It’s another shake-up for the finance industry as Montreal-based Bitcoin (BTC) startup Shakepay raised $35 million from investors. The fresh funding from the United States-based venture capital firm QED Investors values the company at $251 million. Founded in 2015, Shakepay allows Canadians to buy and sell BTC and pay their friends. It also supports the purchase of Ether (ETH).The startup aims to use the funds to consolidate growth, focus on bringing on additional products to market such as the recently launched Shakepay Visa Prepaid Card, and expand the team. Speaking to Cointelegraph, ShakePay CEO Jean Amiouny said: Shakepay’s seen demand boom for adopting Bitcoin and we’re really excited about this raise to be able to offer more Bitcoin products to our fellow Canadians.”The funding supports a swathe of encouraging stats for 2021. The company surpassed $6 billion in total volume reaching more than 900,000 customers last year. According to the Shakepay blog, the company reached 1% of Canada’s population, or 380,000 people, in March last year and 2% of the population in November. The company grew its userbase by 381% in 2021. Canada is increasingly becoming pro-Bitcoin. A recent survey showed that 62% of Canadians want to get paid in crypto by 2027, while a Bitcoin ETF launched in Canada late last year. For Shakepay, it’s all about retail adoption, as the group seeks to make “it easy for Canadians to buy and earn the soundest money to ever exist: Bitcoin.”Related: Canadian restaurant chain reports earning 300% gains on BTC investment to weather pandemicJean Amiouny illustrated the company’s vision in the official announcement:With our Series A funding, Shakepay is excited to welcome QED Investors, who have deep experience in the financial technology industry, and who will support the continued growth of Shakepay’s vision to be a leader in financial applications that help Canadians achieve financial wealth through investing in bitcoin.”Čítaj viac
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As crypto prices recover after a slump last week, Pascal Gauthier, CEO of crypto wallet firm Ledger, addressed questions relating to the state of the crypto market. In an interview taken by CNBC at the Crypto Finance Conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Gauthier said the situation panning out with Bitcoin (BTC) comes as no surprise. The retail trend is prominent and it’s “always the same.” He explained: “The number of addresses with the minimum number of BTC is actually growing compared to the number of whales. There is a profound retail trend everywhere in the world; they trust Bitcoin more and more. It’s the people that will push the price up.” Recent data from on-chain market intelligence provider Glassnode supports the claim. The number of BTC addresses with a non-zero balance is at all-time highs, topping out just short of 40 million. Source: TwitterAn insightful metric, the non-zero balance number offers a situation report of Bitcoin adoption. More addresses infer more users are entering the Bitcoin network, a telltale sign that retail is on the march.Related: Bitcoin wallet addresses created in November inched toward 1 millionOn altcoins, Gauthier supplied a note of consternation about projects that have recently outperformed Bitcoin. He suggested that this year could be a year of consolidation for some cryptocurrencies:“Last year they (cryptocurrencies) were projects coming into the light; this year, they have to deliver in terms of applications running on top of these protocols.”Gauthier said that Solana (SOL) has a good value proposition for nonfungible tokens and is in a good place to compete with Ether (ETH). While some of the top 10 protocols enjoyed wild price speculation and price increases in 2021, the market anticipates “good things from these protocols.”He concluded with a steadfast rule for blockchains: “The token of a blockchain is the security of that blockchain. The more expensive the token, the more secure the blockchain.” Ledger hardware wallet currently supports over 50 different protocols. France’s first crypto unicorn, Ledger will launch a crypto debit card over the next three months. It will undoubtedly tap into its crypto experience in order to compete with the likes of Mastercard, which is also introducing crypto-linked cards.Čítaj viac
