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Brevan Howard expands further into crypto as institutional interest jumps

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Representations of the virtual currency are on a motherboard in this illustration from May 20, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

  • Hires Colleen Sullivan for newly formed CMT Digital crypto division
  • Sullivan leads private venture investing
  • Turnover on top stock exchange, managed by institutional investors

LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Hedge fund Brevan Howard said Monday it was expanding its crypto business, the latest sign that institutional interest in the asset class is gaining momentum.

Brevan, best known for betting on macroeconomic trends, is one of the most iconic large hedge funds entering the crypto trading world, known for its volatile markets and scope for oversized profits.

The asset manager said he would create a new entity, BH Digital, to manage cryptocurrency and digital assets. Colleen Sullivan, currently CEO of the digital arm of trading firm CMT, will also be hired to lead private and venture investments in crypto.

Brevan’s expansion is due to other high profile wealth managers who have ventured into this space in the past few months. Hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones has invested in Bitcoin, while Man Group (EMG.L) trades Bitcoin futures. Continue reading

An annual report published by PriceWaterHouseCoopers, Alternative Investment Management Association and Elwood Asset Management found that total assets under crypto hedge funds worldwide nearly doubled from $ 2 billion in the previous year to $ 3.8 billion in 2020.

Institutional interest is rising as a wider range of cryptocurrencies become available, while Bitcoin and Ethereum, the most famous coins in the world, trade well below their record highs.

“What was initially seen as a fad now seems to be becoming a more permanent structure of the financial landscape and this has started to make the initial fringe financial instruments more mainstream and strongly forcing the institutional interest we are now,” said Stuart Cole, Senior Macroeconomist at Equiti Capital based in London.

The rise in institutional interest has impacted the trading floor. Eurex, Deutsche Börse’s derivatives exchange, launched Bitcoin futures on Monday to benefit from growing interest.

Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, says institutional interest in trading cryptocurrencies has increased this year.

In its letter to shareholders in the second quarter, Coinbase said that cryptocurrency sales hit a record $ 462 billion in the three months to June. Of this, $ 317 billion was traded by institutional investors, the rest by private customers.

For the same period last year, total sales were $ 28 billion, of which $ 17 billion was in institutional trading.

While hedge funds and exchanges have struggled to generate trading income, global banks have been relatively slow to adapt to the trend as their wealth management clients largely pushed them to offer cryptocurrency trading.

Citigroup Inc (CN) is considering offering Bitcoin futures trading for some institutional clients, while Standard Chartered has formed a newly established cryptocurrency research division. Continue reading

Reporting by Simon Jessop and Saikat Chatterjee; Additional coverage from Huw Jones; Edited by Rachel Armstrong and Bernadette Baum

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Cryptocurrency

US Senator Calls On SEC Chairman To Provide Regulatory Clarity On Cryptocurrencies – Regulation Bitcoin News

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A US senator has asked the chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, to provide clear guidance on cryptocurrency regulation. The Senator stated that in many enforcement actions, “the SEC has failed to identify the securities involved or the reasons for their status as securities, which would have provided much-needed public regulatory clarity.”

US Senator wants the SEC to provide clear guidelines on crypto regulation

Senator Pat Toomey, ranked member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Development, wrote a letter to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler on Friday regarding the regulation of cryptocurrencies.

His letter followed Gensler’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee last week. Toomey began:

I’m writing to address the concerns I raised at the hearing about the need for regulatory clarity around emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies, including stablecoins.

“In order for investors to benefit from a fair and competitive market, regulators must proactively provide rules on how to get to industry,” the Senator said that the SEC “has instead adopted a strategy of regulation through enforcement in this area.” To date, the commission has launched more than 75 enforcement actions against the crypto industry, fines and penalties totaling more than $ 2.5 billion against crypto companies and individuals.

