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World Bank Raises Additional AUD $50M Via Blockchain Bond

bitcoin world bank

Blockchain proves once again that it is a must-have technology for financial institutions at all levels. Last week, the World Bank raised an additional AUD 50 million ($33.8 million) through its blockchain-based Kangaroo bond, called bond-i.


Bond-i Sale Co-Managed by CBA, RBC, and TD

The bond tap, i.e. the reopening of the bond initially issued in August 2018, was fully handled on the distributed ledger technology (DLT). Thus, the World Bank’s debt instrument became the first bond issued, allocated, sold, and managed on blockchain.

The bond was sold via the Bond-i platform, a blockchain-based bond issuance infrastructure jointly developed by the World Bank and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). The latter was also a lead manager of the bond tap, along with RBC Capital Markets (RBC) and TD Securities (TD). The tap had new and existing investors.

Last year, the World Bank commissioned CBA to handle the blockchain-based bond after consulting with the market for about two weeks. The bond with a two-year maturity raised AUD 110 million at the time.

In May of this year, CBA and the World Bank added a new feature to the platform. It allows Secondary Bond Trading, thus opening the door to the last week tap.

The platform is part of the World Bank’s broader vision to leverage the benefits of innovative technologies like blockchain. The international financial institution launched the blockchain innovation lab back in 2017. The goal is to implement the DLT in various areas, such as supply chain management, cross-border payments, land administration, health, education, and carbon market trading.

Andrea Dore, head of funding at the World Bank, commented:

We are happy to see the continued, strong support and collaboration from investors and partners. The World Bank’s innovation and experience in the capital markets is key to working with our member countries to increase digitization to boost productivity in their economies and accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

World Bank’s Platform Reviewed by Microsoft

According to the joint statement by the World Bank and CBA, Microsoft reviewed the Bond-i platform independently. The Windows maker analyzed the platform’s architecture, security, and resilience. Also, Hong Kong-based law firm King & Wood Mallesons was a counsel on the bond issue and came with legal advice during its implementation.

As per CBA, the platform relies on blockchain for all bond’s main procedures, including launch, bookbuild, allocation, and management. It has the following features:

  • Automated bond auction, bookbuild, and allocation
  • Electronic bid capture
  • Live updates and increased visibility based on participant’s permissions
  • Auditable and immutable transaction record for probity and operational risk management
  • Permissioned network of authorized participants

Do you think blockchain will secure a decent place in the financial world? Share your expectations in the comments section below!


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The post World Bank Raises Additional AUD $50M Via Blockchain Bond appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Anthony Pompliano Says it Only Took Bitcoin 10 Years to Get to the G7

Bitcoin G7 nations

The G7 is meeting next week to explore the regulations around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Unsurprisingly, Anthony Pompliano is not worried.


G7 to Discuss Bitcoin

Next week, the G7 is scheduled and this time the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States will set aside some time to discuss Bitcoin and digital currencies at length. 

Previously, the group had discussed the need for oversight and regulation within the nascent sector, but the final result amounted to each country developing their own regulatory frameworks or doing nothing at all. 

Earlier this week, Morgan Creek Digital Asset CEO Anthony Pompliano briefly spoke to CNBC’s Joe Kernen about Bitcoin’s upcoming second ‘debut’ before the G7. 

The digital asset analyst focused on the fact that in just 10 years Bitcoin went from a fringe token discussed by technology zealots on the internet, to a serious discussion topic amongst regulatory institutions across the globe. 

Regulations are Coming… According to the Trump Administration

As previously reported by Bitcoinist, U.S. President Donald Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and even Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have issued official statements highlighting their opinions about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

Pompliano believes that future regulations will likely target fiat onramps such as wallet providers and crypto exchanges. The analyst conceded that these targeted regulations “could definitely hurt in the short term” as they will weigh on sentiment and deter people from investing in cryptocurrency. 

Ultimately, Pompliano and many other analysts agree that regulations are something of an inconvenient truth. Nobody likes the idea of government oversight, regulation and tax compliance but in order for the sector to truly expand and mainstream regulations are required.

