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More Bakkt futures contracts are settled in Bitcoin than in cash

According to the latest data from Skew, the volume of Bakkt’s physically-settled futures exceed the volume of its cash-settled product. With an average daily volume of $14 million in the past month, more traders seem to be attracted to futures contracts that are settled in Bitcoin.

Physically-settled futures present a bullish case for Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s strong start to 2020 has pushed more institutional traders to position themselves awaiting for the coin’s rise. Bitcoin closed out its best January in the past seven years in 2020, pushing its institutional volumes up with it.

Earlier this month, the Bakkt physically-settled contract saw a new record of $11.6 million in open interest—up 114 percent in a week. The increase was believed to reflect an influx of new buyers coming into the market, which was expected to extend Bitcoin’s uptrend.

And now, the latest data showed that the rise Bakkt’s volume has seen in January 2020  has been modest by this month’s standards. According to BakktBot, the total open interest on Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures now stands at around $17.8 million.

Graph showing the daily volume and open interest on Bakkt's Bitcoin monthly futures
Graph showing the daily volume and open interest on Bakkt’s Bitcoin monthly futures. (Source: BakktBot)

Data shows more traders looking to settle their futures in Bitcoin than in cash

The growing open interest on Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures is mirrored in the growth in its volumes. Data from Skew has shown that more Bakkt contracts are being settled with physical Bitcoin than in cash.

According to Skew, Bakkt’s cash-settled Bitcoin futures saw an average volume of around $11 million last month, while the physically-settled contract recorded an average volume of $14 million at the same time.

Chart showing the total open interest and volumes fo Bakkt's Bitcoin futures
Chart showing the total open interest and volumes fo Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures. (Source: Skew)

The growing number of institutional traders choosing to settle their contracts in Bitcoin presents a bullish case for the cryptocurrency. Arcane Research’s January report noted that its data has shown there is a growing appetite among institutional investors for Bitcoin.

Arcane Research reported that the 230 Bakkt Bitcoin futures contracts that went into delivery on Jan. 17 represented over $2 million in notional value. The company only delivered 15, 17, and 8 contracts in October, November, and December of last year.

That means that the physical delivery of Bitcoin futures contracts increased by 1,625 percent from their 2019 average of 13.3 BTC, Arcane Research published in the report.

Chart showing the number of Bakkt's physically-delivered Bitcoin futures contracts from October 2019 to January 2020
Chart showing the number of Bakkt’s physically-delivered Bitcoin futures contracts from October 2019 to January 2020. (Source: Arcane Research)

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Analyst Who Projects Bitcoin Boom to $1,000,000 Warns BTC Halving Headaches Incoming

A crypto analyst known for applying the stock-to-flow ratio to Bitcoin says the leading cryptocurrency is facing a number of headwinds as the 2020 halving approaches.

The halving, which happens about every four years, will slash the supply of new BTC entering the market in half this May.

The pseudonymous analyst known as PlanB says Bitcoin’s supply schedule is strongly linked to the price of BTC. He was the first to apply the stock-to-flow model to BTC, which tracks the circulating supply of an asset against the amount of new supply hitting the market. Often used to track the price of gold and precious metals, PlanB says the ratio is strongly correlated with Bitcoin’s past price movements and shows BTC hitting a high of $1,000,000 within a decade.

But with the halving on the horizon, PlanB now says Bitcoin has a number of issues to overcome, including regulatory uncertainty in the US, hacks and concerns about large sales of BTC from crypto hackers and the seemingly never-ending fallout from the collapse of the crypto exchange MtGox.

“2020 Bitcoin halving will not be an easy ride:

– US/Mnuchin: draconian anti-btc laws
– Craig Wright: legal and patent FUD
– Hacks: like 2016 halving (DAO, Bitfinex)
– MtGox and PlusToken selling narrative
– Miner death spiral and futures FUD
– Forks”

Stock-to-flow skeptics say the advent of Bitcoin derivatives could prevent Bitcoin from rising this time around. They also point to the fact that Bitcoin has only gone through two halvings in the past, saying there’s too little data to confirm their impact on Bitcoin’s price.

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin is also not a fan of stock-to-flow. He says it’s part of a crypto culture of “post-hoc rationalized bullshit” analysis that includes tying Bitcoin’s price to global events like the coronavirus.

Despite the fear, uncertainty and doubt, PlanB says his model shows the price of Bitcoin is right where it should be. He likens Bitcoin’s stock-to-flow ratio to a drunk walking his dog, and says although the price of BTC may wobble higher and lower than the predicted price of BTC, it can’t stray too far and always falls back in line.

It won’t be too long until we see how the stock-to-flow model holds up. PlanB says he expects Bitcoin to hit $100,000 by the end of 2021.

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We Shouldn’t Want Buffett to Invest in BTC Right Now

Yesterday, we reported that Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett was again bashing bitcoin, and for not taking it seriously, he’s potentially missed out on some big profits.

