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Tesla buys BTC, Mastercard supports crypto, DOGE founder speaks out

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Cointelegraph By Editorial Staff

Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Bitcoin hits all-time highs as Tesla invests $1.5 billion

The past week is going to go down as one of the best in Bitcoin’s history. It all began when an SEC filing revealed Tesla has invested $1.5 billion in BTC and planned to start accepting crypto as a payment method.

BTC’s price immediately leaped to record highs on the news, surging by 20% in 24 hours. The announcement came weeks after Elon Musk added #bitcoin to his bio and revealed he supported the cryptocurrency.

Tesla’s Bitcoin exposure represents about 7.7% of its gross cash position, and the news has sparked hopes that other major corporations will follow suit. Galaxy Digital’s Michael Novogratz predicted that “every company in America” will emulate the electric vehicle maker by allocating part of its balance sheets to BTC.

But some treasury experts have been left scratching their heads over the change in Tesla’s investment strategy, with critics describing the move as “unusual” and “risky.” JPMorgan also piled in and said the purchase might not trigger a ton of similar investments.

 

Mastercard announces support for crypto on its network in big week for adoption

Tesla was just the tip of the iceberg, with a flurry of announcements proving that Bitcoin is now firmly in the mainstream.

Mastercard unveiled plans to start supporting crypto this year, paving the way for almost 1 billion people to spend digital assets at more than 30 million merchants. The company said the move was about giving its customers choice.

Elsewhere, PayPal revealed that its crypto service is going to be rolled out in the U.K., making it the first international market since a successful launch in the U.S. last fall.

Twitter, home to crypto-friendly CEO Jack Dorsey, confirmed it is looking into how it might pay employees who wish to be compensated in Bitcoin. Chief financial officer Ned Segal added that the social network is exploring whether it needs to have BTC on its balance sheet.

There was more to come. BNY Mellon, America’s oldest bank, announced that it will offer crypto custody services for institutional clients. Its chief executive, Roman Regelman, told the WSJ: “Digital assets are becoming part of the mainstream.” Other major banks, such as JPMorgan, now believe they’ll eventually have to get involved in BTC.

Speculation is now growing that Apple will be one of the next companies to embrace Bitcoin. The cherry on top of the cake came when the crypto-focused fintech platform BitPay revealed that card owners can now pay for goods and services using Apple Pay.

Key Bitcoin price metric signals traders are positioned for $50,000 

BTC surged beyond $43,000 without breaking a sweat on Monday, besting last month’s all-time high of $42,000. As the week progressed, Bitcoin managed to hit $48,900.

Many high-profile analysts openly predicted last year that $50,000 was a realistic price target for 2021. Just six weeks into the year, BTC has come tantalizingly close to this level.

Despite Bitcoin’s value trebling in the space of just three months, several crypto traders believe that the scene remains exceedingly bullish… and those looking for a local top might end up being disappointed.

One analyst, Cheds, told Cointelegraph: “In my view, bulls are still in complete control, and every day, we get more news of institutional adoption and demand and that, more than anything, will be the driving force.”

Another, CryptoWendyO, described $50,000 as “inevitable,” adding that a Bitcoin tweet from Musk could send BTC to $54,000.

Ethereum hits a new all-time high as CME futures go live

ETH broke $1,800 this week, setting new records several times along the way. All of this came as Ether futures made their long-awaited debut on CME.

It’s also been a very lucrative few days in the altcoin markets. Cardano has surged 71% over the past seven days, and Polkadot is up 49%, with Binance Coin crushing the competition after clocking gains of 103% in the space of a week. Even XRP managed to break $0.60 once again, which has the Sword of Damocles hanging over its head.

BNB’s gains are undoubtedly linked to the record levels of traffic coming to the Binance exchange, with the platform suffering an outage on Thursday as it went down for maintenance.

The total value locked in decentralized finance also managed to crack $40 billion this week. However, much of this surge is likely down to the soaring value of Ether rather than a dramatic explosion in activity.

 

Founder of Dogecoin sold everything in 2015 for “a used Honda Civic”

Not everyone is rolling around in $100 bills as a result of the crypto bull run. Dogecoin founder Billy Markus has revealed that he sold off his DOGE stash in 2015 for an amount equivalent to a used Honda Civic.

All of that means that he missed out on the Dogecoin mania that has helped the joke cryptocurrency gain 900% since late January, fueled by tweets from Elon Musk.

Writing on Reddit, Markus said that he can’t comprehend the prospect of DOGE ever reaching $1, writing: “That would make the ‘market cap’ larger than actual companies that provide services to millions, such as Boeing, Starbucks, American Express, IBM.”

