A long trip to the moon? – For journalists who have passed the stage of systematically denigrating cryptocurrencies (without having really tried to understand them), the tone is rather optimistic for the future of the crypto sphere. This is the case of one of the main market analysts of the Bloomberg media, who consider that the 2 main crypto-assets on the market are still largely undervalued from a long-term perspective.
BITCOIN AND ETHEREUM STILL IN THEIR TAKE-OFF PHASE?
Within the major economic media Bloomberg, analyst Mike McGlone is a veteran and specialist in the commodities markets. He has a keen interest in Bitcoin (BTC) – which he expects to see hit $100,000 – and the crypto-asset market in general.
In a recent tweet, Mike McGlone once again expressed his thoughts regarding the great future that certain cryptocurrencies could have. Thus, for the journalist-analyst, the growing demand combined with the scarcity of bitcoins and ethers (ETH) would promise them sustained growth in their valuation.
“Bitcoin and Ethereum are still in the early stages of adoption, with increasing demand versus decreasing supply, and therefore implications for their value. Our bias is – why try to complicate things – so unless some unlikely event reverses the spread of this nascent technology, prices should rise over time. »
Indeed, with emissions of new bitcoins and ether increasingly weak (even deflationary) and with a growing adoption of these blockchain networks so far, prices should mechanically rise, too. But that’s without counting on the desire for very framed regulation of cryptos, which is pushed around the world by governments and financial monitoring organizations, the United States in the lead.
Investors are starting to get more optimistic and $40,000 resistance could be broken at any time, analysts point out.
The historic highs of the month of February have been confirmed so far amid a greater appetite for risk from investors, which makes Bitcoin (BTC) stabilize well above the low of about $ 33,000 seen in January. At 7am, the cryptocurrency was trading at $38,559, close to stability on the day, but with accumulated gains of 4.3% in a week.
Among analysts, the thesis is gaining strength that the Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening is finally being digested and that the digital asset could break the barrier of US$ 40 thousand at any moment. As a result, the chances of a short squeeze in the futures market increase, which occurs when the price of an asset suddenly rises and leads to the liquidation of short positions (which bet on the fall).
The Fear and Greed Index, which measures market sentiment, rose from “extreme fear” territory last week, a sign that the moment of heightened pessimism is starting to pass. The index is now close to the July 2020 lows, which preceded a strong cryptocurrency price rally.
“On Sunday, the index briefly hit 30 – the highest level in 2022,” analysts Arcane Research wrote in a report on Tuesday. Still, some analysts prefer to see an increase in trading volume to confirm a shift in sentiment from pessimism to optimism.
Volatility can be driven precisely by the moment of low trading volume – the lower the volume, the greater the space for sudden price changes. The scenario stems mainly from the lack of activity in Asia, the exchanges of China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore closed this week for the Chinese New Year holiday.
For Arcane, a jump beyond $40,000 should bring traders back. “Bitcoin is currently struggling against the $40K resistance and if it manages to break it, we could see a burst of volume similar to when it dropped below that level,” the report pointed out.
In a note, trading firm QCP Capital also pointed out that “a short-term setup [is] brewing for a bounce, especially at a close above $40k for Bitcoin and $3k for Ethereum in February. ”.
According to blockchain analytics firm Santiment, 40,785 bitcoins left exchanges last week, recording the biggest BTC outflow since September. “The ongoing trend of coins moving to cold wallets [disconnected from the Internet] is historically good for long-term price movements,” Santiment said via Twitter.
A near-term rally could ease the pressure on publicly traded companies that acquired Bitcoin as a treasury strategy. MicroStrategy, which has the largest Bitcoin treasury, with more than 125,000 BTC, recorded a $147 million reduction in the asset’s book balance on the Q4 2021 balance sheet due to the cryptocurrency’s depreciation.
MicroStrategy reports $147 million “loss” from Bitcoin depreciation
MicroStrategy reported a cost related to the depreciation of non-cash digital assets of $146.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, up from $65.2 million in the previous quarter, according to the company’s latest balance sheet.
The loss reflects the decline in the price of Bitcoin from the price at which the cryptocurrency was acquired. According to US accounting rules, the value of digital assets, which includes cryptocurrencies, must be recorded at their cost and adjusted only if their value decreases. If the price goes up, the gain can only appear on the balance sheet after the asset is sold.
In 2021, MicroStrategy recorded total losses of $831 million on digital assets, up from $71 million in 2020.
The company’s 124,391 bitcoins held at the end of December 31, 2021 were acquired for $3.752 billion, reflecting an average cost per Bitcoin of approximately $30,159, the company said.
MicroStrategy reported yesterday morning that it purchased approximately 660 additional bitcoins for around $25 million between December 30, 2021 and January 31, 2022. This gives the company a total of 125,051 bitcoins, valued at around $4. .8 billion at today’s price.
Amid the controversy, Cardano proposes updating the network
Input Output, the development company behind Cardano ([active-ADA]), proposed this Wednesday (2) an update aimed at increasing the block size of the network by 11%.
“We proposed the next parameter update as we continue to increase the capacity of the Cardano network according to plan. The proposal will increase the block size by another 8KB from 72KB to 80KB,” Input Output said via Twitter.
Blocks are batches of transactions confirmed and recorded on a blockchain. Larger sizes mean more transactions can be included in each batch, but they can also affect transaction time and overall network capacity.
In a second proposal, the developers suggested increasing the performance of the Plutus smart contract platform. If implemented, the change would increase the amount of data that can be included in a single transaction from 12.5 million to 14 million.
