Ethereum Creator Loses Over $400 Million As Crypto Market Collapses

TechCrunch Disrupt London 2015 - Day 2

Vitalik Buterin, co-creator of the world’s second most-valuable blockchain Ethereum, has taken a major hit to his net worth after the price of ether (ETH) dipped below $2,000 earlier on Monday.

As of 3:15 p.m. ET, ETH is trading at $1,938 according to Messari, down by more than 50 percent just five weeks after reaching its all-time-high of $4,338 on May 12. The decline of the second-largest cryptocurrency falls in line with the rest of the market, as crypto prices have fallen across the board since news broke of a renewed clampdown on bitcoin miners in China.

Buterin’s two main ether addresses currently hold 325,001 and 1,366 ETH worth a collective $632,499,246 as of 3:15 p.m. ET. The current value of his holdings is $457,500,754 less than the $1.09 billion it was worth on May 3 at 1:30 p.m. ET, according to Messari, when Buterin became the world’s youngest crypto billionaire at age 27. When ETH’s value first surpassed the $3,000 price level Buterin held 333,520 ETH worth $1.09 billion. Forbes is unable to account for the 7,153 ETH difference between his holdings now versus on May 3.

Ether’s current market capitalization is $223,752,321,616, second only to the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin with a market capitalization of $606,843,934,844. Ethereum has gained notoriety this year as the birthplace of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications aiming to create decentralized alternatives to traditional financial services. At the time of writing there is $51 billion locked in the DeFi market, according to data aggregator DeFi Pulse.

Emily Mason

 

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Source: Ethereum Creator Loses Over $400 Million As Crypto Market Collapses

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Well, it’s not necessarily Ethereum that is a risky investment, it’s cryptocurrencies: They are highly speculative. Even though some experts and crypto supporters believe they could replace fiat currency one day, the answer is much more complicated.

Despite their bustling activity growth, efficiency, and impressive blockchain technology render, many countries are still anxious about cryptos replacing fiat currency. But even though peer-to-peer currency might be the bane of central banking systems around the world, the simple answer would be: no, cryptos won’t replace fiat. Why?

Because their usage is on the rise, their speculative popularity is why they won’t be adopted as mainstream legal tender: they are driven for value storage and speculative trading – rather than for transactional value.

For instance, very few mainstream businesses accept cryptos as legal tender – only 2’300 businesses accept it in the United States, which mostly only accept Bitcoins. When you consider that there are over 30 million businesses in the US, a thin fraction accepts Bitcoins, which puts Ethereum at a disadvantage.

As the past few weeks have proven, their volatility can be a double-edged sword: Between May 12 and May 24, Ethereum has lost nearly 50% of its value. While it has somewhat recovered since it is gut-wrenching to see.

Crypto Price Mayhem: Data Reveals Bitcoin Is Braced For A ‘Short Squeeze’

bitcoin, bitcoin price, crypto, image

Bitcoin traders and investors are still reeling from a steep sell-off that’s wiped around $1 trillion from the combined cryptocurrency market.

The bitcoin price has crashed from almost $65,000 per bitcoin to under $40,000 despite a flood of positive bitcoin news in recent weeks—including Twitter TWTR +0.2% chief executive Jack Dorsey teasing a bitcoin payments plan.

Now, analysis of bitcoin trading data has suggested the bitcoin price could be hit by a so-called “short squeeze”—when the price of an asset increases rapidly due to an excess of bets against it.

“Given bitcoin’s past market performance, when traders use excessive leverage to short the market during a horizontal price adjustment, there will often be a short squeeze phenomenon,” Flex Yang, the chief executive of Hong Kong-based crypto lender and asset manager Babel Finance, wrote in analysis seen by this reporter and pointing to market data that shows recent capital inflows are “from short-sellers and that leverage has greatly increased.”

Since the bitcoin and crypto market crashed in mid-April, the volume of bitcoin perpetual holdings on the crypto exchange Binance have increased by 110%, with the ratio of long to short traders reaching a new low of 0.89—pushing funding rates into the negative.

According to Yang, the reasons behind such excessive shorts include “many people are anticipating a bear market; bitcoin “holders are building hedges,” or “those who bought at high prices are locked in.”

Historical bitcoin price data between February and April 2018 and then again from June to late July 2020, suggests an increase in short-selling is often followed by a bitcoin price surge.

“In November 2020, there was a temporary sharp increase in the number of short-selling positions at a high price,” wrote Yang. “Afterwards, the price of bitcoin continued to rise, continuing its bull market position. No matter if the market outlook is trending downwards after rebounding or if bitcoin maintains its bull market status, short traders have always suffered the consequence of being squeezed out and liquidated.”

The early 2021 bitcoin price bull run was brought to a sharp halt in April when fears over a crypto crackdown in China and mounting concerns over bitcoin’s soaring energy demands sparked panic among investors.

Tesla TSLA +1.1% billionaire Elon Musk sent shockwaves through the bitcoin market when he announced Tesla would suspend its use of bitcoin for payments until the bitcoin network increased its use of renewable energy.

The bitcoin price has failed to recover its lost ground despite continued reports that Wall Street banking giants are increasingly offering bitcoin investment and trading services and the Central America country El Salvador revealed plans to adopt bitcoin as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar.

Follow me on Twitter.

I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk I reported on how technology is changing business, political trends, and the latest culture and lifestyle. I have covered the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012 and have charted its emergence as a niche technology into the greatest threat to the established financial system the world has ever seen and the most important new technology since the internet itself. I have worked and written for CityAM, the Financial Times, and the New Statesman, amongst others. Follow me on Twitter @billybambrough or email me on billyATbillybambrough.com. Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Source: Crypto Price Mayhem: Data Reveals Bitcoin Is Braced For A ‘Short Squeeze’

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Critics:

Predictions of a collapse of a speculative bubble in cryptocurrencies have been made by numerous experts in economics and financial markets. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been identified as speculative bubbles by several laureates of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, central bankers, and investors.

From January to February 2018, the price of Bitcoin fell 65 percent. By September 2018, the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index had lost 80 percent of its value, making the decline of the cryptocurrency market, in percentage terms, greater than the bursting of the Dot-com bubble in 2002.

In November 2018, the total market capitalization for Bitcoin fell below $100 billion for the first time since October 2017, and the price of Bitcoin fell below $4,000, representing an 80 percent decline from its peak the previous January. Bitcoin reached a low of around $3,100 in December 2018.From 8 March to 12 March 2020, the price of Bitcoin fell by 30 percent from $8,901 to $6,206.By October 2020, Bitcoin was worth approximately $13,200.

Bitcoin has been characterized as a speculative bubble by eight winners of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences: Paul Krugman, Robert J. Shiller, Joseph Stiglitz, Richard Thaler, James Heckman, Thomas Sargent, Angus Deaton, and Oliver Hart; and by central bank officials including Alan Greenspan, Agustín Carstens, Vítor Constâncio, and Nout Wellink.

