Hodler’s Digest, Dec. 3-Dec.9: US SEC Delays BTC ETF Decision Again, While Nasdaq Confirms 2019 BTC Futures Launch

The United States SEC has delayed their Bitcoin ETF decision yet again, and Venezuela’s Petro is raised 150 percent in value.

Coming every Sunday, the Hodler’s Digest will help you to track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions, and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Top Stories This Week

US SEC Delays Bitcoin ETF Decisions, Changes Deadline to Late February

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again postponed its decision regarding approval for a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) this week.

According to a document released by the SEC, the new deadline is Feb. 27, 2019, and they will take the extension to further review the rule change proposals needed to list the BTC ETF.

The financial instrument was proposed by investment firm VanEck and blockchain company SolidX, with plans to list it on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). Legally, as the proposed rule change was first published in the Federal Register on July 2, 2018, the maximum period of consideration falls 240 days later, on Feb. 27, 2019.

Venezuelan President Maduro Raises Petro’s Value by 150 Percent

Nicolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela, has raised the reference value of the national cryptocurrency, Petro, from 3,6000 to 9,000 sovereign bolivars. Speaking in Caracas this week, Maduro also ordered an increase in the monthly minimum wage by 150 percent, the sixth increase in 2018 and 25th in total during Maduro’s presidency.

At the same time, Venezuela also devalued Dicom, the official exchange rate in the country, bringing the national fiat down around 40 percent from 96.84 sovereign bolivars per dollar on Nov. 30 to 171.67 the following day.

Nasdaq Confirms Bitcoin Futures Launch for First Half of 2019

Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange, has confirmed plans to launch Bitcoin futures in the first half of 2019. VanEck Director of Digital Asset Strategies Gabor Gurbacs told Cointelegraph that the firm has been discussing futures with Nasdaq, MVIS Indices, and other market participants for “about 18 months.”

According to Gurbacs, the new offering will differ from those trading on the on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) with its transparency and resiliency.

Major Crypto Exchange Binance to Launch ‘Binance Blockchain’ Soon

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volumes, will launch its own blockchain “Binance Chain” in the “coming months,” according to a tweet this week. The upcoming blockchain will allow persons to create new cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offering (ICO) tokens. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) noted that the new plans are actually a response to the “old vision” of crypto, which will then lead to increasing adoption on a global scale.

Crypto Exchange ErisX Raises $27.5 Mln in Funding from Fidelity, Nasdaq, Others

Crypto exchange ErisX has raised $27.5 million from stock exchange Nasdaq and Fidelity, which administers over $7.2 trillion in client assets, among other clients. According to media reports, ErisX will offer both spot trading in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC), as well as futures markets in the following year, pending regulatory approval.

Previous reports had noted that ErisX could include Bitcoin Cash (BCH) support, but this week’s news did not include the altcoin. According to ErisX CEO Thomas Chippas, the investment’s purpose is to hire staff and “build out our infrastructure and secure the appropriate steps are taken to develop a regulated market for digital assets.”

Most Memorable Quotations

Most Memorable Quotations

Hester Peirce

“Definitely possible could be 20 years from now, or it could be tomorrow. Don’t hold your breath. The SEC took a long time to [establish] Finhub. It might take even longer to approve an exchange-traded product,” — Hester Peirce, commissioner of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), speaking about Bitcoin ETF approval

Justin Sun

“#TRON will build a fund to rescue #ETH and #EOS developers from the collapse of their platform as long as those developers migrate their dapps to #TRON,” — Justin Sun, TRON CEO

Laws and Taxes

Laws And Taxes

US: Two New Bills Focusing on Crypto Market Manipulation, Regulations Introduced

Two new bills in the United States were compiled this month that focus on crypto market manipulation, with the aim to “position the United States to be a leader in the cryptocurrency industry.” The “The Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act of 2018” and “The U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act of 2018” will go before the House of Representatives, and were a bipartisan effort from congressmen Darren Soto and Ted Budd.

Swiss Finance Minister Prefers Current Laws, Rejects Creation of Blockchain Legislation

Ueli Maurer, the Swiss Minister of Finance, has rejected a possible blockchain law in a speech at blockchain conference this week. Switzerland plans to work with existing laws in order to regulate and legislate the new technology and its financial applications, as opposed to introducing a specific blockchain or crypto legal framework, according to Maurer. The government expects to propose changes to six laws, including the civil code and bankruptcy law, in 2019.

