It has been another fantastic week in the crypto sector, with Bitcoin making most of the headlines – from surveys to predictions
Tether asked to pay a Bitcoin ransom
Tether revealed in a Twitter post that it had been asked to pay a ransom of 500 bitcoins. The issuers of the USDT stablecoin wrote that it had received a note detailing the demands. The ransom translated to about $22 million at the then BTC price. The note added that failure to come up with ransom would see the perpetrators leak documents that could affect the Bitcoin ecosystem.
The company didn’t react as the actors would have hoped. Instead, it downplayed the demand explaining that it was a failed attempt at a shakedown. Tether set forth that it didn’t underestimate the threat and pledged to deal with it. The company added that it had already reported the matter to the authorities and offered its support to put the extortion attempt to bed.
The USDT issuer is regarded as a controversial company in the digital currency sector. It was previously reported to have inflated Bitcoin’s price during the last rally over three years ago. Less than a fortnight ago, Tether settled with the New York Attorney General over an investigation involving an $850 million loan made to the Hong-Kong based exchange Bitfinex.
Bitcoin and Ether prices show recovery signs as the month begins
Many of the top cryptocurrencies by market had a hard time surging last week. This week wasn’t friendly either but most managed to gain some ground. As it appeared early this week, the tides were changing, and the top cryptos were making a recovery attempt.
Bitcoin started the week off at the $46k level, climbing up to around $48.2k by the end of Monday. It remained on the recovery path on Tuesday, hitting a 24 hour high, slightly north of $49.7k. However, it had dropped to around $47.3k by the end of the day. It bounced back again, this time breaking above the $50k level and settling at $52.13k on Wednesday.
Ethereum, on the other hand, walked into March, changing hands at around $1,400 but clawed its way back to the $1,650 level. The token only saw a significant dip mid-Tuesday, retracting back to $1,460 a few moments after posting a day’s peak above $1,580. Ether will be looking to retest the $1,500 level ahead of the weekend.
Fidelity director asserts Bitcoin has a place in some portfolios
Fidelity’s Director of Global Macro Jurrien Timmer set forth that the flagship crypto had a place in some portfolios considering its rising popularity. Bitcoin has flourished thanks to a wave of institutional investors flooding its market.
Even institutions in the finance landscape have had to reevaluate their stance on the asset. Most of them, including Fidelity Investments, have urged their clients to consider allocating part of their portfolio to the leading asset.
According to Timmer, an executive at the firm, the crypto asset has a place in some portfolios. Not long ago, he revealed that the cryptocurrency was a viable store of value alongside Gold. Timmer leans towards the Bitcoin side, arguing that it has the edge over Gold. He is also convinced that the current environment suits Bitcoin better than it does Gold.
Bitcoin is at a tipping point: Citibank report
A team of analysts from Citibank compiled a report detailing that Bitcoin’s future was uncertain. The global perspectives and solutions team explained that the leading crypto could take either of two ways. According to the analyst, the upshot of Bitcoin is either realising mainstream adoption or exploding because of over-speculation.
The analyst team pointed out a number of stumbling blocks in the path of the crypto that lead to the conclusion it is at a tipping point. In the opinion of the team, Bitcoin has the potential to “become the currency of choice for international trade” thanks to its favourable characteristics.
The report also acknowledged the growing interest in the flagship cryptocurrency by institutional providers as a driver of adoption. The analyst team identified institutional investment as a shift to a new and different use case of the crypto. The likes of Tesla and MicroStrategy featured in the report, having made massive Bitcoin purchases recently. No firm has, however, made a huge Bitcoin acquisition since Tesla did last month.
CryptoQuant data reveals whales are stockpiling BTC at $48k
On-chain data provider CryptoQuant revealed that Bitcoin whales are gobbling up more of the asset at the $48,000 price level. According to the firm’s data, whales saw an opportune moment following the Bitcoin price dip at the end of last month. Bitcoin enjoyed a positive run at the start of February before correcting as March approached.
Taking advantage of the correction, whales have taken up more positions in the market. CryptoQuant’s CEO described the play by the investors as bear traps. The move, to some extent, resonates that investors are confident Bitcoin price will be surging towards a new high soon.
Bitcoin has seen a steady upward momentum that has driven its price to almost twice the figure it was trading at, at the beginning of the year. The crypto started the month well but has retreated towards the end of the week. It is currently trading at around $47,200 – down about 5% in the last 24 hours. Bitcoin isn’t the only crypto experiencing a slump at the moment. Ether, Binance Coin, Cardano, and Bitcoin Cash are all trading negatively in the last 24 hours.