Bitcoin’s Price Snaps Longest Monthly Losing Streak Since 2016

Bitcoin’s Price Snaps Longest Monthly Losing Streak Since 2016

Bitcoin’s price posted gains in the first month of the third quarter, snapping the longest losing streak it’s seen in nearly two years. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization rose 20 percent in July, having registered losses in the previous two months – the first instance of back-to-back monthly drops since August 2016. At press time, bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $7,580, according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). At first instance, the rally seen in July may appear corrective in nature as BTC was looking oversold at the end of Q2, courtesy of a 58 percent drop in the first six months of the year. However, a detailed look at crypto market metrics reveals the July rally had substance. To start with, the BTC dominance rate surged in July as prices recovered from the yearly lows below 6,000, indicating the investors are likely betting on a sustained rally in BTC and are not merely buying the leading cryptocurrency to rotate money into other innovations. The BTC dominance rate rose to a seven-month high of 48.3 percent on July 31 and was last seen hovering at 47.8 percent. Secondly, trading volumes showed signs of life, adding credence to BTC’s inverse head-and-shoulders bullish reversal. The average daily trading volume in July was $4.56 billion – up 5.11 percent compared to the average daily trading volume of $4.34 billion seen in June, according to CoinMarketCap data. Also, the average daily trading volume rose for the first time in July after three straight monthly declines. Clearly, BTC looks primed for further gains after July’s 20 percent price rise. Still, the bulls need to adopt a cautious stance as the major part of the rally was likely fueled by expectations that institutional money would flow into cryptocurrency waters if the US SEC approves bitcoin exchange-traded-funds (ETFs). Thus, a BTC rally could unravel if the SEC rejects proposals for ETF approval. We have already seen the trailer of what could happen if the SEC continues to play spoilsport. For instance, BTC prices fell sharply from $8,200 to $7,900 last Thursday on SEC’s rejection of the Winklevoss bitcoin ETF and more importantly, the bullish momentum has weakened since Friday. Looking ahead, BTC could continue to rise as increasing calls for…

SEC Chief Got Into ‘Heated’ Debate on Crypto

SEC Chief Got Into ‘Heated’ Debate on Crypto

A newly released transcript from a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) roundtable in June showcased the sometimes passionate discussion around cryptocurrencies within the agency. At the start of the June 4 roundtable on conduct standards for investment professionals, according to the transcript, SEC official Eric Werner introduced Jay Clayton, who currently serves as chairman of the SEC. Werner is the associate director of enforcement for the SEC’s Fort Worth regional office. In discussing Clayton’s work at the agency, Werner highlighted an instance in which he walked into a “heated” discussion between the SEC chairman and an unnamed attorney about cryptocurrency – while also stressing Clayton’s commitment to the issue in question. Werner was quoted as saying: “In fact, the first time that I met the Chairman, I walked into a heated discussion he was having with an attorney in my office about the legitimacy and viability of cryptocurrencies. I was taken aback, honestly, about how much thought he had given to this space and the issues surrounding that. And what I have learned in the time working with him is that he has given every single issue that he has confronted that same dedication and thought process.” Clayton, whose agency is one of several U.S. regulatory bodies taking a leading role in regulating the industry, particularly around initial coin offerings (ICOs), has remarked publicly on the technology in the past. Indeed, it was during a hearing in February that Clayton stressed the difference between cryptocurrencies and ICO-derived tokens that are securities. “I want to go back to separating ICOs and cryptocurrencies. ICOs that are securities offerings, we should regulate them like we regulate securities offerings. End of story,” he said at the time. Jay Clayton image via YouTube/CSPAN The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

