Bitcoin hits $37.5K, stocks recoup losses ahead of Wednesday’s FOMC statement

The dominant sentiment of doom and gloom in the crypto market shifted toward hope on Jan. 25 after the price of Bitcoin (BTC) climbed to $37,500 briefly as stock markets staged a midday rally that recovered most of the losses from Jan. 24.Even with Jan. 25’s recovery, global markets remain in a state of flux, primarily due to uncertainty over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s plan to raise interest rates in the coming months, with the latest signal indicating that the first rate hike will come in March. Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that Bitcoin bulls reclaimed the $36,000 level early on Jan. 25 and managed to claw their way above $37,500 before a closing-bell pullback in equities markets weighed on BTC price. BTC/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewHere’s what several analysts are saying about this latest move for Bitcoin and whether it’s the start of a sustainable rally or a bull trap that is destined to push the price back into the low $30,000s. $34,000 is a crucial level to holdThe significance of the recent price bounce off of $34,000 was addressed by on-chain data firm Whalemap, who posted the following chart highlighting the bounce off of the “whale” trendline. Bitcoin realized price by address. Source: WhalemapWhalemap said, “Perfect bounce for Bitcoin on the daily. $34,000 is now crucial to hold.”According to the chart posted by Whalemap, should $34,000 fail to hold, the next major support level is found near $25,000. Volatility ahead of the FOMC meetingThe issue of concern ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting was addressed by market analyst and Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe, who posted the following chart highlighting the “nice flip of $36,000” and suggested that now the market is “looking for a continuation to $38,000.”BTC/USDT 1-hour chart. Source: TwittervanPoppe said, “However, all very tricky still with the FOMC meeting coming up tomorrow, as volatility will probably remain high on Bitcoin and the markets.”Related: Is the bottom in? Data shows Bitcoin derivatives entering the ‘capitulation’ zoneAn old CME gap wa filledOne final observation about the latest move in the market was offered by independent market analyst Scott Melker, who posted the following Bitcoin CME futures chart and pointed out that the recent dip in BTC filled a gap that goes back to July 2021. BTC CME futures. 1-day chart. Source: TwitterMelker said, “Not a huge believer in the CME gap narrative, but this was an epic fill. Almost to the dollar.”A slightly different take on the narrative that the bull market is now coming to a close was offered by the crypto trader and pseudonymous Twitter user PlanC, who posted the following weet suggesting that the bear market actually started in February 2021 and is just now coming to an end. Right now everyone is worried about going into a correction phase “bear market” #Bitcoin However, we have actually been in one since the first 2021 peak. #BTCAnd it looks like we might be coming out of it #soon.— Plan©️ (@TheRealPlanC) January 24, 2022The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.667 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 42%.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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IMF urges El Salvador to remove Bitcoin's status as legal tender

Members of the executive board at the International Monetary Fund are urging lawmakers in El Salvador to no longer recognize Bitcoin as legal tender.The IMF reported on Tuesday that though digital payments had the potential to increase financial inclusion in the Central American nation, the use of Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender carried “large risks” related to financial stability, financial integrity and consumer protection. The executive board directors urged El Salvador authorities to “narrow the scope of the Bitcoin law by removing Bitcoin’s legal tender status,” also expressing concern about the potential risks of issuing Bitcoin-backed bonds.The officials’ recommendation came following the conclusion of an Article IV consultation in El Salvador. According to the IMF, during such a consultation, a team of economists visits a country “to assess economic and financial developments and discuss the country’s economic and financial policies with government and central bank officials.” Prior to the implementation of El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law in September 201, IMF officials warned that some of the consequences of a country adopting BTC as a national currency “could be dire,” including the risk of having domestic prices becoming highly unstable, and assets being used contrary to Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism measures. The IMF has previously issued statements to small nations considering adopting crypto, claiming that to do so would “raise risks to macroeconomic and financial stability as well as financial integrity.”Since the Bitcoin Law went into effect in September, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has used his Twitter account to announce several BTC buys totaling 1,801 BTC — worth roughly $67 million at the time of publication. The latest purchase of 410 BTC came as the price of the crypto asset dropped below $37,000 for the first time since July 2021. Nope, I was wrong, didn’t miss it.El Salvador just bought 410 #bitcoin for only 15 million dollars Some guys are selling really cheap ‍♂️— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) January 21, 2022Cointelegraph reported on Jan. 14 that El Salvador’s recognition of BTC as legal tender may be impacting the country’s sovereign credit outlook, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Analyst Jaime Reusche reportedly said that Bitcoin “certainly adds to the risk portfolio” of a country that has struggled with liquidity issues. According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, the price of Bitcoin is $36,550 at the time of publication, having fallen more than 12% in the last seven days. The crypto asset briefly dipped to the $33,000s on Jan. 24 before returning to the $36,000s.

