DIGITAL ASSET ADVISORS (DAA)
Oct 11: America’s Oldest Bank, BNY Mellon, Will Hold Crypto Now: Founded by Alexander Hamilton, BNY Mellon is the first large U.S. bank to safeguard digital assets alongside traditional investments.
Aug 4: BlackRock announces partnership with crypto exchange Coinbase: Coinbase’s institutional trading platform for crypto assets, Coinbase Prime, will provide crypto trading, custody, prime brokerage, and reporting capabilities to institutional clients on BlackRock’s Aladdin, who are also clients of Coinbase. Aladdin offers a suite of software tools designed to help institutional investors manage their portfolios. “Our institutional clients are increasingly interested in gaining exposure to digital asset markets and are focused on how to efficiently manage the operational lifecycle of these assets,” said Joseph Chalom, global head of strategic ecosystem partnerships at BlackRock.
July 29: The Merge is Ethereum’s chance to take over Bitcoin, researcher says: Ethereum’s imminent transition to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism will transform its monetary policy, potentially making ETH more scarce than Bitcoin. https://icomarks.com/marksnews?id=507&f=2022-07-25&spush=cmljaGFyZEB3aG9sZXNhbGVyc2VhcmNoLmNvbQ==
July 21: Google Pay To Allow Customers To Buy Crypto On Crypto.com: https://bitcoinist.com/google-pay-to-allow-customers-to-buy-crypto/
April 26: Fidelity to Allow Retirement Savers to Put Bitcoin in 401(k) Accounts. Investment giant’s move could send cryptocurrency investing further into mainstream if employers decide to offer the option. 23,000 companies with $11.3 trillion in assets under administration use Fidelity to administer their retirement plans as the nation's largest retirement plan provider.
April 11: According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, 43% of Americans think crypto “will become a dominant economic force in the long-term,” while an NBC survey finds that one in five have traded or invested in crypto.
According to an Investopedia survey, one in four millennials is using crypto to fund retirement goals, while a Gemini report finds that roughly 40% of investors view digital assets as a way to hedge against inflation.
Goldman Sachs (which recently made its first “over-the-counter” BTC trade) reports that 60% of surveyed clients expect to increase their crypto holdings over the next year. In a new shareholder letter, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink writes that the firm, spurred by client demand, “is studying digital currencies, stablecoins and the underlying technologies.” Major international banks have also begun providing crypto-trading services.
In a recent interview, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen added another optimistic note: “There have been benefits from crypto, and we recognize that innovation in the payment system can be a healthy thing.”
Feb 14: Head of Research at Fidelity Digital Asset is convinced Bitcoin's value proposition as a decentralized and censorship-resistant monetary network sets it apart from other cryptocurrencies. Chris Kuiper, Head of Research at Fidelity Digital Assets, is convinced that Bitcoin (BTC) should be treated separately from other digital assets and believes it plays an exclusive role in investors’ portfolios.
Feb 6: Institutional interest and investment are higher than ever. According to Candace Browning, head of global research at Bank of America Securities, the number of executives mentioning crypto in earnings calls rose from 17 in 2021… to about 147 in just the most recent quarter.
Jan 27: SEC refused to approve a Fidelity spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), adding to the recent list of rejected applications.
Jan 25, 2022: Bitcoin has a good chance to top $100,000 by taking market share from gold as a store of value, Goldman Sachs Analyst & Co-Head of global FX and EM strategy Zach Pandl predicted.
Dec. 5: The best explanation of the drop in BTC/Cryptos that occurred overnight Fri/Sat is: "The plunge is just another sign of risk aversion sweeping across global markets as equities sink and safe havens soar. Spiking inflation is forcing central banks to tighten monetary policy, reducing liquidity for risk assets." This reduced liquidity for risk assets (BTC/Cryptos) is what led to leveraged positions in these assets having to be covered and thus sold, which triggered a race to sell in a downward moving price environment, resulting in a strong downdraft in the prices in general across all cryptos. I've always said, so goes BTC goes all Cryptos; and what's good for BTC is good for all Cryptos. My thinking is this is a short-term move that will change course and continue the upward trajectory of BTC/Cryptos based upon all the points I've made in previous blog posts on this platform.
