hooded man with hand out bitcoin regulation

Welcome to your daily Block Explorer roundup. Hope you had a great weekend! Today we’re looking at bitcoin regulation as Coinbase’s UK CEO claims we need more. But first, let’s take a glance at the markets.

All the top 20 coins are in the green today after a fairly quiet weekend.

1. Bitcoin – $6715 (+ 0.7%)
2. Ethereum – $277 (+ 1%)
3. Ripple XRP – $0.33 (+ 1.8%)

Things are strangely calm out there at the moment. In fact, bitcoin is around the least volatile it’s been all year. Historically, a period of calm is usually snapped by a wild swing upward or downward, so don’t be surprised if we see some big price movements this week.

Biggest winner and loser in the top 20

IOTA crypto logo transparent background

Biggest winner: IOTA (+ 15%)
Biggest loser: Zcash (- 0.1%)

IOTA is leading the pack today after Fujitsu said it is “well-equipped to help roll out IOTA as the new protocol standard.” IOTA aims to facilitate the ‘internet-of-things’ using blockchain technology, so a partnership with IT giant, Fujitsu, will open a lot of doors.

Does crypto need more regulation?

“[Regulation] is the best way to provide individuals and institutions a safe environment to invest.”

That’s the verdict from UK Coinbase CEO, Zeeshan Feroz. He told CCN that regulation is a good thing for the cryptocurrency market in 2018, explaining that a lack of regulation leads to risk in the market.

“We see the value in having some form of regulation for crypto exchanges as a means of ensuring due diligence and transparency in the crypto space.”

The issue of regulation in crypto is a controversial one. Many claim it will bring transparency to the market (and allow institutional investors to wade in). Others, however, see it as destroying the values and decentralized ethos on which bitcoin was built.

Where do you stand on bitcoin regulation? Do we need more to help attract  investors? Or should we keep bitcoin as decentralized as possible? Let me know in the comment section below.

Wild bitcoin price predictions 2018: from $3,000 to $20,000 +

Over the weekend we’ve had yet more wild price predictions for bitcoin.

The bull: Tom Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors doubled down on his previous prediction that bitcoin will rise above $20,000 by the year-end.

He says hedge funds are playing a bigger role in bitcoin behind the scenes which could lead to a surge in prices. He also pointed to the correlation between bitcoin and emerging market stocks.

The bear: Anthony Pompliano had originally predicted a $50,000 price tag by the end of 2018. He now says he was wrong, by about four years.

He sees bitcoin plunging to $3,000 and says the market might not bottom out until late 2019. As for a full recovery, that’s not on the cards until 2023, based on how long it took bitcoin to recover from previous spikes.

With four months left in the year, where do you see the price of bitcoin going? $3,000 or $20,000+?

That’s all for today’s roundup. We’ll see you back here tomorrow.

In case you missed it: Why do Bitcoin ETFs Keep Getting Rejected?

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woman with bitcoins over her eyes

Welcome to your daily Block Explorer roundup. Crypto prices are back in the green after taking a beating yesterday. Here’s everything you need to know:

Bitcoin is regaining its composure after the rejection of nine bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). As expected, the crypto market initially crumpled on the news, but bitcoin is now holding above the crucial $6,500 mark.

1. Bitcoin – $6,545 (+ 1.6%)
2. Ethererum – $276 (+ 0.8%)
3. XRP – $0.33 (+ 0.6%)

What’s behind today’s stability? Controversially, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is taking a second look at Wednesday’s ETF decision.

SEC Commissioner, Hester Peirce said the decision was initially delegated to staffers, but senior officials will now review the rejections themselves.

SEC commissioner Hester Peirce tweet about bitcoin etf

We’re still unlikely to see an approval, but it means the SEC is taking these proposals seriously.

