Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Price Chart May Show $30,000 as Floor

Bitcoin has been grinding lower in a trading range just above $30,000, prompting cryptocurrency insiders to flag the round number as a potential floor for the virtual coin.

Crypto prognostication is fraught with risk, not least because Bitcoin’s price has roughly halved from a record high three months ago. Even so, some in the industry are coalescing around $30,000 as a support point, citing clues from options activity and recent trading habits.

In options, $30,000 is the most-sold downside strike price for July and August, signaling confidence among such traders that the level will hold, according to Delta Exchange, a crypto derivatives exchange. It “should provide a strong support to the market,” Chief Executive Officer Pankaj Balani said.

Traders are also trying to take advantage of price ranges, including buying between $30,000 and $32,000 and selling in the $34,000 to $36,000 zone, Todd Morakis, co-founder of digital-finance product and service provider JST Capital, said in emailed comments, adding that “the market at the moment seems to paying attention more to bad news than good.”

Bitcoin has been hit by many setbacks of late, including China’s regulatory crackdown — partly over concerns about high energy consumption by crypto miners — and progress in central bank digital-currency projects that could squeeze private coins. The creator of meme-token Dogecoin recently lambasted crypto as basically a sham, and the appetite for speculation is generally in retreat.

Bitcoin traded around $31,600 as of 9:26 a.m. in London and is down about 6% so far this week. It’s still up more than 200% over the past 12 months, despite a rout in calendar 2021.

Konstantin Richter, chief executive officer and founder of Blockdaemon, a blockchain infrastructure provider, holds out hope for institutional demand, arguing Bitcoin would have to drop below $20,000 before institutions start questioning “the validity of the space.”

“If it goes down fast, it can go up fast,” he said in an interview. “That’s just what crypto is.”

— With assistance by Akshay Chinchalkar

Source: Bitcoin (BTC USD) Cryptocurrency Price Chart May Show $30,000 as Floor – Bloomberg

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Critics:

The dramatic pullback in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies comes as a flurry of negative headlines and catalysts, from Tesla CEO Elon Musk to a new round of regulations by the Chinese government, have hit an asset sector that has been characterized by extreme volatility since it was created.

The flagship cryptocurrency fell to more than three-month lows on Wednesday, dropping to about $30,000 at one point for a pullback of more than 30% and continuing a week of selling in the crypto space. Ether, the main coin for the Ethereum blockchain network, was also down sharply and broke below $2,000 at one point, a more than 40% drop in less than 24 hours.

Part of the reason for bitcoin’s weakness seems to be at least a temporary reversal in the theory of broader acceptance for cryptocurrency.

Earlier this year, Musk announced he was buying more than $1 billion of it for his automaker’s balance sheet. Several payments firms announced they were upgrading their capabilities for more crypto actions, and major Wall Street banks began working on crypto trading teams for their clients. Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange company, went public through a direct listing in mid-April.

The weakness is not isolated in crypto, suggesting that the moves could be part of a larger rotation by investors away from more speculative trades.

Tech and growth stocks, many of which outperformed the broader market dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic, have also struggled in recent weeks.

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

Google Advertising Policy Opens Doors To Wider Bitcoin Community

The Google logo seen at the entrance to Google Cloud campus...

Google GOOG +1.5% is revising its advertising policy to let cryptocurrency wallets advertise with them, along with exchanges, starting August 3rd provided that they are either registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) or a federal or state chartered bank entity. The new policy will apply globally to Google search and its third-party sites, including YouTube, Gmail, or Blogger..

The expanded policy comes three years after Google banned all crypto-related advertising in March 2018. However, Google walked-back the policy five months later, allowing regulated cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase to advertise in the United States and Japan in September 2018. While expanded to allow cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets to advertise, ads for initial coin offerings (ICOs), decentralized finance (DeFi) trading protocols, or promotions of specific cryptocurrencies are not permitted under the new policy.

