[OKEx] BTC futures data shows lackluster market sentiment as alts outperform market leader

Bitcoin is unable to get back above the $60,000 mark, but the market remains optimistic about mid-term price — Futures Friday Bitcoin has continued to oscillate over the past week, not showing any decisive bullish moves even though the total cryptocurrency market cap is back around $2 trillion. Since altcoins have outperformed it in recent […]

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The incoming SEC chairman Gary Gensler clearly stated that both Ethereum and XRP were non-compliant securities

In a recent seminar with Court Judge Sarah Netburn, Dugan Bliss, a senior adjudicator at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, argued that the agency has not yet made a formal position on the regulatory status of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Bitcoin looks more certain, however, the status of ETH is being disputed as is the case with XRP.

Ethereum could still be classified as a security

Bliss stated:

“So I want to make clear that this is my understanding of the current situation and I don’t want to be overly technical, but the SEC, itself, my understanding, it has not taken an official position. There is no action that it took to say Bitcoin is not a security, Ether is not a security.”

While former SEC chairman Jay Clayton has repeatedly stated that Bitcoin is not a security, there is less regulatory certainty over Ethereum.

Bill Hinman, former head of the SEC’s Corporate Finance Division, issued a statement of approval on the sale of Ether and non-securities offers just months before the end of his term in 2018.

Bliss stated that Hinman’s speech does not necessarily reflect the regulator’s stance on Ethereum:

“Now, there was a speech by a high-ranking person who said that to him that’s what it looked like but there has been no action letter, no enforcement action, none of the official ways in which the SEC takes a position on that matter that has occurred.”

However, the upcoming SEC chairman Gary Gensler has made it clear that both Ether and XRP are non-compliant securities in an interview with the New York Times:

“There is a strong case for both of them — but particularly Ripple — that they are non-compliant securities.”

Notably, Gensler confirmed that he sees Bitcoin as a commodity during his recent congressional hearing:

“So I think at the SEC it’s really to the extent somebody is offering an investment contract and security that’s under the SEC’s remit and exchanges that operate there. […] If not, it’s a commodity as Bitcoin has been deemed.”

Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum pre-mined a significant portion of the money prior to holding the initial coin offering (ICO).

USD 3 Trillion Corporation State Street Goes Crypto
USD 3 Trillion Corporation State Street Goes Crypto 101
Source: Adobe/Lubo Ivanko

US-based financial giant State Street aims to enter the crypto trading market in the middle of this year.

State Street’s trading platform Currenex, that was reportedly put for sale last year, partnered with London-based Puremarkets Ltd (Pure Digital) in order to develop a wholesale, multi-custodial digital currency trading platform, Puremarkets said today, adding that the partners “intend to further explore the digital currency trading space.”

“Pure Digital will be a fully automated, high throughput [over-the-counter] market for digital assets and cryptocurrencies with physical delivery and bank custody,” the company said.

According to them, institutional participants will trade on the platform utilizing bilateral credit enabling efficient capital utilization and control for all trading participants.

“The Pure Digital trading platform will be the first of its kind, offering a wholesale interbank market for Tier 1 investment banks to trade bitcoin and other digital assets. Pure Digital is in discussions with several other Tier 1 investment banks to use the platform, which will provide a high throughput OTC market for digital assets and cryptocurrencies with physical delivery and bank custody,” Norway’s digital asset-focused company Arcane Cryptosaid in a separate announcement. They indirectly own a 37.5% stake in Puremarkets.

At the end of 2020, State Street had USD 3.47trn in assets under management or 11% more than a year ago. However, their revenue dropped by 4%, to 2.9bn, and net income decreased by 5%, to USD 537m.

“While State Street rose to the challenges in 2020, we are laser-focused on fee revenue growth and expense management to continue to make progress in 2021 towards our medium-term targets. We are confident in the trajectory of our business and will continue to drive innovation, automation and productivity to achieve these goals,” Ron O’Hanley, Chairman and CEO of State Street, said.

What I learned from 15 years of investing in small companies

Games Workshop has risen 20-fold in five years but had been a recovery stock three times previously. The lure of recovery is the prospect of multiplying your money in a share everyone else hates but it’s not an area to bet the farm on.

