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Ethereum market cap hits $337 billion, surpassing Nestle, P&G and Roche

The value of the Ethereum network soared above major companies like Nestle and P&G after its market cap hit a new high at $337 billion.

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Ether (ETH) price has rallied more than 200% in 2021, resulting in a massive $337 billion market capitalization. This impressive figure pushed the value of the Ethereum network ahead of the total market cap of major companies like Procter & Gamble’s ($326 billion) and PayPal’s $308 billion.

The market cap figure is achieved by multiplying the last trade price by the total outstanding number of coins, regardless of whether they’ve been moved. Therefore, it seldomly reflects the average price where most investors transacted.

For investors from traditional finance, ‘value’ is assessed by comparing multiples and valuations. These are often calculated in the form of earnings, sales, and market share, and attempting to apply these same ‘value’ metrics to cryptocurrencies with multiple use cases creates uncertainty and discomfort.

Ether is a multi-faceted asset that is difficult to evaluate

There is not a bullet-proof metric available to assess how Ether’s value stacks against its potential. The cryptocurrency might simultaneously act as a digital store of value while also functioning as the token required to access the Ethereum network.

Ether market cap, in USD billion. Source: TradingView

Therefore, one must consider the coins deposited on exchanges or the percentage effectively changing hands when comparing different asset classes. The existence of regulated derivatives markets allow institutional investors to bet against the asset’s price, and it is another factor that should be accounted for.

Largest global assets’ ranking by market capitalization. Source: Infinite Market Cap

While the merits of comparing the market cap of different asset classes side-by-side is debatable, the metric essentially works the same way for commodities, stocks, and mutual funds.

According to data from Infinite Market Cap, Ether recently surpassed the market cap of Nestle, Procter & Gamble, PayPal, and Roche.

The American multinational consumer goods company P&G was founded in 1837 and holds a diversified brand portfolio, including personal health, consumer care, and hygiene. With 100,000 employees worldwide, the conglomerate posted a $13 billion net income in 2020.

On the other hand, Ethereum has 2,320 average monthly developers, according to the Electric Capital’ Developer Report’. Although it is not a secular company, its decentralized applications (dApps) handle over 100,000 daily active addresses. Even more impressive is the $12 billion daily transfer and transactions on the Ethereum network. These numbers alone are outstanding even for an S&P 500 company.

Stocks have their own risks, which can’t be ignored

Comparing a 183-year company that is heavily dependent on production and distribution to a technology-based protocol is unlikely to uncover many similarities. However, equity investors enjoy the fruits of dividends, and while some will argue that Ether could be staked for a return, there are more significant risks involved.

Investors staking in the ETH 2.0 contract have the options of becoming a full validator or joining a pool but their coins could be lost due to malicious activity or by failing to validate network transactions. Similar risks emerge when lending Ether via centralized services and decentralized protocols.

On the other hand, listed companies can create new shares to benefit from excessive valuations or increase their cash position.

Tax changes, operational liabilities, and regulatory changes are other risks that stockholders sometimes face. For example, Roche was recently challenged for $4.5 billion from the government for deceiving the CDC, according to a lawsuit unsealed in September 2019.

Decentralized protocols are virtually free of these perils, and perhaps this justifies their sky-high valuations.

Considering the risks described above, investors might conclude that holding Ether is less risky than buying stocks. At least it is possible to self-custody, making the asset less dependent on third parties and unauthorized transactions.

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

Therefore, one must consider the coins deposited on exchanges or the percentage effectively changing hands when comparing different asset classes. The existence of regulated derivatives markets allow institutional investors to bet against the asset’s price, and it is another factor that should be accounted for.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/ethereum-market-cap-hits-337-billion-surpassing-nestle-p-g-and-roche

Cointelegraph

Discovering financial literacy: Crypto leads retail investment charge

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Momentum trading driven by retail investors seems to have taken on a new life since the onset of the global standstill occasioned by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Where celebrity challenges used to dominate viral trends on social media, issues relating to personal finance and investments seem to be as popular these days.

This increasing interest in the financial markets from workaday folks has also spread to the crypto space as digital currencies posted sharp price recoveries from the slumps that characterized the Black Thursday crash of March 12, 2020.

While interest is palpable, some gatekeepers question whether the new generation of retail investors is sufficiently knowledgeable to be investing in risky assets. But has the management of personal finances and investing become a new fashionable trend?

