Archive for Natasha Dailey

Crypto prices are plummeting in India as the country mull as ban on digital assets — and its creating an opportunity for savvy investors

Bitcoin trading crypto cryptocurrency phone retail trader
SOPA Images/Getty Images
  • Prices of shiba inu, dogecoin, bitcoin, and tether dropped on a popular crypto exchange in India.
  • The declines came as the country mulls a crackdown on private cryptocurrencies.
  • The declines created an arbitrage opportunity for savvy investors, but a tough one to capitalize on.

Cryptocurrencies dropped in India Wednesday morning as the country mulled a crackdown on digital assets — and its opened up opportunities for witty investors.

According to a Bloomberg article, shiba inu coin and dogecoin sunk more than 20% on the WazirX crypto exchange in India while on Binance and Kraken, they were relatively unaffected. Bitcoin, for its part, dropped 14% on WazirX and just 0.5% on Binance, the article said. Tether, a stablecoin, also sunk on the exchange while remaining steady elsewhere, Coindesk reported.

A proposed law in India is seeking to ban all private cryptocurrencies, likely causing the price declines on the local exchanges. 

The price drops opened up an opportunity for investors to buy the dip and profit elsewhere. According to CoinDesk's report, arbitrage opportunities in India are mainly helpful for small-time investors because bigger market makers avoid the country for lack of regulatory clarity. 

But the trick was figuring out how to transfer funds to a different exchange after purchasing the assets at a lower cost, Bloomberg said. And it's not easy. WazirX tweeted out that it was experiencing trading delays in the app, and frustrated users responded that they could not move their crypto. Several hours later the company said the problem was fixed. 

"We'd like to reiterate that WazirX has an open order book and doesn't determine or control the price of any crypto on the exchange," the platform said in a tweet. "There will always be a difference from exchange to exchange, country to country, etc. depending on the demand and supply."

Crypto arbitrage opportunities have been well documented, as the prices can vary between exchanges. A 2017 Insider article noted the issue stems from the market being "diffused, unregulated, and disjointed."

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Regal Cinemas will take cryptocurrencies as payment, following the lead of meme-stock favorite AMC

regal cinemas
Regal movie theater.
  • Regal Cinemas is now accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for movie tickets and popcorn.
  • The company will accept dozens of forms of digital payments, including bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, and dogecoin.
  • The theater chain is following AMC, which made a similar announcement earlier this month.

Movie-theater chain Regal Cinemas is the latest to add cryptocurrencies as a form payment.

The company, which has more than 500 theaters, will accept dozens of digital payments — including bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, dogecoin, USD Coin and Basic Attention Token, among others — through the Flexa network, Regal said in a Tuesday statement

Regal is following the lead of its competitor AMC. Earlier this month, the meme-stock theater chain announced moviegoers could pay online in cryptocurrencies bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, and litecoin, adding that dogecoin, and potentially shiba inu, would be next.

AMC Chief Executive Officer Adam Aron has capitalized on the large base of retail traders invested in the company and has hyped up crypto payments on Twitter.

In Regal's statement, Chief Marketing Officer Ken Thewes said, "This exciting partnership enables us to easily and seamlessly accept digital currencies – including dogecoin, stablecoins and bitcoin – across our theatre footprint in a simple and completely contactless way, providing our guests with the flexibility and safety they deserve as we embark on a new era." 

Other brick-and-mortar chains, including Whole Foods, Crate and Barrel, and Nordstrom, have already added bitcoin as a payment method, Fortune reported previously

This year cryptocurrencies have widely moved from the edges of the finance world to the mainstream. Bitcoin, for its part, has been on a wild ride, reaching multiple new highs as retail traders and crypto whales buy into digital assets. On Tuesday, it traded at $57,421.09 at 2:36 p.m. in New York, according to Coinbase data

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A retail trader who quadrupled her AMC holdings to half a million dollars is trolling Citadel’s Ken Griffin with plane banners and truck ads

Ken Griffin
Ken Griffin. Heidi Gutman/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
  • 40-year-old Katherine Larsen isn't backing down on trolling Citadel Securities and Ken Griffin.
  • She's bought plane banners and mobile truck ads to "spread awareness," Institutional Investor reported.
  • Larsen quadrupled her AMC investment to more than half a million dollars since January, II reported.

One retail trader isn't letting up on her trolling campaign against Citadel Securities and its founder, Ken Griffin.

The trader, 40-year-old Katherine Larsen of Oceanside, California, has bought mobile truck ads, plane banners, and Times Square digital billboards in an effort to elevate views of retail traders who feel they were harmed when Robinhood halted trading of meme stocks like GameStop and AMC, according to a profile from Institutional Investor.

