/Daily Trending News and Market Sentiment: VanEck Flop, Persian Connections

Daily Trending News and Market Sentiment: VanEck Flop, Persian Connections


Bitcoin price continues to dally in the same relative range just above USD 10,000 as a failed breakout (that itself following a failed downtrend last weekend) remains firmly in the consolidation zone for the entire day.

Altcoin flavor is not much better either, with Bitcoin’s languishing moments leading to major altcoins also releasing their holds over recent weekly highs.

Once more, there is rather little in the news in terms of hard sentiment that would affect emotional plays in the price market. Yesterday’s bullish news pointing towards rising Bitcoin demand in Argentina as well as trading interest peaking on BitMEX have not quite given the desired boost.

And while the world’s largest Bitcoin futures trading platform is enjoying a boost, one other firm isn’t getting the same joy. Fund Manager VanEck, after their launch of a “Limited ETF”, may have been expecting to impress a lot of people especially when they thought to jump Bakkt on delivering a proper Bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

It has flopped beyond denial, recording only one lone issuance of the ETC for a grand total of 4 bitcoin under management. Commentator Alex Krüger could barely hide his cynicism for the “massive”numbers.

Is it a sign that traders really aren’t interested in trading Bitcoin funds after all? Or are they simply waiting for the real deal, rather than “limited” ETFs? It can be difficult to tell with smaller funds like VanEck anyway.

The initial enthusiasm on the day of laucnh was actually quite significant, as people hyped up what was billed as the “First open-end and DTC-eligible bitcoin security”. Is that enough to convince institutional or retail investors that this was a genuine ETF? Analyst Tom Lee was a lot more forgiving, saying that it was far too early to pass judgment, while Krüger adamantly says that this is just an example of a “bad launch of a product for which there’s not much demand”.

Legal expert Jake Chervinsky, who has been commentating on the long saga of Bitcoin ETF proposals says with some finality:

“This is misleading. The VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust is *not* an ETF. It looks exactly like the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which was launched almost six years ago. Calling this a “limited ETF” is a cute marketing strategy, but that’s about it. Calling it a full ETF is just wrong.”

Bitcoiners don’t care and would care even less, though, upon this other piece of bullish news, this time in the Republic of Iran.

According to a new survey by analytics company Gate Trade, a quarter of Iranian bitcoiners surveyed from a number of Telegram groups in the country are earning up to USD 3,000 a month from working with crypto. CoinDesk goes as far as to say that this study is further evidence to show that “it looks like the classic “store of value” investment thesis can hold water”.

The 1,650 Iranians surveyed report a growing mining industry, with 7 out of 10 saying they were interested in learning more about local mining businesses. Thanks to restrictions and clamping downs either by its own government as well as sanctions on conventional finance, Bitcoin as a decentralized currency is really showing its worth in the Islamic republic.

The local crypto market is also moving away from global exchange platforms, seeking out instead local exchanges and miners who will not subject users to KYC or AML requirements. Some 83% of survey respondents also believed they needed more access to exchanges for better growth.

Bitcoin core developer has told CoinDesk of similar patterns in countries like China and Argentina, with similar economic concerns for normal citizens and censorship otherwise preventing them from using financial tools freely:

“In China, there are WeChat groups [for traders] because they don’t have as much direct access to exchanges… I’m also hearing about a price premium in Argentina, for example, because the economy is facing some issues. … What we want, for all of these places, whether distressed or not, is for people to have the ability to accumulate capital and earn more money, to build things.”

Meanwhile, global exchanges are now beginning to show a preference, according to a report by analytics firm Crystal. The “Report on International Bitcoin Flows 2013–2019” recorded data on cryptocurrency operations and Bitcoin transactions globally in a six-year period between 1 January 2013 and 30 June 2019.

It showed that the UK, US and Singapore host the most exchanges in the world, while Mexico, Russia and Indonesia host the lowest number.

A tenth of all surveys interestingly didn’t even have a country to call home. Nevertheless, last year almost USD 92.6 billion in Bitcoin was transferred directly between exchanges, with more than two-thirds of that between G20 countries, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Talk about growing adoption!


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