Will SEC and CFTC Ever Come to a Compromise?

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Will SEC and CFTC Ever Come to a Compromise?

Konstantin Rabin, financial expert and crypto enthusiast, takes a look at how regulatory institutions are different in terms of Bitcoin regulation and whether they will come to an agreement at all.

Will SEC and CFTC Ever Come to a Compromise?

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Bitcoin [BTC] Futures by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group reaches an all-time high in Q1 of 2019

Citing an internal e-mail, The Block reported that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group [CME Group] opened the doors for cryptocurrency investments and institutional investors in 2019 via its Bitcoin Futures.
Bitcoin Futures is a contract that will let customers bet on the future price of Bitcoin. CME Group first launched BTC futures in 2017 and according to the internal letter, the futures contract is taking off without a hitch. The internal e-mail read,
“Yesterday (Feb 19th) set a new record with 18,338 contracts traded, this is equivalent to 91,690 bitcoin or $360MN… Q1 2019 is off to a strong start, ADV has improved to 4,630 contracts (23,150 equivalent bitcoin), up ~13% from Q4 2018 while [open interest] rose to 4,076 contracts, an improvement of 21.5% over Q4 2018.”
In addition to the above, the CME Group has about 2,100 accounts and about 30 unique firms that have traded the contract. The e-mail stated,
“Institutional interest has gradually risen and the number of LOIHs (Large Open Interest Holders) has been holding steady around 43 holders since November. A LOIH is an entity that holds at least 25 BTC contracts.”
Further, CryptoCompare’s research for January 2019 shows a significant increase in the number of Bitcoin Futures contracts traded on CME when compared to its counterparts. The daily volumes increased by 20%, from $66.5M to $79.9M in January.
With the anticipation around the launch of Bakkt building up, it is expected that the prices of cryptocurrencies would shoot up. 2019 started with a rally, contrary to the general bearish trend that overtook the cryptocurrency market in 2018. In fact, the rally pushed the price of BTC to touch major resistance at $4000.
Another Bitcoin-related news that could affect the cryptoverse is the possible approval of the Bitcoin ETF proposal by the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC].
The post Bitcoin [BTC] Futures by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group reaches an all-time high in Q1 of 2019 appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

45 Days Left for SEC to Decide on CBOE-VanEck Bitcoin ETF

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45 Days Left for SEC to Decide on CBOE-VanEck Bitcoin ETF

On April 5th, 2019, the SEC will have to announce their decision to either approve, deny or extend the decision-making period on Cboe/VanEck/Solid X’s Bitcoin ETF.

45 Days Left for SEC to Decide on CBOE-VanEck Bitcoin ETF

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Bitcoin ETF is Just a Matter of Time, Says Prominent Wall Street Advisor Ric Edelman

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Bitcoin ETF is Just a Matter of Time, Says Prominent Wall Street Advisor Ric Edelman

According to Ric Edelman, the founder of Edelman Financial Engines, ETFs will eventually meet the demands of the SEC and get the Commission’s approval.

Bitcoin ETF is Just a Matter of Time, Says Prominent Wall Street Advisor Ric Edelman

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Bitcoin [BTC]: CBOE and CME record lowest Bitcoin futures trading volume since inception

The world of cryptocurrency has been expecting keenly the day when cryptocurrencies are more widely adopted by major investment firms. The recent comment of an SEC commissioner that a Bitcoin ETF has a high probability of being approved was a step forward towards this development. However, in what could be a spanner in the works, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) have recently seen the lowest Bitcoin futures volumes since they launched in December 2017.
According to research by Tradeblock, the data shows that Bitcoin futures trading volume has fallen significantly after they peaked in the summer, since their launch in early 2018.  In the summer of 2018, the combined trading volumes across the top five US exchanges had reached near equivalence with the spot trading volumes.
Over the course of 2018, CBOE and CME both launched their competing products in the market. However, over the course of the entire year, CBOE lost significant market shares to CME. The chart below demonstrates the volume of trade over the months.
CME vs Cboe Bitcoin Futures Notional Trading Volume Over Time | Source: TradeBlock
Upon careful observation of the chart, it can be observed that the initial volume trading was neck and neck between the institutions since the launch and it also reached a high point in July 2018, when the trading volume reached its summit at over $5 billion. However since then, there has been a consistent decline of volume which has caused spot volume trading to fall by almost 85%. Although the volume showed a little uptrend in November and December, the uptrend only came at the end of CME.
Bitcoin Spot Notional Trading Volume Over Time | Source: TradeBlock
According to research, the constant decline in spot trading might be following parity with the exit of retail traders from the crypto space following the collapse of asset prices. The exit might be linked to the falling of search engine trends for bitcoin and cryptocurrency which were earlier used to gauge retail investor curiosity.
Interestingly, Bitcoin trading had recently demonstrated the highest transaction per block and approached an all-time high of the mid-2017 price implosion.
The data above signifies that the futures trading activity has declined severely over the last one year since reaching a peak in the summer of 2018. The introduction of several new bitcoin platforms like Bakkt, Nasdaq and CoinFLEX, each looking to forward to launch future bitcoin products in the coming months, may improve this metric however.
The post Bitcoin [BTC]: CBOE and CME record lowest Bitcoin futures trading volume since inception appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

