Institutions Bet on Bitcoin Despite Year-Long Bear Market, Grayscale’s Report Reveals

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Institutions Bet on Bitcoin Despite Year-Long Bear Market, Grayscale’s Report Reveals

Grayscale revealed that Bitcoin products were invested in most, with 66 percent of inflows received from institutional investors.

Institutions Bet on Bitcoin Despite Year-Long Bear Market, Grayscale’s Report Reveals

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Mike Novogratz Argues that Bitcoin Will Eventually Become Digital Gold

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Mike Novogratz Argues that Bitcoin Will Eventually Become Digital Gold

Mike Novogratz has announced once more that he is confident bitcoin will become a store of value in future even overtaking gold for that purpose to become the ultimate digital gold.

Mike Novogratz Argues that Bitcoin Will Eventually Become Digital Gold

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Mike Novogratz: All the Big Macro Funds Should Hold at Least Small Percentage in Bitcoin

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Mike Novogratz: All the Big Macro Funds Should Hold at Least Small Percentage in Bitcoin

Mike Novogratz, the chief executive of the TSX-listed Galaxy Digital, made a surprising remark that came straight out of left field saying that he doesn’t understand why large macro funds don’t have a 1% position in Bitcoin (BTC).

Mike Novogratz: All the Big Macro Funds Should Hold at Least Small Percentage in Bitcoin

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Is It #BUIDL That Will Decide Next Amazon of Cryptoworld or Most Cryptocurrencies will die?

While all investors are hunting for the coin or token that will multiply their wealth manifold, CZ has come forward asking investors to look into their portfolios and identify the coin whose teams are actually working and progressing on their respective roadmaps.
Not everyone will survive this crypto craze say crypto experts
Discussing which coins and projects would sustain, CZ spelled out Twitter that when the market turns back to its bullish days and move towards its all times highs again, a lot of coins that were created and raised money through ICO’s will reach zero and die. According to CZ its, only the teams that are working and #Buidling will ultimately prove winners and these are the coins that will make money for investors. CZ also asks investors to review their holding and eliminate the coins and tokens whose teams are not progressing with their works.

When markets do go back up that doesn't mean all projects will.
A lot of coins with no development will die.Review your holdings. Make sure teams are WORKING👀 https://t.co/sikvGBNzY9
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) February 10, 2019

CZ’s tweet is a clear indication that projects that put in the effort will ultimately survive to bring the dawn of decentralization and cryptocurrency to this world. And it’s not just CZ a lot of research and personalities in the crypto world have said the same.
In July, last year, a research conducted by Boston College academics reveals that most crypto startups that have raised money via initial coin offerings (ICO) and crowdfunding have a pretty short lifespan and most projects do not survive even 120 days which is 4months from their launch. The research was conducted by authors – Hugo Benedetti, assistant professor at the Carroll School of Management and finance Ph.D. student Leonard Kostovetsky.
The authors based their analysis by studying the official Twitter accounts maintained by these projects and their founders. According to the report, the authors estimated that the survival rate of the startups, 120 days after the end of the sale, was only 44.2%. The assumption is that companies that are inactive on social media in the fifth month most probably did not survive. The report covered almost 2,400 ICOs and examined over 1,000 Twitter accounts.
A similar sentiment was put forward by Goldman Sachs early last year, its Head of Global Investment Research and Chair of the Global Markets Institute, Steve Strongin mentioned that Most digital currencies are unlikely to survive in their current form, and investors should prepare for them to lose all their value. According to him, many virtual currencies lack long-term staying power because of slow transaction times, security challenges and high maintenance costs.
“Are any of today’s cryptocurrencies going to be an Amazon or a Google, or will they end up like many of the now-defunct search engines? Just because we are in a speculative bubble does not mean current prices can’t increase for a handful of survivors. At the same time, it probably does mean that most, if not all, will never see their recent peaks again,”
A lot other crypto influencers have also said that its real progress on roadmaps will help most altcoins to survive. Yoni Assia, the CEO of eToro, a social trading platform that supports a range of cryptocurrencies had mentioned to Business Insider that
“Ninety-five percent (ICO-Coins ) is going to end as nothing because that’s startup funding,”
Joseph Lubin, the co-founder of cryptocurrency Ethereum, has often compared the crypto boom to the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s that ended in a spectacular bust in the early 2000s. Speaking at a press conference at MoneyConf in Dublin, Lubin had mentioned
“If you look at the dotcom boom and bust, there were so many of the same issues back then. So much money invested, lots of money lost, lots of failing projects.”
Dominik Schiener, another influential name in cryptos and the creator of IOTA was also heard saying he expects less than 10 of the more than 1,400 crypto projects that have sprung up over the last two years to survive
While everyone who understand cryptos, be it influencers, researchers or even Wall Street investment banks believe that it’s the fundamentals and real development that counts.
For all, it’s the same mantra- those projects that do survive will transform the world and make huge amounts of money for those who back them.
Which Coins and Tokens do you believe will make money for its investors in long run? Do let us know your views on the same
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Bitcoin & Cryptos will see a Sharp Breakout in Coming Years, Goldman Sachs-backed Circle’s CEO

