Macro Analyst Lyn Alden Says Bitcoin Unlikely To Go Below $20,000, but Warns BTC Could Crash if This Happens

Macro investment strategist Lyn Alden says she would be surprised to see Bitcoin (BTC) drop below $20,000.

In a new interview, Alden says that Bitcoin is less likely to have extreme price swings now that the market is maturing.

“I’d be somewhat surprised to see a sub 20,000 print. I don’t rule it out as an option though. One way I would describe it is that Bitcoin had these 85% drops in the past, but also had massive blow-off tops in the past. 

Most of the indicators showed they didn’t reach the same level of exuberance in this cycle, so basically you’re measuring it from a less extreme topping point. It had more of that rolling top than a huge spike. Basically the market, I think, is more mature so I would be somewhat surprised to see a 20,000 print.”

Despite her optimism, Alden says that a Bitcoin crash is still possible under certain circumstances.

The environment that I can imagine getting there, if I would have put on my bear hat for a second, it would basically be that the Fed’s tightening or at least talking about tightening…

I think if you have a liquidity event, if you have credit markets freeze, if you have some sort of major events like that, I could see a very illiquid Bitcoin spike down.

I think barring that, I’d be somewhat surprised to see a sub $20,000 sustained level.”

Alden’s comment comes after Bitcoin dropped below $34,000, or half of its all-time high, this week. At time of writing, the benchmark cryptocurrency is trading at  $37,053.32.

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Gaming Altcoin the Sandbox (SAND) Announces $50,000,000 Accelerator Fund for Metaverse Start-Ups

Popular gaming crypto The Sandbox (SAND) is partnering up with a global venture company to open an acceleration fund for developing metaverse start-ups.

According to a news release, SAND has committed $50 million to Hong Kong-based accelerator company Brinc for The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program, which will invest $250,000 in 100 new metaverse altcoins.

The program will fund 30 to 40 start-up companies per year over the next three years. Start-ups that receive the acceleration money will be encouraged to build on SAND’s ecosystem, and top performers will be further granted funds in the form of $150,000 in SAND tokens.

As stated by The Sandbox co-founder Sebastien Borget,

“The Sandbox’s Metaverse Accelerator is a major expansion of our ongoing commitment to support the next generation of metaverse entrepreneurs.

With imagination, ideas and hard work, start-ups from all over the world can realize their visions and drive societal impact by creating more opportunities for everyone.

We’re especially eager to support underrepresented founders in their ambitions as they explore the infinite possibilities offered into The Sandbox ecosystem.”

Other prominent partnerships formed with SAND include a partnership with famous rapper Snoop Dogg, who purchased his own virtual plot of land in the ecosystem with plans to offer fans VIP access to concerts. The Sandbox has also partnered with video gaming pioneer Atari, which plans to introduce intellectual property from its vast portfolio onto The Sandbox metaverse.

The Sandbox is exchanging hands at $3.46 at time of writing, a 6.5% increase on the day.

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Acala Hints Core Products Rollout Following Official Launch on Polkadot

Following its successful launch on the Polkadot Mainnet this week, Acala, an Ethereum-compatible DeFi protocol for scaling dApps, has revealed what lies ahead for the project.

Acala’s Core Products Coming Soon

The Acala team noted in an official press release seen by CryptoPotato that it intends to begin launching all of its core products soon. These include decentralized exchange (DEX) Acala Swap, upgraded Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM+), decentralized stablecoin, aUSD, and LDOT.

The project’s developers added that Acala has a few new product releases scheduled to go live following its official launch on Mainnet. One of them is a critical bridging infrastructure aiming to scale the multi-chain ecosystem beyond the Polkadot network and Acala staking.

According to the announcement, several ecosystem teams are getting ready to launch on Acala. These include Tapio and Tiaga, which will bring stable swaps for uniform assets like DOT/LDOT, aUSD/USDT, and interBTC/RenBTC, a new native lending and borrowing solution and over 15 other teams.

Acala Goes Live on Polkadot

Earlier this week, Acala announced that it had launched its DeFi-focused network on the Polkadot mainnet, with its native cryptocurrency, ACA, now available for trading.


Recall that Acala won Polkadot’s first parachain auction with its Karura parachain. Thus, it secured a spot for itself on the Polkadot ecosystem with over $1.3 billion worth of DOT contributed by more than 81,000 eager supporters from across the globe.

According to Acala’s roadmap, the full launch of its network will be executed in different phases, with the first phase enabling users to send and receive ACA and participate in the project’s governance.

Currently, Acala has launched over $600 million in total value locked (TVL) in Liquid Crowdload DOT (LCDOT) tokens and has more than 200,000 unique token holders globally.

Acala has also received backing from some notable industry investors, including Coinbase Ventures, Arrington, Polychain, Pantera, DCG, ParaFi, CoinFund, Goldentree, TQ, and many more.

