Bitcoin is a better gold than gold itself, Tyler Winklevoss says

Bitcoin may never escape its ongoing comparisons to gold.

According to Tyler Winklevoss, co-founder of the Gemini crypto exchange, Bitcoin beats gold at its own game. 

"Bitcoin is better at being gold than gold — and not just incrementally, but by an order of magnitude or 10X better," Winklevoss said in a Sept. 21 tweet.  

Over the last decade or so, Bitcoin has risen dramatically in price, surpassing numerous landmark price comparisons along the way. For many, it is now seen more as a store of value than a transactional currency, and the public often compares the digital coin against gold; a time-tested method of value storage used for thousands of years.

"I don't understand why there's a competition between gold and Bitcoin," NebraskanGooner, a pseudonymous crypto trader on Twitter, told Cointelegraph. "I consider them both a store of value," he added. NebraskanGooner is also the founder of LVL, a banking solution in the crypto space.  

In his social media post, Winklevoss included a chart pitting the two assets against each other. Out of seven categories, gold ruled one — the total amount money held in the asset. Gold has a market cap of $9 trillion, while BTC has a market cap of $200 billion. Otherwise, Bitcoin took the win for scarcity, durability, portability, divisibility, storage and counterfeit difficulty. 

Bitcoin has also recently gained further notoriety as a store of value in the mainstream public eye in 2020, as multiple mainstream giants have invested heavily into the asset.

DeFi right now is like ‘trying to fly to the moon in a cardboard box’ — Diginex CEO

DeFi is almost certainly the future, but that future may not be today.

The decentralized finance, or DeFi, sector of the crypto industry has been bursting with exuberance, innovation, and speculation in recent months. The niche is still very much in its infancy, however, according to Richard Byworth, CEO of digital finance company Diginex.

"I do believe that DeFi is the future potentially down the road," Byworth said in an interview with Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano, posted on Sept. 18. "But it's very early," he added, elaborating:

"It's like trying to fly to the moon in a cardboard box — I mean, you're going to get yourself into trouble along the way, and, you know, things are going to break and burn up, as we've already started to see."

Such dramatic attempts, trials, and failures do not make the industry look great with regards to mainstream entities peering into the crypto sphere and its nascent DeFi niche.

"I definitely look back to 2017, and this DeFi thing is probably not what we need right now," Byworth added. "We've got MicroStrategy coming in, we've got Paul Tudor Jones coming in, we've got some really serious hitters starting to pay attention to this industry and I just hope that DeFi doesn't become another ICO craze that people go, 'you know what, everyone's crazy in crypto,' and stay away from it for another few years."

The entire crypto industry reached peak bubble status in 2017 due to the rising trend of initial coin offerings, or ICOs — a fad later stomped out by regulation. In recent weeks, DeFi has given off similar vibes, with many random assets spiking in price

Byworth is also not the first to compared the DeFi sector to ICOs in 2017. The founder of digital asset data site Messari, Ryan Selkis, recently expressed similar thoughts

Additionally, as Byworth, mentioned, multiple important mainstream giants have recently placed big bets on Bitcoin, possibly putting the industry at a pivotal point in the life thus far. 

EU to see comprehensive crypto regulation by 2024

Crypto continues its trek into the mainstream.

The European Union, or EU, plans to incorporate crypto and blockchain technology into its main processes by 2024. 

Over the next four years, the economic union aims to firm up fresh regulations that will promote blockchain and digital asset usage for international money transfers, according to details from internal documents that Reuters published Friday. 

The documents detailed:

“By 2024, the EU should put in place a comprehensive framework enabling the uptake of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and crypto-assets in the financial sector [...] It should also address the risks associated with these technologies.”

Early Bitcoiner got into the space due to his lack of Blackjack skills

Bitcoin losses hurt more as the price goes up.

Joel Birch, co-founder of automated crypto investment platform Stacked, detailed his initial dive into Bitcoin (BTC) as a way of gambling on the internet. 

"I bought my first Bitcoin because I was playing Blackjack online," Birch told Cointelegraph in an interview. "Bitcoin was about $250 a piece, and so, back in 2015, I lost what would be the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars today, playing Blackjack."

Between 2015 and 2017, Bitcoin rose from $200, all the way to $20,000 on some exchanges, meaning Birch's early Blackjack losses turned out to value much higher than he thought at the time of his 2015 gambling.  Birch, also known on Twitter as "Bitcoin Birch," explained he made much more money based on Bitcoin's price moves than his online card playing endeavors. 

"One of the reasons I got excited about crypto as an investment vehicle was because I saw how much money I was making at the time by not gambling and holding the Bitcoin that I had bought from Coinbase, as opposed to putting it into Blackjack games." 

Birch described looking at his online gambling Bitcoin holdings one day, seeing his account valued 30% higher in U.S. dollar terms, based simply on Bitcoin's upward price movement. "That was the first time it kind of clicked," he said, realizing his inept Blackjack skills while simultaneously seeing opportunity in crypto. 

Many early crypto participants got their feet wet in the industry via similar (if tangential) avenues. Yellow Card crypto exchange CEO Chris Maurice sold Bitcoin on eBay and at Taco Bell locations, for instance. 

MicroStrategy’s CEO reveals the company’s surprising Bitcoin buying strategy

Such an effort may show long-term dedication to the asset class.

Mainstream business intelligence behemoth MicroStrategy has made a number of headlines in recent days for its initial $250 million Bitcoin (BTC) investment. The company later poured a subsequent $175 million into the asset — a lengthy endeavor totaling almost 100 hours of work. 

"To acquire 16,796 BTC (disclosed 9/14/20), we traded continuously 74 hours, executing 88,617 trades ~0.19 BTC each 3 seconds," MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor said in a Sept. 18 tweet.

Approximately "$39,414 in BTC per minute, but at all times we were ready to purchase $30-50 million in a few seconds if we got lucky with a 1-2% downward spike," he said, referencing the firm's willingness to buy BTC at a cheaper price, if the opportunity presented itself.

MicroStrategy stands as one of the latest mainstream giants entering the crypto space. The company took a leap of faith into Bitcoin, picking up 21,454 BTC, worth $250 at the time, putting the coin in place as a reserve asset for the entity, according to an Aug. 11 announcement

Following the initial investment, the entity bought an additional 16,796 Bitcoin, which took a bit of time and effort, as seen in Saylor's tweet.

