Business Analysis Archives • SynQ

Category: Business Analysis

February 2020 – Weekly Recap 4

Weekly Recap

February 22nd, 2020 - Feb 29th, 2020

Welcome to our 4th weekly recap for January.

Overview 

Crypto News

 

Cryptocurrencies could succeed if properly studied, but bitcoin is a highly speculative and inefficient asset, said US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

 

On Feb. 10, Mastercard announced that it would start supporting a select few cryptocurrencies on its payment network. According to the payments giant, the inclusion of cryptocurrencies will allow customers to “save, store and send money in new ways” while opening up new opportunities for merchants as well.

 

Global money transfer service MoneyGram says it has changed its relationship with blockchain payments firm Ripple amid the latter’s litigation with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has reportedly ordered stock promoters to exit all cryptocurrency holdings before raising funds.

 

After much back and forth, South Korea appears to have finally set a hard date for the dawn of cryptocurrency taxation.

 

Crypto firms Bitfinex and Tether have settled with the New York Attorney General’s (NYAG’s) office, ending a legal dispute that began in mid-2019.

 

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has filed for an initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company has chosen the direct listing route and has applied for its shares to be listed on Nasdaq.

 

A Dubai based crypto-based investment fund, FD7 Ventures says it will offload bitcoins worth $750 million and will use the proceeds to increase positions in Cardano and Polkadot tokens. According to FD7 Ventures, this switch to the two altcoins will help the fund to better serve the interests of investors who are looking to diversify their portfolios.

 

Philippine crypto exchange Pdax recently suffered a costly technical failure – one that led to bitcoin trading at 300,000 Philippine pesos (around $6,000) – a discount of 88% to its current price.

 

February 2020 – Weekly Recap 3

Weekly Recap

February 15th, 2020 - Feb 22nd, 2020

Welcome to our 3rd weekly recap for January.

Overview 

 

Crypto News

 

Just recently, during Microstrategy’s “Bitcoin for Corporations” event, Stone Ridge Asset Management and New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) founder, Ross Stevens, explained that he sees a “wall of money” entering the bitcoin space. A week later after that statement, NYDIG has revealed that the company has filed for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) and is hoping for regulatory approval.

A government-owned entity in Dubai has started accepting bitcoin, ether and tether as payment for its services, according to local media reports.

A U.S. publicly-listed Chinese sports lottery firm is extending its arms into the crypto industry by announcing another related maneuver. 500.com Ltd announced it has acquired Btc.com, the well known bitcoin mining pool.

Two bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have been approved in Canada. Evolve Bitcoin ETF has become the second bitcoin ETF to get approval by Canada’s securities regulator. The first approved bitcoin ETF starts trading Thursday.

According to a website that tracks the price of bitcoin across the globe, the crypto asset’s selling price in Nigeria as of February 18 stood at $ 76,000. At this price, the crypto asset is selling for $20,000 more than the approximately $52,000 that most cryptocurrency exchanges are currently quoting.

The world’s largest asset manager with almost $9 trillion in assets under management, Blackrock, has started investing in bitcoin. Sharing his view on what’s driving up the price of the cryptocurrency, the firm’s chief investment officer says the technology and the regulation have evolved to where people find bitcoin should be part of their portfolios.

The North American Purpose Bitcoin ETF launch on Thursday saw massive demand, as more than $165 million in trade volume was recorded. In fact, the exchange-traded fund listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) saw it’s first $80 million swapped during the first hour of trading sessions.

Nvidia announced that it will start limiting the efficiency of mining ethereum or any other crypto using its new range of upcoming graphics processing units (GPUs).

The rollercoaster-ride in cryptocurrency prices on Monday was accompanied by Binance’s fresh restrictions for ethereum and ERC-20 tokens.

February 2020 – Weekly Recap 2

Weekly Recap

February 8th, 2020 - Feb 15th, 2020

Welcome to our 2nd weekly recap for January.

Overview 

Crypto News

 

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said that the company will accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment if there is a benefit and a need for it.

The oldest bank of the United States, Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK), has revealed it will start financing bitcoin and other digital currencies through the rollout of a new cryptocurrency custody service.

The Ontario Securities Commission has approved a bitcoin exchange-traded fund, according to public records published Thursday.

BloombergQuint reported the news on Thursday, citing an unnamed “senior Finance Ministry official.” The ban won’t be imposed overnight, according to the official, who said the government would give a three-to-six month transition period for existing investors to liquidate their investments.