It remains to be seen how this reversal in the policy will lead to a further loosening on other major advertising platforms that have placed restrictions on crypto firms. In 2018, Facebook banned all ads promoting cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and initial coin offerings.

A few months later, Facebook edited the policy to introduce an eligibility review process for those looking to advertise certain cryptocurrency products or services; applicants should submit any licenses, listings on public stock exchanges, or other relevant public background.

Twitter, similarly to Facebook and Google, prohibits the advertisement of initial coin offerings or crypto token sales but allows exchanges or wallet services provided by a publicly traded crypto company to advertise with them provided as long as they comply with local laws.

BY: Emily Mason

Source: Google Advertising Policy Opens Doors To Wider Bitcoin Community

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Alphabet Inc.’s Google, the world’s largest digital advertising seller, will let companies offering cryptocurrency wallets run ads beginning in August.

In 2018, Google barred ads for cryptocurrencies and related products, following a similar move from Facebook Inc. But Google soon peeled back that restriction for digital currency exchanges. Starting in August, Google will let wallets run ads on search, YouTube and other properties as long as they go through the company’s certification process.

Google is making the change “in order to better match existing FinCEN regulations and requirements,” a spokesperson said Wednesday in a statement.

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Crypto’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

It started even before Elon Musk took the stage on Saturday Night Live. The May 8-14 issue of The Economist arrived in the mailbox, delivering a quiet, existential blow to cryptocurrency as we’ve known it for the last decade or so. The publication’s cover package offered a vision of “govcoins,” digital currencies backed by central banks:

Government e-currencies would score highly, since they are state-guaranteed and use a cheap, central payments hub. As a result, govcoins could cut the operating expenses of the global financial industry, which amount to over $350 a year for every person on Earth.

Although the motivation for these “govcoins” is not to push existing cryptocurrencies to the margins, that would be the likely effect. Then, as Musk appeared on SNL, the price of Dogecoin plummeted. Although news stories attributed Dogecoin’s tumble to a Weekend Update skit that labeled the joke-coin a “hustle,” the selloff started at least half an hour before that. It felt more like a classic “buy the rumor, sell the news” dynamic.

But Musk reserved his true market-moving power for midweek, when he tweeted that Tesla will stop accepting Bitcoin as payment for cars. The reason, Musk said, was “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.” In a later tweet, Musk called the amount of electricity used to produce Bitcoin recently “insane.” Critics pointed out that Musk and Tesla could easily have known about Bitcoin’s energy suck when they embraced the currency months ago; nonetheless, the price of Bitcoin sank by as much as 15% that day.

Musk’s pronouncements put the spotlight on cryptocurrencies that claim to require less electricity to produce. All of a sudden, everyone is touting cryptocurrencies that operate on a more efficient standard than Bitcoin’s “proof of work” standard. The flurry recalls the hype around sustainable aviation fuel or ‘70s-oil-crisis car advertising, in which the sole marketing criterion was which vehicle got the most miles per gallon.

The recently launched Chia Network, for example, plays up its “proof of space and time” standard as more energy efficient. Other cryptocurrencies, like Nano and Cardano, took to Twitter to boast about their supposed energy efficiency. On The Defiant podcast, crypto coder Preston Van Loon insisted that Ethereum—a versatile cryptocurrency that’s still valued about 400% higher than on January 1—is “about six months from proof-of-stake.”

Of course, the dramatic dropoff in Bitcoin and Dogecoin prices is both predictable and relative; the idea that Dogecoin is still trading at over 50 cents a coin is ludicrously mind-blowing. Nonetheless, the Musk-Tesla decision around Bitcoin feels like a watershed moment. Cryptocurrency mining’s energy use has gone from a fringe concern to front and center in a matter of weeks. As FIN noted last week, some state legislatures are beginning to discuss limits on crypto mining. It’s going to get harder for crypto enthusiasts to avoid this issue.

