Bitcoin hovers near record territory after Mastercard says it is following in Tesla’s footsteps to both support the cryptocurrency and utilize it.
Bitcoin hovered near record territory on Thursday, holding gains made earlier in the week after Mastercard (MA) – Get Report said it was following in Tesla’s (TSLA) – Get Report footsteps to both support the cryptocurrency and utilize it.
Both Twitter (TWTR) – Get Report and Amazon (AMZN) – Get Report indicated that they too were exploring how to transact in and support digital currencies.
Bitcoin traded at $47,495, up 4.38%, according to CoinDesk, bringing its week-to-date gains near 8%. Earlier in the week, the digital token touched a record high of more than $48,000. Ethererum was up 2.29% at $1,788.94, while XRP was up 2.28% at 52 cents.
Payments giant Mastercard said it was regulatory joining other large companies now embracing bitcoin, revealing in a company blog that it plans to start supporting select cryptocurrencies directly on its network later this year.
The decision comes three months after rival PayPal Holdings (PYPL) – Get Report said it would add select cryptocurrencies to its platform, and just a few days after electric car maker Tesla announced in regulatory filing that it has invested $1.5 billion into Bitcoin, and plans to accept the digital token as payment.
While Mastercard didn’t disclose which digital currencies it will support. A source familiar with the matter told CoinDesk that digital currency payments would settle in cryptocurrency at participating merchants.
Mastercard already has existing partnerships with prominent crypto payment firms Wirex and BitPay but currently requires a conversion of digital currency payments back to fiat currencies on its network.
Twitter also alluded to embracing bitcoin, with Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal telling CNBC that the company has 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.
At the same time, Uber Technologies (UBER) – Get Report CEO Dara Khosrowshahi quashed the idea of working with bitcoin or other digital currencies, saying on CNBC that the company considered and “quickly dismissed” putting any of the company’s cash in cryptocurrencies.
Uber on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings below estimates, though received a raft of price-target boosts from Wall Street analysts on Thursday.
Separately, Amazon reportedly is also planning to get into the digital currency game, with plans to launch a digital currency project in Mexico, with plans to hire for the effort in Mexico and the U.S.
The e-commerce and cloud computing services company has named the new project “Digital and Emerging Payments,” which will allow the conversion of cash into digital currency, according to recent internal job postings listed at Amazon.
“This product will enable customers to convert their cash into digital currency using, which customers can enjoy, online services including shopping for goods and/or services like Prime Video,” one of the job posts described the project.
For its part, bitcoin is designed to have a fixed supply of 21 million coins, underpinned by a blockchain-based digital ledger distributed across computer networks. It has more than quadrupled in value over the past 12 months amid strong demand from institutional asset managers including pension funds – and now companies.
At the same time, bitcoin’s stunning ascent has also raised concerns about a bubble – chiefly because there remains little agreement on exactly what gives bitcoin and other digital currencies their underlying value, other than what someone is willing to pay – though bitcoin supports argue its value is in the computing network that supports it.
Meantime, WallStreetBets, the popular Reddit forum at the center of the recent retail investor frenzy, is talking about cryptocurrencies as well. The unverified Twitter account “Wallstreetbets mod” posted a call to buy bitcoin as well as marijuana stocks.
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.
US Senator Cynthia Lummis ‘Excited’ About Bitcoin’s Price Falling, Plans to Buy the Dip
U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis from Wyoming commented on the falling price of bitcoin on Tuesday in an interview with Fox Business. She was asked how she felt about bitcoin’s price falling to below $30K. The senator replied, “I’m really excited about it because as soon as it drops a little more I’m going to buy some more.”
She then shared a story of another investment she made previously. “My favorite stock that I own is a company called United Rentals. I bought it and it dropped like a rock. I held onto it and … it has performed beautifully over the years for me. And I see bitcoin doing the same kind of thing because the fundamentals are good.”
Senator Lummis was also asked if she wanted any kind of regulation for bitcoin. “I do,” she affirmed. “I want to have a level playing field.” She elaborated that the rules should be simple and easy to understand for digital assets and cryptocurrencies, emphasizing that they should not be “overly restrictive because we want to see increased innovation in this space.”
Lummis revealed last year that she is a bitcoin holder and has been saying that the cryptocurrency is a great store of value. “I was struck by how innovative bitcoin is with its decentralized public ledger and a fixed supply,” she explained at the time.
The senator plans to convince her colleagues in Congress about the benefits of bitcoin. “I want to make sure everybody understands that this is a great store of value,” she previously said.
Senator Lummis is not the only one who plans to take advantage of the falling price of bitcoin and buy the dip. Microstrategy just purchased 13,005 bitcoins and Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki recently revealed that he is waiting for the BTC price to fall to $24K to buy some more coins.
Microstrategy Buys $489M Worth of Bitcoin —Now Holds 105,085 BTC
The independent, publicly traded business intelligence company Microstrategy announced the acquisition of 13,005 bitcoin on Monday, at a purchase price of approximately $489 million in cash.
The company’s CEO Michael Saylor revealed the latest purchase on Twitter, and the firm now has more than 100,000 bitcoins on its balance sheet.
Michael Saylor’s firm Microstrategy now has approximately 105,085 bitcoins which it bought for around $2.741 billion. Using the purchasing average, the company says it purchased all the BTC at around “$26,080 per bitcoin, inclusive of fees and expenses.”
As usual, Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor tweeted about the purchase telling his 1.2 million Twitter followers. “As of 6/21/21 we #hodl ~105,085,” Saylor noted on Monday morning.
Not everyone was impressed with Microstrategy’s bitcoin buy announcement and a few people like Peter Schiff made snide comments. “That’s pretty bearish that you already bought all that bitcoin and the price kept dropping anyway,” Schiff replied to Saylor’s tweet on Monday.
“Consider where the price of bitcoin would be today if Elon Musk, Michael Saylor, Barry Silbert, and all the other bitcoin elites and their friends in the financial media hadn’t spent the last six months convincing retail and institutional investors to buy their worthless tokens,” Schiff said the day prior, as bitcoin’s price began plummeting.
Northman Trader’s Sven Henrich also responded to Saylor’s announcement. “Understand the conviction. Question though: As the price average and employed leverage have both been rising what’s the risk profile/consequence if bitcoin were to drop below the average holding price?” Henrich asked the Microstrategy CEO.
When someone asked Henrich if Saylor’s choice turned out to be a good bet the Northman Trader further commented. “Not saying he’s wrong,” Henrich replied. “Just asking what the risk profile is if [the] price drops below the average holding price.”
Microstrategy’s purchase of 13,005 BTC follows recent news stemming from China’s central bank. On June 21, 2021, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) issued a notice to a number of financial institutions concerning crypto transactions.
Since then, BTC has dropped 4 percent in 24 hours and rests just above the $32K handle. In other words, the price has actually dipped below the price Microstrategy paid per coin for this most recent BTC acquisition.
Other bitcoin proponents also responded to Saylor’s tweet. “Time to deploy the next billion,” software developer Jameson Lopp tweeted. An individual commented on Lopp’s statement and jokingly said: “Fixed it: Time to deploy the next borrowed billion.”
“Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief one just can’t keep infinitely buying the dip,” an individual said to the many enthusiasts telling the Microstrategy CEO to “keep buying the dip.”
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