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What you need to know on the markets this week: Bitcoin and beyond; ‘Hey big spenders’ – what the funds did with their cash; a platinum opportunity?

Bitcoin hit a record of nearly $50,000 last week. Sopa Images/Getty Images Tesla has bought a load of bitcoin and other corporates may follow….

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In this photo illustration a Bitcoin logo seen displayed on a smartphone with the stock market graphic in the backgroundBitcoin hit a record of nearly $50,000 last week.

Sopa Images/Getty Images

Last week saw some game-changing events for the cryptocurrency market, which pushed the prices of bitcoin, ether and others to record highs. Meanwhile, on the commodities front, a broad sweep higher in raw materials prices has got market-watchers pondering if we are on the verge of a new super-cycle. This coming week may reveal if big investors are buying into crypto, as well as the resilience of star precious metal, platinum.

Bitcoin to the moon… and beyond

Bitcoin hit a record of nearly $50,000 last week and this time around, it wasn’t a motley crew of amateur traders organizing an effort to squeeze the price higher. Elon Musk, a long-time advocate of cryptocurrencies and of bitcoin, in particular, had already ignited a frenzy in “meme crypto” Dogecoin.

But it was Tesla – the electric vehicle maker he founded and runs – unveiling a $1.5-billion purchase of bitcoin that fueled this latest leg higher. Tesla said it would also consider allowing customers to pay using the digital token, possibly opening the floodgates to other large companies to do the same.

Online payment groups like PayPal and Square already allow users to buy and sell with crypto. Last week, Mastercard joined their ranks and said it would allow the use of some cryptocurrencies on its network.

RBC suggested Apple could be the next big corporation to adopt bitcoin, and the CFO of Twitter told CNBC on Wednesday that it too could buy the token. But bitcoin isn’t ready to go mainstream, according to the world’s biggest asset manager, UBS. And Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has, again, voiced reservations about cryptocurrencies in general, saying their use in online crime and for money laundering is growing.

BlackRock, the world’s biggest fund manager, last month said it would allow two of its funds to invest in bitcoin futures. So who’s next?

This week could bring the answer to that question, when Wall Street’s big guns report how they invested their money in the final three months of 2020.

Read more: Tesla just invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin. Here are the bull and bear cases for the crypto, according to legendary macro trader Mike Novogratz and Goldman’s wealth-management CIO.

“Hey big spender” – how the funds spent their funds

This coming week, the biggest US investors will release details of what they put money into -and sold off – in the fourth quarter of 2020. The so-called 13-F filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission offer a breakdown of the holdings at the end of December of any fund with more than $100 million under management.

However, in the wake of the GameStop short-squeeze in January, anyone hoping to get a look at what stocks the funds are betting against will be disappointed. A 13-F filing contains long positions only, along with a fund’s options holdings, convertible notes and American Depository Receipts (ADRs) – or holdings of US-listed stock of foreign companies. But no short positions.

Even so, most investors – professional and amateur – scour the 13-Fs to see what the “smart money” did last quarter. Warren Buffett, “Big Short” investor Michael Burry – who must be one of the lone Tesla shorts standing -, Ray Dalio, David Einhorn, Seth Klarman and Ryan Cohen will all release details of what they bought and sold.

Read more: It could take just 2 catalysts for pockets of speculation to snowball into a widespread bubble, one global strategist says. He recommends 3 ways to capitalize on this frothy environment.

Platinum-star performance

The price of platinum rocketed by 15% to above $1,200 an ounce its highest in over six years last week, driven by a heady cocktail of a weaker dollar and a broad investor push into commodities and making it the best-performing raw material of the past week. It scorched past crude oil, copper and lumber and is on track to top the charts for the month of February.

Until around last March, in the depths of the coronavirus crisis, platinum had been on a long, painful downtrend. Aside from its use in jewellery, platinum’s main industrial use was in the catalytic converters of diesel-powered vehicles. The diesel-emissions scandal, which led to a drastic drop in sales of diesel vehicles and several punitive measures aimed to reduce the number of them on the roads, has eaten into platinum demand – so much so that for the past six years it has been worth less than gold, despite being far more scarce.

As the world transitions to using cleaner sources of energy and cutting emissions, several commodities are emerging as being central to this effort, platinum being one of them.

