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Coinbase NFT launches beta, AMC Theatres rolls out SHIB and DOGE payments, and Blockchain.com eyes IPO: Hodler’s Digest, April 17-23

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Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

AMC Theatres mobile app accepts Dogecoin, Shiba Inu and more

Retail traders’ favorite cinema chain, AMC Theatres, updated its mobile app to support Dogecoin and Shiba Inu payments. United States-based customers using Apple or Android phones can both download the app and spend their highly volatile memecoins on movie tickets. 

The firm first teased the idea back in January, after rolling out payment support for Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin in November. 

AMC is able to accept crypto payments via a partnership with BitPay, a Bitcoin payment service provider. It should be noted that merchants using BitPay don’t receive crypto payments outright. Instead, BitPay converts crypto payments into fiat before depositing it into the merchant’s account.

 

 

 

Crypto startup Blockchain​.com planning 2022 IPO

It was reported on Tuesday that $14 billion crypto exchange Blockchain.com is holding talks with banks regarding the launch of a potential initial public offering (IPO) this year. 

Bloomberg’s unnamed sources stated that the talks were highly tentative and could change at any time (especially if those unnamed sources have been instructed by Blockchain.com to leak information to get a sense of public sentiment before revealing anything concrete). 

If the firm manages to get through all the regulatory hurdles and go public via an IPO, it would join Coinbase as the only other U.S. crypto exchange to do so. Binance.US is also looking at a potential similar route in the future.

 

Coinbase announces beta of NFT marketplace with social engagement

Speaking of the only U.S. crypto exchange to go public, Coinbase rolled out an early beta of its NFT marketplace for a select number of testers this week. At this stage, the early adopters of Coinbase NFT can create online profiles as well as buy and sell NFTs.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Coinbase vice president of product and ecosystem Sanchan Saxena hinted that Coinbase NFT would be a hybrid platform that takes elements from social media services and marketplaces such as OpenSea.  

“While it is true that buying and selling NFTs is a big part of the ecosystem today, what we have learned by talking to many customers and creators is that there is more to it than just buying and selling,” said Saxena. “There is the community aspect of it.”

 

 

 

German banking giant Commerzbank applies for crypto license

One of Germany’s banking giants, Commerzbank, revealed this week that it had applied for a crypto license, making it the first traditional financial institution in the country to do so. 

A spokesperson told local media outlet Börsen-Zeitung that it had “applied for the crypto custody license in the first quarter of 2022.” The move would go a long way to mainstreaming crypto in the country, as the bank serves over 18 million customers and 70,000 institutional clients. 

Any business looking to roll out crypto services in Germany must first seek approval from the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, also known as BaFin.

 

Goldman Sachs reportedly eyes FTX alliance with regulatory and public listing assistance

Goldman Sachs is reportedly looking to secure an alliance with top derivatives exchange FTX, offering a strong show of faith in crypto in the banking sector. 

According to the Financial Times, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried met behind closed doors in March to discuss how a potential partnership could work for both firms. 

The key areas of discussion were said to involve compliance in the U.S., with Goldman Sachs offering to help FTX navigate the murky waters of regulation, in addition to assisting with future funding rounds.

 

 

 

 

 

Winners and Losers

 

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $39,628, Ether (ETH) at $2,957 and XRP at $0.71. The total market cap is at $1.85 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are STEPN (GMT) at 40.66%, 0x (ZRX) at 22.40% and Decred (DCR) at 18.98%. 

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Helium (HNT) at -12.74%, Convex Finance (CVX) at -10.82% and Maker (MKR) at -10.81%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

 

 

 

 

Most Memorable Quotations

 

“I see Ethereum remaining as the dominant L1 for years to come, while Bitcoin retains its status as the primary store of value on the blockchain.”

Lynn Liss, co-founder and chief operating officer of Akoin 

 

“It’s early days, but we are encouraged by what we’re seeing and confident that blockchain games will continue to gain traction if they are interesting and fun to play.”

Chris DeWolfe, co-founder of Myspace, CEO and co-founder of Jam City

 

“Crypto is dead. Long live Crypto.”

Andre Cronje, founder of Yearn.finance

 

“NO! There are already digital means of payment! So what is CBDC for? […] Even more surveillance, prevention of bank runs, addiction and the consequent enslavement of mankind? This does not prevent money laundering; this already exists on a large scale for the top 10,000 in many tax havens, e.g., [the] Cayman Islands, Macau, Dubai, etc.”

Anonymous

 

“One of the guiding principles of the blockchain is that it is a public ledger that’s shared and everyone with a little bit of computing power has access to it, [including] law enforcement. So the secret service hasn’t been doing anything that wasn’t the original intent of the blockchain. We’re just using the same tracking and tracing mechanisms that were intended.”

