Bitcoin price has had a strange week so far, recovering yesterday after emerging from the weekend a battered asset below key support levels, but now moving back up above USD 8,000.
After creating a high at the end of Monday, it then dipped down again in the past 12 hours to a low of USD 8,152, before surging in Asian trading to current levels around USD 8,273 (4:45 pm Beijing, CoinDesk).
It would appear last week’s feared reports of a death cross are now delayed for the time being, unless the sudden recovery that happened at the last death cross is now in play.
Altcoins are enjoying Bitcoin’s recovery as well, with Bitcoin SV being the big winner, gaining 13% in the past day, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) posting a more moderate gain of 3%. Litecoin, NEO and Ethereum Classic are still winners, but only marginally so at around 1% US dollar gains in the past day.
Institutional investors could be getting a fresh injection of confidence, if we believe the day’s story that long positions in Bitcoin have more than doubled so far this month. According to Skew Markets analysts, 16 October stats showed that long positions in Bitcoin reached over BTC 1,000, up from under BTC 500 on 1 October.
Long positions held by institutional accounts at the CME have been rising again in October.
For reference, institutions include pension funds, endowments, insurance companies, mutual funds & portfolio/investment managers whose clients are predominantly institutional. pic.twitter.com/96N2XZwo9e
— skew (@skew_markets) October 20, 2019
This new data seems to show a recovery from September’s decline, compounded by the weak reaction to Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures launch. Skew says that the data comes from “pension funds, endowments, insurance companies, mutual funds & portfolio/investment managers whose clients are predominantly institutional”.
Grayscale also told CoinTelegraph that institutional money was pouring into Bitcoin throughout the year, although the trend was merely a continuation of what had been in place for some time now. Price has yet to show the spectacular explosion that many had been predicting once institutions began investing into Bitcoin, so maybe it is still a game of wait and see.
Meanwhile, an important sign of adoption has emerged with the Opera browser being the first major one in the world to support Bitcoin payments.
It announced that its 350 million users are now able to send and receive Bitcoin directly from the browser, while using it to pay for products and services on websites. Its crypto wallet also supports TRON. Opera Head of Crypto Charles Hamel explained:
“We believe that opening our browser to more blockchains, including Bitcoin, is the logical next step to making our solution more relevant to anyone who has a Bitcoin crypto wallet and would like to do things with their cryptocurrencies beyond just keeping them in an account.”
Hamel had in the past said that Opera has an agenda of “using cryptocurrencies online and accessing Web 3 via special apps or extensions” to help mainstream adoption of new technology. As of September 2019, about 1 in 33 online users use Opera to surf the web.
Meanwhile, a Silk Road prosecutor has hit back at traditional finance, claiming that “99.9% of all money laundering crimes go unprosecuted“.
In an interview with Real Vision Classics, Andreesen Horowitz general partner Kathryn Haun, who was the US Justice Department’s prosecutor in the case against dark market Silk Road, says that the financial system claims to be worried about crypto’s supposed use in money laundering, yet is unable to address its faults with fiat.
She said it was absurd that the same people who criticized crypto also defended the existing system:
“Our current system is doing a pretty terrible job of it, I’d say. Let me tell you what I mean. 99.9% of all money laundering crimes go unprosecuted. I testified before the US Senate about this, and the person who cited that statistic, other than Senator Chuck Grasley, was the ex-Treasury official. And I thought that can’t be right. But I researched it and indeed it’s true.”
She also shed some light on misconceptions of the use of cryptocurrency, particularly on dark markets like Silk Road. That criminals used crypto wasn’t an indication of crypto being negative, but simply a demonstration of how quickly criminals innovated. The fact that Bitcoin transactions were all stored on a public ledger also in fact aided prosecutors in identifying criminals:
“In the early days, the percentages [of transactions being used for illegal purposes] were way higher. Because the thing we know about criminals, is that they’re often the earliest to adopt new technology… it turns out, it’s [crypto] not anonymous. It’s like digital breadcrumbs… hey, it’s Curtis Green’s [ex Silk Road employee] pins and passwords!”
How often does a person actually involved in taking down the Silk Road comes on record to defend Bitcoin and attack fiat?
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