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Yet another solo Bitcoin miner solved a valid block, earning a reward worth over $220,000

Another Bitcoin (BTC) miner from the Solo CK mining pool has solo mined a new block on the Bitcoin blockchain, earning a block reward of 6.25 BTC (over $220,000 at current prices) as a result. The event took place on Monday at a block height of 720,175.Solo mining consists of attempting to validate blocks by a single miner, without teaming efforts with other miners on a mining pool, and running a full blockchain node. Without significant hashing capabilities, the odds of validating a block tend to be extremely unlikely.To increase these odds and avoid the costs associated with solo mining, miners generally come together in pools to combine their hash power, increasing the chances of validating a block and ultimately sharing the spoils if they succeed.According to a recent tweet from CKPool admin Con Kolivas, this solo miner had a hash power of approximately 86 terahashes per second. Hash power determines the computational speed at which a computer can perform the cryptographic functions needed to mine cryptocurrency and validate a block for proof-of-work blockchains like Bitcoin. Congratulations to another miner with approximately 86TH solving a solo block on ! There are a lot more miners now on the solo pool and if enough people are mining solo, someone will eventually be the lucky one as here.— Dr. Con Kolivas (@ckpooldev) January 24, 2022The miner in question had less hash power than a single S9 mining machine; a relatively small amount of computational power, making this a very unlikely event.Even more remarkable is the fact that only two weeks ago, another solo miner from the Solo CK mining pool also completed a similar task by successfully solving a valid block. “To say this is very rare is an understatement,” Bitcoin council member Hass McCook told Cointelegraph at the time.Despite its name, CKPool isn’t a regular mining pool, it’s a service that allows solo mining without dealing with the costs and troubles of running a full Bitcoin node.

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YouTube head of gaming Ryan Wyatt to resign and join Polygon Studios as CEO

On Tuesday, Ryan Wyatt, head of gaming at YouTube, announced he would be leaving the video-sharing platform in February. Partly due to his leadership, YouTube Gaming sees over 250 million daily logged users per day with hundreds of billions of watch time each year. Wyatt cited his passion for blockchain and Web 3.0 development in explaining his resignation. H will soon join Polygon Studios as its CEO.Polygon Studios is the gaming and non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, arm of the namesake layer two Ethereum (ETH) scaling network (MATIC). Polygon plans to commit $100 million to projects led by its subsidiary studio, which debuted last July. The firm’s objectives are to develop decentralized gaming; attract blockchain enthusiasts to its NFT tokens ecosystem, and establish Polygon as a competent blockchain for the Web 3.0 transition. Regarding his new role, Wyatt said:”I will be focusing on growing the developer ecosystem through investment, marketing, and developer support and bridging the gap between Web 2.0 and 3.0. I’ll be leading the Polygon Studios organization across gaming, entertainment, fashion, news, sports, and more.”It is bittersweet news to share that I am leaving @YouTube.I have loved every minute of my time here, but it is time for my next endeavor.I am elated to announce that I will be joining @0xPolygon ($MATIC) as their CEO of Polygon Studios.Thank you for the memories! ❤️— Ryan Wyatt (fwiz.eth) (@Fwiz) January 25, 2022In his departure statement, Wyatt described fond memories of his first day at Google’s Mountain View, California headquarters in 2014. He also expressed his gratitude to CEO Susan Wojcicki and CBO Robert Kyncl for hiring him eight years back. Meanwhile, Polygon Studios gave Wyatt a warm welcome to his new role.Please welcome our new CEO to Polygon StudiosWelcome @Fwiz to the PS family! Ryan is the former Head of Gaming @YouTube and we are all looking forward to working with him— Polygon Studios (@_PolygonStudios) January 25, 2022

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Coinbase joins NGO's efforts using crypto to help Haitians impacted by earthquakes, civil unrest

