Everyone Should Have 1% of their Assets in Bitcoin

Chamath Palihapitiya, the billionaire chairman of spaceflight company Virgin Galactic, has recommended that everyone hold Bitcoin (BTC) as a form of crisis insurance. 

Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Palihapitiya said he believes that “everybody should probably have 1% of their assets in Bitcoin.” 

Palihapitiya said that Bitcoin comprises a “fantastic hedge,” as every other financial instrument is correlated […] except Bitcoin, which is fundamentally uncorrelated.”

“When you see the amount of leverage the financial industry is running, and you think about all these dislocations and all these exogenous things that are happening that you can’t predict, there’s a lot of risk to the downside, and it will be great that an average individual citizen, of any country in the world, has an uncorrelated hedge.”

Palihapitiya dismisses coronavirus as bull catalyst

However the billionaire former Facebook executive rejects the theory that economic woes resulting from the coronavirus outbreak will drive the crypto markets into a bull trend.

“I don’t think when […] you wake up and see a coronavirus scare and the Dow down 2,000, you should not be going in and buying Bitcoin – that is an idiotic strategy,” he said.

The ‘Bitcoin is a safe haven’ narrative has certainly taken a battering this week with BTC tumbling up to 13% in 36 hours in tandem with the stock markets due to fears over the impact of the coronavirus. In contrast gold has performed well in its traditional role as a safe haven, gaining 0.5% in recent days to trade for $1,648.82 per ounce.

Put some Bitcoin under your mattress

Palihapitiya suggests that a better approach than trying to profit off short term market trends is for investors to put a small percentage of their net worth into Bitcoin as “insurance”.

“I think a reasonable strategy is to say 1% of my net worth should be in something completely uncorrelated to the world and how the world works. You quietly over some period of time accumulate a position and then just never look at it again and hope that that insurance under the mattress never has to come due. But, if it does, it will protect you.”

Palihapitiya is a longtime Bitcoin supporter and his company, Virgin Galactic, began accepting Bitcoin for its $250,000 spaceflights during November 2013, becoming one of most high-profile companies to accept BTC at the time. Palihapitiya told CNBC that it has received 7,957 “registrations of interest” since conducting the first flight in December 2018, which equates to to $2.39 billion in potential ticket sales.

Cointelegraph News

Half of Cash App’s Revenue Now Comes From Bitcoin

Square’s Cash App derived half of its fourth-quarter revenue from Bitcoin (BTC) services.

According to a shareholder letter published on Feb. 28, Bitcoin revenue amounted to $178 million during the fourth quarter of 2019, while combined non-Bitcoin revenue totaled $183 million.

In total Bitcoin accounted for more than half a billion dollars of revenue across 2019, equating to around $8 million in profits. That’s up from $1.7 million the previous year.

The figures show that Bitcoin is increasing in popularity with smaller retail investors on the peer-to-peer payments app, with the last quarter accounting for almost 40% of Square’s Bitcoin revenue for the year.

Cash App  — from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s firm Square — is currently the second most-used finance app on Google Play, and the 23rd-most used app on the platform overall. It also offers fee-free free stock trading for its 24 million active users.

Average crypto spend users doubles in one year

They’re not major players on Cash App however, with each user conducting $7.42 worth of monthly BTC trades on average. Still, that’s twice as much as December 2018, when the average user generated $3.50 in Bitcon trades a month.

Per-person Bitcoin revenue is also growing at twice the speed of the platform’s average, with the average quarterly revenue of customers doubling from $15 to $30 since Dec. 2017.

Cash App’s $8 million in Bitcoin profits account for less than 1% of Square’s total $937 million in gross profits when excluding the company’s $373 million sale of its food delivery app, Caviar.

Cash App promoted by TikTok influencers

Could Tik Tok help explain the increase in Bitcoin turnover in the quarter? In December Cash App targeted a new generation of Bitcoin investors via an influencer campaign on the short-form video-sharing app.

The campaign saw multiple TikTok-based musicians compose songs titled ‘Cash App’, including a track by influencer Shiggy that generated millions of views on TikTok. In total more than 9,600 paid and organic videos were created during the campaign generating 136.5 million views.

Cointelegraph News

Ethereum Community Comes out Against Controversial ProgPoW

Opposition continues to grow against implementation of the controversial Programmatic Proof-of-Work (ProgPoW) proposal in the Ethereum community.

ProgPoW is an ASIC-resistant PoW algorithm meant to replace ETHhash, the current hashing algorithm for the platform. First mooted two years ago, it suddenly reemerged as a concrete plan set for the middle of this year following a call of core developers on February 21.

