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It’s Not Just Institutional Thirst, Retail Demand For Crypto Reaches ‘Unprecedented’ Levels

There’s just not enough Bitcoin to meet demand.

That’s not just some hopium-based fantasy by the leader of a fringe crypto cult.

No, it’s simple fact from tallying just a couple places where Bitcoin can be bought.

We’ve reported that institutional money is moving into cryptocurrency assets, and that institutional demand is higher than it has ever been.

Retail demand is also currently at “unprecedented levels.”

Unprecedented levels

Israeli trading and investing platform Etoro warned customers in Europe on Friday of possible limitations on crypto purchasing over the weekend. In an email, the exchange said: “The unprecedented demand for crypto, coupled with limited liquidity, presents challenges to our ability to support buy orders over the weekend. In light of this, it may be necessary for us to place limitations on crypto buy orders.”

eToro’s statement acknowledging unprecedented demand is just one of many that point to the fact that there isn’t enough Bitcoin available at today’s prices to meet demand.

Pantera Capital’s recent monthly letter to investors states that:

In last month’s investor letter we discussed that after 30 months of operation, Square’s Cash App is estimated to be buying around 40% of all newly-issued bitcoin.

PayPal just launched their new service that enables customers to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrency directly from their PayPal accounts. It’s already having a huge impact.

The bitcoin community is proud to have grown to 100 million users over twelve years. PayPal has 300 million active users. As we’ve argued — and will argue more fully in our December investor letter — this rally is much more sustainable than 2017. One of the main differences is the ease of investing in bitcoin now — via PayPal, Cash App, Robinhood, etc.

Previously the friction to buy bitcoin was pretty onerous: take a selfie with your passport, wait days to a week to get activated, daily limits.

Three hundred million people just got instant access to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies.

BOOM! The results are already apparent.

PayPal’s crypto infrastructure provider is Paxos. Prior to PayPal’s integration of crypto, itBit, the Paxos-run exchange, was doing a fairly constant amount of trading volume — the white line in the chart below.

When PayPal went live, volume started exploding. The increase in itBit volume implies that within four weeks of going live, PayPal is already buying almost 70% of the new supply of bitcoins.

PayPal and Cash App are already buying more than 100% of all newly-issued bitcoins.

Only 900 New Bitcoins Created Each Day

Bitcoin supply is growing daily. Literally, it’s growing by 6.25 newly created Bitcoins with each new block mined. By design, one Bitcoin block is mined every 10 minutes, resulting in an average of 144 new blocks every day. 144 x 6.25 equals 900 new Bitcoins created each day.

Genuine Bitcoin Investor Demand

As we reported above, just Paypal and Cash App are responsible for buying more than 900 Bitcoin per day.

Let’s look at another rather obscure place to buy Bitcoin: LocalBitcoins.com. This is a site outside of the massive mainstream crypto exchanges. It is sort of a peer-to-peer classified ad site that matches buyers with sellers on an individual level.

Compared to the big exchanges, such as Coinbase, this site is tiny. For instance, Binance alone had a Bitcoin trading volume in the past 24 hours of $2.77 billion at press time.

Contrast that to the average daily trading of Bitcoin at localbitcoins.com which is a mere $6 million. The difference in size is staggering. The point being, trading volume at localbitcoins.com is a tiny, extremely tiny, amount of Bitcoin being bought each day.

Now, be aware that most of the trading volume on Binance and other big exchanges is just that: trading, not investing. A trader can buy and sell multiple times per day with each of those trades adding into the cumulative total trading volume.

On localbitcoins.com it is definitely not “traders” doing the trading, it is mom and pop type of people buying Bitcoin to hold as an investment.

So let’s look at the numbers. $6 million worth of Bitcoin are being bought right now every day on localbitcoins.com.

How many Bitcoin is that?

$6,000,000/$37,000 each equals 162 Bitcoin.

Remember, there’s only 900 being created. And this tiniest little peer-to-peer exchange is responsible for its users buying up almost 1/5 of all newly created Bitcoin each and every day. This is purely Bitcoin volume, and does not include other cryptos such as XRP and Litecoin.

Paypal and Cash App are already buying more Bitcoin than are being created each day. This tiny little site is facilitating the buying of nearly 20% of all new Bitcoin being create. What about the customers of Binance? What about demand from the customers of Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken, Bittrex, Bitstamp, Huobi, Bitfinex, and hundreds of other exchanges are are many times lager than localbitcoins? Where will all the Bitcoin come from for those buyers to be able to purchase?

