The Looming $62 Billion Crypto Contagion

Illustration by Gracelynn Wan for Forbes

In 2017, cryptocurrency exchange Binance created the first of a new kind of blockchain-minted digital asset: BNB coin, designed to reward customer behavior such as trading or referring friends to its own platform. “A model for building a scalable, and impactful cryptocurrency business,” heralded CoinDesk editor Pete Rizzo in 2019, after Binance moved the coin to its own proprietary blockchain. “Unbelievable brilliance.”

Today, the only unbelievable thing about the whole cloth of crypto inventions known as exchange tokens, like BNB, is that they have inflated to tens of billions of dollars in value and in large part have become the foundation upon which the fast-growing digital-assets markets rest.

The weakest link in former billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire was FTX’s own exchange token, which traded under the symbol FTT. According to Reuters, Bankman-Fried had lent his trading company, Alameda, billions of dollars in FTX customer funds, collateralized by these FTT tokens, which were essentially invented as a way to offer trading discounts and other perks.

“The way that FTT works,” said Bankman-Fried in an August 2022 interview with Forbes, “It is not that you get free FTT for doing things. The way to think about it is that you get free shit for having FTT. So, there’s a bunch of doo-hickeys.”

At the peak in 2021 FTT had a market value of $9.6 billion, but unlike a common stock, which represents legal ownership in the assets of a corporation, FTT does not represent any equity ownership in the FTX company. If FTT had any intrinsic value, it was in the form of discounts that FTX customers using these tokens could get trading on the exchange–as much as 60% for active traders.

You can think of these exchange tokens as being akin to loyalty or reward points you might get as a frequent customer of Starbucks or the UnitedMiles by flying on that airline. They have value, but it’s unlikely that a bank would allow you to use them as collateral if you wanted to purchase a home.

However, in the highly speculative and often bizarre world of digital assets, these loyalty tokens trade on numerous crypto exchanges just as stocks do on the New York Stock Exchange, and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly used them as collateral for the loans his company made. Up until a week ago FTT traded at $26 and had a market capitalization of $3.5 billion.

But after Bankman-Fried’s rival Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s billionaire founder, went on Twitter to say he was planning to sell over $500 million of FTT, it sparked the crypto equivalent of a bank run. Today FTT sells for $2.70, and given FTX’s recent bankruptcy filing, it is likely headed to zero.

But the story of exchange tokens in cryptoland is far from over. Forbes counts more than 16 global crypto and DeFi (decentralized finance) exchanges currently using these tokens for a combined market value of no less than $62 billion.

In fact, so-called exchange tokens are an important underpinning to the crypto exchange ecosystem because they are effective in creating customer loyalty–especially when token prices are rising. Virtually all such tokens offer holders exchange-specific perks such as trading fee discounts, preferential margin loan terms, enhanced rewards for staking (lending) and exchange-branded cashback Visa cards.

Exchange tokens are also awarded to customers that refer new traders to a platform, in a system similar to multi-level marketing organizations like Amway. Exchange tokens function as the fuel for crypto’s self-fulfilling bubbles.

Binance–the largest crypto exchange in the world–has its own token, BNB, which by itself has a market capitalization of $45.9 billion, though it does not represent any equity in Changpeng Zhao’s company nor has it been registered as a security with the U.S. SEC.

Anyone who opens an account on Binance and starts trading can buy or earn these BNB tokens, which offer 25% discounts on spot and margin transaction fees and 10% on futures. If you refer friends, you can get up to 40% commission every time they make a trade on Binance. Also, because Binance has created its own blockchain that mints BNB coins, you can use BNB to pay for goods and services, book airfare and hotels on sites like Travala for instance, participate in exclusive token sales and even earn free tokens by completing surveys and tasks.

You can also put BNB to use by staking, earn a flexible percentage yield by depositing it on BNB Chain-based projects and apply for crypto loans. Notably, these digital assets are also essential for anyone who want to use Binance’s decentralized exchange (DEX), which theoretically can’t be shut down by U.S. regulators.