Leading stakeholders filed a petition on Github on Feb. 26 to register their disapproval with the decision.

Authored by ETHBoston Organizer Justin Leroux, the petition claims the change lacks community support:

“Because Ethereum is a global platform with a large and diverse group of stakeholders, it is critical that major changes to the protocol have a clear purpose and broad support. EIP-1057 clearly lacks that support, yet activation is still being considered.”

Uniswap, DARMA Capital sign up

The petition is signed by more than 70 people including Hayden Adams, CEO and founder of Uniswap, Andrew Keys, co-founder of DARMA Capital, and Tim Coulter, CEO of Truffle Suite.

“Changing the Eth1 hashing algorithm at this point in Ethereum’s evolution sows community division and introduces technical risk at a time when efforts and attention should be focused elsewhere.”

What is the ProgPoW proposal

ProgPoW is a version of the proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm, which is supposed to smooth the transition of the Ethereum network to proof-of-stake (PoS). It’s designed to eliminate the gap in efficiency between Ethereum ASIC miners and graphics processing units (GPU) to protect the Ethereum network against a monopoly of ASIC hardware manufacturers.

Supporters of ProgPow believe the change could help prevent a miner-led fork in the months leading up to Proof of Stake. However, opponents argue the exact opposite could occur. The petition reads:

“A stated goal of ProgPoW is to avoid contentious forks while transitioning to proof-of-stake, yet it is at odds with its own aims if activation increases the likelihood of that undesired outcome.”

Ethereum plans to transition away from proof-of-work consensus towards proof-of-stake later with the launch of the first phase of ETH 2.0 in mid-2020.

Source Cointelegraph

Bitcoin Erases February’s Gains, BTC Price Sinks Below $8,700

The sharp correction that has rocked the crypto market since Feb. 23 continued through Feb. 27 as Bitcoin (BTC) price dropped nearly 8% to a daily low at $8,531.

Markets pricing in Coronavirus impact

At the opening bell, equities markets recovered some of the losses of the previous two days but at the time of writing Dow Jones futures, S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures all dropped 1.32%, 1.33% and 1.31%, respectively, with investors increasingly concerned about the economic impact of the Coronavirus, which is now present on every continent except Antarctica.

Tech giants Microsoft and Apple also announced that they anticipate missing key sales targets and it is likely that lent another blow to futures markets.

According to reporting from The Fuse, oil refineries in China are currently processing 25% less oil than usual, and the International Energy Agency said that oil demand could drop to 435,000 barrels per day, a figure which is also significantly less when this quarter is compared to the same period in 2019.

Additionally, Russia and Saudi Arabia, both major OPEC members, have entered into a schism, allegedly over a disagreement related to Saudi Arabia’s decision to cut oil production by an additional 600,000 barrels per day.

Crypto market daily price chart. Source: Coin360

Crypto market daily price chart. Source: Coin360

After the markets had closed, President Trump attempted to calm Americans’ fears over the spreading Coronavirus, and tomorrow’s opening bell will show how effective the address was.

Bitcoin price hits monthly lows, down almost $2,000 in two weeks

At the time of writing, Bitcoin price is down 10.08% for the week and on the verge of giving back all of the gains accrued from the Jan. 26 rally from $8,336 to $10,500.

For weeks, a countless number of analysts and investors had stressed the importance of Bitcoin holding above $9,000 and the 200-day moving average at ($8,800). Both were broken today and, at the time of writing, traders are fighting to hold the price above the $8,500 support.

Bitcoin’s sharp correction from $10K calls into question the oft-presented argument that Bitcoin functions as a hedge against volatility in traditional markets. Meanwhile, gold futures continue to push higher, currently up 0.52% at the time of publishing. Altcoins also took a pummeling as many of the top-20 major altcoins endured double-digit losses.

Ether (ETH) dropped 10.15% to trade at $215, a stunning reversal considering that the altcoin traded at $286 less than two weeks ago. Litecoin (LTC) pulled back 13.21%, EOS 10.37% and Ethereum Classic (ETC) lost 13.47%. Surprisingly, Chainlink (LINK) rallied 6.82% and Tezos (XTZ) gained 3.71%.

Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: Coin360

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $246.8 billion and Bitcoin’s dominance index rising to 64.4%.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

Cointelegraph News

‘Crypto Mom’ Accuses SEC of ‘Shifting Standards’ Following Bitcoin ETF Rejection

The US Securities and Exchange Commision has rejected New York based firm Wilshire Phoenix’s Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) application, citing ongoing concerns over market manipulation and a lack of surveillance-sharing agreements.