Musk recently revealed that he had bought some DOGE for his nine-month-old son so he can be a “toddler hodler,” but there are fears that his days of tweeting about crypto could be numbered. Legal advisors have warned the billionaire that his social media activity and public statements could come under scrutiny from the SEC.

 

Winners and Losers

 

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $47,592.20, Ether at $1,836.68 and XRP at $0.60. The total market cap is at $1,477,578,548,979.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Avalanche, BitTorrent and The Graph. There’s just one altcoin loser in the top 100 this week: Ampleforth.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis

 

Most Memorable Quotations

“Cryptocurrency has become a worldwide transaction of which you cannot even identify who owns what. The technology is so strong that I don’t see the kind of regulation that we can do. Bitcoin has made our currency almost useless or valueless.”

Sani Musa, Nigerian senator

 

“Elon Musk has exposed Tesla to immense mark-to-market risk.”

Peter Garnry, Saxo Bank head of equity strategy

 

“I see the promise of these new technologies, but I also see the reality: cryptocurrencies have been used to launder the profits of online drug traffickers; they’ve been a tool to finance terrorism.”

Janet Yellen, U.S. Treasury Secretary

 

“New account registrations are still open, not sure for how long. Also seeing ATH on this. Better get an account soon.”

Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO

 

“It would not be surprising — given the focus on the chief executive’s tweets, Bitcoin pricing and recent dramatic market moves — for the SEC to ask questions about the facts and circumstances here.”

Doug Davison, former SEC enforcement official

 

“Digital assets are becoming a more important part of the payments world. We are here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value — traditional or crypto — however they want. It should be your choice, it’s your money.”

Mastercard

 

“Bought some Dogecoin for lil X, so he can be a toddler hodler.”

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO

 

“The main issue with the idea that mainstream corporate treasurers will follow the example of Tesla is the volatility of Bitcoin.”

JPMorgan

 

“We’ve done a lot of the upfront thinking to consider how we might pay employees should they ask to be paid in Bitcoin, how we might pay a vendor should they ask to be paid in Bitcoin, and whether we need to have Bitcoin on our balance sheet.”

Ned Segal, Twitter chief financial officer

 

“Markets are going up heavily, but we’ll be seeing some downwards momentum as well. Nothing goes up in a straight line.”

Michaël van de Poppe, Cointelegraph Markets analyst

 

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see there being almost some sort of a race now — you have Elon Musk, you have Michael Saylor, Jack Dorsey. You’re gonna see a lot of other visionary leaders in disruptive companies actually realizing that it’s really moved from ‘why’ to ‘why not.’”

Michael Sonnenshein, Grayscale CEO

 

“The target for consolidation is near $52k, where I’m expecting a bit of a correction but the measured move overall should take us towards $63,000.”

filbfilb, Cointelegraph Markets analyst

 

“Any wallet that won’t give you your private keys should be avoided at all costs.”

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO

 

“Central banks should ban the trading of it, and force anyone who holds Bitcoin and wants to use it in any transaction, to exchange it for another currency that does not have such a damaging side effect.”

Nick Boles, former British MP

 

“ETH futures go live on the CME today. This is huge. This is a bridge to institutions. This is a green light from U.S. regulators. ETH is becoming globally accepted commodity money.”

Ryan Sean Adams, Ethereum researcher

 

“If [Apple] decides to enter into the crypto exchange business, we think the firm could immediately gain market share and disrupt the industry.”

Paul Steves, Royal Bank of Canada Dominion Securities

 

“We expect to begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for our products in the near future.”

Tesla

 

Prediction of the Week

Bitcoin price poised to hit $63,000, says trader filbfilb

The popular analyst filbfilb has declared that “the game has changed” for Bitcoin — and has revealed what he thinks will come next for the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.

The Cointelegraph Markets contributor has said that he’s anticipating “a bit of a correction” once BTC hits $52,000 but believes “the measured move overall should take us towards $63,000.”

And on the matter of corporate adoption, he wrote: “I really don’t think people understand that S&P 500 companies owning Bitcoin means that by default people’s pensions are exposed to Bitcoin. The % of people invested in Bitcoin has already reached the masses, they just don’t even know it.

 

FUD of the Week 

Ethereum-based social media project shuts down as ETH fees approach new highs

An Ethereum-based project has ceased development due to rising gas prices, as the cost of transacting on the blockchain continues to push new highs.

Unite, which aimed to offer social media tokens, said the original idea for the project has been rendered unfeasible by the recent spike in fees, with the average cost of using Ethereum rising by a staggering 35,600% since last January.