Commenting on the launch yesterday, Acala’s Chief Growth Officer, Dan Reecer, said:

“Acala is building toward a HyFi vision or Hybrid Finance, that is bridging the worlds of Web2 fintech and neobanks with DeFi to bring improved yield and financial outcomes to non-crypto users without them having to touch any complex crypto tech like MetaMask or private keys.”

Just a few weeks ago, Polkadot’s second parachain auction winner, Moonbeam, launched on the Polkadot blockchain, making it the first fully operational parachain on the network.


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Axie Infinity’s Blockchain Launches Governance Token

Key Takeaways

  • The RON token launched today.
  • RON is the governance token for the Ronin blockchain, upon which Axie Infinity, the most popular Web3 game, is built.
  • The Ronin chain has had a lot of activity in the past year and Sky Mavis hinted that it

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The governance token for Sky Mavis’ Ronin blockchain, RON, has been launched. The founder of the blockchain game Axie Infinity created the Ronin blockchain to scale the game’s success. 

Decentralizing Axie Infinity

 Axie Infinity‘s Ronin chain now has a governance token, a key step in decentralizing the network. 

Today, the Sky Mavis team behind Axie Infinity launched the RON token, the governance token for the Ronin blockchain. This is an important announcement for the Axie Infinity ecosystem because the Ronin blockchain, an Ethereum sidechain, has proven crucial for Axie Infinity’s success over the past year. 

The high fees and slow transaction times on Ethereum’s Layer 1 caused issues for Axie Infinity users, creating scaling struggles for years. To address this, Sky Mavis built its own chain—Ronin. 

The RON token will have several uses. Ronin block validators will hold and stake RON and be rewarded with it. Moreover, gas fees will be paid in RON, and accounts will now be granted more than 100 transactions per day. Owners of NFTs in the Axie ecosystem will also receive a certain number of free transactions. On Katana, Ronin’s decentralized exchange, a RON/ETH liquidity pool will open tomorrow. 

Quite a lot of activity has occurred on the Ronin blockchain. More than 300,000 daily active addresses interact with the network via the Ronin wallet, hitting a peak of over one million last November. Also in November, Ronin processed 6.6 times more transactions than Ethereum. 15% of all NFT volume last year occurred on the Ronin network, per Nansen. 

An ecosystem fund of RON tokens has also been created, which will go towards bringing new developers and gaming teams to the network. 

While Ronin, for now, is centered around Axie Infinity, the Sky Mavis team appears committed to the chain one day becoming the chain of choice for other game developers, writing in the announcement that “Ronin has a unique opportunity to support this nascent industry.” 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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Draft Bill Would Give US Treasury Power to Ban Crypto Exchanges

In brief

  • The U.S. Treasury already has wide power to prohibit the “transmittal of funds” to combat international money laundering.
  • But there are some restrictions.
  • A draft bill headed to the House floor would remove those limitations.

It’s been a while since U.S. lawmakers tucked a provision that could upend the crypto industry into a seemingly unrelated bill that was all but assured to pass.

The draft version of the America COMPETES Act of 2022, which advanced out of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology this week, funds a litany of measures to maintain U.S. economic superiority over China. It touches on improving medical supply chains, strengthening cybersecurity, and promoting STEM research, among many other issues.

It also would give the Treasury Secretary the power to all but shut down cryptocurrency exchanges, according to crypto-centric think tank Coin Center.

As described by Executive Director Jerry Brito and Research Director Peter Van Valkenburgh, the bill as written “empowers the Secretary to prohibit any (or indeed all) cryptocurrency transactions at financial intermediaries without any process, rulemaking, or limitation on the duration of the prohibition.”

The bill’s not just aimed at crypto, however. The provision applies to all regulated financial institutions in the U.S. and is designed to counter international money laundering.

To be clear, the Treasury Secretary, who is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, already has the power to prohibit the “transmittal of funds” if he or she finds it to be a money laundering concern connected to an account, individual or organization outside the U.S. But there are caveats. The public has to be notified and be given a chance to comment beforehand, and any prohibition can’t last longer than 120 days.

The proposed bill would do away with those requirements.

“This amendment offers the Secretary an entirely unchecked power to secretly ban or condition any transaction at any domestic financial institution,” write Brito and Van Valkenburgh. “It is a dangerously authoritarian approach to solving money laundering concerns.”

Coin Center is particularly concerned about a potential chilling effect on cryptocurrencies because it sees exchanges as easy targets due to their global nature. Users come from across the globe; a transaction that begins in Des Moines might get validated by a miner in Tehran.

Rohan Grey, an assistant professor at Willamette University who drew the ire of many crypto proponents by drafting the STABLE Act in 2020, told Decrypt he shares Coin Center’s misgivings. “There is a big difference between being concerned about systemic risk of monetary/financial instability and giving a blank check to dragnet-style surveillance and censorship,” he said.