I was charmed into Bluebird Toys by its CEO, Torquil Norman (father-in-law of venture capitalist Kate Bingham) who had been a popular client in my short spell in corporate finance. The success of “Polly Pocket” caused the shares, previously on the rocks, to multiply. The version aimed at boys, “Mighty Max”, was named after me after a humorous exchange at the Earl’s Court toy fair. I cashed in soon after.

My most spectacular success was the most reckless. I bought two million shares in Cannon Street Investments at 2p, down more than 99% from their peak in late 1992 on the sole basis that Tom Long, whom I knew of as the former CEO of Souza Cruz (a subsidiary of British American Tobacco) had become chairman. The shares multiplied tenfold in a year or two as a messy, over-borrowed conglomerate was streamlined through disposals. I then sold.

Regrets: I’ve had a few

My biggest regrets are not the duds I bought but the great companies I missed. Channel Express floated in the mid-1980s as an air-freight business. Its boss, Philip Meeson, had been a Red Arrows pilot and then began importing 2CV cars from France and selling them from a lot on the King’s Road, London. The site was converted into a BMW dealership and later sold. Though Meeson was clearly a serial-entrepreneur, I didn’t see a long-term investment thesis. The company is now called Jet2 and the shares have multiplied more than 100-fold.

Another regret was Asos. In early 2004, we identified this online retailer, whose idea was to replicate cheaply and quickly clothes worn by celebrities, hence the name “As Seen on Screen”. We recommended the shares to our clients in the monthly newsletter at 25p… and suggested taking profits after they had doubled in six months. The shares then multiplied 100-fold in ten years but have had a yo-yo ride since. I hope some clients didn’t sell.

What are the lessons? The best long-term investments are not the get-rich-quickly companies but those offering long-term compound growth. Holding them requires nerve and patience as the shares are often volatile and can stagnate for long periods. It is tempting to give up and sell. If an investment is not suitable for the long-term, it’s best to be clear about that at the start as it makes selling easier.

Buying for recovery can also be hugely profitable but these are rarely “forever” investments. Finally, great investments are not found through diligent research and endless company presentations but through casual recommendations, chance encounters and inspiration, not perspiration. As John le Carré wrote: “A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.”

Weekly Roundup: Bitcoin Miners Make Over $1.5 Billion in March

Jack Dorsey’s NFT tweet will help the poor in East Africa through an upcoming bitcoin donation. To learn more about this developing story and other news, keep reading.

Jack Dorsey’s NFT Tweet to Help the Poor in East Africa

As the non-fungible token (NFT) craze continues, Jack Dorsey is auctioning his first tweet on Twitter as an NFT. Dorsey posted this tweet on May 6, 2006. The auction is taking place on Valuables and will end on March 21, 2021.

Dorsey has tweeted he will convert the proceeds of this auction to bitcoin and donate them to GiveDirectly. This is a non-profit organization that seeks to end extreme poverty in East Africa. Donations sent to GiveDirectly benefit people in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.

Currently, the highest bidder of this NFT tweet was a Twitter user with the handle @sinaEstavi. He outbid Tron CEO Justin Sun, who had bid $1 million. Estavi bid $2.5 million.

Valuables wrote: “The tweet itself will continue to live on Twitter. What you are purchasing is a digital certificate of the tweet, unique because it has been signed and verified by the creator. Owning any digital content can be a financial investment, hold sentimental value, and create a relationship between collector and creator. Like an autograph on a baseball card, the NFT itself is the creator’s autograph on the content, making it scarce, unique, and valuable.”

Uncertain Regulatory Environment Pushes Crypto Firms Out of South Africa

The uncertain regulatory environment is pushing crypto firms out of South Africa. According to an article on Business Tech, the MTI scam gave regulators in South Africa a jolt and some firms will not wait to see how the matter pans out from a regulatory standpoint.

These crypto firms are planning on moving to Singapore and the UK. That is because Singapore is redrawing legislation to attract crypto firms while the UK is getting requests to embrace cryptocurrencies.

Revix, a crypto investment platform that allows customers to invest in a bundle of cryptocurrencies, is moving its headquarters from Cape Town to the UK. The company is also considering setting up in Germany to scale its operations.

