Low-Risk Appetite Continues to Play Out in Bitcoin Market Based on Diminishing Institutional Activity

Institutional activity remains sluggish as bitcoin hovers around the lower $20K level, depicting a low-risk appetite.

On-chain analyst Caue Oliveira pointed out:

“Low institutional activity evidences de-risking movement by traditional whales. Looking at the daily trading volume in mutual funds traded in the traditional market with direct/indirect exposure to BTC, we can see the current low-risk appetite.”




Institutional investment has played an instrumental role in enabling Bitcoin to hit all-time highs (ATHs). For instance, BTC breached the then-historic highs of $20K in December 2020 after failing to do so for three years as more institutional investors joined the network.


Furthermore, institutional investments enabled the leading cryptocurrency to record the latest ATH of $69,000 in November last year.


Nevertheless, retail investors continue jumping on the Bitcoin bandwagon based on the rise of non-zero BTC addresses. Market insight provider Glassnode stated:

“The number of BTC addresses holding 0.01+ Coins just reached an ATH of 10,560,930. Previous ATH of 10,560,117 was observed on 26 July 2022.”




Despite the back and forth being experienced in the BTC market, long-term objectives continue to take shape. 


Through its weekly report dubbed “Conviction Through Confluence,” Glassnode highlighted:

“Long-term supply dynamics continue to improve, as redistribution takes place, gradually moving coins towards the hodlers. Notable supply concentrations are observable at $20K, $30K, and $40K, which tend to align with both technical and on-chain price models, making these regions significant zones of interest.”

Bitcoin was hovering around $21,392 during intraday trading, according to CoinMarketCap. With the looming interest rate review by the Federal Reserve (Fed) slated for July 27, it remains to be seen how the top cryptocurrency plays out in the short term. 

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HK-based Spending App Offers Crypto Rebate for Customers

Hong Kong-based startup, Bloom announced its collaboration with cryptocurrency exchange Okcoin to offer token rebates and introduce a gamified retail experience to its clients.


Digital payment in Hong Kong is becoming more common in people’s daily life. To break through the current spending landscape in the city dominated by credit card and their cash rebates or reward points mechanism, the spending app has offered a reward scheme to get a spending rebate in terms of cryptocurrency.

Customers now have more options to gain rewards and even take a glimpse of the crypto space. By partnering with Visa credit card, it allows customers to convert their spending credits into crypto according to the latest price.

Per the press release, the scheme now supports over 10 mainstream cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin.

According to the company’s website, the company “aims to provide personalized spending rewards from cash rebates to digitalized coupons to consumers by connecting partner brands and card issuers.”

Eddie Rong, the founding member of Bloom, welcomed the partnership with Okcoin and wishes more customers might embrace the crypto space, “With the increasing awareness of cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong, although the cryptocurrency market has been volatile recently, we seek to build a platform for beginners on top of an exciting spending experience, empowering members to save cryptocurrencies and shop at the same time.”

The app offers a HK$10 worth of Bitcoin bonus for customers who connect their first Visa credit card to their account or conduct their first transaction in this program, according to the official website.

The company said its app integrates real-time data via an application programming interface (API) to help its members stay on trend in the cryptocurrency space. Furthermore, the app allows the withdrawal of cryptocurrencies to designated crypto wallets or covert them into Bloom Coins for in-app redemption of nonfungible tokens (NFT), e-coupons, and fashionable collectables, without being charged, and members could choose their preferred way of keeping rewards at no costs.

The company believes the new platform “will help democratise crypto and lay the foundation for them to play a more important role in the financial system.”

Meanwhile, their counterpart Okcoin will provide zero-fees account opening services to their clients, encouraging them to adopt their crypto trading services.

“The combination of Bloom’s rewards program and easy-to-use spending product provides an ideal avenue for new and existing crypto users to interact with digital assets every day, and we’re glad to help make this possible,” Khairi Azmi, general manager of Okcoin (Asia) said, adding that the platform would make crypto to be more common and “regular to go mainstream across the world” among ordinary people daily life.

