Bitwise Submits Bitcoin ETF Filing Saying ‘2019 Should Be The Year’

Cryptocurrency asset management firm, Bitwise, has submitted another Bitcoin ETF filing to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm’s previous BTC ETF filing was among the ones rejected by the SEC in 2018

Physically-backed Bitcoin ETF

If at first, you don’t succeed, try again. The famous maxim seems contextual for Bitwise as the firm prepares for another go at obtaining SEC approval for a Bitcoin ETF. According to a press release published on Thursday, January 10, 2019, the cryptocurrency asset management firm filed an initial registration statement on Form S-1 with the SEC.

This new filing is for a physically-backed Bitcoin ETF listed on the NYSE Arca. According to the announcement by Bitwise, the newly proposed BTC ETF will track the company’s Bitcoin Index.

Going forward, NYSEC Arca should in the coming days, file a “Rule Change” with the SEC allowing it to list shares of the Bitwise BTC ETF under an approved ticker symbol.

Satisfying the SEC

For Bitwise, the focus is on satisfying the SEC this time around. The Commission has continuously affirmed its misgivings about approving a Bitcoin ETF based on issues such as market manipulation, fair pricing, and liquidity.

Commenting on the company’s preparedness in this regard, the Global Research chief at Bitwise, Matt Hougan, said:

The SEC has asked thoughtful and relevant questions about the quality of the crypto trading ecosystem, the reliability of crypto pricing, the strength of the arbitrage function in crypto and the robustness of crypto custody. We have spent the past year researching these questions and look forward to discussing those findings with the SEC staff in connection with the filing and listing application.

One of the significant changes included in the new filing is that it uses third-party custody services. As for fair pricing concerns, the Bitwise BTC index aggregates pricing data from many of the prominent exchange platforms in the industry. The company is hoping that such a mechanism constitutes fair asset pricing for the SEC.

The Quest for BTC ETF Approval Continues

For John Hyland, the Bitwise Global ETF chief, the hope of an SEC-approved Bitcoin ETF remains firm. Commenting on the issue, Hyland said:

While there can be no assurance that the 19b-4 application will be granted or the SEC will review and ultimately accelerate the registration statement, we are optimistic that 2019 should be the year that a bitcoin ETF launches.

In February, the Commission will decide on the last remaining BTC ETF filing from 2018. Having used up all the postponements allowed by law, the SEC must deliver a final approval or rejection of the VanEck/SolidX proposal.

Do you think the outcome for Bitwise will be different this time around? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Bitmain Replaces CEO Jihan Wu After Bitcoin Cash Gamble Fails

Bitmain Woes

Inside sources say that Bitmain Technologies plans to name a replacement CEO to take over from co-founders Jihan Wu and Ketuan Zhan.

New Bitmain CEO

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the Bitcoin mining behemoth is looking to name a new CEO to replace the company’s co-founders. Anonymous sources say, Haichao Wang, the current Engineering Director is the front-runner for the job.

Jihan Wu

While there is no official word from Bitmain, these sources say the company entered a leadership transition period in December 2018.

Back in November 2018, Bitcoinist reported Wu’s demotion from director to a supervisor. Also, in late December 2018, reports broke out in Chinese media of the imminent resignation of both Wu and Zhan.

There is also no definite timetable for the completion of the leadership reshuffle. Sources indicate that both Wu and Zhan will become co-chairs of the company. The new CEO will handle the daily administration of the firm while the pair will still have the final say on big decisions.

According to SCMP sources, both Wu and Zhan had disagreements as co-CEO. Wu, in particular, has come under intense criticism for the company’s bet on Bitcoin Cash. Zhan, on the other hand, has led Bitmain’s diversification efforts, especially into the artificial intelligence arena.

Turning the Tide

If the reports are accurate and Bitmain does get a new CEO, a daunting task awaits the selected individual. After a stellar 2017 and a promising start to 2018, the second half of the year appeared to fizzle out for the Bitcoin mining behemoth.

Bitmain is yet to release its Q3 2018 financial report, but speculation is rife of losses north of $740 million. A lot of the financial trouble stems from inventory losses, as well as the expensive Bitcoin Cash hash war of November 2018.

