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Bitcoin Balances at a 21 Month Low As Exchange Exodus Continues

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According to data from Glassnode, the exchanges it tracks currently hold 2.6 million Bitcoin. That is the lowest this amount has been since November 2018.

Bitcoin balances on exchanges. Source: Glassnode.

The trend toward users withdrawing their funds from the custodial exchanges first manifested itself right after Black Thursday. Since that time, approximately 300,000 BTC has left exchanges in what appears to be a mass exodus. This may be considered a bullish indicator, as it might imply that users do not intend to sell their assets anytime soon. The recent movement coincides with the recent bull run which saw the price of Bitcoin recover from below $5,000 to almost $12,000. 

Not all exchanges have suffered equally, however. Some have been hit a lot harder than others. For instance, Bitfinex held almost 200,000 BTC in its vaults prior to Black Thursday — Currently, only about 60,000 BTC remain.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-balances-at-a-21-month-low-as-exchange-exodus-continues

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Audio Streaming Mogul Spotify Considering Cryptocurrency Payments

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Joining the tech and financial services bigwigs in the payments revolution, Spotify too is going the crypto way. The Swedish audio streaming and music services giant just put up a job offer for an Associate Director, Payments Strategy & Innovation. The desired candidate will play a key role in ‘navigating the company’s payments rudder’ through the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Spotify Looking To Be A ‘Leading Player In The Cryptocurrency Space’

As per an official job opening that Spotify just posted, the company is looking for an Associate Director for their Payments Strategy & Innovation Team. The said individual would report to the Director of the same team. And will be instrumental in Spotify gaining a considerable foothold wrt integration of cryptocurrency payments. According to the description:

We are now looking for an outstanding Associate Director to join our Payments Strategy & Innovation team. This role will report to the Director, Payments Strategy & Innovation and will play a key part in defining and implementing Spotify’s payments strategy as well as leading Spotify’s activity within the Libra stablecoin project and wider digital asset & cryptocurrency space.

The objective is to address the company’s plan of ‘enabling new monetization opportunities’ for music creators. Also, Spotify wants its platform to become accessible to a larger section of potential users.

Spotify intends to inculcate all the latest fintech trends in their payments strategy, including cryptocurrencies. So that users from all sections of the society can access the music streaming platform.

Crypto Agenda Involves Libra As Well

One of the designated roles of the incoming Associate Payments Strategy Director would be to lead ‘Spotify’s day-to-day engagement with the Libra Association.’ This is due to the ongoing alliance of the company with Facebook’s digital currency project.

Along with this, the company is looking to leverage all the blue-chip aspects of the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. This includes stablecoins and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). It is to streamline its transition to the most advanced payment methods available in finance at the moment.

The Associate Payments Strategy Director would be required to fulfill the above roadmap by making use of

Spotify’s global footprint to seek out innovation in the payments domain globally as well as emerging regulatory & market trends that could influence Spotify’s approach to payments.

Through all the above, the company actually intends to elevate its ‘reputation as a market leader in payments’, the website said. And give giant payments players like PayPal a run for their money.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/audio-streaming-mogul-spotify-considering-cryptocurrency-payments/

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India Reportedly Plans to Tax Crypto Investors As Bitcoin Price and Trading Activities Soar

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Barely ten months after the Indian Supreme Court lifted the RBI’s ban on cryptocurrency transactions, fresh reports from yesterday revealed that the country’s tax authority is now keeping a close watch on crypto traders as Bitcoin’s price continues its bullish trend.

Taxing Crypto Gains

According to local media, the Indian Tax Department is already in possession of data belonging to investors who invested in Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies through banking channels before the RBI’s ban in 2018. 

This development is coming after data shows a tremendous increase in crypto trading activities in India. Since the crypto ban was lifted earlier this year, retail investors between the ages of 25 and 40 have been spending millions of dollars on crypto trading every day. 

Over $25 Million Daily

Two of India’s largest crypto trading platforms, Binance-acquired WazirX and CoinDCX, saw a significant increase in activities over the last six months. According to an earlier report, WazirX recorded a massive 125% increase in user signups in the last two quarters. The exchange also has a daily trading volume of $19-26 million, with more than 85% of the transaction coming from Indian traders. 

Some experts believe it will be difficult for the country to tax crypto because there’s no regulation in place for crypto dealings. They feel a regulatory framework will provide the needed clarity to make taxation easier. While India is yet to release its crypto regulation, an earlier report suggests that the country may regulate crypto as commodities.

Declaring Bitcoin Profits As Capital Gains

Although it is unclear how India plans to implement the tax law, sources familiar with the matter claimed that the country’s taxman is already preparing to collect tax on the gains made from Bitcoin. And notice may be sent out to investors if “something goes out of this.”

Experts believe that the tax authorities may classify crypto gains as business income, and investors may have to pay up to 30% tax on profits made from selling cryptocurrencies. 

However, some tax experts are advising their clients to declare their Bitcoin earnings as capital gains, which is similar to profits generated from shares.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/india-reportedly-plans-to-tax-crypto-investors-as-bitcoin-price-and-trading-activities-soar/

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First Mover: Bitcoin Below $19K and Customers Flee OKEx

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Bitcoin was lower, pushing prices back down below $19,000 toward where they started the week. 

Digital-asset traders have been speculating whether prices would quickly breach $20,000 after the cryptocurrency surged earlier this week to a new all-time high of $19,920. But so far the market hasn’t been able to carry through. 

“In the short-run, this rally has endured for a good while and prices might need some sideways action or even a quick retracement before rising further,” the digital-asset financial firm Diginex wrote Friday. 