While showing mainstream interest in the asset, the mass-scale Bitcoin pickup also proved the coin can scale effectively as a store of value — a doubt in people's minds since 2017, when the network slowed dramatically while also requiring high transaction fees. 

Bitcoin-based artwork smashes records, sells for $100K

Many artists work their entire lives and never see their work sold for this kind of price tag.

“Right Place & Right Time,” a digital art piece based on Bitcoin's (BTC) fluctuating price action, has sold for more than $100,000.

"The Master NFT of Right Place & Right Time was sold to TokenAngels for $101,593. — but happy to call it $100,000," Matt Kane, the artwork's creator, told Cointelegraph on Friday. 

NFT stands for nonfungible token — a unique digital asset that does not synonymously value others like it. NFTs have begun surfacing as artwork, giving the tokenholder ownership over the art. "Right Place & Right Time" is an NFT art piece showing a creatively designed image of Bitcoin's logo. The patterns and overall look, however, change along with Bitcoin's price action. 

Kane said he cannot remember when he actually began creating the art piece. "I've lost track of time in creating it," he said.

"My artwork always takes however much or little time that the work demands. The original digital painting was made last November and then I began preparing it to become a programmable artwork on Async Art in January. There's been countless tweaks and preparations to perfect it's homecoming to"

Many artists put their masterpieces on the blockchain via Async Art, while is a place viewers can see Bitcoin art formed from its daily price action.

"Right Place & Right Time" stands as a unique piece. The master NFT sold for $100,000. This master NFT, however, will create 210 different NFT artworks based on Bitcoin's price action and the subsequent patterns that pop up on the master art piece. 

"Each NFT will be created by the original master NFT," Kane explained. "The compositions are created using an algorithm I wrote which visualize a single day in Bitcoin price volatility," he noted. "I'll maintain some creative influence, altering colors and other design elements as the project matures over time," he said, adding: "And of course I curate which days are minted."

When each of the 210 pieces are purchased, the master NFT owner receives 21% of each sale, Kane explained. The master holder can also opt to buy the print copies of these subsequent artworks as well, or receive the same 21% cut if they are sold elsewhere.

The 210 and 21% numbers give tribute to the Bitcoin's maximum supply — 21 million coins. 

The crypto and blockchain space has seen its art scene rise as of late, as a number of various art-related initiatives have popped up across the industry. 

Two major crypto exchanges are teaming up to push the industry forward

Crypto exchanges Poloniex and KuCoin are set to research the crypto industry together, hope to benefit the whole sector.

Crypto exchange KuCoin has unveiled dealings with another exchange, Poloniex, in an effort to move the crypto industry forward.   

"KuCoin and Poloniex will join hands in trading technology research and development, liquidity sharing, product iterations, PoS [proof-of-stake] and PoW [proof-of-work] mining pools, and other industrial exploration," said a statement provided to Cointelegraph. 

Together, Poloniex and KuCoin aim to help the crypto industry progress as a whole, instead of competing against each other within the sector, the statement detailed. Joint initiatives for the pair include forming a research entity, as well as other unspecified endeavors. 

KuCoin's decision to team up with Poloniex helps both entities, as each lends its strengths to the other, the statement said. 

"Due to the complexity of today's international political and economic situation, global institutional and even individual investors are seeking to balance the new systemic risk and long-term strategic returns of high-quality assets," Johnny Lyu, CEO of KuCoin Global, acknowledged in the statement.

"Decentralized digital assets that are neither endorsed nor supported by sovereign credit are rapidly becoming one of the world's most popular quality investing targets."

The collaboration aids the two companies in taking advantage of opportunities held in the burgeoning crypto and blockchain industry, Lyu explained. "I believe, when we look back in five years, the strategic partnership between KuCoin and Poloniex would be viewed as a remarkable milestone of the digital assets industry," he boldly added. 

Shelley Wu, vice president of global business and marketing for Poloniex, described a competitive nature within the crypto industry. She proposed a different approach, using the Poloniex and KuCoin partnership as an example, which includes joint efforts in pursuit of common goals.

Back in March, KuCoin shifted its leadership, making Lyu CEO, while making then-CEO Michael Gan the chairman of the exchange's overwatch entity, KuGroup. 

Bitcoin Birch says no retail crypto-wide bull run likely for rest of 2020

He isn't bearish. In fact, his ideas appear to lean ever so slightly bullish.

Crypto prices may still be weighed down by a difficult global economic atmosphere, according to Joel Birch, co-founder of automated crypto investing platform Stacked. 

"I don't necessarily think that 2020 is going to be the year of some type of major retail bull run, largely due to the fact that the global economy still lingers over this industry, just like other financial markets," the personality, also known as "Bitcoin Birch" on Twitter, told Cointelegraph in an interview. Birch, however, said he maintains a fairly positive slant in terms of upward price expectations for the rest of the year. 

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world's economies upside down as preventative measures closed businesses and stalled travel. The U.S. in particular has seen unemployment numbers increase at times, as well as social unrest and difficulties. Although certain aspects, such as unemployment, appear to be improving, economies still face uncertainties. 

In light of the struggling economic scene, Birch remains bearish on mainstream markets, including real estate. While he does not expect booming crypto prices across the entire market, Birch said he also does not expect a major decline. In fact, he noted that the crypto market could see Bitcoin holding reasonable upward pressure in its journey toward $14,000 or $15,000.

"The exception of course being inside of DeFi, or coins named after food. If you release mac 'n' cheese token tomorrow on Uniswap, there's a decent chance it'll have 1000% returns in two hours, and then there's a decent chance it'll go to zero."

Aside from prices on the other hand, Birch said he sees significant developments in the crypto industry, as companies, services and projects continue making forward strides. His own company, Stacked, just finished a seed funding round, securing $1 million of total capital from a number of industry players, including Alameda Ventures. Stacked has seen more than $2 billion in volume in 2020. 

Birch said industry growth is evident, based on his interactions with numerous entities in the space during his seed round fund pursuits. "I spoke to every major funder in the industry," Birch said, which included exchanges, venture capital firms, and other businesses.

"I've basically spoken to everyone and they're all making deals happen," he said. "Between now and the end of the year, we're going to see some real players start to emerge," he added, noting products, services and companies gaining mainstream traction.

Alameda Research, led by FTX exchange CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, heads up Alameda Ventures, one of the entities invested in Birch's company. Bankman-Fried has headlined numerous conversations and articles in recent days for his involvement with the DeFi project, SushiSwap.

