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Bitcoin climbed above $16,000 Thursday morning, reaching a new milestone seemingly every week on its march toward its record high near $20,000. Crypto investment manager Tim Hennekin says the typical bitcoin investor has become “much more institutional,” resulting in less volatility and less attention to psychological resistance levels.
Crypto and blockchain is a more robust industry than it was the last time prices rose this high in the 2017 bubble, though there may still be unintended consequences. The rapid price increase may make mainstream Wall Streeters less likely to consider cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange, though it could bode well for the eventual mass adoption of stablecoins.
BILLIONAIRE BUYS IN
Some hedge fund investors are shedding their wariness of bitcoin as it continues to soar. Stanley Druckenmiller, who built his $4.4 billion fortune as the head of Duquesne Capital Management and claimed in 2018 he “didn’t want to own bitcoin,” revealed on CNBC that he did buy some bitcoin and thinks it could perform better than gold, though he still holds more of the precious metal.
Famed value investor Bill Miller also “strongly” recommended bitcoin to CNBC at its current prices and called it the “single best performing asset class” of the last year, five years and 10 years.
HOW BIDEN COULD STEER BLOCKCHAIN POLICY
With Joe Biden defeating incumbent Donald Trump in last week’s presidential election, rumors have started to swirl about who will make up his cabinet. Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard, the central bank’s de facto spokesperson on all things blockchain, is considered a leading contender for Secretary of the Treasury. She has given speeches open to challenging the definition of money and what it can be in the future, though she has also said bitcoin has “limited throughput capacity, unpredictable transaction costs, limited or no governance, and limited transparency.”
Gary Gensler, the former chairman of the CFTC, was tapped to lead Biden’s financial policy transition team. He has spoken about his “blockchain duck test” in the past to determine whether a token is a security and has concluded that XRP and ether should be regulated as securities.
CRYPTO CUSTODY CLARITY
The SEC issued a statement on Monday responding to the letter from the Wyoming Division of Banking that allowed wealth management firm Two Ocean Trust to serve as a qualified custodian for cryptocurrencies. The SEC letter did not take a definitive stance on the issue, but instead requested input on several questions regarding how to define qualified custodians and said it would make responses publicly available. Custody providers Coinbase and Gemini both weighed in on the technical question following the SEC’s statement.
BITCOIN CRIMINAL SENTENCED
A Big Chinese Bank Is Selling Bonds That Can Be Bought With Cash or Bitcoin [Wall Street Journal]
Family Offices May Now See Bitcoin as Alternative to Gold: JPMorgan Report [CoinDesk]
Busted Hedges, Alleged Fraud Bankrupt Crypto Firm Cred Inc. [Bloomberg]