The investors Warren Buffett and George Soros have respectively characterized it as a “mirage”and a “bubble”; while the business executives Jack Ma and Jamie Dimon have called it a “bubble” and a “fraud”, respectively. J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said later he regrets calling Bitcoin a fraud.

Tanzania Considers Crypto and Boosts Bitcoin as Nations Line Up Behind El Salvador To Embrace Decentralized Finance

Bitcoin

Tanzania became the latest country to signal its support for digital assets this weekend as its president instructed financial authorities to prepare for widespread use of cryptocurrencies, elevating bitcoin prices further after El Salvador became the first country to make bitcoin legal tender last week and Elon Musk outlined plans for Tesla to resume accepting bitcoin as a form of payment.

Key Facts

President Samia Suluhu Hassan called on the Tanzanian Central Bank Sunday to begin “working on” facilitating widespread use of cryptocurrencies in the East African nation.  While many in Tanzania have not yet embraced decentralized finance, Hassan said the Central Bank should “be ready for the changes and not be caught unprepared.

”Hassan is one of the most senior politicians to signal support for digital assets since El Salvador voted to adopt bitcoin as legal tender last week and helped give the flagging market a boost. The announcement helped bitcoin gain nearly 10% in 24 hours, nearly reaching $40,000 a token Monday morning.

The token was also buoyed on by news that Tesla would resume its use of bitcoin when there is proof the asset is obtained using around 50% clean energy.

What To Watch For

There is growing popular support for bitcoin adoption in Nigeria that also gained momentum over the weekend. Russell Okung, an NFL player of Nigerian descent, penned an open letter to the Nigerian president imploring the country to adopt a Bitcoin standard so as to avoid “falling behind.” Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, one of the most high profile crypto enthusiasts, tweeted his support of the idea a number of times over the weekend.

Key Background

While reaching its highest point in several weeks, bitcoin, along with the wider crypto market, is still recovering from a tailspin that rapidly wiped over $700 billion from the market’s value. This slump was primarily induced by Tesla announcing it would no longer accept bitcoin due to environmental concerns and China cracking down on the assets.

Support from the likes of El Salvador, alongside other countries and banks that may begin to adopt bitcoin, or other cryptocurrency tokens, the market has slowly started to recover, though remains volatile. Beyond Tanzania, lawmakers in a number of Latin American countries have expressed at least a casual interest in following El Salvador’s footsteps, including Brazil and Panama.

Further Reading

El Salvador Makes History As World’s First Country To Make Bitcoin Legal Tender (Forbes)

Tanzanian president urges central bank to prepare for crypto (Coin Telegraph)

I am a London-based reporter for Forbes covering breaking news. Previously, I have worked as a reporter for a specialist legal publication covering big data and as a freelance journalist and policy analyst covering science, tech and health. I have a master’s degree in Biological Natural Sciences and a master’s degree in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge. Follow me on Twitter @theroberthart or email me at rhart@forbes.com

Source: Tanzania Considers Crypto—And Boosts Bitcoin—As Nations Line Up Behind El Salvador To Embrace Decentralized Finance

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Critics:

The European Union has passed no specific legislation relative to the status of bitcoin as a currency, but has stated that VAT/GST is not applicable to the conversion between traditional (fiat) currency and bitcoin. VAT/GST and other taxes (such as income tax) still apply to transactions made using bitcoins for goods and services. 

In October 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that “The exchange of traditional currencies for units of the ‘bitcoin’ virtual currency is exempt from VAT” and that “Member States must exempt, inter alia, transactions relating to ‘currency, bank notes and coins used as legal tender‘”, making bitcoin a currency as opposed to being a commodity. According to judges, the tax should not be charged because bitcoins should be treated as a means of payment.

According to the European Central Bank, traditional financial sector regulation is not applicable to bitcoin because it does not involve traditional financial actors. Others in the EU have stated, however, that existing rules can be extended to include bitcoin and bitcoin companies.

The European Central Bank classifies bitcoin as a convertible decentralized virtual currency. In July 2014 the European Banking Authority advised European banks not to deal in virtual currencies such as bitcoin until a regulatory regime was in place.

In 2016 the European Parliament’s proposal to set up a task force to monitor virtual currencies to combat money laundering and terrorism, passed by 542 votes to 51, with 11 abstentions, has been sent to the European Commission for consideration.

See also

References

Is Apple About To Accept Cryptocurrency? Job Ad Suggests It Might

NerdWallet-Millennial Money-Contactless Payment

An Apple job ad has raised the intriguing prospect that the company may soon support cryptocurrency payments. Apple has posted a vacancy for a “Business Development Manager – Alternative Payments”, which stipulates that candidates should have experience with handling cryptocurrency. The recruit would be joining the team that’s responsible for Apple Pay and the iPhone Wallet app.

The “key qualifications” for the role, first spotted by Coindesk, include “5+ years experience working in or with alternative payment providers, such as digital wallets, BNPL, Fast Payments, cryptocurrency and etc.”

The ad also suggests the company is looking for someone who is not wedded to mainstream payment solutions. “We are looking for a candidate who is comfortable with ambiguity, enjoys thinking about edge cases and asking ‘what is an alternative way of doing this’,” the ad on the Apple website reads.

As spotted by the FT, it seems Apple is gently warming to the idea of supporting cryptocurrencies, even before this hire. The App Store listing for the cryptocurrency trading service, Coinbase, shows that it’s now supported in Apple Wallet, although it seems the functionality hasn’t been fully switched on yet.

Big-brand backing

If Apple were to fully embrace cryptocurrencies, it would give the market its strongest endorsement yet.

Tesla’s Elon Musk has been arguably the biggest backer of cryptocurrencies to date, although his erratic support wavered again last month when he announced that the car company would no longer accept bitcoin for vehicle purchases, citing fears over the environmental damage caused by bitcoin mining.

There is speculation that Musk is simply trading his chips from one cryptocurrency to another, however, having made several strong public statements in support of dogecoin.

Support from Apple would surely drive demand for cryptocurrencies, although that is already causing problems in some parts of the world. Iran this week declared a four-month ban on cryptocurrency mining over fears that it was causing surges in demand for electricity. Unlicensed miners in the country are taking advantage of the country’s relatively cheap electricity to run enormous cryptocurrency-mining rigs.

I have been a technology writer and editor for more than 20 years. I was assistant editor of The Sunday Times’ technology section, editor of PC Pro magazine and have written for more than a dozen different publications and websites over the years. I’ve also appeared as a tech pundit on television and radio, including BBC Newsnight, the Chris Evans Show and ITN News at Ten.

