1. Market Wrap: Bitcoin Hits Two-Month High After Late Day Surge
Bitcoin hits its highest level since mid May and has risen more than 15% over the past week.
After spending most of the day in negative territory, cryptocurrencies made a late surge on Friday with bitcoin hitting its highest level since mid-May. Bitcoin is currently trading above $41,000 at press time and is up more than 15% over the past week. Bullish sentiment has returned after a sharp sell-off in May and two months of consolidation above the $30,000 support level.
Some analysts are optimistic and expect buyers to remain active above the 50-day moving average, which is above $34,000 now.
Bitcoin (BTC) $41239.73 +3.66%
Ether (ETH) $2439.5, +4.58%
S&P 500: 4395, -0.54%
Gold: $1813.5, -0.8%
10-year Treasury yield closed 1.236%, compared with 1.274% on Thursday.
“We have been talking about the market having lower liquidity during the summer for a few weeks now and we think this helps explain the sharp price action we saw that triggered the short squeeze of nearly $1 billion in futures liquidations,” David Grider, a strategist at FundStrat, wrote in a Thursday newsletter.
Grider stated that bitcoin’s spike could reflect a flight to safety from Chinese investors looking to “get out at any cost,” given the recent sell-off in Asian equities. “Bitcoin could have been trading as a proxy tool for investors looking for a hedge,” Grider wrote.
2. MicroStrategy CEO Likens Borrowing to Buy Bitcoin to Investing Early in Facebook
Michael Saylor defended his company’s debt-fueled, bitcoin buying spree over the last year by saying it continued to be a great investment.
The CEO of business software company MicroStrategy, which holds more than 105,000 bitcoins in its reserves, told CNBC Friday that borrowing money now to buy more bitcoin (BTC, +4.78%) was like investing in one of today’s dominant tech companies in the early days.
“If you borrow billions of dollars at 1% interest and invest it in the next Big Tech digital network that you thought was going to be the dominant Amazon or Google or Facebook of money, why wouldn’t you?” MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor said, according to CNBC. “I mean, if I could borrow $1 billion and buy Facebook a decade ago for 1% interest, I think I would’ve done quite well.”
Saylor noted that his company has $2.2 billion of debt and pays about 1.5% interest on that debt. Since last August, his company has financed its purchases of massive amounts of bitcoin using company cash flows, equity issuance, convertible debt, senior secured debt and a $1 billion shelf registration.
“Our point of view is being a leveraged, bitcoin-long company is a good thing for our shareholders,” he said.
3. NYDFS Plans to Collect Diversity Data From Banking and Crypto Institutions
All authorized virtual currency service providers will be required to submit diversity data of their boards and management to the NYDFS.
The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) is launching an initiative to promote diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the banking and crypto industries.
According to an industry letter published by NYDFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell on Thursday, under the initiative the department plans to collect and publish data from New York’s regulated banking institutions, non-depository financial institutions and virtual currency service providers that reflects the diversity of their corporate boards and management.
The issue of diversity in the crypto industry made headlines last year against the backdrop of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, when the CEO of the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, announced the exchange was taking a stance against employee-driven social activism. Within a month, 5% of its employees accepted a severance package. Later in the year, the New York Times published a lengthy report revealing racist and discriminatory treatment of African American employees in the company followed by another report that claimed the company paid women and minorities well under the tech industry average.
4. Yele Bademosi Steps Down as CEO of Bundle Africa
Bademosi will be succeeded by Binance Africa director Emmanuel Babalola
Yele Bademosi, the founder and CEO of the Nigeria-based crypto payments app Bundle Africa, is stepping down as the head of the company.
Bademosi announced his decision to step away from his current role, effective today, in a blog post on Friday. He wrote that he intends to focus on driving digital currency adoption across Africa. He will be succeeded by Binance Africa director Emmanuel Babalola, at least on an interim basis.
“My focus for the next 12 to 18 months is really building infrastructure that can allow the inflow of capital to support innovation beyond the buying and selling of crypto,” Bademosi told us.
Bundle Africa launched last year with backing from global cryptocurrency exchange Binance, which contributed $450,000 in seed funding for the creation of the payments app. According to Bademosi, the app has about 350,000 users now. Bademosi, who grew up in Nigeria, was a former director of Binance Labs before creating Bundle.
5. Did Laozi Dream of Blockchain?
The ancient Daoist philosopher has lessons for the crypto age, in the latest essay for Crypto Questioned.
Much like modern-day, hardcore bitcoiners, the Daoist classic “Daodejing,” admonishes heavy taxes, strong governments and covetous leaders.
Laozi’s book, known in English as “The Classic of the Way and Virtue,” argued for a socio-political order that most closely resembles anarchism in the Western tradition: The best government is one that barely exists, a “shadowy presence.”
But Laozi wrote at a time when humanity’s organizational technology was fairly primitive. In the 6th or 4th century B.C., there were no tools to organize a society of free individuals without some type of government, ie. one group of people telling the rest what to do.
“Governing a large country is like frying a small fish,” Laozi mused, perhaps as a concession. “You spoil it with too much poking.”
Today, we have blockchain, which might enable Laozi’s ideal system of governance to come to life.
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July 31, 2021