Bitcoin’s Recent Price Action Could Cause Concern About This Popular BTC Thesis, According to Blockchain Researcher

A blockchain researcher is issuing a warning to Bitcoin investors who believe that BTC is a solid hedge against inflation.

Lucas Outumuro, head of research at the blockchain intelligence firm IntoTheBlock, is questioning the thesis that BTC is a hedge against inflation due to its finite supply of 21 million BTC.

In a recent newsletter, he points out that Bitcoin’s latest price stumbles have coincided with skyrocketing inflation numbers.

“As signs of increasing inflation became apparent, many recognized investors such as Paul Tudor Jones saw Bitcoin as a hedge.

Bitcoin’s recent lackluster performance may be beginning to diminish institutional investors’ hopes of it acting as an inflation hedge.”

Outumuro also notes on Twitter that Bitcoin’s price initially climbed but then dropped after the Consumer Price Index (CPI) released high inflation numbers on Friday morning.

“Bitcoin is following the S&P 500 step by step today

After the release of the high CPI inflation numbers at 8:30 am, BTC climbed 2% but proceeded to drop as markets opened

Not looking great for the inflation hedge thesis…”

Source: Lucas Outumuro/Twitter

Bitcoin is trading at $48,172.97 at time of writing and is down more than 9% from where it was priced a week ago.

But not all of BTC’s metrics look bearish, according to Outumuro. Bitcoin’s weekly outflow off exchanges reached a five-month high, with nearly $3 billion in BTC exiting centralized exchanges in the past week, according to the researcher. Exchange outflows can be a bullish indicator as the metric suggests that BTC investors intend to hold on to their crypto assets.

Read Outumuro’s full newsletter here.

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Binance and Indonesian Billionaires to Launch a Crypto Venture in The Country (Report)

The world’s largest digital asset exchange – Binance – reportedly plans to work with Indonesia’s richest family – the Hartono brothers – to establish a cryptocurrency venture on the island. The endeavor would enable the company to enter into a developing country with a population of around 273 million, many of whom lack access to financial services.

Binance Eyeing Indonesia

The leading digital asset trading venue has faced regulatory backlash from many watchdogs in recent months. As a result, Changpeng Zhao – CEO of Binance – asserted that his company will change its structure and will no longer act as a decentralized platform with “no headquarters and no borders.”

In the following days after his announcement, the company was linked to several nations where it could set up a global base, including Ireland and France. Interestingly, CZ revealed that his firm would even apply for a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) license in the United Kingdom.

According to a December 10 Bloomberg report, the exchange is now looking to expand its global reach by establishing a presence in Indonesia. People familiar with the matter have revealed that Binance is in talks with PT Bank Central Asia, controlled by the siblings Budi and Michael Hartono (Indonesia’s richest family) and PT Telkom Indonesia (the nation’s largest telecommunication provider).

The company aims to create a cryptocurrency venture in Indonesia as such a partnership will encourage broader digital asset adoption in the country.


Despite its vast number of inhabitants, many are unbanked and have little access to other basic forms of finance. With that said, Binance’s potential settlement could provide options for those in need, while the most influential businessmen in Indonesia could get involved in the cryptocurrency industry.

Discussions and terms of the deal are still in motion. A Binance spokesperson declined to give a direct comment on the initiative:

“We are supportive of the sustainable growth of the blockchain industry globally, and we are constantly looking at business opportunities in every country,” he said.

In turn, Telkom Indonesia has been considering jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon by partnering with top players in the industry through its venture-capital arm MDI Ventures. Ahmad Reza – a top exec at the firm – confirmed the rumors.

Indonesia’s Crypto Environment

The Indonesian government does not line up as a crypto-friendly authority. Moreover, its central bank is willing to issue a digital form of its national currency as a way to “fight” private cryptocurrencies. According to the Bank Indonesia, this financial product will be more “credible” than bitcoin or the altcoins.

The institution further explained that a CBDC will be monitored by the authorities, while private digital assets could harm the nation’s financial network since there is no control over them.

The National Ulema Council (MUI) – Indonesia’s top Islamic scholar’s body – is also against the asset class. Not long ago, it labeled all operations in the industry as “haram,” or forbidden.


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Vitalik Buterin outlines path to ETH 2.0, Visa launches crypto advisory service, Biden’s anti-crypto nominee for Comptroller withdraws: Hodler’s Digest, Dec. 5-11

Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Vitalik Buterin outlines ‘endgame’ roadmap for ETH 2.0

With the long-awaited transition to Eth2 coming closer to fruition, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin outlined an “Endgame” roadmap on Monday to finally achieve the landmark upgrade. 

