Bitcoin Ban in USA is Probable: Says Billionaire Ray Dalio

Hedge fund manager Ray Dalio shared his thoughts about the future of Bitcoin, stating that a crypto ban in the United States has “good probability.”

Dalio outlined how central banks are interested in controlling the supply and demand of their respective country.

They [banks] decided it was in their interest to have a monopoly on banking in a country,” adding that when other types of money, like crypto, create their own supply and demand “things could go bad.”- He said.

Banks Don’t Want Competitors

The crypto market is enjoying a great bull run thanks to the institutional push for cryptocurrencies. Investment firms, managers, and other corporations like Goldman Sachs, VanEck, and Fidelity have filed submissions to the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF). Naturally, this has led central banks to reconsider the impact of digital assets.

Ray Dalio
Ray Dalio

More central banks are adapting to the emergence of new technologies in the fintech space – some even studying the possibility of issuing CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currency). Although, that’s not the case with other institutions with a more aggressive approach towards digital assets, like India’s central bank.

As an example of strict regulation, Dalio pointed out the current situation in India. As reported by CryptoPotato, the country is moving forward with its plans to ban digital assets — halting crypto holding, trading, and even blocking exchange’s Internet Protocols (IP), according to an anonymous source from the Indian newspaper Business Standard.


India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said there was a “small window of opportunities for Bitcoin,” but it seems that this “small window” means that the government will experiment with Bitcoin while also implementing blockchain technology on companies.

Bitcoin Could be Banned the Same Way as Gold

Dalio added that governments could outlaw crypto-assets the same way they did with gold, referring to the 1934 Gold Reserve Act. This law required all monetary gold to be transferred to the U.S. Treasury, so financial institutions and citizens were not allowed to hold it. The main objective was to “protect the currency system of the United States.”

“Every country treasures its monopoly on controlling the supply and demand. They don’t want other monies to be operating or competing because things can get out of control.

[…] So I think that it would be very likely that you will have it under a certain set of circumstances outlawed the way gold was outlawed. And you’re watching that question arise in India today,” stated Dalio for Yahoo Finance.

On a final note, the hedge fund manager stated that such a ban could be difficult to face if other countries follow India’s steps.

“Now, can they do it? Now we get into the particulars. My understanding from people who are sort of in government surveillance and so on is, yes, it’s a– they can understand, they can track it. They can know who’s dealing with it.”


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Get Rich Like Beeple With This Crypto Art NFT Generator

In brief

  • Beeple Generator is an unofficial web app that lets you create surreal 3D-generated artwork for crypto art NFTs.
  • The real artist Beeple sold digital artwork for $69.3 million via Christie’s auction this month.

The crypto art non-fungible token (NFT) phenomenon has seen some wild heights so far, but no single person has benefitted more in 2021 than American artist Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann. Earlier this month, a piece of his NFT artwork called “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS” sold for $69.3 million via Christie’s auction, the highest amount ever paid for digital artwork.

Now you can try to replicate both his style and success through the Beeple Generator, an open-source web app that randomly generates 3D models inspired by Beeple’s artwork and allows you to reframe the shot before rendering a final version to save.

Have a glance and see what kind of absurdist creation you come up with. A nude Buzz Lightyear lounging on the stem of a giant banana taped to the surface of a purple planet? Donald Trump and Joe Biden leashed and being walked by a giant, bipedal dog? A Dogecoin image on a towering, Game Boy-esque monolith held up by ropes and scaffolding? It’s all possible and more.

Beeple Generator is not an official product, but rather something of a tribute/parody by artists Sam Newell and Vince McKelvie. Speaking to Input, McKelvie offered praise for Beeple but scorn for the crypto art boom.

“I’m happy for him. He is an open-sourced artist, gave a lot of his work away for free with no expectation of monetary gain. I do the same thing, and I think it’s cool that he was rewarded for that,” said McKelvie, who added, “Everything involving crypto is a scam lmaoo. It’s all a pyramid scheme, including the art platforms… especially the art platforms.”

