investigation said. Japan’s financial regulator, fearing that the funds had found their way to illicit actors, later declined the operator’s bid to become a registered exchange, the first such rejection.
The Financial Services Agency is stepping up its countermeasures for money laundering, and that includes taking a hard look at cryptocurrency exchanges. Japan’s anti-money laundering regime will undergo an inspection by an intergovernmental body this fall, and the FSA is eager for a good review.
The issue is also expected to be taken up at the G-20 meeting this summer. As the chair of this year’s gathering, Japan does not want to fall behind other countries in implementing policies.
To ensure the country’s financial security framework is in working order, the FSA is taking aim at cryptocurrency exchanges that do not adequately confirm their clients’ identities or offer anonymous transactions, as well as at banks and other traditional financial institutions.
It has been 10 years since the birth of bitcoin, and during that time the digital currency’s value has fluctuated wildly. Security remains an issue. Last May hackers stole $41 million worth of bitcoin from Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges.
Now there are more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies. They have drawn acclaim as a next generation payments solution, thanks to the conveniences they offer, like remitting money across national borders without going through banks. But that ease of use means they can be used for illegal transactions and money laundering.
A panel of experts in March reported to the U.N. Security Council that North Korea used cyberattacks and blockchain technology to steal digital currency. They estimated that North Korea has successfully attacked Asian cryptocurrency exchanges at least five times, acquiring $571 million.
“Cyberattacks involving cryptocurrencies provide the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with more ways to evade sanctions given that they are harder to trace, can be laundered many times and are independent from government regulation,” the panel wrote.
In April 2017, Japan became the first to introduce a registration system for cryptocurrency exchanges. Until then, there were no real rules governing exchange operators, but the government started putting regulations in place to combat money laundering.
Such countermeasures are a topic of global discussion. They are now under the purview of the Financial Action Task Force, a product of the 1989 G-7 summit. The intergovernmental FATF has a strong influence on the development of regulations and practical implementation of money laundering measures.
In October, its rules were changed such that money laundering regulations could also be applied to cryptocurrency exchanges. The change also called on member countries to develop licensing and registration systems, and to put in place measures that allow for monitoring.
The FATF’s investigatory body will come to Japan this fall to assess domestic money laundering laws. It is expected to look at cryptocurrency exchange operators, banks and credit unions, according to a senior FSA official, so there is a pressing need to develop countermeasures.
Exchange companies are being asked to clearly explain what steps they are taking to prevent money laundering.
In Japan, exchanges came under the microscope after the theft of about 58 billion yen worth of cryptocurrency from Coincheck in January 2018. In June of that year the FSA took the unusual step of issuing business improvement orders to six other operators, citing insufficient money laundering countermeasures and other practices. In some cases, identity verification was insufficient, and clients were allowed to register post office boxes as personal addresses.
Japan has, at times, struggled to deal with money laundering. In its 2008 report, the FATF gave Japan its lowest possible rating in regard to financial institutions identifying their clients. In its statement, the group singled out Japan as having an insufficient legal framework.
For the FSA, the inspection this fall is a chance to expunge that blemish. “One company’s problem can’t help but affect the whole country’s evaluation,” said an official. “We’ll continue with the on-site inspections, and we’ll make sure everything is sound.”
Ahead of the inspection, the G-20 next month is expected to discuss international regulations for cryptocurrencies. Japan will chair the G-20 summit in Osaka. The topic of initial coin offerings, a form of fundraising using digital currencies, could come up. While China and South Korea have banned ICOs, Japan continues to regulate the schemes.
Already, cryptocurrency exchanges are relocating to countries with looser regulations, like the Mediterranean country of Malta.
As the global cryptocurrency playing field shifts, the need for international coordination will only grow.
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