NYSE Files to Bring Bitcoin ETF Closer to Reality

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has become the latest to put forward a Bitcoin ETF-related proposal to the SEC. NYSE is planning on launching to funds to track Bitcoin futures. The ProShares Bitcoin ETF and the ProShares Short Bitcoin ETF will be the two exchange-traded funds that would allow traders to bet on how the volatile cryptocurrency futures contracts will perform.

These funds would closely follow the movements of the current futures markets operating out of CME and CBOE. From there, the funds would invest their assets in benchmark futures contracts with the option of investing in contracts outside the benchmark. NYSE was quick to point out that the funds will not actually own Bitcoins, stopping just a step shy of an actual Bitcoin ETF:

“By being long Bitcoin Futures Contracts, the Fund seeks to benefit from daily increases in the price of the Bitcoin Futures Contracts. The Fund will not be benchmarked to the current price of Bitcoin and will not invest directly in Bitcoin. When the price of Bitcoin Futures Contracts held by the Fund declines, the Fund will lose value.”

Adding further legitimacy

ETFs have been filed many times before, and each time they have been stopped at the SEC’s door. However, a lot has happened since those failed attempts, and the fact that futures have been launched, and the popular digital currency ahs hit new levels of acceptance, means that time may indeed be ripe for Bitcoin ETFs.

If NYSE successfully launches their futures-tracking ETFs, would be further legitimacy added to the unregulated and highly volatile asset. It could also lead to the currency hitting another rally as was seen in the run up to the launch of the Bitcoin futures.

Win Thin, global head of emerging markets strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, the custodian of the proposed ETFs has said:

“It’s very hard for us, as currency analysts, to follow this. It represents further mainstreaming. Hopefully that what comes out of this: some more regulatory oversight. Beyond that, we don’t have any calls on where it will go from here.”

Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group, said:

“I think it is going to enable finally the approval of Bitcoin ETFs, and other digital currency ETFs, which is game changing,”

No objection?

Though the Winklevoss Twins and others have failed to earn the regulators’ approval for an ETF in the past, everything is different now.  With the successful launch of Bitcoin futures on the CME and CBOE exchanges, the SEC can no longer complain about the lack of a regulated mechanism for price discovery. This was their key objection when rejected earlier ETF proposals. A Bitcoin ETF is seen as huge for the currency, as it would open up Bitcoin trading to traditional investors.

Think Coinbase Employees Engaged in Insider Trading? Deal With It.

Coinbase Bitcoin cash

Get Trading Recommendations and Read Analysis on Hacked.com for just $39 per month.

Investors who are incensed at the allegation that Coinbase employees engaged in insider trading before the exchange added support for bitcoin cash should probably reconsider their decision to invest in cryptocurrency, according to a prominent venture capital firm executive.

Coinbase to Investigate Alleged Employee Insider Trading

As CCN reported, Coinbase made the surprise announcement on Tuesday that it had added full support for bitcoin cash, enabling customers to not only claim their airdropped BCH that had been locked up since the August fork but also buy and sell BCH on both Coinbase and GDAX.

The bitcoin cash price rose in advance of the announcement, leading many people to accuse Coinbase employees of engaging in insider trading by buying bitcoin cash, correctly assuming that the price would explode once the news became public.

While there’s currently no hard evidence to back up this claim, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong penned a blog post promising to launch a full investigation into the matter and terminate any employee who traded bitcoin cash in violation of company policies — on any exchange — in the weeks leading up to the announcement.

Investors Who ‘Want Fair’ Should Stay Out of Cryptocurrency

However, despite Coinbase’s best efforts, there will likely be no way to prove definitively that no one privy to the announcement traded on the news, whether directly or through a family member or associate.

Commenting on the allegations, cryptocurrency investment professional Ari Paul wrote on Twitter that insider trading is “impossible to prevent” and that the best companies can do is to explicitly prohibit employees from trading particular coins in advance of major announcements, as Coinbase did.

“It’s literally impossible to prevent,” said Paul, the chief investment officer at cryptocurrency venture capital firm BlockTower Capital. “A team has to integrate a new coin on to the platform. There’s no way to keep a secret that requires a team’s involvement. And there’s no way to prevent those who know the secret from secretly buying cryptocurrency.”