Leaked Interview with Hopeful SEC Chief: Bitcoin ETF is on the Horizon

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Leaked Interview with Hopeful SEC Chief: Bitcoin ETF is on the Horizon

SEC Commissioner Robert J. Jackson recently did an interview with Congressional Quarterly, a publishing company who report primarily on the United States Congress, where he expressed views that an SEC-approved Bitcoin ETF is inevitable.

Leaked Interview with Hopeful SEC Chief: Bitcoin ETF is on the Horizon

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Source: CoinSpeaker

A Look at Some of the Biggest Stories Happening in the Crypto World

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A Look at Some of the Biggest Stories Happening in the Crypto World

In this guest post, Max Hasselhoff, integration engineer from Bytecoin and long-standing crypto enthusiast, takes a look at some of the biggest stories happening in the sphere of crypto technology integration.

A Look at Some of the Biggest Stories Happening in the Crypto World

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Source: CoinSpeaker

U.S. Shutdown to Have a Long-Lasting Effect on Arrival of Crypto Institutional Products

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U.S. Shutdown to Have a Long-Lasting Effect on Arrival of Crypto Institutional Products

Analysts predict that amidst the long pending work, regulatory agencies won’t give any attention to crypto investment products in the near time.

U.S. Shutdown to Have a Long-Lasting Effect on Arrival of Crypto Institutional Products

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Source: CoinSpeaker

VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin [BTC] ETF re-filed by CBOE with the SEC a week after it was withdrawn

The cryptocurrency community has reasons to hope again after the Chicago Board Options Exchanges [CBOE] re-filed its application for a cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund with the US Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC]. The new application follows a week after CBOE had withdrawn its previous application for an ETF with the SEC.
The previous application, that would have received a final decision by late February or early March, was withdrawn by the CBOE last time citing the effect of the government shutdown on the working of the SEC. With respect to why they had chosen to withdraw the Bitcoin ETF application last time, Jan Van Eck said:
“So technically, as you know, the SEC is affected by the shut down. So we were engaged in discussion with the SEC about the Bitcoin related issues, custody, market manipulation, prices and that had to stop. And so, instead of trying to slip through or something, you know, we just had the application pulled and we will refile and re-engage in the discussion. So, when the SEC gets going again.”
However, CBOE, along with Jan Van Eck and Global X, made good on their promise to re-file as soon as the government shutdown came to an end. The decision to re-file the application for a cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund was announced by Van Eck’s Digital Asset Director/Strategist Gabor Gurbacs.
Source: Twitter
The new application for the ETF, dubbed the Solid X Bitcoin Shares ETF, however, isn’t the same one as the one submitted previously. In fact, as has been reported, it is ten pages longer and attempts to quell any concerns the SEC may have about a Bitcoin ETF. With the new application, CBOE has sought to address concerns such as market volatility, liquidity and price manipulations, factors that have contributed to the SEC turning down previous ETF applications, such as the one filed by the Winklevoss brothers.
If the SEC were to grant the rule change and allow the Bitcoin ETF to be listed, many in the cryptocurrency community would recognize it as a significant step towards the wider use of cryptocurrencies. An ETF would attract institutional investors who could keep track of how the market is performing without the risk of actually owning its shares. The ETF if granted, would also lend a modicum of credibility to cryptocurrencies, spurring its wider adoption.
The post VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin [BTC] ETF re-filed by CBOE with the SEC a week after it was withdrawn appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

CBOE’s Revised ETF Proposal likely Enclose SEC’s Guidelines – Says US Attorney

Since CBOE has resubmitted its Bitcoin Exchange traded fund (ETF) in a joint proposal with VanEck and SolidX, it is likely that the revised proposal contains all aspects that the SEC shared them previously.
Revised Filing Might Contain SEC’s Concern
Jake Chervinsky, a lawyer and US Government Defense Counsel who shares frequent updates regarding SEC on crypto regulations, ETF and other such updates also talks about the revised proposal of CBOE. In response to a question that asked ‘if the revised submission’ contains any new or tweaked information, he says; ‘yes, it looks like’.

