Another Bitcoin ETF Filed with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission and Bitcoin Gets a Thumbs Up from its Critic

It is very difficult to have a permanent position on an investment asset and Jeffrey Gundlach, a Bitcoin critic has just proven that after predicting a 25 percent surge in Bitcoin’s price. After trading above $4,000 for a few consecutive days, Bitcoin’s price has dropped to below $3,700 and lost almost 10 percent on its value in the last 24 hours. Bitwise Asset Management announced that it has filed for an ETF with the SEC while Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital has begun offering over-the-counter (OTC) trading for Zcash.

It was not going to be an easy ride to high price rises – but today’s massive sell-off took many by surprise as cryptocurrencies are trading sharply low with the majority of them registering double-digit losses.

Bitcoin is trading at $3,675, 9 percent lower than it did in the last 24 hours. Ether’s run has been put to a halt as the digital asset is 14.43 percent down to exchange hands for $129.16. Ether’s tumble was a gain for Ripple’s XRP as the latter has overtaken Ether as the second largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $13.5 billion. There is not much separating the two digital assets and slight gains for Ether will see it reclaim its second spot.

XRP is down 9 percent while the majority of the top 10 assets are down by more than 10 percent. EOS has lost 16 percent of its value followed by Bitcoin Cash with a 14 percent loss. Tether stablecoin has remained relatively stable after gaining 0.34 percent to trade at $0.34.

In the top 100, only Tether, another stablecoin USD Coin, True USD, Paxos Standard Token (PAX), Aurora, and Dai are in the green. In total, almost $14 billion was wiped away from the market during the sell-off.

Advice from an anti-crypto investment guru: Bitcoin may rise 25 percent

Jeffrey Gundlach, a hot-shot investment banker and anti-crypto investor has made positive Bitcoin predictions, reported CNBC on Jan. 8.

Gundlach, the founder and CEO of DoubleLine Capital said Bitcoin will likely rally to $5,000 and investors can make an easy 25 percent gain.

I don’t recommend anything with bitcoin, really … but if you really want to speculate, I think it could make it to $5,000. Talk about an easy 25 percent,” he said during an interview with CNBC. However, he advised investors to “get the heck out of Bitcoin.”

Also called the Bond King, Gundlach’s remarks are important because he is a firm believer of the current monetary system and previously referred to Bitcoin as “the poster child for social mood and market mood.”

Some of his previous predictions have come true including the one about the massive U.S stock market sell-off in December last year.

While it is still unclear why Gundlach predicted that Bitcoin will rise to $5,000, this is an indication that the market has the potential to grow in the not-so-distant future. Investors are becoming more interested in the crypto market despite the market crash of 2018. It goes without saying that the majority of crypto traders are hoping that his prediction will come true in the short term as stakeholders hold their breath for the next bull run – although it is unlikely that it will reach the unprecedented heights of 2017.

Bitwise files for Bitcoin ETF with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission

Bitwise Asset Management, a leading provider of crypto asset index and beta funds announced on Jan. 10 that it has filed for a physically held Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The proposed ETF would track the Bitwise Bitcoin Total Return index and will capture the full value of a Bitcoin investment including meaningful hard forks.

Bitwise’s proposed ETF differs from previously filed ETFs because it relies on regulated third-party custodians to hold the physical Bitcoin and its price index draws from several cryptocurrency exchanges, representing the majority of currently verifiable Bitcoin trading.

NYSE Arca., Inc. (NYSE), the proposed listing exchange will file an application to list the Bitcoin ETF shares under a yet-to-be-determined ticker symbol.

“Bitwise expects the NYSE to file a so-called “Rule 19b-4” request with the SEC in the coming days requesting necessary NYSE rule changes in order to allow its application to be approved and the ETF to list once the registration statement is declared effective by the SEC,” read part of the blog post.

John Hyland, Global Head of Exchange-Traded Funds for Bitwise said, “While there can be no assurance that the 19b-4 application will be granted or the SEC will review and ultimately accelerate the registration statement, we are optimistic that 2019 should be the year that a bitcoin ETF launches.”

He further added that “We believe the crypto trading ecosystem has evolved in significant ways in the past year. Having a regulated bank or trust company hold physical assets of a fund has been the standard under U.S. fund regulation for the last 80 years, and we believe that is now possible with bitcoin.”

Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital launches Zcash OTC trading

Mike Novogratz’s diversified crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital announced on Jan. 10 that it has begun Zcash over-the-counter (OTC) trading and two-sided liquidity solutions.

The popular merchant bank joins other well-known crypto firms such as Circle Trade, Cumberland, and Genesis Trading in offering OTC trading for Zcash.

Galaxy Digital Trading brings to the crypto space a vast amount of experience gained from traditional finance. The latest development works in favor of Zcash and reinforces the project as one of the most important in the crypto space.

