Articles tagged by cryptoassets
Galen Stops looks at why demand for cryptoassets has skyrocketed in 2017 and assesses whether they have any future in mainstream financial markets.
The first working implementation of a blockchain that the world had ever seen was in the Bitcoin software released in 2009. Bitcoin the cryptocurrency then rose to prominence in 2013 when, driven in part by a flurry of media attention, its value rose past $1,000 for the first time.
Following that, 2014 represented a long and painful year of price decline for Bitcoin as an asset, but it continued to garner a lot of attention, not always for good reasons. Then in 2015 the narrative began to change as people really started talking about the potential applications of blockchain technology distinct from any digital assets.
Hong Kong-based OpenANX, a new real-world application of decentralised exchanges built on the Ethereum blockchain, says it has developed key technical aspects that will tackle two major problems in the cryptocurrency space – the barrier to entry for new cryptocurrency users, and risks associated with many transactions.
The new platform says it will allow new market entrants to easily enter the space and to understand their exposure to risk on any potential deal, a feature that’s lacking in current exchanges.
CoVenture operates a venture capital firm, a direct lending business, and CoVenture Crypto, a cryptocurrency asset management firm run by co-founders Ali Hamed and Nikhil Kalghatgi. CoVenture Crypto operates multiple strategies and is backed by a large, publicly traded financial institution. Ali Hamed: During my freshman year at Cornell, I launched a software startup, and after that I started doing Angel investing. I didn’t have the capacity to write anything larger than a $25,000 check at a time and would find that when I tried to invest in people, they'd say the money was great, but what they really needed was help building the product. That made us think about how ridiculous the venture capital business model is – where you put $50 million into a fund and give out $1 million at a time to kids who can code and hope they can start a company – it just made no sense to us.
Profit & Loss Forex Network NYC is set for May 24th at the Crowne Plaza Times Square, with an opening with a Fireside Chat entitled “Keeping Pace with Cryptos” with Mike Gill, Chief of Staff to CFTC Chairman Christopher Giancarlo, and CFTC COO.
The annual event will take a look at the emergence of cryptocurrencies and tokens as a “new economy”, one that offers enticing opportunities for traders given the volatility these products exhibit and their lack of correlation to traditional asset classes. The growth in these digital assets in 2017 was extreme, can the beta tailwinds continue in 2018? And with the emergence of so many new exchanges, cryptocurrencies and tokens, where should investors look for the best alpha opportunities?
AirSwap, a decentralised global marketplace for Ethereum tokens (ERC20), launched its peer-to-peer platform on April 25th, and saw $1 million worth of trades made over the platform within the first 24 hours.
AirSwap is a blockchain-based search engine that comprises a bulletin board that uses software known as smart contracts to facilitate direct, peer-to-peer trading of tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.
In 2017, AirSwap developed and released its core technology followed by a $36 million token sale using the platform, led by co-founders Don Mosites and Michael Oved, an algo trader previously at Virtu Financial. Advisors to AirSwap include veteran investor Michael Novogratz, venture capitalist Bill Tai, and co-founder of Ethereum, Joe Lubin.
Michael Oved, co-founder of AirSwap, met with Profit & Loss to discuss his vision for the potential of a decentralised trading platform based on the Ethereum blockchain. Previously an algo trader at Virtu Financial, Oved explains how he took lessons from the FX market and applied them to crypto trading to create a peer-to-peer platform.
Profit & Loss: AirSwap was designed around an Indexer, which acts as a search engine, matching up buyers and sellers, rather than using an order book model. With your background as an algo trader at Virtu Financial, did you look to the FX market for ideas when developing AirSwap?
Traditional financial services firms, such as banks, are clearly poised to enter the crypto space, explained speakers at the Profit & Loss Forex Network New York conference.
“Banks are going to make so much damn money off of cryptocurrencies,” said Nikhil Kalghatgi, a partner at CoVenture, a firm that has a multi-strategy asset management platform for cryptoassets. “They're chomping at the bit, laying the pipe right now in order to get connectivity, to answer all the regulator’s questions.”
