Exclusive: Greenspan doubles-down on Bitcoin pump origin claims; discounts Wall Street activity as being ‘after the fact’

Bitcoin [BTC] pumped by 15 percent on April 2, leading to a spike in institutional interest. While some have correlated it with Wall Street’s Bitcoin activity, which surged in close proximity to BTC’s rise, others have laid rest to these “insider” rumors.
Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro, in an exclusive interview with AMBCrypto claimed that institutions acted on the price rally “after the fact.” No prior information was revealed to large financial institutions, the analysts opined.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange [CME] reported a massive 950 percent rise in BTC Futures contract volume, days after the price rally. Greenspan summed up this surge as “Wall Street’s trading activity on Bitcoin, in a nutshell.” On April 4, 22,542 BTC futures contracts were traded. The same was down to around 7,000 at press time.
The question was posed in light of a CFTC report claiming that long positions by institutional investors on the CME increased a week prior to the rally. On April 2 alone, 315 BTC futures contracts were opened, an incline of 88 percent when compared to the previous week, while short positions declined by 63 percent.
Greenspan refuted this coincidence, reiterating the post-rally actions of Wall Street. Even if the institutional activity occurred at the same time as the price surge, “it’s not something that could’ve moved the market on an exchange,” he added.
The eToro analyst also doubled down on his earlier claims that the origin of the pump was in Asia, specifically either “Japan or South Korea,” based on the “timing” of the rally. He based his inference on the timing of the “Asian trading session” coinciding with the pump.
Given that it was 0030 EST in New York during the price pump, Greenspan stated that these contracts were “not active” during this time and hence, Wall Street’s involvement was after the price rally. He stated,
“Just based on that timing, my assumption is that this move originated in the Asian market and certainly not on Wall Street.”
Greenspan further stressed on the “cash-settled” nature of CME contracts. Contracts floated by the futures exchange represent 5BTC and are settled in dollars at the expiry of the period. Hence, no Bitcoins are physically delivered. At no point during this rally did institutional investors hold the top cryptocurrency, he claimed.
However, Greenspan was optimistic of Wall Street’s involvement in Bitcoin, albeit from a mere trading perspective,
“It’s nice to look at their volumes and see that their taking notice of what’s happening in the [crypto] market.”
The post Exclusive: Greenspan doubles-down on Bitcoin pump origin claims; discounts Wall Street activity as being ‘after the fact’ appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

ICE’s Bakkt Seeking for NYDFS in a Bid to Finally Get Regulatory Approval

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ICE’s Bakkt Seeking for NYDFS in a Bid to Finally Get Regulatory Approval
Bakkt’s application with the NYDFS is seen as a possible gateway to get regulatory approval from the CFTC.
ICE’s Bakkt Seeking for NYDFS in a Bid to Finally Get Regulatory Approval

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Bitcoin based Bakkt Platform Moves to Acquire Bitlicense in New York: Bloomberg Report

Intercontinental Exchange Inc., the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), had announced the Bakkt Platform which was supposed to be launched in December 2018. However, due to delay in regulatory approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the US, the launch has been delayed ever since.
Bakkt platform is a revolutionary product built on Bitcoin. It would provide Bitcoin futures contract which would be settled in Bitcoin instead of the US dollar. When Bakkt’s one-day contracts expire, they will be paid out in Bitcoin tokens instead of U.S. dollars. Hence, the biggest concern of the approving authority is custody and money laundering.
Kelly Loeffler, the CEO of Bakkt platform noted in her recent blog post that:
“New product launches require solving for unknown variables, and I’ve seen first-hand that addressing these challenges can help clear the path for healthy, long-term growth.”
ICE Move to New York Department of State Financial Services (NYDFS)
Bloomberg reported from its sources that the other significant roadblock is that traditionally to offer derivatives trading the clearinghouse or platforms must deposit the margin or initial amount from the customer in a bank. Hence, CFTC is concerned over how the and where the funds would be managed if they are Bitcoins.
Moreover, this involves custody of Bitcoin on two levels, one for the clearinghouse to settle the transactions and for the trade orders of Bitcoin Futures.
Reportedly, the owner of ICE has suggested procuring a BitLicense from the State authority to allow for custody of Bitcoin. Moreover, the NYDFS has granted a license to several Exchanges and Trusts like Winklevoss’s Gemini Trust, brokerage firm Tagomi and Bitstamp, a crypto-FIAT exchange. However, Bakkt platform is an application based request for custody; i.e., the bitcoins will not be traded as it is, but other derivative products and payment modules will be built on it.
The approval from the State authority would not confirm the launch of Bakkt platform as the ultimate deciding authority would still be CFTC for Bakkt to launch Futures contracts, and other applications based on Bitcoin. Moreover, initially, it might be made available only to institutional ‘high-volume’ investors.
Furthermore, Bakkt also aims to enable retail payments to popular brands like Starbucks; the Bakkt platform would provide for conversion of Bitcoin to FIAT instantly to make payments.
Will Bakkt platform aims to offer a plethora of applications on Bitcoin. Do you think it will successfully launch any time soon? Please share your views with us.  

