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Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Bitcoin SV, TRON, Cardano: Price Analysis, Dec. 31

It is the last day of a very tough year for crypto traders. While 2018 started on an upbeat note, it is ending with uncertainty.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

It is the last day of a very tough year for crypto traders. While 2018 started on an upbeat note, it is ending with uncertainty. Traders and analysts are divided on whether cryptocurrencies have bottomed out. This, in a way, is good, because markets are cautious and excesses have been removed.

There are a number of events in 2019 that could turn crypto markets around. All eyes will be on institutional investors because their involvement is needed to propel markets to the next level. Even in the wake of a crushing bear market, crypto traders are looking to invest in virtual currencies. 40 percent of participants in a  recent Chinese survey showed interest in investing in cryptocurrencies in the future. Similar surveys in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom have all projected favorable demand for cryptocurrencies.

We are bullish on digital currencies for 2019, however, we believe that it will be a gradual move higher and expectations should be muted. Trade safe so that we are around to reap the benefits when the next vertical run happens. Are there any tradeable setups at current levels? Let’s find out.  

BTC/USD

Bitcoin is struggling to breakout of the 20-day EMA that has turned flat. Failure to break out will attract selling that will pick up momentum below $3,598.99. The downtrend will resume on a breakdown of the Dec. 15 low. The falling 50-day SMA confirms that the long-term trend is still down.

BTC/USDThe BTC/USD pair will show signs of a probable reversal if it breaks out of the neckline of the developing inverse head and shoulders pattern. The 50-day SMA and the horizontal resistance at $4,255 are all located close by. This makes it a critical level to watch on the upside.

The breakout of the neckline has a pattern target of $5,500. Though there is a minor resistance at $4,914.11, we expect it to be crossed. Short-term traders can wait for a close above $4,255 to buy. The stops can be kept just below $3,550.

XRP/USD

Ripple is facing a stiff resistance at the 50-day SMA. If the bulls fail to scale above this resistance quickly, a drop to $0.33108 is probable.

XRP/USDThe XRP/USD pair will weaken below $0.33108 and can plunge to the next support at $0.286. If this support also breaks, a retest of $0.24508 will be in the cards.

Both the moving averages are flattening out, which points to a likely consolidation in the near-term. The digital currency will turn positive in the short-term if the price sustains above $0.40. Such a move can result in a rally to the resistance line of the descending channel at about $0.48.

We can expect a new uptrend if the bulls breakout and close (UTC time frame) above the channel. In such a case, the rally can extend to $0.56, $0.62 and $0.7644.

ETH/USD

The pullback in Ethereum stalled at $153 on Dec. 29 while managing to stay above $136 for the past two days.

ETH/USDBoth the moving averages are on the verge of a bullish crossover, which suggests that the short-term trend is changing. We expect the bulls to again attempt to break out of $167.32.

Contrary to our expectation, if the ETH/USD pair turns down from the current levels and drops below $116.3, it can fall to $100 and below that to $83. We suggest traders wait for a new buy setup to form before buying it.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash is trading inside a descending channel. Currently, the bulls are attempting to keep the price above the 20-day EMA.

BCH/USDA quick breakout of the channel will turn it into a bullish flag, which has a pattern target of $355, with a minor resistance at $307.1. Short-term traders can benefit from this move by being on the long side of the markets.

However, if the bears fail to breakout of the channel and the 50-day SMA, the BCH/USD pair can again turn down to the bottom of the channel. A break below the channel can lead to a drop to the low at $73.50.

EOS/USD

The bulls have not been able to carry EOS much above the 20-day EMA. This shows a lack of buyers at higher levels. The 20-day EMA is more or less flat and the RSI is close to 50. This increases the probability of a consolidation in the near-term.

EOS/USDA break of the $2.3093–$2.1733 support zone will sink the  EOS/USD pair to the low of $1.55. A break of the lows will resume the downtrend. On the upside, a breakout and close above the 50-day SMA will be a positive development that can result in a rally to $3.8723. Currently, we do not see any reliable buy setups, hence, we are not suggesting a trade in it.

