Financial Research



Ether breaks $4,100SEC Chair says ‘market integrity’ is lacking in digital currency exchangesDigital yuan not providing users with anything that AliPay and WeChat Pay does not already offer For those of you who did not stay up Saturday night, and who still do not know how to use your DVR or search YouTube, here are descriptions and videos of Elon Musk’s performance on SNL. In his monologue, Musk started on a serious note proclaiming to be the first host with Asperger’s and spoke about a “renewable energy future” with humanity becoming “a multi-planetary space-baring civilization.” He then joked about his tweeting habits asking the audience if people actually thought he would be a “chill normal dude?” He ended the introductory segment by bringing his mother Maye on stage who said she was excited for her Mother’s Day Gift, adding that she “hopes it’s not dogecoin.” To which Elon responded, “it is.”Musk plays financial expert Lloyd Ostertag, “the Dogefather,” in the Weekend Update news segment explaining that cryptocurrencies “are a type of digital money, but instead of being controlled by a central government, they are decentralized using blockchain technology.” Musk then spends the remainder of the segment failing to give an answer to Michael Che’s question of “what is dogecoin” finally admitting “it’s a hustle.”Here is a brief summary of the other skits:In GenZ Hospital, Dr. Musk updates a group of friends on their “bestie’s” prognosis. Musk fails in small talk at a cocktail party in “every conversations with people you haven’t seen since quarantine started.“On Icelandic talk show, the Ooli Show, Musk as the show’s producer keeps asking the show host to be his girlfriend. In a court room drama, Musk portrays Wario, the evil brother of Nintendo’s Mario, accused of throwing a banana peel that led to Mario’s death. Musk plays himself called to the SpaceX control room to oversee the aftermath of a solar storm on Mars that requires one of the colonists to save the space colony. Wild west cowboy Musk suggests a surprise, underground-tunnel ambush to revenge an attack by the Pearl River Gang in Cowboy Standoff.🅱️Doge did not respond well to Musk’s appearance. By Sunday morning, at my daily publishing time (6:50AM) DOGE had fallen 29.8% to $0.4971. Later in the morning, DOGE slipped to $0.43 recovering to $0.58 by the end of the day. Besides Musk’s hustle” comment, a cause of this decline may have been Digital Currency Group’s Barry Silbert who tweeted that DCG had taken a short position on DOGE and would donate any money made on this trade “to financial education and bitcoin-related causes.”This morning the meme-inspired currency is trading between $0.51 - 0.52. The Headlines Market Data Exchange, Custody and Product News Thoughts on the Ecosystem Daily Cartoon