New York Financial Services Department Approves Blockchain Digital Payment Platform

The Department of Financial Services of New York (NYDFS) has authorized a blockchain-based digital platform offered by New York-based Signature bank. The financial services department will allow the bank to offer its digital payment platform Signet in the state, which uses blockchain tech to allow bank clients to “transfer ‘Signets’ to make payments with no transaction fees, at any time of the day, year-round.” The department noted that Signet has been subject to a “comprehensive and rigorous review” and needs to comply with “significant regulatory conditions.”

US Congressman Plans to Introduce Federal Cryptocurrency and ICO Regulation

Republican U.S. Representative Warren Davidson announced plans this week to introduce legislation on a federal level to regulate both cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). The new bill would create an “asset class” for both crypto and digital assets, which “would prevent them from being classified as securities, but would also allow the federal government to regulate initial coin offerings more effectively.”

G20 Leaders Call for Global Cryptocurrency Taxation and Regulation Systems

After their meeting this week, the G20 countries have called for the taxation of cryptocurrency, as well as its regulation to combat money laundering. According to a Japanese news outlet Jiji.com, the final text of a G20 document asks for a “taxation system for cross-border electronic payment services.” The document then continues that under the current laws, foreign companies without a base in Japan cannot be taxed by the local government, noting the need for this taxation system.

Adoption

Adoption

Mastercard Files Patent for Anonymization Method for Blockchain Transactions

Mastercard has filed a patent for a system that anonymizes transactions on a blockchain. According to the filing, the “the use of one or more intermediary addresses to obscure the source and destination of funds in a blockchain transaction” can be used in order to “increase anonymity of entities associated with blockchain addresses.” The system outlined by Mastercard would consist of a series of “anonymization request[s]” designed to anonymize the transactions themselves, rather than just the user behind any individual wallet.

Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley’ Ranked the ‘Fastest-Growing’ European Tech Hub

Zug, Switzerland, which is also known as “Crypto Valley,” has been ranked the fastest-growing tech community in Europe. According to the “State of European Tech” report from London-headquartered global technology investment firm Atomico, Zug tops the list in a comparison of year-on-year growth of attendees to tech-related “meetup” events per European city. The report notes that Zug has a 117 percent increase as compared with 2017.

More Than One Third of German Big Businesses See Blockchain as Important as Internet

A recent survey has shown that over one third of big businesses in Germany consider blockchain technology to be as revolutionary as the internet. The survey, conducted by the German Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (Bitkom), found that 15 percent of German companies think blockchain will “change society and the economy as much as the Internet.” Larger companies, with 500 or more employees, were more than twice as likely to hold that opinion, at 36 percent.

Abu Dhabi Int’l Financial Free Zone Completes Phase of Blockchain-Based KYC Project

The Abu Dhabi Global Market’s (ADGM) regulatory body, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), along with Big Four audit firm KPMG, released a review of the blockchain-based Know Your Customer (KYC) utility project this week, calling it a “successful” first phase. An international financial free zone in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) worked on the project for four months, along with a consortium of major UAE-based financial institutions. The review notes the use of cryptography and digital signatures can support a more secure and convenient system for upholding KYC industry standards.

US Air Force Graduate Schools Develops Blockchain-Based Supply Chain Tool

The graduate school for the U.S. Air Force has developed an educational tool based on blockchain technology for managing supply chains. The tool is a live application and a set of tutorial videos released by the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). According to their report, “blockchain will revolutionize […] the digital infrastructure for future supply chains,” which can translate into “better visibility” for the military’s “extremely complex logistics network.” The Institute worked with private supply chain security firm SecureMarking and the University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business.

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Partnerships

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Partnerships

Seven Southern EU Member States Sign Declaration to Promote Blockchain Use

Seven southern European Union members states — Malta, France, Italy, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, and Greece  — have released a declaration calling for the promotion of distributed ledger technology’s (DLT) use in the region. The document notes blockchain tech’s use in protecting citizens’ privacy and making bureaucratic systems more efficient, as well as its potential for use in the “education, transport, mobility, shipping, Land Registry, customs, company registry, and healthcare” industries.

Hardware Wallet Ledgers Partners with German Startup to Create Security Token Framework

Crypto hardware wallet firm Ledger and crypto startup Neufund have announced a partnership to let users manager security tokens through Ledger’s desktop application. The collaboration aims to develop an overall framework for security tokens. In addition, Ledger Live, which is a recently launched desktop app for crypto asset management, plans on “soon” adding an ERC-20 integration, which will let users manage security tokens issued via Neufund’s set of protocols.