Paul, who previously worked as a portfolio manager for the University of Chicago’s $8 billion endowment, said that insider trading laws are “quite subtle” and often do not apply to commodities or currencies.

“Insider trading laws mostly apply to equities, not commodities or currencies. Same thing happens (and is often legal) in traditional FX and commodity markets,” he wrote, adding that investors who want the assurance of a fair market should reconsider their decision to participate in the “trustless” cryptocurrency markets.

“Is it “unfair”? Of course. If you want fair, cryptocurrency isn’t for you. Stick with assets that are based on trusting the regulatory and legal infrastructure. Cryptocurrency is “trustless” which also means that it’s mostly uncontrollable,” he concluded.

Write to Josiah Wilmoth at josiah.wilmoth(at)cryptocoinsnews.com.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Follow us on Telegram.


Early Bitcoin Investor Says Bitcoin Could Drop 50% Before Going Higher

Dan Morehead, CEO of Pantera Capital, a hedge fund focused on digital currencies, has told CNBC that Bitcoin may drop 50% before pushing to new highs. Morehead purchased Bitcoin at $72.

While the statement appears bearish, Morehead was actually pointing investors in cryptocurrencies toward a long term vision. He said:

“[Bitcoin could be] down 50 percent next week … where it was a month ago, but in a year, it’ll be much higher than it is today.”

The statement is reflective of Morehead’s belief that the cryptocurrency asset class is just beginning development and will continue to grow. He made his opinions clear, saying:

“For the big Blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, we’re in the first innings of a multidecade thing. And there’s going to be some ups and there’s going to be some downs, but we’re still really early.”

Pantera Capital’s digital currency hedge fund, founded in 2013, is up 60% in the last two months alone, and up more than 12,000% since its creation.

How Bulletproofs Could Make Bitcoin Privacy Less Costly

Bulletproofs, presented in a paper titled “Bulletproofs: Short Proofs for Confidential Transactions and More,” describe a new zero-knowledge proof system. The proposal uses on-chain scaling for privacy and suggests a new, faster and more compact way to verify privacy-enhancing Confidential Transactions (CTs). Specifically, Bulletproofs can decrease the size of these verifications for these types of transactions drastically. Furthermore, the authors of the paper — Stanford University’s Applied Cryptography Group, overseen by professor Dan Boneh — have already managed to create a practical implementation for Bulletproofs.

This is how it works.

Currently, all transaction information — such as wallet addresses and especially the sent amount of bitcoins — are visible on the Bitcoin blockchain. This affects the privacy of all users. If we wish to pay wages via the Bitcoin network, for example, this means that every salary will be visible on the blockchain network. This, in turn, could mean that someone (like your landlord) could look up how much money you’re making to try and increase your rent accordingly.

Confidential Transactions are much needed to bring any type of blockchain to a higher level of privacy. Confidential Transactions combine and utilize several cryptographic tricks so that only the sender and the receiver of a transaction are aware of the amount transacted. These cryptographic tricks let users obfuscate the amounts they are transacting while still allowing onlookers to perform math on the obfuscated amounts. Basically, anyone can still check that the sum of sent bitcoins is greater than the sum of received bitcoins.

Confidential Transactions are realized with “zero-knowledge proofs.” These proofs are best described as a method for proving to another party that a Confidential Transaction is valid without conveying any information about the Confidential Transaction itself.

However, as stated in the Bulletproofs paper: “Current proposals for CT zero-knowledge proofs have either been prohibitively large or required a trusted setup. Neither is desirable.”

First of all, if we have to prove multiple range proofs, which is the case for multisignature transactions, the complexity and size will scale in a linear fashion. For example, if the size of a single proof is 2 kB, two proofs are 4 kB, three proofs are 6 kB and so on.

Additionally, zero-knowledge proofs typically require a trusted setup: they must be initialized by some trusted authority. However, the security properties of the Bitcoin system don’t apply to that authority because in practice it means that the authority could produce fake “proofs.” These fake proofs could lead to uncontrolled and undetectable inflation.

Bulletproofs could solve these problems.

According to the paper, “In any distributed system where proofs are transmitted over a network or stored for a long time, short proofs reduce overall cost.”

