The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to make final decisions on nine proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the next two months.
As first reported Tuesday the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delayed a decision on a proposed rule change from the Cboe BZX Exchange that, if approved, would allow for the listing of an ETF backed by blockchain startup SolidX and investment firm VanEck.
Yet the SolidX-VanEck proposal – first put forward in June – is just one of four filings in waiting.
Combined with past submissions from firms ProShares, Direxion and GraniteShares, a total of 10 bitcoin-related funds are being weighed by SEC officials, according to public records, although the VanEck/SolidX bitcoin ETF is the only “physical” ETF among all the proposals.
Those deadlines are set by the time at which the proposals are published in the U.S. Federal Register, with an initial decision due 45 days after that time. The agency can then punt those decisions to as many as 240 days following publication in the Register.
The deadline for a decision on two funds from ProShares is August 23, is just over two weeks away. The rule change paving the way for those products was submitted by NYSE Arca on December 4, 2017.
September will see a series of deadlines for bitcoin ETFs, starting on September 15, the date by which two funds by GraniteShares will receive a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. The funds were initially proposed on January 5.
The deadline for Direxion’s four funds is September 21, as indicated by public records, after being first submitted on January 4.
As CoinDesk reported, the SEC punted its decision on the SolidX-VanEck proposal to September 30. However, given the way in which the agency considers such proposals, additional time may be carved out, pushing a final decision deadline to as far as late February of next year.
To be sure, the agency could release its decisions ahead of its prescribed deadline (as the SEC did this week). But past examples indicate that the SEC will wait until closer to the deadlines, all but ensuring additional nail-biting by the crypto community.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed its decision on the listing and trading of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) until September 30, according to an official document released by the SEC August 7.
ETFs are securities that track a basket of assets proportionately represented in the fund’s shares. They are seen by some as a potential step forward for the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies as a regulated and passive investment instrument.
The fund under consideration is powered by investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX, and is expected to list on the Chicago Board of Exchange (CBOE) BZX Equities Exchange. The SEC now has almost two more months to consider a proposed rule change by CBOE Global Markets Inc. that would allow the fund to list.
Today’s notice states that the SEC has received more than 1,300 comments on the proposed rule change to list and trade shares of SolidX BTC shares issued by the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust. Per the document, within 45 days of a filing of a proposed rule change, or within 90 days should the Commission deem necessary, the Commission will approve, disapprove, or extend the period of consideration. The document says:
|“Accordingly, the Commission, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,6 designates September 30, 2018, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove, the proposed rule change (File No. SRCboeBZX-2018-040).”|
VanEck and SolidX first announced the physically-backed Bitcoin ETF on June 6. As per the SEC filing, the price of each share of the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust is set to $200,000. SolidX CEO Daniel H. Gallancy told CNBC, that the high price reflects the fund’s intention to focus on institutional, rather than retail investors.
Last month, the SEC delayed its decision on investment firm Direxion’s application for a Bitcoin ETF until Sep. 21. The regulator also rejected an appeal by Bats BZX Exchange, Inc. (BZX) to list and trade shares of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, originally filed in 2016.
The agency cited the largely unregulated nature of Bitcoin markets as the principal reason for refusing the application, stating, “When the spot market is unregulated — there must be significant, regulated derivatives markets related to the underlying asset with which the Exchange can enter into a surveillance-sharing agreement.”
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could approve a Bitcoin ETF in the next 18 months, said Ali Hassan, the CEO, and one of the three co-founders of asset manager Crescent Crypto.
Hassan, a former Goldman Sachs executive, was speaking at Bloomberg Markets studios about the considerable potential of passive management strategies in cryptocurrency markets. On being asked about the SEC’s rejection of Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF twice in a row, he acknowledged the US regulator’s concern about investors’ protection. However, Hassan proposed passive investments as a solution to reduce some of those concerns, saying that they will “actually increase the participation in the [cryptocurrency] market.”
|“We do think that a product is coming soon,” said Hassan. “Perhaps, in the next 18 months, we’ll see a Bitcoin-only ETF.”|
Hassan continued by mentioning some exciting projects in the Bitcoin ETF space, mainly putting VanEck on his look-out list. VanEck has attempted – after failing twice – to address the regulator’s concerns by inflating its Bitcoin ETF’s share value; thereby, making it unrealizable for retail investors. Currently, each VanEck share represents approximately 25 Bitcoins (~$188,000 at the time of this writing).