XLM/USD

The bulls are struggling to push Stellar above the 20-day EMA. The 50-day SMA is turning down, which confirms the long-term downtrend. In the short-term, the RSI has fallen back below 50 and the 20-day SMA is flat, which suggests a probable consolidation. However, if the price slides below $0.11024826, it can retest the lows.  

XLM/USDOn the upside, a break above the 20-day EMA will again face resistance at $0.13427050. The XLM/USD pair will show signs of a possible reversal on a breakout and close above $0.13427050. However, it has been an underperformer, hence, we shall wait for a new uptrend to start before suggesting a trade in it.

LTC/USD

The recovery in Litecoin is facing a stiff resistance at the 50-day SMA. The bulls have not been able to sustain above it since Nov. 6, so a breakout and close above the 50-day SMA will signal strength.

LTC/USDThe bullish inverse head and shoulders pattern will complete on a breakout of $36.428. The pattern target of a breakout of the neckline is $49.756. Therefore, traders can initiate long positions on a close (UTC time frame) above $36.428. As the long-term trend is still down, traders can maintain a position size of only about 40 percent of usual.

If the LTC/USD pair turns down from current levels, it can slip back to $28.067 and if this support breaks, a retest of the lows is probable. The downtrend will resume on a break below $23.10.

BSV/USD

The bulls attempted to rebound from close to the bottom of the range on Dec. 28 but the pullback fizzled near $100.

BSV/USDCurrently, the bears are attempting to break down of the range. If successful, the BSV/USD pair can dip to $65.031 and if this support also breaks, the fall can extend to $38.528.

However, if the bulls defend the bottom of the range, the digital currency might remain range bound for a few more days. We shall turn positive above $123.98 or on a strong rebound from $80.352. Until then, we suggest traders remain on the sidelines.

TRX/USD

TRON is finding support at $0.0183 and is facing resistance at $0.022. A breakout of $0.022 can result in a rally to $0.0246 and above it to $0.02815521.

TRX/USDWe have been positive on the TRX/USD pair for the past few days because it has bounced sharply from the lows and has sustained the higher levels. The bullish crossover of the moving averages also suggests that the bulls are in command.

Our positive view will be invalidated if the support at $0.0183 breaks. Therefore, traders who went long closer to $0.02, on our recommendation, should keep a stop just below $0.018. Below $0.0183, the digital currency can slide to $0.016 and $0.014.

ADA/USD

Cardano has stayed above the 20-day EMA for the past three days. The 20-day EMA is gradually turning up and the RSI is in positive territory, which shows a marginal advantage to the bulls.

ADA/USDThe bulls are currently trying to break out of the neckline of the inverse head and shoulders pattern. If successful, the cryptocurrency can rally to the pattern target of $0.066. There is a minor resistance at $0.060105, but we expect this level to be crossed.

Conversely, if the ADA/USD pair turns down from current levels and breaks below $0.036815, it can retest the lows. We expect a decisive move within the next 3–4 days.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.

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Jimmy Song: There’s Daylight Between Bitcoin (BTC) And Crypto Assets

2018 Was The Year “Bitcoin Separated From The Pack”

Jimmy Song, a leading Bitcoin (BTC) educator, developer, and proponent known for his penchant for hats, recently took to his well-followed Medium channel to give an end-of-year update regarding the cryptosphere. Song, an often outspoken advocate for BTC maximalism and colloquially-dubbed “s***coin minimalism”, claimed that 2018 was the that Bitcoin separated itself from the pack.

View story at Medium.com

The decentralist claimed that at heart, Bitcoin is a “social innovation and movement,” as its inherently a form of money — a leading social convention. Song noted that during 2018, Bitcoin has begun to distinguish itself as a “movement,” disconnecting itself from the overarching cryptocurrency brand, which includes ICO tokens, utility coins, digital securities, and alternative natively-spawned cryptocurrencies.

This shift has been made evident by BTC’s relatively strong performance throughout the past 12 months, as the flagship cryptocurrency gained Satoshis on nearly every altcoin as the year progressed. Bitcoin’s resurgence was made even more apparent by the tectonic shifts in market dominance, as BTC’s share rose from all-time lows of 32% in early-January to 52% at current.

