Bitcoin rose slightly to around $55.2k at press time but it is well within the usual daily volatility during the last 3-4 days. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization is currently trading anywhere between $53k-$56k after the latest price increase. However, further progress has been slow to achieve overall. Altcoins on the other hand shed slightly more value during the last 24 hours. More on that later on.

In other news, Bitmain, the Chinese mining rig manufacturer, has stopped shipment of its latest mining rigs into mainland China. The company is facing abrupt issues in the country as the ruling government there has imposed a blanket ban on everything crypto in the country.

Facebook is renewing efforts to develop and market its rebranded cryptocurrency project. Previously known as Libra and now Diem, the social media giant’s cryptocurrency project is still viewed with skepticism and that too for good reason. More on that later on. 

McDonald’s branches in China are going to give away 188 Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs). The digital token collection is titled Big Mac Rubik Cube and it will be distributed among the employees and the customers. The NFTs are being created and deployed through Confluux blockchain network in partnership with Cocafe. However, it remains to be seen how the Chinese government reacts to the move. Anything digital currency related has been subject to a blanket ban by the government of China starting earlier this May. NFTs have also seen crackdowns under the current government ban. 

Bitcoin price rises to $55k

Bitcoin rose slightly earlier today as the index had another slow, unimpressive day at the top of the charts. The cryptocurrency is still in bullish territory with several notable gains earlier in the week. However, it has still to move on beyond that notable increase above $52k and has more or less consolidated its recent success.

The last 24 hours started with the index at around $54.8k. The cryptocurrency then proceeded to alternate just below $55k for the next few hours. At around 6 AM in the morning, the index began to rise, but the overall effect was quite less bullish. The price increase maxed out at around $55.9k and then came down slightly just above $55k. It has stayed largely there ever since. Overall, the volatility was extremely low and remained below 3% overall. 

Going forward, Bitcoin is clearly consolidating heavily in between $53k-$56k. The bulls are currently taking a breather from the proceedings and will need to regroup in order to make a credible assault upwards. The bears on the other hand will look to leap back into action and pull the index below $53k, right around the $1 trillion overall market capitalization. However, the current bullish sentiment and strong and they will need some time to break it.

The total market capitalization of Bitcoin was around $1.04 trillion and its share of the proceedings was 44.5%.

Bitcoin price chart 

Altcoins Post Slight Losses

Other cryptocurrencies aka altcoins also had a slow day overall but as Bitcoin creeped upwards, they inched downwards. All major cryptocurrencies posted slight losses with Ethereum (ETH, -2%), Cardano (ADA, -1.8%), Solana (SOL, -2.5%), Dogecoin (DOGE, -3%), Terra (LUNA, -4.5%), Avalanche (AVAX, -2.8%), Chainlink (LINK, -3.5%), Algorand (ALGO, -3.5%) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH, -3.4%) all posted slight losses. The rest of the market remained largely steady. 

 

In Other News…..

Facebook Renews Efforts for its Cryptocurrency

Mark Zuckerberg is hell bent on introducing a digital currency that will be Facebook’s to control. The rebranded Diem cryptocurrency project is being increasingly pursued by the company and also being promoted around the tech circles. The digital currency is centralized and was initially designed as a permissionless system but that has now changed. It will only work with permissions from different entities holding stakes in the Diem Association overseeing the system. 

However, the last time he tried doing that, all major governments cracked down and declared that the company wouldn’t be allowed to do so. Facebook, they argued, already had a lot of power and they didn’t want it to introduce a hegemonic currency that only it could control. Now, even with a dialed down version of the Diem project, it isn’t highly likely that other companies will readily become a part of it. Previously, VISA, Mastercard, Paypal, etc all were a part of it but backed out soon after the governments started going after it. 

