Crypto trading/market thread

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The largest federal bank in Germany, Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg, is planning to offer cryptocurrency custody services in the second half of 2024, according to a new report.
Says Jürgen Harengel, managing director of corporate banking at Landesbank Baden-Württemberg,

“The demand from our corporate customers for digital assets is increasing.”
Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank and DZ Bank, Germany’s second-largest bank, are also preparing for crypto services as Europe’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation takes full effect in December 2024. ...


Cryptoverse: Hold for the halving​

April 16 (Reuters) - Could bitcoin's bumper rally just be getting started this year?

That's the question on the minds of cryptocurrency traders ahead of the upcoming bitcoin 'halving', a change in the token's underlying blockchain technology that is designed to reduce the rate at which new bitcoins are created.

Previous bitcoin halvings in 2012, 2016 and 2020 were followed by massive rallies in its price: a year after the May 2020 bitcoin halving, bitcoin was up more than 545%.


Bitcoin ETF provider Grayscale has provided some details of its spin-off fund, the Bitcoin Mini Trust (BTC), including a more competitive 0.15% fee than the uplisted mothership GBTC product, according to a pro forma financials in its latest filing.

The filing also provides an illustrative example of the amount of Bitcoin (BTC) Grayscale will contribute to the mini fund: 63,204 bitcoin, or 10% of existing assets in GBTC, as per the filing. Shares of the BTC trust are to be issued and distributed automatically to holders of GBTC shares. (Pro forma financial statements are projections of future expenses and revenues, based on a company's past experience and future plans.)

Grayscale’s Bitcoin Mini Trust was conceived to offer GBTC investors a lower fee option that’s more competitively in line with other bitcoin ETFs approved back in January.

This spinoff is also considered a non-taxable event for GBTC’s existing shareholders, so those investors will not be expected to pay capital-gains tax to automatically transfer into the new fund. Some early stage GBTC investors with gains in the thousands of percentages would face a significant taxable event to switch to a competitor product with a lower fee.


This will likely stem the GBTC outflows a good bit.

IRS Unveils Form Your Broker May Send Next Year to Report Your Crypto Moves​

The rule that calls for the new 1099-DA isn't finished, yet, but the U.S. tax agency has shared what the form might look like to report brokered sales of digital assets.

  • The U.S. Internal Revenue Services has revealed what the agency has in mind for the first-even crypto tax reporting form.
  • Observers suggest the industry will need some more information before the draft form makes sense.
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has previewed what crypto investors' future tax form might look like when it finishes its much-debated rule on how cryptocurrency transactions should be reported to the federal government.


From the link:
  • Angola’s new law effective April 10 criminalizes cryptocurrency mining, with penalties ranging from 1 to 12 years in prison.
  • Possessing cryptocurrency mining equipment can lead to 1 to 5 years in prison and confiscation of the equipment.
  • Connecting mining equipment to Angola’s national power system could result in 3 to 12 years of imprisonment.
Angola laid down the law on April 10 with a new rule, the “Law on the Prohibition of Cryptocurrency and Other Virtual Asset Mining,” that flips the script on crypto enthusiasts. Under this rule, tapping into your computer to mine cryptocurrencies now lands you in hot water, legally speaking, with punishments ranging from a year to a whopping twelve in the slammer.


Angola seems like a backwards ass shithole. Crypto mining is just computing. If economics of computing/energy work to the benefit of crypto miners, that's just a free market at work, isn't it? Either the value of crypto goes down (governments need to strengthen value of their fiat) or the cost of power goes up (hurts the rest of the economy). Crypto is a symptom of an unbalance in the value of fiat and energy. It isn't the root cause of problems with the energy grid.

I don't know how they did their analysis, but if that $77k number is right, that's mind blowing (to me). Coulda, shoulda, woulda mined some BTC a decade ago when you could do it easily with a home computer
... The rule that calls for the new 1099-DA isn't finished, yet, but the U.S. tax agency has shared what the form might look like to report brokered sales of digital assets. ...

The first wave of spot Bitcoin and Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have been officially approved to start trading in Hong Kong on April 30.

Hong Kong’s financial regulator, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), announced the official approval of the first batch of spot Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) ETFs on April 24, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph.
Unlike the cash-creation model of the United States spot Bitcoin ETFs, Hong Kong aims to offer in-kind creation models for ETFs that enable the creation of new ETF shares by using BTC and ETH.