May 10 · Issue #898
  • BitDigest
Mar 20, 2020

March 20 · Issue #619

Crypto markets jumped overnight gaining $33 billion in total market-cap, an increase of 21.8%Another Japanese lawmaker has expressed the need for Japan to issue a central bank digital currency to maintain the strength of its currency in global marketsNumerous reports are appearing warning consumers to beware of fake websites and malware I heard a rumor earlier this week that a major bank (my bank) had limited cash withdrawals from ATMs. This turned out to be false, but banks are closing allowing employees to go into self-quarantine (Chase announced it was closing 20% of its branches and I expect more banks to follow) and there are already stories of people either withdrawing large amounts of cash (Bill Ackman) or banking systems being closed prohibiting cash withdrawals altogether (Venezuela). This obviously gives me fears of the Cyprus bank shut-down of 2013. I do not think this is going to occur – I think the same financial regulators I have questioned over their acceptance of digital currencies are actually doing a good job to help support the global financial system – but going shopping and seeing the empty shelves at my local market adds to my concern that further corona virus fears and market uncertainty could cause a mini run on the banks. The obvious risk avoidance strategy is self-custody of assets. We spoke about this in the office this week, volleying back and forth the benefits of self-custody with the cumbersome processes that still exist and the weaknesses of having a quasi-bearer instrument. The reality is that this technology has improved. We now have dashboards to help manage our assets and systems connecting your wallet to your computer no longer require a cord. More improvements are coming to digital wallet technology, but the question I am asking myself is do we actually want to live in a world where we self-custody all assets?  It certainly gives me an added sense of security to know I am in full control of my assets – assuming I do not lose my wallet or forget my password – but our economy has evolved into a service oriented environment, trusted third parties do exist, and they offer great service and drive innovation with new features. For now I remain the master of my own domain and am in full control of all of my own digital currencies. I did withdraw some additional cash this week, but my fiat holdings are still held by a third party and as I sit here today, I think that although the idea of self-custody appears to be utopian, many of us will likely ask our same financial partners to custody our digital assets with our traditional market securities. Maybe using multi-sig will provide us with a false sense of security that we are still in control, but the reality is its no different than what we are doing today; we are still relying on that trusted third party to facilitate our transactions. Weekend ReadingBitcoin’s 48-hour increase coincides with $180 million of new tether (USDT) being minted. Past studies have argued that bitcoin spikes, including the 2017 run, occurred around new large issuances of USDT. The theory was that the new tether was being minted without 1:1 USD reserves. In response tether published a transparency update with a proof of funds report by Delaware based law firm Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan LLP. Unfortunately, as of last night, the latest update to this is from June 2018 so this argument will definitely be repeated in the coming days. Here is a copy of the University of Texas study (updated) that raised the initial argument and a rebuttal from the University of Queensland that argues it is unlikely tether manipulation caused the large bitcoin moves. The Headlines Japan Needs a Digital Yen to Maintain Global Position apanese Liberal Democratic Party member Kozo Yamamoto believes his countries must issue a central bank digital currency or face a loss to ‘its sovereignty.” “"We must protect it (the role of a unit of account) no matter what. If Japan doesn’t issue a digital currency and people in the world use other digital currencies, the Japanese yen will be forgotten and lose its sovereignty,” he declared. Argentina Releases Blockchain for Gas Distribution Argentinian gas regulator Enargas has launched a blockchain for the country’s has distribution system. The RSK-based blockchain records all transactions for certification of new gas installations and reconnection of services eliminating the paper process monitoring the consumers on the network. UK Sees Growing Crypto-Blackmail Cases More than 560 reports of bitcoin ransom attacks were reported in the UK in 2018 and 2019. The hackers used the same tactics in almost all cases–blackmail and fear intended to not only cause economic damage but also psychological damage by using threats, intimidation, and other high-pressure tactics to achieve their goal. 1.2 million Italians Accessing Bitcoin with Bank Private Italian bank Banca Sella has brought the ability to trade bitcoin to its clients and already has over 1.2 million users. Interestingly, the bank has created a basic plan targeted at younger, more digitally savvy, investors starting at the age of 12. Scammers Are Stealing COVID-19 Aid With Fake Sites National media have followed on the initial reports by Sophos security research Chester Wisniewski to report that criminals are taking advantage of good samaritans looking to support corona virus aid by releasing fake donation links. Storj Cloud Storage Platform Launched Storj, a decentralized cloud storage platform, has launched. The open-source network, which currently has 19 petabytes of available capacity, is hosted on thousands of nodes run by individuals and partners based all around the world. Vitalik Provides Future Roadmap Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin tweeted a roadmap of what eth2 may look like over the next 5 – 10 years. Buterin explained that research for ethereum has evolved from “blue sky” to concrete R&D allowing for complexity and scalability to be addressed. Market Data Bitcoin Sentiment Understandably Weak The Crypto Fear and Greed Index, a monitor of investor confidence, is being driven by uneconomic uncertainty and has been at its lowest levels since last August posting an “Extreme Fear” rating this morning. Fortunately, the market pick up has had a positive impact on the index and shown a positive swing in its rating over the past 24-hours. Bitcoin Still Outperforming S&P 500 Grayscale Investments’ Brooke Stoddard twitted an interesting metric to keep crypto investors level headed in this period of overall market weakness. “In 2019, bitcoin (+92%) outperformed the S&P 500 (+32%). In 2020, bitcoin (-14%) is outperforming the S&P 500 (-25%).” Sell-Off Driven by Newbies A study by Coin Metrics suggests that the recent crypto sell-off was driven by short-term holders. By looking at the “revived supply” the number of “hodl’d” coins brought back into circulation, the crypto data firm was able to show that the vast majority of bitcoin sold on March 11th and 12th was held for 30, 90, and 180 days. Exchange, Custody and Product News Tether Launching on Bitcoin Cash Network Tether has announced it will begin to use the Simple Ledger Protocol built upon the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network for issuing its tokens. This will add BCH to other networks supporting the leading stablecoin including Ethereum, Algorand and Tron. Kraken Warns of Malware and Fake Sites Kraken has released a new posting on malware warning investors to be aware of fake apps. The US based exchange stresses its users should to verify the authenticity of any site before providing log-in credentials and recommends using the official iOS and Android Kraken apps to access your account.

