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BitGo Bringing Tron to Institutional Investors, Offers Bitcoin and Crypto Insurance Protection to Expand Reach

BitGo has announced wallet and custody support for Tron (TRX). The Palo Alto-based crypto financial services firm offers multi-signature and key security services, compliance, and custodial solutions for institutional investors.

The company offers support for over 100 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum. It will implement support for Tron later this year.

Says Ben Chan, chief technology officer at BitGo,

“Institutional investors want a wallet provider and custodian who can support a full range of digital assets so adding support for TRX later this year is an important step. BitGo is the only institutional digital asset company with a full product offering, from high-volume wallet platform to regulated custody services. Institutional investors are responsible for other people’s assets, and that requires the highest levels of security and regulatory compliance. BitGo will provide that for TRX.”

Holding over $2 billion in crypto assets on behalf of its customers, BitGo is backed by Goldman Sachs, Galaxy Digital Ventures, Digital Currency Group and several other venture capital funds.

As the crypto ecosystem expands and matures, investors and high-net wealth individuals expect the same guarantees and protections that custody providers offer for traditional assets. Insurance is especially critical for the crypto ecosystem which has suffered from a number of high-profile exchange hacks. Most recently, Canadian exchange Quadriga has been unable to find the private keys to unlock roughly $145 million in customers’ crypto assets.

To address ongoing concerns in the industry and assure investors that crypto is a safe long-term investment, BitGo announced today $100 million of insurance to cover digital assets for offline private keys that are held by BitGo.

The company calls its new custody insurance the industry’s most comprehensive insurance protections.

Says BitGo CEO Mike Belshe,

“This is the most complete insurance offering in the industry. It is not always easy for some clients to understand under what circumstances their investments are insured and to what extent their loss would be covered. We are changing that by being more transparent than any other company about the terms of our coverage. Transparency and accuracy is essential for building trust in the market.”

BitGo offers protection through third-party insurance provider Digital Asset Services. The provider’s theft insurance will enable BitGo clients to have “fully regulated specialist insurance for their digital currency holdings.”

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Tim Draper Predicts Crypto Will Rule, Only Criminals Will Use Cash in Five Years

Tim Draper Predicts Crypto Will Rule, Only Criminals Will Use Cash in Five Years

Billionaire investor and known Bitcoin (BTC) bull Tim Draper argued that in five years, only criminals will use fiat as crypto becomes universally widespread. Draper made his claims in an interview with American financial news tv channel Fox Business released on Feb. 18.

Reiterating his previous statements predicting that fiat money will become laughable and obsolete in five years, Draper has elaborated on his forecast, stating that nobody but criminals will keep using cash, since criminals who use crypto can be tracked via blockchain. He said:

“The criminals will still want to operate with cash, because they catch everybody who is trying to use Bitcoin.”

In August 2018, an agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) noted that she prefers people to keep using cryptocurrencies, as the blockchain provides tool to identify criminals.

In the interview, Draper also said that he believes his money in the bank to be less secure than his money in Bitcoin. “My bank is constantly under a hack attack,” Draper has stated, adding that to date, nobody has managed to hack Bitcoin’s blockchain.

Claiming that his Bitcoin is more secure than a dollar is, the Bitcoin billionaire has compared cashing out from Bitcoin with exchanging gold into shells, arguing that there is no sense to go back in time as the future is about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

When asked how much crypto he holds, Draper provided a short response: “a lot.”

Draper’s recent statement has echoed the stance of young Bitcoin millionaire Jeremy Gardner, who said that the existing financial system is much more culpable for things like terrorism and crimes than blockchain technology perhaps will ever be.

In November last year, Tim Draper reaffirmed his April 2018 Bitcoin prediction that the biggest cryptocurrency will trade as high as $250,000 per coin by 2022. Meanwhile, Bitcoin has seen significant growth recently, having jumped around 7.6 percent over the day and trading at $3,907 at press time, according to CoinMarketCap.

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Pompliano Says Bitcoin Becoming Global Resercountsve Currency Before Our Eyes As BBVA Blocks Thousands of Bank Accounts:

BBVA, Spain’s second largest bank, sparked protests in Madrid following the bank’s decision to block thousands of accounts belonging to Chinese nationals. The protestors claim the bank blocked their accounts based on money laundering regulations.

According to a report by Reuters, Yunajie Chen, an accountant who has been a BBVA client for over six years says,

“We gathered here to demand equality because we are ordinary citizens. I work in a consultancy office and I don’t have suspicious transactions.”

