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Bitcoin: CNBC Counter Indicator Strikes Again, BTC Outpaces Cannabis

Forget Bitcoin, Buy Weed Stocks?

For a while now, CNBC has been controversial in the Bitcoin and crypto community. Since it began heavily covering the space in 2017, which came as BTC was skyrocketing, pushing past price milestones of $5,000, $10,000, and so on, the outlet has been known to make bad calls on the cryptocurrency.

In fact, one analysis completed by cryptocurrency personality and trader Jacob Canfield revealed that CNBC’s coverage of the Bitcoin market was a counter indicator 95% of the time in much of 2018. In other words, when the prominent outlet published an article or segment claiming BTC would head higher, it fell. The inverse was also true.

The counter indicator has purportedly struck again. As noted by analyst Ceteris Paribus, who cited data from Messari’s OnChainFX, Bitcoin has rallied strongly against cannabis stocks in the past four months.

In fact, since February 22nd, which is when CNBC published a quote from a “wealth advisor” that said investors should dump their BTC for weed stocks, Bitcoin has rallied by a jaw-dropping 167%. In that same time frame, some of the “hottest weed stocks”, which were then being buoyed by Canada’s legalization of the substance, lost much of their value. In fact, since the CNBC report, Tilray has lost 45%, as CannTrust lost 71%.

For those who missed the memo, the article in question was this one, during which Carol Pepper of Pepper International opined that stocks relating to the substance would not mirror the “Bitcoin frenzy”, implying that she doesn’t expect for cannabis to go boom and bust as BTC did.

(Bitcoin has since recovered, of course. But at the time, many in the mainstream had deemed the cryptocurrency fad “dead”.)

What’s weird is that CNBC’s social media team has continued to push the article on their feeds, despite the fact that the advisor’s warnings have been proven to be inaccurate and baseless.

Not All Bad News

It is important to note, however, that CNBC has hosted a series of “good takes” on cryptocurrency. Case in point, Joe Kernen, one of the hosts and anchors of the “Squawk Box” show, has become somewhat of an outspoken bull of Bitcoin. Ever since Facebook unveiled Libra, Kernen has been somewhat optimistic about Bitcoin’s prospects.

Most recently, the personality questioned U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s take on cryptocurrency. During an interview, Kernen argued to Mnuchin that cash is used for illicit activity just as much, if not more than Bitcoin, questioning the Treasury representative’s warning that cryptocurrencies may soon face “very, very strong” regulation.

Another prominent Bitcoin bull that has recently graced CNBC is Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors. Speaking to millions, Palihapitiya argued that Bitcoin is the perfect insurance against questionable fiscal policy and macroeconomic risk, urging viewers to purchase BTC.

Title Image Courtesy of Andre Francois Mckenzie Via Unsplash 

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CNBC Anchor Jumps Aboard the Bitcoin (BTC) Gravy Train

To most in the Bitcoin (BTC) community, mainstream media is viewed with intense skepticism. This isn’t a baseless fear, 99Bitcoins has revealed that the cryptocurrency has been “declared dead” over 360 times in its life, mostly by mainstream media outlets, from CNBC and Forbes to the New York Post and Bloomberg. For instance, one Bloomberg op-ed headline published in January 2018 reads: “Sorry, Bitcoin Fans. Digital Currency Is Still a Dream.”

Bitcoin Community Gets TV Ally

But, over the past few days, the cryptocurrency industry has secured an ally on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, a morning segment covering Wall Street buzz. The anchor’s name is Joe Kernen.

Ever since Facebook launched Libra, the pseudo-centralized cryptocurrency, Kernen has taken a profound approach towards Bitcoin. First, when “Squawk Box” first covered the news, he questioned the “inherent value” of Libra, citing the fact that central banks have begun to debase their currencies. He specifically drew attention to the Euro, which many cryptocurrency pundits have targeted as the first big fiat money to fall from glory.

And to put a cherry on the proverbial Bitcoin cake, Kernen even made the argument that a “real Bitcoin” may have more value than Libra due to the former’s decentralized blockchain. He elaborated:

“Blockchain transactions create inherent value. But making a digital currency that’s based on a fiat currency doesn’t make any sense. If you put in a dollar and out pops a cryptocurrency worth a dollar, that’s not a cryptocurrency.”