Hit me up if you’ve got a tech story that needs breaking at barry@mediabc.co.uk.

Source: Is Apple About To Accept Cryptocurrency? Job Ad Suggests It Might

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“The Apple Wallets, Payments, and Commerce (WPC) team is seeking an experienced Business Development Manager to lead Alternative Payments Partnerships,” the company wrote.

Apple has long maintained an ironclad grip over payments, especially in its App Store, which has never accepted customers’ crypto and forces all catalog apps to use Apple’s commerce rails and play by Apple’s rules. 

That tightly-controlled ecosystem is the focus of a blockbuster court fight launched by Fortnite developer Epic Games. Epic alleges Apple’s rules violate antitrust laws and stifle payments innovation. App developers could accept “bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies” if not for Apple’s restrictions, Epic claimed in the suit.

Apple has made no public statements about its plans for the crypto space. The company did not immediately return CoinDesk’s calls. Even so, pockets of the crypto space seem to be preparing for Apple. Coinbase included Apple Pay graphics in a recent app update, according to MacRumors.

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References

Destefanis, Giuseppe; Marchesi, M.; Ortu, Marco; Tonelli, R.; Bracciali, A.; Hierons, R. (2018). “Smart contracts vulnerabilities: a call for blockchain software engineering?”. 2018 International Workshop on Blockchain Oriented Software Engineering (IWBOSE). doi:10.1109/IWBOSE.2018.8327567. hdl:1893/27135.

The War Between Gamers And Cryptominers and The Scarce Global Resource That Sparked It

gamers

hroughout the week, Doug Dejarnette heads to his Houston home’s second-floor game room and there transforms himself entirely. Sometimes the 38-year-old pretrial services officer becomes a Paladin warrior, raiding dungeons in the PC-version of World of Warcraft, and, at other times, the titular character in Half-Life Alyx, battling ETs on an alien-occupied Earth through an Oculus Rift headset.

What largely makes his gaming possible is a videocassette-shaped device inside his handmade computer called a graphics processing unit (GPU), which renders the games’ animation, allowing it to appear on a screen.

Dejarnette’s Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is a top-of-the-line model, and it wasn’t easy to come by. When he tried to buy a new one last year, he discovered it “just impossible to find anywhere. I woke up early at the launch day to hit every website. I finally gave up and bought one off Reddit for about $1,000,” a roughly 30% markup.

There’s a worldwide shortage of new and old GPUs right now, leading to a sense of “sheer fatalism” among gamers despondent about getting the latest tech or even replacing an old part, Dejarnette says. “It’s killing us.” And it’s led to some testy finger-pointing by gamers toward another group of geeks: cryptocurrency miners.

Gamers and others observing the GPU market say the miners have wreaked havoc on the $20 billion industry, taxing it with unexpected demand while key components for GPUs—microchips—are scarcely available. The companies making the GPUs understand the situation with the miners, and as recently as Wednesday, Nvidia announced it would change some future versions of its GPUs to make them less attractive to miners. But that fix will not arrive anytime soon.

“There’s nothing out there,” says 22-year-old miner Shaneel Mohandas, considering the current availability of GPUs. The IT worker has seven GPUs running in a darkened bedroom in palm-tree-lined Durban, South Africa, each device devoted to producing cryptocurrency like bitcoin and ether.

He figures even his aging collection of GPUs could fetch two and a half times their original price. “It’s all overpriced stuff. And it’s driving the gamers crazy.” Through mining, Mohandas receives Bitcoin as a reward for creating blocks of verified transactions that are added to the blockchain and doesn’t have to pay for it.

The tussle between gamers and cryptominers over these high-tech gizmos is a helpful way to understand something much broader that’s going on in the world. There’s a profound, worldwide shortage of microchips, which has grown to be almost as essential as concrete, oil or wheat for an increasingly digitized planet. Nearly a half-trillion dollars’ worth are sold each year. They power the electronic systems within planes, automobiles, smartphones—and yes, GPUs. Moreover, they’re increasingly found in such everyday objects as toothbrushes, refrigerators and coffee pots.


“It’s become kind of an addiction,” admits miner Aniel Varma, of Orlando, Florida. “Everyone wants to build their own machine. It’s a money printer.”


As incomes grow globally, consumers generally want more and more of these types of things each year, and some have been in especially high demand during the pandemic. But many of the chips within these items are made overseas by foreign companies, such as Taiwan Semiconductor and Samsung. And those global supply chains have been pressured greatly by the pandemic, disrupted by factors like factory closures and border shutdowns

By tensions between Taiwan and mainland China, which has never recognized its right to exist as a sovereign country. World governments are concerned: President Biden, for one, pledged to find nearly $40 billion to spur greater U.S. manufacturing of semiconductors in February, the same month European Union ministers met to discuss a $60 billion package meant to do the same thing in their 27-country bloc.

As with many problems so vast, the Great Microchip Shortage is best considered in miniature—which is where those gamers and cryptominers come back in. What’s happening in their little corner of nerd-dom is happening in some form across every industry relying on microchips, producing an almost comical array of besieged businesses, unruly consumers and markets gone haywire.

“I think what you have is a perfect storm of things,” says Matthew Stafford, the bespectacled managing editor of Tom’s Hardware, an online industry bible for the IT crowd. “Global companies expect stability. And this is anything but stability.”

Nvidia and its competitors have been making GPUs for gamers throughout much of the past three decades. By lore, Nvidia’s three cofounders are said to have, basically, dreamed up the entire market over breakfast at a dirty San Jose, California, Denny’s back in 1993, figuring there would be a market for people looking to improve their PCs as video games got more advanced.

One of those men, Jensen Huang, remains Nvidia’s CEO, and he has a personal fortune estimated at $14.2 billion. Nvidia, meanwhile, has a market valuation of nearly $370 billion. AMD, its closest rival, is worth close to $100 billion. (Nvidia’s stock price is up more than 67% over the past year, far outpacing the Nasdaq’s 43% gain.)

Gamers had GPUs largely to themselves until the last decade—when the crypto boom began. GPUs perform trillions of calculations each second, and their immense computing power can be applied to cryptomining, where a computer solves a series of complex equations, producing new portions of the cryptocurrencies that can be sold off for cash on easily accessible online exchanges, such as Coinbase.

Despite their advanced age and size, Nvidia and AMD have largely been caught flat-footed by the flourishing demand from cryptominers and don’t seem even now to fully understand what percentage of their sales come from miners, exacerbating the supply problem. In one recent conference call with Wall Street analysts, Nvidia executives cited vague third-party figures when discussing what portion of their GPUs currently go to cryptomining.

“They probably don’t really know,” says Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon. The figure might be as much as 10%, up from essentially zilch a decade ago and nearing a half-billion dollars. The situation is probably only worsening: Crypto prices have soared over 2020 and 2021, increasing the appeal to cryptomining.