Unlike bitcoin, which is mined every ten minutes, all of the 350 million FTT tokens that would ever exist were created in what is known as a pre-mine. “There will never be any more minted,” said Bankman-Fried recently. In fact, over a period of about three months starting around June of 2019 almost all of FTT’s premined tokens were sold prior to getting listed on crypto exchanges. “Effectively, all of the FTT tokens were owned by a collection of people and entities,” said Bankman-Fried.

In order to create scarcity and essentially bolster the value of its exchange tokens, FTX and Binance conduct what are known as token burns. Periodically both exchanges send tokens to irretrievable addresses reducing the float, similarly to a share buyback, and thus increasing the value of the exchange tokens outstanding. Since 2019 FTX has burned 21 million FTT tokens.

In total, Binance has burned more than 42 million BNB, which would be worth $11.6 billion at today’s prices. CZ has said Binance doesn’t borrow money and has never used BNB as collateral on loans. He recently began advocating that exchanges undergo a “proof” of funds.

In terms of governance, exchange tokens, like loyalty reward programs, are completely under the control of the entity that issues or redeems them, even if they profess to stick to pre-arranged schedules for issuance or burning. DeFi tokens, by contrast, claim to offer holders the ability to propose and vote on platform changes. But in reality, many large DeFi platforms concentrate governance in the hands of big investors and founding teams.

Additionally, just as FTT did not give holders stakes in FTX, purchasing a DeFi token does not necessarily convey ownership rights into the underlying platform. The table below offers details on some 16 different cryptocurrency and DeFi-platform exchange tokens representing more than $60 billion in market value.

Conspicuously absent are Coinbase and Kraken, which are U.S.-based and have avoided issuing exchange tokens, presumably because they would likely be deemed securities by the SEC. All of the tokens listed trade on exchanges daily like stocks–most of them have plummeted in value in the last year—but not a single one offers any ownership in the companies that they are affiliated with. Buyer beware.

TOKEN VALUES

The 16 crypto and DeFi exchanges below created exchange tokens to attract and retain customers. Though they trade like stocks and have a value of over $60 billion, none represent ownership in their affiliated platforms.

I report on all things crypto and oversee the Forbes Crypto Confidential newsletter and the annual Forbes Blockchain 50 list which features billion-dollar leaders in distributed ledger

I write about digital assets trends and am a leading creator of the Forbes Digital Assets tools and functionality our viewers require. I support the generation of relevant, curated investor

Source: The Looming $62 Billion Crypto Contagion

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The Fall of FTX

Crypto Winter Watch: All The Big Layoffs, Record Withdrawals And Bankruptcies Sparked By The $2 Trillion Crash

Fears of global recession and the worst inflation in more than 40 years have wreaked havoc on the nascent cryptocurrency market this year—unleashing a fierce crypto winter that’s forced once high-flying firms into bankruptcy and pushed investors into panic-selling mode. The turmoil has already claimed trillions of dollars in market value, billions of dollars in frozen funds and thousands of jobs, but current casualties may only mark the beginning of the storm.

“There will be others that come forward with trouble—I don’t think it ends here,” Marcus Sotiriou, an analyst at London digital asset brokerage GlobalBlock, tells Forbes, noting that close to a dozen firms—including Peter Thiel-backed Vauld—face an uncertain fate after locking customers out of their funds or initiating restructuring proceedings over the past month. “It’s going to be a sustained period of pain,” he says.

It’s anyone’s guess whether the current crypto bear market will ultimately rival the years-long crypto winters of 2014 and 2018—the latter wiping 80% from bitcoin’s price while crushing hundreds of then buzzy new tokens. Sotiriou posits this downturn could last up to 12 months unless persistent inflation soon cools down, allowing the Federal Reserve to ease up on aggressive interest rate hikes that make risky assets less attractive to investors. Analysts aren’t so sure that will happen.

