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Articles tagged by Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency Firm Taps FX Expertise for Advisory Board Cryptocurrency liquidity provider B2C2 has announced the appointment of Peter Nielsen, Ruth Wandhöfer and Phil Weisberg to its advisory board. Nielsen was previously CEO of markets in the investment bank at RBS. Prior to RBS, he spent 10 years at Bank of America and Citibank in their FX businesses. Weisberg founded FXall and became global head of Thomson Reuters FX business when the company bought FXall – while Wandhöfer is a regulatory and fintech expert. Managing director and global head of regulatory and market strategy at Citi.
Bitcoin Breaks the $10,000 Mark The value of bitcoin (BTC) soared to over $10,000 today, a 900% increase in value from the start of the year. Despite significant price dips in July, September and November, bitcoin has been on a consistent and stark upward trend since January, when it was valued at $1,000 per bitcoin. “Bitcoin has sailed past a number of surprising milestones this year, with the $10,000-mark achieved today the most significant so far. With its rising valuation built on the bitcoin buzz more than real worth, it’s likely that we won’t see bitcoin decline in value until it’s more widely accepted,” says Dennis de Jong, managing director at UFX.com.
Bitcoin: The Next Step As the cryptocurrency, bitcoin, takes arguably the next big step towards mainstream adoption, Galen Stops takes a look at the different approaches being taken by regulated exchanges towards designing bitcoin contracts and regulators to overseeing them. Last week, on December 1, three exchanges regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) self-certified new cash-settled derivatives contracts based on bitcoin. The exchanges – or designated contract markets (DCMs) – are the CME, the CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE) and the Cantor Exchange.
Could Bitcoin Futures Spell Trouble for Spot Market? At the moment it seems as though literally half the people that I’m speaking to just want to talk about bitcoin, while the other half just want to complain that no one wants to talk about anything except bitcoin. But all  this hype actually could cause problems for bitcoin going forward. For one thing, speaking to the exchanges and other mainstream financial services firms about why they’re launching bitcoin products, the answer is invariably some version of “well there’s tons of client demand for exposure to bitcoin”.
Building a Cryptocurrency Portfolio: Promise Over Peril At a recent buy side event hosted by Profit & Loss and CME Group in New York, a panel of cryptocurrency experts discussed how institutional investors and traders should think about these assets within a portfolio. Interest in cryptocurrencies has skyrocketed amongst investors and trading firms over the past year, as the market capitalisation for this nascent asset class has increased dramatically and volatile price action has offered the potential for outsized returns compared to many traditional asset classes. Yet some firms still consider cryptocurrencies to be too risky to include in their portfolio, a position that Ari Paul, managing partner and CIO of the hedge fund BlockTower Capital, took issue with on the panel.
Circle Buys Crypto-Asset Exchange Mobile payments and cryptocurrency startup, Circle, has acquired the crypto-asset exchange Poloniex. Circle is backed by $140 million in venture capital from investors including Goldman Sachs, IDG Capital Partners, Breyer Capital, Accel Partners, General Catalyst Partners, Baidu, CICC Alpha, EverBright, WangXiang and CreditEase. Circle has two main business lines. According to the company, “Circle Pay helps people around the globe connect to one another and share value just as they would share any other kind of content on the open borderless Internet; Circle Trade serves institutions and investors as one of the world’s largest providers of crypto asset liquidity.” Circle says that it is also planning to launch an app that will enable individuals to tap into crypto-asset investment “through a simple, seamless, mobile experience”.
Genesis Launches Crypto Lending Service Genesis Trading, which offers two-sided liquidity for digital currencies, has today launched a new affiliate, Genesis Global Capital, an institutional digital currency lending business.  Genesis Capital will allow institutional investors the opportunity to borrow bitcoin, ether and other digital currencies in large quantities over fixed-terms. “Having been incubated by our affiliated company, Genesis Trading, we feel we’re in a great position to truly understand the pulse of the market and identify evolving industry needs quicker than most. We believe now is a great time to offer an institutional-focused lending service because it will increase general li
Carney: Cryptos Pose No Risk to Financial Stability In a speech delivered today, Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, stated that crypto-assets don’t currently pose a risk to the stability of financial markets, even as he declared that cryptocurrencies are “failing” as a form of money. Speaking at the inaugural Scottish Economics Conference at Edinburgh University on the subject of the future of money, Carney’s speech was heavily focused on cryptocurrencies. Addressing the question of how well cryptocurrencies fulfill the traditional role of money, Carney argued that the answer has to be judged against the functioning of the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem. This ecosystem includes exchanges that enable the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies, miners who create new coins and verify transactions and the wallet providers who effectively offer custody services.