Hong Kong’s in-kind ETF creation model could be a significant opportunity to considerably increase assets under management (AUM) and trading volume for these products, according to a research note by Bloomberg ETF analyst Rebecca Sin, shared in a March 26 X post by Eric Balchunas:


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Morgan Stanley has been positive about Bitcoin since the approval of Bitcoin ETFs, and the bank opened up Bitcoin ETF purchases to its clients shortly after their launch. However, until now, these purchases have only been available on an unsolicited basis, meaning that brokers could not actively pitch the products to their clients.

The potential change in policy would enable Morgan Stanley brokers to recommend Bitcoin ETFs to their customers proactively.

A Morgan Stanley executive, as reported by AdvisorHub, stated, "We're going to make sure that we're very careful about it...we are going to make sure everybody has access to it. We just want to do it in a controlled way."

"... on the brink of ..."

lol. Pretty sure it's already done that over the last decade.
Also, this seems like a HUGE deal, both for Crypto and the stock markets. So I'll just leave it here. I don't know what the percentage was before or how much leverage they used on crypto assets. The DTC is a criminal organization though, so keep that in mind.

^ :
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), which handles the settlement of most securities transactions in the United States, has announced changes to collateral valuation that will be implemented starting April 30, 2024. DTCC has made it clear that it will not provide collateral or extend loans for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that involve Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

The introduction of spot Bitcoin ETFs has sparked increased attention from institutional investors in this investment product. In just three months since their launch, the U.S. Bitcoin ETFs have accumulated an impressive $12.5 billion in assets under management (AUM).

Despite that, DTCC has announced that starting April 30, 2024, there will be changes to collateral values for certain securities during the annual line-of-credit facility renewal. These changes may have an impact on position values in the Collateral Monitor.

This notice, released on April 26, implies that exchange-traded funds and similar investment instruments that have Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as underlying assets will no longer have any collateral value assigned to them. As a result, their collateral value will be reduced by 100%.
However, according to a post by crypto market analyst K.O. Kryptowaluty, it was clarified that this would only be applicable to inter-entity settlement within the Line of Credit (LOC) system.
As per Kryptowaluty, the use of crypto ETFs for lending and as collateral in brokerage activities will remain unaffected, subject to the risk tolerance of individual brokers. The analysts entreated crypto investors to “tl;dr: Ignore the baseless panic; there’s nothing substantial happening.
The effects of the decision on the crypto market

The news has had a tad negative effect on the crypto market, especially Bitcoin. All weekend negative sentiment considered, Bitcoin is currently worth $62,978.86, a 2.2% slip in the last 24 hours.

In addition, the global crypto market cap sits at $2.44 Trillion, a 1.9% drop in the last 24 hours. ...

K.O. Kryptowaluty said:
The DTC system, or Depository Trust Company, is a key component of the financial infrastructure of the United States, acting as the central securities depository. DTC is part of a larger organization called the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC)

what you write applies only to inter-entity settlements in the loc system

In the context of financial transaction settlements, it is important to distinguish between different settlement methods such as Delivery versus Payment (DvP) and Line of Credit (LOC).

DvP is a standard settlement mechanism used in most securities transactions, ensuring that the delivery of securities occurs only when the corresponding payment (cash or other asset) is made.

A Line of Credit is a financial facility that allows market participants to draw on borrowed funds for short-term transaction financing or to cover other liquidity needs.

The use of cryptocurrency ETFs for lending and as collateral in brokerage operations remains unchanged and continues to rely on the risk appetite of individual brokers.

tl;dr: Ignore the baseless panic; there’s nothing substantial happening.

Hong Kong’s bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) ETFs failed to lift off on their trading debut in Hong Kong, coming dramatically under initial expectations.

The six listed crypto ETFs pushed $11 million in volume, with bitcoin ETFs posting $8.5 million in volume and ether ETFs coming in at $2.5 million. Issuers expected the initial volume to be over $100 million, according to local media reports.

Severely underwhelming debut.

Crypto washout sends bitcoin below $58,000 ahead of Fed decision​

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) - Bitcoin slid by almost 6% on Wednesday, having posted its worst monthly performance in April since late 2022, as investors pulled money out of cryptocurrencies ahead of an interest rate decision by the Federal Reserve later.

The value of the world's most traded cryptocurrency fell by nearly 16% in April, as investors booked profits on a sizzling rally that has taken the price to record highs above $70,000.

Bitcoin fell by as much as 5.6% to its lowest since late February. It was last down 4.8% at $57,001, while losses in ether were more modest, down 3.6% at $2,857, also at its weakest since February.