Bulletproofs are claimed to be able to reduce the cryptographic proof significantly: from 8 kB to 734 bytes, though this depends on what the transaction looks like. Moreover, when dealing with multiple proofs, the size increases with just a few percent instead of this linear scaling. And in addition, Bulletproofs do not require a trusted setup.

Andrew Poelstra, contributor to the research paper and mathematician at Blockstream, believes that Bulletproofs are very practical: “We have already implemented a first version in the Bitcoin crypto library libsec256k1, which can verify proofs three and a half times faster than the verifier for the classic rangeproofs. It is a drop-in replacement for classic rangeproofs that does not affect other aspects of the system and is therefore very easy to integrate.”

Until now, Confidential Transactions were just a theoretical concept because they were so heavy to implement. With Bulletproofs, the implementation of Confidential Transactions on Bitcoin suddenly becomes more likely.

Bitcoin Hype Luring New Investors Into Stock Market


Get Trading Recommendations and Read Analysis on Hacked.com for just $39 per month.

It’s no surprise that the hype around bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has turned many consumers — particularly younger ones — into investors as they chase the market’s unprecedented returns.

Cryptocurrency Hype Luring New Investors Into Stocks

One might assume that this bitcoin fever would result in decreased inflows to the traditional stock market, at least among the demographics most interested in cryptocurrency.

However, legendary investor Laszlo Birinyi said that he has observed the opposite phenomenon. Birinyi, the founder of stock market research firm Birinyi Associates, told CNBC that novice investors often become attuned to the stock market after first being lured into investing through cryptocurrencies.

“Bitcoin has woken up a lot of people,” said Birinyi during the phone interview. “All of a sudden more and more people are aware there’s a market going on, the stock market and there’s a way to make money.”

Like bitcoin, the stock market is currently in the midst of a prolonged bull run, and many new investors have begun to invest in traditional stocks and mutual funds rather than betting it all on cryptocurrency.

bitcoinS&P 500 Chart | Source: Google Finance

Many respected individuals within the cryptocurrency community, including Ryan Selkis and Alistair Milne, have encouraged investors with newfound wealth to consider taking a portion of their capital and diversifying into lower-risk investments such as real estate, stocks, and bonds.

But whether this is the case — or consumers are just investing more across the board — Birinyi said that the entire market is reaping benefits from the bitcoin hype.

“Bitcoin is a catalyst for a lot of interest. It’s everybody. It’s also giving the guy on the trading desk, sitting at a hedge fund, a shot in the arm,” Birinyi said.

Not Bullish on Bitcoin

That said, Birinyi is decidedly not a bitcoin bull. Although he has traded bitcoin futures, he stated that he believes that the cryptocurrency market appears to be a bubble and that he does not intend to invest any real capital in bitcoin.

“What I was trading was the fact there was an event. Futures were going to happen, which meant there was a focus on the area,” he explained, stating that he made $3,000 after just a single hour. “This is not investment money. This is the money you would spend on that new driver for your golf bag.”

Write to Josiah Wilmoth at josiah.wilmoth(at)cryptocoinsnews.com.

Follow us on Telegram.


“Not a Credible Currency”: Japan’s Finance Minister Questions Bitcoin

In a statement Tuesday, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso claimed that the leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin has yet to prove itself as a “credible currency”. He also added that virtual currencies in general are not widely used in Japan.

His statement was in response to questions about his position on French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire’s recent statement that he wants Bitcoin and its regulation to be a topic of discussion at the 2018 G20 summit.

Le Maire claimed that Bitcoin poses a risk of speculation and should be regulated, saying:

“There is evidently a risk of speculation. We need to consider and examine this and see how (…) with all the other G20 members we can regulate Bitcoin.”

In response to Le Maire’s comments, Aso said that the issue of whether or not Bitcoin is actually a currency has yet to be settled, questioning the coin’s “credibility”:

“There’s no fixed definition on whether it’s a currency or not. This issue is a difficult one. It has not yet been proven to be credible enough to become a currency, so I need to watch for a little while more.”

Performance of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Japan

Despite the common belief that the country is going “all in” with Bitcoin, Aso said that Bitcoin is not widely used in Japan and that Japanese consumers still prefer to use fiat, or government-backed currency.