Hassan’s very own asset management fund, which was launched during Q1 2018, approaches only wealthy US investors, whose annual salaries are above $200,000. To strengthen the protection, the index fund lists the top 20 coins in its portfolio, only shortlisted after they meet specific standards of market capitalization, security, and liquidity.
Jay Clayton, SEC chief, in his Feb’s address to the US Senate, had reserved his intentions to stop crypto-ETFs over their high volatility, security, long-only nature, and improper custodianship. The Bloomberg interview, while not directly referring to Clayton, pointed some of these concerns to Hassan. He responded with a claim that none of their investors have faced any problem with their index fund, explaining they had reduced the volatility by “holding 20 coins with slightly different levels of correlation and using a 90-day trailing average market cap.”
“[Our strategy] has mute the overall volatility of the portfolio relative to just Bitcoin alone,” Hassan added.
In comments that followed after the questions raised over the fund’s security, Hassan mentioned that they are avoiding the risk of exchanges by keeping all the assets in cold storage. As mentioned during one of his earlier interviews to FT, the funds are said to be stored in an unnamed facility in New Jersey.
The interview concluded with Hassan being asked about the future of Bitcoin markets.
“To the moon,” he replied.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected the application for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund by brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. The news was broken by CNBCThursday, July 26.
The WInklevoss twins’ first application for a Bitcoin ETF was rejected by the SEC in February 2017. The stated reason, back then, was the largely unregulated nature of Bitcoin (BTC) markets. The agency said back then:
|”When the spot market is unregulated-there must be significant, regulated derivatives markets related to the underlying asset with which the Exchange can enter into a surveillance-sharing agreement.”|
CNBC reports that the SEC published a new “release” Thursday, July 26, saying that it does not support the Winklevoss’ claim that crypto markets are “uniquely resistant to manipulation,” rejecting the twins’ second application made in June.
Despite receiving requests for a Bitcoin ETF approval from a number of applicants, the SEC has still not accepted any of them as of press time.
Tuesday’s move below $7,000 means the coin has almost come full circle since it rapidly gained over $1,000 over a two-day period ending on July 17.
While commentators were unclear as to the motive behind the sudden upwards move, Bitcoin prices continued rising throughout the last month, reaching multi-week highs of around $8,450 two weeks later.
In August, despite news of a regulated digital assets platform from Intercontinental Exchange and moves by Goldman Sachs to plan a crypto custody offering, markets began deteriorating, with Bitcoin losing around 15 percent over the past seven days.
The latest lows came hours after U.S. regulators announced they had extended a deadline for approving a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal from SolidX and VanEck.
This, sources suggest, triggered a more precipitous price drop, while others such as ex-Morgan Stanley senior executive Caitlin Long argued the increasing adoption of Bitcoin-based products was leading to price suppression, tweeting on August 6,
“We have entered the era of fractional-reserve bitcoin.”
Altcoins have also suffered high losses this week. Ethereum (ETH), having failed to match Bitcoin’s July rise, nonetheless fell harder, sustaining around 10 percent losses on the day as of press time and monthly losses around 35 percent.
ETH is trading around $366 at press time, matching 2018 lows seen in early April.
Of the top ten coins listed on CoinMarketCap, IOTA (MIOTA) and EOS have seen the biggest losses, both down over 17 percent over a 24 hour period to press time, and trading at $0.65 and $5.90 respectively.
Ripple (XRP) is also down around 16.3 percent on the day, trading at around $0.34 by press time.
Total market cap is now at around $229 million by press time, a number last seen in November 2017.
If you’re wondering how you should treat Bitcoin, as an investment vehicle, allow me to share with you guys my non-expert opinion.
End of story, thanks a lot for reading.
See you next time.
–this article shouldn’t be taken as financial advisement as it represents my personal opinion and views. I have savings invested in cryptocurrency so take whatever I write with a grain of salt. Do not invest what you cannot afford to lose and always read as much as possible about a project before investing. Never forget: with great power, comes great responsibility. Being your own bank means you’re always responsible for your own money—
Cryptocurrency investment is one of the hottest topics we can discuss today, as there are many different opinions on what the future might hold for Bitcoin.
Due to the regulatory bodies world-wide having different approaches towards the subject, while at the same time Bitcoin being decentralized and not belonging to a single entity/organization, investors usually feel uncertain towards the future use of digital cryptocurrencies.
An important point, however, is that from a money-making perspective, which is what matters at the end to any investor, Bitcoin is undoubtedly one of the strongest profit vehicles since it came to existence – probably the best asset ever created: digital gold.