The price of bitcoin is now a full 22% below March's record of $73,803, technically putting it in a bear market. But it is still up 35% so far this year and double where it was this time last year, thanks in large part to the billions of dollars flowing into newly minted exchange-traded funds since January.



Cryptoverse: TON takes off on Telegram tie-up​

April 30 (Reuters) - A coin called TON has leapt in value in recent months, with investors betting its integration with messenger service Telegram could bring the cryptocurrency to the app's estimated 900 million users.

Telegram endorsed TON in September last year, saying the blockchain and associated token would be its "official Web3 infrastructure". Earlier this month, TON said that Tether tokens could also be issued on its blockchain, allowing Telegram users to send the stablecoin to each other within the app.

The TON token has surged, reaching as high as $7.63 on April 11, compared with around $2.21 a year earlier, according to CoinGecko data.

With $18.3 billion in circulation, it's the 10th biggest cryptocurrency, coming after memecoin Dogecoin.
The prospect of a "super app" or "everything app", uniting payments and shopping with social media or messaging services, has long been a holy grail for investors, who look to China's WeChat for inspiration. In the crypto world, it's sometimes called "SocialFi", short for social finance.


Moonpay is a pretty big crypto onramp for folks using cold storage wallets (ie. they are a decent sized fish). It will be interesting to see what develops from their partnership.

Last year Moonpay announced a partnership with MasterCard. This month, they announced a couple of new ventures:
We're thrilled to announce our collaboration with PayPal, which allows users in the U.S. to buy cryptocurrency using their PayPal account.

This makes MoonPay the very first on- and off-ramp provider to integrate PayPal, offering a frictionless fiat-to-crypto experience for all PayPal users in the U.S.

The integration streamlines transactions for new MoonPay users who already have a PayPal account and use it for online transactions. When using PayPal, users can fund their cryptocurrency purchases by using their PayPal Balance, direct bank withdrawal, or debit card—all without manually inputting the necessary information.

MoonPay users also benefit from the safety of PayPal, which never shares full financial information for a transaction.

“PayPal has always been at the forefront of revolutionizing commerce globally,” said MoonPay co-founder and CEO, Ivan Soto-Wright.

“Now more than ever consumers are exploring different avenues of financial systems–whether that be crypto, retail investing, or digital banking–and this partnership underscores our deep commitment to collaborating with trusted partners in the ecosystem to expand their access. By integrating PayPal, we are enabling consumers to transact with crypto in an already familiar environment, and significantly lower the barrier to entry for new users.”

Key benefits include:
  • Flexibility and choice: MoonPay offers users an extensive array of payment methods, now including PayPal.
  • Variety in token support: MoonPay users can access 110+ tokens and fund purchases with their linked PayPal accounts.
  • Convenience and speed: Users can purchase with PayPal without the need to set up additional accounts or enter new payment info.
  • Seamless onboarding: For existing PayPal users, making your first purchase with MoonPay is now easier than ever.

PayPal is available now to MoonPay consumers in the United States and will be available through MoonPay’s partner networks by mid-2024.

... MoonPay, which is focused on crypto, is no slouch, with over 15 million users.

MoonPay co-founder and CEO Ivan Soto-Wright called the partnering “symbiotic” because users of his app increase their reach and have a new flexible payment option, while PayPal’s limited range of major cryptocurrencies on offer is now extended to the full gamut of popular tokens.

Soto-Wright pointed out the partnership is not a single integration of the type the fintech giant has been exploring with the likes of Web3 wallet MetaMask, but rather PayPal coming embedded inside MoonPay’s infrastructure.

We are the first company to do this with PayPal, and it was a long process to get them comfortable,” Soto-Wright said in an interview. “We process billions of dollars on debit and credit cards in terms of cryptocurrency, and we think this is going to be a big step up for us in terms of helping us reach more customers, people that may have had their card declined from one of their banks. Nobody’s fault; it’s just the banks; banks sometimes reject crypto companies.”

MoonPay is expanding its partnership with Ledger, a leading provider of secure storage solutions for cryptocurrencies.

