• Bitcoin recovers almost USD 1,000 to a daily high so far of USD 6,620
  • A Japanese company is giving away Bitcoin to all its shareholders as a 2019 end-of-year benefit
  • Mike Novogratz insists this will still be Bitcoin’s year to prove its value in times of crisis

Bitcoin was shuddering for a while over early Monday but recent hours has seen a fresh spurt of buying activity that pushed prices to a daily high so far of USD 6,620 (CoinDesk) after falling as low as USD 5,694 just hours earlier. This means that it gained over 15% and almost USD 1,000 in just hours.

Great news for Bitcoin recognition and adoption came today as Monex, a financial services firm based in Japan, has announced that it will distribute Bitcoin to all of its shareholders as a form of benefit sharing for the financial year 2019. Its announcement, issued today, specified that it would deliver JPY 500 (USD 4.53) to each of those holding Monex shares as of 31 March 2020, in addition to benefits already enjoyed by existing shareholders, through wallets on crypto exchange Coincheck, which is also owned by Monex.

It doesn’t promise that this Bitcoin giveaway will be repeated, as it says:

“Please note that it has yet to be determined whether granting the cryptocurrency BTC as a part of shareholder benefits will continue for the fiscal year 2020 and after.”

Monex Group has been in existence for over 20 years and is now a publicly-traded financial services firm pledging to work in the future of finance, so this acceptance and gift of Bitcoin appears to be some statement of intent from the 800-odd employee company, and is possibly a ploy to get its stakeholders more engaged with digital assets.

Binance US CEO Catherine Coley, the American branch of global crypto platform Binance, reports that interest in crypto trading has been increasing in Asia now that more and more people are behind closed doors at home. Coley explained that this was because crypto markets were round-the-clock trading technologies and were more resistant to “supply chain problems that we are seeing from national traded stock”.

Whatever the rate of interest, crypto fund Galaxy Digital founder Mike Novogratz has said that with all the fears constricting the world economy, from global coronavirus pandemic, to US-China and US-Iran fears, and job uncertainties, this will be a defining year for Bitcoin… and that it needs to be for it to establish itself as the new digital gold.

In his Twitter post, put up just shortly after US Congress did not come to agreement on an economic support package worth USD 2 trillion, he believed that Bitcoin’s trial is as important as its birth, just a decade ago during the last Great Recession. He said:

“$BTC will continue to be volatile over the next few months but the macro backdrop is WHY it was created.  This will be and needs to be BTC’s year.”

Already, traditional markets have seen their worst plunge since the late 1980s, and Bitcoin itself followed suit, shedding 60% in a single day to trade on a yearly low so far of USD 3,600. Now, five weeks into the global pandemic lockdown, an economy that is seeing even less demand and lowering oil prices, have urged more investors to sell off assets. Wall Street and markets in Europe and Asia have no respite.

But Novogratz stands firm on Bitcoin’s value and potential, even as this current period shows that the digital asset was as vulnerable as others, just as gold is, to panic-driven selloffs. He said:

“[Bitcoin] was always a confidence game. All crypto is. And it appears global confidence in just about anything has evaporated.”


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