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Is BitPay Support The Catalyst That Catapults ETH Price Past $200?

This week began with Ethereum as the center of attention in the crypto market. In the past couple of days, ETH has been surging without the influence of the king crypto calling the shots. Today, ETH is registering gains again boosted by both technical and fundamental bullish news. In the morning hours today, ETH hit $200 for the first time in months before experiencing a slight pullback. At present, ETH is trading at $198.90 with 2.37% gains on the day. BitPay announcement is the latest bullish fundamental occurrence in the ETH ecosystem. The giant payments provider revealed on September 16 that soon it will be possible for their clients to accept Ethereum (ETH) payments from ETH holders worldwide for goods and services. BitPay Adds Support For Ethereum (ETH)  In a press release sent to ZyCrypto, the blockchain-centric payments processor announced the great news for ether holders. Before this development, BitPay only supported bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and a few stablecoins such as USD Coin (USDC), Paxos Standard Token (PAX) and Gemini Dollar (GUSD), for its payments program. In a press comment, BitPay CEO Stephen Pair said: “As one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap and one used by thousands of companies, Ethereum is the next logical choice.” Other than receiving ETH payments, it will also be possible for wallet users to store and use ETH in a BitPay wallet and BitPay Prepaid Visa Cardholders will be able to seamlessly top up their debit cards. Ethereum Co-founder Vitalik Buterin expressed his excitement stating that this development will create more opportunities for the ethereum ecosystem particularly by increasing real-world use-cases of cryptocurrencies. This news adds to the list of recent positive news in the Ethereum ecosystem. Yesterday we reported that Ethereum’s network utilization has hit an ATH based on the daily gas usage. Besides that, last week, Ripple-backing Spanish bank Santander announced that it had issued and settled a $20 million bond with a one-year maturity on Ethereum public blockchain. It’s Not All Rainbows And Unicorns For BitPay Although this news of integration of Ethereum comes as good news for Ethereum holders, BitPay has been under attack recently. Editor in chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) Tom Grundy put BitPay on the spot on September 11 after stating in a Twitter thread that bitcoin donations sent to HKFP had been withheld by BitPay without any good reason.  In another tweet, Grundy explains that BitPay had held the donations merely because banks in Hong Kong depend on SWIFT and not IBANS: “Funds held for weeks simply b/c HK banks use SWIFT not IBANS Never use @BitPay, folks. Truly the worst experience you can imagine- poor reputation, abysmal communication, horrible customer service, *very* high fees. Almost any alternative will be better.”  Grundy concluded by demanding that BitPay co-founders Tony Gallippi and Stephen Pair see to it that the donations are released lest he takes legal action: “@TonyGallippi – I’ve sent you & Steve a LinkedIn message. Am ready to go to war with publicity and legal action – sort it out guys.” What Analysts Have To Say About Recent ETH Rally Many are hoping that this surge by Ethereum while bitcoin remains in the red could trigger an altcoin-wide rally. This is partly because bitcoin’s dominance had reached 71.2% last week, but has since dropped to 68.8% as per CoinGecko.  Analysts believe this downward correction of bitcoin’s dominance is likely to continue in the near-term. Renowned trader Dave the Wave observed that the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) trend indicator has begun rolling over, depicting that altcoins are showing more strength compared to bitcoin. Dave the Wave is not alone. Analyst-cum-trader Escobar also thinks an altseason is around the corner. He said: “$ETH 1D TF- ETH leading alts to glory in September begins. See you at FourFiddy.” However, an analyst by the name Etherdamus observed that the total market cap has remained constant despite the rally, showing that there’s no fresh money that has flowed into ethereum. He opined: “ETH is up but total crypto market cap still staying flat, price increase could just be money being moved around from other crypto’s rather than fresh money. Waiting for TMC to pass $260B.” Bitcoin is posting 1.3% losses on the day to trade at $10,169.03 as per CoinGecko’s data. Most of the top altcoins are in the green apart from Bitcoin SV, Monero, and Stellar (XLM) which are registering 0.8%, 0.5%, 0.3% losses on the daily scale. The post Is BitPay Support The Catalyst That Catapults ETH Price Past $200? appeared first on ZyCrypto.
ZyCrypto