Crypto adoption is expected to expand to the retail level among the institutional investment market in the city. According to a recent study, Hong Kong is marked as the top-rank region or economy in terms of the level of crypto readiest, as the city enjoys the highest number of blockchain startups per 100,000 people and the number of crypto ATMs proportional to the population.

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Core Scientific Signs Hosting Deal to Add 75 MW to ASIC Server Capacity

U.S.-based crypto mining company Core Scientific has signed a colocation agreement to secure at least 75 megawatts (MW) of energy capacity for its data centres.

The new agreement involves the deployment of 325,000 ASIC servers (combined with self-mining and hosting), which the company says, if successfully deployed, will generate annual revenue of about $50 million for the company.

Core Scientific says prepayments will provide capital to fund the required infrastructure.

While the deal has been concluded, the facility to apply the blockchain is still under construction. According to the report, the miner installation will begin in the third quarter of 2022 and be completed around the end of 2022.

Core Scientific’s CEO Mike Levitt said, “This new agreement continues customer confidence in Core Scientific’s ability to deliver best-in-class blockchain data centre solutions. We remain focused on executing our 2022 plans to expand our capacity, support the Bitcoin Network’s continued growth and create value for all our stakeholders, despite current market challenges. We look forward to providing further details about our progress on August 11th, 2022, during our second-quarter earnings conference call.”

According to data from the Bitcoin Treasury, Core Scientific currently owns 8,497 bitcoins.

The price of bitcoin traded down 4.5% in 24 hours and is currently trading at $21,009.03, according to Coinmarketcap.

Core Scientific owns a total value of approximately $178.51 million at the current prices of bitcoin transactions.

Earlier this month, Core Scientific sold 7,202 bitcoins at an average price of $23,000, raising about $167 million. The company plans to use the funds for debt repayments, capital investments to increase data centre capacity, and payments for ASIC servers.

Core Scientific has also entered into a common stock purchase agreement of up to $100 million with investment bank B. Riley to weather the crypto winter.

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Is USDC’s Value Posed to Surpass that of USDT This Year?

As the stablecoin arena gains steam, the supremacy battle between Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) continues to play out.

Arcane Research predicts that the USDC will dethrone USDT at the top stablecoin seat in October. The market insight provider stated:

“At the end of Q2, the total stablecoin supply sat at $151.3 billion, down $35.1 billion, or 18.8%, over the last quarter, the largest quarterly drawdown in the history of stablecoins. It is predicted that the market value of USDC will surpass USDT in October.”




USDT is currently the leading stablecoin with a market capitalization of $65.85 billion at the time writing, and USDC comes second with a value of $55.1 billion, according to CoinMarketCap


Despite USDC’s market cap trailing that of USDT by approximately $10.75 billion, its value has surged by more than $16 billion during the present bear market. 


This can be attributed to the fact that Circle, the USDC issuer, regularly supplies transparency reports. The latest shows that the stablecoin is adequately collateralized with $55.7 billion held in short-term cash and U.S. treasuries. 


Therefore, this factor makes Arcane Research predict that USDC will take the stablecoin’s helm in October. 


On the other hand, Coin Metrics disclosed that USDC’s trading was mainly done during New York/U.S. business hours, whereas that of USDT was highly concentrated during European and Asia/Pacific trading hours.


Through the weekly State of the Network report, the crypto insight provider stated:

“One of the strongest observable patterns is the distribution of USDC and Tether (USDT) balance updates. USDC activity is highly concentrated during US market hours while USDT activity is centered around Asian and European market hours (note this is true for Tether across the Omni layer and Tron as well).”



Meanwhile, crypto exchange Bit.com recently launched USD perpetual products to reduce confusion about different types of stablecoins, Blockchain.News reported. 

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Kraken Under Probe for Allegedly Violating US Sanctions on Iran

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is under federal investigation for potential violation of U.S. sanctions by allowing users in Iran and elsewhere to purchase and sell digital tokens, the New York Times reported citing sources familiar with the matter.

Five people with knowledge of the matter or exchange affiliation told the New York Times that Kraken is suspected of allowing customers in Iran and other sanctioned nations to use its exchange despite public calls prohibiting companies from doing so. The report stated that the sources requested for their identities to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation.