He continued his rant-esque take on Libra this Monday. Almost like a Satoshi Nakamoto excerpt, Kernen explained that Libra is a currency for corporations, but Bitcoin is a currency built and used by “the people”.

And most recently, speaking to the author of the “Bitcoin Billionaires”, Ben Mezrich, Kernen noted that the beauty of Bitcoin is “decentralization”, but that Libra is not that. In fact, he joked that instead of being decentralized, this Silicon Valley-backed coin has been “Zuckerberfied”, evidently something that is not confined by the unspoken rules of open networks.

Not Entirely Anti-Crypto

To CNBC’s credit, Kernen isn’t the only Bitcoin bull frequently hosted on the show. Over the outlet’s history covering this space, it has played host to a number of prominent cryptocurrency optimists: investor Brian Kelly, Tom Lee of Fundstrat Fame, Morgan Creek’s Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, and Ran NeuNer to name a few.

With this new knowledge that Kernen and his peers know more than they previously let on, many in the cryptocurrency ecosystem are hoping that CNBC can begin to take more balanced approaches towards this space.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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CNBC Host Joe ‘Squawk’ Becomes an Unlikely Hero for Bitcoin

CNBC host Joe Kernen has been praised by bitcoin advocates for claiming that libra isn’t a cryptocurrency because of how it is pegged to fiat currencies.

CNBC’s Joe Kernen claims he is being treated “like a god” on Twitter following a June 19 interview on Squawk Box where he questioned whether Facebook’s libra is a cryptocurrency.

In the clip, posted by a bitcoin (BTC) advocate, Kernen said libra “doesn’t excite me at all” and argued that blockchain networks used by major coins add inherent value. Describing the libra, he added:

“This is just based on the dollar. I don’t understand it — is it called a cryptocurrency? Well it’s not.”

Crypto enthusiasts praised Kernen for his remarks — and said it marked a turning point as traditional financial journalists are beginning to understand why established cryptocurrencies are valuable.

In the following day’s broadcast on June 20, Kernen said:

“I’m a bitcoin bull now. Have you seen what’s happening on Twitter? I’m like a god. Millennials are like holding me up… I love them, they’re so smart. If you put in a dollar, and your stupid digital currency is worth a dollar, that’s not a cryptocurrency — all the blockchain transactions actually do create some inherent value. Making a digital currency that’s based on a fiat currency makes no sense.”

Facebook released the white paper for its global stablecoin on June 18. MastercardPayPal and Visa are among the founding members of the not-for-profit consortium that will govern it.

Even though libra is being touted as a way of reaching the unbanked, reports have suggested that Facebook’s Calibra digital wallet will not be available in nations that ban cryptocurrencies. This is likely to hinder adoption in India, one of the social network’s largest markets and a country that’s home to the second-largest unbanked population.

Reaction to the long-awaited project has been mixed. While some think libra will boost the industry, others have criticized the white paper’s ambiguity.

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Recent Bitcoin Price Rally Was Due to These Three Reasons: Expert Says

The chief of digital assets at Susquehanna has recently shared on CNBC
the reasons for the most recent Bitcoin price surge

On Thursday, May 30, the head of digital assets at Susquehanna International Group, Bart Smith, gave a stream interview during CNBC’s Squawk Box program.

Bart Smith first stated that there are numerous reasons for the recent rise of Bitcoin, such as geopolitical, technological and regulatory, among other factors. However, the expert picked out three most important drivers for the BTC price growth.

Reason 1. The US-China trade war

This was the first driver mentioned by Smith. Since the US imposed high tariffs on Chinese goods, the yuan began dropping. This made many Chinese investors start using Bitcoin to hedge their financial risks against the sliding rate of the native fiat currency.

However, as Forbes has assumed recently, the situation may change for the best for Bitcoin even further thanks to China. The article author mentioned that China is seriously considering beginning to sell US Treasuries back to the US. An almost incredible thing was assumed that the Chinese government would start purchasing Bitcoin instead of Treasury bonds of Germany or Japan (the most valuable after US Treasuries).

