BlackRock CEO: Crypto will transcend international currencies

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has delivered fresh remarks supporting cryptocurrencies’ role in democratizing investing worldwide, pointing to growing interest among the companys clients in digital assets, Cointelegraph reports. 

“More and more of our global investors are asking us about crypto,” Fink said during an interview with CNBC’s Squawk on the Street on July 14. BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, with over $8 trillion in assets spanning all types of investment products.

In Fink's view, cryptocurrencies have a “differentiating value versus other asset classes” in helping diversify portfolios. “It’s so international it’s going to transcend any one currency,” noted the executive.

Standard Chartered: Bitcoin Could Rise to $120K by End-2024

Bitcoin (BTC), the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market value, could rise to $50,000 by the end of this year and up to $120,000 by end-2024, Standard Chartered Bank said in a research report on Monday, reported by CoinDesk

The British multinational bank increased its bitcoin price forecast from the $100,000 predicted in April. Standard Chartered said at the time that bitcoin had the potential to reach that level because of several factors, one of them being the banking-sector crisis.

"We now think this estimate is too conservative, and we therefore see upside to our end-2024 target," the report said.

Bitcoin has climbed 80% since the start of the year and is currently trading around $30,100.

The report cites increased bitcoin miner profitability as one of the factors that will drive the price this time.

"The rationale here is that as well as maintaining the bitcoin ledger, miners play a key role in determining net supply of newly mined BTC,” wrote Geoff Kendrick, head of FX and digital assets research.

Tom Brady Lost $30M in FTX Collapse

Tom Brady lost millions in the collapse of cryptocurrency company FTX, for which he served as an "ambassador," ESPN reports. 

Under an agreement the retired NFL quarterback made with FTX in 2021, he received $30 million in now-worthless stock for his work pitching the company in television ads and at its conference. In step with him at the time was his then-wife, Gisele Bundchen, who received $18 million in stock, per the report.

FTX filed for bankruptcy last November. Its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, is facing federal fraud-related charges.

Brady, who won seven Super Bowl titles in his career, also faces legal peril on top of the financial losses. Both Brady and Bundchen, who divorced in October, are being sued by FTX investors who want repayment from celebrity endorsers. Basketball Hall of Fame member Shaquille O'Neal also has been sued in the FTX case, as have Larry David of "Seinfeld" fame, tennis player Naomi Osaka and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

Over $204M lost to DeFi hacks and scams in Q2

Over $204 million was lost in decentralized finance (DeFi) hacks and scams in the second quarter of 2023, according to a June 27 report from Web3 portfolio app De.Fi, Cointelegraph reports. 

The report, titled “Q2 De.Fi Rekt Report,” was partially based on data from De.Fi’s “Rekt Database.” Over $208.5 million was initially lost during the quarter, but $4.5 million was recovered through prosecutions, deals with hackers and other recovery methods.

According to the report, the number of DeFi hacks in Q2 rose by “almost 7 times” year-over-year, with 117 incidents during the period compared with only 17 in the same quarter of 2022. A total of over $665 million was lost during the first half of 2023.

The top five hacks of the second quarter were against Atomic Wallet, Fintoch, MEV-Boost, Bitrue and GDAC. The June 3 Atomic Wallet exploit was responsible for $35 million, or around 17% of the total. Fintoch users lost $30.6 million from its alleged rug pull, and the MEV-Boost attack was responsible for $26.1 million. Together, these three attacks resulted in over 45% of the total losses for Q2.

Michael Saylor Makes Largest Bitcoin Acquisition Since Prices Peaked in Late 2021

MicroStrategy Inc. acquired about $347 million in Bitcoin during the second quarter, the largest purchase by the most prominent publicly-traded advocate of the cryptocurrency since prices peaked in late 2021, Bloomberg reports (via Yahoo Finance

The enterprise-software maker co-founded by crypto proponent Michael Saylor acquired 12,333 Bitcoin between April 29 and June 27 at an average price of $28,136, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Wednesday. That brings the Tysons Corner, Virginia-based company’s Bitcoin purchases to around $4.5 billion, which is greater than it’s market capitalization of about $4.2 billion.

Bitcoin has surged in value this year after a series of industry scandals and bankruptcies sent cryptocurrency prices plunging late last year. The largest digital token climbed last week to a one-year high of more than $30,000 amid optimism that a series of new filings for a US Bitcoin exchange-traded fund would renew demand.

Bitcoin is up 12% this month

The world’s largest digital currency has risen more than 12% since the beginning of June. On Wednesday, its price topped $30,000 to hit its highest level since April 14, CNBC reports. 

Market players have attributed the jump to the news that U.S. asset management giant BlackRock had filed for a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund tracking the market price of the underlying asset.

While that may be part of the reason, the outsized moved can be put down to another factor beyond the news flow surrounding large institutions taking steps to embrace bitcoin or other digital assets.

Crypto “market depth” has been sitting at very low levels this year. Market depth refers to a market’s ability to absorb relatively large buy and sell orders. When market depth is low and big players put in orders to buy or sell digital coins, prices can move in a big way up or down, even if the orders are not that huge.

Market depth is a measure of liquidity in a market.