COVID-19: Challenge and opportunity

Trading apps like Robinhood and Coinbase have recently become the most downloaded on Apple’s App Store, ahead of popular social media services such as TikTok and Instagram. Given the sway held by social media over popular culture in the last decade, investment apps seeing the most downloads could point to a pivot in interests especially among the younger demographic.

According to a survey published by U.S. investment giant Charles Schwab, 15% of the current retail investors in America began investing in 2020. Indeed, the United States brokerage industry is estimated to have added 10 million new clients in 2020, with retail trading app Robinhood accounting for over 60% of the total figure.

The retail investment boom in 2020 can be attributed to two factors: market volatility and coronavirus lockdowns. With the global economy virtually on standstill, governments sought to stimulate growth and recovery by significant cash infusions in the form of stimulus packages.

According to the Charles Schwab survey, Millennials and Generation Z constitute the majority of the newbie investor class created in 2020. Indeed, Millennials accounted for over half the number of participants who said they got into the asset market amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jonathan Craig, senior executive vice president and head of investor services at Charles Schwab, told Cointelegraph:

“We’ve seen tremendous growth and engagement among individual investors over the past year as a result of lower trading costs, new products and services aimed at greater ease and accessibility, and the investing opportunities presented by market volatility.”

Perhaps fearful of inflation and monetary debasement, more retail investors appear keen to secure suitable hedges against economic uncertainty. In a conversation with Cointelegraph, Jay Hao, CEO of crypto exchange giant OKEx, identified the COVID-19 pandemic as a significant trigger for the current retail investment surge, adding:

“The pandemic has probably sped up crypto adoption due to the Federal Reserve massively pumping money into the market over last year to save the U.S. economy. […] With more platforms having granted retail investors direct access to invest in equities, we are seeing a democratization of the investment space and more power in the hands of the people.”

The coronavirus continues to have a significant impact on personal finances ranging from salary cuts to furloughs or even outright job losses. Thus, it is perhaps unsurprising to see more people becoming incentivized to build emergency income sources outside the traditional 9-to-5 structure.

Throwing crypto into the mix

As previously stated, Robinhood accounted for over 60% of the new investors added by U.S. brokerages in 2020. This figure puts the retail trading platform in a suitable position to determine newbie investment trends within the last year.

According to a blog post on the company’s website earlier in April, the trading platform declared that its customers were leading the vanguard of the demographic change in the financial markets. In the aforementioned Charles Schwab survey, the investment giant called this new investor class “Generation Investor,” or Gen I.

Gen I has a median age of 35 years, which once again positions Millennials and Gen Z at the heart of this investment demographic shift. Numerous surveys have also put this particular age range as being the most interested in cryptocurrencies, as Hao put it:

“Cryptocurrency is probably one of the first financial instruments that has drawn attention from millennials, who have the capability to further vitalize the market. From popular TikTok accounts to memetic crypto marketing, these communities and their sophistication in producing action bring on a new scene of user-behavior to altcoins.”

Earlier in April, crypto exchange OKEx published a joint research study with blockchain analytics service Catallact showing the impact of retail interest in the crypto market. According to the report, retail activity in the Bitcoin (BTC) market outpaced that of institutional players in Q1 2021.

Such is the growth in retail cryptocurrency trading activity that Robinhood has reported that 9.5 million customers traded crypto on its platform in Q1 2021 alone. This figure represents a sixfold increase in the number of customers recorded by the company in Q4 2020.

Other investment and payment services have also begun onboarding crypto clients to take advantage of the current retail trading hype. The likes of Venmo and PayPal have broken from previously anti-crypto stances to adopt friendlier dispositions to digital currencies amid the potential for massive revenue streams.

Outside the U.S., a resurgence in retail crypto trading has significantly impacted South Korea’s financial markets. Firms invested in cryptocurrency exchanges are experiencing massive stock price growths. K Bank, the major banker for Upbit — one of South Korea’s largest crypto exchanges — has enjoyed a sharp reversal of fortunes. The bank has recovered from the $89 million in losses recorded in 2019 to be within a year of possibly pursuing a public listing.

What about financial literacy?

In February, Thailand’s finance minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith bemoaned the surge of speculative crypto investment among retail traders in the country. At the time, the government official warned that the trend could have dire implications for the country’s capital market.