Song claimed that there’s a good reason for this thematic narrative. Initial coin offerings, along with the companies/individuals that backed them, were the first factor that Song drew attention to. He noted that these projects have “simply not delivered,” adding that the predictions about a number of altcoins’ eventual use cases didn’t come to fruition. Moreover, as BTC tumbled, altcoins fell even further as dreams of “mooning” become quixotic. This inability to “moon,” coupled with the lack of adequate developments, made investors disconcerted about these projects. He elaborated:

The centralized teams are discovering that raising money, particularly in a bull market, is a lot easier than building a real product that has a market fit. The ICO token buyers are discovering that tokens don’t go up forever and that economic models which depend on continuous new money have stopped working.

On the other hand, in Song’s eyes, the Bitcoin protocol continued to outperform and see boatloads of growth at a fundamental level. At the same time, all other projects are still looking for a killer use case, while BTC has established itself as money (and a digital form of gold).

Bitcoin Technicals, BTC Performance Have Seen “Significant Progress”

The educator went on to touch on Bitcoin’s technical activity, claiming that the Lightning Network, a second-layer scaling solution that facilitates near-instant, basically free, and scalable transactions, has grown at an exponential rate over the past year, only as “demand for Lightning-based hardware, software, and services continue to grow.” In terms of privacy, protocols from MuSig, Taproot, Graftroot, and others have seen “significant progress,” with some projects already pushing out real products that have seen some semblance of adoption.

As reported by Ethereum World News previously, the number of subscribers on Bitcoin’s go-to subreddit and the number of BTC-friendly ATMs boomed throughout 2018 — a positive sign to say the least. With all this in mind, Song wrote that:

In other words, Bitcoin has been in the enviable position of allowing the market to determine what’s desirable instead of some central authority. This is another point in which Bitcoin’s advantage as a decentralized system shows itself.

After making it clear that BTC is fundamentally outperforming, the industry participant noted that Augur, once deemed Ethereum’s most promising application, only sees an average of 25 users per day, which is as dismal as the 265 users it saw at its peak. In terms of the economics, Bitcoin also did well compared to its altcoin peers, as the latter group’s lack of liquidity, delivery, security, and other cardinal factors made them lose traction against BTC.

He brought this skepticism towards altcoins to an interview on Cheddar, an up and coming business-centric media outlet. Song explained to the outlet that the malinvestments in this industry, many of which pertain to altcoins, are starting to get flushed out, leaving only bonafide projects standing.

Above the Clouds Title Image Courtesy by Dominik Schröder on Unsplash

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Bitcoin Could Revolutionize Governance, Says Cypherpunk Jameson Lopp

According to Jameson Lopp, Bitcoin is an experiment that, if successful, could make the transition to an anarcho-capitalist society possible.

Jameson Lopp — a crypto industry figure and self-proclaimed professional cypherpunk — described Bitcoin (BTC) as the first step in a broader transition to an anarcho-capitalist society. Lopp’s comments were made in an interview on the Stephan Livera Podcast, published Dec. 29.

According to Lopp, Bitcoin is an experiment that — if successful — could make the transition to an anarcho-capitalist society possible:

“I believe that Bitcoin is a very interesting experiment that if is successful in the long run could not only revolutionize money, but revolutionize how we think about governance.”

Lopp explains further that a “more self-sovereign, anarcho-capitalist society” could be developed if services currently provided by centralized third parties — such as governments — were provided by “software agents that can start to replace pieces of government functionality,” continuing:

“The first step I think is Bitcoin, and if that’s successful enough, then we can start talking about the next step.”

The recently deceased cypherpunk co-founder Timothy May described in his “Crypto Anarchist Manifesto” how the use of cryptography will allow for the creation of a system in which people will be able to interact directly, free from the influence of governments.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, May had criticized the contemporary crypto industry as recently as October, saying that “attempts to be ‘regulatory-friendly’ will likely kill the main uses for cryptocurrencies, which are NOT just ‘another form of PayPal or Visa.’”

