Cryptocurrencies are posting slight losses as Goldman Sachs is reportedly onboarding customers for its yet-to-be-launched Bitcoin futures product
Oct 31, 2018
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- A new partnership between Microsoft and Nasdaq will see the US-based software giant integrate its Azure Blockchain technology into Nasdaq’s Financial Framework. Nasdaq’s Financial Framework is a technology that provides trading infrastructure and operations outsourcing -- according to a press release on Tuesday, Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain technology will be implemented in Nasdaq’s Financial Framework in order to fulfill risk and surveillance duties. In the long-term, the partnership aims to develop a, “ledger agnostic blockchain capability,” to allow for a service or platform across multiple ledgers. The integration of Azure Blockchain technology into Nasdaq’s Financial Framework will allow users to launch multiple blockchains in one interface.
- After undergoing months of uncertainty in regards to cryptocurrencies’ legality in India, the Indian government is reportedly considering a ban on the usage of “private” cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC). During the 19th meeting of India’s Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC), the subject of cryptocurrencies arose -- an excerpt from the press release concerning the meeting reads, “The Council also deliberated on the issues and challenges of crypto assets/currency and was briefed about the deliberations in the High-level Committee chaired by the Secretary (Economic Affairs) to devise an appropriate legal framework to ban use of private cryptocurrencies in India and encouraging the use of distributed ledger technology, as announced in the Budget 2018-19.” The phrasing of the excerpt is critical, as cryptocurrency experts are now deliberating whether or not possession and trading of cryptocurrencies will be permitted in India, or if the “ban” would only extend to cryptocurrencies’ use as a payment vehicle.
- An article by The Block cites a source, “familiar with the matter,” in reporting that investment banking giant, Goldman Sachs, has begun signing up a limited number of customers for its yet-to-be-launched Bitcoin trading product. The article goes on to detail that the bank is onboarding, “a small number of clients,” to actively trade its Bitcoin futures contract product. At the time, Bitcoin futures trading is available through several regulated US platforms, including notable exchanges CME and CBOE -- Bakkt, a venture by the owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), is expected to launch its Bitcoin futures product beginning on December 12th, 2018.
- Callaghan, a New Zealand state-backed innovation institute, is awarding a USD$330,000 grant to Vimba, a local cryptocurrency wallet and trading service that is a rebranded version of MyCryptoSaver. Vimba will use the USD$330,000 “R&D Project Grant” to expand its current offerings, list more cryptocurrencies, and enable multi-signature cryptocurrency wallets. Speaking to Cointelegraph, a spokesperson from Callaghan detailed that the R&D Project Grant will fund up to 40% of Vimba’s project and that 355 similar grants were approved within the last fiscal year. Vimba has been operating, in one form or another, since 2014 and has undergone two separate investment rounds -- Vimba is reportedly set to launch services in the UK in the coming weeks.
- Commissioner of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC), Choi Jong-Ku, reaffirmed that there are no compliance issues that banks face in providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges. Jong-Ku discussed this while speaking at the country’s state affairs audit to assess the progress of all of South Korea’s government agencies and commissioners, declaring, “There exists no issue in banks providing virtual bank accounts to cryptocurrency exchanges. If digital asset trading platforms have KYC and AML systems in place, there is no problem in issuing virtual bank accounts to exchanges.”
- JD.com, a large Chinese retailer, will launch a blockchain research lab in partnership with two technical institutes, including the Ying Wu College of Computing at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS). JD.com currently controls about 30% of the business-to-consumer online market and maintains roughly 314 million active users. The blockchain research lab being launched by this partnership will aim to solve efficiency problems and examine potential applications of blockchain technology. Specifically, JD.com hopes to focus efforts on potential fundamental consensus protocols with long-term applications, privacy protection, and security of decentralized applications (DApps).
- Ledger, a cryptocurrency hardware wallet company, will open a new branch in Hong Kong, as per a company press release on Wednesday morning. The firm has appointed Benjamin Soong, a former managing director for S&P Global, as the head of its Asia Pacific division. President of Ledger, Pascal Gauthier, explained how Soong would help the firm monetize opportunities in the Asia Pacific, saying, “He brings a tremendous amount of experience and expertise in the region, which will help Ledger capitalize on future opportunities. APAC is a key market that has seen increased demand. With Benjamin at the helm, we are confident we can deliver top security for both consumers and financial institutions to protect their crypto assets.” Recently, Ledger announced that it will launch a hardware wallet fully compatible with Blockchain Wallet, a product that will offer more than 30 million users a convenient, offline storage option.
- Venezuela has officially launched its state-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro, as of October 29th, 2018. As per a tweet from the Venezuelan Vice President of the Economy’s account, “The Petro may be acquired by legal and natural persons from its web portal.” The Petro can be bought using Bitcoin (BTC) or Litecoin (LTC). The official launch of the Petro comes as a surprise, as previous announcements had detailed that the Petro’s launch would not come until November 5th, 2018.
*Data in Price Return and Updated Real-Time (with a delay), Source: StockDio