Dec. 4: Fidelity CEO Abby Johnson continues crypto push with end run around feds to launch crypto ETF in Canada, giving RIAs a way to buy 'physical' Bitcoin. Fidelity embraced crypto currencies, starting in 2018, when it unveiled a five-year stealth project to provide crypto custody.
Nov. 30: Grayscale says the metaverse is bound to transform gaming with the advent of play-to-earn platforms that enable users to convert their digital assets for use outside of the game. "This new paradigm allows users to own their digital assets as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), trade them with others in the game, and carry them to other digital experiences, creating an entirely new free-market internet-native economy that can be monetized in the physical world." The asset manager adds the potential of the metaverse extends beyond the borders of gaming. "The Metaverse is estimated to be a trillion-dollar revenue opportunity across advertising, social commerce, digital events, hardware, and developer/creator monetization..." Grayscale says the metaverse has the potential to grow exponentially and compete with current technology titans like Facebook. "The market opportunity for bringing the Metaverse to life may be worth over $1 trillion in annual revenue and may compete with Web 2.0 companies worth ~$15 trillion in market value today."
Nov. 17: Anthony Scaramucci says bitcoin will go up at an 'exponential' rate and will eventually eclipse gold as an inflation hedge.
Chris Harmse, the Managing Director for BVNK (an institutional-grade cryptocurrency banking platform), explained the two types of leverage active in the market this year. “There is increased institutional leverage, the type used by market makers,” he explained. “But there is also excessive retail leverage.” With regulation seemingly on the cusp – stemming from and attracting more institutional finance – it seems that payment companies, treasury companies, and monolith scale institutional lenders are all set to enter the space.
Leon Marshall, the Head of Sales at Genesis – the manager of the biggest derivatives book in the industry, agreed with this sentiment. The Institutional Head described regulatory clarity as “the biggest moment in the space”, explaining that it would allow new participants in the lending markets – affording unprecedented liquidity for the markets.
David Olsson, Senior Vice-President of BlockFi, believes this will have benefits for the whole of the crypto community. “Leverage provided to institutions dampens market volatility,” he explained.
Nov. 12: According to Cointelegraph, analytical data reveals that DeFi’s total value locked has increased 3.85% across the week to a figure of $175 billion.
The Consumer Price Index reportedly rose by a startling 6.2% over the past 12 months, making today’s CPI rates the highest they’ve been since 1990. Economists are blaming high inflation on covid-related minutiae such as shipping issues, supply chain snags, and the recent fight for storage space.
Bitcoin doubled in value over the past year and the market cap for cryptocurrencies just recently boosted to $3 Trillion.
Nov. 8: Over the past week, the Bakkt exchange announced support for Ethereum on their platforms due to high demand. Bakkt partners will be able to use Ethereum in all of their services, just like Bitcoin. Bakkt Holdings, Inc. is a digital asset manager listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BKKT. The company operates a platform that enables consumers to buy, sell, store, and spend digital assets such as cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets, and gift cards.
One of our exchange partners (FTX - see Home page) raised a large venture round of $420 million from nearly 70 investors at a $25 billion valuation. The same company raised a record financing in July - $900 million. FTX plans to use the new capital to expand its operations.
Nov 1: (As I stated would happen in my blog dated Sept. 17 "What is Bitcoin?", under category "Uses of Bitcoin; #3 Inflation Hedge"): "In its Sept. 20 Week on Chain report, Glassnode stated that miner BTC balances are increasing, with wallets associated with miners having stockpiled 14,000 BTC (worth roughly $600 million) over the past six and a half months. The report also noted that the bull markets of 2020 and 2021 have seen miners hold onto a larger portion of their rewards than in previous market cycles. Miners usually sell BTC to cover their expenses, including electricity bills and hardware."
Oct 26: Jelena McWilliams, who chairs the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), told Reuters in an interview on Monday that a team of U.S. bank regulators is trying to provide a roadmap for banks that could include clearer rules over holding cryptocurrency in custody to facilitate client trading, using them as collateral for loans, or even holding them on their balance sheets like more traditional assets. McWilliams' comments provide the fullest picture yet of what regulators are exploring as part of a team, first announced in May, to ensure cryptocurrency policy coordination among the three main U.S. bank regulators - FDIC, Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
The first Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) went live on the New York Stock Exchange Tue. Oct. 19th, thrusting the crypto asset into the limelight across both mainstream news outlets and alternative media. ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF saw highest-ever first day ‘natural’ volume of $1 billion on its opening day, with 24 mil. BITO shares changing hands.