The Chinese Association in Spain (ACHE) reports that 4,000 to 5,000 people have had their accounts blocked by BBVA.

On Friday Chinese protestors carried signs outside of BBVA’s main branch in Madrid, accusing banking officials of cutting off their salaries and making it impossible for mothers to feed their children.

Despite a recent report issued by Spain’s central bank Banco de España (BDE) stating that Bitcoin is an inefficient payment network, crypto fund managers say Bitcoin is proving itself to be an attractive asset as a global reserve currency.

Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of BKCM, a digital currency investment firm, says geopolitical tensions will continue to shine a light on Bitcoin. Speaking to Cointelegraph Kelly says,

“In 2019, if I’m looking at it, the focus will be on the currency – Bitcoin, Litecoin, some of those – because we have quite a bit of geopolitical tension in the world.”

He adds,

“We’re starting to see some global macro players use Bitcoin as an alternative to their gold position or as a way to hedge against fiat currency fluctuations and volatility.”

Anthony Pompliano, founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital, an investment firm focused on blockchain tech and digital assets for institutional clients, says Bitcoin is on the road to becoming the global reserve currency.

“Sovereign nations are already settling transactions in Bitcoin. Don’t blink. Bitcoin is becoming the global reserve currency right before our eyes.”

Its rise is expected to follow the increasing weaponization of fiat currencies, either through government sanctions or overreaching banks that unilaterally decide to pull the plug on their customers – whenever they see fit.

Pompliano says financial institutions will inadvertently encourage Bitcoin adoption.

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International investment bank and notorious Bitcoin skeptic JPMorgan Chase will be the first US bank to issue its own cryptocurrency.

 


JPMORGAN: ‘ENDLESS’ USE CASES FOR CRYPTOCURRENCY

In a surprising move, Umar Farooq, head of JPMorgan’s blockchain operations, told CNBC trials of JPM Coin would start in the coming months and that three use cases had already emerged.

“The applications are frankly quite endless; anything where you have a distributed ledger which involves corporations or institutions can use this,” he said in an interview February 14.

JPMorgan will likely shock the finance sector with the move, after adopting a broadly hostile view of cryptocurrency in recent years.

Dimon Nowhere To Be Seen

As Bitcoinist reported, CEO Jamie Dimon became infamous after calling Bitcoin a “fraud” in 2017 – managing to move the entire Bitcoin price in the process.

Dimon since appeared to U-turn on the remarks, later vowing not to mention Bitcoin in public again. In the meantime, other executives have appeared to warm to the cryptocurrency industry, rumors circulating last year JPMorgan would even launch Bitcoin-related instruments.

In May, the bank filed a patent for a P2P interbank blockchain payment system, with settlements between large corporate clients now set to form a major focus for JPM Coin.

“Money sloshes back and forth all over the world in a large enterprise,” Farooq continued.

“Is there a way to ensure that a subsidiary can represent cash on the balance sheet without having to actually wire it to the unit? That way, they can consolidate their money and probably get better rates for it.”

UNFORESEEN?

JPM Coin will also see implementation in securities transactions and as part of JPMorgan’s treasury services features.

Only a “tiny” amount of the total flows involved in these areas will use the cryptocurrency to begin with, JPM coins acting as a 1:1 dollar substitute similar to a stablecoin.

“Even if this was limited to JPM clients at the institutional level, it shouldn’t hold us back,” Farooq concluded.

Last year also saw the bank’s co-president Daniel Pinto go on record to admit cryptocurrency “will play a role” in the future global economy.

“I think the concept is valid, you have many central banks looking into,” he said speaking to CNBC in May.

“The tokenization of the economy, for me, is real. Cryptocurrencies are real but not in the current form.”

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Mike Novogratz: Bitcoin Will Be Digital Gold, ‘Sovereignty Should Cost a Lot’

By
Marie Huillet’
Mike Novogratz: Bitcoin Will Be Digital Gold, ‘Sovereignty Should Cost a Lot’

Mike Novogratz, a former Goldman Sachs partner and founder of crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital, has argued that Bitcoin (BTC) occupies a unique place in the cryptocurrency landscape. Novogratz made his remarks during an interview with Bloomberg TV on Feb. 13.

Reflecting on the proliferation of crypto assets, many of which have attempted to vie with Bitcoin (BTC)’s function as store of value, Novogratz argued that:

“There’s 118 elements on the periodic table, and only one gold […] Bitcoin is going to be digital gold, a place where you have sovereign money, it’s not U.S. money, it’s not Chinese money, it’s sovereign. Sovereignty costs a lot, it should.”