 

 

Altcoin investors had a lot of reasons to be happy over the past few days. The Bitcoin price has surpassed $50,000 again, and the market of alternative cryptocurrencies has reacted enthusiastically, with many coins and tokens that managed to reach new ATHs. Let’s take a look at the altcoins which were most successful this week

SHIB Comes Close to the Top 10 - Can It Surpass Dogecoin?

Shiba Inu (SHIB) is one of over 100 Dogecoin clones launched after the massive success Elon Musk achieved in pumping DOGE to become one of the top 10 largest coins. But now it seems like the days of Dogecoin in the top 10 are numbered - and SHIB might soon take its predecessor’s place.

SHIB was the best performing major altcoin of the past week by far, growing by over 372% and becoming the 13th largest coin in the ecosystem. Naturally, SHIB is a centralized meme coin with no utility or real life use cases, so the sudden spike in price was not caused by any technologic fundamentals. Instead, it seems like the massive jump in SHIB price was initiated by Elon Musk posting a picture of his shiba inu dog on Twitter, which was utilized by the Shiba Inu marketing team to get the #SHIB hashtag trending.

Shiba Inu price chart

Axie Infinity Keeps Growing, Announces New Features

Axie Infinity (AXS) is the largest blockchain-based NFT game in the ecosystem. Two weeks ago, updates to the Axie Infinity in-game economy have managed to break the stagnation of the AXS price. This week, announcements about new Axie Infinity features have caused AXS price to grow by almost 65%, which makes Axie Infinity the second best performing crypto asset of the past week.

The Axie Infinity team has announced two new features. One of them is staking, which has already been launched and is being used by the AXS token holders to gain passive income. The other feature is the Axie Infinity DEX (Decentralized Exchange), which is still in development and has no official release date yet.

AXIE price chart

LUNA Price Hits a New ATH

On Monday, the price of Terra (LUNA) reached a new all-time high of $49.45. Currently, LUNA is the 11th largest coin on the market, and is competing with assets such as AVAX and SHIB to become the next cryptocurrency to enter the top 10 list.

The main reason for Terra’s huge spike in valuation was the introduction of the major updates to the LUNA ecosystem. One of them is Columbus-5, which is basically a token burn mechanism which changes the LUNA tokenomics to a more deflationary model. The other one is Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC), which is a cross-chain bridge allowing Terra to easily interact with the Cosmos (ATOM) blockchain.

Stellar Replaces Ripple as MoneyGram’s Crypto Partner

The US-based company MoneyGram is one of the largest payment processors in the world. Up until a few months ago, MoneyGram was partnered with Ripple, though the full extension to which MoneyGram actually used XRP to process transactions is controversial. The underwhelming partnership between MoneyGram and Ripple was eventually terminated following the legal troubles of Ripple Labs with the SEC.

On Wednesday, MoneyGram has officially announced that its new crypto partner will be Stellar (XLM). The users will be able to connect their Stellar wallets to MoneyGram, and easily convert crypto for local currencies. However, the integration will first launch only in a select number of markets, with international rollout expected in 2022.

Cardano Falls Out of the Top 3 as Institutions Lose Confidence In ADA

Although the ADA price managed to increase by 11.36% over the past 7 days, the week has not been good for Cardano investors. ADA fell out of the list of top 3 largest cryptocurrencies on the market, and was replaced by Binance Coin (BNB).

While the general outlook for Cardano still seems bullish at the first sight, there are underlying signals which suggest that ADA might be facing some problems. Specifically, the data regarding the inflow of institutional funds to Cardano seems very bearish.

The institutional interest in Cardano seems to be at a record low level, as only $2.6 million of funds from institutions were added to ADA over the past week - a massive decline from weekly institutional inflows of over $11 million in May.

Meanwhile, the Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund which also holds Cardano has been underperforming as well - which may be another signal that institutional investors might soon start to look for more attractive alternatives to ADA.

 

Bitcoin price came down slightly to $54k as the bulls consolidated above a $1 trillion market cap. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization rose to $55k yesterday and is now looking increasingly bullish in the immediate short-term but took a break early in the day. Altcoins on the other hand remained stagnant and have yet to follow Bitcoin back into the bull zone. More on that later on.

In other news, mining firms are reportedly sitting on top of a huge cache of Bitcoin. Riot Blockchain, a registered crypto mining firm in the US is alone sitting on top of $194 million in Bitcoin and has seen its BTC holdings increase up to threefold. These mining firms are known to be only short-term HODLers. 

Major payment processing company MoneyGram has announced a USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin based payment settlement system employing the Stellar blockchain. The new move which is the result of a latest partnership will allow users to fund and withdraw USD from their accounts using the USDC stablecoin. MoneyGram is the latest payment services provider to integrate stablecoin payment settlements after VISA and MasterCard announced similar moves earlier.

A new study shows that crypto exposure in investments could have a positive impact on investment portfolios. Despite the high market volatility, the crypto exposure has proved to be very useful for several allocation strategies. More on that later on.

Some analysts including the inventor of the Bollinger Bands trading technique believe that the current move of Bitcoin above $52k is unsustainable in the short-term and the index might drop back because of it. John Bollinger who created the Bollinger Band theory is of the opinion that the investors should already start looking for an exit strategy. Much of this analysis is based on funding rates of crypto derivatives and short-term trading outlook but on-chain analysis still points to a long-term haul for the bulls.

Bitcoin Drops to $54k

Bitcoin had a relatively quiet day earlier today as it chose to consolidate its position rather than going for another move above. The digital currency is back above the key $1 trillion market capitalization but it may retest the bullish resolve around that figure.

The last 24 hours started with the index at around $54.8k. It went back above $55k immediately later in the night and went on to post a rise to around $55.5k. However, this was the highest valuation the cryptocurrency would have for the next 24 hours. After that, it was slightly downhill for the remainder of the time. At 11 AM in the morning, the digital asset began to fall back deeper and went below $54k in the process. However, no further significant gains were reported as Bitcoin then alternated between $53.5k-$54.5k for the rest of the day. At press time, it is trading at around $53.9k. 

Going forward, Bitcoin is now consolidating its earlier gains and the bulls are taking a breather. The bears on the other hand have found a new target and that is the $1 trillion psychological resistance. Traders were hesitant to go above this level immediately because of its iconic dollar value and therefore remained quiet for the rest of the day. The bears are likely to challenge this valuation and then pose it as a big resistance before clawing back some losses in the index. However, the bulls are still above all key levels and can easily take back full control with another price pump above. A consistent move above $55k will damage the bearish hopes of a reversal.

The total market capitalization of Bitcoin was around $1.016 trillion and its share of the proceedings was 44%.

Bitcoin price chart 

Altcoins Lose Some Value

Other cryptocurrencies didn’t respond to Bitcoin’s progress above the key $52k even after 48 hours. Conventionally, the alts do respond strongly after a strong bull run but that didn’t happen. All major cryptos posted slight losses except for just a few. Terra (LUNA, 7%), an emerging new platform, was the only one among the top 20 to record a sizable price increase. 

LUNA price graph

In Other News….

Study Shows Crypto Exposure Beneficial

A study by crypto asset management fund Iconic Capital in partnership with Cryptology Asset Group shows that crypto exposure by investors and investing entities is overall quite beneficial. The crypto sector is also known to positively impact the portfolios even under multiple allocation strategies. 

The detailed study chose to observe the risk/return conundrum across several popular allocation models if cryptocurrencies were added to them. They then compared the results to allocations models without any crypto holdings. The result as expected was in favour of the crypto-holding allocation models. This holds true even if the extremely volatile nature of the digital currency sector is considered. It is one of the reasons why experienced investors like Shark Tank’s Mr Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary has allocated around 7% of his portfolio into crypto even though he admits he doesn’t like the volatility at all. 

 

BTC vs Gold 

Brazil has set the ground rolling on a possibility to recognize Bitcoin as a currency. According to the country’s federal deputy, Aureo Ribeiro, the move will enable Brazilians to pay for goods and services using BTC.

While speaking to a local media outlet, the politician said that lawmakers are considering passing an updated version of Bill 2.303/15. The version seeks to put Brazil in the same trajectory as El Salvador and make Bitcoin a legal currency for payments.

Ribeiro’s comments come as the Brazilian “Bitcoin Law” is awaiting consideration by the Chamber of Deputies. The chamber is part of the Brazilian National Congress which also includes the Senate.

The politician praised the bill for being “innovative,” adding that other jurisdictions could refer to it when regulating virtual assets.

According to the federal deputy, how Bitcoin will be regulated will depend on whether the asset will be viewed “as real estate or currency of daily use.”

Apart from recognizing the leading cryptocurrency, the federal deputy is confident that the bill’s passing would guard Brazilians against crypto-based Ponzi schemes. This year, the country’s authorities have dealt with several such scams.

The Brazilian “Bitcoin Law” Separates “The Wheat from the Chaff”

However, Brazil is yet to draw a clear line on crypto. Consequently, this has limited the reach of authorities when dealing with crypto cases.

Ribeiro added that the Brazilian “Bitcoin Law” not only intends to “separate the wheat from the chaff” but also seeks to introduce transparency when buying and selling cryptocurrencies.

The politician expressed confidence in passing the bill, saying that it has already received a positive sign from the government and the Chamber of Deputies’ head, Arthur Lira.

As Brazil prepares to recognize Bitcoin either as an asset or a currency, Shark Tank’s star, Kevin O’Leary, continues to increase his investment into cryptos such as Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH).

In a recent interview, O’Leary, also known as Mr. Wonderful, revealed that his portfolio contains more crypto than gold. Interestingly, the star noted still trumped support of gold.

According to him, an investor should hold both because they are “two different asset classes.” As such, people should stop pitting Bitcoin against gold.

O’Leary disclosed that five percent of his portfolio contains gold. However, he clarified that he’ll keep the gold as he sees “no reason to sell it.”

“Stay in Gold” If You Don’t Believe in Bitcoin

The Shark Tank star classified investors as either pro-crypto and blockchain or not. If not, Mr. Wonderful said they should “stay in gold as a hedge.”

Notably, O’Leary’s crypto allocation is roughly six percent and wishes to boost it to seven percent before the end of this year. The star has scattered his investments in cryptos and blockchain-focused firms.

“I put many bets out with different companies […] developing products in these areas,” he said.

Mr. Wonderful also disclosed that his portfolio contains more than Bitcoin because there’s more potential in the wider crypto industry. According to the star, “there’s so many ways to invest” since there are many “layer ones [and] and layer two.”

When asked whether the United States government will ban the likes of Bitcoin, O’Leary said that innovations in the crypto ecosystem “are far too interesting for even governments.”

Interestingly, the star’s recent comments show a remarkable shift from his earlier sentiments when he said that the leading crypto is a “giant nothing burger.”

The Pandora Papers Indirectly Identify a “Bitcoin Czar”

In other news, the Pandora Papers have unearthed offshore assets held by a “Bitcoin czar.” However, the investigations by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) didn’t provide a name.

According to the ICIJ, the individual had been “sentenced for money laundering in connection with the largest cyberheist in history.” The documents noted that the Carbanak hacker group was responsible for the heist.

In the three years up to 2017, it’s estimated that the gang siphoned over 1.24 billion USD from businesses and banks in over 100 countries.

The ICIJ investigations were recently made public and contained close to 3.0 terabytes of data fished from offshore service providers. Journalists behind the papers claim to unearth assets hidden by politicians and high-profile individuals in 90 countries.

Although the Pandora Papers didn’t provide a name for the “Bitcoin czar,” their description of Carbanak’s presumed commander, Denis Tokarenko, provides vital clues as to the identity of the “Bitcoin czar.”

Bitcoin price up

Bitcoin rose above $50k earlier today as the bulls made further inroads. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization had another slightly bullish last 48 hours as the index first dropped and then rose strongly above the key resistance. Altcoins on the other hand were largely steady and didn’t respond that well to Bitcoin’s big move. More on that later on.

In other news, Bitcoin beat conventional assets like stocks and commodities to become the best performing asset of 2021. The cryptocurrency has risen over 50% from the start of the calendar year’s position and is continuing its steep appreciation. More on that later on. 

The Bank of America has praised the NFT and DeFi sectors and has stated that they will likely be relevant in the long-term. The bank’s subsidiary Bofa Securities released the detailed report titled Digital Assets Primer: Only the First Inning that discussed the disruptive behaviour of the digital economy and its large gains during the past year or so. The report states that despite the volatility around the sector, it will remain viable for years to come. Apart from BoA, other banks are also bullish on the digital currency economy. Recently, the U.S. Bank, the fifth largest in the country, has announced a crypto custodial service in partnership with the NYDIG. 

A Canadian Bitcoin mining firm named Link Global is now facing a massive $5.6 million fine in the country. The company which is listed in Canada as a security is now facing regulatory action following accusations of it operating private power plants to drive its mining equipment. Based in Alberta, Canada, the company is being sued by the local power distributor and has slapped several penalties on it which amount to this massive figure. A new bill has been introduced into the United States House of Representatives that aims to provide regulatory clarity for digital tokens. The bill titled “Clarity for Digital Tokens Act of 2021” is being introduced in the House Financial Services Committee for discussion but there is no indication whether it will make it through. 

Bitcoin Rises Above $50k

Bitcoin is currently trading at around $50.7k at press time which represents an increase of around 4.5% from Late Sunday’s levels. The digital currency went below briefly on Monday but has since been bullish and is eyeing key resistance levels. 

The last 24 hours started with the index at around $48.8k. The cryptocurrency then proceeded to trade sideways for a while. At 4:30 PM on Monday, the index began to drop. It reached a minimum level of around $47k before it recovered sharply and has traded above that level ever since. At first, it went above $49k at 7 PM and then traded sideways around this level for some time. At 10:30 AM in the morning today, the index began to increase once again. It went above $50k and has traded largely above that level ever since. Near press time, another uptick is being witnessed and the index is now close to $51k.

Going forward, Bitcoin is now looking increasingly bullish as it has successfully defended lower support levels in September and has come out unharmed. But, even as the index rises above $50k, the key resistance at around $52k still remains. Last time around, the digital currency couldn’t go above that level and shrank back. Now, the bulls are once again knocking on the doors. The stats are stronger this time around so we can expect the resistance to give way, even if for a short-term gain.

The total market capitalization of Bitcoin was around $960 billion and its shares of the proceedings was 43.26% signifying increasing dominance of the premier cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin price chart 

Altcoins Flat in Face of Bitcoin Gains

Other cryptocurrencies aka altcoins mostly remained flat or shed some value in the face of decent Bitcoin gains. There were, however, some anomalies as Dogecoin (DOGE, 14%) rose strongly above $0.26 and Shiba Inu underwent a massive pump and rose a whopping 53%. Other altcoins were largely stagnant and couldn’t break free.

Shiba Inu price chart 

In Other News…..

Bitcoin Now Best Performing Asset of 2021

Bitcoin has overtaken various legacy assets to become the best investment of 2021 till date according to stats cited by New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG). The premier cryptocurrency has risen by roughly 52% since the start of the year and that has been overall better than most top stocks. 

Here is yesterday’s performance as compared to other assets:

 

Image Source: NYDIG

Most of the conventional sector saw a big rise in levels back in 2020 due to the pandemic-induced investment trend but now it seems to have subsided. Only Bitcoin has survived that.