First we grab a price level, like when Bitcoin was around USD 8200. Now, if you want to understand if that price level is interesting, consider the following: the likelihood of having invested in Bitcoin at any given point in time since its inception while actually profiting from it, is about 97%.
Sounds too good to be true, right?
Except, it’s not.
By doing a rough estimate, we can quickly see Bitcoin has only been above USD 8200 for about 137 days. As it is traded for about 1917 days, there’s a ~ 97% chance you bought Bitcoin when its price was lower than USD 8200.
Of course this also means you only had a 3% chance of selling at the right time.
There’s always a dark-side to everything, right?
My point still stands: if we only take into account price and time, you’re actually way more likely to have made a bet at the right time, than the opposite.
I know these statistics are fun to play with, but they hardly bring you any real value. Knowing when you could have bought and sold it’s important from a learning perspective, although real investor education happens in a most peculiar way; usually, by making wrong bets and suffering through bearish seasons, that is.
What you desire to know is not how much money you could have made. What you, and everyone else, really want to find out is how much you can still make.
And today, that is what I’ll be discussing.
With a few twists, some side-track topics and the usual delightful shenanigans.
Before we go any further, please remember the below warning:
Anyone who tells you they’re not in it for the money are either lying or don’t need to care about money because they have so much of it, diversified over so many assets, their risk is quite low.
Back to what matters.
Depending on where your political and economic view-point stand, Bitcoin can either be the world’s savior or its demise.
In my humble opinion, as an economist, I think most of us are dead wrong on how we think money works . I won’t go into too much detail about the subject, as I really want to write an exploratory paper on how (I believe) money should be earned and accessed. The point worth extrapolating is that, much opposed to general belief, I do think there are many different ways to redistribute wealth properly and to create incentive systems for everyone being able to earn cryptocurrency.
Seems illogical that the biggest problem in cryptocurrency (adoption) could be easily fixed by creating ecosystems where users earn tokens for doing things.
Literally anything at all.
When we look at how the market has been evolving, since its birth, I would expect this “bubble” like behavior to continue, maybe indefinitely.
There are many factors which will balance into the behavior of price, especially market manipulation, regulatory actions and, of course, both institutional money and other financial investment vehicles (like Bitcoin futures or ETFs).
Historically speaking, Bitcoin has been kind to long-term investors.
Short-term investors cannot complain too much, as Bitcoin is one of the most (if not the most?) volatile assets out there.
Plus, I believe smart-money is coming full force, as it usually happens after every Bitcoin bearish season.
Want an expert opinion on the real value of Bitcoin and possible triggers for mass adoption?
Check this beautiful piece from Hacked’s one and only, Mati Greenspan.
As with everything in life, there’s the good and the bad (sometimes the ugly too) and Bitcoin is not an exception.
If there are many factors that could trigger a price increase, like mass adoption, there are others that can have quite an opposite effect.
Let’s check which triggers can potentially call for bear and bull markets.
To me this is definitely the grand-master behind the major price run we’ve seen in late December 2017 and January 2018. It did take me some time to truly understand why, but due to the amazing work of so many different people, we now have a better, clearer picture of what really happened.
Tether manipulated the markets by manipulating the price of Bitcoin. It wasn’t any technology advancement in neither Bitcoin, nor the large quantities of dumb money entering the market.
The key argument pointed out by Prof. Griffin on the research paper “Bit “, was that “When Bitcoin’s price fell, purchases with Tether tended to increase, helping to reverse the decline. But during times when Bitcoin rose, Griffin said he didn’t see the reverse occur.” Seems Tether was protecting the price of Bitcoin from crashing.
To accomplish this, large quantities of Tether were issued and used to buy Bitcoin on Bitfinex. Of course this wouldn’t be such a big deal if Bitfinex wasn’t owned by the same people who own and mint Tether. But that’s not even the worse. Consider this: wouldn’t you expect a company that claims they own reserves on a 1:1 ratio between Tether and USD, to be fully externally audited and show proof of those USD reserves?
Another huge red flag if you ask me.
To those who now claim “oh but some lawyer dudes just came out and said Tether bank accounts are fully backed so it’s all good”, please, I beg you to actually do some digging.
The only thing Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan LLP (FSS) said about Tether was: “FSS is confident that Tether’s unencumbered assets exceed the balance of fully-backed USD Tethers in circulation as of June 1st, 2018.”
