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SEC Set to Begin Fresh Consultation Period on CBOE-VanEck Bitcoin ETF

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SEC Set to Begin Fresh Consultation Period on CBOE-VanEck Bitcoin ETF

United States regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it will shortly commence the countdown period to approval or disapproval of the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The news was announced in an unpublished notice that was filed on Feb. 19.

The move is the latest in a series of back-and-forth exchanges between the SEC and ETF sponsors.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) — the exchange applying with the SEC to list the Bitcoin ETF — had withdrawn its application for a rule change on the ETF in January, ostensibly due in part to the U.S. government shutdown. CBOE then resubmitted the application for consideration at the end of the month.

In line with the law, the SEC must now make a decision about whether to allow the ETF to launch within 90 days from the date the notice is published — set for today, Feb. 20.

As is standard practice, the notice states:

“WITHIN 45 DAYS OF THE DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THIS NOTICE IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER OR WITHIN SUCH LONGER PERIOD UP TO 90 DAYS (I) AS THE COMMISSION MAY DESIGNATE IF IT FINDS SUCH LONGER PERIOD TO BE APPROPRIATE AND PUBLISHES ITS REASONS FOR SO FINDING OR (II) AS TO WHICH THE EXCHANGE CONSENTS, THE COMMISSION WILL:

A. BY ORDER APPROVE OR DISAPPROVE SUCH PROPOSED RULE CHANGE, OR

B. INSTITUTE PROCEEDINGS TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE PROPOSED RULE CHANGE SHOULD BE DISAPPROVED.”

Last week, the SEC began the same type of review period for a Bitcoin ETF from the NYSE Arca exchange. The exchange had filed a rule change proposal to list and trade shares of the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust. The SEC notice of the start of the review period was published on Feb. 15.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the same approval process has in fact led to several lengthy delays on SEC decisions. CBOE and NYSE Arca are some of the firms that have persisted, despite the raft of rejections experienced by other operators beginning in March 2017.

Nonetheless, cryptocurrency industry commentators increasingly agree that an approval is ultimately inevitable once market conditions meet the SEC’s requirements.

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Ripple releases Q1 report for 2019, Charlie Lee on LTC’s vision and more

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Bitcoin [BTC] and the rest of the cryptocurrency market has been working towards achieving mainstream adoption amongst the masses. This mantra seems to have worked in small capacities after the adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies by institutions and other popular individuals in the general financial space.

In a move that may provide a significant boost to Bitcoin’s claim of being ‘digital gold,’ Lil’ Pump, the American rapper best known for his Billboard-topping ‘Gucci Gang,’ revealed that users can now use BTC to purchase articles and memorabilia on his merchandise store, ‘Unhappy’.

The clincher in the deal, according to many proponents of the cryptocurrency, is the fact that payments will be conducted over the Bitcoin Lightning Network [LN]. The release of the Lightning Network was meant to increase the speed of Bitcoin transactions, while at the same time reducing fees on individual transactions.

Source: unhappy.com

Source: unhappy.com

On checkout, the website gives the user three options of payment: credit card, PayPal and finally, Bitcoin. Once the user chooses the Bitcoin payment option, they are directed to a window where they have the choice to transact payments on the Lightning Network or opt for a standard on-chain Bitcoin transaction. Both options can be carried out by scanning their respective QR codes, a process that is aimed at streamlining the checkout process thanks to the LN.

Many supporters of Bitcoin consider Lil Pump’s involvement in Bitcoin as a step in the right direction for the world’s largest cryptocurrency. The ‘Gucci Gang’ singer is not the first mainstream personality to associate himself with Bitcoin as both Eminem and Soulja Boy have previously made references to it in their songs. However, Pump is the first to implement a practical application around digital assets.

The Bitcoin Lightning Network saw another use case recently when Sparkswap raised $3.5 million to build a cryptocurrency exchange on the network. Terry Griffith, Founder of Sparkswap, stated,

“They’re just frustrated by the fact that it takes weeks to pull their money out. By building Sparkswap on Lightning Network Atomic Swaps, we can get performance and currencies needed to build liquid markets without giving up control of your assets.”

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‘Stars Aligning’ for 2019 Bitcoin Bull Run, Says Crypto Analyst – BTC, XRP, Ethereum, Litecoin Forecast

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Bitcoin is gearing up for a big rally in 2019, according to eToro analyst Simon Peters.

In a new interview with The Independent, Peters says BTC’s recent golden cross is a major signal that Bitcoin has already hit a bottom and the bear market is ending.

“The stars are aligning for a bitcoin bull run. The short-term moving average for the price of bitcoin has finally moved above the longer-term average, which is often referred to as a golden cross, so investors are starting to believe that we might just be approaching a new phase for the price of Bitcoin.

According to Peters, the $6,000 mark is the next crucial line for Bitcoin to cross. If it breaks the barrier, he believes Bitcoin will surpass $14,000 this year.

Right now, the overall crypto market is mixed, with Bitcoin up 0.84% at $5,437, according to Coin360. Ethereum is up 0.93% at $164.04, and XRP is up 1.39% at $0.3032.

Source: Coin360

In the short term, CoinDesk’s Omkar Godbole says Bitcoin is facing further losses and risks dropping below $5,000 in the coming days.

Technical analysts across the board are watching for Bitcoin’s next move, with mixed signals on Ethereum, XRP and Litecoin.

 

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Crypto Loans in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC) Spike to Over $1.5 Billion: Genesis Capital

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Digital asset loan provider Genesis Capital has issued over $1.5 billion in loans since launching its crypto lending platform in March of 2018, adding $425 million in the first quarter of 2019.

An affiliate of Genesis Trading, one of the largest over-the-counter cryptocurrency brokerages, the New York-based lending platform offers institutions and market-makers the ability to borrow Bitcoin and other digital currencies in large sizes over fixed terms with a minimum loan size of $100,000. Total loans in the first quarter of 2019 increased by 17%.

The loan book is denominated in a mix of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum Classic, with Bitcoin capturing 63.5% of loans originated.

Borrowing of the number one cryptocurrency has been consistent among high-frequency trading firms in need of capital with data showing that most of the Bitcoin loans were made to hedge investments, implement market strategies or invest in businesses, as opposed to price speculation.

Digital Asset Lending Composition

  • Bitcoin – 68.1%
  • Ethereum – 3.6%
  • XRP – 6.7%
  • Litecoin – 3.6%
  • Bitcoin Cash – 0.3%
  • Ethereum Classic – 2.3%
  • USD – 9.6%
  • Other – 5.9%
Source: Genesis Capital Q1 Insights

In Q4 2018, Genesis began offering US dollar loans, the most active sector in the company’s portfolio, after Bitcoin.

“Because we have been operating in this industry for several years and understand the liquidity and volatility characteristics of digital assets, we are happy to accept digital assets as collateral for cash financing.

We believe this experience adds value to institutions looking for liquidity without having to sell and realize capital gains, miners looking to pay electricity bills without selling inventory, and hedge funds seeking to leverage long positions.”

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