Forbes - Living on borrowed time 🕰

Happy Friday! This is Billy Bambrough, here with your latest batch of crypto news and analysis.

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24-hour crypto market snapshot
Bitcoin (-2%) $38,867
Ethereum (-2%) $2,863
Luna (-7%) $85.45
Head above water 🤿
Cryptocurrency prices have slipped into the red this morning, with the bitcoin price sliding under $39,000 despite further positive crypto developments on the global stage. Panama last night passed a bill to regulate the use and commercialization of cryptocurrencies. Reuters has a write up.

The ethereum price has dropped in line with bitcoin, down 2% and moving further away from the closely-watched $3,000 per ether level. The rest of the crypto top ten, as measured by CoinMarketCap, is even more troubled, with ethereum rival avalanche, Ripple's XRP and Terra's luna leading the major market lower.

Further down the charts, apecoin, the cryptocurrency linked to the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, has experienced highly volatile trading as new features in the Bored Ape Yacht Club ecosystem went live. Coindesk has the details.

Good to know:
More than 80% of alt coins are ‘underwater’ within a year
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Bitcoin-backed 🪙
Digital collateral: Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs has begun offering a bitcoin-backed loan, allowing bitcoin holders to borrow U.S. dollars by putting up their bitcoin as collateral to the bank. Coindesk has the story. The move comes after Miami-based lending startup Milo began offering mortgages backed by cryptocurrencies in March, a trend kicked off by crypto-friendly bank Silvergate around 12 months ago, and this week blockchain real estate platform Propy announced a partnership with Abra to offer access to home loans using cryptocurrency holdings as collateral.

Crypto never sleeps: "We recently extended a secured lending facility where we lent fiat collateralized on bitcoin; bitcoin being owned by the borrower," a Goldman spokeswoman told Coindesk. "The interesting piece for us was the structure and the 24-7-365 day risk management."

Why it matters: Silicon Valley's "move fast and break things" philiosphy has slowly been seeping onto Wall Street. This week, Michael Moro, CEO of digital currency prime brokerage Genesis, told Bloomberg that "banks are forever going to be trying to play catchup," adding "crypto is going to move way faster than banks can." Last month, Goldman Sachs executed its first over-the-counter crypto transaction while multi-trillion-dollar asset manager BlackRock launched a blockchain-focused exchange-traded fund (ETF) and Jefferies Financial is expanding banking services for crypto clients.

But but but... The growing bitcoin-backed loan trend has been met with raised-eyebrows by many. "Lucky for us we have no recent history with connecting mortgages with risky financial products and what could possibly be the harm," asked journalist Oliver Willis on Twitter—referring, if it was not clear, to the mortgage-backed securities crash that contributed to the 2008 global financial crisis. "Crypto-backed mortgages are as crazy as they sound," wrote Bloomberg's Mark Gongloff, calling them "risk piled on top of risk, at a particularly risky time."

The bottom line: Bitcoin and crypto volatility is somewhat baked into these loans. If the price of the digital asset drops, the borrower may be required to increase their collateral. However, the wild swings the crypto market is known for, combined with its history of multi-year so-called crypto winters, may well be not fully accounted for by crypto companies and financial giants accustomed to the recent boom times.

Now read this: Crypto is winning and crypto diehards are furious about it
"Bitcoin Jesus" returns 🙏
Crypto investor Roger Ver was once lauded as
Crypto investor Roger Ver was once lauded as "bitcoin Jesus" for his diehard dedication of the cryptocurrency. © 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP
🏅 A legendary crypto investor once lauded as "bitcoin Jesus" has returned to the public sphere, praising Tesla billionaire Elon Musk's plan to buy Twitter and naming the meme-based dogecoin, litecoin and bitcoin cash, a fork of bitcoin, as the top "contenders" for the title of the world’s dominant cryptocurrency.

🗣 "Dogecoin is significantly better [than bitcoin], it’s cheaper and more reliable," Ver, who had stepped away from his 700,000-follower Twitter account a year ago before returning this week, told Bloomberg. "If I had to pick three contenders [for the world’s dominant cryptocurrency,] they would be doge, litecoin and bitcoin cash."

📉 Dogecoin, litecoin and bitcoin cash are all based on bitcoin but adopted various changes to make them better suited to payments but litecoin and bitcoin cash have slipped down the rankings of the most valuable cryptocurrencies in recent years. Dogecoin, created as a "joke" in 2013, has seen its price and popularity soar over the last 18 months thanks to support from the likes of Elon Musk and other high-profile figures.

Now read this: Bitcoin adoption by Central African Republic baffles cryptoverse
In-Fidelity 🪦
💰 After fund manager Fidelity announced this week it plans to offer bitcoin as an investment option for its 401(k) managed accounts, the move has been criticized by the U.S. Labor Department.

👎 "We have grave concerns with what Fidelity has done," Ali Khawar, acting assistant secretary of the Employee Benefits Security Administration, told The Wall Street Journal, pointing to bitcoin "hype" and crypto's speculative nature.

🧬 Fidelity said that its bitcoin offering represents a "continued commitment to evolving and broadening its digital assets offerings amidst steadily growing demand for digital assets across investor segments."

Good to know: The IRS And foreign tax enforcers have warned NFTs pose a growing money laundering risk
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Billy Bambrough
Forbes Senior Contributor
I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business. I write about how bitcoin, crypto and blockchain can change the world.
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