The GPU makers don’t particularly want miners as top customers. They saw a similar burst in demand from miners back in 2017 and 2018, another moment of soaring crypto prices. But when that earlier bubble burst, the miners flooded aftermarkets with secondhand GPUs, depressing prices and suppressing demand for new models. The damage was evident in the figures Nvidia reported for its first fiscal quarter of 2019: nearly a third less revenue from a year prior, just $2.2 billion, a rare decrease for the company.

So Nvidia and the rest are not only dealing with a supply crunch but strong demand from a group of consumers who might vanish at any second if crypto prices plummet again. (Crypto is a mercurial world. In the past week, bitcoin has gone for as much as $51,383 a coin—and as little as $34,923.) Meaning, even if supply would improve, and the companies do better integrate mining into their forecasts, they could suddenly be left with a glut of product, weakening prices.

Considering all these factors, the companies have decided against making any big adjustments. The result is the tension between gamers and miners and the mad-dash rush for whatever GPUs are out there, often used ones from eBay or ones brokered through Reddit forums for double or triple the units’ original prices.

Locating a GPU “should be as simple as just checking Newegg”—a popular online electronics retailer—“to see if they’re in stock and then buy it, but now it’s anything but that,” says Ryan Welean, 27, a gamer in Mill Creek, Washington. Newegg has, actually, resorted lately to selling new GPUs through a lottery system to handle the crush. “It’s limited stock and high demand,” Welean says.

He has owned several GPUs since he began PC gaming a decade ago; he purchased a new Radeon RX 5700 from AMD last year, which has fueled dozens of hours of Final Fantasy to fill pandemic-induced downtime. “But recently I’ve been unlucky,” he says, grimly. “I’ve been on a waiting list with another site for the opportunity to buy a 3080 or 3090,” two Nvidia models, “and it’s taking a while.”

Justin Kelly, 42, straddles both worlds, a former gamer turned miner. Kelly first bought several GPUs to game—“friends would come over, we’d play Duke Nukem or Delta Force 2”—then put it toward mining bitcoin around 2013. He has purchased $10,000 worth of the latest Nvidia cards in the past year, good enough to produce as much as $600 worth of crypto a day.

He wishes he’d bought up more. “I would have spent more than $10,000. But in some cases, I wasn’t able to do that,” says Kelly, a Seattle IT consultant. Many of the sales had a strict one-GPU-per-order limit. “If I had gone back to, like, my August [2020] self, I should have told him to buy, like, 50 cards,” possibly flipping those Nvidia cards for several thousand dollars in profit each.

“It’s become kind of an addiction,” admits miner Aniel Varma, of Orlando, Florida. “Everyone wants to build their own machine. It’s a money printer.” Varma, 36, has managed to buy 30 Nvidia GPUs over the prior 12 months after finding someone to sell him a bot; the programmatic software can be taught to scour the web for GPU sales and snap them up as soon as a website adds them. More famously, bots have become scourges of the collectibles and sneaker worlds, making it impossible for normal buyers to purchase products fast enough.

Varma, who is also a tech consultant, has set up four computers in his house: one in the living room, foyer, guest bedroom and hallway. He mostly mines bitcoin and ether but has recently branched out to dogecoin, too, on the insistence of his young daughter. “I’m building these awesome supercomputers,” he says, proudly. “Everyone that walks in my house and sees the rigs”—miner slang for PCs—“and are just completely blown away. I’ve seen some jaw drops and some eyes popping out.”

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a senior editor at Forbes, where I cover social media, creators and internet culture. In the past, I’ve edited across Forbes magazine and Forbes.com.

Source: The War Between Gamers And Cryptominers—And The Scarce Global Resource That Sparked It

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Curious About Crypto? Here’s What 10 Financial Experts Think

A photo to accompany a story about financial experts' advice for investing in cryptocurrency

Everyday investors are overflowing with cryptocurrency questions, according to the financial advisors hired to answer them.

There is clearly an “emotional euphoria that seems to be sweeping through the public around cryptocurrency,” says Frederick Stanfield, a CFP with Lifewater Wealth Management in Atlanta, Georgia.

But for the average person focused on retirement planning and financial stability, is it time to consider investing in cryptocurrency?

The answer is complicated, so we asked financial advisors for their crypto advice, and here’s what 10 of them are telling clients. In an emerging field with few set rules and norms, we discovered some universal truths that everyone should know before putting money in cryptocurrency.

First of all, financial advisors say a healthy dose of skepticism is a crucial place to start, and you should never invest in crypto if it takes away from other goals and financial fundamentals like paying off debt, building an emergency fund, or maxing out your retirement accounts.

As difficult as it may be, do not become seduced by the intrigue and allure of this new technology, says Stanfield. Instead, employ the same mindset you bring to your regular investment strategy.

Here’s what else the experts want you to know about cryptocurrency investing:

Be Prepared for Loss

As with any investment, financial gains are far from guaranteed with cryptocurrency investing. For some financial advisors, crypto looks more like a lottery ticket than an investment strategy.

That means you should only put in what you’re OK with losing. “On a spectrum between gambling and investing, I think it’s closer to the former,” says Matt Morris, principal advisor at Sanderling Finance in Columbia, South Carolina.

As a high-risk, high-reward investment, keep any crypto investments in perspective amid your broader goals and finances. As with certain types of gambling, “you have a high chance of losing it all, but a small chance of winning it big,” says Nate Nieri, a CFP with Modern Money Management in San Diego, California. “Just don’t gamble an amount that would burden your family or prevent you from achieving your goals” if you lost it all.

Steer Clear if You’re Risk Averse

If you’re risk averse, crypto isn’t the investment for you.“How well can you sleep at night knowing that this is an emerging asset class with high volatility? And if you were to wake one morning to find that crypto has been banned by the developed nations and it became worthless, would you be OK?” asks Stanield.

If you’re going to be constantly stressing about your crypto investment, or tempted to change your investments in light of the volatility that comes with crypto, then you’re better off putting your money in a more stable investment, according to Stanfield.

“I believe it is still in its infancy stage, and just like any new fund or IPO, there is a level of uncertainty about the future that I’m not ready to stomach,” says Alajahwon Ridgeway, owner of Ridgeway Wealth Management in Lafayette, Louisiana. “I believe it … is an unnecessary risk at this point for my clients to reach their financial goals.”

There’s also far less historical data available about cryptocurrency to help investors make informed decisions — unlike conventional ETF and index/mutual funds. Crypto investors face additional risk in the form of poor or inaccurate trade data, competition among fellow investors, theft, loss of wallet passwords, supply and demand issues, government regulation, and energy consumption concerns, says Chelsea Rude, a CFP at Rude Wealth Advisory in Olney, Illinois.