Thailand’s finance minister is not alone in espousing such sentiments as similar remarks have emerged from government officials and financial regulators across the world. In January 2021, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority warned that crypto investors were liable to lose all their money owing to the high level of risk in the market.

Apart from volatility and other well-worn anti-crypto rhetoric, issuers of these cryptocurrency crash portents often point to the presumed ignorance of retail investors about the intricacies of the investment market. Indeed, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission came under significant backlash from the Thai crypto community when it sought to introduce investor qualification requirements for cryptocurrency investments back in February.

Hong Kong is also another jurisdiction looking to limit retail involvement in crypto trading amid reports of a blanket ban. Like the Thai proposal, Hong Kong regulators are looking to enact a minimum income threshold for cryptocurrency investments, which could disqualify up to 93% of the city’s population.

There is perhaps no better scale for examining financial literacy arguments than the GameStop saga from earlier in the year. A horde of retail investors leveraged the power of social media engagement to counter shorting of GME stock.

Save for regulatory paternalism that saw stock market gatekeepers unfairly favoring the hedge funds on the losing side, the retail traders on r/Wallstreetbets may probably have run the naked shorters to the ground. It could be argued that the GameStop drama proved financial literacy is not the issue for retail traders but rather the undemocratized nature of the legacy financial system.

The Charles Schwab survey offers a glimpse of the extent to which newbie investors are going in terms of financial education and advice. In its published report on the poll, the investment firm revealed that about 94% of investors are keen to access more information and tools to conduct their own research.

Commenting on the investment mindset of newbie investors, Andrew D’Anna, senior vice-president at the company’s retail client experience division, stated: “Now that they’ve dipped their toes into investing, Gen I is eager to keep learning and evolving its strategies to successfully build wealth for the long-term.”

According to D’Anna, the company’s survey offers proof that Gen I investors are not all about short-term risk-taking for huge gains. Instead, the emerging generational change in the financial markets led by Millennials and Gen Z are keen to acquire guidance and education to make informed decisions.

Trading apps like Robinhood and Coinbase have recently become the most downloaded on Apple’s App Store, ahead of popular social media services such as TikTok and Instagram. Given the sway held by social media over popular culture in the last decade, investment apps seeing the most downloads could point to a pivot in interests especially among the younger demographic.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/discovering-financial-literacy-crypto-leads-retail-investment-charge

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PayPal-owned Venmo launches cryptocurrency trading

In the latest milestone in crypto adoption, popular payments app Venmo integrates cryptocurrency trading for its 70+ million users.

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Venmo is following in the footsteps of its rival, Square’s Cash App, by introducing cryptocurrency trading.

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PayPal-owned Venmo launches cryptocurrency trading

Payments app Square made headlines — and dollars — when it integrated Bitcoin trading into its mobile platform back during the crypto bull market of winter 2017.

Now, rival payments firm Venmo, owned by PayPal, is following suit by launching cryptocurrency trading for four major coins: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litceoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Beginning on Tuesday and set to be widely available within the new few weeks, Venmo’s 70 million+ customers will be able to buy, hold and sell crypto directly within the Venmo app. The launch is offering users access to in-app guides to help them to better navigate the cryptocurrency trading space and will encourage them to share their cryptocurrency experiences via the Venmo feed.

Venmo users will be able to buy as little as $1 worth of cryptocurrency and can use either funds from their Venmo balance or from a linked bank account or debit card to buy and sell their holdings.

Over 30% of Venmo customers have already begun to purchase cryptocurrency or equities, according to the company’s research into 2020 customer behavior. Of these, 20% began their purchase during the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that the public health and concurrent economic crisis has accelerated trends in digitization and experimentation with new financial technologies.

Support for cryptocurrency on Venmo is facilitated through a partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of crypto products such as its stablecoin and other services. Venmo owner PayPal is also the holder of a conditional Bitlicense from the exacting New York State Department of Financial Services. Conditional licensees, such as PayPal, are required to pair off with firms that have already been granted full-blown licenses — as, in this case, has Paxos.

Just under a week ago, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman hinted at developments underway since the payments giant first went live with its crypto offering in the United States in November of last year. Schulman said that PayPal aims to support the use of crypto for everyday transactions and to tap into smart contracts and other, more expansive features of blockchain technology. He also pitched the company’s vision of leveraging crypto for the attainment of a more “inclusive economy,” in which “things will be done much differently than today.”