US Trading-Comms Firm Partners With Blockchain Consortium R3

American trading-communications firm IPC system and enterprise blockchain software consortium R3 have partnered this week. IPC is known for producing trading turrets, i.e., communications systems used by financial traders on their trading desks. With the partnership, IPC will support R3’s Corda blockchain networks on its Connexus Cloud platform — a financial markets cloud-based platform for data, voice, and business communications and compliance.

Four Blockchain Companies Jointly Launch ‘Blockchain for Europe’ Association

Four major blockchain companies — Ripple, the NEM Foundation, Emurgo, and Fetch.AI — have formed a “Blockchain for Europe” Association. The organization’s aim to promote understanding and proactive regulation of blockchain and other distributed ledger (DLT) technologies across Europe, addressing the EU’s “fragmented” policy debate around blockchain. The organization will use education about the technology in the member states in order to advocate for future “smart” regulation, conducive to innovation, that will help the continent “shape the global agenda” on blockchain.

Funding Rounds

Funding Rounds

Overstock.Com’s Blockchain Venture Arm Purchases Equity in Blockchain Agri Project

Medici ventures, Overstock.com Inc.’s blockchain venture arm, has purchased $25 million in equity in agricultural blockchain project GrainChain. The project has developed a blockchain-powered system for the tracking of supply chain parties in the distribution process of harvests, allowing producers, buyers, and sellers to create smart contracts in order to secure funds throughout the grain transaction process. The platform is aimed at small- and medium-scale farmers, which can then remove the middlemen and conduct business outside of their immediate geographic area.

Seven New Funds in Ohio Plan $300 Million Investment for Blockchain Startups

Seven Ohio-based funds and other investment teams will contribute $300 million in investments into blockchain startups through 2021, as announced this week by executives. Speaking at a blockchain conference, the CEO of nonprofit JumpStart Ray Leach announced that the seven funds with investing $100 million in “early-stage startups that focus on using blockchain technology for business or government.” As well, “additional investment teams” will add $200 million for blockchain outfits working within Ohio’s social welfare projects, dubbed “Opportunity Zones.”

Sequoia Capital, Huobi Participate in $35 Mln Funding for Scalable ‘Blockchain’ Network

A new blockchain-type network led by a Turing Award recipient and various other academics have received $35 million in funding from investors including Sequoia Capital, IMO Ventures, FreesFund, Rong 360, Shunwei Capital, F2Pool, and major crypto exchange Huobi. The network, dubbed “Conflux,” aims to tackle blockchain scalability, proclaiming that its new testnet is capable of processing ”at least 6,500 Transactions Per Second (TPS), while supporting at least 20,000 nodes.”

Winners and Losers

Winners And Losers

BTC ETH

The market is holding steady after a week of declines, with Bitcoin trading at around $3,489, Ripple at $.30, and Ethereum at $91.99. Total market cap is at about $110 billion.

The top three altcoin gainers of the week are TittieCoin, Bastonet, and TRONCLASSIC. The top three altcoin losers of the week are FREE Coin, Etheera and RabbitCoin.

For more info on crypto prices movement, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
 

FUD of the Week

FUD Of The Week

Former Israeli PM Calls Crypto a ‘Ponzi Scheme,’ But Thinks Blockchain Is Important

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak compared digital currencies to Ponzi schemes but noted the importance of blockchain technology. Barak, who participated in the Camp David Accords in 2000, now serves as the chairman of medical marijuana producer InterCure. When asked about the comparison of the alleged marijuana investment “bubble” to crypto, Barak underlined that “he would never invest” in cryptocurrencies as “Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies [are] a Ponzi scheme.” However, Barak added that blockchain technology and smart contracts are important and useful technological and mathematical concepts.

US Securities Regulator Issues Cease and Desist to Delaware-Based Digital Asset Fund

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a cease and desist against CoinAlpha Advisors LLC in addition to ordering a $50,000 penalty to be paid. The company had allegedly raised over $600,000 from 22 investors in at least five states, purchasing limited partnership interest in the fund in exchange for a proportional share of any profits derived from the fund’s investment in digital assets. However, even those CoinAlpha filed an exemption notice with the SEC in November 2017, the company was not registered with the SEC, meaning that they violated securities laws.

Chilean Supreme Court Rules Against Crypto Exchange Over Bank Account Closure

The Chilean Supreme Court has ruled against crypto exchange Orionx in a case over the right for state-owned bank Banco del Estado to close the exchange’s account. The high court revoked the July decision that protected Orionx and ordered the bank to reopen the account, with the court decision noting that the nature of cryptocurrencies prevents banks from receiving detailed information on transactions, customers, and companies that interact with the assets. The court has ruled that the bank did not violate any aspect of the Chilean constitution.