May 7 · Issue #897

Crypto prices post strong weekly returns but weaken on Gensler commentsSEC Chairman calls for greater regulatory oversight for crypto marketsSquare doubles traditional revenue with bitcoin sales in first quarter Two quick highlights on public crypto proxies: The premium to NAV on the Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund (OTCQX: BITQ) has been weakening and dropped below 20% for the first timeThe Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust has increased 200% over the past 5 trading sessions Live, From New York…Just a reminder that on Saturday, the self-proclaimed ‘Dogefather,’ Elon Musk is hosting Saturday Night Live. I have to assume that cryptocurrencies will play a major theme in his monologue and skits. The Headlines Exchange, Custody and Product News Daily Cartoon

May 6 · Issue #896

Bitcoin and ether are up today as crypto marketcap readies itself to break $2.5 Trillion barrierSouth Korea asks banks for help to better understand domestic exchange pictureIRS is seeking information on Kraken account holders Weekly Stock Update The Headlines Market Data Exchange, Custody and Product News Daily Cartoon

May 5 · Issue #895

Bitcoin dominance drops to 45% as Ether hitting resistanceSouth Korea may delay crypto regulations to appease younger votersGalaxy to acquire Bitgo for $1.2 billion The Headlines Mergers & Acquisistions Market Data Exchange, Custody and Product News Daily Cartoon

May 4 · Issue #894

Another day, another new ETH highDCG commits to buy more GBTCPayPal and eBay considering crypto efforts Crypto Fear & Greed IndexThe Fear & Greed Index for bitcoin and other large cryptocurrencies rebounded from last weeks collapse to post a 68 ‘greed’ rating on the strength of ether and bitcoin. Since last week, the index has risen to a band between 61 – 68 waiting to see if bitcoin can retest $60,000. The Headlines Mergers & Acquisitions Market Data Exchange, Custody and Product News Daily Cartoon

May 3 · Issue #893

ETH breaks $3,150 and bitcoin trades back above $58,500Thailand to require in person KYC at digital currency exchangesSwitzerland is planning to test cross-border functionality of CBDC Bank of England Sees the LightAn apparent bitcoin supporter in London projected the message that “bitcoin fixes this” across the Bank of England over the week. A similar message appeared on the Parliament building under Big Ben.  The Bank of England The Headlines Mergers & Acquisitions Market Data Thoughts on the Ecosystem Daily Cartoon

April 30 · Issue #892

Crypto prices flat overnight but RE₿EL COINS up on week and YTDCrypto Mom thinks stablecoins can help USD in fight against digital yuanEIB’s issuance of €100 million blockchain-bond was actually CBDC settlement experiment by Bank of France Weekly Stock Update The Headlines Exchange, Custody and Product News Daily Cartoon

April 29 · Issue #891

ETH hits another highPowell wants to make sure US Gets CBDC RightNew German law could provide tail winds to crypto investments The Weekly Stock Update will be published tomorrow. Too many articles this morning and I fell behind. The Headlines Market Data Exchange, Custody and Product News Daily Cartoon

April 28 · Issue #890

Eth breaks $2,700 hitting new all-time-highTurkey may establish a central custodian bank in response to recent digital currency exchange failuresEIB to issue €100 million blockchain-based bond offering The Headlines Exchange, Custody and Product News Daily Cartoon

April 27 · Issue #889

Crypto market cap back above $2 trillionSouth Korea to impose capital gains tax on crypto starting in JanuaryIndonesia considers plan to tax crypto trades directly on exchanges Crypto Fear & Greed IndexFollowing last week’s post suggesting that the Fear & Greed Index for bitcoin and other large cryptocurrencies was holding due to an increase in altcoin activity, the index began to fall, collapsing 46 points to a 12-month low of 27 “fear” yesterday before gaining 85% overnight to return to a mid level “neutral” 50. The Headlines Daily Cartoon

FSInsight logo
150 East 52nd St, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10022

Subscribe to our Free Weekly Report

An insitutional-grade report delivered to your inbox every week.

© 2021 FSInsight. All rights reserved. Developed by HANGAR115.

Illustrations by Karl Wimer.