Biggest winner and loser in the top 20

tron logo on black background

Biggest winner – TRON (+5%)
Biggest loser – Dash (- 14%)

TRON is flying high in the top 20 today thanks to its addition to the CoinPayments platform. That means 2.2 million buyers and sellers can now use TRON as a payment option.

China cracks down on crypto (again)

The Beijing district of Chaoyang has officially banned all cryptocurrency promotional events. Shopping malls, event halls, and public spaces are now off-limits for crypto events and material.

What are their reasons? The authorities cited “prevention of money laundering” and “security and stability of the financial system.”

This comes less than a week after Chinese social media, WeChat, reportedly blocked cryptocurrency and blockchain accounts on its platform. China is also moving to stop overseas exchanges from selling in China.

The news helped to push the market into the red yesterday, but traders have mostly shrugged it off.

Ripple fires up xRapid

ripple logo on blue background

xRapid is Ripple’s silver bullet. It’s a service that instantly converts currencies around the world in the blink of an eye (with low fees). Crucially, for XRP holders, it uses the XRP token to make the exchange.

Let’s say you want to exchange Japanese yen to Mexican pesos. The yen is converted to XRP (through the xRapid system). XRP is then converted to pesos. Ripple says it’s 40-70% cheaper than the current system and takes seconds rather than days.

To make it happen, Ripple has announced a partnership with Bittrex – a US crypto exchange – to facilitate the exchange of US dollars. Ripple has also partnered with Bitso in Mexico and Coins.ph in the Philippines to power the exchange to Mexican and Philippine pesos respectively.

We’re still a long way from seeing xRapid deployed within the banking system, but Ripple is slowly building the architecture behind the scenes.

That’s all for today’s roundup. We’ll see you back here tomorrow for more.

Today’s further reading: What is Ripple? The Bankers’ Network

Before you go… are you a trader or a HODLer?

We’re working to bring you an all-new Block Explorer, and we’d like your help. Please take a few minutes to let us know how you use crypto and how we can make Block Explorer better.

Take our 3-minute survey here.

man checking bitcoin price on a laptop and phone

Welcome back to your daily Block Explorer crypto roundup. Today’s focus is Bitcoin ETFs and why the SEC keeps knocking them back.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected yet another bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal on Wednesday. In fact, it shut down nine proposals at once.

As Block Explorer News previously reported, the SEC faced a deadline on the ProShares Bitcoin ETF which it could no longer push back.

Nine bitcoin ETF rejections in 24 hours

In addition to the two ProShares applications, the SEC rejected two proposals from GraniteShares and five from Direxion.

Earlier this month, the US regulator delayed its decision on a VanEck and Solid X ETF. Before that, they denied a bitcoin ETF proposal from Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss (for the second time).

So what exactly is going on? Why is the SEC pushing back so hard?

It has nothing to do with bitcoin itself

Throughout its many rejections, the SEC has been quick to point out that it has nothing to do with bitcoin’s functionality:

“[The agency] emphasizes that its disapproval does not rest on an evaluation of whether bitcoin, or blockchain technology more generally, has utility or value as an innovation or an investment.”

Problem 1: market size

Most of the bitcoin ETF proposals (except the VanECK ETF) track the bitcoin futures market, not bitcoin itself. The SEC says that’s a problem because the bitcoin futures market is too small:

“Among other things, the Exchange has offered no record evidence to demonstrate that bitcoin futures markets are ‘markets of significant size.’”

Bitcoin futures were only introduced in December 2017, so the market has not yet grown to the size of other mature markets. (It has only 2.5% the volume of the silver futures market, for example).

Problem 2: manipulation and fraud

Ultimately, this is the SEC’s biggest concern. The ETFs were rejected because they did not meet the Exchange Act requirements, in particular:

“The requirement that a national securities exchange’s rules be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.”

Price manipulation remains an underlying issue for the SEC.

Problem 3: bitcoin volume outside the US

Three-quarters of bitcoin trade activity takes place outside the US. That makes it difficult for the SEC to ensure “significant investor protection.”