In traditional markets, Asian and European shares rose and U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open ahead of a key government report on U.S. employment expected to show slowing jobs growth in November. Gold weakened 0.1% to $1,840 an ounce.   

Market Moves

Warning to cryptocurrency exchanges everywhere: Customers aren’t too keen about having their deposits involuntarily blocked from withdrawal for five weeks. 

A sharp drop in the Malta-based OKEx’s trading volume and stablecoin reserves – tether (USDT) in particular – may reveal an ongoing exodus of users after the popular derivatives exchange unexpectedly halted all crypto withdrawal activities.

The suspension ended on Nov. 26, and data from the analytics service CryptoQuant show that the amount of tether held in OKEx wallets dropped by 98% in less than a week to 6.69 million on Dec. 1. OKEx has a large user base in China, and tether, the world’s largest dollar-backed token, with total assets of $19.35 billion, is one of the most popular stablecoins used by Chinese traders.

Total daily trading volume on OKEx declined significantly during the same time period – down approximately 67.7% from Nov. 25, according to data compiled by CoinDesk. The volume of tether traded on OKEx plunged 70%.

The sudden and significant decline in tether in reserves on OKEx could indicate that users are transferring their stablecoins elsewhere – possibly to a different exchange or to their private cold wallets, according to analysts and traders who spoke with CoinDesk.

“They don’t want to keep assets in OKEx,” Darius Sit, of Singapore-based QCP Capital, told CoinDesk. 

– Muyao Shen

Read More: OKEx’s Trading Volumes and Tether Reserve Plunge on Possible User Exodus

okex-tether-reserve

The amount of USDT reserved on OKEx over the past year (in red), charted versus bitcoin’s price (black).
Source: CryptoQuant

Bitcoin Watch

btc-price-chart-12-4-20

Bitcoin daily price chart.
Source: TradingView/CoinDesk

Bloomberg analysts expect bitcoin to remain bid next year and possibly rise as high as $50,000 next year.”

Bitcoin will maintain its propensity to advance in price into 2021, in our view, with macroeconomic, technical and demand vs. supply indicators supportive of $50,000 target resistance, implying about a $1 trillion market cap,” noted Bloomberg Crypto in a monthly report.

The demand-supply mechanics are currently skewed bullish, as only 900 new coins mined each day vs. 1,800 in 2017, and institutional participation is increasing.

While the odds appear stacked in favor of the bulls, the cryptocurrency remains vulnerable to a March-like panic sell-off in the global equity markets, Bloomberg’s report said. However, analysts do not see prices falling below $10,000.

– Omkar Godbole

Read More: Bitcoin Price Could Hit $50K in 2021, Bloomberg Analysts Say

Token Watch

Ether (ETH): Coinbase, Binance and OKEx announce “BETH” tokens to give liquidity to users staking ether in Ethereum’s new proof-of-stake network.

XRP (XRP): Ripple Chief Technology Officer David Schwartz says company could be forced by validators to burn its 48M XRP tokens

Aave (LEND): Decentralized money market rolls out second version incorporating collateral swap functionality powered by new flash-loan system.

Wrapped bitcoin (WBTC): “Burns” increase as traders rotate capital out of cooling DeFi.

OMG Network (OMG): Genesis Block Ventures announces acquisition of network, which helps speed transactions and lower fees on the Ethereum blockchain by handling transactions off-chain.  

What’s Hot

S&P Dow Jones Indices to launch crypto indexes in 2021 (CoinDesk

Wider adoption of stablecoins as form of payment could upset balance of current financial system, “warranting greater regulatory scrutiny,” U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council writes in report (CoinDesk

What China’s hydropower consumption parks mean for bitcoin mining (The Block

Spotify, the music-streaming giant, looks for associate director in Payment Strategy and Innovation team to “lead its day-to-day engagement with the Libra Association” (CoinDesk

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission makes fintech hub a standalone office, with Senior Advisor for Digital Assets Valerie Szczepanik continuing at the helm (CoinDesk)

Pakistan moves to legalize bitcoin as economy tumbles (Decrypt)  

Swiss wholesale CBDC trail shows “feasibility” for central bank money on distributed ledger, BIS says (CoinDesk

Weekly net inflows to crypto platforms serving primarily North American users jump to 216K bitcoin worth $3.4B in November, versus outflows of 240K bitcoin worth $3.8B from East Asian exchanges (Reuters)   

Terra, a stablecoin platform, brings 24-hour trading to synthetic versions of stocks like Tesla (TSLA) and Apple (AAPL) (CoinDesk)

Bitcoin-friendly hedge fund titan Paul Tudor Jones says “the path forward from here is north” (CoinDesk

“Adoption is trending the right direction, but it is still early,” Open Money Initiative co-founder Jill Carson writes (CoinDesk Opinion

Lex Sokolin of Consensys argues that community represents the real value in an open-source DeFi project where code can be easily copied and governance tokens now have $3.5 billion of associated enterprise value (CoinDesk Opinion)  

Bitcoin is a potential store of value that’s very volatile, says Tom Jessop, head of Fidelity Digital Assets (CoinDesk

Analogs

The latest on the economy and traditional finance

U.S. government report expected to show economy added 440K jobs in November, slowing from October’s 638K (CNBC

Fed and Treasury urge Congress to approve more virus relief (Associated Press

Southwest Airlines warns it could furlough 6,800 employees to cut costs (CNBC

“Modern Monetary Theory might not be the free lunch our current economic policy lords imagine,” Wall Street Journal Editorial Board writes (WSJ

Vietnam’s central bank has a new governor, Nguyen Thi Hong, making her the first woman in the bank’s history to hold the top seat (Nikkei Asia Review)

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Source: https://www.coindesk.com/first-mover-bitcoin-below-19k-customers-flee-okex

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