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Market Wrap: Bitcoin Makes Headway to $10.3K; Ether Volatility Highest Since May



Bitcoin is eking out gains Wednesday while ether’s volatility is up on DeFi drama.

  • Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $10,299 as of 20:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Gaining 2.7% over the previous 24 hours.
  • Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $9,818- $10,349
  • BTC above its 10-day and 50-day moving averages, a bullish signal for market technicians.

Bitcoin trading on Coinbase since Sept. 7.

Bitcoin is slowly making gains Wednesday, reaching as high as $10,349 as of press time. 

Read More: Bitcoin’s Correlation With Gold Hits Record High

“After the Sept. 2-3 drop, bitcoin has been stuck in a narrow range of $10,100 to $10,500, looking for direction,” said David Lifchitz, chief investment officer for crypto quantitative firm ExoAlpha. “Each drop below $10,000 has been furiously bought, keeping BTC above that,” he added.  

Over the past week, traders have come in and scooped up sub-$10,000 bitcoin, with $9,800 being a level tested but retraced. 

Bitcoin trading the past week.
Source: TradingView

While bitcoin is trending upward, the cryptocurrency needs volume to boost it further, Lifchitz added. “This is typical of a wounded asset recovering,” Lifchitz added.” Contrary to traditional assets, there’s no federal printing press to artificially prop up digital assets, only good old demand,” he said.

So far Wednesday, demand as measured in volume is relatively flat – a paltry $245 million combined on major spot exchanges according to Skew. This is much lower than a week ago, when spot volumes hit a one-month high of $1 billion.

Bitcoin volumes on major spot exchanges the past month.
Source: Skew

John Willock, CEO of digital-asset liquidity firm Tritium, says the ebb and flow in the bitcoin market is simply natural. “This short-term dip down to current levels was a reasonable pullback,” he said.  “A steady move upwards in BTC is fully in line with my expectations for the medium-term and through the end of the year.” 

Read More: ‘High’ Severity Bug in Bitcoin Software Revealed 2 Years After Fix

According to ExoAlpha’s Lifchitz, “Until bitcoin reaches above $10,600, there’s no hope for a retry toward $12,000 anytime soon.” 

Read More: Huobi Launches Crypto Saving Products to Compete With DeFi

Ether volatility up

Ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was up Wednesday, trading around $357 and climbing 6% in 24 hours as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET). 

Read More: Firms Warn of Potential DeFi Scam After $2.5M in ‘Locked’ Cryptos Moved

Ether’s one-month realized volatility, a measure of the standard deviation of returns based on historical data, is at 106% on an annualized basis, its highest point since way back on May 6.

Realized volatility for ETH/USD the past six months.
Source: Skew

It is clear that ether is more volatile than bitcoin, which, at 57% one-month realized annualized volatility Wednesday, is at a level consistent with its August volatility numbers. 

Realized volatility for BTC/USD the past six months.
Source: Skew

Vishal Shah, an options trader and founder of derivatives exchange Alpha5, said uncertainty surrounding decentralized finance, or DeFi, is helping drive volatility in ether, and not in the derivatives that are usually the culprit in crypto. 

“I don’t think much of this volatility is driven by ETH optionality, as the market is relatively small,” Shah said. “Rather, it seems to be a byproduct of pent-up disbelief in gas prices and the large rotations in total value locked in DeFI,” he added. 

Read More: NY AG Asks Court for New Order to Make Bitfinex Turn Over Documents

Other markets

Digital assets on the CoinDesk 20 are all in the green Wednesday. Notable winners as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET): 

Read More: Arca to Gnosis: Show Us a Turnaround Plan or Give Investors’ Money Back

Read More: Court Denies Bitmain $30M in Damages From Co-Founders of Rival Poolin

  • Oil is up 3.3%. Price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude: $37.96.
  • Gold was in the red 0.90% and at $1,948 as of press time.

Read More: DCG Enters Retail Crypto Market With Acquisition of Luno Wallet

  • U.S. Treasury bond yields all climbed Wednesday. Yields, which move in the opposite direction as price, were up most on the two-year, coming in at 4.2%.

