Great Britain

Bitcoin news – Cryptocurrency trading firm Coinbase hits $86 billion after overtaking BP and HSBC on first day

COINBASE Global Inc shares jumped 10% in early trades on Thursday with the company's value currently $86 billion.

The surge came a day after the cryptocurrency exchange went public in a high-profile debut on the Nasdaq that briefly valued it at more than $100 billion.

The debut marks another milestone for bitcoin and other digital assets and comes amid a surge in the value of cryptocurrencies that has lured a clutch of mainstream, top-tier firms.

Cathie Wood's Ark funds bought $246 million worth of Coinbase shares in the debut on Wednesday, according to the firm's daily trade summary.

Coinbase shares were up 10.3% at $362 by 4.42am ET.

Coinbase was last valued at just $8bn during a 2018 round of fundraising, according to the Wall Street Journal - so there are going to be plenty of people who've suddenly become extremely wealthy.

It comes as Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency essentially based on a meme, surged in price today and got a boost from Tesla CEO Elon Musk when the tech founder tweeted a gif of the dog featured in the meme.

The virtual currency surpassed 10 cents for the first time in the last 24 hours, and currently sits at about 13 cents.

Musk, 49, tweeted a gif of a Shiba Inu dog — the “face” of the cryptocurrency — early this morning, causing its value to spike further. In the past, the SpaceX founder has posted about Dogecoin and its value increased.

The virtual “money” started as an internet parody more than seven years ago, according to CNN, but has since become a legitimate digital currency.

Read our cyptocurrency live blog below for the very latest updates...

  • TESLA STOCK FLOGGED OFF AS $246M COINBASE SHARES SNAPPED UP

    Cathie Wood's Ark funds bought $246 million worth of Coinbase shares on the cryptocurrency exchange's Nasdaq debut on Wednesday.

    The funds - which focus "solely on disruptive innovation" also sold some of their Tesla stock, just under a month after talking up the carmaker.

    The bet on Coinbase gives Ark more indirect exposure to cryptocurrencies.

    "What's interesting is their unwinding of some Tesla shares after their ludicrous call on Tesla," said Karim Moussalem, head of cash equity sales at Cantor Fitzgerald Europe in London. "Selling some shares after that is a bit odd."

    Longtime Tesla bull Wood said in March that its share price could hit $3,000 by 2025, well above its current $732 per share.

    Ark sold Tesla shares worth about $178million, though the stock is still by far their biggest position by value on their major funds.

  • SUITE VIEW

    The UK's most expensive apartment has gone on sale for £175 million after billionaire Nick Candy put his Hyde Park penthouse on the market.

    The property tycoon told Bloomberg News that he will consider offers in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.

    The luxurious two-storey apartment in Knightsbridge, central London, has five bedrooms, a 21m swimming pool and is as big as almost 18 average homes in England combined.

    The 18,000 sq ft home also boasts a private spa, gym, two terraces, four parking spaces, a wine room with enough space for 750 bottles and its own cocktail bar.

    Check out the property here.

  • WHAT IS BITCOIN?

    Bitcoin is a virtual currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown computer whizz using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto.

    Unlike physical currencies such as pounds, dollars or euros, which come in physical notes and coins, Bitcoin isn’t printed or minted.

    Instead, Bitcoin tokens are a digital-only form of payment and are created by a computer code.

    If you have invested in Bitcoin, you can set up a virtual wallet to store, keep track and spend your digital money.

  • COINBASE SHARES UP 10% THURSDAY TRADING

    Coinbase Global Inc shares jumped 10% in early trades on Thursday.

    The surge came a day after the cryptocurrency exchange went public in a high-profile debut on the Nasdaq that briefly valued it at more than $100 billion.

    The debut marks another milestone for bitcoin and other digital assets and comes amid a surge in the value of cryptocurrencies that has lured a clutch of mainstream, top-tier firms.

    Cathie Wood's Ark funds bought $246 million worth of Coinbase shares in the debut on Wednesday, according to the firm's daily trade summary.

    Coinbase shares were up 10.3% at $362 by 4.42am ET.

  • BRITS RISK LOSING MONEY IF BITCOIN PLUMMETS

    If you decide to invest in Bitcoin, your money won't be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which protects up to £85,000 of your savings if a firm goes bust.

    You also typically won't have access to the free Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if something goes wrong.

    But firms offering cryptoassets must now be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and anyone who does invest in cryptocurrencies should check before investing.

    In a warning in January, the FCA said Brits risk losing their money if the price of Bitcoin plummets.

    The FCA said: "If consumers invest in these types of product, they should be prepared to lose all their money."

  • IS BITCOIN SAFE?

    Anyone thinking of investing in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency should be very careful.

    Their values are incredibly unpredictable, with the ability to plummet as quickly as they shoot up.

    Like with all cryptocurrencies, this means if you choose to invest in Bitcoin, you can lose your money if the value of it drops.