No Pain, No Gain!

Pompliano told CNBC presenter Joe Kernen that whatever regulations the G7 might cook up could it will “ultimately be a net benefit for Bitcoin in a long period”, as the asset will be more accessible to retail and institutional investors. 

The context and tone of next week’s meetings could cast a short-term bearish cloud over the crypto-market but Pompliano remains confident on Bitcoin’s long-term prospects.

The analyst pointed to the approval of Bakkt by the CFTC as proof that Bitcoin will continue to draw the interest of institutional investors. 

Do you think the G7 will develop a multinational crypto regulatory framework next week? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images from Shutterstoc

 

The post Anthony Pompliano Says it Only Took Bitcoin 10 Years to Get to the G7 appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Big Upcoming Dates For Bitcoin’s Diary That You Need to Know

bitcoin diary

Bitcoin has several big dates in the next couple of months which should be of interest to anyone with a stake in the network. Depending on how these pan out, we could well see renewed confidence and uptake, as well as another bull run. So what are we waiting for?


23 September – Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Launch

bakkt bitcoin

We learnt last week that after a regulatory quest which seemed to go on forever, Bakkt will finally launch its physically delivered Bitcoin futures product on 23rd September.

Back in May, the company got so frustrated by a lack of action by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that it self-certified. This gave the CFTC 10 days to raise an objection, which was clearly too much to ask. The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) recently came up with the regulatory goods for the custodial solution, so all systems are now go.

This is big news for Bitcoin as it opens the door to institutional investors and is a huge step forward for crypto industry legitimization in the US.

13/18 October – Bitwise/VanEck Bitcoin ETF Rulings

The Securities and Exchange Commission is another regulatory body that could hardly be accused of urgency in its decisions. It has been repeatedly delaying decisions on several Bitcoin exchange traded funds (ETFs) for over a year. Some gave up trying, but two have persevered knowing that, eventually, the SEC could delay no longer.

Well, this month we saw those final delays, meaning the final decisions on the Bitwise and VanEck ETFs must happen in October. Bitwise is due first, with VanEck following less than a week later, although the delays have often been announced together.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that either fund will be approved, but if one is then it could again remove another hurdle for institutional investors to move into the space.

28 October – Mt. Gox Rehabilitation Plan

Another long running saga in the Bitcoin world is the fallout from the 2014 hack and collapse of the MT. Gox exchange. Come 28 October, this too will see some form of resolution, as this is the final date for resolution plans to be submitted.

Every time we have seemed to be nearing resolution of this, another party will come out of the woodwork, with an often spurious claim on the funds. The latest such claim was from CoinLab, which rather audaciously suggested that it had suffered damages of $15 billion.

Seeing the victims of this heist finally compensated, will go a long way towards building confidence in an industry which often seems plagued by high profile hacks. By the end of October we should at least have a plan for this.

Which date are you most excited about? Let us know in the comment section below!


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Source: Bitcoininst

Petition for Clemency for Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht Nears 200k Signatures

Ross Ulbricht

Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht has spent six years in prison and has 34 years and two life sentences to go unless a petition spearheaded by his mother and sister lead to a grant of clemency.


195K Signatures and Counting For Ulbricht

A petition seeking clemency for Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht is quickly approaching 200,000 signatures. Ulbricht is currently serving a 40-year sentence on top of a double life sentence for his role as the leader of the defunct black market website.

Ulbricht is only six years into his sentence and his mother Lyn Ulbricht recently attended a blockchain conference in Toronto to advocate for her son.

Ms. Ulbricht is hopeful that if she collects enough signatures President Donald Trump will grant her son clemency.

The online petition currently has more than 195,000 signatures, including those of Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, Roger Ver and billionaire Bitcoin bull, Tim Draper.

A number of politicians and movie stars have also expressed their support for Ross Ulbricht. 

According to Ms. Ulbricht, Ross is a good person, an idealist, and a libertarian. She said: 

I didn’t think of him as someone who was interested in technology persay, but he was interested in Bitcoin because he was a freedom guy. He worked on the Ron Paul [Presidential] campaign. He was very interested in Bitcoin as a means to monetary freedom for people. 