90% of Corporate “Blockchain” Pilots Will Never Materialize, Researchers Say

90% of Corporate “Blockchain” Pilots Will Never Materialize, Researchers Say

Blockchain If you have been following the mainstream financial press, and even some cryptocurrency news sources, you could not have missed the hype around the so called “Blockchain”. It feels like every day another established company claims to be testing using the technology to disrupt its own industry. In reality, however, it seems that the overwhelming majority of these pilots will never materialize. Also Read: Banks Don’t Really Want to Use ‘Blockchain’ for FX Settlement After All A Significant Disconnect Between Hype and Reality Forrester Research Inc. (NASDAQ:FORR), the global advisory company, has determined that 90% of corporate blockchain pilots, usually announced with much fanfare, will never actually materialize into a service or product to hit the market. Companies are reportedly experiencing difficulties handling performance, oversight and operations, as well as failing to agree on a common system among competitors, thus resulting in extended timelines and greatly reduced expectations. “Blockchain is supposed to be an important future revenue stream for IBM, Microsoft and others in equipment sales, cloud services and consulting,” Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates is cited by Bloomberg. “If it materializes more slowly, analysts will have to make downward revisions.” And according to a Gartner Inc. (NYSE: IT) study, only 1% of chief information officers report their companies have any kind of blockchain adoption, and almost 80% said they had no interest in the idea to begin with. “The disconnect between the hype and the reality is significant – I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Gartner analyst Rajesh Kandaswamy. “In terms of actual production use, it’s very rare.” Example Test Cases The report cites a number of long promised blockchain solutions that have so far not come to pass. ASX Ltd., the Australian stock exchange, pushed back its blockchain-based clearing and settlement system to 2020/2021, that was originally planned to be released about six months ago already. BHP Billiton Ltd., which planned to monitor rock and fluid samples on a blockchain by early 2017, now doesn’t even “have a blockchain project/experiment in progress.” Progress is hard to notice even at the company that thinks of itself as in charge of legitimizing the field in the eyes of US regulators and big banks, Nasdaq Inc. The stock exchange group, that wanted to…

Swissquote Reports 44% Increase in Profit After Adding Cryptocurrency Services

Swissquote Reports 44% Increase in Profit After Adding Cryptocurrency Services

Finance Swiss online banking group, Swissquote, has benefited greatly from the addition of cryptocurrency investing to the set of services it offers, reporting a significant increase in its H1 2018 profits. The news comes while Switzerland is debating over how to keep crypto businesses in the country when the majority of Swiss banks refuse to provide services to the growing crypto sector. Also read: Check Which Coins You Can Spend With Debit Cards and Why Upcoming Fuzex Chooses BCH Swissquote Posts Profit of 25.7 Million Francs in H1 2018 While many traditional financial institutions in Switzerland are still shying away from dealing in cryptocurrencies and working with crypto companies, those who have ventured into the space are already harvesting the fruits of their decisions. Swiss online banking firm, Swissquote, has reported soaring profits attributed largely to the offering of investing opportunities related to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and a steep rise in both the number of customers and the volume of trading. Swissquote Group posted a profit of 25.7 million CHF (~$26.1million USD) from the first half of this year, which represents an increase of 44 percent over the same period of the previous year, the local outlet Finews reported, quoting an announcement released by the company on Tuesday. The profit margin exceeds the predictions of financial experts by about 2.5 million CHF (~$2.52 million). They expected a profit of 23.2 million Swiss francs. At the same time, the number of customer accounts in the commercial sector has increased by 16,278. The same trend is valid for the activity of the clients, too. According to the report, Swissquote clients have made an average of 11.8 transactions in the first half of 2018, compared to only one transaction during the same period of 2017. The cited data shows that client assets have increased by about 20 percent to 25.5 billion CHF (~$25.2 billion) as of mid-2018. Net new money inflows were also up – by 60 percent over the previous year, at 2.4 billion CHF (~$2.42 billion). Swissquote also said it expects both income and profit for the whole year to increase by about 15 percent. The company has benefited from the high demand for crypto products earlier this year which is not expected in H2, despite…

Billionaire Backed Bitcoin Bank Galaxy Digital Now Trading on Toronto Stock Exchange

Billionaire Backed Bitcoin Bank Galaxy Digital Now Trading on Toronto Stock Exchange

News Coming off fresh first quarter losses undeterred, giant cryptocurrency merchant bank, Galaxy Digital, began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange August, 1, 2018. It is one of the earliest banks in the crypto space to achieve such a listing. Many eyes are watching to see what will become of the relationship between legacy financial institutions and digital assets.  Also read: Coinbase Flexes Muscle, Creates Political Action Committee Galaxy Digital Trades, a Bitcoin Merchant Bank, Now Trades on TSX Venture Exchange Famed billionaire investor Mike Novogratz explained, “If I knew what I know now, knew the crypto markets were going to swoon as much, and it was going to take so long, I might have stayed private for another year or so and then gone public, but I don’t think it’s a mistake,” Galaxy Digital’s CEO told Bloomberg in Toronto. Crypto markets have been unkind to any investor who might’ve jumped-in during late 2017. His interview otherwise ought to have been triumphant, representing one of the earliest cryptocurrency-oriented merchant banks to be listed formally on a major stock exchange. He was in Toronto for just that purpose: Galaxy Digital is now trading on a world ranked, top ten, board, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). Instead, to a degree, it was bittersweet. The company was smarting off a brutal first quarter earnings call, posting over $130 million in losses. Rather than charging full steem on success, it appeared from a public relations standpoint to be limping as a financial canary in a very dark mineshaft.   “There was a surge of companies,” Mr. Novogratz continued, “that listed in Canada and they all traded really poorly. I think the regulators got a little bit more nervous and said, ‘Hey, wait a minute, let’s make sure we know what we’re seeing here.’” Regulators were used to what as known as reverse takeovers to get a listing, a maneuver Galaxy was taking advantage of in order to get a seat, but when cryptocurrency is involved that apparently was enough to warrant extra looks under the hood. Global Ambitions “There’s a layer of due diligence,” TSX’s managing director Brady Fletcher elaborated, “that goes into figuring out and understanding the business itself, which probably takes a little bit longer than entrepreneurs…

