Current State of The Crypto Market (July 21st, 2019)

Hackers:  Cryptocurrency exchange BITPoint Japan has said that the roughly 50,000 users who lost funds in its recent hack will be reimbursed in cryptocurrency.  The company told reporters in Tokyo on July 16 that customers will receive refunds of crypto on a 1:1 basis, The Asahi Shimbun reports Wednesday.  The company’s latest estimate of losses from the security breach comes to around 3.02 billion yen ($28 million) – roughly $4.6 million less than originally thought, the report says.  The thousands of exchange customers are said to have lost 2.06 billion yen ($20 million) in the breach, with the firm saying that it has new prepared that amount in crypto assets for reimbursement. That will occur once the platform has restarted its services, which were halted when the hack was spotted.

Bullish Key Players:   ThinkMarkets chief market analyst Naeem Aslam predicts that bitcoin will hit somewhere between $60,000 and  $100,000 during its next bull run, according to a recent interview.  Aslam had previously predicted on June 17 that BTC would hit $10,000 in “a couple of weeks,” citing institutional involvement as a major driver. Bitcoin successfully reached the five-figure mark on June 22, marking a record high that has not been seen in over one year.  According to Aslam, the major price points to look out for now are $20,000 and $50,000. He argues that by hitting $20,000, discussion will move from conservative estimates exceeding the number one cryptocurrency’s all-time high to forecasts of $50,000; from there, breaking $50,000 will move the price target to $100,000.   Aslam also discussed the use of BTC as a means to avoid risk, comparing BTC, which is often called “digital gold,” with gold. He remarks that in the last two months, there is a huge spike in price for these two assets, which he attributes to a lack of confidence in the stock market along with the ongoing U.S.–China trade war.

Banks & Institutions:  Jens Weidmann, president of Germany’s central bank, the Deutsche Bundesbank, has come out in favor of Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency, Libra.  “There’s no reason to be alarmed but there’s reason to be vigilant,” Weidmann said at a recent G7 meeting, according to a report from Reuters on Thursday.  The president, who is also a European Central Bank policymaker, reportedly said that Facebook could go ahead with Libra only after answering all questions. The social media giant’s blockchain lead David Marcus recently committed to U.S. senators and congressional representatives that Libra will go ahead only after addressing all concerns, including regulatory.  Weidmann reportedly also said that if Libra delivers on promises, it can be “attractive to consumers

Adoption: In the coming week, Bakkt is expected to test-launch its Bitcoin futures product. While many have begun to doubt its viability as a medium for institutional adoption, especially due to the countless delays it faced, this may not be the case.  Earlier this week, the team at Fundstrat Global Advisors, a New York-based markets analysis firm with roots in the cryptocurrency space, attended the Bakkt Institutional Digital Asset Summit that was hosted by the New York Stock Exchange.  And per an analysis from Sam Doctor of Fundstrat, institutions and other entities in attendance were not only bullish on Bakkt, but the broader Bitcoin and cryptocurrency market too.