“This is necessary for any financial market to mature and evolve,” argues Matteo Dante Perruccio, a partner at crypto investment firm Wave Financial who envisions that cryptocurrency prices will take at least six months—and up to two years—before recovering, similar to cycles past. “But this time, there’s a difference,” he adds, pointing to a wave of institutional money—from the likes of Tesla, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and more—that fueled widespread adoption during the pandemic:

“When we inevitably come back into an appreciating market, it’s going to be more sustained and healthier, with less speculation and more tried and true investment philosophy.”As crypto investors wait for brighter days ahead, Forbes is tracking all the carnage from the latest crypto winter, including layoffs, price plunges and record selling—as well as the lifelines and acquisitions that may help cushion the blow. Here’s the damage, so far:

Trillions In Value Erased

Low interest rates and government stimulus measures fueled skyrocketing cryptocurrency prices during the pandemic, but the Federal Reserve’s decision to curb rising inflation by hiking interest rates has since battered investor sentiment—ushering in some of the crypto market’s biggest losses in history. After amassing a record value above $3 trillion in November 2021, the cryptocurrency market posted its worst first half ever and has plummeted to about $950 billion, a nearly 60% drop this year, according to CoinGecko.

Piling on to bearish sentiment, Terra’s luna token, a once top cryptocurrency worth more than $40 billion, lost virtually all its value within a week in May after sister token TerraUSD, a stablecoin meant to hold a price of $1, broke its dollar peg as markets collapsed. Meanwhile, top cryptocurrencies bitcoin, ether and BNB have plunged 70%, 75% and 65% from record highs, respectively. It’s taken the market years to recover from similar declines: When growing regulation sparked a fierce crypto winter beginning in 2017, it took more than 1,000 days for the world’s largest cryptocurrency to nab a new high.

Thousands Laid Off

Faced with steep market declines, cryptocurrency companies have laid off more than 2,000 workers in less than five weeks. By far the biggest blow, popular brokerage Coinbase laid off 1,180 employees, or about 18% of its workforce, on June 14—weeks after the firm’s billionaire CEO, Brian Armstrong, warned investors that a potential recession could lead to a prolonged bear market for cryptocurrencies. In a note announcing the layoffs, Armstrong said he was planning “for the worst” and acknowledged the firm “grew too quickly” during the pandemic bull market.

“It was surprising, and it was hard,” one former employee posted on LinkedIn. Others described the cuts as “abrupt” and “sudden.” Also in June, Gemini, the exchange founded by the billionaire Winklevii twins, said it would cut about 10% of its 1,000 employees, and exchanges Crypto.com and BlockFi said they would terminate 5% and 20% of their workforces, affecting some 260 and 170 employees, respectively. Since then, lending platform Celsius reportedly laid off 150 workers, and Austrian trading platform Bitpanda cut 270 jobs, calling the move “necessary . . . to navigate the storm and get out of it financially healthy.”

Record Selling

Investors piled out of cryptocurrency investment funds at a record pace as bitcoin plunged to an 18-month low last month. Outflows totaled $423 million in the week of June 17, virtually erasing all inflows this year and eclipsing the prior record of $198 million from January, according to crypto asset management firm CoinShares. The turbulence pushed the assets under management of crypto investment products to a record-low $21.6 billion last month, down 37% from May, as “looming liquidation threats” fueled “panic” among investors after Luna’s crash, CryptoCompare analysts wrote in a report.

Meanwhile, Bank of America reports the number of its customers using cryptocurrency tumbled more than 50% to fewer than 500,000 since the market’s highs in November. Even bullish crypto firms have had to reckon with the changing market. On Tuesday, top miner Core Scientific revealed it sold a majority of its bitcoin pile at an average cost of $23,000 last month, raising more than $167 million. In a statement, CEO Mike Levitt attributed the sales to “tremendous stress” driven by weak markets, higher interest rates and “historic inflation.”

Canada-based Bitfarms, which made headlines in January by joining Tesla and former billionaire Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy in buying bitcoin for its balance sheet, also offloaded a large sum, dumping 3,000 bitcoins, or nearly half its pile, for $62 milion late last month. “It’s typical behavior for bitcoin miners to sell during the final stages of a bear market,” explains Sotiriou, noting some firms may need to shore up funds to cover expenses or stay solvent as high inflation tacks on to operating costs.