The startup intended to allow social media users on sites such as Twitter and Discord to distribute Ethereum ERC-20 tokens to their audience and community. Developers also confirmed that they have decided against building the platform on a layer-two solution.

FTX CEO claims competitor responsible for racist messages delivered to Blockfolio users

Blockfolio’s Signal feed was briefly compromised this week, with some users receiving racist messages within the company’s app.

Now, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who acquired Blockfolio for $150 million last August, has shed light on what happened following a security review.

He claimed that the offensive content was produced and published by a competitor exchange that maliciously gained access to someone’s account.

Bankman-Fried didn’t name the culprit but stressed that funds were not jeopardized at any time. He also confirmed that Blockfolio has now fixed the vulnerability that led to this situation.

The executive has been praised for his handling of the situation, and he has apparently added $10 to the trading accounts of affected users, as well as donating to organizations dedicated to fighting racial and societal injustice.

India’s crypto ban is coming, hodlers to be given transition period: Bloomberg

An unnamed senior finance ministry official has claimed that India will soon completely ban crypto assets.

It’s reported that the use of cryptocurrency in all forms will be prohibited under the new law — meaning transacting through foreign exchanges won’t be allowed either.

Crypto exchanges have reacted with dismay to the news. Unocoin co-founder Sathvik Vishwanath said: “If government goes ahead with banning all cryptocurrencies, except the one backed by the state, it will not make sense to continue our business in India. But we’ll have to wait and watch.”

The Indian government has been determined to clamp down on crypto use after the supreme court overturned the RBI’s blanket ban on local banks providing services to businesses dealing with crypto.

 

Best Cointelegraph Features

Moment of truth? Tesla purchase is the moment Bitcoin has been waiting for

Despite some expected near-term volatility, Tesla’s exploration of the crypto realm will likely help the industry scale up to new heights.

Coincidence? Company stocks rise after they buy Bitcoin as a reserve

The market caps of most companies that bought Bitcoin have increased recently, but is that solely thanks to BTC?

A new trend? Non-crypto CEOs and celebrities embrace Bitcoin on Twitter

Are business leaders signaling the technological future they believe is coming to pass — an international and decentralized one?





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Cardano Reaches All-Time High, Ahead of Ethereum in Transaction Volume

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Alex Kyriakopoulos



Today has been a monumental day for Cardano. Caught within the recent crypto bull market, its token, ADA, hit a new all-time high price of $1.38 this evening. This marks an increase of approximately 2600% over the past year, as tracked by Messari

In fact, this milestone brings with it more good news for the smart contract platform. Over the past 24 hours, the surge of interest in Cardano has brought its on-chain transaction volume to $19.8 Billion, soaring past Ethereum’s $13.2 billion and second only to Bitcoin at $27.2 billion. 

All this activity has brought ADA’s market cap has exceeded both BNB and USDT to the third highest in the market, behind Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Initially released in 2017, Cardano was created by Ethereum Co-Founder Charles Hoskinson, through his company Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) and the Cardano Foundation. Although he had previously expressed apathy towards the value of ADA, Hoskinson appears to be celebrating Cardano’s achievements on Twitter:

Cardano as a Smart Contract Platform

Cardano’s recent success comes as a surprise given its lack of major projects utilizing the blockchain. Although it has surpassed Ethereum in terms of transaction volume, Ethereum remains far more popular with regard to blockchain-based applications. This raises the question, will Cardano be able to maintain this success without dApps to legitimize it as a platform for developers?

However, Cardano’s lack of major applications may eventually change due to the publicity of ADA’s recent bull run. Cardano’s previous lack of volume may have acted as a deterrent to developers looking for a platform for their application, ultimately attracted by the ensured popularity of the Ethereum network. 

Alternatively, a developer might also consider the EVM-compatible Binance Smart Chain (BSC), which has found recent success in the realm of smart contracts. BSC remains noteworthy due to its popularity with recent larger applications despite a far lower market cap than Cardano.

This incredible surge of price may act as a resolution to the “chicken and the egg” scenario of lacking dApps due to lower volume and popularity, and lacking volume and popularity due to the lack of major dApps on the Cardano network. This bull market may very well put not only ADA’s future value in question, but Cardano’s future usage as a smart contract platform.

At the timing of writing, ADA remains just beneath its ATH and is holding steady, up 34% over the past 24 hours. Transaction volume continues to grow as ADA shows no signs of backing down.

Featured Image from Unsplash





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DeFi Alliance Announces New Investment Fund to Fuel Growth in DeFi Space

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The newly launched DeFi Alliance Fund aims to help early-stage DeFi startups by offering them financial and regulatory guidance as well as helping them connect with institutional players to fuel growth.