BitPay is bringing Ethereum payments mainstream

BitPay, the largest crypto payments provider, which facilitates over $1 billion in Bitcoin transactions annually, will add support for Ethereum. Companies which use BitPay for payment processing can now accept Ethereum for purchases.  Moreover, BitPay will provide users with the ability to store Ether in a BitPay wallet and provide access to Ether on BitPay prepaid Visa cards. Stephen Pair, the CEO of BitPay stated: “BitPay is consistently at the forefront of using cryptocurrency to solve real-world problems and offer our global customers the best options to accept and pay with multiple blockchain assets. As one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap and one used by thousands of companies, Ethereum is the next logical choice.” Previously, BitPay was processing payments with Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. BitPay also offers stablecoin settlement with USD Coin, Gemini Dollar, and Paxos Standard token with support for 12 currencies and direct bank deposits to 37 countries. Vitalik Buterin, co-founder and creator of Ethereum, also commented on the development:  “It is exciting to see BitPay leading the way in integrating Ethereum into global payment systems. This truly opens up a new world of possibilities for the Ethereum ecosystem, and together we can continue to be a leading innovator for real-world use cases for cryptocurrencies.” BitPay’s existing merchants, such as Microsoft, Newegg, Dish Networks, FanDuel and Avnet, will be able to turn on support for Ethereum seamlessly, with no additional integration will be required. In the coming weeks, BitPay plans to go live with Ethereum support for its other services, including BitPay merchants and BitPay wallet holders. In Bitcoin alone, BitPay processes approximately $1 billion in transaction value. Less than a month ago, the Bitcoin wallet and blockchain explorer provider Blockchain announced a partnership with the payment processor. With another meaningful way to pay with Ethereum, BitPay’s integration will help ETH achieve its goal as widely-accepted programmable money. The post BitPay is bringing Ethereum payments mainstream appeared first on CryptoSlate.
Cryptoslate

BitPay to launch Ethereum support in coming weeks

BitPay is expanding its capabilities to Ethereum, allowing merchants across the world to accept the currency. The payment provider announced today that customers will be able to securely and compliantly accept the currency in the coming weeks. The launch will also allow wallet users to store Ethereum in their BitPay wallets, in addition to allowing BitPay Prepaid Visa Card holders to add to their debit cards. Stephen Pair, CEO of BitPay, said in a statement that integrating Ethereum was the "next logical choice" for the company. Ethereum joins BitPay's payment mechanism offerings of bitcoin and bitcoin cash. The company also supports stable coin settlement with Circle CENTRE USD Coin, Gemini Dollar and Paxos Standard token in addition to 12 currencies and direct bank deposit in some countries.  Merchants like Microsoft, Newegg, Dish Networks, FanDuel and Avnet will be able to support the currency without any additional integration effort on their end, according to the company. They'll also be able to process cross-border transactions. Ethereum support will go live very soon, according to the company. However, an official launch date has not been specified within the announcement.
The Block Crypto