While some are calling out for Bitcoin to tank, others like Goldman Sachs-powered Circle are seeing a bright future for Bitcoin and crypto.
Crypto is Fundamental to the Future
Currently, the crypto space is going through a prolonged bear market after touching the peak in December 2017. The market has seen several attempts by bulls to reverse the downward trend with no success. However, experts are predicting this year for Bitcoin to make its journey to recovery. Though the reversal is yet to come, crypto experts believe Bitcoin has a far more serious and fundamental role to play in future.
With the World Economic Forum held in Davos in full swing, the crypto market is getting a lot of attention from the industry experts and central banks. While at one side, the remarks of Bitcoin going to zero are making news, crypto believers like Goldman Sachs-powered Circle are keeping the crypto enthusiasts positive.
The chief executive of Circle, Jeremy Allaire believes digital assets and the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin will play a crucial role in the future.
“People throw around ‘crypto’ like it’s a bad thing…- it’s scary. Guess what? Cryptography is at the foundation of protecting modern society, human privacy. It’s a fundamental tool of our cyber defenses. It’s a fundamental tool of every corporation.”
According to him, crypto has a greater role to play in the future, as “Crypto is fundamental to the future. We need tamper-proof, resilient, decentralized infrastructure if we want society to survive the digital age,” said Allaire.
It’s Much More Transformative then the Web
Allaire says digital currencies are versatile as, “It can be used in lending transactions, in payment transactions. It allows you to make dollar payments, globally, at pennies and in seconds to minutes. It’s a really powerful innovation.”
“We see this as much more transformative even than the web. We think this has a long arc that will have a far greater impact on our civic institutions and our economic institutions.”
Moving onto the central banks, he said, “We’re huge proponents of central bank digital currency and we believed in that for a very long time. Our view is that the creation of cryptocurrencies that are based on central bank money is happening in the private sector first. We launched USD Coin last fall. It’s growing rapidly.”
Recently he had shared that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will see a huge breakout as Bitcoin as a Store of Value asset “will become much much larger and more broadly adopted and those other crypto assets will be used in an incredibly broad array of everyday transactions.”
Allaire is a long term believer in Bitcoin as he states last month,
“The key thing with Bitcoin is it’s unique in its security and its scale. And this idea that we need a scarce, non-sovereign store of value that individuals can hold in a protected fashion, that’s attractive all around the world. And I think it will be increasingly attractive.”
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Bitcoin could Become the Global Currency amidst the Worldwide Chaos

