Bitcoin jumped to a record high after Mastercard Inc. and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. moved to make it easier for customers to use cryptocurrencies.
The largest digital asset rose as much as 7.4% to $48,364, surpassing the all-time high reached Monday after Tesla Inc. announced it would hold $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency on its balance sheet. The wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index also touched a record.
“The crypto-asset world is bursting into the realms of traditional finance at a staggering pace,” said Simon Peters, an analyst at investment platform eToro.
Mastercard singled out so-called “stablecoins,” which often peg their value to that of another asset, such as the U.S. dollar. Mastercard has already partnered with crypto card providers such as Wirex and BitPay, but has required digital currencies to be converted into fiat before processing payments for transactions on its network.
Bank of New York Mellon Corp. said Thursday it will hold, transfer and issue Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for institutional customers.
Interest in cryptocurrencies has accelerated yet again as Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, emerged as a central figure for the crypto faithful, supporting arguments among proponents that Wall Street and the mainstream are becoming more receptive to the asset class. Detractors maintain speculators are behind Bitcoin’s rise and the bubble will once again burst.
Even before announcing Tesla’s bet on Bitcoin, Musk said he was a supporter of Bitcoin on a social audio app and made multiple tongue-in-cheek references on Twitter to Dogecoin — a Shiba Inu-themed crypto started as a joke — sending prices soaring.
Mastercard is also “actively engaging” with central banks around the world on their plans to launch new digital currencies, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday.
“Mastercard’s plans to integrate crypto payments represents another indicator of the deep structural shifts taking place in our financial infrastructure,” said John Wu, president of Ava Labs. “Incumbent payment platforms are embracing digital currency solutions that are more equipped for the borderless, internet-enabled economy.”
Twitter Inc. has also done some “upfront thinking” around how to handle Bitcoin, including if employees and vendors ask to be paid in the cryptocurrency and whether the firm needs to have the digital asset on its balance sheet, CFO Ned Segal said in an interview on CNBC.
“These are just the early innings of corporate adoption, as digital currencies are beginning to play a larger role in robust balance sheet management,” said Nathan Cox, chief investment officer at Two Prime, an investment firm specialized in digital asset and derivative strategy management.
While Tesla’s investment of $1.5 billion put the focus on whether more companies will buy Bitcoin, the purchase is a drop in the ocean compared to the holdings of America’s blue-chip corporates. The purchase is worth just 0.05% of about $2.79 trillion of cash and cash-equivalents held on the balance sheets of S&P 500 members, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Wall Street Bets, the popular Reddit forum at the center of the retail investor frenzy, is talking about cryptocurrencies as well. The unverified Twitter account “Wallstreetbets mod” posted a call to buy Bitcoin and marijuana stocks.
Regulatory scrutiny remains a wild card for crypto investors. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, speaking at a Treasury forum for financial sector innovation, warned misuse of cryptocurrencies was a growing problem. Yellen has previously raised concerns about the use of cryptocurrencies in illicit financing.
Bitcoin ‘Whales Are Re-Entering As Risk Appetite Returns’, Says Stack Funds Research
On Wednesday, Lennard Neo, Head Of Research at Stack Funds, a Singapore-based crypto-focused fund management company, explained why they believe that “Bitcoin is very close to the bottom.”
His comments about Bitcoin were delivered in a research note (titled: “Strong support observed as Bitcoins get scooped up at $30,000”), which was published yesterday.
The research analyst wrote:
“We have observed a meltdown in long liquidations (7D MA) over the past few weeks. This coupled with the Leverage ratio (grey line) falling to a 2-year low after dipping below that of March 2020 levels, provides evidence that traders are more cautious in taking positions.
“Inflows for Bitcoin have skewed to spot accumulation as opposed to speculation, as investors match their expectations towards a longer-term horizon – signaling less propensity to sell.
“In the face of the recent sell-off, we also see significant support levels around the $30,000 handle, with substantial bids coming in to fill up the offers. The strength comes on the back of Microstrategy accumulating more Bitcoins, and we have noticed that Whales are also re-entering the market as risk appetite returns. Short squeeze hunters have also begun waning away in the near term as markets continue to establish ground on a consolidation phase.“
Canaan Begins Its Own Bitcoin Mining Operations in Kazakhstan
Bitcoin mining machines manufacturer Canaan has started mining bitcoin in Kazakhstan, following the crackdown on bitcoin mining in China.
Canaan said its AvalonMiner units are already in operation in Kazakhstan. When asked how many units and of which model has been deployed, a Canaan spokesperson declined to comment on specifics but said “a first batch of small-scale mining machines” have been deployed to start with.