Gemini expands into custody with instant trades from cold storage

Gemini is diving deeper into the market for cryptocurrencies with the launch of a new qualified custody unit, the firm announced Tuesday.  The firm, founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, announced the launch of Gemini Trust Company, which will serve as a qualified custodian, offering the ability to instantly trade 18 cryptocurrencies from offline storage including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin, and 14 ethereum-based tokens, including Basic Attention Token and Bancor. It is a striking number of coins considering Gemini's conservative listing approach — the exchange has only added support for six assets since launching in 2015. The launch of the new business comes at a time of increased competition in the custody landscape. Recently, Coinbase has expanded its offering via the acquisition of Xapo's institutional arm. At the same time, new players such as Anchorage and Fidelity Digital Assets have come online to offer investors a new way to store assets in what is known to be a volatile market. Still, investors have been crying for solutions that will balance security and the ability to move assets quickly to trade.  In response, earlier this year Gemini rivals Coinbase and BitGo released products that offer direct trading from offline storage by bringing together OTC services and custody offerings. In January, BitGo, in partnership with Genesis Global Trading, started testing same-day settlement from cold storage and in March, Coinbase Custody began offering instant trades. Amidst an increasingly competitive landscape with industry titans, Gemini has sought ways to differentiate its product offerings. To get a better understanding of its market positioning, The Block spoke with Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto, Gemini’s Managing Director of Operations who joined a year ago from Nasdaq’s International Securities Exchange.  The following is an edited transcript of our discussion: The Block: How are you differentiating Gemini Custody instant trades from your competition? Hightower-Sellitto: I believe that our offering for Gemini instant trading is unique in the crypto space for custody. We’re providing liquidity from cold storage for the exchange account for trading on the Limit Order Book that Gemini operates. There's a big difference between trading OTC and trading on a regulated listed order book.  The Block: Can you explain how Gemini Custody’s instant trades work? Hightower-Sellitto: For custody instant trades, we allow customers to trade on the exchange using the balances they have for those particular assets in cold storage without sacrificing any of the security in the withdrawal process. This provides customers immediate liquidity to their holdings that are held offline without having to miss any market opportunities for which they would want to be trading as assets on a real-time basis. So if there’s a price dislocation coming to market, you don’t have to wait the hours or longer for those assets to be actually physically delivered into the exchange account. We can credit your exchange account for the assets that you hold in cold storage and you’re able to initiate trading on those balances right away while we follow the full security feature set for withdrawing your assets from cold storage. We can give you the advance because we have a super liquid hot wallet for the exchange. The Block: Is this a full rollout or are you in test mode? Hightower-Sellitto: It’s a full rollout. The Block: What’s new in the feature set? Hightower-Sellitto: The user interface has been live for a short period of time but the ability to initiate the transfer to the trading account for Gemini Custody instant trade is new. The ability to create unlimited sub-accounts for both custody accounts and exchange trading accounts is relatively new, we put out that release last Tuesday. The ability for customers to self-manage view-only access for account activity is new. Gemini Clearing for OTC trades was announced last Friday. Expanded custody support for the 13 ERC-20 tokens is new. [Gemini does not support ERC-20 tokens on the exchange, other than its stablecoin GUSD] The Block: Are there additional fees for instant trades? Hightower-Sellitto: There are no additional fees for instant trades. The trading fees follow the same fee schedule as those available on our website. The Block: How many assets under custody does Gemini have? [BitGo claims more than $2 billion, CoinBase claims to be the world’s largest crypto custodian with over $7 billion resulting from its acquisition of Xapo’s institutional business in August] Hightower-Sellitto: We’ve never disclosed our assets under custody but it’s pretty meaningful in terms of size. We think customers should be evaluating their custodian based on the quality of their offering, their security profile and their operational procedures, and not necessarily because others have put assets there. It should be a thoughtful vetting process by each customer. The Block: How does your instant trades announcement tie into the opening of Gemini’s Chicago office? [Gemini opened their Chicago office in June as Coinbase exited the region and laid off a pool of engineers.] Hightower-Sellitto: They’re not necessarily tied. Chicago came about because there were qualified candidates we were seeking to hire in the Chicago area and it made sense for us to expand there based on that talent available in that area. It’s a really great place for us to draw talent from the traditional financial markets and trading environment. The Block: Do you see something special about the Chicago market? Hightower-Sellitto: Personally, I do because I worked in the options markets for many years and Chicago is the home of options trading. There are a lot of options market participants that have migrated to crypto so I’m happy to see us with a presence there and catering to that customer base. The Block: Are there other markets that you’re looking at? Hightower-Sellitto: We just announced that we’re expanding into Australia so international expansion is at the forefront of our minds. We already operate in 49 of the 50 U.S. states as well as Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, United Kingdom. Bigger cities have large groups of individuals that may have an interest in crypto so we’re focused on those. There’s activity going on with ad campaigns in Miami, Austin and Santa Monica. The Block: What do you think is causing the rise in institutional investor interest in crypto? Hightower-Sellitto: There are many things that help to increase an institutional investor’s participation in the market. Rising prices is always one of the biggest drivers. The Block: What obstacles are standing in the way of mass adoption of crypto for the institutional investor? Hightower-Sellitto: A clear regulatory framework would do wonders for spurring adoption. Who the regulator will be? What their expectations are? When those standards are met? I think we’ll get there but there is more work to be done. This post was written by Martine Paris, a freelance reporter on technology and cryptocurrencies. 
The Block Crypto

Flexa brings cryptocurrency payments to over 7,500 Canadian merchants

Cryptocurrency payment processing service provider Flexa is coming to Canada, the company announced in a blog post on Tuesday. This is Flexa's first offering outside the U.S. According to the startup, through its partnership with Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Coinsquare, Canadian customers will be able to make payments in bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, litecoin, zcash, and Gemini dollar in over 7,500 merchant locations across Canada by the first week of September. Additionally, Canadian customers visiting the U.S. can use the SPEDN app to make cryptocurrency payments at U.S. merchants and vice-versa. In May, Flexa announced the launch of its cryptocurrency mobile payments app SPEDN and a partnership with New York-based crypto exchange Gemini to enable its users to spend cryptocurrencies with major U.S. retailers including Starbucks. Flexa was founded in 2018 and has raised $14.1 million from investors including Pantera Capital, 1kx, and Nima Capital through a private token sale.
The Block Crypto

