As all cryptocurrencies remain buried under a fresh layer of bearish market pressure, it will be interesting to see how things move ahead in the coming weeks. For Ethereum, the double-digit value is coming a lot closer over the past few days. A bit more negative price pressure will crumble the support at $100, which is a pretty interesting development, although not necessarily for the right reasons.
Ethereum Price Support Runs out of Gas
Although it has been coming for quite some time now, the Ethereum price is genuinely on the verge of dropping back into the double-digit range. It is a development most holders and speculators would rather not see materialize, but there is very little reason to expect anything different in the coming weeks. As the onslaught continues, this pressure will only intensify further, and there is no telling where the bottom will be.
Over the past 24 hours, the Ethereum price lost another 6.3% in USD value and 4.5% over Bitcoin. As long as altcoins do not inch ahead in the BTC ratio, things will not improve anytime soon. For Ethereum, it seems this is a battle that simply can’t be won. As such, a drop below $100 would require just another 2% decline at this time. It is very likely to happen pretty soon, although one never knows if that will effectively be the bottom.
There is some positive news which might keep the Ethereum price in the triple-digit range for a while longer. Bitwise has seemingly confirmed they will introduce two new liquid funds. As one would come to expect, there will be a strong focus on Bitcoin, although the company isn’t giving up on Ethereum just yet either. Whether or not that is the smart decision, is a different matter altogether.
— CryptoEase (@CryptoEase) December 6, 2018
SEC Continues to Stall on BTC ETFs, All in Wait for Breakthrough
The long and uncertain road toward crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs) being approved by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took its latest turn on Aug. 12, when the regulatory body once again delayed its decision on three ETF proposals.
Below is a timeline of all the past and ongoing Bitcoin ETF proposals:
What are ETFs?
Similar to stocks in that they are traded on exchanges, ETFs are baskets of securities. ETFs track an index or basket that are proportionately represented in the fund’s share. The development and regulation of crypto ETFs are closely followed by a range of investors for two reasons. The first is that ETFs are tools for passive investment, which many believe will benefit the unregulated world of crypto exchanges.
A Bitcoin (BTC) ETF would be traded during the working hours of the stock exchange that it is listed on, a development that could make investing in crypto both easier and less risky. The second reason is that the introduction of ETFs will be a significant stepping stone toward mainstream adoption, with SEC approval theoretically broadening the range of investors investing in cryptocurrencies.
As per the release published by the commission on Aug. 12, the SEC announced that it will delay its decision on three proposed rules changes by the Chicago Board Options Exchange’s (CBOE) BZX Exchange and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Arca for three Bitcoin ETFs. The crypto ETFs hail from asset managers VanEck SolidX, Wilshire Phoenix and Bitwise Asset Management.
According to the documents, the commission will delay Wilshire Phoenix’s United States Bitcoin and Treasury Investment Trust to Sept. 20. Bitwise’s listing on NYSE Arca and VanEck’s listing will have to wait until Oct. 13 and Oct. 18 respectively. Regulators in the U.S. have historically taken an extremely cautious approach to cryptocurrencies, so this latest delay is hardly a surprise to many in the crypto community. The commission stated for each rule change proposal that:
“The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change.”
SEC delays again and again
Given that the adoption of ETFs would represent a landmark decision on behalf of U.S. regulators and a huge bound toward mainstream adoption, the SEC has exercised extreme caution when processing applications.
Not even the crypto industry’s biggest players are immune to the whims of the regulator, with an appeal to list and trade shares of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust by crypto titans the Winklevoss twins rejected on March 10, 2017. The SEC cited the lack of regulation in Bitcoin markets:
“When the spot market is unregulated — there must be significant, regulated derivatives markets related to the underlying asset with which the Exchange can enter into a surveillance-sharing agreement.”
