- Bitcoin could exceed $100,000 at the end of the year, according to Goldman survey
- Senate passes Biden’s massive $1.9 trillion stimulus plan
- Attack on the world’s largest oil terminal
Bitcoin Could Exceed $100,000 at the end of the Year, According to Goldman Survey
Preparing to set up a cryptocurrency desk again, Goldman Sachs Group published a cryptocurrency survey. The survey was based on responses from 280 respondents, including asset managers and hedge funds, which account for the majority of surveyed firms, as well as banks, pension/sovereign wealth funds, and others.
McDermott, head of Digital Assets for Goldman Sachs’ Global Markets Division explained that his team conducted a cryptocurrency survey across the firm’s institutional client base, from “hedge funds, to asset managers, to macro funds, to banks, to corporate treasurers, insurance, and pension funds.” He clarified that “all of our institutional client discussion is really focused around bitcoin.” He also added that there is ‘largely’ institutional demand for bitcoin from different industries, so it is different from the Bitcoin bubble in 2017.
It was seen that 40 percent of the 280 customers who participated in the survey had cryptocurrency positions. 76 percent of the respondents predicted that Bitcoin will be in the range of 40 thousand to 100 thousand dollars at the end of 2021, and 22 percent will complete the year over 100 thousand dollars.
McDermott stated that they will reopen the cryptocurrency table, initially with more restricted transactions such as CME Group futures. The expert said that US banks should struggle with regulations that prevent physical cryptocurrency transactions.
News of the survey comes less than a week after Reuters reported that Goldman Sachs has restarted its cryptocurrency trading desk after a three-year hiatus, is within weeks of launching bitcoin futures trading, and is exploring the potential for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund and digital asset custody. On March 1, it was reported that Goldman Sachs Group restarted its cryptocurrency trading desk amid a boom in bitcoin. The desk, Reuters reported, will be part of the bank’s efforts to keep up with the rapidly evolving digital assets sector.
US treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has been vocal about her criticism of bitcoin, saying it has been a tool to “launder the profits of online drug traffickers.” The former Federal Reserve chief has also cast doubt on the utility of bitcoin as a form of payment.
Bitcoin in February cracked the $1 trillion dollar market capitalization threshold and jumped to $58,640, its highest record to date. Bitcoin has risen 63% year-to-date.
“In terms of the price action, I think it’s very difficult to predict bitcoin. It’s not an easy pastime,” McDermott opined, elaborating:
“I was on a similar survey with a private roundtable recently and the results there echoed something quite similar where 33% were predicting over $80,000 by the end of the year,” the Goldman executive further shared.
Senate Passes Biden’s Massive $1.9 trillion Stimulus Plan
US President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 financial support package has been discussed among Republicans and Democrats in the Senate for a long time. US Senate approved Biden’s $1.9 trillion financial aid package with 50 Democratic votes against 49 Republican votes as a result of the vote held Saturday. Democrats won the victory because 1 Republican Senator who did not vote despite the opposition of all Republicans in the Senate could not vote.
With the aid package, a one-time check of $1,400 will be sent to Americans, and the federal unemployment benefit, which is $300 per month, will continue until the end of the summer. The aid package also includes assistance to all institutions affected by the epidemic, from the distribution of coronavirus vaccines to education, from states to cities. In addition to the direct financial aid, there are also changes that are expected to be effective in fighting poverty in the United States, which is called the “US Rescue Plan”. The package includes tax breaks, increases in rent, and food aid to low-income families.
The stimulus package adopted by the Senate was sent to the House of Representatives for approval. The House of Representatives, which is dominated by Democrats, is expected to approve the law as soon as possible and send it to Biden for signature.
“It’s going to make a big difference for so many lives in this country,” Biden said.
He predicted the massive spending bill would win final passage in the House by Tuesday.
“Passing this bill shows that this government, this democracy can still work,” Biden said. “As tough as this moment is — and it really is — there are brighter days ahead.”
The new package, which is close in amount to the $2.2 trillion aid package that passed in March 2020, when the epidemic started to take effect in the USA, was the 6th accepted in Congress since the beginning of the epidemic, but also the first package that came out without the support of both parties.
Pelosi, in a statement Saturday, praised the Senate bill as a “tremendous step forward to defeat the virus.”
“Today is a day of great progress and promise for the American people, as the Democratic Senate has passed President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to save lives and livelihoods,” Pelosi said.
“The House now hopes to have a bipartisan vote on this life-saving legislation and urges Republicans to join us in recognition of the devastating reality of this vicious virus and economic crisis and of the need for decisive action,” she said.
Still, House Democrats are expected to have the votes to pass the Senate bill. Biden, in remarks after the Senate vote, said he expects people to start receiving stimulus checks this month.
Attack on the World’s Largest Oil Terminal
An attempt was made to attack the Ras Tanura oil terminal in Saudi Arabia, which has the capacity to meet about 7 percent of global oil demand. Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack. It was stated that there was no loss of life or property in the attack.
While it was stated that attacks with unmanned aerial vehicles and missiles were prevented, there was no disruption in crude oil production.
Speaking to Bloomberg, a source close to the subject stated that oil production was not affected by the attack. However, the escalation of tensions with the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, who undertook the attack, brought the oil prices above $70. Last week’s surprise decision by Opec+ to keep oil production quotas largely unchanged for April has given a further boost to prices.
This was the first serious attack attempt since the attack on two production sites in the country in September 2019.
On Sunday, the Saudi Energy Ministry said an unmanned aerial vehicle attacked a storage tank at the Ras Tanura export terminal on the country’s Gulf coast from the sea; Shrapnel fragments from the missile also reportedly hit a residential area belonging to the national oil company Saudi Aramco personnel. The statement stated that there was no loss of life or property in the attack.
“Such acts of sabotage not only target the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but also the security and stability of energy supplies to the world, and therefore, the global economy,” the ministry said.
In Washington, Bill Hagerty, a Republican senator who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said President Joe Biden’s approach to Iran had emboldened the regime to launch more attacks through it proxies on Saudi Arabia.
“Yet another missile strike against Saudi Arabia today with all the hallmarks of an Iranian-backed attack,” he said. “It seems President Biden’s desire to give Tehran sanctions relief is emboldening the mullahs to escalate their aggression against us and our allies.”
With the capacity to export about 6.5 million barrels of oil a day – almost 7% of oil demand – Ras Tanura is the world’s largest oil terminal. Ras Tanura is also one of the most protected oil facilities in the world.
Brent oil saw over $71 a barrel after an attack on one of Saudi Arabia’s largest crude oil terminals. Futures in London rose 2.9 percent on Monday, after rising 4.9 percent last week.
In addition, Goldman Sachs expects the global indicator Brent oil to see $80 per barrel in the third quarter.
‘’There is an excellent news feed for the uptrend right now. These attacks are expected to continue and occur frequently. Markets may also need to do some risk premium pricing, ’’ Warren Patterson, ING Bank Commodities Strategy Manager said.
Brent for May settlement is trading at $70.69 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Europe market, up 1.9 percent.
West Texas Oil for April settlement reached $67.39 a barrel in the Nymex market, up 2 percent after gaining 3.5 percent in the previous session.