Don’t Miss Out on Future FIN

This edition of FIN is going out to our full list of e-mail sign-ups, which we provide about once a month. For the full FIN experience, be sure to subscribe: you’ll gain access to FIN’s exclusive industry interviews, timely charts, and groundbreaking analysis.

Fintech Meets Healthcare

One of the most powerful fintech applications imaginable is in American healthcare space. The United States spends trillions of dollars a year on health care, and yet the outcomes are consistently below those of other developed countries. There are dozens of reasons for that, but one that seems ripe for solving is how payments work.

The system of private health insurance is tremendously inefficient, to the point where it actively interferes with patient care. Americans almost never know what a given procedure is going to cost, how much their insurance will or won’t cover, or even when they will be billed. Surveys indicate that more Americans stress out over medical bills more than over their actual care. This chart shows why half of all Americans have been late to pay a medical bill:

For their part, doctors and other medical providers feel swamped with paperwork and antiquated billing systems. One company that’s trying to fix this broken mess is Waystar, a Chicago-based healthcare technologies that offers a cloud-based billing system to help rationalize payments. Waystar claims to currently handle about one out of every four healthcare transactions in the US.

In an interview with FIN, Waystar CEO Matthew Hawkins acknowledged that while the American health care system has for decades been slow to digitize, recent legislative changes—such as 2009’s “meaningful use” law—have spurred positive changes. Moreover, the shift to telehealth services brought on by the COVID pandemic should make the system more efficient. Hawkins said his company’s ultimate goal is “paving the way toward price transparency.”

He laments that “we’ve all gotten comfortable behaviorally with going to a provider, receiving health services, and then not really knowing the cost of those services.” Imagine an app that would tell you in advance what a surgical procedure was going to cost you, and even gave you the option to set up a payment program before you see the doctor!

Robinhood’s Customer Service Glitches Explained

Sheelah Kolhatkar is one of the most talented business writers in the world. And given the connection that former officials of S.A.C. have to the Robinhood story (Kolhatkar wrote the book on S.A.C.), she’s by far the best person to write about Robinhood for The New Yorker. Unfortunately for her and the publication, Robinhood has been so heavily covered since January that a lot of her current piece feel overly familiar.

But the one thing she really nails is Robinhood’s terrible customer service. According to her story, Robinhood outsourced its customer service in 2016 to a company called Voxpro, located in Ireland. Voxpro’s poorly paid employees didn’t have the licensing or certification to deal with investors’ problems. In 2017, Robinhood made the conscious decision to eliminate the option for its users to call and speak to anyone. The company later restored an option for an investor to get a callback, but these years of customer-service neglect explain a lot.

FINvestments

🦈Number of the Week: In the April 11 issue, FIN predicted that Better.com would go public this year. Sure enough, that is happening, via SPAC. The company, which made its fortune selling mortgages but clearly plans to expand into a broader range of financial services, will be valued at $7.7 billion.

🦈PayPal’s march to become an overall e-commerce hub continues; this week it bought Happy Returns, a Santa Monica-based company that makes it easy for people to return in person items that they’ve bought online.

By: James Ledbetter

Source: Crypto’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week – James Ledbetter’s FIN

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Stocks Fall Again As Experts Worry About ‘Extremely Bullish’ Market Indicators

After closing at record highs last week, stocks are falling for the second day in a row as corporate earnings—which lifted the market to new highs during the pandemic—start to show signs of weakness, all while speculative pockets of investor mania continue to rage on.

Shortly after the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 147 points, or 0.4%, while the S&P 500 also slipped 0.4%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which underperformed Monday, shed 0.3%.

Far outperforming any other stock in the S&P, shares of railroad company Kansas City Southern are soaring 15% after Canada National proposed to acquire the company in a $33.7 billion deal—topping Canadian Pacific’s $25 billion bid from last month and setting the stage for a potential bidding war.