Deutsche Bank has joined the growing ranks of large financial institutions exploring cryptocurrency custody, with aspirations to offer high-touch services to hedge funds that invest in the asset class.

Apple Pay is the newest way BitPay makes living life on crypto easy. Simply open Apple Pay and scan or enter the BitPay card information to use it wherever Apply Pay is accepted.

Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates have signed memorandums and contracts worth $3 billion or more, the presidential press service said.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce is reportedly vocalizing the urgent need for regulatory clarity across the crypto sector.

Despite this weak price action, a massive influx of new capital may be imminent, thanks to MicroStrategy. The company announced plans to raise roughly $600 million – all of which would be used to add to their BTC reserves.

February 2020 – Weekly Recap 1

Weekly Recap

February 1st, 2020 - Feb 8th, 2020

Welcome to our 1st weekly recap for February.

Overview 

Crypto News

 

Spacex and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has clarified his position on bitcoin and dogecoin. He confirmed that he supports bitcoin, stating that it is “a good thing.”

The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) has posted a job advertisement that seeks to hire a role related to stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDC). The Fed is looking for a research manager to join its team to assess the “benefits and risks” of digital assets.

New legal provisions on distributed ledger technology (DLT) went into effect on Feb. 1 in Switzerland. After the implementation, two local companies announced that they had issued the first tokenized asset under the brand-new law.

Paypal is launching a new business unit dedicated to cryptocurrency services, the company chief executive officer Daniel Schulman announced this week.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has circulated a letter directing banks and financial institutions to identify and close accounts of cryptocurrency transacting entities. The directive, which took immediate effect, threatens “severe regulatory sanctions” to financial institutions that fail to comply.

Grayscale Investments has surpassed the milestone of $30 billion in net crypto assets under management (AUM). The company says the tremendous growth is due to institutional investors, particularly hedge funds.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is actively working on a digital currency and will make a decision “very soon,” the central bank has reportedly confirmed. Meanwhile, payments giant Paypal is shutting down its payment services within India.

Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Miller’s flagship fund will soon be able to add bitcoin exposure by investing in Grayscale’s bitcoin trust (GBTC), according to its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund currently has about $2.25 billion in assets under management.

The price of bitcoin touched a new all-time high on Monday after the community discovered that Elon Musk’s firm Tesla added $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin to the company’s balance sheet. At press time, bitcoin is meandering over the $43k handle and has an overall market capitalization of around $814 billion today.

 

 

January 2020 – Weekly Recap 5

Weekly Recap

Jan 25th, 2020 - Feb 1st, 2020

Welcome to our 5th weekly recap for January.

Overview 

Crypto News

 

Following in MicroStrategy and Square’s footsteps, Bitcoin mining company Marathon Patent Group is now investing a large portion of its treasury reserve in BTC.

With the ongoing saga of Gamestop shares surging as a result of the r/wallstreetbets subreddit, Robinhood and other trading platforms such as WeBull and Apex Holdings (the clearing firm for among others, Public.com) has refused to allow for the buying of more GameStop GME +19.2% shares.

Popular social media network Reddit, which counts over 1.7 billion monthly visits, is deepening its ties with the Ethereum Foundation in what it has formalized as its first-ever blockchain partnership.

Blockchain company Ripple has filed its preliminary response to the lawsuit that was announced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in December.

When the richest man in the world, Elon Musk, updated his Twitter bio on Friday — simply adding the word “Bitcoin” — it was followed by a near-immediate 13% increase to the Bitcoin (BTC) spot price.

The enterprise business firm entered the Bitcoin space last year amidst fears of inflation and a depreciating dollar. It’s now urging other corporations to do the same.

During the Visa Q1 earnings call on Thursday, chairman and CEO Al Kelly devoted a portion of his comments to reaffirming the financial giant’s commitment to crypto payments and onramps, as well as explaining “how Visa thinks about crypto in general and our approach.”

Visa’s CEO, Al Kelly, suggests Visa could add cryptocurrencies to its list of over 160 currencies, according to the transcript of an earnings call.

Jesse Powell, chief executive of crypto exchange Kraken, says the firm is seeing a significant uptick in the number of new users as interest in cryptocurrencies grows.

 

Grayscale – An Institutional Approach to Cryptocurrency

Grayscale – An Institutional Approach to Cryptocurrency

Grayscale Investments is the world’s largest digital currency asset manager and a subsidiary of the venture capital company Digital Currency Group (DCG) who also owns the digital media company Coindesk. CoinDesk also hosts a conference on digital currencies and blockchain technologies titled Consensus.

