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BTC price falls back to $47K as weekly close neatly tracks Bitcoin futures gap

BTC price action homes in on the CME futures gap to end a broadly flat week for Bitcoin.

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It’s a modest weekly gain for Bitcoin buyers as Saturday’s progress comes full circle back to square one the next day.

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BTC price falls back to $47K as weekly close neatly tracks Bitcoin futures gap

Bitcoin (BTC) retested $47,000 on Sept. 19 as the weekly close looked set to hinge on the CME futures gap.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingViewBitcoin comes full circle after erasing gains

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed mixed signals from BTC/USD as the week drew to a close.

Saturday had seen a stronger rally from the pair, which subsequently gave way to ranging behavior amid an absence of clear direction.

“Happens quite often in the markets,” Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe explained.

“Slight rally on Saturday for Bitcoin, coming back down to CME close on Sunday. CME closed at $47,490 on Friday, seems to be that we’re going to open there too later today.”

The Bitcoin futures closing price could thus seal what has been a cautiously optimistic week for hodlers, with last week’s close coming in at closer to $46,000.

A look at buy and sell levels on major exchange Binance meanwhile revealed strong resistance at $49,000, this having increased in veracity over the weekend. Buy support, by contrast, still stood at $44,000.

BTC/USD buy and sell levels (Binance) as of Sept. 19. Source: Material IndicatorsAltcoins stage copycat moves into weekly close

It was a similarly lackluster day for altcoins, with the top ten cryptocurrencies copying Bitcoin’s roughly 2.5% daily losses.

Related: Next stop $85K for Bitcoin as analysts predict ‘explosive’ Q4 for BTC price action

Ethereum’s ETH shed slightly more, coming to circle $3,350 at the time of writing — approximately 2% below its position at the same time a week ago.

ETH/USD 1-day candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

As Cointelegraph reported, however, multiple tokens showed bull flags over the week, these including Solana (SOL).

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/btc-price-falls-back-to-47k-as-weekly-close-neatly-tracks-bitcoin-futures-gap

Cointelegraph

PayPal logs its largest Bitcoin volume since May BTC price crash

Bitcoin volumes on PayPal reaches their highest levels since the May 19 crash. A retail boom ahead?

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The world’s leading payment services provider processed $145.60 million worth of Bitcoin trades on the day BTC rallied to its record high of $67,000.

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PayPal logs its largest Bitcoin volume since May BTC price crash

Bitcoin (BTC) trading volumes on global payment service provider PayPal reached $145.60 million on Oct. 20, just as the benchmark crypto rallied toward its record high near $67,000.

The latest spike in volumes came out to be the highest since the May 19 Bitcoin price crash from around $43,500 to as low as $30,000. On the day, some $304 million worth of BTC changed hands, almost double the volumes logged on Oct. 20.

Bitcoin PayPal volumes. Source: ByBt.com

Nonetheless, in both instances, it was unclear if the volumes were due to the increase in purchasing during the Bitcoin price rally or selloffs near the newly-achieved highs. Whatever may be the reason, the PayPal readings reflected a rise in retail activity on Oct. 20, further attested to by a spike in internet queries for the keyword “Bitcoin.”

Bitcoin interest on internet peaked on Wednesday. Source: Google TrendsRetail boom?

Notably, PayPal allows users to start investing in Bitcoin by putting as little as $1. As a result, the payment service firm has emerged as a viable platform for retail investors, a move seen by the industry as a cue for wider crypto adoption.

Interestingly, since PayPal’s push into the crypto sector, the sum count of unique addresses holding at least $1 worth of BTC has surged from 26.83 million on Nov. 20, 2020, to 33.89 million at press time. Meanwhile, on Oct. 20, the count was 34.12 million, an all-time high.

BTC addresses with balance greater than $1. Source: CoinMetrics, Messari

Alexander Vasiliev, co-founder/chief customer officer of crypto payment service Mercuryo, saw PayPal’s foray into the crypto industry as a sign of retail boom. He expected Bitcoin to end the fourth and final quarter of 2021 in profits as everyday traders look for safety nets against a persistently rising inflation.

Related: Bitcoin extends correction as Ethereum sees ‘picture perfect rejection’ at all-time highs

“The increased buying pressure from PayPal users and its corresponding impact on the price of Bitcoin may stir a notable up-shoot this fourth quarter and as the year runs to an end,” Vasiliev told Cointelegraph, adding:

“The company has millions of customers and a massive buy-up of BTC can effectively push Bitcoin to new highs […] With the ATH at $67k, we may see a worse case price hit of $80,000 by year-end and a best-case scenario of $100,000.”

PayPal has around 392 million active users worldwide, but its crypto services are available only in the United States and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, the company is also eyeing an entry into the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector, signaling expansion outside the Bitcoin sector.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Nonetheless, in both instances, it was unclear if the volumes were due to the increase in purchasing during the Bitcoin price rally or selloffs near the newly-achieved highs. Whatever may be the reason, the PayPal readings reflected a rise in retail activity on Oct. 20, further attested to by a spike in internet queries for the keyword “Bitcoin.”