During this week’s interview, Lopp also declared that “one thing that people don’t seem to be investing in as much as they should is education.” He encouraged investors to “do your own research” and also argued that developers “need to bake user education into the actual software and hardware,” such as crypto wallets.

Major Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase recently launched a program that aims to educate users about cryptocurrency while earning crypto, dubbed “Coinbase Earn.” At launch, the program is invite-only and focused on the Ethereum-based token 0x (ZRX).

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Ripple, Stellar Co-Founder: Bitcoin Crash Isn’t A Bear Market, Crypto Still “Way Up”

Meet “Crypto Pioneer” Jed McCaleb

Although you may not have heard of him, Jed McCaleb is a legend in the budding crypto industry. He forayed into cryptocurrencies when there was essentially only Bitcoin (BTC), launching the first iteration of Mt. Gox in 2007 (he converted into a BTC platform in late 2010). After leaving Mt. Gox, which collapsed just years later under the leadership of French national Mark Karpeles, Caleb began work on the Ripple protocol. The developer’s venture spawned XRP into existence, leading him to subsequently on-board David Scharwtz and Chris Larsen, who now act as prominent executives at the San Francisco-headquartered Ripple.

Following his stint at the financial technology startup, which has outperformed its peers in 2018, the crypto-centric entrepreneur left to co-found the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF). The SDF evidently is behind the organization Lumens (XLM). Since founding the Stellar protocol parent in 2014, McCaleb has committed a majority of his time developing the Stellar ecosystem, as XLM continues to top the cryptocurrency leaderboards day-in and day-out.

Disregard Bitcoin Crash, Crypto Still “Way Way Up”

2018 hasn’t been kind to the cryptosphere. In the past year, a majority of cryptocurrencies have tumbled, falling victim to the bear market blues. In fact, the aggregate value of all cryptocurrencies has fallen from ~$825 billion to $125 billion. This collapse has led mainstream media to lambast Bitcoin and its altcoin brethren, claiming that the end is nigh for this innovative asset class.

However, McCaleb, speaking to Yahoo Finance in a recent interview, claimed that consumers shouldn’t be worried. In a phone interview, the Ripple and Stellar co-founder claimed that “it’s funny when people say crypto is down,” quipping that in his eyes, it’s still “way way up.”

He explained that while prices are evidently down from their peak, by and large, this industry is stronger than ever. The Stellar creator added that it hasn’t affected business much either, noting that it “doesn’t matter” too much, echoing sentiment touted by other “BUIDLers.” Yet, he admitted that bull runs bring in more eyes, along with more free-flowing capital to drive innovation.

Considering McCaleb has an evident vested interest in this industry, it’s no surprise that he’s still bullish. Yet, confidence from such a notable industry insider is comforting.

“90% Of Projects Are B.S.”

Although McCaleb painted a positive picture overall, he explained that this industry has become inherently hype-driven, presumably due to the rapid rate that this industry has grown at. On the matter of hype, he added:

The allocation of capital and resources is wild to watch, when these projects that have zero technical merit get millions of dollars. It seems like a big shame. Hopefully that will start to change. One of the nice things that comes with the market calming down—I still say it’s not a bear market—it means there’s less of that.

The industry insider subsequently noted that 90% of all crypto projects are “B.S.,” adding that he’s looking forward to this industry theme to shift. McCaleb specifically called out Tron (TRX), claiming that it’s garbage, but people continue to “dump tons of money into it,” even if the product doesn’t work in full. He added that when you boil things down, in most cases, the utilization of existing cryptocurrencies, like XLM and BTC, is enough.

Title Image Courtesy of Brian Garcia via Unsplash

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Bakkt Launch Postponed Again and an Update To Be Provided in Early 2019

A week ago, Ethereum World News had notified the crypto community that the launch of Bakkt might be postponed for a second time due to delays getting the necessary approvals to launch by the 24th of January. In the report, we had explored how the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) might need extra time to process Bakkt’s application for an exemption to its custody solution for Bitcoin.

CFTC regulations require that customer funds be held by a bank, trust company or futures commission merchant (FCM). In the case of Bakkt, they will be storing BTC in their own warehouse on behalf of their clients.