Interview: Caitlin Long and David Kinitsky on crypto’s big win with Kraken Financial bank charter

Avanti CEO and Kraken Financial Managing Director discuss Wyoming's progressive steps in blockchain regulation

San Francisco-based crypto exchange Kraken has become the first cryptocurrency business to receive a charter to operate as a bank in the United States. When seen as part of a larger-scale shift in regulatory attitudes that may help to bring crypto into the mainstream, the repercussions could be even more significant.

Kraken Financial, the firm's new bank, is headquartered in Cheyenne and got the green light from Wyoming on Sept. 16 as a special-purpose depository institution (SPDI) — a bank that can both receive deposits and custody assets.

"For Wyoming, this is an economic development initiative," founder and CEO of Avanti, Caitlin Long, told Cointelegraph in a joint interview with David Kinitsky, Managing Director of Kraken Financial.

Avanti is another crypto-first company seeking approval to operate a bank, although it has not yet received the legal go-ahead. "Wyoming is looking to diversify its economy to bring in jobs and capital — and revenue — from outside the state," Long said. "The Kraken charter is the first of what Wyoming hopes are many," she noted, mentioning that more than 1,000 companies have turned to the state to harness its fintech-friendly regulatory framework. 

"Wyoming has also done a great job of forming this public/private coalition to get smart on industry issues," Kinitsky added.

Two crypto companies serving different needs

Kraken went public with its charter approval on Sept. 16. Although the company is the first to receive official approval, Avanti surfaced in February 2020 to much fanfare within the industry, also seeking to receive a charter, albeit filling a different role.

The two entities compete in some ways, but not directly. "Everyone competes, right — and certainly we're going to be competing on some level, there's no doubt about that, but I would suggest that, at this point in time, our product sets and customer segments are more different than they are similar," Kinitsky explained. 

"Kraken is primarily consumer-focused, Avanti is exclusively institutional- and high-net-worth-investor-focused, so there's really very little overlap in our targeted customer base," Long said. "Avanti has no intention of becoming an exchange," she added. "There are certain things that we are in discussions to work with Kraken on, where Kraken may be able to help Avanti and we may be able to work together on some of the consumer aspects of Avanti's business, precisely because we don't service consumers — we can't."

Pushing toward a common goal

Despite their differences the two companies have been laying the groundwork for the future of sound, non-stifling crypto regulation. One might describe the approach as "co-opetition"; cooperating at the same time as competing, both entities pursuing their unique endeavors toward a common regulatory goal. 

"The chartering of a Wyoming SPDI is a watershed moment for the crypto industry in the U.S., precisely because, until this point, crypto-native companies were blocked from having access to the Federal Reserve payment system," Long said. "Only banks have access to the Federal Reserve payment system, and, until today, a crypto-native company could not be a bank," Long explained. "Now, a crypto-native company is a bank, and congratulations to Kraken."

Kinitsky added that both Kraken and Avanti are currently making strides that will help the entire industry. "Only banks can interface with key parts of our national payments and other banking-related infrastructure," he explained. "If you're going to be a broad, widely scaled financial services company, you need to be able to have direct access to that infrastructure."

A changing financial landscape

Since its inception over a decade ago, the cryptocurrency and blockchain movement has facilitated rapid change in technology and finance. Although slow to catch up, regulators in the U.S. are finally putting parameters in place to encourage cautious growth. In July, for example, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) approved crypto custody by federally chartered banks. 

"We're in an interesting period in financial services in general where we're seeing the merging of the digital asset industry with fintech's traditional financial services," Kinitsky posited. "Banking is kind of the granddaddy of them all in terms of regulated financial services. This is why the SPDI is so interesting," he added. "It allows us to tie together and play across that landscape — across digital assets, fintech and traditional financial services within a banking framework."

Is banking the glue holding the system together and facilitating most financial dealings, Kinitsky wondered, or is banking the base layer on which all finance is built? According to him, banking has yet to break into the crypto and fintech space as it has the rest of finance. "You're also seeing the inter-agency crosswinds, both at a federal and state level," he added, referencing the recent statement provided by the OCC as clarity more than change. "That's just one piece," He said, adding: 

"There is no dedicated framework at that OCC or national level for a digital asset-focused bank or other institution. There's no dedicated supervisory program. These are things that Wyoming has spent a lot of time investing in and is one of the attractive features of the SPDI, and I'm pretty sure that different states and national organizations are going to borrow liberally from the Wyoming framework."

Long agreed with Kinitsky, noting Wyoming's 27-month journey to the first regulated crypto-native bank. "This is not a short-term project," she said. "It has taken a lot of work to get to this point." Long herself was deeply involved in helping to push for the Wyoming regulation, as the President of the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force.

After the dashed expectations of 2017, during which the Initial Coin Offering sparked a retail investor frenzy in the crypto industry, regulators stepped in, seeing a need for tighter restrictions on the sector. Some regulation has stifled innovation, according to critics, although Wyoming has pushed forward in an effort to provide the best of both worlds — protection through regulation, as well as the freedom for innovation to flourish. 

OKEx goes all in on Uniswap’s new token amid soaring DeFi fees

They're the first exchange to offer such a robust set of trading tools for the day-old asset.

Crypto exchange OKEx added Uniswap's new UNI token to the array of assets offered on its platform, in addition to trading products around the asset. 

"Not only has OKEx added support for spot trading of UNI, but it is also providing its users with the most comprehensive range of trading products for this hot DeFi token, including margin, swap trading, coin-margined perpetual swap and Savings, making OKEx the first exchange to offer UNI derivatives," OKEx detailed in a  Sept. 17 statement

Uniswap, a decentralized exchange, launched its own Ethereum-based token, UNI, on Sept. 17, dispersing the asset to users of the decentralized finance, or DeFi, platform via airdrop. In total, Uniswap dished out 15% of its 1 billion token stockpile. 

The move caused a frenzy in the crypto space, as have many DeFi developments as of late. The volume of activity around the UNI airdrop has placed an ongoing strain on Ethereum's blockchain, stalling transactions while punting gas prices through the roof. Inside a 60-minute time period, people collaboratively paid nearly $1 million for transaction costs, based on data from blockchain intelligence company Glassnode. 

Taking advantage of the demand, OKEx quickly decided to launch its full suite of tools for the asset. "We continue to collaborate with participants in the DeFi space to grow this industry together," Jay Hao, CEO for OKEx said in the statement. "CEX or DEX, CeFi or DeFi is not a simple single-choice question," he said, referring to centralized or decentralized exchanges, as well as centralized or decentralized finance. 