The current version of the VanEck proposal was announced by the firm’s digital asset strategy director, Gabor Gurbacs, on Jan. 30, 2019. In tandem with the CBOE, the firm had initially withdrawn its previous submission for a rule change on Jan. 23 due to the 2019 U.S. government shutdown as the Feb. 27 deadline for the review loomed. According to legal experts, the SEC was operating on restricted basis due to the shutdown over funding for the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Although its current application has only been in existence since late January, VanEck has been in limbo since June 6, 2018, when the asset management company filed its initial request with the commission. SolidX CEO Daniel H. Gallancy was initially bullish on prospects for the request, though he recognized the SEC’s hesitancy regarding crypto ETFs, saying: “Regulators are concerned right now about having an ETF that is available to retail investors, but right now a good place to start is with a product geared purely toward institutional investors.”
Gallancy’s mention of regulatory concern turned out to be accurate, as the SEC consequently delayed its decision until Sept. 30. The notice published by the commission on Aug. 7, 2018 revealed that the SEC received more than 1,300 comments on the proposed rule change list. The document states that the SEC had up to 90 days to come to a decision.
Come December, the SEC then requested additional comments before it could publish a decision on the VanEck/SolidX ETF proposal. The notice stated that the SEC was soliciting responses on 18 key issues, including BZX’s claim that BTC is “less susceptible to manipulation than other commodities that underlie exchange-traded products (ETPs).”
Although many in the crypto community had hoped for a resurrection of momentum for the ETF proposals over Easter, it was not to be, as the SEC issued a further delay on May 20. The notice also outlined the SEC’s intention to scrutinize every aspect of the proposed rule change by the letter:
“The Commission is instituting proceedings to allow for additional analysis of the proposed rule change’s consistency with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act, which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be ‘designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade,’ and ‘to protect investors and the public interest.’”
The May 20 notice revealed that the commission still needed convincing over the safety of the Bitcoin market, especially regarding share manipulation, a worry that has been consistent throughout the crypto ETF saga. Even at this relatively late stage of the deliberation process, the SEC still sought comments about the actual size of the Bitcoin spot market and how Bitcoin price formation occurs.
Gradual change in governmental mentality
Although the numerous delays from the SEC may seem like consistent stonewalling, other areas of the U.S. government are demonstrating a more accepting approach to cryptocurrencies.
Mainstream interest in the crypto world skyrocketed when Facebook announced its intention to launch its own digital token, Libra. The renewed curiosity in cryptocurrency was not confined to investors alone, as on July 30, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held a regulatory hearing on cryptocurrencies.
Although the hearing largely focused on Libra, Republican Sen. Mike Crapo from Idaho gave several encouraging comments about prospects for cryptocurrencies in the U.S. In his opening statement, Crapo emphasized the importance of technological innovation and the need for America to be ahead of the curve, saying:
“It seems to me that digital technology innovations are inevitable, could be beneficial, and I believe that the U.S. should lead in developing these innovations and what the rules of the road should be.” Crapo also implied that an outright ban on cryptocurrency by the U.S. could be impossible:
“If the United States were to decide — and I’m not saying that it should — if the United States were to decide we didn’t want cryptocurrency to happen in the United States and tried to ban it, I’m pretty confident we couldn’t succeed.”
SEC Chairman says old issues still need fixing
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton gave a rare insight into the thought process of the regulatory body in a June 6 interview with CNBC, in which he expressed that the regulator needs both to accustom itself to dealing with cryptocurrency and to assuage concerns over market manipulation.
When pressed on ETFs, Clayton mentioned that the commission was working on making them a possibility for investors in the U.S. Despite his initially promising comments, Clayton underlined the need for security in regulated markets and the need to make sure crypto ETFs will not compromise the strictly regulated environment:
“We’re engaging on this, but there are a couple of things about it that we need to feel comfortable with. The first is custody: custody is a long-standing requirement in our markets, and if you say you have something you really have it.”
Building on the need for a robust, safe and regulated investment environment, Clayton said that the commission would take no risks on opportunities for market manipulation:
“The other thing that is important is […] we have sophisticated rules and surveillance to ensure that people are not manipulating the stock market, those cryptocurrency markets by large do not have that; And we’re working hard to see if we can get there, but I’m not just going to flip a switch and say this is just like stocks and bonds, because it’s not.”
Although he is the chairman of the commission, Clayton’s views are not indicative of the SEC board as a whole. Hester Pierce, an SEC commissioner dubbed “Crypto Mom” due to her open-minded approach to digital currencies, advocated for a less hesitant approach toward ETFs just three days before Clayton’s own comments in early June.
