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Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency by market value, could escalate to $50,000 by the end of 2021 and further to $120,000 by the close of 2024, according to a research report released by Standard Chartered Bank on Monday. This updated forecast surpasses the bank's previous prediction of $100,000, made in April, which was based on various factors including a potential banking-sector crisis. The bank now views this earlier estimate as too conservative. Bitcoin has seen an 80% increase since the beginning of the year and is presently valued around $30,100. The report suggests that a key factor driving this predicted surge is the increased profitability for bitcoin miners. The logic behind this is that higher profitability allows miners to sell less of their newly mined Bitcoin while still maintaining their cash flow. This reduces the net supply of Bitcoin in the market, thereby driving up prices.
Worldcoin, a project co-founded by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, aims to tackle multiple challenges faced by the Web3 ecosystem, such as creating better cryptocurrency, improving AI development through decentralization, and reducing global inequalities. Its primary goal is to distribute tokens freely to all eight billion people on Earth as a form of universal basic income (UBI). To ensure the tokens are given to actual humans and not AI-generated fakes, Worldcoin has invented a device called "The Orb" that scans an individual's eyeball. This device is intended to scan every human eye, providing everyone access to open-source and decentralized financial tools. Worldcoin currently claims to have 1.8 million signups, with the ultimate goal of reaching 8 billion. The project’s co-founder and CEO, Alex Blania, believes that if successful, Worldcoin could represent one of the most profound technological shifts in history.
Starbucks' Web3 loyalty program, Odyssey, is partnering with the non-fungible token (NFT) collection Aku, created by former Major League Baseball player Micah Johnson. This collaboration involves launching a new digital collectible Stamp designed by Aku, as part of a new Journey called "Aku Adventure" available to Odyssey members from July 17, 2023, to August 13, 2023. Aku's NFTs, popular among celebrities like Trevor Noah, Pusha T, and Tyra Banks, are centered around inspiring children to dream big. Alongside this partnership, Starbucks pledged to donate $100,000 to Blessings in a Backpack, a non-profit organization addressing child food insecurity. This collaboration follows previous successful NFT releases by Starbucks as part of the Odyssey program, including "The Siren Collection" and "The Starbucks First Store Collection," despite initial technical difficulties experienced by collectors due to high demand.
The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust's (GBTC) discount to its net asset value (NAV) has been decreasing, currently sitting at around 27%, the lowest level since May 2022. The narrowing of this discount, which had escalated to nearly 50% last year, has been influenced by BlackRock's mid-June application to launch a spot bitcoin ETF in the US. This move triggered similar filings from other industry players, including Fidelity, prompting optimism among investors that the SEC may approve a spot bitcoin ETF after years of rejections. Such hopes have encouraged buying in GBTC, which Grayscale had previously sought to convert into a spot bitcoin ETF, a proposal that was rejected by the SEC. While the prospect of SEC approval for a spot bitcoin ETF is currently high, caution is advised, given the ongoing SEC lawsuit against Coinbase, the proposed crypto custodian for the BlackRock fund.
Thomas Braziel, the co-founder and managing partner of 507 Capital, is establishing a new firm named 117 Partners to expand his operations into the crypto sector. This new entity will provide brokerage and advisory services, along with direct deals, in addition to buying bankruptcy claims, an area where Braziel's original firm has a significant history. 507 Capital started purchasing bankruptcy claims from Mt. Gox in 2015 and has since been involved in several high-profile insolvencies and restructurings in the crypto space, including Cred Inc., Quadriga, 3AC, Celsius, and FTX. Braziel announced the creation of 117 Partners as a hybrid between advisory and investment, marking a strategic shift from his previous focus solely on distressed assets.