Confirmation from ICE that the Launch Will Be Postponed

Earlier today, ICE (the parent company of Bakkt) published a notice on its website explaining that the earlier mentioned January 24th launch date of Bakkt will have to be amended. The publication went on to add that they will provide an updated launch timeline in early 2019.

Following consultation with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, ICE Futures U.S., Inc. expects to provide
an updated launch timeline in early 2019, for the trading, clearing and warehousing of the Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract.
The launch had previously been set for January 24, 2019, but will be amended pursuant to the CFTC’s process and timeline.

Other Possible Factors Contributing to the Delay

The United States government is currently going through what is known as ‘a government shutdown’ due to the 2019 budget impasse brought about by President Trump demanding funding for the border wall with Mexico. President Trump has demanded $5 Billion to be allocated to the Department of Homeland Security that will proceed in building the wall. The ongoing shutdown has resulted in key government functions being halted as well as federal employees going for a significant amount of time without pay.

The CFTC – being a government agency – has also been affected.

Bakkt Secures $182.5 million from 12 Partners and Investors

Bakkt’s CEO, Kelly Loeffler, announced via a Medium post that they had completed their first round of funding that raised $182.5 million from 12 partners and investors who believe in the future of digital assets.

The partners and investors include Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, Pantera Capital, PayU, the fintech arm of Naspers, and Protocol Ventures.

Ms. Loeffler also explained their ongoing cooperation with the CFTC to get the necessary approvals.

Our team has been working closely with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for the better part of 2018.

At an industry level, regulatory approval for physically delivered and warehoused bitcoin will establish and amplify the voice of U.S. authorities as the digital asset market evolves globally.

We have filed our applications and the timing for approval is now based on the regulatory review process.

What are your thoughts on the launch of Bakkt being postponed a second time? Please let us know in the comment section below. 

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any additional opinion herein is purely the author’s and does not represent the opinion of Ethereum World News or any of its other writers. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available. Thank you.

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Stellar Co-founder Brands 90% of Crypto Projects ‘B.S.’

In a frank interview with mainstream media, Stellar CTO Jed McCaleb appeared skeptical of any cryptocurrency beyond Bitcoin, Ethereum or Stellar.

Most financial institutions will not use Bitcoin (BTC), payment network Stellar’s co-founder and CTO Jed McCaleb stated in an interview with Yahoo Finance Dec. 31.

Speaking to the online news outlet, McCaleb — who is also known as one of the founding fathers of defunct Japanese Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, as well as the co-founder of Ripple — made an argument in favor of the use of permissionless, open blockchains in finance. He told reporters bluntly:

“It doesn’t need to be the bitcoin blockchain, but if it’s not a public chain, then you’re missing the point.”

McCaleb also levelled criticism at cryptocurrency projects that were not Bitcoin, Ethereum or his own Stellar.

“Ninety percent of these projects are B.S. I’m looking forward to that changing,” he said when asked about the outlook for the cryptocurrency industry in 2019, continuing:

“Things like Tron, it’s just garbage. But people dump tons of money into it, these things that just do not technically work.”

Billed as an alternative token development platform to Ethereum, TRON (TRX) has upped its publicity efforts this year, with CEO Justin Sun regularly lambasting the Ethereum network over its alleged shortcomings.

Celebrations of TRON accruing its one millionth user account this month were likewise met with skepticism.

For McCaleb, however, no single cryptocurrency network or associated token forms an all-encompassing solution — including Stellar and its in-house coin, Lumens (XLM).

“There are some things bitcoin is good at, some things Ethereum is good at, and some things Stellar is good at,” he said, adding:

“And none of them can do all the things well. That’s just not how software works.”

Going forward, McCaleb was bullish, rejecting the idea that 2018 represented a bear market in crypto and instead describing it as “calming down.”

Stellar partnered with cryptocurrency wallet provider Blockchain.com last month to expand the circulation and uptake of XLM with a massive $125 million airdrop to users.

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Launch Timeline for Bakkt’s Bitcoin Futures to Be Clarified Early 2019: ICE

The operator of the New York Stock Exchange posted an update for the launch of Bakkt’s physically settled daily Bitcoin futures contract.