Luno is another crypto company with headquarters in the UK despite being owned by South Africans. The exchange also operates in Singapore.

South African regulators “have been incredibly slow in terms of regulation in the industry and that leads to businesses looking internationally. In an unregulated environment, a customer arrives at our platform with skepticism, and rightfully so,” said Revix CEO Sean Sanders in an interview.

According to Sanders, the uncertainty regarding potential regulation is also making it difficult for crypto firms to market their services on social media platforms thereby limiting growth.

Binance CEO CZ Among the Top Blockchain Billionaires in 2021

Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), is among the top blockchain billionaires in 2021 according to the latest Hurun global list. CZ and 16 other billionaires have cumulative wealth of US$ 77 billion. These billionaires have generated their wealth from running crypto exchanges, investing in cryptocurrencies, and mining crypto.

After facing a price correction in 2018, crypto billionaires are enjoying a boost in their wealth thanks to the recent bull run.

The top five billionaires are Brian Armstrong of Coinbase, Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX, Changpeng Zhao, Chris Larsen, and Jed McCaleb of Ripple. Their net worth is $11.5 billion, $10 billion, $8 billion, $5.1 billion, and $3.2 billion, in that order.

Weekly Roundup: Bitcoin Hits over $60,000, Luno Launches ETH & USDC Interest Accounts

Bitcoin broke past the $60,000 mark on March 13, 2021, to surpass Facebook in total market value. To learn more about this and other stories, keep reading this article.

Bitcoin Hits Over $60,000 and Surpasses Facebook in Value

Bitcoin AcceptedOn March 13, 2021, bitcoin recorded a high of $61,683.86. This is yet another milestone that the cryptocurrency has achieved after recording a series of several all-time highs in the past three months.

Institutional investors continue to boost bitcoin’s price with Chinese firm Meitu being the latest company to purchase crypto. The firm bought $22.1 million in ether and $17.9 million in bitcoin.

“Beeple’s $69 million [non-fungible token] record demonstrates the true power of crypto, adding curiosity and fuel to the retail fire. Expect volatility but a landing of $100K levels by Q3,” said Jehan Chu, Managing Partner of trading firm Kenetic.

Furthermore, bitcoin’s market cap has risen to the eighth position, surpassing Facebook. Currently, bitcoin has a market capitalization of about $1.07 trillion while Facebook has a market cap of $808.76 billion.

Luno Users Can Now Earn Interest on Ether and USDC Savings

Luno users can now add ETH and USD coin (USDC) to their savings wallet where they can earn 4 percent and 7.6 percent APR, respectively. The exchange introduced the savings wallet five months ago allowing users to earn up to four percent on their bitcoin savings.

“The addition of two new cryptocurrencies to the savings wallet gives customers even greater flexibility and potential to earn interest as they grow their crypto savings. A high percentage of Africans who own cryptocurrency do so for speculative investment purposes, with the majority holding their crypto for the long term. If your crypto investment strategy is holding your crypto long-term, the savings wallet earns you additional interest for what you were already doing,” said Marius Reitz, the General Manager for Africa, at Luno.

According to a Luno 2020 survey, more than a third of the respondents (35 percent) were not earning interest on their traditional cash savings. On the other hand, 54 percent were not earning interest on their current bank accounts. As a result, Luno wants to change these statistics with its crypto savings wallet.

The savings feature pays out interest monthly and users can access their savings 24/7. Moreover, 250,000 people are using the savings wallet since its launch.

South African Company Invests in Bitcoin

It is not large companies alone that are investing in bitcoin. According to an article on Tech Central, open-source software firm LSD Information Technology has purchased R2 million in bitcoin (about $135,570.70).

The company’s board agreed to invest in the digital asset on January 4, 2021. In the initial purchase, it bought R1 million in bitcoin then bought the other R1 million over the next two weeks. The firm used the crypto exchange BitFund to buy and hold the BTC.

“Our vision is to make the world more open, and bitcoin supports our philosophy on how we believe the world works best. Working in the open-source space seems to attract many crypto enthusiasts for whom the decentralised open nature of cryptocurrencies appeals,” said LSD founder and CEO Stefan Lesicnik.