Bitcoin Needs to Hold the $36K-$37K Support Level, Avoid Further Downward Momentum

Bitcoin has been trading below $40,000 for the past couple of days as more liquidations continue engulfing the market.

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The top cryptocurrency was down by 15.73% in the past seven days to hit $36,925 during intraday trading, according to CoinMarketCap.

To avoid a further slip, Bitcoin needs to hold the zone between $36,000 and $37,000. Market analyst Michael van de Poppe explained:

“First area of support is popping up at $36,000-$37,000, which is an area I’d look for if I’d want to search for some longs.”

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Source: TradingView

Nevertheless, Bitcoin whales do not seem interested in the current prices based on shrinking demand. This could suggest that they expect the price to drop further before demand kicks in. 

Crypto trader Ali Martinez noted:

“The number of whales on the network with 100 to 100,000 $BTC has remained flat since Feb 1. These wealthy market participants do not appear interested in buying BTC at the current price levels and could be expecting to buy Bitcoin at a discount.”

Data from IntoTheBlock shows that short-term BTC holders have been the primary catalysts of the liquidation being witnessed because their investments have shrunk by 8.7% since Feb 14. This trend is happening amid intensified tension between Ukraine and Russia.

On the other hand, Bitcoin can still turn the tables if it flips the previous resistance area between $38K to $40K to support. 

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Source: TradingView

Michael van de Poppe acknowledged that if this happens, then a drive to higher zones of $46,000 would become inevitable.

In January, the $38K-$40K zone acted as a high resistance zone that had proven a headache for Bitcoin to breach based on factors like planned interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed). 

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Intel Releases New Bitcoin Miner Hardware Specifications

Chip manufacturer giant Intel released the technical specifications of its Bonanza Mine bitcoin miner hardware at the 2022 edition of the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), saying that the miner provided greater efficiency than others in the market.

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Intel announced that each Bonanza Mine (BMZ1) miner packs 300 BMZ1 chips, according to the technical specifications presented during the conference organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Currently, Bitcoin mining is carried out using specialized hardware called an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC).

Intel’s 300 BMZ1 combine to render a power rating of 3,600 watts (W) while delivering 40 terahash per second (TH/s) of computing power. However, this latter specification lags behind the hash rate claimed by leading miners on the market.

Hash rate refers to the speed of mining. It is a measure of the computational power per second used when mining. It is measured in units of second, meaning how many calculations per second can be performed.

According to reports, Bitmain’s Antminer S19 and S19 Pro deliver between 95 to 110 TH/s while MicroBT’s WhatsMiner M30S produces up to 112 TH/s of hashing potential. Bitmain is said to be working on a new liquid-cooled miner that the company says can reach up to 198 TH/s.

Intel said that BMZ1’s hashing power does not match with its competitors but is more energy efficient.

The tech company has not announced dates for the delivery or release of the BMz1 chips for clients and customers to incorporate into their own mining systems. Reports said that Intel has plans to unveil the second generation of its BMZ1 miner hardware.

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Short-Term Holders Dominate Primary Driver for Bitcoin’s Liquidation amid Ukraine Crisis

Bitcoin (BTC) continues to be in the red following its slip below the psychological price of $40,000, a scenario not seen in the last two weeks.

The leading cryptocurrency was down by 6.38% in the last 24 hours to hit $36,732 during intraday trading, according to CoinMarketCap.

Analysis by IntoTheBlock shows that short-term holders have been the primary catalysts of the present leg down as they continue liquidating their BTC investments. The market insight provider explained:

“Short-term holders continue to be the main driver of BTC volatility. While long-term holders remain unfazed, the balance held by traders – addresses less than 1 month, are moving almost in tandem with the price action. Since Feb 14, they decreased their holdings by 8.7% to 1.55m BTC.”

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Source: IntoTheBlock

Some of the factors that might have triggered short-term holders to be on a selling spree entail the Ukraine-Russia tension, given that a full-blown war between the two nations seems likely. 

Things have gotten worse given that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine as independent entities. Previously, Ukraine legalized Bitcoin because it plays an instrumental role in aiding donation efforts needed to boost its army.  

On the other hand, low BTC network activity triggers the current drawdown because of slashed demand. Economist Jan Wustenfeld stated:

“While the supply of Bitcoin is becoming more illiquid, which is good, network activity remains relatively low and partially even decreases further. Considering the total on-chain transaction value of $BTC since mid-2021 it has been low.”

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Source: Jan Wustenfeld

Therefore, BTC demand should be rejuvenated so that the leading cryptocurrency can be back to winning ways. 