Billions In Frozen Cash

Citing “extreme market conditions,” crypto lender Celsius became the first major platform to pause withdrawals and transfers between customer accounts on June 13. Within days, others followed suit: Babel Finance, CoinFLEX and Voyager all froze withdrawals. None have re-enabled access, thus making billions of dollars in funds inaccessible to their investors.

“They’re in a really sticky situation because they’ve been irresponsible with clients’ funds, somehow lost out and are now unable to pay back their clients—and there’s no guarantee they’ll pay the money back,” explains Sotiriou. In its most recent quarterly filing, publicly traded Coinbase warned of the risk, disclosing customers would be treated as “unsecured creditors,” or lenders without collateral to fall back on, in the event the company goes bankrupt.

Bankruptcies And Liquidations

A handful of crypto firms are simply collapsing. On June 27, Voyager issued a notice of default to beleaguered Singapore-based crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) for failing to make payments on $675 million in bitcoin and stablecoin loans. 3AC at one point managed some $3 billion, but Singapore financial regulators condemned the firm late last month, saying it provided false information and only had the authority to manage up to $250 million.

On top of that, 3AC’s troubles were exacerbated by the sell-off’s impact on its risky investments, which reportedly included overleveraged bets on the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and about $200 million in now-worthless Luna. On Friday, a British Virgin Islands court reportedly ordered 3AC to liquidate its assets, deeming the firm insolvent; it filed for bankruptcy the same day.

With 3AC’s fate sealed, Voyager itself filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday—a mere five days after it suspended trading. “While I strongly believe in this future, the prolonged volatility and contagion in the crypto markets require us to take deliberate and decisive action now,” Voyager CEO Stephen Ehrlich said in a statement. In a court filing, the firm disclosed that it had more than 100,000 creditors and up to $10 billion in assets. Vauld and Celsius have also announced they’re exploring restructuring options.

Lifelines And War Chests

Some crypto companies are hoping to be rescued before being forced to shut their doors by turning to more stable counterparts. On Friday, FTX, the exchange founded by billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, entered into an agreement to buy embattled BlockFi for as much as $240 million. “You know, we’re willing to do a somewhat bad deal here, if that’s what it takes to sort of stabilize things and protect customers,” he told Forbes last month after providing BlockFi and Voyager with $750 million in credit lines between FTX and his quantitative trading firm Alameda.

More recently, he has said FTX has a “few billion” more to help struggling companies. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs is reportedly looking to raise $2 billion to help buy up distressed assets from Celsius, and other legacy institutions are also showing interest. “I have this knee-jerk reaction that if you believe that the fundamentals of a long-term case are really strong, when everybody else is dipping, that’s the time to double down,”

Fidelity CEO Abby Johnson, who this year shepherded the firm’s industry-first decision to allow bitcoin in 401(k) plans, said last month when asked about what could be her third crypto winter. “That’s usually the right move.” “It’s incredibly encouraging,” says Dante Perrucio. “Big institutions looking for distressed crypto assets means they believe that the industry is going to come back—and come back strong—despite this very complicated period we’re all in.”

I’m a senior reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism …

Source: Crypto Winter Watch: All The Big Layoffs, Record Withdrawals And Bankruptcies Sparked By The $2 Trillion Crash

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Crypto Now Braced For A $2 Billion Goldman Sachs Bombshell As The Price Of Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB, XRP, Solana, Cardano And Dogecoin Swing

Bitcoin BTC 0.0%, ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies have bounced back from a huge market meltdown this month (that some think could reveal the future tech giants). The bitcoin price has rebounded 20% since crashing to a low of under $18,000 per bitcoin last week—despite a dire China warning—with ethereum and other top ten cryptocurrencies BNB BNB +0.3%, XRP XRP -0.9%, solana, cardano and dogecoin also making gains.