Some like Max Keiser says Bitcoin could be the resistance currency while others like Jack Dorsey says Bitcoin could be the internet currency. With the way the global debt is rising, the stock market is reportedly waiting for a collapse, countries like Russia are planning de-dollarisation, economies like the US and China are having trade wars, currencies like Bolivar are biting the dust and banks are controlling people’s money, Bitcoin could become the global currency.
The Currency of Resistance
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Goldman is betting on weaker US dollar as the strategist wrote,
“Combined with net softer U.S. data for December, we think a more data-dependent Fed creates space for further dollar downside,” after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell boosted the chance that bank will pause increasing interest rates.
The downward slide of world reserve currency along with the de-dollarization plans of Russia and China among other countries could see Bitcoin gain traction.
Recently, French banks have been closing down, not allowing withdrawals and putting a restriction on the debit cards according to the mainstream news coverage.
In response to this, Bitcoin proponent and investor Max Keiser said, this can become “part of global insurrections against banking occupation” and “the first global insurrection to fight against globalism and the global dominance of central banks.” Back in December, he had advised the French protesters, “If every French person converted 20% of their bank deposits into Bitcoin, French banks would collapse and a lot of bloodshed could be avoided.”
In his recent episode, he also talked about the fraud committed by Wells Fargo for which it has been fined $575 million by the US government, “Fraud runs the American economy. Without fraud, there would be no GDP whatsoever.”
Talking about the banking model he said, “You keep 90 cents of every dollar you steal. That’s their model. That’s what their earnings are based on. If you stripped out the fraud from Wells Fargo’s business model, they would be losing an unconscionable amount of money, and they would actually have to declare bankruptcy many, many quarters ago.”
The Most Rock-Solid Monetary Policy
Now, with the Yellow Vests Movement in France, Bitcoin can emerge as the currency of resistance. On Bitcoin being the currency of resistance, Bitcoin developer, Jimmy Song stated,
“All of these protest movements and things like that they are going after changing who’s in charge. Really what they should be doing is taking power back for themselves, decentralizing power. It starts with bitcoin… That’s a much more peaceful revolution that’s possible with bitcoin.”
According to Keiser, the three important variables of Bitcoin, its price, hash rate and difficulty adjustment that ensures 10-minute emission remains constant make it the “most rock-solid monetary policy.”
“That emission schedule of coins coming on every ten minutes makes bitcoin the central bank of the world with the most rock-solid monetary policy there is,” said Keiser.
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Source: CoinGape

Wall Street Crypto Dreams Hit A Roadblock as Cryptos Stay Far Away from All- Time Highs