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Singapore’s Amber Group Gets Valuation of $3B, Facilitating Potential IPO

Singaporean state investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte and other investors valued cryptocurrency-trading platform Amber Group at $3 billion in a funding round.

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Amber said that it will use its new funds to hire more workforce in Europe and the Americas and to expand coverage of a mobile application that it launched last year.

The valuation for Amber Group comes just weeks after Singapore cracked down on marketing by crypto firms.

Singapore is trying to clamp down on the more speculative aspects of crypto while at the same time encouraging institutional participation. 

In January, the central bank told companies in the industry to sharply limit marketing geared toward the general public, citing the risk of volatile digital tokens.

According to Bloomberg, Amber, founded in 2018 by five former Morgan Stanley traders, has seen its valuation triple since mid-2021.

Singapore-based Amber said that existing shareholders, including Sequoia China, Pantera Capital and Tiger Global Management, were also a part of the $200 million financings.

Following Singapore’s robust growth as Asia’s top market for crypto startups, Temasek and its subsidiaries have invested ambitiously in the sector in the past year. Chief Executive Officer Michael Wu said that Amber extended its Series B funding round, originally announced in June, specifically to bring Temasek in as an investor.

“They are very strategic, so we made this special effort to bring them in,” Wu said in an interview with Bloomberg.

According to Wu, Amber could possibly go for another round of funding later in 2022 ahead of an initial public offering (IPO) that could take place as early as the second half of 2023, most likely in the U.S.

In another recent news from Singapore, Blockchain.News reported that DBS, the largest financial services operator in Singapore, is on track to expand its Bitcoin trading services to its retail customers, a wildly divergent position from its plans when it made its debut into the nascent digital currency world.

In the last quarterly earnings call from the bank, Piyush Gupta, the CEO, noted that the bank is exploring avenues to expand its investor base beyond the professionals allowed to trade BTC on its platform.

“We’ve started doing the work on seeing how we get in a sensible way, take it out, and expand it beyond the current investor base. And that includes making sure we appropriate thinking about things like potential fraud and others,” Gupta commented when asked whether DBS Bank has a roadmap for rolling out digital asset trading to retail investors.

While, in January 2022, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) shut down all cryptocurrency ATMs, following the city-state’s prohibition of all crypto-related advertisements in public spaces, Blockchain.News reported.

The move by the MAS to ban crypto ads in public space for all crypto service providers was hinged on the fact that many of the ads can downplay the risks inherent in investing in the digital currency ecosystem. 

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Singapore’s Amber Group Gets Valuation of $3B, Facilitating Potential IPO ahead in 2023

Singaporean state investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte and other investors valued cryptocurrency-trading platform Amber Group at $3 billion in a funding round.

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Amber said that it will use its new funds to hire more workforce in Europe and the Americas and to expand coverage of a mobile application that it launched last year.

The valuation for Amber Group comes just weeks after Singapore cracked down on marketing by crypto firms.

Singapore is trying to clamp down on the more speculative aspects of crypto while at the same time encouraging institutional participation. 

In January, the central bank told companies in the industry to sharply limit marketing geared toward the general public, citing the risk of volatile digital tokens.

According to Bloomberg, Amber, founded in 2018 by five former Morgan Stanley traders, has seen its valuation triple since mid-2021.

Singapore-based Amber said that existing shareholders, including Sequoia China, Pantera Capital and Tiger Global Management, were also a part of the $200 million financings.

Following Singapore’s robust growth as Asia’s top market for crypto startups, Temasek and its subsidiaries have invested ambitiously in the sector in the past year. Chief Executive Officer Michael Wu said that Amber extended its Series B funding round, originally announced in June, specifically to bring Temasek in as an investor.

“They are very strategic, so we made this special effort to bring them in,” Wu said in an interview with Bloomberg.

According to Wu, Amber could possibly go for another round of funding later in 2022 ahead of an initial public offering (IPO) that could take place as early as the second half of 2023, most likely in the U.S.

In another recent news from Singapore, Blockchain.News reported that DBS, the largest financial services operator in Singapore, is on track to expand its Bitcoin trading services to its retail customers, a wildly divergent position from its plans when it made its debut into the nascent digital currency world.

In the last quarterly earnings call from the bank, Piyush Gupta, the CEO, noted that the bank is exploring avenues to expand its investor base beyond the professionals allowed to trade BTC on its platform.

“We’ve started doing the work on seeing how we get in a sensible way, take it out, and expand it beyond the current investor base. And that includes making sure we appropriate thinking about things like potential fraud and others,” Gupta commented when asked whether DBS Bank has a roadmap for rolling out digital asset trading to retail investors.