As an asset manager, the company offers its services to investors looking to invest in Bitcoin as security, without making direct purchases or managing funds themselves. Grayscale was established in 2013 and incorporated into DCG when it was formed in 2015 by Barry Silbert.

Grayscale manages multiple investment funds, each for large amounts of various cryptocurrencies such as BTC, BCC, ETH, ETC, LTC, XRP, Zcash, Stellar, etc. The most notable of these being the Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), which was the first publicly quoted Bitcoin security when it launched in 2013. The Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund (GDLC), launched in 2018, allows customers to invest in a group of prominent digital currencies. Grayscale funds were approved for public trading by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in 2019, and are accessible on the OTCQX and the Trust trades under their symbol tickers, GBTC and GDLC, respectively.

FIGURE 1: MULTI-ASSET CLASS PERFORMANCE – 4Q20

This heavily influenced the company’s recent explosive growth, with the company’s asset under management (AUM) nearly tripling from $926 million to $2.7 billion, coinciding with digital asset market resurgence during Q2 2019. That number has grown to more than $24.7B in AUM as of January 13, 2021.

FIGURE 2: GRAYSCALE AUM GROWTH

Coinbase Custody, as a NY-regulated trust company, serves as the custodian for the digital assets of Grayscale since July 29, 2019.

Grayscale Investments has also begun the registration process for new trusts on additional cryptocurrencies and Defi-related assets such as DOT, AAVE, XMR, ADA, ATOM, and EOS between Dec 2020 and Jan 2021. However, the company’s Managing Director, Michael Sonnenshein, had clarified that these were “reservation filings” and does not necessarily reflect Grayscale product releases.

As fiat monetary inflation grows on a global scale, so does the demand for cryptocurrencies as more institutional investors look for alternatives. Increasing digital asset demands in conjunction with the most recent Bitcoin mining rate halving in May 2020 has left little circulating supply of BTC, and Grayscale has been a major contributor to this factor. The amount of BTC that entered the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust during 4Q20 was nearly double the amount of BTC mined over the same period of time.

 

 

FIGURE 3: GRAYSCALE BTC TRUST INFLOWS AS A PROPORTION OF MINED BTC

Grayscale’s 4Q20 Digital Asset Investment reported that their AUM held 3.31% of the circulating supply of Bitcoin at the time, with an additional $600 million purchase of 16,244 BTC in January 2021. The total estimation of BTC in Grayscale’s possession is currently 566,897 BTC at this time.

 

January 2020 – Weekly Recap 4

Weekly Recap

Jan 18th, 2020 - Jan 25th, 2020

Welcome to our 4th weekly recap for January.

Overview 

 

Crypto News

 

President Joe Biden has frozen all new or pending rules introduced during the Trump administration. This includes the FinCEN’s controversial crypto wallet proposal.

On January 21, 2021, a random dude sent $21 to another random dude. And this is news because that transaction triggered a series of unfortunate events that ended up wiping $84Billion from Bitcoin’s total market cap, driving the community into a panic and causing a drop of more than 11% in the price of the largest cryptocurrency in the crypto ecosystem.

GrayScale has had its most successful week yet, buying close to $1.3 billion bitcoin, up considerably from $500 million a week during December.

Crypto asset manager Grayscale has incorporated six more trusts, including those tied to Chainlink (LINK) and Tezos (XTZ) tokens.

Mrs. Janet Yellen has made a follow-up comment about cryptocurrencies since the previous one in her recent confirmation hearing. In what seems like a contrary statement, the Treasury secretary nominee is now asserting the potential of digital currencies.

It’s not a secret that in China, Polkadot resembles a newer, better EOS, the public blockchain that swept the Chinese crypto ecosystem in 2018.

Nasdaq-listed Marathon Patent Group announced Monday that it has purchased around 4,813 bitcoin for about $150 million.

According to its new SEC filing, financial services company Rothschild Investment Corporation now holds 30,454 shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) that allows institutional investors to get exposure to the world’s largest cryptocurrency without directly owning it.

 

BitMEX Research FUD

BitMEX Research FUD

BitMEX’s Research team recently discovered and brought to attention a double-spending attempt on the Bitcoin blockchain, and the result was widespread FUD across the cryptocurrency market.