David Smith, assistant director of investigations for the United States Secret Service

 

“NFTs represent an opportunity for game developers to create games with player-owned economies; where the community of holders are both the early supporters of the game but also the main actors of its development and true stakeholders of its success.”

Sebastian Borget, co-founder of The Sandbox

 

“It’s very improbable that all the countries would ban noncustodial wallets, or any other aspect of Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer network for that matter.”

Stepan Uherik, chief financial officer for SatoshiLabs

 

“My worldview pre-Bitcoin was pretty narrow. Life looked like school, work, retirement, death. Nowadays, I think slightly differently. The ultimate goal [now] might be better described as entrepreneurship and self-sovereignty.”

Mr. ERB, blogger

 

“The point of DeFi cannot just be to trade DeFi tokens.”

Arthur Breitman, co-founder of Tezos

 

 

Prediction of the Week 

 

BTC could drop to $30K in 2 weeks, trader warns as gold goes for $2K high

Bitcoin’s price took a dive below $40,000 on April 17, according to Cointelegraph’s BTC price index. The asset then proceeded to dip down to almost $38,500 the following day, followed by a subsequent move up past $41,000 during the same session. By Thursday, the asset had made its way up to around $43,000, although downward action followed on the same day, with the asset then falling down below $40,000. 

Pseudonymous trader “Crypto Ed” posted a YouTube video on Monday talking about BTC price action. Looking back now, his expectations for the asset have proven pretty accurate. He expected $37,500 to serve as a bouncing point for BTC, followed by a potential run to $43,000 if the asset surpassed $40,000. He noted $43,000 as possibly just a local high, with the asset facing downward price pressure after that. The past week shows BTC moving pretty much in line with Crypto Ed’s comments.

He did, however, also mention that the next two weeks (from the date of his Monday video), approximately, could ultimately see BTC arrive at the $30,000 price level.

 

 

FUD of the Week 

Beanstalk Farms offers plea deal to perpetrators of $76M exploit

After credit-based stablecoin protocol Beanstalk Farms was hacked for around $76 million earlier this week, the team offered a bounty of 10% if the hacker returned the funds. 

Bounty offerings to blackhat hackers are becoming a common method for DeFi platforms of late, as they seem to be the most viable way of getting the project’s funds back and up and running as fast as possible. 

Notably, the project’s founders Benjamin Weintraub, Brendan Sanderson and Michael Montoya admitted during a podcast interview on Monday that the flaws in Beanstalk’s design “ultimately led to its undoing.”

 

MetaMask warns Apple users over iCloud phishing attacks

Crypto wallet provider MetaMask warned the community of potential Apple iCloud phishing attacks that could become very costly. 

The security issue is related to default device settings on Apple devices that see a user’s seed phrase or “password-encrypted MetaMask vault” stored on iCloud if the user has enabled automatic backups for their MetaMask application data.

MetaMask’s warning came in response to reports from an NFT collector who goes by “revive_dom” on Twitter, who stated that their entire wallet containing $650,000 worth of digital assets and NFTs was wiped via this specific security issue.

 

FBI and CISA issue alert over North Korean cyberattacks on crypto targets

On Monday, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sent out an alert regarding North Korean state-sponsored cyber attacks. 

The warning was made in response to the Ronin Bridge hack last month, which is believed to have been conducted by North Korean hackers. The FBI and CISA highlighted that hackers are specifically targeting DeFi protocols and play-to-earn games in particular, with spearphishing and malware being the methods of choice.  

“These actors will likely continue exploiting vulnerabilities of cryptocurrency technology firms, gaming companies, and exchanges to generate and launder funds to support the North Korean regime,” the CISA wrote.

 

 

Best Cointelegraph Features

Basic and weird: What the Metaverse is like right now

Your travel guide to what the Metaverse is like right now — in pictures.

In Georgia, crypto is a crucial tool for refugees escaping the war

Crypto, like most other new tech praised upon its creation as apolitical or neutral, becomes political in the hands of the people who use it and regulate it.

Brain drain: India’s crypto tax forces budding crypto projects to move

Several Indian cryptocurrency projects are planning to move their bases to more crypto-friendly jurisdictions.

 

 

 



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Here’s how pro traders could use Bitcoin options to buy the $20K BTC dip

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Bitcoin hit a 2022 low at $17,580 on June 18 and many traders are hopeful that this was the bottom, but (BTC) has been unable to produce a daily close above $21,000 for the past six days. For this reason, traders are uncomfortable with the current price action and the threat of many CeFi and DeFi companies dealing with the loss of user funds and possible insolvency is weighing on sentiment.