While, in January 2022, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) shut down all cryptocurrency ATMs, following the city-state’s prohibition of all crypto-related advertisements in public spaces, Blockchain.News reported.

The move by the MAS to ban crypto ads in public space for all crypto service providers was hinged on the fact that many of the ads can downplay the risks inherent in investing in the digital currency ecosystem. 

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Russian Finance Ministry Compromises, Willing to Take Crypto Suggestions from Central Bank

Russia’s finance ministry has said that it is willing to take suggestions on cryptocurrencies from the country’s central bank, but they should not clash with their approach.

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This approach has paved the way for legislating governance of digital assets.

Last Friday, the finance ministry submitted legislative proposals to the government, which heated a debate over cryptocurrency regulation in Russia as it clashed with the central bank’s demand for a total crypto ban.

The Bank of Russia has argued that cryptocurrency trading and mining should be banned as they threaten financial stability. On the other side of the argument, the finance ministry suggests that regulating cryptocurrencies will allow them as an investment tool but not as a legal tender.

The finance ministry’s draft legislation aims to create a legal market for digital currencies, it said on Monday.

One proposal is for transactions involving the purchase or sale of cryptocurrency requiring customer identification, a move that may diminish one of the cryptocurrencies’ major selling points – their anonymity.

Other proposals from the finance ministry include issuing licences for foreign cryptocurrency exchanges in Russia and financial literacy tests that determine how much individuals are permitted to invest. 

According to the finance ministry, citizens who successfully pass the tests would be permitted to invest up to 600,000 roubles ($7,853) in digital currencies each year. Those who fail would have an investment limit set at 50,000 roubles annually.

The central bank also stated that cryptocurrency mining absorbs a lot of energy and has warned of inefficient energy consumption and the environmental impact of the mining. At the same time, the finance ministry prefers to permit mining on a taxation basis.

According to a recent report by Moscow-based news outlet The Bell, data collected from Russian authorities showed that the country could earn 1 trillion rubles ($13 billion) each year by taxing cryptocurrency transactions.

The global crypto market capitalization was $1.87 trillion in 2021, with a 12% share coming from Russians. The report further added that Russians form 10% of the crypto users or 12 million people who use foreign cryptocurrency exchanges, the report added.

Previously, Bloomberg reported that Kremlin estimated the Russian cryptocurrency market values more than 16.5 trillion rubles ($214 billion), which is around 12% of the total value of global crypto market capitalization – a number significantly higher than the $5 billion put forward by the central bank. 

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South Korean Kookmin Bank to Launch the First Crypto Fund

Kookmin Bank, the largest banking financial institution in South Korea, has announced its plans to launch the nation’s first crypto fund, a move targeted at retail investors.

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According to the announcement from the bank, a Digital Asset Management Committee has been established to oversee the launch of an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) product right after the regulatory laws in the country permit.

“We will launch a virtual asset-themed equity fund, etc., as soon as possible,” says Hong-Gom Kim, head of Kookmin Bank’s index quant management division. “We will also publish periodicals.”

In a bid to complement its planned launch of a crypto fund, the bank is also planning a move that will see it float a hybrid fund that will feature both traditional assets and cryptos. Per the announcement, the hybrid fund will be a reference point for outsourced chief investment officers to provide guarantees on their investments.

The planned move from Kookmin Bank is very pivotal in South Korea. The country is a major crypto hub in Asia with significant digital currency traction amongst both retail and institutional investors. Billed as the largest bank by total Assets Under Management (AUM) which topped 100 trillion Korea Won (approximately US$83.8 billion), according to data gleaned from the bank’s website.

With a deep customer base amongst the top stakeholders in the country, the embrace of the proposed crypto and hybrid funds is poised to gain massive traction from investors across the board.

While all hands seem on deck for the proposed Kookmin Bank products, scaling the stringent regulatory provisions is another hurdle that must be crossed. South Korea is known for its strict regulations imposed on digital currency trading platforms, most of whom were sent packing on grounds they could not secure a banking partner last year. 

With the regulatory ecosystem largely unpredictable, Kookmin bank may ride on its previous crypto custody services and broader grip on the economy to steer its way to secure the required licenses required to float the products.

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South Korean Kookmin Bank to Launch the First Crypto Fund

Kookmin Bank, the largest banking financial institution in South Korea, has announced its plans to launch the nation’s first crypto fund, a move targeted at retail investors.

KB2.jpg

According to the announcement from the bank, a Digital Asset Management Committee has been established to oversee the launch of an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) product right after the regulatory laws in the country permit.