Should this indeed happen, Bitcoin price would
fly high up.

Reason 2. The Consensus 2019 conference

The second driver that Smith put forward was
to do with the Consensus 2019 conference that has recently taken place in New
York.

It was during this event that the BTC rate
surged from $6,000 by one third of that amount.

The expert pointed out that there was a lot of excitement in the community regarding the approaching launces of state-regulated crypto platforms, such as Fidelity Digital Assets, Bakkt and ErisX which were discussed at the event.

As per Smith, the recent fact of Starbucks and Whole Foods embracing Bitcoin also gained a lot of attention at the conference.

Reason 3. Brokerage firms offering Bitcoin to retail clients this year

The third reason for the recent BTC price surge, as per Smith, is the fact that a great number of US brokerage firms, online ones especially, have begun to offer BTC to their retail clients in 2019. He mentioned this reason as the most important one among all the three.

“While no one has come out and said that openly, there’s a lot of talk about that, and I think people are buying bitcoin ahead potentially of that new investor demand.”

When he was asked to give some positive
assessment to a few things to do with Bitcoin, Smith refused, though.

“I’m not a bitcoin evangelist, so it’s not my job to convert the
unconverted,” said Smith. “And I’m not necessarily rooting for anything. I’m a
market maker. I provide liquidity . . . I’m not making a price prognostication.
I’m simply pointing out there’s a lot of optimism from people within the
bitcoin community over things that have happened in recent months, and I think
that’s reflected in the price.”

Bitcoin price is rebounding

Over the last few days, Bitcoin price has been
in a correction, pulling the rest of the market down as well.

However, as per another expert, this is
actually good for the market in the long run.

Josh Olszewicz, a crypto trader and a person with an influence on the crypto community recently said, when speaking on an Apple podcast, that he has been expecting a small pullback of the BTC price soon.

He believes that this is good if the market
wants to avoid a tremendous retracement later on.

“It’s to the point now where it’s like if we don’t pull back, the pullback eventually that will come will just be super painful. There’s really no other good reason to pull back, other than we should have already pulled back.”

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CNBC Counter Indicator Does it Again; Bitcoin Bounces Back in 8% Surge

Hopes of a lower
priced Bitcoin
for better accumulation opportunities are fading. It has
been clear from the crypto twitter verse that many had been waiting for a drop
back to $6,000 to load up again but the opposite has happened this morning as
BTC surges back towards $8,000.

Big Pump During Asian Trading

Bitcoin has spent most of the past 24 hours trading sideways
at $7,300. Daily volume has trailed off somewhat dropping to a low of $20
billion and indicators were starting to signal another drop. Many analysts had
predicted a plunge to support at $6,400 or below. Talk of a bull trap and BTC
reaching its top were reported
by EWN
just a few hours ago. Some were stating that Bitcoin was extremely
overbought and a plunge was imminent.

The complete opposite has just happened with BTC surging 8%
on the day from a low of $7,250 up to above $7,800 where it currently trades. CNBC did it
again
with another prediction that the chart was showing a head and
shoulders pattern indicating that Bitcoin was about to dump. Trader Josh Rager pointed out;

“CNBC calling head & shoulders… And I really wanted to buy the dip down to low to mid $6ks. Was a clear counter indicator as Bitcoin is starting to pump,”

With ‘Bleeding Crypto’ adding “This shit never fails!! The
market does the exact opposite of what they post everytime… WOW!!”

Where Next For BTC?

Rager continued with some analysis stating that next targets
would be around $8,200.

“$BTC – 1 Hour Chart. Bitcoin certainly looks to be pumping, now over previous resistance. Price is near $8000 & looks to be heading toward the $8200 1D resistance (might consolidate prior). A close above $8200 on the daily/weekly would be very bullish and would target $9600+”

$8,200 is the previous resistance zone so Bitcoin may well
head there today, a pullback could lead to the correction that everyone has been
waiting for. However, if the bulls can maintain their buying pressure BTC could
break all the way through $9,000.

