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Arkansas is offering remote tech workers $10,000 in bitcoin to move to there – CNBC

TheNorthwest Arkansas Council, a nonprofit organization, is offering remote tech professionals and entrepreneurs $10,000 in bitcoin to move to the region.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, is currently trading at around $42,893, according to Coin Metrics.

Why bitcoin? "Northwest Arkansas is experiencing explosive growth in the tech sector, specifically within blockchain-enabled technologies, and this incentive embraces the growing trend of cryptocurrency as a payment option by employers," its website reads.

The incentive is part of the NWA Council's "Life Works Here" campaign,which is funded by the Walton Family Foundation. When it first launched in 2020, the NWA Council initially offered $10,000 cash as an incentive program.It recently decided to add the option for remote workers to accept the amount in bitcoin instead, although they can still choose cash if they prefer.

"While we've had overwhelming interest in the initial incentive program, we're continuing to seek out unique and in-demand talent in the STEAM and blockchain professions," the website says.

In order to be eligible, applicants must relocate to Northwest Arkansas, which includes Washington and Benton counties, within six months of acceptance to the program and sign a one-year lease or buy a home.

Applicants also must be at least 24 years old, have at least two years of work experience, currently live outside of the state of Arkansas and be a U.S. citizen or have the credentials required to work legally in the U.S., according to the program's website.

In addition to the money, the NWA Council is also offering to gift remote workers a bicycle, highlighting the region's mountain biking trails, or a free membership to local theaters and museums.

So far, over 35,000 people have applied from more than 115 countries and 50 states, the NWA Council says.

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Congress Introduces A Game-Changing Crypto Bill As The Price Of Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB, Solana, Cardano, XRP Sinks – Forbes

The tide in the crypto market has turned.

Today the bitcoin price sank 4%. The price of the second-largest crypto, ethereum, is down 3.5%. Meanwhile, the BNB price slipped 1.9%, cardano 3.3%, XRP 3.4%, and solana 4.9%.

However, a major catalyst is brewing that could turn cryptocurrency prices around.

Bitcoin cryptocurrency coin

As the Fed pushes ahead with its crypto investigation into a digital dollar which would create competition for major cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, ethereum, solana, XRP, and BNBone congressman is seeking to ban government-issued digital currencies.

This past Wednesday, Minnesota Republican Representative, Tom Emmer, introduced a bill that would put a damper on the Feds powers in issuing a digital currency directly to American citizens, which he thinks would put the nation on an authoritarian path.

Requiring users to open up an account at the Fed to access a US CBDC would put the Fed on an insidious path akin to China's digital authoritarianism," he said in a statement. "It is important to note that the Fed does not, and should not, have the authority to offer retail bank accounts."

Although Fed Chair Jerome Powell said cryptos could co-exist with central bank-issued cryptocurrencies, the congressman argues a CBCD would allow the Fed to surveil Americans, which defeats the whole purpose of a decentralized cryptocurrency.

"CBDCs that fail to adhere to these three basic principles could enable an entity like the Federal Reserve to mobilize itself into a retail bank, collect personally identifiable information on users, and track their transactions indefinitely," he said.

Zooming out

Last July, the Fed launched an investigation into whether it should introduce its own digital currency.

We think its really important that the central bank maintain a stable currency and payments system for the publics benefit. Thats one of our jobs, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said. Later he noted that involves the transformational innovation in digital payments, referring to the revolution of cryptocurrencies.

The Fed didnt give any timeline and hinted that they wont rush it. I think its important that we get to a place where we can make an informed decision about this and do so expeditiouslyI dont think were behind. I think its more important to do this right than to do it fast, Powell said at his post-meeting news conference.

The Fed hasnt yet made any decision, but this Tuesday Powell told a US Senate committee that theyd release the highly anticipated report on central bank digital currencies within weeks.

Looking ahead

Government-backed cryptocurrencies are picking up steam worldwide.

As of now, 87 countries (which make up over 90% of the worlds GDP) are considering launching their own cryptocurrencies, according to Atlantic Council. 14 are on a test run, including China, and nine have already launched, with Nigeria introducing last.

Meanwhile, the countries with the largest central banksthe US, Japan, the Euro area, and the UKare falling behind.