Despite his words, McKelvie has actually already sold an NFT version of the website itself via Zora, where it sold for 69 FWB (about $635 as of this writing). The buyer, artist Chris Martz, has put up a secondary asking price of 34,000 WETH (about $68.4 million) for the site, but promised to donate any proceeds evenly between The Mint Fund and Ktown for All.

Crypto art NFTs have surged since the start of the year, with the top three NFT marketplaces reporting $342 million in trading volume in February alone—more than in all of 2020. The boom has brought in NFT offerings from creators as diverse as Taco Bell, musician Grimes, NFL player Rob Gronkowski, and TIME Magazine, plus crypto collectibles platform NBA Top Shot has driven $436 million of trading volume on its own to date (via DappRadar).

Beeple, for his part, is not a cryptocurrency enthusiast. The longtime digital artist quickly converted his Christie’s auction winnings of $53 million (that’s $69.3 million minus fees and other costs) in Ethereum to US dollars, and said he believes that this current NFT boom is a bubble that will quickly pop. “EVERYDAYS” buyer MetaKovan, who subsequently revealed himself as investor Vignesh Sundaresan, owns an NFT collection called the MetaPurse Fund that is now estimated to be worth $189 million.

Beeple has tweeted his view on the random generator that attempts to cop his style, and it’s a kind one: “ABSOLUTELY FUCKING GENIUS.”


The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.


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This 96-Year-Old Russian Futurist Painting Now Comes With Its Own NFT

In brief

  • Wladimir Baranoff-Rossiné’s 1926 painting “Abstract Composition” is being sold alongside an NFT at digital auction house Mintable.
  • Nine Baranoff-Rossiné limited-edition works are also being auctioned in purely digital form as NFTs.

Wladimir Baranoff-Rossiné (1888-1944) is possibly the most famous Russian-Ukrainian avant-garde artist you’ve never heard of— even though his sculpture is on permanent exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Now, almost 100 years after it was painted, his 1926 work “Abstract Composition” is being auctioned today, by his estate, alongside the most modern of inventions—a non-fungible token (NFT) which provides verifiable proof of ownership.

“The NFT space represents a new medium and frontier for creative expression which is only too fitting to showcase the [Baranoff-Rossine] collection in a never-seen-before way,” said Wladimir Baranoff-Rossiné, the artists’ grandson.

It’s the first time, according to the Baranoff-Rossiné estate, that these cryptographically unique tokens are being paired with such a high-profile work of traditional art—creating a bridge between the digital and physical worlds, but also a way for artists to maintain or revive their relevance, and perhaps forge a brand new community following.

Physical meets digital

Baranoff-Rossiné’s work has its first auction on a 21st-century art marketplace, Mintable, where it will be sold alongside a corresponding NFT. Unlike a traditional fine art auction, there’s no estimate put on an artwork; currently, the highest bid on the Baranoff-Rossiné painting is $13,450.

Mintable is backed by entrepreneur Mark Cuban, and built on the Zilliqa and Ethereum blockchains. The marketplace will send the insured Baranoff-Rossine painting to the winning bidder, and they will immediately receive the NFT—which serves as a blockchain-based authentication certificate.

Now far too big to ignore, NFTs have taken the art world by storm, after a digital artwork by Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann was sold for $69 million earlier this month—the third biggest sale by a living artist.

Hundreds of thousands of NFTs have now been sold, and sales of crypto art on the Ethereum blockchain now top $405 million. Artists working in traditional mediums are now eyeing hybrid digital-physical NFTs, including Damian Hirst.

The person who places the winning bid on the Baranoff-Rossiné NFT will also get a chance to meet the artist’s family, which has owned the painting since it was created.

And nine Baranoff-Rossiné limited-edition works, represented by NFTs, are also being auctioned in purely digital form.

