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Introduction to Crypto Investment

CoinDesk Research’s Introduction to Crypto Investment is a series of research papers about the facts and ideas that are drawing institutional investors into crypto. Those new to crypto will find needed resources and a map of future obstacles. Those already active in crypto will find a guide to the path ahead for colleagues and clients.

  • In “Crypto in Context,” we talk about the value proposition, who is buying bitcoin, and correlations with more traditional assets.
  • In “Custody,” we look at bitcoin’s bearer asset qualities, and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
  • In “Valuation,” we introduce some of the fundamental metrics that analysts are developing in order to value crypto assets.
  • In “Is Bitcoin a Safe Haven?” we critically examine one of bitcoin’s dominant narratives, as “digital gold,” i.e., a store of value in times of economic instability.
  • In “Crypto Derivatives,” we cover why bitcoin futures and other crypto derivatives matter to bitcoin and other crypto assets; what makes them different from traditional derivs; and where to find liquid and regulated markets.
  • In?“Crypto Liquidity,”?we look at the concept of liquidity in crypto markets: what it means, why it matters and where it’s heading.

Ebang IPO: Dude, where’s my revenue?

CoinDesk Research presents an in-depth look at China-based bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer, Ebang. Following a failed attempt at an IPO in Hong Kong, Ebang now seeks to raise $100 million through an IPO in the U.S. Utilizing its IPO prospectus in combination with its redacted Hong Kong IPO application, we were able to delve into the company’s financials and identify key risks and concerns.

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CoinDesk Monthly Review: May 2020

Bitcoin’s returns continue to outpace other assets, but its volatility hasn’t shown steady declines, as stocks, bonds and gold have. Meanwhile, market activity is picking up: spot exchange volumes probed historic highs in May and bitcoin options markets passed a milestone and didn’t look back. Several assets outperformed bitcoin, including a couple of use-specific crypto tokens that topped crypto returns for the month.

CoinDesk Monthly Review, May 2020, cover slide

CoinDesk Monthly Review, April 2020

Our monthly review of crypto markets looks at crypto asset returns, volatility and correlations, all in a macro context. Plus, we track growth in stablecoins and look at what past halvings can tell us about the event coming in May 2020. In a dozen slides, you get a swift overview of the past month’s movements in bitcoin, ether and other crypto assets.

Returns, volatility and correlations of bitcoin, ethereum and other crypto assets

Hut 8: The Struggles of One of Canada’s Largest Bitcoin Miners

CoinDesk Research presents an in-depth look into one of the largest publicly listed bitcoin mining companies, Hut 8. Post-halving, will the reduction in the block reward subsidy put its operations in jeopardy? In this report, we get a more intimate look into the space as we delve into Hut 8’s financials and identify key risks & concerns.

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CoinDesk Quarterly Review, Q1 2020

March 12 changed how investors look at crypto markets and assets, shook out some participants and left others unmoved. The CoinDesk Quarterly Review is a Q1 analysis of how the narrative has changed for crypto blue-chips like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which assets outperformed, and how the participants in crypto markets are shifting in the wake of Q1’s defining event. Will Bitcoin move beyond “digital gold? Is ether viable as money? In 24 charts, CoinDesk Research shows what happened to crypto assets in Q1 2020 and begins to examine what may emerge in the future.

CoinDesk Quarterly Review: Q1 Analysis on Bitcoin and Ethereum

Bitcoin: The Halving and Why It Matters

In May of 2020, bitcoin is expected to undergo its third “halving,” a programmed supply reduction that has in the past coincided with a strong run-up in the bitcoin price. In this paper, we explain what the bitcoin halving is, why it matters and why the market is so focused on this event. We attempt to reconcile the various models and theses around the potential bitcoin price reaction as the adjustment approaches, and look at metrics that will shed light on the technological impact. We finish with some input from miners themselves, who lend insight and perspective to the possible consequences of the protocol change.