Heading up the S&P’s losses, Marlboro parent Altria Group’s stock is slumping 6% after reports that Joe Biden’s administration (which has not commented on the matter) is considering a reduction in the amount of nicotine allowed in tobacco products.

On the earnings front, shares of IBM are climbing 2.5% after the software giant surpassed first-quarter expectations with revenue of $5.4 billion—bolstered by ongoing growth in its enterprise cloud business—and adjusted earnings of $2.2 billion.

Meanwhile, medical device company Abbott, which makes Covid-19 test kits, reported worse-than-expected revenue of $10.5 billion Tuesday morning as Covid-related sales fell nearly 10% quarter to quarter, sending shares down about 3%.

Reflecting ongoing uncertainty over the economic recovery, epicenter stocks—or those belonging to companies hard-hit by the pandemic—are also driving losses Tuesday, with chemicals firms Dupont De Nemours, cruise-liner Carnival Corp. and Delta Air Lines all falling about 2%.

Crucial Quote

“The reopening news is directionally positive, but the big problem is that many epicenter stocks have already seen their enterprise values return to pre-Covid levels, while some are well beyond where they stood in 2019,” Vital Knowledge Media Founder Adam Crisafulli said in a Tuesday morning note.

Tangent

In a break from tradition, the Bank of Japan revealed Tuesday that it opted out of buying exchange-traded funds despite weakness in Japanese stocks. Crisafulli says the move is “perhaps the most important piece of news today” because it signals the central bank is dialing back its economic support—at a time when central banks around the world, including the Federal Reserve, have revved up their accommodative policy to help the economy and usher in new stock-market highs. Japan’s Nikkei 225, the nation’s benchmark index, fell 2% Tuesday and is now down 4.5% from a February high.

Key Background

Boosted by massive fiscal stimulus, an accelerating vaccine rollout and falling unemployment, stocks have had a strong start to the year, with the S&P pulling off 23 new all-time highs in 2021, according to LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “Many of our favorite sentiment gauges are becoming extremely bullish, which could be a near-term contrarian warning,” Detrick says of indicators like sentiment, at a three-year high, and low cash allocations from portfolio managers increasingly piling into stocks.

Surprising Fact

The price of dogecoin is soaring Tuesday, climbing back near record territory from last week, as retail traders around the world stage a rally around cannabis holiday 4/20. The cryptocurrency, modeled after a meme and originally developed as a joke, has climbed eight-fold over the past month, nabbing a staggering $49 billion market capitalization.

Further Reading

S&P And Dow Score New Record Highs, For The Week: Health Care, Materials And Utilities Sectors Lead Gains (Forbes)

Peloton Shares Drop After It Resists Regulator Warnings About Treadmill Following Child’s Death  (Forbes)

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: Stocks Fall Again As Experts Worry About ‘Extremely Bullish’ Market Indicators

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Elon Musk’s Fortune Falls Nearly $6 Billion After Tesla Crash Leaves Two Dead

Billionaire Elon Musk saw his net worth fall on Monday, as shares of his electric car company dropped following reports that two people died in a fatal Tesla TSLA -3.4% crash over the weekend.

Shares of Tesla were down 3.8% as of 3:45 p.m. EST on Monday, shaving $5.6 billion off Musk’s fortune. He’s now worth $174.1 billion, according to Forbes estimates. The Tesla CEO and cofounder is the third-richest person in the world—behind Amazon AMZN -0.8% CEO Jeff Bezos, who has a net worth of $195.9 billion, and French luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault, who is worth $180.3 billion.

Tesla’s stock fell on Monday amid reports that two men died after their 2019 Tesla Model S crashed into a tree north of Houston on Saturday night. Local authorities said that they believed the vehicle was operating without anyone in the driver’s seat—with one of the men reportedly in the front passenger’s seat and the other in the back seat of the Tesla. The vehicle was traveling at high speeds along a curve before veering off the road and bursting into flames at around 11:25 p.m., police said.