That doesn’t sound like a real assurance to me.
Especially when you consider the “official” news-source, that appeared unsigned by the FSS board on Tether’s website, also stated “procedures performed are not for the purpose of providing assurance”.
My view on futures is a bit blurry. I understand their purpose and I also recognize their effectiveness in taming markets, especially during the short-term. Does it work in the long-term?
In 1974 the first gold futures contract was traded on the COMEX exchange in New York. Trading started on December 31.
Fast-forward three years and gold was back rising to new highs.
That’s right. No one can tame the ambition of human beings to exponentially increase their wealth, time after time; there is no futures market that can ever stop speculation. Money talks louder and that means there will always be new smart-money coming into the actual asset, making its price go higher. What will happen is that those same people will have an extra incentive.
As we’ve seen in the past the usual trigger for adoption is smart-money coming into any market. Bitcoin, of course, is no different.
The logic is quite simple.
You might think this is oversimplifying how things work, but the logic is dictated by public perception of Bitcoin.
Is it a good investment vehicle? Should I store money in Bitcoin? Do other people actually accept it?
The answer to world-wide adoption is acceptance; but acceptance only comes with adoption.
It’s the chicken-egg dilemma. The most beautiful redundancy.
What this means is that both adoption and acceptance walk hand-to-had; one leads to the other and none can exist alone.
That is why market manipulation or Bitcoin’s futures, although being the bad are not that bad.Manipulation usually means high volatility, which in turns bring massive profits.
Sure, I get this isn’t helpful to the ultimate goal of cryptocurrencies – which to me is the ability to shift wealth redistribution.
I also can’t make exclude the hypothesis this feature of cryptocurrency won’t be the catalyst for its destruction; however, if we apply logic and reasoning taking into account the recent Bitcoin price history, we can clearly expect volatility to bring more and more people into the market.
Ups and downs are usually a nice and easy way to help bubbles growing.
And, as you might know, bubbles have a certain tendency to pop.
History has taught us it usually isn’t a question of if, but when.
When downwards price movement dominates a market the only thing you can usually do is sit and wait. Cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin, are prone to huge downfalls, yes; but we can also expect massive rebounds at some point.
There are always some unbreakable rules successful investors follow, in order to being able to succeed.
Again, please remember this is not financial advise
To me those are:
Because I follow those rules I’m not afraid of bear-markets. Heck, just remember 2012-2013.
Whatever goes around comes around, so being passive is sometimes a better decision that getting ahead of everyone.
Just think: what are the chances you actually figured out how to beat the entire market?
That’s why I personally do not trade – yet envy those who successfully do it.
You need cunning, agility and balls of steel; otherwise emotion will most likely triumph over reason.
Anyhow, the chances you’ll get stuck at a really bad price-level (ie, if you bought bitcoin near USD 20,00.00) during an extensive amount of time, are not that great.
Yet, as time is a relative thing, our ability to be patient is also relative. Meaning what I consider to be an acceptable amount of time, you could see it as unbearable.
Are you thinking “I’m sure could do it”?
Alright, then do a quick exercise:
Have you ever done anything long-term, during at least the amount of time you’re considering investing, which costs you time, money and doesn’t pay-off anything?
If so, then I would argue you can definitely succeed at hodling.
If not, maybe you should consider a different approach.
Patience isn’t an easy skill to learn when we live in an inflationary world: money of tomorrow will be worth less, meaning you need to keep getting more and more present value, instead of focusing on future value.
Since the introduction of the Blockstream Store in January, the Lightning Network has grown tremendously. Around the announcement, the Lightning Network had a total of 46 open channels and 0.682 BTC in capacity. Nowadays, there are roughly 7,800 open channels with 26 BTC of capacity. That is a 16,856% increase in channels and a 4,084% increase in channel capacity in 6 months!
As the Lightning Network grows, additional integration options will become available that could provide exchanges and users with security and ease-of-use benefits beyond the two basic integration strategies described above.
With Lightning, it can become possible to allow exchange users to make trades from within dedicated local apps, making deposits and withdrawals transparent to users. These apps can run on desktops, smartphones, or on more secure hardware devices such as the Ledger Blue. With exchange functionality integrated with a Lightning wallet, funds can be moved into an exchange’s control for the minimum time required for a trade to execute. Immediately after an order is filled or expires, the funds would be returned to the control of the user’s wallet/exchange app via Lightning. This could potentially create a simpler experience for users as well as reduce risk for exchanges in case of security breaches, as the amount of funds stored in hot wallets could be much lower.