The adoption of central bank-issued digital currencies among major economies is a closely watched development among crypto investors because its not yet clear how they would affect major cryptocurrencies.

Jerome Powell thinks central bank-issued currencies would render cryptocurrencies useless. You wouldnt need stablecoins; you wouldnt need cryptocurrencies, if you had a digital U.S. currency, Powell said during a congressional hearing last July.

Others believe a digital dollar would have the opposite, counter-intuitive effect. Greg King, the founder and CEO of Osprey, argues it would spark a backlash over privacy concerns and push more people into decentralized cryptocurrencies.

In an interview with CNBC after Powells remarks, King said: Imagine the worlds fiat currencies are digitized. I actually think that pushes more people into something like a bitcoin because, frankly, that would give governments even more control than they already have around their money supply, and a lot of people get into bitcoin for concerns about that type of control.

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Kazakhstan bitcoin miner: US will make up 60% of the worlds computing power in 2 years – Yahoo Finance

The vulnerability of Kazakhstans bitcoin mining industry was put on full display last week, when the country's internet shut down in the midst of anti-government protests, sparked by rising energy prices.

The world's second largest miner saw its hash rate or computing power that secures bitcoin, fall by double digits, in a dramatic pullback from the 18.1% it's estimated to contribute, according to Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance.

The disruption marked a big setback for a market that has looked to capitalize on a mining ban in neighboring China. Its hash rate has increased more than 10% since China's ban last June.

A lot of the older Chinese mining operations shifted to Kazakhstan,John Warren, CEO of GEM Mining, a U.S.-based company reiterated. Before launching GEMs mining operation in the U.S., Warren told Yahoo Finance he was approached about setting up operations in Kazakhstan with promoters touting its cheap power supply.

While cheap, the country's electrical grid hasn't been stable. In October, the Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC), which operates the national power grid, faced an energy supply crunch, citing both "a higher number of emergencies at power plants" as well as the "sharp increase in consumption of digital miners."

The limited power supply is likely to prompt another mining migration this time, out West.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Xive Mining co-founder Dibar Bekbauov said that many of the countrys mining companies are increasingly looking to the U.S. as "one of the top priorities" for expansion, largely because of the availability of cheaper electricity.

"I believe that U.S. will be the biggest mining hub in the world," he said. "More than 60% of the total hash rate will be in the United States within two years."

Such a move would not come cheap or easy, according to Colin Harper, head of content and research at Luxor, a bitcoin mining pool and software company.

Story continues

A worker fills out a form at the Whinstone US Bitcoin mining facility in Rockdale, Texas, on October 10, 2021. (Photo by Mark Felix / AFP) (Photo by MARK FELIX/AFP /AFP via Getty Images)

The U.S. is now estimated to account for 35.4% of bitcoins hash rate. Harper told Yahoo Finance that because the country provides both abundant power and a more robust rule of law compared to other mining hotspots, competition for materials to build a mining facility or space to lease has compounded over the last year.

Adding to the hangover are China-based bitcoin miners that relocated to the U.S. and North American companies expanding. As a result, Kazakhstan-based miners thinking of moving to the U.S. could face a sizable hit to their bottom lines.

Sizable enough, especially if they just settled in the country after migrating from China that, according to Harper, some of them might throw in the towel.

'Green' in the U.S.A

The favorable condition the U.S. offers bitcoin miners is higher access to renewable energy sources.

Bitcoin minings energy intensity remains a hotly debated topic between climate activists, academics and miners themselves. Miners arent necessarily incentivized to seek renewable energy but it's become a major focus as the price of bitcoin has skyrocketed in 2020 and 2021.

According to an annual report from Luxor, publicly traded miners (and those seeking to go public) will continue to green" their operations by seeking renewables directly or purchasing carbon credits/offsets for two main reasons. First, companies will choose to do so voluntarily to mollify criticism. Second, ESG mandates from U.S. regulators will demand it.

Alex de Vries, founder of Digiconomist, an economics blog, is a staunch critic of the industrys energy consumption. De Vries told Yahoo Finance in late August that miners need cheap and stable power; and (obsolete) fossil fuels are simply better at delivering both.

On Jan. 20, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the energy impacts of cryptocurrency, and bitcoin mining is expected to take a central focus.