The post Bitcoin based Bakkt Platform Moves to Acquire Bitlicense in New York: Bloomberg Report appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

LedgerX Set to Beat Bakkt and Become First to Offer Physically Delivered Bitcoin Futures

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LedgerX Set to Beat Bakkt and Become First to Offer Physically Delivered Bitcoin Futures
When approved, LedgerX will offer Bitcoin, Bitcoin options and Bitcoin futures to retail customers through its new platform Omni.
LedgerX Set to Beat Bakkt and Become First to Offer Physically Delivered Bitcoin Futures

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Source: CoinSpeaker

‘Faketoshi’ Craig Wright Refuses to Disclose Key Information during Deposition

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‘Faketoshi’ Craig Wright Refuses to Disclose Key Information during Deposition
Even though Craig Wright recently quit Twitter, popular ‘Faketoshi” is in the news again for a lawsuit worth billions of dollars, that was filed against him in 2018.
‘Faketoshi’ Craig Wright Refuses to Disclose Key Information during Deposition

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Starbucks Receives Bakkt Equity to Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments in 2019

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Starbucks Receives Bakkt Equity to Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments in 2019

It seems that Starbucks has received a significant portion of equity in Bakkt despite not being a direct cash investor.

Starbucks Receives Bakkt Equity to Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments in 2019

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Source: CoinSpeaker

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

SEC and CFTC Set to Collaborate To Regulate Bitcoin ETFs and Other Investment Products

Reports revealed that the high profile regulators of the crypto market, SEC and CFTC is open to collaborating to regulate crypto investment products, including Bitcoin ETFs.
SEC Commissioner Hints To Collaborate
However, during ‘a Bipartisan Policy Center event’ last week which themed on ‘The Year Ahead for Capital Markets’, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) discussed the better approach on regulating crypto products such as futures and ETF based on Bitcoin. At the event, so-called Crypto Mom, the SEC commissioner, Hester Peirce says that;
“At the SEC we’ve been unwilling to … sign off on a bitcoin ETF, an exchange-traded product based on bitcoin. My concern about our approach in that area is it looks a little bit like a merit-based approach judging the underlying bitcoin markets.”
An Exchange-traded fund based on Bitcoin is on rich bulletins every new day – since SEC is reluctant to approve ETF filings. In fact, Coingape reported that SEC has forced ‘a partial bitcoin ETF proposal, submitted by ‘Reality shares’ to withdraw it.