At the Senate hearing, Gensler extolled “the SEC’s success in pursuing crypto-related enforcement measures.” Toomey noted, however, that “in many of these enforcement actions, the SEC failed to identify the securities involved or the reasons for their status as securities, which would have provided much-needed public regulatory clarity.”

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce is also concerned about the SEC’s approach to crypto regulation. She criticized her own agency in August for taking an enforcement-oriented approach to crypto regulation.

The Senator from Pennsylvania noted that the SEC’s approach was tied to Gensler’s belief that “the likelihood is pretty slim” that a given cryptocurrency platform has no securities. For example, Gensler told Senator Elizabeth Warren at the hearing that the Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange Coinbase (Nasdaq: COIN) could have dozens of tokens, which could be securities.

Recently, Coinbase was forced to abandon its plan to launch a loan product after the SEC threatened legal action and the company alleged it had received no explanation from the regulator. In the meantime, the security guard is in an ongoing proceeding with Ripple Labs and its executives as to whether XRP is a security.

Senator Toomey emphasized:

The SEC has a responsibility to do more than just provide probabilistic estimates.

The Senator concluded his letter with a list of questions for Gensler to answer for additional guidance on crypto regulation.

What do you think of Senator Toomey asking SEC Chairman Gensler to provide clear guidance on crypto regulation? Let us know in the comment section below.

Photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer of Liability: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation to make an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any product, service, or company. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author are directly or indirectly responsible for any damage or loss caused or allegedly caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Cryptocurrency

Crypto plunge a wake-up call — and tax opportunity — for investors

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A detail of the statue of Satoshi Nakamoto, a presumed pseudonym of the inventor of Bitcoin, in Budapest, Hungary.

Janos Sorrow | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The price of popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum fell on Friday after Chinese officials stepped up crackdown and essentially ruled crypto illegal.

Government intervention, while substantial, does not necessarily mean that financial advisers believe investors should run into the mountains. But it’s another reminder that crypto holdings are subject to wild fluctuations in price, they said.

“I wouldn’t call this the end of the world,” said Leon LaBrecque, accountant and certified financial planner with Sequoia Financial Group, based in Akron, Ohio. “It’s just a wake-up call.”

“This should be in recognition of the fact that it is a volatile asset and that all the ups and downs are a match,” he said.

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This volatility opens up opportunities for tax planning that may only be a few months away, advisors said, depending on the Democrats’ final compromise on federal tax law.

Bitcoin prices had fallen 6% to around $ 42,000 at 3 p.m. ET Friday afternoon. Ether, the second largest digital currency, fell more than 8% to around $ 2,890.

The People’s Bank of China terrified investors after declaring all crypto-related activity illegal. These activities include, for example, trading services and foreign exchanges. This is the latest move in the country’s wider crackdown on digital currencies.

The ban on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be of concern for current and prospective investors as the government limits buyers for a significant segment of the world’s population, advisors said. And other governments are likely to have additional regulations as well, they said.

But these can’t make much of a difference in terms of long-term prices. A daily slump in crypto costs, which may feel significant at this point, is likely just part of a longer-term price correction towards an average price, advisors said.

“Will government regulation make cryptocurrencies volatile? Yes,” said Wayne Wilbanks, managing principal and chief investment officer at Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management in Norfolk, Virginia. “Will it make crypto redundant? No.

“I don’t think China’s regulation, or even US regulations, will make that much of a difference in the long run,” he added.

Bitcoin, for example, is still up around 40% year-over-year despite the slump on Friday. (It’s far from its April high of around $ 63,000, however.)

To this day, volatility is a signature of cryptocurrencies. This year, for example, prices have fluctuated sharply after tweets from Tesla co-founder and crypto enthusiast Elon Musk.

Advisors usually recommend that investors allocate a small portion of their portfolio (anything that they would lose entirely) because of the risk involved.

Tax advantage

Investors can take advantage of recent volatility, according to Jeffrey Levine, CFP, Accountant and Chief Planning Officer at Buckingham Wealth Partners in Long Island, New York.