Wall Street Money is like a holy grail for crypto markets and everyone on the street is waiting for its arrival on the crypto-street. While the wait continues and markets still far away from its all-time highs, it looks like a lot of Wall Street Firms that had announced their crypto plans are either differing or shelving it.
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Barclays move slow and steady towards cryptos   
According to a recent report published by Bloomberg, plummeting crypto markets and regulatory uncertainty has forced a lot of Wall Street firms and Banks to shelf their crypto plans. Even though a lot of them continue to develop a trading infrastructure, the pace of it is definitely gone down reason being collapse in the value of virtual coins.
Goldman Sachs which was among the prominent names to have announced its crypto plans seems to have slowed down its setup process to a pace where is progress is barely visible and noticeable according to people familiar with its crypto business. Many people in the industry are now found saying that it was idealistic to have expected last year’s frenzy to translate into a Wall Street crypto offering but nothing materialized once the market started plummeting.
Goldman remains the point of focus for expectations of an establishment embrace of crypto. The firm was among the first on Wall Street to clear Bitcoin futures and people familiar with the matter said last year it was preparing a trading desk—the bank even provided its bankers to the New York Times for an interview on its plans.  The bank has yet to offer to the trade of crypto and has gained little traction for its NDF product, having signed up just 20 clients, according to people familiar with the matter. Justin Schmidt, who was hired to head its digital-asset business, said at an industry conference last month that regulators are limiting what he can do. Still, Goldman plans to add a digital-assets specialist to its prime brokerage division, the person said.
Its not just Goldman, Morgan Stanley, the other wall street giant, which hired Andrew Peel as its head of digital assets earlier in the year, has been technically prepared to offer swaps tracking Bitcoin futures since at least September, but so far hasn’t traded a single contract, according a person familiar with the matter. A person with knowledge of the business said in September the contracts would be launched once there was enough evidence that there is significant institutional client demand.
Citigroup too is part of the Wall Street Wolf Pack. The bank too has not traded any of the products it designed for cryptocurrencies within existing regulatory structures, according to a separate person with knowledge of its business.
The story remains the same across Atlantic where Barclays Plc, which had spoken about client interest on a cryptocurrency trading desk, is almost back to square one. Earlier in the yea,r the British bank had hired two former oil traders—Chris Tyrer and Matthieu Jobbe Duval—to evaluate the crypto business but according to sources Barclays has laid them off. Tyrer, who led the digital-assets project, left in September, while Jobbe Duval followed two months later, according to people familiar with the matter. Barclays currently has no plans for a crypto trading desk, according to a spokesman.
There have been few quotes from the street that describe the situation
“The market had unrealistic expectations that Goldman or any of its peers could suddenly start a Bitcoin trading business,” said Daniel H. Gallancy, chief executive officer of New York-based SolidX Partners, which hopes to launch a Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. “That was top-of-the-market-hype thinking.”
Another one coming from Eugene Ng, a former Deutsche Bank AG trader in Singapore who has set up crypto hedge fund Circuit Capital.
“It appears as if progress is coming to a halt, yet nothing could be further from the truth, The bear market is going to allow many of these institutions to build the proper foundations without rushing to build-out infrastructure without adequate testing for fear of missing out on a gold rush.”
Will the market revival get these firms back in the game or its regulatory clarity that will do the job is something that one will have to wait and watch? But one thing is for sure it’s not going to be for Wall Street Money to find its way into cryptocurrencies
Will the Wall Street Money reach Crypto Street despite all roadblocks? Do let us know your views on the same
The post Wall Street Crypto Dreams Hit A Roadblock as Cryptos Stay Far Away from All- Time Highs appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin Hits Two-Week High Promising Further Bull Run in 2019

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Bitcoin Hits Two-Week High Promising Further Bull Run in 2019

Bitcoin moves up on Wednesday reaching two-week highs. The rally combined with the prevailing bull flags indicate that recovery may be peeping around the horizon.

Bitcoin Hits Two-Week High Promising Further Bull Run in 2019

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Ex-Goldman Exec Believes the Crypto Market Will Thrive in the Long-term

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Ex-Goldman Exec Believes the Crypto Market Will Thrive in the Long-term

An Ex-Goldman is among the few notable investors remaining positive on the crypto markets. He holds his ground in spite of other institutional investors exiting the crypto space.

Ex-Goldman Exec Believes the Crypto Market Will Thrive in the Long-term

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Overall Cryptocurrency Market Lands Its Second Day of Recovery

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Overall Cryptocurrency Market Lands Its Second Day of Recovery

After literally months of waiting, a cryptocurrency market bounces forward and the majority of cryptos started to gain double figures on the day with a $10 billion injection pumps crypto markets.

Overall Cryptocurrency Market Lands Its Second Day of Recovery

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Former Goldman Sachs Exec Launches Crypto Startup Amid Bear Market

