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Bitcoin is Now Worth More Than Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway with a Market Value of $540 Billion

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Bitcoin is making the crypto space ecstatic due to its incredible bull run this month. After surging past an all-time high (ATH) of $20,000.00 in price in mid-December, the leading cryptocurrency has made headlines by skyrocketing to $29,200 levels, falling shy of the $30,000 mark. It has, however, retraced to $28,990 at the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap.

The price surge past $29,000 has made Bitcoin (BTC) worth more than Berkshire Hathaway, an American multinational conglomerate owned by Warren Buffet, whose market capitalization is capped at $539 billion. Bitcoin, on its end, has a market value of around $540 billion. Holger Zschaepitz, a market analyst, noted:

“Bitcoin jumps >$29k and hit another milestone: With a market value of $540bn, Bitcoin is now worth more than Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.”

BTC has enjoyed a rollercoaster ride this month and is set to finish the year with a bang. December 2020 will therefore be written in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency’s history book as the time period with the biggest BTC gains since May 2019. Furthermore, statistics show that BTC has increased by more than 295% in 2020 as the US Dollar Index (DXY) recently slipped to a 32-month low.  

Thanks to an overwhelming appetite by institutional investors and economic initiatives like quantitative easing (QE), Bitcoin has enjoyed a heck of a ride as the year comes to an end.

Nevertheless, the CEO of CryptoQuant Ki Young Ju has asked caution to not be thrown to the wind because BTC could correct, as institutional investments has stalled according to the analyst. His sentiments come as crypto traders anticipate Bitcoin will soon break the $30,000 price after today’s new all-time high of $29,200.

After sinking to lows of $3,800 in mid-March, BTC has dusted off and shot to levels not seen before because it is continuously cementing its status as a safe-haven asset. Time will tell what 2021 has in store for Bitcoin. 

Image source: Shutterstock Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/bitcoin-is-worth-more-warren-buffett-berkshire-hathaway-market-value-540-billion

Blockchain

Kraken Becomes Latest Exchange to Halt XRP Trading

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US residents see their options shrink even further as Kraken freezes trading of the beleaguered crypto.

Kraken announced on Jan. 15 that it would halt trading in XRP for US residents. The company made the move because of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing against Ripple Labs.

Kraken sets parameters

The exchange specified that US residents would still be able to deposit, hold, and withdraw XRP after the freeze takes place. The action affects only US residents. “Clients residing in other countries are not affected.”

The announcement also includes a FAQ list. It covers topics such as how long the ban will last (they will adapt to any change in the SEC saga). The upcoming change to a deposit-hold-withdraw only regime may change as the situation warrants. Also, the company’s plans regarding the Spark token airdop remain unchanged.

The SEC filing

The SEC action mentioned in the announcement is the set of Dec. 23 charges laid against Ripple Labs and some of its executives. The SEC claims that the company sold $1.2 billion of unregistered securities in the form of XRP through its platform. Former CEO Christian Larsen and current CEO Brad Garlinghouse are also charged with selling another $600 million in unregistered securities in the form of XRP. 

Ripple Labs is defending itself in court and in the media. Garlinghouse in particular has taken to Twitter to explain the company’s position.

Garlinghouse points out that the Ripple platform has been out for over seven years. Furthermore, it already has government decisions in several countries, including the US, stating that XRP is a form of currency and not a security. He also drew attention to the timing of the charges, and claimed that the outgoing SEC administration essentially left a mess for the incoming Biden team to clean up.

Ripple in still waters

The market reaction to the SEC charges came swiftly. XRP sank highs associated with the Flare airdrop at the end of November. It hit a bottom of under $0.20 at the end of December, while retail investors were raising bitcoin to new highs. A January rally raised XRP into the high 20s.

Exchanges with significant US exposure also moved quickly. Garlinghouse noted that the US accounts for about 5% of XRP holders, but the exchanges kept an eye on compliance. Coingate, Coinbase, and Bitstamp are among the exchanges that have already signaled stoppages.