US Judge Deems Cryptocurrencies Commodities A US district judge has said that cryptocurrencies can be regulated as commodities by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). According to a Memorandum & Order (M&O) for a court case brought by the CFTC against cryptocurrency business operator, Patrick McDonnell, the judge ruled that "virtual currencies can be regulated by CFTC as a commodity". Virtual currencies are “goods” exchanged in a market for a uniform quality and value…They fall well within the common definition of “commodity” as well as the CEA’s definition of “commodities” as “all other goods and articles . . . in which contracts for future delivery are presently or in the future dealt in”, stated judge Jack Weinstein in the M&O.
SEC Issues Warning to Crypto Exchanges The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said that certain exchanges listing crypto-assets need to register with the agency because they offer trading in products that meet the definition of a “security”. In particular, it is targeting exchanges that list crypto-assets linked to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). “A number of these platforms provide a mechanism for trading assets that meet the definition of a "security" under the federal securities laws. If a platform offers trading of digital assets that are securities and operates as an "exchange," as defined by the federal securities laws, then the platform must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange or be exempt from registration,” says the SEC in a statement today.
Thomson Reuters Launches Bitcoin Sentiment Data Feed Thomson Reuters, through its partnership with MarketPsych Data, has launched a new version (v3.0) of its MarketPsych Indices (TRMI), which includes its first sentiment data feed for Bitcoin. It also includes and/or enhanced market sentiment data for several asset classes, new user capabilities, and additional coverage. Over 400 news and social media sites, many specific to cryptocurrencies, were added to the feed. Each site is scanned and scored in real-time, aiming to capture market-moving sentiments and themes. TRMI v3.0 also includes expanded sentiment coverage of national fixed income securities and stock market indexes for the top 61 global economies and the Eurozone.  Coverage was also further expanded in the currencies, countries, and agricultural commodities asset classes. 
Trading Firm Launches Cryptocurrency Index Fund Hehmeyer Trading + Investments, a proprietary trading firm based in Chicago, has launched a new fund aimed at providing certain qualified investors access to the cryptocurrency market. The fund aims to track the performance of the proprietary Hehmeyer Cryptocurrency Index (HCI). Launching as a commodity pool for qualified eligible persons and accredited investors, the fund will be managed by Hehmeyer Capital Management, LLC, a commodity pool operator registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and a member of the National Futures Association (NFA).
Coinfloor Launches Cryptocurrency Futures Exchange Coinfloor, a group of cryptocurrency exchanges targeting institutional and sophisticated retail traders, has launched CoinfloorEX – a cryptocurrency futures exchange. CoinfloorEX will offer for the first time ever physically delivered cryptocurrency futures contracts, which the firm says will protect investors and traders against price slippage on positions at time of settlement, as well as allay concerns of market manipulation. “The cash settled futures have been around since 2011 and so far they haven’t succeeded very much. When you talk to the institutional players they all want physically delivered futures,” says Mark Lamb, co-founder of Coinfloor.
P&L Talk Series with CoVenture's  Ali Hamed & Nikhil Kalghatgi 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.
Survey: Derivatives Trading to Grow Despite Rising Costs In a new survey conducted by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), a majority of respondents said that they expect derivatives volumes to stay flat or increase in the future, despite also predicting that the cost of trading these products will increase. Asked about their expectations for overall derivatives activity, 83% of those surveyed said that they thought volumes will increase or remain the same over the next three to five years. The same proportion felt end-user activity will rise or remain unchanged over the same period. When asked to rate their optimism about the future of derivatives on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the most optimistic, 65% opted for between seven and 10.
What’s Keeping Institutional Money Away from Cryptos? Uncertainty about regulations, a lack of trusted custodians and concerns about security are key factors that continue to deter many large financial institutions from trading cryptoassets, says Kevin Beardsley, a managing partner at B2C2. Amongst these three factors, Beardsley cited the lack of regulatory clarity around cryptoassets as the biggest issue for these firms right now, pointing out that no major bank wants to clash with their regulators for trading in what is, relatively speaking, still a small marketplace. “The large institutions are all waiting for the regulations to become clear, which is a very rational approach,” he says.
Bitcoin Tumbles After South Korean Exchange Hack The value of bitcoin dropped from from $7,256 to a low of $6,651 on Sunday night, following the news that the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Coinrail, was hacked over the weekend. In a statement on its website on Monday, Coinrail confirmed that there was a “hacking attempt” on June 10. The statement continues: “At present, 70% of your Coinrail total coin/token reserves have been confirmed to be safely stored and moved to a cold wallet and are in storage. Two-thirds of the coins confirmed to have been leaked are covered by freezing/recalling through consultation with each coach and related exchanges. The remaining one-third of coins are being investigated with investigators, relevant exchanges and coin developers.” Coinrail says that the exact extent of the hacking is still be determined.
