Cryptocurrency Volatility Doesn’t Bother UK Financial Professionals 3 1043

Cryptocurrency volatility is a constant concern. After news of the Google advertising ban on cryptocurrency and related products, Bitcoin tanked to a new low. In fact, over $60 billion was wiped off the value of cryptocurrency in the space of 24 hours.

Large selling from a trustee of Mt.Gox, the failed cryptocurrency exchange, was also partially to blame for the slide. Yet, despite the doom and gloom, UK financial professionals remain optimistic about the future of cryptocurrency.

A survey by Citigate Dewe Rogerson found that more than half of all financial professionals who invested in Britain are planning to buy more cryptocurrency this year. Despite the tumultuous landscape, impending regulation and rampant volatility, just 8 percent of those interviewed planned on selling their crypto.

Cryptocurrency Volatility is Passing

According to the survey, the majority of financial professionals in the UK believe that crypto value will rise again later in the year. In addition, retail investors are quietly optimistic. Many of them are seeking to increase their exposure, with 54 percent expecting prices to rise. 56 percent are planning on buying more.

The survey was conducted by the Consumer Intelligence unit of the research and communications company, and took place at the end of February.

But, of course, a lot has happened since then. In just two weeks, cryptos have been delivered blow after blow, with SEC involvement and ICO funding theft.

However, Jennifer McEntire of LexisNexis Risk Solutions believes the volatility is no worse than our traditional markets. “The volatility… I would liken and compare to our traditional markets,” she says.

A Light on the Horizon

Not only are financial professionals undeterred by cryptocurrency volatility, but 32 percent of them expect a dramatic increase in the next couple of years. Others are not so certain, but less than a third of all surveyed believed that valuation will continue to fall.

It’s certainly a gamble, and no one may have the answers in this entirely new landscape.

“Many cryptocurrencies have seen a huge increase in valuations, but also exceptional levels of volatility”, stated Executive Director at Citigate Dewe Rogerson, Phil Anderson. “Cryptocurrency millionaires have been created, but many other investors have lost money. Despite the significant levels of volatility and price fluctuations, our research reveals many financial professionals remain optimistic about the future for cryptocurrencies.”

Despite the cryptocurrency volatility, most financial professionals (59 percent) expect the overall market to reach over $1 trillian by 2021. Less than 20 percent of participants expect the market to shrink to less than $800 billion.

Will Regulation be a Blessing or a Curse?

While many ICOs are nervous about impending regulation, financial professionals seem to welcome it. If crypto transactions are regulated and there are more guidelines and tighter control, investors can invest with greater confidence and ICO scam teams can be eradicated. Moreover, crypto’s usage for instant transactions and removing conversion fees will be more widely adopted by the finance industry.

But beyond Bitcoin and investor buying and selling, the majority of those surveyed believe that the blockchain will have a bigger lasting impact. 44 percent of financial professionals expect to see a major increase in blockchain adoption by corporations, using smart contracts and other blockchain applications in the near future.

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Christina is a technology and business communicator who has worked with high profile ICOs and blockchain influencers to break industry news.

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There’s an Inflatable ‘Bitcoin Rat’ Staring Down the Fed 95 13027

Someone has put a giant inflatable rat outside the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

It’s covered in Bitcoin code, printed in rainbow colors, and is apparently a piece of installation art aimed at subverting the federal institution that controls the US dollar. Or is it pale, puffed-up pariah a commentary on Bitcoin bros themselves? Or does it have something to do with Warren Buffett, who earlier this year called Bitcoin “rat poison squared”? According to CoinDesk, who first reported on the inflatable rat, the meaning is intentionally ambiguous.

The artist behind the puzzling prank is Nelson Saiers. He describes his own work as “mystifying” and “singularly original”, notwithstanding the long history of rats being inflated as protests or used as economic and political icons in art and entertainment around the world.

“It’s art, so I hope they’re entertained by it,” he said, apparently implying that art is entertainment. “It’s informative, I hope people will learn [and] I’m hoping it’ll at least help people understand bitcoin better and be kind of faithful to what Satoshi would have wanted,” he added, citing the mysterious pseudonym of Bitcoin’s founder with a touch of reverence.

A $50 Million Artist

Saiers, a phD in theoretical mathematics, was a hedge fund manager who did that thing where you give up all the money to chase your dream of being an artist.

His financial experience includes a stint as managing director at Deutsche Bank’s prop trading desk, before becoming CIO of Saiers Capital, the hedge fund that bears his name. His creative career gives credence to the theory that working as an artist is more and more a privilege of the very wealthy.

CNBC estimated Saiers’s wealth to be around $50 million at the time of he departed from the financial industry to pick up his paintbrushes.

