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Bitcoin Rally Picking Up Steam

Some time ago, we had touched upon reflexivity in one of our posts. At its core, it is about the relationship between the observer and the observed, the subject and the object, the trader and the market. George Soros famously attributed his success to reflexivity theory, and of course, the theory of reflexivity also owes a fair bit of its popularity to George Soros, to complete the self-referential loop there.

If reflexivity can help the bears, it can help the bulls as well, once ‘escape velocity’ for the spiral has been achieved in either direction, either positive or negative. We are not quite sure if we have yet reached sufficient escape velocity to try and retest the heady highs of late 2017, but many technical indicators (which are themselves exemplars of the theory of reflexivity at some level) seem to believe that we are on track for a sustained run-up, potentially even crossing the 20k levels by the end of the year.

News is that the recent mini Bitcoin rally resulted in a spike in Chinese OTC trading volumes. Due to the blanket cryptocurrency ban imposed by China in 2017, crypto buyers have rushed to OTC traders to buy Bitcoins and have paid premiums of up to 4%. The preferred route for Chinese crypto traders is to buy USDT from OTC desks and to move it to centralized crypto-to-crypto exchanges over VPN for swapping into other cryptocurrencies. This has resulted in, among other things, the USDT/CAD rate trading at a premium to the comparable fiat exchange rate between USD and CAD. The daily trading volume grew multifold to over $23B, close to levels last seen during the 2017 bull market. Some exchanges and market makers saw volumes that even surpassed the peaks of late 2017.

Crypto-brokerage Cumberland posted a snapshot of its order inflow, where it received 13 buy orders with a minimum of 1000 BTC per order within a 1-hour span. Could this truly be the beginning of the next mega bull rally? If one also looks at the increasing demand for ‘IEOs’, one might be tempted to surmise that this is indeed the case.

Meanwhile in Crypto Wonderland….

“Western Union’s Remittance Partnership” Money transfer giant Western Union has teamed up with blockchain startup Coins.ph to enable residents of the Philippines to more easily receive cash remittances. The newly inked deal will see both international and domestic payments made via Western Union’s network arrive directly into the digital wallets held by Coins.ph’s “over 5 million” users, the startup announced late last week. The service aims to offer “quick and convenient access to remittances, in urban and remote underserved areas,” Coins.ph said, adding that linking with Western Union’s digital and retail networks enables customers to receive payments from virtually all nations and territories worldwide.

“Dharma Launches Officially” Opportunities to earn interest on your crypto are increasing, and Dharma is the latest to enter the fray. Announced Monday, lending startup Dharma is now open to everyone. Lenders and borrowers are matched peer-to-peer to set up crypto lending terms in a non-custodial fashion, governed by Dharma’s smart contracts. Dharma will differentiate itself from others in the market by offering depositors a fixed rate of return on the crypto they make available to lend.

“Sparkswap Raises $3.5 Million” The United States-based startup Sparkswap has completed a successful seed funding round to create a decentralized exchange based on the Bitcoin (BTC) Lightning Network. A blog post revealed the development on Monday, April 8. According to Sparkswap’s founder Trey Griffith, the company raised $3.5 million from investors including Initialized Capital, Pantera Capital, Foundation Capital and Y Combinator. The startup intends to create a decentralized exchange that will be protected from hacks, while still processing transactions on blockchain.

“Ex-employee Sues Kraken”A former employee of Kraken, one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges, is suing the crypto platform for allegedly failing to pay him for work he did. Jonathan Silverman, who was hired in April 2017 to manage Kraken’s institutional sales and trading desk in New York, is demanding compensation in excess of $900,000, according to a suit filed April 4 in New York. That’s based on an agreement Silverman says he reached with Jesse Powell, the San Francisco-based exchange’s founder, who offered him a $150,000 salary and orally agreed to pay him a 10 percent commission of the trading desk’s annual profit. Silverman says the trading desk generated more than $19 million in profits during three months in 2017 and he never received neither the commission nor additional promised stock options.

Crypto Twitter Pick

What We’re Reading / Listening To

Analysis of the Blockchain VC Fund Landscape by Hutt Capital
Cosmos – Launching the Internet of Blockchains featuring Ethan Buchman & Sunny Aggarwal

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