    For example, on January 9, 2018, Bitcoin and other major currencies crashed by £120billion after major monitoring platform CoinmarketCap decided to leave out the trading prices from South Korea.

    Cryptocurrencies themselves are only regulated in the UK for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing.

  • HOW DOES BITCOIN WORK?

    To process Bitcoin transactions, a procedure called "mining" must take place, which involves a computer solving a difficult mathematical problem with a 64-digit solution.

    For each problem solved, one block of Bitcoin is processed. In addition, the miner is rewarded with new Bitcoin.

    To compensate for the growing power of computer chips, the difficulty of the puzzles is adjusted to ensure a steady stream of new Bitcoins are produced each day.

    There are currently about 21 million Bitcoin tokens in existence.

    To receive a Bitcoin, a user must have a Bitcoin address - a string of 27-34 letters and numbers - which acts as a kind of virtual postbox. These addresses are in turn stored in Bitcoin wallets, which are used to manage savings.

  • CRYPTO KING - MYSTERY BITCOIN CREATOR MINTED

    The pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin is now one of the world's richest people.

    Based on their estimated holdings of the cryptocurrency, Satoshi Nakamoto is believed to be worth over $60billion (£44billion) today.

    That would make them the 19th-wealthiest person alive, according to Forbes’ recently updated list of the world’s richest billionaires.

    Bitcoin was the first decentralised currency – a digital currency created or "mined" using complex calculations carried out by computers.

    It was created in 2009 by an unidentified coder known only as Satoshi Nakamoto. They're believed to own about one million Bitcoin, which is roughly five per cent of the total supply that will ever be created.

  • BITCOIN SCAM – US SEEKS ‘BRIT MAN BENJAMIN REYNOLDS’... MORE

    Benjamin Reynolds, "purportedly of Manchester, England" has been accused of operating a fraudulent scheme to solicit bitcoin from members of the public and misappropriated customers’ bitcoin

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has entered a default judgement against him.

    "Between May 2017 and October 2017, Reynolds used a public website, various social media accounts, and email communications to solicit at least 22,190.542 bitcoin.

    "[These were] valued at approximately $143million at the time, from more than 1,000 customers worldwide, including at least 169 individuals residing in the U.S," the CFTC said.

    "The CFTC cautions victims that restitution orders may not result in the recovery of any money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets," it added.

  • BITCOIN SCAM - US SEEKS 'BRIT MAN BENJAMIN REYNOLDS'

    Officials are looking for a mysterious British man behind a £100million Bitcoin scam.

    US regulators say they want to speak to Benjamin Reynolds, 38, even though some victims believe he may not exist.

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has accused Reynolds, from Manchester, of stealing Bitcoin through a firm called Control-Finance.

    A court in New York has ruled that he owes £103million in compensation, in addition to a £310million fine.

    The price of Bitcoin hit a record high of £46,700 this week.

  • BITCOIN PRICE TOPS US$64K

    Bitcoin’s price topped $64,000 on Wednesday, up from $29,000 at the start of the year.

    But Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell described cryptocurrencies as “vehicles for speculation”.

  • RUSSIAN SENT TO FRENCH JAIL FOR BITCOIN LAUNDERING

    A Russian bitcoin expert was sentenced five years' jail for money laundering, and ordered to pay 100,000 euros in fines in a case of suspected cryptocurrency fraud.

    Alexander Vinnik, 41, is also wanted in the US and Russia. He was also accused of being behind a 135 million-euro fraud campaign that used ransomware and the cryptocurrency bitcoin.

    French prosecutors alleged that Vinnik was one of the creators of a malicious software called “Locky” that was delivered through email. If downloaded, the recipient’s data was encrypted and they were asked to pay ransom in bitcoin to free it.

    The court convicted Vinnik of money laundering but didn’t find enough evidence to convict him of extortion.

    One of his French lawyers, Ariane Zimra, said his conviction for money laundering “doesn’t make sense,” arguing that cryptocurrency is not legally considered “money".

  • CRYPTOCURRENCY MINING CONSPIRACY

    In the US, a Colorado man pleaded guilty in what authorities in New Jersey said was a $722million cryptocurrency mining scheme, reports the Associated Press.

    Jobadiah Sinclair Weeks of Arvada, Colorado, pleaded guilty by videoconference to one count each of tax evasion and conspiracy to sell unregistered securities.

    Weeks was one of five people indicted in December 2019, who were connected to the BitClub Network, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

    Mining involves using computers to solve mathematical problems in order to record virtual currency transactions.

    Miners receive cryptocurrency for their work. But authorities said the earnings reported by BitClub Network were false.

  • CRYPTOCURRENCY SCAMS CHEAT INVESTORS

    There have been several cryptocurrency scams which have resulted in investors being fleeced of millions of pounds.

    Australian man Stefan He Qin, 24, pleaded guilty in February to securities fraud for cheating investors of over $90million by squandering money they spent on his cryptocurrency fund.

    Authorities said the fraud occurred from 2017 to 2020 as Qin operated the fund titled Virgil Sigma.

    “Stefan He Qin drained almost all of the assets from the $90million cryptocurrency fund he owned, stealing investors’ money, spending it on indulgences and speculative personal investments, and lying to investors about the performance of the fund and what he had done with their money,” US Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a release.

  • WARNING THAT BITCOIN IN SPECULATIVE 'BUBBLE'

    The multifold rise in cryptocurrencies has been driven by investors seeking high-yielding assets amid low interest rates.

    However, the meteoric rise of bitcoin, which traded at a few hundred dollars only five years ago, has led major investment banks to warn of a speculative bubble.

    Several fund managers surveyed by BofA and Deutsche Bank have said Bitcoin was in “bubble” territory and expect it to pull back sharply.

  • INVESTORS SHOULD 'EXPECT HIGHER LOWS'

    "Demand is flooding the market from institutions just as large amounts of bitcoin and ethereum are increasingly being taken offline and holders are transferring them to their own wallets," says Simon Peters, analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro.

    “There is only one outcome from that, and investors should expect higher highs and higher lows throughout the year,” he added.

  • TESLA, MASTERCARD EMBRACE CRYPTOCURRENCIES

    Major firms including BNY Mellon, Mastercard Inc and Tesla Inc are among those to have embraced or invested in cryptocurrencies.

    Bitcoin topped $60,000 early last month, fuelled by Tesla’s move to buy $1.5 billion of the digital currency for its balance sheet. For the past two weeks, it had traded in a tight range.

    “When bitcoin markets create new highs, the price often range-trades and we witness a round of profit-taking,” said James Butterfill of digital asset manager CoinShares.

  • BITCOIN - WORLD'S BIGGEST CRYPTOCURRENCY

    Bitcoin is the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, with growing mainstream acceptance as an investment and a means of payment.

    It rose as much as 5% on Tuesday, April 13. Smaller rival Ethereum also reached a record high of $2,205.

    The overall cryptocurrency market capitalisation hit an all-time peak of $2 trillion earlier this month, according to data and market trackers CoinGecko and Blockfolio.

  • WALL STREET LATEST

    Wall Street ended mixed on Wednesday, April 14, with the tech sector the biggest underperformer after the largest bitcoin exchange Coinbase was sold off on its listing day, dragging the Nasdaq lower.

    Coinbase's listing coincided with a record price for Bitcoin, which rose to just under $65,000 but the euphoria proved to be short-lived as the stock fell nearly 20% from its opening level to trade at $328.

  • GEEK'S GOLD - WHAT IS BITCOIN?

    Bitcoin can be risky to buy because its value rises and falls unpredictably.

    The cryptocurrency reached an all-time high on April 13, but its volatile nature means you should be aware of all the risks involved.

    Bitcoin is a virtual currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown computer whizz using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto.

    Unlike physical currencies such as pounds, dollars or euros, which come in physical notes and coins, Bitcoin isn't printed or minted.

    Instead, Bitcoin tokens are a digital-only form of payment and are created by a computer code.

  • BITCOIN ACCEPTED

    A luxury Knightsbridge penthouse overlooking Hyde Park is on the market for £175million - and the seller will take offers in Bitcoin.

    Developer Nick Candy is selling the 18,000 sq ft, five-bedroom apartment in the One Hyde Park development.

    The 48-year-old told Bloomberg the penthouse is “a world-class real estate asset in the heart of London that will continue to perform as a solid investment for years to come".

    Offers in Bitcoin and Ethereum will be considered as cryptocurrencies are a “big opportunity”, he added.  

  • WHAT IS COINBASE?

    Coinbase is an American cryptocurrency exchange platform, and customers can buy and sell around 50 cryptocurrencies on its site, including bitcoin.

    The company was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam.

    As of March 2021, Coinbase was the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US by trading volume.

  • HOW MANY BITCOIN ARE THERE?

    There are currently about 21 million Bitcoin tokens in existence.

    To receive a Bitcoin, a user must have a Bitcoin address – a string of 27-34 letters and numbers – which acts as a kind of virtual postbox.

    These addresses are in turn stored in Bitcoin wallets, which are used to manage savings.

    The bulk of Bitcoin “mining” is done in China, where energy costs are cheaper than in places like the UK or US.

  • HOW DOES COINBASE MAKE MONEY?

    Coinbase earns money from transaction fees and has seen it's profits boom during the pandemic.

    "The coinbase IPO is potentially a watershed event for the crypto industry and will be something the Street will be laser focused on to gauge investor appetite," said Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives in a note to investors.

    The company is a "foundational piece of the crypto ecosystem," he said.

    Coinbase was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong, a software engineer at Airbnb, and Fred Ehrsam, a trader at Goldman Sachs.

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