South Korean Financial Authority Warns 2 Banks Over Poor Crypto Transaction System

A financial authority in South Korea has warned major domestic banks Kookmin Bank and Nonghyup Bank over their lack of management of cryptocurrency transactions and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulation. The country’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has found that the banks had “unreasonable elements related to virtual [currency] handling business.” The banks have also been given orders for improvement and must submit the measures to the FSS within three months or face more “direct sanctions.”

BTC

Prediction Of The Week

Quoine CEO: Bitcoin Will Surpass Last Year’s All-Time Highs by End of 2019

Mike Kayamori, the CEO of Japanese fintech firm and crypto exchange operator Quoine, said in an interview this week that he believes Bitcoin (BTC) will “surpass” its all-time price highs by the end of 2019. He also noted that the bottom is near for the top coin, citing the pressure on Bitcoin miners as an accurate sign of its coming. Kayamori added that the better practices across the industry, Japan’s crypto ecosystem, in particular, is experiencing a period of “consolidation.”

Best Cointelegraph Features

Best Cointelegraph Features

G-20 Summit Results: Crypto Is Important for Global Economy, Needs to Be Regulated and Taxed

After the G20 summit that took place last week, the global community learned that G20 leaders believe the cryptocurrency is worth bringing up in reference to the sustainable development of the global economy. In this analysis, Cointelegraph looks at how the G20 member states see their role in both crypto regulation and taxation.

EOS Community Is Challenged After Node Announces Financial Rewards for Votes

After various previous centralization scandals surrounding altcoin EOS, a new issue has surfaced, with one of their Block Producers (BP) allegedly offering money in exchange for voting them as a proxy in a thinly veiled “gamification.” Cointelegraph delves into the BP, Starteos, and how its offer of crypto for votes was received in the EOS community.

Source: Cointelegraph

First Week of December Ends with Flush of Green, Bitcoin Nears $3,700

The crypto markets are seeing a wave of green, as top crypto Bitcoin nears the $3,700 mark after a week of lows.

Sunday, Dec. 9 — The crypto markets are showing a wave of green, as Bitcoin (BTC) trades closer to $3,700 at the end of the week, as data from Coin360 shows.

Market visualization by Coin360

Market visualization by Coin360

After a week of breaking new year-to-date lows, the major cryptocurrency is trading at around $3,650 by press time, up more than 7 percent over a 24 hour period. The coin is still down almost 9 percent on the week and more than 44 percent on the month, according to Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Price Index.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Price Index

The second-largest crypto by market cap, Ripple (XRP), is also up by 5 percent on the day, trading at around $0.31 as of press time, according to Cointelegraph’s Ripple Price Index. Ripple’s weekly and monthly charts are similar to those of Bitcoin, with losses of almost 12 and 41 percent respectively.

Ripple 7-day price chart

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph’s Ripple Price Index

Third-ranked crypto by market cap Ethereum (ETH) is up the most of the top-three cryptos, seeing almost 10 percent growth on the day and trading at around $97 by press time. On the week, the altcoin is down almost 14 percent, and is seeing losses of more than 55 percent over the past month.

Ethereum 7-day price chart

Ethereum 7-day price chart. Cointelegraph’s Ethereum Price Index

All of the remaining top ten coins on CoinMarketCap are seeing green, with EOS (EOS) showing the most gains on the day, up 15 percent and trading at around $111 to press time.

Only Bitcoin Cash SV (BSV) — a branch of the Nov. 15 Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork — is in the red, down more than 2 percent over a 24 hour period and trading at around $97.37 at press time. BSV had been ranked fifth yesterday, Dec. 8, but is now in the eighth spot on CoinMarketCap. BCH is now ranked fifth, up around 8 percent on the day and trading at about $111 by press time.

Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is at around $115 billion as of press time, up from its Dec. 7 weekly low of just under $104 billion.

7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies

7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies from CoinMarketCap

Source: Cointelegraph

Chinese Central Bank Governor Defines STOs as ‘Illegal Financial Activity in China’

The governor of the Chinese central bank has stated during a summit that STOs are an “illegal financial activity in China.”

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, highlighted the illegality of Security Token Offerings (STOs) in the country, English-language local news outlet South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports Dec. 9.

A deputy governor of China’s central bank, Pan Gongsheng, reportedly told a summit in Beijing “that ‘illegal’ financing activities through STOs and ICOs [Initial Coin Offerings]  were still rampant in the mainland despite a nationwide clean-up of the cryptocurrency market last year.”

Gongsheng also said that if the government had not stepped in, the chaotic crypto market could have hurt the overall financial stability in China.