Bitcoin’s dominance is back to 57% and the move has pumped
$18 billion back into crypto market capitalization which has returned to $245
billion. The altcoins are also getting a boost with Ethereum, Litecoin and EOS adding
over 4%, Bitcoin Cash 6% and Binance Coin flying with an 11% surge on the day.

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Bloomberg, CNBC Both Snuff Bitcoin (BTC) After 20% Spike

Mainstream Media FUDs Bitcoin

Bitcoin (BTC) spiked by 20% over the past 72 hours, pushing the cryptocurrency above $5,000, and mainstream media seems to be back with pushing FUD.

In a recent comment given to CNBC Make It, Peter Mallouk, the president of Creative Planning, a wealth management firm, overtly lambasted BTC. He explained that the market is “most likely” to see “cryptocurrencies collapse,” from coins like BTC and Litecoin to Ethereum and Ripple’s XRP. Mallouk adds that he sees no logical way that “even a fraction of them” somehow pull through.

The wealth advisor remarks that while it is possible that a digital asset could garner traction in the future, right now, Bitcoin and similar assets aren’t a real investment, as they provide no income and are only based off speculation. (Of course, he disregards Bitcoin’s value proposition as a digital store of value.) Mallouk goes on to remark that proper alternatives to cryptocurrencies would be real estate, stock, and bonds, as they provide rent, dividends, and yield respectively. In other words, “Again, You don’t want to own something that’s not going to pay you.” (Again, this shows his relative lack of knowledge of cryptocurrencies, as there exists Proof of Stake in some capacity.)

Mere hours prior to the CNBC report, Bloomberg Opinion came out with its own BTC-bashing piece. The author explains that “there’s no good reason to turn bullish on crypto,” quipping that the fact that macroeconomic factors that Tom Lee and Brendan Bernstein have brought up are invalid, a lack of mainstream adoption, and continual bad news about hacks, fake volume, and the like should have investors worried rather than enthused. Many on Twitter overtly lambasted the article, claiming that there is no logical reason to “ignore” BTC, a monetary revolution. (At least Bloomberg linked one of Ethereum World News’ pieces though)

They’re Getting Crypto Wrong

While the above concerns are somewhat valid, as Bitcoin is a newfangled, often hard-to-comprehend paradigm in society, mainstream media outlets have been historically hilariously wrong on cryptocurrency. In fact, 99Bitcoins predict that BTC has been proclaimed dead by respected publishing houses over 300 times, with a lot of these reports coming prior to 2017’s jaw-dropping rally. They missed the surge, that’s for sure.

Following Tuesday morning’s surge, which pushed BTC past key resistance levels and pushed a bullish narrative, journalists tried to postulate what caused the run, as they looked to capture viewership with any method they could drum up.

CNBC’s “Squawk Box” drew attention to an April Fools’ Day joke from a fellow trade publication as a catalyst. This, of course, wasn’t the case at all, as the article in question was released 18 hours prior to the price surge. By the same token, Gizmodo explained following the price bump that Bitcoin wasn’t sustainable, bringing up the whole debate of a monetary asset that uses electricity isn’t viable.

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

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Fundstrat’s Tom Lee Still A Raging Bitcoin (BTC) Bull, Here’s Why

Tom Lee has shown his face on mainstream media once again to tout the merits of Bitcoin (BTC). On a recent segment of CNBC’s “Futures Now”, the Fundstrat Global Advisors head of research lays out what he sees is going for the cryptocurrency. Like many of his other appearances, his comments had bullish undertones. But why is Lee bullish on BTC?

Macroeconomy Trends to be Bitcoin Tailwind

He tells CNBC that more likely than not, 2019 will be the year of repair for this market, adding that the macro picture could provide Bitcoin with a bit of a boost of nitrous oxide. Lee explains that there has been a risk-on rally in global markets, potentially giving BTC and other digital assets, deemed risk-on by many traders, the ability to see some incoming cash flow.

Funnily enough, some would deem this noticing on macro markets as moot, as many economists are expecting a slow in the growth of the global economy over 2019 and 2020, potentially curbing the risk-on rally that Lee sees.

Drawing attention to the U.S. dollar, Lee explains that the fact that the currency isn’t surging should be a tailwind for the flagship cryptocurrency over the coming year.

200-Week MA, JPM Coin, Etc. To Provide BTC With Positive Price Action

He goes on to draw attention to technicals, touching on the ever-important 200-Week moving average. The New York-based investor, known for his incessant optimism in a variety of markets, notes that BTC has been bouncing around the aforementioned technical support, potentially indicating that it has found a semblance of a bottom.

But this factor pales in comparison to developments (fundamentals) that the cryptocurrency space has seen in the past weeks alone. Lee specifically touches on the launch of JP Morgan’s own digital asset, and similar ventures from both Facebook and Telegram.

He explains that in a world where there are less than 50 million active digital asset wallets, but billions of Visa or Mastercard holders, these corporate cryptocurrencies will be integral in driving adoption. This adoption, of course, boost Bitcoin’s network effects, making JPM Coin and projects of a similar nature bullish catalysts.

Fundstrat’s co-founder and de-facto figurehead even touchea bit on the adoption that cryptocurrency has seen in the hyperinflation-hit Venezuela, where locals are finding a true use case for a deflationary, decentralized, and uncensorable asset in Bitcoin and altcoins.

Closing off his guest segment, the Bitcoin bull, who still believes that $25,000 for each BTC is viable, notes that if the cryptocurrency continues to hold around $4,000 in the months to come, he would be convinced that it would be geared up for a full-on rally.

Title Image Courtesy of Descryptive.com Via Unsplash

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Bitpay CEO: Bitcoin Price Built Off “Speculation”

Big Component Of Bitcoin Price Is “Speculation”

Since the monumental run-up in the Bitcoin price during 2017, pundits have speculated that traders have ousted investors, creating an environment that has been rife with price speculation. In a recent interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Stephen Pair, CEO of the world-renowned crypto-friendly payment processor that is BitPay, confirmed this theory.

Speaking on the aforementioned outlet’s “Squawk Box” segment, Pair, presumably located in BitPay’s Atlanta headquarters, was first asked if BTC at $3,200 (current prices) is a fair value for the well-recognized digital asset. Turning the question somewhat on its head, long-time crypto savant Pair, formerly of IBM, noted that “it’s hard to say,” as a big component of the asset’s value is centered around speculative orders, which attempt to gauge how much impact BTC will have on society.

Yet, he added that a “small component” of BTC’s U.S. dollar valuation is tied to the utility of the asset, like as a digital store of value or an extremely secure digital medium of value — the latter of which being BitPay’s focus as an innovative startup.

BitPay CEO Speaks On (Bullish) Crypto Catalysts 

Pair, when questioned about his colleague’s prediction that the Bitcoin price could surpass $15,000 to $20,000 in 2019, went on to discuss catalysts that could push this cryptocurrency higher in the years to come. The CEO of the American fintech startup noted that while BitPay already processes $1 billion in BTC/BCH transactions yearly, he wants this sum to grow to $10 billion and $100 billion in the years to come, as a sign of the growing influence of cryptocurrencies on a global scale.

With adoption comes higher prices, Pair added, as is dictated by the principles of network value, and the simple fact that consumers will purchase BTC en-masse if payment solutions are seamless and cheap.

The industry chief also alluded to the theory that the arrival of institutional players and products, like a Bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF), Bakkt’s crypto futures, and other related forays, could push prices higher, as such efforts could also drive adoption, and subsequently, the Bitcoin price.

Pair Has Confidence In Blockchain

An overarching theme in 2018’s crypto market has been a shift from cryptocurrencies to blockchain applications. So, it should as no surprise that the CNBC anchor went on to query Pair about decentralized ledger technologies, which underpins the Bitcoin Network and its altcoin brethren. Pair stated that he has confidence in the decade-old innovation, but added that when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, blockchains are just a form of a database, rather than an abstract concept that some see it as.

Yet, he added that over time, as the world progresses, companies will begin to adopt blockchain-like data management techniques for a range of use cases, one of which being cryptocurrencies, of course.

In closing, touching on what lies in this industry’s future, the insider noted that Bitpay’s thesis is that within three to five years, most payments will be conducted on blockchains, while a majority of assets would be situated on the same technology.

Bitcoin, Ethernet, Computer Board Title Image Courtesy of Marco Verch on Flickr

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Bitcoin to Be Worth ‘Great Deal More’ in Three Years, Circle Co-Founder Says

Circle co-founder Jeremy Allaire believes that crypto valuations will increase, and BTC will be worth “a great deal more” than it is now.

Jeremy Allaire, co-founder of crypto finance company Circle, told CNBC in an interview Friday, Dec. 14, that Bitcoin (BTC) will be worth “a great deal more” than it is now.

When asked about the Bitcoin price in three years, Allaire told Squawk Box host Andrew Ross Sorkin that he does not make “significant price predictions,” while adding, “I think it is certainly going to be worth a great deal more that it is today.”

Allaire also stated that while Bitcoin is attractive as a non-state store of value, a slew of other tokens will enter the space, and the bases of their valuations will be diverse. He further explained:

“I do not think it’s a winner-take-all [situation]. We have the phrase ‘the tokenization of everything,’ and we think cryptographic tokens are going to represent every form of financial asset in the world. There will be millions of them in years.”

Allaire claimed that the crypto sphere needs clearer regulation, while noting that the United States already has “more regulatory clarity than almost any other market in the world.”

The Circle co-founder cited the need for clarification of whether crypto assets are currencies or commodities, and which crypto assets should qualify as securities. Furthermore, he believes the industry needs to define whether it needs rules for secondary trading of digital securities or a “kind of commodity spot market supervision for the crypto space.”

Earlier this week, major crypto bull and co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors Tom Lee claimed that the fair value of Bitcoin is “significantly” higher than its current price and should be somewhere between $13,800 and $14,800. Moreover, he still thinks that the fair value of Bitcoin could reach $150,000 after it has been more widely adopted.

As for crypto adoption, a commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Hester Peirce, dubbed “Crypto Mom” by the community for her pro-crypto stance, thinks that the process might take a long time. She urged the public not to ‘hold its breath,’ waiting for a Bitcoin ETF, as it could be “20 years away from now or it could be tomorrow.”

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Crypto Fund Wagers $1 Mln It Will Outperform S&P 500 in ‘Buffett Bet 2.0’

Crypto asset manager Morgan Creek Digital has issued a $1 million bet against the performance of the S&P 500 stock market index.

Crypto-focused institutional asset manager Morgan Creek Digital has issued a $1 million bet against the S&P 500 (SPX) stock market index, a press release shared with Cointelegraph reveals Dec. 6.

The crypto fund has issued a wager that its Digital Asset Index Fund –– a basket of ten major crypto assets –– will outperform the SPX over the next 10 years, starting Jan. 1, 2019.

The S&P 500 is based on market capitalizations of 500 large companies that have common stock listed on major U.S. stock exchanges, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or the Nasdaq Stock Market (NASDAQ).

The challenge from Morgan Creek Digital, dubbed “Buffett Bet 2.0,” evidently echoes a similar bet made by Wall Street’s prominent crypto critic Warren Buffett, who in 2008 bet $1 million that the S&P 500 would outperform a group of hedge funds over a ten year period.

If the bet is taken up, the firm noted the plan would be for the winner to donate the gains to charity, also mimicking Buffett’s move upon winning his S&P bet in 2017.

Anthony Pompliano, co-founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital, told CNBC that the new challenge could illuminate more than just the performance of crypto markets for many people:

“A lot of people might look at this and just think we’re bullish on crypto — but you need to look at what asset we’re going up against. Public equities aren’t exactly at their all time highs either.”

In order to justify his firm’s bet, the investor has also reportedly pointed to recent losses suffered by FANG –– a group of high-performing tech stocks in the U.S. market, namely Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google. Facebook is currently down 24 percent percent loss year over year, as CNBC reports.

Pompliano made a similar observation about the performance of traditional stocks in a tweet last month, stating that FANG stocks were down 20-40 percent from their all-time highs, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW) had its “worst Thanksgiving week since 2011.”

Buffett himself has come out multiple times to provocatively criticize cryptocurrency, calling it everything from a “mirage” to “rat poison squared.”