Major crypto exchange Coinbase has given a $150,000 grant to Hope for Haiti as part of a pilot program aimed at providing financial assistance to Haitians experiencing social and economic hardship. In a Tuesday announcement, Hope for Haiti said Coinbase would be making the $150,000 contribution to its pilot project with financial inclusion-driven firm Emerging Impact and the Celo Foundation. According to Celo, the project utilizes the Celo Dollar (cUSD) and Emerging Impact’s Umoja platform to provide cash-based assistance to mothers affected by some of the traumatic events in the Caribbean nation.Haiti has been struck by four major earthquakes in the last 12 years, including a magnitude 5.3 quake on Monday, which reportedly left two people dead and 200 homes destroyed. However, the island nation’s capital city of Port-au-Prince was also significantly damaged by a magnitude 7 earthquake in 2010, followed by prolonged civil unrest that was, in part, connected to the current pandemic and the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in July.At Least Two Killed In Haiti Quake, 200 Houses Destroyed— Channels Television (@channelstv) January 25, 2022Coinbase’s charitable arm, Coinbase Giving, provided the funds to be used for the benefit of roughly 1,500 Haitian people — those families with children enrolled in Hope for Haiti’s community nutrition program. The impacted individuals should be able to use the funds for goods and services at more than 30 participating merchants in Haiti, with the option for the vendors to cash out the digital funds using local money management service MonCash.“This initiative with Hope for Haiti and Emerging Impact is particularly exciting because of how it uses blockchain-based technology to promote more efficient and effective giving, hopefully serving as an inspiration for ideas across the cryptoeconomy and philanthropic sectors,” said Coinbase Giving’s head Dominique Baillet.Related: Blockchain folk hero Nandy Martin hopes to build a better community for Haitians in MiamiMany individuals and charitable organizations have employed crypto as a means of getting money into the hands of those who need it most following a natural disaster or are in a country experiencing political turmoil. After many in the Philippines were displaced or injured following typhoon Rai hitting the region in December 2021, the play-to-earn gaming group Yield Guild Games raised $1.4 million to help victims. Similarly, in the wake of the Texas Winter Storm in February 2021, some local disaster relief groups announced they would be accepting crypto donations.

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Is the bottom in? Data shows Bitcoin derivatives entering the ‘capitulation’ zone

Analysts love to issue price predictions and it seems that nine out of 10 times they are wrong. For example, how many times did analysts say “we will never see Bitcoin back at X price again,” only to see it plunge well below that level a few months later? It doesn’t matter how experienced a person is or how connected in the industry. Bitcoin’s (BTC) 55% volatility must be taken seriously and the impact this has on altcoins is usually stronger during capitulation-like movements.I was undeniably wrong about how much crypto could fall from macro contagion. I remain bullish on the space as a whole and think it is the most important mega-trend of our times.I joined CT during 2018 and I will be here with you guys in the coming yrs, bull or bear.— Zhu Su (@zhusu) January 24, 2022For those unfamiliar with the case, on Dec. 7, Zhu Su’s Three Arrows Capital acquired $676.4 million worth of Ether (ETH) after its price collapsed 20% over 48 hours. Zhu went as far as saying that he would continue to buy “any panic dump,” despite acknowledging that Ethereum fees were unsuitable for most users.To understand whether there is still an appetite for bearish bets and how pro traders are positioned, let’s take a look at Bitcoin’s futures and options market data.Futures traders are unwilling to shortThe basis indicator measures the difference between longer-term futures contracts and the current spot market levels. A 5% to 15% annualized premium is expected in healthy markets and this price gap is caused by sellers demanding more money to withhold settlement longer.On the other hand, a red alert emerges whenever this indicator fades or turns negative, a scenario known as “backwardation.”Bitcoin 3-month futures basis rate. Source: Laevitas.chNotice how the indicator held the 5% threshold despite the 52% price correction in 75 days. Had pro traders effectively entered bearish positions, the basis rate would have flipped closer to zero or even negative. Thus, data shows a lack of appetite for short positions during this current corrective phase.Options traders are still in the “fear” zoneTo exclude externalities specific to the futures instrument, traders should also analyze the options markets. The 25% delta skew compares similar call (buy) and put (sell) options. The metric will turn positive when fear is prevalent because the protective put options premium is higher than similar risk call options.The opposite holds when greed is prevalent, causing the 25% delta skew indicator to shift to the negative area. Bitcoin 30-day options 25% delta skew. Source: Laevitas.chThe 25% skew indicator flipped to the “fear” area as it moved above 10% on Jan. 21. That 17% peak level was last seen in early July 2021, and curiously, Bitcoin was trading at $34,000 back then.This indicator might be interpreted as bearish when considering that arbitrage desks and market makers are overcharging for downside protection. Still, this metric is backward-looking and usually predicts market bottoms. For example, just two weeks after the skew indicator peaked at 17% on July 5, Bitcoin price bottomed at $29,300.Correlation with traditional markets is not so relevantIt is worth noting that Bitcoin has been on a downtrend for the past 75 days, and this is before the Federal Reserve’s tightening discourse on Dec. 15. Moreover, the increased correlation with traditional markets does not explain why the S&P 500 index peaked on Jan. 4, while Bitcoin was already down 33% from the $69,000 all-time high.Considering the lack of bears’ appetite to short BTC below $40,000 and options traders finally capitulating, Bitcoin shows little room for the downside. Furthermore, Bitcoin futures liquidation over the past week totalled $2.35 billion, which significantly reduced buyers’ leverage. Of course, there are no guarantees that $32,930 was the final bottom, but short sellers will likely wait for a bounce before entering bearish positions.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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U.S. Congressman calls for ‘Broad, bipartisan consensus’ on important issues of digital asset policy

