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The Week in Focus — $2 trillion Market Cap for cryptocurrencies

Hassan Maishera
Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin

The total cryptocurrency market cap touched $2 trillion for the first time earlier this week, as institutional cryptocurrency adoption continues to rise

Here’s a summary of all this week’s top crypto news stories:

Total cryptocurrency market cap hits $2 trillion

The cryptocurrency market is on an extended rally stretching back to last year. Over the past year, several cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, all hit new all-time highs. The rising cryptocurrency prices and entry of institutional investors have helped the crypto market surge higher. Earlier this week, the total cryptocurrency market cap touched the $2 trillion mark for the first time. This came following extended rallies from Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Binance Coin (BN) and several others. Bitcoin still accounts for more than 50% of the entire cryptocurrency market cap, while Ethereum and others build momentum.

Bloomberg presents a positive outlook on Bitcoin

Financial media outlet Bloomberg delivered a very bullish outlook on the leading cryptocurrency. According to the Bloomberg report, the leading cryptocurrency could rally to $400,000 before the end of the year. This outlook surpasses those presented by the likes of JPMorgan Chase, who expect Bitcoin’s price to trade above $100,000 by the end of 2021. Bloomberg also reported that Bitcoin is rapidly replacing Gold as the preferred store of value. The financial media outlet revealed that most indicators point to an accelerating pace of BTC replacing Gold as a store of value in investor portfolios. Bloomberg said the fact that Bitcoin’s fundamental and technical underpinnings are improving while Gold’s deteriorate is a sign that Bitcoin is gaining more ground.

State Street could start trading cryptos soon

The institutional cryptocurrency adoption continues with State Street, the second-oldest bank in the US, revealing it could start trading cryptocurrencies soon. The bank’s Currenex trading technology division is working with London-based Pure Digital to develop an institution-focused digital currency trading platform. A State Street executive revealed that the bank is considering using the platform to trade Bitcoin and a host of other cryptocurrencies. So far this year, leading banks such as Goldman Sachs, BNY Mellon and Morgan Stanley have entered the cryptocurrency space, and more are expected to start providing crypto-related services over the next few months.

Coinbase records $1.8 billion revenue in Q1

Coinbase logo on a smartphone on a desk
Coinbase is now a publicly listed company

Also this week was the news of the expected public listing of Coinbase. Following its fundraising and new valuation, Coinbase is expected to be one of the most valuable cryptocurrency companies on the stock market. The company didn’t disappoint with its latest quarterly earnings, raking in nearly $2 billion in revenue. The $1.8 billion it generated in the first quarter of the year surpasses its entire 2020 revenue ($1.3 billion). Coinbase’s high earnings could be attributed to the ongoing cryptocurrency market rally that saw Bitcoin hit a new all-time high above the $61,000 mark a few weeks ago. The cryptocurrency exchange is expected to list directly on the NASDAQ stock exchange rather than via an initial public offering (IPO), with an evaluation above $66 billion.

FTX signs partnership deal with the Miami Heat

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX officially signed a partnership with the Miami Heat earlier this week. The deal sees FTX get the naming rights to the Miami Heat stadium for the next 19 years. The cryptocurrency exchange had been negotiating with Miami-Dade County over the past few months, and the deal would see FTX shell out $135 million over the 19-year period. The deal also includes prominent in-arena signage, hospitality, association with HEAT digital content series, promotions, contests, community engagements, etc. FTX is a cryptocurrency exchange owned by Sam Bankman-Fried and is slowly becoming one of the world’s leading exchanges.

Crypto space produces four new billionaires

Forbes published their latest list of new billionaires, with the cryptocurrency space producing four over the past year. Despite the pandemic affecting the global economy, 493 new billionaires were added to the Forbes list this year. Sam Bankman-Fried led the way after amassing $8.7 billion in the crypto space over the past year. He owns quantitative trading firm Alameda, which manages $32 billion in Bitcoin, other major cryptos and other derivatives. Bankman-Fried is also the founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX. The Winklevoss twins are the next set of crypto billionaires on the Forbes list. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (worth $3 billion each) invested most of their settlement with Facebook in Bitcoin during its early days. They also founded the crypto exchange Gemini, which currently processes over $200 million daily. Silicon Valley scion Tim Draper comes fourth after he made $1.5 billion. He bought $18.7 million worth of Bitcoin which was subsequently confiscated by US Marshals from the infamous Silk Road black market in 2014, with the coins now being worth roughly $1.5 billion.

Arthur Hayes finally surrenders

Bitmex CEO Arthur Hayes surrendered to the US authorities earlier this week. This comes months after he was charged with violation of the Bank Secrecy Act. Hayes has been negotiating with the US government and agreed to surrender on 6 April. His legal representatives proposed a $10 million bond. Hayes and the other two Bitmex co-founders were named defendants in twin lawsuits last year filed by the United States Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. According to the lawsuits, BitMEX knowingly provided retail investors in the US access to illegal options and leveraged trading. Furthermore, Bitmex failed to implement proper know-your-customer checks, violating the Bank Secrecy Act in the process.

China could use Bitcoin to undermine America, says Peter Thiel

PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel claimed that China could use Bitcoin to undermine the US. Thiel added that although he is a Bitcoin maximalist, he recommends tighter cryptocurrency regulations in the US. The venture capitalist stated that China could back Bitcoin and use it to threaten the US Dollar. Hence, the government needs to provide tighter regulation for digital currencies.

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