Crypto trading/market thread

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At a tradeshow in Denver, the Ledger CTO talks about various issues with self custody, wallets, and developments in the crypto industry. I thought it was interesting. Ledger guy has French accent so you might want to read the subtitles when he speaks, but otherwise, you can just listen in another tab if you like (nothing else to see really).

Cryptos are down last night and this morning. This likely is partly to blame::
OKX, the fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange globally by trading volume, has announced the termination of Tether (USDT) trading pairs for users within the European Economic Area (EEA). This move precedes the full enactment of the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation by the European Union (EU), set to become effective on Dec 30, 2024. MiCA aims to introduce a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets, focusing on the restriction of certain stablecoins.
Bitcoin trading anomalies:
Crypto exchange BitMEX is currently investigating “unusual activity” involving large sell orders on its BTC-USDT spot market overnight that sparked a flash-crash dragging the price of BTC (in USDT) down below $9,000 (while the price remained above $66,000 on other exchanges)...


However, recent incidents have highlighted the potential pitfalls of this approach, with some developers either absconding with the raised funds or engaging in market manipulation.
another new word learnt today

That's insane. I'm guessing he's going to get sued by a whale or two.
he better abscond himself from the whales
: )

Crypto market sheds $400 billion of value as bitcoin sell-off intensifies after all-time high​

Bitcoin slid further on Wednesday, briefly dipping below the $61,000 mark after, continuing a sell-off that began after the cryptocurrency hit an all-time high last week.

At around 03:38 a.m. ET, bitcoin had bounced back to trade just over $62,900, down around 2.5% from 24 hours prior, according to CoinDesk data.

Bitcoin has had a stellar run and is up 124% in the past year. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency hit a record high of just under $73,800 last week.



Cryptoverse: AI tokens outpace record-breaking bitcoin​

March 19 (Reuters) - The artificial intelligence boom has hit the crypto market with a bang.

Coins linked to AI-focused crypto projects have jumped alongside tech stocks like Nvidia (NVDA.O), opens new tab, driven by insatiable investor appetite for applications like machine-learning.

The rise of many AI crypto tokens has outpaced even that of bitcoin over the past year as the world's biggest cryptocurrency has surged to record levels.


Investment management giant BlackRock (BLK) has created a fund called the BlackRock USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund, according to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The fund, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, will be launched in partnership with asset tokenization firm Securitize.

The filing does not reveal what assets the fund will hold, but Securitize's presence potentially suggests the product has something to do with the tokenization of real-world assets, or RWA – industry jargon for representing ownership of a wide range of assets through a token on a blockchain. ...

Let's see, here or the token thread?

  • Floki developers are working on offering regulated digital banking accounts that can be funded with FLOKI tokens and used to transact in USD, EUR, and GBP.
  • The project also includes plans for debit cards and staking services, with accounts being facilitated through a partner licensed in Canada, Spain, Dominica, Australia and the UAE.

... Floki developers are working on offering regulated digital banking accounts that can be funded with FLOKI tokens and used to transact in USD, EUR, and GBP. ...

Similar concept to the Metamask/Mastercard news from the other day. I expect there will be an acceleration of similar crypto-USD payment accounts/card that let folks pay in USD for everyday stuff using crypto funds with the payment gateway doing all the conversion magic (and taking a % naturally).
More info on the new Blackrock fund mentioned a few days ago:
BlackRock today unveils its first tokenized fund issued on a public blockchain, the BlackRock USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund (“BUIDL” or the “Fund”). BUIDL will provide qualified investors with the opportunity to earn U.S. dollar yields by subscribing to the Fund through Securitize Markets, LLC.

“This is the latest progression of our digital assets strategy,” said Robert Mitchnick, BlackRock’s Head of Digital Assets. “We are focused on developing solutions in the digital assets space that help solve real problems for our clients, and we are excited to work with Securitize.”

Tokenization remains a key focus of BlackRock’s digital asset strategy. Through the tokenization of the Fund, BUIDL will offer investors important benefits by enabling the issuance and trading of ownership on a blockchain, expanding investor access to on-chain offerings, providing instantaneous and transparent settlement, and allowing for transfers across platforms. BNY Mellon will enable interoperability for the Fund between digital and traditional markets.

“Tokenization of securities could fundamentally transform capital markets. Today’s news demonstrates that traditional financial products are being made more accessible through digitization. Securitize is proud to be BlackRock’s transfer agent, tokenization platform and placement agent of choice in digitizing and expanding access to its investment products,” said Securitize co-founder and CEO Carlos Domingo.

