Economics/Class Relations

Bitcoin is back (sort of)

November 10, 2023 • 5 min read
with Dan DeFrancesco
Happy Friday! A bit of inspiration for you as we head into the weekend. A team at NYU Langone conducted the world’s first whole eye transplant. And there’s hope he may even be able to see out of it one day.

In today’s big story, we’re looking at how crypto is quietly having a strong year.

What’s on deck:
But first, guess who’s back…


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SOPA Images / Getty
The big story
Crypto comeback


The ink is barely dry on Sam Bankman-Fried’s conviction, and bitcoin is already rising like a fresh divorcee. 


Bitcoin hit a new high for 2023, nearly touching $38,000 at one point on Thursday. It marked the highest price for the cryptocurrency since early May 2022, adding to what has quietly been a strong year for bitcoin, writes Insider’s Phil Rosen.


After a dreadful 2022 culminating in the downfall of FTX and the aforementioned SBF, bitcoin has been on the up. While there was plenty of fallout from FTX’s bankruptcy, the price of bitcoin has steadily climbed this year. Year-to-day, it’s up more than 110%.


If you’re surprised by those numbers, I wouldn’t blame you. The crypto community, or at least what’s left of it, hasn’t been as vocal about its gains this time. It appears the market had its fill of humble pie in 2022 and isn’t looking for more.


It’s not just bitcoin enjoying a bit of a boon. Ether’s price surged after reports circulated about BlackRock filing paperwork in Delaware that indicates plans for an ether ETF.


But the best example of crypto’s comeback might be the U-turn one of its biggest critics just made. Nouriel Roubini — aka “Dr. Doom” — has previously called crypto “totally corrupt” and the “biggest criminal heist in human history.”

Now he wants in.

His asset management firm, Atlas Capital, is launching a blockchain-based stablecoin pegged to “a carefully chosen portfolio of liquid real world assets.”

That’s not to say everyone is buying into the crypto hype.


JPMorgan analysts dismissed bullish arguments for crypto in a note Wednesday, calling the recent rally “rather overdone.” The bank also downplayed the potential for the industry to grow off the back of the SEC approving a bitcoin ETF, suggesting it would mostly be used by players already in the space.


And SEC’s approval of a bitcoin ETF doesn’t translate into Gary Gensler and co. taking a softer approach to crypto, the bank added.


Of course, even JPMorgan has some interest in the space. While not an apples-to-apples comparison, the bank has launched ventures with blockchain technology. It now reportedly handles $1 billion worth of transactions every day via its digital token JPM Coin.


It seems doubtful we’ll ever get back to the days of crypto skyrocketing overnight, but maybe that’s a good thing. Now that it’s dropped its toxic ex, crypto is ready to move on.


Consider this crypto’s growing up era.

Read the full story
3 things in


🔔 Before the opening bell: US stock futures trade mixed early Friday, after the S&P 500 ended its 8-day win streak Thursday.

Getty Images
1. Beef. It’s what’s for dinner. (Just a bit more expensive.) Retail prices for the red meat have hit $8 a pound, surpassing the previous record of $7.90 during the pandemic. The culprit? A dry spell in the southwestern US has sent feed costs surging.


2. Inflation isn’t going anywhere, according to Ken Griffin. The billionaire hedge fund manager said the high cost of things won’t abate anytime soon thanks to a trend of deglobalization. As a result, high-interest rates could become the norm as policymakers continue to fight inflation.


3. Goldman Sachs’ top investment ideas for 2024. The bank’s $2.7 trillion asset management arm is bullish on the economy. Strategists see opportunities outside the US in India and Japan but also favor hedging with gold. Check out what else they’re saying.

3 things in
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma
1. Andreessen Horowitz is sharpening its focus on AI. Sources say A16z is reshuffling parts of its investment team for this effort. One group will invest in AI applications, while another will concentrate on AI infrastructure.


2. Meta recruiter reveals the top perks that win tech workers over and the ones they don’t seem to care about. She said mental health-support packages are some of the most underused benefits. Meanwhile, relocation assistance and home office funds are among the top 10 perks.


3. “The Slack redesign has ruined my life. Sorry, I can’t work today.” The new look is across mobile and desktop apps. It now looks like a carnival of distraction and chaos — a hideous Grimace-purple rail on the left side that now tracks every “activity.”

3 things in
Maryna Terletska/Getty Images
1. Some HENRYs (high earners, not rich yet) are saving too much for retirement. And it might backfire. This over-saving practice could lead to people sacrificing on things that matter to them in the short term.


2. Peter Thiel says the Trump administration “couldn’t get the most basic pieces of the government to work.” The billionaire has given tens of millions to Republican candidates in recent years. But Thiel said he’s done giving money for the 2024 election cycle.


3. You’re probably not getting a big raise this year — don’t worry, it’s good for the economy. Wage growth has slowed. And inflation has been cooling. This means workers might finally see their earnings catch up with the big spike in inflation.


In other news



What’s happening today
  • Grammy Awards nominations are announced today. They’ll be livestreamed, starting at 10:45 a.m. ET.
  • Happy birthday, Diplo — Where Are Ü Now? Microsoft’s Windows was also released on this day (40 years ago).
  • Earnings today: Soho House, Hudson Global, and other companies.



News Quiz
How well do you know the news?
Test your knowledge of the week’s top stories with Insider’s news quiz
  • From Monday: This Grammy winner’s creative agency unveiled a “dumb” phone for sale.
  • From Tuesday: Significant updates were announced for this high-profile chatbot.
  • From Wednesday: What former US president shared his most-used apps?
  • From Thursday: According to leaked numbers, what is Google’s fastest-growing product?
  • From Friday: Prices for this food recently hit record highs as a result of a megadrought.
Check Saturday’s edition of Insider Today for the answers.
The Insider Today team

Dan DeFrancesco, senior editor and anchor, in New York City. Diamond Naga Siu, senior reporter, in San Diego. Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York.


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