Equity, crypto and other investors can “reap” investment losses for a tax advantage. Basically, you can sell a lost investment (e.g. Bitcoin) and use the loss to destroy the gain on a winning investment elsewhere in your portfolio.

This “tax loss harvesting” reduces (or eliminates) the capital gains tax owed on the estimated value of an investment sold.

However, unlike stock investors, crypto investors who are sold out can quickly buy back into the same or similar digital currency. As a result, if the volatile asset price recovers shortly thereafter, they can receive the above tax benefit as well as a portfolio benefit.

House Democrats proposed closing this crypto loophole after this year to reform tax law.

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Cryptocurrency

A financial TikTok influencer with almost 500,000 followers says bitcoin is going to ‘get slayed’ – and shares how cryptos and stablecoins make up his trading strategy | Currency News | Financial and Business News

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Mason Versluis

  • 21-year-old Mason Versluis has almost 500,000 followers on TikTok, where he gives tips on crypto and markets.
  • He recently spoke to Insider about how he chooses which coin to invest in and why.
  • Versluis said he would like to see bitcoin “slayed” as other coins have far more real-world use cases.
  • Sign up for our daily newsletter here, 10 things before the opening bell.

Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency by market value and is dwarfing its competitors for the time being. But the rise of crypto rivals with far more real world uses means it will be dethroned sooner rather than later, according to financial TikTok influencer Mason Versluis.

The 21-year-old Versluis also bears the username Crypto Mason and has almost 500,000 followers on his TikTok account, which he uses to shoot short videos to educate his viewers about crypto and the markets.

Versluis, who has been trading crypto since he was 15, recently spoke to Insider about his prospects for the market.

“The psychological thing that Bitcoin is always number one and king can be gone. By ‘kill Bitcoin’ I mean that I want something to happen and then we’ll see what happens afterwards, ”said Versluis.

Bitcoin has a market capitalization of just under $ 800 billion, according to CoinMarketCap, of the roughly $ 1.9 trillion that the entire crypto market is worth.

In the last 12 months it has gained almost 350% in price, but Versluis believes there is more value elsewhere.

“My dad told me about XRP when I was 17 and I’ve been back ever since,” he said.

“I’m one of those people who think XRP is a ‘better bitcoin’. And it actually solves the payment problem better than Bitcoin ever can or will, ”he added. Ripple Lab’s XRP token is used in fast payment systems – an area where Bitcoin can’t really compete given the comparatively slow network speed. One of the bigger crypto coins, XRP has kept pace with Bitcoin over the past year, rising 320%.

Ether, the native token of the Ethereum network, is the second largest cryptocurrency and accounts for around 20% of the market. The blockchain’s ability to run decentralized financial applications, smart contacts, and other protocols has resulted in an onslaught of investor money in ether this year, up nearly 800% over that time.

“It must have use cases, that is: Does this token do nothing? Am I only buying this token because I think it will increase in value?” said Versluis.

“That’s what I personally invest in, just because of the potential – they actually do something. Ethereum has so many decentralized applications built on it, ”he added.

When it comes to taking a position in a coin, Versluis says he’s not a day trader.

“It’s a lot of stress, you have to sit at the computer and watch the markets,” he said.

“I’m going to see an opportunity, put in some money and basically ramp up this rocket until I think it’s time to sell it. I sell them off and put them in a stablecoin like USDT or USDC. And then I just make profits and reinvest part of it in my main portfolio. So it’s a slow process, “he said.

As a relatively young trader who says that part of his passion for crypto is the decentralized, free nature, the question arises what Versluis thinks about the regulation in this market. Unlike many crypto fans, he’s not against it. However, he believes that all rules have to adapt to the reality of the crypto market and that one size does not fit everyone.

“It’s a digital world. And we’re only getting more digital and virtual, ”he said.

“You can’t just take the old system and the laws and slap it on crypto. It doesn’t work.

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