Daily Trending News and Market Sentiment: Argentina Premiums, BitMEX Demand, Truth Machines


After threatening to return to levels below USD 10,000 this week following a promising weekend mini bull run, Bitcoin price has stopped sliding and now remains in consolidation around USD 10,200. Meanwhile, altcoin prices, which saw a slight revival in the wake of Bitcoin’s faltering advance, are also seeing sideways trading as we approach the middle of the week.

Yesterday, we talked up some bullish points that could be driving up sentiment in a week with little fresh news of note. Vice is only just picking up on last week’s mystery $1 billion bitcoin transaction (not a mystery to everyone who thinks it’s just Bakkt warehousing facilities, of course).

Today, several other milestones have been reached by the world’s most popular digital currency, and we start in South America with the battered economy of Argentina, where the embattled government has set capital limits on hard currency purchase, allowing its citizens to only purchase limited amounts of US dollar as the local currency seems set on a path to hyperinflation

A post in Reddit claims that there is a USD 2,250 premium for Bitcoin in Argentina as people rush to buy up the cryptocurrency, where capital controls will have no effect on peer-to-peer trading, like on platforms like Localbitcoins. That means traders selling are enjoying a 20% premium on current prices! Those paying attention will have noted that this was already set in motion last year when the Argentine Peso started to shed value against the US dollar rapidly.

It won’t be the last country where Bitcoin will enjoy demand. We’ve seen Zimbabwe, Iran and Venezuela, among others, also see its people run to decentralized money when central entities restrict their financial freedom or when their fiat money starts to fade in value.

Looking away from macro economic news, we see also that Bitcoin traders are finally starting to put more money into the speculatory market, if the news surfacing about BitMEX is to be believed. According to DeCrypto, traders are slowly increasing futures exposure on popular options and futures trading platform BitMEX.

XBT (Bitcoin on the platform) against USD now has an open-interest above USD 1 billion, jumping by over USD 250 million in the last 10 days alone. This represents trading positions on USD/BTC that have not been closed. Interestingly, the all-time high for open interest on BitMEX is actually USD 1.22 billion, achieved just a couple of months ago in July.

The exchange owns the majority of the world’s futures trading in Bitcoin, and is sometimes seen as a measure of how healthy Bitcoin interest is. Only 10% of the daily trading volume for BitMEX is non futures.

It’s not exactly bullish news for long-term holders or even Bitcoiners, since interest in trading futures on BitMEX only shows an increase of risk appetite: traders are more willing to risk betting on price outcome. But exactly where the majority believe price is heading, that can be a little more difficult to tell.

From rising BitMEX trading demand, we go to Dan Tapiero, who has made the bold claim that Bitcoin is a “truth machine“. More precisely, the founder of Gold Bullion International declared in an interview with AlphaWeek:

“What it is is an invention, and I think it should be referred to as an invention rather than all the other things. It’s a, you know, what it really is […] It’s a truth machine. […] It’s a way to eradicate all fraud or lying by human beings.”

A pretty tall order for digital money, we’d say, since Bitcoin hasn’t exactly been able to eradicate all fraud or lying except on its own blockchain (though one could argue you could easily publish lies to be stored forever on the blockchain).

Tapiero of course was only referring to how the system that is only about a decade old has managed to maintain a good track record of validation and security, and that is a huge testament to its value. He concludes as well: “Bitcoin, really, is just the reward that miners get for guaranteeing the security of the framework of the network, that’s what it is.”

He notes also that if anyone were to ever attempt something of a similar nature or scale, it would cost them immense resources, both financially and in time. The numbers of man hours spent developing and securing the Bitcoin network simply couldn’t be handled by a normal company.

Could he have been alluding to Facebook and its ill-timed Libra project? Or is he merely trumpeting the strengths of Bitcoin?



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