Bitcoin Bulls to Return in August, Cboe suspends Bitcoin Futures Listings
The crypto industry is as interesting as ever. Fundstrat founder Thomas Lee has predicted that Bitcoin bulls will return in August. Weiss Rating agency stirred debate when it claimed that Stellar has superior technology to Ripple. Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex has canceled the first-ever Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) due to RAID’s lack of transparency. Valerie Szczepanik of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) believes that regulation is a key factor in driving the crypto market into the spring. Bitcoin’s daily trading volume reaches its highest figures in nearly a year. As expected, the QuadrigaCX has finally forced Canadian regulators to consider creating customized regulation for the emerging crypto sector.
Cboe exchange suspends Bitcoin futures listing
The crypto market has suffered another blow. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) Futures Exchange (CFE) is putting brakes on the Bitcoin futures market.
The unit announced March 14 that it will not add a new Bitcoin futures market for this month because it needs to review its approach to the space. Bitcoin futures currently listed on the platform will not be affected by the latest developments.
In a notice addressed to traders, Cboe said,
“CFE is not adding a Cboe Bitcoin (USD) (“XBT”) futures contract for trading in March 2019. CFE is assessing in its approach with respect to how it plans to continue to offer digital asset derivatives for trading. While it considers its next steps, CFE does not currently intend to list additional XBT futures contracts for trading.”
Crypto exchange cancels its RAID Initial Exchange Offering (IEO)
U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex recently announced that it was planning to launch an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) on behalf of RAID (XRD).
Well, it is no longer happening.
Bittrex, one of the top 50 exchanges by trading volume, initially briefed its users via a Twitter post that it was canceling the RAID IEO as a result of last-minute but significant changes.
“Trust and integrity are the most valuable assets of Bittrex International. As a result of significant, last-minute changes with RAID, we have canceled the IEO offering of the RAID token. We apologize for the inconvenience. We will provide a more complete statement shortly,” tweeted the exchange on March 14.
The exchange followed up the tweet with an in-depth statement stating why and how the decision to cancel the IEO was made.
The exchange said that it discovered that RAID had its lost its partnership with OP.GG – a key part of RAID’s project.
“We decided to cancel the IEO as a result of significant changes in the business status of RAID. Specifically, a few hours ago, OP.GG terminated its strategic partnership with RAID, which was a vital part of the RAID project,” reads an excerpt from the full statement.
OP.GG posted a notice on its website stating that it has no cooperation or association with the RAID Coin.
“OP.GG has stopped all potential business discussions related to RAID project and there will be no economic and technical cooperation with RAID coin,” cautioned OP.GG.
Coinbase Pro gives an update on its market structure
Coinbase Pro is set to implement a set of new market changes on March 22 in order to optimize the health of the platform. The changes have been made so that there is increased liquidity, easy discovery of better price trades, and to make price movement smoother.
The number of changes that include new fee structure, the addition of market order protection points, the phasing out of stop market orders among others.
“Coinbase is focused on providing our customers the best liquidity and trading experiences. We continue to refine our market structure over time, using a principle-based goal of generating the highest value to our customers,” said Coinbase in the announcement.
Weiss Ratings: Stellar (XLM) has better technology than Ripple’s (XRP)
Financial rating agency Weiss Ratings announced on Twitter that Stellar’s (XLM) technology is superior to that of Ripple (XRP). This comes after XLM was listed on Coinbase Pro shortly after XRP was also listed on the same platform.
Ripple has for a long term enjoyed sitting at the top of the table in terms of projects focusing on cross border payments and Weiss Rating has acknowledged this before.
In a tweet recently posted, the agency said,
“Stellar joins XRP on Coinbase Pro in all states except NY, makes it easier to purchase. This will hopefully bring more adoption to Stellar – it’s superior tech compared to XRP.”
Stellar was created by Jed McCaleb, a computer programmer who also co-founded Ripple but reportedly left the company after disagreements with management.
Many people are surprised by the new ratings as Stellar has not had as much impact as Ripple. Ripple has onboarded more clients. XRP is the third largest digital asset by market cap while XLM sits on the eighth position.
U.S. SEC: Crypto spring will come from regulation
The crypto winter is long and cold and almost everyone is hoping for a crypto spring. A U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC) insider knows when this might be.
Valerie Szczepanik believes that regulation will likely boost the crypto sector.