"The goal of blockchain and DeFi has never been to replace CeFi, but to use its own characteristics of trustlessness, low friction and low costs to make up for the deficiencies of the existing financial system." 

DeFi has ballooned in recent months, spiking the prices of random assets, similar to the initial coin offering, or ICO, boom in 2017. 

Fed expects near 0% interest rates for years, potentially boosting BTC’s value proposition

Bitcoin keeps looking better and better each time the U.S. devalues its own currency.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's game plan going forward includes short-term interest levels between 0% and 0.25%, as decided by Fed brass in a Sept. 15 and 16 gathering. 

The independent body plans to maintain low interest rates in order to increase inflation, based on a Sept. 16 report from CNBC. Such news shines a light on Bitcoin as a store of value. The blockchain-based currency is largely immune to such actions, as it is protected against inflation by its permanent cap of 21 million coins. 

A majority of the Fed's committee members expect interest rates to remain close to 0% for the next  three years, CNBC said. The governing body said that they aim for inflation higher than 2%. 

These actions could result in the dollar losing value amid the central bank's attempts to right the country's sinking economic ship — tossed by the waves of the ongoing pandemic.

Over the last few years, Bitcoin has solidified its position as a store of value, theoretically removed from traditional market prices and government control. Mainstream giants, such as MicroStrategies and Paul Tudor Jones, have recently added to the coin's credibility by joining the ecosystem, although the technology has yet to see full mainstream approval

MicroStrategy’s now-bullish CEO explains why he bashed Bitcoin back in 2013

He was shocked that the comment had been uncovered at all.

Back in 2013, Michael Saylor, CEO of business intelligence giant MicroStrategy, posted a tweet against Bitcoin (BTC), forecasting a grim future for the asset. Fast-forward to 2020, during which Saylor's company now holds a major bullish position in BTC.

"I literally forgot I ever said that," Saylor told Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano during a podcast interview posted on Wednesday. 

Recent weeks have seen MicroStrategy turn bullish on Bitcoin, buying 21,454 BTC, worth $250 million at the time of purchase. Subsequent developments saw the company evaluating even more capital allocation to the asset. 

Following the company's move into BTC, Twitter posts began surfacing showing a 2013 tweet from Saylor in which he compared Bitcoin to the allegedly dying online gambling fad. It may be worth noting that online gambling has not died either in the time since the tweet.

Once Saylor tipped MicroStrategy's hand regarding the BTC acquisition this year, the crypto industry responded to the evolution of his mindset with what Saylor called "kind ribbing." 

"I'm really ashamed to say — I didn't know I tweeted it until the day that I tweeted that I bought $250 million worth of Bitcoin," Saylor said of his 2013 anti-Bitcoin tweet.

"Then I discovered the hive mind crypto-Twitter consciousness where, all of a sudden, they all went through all my tweets, they found it, they reminded me of it, they compared it."

Saylor remembers he loved hopping on Twitter around the 2013 time frame, saying he would often tweet out his opinions on whatever was relevant at the time. In the years following, he decided to tweet more strategically, mostly about aspects pertaining to MicroStrategy, although the 2013 Bitcoin doom-and-gloom tweet remains as an example of his early years on Twitter. 

Fresh news shows MicroStrategy upping its Bitcoin holdings even further, now holding 38,250 BTC. The company's stock (MSTR) posted a 9% rally in tandem with the recent Bitcoin purchase. 

Kiss front man Gene Simmons suggests he’s working to make crypto more accessible

What could the rockstar be cooking up for the blockchain industry?

Responding to a tweet from Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of the Gemini crypto exchange, rock star Gene Simmons said he plans to make Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) more easily accessible. 

"It's easier to buy Bitcoin and Ether if you are already in the old system," Winklevoss said in a Sept. 15 tweet, summing up a rather long thread addressing racial bias, crypto and decentralized finance. "If you don't have a bank account, it's hard to get funds into crypto," he noted, adding: "We need to change this."

Retweeting the post with a comment on Sept. 15, Simmons, the headline vocalist and co-founder of Kiss, a hit rock band, said cryptically:

"I will. I am."

The puzzling comment has surely left the market wondering what exactly Simmons meant. Cointelegraph reached out to Simmons for additional details, but received no response as of press time. This article will be updated accordingly should a response come in.  

This is not the first occasion on which Simmons has referenced crypto's largest asset. Simmons mentioned his positive view of Bitcoin in Sept. 2017. "I am interested in Bitcoin, but only as a piece of the [investment] puzzle," the celebrity explained to The Street during an interview three years ago. 

The street published its interview with Simmons on Sept. 15, 2017 — exactly three years prior to his present-day response to Cameron Winklevoss. 

Bitcoin has garnered comments from other mainstream figures in 2020 as well, such as Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, although the writer expressed significant confusion about the asset. 

Algorand staking now compatible with Ledger wallet’s desktop software

Self-custody staking arrives for Ledger's hardware wallets.

Popular hardware wallet company Ledger added Algorand's ALGO token to the list of wallet-compatible assets available on its desktop app, Ledger Live, allowing holders to store and stake the asset.

“The integration with Ledger Live will provide users with additional opportunities to earn passive income, ensuring the highest level of control and flexibility," Ledger's CEO, Pascal Gauthier, explained Tuesday in a statement provided to Cointelegraph. The addition also means storage compatibility for tokens built on Algorand's blockchain, known as Algorand Standard Assets.

Assets built using proof-of-stake technology mean holders can earn passive income by helping to provide consensus for the associated blockchain. Algorand holders can now stake their ALGO coins passively while storing them on their Ledger wallet devices, interacting with their holdings as needed via the Ledger Live desktop interface.  

The hardware wallet provider also boasts staking and storage compatibility for Tron (TRX), Cosmos' ATOM and Tezos (XTZ). 

Ledger has made a number of headlines in 2020, including a rough patch the company faced, which included a data breach and wallet vulnerability.

Unikrn ICO faces further SEC action

Another remnant of 2017 gets hit by regulation.

Unikrn, an initial coin offering, or ICO, from 2017, faces action from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision, or SEC. 

The SEC has accused the startup of running its ICO without going through the proper legal channels, based on a Sept. 15 statement from the regulating body. The commission claims Unikrn offered an unregistered investment opportunity. 

"Unikrn agreed to settle the charges by paying a $6.1 million penalty, substantially all of the company's assets, to be distributed to investors through a Fair Fund," the statement said. 