Novogratz, while not providing a rationale for Bitcoin’s singularity, proposed that while blockchain in principle offers a robust system for the secure exchange of value, not all cryptocurrencies need to rely on its maximal security potentia. Unlike digital gold, less valuable, transactional cryptos may do better, he implied, to trade security for improved efficiency gains.

Bitcoin, which has recently settled around the $3,400-3,600 mark, is grinding along its bottom, Novogratz argued, and easily has the potential to go higher. Citing $8,000 as a feasible medium term price point, Novogratz nonetheless considered that “we’re not going to bubble back up.”

Reflecting on the protracted crypto winter, Novogratz quipped that the past year has demonstrated “just how painful popped bubbles can be.” Now that the retail frenzy has subsided — and with it, the inflated valuations of thousands of digital assets — the entrepreneur proposed that the industry as a whole is poised to undergo a structural shift, from “a people’s revolution to [an] institution[-led] one.

Novogratz noted that critical infrastructure for institutional investors to become comfortable with crypto is gradually falling into place — albeit temporarily slowed by the recent United Statesgovernment shutdown. Forthcoming custodial solutions from New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) operator ICE’s Bakkt platform and investment giant Fidelity’s digital asset business indicate the institutional watershed “is just getting started,” he said.

As reported, while traditional financial institutions like Fidelity are beginning to step into the crypto sphere, veteran industry firms such as crypto exchange and wallet service Coinbase have also introduced their own custody solutions for institutional clients.

Novogratz’s perspective is shared by established analysts such as Netherlands-based Big Four auditor KPMG, which last fall argued that institutionalization is “a necessary next step for crypto to create trust and scale.”

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ONLINE RETAILERS ACCEPTING BITCOIN

According to a survey by Kaspersky Labs, about 13 percent of people have used cryptocurrency as a payment method. The study collected responses from more than 12,000 consumers in 22 different countries.

The results of the survey show that crypto use is still the least popular method with 81 percent of respondents saying they used credit/debit cards for online purchases. However, the implication of having 13 percent of people across multiple countries using Bitcoin is profound from an adoption point of view.

13 percent of people have used Bitcoin

Commenting on results, Vitaly Mzokov of Kaspersky Lab said:

Despite a fall in cryptocurrency prices, there is still a strong desire for digital transactions amongst consumers. Our consumer research has found that 13% of people have used cryptocurrency as a payment method, which was surprising to see.

Cryptocurrency prices fell by more than 80 percent in 2018. However, a fraction of internet shoppers seem to have no problems using virtual currencies. More importantly, online retail outlets aren’t shying away from accepting cryptos.

These results also counter the mainstream narrative that cryptos fund no utility in the online retail arena. Critics like JPMorgan would have people believe that merchants aren’t accepting BTC and crypto’s only appeal comes via risky speculative investments.

BITCOIN ACCEPTANCE CONTINUES TO GROW

Concerning the pace of BTC acceptance, data from Coinmap shows that businesses that accept Bitcoin across the globe have increased by 702 percent since December 2013.

Global Bitcoin Acceptance Heat Map

According to Coinmap, there are now 14,346 venues that accept BTC as against 1,789 recorded almost six years ago.

Coinshares CEO, Ryan Radloff, showed this massive increase in BTC acceptance over the past five years in a tweet posted on Tuesday (February 12, 2019). With increasing adoption in countries like Ecuador and Venezuela, the BTC acceptance heat map for the north of South America looks a lot different than it did six years ago.

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Institutional Investors are Already Turning to Crypto: Should You Fear Missing Out?

Crypto

Two public pension funds are backing a $40 million investment in a blockchain fund operated by Morgan Creek, which is inversely invested in cryptocurrency and crypto startups. |Source: Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP

Two public pensions from Fairfax County, Virginia’s Police Officer’s Retirement System and Employees’ Retirement System, have invested in Morgan Creek’s new $40 million crypto fund.

Anthony Pompliano, a Morgan Creek general partner, said that it is the first case in which public pensions have invested in the cryptocurrency market.

Apart from the two pensions, the fund is said to be financed by a university endowment, a hospital, an insurance company, and a private foundation. It raised a total of $40 million.

Fairfax County Police Officer’s Retirement System chief investment officer Katherine Molnar said:

“Blockchain technology is being applied in unique and compelling ways across multiple industries. We feel it is important to be opportunistic and are excited to participate in this emerging opportunity, due to the attractive asymmetric return profile that it represents.”

