Blockchain Bites: Universities achieve Bitcoin notoriety because the urge for food of the institutional ETH grows

Three stories

Overstock intends to end its blockchain-related investments, Reports Tanzeel Akhtar from CoinDesk. The online shopping giant, which has embraced the crypto hype, will now spin off its blockchain-focused subsidiary Medici Ventures into a managed fund.

  • Overstock will remain a limited partner, with venture firm Pelion Venture Partners, if approved, taking control of the $ 45 million fund. Overstock will also retain a direct minority stake in blockchain technology company tZERO Group.
  • Following the announcement, Overstock shares (NASDAQ: OSTK) were trading 11.28% higher at $ 75 in Monday's pre-market session.

Janet Yellen is the 78th Secretary of the Treasury. The former Federal Reserve chairman, who was approved by the Senate on Monday, will oversee an office that has a variety of crypto-related rules. This includes a proposal from the Trump administration for Hour 11 to improve monitoring of private wallets. The controversial and possibly illegal short comment period on this has just been extended.

  • Yellen caused a stir last week after expressing "special concerns" about the cryptocurrency's links to criminal activity. While she hasn't spoken at length about the industry, she has expressed her zeal for the potential of crypto to "improve the efficiency of the financial system."
  • Indeed, regulators around the world have differentiated views on crypto. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said crypto ("as originally worded") has failed as a currency, but digital innovation will stay here.
  • "We are still right to debate stablecoin. We are right to debate the central bank's digital currency." I think these topics are very open, ”he said in Davos.

With BoE's Bailey cutting off crypto as crypto, it is important to write them all down the way he's already wrong. Crypto works for payments, although it may not be the first choice for high quality first world economies. But it is very powerful for those who are cut off from the financial system.

  • For example, CoinDesk's Anna Baydakova reports that Alexey Navalny, Vladimir Putin's most vocal critic, has raised 657 BTC in donations over the past five years.
  • And so we don't forget Julian Assange and the non-profit dissident WikiLeaks. To date, WikiLeaks has received more than 14 BTC, not including other crypto donations. Rachel-Rose O’Leary touched on the subject when she spoke about advances in privacy technology in a recent CoinDesk comment.

On the game

It's all about them allocation

It was reported yesterday Universities, including several in the Ivy League, tacitly bought Bitcoin directly on Coinbase for their foundations.

Harvard, Yale, Brown and the University of Michigan are among the buyers, an anonymous source shared with CoinDesk's Ian Allison. Neither university confirmed the rumor, and several refused to comment. It is currently unknown how well endowed these BTC holdings are in universities.

Harvard and Yale are worth $ 70 billion in assets, and the total foundation potential is estimated at $ 600 billion as of 2017.

"If I had heard this three years ago, I would have said it was wrong," said Ari Paul, co-founder of BlockTower Capital and previously an investment manager at the University of Chicago. “But many institutions are now comfortable with Bitcoin. You understand and can buy it outright as long as it is from a regulated company like Coinbase, Fidelity, or Anchorage. "

Cathie Wood, CEO of ARK Investment Management echoed that thought, saying that she believes more companies will top up their balance sheets with bitcoin. She told Yahoo Finance on Saturday that several executives from publicly traded companies had discussed the issue with her: Should we follow Square?

Square, the fintech darling headed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, bought around 4,709 bitcoin in October. That initial investment of $ 50 million is now valued at approximately $ 150 million. MicroStrategy is perhaps the most visible publicly traded company that treats its cash reserves as sewage and Bitcoin as a baby (it will never throw away its BTC with the bathtub). It now holds a total of 70,784 bitcoin.

Rothschild Investment Corporation also increased its exposure to BitcoinThe purchase of 24% more shares in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust was announced yesterday. The $ 1.4 billion investment manager doesn't directly hold bitcoin and has long experimented with holding and deleting bitcoin. (CoinDesk and Grayscale are both owned by the Digital Currency Group.)

Funnily enough, CoinDesk's Danny Nelson reports that a Canadian VR company bought BTC as a "long-term" investment, but apparently sold it last week based on false rumors of a bitcoin double issue.

The institutional engagement is not limited to just Bitcoin as an increasingly legacy Financial firms care about airwaves (ETH), the home currency of Ethereum.

In its 2020 annual report, Coinbase noted that "a growing number" of its institutional clients have taken positions in the airwaves. “The reason for owning Ethereum (ether) that we hear most often from our customers is a combination of first its evolving potential as a store of value and second its status as a digital asset necessary to power transactions on its network is, "according to the message.

Denis Vinokourov, head of research at Bequant, the prime broker for digital assets, told CoinDesk market reporter Muyao Shen that part of this ETH purchase could be an indirect way to get involved in decentralized financing.

"Not everyone is happy with the risks still associated with DeFi, but the hypergrowth of these projects is increasing activity on the Ethereum network, thus helping capital growth," he said.

According to DeFiPulse, the total value set across all DeFi protocols and applications hit a new high watermark of $ 26 billion on Sunday, largely due to the rise in the price of ether.

Market information

Bitcoin lost a few thousand dollarsThey dropped about 7% day by day and brought the bigger crypto market with them. CoinDesk's Omkar Godbole reports that around $ 4 billion worth of BTC options will expire on Friday. Deribit, the largest crypto options exchange, is expected to break a new record of 102,162 contracts signed, valued at around $ 3.5 billion.

  • "Over 80% of the outstanding interest on the Deribit-based January 29 is out of the money or worthless," stated Godbole. This will likely lead to volatility leading to the end of the month as traders hedge their positions. He's breaking it down here.

Fast bites

  • BEACH-FRONT SANDBOX: Hawaii's Digital Currency Innovation Lab is accepting applicants. (CoinDesk)
  • HYBRID MINING: A US man turned his BMW into a miner. (CoinDesk)
  • BE CAREFUL: Substack is used to spread crypto scams. (CoinDesk)
  • MULTIPLE MONEY: "It's 2028 and central banks, big tech companies and the 'deplatformed' are building their own worlds of digital money," investigates Marcel0 Prates. (CoinDesk op-ed)
  • WYRE WIRED: The Stellar Foundation is investing $ 5 million in the blockchain payment company. (CoinDesk)
  • BAKLAVA FOR BITCOIN: Decrypt interviews an OG bitcoin trader.
  • Mining Brands: Five Big Bitcoin Miners Mark Their Hashrate For BTCST (Modern Consensus)
  • NFT LIQUID: Is it a problem? (Jake Brukhman – Mirror)
  • STELLAR SIGNAL? Casey Newton on the battle in Signal. (Platformer)
  • TAKE OVER BIG TECH: With bitcoin technology. (NYT)
  • HYPERVENTILATING REGULATORS? Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, goes for Bitcoin. (CNBC)

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