Flexa Spreading Their Crypto Payments to Canada

Coinspeaker Flexa Spreading Their Crypto Payments to CanadaNew York-based blockchain payment startup Flexa announced that they have been finally launched outside the U.S. for the first time ever. From today, instant in-store crypto payments have been made possible for Canadian residents as well – from Yukon to Nova Scotia and from Vancouver to St. John’s.But let’s start from the beginning. In April this year, this startup raised $14.1 million from big investors including Pantera Capital, 1kx, Access Ventures, etc. Their token, dubbed Flexacoin, is an Ethereum-based ERC-20 token that is created for usage by developers and companies to stake value on Flexa’s network for merchant payment processing.In May, they introduced an application which enabled consumers to spend their cryptos at major American retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, GameStop, Nordstrom, Office Depot and Whole Foods Market.Transactions could be made in three easy steps: adding crypto to the SPEDN wallet, choosing a necessary brand and scanning a code. To pay for purchases customers can use can Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH) and the stablecoin issued by Gemini, the Gemini dollar (GUSD).From then, their network of stores widened and some partnerships deepened. In cooperation with Gemini, they introduced support for Litecoin (with the Litecoin Foundation) and Zcash (with Electric Coin Company). They have also joined the Messari registry, and released the beta app for Android on the Play Store, because previously app was available only for iOs.From the company, they said that their entrance to Canada was thought thoroughly and it will be done in two phases.The first phase covers an opening of the existing Flexa network to Canadian residents, who already can try by downloading the SPEDN app from the App Store or Google Play and visiting SPEDN Shop pop-up at Toronto’s Blockchain Futurist conference, through August 14.The second phase includes bringing instant crypto payments online in more than 7,500  stores across Canada (including some of the nation’s largest retail, entertainment, and fuel brands) by the beginning of September.Of course, Canadian Flexa users will be able to spend on the network when in the USA as well and vice versa without any necessity to worry about exchange rates or conversion fees.Per the announcement, Flexa wallet deposits will be protected securely also insured through their, already mentioned, partnership with Gemini.They said:“We think that seamless, fee-free, cross-border commerce is one of the most impactful use cases that cryptocurrency can provide. And because Flexa doesn’t require the use of credit cards, debit cards, or bank accounts, we’re not tethered to the traditional financial system or its inherent fiat inflexibility.”In order to bring Flexa to Canada, the company has partnered with Coinsquare, Canada’s biggest and safest cryptocurrency exchange. Toronto based, last few years Coinsquare spent in creating one of the most cooperative and original exchange businesses in this sector. From Flexa, they said they keep trying to widen their relationship as getting closer to releasing Flexacoin collateralization and the Flexa Wallet SDK for iOS and Android.As per the announcement, it doesn’t seem Flexa will stop in America and Canada only. Their intents include satisfying their own ambition of “making cryptocurrency spendable everywhere, and rebuilding payment acceptance for the modern era”.They are, however, aware that they are on the very first beginning but they are hoping to have a possibility to share more information on Flexacoin collateralization and the availability of the Flexa Wallet SDK in the nearest future.Flexa Spreading Their Crypto Payments to Canada
Coinspeaker

What’s Happened to Gemini Dollar? Supply Down 92% YTD

Demand for Gemini exchange’s native stablecoin, Gemini dollar (GUSD), has dropped significantly over the last 7 months while other pegged-value assets continue to soar. Gemini Dollar Falls Behind The market capitalization of the dollar-pegged token has been on its way down since December 20, 2018. It has slipped from an all-time high of $103.106 million to $7.981 million at the time of this writing, marking a 92.25% drop in just seven months. The same period has witnessed the bitcoin price soaring from $3,126 to $10,336.17, up by more than 230 percent. Gemini Market Cap is on a Steady Decline | Image Credits: CoinMarketCap.com In contrast, other stablecoins are faring far better than Gemini Dollar. Paxos Standard Token, for instance, has a market capitalization of circa $168 million. At the same time, Circle’s USDC is towering high at a supply of circa 406.34 million. Last but not least, the leading stablecoin Tether (USDT) has a total quantity of $4.25 billion, calculated at press time. Competition is a Killer In comparison to its peers in the United States, Gemini exchange notices less trade traffic on its platform. Data provided by CoinGecko shows that the Winklevoss Twins’ firm is on the 21st rank in the last 24 hours – with just $60.275 million in daily volume. Coinbase Pro, another US-regulated entity, is hosting about $602.93 million worth of trades on its exchange – 10X the number of trading volume that Gemini is reporting. At the same time, San Francisco-based Kraken exchange is processing $340.30 million worth of trades on its platform. The absence of an adequate competitive edge could be one of the reasons why the demand for Gemini dollar could be dropping. As a dollar-pegged entity, the token allows traders to switch between crypto-assets smoothly without having to convert their cryptocurrencies to the US dollar. As it appears, not many traders demand GUSD, which could be due to Gemini’s presence in a strictly regulated financial market. Union Station, Washington DC, @Gemini ads plaster the walls. We’re growing pic.twitter.com/3BJQEgXr7w — Crypto Gumb (@derekGUMB) July 18, 2019 There are other competitive factors in play, meanwhile. Tether’s USDT is more visible across the non-US exchanges, especially Binance, despite its contentious status. USDC, on the other hand, has a broader clientele in Coinbase and Circle. Paxos is extra-feasible for its ability to create and redeem stablecoins instantly. And above all, even the traders outside the Gemini exchange are not keeping many Gemini dollars in their profiles. The community believes it is because of a rebate program Gemini introduced at the time of the launch of GUSD. The firm offered trading companies its stablecoins in discounts in hopes to reduce Tether’s market dominance. But it appears those companies exchanged stockpiles of discounted GUSD units one-to-one for Tether’s USDT and other stablecoins, thus earning free money. The Great Gemini Dollar Rebound The demand for Gemini Dollar could go up as founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss prepares Gemini to become a broker-dealer. The twins have applied for a license at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Upon approval, Gemini would be able to offer to trade in securities, which could boost the demand for GUSD. Image via Twitter @derekGUMB, Coinmarketcap, Shutterstock The post What’s Happened to Gemini Dollar? Supply Down 92% YTD appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.
Bitcoinist