UK Member of Parliament Resigns as Blockchain Startup Advisor

UK Member of Parliament Resigns as Blockchain Startup Advisor

A UK Member of Parliament (MP) has resigned from the advisory board of a cryptocurrency project after it was revealed that he was secretly getting paid for his services, the Financial Times reported Wednesday. Conservative MP Grant Shapps resigned from OpenBrix – and stood down as co-chair of a parliamentary blockchain group he co-founded – after the Financial Times’ Alphaville discovered a secret deal between the MP and the blockchain company. While Shapps claimed in public filings that he was not being paid for his work, it appears that OpenBrix was to pay him in crypto tokens. OpenBrix is a blockchain-based property platform which provides a decentralized system for real estate owners and participants to trade properties.  The company is set to launch an ICO in December, according to the report. Founder and CEO Shahad Choudhury told Alphaville that Shapps had signed on to serve on the advisory board as chair of governance for the company, and the MP had also signed a consultancy contract with OpenBrix. As part of this contract, Shapps wrote an article about the potential of the blockchain for the property market and attended an OpenBrix event. The contract signed by Shapps hadn’t required any further commitments until the ICO closes in December, according to Choudhury. “To be honest, [Shapps] had nothing to do until after the [ICO] … His main role was the governance role after we’ve got the money. He could have quite happily not done anything and he’d still be governance chair,” he said. The company would have paid Shapps and four other advisors a total of 8 million BRIX tokens, which would have been worth roughly 2.8 million pounds or $3.7 million. It is unclear how many Shapps would specifically have received, but he has reportedly declined to accept any tokens as of press time. Grant Shapps image via Chris McAndrew / Wikimedia Commons The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

KPMG: Blockchain Funding in US This Year Has Already Surpassed 2017’s Total

KPMG: Blockchain Funding in US This Year Has Already Surpassed 2017’s Total

Investment in the blockchain industry is booming in the U.S., according to “Big Four” auditing firm KPMG. Published Tuesday, the company’s “Pulse of Fintech 2018” report states that traditional venture capital investments in U.S.-based blockchain companies in the first half of this year have already exceeded the total for 2017, though it did not specify numbers. The impressive half-yearly figure was led by $100 million-plus funding rounds achieved by consortium startup R3 and crypto investment startup Circle Internet Finance, the report adds. According to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Venture Capital Tracker, Circle raised $110 million this year in a Series E round, while R3 raised $107 million. KPMG U.S.’s Financial Services Digital and Fintech Lead Safwan Zaheer said in the report that “there’s more VC flow available than opportunities to invest — a sign of tremendous growth in the space.” He added: “In particular, investments in blockchain doubled the first half of 2018 compared to 2017. Blockchain has the potential to transform banking and if banking systems were to be rewritten today they would be based on blockchain.” The spike in blockchain investment can this year is attributed in the report to various factors, including the “widespread applicability of blockchain to help harness efficiencies within financial institutions.” The report states: “Blockchain’s capabilities extend from recordkeeping and the registration of transactions to documentation management and supply chain management. While it has primarily been looked at from a banking and insurance point of view to date, the reality is blockchain opportunities abound and could enhance processes for any number of US and global businesses.” KPMG concluded that it expects that blockchain – alongside so-called regtech and insurtech – will only gain momentum going forward. As well as compiling research data on blockchain, KPMG has also been putting its money where its mouth is on the tech. The Netherlands-based giant recently joined a trial project alongside the three other major auditors and 20 banks in Taiwan to trial a blockchain service for auditing public companies’ financial reports. The company has previously told CoinDesk that blockchain could be an “antidote” to the high cost of regulation. KPMG building image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of…

