1. Market Wrap: Bitcoin Pushes $60K as Goldman, BlackRock Moves Signal Adoption
Bitcoin finishes the first quarter double where it started the year, versus a 5.8% gain for the S&P 500. No wonder Goldman’s clients want in.
Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $58,682 as of 20:05 UTC (4:05 p.m. ET). Climbing 0.4% over the previous 24 hours.
Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $56,934-$59,835
Bitcoin was flat to slightly lower Wednesday though closed out its best start to the year since 2013 on signs of growing adoption of cryptocurrencies by the likes of Wall Street firms Goldman Sachs and BlackRock.
“The great portfolio rebalancing is already underway,” Matt Blom, head of sales and trading with the digital-asset firm Equos, wrote in an email.
Some analysts forecast that prices could jump to $70,000 bitcoin forecast based on a “bull flag” pattern seen in price charts, but rival analysts critiqued the model, saying the flag had no pole.
2. Why Genesis, BlockFi, Ledn Are Cutting Interest Rates on Large-Scale Bitcoin Deposits
Genesis is cutting bitcoin deposit rates effective Thursday, following BlockFi’s reduction last week.
Crypto lending firms including Genesis and BlockFi are cutting the interest rates they pay on large-scale bitcoin deposits, potentially signaling an end to the glorified 4% to 6% levels that have served as a staple of the lucrative market.
Behind the cuts in the crypto interest rates, according to industry executives, is shrinking demand from big traders to borrow bitcoin (BTC) for easy profit opportunities. There is simply too much bitcoin supply in search of yield, relative to institutional demand. So the bitcoin lenders are protecting their margins by cutting deposit rates.
Starting Thursday, Genesis Global Trading, a full-service digital-currency prime broker, plans to refinance bitcoin deposit rates for institutional lenders and deposit-platform partners to a range of 2% to 3.5%, Matthew Ballensweig, lending director at Genesis.
“We’re currently showing rates closer to 3.5% to 5.5%,” Ballensweig wrote. “Inflated rates are not truthful of the underlying market.”
Last week, BlockFi, a cryptocurrency firm, lowered rates to an annual percentage yield (APY) of 2%, from 3%, for accounts holding one to 20 BTC. The firm also introduced a new tier for accounts holding 20 BTC and above, paying just 0.5%.
3. BlackRock Has Begun Trading Bitcoin Futures
BlackRock held $6.5 million in CME bitcoin futures earlier this year with an appreciation of $360,000, new SEC filings show.
Investments giant BlackRock has indeed “started to dabble” in the bitcoin (BTC, +0.08%) market, according to regulatory filings published Wednesday.
A source familiar with the matter told us the asset manager held $6.5 million in CME bitcoin futures contracts earlier this year. Those contracts had appreciated $360,457 on reporting day.
The holdings represented 0.03% of BlackRock’s massive Global Allocation Fund on reporting day Jan. 31 — “very small,” the source said. (The gains represent just 0.0014%.) BlackRock’s original 37 contracts expired on March 26.
4. Tesla Just Helped Patch a Bug in This Open-Source Bitcoin Payment Processor
The carmaker’s assistance to BTCPay Server is another sign of its serious commitment to bitcoin, beyond holding it in its treasury and accepting it as payment.
Tesla just contributed to Bitcoin open-source software.
The car maker disclosed a bug in the open-source Bitcoin payment processor and wallet BTCPay Server, and it also helped the project’s team patch the flaw.
The electric vehicle and renewables company informed BTCPay’s team of the bug after reviewing the project’s GitHub last week. It affects users who boot BTCPay from “Docker Deployment, have a configured email server and enabled registration for users in Server Settings > Policies,” according to a post on BTCPay’s GitHub that included a software patch.
5. Zora Gets In on NFT Funding Craze With $8M Raise, SEC Documents Show
It’s the latest NFT marketplace investors are betting on as the mainstream gateway to crypto.
Zora, a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), has raised nearly $8 million in equity sales, according to regulatory documents seen by CoinDesk.
The documents show Zora Labs recently completed the funding round with five investors participating. Their identities were not immediately known and it was unclear at press time whether the raise includes last October’s $2 million seed round.
Co-creator Jacob Horne, a Coinbase ex-pat, did not return calls. Previous seed investors including streetwear designer Jeff Staple and Coinbase Ventures did not immediately return requests for comment.
Regardless of size, the raise demonstrates the accelerating flood of venture capital into the booming NFT ecosystem.
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April 1, 2021