The blowback from venture capital Three Arrows Capital (3AC) failing to meet its financial obligations on June 14 and Asia-based lending platform Babel Finance citing liquidity pressure as a reason for pausing withdrawals are just two of the most recent examples.

This news has caught the eyes of regulators, especially after Celsius, a crypto lending firm, suspended user withdrawals on June 12. On June 16, securities regulators from five states in the United States of America reportedly opened investigations into crypto lending platforms.

There is no way to know when the sentiment will change and trigger a Bitcoin bull run, but for traders who believe BTC will reach $28,000 by August, there is a low-risk options strategy that yields a decent return with limited risk.

The “Iron Condor” provides returns for a specific price range

Sometimes throwing a “hail Mary” pays off by leveraging ten times via futures contracts. However, most traders are looking for ways to maximize gains while limiting losses. For example, the skewed “Iron Condor” maximizes profits near $28,000 by the end of August, but limits losses if the expiry is below $22,000.

Bitcoin options Iron Condor skewed strategy returns. Source: Deribit Position Builder

The call option gives its holder the right to acquire an asset at a fixed price in the future. For this privilege, the buyer pays an upfront fee known as a premium.

Meanwhile, the put option provides its holder the privilege to sell an asset at a fixed price in the future, which is a downside protection strategy. On the other hand, selling this instrument (put) offers exposure to the price upside.

The Iron Condor consists of selling the call and put options at the same expiry price and date. The above example has been set using the August 26 contracts, but it can be adapted for other timeframes.

The target profit area is $23,850 to $35,250

To initiate the trade, the investor needs to short 3.4 contracts of the $26,000 call option and 3.5 contracts of the $26,000 put option. Then, the buyer needs to repeat the procedure for the $30,000 options, using the same expiry month.

Buying 7.9 contracts of the $23,000 put option to protect from an eventual downside is also required. At another purchase of 3.3 contracts of the $38,000 call option to limit losses above the level.

This strategy yields a net gain if Bitcoin trades between $23,850 and $35,250 on August 26. Net profits peak at 0.63 BTC ($13,230 at current prices) between $26,000 and at $30,000, but they remain above 0.28 BTC ($5,880 at current prices) if Bitcoin trades in the $24,750 and $32,700 range.

The investment required to open this strategy is the maximum loss, hence 0.28 BTC or $5,880, which will happen if Bitcoin trades below $23,000 or above $38,000 on August 26. The benefit of this trade is that a reasonable target area is covered, while providing a 125% return versus the potential loss.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.



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Bitcoin miner ‘capitulation event’ may have already happened — Research

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Bitcoin (BTC) miners may have already sparked a “capitulation event,” fresh analysis has concluded.

In an update on June 24, Julio Moreno, senior analyst at on-chain data firm CryptoQuant, hinted that the BTC price bottom could now be due.

BTC price bottom “typically” follows miner capitulation

Miners have seen a dramatic change in circumstances since March 2020, going from unprecedented profitability to seeing their margins squeezed.

The dip to $17,600 — 70% below November’s all-time highs for BTC/USD — has hit some players hard, data now shows, with miner wallets sending large amounts of coins to exchanges.

This, CryptoQuant suggests, precedes the final stages of the Bitcoin sell-off more broadly in line with historical precedent.

“Our data demonstrate a miner capitulation event that has occurred, which has typically preceded market bottoms in previous cycles,” Moreno summarized.

Miner sales have been keenly tracked this month, with the Bitcoin Twitter account even describing the situation as miners “being drained of their coins.”

“For miners, it’s time to decide to stay or leave,” CryptoQuant CEO, Ki Young Ju, added in a Twitter thread last week.

The situation is tenuous, but the majority of miners remain active, as witnessed by network fundamentals dropping only slightly from all-time highs of over 30 trillion.

Bitcoin network fundamentals overview (screenshot). Source: BTC.com

Mixed signals over buyer interest

When it comes to other large BTC holders, however, the picture appears less clear.

Related: ‘Foolish’ to deny Bitcoin price can go under $10K — Analysis

After whales bought up liquidity near $19,000, CryptoQuant’s Ki this week heralded the arrival of “new” large-volume entities.

Outflows from major United States exchange Coinbase, he noted, reached their highest since 2013.

Trader and analyst Rekt Capital, nonetheless, reiterated doubts about the strength of overall buyer volume, arguing that sellers were conversely still directing market movements.

Bitcoin’s 200-week moving average (MA), a key support level during previous bear markets, has yet to see significant interest from buyers despite the spot price being around $2,000 below it.