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/paypal-owned-venmo-launches-cryptocurrency-trading

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Price analysis 4/2: BTC, ETH, BNB, ADA, DOT, XRP, UNI, LTC, LINK, THETA

Select altcoins could rally higher if Bitcoin and Ethereum hold on to their recent gains.

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According to a recent research note by JPMorgan, institutional investors have withdrawn about $20 billion from their gold investments since mid-October and during the same time frame, institutional inflows into Bitcoin (BTC) have increased by $7 billion.

The bank said, “any such crowding out of gold as an ‘alternative’ currency implies big upside for Bitcoin over the long term.”

JPMorgan believes that Bitcoin’s declining volatility could increase adoption from institutional investors. If that happens, the value of the private investments in Bitcoin may mirror that of gold and this gives Bitcoin an upside target of $130,000 in the long term, added the bank.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

In other news, billionaire investor Mark Cuban said his crypto portfolio consists of 30% Ether (ETH) because he believes it is the closest thing to being a true currency. Cuban said the remainder of his crypto portfolio consists of 60% Bitcoin and 10% in other crypto investments.

CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju recently highlighted that 400,000 Ether had left Coinbase, a sign that institutional investors may have started accumulating the top altcoin.

The increased adoption of cryptocurrencies by legacy financial institutions and investors is a positive sign but will this newsflow act as a tailwind and boost the price of the top-10 cryptocurrencies?

Let’s analyze the charts to find out.

BTC/USDT

Bitcoin formed a Doji candlestick pattern on March 31 and April 1, which suggests indecision among the bulls and the bears. However, the positive sign is that the bulls have not given up much ground. The bulls are again trying to push the price above the $60,000 resistance.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

A strong breakout above the $60,000 to $61,825.84 overhead resistance zone will suggest that bulls are back in the driver’s seat. That could signal the start of the next leg of the uptrend, which has a target objective at $69,279 and then $79,566.

Traders can keep an eye on the relative strength index because a break above the downtrend line will indicate a pick-up in momentum.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price once again reverses direction from the overhead resistance zone, the BTC/USDT pair could drop to the 50-day simple moving average ($53,362). A break below this critical support could attract profit-booking from short-term traders and that could pull the price down to $50,460.02 and then $43,006.77.

ETH/USDT

Ether broke out of the symmetrical triangle on March 31 and has continued its journey higher. Today, the bulls have pushed the biggest altcoin above the all-time high at $2,040.77.

ETH/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The 20-day exponential moving average ($1,798) has turned up and the RSI is near the overbought territory, indicating advantage to the bulls.

If the buyers can sustain the price above $2,040.77, the ETH/USDT pair could start the next leg of the up-move. The pattern target of the breakout from the triangle is $2,618.14.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the current level, a drop to the 20-day EMA is possible. A strong bounce off it will signal strength and the bulls will again try to resume the uptrend.

This bullish view will invalidate if the bears sink the price below the trendline. Such a move could pull the price down to $1,289.

BNB/USDT

After some hesitation on March 31, Binance Coin (BNB) broke above the $315 resistance on April 1 and has followed it up with a breakout above the all-time high at $348.69 today. If the bulls can sustain the breakout, the altcoin could rally to $400 and then $430.

BNB/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The upsloping moving averages and the RSI in the overbought territory suggest that bulls are in command.

However, if the bulls fail to defend the price above $348.69, the BNB/USDT pair could drop to $315. If the bulls can flip this level into support, it will increase the possibility of the resumption of the uptrend.

This bullish view will invalidate if the pair turns down and breaks below the moving averages. Such a move will suggest that the current breakout was a bull trap.

ADA/USDT

Cardano (ADA) has been stuck in a tight range for the past few days but the positive sign is that the bulls have not allowed the price to dip below the 20-day EMA ($1.17). This suggests a lack of buying but does not show an urgency among traders to dump their positions.

ADA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bulls may now attempt to push the price above $1.30. If they succeed, the ADA/USDT pair could rally to $1.48. This is an important resistance because the price had turned down from it on Feb. 27 and March 18.

If that happens once again, the pair could extend its stay inside the range for a few more days. However, if the bulls propel the price above $1.48, the pair could resume its uptrend that may reach $2. This bullish view will invalidate on a break and close below $1.03.