Wladimir Baranoff-Rossiné

In recent years, the art world has not been kind to this Ukrainian-born artist, even though he is considered a founding father of Russian Avant-Garde Cubo-Futurism—a movement that rejected the past, and celebrated all that was modern about the early twentieth century.

While a 1910 Baranoff-Rossiné work, “Adam and Eve,’” was auctioned for $5.3 million at Christie’s in 2008—reportedly, the 23rd most expensive painting ever sold at auction by a Russian painter at the time—since then, around 60% of the 100 or so Baranoff-Rossiné works auctioned have failed to sell.

The artist spent the last 18 years of his life in France and perished in Auschwitz after he was denounced to the SS for forging passports for Jews. Some collectors consider that, without a home county to nurture his memory, he has almost disappeared from view.

Baranoff-Rossiné explained that his grandfather was an inventor as well as an artist and was “continuously experimenting with color, textures, and light.”

In his day, he was also known for his forward-thinking vision when it came to fusing art and music, having created something called the Optophonic Piano, which projected revolving patterns and was employed by concert halls all over Europe.

As Baranoff-Rossiné becomes a key part of this brand new chapter in the history of art, this contemporary of Wassily Kandinsky and Marc Chagall may finally regain his place in the spotlight.


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Bitcoin, Ethereum Primed to Rebound Despite Losses

Key Takeaways

  • Bitcoin has endured an 18% correction over the past two weeks and now sits on top of stable support.
  • Ethereum whales are slowly reentering the network as a number of new buy signals pop up in the market.
  • Despite the significant losses incurred recently, it seems that both cryptocurrencies are poised to rebound.

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Sidelined investors appear to be taking advantage of a recent downswing to reenter the crypto market. The sudden spike in buying pressure could help Bitcoin and Ethereum prices recover.

Bitcoin Holds Above Crucial Support

Bitcoin suffered a significant correction after rising to a new all-time high of $61,800 on Mar. 13. Its price dropped by more than 18% to hit a low of $50,300 recently. The downswing appears to have been contained by the 50-day moving average on BTC’s daily chart.

That indicator has played a vital role in Bitcoin’s price performance ever since it became came into play on Oct. 9, 2020. It has held through one of Bitcoin’s most significant retracements since that date, serving as a rebound point that drove prices to record highs.

Now that BTC is once again testing the 50-day moving average, a similar market reaction could occur. Bouncing off this support level could push the market value of Bitcoin toward a new all-time high above $70,000. But to do so, Bitcoin would have to slice through a massive supply barrier that lies ahead.

Bitcoin US dollar price chart
BTC/USD on TradingView

IntoTheBlock’s In/Out of the Money Around Price (IOMAP) model reveals that the $54,800 level represents a significant area of resistance. Over 1.20 million addresses previously purchased more than 752,000 BTC around this price point.

As such, only a daily candlestick close above this price hurdle will help confirm the optimistic outlook.

In/Out of the Money Around Price by IntoTheBlock
In/Out of the Money Around Price by IntoTheBlock

It is worth noting that further price appreciation may prove challenging from an on-chain metrics perspective.

Market participants do not seem to be attracted to the current price action, as the number of new daily addresses on the Bitcoin blockchain is plummeting. Roughly 530,000 new addresses joined the network today, representing an 11.80% decline in the past week.

This is a negative sign: network growth is often regarded as one of the most accurate predictors of price. Usually, when the network shrinks for a prolonged period, prices tend to tumble.

New Bitcoin Addresses by Galssnode
New Bitcoin Addresses by Galssnode

If Bitcoin fails to hold above the 50-day moving average, a steeper pullback is likely imminent.

The IOMAP cohorts show that the two most critical support areas underneath this cryptocurrency sit at $49,000 and $46,200. Given the amount of interest around these price points, they may have the ability to prevent BTC from going through a steeper correction.