CRUCIAL FIRST STEP TOWARDS INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF CRYPTO

The overwhelming majority of the crypto community has responded positively to the high-profile deal secured by Morgan Creek.

But some investors have questioned the $40 million figure and expected the fund to be larger given the involvement of public pensions.

However, the amount of capital involved in the monumental deal of Morgan Creek is of less importance.

The deal led to the entrance of the first group of public pensions into the cryptocurrency sector.

Public pensions are recognized for their conservative and cautious approach in investing. Due to the lack of properly regulated investment vehicles and trusted custodians in the cryptocurrency space, institutions have been reluctant towards investing in the asset class in the past several years.

The Morgan Creek deal has shown that institutional investors are opening up to the cryptocurrency sector and are beginning to become more comfortable with the asset class.

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4 SURVIVAL TACTICS FOR THE CRYPTOCURRENCY BEAR MARKET

The cryptocurrency market has been in decline for over a year and the downtrend shows no signs of slowing down. The entire market’s capitalization saw over $700 billion wiped off the sheets, as a lot of the currencies marked losses upwards of 90 percent. But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to be profitable. Here’s how to survive the bear market and to make the most out of it.


DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF TO JUST CRYPTOCURRENCIES

You need to remember that it’s not just cryptocurrencies that you can trade. As the market is going down, or moving sideways, you can take your time and trade other asset classes such as commodities, forex, indices, and so forth.

Make the most of your time, instead of just waiting while sitting on fiat currency or stablecoins. You can even do so using Bitcoin.

Evolve Markets, for example, is a website which allows the user to trade legacy markets with leverage, using their BTC as capital. Naturally, the profits and the losses are distributed in Bitcoin but you can engage in trading everything from Twitter stocks to silver and gold.

USE DIFFERENT TRADING STRATEGIES

It’s not necessary for your asset of choice to grow in value in order for you to make money. In fact, it’s also possible to profit while the price is going down. These are some of the common trading strategies that can be used in order to capitalize on declining prices.

  • Shorting

A short seller will profit if the price of the asset goes down. The trader sells to open the position, expecting to buy it back later at a lower price, while keeping the difference as a gain.

Shorting different altcoins on cryptocurrency exchanges such as Evolve Markets, for instance, is a convenient way of making profits in a bear market.

  • Scalping

Scalping is another approach, which is oftentimes seen as a sub-category of day trading. This strategy targets minor swings in the intra-day price of different cryptocurrencies.

Traders are known to enter and exit throughout the trading session in order to accumulate profits.

Naturally, scalpers would indulge in a range of different trades, depending on the current market condition, in order to build up their profit. In addition, the limited time exposure to the market is known to reduce their risk.

  • Swing Trading

Swing trading requires the trader to identify a certain trend and capitalize on it. It doesn’t matter if the asset is going down or is growing in value, as the trader can alternatively short it.

Swing traders are known to follow the trend. If the trend is for the asset to grow, they would go long, and if it is a downtrend, they’d short it.

  • Hedging

Hedging is a more conservative approach to achieving protection in a bear market. To hedge means to make an investment in order to reduce the risk of adverse and prominent moves in the price of an asset.

There’s Permanent hedging, which involves you holding the position throughout the entire time, and there’s also Timed hedging which is done using technical analysis in order to navigate through the volatility during a bear market.

Bitfinex Makes 12 'Pioneering' Additions to its Trading Platform

BE THOUGHTFUL WHEN SELECTING A BROKER

As you can see from all of the above, there are plenty of things you can take advantage of in order not only to survive the bear market but also to make profits while it lasts. However, having all that in mind, you’d also have to make sure that you are using a reliable and, most importantly, a broker which can cater to your needs.

In other words – choose a broker which supports all of the trading options, and preferably more, that you’d need to execute your plan during the bear market. Make sure that the platform you are using supports CFD trading, margin trading, and all of the options that are outlined above. It’s also important to see whether or not the trading platform supports the necessary amount of trading pairs.

Evolve Markets, for example, offers all the needed trading options and functionalities to guarantee for a reliable trading experience. This way you can be sure that you will have the necessary tools to benefit from the current market conditions.

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES!

“Fool me once – shame on you. Fool me twice – shame on me.” That’s the saying you need to cherish while trading. Everybody makes mistakes and you will lose money while trading – there’s no way around it.

However, it’s critical to make the most out of every single mistake you’re making. This goes for all of the trading options, regardless of whether you’ll be shorting an asset or going on it long. Most of the brokers allow the opening of a demo account. It’s not a bad idea to explore that option in order to test all of your strategies and to see what works best during different market cycles and conditions.