Commissioner Hester ‘Crypto Mom’ Peirce has publicly disagreed with the rejection.

NYSE Arca had submitted a proposed rule change to allow the listing and trade of Wilshire Phoenix’s United States Bitcoin and Treasury Investment Trust. The proposal included both US Treasury Bonds and Bitcoin and hoped to address the SEC’s concerns over market manipulation by automatically rebalancing into bonds during periods of BTC price volatility.

Explaining the reasons behind its Wednesday ruling the SEC said the company had been unable to provide enough proof that it can protect itself from “fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices” in the Bitcoin market in order “to protect investors and the public interest.”

The SEC noted:

“The Commission must disapprove a proposed rule change filed by a national securities exchange if it does not find that the proposed rule change is consistent with the applicable requirements of the Exchange Act — including the requirement under Section 6(b)(5) that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.”

The SEC has rejected at least nine previous Bitcoin ETF applications to date including applications from Bitwise Asset Management, VanEck/SolidX and Direxion. Kryptoin and Crescent Crypto still have crypto ETF proposals awaiting decisions from the SEC.

In her dissent to the rejection, Commissioner Peirce stated that the commission had “once again disapproved of a proposed rule change that would give American investors access to Bitcoin through a product listed and traded on a national securities exchange subject to the commission’s regulatory framework.”

“This line of disapprovals leads me to conclude that this Commission is unwilling to approve the listing of any product that would provide access to the market for Bitcoin and that no filing will meet the ever-shifting standards that this Commission insists on applying to Bitcoin-related products — and only to Bitcoin-related products.”

Cointelegraph News

Formula 1 Open Tokenized Crate Sale on Ethereum Blockchain

F1 Delta Time, the Ethereum-powered blockchain game has begun to sell in-game item crates. 

Players are now able to purchase a collection of cars, parts, drivers and racing gear with the ERC-721 non-fungible tokens (NFT), according to F1 Delta Time official announcement from Feb. 25. The sale will run through March 9, with 6,500 total crates up for grabs with prices set to increase from the current levels after March 3.

NFT’s are a form of a digital collectible that are not interchangeable since they carry unique qualities and vary in their level of rarity. 

What’s on offer?

Those who purchase the crates will also have a chance to win one of three limited-edition cars from the “Four Guardians Apex” with the number of entry tickets determined by the rarity level of the crate. There are four crate types ranging from Common ($18) to Legendary ($450) available for purchase. 

On top of that, F1 Delta Time has also announced that players will be able to earn in-game REV currency through a NFTs Staking mechanism. REV is an ERC-20 fungible token that serves as the primary currency in F1 Delta Time and is used to conduct payment and issue rewards after races. 

Popularizing blockchain in F1 auction

As Cointelegraph reported last year in November, F1 Delta Time held an auction of F1 car-branded NFTs last year. As reported, Formula 1 signed a global licensing agreement with Animoca Brands a blockchain startup powering the F1 Delta Time in March of last year. 

Animoca Brands has previously auctioned off other cars, including a car called “1-1-1” which was released on May 24 last year. It is described as a “truly one-of-a-kind digital collectible and a digital milestone in motorsport” that was sold for 415.9 ETH in May 2019 — about $113,000 at the time.

Source Cointelegraph

Ransomware Hacks Cost Victims $144M in BTC Over Last 6 Years, FBI Says

A recent presentation from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, shows ransomware hackers have pilfered massive amounts of Bitcoin (BTC) since 2013.

Between October 2013 and November 2019, victims paid roughly $144 million in BTC to ransomware hackers, FBI supervisor Joel DeCapua indicated at a Feb. 24 RSA conference.

Ransomware takes control

During a ransomware breach, nefarious parties take control of a person or entity’s computer systems, demanding payment, often in BTC, to unlock victims’ platforms.

DeCapua noted almost all ransomware payments are sent in Bitcoin, and that the bureau’s number does not include other related losses victims suffered. 

FBI taking back control

As part of the FBI’s presentation at the RSA conference, called “Feds Fighting Ransomware: How the FBI Investigates and How You Can Help,” the government agency touted in-depth information on the ransomware scene. 

A China-based virus known as Ryuk captured approximately $61 million — the most tallied in a single year, while Crysis, also known as Dharma, garnered about $24 million over three years. 

The bureau found a complex ecosystem on the dark web, which included contractors for building the viruses and affiliate-type programs offering proceeds to those involved in certain operations. 

Earlier today, one of Australia’s cybersecurity ministers called out the country for its 2019 “ransomware epidemic.”

