Bitcoin Price Hits All-Time High as Institutional Investors Move In: Week in Review Nov 20
The price of bitcoin hit a new all-time high over $8,000 on some international exchanges as it comes apparent that Wall Street is about to enter the cryptocurrency market in a big way.
On November 16, CEO and co-founder of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, announced that Coinbase will launch custodial service for institutional investors who want to invest in bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), and litecoin (LTC) using his company’s exchange.
“Over 100 hedge funds have been created in the past year exclusively to trade digital currency. An even greater number of traditional institutional investors are starting to look at trading digital assets (including family offices, sovereign wealth funds, traditional hedge funds, and more). By some estimates there is $10B of institutional money waiting on the sidelines to invest in digital currency today,” Armstrong stated.
The announcement of the new bitcoin investment service for institutional investors helped to push up the price of bitcoin in anticipation of institutional funds flowing into the world’s most popular digital currency.
The announcement by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) to start the trading of bitcoin futures on its exchange in December also helped to fuel this sentiment. It seems that testing of the futures has begun on November 20.
For the first time in a while, altcoins also experienced a substantial rally with ether (ETH), litecoin (LTC) both gaining over 18 percent week-on-week while NEO (NEO) jumped by over 50 percent. The big loser in the past week was Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which dropped by around 30 percent.
This week’s review is compiled from contributions by Nuno Menezes, Priyeshu Garg , Rahul Nambiampurath, and Tabassum Naiz.
Coinbase Custody has the potential to pave the way for Wall Street to enter the market more formally. This is because Coinbase would be providing certainty to institutional investors who have typically shied away due to lack of security.
In a recent blog post, Coinbase announced their plan to roll out Coinbase Custody. The newly published product will be a custodian wallet for institutional investors and would expect a minimum deposit of $10 million. The service would include $100,000 for setup fees and another 0.1 percent for monthly expenses.
CEO and co-founder of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, published the announcement via Medium on November 16. In it, he writes that “By some estimates, there is $10 billion of institutional money waiting on the sidelines to invest in digital currency today.”
On October 31, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group (CME) announced its plan to launch Bitcoin futures by the end of 2017. Despite this interest, however, the high volatility of bitcoin value has kept many conservative investors at bay.
The CME, which counts among the most substantial futures exchanges in the world, will put a limit in place to prevent the higher volatility. CME’s price volatility limit would be very similar to a U.S. stock index future.
The limit will advise investors as to whether or not they should trade with bitcoin at a particular time. The CME group will do this by implementing trade halts. These barriers will keep prices from fluctuating more than seven to thirteen percent and prevent bitcoin from trading beyond twenty percent.
Bail Bloc is a non-profit that has chosen a different approach to utilize funds obtained from cryptocurrency mining. The organization aims to use the proceeds of mining monero (XMR) to post bail for those who cannot afford to do so.
The Bail Bloc movement is pioneered by The New Inquiry, an online publication, and the Bronx Freedom Fund. Both organizations have already been making contributions towards this cause for some time now.
The concept of bail has been challenged several times in the past. Some argue that it effectively punishes only those belonging to economically disadvantaged sections of society. People who cannot afford to pay the prescribed bail amounts are detained for extended periods of time, even though they have not yet been convicted of any crime. These reasons are why Bail Bloc wants to post bail for as many incarcerated individuals as possible.
Anyone can now visit the movement’s website to download the app and begin mining on their computer. The organization promises that all proceeds from the mining will go towards the bail of individuals classed as ‘low-income’ currently being detained in the New York City area. They hope to expand to several other cities in the near future.
Bithumb is the first and largest cryptocurrency exchange in Korea, regarding trading volume. Due to a recent increase in the number of users, the official website of Bithumb experienced an unexpected server outage.
In the wake of abandoning the SegWit2x update, the price of bitcoin cash rose dramatically from $600 to a high of $2,600. To capitalize on this steep increase, investors swarmed the Seoul-based exchange.
Consequently, the bitcoin exchange went down with server connection failure over the weekend and users were unable to make deposits and withdrawals for two hours on Sunday evening. Bithumb released a statement on the subject and outlined the massive influx of users at the site while also apologizing for the outage on its website.
The price of bitcoin has surprised a lot of people lately. It has already gone across the $7000 barrier but suffered a huge set back a few weeks later. Now the price is orbiting above the $7000 barrier again. However, a recently released survey by market research firm D-CYFOR, which had a sample size of 1,015, found that although 80 percent of the general public in the UK have heard of bitcoin, 58 percent said they would not invest in it while 30 percent predict the currency will be worthless within the next six months.
On the other hand, 54 percent of the inquiries were optimistic and firmly believe its value will go up over the next six months, while 15 percent said they were thinking of investing in it and another seven percent said they already had. More than 20 percent of the inquiries considered buying into the cryptocurrency, these were mainly ‘Millennials’ which have been traditionally the most open to investing in bitcoin. The survey also showed that only four percent of people aged 65 and above wanted to invest in bitcoin.
On 14 November, The Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) group Chief Information Officer, David Gledhill, told CNBC that they, “see bitcoin as a bit of a Ponzi scheme.”
Bitcoin transactions are incredibly expensive and, “all the fees are hidden through the crypto-mechanisms,” explained Gledhill. “We don’t think DBS being in that game right now is going to create a competitive advantage for us.”
DBS’s claims are obviously not the first time when someone has attacked bitcoin. In September 2017, Jamie Dimon from JP Morgan also criticized bitcoin by calling it a fraud while warning to fire employees who are “stupid enough to trade Bitcoins.”
Regardless of the sentiments shared by top bankers, bitcoin refuses to deviate from its upward trajectory. Bitcoin was trading around $4,200 in September while trading closer to $8,000 at the time of writing.