The United States has upheld economic sanctions against Iran since 1979, and this means businesses based in the U.S. cannot do business with Iran or buy/sell goods to anyone in the nation.

According to the report, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has been investigating Kraken since 2019 and is expected to impose a fine on the exchange. However, the regulator has not indicated a timeline for the enforcement action.

Kraken Chief Legal Officer Marco Santori talked about the development and said the exchange would not comment “on specific discussions with regulators.” The executive further stated: “Kraken has robust compliance measures in place and continues to grow its compliance team to match its business growth. Kraken closely monitors compliance with sanctions laws and, as a general matter, reports to regulators even potential issues”.

Several crypto platforms have proactively blocked platform access to users in Iran, and North Korea, among many others, in the face of a growing debate concerning international sanctions.

In March, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea, blocked Iranian users from its platform when it enforced U.S. sanctions against Iran. In November last year, Ethereum software powerhouse ConsenSys blocked Iranian students from accessing its online programming course.

Enforcement Actions on Crypto

In the past, the US Treasury has charged several crypto firms for their alleged role in facilitating transactions violating federal sanctions. In December 2020, the Treasury imposed a fine of $99,000 on digital asset platform BitGo for violations of multiple sanctions programs. In February last year, the Treasury reached a $507,375 settlement with digital currency platform BitPay for alleged sanctions violations.

Kraken was also previously identified as one of a few crypto exchanges avoiding an outright ban of Russian accounts. Kraken’s CEO and co-founder, Jesse Powell, was recently put in the spotlight over his willingness to challenge regulations he considers as unfair, including international sanctions.

In March, Powell stated that his exchange was in compliance with the legal sanctions’ requirements but admitted that indiscriminate bans were unfair to average Russians, who might not support the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

In May last year, The IRS, whose parent organization is the US Treasury, ordered Kraken through court intervention to disclose identities of users who have been transacting in cryptocurrency on the exchange.

While in September last year, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) charged Kraken with a penalty worth $1.25 million for listing illegal off-exchange digital asset trading and failing to register as required by the law.

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Abacus Life Partners With Blockcerts to Introduce Blockchain-Powered Insurance

Abacus Life Settlements, a buyer of life insurance policies in the United States, has teamed up with BlockCerts to introduce blockchain-enabled insurance and longevity-related assets.

Jay Jackson, the CEO of Abacus life, pointed out:

“Abacus Life and Longevity Market Assets are excited to partner with BlockCerts Web 4.0 to lead the next generation of life insurance and annuity purchases using blockchain. We are revolutionizing the acquisition and investment in longevity-related assets.” 

Through blockchain technology, Abacus life will attain next-generation data security, cost reductions, and a competitive advantage in the marketplace, which will enhance its growth trajectory, according to a press release.


BlockCerts is a Web 4.0 renaissance that provides a secure and private platform for new applications needed to scale businesses and manage life. 


Tim Vasko, the founder of BlockCerts, welcomed the collaboration and stated:

“BlockCerts is enthused to collaborate with the Abacus Life team to bring the full power of Web 4.0 to life within the insurance industry, to redefine what is possible.”

In the coming future, Abacus Life plans to transact policies entirely on the blockchain using SignCERTin – a Blockcerts’ authenticated cloud and a secure virtual space platform.


Jackson added:

“This is a great example of how our authentication blockchain and our full suite of decentralized applications are able to streamline past processes and provide new solutions to yield many new benefits for a growing company like Abacus Life and Longevity Market Assets.”

Blockchain technology continues to revamp the insurance space. For instance, Lemonade, a top American insurance company, partnered with various companies to roll out blockchain-enabled climate insurance to assist vulnerable farmers globally. 

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Opinion: How Bitcoin Options Might Help Survival amid the Bear Market?

The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates at the most aggressive rate in nearly 30 years. With inflation at an all-time high and a looming recession, protecting capital is at the forefront of every investor’s mind.


Cash and government bonds were once safe assets during bear markets, but with inflation running amok and central banks struggling to stabilize bond yield curves, these traditional safe havens are looking shaky.

Options contracts can be a good way to hedge some of your risks, as they give you the right, but not the obligation, to trade an asset in the future at a predetermined price. A call option is the right to buy, and a put option is the right to sell.

