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Bitcoin bulls in City Hall: Meet America’s crypto mayors

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As 2021 comes to a close, Bitcoin (BTC) has had a tumultuous ride this year, with wild price swings that have seen the pioneer cryptocurrency hit all-time highs only to retrace to lower prices — including a 50% drop that shook the market. Now, Bitcoin is once again back and stronger than ever, even recently going past its previous all-time high.

Bitcoin’s dizzying market price swings aside, it seems some politicians have recognized Bitcoin’s potential, with a wave of mayors across the United States expressing bullish sentiments.

From Florida to New York, there is a seemingly growing trend of politicians, particularly city mayors, supporting Bitcoin adoption.

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Here is a look at some of America’s mayors who have expressed bullish sentiments about the leading cryptocurrency.

New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams

Mayors across the U.S. have been pushing for the adoption of digital assets, including New York City’s newly elected mayor, Eric Adams, who has pledged that he will take his first three paychecks in Bitcoin. The move from Adams was in response to the mayor of Miami’s announcement two days earlier that revealed his plans to accept his next paycheck entirely in Bitcoin.

Adams, a former police officer with a reputation for being tough on crime, said in a tweet that “In New York we always go big, so I’m going to take my first THREE paychecks in Bitcoin.”

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Adam further tweeted that “NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries.”

The newly elected mayor also spoke to Bloomberg, saying that he will “look at what’s preventing the growth of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in our city.”

Mayor-elect Adams has been a Bitcoin bull for quite some time, having previously pledged to make New York City the center for Bitcoin. Adams has also suggested that schools add cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to their curriculum.

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Miami Mayor Francis Suarez

Since his election, Adams has been duking it out with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez over who is the bigger Bitcoin bull. Suarez, who was reelected for another term after serving as Miami’s mayor since 2017, also claimed in a tweet that he would take his next paycheck “100% in Bitcoin.”

As a part of Miami’s plan to become the crypto capital of the U.S., Suarez said that the city plans to issue digital wallets to its citizens that would be used to dole out Bitcoin yields from the city’s crypto stash.

While some reports state that U.S. law prohibits certain states from holding volatile assets, Miami’s mayor remains adamant, claiming that his top priority is to hopefully run the city without taxes. Suarez has previously mentioned that he wants to pay city employees in crypto.

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Cool Valley, Missouri Mayor Jayson Stewart 

In the small town of Cool Valley, Missouri, Mayor Jayson Stewart announced that he intended to give each resident up to $1,000 in Bitcoin as a response to the growing adoption of cryptocurrencies.

The environmentalist mayor believes that Bitcoin can lift the town’s fortune through the establishment of Bitcoin mining facilities and other related activities. Stewart also believes that Bitcoin education holds the key to increasing wealth and prosperity in the region, and he hopes to one day see a Bitcoin-friendly bank in the city.

In an interview with Cointelegraph Magazine, Stewart said that “A lot of it is about fixing the wrongs of the past financial system. In the past, we didn’t have access to this amazing technology that we have today when it comes to our financial system and storing our value.”

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Similar to Miami’s mayor, Stewart plans to dole out Bitcoin to the people of Cool Valley, with a plan that is funded by private donors who aim to increase the use and adoption of the digital asset. 

The Missouri mayor has been a Bitcoin bull since as far back as 2015, when he used to work for a tech startup that served wealthy clients and earned a salary in Bitcoin.

Jackson, Tennessee Mayor Scott Conger

In the wave of cities across the U.S. edging closer to Bitcoin adoption, the city of Jackson, Tennessee is not one to be left behind. With a belief that Bitcoin is the only solution to fix the devaluation of the U.S. dollar and the inflation that is cutting across the global economy at the moment, the city’s mayor, Scott Conger, announced that a blockchain task force will study potential methods of enabling property tax payments in the city using Bitcoin.

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In mid-July, Conger tweeted: “Why do we accept inflation? Why don’t we demand more from our federal government? 6.3% in 2 years. 172.8% in my lifetime. Every year our dollar is worth less. There is no rebound. There is only 1 fix for this.. #Bitcoin.”