SEC staff requested to withdraw the ETF proposal submitted by @RealityShares On Next Day of Filinghttps://t.co/gCq8GPFQVU#SEC #ETF #BitcoinETF #Bitcoin #Cryptocurrency #Crypto #Finance #Bitcoinfutures
— CoinGape (@CoinGapeMedia) February 14, 2019

CFTC Follows Self-Certification Rule
Although regulations on Bitcoin and Crypto isn’t certain at many locations of the world the firms are building many projects on top of it. In Peirce view, regulators should be at their best diligence to decide on any product which are built on top of the market and those that are not regulated yet. With this, she argued that;
There are lots of markets that aren’t regulated but we nevertheless build products on top of them.” She said“I think we have to be very careful with that kind of reasoning’.
As such, the discussion took over by Brian Quintenz who is the CFTC Commissioner. He explains that any contract before they present will ensure that it meets the requirements of the Act. He notes that;
“We have a process in the Commodity Exchange Act that allows the exchanges to self-certify a contract if they believe it meets the requirements of the Act.
With the self-certification process, CBOE and CME will proceed with the contract that they see has good potential and opportunity to take forward. Elaborating this, CFTC commissioner argues that we disagree you when we really see a project has a better opportunity and ‘we self-certify that contract’.
 “[Both CBOE and CME Group] pursue that self-certification [route] so these contracts get listed without our approval but also without our disapproval.”
Interested in Working Together
Taking these sneaky points, Peirce goes on discussing the current market scenario which is quite confusing on regulatory stance. While explaining the better way on deciding crypto assets, Peirce hints to collaborate SEC and CFTC to serve better on providing guidelines. In her words;
“[This is] an area where I think Brian and I are interested in working together.”She continued, there [are] questions about where your jurisdiction ends and ours begins and again we don’t want to have overlap there so you know my main concern has been that I think we need to do a better job providing guidance,”
So readers, what do you think of SEC and CFTC collaboration if it happens? Do you think it onboard the clarity in the crypto market? share your opinion with us.
The post SEC and CFTC Set to Collaborate To Regulate Bitcoin ETFs and Other Investment Products appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

What Has Caused Ethereum to Surge and How Far Will it Go?

Crypto markets have started the week on a positive note with a $5 billion rally that has resulted in most tokens posting solid gains. The top performer at the moment however is Ethereum has it surges 12% and increases its lead over XRP in third.
Ethereum Beating Bitcoin on Recovery
Currently outperforming every crypto asset in the top 25, Ethereum has pumped 12% over the past few hours to take it to $138. Conversely XRP has not enjoyed much attention in this current rally so the market cap gap between the two of them has now widened to almost $2 billion.

Daily trade volume for Ethereum has also jumped from $2.8 billion to $4.7 billion after spending the past week hovering just above $120. Since its low for 2019 on February 6 of $103 Ethereum has made 34%. Bitcoin in the same period has only managed to gain 10% to its current levels.
Ethereum momentum is likely to be driven by the approaching Constantinople hard fork which introduces a number of network improvements. The estimated date now is March 1 according to this countdown timer to block 7280000. There will be two events taking place, Constantinople introducing several Ethereum Improvement Proposals, and Petersberg to remove one buggy EIP.
Some have speculated that the hard fork is actually bearish for Ether as postponing the difficulty bomb will result in a diminished supply reduction. The block reward adjustment buys a little more time until Proof of Stake is implemented with the Casper upgrade. At the moment though ETH is getting a solid boost as it heads towards $150.
Ethereum Futures Revisited
ErisX boss, Thomas Chippas, has recently revived interest in long awaited Ethereum futures by filing a letter to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) outlining their importance for market health. The company, a designated contract market and pending derivatives clearing organization, has close ties to fintech industry giants such as Nasdaq, ConsenSys and TD Ameritrade and has largely been seen as a rival to Bakkt.
“ErisX believes that the introduction of a regulated futures contract on Ether would have a positive impact on the growth and maturation of the market for Ether, as well as the Ethereum Network more broadly,” the letter stated.
Chippas added that the CFTC has previously approved of Bitcoin related products and Ethereum is built upon some of the architectural principles of Bitcoin to extend its functionality. The letter continues to laud the benefits of Ethereum and how a regulated investment vehicle based upon it would ‘promote responsible innovation and development in the derivatives market.’
Ethereum is showing the love today at least as it outperforms the top twenty five crypto assets by a clear margin.
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The post What Has Caused Ethereum to Surge and How Far Will it Go? appeared first on NewsBTC.
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Bakkt Is Our ‘Moonshot Bet’ Says ICE CEO, Plans to Launch the Platform Later This Year

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Bakkt Is Our ‘Moonshot Bet’ Says ICE CEO, Plans to Launch the Platform Later This Year

ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher talked about how his team is working diligently for the launch of Bakkt and why he continues to hold utmost faith in Bitcoin.