Read More: Mastercard Platform Enables Central Banks to Test Digital Currencies
The CoinDesk 20: The Assets That Matter Most to the Market

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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Wealthfront Says Clients Can Now Invest in Grayscale BTC and ETH Funds




With the uncertainty in the current investment ecosystem, Wealthfront says it is set to offer its customers an expert-backed recommended portfolio.

Robo-adviser Wealthfront has made a bold move to offer its clients a means to gain exposure to Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) through Grayscale investment funds. Per a blog post published by the firm, its expanded product offerings include the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (OTCMKTS: GBTC) and Grayscale Ethereum Trust (OTCMKTS: ETHE). The firm noted that its clients can invest as much as 10% of their total portfolio in the trusts, citing risk and volatility as the reasons for the restrictions.

“You can add GBTC and/or ETHE to your portfolio by following the instructions here and selecting a combined allocation of up to 10% of your total portfolio. We limit your allocation to GBTC and ETHE because, as a fiduciary, we act in your best interests at all times, and these investments can be riskier and more volatile than most ETFs,” Wealthfront said in the blog post.

The maturity of the cryptocurrency ecosystem has seen a growing clamor for exposure or investments in assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum by both retail and institutional investors. Several economic fundamentals have contributed to this rising embrace of nascent assets including the pangs of inflation which has continued to contribute to the devaluation of fiat currencies like the US Dollar. More than ever, the investment community is seeing a more flexible and promising means of hedging against inflation through digital assets.

The move by Wealthfront to integrate the GBTC and ETHE is geared toward enhancing the quality of investment options by its clients. While there is no obligation on customers to invest in these offerings, their availability implies the Robo adviser is moving in line with the trends in the growing digital world.

Wealthfront Grayscale Funds: Value Added Services to Owing Crypto

The Wealthfront system uses advanced automation to take “chore out of managing your portfolio and works to maximize your after-tax returns at no extra cost.” Just like the investment manager is offering GBTC and ETHE investment options, it also gives its clients the way to acquire other investment products including ARK ETFs as well as other vehicles that represent innovative tech and social advancements.

The firm said the newly added products are complementary to the existing products as customers “can now choose from a bigger selection of ARK ETFs, pick ETFs that are specific to industries like cannabis or self-driving cars, or choose from a larger pool of socially responsible investments, adding that “the choice is yours.”

With the uncertainty in the current investment ecosystem, Wealthfront says it is set to offer its customers an expert-backed recommended portfolio. As a value-added service, the firm said its clients can bring over investments from another firm and they will handle the details that is billed to drive productivity. 

Wealthfront is arguably one of the largest Robo advisors in the world with about $25 billion in assets under management. Grayscale also holds as much as $25.5 billion in the GBTC trust and $7.47 billion in its ETHE trust.

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Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.

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Tourism Industry to Adopt Crypto Payments as They ‘Will Really Matter for Travel’




The list of tourism companies accepting crypto payments is constantly growing. You will find the names of tourism players currently transacting in crypto below.

It is quite difficult to name at least one sphere that has not been touched by blockchain. The impact of cryptocurrencies on our life has been inevitable, and now industries can not but accept this fact and think of ways to get deeper involved in crypto-related activity. One of the industries that have been recently adopting cryptocurrencies is tourism. Now, when travel companies are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, all of them are looking for ways to expand their activity and get back to pre-pandemic revenue. And cryptocurrencies can serve as a means of doing that. Therefore, the tourism industry is adopting crypto payments, with more and more travel providers warming to this idea.

According to many industry experts, cryptocurrency, first of all, appeals to younger generations of travelers. As Johannes Reck, CEO and co-founder of GetYourGuide, stated, cryptocurrency transactions “will really matter for travel”. He explained:

“People want to put their crypto back into the system [and] travel is one of the biggest categories there is. We take dogecoin now into the real world; you can apply it and actually get a real-world, kinetic experience.”

The list of tourism companies accepting crypto payments is constantly growing. You will find the names of tourism players currently transacting in crypto below.

Who Accepts Crypto Payments?

There are a lot of travel companies that allow you to purchase your plane ticket or hotel via Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies.