Platinum, together with iridium, is used as a catalyst in proton exchange membrane electrolysis – used to extract hydrogen from water as a source of zero-emissions sustainable fuel.

Johnson Matthey, the world’s largest refiner of platinum group metals, said in a report on February 10 the global platinum market ran a deficit for the second year in a row in 2020. It looks likely to see a shortfall again this year.

“The move towards an expected supply deficit is occurring at a time of increased focus on tightening emission regulation in regular combustion engines while accelerating green hydrogen production has increased demand for platinum-based electrolyser capacity,” Saxo Bank head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen said in a note last week.

“Having been in a downtrend for nearly a decade, platinum’s breakout last November helped attract renewed investment demand, not least after gold hit $2000/oz and its premium to platinum rose above $1000/oz. These developments helped attract increased switching activity between the two metals,” Hansen said.

Chart of the week – pot luck

Last week, cannabis stocks went parabolic, driven by double-digit percentage rallies in the likes of Aphria, Tilray and Sundial Growers. Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election and Democrat promises to decriminalize cannabis have given a number of investors, including the Reddit traders, reason to pile in. Cannabis was the top-performing investment theme last week, according to broker CMC Markets’ Global Thematic ETF screening too, with a gain of nearly 40%, compared to runner-up uranium, with a 11% increase.

Relative performance of the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF vs S&P 500Relative performance of the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF vs S&P 500.

Bloomberg/Insider

Economic calendar for the w/c Feb 15

Feb 14 Japan GDP

Feb 16 Eurozone GDP growth Q4

Feb 17 US retail sales/FOMC minutes

Feb 17 Australia unemployment rate

Feb 17 ECB monetary policy meeting minutes

Feb 18 Australia retail sales

Feb 18 Philadelphia Fed business activity index

Feb 19 UK retail sales/consumer inflation

Feb 19 Canada retail sales

Feb 21 PBOC rate decision

Feb 21 New Zealand retail sales

Earnings calendar for the w/c Feb 15

2/15 BHP Billiton

2/15 BHP Group

2/16 CVS Health Corp

2/16 Glencore

2/16 Palantir Technologies

2/17 BAT (British American Tobacco)

2/17 Garmin

2/17 Rio Tinto

2/17 Shopify

2/18 Airbus

2/18 Barclays

2/18 Carrefour

2/18 Credit Suisse

2/18 Daimler

2/18 EDF (Electricité de France)

2/18 Nestlé

2/18 Newmont Mining

2/18 Walmart

2/19 Allianz

2/19 Danone

2/19 Renault

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  • Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/currencies/news/markets-weekahead-bitcoin-tesla-fund-managers-platinum-earnings-2021-2-1030080293

    what-you-need-to-know-on-the-markets-this-week:-bitcoin-and-beyond;-'hey-big-spenders'---what-the-funds-did-with-their-cash;-a-platinum-opportunity?

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    SES Government Solutions Provides Medium Earth Orbit Satellite Services for Combatant Command

    SES Government Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES, in close partnership with a key U.S. Government customer, designed, developed and f…

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    SES Government Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES, in close partnership with a key U.S. Government customer, designed, developed and fielded an O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) reachback capability to provide mission-critical communications for a key combatant command. The awarded task order for USD 11.8 million is against the single-award USD 516.7 million Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) for medium earth orbit (MEO) low-latency high-throughput satellite (HTS) services. This is the 15th task order awarded to SES GS on this BPA.

    This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210516005061/en/

    SES Government Solutions Provides Medium Earth Orbit Satellite Services for Combatant Command (Photo: Business Wire)

    SES Government Solutions Provides Medium Earth Orbit Satellite Services for Combatant Command (Photo: Business Wire)

    With this agreement, SES Government Solutions expands its high-throughput, low-latency services in support of mission-essential combatant command requirements, as the customer needs evolve, by providing innovative, flexible and secure communications solutions.

    Using O3b services, U.S. Government customers can take advantage of the field-proven capabilities to support the provisioning of enterprise services to deployed warfighters. The solution leverages the MEO constellation by providing fiber-like connectivity to austere deployed locations.

    “The Department of Defense has vast and expansive information at their fingertips,” said President and CEO of SES Government Solutions, Brigadier General Pete Hoene, USAF (retired). “Utilizing reachback technology gives our warfighters the information and support needed for mission success. By leveraging the O3b MEO constellation, deployed U.S. military personnel have access to near real-time decision-making intelligence at the tactical edge.”