The Audacity of Hope

Both Ms. Ulbricht and Ross’s sister Cally are placing their hopes in the Change.org petition, and nothing would make them happier than to have Ross home for his 36th birthday.

Ross also appears to be wishing for the same outcome and a recent tweet of a handwritten note expresses his desire to “turn 36 in freedom”. 

President Trump Can Save the Day

It’s hard to calculate the possibility of Ulbricht attaining freedom in the near future. Fortunately, President Donald Trump has proven to be dedicated to prison reform and a number of convicted criminals have seen their sentences commuted or have received pardons from the President.

Convincing Donald Trump to grant Ulbricht clemency could be the last stop as the U.S. Supreme Court chose not to hear Ulbricht’s case for appeal in June 2018.  

Placing all of one’s hope in President Trump could lead to disappointment however, because the President previously has tweeted his disdain for cryptocurrencies. 

 

Trump is clearly not a fan of cryptocurrencies and aligns their use with criminal activity. 

Regardless of the outcome, Lyn Ulbricht hopes that blockchain and cryptocurrency investors at least recognize that her son’s early involvement in the sector served as a catalyst for bringing Bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology into the public sphere. Ms. Ulbricht said: 

…if it weren’t for Ross and his vision, very few people would have heard of Bitcoin and many of the people would have heard of Bitcoin and many of the people who have become wealthy would not be wealthy if not for Ross. I’m asking them please don’t forget him. He helped make this possible and now we need your help.”

Do you think the Ulbricht’s will collect enough signatures to bring the issue of Ross’s freedom before President Trump ? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images from Shutterstock: @realDonaldTrump, @RealRossU

 

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Source: Bitcoininst

Study Suggests Scarcity Could Drive Bitcoin Prices to $60,000 by May 2020

Bitcoin price predictions have been coming thick and fast in recent months as the world’s top digital asset recovers from an almost year-long bear market. Some are just pie in the sky, but others have delved deeper into what could drive BTC prices to a new all-time high in the months ahead.


Scarcity Will Increase Demand For Bitcoin

Crypto focused research firm, Digital Asset Research, has recently released a new bitcoin price prediction model. It makes the bold claim that, based on the premise of scarcity, bitcoin’s price will reach $60,000 by May 2020. This will increase its market capitalization to over a trillion dollars.

The model has extrapolated previous price pumps to predict a future one. Its basis is on the BTC block reward halving which is due in May 2020. This usually bullish event has the effect of increasing the perception of a reduction in supply which in turn will increase demand and push prices higher.

The study was based on an original one by twitter user and crypto analyst ‘PlanB’ which looked at monthly supply and price data, and calculated a stock to flow ration which equates to the inverse of its inflation rate.

Previous halving events were analyzed and Digital Asset Research found that BTC price tended to peak about a third of the way through each halving cycle, with each high topping the previous. A continuation of this would result in a price ceiling in the next cycle around September 2021.

The study also noted that a large cash flow would be needed to send bitcoin market cap up to the $1.25 trillion required to hit this price target. This could possibly come from institutional investors looking to hedge against fiat currencies that are being manipulated and devalued across the globe.

If the current macroeconomic and geopolitical conditions continue, it could come from a number of sources: currencies that are devalued or lose purchasing power, gold investors that view Bitcoin as a higher beta version of gold, or from currently negative-yielding debt, which recently topped $15T worldwide.

Litecoin Halving Observations

Using the same methodology, the researchers concluded that the model does not apply to Litecoin which goes through reward halvings every 840,000 blocks instead of 210,000 blocks, and has four times the supply.

The recent Litecoin halving has also been viewed as a possible precursor to what may happen to bitcoin in nine months. According to Longhash.com, which studied LTC metrics before and after the halving event, there is very little to go on as an indicator of what may happen to BTC.

Litecoin price spiked before the halving but has dumped after it which was somewhat predictable but the fundamentals of the network have not changed. The price drop has been attributed to a wider crypto market decline rather than anything halving related. As a counter to the Digital Asset Research study, the bitcoin halving may too be underwhelming if Litecoin is anything to go by.