In total Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, clocks the industry as consuming 126 Terra watts hours (TWh) per year, which is more electricity than the Ukraine consumes and more than the electricity consumed by residential lighting and television in the U.S. However, these comparisons are not 1-to-1.

David Hollerith covers cryptocurrency for Yahoo Finance. Follow him @dshollers.

Akiko Fujita is an anchor and reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @AkikoFujita

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The US Government and Bitcoin Auctions: Here’s What Investors Need to Know – Motley Fool

It's no secret that crypto assets like Bitcoin (CRYPTO:BTC) are facing increased scrutiny from governments around the world, and investors in this space will likely face stricter regulations in the years ahead. In this segment of Backstage Pass, recorded on Dec. 20, Fool.com contributors Jason Hall and Rachel Warren discuss a recent report that the U.S. government habitually auctions off millions of dollars' worth of cryptocurrency scooped up in asset seizures.

Jason Hall: Like I said, Rachel shared this with us, about really interesting some data points and a recent CNBC article on the U.S. government and Bitcoin.

It sounds like, over the past few years, I think starting in 2018, 2019, when there was good data available, as far as everything that was happening, the federal government has seized over 185,000 Bitcoins.

I didn't do the exact math, but I know that's billions of dollars, but it's close to probably eight billion dollars, I'm guessing 185,000 times $42,000, $43,000 per coin.

Rachel Warren: Quite a lot. [laughs]

Jason Hall: Yeah, we know it's a lot. Now, we don't know how much Bitcoin the CIA has in secret wallets.

Rachel Warren: That's the real question guys.

Jason Hall: The real question. I'm kidding [laughs] mostly.

Rachel Warren: Yeah.

Jason Hall: Seriously, here's our question, guys. Rachel I'm going to ask you to kick this one off here. How does this affect or alter your perception of Bitcoin in one way or another or does it?

Rachel Warren: It doesn't alter my perception of Bitcoin. I'm not currently invested in Bitcoin. I slowly tinker with learning a little bit more about it, but I haven't been at a point where I've wanted to take the plunge.

But I think if this is something that you want to invest in, add to your diversified portfolio A, it shouldn't really come as a surprise that the government perhaps has done a better job of keeping track of crypto than they let on on all this time.

And B, it doesn't really change whether or not Bitcoin in and of itself can be a viable investment. We know that we've been seeing a lot more regulation from recent tax updates like an infrastructure bill to government authorities around the world clamping down on Bitcoin.

A lot of it has been to stem the tide of illegal activity that often surrounds digital currency. I don't really think it would've been reasonable to expect for them to leave Bitcoin alone. I know a lot of people have said this, but I think it gives Bitcoin a lot of legitimacy and I think it helps it function better in a free market, but in a way that's safer for investors in the long run.

But I think what's so funny about there's this article on CNBC and it was talking about how "for years the U.S. government has maintained a side hustle auctioning off Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies". "One of the next seizures up on the auction block is $56 million"

Jason Hall: I love that the federal government has a side hustle.

Rachel Warren: They have an auction block? [laughs]

Jason Hall: I just want to say that there is side hustle part, it's right. But there's a pretty big deficit.

Rachel Warren: Well, if uncle Sam can have a side hustle so can you right? [laughs]

Jason Hall: There you go.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the official recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. Were motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Bitcoin could rise to $75,000 this year to top record high, bank CEO predicts – CNBC

Bitcoin's price could nearly double to $75,000 this year as more institutional investors start to embrace the world's most popular cryptocurrency, according to the CEO of Swiss bank Seba.

"We believe the price is going up," Guido Buehler told CNBC's Arjun Kharpal at the Crypto Finance Conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Wednesday.

"Our internal valuation models indicate a price right now between $50,000 and $75,000," said the boss of the regulated Swiss bank which has a focus on cryptocurrencies. "I'm quite confident we are going to see that level. The question is always timing."

After soaring to an all time high of $69,000 in November, bitcoin has seen its value collapse over the last couple of months and its price briefly tumbled below $40,000 on Monday, meaning it is hovering near lows not seen since September.

Asked if bitcoin will test the record levels seen last year, Buehler said he "thinks so" but he stressed that volatility will remain high.

This week's price fall came as rising Treasury yields and the prospect of higher central bank interest rates continued to lead investors to shed positions in risky, growth-oriented assets.

