25% of UK investors would’ve made £1 million by going all-in on BTC in 2020: Survey
Weekly Headline News
1. Grayscale, Firm Behind Leading Bitcoin Trust, Is Hiring ETF Specialists
2. Twitter CEO Will Donate Proceeds From the Genesis Tweet to GiveDirectly
3. JPMorgan’s New Crypto Bond ‘Not for the Faint of Heart,’ Former Star Analyst Hintz Says
4. Israeli Pension Giant Put $100M Into Grayscale Bitcoin Trust: Report
5. Mentorship, inclusivity and education will encourage more women to enter crypto
6. You’d have $10K now if you’d invested April’s stimulus in Bitcoin — and more with ETH
7. The number of Bitcoin ATMs in the US rose 177% over the past year
8. Bitcoin’s 2021 Returns Destroy Everything on Wall Street, Goldman Sachs Says
● Nine new job postings indicate Grayscale is considering joining the race to win the SEC’s first bitcoin ETF approval. Digital asset management firm Grayscale might be on the cusp of trying to launch a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), according to new job postings.
● A bitcoin ETF is a retail-accessible trading vehicle that can give both individuals and institutions exposure to the bitcoin market without having to hold bitcoin itself. The industry has long clamored for an ETF, with various firms filing applications to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as far back as 2013. Grayscale has previously not applied for an ETF. Industry experts believe that a bitcoin ETF, which the SEC has repeatedly rejected, might finally see the light of day in the U.S. this year, noting both the Canadian approvals as well as new leadership at the securities regulator.
● Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder of Twitter, announced Tuesday that bidding on the first tweet ever sent will end on March 21, and that he will accept the winning bid, donating the proceeds to charity. Bidding on the tweet has sat at $2.5 million since March 6. The bid is from Sina Estavi, the CEO of Tron’s oracle network, Bridge.
● GiveDirectly is a non-profit organization that specializes in giving direct cash transfers to low-income people, without strings attached. “Africa response” in Dorsey’s tweet likely refers to its “COVID-19 Africa Response” campaign. That program is just under $5 million short of its goal. Even if sold at the current bid it would almost be enough to close that gap.
● Brad Hintz is an adjunct finance professor at New York University and former top-ranked brokerage-firm analyst for Sanford Bernstein, itself among the best-of-the-best when it comes to investment research. Before that, Hintz served as corporate treasurer for Morgan Stanley and CFO for Lehman Brothers (in the good times).
● Like a lot of Wall Street’s alchemical “structured products,” JPMorgan Chase’s new cryptocurrency-focused bond is full of arcane risks, many of them detailed in the fine print in the largest U.S. bank’s 18-page regulatory filing on the newfangled financial offering. In other words: Brad Hintz understands what to make of complicated financial instruments like these and how to think about them.
● Israeli pension company Altshuler Shaham has sunk $100 million into the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), according to reports in the local press. Altshuler Shaham is one of the largest investment houses in Israel, with over $50 billion in assets under management. The firm made the investment into GBTC in the second half of last year, when bitcoin was trading at around $21,000, according to the report.
● In addition to buying shares in Grayscale, Altushler is known to have taken an interest in some Israeli initial coin offerings back in 2017, according to a source familiar with the company. “Altushler has an alternative assets department that has ETH and BTC wallets. They were active in the past at some degree, and are looking into space again,” the source said.
● To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, Cointelegraph hosted a roundtable with nine leading women in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector to discuss ways to bring more women into the fintech space. While many thoughts were shared, common themes focused on education, mentorship and inclusivity.
● A recent CoinMarketCap report showed that the number of women in the cryptocurrency industry increased by 43.24% in the first quarter of 2020. According to Shevinsky, women have been interested in technology for quite a while, yet getting women to stay within these emerging fields is challenging. Fortunately, job opportunities in the blockchain and crypto industry have been on the rise, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Capozzalo commented that this is very encouraging for women in particular, noting that the crypto industry is an “unusually welcoming space.”
● A Twitter account named “$1200 Stimulus Is Now Worth” has been tracking how much the first US $1200 stimulus would be worth if you invested in Bitcoin when the funds were sent out from April 15, 2020. Bitcoin was sitting at $6,848 on April 15, and if you had invested the $1200 stimulus then it would now be worth $10,211 at today’s prices of roughly $56,000. The return on investment is 751%.
● A third stimulus is on the way after the U.S senate approved the rollout of a $1.9 trillion relief package on March 6, which will see $1,400 paid out to eligible Americans. If you were looking to repeat a 751% return, Bitcoin’s price would need to reach $476,000. A 93% return on this stimulus would see Bitcoin hit $108,000. In the short term, many institutions believe Bitcoin moving past $100,000 in 2021 is achievable.
● The sting in the tale is that if you’d invested the first stimulus check into Ethereum on April 15, you would’ve outperformed your Bitcoin counterparts. Investing $1200 in Ethereum at that time would’ve landed you 7.5 Ether, which is worth roughly $13,500 at today’s prices, a 1025% increase.
● Since March 1, 2020, the number of new Bitcoin ATMs installed worldwide is nearing 10,000. According to the latest data from Coin ATM Radar, the current number of machines stands at 16,835, a strong 57.5% increase, or 9,683 new machines, as compared with 7,152 last year.
● Within the U.S., growth has been unparalleled, rising by 177% since March 1, 2020, or from 4,945 machines to 13,699 as of March 10, 2021. Canada, the country with the next-highest number of Bitcoin ATMs, clocks in at just 1,268, accounting for roughly 7.5% of machines worldwide.
● While the U.S., Canada and Europe account for the lion’s share of all crypto ATMs worldwide, Hong Kong (85 machines), the Russian Federation (53) and Colombia (46) stand out as the countries with the highest number of ATM locations beyond the North American and European contexts.
● Goldman Sachs, the storied Wall Street firm, didn’t start including BTC in its weekly ranking of global asset-class returns until late January when the largest cryptocurrency quietly appeared atop the chart. But since then, bitcoin’s lead over assets from stocks to bonds, oil, banks, gold and tech stocks and the euro has widened.
● As of March 4, bitcoin’s year-to-date return, at about 70%, was roughly double that for the next-closest competitor, the energy sector, at about 35%, according to Goldman Sachs’ latest “U.S. Weekly Kickstart” report. According to a survey, some 40% of Goldman clients have exposure to cryptocurrencies.
● Based on prior CoinDesk reporting, bitcoin is viewed by many investors both in crypto and traditional markets as a potential inflation hedge, especially in an era where central banks around the world are pumping trillions of dollars of freshly created money into financial markets to stimulate coronavirus-racked economies. Even so, gold has lost about 10% over the year, prompting some market observers to argue that bitcoin is stealing market share from the yellow metal.