Recently, the company even began laying off a significant portion of its workforce. In December 2018, Bitmain fired its R&D department based in Israel. This move was followed by another massive downsizing, nixing the company’s Bitcoin Cash development team.

The company’s IPO plan is also another casualty of the financial turmoil within the company. Despite announcing plans for an IPO listing in Hong Kong earlier in 2018, all signs point to such plans being unfeasible, for the present time, at least.

Will a new CEO be able to steer Bitmain in a better direction? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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‘EU-Level Action Needed’ for Cryptocurrency, Says European Banking Authority

Europe EU banking authority eba cryptocurrency

The European Banking Authority (EBA) is calling for standardized regulations for cryptocurrency operations within the EU. Europe’s banking watchdog believes such a move will eliminate unfair regulatory arbitrage while protecting investors across the bloc.

A Common Monitoring Template

The EBA conveyed its clamor for a regional framework for cryptocurrency regulations in a report published on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. According to the banking regulator, such an approach would eliminate many of the risks inherent in the emerging asset class.

Focusing on cryptocurrency exchange platforms and wallet providers, the EBA noted that current EU financial regulations were inadequate. On the national level, the banking watchdog decried the different regulations among member states.

An excerpt from the report reads:

These factors give rise to potential issues, including regarding consumer protection, operational resilience, market integrity, and the level playing field.

For the EBA, having different cryptocurrency laws among member states creates undesirable regulatory arbitrage. Such a situation, the EBA believes, creates unfair competition, with businesses congregating in countries with less stringent regulations.

The EBA also called for finalization of the extension of EU anti-money laundering (AML) laws to cover the crypto industry. In mid-2018, the EU adopted an AML directive targeted at cryptocurrencies.

EU-Level Cryptocurrency Regulation

In its report, the EBA called for a nuanced approach to developing rules and standards for the emerging asset class. To this end, the banking regulator declared that the European Commission would be the best candidate to conduct a thorough cost/benefit analysis of possible EU-level cryptocurrency rules.

The EBA notes in the report:

Given the pace and complexity of change, it would be desirable for a technologically neutral and future-proof approach to be adopted in developing any proposals should it be concluded that EU-level action is needed.

The EBA also identified the energy consumption associated with cryptocurrency mining activities as an integral part of any holistic analysis on the matter of EU-level regulations. For the EBA, it is vital that stakeholders balance fintech innovation with the commitment of the EU to the Paris Agreement in particular and climate change management in general.

Is it possible to get member states to agree on a general framework for regulating cryptocurrencies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Russia Plans to Ditch US Dollar for Bitcoin, Says University Professor

Russia Putin

A Russian university lecturer with ties to the government says the Kremlin will soon begin investing massively in Bitcoin as a way of avoiding new U.S. sanctions, a move that could happen “in a matter of weeks.”

Russia to Buy Some ‘Digital Gold’?

Speaking exclusively to Micky, Vladislav Ginko of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration believes new U.S. sanctions will push the Kremlin into diversifying its cash reserves into Bitcoin.

Ginko who has ties with the government going back more than 20 years says the move will happen in a matter of weeks. Ginko has in recent times appeared on various Russian media platforms clamoring for the adoption of Bitcoin as a haven asset.

Commenting on the issue, Ginko said:

US sanctions may be mitigated only through Bitcoin use. Because of US sanctions, Russia’s elite is forced to dump US assets and US dollars and invest hugely into Bitcoins. The central bank of Russia sits on $466 billion of reserves and has to diversify in case there are limited opportunities to do it (in the future).

Cutting Dollar Dependence Amid New U.S. Sanctions

Along with China, Iran, and Venezuela, Russia is exploring ways to reduce its US Dollar dependence. Back in November 2018, Russian President; Vladimir Putin, declared that in the wake of new sanctions, the country had no choice but to cut down on its use of the Dollar in international trade.

At the time, President Putin said:

We have no goal of moving away from the Dollar. It’s the dollar that’s moving away from us. Those making such decisions are not shooting themselves in the foot, but somewhere more delicate, further up the body.

According to Ginko, the Kremlin will, beginning in February 2018, look for ways to diversify its reserves. Ginko has in recent times appeared on various Russian media platforms clamoring for the adoption of Bitcoin as a haven asset.

