News & Commentary

Rick Rieder, CIO of Fixed Income for Blackrock, the largest asset manager in the US, shared his thoughts on Bitcoin.

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Bitcoin Reaches $16,000

Nov 14, 2020

Bitcoin ended the week above $16,000 as prices continue to trend upwards toward $20,000.  Any sudden surges around the $20,000 area might portend corrective price action back down to these current price levels.  Longer consolidation towards the all-time around year end might indicate a more sustained boom cycle next year above $100k or $200k.  We’ll review the macroeconomics for the week as well as internal fundamentals.

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Bitcoin Breaks Above $15,000

Nov 5, 2020

Bitcoin surpassed the $15,000 mark and is trending toward its all-time high of $19,600 by year-end if the momentum continues.  The chart shows a daily high of nearly $13,000 in June 2019, but the hourly high around that time was closer to $14,000 so that may be a more appropriate support level for the most recent break out.   How are US elections, markets and the economy​ affecting Bitcoin prices?

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Ethereum 2.0 Begins in Dec

Nov 5, 2020

Developers are finally implementing the initial phase of the long-awaited Ethereum 2.0 on December 1st.  The initial phase consists of launching the bridge from the Ethereum 1.0 Proof-of-Work consensus system to a Proof-of-Stake consensus system and that allows users to deposit a minimum of 32 ETH and earn 8-15% in annual rewards.    The bridge goes only one way so once people who deposit ETH into the ETH 2.0 contract cannot move ETH back to the original chain.  

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Will Bitcoin Leave Altcoins Behind In The Dust?

Nov 2, 2020

Bitcoin recently touched $14,000 in the past few days and other cryptocurrencies (ie. altcoins) have lost ground against it.  Many Bitcoin maximalists have started to chatter about how Bitcoin will start to decouple from altcoins and suggest Bitcoin will leave altcoins in the dust bin of history.  Even if in the long run that is a possibility, altcoins are likely to be in a very short term downturn and very well may lead Bitcoin in the next bull market.  

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PayPal Makes Move Into Bitcoin

Oct 24, 2020

PayPal made it’s long awaited move into cryptocurrencies, announcing Wednesday that its over 300 million users will be able to buy and hold Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and a few other cryptocurrencies and to shop at its 26 million merchants with crypto.   PayPal Users are still not able to transfer cryptocurrencies to each other, but it’s an easy way for users to get started in Bitcoin.   So what does this news mean  for the wider cryptocurrency industry?

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re: P2P Defi

Oct 17, 2020

Lex Sokolin writes an insightful opinion piece titled How DeFi Can Avoid the Irrelevance of P2P Lending and Crowdfunding, reflecting on past examples of peer-to-peer technology that inspired Libertarian visions of peer-to-peer economies and the stark reality that more centralized solutions have succeeded in those markets. Sokolin gives an example of the music industry and filesharing as well as LendingClub in finance.  Will it end up that traditional finance monopolies continue to reign, new centralized tech monopolies emerge or will peer-to-peer decentralized finance (DeFi) technologies finally move mainstream?

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Fidelity: Can BTC Surpass $1.3 Trillion?

Oct 16, 2020

The Fidelity Digital Asset research team issued a report titled ‘Bitcoin’s Investment Thesis: Bitcoin’s Role As An Alternative Investment’. We summarize their findings.  Will this trigger a cascade of institutional interest and investment in Bitcoin?

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Oct 4, 2020

Peter Van Valkenburg has written an op-ed titled “There’s no such thing as a decentralized exchange” that suggests the term “decentralized exchange (DEX)” is overused as a noun and recommends that people instead rephrase the term as a verb.  Valkenburg hopes to make the focus less on an entity, but more about the software tool that enables exchanges to occur.  Valkenburg suggests that using DEX as a noun indicates there is still an entity involved in the exchange process and that may attract some scrutiny from regulators.  He then goes on to discuss a DEX with respect to the following three categories of regulation and law: 1) financial surveillance  2) securities law and 3) the constitution.  It’s true that smart contract software can enable peer-to-peer exchanges, but what about the decentralized companies or organizations that are often behind the business or software? 

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Oct 3, 2020

Last Wednesday Judge Hellerstein in the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the SEC against Kik for violating US securities laws for raising $100 million in a token sale in 2017.   The Kik CEO Ted Livingston is considering options including an appeal.  This is one of the first cases that have evaluated a token sale under the Howey Test.  We’ll break down the judge’s ruling and see if there is potential that the judge erred and discuss how the Kin token sale could have been designed differently. 

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Oct 2, 2020

The Commodities and Futures Exchange Commission (CFTC) announced it has filed enforcement actions against BitMex, related companies and individual officers including Arthur Hayes for illegally operating a derivatives exchange.  The NY Attorney General (NYAG) in the Southern District also formally indicted the same individual officers criminally.  Could there be constitutional challenges to some of the charges?

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