With the two integration strategies described above, it’s assumed that users will be opening channels directly with exchanges. This will be economical for larger-scale traders who move money in and out of exchanges often. However, as the Lightning network develops, it will be possible for users to have open channels into the public Lightning network and for those users to be able to route deposits and withdrawals via intermediary nodes. It will likely take some time before there is enough connectivity within the Lightning Network for this to work, but when this becomes possible, it will allow a user’s channels to be used for a variety of different kinds of payments as well as multiple exchanges. With channel setup costs spread across multiple applications and counter-parties, Lightning transactions will become cheaper and more convenient.
There are many ways to improve scalability and off-chains are a great way to accomplish that.
Why should increasing the block-size be a better solution, if it will put more stress onto small transaction due to increasing fees?
Scalability will happen, just a bit differently than you might expect.
We already have the unique piece that allows for scalability to happen: an underlying asset people can use a store of value.
Whatever is built on top doesn’t really matter if the underlying layer, bitcoin’s blockchain, is still used as the settlement layer.
From batching and Shnorr signatures, to the Lightning Network and atomic swaps, there are as many ways to improve transaction throughput, as far as our imaginations reach out. You could potentially have digital fiat-currencies redeemable for Bitcoin. You can have other side-chains that interface with a single wallet app, meaning if it’s easy to exchange your tokens and other cryptocurrencies for Bitcoin, you will still use it as a base-layer to store your “gains”.
The point is: let’s not focus too much on something that will eventually happen. Everyone (myself included, full disclosure) has been focused on technology and price so much, we forgot to take a couple of steps back and re-visit some core debates, crucial for the overall Bitcoin acceptance.
If you wonder how tokenomics can foster user adoption, think of the best way you know to redistribute value. In Bitcoin, that is done through mining and selling the actual currency.
Right now most projects we see, spawning here and there, which actually try to implement a successful business models based in tokens, are forgetting some key aspects of the most important metric of all: purpose.
Andreas usually says: what can your business gain from decentralization?
I say: what can your business give to decentralization?
The reason is simple, if you create a system where you need to “subscribe” or spend money for tokens in order to participate, then the system is not inclusive.
If you build a system where participants are rewarded for participating, like Bitcoin rewards miners for securing the blokchain, then you can build any incentive system which users may see as actual value.
By combining the power of fast payments with tokenomics, I can easily see a world where value is simply traded and earned through mostly everything we do.
Decentralization doesn’t mean “screw the middleman”.
Actually, decentralization depends much on the middle-man. Except we all can become that middle-man because as we spend time in a certain network, doing certain things, we get rewarded.
Decentralization means implementing systems which properly balance reward payouts, to all participants, in as many different ways possible.
The middleman is always welcomed, I highly doubt the world would survive without platforms and distributors and companies linking networks of producers and consumers, investors and start-ups, even creditors and debtors.
And all work must be paid in kind, isn’t that right?
If cryptocurrency uses its underlying technology properly, then there is no reason atomic swaps won’t allow for the emergence of many different middle-men, charging very low fees, competing to hold the power to convert some crypto into another.
If cryptocurrency is easy to convert into other forms of monies, why wouldn’t we solely use cryptocurrency? Trust is backed by both the number of users in a network, as well as its internal ledger security.
As currently Bitcoin seems to be the most technological secure system out there, to store money, it’s just a matter of time until it also becomes the most secure and cheap way to transfer and use money.
However, do not expect the path to the bottom of the rainbow to be clear of perils.
No technological advancement, which promoted checks and balances to avoid power and decision-making centralization, has ever been received in kind.
So why would the world be different towards cryptocurrencies?
When we hear countries banning cryptocurrencies, exchanges being blocked by the rule of man (like India), attacks to promote hype and fear across small-time investors, that is the time we know they are afraid.
Decentralization means breaking concepts and views of the world as we never thought possible.
Companies building crypto-payments or savings apps, crypto-messaging apps, decentralized storage and infrastructure sharing crypto-tokens, or any other crypto-enabled system, will soon realize the easiest way to bring value is by giving value.
Yes, go ahead, create your own money.
It has no value, they say?
It’s of no use, they say?
Terrific! Then nobody will mind if you just give it all away. Like bitcoin did.
If a company has a product which holds value and then decides to distribute a token with a clear purpose within that product’s or organization ecosystem, why wouldn’t people consider that token valuable?
If everything holds value just because we believe it holds value, I see no reason for Bitcoin to have a limited growth.