Russian Efforts

If the Russian government and the elite class invest massively in Bitcoin, the price of the asset could experience a sudden upward surge. Such a situation occurred in 2018 when wealthy Chinese citizens reportedly moved money into BTC in the wake of an accelerated currency devaluation by Beijing.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has been stocking up on non-digital gold as a shield against economic sanctions. Reports indicate the government is selling U.S. government debt in exchange for the precious metal. By August 2018, Russia had already tripled its gold reserve as it gears up for renewed economic tussles with the U.S.

Such is the extent of Russia’s gold-gobbling that global gold purchasing figures reached a three-year high in November 2018. The Kremlin is also pursuing closer economic ties with China to create a new payment system independent of the Dollar.

Will massive Bitcoin investment by the Kremlin lead to any surge in the price of Bitcoin? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Malta Gov’t Committed to ‘Blockchain Island’ Vision Despite Criticism


Malta’s government has hit back at recent claims by the opposition leader, Adrian Delia, about its silence and inaction concerning the cryptocurrency market.

Committed to the ‘Blockchain Island’ Vision

In an interview with the Nationalist Party’s NET FM, Delia declared that the prolonged cryptocurrecy bear market was a cause for concern for many stakeholders.

He expressed concerns over the government’s silence in the matter saying investors had a right to know the government’s position given the state of the market. For Delia, the government’s silence is in stark contrast to its claim of striving to make Malta ‘the global blockchain island.’

According to the Malta Independent, the government is taking steps to improve the regulatory landscape of the country’s local cryptocurrency arena. Most of these efforts are coming through the Parliamentary Secretariat for Financial Services, Digital Economy, and Innovation.

For the Secretariat, the focus is on creating an enabling environment for all stakeholders in the market to thrive. Thus, the government says it is trying to balance regulations with protection for investors.

In 2018, the Mediterranean Island nation rose to prominence as a preferred destination for many cryptocurrency companies. Exchange platforms, in particular, chose to move their businesses to the country. Many of these platforms claimed unfavorable regulations in their previous locations as the reason for the move.

Binance, OKEx, BitBay, and Zebpay were among some of the prominent exchanges to make the move in 2018. This influx of high-volume trading platforms catapulted the tiny nation to the top of the global cryptocurrency trading volume charts.

Regulating the Local Cryptocurrency Industry

In mid-2018, Malta became the first nation to provide ‘legal certainty’ for cryptocurrencies. The nation’s parliament passed three bills into law as part of efforts to firm up crypto regulations in the country.

Both Binance and OKEx signed agreements with the Maltese Stock Exchange (MSX) to create regulated security token exchange platforms. The move formed part of the growing appeal of security tokens that gained a lot of steam in 2018.

Do you think that there are any merits to Delia’s claims of inaction by the government concerning cryptocurrency? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Physical Bitcoin Futures Are Coming to Asia First in February

Bitcoin futures asia hong kong

CoinFLEX plans to debut physically-settled Bitcoin futures to the Asian market beginning in February 2019. The platform is a consortium with participants such as Roger Ver ( CEO), B2C2, Trading Technologies, and Alameda Research among others.

Bitcoin Futures Trading on CoinFLEX

According to Bloomberg, CoinFLEX plans to offer futures contracts for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. Like Bakkt (owned by Intercontinental Exchange), CoinFLEX’s offerings are physically-backed contracts.

According to CoinFLEX CEO, Mark Lamb, settling futures contracts in the underlying cryptocurrency asset improves trust. Speaking to Bloomberg on the prospects of cryptocurrency futures trading, Lamb said:

Crypto derivatives could become an order of magnitude larger than spot markets and the main thing that’s holding back that growth is the lack of physical delivery. Volumes are reduced because of a problem of trust when it comes to cash-settled trades.

For Lamb, there is great potential for expansion within the cryptocurrency futures market. According to the CoinFLEX CEO, the crypto futures arena should be able to grow to 20 times the size of the spot trading market as is the case for other asset classes. Presently, both markets handle approximately the same volume of daily transactions.

One unique detail of the CoinFLEX offering is that contracts will trade against Tether (USDT), the most popular stablecoin, which is pegged against the U.S. dollar. Apart from Tether, CoinFLEX also plans to launch a contract that will trade opposite Circle’s USD Coin; another stablecoin.