Ethereum Screams Buy

Ethereum has also incurred losses, falling by 20% since Mar. 13 and dropping to a low of $1,540. This could represent a market bottom as multiple buy signals are popping up across the board.

For instance, the TD Sequential indicator presented a buy signal in the form of a red nine candlestick on ETH’s 12-hour chart. The bullish formation suggests that a spike in demand for Ethereum may see prices rise for one to four candlesticks. But if the upward pressure is strong enough, Ethereum might start a new upward countdown.

The buy signal will be confirmed when a green two candlestick starts trending above a preceding green one candle.

SIMETRI Research

Ethereum US dollar price chart
ETH/USD on TradingView

The Market Value to Realized Value (MVRV) index also favors bullish sentiment. This fundamental index measures the average profit or loss of addresses that acquired Ether in the past month. Each time the 30-day MVRV moves below 0%, a bullish impulse tends to follow.

The 30-day MVRV ratio is now hovering at -3.93%, indicating ETH is currently undervalued. The lower the MVRV ratio becomes, the higher the buying pressure behind Ethereum.

Ethereum MVRV by Santiment
Ethereum MVRV by Santiment

While these technical and fundamental indicators turn bullish, large investors appear to be rushing to add more Ether to their portfolios.

Santiment’s holder distribution chart shows that over the past 48 hours, buy orders behind Ethereum have been filled.

The analytics firm recorded a significant spike in the number of addresses with millions of dollars in ETH, colloquially known as “whales.” Addresses holding 10,000 to 100,000 ETH have shot up by nearly 0.60%, and roughly six new whales have joined the network.

ETH Holders Distribution by Santiment
ETH Holders Distribution by Santiment

The increasing presence of large ETH holders may seem insignificant at first glance. However, when considering that these whales hold between $16 million and $160 million in ETH, the sudden spike in buying pressure can translate into millions of dollars.

If the buying spree continues, ETH may have the ability to advance further and reach a new all-time high of $2,500.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, this author owned Bitcoin and Ethereum.

This news was brought to you by Phemex, our preferred Derivatives Partner.


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The Crypto Tax solution for Kiwi Crypto Traders

Craig MacGregor is the founder of Taxoshi, a cryptocurrency tax calculator that helps Kiwis understand their crypto tax position. Taxoshi’s algorithms automate the currency conversions and calculate your trading and mining loss and profit in accordance with the cryptocurrency guidance from the New Zealand IRD. Use the discount code “bravenewcoin” to get a 10% discount if you use Taxoshi.


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Dapper Labs: Top Shot NFTs ‘Were a Risk’ for the NBA

In brief

  • Dapper Labs’ Caty Tedman discussed working with the NBA for NBA Top Shot.
  • The NFT crypto collectibles experience has seen $436 million in trading volume since launching last year.

NBA Top Shot is a phenomenon, driving $436 million in trading volume since its launch last year (via DappRadar), with the vast majority of that coming since the start of 2021. With wide mainstream media coverage, some 800,000 users to date, and 2.8 million transactions on the Flow blockchain so far, it has helped lead the recent crypto artwork and collectibles non-fungible token (NFT) craze.

But back when the idea was first pitched to the league three years ago, who could’ve seen such rapid adoption and immense value around a digital collectibles experience? Caty Tedman, Dapper Labs’ Head of Marketing and Partnerships, spoke about their experience working with the basketball league during today’s SportsTechie State of the Industry virtual conference, in a panel moderated by Decrypt.

Tedman, who previously worked for both the NFL and NHL, praised the NBA’s foresight. In a recent column, we explored why the digitally-minded NBA is perhaps the only sports league that could make something like Top Shot work in such a big way.

However, Tedman added that discussions also came after Dapper’s seminal NFT experience CryptoKitties clogged the Ethereum blockchain back in 2017. CryptoKitties popularized the idea that NFTs, which represent digital objects such as artwork, animated gifs, videos, or collectible cards, could be valuable, but the sudden surge in demand nearly shut down Ethereum in the process. Blockchain technology wasn’t ready for NFTs at scale.