Here are some of the exciting things we have planned:
  • Effortless purchases: MoonPay will become a feature partner of “Buy” in Ledger Live, allowing users to instantly purchase cryptocurrencies.
  • Simplified swapping: MoonPay Swap is coming to Ledger Live, making swapping smoother than ever.
  • Lightning fast payouts: MoonPay Sell will also be available in Ledger Live, enabling the exchange of crypto for fiat.
  • Custom Nano X: Ledger will release a limited-edition “Ledger x MoonPay” Nano X, which will feature MoonPay’s signature purple and come packed with bonus goodies like a MoonPay crypto voucher and a subscription to Ledger Recover by Coincover.
  • Crypto education: MoonPay users will get access to Ledger Academy’s in-depth educational resources, and Ledger Quest will add a MoonPay track.

Best known for its state-of-the-art hardware wallets, Ledger has consistently set the standard for trust and security in Web3. By deepening our partnership, our ultimate objective is to enhance the crypto user experience by merging innovative services with security and trust.

“Accessibility and security are cornerstones of crypto’s mass adoption,” said MoonPay’s co-founder and CEO, Ivan Soto-Wright.

“Expanding our partnership with Ledger allows more people to leverage MoonPay’s seamless Web3 solutions while benefiting from Ledger’s safety offerings – further enhancing the crypto experience for current and future users.”

Moonpay Sell becoming available in Ledger Live is a big deal. There are very few (none?) offramps directly available (for USA residents) from the Ledger cold storage wallets. That's why I have been recommending that people maintain an account with an exchange (like Coinbase) if they use a cold storage wallet like Ledger for safekeeping of crypto assets. If this Moonpay Sell works well, it could save Ledger users some transfer/gas fees when they want to sell something.
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Don't be fooled by the first break in inflows into spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) after 71 straight days. The current lull is likely to be followed by a new wave from a different type of investor, said Robert Mitchnick, head of digital assets for BlackRock, the world's largest asset-management company.

The coming months could see financial institutions such as sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and endowments start to trade in the spot ETFs, Mitchnick said in an interview. The firm is seeing “a re-initiation of the discussion around bitcoin,” which turns on the topic of allocating to bitcoin (BTC) and how to think about it from a portfolio construction perspective.


The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), the largest bitcoin ETF by assets, saw a net inflow of new money from investors, according to Farside Investors, the first daily increase since the product debuted in January.

A net $63 million was added on Friday, according to Farside's tally.

If the GBTC anchor is gone, the overall ETF inflow/outflow numbers will finally reflect actual market sentiment without distortion.
Native cryptocurrencies of blockchain projects supposedly using artificial intelligence (AI) have led the crypto market recovery in recent days, while shares of Nasdaq-listed chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA), the poster child for all things AI, also rallied.

RNDR, the utility token of decentralized GPU-based rendering solutions, The Render Network, has surged almost 40% to $10.432 in seven days, the biggest gain among the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market value, according to data source CoinGecko.

Other AI coins, such as SingularityNET's AGIX, Bittensor's TAO and's FET, have gained between 17% and 23%, outperforming the broader market. Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, has risen 1.7%, while the CoinDesk 20 Index, a broader market gauge, has rallied 0.6%.

Crypto analytics platform DYOR's relative strength crypto narrative tracker shows decentralized AI coins and DePIN – or decentralized physical infrastructure – tokens are among the best performers of the past seven days.

Not specifically mentioned, but THETA is also both an AI and DePIN trade.
The launch of spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the U.S. was predicted to usher in a new era of institutional adoption for cryptocurrencies and send Bitcoin’s price soaring above $100,000, but thus far, the price rally has stalled below $70,000 as institutions have been slow to start making allocations.

That could soon change, however, as pension funds are starting to explore investing in Bitcoin, and with more than $4 trillion in capital held by funds in the U.S., even a small percent allocation could drive significant inflows.

According to Manuel Nordeste, Fidelity’s Vice President of Digital Assets, the company has started to engage with major pension funds about the possibility of investing in Bitcoin via ETFs, and the list of interested parties is growing.

"Now, we're starting to have conversations with the larger, real money institutional investor types, and we're getting some of those clients, as well as corporates and so on,” Nordeste said during a recent speaking engagement.
Nordeste’s comments came on the heels of reports from BlackRock that they have been having educational conversations about Bitcoin ETFs with institutional players like sovereign wealth funds and pension funds.

“Many of these interested firms – whether we’re talking about pensions, endowments, sovereign wealth funds, insurers, other asset managers, family offices – are having ongoing diligence and research conversations, and we’re playing a role from an education perspective,” said Robert Mitchnick, BlackRock’s head of digital assets.

It seems like it's only a matter of time before institutional adoption really takes hold.