“Most importantly for investors, there is a lack of a well designed and tested way to value the assets,” Rude says. This means crypto investors are essentially going in blind, and subjecting themselves to the uncertainty that comes with any new business or investment

Know Why You’re Interested In the First Place

Some people see crypto as an emerging investment, while others see it as an interesting new global currency you can use instead of the U.S. dollar or other international currencies. But whether crypto has long-term staying power on either front is still uncertain.

“I strongly believe the vast majority of people who own crypto currency are doing so for all the wrong reasons and misunderstanding what they are truly buying,” says Ben Lies, chief investment officer at Delphi Advisers.

Many experts are concerned about people dumping their money into crypto without real understanding of the area. Do your own research, and make sure you’re thinking about your investment in the right way.

“Hype and excitement around the space are not reasons for inclusion into any portfolio, but I believe there are compelling reasons to consider cryptocurrencies,” says James Vermillion, owner of Vermillion Private Wealth in Lexington, Kentucky. “When discussing crypto with clients I emphasize education and understanding. It’s important to note that there are thousands of cryptocurrencies in existence and they are not created equally. Due diligence is important, just as it is when looking at stocks or other investment vehicles.”

Nieri warns those who see Bitcoin as a currency to think about what that means for investing. “I don’t typically trade or have a currency hedge as part of my investment strategy. Would you have ever thought about trading dollars for Euros as an investment? In order for Bitcoin to be a legitimate currency, the world’s governments would need to accept it as a global currency, something that has a remote likelihood,” Nieri says.

Keep Crypto In Its Place

Don’t rely on crypto investments for your retirement or overall financial strategy. Make sure the majority of your investment portfolio is made up of stable assets projected for long-term growth.

“What I am sharing for [my clients] to do is build their future financial pie with investments such as stocks and bonds. If there is extra money they want to play with, buying crypto is an option,” says Eric Powell, financial advisor and founder of the Future Mill.

Make sure your overall investment portfolio is predominantly made up of conventional investments like stocks and bonds, says Powell. But within any crypto investments you might have, experts recommend sticking with the big names.

“I personally do not go beyond Bitcoin and or Ethereum,” says Michael Kelly, a CFA at Switchback Financial in Madison, Connecticut.  “I feel those two have a bit more of an established base and feel the risk of other coins becomes too significant.”

By:

 

Source: Curious About Crypto? Here’s What 10 Financial Experts Think | NextAdvisor with TIME

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Decentralized finance (commonly referred to as DeFi) is a blockchain-based form of finance that does not rely on central financial intermediaries such as brokerages, exchanges, or banks to offer traditional financial instruments, and instead utilizes smart contracts on blockchains, the most common being Ethereum.[1] DeFi platforms allow people to lend or borrow funds from others, speculate on price movements on a range of assets using derivatives, trade cryptocurrencies, insure against risks, and earn interest in savings-like accounts.[2]

DeFi uses a layered architecture and highly composable building blocks.[3] Some DeFi applications promote high interest rates[2] but are subject to high risk.[1] By October 2020, over $11 billion (worth in cryptocurrency) was deposited in various decentralized finance protocols, which represented more than a tenfold growth during the course of 2020.[4][2] As of January 2021, approximately $20.5 billion was invested in DeFi.[5]

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References

Braun, Alexander; Cohen, Lauren H.; Xu, Jiahua (May 2020). “fidentiaX: The Tradable Insurance Marketplace on Blockchain”. Harvard Business School. Retrieved 2021-01-05.

Phemex Is Empowering Everyone To Trade Simply and Manage Risk Efficiently

Led by 8 former Morgan Stanley Executives, Phemex’s goal is to build the worlds most trustworthy cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform. Its leverage a “User-Oriented” approach to develop far more powerful features than any existing exchange.

Above all, they place customers first. All of the features and tools are designed with this philosophy in mind. This is why their development team is directly available and constantly gathering feedback, comments, and requests from our community on social media.

Back in 2017, as experienced professional Wall Street traders and investors, Jack Tao and other founding members of Phemex identified a lack of professionalism, trustworthiness, and customer support within the crypto industry. In the following two years, the number of users engaging in cryptocurrency trading increased significantly.

Nevertheless, existing exchanges showed little to no improvement. Realizing the seriousness of the problem, the team left Wall Street and founded Phemex in the summer of 2019. They then dedicated themselves to building a simple, efficient, but most importantly, a trusted cryptocurrency trading platform. Then, on November 25th, 2019, the Phemex platform officially went live.

Pheme (Fama) is the personification of fame and of the public’s voice in Greek mythology. While MEX stands for mercantile exchange. This name was chosen to highlight our vision and their dedication to stand as the most trustworthy trading platform.

From day one, their mission was and will always continue to be the empowerment of individuals. They want everyone in this world to have access to the right set of tools that will allow them to manage risk efficiently and trade simply. They sincerely believe this to be a fundamental right that all traders should enjoy.

For its crypto derivatives products, Phemex allows you to trade with leverage. This means that you can receive a higher exposure towards a certain crypto’s price increase or decrease, without actually holding the necessary amount of assets. You do this by “leveraging” your trade. In simple terms, this means that you borrow from the exchange to bet more. You can get as much as 100x leverage on this platform.

Leveraged trades are risky though. For instance, let’s say that you have 100 USD in your trading account and you bet this amount on BTC going long (i.e., going up in value). If BTC then increases in value with 10%, you would have earned 10 USD. If you had used 100x leverage, your initial 100 USD position becomes a 10,000 USD position so you instead earn an extra 1,000 USD (990 USD more than if you had not leveraged your deal).

As we mentioned above, in terms of Spot Trading, Phemex has adopted a zero trading fee model. Instead they just charge for monthly Premium Memberships (prices are $9.99 for 30 Days, $19.99 for 90 Days and $69.99 USDT for 365 Days). Becoming a premium member will also allow you to set conditional spot orders, you will enjoy hourly withdrawals with no limits, and will be able to gift trial premium memberships to friends.

With respect to contract trading, Phemex separates between “takers” and “makers”. Let’s describe these terms real quick. Every trade occurs between two parties: the maker, whose order exists on the order book prior to the trade, and the taker, who places the order that matches (or “takes”) the maker’s order. We call makers for “makers” as their orders make the liquidity in a market. Takers are the ones who “take” this liquidity by matching makers’ orders with their own..

Phemex previously didn’t accept any other deposit method than cryptos, so new investors were restricted from trading here. Starting 18 June 2020, however, they partnered with a company called Banxa which is a payment gateway that accepts credit and debit card purchases of crypto.

Since then, Phemex has also partnered with Koinal, Coinify, MoonPay, and Mercuryo. You have a variety of payment options (ranging from bank transfers to Apple Pay) and rates to fit your needs.