When thinking about the evolution of technology underpinning cryptocurrencies the key question, according Kalghatgi, is whether it has the potential to be an Internet-sized phenomenon. He pointed out that there was a clear gap between when people first heard about about the Internet and then started using it, and that cryptocurrencies could follow a similar adoption trajectory.
In a new report to the G20, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) has concluded that “cryptoassets do not pose a material risk to global financial stability at this time”.
While this is a welcome boost for the crypto industry, the FSB does make clear that these assets should be vigilantly monitored by authorities going forward.
As such, the FSB has requested that the Standing Committee on Assessment of Vulnerabilities (SCAV) and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) work jointly to develop a framework for monitoring the financial stability risks related to cryptoassets with a focus on identifying potential metrics that can be used to measure these risks.
A new report by the New York State Office of the Attorney General (OAG) claims that certain cryptoasset trading platforms suffer from potential conflicts of interest, have yet to implement serious efforts to impede abusive trading activity and provide customer fund protections that are either limited or illusory.
The OAG’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative was launched in April 2018 as a fact-finding inquiry into the policies and practices of virtual asset trading platforms. The OAG sent letters and questionnaires to thirteen major trading platforms, with the questions reflecting areas of special concern for everyday retail customers, such as site outages, fees, and the effects of automated or "bot" trading.
TradAir is revamping its business to offer technology solutions for the crypto market, a move that coincides with senior management changes at the firm.
When TradAir co-founder, Illit Geller, stepped down as CEO of the firm in June 2017, co-founder, Ayal Jedeikin stepped in to lead the company until the role of CEO was filled by Viral Tolat in May 2018.
However, Tolat has now vacated this role, resulting in Jedeikin once again taking the reins. Profit & Loss understands that Tolat will remain a “strategic advisor” to the TradAir board.
How have crypto markets in Asia evolved in comparison to those in the US and Europe? And will these markets look more or less different in the future? Galen Stops takes a look.
T aking a glance at the biggest crypto exchanges by volume and a clear pattern emerges: according to data from coinmarketcap.com, a website that tracks crypto trading volumes, at least seven of the top 10 ranked exchanges are based in the APAC region.
By contrast, some of the more better known US-based exchanges are found much further down the list.
Carlos Mosquera Benatuil, the CEO of Mexico-based Solidus Group, which focuses on digital finance through its crypto hedge fund, Solidus Capital, and crypto OTC desk, Solidus Markets, talks to Profit & Loss about why cryptoassets are more than just a vehicle for speculation in Latin America.
Profit & Loss: What are some of the key differences you see between crypto trading in Latam compared to the US?
Carlos Mosquera Benatuil: So there are only a few places for cryptoasset price discovery in Latam, but the bigger exchanges are pretty good. The market still lacks sophisticated traders, however, which has actually been a challenge for us as we’re looking to hire staff for the proprietary trading desk that we’re building out.
At the start of 2018, the total market capitalisation of cryptocurrencies was above $828 billion, with many predicting that it would only rise further. Now, that market capitalisation is below $130 billion and continues to fall. Meanwhile, the price of bitcoin is down to $3,688, a 42% month-on-month drop and 65% year-on-year.
But does the price action of cryptos tell the whole story in this space right now? And what are the implications of this bear market on liquidity?
After all, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and Nasdaq both plan to launch new crypto trading platforms next year, while Fidelity is also set to launch an asset custody service in 2019. Trading volumes on the CME and CBOE bitcoin futures have ticked up even as (because?) the market price has trended down and there are still ETF proposals sitting on US regulators’ desks that could still be approved.
OTCXN, a blockchain-powered capital markets infrastructure company, announced that OSL, an OTC digital asset brokerage company in Asia-Pacific, has joined its network as a liquidity provider. “We are extremely pleased to have OSL join our network as a core liquidity provider. Having a major market participant like OSL providing liquidity on our network is a testament to the strength of our core value proposition – eliminating trading counterparty and settlement risk. The presence of key market participants like OSL accelerates market adoption and expansion of the OTCXN network to reduce risks and efficiently scale crypto trading across the entire ecosystem. We look forward to working closely with OSL to serve our mutual clients,” says Rosario Ingargiola, CEO and founder of OTCXN.