Unikrn made headlines back in 2017 when Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban invested in the project.

BitPay decides to let all employees work from home permanently

Crypto seems to thrive on remote work.

Bitcoin (BTC) payment and wallet company BitPay has chosen to take its company's working atmosphere remote, permanently.

A poll from within the company revealed: "85% of employees preferred to work from home and felt they were more productive," said a Sept. 15 statement. "This insight coupled with the continuation in business, is a main reason the company chose to make working from home permanent."

As a niche largely held within the digital world, the crypto space often sees companies and individuals working remotely. A growing trend in light of COVID-19 prevention measures, remote work cuts out commute time, as well as serves up added flexibility and lower company costs stemming from renting a work space. Cons, however, include less face-to-face interaction among staff and a greater need for trusting employees.

Andrew Kelin, marketing director at BitPay explained: 

“It took a bit of adjusting to working from home because I am an outgoing and social person [...]  I am grateful to have this flexibility and my team is able to collaborate and work together as if we were side-by-side.” 

Mad Money host Jim Cramer forecasts a generational wealth storage shift

The times they are a-changin'.

Jim Cramer, host of the popular CNBC mainstream markets show, Mad Money, described changing mindsets across generations as they relate to wealth storage. 

"I think that my kids, when they get my inheritance, won't feel comfortable with gold, and will feel comfortable with crypto," Cramer told Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano on a podcast episode. "I have to start recognizing that maybe I am using a typewriter," he said of his possibly outdated gold storage practices.

Cramer's comment came in the middle of a lengthy interview, which saw the mainstream markets expert asking Pompliano a number of questions about crypto. A notable point around the conversation — the current economic situation in the U.S., given its debt and other precarious circumstances, and what assets might hold as safe wealth storage options. 

"When I go to my inflation handbook, what it says is buy gold, buy masterpieces and buy mansions," Cramer said referring to hedges for folks of his generation. He also subsequently included reference to him and his wife's choice of real estate as a hedge. "What we didn't have in that menu, was crypto," Cramer said. 

Cramer put crypto and gold in the same category, saying: "You have to have one or the other." 

"We're on a collision course, which makes me feel great about the gold I own, but I do feel that it's perfectly logical to add crypto to the menu," Cramer said, in light of current economic uncertainties. 

Several days ago, Pompliano previewed the conversation with Cramer, saying he convinced the CNBC host to pick up some Bitcoin. During the show, Cramer appeared ok with allocating 1% of his wealth storage to crypto. 

Binance’s US branch lands in Alabama

Alabama crypto enthusiasts now have another trading venue.

Binance.US, the regulatory-friendly United States branch of crypto exchange Binance, has added Alabama to its list of approved states. 

Binance added Alabama to its list in a Sept. 13 announcement, complete with a football graphic as homage to one of the state's favorite pastimes. The announcement also listed steps necessary for Alabamians getting started on the platform, including account creation and verification.

Binance unveiled its ban on U.S. customers in June 2019. The company subsequently released a regulatory-sensitive version of the platform months later, called Binance.US.

The U.S. platform's terms and conditions list 12 restricted states, although Alabama still lies on the not-yet updated list, as well as Florida, which also recently got the greenlight at the end of August. 

Peter Brandt says he’s not picking crypto right now, in terms of opportunity

He felt his money would do better in a different type of investment.

When it comes to choosing between blockchain and more traditional investments, the grass may be greener in the stock market, said Peter Brandt — the CEO of proprietary trading firm, Factor LLC. He went on to note, however, that it all depends on people's choice of base currency. 

Brandt was clear that he had transitioned into mostly U.S. dollars while scoping out his next moves. "Right now I think the opportunities are greater in the equities market than they are in the crypto market," he told Cointelegraph on Sept. 9. 

"I just don't see myself really speculating much in crypto," he continued, attributing his mindset to that of his generation. A participant in traditional market trading since 1976, Brandt built Factor LLC in 1980, decades before the invention of blockchain-based assets.

"I'm in a generation that defines net worth in U.S. dollar terms," Brandt said, noting USD as his standard method of asset storage. "The younger generation, many of them, their home currency is Bitcoin, or whatever it is — I mean, whatever their pet rock is," he noted, in reference to a fad during the 1970s that saw people paying money for rocks sold as pets in boxes. 

Stacking sats refers to crypto participants storing wealth in Bitcoin, while also putting trading and other profits back into Bitcoin for longer-term holding. Much of the industry also views the asset as a hedge or store of value, hinting at a possible generational shift from the U.S. dollar's role in past decades. 

"I want to lay low and look for opportunities," Brandt said of his current mindset. "I see greater opportunities right now in selective equities — not broad market, but selected equities — and lesser so in crypto."

Mainstream assets have soared in 2020, so Brandt's thought process is not out of line with the current stock market atmosphere. 

Caught in two minds: DeFi meme coins spark debate over their intentions

DeFi’s meme coins are causing a stir within the crypto community, as some call foul, others see the upside.

In recent weeks, talk of hotdogs, sushi and yams has infiltrated the crypto industry. Such references, however, are not as they seem and actually relate to assets in the decentralized finance sector of crypto. Over the course of 2020, DeFi has seen bubble-esque speculatory levels based on projects that may or may not hold long-term promise or stability. Opinions on the new hype surrounding food-themed tokens vary.

“It’s just a fad,” Tone Vays, a YouTube content creator and derivatives trader, told Cointelegraph, adding: “They’re all literally Ponzi schemes.” Meanwhile, Philip Salter, the head of mining operations for cloud Bitcoin mining outfit Genesis Mining, holds an opposing view. “I believe that DeFi is an extremely important development,” he told Cointelegraph, noting the influence of decentralized trading in the digital asset space:

“We are seeing the emergence of an ecosystem with competing platforms, each with small variations to this basic concept. Since these exchanges are open source and hosted as smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, the cost of creating new and customized versions is basically zero and as a result, there are a huge amount of almost identical platforms.”

DeFi taking crypto by storm

DeFi, as a sector of the crypto industry, focuses on providing crypto participants ways to borrow and loan digital assets, as well as earn interest on their holdings. As a result, new projects such as Sushi, Yam and others have popped up all over the place, with speculators chasing the highest interest returns and coin pumps. One project’s asset, YFI, even jumped from less than $1,000 all the way up past $38,000 in a matter of weeks.

The concepts around these DeFi assets can be difficult to understand. Essentially, DeFi products allow crypto holders to lock up their digital assets and earn interest. In exchange for locking up these assets, they receive stablecoins as collateral to use while their digital assets sit while earning interest.