However, the Finance Minister’s remark is disputable as a number of cryptocurrency exchanges and operations are relocating to Japan, fleeing campaigns against them in countries such as China.

According to a report in September, over over 50 percent of Bitcoin trades worldwide were being made in Japanese Yen (JPY).

Bitcoin Price Analysis: After Giddy Heights, Bitcoin Sees a Steady Decline in Price

In the days leading up to the various bitcoin futures markets opening, bitcoin saw a push to fresh all-time highs near $20,000. However, shortly after reaching these values, the market saw a steady decline in price as demand dwindled and supply began to dominate the market. In the last bitcoin market analysis, we discussed a possible distribution phase for bitcoin and a potential hypodermic breakdown of the strong, parabolic trend the market has seen. Let’s take a look the latest developments:

Figure_1 (1).JPGFigure 1: BTC-USD, 1-Hour Candles, Distribution Update

One troubling aspect of this current price trend is the high volume leading into all the dips, and the low volume on the price rises. This price action shows both the diminishing demand in the market and the overwhelming supply that is beginning to take dominance in the market. Currently, bitcoin is perched on a potential part of the trading range called “Last Point of Supply” (LPSY): this offers a final opportunity for the large players who have not exited the market to finally exit before an ultimate correction.

As discussed in the previous article, there is a strong, aggressive trend called the hypodermic trendline:

Figure_2 (1).JPGFigure 2: BTC-USD, 4-Hour Candles, Hypodermic Trendline

The hypodermic trendline represents a break outside of the parabolic envelope that dominated the market trend for over three years. The hypodermic trend also represents an aggressive price trend that is fairly difficult to maintain because of the demand required to keep the price aloft.

Currently, the price is sitting below this trendline and has rejected its initial test of the trend. At the moment, BTC-USD is testing the support of the trading range (shown in blue) and is systematically going through support tests as the market finds new lows.

A breakdown of this hypodermic trend, and a possible breakdown of this trading range, could easily send the market down to test the parabolic curve (shown in black):

Figure_3.JPGFigure 3: BTC-USD, 1-Day Candles, Macro Trend

There is likely to be very strong support along the parabolic trend that will stifle any potential price drops. As always, it’s important to watch the volume with the price growth or drops to confirm the likely direction of a move. As we test new lows, any volume growth will likely signal a continuation of the downtrend and ultimately have us testing the lower boundaries of the trading range.


  1. Bitcoin is potentially at its Last Point of Supply as it begins to test new lows in its current downtrend.

  2. Bitcoin broke below the hypodermic trendline, which usually signals a breakdown in trend.

  3. Support will be found along the lower boundary of the trading range and will likely slow down any potential price drops.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

Philippine Regulators Push For Unified Rules on Bitcoin Investments


Get Trading Recommendations and Read Analysis on Hacked.com for just $39 per month.

Philippine regulators are pushing for a unified rule on cryptocurrencies like bitcoin – when used as investments.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it would coordinate with market regulator Securities and Exchange Commission to draft rules if bitcoins will be used as a platform for investments in the country, reports GMA Network.

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said:

“This is in coordination with SEC, if ever there would be a shift to that – if there is kind of approach, there is investment already. It would not just be BSP, it’s a collaboration [with the SEC].”

Fonacier’s statement came as CCN reported an announcement made by SEC commissioner Emilio Aquino in October the commission is considering allowing digital currency offerings as securities, similar to initiatives taken by other regulators, including the United States, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand among others.

She stated that the BSP, as a monetary policymaker, is reviewing ways to regulate bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies amid the growing hysteria over the space.

Fonacier stated:

“Currently, we are focusing on the exchange, but who knows. With the developments, we might consider (regulating the bitcoin).”

Last week, BSP core IT chief Melchor Plabasan revealed that the Philippines is reviewing applications for bitcoin exchange registrations from 12 traders, as reported by CCN. As of the present, only two traders have been given licenses by the BSP to offer bitcoin exchanges, Betur or more popularly known as Coins.ph and Rebittance.

Plabasan stated at a press conference:

“We do not endorse virtual currency as a currency because it is not a currency…We only regulate bitcoin or virtual currencies when it is used in delivering financial services like remittance and payments.”

With nearly $27 billion in annual remittance, Philippine authorities look at bitcoin and other digital currencies as an alternative for remittance services and payments instead of cash.