Bitcoinfell as much as 6% Monday to touch a low of $39,771.91, according to Coin Metrics. It traded at $42,921.55 at around 5 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

Declines across the cryptocurrency market follow a week of rough trading for equities, particularly momentum stocks. As the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield spiked at the start of 2022, investors have been rotating into more cyclical and value names. On Monday, the 10-year climbed as high as 1.8%, after ending 2021 at 1.5%.

"We've seen bitcoin behave like a risk asset on numerous occasions over the past few months," said Noelle Acheson, head of market insights at Genesis.

"When the market gets jittery, bitcoin tumbles. We've seen various indications that market sentiment is somewhat spooked by the spike in the 10-year that's not good for any asset that has high volatility in cash flows. Unlike many assets that are tainted by this brush, bitcoin is liquid and therefore can take more selling pressure without a heavy hit."

Buehler said he thinks institutional investors will help to boost the price of bitcoin in 2022.

"Institutional money will probably drive the price up," he said. "We are working as a fully regulated bank. We have asset pools that are looking for the right times to invest."

But Pascal Gauthier, CEO of crypto wallet Ledger, told CNBC Wednesday that there's currently a "retail trend" in bitcoin.

"They trust bitcoin more and more and it's really the people that will push the price up," he said.

Before seeking regulatory approval, Buehler said Seba Bank looked at the technology that powers cryptocurrencies and concluded that it's going to "redefine finance."

Elsewhere, Californian venture capitalist Bill Tai told CNBC Wednesday from Switzerland that there's "yet another wobble" in the crypto market.

"I don't know when it's going to go back up, but it's going to go back up," he said.

He added that cryptocurrencies are at the crux of institutional acceptance.

Additional reporting by CNBC's Tanaya Macheel.

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Bitcoin Is A Better Store Of Value Than Real Estate – Bitcoin Magazine

This is not an introductory article explaining what bitcoin is and why other so-called cryptocurrencies cannot compete with its properties and network effects. There has been enough written about this already and bitcoin is the victor. What I will contend is that bitcoin can be considered the worlds best store of value by having superior characteristics to real estate the largest store of value presently. I will look at this briefly through each important characteristic that contributes to an asset retaining its value over time.

I think the epiphany comes when you realize that bitcoin is the dominant digital property network, and digital property is better than physical property in every way conceivable. If I theoretically designed digital property to store a billion dollars, I would want to hold it in the palm of my hand, move it at the speed of light, vibrate it one thousand times per second. I want it to last forever. I want immortal, indestructible, infinite, all powerful, programmable energy. Michael Saylor, founder and CEO of MicroStrategy

Scarcity is almost certainly the most important feature of a good store of value. Some real estate is scarce, a Sydney Harbour, waterfront mansion for example. But most real estate is not. Cities can expand upward through increased density or outward by extending their boundaries. Vacant or underutilized land can be rezoned or redeveloped. Land can be reclaimed from the ocean. Much of the scarcity associated with real estate is driven by government policy rather than true scarcity. Bitcoin is the scarcest asset ever known, because by design, there will only ever be 21 million bitcoin.

Even assuming there is no lost bitcoin (where people have lost or died with their private keys), which we know is not the case, a maximum of 0.26% of the worlds 8 billion people will be able to own a whole bitcoin. For context, there are over 56 million U.S. dollar millionaires globally; the majority of them will never be able to own a whole bitcoin despite most owning substantial amounts of real estate. Finally, bitcoins future supply schedule is perfectly known. Just over 90% of all bitcoin that will ever exist has already been mined (created) and 99% will be mined by 2035. An asset with a perfectly scarce supply schedule has never existed before.

Ideally, a store of value should be easy to divide into smaller parts to maximize its transactional potential. Physical real estate has obvious divisibility constraints. This has improved over time with the advent of real estate investment trusts (REITs), funds and other fractional ownership models. These allow you to own a security, which gives you a share of the property with certain legal rights attached but rarely any control. It often comes with significant compromises such as constraints on liquidity or fees that drag on returns. With bitcoin, you almost always buy the actual asset itself (unless buying a futures contract, or leaving coins on an exchange the equivalent of an IOU for bitcoin approaches I would not recommend). A bitcoin can be divided into 100,000,000 units called satoshis. Today, a single satoshi costs approximately $0.0005. In other words, $1 buys approximately 2,000 satoshis. Even setting aside the inferior legal structure of real estates divisibility, it is still impossible to buy $0.0005 worth of real estate.