“Current BTC buy-side volume following the extreme sell volume spike is still lower than the 2018 Bear Market buyer follow-through volume levels at the 200-week MA. Let alone March 2020 buy-side follow-through,” he told Twitter followers.

BTC/USD annotated chart. Source: Rekt Capital/ Twitter

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.



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Buy Bitcoin or start mining? HashWorks CEO points to ‘attractive investment yield’ in BTC mining

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Recently, bad news has abounded, and the resulting fear is real. DeFi is looking dead, altcoins completed their lifecycle by returning back to $0 (I guess that’s a joke), and Bitcoin’s (BTC) price fell lower than even the smartest brains in the room expected. 

A unifying theme of the most recent bull market appears to have been greed. Everyone got too confident and too greedy, and it shows by the amount of debt and leverage that is being unwound as 3AC, Celsius, BlockFi and Voyager contend with the real threat of going belly up.

It seems Bitcoin miners and BTC mining companies also were not immune to the sentiment of over-exuberance and the belief that “up only” was a fact until Bitcoin’s price hit the long-awaited $100,000 target most analysts stuck to.

Historically, Bitcoin miners are an elusive species that are quiet and unwilling to spill the sauce to the public, but Cointelegraph had some success in securing a moment with HashWorks CEO and founder Todd Esse to discuss the current state of the mining industry and his predictions on where the market might head over the next year.

Cointelegraph: Bitcoin is trading below the realized price, and it is also below the miners’ cost of production. The price is also below the previous all-time high and the hash rate is dropping. Typically on-chain analysts pinpoint these metrics hitting extreme lows as a generational purchasing opportunity, thoughts?

Todd Esse: I do believe that current prices represent an investment opportunity as current prices likely don’t reflect profitable mining margins as the industry is currently structured. In our opinion though, prices may continue to remain under pressure as the mining industry and associated leverage around it is reset or re-configured.

CT: What is the state of the BTC mining industry right now? We’ve heard that leveraged miners are going bust, sub-optimal, inefficient miners are turning off, gear could be in the process of being seized or liquidated at firesale. Listed miners’ stock price and cash flow is also looking pretty bad right now. What’s happening behind the scenes and how do you see this impacting the industry of the next six months to a year?

TE: In our opinion, mining still offers an attractive investment yield for those who are selective about approach and have long term goals. Much of the mining capacity currently installed is with ASICs in the sub 85 TH/s range and with energy contracts that haven’t been managed as a traditional large scale energy consumer would.

We’ve seen this movie before, right? Easy money + poor discipline = unbalanced risks. We could easily see a protracted period here where the mining industry consolidates and allows different investment capital to enter into the market.

Related: Friday’s $2.25B Bitcoin options expiry might prove that $17.6K wasn’t BTC’s bottom

CT: Exactly why is now a good or bad time to start mining? Are there particular on-chain metrics or profitability metrics that you’re looking at or is it just your gut feeling?

TE: Typically periods of distress and shifts in the accepted paradigm will offer advantages to new entrants. Our sole focus is to take advantage of these emerging opportunities.

CT: If I have $1 million in cash, is it a good time to set up an operation and start mining? What about $300,000, $100,000, $10,000? At the $40,000 to $10,000 seed fund range, why might it not be a good time to set up an at home or industrial-sized mining farm?

TE: If you had $1 million cash, it might be a good time to opportunistically pick up some BTC. Fully loaded production prices for the major miners aren’t far from these levels. I see it as difficult to maintain these levels until ASICs drop further in value. I think the time for home mining has largely passed as a result of new dynamics in the energy industry.

I would encourage those looking for yield to seek mining opportunities with companies like Compass Mining or other “cloud” miners whose equipment and energy contracts may yield an attractive investment as these dynamics change.

We believe as a result of current and expected disruptions in the market as well as greater acceptance of immersion solutions, there will continue to be attractive opportunities to build mining operations at scale.

CT: Does Bitcoin price dropping below its previous all-time high for the first time ever have any significant future ramification on the fundamentals of the asset and industry?

TE: In our opinion, no. Historical comparisons are difficult to rely on when dealing with an emerging commodity, and transformative technical asset such as BTC. Miners are producing BTC, given a set of inputs (computing power, access to capital, and energy) and the output price doesn’t always reflect the cost of production at all.

Mining BTC at scale, fundamentally, isn’t very different from producing oil and gas or other commodities. Improvements in drilling technology transformed North America’s position in global energy markets.

When oil and gas prices crashed during the early stages of the pandemic, no one questioned whether or not we needed to drive cars or heat our homes anymore. Mining supports the blockchain, and proof-of-work computing will prove to offer our grid the ability to transition to a renewable energy future.

We are committed to being an innovative and constructive participant in this industry as it continues to mature.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content of product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.



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