Blockchain Bites: Bitcoin’s Latest Billionaire Bull, Zcash Upgrade, $ 10 Billion Grayscale Breakthrough

Bitcoin continues to rise, with an indicator suggesting bulls have room to roam. Zcash, the privacy-oriented blockchain network, had its first halving. And Brian Brooks, as the Currency Controller, could stay for five years.

Upper shelf

High or not?
At least one dark indicator suggests that bitcoin bulls have room to roam. Already posting 80% gains in the past six weeks and rapidly approaching the all-time high of $ 20,000 set in 2017, the cryptocurrency’s Mayer multiple – the relationship between the price and the 200-day moving average – is showing that the current rally it might be early stages. With a 16-month high of 1.67, this indicator is still well below the 2.4 threshold that historically marked the final stage of the bull markets. It was this key metric that preceded the end of the bullish races of 2019, 2017 and 2013. Things are different this time around, compared to three years ago there is less retail interest in bitcoin and significantly more institutional engagement.

New money
Mariner Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm (RIA) with a network of financial planners managing around $ 29 billion, is the first to join a new separately managed account (SMA) focused on bitcoin. This SMA will allow Mariner’s 346 wealth managers to offer bitcoin trading, custody and tax services for their 23,000 clients. Established by cryptocurrency firm Eaglebrook Advisors, the SMA caters to high net worth clients in the $ 5 to $ 10 million range, giving many who did not participate in the 2017 bull run the chance to jump. Eaglebrook offers bitcoin custody services through Gemini Trust Company at launch. As of Tuesday, Mariner is Eaglebrook SMA’s only customer, although the company says it can easily scale to other RIAs.

$ 10 billion
Grayscale Investments surpassed $ 10 billion in digital assets under management for the first time. The New York-based firm, wholly owned by the parent company of CoinDesk DCG, now oversees $ 10.4 billion of assets including bitcoin, ether and other altcoins held in nine mono-asset investment trusts and one diversified fund. At the end of October 30, Grayscale was holding cryptocurrencies worth $ 7.6 billion, which means the latest milestone is largely due to price appreciation in the digital asset sector.

Halve an update
Zcash, a privacy-focused fork of Bitcoin, has completed its first halving, which not only reduced miners’ rewards, but triggered a network update. At 12:37 UTC, the automatic event reduced the miner’s subsidy from 6.25 ZEC to 3.125 ZEC. It also triggered the Canopy upgrade, which set up a new development fund and eliminated the controversial Founders Reward, in a move to more equitably finance network development. With the upgrade, miners will receive 80% of the block rewards, as before, with 20% split between a grant fund, the Electric Coin Company (ECC) and the Zcash Foundation. Previously, critics said too much of the block reward was directed at the EEC.

Deep pockets
Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego told the world that 10% of his liquid wallet is now tied to bitcoin. Tweeting Wednesday, he said, “Bitcoin protects the citizen from government expropriation.” Engaging with frightened and furiously bullish Bitcoiners, Salinas Pliego said the remaining 90% of his investments are “in precious metal miners”, recommended reading “El Patron Bitcoin” and rejected the government-issued fiat. The billionaire made his fortune as the founder and president of Grupo Salinas, a collection of companies with holdings in telecommunications, media, financial services and retail.

Quick bites

  • PLAYING GROUND: The Vietnamese Ministry of Education will use TomoChain to store student data on a blockchain. (CoinDesk)
  • SECURITY BREACH: Cryptocurrency exchange Liquid claimed that a domain name hosting provider error may have exposed sensitive customer data. (CoinDesk)
  • THE EDUCATOR: Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis said a key point on her agenda will be explaining bitcoin to her new colleagues in Washington, DC (CoinDesk)
  • TWITTER’S OBLIGATIONS: Dalio of Bridgewater tweeted, “I’d like to be fair” about bitcoin, after reporting it last week. (CoinDesk)
  • TELCO TRANSFORMER: OXIO wants to use the blockchain to make “Telecom-as-a-Service” as common as SaaS for major brands. (CoinDesk)

Market information

Institutional interest
Open interest for bitcoin futures traded on the CME Group exchange reached a new high of $ 976 million on Monday. “The number of open major interest holders (LOIHs) is once again a record 102 holders,” a spokesperson for the CME told CoinDesk. The previous record of $ 948 million in outstanding CME derivatives contracts was set in mid-August, following positive statements for bitcoin by respected financiers Paul Tudor Jones, Stanley Druckenmiller and Bill Miller. While open interest may be “indicative of institutional investors who want exposure to bitcoin,” according to Chainalysis chief economist Phillip Gradwell, it’s important to note that the recent rise in CME comes as historical exchanges BitMEX and Huobi face regulatory challenges. ongoing and flat or declining open interest through Q3 and Q4.

At stake

Banking head
Currency Control Officer Brian Brooks can take up a full-time position. Yesterday, outgoing President Donald Trump appointed the former bank executive and Coinbase chief legal officer to lead the national bank’s regulator for a five-year term.

Since taking office temporarily, Brooks has made a number of policy decisions aimed at clarifying and facilitating the domestic banks’ working relationship with the digital asset sector. Notably, the OCC has published two letters telling nationally regulated banks that they may offer cryptocurrency custody services and hold funds for fiat-backed stablecoin issuers.

Although taken as a positive sign, the true effect of these statements has yet to fully manifest. Kristen Smith, founder of the Blockchain Association, a Washington, DC-based cryptocurrency protection group, said in September, following the stablecoin lead, that any practical changes will likely be disabled.

That hasn’t stopped some government officials from criticizing Brooks’ focus on cryptocurrency and fintech. Last week, a group of Democrats in the House released a letter with harsh wording saying Brooks’ priorities were misplaced during a severe economic downturn and a public health crisis.

“Arguably, the immediate needs of millions of at-risk individuals who have not yet received a stimulus check and / or cannot deposit their funds in a bank deserve more attention than an effort to increase access to financial services for the ‘banking community’ via cell phones, ‘they wrote.

CoinDesk regulatory reporter Nikhilesh De writes that Brook faces several obstacles to confirmation. The US Senate Banking Committee oversees the OCC and will likely hold a confirmation hearing before the entire Senate votes to confirm or reject Brooks’ appointment.

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