Morgan Stanley: Most Bitcoins Are Bought With Tether

Tether (USDT) is now the most popular asset for buying Bitcoin (BTC), suggesting that the latest rally is fueled by existing rather than new cryptocurrency investors. In a report published today,  U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley noted a significant increase in the number of Bitcoin trades against Tether. This increase coincided with a proportionate decrease in the number of BTC trades against popular fiat currencies, such as the Chinese renminbi (CNY) or US dollar. As indicated in the graph below, USDT began to gain volume near the beginning of the 2017 ICO boom. At the time the U.S. dollar had been the most popular trading asset, following a steep decline in CNY transactions earlier that year. Although bullish regulatory news from Japan has led to a surge in popularity for yen (JPY) transactions since 2017, Tether made the largest gains in BTC volume. After reaching a high point of about 80% earlier this year, USDT dominance has since fallen to about 60%.   Source: CryptoCompare, Morgan Stanley Research   Stablecoins provide a fiat-pegged store of value, without exposing investors to the volatility of the rest of the crypto markets. As the legal waters surrounding Tether and Bitfinex became murkier, new issuers have come onto the scene offering different collateralized assets over the past year. Gemini (GUSD), Circle (USDC) and Paxos Standard (PAX) were all released in late 2018.  eToro and Wirex released a flood of new new stablecoins earlier this year, and TrustToken (TUSD) has launched tokens backed by the Euro and British Pound.  There’s even a stablecoin based on other stablecoins. But despite increasing competition and recurring concerns over its reserves, Tether – which accidentally minted $5bn USDT last weekend – remains popular among investors. A report published earlier this year showed that none of the other collateralized stablecoins managed to capture much of Tether’s market share during last winter’s decline. Morgan Stanley’s analysts suggested that the surge in Tether’s popularity came from the relative ease of transactions as well as the minimal costs. Investors can easily trade Tether for other cryptocurrencies, faster and cheaper than they could through a different asset class. Another advantage comes from Tether’s universal presence in the exchange world, where USDT is traded in nearly every marketplace. Tether has more than 400 trading pairs, according to CoinMarketCap; the runner-up, TrueUSD, has only 165. Overall more than two-thirds of all reported Bitcoin trades in the past month were made through other cryptocurrencies, up from just over a half during Q4 2018. Since Bitcoin is the most common cryptocurrency for first-time investors, the latest rally is most likely fueled by traders who are already invested, rather than new investors entering the space.   Source: CryptoCompare, Morgan Stanley Research   In its “Bitcoin Decrypted” report published on November 1st, Morgan Stanley predicted an increase in Bitcoin transactions against Tether. At the time, analysts suggested this was because most exchanges lacked fiat trading pairs, and those that did charged high transaction fees.  USDT was not only more accessible, analysts said, it was also the cheaper option. It also suggests that large investors remain mostly untroubled by the legal issues surrounding Tether. But there is another possible explanation: many Tether skeptics believe unbacked USDT helped raise Bitcoin prices, which would account for the increase in USDT-BTC trades. Today’s Morgan Stanley report also provides a breakdown on Facebook’s Libra coin as well as the digital asset market in general. In that report, analysts suggested that IEOs are actually retracements to a more centralized issuance model and that close correlations exist between last year’s Bitcoin rally and the Nasdaq composite during the dotcom boom. Another key finding highlighted that institutional involvement is increasing, while retail investments have stagnated. If the banks’ analysts are correct, this could be the beginning of more institutional adoption for virtual assets. The post Morgan Stanley: Most Bitcoins Are Bought With Tether appeared first on Crypto Briefing.
CryptoBriefing

