Crypto News – April 2021

A month in cryptoland is like 5 years in legacy investing.

April Summary:

  • 4/2 – Mark Cuban, a one-time cryptocurrency critic, does a 180, says he is “All in on…Bitcoin and Ethereum”
  • 4/14 – Coinbase goes public.
  • 4/21 – Binance.US hires former Acting Comptroller of the Currency and Coinbase executive as CEO.
  • 4/21 – Bitcoin hashrate drops 30% due to Xianjiang power outage
  • 4/26 – Tesla sells 10% of their Bitcoin holdings to prove liquidity.
  • 4/26 – Visa’s CEO says, “This is a space we are leaning into in a very, very big way” during quarterly earnings call.
  • 4/27 – Japanese Video Game Developer Nexon announces $100M Bitcoin purchase.
  • 4/28 – Ethereum hits a new all-time high.
  • 4/30 – Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway talk Bitcoin at shareholders meeting.

‘Cubes’ has a change of heart regrading Bitcoin / Crypto

Mark Cuban, a former Bitcoin and crypto skeptic (to put it lightly) pulled a 180 degree turn and recently said he is “All in on…Bitcoin and Ethereum”. This is significant because:

  1. One of Bitcoin’s loudest skeptics switched jerseys and now bats for us.
  2. A famed investor and technology CEO found the technology, use cases, and future products compelling enough to swallow his pride and buy in.
  3. This is just another example of how, when viewing Bitcoin / crypto with an open mind, it clicks. And when it clicks and you see it for what it is you can’t unsee it.

Coinbase goes Public

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (ticker: COIN) went public and released lofty quarterly earnings. This is big! Every time crypto becomes more mainstream it seems less scary for new entrants, it becomes a larger part of the economy making it harder to restrict, and helps the industry’s reputation.

After Coinbase’s successful IPO, Kraken (another US based crypto exchange) announced they will also consider going public within the year.

Binance US Hires former Acting Comptroller of the Currency as new CEO

Binance.US hires Brian Brooks to be new CEO. Brian Brooks has a pretty impressive resume as a former Coinbase executive and the FREAKING ACTING COMPTROLLER OF THE CURRENCY IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. You want someone who is well connected?! They don’t come more well connected than this guy. We expect huge things out of Binance US and think Brian will do a great job.

Does anyone really think cryptocurrencies will get banned in the United States anymore? The genie is out of the bottle and it is never going back in!

Bitcoin Mining Hashrate Drops 30% due to Power Outage

A coal mine explosion in Xianjian forced large mining pools to turn off their machines dropping the collective Bitcoin hashrate by ~30%. This caused a panic, mostly from new entrants, but hash power has almost completely recovered to previous levels. The flexibility of Bitcoin’s difficulty adjustment means that these events don’t create a “mining death spiral” that many Bitcoin critics fantasize about.

Tesla Sells 10% of Bitcoin to “Prove Liquidity”

Tesla sold 10% of their Bitcoin stack to “Prove Liquidity”. Enjoy those short term capital gains taxes, Elon! In all seriousness, this is a very practical test to perform. This should give other companies more confidence in holding Bitcoin as a treasury asset alternative to cash, and may convince them to put even more of their cash into Bitcoin. This means that the number of Bitcoin buyers are deep and willing.

Also important to note: Elon Musk personally owns Bitcoin and has not sold any.

Visa’s CEO says, “This is a space we are leaning into in a very, very big way” during quarterly earnings call.

Not totally sure what will come of this, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on. Visa is obviously a leader in transaction processing and settlement and their willingness to build on top of Bitcoin, Ethereum, or any other cryptocurrency brings legitimacy to the industry.

Nexon Announces $100M Bitcoin Purchase

“Aaaaaaaaaannnnnnddd another one bites the dust, hey, HEY!” Another huge company, this time a Japanese-based video game developer, has made a splash into Bitcoin by putting a large amount on their balance sheet. Another huge company decided Bitcoin is a better bet than holding cash.

“Our purchase of bitcoin reflects a disciplined strategy for protecting shareholder value and for maintaining the purchasing power of our cash assets. In the current economic environment, we believe Bitcoin offers long-term stability and liquidity while maintaining the value of our cash for future investments.”

Owen Mahoney, Nexon CEO

Bullish. Expect similar announcements from other companies in the coming months.

Ethereum Hits New All-Time High

Congratulations Ether(eum) holders! Ethereum has been on a tear the last 3 months and has shown no signs of dying down. The number of users and active wallets are also at an all-time high showing the fundamentals match the higher price.

Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger talk Bitcoin…Again

Look, these guys are legends. No one can dispute that. It’s also pretty obvious they’re in their 90s and don’t understand Bitcoin. They’ve also regularly underperformed the S&L 500 over the last decade and are falling behind in the age of technology.

“Of course, I hate the bitcoin success and I don’t welcome a currency that’s useful to kidnappers and extortionists, and so forth. Nor do I like just shuffling out of extra billions and billions and billions of dollars to somebody who just invented a new financial product out of thin air. So, I think I should say modestly that I think the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization. And I’ll leave the criticism to others.”

Charlie Munger

Soap box time.

Bitcoin used by kidnappers and extortionists? Weak sauce. Criminal activity accounted for 2.1% of all transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain in 2019 (according to Chainalysis). In 2020, criminal activity fell to just 0.34% of all transactions on cryptocurrency blockchains. 0.34%! A UN study stated that between 2% and 5% of worldwide GDP annually is due to money laundering. If a criminal wants to perform illicit act they don’t use a public blockchain – they use state-sponsored fiat dollars, usually physical ones. This is something people who don’t like Bitcoin use as a moral case against it, but it falls apart very easily when you look at the data.

Contrary to the interests of civilization?! Come on. America’s founding fathers would be rolling over in their graves if they could see our financial system today. Government sponsored cronyism is everything they fought against! They would be the biggest Bitcoin supporters as it takes power AWAY from the State and gives it TO the individual.

Come on, guys. Surely you can come up with better reasons not to like Bitcoin. If not, maybe it’s worth another look.

April Wrapup

The industry continues to grow. More users and companies are joining the movement and we expect a lot of announcements in the coming weeks from influencers, experts, and CEOs arguing on behalf of Bitcoin as a balance sheet item, and on crypto as an alternative to legacy financial tools.

Looking forward to the upcoming tech and Bitcoin conferences! This is a time when you always see a spike in coverage, users, and use cases. We can’t wait to see what develops!

We’re here to help. The 5 links below are where we encourage you to start. Onward!

What is Bitcoin? Part 1 – Origins

What is Bitcoin? Part 2 – Technology

What is Bitcoin? Part 3 – Principles of Money

The Bitcoin Revolution

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