After receiving the collateral, users then might lock up that collateral on a new exchange, such as Uniswap. (Uniswap lets participants trade from person to person directly on the blockchain.) Locking up those stablecoins then results in the liquidity provider making those tokens usable for further interest-seeking activities.

All this activity works with various tokens, which have also surged in price. At its simplest form, DeFi currently lets participants borrow sizable amounts of capital, earn interest and benefit from rising token prices. DeFi has quickly become a sector worth more than $7 billion in value. Numerous DeFi assets, or assets related to DeFi, have grown drastically in price in 2020 — some of which are based largely on speculation.

Scams surfacing?

With many new opportunities, unfortunately, comes the presence of scams and deception, with less-than-honest parties looking to capitalize on innovation. SushiSwap serves as a recent example. SushiSwap launched as a fork of Uniswap in late August 2020, amassing more than $1 billion of attention in a matter of days.

The project’s head, an anonymous character going by the name “Chef Nomi,” solely held the keys to a reported $27-million developer fund. Normally, this kind of fund sits under the control of certain checks and balances, such as blockchain voting requirements (a parameter preventing a single person from holding all the power).

Nomi left the role as SushiSwap’s leader shortly after its inception, taking approximately $13 million of the fund as payment for the work before leaving the project in the hands of FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. The project completed its migration from Uniswap over to its own platform on Sept. 9, under the watch of Bankman-Fried. Additionally, surprising the public, Nomi returned the funds on Sept. 11, offering multiple apologies.

Although SushiSwap does not appear to be an outright scam at this point, other projects have shown signs of being fraudulent. Yfdexf.Finance disappeared on Sept. 10, stealing $20 million from participants after a multi-day run of deceptive and false social media promotion. Such cases back Vays’ arguments of rampant Ponzi schemes. “There’s nothing there on the backend,” Vays said of the DeFi meme coin sector as a whole and projects’ lack of potential. “It’s worse than the ICOs.”

DeFi has reached peak bubble status, similar to the initial coin offering scene in 2017, which saw millions of dollars pumped into projects on pure speculation. “The DeFi bubble will pop sooner than people expect,” Ryan Selkis, the founder of crypto data company Messari, said in a tweet, mentioning the presence of Ponzi schemes and other antics.

Innovating among the hype

Some parties, such as Salter, however, do see promise held within the DeFi hype movement. “We are also seeing lending platforms, which allow anyone to lend out money with close-to-zero risk of the borrower defaulting on his loan,” Salter said, adding to his stance on the DeFi movement’s importance.

“On the other side, there is the opportunity for trading bots to simply borrow the money they need in order to execute a profitable trade, instantly paying back the loan after completion of the trade,” Salter noted. Such an automated and self-governing framework means efficiency, creating profit potential via arbitrage and other DeFi activities. Due to his focus on the mining sector of crypto and blockchain, Salter has only recently begun pursuing the DeFi space and the opportunity held within, stating:

“I know that I don’t understand it all, but even the concept of what is happening is astounding. Maybe DeFi is the ‘killer application’ that crypto has been looking for? On the other hand, let’s not forget that DeFi is a huge bubble. An exchange lives off its liquidity and ease of use. The ease of use is being worked on by many projects, but not many exchanges can have liquidity at the same time. Its a zero-sum game.”

The DeFi bubble can likely only grow so large before projects and platforms start dropping out of the game. This will, in turn, shrink the available avenues for profit, causing hype to fade, although decentralized exchanges will continue as a part of crypto going forward, Salter posited.

As seen in the past, from the dot-com boom in the late 1990s to the ICO mania in 2017, bubbles usher in some form of new technology or give current technology further notoriety. Although many projects, ideas and companies fail during such periods, the world is often left with some form of lasting innovation or benefit in the end.

Digital Assets Data CEO says mainstream finance still doesn’t trust Bitcoin

Bitcoin still has ground to make up in the mainstream world.

Following the news of Fidelity Investments' Bitcoin (BTC) fund filing, Mike Alfred, CEO of analytics outfit Digital Assets Data, described continued hesitancy in mainstream finance when it comes to Bitcoin. 

"Many in the traditional financial services/asset management/wealth management verticals remain deeply skeptical of Bitcoin and the ecosystem," Alfred told Cointelegraph on Sept. 10. "One commenter on my LinkedIn yesterday even called Fidelity's move 'Abby's folly,'" he said, which takes a shot at Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson in reference to her activities and position as an early Bitcoin adopter. 

A mainstream financial services entity, Fidelity, with its daughter company, Fidelity Digital Assets, has made a name for itself in the crypto space in the arena of crypto custody. On Aug. 26, 2020, Fidelity filed for a Bitcoin trading product —  the Wise Origin Bitcoin Index Fund — under a Regulation D exemption with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. 

"From a contrarian standpoint, I think this skepticism and disbelief will serve as fuel for Bitcoin's adoption and price increases in the future," Alfred said. "As these traditional folks capitulate, they will be forced by their clients and partners to get involved at significantly higher prices," he added. "I think BTC has a very long runway ahead."

A few months back, Alfred mentioned evidence of growing mainstream financial interest in Bitcoin.  Fidelity's Bitcoin fund, as well as the entity's work in the crypto space, furthers this point, he explained. 

"I think it speaks to my previous comments about growing interest and awareness in the traditional asset management and wealth management spaces in the US. Serious adoption in those channels would be extremely bullish for BTC. Fidelity is leading the way."

Other indications of growing mainstream Bitcoin interest have also surfaced in 2020, such as participation from big players such as hedge funder Paul Tudor Jones

Chef Nomi has returned all funds back to the SushiSwap community

Who would have thought an alleged exit scam could have a happy ending?

In a surprising turn of events, SushiSwap's former head, anonymously known as Chef Nomi on Twitter, has apologized for their mistakes and returned $14M to the project's development fund.

Nomi said in a Sept. 11 Tweet thread:

To everyone. I f***** up. And I am sorry.

On Sept. 6, news broke that Nomi had given FTX exchange CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, control over the SushiSwap project — but not before taking approximately $13 million with them. The funds, which Nomi alone controlled, were from a $27 million dollar developer fund that was meant to buoy the nascent project.

In response to Nomi's actions, Bankman-Fried told Cointelegraph:

"I'm extremely happy that Nomi returned the ETH; it was the right thing to do. We shouldn't forget what he did, but we also shouldn't forget that in the end he did the right thing."

