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German authorities take down DarkMarket, allegedly the world’s largest Dark Web marketplace

German authorities have taken the alleged operator of underground internet marketplace DarkMarket into custody.

The post German authorities take down DarkMarket, allegedly the world’s largest Dark Web marketplace appeared first on The Block.

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Does Bitcoin have a favorite day of the week?

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Bitcoin has grown by leaps and bounds over the past three months, with its returns extremely inviting for most. This is one of the reasons why Bitcoin has been able to attract investors, despite the price being relatively sky-high. When compared to traditional assets, Bitcoin’s returns, year-to-date, are gargantuan.

Bitcoin was giving its investors YTD returns of 53.8 percent, at press time, and if one compares this to monetary metals like gold – the divide becomes extremely clear since gold’s YTD returns are just -6.73 percent.

Source: skew

However, the ‘buy low, sell high’ mantra seemed to be skewed in the case of Bitcoin thanks to the coin’s recent ability to go past its previous ATHs with no intention of revisiting them.

While Bitcoin did face a strong correction a few days ago and was trading under $48k at press time, revisits to price points it frequented a few years ago don’t seem too likely. This is also one of the reasons why investors are constantly on the lookout for when the right time is for new investors to enter the Bitcoin market and when is the most opportune time to make exits.

In the short-term, this is extremely difficult to predict and there can be no logical claim to suggest that certain timeframes are better than others. However, taking a look at the coin’s historic price action may offer a few insights.

Source: LongHash

LongHash’s recent report on Bitcoin’s price patterns across the week took into consideration data right from the start of 2020 to date and noted that Bitcoin has tended to start low, and its price has had a historical record of climbing slowly over the course of the week. The report pointed out that,

“On average, Bitcoin has tended to start low, and its price climbs slowly over the course of the week. On average, it has reached its weekly high point on Saturdays or Sundays. Overall, it’s remarkable how steady the pattern is — there aren’t major swings to exploit, just a smooth upward trend.”

Source: LongHash

For the timeframe analyzed, LongHash concluded that the price has a tendency of peaking in the weekend on average. On closer inspection of Bitcoin’s trading volume on the basis of the time of the day and day of the week, LongHash’s data pointed out,

“Trading seems to peak around 16:00 UTC (11 AM EST) on workdays, which makes sense — the Gemini exchange caters primarily to North American and European users, so spikes at times when their regular working hours overlap make sense. Trading volumes are, on average, lower on the weekends, which also makes sense.”

In a previous article, it had been noted that when one is analyzing trading sessions of assets like Bitcoin one has to also take into consideration ‘lull periods’ in which there is less trading activity across regions and that “a lot of variation was observed in the Asian and the U.S sessions for 2019 and 2020.” Taking into account region-specific trading patterns gives us a better understanding of the Bitcoin market and its traders.

While past precedents can be taken to understand the historical movement of the coin’s price, it in no way serves as a form of predicting the future. For a coin as volatile as Bitcoin, much of its market is still in the price discovery mode. Given the increasing interest in digital assets and Bitcoin’s growth as a result of institutional investors coming in, the coin’s price is likely to rise on the charts (Despite being punctuated by minor price corrections) towards yet another ATH.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/does-bitcoin-have-a-favourite-day-of-the-week

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Grayscale Trust Records Negative Premiums Amid Market Crash

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At its inception, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust was downright revolutionary. It opened many doors for the crypto space to gain higher levels of mainstream presence. As a testament to this, it’s the largest listed crypto asset out there, boasting a total of $30.17 billion in assets under management.

Grayscale’s US Supremacy

The fund itself was launched all the way back in 2013. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) quickly broke new ground, becoming the institutional vehicle of choice when it comes to the US’s crypto space. In a big part, this is thanks to the SEC being extremely prudish in allowing Bitcoin-based exchange-traded funds, but even so, GBTC is an amazing concept.

The US Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) stands as the official regulator of investment trust funds, being exclusively designed for accredited investors that have proven their worth numerous times. Even so, retail investors can get their hands on it, as well, should they opt for a six-month lockup period to get access to it.

Skyrocketing Premiums Slowly Decreasing

With all of this in mind, this leads to the GBTC asset to be traded at a premium: The price of GBTC is more than the price of the equivalent amount of Bitcoin represented in its shares. This occurs as the demand from retail traders starts to rise within the secondary markets.

Institutional clients have it better, however, being able to buy at par-price from Grayscale Investment directly. This completely bypasses whatever price GBTC is on the OTC market.

This premium can skyrocket, with GBTC witnessing as high as 40% above the Bitcoin equivalent’s asking price. Over the past four weeks, this calmed down considerably, with a premium ranging from 5% to 10% when Bitcoin reached $58,000 and saw a subsequent and violent correction. Some speculate that this is just the start, however.

Trading GBTC At A Discount

Now, however, amid an increase in the US 10-year Treasury Bond’s interest rate, which generally destabilized the stock and crypto markets, GBTC is in a bit of a problem. With everything going down, there was a distinct appetite loss for secondary markets.

This, in turn, unbalanced GBTC, making it go for a discount. GBTC also has no real way to recover from this, as there isn’t a surefire way to convert GBTC directly into BTC.

The odd thing is, GBTC has been subject to several spectacular market crashes within the general Bitcoin market. None of that ever seemed to really bother GBTC and its rather impressive market premium.

Something that could be affecting it, however, is the new entrance of BTC Exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Purpose ETF is now on the market, wresting the monopoly from GBTC as the one and only Bitcoin derivative officially listed. Nothing concrete can be said for truth, but things certainly change when new competitors enter the ring.

