Crypto Markets Approach New Records – Weekly news 35/2021

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Bitcoin breaks all-time high of over 5 500$

Welcome to September, esteemed crypto citizens. The end of summer usually brings about rains and colder weather, but at least for Bitcoin the season of sunshine is not over yet. The price of the oldest and boldest cryptocurrency has so far remained around $50 000 dollars and stirred soothsayers to foretell how high it may rise by the end of the year. At least a fresh cryptocurrency report by Bloomberg predicts Bitcoin may be on its way toward a hundred thousand dollars, meaning twice the current level.

This week we will take a closer look at this September reports and its forecasts. Additionally we have the rise of altcoins, whereby the entire market cap of all cryptocurrencies has climbed close to the verge of new records. Meanwhile crypto adoption is blooming in Australia, where even every sixth citizen now owns Bitcoin or other crypto assets.

In other news we have the shadowy side of crypto, meaning a yearly crypto crime report by Chainalysis, as well as the trial of a notorious scammer from years ago. Furthermore, former US president Donald Trump has given an interview in which he, to quote, considers crypto a disaster.

The previous news archive can be found here.

Forecasts predict the end of the year 2021 may be reminiscent of the 2017 bull market.

Bloomberg: Bitcoin on a path toward $100K dollars

According to a new September edition report by Bloomberg, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could soon see significant gains after enduring the correction of the previous months. In the report Bloomberg’s lead strategist Mike McGlone predicts Bitcoin may be on a path toward a hundred thousand dollars and becoming a global reserve asset.

”We foresee a future of Bitcoin, the digital reserve asset, complementing the dollar reserve currency,” McGlone states in the report.

While six-figure forecasts for Bitcoin’s price are nothing new, McGlone’s long-term estimate puts Bitcoin near the center of the global financial system. Bitcoin hobbyists and experts have also long argued that the cryptocurrency will in time mature to become a global reserve asset. These views have been fuelled by the inflation of central bank money supplies, which has lead to financial inequality and rising consumer prices.

Bitcoin’s value potential has also been recognized by major institutional parties. For instance, banking giant JPMorgan Chase and international asset manager Blackrock have noted that Bitcoin is taking over the market share of gold as a store of value.  

Bitcoin’s price has risen toward $51 000 dollars over the weekend, while the general cryptocurrency markets have reached a three-month high. At the time of writing, the market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is already close to setting a new historical record.

If there is any credence to Bloomberg’s analysis, Bitcoin’s price may soon head towad the Moon and beyond.

Total cryptocurrency market cap close to new high

Altcoins, meaning alternative cryptocurrencies, have also risen in Bitcoin’s wake. For instance, the second largest cryptocurrency Ethereum has surpassed the level of $4 000 dollars while Bitcoin’s so called little sister Litecoin has climbed well above $200 dollars. Also smaller altcoins have increased their market value, and on Friday many of these achieved a double-digit daily rise.

At the same time, the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies has doubled in the past two months. In July, the cryptocurrency market cap sank to a low of $1.2 billion dollars, from which it has now recovered to nearly twice the rate at $2.4 billion. This is close to the earlier record from May, when the market cap of cryptocurrencies temporarily rose above $2.5 billion.

Altcoins tend to rise in waves together with Bitcoin’s growth spurts, either by preceding or following them. Since altcoins have a smaller market value than Bitcoin, their price swings also require a smaller amount of capital. This means that, while altcoins can easily rise percentually more than Bitcoin, they also include risks for heavier downward momentum.  

The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies is again close to hitting new highs.

Every sixth Australian owns crypto

Seventeen percent or more than one in six Australians now own cryptocurrencies, reveals a fresh survey. In total, crypto assets owned by Australians comprise more than $8 billion counted in US dollars.

The survey published on the 2nd of September by Finder Consumer Sentiment was compiled from the answers of more than a thousand Australian citizens. According to the survey, the most popular cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, owned by 9% or nearly every tenth citizen. 8% in turn reported holding Ethereum, 5% Dogecoin and 4% Bitcoin Cash.

The researchers were somewhat surprised at finding that 35% of respondents believed Bitcoin would eventually surpass the traditional currency in transaction amounts. This means that one in three Australians expect Bitcoin to exceed fiat currency use by the year 2050.

50% of respondents in turn regarded Bitcoin as a legitimate investment, while 49% told they are not at all interested in cryptocurrencies. The main reason for the latter group’s reluctance was the volatility, perceived risk and lack of knowledge about crypto markets. However, the respondents stated they could consider investing in Bitcoin if they understood it better.

Crypto investments are already close to mainstream in Australia – and expected to grow as awareness spreads.  

BitConnect scammer pleads guilty

One of the main perpetrators behind BitConnect, a cryptocurrency scam which ran from 2016 to 2018, has now pleaded guilty in court. According to a press release, 44-year old Glenn Arcaro was the top promoter in the United States for the widespread BitConnect Referral Program pyramid scheme.  

Unveiled in 2018, the scam allegedly managed to defraud roughly $2 billion dollars from thousands of investors. Arcaro himself has admitted profiting around $24 million dollars for his role as a BitConnect promoter, advertising the fraudulent lending program via social media.

If Arcaro is sentenced, he may face up to 20 years in prison along with heavy monetary penalties. In addition, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has also recently pressed separate charges for fraud against Arcaro and BitConnect’s founder Satish Kumbhani.

BitConnect’s case reminds crypto investors to cautiously study their targets before decisions.

Chainalysis publishes yearly crypto crime report

Blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis has published a yearly report about cryptocurrency-related crime. The comprehensive report examines geographical distributions and statistics regarding illegal cryptocurrency activity.

According to Chainalysis’ report, Africa is in the lead with a relative share of sent and received crypto of illicit origin. The second place is held by Eastern Europe, followed by Latin America and and Western Europe. The list additionally mentions Asian regions, the Middle East and North America.  

Aside relative numbers, the report points out that Eastern Europe in total has a larger cryptocurrency economy than Africa. Of this sum approximately 0.5 percent is estimated to be linked to criminal activity. Eastern Europe also places second in terms of pure value, behind only Western Europe. The report additionally highlights that Eastern Europe is home to the world’s largest darknet marketplace Hydra.

By far the biggest share of illegal crypto transactions was comprised of different cryptocurrency-related scams. Varying by region, the second and third biggest shares in turn were stolen funds and darknet markets.

Despite large volumes, crypto crime only forms a fraction of the whole market.

Former US president considers crypto a disaster

The 45th president of the United States Donald Trump has appeared in an interview by Fox Business last Friday. Trump was interviewed about questions related to the economy, which also included his stance on the potential of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets. In his answers, the former president stated he likes the US dollars and believes other currencies are simply  a “disaster waiting to happen”.

 “They [cryptocurrencies] may be fake. Who knows what they are? They are certainly something that people don’t know very much about,” Trump continued.

The president also voiced his opinion on supporting the sovereignty of the US dollar instead of developing the stagnant financial system with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.

Trump has earlier presented more positive views about Bitcoin at the beginning of his presidential term in 2017. Back then his statements coincided with the previous historical bull market year. However, his latest comments seem to have had no notable effect on the markets.

In contrast, the current 46th US president Joe Biden has seemingly taken a cautiously friendlier stance on the cryptocurrency sector. Gary Gensler, appointed head of the SEC by Biden earlier this year, has called for increased regulation to protect investors, but also spoken in favor of aiding innovations.

Donald Trump’s stance on cryptocurrencies has fluctuated much like the market itself both during and after his presidency.
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