A broad rally in cryptocurrencies on Wednesday helped extend Dogecoin’s two-day gains to as much as 94%, according to pricing data from Coinbase.
The surge higher helped push the dog-meme-cryptocurrency’s total market value to as much as $18 billion, based on its current outstanding circulating supply of 129.2 billion dogecoin.
Besides being created as a joke, Dogecoin is unique from other cryptocurrencies in that an unlimited amount of the coin can be mined, meaning the is limitless supply of dogecoin. Alternatively, bitcoin has a fixed supply of 21 million coins, of which nearly 19 million bitcoin have already been mined.
But some are buying into the dog-meme joke, including celebrities like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, who have both tweeted support for the Shiba-Inu inspired cryptocurrency.
“Rollin’ out to the MOON [rocket emoji] #Dogecoin,” Fieri tweeted on Tuesday, accompanied with a picture of Fieri in an astronaut suit holding a space-suited up Dogecoin mascot.
Kraken is considering a stock market listing next year after the crypto exchange saw record bitcoin trading volume in the first quarter of 2021, CNBC reported on Thursday.
“We’re looking at being able to go public sometime next year,” Kraken CEO Jesse Powell told CNBC. “It would probably be a direct listing, similar to Coinbase.”
Kraken saw a massive boost from bitcoin hitting an all-time high of $61,725 in mid-March, Powell said, as a number of institutional investors piled into the space. He said any volatility is good for the company, but is even better when prices are going upwards.
Four times as many users signed up to Kraken in the first quarter than did in the second half of 2020, according to CNBC. Spot transaction volumes hit a record $160 billion in the same timeframe, or about 1.5 times higher than last year.
“The first quarter just completely blew away the entirety of last year,” Powell said, adding that the company beat last year’s numbers by the end of February and the whole market “really just exploded.” The total value of the cryptocurrency market exceeded $2 trillion this week after doubling in just two months.
Kraken is currently in talks with investors about another round of fundraising that could give it a valuation of $20 billion. The CEO said this is being delayed in order to evaluate how Coinbase’s IPO performs. But they aren’t in a rush to raise capital.
Companies that choose to go public via direct listings, like Spotify did in 2018, avoid paying hefty fees to investment banks that otherwise act as underwriters in a traditional IPO.
Instead, employees and investors convert their shares into stock that gets listed on a stock exchange. These can then be publicly purchased. Investors can then cash out without having to consider the lock-up period – the length of time after a traditional IPO during which shares cannot be sold by insiders.
SEC commissioner Hester Peirce said at a virtual event on Wednesday that the possibility of a bitcoin ban has passed and governmental attempts to do so would be pointless.
“I don’t see how you could ban it,” she said at an “Investing in Crypto” event hosted by MarketWatch. “A government could say it’s not allowed here, but people would still be able to do it,” she added, saying it would be hard to stop anyone from trading in digital assets. “So I think it would be a foolish thing for the government to try to do that.”
Regulatory veteran Gary Gensler’s nomination for SEC chairman was approved by the Senate Banking Committee last month. His confirmation will make a big difference to whether a crypto ETF gets approved, Peirce said.
Peirce thinks the US is behind the curve in regulating digital assets in comparison to other countries. But she’s optimistic about Gensler’s knowledge of crypto, and expects to have productive conversations about the space with other regulators soon enough.
“Our approach has been much more of a ‘say no and tell people to wait’ approach, so we need to turn that around, be willing to work to build a framework that is appropriate for this industry,” she said.
Then, last month, the cryptocurrency hit an all-time high, with prices surging to $60,000. One quirk of the increase meant that two pizzas bought by crypto legend Laszlo Hanyecz would have effectively been worth $613 million.
Bitcoin’s volatility is well-publicized and has led many investors, including Warren Buffet, to criticize it and other cryptocurrencies as “risky” and “worthless.” Such warnings have not dissuaded more companies from accepting the currency as an official payment option, however.
In February, Elon Musk announced that Tesla would accept bitcoin as a form of payment for all models of its cars in the US. In addition, Twitter’s CEO and founder, Jack Dorsey, teamed up with Jay-Z for a bitcoin endowment. The pair will invest 500 bitcoins to develop the currency in India and Africa.
Although Tesla stole the headlines, there are also hundreds of other notable companies that accept the cryptocurrency as a valid form of payment, across various industries.
Restaurant Brands International is one of the world’s largest fast-food holding companies. It is the parent company of Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes.
Last year, Burger King Venezuela announced it will begin accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It collaborated with Cryptobuyer, a platform that generates conversion of cryptocurrencies to normal currency, Yahoo Finance reported.