In one sign as to how Ripple will leave this eddy of activity, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, commonly known as ‘Crypto Mom’, stated in a recent interview that charges such as these often get settled out of court.

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James Hydzik is a finance and technology writer and editor based in Kyiv, Ukraine. He is especially interested in the development of regulation in the face of increasingly rapid technological change. He previously covered the CEE region for Financial Times banking and FDI magazines. An ardent believer in gut renovating eastern Europe one flat at a time, he currently holds more home renovation gear than crypto.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/kraken-becomes-latest-exchange-to-halt-xrp-trading/

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China-based BSN Readies International CBDC Platform

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China’s initial CBDC trials captured the attention of the world’s central bankers. Now, they’re planning on going global.

China’s Blockchain Service Network (BSN) laid out its plans for 2021 on Jan. 15. The company expects to build a universal digital payment network (UPDN) over the course of five years. However, its goals for 2021 include launching a beta-test version of the UPDN in the second half of the year.

Besides the UPDN, BSN has three other primary goals for 2021. These include expanding the BSN network and overall ecosystem as well as promoting the non-CBDC private platform.

What is BSN?

Blockchain Service Network is a Chinese government-supported blockchain research and development company. It is responsible for developing and rolling out the extensive blockchain platforms serving as a digital backbone for the country. With over 34,000 blockchain companies currently working in China, the country’s use of the technology extends deep into its economic base.

Digital yuan

BSN’s plans take part in the Chinese government’s rollout of the digital yuan. The introduction of the digital yuan was a event in the CBDC sector. It eclipsed by far the efforts of the European Central Bank in both scale and scope.

While the ECB experimented with payments in France in 2H2020, the Chinese airdropped digital yuan, engaged citizens in contests to win the CBDC, launched P2P transfers and enabled retailers to accept it.

Do BSN’s plans pose a threat to other countries? They do say that they foresee expanding Public City Nodes for their blockchains in 50 cities, “covering most developed countries” and well-growing developing countries. This is a BSN blockchain network development goal, not a CBDC goal.

However, the ECB broadcast its fears of foreign digital intervention on the currency markets. In November, 2020, the ECB laid out its “Reinvention of Money” strategy. One reason for the introduction of the digital euro, ECB Executive Board member Fabio Panetta declared, was the introduction of foreign CDBCs and the possible threat to Europe’s currency sovereignty.

Meanwhile, in America

On Thursday, Jan. 14,Chair of the US Federal Reserve Jerome Powell stated during an interview on Yahoo Finance that the development of a US CBDC is not something to do in a hurry. Also, he sees the US as having a first-mover advantage in that the dollar is the world’s reserve currency.

Powell stated that it would take years for a US CBDC, not months. That said, he also pointed out that it is something that needs to be done, and done right.

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James Hydzik is a finance and technology writer and editor based in Kyiv, Ukraine. He is especially interested in the development of regulation in the face of increasingly rapid technological change. He previously covered the CEE region for Financial Times banking and FDI magazines. An ardent believer in gut renovating eastern Europe one flat at a time, he currently holds more home renovation gear than crypto.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/china-based-bsn-readies-international-cbdc-platform/

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BeInCrypto Weekly News Roundup: January 16, 2021

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This week has been a much wilder ride than the weeks previous, with Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptocurrencies falling 15 percent or more before recovering nearly to their previous high levels.

Along with the price action, it was another exciting week in the cryptocurrency space on other levels. Read more in our roundup!

Bitcoin bounces back after nearly dropping below $30,000

Earlier in the week, many expected the beginning of a widespread cryptocurrency bear market and a market top. The sentiment came as Bitcoin almost broke the $30,000 support level. Some speculated that this occurred due to moves from large scale institutions that wanted to take some profit. However, the assertion was not confirmed.

This price drop, which also drove Ether below the $1,000 mark, wiped over $3 billion from the market in one day. Since the dip, most cryptocurrencies have returned much closer to their previous all time high prices.

