OZ Crypto Roundup: Sideways Bitcoin movement sees altcoins break into higher profits

Weekly Market Update
1 – 5/11/21

Bitcoin’s price stays mostly flat across the week, with key altcoins showing continued short-term price swings.

  • TLDR – A snapshot of the week
  • BTC up 3.5% (US$ 62,285 and AU$ 84,168)
  • ETH up 7.7% (US$ 4,489 and AU$ 6,066)
  • Federal Gov seizes more than US $1.6 Million in crypto from hackers
  • ‘Big 4’ Australian bank gives the go-ahead for crypto trading
  • NYC Mayor-elect takes swaps Bitcoin for wages

Australia’s federal government seizes more than $1.6 million in crypto from hackers

Following a tip from the FBI, the Australian Federal Police has apprehended a hacker who sold stolen Spotify, Netflix, and Hulu subscriptions in exchange for millions worth of cryptocurrency.

  • The 23 year-old man, based in Sydney, was ordered to hand over the cryptocurrency in late October following his guilty conviction in April
  • Pleading guilty for his role in “credential stuffing” activity, the man is said to have sold stolen log-ins for online subscription services, including Netflix, Spotify and Hulu
  • The AFP in turn obtained restraining orders over the cryptocurrency, bank, and Paypal accounts which were believed to be held by the hacker under a range of false identities
  • Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews announced that the seized cryptocurrency, together with an additional $400,000 in cash, were to be distributed amongst a range of law enforcement and community initiatives
  • “Good work by the AFP has seen a criminal stripped of their ill-gotten gains, and this money redirected to enhancing the safety and security of Australia,”
  • The conviction and retrieval of the cryptocurrency has been highlighted as an example of the AFP’s resilience in fighting cybercrime, with the assistant commissioner Justine Gough complimenting the operation as an “excellent example of the AFP’s cybercrime investigation and asset confiscation capabilities.”

Commonwealth Bank of Australia gives the go-ahead for cryptocurrency trading

  • CBA, one of the countries ‘Big 4’ banking institutions, is set to allow its customers to buy and sell cryptocurrency through its app Commbank, the first decision of its kind by a major Australian bank.
  • Australia’s largest bank has announced on Wednesday its partnership with major US-based crypto exchange Gemini and blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis with plans to deliver crypto trading services to its 6.5 million app users
  • In a statement, CBA’s chief executive Matt Comyn recognised the bank’s commitment to the emergence of digital assets and growing demand for related products and services.
  • “We believe we can play an important role in crypto to address what’s clearly a growing customer need and provide capability, security and confidence in a crypto trading platform.”
  • Around the industry the move has been received positively, with many hoping commitment from institutions like CBA will bring greater legitimacy to the cryptocurrency space.
  • Dr Dimitrios Salampasis, lecturer of fintech leadership and entrepreneurship at Swinburne Business School expressed the significance of the matter, stating;
  • “It will hopefully bring legitimacy, bring further harmonisation, push further regulation and also minimise debanking, which has been a massive pain for all cryptocurrency startups in particular.”
  • The platform is set to offer 10 crypto assets for purchase and sale including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin in the projected 2022 launch of this service

NYC mayor-elect Eric Adams swaps his first 3 paychecks for crypto

  • Incoming New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced on Thursday that he will receive his first three paychecks in Bitcoin once he takes office in January next year.
  • Relayed in a tweet, Adams expressed his commitment to the future of cryptocurrencies in his employment and for the city of New York, stating:

“I’m going to take my first THREE paychecks in bitcoin when I become mayor. NYC is going to be a center of the cryptocurrency industry.”

  • The success of the soon-to-be mayor’s campaign for the state of New York has been partly credited to his pro-crypto stance among other key issues
  • Despite New York City being a major financial center globally and for the US, the city has some of the nations toughest cryptocurrency rules, making the move especially significant for mainstream acceptance
  • Australia very recently has made strides towards creating a sustainable and globally competitive environment for cryptocurrencies with recent report into the future of digital assets by Senate Select Committee
  • However engagement in crypto from Australian politicians, similar to Eric Adams, would be seriously impactful for the future of crypto businesses, development, and investment in the country

Market Sentiment

  • The past week has seen Bitcoin’s price traded mostly sideways, in response alternative coins like Ether have shown heavy retail support as some in the market look for greater profit potential.
  • Compared to a 4% rise in ETH, BTC’s price has stayed relatively flat in the same period
  • Investors may be looking for the next big catalyst to push Bitcoin to a higher price, but without one, the coins is vulnerable to break lower than AU$ 81000
  • After breaking all time highs, BTC has historically shown a short period where investors sell off as traders take profits, however some analysts expect further upside with blockchain metrics showing strong Bitcoin accumulation in the market
  • What is more certain, is that Bitcoin’s two bull runs in 2021 have been distinctly different to those in the past years in regards to the coin’s volatility
  • Prior to 2021, Bitcoin’s implied volatility – which is the expectation of how unstable prices will be over a set period of time – has heavily spiked after the coin’s price hit record highs

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