I haven't had time to go through the proposal in detail yet, but it looks like they incorporated a lot of updates & changes reflecting concerns that the SEC shared with them during the last cycle.
— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) January 31, 2019

However, the re-submission announcement hit the market when Gabor Gubacs, digital asset strategy head at VanEck shared a tweet on Jan 31, 2019. It is noticed that the new filing comes exactly a week after it had withdrawn the proposal following the US Govt shutdown.

The VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposed rule-change has been submitted by CBOE. Hard work by all teams involved. Public document: https://t.co/X25lOPjiFS pic.twitter.com/C9FP4adDE8
— Gabor Gurbacs (@gaborgurbacs) January 31, 2019

Will SEC Approve VanEck’s New Filing?
Moreover, if the filing is approved by SEC, it will enable Cboe BZX exchange to list shares of bitcoin ETF trust. As far as the approval is considered, there is no difference with the timeline as to when SEC will announce its decision. Because it has yet to publish the proposal in the Federal Register to proceed further. In similar regards, Jake says that;
It’s the same timeline as always. First, we have to wait for the SEC to publish the proposal in the Federal Register, and then we’ll know all the dates and deadlines from there.
When the proposal withdrew on Jan 23, 2019, the CEO, Van Eck indicates the reason behind pulling off the application is ‘Government shutdown’. However, the SEC declared February 27 as the probable date to wrap up the decision about the rule change. As per Jake, it is not possible to finalize anything before the deadline but he is quite optimistic that the VanEck ETF to be the first ETF to get approval from the SEC.

It's not impossible that the SEC could make a decision before the final deadline, but as I've said since the first VanEck ETF was proposed last July, I would be very surprised if the SEC approves the first ever bitcoin ETF without taking the maximum amount of time allowed by law.
— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) January 31, 2019

Nevertheless, Jake continued that CBOE’s decision for new filing is not a waste of time. Indeed it is quite improved. We would more likely receive final deadline in early October, he says.

The timeline for the SEC’s decision won’t be set until the proposal is published in the Federal Register, but assuming that happens soon, we’re looking at a final deadline in early October. Jake tweeted while quoting VanEk’s revised ETF tweet.

The post CBOE’s Revised ETF Proposal likely Enclose SEC’s Guidelines – Says US Attorney appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Winklevoss Twin’s Trust Gemini Moves One Step Closer to an ETF Approval

Gemini Trust clears the SOC 2 examination for Service Organization Type 1 by engaging and appointing Big Four Deloitte to do the evaluation.
The announcement comes one month before the deadline set by the SEC to review the ETF proposals

Billionaire Bitcoin investors Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss‘s Newyork based trust reached a new milestone. They have successfully cleared the criteria that fall under SOC 2 review for Service Organization Type 1 as per the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) guidelines. Big 4 auditor Deloitte & Touche LLP (Deloitte) performed an independent evaluation of the security controls maintained at the trust.
Gemini is also the first exchange in the world to adhere to Level 2 standards of SOC under the regulation of the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). These controls have been independently inspected to meet the criteria for Service Organization Type 1 set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The goal of the SOC 2 criteria is to make sure that systems are secure and upholds the ethical spirit of availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of customer data.
Security Issue and Custody Compliances
Cryptocurrency exchange wallets are vulnerable to cyber attacks, the Mt. Gox incident in 2011 Japan which was the first large-scale Bitcoin theft from a custodian. Cryptocurrency promotes an economy that is not supported by the banks. However, most of the cryptocurrency wallet users still have no or only partial control of their private addresses.
Paper and hardware wallets are a solution for secured independent cold storage of Bitcoins; however, for significant investments and ‘whale’ sized wallets, they too are not entirely efficacious. Institutional Financial trust companies adhere to state and global custody criteria and only after assurance of complete security and privacy, the high-volume investors chose a specific trust.
Currently, there are no guidelines underlined by the SEC or the CFTC related to cryptocurrencies. The nature of Bitcoin is also ambiguous and oscillates between currency and commodity. Hence, the regulators, company owners, and users are looking for security and protection against malpractices to maintain an ethical and informed use of Bitcoin.
With Cboe withdrawing its ETF proposal, the prospects for a derivative fund on US commodities market looked bleak. Nevertheless, progress made by Gemini Trust towards security compliances and regulatory approval comes as a silver lining for investors and other seven Bitcoin ETF proposals pending with the SEC.
The post Winklevoss Twin’s Trust Gemini Moves One Step Closer to an ETF Approval appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

NYSE Arca Files a Request to Rule Changes Seeking for Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Approval

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NYSE Arca Files a Request to Rule Changes Seeking for Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Approval

NYSE Arca has completed the official documentation for the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF which is now pending the review of the SEC for further decision.