One ad read "Do you believe #Ken Griffin lied?" and another read "#Citadelisnotretail," the report said. On Monday, she tweeted a photo of a plane banner reading "#stillherekenny wewantfairmarkets.org."

The report said Larsen, a bartender at The Kraken bar in Cardiff, California, invested in movie theater chain AMC in January and has since quadrupled her investment to $520,000. On Twitter, she's known as @katstryker111, and her background photo features an ape with green laser eyes - a familiar icon among the retail trader crowd.

Though her investment has been profitable, she's questioned Wall Street practices, like payment-for-order-flow, the Institutional Investor profile said, quoting Larsen as saying she wouldn't "back down" and wants to continue to "spread awareness." Larsen did not reply to Insider's request for comment for the story.

Insider reported in September that a class-action lawsuit alleged market maker Citadel Securities conspired with Robinhood to drive down the price of meme stocks such as GameStop and AMC on January 28 when buying was halted on the trading app.

Citadel Securities has fired back at retail traders on Twitter saying they were spreading "internet conspiracies" and an "absurd story." Ken Griffin last week said the theories were like a bad SNL joke. Citadel Securities declined to comment for the story.

A 45-page report from the US Securities and Exchange Commission debunked some of the theories about the episode in January. Among other findings, it said Citadel Securities and others weren't grabbing up GameStop stock to hedge against call options they were writing, Axios reported.

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Bitcoin sinks below $60,000 to a 2-week low as enthusiasm following launch of futures ETF subsides

Bitcoin balloon
Bitcoin balloon. Andriy Onufriyenko
  • Bitcoin fell on Wednesday after riding a wave of enthusiasm since last week following the launch of a futures ETF.
  • The cryptocurrency traded below $60,000, lowest intraday price in two weeks, Bloomberg said.
  • Bitcoin is still up more than 30% in the last month.

Bitcoin slipped below $60,000 on Wednesday - its lowest price in two weeks - as investors cash in on the cryptocurrency's recent rallies to all-time highs.

Investors pushed bitcoin to new all-time highs his month, driven by excitement over the first bitcoin-linked exchange-traded funds launched last week by ProShares. The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF brought in more than half a billion dollars in assets on its launch day alone, and was the fastest ETF to accumulate $1 billion in assets under management.

Investors pushed bitcoin's price to an all-time high around $67,000 following the launch. Since then, investors have started to take gains, Coindesk reported.

Bitcoin traded at $58,770.34 at 8:24 a.m. ET. That's the lowest intraday price in two weeks, according to Bloomberg. Bitcoin's total liquidations surpassed $700 million Tuesday, the highest level since September, according to data from bybt.com. Despite the liquidations, the cryptocurrency is still up 36% over the past 30 days.

The launch of the bitcoin-linked funds has prompted analysts to estimate the cryptocurrency's price could surge past $100,000 on increasing investor demand.

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CoinList notches a $1.5 billion valuation as the trading app rides a wave of crypto enthusiasm

The photo shows physical imitations of cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrencies.
  • CoinList is valued at $1.5 billion after raising $100 million in its latest funding round.
  • The trading app said it focused on fast-growing regions in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
  • Monthly trading volume has increased to $1 billion in 2021 alone.

CoinList fetched a $1.5 billion valuation after raising $100 million in its latest funding round, the company said in a Tuesday statement.

The trading app for new digital assets, which launched in 2017, said it focused its fundraising in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, where it's "growing fastest."

Early backers Accomplice and Agman co-led the funding round. Access Ventures, Taavet+Sten, GoldenTree Asset Management, and Fenbushi Capital, among others, also participated.

"This represents a major milestone in our mission to accelerate the advancement and adoption of crypto," CoinList said in its statement, adding that it will use the funds to scale its services and better support its community.

Crypto trading on the app has surged this year. The company said its monthly trading volume has increased to $1 billion in 2021 alone.

In the past 12 months, CoinList's global user base has soared more than 40-fold to 4.5 million accounts across 170 countries, Coindesk reported. New crypto projects such as Solana, Mina, Algorand, and Flow have all used CoinList to disseminate their tokens, Coindesk added.

Meanwhile, investors have flocked to the digital asset space this month, following the approval of the first-ever bitcoin linked exchange-traded fund.

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A short-seller says the party is over for Digital World Acquisition Corp. after stunning rally, and that Trump, not the SPAC shareholders are in control

Donald Trump
Former US President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan on July 19, 2021. James Devaney/GC Images
  • Short-seller Iceberg Research said it is shorting shares of the SPAC set to merge with Trump's media company.
  • Iceberg said Trump still has all the leverage and that SPAC shareholder don't own any part of the company yet.
  • Shares of the SPAC, Digital World Acquisition Corp., slumped Monday.