Sushiswap and PayPal see all time high transaction volume

Both Sushiswap and PayPal’s cryptocurrency exchanges saw record volume this week. The volume indicates that either more investors or more capital are entering the space. As we noted in the roundup (above), this happened during extreme price swings.

Sushiswap, a decentralized exchange, saw $700 million in trading volume, while PayPal, a centralized exchange that does not let users withdraw Bitcoin from its platform, held over $242 million in transactions. In the course of a few days, PayPal more than doubled its previous daily volume record.

Bakkt will be the first crypto exchange to go public

Bakkt, the SEC regulated cryptocurrency futures exchange run by Intercontinental Exchange Inc., the owners of the New York Stock Exchange, will be the first cryptocurrency exchange to go public. Unsurprisingly, the exchange will be listed on the NYSE. The exchange is will merge with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Bakkt will be going public with a $2.1 billion valuation, which compared to its competitors may make it slightly over-valued. Coinbase, a crypto exchange with a stronger foothold in the space, is also planning to go public soon but with a possible $28 billion valuation. Although the Coinbase IPO will be taking place at a valuation 12 times higher than Bakkt, Coinbase has a daily transaction volume of $4 billion compared to Bakkt’s most recent daily volume of around $20 million.

 We’ll see you next week for another BeInCrypto Weekly News Roundup.

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Harrison is an analyst, reporter, and lead specialist at BeInCrypto based out of Tel Aviv, Israel. Harrison has been involved in the cryptocurrency space since late 2016 and is passionate about decentralized ledger technology and its potential.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/beincrypto-weekly-news-roundup-january-16-2021/

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Bitcoin Institutional Inflows Are Rising as Grayscale Bitcoin Portfolio Now Estimated to be Worth $23.69 Billion

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Bitcoin (BTC) continues being the talk of the town after it set a new high of $41,500, but it has since tumbled to around the $35K level based on a looming correction. Nevertheless, Bitcoin has traded at highs of 38K this week, but despite its ongoing volatility, BTC has managed to retain a level above the 30K for some time, and this seems may prove to be a crucial support level.

The overwhelming appetite for BTC by institutional investors seems to be increasing because the leading cryptocurrency is continuously stamping its authority as an inflationary hedge. 

Bybt cryptocurrency trading platform has disclosed that Bitcoin institutional inflows are not showing any signs of slowing. The aggregated derivative exchange noted:

“Bitcoin (BTC) institutional inflows show no signs of slowing down; there may be a new round of buying. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Clocks $23.69 Bln.” 

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Grayscale, a digital asset management firm, has been setting the ball rolling as one of the leading corporate giants heavily invested in Bitcoin based on its $23.69 billion BTC portfolio. Michael Saylor, the MicroStrategy CEO, has disclosed that Bitcoin is emerging as a new and compelling institutional-grade safe-haven asset. Therefore, it is appealing to the eyes of institutions as an ideal inflationary hedge. 

MicroStrategy, a leading business intelligence firm, has also been on a spending spree because towards the end of 2020, it added more BTC to its portfolio. This time, a total amount of Bitcoin worth $650 million was added to its treasury reserve. 

Institutional investors are protecting the $30,000 level

Ki Young Ju, the CEO of on-chain data provider CryptoQuant.com, noted that many institutional investors bought Bitcoin at the $30-32k level, so they felt obligated to put up a shield. He explained

“There are many institutional investors who bought BTC at the 30-32k level. The Coinbase outflow on Jan 2nd was a three-year high. Speculative guess, but if these guys are behind this bull-run, they’ll protect the 30k level. Even if we have a dip, it wouldn’t go down below 28k.”

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Institutional investors have been touted as game-changers in the current Bitcoin bull run and as the fear of missing out (FOMO) continues to cripple many investors. Time will tell what is in store for BTC moving forward. 

Image source: Shutterstock Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/bitcoin-institutional-inflows-are-rise-grayscale-bitcoin-trust-portfolio-now-estimated-be-worth-23.69-billion

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