We Shouldn’t Want the Presence of Buffett in Crypto

Now, one source claims that if Warren Buffett were to ever change his mind about the world’s number one cryptocurrency by market cap and become a serious investor, that might be a sign that it’s time to sell one’s stash.

It’s interesting because Buffett recently sat down to lunch with Justin Sun, the CEO of TRON – one of the world’s top altcoins. Sun gifted him a phone with an entire bitcoin on it and swore to his followers and fans that he would work his tail off trying to make Buffett a believer.

Buffett commented that he enjoyed his time with Sun, and that he was intrigued by some of the ideas he presented during their lunch meeting. He said:

When Justin and four friends came, they behaved perfectly, and we had a very friendly dinner and the whole thing was a very friendly exchange of ideas.

While the two seemed to get along well during their initial meeting, it seems like all of Sun’s alleged efforts to change Buffett’s mind were in vain, as the real estate mogul is once again attacking BTC every chance he gets.

In a recent interview, he states:

Cryptocurrencies basically have no value and they don’t produce anything. In terms of value: zero. I don’t have any cryptocurrency and I never will.

Apparently, he’s forgotten about the phone Sun gave him. In any case, men like Buffett getting involved in crypto could potentially be a bad sign that the market is becoming “overheated” or saturated. In other words, too many people are getting involved, which could lead to an influx of activity and a responding price drop.

Buffett is, however, taking flack from people like Anthony Pompliano, the co-founder and partner of crypto-based financial firm Morgan Creek Digital. Recently, Buffett admitted to utilizing a flip phone all these years and has only recently upgraded to a “smart” edition. In an age of growing technology and gadgets, Buffett clearly hasn’t kept up with the times.

Pompliano took note of that, explaining:

I really don’t take technology advice from somebody who uses a flip phone or doesn’t use email.

A Follower of “Old” Ideals

Former e-Toro analyst Mati Greenspan also takes issue with Buffett’s attitude, saying he represents a world that is no longer in motion. He stated:

Buffett made his billions in a world that doesn’t exist anymore. Whoever the oracle of the next generation will be, my feeling is that they’ll have a much keener understanding of emerging technology and will be less reliant on baseless fiat money.

In the past, Buffett has referred to bitcoin as “rat poison squared.”

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Bitcoin price drops below $9k after news of coronavirus infections in Italy

Bitcoin prices continue to slide, falling below the US$9,000 [AU$13,700] level following the sustained sell-off by investors due to fear of the coronavirus. This most recent drop comes just days after northern Italy became the scene of Europe’s biggest outbreak of the virus to date.

Meanwhile, the Italian government has quickly imposed measures to contain the spread of the deadly virus. Among them are the prohibition of public events and the closure of public buildings in at least 10 towns in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto.

According to Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza, they issued advisory asking residents in the affected areas to stay at their homes to prevent the further spread of the disease. He said,

“WE ARE ASKING BASICALLY THAT EVERYONE WHO HAS COME FROM AREAS STRICKEN BY THE EPIDEMIC TO REMAIN UNDER A MANDATORY HOUSE STAY.”

Crypto and traditional markets affected globally

The coronavirus has already affected more than 30 countries, including Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain, and South Korea. Its presence in Italy has prompted investors and authorities to worry about the possibility of a worsening global pandemic.

Though Bitcoin has recovered somewhat – at press time it is trading in the $8,900 range – it is still down more than 14% from last week’s high of near $10,200. It is not certain whether the leading cryptocurrency will continue its slide or will perform better in the coming days.

On the other hand, the Dow Jones Industrial Average posts a 123.77-point drop to 26,957.59. The decline entirely wiped out the gains made by the index since January. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 also continuously slide and currently trades at 3,116.39.

However, the Nasdaq Composite Index showed some positive signs as it gains 0.17% to 8,980.77. The majority of the stock markets in Europe are also showing signs of recovery.

Mad Money advice: Avoid stocks with China connection

Meanwhile, Mad Money host Jim Kramer advised investors to keep away from American stocks that are too dependent on manufacturing products in China. He claimed that the COVID-19 outbreak would result in supply chain interruptions and a simultaneous slowdown of businesses around the world.

Part of his statement read:

“I NEED TO EMPHASIZE, AGAIN, THAT THE BIG RISK FROM THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK HAS TO DO WITH INTERRUPTED SUPPLY CHAINS AND A CONCOMITANT BUSINESS SLOWDOWN WORLDWIDE. THAT MEANS WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL. YOU DON’T WANT TO BUY SOMETHING THAT’S ABOUT TO HAVE ITS SUPPLY LINES CUT.”

Among the companies cited by Kramer as “too toxic to touch” are tech giant Apple and cruise industry players Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Corp, and Royal Caribbean Cruises. Also included are the casino stocks of Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts, as well as bank and airline industry stocks.Micky readers – you can get a 10% discount on trading fees on FTX and Binance when you sign up using the links above.

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