Industry Technology

Crypto Week In Review: Ethereum Futures to Debut, Coinbase to Add New Tokens

Nick Chong | September 30, 2018 | 10:00 am
Industry

Crypto Week In Review: Ethereum Futures to Debut, Coinbase to Add New Tokens

Nick Chong | September 30, 2018 | 10:00 am

In spite of the mixed market conditions, innovators with the cryptocurrency industry pushed forward, releasing new products and services that are likely to alter how this space operates and performs.

LedgerX To Add Ethereum Derivatives Vehicle

Insider sources from the New York-based LedgerX have revealed that the crypto startup intends to offer Ethereum derivatives in the near future, reports TheBlock in an exclusive. For those who are unaware, LedgerX is a cryptocurrency investment platform that currently offers mostly Bitcoin-focused products and solutions, like its ever so popular BTC options vehicle, which allows investors to speculate on the future price of the foremost digital asset.

Since LedgerX’s launch of its in-house BTC options and swaps in October of yesteryear, New York’s resident crypto startup has purportedly brought on multi-billion-dollar hedge funds, family offices, and an array of other institutional investors. Taking the firm’s success into account, it is only natural for the American startup to feel inclined to seek opportunities in similar markets, which is just a hop, skip, and jump away in this scenario.

While the firm has already fully developed its Ethereum options contract, it is still waiting for approval from members of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), whose representatives are set to convene on October 5th to discuss LedgerX’s new product. Due to the fact that CFTC representatives have commended the cryptosphere on multiple occasions, many are hopeful that this product will receive a go-ahead the first time around.

This move comes just weeks after it was revealed that the CBOE, the largest US-based options exchange in terms of market volume, is seeking CFTC approval for a similar product.

Coinbase Adds Formal Listing Application, Crypto Education Resource

Although it goes without saying that San Francisco-based Coinbase has taken a leading role in the development of this space, the world-renowned startup has been slow to introduce its customer base to a wide variety of crypto assets. As touted by many of Coinbase’s critics, in spite of the firm’s broad lineup of products and services, they only support a small roster of cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum Classic.

With an unexpected announcement made on Wednesday, it is clear that the firm intends to amend this issue through a new listing process, which will reportedly allow prospective listees to offer information about its project and crypto asset to ensure that it is in line with local regulations. As put by Coinbase itself, this new system should allow for the “rapid listing of most digital assets.”

Explaining more about how exactly this would work, the startup explained that it will evaluate digital assets in a “jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction manner,” which means that certain assets will only be available to consumers within a certain jurisdiction in accordance with local laws. Surprisingly enough, it was explained that tokens which gain approval from Coinbase will not be initially required to pay an application fee, but Coinbase reserves the right to impose a fee if the need may arise in the future.

It goes without saying that Coinbase has long been viewed as a gateway into the cryptocurrency industry, so taking into account that customers of the firm have asked for access to more digital assets time and time again was likely the catalyst behind this move. Speaking to CNBC Fast Money’s panel of traders and analysts, Coinbase vice president Dan Romero corroborated this sentiment, noting:

“So when we talk to customers, their number one request is to add more assets to the platform… There are [still] thousands of crypto assets that we don’t support, so what we are launching today — which I am really excited to talk about — is listing.coinbase.com, which will allow us to list as many assets as enabled by local law.”

Ultimately, as touched on by the firm’s VP, this move comes down to pushing Coinbase’s agenda forward to “to create an open financial system for the world.”

Along with introducing Coinbase Listing, the American cryptocurrency platform, which was recently named one of the top startups by LinkedIn, also surprised many by adding an in-depth crypto education segment to its website. The firm hopes that the introduction of such a resource will allow consumers to understand more about how this technology works, even though it may seem so abstract.

Coinbase has also implemented a so-called “bundle” feature, which will allow investors to gain exposure to all the crypto assets offered on the platform in just a few clicks.

While Coinbase’s move to offer crypto education and a crypto bundle have been well-received, its listing process has become the butt of many of the cryptosphere’s best jokes, with many critics of the firm highlighting the fact that the listing application is done via Google Forms.

Circle Launches Stablecoin, Aims To Disrupt Global Economic System

Nearly five months after initially announcing USDC, the Goldman Sachs-backed Circle has finally revealed that it is launching its stablecoin product that will be tied to the U.S. dollar (USD). As per an official blog post on the matter, USDC, a “fully collateralized US dollar stablecoin,” is an ERC-20 token that puts “detailed financial and operational” transparency at the forefront, as Circle intends to allow established banking partners and accountants to regularly audit the reserves backing this project.

For now, investors looking to get their hands on USDC can use Circle’s issuance service to deposit fiat and receive stablecoins at a 1:1 ratio. Traders will now be able to take advantage of the relative stability USDC offers on the Poloniex exchange, which Circle owns, as an alternative to traditional USD-tied cryptos such as Tether (USDT). While this announcement may seem as mundane as the other stablecoin announcements, which have undoubtedly ramped up over the past few weeks, Circle CEO David Allaire revealed that this stablecoin means much more than some would initially think.

Speaking with Business Insider, Allaire noted that “fiat token models” are integral to blockchain infrastructure, as stablecoins will directly enable the use of decentralized technologies in everything from “tokenized debt and lending to securities and investment contracts.” Closing off his phone interview with reporters, the Circle CEO added that USDC and similar products may become a fundamental building block for crypto, which may aid in the future recreation of the global economic system through crypto assets, “which is what so many of us are here for.”

SEC And The CFTC Slam 1Broker, Domain Seized

As reported by NewsBTC on Friday, America’s most well-recognized governmental agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodities Futures Trade Commision (CFTC) and the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI), took a strong regulatory stance against of crypto’s own. In an SEC press release, the regulatory agency brought attention to the fact that 1Broker, a Marshall Islands-based cryptocurrency platform, openly offered products and investment opportunities that were in direct violation of multiple laws.

What was notable was that 1Broker was purportedly issuing Bitcoin security-based swaps without the proper license, which is obviously an act that any established, well-respected trading platform would not be caught dead doing.  As alluded to by Shamoil Shipchandler, the individual behind this specific case, 1Broker’s actions directly endanger the security of U.S. investors. Keeping this in mind, the foreign trading platform has been served with multiple charges, which is seeking for 1Broker to be hit with “permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus interest, and penalties.”

The CFTC, the SEC’s de-facto partner in crime, also issued a similar order, while the FBI seized the domain that the platform had its services offered on.

It isn’t clear if the SEC’s move against 1Broker was a drastic show of force, but many have begun to believe that this regulatory action indicates that governmental agencies want crypto’s ducks to fall into a row.

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