In a letter to the leadership of the United States House Financial Services Committee, ranking member Patrick McHenry took a jab at “inconsistent treatment and jurisdictional uncertainty” inherent in U.S. crypto regulation and called for the Committee to take on its critical issues.McHenry, a Republican representing North Carolina, opened by mentioning that the Committee’s Democrat Chairwoman Maxine Waters is looking to schedule additional hearings addressing matters pertinent to the digital asset industry. He further stressed the need for identifying and prioritizing the key issues and achieving a “broad, bipartisan consensus” on the matters affecting the industry that holds immense promise for the financial system and broader economy.Citing the confusion that the industry faces due to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) competing claims for jurisdiction over digital assets, McHenry noted that neither of their positions is grounded in statute. Congress, he maintained, should not hand digital asset regulation over to regulatory agencies or courts, but rather step in to categorize the new asset class and lay down the rules governing it.Furthermore, Congressman McHenry suggested that the Financial Services Committee take a close look at the stablecoin report drafted by the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets (PWG) and examine the Federal Reserve’s position and future steps with regard to a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC).In December last year, the U.S. House Financial Services Committee hosted a crypto-focused hearing that featured a strong lineup of industry executives and was widely lauded as a massively productive exchange between policymakers and digital asset stakeholders.

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YouTube CEO hints that NFTs could be added to creator platform

YouTube’s CEO, Susan Wojcicki, addressed YouTube’s priorities for 2022 in a letter published Tuesday on the company blog. Among those priorities is the possibility of adding nonfungible token, or NFT, features for the platform’s video creators.there’s *so much* to in 2022: @SusanWojcicki shares the future of YouTube →— YouTube (@YouTube) January 25, 2022What this could look like is yet to be determined, however. No additional details were provided in Wojcicki’s statement aside from the claim that the YouTube team will use developments in the Web3 space “as a source of inspiration.”“The past year in the world of crypto, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and even decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) has highlighted a previously unimaginable opportunity to grow the connection between creators and their fans.”As YouTube looks to expand the number of ways that creators can earn money, one option is to “capitalize on emerging technologies.” Currently, there are 10 ways for creators to monetize their business according to Wojcicki, including ads and the newly introduced TikTok-like YouTube Shorts. Could NFTs be next? Related: Meta unveils metaverse AI supercomputer, claims it will be world’s fastestYouTube boasts one of the largest creator communities and is the second most visited site in the world, according to Similarweb. In light of the rise of the Metaverse and other Web3 initiatives by social media platforms like Meta and Twitter, which has recently allowed iOS users to use NFTs as their profile pictures, YouTube looks to compete to retain and attract talent.In her letter, Wojcicki also mentioned their intention to improve the live experience o gaming creators as a priority. Since NFT integration in video games has become the main use case for the adoption of NFTs, this could suggest that gaming creators may be more open to capitalizing on YouTube’s new initiative. 

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