December 24 – 30, 2018 | Bitcoin Turnaround, UFC Partnership & More Crypto News
3iQ Research Group consolidates the top five cryptoasset stories of interest
to investment advisors and our investors.
3iQ Advisor: Bitcoin Protocol Development Could Help Fuel Turnaround
December 29 – Francis Pouliot, a Canadian Bitcoin entrepreneur and 3iQ Corp. advisor, believes that Bitcoin could be undervalued and its price will recover as developers continue to build on its protocol and individuals who support the cryptocurrency remain strong. Pouliot notes that over the 10-year history of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency has survived numerous drawdowns that exceeded the total decline seen through 2018. Pouliot also believes that numerous cryptocurrency-focused hedge funds have emerged over the last several years with intent to hold onto their Bitcoin as a long-term investment. By accumulating Bitcoin, the circulating supply of Bitcoin available to the public has been reduced. Bitcoin will only ever have a maximum supply of 21,000,000 coins, and at the time of writing, around 17,451,600 have been mined since its inception.
“The way I see the price of Bitcoin: there are fundamental psychological, economics and social tenants that seem to create a similar pattern. Price rises fast, crashers down but at higher ladder with the new skin in the game added as value ‘hodlers’ is discovered by the market. As an investor, my focus is on the tail of distribution of the Bitcoin network/ecosystem participants. Top new people active with skin [and] soul in the game, momentum, influence, resources, commitment, ideology, full nodes, sovereignty. It is People that give Bitcoin its value.”
December 26 – Henri Arslanian, the Asia Fintech Lead of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Hong Kong, believes that many new institutional players will be entering the crypto industry in 2019. Arslanian has a positive outlook for crypto throughout 2019, mostly stemming from increased regulatory clarity in the industry and increasing institutional support. Notably, Arslanian believes that “more big banks” will seek to enter the space in 2019, either by starting their own blockchain and crypto solutions, or through partnerships and other direct investments.
PwC Hong Kong has offered bitcoin as a means of payment for their consulting and auditing services since late 2017. The parent company PwC is an international network made up of smaller companies that provide auditing and consulting services to a variety of business industries. The major stock operator Nasdaq has reported that they will be released bitcoin futures in the first half of 2019, and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) expects to release their “Bakkt” digital asset platform on January 24, confirming Arslanian’s outlook for 2019.
December 27 – The Litecoin Foundation has recently partnered with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in an effort to increase awareness and adoption for the world’s second oldest cryptocurrency. The UFC is one of the most well-known mixed martial arts organizations in the world, with tens of millions of annual audiences. As part of the deal, the Litecoin logo was displayed in the octagonal fighting arena during the title fight at UFC 232. The logo was featured during the rematch fight between the former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, and the light heavyweight fighter Alexander Gustafsson.
“With brands and institutions continuing to push into cryptocurrency and blockchain, this is yet another signal of this technology moving closer towards the mainstream,” said the Lightcoin Foundation. The Litecoin Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation which aims to promote adoption of the Litecoin cryptocurrency. The foundation said that it hopes to continue its relationship with the UFC over the long term.
Bitcoin a “Valuable Financial Tool” for Liberty and Freedom
December 28 – A leading American newspaper Time has released an article covering Bitcoin and its liberating potential for people in economically stressed regions such as Venezuela. Notably, the article writes that “speculation, fraud, and greed in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry have overshadowed the real, liberating potential of Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention.” According to Alejandro Machado, a cryptocurrency researcher for the Open Money Initiative, total fees for sending wire transfers from the United States to Venezuela can get as high at 56%. Some people from Venezuela have been receiving wire transfers in Columbia, then withdrawing their cash and bringing it back to Venezuela. The article states that this “can take far longer, cost more, and be far more dangerous than the Bitcoin option.”
The article states that Bitcoin is a good way for people to protect themselves from rapid fiat currency inflation. Venezuela’s inflation rate has been projected to hit as high as 1,000,000%, and other countries such as Zimbabwe have also suffered rapid inflation rates. The article also notes that Bitcoin is advantageous as it does not allow central governments and banks from censoring transactions or potentially freezing accounts.
India Looks to Legalize Cryptocurrencies Through an Interdisciplinary Committee
December 26 – According to an article published by the New Indian Express on Wednesday, there has been an interdisciplinary committee set up by the Indian government to investigate cryptocurrencies. The committee is reportedly not in favor of an outright ban of cryptocurrencies. Earlier this year, the Indian government had talked about barring individuals from investing in cryptocurrencies. “We have already had two meetings. There is a general consensus that cryptocurrency cannot be dismissed as completely illegal. It needs to be legalized with strong riders. Deliberations are on,” said an anonymous senior official who was present at the committee’s meetings.
The Indian government had set up this committee back in April 2017, mostly to examine the existing legal frameworks that are related to cryptocurrencies. The committee is swarmed with suggesting new legal measures to handle cryptocurrencies, such as issues surrounding consumer protection and money laundering. Some notable members include representatives from Indian government departments for tax and the economy, in addition to members from the central bank and other government agencies.
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