BUIDL seeks to offer a stable value of $1 per token and pays daily accrued dividends directly to investors' wallets as new tokens each month. The Fund invests 100% of its total assets in cash, U.S. Treasury bills, and repurchase agreements, allowing investors to earn yield while holding the token on the blockchain. Investors can transfer their tokens 24/7/365 to other pre-approved investors. Fund participants will also have flexible custody options allowing them to choose how to hold their tokens.

The initial ecosystem participants in BUIDL include Anchorage Digital Bank NA, BitGo, Coinbase, and Fireblocks, among other market participants and infrastructure providers in the crypto industry.

BlackRock Financial Management, Inc., will be the investment manager of the Fund and Bank of New York Mellon will serve as the custodian of the Fund’s assets and its administrator. Securitize will act as a transfer agent and tokenization platform, managing the tokenized shares and reporting on Fund subscriptions, redemptions, and distributions. Securitize Markets will act as placement agent, making the Fund available to eligible investors. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has been appointed as the Fund's auditor for the period ending December 31, 2024.

The Fund will issue shares pursuant to Rule 506(c) under the Securities Act of 1933 and Section3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act. The Fund’s initial investment minimum is $5 million.

BlackRock has also made a strategic investment in Securitize. As part of the investment, Joseph Chalom, BlackRock’s Global Head of Strategic Ecosystem Partnerships, has been appointed to Securitize’s Board of Directors.

It sounds like a USD stablecoin where wallets/participation is tightly controlled.
Looks like the gov may be putting crypto under a microscope in the future.

U.S. SEC Asking for More Millions, Dozens of Lawyers to Beef Up Crypto Oversight​

The securities regulator, Treasury Department and U.S. derivatives watchdog are all hoping to get more funding to deal with new duties policing the digital assets sector.​

  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Treasury Department are all asking for additional resources for the 2025 fiscal year, saying they will go toward crypto and other areas.
  • The budget requests will go to Congress.
Gary Gensler wants 33 more people in the enforcement division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to deal with "new and emerging issues," according to the regulator's annual budget pitch. Much of that office's recent, emerging workload has come from the agency's pursuit of cryptocurrency businesses, such as Coinbase Inc., Kraken and Binance.

More here:

They want more lawyers so they can handle more lawsuits? They are getting their asses handed to them in the courts. I guess they need to ask the Biden admin now because they aren't likely to get that support if Trump wins in November.

On Thursday, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse responded to a post on Twitter from Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal on the issue of ETH-spot ETFs, saying,
“The SEC picked fights with the industry and is losing badly in the Courts. They’re now fighting fellow regulators like the CFTC and falling behind international counterparts. At what point will the SEC realize they will lose the war against ETH just as they lost against XRP?”

Notably, Grewal referenced the William Hinman speech. Hinman said that Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) were not securities in 2018. Grewal also highlighted Gensler testimony on Capitol Hill, where the SEC Chair said, on oath, that ETH is not a security.

So in addition to potential approval of spot Ethereum ETFs in May, the UK is opening doors for institutional investment in cryptos:
The London Stock Exchange has announced that it will accept applications for the admission of Bitcoin Crypto Exchange-Traded Notes (ETNs) starting from April 8, 2024. This decision follows the Exchange's earlier notice on March 11, indicating its intention to allow the trading of Crypto ETNs in the second quarter of the year.

Subject to approval by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the base prospectuses, the Exchange plans to commence trading of these ETNs on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. This move is aimed at ensuring maximum issuer participation on the first trading day and allowing issuers sufficient time to prepare their documentation and meet regulatory requirements.

^^ BTCmagazine made it seem like this was BTC only, but the LSE announcement says:
1. Further to Stock Exchange Notice N02/24, published on 11 March 2024, in which the London Stock Exchange (the "Exchange") announced it would accept applications for the admission to trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum Crypto ETNs in the second quarter of 2024, we can confirm that applications can be made from 8 April 2024.


Iceland's Prime Minister Vows to Prioritize Food Security Over Bitcoin​

Iceland’s allegiance with bitcoin miners might be about to change. Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland, has criticized the power used by bitcoin mining operations, vowing to divert part of this energy to strengthen the country’s food sovereignty.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Jakobsdóttir explained that the country was on a mission to achieve carbon neutrality and that renewable energy should be reallocated to power the 375,000 citizens of Iceland.

Jakobsdóttir explained that bitcoin and cryptocurrency, which use “a lot of energy,” were “not part of that mission.


WEF net zero garbage. Not surprising from a Eurocrat.
“Dips in #Bitcoin keep on getting shorter and shorter. Meanwhile, rallies are lasting longer and moving quicker,” said analysts for The Kobeissi Letter. “This is a textbook sign that shorts are being squeezed as we hit fresh all-time high territory.”