Winkelvoss Twins To Shake Hands with Zuckerberg For Libra

The allure of Facebook’s Libra project has the Winklevoss twins willing to mend their fractured relationship with Mark Zuckerberg. Let’s be Friends Again Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, both co-founders of the New York-based Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, appear to be offering an olive branch to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. As history tells, the Winkelvoss twins alleged that Zuckerberg stole their Facebook prototype called HarvardConnection and used it to lay the foundation for the social media company. This led to the Winklevoss twins missing out on billions of dollars in profits but their desire to be involved with Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project have made them willing to put their past with Zuckerberg behind them. On July 9 Cameron Winkelvoss told CoinDesk, “We’re definitely looking at it in earnest and we’re excited about the project.”  Libra could Catalyze Mainstream Crypto Adoption Both brothers made billions from their early Bitcoin investments and according to Tyler: Libra is the first of many FANG [Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google] companies to have a token project. Our prediction is in the next 24 months almost every FANG company will have a coin or be working on some sort of project. The twins are hoping that membership on the Libra consortium will further their vision of mainstream cryptocurrency adoption and in the future, they plan to diversify Gemini’s token offerings if the exchange’s FINRA application for a broker-dealer license is approved. If approved, Gemini would be allowed to list digital securities and Tyler explained that “our marketplace will be virtual commodities, virtual securities, and on and on…pretty much anything that can come onto a blockchain.” Libra Garners Institutional Support from Major Players The project has stirred up plenty of excitement in the crypto community, with some even attributing part of the current Bitcoin rally to the buzz generated by the project. Currently, Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Coinbase are Libra Association members and Gemini’s membership would make it the second major cryptocurrency exchange to join the project. Libra has also been the topic of heated discussion in the United States Congress and many lawmakers are demanding that Facebook pump the brakes on the project as certain regulatory concerns require clarification. Furthermore, the project faces stiff opposition in Europe where a European Member of Parliament (MEP) and French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire said the project must be stopped. There are fears that Libra could undermine a number of financial regulations and function as a shadow bank. Some countries like India, China, and Russia have signaled that the project will not receive a warm welcome in their markets. Ultimately, regardless of the friction the Libra project currently encounters, the Winkelssvoss twins believe the project will be beneficial to the crypto-ecosystem and further mass adoption of digital assets. The twins have suggested that in order for the project to succeed, Facebook will need to “work with regulators [as] the right regulation allows for innovation to flourish.”  Do you think Facebook’s Libra project will help mainstream cryptocurrency? Share your thoughts in the comments below!  Images via Shutterstock The post Winkelvoss Twins To Shake Hands with Zuckerberg For Libra appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.
Bitcoinist

Gemini Exchange Might Join Facebook’s Libra Association

Coinspeaker Gemini Exchange Might Join Facebook’s Libra AssociationJust recently, Gemini founders – the Winklevoss twins – admitted that they are about to join the Libra Association, the consortium behind Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Libra.“We’re definitely looking at it in earnest and we’re excited about the project,” Cameron Winklevoss explained.Also, they carry a healthy bag of optimism saying that most of the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) companies will have a token project.“Our feeling is, this is the first of many FANG companies to have a token project. Our prediction is in the next 24 months almost every FANG company will have a coin or be working on some sort of project,” believes Tyler.As they recently commented, they want to be “frenemies” with Facebook along with Mark Zuckerberg. But in a recent interview with CNBC, they seemed very formal and didn’t even blink an eye when talking about Facebook’s new crypto project or their past relationships, in general. They look like they have swiped this past under the rug and continue to move forward.Moreover, they recently applied for a broker-dealer license in Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which would allow them to list digital securities on Gemini.Thus far, the only crypto exchange in the Libra Association is Coinbase which sits there from the very beginning.Plans to Go GlobalThe Winklevoss twins shared plans on expanding to Europe and Asia in the near future. This goes along with Facebook’s plans to go global with the Libra Project. However, in recent news, Facebook confirmed that due to regulatory reasons, they won’t be able to expand their services to India. Also, Russia has commented that they won’t be allowing people to operate with Libra.Both twins share a very optimistic view of the future. They believe that soon there will be virtual commodities, securities, and so on available either on Gemini and, in general.“Our marketplace will be virtual commodities, virtual securities, and on and on,” Tyler said. “Pretty much anything that can come onto a blockchain,” they predict.However, when speaking about Bitcoin, the number one cryptocurrency judging by the market cap, they believe that this asset as such is very underrated.“If Bitcoin really is Gold 2.0, it has to have a market cap of $7 trillion. I think that market cap is a good measure of adoption and how many people are actually in crypto,” explains Cameron Winklevoss.We can only imagine the state of the crypto market if Bitcoin reaches the market cap of $7 trillion.Gemini Exchange Might Join Facebook’s Libra Association
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Bakkt Launches Futures Contracts, Bitcoin Price Falls

