January 21 – 27, 2019 | Bitcoin ETF, Daily Transactions & More Crypto News
3iQ Research Group consolidates the top five cryptoasset stories of interest
to investment advisors and our investors.
American Investors Would Rather Buy a Bitcoin ETF Than Use a Cryptocurrency Exchange
January 24 – According to a recent survey conducted by Bitwise Asset Management, a leading provider of cryptoasset indices and beta funds, 58% of American investors would rather invest in Bitcoin through an exchange-traded fund (ETF) than buying through cryptocurrency exchanges. The survey drew participation from 150 financial advisors in the US. When the survey asked what would make them allocate Bitcoin to their client portfolios, 54% of advisors said “better regulations”, while 35% said “the launch of an ETF.”
“The answer is that ETFs are a well-understood construct that is plug-and-play with the existing software platforms, paperwork, processes, and workflows that professional investors and firms use,” said Bitwise in a newsletter. “At a 0.25%-10% allocation, crypto isn’t a deep focus of most investors, and most aren’t going to reinvent the wheel [just] to access it. They need it to be easy.” Read the full article
Winklevoss Twins Respond to “Crypto Needs Rules” Advertising Campaign
January 25 – The famed crypto investors and co-founders of the Gemini Trust Company, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, have recently responded to criticism relating to their ‘Crypto Needs Rules’ advertising campaign, which was launched for their cryptoasset exchange based in New York City. Gemini was one of the first cryptoasset exchanges granted the license that contains a set of regulations issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYS DFS), called the BitLicense. The advertising campaign consisted of “crypto needs rules” advertisements that can be found on placards in New York Subway and on the back of Yellow Cabs. The campaign also raises awareness to crypto regulations by using other slogans such as “money has a future” and “crypto without chaos.”
Some industry participants feel that rules such as KYC and AML go against the ethos of Bitcoin and other cryptoassets, as they conflict with the original idea of having a completely decentralized crypto economy that should not conflict with any government regulator. “We believe that investors coming into cryptocurrency deserve the exact same protections as investors in more traditional markets, adhering to the same standards, practices, regulations and compliance protocols,” said the head of marketing at Gemini, Chris Roan.
Daily Bitcoin Transactions Up More Than 50% Over the Last 6 Months
January 16 – While Bitcoin prices pulled back in 2018, one statistic has emerged that shows that the number of transactions continues to strengthen. Over the past 6 months, the number of Bitcoin transactions have increased by around 54%. According to BitInfoCharts, six months ago, the number of daily Bitcoin transactions was approximately 176,350, and as of January 14, 2019, Bitcoin had processed over 326,600 daily transactions.
However, when taking into account transaction scaling, the data could be even more favourable for the total number of daily transactions. Batching is an automatic solution that occurs on the Bitcoin Blockchain which essentially “lumps” together transactions so they don’t put too much strain on the blockchain. As batching becomes increasingly more common on the Bitcoin Network, the actual number of Bitcoin transactions that occur would be higher than the number of individual transactions that would be recorded.
Leading Retail Broker Robinhood and Bitcoin ATM Firm LibertyX Granted BitLicenses in New York
January 24 – The number of New York Bitlicenses has now hit 16, as the major retail equity broker Robinhood and Bitcoin ATM provider LibertyX have now been granted licenses by the state regulator. According to a report released by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), both Robinhood and LibertyX have been granted BitLicenses as of January 24, 2019. Robinhood can now allow its users to trade seven cryptocurrencies, which include the major cryptocurrencies bitcoin, ether, and litecoin in New York State. In addition, Robinhood has also been granted a money transmission license.
The DFS has also given a BitLicense to LibertyX, which will be the first BitLicensed firm that will have permission to let its users to buy Bitcoin with debit cards from traditional ATMs. LibertyX, launched their first Bitcoin ATM back in 2014, and according to their website, the company already has thousands of locations ranging from debit kiosks to traditional ATMs that allows customers to purchase Bitcoin.
Coinbase Moves Institutional Services Into Asia and Europe
January 22 – The major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has recently announced that they will launch two new financial services for high-volume institutional and retail traders in Asia and Europe. According to the official announcement, high-volume Coinbase Pro and Prime customers from Asia and Europe will now be able to use SWIFT transfers so they can fund their Coinbase accounts from banks based outside of the US. Coinbase Prime is Coinbase’s professional trading platform designed for institutional clients. While Coinbase Pro offers similar features to Coinbase Prime, Coinbase Pro targets active and professional retail traders rather than just institutional clients.
Coinbase now allows these high-volume traders from Asia and Europe to use the company’s new over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk and cold storage wallet service called Coinbase Custody. Perhaps most notably, the exchange’s clients in Asia will be given access to USDC, which is a popular stablecoin created by Coinbase.
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