TD Ameritrade All-In With Crypto, Invests In Exchange. Shapeshift Faces-Off With the Wall Street Journal. Lawmakers Push for Official ‘Blockchain’ Definition. Coinbase Valuations Reaches the Moon. Yale University Reportedly Preparing for Crypto Investment. Traceability of Crypto possible. CFTC chairman says cryptocurrency is here to stay. WSJ report Bots Are Manipulating Bitcoin. South Korea’s Chief Policy Maker Favours ICOs Legalisation.
This week, TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. announced a strategic investment in cryptocurrency exchange ErisX, which offers both bitcoin spot trading and futures trading. While Coinbase only offers bitcoin spot trading, ErisX allows trading, deposits, and withdrawals in bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum and litecoin.
Last Friday, WSJ published How Dirty Money Disappears Into the Black Hole of Cryptocurrency, a seemingly tell-all of the nefarious activity happening on the Shapeshift exchange. The journalists behind the article claimed that Shapeshift is a hotbed for criminals looking to launder their ill-gotten funds. Shapeshift founder and CEO Erik Voorhees wasn’t going to take those accusations laying down. He responded with his own post, Shining Light on WSJ’s Attack on ShapeShift and Crypto, in which he basically states that the WSJ article is a load of B.S. He argues that it was a poor attempt to make Shapeshift and cryptocurrency as a whole look poor and stems from a lack of understanding about blockchain technology.
In a further push to gain some clarity on the status of blockchain and related cryptocurrencies, Congresswoman Doris Matsui and Congressman Brett Guthrie have introduced a bill “to establish a common definition of blockchain.” The Blockchain Promotion Act of 2018 would also create a committee of governmental stakeholders and private industry leaders to help further research the potential of blockchain technology. Although it’s concerning that government officials haven’t even decided on a definition for blockchain, this bill appears to be a step in the right direction, as long as it gets passed through.
Coinbase gets another booster shot. Coinbase is allegedly in talks with Tiger Global to raise meager $500 million. This raise would place Coinbase at an $8 billion valuation – more than four times more than its $1.5 billion price tag last summer. With this valuation, Coinbase is not encroaching on Uber ($68 billion), Airbnb ($29 billion), and SpaceX ($12 billion). The valuation would place it above Instacart ($4.35 billion), Magic Leap ($4.98 billion), and competitor Circle ($3 billion).
According to a report by Bloomberg, Yale University may be shifting some of its sizable endowment assets toward digital currencies. The Ivy League university, which has the second-largest endowment of any U.S. academic institution, is reportedly among a group of investors which has helped a new fund focused on digital assets raise $400 million. The fund is known as Paradigm and was launched as a collaboration between Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, Pantera Capital ex-employee Charles Noyes, and former Sequoia Capital partner Matt Huang.
An official from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) indicated this week that cryptocurrencies may not be as anonymous and private as some users may have hoped. Indeed, the official reported that each time a cryptocurrency is converted into a government-issued currency, there exists a “vulnerability” which allows for key information about the transaction to be identified.
CFTC chairman and everyone’s favorite Giancarlo Preaches asserted in a CNBC interview that, like it or not,
“cryptocurrency is here to stay.” He argued that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may solve some of the problems around the world in which “probably two-thirds [of currency] is not worth the polymer or the paper they’re written on.”
WSJ report states that unscrupulous traders, wielding purpose-built software, can be behind their volatility. The article citing inputs from industry insiders reported that crypto bots can be used to execute abusive strategies on an industrial scale. Abusive bots are a fact of life, said Stefan Qin, managing partner of Virgil Capital, an $80 Mn cryptocurrency hedge fund that runs its own bots on dozens of crypto exchanges worldwide.
Finally, South Korea’s Chief Policy Maker Favours ICOs Legalisation, Speaking at the National Assembly, chairman of South Korea’s National Policy Committee Min Byung-Doo urged Korean regulators to legalize initial coin offerings (ICOs). Following China, the South Korean government had banned ICOs in the country. However, now according to an Unhashed report, Min has advised the National Assembly that the country must not close its doors for ICOs completely. South Korea has been one of the largest markets of Bitcoins. The Financial Services Commission while banning all kinds of ICO had then stated, “Raising funds through ICOs seems to be on the rise globally, and our assessment is that ICOs are increasing in South Korea as well.”
After being in greens for past couple of week BTC says some minor selling this week ending the week down 0.5%. The prices hit the high point of USD 6,653.30 and the lowest point of USD 6,454.03 during the week. Apart from the outliers of BitMEX that had volumes of 14.25%, the exchanges that were more active, in volumes, with BTC across various pairs this week were, Bithumb (3.09%), DOBI Trade (2.96%) and ZB.COM (2.12%)
For Bitcoin, according to one Spencer Bogart, works at Blockchain Capital as a partner, Bitcoin could be about to bottom out, meaning that the current price may very well be the lowest for the cryptocurrency. In such a case, that could mean that Bitcoin’s price could be headed for a major break out.
Ethereum prices finally are some distance from third place XRP. Ether prices, on the top, this week were at USD 234.15 and were at lows of USD 213.97 pretty much above the USD 200 hurdle. The markets that were more active, in volumes, with ETH across various pairs this week were ZB.COM (13.74), DOBI Trade (4.93.82%), and BitForex (4.00%)
For Ethereum, its founder Vitalik Buterin, said that the process of “detaching” himself from the Ethereum project had already started.
After a couple of weeks of super rise, XRP finally has a low week showing corrective action. On the top, this week the prices of XRP were at USD 0.602337 and towards the bottom, it quoted USD 0.470532. The exchanges that were more active, in volumes, with XRP across various pairs this week were Bitbank (13.12%), Binance (9.30%), and ZB.COM (6.58%)
For XRP this week, SBI Ripple Asia launched the MoneyTap application in Japan now allowing clients to execute real-time payment transactions at any time.
The other movers and shakers
The Other coins that made to the top and bottom this week according to Coin Market Cap (accessed on Oct 7 at 1:30 pm IST) were
- ARBITRAGE – Showing a rise of 130.21%
- BitWhite – Showing a rise of 124.25%
- Haven Protocol – Showing a rise of 115.13%
- Ubex – Showing a drop of 86.10%
- HollyWoodCoin – Showing a drop of 50.38%
- Condominium – Showing a drop of 49.81%
What do you think would be the sentiment of the crypto markets next week? Do let us know your views on the same.