Crypto Startup Launches Bitcoin Term Deposit Offering 9% Annual Interest

Francisco Memoria

A Delaware-based cryptocurrency startup called BitLeague has recently launched a Bitcoin term deposit product designed to bring mainstream-like services to the crypto economy and attract new users.

The move was announced at Consensus 2019 and, according to a press release, the term deposit will offer 9% annual interest, with a lock-in period of 3 to 36 months. Adnan Gilani, the company’s president, was quoted as saying:

Our mission is to create a more equal, open financial platform, which brings more benefits to users, grows their wealth, and provides more liquidity to the system. The commercial bank only pays about 2% for one year Certificate of Deposit, we offer 9% fixed rate, this is how we add value to our clients.

The move highlights a new trend in the cryptocurrency space that has been seeing firms launch new products that allow users to earn interest on their cryptocurrency holdings. Crypto lending firm BlockFi, for example, has launched a cryptocurrency deposit account offering users over 6% a year in compound interest.

Nexo, a Switzerland-based startup, has also been offering users ‘instant’ cryptocurrency-backed loans, offering investors up to 6.5% interest on stablecoins. Similarly, cryptocurrency wallet Cobo offers options that let users earn income on their crypto holdings.

BitLeague itself is set to also launch a zero-commission trading service in 14 states in the United States, with the goal of helping “people to adopt bitcoin, the next generation sound currency for everyone.”

The firm’s products are notably hitting the market at a time in which bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, is seeing its price surge. According to CryptoCompare data, BTC is now trading over the $8,000 mark, after rising 49% in  the last two weeks.

Bullish Bitcoin Investors Are Ignoring Institutional Bears

Neil Dennis

Bitcoin investors remained positive this week, despite data showing that bearish bets on the futures market had increased during the previous week.

Positioning data on CME Bitcoin futures showed that institutional managers held 14% more short positions in the seven days to Friday, June 21, than in the week before, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Futures trade allows investors to back an asset's losses as well as gains: short positioning means backing an asset to fall in price over a defined period.  The increase in the CFTC short position data on CME Bitcoin futures, therefore, would indicate growing bearishness by the larger institutional players.

Playing it by the Charts

They may have been playing it by the charts. The previous two tops occured in mid-May when the price of Bitcoin reached a high of $8,352 before falling back nearly $1,000, and then at the very end of May reaching $9,066 before falling back to $7,807.

Bitcoin's price performnace

The chart shows that in the week to June 21, when shorts on CME Bitcoin futures grew, Bitcoin pushed up above $10,000, in a chart pattern that might have led many to believe another pullback was imminent.

This drop, predicted by many institutional investors, never came, however, and private investors continued to back the Bitcoin rally. Indeed, the CFTC report showed that smaller investors continued to hold more long positions - backing the continued rally: investors with fewer than 25 Bitcoin futures contracts showed four times as many long positions than shorts.

Short Covering

This may help explain how the rally of the last couple of weeks gained momentum, as those on the institutional side joined the buying to cover their short positions.

Tanya Abrosimova, analyst for FXStreet, said:

Many experts believe that at this stage Bitcoin is driven by FOMO (fear of missing out), while the market repeats the situation of late 2017.

It is also likely that Facebook's announcement about the lauch of its Libra cryptocurrency caught the institutional shorts on the wrong side of the market. Since the Libra announcement on Tuesday, June 18, Bitcoin has gained more than 30%.

Abrosimova added:

Looking technically, Bitcoin has been growing strongly for eight days in succession, which is the longest period of uninterrupted growth since December 2017. As BTC/USD is trying to take out a new barrier at $12,500. Once it is out of the way, the next bullish target of $13,000 will quickly come into view.