• Bitcoin broke new heights to touch February 2020 highs but swiftly came down to yesterday’s levels closer to USD 9,500
  • Libra-like digital money competitors will be coming in the near future, says a16z
  • Coin Metrics data suggests Bitcoin’s exponential volume growth will place it on par with other assets

Bitcoin made the news today when it broke above USD 10,000 and looked to stay there strongly with a high at USD 10,357 (CoinDesk), until a sudden slip just an hour ago as American markets woke up seemed to turn it on its head, losing several hundred dollars to settle more or less where it was this time yesterday around USD 9,500.

Analysts right now are saying it could be a mini-convergence of factors such as whales taking profit at such critical resistance levels, or simply the majority of the market being long contracts unwinding, or even a long squeeze well overdue.

In any case, digital asset manager Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has not turned any less bullish, saying instead that blockchain will only grow, with more digital currencies to challenge Libra to establish new financial networks.

General partner Katie Haun said in a Bloomberg interview that money would become almost purely digital in the next decade, just as books and music have in the past 20 years. Of course, Haun says that Paypal and Venmo shouldn’t be considered competitors simply because they were digital, because unlike crypto or blockchain assets, these were payment systems reliant on traditional banking systems. Libra and other payment networks that were open source like Celo, she said, were very different. Haun explained:

“The third category is what we call internet money, and this is building off the idea of Bitcoin but it’s solving for limitations of Bitcoin. Here you’ve seen us make investments in projects like Celo and Libra. And we think there will be other entrants in this category.”

a16z sees Bitcoin as “a nice long-term store of value” that it invests in but it also looks to established industry firms like Coinbase and Anchorage. Libra clones will be thick in the mix in the near future, she said:

“I can look at some parallels in traditional financial services. We see an opportunity for a new financial network. It’s not necessarily akin to a Visa or Alipay, because those are more limited, only people connected to these systems through their bank accounts can use them. We think of this internet money category as Visa 2.0.”

A fresh study from Coin Metrics, by the way, says that the trading volume of Bitcoin is growing exponentially at such a rate that it will soon be able to catch up to major asset classes. In fact, the ‘State of the Network’report puts out quite a lot of interesting numbers on the day Bitcoin price breached USD 10,000.

The report says that Bitcoin does make it hard to measure volume, since there are hundreds of platforms and exchanges that are now offering it as a trading currency. It reads:

“The fragmentation of trading volume in the Bitcoin ecosystem prevents a straightforward assessment of its market size… Institutions considering entering the space should first survey the landscape and make a determination of which exchanges, markets, and assets they feel comfortable transacting in.”

All the same, the report acknowledges that Bitcoin’s future as an emerging and established asset class is a rosy one, saying that should this rate of volume growth sustain, it will reach levels similar to that of major asset classes.

On some big exchanges, Bitcoin already records a daily trading volume of USD 500 million, allowing most institutional buyers to find this attractive when considering a suitable sum of capital to invest into Bitcoin. Some of the platforms used in the study include: Binance, Binance.US, Bitfinex, bitFlyer, Bithumb, BitMEX, Bitstamp, Bittrex, Bybit, CEX.IO, Coinbase, FTX, Gate.io, Gemini, Huobi, itBit, Kraken, Liquid, OKEX, Poloniex, and Upbit. It summarizes:

“With this level of trading volume, a buy-side institution wishing to not exceed one percent of total trading volume could expect to deploy $5 million in capital per day.”


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