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Europe Keeps Untying Regulatory Blockchain Knots as EU Becoming a Prime Destination for Crypto Companies

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Whilst the likes of Japan and the US are continuously in the news, making steady and significant progress in the crypto market, most of Europe has been surprisingly serene and low key.

There is the odd Malta or Ukraine, however as a whole, most of Europe, while interested in the blockchain has made little effort to seriously woo crypto enthusiasts, until now.

Europe is a large potential market, with many surveys showing the high crypto awareness amongst the populace. However, this has not translated into active participation. This is primarily due to the lack of clarity and the myriad regulatory hurdles that have to be navigated through both at the national as well as the European block level.

Now, loosening banking restrictions coupled with innovative risks by startups is looking to change all this. Even in the bear market, many in Europe see the clear potential and governments are trying to make business interactions as seamless as possible.

Rise Of Fintech In Germany

Germany has been a powerhouse of European innovation and industry. The second largest stock exchange in Germany, the Stuttgart Exchange Group is now set to team up with the banking institute, SolarisBank, to create the necessary infrastructure for a zero-fee crypto exchange.

The platform is expected to be live in early 2019. This comes close at the heels of Bitwala, a cryptocurrency payments startup claiming to be the first crypto banking solution in Europe, was recently allowed to operate in Germany. Interestingly it too has partnered with SolarisBank.

It appears this accelerated access has been made possible by the local fintech start-up, which has a banking license and is fully regulated by the German financial regulatory authority Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and the European Central Bank (ECB).

ETP Offerings In Switzerland

In the heart of Europe, Switzerland has made giant strides recently. It has offered the worlds first crypto-based exchange-traded product (ETP). This pioneering move involves the listing of a crypto-based ETP by the nations premier exchange, the SIX exchange.

In doing so Switzerland has ended the long wait and beaten everyone to the punch. While the American SEC is still working out the details, the Swiss Exchange has already started volume trade on the crypto pair.

Trading Innovation In Sweden

Keeping up the renaissance of innovative ideas, the nordic county of Sweden has also been working to allow foreign investment in cryptocurrencies. The Stockholm stock exchangehas, for the past few months been allowing Bitcoin exchange-traded note (ETN).

Since August this year, their Nasdaq Stockholm has launched a new overseas-listed instrument. This allows the U.S. investors to securely conduct their trading and investing in bitcoin. With a U.S. dollar-denominated version, it is now capable of offering international interactions to the American investors.

The quaint world old world has always been a hotbed of ideas and innovation. However, market uncertainty has certainly stratified the growth potential that might have otherwise prevailed. In having said that, as the European governments better understand the crypto verse, improved regulations will follow and, undoubtedly, lead to more participation from the continent as a whole.

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Bakkt Futures to Launch in the Current Quarter

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Managing director and quant strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors Sam Doctor suggested in a Twitter post published on July 19 that Bakkt’s Bitcoin (BTC) futures contracts will launch this quarter.

According to the post, which includes a summary of Fundstrat’s takeaways from the Bakkt Digital Asset Summit held on July 18, the firm’s futures will launch in the current quarter. The launch is set to follow tests announced last month, which are scheduled to start next week. The firm believes that the launch will be a catalyst to accelerate entry of traditional institutional investors. The post notes:

“THERE APPEARS TO BE A CRITICAL MASS OF ADOPTERS READY TO COME ON BOARD ON DAY 1 OF THE BAKKT LAUNCH, WITH THE SALES TEAM GAINING TRACTION AMONG BROKERS, MARKET MAKERS, PROP TRADING DESKS AND LIQUIDITY PROVIDERS.”

During the aforementioned event, Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner Dawn Stump apparently expressed that no current cryptocurrency could threaten financial stability and that the regulator sees a growing demand for Bitcoin futures from the public. Also during the summit, chief information officer at crypto investment firm Blocktower Ari Paul was reportedly confident that once a killer app or user interface makes cryptocurrency on-ramps safe, reliable and as easy to use as Paypal, retail adoption will be enormous.