An American online travel agency that finds affordable rates for flights, hotels, and car rentals by searching through significantly more low-fare options that other websites might miss. CheapAir lets you pay with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin through BTCPayServer processor.

The world’s leading full-service online travel company was the first major travel organization to have payments in digital currency. It started accepting Bitcoin payments back in 2014. The cryptocurrency payment option was available until June 2018. Then, the company stopped it. However, Expedia Partner Solutions (EPS) partnered with crypto-friendly travel booking platform As a result, more than 700,000 Expedia Group hotels and accommodations became available via Travala.

Travala accepts several cryptocurrencies including BTC, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB). It also distinguishes itself by hosting a native cryptocurrency on its platform, the AVA token. It incentivizes the use of the token with benefits such as discounts on your bookings, bonus rewards, and a loyalty program to foster a healthy internal economy.

Alternative Airlines is a website that offers over 600 global airlines that accept cryptocurrency payments for secure and verified transactions. You can complete your booking entirely through its website and find the best prices due to alternative flight options through small airline carriers in lesser-known regions.

Destinia allows you to use cryptos to book hotels, flights, cars, buses, trains, or even skiing trips in more than 90 different countries. This website also lets you enter your budget parameters and organize activities and locations to create thematic vacations ranging from festivals to honeymoons.

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Daria is an economic student interested in the development of modern technologies. She is eager to know as much as possible about cryptos as she believes they can change our view on finance and the world in general.

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Lloyds Banking Group Set to Acquire Embark for £390 Million as Q2 Pretax Profits Rise




In line with the move, Lloyds increased its net new money target to around £40 billion in 2023.

British financial institution Lloyds Banking Group PLC is set to buy major WealthTech player Embark Group for £390 million. The UK banking giant will acquire £35 billion of assets under administration from the Dundee-based retirement solutions provider. The deal, which is Lloyds’ biggest since it returned to private ownership four years ago, will also see it inherit about 410,000 customers. However, Embark’s Rowanmoor SIPP and SSAS administration are excluded from the package deal and will be retained by existing shareholders.

Lloyds Banking Group’s Plans to Buy Embark

The newly acquired business consolidates Lloyds’ existing partnerships which caters to the more complex financial planning and investment requirements of mass-affluent and high net-worth customers. It currently provides this offering through Schroeders Personal Wealth and Cazenove. The banking group hopes to leverage the technology platform that Embark provides to increase its investment offerings using WealthTech. Under the arrangement, Embark will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scottish Widows Group, with the acquisition expected to complete in the fourth quarter, subject to regulatory approval.

Lloyds 2021 Financial Numbers Against Past Results

On Thursday, Lloyds posted a 2.1 billion pound ($2.92 bn) pretax profit for the second quarter of 2021. This figure was substantially higher than the projected profit estimate of £1.23 billion for the said period, according to its compiled consensus. At the same time last year, the financial institution lost £676 million, considering the prevailing circumstances with the pandemic. In 2019, the British bank reported a profit of £1.29 billion for the same period.

In addition to its reported Q2 pretax profit for 2021, Lloyds also indicated impairments of £333 million, showing a recovering economy up from £323 million in the previous quarter. There was an increase in net income from £3.46 billion to £3.90 billion at the same time in 2020, and to £4.40 billion back in 2019. This was higher than the 3.69 billion pounds projected by the bank’s compiled consensus. Lloyds ended the period with a common equity Tier 1 ratio of 16.7%, a key measure of balance sheet strength. It also declared an interim dividend of 0.67 pence per share.

Lloyd’s WealthTech Ambitions With Embark

In line with the move, Lloyds increased its net new money target to around £40 billion in 2023. This is in line with its 2021 strategic review,  to reflect its increased growth and potential.

The new Lloyds arrangement will see Embark a new chief executive. The new CEO will be Widows Group managing director for pensions, stockbroking, and distribution, Jackie Leiper. Furthermore, Lloyds also intends to “work closely” with Embark’s existing asset management partners, BlackRock and Franklin Templeton. The banking group intends to a top-three position in different facets. These include direct-to-consumer, robo-advice, and self-directed businesses. 

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Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge.
When he’s not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.

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