ICE CEO Reveals Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Launch is Just Around the Corner

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ICE CEO Reveals Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Launch is Just Around the Corner
According to the CEO of ICE, Bakkt’s parent company, the launch of the firm’s physically settled Bitcoin futures, is on the horizon. The CEO has said that they are waiting for NYFDS approval.
ICE CEO Reveals Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Launch is Just Around the Corner

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Launch In Six Weeks? – Here’s Who Spilled the Beans

The much-anticipated launch of the Bitcoin Futures platform – Bakkt could be just around the corner. The CEO of the parent company of Bakkt and NYSE (New York Stock Exchange), the ICE (or Intercontinental Exchange), Jeffrey Sprecher, noted in a directors meeting,
“Subject to final regulatory approvals, we plan to launch our physically-settled bitcoin futures in the very near future.”
The platform which was earlier scheduled from launch in December 2018 was delayed by regulations. Nevertheless, it launched its ‘beta’ platform the week before on 22nd July. However, according to sources, there are still some regulatory approvals pending. Sprecher also noted we are
“working to develop a regulated ecosystem that services the evolving needs of [participants] around the world,”
Furthermore, Mike Novogratz, a Billionaire investor and hedge fund manager, recently could have possibly spilled the beans on the definite timelines of the launch. He said,
Fidelity or TD Ameritrader working towards buying directly through you brokerage accounts. Bakkt which is I think is finally getting started within six weeks.
Bakkt plans to offer a futures contract that is settled using Bitcoin itself. This is being called a ‘moonshot bet’ which will transform how institutional money sees Bitcoin [BTC].
Nevertheless, recent reports on crypto-media website suggest that the CFTC might still have some concerns around the regulations.
LedgerX, which was planning on releasing similar physically-settled contracts on Bitcoin recently announced its launch. However, the CFTC has stepped in and cited that it has “not yet been approved by the Commission”. This totally contradicts the company’s claims.
Moreover, Bakkt is currently waiting to get approval to manage the custody of Bitcoin under trust charter.
ErisX, TD Ameritrade, Bakkt, and LedgerX are some of the firms lined up to launch a public trading platform of physically settled Bitcoins. While Bitcoin futures settled in cash are still allowed even now. This new design would enable greater marketability and independence from the dollar.
Do you think more and more institutional investors will enter the space? Please share your views with us. 
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Source: CoinGape

First Physical Bitcoin Future Hits U.S. Market as Institutional Bakkt Hype Swells

Although the crypto industry has been closely watching to see when the highly anticipated physically settled Bitcoin (BTC) futures platform Bakkt officially launches, they have now been beaten by their competitor – LedgerX – who officially launched today.
The platform is open to all US-based investors with a government issued ID and is not limited to institutional clients or high-net-worth clients. Despite this, most analysts believe that the benefits that physically settled futures contracts will bring to the crypto markets come primarily from the institutions that will trade them.
LedgerX Wins Race to Be First to Launch Physically Settled Bitcoin Futures Contract 
Currently, there are three main platforms that are competing to gain the attention of investors who are interested in trading physically settled Bitcoin futures contracts, with LedgerX, the ICE-backed Bakkt, and the TD Ameritrade-backed ErisX, all launching similar products.
The primary benefit that a physically settled future contract brings is that it allows traders to deposit and collect Bitcoin in order to directly trade the contracts, without having to use USD or other fiat currencies as the trading pair, thus subverting the traditional banking system entirely.
This is a critical feature for a decentralized currency like Bitcoin, assuming that it will one day be utilized as a currency in its own right, and not one that is denominated and traded against fiat currencies.
Importantly, it does appear that there is significant interest in these contracts, as LedgerX has previously noted that multiple institutional investors have asked for these contracts in the past.
Will Institutional Demand for Physically Settled BTC Futures Contracts Propel the Markets?
Although retail interest in the crypto markets has been diving as of late, many analysts and investors alike are closely watching to see how interested institutions are in the nascent markets, as they may be the next source of major funding that propels Bitcoin (BTC) and the aggregated crypto markets.
Sam Doctor, a strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors, recently explained that Bakkt – one of LedgerX’s competitors – could be a major catalyst for institutional demand for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
“We think #Bakkt could be a huge catalyst for institutional participation in the #crypto market. Here are our takeaways from the Bakkt institutional summit yesterday at the NYSE,” he said while referencing the talking points seen in the image below.