“The NBA really blazed a trail in a lot of ways, and they’re willing to take some risks. Frankly, we were a risk three years ago when we started talking to them,” said Tedman. “We were CryptoKitties; the technology had already been proven to be problematic. Ethereum melted when we launched CryptoKitties, and they still said: ‘This is interesting and we’re willing to take this call and talk about it.’ That speaks to how far out they’re thinking about it.”

Even so, Tedman believes that other sports leagues could succeed with an NFT-centric experience like NBA Top Shot, but it can’t just be a matter of dropping baseball or football players into an otherwise identical platform and assuming it will make bank. In her view, such platforms must be custom-built according to community and fan expectations.

“If you think about the NFL, they don’t always do it first—but they try to do it best. Learning from the NBA is very much in their playbook,” she said. “When we think about the kind of products that we would build with other partners, we think about customizing it for those fan bases. We can’t just slap NFL players on NBA Top Shot and make it work.”

“I think the NFL could be incredibly successful [with NFTs],” Tedman added.

As Tedman discussed with Decrypt earlier this month, Dapper Labs’ focus right now is on improving platform stability. The surge of new users and marketplace activity has led to downtime plus restrictions on both registrations and transactions, plus Dapper has had to contend with a rush of bots trying to snap up valuable packs of NBA “moments” sold as NFTs. Each moment is an individually numbered, blockchain-authenticated video clip, and some are incredibly valuable: a single LeBron James moment sold for $208,000 in February.

During the panel, Tedman affirmed that Dapper is working with the women’s WNBA league to bring them into Top Shot or a Top Shot-like experience. However, they’re still sorting through the process of what that will look like, and want to implement further stability measures before expanding the focus of the platform. Tedman even joked that she wants Dapper to finalize its ethics policy for employees participating in Top Shot before the WNBA is added.

“We’re working through some stuff with the [WNBA] right now, but it’s the 25th-anniversary season and we’re super excited about what that can look like in Top Shot or a Top Shot environment,” said Tedman. “There’s super spectacular talent on that side. I’m like: ‘Can we get our play policy worked out? Because I don’t even want to do a [WNBA] drop until we get that worked out.’”


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New Zealand retirement fund reportedly allocates 5% to Bitcoin

KiwiSaver Growth Strategy, a $350 million retirement plan operated by New Zealand Wealth Funds Management, has reportedly allocated 5% of its assets to Bitcoin (BTC), underscoring the steady stream of institutional investors entering the digital asset space.

Bitcoin’s striking similarities to gold were cited as one of the biggest reasons for entering the trade, according to James Grigor, the chief investment officer at New Zealand Funds Management.

“If you are happy to invest in gold, you can’t really discount bitcoin,” he told Stuff, a New Zealand news agency, adding that BTC will be featured in more KiwiSaver products over the next five years.

Grigor explained that his firm purchased Bitcoin for the first time in October when it was valued at $10,000. To execute the trade, New Zealand Fund Management had to change its offer documents to allow for cryptocurrency investments.

Bitcoin’s price peaked north of $61,000 earlier this month, which would give KiwiSaver a 6x return in just five months. Although Bitcoin’s price has moderated over the past week, the pension fund is sitting on hefty BTC profits. 

Grigor explained that KiwiSaver is “majority built up through traditional asset classes,” but noted that “other opportunities present themselves.” In the case of Bitcoin, it’s an asset class that could help “give people the best retirement they can get” through its aggressive compounding.

While hedge funds and family offices have been steadily embracing Bitcoin, pension funds are perhaps the slowest to adopt the digital asset class. The growth of institutional onramps could help accelerate the adoption narrative.

In the United States, Grayscale has noted that pension funds are already getting in on digital assets. “The sizes of allocations they are making are growing rapidly as well,” said Michael Sonnenshein, Grayscale’s CEO.