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First Mover: Wacky Bitcoin-to-DeFi Crypto Markets Might Be New Home of Capitalism

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Price Point

Bitcoin was slightly lower early Friday, leaving the cryptocurrency on track for its first weekly price decline since mid-July. 

The largest cryptocurrency broke above $12,000 earlier in the week and failed to hold the gains, though John Willock, CEO of crypto asset manager Tritum, told CoinDesk Thursday that “maybe we’ve got $13,500 in the next phase up in the coming days.” 

You’re reading First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily markets newsletter. Assembled by the CoinDesk Markets Team, First Mover starts your day with the most up-to-date sentiment around crypto markets, which of course never close, putting in context every wild swing in bitcoin and more. We follow the money so you don’t have to. You can subscribe here.

European stocks were up and the euro was down early Friday as investors continued to bet on technology shares and a vaccine breakthrough while shrugging off fresh signs that the economic recovery is faltering. The dollar was headed for its first weekly gain since mid-June. 

“It does almost seem as if the entire crypto market is taking its cues from the U.S. dollar,” Mati Greenspan, founder of the foreign-exchange and cryptocurrency analysis firm Quantum Economics, told subscribers in an email. 

Market moves

Even after growing 100-fold in the past five years, the entirety of the cryptocurrency asset class, which has a total market valuation of $372 billion, is just fraction of the $35 trillion U.S. stock market. 

What’s surprising is that still-fledgling digital-asset markets might be more rational and functional these days than Wall Street: The various ups and downs of token prices are sending out bona fide market signals that point to projects and opportunities where capital is warranted, and investors are responding. 

Mainstream investment analysts and Wall Street Journal columnists now assert matter-of-factly that the stock market is merely propped up by this year’s $3 trillion of money-printing by the Federal Reserve.

Sure, bitcoin has benefited from the perception that the largest cryptocurrency might benefit from inflation, since many investors see it as a hedge against currency debasement, similar to gold. 

Far more fascinating are the capital flows into the semi-autonomous lending and trading systems being built atop the Ethereum and other blockchains under the rubric of “decentralized finance,” or DeFi.

A real market?

Soaring token prices for projects like Aave, Chainlink, Compound and Curve, not to mention good-luck-explaining-this-to-your-friends outliers like Yam and Spaghetti, have indeed attracted capital, at least for stretches. According to DeFi pulse, total value socked away into the platforms has jumped 10-fold this year to $7 billion. 

It might all just be speculative hype, but that might actually be preferable to global foreign exchange markets that are heavily influenced if not controlled by central bank officials. 

Within the digital-asset ecosystem, investors have figured out how to quickly allocate and reallocate capital whenever new opportunities arise.   

CoinDesk’s Daniel Cawrey reported on Thursday that juicy returns in the DeFi market are making some investors shift away, at least temporarily, from putting their money into options contracts on bitcoin.

“Every derivatives trader that was looking for incremental yield and levered returns has been besotted by the magnitude of moves in DeFi,” Viashl Shah, founder of derivatives exchange Alpha5, told Cawrey. “So, naturally, cost of capital dictates at least some attention that way.”

Open interest in bitcoin options has dipped recently.
Source: Skew

Traders are even are putting their bitcoins into DeFi platforms to take advantage of the higher yields in the fast-growing arena. 

Since the start of the year, the number of bitcoin locked in DeFi has grown 34-fold to about 49,000. 

It might be a bubble, but at least it’s not a game of trying to anticipate the Fed’s next move. In fact there’s even room for investors to take bets on which projects might become dominant players in the future, without struggling so much to understand what exactly is happening, as often seems to be the case these days in so many traditional markets. 

“DeFi long term will revolutionize finance, but this short-term bubble is bound to pop eventually, in my opinion,” Michael Gord, co-founder of trading firm Global Digital Assets, told Cawrey. At that point, the locked-up bitcoins might flow back out of DeFi, and more money might flow back into bitcoin options. 

Almost like a real market. 

fm-aug-21-defi-rates
There’s a thriving market for borrowing and lending cryptocurrencies.
Source: DeFi Rate

Bitcoin watch

skew_btc_25d_skew-4-2
Bitcoin put-call skew.
Source: Skew

Bitcoin has pulled back more than 5% from the 13-month high above $12,400 reached on Monday. 

  • Unless buying action comes quick, downwards momentum could push prices down to $11,000, the cryptocurrency trading firm QCP noted earlier this week.
  • Open interest in bitcoin options has risen back to near record high levels seen in July.
  • However, that is not necessarily a bullish development, as investors have recently sold call options. That is evident from the recent recovery in the one-month put-call skew from -10% to -3%.
  • Investors typically sell call options when they expect prices to consolidate or drop. 