Bitcoin hit a new all-time high (ATH) this week on the back of strong demand driven by the launch of the bitcoin futures ETF. The new high, $66,999.00 beats the previous all-time high of $64,899.00 set on April 14th.
Grayscale Investments®, the world’s largest digital currency asset manager, announced that the NYSE has filed with the SEC to convert Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust into a Bitcoin Spot ETF.
Houston Firefighters' Relief and Retirement Fund (HFRRF), the pension fund for City of Houston's firefighters, announced it had purchased Bitcoin and Ether for the defined benefit plan's portfolio. This investment marks the first announced investment in digital assets by a public pension plan in the U.S.
Data from Glassnode shows the amount of Bitcoin held in wallets of all sizes has been on the rise since the price briefly dipped below $29,000 in mid-June.
Walmart, the world’s largest company by revenue, is letting customers buy bitcoin at dozens of its U.S. stores. Oct. 19
Several publicly listed bitcoin mining firms in North America have collectively stockpiled over 20,000 BTC, worth over $1.1 billion at current prices. To fund this strategy, they borrowed funds or issued equity for expenses/expansion.
Bakkt (“Bakkt”), [subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) owner of NYSE], a trusted digital asset marketplace that enables consumers to buy, sell, send and spend digital assets, announced a partnership with Google to extend the reach and usability of digital assets to meet rapidly evolving consumer demand and preferences.
White House Weighs Wide-Ranging Push for Crypto Oversight. Draft executive order part of plan to coordinate agencies. Administration has yet to finalize strategy, decide on order. - Oct. 8
Bitcoin price surpasses $57,000 and eclipses trillion dollar market cap on equity ETF approval
U.S. treasury rules out minting a platinum coin of the same value as Bitcoin
SEC approved an exchange-traded fund (ETF) giving exposure to companies holding crypto
The investment firm founded by billionaire George Soros revealed a Bitcoin allocation
Brazil is following El Salvador by preparing a bill that will make the crypto asset a recognized currency – October 11
Bitcoin price surged over 35% to reach a multi-week high of $55,348
SEC approved an ETF consisting of companies holding large amounts of Bitcoin on their balance sheet
Institutional investors have increasingly looked to buy Bitcoin (BTC), preferring the benchmark cryptocurrency over Gold as a hedge against inflation, according to US-based investment bank JPMorgan
U.S. Bank – the fifth largest bank in America – is preparing to provide crypto custody for its larger customers
Bank of America is bullish on Bitcoin, blockchain technology, the Ethereum network and innovations including non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralised finance (DeFi). BofA Global Research’s new Digital Asset Primer called blockchain technology the most exciting new market in years; that there is more to watch in the cryptocurrency space than Bitcoin, despite Bitcoin currently having a market cap of over $900 billion. The report said the bank is confident blockchain technology will be used to unlock phones, buy stocks, purchase a house or a car, loan or save money and even pay for daily goods and services.
SEC Chief Says the U.S. Won't Ban Cryptocurrencies - Oct. 5
Morgan Stanley, one of the largest banks in the United States, is setting up a new crypto-focused research division. The Wall Street megabank has appointed Sheena Shah as lead cryptocurrency analyst for its dedicated cryptocurrency research team, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Morgan Stanley’s executives stressed that the launch of a dedicated crypto research team “is in recognition of the growing significance of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets in global markets.”
The total market value of all cryptocurrencies has added more than $1 trillion dollars over the past year, jumping from around $350 billion one year ago to $2.1 trillion at the time of writing.
Bank of America set up a crypto research division in July. State Street, the second-oldest continuously operating U.S. bank, previously announced the launch of a dedicated digital finance division.
On September 7, El Salvador officially adopted bitcoin as legal tender. Bancoagrícola, El Salvador’s largest financial institution, will work with Flexa to accept Bitcoin across the bank’s network for payments like loans and credit cards and transfers for the bank's customers.
A day later, a lawmaker in Panama introduced a bill to make bitcoin legal tender there as well.
Around that same time, Ukraine passed a law legalizing and regulating crypto.