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Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman told the media in a statement that it took emergency crews about four hours to put out the Model S fire, saying that the team even contacted Tesla for help. While electric vehicles are not necessarily more dangerous than gas-powered vehicles, high-voltage lithium batteries like the ones used in Tesla can reignite even after an initial fire is put out, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The crash also raises further questions about Tesla’s Autopilot feature. Authorities were not yet certain if Autopilot was active during the crash which killed the two men, aged 59 and 69, respectively. Nonetheless, the company’s semiautomated driving system has faced mounting scrutiny following a series of accidents involving Tesla vehicles in recent months. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said last month that it had launched more than two dozen investigations into crashes of Tesla vehicles, and on Monday said that it would also be investigating the most recent crash north of Houston.

Tesla, which does not have a media relations department, does not appear to have issued any statements in the wake of the accident. Both the company and its billionaire CEO, however, have repeatedly touted the safety of Tesla vehicles and the Autopilot feature. Musk, who is active on Twitter with nearly 52 million followers, posted on Saturday afternoon prior to the accident that a Tesla with Autopilot engaged is nearly ten times less likely to be involved in an accident than an average car.

Tesla also has been rolling out an upgraded suite of assistance features on a limited basis, a system it calls “full self-driving.”“Autopilot and full self-driving capability are intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment,” Tesla says on its website, noting that the features don’t make the vehicle autonomous.

Some safety advocates have said that the company doesn’t do enough to keep drivers from depending too much on the features or using them in situations for which they aren’t designed. They also have criticized the company for the language it uses to describe its features, saying that terms such as “Autopilot” and “full self-driving” risk giving drivers a false sense of the vehicle’s abilities.

“They are intentionally, foreseeably creating unnecessary risks to the public,” said Jason Levine, executive director for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Auto Safety. Tesla has told federal officials that it doesn’t believe it needs to limit where drivers are allowed to use its assistance system because the vehicle is under the driver’s control.

NHTSA doesn’t have any rules on the books prescribing how companies must monitor driver engagement, something the NTSB, which issues safety recommendations, has criticized, saying that it puts people at risk. NHTSA has said that it is evaluating potential next steps to ensure driver safety.

Update 6:45 pm EST, April 19: Later on Monday, Musk posted on Twitter denying that Tesla’s Autopilot feature was involved in the crash. Data logs recovered from the accident “show Autopilot was not enabled” and that the car did not purchase Full Self-Driving (FSD), the Tesla CEO said in his tweet. “Moreover, standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have,” Musk wrote.

I am a New York-based reporter covering billionaires and their wealth for Forbes. Previously, I worked on the breaking news team at Forbes covering money and markets. Before that, I wrote about investing for Money Magazine. I graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2018, majoring in International Relations and Modern History. Follow me on Twitter @skleb1234 or email me at sklebnikov@forbes.com

Source: Elon Musk’s Fortune Falls Nearly $6 Billion After Tesla Crash Leaves Two Dead

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk Says Bitcoin Purchase is “Less Dumb” Than Holding Cash

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Says Bitcoin Purchase is "Less Dumb" Than Holding Cash

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is talking more about the automaker’s bitcoin purchase. In response to a comment from Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, he called Tesla‘s $1.5 billion bitcoin purchase “adventurous enough for an S&P500 company.”

Tesla CEO defends bitcoin purchase

Zhao told Bloomberg in an interview that he was surprised that Musk was “so gung-ho on Dogecoin.” Binance is the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by volume, and it recently launched Dogecoin futures. However, Zhao also pointed out that Tesla purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin rather than Dogecoin.

In response, Musk tweeted that Tesla’s bitcoin purchase “is not directly reflective” of his opinion. He also said owning bitcoin is “simply a less dumb form of liquidity than cash” and is “adventurous enough for an S&P 500 company.”

The Tesla CEO also said that he isn’t an investor and doesn’t even own any publicly traded stock aside from Tesla. He added that “when fiat currency has negative real interest, only a fool wouldn’t look elsewhere.”

“Bitcoin is almost as bs as fiat money,” Musk tweeted. “The key word is ‘almost.'”

Bitcoin price hits a new record

Following Musk’s tweet, the bitcoin price soared above $52,000 to a new record high. Bloomberg notes that the Tesla CEO’s remarks highlight one of the markets’ biggest problems right now. With governments pumping so much cash into the financial system due to the pandemic, investors are getting concerned about inflation and looking for other places to invest. This week alone, the bitcoin price is up by approximately 10%.

Tesla is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest companies that are still managed by their founders. Although Musk said Tesla’s bitcoin purchase doesn’t reflect his opinion, it seems clear that he had something to do with it. The automaker probably wouldn’t have bought the cryptocurrency if Musk hadn’t become a believer in it recently.

Some speculated that Tesla’s bitcoin purchase would lead other major companies to dive into the cryptocurrency, but Fortune reports that it isn’t happening. Gartner Finance conducted a survey earlier this month asking chief financial officers if they plan to buy bitcoin this year. Ninety-five percent of respondents said they didn’t intend to buy the cryptocurrency this year.

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Source: Tesla CEO Elon Musk Says Bitcoin Purchase is “Less Dumb” Than Holding Cash

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In this clip Gali asks Elon Musk about Bitcoin and what he thinks of the cryptocurrency. Big thank you to Third Row Tesla Podcast for allowing us to use the clip. You can subscribe to them here: https://www.youtube.com/thirdrowtesla Original date of video: 01/31/20 Clip taken from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxmO_… Become a HyperChanger & support us on Patreon to receive the exclusive weekly HyperChange Newsletter!! https://www.patreon.com/hyperchange HyperChange YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/hyperchangetv HyperChange Twitter: https://twitter.com/HyperChangeTV HyperChange Instagram: http://instagram.com/Hyperchange HyperChange Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HyperChange/ Music by Marko: https://soundcloud.com/markothedon & Fritz Carlton: https://soundcloud.com/fritzcarlton Tags: #ElonMusk #Bitcoin #Cryptocurrency
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Tesla Sends Bitcoin To Record High With $1.5bn Investment

Tesla has invested $1.5bn in bitcoin and plans to begin accepting it for payment in one of the highest-profile endorsements of the cryptocurrency sector by a major US company. The disclosure from the electric carmaker sent bitcoin rallying to a record high of $44,100, extending its 50 per cent surge so far this year.

Analysts have put the meteoric rally down to growing enthusiasm from institutional investors seeking returns in the era of low interest rates. In a regulatory filing on Monday, Tesla said it purchased the bitcoins after changing its investment policy last month to “diversify and maximise” returns on its cash. Line chart of $ per coin showing Bitcoin soars after Tesla reveals $1.5bn investment For years Tesla was short of cash as it invested heavily in developing its electric vehicles.

Although its finances have improved, the bitcoin investment still represents about 8 per cent of the $19.4bn it held in cash and liquid assets at the end of December, according to the filing. The group said it expected to accept bitcoin as a form of payment for its products, although initially on a “limited basis”, adding that it might sell the digital assets for hard currency once payments are processed.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder, has been a vocal supporter of digital assets on social media, particularly about dogecoin, which he said was the “people’s crypto”. In December he wrote on Twitter that bitcoin was his “safeword” in an apparent joke. Robyn Denholm, an Australian telecoms executive who took over from Musk as chair of Tesla’s board in 2018, is head of the audit committee that signed off on the change to the company’s investment policy.