To our understanding, Phemex does not charge any fees of their own when you withdraw crypto from your account at the platform. Accordingly, the only fee you have to think about when withdrawing are the network fees. The network fees are fees paid to the miners of the relevant crypto/blockchain, and not fees paid to the exchange itself. Network fees vary from day to day depending on the network pressure.

Generally speaking, to only have to pay the network fees should be considered as below global industry average when it comes to fee levels for crypto withdrawals.

Source: https://phemex.com

Genesis Mining Technologies Currently Butte Energy Announces Go-Public Transaction For Entire Cryptocurrency Mining IP Asset Portfolio and Growth Pipeline of Global Leader

Highlights:

  • Entire portfolio of Genesis Mining Group’s cryptocurrency-related intellectual property to be taken public, together with more than 200MW pipeline of contracted, green-powered cryptocurrency data centre construction and expansion projects in Europe and North America
  • Resulting issuer will bring to market turnkey financing and technology solutions for cryptocurrency data centre operators around the world, leveraging Genesis Mining Group’s pioneering proprietary software platforms Hexa, Janus, and Block Explorer, and supply-chain relationships built over nearly a decade in the industry
  • Genesis Mining Group Founder and CEO, Marco Streng, to be appointed as Chairman
  • C$20 million private placement financing

VANCOUVER, BC and BIRKIRKARA, Malta, Feb. 12, 2021 /CNW/ – Butte Energy Inc. (TSXV: BEN.H) (the “Company” or “Genesis Mining Technologies“) (being renamed Genesis Mining Technologies Corp.) has entered into an arms-length, legally binding letter of intent dated February 12, 2021 with Genesis Group Limited (“Genesis Mining Group“) to acquire (the “Transaction“):

    1. all of Genesis Mining Group’s intellectual property relating to cryptocurrency mining operations, including its proprietary (i) datacentre construction, layout, and cooling system known as “AC/DC”; (ii) datacentre monitoring and optimization software platform known as “Hexa”; (iii) blockchain data analysis tool known as “Block Explorer”; and (iv) cryptocurrency market forecasting software platform known as “Janus”; and
    2. all rights to Genesis Mining Group’s more than 200MW pipeline of contracted cryptocurrency mining data centre construction and expansion projects in Europe and North America.

The Company

Leveraging its pioneering, proprietary software platforms and supply-chain relationships built over nearly a decade in the industry, Genesis Mining Technologies intends to bring flexible, turnkey financing and technology solutions to cryptocurrency data centre operators around the world. Genesis Mining has serviced over 2,000,000 customers since its founding in 2013 and has established a broad network of partner data centre operators globally.

“This go-public transaction marks a pivotal next step in Genesis Mining Group’s history and will be a gamechanger for the cryptocurrency mining industry,” commented Marco Streng, Founder and CEO of Genesis Mining Group and incoming Chairman of the Company. “We believe that cryptocurrencies will be at the centre of the future of global commerce.

However, the integrity of this system requires computing infrastructure that is decentralized, optimally architected, and powered sustainably with green energy. With Genesis Mining Technologies’ turnkey solutions, existing operators and new entrants with access to cheap, green power can obtain the financing, procurement, and operational ingredients to compete with the world’s leading miners, in one stop.”

The Company will constitute Genesis Mining Group’s core business going forward, with all future mining operations and financing transactions to be structured such that economics will accrue to the Company solely, with Genesis Mining Group’s exposure being through its shareholdings in the Company.

Concurrent with closing of the Transaction (“Closing“), Genesis Mining Group (or its affiliates and principals) will be issued such number of shares of the Company as will constitute approximately 80% of the issued and outstanding common shares following completion of the equity financing and consolidation (described below). Closing is subject to receipt of TSXV approval, completion of definitive documentation, any requisite shareholder approvals, and completion of the consolidation and equity financing.

The Business Model and Pipeline

With the global market capitalization of cryptocurrencies recently topping US$1 trillion1, and Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) hitting all-time-highs, Genesis Mining Technologies intends to provide investors with de-risked exposure to a diversified portfolio of cryptocurrency mining assets and financing and technology licensing structures with third party partners. The Company will provide investors with direct exposure to cryptocurrency price performance, focusing its business model on driving free cashflow.

The Company’s current pipeline consists of five anticipated deals in Europe and North America, with a more than 200MW supply of cheap, green power already under contract. The Company will use these internally generated opportunities to develop and pilot its financing and technology solutions. These initial projects may take a variety of ownership and financing forms, but the Company intends to focus its efforts on rolling out its solutions at scale by partnering with other established miners and new entrants to the market.

The Company’s solutions will be focused on operators of green powered cryptocurrency infrastructure projects around the world to provide (i) flexible financing solutions for new buildouts and expansions, (ii) procurement of the right mining hardware for the project, benefitting from Genesis Mining Group’s know-how and supply chain relationships built over years of being one of the top miners globally, and (iii) optimization of operations through access to the Company’s technologies, including its AC/DC, Hexa, Block Explorer, and cryptocurrency market forecasting platform.

Management and Board

The Company will appoint an experienced management team and board of directors on Closing consisting of principals from the Company and Genesis Mining Group, including incoming Chairman Marco Streng.

Marco Streng is a crypto mining industry pioneer and Founder and CEO of Genesis Mining Group. In 2013, he co-founded and launched Genesis Mining, bootstrapping the organization into becoming one of the largest crypto mining companies in the world serving over 2,000,000 customers.

Tillmann Korb will be appointed as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Korb holds a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering. He studied at the Technical University of Munich and École Central Paris. His professional career started in strategy and management consulting, with a focus on the German automotive industry. He has been a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast since the early days. Motivated by the urge to turn his private enthusiasm into a professional career, he started his engagement for Genesis Mining Group as Regional Manager for North America, developing cryptocurrency data centers and business relations. He was key in pivoting Genesis Mining Group’s business model to providing mining technologies and financial resources to its established partner network.

Consolidation and Financing

On or before Closing, a consolidation of the Company’s issued and outstanding share capital on the basis of one new common share for every four outstanding common shares will be completed. No fractional shares will be issued under the consolidation and any fraction will be rounded to the nearest whole number.

In connection with the Transaction, the Company will complete a private placement financing of subscription receipts (“Subscription Receipts“) at a price of C$1.00 per Subscription Receipt for aggregate proceeds of C$20,000,000, subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange (the “Exchange“). Each Subscription Receipt will convert into one post-consolidation common share of the Company immediately prior to the completion of the Transaction. Proceeds from the financing will be used to commence initial deployments of capital into Genesis Mining Technologies’ existing pipeline and for general working capital.