To be a good store of value, it must be simple to verify authenticity, providing confidence to all parties in a transaction. Physical real estate generally performs very well on this measure you can see, touch and feel it. However, verifying ownership is less perfect, varies substantially globally and is not always possible without a professional experts assistance. Generally, centralized registers or title systems record ownership, but these can still be subject to rare cases of fraud or human error. Bitcoins public blockchain is able to be verified by anybody, anywhere, instantly, with no reliance on third parties and with mathematical certainty.

When two or more things are interchangeable and can be substituted for one another, they can be described as fungible. Fungibility solves the problems that arise in a bartering economy where people trade without a monetary medium. Real estate is not fungible: An acre of beachfront land in the Hamptons cannot be substituted for an acre of frozen land in Siberia. Bitcoins fungibility is superior. Every bitcoin or satoshi can be treated the same. Its fungibility is not perfect though, as the blockchain is public and traceable, so particular satoshis could be marked by regulators as being contaminated or unacceptable, in the very rare event they were used for illegal activities for example. Network development continues to improve the privacy of users and reduce this problem over time, but more work needs to be done. Nevertheless, bitcoin still triumphs over real estate on this measure.

The ability to be transported and stored easily facilitates global trade and protects against theft or loss. Real estate fails miserably on this measure: Clearly an office building in Manhattan cannot be transported to central Tokyo. Bitcoin is the obvious winner here, being the most portable store of value humans have discovered. It can literally be stored in your head by memorizing a 12- or 24-word private key (or password, which can also be kept safe on the equivalent of a small flash drive and transported in your pocket). A bitcoin transaction enables billions of dollars of value to be sent globally, instantly and at an extremely low cost.

To be a good store of value, an asset must not degrade or be easily destroyed. Vacant land can meet this criteria, however, developed property falls short as its materials cannot last forever and in rare circumstances can be destroyed substantially or entirely by natural disasters or war. Bitcoin is a decentralized digital record with no issuing authority or controlling individual. Ultimately, it may be considered durable provided the network that secures it survives. It is still early, however, the signs of bitcoins durability grow consistently whether it be attacks by hackers in its infancy that are now a thing of the past or countries unsuccessfully attempting to regulate or ban it. However, neither real estate or bitcoin can conclusively claim victory on this measure, yet.

The ability of a good to withstand a government or corporations control, confiscation or censorship is an increasingly important factor in qualifying as a reliable store of value. Real estate is not immune from confiscation, whether that be through compulsory acquisition or eminent domain laws or communist regimes seizing private property. It is also controlled through planning and zoning regulations and can be impaired by political decisions such as the moratoriums on rental evictions that happened in many countries globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, not all real estate tenure is created equal; freehold is the most desirable but still subject to the aforementioned risks. Also, in many jurisdictions, you cannot actually own real estate in perpetuity. Rather, you acquire a long-term leasehold or in some cases, such as in China, land use rights. Bitcoin excels in its censorship resistance. It is permission-less in that no external intervention can prevent a transaction being allowed by the distributed peer-to-peer network. Confiscating a 12- or 24-word private key which could be kept in somebodys head is also very difficult and inefficient at scale.

An ideal store of value should not need to be professionally managed by expert individuals or corporations and be accessible to everybody. Whether it be a single family home or a 1 million square foot office building, almost all forms of real estate require ongoing intervention to ensure operations are maximized and value preserved. Bitcoin does not demand this from its users. Once acquired and properly secured, the owner has absolutely nothing to do until they spend, sell or pass it to their descendants. Bitcoin isnt burdened by recalcitrant tenants or blocked toilets. It is not management intensive and is an open monetary network that anybody with an internet connection or phone can access. Its U.S. dollar price currently means the barrier to entry is extremely low, with $1 buying approximately 2,000 satoshis (there are 100,000,000 satoshis in a single bitcoin). In contrast, as the majority of first home buyers around the world will attest, real estate is increasingly inaccessible. The 15 most expensive cities in America have a home price-to-income ratio in the 714 times range and affordability is decreasing over time. Data shows that, while median household income has grown from $63,292 to $67,521 over the past 20 years, median house prices have grown from $227,600 to $403,900.