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    About SES Government Solutions

    SES Government Solutions (SES GS) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES, the leader in global content connectivity solutions. SES GS operates under a proxy board allowing them to provide services through contracts with the U.S. Government, including classified work. SES GS is exclusively focused on meeting the satellite communications needs of the U.S. Government. Leveraging more than four decades of experience in the government SATCOM market, SES GS offers robust and secure end-to-end satellite communications solutions. Further information can be found at www.ses-gs.com.

    About SES

    SES has a bold vision to deliver amazing experiences everywhere on earth by distributing the highest quality video content and providing seamless connectivity around the world. As the leader in global content connectivity solutions, SES operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unique combination of global coverage and high performance, including the commercially-proven, low-latency Medium Earth Orbit O3b system. By leveraging a vast and intelligent, cloud-enabled network, SES is able to deliver high-quality connectivity solutions anywhere on land, at sea or in the air, and is a trusted partner to the world’s leading telecommunications companies, mobile network operators, governments, connectivity and cloud service providers, broadcasters, video platform operators and content owners. SES’s video network carries over 8,200 channels and has an unparalleled reach of 361 million households, delivering managed media services for both linear and non-linear content. The company is listed on Paris and Luxembourg stock exchanges (Ticker: SESG). Further information is available at: www.ses.com.

    Markets Insider and Business Insider Editorial Teams were not involved in the creation of this post.

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/ses-government-solutions-provides-medium-earth-orbit-satellite-services-for-combatant-command-1030435088

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    A 29-year-old crypto billionaire who’s made millions from digital-currency arbitrage shares 2 tips for investors looking to get started in trading- and explains why ether is unlikely to surpass…

    Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX and Alameda Research. FTX Sam Bankman-Fried became a billionaire through leveraging a cryptocurrency arb…

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    Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX and Alameda ResearchSam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX and Alameda Research.

    FTX

    • Sam Bankman-Fried became a billionaire through leveraging a cryptocurrency arbitrage strategy.
    • Bankman-Fried now runs a leading derivative cryptocurrency exchange, FTX.
    • He shares his tips for crypto trading and his outlook on bitcoin vs. ether.
    • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

    Sam Bankman-Fried is a cofounder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and a legend in the world of crypto trading.

    His crypto arbitrage strategy netted him 10% daily returns on million-dollar crypto trades, helping him to accumulate a net worth that placed him on Forbes’ list of cryptocurrency billionaires at just 29 years old.

    Although Bankman-Fried’s wealth provides him with more than enough money to retire comfortably on a faraway island, he instead dedicates his time to building the ultimate cryptocurrency exchange for traders.

    His goal is to create an alternative to the “s—show exchanges” that existed when he was trading in 2017 and 2018, Bankman-Fried said in an interview with Insider.

    “We thought the odds are pretty high that we would fail on the exchange because we thought we would just never get any users and that would be that, but it seemed high enough upside that it was worth going for anyway,” Bankman-Fried said.

    Within two years, FTX went from relatively unknown to one of the top five derivative-trading exchanges, with more than $400 billion in monthly trading volume in April.

    FTX changed the trading game by enabling the management of collateral through a single wallet. This meant traders could trade anything on FTX through one margin wallet, as long as they had enough collateral to meet their total position size.

    “It’s one of the rare times that you find a change, which both simplifies the product and makes it more powerful,” Bankman-Fried said.

    Some might assume that, by simplifying the collateralization process, FTX would face more risk when it comes to liquidations, a process that occurs when traders don’t have enough collateral to support their position.

    Yet when a recent flash crash caused a 17% drop in the value of bitcoin and liquidations worth $9.3 billion on April 17, FTX fared better than most.

    The platform is designed to discourage mass liquidations by limiting the size of the positions traders can put on with really high leverage and having an engine that liquidates only as much as it needs to, Bankman-Fried said.

    Total liquidations graph from ByBtTotal liquidations graph from ByBt.

    ByBt

    Crypto trading tips

    There is fierce competition from other traders in the cryptocurrency market, and breaking in is hard, Bankman-Fried said. “It’s not a super forgiving place to try and get into,” he said.

    First, get to know the market by learning from the experts. Bankman-Fried spent several years learning his craft at the trading firm Jane Street.