Now, reports have emerged Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs is looking to raise $2 billion to snap up the assets of embattled crypto lender Celsius which has been hard hit by the latest bitcoin and crypto crash. Goldman Sachs is soliciting crypto funds and traditional financial institutions as part of the deal that could see it buy Celsius’ crypto assets at a discount, it was first reported by Coindesk, with Blockworks adding the deal could happen even if the lender does not declare bankruptcy, citing anonymous sources.

Goldman didn’t want to buy into the top of the market,” one source told Blockworks. “This is more their style.” Celsius, which had $12 billion in assets under management as of May of this year, has been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy after suspending user withdrawals from the platform earlier this month, citing “extreme market conditions” and exacerbating a crypto price crash that sent bitcoin spiraling under $20,000.

Celsius has hired restructuring advisors Alvarez & Marsal, it was earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal, adding to previous reports Citigroup C +3.3% has been tapped to advise on possible solutions. Goldman Sachs’ reported bid for Celsius’ crypto assets is likely to return some degree of confidence to the market after traders were left rattled by the pace of the bitcoin, ethereum and cryptocurrency sell-off.

“Even so, it may not be the best time to buy, as it may take considerable time before the crypto market digests the recent turmoil and enters a new phase of sustained demand from broad segments of investors, not just stressed asset hunters,” Alex Kuptsikevich, FxPro senior market analyst, said via email. The Celsius meltdown, coming hot on the heels of the collapse of the terraUSD stablecoin its support coin luna, has sparked fresh calls for better crypto market and crypto company regulation.

“I suspect after the recent events with Celsius that the U.S. will provide more clarity soon, on regulation towards custodial providers and lenders, to bring more stability to the crypto space,” Marcus Sotiriou, an analyst at the U.K.-based digital asset broker GlobalBlock, wrote in an emailed note.

I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world.

Source: Crypto Now Braced For A $2 Billion Goldman Sachs Bombshell As The Price Of Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB, XRP, Solana, Cardano And Dogecoin Swing

Critics:

Nearly three weeks after Celsius Network suspended fund withdrawals and other operations from its platform, questions about its future are mounting.  The maneuvers behind the scenes are also increasing. The crypto firm has hired Alavarez & Marsal, a restructuring advisory firm. Celsius has tapped restructuring attorneys from law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

But the most interesting news is that Goldman Sachs  (GS) – Get Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (The) Report is trying to raise $2 billion from investors to buy distressed Celsius assets, according to Fortune and Coindesk.  Clearly the goal is to allow investors to buy Celsius’s assets at a low price in the event of the firm’s bankruptcy.

According to Fortune, which cites anonymous sources familiar with the matter, Goldman Sachs has solicited crypto firms and web 3 firms, the new iteration of the internet, as well as traditional financial institutions and companies specializing in restructuring. Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On June 12, Celsius announced that it would suspend indefinitely various transactions, including withdrawals of funds “due to extreme market conditions.” Today we are announcing that Celsius is pausing all withdrawals, Swap, and transfers between accounts,” the company said at the time. “We are taking this action today to put Celsius in a better position to honor, over time, its withdrawal obligations.”

Celsius is a cryptocurrency lending platform. The company allows anyone to borrow cryptocurrency and earn interest for lenders. “Earn high. Borrow low. Change the world,” the firm says on its website. One of its catch phrases is “Borrow like a Billionaire.” Celsius, through its CEL token, promises “financial rewards” as much as 30% extra returns weekly. But some options are not available to U.S. based users.

When it raised $400 million last October from investors led by WestCap and Canadian Caisse de dépôt du Québec (CDPQ), Celsius Network saw its valuation soar to $3 billion. The company wants to be an intermediary between traditional finance and the sphere of cryptocurrencies.

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Massive 2022 ‘All-Time High’ Bitcoin Price Prediction Comes With A Serious Ethereum, BNB, XRP, Solana, Cardano, Luna And Avalanche Warning

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices have struggled this year, with the Federal Reserve’s plan to raise rates and potentially trim its balance sheet spooking investors.