Canaan foresees “a gradual ramp-up to full operational functionality over time,” the spokesperson added. The company has partnered with local mining companies in Kazakhstan for the initiative, they said.
China-based Canaan has been preparing to launch a crypto mining business in Kazakhstan for some time now. Earlier this month, the Nasdaq-listed company opened its first overseas after-sales service center in Kazakhstan as its global sales continue to increase.
Kazakhstan appears to be growing in popularity for bitcoin mining after China moved to shut down local bitcoin mining farms last month. Kazakhstan is close to China and has one of the cheapest electricity rates in the world.
Earlier this week, China-based BIT Mining, formerly known as 500.com, also shipped some of its bitcoin mining equipment to Kazakhstan. The company is set to send more machines to the country next month.
Visa, Paypal Invest in Crypto-Focused Blockchain Capital’s New $300 Million Fund
Visa Inc. and Paypal have invested in Blockchain Capital’s new fund. The venture capital firm focuses exclusively on the crypto ecosystem and blockchain technology.
Blockchain Capital announced Tuesday that it has raised $300 million for its 5th venture capital fund (Fund V).
Paypal and Visa were among the investors. Others include pension funds, major university endowments, and family offices from around the world, the company said, adding that select investors, including Paypal and Visa, will participate in its strategic partnership program.
Blockchain Capital described itself as “the first venture capital firm founded to focus exclusively on blockchain technology and the crypto ecosystem.” The firm has invested in more than 110 companies, protocols, and crypto-assets across the ecosystem since its inception in 2013. Its portfolio includes major crypto companies such as Coinbase, Kraken, Anchorage, and Opensea. In addition, it includes Defi players: Aave, Nexus Mutual, and UMA.
It is also one of older and larger crypto-native venture capital firms with over $1.5 billion under management, General Partner Spencer Bogart told CoinDesk. He said the firm’s fifth fund also received backing from pension funds and university endowments but declined to name additional LPs.
By Bogart’s telling, the payments giants are hungry for bolder investment opportunities across an industry they believe in but need the help of a “field guide” to fully navigate.
“There’s nothing better than walking an early-stage startup into the likes of a Visa or PayPal and helping them secure a commercial agreement, and helping make sure that on Visa and PayPal’s side, they have solutions for the products that they want to launch,” he said.
Jose Fernandez da Ponte, Paypal’s vice president and general manager of blockchain, crypto and digital currencies, commented: “Paypal is committed to fostering an ecosystem of companies making digital currencies more accessible, useful and secure. Investing in Blockchain Capital’s new fund allows us to engage with the entrepreneurs driving the future of the decentralized economy and the new wave of financial services.”
Paypal has been offering a crypto service since late last year. CEO Dan Schulman said in the first quarter that the company’s crypto business showed “really great results” and demand for cryptocurrencies was “multiple-fold” the company’s initial expectations. The payments giant said last month that it will allow withdrawals of cryptocurrencies to third-party wallets.
Visa has also been working on some crypto projects. Last month, CEO Al Kelly outlined five key areas in the crypto space the company is working on. He said, “Our focus is on five different opportunities that we see in this space. And I would say that this is a space that we are leaning into in a very, very big way and I think are extremely well-positioned.”
Regarding Visa’s investment in Blockchain Capital’s fund, Vasant Prabhu, Visa Inc.’s chief financial officer, opined:
We’re focused on enhancing all forms of money movement, whether on the Visa network or beyond. Through our relationship with Blockchain Capital, we are deepening our efforts to shape and support the role that digital currencies play in the future.
Top Five Tech Growth Sectors Forecast to Quadruple Over Next Few Years
Nokia Launches Next-generation AirScale 5G Portfolio Powered by ReefShark Technology
African Private Equity, Venture Capital Association (AVCA) and APO Group to Drive Trade and Investments Across Africa
Cryptocurrency4 weeks ago
Can cryptocurrency survive regulators? Here’s what Ripple CEO says about XRP’s future
Sport Business1 week ago
Cristiano Ronaldo Snubs Coca-Cola Drink in Euro 2020 Press Conference, Wipes $4B Off Market Value
Government3 weeks ago
Buhari Talks Tough; Threatens IPOB, Others
Cryptocurrency4 weeks ago
BankDhofar Launches Mobile Banking Payments from Oman to India with RippleNet
Cryptocurrency2 weeks ago
Wei Zhou, Binance’s Chief Financial Officer Resigns
Cryptocurrency4 weeks ago
US SEC To Work With Congress To Regulate Crypto Exchanges
Education3 weeks ago
Senate Passes Bill To End HND/BSc Discrimination
Fintech4 weeks ago
kuda Bank USSD Code for Money Transfer, Bill Payment, Deposit