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/paypal-logs-its-largest-bitcoin-volume-since-may-btc-price-crash

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Sri Lanka appoints committee to implement crypto mining and blockchain

The Sri Lankan committee will report its crypto and blockchain-related findings to the Cabinet of Acts, Rules and Regulations.

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The committee plans to propose a suitable framework for Sri Lanka after studying the regulations followed by international markets.

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Sri Lanka appoints committee to implement crypto mining and blockchain

Sri Lanka joins the global crypto adoption drive after setting up a committee for exploring and implementing blockchain and crypto mining technologies.

A letter shared on Oct. 8 by Sri Lanka’s Director General of Government Information, Mohan Samaranayake, shows that the authorities have approved a recent proposal that aims to attract investments in the country’s blockchain and cryptocurrency initiatives.

According to Samaranayake, the Sri Lankan authorities have identified the need of developing “an integrated system of digital banking, blockchain and cryptocurrency mining technology” as a means to stay on par with global partners and international markets. He added:

“This committee will be mandated to study the regulations and initiatives of other countries such as Dubai, Malaysia, Philippines, EU and Singapore etc, and propose a suitable framework for Sri Lanka.”

The proposal was made by Namal Rajapaksa, Minister of Project Coordinating and Monitoring, which requires the committee to report its crypto and blockchain-related findings to the Cabinet of Acts, Rules and Regulations.

Out of the eight members in the committee, two members represent international fintech giants including Mastercard’s Sandun Hapugoda and PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Sujeewa Mudalige. Members from traditional finance include Colombo Stock Exchange CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Director Dharmasri Kumarathunge.

The remaining four members represent various national authorities including Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT), Department Of Government Information, Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and the President’s Council.

Supporting this initiative, the committee will also monitor laws and regulations implemented by other nations to establish rules against Anti-Money Laundering (AML), terror financing and criminal activities.

Related: Crypto transactions surge 706% in Asia as institutional adoption grows — Chainalysis

A recent Cointelegraph report highlighted a 706% surge in Central and Southern Asia and Oceania between July 2020 and June 2021. Based on data shared by Chainalysis, the value of the transactions in the region amounted to 14% ($572.5 billion), with India representing the highest global transaction value.

Back in April, Sri Lanka’s central bank issued a public notice against the risks associated with cryptocurrency investments, citing a lack of legal or regulatory recourse. However, just a month after the notice, the central bank shortlisted three banks for developing a proof-of-concept for a shared Know Your Customer facility using blockchain.

Related: Crypto transactions surge 706% in Asia as institutional adoption grows — Chainalysis

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/sri-lanka-appoints-committee-to-implement-crypto-mining-and-blockchain

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Crypto and pension funds: Like oil and water, or maybe not?

Pension funds, the most cautious of institutional investors, are now giving the booming crypto and blockchain sector a closer look.

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There are good reasons why pension funds should not invest in the crypto and blockchain space. The industry is too new, too volatile, and stultifyingly technical. Moreover, the rules and regulations to govern the sector have yet to be settled.

But the fixed-income financial instruments that pension funds typically favor — like long-term government bonds — are scarcely paying anything these days, so the traditional caretakers of employees’ retirement funds have a dilemma: Where to find investment yield in a world where inflation is looming?

It may not be entirely surprising, then, that pension funds — the most cautious of institutional investors — are now giving the booming crypto/blockchain sector a closer look.

“Family offices led the charge into crypto funds several years ago, but we’ve seen increasing interest from pensions, and there are many pensions that now have exposure to crypto,” Stephen McKeon, a finance professor at the University of Oregon and a partner at Collab+Currency, told Cointelegraph.

“We’ve seen increased interest from pensions” in the past year, added Christine Sandler, head of sales, marketing and research at Fidelity Digital Assets — part of an uptick among all institutional segments — “which we believe reflects the growing sophistication and institutionalization of the digital assets ecosystem, combined with a strong macro narrative driven by response to the pandemic.”

Pension funds tend to be “more conservative, risk-averse investors relative to other segments,” according to Sandler, and they mostly favor investments that have exhibited long-term growth and low volatility, which might arguably make them leery of the crypto/blockchain space.

An early adopter

One of the first United States-based pension funds to invest in blockchain firms was the Fairfax County Police Officers Retirement System, based in Fairfax, Virginia. It tested the waters back in 2018 with an 0.5% allocation in a fund that was investing in blockchain-related enterprises, Katherine Molnar, the fund’s chief investment officer, told Cointelegraph at the recent SALT conference in New York City.

The fund raised its allocation to 1% in 2019, and in spring 2021, it added two new blockchain-related investment funds. The current target allocation is 2%, but because crypto and crypto-based companies have been rising in value, 7% of overall fund assets are now crypto-related — again, mostly “pick-and-shovel” type enterprises that support the industry — like crypto exchanges and custodians.