Why, for Some, Crypto Is the Defining Political Issue of Our Times​

With all due respect to Molly Jane Zuckerman and Jeff Albus, the co-authors of a recent Blockworks column discounting the idea of voting for pro-crypto politicians in the upcoming election in the U.S., voting your conscience is a good thing. Despite the headline (“Only a fool would vote on crypto alone”), the piece was fairly measured – but it certainly struck a nerve.

“Voting for a candidate you would not otherwise support, simply because they favor the deregulation of a sector in which you hold a profit motive, is a compromise that you should not make,” editors Zuckerman and Albus wrote. They certainly aren’t the first to express this sentiment. Fortune editor Jeff John Roberts has argued that crypto’s increasing alignment with Trump supporters like Sen. Tom Emmer is a bad deal.



Wallet recovery firms buzz as locked-out crypto investors panic in bitcoin boom​

May 15 (Reuters) - The recent surge in bitcoin prices has the phones at crypto wallet recovery firms ringing off the hook, as retail investors locked out of their digital vaults make frantic calls to regain access to their accounts.

Cryptocurrencies exist on a decentralized digital ledger known as blockchain and investors may opt to access their holdings either through a locally stored software wallet or a hardware wallet, to avoid risks related to owning crypto with an exchange, as in the case of the former FTX.

Losing access to a crypto wallet is a well-known problem. Investors forgetting their intricate passwords is a primary reason, but loss of access to two-factor authentication devices, unexpected shutdowns of cryptocurrency exchanges and cyberattacks are also common.

Wallet passwords are usually alphanumeric and the wallet provider also offers a set of randomized words, known as "seed phrases", for additional security - both these are known only to the user. If investors lose the passwords and phrases, access to their wallets is cut off.



CME Looks to Take On Binance and Coinbase, Could Launch Spot Bitcoin Trading: Report​

The CME is already the top bitcoin futures exchange by open interest, while the offshore, non-regulated Binance dominates the spot market.

  • 10x Research founder Markus Thielen said crypto exchanges may lose business if CME starts offering spot bitcoin trading.
  • CME is one of the top bitcoin futures exchanges by open interest.

Futures powerhouse Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) plans to offer spot bitcoin trading to clients as demand for the product mounts among market participants, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.


Not news, just something I enjoyed reading.

Crypto Old-Head Otoh Talks Casascius Bitcoins, Tax Havens and Old Friends

The pseudonymous investor – early to both Ethereum and Litecoin – has lived large. He is a speaker at this year’s Consensus festival in Austin, Texas, May 29-31.

It’s quite likely that Otoh has lost more bitcoin than most people will ever hold. An early bitcoin investor, Otoh, a pseudonym that stands for “on the other hand,” has many lessons to share about finding opportunities and making one’s own luck.

Scheduled to speak on stage at Consensus 2024, in Austin, Texas, alongside crypto luminaries like Litecoin creator Charlie Lee and BTCC and Ballet founder Bobby Lee, Otoh is known among the early crypto crowd for his massive holdings of physical bitcoins – a.k.a. Casascius coins.



China’s $1.9 Billion Underground USDT Banking Operation Uncovered​

Despite China’s stringent regulations against cryptocurrency activities, Chinese traders have continually found innovative ways to leverage digital currencies. This resilience is evident in the recent discovery by Chinese police of a $1.9 billion underground banking system centered around the popular stablecoin Tether (USDT). This operation, rooted in the city of Chengdu, utilized USDT for exchanging foreign currencies and facilitating cross-border transactions of non-financial goods like medicine and cosmetics.

The Chengdu Operation​

The underground banking network started in January 2021 and quickly spread across 26 provinces, indicating a well-organized operation that exploited the pseudo-anonymity of cryptocurrencies. The Chinese police have apprehended 193 individuals linked to this scheme, showcasing the extensive nature of the crackdown. Operations like these are pivotal in the smuggling and illicit trade of goods, bypassing the conventional financial system and regulatory oversight.


Already modestly higher during U.S. trading hours Monday, the price of ether (ETH) jumped more than 10% after two well-followed Bloomberg ETF analysts greatly upped their odds of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approving spot ETH ETFs.

"James Seyffart and I are increasing our odds of spot Ether ETF approval to 75% (up from 25%), hearing chatter this afternoon that SEC could be doing a 180 on this (increasingly political issue), so now everyone scrambling (like us everyone else assumed they'd be denied)," tweeted Bloomberg Senior ETF Analyst Eric Balchunas.

Thank you Trump!
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