The SPAC set to bring Trump's media company public has already drawn a short-seller's attention after an epic run last week.

Iceberg Research said in two tweets Monday that it was betting against Digital World Acquisition Corp., the blank-check company that announced plans to merge with Trump Media & Technology Group last week.

"We are short $DWAC," Iceberg said in a tweet. "Now that initial excitement has passed, we see only risks for investors in near future. Based on Trump's track record, at current price, renegotiation is likely to keep more of the merged company for him."

In a second tweet, the short seller said, "No opinion on the probability of success of TMTG. But SPAC holders don't own a piece of this project yet. Trump has leverage, not them." The tweets offered a word of caution specifically to retail investors.

'Trump will renegotiate at the expense of DWAC retail holders," the firm said, referring to a report from Bloomberg Monday that said Trump could still seek new terms after the market cap of the stock soared past the $875 million that was originally agreed to by the SPAC and Trump's media venture.

Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp. receded Monday, falling as much as 12% to $82.61. That's a drop from the stock's high last week of $157.50.

Considering the stock's epic two-day rally and its massive retail-trader following, Trump's media company may have shot into the meme-stock ranks among other well-known companies like GameStop and AMC. Iceberg has been vocal on Twitter about its bet against AMC as well.

A representative from Trump Media & Technology Group did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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Creatd surges 68% after announcing a line of Trump NFTs, including an infamous picture of the former president signing a model

Donald Trump
  • Tech company Creatd is selling an NFT of a young Donald Trump signing a model's breast.
  • Creatd shares skyrocketed 68% Monday after announcing the launch.
  • The company is one of a handful to rally like a meme stock after Trump's entry into the SPAC world last week.

Shares of Creatd, a tech and digital content company, soared 68% Monday after announcing it would sell NFTs of former president Donald Trump.

The NFT, or non-fungible token, features "three candid images of a young Donald Trump, captured as he signs the breast of a model, surrounded by a crowd at a large formal gala," according to a Monday press release from the company. The going price for the NFT is 240 ether, the release said.

The photos come from Creatd's OG Collection, a library of thousands of photographs, illustrations, and videos from the archives of Bob Guccione, who once owned publications like Penthouse and Viva.

The company launched its first series of NFTs last month. In a blog post, Creatd founder and CEO Jeremy Frommer said the company is still in the research and development phase of digital assets. He said Creatd is selling the Trump trio on OpenSea because it's the "ebay for NFTs." The company did not immediately respond to Insider's request for further comment.

The surge in Creatd's share price is the latest in a string of other companies that have rallied like meme stocks thanks to the former president.

Last week, Trump announced his media and technology company would be going public through a SPAC called Digital World Acquisition Corp. Shares of the blank-check company soared to eye-watering heights as retail traders poured into the stock.

Phunware stock also surged as day traders noted the software developer was tapped by the 2020 Trump-Pence re-election campaign to build its app. The software company didn't say if it was involved in Trump's newly formed social media site Truth Social.

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The one-of-a-kind Wu Tang Clan album made infamous by Martin Shkreli was sold by the government to a crypto collective

wu-tang
Wu-Tang Clan perform during their 25th Anniversary Tour at Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre on May 31, 2019.
  • The US government sold Wu-Tang Clan's one-of-a-kind album to a crypto collective called PleasrDAO.
  • The album was sold as part of "pharma bro" Martin Shkreli's monetary judgment.
  • PleasrDAO came into the spotlight previously after purchasing an NFT of the "doge" meme.

Wu-Tang Clan's one-of-a-kind album - once owned by Martin Shkreli - was bought by a crypto collective known as PleasrDAO for $4 million worth of a cryptocurrency, The New York Times first reported Wednesday.

The US government, which obtained the album as part of Shkreli's monetary judgment, sold it over the summer but didn't disclose its buyer, Insider previously reported. PleasrDAO has now come forward about the purchase.

"We bought the unreleased Wu-Tang album with crypto," the company said in a video on its blog.

The two-disk album, titled "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin," was sold in 2015 to Shkreli - the "Pharma Bro" who has since been convicted of securities fraud - for $2 million. There is only one copy in existence after it was recorded over a six-year period.

"This is like the OG NFT," Jamis Johnson, chief pleasing officer at PleasrDaO, said in the company's video. "The original fight against the middlemen who are rent-seeking. Crypto is the same ethos. Wu-Tang Clan was prescient in understanding that conflict."

PleasrDAO received the album on Sept. 10, according to The Times, and it now sits in a vault in New York City. The Times reported that the company paid $4 million in cryptocurrency to an intermediary, who then paid the government about $2 million US dollars.

An NFT of the album was made to represent ownership of the physical copy, The Times said, citing a lawyer who was involved in the transaction. Now, the 74 members of PleasrDAO have collective ownership of that NFT and the album.

