Blockchain Bites: Paul Tudor Jones, Open Options and Why Bitcoin Looks Strong Heading to the Halving

Bixin is launching a $66M fund, Massive Adoption's Jacob Kostecki is getting sued and Filecoin is delivering physical hard drives.

AccessTimeIconMay 8, 2020 at 6:36 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:38 a.m. UTC

Yesterday, it came to light that Paul Tudor Jones II, a titan investor, is considering bitcoin as a hedge against inflation. While it's unknown where he intends to make his allocation or how much he'll invest over what period of time through his flagship fund, we do know why. Bitcoin is what gold was in the 1970s, he thinks.

"I am not a millennial investing in cryptocurrency, which is very popular in that generation, but a baby boomer," he said in a letter to investors. "In a world that craves new safe assets, there may be a growing role for bitcoin."

Next week as Consensus: Distributed kicks off, Blockchain Bites will be your guide to the event. We'll publish twice daily, providing a detailed schedule of events as well as a daily recap. I hope you can join us for the completely free and virtual event. You can subscribe to this and all of CoinDesk's newsletters here. 

In other news, Bixin is launching a $66 million fund of funds, Massive Adoption organizer Jacob Kostecki is getting sued and Filecoin is delivering physical hard drives. Here's the story:

Top Shelf

Industry Head Looking to Hedge
Paul Tudor Jones II, a pioneer of the modern hedge fund industry, is ready to bet on bitcoin’s price as an inflation hedge. Jones’ flagship $22 billion Tudor BVI Global Fund has been authorized to hold as much as “a low single-digit percentage exposure percentage" of its assets in bitcoin futures, according to a note sent to investors this month. It is not clear whether the fund has begun buying futures, what kind (physically delivered or cash-settled), on which exchange it would do so or whether it plans to also trade the underlying commodity.

Bitcoin Halving Interest Doubles (Five Times Over)
With fewer than four days left till bitcoin's halving, popular interest in the once-every-four-years event is reaching a fever pitch. Google Trends, a barometer for gauging interest in trending search topics, shows searches for "halving" or "bitcoin halving" at five times the peak in 2016, when the blockchain underwent its previous halving event. CoinDesk’s First Mover team takes a deeper dive, you can sign up for the newsletter here.

Micree Zhan, co-founder and former co-CEO of Bitmain. (Credit: CoinDesk archives.)
Micree Zhan, co-founder and former co-CEO of Bitmain. (Credit: CoinDesk archives.)

Serious Tensions
Micree Ketuan Zhan, the exiled co-founder of Bitmain, has moved to reinstate his position granted the right to recover his status as legal representative of Beijing Bitmain Technology by the Beijing Haidian District Justice Bureau. When Zhan went to the bureau to collect his new registration license, he was met by a cadre of Bitmain executives seeking to block his move. Tensions escalated into a physical brawl, as reported by Chinese daily Caixin and a video circulating on WeChat. 

Filecoin Delivers... a Package
Filecoin is mailing out hard drives of climate data, world literature or the human genome to kick-start its file-storage network. In a program called Filecoin Discover, the Filecoin Foundation will deliver these tomes to future miners physically, on eight-terabyte hard drives, with instructions on how to link the devices to the Filecoin system to go live this year. 

Fund of Funds
Bixin, one of the earliest bitcoin miner operators and wallet startups, is dedicating 6,600 bitcoin, worth $66 million, to a new fund of funds. The company will target global quantitative trading funds whose strategies are based on arbitrage, bitcoin futures contracts and trend analysis.

Domination Derivative
new derivative from Bitfinex allows investors to take a position on bitcoin's overall share of the cryptocurrency market. The BTCDOM contract would allow investors to place a perpetual swap (a future without expiry date) based on bitcoin’s dominant value versus the value of other cryptocurrencies.

Contours of Finance
HDBank has tapped blockchain network Contour to digitize and streamline trade finance. Contour uses R3’s Corda blockchain tech for the issuance and settlement of trade contracts, a process still done with pen and paper by some firms. 