“Galaxy Digital Trading is excited to welcome Zcash into its list of tokens that we trade OTC. We look forward to the continued development of a blockchain/token ecosystem that is fundamentally changing the world,” said Yoshi Nakamura, Global Head of Sales for Galaxy.

It seems that Galaxy Digital has timed its entry very well after Cumberland recently tweeted that it was experiencing an increase in buying pressure.

“Desk Update: Historically, our OTC trading is relatively balanced between buyers and sellers. Over the last week, our OTC buy/sell ratio (by notional value) has increased approximately 60% towards counterparties buying,” tweeted Cumberland.

Galaxy Digital Holdings is one of the few companies in the crypto sector required to publicize its financial results. Partly due to the bear market of 2018, Galaxy Digital lost $136 million in cryptocurrency trading in the first nine months of 2018.

IOTA Foundation partners with Crypto Storage AG to develop institutional-grade storage infrastructure

Germany based IOTA Foundation announced via a blog post its partnership with Crypto Storage AG to offer the first professional-grade storage infrastructure for IOTA crypto tokens. The collaboration has resulted in the creation of the first multi-signature storage solution available for high volume storage of IOTA tokens worldwide.

The new storage infrastructure allows private, public, and institutional investors to safely secure and access their IOTA tokens.

Crypto Storage AG, a subsidiary of Crypto Finance AG allows investors to store at least 60 different crypto assets in professional storage facilities.

According to the blog post, the “Crypto Storage infrastructure solution raises market standards by introducing a new security paradigm, with two layers of dedicated and redundant hardware devices” and allows for a dedicated and flexible multi-signature framework.

Stijn Vander Straeten, CEO of Crypto Storage AG said, “Crypto Storage AG is proud to support the IOTA platform with our top-tier infrastructure, as we see rising demand with our clients and IOTA’s industry partners to enable the IOTA token without compromising on security.”

Sønstebø, co-founder and co-chair of IOTA Foundation weighed in on the collaboration and talked about the importance of keeping data secure.

“Keeping data secure with infrastructure from Crypto Storage AG will contribute to the development of these concepts and the IOTA Foundation’s vision of supporting a machine-to-machine economy,” he said.

Bitmain co-founders step aside as the company prepares to name a coder as the new CEO

Bitmain, the world’s largest manufacturer of cryptocurrency mining hardware is believed to be in the processing of removing its co-founders Wu Jihan and Zhan Ketuan as company co-CEOs and replace them with Wang Haichao who is currently serving as the firm’s product engineering director, reported the South China Morning Post on Jan. 10.

Jihan and Ketuan founded Bitmain in 2013 and they respectively hold 21 percent and 37 percent stakes in the company. The 32-year old Jihan is a vocal supporter of the Bitcoin Cash that underwent a chaotic hard fork in November last year.

According to sources who did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter, Haichao took over the work of the co-CEOs in December in what can be considered to be a transitional period.

There is no clear timeframe of when Haichao is expected to officially take over from the two founders who will both maintain their co-chair positions.

After the takeover, Jihan and Ketuan will not participate in the company’s day to day business activities but will have the final say on major decisions. It is also said the two founders disagreed on a number of issues during their tenure as co-CEO.

Bitmain is one of the companies affected by the bear market as the giant chip maker closed its Israeli data center and laid off its staff.

The company also filed for an IPO at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after its major rivals Canaan Creative and Ebang International made similar moves.

Circle’s stablecoin USDC surpasses $300 million

Circle’s stablecoin USDC launched in September last year has surpassed $300 million in market cap and its ecosystem has nearly 100 companies in the form of exchanges, protocols, platforms, applications, wallets, and service providers.

Circle announced via a blog post on Jan. 8 that Coinomi, Citowise, Kaiserex, Raisex, Zeppelin, and Exodus are the latest members to join the USDC ecosystem.

USDC was launched by Circle in partnership with America’s cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. The blog post explained that the stablecoin was introduced to “establish a standard for fiat on the internet and provides a governance framework and network for the global, mainstream adoption of asset-backed stablecoins.”

USDC is the second largest stablecoin by market cap and a top 20 (ranked 19th) crypto asset.

IOHK set to move to U.S state of Wyoming as Governor-elect praises local blockchain industry

The parent company of Cardano (ADA), IOHK is moving to the U.S state of Wyoming whose incoming governor is pro-crypto.

Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano has already confirmed the move. “Well actually [IOHK is] leaving Hong Kong. We’re moving to Wyoming next to Colorado in the United States. I live in Colorado. So, we’re now a US company,” he said.

Mark Gordon, the 33rd incoming Governor of Wyoming lauded the local blockchain industry in his inauguration speech.

“In just this last year, Wyoming has become the envy of the nation for its innovative approach to Blockchain with new startups like BeefChain and SheepChain. We can do more,” said the 61-year old Republican.

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