At the expiration of the contracts, traders who hold long positions will receive Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Bitcoin Cash while traders who hold short positions will receive USDT depending on the performance of the contract.

Offshore Incorporation to Avoid Stricter Regulations

Despite offering physically delivered Bitcoin futures, CoinFLEX will not come into direct competition with a platform like Bakkt. The reason for this is because it is incorporated offshore, allowing the platform to offer its product to a more global market except for highly regulated markets like the U.S. and the U.K.

When pressed about competition from the likes of Bakkt, CME, and CBOE, Lamb highlighted the fact that U.S.-based crypto Bitcoin futures trading accounts for only a tiny portion of the market. Most of the global BTC futures trading takes place in the offshore and Asian theater.

Hong Kong Bitcoin futures

The primary reason for this disparity stems from the fact that markets like the U.S. remain highly regulated. Thus U.S.-based futures exchanges cannot compete with the reach of their counterparts based offshore or in Asia. The CoinFLEX chief believes BTC futures trading doesn’t require the same level of stringent regulations like the spot trading market.

With a focus on the Asian market, the platform will also be eyeing a move to compete with BitMEX, which has a sizeable presence in the region. Where the latter offers leverage of up to 100 times on specific contracts, CoinFLEX caps its offering at a leverage of 20 times.

Do you think CoinFLEX will be able to compete with the likes of BitMEX and Bakkt? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Weiss Ratings 2019 Prediction: Bitcoin Will Reach a New All-Time High

all-time high climb up price bitcoin price BTC

A new year means more speculative cryptocurrency predictions. Many predictions last year didn’t envisage the enormous bear market that characterized the year, with Bitcoin dropping more than 80 percent. Weiss Ratings has published its outlook for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in 2019.

Increased Adoption and New ATH for Bitcoin

According to Weiss Ratings, 2019 will herald increased adoption for Bitcoin. The international rating agency expects more people to consider the top-ranked cryptocurrency as a store of value. The expected result is BTC firmly establishing its status as digital gold.

The forecast report also suggested that BTC price 00 could reach a new all-time high (ATH) in 2019. This prediction comes from the apparent cyclical nature of Bitcoin price action with major bear market declines followed by new ATH.

Back in December, Bitcoinist reported on the call by Weiss Ratings that prices reached a low enough level for investors to load up on BTC.

2019: Year of the XRP Flippening?

Weiss Ratings also predicts a significant year for XRP 00 especially in its pursuit of cornering the global payment ecosystem. While identifying the progress made by XRP and Stellar, the rating agency highlighted XRP as having the potential to compete with SWIFT.

Ripple spent most of 2018 extending its network of applications related to the banking sector, inking partnerships along with way.

For Weiss Ratings, XRP could on the back of increased utility displace BTC from its perch at the top of the cryptocurrency market capitalization chart. For a brief period in 2018, XRP overtook Ethereum as the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

This forecast represents a shift for Weiss Ratings given that in 2018, the agency said BTC would lose 50 percent of its market share to Ethereum. Indeed, most of the talk about the “flippening” has almost always been about Ethereum upstaging Bitcoin. However, the decline in the ICO arena seems to have negatively impacted such a possibility.

Mixed Bag for Altcoins in 2019

As far as the rest of the altcoin market goes, Weiss Ratings predicts a mixed bag of fortune with some rising to prominence and others fade into obscurity. The rating agency says “BTC-like” coins like Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin are destined to fail due to the absence of innovative use-cases for such cryptocurrencies.

On the other hand, projects like EOS and Cardano will usher in a paradigm shift in Internet technology, giving birth to Web 3.0. Also, Weiss envisages a shakeup in the top ten rankings with new entrants such as Holochain and Hedera Hashgraph.

Do you agree with the predictions mentioned above? What are your cryptocurrency forecasts for the new year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Circle Reveals $24 Billion Cryptocurrency OTC Trading Volume in 2018

trading volume circle otc

Goldman Sachs-funded cryptocurrency startup, Circle, recently released its list of accomplishments for the year 2018. The company says it executed over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trades to the tune of $24 billion in notional volume.