The Rat Joins a Tradition of Sculpture-as-Commentary in FiDi

The Bitcoin rat, which stands on Maiden Lane, isn’t the first pop up sculpture to grace Manhattan’s financial district. Last year, Kristen Visbal’s 50 inch bronze ‘Fearless Girl’ statue made waves by staring down the famous ‘Charging Bull’, to the outrage of ‘Charging Bull’ sculptor Arturo Di Modica. The 3.5 ton ‘Charging Bull’ itself was left on Wall Street in the middle of the night when Di Modica originally created it, obstructing traffic and drawing the curiosity of passers by.

When Saiers placed the Bitcoin rat, he initially set it up on private property and was promptly ushered off by security guards, who he says were good natured about the situation. He expects the sculpture to be more temporary than the aforementioned Wall Street bronzes, and will probably only be around for a few days.

A Critique of the 2008 Bailouts

The placement of the rat on Maiden Lane seems to be no accident, but rather a reference to the Maiden Lane Transactions, more commonly known as that time when the Fed bailed out the big banks after they all caused the 2008 market crash. The Bitcoin crowd’s antipathy towards the Fed and the big banks is palpable in Sairs’s rat sculpture, and while a more specific meaning eludes, perhaps the success of the piece depends upon its ability to start conversations about the state of finance.

We’ll leave it to the viewers to decide who’s the rat—the Federal Reserve, or Bitcoin itself—and what that means for the future of currencies.

Chinese Crypto Leader Li Xiaolai Suddenly Retires 8 1654

One of China’s most prominent Bitcoin investors has announced his retirement from the crypto world. Billionaire Li Xiaolai is the founder of BitFund, a crypto venture capital firm that has fostered a slew of Bitcoin-related startups.

Li’s announcement of his decision to withdraw from cryptospace—and investing otherwise—came unexpectedly via his page on Chinese social media site Weibo.

“From this day on,” his post reads, according to TechNode’s translation, “I, Li Xiaolai, will personally not invest in any projects (whether it is blockchain or early stage). So, if you see ‘Li Xiaolai’ associated with any project (I have been associated with countless projects without my knowledge, 99% is not an exaggeration), just ignore it.”

Li is a former school teacher, and claims to be the first person in China to openly trade Bitcoins, rather than hiding behind its famous anonymity. Now, retired from both teaching and investing, he says he’s not sure where to go next. “I plan to spend several years to contemplate on my career change. As for what I’m doing next, I’m not sure just yet.”

Li closed his post by expressing that he still maintains a long term optimism about the blockchain.

Li’s Ventures Grew Crypto Capital, Controversey

Through BitFund, Li has incubated a number of blockchain related startups, including an off-chain wallet called Bitfoo, the crypto exchange YUNBI, and HashRatio, a miner manufacturing company. Li organized 2014’s Global Bitcoin Summit in Beijing, back when you could get a BTC for as little as $440, and years before China instated its full ban on cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this year, Li also acted as managing partner of Hangzhou Xiong’An Blockchain Fund, a billion dollar fund backed by the Hangzhou government. Li stepped down after fellow venture capitalist Chen Weizing introduced a series of accusations against him.

Included in the eleven accusations, which Chen broke on social media and messaging platform WeChat, were a supposed debt of 30,000 BTC that Chen says Li failed to pay on time. Li published a point-by-point response to Chen’s accusations, addressing the 30,000 BTC debt by saying “it’s not true… Chen is just muddying the water.”

Though Li called them “defamations,” and Chen did not offer supporting evidence for his allegations, Li said Chen’s antics “brought material and negative impacts on the reputation of Xiong’An Blockchain Fund” and that his resignation would “let the Hangzhou government continue its push for blockchain development.”

Li was the subject of controversy on another occasion when, in a candid conversation he did not know was being recorded, he outed several influential organizations as scams and said that the best way to succeed in blockchain, even if your project is worthless, is to get famous and build consensus.

The State of Crypto in the People’s Republic

All crypto and blockchain related websites are blocked by the Chinese government, and citizens are forbidden from engaging in crypto transactions. The People’s Bank of China released a statement on August 24th warning against ICOs, which they consider to be “illegal fundraising, pyramid schemes, and fraud.”

But the rules have been difficult to enforce, and crypto still enjoys an active user base in China. Beijing Sci-Tech Report, China’s oldest technology publication, is now the first Chinese publication to accept BTC as payment from its subscribers. Chinese crypto channel cnLedger announced in a tweet on September 25th that Ethereum Hotel, China’s first hotel to accept ETH as payment, is open for business in Sichuan Province.

A Crypto Landscape Without a Leader

The sudden exit of Li Xiaolai from the Chinese crypto scene could have caveats, or greater implications. Weibo users expressed their support and gratitude following his announcement, but some also speculated that his choice of words leaves room for Li to continue investing in crypto indirectly, perhaps through funds or corporate entities. Whether that will be the case or not, for many, his resignation marks the loss of a public blockchain leader.

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