Nomi returned the funds, apologizing to the community as a whole, as well as to several individuals. "I am sorry that I may have caused you trouble," they told the Binance crypto exchange and Band Protocol CTO Sorawit Suriyakarn via a tweet. "Sorry for being cocky," Nomi added. "You guys are awesome builders."

"Thank you for your help getting SushiSwap back when I almost destroyed it," Nomi said to Bankman-Fried, also directing the apology toward several others, including Adam Cochran — a Cinneamhain Ventures partner who publicly expressed multiple concerns about the Sushi project. 

Nomi also said:

"I have returned all the $14M worth of ETH back to the treasury. And I will let the community decide how much I deserve as the original creator of SushiSwap. In any currency (ETH/SUSHI/etc). With any lockup schedule you wish."

The former Sushi leader additionally said that they would like to continue helping to develop the project's tech from behind the scenes. Whether the community will accept this offer remains to be seen.

UPDATE Sept. 11, 16:16 UTC: This article has been updated. 

Pomp launches new venture fund, says ‘You’ll never regret betting on yourself’

He's chosen a rolling fund structure for reasons of flexibility.

Anthony Pompliano, co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital, announced the launch of a new fund based around his own person and brand.

"Today I am announcing a new rolling fund that will be backed by a group of successful investors across Silicon Valley and Wall Street," Pompliano said in a Sept. 11 blog post announcement. "This rolling fund structure gives me ultimate flexibility, which I believe will lead to a significant advantage when investing in early stage technology companies."

Pompliano plans to open a solo general partner, or GP, fund as a solo capitalist. Essentially, Pomp is turning himself and his brand into a fund for investing in startups, which will also be capable of receiving outside investments. "One of my guiding principles has always been: 'You will never regret betting on yourself,'" Pompliano explained.

Bitcoin’s $12.5K pump didn’t do much to impress Peter Brandt

He seemed to feel that Bitcoin may not be out of the trenches yet.

Trader and head of proprietary trading firm Factor LLC, Peter Brandt, said Bitcoin's (BTC) recent run up past $12,000 did not excite him as much as it did the rest of the market. 

"I never got super super excited about the advance in Bitcoin," Brandt told Cointelegraph in a Sept. 9 interview. "I thought it was constructive — the advance we had in Bitcoin starting in late July" he said, noting the chart looked good.

On July 27, Bitcoin definitively broke $10,500, a level which previously stood as a wall against the asset's attempts at rising further, based on TradingView data. By Aug. 17, the asset found itself up near $12,500 before falling back down to the $10,000 range

"I thought that was definitely promising," Brandt said. "It could have fueled something more," he noted, adding: 

"I just always felt like Bitcoin really needed to get above $14,000 to really be able to say we're back in a trend that will take out all-time highs and go much higher beyond that."

When Bitcoin kept rising higher after surpassing its $10,500 resistance, much of the crypto space felt a sense of great optimism. Brandt, however, said he remained skeptical, referring Bitcoin's position near the top limit of a symmetrical triangle chart pattern as his guide.

"Piercing the boundary of a symmetrical triangle really doesn't mean anything," he said, referencing the asset's subsequent price fall into support after failing to break out of the pattern. "I just have a really hard time getting excited about crypto here," Brandt said.

Although Bitcoin may not be on a rocket path toward all-time highs, Bitcoin stock-to-flow model creator, PlanB, an anonymous analyst on Twitter, recently forecasted interesting days ahead for the asset, based on his model. 

Messari’s Ryan Selkis Says DeFi bubble will pop soon

The man is known for his predictions, but is he right about this one?

Ryan Selkis, founder of crypto data site Messari, predicted an upcoming demise for the decentralized finance, or DeFi, space — similar to what happened with initial coin offerings, or ICOs. 

"The DeFi bubble will pop sooner than people expect," Selkis tweeted on Sept. 10. "We're nearing the apex of Ponzi economics, rug pulls, and 'yield' hopping, and ETH fees are going to eat too heavily into non-whale profits."

In recent weeks, numerous DeFi projects have seemingly popped up out of nowhere, offering significant interest and loans as part of a complicated ecosystem spurring compounded gains. Some of these project, however, position themselves as legitimate to gain investments before vanishing with investors' money — known in the industry as a "rug pull."

SushiSwap served as one of the latest rug pulls, albeit, only partially so. The project's head, anonymously known as Chef Nomi, ran off with a portion of the developer fund, leaving Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of crypto exchange FTX, in charge of Sushi's remains. 

"ICOs boomed for a while because everyone (laughably) thought there would be a coordinating utility token for every industry," Selkis said in a follow-up tweet. "DeFi is just one big pool of capital sloshing around a small group of insiders and mercenaries who will soon run out of victims to fleece."

ICOs had their time in the sun in 2017, which held a similar vibe as present-day DeFi. Projects simply built on an idea managed to raise millions of dollars in a matter of minutes

Selkis said he is not closed to other opinions, although the current scene appears too lucrative for reality. The Messari founder also said he is not against the whole movement in general. 

"Fwiw [for what it's worth], I LOVE this experimentation. Like ICOs, yield farming / incentivized liquidity provisioning is a novel innovation in capital formation. Smart people are making a killing. But I don't recommend DeFi to most people because I don't recommend high-stakes Vegas poker to fish." 

Ultimately, the progress around DeFi is moving the crypto industry forward. The bumps in the road may not be pleasant, but they are also probably not abnormal. 

ETC Labs startups can now access automated transaction tracking

Regulatory compliance requirements are becoming increasingly important.

Ethereum Classic Labs, the entity behind the Ethereum Classic (ETC) asset, and blockchain analysis outfit Chainalysis have joined forces.

Aside from its work on ETC-related technology, ETC Labs also operates an accelerator wing for backing and helping startups in the crypto industry. Thanks to an alliance with Chainalysis, these startups can get a discount on the company's Know Your Transaction, or KYT, technology, and its training certification platform, a Sept. 9 statement from ETC Labs detailed. Additionally, entities under ETC Labs can receive regulatory guidance from the Chainalysis team.

Regulatory requirements have become a growing concern in the crypto and blockchain space as multiple nations have increased their overwatch in recent years. The KYT technology from Chainlysis essentially aids companies in keeping tabs on their related blockchain activities, in part for regulatory compliance, while also automating processes, the statement explained. 