NYSE Arca Files a Request to Rule Changes Seeking for Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Approval

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Source: CoinSpeaker

No More Bitcoin Craze? Expert says BTC Investors Now Turning to Gold

Bitcoin’s crash is turning the investors towards gold yet again says Jan Van Eck, CEO of Van Eck Associates. However, Crypto industry experts have shared that gold is rather “physically vulnerable” and bitcoin is better at being gold than gold itself.
The Tide has been Turned
Bitcoin has crashed over 80 percent from its all-time high at $20,000 in December 2017. But it couldn’t deter the investors from buying this digital asset, until now, if this ETF strategist is to be believed.
Jan Van Eck, CEO of Van Eck Associates in an interview with CNBC’s “ETF Edge” said that Bitcoin investors are now moving to the traditional commodity that is gold.
“I do think that Bitcoin pulled a little bit of demand away from gold last year, in 2017. Interestingly, we just polled 4,000 bitcoin investors and their number one investment for 2019 is actually gold. So gold lost to bitcoin and now it’s going the other way.”
During the period Bitcoin rallied and made its all-time high in December 2017, gold surged 4 percent in the same period. According to another expert, Tim Seymour, founder, and Chief Investment officer at Seymour Asset Management, the move now made toward gold will be difficult to turn back to Bitcoin.
“Not only have we lost all liquidity on the underlying [commodity] but truly outside of the existential blockchain argument, it’s been very difficult to argue store of value which is really what we started hearing about,” said Seymour. “Gold is a store of value and there’s no disputing that.”
But Bitcoin is Better at Being Gold than Gold!
This year, according to VanEck whose firm created the most well known gold ETFs, the best way to play is through gold ETFs, “The shares have been acting tremendously well over the last two or three months … It’s starting to zig when the stock market zags. In the majority of the days in Q4 when the S&P was down, GDX was up. So that zigzag, that decoupling makes me really excited about gold shares as a diversifier.”
Well, VanEck’s firm in association with SolidX and Cboe is also the one that is proposing a Bitcoin ETF. Though the proposal has been revoked by Cboe for now, it is expected in the future the approval would be acquired.
Also Read: Experts Predict Gold to Surge over Fiscal Woes & USD Crisis, What about Digital Gold-Bitcoin?
Recently, Tyler Winklevoss who runs Gemini stated Bitcoin would rather surpass gold’s market cap.
“Our thesis around Bitcoin’s upside remains unchanged. We believe Bitcoin is better at being gold than gold. If we’re right, then over time the market cap of Bitcoin will surpass the ~$7 trillion market cap of gold.”
For some, the VanEck’s comment might be seen as not motivating but for others, they are actually hopeful as one Bitcoin enthusiast commented on Reddit,
“$7.8 trillion gold picking on $0.063 trillion bitcoin… The fact that bitcoin and gold are even compared this much is promising.”
However, as Nick Szabo, computer scientist and cryptographer said, gold is “physically vulnerable.” And as another enthusiast said, “Where is this gold. At least I keep control and possession of my Bitcoin.”
The post No More Bitcoin Craze? Expert says BTC Investors Now Turning to Gold appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

VanECK Withdraws Bitcoin ETF While Bitcoin TPS Still Sees A Rise – Expert Opinion

“This analysis is an adaptation from the work of Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro”
Key Highlights

VanECK withdraws the Bitcoin ETF application
Bitcoin TPS still growing
Crypto Adoption rising in Iran