Circle Does $24 Billion in Cryptocurrency OTC Trading

Circle announced its 2018 achievements in a blog post published by the company on Thursday (January 3, 2019). Circle Trade, the OTC desk of the company, executed over 10,000 OTC trades worth $24 billion, it reveals.

Commenting further on the growth of the Circle Trade platform, the announcement notes:

Circle Trade has become a core liquidity provider to the entire crypto ecosystem — including miners, exchanges, project developers, and founders — and to the new crypto asset investor base of VCs, crypto funds, hedge funds, and family offices all around the world.

The figures published by Circle are indicative of the recent trend observed in the OTC arena. In December 2018, Bitcoinist reported a boom in Bitcoin OTC trading according to research by Diar. Other major players like Coinbase also show an increase in trading volumes during OTC hours.

The $24 billion notional trading might even indicate that Circle executed more OTC trades than Coinbase and Greyscale (GBTC) combined. Data from Diar showed Coinbases’s OTC volume at about $12 billion with $11 billion for GBTC.

A Couple of Acquisitions

The acquisition of Poloniex by Circle was arguably one of the significant developments that occurred in 2018. Back in February 2018, the company announced its acquisition of Poloniex, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms at the time.

According to Circle, it has made great efforts in improving the platform’s compliance standards. In May 2018, Bitcoinist reported on the uproar caused by new KYC requirements introduced at the time. Many legacy account holders felt the move broke several assurances provided by the company in late 2017.

For Circle, the steps taken have yielded fruit especially in the area of customer support. The blog post revealed a 99.5 percent decrease in the number of open tickets since the acquisition.

In 2018, the Goldman Sachs-backed Circle also acquired SeedInvest as part of its drive to become a regulated broker-dealer. With tightening regulations in the US crypto landscape, startups like Circle and Coinbase have been pursuing regulatory approval to expand their cryptocurrency product catalogs.

Stable Coin Launch and Company Growth

Circle also ventured into the stablecoin arena with the launch of USD Coin (USDC). This development led to the creation of the CENTRE consortium, a joint venture with San Francisco-based exchange giant, Coinbase.

According to the announcement, USDC is now the second-largest fiat collateralized stablecoin after Tether with a market capitalization more than $280 million. Multiple cryptocurrency exchange platforms also support the stablecoin.

2019 will be Circle’s sixth year in existence, and the company says that it wants to focus on capacity building for the industry regardless of market conditions. Circle says:

We see the future of the global economy as open, shared, inclusive, distributed, and powerful — not only for a few chosen gatekeepers but for all who connect.

What do you think about Circle’s 2018 figures despite a drop in overall prices? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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4 Key Bitcoin Dates to Watch For in 2019

Bitcoin eye calendar events looking ahead

With 2018 finally over, the focus now is on what lies ahead for Bitcoin in 2019 after a year-long bear market. Mark your calendars and keep a watch for these events that could have a massive impact on Bitcoin price this year. 

2019: The Year Wall Street Embraces Bitcoin?

Throughout 2018, the fall in Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) prices dominated the news circuit. However, despite the nearly 80 percent peak-to-trough slide for BTC, some positive developments emerged in the industry.

When the CME and CBOE BTC futures came online in late 2017, a lot of the expectation for 2018 centered on the institutionalization of the market. While the process seemed slow, there was some progress in that regard.

Concerning 2019, there are projects expected to take off, as well as other events that should shape the course of the market going forward. Here are some of the important Bitcoin dates for at least, the first quarter of the new year.

Bakkt Physical-Delivery BTC Futures: ‘Early 2019’

By the end of Q1 2019, the CME and CBOE BTC futures won’t be the only ones in the market. Bakkt, founded by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), operators of the New York Stock Exchange, has revised its expected launch date from January 24 to “early 2019”.

The platform plans to be the first to offer BTC-settled Bitcoin futures contract. Recently, Bitcoinist reported that Bakkt raised $182.5 million from Microsoft and other big-name investors in its first funding round.

The Bakkt launch might hit a snag though, given the current U.S. government shutdown. ICE plans to provide an updated timeline for the Bakkt launch in 2019.

Nasdaq BTC Futures: Q1 2019

Nasdaq also plans to launch its BTC futures listing after intense speculation on the matter throughout 2018. There are, however, not many details about the proposed launch. What is known is that the company plans to launch the product before the end of Q1 2019.