“This partnership reflects a necessary resource and is a natural progression for our companies building on ETC; leveling the playing field for early-stage startups to successfully and responsibly build their companies while staying informed,” ETC Labs founder, James Wo, noted in the statement. Chainalysis' CRO Jason Bonds also mentioned the importance and complexity of crypto compliance.

ETC has faced its fair share of difficulties in recent weeks, perhaps proving some of the value held in blockchain tracking and data. The network has suffered three 51% attacks since the end of July. 

Cointelegraph reached out to ETC Labs for additional details, but received no response as of press time. This article will be updated accordingly should a response come in. 

Another DeFi exit scam just made off with $20M in investor funds

Is DeFI unravelling, or are these just growing pains?

The rapidly expanding DeFi space is becoming riddled with scams as another suspicious project has headed for the exits carrying speculators' money.

"A new liquidity mining pool DeFi project, Yfdexf.Finance has exited the market after defrauding investors of $20 million in total funds locked in its protocol," media outlet ZyCrypto wrote on Sept. 10.

The project shilled its vaporware hard via Twitter and messaging apps such as Discord over the past 48 hours, ZyCrypto detailed. Cointelegraph tried tracking down details of the effort, but all traces of the scam appear to have been deleted at press time. 

The DeFi space has moved incredibly fast in 2020, especially in recent weeks, with projects such as SushiSwap seeing millions of dollars in action only days after its launch. Some such projects, however, have proven to be problematic in a variety of ways

SushiSwap has officially migrated away from Uniswap after a week of ups and downs

SushiSwap's wild ride continues as the platform officially becomes the largest DEX by liquidity.

SushiSwap, one of the latest decentralized finance, or DeFi, projects to overtake the Blockchain space, has turned a major page in its short life span. As of September 9, the protocol has officially completed a migration over to its own decentralized exchange platform. 

"Done," SushiSwap head Sam Bankman-Fried said in a tweet at 3:10 p.m. EST, concluding a thread about the project's migration. 

Several hours prior to the transition's completion, Bankman-Fried laid out plans for the migration on Twitter, subsequently posting updates throughout the day, which included testing and specified individual token migrations. 

SushiSwap came into existence a little over a week ago as a fork of the decentralized exchange, Uniswap. Within a few short days of SushiSwap's launch, it already accounted for 77% of the locked value held on Uniswap.

To say the project has received significant attention would be putting it mildly. The platform, with its SUSHI asset, has also waded through its fair share of drama, largely around its leader, Chef Nomi, and a $27 million developer fund which Nomi reportedly controlled. In a plot twist that may seem inevitable in retrospect, Chef Nomi did indeed make off with a significant portion of these developer funds before passing off the project to Bankman-Fried, the current CEO of the FTX exchange.  

“My sense is that they did care about SushiSwap and wanted to do well and were working hard for it," Bankman-Fried told Cointelegraph of the anonymous Chef Nomi. Greed may have ultimately overtaken Nomi, however, the FTX CEO speculated, noting that he does not think SushiSwap was a premeditated scam.  

As of this publication, SushiSwap is now the largest decentralized exchange in the world by liquidity.

SushiSwap has officially migrated away from Uniswap after a week of ups and downs

SushiSwap's wild ride continues as the platform officially becomes the largest DEX by liquidity.

SushiSwap, one of the latest decentralized finance, or DeFi, projects to overtake the Blockchain space, has turned a major page in its short life span. As of September 9, the protocol has officially completed a migration over to its own decentralized exchange platform. 

"Done," SushiSwap head Sam Bankman-Fried said in a tweet at 3:10 p.m. EST, concluding a thread about the project's migration. 

Several hours prior to the transition's completion, Bankman-Fried laid out plans for the migration on Twitter, subsequently posting updates throughout the day, which included testing and specified individual token migrations. 

SushiSwap came into existence a little over a week ago as a fork of the decentralized exchange, Uniswap. Within a few short days of SushiSwap's launch, it already accounted for 77% of the locked value held on Uniswap.

To say the project has received significant attention would be putting it mildly. The platform, with its SUSHI asset, has also waded through its fair share of drama, largely around its leader, Chef Nomi, and a $27 million developer fund which Nomi reportedly controlled. In a plot twist that may seem inevitable in retrospect, Chef Nomi did indeed make off with a significant portion of these developer funds before passing off the project to Bankman-Fried, the current CEO of the FTX exchange.  

“My sense is that they did care about SushiSwap and wanted to do well and were working hard for it," Bankman-Fried told Cointelegraph of the anonymous Chef Nomi. Greed may have ultimately overtaken Nomi, however, the FTX CEO speculated, noting that he does not think SushiSwap was a premeditated scam.  

As of this publication, SushiSwap is now the largest decentralized exchange in the world by liquidity.

Crypto markets ‘between a rock and a hard place,’ Peter Brandt says

Both Bitcoin and Ethereum appear to be treading water.

Peter Brandt, long-time trader and CEO of proprietary trading firm Factor LLC, recently gave his thoughts on the current crypto market, describing the price action stuck between two difficult giants. 

"Bitcoin and Ethereum — those really, for me, is where the game is played," Brandt told Cointelegraph in a Sept. 9 interview when asked about his thoughts on Bitcoin for the days and months ahead. As the two largest market cap assets in the crypto space, BTC and ETH each hold a large following, with their actions indicative of market health and likely subsequent ripple effects, depending on their activity. 

Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) both posted topping chart patterns prior to declining prices, Brandt described. BTC topped out near $12,500 on Aug. 17, while ETH hit its local high near $490 on Sept. 1, based on data. Since then, Bitcoin dropped near $9,800 before bouncing slightly, while ETH dropped down to $310, before also yielding a subsequent bounce.

"Both markets have backed into very heavy support on the weekly chart," Brandt explained. "What I see are markets that are kind of in between a rock and a hard place," Brandt said, noting various significant support and resistance levels on the charts of both assets. "It's not surprising the market now is just kind of drifting without direction."

"I'm really not expecting anything for the rest of the year. I think the market is going to develop a big choppy range quite frankly. I think there's a good chance that, when we rally, the bulls are going to get excited and end up disappointed, and when we break like we have in the last couple of weeks, the bears are going to end up getting excited and end up disappointed."

Ethereum's price will likely surf between $250 and $500, according to Brandt, which he acknowledged is a large range. Similarly, Bitcoin's price is likely caught between $8,900 and $12,500, he added. 

Other opinions on the industry's top assets vary. A recent write-up from the Kraken crypto exchange forecast possible downward Bitcoin action through September, based on past years.