Cointelegraph News

Crypto Prime Broker Tagomi To Join Libra Association

Tagomi, a crypto prime broker headquartered in New York, will join the Libra Association, the governing body for the Facebook-led stablecoin. Tagomi was founded by Jennifer Campbell in 2018, a former associate at Union Square Ventures.

Tagomi will become the Libra Association’s 22nd member. Members of the association are expected to contribute at least $10 million to the Libra Reserve, which holds the assets that back the cryptocurrency.

Tagomi has raised $28 million to date, making a $10 million commitment a large amount for a two-year-old startup. It should be noted that some of the biggest names in crypto are listed as clients on the company’s website: Galaxy Digital, Pantera and Electric Capital amongst others. Tagomi’s value proposition on its website is simple: “Executing large orders of digital assets is really hard. Tagomi makes it simple.”

Moreover, Tagaomi holds one of the highly-coveted BitLicences issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services, which allows it to serve New York residents.

The Libra Association itself has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons —— many of its original backers are abandoning the project, fearing regulatory pressure coming from the U.S. government. The list of deserters includes Vodafone, Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, PayPal and eBay.

As for Tagomi, a Facebook-backed stablecoin could be a useful tool that would diminish its need for a fiat gateway.

Source Cointelegraph

Binance’s CZ Overtakes Bitmain Co-Founder in New Hurun Rich List

While China now has more billionaires than the United States and India combined, Binance CEO might have more money than any crypto person, a new report says.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has overtaken a co-founder of cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain in the latest Hurun Global Rich List, an annual ranking of the world’s biggest billionaires published Chinese media Hurun Report.

Issued on Feb. 26, the new Hurun Report’s list of 2,816 global billionaires includes six individuals who made their fortune from blockchain and crypto industry.

Bitmain’s ousted co-founder lost over one billion dollars in a year

Similarly to previous compilations by the Hurun Research Institute, the Hurun Global Rich List 2020 includes well-known names in the industry such as Binance’s CZ, OKCoin’s founder Xu Mingxing and Chris Larsen, a co-founder and former CEO of Ripple.

However, the latest Hurun blockchain billionaires list has at least one significant change — Bitmain’s ousted co-founder Micree Ketuan Zhan, who is known as the long-term leader in the list, has fallen behind Binance CEO.

In one of previous annual lists of the world’s biggest billionaires, the Hurun Global Rich List 2019, Zhan was ranked the top billionaire among five crypto and blockchain billionaires, with an estimated wealth of $2.7 billion. In the latest Hurun list, Zhan has slipped to the second rank, with net worth standing at $1.6 billion.

At the same time, Binance CEO’s rank has notably surged from $1.3 billion in 2019 to $2.6 billion in 2020, according to the publicly available lists.

The six wealthiest blockchain and crypto people in the latest Hurun list are:

  1. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao ($2.6 billion).
  2. Bitmain’s ousted co-founder Micree Zhan Ketuan ($1.6 billion).
  3. OKCoin’s founder Xu Mingxing ($1.4 billion).
  4. Ripple’s Chris Larsen ($1.3 billion).
  5. Huobi’s founder Leon Li ($1.1 billion).
  6. Brian Armstrong, co-founder and CEO of major United States crypto exchange Coinbase ($1 billion).

Zhan was removed from Bitmain in late 2019

The Bitmain’s co-founder dip in the Hurun billionaire rankings comes after Zhan was removed as a legal representative of the company in November 2019. As reported by Cointelegraph, Zhan was dismissed by Bitmain’s current CEO Jihan Wu. In January 2020, Zhan publicly opposed alleged layoffs at Bitmain, which was reportedly planning to cut its workforce by 50% in relation to the upcoming Bitcoin (BTC) halving in May 2020. Zhan also reportedly initiated court proceedings against Bitmain shareholders to restore his voting control of the firm.

Zhan’s removal from Bitmain preceded reports on Bitmain seeing its hashrate market share drop from 75% to 66% in December 2019.

Meanwhile, Binance’s CZ has been getting more and more traction in the crypto community to become the top ranked crypto person in the Cointelegraph’s first-ever Top 100 list. At the same time, CZ might have been facing some reputational issues recently due to unscheduled maintenance of Binance on Feb. 19, which proved to be a major problem on the platform.

Source Cointelegraph

Price Analysis Feb 26: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, BSV, LTC, EOS, BNB, XTZ, ADA

Price Analysis Feb 26: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, BSV, LTC, EOS, BNB, XTZ, ADA

Source Cointelegraph