    Second, try to figure out what edge you have, such as great technology or a good instinct for the direction of the market, he said.

    “I think one of the interesting things is the blurring line between trader and an investor in crypto,” Bankman-Fried said.

    Bankman-Fried’s approach to trading is evolving. He has formed an appreciation for how great crypto investors have been able to operate in different market environments and is spending more time thinking about strategies that set him up well for future cycles, something he said he didn’t have great instincts for previously.

    “Often, a lot of the upside is in the cases where the bull market stays. That’s where you should be focusing a lot of your thoughts because that’s where it matters the most what you do,” Bankman-Fried said. “But with the caveat that you have to make sure that you don’t f— yourself over if there’s a temporary bear market, that you don’t put yourself in a position where you can’t survive that.”

    Bitcoin vs. ether

    The most-traded cryptocurrency is bitcoin, which has a market capitalization near $1 trillion. In recent weeks, the Ethereum blockchain’s native currency, ether, has arguably made its case as a challenger to bitcoin, as the currency has surged more than 100% in price since the start of April with a market capitalization of $450 billion.

    Bitcoin’s 93% gain so far this year has been dwarfed by ether’s 450% increase in that time. The Ethereum network houses a variety of decentralized finance applications, including nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, which have been all the rage among artists and celebrities. The multiple uses of the network, plus the fact that its carbon footprint is considerably smaller than that of bitcoin, have burnished ether’s popularity.

    Bankman-Fried said he would be surprised to see ether overtake bitcoin, considering bitcoin has the massive advantage of being the first and agreed-upon default cryptocurrency, which is worth a lot.

    For all its diverse uses, Ethereum has its own issues, such as serious scaling challenges, which are going to hold it back, Bankman-Fried said.

    “It’s hard for me to see ether displacing bitcoin, although I could be wrong there,” he said.

    Sam Bankman-Fried is a cofounder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and a legend in the world of crypto trading.

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/currencies/news/crypto-trading-tips-ethereum-outlook-young-billionaire-sam-bankman-fried-2021-5-1030415441

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    Dogecoin plummets during Elon Musk’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ hosting gig as Robinhood experiences issues

    Miley Cyrus was the musical guest on "SNL," while Elon Musk hosted. NBC/Getty Images The value of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin fell dur…

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    Miley Cyrus Elon Musk SNLMiley Cyrus was the musical guest on “SNL,” while Elon Musk hosted.

    NBC/Getty Images

    • The value of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin fell during Elon Musk’s episode of “Saturday Night Live.”
    • At the same time, Robinhood tweeted that its app was experiencing difficulties with trading.
    • Robinhood declined to comment on whether the difficulty was due to changes in trading during “SNL.”
    • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

    Dogecoin’s stock price fell during billionaire Elon Musk’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” on May 9.

    The cryptocurrency, which started as a joke in 2013 but recently gained popularity with Musk’s vocal support, fell to about $0.5 around 12:30 a.m. early Sunday morning, according to Coindesk, but the price steadily picked up as the show went on.

    Musk touted Dogecoin during his appearance on the show’s “Weekend Update” sketch, saying the cryptocurrency would “take over the world” and calling himself the “Dogefather.”

    At the same time, Robinhood, the multi-billion dollar stock trading app, said the platform was experiencing issues with crypto-trading.

    “Update: We’re currently experiencing issues with crypto trading,” Robinhood tweeted during Musk’s performance. “We’re working to resolve this as soon as possible.”

    -Robinhood Help (@AskRobinhood) May 9, 2021

    Robinhood told Insider that the platform’s crypto-trading was “back up and running” about 30 minutes after it first reported difficulties. Robinhood declined to comment on whether the issues were tied to the “SNL” performance.

    -Robinhood Help (@AskRobinhood) May 9, 2021

    Dogecoin was originated in 2013 by IBM software engineer Billy Markus and Adobe software engineer Jackson Palmer.

    This year, Dogecoin has had more than a 12,000% year-to-date rally, and spiked the week prior to Musk’s hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live.” The Reddit group Wall Street Bets, which cheered an unlikely rally of GameStop stock earlier this year, has also championed Dogecoin.

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/currencies/news/dogecoin-drop-robinhood-down-elon-musk-snl-episode-2021-5-1030405331

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