Digital assets are about more than just Bitcoin. The global adoption of blockchain, expansion of cross-border payments, new investment vehicles tied to intellectual property, and more, could one day establish a global market of digitized assets worth $50 trillion. This channel provides access to the latest developments, opportunities, risks, and thought leaders in the growing Digital Assets space.
Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, which had been in a downtrend since its April highs, and tested $30,000 on more than one occasion, surged nearly 15% after a rumor that Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) would start to accept payments in some cryptocurrencies later this year. As this is being written, bitcoin is trading at $39,162 and within kissing distance of the key, psychological resistance of $40,000.
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Carl Icahn, the billionaire and famed activist investor, said on a Bloomberg interview Wednesday that he was contemplating investing in cryptocurrencies “in a big way.” Ultimately, he may buy an alternative currency as an investment worth $1 billion or more, he said.
Luno Money, a cryptocurrency exchange service, prominently displayed ads on the London Underground and London Buses in February that said “If you’re seeing Bitcoin on the Underground (or bus), it’s time to buy”. The ASA received four complaints against the ads and after investigation, banned Luno from displaying them.
Both JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) have initiated coverage on Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) and assigned bullish ratings and price targets. At the time of writing, COIN is trading at $241, and the investment bankers’ price targets represent upside of 54% (JPM) and 27% (GS) respectively.
In new research, Mathew McDermott, Goldman Sachs’ global head of digital assets. revealed that Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) clients are notably treating bitcoin as a new asset class. “Bitcoin is now considered an investable asset. It has its own idiosyncratic risk, partly because it’s still relatively new and going through an adoption phase,” he wrote.
China’s phobia of social unrest following financial market upheavals has led its regulators to go hammer and tongs at cryptos. Their dire reminders earlier this week of the regulatory position on cryptocurrencies played a not insignificant role in the great bitcoin crash on Thursday. But there were more grim pronouncements regarding bitcoin from China today.
Figure Technologies, a blockchain-based fintech startup, closed a $200 million Series D round at a valuation of $3.2 billion. The round was co-led by 10T Holdings and Morgan Creek Digital. New and existing investors including DCM, Digital Currency Group, HCM Capital, Ribbit Capital, RPM Ventures, the partners at DST Global, and others also participated.
A Bloomberg report revealed today that CAN Financial Corp (NYSE: CAN), one of the largest insurers in the U.S., was forced to pay up $40 million in cyber ransom after criminals mounted a ransomware attack. The company initially rejected the $60 million ransom demand but caved in a couple of weeks later, settling for $40 million.
The generally assigned causes for yesterday’s market mayhem in bitcoin (and other cryptos) were Musk’s volte-face on bitcoin; the fresh warnings issued against cryptos by Chinese authorities; and a generally risk-off mentality on Wall Street. However, bitcoin’s kamikaze dive and then its spectacular recovery yesterday laid bare the fragility of the underlying systems, according to FT.
A perfect storm engulfed bitcoin today as a sell-off in bitcoin that was gathering pace since last week intensified and perhaps climaxed at the day’s low of $30,000.51. A confluence of factors appear to be behind the crash in bitcoin, including Elon Musk, Chinese saber-rattling against cryptos, and a risk-off environment taking hold on Wall Street.
Bank of America’s survey of fund managers in May covered 216 panelists holding $625 billion in assets under management between May 7 and 13.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) got a $1.3 billion funding boost for cutting-edge AI technology aimed at beefing up the country’s security and intelligence capabilities. The AI-on-a-war-footing move comes as Australia identified several countries behind infiltration attempts targeting government, commercial and industrial organizations.
Bitcoin enthusiasts and investors will be relieved to learn that Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) has not sold its stash of bitcoins. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet early this morning: “To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin.” Musk had played a not insignificant role in bitcoin’s rally in recent months when he announced Tesla’s $1.5 billion investment in the leading cryptocurrency. He later also said that the carmaker would accept bitcoin for its cars.
The new Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (NYSE: BITQ) from Bitwise Asset Management offers investors exposure to shares of “public companies that are participants in the growing bitcoin and cryptocurrency sector.” The fund may address investors’ zeal for crypto given the SEC’s continued reluctance to green-light a bitcoin ETF.
Though initial reports said that Colonial Pipeline would not pay a ransom to the hackers that brought the nation’s largest fuel pipeline to a halt, Bloomberg reported Thursday that the company did pony up nearly $5 million in hard-to-track cryptocurrency last Friday.
Elon Musk has suddenly got religion on bitcoin. He announced in a tweet on Wednesday that Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) will no longer sell its cars for bitcoin due to the leading cryptocurrency’s carbon footprint and consequently adverse effect on the environment.
Secretive data analytics company Palantir (NYSE: PLTR) revealed on its first-quarter earnings call that it had already begun accepting bitcoin as payment from its customers and that it was also considering holding bitcoin, as well as other cryptos, on its balance sheet.
Mark Yusko’s Morgan Creek Capital Management has assets under management of about $2 billion. Assuming his usually bullish stance on bitcoin in an interview on Friday, Yusko said the leading crypto could scale a price of $100,000 in 2021 or 2022. He went further and said it could go up to $250,000 in five years.
A Bloomberg report said Monday that UBS Group AG (SWX: UBSG) was mulling avenues for investing in digital assets for its wealthy clients. It would follow banks across the pond such as Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS).
The $1.4 billion Fairfax County Police Officers Retirement System did well last year on its investments in Morgan Creek Digital Fund III. The move paid off, allowing the pension fund to report good gains last year. Unsurprisingly, in April, the fund approved additional investments in the crypto and blockchain space.
On Friday, Colonial Pipeline, the largest refined products pipeline in the United States, transporting more than 100 million gallons of fuel daily for consumers from Houston, Texas to the New York Harbor across 8,500 km, was shut down by a ransomware attack.
An FT Exclusive says Citigroup is weighing an entry into the cryptocurrency markets. Itay Tuchman, Citi’s (NYSE: C) global head of foreign exchange has told the FT that the bank is considering a foray into the cryptocurrency markets after seeing rising interest among its clients. “There are different options from our perspective and we are…
An internal memo at Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) issued Thursday announced that its all-new crypto trading team had successfully traded certain bitcoin derivatives. According to CNBC, which saw the memo issued by Goldman partner Rajesh Venkataramani, the team is a part of the bank’s global currencies and emerging markets trading division and reports to him, though it is also a constituent of the digital assets unit led by Mathew McDermott.
Square Inc (NYSE: SQ) left analysts’ estimates in the dust with its numbers for the first quarter. The payments giant clocked quarterly revenues of $5.1 billion, well above analysts’ consensus of $3.34 billion and last year’s tally of $1.38 billion. It reported adjusted earnings of 41 cents per share, compared to expectations of 17 cents and last year’s loss of 2 cents a share.