A good store of value should not be costly to hold. Real estate is burdened by maintenance costs and capital expenditure in order to retain its value. Billions of dollars of bitcoin can be stored virtually for free in a fully self-sovereign manner in perpetuity. Different owners will choose to adopt different security models that may involve trusted third parties; this comes with a slightly higher cost and other trade-offs but still costs less than the fees of third-party real estate funds or property managers.

The ability for an asset to be converted into another quickly, without losing any value, is a key attribute of a good store of value. Real estate is widely acknowledged as an illiquid asset, taking weeks, months or years to transact and being exposed to price fluctuations (for many reasons outside of the owners control) during a typical sale process. The depth of the buyer market is also extremely variable based on its lack of fungibility. REITs and some funds partially solve the liquidity trap, but come with their own compromises. Bitcoin does not suffer from these weaknesses, with approximately half a trillion U.S. dollars of value being transacted on the Bitcoin network each quarter and the ability to liquidate substantial quantities near instantly.

As the worlds largest store of value presently, real estate is famed for its ability to act as collateral and provide owners with the benefits (and risks) of leverage. Arguably global real estate prices have been the biggest beneficiary of a secular, multi-decade downtrend in interest rates, continual expansion of the money supply and more recent unprecedented central bank interventions. Globally, there are various government schemes that provide incentives to borrowers to maximize leverage (such as Australias negative gearing rules), supercharging returns over the long term, even though volatility occasionally liquidates weaker borrowers. Despite recent murmurs of QE tapering and interest rate rises, many argue that such moves would collapse currencies or bankrupt governments, so leveraged real estate is likely to remain an attractive store of value for some time to come.

Bitcoin flips this model. Its characteristics as a store of value are enhanced when held without leverage. Relatedly, the market for fiat currency loans with bitcoin as collateral is extremely immature, with four main risks. The first is the counterparty risk: Most loans are provided by early stage, VC-backed startups with balance sheets of unknown strength (or individuals in peer-to-peer structures). The second is the cost: Interest rates are high. The third is the security model: It is difficult to reliably hold bitcoin in a way that appropriately allocates risk between lender and borrower. The fourth is bitcoins price volatility, causing covenant breaches triggering loss of bitcoin through automatic liquidation (even if it were possible for additional collateral to be posted). For most borrowers, it may be possible to de-risk one or two, but not all four of these areas. Consequently, real estate currently provides superior leverage benefits, particularly on a risk-adjusted basis. This contrast will likely change in line with bitcoins maturation. Some macro investors already argue it is the most pristine form of collateral possible, but the product ecosystem needs to catch up.

A common critique of bitcoin is that it is too volatile. This might not be surprising given its short history. While volatility remains a factor today, it continues to trend down slightly over the long term as the asset matures. The bitcoin market trades 24/7 and never closes, so the ability to smooth out volatility either artificially through arbitrary quarterly or annual valuation cycles and an appraisal process subject to human frailties and manipulation doesnt exist like it does in the real estate market. It is difficult to see this dynamic changing much in the short to medium term, but it is reasonable to expect the trend of gradually lower volatility continues in line with bitcoins maturity. Individual circumstances such as forecast holding periods and portfolio allocations are also considerations when analyzing bitcoins volatility. While 30%-plus drawdowns in short periods of time might never be seen in real estate, bitcoin can also claim that its 200-week moving average price has never fallen a testament to its consistent growth trajectory over 12 years. Nevertheless, at a headline level, real estate appears to be much less volatile than bitcoin. But it is worth noting the impact of high leverage on short to medium time frames when markets turn, which can cause significant volatility, particularly in more liquid real estate assets such as REITs or those regularly marked to market.

Like gold and silver have done for thousands of years in performing the dual role of monetary asset and commodity, real estate provides its owners with value through utility. It can be lived in or used by owner-occupier businesses for production. Clearly this is not a feature bitcoin offers. However, it can be argued that the utility value of real estate is significantly less than its value as a financial asset. The trend of the utility value of real estate in relation to its value as a financial asset can be observed in its rental yield. It doesnt take much research to see how consistently rental yields have trended toward zero over a multi-decade horizon, vastly outstripping the growth in household incomes (e.g., it has become much less affordable to own your home) or growth in the income of businesses that occupy it for productive uses. The financialization of an asset whose number one feature is the ability to be occupied has been driven by the secular, multi-decade downtrend in interest rates and expansion of the money supply. If this driver were to change, the premium could dry up or reverse rapidly.