Although many are enamored with bashing the colloquial term “BUIDL,” for many Bitcoin diehards, 2018’s crypto market lull has been a time to unironically bolster this industry’s underlying infrastructure. This isn’t just hearsay, as 2018 has arguably been crypto’s strongest year yet, in terms of promising products, platforms, and startups, rather than day-to-day price action.
Some of the world’s largest corporations and financial entities, such as the Intercontinental Exchange, Citigroup, Nasdaq, Microsoft, IBM, and Goldman Sachs, have all instituted crypto-centric initiatives. Yet, while these efforts are undeniably valiant, there remain entry barriers for a majority of keen parties, which curtails the growth of this industry. This issue isn’t flying under the radar, however, as startups have continued to crop up, seemingly in a bid to usher household names into this embryonic ecosystem.
Meet Peter Thiel-backed Tagomi
Peter Thiel, the head honcho of the so-called “Paypal Mafia” — ex-Paypal executives turned hotshots in Silicon Valley and Wall Street — has long been open to the concept of Bitcoin. On multiple occasions, Thiel, an advocate for libertarian principles, claimed that Bitcoin could become a hedge against economic downturns. So, it should as no surprise that his illustrious venture capital group, the San Francisco-based Founders Fund, has made notable capital allocations into crypto startups.
As reported by NewsBTC in early-May, one of the fund’s allocations into this industry took the form of a multi-million dollar financing of Tagomi, a little-known firm at the time, with not much more than an ambitious vision. Now, over half a year since Tagomi secured Thiel’s rare stamp of approval, the startup has put its grandiose plan into action.
On Monday, Tagomi, potentially slated to become the Fidelity Investments of the cryptosphere, launched its prime broker-dealer services — purportedly the first of its kind. For those who missed the memo, the startup is primarily focused on executing large orders for its bigwig clients.
Speaking with Bloomberg, the upstart’s co-founder, Greg Tusar, and other key executives explained how its system operates. Tagomi takes advantage of its access to an array of exchanges to produce a liquidity pool, easing slippage for gargantuan block orders, while ensuring that transparency and proper trade reporting is upheld. Tusar, a former Goldman Sachs magnate, explained that there currently are pertinent issues plaguing crypto-friendly high net-worth investors today, namely custody, security, and a lack of liquidity. He stated:
“The current environment is challenging, for sure, but we think there’s a lot of longer-term demand for digital assets and helping clients understand the transformative impact of crypto and blockchain.”
In a separate interview with The Block, Tusar alluded to the fact that Tagomi is, or is aiming to, fill that gaping hole in this industry, and quick. He explained that there hasn’t been a single platform that has shepherded clients from depositing fiat, deciding on an investment thesis, allocating capital to cryptocurrencies, securing holdings, and all the way to managing these investments for the long haul. This is, of course, where the Peter Thiel-backed entity aims to come in and lend a helping hand.
Institutions Look To Buy The Crypto Dip
This launch of this innovative platform only underscores the fact that institutions see value in cryptocurrencies, but have resorted to staying on the sidelines due to the blockades that remain. Still, a number of startups backed by well-known institutions, like Fidelity and TD Ameritrade, have aimed to solve this problem.
Related Reading: Why Are Novogratz, Fidelity, And Bakkt Banking On Institutional Crypto Investors?
Fidelity, for instance, recently launched a crypto-centric subsidiary — Fidelity Digital Asset Services (FDAS) — after downing the Bitcoin red pill in 2014, when the firm’s launched its in-house blockchain research group. FDAS has its eyes on becoming a spiritual successor of its parent, but specifically in the context of crypto. More specifically, the fledgling arm has ambitions to launch top-notch cryptocurrency custody, coupled with trade execution for Fidelity’s 13,000 institutional clients.
Similar moves from Bakkt, which has close ties to the parent of the New York Stock Exchange, and ErisX, a similar offering funded in part by TD Ameritrade, have again, only accentuated abounding institutional interest for digital assets. But the question that remains on everyone’s mind is — who will be the one to capture that demand?
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Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Join CLS’s FX Settlement System Powered by IBM