As long as the network of users continues to grow, price will eventually grow.
Because of its deflationary properties, if people continue to say bitcoin has value (by purchasing it), then I see no reason for a price ceiling.
*Maybe we really are going to the moon!
My opinion could be wrong, Bitcoin might disappear into oblivion someday and we keep stuck with fiduciary currency.
If that is not the case, then the likelihood of Bitcoin’s pricing skyrocketing someday should be incredibly high, simply because it has happened a gazillion times in the past – and history has a tendency to go around in cycles.
I know: past performance does not indicate future performance. However, I haven’t heard of any network which grew in numbers and not in price.
If you were to gamble on the success of cryptocurrency, would you bet in a system no single nation or group of people controls, or in a fiduciary system based on a pyramid logic?
Hope you’ve enjoyed the article!
Australian bitcoin exchange CoinJar has launched the country’s first cryptocurrency index fund available to wholesale investors.
Announced on Thursday, the CoinJar Digital Currency Fund provides a convenient way for wealthy Australian investors to obtain exposure to cryptocurrencies while offloading the custodial responsibility to another entity.
The Digital Currency Fund has two classes. The first, Bitcoin Class, exclusively provides investors with exposure to bitcoin (BTC). The second, Mixed Class, tracks the market cap-weighted price movements of four of the six largest cryptocurrencies: bitcoin, ethereum (ETH), ripple (XRP), and litecoin (LTC).
Jordan Michaelides, head of institutional at CoinJar states…
|“Investing in cryptocurrency carries certain risks and can be an unnecessarily complex process. Traditionally, an individual investor in cryptocurrency has also been exposed to potential loss through cybercrime. We are launching the CoinJar Digital Currency Fund to handle the custody risks, simplify the investment process and provide industry best practice in security for wholesale investors,”|
The fund is currently restricted to wholesale investors, that is, high net worth investors who have obtained an accountant’s certification that they have net assets of at least AUD$2.5 million or a gross income of AUD$250,000 for each of the last two years. This classification is roughly equivalent to the accredited investor certification that U.S. buyers must attain before they can invest in cryptocurrency funds and many initial coin offerings (ICOs).
First-time investors must contribute a minimum of $50,000 to the fund, while current investors can make subsequent investments in increments of at least $10,000. The fund carries an annual management fee of 1.3 percent of Bitcoin Class and 1.8 percent for Mixed Class.
Though the first cryptocurrency fund available to Australian investors, the CoinJar Digital Currency fund joins a growing list of investment products that present cryptoassets in wrappers familiar — and perhaps more palatable — to sophisticated investors.
The New York-based Grayscale was the leader in this space, launching the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTC: GBTC) in 2013 and a variety of other investment funds since. Two of these, GBTC and the Ethereum Classic Investment Trust (OTC: ETCG) can now be purchased by retail investors on the secondary market.
The industry has also developed a burgeoning cryptocurrency derivatives market, with products such as futures, options, and swaps available on both established stock exchanges (CME and CBOE) and upstart trading platforms (LedgerX, Crypto Facilities, among others). Earlier this month, two institutional investors completed the first exchange for physical (EFP) involving BTC when they swapped a position in a bitcoin futures contract for an equivalent amount of the physical asset itself.
Opinion – The cryptocurrency market seems to be on the midst of a recovery from more than 3 months of falling prices. Many are attributing the cause to the growing interest from institutional investors. However, the main catalyst for the current optimism in the markets could actually be the news that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently weighing whether to approve a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).
An ETF is basically a basket of securities that are bought and sold through a brokerage firm or stock exchange. ETFs are offered for almost all asset classes ranging from traditional investments to alternative assets like commodities or currencies.
The main benefit of an ETF is that it removes the need for investors to sign up on exchanges or wallets just to buy Bitcoin. With an ETF, the underlying assets are owned and traded by a fund. The Fund divides ownership of the cryptocurrency assets into shares, which are what investors’ actually claim ownership of at the end of the day. ETF shareholders receive a portion of the funds profits through dividends or earned interest paid.
The approval of a Bitcoins ETF would open the floodgates for new investors to pour money into cryptocurrencies with the same ease in which they invest in stocks and all other mainstream asset classes today. This would very likely lead to a surge in Bitcoins price from $7,500 to $10,000 or even it’s all time high of $20,000.
We have seen this ETF experiment play out before with Gold. In 2003, the first gold ETF was introduced to the markets, leading to a 300% price surge. That would be the equivalent of a $22,500 price tag for just for 1 Bitcoin.
