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Retail Investors Aren’t Interested in Crypto Derivatives, Says eToro Executive

Despite being one of the largest crypto derivatives platforms, an eToro executive said he isn’t losing sleep over the U.K.’s proposed retail ban.

Over breakfast in a central London restaurant, inside what used to be the Midland Bank, Iqbal Gandham, eToro’s U.K. managing director since 2016, said the country’s decision to ban retail access to all crypto derivatives would likely have a “minimal” impact on its business.

With more than 10 million users worldwide, eToro is one of the largest trading platforms in the world. Gandham said the company has noticed a shift in the behavior of retail traders, who value the fact they can buy an actual cryptocurrency asset and transfer it out into their personal wallets.

“Two years ago people didn’t understand real [assets] and derivatives, they just thought they were buying bitcoin. Now people are more comfortable in owning their own wallets and transferring crypto, they understand that if they can’t transfer it out then it can’t be real,” Gandham said.

The U.K.’s chief financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), surprised the industry last summer when it unveiled plans to ban the “sale, marketing and distribution to all retail consumers” of crypto derivatives, including contracts for difference (CFDs).

At the time, the regulator said retail investors were “ill-suited” to such products because they were unable to “reliably assess the value and risks of derivatives or [exchange-traded notes] that reference certain cryptoassets.”

Although regulated platforms, such as Hargreaves Landsdown, have already banned retail access to crypto derivatives, the FCA isn’t expected to make a final decision until later this year.

eToro first offered bitcoin CFDs in 2014. It gradually increased the number of supported cryptocurrency-based options, but only allowed users to buy the underlying asset in September 2017.

“Had you asked me this question in 2016/17, I would have said ‘a really, really big impact, we need to change our business,'” Gandham said. But the majority of eToro’s customers now buy the underlying crypto, rather than any CFD product.

eToro currently offers retail users crypto assets or crypto CFDs at a maximum leverage of 2:1. A spokesperson told CoinDesk approximately 87 percent of eToro’s retail users buy the asset. In the first month of 2020, that number increased to 90 percent.

In the case of catering to retail investors, eToro is “moving away from the derivatives market,” Gandham said.

Casualties

Few crypto derivative providers share eToro’s sanguine attitude to the upcoming ban. Daniel Masters, executive chairman at CoinShares, which is the owner of XBT Provider, one of the largest crypto derivatives developers in Europe, told CoinDesk the company had “vigorously resisted” the FCA’s proposal.

During the consultation phase in Q4 2019, CoinShares spearheaded a campaign against the ban and criticized the regulator for cherry-picking data and for an overall “lack of understanding” concerning the asset class.

“Banning such instruments has many adverse consequences,” Masters told CoinDesk. The ban “will not protect investors,” but will push them to offshore providers with little to no investor protection, he added.

Gandham agreed the ban will likely be a net negative for investor protection. “I don’t understand the premise of banning [retail crypto] derivatives,” he said, because a blanket ban would push trading underground and overseas, which would likely expose consumers to more risk.

Still, Gandham is convinced the ban will only have a muted effect on cryptocurrency trading in the U.K. Crypto derivatives, in his view, are better suited for institutional or professional traders who aren’t affected by the ban and who want exposure to the asset but would be burdened by having to hold the physical asset.

Of course, there will always be a handful of retail investors wanting 100x leverage on platforms like BitMEX, Gandham said. But he believes the vast majority of eToro’s clients, who are in it for the long haul, will not even notice the difference should the ban come into effect.
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Crypto Selloff, Bitcoin again below $10K

Cryptocurrency markets had a lousy weekend, especially altcoins. Bitcoin had a 5.18 percent drop to $9800, but it was the best performer. Bitcoin Cash, BitcoinSV, and EOS are falling over 20 percent, and the majority of the leading cryptos dropping over 10 percent.  Ethereum tokens also took a hit, with ZRX(-19.3%), REP(-18.8%)OMG(-18.6%), and BAT(-18.21) among the worst performers during the weekend. Worth Noting that FFT* gained 8-66 percent and also moving strong FUN(+26.19%), POWR(+18.1%), FSN(+24.65%) and MX(+50.4%).

72H Crypto Heat Map

The Market capitalization dropped $28.8 billion during the whole weekend, which represents a 9.31 percent drop. The drop happened with a heavy volume of about $70 billion in a 24H period. As bitcoin was performing better than the rest of the market, its dominance grew to 63-68 percent.

Crypto Market Cap and Traded Volume

Hot News

Craig Wright warns Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash to stop using the Bitcoin database if they want to avoid a lawsuit, claiming that both may be violating the original terms of the original EULA and MIT license.