Bakkt, a subsidiary of New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc (NYSE: ICE), launched its long-awaited physically backed Bitcoin futures Monday.  The first Bakkt/ICE futures contract changed hands at $10,115 and the number of contracts in the first hour stood at just five total, CoinDesk reported. It's widely belived in the ...Full story available on Benzinga.com
Benzinga

Late Bloomer: Why Bakkt’s Slow Start Is No Surprise

Bakkt has finally opened its platform for physically-delivered Bitcoin futures, but the response has been underwhelming. Nearly a year after the owners of the New York Stock Exchange announced their foray into cryptocurrency, markets responded to the new institutional trading venue with another 1.8% price drop. First announced last August, the long-delayed launch “was an important step toward bringing trusted infrastructure to digital assets,” wrote CEO Kelly Loeffler. The physically-settled futures platform is expected to provide a crucial infrastructure for institutional trading in cryptocurrencies. But some pundits have expressed disappointment at today’s volumes. Four hours before the market closes, only $550,000 worth of BTC futures have exchanged hands. One well-known cryptocurrency analyst described volumes as “not great,” while CoinDesk said trading on Bakkt was off to a “slow start.”   Source: Bakkt   At face value, these low volumes might suggest that institutional investors aren’t very interested in cryptocurrencies. Based on today’s activity, Bakkt volumes are unlikely to rival the futures product from CME Group, which traded $470M in its first week. But there’s an important distinction. CME’s futures are all cash-settled, meaning that all the trading is done in fiat currencies. The underlying asset may be Bitcoin, but at no point does either side have to actually hold it. From a legal perspective, that makes CME futures much simpler for institutional investors, making them no different from a similar future in wheat, maize or gold. In contrast, Bakkt’s futures are all physically delivered, meaning that the underlying assets have to be transferred on a specified date. Institutional investors have to take custody of actual bitcoins, with a lot more hoops to jump. In order to regularly trade in Bakkt bitcoin futures, institutional investors will have to consult specialized legal counsel, acquire new insurance policies, and possibly update their investors, as well as find a custodian to for the digital asset. “[S]ome of [Bakkt’s] largest prospective clients still don’t have permission to trade physically-delivered futures contracts,” wrote analysts at BeQuant Exchange in a note. “As such, [the] build it and they will come mantra may not necessarily result in an influx of new, hot money, at least not right away.” It’s hard to know what the big institutional investors were thinking when Bakkt opened up shop for the first time. But, given the fact that the platform is dealing with a volatile asset class, which has a nebulous regulatory status, it’s no surprise that many high rollers are playing wait-and-see. If there’s one lesson to be learned from Bakkt’s trading today, it’s that the cryptocurrency space still has a tendency towards overblown expectations.  Institutional investors were never going to dive headfirst into an unfamiliar asset. A cautious start to Bakkt’s futures today is a good sign, indicating that the majority of investors are still playing it safe.   The post Late Bloomer: Why Bakkt’s Slow Start Is No Surprise appeared first on Crypto Briefing.
CryptoBriefing

Bakkt’s Bitcoin Futures Goes Live: Should You be Excited?

Over the past few years, the Bitcoin futures ecosystem has grown at a remarkable pace, and it is something that is surely going to stay for years to come. Initially, these futures contracts had been launched by a handful of exchanges, but over the past year or so, the number has increased considerably. Futures Trade In a development that will come as another massive boost to the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ecosystem, the New York Stock Exchange’s owners, ICE, through its crypto exchange Bakkt has decided to launch futures contracts that will pay out traders in Bitcoins. ... ﾿ Read The Full Article On CryptoCurrencyNews.com Get latest cryptocurrency news on bitcoin, ethereum, initial coin offerings, ICOs, ethereum and all other cryptocurrencies. Learn How to trade on cryptocurrency exchanges. All content provided by Crypto Currency News is subject to our Terms Of Use and Disclaimer.
Crypto Currency News