There are still many hurdles in the way before ETFs can officially be approved, plus an ETF proposal was made last year by the Winklevoss twins (of crypto exchange Gemini) and subsequently rejected on the grounds that Bitcoin was simply too volatile.
However, based on changing sentiments by the SEC, experts are indicating that we could see ETF approval as early as August 15th. If early market reactions are any indicator, now might be a great time to start buying up some more Bitcoin and Altcoins while their prices still remain relatively cheap.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.
The bitcoin price is rallying, and this time, it looks like Wall Street has shown up to the party. On Tuesday, bitcoin brief briefly broached the $8,500 threshold on Bitfinex for the first time since mid-May, and while it has since pulled back several hundred dollars from that two-month high, it has nevertheless risen 10 percent in the past week and 29 percent over the course of a month.
As noted by Mati Greenspan, a senior market analyst at eToro, this rally was fueled in the spot markets by the usual suspects — traders in Japan and South Korea — who provided a surge of volume to help push the bitcoin price past key levels.
“According to the volume on exchanges, it seems clear that the rally is being led by East Asia,” Greenspan wrote, “The US Dollar had a spike as well but it was much more focused. Meaning that the Americans only participated during the extreme part of the surge and less in the before and after party.”
That’s not to say that the U.S. was absent from the rally. In fact, Greenspan said, trading data from Chicago-based. derivatives exchanges CME and CBOE — the only two regulated U.S. exchanges to list bitcoin futures — suggests that Wall Street wants a piece of the action.
Bitcoin futures hit record volume of 12,878 contracts on Tuesday, equivalent to 64,390 bitcoins with a notional value of $530M. Learn more about #Bitcoin futures. https://t.co/AIsPztBU6V pic.twitter.com/7RIRL2qZ3A
— CMEGroup (@CMEGroup) July 25, 2018
Tuesday trading volume on CME reached 12,878 contracts across all expiration dates, worth an equivalent 64,390 BTC (each contract represents 5 BTC). CBOE traders exchanged 7,138 contracts, each equivalent to 1 BTC, bringing total U.S. bitcoin futures volume to 71,528 BTC. At $8,000 per coin — the mean of Tuesday’s opening and settlement price in CME’s August futures market — this translates into a daily volume of $572.2 million.
That volume is still minor relative to the global cryptocurrency marketplace, however. The worldwide bitcoin spot market saw more than $7.7 billion in volume on Tuesday, according to CoinMarketCap.
Moreover, Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency margin trading platform BitMEX reported that it saw a record 1 million XBT contracts traded during a 24-hour period on Tuesday, worth more than $8 billion. The vast majority of this — more than $7 billion — was concentrated in XBT/USD markets.
Nevertheless, this uptick in bitcoin futures volume could serve as another in a growing list of data points and anecdotes that suggest Wall Street is beginning to make a strategic entry into this nascent ecosystem.
After spending years away from the limelight, cryptocurrency has made major strides in achieving mass adoption across the world. However, the life of any currency is only as good as its utility.
Blockchain technology, the engine behind what makes cryptocurrency operate, has now started to permeate every sector of today’s world. Whether it’s a blockchain based power grid or a decentralized marketplace to help you buy new digital assets. Bitcoin has officially breached the off-line world and is creating an influx of opportunity and real life application.
Some cryptocurrency enthusiasts may focus on investing in Bitcoin. They daydream living that “Lambo life”, however most are unaware of the various ways that they can spend their Bitcoin on day-to-day items. Even daily consumables can now be purchased using Bitcoin. Many new platforms are emerging every month in order to make it easier for people to utilize these digital coins for their daily spending habits.
Granted, there are a few crypto millionaires out there that obtained wealth due to their HODLing. However, millions of people are now using their digital coins in a more practical manner in order to pay their utility bills, groceries, and even their daily cup of coffee. Activities like these are crucial to allowing the currency to become more acceptable in real life.
Other than using cryptocurrency as a means of investment, how exactly do you use these digital nuggets of gold in real life situations? How would you use them, for example, to pay your bills, gas, cellphone, or groceries?
I’ll be answering these questions with a few hand-selected services that I’ve used for these type of occasions. The more reputable service providers have been allowing individuals like yourself the freedom to use Bitcoin in the same way you use any standard credit or debit card.