“As the creator of Bitcoin, I maintain the sui generis rights to any copy of the database created from Genesis in January 2009. I shall not be relinquishing the ownership. I will be licensing it, and have already engaged in a process.” (Source: cointelegraph.com)

Technical Analysis – Bitcoin

Bitcoin 4H

Bitcoin dropped below $10K on Saturday, and continue doing so on Sunday and Monday’s early morning. In the 4H chart, we can see that the price is approaching the lower side of the ascending channel and that the $9,730 level seems to act as support. Currently, the price is moving below the -1SD Line, in what looks like a descending wedge. Right now, the price is in a support area; thus, we need to observe the resolution of the fight between buyers and sellers to control the movement of the price.  The critical levels to keep are $9,730 to the downside and 9950 to the upside.

SupportPivot PointResistance
9,7309,950 1,068
9,50010,300
9,15010,500

Ripple

Ripple 4H

Ripple has been dropping very hard in the last few days, and its price lost 19 percent since its top made last Saturday. Currently, the price went back to the consolidation area, previous to its last run-up.  The $0.274 and $0.266 levels are essential to hold the price. If that does not happen, it would be the end of the bull run of this asset. The price is below its -1SD Bollinger line and the MACD in a bearish phase; thus, it is better to be in the sidelines.

SupportPivot PointResistance
0.26600.2900 0.3000
0.25000.3150
0.23700.3380

Ethereum

Ethereum 4H

Ethereum had an incredible run up last week, which drove its valuation from $217 to $288, a 32 percent move up. During the last weekend, it is retracing part of its gains, as it was highly overbought. The price needs to create a bottom to resume the trend from there. Currently, it is moving in the $250 level, under the -1SD Bollinger line, and touching its 50-period SMA.  We see also that the upward trendline still holds. Thus, we still think this is a healthy correction and that ETH still has room to move up. Another break of the $263 level would bring strength to the buyers.

SupportPivot PointResistance
249263 275
238290
230300

Litecoin

Litecoin 4H

Litecoin has dropped hard at the weekend and has erased almost all the gains made in February. The price is moving quite bearish, and now it is entering into what was the consolidation region made at the beginning of February. We have to wait for the price to make a bottom here.  We still maintain the upward bias, as its 200-period SMA is still pointing upward, but the current situation is not. We can see that the bearish candlesticks show a strong volume. Maybe this is a bottoming volume, but, as said, we need to see it create a bottom and the price move to the upper side of the Bollinger bands.

SupportPivot PointResistance
71.375.7 78.4
6980
66.883.5

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We Think 10-Minute Settlement Is Slow but That’s Crazy, Feat. CoinDesk Research’s Noelle Acheson

CoinDesk Head of Research Noelle Acheson joins the Amun State of Crypto crew to discuss the advantages, disadvantages and eccentricities of crypto markets, exchanges, settlement and more.

Listen or subscribe with Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocketcasts, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Stitcher, RadioPublica, IHeartRadio or RSS.

In this deep-dive conversation, the group discusses the differences in the market microstructure between the crypto asset industry and traditional capital markets. The guests drew from their experience within traditional capital markets to explain the intricacies of the crypto market micro-structures and price discovery.

Listen or subscribe with Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocketcasts, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Stitcher, RadioPublica, IHeartRadio or RSS.


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Crypto Analyst Says This Ethereum-Based Altcoin Could Go Parabolic Even As Bitcoin (BTC) Rises

Crypto analyst Nicholas Merten expects a bull run to clock enormous gains for altcoins.

On a new episode of Datadash, Merten says Chainlink (LINK), an Ethereum-based token that powers the decentralized oracle network, is now on the cusp of a parabolic run.

“The major thing that I’m correlating this to is the early phase of the 2017 rally. We’re starting to see a lot of the plays that are going to be similar to Ethereum – kind of the frontrunners in the market – and become some of the new large-cap plays that really lead in this cycle – are really starting to showcase and shine here. And I think Chainlink is one of them.

We’ve gotten above the resistance range here – the only question now as to whether or not this is going to hold. And what I would like to see even more is not only more volume here, in the sense of Chainlink, but also I want to see this continue climbing higher.”

At time of writing, Chainlink is the biggest gainer among the top 15 cryptocurrencies.

Currently valued at $4.42, it’s up 13.61% in the last 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin is up 0.72% at $10,240, Ethereum is up 5.93% at $280.4 and XRP is up 4.71% at $0.334.

Source: CoinMarketCap

Merten adds,

“We could start to see a really parabolic run here where prices could continue to climb higher even as Bitcoin is getting a good amount of price action over the next couple of weeks.”

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