VanECK Bitcoin ETF becomes the latest casualty of US Government Shutdown
 We’ll all the excitement around Bitcoin ETF may have ended now as the most hoped ETF application of VanECK seems to have fallen calamity of the US Government Shutdown. The deadline for a decision was February 27th but seems VanECK has now withdrawn its application. While it’s disappointing, but it’s not something that was not anticipated. As it has been noted several times, this proposal had a very slim chance of success. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton had already stressed that the Bitcoin market is not yet mature enough for an ETF. It’s not just the news or Clayton, even the recent price action seems to confirm this, as there have a number of price spikes due to the low liquidity lately.
The government shutdown seems to have put further strain on this process. If there was a hope of convincing the SEC before the deadline, it has now disappeared. So, rather than letting the application be rejected, VanECK has simply withdrawn it – thus denying the SEC any opportunity to deny it. Clearly a power move by VanECK.
The price of Bitcoin did decline slightly at the time of the news but is still holding well at the $3,500 support level. The markets relaxed response to this news is a clear sign that investors are starting to understand. The crypto market is not dependent on any government or financial institution and no single product or service has the power to make or break bitcoin.
BTC fundamentals going strong
It’s been past few months that Bitcoin fundamentals are getting strong. Yet again, The transaction rate on the bitcoin blockchain is now at its highest level in a year, which is kind of cool. This is a good indicator that shows usage of bitcoin is growing despite the bear market.
While the TPS shows a global picture, specifically crypto adoption is seen rising in Iran as the Government is mismanaging the economy. Unfortunately, however, there isn’t any real way to confirm this, other than the testimonials available in some press. Some more coverage in a day or two should give the audience more clarity.
The post VanECK Withdraws Bitcoin ETF While Bitcoin TPS Still Sees A Rise – Expert Opinion appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Unlike CBOE’s Pulling Off ETF, Winklevoss Brothers are ready with a plan for Bitcoin ETF Approval

Bitcoin ETF rejection by SEC isn’t the full stop for Winklevoss brothers, Gemini’s founders have got a plan for Bitcoin ETF approval.
Winklevoss Twins – All set with Plan
While in a heat of government shut down, CBOE is pulling off its long-awaited bitcoin ETF application, on the other hand, Gemini’s twin brothers have outlined the plan to get their Bitcoin ETF approval. Resources reported Mr. Winklevoss (quoting for twins), said;
“The quick answer is (by) answering their call and (requesting) … more market surveillance on the crypto marketplace. We’ve started to do that with the Virtual Commodity Association … and (by) bringing NASDAQ’s smartest technology to our marketplace. Those are the steps in the right direction to getting regulators comfortable with eventually approving an ETF-like product.”
The context is much similar to AXX’s latest move of employing the technology of the London Stock Exchange. As recently reported by Coingape, this technique enhances the interest of traditional investors towards crypto industry and makes the crypto trading platform quite more secure.

@BithumbOfficial Leading Crypto Exchange to Enter US Market following Reverse Merger Techniquehttps://t.co/bycIuifSGc#Bithumb #CryptoExchange #Crypto #Cryptocurrency #CryptoNews #USA #BTHMB #IPO
— CoinGape (@CoinGapeMedia) January 23, 2019

Winklevoss boldly stepping up in route to gain SEC’s approval, but for CBOE, it’s absolutely not. According to the sources, Chicago board operation, CBOE is withdrawing its proposal for VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin ETF following the repeated SEC delays and the government shutdown. Reportedly, Jan Van Eck, founder of VanEck told CNBC on Wednesday, the 23rd Jan 2019;
“We were trying to do that but we obviously can’t have meetings when they’re shut down,” “Instead of trying to slip through or something, we just had the application pulled.”
Nevertheless, the SEC’s rejection is obviously undesirable – as such, Gemini’s commissioner Hester M.Peirce said that;
“Contrary to the Commission’s determination, I believe that the proposed rule change satisfies the statutory standard and that we should permit BZX to list and trade this bitcoin-based exchange-traded product (“ETP”),”
But Winklevoss twins have a more positive view on SEC’s decision. They believe the rejection and delays are the results of Bitcoin being the new assets. Moreover, they think preserving investor’s interest is the essence of SEC’s work plethora.
“So if the commission is taking a very conservative viewpoint in this regard because it’s really going to be the first of many and open the floodgates, you know, we can live with that’, Winklevoss said
Furthermore, the twins are likely not in rush for SEC’s decision, however, they think the ETF is more than just a product and it’s really big.
“I don’t think it’s unreasonable for regulators to strive for that, it opens a big frontier and it’s got to be opened correctly.”
What’s your stake on CBOE and Winklevoss’s view for Bitcoin ETF? share your opinion with us. 
The post Unlike CBOE’s Pulling Off ETF, Winklevoss Brothers are ready with a plan for Bitcoin ETF Approval appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape