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Bitcoin soared 20% last weekend from Friday morning through Monday, passing $11,000 to reach its highest point since August 2019. The “HODL wave,” the amount of bitcoin unmoved on the blockchain in the previous year, is at an all-time high of 63%, passing its previous high in early 2019 prior to a bull run from $4,000 to $14,000. Bitcoin’s rally remained below a significant multi-year resistance level of $11,500.
When bitcoin is strong, altcoins typically underperform, though other major cryptocurrencies like ether, XRP and litecoin caught up late in the week to match or exceed bitcoin’s gains. But bitcoin’s “real” market dominance, as measured only against other cryptocurrencies that are attempting to be money, is still almost 80%.
BITCOIN BULLS REJOICE
A new survey indicates that 15% of Americans own some form of cryptocurrency, and more than half of them bought it for the first time in 2020, and bitcoin’s binge has bulls salivating over where the price can go from here. Former hedge fund billionaire-turned crypto investor Michael Novogratz expects bitcoin to hit $20,000 by the end of the year, fueled by the expectation of more stimulus packages and an influx of retail investors.
Crypto podcaster Brian Krogsgard shares a rosy outlook, anticipating that bitcoin will challenge its prior record highs in 2021. The options market isn’t as ambitious, signaling only a 7% chance bitcoin will reach its all-time highs before the end 2020.
BETTING WITHOUT A BOOKIE
Ethereum gambling startup Augur released Version 2 of its platform this week, a significant update that is integrated with a number of distributed applications that don’t rely on third parties, allowing free peer-to-peer bets for the first time, and includes a scam filter which hides likely fraudulent markets.
26-year-old cofounder Joey Krug placed his first bet on horses on an offshore book when he was 12 years old and founded a bitcoin club during his brief enrollment at Pomona College. His company Augur has long been a pioneer in blockchain, raising Ethereum’s first ICO five years ago.
CRYPTO AND GOLD COLLIDE
San Francisco-based digital investment platform Uphold is now offering what it calls a “better form of gold”: Universal Gold. Backed by the government of Western Australia, the new product allows users to buy physical gold, which they can then spend pieces of using their Uphold credit card through the Universal Gold token or take physical delivery.
FIGHTING COVID-19 WITH BLOCKCHAIN
Jose Arrieta, the chief information officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed that his agency is using blockchain to track Covid-19 hospitalization data. Since HHS took over data collection from the CDC, Arrieta says, “every day, every data element we receive is hashed with a time-stamped record of the parsing and curation and sharing of that data element.”
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s letter last week explicitly permitting banks to offer services to crypto-oriented businesses was a big step forward for the industry, but there is still plenty of ambiguity. The producer of the new docuseries “Open Source Money” says widespread regulatory uncertainty is the single biggest challenge facing blockchain entrepreneurs.
The U.S. doesn’t currently have a consistent, enforceable blockchain policy. More clarity around data integrity, data mobility and consumer education would help entrepreneurs plan their next moves and make the space more understandable for individuals and institutions.
Ethereum Is the Best-Performing Asset Class of 2020 [Cointelegraph]
China-Backed Crypto Guru Wants to Unify World’s Blockchains [Bloomberg]
Recent Bitcoin Rally Pushes ‘Addresses in Profit’ to 93% [CoinDesk]