Problem 4: wild swings on exchanges

Although this wasn’t addressed directly by the SEC, it has been suggested that an ETF is more likely to be accepted if crypto exchanges worked together. Some offer wildly different prices for the same asset while keeping true market data behind closed doors. The SEC is likely to want more transparency before approving an ETF.

Is there any hope for a bitcoin ETF?

The SEC hit a slightly more optimistic tone in the latest round of rejections. It hinted that a bitcoin ETF might provide a safer method for entering the market, compared to buying the asset itself:

“The Commission acknowledges that, compared to trading in unregulated bitcoin spot markets, trading a bitcoin-based ETP on a national securities exchange may provide some additional protection to investors, but the Commission must consider this potential benefit in the broader context of whether the proposal meets each of the applicable requirements of the Exchange Act,”

Bitcoin prices drop in response

After the Winklevoss rejection and the VanEck delay, the price of bitcoin collapsed. It seems today, however, traders are more realistic, having priced in the high likelihood of rejection. Bitcoin is down 3.5%, but it’s a far cry from the steep drops we saw after previous rulings.

1. Bitcoin – $6,459 (- 3.5%)
2. Ethereum – $274 (- 4.5%)
3. XRP – $0.32 (- 5%)

Biggest winner and loser in the top 20

Litecoin logo

Biggest winner – Litecoin (- 2.48%)
Biggest loser – IOTA (- 8.5%)

Although they’re both in the red, litecoin and bitcoin are proving strongest in the market today. In volatile moments, traders are likely to stick to the “safe” crypto havens.

That’s all for today’s roundup. We’ll be back tomorrow with more updates from the world of crypto and blockchain.

Before you go… are you a trader or a HODLer?

We’re working to bring you an all-new Block Explorer, and we’d like your help. Please take a few minutes to let us know how you use crypto and how we can make Block Explorer better.

Take our 3-minute survey here.

New York financial district SEC

Welcome back to your daily Block Explorer crypto roundup. Today we’ll dive into the upcoming bitcoin ETF decision. First, let’s take a look at the market overview:

Bitcoin finally cracked $6,500 in a blistering overnight session on Wednesday. The total crypto market capitalization jumped $12 million in an hour with Bitcoin up more than 4%.

1. Bitcoin – $6,680 (+ 4%)
2. Ethereum – $285 (+ 1.1%)
3. XRP – $0.34 (+ 2.3%)

The rise across the crypto market appears to coincide with BitMEX (a crypto trading platform) shutting down for maintenance.

Why did that impact the price? BitMEX allows traders to bet against crypto prices. When trading was halted, anyone betting against bitcoin (with a ‘short position’) had their trades liquidated, which forced the price up.

Biggest winner and loser in the top 20

vechain logo

Biggest winner – Vechain (+ 10%)
Biggest loser – NEM (- 0.83%)

Tomorrow’s ETF decision: what do you need to know?

Despite last night’s jump in prices, the crypto market has been in pause-mode lately. We’re waiting for the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) to make a decision on another Bitcoin ETF.

What’s an ETF?

An ETF is an ‘exchange traded fund.’ It tracks the underlying price of a commodity (like gold), an index (like the S&P 500) or a basket of stocks.

ETFs makes it much easier for the average investor to put money into the market.

A bunch of companies are now trying to introduce the first bitcoin ETF. First, the Winklevoss twins had their ETF rejected by the SEC in July.

Then, a second ETF proposal from VanEck and Solid X – which was considered more likely to get approval – was delayed until the end of September.

Price crash

In both cases, the SEC decisions triggered huge losses on the crypto market. A bitcoin ETF is widely seen as a catalyst for “institutional money” to flood into crypto, so a rejection is a set back.