The central bank official pointed out that “the STO business that has surfaced recently is still essentially an illegal financial activity in China.” Gongsheng also reiterated the stance that cryptocurrencies are associated with crime:

“Virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”

According to the article, Gongsheng noted that “most of the financing operations conducted through ICOs in China were suspected of being illegal fundraising, pyramid sales schemes and other financial fraud.”

The article also mentions that the chief of the Bureau of Financial Work, Huo Xuewen, warned against STOs about a week ago. He said:

“I want to warn those who are promoting STO fundraising in Beijing. Don’t do it in Beijing. You will be kicked out if you do it.”

On the other hand, blockchain adoption — the tech behind most cryptocurrencies — has been relatively embraced in China. As Cointelegraph recently reported, a Chinese Internet Court has started using blockchain to protect the intellectual property of online writers.

The legal basis of this development can be assumed to be the Chinese Supreme Court’s ruling from September, which established that blockchain can legally authenticate evidence.

Source: Cointelegraph

IBM Partners with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for Blockchain Supply Chain System

A United Arab Emirates national oil company has successfully piloted a blockchain system for oil and gas production.

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has successfully collaborated with IBM to pilot a blockchain supply chain system, according to an ADNOC press release published on Dec. 9.

The release notes that ADNOC — a state-owned oil company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — is reportedly among the world’s leading energy and petrochemical groups, with a daily output of about 3 million barrels of oil and 10.5 cubic feet of natural gas.

The pilot project has “provided a single platform that tracks the quantities and financial values of each bilateral transaction” between the involved companies automating the accounting, the release reports.

The system had been announced by the ADNOC Digital Unit Manager, Abdul Nasser Al Mughairbi, at the recent World Energy Capital Assembly in London. During the summit, he noted that “this could be the first application of blockchain in oil and gas production.” Al Mughairbi then further illustrated his perception of the underlying technology:

“Blockchain is a game-changer. It will substantially reduce our operating costs by eliminating time-consuming and labor-intensive processes, strengthen the marketing and trading of our products, and create long-term sustainable value.”

Zahid Habib, an IBM representative, claimed that the system “enables the ability to track irrefutably, every molecule of oil, and its value, from well to customer.” ArabianGazette also added that in the future, customers and investors will be given access to the data “providing seamless integration among stakeholders.”

The press release further noted what ADNOC hopes this system will bring to the company and its customers:

“[The system] will reduce the time it takes to execute transactions between [its] operating companies and significantly increase operational efficiencies across its full value chain. It will also improve the reliability of production data by enabling greater transparency in transactions.”

Cointelegraph reported earlier last week on the launch of a blockchain-based processing tool from post-trade management platform VAKT, designed for an initial group of crude oil industry clients including giants such as BP, Equinor, Shell, Gunvor and Mercuria.

The Abu Dhabi Global Market also completed a test of a blockchain-based system earlier this week. The international financial free zone in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reportedly successfully concluded a pilot for the Know Your Customer (KYC) project.

Source: Cointelegraph

South Korean Startup Presto to File Constitutional Appeal Against Local ICO Ban

A South Korean blockchain startup has announced its intention to file a constitutional appeal against the country’s ICO ban.

A South Korean blockchain startup, Presto, will reportedly file a constitutional appeal over the county’s ban on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), South Korean economic media outlet Sedaily reports Dec. 6.

Presto claims on its website that it provides a “total solution to development teams from website building to token issuing.” The startup was reportedly trying to run a Decentralized Autonomous Organization-based Initial Coin Offering (DAICO) in South Korea for the first time.

As Cointelegraph explained in a dedicated guide, DAICOs aim to improve the ICO fundraising method by integrating some features of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs).

This fundraising method enables users to use smart contracts to vote for a refund of the funds if they stop trusting the developers or lose faith in the project, Sedaily notes.

As Cointelegraph reported, South Korea banned all ICOs in September last year. Sedaily reports that Presto’s CEO and founder, Kang Kyung-Won declared that the startup has “been hitting a snag as the government and the National Assembly have done nothing over the last one year since the government’s blanket ban on ICOs.”

He then announced their intention to file a constitutional appeal:

“We will ask the court to rule on the ICO ban and the legislature’s nonfeasance.”

Sedaily explains that according to Presto, the ban infringes on “people’s freedom of occupation and property and equal rights and scientist’s basic rights.” Kyung-Won said that given the fast pace of technological development that came with the fourth industrial revolution, “such unconstitutional and pre-modern measures as the ICO ban should not exist any longer.”