Not known for mincing her words, Pierce said that regulatory caution was standing in the way of a product that could be of use to investors, stating that the SEC is “still smothering ETFs with personalised attention as if they were infants.”
Pierce is also renowned for her criticism of the decision to reject the Winklevoss twins’ 2016 Bitcoin-based ETF application, arguing that an ETF would encourage institutional investment in the cryptocurrency market.
Despite her criticism regarding the sluggish decision-making of the SEC, Pierce told investors in December 2018 that ETF approval could potentially be a long time coming: “Definitely possible could be 20 years from now or it could be tomorrow. Don’t hold your breath. The SEC took a long time to establish Finhub.”
ETF asset management speaks out
Despite the uncertainty surrounding regulatory approval, heads of both VanEck and Bitwise Asset Management are enthusiastic about the prospects for their respective applications. Speaking to Cointelegraph in May 2019, VanEck’s Gabor Gurbacs said that Bitcoin volatility was unlikely to have any impact on the outcome of the SEC’s decision. According to Gurbacs, Bitcoin is already held by millions of U.S. citizens and a regulated ETF would only serve to better protect those investors:
“The current rise and decline in Bitcoin price have no barring on the prospects of an ETF. Millions of Americans hold Bitcoin on an exchange, in OTC products and other forms. Bitcoin is already mainstream. An ETF would add extra customer protections and liquidity as highlighted earlier.”
Gurbacs further emphasized his belief that ETFs would be an improvement for investor protection over existing investment vehicles:
“ETFs offer: daily proof of reserves (NAV), transparent holdings, transparent prices, high liquidity, proper tax documents, and investor protections. Bitcoin and crypto need transparent, liquid and regulated ETFs. Investors deserve fair and orderly markets and better protections.”
Bitwise CEO Hunter Horsley said he expected the SEC to approve crypto ETFs. Speaking to Bloomberg on Aug. 15, Horsley commented that the relative openness of the SEC in explaining the justifications for its delays — along with the details comments surrounding its concerns — indicated that the commission was taking the application seriously.
Speaking together with Horsley, Bitwise’s head of research, Matt Hougan, commented that there has been a great deal of progress across the crypto sector as a whole. Hougan cited the entrance of trading firm Susquehanna, along with improved arbitrage and new spreads.
Hougan also commented that the watershed moment for ETFs is a green light from U.S. regulators. The director also speculated that an approval could open up cryptocurrency to a greater segment of U.S. wealth, saying: “A key aspect to a Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. is that it unlocks the financial advisor marketplace. So far crypto has focused mostly on retail investors […] or institutional investors.”
The five most important dates for Bitcoin until 2020
The crypto industry is gearing up for an event-packed few months. From the resolution of the New York Attorney General’s injunction against Bitfinex and Tether to the final decisions of the long-awaited cryptocurrency ETFs, here’s a list of some of the most relevant dates in the crypto industry to keep an eye on.
Aug. 22: New York Attorney General’s injunction against Bitfinex to expire
The ongoing case between iFinex, the parent company of both Bitfinex and Tether, and the New York Attorney General (NYAG) is about to see a major milestone. Earlier in July, the judge delayed the date to decide whether to dismiss the case or to continue with the trial proceedings. After iFinex filed a motion for the dismissal of the case, Judge Joel M. Cohen stated that he will be extending the injunction until Aug. 22.
While a potentially unlawful loan Bitfinex took from its sister company Tether might not seem like a major milestone for the crypto industry, the court’s decision has the potential to sway the crypto market. Namely, if the judge decides to dismiss iFinex’s motion, the decision will ultimately go in favor of the New York Attorney General.
This won’t be the end of the case, but it will give NYAG better odds of proving that Bitfinex mixed corporate funds to cover losses and served customers in New York despite an explicit ban. However, if the judge decides to accept the motion, it will allow both Bitfinex and Tether to continue their operations and recover some of the losses they suffered during the proceedings.
Sept. 23: Bakkt will officially launch
After several months of anticipation, Bakkt has finally received all the regulatory approval necessary to launch its Bitcoin futures platform. On Aug. 18, Bakkt’s CEO, Kelly Loeffler, announced that the platform will officially launch on Sept. 23.