Thomson Reuters Expands Cryptocurrency Sentiment Data Tracking Thomson Reuters (TR) announces the expansion of its sentiment data offerings to track the top 100 cryptocurrencies through its partnership with MarketPsych Data, a firm that focuses on quantitative behavioral science. The new MarketPsych Indices (TRMI) package uses machine learning and natural language processing to measure a breadth of emotional and topical items across news and social media sites that may drive market participant behaviour in cryptocurrency markets. The firm claims the addition is notable because online communications and information flow are more significant drivers of cryptocurrency value than they are for traditional financial assets.
Exclusive: OTCXN Acquires Ogg Trading OTC Exchange Network (OTCXN), which uses proprietary blockchain technology in a bid to eliminate trading counterparty and settlement risk on their trading network, has acquired Ogg Trading, a provider of FX trading technology. Through this deal, which closed on June 18, 2018, OTCXN will acquire all Ogg Trading’s technology including the dark pool that it previously ran in partnership with Bloomberg. The dark pool is a complete matching engine technology stack. The plan is to add market data publishing to this platform in order to create a regular central limit order book (CLOB) with a lit pool of liquidity. Ogg Trading also has a liquidity aggregator and smart order router (SOR) system that can be deployed to run a quote driven market place.
Back to the Futures: Giving Institutions a Reliable Way to Capitalise on Cryptocurrency By Obi Nwosu, the CEO and co-founder of the cryptocurrency exchange, Coinfloor,  It has been a challenging financial environment for investors since the financial crisis, and difficult to achieve returns on deposits and short term investments. In response to this, many have been seeking alternative investment vehicles to diversify their portfolios. Bitcoin is never far from the media headlines – but what will it take to convert this volatile retail bet into a viable investment option? The key lies in stablising its price. Cryptocurrency is, of course, decentralised, which means there is no central authority putting measures in place to govern its price or manage volatility. This instability is currently preventing cryptocurrency from acting as a store of value, and subsequently achieving its originally intended purpose as the future of money.
What Is the Real Value of Bitcoin? There is one question regarding cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin in particular, that has continued to baffle many, and has caused some skepticism amongst market commentators, namely what is the fundamental value of these assets? Bitcoin, still by far the largest cryptocurrency that exists, is not a good store of value because the price of a bitcoin is so volatile. As a result, it functions poorly as a currency, after all, no one wants to buy something worth $100 with bitcoins if those same bitcoins are going to be worth $200 a few months later and no one wants to sell an item worth $100 for bitcoins, because those coins could be worth $50 shortly after the transaction.
Market Synergy Offers Connectivity to Bitfinex Swiss-based Market Synergy, a new business formed as part of the FXecosystem group, says it is now offering connectivity to cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. In addition to providing outsourced connectivity and hosting services to Bitfinex, Market Synergy says it can also manage co-location services for Bitfinex’s institutional clients and offer a FIX feed and ISP link to the digital asset gateway which Bitfinex recently launched in collaboration with Connamara. The firm says as the demand for cryptocurrency trading gathers momentum, it spotted a gap in the market for an institutional calibre cryptocurrency connectivity offering.
And Finally... The memories of last year's emotionally charged bull run in bitcoin are fading fast, almost as fast as the optimism earlier this year that the cryptocurrency would regain the highs of 2017. At less than half the value at which it entered the year I am hearing a few more "why the time to buy bitcoin is now" stories emerge, but this bothers me. Looking at a market I like to weigh up the rationale for buying and selling - and bitcoin at the moment seems heavily weighted one way.
Cinnober Teams Up with BitGo Cinnober, a provider of exchange technology, and BitGo, which offers institutional-grade cryptocurrency security, are collaborating to provide solutions to cryptocurrency exchanges. BitGo’s wallet solution will expand Cinnober’s trading and post-trade platform with the aim of providing an end-to-end, secure, institutional-grade digital asset exchange solution. Through the collaboration with BitGo, Cinnober claims that it is consolidating its offering to cryptocurrency exchanges in need of a high-performance trading solution to handle increasing market volumes, expectations from institutional investors and requirements from regulators. BitGo’s wallets and custodial solutions include security key management, multi-signature setups, setting of procedures and client-driven policies to ensure assets are held in a highly secure environment.
trueDigital Launches Institutional Focused Crypto Indices Today, trueDigital Holdings (TDH), a developer of institutional-grade digital asset trading solutions, announced that it has partnered with 10 liquidity providers and contributors, including Genesis Global Trading, XBTO Group, Circle, DV Chain, Hehmeyer Trading + Investments and Altonomy, to create what it claims are the first market maker based bitcoin and ether pricing indices. "The launch of the trueDigital bitcoin and ether reference rates sets a new standard for the digital asset market and allays common concerns about the robustness and lack of transparency inherent in retail exchange-based bitcoin pricing composites," says TDH in a release issued today. The trueDigital reference rates, comprised of bid and offer pricing from top cryptocurrency market makers, include automated anti-manipulation safeguards such as outlier detection and price banding.