South Korea’s stance to crypto regulation stands in clear contrast with other countries like Malta. As Cointelegraph reported in July, Malta has been acclaimed as “the blockchain island” after the local parliament approved three bills that gave the crypto industry unprecedented legal clarity.

The Maltese government is also reportedly working on an artificial intelligence (AI) strategy of which the ultimate objective is to “explore a citizenship test for robots in the process of drafting new regulation for AI.”

That being said, South Korea recently overtook the Maltese crypto exchanges daily trading volume in November according to a CryptoCompare report. In the document, analysts suggest that the reason behind this shift are “competitions, trans-fee mining and rebate programs.”

Source: Cointelegraph

Top 5 Crypto Performers Overview: BSV, XEM, TRX, BNB, BTC

The sentiment is most bearish at the bottom of a trend in a bear market, but when the downtrend enters a capitulation, it may signal a bottom.

In a bear market, the sentiment is most bearish right at the bottom of the trend. The entire heard says to sell. Short sellers laugh away to the bank and many analysts call for a further fall. With majority of the news being negative, it sounds logically correct.

However, when the downtrend enters a capitulation, it usually signals a bottom. Going against the trend, at such times, turns out to be a profitable decision. A prolonged downtrend is also a good time to sell out the positions that don’t have sound fundamentals and shift into cryptocurrencies that have a bright future.

Though the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies has plunged about 87 percent from its highs, Bitcoin has managed to maintain its dominance above the 50 mark throughout the fall. This shows that its leadership position remains intact and we have to watch its price action closely to forecast direction for the entire crypto markets.   

BSV/USD

Bitcoin SV, born out of the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, is the only one among the top virtual currencies that has been in the green in the past seven days. Its outperformance helped it to overtake Bitcoin Cash in terms of market capitalization for a short period of time on Dec. 7.

BSV/USD

Currently, both the cryptocurrencies are trading with market capitalizations that are relatively close to each other.

The BSV/USD pair has seen wild swings in its short trading history. From a high of $254.13 on Nov. 14, it plunged 84.83 percent to an intraday low of $38.528 on Nov. 23. From the lows, it pulled back 221.79 percent to reach an intraday high of $123.98 on Nov. 26.

The recovery stalled at the 38.2 percent Fibonacci retracement level of the fall. Since Nov. 26, the digital currency has been trading in a range of $123.98-$80.352. A breakout of the range can result in a rally to $167.608, which is close to the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement level.

On the contrary, if the price breaks down of the range, a retest of the lows is probable. Trading inside the range can be volatile; therefore, we suggest waiting for a breakout of the range for initiating any long positions.

XEM/USD

NEM and three other blockchain firms have come together to form a lobbying group in Europe to “create a unified voice for the blockchain industry at the European level.” NEM has been one of the stronger performers in this fall. Let’s see if it is showing any bottoming formations.

XEM/USD

While most other top digital currencies are making new year-to-date lows, the XEM/USD pair has not declined much in the past few days. Even after breaking down of the range $0.13125258-$0.07790717, the bears have not been able to push prices lower. This suggests demand on dips.

If the price climbs back into the range and sustains it for three days, it will confirm that the markets have rejected the lower levels. Traders can initiate long positions above the 50-day SMA and expect a move back towards the top of the range.

On the other hand, if the digital currency turns down from the 20-day EMA and breaks down of $0.06155741, the fall can extend to $0.05. We expect a decisive breakout or breakdown within the next few days.

TRX/USD

TRON CEO Justin Sun announced that Tron has joined Blockfolio Signal beta, which is a popular mobile cryptocurrency portfolio tracking and management network. Justin Sun’s war of words with its competitors, Ethereum and EOS, also continues. He said that his company will create a fund to “rescue” the developers of Ethereum and EOS, following a “collapse” of their platforms.

TRX/USD

For the past few days, the bulls are facing a stiff resistance at the 20-day EMA, which is sloping down. The price has gradually drifted close to the Nov. 25 low of $0.01089965. A break of the low will resume the downtrend that can stretch to $0.00844479.

If the bulls scale the overhead resistance of the 20-day EMA, a rally to $0.0183 is probable. We expect the TRX/USD pair to remain range bound for a few days before making the next decisive move.

A breakout above $0.0183 will signal strength and can be traded on the long side.

BNB/USD

Binance Coin made a large move during the week on the back of the announcement regarding upcoming release of Binance Chain. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) hopes to host millions of coins and thousands of blockchains on the platform in the future.

