It’s been another strong week for Bitcoin. The dollar price is up about 2.5 percent over the week, although that’s still something of a decline from its recent high above $13,400. At one point, Bitcoin fell 4 percent in 24 hours. But bulls remain optimistic and see the price advancing towards $20,000, possibly as early as March. That future price movement will depend on a number of factors, including whether banks follow Paypal into cryptocurrency acceptance; the size of the stimulus expected to counter the new coronavirus outbreak; and the pattern of the hash rate, among other factors. One point of volatility could come at the end of the month: that’s when the BTC options market reaches a $750 million expiration. In the meantime, large amounts of Bitcoin are on the move. A whale has recently transferred a billion dollars’ worth of Bitcoin. It cost them $3.58.
Despite that volatility, Anthony Pompliano, the co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital, thinks that Bitcoin has broken away from its correlation with the stock market and is now a safe haven for investors. Mike Novogratz agrees. He sees Bitcoin as a kind of digital gold: a good way to store value but not something that will function as a currency in the next five years. That opportunity, though, may only be available for Bitcoin. Altcoins are doing less well; Ethereum, for example, has been looking relatively weak despite Bitcoin’s growing strength.
Some companies have been doing well out of that strength. Business intelligence firm MicroStrategy has made more than $100 million in profit from its Bitcoin investments. That’s more than it’s made analyzing business. Visa might struggle to follow them. The US Department of Justice is now investigating the company’s acquisition of Plaid, a fintech company.
The government has also been investigating social media. A Senate Commerce Committee hearing gave the CEOs of Google, Facebook, and Twitter, a partisan grilling. One solution to the opacity of the companies’ content moderation, though, might be open-source algorithms.
Senators haven’t been alone in engaging in partisan hackery. A group of hackers took over President Trump’s campaign website. The hackers said that they had evidence proving the president’s “criminal involvment and coorperation with foreign actors” (sic)… and asked for funds.
In Japan, a group of companies have come together to create a blockchain-based trade data management system. In Siberia, a new Bitcoin mine will create 100 jobs. Singapore’s biggest bank, DBS, is launching an exchange to swap fiat for cryptocurrencies. And in China, charities are using the blockchain to give donors trust as they raise money for people in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. In the US, though, while Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman has said that machine learning and cloud tech will drive evolution in capital markets, the adoption of the blockchain is “complicated” and “will take longer.”
At least the art world is moving ahead. From art inspired by the blockchain to crypto art and digital marketplaces, artists and auction houses have found new opportunities in blockchain technology. Another reason for optimism.