Similar to the sentiments of other mayors, Conger has expressed interest in exploring options that will see the city’s employees receive their paychecks in cryptocurrency. The mayor also plans to adopt Bitcoin mining operations and add BTC to the city’s balance sheet. Apart from Bitcoin, Conger has also hinted at Ether (Ether) and Litecoin (LTC) as potential mediums for payments within the city’s financial operations.

Tampa, Florida Mayor Jane Castor

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has also joined the fray of mayors in cities around the U.S. who are bullish on Bitcoin. A matter of days after Miami Mayor Suarez announced his plans to receive a Bitcoin paycheck, Castor followed suit.

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Castor made the announcement on day two of the Florida Bitcoin and Blockchain Summit, which took place at the Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa.

Growing bullish sentiments

Apart from American mayors embracing Bitcoin and blockchain technology, other leaders around the nation and across the globe are starting to realize the benefits of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. For instance, U.S. Representatives Tom Emmer and Darren Soto sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission in a call for the approval of Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S., something that many onlookers believe could set up a bullish trend for Bitcoin and legitimize cryptocurrencies.

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Even traditional financial institutions that were bearish on Bitcoin are starting to admit that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are primed to bring about revolutionary changes to the finance industry. The chief operating officer of Bank of America, for instance, recently claimed that blockchain and cryptocurrencies could improve the operations of banks.

In Australia, Commonwealth Bank — one of the largest banks in the country, with nearly 16 million customers — has revealed plans to integrate Bitcoin into its services. All over the crypto space, a wave of bullish news continues to emerge, with Bitcoin appearing primed for upward momentum.

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Wen moon? Data shows pro traders becoming more bullish on Bitcoin price

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MicroStrategy’s purchase of 7,002 BTC might have helped boost Bitcoin price today, but derivatives data also shows that pro traders are becoming more bullish.

The $4,700 Bitcoin (BTC) price spike on Nov. 29 was likely a great relief for holders, but it seems premature to call the bottom according to derivative metrics. 

This should not come as a surprise because Bitcoin price is still 15% below the $69,000 all-time high set on Nov. 10. Just 15 days later, the cryptocurrency was testing the $53,500 support after an abrupt 22% correction.

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Today’s trend reversal was possibly encouraged by MicroStrategy’s announcement that it had acquired 7,002 Bitcoin on Monday at an average price of $59,187 per coin. The listed company raised money by selling 571,001 shares between Oct. 1 and Nov. 29, raising a total of $414.4 million in cash.

More bullish news came after German stock market operator Deutsche Boerse announced the listing of the Invesco Physical Bitcoin exchange-traded note or ETN. The new product will trade under the ticker BTIC on Deutsche Boerse’s Xetra digital stock exchange.

Data shows pro traders are still neutral-to-bullish

To understand how bullish or bearish professional traders are positioned, one should analyze the futures basis rate. That indicator is also known as the futures premium, and it measures the difference between futures contracts and the current spot market at regular exchanges.

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Bitcoin’s quarterly futures are the preferred instruments of whales and arbitrage desks. Even though derivatives might seem complicated for retail traders due to their settlement date and price difference from spot markets, the most notorious benefit is the lack of a fluctuating funding rate.

Bitcoin 3-month futures basis rate. Source: Laevitas.ch
The three-month futures typically trade with a 5%–15% annualized premium, which is deemed an opportunity cost for arbitrage trading. By postponing settlement, sellers demand a higher price and this causes the price difference.

Notice the 9% bottom on Nov. 27, as Bitcoin tested the $56,500 support. Then, after Monday’s rally above $58,000, the indicator shifted back to a healthy 12%. Even with this movement, there is no sign of excitement, but none of the past few weeks could be described as a bearish period.

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Lending markets provide additional insight

Margin trading allows investors to borrow cryptocurrency to leverage their trading position, therefore increasing the returns. For example, one can buy Bitcoin by borrowing Tether (USDT), thus increasing the exposure. On the other hand, borrowing Bitcoin can only be used to short it or bet on the price decrease.

Unlike futures contracts, the balance between margin longs and shorts isn’t necessarily matched.

OKEx USDT/BTC margin lending ratio. Source: OKEx

When the margin lending ratio is high, it indicates that the market is bullish—the opposite, a low lending ratio signals that the market is bearish.