Bitcoin debit cards are the easiest way for you to use your digital coins in order to pay your bills or other daily expenditures. It bridges the technological gaps between decentralized currencies of the world and the conventional marketplace.
Most Bitcoin debit cards use a protocol that quickly converts your BTC into USD or EUR when using the card at a merchant’s location. Each transaction will have a small processing fee, however the fee will be a lot less than what you would pay to convert your crypto coins to fiat currency on a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase or Binance.
With these debit cards, the merchant always gets paid in their local currency. You can shop at any store just like you would with your standard bank issued debit card or credit card. It’s also possible to sign up for an auto-pay system just like you would with a typical credit or debit card.
Here some of the more popular Bitcoin debit cards that you can start using today:
Shift was the first bitcoin card to become available in America. Although Shift does not have its own wallet, it connects with your Coinbase wallet for transactions. It is available in 45 states within the US. The user is alerted to each transaction via smartphone notifications and does not charge any BTC to USD conversion fees.
If you don’t have a Coinbase account, sign up with this link in order to receive $10 worth of free Bitcoin. You lose nothing and gain $10 with no additional effort.
WageCan is one of the most popular Bitcoin debit cards. You can use it outside Europe and the US. This card connects with over 30 million ATMs around the world and even allows local currency withdrawals. You have a choice between a plastic card and a digital one. The card supports multiple nationalities and doesn’t need a credit check in order to get started.
WageCan rewards initial deposits and also supports referral rewards to make it worth your time to recommend their service to friends and family.
> Sign up here and receive a 20% discount coupon on your card
This provider is based out of London and not only supplies Bitcoin debit/prepaid cards but is an all-in-one solution for a wide range of services like mobile apps, merchant processing, blockchain wallets, and more.
Some of these include:
Any of the card providers mentioned above will allow you to easily store your Bitcoins as well as spend them in Euros or US dollars. The cards can be used to pay electricity bills, Netflix subscriptions, as well as any other bill you can think of. They are accepted at any venue that accepts credit cards.
As an alternative method to using the credit card services mentioned above, there are bill pay companies that allow you to pay your bills on a predefined schedule. All services covered within this guide will allow you to set up auto pay payments from your online wallet. Just set it once and forget it. Below are a few services that can help you keep your Bitcoins anonymous while still making your payments on time.
Coinsfer is an older and more established service that can help you pay your bills using Bitcoin. They primarily operate in the US. You’ll have the choice of setting up a recurring payment or one time payments like any other bill pay service.
NOTE: there is a 7% tip for each bill paid (min $20) if you choose to utilize the one-time payment feature. Choosing the subscription plan (auto pay) will bring it down up to 5%.
Bill Pay for Coins is a more reasonably priced bill pay service provider with a fee of only 1.99%. Simply have your Bitcoin wallet address handy, choose from a list of companies that you want to pay your bills with, and submit the payment. It’s a very simple process that you’ll only need to set up one time.
Be aware that it could take up to 5 days to complete, however it rarely takes that long to process. Apart from utilities, you can also pay credit cards, home or auto loans, federal and state taxes, and pretty much anything else that involves a monthly invoice.
Many utility companies have started to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment and the list is growing every day. Make sure to ask your service provider if they accept Bitcoin payments; however this is typically something that they would advertise on their website, so check there first.
The benefit of paying directly is so you can eliminate paying a service or conversion fee. Paying the company directly would also be a lot faster than going through a bill pay service.
Arizona has already passed a bill to accept cryptocurrency as a valid form of payment for state and local taxes. Other states in the US, like Illinois and Georgia, are considering state tax payments in the form of Bitcoin. As cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream, more and more services and utility companies will start to allow these forms of payment directly.
Yes! It’s already here. Bitcoin payments (as well as other cryptocurrencies ) are steadily becoming more and more integrated with various merchants every single year. The service providers mentioned above will allow you to purchase almost anything with Bitcoin.
Many blockchain startup companies are improving their platform in order to make it easier to convert cryptocurrency to your local fiat. As their efforts continue, it will become much easier to use Bitcoin for everyday use. Fortunately, there are many ways to pay for your daily life’s necessities and utilities with this incredible innovation today.
Start with a few of the providers mentioned above and utilize the currency for what it was intended for. Also realize that your daily Bitcoin spending habits is helping with the overall integration of the currency within our society. That’s something you can feel good about!
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If you’re wondering how you should treat Bitcoin, as an investment vehicle, allow me to share with you guys my non-expert opinion. End of story, thanks a lot for reading. See you next time. –this
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