The change allows Tesla to invest “a portion” of its cash in “alternative reserve assets including digital assets [and] gold bullion”. Recommended John Gapper Electric vehicles need to arrive as fast as vaccines The carmaker is the latest consumer-facing company to venture into cryptocurrency markets, following PayPal. However, cryptocurrencies remain highly volatile and are risky to hold due to frequent hacking and fraud, as well as difficulties in transferring them to cash.

“We believe our bitcoin holdings are highly liquid. However, digital assets may be subject to volatile market prices, which may be unfavourable at the time when we want or need to liquidate them,” Tesla said on Monday. “[This] is a potential game-changing move for the use of bitcoin from a transactional perspective,” said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.

Ives said the announcement from Tesla could prompt other companies to make similar decisions given the growing interest in digital currencies. “Investors and other industry watchers will be watching this closely to see if other corporations follow the lead of Tesla on this crypto path or on the other hand does it remain a contained few names that make this strategic jump around bitcoin.”

By: Eva Szalay

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J.K. Rowling Finds Explanations of Bitcoin From Crypto Twitter Too Confusing

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On Friday (May 15), when a slightly drunk J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series of fantasy novels, asked (on Twitter) for an explanation of Bitcoin, she probably did not expect the huge number of replies she got bombarded with.

It all started when Rowling asked Coindesk reporter Leigh Cuen to explain Bitcoin to her:

I don’t understand bitcoin. Please explain it to me.

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 15, 2020

The Explanations of Bitcoin

Bitcoin is digital money that both Muggles and Wizards can use. It’s not minted by Gringotts or HM Treasury, but secured by digital guardians across the world.

Instead of Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts, the units are bitcoin and satoshi. One bitcoin represents 100m satoshi.

— Jason Lau (@jasonklau) May 15, 2020

Old Fashioned is one of my favorite all time drinks…wish I had a proper masher at home.

Btw #Bitcoin is like fire insurance you’d buy for your home but instead of your home on fire it’s economic & government systems around the world.

— David Nage🎯 (@DavidJNage) May 15, 2020

Imagine if there wasn’t a Gringotts bank anymore and all wizards, muggles and everyone else regardless of where they were born could #beyourownbank #bitcoin @blockchain

— Nicolas Cary (@niccary) May 15, 2020

Imagine everyone’s money on an excel sheet. You need your password to spend. 2% annual inflation paid to secure the sheet. That’s it.#Bitcoin #BTC

— Richard Heart: HEX.win did 116x price!🚀M⬣⬣N (@RichardHeartWin) May 15, 2020

The Offers of Free Bitcoin

Hey @jk_rowling , @block_one_ would be happy to have a Zoom call with you to tell you more about #Bitcoin and would be ready to donate 5 #BTC to a charity of your choice. Blockchain’s impact on everything from finance to collaborative content creation will be profound!

— Brendan Blumer (@BrendanBlumer) May 16, 2020

Let me send you some #Bitcoin to make it even better, download @Coinbase and send me your #Bitcoin address!

— Ivan on Tech (@IvanOnTech) May 16, 2020

I can send you 1 #Bitcoin . Seeing is believing. 😄

— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) May 16, 2020

Rowling Still Confused and Convinced She Will Never Understand Bitcoin

People are now explaining Bitcoin to me, and honestly, it’s blah blah blah collectibles (My Little Pony?) blah blah blah computers (got one of those) blah blah blah crypto (sounds creepy) blah blah blah understand the risk (I don’t, though.)

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 15, 2020

I know you mean to help, but full disclosure: I’m only allowing myself alcohol at weekends during this lockdown and I’m on my fourth very strong Old Fashioned and honestly, you might as well send me a scroll written in Sanskrit. pic.twitter.com/baMCaB1mEW

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 15, 2020

God bless every single one of you now earnestly explaining bitcoin to me as though I’ll grasp it if you break it down properly. Things like this are white noise to me. I cannot and will not ever understand Bitcoin, but I love you for thinking that I can or will.

