Crypto News Headlines (10-Feb-2022)

JPMorgan analysts predict a $150,000 bitcoin price

Analysts from JPMorgan have released a report stating that bitcoin’s current fair value is just $38,000 due to its volatility relative to gold, but that in the long-term it could go to $150,000.

“The biggest challenge for bitcoin going forward is its volatility and the boom and bust cycles that hinder further institutional adoption,” the report said.

Bitcoin rose 1.55% on the news while ether increased by as much as 4.75% on the day. Cryptocurrencies’ overall market capitalization increased by nearly 2% as well.

Investors set aside rate hike uncertaintly

Investors seem to have priced-in coming rate hikes — or have forgotten them for now. The S&P 500 has increased over 8% since its low in late January. Likewise, the Nasdaq has increased over 9% since its lows in late January. Today, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are up 1.45% and 2.10% respectively.

Crypto start-up Alchemy has nearly tripled its valuation in a matter of months, with the company saying Tuesday it’s now valued at $10.2 billion after its latest funding round.

The $200 million investment was led by Lightspeed and Silver Lake, and Alchemy’s previous financing round in late October valued the company at $3.5 billion. Earlier investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Coatue and Pantera also participated.

It comes amid a flood of venture capital dollars into crypto. Tech investors are looking for winners in what some describe as the future of the internet, or “Web 3.” Blockchain funding soared 718% last year, topping $25.5 billion for the first time, according to recent report from CB Insights.

“Everyone’s looking for a way to get involved in the space, and what they realized was Alchemy is the backbone for all of these things,” Alchemy co-founder and chief technology officer Joe Lau told CNBC in an interview. “We still think this is the first inning of Web

Cryptocurrency prices rose in today’s trading. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano gained while Solana dipped marginally. The world’s most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was above the USD 43,000-mark as the global crypto market by and large was trading in green.

Ether, the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain and the second-largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization also surged over 3.77 per cent to $3,193.14. It dropped to a six-month trough in late January, but since then, ether, the token used for the Ethereum blockchain, has surged about 48 per cent. While Binance Coin rose about 0.7 percent to $424.

“Bitcoin and Ethereum picked up a bit in the past 24 hours. BTC and ETH are trading above US$43,000 and US$3,000 levels. BTC’s dominance is currently 41 per cent whereas resistance lies between US$45,000 to US$47,000, and lower support price stays at US$40,000. If buyers can make a decisive move above US$40,000, the BTC’s price can get back to its peak at US$69,000. According to the market cap, the top altcoins have also attained decent growth after experiencing the dip yesterday,” said Edul Patel, CEO and Co-founder, Mudrex.

Russia’s central government agencies reached an agreement to regulate cryptocurrencies by mandating licenses for exchanges and taxing large transactions on Tuesday, shelving concerns of a blanket ban proposed by the central bank last month.

Russian business newspaper Kommersant reported the government and the Bank of Russia are preparing a draft law by Feb. 18 to classify crypto as a form of currency rather than digital financial assets.

The document, which was signed off by the central bank and the finance ministry, stated that crypto trading will be strictly regulated with a focus on investor protection.

The Bank of Russia last month issued a report calling cryptocurrency a pyramid scheme and recommending a comprehensive ban, while the Russian finance ministry suggested regulating crypto rather than banning it.

The government said the move to legitimize crypto circulation in its economy will minimize the threat to financial stability and reduce the use of crypto in illegal activities.

Federal law enforcement officers seized more than $3.6 billion in cryptocurrency linked to a 2016 hack of virtual crypto exchange Bitfinex, the Justice Department said in a release Tuesday.

A husband and wife from New York are charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the U.S., the Justice Department said. This is the Justice Department’s largest financial seizure ever, the release said, and the couple is accused of conspiring to launder $4.5 billion worth of stolen cryptocurrency.

Earlier on Tuesday, a U.S. Treasury official on Tuesday reaffirmed the government’s view that the U.S. needs regulatory guardrails for stablecoins.

In a House Financial Services Committee hearing, Nellie Liang, the Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance, primarily reiterated the concerns raised in the stablecoin report released by the Biden administration last November and the report’s recommendation to pass legislation that limits stablecoin issuance to FDIC-insured banks. She added that crypto intermediaries, including companies that store, transfer, or otherwise support the use of stablecoins, also need to be regulated.

The U.S. government announced the “largest cryptocurrency seizure to date” after the DOJ seized 94,636 bitcoins that were stolen in the August 2016 Bitfinex hack. On August 2, 2016, a hacker managed to breach Bitfinex and steal 120,000 bitcoin (BTC). Bitcoin’s price shuddered 24 hours after the breach losing 22% in USD value during the course of the aftermath. At first, Bitfinex talked about reimbursing customers with a bail-in haircut plan, which means traders would only get a fraction of losses.