There are two styles of options contracts. A trader using American-style options can exercise his or her contract at any point during the lifetime of the contract, whereas European-style options can only be executed only at the expiry date.

If it is not profitable to exercise your put or call option at the date of expiry, you can let it expire and take no action. In this scenario, your cost is limited to the amount of money you paid for the options contract when you bought it.

Multiple trading strategies use options contracts. But in this article, I’d like to share some approachable strategies that allow a certain amount of protection without needing to sell your assets.

Let’s take Bitcoin as the underlying asset. If you buy a put option at a strike price equal to or higher than the current price, it gains value as Bitcoin moves lower.

So, if your Bitcoin is in the red, your options contract will be green. And, if the market trends higher, nullifying your option, then Bitcoin will have appreciated covering some of the cost of the contract.

This strategy is best suited to traders who hold Bitcoin as long-term investments and do not wish to sell. This allows them to avoid a worst-case scenario: cascading liquidations that drag Bitcoin down dramatically. Buying a put is like buying insurance for downside risk. 

So, if you suspect a further leg down is on the horizon, you can buy a put option as a type of insurance that pays out should the market move lower. Timing is crucial, especially during a bear market.

For example, if you believe the market will trend lower very quickly in the following days, buying a put may well be worth the initial investment, but if the market moves down slowly. You may not be able to recover the premium you paid to buy the put option. The same principle applies to call options as well.

Another popular use of options contracts is selling call options while holding the underlying asset. You can be paid immediately by selling a call option to another party, giving them the right to buy your Bitcoin should the price increase to or beyond a certain amount.

For example, if you sell a call option agreeing to sell 1 BTC at $30,000, you collect the price of that contract — the premium — right away, which acts as a hedge against the downside. Your only risk would be missing out on any gains beyond the strike price, which would be owned by the buyer of the option.

If Bitcoin doesn’t hit the strike price, then the option expires, and you keep the premium. The main risk with this strategy is that the underlying price of Bitcoin falls in the interim.

The bear market affecting crypto and other capital markets is a time to protect capital, so when the good times return, there will be plenty of opportunities to reallocate. Bitcoin price could whipsaw traders in troubled times. By using the options hedge, you can create a more robust portfolio while still HODLing your Bitcoin stack.

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Nucripto Achieves 1M Users in One Month

Nubank, the largest Brazilian digital bank by market value, announced on Tuesday that it had reached 1 million users on its cryptocurrency trading platform just one month after launching in June.

The firm had projected to reach the milestone within a year after launching Nucripto in May and making it available to the crypto trading service to 46.5 million users in June.

On May 11, 2022, Nubank launched an initial rollout of Nucripto, which allows cryptocurrency trading starting from R$1 (US$0.19). The firm aims to democratize crypto in Brazil and in the rest of Latin America.

Nucripto was introduced to eliminate the complexity of the crypto market and to make it accessible to anyone who wants to be part of it, according to Nubank.

The Nucripto platform allows users to sell and buy Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) through a crypto-trading and custody service powered by Paxos’ blockchain infrastructure.

In May, Nubank allocated roughly 1% of the cash on its balance sheet to Bitcoin to demonstrate its belief in crypto.

Thomaz Fortes, leader of Nubank’s crypto department, commented about the development: “Nubank has, in eliminating complexity, a value proposition that permeates all our products. With crypto activities, this becomes even more relevant due to the fact that it is a market with complex systems that make it difficult for people interested in taking their first steps to join.”

Nubank is also targeting the tokenization market. On Tuesday, Nubank CEO David Vélez told Brazilian media outlet NeoFeed that the bank plans to launch a new asset tokenization platform that will turn regular finance products into tokens.

Embracing Crypto and Tokenized Markets

The announcement by Nubank accompanies that of other major Brazilian fintech players expanding into crypto and tokenized stock markets. Asset tokenization and cryptocurrency have become hot areas in Brazil.

Last December, Mercado Libre, Latin America’s largest e-commerce firm by market value, enabled users in Brazil to purchase, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies.