The bitcoin price has lost around 40% of its value since hitting an all-time high of nearly $70,000 per bitcoin in November. Smaller cryptocurrencies, including ethereum, BNB BNB -0.9%, XRP XRP -2.7%, solana, cardano, luna and avalanche, have also fallen back—though some are on track to break records in 2022.

Now, a panel of cryptocurrency experts has predicted the bitcoin price will peak at almost $82,000 in 2022 before dropping to just above $65,000 by the end of the year—but warned a more advanced blockchain such as ethereum, BNB, XRP, solana, cardano, luna or avalanche could eventually eclipse bitcoin.

“There’s still plenty of uncertainty about the short-term bitcoin outlook,” Asher Tan, the chief executive of Australia-based crypto exchange CoinJar and panel member said in a statement. Tan has a more conservative outlook on the bitcoin price than the panel average.

“Given the macroeconomic headwinds, it would not surprise me to see bitcoin spend the whole year bouncing around between $30,000 to $60,000—the sort of conditions that are terrible for traders, but rewarding for accumulators with a multi-year timeframe.”

The panel, made up of 35 people from the world of crypto and put together by financial comparison website Finder, has returned a lower average bitcoin price prediction for the end of 2022 than it did in January—at the time predicting the bitcoin price would end December at just over $76,000.

The longer-term panel average has also dipped with bitcoin now forecast to be worth just over $420,000 by the end of 2030, down around 25% from an October forecast of $567,000.

However, some panel members have become more bullish since then. Martin Fröhler, the chief executive of ethereum-based trading platform Morpher gave one of the most bullish end-of-2022 predictions, pointing to “political uncertainty, inflation, and an ever increasing desire to own non-government controlled assets” as likely to push the bitcoin price to a new all-time high.

The continued success of ethereum and recent rallies for other top ten cryptocurrencies such as BNB, XRP, solana, cardano, luna and avalanche may have weighed on the panel’s outlook, with 50% predicting bitcoin will eventually be displaced as the most valuable cryptocurrency.

“Bitcoin is a one trick pony,” said Thomson Reuters technologist and futurist Joseph Raczynski who thinks ethereum has “far grander” potential than bitcoin as “a massive platform of the internet of value.”

“For now, bitcoin really only serves as another currency, akin to a dollar, euro, or pound. Other blockchains that serve a multitude of purposes will likely have a chance to take the throne.”

Others are even more downbeat about bitcoin’s prospects. John Hawkins, a senior lecturer at the University of Canberra, returned one of the bleakest bitcoin price predictions, forecasting bitcoin will be worth just $5,000 by the end of 2025 and dropping to a mere $100 per bitcoin by 2030 as it loses out to ethereum and state-backed alternatives.

“As well as private crypto being replaced by central bank digital currencies, and a general collapse of the speculative bubble, I think bitcoin will lose out to ethereum which has a stronger use case, especially if ethereum ever converts to proof-of-stake and so becomes more environmentally responsible.”

Ethereum’s long-awaited transition to the less energy-demanding proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, abandoning the proof-of-work system pioneered by bitcoin, was expected to happen over the next couple of months but has recently been delayed until the end of this year.

I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk

Source: Massive 2022 ‘All-Time High’ Bitcoin Price Prediction Comes With A Serious Ethereum, BNB, XRP, Solana, Cardano, Luna And Avalanche Warning

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‘Market Is Not Quite Ready’—Bitcoin Billionaire Issues A Serious Crypto Warning As The Price Of Ethereum, BNB, Solana, Cardano, XRP And Luna Suddenly Crash

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices have bounced back this week, riding a wave of positive news even as researchers warn of crypto thefts.

The bitcoin price came within touching distance of $50,000 per bitcoin but has today dropped back, losing more than $2,000 per bitcoin in a matter of hours. Ethereum has also erased its latest gains, despite traders eagerly eyeing a long-awaited upgrade.