The proposals are in line with a broader plan to increase transactional volumes on the Cardano network as it moves towards becoming a blockchain focused on decentralized finance (DeFi).
Recently, two DeFi projects that run on the Cardano network clashed and opened up the difficulties faced by the project to create an ecosystem of solutions capable of rivaling Ethereum.
Cryptocurrency donations to incognito browser Tor soar 841% in 2021
Cryptocurrency donations to the anonymous browser Tor increased by 841% in 2021 compared to the previous year, according to the non-profit organization The Tor Project, which is responsible for the project.
Of the $940,000 raised last year, 58% of donations were in cryptocurrencies. The much higher percentage compared to 2020 when donors sent $58K worth of cryptocurrencies.
“It is clear that cryptocurrency users are extremely philanthropic and care deeply about online privacy,” Tor Project fundraising director Al Smith told CoinDesk.
Of the cryptocurrency donations, 68% ($371k) were in Bitcoin, 28% ($154k) in Ethereum, 2% ($9k) in DAI and 1% ($7k) in Monero, a privacy-focused cryptocurrency.
The cryptocurrency sell-off never ends. Bitcoin plunges below $34,000. More than $1 trillion in market value has evaporated since November. Experts see three reasons for the crash.
The roughly 17,000 different cryptocurrencies have lost more than a trillion dollars in market value since their November high
The renewed heavy losses on the US technology exchange and the uncertainty about the extent and speed of interest rate increases unsettle crypto investors massively. After falling below $38,000 last Friday, the slide accelerated over the weekend as Bitcoin slid below $35,000 and approached $33,000 on Monday. On the Coinbase crypto exchange, the prices for other crypto currencies such as Solana, Cardano or Binance Coin also fell significantly again. Bitcoin has lost more than half of its value since peaking in November.
Was that it – at least for now?
Even declared supporters of digital currencies start pondering this question. Famed crypto investor Mike Novogratz, 57, mused on Twitter that “this will be a year when people realize that being an investor is a tough job.”
Others believe that with the recent panicked sell-off, sellers may soon be outnumbered and Bitcoin may have bottomed for now. At some point the sellers are “exhausted”. And “if that’s the case, then institutional investors will jump back in in a significant way,” financial news outlet Bloomberg quoted Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak + Co. as saying. “They know cryptocurrencies aren’t going away, so they are anytime soon have to invest in them again.”
Bitcoin’s crash alone has wiped out more than $600 billion in market value since the November high. The overall crypto market lost more than $1 trillion to less than $1.8 trillion last time. Experts see three factors, some of which influence each other, for the recent, accelerating price drop in cryptocurrencies.
- Concerns about tighter US monetary policy
- the sell-off in technology stocks since the beginning of the year
- increasing regulatory threats
“Cryptocurrencies are responding to the same type of dynamics weighing on risky assets around the world,” said Stephane Ouellette, CEO and co-founder of institutional crypto platform FRNT Financial.
With inflation galloping as a result, the US Federal Reserve will probably raise interest rates at least three times this year. Some market observers expect four or more rate hikes and are not ruling out a large rate hike of 50 basis points in March. At the same time, the Fed is reducing its bond purchases, gradually reducing its inflated balance sheet. In doing so, it withdraws liquidity from the markets, which restricts speculative transactions.
Tech stocks and cryptocurrencies correlate
Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and shareholder of Nexo, a provider of crypto savings accounts and crypto loans, points to a correlation between Bitcoin and technology stocks. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 has seen a staggering rise to as high as 16,700 points over the past 10 years and is now down around 2,000 points year-to-date. “Bitcoin is being hit by a wave of risk-down sentiment. For more clues, we should keep an eye on traditional markets,” Trenchev says, according to Bloomberg.
Investor Novogratz, like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently, also points to an apparently closer connection between the prices for cryptocurrencies and the prices for technology stocks. “Cryptocurrencies will have a hard time bouncing back unless a bottom is also found in tech stocks,” he tweeted. For a long time, crypto fans believed that the prices for digital currencies were relatively independent of stocks.
El Salvador was the first country in the world to introduce Bitcoin as legal tender. The International Monetary Fund sees risks to financial stability in this – and is putting pressure on the government.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked El Salvador to revoke the legal tender status of the digital currency Bitcoin. In a statement on Tuesday, the IMF’s board of directors emphasized that there are major risks associated with the use of bitcoin – for financial stability, financial integrity and consumer protection, as well as the associated tax contingencies.
The Central American state was the first country in the world to give the cryptocurrency this status in September. The IMF has been warning of the high price fluctuations of cryptocurrencies for some time.
The Bitcoin Nation
With digital forms of payment such as the Chivo e-wallet introduced in the Central American country, financial inclusion could be promoted, it said. However, the new economic environment around Chivo and Bitcoin must be strictly regulated and monitored.
Negotiations on a credit package worth billions
The occasion was talks on the economic situation, which the Washington-based UN special organization regularly conducts with member states. El Salvador has been negotiating a $1.3 billion loan package with the IMF for some time.
According to El Salvador’s bitcoin law, any merchant technically able to do so must accept the cryptocurrency. Taxes can also be paid in it. Controversial President Nayib Bukele also announced the construction of a “Bitcoin City” in November.
Bitcoin is the most well-known digital currency. It is not controlled by a central bank, but created by a decentralized, energy-intensive computer process. Bitcoin is considered an object of speculation and is subject to violent price fluctuations: the price of a Bitcoin was just under $37,000 on Tuesday – in November it had reached a high of around $68,000.