With the hype of blockchain, the first global Forex market (FX) enterprise based on blockchain went live today. CLS Group or Continuous Linked Settlement is US financial enterprise that offers settlement services across FX market participants.  In July, CLS tied up with IBM for Proof of Concept via CLT platform to precede service on a shared network.
FX Market To Improve Efficiency With CLSNet
The announcement revealed that Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley with six other banks from North America, Europe, Asia and Bank of China (Hong Kong) have joined the live system of CLSNet, initiated by IBM and CLS. Additionally, the other market participants will soon join the board, CLS said.
Reports also disclosed its key aim behind launching CLSNet is to offer better bilateral netting service for FX market participants. This is to reduce settlement risk as well as to improve operational efficiency. With the launch, the firm agreed to work under regulatory stance by complying with FX Global Code of Conduct.
Alan Marquard, chief strategy and development officer at CLS said:
“A standardized and automated payment netting process will lead to improved intraday liquidity, reduced cost, improved operational efficiencies and ultimately support business growth.”
Also IBM Blockchain’s general manager, Marie Wieck described the initiative as
It is a testament to the ongoing maturity of blockchain technology and the value that it can deliver in practice,”
IMB Blockchain Emerged
Notably, CLSNet counts as the third blockchain system powered by IBM within 2018 – following IBM’s food tracking platform (IBM Food Trust) and trade finance software (We.trade). In specific, the new FX netting system will be based on IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric distributed ledger technology (DLT). Consequently, It has been revealed that the CLSNet will
“runs on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric blockchain framework”,
Viewing the current system running on FX market, CLS said that the manual processes are not completely standardized or scalable and will likely to have an intervention. Market participants by opting gross payment settlement instead of net payment are apt to encounter settlement risk which eventually leads to intraday liquidity demands. Hence the CLSNet is launched to mitigate these risks.
It said;
“The impact of limited payment netting is exacerbated by the high settlement costs associated with emerging market currencies, despite their increased relevance for FX market participants”,
Barry Lo, General Manager of Bank of China (Hong Kong) is confident of CLSNet service. He said;
“CLSNet [will]… enhance operational efficiency in trade matching and payment netting for non-CLS settled currencies such as CNH, and strengthen our risk management. This underscores our strong commitment to driving Fintech innovation and represents a major step forward in the application of new technology in our businesses.”
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Source: CoinGape

IBM and CLS Finally Go Live with Their Blockchain-based Payment Service CLSNet

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IBM and CLS Finally Go Live with Their Blockchain-based Payment Service CLSNet

CLSNet will help to overcome the existing issues of trade settlement risks, intraday liquidity, and operational efficiency in the global forex market.

IBM and CLS Finally Go Live with Their Blockchain-based Payment Service CLSNet

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Goldman Sachs’s digital asset market head: Current bear run in the crypto market is healthy

Justin Schmidt, the head of digital asset markets at Goldman Sachs, acknowledged the concerns related to security raised by various clients in relation to crypto assets during a conference in New York. As the crypto market is facing a tough time tackling the bear, investors are trying to seek refuge in the form of getting security for their digital asset.
Goldman Sachs, the investment banking giant, had earlier made it clear that they won’t be joining the volatile crypto market, according to Bloomberg.
The investment banking firm will keep away from the market until some level of clarity is provided on the regulations. Schmidt offered a response to all his clients for the pressing question and reasoned with them about the current hurdles. He said:
“One of the things they ask me is ‘can you hold our coins?’ and I say ‘no, we cannot,” One of the things we have to take into consideration when we’re building out our business is what we can and cannot do from a regulatory perspective.”
Schmidt mentioned that the clients’ panic of securing their asset, especially at the rate at which the price of the cryptocurrency in falling, is justifiable.
VanEck, an investment management firm, is still in the race for creating a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund [ETF] and the change in the crypto market might increase the pressure on Goldman Sachs to expand the horizons when it comes to client servicing.
Schmidt acknowledged the decision of Fidelity, an investment management firm, to join the cryptocurrency market, but also realized that institutional investors fall on the conservative side, thus increasing the concerns related to custodial security. The head of digital asset markets said:
“Custody is this foundational piece that is absolutely necessary. Custody is part of an overall integrated system where different parts need to work well with each other and safely with each other and you have to be able to trust all the different parts in that chain, from buying something to transferring it to storing it in for the long-term.”
In conclusion, Schmidt motivated crypto investors who are facing the burn of the falling market by saying that a swift shift will help in putting an end to some less desirable and rampant speculation prevailing in the industry today. He said:
“In many ways, the rampant speculation that has been quelled over the past several months is really healthy for the ecosystem and I very much look forward to companies that are actually providing institutional-grade products and services.”
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Source: AMB Crypto