Speaking to a crowd in Texas, SEC’S advisor for digital assets Szczepanik said,
“I do think if we hope to smell the crypto spring in the air, it will take people walking with the regulators. But I do think the spring is going to come.”
A lot was said by Szczepanik and in conclusion, she urged companies to work with regulators first if they want to avoid trouble.
“We’d much rather have people come and ask us before they do something rather than coming and asking for forgiveness,” she said.
Bitcoin trading volume reaches more than $11 billion for the first in almost a year
The daily trading volume of Bitcoin, the original and most popular digital asset exceeded $11 billion on March 15, the highest figure observed in a 24-hour trading period last seen on April 25, 2018.
Back then, the average price of BTC was $8,845 while its current price is $3,959 – less than half of what it was then. Despite the price decline, the daily trading volume figure is a clear indication that investors are not yet throwing the towel on Bitcoin.
Bitcoin bulls will be back. In six months. Says Fundstrat founder Tom Lee
The crypto industry is experiencing a bearish run since reaching record high in January 2018 and the majority of investors and traders want a change of fortunes. And it may happen in five to six months, at least according to well-known Bitcoin bull, Thomas Lee, the co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors.
In an interview with CNBC on March 14, Lee – who in December said that he would no longer be giving timeframes about price changes – predicted that the market can make a U-turn in August.
He told the publication that “the key number to watch is the 200-day moving average.”
“If Bitcoin holds above $4,000, it’ll cross its 200-day [moving average] by August, so I think the outside window is five to six months before Bitcoin starts to look technically like it’s back in a bull market,” he continued.
With regards to the contentious, controversial, and damaging November Bitcoin Cash hard fork, Lee believes that the drop from $6,000 to $3,000 damaged the industry.
“I think it really undermined investor confidence and the dynamics around the market,” said Lee.
Bitcoin reached an all-time high in December 2017 before succumbing to the longest bear market in the digital asset’s 10-year history.
Canadian securities regulator responds to QuadrigaCX scandal as it moves towards regulating crypto platforms
The Canadian authorities have finally reacted to the QuadrigaCX scandal. The scandal came to light following the death of its founder – Gerald Cotten – and later announced that $135 million in customer funds was “frozen” as the late Cotten was the only one who had access to customer funds.
The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) announced on March 14 that they are considering drafting bespoke regulation to address risks and features of crypto platforms, reported Reuters.
IIROC CEO Andrew Kriegler said that the market needs regulatory clarity and investors need protection.
“We must adapt to innovation, and provide clarity to the market about how regulatory requirements might best be tailored and applied to these unique business models, while maintaining investor protection,” said Kriegler.
The QuadrigaCX scandal exposed regulatory loopholes in Canada and raised the important question of who needs to be held accountable should anything go wrong with customer funds.
Canada’s biggest regulator in the securities market, the Ontario Securities Commission, announced last month that it was looking into the platform due to the harm inflicted on Ontario investors.
Global banking watchdog says that crypto assets are a threat to global banks
Global banking watchdog, the Basel Committee has warned that the proliferation and growth of digital assets such as Bitcoin pose a serious threat to global banks and financial stability, although their adoption is yet to reach worldwide scale.
The committee further warned that digital assets should not be substituted for money and are not a safe or reliable medium of exchange and store of value. Similar claims have been made Professor Nouriel Roubini, a well-known economist who bashes Bitcoin at every turn and opportunity.
The watchdog said that although banks have limited exposure to digital assets, they have to up their game in order to minimize risk.
The committee said that the virtual assets are highly volatile and expose banks to financial crimes such as fraud and terrorism financing.
Crypto assets have a love-hate relationship with major global regulatory bodies.
In October last year, the Financial Stability Board published a report in which it stated that cryptocurrencies do not pose a threat to financial stability as the market is still small but warned that the industry would pose a threat in the future if gains popularity.
Tendermint Inc. raises $9 million in series A funding round led by Paradigm
Tendermint Inc., a company that builds important infrastructure for decentralized applications (Dapps) announced via a blog post published March 14 that it has secured $9 million in series A financing round led by cryptocurrency investment firm Paradigm.
Yale’s endowment fund has invested in Paradigm. Other participants in the funding round include Bain Capital, 1Confirmation, and more.
Tendermint has created products that include Cosmos SDK and Tendermint Core. The funding couldn’t have come at a better time because it coincides with the main network (MainNet) launch of Cosmos Hub.