Now, after El Salvador last week postponed its controversial $1 billion bitcoin-backed bond, outspoken bitcoin billionaire Michael Saylor has warned the market perhaps isn’t “quite ready” for bitcoin bonds.

“I’d love to see a day where people eventually sell bitcoin-backed bonds like mortgage-backed securities,” Saylor, the chief executive of business intelligence software company MicroStrategy, which has pivoted to become a bitcoin acquisition vehicle over the last two years, told Bloomberg in an interview. “The market is not quite ready for that right now. The next best idea was a term loan from a major bank.”

Last week, El Salvador, which became the world’s first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender last year, revealed it had postponed its planned $1 billion bitcoin bond offering with the country’s finance minister Alejandro Zelaya blaming unfavorable market conditions—but El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele blaming the delay on necessary pension reforms.

“I think this is not the time,” Zelaya said in comments reported by Reuters, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unsettling markets in recent weeks. “In May and June sometimes you can, but the market variables get different. After September, it is difficult to raise, unless you are previously funded, as in the case of bitcoin bond.”

The hotly-anticipated bitcoin bond, designed to fund the creation of an ultra-low tax bitcoin city in El Salvador, will have a “substantial oversubscription” that could reach $1.5 billion, according to Zelaya. Half of the funds raised will be used by the country to buy more bitcoin and the rest earmarked to develop bitcoin mining infrastructure powered by a volcano.

Earlier this week, MicroStrategy announced it’s bitcoin-focused subsidiary MacroStrategy had taken on a $205 million loan to buy more bitcoin, adding to its 125,000 bitcoin hoard. MicroStrategy stock price, up some three-fold since it first began buying bitcoin, has slide 6% this week.

The loan will give MicroStrategy “an opportunity to further our position” as the largest publicly-traded bitcoin investor, Saylor said in a statement.

I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk

Source: ‘Market Is Not Quite Ready’—Bitcoin Billionaire Issues A Serious Crypto Warning As The Price Of Ethereum, BNB, Solana, Cardano, XRP And Luna Suddenly Crash

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MicroStrategy CEO and Bitcoin permabull, Michael Saylor believes that traditional financial markets aren’t quite ready for Bitcoin-backed bonds. Saylor told Bloomberg on Tuesday, that he’d love to see the day come where Bitcoin-backed bonds are sold like mortgage-backed securities, but warned that, “the market is not quite ready for that right now. The next best idea was a term loan from a major bank.”

The remarks come two days after MicroStrategy’s (MSTR) Bitcoin-specific subsidiary MacroStrategy, announced that it had taken out a $205 million Bitcoin-collateralized loan to purchase even more Bitcoin. This loan was unique, as it marked MicroStrategy’s first time borrowing against its own Bitcoin reserves — which are currently valued at approximately $6 billion — to buy more of the cryptocurrency.

Saylor’s comments also follow El Salvador’s recent decision to postpone the issuance of its $1 billion dollar Bitcoin-backed “Volcano Bond” on March 23rd. According to El Salvador’s Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya, the decision to delay the bond was due to general financial uncertainty in the global market driven by conflict in Ukraine.

In a potential warning to El Salvador, Saylor said that the country’s Volcano Bond was somewhat more risky than his company’s Bitcoin-collateralized loan,Saylor added that he remains extremely bullish on the long-term potential for Bitcoin-based bonds, going as far to say that it would be a good idea for cities like New York to use Bitcoin as a debt instrument.

Related: MicroStrategy CEO won’t sell $5B BTC stash despite crypto winterSince its initial $250-million Bitcoin investment in August 2020, MicroStrategy has now amassed a substantial 125,051 BTC — which at the current price of $44,547 equates to $5.5 billion. MicroStrategy has made a series of separate BTC purchases using the company’s cash on hand as well as the proceeds of sales of convertible senior notes in private offerings to institutional buyers.

Saylor’s actions have gradually transformed MicroStrategy into a partly leveraged Bitcoin holdings company, with MSTR shares closely correlated with the price of Bitcoin.

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