Adam White, the president and founding executive of digital assets company Bakkt, is leaving the firm after three years.In a Thursday post on Twitter, White said next week would mark his departure from Bakkt, where he has served as both chief operating officer and president. White joined Bakkt after leaving Coinbase in 2018, where he worked as a vice president and general manager. The Bakkt president did not reveal what his next move would be, or whether he would continue to work in the crypto space.“I’ve loved working at intersection of crypto + markets and good to see the industry finding the balance between innovation & regulation,” said White. “Lots of work still to do here but never been more optimistic about the future.”After a great 3+ years at bakkt, next week will be my lastI’ve loved working at intersection of crypto + markets and good to see the industry finding the balance between innovation & regulation. Lots of work still to do here but never been more optimistic about the future — Adam White (@WhiteAdamL) December 23, 2021Launched in 2018 by the Intercontinental Exchange, or ICE, Bakkt has seemingly had a slower rollout than many in the space expected. The platform initially aimed at the institutional adoption of crypto before shifting to retail-focused apps and institutional-facing Bitcoin (BTC) futures contracts. In addition, leadership at the firm has regularly changed hands, with CEOs ranging from PayPal veteran Mike Blandina, former U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler, and ICE executive David Clifton.Related: Record-high Bakkt Bitcoin delivery exposes institutional frenzy for BTCIn October, Bakkt went public with a merger via a special purpose acquisition company, VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings. Shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BKKT for $9.45 at launch and surged to more than $30 later that month. At the time of publication, shares of BKKT are trading for $9.06.Čítaj viac
Bitcoin (BTC) staged an impressive recovery after dropping to its three-month low of $42,333 on Dec. 4, rising to as high as $51,000 since. The BTC price retracement primarily surfaced due to increased buying activity among addresses that hold less than 1 BTC. In contrast, the Bitcoin wallets with balances between 1,000 BTC and 10,000 BTC did little in supporting the upside move, data collected by Ecoinometrics showed.”Bitcoin is still stuck in a situation where small addresses are willing to stack sats [the smallest unit account of Bitcoin], while the whale addresses aren’t really accumulating,” the crypto-focused newsletter noted after assessing the change in Bitcoin amounts across small and rich wallet groups, as shown in the graph below.Bitcoin on-chain data featuring fish and whale BTC wallet clusters. Source: Ecoinometrics Ecoinometrics further asserted that the situation for Bitcoin is “not ideal,” suggesting that the BTC price may end up resuming its decline in the absence of influential buyers.Bitcoin’s downside target sits near $42KEcoinometrics’ bearish outlook appeared as Bitcoin grappled with the Federal Reserve’s policy decision on Wednesday to reduce its bond purchases by $30 billion every month to unwind them down by April next year entirely.The $120 billion a month stimulus program was instrumental in sending the BTC price from below $4,000 in March 2020 to $69,000 in Nov 2021. And now that the liquidity threatens to go away, with lending to become costlier as the Fed prepares for three rate hikes next year, many fear that it would hurt investors’ appetite for risk assets like Bitcoin.Bitcoin price briefly popped above $49,000 after the Fed FOMC meeting confirmed at least three interest rate hikes and some adjustments to the current market supporting practices in 2022. https://t.co/TpTX7tGmYL pic.twitter.com/lXw47icZmB— Cointelegraph Markets (@CointelegraphMT) December 15, 2021Mike Novogratz, chief executive officer of Galaxy Digital Holdings, admitted that Bitcoin might feel “pain ahead” but anticipated that its price would not fall anywhere beyond the $42,000-support.“$42,000 is at a pretty important level, and low 40s should hold,” the crypto billionaire told Bloomberg TV in an interview Tuesday, adding:”So much money is pouring into the space, it would make no sense that the crypto prices would go much below that. If you’re long, it feels painful, but it’s probably healthy.”BTC/USD daily price chart showing $40K-42K support. Source: TradingViewBitcoin accumulation stronger among retailIn reality, unique wallets holding more than or equal to 1,000 BTC have been declining all across 2021, with data from Glassnode showing its number dropping to 2,147 from 2,475 since Feb. 9.The total number of Bitcoin addresses with at least 1,000 BTC balance. Source: GlassnodeIn contrast, the number of unique wallets holding at least 0.01 BTC (around $485 at current exchange rates) rose in 2021, from 8.46 million to 9.39 million year-to-date. Meanwhile, addresses holding at least 0.1 BTC (~$4,855) surged from 3.12 million to 3.30 million in the same period, indicating that “fishes” played a key role in pumping the Bitcoin price from around $30,000 to as high as $69,000 this year.The total number of Bitcoin addresses with at least 0.01 BTC and 0.1 BTC balance. Source: GlassnodeOne more piece of evidence showing that retail