Crypto newsletter: Bitcoin triples its value this year

Summary:

  • Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse announces he is “long” on Bitcoin, the major cryptocurrency has tripled its value so far this year
  • Bitcoin interest remains quite tepid compared to what happened in late 2017
  • Bank for International Settlements (BIS) expresses concerns related to big tech firms (spoiler: Facebook may face difficulties in its Libra project)

Ripple CEO bets on Bitcoin

Ripple managed to break above its important short-term resistance placed at around $0.45. As a result, bulls may hope to drive the price even up to $0.6, the highs seen in September 2018. Source: xStation5

The ongoing rally in Bitcoin has impressed a lot of people. The most famous cryptocurrency has tripled its value since the beginning of the year which has helped support other digital currencies alike. What could be interesting, CEO of Ripple (Brad Garlinghouse) - the company standing behind a cryptocurrency called XRP - has recently announced that he is “long” on Bitcoin. Garlinghouse added “I don’t think that there will be one crypto to rule them all.” There is no doubt that CEO of Ripple seems to be an enthusiast of Bitcoin, hence his words that Bitcoin “is a store of value” should not be a shocker for market observers. While the latest array of Garlinghouse’s comments appears to be explicitly positive to Bitcoin, he has not been so enthusiastic earlier. Let us recall that last year he said that Bitcoin was not the “panacea” to solve problems which people had thought it would. 

Bitcoin interest far below its high

Bitcoin interest has barely increased thus far this year despite the most recent pick-up in the price. Source: Google, XTB Research

Since the start of 2019 Bitcoin has risen more than 200%, however, we have yet to see a jump in a number of searches based on data provided by Google Analytics - the case we saw in late 2017 when Bitcoin was skyrocketing toward sub-$20k. Looking at the chart above one may notice that we are nowhere close to the level seen in late 2017 when it comes to the degree of interest measured by a number of searches in Google. Of course, it does not have to be a reliable indicator this time around due to the simple fact - in 2017 people did not know what is Bitcoin, hence hearing about its wild increase they were simply looking for information by scrolling through hundreds of websites. It could also be a signal that the price rally we have seen of late could be more caused by institutional investors rather than retail traders. If this is the case, it could be an upbeat message for retailers too because it could turn out that the current price rally is not just pump and dump. 

Tough times for Facebook’s Libra, BIS says

Bitcoin keeps surging after the solid gains made last week. Another resistance to watch stays at around $13 300. Source: xStation5

In its latest 2019 annual report the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) expressed its concerns regarding the expectegd disruption from big tech companies such as Alibaba, Facebook, Amazon or Google. The BIS wrote that although their low-structure business can easily be scaled up to provide basic financial services, especially in places where a large part of the population remains unbanked, it also brings new risks. Among risks the BIS cites gargantuan customer bases being in the hands of the above-mentioned companies. Therefore, according to the institution “regulators need to ensure a level playing field between big techs and banks, taking into account big techs’ wide customer base, access to information and broad-ranging business models”. Finally, the BIS report also suggests that the recently announced Facebook’s crypto project called Libra may face tough times due to a regulatory burden.

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