Will BTC hit a new ATH before the halving? Add your thoughts below.


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Source: Bitcoininst

POTUS Candidate Yang Wants Blockchain Voting Despite Security Flaws

andrew yang bitcoin

Blockchain voting is an essential upgrade to US elections, 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang has said.


Yang: Standing In Line To Vote ‘Ridiculous’

Currently causing a buzz on social media, Yang’s proposal would see traditional in-person voting replaced by a Blockchain alternative.

It forms the latest in a series of policy stances for the Democrat, who has to date raised $3.5 million for his bid to enter the White House. 

In addition to Blockchain, Yang has championed cryptocurrency itself, promising to create transparent national legal frameworks to address the patchwork landscape currently in place. 

He also accepts Bitcoin donations to support his cause.

“It’s ridiculous that in 2020 we are still standing in line for hours to vote in antiquated voting booths. It is 100% technically possible to have fraud-proof voting on our mobile phones today using the blockchain,” Yang’s official campaign website quotes him as saying about the voting plans. 

“This would revolutionize true democracy and increase participation to include all Americans – those without smartphones could use the legacy system and lines would be very short.”

Easing the voting process, along with other ideas such as turning election day into a public holiday, would in turn incentivize participation and improve turnout, he suggests. 

Russian Blockchain Voting System ‘Hacked In 20 Minutes’

As Bitcoinist reported, Blockchain technology has long made its way into voting mechanisms in various jurisdictions.

Beyond the US, even Russia’s local elections have begun leveraging digital voting, in a scheme which has nonetheless outlined the need for caution when introducing disruptive technological changes. 

According to a report published this month, a French security researcher found a critical vulnerability in the voting system for Moscow’s City Duma elections. Pierrick Gaudry claimed he was able to compute the system’s private keys – and hence crack its security – in just 20 minutes.

“In the worst case scenario, the votes of all the voters using this system would be revealed to anyone as soon as they cast their vote,” he summarized.

Nonetheless, other deployments of Blockchain have seen success, including those in Switzerland and Japan last year. 

In the US, the trend goes beyond Yang, with West Virginia earlier this year confirming that military voters overseas will also use a private Blockchain-based mobile app to cast their 2020 election votes.

“Ultimately, the plan is to do it again in the presidential election,” the Secretary of State’s Office elections director and deputy legal counsel Donald Kersey told Longhash

“We would love for this to become a part of West Virginia’s voting.”

What do you think about Blockchain voting? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock

The post POTUS Candidate Yang Wants Blockchain Voting Despite Security Flaws appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Facebook Faces Fresh EU Scrutiny As WhatsApp Edges Closer To Mobile Payments

European Union Facebooke

The European Union is actively probing Facebook’s Libra digital currency project for competition law violations, mainstream media report.


Facebook’s Libra Has ‘Potential Anti-Competitive Behavior’

According to Bloomberg, which cited official correspondence August 20, the European Commission is quizzing Libra participants via a dedicated questionnaire.

The document originally appeared earlier this month, and forms Libra’s latest scrutiny by international regulators.

The focus of the enquiries is “investigating potential anti-competitive behavior,” Bloomberg quoted officials are stating. In particular, it is Facebook’s spin-off in charge of administering Libra, the Libra Association, which now lies in the spotlight.

According to Bloomberg, the EU is “concerned about how Libra may create ‘possible competition restrictions’ on the information that will be exchanged and the use of consumer data.”

As Bitcoinist reported, Libra became a headache for authorities worldwide almost as soon as its whitepaper went live. With some of the world’s biggest finance names involved, concerns about data privacy and the power to control a user’s economic power continue to surface.

The US held dedicated hearings into Libra and cryptocurrency more generally in July, while China has even prepared its own state-backed digital currency in response. 

The EU probe further involves the wider crypto sphere, the Commission adding it was “monitoring market developments in the area of crypto assets and payment services, including Libra and its development.”

