CBOE withdraws Bitcoin ETF application as cryptocurrencies are mixed
Jan 24, 2019
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Crypto Market Recap
- Cryptocurrency prices turned somewhat higher in midday trading, although the broad market is still mostly mixed, as the price of Bitcoin (BTC) is up 0.44% in the last 24 hours to USD$3,611.02. Maker (MKR) is leading the gains among major coins, up 4.11% in the last 24 hours to USD$473.71. Bitcoin Cash (BCH), meanwhile, has fallen the most among major cryptocurrencies, down 3.24% in the last 24 hours to USD$129.44.
Crypto Developments in Financial Services
- BZX Equity Exchange, owned by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), has officially withdrawn its request for a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule change that would allow the listing of a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF). The CBOE’s BTC ETF application being considered by the SEC was also backed by prominent investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX. As per a CBOE spokesperson, the decision to withdraw was driven by broken down talks with regulators as a result of the US government shutdown.
- An unconfirmed report published by Business Insider indicates that Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, a notable cryptocurrency merchant bank, is raising at least USD$250mm to offer loans to crypto-related companies. The report cites two individuals familiar with the matter while claiming that Galaxy Digital will close the first round of fundraising for its crypto credit fund in March. According to the article, Galaxy will allow lenders to use crypto assets, real estate, and/or crypto mining hardware as collateral. The article by Business Insider comes after Bloomberg reported earlier this month that there was increased demand for crypto lending services in 2018.
Crypto Regulatory Environment
- The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has granted Bitlicenses to Robinhood and LibertyX, according to an official release Thursday. Robinhood, the popular zero-commission stock and cryptocurrency trading application, was also granted a money transmission license from the DFS. LibertyX is the first entity to be granted a Bitlicense that will allow users to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with debit cards from traditional ATMs. The state of New York’s Bitlicenses system was first introduced in 2015 and allow entities to handle cryptocurrencies under regulatory requirements set by the DFS.
- New Hampshire lawmakers are beginning to consider legislation that would effectively legalize state payments, including payment of fees and taxes, in Bitcoin (BTC), as per documents that were originally published January 3rd. “This bill requires the State Treasurer to develop an implementation plan for the state to accept cryptocurrencies as payment for taxes and fees beginning July 1, 2020,” bill NH HB470 reads, adding that, “The plan shall address any accounting, valuation, and management issues and also identify an appropriate third party payment processor that will process cryptocurrency transactions at no cost to the state.”
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited the island of Malta, commonly known as blockchain island, and found that the growth of blockchain in the country has created significant risks of money laundering and terrorism financing, according to a report by the Times of Malta. Although Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit recently implemented what the IMF recognizes as sound measures, the international financial body is still recommending Malta close loopholes in supervisory and enforcement systems. The IMF reportedly warned Malta that, “The increasing number of financial entities under supervision, the rapid development of new products, the evolving regulatory environment and the tightening of the labor market have put the Malta Financial Services Authority under considerable strain.”
General Crypto News
- MITNews reports that researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a cryptocurrency whose transaction verification process requires 99% less data to be stored compared to Bitcoin (BTC). Dubbed Vault, the prospective cryptocurrency is set to be unveiled in a presentation at the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS) next month. The report by MITNews details that Vault, “lets users join the network by downloading only a fraction of the total transaction data,” while adding that, “In experiments, Vault reduced the bandwidth for joining its network by 99% compared to Bitcoin and 90% compared to Ethereum, which is considered one of today’s most efficient cryptocurrencies. Importantly, Vault still ensures that all nodes validate all transactions, providing tight security equal to its existing counterparts.”
- The British Standards Institution (BSI), the United Kingdom’s national standards body, is partnering with blockchain firm OriginTrail with an aim to revamp supply chain technology, according to a press release on Thursday. Specifically, the BSI hopes to enable more options for businesses to prove the compliance of their supply chain to various regulators. BSI CEO Howard Kerr commented in the press release, “In today's increasingly interconnected world, transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain is vital,” while adding that, “This strategic partnership aims to provide our clients with the ability to demonstrate the authenticity of their compliance through the digital records of the assessments and certifications they have achieved from BSI.”
*Data in Price Return and Updated Real-Time (with a delay), Source: StockDio