From January to June this year the average volume of bitcoin transactions in the Philippines has seen a meteoric rise to $8.8 million per month, up from $2 million in 2015 and $6 million in 2017, BSP data showed.

Featured image from Shutterstock.


Bitcoin Drops Following CME Futures, Investors Still Buy In At 100% Premium

Bitcoin futures prices fell this week after CME Group launched the world’s second Bitcoin futures contract on Monday.

In contrast to the market’s 20 percent growth after Cboe’s pioneering futures launched on Dec. 10th, Bitcoin prices are tracking sideways and dropped almost seven percent in the 12 hours before press time Tuesday.

Each CME contract represents five Bitcoins, whereas a contract on Cboe represents one Bitcoin. The first day’s trading at CME saw slightly higher volumes than day one at Cboe a week prior.

Monday saw CME futures close at $19,100, 2.1 percent less than the debut price envisaged by the exchange.

Garrett See, chief executive of trader DV Chain told the WSJ:

“There was some fear ahead of the Cboe futures launch that Wall Street was going to come in and short Bitcoin, but we haven’t seen that.”

As Bitcoin’s latest growth spurt appears to take a break, correcting below $18,000, hungry investors are meanwhile prepared to buy shares in Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust at double the current market value.

As commentators note on Twitter Tuesday, GBTC is currently trading at an ‘implied’ Bitcoin price approaching $38,000.

Markets are also seeing an influx of investments into altcoins this week, with assets across the top 50 and beyond seeing major upticks and even new all-time highs.

FinTech Stock LongFin Surges 2,600% Following Blockchain Company Acquisition


Get Trading Recommendations and Read Analysis on Hacked.com for just $39 per month.

The cryptocurrency world’s recent heights, with Bitcoin surpassing $19,600 per coin, and Ethereum reaching a new all-time high above $850, are seemingly heavily influencing the way traditional investors look at some stocks. Fintech firm LongFin (Ticker: LFIN) recently saw its value surge as much as 2,600%, following a press release.

The press release revealed that LongFin bought Ziddy.com, a “blockchain-empowered global micro-lending solutions provider.” The announcement helped LongFin, which began trading last week, hit a $7 billion market value at its peak.

LongFin purchased Ziddu.com from Meridian Enterprises in exchange for 2.5 million company shares. The move and the subsequent stock surge were certainly sweet for LongFin’s CEO, Venkat Meenvalli, as he owns 95 percent of Meridian Enterprises, according to reports.

The stock’s wild ride began last week when LongFin started trading on Nasdaq and closed at $5.15 on its first day. By the end of the week it was at $39, and got to a high of $129.84 before its price retreated to $72. Even the company’s CEO found the rally surprising, as he told Bloomberg:

“It’s crazy, frenzied speculation on the cryptocurrency announcement, which we never expected (…) The fundamentals will slowly show, but this is crazy trading and has nothing to do with the company’s fundamentals.”

The company, which has financial results dating back to 2015, essentially offers small businesses financing options, and aims to base some of its services on blockchain technology with the Ziddu acquisition. Its goal is to offer micro loans issued in Ziddu coins, their own cryptocurrency, backed by goods in borrowers’ warehouses. The cryptocurrency can then be traded for Bitcoin or Ethereum, which can then be traded for fiat. The loans will need to be paid back in cryptocurrencies, and their interest will vary between 12 to 48 percent.

LongFin describes itself as a “global fintech company providing finance and hedging solutions to importers, exporters, and small and medium enterprises across the globe powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning,” and is one of the various companies that recently saw their value rise after announcing affiliation with cryptocurrencies or blockchain technology.

The trend has been so notable, that analysts now claim adding the words “bitcoin,” “blockchain,” or “cryptocurrency” to the name of a company will lead to rapid stock appreciation. Companies like Riot Blockchain, formerly a biotechnology firm, saw their value increase after adding “blockchain” to their name.

Notably, LongFin’s IPO filing contains a warning telling investors that they should be able to bear a complete loss of their investment. Moreover, the company’s CFO, Krishanu Singhal, and COO, Raj Mondraty, resigned on December 11. Nevertheless, its trading volume has surged, just like the stock’s value.