Trading in the common shares of the Company has been halted in accordance with the policies of the Exchange and will remain halted until such time as all required documentation has been filed with and accepted by the Exchange and permission to resume trading has been obtained from the Exchange. Since the common shares of the Company are listed on the NEX market of the Exchange, and the Transaction does not constitute a Related Party Transaction under the policies of the Exchange, the Company is not required to seek shareholder approval for the Transaction.

For corporate updates, please register to our mailing list at genesis.tech.

Completion of the transaction is subject to a number of conditions, including but not limited to, Exchange acceptance and if applicable, disinterested shareholder approval. Where applicable, the transaction cannot close until the required shareholder approval is obtained. There can be no assurance that the transaction will be completed as proposed or at all.

Investors are cautioned that, except as disclosed in the management information circular or filing statement to be prepared in connection with the Transaction, any information released or received with respect to the Transaction may not be accurate or complete and should not be relied upon. Trading in the securities of the Company should be considered highly speculative.

The Exchange has in no way passed upon the merits of the Transaction and has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this news release. Neither the Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

ON BEHALF OF Butte Energy Inc.
(to be renamed GENESIS MINING TECHNOLOGIES CORP.)

“Geir Liland”

CEO and Director

For further information: Geir Liland, Tel: (604) 609-6110

Source: Genesis Mining Technologies (currently Butte Energy) Announces Go-Public Transaction for Entire Cryptocurrency Mining IP Asset Portfolio and Growth Pipeline of Global Leader, Genesis Mining Group

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Coinbase’s Public Stock Listing Creates A Multibillion Dollar Windfall For Founders—Now It Faces Five Big Threats

Brian Armstrong

For Coinbase’s founders and investors, the timing of its initial public offering this week couldn’t have been better. Bitcoin has been trading at an all-time high, above $60,000. Just eight days ago, Coinbase announced that first quarter revenue in 2021 tripled from the prior quarter, hitting $1.8 billion, while net profit reached nearly $800 million.

On the stock’s first day of trading on Wednesday, it nearly doubled then settled back down for a 30% gain, closing at a market value of $86 billion. CEO Brian Armstrong’s net worth hit $11.8 billion. Cofounder and board member Fred Ehrsam, $3.8 billion. Chief product officer Surojit Chatterjee, $660 million.

As the most popular digital asset brokerage and exchange in America, Coinbase’s key competitive advantages are its brand and deep trading marketplace. The more customers it has, the easier it is for each one to buy and sell at attractive prices when he or she wants to. Today it has 56 million verified users. But now that the nine-year-old San Francisco company is public and under a brighter spotlight, it faces growing threats to its outsized profits.

A Rush of New Competition

Avichal Garg, a managing partner at Electric Capital, one of the largest cryptocurrency investment firms in the U.S., says Coinbase will start seeing much more competition. “It’s going to be a big wakeup call for banks and financial institutions,” he says. He thinks Fidelity is a few years ahead of other incumbents in building a crypto trading business thanks to CEO Abby Johnson. She led the company to start mining bitcoin in 2017 and has created a 150-person team dedicated to helping large investors buy, sell and hold bitcoin.

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CNBC’s Bob Pisani breaks down why Coinbase on deck is so important for investors and the crypto space with Matt Hougan of Bitwise Asset Management and Christian Magoon, CEO of Amplify ETFs. Subscribe to CNBC PRO for access to investor and analyst insights on crypto and more: https://cnb.cx/2BT2E7y

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Fidelity doesn’t yet let average Americans buy bitcoin directly, but Garg thinks that will change. “They have their core retail brokerage business—imagine putting Fidelity-branded crypto products into that thing. Now you don’t have to leave Fidelity to get access to bitcoin or ethereum.” (Fidelity declined to comment on whether it’s building such a product.)

Interactive Brokers, the Greenwich-based $30 billion trading platform that caters to professional traders and sophisticated investors, plans to offer bitcoin trading to customers by the end of this summer, a spokesperson says.

In late 2019, brokerage Charles Schwab released a report showing that the bitcoin-tracking investment product GBTC was a top-five holding in accounts held by Millennial customers. Schwab probably won’t stay on the sidelines if there’s such pent-up demand among its customers, Garg says. A Schwab spokesperson declined to comment on specific plans but noted that it lets customers trade bitcoin derivative securities, adding, “We will continue to listen to our clients’ feedback to make sure that our offering meets their needs.”

Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, launched a U.S. arm in September 2019, and its trading volumes keep hitting record highs, recently transacting $1.3 billion a day to Coinbase’s $5 billion, according to CoinGecko.

Cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are also on the verge of approval for the first time in America, which will make it easier for retail investors and wealth managers to get exposure to bitcoin through almost any brokerage. Companies ranging from Fidelity to Wisdom Tree have crypto ETF applications sitting on the desk of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Rich Repetto, a managing director at investment bank Piper Sandler who covers online brokerages, expects the first U.S. crypto ETF to get approved this year. Gary Gensler’s confirmation as SEC chairman makes this even more likely—the former Goldman Sachs banker used to teach a class on blockchain technology at MIT.

Shrinking Fees

All this extra competition for Coinbase means it’s almost inevitable that its high fees will come down. To buy $100 worth of crypto on Coinbase today, it costs $2.99, or 2.9%. To buy $1,000, you’ll pay $14.68, or 1.5%. Prices decrease percentagewise if you’re spending more—average fees across all Coinbase’s brokered transactions were 0.57% in 2020, financial disclosures indicate.

That’s a stark contrast to what it costs to buy a stock today, which is $0 thanks largely to Robinhood. (Coinbase declined to comment for this article due to the regulatory “quiet period” it’s under during its public stock listing.)

Nearly everyone thinks crypto trading fees will fall, but many think it won’t happen quickly. When online brokerages like Etrade came out in the late 1990s, they charged $30 to buy a stock. “It took two decades for those fees to compress to zero,” says Repetto, who has been studying online brokerages since 1999.

According to Electric Capital’s Garg, people have been talking about Coinbase’s fees shrinking for the past five years, so it’s hard to say when it will finally happen. “I think we need some sort of catalyst for it. And I don’t know what that is. Maybe it’s Fidelity, Schwab or somebody like that coming into the market.”

San Francisco-based Kraken is the second-largest U.S. crypto exchange, and its fees are about half those of Coinbase. For a retail investor to buy $100 worth of crypto, it costs 1% to 1.5%, a spokesperson says. When does Kraken think fees will drop? “No one knows for sure. We do think that fees will hold steady, given the tough technical challenges that come with operating an exchange,” says Jeremy Welch, Kraken’s chief product officer.

True to form, Robinhood is trying to speed up fee compression. It recently announced that 9.5 million of its users traded crypto in the first quarter of this year, compared with just 1.7 million in the last quarter of 2020. At a virtual speaking event in March, CEO Vlad Tenev criticized Coinbase’s high fees. “A lot of people will say, we don’t want to compete on price,” Tenev said. “Robinhood will compete on price.”

