Bitcoin Loses 17 Percent Following Elon Musk’s Comments
Elon Musk’s embrace of Bitcoin earlier this month week rocketed the cryptocurrency almost 50% higher to more than $58,000. His cold shoulder this weekend whipsawed the largest digital asset.
Bitcoin trimmed losses to 8% after plunging as much as 17% earlier Monday. It briefly came back below $50,000 in New York, giving up more than $8,000 in a matter of hours after the world’s richest man tweeted his concern that the price had risen too high too quickly.
“Whatever he (Elon) does is going to dominate the news stream,” said Ed Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda Corp
The world’s largest cryptocurrency has been on a tear this month, propelled by purchases from Musk’s Tesla Inc. and institutional investors who say Bitcoin is an attractive alternative to gold and the dollar.
In February alone, Bitcoin was up more than 60%, prompting commentary that the run-up is excessive. The digital token hit a new all-time high on Sunday and came close to surpassing $59,000. It traded at around $52,782 as of 10:20 a.m. in New York.
It’s widely believed that volatile weekend swings are driven by individuals trading the cryptocurrency at home. So it’s also possible that prices fell on Monday as institutional crypto traders, who follow normal business hours, responded to Musk’s Saturday tweet that Bitcoin prices “seem high.”
Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategists have warned about Bitcoin’s declining liquidity. Strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou wrote in a note on Friday that liquidity for the digital coin was lower than that for the S&P 500 Index and gold, meaning “even small flows can have a large price impact,” he wrote.
“It should go without saying that new investors to Bitcoin should be prepared for major volatility and for prices to drop suddenly and as sharply as they have risen,” according to Neil Wilson, chief analyst at Markets.com.
MicroStrategy Acquires Additional 5,050 Bitcoins
Business intelligence outfit and corporate Bitcoin (BTC) whale MicroStrategy has increased its BTC ownership with the additional purchase announced on Monday.
MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor announced the purchase of 5,050 BTC for about $242.9 million at an average of $48,099 per coin.
In a Form 8-K filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission published on Monday, MicroStrategy stated that it had added 8,957 BTC to its corporate Bitcoin treasury in Q3 2021.
As previously reported, MicroStrategy recently bought 3,907 BTC at the cost of about $177 million between July 1 and Aug. 23.
Following the latest Bitcoin acquisition, the company now holds about 114,042 BTC acquired at an aggregate purchase cost of $3.16 billion. Given the current BTC spot price, the company’s Bitcoin holdings are valued at over $5 billion.
According to the Form 8-K document, MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin cost comes down to about $27,713 per BTC, including fees and sundry expenses.
The additional 5,050 BTC purchase is yet another indication of its intention to expand its Bitcoin position. Despite paper losses on its Bitcoin investment in Q2, MicroStrategy has stated its Bitcoin appetite remained unaffected.
Since announcing its maiden BTC purchase back in August 2020, the business intelligence company has bought more Bitcoin becoming the largest corporate holder of the largest crypto by market capitalization among publicly traded firms in the United States.
Saylor has also become a prominent Bitcoin proponent, regularly encouraging other U.S. firms to add BTC to their balance sheets.
Monday’s purchase announcement comes amid a price decline for Bitcoin, with BTC down almost 3% in the last 24-hour trading period.
The total cryptocurrency market capitalization is down more than 4% as token prices slipped on Monday.
El Salvador’s Bitcoin Rollout and Purchase is President’s Legacy and Start of ‘New World’?
The CEO of a global, game-changing financial services group has said El Salvador becoming the world’s first sovereign nation to officially buy Bitcoin and to make the cryptocurrency legal tender ushers in the “start of a new world.”
The comments from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, one of the world’s leading financial advisory asset management and fintech organizations, come as El Salvador’s president confirmed that his government has bought 400 Bitcoin – worth about $21 million – just before the Central American country formally adopts the world’s most popular cryptocurrency as legal tender.
President Nayib Bukele said the government plans to “buy a lot more” too.
The price of Bitcoin rose following the announcements on Twitter to trade at around $52,680.
Mr Green says: “It’s almost universally recognized that the future of money is inevitably digital, in some form or another.
“El Salvador has today made history by not only becoming the first country in the world to declare Bitcoin as legal tender, but by also becoming the first sovereign nation to officially buy it.
“I believe this is a threshold moment in the evolution of digital currency and that it ushers in the start of a new world as we can expect more nations, especially those with developing economies, to follow El Salvador’s historic lead.”