The longer real estate acts as the worlds largest store of value, the harder it will be for something else to replace it. Bitcoin was only conceived in 2008 but has already withstood substantial challenges to provide confidence that it will not go away. In the last two years, we have seen institutional adoption grow (for example, over $80 billion of bitcoin is known to be held in corporate treasuries), market capitalization exceeds $1 trillion in value, and countries are beginning to adopt bitcoin as legal tender and a reserve asset. Bitcoins trajectory continues unabated despite its critics, and the longer it not only survives but thrives, the greater the worlds confidence that it will continue to exist long into the future. Nevertheless, real estate obviously remains the leader on this measure.

A common critique from mainstream financial circles is that bitcoin has no intrinsic value because it produces no cash flow. In contrast, real estate produces generally reliable and consistent cash flows that can be forecasted and valued. Importantly, technical and financial innovation in bitcoin moves much faster than in the legacy system and its only a matter of time before reliable low-risk yield products hit the market. With investors starved for yield, this could be a further catalyst for rotation from traditional asset classes and real estate into bitcoin. Nevertheless, it has already been contended that bitcoin is more divisible, verifiable, fungible, portable, permissionless, accessible, liquid, has lower ownership costs and, critically, is set to be the scarcest major asset ever to exist in our lifetimes. The users that bitcoin provides value to are not looking for cash flows that can be discounted to a present value, but a better way to preserve their expended energy (savings) in perpetuity, as well as transfer potentially billions of dollars of value instantly across space and time.

The market opportunity for bitcoin is significant. Savills estimated the value of all of the worlds real estate was $327 trillion in 2020, with 79% of this being residential real estate. Real estate stores more value than all global equities and debt securities combined. The value of all gold in the world, which many have already argued will be imminently demonetized by bitcoin, is under $12 trillion. At the time of writing, bitcoins market capitalization is less than 10% of golds. If gold were to hold its U.S. dollar price, simply catching up would value one bitcoin at around $500,000.

Although the market is still developing and bitcoin can never provide physical utility, or for now the long track record of real estate, on every other measure it has the potential to become the worlds most sought-after store of value and in the process extract a significant amount of wealth from the real estate sector.

This is a guest post by James Santi. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

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Congress Announces Hearing On Bitcoins Energy Use – Bitcoin Magazine

The U.S. Congress will hold a hearing on the energy use and environmental impact of bitcoin mining on January 20, its Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee announced on Thursday.

The move was prompted by a letter sent to the House in October by a cohort of national and international climate organizations that argued against the energy usage of Bitcoin and its Proof of Work (PoW) system.

We, the more than 70 climate, economic, racial justice, business and local organizations, write to you today to urge Congress to take steps to mitigate the considerable contribution portions of the cryptocurrency markets are making to climate change and the resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, environmental, and climate justice impacts it will have, the letter read.

A rebuttal to the letter was published this week by the Bitcoin Policy Institute (BPI), an interdisciplinary cohort of economists, coders, lawyers, climate scientists, philosophers, and policy analysts providing research, fact-checking, and commentary on Bitcoin.

The group argues in its fact-checking paper that the letter sent to Congress contains plenty of inaccuracies about the bitcoin mining industry, a gap its policy work is trying to bridge. The BPI, which will send its paper to Congress, says that the House should indeed consider Bitcoins power consumption, but warrants a more careful and factual approach.

Such considerations must be based on an accurate understanding of the Bitcoin protocol, a proper review of the scientific literature, and up-to-date information about the mining industry, the paper said. Unfortunately, the coalitions letter is not. Instead, it reiterates debunked myths about Bitcoin emissions, e-waste, and energy markets. Our aim is to clarify the record and ensure that policy discussion around Bitcoin is grounded in science and fact.