Crypto Week In Review: Goldman Sachs Furthers Crypto Foray, Coinbase Secures Funding

Although relative non-action in crypto markets has continued, with prices stagnating en-masse, prominent institutions, such as Goldman Sachs and Tiger Global, still seem ready to pounce on what this nascent industry has to offer.
Goldman Sachs Onboards Exclusive Investors For Bitcoin Products
Per an insider scoop from The Block, Wall Street’s golden child, Goldman Sachs, recently began to onboard a “small number” of institutional clients to test the waters for Bitcoin (BTC) non-deliverable forward contracts. The vehicle, which is a futures-tied derivatives instrument, will reportedly be the first on Goldman’s rumored crypto-centric trading desk, which was first hinted at in May 2018.
Along with apparently offering the aforementioned BTC-related contracts, the multinational financial services firm is supposedly also looking into ways to provide custodial support for the crypto assets held by its clients, confirming previous reports on the matter.
Interestingly, however, the individual familiar with Goldman’s operations claimed that rumors pertaining to an Ether (ETH) futures-tied contract were inaccurate. As noted by The Block, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commision (CFTC) has yet to unveil its support for Ether futures, supporting the insider claim that Goldman isn’t poised to launch a vehicle linked to the second-most popular crypto asset.
Regardless, taking this development into account, optimists have claimed that Goldman Sachs has a high likelihood of only furthering its involvement in this nascent market as time elapses, bolstering the maturation of this now-10-year-old market.
Funding Secured: Coinbase Concludes Series E Round
After weeks of rumors surrounding Coinbase’s supposedly swelling valuation, on Tuesday, the cryptocurrency upstart’s president, Asiff Hirji, finally divulged that the organization had concluded its Series E financing round.
This most recent round of funding sees the startup’s coffers add $300 million in investment capital at a valuation of $8 billion, confirming the aforementioned rumors. This equity round, which occurred amid a harsh bear market, was led by Tiger Global, with Y Combinator Continuity, Wellington Management, Andreessen Horowitz, and Polychain also throwing funds in Coinbase’s metaphorical crock pot.
With this boatload of funding, Hirji noted that Coinbase intends to accelerate its plans to expand globally, (quickly) add more digital assets, build more utility applications for this industry, and facilitate the arrival of institutions into crypto.
Wall Street’s BlackRock Hesitant To Back Bitcoin ETF, Waiting For “Legitimacy” 
Speaking at the New York Times DealBook Conference, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, claimed that his firm is hesitant to offer a Bitcoin-centric exchange-traded fund (ETF). Although he didn’t seem overtly against the long-term success of blockchain technologies, Fink claimed that BlackRock is unlikely to back a crypto-based ETF due to the current illegitimacy of this nascent industry.
The leading institutional investor then noted that “ultimately,” a cryptocurrency-backed ETF would “need to be backed by a government.” However, he pointed out that a government’s support of such a fund is a near-impossibility, as Fink whipped out the classic bag of tricks enlisted by Bitcoin’s critics, citing fears of tax evasion and the like.
Furthering his anti-Bitcoin narrative, the BlackRock bigwig added that the anonymity of Bitcoin could pose a problem, stating:
“I do see one day where we could have electronic trading for a currency that could be a store of wealth… But right now the world doesn’t need a store of wealth unless you need that store of wealth for things you should not be doing.”
Interestingly, in spite of his apparent feelings of distrust and hate aimed towards the Bitcoin Network, Fink, speaking on behalf of BlackRock, claimed that he is “a huge believer in blockchain [technologies].” Commenting on optimal uses for blockchain technologies, the executive added:
“The biggest use for blockchain will be in mortgages, mortgage applications, mortgage ownership, anything that’s labored with paper.”
Fink’s views on blockchain aside, the bottom line is that BlackRock isn’t ready to launch a Bitcoin ETF, despite the hearsay that the institution briefly spoke with Coinbase regarding the matter.
Grayscale Rakes In $330 Million Amid Crypto Bear Market
Although the valuation of cryptocurrencies has collapsed by upwards of 70%, some claim that there is a definite silver lining in the crypto cloud, with Grayscale Investments releasing a positive report highlighting the performance of its business. In its most recent quarterly update, Grayscale, a subsidiary of Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, noted that its clients invested $81.1 million into crypto asset products throughout Q3.
This mouth-watering sum brings the startup’s year-to-date total to $330 million, with 59% of that capital ($195 million) reportedly being sourced from the wallets of institutional investors.
Out of the $330 million invested through Grayscale’s diverse roster of instruments, 73% of funds were put through the firm’s Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), indicating that BTC remains “the king,” even after its decade-long history.
Commenting on the statistics, Grayscale’s Michael Sonnenschein told CNBC Fast Money’s panel that his clients are “using this price pullback” to either dollar-average-down or to enter into crypto positions, directly alluding to the growing sentiment that worldwide adoption is in crypto’s cards, so to speak.
Crypto Tidbits