Whilst alarming indeed if it had succeeded, the blocks’ confirmation can be easily verified using the associated URL. It is quickly apparent that only one transaction request was confirmed.

This has been a thinly-veiled attempt at spreading Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt amongst the particularly newly invested crypto participants.

Situations like this happen often as multiple stale, or orphaned blocks are abandoned when conflicting blocks are discovered. It is a fairly common occurrence.

 

Bitcoin utilizes multiple confirmations for each transaction to ensure that the block is properly verified across the vast majority of exchanges and wallets. BitMex uses a one-block confirmation method which assumes that transactions based on the first block confirmation are final, which is not entirely 100% accurate as blocks can be re-organized as further confirmations happen.

 

This intentional misdirection is absolutely being used for nefarious means as it only takes minimal efforts to verify that the alleged double-spend did not happen, and was not confirmed within the block using https://mempool.space/.

It would be wise to take everything BitMEX Research presents with a healthy dose of salt, and cross-reference the evidence. BitMEX executives have been charged with operating in the United States illegally.

January 2020 – Weekly Recap 3

Weekly Recap

Jan 11th, 2020 - Jan 18th, 2020

Welcome to our 3rd weekly recap for January.

Overview 

Crypto News

 

Cardano Founder Charles Hoskinson’s updates have been crucial to the development of the ecosystem over the past year. So is the case this time too, with IOHK’s CEO giving the community some important updates during his latest AMA. During the same, Hoskinson revealed that the Mary hard fork is coming in February, with the same promising to deliver “native multi-asset support” to the Cardano network.

During the Obama administration, Gensler was the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in which capacity he was in charge of enforcing the many new provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act that followed the 2008 financial crisis.

A previous security breach at the e-commerce firm Shopify has exposed sensitive data belonging to customers of around 200 of its merchants.

The NASDAQ-listed business intelligence giant MicroStrategy will host an online conference to educate large organizations about the potential merits of investing in bitcoin. Called “Bitcoin for Corporations,” the initiative has also received support from other industry giants such as Gemini, Binance, Coinbase, Fidelity, Grayscale, and more.

Creditors of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox will be presented with the option to claim up to 90% of the exchange’s remaining bitcoin, according to Bloomberg.

Grayscale Investment has done it again with another record-breaking quarter. In its Q4 2020 report, the leading digital asset manager informed that institutional investors had allocated over $3 billion into its product, with Bitcoin accounting for the most significant part.

Twitter has faced fierce condemnation over the last few days after it decided to ban US Present Donald Trump from its social media platform. A lot of people have opposed the move, seeing it as an attempt by the social media giant to run an online autocratic dictatorship where free speech is strongly restricted.

This year is likely to see unprecedented use and demand on the Ethereum network, so there has never been a better time to ramp up Layer-2 scaling solutions.

 

January 2020 – Weekly Recap 2

Weekly Recap

Jan 4th, 2020 - Jan 11th, 2020

Welcome to our 2nd weekly recap for January.

Overview 

Crypto News

 

A new interpretive letter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency paves the way for stablecoins and public blockchains to be fully integrated in the financial infrastructure.

Mediterranean Hospital of Cyprus has successfully vaccinated some of its staff against the COVID-19 virus, including 100 doctors and personnel. The process was carried out via the VeChain-powered E-HCert COVID-19 solution, according to a blog post on January 5, 2020.

XRP is on the cusp of being pushed out of CoinMarketCap’s top 5 after Cardano (ADA) soared over 40 percent in a single day.

The world’s largest crypto management fund, Grayscale, has increased its crypto holdings by almost $2 billion in merely one day (as of Jan. 6).

Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, and Gemini—four of the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges—experienced technical issues on Thursday after the price of Bitcoin shot past $40,000.

Litecoin will receive smart contract capabilities through Flare Networks, according to a tweet from the latter project.

Citing “the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter has permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s account, @realDonaldTrump.

Blockchain platform Polkadot announced that it has hired leading design agency Koto to give the blockchain platform a complete design revamp. However, all key decisions regarding the rebranding process will be driven and approved by the Polkadot community and its representatives on-chain.

Cardano has been an extremely important project in the cryptocurrency ecosystem in the past few years and IOHK has been in the process to expand Cardano’s ecosystem and make it more self-sufficient. As the developments evolve behind the scenes, Cardano has emerged to be the biggest staking network in the world.

Prolific blockchain developer and crypto community member, Dan Larimer, the CTO of Block.one, has announced his resignation today.