The upcoming launch of Binance’s decentralized exchange (DEX) also boosted sentiment. The constant complain of the naysayers has been a lack of mainstream usability. However, with a partnership with Tripio, Binance has offered the opportunity of using BNB at 450,000 hotel locations. Though the fundamentals are improving, let’s see what the chart forecasts.

BNB/USD

The BNB/USD pair gave up a lot of ground between Nov. 14 to Nov. 25. During this period, the price dropped by about 53 percent. Thereafter, the bulls attempted to bounce from the critical support zone of $4.8355125-$4.5200621. The pullback broke out of the 20-day EMA, which was trending down but the bulls could not sustain the higher levels.

The digital currency turned around and slumped sharply on Dec. 6 and 7, resulting in a new low. The bears are attempting to resume the downtrend, while the bulls are trying to pull back from the current levels. The RSI is showing a positive divergence, which is a bullish sign. We anticipate a trend change if the price breaks out of $7 levels. Traders should wait for a new buy setup to form before investing.

BTC/USD

Though Bitcoin is the fifth best performer in the past seven days, it has continued to make new year-to-date lows. The SEC postponing the decision on the Bitcoin ETF did not go well with investors. The experts are divided whether the digital currency will slip further or will it bounce off the current levels. Let’s see what the charts forecast.

BTC/USD

The BTC/USD pair gathered momentum on the downside after it broke below the critical support of $5,900. The RSI on the weekly chart has slipped into the oversold territory for the first time since early 2015. The previous dip into the oversold zone had proven to be a good buying point, as the markets then entered a prolonged bull phase.

The $3,000-$3,500 zone had previously acted as a support in mid-September 2017. Therefore, we anticipate a bounce from this zone this time too. If successful, we expect a retest of the breakdown levels of $5,900.  Hence, we have been on the lookout to buy.

On the other hand, if the bears break below the support zone, the next major support is way lower at $2,000.

Source: Cointelegraph

Over-the-Counter Trading as the Latest Battleground to Secure Institutional Investment

As Coinbase and Poloniex open up dedicated investor accounts and Russia’s state-owned bank conducts a large over-the-counter transaction, OTC trading takes center stage in attracting institutional investors

With the increasing trend for major financial institutions to invest in Bitcoin, United States crypto exchange and wallet provider Coinbase announced the launch of over-the-counter (OTC) trading for institutional customers on Nov. 27.

OTC trading allows investors to carry out direct trades with each other. It means that the company’s institutional users won’t be trading through a crypto exchange or an intermediary.

Coinbase’s latest trading initiative began on June 6, when President and COO Asiff Hirji explained that obtaining a regulatory license would enable the company to set off on a “path to offer future services that include crypto securities trading, margin and over-the-counter (OTC) trading, and new market data products.”

Coinbase is not the only cryptocurrency exchange that has cottoned on to the potential benefits of attracting the ever-growing customer base of institutional investors.

On Dec. 4, U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex also reported the launch of their own institutional service. Much like its competitor, Coinbase, Poloniex is steadily increasing the number of services it offers to customers. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, institutional customers looking to use Poloniex’s dedicated accounts will be able to do so, subject to a minimum trade of $250,000. Poloniex is currently the 47th-largest crypto exchange in the world by trade volume. The company’s blog post claimed that:

“Institutions large and small can enjoy the benefits of […] [a] large curated selection of crypto asset trading pairs, dedicated support and robust API services. […] Poloniex is focused on meeting the advanced trading needs of institutions.”

Russia’s state-owned bank Sberbank carries out major OTC transaction

Other financial players around the world are also looking for innovation opportunities.

On Nov. 30, 2018, Sberbank, Russia’s state-owned banking and financial services company, and Interros, a Moscow-based conglomerate, processed an OTC foreign exchange repurchase agreement transaction using smart contracts via blockchain, Reuters reports.

Although the scale or value of the transaction are yet to be publicly disclosed, Head of Global Markets and Vice President at Sberbank Andrei Shemetov indicated that “the amount corresponded to the average volume of the interdealer repo transaction.”

Shemetov also told Reuters that the deal was fully legally binding and was “concluded in electronic format using a smart contract and digital signature through the IT platform of Sberbank.” The article reports that the smart contracts used in the transaction have been written in the Go programming language and were deployed on the Hyperledger Fabric Platform, a system that allows for real-time monitoring of “covenants and other market conditions.” Shemetov is also bullish on future prospects for blockchain to improve services offered by the bank:

“In the long term, the conclusion of transactions through the blockchain platform will reduce transaction costs and errors through automation, as well as increase transparency and trust among all participants in the financial market.”