Two weeks later after the 120,000 BTC was stolen, Bitfinex gave the crypto community an investigation update. Instead of following through with the haircut plan, Bitfinex introduced “recovery rights tokens,” in order to make amends with the customers who lost funds. The coins were called BFX tokens and by April 3, 2017, at 8 p.m. UST (4 p.m. EST), the crypto exchange revealed it had paid its debt in full. However, after this point in time, people stopped talking about the Bitfinex stolen bitcoins, but the addresses holding the coins were monitored.

Most of the largest cryptocurrencies were up during morning trading on Wednesday, with Ripple XRPUSD, -0.17% seeing the biggest change, rising 5.45% to 89 cents.

Seven additional currencies posted gains Wednesday. Uniswap UNIUSD, -0.20% rose 5.32% to $12.48, and Litecoin LTCUSD, 0.56% rallied 3.69% to $138.37.

Bitcoin Cash BCHUSD, 2.33% climbed 3.43% to $345.56, while Cardano ADAUSD, -0.45% climbed 2.61% to $1.20. Ethereum ETHUSD, 0.51% rallied 2.47% to $3,195.40.

Dogecoin DOGEUSD, 0.26% and Polkadot DOTUSD, 1.26% rounded out the increases for Wednesday, with gains of 2.47% to 16 cents and 2.14% to $22.06, respectively.

On the other hand, Bitcoin BTCUSD, 0.53% posted the only drop, falling 0.27% to $44,142.49.

In crypto-related company news, shares of Coinbase Global Inc. COIN, +2.76% increased 1.41% to $211.67, while MicroStrategy Inc. MSTR, +4.98% climbed 0.01% to $425.48. Riot Blockchain Inc. RIOT, +7.44% shares rose 2.08% to $18.67, and shares of Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. MARA, +10.10% increased 2.39% to $26.96. Inc. OSTK, +0.04% inched down 0.45% to $52.62, while Block Inc. SQ, +10.31% rallied 4.10% to $106.48 and Tesla Inc. TSLA, +1.08% rallied 1.01% to $931.31.

PayPal Holdings Inc. PYPL, +2.23% climbed 0.46% to $120.81, and Ebang International Holdings Inc. Cl A EBON, +4.55% shares rallied 3.03% to $1.36. NVIDIA Corp. NVDA, +6.36% rose 1.24% to $254.19, and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD, +3.60% climbed 0.46% to $128.53.

Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, has suggested some investment strategies for investors seeking to gain exposure to crypto assets with less risk than investing directly in bitcoin, ether, or other cryptocurrencies. “There are several main ways investors can access this potential while avoiding the high volatility and regulatory risks of holding bitcoin or rival cryptos,” the UBS analysts explained.

Bitcoin still tends to grab the headlines, but in truth, it no longer dominates the crypto market to the same extent it once did. Two years ago, Bitcoin accounted for 70% of the market, currently, however, with the total crypto market valued at over ~$2 trillion, that share has dropped to under 40%.

It’s not that bitcoin is contracting, but rather that many altcoins are beginning to offer four and even five-digit percentage returns. Ethereum, for example, greatly outpaced Bitcoin in 2021, returning 399.2% on the back of the boom of NFTs and decentralized finance sectors. However, as an ironic consequence of Ethereum’s increased usage, transaction fees shot up, forcing user migrations to other smart contract platforms with lower fees.

The luxury auction house Sotheby’s plans to auction 104 Cryptopunks on February 23, according to an announcement from the company’s official Twitter account. “Cryptopunks get the Sotheby’s treatment,” the company tweeted. “Our next Sotheby’s Metaverse sale ‘Punk It! 104 Cryptopunks. 1 Lot.’ will be a landmark LIVE Evening Auction on February 23. A truly historic sale for an undeniably historic NFT project.”

The lot of 104 Cryptopunks was originally purchased in July 2021 for $7 million in a single Ethereum block. According to reports at the time, the buyer purchased the 104 NFTs by paying the miner a bribe of five ethereum (ETH), and the acquisition bumped up the floor price for the entire collection of 10,000 Cryptopunks.

The individual who purchased the 104 Cryptopunks discussed the acquisition in a Twitter thread during the first week of August 2021. The buyer dubbed “0x650d” explained it was kind of like buying bitcoin (BTC) below $10 per unit. “You’re wishing you could go back in time and buy Bitcoin below $10, back when you thought it was a fad or there would be dozens of coins like it,” 0x650d said. The NFT collector added:

But you can’t. And there’s nothing like it. Same with NFTs: you can’t go back in time and be the first.