Crypto Week In Review: Market Moves Out Of Slump, Ethereum Futures Next
Although the past seven days were relatively quiet for this industry, hopes for the long-term growth and adoption of crypto assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum remain at all-time highs, as an assortment of firms released a variety of innovative products that piqued the interest of many.
CBOE To Launch Ether Futures In The Upcoming Months
On Thursday, it was revealed that the CBOE, the largest US-based options exchange, moved one step closer to launching an Ethereum (ETH) futures contract. Speaking with Business Insider, those familiar with the matter noted that the CBOE has begun telling market makers that it is only months away from the public release of Ether futures. In fact, some insiders noted that the product could be launched come January 2019, which is a mere four months away. It is likely that the SEC’s clarification that ETH is not a security opened the door for the CBOE to start working on the contract.
Like CBOE’s XBT (Bitcoin) futures contract, the long-anticipated Ethereum product will reportedly be based on the spot prices posted by the Winklevoss-owned Gemini exchange, which has become near-infamous for working hand-in-hand with US regulators.
Regardless, many expect that the arrival of publicly-traded Ethereum futures will help to propel the development and maturation of the Ethereum project, and subsequently, the growth of the overall cryptosphere. Danny Kim, the head of growth at SFOX, alluded to this hope in the following statement:
“Cboe’s offering will enable crypto traders to take both long and short positions in ether, and it’s another step forward to a new accepted asset class. With this, I think the new investment opportunity will take crypto out of the bearish market and reverse to a new bull.”
It is important to note that the CBOE was the first organization to offer a BTC futures contract, so it makes sense that the Chicago-based financial institution will continue to take the helm of the growing crypto futures subindustry.
China Continues On Crypto Crusade For The Second Week In A Row
As covered in the last crypto week in review, the heavy-handed Chinese government began its second crusade against cryptocurrencies, with regulators across the country doing their best to stamp out crypto. Although the Chinese crypto community has already been hit hard, regulatory bodies continued their anti-crypto sweep this week.
Regulators recently took even more drastic measures, conferring with Baidu, a Chinese internet giant, to essentially censor online speech pertaining to cryptocurrencies and other forms of digital assets. More specifically, Baidu has begun to restrict access to crypto-focused forums and discussion boards, citing “relevant laws, regulations, and policies.”
Additionally, the People’s Bank of China issued an impassioned statement against cryptocurrencies, noting that firms raising funds under the “banner of financial innovation” were attempting to bamboozle the Chinese public. Likening cryptocurrency to the smallpox epidemic, the central bank wrote:
“The general public should be rational about the blockchain, do not blindly believe in the promise of smallpox, establish a correct monetary concept and investment philosophy, and effectively raise the awareness of risk; and actively report the illegal criminal clues found to the relevant departments.”
For now, it seems that the dust has settled, and unfortunately, it is evident that the Chinese government came out on top this time. Nonetheless, diehards of the decentralist movement note that this is far from the end of the crypto scene in China, as it would be foolish to go down without a fight.
Line Introduces Native “LINK” Cryptocurrency
Line, one of the foremost internet firms in the East, made its first foray into the cryptocurrency industry in late-June, announcing the creation of a Singapore-based exchange named BitBox. As alluded to in the original press release, the exchange is intended to be an easy-to-use, accessible and mobile-focused platform for crypto-to-crypto trades on the go.
But now that the launch of BitBox has come and passed with relative success, the social media giant seems to be dead set on expanding its crypto-related offerings. As per an article from The Verge, Line intends to launch the LINK project, which will be its own cryptocurrency that will likely be connected to a privately-run blockchain. LINK will not be issued via an ICO, but rather, Line intends to allocate tokens to users of products in the firm’s ecosystem, by rewarding individuals who complete certain tasks or use certain programs.
The social firm also noted that the tokens hold value, as consumers will be able to spend the tokens on stickers, webtoons and other products and services within the firm’s messaging application. Moreover, Line intends to offer trading support for LINK on the aforementioned BitBox platform and will allow users to spend LINK to be used in the place of fees charged by the exchange’s trading engine.
If this initial move succeeds, Line intends to eventually use the LINK blockchain to host decentralized applications (DApps) that will connect to the firm’s popular messaging application.
Although LINK may not sound like much on the surface, many hope that this introduction will drive the adoption of crypto assets in general.
Along with the LINK, the firm also recently announced “Unblock Ventures,” an early-stage token venture fund backed by $10 million in initial funding. With the Line-backed fund, exchange and token, innovators at the technology firm intend to bolster the development and growth of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology over the long-haul, as it seems the company’s executives are proponents of the crypto movement.
Yahoo Finance Introduces Crypto Trading Feature
Yahoo Finance, one of the most popular finance-centric sites in the world, has recently taken an even friendlier stance towards crypto, introducing support for BTC, ETH, LTC, and BCH on-site trading on Wednesday. The community immediately erupted with an impromptu celebration, with the likes of Litecoin founder Charlie Lee and Anthony Pompliano of Morgan Creek Digital Assets expressing their excitement for this unexpected move.
However, for undisclosed reasons, the New York-based subsidiary of Yahoo took down this feature just 24 hours after individuals found out about it, leaving many with questions unanswered. Following a short period of uncertainty and confusion, Yahoo Finance finally brought clarity to the situation, issuing a release regarding the topic. The firm noted that it intends to offer crypto trading support for BTC, ETH, LTC, and DOGE first on IOS’s Yahoo Finance app, adding that this feature was enabled by a partnership with TradeIt.
Although it wasn’t explicitly stated, it was implied that the move to offer trading support for the official Yahoo Finance site was premature, but is not off the table for updates in the near future. So following the IOS release, the company intends to expand support to Android and desktop devices in the upcoming weeks.
Like Line’s move to launch its own cryptocurrency, many hope that this product will increase crypto adoption and awareness on a worldwide scale.
Bitcoin Posts Third Consecutive Week Of Positive Price Action
For the first time in weeks, if not months, the cryptocurrency market has posted a hefty gain over the past seven days. Even with a relatively quiet news cycle, the total market capitalization of all crypto assets saw a 10% increase this week, moving from $215 billion to $237 billion in a gradual, yet bullish move.
Bitcoin began this week at $6,600, following the now-infamous BitMEX maintenance session, where BTC surged by upwards of $400 in the hours following the temporary shut down of the popular exchange. At first, many were skeptical that the price of the asset would surpass $6,800, which has been widely touted as an important level of resistance in the eyes of technicians. But as the week continued, Bitcoin began its steady rise to $6,750, taking a temporary pit stop before the eventual move past $6,800 and beyond. At the time of writing, BTC has found footing at $7,200 and continues to trade in the $7,050-$7,250 range.
Although Bitcoin lead the crypto pack as normal, altcoins unarguably outperformed BTC this week, with assets like XMR, IOTA, EOS, DASH, BCH and more posting astronomical gains that dropped the jaws of “altcoin maximalists” and short-term speculators. This resulted in a slight pullback in the Bitcoin dominance figure, moving from 53.7% last week to 52.3% as it stands today.
It has become clear that the underlying sentiment in this industry is starting to see a positive change, so as Brian Armstrong once said, “it’s getting harder and harder to become a crypto skeptic.”
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