Yum Brands, which operates KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and The Habit Burger Grill, is also accepting cryptocurrencies.
The corporation permitted bitcoin as a valid payment method at Pizza Hut Venezuela last year. Yum Brands also partnered with CryptoBuyer to initiate the launch of crypto payment methods, according to Nasdaq.
For a short period of time, KFC Canada accepted the cryptocurrency as payment for products such as the Bitcoin Bucket, via a partnership with BitPay, per Yahoo Finance.
After provisionally pausing from accepting the cryptocurrency as a valid payment method due to its volatility, Xbox is accepting bitcoin payments for Xbox store credits.
Meanwhile, PayPal announced in October 2020 that users can buy, sell, and hold selective cryptocurrencies through their Cash or Cash Plus accounts, starting in 2021, Yahoo Finance reports.
Users will also have the ability to learn and track crypto within their PayPal app.
Although Amazon does not directly permit bitcoin as a valid payment method, you can buy Amazon vouchers and gift cards through Bitrefill. This is a crypto-only company that authorizes users to top up subscription-based services, and then spend them on Amazon.
Coca-Cola Amatil is one of the world’s biggest bottlers and distributors of non-alcoholic and ready-to-drink beverages in the Asia Pacific region.
Last year, the company announced in a press release their partnership with an online assets platform, Centrapay, to permit bitcoin as an official payment method. There are about 2,000 vending machines in Australia and New Zealand that now accept cryptocurrency, according to a CoinDesk report.
Elsewhere, Starbucks began testing bitcoin payments last year through the app, Bakkt, Nasdaq reported.
This week, the digital asset marketplace app launched their digital-wallet application, in which users can convert bitcoin into USD to reload their Starbucks Card.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Monday that, while the central bank is still exploring the potential for a central bank digital currency, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin can’t serve as an effective replacement to the US dollar.
The positive developments helped bitcoin surge as high as $61,742 earlier this month as more investors looked to profit on the token’s growing popularity.
Powell has his doubts about cryptocurrencies and their supposed use cases. The tokens might be a substitute for gold, but their wild price swings make them unfit to replace the dollar, the central bank chief said during a teleconference hosted by the Bank of International Settlements.
“Crypto assets are highly volatile – see bitcoin – and therefore not really useful as a store of value,” Powell said, according to MarketWatch. “They’re not backed by anything. They’re more of an asset for speculation.”
Bitcoin fell slightly through the day following Powell’s remarks. The cryptocurrency traded just above $57,000 as of 2:30 p.m. ET, up roughly 98% year-to-date.
While cryptocurrencies aren’t likely to gain the Fed’s favor, the central bank has considered creating a digital currency of its own. The Fed partnered with MIT researchers in August to build and test a central bank digital currency. Officials sought to gain a better understanding of digital currencies and their potential implementation through the tests, Fed Governor Lael Brainard said at the time. Still, the token included in the study was merely “hypothetical,” she added.
Powell reiterated that, though the bank is still studying the potential for a digital dollar, serious vetting is necessary before such a currency is implemented.
“To move forward on this, we would need buy-in from Congress, from the administration, from broad elements of the public, and we haven’t really begun the job of that public engagement,” the Fed chair said. “Because we’re the world’s principal reserve currency, we don’t need to rush this project. We don’t [need] to be first to market.”
Somewhere between a central bank digital currency and cryptocurrencies exist stable coins. These tokens counter the volatility seen with cryptocurrencies by tying their value to more stable assets like government-issued currencies.
Stable coins are “an improvement” over cryptocurrencies and “may have a role to play” in digitizing the dollar, but they’re unlikely to form the foundation for a global payment system, Powell said. Any candidate for a global currency controlled by a private company deserves “the highest level of regulatory expectations,” he added.
Bitcoin has had a tumultuous ride ever since its inception on Jan 3, 2009. The token is an extremely volatile asset class that has been ridiculed by numerous skeptics. Dr Doom economist Nouriel Roubini recently said the “Flintstones had a better monetary system” than bitcoin and that it shouldn’t be considered a currency.
‘Shark Tank’ star Kevin O’Leary previously called bitcoin “garbage.” He recently changed his mind, saying he’s planning to allocate 3% of his portfolio to the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.
At the time of writing, bitcoin has been declared “dead” in mainstream media 402 times. Despite the scores of times various personalities and publications have pronounced it dead, the asset continues to rise in value and get adopted by major Wall Street institutions.