While Buterin did not address the centralization issue with block production as the network works towards scalability, the 27-year-old essentially solved everything else to do with block validation.  

He suggested the idea of implementing “a second tier of staking, with low resource requirements” to carry out distributed block validation; introducing “either fraud proofs or ZK-SNARKS to let users directly (and cheaply) check block validity;” and introducing “data availability sampling to let users check block availability [and] add secondary transaction channels to prevent censorship.”

“We get a chain where block production is still centralized, but block validation is trustless and highly decentralized, and specialized anti-censorship magic prevents the block producers from censoring,” Buterin explained.

Coinbase adds ‘ETH2’ despite Ethereum upgrade postponing difficulty bomb

Speaking of Eth2, major crypto exchange Coinbase added a mirror version of Ethereum’s native token, ETH, labeled Eth2, to its crypto price index on Tuesday. The new listing had no trading activity but was priced the same as ETH. 

Despite the rollout of Eth2 not being expected until at least mid-2022, Coinbase listed a token bearing its name just days ahead of the smart contract network’s “Arrow Glacier” upgrade that will give devs more time to work on the groundwork for Ethereum 2.0. 

On Thursday, Coinbase also announced that it will be expanding the platform’s support to crypto hardware wallets starting with Ledger’s models. The rollout will be phased in gradually from the start of 2022.

Major Indian bank breaks ‘banking ban’ with WazirX crypto exchange deal

According to reports from local media outlets, India’s leading private bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, became the first of its kind to partner with a crypto firm after it penned a deal with top crypto exchange WazirX. 

The deal, which enables traders to liquidate their digital assets via Kotak’s banking services, marks a major milestone for a local crypto industry that has been bogged down by countless issues presented by the banking sector and the Indian government. 

“WazirX has opened an account with Kotak which can be used to receive and pay money to investors trading on the exchange. The account is yet to become operational. Paperwork, KYC, and some testing are on,” said one of the people familiar with the matter.

Biden’s controversial anti-crypto Comptroller nominee withdraws

President Joe Biden’s crypto skeptic nominee for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Saule Omarova, withdrew her candidacy from consideration on Tuesday. 

Omarova is a divisive figure who has essentially called for the banking and crypto sectors to be gutted on many occasions, often sparking widespread pushback from Republican politicians who hold opposing views and have tacitly accused the professor of harboring Marxist sympathies.

Commenting on her withdrawal from the candidacy, Biden said that “Saule was subjected to inappropriate personal attacks that were far beyond the pale.”

Visa announces new crypto consulting service for merchants and banks

On Wednesday, global payments giant Visa unveiled a new consulting and advisory service for crypto-curious firms, financial institutions and retailers that are looking to take the plunge into the sector. 

Visa said that its crypto-focused advisory services can advise on anything from crypto features and services to NFTs and CBDC-focused digital wallets. 

According to Visa, the company’s interest in crypto is driven by the need to remain competitive and meet consumer demand. Citing a recent in-house study, Visa said that “40% of crypto owners surveyed report they would be likely or very likely to switch their primary bank to one that offers crypto-related products in the next 12 months.”

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $47,524, Ether (ETH) at $3,956 and XRP at $0.81. The total market cap is at $2.20 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap. 

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are NEAR Protocol (NEAR) at 6.44%, Huobi Token (HT) at 5.11% and BitTorrent (BTT) at 4.61%.  

The top three altcoin losers of the week are THETA (THETA) at -32.53%, Cosmos (ATOM) at -32.04% and Qtum (QTUM) at -31.65%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“If DeFi were to become widespread, its vulnerabilities might undermine financial stability. These can be severe because of high leverage, liquidity mismatches, built-in interconnectedness and the lack of shock absorbers such as banks.”

Bank of International Settlement

“I do think that once regulation comes on board, we’ll see a whole new class of investors into this space. And I think that’s what we’ve seen in other jurisdictions, like over in Singapore.”

Adrian Przelozny, CEO of Independent Reserve

“$100,000 by the end of the year is a difficult prediction to make. […] I think $100,000 could be in target in 2022 but this year, I’m not so sure.”

Matt Hougan, chief investment officer at Bitwise

“Because we have access to sensitive information and upcoming policy, I do not believe members of Congress should hold/trade individual stock and I choose not to hold any so I can remain impartial about policy making. […] I also extend that to digital assets/currencies (especially bc I sit on Financial Services Committee).”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee member

“We don’t want banks to be directly involved in digital asset trading because banks are [responsible] for customer deposits and the public and there is risk.”

