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Bitcoin (BTC) Advocate Mike Novogratz Still High on Hopium, And That’s Ok

Galaxy Digital’s Novo Still Hyped For Bitcoin Rally

Since making a full-on foray into this space in 2016-2017, Mike Novogratz has quickly become a leading voice in this space. And while the bear market has deterred many investors, Novogratz, a Goldman Sachs partner turned founder of crypto-centric Galaxy Digital, has kept his head rather high. Case in point, as Bitcoin (BTC) fell each and every month, his comments have remained optimistic.

While he has received some flak for his seeming permabullishness, the investor only doubled-down on his buoyant sentiment in a recent tweet.

In response to a “bull” or “bear” Twitter poll from none other than Changpeng Zhao of Binance, Novogratz, who once claimed that upwards of 20% of his net worth was in Ethereum and Bitcoin, responded with neither. The cryptocurrency insider remarked that from his point of view, the market looks “pretty sideways,” but is finding a base for sure.

And with that, he added that more likely than not, BTC’s next move will be one to the upside, rather than a harrowing drop to lower lows as some cynics suggest.

Zhao responded with “good info,” presumably agreeing with the theory that Bitcoin is leaning bullish at current.

Why Some Are (Rightfully) Bullish On BTC

So why is Novo bullish? And more importantly, is his optimism warranted?

Well, as reported by Ethereum World News on previous dates, the Galaxy Digital head’s sentiment has much to do with instituional involvement in this budding space.

In another one of his crypto-related tweets, which are somewhat scant in current conditions, the former Wall Street hotshot explained that there’s tons of institutional “activity under the hood,” adding that investors should “stay the course.” While Novogratz seems to be implying that lots of underlying developments aren’t public knowledge, there is a handful of recent news pieces that show that institutional players are here.

Just last week, Fidelity Investments, a Boston-based, renowned financial services provider, revealed that it had soft-launched its Digital Asset Services division, which is currently offering Bitcoin custody and trade execution for a select list of clients. In an interview with The Block, Tom Jessop, the head of Digital Asset Services, claimed that 20% of 450 institutions it interviewed were interested in cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin.

The fact that university endowments, like Michigan’s $12 billion fund, and pension plans, like two in Virginia State, U.S., have begun to delve into diverting funds into this market only accentuates that institutions see potential in this asset class.

While this doesn’t mean that cryptocurrencies must move higher, the fact that such heavyweights in the investment realm are throwing some money here should be a promising sign. And it seems like that is exactly what Novogratz is touching on.

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

The post Bitcoin (BTC) Advocate Mike Novogratz Still High on Hopium, And That’s Ok appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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NYSE Operator’s Crypto Platform Bakkt Completes $182.5 Million Funding Round

The digital assets platform Bakkt — created by the NYSE’s operator — announces the completion of their first funding round.

Digital assets platform Bakkt — created by the operator of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) — has announced the completion of its first funding round in a blog post today, Dec. 31.

The institutional investor-focused cryptocurrency platform from the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has officially raised $182.5 million from 12 partners and investors, according to the post.

The partners and investors reportedly include major names in both traditional finance and crypto-oriented investing, including ICE, Boston Consulting Group, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Microsoft’s venture capital arm and Pantera Capital.

Bakkt also noted in the announcement that the company is working with United States regulators — namely the  Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) — to obtain “regulatory approval for physically delivered and warehoused bitcoin,” adding:

“We have filed our applications and the timing for approval is now based on the regulatory review process.”

Also today, ICE separately announced in a notice that the firm “expects to provide an updated launch timeline in early 2019, for the trading, clearing and warehousing of the Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract.” In late November, the long-awaited digital assets platform stated that it was targeting Jan. 24, 2019 as a launch date, pending CFTC approval.

ICE first announced plans to create a Microsoft cloud-powered “open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets” in August, as Cointelegraph reported at the time.

Multiple experts and commentators in the crypto and blockchain industry have pointed to Bakkt’s coming launch as a major factor that will help crypto markets rebound from this year’s ongoing bear market.

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Mike Novogratz Adamant That Bitcoin (BTC) Won’t Fall To $0

Bitcoin fanatic and blockchain enthusiast Mike Novogratz, a former Wall Street hotshot, recently doubled-down on his pro-crypto sentiment, even while this infant market continues to fall victim to shortcomings.

Revolutions Don’t Happen Overnight, Crypto Included

In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg, Novogratz, a member of Fortress Financial’s top brass turned crypto-centric merchant bank chief, gave some key insight into his personal outlook for blockchain-based assets and decentralized applications. Surprisingly, the diehard, who reportedly holds upwards of 20% of his personal fortune in cryptocurrencies (like Ethereum’s ETH), maintained his optimistic outlook.

Speaking with the financial media outlet’s Erik Schatzker, Mike “Novo” Novogratz commenced the candid conversation by joking that he’s become the “ugly face” of the Bitcoin industry, a far cry from his months as the poster child (and approachable savant) of cryptocurrencies. Yet, in spite of his newfound classification as an “ugly face” of the industry, he explained that he still believes in the technology underpinning Bitcoin — blockchain — and digital assets themselves.

Still, Novo explained that “revolutions don’t happen overnight,” adding that it became apparent that 2017’s monumental rally was a bubble when “people would come up to me wanting to take selfies,” as by then, it was clear that crypto assets were slated to plateau and pullback.

The industry insider is obviously referencing the sentiment that crypto’s come up won’t be an easy task, as pushback is expected from traditionalists and pro-centralists. Travis Kling, founder and showrunner at crypto hedge fund Ikigai, recently explained to the TD Ameritrade Network that it’s early for the crypto industry, adding that a majority of Bitcoin’s 10-year history was just getting its wings off the ground.

By the same token, the cryptocurrency proponent explained that most of the publicity and development that has fallen on cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin, came within the last 18 to 24 months, not during this ecosystem’s come up. As such, Kling explained that the cryptocurrency revolution is a “multi-year, multi-decade” play, rather than a chance at short-term profits.

Bitcoin Will Become Digital Gold

Back to Novogratz, the Galaxy Digital representative then touched on what lies in store for Bitcoin. Echoing comments he made earlier on CNN Money, the industry chief noted that BTC will likely become digital gold, subsequently joking that the asset will become a “legal pyramid scheme.” Giving his rationale behind this claim, Novogratz drew attention to Yale University’s recent foray into cryptocurrencies, adding that some of the smartest people, like Yale’s endowment showrunner, David Swensen, see value in Bitcoin and related innovations.

Interestingly, Kling also touched on this value proposition, pointing out that there’s a non-zero chance that Bitcoin could live up to everyone’s expectations, becoming a globally-secured transaction settlement layer that is immutable, decentralized, censorship-resistant, and cost- and time-effective, while hosting the second coming of gold at the same time. He added that even if BTC only amounts to 10 percent of gold’s market capitalization, there is still nine times growth potential for the popular digital asset.

Yet, some say that the market capitalization of BTC could surpass that of gold itself, as stated by Bobby Lee and Adam Back.

In the end, summarizing his points, Novogratz noted that BTC at $20,000 was a “drug,” but then added that he wouldn’t be caught dead stating that it’s going to zero. Instead, he explained that the current state of the market is just consumers visiting the methadone clinic, rather than the end of Bitcoin as a whole.

Even while he has an apparent vested interest in the future success of this decade-old industry, consumers would be remiss to cast aside Novo’s comments. Still, as is common investor practice, the Galaxy Digital CEO’s remarks should be somewhat taken with a grain of salt.

Regardless, the fact of the matter is that many industry insiders aren’t ready to fold, even while countless startups and ‘fairweather’ investors are nearing collapse.

The post Mike Novogratz Adamant That Bitcoin (BTC) Won’t Fall To $0 appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Novogratz's Galaxy Digital Will Start Trading on a Stock Exchange This Week

Cryptocurrency merchant bank Galaxy Digital is set to trade on Toronto’s TSX Venture Exchange on August 1, Bloomberg reported Monday.

The cryptocurrency merchant bank, which was first announced in January, received final approval from Canadian regulators to begin trading, founder and billionaire investor Michael Novogratz told BNN Bloomberg Toronto. He called the process to receive permission “frustrating,” citing the time it took to receive this approval.

He added:

“If I knew what I know now, knew the crypto markets were going to swoon as much, and it was going to take so long, I might have stayed private for another year or so and then gone public. But I don’t think it’s a mistake.”

Galaxy Digital lost $134 million in the first quarter of 2018, largely due to declining cryptocurrency prices, the company announced in a quarterly earnings report last week, as CoinDesk previously reported.

The lengthy listing time came from the fact that  Galaxy Digital chose to undergo a reverse takeover by merging with a TSX-listed shell company. Regulators examined the deal closely, going so far as to push back the final approval for listing from April to August, according to Bloomberg.

That being said, Novogratz believes cryptocurrency prices will rebound, predicting that bitcoin’s price might soon see $10,000 again.

“I think we actually [are] in the bottom of the market. Part of this is the anticipation of an ETF that will hopefully get approved. If that ETF gets approved in a few weeks, we will go to $10,000. I don’t think we get through $10,000 cause there is a big ceiling over there,” he said.

Investors need more tools to trust the space before the price can go beyond $10,000, he said, explaining that “a lot of retailer investors got caught by bad prices last November and December.”

“I don’t think we will get through $10,000 until we get custody solutions announced implemented by trusted names,” he added.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading around the $8,000 mark, according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index.

Michael Novogratz mage via CoinDesk archives

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Novogratz’s Crypto Firm Incurs $134 Million In Q1 Losses

The cryptocurrency market hasn’t had the most successful start to 2018, with prices declining by over 60%, and speculative investors leaving the market en-masse. According to a press release relayed by Business Insider, the market’s misfortune has also impacted the operation of Mike Novogratz’s cryptocurrency-centric firm.

As per the financial statements of Q1 of 2018, Galaxy Digital lost approximately $134 million during the first fiscal quarter of this year. Diving deeper into the numbers, it has become apparent that the firm suffered due to declining cryptocurrency prices.

The New York-based merchant bank posted a net loss of approximately $103 million due to cryptocurrency trading, with $13.52 million in realized losses, and $85.5 million in unrealized losses. Galaxy also spent $10.9 million on operational expenses, putting the firm deeper into a financial hole.

The release of the financial statements was required to occur to fulfill Novogratz’s plan to list his firm on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s Venture branch in Canada. It is important to note that these numbers only apply to Q1 of 2018, with the firm not disclosing what was its financial situation in the prior three months (Q2). But if Novogratz receives approval to become publicly traded, it is likely that an in-depth look at the firm’s financial situation will be revealed in due time.

Novogratz, who is the founder and CEO of Galaxy Digital, issued a statement, noting that he was “very proud” of the firm’s progression since the start of the year. He then added:

We have assembled a world-class team with deep institutional knowledge and expertise and have also made significant strides in scaling our four core business lines.

Notwithstanding of the dismal figures, it seems that Novogratz hasn’t given up hope in the investment of crypto assets yet, with the balance sheet reporting that Galaxy held $225.8 million in digital assets as of March 31st. Additionally, the value of the unrealized losses indicates that the firm is likely looking to hold their crypto assets for a while longer.

Galaxy Digital Trudges Foward, Despite Heavy Losses

Despite nearly $134 million in total losses, Galaxy Digital has trudged forward in these choppy waters. As reported by Ethereum World News earlier this week, the cryptocurrency-focused firm recently made an investment into BlockFi. This investment into the cryptocurrency-fiat lending startup is now the 11th investment they have made in a third-party company, with these investments being valued at $86.8 million.

Novogratz contributed over $300 million of his personal fortune to get the firm off the ground, so it may be rather disappointing for the former Wall Street executive to see these heavy losses. However, the investment guru still holds faith in the cryptocurrency market, recently calling for the collective value of all crypto assets to reach $20 trillion in the future.


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Crypto Bank Galaxy Digital Loses $134 Million in Q1

Crypto investment bank Galaxy Digital lost $134 million in the first quarter of 2018, largely due to declining cryptocurrency prices, the company announced in a quarterly earnings report Wednesday.

Galaxy Digital, chaired by billionaire investor Michael Novogratz, said it saw a “net unrealized loss” of $85.5 million on digital assets, and a further $24 million loss on investments, totaling $109.6 million overall in its first-ever quarterly earnings report. The firm also spent $11 million in operating expenses and saw a $13.5 million loss from its income, resulting in roughly $134 million lost in the first quarter, according to the report.

The company only reported the results between January 1 and March 31, and has yet to reveal what its second quarter looked like.

The report confirmed Novogratz’s plan to complete a merger with Canadian companies First Coin Capital Corp. and Bradmer Pharmaceuticals Inc. Galaxy Digital is also still undergoing a process to have its shares listed on a Canadian stock exchange, Bloomberg reported.

Regulators have issued additional demands for the merger, resulting in a delay in getting its shares listed, Bloomberg wrote.

Despite the delay, Novogratz said in a statement that he was “proud” of the progress Galaxy Digital made so far in 2018.

He added:

“We have assembled a world-class team with deep institutional knowledge and expertise and have also made significant strides in scaling our four core business lines. I have complete confidence in our team’s ability to continue driving growth and believe the Company is strategically positioned to help further institutionalize the digital assets and blockchain technology industry.”

Michael Novogratz image by Brady Dale for CoinDesk

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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AlphaPoint Raises $15 Million In First Major Funding Round

Crypto services company AlphaPoint successfully raised $15 million in its first major round of venture capital funding, the firm announced Thursday.

AlphaPoint raised the funds through Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, the self-described cryptocurrency merchant bank. Chief executive Salil Donde said Galaxy Digital managing director Greg Wasserman is also joining his firm’s advisory board to provide “oversight, guidance and insights.”

Donde told CoinDesk:

“Galaxy and AlphaPoint are both leaders in the crypto and blockchain space, so there have been, and will continue to be, opportunities where we can collaborate for the benefit of mutual customers. With respect to future products and technology, AlphaPoint will continue to incorporate the needs of our customers and our prospective customers in conjunction with the ever-changing blockchain landscape around us.”

The new funds will help AlphaPoint continue its mission of using blockchain technology to digitize assets in both traditional and emerging markets, he said, referencing the Regulated Asset Backed Token (RABT) his firm introduced to provide liquidity into the real estate market.

In a statement, Wasserman noted that “the market opportunity for digitizing illiquid assets is tremendous. Consumers are demanding increased access, transparency and trust. Businesses are seeking increased liquidity with reduced fraud, risk and cost.”

Galaxy Digital was launched earlier this year by billionaire and former hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz, and reportedly raised a total of $250 million as a cryptocurrency investment venture.

“We are in the early stages of a fundamental transformation in financial markets due to the digitization of assets … we are excited to partner with AlphaPoint as we continue to help drive this revolutionary change in digital markets,” he said in a press release.

Handshake image via Shutterstock. 

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.