“We will launch a virtual asset-themed equity fund, etc., as soon as possible,” says Hong-Gom Kim, head of Kookmin Bank’s index quant management division. “We will also publish periodicals.”

In a bid to complement its planned launch of a crypto fund, the bank is also planning a move that will see it float a hybrid fund that will feature both traditional assets and cryptos. Per the announcement, the hybrid fund will be a reference point for outsourced chief investment officers to provide guarantees on their investments.

The planned move from Kookmin Bank is very pivotal in South Korea. The country is a major crypto hub in Asia with significant digital currency traction amongst both retail and institutional investors. Billed as the largest bank by total Assets Under Management (AUM) which topped 100 trillion Korea Won (approximately US$83.8 billion), according to data gleaned from the bank’s website.

With a deep customer base amongst the top stakeholders in the country, the embrace of the proposed crypto and hybrid funds is poised to gain massive traction from investors across the board.

While all hands seem on deck for the proposed Kookmin Bank products, scaling the stringent regulatory provisions is another hurdle that must be crossed. South Korea is known for its strict regulations imposed on digital currency trading platforms, most of whom were sent packing on grounds they could not secure a banking partner last year. 

With the regulatory ecosystem largely unpredictable, Kookmin bank may ride on its previous crypto custody services and broader grip on the economy to steer its way to secure the required licenses required to float the products.

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Manchester City to Build Etihad Stadium Replica in the Metaverse

Premier League Champions, Manchester City is making plans to build a replica of the Etihad Stadium in the metaverse, a move that can be classified as a one in a kind move.

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In an exclusive report by iNews, the Metaverse version of the Etihad will be constructed in conjunction with virtual reality experts at the Sony Corporation.

Per the report, the club’s stadium will become the central hub of the City in a virtual reality world, and it will be designed by using image analysis and skeletal-tracking technologies created by Hawk-Eye, a subsidiary of the tech and entertainment giant. The underlying motive behind the debut of the stadium on the metaverse is such that the club’s fans can have an equally thrilling experience from the comfort of their homes.

“The whole point we could imagine of having a metaverse is you can recreate a game, you could watch the game live, you’re part of the action in a different way through different angles and you can fill the stadium as much as you want because it’s unlimited, it’s completely virtual,” said Nuria Tarre, City Football Group’s chief marketing, and fan engagement officer.

The move from Manchester City is outrightly revolutionary as many sports teams are jostling to redefine the engagements for their fans. While the club may be a pioneer in this regard, it is arguably not going to be the last. Rivals, Manchester United recently entered into a strategic partnership with Tezos, a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain network that will serve as the club’s technology partnership.

With Tezos already hosting a number of metaverse-linked projects, it will not come as a surprise if the club decides to also debut a related fan experience as City is doing. Per the iNews report, the underlying promise of the Sony-City partnership is to open up a new world for fans who will not have the opportunity to travel to watch their favourite team play at the Etihad.

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El Salvador to Reform Laws to Favor Citizenship through Investment

Bitcoiners are looking to migrate to El Salvador for its reception to the crypto world may soon get more than just the warm reception. President Nayib Bukele is pushing for a number of policy reforms that will grant Citizenship by Investment to foreign investors. 

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As contained in a recent tweet shared by President Bukele, he said he would be sending as many as 52 reforms to the country’s Congress so as to “remove red tape, reduce bureaucracy, create tax incentives, citizenship in exchange for investments, new securities laws, stability contracts,” adding that the country will seek to be a haven for freedom for anyone even as the rest of the world resorts to tyranny. In his own words;

“The plan is simple: as the world falls into tyranny, we’ll create a haven for freedom.”

El Salvador is a delight of many in the digital currency ecosystem, especially in regards to the proactive and advocate nature of Nayib Bukele when it comes to Bitcoin. First, he piloted the Central American nation to become the first in the world to adopt BTC as a legal tender. Then, he unveiled plans to float a volcanic energy plant dedicated to the mining of Bitcoin, and he also has plans to construct a full-fledged Bitcoin City, with decentralized and financial freedom being amongst the defining features.

Despite the country’s positive stance toward crypto, it has had a falling out with international organizations, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), both of whom have shared concerns about the country’s BTC adoption plans.

Fitch Ratings has also downgraded El Salvador’s credit ratings recently as the financial institution said the country has struggled with repaying its short-term debts. The purported plans by Nayib Bukele to incentivize investments made into the country is arguably a seemingly smart move that can attract crypto companies as well as traditional companies to the country.

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 26,586.12 0.01%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,593.99 0.04%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 64.80 0.30%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 208.75 0.08%