Shifting Trade Finance?
Tradeshift, the digital trade finance platform that uses blockchain to make payments instant and transparent, has proposed a scheme to the government of Denmark that may free billions of dollars from supply chains. The plan offers lines of credit – backed up by the Danish government – to big companies to pay their suppliers instantly, as supply chains around the world calcify during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Customers aren't just buying toilet paper at the supermarket, Coinme's 40 percent volume surge suggests.
Customers aren't just buying toilet paper at the supermarket, Coinme's 40 percent volume surge suggests.

ATM Boost
Coinstar, the coin counting kiosk maker hosting 3,500 Coinme bitcoin ATMs, is looking to double its bitcoin-capable supermarket locations. Placed in grocery stores and other businesses allowed to remain open during the COVID-19 shutdowns, Coinme reports a 40% bump in transaction volume since February. 

Mass' Adoption Class Action
The organizer of the canceled Massive Adoption crypto conference, Jacob Kostecki, is being sued over allegations that ticket refunds are too slow. The putative class action lawsuit was filed by a would-be attendee alleging fraud, breach of contract, conversion and unjust enrichment. Storied crypto lawyer David Silver is handling the case pro bono, while Kostecki claims refunds will be paid out by July 31, after announcing delays.

'Massive Fraud'
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued a Miami resident and two Israeli nationals Thursday over two "massive fraudulent solicitation schemes," one of which focused on cryptocurrency services.

Exemption Legislation
A key lawmaker in the California Assembly has proposed exempting “digital assets” that are “presumptively not an investment contract” from the state’s definition of corporate securities. Exactly how to treat digital assets under securities law has been a resoundingly inconclusive, and sometimes contradictory, debate in the U.S.

Series A
Swiss crypto broker Bitcoin Suisse is raising a $280 million. (The Block

Keybase Kayfabe? 
Zoom, the popular-by-necessity video conferencing service, has acquired crypto key directory Keybase in a bid to bring end-to-end encryption to its paying customers. The acquisition comes at a time when Zoom has been criticized for privacy and security issues, and is part of Zoom’s 90-day push to make the platform more secure. Meanwhile, many Bitcoiners and cryptographers  (Decrypt) are not happy with the acquisition. 

Next Stop Ahead
Another Eth 2.0 testnet, Schlesi, is live, bringing the network one step closer to its Proof-of-Stake (PoS) Eth 2.0. Named after a rail line stop in Berlin, the testnet is the first multi-client testnet for Eth 2.0’s beacon chain. 

CoinDesk: COVID Response


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Market Intel

Open Interest
Open contracts on bitcoin options rose to record highs above $1 billion on Thursday as the cryptocurrency’s price rose into five figures, surpassing the previous all-time high of $970 million registered on Feb. 14, according to crypto derivatives research firm Skew. The surge in open interest looks to have been caused by increased demand for put options, or bearish bets.


CoinDesk Monthly Review: April 2020

CoinDesk Research's monthly review of crypto markets overviews returns, volatility and correlations of bitcoin, ether and other crypto assets - all in a macro context. Plus, we track growth in stablecoins and look at what past halvings can tell us about the upcoming one. The report is free to download.

CoinDesk Podcast Network

Could a new currency challenger the dollar’s supremacy in the international system? Airing May 8, episode 2 of The Breakdown: Money Reimagined examines a set of challengers -- from Libra to the Chinese DCEP -- seeking to reshape the global monetary order in their image. 

The Breakdown: Money Reimagined is a podcast crossover micro series exploring the battle for the future of money in the context of a post COVID-19 world. The four-part podcast features over a dozen voices including Consensus: Distributed speakers Niall Ferguson, Nic Carter and Michael Casey. New episodes air Fridays on the CoinDesk Podcast NetworkSubscribe here.

Heading Into the Halving
On this episode of The Breakdown, NLW looks at nine reasons why Bitcoin has never been stronger going into the halving. 

Who Won #CryptoTwitter?

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