Crypto Daily News from ZBG Exchange
1. Crypto Long & Short: A Bear Market Doesn’t Spell Doom
China’s Bitcoin crackdown, and why bitcoin isn’t a “boomer coin.”
In Q2, bitcoin (BTC, +1.33%) hit an all-time high (ATH) of $64,888.99 and ended the quarter down 46% from its ATH at $35,046.22. The drop, among other factors, prompted our team to make the bold claim in a previous issue of Crypto Long & Short that cryptocurrencies are officially in a bear market.
Price declines invite the cynics in droves and once-pompous, paper-rich day traders are suddenly “in it for the tech,” but a bear market need not spell doom for the institutional investor. For investors who believe in the intrinsic value of bitcoin, ether (ETH, +0.93%) and other cryptocurrencies, bear markets shine a spotlight on tools and metrics useful for gauging market sentiment and shaping long-term investment strategy. One of these metrics, MVRV, or Market Value to Realized Value, has yet to reach the highs it historically hits before profit taking, which suggests there are still unrealized gains in the crypto markets on which traders can capitalize. In addition, a second metric known as the Puell Multiple, which is calculated by dividing the total dollar value of bitcoin mined in a single day with its 365-day moving average, dipped to a one-year low recently, signaling undervaluation of BTC and a potential weakening of bearish market momentum.
For a deeper look at these metrics and how they are calculated, check out the full CoinDesk Quarterly Review 2021 Q2 on the Research Hub.
A brief point I should mention before moving on from price discussion is the fact that ether’s price increased 20% in Q2, while bitcoin’s shed 40%. It’s only the fourth time since the inception of CoinDesk’s Ether Price Index (ETX) in 2016 that the two assets have recorded mixed quarters. Despite the unique divergence, 90-day correlations of daily log returns for BTC and ETH remained strong and unfazed, trending around 0.75 throughout the quarter.
China vs. Bitcoin
In other notable news from this past quarter, the Chinese government cracked down on bitcoin mining in the country. Again. This time feels different, though. There have been rumors of a potential “east-to-west” bitcoin mining migration for some time now, but this is the first indication that it’s actually happening.
2. Another Large Bank in South Korea to Provide Custody of Crypto Assets
Woori Financial Group is joining forces with bitcoin exchange Coinplug to offer the service.
Woori Financial Group, one of South Korea’s largest banking companies, is getting into digital asset custody.
According to a report in The Korea Economic Daily, the bank is setting up a custody joint venture with Coinplug, one of the earliest bitcoin (BTC, +1.31%) exchanges in South Korea and a blockchain financial services provider.
Coinplug will be the largest shareholder in the joint venture with Woori Bank, which will be the second largest shareholder, the report said. Custody allows Korean firms to invest in crypto without having to touch the asset themselves.
Woori follows other Korean banks like KB Kookmin and Nonghyup Bank into the crypto custody space as South Korean lawmakers draft crypto legislation and the country’s Financial Services Commission implements anti-money laundering safeguards.
3. Sotheby’s Sells Rare Diamond for $12.3M in Crypto
The auction house said “a milestone was reached in the adoption of cryptocurrencies.”
Sotheby’s, the 277-year-old British auction house, sold a rare 101.38-carat diamond for HK$95.1 million (US$12.3 million) in cryptocurrency on Friday in a Hong Kong auction to an anonymous buyer.
The auction house said the sale of the gemstone shows that a “milestone was reached in the adoption of cryptocurrencies.”
The diamond, dubbed “The Key 10138,” is the second-largest pear-shaped diamond ever to appear on the public market and came from the world-leading diamond company Diacore, said Sotheby’s.
The auction house did not say in its release Friday which cryptocurrencies were used to pay for the diamond, but previously Sotheby’s said it would accept bitcoin and ether for what it had estimated would be a sale of $15 million.
“By introducing this innovative payment option to our luxury sale, we open up new possibilities and expand our reach into a whole new clientele, many of whom are from the digitally savvy generation,” said Wenhao Yu, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery in Asia.
The acceptance of cryptocurrency as a supported payment option is a first for the auction house and the transaction will be processed by Coinbase Commerce.
4. SEC Brings Insider Trading Charges Against Dark Web User ‘The Bull’
The 30-year-old Greek man allegedly sold fake insider trading tips on AlphaBay.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged a 30-year-old Greek man with securities fraud and money laundering for allegedly selling insider trading tips on various Dark Web marketplaces.
Between December 2016 and this February, the SEC says Apostolos Trovias, who used the screen name “The Bull,” claimed to be “an actual office clerk working in a trading branch” and sold stock tips to buyers through monthly and weekly subscriptions as well as one-off sales. Trovias also occasionally sold unpublished earnings reports for public companies.
Trovias used several Dark Web marketplaces to hawk his wares, including the now-defunct AlphaBay, Dream Market, Nightmare Market, and ASAP Market. Trovias also created his own website to sell subscriptions to his “tips.”
5. Virgil Griffith Should Return to Jail Pending Trial, Prosecutors Tell Judge
Virgil Griffith, the Ethereum developer charged with violating U.S. sanctions law in North Korea, has violated his bail conditions and should be returned to jail, U.S. prosecutors wrote to the judge presiding over the case.
Griffith has posed a serious flight risk since his arrest, the prosecutors wrote in their request, and his recent attempt to access one of his frozen cryptocurrency accounts containing $1 million has increased that risk to an “unacceptable level.”
Griffith was arrested in November 2019 and charged with helping North Koreans circumvent U.S. economic sanctions via cryptocurrency.
Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) allege Griffith violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by giving a speech in April at the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference on how to use cryptocurrency to get around U.S. sanctions.
Griffith’s lawyers has argued his First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution protected him and that he did not render North Korea any “services” because he received no compensation for the speech.
The government’s lawyers seek a conference on their request at the earliest possible time.
Jason Gottlieb, a partner and head of MorrisonCohen’s White Collar and Regulatory Enforcement practice group, took to Twitter to criticize the government’s request to have Griffith return to jail to await his trial, calling the prosecutors “incredibly heavy handed and punitive.”
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July 12, 2021