Coinbase Lists Basic Attention Token (BAT) On “Pro” Platform: Just weeks after launching support for 0x’s ZRX And Circle’s USDC, on Friday, San Francisco-based Coinbase divulged that it had plans to list Basic Attention Token (BAT), the digital asset of choice for the Brave Browser, on its “Pro” platform. Like Coinbase Pro’s prior listing events, the startup unveiled plans to launch BAT trading via a four-step process —  transfer-only, post-only, limit-only, and full trading. For now, BAT is not supported on Coinbase Consumer or through the fintech company’s iOS or Android applications.
Tether Opens Account With Caribbean Deltec Bank: Tether Limited, the shadowed organization behind USDT, recently revealed that it had opened a bank account with Deltec Bank & Trust Limited, a 72-year-old financial institution in the tropical nation of Bahamas. This development comes just weeks after speculation raged regarding the legitimacy of Tether’s U.S. dollar reserves, which led the crypto market to value USDT, a prominent stablecoin, at 10% under its $1.00 parity. Accompanying this news was a supposed document signed by Deltec, which confirmed that the monetary value of Tether’s portfolio exceeded the number of USDT in circulation, prompting the stablecoin to recover to just shy of $1.00.
Japan-based Coincheck Resumes Operations After Hack: Months ago, when 2018’s bear market was young, Tokyo-based Coincheck, Japan’s foremost crypto platform, fell victim to a $530 million hack, catalyzing a closure of a majority of its exchange operations. However, after presumably consulting with local regulators and rebuilding its security structure, Monex Group-backed Coincheck has finally reopened its doors, facilitating new account signups, customer deposits, and the purchase option for specific digital assets.
Google, Samsung, Venrock Throw $15M At Startup Behind CryptoKitties: Dapper Labs, the Canadian startup behind Ethereum’s CryptoKitties, has just secured a $15 million endowment from a number of prominent venture capital funds, including Google Ventures, Samsung NEXT, and Rockefeller-backed Venrock. Dapper, a spinoff of Vancouver-based Axiom Zen, will use the $15 million garnered to launch a Los Angeles subsidiary focused on releasing other decentralized applications (DApps).

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