The crypto DeFi market has seen explosive growth this year in 2021 surging more than 350% year-to-date. As the DeFi projects continue to gain strength, big players are coming together to take the industry further. To fuel the growth of DeFi space further, investors and DeFi experts have announced a proactive collaboration thereby announcing the first DeFi Alliance Fund. The DeFi Alliance came into existence with some of the big industry players joining hands. Popular personalities from the DeFi space like Aave‘s Stani Kulechov and Compound Finance’s Robert Lashner are part of the alliance.

The DeFi Alliance has more than 60 member companies and over 28 DeFi projects including dYdX, 0x, Kyber Network, IDEX, Synthetix, and much more. The newly announced DeFi Alliance Fund I has been seeded by Alliance members, its founding members, as well as popular investors like Mark Cuban. These players have raised an initial corpus of $15 million.

The official announcement further notes:

“The fund is designed to be collaborative and distribute capital broadly across the DeFi startup ecosystem and adjacent industries (such as NFTs). We will invest in several dozen early stage startups each year, which will allow the DeFi Alliance to formalize and fuel our accelerator program. We will distribute capital across the DeFi and adjacent industries (such as NFTs) investing in several dozen startups each year.”

DeFi Alliance Fund: Growth Plans for 2025

The DeFi Alliance has set some major goals and targets itself for the next five years. The Alliance plans to have over one billion users globally directly associated with the DeFi developments.

The latest funding introduced will help the alliance members to further formalize and fuel its accelerator program. This will thus provide necessary resources to DeFi startups to build, deploy, and grow their platforms. Besides, the alliance also plans to offer DeFi-focused ‘tracks’ in addition to the existing ones.

This will provide startups additional assistance with regulations, institutional liquidity, recruiting, and growth. These new ‘tracks’ will be specifically for Asian DeFi startups, NFTs, and other institutional educational platforms. Synthetix founder Kain Warwick has acknowledged this new financial support for DeFi startups. He wrote:

“Being part of the first cohort had such a huge impact for us, helping for several key strategic partnerships that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. The impact they have on early stage projects is even larger. Excited to see all the new projects they fund”.

Other news of the crypto-related world can be found here.

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Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.





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‘Shift 1% of Portfolio into Bitcoin’, JPMorgan Advises Investors as Bull Run Cools Off

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Analysts of JPMorgan highlighted the evaporating liquid supply as multi-billion dollar institutions and corporations are buying substantial quantities at a fast rate.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) strategists have suggested that investors should consider moving 1% of their portfolio into Bitcoin to serve as a hedge against fluctuations in traditional asset classes including stocks, bonds, and commodities.

Many people over the years including the majority of Wall Street saw Bitcoin as a commodity without any strong backing, hence doubting its ability to perform and stay in the financial scene. It seems the narrative about the biggest digital coin is gradually changing which is evident in the new wave of institutional influx in the crypto market. 

The latest endorsement from the US multinational investment bank, JPMorgan has boosted the already existing notion which has seen many experts tout Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation. The bank has told its investors that they can shift 1% of their portfolio into Bitcoin only if those investors have just a small interest in Bitcoin.

Analysts from the bank highlighted the evaporating liquid supply as multi-billion dollar institutions and corporations are buying substantial quantities at a fast rate. “The demand for bitcoin is significantly higher than the actual supply and investors could put 1% of their portfolio in BTC,” JPMorgan advised. 

Bitcoin’s last halving which happened in May last year, saw the production rate of new Bitcoins slashed into two. The increasing demand that followed the halving, coupled with its decreasing liquid supply drove the price of the coin up as it has gained over 50% value since January 1.

The latest interest from institutions has further fueled the decreasing liquid supply as MicroStrategy Inc (NASDAQ: MSTR) now owns over 90,000 Bitcoin, with Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) allocating $1.5 billion in the asset while Grayscale is purchasing new coins at record levels. 

JPM strategists Joyce Chang and Amy Ho in a note to clients stated that “in a multi-asset portfolio, investors can likely add up to 1% of their allocation to cryptocurrencies in order to achieve any efficiency gain in the overall risk-adjusted returns of the portfolio.”

Bitcoin’s insane bull run looks to have hit a wall as its value has seen a 20% decline since its all-time high of over $58,000 on February 21. JP Morgan’s latest comments have been met with criticisms as it contradicts earlier statements made by other strategists from the bank, which stated that “crypto assets should be treated as investment vehicles and not funding currencies such as USD or JPY.”

The bank also claimed that “crypto assets continue to rank as the poorest hedge for major drawdowns in equities,” but looks to have circled back on its words. 

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