investors have been bullish on Bitcoin, came from addresses that hold at least 1 BTC. Related: Analysts expect Bitcoin trend change after Fed lays out its 2022 roadmapThese wallets decreased in quantity in the first half of 2021 as the BTC market grappled with the China ban and other negative news, but started increasing the second half as El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as its legal tender.The total number of Bitcoin addresses with at least 1 BTC balance. Source: GlassnodeThe number of Bitcoin wallets with at least 1 BTC also kept rising during the BTC price correction from $69,000 to $42,333 in the November-December session, signaling accumulation. It reached a seven-month high on Wednesday just as Bitcoin underwent a rebound to $50,000 from its weekly low near $46,000.On-chain analyst Willy Woo also spotted retail accumulation rising to levels seen after the March 2020 crash, which led to Bitcoin’s two-year-long bull run.Accumulation among wallets holding less than 1 BTC. Source: WIlly WooAdditionally, Bitcoin’s momentum indicator that preceeded its price breakout to $69,000 earlier this year is also hinting at a potential BTC price breakout ahead.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.Čítaj viac
More than 80% of all nonfungible token (NFT) transactions were worth less than $10,000 in 2021 according to Chainalysis which categorized them as “retail” in recent research.A Dec. 6 report from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis titled “The 2021 NFT Market Explained” detailed NFT transaction trends throughout 2021. Researchers at Chainalysis studied on-chain data between January and October 2021. While retail transactions accounted for more than 80% of all NFT transactions on any given day in 2021, collector-sized transactions rose from 6% in March to 19% by Oct. 31 indicating an increase in larger collectors as the year progressed. Institutional-sized transactions accounted for less than 1% of all transfers but made up 26% of the actual trading volume during the period, it added.A retail-sized transaction is one worth less than $10,000 while a collector-sized transaction is worth between $10,000 and $100,000. An institutional-sized transaction is one worth more than $100,000 according to the research.The chart below shows the dominance of retail transactions throughout the year from January to October, with a definitive uptick in collector-sized transactions beginning by September.NFT transaction size share – ChainalysisThe share of total transfers was mostly made up by retail, but collectors and institutions have made up the lion’s share of NFT dollar-denominated transfer volume since March. Collector-sized transactions made up 63% of the volume and institution-sized transactions made up 26%, meaning retail transfers came to 11% of the volume for the time period studied.NFT transfer volume share – ChainalysisThe researchers contrasted the NFT market with the wider cryptocurrency market, where retail transactions make up a far smaller proportion of the total transactions.“The data shows that the NFT market is far more retail-driven than the traditional cryptocurrency market, where retail transactions make up a negligible share of all transaction volume.”The earning potential associated with NFTs was among several factors that drove cryptocurrency adoption through 2021. That is evidenced by the record $17.7 billion in NFT sales expected through 2021, according to a report from Cointelegraph Research.In the past week alone, NFT sales amounted to $300 million, nearly a quarter of which came from metaverse land purchases at The Sandbox.Additionally, there has been at least $26.9 billion in cryptocurrency sent to ERC-721 and ERC-1155 (the industry dominant Ethereum standards for NFTs) contracts through 2021 according to Chainalysis. Related: Binance Smart Chain and Animoca Brands form $200M fund for GameFi projectsWhitelisting best for profits Despite the tremendous amount of money being spent on NFTs, the report stated that “just 28.5% of NFTs purchased during minting and then sold on the platform result in a profit.” Chainalysis suggested getting whitelisted to increase the chances of turning a profit from a newly-minted NFT. Users who made the whitelist on a minting event on OpenSea turned a profit 75.7% of the time versus the 20.8% who did so without being whitelisted. “The data suggests it’s nearly impossible to achieve outsized returns on minting purchases without being whitelisted.”However, NFTs bought on the secondary market after minting “leads to profit 65.1% of the time,” the report added, suggesting that if one cannot make the whitelist, it is better to wait for an NFT collection to hit a secondary marketplace rather than participating in a minting event.Čítaj viac
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