Chayawadee Chai-Anant, senior director at the Bank of Thailand

“In a world where money becomes a core feature of the internet, the U.S. should aggressively promote the use of the dollar as the primary currency of the internet, and leverage that as a source of national economic competitiveness, security and a major upgrade needed for more efficient and inclusive financial services.”

Jeremy Allaire, CEO and co-founder of Circle

“We don’t need knee-jerk reactions by lawmakers to regulate out of fear of the unknown rather than seeking to understand.”

Patrick McHenry, U.S. representative

“The point of crypto is to have true decentralization, and the projects that succeed will be the projects that achieve that.”

Brian Brooks, CEO of Bitfury

Prediction of the Week 

Bitcoin could ‘drive people nuts’ for months with $53K BTC price ceiling — analyst

Over the past couple of weeks, Bitcoin has suffered bouts of downward price action, reaching a low of $41,614 on Dec. 3, according to Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin price index. Since then, BTC’s price has traveled in a range between $46,000 and $52,000. 

On Monday, crypto trader and podcaster Scott Melker, also known as The Wolf Of All Streets on Twitter, gave his thoughts on the Bitcoin market. 

Crypto’s top asset could potentially be rangebound between $42,000 and $53,000 for multiple months, Melker tweeted. On a broad level, the trader noted $53,000 as a hurdle to break above in order to continue on an upward price route for BTC. 

“Everything between the two numbers now is ranging chop that will drive traders into a panic,” Melker added. “People will be extremely bullish at 53K and bearish at 42K if either is reached.”

FUD of the Week 

Bitmart hacked for $200M following Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain exploit

Crypto exchange BitMart was the victim of a hot wallet hack that resulted in the loss of almost $200 million worth of digital assets. 

Blockchain security and data analytics firm PeckShield first highlighted the hack on Sunday after it identified two nefarious transfers worth $100 million on Ethereum and $96 million on the Binance Smart Chain. According to the company, the hack was a straightforward case of transfer out, swap, and wash. 

The hackers made away with a mix of over 20 tokens, including Binance Coin, Safemoon, BSC-USD and BNBPay, along with large amounts of meme coins such as BabyDoge and Floki Inu.

India to set maximum penalty for violating crypto norms at fine of $2.7 million or 1.5 years in jail

According to reports from Bloomberg’s Indian unit, BloombergQuint, the local government may soon outline penalties for non-compliance to its upcoming crypto policies. The publication noted that the punishments could range from a maximum fine of 20 crore rupees ($2.7 million) or 1.5 years in jail.

While the regulatory landscape is currently opaque in India, it has been previously reported that Indian investors may soon have to shift their crypto holdings to exchanges that are regulated under the oversight of the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Pundits are expecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give crypto investors a deadline to comply with the new rules and declare their assets before cracking down on any misbehavior.

Gamer-hate: Ubisoft’s new NFT project vid gets 96% dislike ratio

Gaming giant Ubisoft saw major pushback this week from the gaming community after it announced its new NFT project dubbed “Quartz” on Wednesday. It appears that fans of the company were peeved at what they perceived as a quick cash grab, with thousands of people threatening to boycott the company. 

The Assassin’s Creed developer’s YouTube video introducing the new project and roll-out of its usable in-game NFTs named “Digitz” received a 96% dislike video ratio. In fact, comments slamming the project received more likes than the video itself, with user “OperatorDrewski” commenting that: 

“To me, this is a blatant signal that you’re just milking the Ghost Recon franchise for literally every cent while putting in minimal effort into the actual game itself. Not playing a GR game in the future if there’s this level of degeneracy in the team.”

Best Cointelegraph Features

Browser cookies are not consent: The new path to privacy after EU data regulation fail

Nobody loves cookies: Where the European Union General Data Protection Regulation falls short and what can be done.

Crypto City: Guide to Austin

“Because the crypto space is largely a challenge to central banks, at least in a lot of people’s minds, then anything that happens in banking and finance is interesting to us.”

What Facebook’s rebranding tells us about Big Tech’s ‘Game of Platforms’

Despite being built on the idea of connectivity, the Metaverse could instead break the internet apart. The solution lies in how the business is done.


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From NFTs to CBDCs, crypto must tackle compliance before regulators do

Each year that we get a little further away from Satoshi Nakomoto’s whitepaper, crypto becomes more popular than ever, breaking more barriers — not just in sheer enthusiasm, but in mainstream acceptance. From nonfungible tokens (NFTs) to the Metaverse, 2021 was the year of crypto, even following a decade where just about every other year could make the same claim.