Grayscale Trust Records Negative Premiums Amid Market Crash

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Source: https://blockchainconsultants.io/grayscale-trust-records-negative-premiums-amid-market-crash/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=grayscale-trust-records-negative-premiums-amid-market-crash

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Moving beyond the crisis narrative: Crypto in a post-pandemic world

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Everyone knows the story. When the first block of Bitcoin (BTC) was mined, the protocol itself entered a world of grave economic uncertainty. Not long before the market would hit its lowest point of the 2009 recession, Bitcoin was quietly created, dropped like a life raft alongside a then-sinking economy. The now infamous phrase “Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks” was cribbed from the headlines, immortalized in code in the origin story of one of the most compelling, innovative, best-performing assets of the last decade.

But Bitcoin did not immediately take root beyond a small community of true believers. Bitcoin and digital assets, in general, have been a lot of things in their relatively short histories, from purely speculative investments and “magical internet money” to a crisis-time safe haven and an attractive hedge against “the great monetary inflation.”

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, an associated market meltdown and huge amounts of central bank stimulus, cryptocurrencies have proved themselves to be remarkably resilient.

But as we watch vaccines being distributed around the country, cautiously optimistic that the end of the pandemic is within reach, where will crypto fit in a post-pandemic world? If its history of resilience shows us anything, we expect crypto to adapt to whatever the next few years will bring — crisis or not.

Related: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the crypto space? Experts answer

Crypto banks

Just three years ago, leaders of some of the largest banks in the world refused to even talk about Bitcoin in interviews, calling the asset itself a “fraud” and referring to those who would buy it as “stupid.”

Today, the general sentiment across banks is markedly different. On the heels of the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Interpretive Letter #1170, which made explicitly clear that federally chartered banks can provide banking services to legally operated companies in the digital asset space and custody digital assets on behalf of their clients, banks have been looking for the best way to get their clients the crypto exposure they demand. We anticipate legacy financial players’ interest in crypto to only grow in the coming years, with crypto becoming a mainstream requirement of financial services.

In the short term, banks will almost certainly rely on subcustody relationships with digital asset specialists to safely and effectively get crypto into their clients’ hands. And this is because the complexity is easier to address from the crypto-native side than the other way around.

Related: The need for a dialogue between crypto businesses and regulators

We also anticipate some number of acquisitions to occur, with some crypto service providers being swallowed up by banks with pockets deep enough to buy them. As demand for crypto services grows, and as regulatory clarity comes, more and more institutions will enter.

Proliferation of decentralized apps

Just as Bitcoin was built in response to the failings of a legacy system, decentralized finance has emerged as crypto’s answer to financial intermediaries. Until recently, though, entire portions of this ecosystem have been unavailable to institutions, mostly for lack of a secure means to participate.

Slowly but surely, institutional-grade DeFi tools are coming to market, and we anticipate this trend to continue. Not only will we see a continued proliferation of DeFi growth, but institutional-grade tools will make institutional participation far more accessible.

Related: Was 2020 a ‘DeFi year,’ and what is expected from the sector in 2021? Experts answer

Despite its significant growth, the DeFi space is still very much fragmented. Cross-chain interoperability — or lack thereof — is still a problem. Institutions want to be able to put their assets to use across the DeFi ecosystem. We anticipate significant growth in this area, with more and more layer-one protocols being bridged to DeFi and the broader Ethereum ecosystem — a development that also has the potential to improve liquidity along with market stability and efficiency.

Corporate treasuries and lowered barriers to entry

Against a backdrop of seemingly endless monetary stimulus, a significant number of private companies are treating digital assets as an inflation hedge. Some of these, like Square and MicroStrategy, have taken significant positions in recent months. We’ve seen MassMutual buy up $100 million in Bitcoin. And with Tesla’s $1.5-billion dollar Bitcoin purchase this month, the trend shows no signs of slowing. In the coming years, we expect digital assets to become an instrumental part of private-company balance sheets.

Related: Tesla, Bitcoin and the crypto space: The show Musk go on? Experts answer

Another factor at play is the lowered barrier to entry on the retail front. With tools like Celo’s Valora coming to market, Diem expected to launch in 2021 and firms like PayPal making it easy for their clients to buy crypto, we expect to see more of crypto as a tool for banking the unbanked — for putting financial tools into the hands of the millions without access to traditional banking services.

Related: Will PayPal’s crypto integration bring crypto to the masses? Experts answer

Beyond the crisis narrative

By virtue of being built in response to one economic crisis, crypto seems to be locked into a crisis narrative. In reality, digital assets have more than proved to be resilient in even the most challenging economic times. Just this past year, crypto proved itself in the grips of a once-in-a-century global emergency, earning a place in the portfolios of institutional and retail investors alike.

As the pandemic (hopefully) fades into the rearview, it’s exciting to think about what crypto can do without being forced into a defensive posture — without being defined against legacy assets like gold. It would be naive to say that crypto will never face another crisis — it almost certainly will. But from here, at what feels like the tail end of the pandemic, it’s exciting to think about what crypto can do in whatever “new normal” comes next.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Diogo Monica is a co-founder and the president of Anchorage. Before co-founding Anchorage, Diogo was the security lead at Docker — an open platform for building, shipping and running distributed applications. He has a B.Sc., an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in computer science, has published several papers in peer-reviewed security conferences on the topic of distributed systems and information security, and is the author of several patents in secure communications, encrypted hardware and payment systems.

Moving beyond the crisis narrative: Crypto in a post-pandemic world

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