Cosmos Hub has gone live and opens up an opportunity for other projects to “prototype their own public blockchains” using Tendermint’s technologies.
Tendermint CEO Jae Kwon acknowledges that blockchain is a wonderful technology but is limited by a number of factors that need to be addressed. This, according to Kwon, is the reason for the existence of Tendermint – to create “an internet of blockchains.”
“Blockchain technology is an incredible innovation that has unfortunately been hamstrung by a series of limitations, including scalability problems, a lack of usability and myriad governance and environmental issues,” said Kwon.
He added that:
“The vision of Cosmos is to overcome these limitations and break down barriers to innovation, ultimately creating an Internet of Blockchains: a decentralized network of independent, scalable, and interoperable blockchains.”
Venture capitalist Brock Pierce predicts the growth of Dapps and STOs
Former child actor, crypto entrepreneur, and founder of EOS Alliance Brock Pierce had an interview with Forbes in which he predicted the growth of Dapps, security token offerings (STOs), and the gaming industry.
He said that Dapps are starting to make their mark as platforms like Ethereum, Tron, EOS, etc. are opening the doors for developers to work on Dapps.
He said that he likes the bear market because when prices are high, “very little gets built because teams don’t stick around.”
“Everyone is getting rich too quick and that de-motivates people. All the best things I’ve seen built in this ecosystem have been built in bear markets,” he said.
He said Dapps can really take off if they are scalable, fast, and frictionless and fee-less.
He was very optimistic about STOs and went as far as saying:
“Security tokens are going to give birth to a quadrillion dollar market. This is because we will see the tokenization of the world’s fiat money, debt market, real estate, equities, and art.”
Binance Coin host a summer party of its own as its price triples in 3 months
Amid the bear market and price decline, Binance Coin (BNB), the native token of cryptocurrency exchange Binance is having a summer party of its own. The digital asset has enjoyed a boom of after its price tripled in the last three months to reach just over $15.
The boom comes at a time when the majority of digital assets have done little to nothing to reverse the losses of last year and some of these assets have already lost more than 90 percent of their peak value.
Binance Coin’s market cap has grown from $598 million on Dec. 15 last year to its current valuation north of $2.1 billion. In the midst of the price fluctuations, BNB has stormed in the top list and is now the seventh largest digital asset by market cap.
The rise in BNB is another twist in the rise of Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the co-founder and CEO of Binance.
“This is the best executing team in crypto. We expect to hold them for the foreseeable future,” said Tushar Jain, a managing partner at Multicoin Capital Management, a Texas-based hedge fund.
BNB is mainly used by investors to pay trading fees required to access Binance’s trading services. Binance is one of the largest exchanges by trading volume and boosts of nearly $1 billion in daily trading volume.
The exchange uses a portion of its profits to buy back tokens and burn them and has left many people wondering if the digital asset is a security. CZ doesn’t think that it is a security.
“Personally, I don’t think it’s a security. “I don’t think that there’s any regulation against destroying assets you have yourself. In the worst case, we can stop the burning process,” said CZ.
ICE may add more digital assets to its Cryptocurrency Data Feed
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the world’s largest stock exchange, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) hinted via a tweet that it may be adding a huge number of digital assets to its Cryptocurrency Data Feed.
ICE’s Cryptocurrency Data Feed was launched in January this year and “delivers real-time and historical data for the most widely and actively traded cryptocurrencies.”
The tweet reveals that the firm is going to add thousands of coins to its data as well as hundreds of venues. ICE states that the data feed was established in order to increase transparency in the crypto market.
ICE’s data feed currently supports 58 coins from several data sources, markets, and exchanges. ICE is planning to launch the eagerly-awaited Bakkt later this year after several rounds of delays. The project has garnered the attention of high-profile investors and partners that include tech giant Microsoft and the popular Starbucks.
Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles found guilty and receives a suspended sentence
It was an overall good day for Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of the Mt. Gox exchange famous for losing around $450 million in 2014 through a hack.
Karpeles was convicted by Tokyo District Court of some of the crimes leveled against him and was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison. However, the sentence was suspended on the condition that he remains on good behavior over the next four years.
The former CEO was not found guilty on embezzlement and violation of company law charges. He was found guilty of record tampering.
“I am grateful to the court and happy to be judged not guilty for embezzlement and breach of trust,” said Karpeles to the crypto publication The Block.