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UK Must Become Global Leader in Crypto Innovation

A UK expert has suggested that Britain must seize the opportunity and push cryptocurrency forward to become a global leader in digital assets. The comments were made by eToro UK managing director Iqbal V Gandham, who advised UK government backbencher Nicky Morgan on the Government’s Treasury Select Committee and its Digital Currencies inquiry.

Morgan served as Economic Secretary to the Treasury from October 2013 to April 2014 and as Financial Secretary to the Treasury from April to July 2014. In July 2017, Morgan was elected Chair of the Treasury Select Committee following the 2017 General Election. She later went on the become Secretary of State for Education.

Gandham claims that the UK must act now to get “ahead of the curve” to “foster innovation” in the cryptocurrency space and that as a global leader has the potential to have a major impact on the financial sector by pushing crypto innovation.

As the flagship cryptocurrency faces another unexpected drop in value with the Bitcoin market cap falling below USD 100 billion for first time since October 2017, the eToro boss suggests that a risk-based approach is needed to push mass adoption of the digital currency arguing, “If the UK is going to have any say in blockchain and crypto innovation and is going to lead the world, it needs to act in 2019“.

The latest drop in Bitcoin’s price can be laid firmly in the lap of the upcoming hard fork of Bitcoin Cash, according to CNBC’s Fast Money commentator Brian Kelly, which broke away from Bitcoin in August of 2017 in order to boost the number of transactions, suggesting, “When you do a software upgrade, everybody usually agrees. But in this particular case, everybody is not agreeing.”

A major sell-off in cryptocurrency markets on Wednesday has continued into this morning’s activity on Asian markets. The aggregate cryptocurrency market capitalization dropped by USD 15 billion over 24 hours Wednesday, according to CoinMarketCap.com.

 

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Brian Kelly: One Last Hurdle for Bitcoin Rally

CNBC Fast Money’s bitcoin bull Brian Kelly sees a Bitcoin rally as just one hurdle away: ETF approval. Although, he does not see this as likely until August 2019.

The Big Hurdle

Getting the first Bitcoin ETF approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has become a competition between those fighting for the trophy, as well as for Kelly, the biggest hurdle in seeing a real Bitcoin bull market emerge. He fears that any delay, rejection, or request to withdraw could postpone any substantial price appreciation.

Kelly noted that last years SEC rejection of the Winklevoss brothers ETF actually became a boost for altcoins. Right now, he recognized, the market is flat for altcoins like Ethereum and Ripple. But, this could be because all the new money is flowing into Bitcoin. While part of this may be accounted for by people spending fiat on Bitcoin to then purchase altcoins, Kelly estimates that it is more likely to be coming from investors counting on an ETF approval.

If the ETF applications are rejected or delayed, he predicts that the alt market could experience a capital influx as some investors leave Bitcoin. Kelly pointed to the year’s overall growth in the cryptocurrency market, which saw the movements of Bitcoin and altcoins tightly correlated, with the former outperforming throughout August.

Be cautious to buy Bitcoin today if you are counting on an imminent ETF approval, he warned investors. As a short-term trader, Kelly said he had just sold off some of his Bitcoin holdings.

ETF: For Retail Traders or Not?

As the hosts queried whether an ETF would benefit retail investors, Kelly noted that VanEck’s USD 200,000 share price was likely to weed out any potential for them, and rather serve institutional players.

The SEC gave prospective providers 31 points needed to be met to receive approval, with one of these being protections for retail investors. It would seem that Vaneck responded to this by raising the costs to such an extent that they are cut out of the market.

One issue that the Fast Money hosts did not think had been addressed yet remains the problem of providing a sufficient custodial service, with Kelly citing this as a significant reason why approval is not imminent.

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Price Poor Metric to Judge Bitcoin, Says CoinShares

Digital asset management company CoinShare’s chief strategist Meltem Demirors featured on CNBC’s Fast Money on Monday, where she discussed the problematic nature of judging Bitcoin on price alone.

Demirors offered that actual utilization may be a better alternative metric for institutional and retail investors to consider, which she put down as the real struggle right now. Although she said that it is not yet clear when or how Bitcoin may regain its value, the best way to predict this is by determining solid metrics that best fit Bitcoin.

The strategist noted that ”real traction” is imminent but a lot is relying on analysis to find the key metrics that will drive growth.

She compared cryptocurrency with similar innovative enterprises such as Intel, Amazon, and Microsoft in the early days of internet stocks, noting that it took Amazon nine years to recover from its initial price high during the dotcom bubble, Intel 15 years, and Microsoft 17 years.

Such as these early internet stocks, Demirors said that the real traction for Bitcoin will come with time. The late 2017 price run can be put down to “fear of mission out” (FOMO), which caused a similar type of speculative bubble, she said. With that bubble burst, real businesses with real-life use applications are being developed in the space.

As she put it: “New technologies that shift the paradigm take a long time to really understand.”

This goes to what she described as a key issue right now in the lack of a coherent narrative from the cryptocurrency community. With institutional interest in the space growing, Demirors said that this could well be an opportune time for Bitcoin, but it is not being considered a store of value because of the poorly-relayed narrative.

Bitcoin (BTC) currently sits at USD 6,038.18 after struggling this year to make significant gains compared with last years highs of nearly USD 20,000.