This is not the first time that Sberbank has been associated with a progressive outlook on both crypto and blockchain technology. Earlier this year, Sberbank CEO Herman Gref stated his belief that blockchain would be implemented across the sector on an industrial scale in one or two years. Prior this, Gref has consistently displayed interest in cryptocurrency, in spite of Russia’s chequered past with crypto in general.

MVIS launches Bitcoin index based on major OTC desks

Another company to jump on the OTC bandwagon is MV Index Solutions, a subsidiary of VanEck that develops, monitors and licenses MVIS indices. MV Index Solutions launched its Bitcoin index based on three major OTC desks in November.

MVIS Indices cover multiple asset classes, including fixed income markets, digital assets and equity. The MVIS Bitcoin U.S. OTC Spot Index (MVBTCO) draws on feeds from major OTC liquidity providers, including Circle Trade, Genesis Trading and Cumberland.

The VanEck’s Director of Digital Asset Strategies, Gabor Gurbacs, expressed his belief that their new OTC index would benefit the ongoing trend in the crypto market:

“The index may pave the way for institutionally oriented products, such as ETFs [exchange-traded funds] as well as provide further tools to institutional investors to execute institutional[-]size trades at transparent prices on the OTC markets.”

Institutional trend continues to grow

On Oct. 31, Morgan Stanley, a multinational investment bank and financial services company, released their most recent report on Bitcoin, entitled “Update: Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain.”

The report documents how major financial players capitalized on the stablecoin trend, along with how central banks and regulators are gradually warming up to the idea of more mainstream adoption both of Bitcoin and of blockchain technology as a whole. Along with the new classification of Bitcoin as an institutional investment class, the institutional trend is also spreading out into the benefits of OTC trading.

Bloomberg reported how institutional investors replaced high-networth players as the biggest buyers of cryptocurrency transactions over $100,000 and how the possibility to conduct OTC trades has drawn in hedge funds, injecting huge amounts of capital into the market. According to findings from Digital Assets Research and TABB Group, the OTC market brought in between $250 million to $30 billion in trades per day in April.

Improvements in trading through exchanges are, however, being made. In November, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) announced its replatforming of its Trade Information Warehouse using distributed ledger technology. The project involved significant work in improving the scalability of blockchain in dealing with large- and high-volume transactions on exchanges.

Known as “Wall Street’s bookkeeper,” the DTCC accounts for 98 percent of derivatives transactions worldwide, including around 40 million OTC transactions weekly and 1 billion communications monthly.

Jennifer Peve, managing director of business development and fintech strategy at the DTCC, stated that increased scalability was beyond initial expectations and that their replatforming would help build confidence in the sector.

Source: Cointelegraph

Major UK Charity Fund Executive Believes Crypto Market Crash Is ‘Just a Bump in the Road’

A major U.K. charity fund executive declared during a crypto summit that the recent market crash is just a “bump in the road.”

A major United Kingdom charity fund executive said at the Bloomberg Crypto Summit in London this Friday that the recent crypto market crash is just a “bump in the road,” Bloomberg reports Dec. 7.

James Bevan, the chief investment manager at CCLA, told the audience during a panel that he doesn’t see the recent decrease in the value of cryptocurrencies “as an existential crisis”; rather, he noted that he believes this is just “a bump in the road.”

Bevan then also compared crypto to traditional finance, stating that “institutional investors have had plenty of bumps in the road in conventional currencies and transaction systems.”

CCLA is self-described as “one of the UK’s largest fund managers” and claims to have £7,842 million (just slightly short of $10 trillion) in assets under management on the last day of March this year.

Bloomberg’s article on the news outlet’s Crypto Summit also predicts that “the future of cryptocurrencies will entail greater regulation, more involvement by large institutions, lower volatility and greater integration with traditional assets.”

The first signs of large institutions starting to interact with the industry are already present, with the world’s second-largest stock exchange, Nasdaq, reportedly having confirmed the launch of Bitcoin (BTC) futures in the first half of next year.

Bloomberg also cites Marieke Flament, the global chief marketing officer at blockchain-powered payments firm Circle Internet Financial Ltd., as noting that it is “beneficial to get the wheels in motion for crypto regulations so the industry can learn from potential mistakes.”

This is not the first time a Circle executive took such a stance. In late October, the company’s CEO, Jeremy Allaire, called on global economies to collaborate on the development of crypto regulation, as Cointelegraph reported.

Namely, Allaire declared that “ultimately there needs to be normalization at the G20 level.” This request seems to have been recently answered this week, when G20 country leaders declared the start of work on an international cryptocurrency taxation system.

Source: Cointelegraph