Crypto bulls were loving this week, with prices climbing above $8,000, good news lining up and strong signs that institutional investors are jumping on board. Despite a slight dip following some disappointing news, bitcoin bounced back, and the rest of the market followed.
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The $8,000 mark is (at least this month) the ‘psychologically significant’ level that everyone’s using to determine how bitcoin is doing, but we caution against putting too much significance in this price level because with crypto it’s rather dynamic.
Here’s what’s been moving bitcoin above and below this level all week:
#1 SEC Says ‘No’ to ETF
On Thursday, the SEC rejected the Winklevoss Twins’ proposed bitcoin ETF, immediately sending bitcoin prices below the $8,000 mark. The SEC sees too much room for price manipulation here because the ETF would track only bitcoin.
But it’s not all bad news on the ETF front, even if the Winklevoss Twins have lost out …
#2 A New ‘All-Crypto’ ETF Emerged as Promising
A newly proposed Bitwise HOLD 10 Cryptocurrency Index is planning to track 10 cryptocurrencies in the Bitwise HOLD 10 Private Index Fund that was launched in November. This ETF is SEC-regulated and it’s about to hit the market, traded on the normal exchanges (NYSE/NASDAQ). There’s plenty of reason for crypto bears to be excited about this. And while a handful of ETFs have been postponed, this one is alive and kicking—and it will capture about 80 percent of the total crypto market cap (just like the S&P 500 for equities).
#3 Wall Street’s Biggest Crypto Firm Discloses Losses
We had to wait a while, but this week finally came the first-ever disclosures from Wall Street trader Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, which showed a $134 million loss for the firm in Q1 2018. That included $13.5 million in losses on digital assets and $85.5 million in unrealized losses on those assets. It’s a pretty big hit for a firm that only launched in November last year, right before bitcoin hit $20,000. Related: Twitter In A Tailspin On Disappointing Earnings Report
While those losses certainly played on crypto prices this week, the news has still been largely positive, with Novogratz insisting that Galaxy Digital is still “strategically positioned to help further institutionalize the digital assets and blockchain industry”. And right now, that’s what everyone’s looking at: institutional money pouring into crypto.
#4 Coinbase Launches Crypto Gift Cards
It may sound innocuous, but that would be short-sighted. Coinbase’s Wednesday launch of a new feature in Europe means that customers can buy virtual gift cars using cryptocurrency in partnership with UK-based WeGift. And it’s reaching out to over 120 retailers participating. Why is this significant? Because it fills a big gap: Many retailers don’t accept crypto, and now they can, indirectly. And it’s promising zero withdrawal fees for converting crypto in this manner.
#5 The Political Ideology of Cryptoland
And while this probably didn’t move prices much one way or another, it’s interesting to note that a new survey by CoinDesk revealed some perhaps unexpected results, politically. While most have equated cryptocurrency with the libertarian mindset because of its initial ‘ideology’ of freedom from centralization, CoinDesk’s survey found that 27 percent of cryptocurrency investors were liberals, while 24 percent were libertarian and 9 percent were socialist.
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By Michael Kern for Safehaven.com
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