Both Bakkt and Nasdaq are awaiting approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Bakkt has repeatedly declared that it is working in tandem with the CFTC to obtain the green light for its BTC futures contract.

VanEck/SolidX BTC ETF: Late February-Early March

Whenever there was any talk of institutional adoption of BTC in 2018, the mention of an SEC-approved ETF was never far away. Despite the clamor, the Commission ended 2018 without approving any of the BTC ETF filings.

The VanEck/SolidX submission of a BTC-backed ETF was the only one from 2018 not given a definitive verdict by the SEC. Back in December, the SEC delayed its decision to approve or reject the filing to February 27, 2019.

The Commission has no more room any further delays and must decide on the commodity-backed VanEck/SolidX BTC ETF proposal. For the entities involved, they say that their submission satisfies many of the concerns held by the SEC against Bitcoin ETFs.

Mt. Gox Coins Redistribution: 

Away from Bitcoin futures and ETFs, there is also the matter of the Mt. Gox coin distribution event. Approval for the civil rehabilitation plan will come in February 2019. After that, the first round of payments to creditors is planned to process “as soon as possible” though this may actually start sometime between May and June 2019.

Mt. Gox still holds about 166,000 BTC and 168,000 BCH, currently valued at $665.5 million.

Will 2019 be the year when the institutionalization of Bitcoin becomes firmly established? Please share your thoughts below!

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Bakkt Raises $182.5M From Microsoft And Other Big-Name Investors

Bakkt on Monday announced the completion of its first funding round, to the tune of $182.5 million. The platform which aims to offer the first-ever Bitcoin-settled futures contracts in the coming year says it is going ahead with its plans irrespective of the current market conditions.

$182.5 Million in Funding From High Profile Investors

In a Medium post published on Monday (Dec. 31, 2018) by the Bakkt CEO, Kelly Loeffler, the company announced that it had successfully carried out its first funding round. According to the announcement, 12 investors participated in the capital raising exercise.

The CEO notes the investors including some big names, namely:

The partners and investors in the first round include Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, Pantera Capital, PayU, the fintech arm of Naspers, and Protocol Ventures.

Bakkt Moving Ahead Despite Bear Market

For Loeffler, the status quo remains unchanged despite the prolonged bear market that characterized the cryptocurrency space in 2018. The company intends to continue its drive for proper onboarding of clients, as well as, collaborating with relevant business partners.

New York Stock Exchange Owner to Launch Bitcoin Data Service

Reinstating Bakkt’s commitment and resolve to the process, Loeffler, said:

We have worked to build new markets and products many times before. Those of us building Bakkt have earned our stripes by helping advance markets in once-nascent asset classes, from energy to credit derivatives and, now, bitcoin. The path to developing new markets is rarely linear: progress tends to modulate between innovation, dismissal, reinvention, and, finally, acceptance.

According to Loeffler, focusing on the BTC price 00 action is a distraction from the groundbreaking developments happening with Bitcoin as a whole. The Bakkt CEO also noted that paradigm-shifting technological breakthroughs have a long incubation time and price isn’t always the best metric for gauging growth.

Notably, 2018 was the most active year for crypto in its brief ten-year history. This was evidenced by rising investment in distributed ledger technology and digital assets, as well as by blockchain network metrics such as daily bitcoin transaction value and active addresses. Yet, these milestones tend to be overshadowed by the more narrow focus on bitcoin’s price…

Bakkt Postponed From January to ‘Early 2019’

Bakkt and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) continue to work out modalities for the launch of the BTC-settled futures contracts. However, the current government shutdown in the United States looks like it has pushed back the January 2019 launch to “early 2019.”

The official statement published on December 31, reads:

Following consultation with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, ICE Futures U.S., Inc. expects to provide an updated launch timeline in early 2019, for the trading, clearing and warehousing of the Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract. The launch had previously been set for January 24, 2019, but will be amended pursuant to the CFTC’s process and timeline.

While awaiting CFTC approval, the platform says it will continue to onboard customers while firming up its institutional-grade infrastructure.

Do you think the signs are good for Bakkt following this successful fundraising round? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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