Only Existing Holders Can Supply Bitcoin To Match Soaring Demand

One thing is certain, there is no way to increase the supply of new Bitcoin being created each day and available on the market. With demand absolutely overwhelming new supply, that only leaves existing holders willing to sell in order to satiate buyer demand.

Which means only one thing: prices will continue to be bid higher.

There’s good reason for the crypto fear and greed index to be pegged on greed.

How high is high? Here’s our Bitcoin forecast for this year and beyond.

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Bitcoin News Blockchain News Cryptocurrency News Ripple News

Will Tether Quake The Crypto Market This Week?

A Big Nothing Burger Or The Pin That Pops The Bubble?

If the events in the crypto market of December 2020 teach us anything, it’s that the actions of the financial regulators can cause quakes that have a tremendous impact on crypto prices.

Think back to late November and early December. There was an abundance of enthusiasm towards XRP with the (back then) forthcoming airdrop of Spark tokens. In late November, the price of XRP stood at 26 cents.

Airdrop Of Spark Tokens

With the interest in holding XRP tokens so as to benefit from the Spark airdrop, crypto investors were rushing into XRP, and drove its price above 70 cents.

The upward momentum in price was invigorating.

Even after the airdrop, the price of XRP was hovering around 60 cents as late as December 20.

Enter The SEC

Then the news hit.

The SEC had filed a lawsuit against Ripple. The price immediately crashed to 20 cents, wiping out more than 2/3rds of XRP’s value in a matter of days.

The moral of the story: actions taken by financial regulators can have an overwhelming effect on price.

Fast-forward to today. An important deadline has arrived in the case of Attorney General of the State of New York v. iFinex Inc. (the parent company of both Bitfinex and Tether).

Tether vs. New York State

Some history of this case:

Back in April 2019, the New York Attorney General (NYAG) accused stablecoin operator Tether of covering Bifinex’s $850 million losses by sourcing its USDT to cover the shortfall. Nevertheless, Tether replied calling this accusation in “bad faith” and “riddled with false assertions”. Note NYAG has filed charges against iFinex, the parent company of Bitfinex and Tether.

During the preliminary injunction in May 2019, Judge Joel Cohen extended the deadline to ninety more days. By August 2019, NYAG presented another proof and evidence in the case highlighting how Bitfinex and Tether were allegedly involved in covering up the $850 million losses. Later, the NYAG also called out iFinex’s motion “an improper attempt to impede a lawful investigation”.

The case took an interesting turn last year in September 2020 when Judge Cohen ruled that both Tether and Bitfinex should produce documents disclosing their financial relationship. In addition, he also passed an injunction barring Tether to issue loans to Bitfinex by ninety more days.

Deadline Extended

Last month, on December 9th, 2020, Attorney General Letitia James filed a document requesting Judge Cohen to extend the timeline to January 15. The Attorney General said that “the parties continue to cooperate on the production of documents in response to the 354 Order, and anticipate that the production might be finalized in the coming weeks.”

Two days ago, Friday, January 15, was the d-day for iFinex to produce necessary info and the documents so that NYAG is able to continue the investigation further. iFinex had to produce documents detailing the issuance and redemptions of Tether’s USDT stablecoins, and also disclose the trading activity on Bitfinex concerning Bitcoin and USDT.

We’re currently at the crossroads of the most crucial cases in the crypto space. Tether’s market cap has grown to $25 billion, and the token currently sits at #3 on coinmarketcap’s list of the largest cryptocurrencies in existence.

Will Tether Drag The Entire Crypto Market Lower?

Some market analysts believe that the issuance of Tether is being used to prop up the price of Bitcoin, and by extension the entire crypto market. Others, such as Ganesh Viswanath-Natraj, Assistant Professor of Finance at Warwick Business School, stated on a recent podcast, “Based on our evidence there, there’s no effect of tether issuance on crypto asset prices.”

While there were no new statements from the NY Supreme Court on deadline day, a statement is likely to be forthcoming this week.

If and when the statement unfolds, the BIG question for the entire crypto market is “Will it be a nothing-burger, or will it be the pin that pops the crypto bubble?”