Crypto News: February 24 - March 2, 2019

Bitcoin Blockchain Cryptocurrency Markets Mass Adoption U.S. Marshals

In the week of February 24 - March 2, there was plenty of cryptocurrency news. First and foremost, Bitcoin has shown signs of life, and some think that this is proof that the digital asset has finally found a bottom. Facebook Coin is coming, and some believe that this is the catalyst that will lead to some real money flow - but time will tell. More CEOs than ever believe that blockchain will disrupt the world, which is definitely a switch from several years ago, when it wasn’t as “mainstream”. Also, should the U.S. Marshals be saving the Bitcoin they seize? If so, it could mean a lot of money. Lastly, in a great sign for cryptocurrency markets - blockchain jobs are more in demand than ever.

Did Bitcoin Bottom?

Whether you are an enthusiastic cryptocurrency investor/trader or casually follow the cryptocurrency markets - one thing is for sure: 2018 wasn’t the greatest year. However, it appears as though 2019 is off to a better start. While it is certainly way too early to declare that 2019 will be bullish, one thing is for sure: Bitcoin is showing signs of promise. Specifically, Bitcoin gained 11 percent in February, which is quite significant for a digital asset that has steadily declined from its highs in the late 2017.

Of course, this begs the question: how significant is the price increase, and what does it mean? Is this simply a “dead cat bounce”, as they say in finance, or does this show that Bitcoin is going to rally for a while? Either way, the price action is certainly welcomed.

Mati Greenspan is well-known in cryptocurrency circles, as he is a senior analyst at Etoro, and he told Bloomberg that this is a great sign, stating: “What I’ve been watching lately are the number of transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain and the total volumes across crypto exchanges, both of which are holding at their highest levels in more than a year.” He appeared to be somewhat restrained when it came to openly praising the price action, however, elaborating: “Even though we’re still officially in a bear market there is plenty of cause for optimism.”

While there are all sorts of individuals and influencers with their own price predictions - a recent survey seems to indicate that plenty of cryptocurrency professionals see a technical bottom at $2400, which means that Bitcoin might decrease in the short-term. The survey included 91 individuals. At press time, the price of Bitcoin is currently sitting at just above $3800.

One thing is for sure - one individual was quite accurate about the price action of Bitcoin, and he isn’t even well-known in the cryptocurrency space. That individual is Peter L. Brandt, a legendary trader with over 50 years of experience when it comes to trading stocks and commodities. Brandt is well-known for his technical prowess, and boasts over a quarter million followers on Twitter.

For those who forgot, Brandt predicted an 80% retrace from Bitcoin’s highs, believing that it would bottom out at around $4,000. His prediction certainly was criticized at the time, but quite accurate in retrospect. Interestingly enough, Brandt appears more interested in cryptocurrency than ever. He recently tweeted on February 27th that he filed an official IRS complaint against Coinbase for failing to provide 1099 forms to his customers. That isn’t all - Brandt also now offers a weekly crypto report for an exclusive service called Bitcoin Live.

Facebook Is Coming

Ever since more individuals in the tech world have been praising blockchain and cryptocurrency, enthusiasts have been wondering about when a large company would become a huge catalyst with regards to the cryptocurrency markets. Many, including the CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily volume, have suggested that it might be Amazon. It’s obvious to see why this might be the case, considering that Amazon is a company that has changed the way human beings view retail forever, and it is one of the most important companies in the world. Recently, Amazon surpassed $1 trillion in market capitalization.

However, it now appears that the company that will change everything could possibly be Facebook. A new report suggests that Facebook Coin could be coming in as soon as six month. The news isn’t groundbreaking, considering that Facebook has been hiring blockchain engineers for some time now, and it has been well-known that the social media giant is interested in stepping into the global remittance market. The idea is that Facebook can facilitate a way - through Whatsapp - for international money transfers to occur in real-time, and that this could lead to millions of individuals utilizing blockchain and cryptocurrency that otherwise wouldn’t. The potential is hard to downplay, considering that over 2 billion users actively use the social media platform.

Some consider that Facebook could even present a threat to Bitcoin itself, considering that it apparently is already in talks with cryptocurrency exchanges to be listed. There is little doubt that there would be massive investor interest in a Facebook cryptocurrency, given the fact that the company is so well-known. There is also the logical conclusion that the Facebook coin could present a real threat to global payment services such as Venmo and Paypal. Either way, it should be noted that the company has taken some massive publicity hits over the past year, thanks to the Cambridge Analytica scandal and a recent data breach, as well. The scandals have not only affected the reputation of the company, but also have had a noticeable effect on the market capitalization of the company, as well.

Blockchain Blowing Up

There is always those who are hesitant with regards to emerging technologies, but it is clear that blockchain appears to have turned a corner when many CEOs are openly discussing how blockchain will revolutionize the world. It seems that that more people than ever are coming to terms with the fact that the emerging technology will disrupt sectors. Even though it is still not widely implemented, a majority of automotive company CEOs agree that blockchain will be revolutionary, according to a Deloitte survey from late 2018.

That trend apparently isn’t limited to the auto sector, either. Big Four accounting firm KPMG recently conducted a survey that proves that almost half of tech CEOs believe that blockchain will change the way that their company does business. When one considers that blockchain can help with regards to everything from transparency and efficiency, to cost reduction and accountability - it’s easy to see why the tech CEOs are taking this view.

While there are still skeptics with regards to blockchain - this certainly bodes well for the future, and for the idea that mass adoption is near.

U.S. Marshals Miss Out On Money

For those that are unaware, U.S. Marshals have been seizing and auctioning off Bitcoin with regards to criminal operations of all kinds for years. However, with the massive rise of price in Bitcoin over the years - what would happen if the U.S. Marshalls strategically held onto the Bitcoin rather than auctioning off at the time? Well, they certainly would have made a lot of money. In fact, 183,000 Bitcoin have been seized over the past four and a half years alone, and this could have netted the U.S. Marshals over $500 million. The Marshals only fetched around $130 million, missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars. In one particular auction, $19 million was raised, when it could have fetched over $200 million if they had sat on their digital asset holdings.

The most famous individual to have bought Bitcoin at these auctions is Tim Draper, who famously purchased 30,000 Bitcoin thanks to the Silk Road auction. For those that are unaware, Draper is a cryptocurrency proponent, and also is one of the most famous venture capitalists in the world. He was an early investor in both Skype and Tesla, for example, and has been one of the earliest supports of cryptocurrency in Silicon Valley.

The U.S. Marshals is the oldest federal government agency, and was created in 1789.

Blockchain Job Demand Growing

One of the ways to tell whether cryptocurrency markets has a future is to gauge how many companies are interested in hiring blockchain jobs. We know that Facebook has been hiring for blockchain jobs, but they certainly aren’t alone. In fact, interest in demand didn’t just double or triple. Specifically, there is 517% more interest in blockchain jobs this year than last year, thanks to a report from Hired.

The data comes from hundreds of thousands of workers and companies, so it is quite extensive. For those who are interested - the jobs fetch salaries of upwards of $150,000, showing just how interested various companies are in implementing blockchain. This confirms the idea that blockchain jobs are in demand, and supports data from a Linkedin report from late 2018.

It is obvious that blockchain will disrupt many sectors, and companies actively hiring in the space shows that many are trying to figure out how to use blockchain to maintain a competitive edge over the market.

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