There are no trading fees to buy crypto on Robinhood—the company makes money by getting rebates from trading firms that execute Robinhood users’ orders, using the same business model it employs for stock trading. Ironically, many of those crypto trades probably get executed on Coinbase’s exchange, since Coinbase has 41% of the U.S. bitcoin trading market, according to Piper Sandler’s research (Kraken has a 19% share).

That means Coinbase is profiting even from the trades that Robinhood users make. Coinbase’s position as both a brokerage that sells you crypto and an exchange that settles your trade is unusual in financial markets and gives it even more dominance in the industry.

Trading Volume Volatility

Another big challenge Coinbase faces is business volatility. Big moves in crypto prices usually mean more active trading (and more fees for Coinbase), but if prices start leveling off, customers can lose interest. For example, in June 2019, 800,000 bitcoins traded hands on Coinbase, according to research site Bitcoinity. Six months later, in January 2020, less than 400,000 traded—a drop of more than 50%—while bitcoin’s price fell just 10% during that period.

Such volatility is rare for a business of Coinbase’s size and will come into sharper focus now that it’s public. That volatility could cause wild swings in Coinbase’s stock price and make strategic, long-term planning difficult, especially as the company grows larger and profit margins potentially narrow. The stock’s gyrations can also be a major distraction for executives and employees.

Customer Service Woes

Like Robinhood, Coinbase suffers from customer service problems, with some users saying they’ve had their crypto stolen from them and that Coinbase hasn’t provided ample support. Brooklyn-based user Michael Pierre allegedly had $100,000 worth of digital assets liquidated from his Coinbase account by a fraudster, according to the New York Times. Now he’s suing the company. A Coinbase spokesperson told the Times that a “24/7 crypto economy, which, combined with a substantial increase in demand, has created a unique set of customer experience challenges” and that .004% of its users had their accounts fraudulently taken over in the past year.

Regulation

Regulation is the largest existential threat to Coinbase’s business, says Garg. If the U.S. government suddenly started to tax cryptocurrency gains at higher rates than capital gains on other assets or decided that all other digital assets except bitcoin were illegal to trade, it could do major damage to its business. “But I think it is very unlikely,” he says. “I think the U.S. government has gotten its head around the inevitability of crypto. The position has shifted to how we make sure that all the innovation that’s happening here happens in the U.S., rather than happening somewhere else.”

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website. Send me a secure tip.

I lead our fintech coverage at Forbes, and I also write about blockchain technology and investing. In October 2020, three of my colleagues and I won the Excellence in Personal Finance Reporting award from the RTDNA and NEFE for our stories on Robinhood. I’ve also written frequently about leadership, corporate diversity and entrepreneurs. Before Forbes, I worked for ten years in marketing consulting, in roles ranging from client consulting to talent management. I’m a graduate of Middlebury College and Columbia Journalism School. Have a tip, question or comment? Email me jkauflin@forbes.com or send tips here: https://www.forbes.com/tips/. Follow me on Twitter @jeffkauflin. Disclosure: I own some bitcoin and ether.

Source: Coinbase’s Public Stock Listing Creates A Multibillion Dollar Windfall For Founders—Now It Faces Five Big Threats

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https://i0.wp.com/onlinemarketingscoops.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/coinbase.jpg?resize=924%2C519&ssl=1

Ahead of its long-anticipated public market debut next week, crypto-brokerage Coinbase previewed results for its best quarter ever, pulling in $1.8 billion in first-quarter revenue, as booming interest in cryptocurrencies pushes the market to meteoric new highs.

Shortly after the market close on Tuesday, Coinbase, the nation’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, reported first-quarter revenue that soared nearly 900% from $190.6 million in the same period last year, blowing past the $585 million nabbed in the fourth quarter.

The San Francisco-based firm, which posted a surprise profit of $322 million last year, pulled in an estimated $800 million in earnings during the first quarter, roughly 25 times the $32 million posted a year ago.

Reflecting the surging interest in cryptocurrencies, Coinbase’s trading volume totaled $335 billion in the quarter, eclipsing the $30 billion worth of trades in the first quarter of 2020.

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CNBC’s Kate Rooney reports on Coinbase earnings ahead of next week’s direct listing. With CNBC’s Mike Santoli. Subscribe to CNBC PRO for access to investor and analyst insights on crypto and more: https://cnb.cx/2BT2E7y In preparation for its debut on the Nasdaq next week, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said on Tuesday that first-quarter revenue climbed about nine-fold from last year, driven by a historic rally in the price of bitcoin. Revenue in the period jumped to about $1.8 billion from $190.6 million in the same quarter a year earlier, Coinbase said in a press release, adding that the results are preliminary and unaudited. Net income grew to between $730 million and $800 million from $31.9 million a year ago. Coinbase said it has 56 million verified users. The company is hosting a webcast to discuss its financial results starting a 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Meanwhile, the platform’s verified users (those with confirmed identities who are eligible to trade) swelled to 56 million at quarter’s end, compared to 34 million one year prior.

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cryptocurrencies, fueled by heightened institutional adoption that’s seen the likes of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs dive into the space just last month. The cryptocurrency market late Monday swelled to more than $2 trillion after skyrocketing nearly tenfold from $208 billion in April 2020.

Chief Critic

“Coinbase’s expected valuation of roughly $100 billion is far too high,” David Trainer, the CEO of investment research firm New Constructs, said in a note to clients Monday. “It’s hard to make a straight-faced argument that the firm can justify the lofty expectations baked into its valuation given increasing competition in a mature cryptocurrency trading market and the lack of sustainability in its current market share and margins,” he added, noting that competitors such as Gemini, Bitstamp, Kraken and others are likely to try to undercut Coinbase’s market share advantage by lowering their trading fees, as has happened with stocks in the years since online brokerages like Robinhood and Stash emerged.

Surprising Fact

Billionaire Coinbase CEO and Cofounder Brian Armstrong earned an eye-popping $59.5 million in total compensation last year—more than JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.

Further Reading

Coinbase Investors Say It Could Hit $100 Billion Valuation When It Goes Public (Forbes)

Forbes Bitcoin’s Guardian Angel: Inside Coinbase Billionaire Brian Armstrong’s Plan To Make Crypto Safe For All (Forbes)

Crypto Giant Coinbase Pulled In $1.3 Billion Last Year, New Filing Shows (Forbes)

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a 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 and economics while working for UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School as a marketing and communications assistant. Before Forbes, I spent a summer reporting on the L.A. private sector for Los Angeles Business Journal and wrote about publicly traded North Carolina companies for NC Business News Wire. Reach out at jponciano@forbes.com.

Source: Coinbase Posts Record $1.8 Billion In Revenue As Crypto Market Shoots Past $2 Trillion

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