In January, Brazilian financial services provider Dock started using cryptocurrencies to process international remittances as it expanded to Europe and Latin America.

Early this month, PicPay, a Brazil-based digital payments app, announced plans to launch a crypto exchange and a Brazilian real-tied stablecoin later this year. According to PicPay, the cryptocurrency exchange will offer access to Bitcoin, Ether and Paxos’ USDP stablecoin. The firm further added that the development of its stablecoin would enable customers to pay, transfer, and store that cryptocurrency.

Last week, BEE4, a Brazil-based fintech company, disclosed plans to launch a local marketplace of tokenized stocks. The firm said the marketplace would replicate the structure of a stock exchange and allow Brazilian companies with annual revenue between $1.8 million and $55 million to make public offerings of up to $19 million.

Last week, Itaú Unibanco, Brazil’s largest private bank, announced plans to roll out an asset tokenization platform to transform traditional finance products into tokens.

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Approach to Crypto Regulation is More Proactive: CFTC Chair

The Chairman of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has revealed that the commission is more than ready to commit to regulatory oversight of the digital currency ecosystem as the industry evolves. 


Rostin Behnam re-emphasized this commitment while giving a keynote address at the Brookings Institution Webcast on The Future of Crypto Regulation.

In the speech, Behnam said the commission had done much to permit the crypto industry to innovate at a healthy pace while enforcing guidelines that foster responsible product creation and market engagement.

While there is obviously more work to be done, Behnam said he is “encouraged by the bipartisan and bicameral support for legislation that recognizes the need for guardrails around the burgeoning digital asset economy and calls for regulation to impart transparency, accountability, stability, customer protections, and oversight across the crypto verse.”

Looking forward, the CFTC chair said the commission would be providing oversight to the crypto industry in a proactive manner with the tools that are currently available. To this end, Behnam announced that the LabCFTC unit of the commission, established by former Chairman Christopher Giancarlo will be rebranded as the Office of Technology Innovation (OTI) with an updated operating model.

“OTI will continue to lead the CFTC’s efforts in incorporating innovation and technology into our regulatory oversight and mission-critical functions, and it will do so purposefully by supporting the operating divisions and the Commission’s participation in domestic and international coordination,” Behnam said.

The CFTC chairman also highlighted how the commission will enhance its education drive with the realignment of the Office of Customer Education and Outreach within the Office of Public Affairs.

As one of the core agencies regulating the financial markets in the US, the CFTC is also obligated to join the cause to develop a unique framework for the cryptocurrency ecosystem as instructed in President Joe Biden’s Executive Order.

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Meta Hires Keke Palmer to Help Demystify Metaverse

American tech giant Meta Platforms Inc hired Hollywood actress Keke Palmer to help drive the metaverse concept to the general public. 


Meta Platforms has launched a video series dubbed “Metaverse 101” with Palmer as the host. As described by Venture Beat, the series is fronted as part of ‘Bill Nye The Science Guy,’ part ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.’ Each episode of the series will see Palmer engaging various artists, creators, and experts, amongst others, as they travel through the metaverse in a car.

Palmer and her guests will be discussing how the metaverse is not a distant concept that everyone will be a part of its development. The very first episode of the Series engaged Meta Platform’s Vice President of Metaverse, Vishal Shah.

Alongside Palmer, the duo discussed concepts such as “a rousing game of Now, Future, Never, and the ways artists and creators are already building immersive and social worlds beyond what’s been possible before.”

While the metaverse is still relatively in its infancy, mainstream tech giants like Meta Platforms are investing heavy resources to shape the concept and position it in such a way that it can be the dominant way for social interactions in the future.

It is not uncommon for companies to hire actors and actresses to help drive home their publicity agenda. Last year when crypto companies were agog about advertising in the US Crypto.com tapped the services of Matt Damon as the main feature in the “Fortune Favors the Brave” ad.

The ad costs as much as $100 million to put together, reiterating the extent to which firms find getting the words about new innovations out there into the public glare a very crucial goal. While the financial commitment of the Meta-Palmer deal is unknown, the impact of the partnership is bound to be resounding.

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 27,575.39 1.76%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,665.57 3.57%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 66.04 2.47%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 241.91 0.59%