The draft bill comes on the heels of a report this week from blockchain data firm Chainalysis demonstrating that criminals laundered at least $8.6 billion in crypto in 2021 from darknet markets and ransomware attacks, a 30% increase from the previous year thanks to a boom in crypto usage and pricing. Most of it went through centralized exchanges.

Though the U.S. dollar remains a much more common tool for money laundering than Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, policymakers continue to point out BTC’s potential use in crime. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen commented during her confirmation hearing last year that digital assets’ role in illicit finance was “of particular concern” and that she wanted to examine ways to ensure that “money laundering doesn’t occur through those channels.”

Whereas Yellen’s response was measured, other politicians’ views have been more persistently negative, with regard to not just crime but also environmental impact. In Coin Center’s eyes, the bill “is an attempt (deliberate or not) to use the moral panic surrounding criminal usage of cryptocurrencies (as evidenced by the provision’s findings) to strip our surveillance laws of all public processes.”

The crypto industry remains on high alert to such attempts. Last year, a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill tucked in a provision that changed the definition of “brokers” to include not only cryptocurrency exchanges but also—if applied broadly—miners, stakers, wallet providers, and software developers. This technically requires such groups to file 1099 forms with personal data from their “customers,” a proposition Coin Center and others have called unworkable due to decentralization.

Says Coin Center: “Like the unnecessary redefinition of ‘broker’ in the infrastructure bill last summer, the parts of this language aimed at cryptocurrencies are entirely unnecessary while the removal of procedures and the creation of unlimited administrative discretion is deeply consequential.”


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Bears target new lows for Ethereum as Friday’s $1.1B options expiry approaches

Ether (ETH) price tumbled below the $3,000 support on Jan. 21 as regulatory uncertainty continues to weigh down the sector and rumors that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing DeFi’s high-yield crypto lending products continue to circulate. 

On Jan. 27, the Russian Finance Ministry submitted a crypto regulatory framework for review. The proposal suggests that crypto operations are carried out within the traditional banking infrastructure and that mechanisms to identify traders’ personal data are included.

Further bearish news came as Ryan Korner, a top special agent from the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation’s Los Angeles field office, issued negative remarks during a virtual event hosted by the USC Gould School of Law. According to Ryan, crypto is the “future,” but ”fraud and manipulation are still rampant in the space.”

Ether bulls are trying to determine whether the Jan. 24 drop to $2,140 was the final bottom for the current downtrend. This 47.5% correction in 30 days caused an aggregate of $1.58 billion in long futures contracts to be liquidated.

Ether/USD price at FTX. Source: TradingView

Notice how Ether’s price has been downtrending for 75 days, respecting a channel that currently holds $2,200 as a support level. On the other hand, a 19% price increase from the current $2,500 to the $3,000 resistance would not necessarily mean a trend reversal.

Curiously, call (buy) option instruments vastly dominate Friday’s $1.1 billion expiry, but bears are better positioned after Ether price stabilized below $3,000.

Ether options aggregate open interest for Jan. 28 expiry. Source: CoinGlass

A broader view using the call-to-put ratio shows an 82% advantage to Ether bulls because the $680 million call (buy) instruments have a larger open interest versus the $410 million put (sell) options. However, the 1.82 call-to-put indicator is deceptive because the price drop below $3,000 caused most bullish bets to become worthless.

For example, if Ether’s price remains below $2,500 at 8:00 am UTC on Jan. 28, only $57 million worth of those call (buy) options will be available. That effect happens because there is no value in the right to buy Ether at $2,500 if it is trading below this level.

Data suggests bulls are set for a significative loss

Below are the three most likely scenarios based on the current price action. The number of options contracts available on Friday for bulls (call) and bear (put) instruments vary depending on the expiry price. The imbalance favoring each side constitutes the theoretical profit:

  • Between $2,200 and $2,400: 3,200 calls vs. 121,500 puts. The net result is $270 million favoring the put (bear) instruments.
  • Between $2,400 and $2,700: 19,500 calls vs. 95,500 puts. The net result favors bears by $190 million.
  • Between $2,700 and $2,900: 34,700 calls vs. 73,400 puts. The net result favors the put (bear) options by $110 million.

This crude estimate considers the call options used in bullish bets and the put options exclusively in neutral-to-bearish trades. Even so, this oversimplification disregards more complex investment strategies.

For instance, a trader could have sold a call option, effectively gaining a negative exposure to Ether above a specific price. But unfortunately, there’s no easy way to estimate this effect.

Bears will try to hold ETH below $2,400

Ether bears need a gentle push below $2,400 to score a $270 million profit on Friday. On the other hand, bulls would need an 8.4% price recovery from the current $2,500 to reduce their loss by 58%.

Considering the bearish regulatory newsflow, Ether bulls are unlikely willing to add more risk right now. Therefore, bulls should concentrate their efforts to partially salvage this defeat by keeping Ether price above $2,500, resulting in a $170 million loss.

January seems to have given Ether bears the upper hand in keeping the pressure on the price in the short term.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.