DOT/USDT

Polkadot (DOT) had turned down from the downtrend line on April 1 but the bulls did not give up much ground. This shows that traders did not close their positions in a hurry. The buyers have pushed the price above the downtrend line today.

DOT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The 20-day EMA ($35.06) has started to turn up and the RSI is in the positive zone, indicating advantage to the bulls. If the buyers can sustain the price above the downtrend line, the DOT/USDT pair could challenge the all-time high at $42.28.

A breakout and close above $42.28 could resume the uptrend with the next possible move to $53.50. This bullish view will invalidate if the price turns down from the current level or the all-time high and slips below the moving averages. That could pull the price down to $26.50.

XRP/USDT

After hesitating near $0.60 for the past few days, the bulls are currently attempting to propel XRP to the $0.65 overhead resistance. This level is likely to act as a stiff resistance because the price has turned down from it on five previous occasions.

XRP/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

However, the rising 20-day EMA ($0.53) and the RSI above 65 suggest the path of least resistance is to the upside. If the bulls can push and sustain the price above $0.65, the XRP/USDT pair could rally to $0.78 and then $1.

This bullish view will invalidate if the price turns down and breaks below the moving averages. Such a move will indicate that traders are selling on rallies. That could keep the pair range-bound between $0.42 and $0.65 for a few more days.

UNI/USDT

Uniswap (UNI) has been stuck between both the moving averages for the past few days. The bears could not sink and sustain the price below the 50-day SMA ($27.59) on March 31 and the bulls could not sustain the price above the 20-day EMA ($29.13) on April 1.

UNI/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The flat 20-day EMA and the RSI just above the midpoint suggest a balance between supply and demand.

This neutral view could tilt in favor of the bulls if they propel and sustain the price above $30.31 today. If that happens, the UNI/USDT pair could start to move up toward the $35.20 overhead resistance.

On the other hand, if the price turns down and breaks below $25.50, the pair could witness increased selling pressure, which may pull the price down to $18.

LTC/USDT

Litecoin (LTC) recovered sharply from its intraday low on March 31 and broke above the 50-day SMA ($197) on April 1. The bulls will now try to push the price above the resistance line of the symmetrical triangle.

LTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If they manage to do that, the LTC/USDT pair could rally to $230 and then to $246.96. The pattern target of the breakout from the triangle is $307.42. However, the marginally rising 20-day EMA ($193) and the RSI at the downtrend line suggest a weak bullish momentum.

If the price turns down from the resistance line, the pair may extend its stay inside the triangle for a few more days. The bears will gain the upper hand on a break below the trendline of the triangle.

LINK/USDT

Chainlink (LINK) reversed course from $26.18 on March 31 and rose above the downtrend line of the descending triangle. This move invalidates the bearish setup and the bulls will now try to propel the price above the overhead resistance at $32.

LINK/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If they succeed, the LINK/USDT pair could start its march toward the all-time high at $36.93. The 20-day EMA ($28.45) has started to turn up and the RSI has risen above 59, indicating a minor advantage to the bulls.

However, if the bulls fail to propel the price above $32, then the pair could drop to the moving averages. If the price rebounds off the moving averages, it will indicate that traders are buying on minor dips. The bulls will then make one more attempt to push the price above $32.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the overhead resistance and breaks below the moving averages, then the pair could remain stuck inside the $24 to $32 range for a few more days.

THETA/USDT

THETA is currently range-bound in an uptrend. The price action of the past few days has formed a symmetrical triangle, which usually acts as a continuation pattern.

THETA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

Both moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is at 63, indicating the path of least resistance is to the upside.

If the bulls can propel the price above the triangle, the THETA/USDT pair could rally to the all-time high at $14.96 and then to the pattern target at $17.85.

This bullish view will invalidate if the price turns down and breaks below the triangle. Such a move will increase the possibility of a break below the critical support at $10.35, signaling a deeper correction.

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

Market data is provided by HitBTC exchange.

In other news, billionaire investor Mark Cuban said his crypto portfolio consists of 30% Ether (ETH) because he believes it is the closest thing to being a true currency. Cuban said the remainder of his crypto portfolio consists of 60% Bitcoin and 10% in other crypto investments.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/price-analysis-4-2-btc-eth-bnb-ada-dot-xrp-uni-ltc-link-theta

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