WhatsApp Eyes Indonesia For New Mobile Payments

Facebook has promised to contend with the worries of regulators regarding Libra, while sources have acknowledged it may never launch at all.

Given the company’s user data handling record, one Bloomberg correspondent said commenting the EU move, it could be next to impossible for it to gain a significant foothold in the payments space. 

That said, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is already preparing to debut payments for users in Indonesia. Reportedly in talks with various digital payments operators, Reuters stated Tuesday, the instant messenger wants to offer its users mobile payments. 

Local regulations mean that WhatsApp will not offer P2P payments itself, the publication added, while a full payment offering for the Indian market also awaits permission to launch.

The plans do not make explicit references to Libra, which Facebook previously said would involve its subsidiaries including WhatsApp and Instagram in future. 

As Bitcoinist reported, for its part, India is currently on course to ban cryptocurrency altogether, unless a token falls within parameters under discussion among authorities. 

What do you think about Facebook and WhatsApp’s plans? Let us know in the comments below!


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Source: Bitcoininst

Cryptopia Liquidation: Hacked Bitcoin Exchange Didn’t Use Individual Customer Wallets

cryptopia

Grant Thornton, the liquidators of hacked New Zealand Bitcoin exchange Cryptopia, have released an update on the progress made thus far.


Cryptopia Used Co-mingled Crypto Wallets

According to a statement released on its website on Wednesday (August 21, 2019), Cryptopia didn’t use individual crypto wallets. Instead, the Bitcoin exchange platform pooled customer funds into co-mingled coin wallets.

Thus, the liquidators are facing a difficult time determining the amounts held by customers. Furthermore, Grant Thornton says it has to manually reconcile pooled wallet data with customer data information.

An excerpt from the report reads:

We are working to reconcile the accounts of over 900,000 customers, many holding multiple crypto-assets, millions of transactions and over 400 different crypto-assets). These must be reconciled one-by-one.

At the start of the year, Bitcoinist reported that hackers managed to steal an undisclosed amount of cryptocurrency from Cryptopia. Subsequent details of the case revealed that the theft was close to $20 million.

Liquidator Gains Access to Bitcoin Exchange Data

The statement from Grant Thornton also revealed significant progress in the area of customer data recovery. Its previous update had highlighted some difficulty in obtaining data of belonging to the hacked Bitcoin exchange in the possession of a U.S.-based data center.

Back in May, the company had threatened to delete all Cryptopia data if not compensated with $2 million.

This data contained details of the platform’s customer holdings and some cryptocurrency deposits. Grant Thornton says it is also taking steps to secure all cryptocurrencies in its possession to prevent another hack.

Presently, the liquidators say their main concern is to preserve the integrity of all the available data as it continues the reconciliation process. Back in July, Bitcoinist reported that there was evidence pointing to the Cryptopia hack being an inside job.

KYC Compliance Mandatory

For affected customers of the hacked Bitcoin exchange, Grant Thornton also announced that they will have to fulfill the know your customer (KYC) requirements as part of any repayment process.

Even customers that completely Cryptopia’s KYC step as part of their account opening will have to submit to this new validation process. Grant Thornton says it is also waiting for approval from the Court to commence the return of customer funds once it finishes the reconciliation process.

Do you think the Cryptopia liquidators will be able to return the recovered crypto to affected customers? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock

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Source: Bitcoininst

Another Slump For Bitcoin As Bear Market Indicators Loom

bitcoin price bears roaring

Bitcoin’s range bound pumps and dumps have become commonplace over the past six weeks. Another slide a few hours ago should not be cause for alarm then as BTC failed to register further gains. It is now in danger of heading back into four figures for the fifth time.


Four Figure Bitcoin in Play … Again

Another day, another dump. It is a pattern we have seen countless times this year as bitcoin bounces between levels of support and resistance. Yesterday’s high of $10,840 could not be maintained and there was no move towards the next resistance level above $11k. Consequently BTC slid back again in a rather sharp decline to bottom out at $10,130 according to Tradingview.com.

bitcoin

BTC price 1 hour chart – Tradingview.com

The king of crypto paused there momentarily but is looking unsteady and could well fall back below $10k today. The ‘golden cross’ on the hourly chart following four days of gains is likely to unravel as the ‘death cross’ on the four hour chart starts to form. These both happen when a faster moving average crosses a slower one. At the time of writing further losses were looking imminent as bitcoin traded at 00.