Read more: Bitcoin Options Open Interest Nears All Time High – But Rise in Puts Could Presage Drop

Token watch

Dai (DAI): Stablecoin gets on Binance’s new DeFi staking platform. Dai, the dollar-linked stablecoin for crypto lending platform MakerDAO, has become the first available digital asset on Binance’s DeFi staking program. The Binance initiative aims to tap into this year’s booming DeFi market by offering users the ability to earn “staking rewards,” similar to interest on a bank deposit. Dai will be used to participate in Compound staking, according to Binance. Compound, another DeFi money market protocol, has more than $993 million worth of dai supply right now, according to its website. As CoinDesk previously reported, users of Compound were rushing to deposit their dai on the platform to maximize yields.

Tether (USDT): 1 billion of the dollar-linked stablecoins are shifted to the Ethereum blockchain from Tron.

Kyber (KNC): DeFi token looks cheap based on a discounted cash flow analysis, and comparison with Synthetix (SNX) and Balancer (BAL), according to a new report by TradeBlock.  

Ethereum Classic (ETC): Frequently-attacked blockchain could be in line for upgrades to help protect against more 51% attacks.

OMG (OMG): Token price doubles in past week as record Etherum fees stoke interest in layer 2 solutions.

Analogs – On the economy and traditional finance

European economic activity unexpectedly slowed in August (Bloomberg)

U.S. cutback of $500B in emergency aid could shave $940B off economy. (Peterson Institute)

Costa Rica, Greece, Morocco, Portugal, Thailand hit by “precipitous drop” in tourism. (IMF)

JPMorgan reportedly pushing to provide banking services in U.S. post offices. (The Capitol Forum) 

Federal Reserve has been putting a floor under the Treasury market for 84 years. (New York Fed)

Asian Banks face “challenging” revenue environment from near-zero interest rates (Fitch) 

U.S. Jobless claims jump back above 1M as labor-market recovery stalls (Labor Department)

screen-shot-2020-08-20-at-4-31-58-pm
U.S. jobless claims continue to far outpace losses after the 2008 crisis.
Source: St. Louis Fed

TWEET OF THE DAY

What’s hot

Chinese nationals might be using tether to spirit capital out of China (Bloomberg)

Grayscale trusts “sold in secondary market to the public at large premiums” (Arcane Research)

Mining industry increasingly “financialized” and hashrate “capitalized” (TokenInsight)

Crypto-Friendly U.S. congressman turns to crypto-friendly fund-raising via BitPay (CoinDesk)

FTX hires former Robinhood crypto exec as COO of U.S. crypto exchange (The Block)

Newest-generation Bitmain, MicroBT rigs portend “neck and neck competition” (BitMEX Research)

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Disclosure

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.



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Snap Stock Up 16% as Q2 2021 Earnings Beat Analyst Expectations

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Snap stock has risen approximately 184.94%, and 25.76% in the past year and seven months.

Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP) stock traded 16.31% higher in today’s premarket around $73.24. The notable spike has been directly attributed to the second-quarter earnings results that beat analysts’ expectations. Notably, Snap reported revenue of $982 million in Q2 versus $846 million expected by analysts according to a survey by Refinitiv.

Additionally, the company recorded adjusted earnings per share of 10 cents versus 1 cent loss forecasted by analysts. During the second quarter, Snap’s average revenue per user (ARPU) was $3.35 against $2.92 expected by analysts according to a survey conducted by Refinitiv. Global daily active users (DAUs) hit 293 million users versus 290.3 million according to a survey conducted by StreetAccount.

Snap stock has risen approximately 184.94%, and 25.76% in the past year and seven months. However, they have dropped approximately 6.95% in the past month according to market analytics provided by MarketWatch.

Snap Stock and Company’s Q2 2021 Earnings

On the positive side, Snap noted that the iOS 14.5 update did not make severe changes to its operations as earlier forecasted. Partly due to the late rollout of iOS 14.5 by Apple’s developers.

Jeremi Gorman, Snap’s chief business officer added that the slow adoption of Apple’s software update also significantly contributed. “This has given us more time with advertisers to navigate the transition but also means the effects of these changes will come later than we initially expected,” Gorman said.

One of the key highlights from the Snap second-quarter report was the 53% decline in a net loss to $152 million from $326 million a year ago.

Forward, the company is weighing on different market outlooks, particularly Covid-19 and the rollout of the vaccine. On a year-over-year basis, Snap expects its revenue to grow by 58% to 60% during the third quarter. Additionally, the company said it anticipates hitting approximately 301 million daily active users (DAUs) in the third quarter.

This range reflects our best current estimate of the potential impact of anticipated disruptions associated with the iOS platform changes,” Snap Chief Financial Officer Derek Andersen said in his prepared remarks.

The foreseeable future remains uncertain for Snap management largely due to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. As a result, the company said it will be operating in an uncertain environment until the end of the year.

The company has a reported market valuation of approximately $99.58 billion as of today with 1.32 billion outstanding shares. Having been rated by 38 Wall Street analysts, MarketWatch found out that Snap stock received an average of Over rating.

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A financial analyst who sees positive income in both directions of the market (bulls & bears). Bitcoin is my crypto safe haven, free from government conspiracies.
Mythology is my mystery!
“You cannot enslave a mind that knows itself. That values itself. That understands itself.”