Northern Trust Is Helping Hedge Funds Invest in Cryptocurrencies

Northern Trust Is Helping Hedge Funds Invest in Cryptocurrencies

U.S.-based custody bank Northern Trust is helping traditional “mainstream” hedge funds expand into cryptocurrencies, Forbes reported Tuesday. Northern Trust’s president, Pete Cherecwich, told the news organization that the financial services firm is working with three hedge funds – whose names he declined to provide – to add cryptocurrency investments to their portfolios. To that end, Northern Trust has reportedly created new administrative tools and services specifically for cryptocurrency assets. These include tools to price and trade cryptocurrencies, according to the report. Cherecwich said: “You can take anything today. You can take movie rights, you can take all sorts of entities, and you can create a token for those. We have to be able to figure out how to hold those tokens, value those tokens, do those things.” Ultimately, he said, he believes governments will digitize currencies on a blockchain. As such, many of Northern Trust’s efforts to integrate blockchain services are part of preparations for when fiat currencies are digital tokens. The firm has been integrating blockchain services for over a year now. Most recently, the bank partnered with Big Four firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers to launch auditing technology for data stored on a blockchain. The project is aimed at streamlining audits by granting specific individuals a node on a bank’s private blockchain, allowing them to follow data as it is stored. Northern Trust image via Steve Heap / Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Swissquote Reports 44% Increase in Profit After Adding Crypto Services

Swissquote Reports 44% Increase in Profit After Adding Crypto Services

Finance Swiss online banking group, Swissquote, has benefited greatly from the addition of cryptocurrency investing to the set of services it offers, reporting a significant increase in its H1 2018 profits. The news comes while Switzerland is debating over how to keep crypto businesses in the country when the majority of Swiss banks refuse to provide services to the growing crypto sector. Also read: Check Which Coins You Can Spend With Debit Cards and Why Upcoming Fuzex Chooses BCH Swissquote Posts Profit of 25.7 Million Francs in H1 2018 While many traditional financial institutions in Switzerland are still shying away from dealing in cryptocurrencies and working with crypto companies, those who have ventured into the space are already harvesting the fruits of their decisions. Swiss online banking firm, Swissquote, has reported soaring profits attributed largely to the offering of investing opportunities related to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and a steep rise in both the number of customers and the volume of trading. Swissquote Group posted a profit of 25.7 million CHF (~$26.1million USD) from the first half of this year, which represents an increase of 44 percent over the same period of the previous year, the local outlet Finews reported, quoting an announcement released by the company on Tuesday. The profit margin exceeds the predictions of financial experts by about 2.5 million CHF (~$2.52 million). They expected a profit of 23.2 million Swiss francs. At the same time, the number of customer accounts in the commercial sector has increased by 16,278. The same trend is valid for the activity of the clients, too. According to the report, Swissquote clients have made an average of 11.8 transactions in the first half of 2018, compared to only one transaction during the same period of 2017. The cited data shows that client assets have increased by about 20 percent to 25.5 billion CHF (~$25.2 billion) as of mid-2018. Net new money inflows were also up – by 60 percent over the previous year, at 2.4 billion CHF (~$2.42 billion). Swissquote also said it expects both income and profit for the whole year to increase by about 15 percent. The company has benefited from the high demand for crypto products earlier this year which is not expected in H2, despite…

Crypto Data Site CoinMarketCap Launches ‘More Robust’ API

Crypto Data Site CoinMarketCap Launches ‘More Robust’ API

CoinMarketCap, one of the most popular crypto data tracking websites, announced a new update to its API on Wednesday. While a public API is already offered by CoinMarketCap, the new one will provide “additional endpoints, more calls, higher rate limits, exchange and market and historical data for the commercial tiers,” according to an email response to CoinDesk from Carylyne Chan, vice president of marketing at CoinMarketCap. Chan said that the new professional API is a result of “a lot of inbound requests” of their data from developers and funds who were looking for a “more robust” API that can scale with their offerings. The new API is now available at three off-the-shelf tiers, with costs ranging from $79 to $699. Once subscribed, developers and funds will have the ability to utilize CoinMarketCap’s data that it aggregates from hundreds of crypto exchanges. “Our API comes with a best-in-class developer dashboard that will help every developer – from hobbyist to large-scale cryptocurrency product teams – make the most of our data,” Brandon Chez, founder of CoinMarketCap, said in a statement. Aside from the much anticipated API, several other “highly-requested” new features have also been added to CoinMarketCap, including data from derivatives markets, a new exchange ranking system, a daily newsletter and an update to its iOS app. “As our new product releases show, we are constantly updating so that we can help to grow adoption of cryptocurrency. If you also believe in what we want to achieve, we look forward to having you join our decentralized team around the world,” Chez said. CoinMarketCap image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.