Tezos [XTZ] Jumps Over 4% Amids Binance Listing; CZ Hints Tezos Staking

Binance recently announced the listing of Tezos with pairs of Bitcoin(BTC), Tether(USDT) and Binance Coin(BNB).  Will Binance Enable Tezos Staking? As Per a recent tweet by Binance, it has listed Tezos and it can be paired with USDT, BTC, and BNB. Following the announcement, users can start depositing Tezos on their accounts, while the launch of trading is scheduled for the 24th of September. Source- Twitter CZ then further created hype by asking the community that did they not what was coming next. A user suggested that does the move imply Tezos staking. While CZ didn’t give a definite answer, he expressed his excitement with a “happy” emoji.  Source- Twitter The Tezos official website defines Tezos as,  “ Tezos is a self-amending blockchain that can evolve by upgrading itself, with stakeholders being able to vote on amendments to the protocol, including amendments to the voting procedure itself.” Binance. US Opens Doors for Cardano, Ethereum Classic and Stellar  Today, Binance.US opened deposits for Cardano (ADA), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Stellar (XLM) and 0x (ZRX). Trading for these coins will begin on September 25, 2019, at 9:00 AM EST /6:00 AM PST. The announcement further mentions that the coins are temporarily only available for deposits and withdrawals will not be enabled until trading is live. Source- Twitter Also, Binance.US will commence trading on September 24, 2019 at 9:00am EST / 6:00am PST. The launch will see Binance.US list Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Binance Coin (BNB) and Tether (USDT). These coins will be available for trading across 13 fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto trading pairs.  Source- Twitter Binance Announces 6th Phase of Lending Products In yet another update, Binance announced its 6th phase of lending products. The launch will take place on the 25th of September. In the sixth phase of Binance’s lending initiative, users will be able to lend Binance Coin(BNB), Bitcoin(BTC), EOS, Ethereum Classic(ETC), Ethereum(ETH), ChainLink(LINK), Tether(USDT) and Ripple(XRP) to earn interests payable from Sep. 25 to Oct. 09.  Traders are in for huge benefit as Binance. US enables trading. Will Binance continue to keep the crypto community happy with its developments? Let us know, what you think? The post Tezos [XTZ] Jumps Over 4% Amids Binance Listing; CZ Hints Tezos Staking appeared first on Coingape.
CoinGape

Nicholas Merten: Now Is the Time for Ravencoin, BAT and Chainlink

YouTube star Nicholas Merten is a fan of crypto, but like everyone else, he’s noticed the gradual downplay of bitcoin as of late. Once again, bitcoin has dropped below the $10,000 mark and is trading for just over $9,800. While this isn’t a major fall, the currency seems to have wavered between this mark and $10,200 over the past month. Merten: Altcoins Are Making a Comeback Merten isn’t concerned by this. In fact, he’s looking to use the situation to his advantage, and advises others to do the same. As the host of YouTube’s “Data Dash,” arguably one of the most popular cryptocurrency channels on the streaming and video site, Merten claims that there are three specific cryptocurrencies that are likely to shoot up now that bitcoin is wavering if people are looking to invest. Those cryptocurrencies are Basic Attention Token (BAT), Raven Coin (RVN), and Chain Link (LINK). In a recent interview, he states that these three tokens are likely to grow heavily over the next 12 months, explaining:  At the current moment, looking at [bitcoin] market dominance, it does look like we’re starting to enter into a trend shift where altcoins can start to gain as we retest back towards bitcoin’s high of $20,000. The last two [altcoin cycles] that we had were at the end of the overall bitcoin cycle where bitcoin reached $20,000. The first one happened at the beginning of 2017 when bitcoin retested its high at $1,100. For the most part, altcoins have had a relatively rough year in 2019. Bitcoin on the other hand, has experienced steady growth since April, doubling its price since then from $5,000 to about $10,000. While many have focused on bitcoin as of late, Merten says he’s starting to see funds travel into smaller, competing coins. He says:  As bitcoin does increase over time, as we tend to see a general growth in bitcoin’s price, we tend to see more risk taking in different types of digital assets. As more liquidity has entered bitcoin, you have the ability now, through exchanges, for that liquidity to exit into other alternative investments. Sometimes, that can be rampant speculation, and in other cases, it can be driven through fundamentals. I believe this time around, in this cycle, we’re going to see more going toward fundamental developed projects that actually have real demand.  Why These Three and Not Others? Chain Link is big in that it’s joined software company Oracle to help blockchains connect with outside networks. Raven Coin is significant because it allows developers to establish their own tokens, while BAT is moving forward in that it is attached to the Brave browser, which seeks to block advertisements and trackers from following one’s searches and online activity. Merten is confident BAT will be very important in the field of privacy. The post Nicholas Merten: Now Is the Time for Ravencoin, BAT and Chainlink appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.
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