Bakkt Is Our ‘Moonshot Bet’ Says ICE CEO, Plans to Launch the Platform Later This Year

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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

Seed CX Launches Bitcoin Spot Trading Market with ‘Truly Institutional Level Support’

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Seed CX Launches Bitcoin Spot Trading Market with ‘Truly Institutional Level Support’

Seed CX has launched a Bitcoin spot trading market for institutional investors providing them with a regulated platform with a deep book of liquidity.

Seed CX Launches Bitcoin Spot Trading Market with ‘Truly Institutional Level Support’

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Source: CoinSpeaker

The Much-Anticipated Bakkt Platform Announces High-Ranking Vacancies

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The Much-Anticipated Bakkt Platform Announces High-Ranking Vacancies

The Bakkt platform is not letting multiple delays cringe their business strategies. They have announced vacant positions targeting to hire experienced and top-ranking executives.

The Much-Anticipated Bakkt Platform Announces High-Ranking Vacancies

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Ongoing U.S. Shutdown Casts Shadow on VanEck Bitcoin ETF Approval

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Ongoing U.S. Shutdown Casts Shadow on VanEck Bitcoin ETF Approval

American lawyer Jake Chervinsky explains that despite the U.S. shut down the SEC has provision to act on VanEck Bitcoin ETF. However, ETF executives remain confident.

Ongoing U.S. Shutdown Casts Shadow on VanEck Bitcoin ETF Approval

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Ethereum Consensus Shift Could Delay Any Derivatives Products

The biggest thing on the launch pad this year is the Bakkt crypto exchange which is currently in a holding pattern while US government employees twiddle their thumbs during Trump’s shutdown. Several other contenders are hopeful about Ethereum futures but according to one crypto exchange boss they are unlikely to be seen soon.
Regulatory Concerns Mounting
According to Paul Chou, chief executive officer of LedgerX, odds of an Ethereum derivative product launching in 2019 are 50-50 at best. The company is one of several which already have Ethereum options ready to trade. But just like Bakkt it is currently in the queue waiting for the CFTC to wake up from the prolonged government shutdown.
According to The Block regulators still don’t really understand Ethereum and are waiting for a ‘request for input’ which solicits information from market participants; “The RFI seeks to understand similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including here ether and bitcoin, as well as ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks,”
In addition to LedgerX are ErisX and Seed CX which also have Ethereum based derivatives on offer. CBoE Global Markets, which was one of the first to get Bitcoin futures off the ground in late 2017, also has an Ethereum product but is doubtful that regulatory approval will come soon.
Former fintech adviser to the CFTC, Jeff Bandman, said “They understand what a proof of work network is like because that’s how bitcoin works, but proof of stake raises new questions. Specifically, what are the risks?” He added that once the agency has gained more knowledge on the product it could start to deliberate in the first half of 2019 … providing the government shutdown comes to an end.
The Casper update will usher in proof of stake for Ethereum and change the landscape entirely, at least in the eyes of the CFTC. The delayed Constantinople update which was due yesterday is a preliminary step for a shift from PoW to PoS for the network. Crypto attorney Nelson Rosario told The Block;
“There is a lot of uncertainty, regulators see this and they think ‘what exactly are we giving you permission to sell a futures product on’,” with one industry insider adding “Staking mimics a derivative product. If you are holding ether as a stake than you are essentially betting it will go up and if you are not you are effectively betting it will go down, at worst, or at best you don’t want it sitting on the network. If you have a future on top of that then you are adding a level of complexity that developers have not worked through,”
The shift in consensus for Ethereum has been heralded as the biggest progression for the network but from a regulatory perspective it could be another big headache.
Image from Shutterstock
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