Because of this, the analysts warned that Bitcoin may be setting up for a short squeeze.

“Currently, the gap between institutional longs and hedge fund shorts is at a record high,” they said. “While hedge funds hold nearly 15,000 in net short contracts, institutions hold nearly 20,000 in net longs.”
Based on analysis from crypto market intelligence firm CryptoQuant, the pressure on shorts is likely to continue moving forward as the Bitcoin market continues to move closer to a liquidity crisis.

“Bitcoin demand has soared to unprecedented levels this year. We estimate monthly Bitcoin demand has increased from 40K Bitcoin at the start of 2024 to 213K Bitcoin as of the time of publishing,” the firm said in its latest Weekly Crypto Report. “An important factor behind this demand growth is ETF buying, but as of late other large investors have also increased their Bitcoin allocation.”

“On the supply side of the equation, the total Bitcoin readily available for selling continues to decline,” they noted. “The total ‘visible’ amount of Bitcoin at key entities stands at 2.7 million Bitcoin, down from an all-time high of 3.5 million Bitcoin in March 2020.”

“Record Bitcoin demand paired with declining sell-side liquidity has resulted in the liquid inventory of Bitcoin plunging to its lowest ever in terms of months of demand,” the report said. “We estimate that the present Bitcoin sell-side liquidity inventory is only enough to cover the current rate of demand growth for six to twelve months. A declining liquid inventory would support higher prices.”

There is even less liquidity available when exchanges outside of the U.S. are excluded from the calculation.

“The Bitcoin liquid inventory drops to six months of demand if we exclude the Bitcoin on exchanges outside the US,” the report said. “We exclude these exchanges considering that US spot Bitcoin ETFs will only source Bitcoin from US entities.”

According to CryptoQuant founder and CEO Ki Young Ju, sell-side liquidity is now “much lower” than it has been historically relative to demand. ...

wow!…is this even true?

maybe it was Costa Rica or Panama getting ready to make the change from digital fiat to a Bitcoin economy like El Salvador?

Maybe DJT just bought?

Maybe Max Keiser was the seller?

That's a seriously deep pocket buying on a Saturday.

I'm guessing that @spinalcracker 's image is related to a whale transfer and not necessarily a purchase. I would think the price of BTC would have jumped if someone had actually bought 15k BTC in a single transaction on any exchange.
TLDR: The SEC recently asked for comments on the potential approval of ether ETF applications, seeking information on whether Ethereum’s Proof of Stake (PoS) raises “unique concerns” of fraud and manipulation that the agency should consider. We filed a comment letter in response explaining why such concerns are wholly without merit. In fact Ethereum’s PoS implementation meets and even exceeds the security of Bitcoin’s Proof of Work (PoW), which underlies bitcoin-based ETFs that have already been approved for trading by the SEC.


^^ Consensys is the company that makes the Metamask soft (web browser) wallet for Ethereum blockchains.

The final SEC deadline for approving or denying the next round of spot ETH ETF applications will come on May 23, starting with VanEck’s investment vehicle. Though many experts seemed to be optimistic about approval in 2023, some have suggested going into 2024 that the commission could deny applications.

Several firms have spot ETH ETF applications pending approval or denial, including Fidelity, Hashdex and ARK 21Shares. The SEC began approving investment vehicles tied to Ether futures in October 2023.

Crypto gamblers are placing bets on whether spot Ether ETFs will be approved by the United States SEC before May 31. The overall bets on the ETF outcomes have reached at least $12 million on the predictions market. The SEC eventually approved the trading and listing of 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs on Jan. 10.

Investment management company Grayscale has expressed confidence in a favorable decision by the SEC for spot Ether ETFs by May. On March 25, Grayscale chief legal officer Craig Salm said that the SEC’s perceived “lack of engagement” with applicants does not indicate whether an ETF will be approved.

Strangely, CoinTelegraph neglected to mention that Blackrock also has a spot Ethereum ETF application pending.

~2 months to go for the SEC's ETH spot ETF decision deadline.

Bitcoin’s Future as Currency​

Bitcoin is a global, decentralized currency that is beyond the control or guarantee of any country. Recent months in the Bitcoin ecosystem have been marked by a fever pitch of optimism based on the approval of Bitcoin spot market exchange-traded funds. These ETFs are driving Bitcoin’s adoption into the mainstream through the retirement accounts of millions as well as the portfolio constructions of thousands of financial advisors and institutional investors.

The ETFs miss the point, though. Bitcoin is not an asset to hold; it is a currency to use. Bitcoin doesn’t have a price, it has an exchange rate. The future of bitcoin is not that of an asset sitting in an ETF or buried in one’s backyard in a hardware wallet. Currencies are meant to transact.

Though day-to-day payments, like buying coffee, are not a great use for bitcoin, the future is one where there is robust economic activity denominated in bitcoin. Bitcoin will shine at storing value, settling large payments, conducting financial services, and more.

At least 57 countries in the world had inflation rates over 10% last year. The United Kingdom’s was more than 9%, and the United States’ was over 8%. For residents of countries with a history of inflation, regime, or currency risk, the day-to-day volatility of the exchange rate of bitcoin to fiat may seem a lower danger than the decade-to-decade fiscal and monetary mismanagement of countries all over the world.


... Bitcoin is not an asset to hold; it is a currency to use. ...

This is what BTC maximalists get wrong IMO. BTC is never going to be as scalable and efficient (energy, cost and time) as many of the alt coin systems that have been developed in it's wake. BTC owns a significant first market advantage which gives it an asset status with enduring demand/value. Maxis should just embrace it IMO. It's not a bad lane in the current geomonetary environment.
Opinion piece

Don’t Let Electricity Become the New Front in the Culture Wars​

Electricity demand is growing again in America. Although many of us welcome such growth as a hopeful sign of a recovering economy, there is a new troubling debate over whether some uses of electricity are “parasitic.” Electricity policy debates have stumbled into the timeless struggle between good and evil where some are arguing that electricity should be rationed based on political “socially desirable” concerns rather than through the price system.

The poster child for politically disfavored electricity use is cryptocurrency mining. Some commenters characterize the “load” (electricity demand) from cryptocurrency mining as “parasitic,” and the White House wants to levy a high tax on its electricity use. This is a slippery slope. One person’s “parasitic load” is another’s livelihood, and it’s impossible for the government to parse the parasitic from the valuable.

Lysander Spooner’s 1875 essay Vices Are Not Crimes: A Vindication of Moral Liberty is a warning against labeling some legal uses of electricity as “parasitic.” Spooner wrote that it is “nearly impossible, in most cases, to determine what is, and what is not, vice” or “to determine where virtue ends, and vice begins.” Applying the label of virtue or vice to someone else’s electricity use is not only presumptuous and paternalistic—it is impossible because vice and virtue are unique to an individual’s circumstances.


Looks like crypto woke up this morning. BTC back to ATH at $72k. Alts all trending back up again too.
LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) - Britain's data regulator said on Tuesday it will examine Worldcoin, a project by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman where users provide their iris scans in exchange for a digital identification and free cryptocurrency.

Worldcoin is a "mark of the beast" devil. No thank you.

Prey on the vulnerable. Not a great foundation for real success.

How AI and Bitcoin Could Join Forces​

Apr 9, 2024

On the horizon is a preordained event that will change the business of Bitcoin forever. It’s called The Halving, and once it occurs the potential balance sheet of every Bitcoin miner is cut in half. Companies are doing everything they can to prepare for it, including moving away from crypto and in some cases into an even newer field: artificial intelligence.

There are many forces at work in the crypto markets that swing the price action. It's often a bit difficult to separate the signal from the noise on what's really potentially important. This seems like it fits the criteria though:
Hong Kong regulators are likely to approve the first set of applications for spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) next week, making it possible that the products could be ready to start trading in April, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Australia and Hong Kong are the two jurisdictions that could become the first in Asia to offer spot bitcoin ETFs, with Singapore and the UAE not reflecting immediacy just yet.

Hong Kong's regulators have sped up the approval process, Reuters said, citing one of the people.

If this opens the doors for people (and institutions) in China to start buying Bitcoin, that could spark a lot of new demand.
Crypto markets have been weak over the last few days and headlines talk about it being related to BTC halving, but I am wondering if a significant driver for it is retail selling to raise cash to pay tax bills. Institutional money is only a recent player in the crypto markets and a huge chunk of the market ownership is retail. If I'm correct in this hypothesis, crypto is likely to start seeing more strength as April 15th comes and goes.
More info on the Hong Kong/China ETF issue:
Hong Kong, one of the world’s leading financial centers and a gateway for outbound Chinese investments, is set to approve a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund tied to bitcoin (BTC).

The investment vehicle could unlock up to $25 billion in demand from Chinese investors via the Southbound Stock Connect program, according to Singapore-based crypto services provider Matrixport. The Southbound Stock Connect allows qualified mainland Chinese investors to access eligible shares listed in Hong Kong.


Cryptos have crashed hard on the Iran/Israel news over the weekend while all the other markets (stocks, bonds, etc.) are closed. This might be a great buying opportunity before they take off for the summer. I am expecting that they will recover and soar as the year goes on (but I've been wrong before! DYODD!).
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