According to trader ‘CryptoHamster’ the weekly trend line has been broken and panic is starting to set in which could see bitcoin back at support in the mid-$9k region again soon.

Yep, that support line was too obvious to hold.
Broken downwards and touched 23.6% Fibo level.
Oversold, but there is no pull-back, and panic is all over the place with calls of 9.5k, 8k etc.
Fear and greed index is 11 again.

Back in The Bear Market?

The longer term outlook does not look pretty according to trader ‘BigChonis’ who noted that the weekly MACD indicators were moving towards a bear market signal once again.

$BTC – weekly MACD closing in on cross test in the coming weeks… The last time these indicators crossed the BEAR market was confirmed… Histogram continues to stair step down to the negative…

This indicator is starting to get noticed by other traders also as the bulls appear to be running out of steam.

Bitcoin’s 6.5% slide today keeps it within range bound parameters but it will be the fifth time it has fallen back into four figures since the rally began four months ago. Major support lies at the $9,200 level so any declines below that are likely to result in a new lower low, however as we have seen in all previous instances, there are plenty of buyers lurking down there.

Will BTC fall back to $8k this time around? Add your thoughts below.


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @CryptoHamsterIO, @anondran, @BigChonis, BTC/USD charts by Tradingview

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Source: Bitcoininst

Bitcoin’s Safe Haven Status Now More Relevant Than Ever

Bitcoin has consolidated its safe-haven status especially amid the mass demonstrations in Hong Kong and global uncertainty, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire hinted in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box.


Circle CEO Sees Increased Demand from Holders

On August 19, Circle’s Allaire said that investors were still attracted by non-sovereign digital assets such as Bitcoin. The coin’s safe-haven status becomes more evident despite the recent bearish mood.

Last week, Bitcoin broke below the $10,000 on Thursday and again on Friday. The coin hit the weekly low on August 15 at $9,685, according to Coinmarketcap data. Nevertheless, Bitcoin bounced back and is currently trading at $10,712 as at 10:12 AM GMT.

Allaire explained that the recent decline in the crypto market might be driven by holders who decided to take some profit. He said:

Last week was a significant risk off week for equities. There were a lot of holders of digital assets whose portfolios were taking a hit and if they had gains, Bitcoin is up over 100%, almost 200% over the past 9 months, it was a place to take some gains.

However, the correction doesn’t affect the coin’s appeal as a method of preserving value, especially for those impacted by a weakening economy.

Year-to-date, Bitcoin’s price has been pushed by several geopolitical and economic fears, including those related to the Sino-US trade war, lower interests, devaluation of China’s Yuan, Hong Kong protests, and Brexit uncertainty, among others.

On August 25-27, heads of G7 countries will meet in Biarritz, France. The world leaders might touch upon Bitcoin and crypto space, according to Allaire. However, it’s unlikely that we’ll see a crypto-related policy. Circle boss said:

I don’t know that we’re going to see specific policy but certainly we’re going to hear some perspective out of there.

Should Investors Bet on Bitcoin Right Now?

As it turns out, some investors don’t recommend investing in Bitcoin thinking of it as a safe haven asset right now. Moreover, other safe havens like gold might not be the best investment choice despite the uncertainty in the global markets. Dev Kantesaria, portfolio manager of Valley Forge Capital Management, said in a recent interview with Markets Insider:

They [Bitcoin and gold] are collectibles. You are actually not buying any protection, you’re simply speculating. To me, it’s no different than any other speculative activity in your life.

According to Kantesaria, Bitcoin has some fundamental problems related to its limited use at the moment. Instead, the portfolio manager is bullish on the US stock market. He expects it to show generous returns during the next decade.

Do you think investors should allocate part of their portfolio to Bitcoin in an attempt to preserve wealth? Share your thoughts in the comments section! 


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Source: Bitcoininst