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Goldman Sachs’ Blankfein Asks Why Crypto Isn’t Having a Moment Despite Inflating US Dollar, Freeze Orders – Markets and Prices Bitcoin News

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A Goldman Sachs senior chairman has asked why crypto is not having a moment despite “the inflating U.S. dollar” and governments demonstrating that they can and will freeze accounts under certain circumstances. “Not seeing it in the price, so far,” he said.

Goldman Sachs’ Blankfein Has a Question About Crypto

Lloyd Blankfein, who is currently senior chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group, tweeted about crypto Sunday. Blankfein previously served as Goldman Sachs’ chairman and chief executive officer from 2006 through September 2018.

He explained that he is keeping an open mind about crypto. However, he questioned why it is not “having a moment” given “the inflating U.S. dollar” and governments showing that they “can and will under certain circumstances freeze accounts and block payments.” He opined, “Not seeing it in the price, so far…”

Goldman Sachs' Blankfein Asks Why Crypto Isn't Having a Moment Despite Inflating US Dollar, Freeze Orders

Recently, the Canadian government froze accounts tied to the Freedom Convoy trucker protest. Furthermore, since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, a growing number of governments are placing sanctions on certain Russian individuals and entities, which may include freezing accounts tied to them.

While bank accounts and crypto assets held at exchanges can be frozen, decentralized cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin and ether, cannot be frozen directly within the network. The CEOs of crypto exchanges Coinbase and Kraken have advised that anyone worried about their crypto assets being frozen should transfer them off exchanges and self-custody them. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz described: “One of the reasons why I’m so bullish on bitcoin is because it is decentralized and not controllable.”

As for inflation, many people view bitcoin as a hedge against rising inflation, including famed hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones, who said in October last year that he prefers bitcoin to gold as an inflation hedge. Blankfein’s investment bank, Goldman Sachs, said in December 2020 that bitcoin is “the retail inflation hedge.”

Many People Reply to Blankfein’s Crypto Question

The Goldman Sachs senior chairman received many replies on Twitter. Some people agreed with him that the price of bitcoin should have risen a lot more while others argued that BTC has already gone up tremendously, especially compared to other assets.

“Interesting observation and I kind of agree,” one Twitter user wrote. “Although, the only thing having a moment right now is oil, energy, and wheat.”

Crypto analyst Tuur Demeester wrote:

Bitcoin is up 10,000% in 72 months, with compounding annual returns of 116%. Kindly give it a minute.

Another Twitter user told Blankfein: “Oh it’s definitely in the price, Lloyd. Zoom out! Now imagine when you, Ken Griffin, DHH [Ruby on Rail creator David Heinemeier Hansson], and the rest of the new 2022 converts start buying in size. This adoption wave will be bigger than when Druck [Stan Druckenmiller] and PTJ [Paul Tudor Jones] started buying in 2020.”

Chris Burniske, a partner at VC firm Placeholder, commented: “Don’t paper hands it, Lloyd.”

Some people are more skeptical about cryptocurrency. One tweeted: “Crypto is on the verge of being destroyed, by restrictive government regulation, as BTC and other cryptocurrencies are being used by Russian oligarchs as a vehicle for mass money laundering and evasion of sanctions. That is the ‘moment’ we are probably about to see.”

Digital asset manager Eric Weiss replied:

It’s just a matter of education. So few people understand bitcoin’s value proposition. You clearly do. Just hodl with us Lloyd. We are going to make it.

What do you think about the Goldman Sachs senior chairman asking about crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.




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Why Gold Is Beating Bitcoin In 2022

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Bitcoin continues to underperform as a general “risk-off” sentiment has investors driving toward gold as a safe haven asset.

Not Risking It

Concerns about the Russo-Ukrainian war continue. The U.S. inflation struggles at a four-decade high and Fed rate hike fears prevail. The uncertainty extends to the world economy as a recession is expected instead of a recovery. The IMF’s managing director Kristalina Georgieva called it “a crisis on top of a crisis.”

“The war is a supply shock that reduces economic output and raises prices. Indeed, we forecast inflation will accelerate to 5.5 percent in advanced economies and to 9.3 percent in emerging European economies excluding Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. ” The IMF stated last week.

Reuters recently quoted Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann, who talked in a note about the factors that have “lent buoyancy to gold in recent days,” mentioning the “strong buying interest on the part of ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) investors” and news about the Ukraine war.

“Russia appears to be preparing to launch a major offensive in the east of the country – that is generating considerable demand for gold as a safe haven,” the analyst said.

This summarizes the “risk-off” sentiment at the moment. As expected, equities suffer as investors are selling risky assets and purchasing the ones negatively correlated to the traditional market. Thus, the crypto space is struggling alongside de stocks market and gold is rising.

Bitcoin Outperformed By Gold

Data from Arcane Research’s latest weekly report notes that it has been a gloomy year for the “digital gold.” In the first three weeks of 2022, Bitcoin sank 25% and it is still down by 18% in the year despite its slight recovery.

Similarly, Nasdaq records a 19% decline in the year, having underperformed against bitcoin “by a small margin,” notes the report, adding that “This is surprising given that bitcoin has tended to follow Nasdaq, albeit with higher volatility.”