PNC Bank, the sixth-largest bank in the U.S. and one of the most conservative, plans to offer crypto investment services to clients. The bank is partnering with Coinbase and Elon Musk to complete the project.
A recent poll by Sherlock Communications found that 48% of Brazilians support the idea of bitcoin as a national currency.
Visa’s crypto-related cards saw $1 billion of spending activity in the first half of 2021.
Mastercard added seven startups to its engagement program focused on supporting fast-growing digital assets, blockchain, and cryptocurrency firms. The companies will work with Mastercard to make it safer and easier for people to buy, spend, and hold crypto.
Venmo – the mobile payments platform owned by PayPal – launched a new crypto cashback credit card.
And a survey by the Russian Association of Currency Brokers found most Russian investors prefer bitcoin to gold and currency trading.
Leading bitcoin financial services firm NYDIG and sales tech provider NCR will allow 650 U.S. community banks and credit unions to make bitcoin purchases available to their customers. The new partnership could reach an estimated 24 million customers.
Banking software provider Fiserv is also teaming up with NYDIG to potentially offer software to banks. It’ll allow clients to purchase bitcoin directly from their online banking portals.
TP ICAP, the world’s largest interdealer broker, will launch a bitcoin trading platform in partnership with Fidelity Digital Assets and Standard Chartered’s Zodia Custody later this year.
Citigroup has officially launched a new business unit dedicated to the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, dubbed Digital Assets Group.
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with nearly $9 trillion in assets under management (AUM), is seeking to develop a blockchain strategy for its flagship portfolio management system, Aladdin.
JPMorgan will soon offer a passively managed bitcoin fund in-house to private clients. (These are some of the wealthiest people in the world.)
Morgan Stanley bought 28,289 shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust in its Europe Opportunity Fund, worth over $1.3 million at the time of purchase.
Goldman Sachs conducted its first repo trade using JPMorgan’s private blockchain network. It swapped a tokenized version of a U.S. Treasury bond for JPM coin. The transaction took three hours and five minutes, compared to the day or two it would normally take.
VanEck filed a prospectus for a new bitcoin futures mutual fund with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Its “Bitcoin Strategy Fund” would invest in bitcoin futures contracts, pooled investment vehicles, and exchange-traded products linked to bitcoin rather than BTC directly.
Venture capital (VC) firm Andreessen Horowitz launched a new $2.2 billion crypto fund, the largest crypto fund ever. Its partners said: “We’ve been investing in crypto assets since 2013 and are more excited today about what comes next than ever before."
VC company Blockchain Capital aims to raise $300 million for its fifth venture fund. PayPal and Visa are investing as limited partners. This is PayPal’s first such arrangement with a crypto VC firm.
A video surfaced of Mexico’s third wealthiest man, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, explaining why he thinks all fiat currencies are a fraud and if he had to hold a single asset for the next 30 years it would be bitcoin. (See the video with English subtitles here.) In a recent tweet, he said: “Me and my bank (Banco Azteca) are working to be the first bank in Mexico to accept bitcoin.”
Chainalysis reports in India – where households own more than 25,000 tonnes of gold – investments in crypto grew from nearly $200 million to around $40 billion (200x growth) in the past year. That’s despite hostility toward the asset class from India’s central bank and a proposed trading ban. More than 15 million Indians are now trading crypto, according to the report.
Soros Fund Management, which manages an approximate $27 billion, approved bitcoin trading. In a Bloomberg interview, CIO Dawn Fitzpatrick said, “Bitcoin is easily storable, easily transferable, and has a finite supply that halves every 4 years. When you look at gold, it’s struggled to get traction because bitcoin is taking some of its buyer base.”
According to a JPMorgan report, Ethereum upgrades could jumpstart a $40 billion staking industry. JPMorgan estimates the launch of ETH 2.0 would lead to more adoption of the coin and could increase staking payouts to $40 billion by 2025.
Morgan Stanley bought 28,289 shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), worth over $1.3 million at the time of the sale, in its Europe Opportunity Fund.
Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital launched a private Ethereum fund. The firm will also apply for an Ethereum ETF.
After a six-month trial, Spanish banking giant BBVA will open bitcoin custody and trading to private banking clients in Switzerland.
Goldman Sachs plans to offer ETH options and futures to clients in the coming months.
According to a recent survey, hedge funds expect to hold 7.2% of their assets in crypto in five years’ time.