This week in crypto: Apr 6-12
In this week’s report: Bitcoin-mining stocks heat up, real-estate giant to accept crypto for rent, and Tom Brady joins NFT boom
Published on April 12, 2021
The big picture
Earlier today, Bitcoin came close to breaking its all-time high (set on March 13), rising above $61,000 before dropping back under the $60,000 line. In other news, Boston-based banking giant State Street, with over $3 trillion under management, announced its plans to offer cryptocurrency trading to institutional clients. State Street is the latest in a string of banking giants seeking to pursue crypto, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of New York Mellon.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles-based Caruso Properties — one of the largest real-estate companies in the U.S. — will start start accepting Bitcoin as payment for rent. "I believe bitcoin and cryptocurrency will play an important role in our collective future," said founder Rick Caruso. The company has also joined Tesla, MicroStrategy, Square, and others by investing some of its corporate treasury (around 1 percent) in bitcoin.
Last week, we covered the spike in Filecoin — which has cooled this week, losing 11 percent. Curious about how other major cryptocurrencies did? Here’s the return-on-investment percentages for the ten biggest cryptocurrencies (by market cap) tradable on Coinbase:
NFTs become popular celebrity side-gig
In the wake of digital artist Beeple’s record-breaking $69 million NFT (short for non-fungible token) sale, boldface names from the Kings of Leon to Jack Dorsey have sold NFTs of their own — and the number of celebrities investing in the space just keeps growing. From Tom Brady to Ashton Kutcher, here’s the latest NFT news:
Fresh off of his seventh Super Bowl victory, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is launching an NFT platform called Autograph — focused on sports, fashion, and pop-culture collectibles.
Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures Fund is launching a $1 million Shark Tank-style NFT competition with Mark Cuban, Snoop Dogg, and Beeple-collector Metakovan among the judges.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a clip from Saturday Night Live’s recent musical homage to NFTs starring Pete Davidson has itself sold as an NFT, garnering a winning bid of $365,000.
Baseball-card company Topps is issuing official Major League NFT collectibles.
Still not totally sure you understand the NFT hype? You’re not alone. According to a recent survey conducted by Harris Poll and Bloomberg, only 27 percent of Americans are “very or somewhat familiar” with NFTs.
Learn more about NFTs.
Spotlight: Bitcoin mining stocks boom
As we’ve covered, Bitcoin’s bull run has been driven in part by institutional investors warming to the cryptocurrency. But during the same period, a related asset category has often wildly outperformed bitcoin itself. Investors in major North American crypto-mining stocks — including Marathon Patent Group, Riot Blockchain, and Hut 8 Mining — have seen returns as high as 10,000 percent since bitcoin began its rise last autumn. Unsurprisingly, many of these firms are ramping up capacity.
This week, Riot Blockchain announced it is buying North America’s largest Bitcoin hosting facility for $651 million in cash and stock.
Meanwhile, Hut 8 Mining filed to raise nearly $400 million in Canada.
Marathon Patent Group plans to add more than 100,000 mining computers by early 2022. So far this year, Marathon has mined 196 bitcoin, worth around $11.5 million.
As a result of similar investment around the world, Bitcoin’s mining power has reached all-time highs this month. Learn more about Bitcoin mining.
Further reading: is Bitcoin really the new gold?
In a new opinion piece, Bloomberg’s senior editor for markets John Authers digs into whether Bitcoin is replacing gold for investors looking for a hedge against inflation. Data in the article suggests that over the past year, institutional investors have been selling gold in favor of Bitcoin: “Institutions appear to be making a decision to allocate some money to bitcoin as a hedge against a fiat collapse.” Learn more about inflation.