 

The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced an update on the launch of the Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract in an official notice Dec. 31.

The document from ICE — the operator of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and creator of digital assets platform Bakkt — states that “[f]ollowing consultation with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC], ICE Futures U.S., Inc. expects to provide an updated launch timeline in early 2019 for the trading, clearing and warehousing” of Bakkt’s Bitcoin (BTC) futures contract.

The document reiterated that previously the firm had been targeting Jan. 24, 2019 as a launch date, but that the date “will be amended pursuant to the CFTC’s process and timeline.”

The statement also outlines the particular nature of Bakkt’s futures contracts, stating:

“The Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract is a physically-settled daily futures contract for bitcoin held in Bakkt Warehouse, and will be cleared by ICE Clear US, Inc. Each futures contract calls for delivery of one bitcoin held in Bakkt Warehouse, and will trade in U.S. dollar terms.”

As Cointelegraph also reported today, Bakkt has completed its first funding round, raising $182.5 million from 12 partners and investors.

ICE initially announced the intention to create an “open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets” powered by the Microsoft cloud infrastructure this past August.

The founder of Galaxy Digital — a crypto investment firm that invested in Bakkt — cited Bakkt’s pending launch as one of the industry developments that could help turn around the downward trend in crypto markets this year.

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Indian Gov’t to Approach Crypto Regulation ‘With Due Caution’

Previous suggestions of a lasting stance on crypto from India’s government appear to have been overturned by fresh comments.

The Indian government is approaching cryptocurrency regulation with caution, tech magazine Quartz reported Dec. 31, quoting Pon Radhakrishnan, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Shipping.

The latest episode in India’s increasingly drawn-out path to formalizing its domestic cryptocurrency economy, Radhakrishnan said that the lack of a “globally acceptable solution” meant lawmakers were unlikely to issue formal statues in the short term.

Addressing the lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha, on Dec. 28, he said:

“In absence of a globally acceptable solution and the need to devise technically feasible solution, the department is pursuing the matter with due caution. It is difficult to state a specific timeline to come up with clear recommendations.”

India currently enforces a ban on banks servicing cryptocurrency-related operations. Enacted in July, the Reserve Bank of India’s rule has led to the exit of several local businesses and a Supreme Court challenge.

Thus far, neither the central bank nor the government has been moved by the consumer backlash, a governmental panel source earlier this month suggesting making cryptocurrency partially illegal was still on the cards.

Nonetheless, this week saw the same panel reportedly signal it would be in favor of regulation over criminalization of the sector.

At present, it remains legal to own cryptocurrency in India, but some parties have publicly stated as of October that they consider such ownership illegal.

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NYSE Operator’s Crypto Platform Bakkt Completes $182.5 Million Funding Round

The digital assets platform Bakkt — created by the NYSE’s operator — announces the completion of their first funding round.

Digital assets platform Bakkt — created by the operator of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) — has announced the completion of its first funding round in a blog post today, Dec. 31.

The institutional investor-focused cryptocurrency platform from the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has officially raised $182.5 million from 12 partners and investors, according to the post.

The partners and investors reportedly include major names in both traditional finance and crypto-oriented investing, including ICE, Boston Consulting Group, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Microsoft’s venture capital arm and Pantera Capital.

Bakkt also noted in the announcement that the company is working with United States regulators — namely the  Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) — to obtain “regulatory approval for physically delivered and warehoused bitcoin,” adding:

“We have filed our applications and the timing for approval is now based on the regulatory review process.”

Also today, ICE separately announced in a notice that the firm “expects to provide an updated launch timeline in early 2019, for the trading, clearing and warehousing of the Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract.” In late November, the long-awaited digital assets platform stated that it was targeting Jan. 24, 2019 as a launch date, pending CFTC approval.

ICE first announced plans to create a Microsoft cloud-powered “open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets” in August, as Cointelegraph reported at the time.

Multiple experts and commentators in the crypto and blockchain industry have pointed to Bakkt’s coming launch as a major factor that will help crypto markets rebound from this year’s ongoing bear market.