We think #Bakkt could be a huge catalyst for institutional participation in the #crypto market. Here are our takeaways from the Bakkt institutional summit yesterday at the NYSE… #bitcoin #BTC #ETH @fundstrat @fundstrat_ken pic.twitter.com/lkRylD1P4C
— Sam Doctor (@fundstratQuant) July 19, 2019

Although it still remains unclear as to how interested institutions truly are in the volatile crypto markets, interest in physically settled futures contracts could be a bullish sign, and these platforms will undoubtedly provide a gateway for a massive influx of fresh capital into the markets.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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This Week in Cryptos: Gemini Opens Chicago Office While Square’s Cash App Goes Bitcoin

Key highlights

Cash App adds Bitcoin deposits
LedgerX to settle futures in physical BTC
Henry Kravis backs crypto fund
Gemini opens Chicago office
Amun launches Bitwise 10 ETP
Samourai Wallet releases CoinJoin

Cash App adds Bitcoin deposits
This week, Bitcoin deposits found a new home. San Francisco-based payments company Square has just made bitcoin (BTC) deposits available on its Cash App. This move, now allows Cash App users to deposit bitcoins from external wallets into their app bitcoin address. According to Square’s announcement, deposits are limited to $10,000 worth of bitcoin in a seven day period. It also notes that transfers could take several hours to be confirmed on the blockchain.
LedgerX to settle futures in physical BTC
LedgerX moved another step in its offering. This week The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has cleared bitcoin derivatives provider LedgerX to offer physically settled bitcoin futures contracts. The regulator said it has approved LedgerX’s application for a designated contract market (DCM) license, meaning the company can now offer the new futures contracts. LedgerX is the second company to receive approval to offer physically settled bitcoin futures; other firms, such as Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt, Seed CX and ErisX plan to enter this market.
Henry Kravis backs crypto fund
Another “Big Guy” Billionare moves to crypto. Billionaire investor and philanthropist Henry Kravis has finnaly decided to get his hands on crypto as it is believed that he has invested in a cryptocurrency fund offered by ParaFi Capital. Looks like Henry Kravis, who is co-founder of global investment firm KKR & Co, has laid his trust on his former employee Ben Forman, who happens to be ParaFi founder and CIO.
Gemini opens Chicago office
Gemini exchange this week announced its new office. And it Chicago. Headquartered in New York, Gemini adds its new Chicago office to their existing office in Portland, Oregon, Gemini co-founder Tyler Winklevoss wrote in a Medium post. According to the statement, Gemini’s Chicago office will act as an engineering hub and reflects the company’s goal of providing a “safe and reliable institutional-grade infrastructure” for trading and storing crypto.
Amun launches Bitwise 10 ETP
This week, Amun added another product to its arsenal. According to the news coming from Swiss, waters is that a new exchange-traded product (ETP) has been launched on Switzerland’s top stock exchange SIX by Bitwise (cryptocurrency asset manager) and Swiss fintech company Amun AG. Called as “The Bitwise 10 Select Large Cap Crypto Index” has been licensed to Amun AG by Bitwise which is expected to be the benchmark index for the latest ETP product – “Amun Bitwise Select 10 Large-Cap Crypto Index ETP” including the ticker symbol KEYS.
Samourai Wallet releases CoinJoin
Samourai Wallet had up its game in the privacy offering segment. This week the wallet released Privacy-Enhancing CoinJoin Beta Feature called the Whirlpool. The company previously said that Whirlpool would be released to operate on Dojo, a much-awaited bitcoin node built to work with the wallet. For people who may not know. CoinJoin is a process of anonymization that utilizes various privacy-enhancing software tools.
Note: This article is the rework of the thoughts put forward by Anthony Pompliano.
The post This Week in Cryptos: Gemini Opens Chicago Office While Square’s Cash App Goes Bitcoin appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

CFTC Lets LedgerX Settle Futures in Actual Bitcoin

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CFTC Lets LedgerX Settle Futures in Actual Bitcoin
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) cleared Bitcoin derivatives provider LedgerX to offer physically settled BTC futures contracts to institutional and retail customers.
CFTC Lets LedgerX Settle Futures in Actual Bitcoin

