CryptoNews of the Week

- The number of bitcoin addresses with a non-zero balance has approached the mark of 33 million, updating the historical maximum, according to the data of the analytical service Glassnode. The number of wallets with a balance of more than 1 BTC is also steadily growing. The indicator has set a new record at 827,105 recently, recovering from a slight recession at the end of September. According to analysts, such an increase in the number of retail cryptocurrency users clearly indicates the massive adoption of bitcoin.

- Also, the "population" of bitcoin whales grew significantly in 2020 and peaked at 2274 at the end of last month. These data were shared by Philip Gradwell, a senior economist at Chainalysis analytics company. Since the beginning of the year, the category "1000 BTC and more" has grown by 302 new wallets. The balances at the respective addresses have increased by 1.4 million BTC during this time.

- Millennials, young people who were born at the turn of the millennium, believe in bitcoin and see it as an asset preparing to replace fiat money. According to Zach Prince, CEO of cryptocurrency startup BlockFi, they will be the ones who will change the industry and popularize cryptocurrencies. "However, I do not think that the dollar or the euro will completely disappear, but cryptocurrencies have every chance to become their full replacement," he said.
Speaking at the BlockShow conference, Prince also called promising ways to develop the cryptocurrency industry. According to him, decentralized finance should try to establish communication with regulators, but not make full concessions. If we introduce complete regulation of the market, then it will hardly differ from fiat.

- Despite the rise in the price and popularity of bitcoin over the past few months, it is still far from widespread attention. A poll conducted by Opinium and AltFi asked 2,000 UK adults how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their financial situation. The majority said they turned to digital investment having refrained from investing in physical assets. However, only 10% of this sample (or 200 people) specified that they bought cryptocurrencies.
Despite the fact that this percentage is relatively small, the results of 2020 can be regarded as an undeniable improvement: the figure was half as low, 5.3%, a year ago.

- US billionaire Ray Dalio admitted that the criticism of cryptocurrencies that had been heard from him earlier was unfounded. "Bitcoin is well suited for portfolio diversification," said the billionaire. "I would advise having cryptocurrencies among the assets, at least as an experiment. When it comes to comparing bitcoin to gold, I prefer to keep those assets that are important to the global economic system." Earlier, Dalio said that bitcoin can complement gold thanks to an expanded list of options that are available to cryptocurrency investors. A coin backed by the precious metal could be the best investment on the market, he said.

- European electricity supplier CEZ Group has uncovered the largest theft in its history. Together with the police, the company's specialists discovered equipment for the extraction of cryptocurrencies illegally connected to the power grids in one of the outbuildings in the Bulgarian village of Kherakovo. The inspection began due to the abnormal high consumption of electricity in the area. As a result of searches, law enforcement officers seized more than 1,000 mining units. Preliminary estimates suggest the stolen electricity was equivalent to a monthly consumption of 4,250 families.

- Bestselling Rich Dad Poor Dad author and entrepreneur Robert Kiyosaki has reiterated his call to buy bitcoin before it surpasses $20,000. He is convinced that the cryptocurrency will continue to grow to $50,000 next year amid the influx of money from institutions. The entrepreneur says that "America is in trouble" and preclude the "death" of the US dollar and a "bright future" for gold, silver, bitcoin and entrepreneurs.

- The well-known Dutch cryptanalyst PlanB, who developed the popular BTC stock-to-flow valuation model, believes that the price of the reference cryptocurrency may rise to $100,000 by the end of 2021, and maybe up to $300,000. PlanB admits that his outlook sounds extremely optimistic and even somewhat amusing for some investors. However, the rise in the price of bitcoin in the past allows him to make such predictions.

- Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin says that he sold part of the reserves of the first cryptocurrency back in 2013. He said he had "only a few thousand dollars of net equity" before Ethereum was created. "However, I sold half of my bitcoins to be sure I would not break up if the rate fell to zero," he writes. This admission was accompanied by Buterin's call not to get into debt or take out loans to buy any digital assets.

- According to analysts of financial conglomerate JPMorgan Chase, institutional investors can invest up to $600 billion in the first cryptocurrency in the coming years. This requires American, European and Japanese insurance companies and pension funds to invest only 1% of their assets in bitcoin.
As JPMorgan lead strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou noted, the recent $100 million investment by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company marks another milestone in the adoption of the first cryptocurrency by such organizations. At the same time, the analyst admits that it is quite difficult for such traditional investors to invest in cryptocurrency, since there are still regulatory requirements for the choice of investment assets in terms of risks and fulfillment of obligations. This can limit the amount of funds available for buying BTC.
In early December, JPMorgan Payments Manager Takis Georgakopoulos said the bank has become more loyal to bitcoin and is ready to contribute to the development of the cryptocurrency industry.

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