Despite that peak enthusiasm and excitement though, we shouldn’t be blind to the fact that there are still fundamental issues that must be solved before crypto truly becomes the dominant “coin of the realm” across the globe, along with the backbone of the next industrial revolution. Prime among these issues are Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Know Your Customer (KYC) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) protections that ensure crypto remains a responsible and stable payments option without overregulation.

We are already seeing these kinds of issues with the nations that are the most enthusiastic about adopting crypto, whether through CBDCs or other means. El Salvador has gotten headlines for making Bitcoin (BTC) legal tender and building a Bitcoin-funded, zero-tax city under a volcano, but the country has had its issues in the realm of AML/KYC/CFT, such as when identity thieves compromised the Chivo Bitcoin Wallet, the mechanism through which El Salvador gave its citizens a “Bitcoin stimulus.”

It is not just public entities, either. The NFT boom in 2021 has created a whole new need and emphasis for KYC/AML in a space dominated by gaudy figures. OpenSea has no KYC gathering or AML/CFT screening in place, meaning it opens itself up to being compromised.

To prevent crime and fraud from killing crypto in its crib, or at least in its primary school, the industry has to start taking proactive steps to self-police and self-regulate immediately. If they don’t, the task will be left to the same kind of clueless government officials who brought you the U.S. infrastructure bill’s cryptocurrency provisions.

Related: DeFi: Who, what and how to regulate in a borderless, code-governed world?

Emergent compliance-as-a-service

While NFT platforms are starting to integrate AML, KYC and CFT, the standard is by no means consistent. “Old guard” auctioneers like Christie’s and Sotheby’s refuse to either enumerate those standards or describe them in any detail. OpenSea, perhaps the prime driver of the NFT boom, has thus far resisted building any sort of AML/KYC into the platform itself.

As the popularity of NFTs continues to soar, just like popular computer operating systems, these platforms will attract more hackers and identity thieves. Mainstream news outlets loudly proclaim that “the NFT scammers are already here.” If 2021 was the year when NFTs ascended to the best use case we’ve had so far for crypto, then 2022 will be a year when hackers and scammers will try to fully exploit that popularity.

With the reticence of the NFT platforms, themselves, to address this problem, it is up to other technology platforms to pick up the slack. These platforms can help NFT platforms develop tighter protocols and more detailed AML and KYC requirements before governments come down with backward and draconian regulations. Developing “Compliance-as-a-Service” as an internal industry solution will not only prevent fraud but drive even greater enthusiasm and engagement by individuals, financial entities and governments that still see crypto as the irresponsible corner of the financial universe.

Companies should make up the growing sector of compliance-as-a-service, but coping with the growing threat of NFT and blockchain scammers won’t be enough, especially when whole countries are looking to blockchain as national solutions.

Clear AML/KYC standards equal true mainstream viability for crypto

Of course, some in the crypto community would rather not encourage or even acknowledge regulation of any kind, but that tack and philosophy is simply neither realistic nor reasonable. The problems with El Salvador’s Chivo wallet demonstrated how quickly identity and security problems can trip up even the best-intentioned crypto rollouts. Nations continue to seek out the best KYC practices as part of expanded crypto operations. Sri Lanka has done a KYC proof-of-concept. HSBC has worked with Dubai on its KYC.

Meanwhile, in the United States this year, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued its first AML/CFT priorities this summer. These priorities include corruption, cybercrime, terrorist support, fraud, transnational crime, drug and human trafficking, and financing weapons of mass destruction.

While different nations are at different steps in the AML/KYC/CFT process, some clear guidelines are emerging. With 195 different countries, yes, there may be 195 different standards for regulating crypto. However, after several years of guidelines, regulations and penalties, the industry has more than enough parameters to start tailoring AML/KYC/CFT solutions and oversight across different jurisdictions. This is just one more reason the industry, itself, needs to be proactive, developing a comprehensive, easily comprehensible and internationally recognized standard that is easy to adopt throughout as many jurisdictions as possible.

Related: The United States updates its crypto AML/CFT laws

What the industry cannot do is allow blockchain to become riddled by the same types of “Wild West” traps which characterizes the internet. Yes, the popularity of the internet is indisputable, but that has come with the sacrifice of not just privacy, but the primacy of truth and healthy communication among people. That means building a new model of identity, based on the blockchain’s trustless system, but also a model flexible enough to meet the reasonable standards of AML, KYC, and CFT.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Jonathan Camilleri Bowman is the CEO of Sekuritance, a multi-dimensional RegTech ecosystem delivering compliance, regulatory transaction monitoring and identity management to individuals and business corporations.