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Source: CoinSpeaker

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

Crypto Week In Review: Ethereum Futures to Debut, Coinbase to Add New Tokens

In spite of the mixed market conditions, innovators with the cryptocurrency industry pushed forward, releasing new products and services that are likely to alter how this space operates and performs.
LedgerX To Add Ethereum Derivatives Vehicle
Insider sources from the New York-based LedgerX have revealed that the crypto startup intends to offer Ethereum derivatives in the near future, reports TheBlock in an exclusive. For those who are unaware, LedgerX is a cryptocurrency investment platform that currently offers mostly Bitcoin-focused products and solutions, like its ever so popular BTC options vehicle, which allows investors to speculate on the future price of the foremost digital asset.
Since LedgerX’s launch of its in-house BTC options and swaps in October of yesteryear, New York’s resident crypto startup has purportedly brought on multi-billion-dollar hedge funds, family offices, and an array of other institutional investors. Taking the firm’s success into account, it is only natural for the American startup to feel inclined to seek opportunities in similar markets, which is just a hop, skip, and jump away in this scenario.
While the firm has already fully developed its Ethereum options contract, it is still waiting for approval from members of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), whose representatives are set to convene on October 5th to discuss LedgerX’s new product. Due to the fact that CFTC representatives have commended the cryptosphere on multiple occasions, many are hopeful that this product will receive a go-ahead the first time around.
This move comes just weeks after it was revealed that the CBOE, the largest US-based options exchange in terms of market volume, is seeking CFTC approval for a similar product.
Coinbase Adds Formal Listing Application, Crypto Education Resource
Although it goes without saying that San Francisco-based Coinbase has taken a leading role in the development of this space, the world-renowned startup has been slow to introduce its customer base to a wide variety of crypto assets. As touted by many of Coinbase’s critics, in spite of the firm’s broad lineup of products and services, they only support a small roster of cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum Classic.
With an unexpected announcement made on Wednesday, it is clear that the firm intends to amend this issue through a new listing process, which will reportedly allow prospective listees to offer information about its project and crypto asset to ensure that it is in line with local regulations. As put by Coinbase itself, this new system should allow for the “rapid listing of most digital assets.”
Explaining more about how exactly this would work, the startup explained that it will evaluate digital assets in a “jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction manner,” which means that certain assets will only be available to consumers within a certain jurisdiction in accordance with local laws. Surprisingly enough, it was explained that tokens which gain approval from Coinbase will not be initially required to pay an application fee, but Coinbase reserves the right to impose a fee if the need may arise in the future.
It goes without saying that Coinbase has long been viewed as a gateway into the cryptocurrency industry, so taking into account that customers of the firm have asked for access to more digital assets time and time again was likely the catalyst behind this move. Speaking to CNBC Fast Money’s panel of traders and analysts, Coinbase vice president Dan Romero corroborated this sentiment, noting:
“So when we talk to customers, their number one request is to add more assets to the platform… There are [still] thousands of crypto assets that we don’t support, so what we are launching today — which I am really excited to talk about — is listing.coinbase.com, which will allow us to list as many assets as enabled by local law.”
Ultimately, as touched on by the firm’s VP, this move comes down to pushing Coinbase’s agenda forward to “to create an open financial system for the world.”
Along with introducing Coinbase Listing, the American cryptocurrency platform, which was recently named one of the top startups by LinkedIn, also surprised many by adding an in-depth crypto education segment to its website. The firm hopes that the introduction of such a resource will allow consumers to understand more about how this technology works, even though it may seem so abstract.
Coinbase has also implemented a so-called “bundle” feature, which will allow investors to gain exposure to all the crypto assets offered on the platform in just a few clicks.
While Coinbase’s move to offer crypto education and a crypto bundle have been well-received, its listing process has become the butt of many of the cryptosphere’s best jokes, with many critics of the firm highlighting the fact that the listing application is done via Google Forms.
Circle Launches Stablecoin, Aims To Disrupt Global Economic System
Nearly five months after initially announcing USDC, the Goldman Sachs-backed Circle has finally revealed that it is launching its stablecoin product that will be tied to the U.S. dollar (USD). As per an official blog post on the matter, USDC, a “fully collateralized US dollar stablecoin,” is an ERC-20 token that puts “detailed financial and operational” transparency at the forefront, as Circle intends to allow established banking partners and accountants to regularly audit the reserves backing this project.
For now, investors looking to get their hands on USDC can use Circle’s issuance service to deposit fiat and receive stablecoins at a 1:1 ratio. Traders will now be able to take advantage of the relative stability USDC offers on the Poloniex exchange, which Circle owns, as an alternative to traditional USD-tied cryptos such as Tether (USDT). While this announcement may seem as mundane as the other stablecoin announcements, which have undoubtedly ramped up over the past few weeks, Circle CEO David Allaire revealed that this stablecoin means much more than some would initially think.
Speaking with Business Insider, Allaire noted that “fiat token models” are integral to blockchain infrastructure, as stablecoins will directly enable the use of decentralized technologies in everything from “tokenized debt and lending to securities and investment contracts.” Closing off his phone interview with reporters, the Circle CEO added that USDC and similar products may become a fundamental building block for crypto, which may aid in the future recreation of the global economic system through crypto assets, “which is what so many of us are here for.”
SEC And The CFTC Slam 1Broker, Domain Seized
As reported by NewsBTC on Friday, America’s most well-recognized governmental agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodities Futures Trade Commision (CFTC) and the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI), took a strong regulatory stance against of crypto’s own. In an SEC press release, the regulatory agency brought attention to the fact that 1Broker, a Marshall Islands-based cryptocurrency platform, openly offered products and investment opportunities that were in direct violation of multiple laws.
What was notable was that 1Broker was purportedly issuing Bitcoin security-based swaps without the proper license, which is obviously an act that any established, well-respected trading platform would not be caught dead doing.  As alluded to by Shamoil Shipchandler, the individual behind this specific case, 1Broker’s actions directly endanger the security of U.S. investors. Keeping this in mind, the foreign trading platform has been served with multiple charges, which is seeking for 1Broker to be hit with “permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus interest, and penalties.”
The CFTC, the SEC’s de-facto partner in crime, also issued a similar order, while the FBI seized the domain that the platform had its services offered on.
It isn’t clear if the SEC’s move against 1Broker was a drastic show of force, but many have begun to believe that this regulatory action indicates that governmental agencies want crypto’s ducks to fall into a row.
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