The general fear over geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainty has given gold the safe-haven asset spotlight once more. The asset outperformed all the other indexes seen below with a 4% gain.

Physical gold outperforming “digital gold” in 2022 | Source: Arcane Research

Meanwhile, the currency market is performing with “the same risk-off patterns.” The Dollar has been proving its “risk-off” dominance as the US Dollar Index (DXY) is up 7%. The Chinese yuan has taken a hit over concerns about the country’s “zero-covid” policy –which creates issues for the global supply chain– and the slowing down Chinese economy. In contrast, investors have been running to the US Dollar for safety.

Bitcoin supporters usually refer to the coin as “digital gold” alleging it is a safe haven asset, and this narrative had held well while BTC had been “uncorrelated with most other major asset classes,” but the tide is shifting with the 2022 scenario as investors are rather placing the coin “into the risk-on basket”.

A previous Arcane Research report indicated that bitcoin’s 30 -day correlation with the Nasdaq is revisiting July 2020 highs while its correlation with gold has reached all-time lows.

A pseudonym traded noted that “As Bitcoin adoption goes on and more institutional investors enter the market, the correlation of BTC and stocks becomes more and more tight. That is a paradigm that the crypto world struggled to come to terms with in the past but is now more real than ever. A healthy stock market is good for Bitcoin.”

Meanwhile, the general sentiment of traders seems to be bearish, with many saying that the coin could visit the $30k level soon.

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Bitcoin trading at $39k in the daily chart | BTCUSD on TradingView.com

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Attendees talk the future of NFTs

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The crypto community headed to Nassau in the Bahamas this week for the inaugural Crypto Bahamas conference.

Like most conferences, panels fill up the agenda and on Wednesday the topics at Crypto Bahamas ranged from NFTs to crypto in sports and to asset allocation in Web3. During one particular conversation, titled Evolution of NFTs: Culture, Utility and Regulation, panelists had some insightful musings on the NFT market.

To put the Crypto Bahamas conference into context, Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange FTX moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to the Bahamas in Sept. 2021. It recently inked a multi-year partnership with Anthony Scaramucci’s investment firm SkyBridge Capital, and its events arm SkyBridge Alternatives, or SALT. They jointly presented the conference.

That’s why the NFT panel consisted of multiple perspectives from Tristan Yver, head of strategy at FTX U.S., Joseph Doll, attorney at Fenwick law firm, Roham Gharegozlou, the chief executive officer at Dapper Labs, and Sarah Hammer, the managing director of The Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance at The Wharton School. Zack Guzman, writer for the Meta-owned newsletter platform Bulletin, moderated.

Gharegozlou pointed out how new the NFT market truly is when “most people have only been thinking about it for a year and a half,” making valuations “very immature.” As the CEO of Dapper Labs, the company behind NBA Top Shot,  Gharegozlou recognized that “utility, rewards and the how you value and NFT is primarily based on the strength of that of the community.”

He added that a good way for an NFT collection to build a strong community is to have multiple tiers of scarcity. In the case of NBA Top Shot, at the higher price end there is extreme scarcity, but there are also millions of “common” moments so that people can “get their first NFT and see how it feels without breaking the bank.” 

Tristan Yver echoed that the current valuation and pricing model for NFTs is based on a collective perception on value based on the amount of people willing to buy an asset for a certain amount. He anticipated a “movement away from this consensus view to a more unique singular view where people buy things that resonate with them rather than what resonates with a larger community.”

Joseph Doll chimed in to say that “communities need to be thoughtful about democratizing access.” There are some “massive” barriers to entry to certain projects, he said, including not being early enough or not having enough capital at the time. He questioned, “That’s not what crypto is about, right? It’s kind of about the exact opposite of that.” Democratization, he suggested, can come in the form of derivative projects at better price points.

Another important point brought up by Yver was the reality of scams, especially on Discord and Twitter. He said that “we need to move past security aspects to be able to really bring in the next large mass of users.” He recommended talking among family and friends or asking a Discord moderator to make sure “you click the right link when minting that NFT” because “wallet security sucks right now.”

Gharegozlou even said that Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, should use Web3 to fix Twitter’s fraud problem, just as Discord should use Web3 authentication and verification as well. “Once NFT’s are the sort of identity bridge across all these different social networks, identity and assets, authenticity, provenance,” then the system can be more resilient he added.

When asked what “main alpha” the audience should bear in mind, Doll said to engage with and be part of these NFT communities even if it’s “scary,” because getting scammed is a “part of the journey.”

Sarah Hammer, who leads the Cypher Accelerator at Wharton business school, said that the school is launching an incubator specifically for NFT projects in partnership with Dapper Labs because the “NFT model is a business model for the future.” She emphasized that the greatest way to grow and innovate in the space is to increase education efforts in order to get more people learning and working together.

Related: Goldman Sachs reportedly eyes FTX alliance with regulatory and public listing assistance

Recently the Bahamian government allowed residents to use digital assets, including the world’s first central bank digital currency, or CBDC, to pay for taxes in 2022.