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 15, 2020

Tesla CEO Elon Musk agrees that an explanation of the technology behind Bitcoin can sound like Greek to most people, but points out that it still looks more “solid” than fiat currency, especially in the current “money printing gone crazy” climate:

Pretty much, although massive currency issuance by govt central banks is making Bitcoin Internet 👻 money look solid by comparison

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 15, 2020

By the way, Musk also casually mentioned the fact that he still owns only a tiny amount of Bitcoin:

I still only own 0.25 Bitcoins btw

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 15, 2020

Rowling’s Admission That Her Initial Inquiry Was a Joke

This started as a joke, but now I’m afraid I’ll never be able to log in to Twitter again without someone getting angry I don’t own Bitcoin. One day you’ll see a wizened old woman in the street, trying to trade a Harry Potter book for a potato. Be kind. She did try to understand.

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 15, 2020

What Does This Whole Episode Tell Us About Mainstream Adoption of Crypto?

In the aftermath of Crypto Twitter’s overwhelming response to Rowling’s apparent interest in learning about Bitcoin and Rowling’s subsequent admission that her initial inquiry did indeed start as a joke after she had had four “Old Fashioned” cocktails in her UK home, there was some small amount of anger/disappointment in the crypto community over being trolled by Rowling (a few people event went as far as calling her “J.K. Trolling”).

However, there were also those who found Rowling spending a good portion of her weekend engaging with the crypto community and reading their explanations of Bitcoin as a bullish sign that eventual mainstream adoption of Bitcoin is inevitable:

CZ Binance 🔶🔶🔶

@cz_binance

The fact J.K. Rowling is tweeting about show the inevitability of it.

I guess she is still a “muggle”, FOR NOW, lol.

Sooner or later, we will see in a new Harry Potter book. https://twitter.com/jk_rowling/status/1261405158589771776 

J.K. Rowling

@jk_rowling

Replying to @jk_rowling

God bless every single one of you now earnestly explaining bitcoin to me as though I’ll grasp it if you break it down properly. Things like this are white noise to me. I cannot and will not ever understand Bitcoin, but I love you for thinking that I can or will.

424 people are talking about this

By Siamak Masnavi

Source: https://www.cryptoglobe.com

GM-980x120-BIT-ENG-Banner

Harry Potter author, J. K. Rowling, recently asked for an explanation of Bitcoin ( BTC ) on Twitter, bringing an onslaught of commentary from the crypto community.”This started as a joke, but now I’m afraid I’ll never be able to log in to Twitter again without someone getting angry I don’t own Bitcoin,” Rowling tweeted on May 15, adding:Responding to a May 15 tweet from journalist Leigh Cuen, Rowling asked for an explanation of Bitcoin. Folks from far and wide flooded the social media platform thereafter. Among the turnout, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin attempted a brief explanation, crypto author Saifedean Ammous offered up a copy of his book, and former Forbes staffer turned podcaster Laura Shin pointed toward an episode of her show. Crypto YouTuber and programmer, Ivan on Tech,  commented  that Rowling might simply be jealous that she did not buy into the asset early enough to make tons of loot. Tech mogul Elon Musk even chimed in, positing Bitcoin as potentially attractive against government money printing, although he still only possesses 0.25 BTC. After several explanatory attempts from crypto Twitter muggles, the famed author said it all still sounded like confusing babble, admitting she also consumed several alcoholic beverages during her Bitcoin-related commentary. Rowling noted many times that she did not comprehend Bitcoin. Amid the frantic and swirling explanations, Rowling said:In a May 16 tweet, noting the crypto community’s antics, Rowling said:As the crypto space still shows its youth, industry participants often exude excitement whenever a mainstream person of high status comments on crypto , revealing the industry still has much room to grow in terms of participation. Cointelegraph offered up its own in-depth explanation of Bitcoin to the Harry Potter author on May 15, complete with analogies from the popular book series. All data is taken from the source: https://cointelegraph.com/
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