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Binance US Pursuing Plans to Go Public, Opts for IPO amidst Regulatory Crackdown

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Binance US will be competing for a public spot proceeding despite facing allegations from global regulators.

Binance US which is a cryptocurrency exchange operating in the American market will opt for an IPO way to go public. The firm is currently in the process of navigating heavy regulatory concerns and crackdowns. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has commented on the possibility of the firm listing on an IPO and communicated possible plans of the company concerning regulatory requirements and protocols.

The CEO further highlighted how the company is still embroiled in regulatory trouble with central regulators and had taken accountability for the same. However, Zhao has been confident in making Binance US seek a public spot through the IPO and expressed his decision to accelerate compliance efforts to work in sync with the guidelines to safeguard the company’s interest and stake.

Binance US Opts for a Strategic IPO Listing

Binance US will be competing for a public spot proceeding as a separate company that seeks branding from the global exchange Binance. The company will be taking a fresh initiative to go public in the upcoming months.

It is to be noted that  Binance which is the leading cryptocurrency exchange was facing allegations from global regulators that involve claims such as the company being implicated in illegal trading in the USA. The concerning matter was later investigated by the States Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service. Later on, the company was approached by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission on similar grounds.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhang has asserted that the company is surely battling regulatory issues and interventions at the moment but is confident enough to accelerate the work operations by shifting the company into the financial domain from a previous tech setup.

The CEO has further admitted that they might encounter troubles with the regulators but this will never disregard the company’s vision to go public one day. Binance US is now pursuing ways to opt for a traditional initial public offering route to seek credible transition.

In a virtual blockchain summit called REDeFINE Tomorrow 2021, Zhao was seen communicating his plans regarding Binance’s prospects and strategies as well the company’s new goal that involves an IPO listing. Zhao later restated that the company will be expediting its compliance efforts that will also include hiring former regulators to speed things up.

In the summit held on Friday, Zhao was seen admitting the fact that the regulatory issue that the firm is currently facing will be mitigated very soon and the compliance efforts will be accelerated to localize communication in a structured manner.

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Juhi Mirza is an archaeology major who is obsessive about blockchain/Crypto technology and deems it to be the foundational philosophy of the future. Her dogged ability to research and crystallise technical facts/multiple perspectives into rivetting stories makes her an accessible finance writer. She tends to her archaeological pursuits and loves unearthing the past over the weekends.



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TSLA Stock Up 2% Yesterday, Musk Anounces Opening Tesla Supercharger to All EVs

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Tesla is planning to make Superchargers that are accessible by all vehicles in most of the countries.

The founder and CEO of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) Elon Musk announced that the company’s chain of fast-charging stations for its electric automobiles, aka Tesla’s Supercharger network, will commence serving other brands of electric vehicles from this year.

Meanwhile, Tesla stock went up by 2% yesterday, reaching $660.50. Today in the pre-market, the stock lost 0.23%.

The tweet was posted on Tuesday by the business magnate. This announcement follows years of gossip on the development of Tesla charging stations that are compliant with all electric vehicles.

Despite the tall claims by Musk, there has, as of now, not been any communication on the details about this venture. For starters, where will the DC fast-charging stations be set up still remains a question. However, according to the Billionaire, Tesla is planning to make Superchargers that are accessible by all vehicles in most of the countries.

In recent times, the billionaire has communicated the idea of introducing Superchargers to other EVs and collaborating on the technology together. In an interview in 2014, Musk suggested contributing and curating designs to create a mainstream blueprint that can be exchanged across industries.

In a gathering in 2018, Tesla CEO had, however, answered a query during an earnings call that the Supercharger Network is not anomalous to a ‘walled garden’. By this, the billionaire wanted to suggest that different brands and designs of EVs might have different charging stations that are compatible.

The most critical marketing strategy for Tesla Electric vehicles has been the fact that the company has exclusive charging stations. This herculean advantage set the company apart from its competitors in battery vehicles. The Tesla charging network is accessible to operators of Tesla vehicles without any membership fees. The company keeps a tab of the charging per minute or kilowatt-hour.

The company’s new level 3 Charging Stations have not been opened to the general public, and are available only to the owners. The connectors used in powering the vehicles can be plugged into Tesla vehicles only, enabling less crowd and higher accessibility to the Tesla customers.

Several US companies have discussed and struggled to provide charging stations that cater to battery vehicles from different brands. The companies include ChargePoint, Electrify America, Sema, and many others. Tesla’s website claims that the company currently manages more than 25,00 charging stations across the globe.

In December 2020, Musk mentioned his company’s plan to create Supercharging stations for all electric automobiles. In a conversation with YouTuber MKBHD, Marques Brownlee, the billionaire said that other Brands of EVs were “low-key” on the lookout for access to Tesla’s Superchargers and that the apparatus was already being made available to other electric cars.

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Sanaa is a chemistry major and a Blockchain enthusiast. As a science student, her research skills enable her to understand the intricacies of Financial Markets. She believes that Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize every industry in the world.





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