According to the Fundstrat notes, Paul also said that institutions should not dismiss crypto assets, considering their low correlation with traditional assets and with compound annual growth rates of 200%-300%. He also said that inflation and confiscation resistance of cryptocurrencies are a key value proposition.

Pantera Capital CEO Dan Morehead, on the other hand, said that most tokens will fail and a handful of base protocols will survive, but with thousands of decentralized applications built on top of them. 

As Cointelegraph reported in May, the Intercontinental Exchange is reportedly taking steps to ensure approval from the United States CFTC for Bakkt.

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Bitcoin Price Slips 10% in 24 Hrs as Fed Raises Facebook Libra Concerns

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Bitcoin Price Slips 10% in 24 Hrs as Fed Raises Facebook Libra Concerns

Bitcoin price (BTC) shed more than 10% on July 11 as markets appeared to react to criticism of Facebook’s Libra from a senior United States lawmaker.

Market visualization

Market visualization courtesy of Coin360

Data from Coin360 sees the majority of cryptocurrencies firmly in the red Thursday, hours after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Facebook’s offering should not continue development.

Libra, which aims to act firstly as a cross-border payment method, allegedly buoyed Bitcoin throughout recent weeks, with commentators arguing its public profile was driving publicity and uptake of Bitcoin itself. 

Powell’s demands, which follow similar words from representatives of the Senate House of Financial Services Committee, leant weight to that theory.

“Libra raises serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection, financial stability,” he said during a speech before a congressional committee. “These are concerns that should be thoroughly and publicly addressed.”

“THESE ARE CONCERNS THAT SHOULD BE THOROUGHLY AND PUBLICLY ADDRESSED.”

At press time, BTC/USD traded down 10.4% at $11,530, having risen as high as $13,160 in recent days. 

Bitcoin 7-day price chart

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

The drop places the pair still within its recent corridor between around $9,700 and $13,800, with volatility still in evidence across crypto markets. 

Altcoins, meanwhile, delivered noticeably worse performance as Bitcoin price fell, with several assets in the top twenty by market cap shedding 15% or more.

Ether (ETH), the largest altcoin, lost a similar amount to Bitcoin, hitting $272 and firmly losing support at $300 once again.

Ether 7-day price chart

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Among the worst performers were Bitcoin SV (BSV), which lost 17.2%, and EOS (EOS), which was down 20.2%.KEEP TRACK OF TOP CRYPTO MARKETS IN REAL TIME HERE

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Bitcoin Approaches $11,000 With All Top 20 in Green

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Saturday, July 20 — crypto markets have seen another upward move, with all top 20 coins by market cap seeing major gains, while Bitcoin (BTC) has approached $11,000 mark again.

Market visualization from Coin360

After dipping below the $11,000 threshold on July 14, Bitcoin has approached the price point today, with its intraday high of $10,944, according to data from CoinMarketCap. The biggest cryptocurrency added 3.7% to its price to trade at $10,922 at press time. As Bitcoin has seen significant volatility this week, with its price having dipped below $9,500, the cryptocurrency is down around 3% over the past 7 days at press time.

Bitcoin 24-hour price chart. Source: Coin360

Ether (ETH), the second cryptocurrency by market cap, is up over 5% and trading at $232 at press time. The top altcoin is down 13.4% over the past 7 days.

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Ripple (XRP), the third top cryptocurrency by market cap, added 6.4% to trade at $0.339, also seeing a notable growth over the past 7 days, adding up to about 2.6%.

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin SV (BSV), the ninth top cryptocurrency by market cap, has added over 25% to its value today, seeing the biggest growth among the top 20 coins by market cap.

As of press time, total market capitalization amounts to $298 billion after that number dropped below $250 billion earlier this week. Daily trade volume amounts to around $63 billion.

The new wave of green on crypto markets follows a recent bullish prediction by managing director and quant strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors Sam Doctor, who suggested that much-anticipated Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures contracts will launch in Q3 2019.

Additionally, India’s Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said yesterday that there is no legislation in India that expressly bans citizens from using cryptocurrencies.

by https://cointelegraph.com

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