While some analysts have predicted that Bakkt will increase institutional interest, the crypto market has already started showing very bullish signs. Since the news was announced, Bitcoin has gained more than $1,000 in price, pushing the rest of the market into the green.
What makes this date so special is the fact that it will be the first time physically-settled Bitcoin futures will be offered to the market. With less speculation taking place, many analysts predicted Bakkt will allow more institutional money to flow into the crypto market.
Oct. 13: SEC makes the final decision on Bitwise Bitcoin ETFs
The first few weeks of October will most likely see the race for Bitcoin ETFs reach its end. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to make its final decision regarding Bitwise’s exchange-traded funds (ETF) proposal on Oct. 13.
With the first proposal filed at the beginning of the year, Bitwise has spent the better part of 2019 dealing with constant delays and extensions from the SEC. The Commission continued to cite concerns such as market manipulation, market surveillance and divergence with futures trading as being the main issues it was so reluctant to approve any ETFs so far.
While the SEC is also expected to make decisions regarding other ETFs, the decision regarding Bitwise will be made first.
Oct. 18: SEC rules on whether to pass VanEck/SolidX ETFs
Just 5 days after the Commission makes its decision on Bitwise’s ETFs, it’s expected to issue its verdict on the ETFs proposed by Cboe. First proposed in January this year, the joint BacEck and SolidX ETF proposal also faced several extensions and withdrawals.
If the SEC approved the proposal, it would allow the Cboe BZX Exchange to list shares of a joint Bitcoin ETF trust. While it’s still unclear which proposal has the best chance of getting approved, both would have an equally significant impact on the market.
Oct. 28: The submission of final rehabilitation plans for Mt. Gox
The saga of Mt. Gox, a notorious Japanese cryptocurrency exchange that lost more than 850,000 BTC in a 2011 hack, will finally come to an end. The end of October will see the final extension for the submission of rehabilitation plans for the affected creditors expire.
That exchange’s Rehabilitation Trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, filed a motion to extend the submission deadline of a detailed rehabilitation plan, receiving a six-month extension. That means that on Oct. 28, Kobayashi will have to submit a plan detailing the timing and method of repaying roughly 24,000 creditors who were affected by the 2011 hack and the exchange’s subsequent collapse.
That means that creditors could start receiving repayments by the end of the year. While it’s hard to say how long it would take to repay all of those affected, the act itself could bring a lot of positive sentiment into the market. A belief in a system that punishes crypto thefts and offers settlements to the victims will assure people they’re entering a regulated and relatively safe space — ultimately a win for the crypto industry.
Ethereum vs Bitcoin: BTC Eyes $11,000, ETH Finally Crosses $200
- Bitcoin sees price rally over a day, trades above $10,700
- BTC noted two major upswings over the last 24-hours; uplifts the crypto market
- Ethereum catches the bullish moment too, slowly moves above $200
- ETH appears to have support above $190
Since the last couple of days, Bitcoin has been trading above $10,000 against U.S.Dollar, but over the last 24 hours, the coin has shown a notable price growth. The leading crypto coin has traced two major price spike and the leading altcoins such as ETH and XRP are following the suit.
Since 14th August, Ethereum was trading under $200 and even had a dip below $180. The altcoin is picking up its pace from yesterday, and recently the coin has traded above $200.
Yesterday morning, Bitcoin was trading around $10,200 and it even dropped to $10,102.80. Seeing a support level there, the coin escalated above $10,400 and even reached to $10,498.96 with an increase of 3.92%. The coin maintained its price range till today morning when it saw a plunge near $10,270. Just a few hours ago, Bitcoin price has surged above $10,600 and at 09:18:43 UTC, BTC is currently trading at $10,731.11.
ETH vs BTC Price Chart
Ethereum had its first price rise from $184.86 to $196.31, yesterday. It remained within the price range above $193 till 6:00 UTC today. The altcoin then surged to $200.88 from $194.48 with an increase of 3.29%. At 09:18:43 UTC, ETH is at $201.05.
Bitcoin may face resistance at $10,515.56 and support level at $10,147.58. While Ethereum may see resistance at $205.73 and support at $186.28.