On Monday, the deVere CEO conceded that there are major risks attached to the move, including that there is a possibility that El Salvador could run out of dollars and that institutions, such as the IMF, might not look favorably on a nation that has adopted Bitcoin.
These risks prompted some El Salvadorans last week to take to the streets to protest against the adoption of Bitcoin as an official currency.
However, he set out five reasons why he “cautiously welcomed” the Bitcoin decision.
“First, El Salvador chose to be reliant upon a major ‘first-world’ currency, the U.S. dollar, to complete transactions. But this reliance on another country’s currency also comes with its own set of, often very costly, problems.
“The El Salvadoran government cannot print its own money and the economy cannot benefit from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s money-printing agenda. Therefore, El Salvador must either borrow or earn the dollars it needs.
“A stronger U.S. dollar can have a crippling impact on emerging-market economies, such as that of El Salvador.
“By adopting a cryptocurrency as legal tender these countries then immediately have a currency that isn’t influenced by market conditions within their own economy, nor directly from just one other country’s economy.
“Bitcoin operates on a global scale and is, as such, largely impacted by wider, global economic changes.
“Second, central banks around the world have been devaluing their currencies, while Bitcoin’s supply is not only limited, but also new coins are mined at a decreasing rate too. El Salvadorans could, therefore, find their new adopted currency gives them more purchasing power when they buy from overseas.”
He went on to say: “Third, El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin could cut the cost of remittances, a major source of income for millions of people. The remittances would be made faster and easier too, compared to money transfer services or bank wires, so remittances are likely to further increase.
“Fourth, by diversifying the nation’s dollar reserves into the cryptocurrency, there could be additional opportunities to earn yield, meaning the size of the reserves would grow.
“And fifth, El Salvador could benefit from significant foreign investment and capital inflows as digital asset organizations are likely to relocate to the Bitcoin-friendly nation.”
Of El Salvador’s Bitcoin legal tender rollout and massive purchase, Mr Green concludes: “The world is watching. This is likely to be President Bukele’s legacy in the making.”
Fintech CEO: Instability in Afghanistan Offers Real-World Test for Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies
As the Taliban seized control of the structures of power throughout Afghanistan, inflation has begun to skyrocket, and there has been a run on the banks, many of which were forced to close when they ran out of cash. The country is without payment processors like Paypal, and Western Union has stopped operating in the country.
“The Afghan economy is still largely a cash economy, and, while its unlikely that many will be able to immediately exchange their cash into cryptocurrency, there are signs that some in the country began to use digital assets before the government fell. Seeing the conditions on the ground, it was easy to see the allure of a decentralized digital currency as a way to protect the value of assets,” said Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus, a US-based developer of ultra-high-performance trading and surveillance technology that powers global equities, derivatives, and digital asset exchanges.
“Obviously the current geopolitical situation is a mess, but, economically, Afghanistan is an extreme case of inflation and instability. In principle, the same theory of storing value, which applies in places like Nigeria, would apply to Afghanistan. The difference is in the technological infrastructure, which, of course, is more abundant in Nigeria,” said Gardner. “Even still, there are reasons to believe that, for some, it could provide a safe haven.”
Earlier this year, the Fantom Foundation, in conjunction with the Afghanistan Ministry of Health, announced that a trial run of the National Medical Importation Security Initiative was successful. The initiative used blockchain-based technologies to stop the counterfeiting of pharmaceuticals sold throughout the country.
“Not unlike other developing countries, education is the best way to expand access to technology. Of course, those with access to technology are going to be more interested in digital assets. There have been reports of students in universities in Afghanistan who learned about such things as opening a digital wallet,” Gardner explained. Anecdotal surveys also show that interest in Afghanistan has increased significantly over the past year, and, according to CNBC, Google Trends data shows that searches for cryptocurrency-related terms rose significantly in July.
Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable exchanges, with a client list which includes NASA, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.
“When you look at what’s happened in Afghanistan, and when you realize that the citizenry of the country is likely to see significantly more financial hardships before the situation normalizes, it is easy to see the allure of cryptocurrencies. It will be interesting to see how the CBDC race bears out. In the future, will citizens of countries like Afghanistan look around to neighboring countries, identify a CBDC which they believe to be stable, and invest their savings there to prevent against inflation? If there aren’t regulations against it, that’s a significant possibility — and another reason why all central banks should want to move to develop their own CBDC with vigor,” said Gardner.
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