Thursday’s Bitcoin ETF decision

Tomorrow, the SEC will make a decision on the ProShares Bitcoin ETF and the ProShares Short Bitcoin ETF. This time the SEC cannot delay or push back the ruling. We’ll see a decision, whether it’s yes or no.

What will happen?

The most likely outcome is another rejection. The SEC continues to push back against bitcoin ETFs, citing volatility and lack of regulation.

It’s also worth noting that the ProShares ETF is based on Bitcoin ‘futures’, whereas the more promising VanEck ETF is based on physical bitcoin.

It’s a small but important distinction. Futures are contracts in which traders agree to buy or sell bitcoin on a certain date. The physical bitcoin ETF is rooted in bitcoin’s live price.

Check back in 2019…

Most experts don’t think we’ll see a bitcoin ETF until 2019, but tomorrow’s decision could still surprise us. A Bitcoin ETF is coming. It’s just a case of when.

We’ll update you with the outcome when we hear more. That’s all for today’s roundup. See you back here tomorrow.

Today’s further reading: SEC Rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF, Here’s Why it Doesn’t Matter.

Before you go… are you a trader or a HODLer?

We’re working to bring you an all-new Block Explorer, and we’d like your help. Please take a few minutes to let us know how you use crypto and how we can make Block Explorer better.

Take our 3-minute survey here.

one bitcoin on blue and pink background

Welcome to your daily crypto roundup on Block Explorer. Here’s everything you need to know on the markets on Tuesday:

Bitcoin struggles on in “purgatory” mode – a term coined by Wall Street for this seemingly endless $6,000 – $7,500 range. Most of the top 20 coins are treading water today or making small losses.

1. Bitcoin – $6,451 (+ 0.1%)
2. Ethereum – $284 (- 2.8%)
3. XRP – $0.33 (+ 0.6%)

Bitcoin is still rejecting any attempts to pass $6,500, while ethereum battles against the $300 mark. Keep your eye on these numbers because a move higher could trigger a stronger recovery.

(Prices correct at time of publishing: 6.45am ET).

Biggest winner and loser in the top 20

vechain logo

Biggest winner – Vechain (+ 5%)
Biggest loser – Tezos (- 14%)

Vechain is among the few tokens in the green today as it thrives on its new mainnet, Vechain Thor. Vechain has gained more than 50% in a week.

XRP also finds some strength today compared to the rest of the market. Ripple (the company linked to XRP) revealed that xRapid – its pioneering money transfer platform – is finally ready. xRapid, which actively uses the XRP token for liquidity, will now enter production mode after a year of pilots.

Coinbase volume down 83% since January

coinbase logo

Today’s market weakness was triggered by news from Coinbase. Trading volume at the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US is down 83% since bitcoin-mania peaked in January.

Here’s where it gets interesting, though. While Coinbase, which executes trades between USD and crypto, has seen a decline in volume, rival exchange Binance reported an increase in the last month.

Binance only executes crypto-to-crypto trades. In other words, even though investors aren’t rushing to the market with USD, trading among the core crypto community remains relatively stable.

The best blockchain? EOS, according to China

EOS logo

China has released its official blockchain ranking for August. The blockchain projects are ranked according to their technology, innovation, and application.

Bitcoin finds itself in tenth position, while Ethereum comes in second place. At the top of the charts is EOS, likely due to its transaction speed and ability to host decentralized apps (dApps).

Venezuela pegs its hyper-inflated currency to crypto

Venezuela’s national currency, the Bolivar, is fighting against 1 million percent inflation. People in the country are fleeing to neighboring Ecuador or turning to bitcoin to protect their money.

But the government thinks it has a solution. As of today, the Bolivar will be pegged to a cryptocurrency called petro. Petro was created by the Venezuelan government, and its value is derived from oil reserves in the country.

Yet again, we see people (and now governments) turning to crypto when economies fail.

That’s all for today, folks. We’ll see you tomorrow for another blockchain roundup.

Today’s long read: What is EOS? The world’s best blockchain, according to China