Crypto Daily News from ZBG Exchange
1. Market Wrap: Bitcoin Slips to $52K; All Eyes on Friday’s $6B Options Expiry
“This is a time to make sure that you have some dry powder and are not overextended,” said one trader.
Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $52,184.38 as of 20:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Slipping 4.77% over the previous 24 hours.
Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $50,458.10-$54,762.75
BTC trades between its 10-hour and 50-hour averages on the hourly chart, a sideways signal for market technicians.
Bitcoin traders urged caution as prices for the cryptocurrency slid toward $50,000 for the first time in two weeks while the options market braced for volatility ahead of a record $6 billion contract expiration Friday.
“This is a time to make sure that you have some dry powder and are not overextended,” Chad Steinglass, head of trading at CrossTower, said in an emailed comment. “It seems as though buyers are stepping back, and instead of buying the dip are simply waiting on the sidelines to see what happens.”
2. Want to Buy a Tesla With Bitcoin? It Ain’t Easy
The difficulty underscores how even in a roaring bull market, crypto still struggles to gain widespread acceptance as a payment method.
Tesla is not making it attractive to pay for a model S, 3, X or Y in BTC.
This week, CEO Elon Musk announced via Twitter (where else?) that his upstart automaker had begun letting interested buyers pay for their electric vehicles in bitcoin. It’s part of a corporate push to acquire as much of the original cryptocurrency as possible — or at least that’s how it seems — as the manufacturer has no plans to convert the cryptocurrency to fiat.
But the idiosyncrasies of crypto make it difficult to take advantage of this option. For example, according to the company’s Bitcoin Payment Terms and Conditions, bitcoin transactions must be completed within a certain window of time, or else the price in BTC expires and the buyer must ask for a new one.
“You have about 30 minutes to make a payment,” a Tesla representative for the northeast region said Thursday.
While that condition is not surprising given bitcoin’s infamous volatility — depending which direction the exchange rate moves, either the car buyer or Tesla could get hosed by a wide swing — it underscores how even in a roaring bull market, crypto still struggles to gain widespread acceptance as a payment method.
The fault lies with the native complexities of the Bitcoin system, the U.S. tax policy around cryptocurrencies and, in this case, a paucity of information available from Tesla’s customer support team. At least, if you’re a member of the press looking for answers.
3. Caitlin Long’s Avanti Raises $37M Ahead of Crypto Bank Launch
The digital bank will put the extra cash toward meeting Wyoming regulators’ pre-launch capital requirements.
Crypto bank Avanti raised $37 million from Series A investors as it prepares to take its digital banking operations online.
In a press release, parent company Avanti Financial Group said Coinbase Ventures, Binance.US, Morgan Creek Digital, Slow Ventures and the University of Wyoming Foundation, among others, participated in the funding round. Avanti has raised $44 million total, the group said.
Avanti said it will put the funds toward meeting regulatory capital requirements and further invest in its engineering team. It gained special-purpose depository institution (SPDI) status in October, joining fellow Wyoming-based crypto firm Kraken as one of the few digital companies with the banking charter.
4. IBM Ventures Further Into Crypto Custody With METACO, Deutsche Bank Tie-Ups
Big Blue wading deeper into these waters speaks to a broader change in the posture of corporates toward public blockchains.
IBM, known for pitching banks and blue-chip firms on private blockchain technology (the sector’s equivalent of alcohol-free beer) is taking decisive steps toward working with the hard stuff.
The 110-year-old computing giant is licensing its software to METACO, a Switzerland-based firm that specializes in custodying digital assets for financial institutions, the companies said Thursday. This is the business of safeguarding the cryptographic private keys that control a cryptocurrency wallet, the 21st-century version of protecting a vault full of gold bars.
Separately, Deutsche Bank, Europe’s eighth-largest bank, is enlisting IBM’s help to build its planned crypto custody and trading services offering, two people familiar with the arrangement told us. The parties are close but no deal is signed yet.
5. Microsoft’s ION Digital ID Network Is Live on Bitcoin
Imagine never having to use a password or a username ever again. Networks like ION could make this a reality.
A radical new framework for how to authenticate online identities just went live on the Bitcoin network.
Microsoft’s Decentralized Identity team has launched the ION Decentralized Identifier (DID) network on the Bitcoin mainnet. This network is a layer 2 technology similar to Lightning except that instead of focusing on payments it uses Bitcoin’s blockchain to create digital IDs for authenticating identity online.
An ID network like ION could be the key to unlocking a web where users no longer have to fumble with passwords, emails and cell phones for verification.
“We are excited to share that [version 1] of ION is complete and has been launched on Bitcoin mainnet. We have deployed an ION node to our production infrastructure and are working together with other companies and organizations to do so as well. ION does not rely on centralized entities, trusted validators or special protocol tokens. ION answers to no one but you, the community,” Microsoft’s Daniel Bucnher writes in a blog post.
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March 26, 2021