‘Unequivocal Yes’: NYSE Chair Says Bitcoin and Crypto Are Here To Stay

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are here to stay despite the current bear market, says Jeff Sprecher, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange and CEO of its parent company, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

When asked about the plunging crypto market values, Sprecher said as an exchange operator, it’s not his place to opine about prices. However, he’s confident about the bright future of digital assets.

“The unequivocal answer is yes [crypto will survive],” Sprecher said at the Consensus: Invest conference in New York this week.

Sprecher: Bitcoin Is Still the Yardstick

Sprecher noted that bitcoin is still the barometer by which all others cryptocurrencies are judged, and that won’t change.

“Somehow bitcoin has lived in a swamp and survived,” Sprecher said. “There are thousands of other tokens that you could argue are better, but yet bitcoin continues to survive, thrive, and attract attention.”

For Jeff Sprecher, digital assets are become something of a family affair.

His Intercontinental Exchange — along with Microsoft, Starbucks and BCG — is backing a new company called Bakkt, whose CEO is Sprecher’s wife, Kelly Loeffler.

Jeff Sprecher Has His Wife’s ‘Bakkt’

Bakkt will facilitate bitcoin futures trading in the first quarter of 2019. The launch was postponed from December 2018 to January 24, 2019 due to unforeseen demand.

“To give it the best chance for success, we pushed it back…to give people more time to get on board,” Loeffler said, “It’s a positive indication of the interest, and it gives people time to learn.”

Bakkt will provide custody and price discovery for bitcoin — which is regulated as a commodity by the CFTC — in a way that’s designed to be free from market manipulation and fraud.

ICE’s rival, Nasdaq — the world’s second-largest stock exchange  — is also charging ahead with its own plans to launch a bitcoin futures product in the first quarter of 2019, as CCN reported.

All of this is paving the way for the mass entry of institutional investors into the crypto market and the mainstream adoption of virtual currencies.

“We’re creating that infrastructure that doesn’t exist today, which we think is a big opportunity for institutional investors to come in,” Loeffler said.

Experts: If You Build It, They Will Come

While most of the headlines concerning crypto focus on its recent price drops, insiders say what’s happening below the surface is far more exciting and consequential to the future of the industry.

Many experts predict that institutional investments will start pouring in in the first half of 2019 — and that’s a game-changing development that will transform the industry.

“What’s happening behind the scenes is companies are being built to create infrastructure to enable the on-boarding of a whole new category of investors — that’s the institutional investors,” said Barry Silbert, the founder of Digital Currency Group. “So behind the scenes, nobody has slowed down.”


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Author: Samantha Chang
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NYSE Owner’s Bitcoin Market May Have ‘Hidden Leverage,’ Wall Street Vet Warns

When Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), announced that it was launching a bitcoin market, the move was met with enthusiasm by many within the cryptocurrency industry as a vindication of the legitimacy of the asset class. However, others, including some Wall Street veterans, warned that the “financialization” of bitcoin could introduce elements of the fractional reserve banking system into the cryptocurrency market.

LIONBIT

Bakkt Says It Won’t Offer Leveraged Bitcoin Trading

Now, the head of Bakkt — ICE’s bitcoin market — is seeking to assuage some of those concerns. Writing in a blog post, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler said that one of the platform’s key missions is to promote “efficient price discovery,” which means that the firm does not intend to allow clients to trade on margin or otherwise put a “paper claim on a real asset.”

She wrote:

“A critical element to price discovery is physical delivery. Specifically, with our solution, the buying and selling of Bitcoin is fully collateralized or pre-funded. As such, our new daily Bitcoin contract will not be traded on margin, use leverage, or serve to create a paper claim on a real asset. This supports market integrity and differentiates our effort from existing futures and crypto exchanges which allow for margin, leverage and cash settlement. Coupled with a secure, regulated warehouse solution, you can begin to see how this market infrastructure can help more institutions and consumers participate in the asset class.”

That bitcoin contract, as CCN reported, will be a one-day futures contract that is settled in BTC rather than cash. The reason it is structured as a one-day futures contract rather than a conventional BTC/USD trading pair is that futures contracts are regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) rather than the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Per CFTC guidelines, Bakkt must provide a “warehouse” where the physical assets undergirding the products are stored.

TIP

Will ICE Secretly Offer ‘Hidden Leverage?’

Caitlin Long, who spent more than two decades on Wall Street and co-founded the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, said that she was partially-pleased by Loeffler’s post, which answered some questions that she and others had been asking about ICE’s handling of bitcoin, specifically about explicit leverage and margin trading.

However, she noted that the post was silent on what she calls “hidden leverage,” through which institutions commingle and rehypothecate different types of collateral (bitcoins, physical USD, securities, etc.), which involves substituting them for one another on their balance sheet as well as allow multiple parties to declare ownership of the same asset on their financial statements.

These practices, Long says, are standard on Wall Street and could serve to taint bitcoin’s fixed currency supply with elements of the wider financial system, which relies on fractional-reserve banking.


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Author:Josiah Wilmoth
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The owner of the New York Stock Exchange has been reportedly working on a bitcoin exchange

  • ICE, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, has been developing an online platform to buy cryptocurrency, a report from The New York Times found. 
  • The trading platform would “allow large investors to buy and hold bitcoin,” the report found. 
  • ICE first entered the crypto market via a crypto data feed, which went live in March.     

Intercontinental Exchange, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, has been developing an online platform to buy cryptocurrency, according to a report by The New York Times.

The move, which The New York Times first reported on Monday citing documents and people familiar with the situation, is another example of a traditional Wall Street firm diving into the nascent market for digital coins.

Georgia-based Intercontinental Exchange, or ICE, first entered the market for digital currencies via a cryptocurrency data feed, which went live in March. Notably, Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs said it was working on a cryptocurrency trading desk earlier in April, The New York Times earlier reported. A slew of trading firms have been trading crypto, including Chicago-based HFTs such as DRW and Jump Trading.

As per The New York Times report, the potential crypto platform by ICE would “allow large investors to buy and hold bitcoin.”

The exchange operator, according to the report, has also explored swaps, another financial instrument, which would be linked to bitcoin. To be sure, the plan may not come to fruition. An ICE spokesperson was not available for comment.

Whereas ICE’s exchange competitors — Cboe Global Markets and CME Group — have jumped into the crypto market via bitcoin futures, ICE has focused on data, and adding transparency to the marketplace known for its wild price swings and fraud via its data-feed product.

Nasdaq, which entered into a partnership with crypto-exchange Gemini in April, is also planning on launching a futures market for crypto. Also, Nasdaq’s CEO Adena Friedman said the firm could one day launch a crypto exchange.

Still, if ICE were to follow through on its reported plan, it would be the first established equities exchange operator to launch such a venue in the US.

The venture would potentially have a big leg up over existing crypto-exchange venues which lack the mature market structure of equities exchanges like NYSE and Nasdaq.

 


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Frank Chaparro
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