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Major Philippines Bank Union Bank Launches Two-Way Crypto ATM: Report

Major Philippines Bank Union Bank Launches Two-Way Crypto ATM: Report

Major Philippines bank Union Bank is launching the country’s first two-way cryptocurrency ATM, local media outlet Philstar reported Feb. 6.

The move will reportedly let customers buy and sell cryptocurrencies for cash via the ATM as part of the bank’s “sandbox” — a framework for conducting experiments in a controlled environment.

The report did not specify which digital currencies will be supported in the experiment.

According to Philstar, the system complies with current regulations and is the result of a collaboration between Union Bank and the country’s central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The article cites a statement released by the bank claiming that the ATM will provide “an alternative channel to convert their pesos to virtual currency and vice versa.”

Philstar reports that Union Bank reported 7.32 billion Philippine pesos (about $140 million) in earnings last year. The bank is within the top ten largest banks in the country, in terms of assets.

The BSP has been officially regulating local Philippine crypto exchanges as remittance companies and recognizing virtual currencies as a legitimate payment method since it published Circular 944 in February 2017.

As Cointelegraph recently reported, new regulations were released by the country’s Cagayan Economic Zone Authority. The rules are reportedly designed to regulate the cryptocurrency industry and protect investors, affecting such issues as the acquisition of crypto assets, including utility and security tokens.

In January, United States Bitcoin ATM operator Coinme entered a partnership to sell Bitcoin (BTC) at coin counting kiosks owned by Coinstar.

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Simply ‘Logical’ for Every Big Macro Fund to Hold 1% in Bitcoin: US Billionaire Investor

Bitcoin, Mike Novogratz

Billionaire bitcoin bull Mike Novogratz claimed every major macro fund should be investe in bitcoin, even if they’re skeptics. | Source: REUTERS/Andrew KellyREUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Simply ‘Logical’ for Every Big Macro Fund to Hold 1% in Bitcoin: US Billionaire Investor

In the last 48 hours, the Bitcoin price recovered beyond the crucial $3,500 support level and avoided a further drop below $3,000.

The valuation of the cryptocurrency market increased from $110 billion to $120 billion, by just over $10 billion.

Following the strong corrective rally of Bitcoin, billionaire investor Mike Novogratz stated that every major macro fund should hold at least 1 percent of their portfolios in Bitcoin.

HOW’S THE LONG-TERM PROSPECT OF BITCOIN?

Generally, analysts expect Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrency market to begin recovering in the latter half of 2019.

Throughout the past 10 years, BTC has tended to rebound a year prior to its block reward halving.

Every two years or so, the Bitcoin network goes through a halvening which decreases the amount of BTC miners can generate.

As the amount of BTC that can be generated decreases, the potential circulating supply of BTC declines.

If the demand for BTC goes up or remains the same and the supply of the asset decreases, it causes the price of BTC to go up.

The Bitcoin halvening is estimated to occur in May 2020 and as such, analysts foresee the dominant cryptocurrency recovering by May of this year.

Technical indicators as shown by digital asset researcher Willy Woo also demonstrate a high probability of Bitcoin initiating a proper rally beginning by the end of the second quarter of 2019.

Given these factors, Mike Novogratz has always emphasized his belief and his long-term investment strategy in the cryptocurrency market.

Previously, he firmly stated that a wave of institutional investors will come into the market and once they do, cryptocurrencies as an asset class are likely to experience an unprecedented rally

Novogratz said:

It won’t go there ($20 trillion) right away. What is going to happen is, one of these intrepid pension funds, somebody who is a market leader, is going to say, you know what? We’ve got custody, Goldman Sachs is involved, Bloomberg has an index I can track my performance against, and they’re going to buy. And all of the sudden, the second guy buys.

The same FOMO that you saw in retail [will be demonstrated by institutional investors].

While Novogratz does not focus on short-term catalysts, there are both short-term and long-term catalysts on the horizon that could contribute to the recovery of BTC.

In the short-term, many analysts consider the launch of Bakkt, Fidelity custody, and halvening to be some of the main factors that could fuel the rally of the asset.

In the long-term, the decline in the circulating supply of Bitcoin and an increase in adoption by both retail and institutional investors are acknowledged as potential driving factors of the asset class.

Hence, Novogratz noted that macro firms should hold a small percentage in Bitcoin if they believe that it will survive and cryptocurrencies as an asset class will eventually be established as a recognized asset class.

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