July 30 – August 6, 2019 | Bitcoin Catalysts, China Softening & More Crypto News
3iQ Research Group consolidates the top five cryptoasset stories of interest
to investment advisors and our investors.
Report Highlights Nearby Catalysts for Bitcoin Prices
August 1 – Delphi Digital, a digital assets research firm, has outlined several current trends in the global economy that could drive a “perfect storm” for the price of bitcoin. In their latest report, Delphi Digital notes that factors relating to monetary easing, global economic slowdown, and the “digital gold” narrative surrounding bitcoin could be nearby catalysts for the price of bitcoin. “The rising risk of currency devaluation, especially among reserve currencies, is a longer-term catalyst that should propel BTC higher along with gold,” said the report. “The Fed, ECB, BOJ, PBOC, and many others are now preparing market participants for more rate cuts and additional stimulus measures as they attempt to keep the current economic expansion going.” The report also delves further into the unique properties of bitcoin, such as its deflationary supply schedule and lack of centralized control. “There are only a handful of assets that largely sit outside the purview of any single government, so the demand for such non-sovereign assets could be even greater in the decades to come depending on how the effects of unconventional monetary policy shake out.”
Read the full research report from Delphi Digital here.
China’s Tough Stance on Cryptocurrencies Appears to be Fading
August 5 – Jeremy Allaire, the co-founder and CEO of the crypto financial services firm Circle, has noted in an interview on CNBC that China is starting to back off from its tough stance on cryptocurrencies. Back in 2017, China had banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) and shut down trading on several cryptocurrency exchanges. However, with new digital currencies such as Facebook’s Libra gaining worldwide interest, the country may be looking to re-join the movement. Just last month, a court in China legally recognized bitcoin as a form of digital property. Shortly after the court case, the state-owned Bank of China began marketing bitcoin through a new infographic. “There is a lot of Chinese national participation in this market,” said Allaire. “We have been seeing, from my vantage point, a softening in the Chinese stance towards crypto.”
Donald Trump and Steve Bannon Have Opposing Views
August 5 – The former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has taken an opposing stance on Donald Trump’s views on cryptocurrencies. In a twitter post last month, Donald Trump stated that he “wasn’t a fan of cryptocurrencies” and that the US dollar is “by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the world, and it will always stay that way.” Despite his close ties with Trump, Bannon has recently announced that he was a buyer of bitcoin throughout late 2018, stating he had “enough courage” to buy it all the way down. Bannon helped create and manage the “alt-right” political news site Breitbart and used it as a medium for supporting Trump’s political campaign back in 2016. “[Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies] could be a very important part going forward, particularly in this global populist revolt,” said Bannon.
Bitcoin Becomes a “Safe Haven” as Global Equities Pull Back
August 5 – Investors have found a new place to hide during escalations in the trade war between the US and China, moving into bitcoin on Monday as global equities markets paired losses. Most leading cryptocurrencies ticked higher at the start of the trading week, with bitcoin gaining almost 15% from last Friday and litecoin gaining over 5%. This isn’t the first time investors have flocked to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies during trade war tensions. “It definitely appears to be acting somewhat like a safe haven,” said Brad Bechtel, the head of foreign exchange at Jefferies LLC. “When markets are calm and rallying, then Bitcoin sort of falls by the wayside, but every time we see turbulence in the market and it starts to sell off, you see Bitcoin and other safe-haven assets rally”.
Litecoin Miners Unfazed by Halving as 97% of Pre-Halving Hash Rate Still Mining
August 5 – The Litecoin blockchain has officially halved its crypto mining rewards on Monday. The long-awaiting halving event of Litecoin triggered at its pre-determined block height of 1,680,000 blocks, occurring on 10:16 UTC on Monday. “When the mining rewards get cut in half, some miners will not be profitable and they will shut off their machine. If a big percentage does that, then blocks will slow down for some time,” said Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin. Despite the early warning, the Litecoin network appeared to be unfazed by the reward halving, completing 504 blocks in just 21.65 hours, compared to its usual 21 hours every 504 blocks. “504 blocks have been mined since the halving. This is 1/4 of the way to the next diff change. 21.65 hrs has elapsed since the halving. Normally on average it takes 21 hrs for 504 blocks. This means 97% of pre-halving hashrate still mining LTC,” said Lee.
3iQ Corp. (“3iQ”) is the first Canadian investment fund manager to agree to terms and conditions with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities which permit 3iQ to manage a multi-cryptoasset investment fund available to Canadian accredited investors. 3iQ provides accredited investors with exposure to bitcoin, ether, and litecoin through its 3iQ Global Cryptoasset Fund.
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