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The chart above shows that traders have been borrowing more Bitcoin recently, because the ratio decreased from 21.9 on Nov. 26 to the current 11.3. However, the data leans bullish in absolute terms because the indicator favors stablecoin borrowing by a wide margin.

Derivatives data shows zero excitement from pro traders even as Bitcoin gained 9% from the $53,400 low on Nov. 28. Unlike retail traders, these experienced whales avoid FOMO, although the margin lending indicator shows signs of excessive optimism.

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Bitcoin, Ethereum and Two Smart Contract Competitors Are the Winners Among Institutional Investors, According to Crypto Asset Manager CoinShares

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Leading digital asset manager CoinShares says institutional investors have a strong appetite for Bitcoin (BTC) and three leading smart contract platforms.

According to the firm, the overall crypto market correction has left investors hungry for more.

“Digital asset investment products saw inflows of US$306m last week suggesting [a] continued appetite for digital assets.”

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As usual, BTC led all digital assets in terms of capital inflows, this time in the wake of a new exchange-traded product (ETP) set to launch on the Deutsche Borse exchange.

“Bitcoin saw the largest inflows in 5 weeks totaling US$247m following the launch of another investment product in Europe. This brings the 11 week run of inflows to US$2.7bn.”

BTC is trading at $58,475 at time of writing, up nearly 6% on the day.

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The leading smart contract platform Ethereum (ETH) concluded a strong month of inflows with a week totaling over $23 million.

“Ethereum saw inflows totaling US$23m last week, marking its 5th consecutive week of inflows.”

This week’s big winners in inflows relative to assets under management (AuM) also include the scalable smart contract platform Solana (SOL) and the interoperable blockchain Polkadot, which is designed to support multiple layer-1 smart contract protocols.

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“In terms of inflows relative to AuM, Polkadot and Solana continue to be the winners, with inflows representing 8.6% (US$11.5m) and 5.9% (US$14.6m) of AuM respectively last week.”

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Source: CoinShares

Ethereum is currently trading at $4,453.79, up 7.5% in the last 24 hours. SOL and DOT are trading at $211.48 and $36.82, respectively, at time of writing.

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Nayib Bukele sends cryptic response to Bank of England over Bitcoin law criticism

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  • Nayib Bukele questions England love for El Salvador over Bitcoin adoption.
  • England expreses concern over El Salvador Bitcoin law.
  • Outside England IMF also criticized El Salvador over Bitcoin law.

After he expressed concerns over Bitcoin adoption in the country, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has sent a cryptic response to the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey.

Over the weekend, Bailey said he is not a fan of bitcoin or its growing adoption in countries like El Salvador. He expressed concerns while speaking at Cambridge University, asking if Salvadorians are aware of Bitcoin’s volatility.

“It concerns me that a country would choose it as its national currency,” Bailey said in response to a question at an appearance at the Cambridge University student union on Thursday. “What would worry me most of all is, do the citizens of El Salvador understand the nature and volatility of the currency they have.”

Bank of England is not the only international body to express concerns over Bitcoin adoption by El Salvador. Since June, when the Central American country announced its Bitcoin intention, numerous global financial organizations have tried to warn the country not to do it.

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Outside the Bank of England, the IMF also criticized the move by the country.

Nayib Bukele’s cryptic, Ironic response

While addressing Bailey’s most recent comments, President Bukele responded in a tweet pointing at the “genuine” concerns that the BOE has for the people of El Salvador.

“Bank of England is “worried about El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin? Really?

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I guess the Bank of England’s interest in the well-being of our people is genuine. Right?

I mean, they have always cared about our people. Always.

Gotta love Bank of England,” he wrote.

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El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as its legal tender months back, and according to Nayib Bukele, there has been progress since the country made the move.

For instance, the nation has used the aforementioned volatility, especially when the price dips, to accumulate more portions of the asset and to use the profits when the price increases to make plans for buying pet hospitals or new schools.

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El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as its legal tender months back, and according to Nayib Bukele, there has been progress since the country made the move.

For instance, the nation has used the aforementioned volatility, especially when the price dips, to accumulate more portions of the asset and to use the profits when the price increases to make plans for buying pet hospitals or new schools.

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