Mainstream bankers shifting to Crypto: Heavyweights staking everything

February 21, 2018 7:01 pm

Everyone must be getting tired and frustrated of seeing crypto currencies rising one day, dropping the next, booming one week, only to crash hard 24 hours later.

AMEinfo has a similar scenario for Bitcoin and other cryptos in this report, only we have noticed a trend that will likely change all this.

Traditional bankers and investors are jumping the fence over to digital currency trading, betting the house that crypto is not only the trading medium of the future, but of right now.

At $11,000 now, Bitcoin seems not only back but here to stay for good, onwards, upwards..

What happened to prices?

Bitcoin was closing in on the $12,000 level on Tuesday, but found itself back to $11,000 as of writing.

South Korea said it would “support” and even “encourage” crypto operations so long as they were “normal” transactions, reversing a previous stance bent on cracking down on exchange houses.

“The sentiment has changed here, which to me is going to start bringing in more investors to the space,” Trader Brian Kelly told  CNBC’s “Futures Now.”

CBOE and CME bitcoin futures hit their highest levels since Jan. 29, up 15% and 16%, respectively, for their best sessions since they began trading in December.

According to Coindesk, Bitcoin at one point hit $11,591, up 5.5% over 24 hours, and 35% for the week.

Total market capitalization is now standing at nearly $510 billion – up from $282 bn just two weeks ago.

Related: Better get used to paying for groceries in Bitcoin in 2018, GCC

Gutsy crossover

CNBC reported that more veterans are trickling out of Wall Street and into cryptofunds.

“Cryptocurrency and blockchain hedge fund Pantera Capital said Tuesday it is hiring former Deutsche Bank managing director William Healy. He joins the fund’s West Coast headquarters as president, effective March 1,” said CNBC.

The Wall Street veteran co-founded Deutsche Bank’s Hedge Fund Priority Client group, according to Pantera’s investor letter published Tuesday.

“This is a transformative time,” Healy said in a statement. “The blockchain and digital currency environment today remind me of the inflection points in emerging markets and the alternative asset management industry to a more institutional management approach.”

Related: Bitcoin to reach “epidemic” status as it becomes mainstream currency 

From exception to rule

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank will cut 250 to 500 investment bank jobs, Reuters reported Monday, joining key traders  abandoning Goldman Sachs.

“The investment banking industry is getting smaller,’ said CNBC.

“Pantera Capital CEO Dan Morehead said his firm got 95 new limited partners in February alone, compared with 10 years to get the first 95 investors. The number of hedge funds focused on cryptocurrency and blockchain now totals 226, and has more than doubled in the past four months,” according to the latest estimates from research firm Autonomous NEXT.

Healy is not the only new recruit in crypto announced Tuesday.

Read: Bitcoin itching to make a run for it

Bitwise Asset Management, manager of the first cryptocurrency index fund, announced it will hire industry veteran Matt Hougan as vice president of research and development. Hougan was CEO of Inside ETFs and before that CEO of

“Cryptocurrency’s bringing together software people, who tend to be those younger stereotypes, but also pulling in financial community who are really excited about the birth of a new asset class or have been bored with low volatility or fee compression.” Bitwise CEO Hunter Horsley said

Bloomberg reported Hougan as saying: “ When I think about individual applications, like gold which is a $3 trillion market, there’s the idea of Bitcoin as millennial gold. It’s a multitrillion-dollar opportunity, and then when you get into utility tokens, each of those markets can be substantial.”

Hougan said he’s working on defining index methodology for the digital-assets market, saying that criteria such as market capitalization and weightings should be structured differently from traditional asset classes.

“Institutions are in learning mode,” Hougan told Bloomberg. “That will translate into investing mode and we’ll see the early adopters as early as this year and really significant activity in 2019 and beyond.”

If that wasn’t enough, now a country has a  bitcoin currency.

Read: Lebanon is up for sale for a mere $22 million: Europe shows no interest

Welcome to Petro-coin

Bloomberg-Businessweek reported  the starting of the world’s first sovereign cryptocurrency in Venezuela, launched in the hope of overcoming dire economic problems in that country.

Digital token Petro is backed by some of  the country’s massive crude oil reserves.

Venezuela put it up for sale in hopes of attracting billions of dollars from foreign investors, as Venezuela’s worthless currency has struggled to keep up with quadruple-figure inflation that values the highest-denominated bill (100,000 bolivars) at just 50 cents.

A top price of $60 per Petro was mentioned by officials, roughly the current value of a barrel of oil, but discounts will be provided for early buyers of the 100 million petros on offer.



Hadi Khatib
By Hadi Khatib
Hadi Khatib is a business editor with more than 15 years' experience delivering news and copy of relevance to a wide range of audiences. If newsworthy and actionable, you will find this editor interested in hearing about your sector developments and writing about it.