Partial view of the cover of CoinDesk Research's Bitcoin Halving report

CoinDesk Monthly Review, February 2020

Bitcoin’s “digital gold” narrative took a hit in February; as we cautioned in our January Monthly Review, those who saw positive correlations were thinking wishfully. We continue to look for secular trends and treat bitcoin and other crypto assets as a venture investment in a technology that is still experimental. Cash onramps are critical data collection points. In this presentation, we look at Binance, Cash App and Coinbase fiat onramps. We also update an earlier research note on crypto interest rates and adoption of DeFi lending, and its potential to make a break-out use case for ethereum, and look at “criminality” as a use case for crypto networks. Finally, we look ahead (and back) to bitcoin halving impacts, and show returns in bitcoin and other crypto assets for the month of February.

CoinDesk Research takes a monthly look at metrics critical to crypto asset adoption, including bitcoin's digital gold narrative and fiat onramps, DeFi lending, criminal activity, enforcement, the bitcoin halving and the crypto assets with the best returns and lowest volatility for the month of February.

CoinDesk Monthly Review, January 2020

In our Quarterly Review at the end of 2019, we looked for metrics that signal two things: institutional participation in crypto assets and adoption of fundamental user narratives. January 2020 saw some metrics that are positive for both. The market for regulated bitcoin derivatives expanded rapidly; the case for bitcoin as “digital gold” got a brief boost from events in Iran. Crypto assets continue to offer global access to speculative instruments. However, so-called “exchange tokens” have failed to capture that narrative. Finally, one month in, the SEC is on pace for a banner year in enforcement. Download the full report here and sign up for our weekly newsletter, Institutional Crypto.

Cover slide of CoinDesk Research's quarterly review for January 2020; we look at metrics measuring bitcoin adoption, exchange tokens, SEC enforcement actions and top-performing crypto assets of January 2020.

Crypto Lending

The crypto lending sector has evolved to include a range of businesses, some now well-established and many trying to get off the ground, with a range of services covering a broadening array of assets. Sector data shows considerable growth in demand for these services, which in turn are adding depth and complexity to an already complicated concept. In this report, we aim to introduce the concept of crypto lending: who participates, as well as the advantages and risks of crypto lending. We also look at what the near future could hold for the service, and the impact this could have on the sector as a whole.

Crypto Lending 101 cover page

CoinDesk Quarterly Review Q4 2019

In the first of a new Quarterly Review series, CoinDesk Research features a set of metrics for investors in bitcoin, ethereum and other crypto assets, looking for indications that those assets’ critical use cases are gaining real-world traction. We’ll revisit developments in these and new metrics on a monthly and quarterly basis, documenting evidence of whether crypto assets and decentralized technologies are fulfilling their promise. Our aim is to contribute to investors’ understanding of signals that indicate value in these novel economic systems and enterprises. You can download the full review, here.

Slide shows institutional inflows as measured by the size of low-leverage, regulated derivatives markets, and the importance of leverage to attracting non-fiduciary investors.

Crypto Fundamentals

Here we introduce some of the fundamental metrics that analysts are developing in order to value crypto assets.

valuation-image

Is Bitcoin a Safe Haven?

Here we critically examine one of bitcoin’s dominant narratives, as “digital gold,” i.e., a store of value in times of economic instability.

image-isbitcoinasafehaven

Crypto Liquidity

In this report, we look at the concept of liquidity in crypto markets: what it means, why it matters and where it’s heading.

crypto-liquidity-image

Crypto in Context

Here we talk about the value proposition, who is buying bitcoin, and correlations with more traditional assets.

cover-reduced-2

Crypto Derivatives

In “Crypto Derivatives,” we cover why bitcoin futures and other crypto derivatives matter to bitcoin and other crypto assets; what makes them different from traditional derivs; and where to find liquid and regulated markets.

derivatives-report-image

Crypto Custody

Here we look at bitcoin’s bearer asset qualities, and the challenges and opportunities it presents

custody-image
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