 

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Spencer Bogart: Bitcoin Waiting for Trigger to Hit New Highs

Cryptocurrency hedge fund manager Spencer Bogart has weighed in on Bitcoin price speculation, saying he is waiting for any positive trigger to push the price of Bitcoin up.Featuring on CNBC’s Fast Money, Bogart shared that he has been encouraged by Bitcoin’s recent upward trend, believing that this will continue. He added that he thinks the pullback momentum has passed and he is now waiting for any catalyst to send it to new price highs. Bogart cited several possibilities for this including the current global currency and trade wars.

Foreseeing the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) rejection of the Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), he noted that 2019 may be a more realistic time frame for this to happen. Despite this, Bogart sees several other vehicles already available for retail and institutional investors to enter the market, pointing out Coinbase’s exposure of retail companies, and firms such as Bitwise Asset Management’s outreach to institutional investors.

While naysayers may query specific price forecasts, predicting market swings is essential for investors looking to maximize profits.

Bitcoin has not surpassed USD 8,000 since May this year before it fell back to approximately USD 6,000. While many pundits have shared their expectations and predictions during this most recent upswing, Bitcoin’s valuation is still far from its top price of nearly USD 20,000 in December last year.

Calls for increased security

With many spectators such as Bogart sharing their price rise expectations, another rally is suspected to attract such bad actors as it did in 2017 when the number of hacks on cryptocurrency exchanges and sited increased sharply. While this is not surprising as the potential profits increase substantially for attackers, there has been a call for all investors to prioritize their security.

There is nothing to stop hackers from trying, but so long as investors and cryptocurrency service providers practice due diligence the majority of such attacks can be prevented, and it is indeed important to do so for the reputation of the industry.

 

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Bitcoin Still Best Bet, Says Wall St Crypto King

Bart Smith, Wall Street’s very own ‘Crypto King’, has said in an interview on CNBC’s Fast Money that Bitcoin is still the best option for crypto traders.

Smith, who launched a crypto desk which buys and sells millions of dollars in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, maintains this is primarily because people are out there using it. Therefore, its functionality makes it stand out from the range of available cryptocurrencies available today.

The head of the digital asset group at Susquehanna International Group remains upbeat on Bitcoin despite the falls of the last day. The future he says, is positive, recently suggesting that institutional investors will re-stimulate the cryptocurrency market once more regulatory clarity is provided. He commented:

“If you want to own the asset that you can actually use today and that people are functionally using, it’s Bitcoin… The use case for Bitcoin is valid today, which is the currency of the internet.”

He pointed out that cross-border exchanges using Bitcoin is a major use of the digital currency today. This makes it a significant usable medium of exchange.

Only recently, Alibaba Group’s Ant Financial reported that it intended to use blockchain technology to lower the cost of overseas payment after failing a bid to buy over MoneyGram. The Chinese multinational e-commerce conglomerate says the move will benefit the Filipino expatriate population of Hong Kong. They systematically send funds estimated to be HKD 4.4 billion (USD 561 million) annually back to families in the Philippines.

Talking of traditional cross-border payments, Smith argued:

“They use Western Union, traditional banks; It is slow and it is expensive… and there are people that can stop you from sending that money, whether that’s good or bad. With Bitcoin, I can send money. It’s fast. It’s cheap. And frankly, no one can stop me.”

As for other coins, Smith suggested that this may be the future but it isn’t now. He argues that new tokens will face difficulties establishing new “technological advancements”. Hence, despite the initial excitement, it will be Bitcoin that will be continued to be used for practical purposes.

 

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CNBC Fast Money’s Brian Kelly Will Still “Wanna Buy” Bitcoin at $20K

Brian Kelly, CEO of BKCM and CNBC’s Fast Money, has compared Bitcoin to Microsoft and Cisco in the late 1980s. Likening it to the internet, he pointed out that Bitcoin was not a company, but a public open source software, which was still in the very early stages.

Kelly went on to talk about the recent drop in Bitcoin markets, calling the bottom after it had seen some decent gains. He said, “So I think this is for real, we’ll know after April 17th if we can hold these gains, we’ll know how much of this tax selling impacted, if we use Tom Lee’s work we probably had 500 to 600 billion come off the market for tax selling purposes.”

When asked about the potential in the open source software that is Bitcoin, he stated that he used to think of it as the internet in 1995 but now has a better comparison in that it was the Internet in the late 1980s, being very early stages.

When put forward that Bitcoin was just “one big virus” and that the tech would never breach a new all-time high, Kelly responded, “When it’s USD 20,000 I wanna buy it.”

The #Bitcoin bulls are back in town! And @BKBrianKelly is watching one thing next week that could send the cryptocurrency higher pic.twitter.com/QRbN52XNDq

— CNBC’s Fast Money (@CNBCFastMoney) April 13, 2018

The analyst also backs Tim Draper’s 2022 price prediction of USD 250,000 USD, saying, “This is parabolic, but it would be a continuation of the trend that we’ve seen.”

Brian went on to talk about the use of Bitcoin as a currency and the damping down of the volatility, personally predicting its price to reach USD 25,000 before the end of the year should the network see a boost in transaction volume.

 

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