PleasrDAO describes itself as a "collective of DeFi leaders, early NFT collectors, and digital artists who have built a formidable yet benevolent reputation for acquiring culturally significant pieces with a charitable twist."

The organization, whose abbreviation stands for "decentralized autonomous organization," came into the spotlight after purchasing a nonfungible token, or NFT, of the legendary "doge" meme, CNBC reported in September.

When first selling the album, Wu-Tang Clan stipulated it could be played for people at public events, but it couldn't be widely distributed until 2103, which is 88 years after it was sold, Stereogum reported.

PleasrDAO told the Times it has plans for the album to "be shared and ideally owned in part by fans and anyone in the world," though it didn't specify how it would do that while following the group's original conditions.

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Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones says China is on a ‘slow boat to the South Pole’ after its crypto crackdown as digital assets are here to stay

Paul Tudor Jones
Paul Tudor Jones, the founder and chief investment officer of Tudor Investment Corporation.
  • Paul Tudor Jones told CNBC that SEC approval of the bitcoin-linked ETF will keep the US economy on top.
  • The billionaire investor said China, on the other hand, is on a "slow boat to the South Pole."
  • "Crypto is here to stay," said Jones, the founder of Tudor Investment Corporation.

With US regulators approving the first bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund, billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones said the US will remain the top "economic power in the world."

Meanwhile, China, which has ramped up its crackdown on digital assets this year, is losing steam, he said.

"That place is on economically a slow boat to the South Pole," Jones, the founder and chief investment officer of Tudor Investment Corporation, told CNBC's Squawk Box Wednesday. "As long as the US can continue to unchain entrepreneurs, we're always going to be in the dominant position."

Jones said the US Securities and Exchange Commission's approval of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, which invests in bitcoin futures contracts, should give investors "great comfort."

"We unleash our individual entrepreneurialism and creativity," Jones said on CNBC. "You're seeing China do the exact opposite."

China has long been working to rein in the burgeoning market for digital assets. In September, the country took its most aggressive action so far by banning all cryptocurrency-related transactions, causing bitcoin prices to tumble last month.

But prices have since recovered, with bitcoin breaching its all-time high $65,000 mark Wednesday as investors cheered the bitcoin-linked ETF approval. The currency traded as high as $66,104 at 10:04 a.m. in New York, CoinMarketCap data show. The ProShares ETF, which trades under the ticker BITO, has increased 8% since its launch on Tuesday.

"Crypto is here to stay," Jones said, adding that the world is becoming increasingly digitized. He told CNBC his firm has a small, single digits, position in cryptocurrencies. The digital asset is currently "winning the race" against gold, he added.

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Dip-buying day traders are helping fend off a looming stock collapse – and institutions have no choice but to follow suit, Morgan Stanley says

Reddit WallStreetBets WSB
  • Retail traders have remained "fervent" dip buyers, despite shaken consumers, Morgan Stanley said.
  • The answer to whether the Evergrande-induced market dip scared away retail is "a definitive no," the firm said.
  • Eventually, consumer confidence and financial markets will have to reconcile, said the analysts, who have previously forecasted a correction.

Retail traders' relentlessness in buying stock market dips has been a saving grace for major indexes, despite shaken consumer confidence, Morgan Stanley analysts said in a Monday note.

The analysts, led by chief US equity strategist Mike Wilson, said institutional investors are being forced to "cover and chase" as retail traders stay resilient in their strategy.

"Retail remains a fervent buyer of the dip even as supply [and] cost issues appear to be more persistent for both businesses and the consumer," the analysts wrote.

The market questioned whether the Evergrande-induced stock market decline last month jolted retail traders away from their buy-the-dip mentality. "Fast forward to today and the answer to that question is a definitive 'no,'" Morgan Stanley concluded.

That's because "retail investors remain steadfast in their commitment to buying equities, particularly on down days," the analysts said. "The correlation of buying to negative price action is strong."

Even so, consumer confidence has been rattled amid persistent supply chain issues and surging prices, the analysts wrote. And eventually, the markets will have to reconcile with those problems.

"This divergence between markets and confidence must be resolved over the next few months one way or another," the analysts said.

Hordes of retail traders have joined the markets since the COVID-19 pandemic, owing it to stimulus checks and more time at home. Most notably in January, the new group banded together to drive epic rallies in struggling stocks such as GameStop, AMC, and BlackBerry.

The traders, on social media like Reddit and Twitter, have even developed their own lingo. They frequently tout the phrase "buy the dip," which is often abbreviated to BTFD - with the extra F signifiying a popular curse word. They say the phrase after a stock has fallen in the hopes of helping it rise from the slump.

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