BitPR Weekly Crypto Highlights – Cautious Optimism and Reservations

Crypto is back! Cautious optimism is returning to the markets. Some influential people in traditional finance have even spoken out in favor of crypto in general.

Still, regulators are circling and there have been some speed bumps. We are not out of the woods yet.

Let’s start with Bakkt’s highly anticipated Bitcoin futures product… that has now been postponed…

Bakkt postpones launch of Bitcoin futures and Nasdaq’s upcoming crypto futures products

Source: Invest in Blockchain, CoinDesk

Bakkt, launched by NYSE parent company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), announced that they will postpone the launch of their Bitcoin Futures trading platform until late January 2019. The official reason given for the delay was due to regulatory approval from the CFTC.

Some speculate that the timing of Bakkt’s postponement decision may have been to add downward pressure to BTC prices (to a level that institutional investors are comfortable investing in), while others dismiss this as a conspiracy theory.

In related news, Nasdaq is partnering with investment management firm VanEck to create a range of cryptocurrency financial products and a regulated crypto 2.0 futures-type contract to market. The launch may happen in Q1 2019.

People seem glued to the SEC’s remarks on crypto, as they should be…

Six Takeaways from SEC Chairman’s Crypto Remarks

Source: CoinDesk

During CoinDesk’s Consensus Invest, Jay Clayton, Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, hinted upcoming regulations.

According to analysts, the SEC may not be enthusiastic a bitcoin ETF in the short-term. According to Clayton, there are still hurdles to overcome before one gets approved, such as issues regarding third-party custody of crypto assets and market manipulation.

Clayton explicitly stated that he does not completely trust crypto exchanges. Analysts believe that this foreshadows the SEC eventually regulating crypto exchanges. He even suggested a need to implement anti-money laundering systems for cryptocurrencies. Ultimately, Clayton believes that ICOs since 2017 should enter discussions with the SEC as soon as possible to comply with relevant regulations.


But there is some good news…

NYSE Chair Says Survival of Digital Currencies is ‘Unequivocal’

Source: Cointelegraph

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Chairman Jeffrey Sprecher maintained a positive outlook on the survival of digital currencies, as reported by Barron’s recently.

Efforts on ensuring the price transparency of digital currencies have already begun. In January, ICE, NYSE’s parent firm, partnered with Blockstream to deliver “disciplined” BTC price information to major Wall Street investors. Kelly Loeffler, CEO of Bakkt, is also planning a future engagement to help Bitcoin traders establish a trusted price.

ICE expressed interest in increasing the number of BTC owners when it announced plans to offer traders contracts that eventually result in BTC ownership. Cointelegraph reported the establishment of the Association for Digital Asset Markets (ADAM) which seeks to create a “code of conduct” for the cryptocurrency sector.


Let’s revisit the hot topic of the past week or so…

Is It Even Possible to Know Why the Crypto Market Crashed?

Source: Invest In Blockchain

Bitcoin spent a few days languishing below the $4,000 and lost $46 billion, and the whole market lost about $90 billion. Unfortunately, there was more than one reason as to why we got here.


The Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork (crypto civil war)

The Bitcoin Cash breakup into Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin SV led to mass damage to the cryptocurrency market and added to the impression that crypto is volatile and uncontrollable.


SEC crackdown on ICOs

A recent SEC announcement regarding settled charges against two ICOs, Airfox and Paragon led some to believe that SEC’s approach to ICOs will eventually stifle crypto-fueled innovation.


Impossible to narrow down the cause of the market crash

It says something about crypto market immaturity if the Bitcoin Cash crisis alone is responsible for what has happened (although we don’t think it was the only factor).

Maybe whales selling huge volumes had something to do with it. Maybe the collective fears of the market were amplified by SEC rulings and hard forks. Or maybe it is just irrational people overreacting to news.


Wrapping up the Hash Wars…

How the Bitcoin Cash Hash Wars Ended

Source: Coin Journal

The (self) destructive Bitcoin Cash has wars has mercifully come to an end. Bitcoin Cash ABC (Roger Ver’s camp) and Bitcoin SV (Craig Wright’s camp) have split into two rival chains, with Bitcoin SV ending up with the smaller share. Bitcoin SV is moving ahead with the BSV ticker and have added their own replay protection, killing the chance of unifying the chains. BCH ABC has added a ‘checkpoint’ to protect themselves from reorganization attacks by BSV.

The body count from this civil war was high. The pre-fork market cap of over $7.5bn. At press time, the combined market cap of ABC and SV is $4.6bn, a roughly 40% loss.


And finally, Ethereum thinks that they have a solution to all of their issues…

Will Ethereum’s “Serenity” Solve Scalability Issues?

Source: Invest In Blockchain

Ethereum is one of the most popular among developers, with 94 of the top 100 blockchain projects built on Ethereum.

However, with volume comes scaling issues, which have been well documented. Ethereum’s blockchain needs to scale in order to increase transaction speeds and reduce transaction costs. EOS and NEO have made some of these upgrades and have poached some developers as a result.

Ethereum revealed their new scaling solution, Serenity, at DevCon 4 on 31 October. It basically involves creating a new blockchain that will be fully compatible with the existing Ethereum blockchain and will be much smaller in size. It also promises to speed up transaction times, potentially allowing merchants to accept Ethereum payments in under 16 seconds.

If successful, Serenity could speed up mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and allow for better decentralized applications and smart contracts. However, it needs to be seen in order to be believed.


Check back next week for more bite-sized crypto analysis!


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