Some of the misconceptions and myths clarified by the paper relate to climate change, electronic waste, and the common but misleading comparisons between Bitcoins energy usage and that of countries like Argentina and Norway. The BPI also disputes the organizations claims that Bitcoins use of power is unnecessary, an argument that doesnt take into account the fact that BTC is legal tender in El Salvador and the many people currently leveraging the peer-to-peer monetary network to enjoy financial freedom.

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Bitcoin Miners Bit Digital, Canaan, and SOS Are Flying High This Week – The Motley Fool

What happened

This week has been very positive forBitcoin(CRYPTO:BTC) miners. While the price of Bitcoin moved 3.4% higher over the past seven days, as of 12:15 p.m. ET, Crypto miners Canaan(NASDAQ:CAN),Bit Digital(NASDAQ:BTBT) andSOS(NYSE:SOS) saw elevated gains. These top cryptocurrency miners appreciated 17.6%, 9.5%, and 3.7% respectively, since Friday's close, at 12:15 p.m. ET.

This week's move appears to be mostly driven by higher Bitcoin prices. However, for Chinese crypto miners Canaan and SOS, positive export data and surging equity prices in China have also bolstered two of these crypto miners.

Image source: Getty Images.

I've covered some of the key economic factors driving the underlying fundamentals and valuations of crypto miners in the past. As price-takers producing what's essentially a commodity, Bitcoin miners' profitability hinges on the price of Bitcoin. With high up-front fixed costs (mostly denominated in U.S. dollars), and variable income streams and reserves in the form of Bitcoin, the exchange rate between Bitcoin and the dollar matters tremendously for these top miners.

When Bitcoin loses value relative to the U.S. dollar, the debt held by Bitcoin miners gets more expensive, and the revenue streams these miners produce (as well as their core reserves) decrease in value. The inverse is also true.

Accordingly, on longer-term upswings and downtrends in the price of Bitcoin, Bitcoin miners can often experience increased volatility. Given how volatile crypto already is, and the risk-off sentiment that's been building in the market in recent weeks, most miners haven't performed well. However, this week's bounce in the price of Bitcoin has driven valuations higher.

Those bullish on Bitcoin, and who believe this token will continue to rise over the long term, may want to look at crypto miners right now. Relative to the price of Bitcoin, many of these top crypto miners have seen their valuations decline to a much greater degree. Thus, Bit Digital, Canaan, and SOS each provide a publicly traded, higher-leverage option for investors and traders bullish on an upward directional move for the world's largest cryptocurrency.

This week's rally among these top crypto miners certainly provides investors with a nice reprieve. However, the steeper declines these crypto miners have seen in recent months appears to be factoring in the heightened risk associated with these stocks. The market isn't taking a hyperbolic or manic view of Bitcoin's trajectory right now. Accordingly, more volatility can be expected on the horizon, and I'm guessing it's not all likely to be positive in the near term.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the official recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. Were motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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US Billionaire Bill Miller Bets 50% of His Wealth in Bitcoin – TheStreet

Legendary investor Bill Miller showed some big love for cryptocurrency as the billionaire and fund manager saidthat bitcoin and other cryptos now represent around 50% of his personal assets.

Miller made his revelation during avideo interviewwith WealthTrack, saying that he views bitcoin asinsurance against financial catastrophes and government overreach.

He said he invested in bitcoin in 2014, and then started buying it up again last spring during a surge in interest by venture capital firms.

"Bitcoin is the only economic entity where supply isn't affected by demand," he said.

The billionaire investor advisedindividual investors to put at least 1% of their assets in bitcoin.

"I think the average investor should ask himself or herself what do you have in your portfolio that has that kind of track record number one; is very, very underpenetrated; can provide a service of insurance against financial catastrophe that no one else can provide; and can go up ten times or fifty times," Miller said. "The answer is: nothing.

He explained that "if you put 1% of your portfolio in it for diversification, even if it goes to zero, which I think is highly improbable, but of course possible, you can always afford to lose 1%."

Miller is founder and chief investment officer of Miller Value Partners, a company he founded back in 1999 while working at Legg Mason. He lost most of his fortune in the late 2000s, but made a remarkable comeback thanks to his investment in Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Reportand bitcoin.

"I thought 50% is a good stopping point for me," he said, "but if it goes all the way to $80-85k, I'll buy it all the way down."

Heholds the record for beating the S&P 500 index for 15 consecutive years in the years 1991 to 2005.

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