The pension fund can’t rebalance because it is invested in venture capital funds, Molnar explained, but in mid-September, Fairfax signaled its intent to invest $50 million with Parataxis Capital, a crypto hedge fund that invests in digital tokens and cryptocurrency derivatives. “It’s not a directional bet, but it’s not totally illiquid either,” she told Cointelegraph.

The fact that the police officers’ pension fund has invested until recently in crypto-related companies as opposed to cryptocurrencies — Coinbase rather than, say, Bitcoin (BTC) — isn’t uncommon, either. U.S. institutional investors surveyed by Fidelity Digital indicated a greater propensity for digital asset investment products rather than direct ownership of cryptocurrencies, Sandler told Cointelegraph, adding:

“From our study, we also know that pension funds and defined benefit plans, like many other institutional investor segments surveyed, favor active management of an investment product containing digital assets.”

More pension funds may now travel this road. “We’ve started to see participation not just from the hedge fund segment, which we’ve long seen participation from, but now it’s recently from other institutions, pensions and endowments,” Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of Grayscale Investments — the largest manager of digital assets — told Bloomberg earlier this year, adding he anticipated that pension funds and endowments would drive much of his investment firm’s future growth.

Even pension-fund giants like the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) have dipped a toe in the crypto/blockchain sea. CalPERS invested in Bitcoin mining firm Riot Blockchain LLC some years back and has since raised the stake to about 113,000 shares — worth about $3 million in early October — though that is minuscule compared with CalPERS’ $133.3 billion in equity assets under management, as of its 13F filing in August.

How much is enough?

What sort of crypto allocation is appropriate for a pension fund today? Jim Kyung-Soo Liew, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School, co-authored one of the earliest academic papers on crypto and pension funds back in 2017. That paper found that a 1.3% Bitcoin allocation would be “optimal” to fully reap the cryptocurrency’s diversification benefit.

What is appropriate today? “Going forward, an institutional investor should be looking at a 10%–20% allocation,” Liew told Cointelegraph, and he expects large pension funds to be investing as much as one-fifth of their total assets in the crypto/blockchain space within the next three to five years.

98% of retirement accounts in the US can’t access #Bitcoin.

That’s $36,800,000,000,000.

What happens when they do?

— Dan Held (@danheld) October 7, 2021

“We’ll see more institutional investors,” Liew said, adding, “Their horizons are long.” Today’s $2 trillion in cryptocurrency market capitalization could swell to $20 trillion in the next three to five years, he added, assuming a favorable regulatory environment.

Asked if this doesn’t fly in the face of pension funds’ traditional conservatism, Liew answered, “Pension funds have boards; they have investment committees,” and yes, “they’re often accused of being overly conservative and wanting to understand things 100% before acting.”

From an education standpoint, it will take some time and effort to bring them along, but chief investment officers are quite intelligent as a group, and they will be able to grasp the concepts, Liew said. One problem, he allowed, “They’re not rewarded for risk-taking.”

Obstacles remain

There may be other impediments. “One challenge is that pensions tend to require large tickets,” McKeon told Cointelegraph, “so the space had to mature a bit to accept that amount of capital. As funds continue to scale up, we expect to see more participation by pensions.” Volatility remains a concern, said Sandler, pointing to data:

“‘2021 Institutional Investor Digital Assets Study’ found that 73% of U.S. pension funds, defined benefit plans, and endowments and foundations surveyed cited volatility as the top barrier to adoption.”

U.S. pension funds and defined benefit plans still hold a fairly negative view of digital assets, according to the survey, “but I think we’ll continue to see that negative perception decrease as the market continues to mature and these investors get more comfortable with the technology, infrastructure and channels for exposure and have a more fully developed investment thesis about these assets,” she added.

As such, pension funds, like other institutional investors, are striving to find investment opportunities. As The New York Times noted, “U.S. Treasuries have been the bonds of choice for safe retirement income. But they could deliver no real return for the next decade.”

Related: The long game: Institutional interest in crypto is just getting started

Meanwhile, on the positive side, pension funds have long horizons, and they can withstand short-term volatility. Another plus, “Crypto talent is spread uniformly around the world, and we can source that talent,” Liew added.

Fiduciary constraints won’t disappear, of course. Many pension funds represent municipalities, and they are holding many people’s late-life financial well-being in their hands. That’s a lot of responsibility. But you “can’t get a ton of reward if you don’t take on some risk,” Liew said.

A while back, the president of Molnar’s board said, “I understand the need to do this” — the police officers’ pension fund, like most institutional investors, was struggling to grow its money in a continuing low-interest-rate environment — but some officers “are off the reservation,” he claimed. With the fund’s recent 7.25% rate of returns on its crypto investments, it’s probably safe to assume that some of those officers are back on the reservation now.

Pension funds tend to be “more conservative, risk-averse investors relative to other segments,” according to Sandler, and they mostly favor investments that have exhibited long-term growth and low volatility, which might arguably make them leery of the crypto/blockchain space.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/crypto-and-pension-funds-like-oil-and-water-or-maybe-not

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