Bitcoin’s “death” can be tracked at Bitcoin Obituary, a parody website that collates news articles and blogs. It has already been declared dead nine times this year and 14 times in 2020. But the highest number of “deaths” it recorded (124) was in 2017, when its market cap hit $100 billion for the first time.
The token’s most recent death was announced on February 24, 2021 by Steve Hanke, an American applied economist at Johns Hopkins University, who said it’s only a matter of time before bitcoin “death spirals” to its intrinsic value which is $0.
Its earliest death was recorded on December 15, 2020 – almost two years since its creation – by a blogger called “The Underground Economist,” who predicted bitcoin would either remain a novelty forever or it would be “dead faster than you can blink.”
The price of bitcoin slipped on Friday by 0.4%, to $48,155, but is up 70% year-to-date.
The publicly-traded business intelligence company revealed an additional $10 million bitcoin bet in a filing registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
The company said it bought about 205 bitcoins at an average price of $48,888 per coin, inclusive of fees and expenses.
As of March 5, MicroStrategy holds about 91,065 bitcoins that were purchased for $2.2 billion at an average price of $24,119 per coin. The total value of its bitcoin holding at the time of writing would equate to $4.4 billion.
The price of bitcoin hovered around $48,325 on Friday. Its price has fallen 8% in the past week, alongside rises in bond yields, but is still up 70% year-to-date. “Bitcoin remains highly correlated with bond prices,” said Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at OANDA. “The bond market selloff is showing some signs of stability and that could mean the bitcoin pullback is nearing its end.”
The price of bitcoin fell on Thursday by 0.4%, to $50,175, but is up 70% year-to-date. The price slipped earlier this week after Gary Gensler, the nominee to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, said at his confirmation hearing that making sure crypto markets are free of fraud and manipulation was a challenge. Gensler has been viewed as an advocate for cryptocurrencies, given his previous work and teachings on the subject at MIT.
“In the near term, people see it surpassing gold as a store of value, so I think $1 million as a price target within the next 10 years is very reasonable,” Powell said of bitcoin.
Bitcoin believers expect it to replace fiat money, and the market capitalization of all national currencies combined could make up its worth, Powell said.
As the price of top cryptocurrencies hit all-time highs on Tuesday, a key sentiment index showed that crypto investors are displaying extreme greed.
A “crypto fear and greed” index, a metric published by Alternative.me, rose from 83 to 95 on Tuesday, suggesting a level of “Extreme Greed.” Similar to other gauges that track fear on traditional stock markets, this crypto index uses a number of metrics to measure investor sentiment from a scale of zero to 100, ranging from “Extreme Fear” to “Extreme Greed”.
The tool measures two primary emotions that influence how likely investors are to purchase cryptocurrencies: fear and greed. Extreme fear is indicative of investors being too worried, meaning they are more likely to retreat from the market, prompting prices to fall and that could mark a good time to buy, according to Alternative.me. On the other hand, when investors get too greedy, this could indicate cryptocurrency prices are due for a correction.
The index last reached the same 95 level on January 6, just two days before bitcoin hit its first record high of the year near $41,000. In due course, the price toppled to as low as $28,750 by January 21.
Factors used in the index’s measurement include current volatility, market volume, sentiment analysis on social media, market cap share, and Google trends data.
While Tesla shareholders are reacting positively to the news, it remains to be seen how shareholders would react if a decline in bitcoin’s price negatively affects Tesla’s future earnings, said Jerry Klein, managing director at Treasury Partners.
Separately, billionaire Mike Novogratz said Monday that he thinks bitcoin will more than double to $100,000 by the end of 2021. Meanwhile, cryptocurrency analysts expect Tesla’s purchase to reassure retail and institutional investors about adding or holding cryptocurrencies.
A subreddit called SatoshiStreetBets, much like the Wall Street Bets gang that pushed up GameStop shares among others, helped the token gain 800% within 24 hours.
Billionaire Elon Musk’s tweets have also powered it higher as he has clearly showed his love for Dogecoin. Musk delivered a slew of endorsements for the digital asset, including a photoshopped Lion King meme of himself holding up a Dogecoin logo of a Shiba Inu dog. He also tweeted “Dogecoin is the people’s crypto” and “No highs, no lows, only Doge.”
The coin isn’t as well known as Bitcoin or Ethereum, but it has seen short bursts of popularity in the last couple of years, with the latest Reddit frenzy pushing it to its highest price ever.
Its current price is around $0.045, but is still 300% higher than when the “Dogecoin movement” began in 2013.
Here’s a look at the top 10 states where the recent surge in Dogecoin popularity is occurring, according to cryptocurrency site bitreporter.com.