Crypto Market Forecast

The crypto markets continued to grind downwards last week. Market benchmark BTC slid towards the $7000 price level to close the week 6% down. Meanwhile, prime brokerage firm Tagomi announced reduced fees for institutional crypto traders, and Russia’s biggest darknet marketplace announced a $146 million ICO.

The crypto markets continued to pull back this week, with market benchmark Bitcoin (BTC) now hovering near the ~US$7000 price level. The price of BTC fell ~6% across the week while the number two and three crypto assets on Brave New Coin’s market cap table, ETH and XRP, fell 5% each. The overall crypto market cap slid ~5%.

The market to offer services to institutional crypto traders is increasingly competitive and this week prime brokerage software startup Tagomi announced plans to cut its fees to less than 0.1% per trade. The new rates are available on trades over $10,000 and are up to 70% less than those offered by exchanges such as Coinbase and Gemini. Tagomi has raised US$27.5 million to fund its solution. Tagomi’s business model compensates for the lower trading fees by upselling prime brokerage features like large scale crypto lending and borrowing services.

One of last week’s most bizarre news stories was the announcement of a US$146 million ICO by Russia’s largest darknet marketplace, Hydra. Participating in the sale is almost certainly illegal, not just because it is an unregulated ICO but also because of the nature of the Hydra platform. Hydra works using couriers, who drop off illicit goods at concealed public spaces where clients can pick them up. This means buyers, sellers, and couriers never end up coming face to face. Hydra claims that thousands of deals are made every day on the platform involving illicit substances such as cocaine and cannabis, through to fake passports, and even access to protected government databases.

The Hydra investment memorandum states that the funds will help “start a new era in the West. The scale of expansion is hard to imagine.” Reports by Russian investigative researchers The Project suggests that the website has a user base of 2.5 million, with over 390,000 making at least one purchase.

Hydra’s plans for global expansion are dubious at best, and investors are advised to steer well away from the project despite the size of the raise and active usage of the platform. Many in Russia also claim that the sale is likely an exit scam or attempted cash grab by the Hydra creators.

Crypto Market Forecast
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