CNBC Fast Money: Investors Seem Bearish on Bitcoin, but Bullish on ICOs

2017 was a great year for Bitcoin (BTC). In fact, according to data from CryptoCompare, the price rose from just under $1000 to almost $20,000 during last year. The story has been quite different, though, in the first half of 2018. In fact, on Thursday (21 June 2018), CNBC's Fast Money show said that Bitcoin seemed to be stuck in purgatory, and that ICOs which had a great 2017 seem to be still going strong. 

According to CNBC's Bob Pisani, ICOs are still coming out at a "pretty torrid" pace:

"There have been as many ICOs in the first six months of 2018 as there were in almost all of 2017 put together, 334 so far this year vs. 343 for the entire 2017... More money has been raised [so far] this year than all of 2017, and that's the important number."

Bob Pisani, CNBC

He then went on to give a couple of examples of the "wacky" ICOs we have seen this year. 

The first example he gave was the royalty-backed ICO, TaTaTu, which plans to build a token-powered video-on-demand platform as a competitor to Netflix; it has raised $575 from a private sale of its TTU tokens, with one investor alone, Lady Monika Barardi (co-founder of AMBI Pictures), accounting for around $100 million of that amount. The other famous backer of this project is apprently Prince Félix of Luxembourg (second in line to the throne).

The second example was AKoin Ecosystem, a new project founded by R&B singer Akon that is being launched in around two weeks. Its website says that this project "offers an abundance of digital and in-real-life platforms and experiences that create opportunity and inclusion for youth entrepreneurs by allowing consumers to buy, hold, and spend cryptocurrency right from their smartphone through a suite of blockchain-powered apps." The token that will be powering this ecosystem is called AKoin, which aims to be a "stable currency alternative throughout Africa." As reported here, as part of this project, a 100% crypto-based city (that uses AKoin tokens for payment) is being built in Senegal, a country in West Africa. 

The last example Pisani gave was Filecoin, a blockchain-based cloud storage project, which launched in August 2017 and has so far raised over $250 million, but still does not have an actual working product.

However, Pisani says that he is hearing that "a lot of investors are growing weary of the valuations." 

Pisani colleague, Brian Kelly, agrees, saying that investors are in a "wait-and-see mode" right now:

"Everybody is saying 'Show me... we gave you a ton of money, show me the product, I want to see this thing come out'; Also, everybody and their brother is coming to me and saying 'How do we do an ICO' or pitching me an ICO. So, you have a massive amount of supply... It feels very much like Bitcoin did in December, where we have sky high valuations, it's very frothy, and people are starting to say 'I am going to put the brake on the ICOs right now. I've got my portfolio. I don't need a seventh or an eighth ICO'."

Brian Kelly, CNBC

When asked what is happening with Ether (ETH), Kelly said that what's really interesting is that, unlike last year, a lot of these ICOs, this year, have been funded with fiat (USD) and not Ether, and that a lot of the investors, whom are based in Asia, seem to have started looking away from the ICOs and getting into Bitcoin, Ether, and the big DApp platforms.

 

Featured Image Credit: Photo by "Fernando Arcos" via Pexels; licensed under "CC0"

Crypto Market Update: Focus on BTC, ETH, BCH, BNB, XMR, and DASH

Siamak Masnavi

This article provides a quick overview of how the crypto markets have been doing—with the focus on Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Binance Coin (BNB), Monero (XMR), and Dash (DASH)—over the past 24-hour period.

Overall, September 17th is proving to be a bit of a mixed day, with 12 of the top 20 cryptocurrencies (by market cap) in the red at press time (around 06:25 UTC).

BTC-USD

BTC-USD 24 Hour Chart - 17 Sep 2019.png

The bad news is that are still waiting for the launch of Bakkt's physically-delivered daily and monthly Bitcoin futures contracts. So, Bitcoin is still trading mostly sideways, hovering around the $10,300 mark. The good news is that the launch is expected to take place in less than one week (i.e. on September 23), as was confirmed by this tweet that Bakkt sent out on September 16:

ETH-USD

ETH-USD 24 Hour Chart - 17 Sep 2019.png

The Ether (ETH) price continues its upward movement toward the $200 mark, up another 2.24% in the past 24-hour period (making it up 4.32% in the past 7-day period). What may have helped the Bitcoin price yesterday (September 16) is the announcement by crypto payment processor BitPay that in the near future it will be possible for its customers to accept Ether payments for purchases of goods and services. Also, the BitPay wallet will support Ether.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin had this to say about the news:

"It is exciting to see BitPay leading the way in integrating Ethereum into global payment systems. This truly opens up a new world of possibilities for the Ethereum ecosystem, and together we can continue to be a leading innovator for real world use cases for cryptocurrencies.

BCH-USD

BCH-USD 24 Hour Chart - 17 Sep 2019.png

On Monday (September 16), Bitcoin.com announced that it had entered into a strategic partnership with Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC, as a result of which the Bitcoin.com wallet will come preinstalled on HTC's current and upcoming blockchain phones (Exodus 1 and Exodus 1s):

BNB-USD

BNB-USD 24 Hour Chart - 17 Sep 2019.png

Although BNB is currently in the red, this may change during the next several hours once all of the six mini announcements that Binance plans to make today have come out:

The first of the six announcements that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (aka "CZ") referred to is the addition of support for Cosmos (ATOM) to Binance's Margin Trading platform:

XMD-USD

XMR-USD 24 Hour Chart - 17 Sep 2019.png

OKEx Korea announced on Monday (September 16) that it intends to delist all five privacy coins it is currently supporting, i.e. XMR, DASH, ZEC, ZEN, and SBTC, due to concerns that these cryptocurrencies do not allow it to implement FATF's so-called "travel rule". 10 October 2019 is the date on which transaction (i.e. trading) support ends.

DASH-USD

DASH-USD 24 Hour Chart - 17 Sep 2019.png

Since OKEx Korea's delisting announcement mentioned DASH, you would expect it to be down today, just like XMR. However, it is not, and that is very likely due to the fact that today (September 17) is the day that trading in DASH is expected to start on Coinbase Pro on/after 09:00 PST (16:00 UTC) provided that there is sufficient liquidity.

Featured Image Court: Photo via Pixabay.com