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Confirmed: Nasdaq’s Bitcoin Futures Will Launch in ‘First Half’ of 2019

The world’s second largest stock exchange Nasdaq has confirmed it plans to launch Bitcoin futures in the first half of 2019.

The world’s second largest stock exchange Nasdaq has confirmed it plans to launch Bitcoin futures in the first half of 2019, U.K. daily tabloid the Express reported Monday, Dec. 3.

As reported, two insider sources had already leaked the plans to Bloomberg in late November.

Yesterday’s confirmation from Joseph Christinat, vice president of Nasdaq’s media team, clarified the launch remains subject to approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), although reportedly “there’s been enough work put into this to make [the question of regulatory approval] academic […] we’re doing this, and it’s happening.”

Christinat told the Express that the stock market giant has been eyeing the crypto space “for years” and has been working on its Bitcoin (BTC) futures product for “most” of 2018. He added:

“We’ve put a hell of a lot of money and energy into delivering the ability to do this and we’ve been all over it for a long time — way before the market went into turmoil, and that will not affect the timing of this in any way. No. Period. We’re doing this no matter what.”

Chrisinat’s interview did not confirm whether Nasdaq’s Bitcoin futures contract will be cash-backed, or physically settled (i.e. with returns paid out in BTC rather than fiat currency).

While cash-settled Bitcoin futures contracts came to market on CBOE and CME Group as early as December 2017, the first physically-delivered Bitcoin futures are targeted for launch in January 2019 on Bakkt, the digital assets platform created by New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) operator, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

In November 2017, Nasdaq had first indicated it would be launching BTC futures by mid-2018, but soon said it would be deferring rollout in order to create a “unique enough” offering.

As reported, Nasdaq’s planned futures contract will purportedly be the first of a set of “transparent, regulated and surveilled” digital assets products to be jointly launched as part of its recently-announced partnership with U.S. investment firm VanEck.

VanEck is also currently awaiting a final decision from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on its joint proposal for a physically-backed Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) together with blockchain software and financial services firm SolidX.

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How Traditional Financial Instruments Are Breaking Out in the World of Crypto

Want to remove some of the volatility from your investments? Here’s a look at some of the traditional financial instruments making waves in the crypto world.

The crypto market has been brutalizing of late – but many traders don’t realize that there is a plethora of financial instruments out there. Each offer investors a new way to back crypto, without relying on the highs and lows of cryptocurrency prices in an erratic and volatile market.

But what are these alternatives – and are they really everything they’re cracked up to be?

In many cases, some of the new products emerging in the crypto market are iterations of services that have existed in the old-fashioned financial world for years. Bonds are a good example. These have been kicking around for more than 500 years – and back in 1694, they were issued by the Bank of England to fund a war against France.

How do they work? In essence, they are a fixed-income instrument that amounts to something of an “I.O.U.” Lenders give businesses the money that they need to achieve their aspirations, with borrowers usually receiving interest rate payments once per year until the full amount of the loan is due. When it comes to interest, this could fluctuate based on variable rates, or it may be fixed.

Bonds have already been gaining momentum – with the World Bank hitting the headlines back in summer 2018. On August 10, the first blockchain-based bond was issued by the biggest bank in Australia – Commonwealth Bank of Australia. This is not the first debt instrument to be issued through blockchain – with Spain’s BBVA signing a $117 million loan over the summer in a bid to benefit from the traceability and transparency of smart contracts.

The hope is that crypto bonds could enable blockchain-based businesses to generate money to grow – offering them an alternative from ICOs, which have had something of a torrid time of late. Although research in October suggested that more than $20 billion had been raised through initial coin offerings since the beginning of 2017, this has been slowing of late – with ICO funding for August 2018 ranked the slowest for 13 months.

Futures: The future?

Futures have been a hot topic of discussion in the crypto world ever since Bitcoin reached the dizzying highs of $20,000 towards the end of 2017.

These conversations have rumbled through right up to today, with the volatility seen in the crypto market showing no signs of abating. In brief, futures involve two parties agreeing to buy or sell cryptocurrencies at a previously agreed-upon price on a set date. Rather than being used as a mechanism that helps to boost profitability, futures are often relied upon as a way to mitigate risk.

Why is this a compelling financial instrument? Let’s say you believe that Bitcoin’s value is going to rise in the coming months. You can buy a three-month contract for one Bitcoin at the current price and receive it at contract’s conclusion. If the price of Bitcoin rises dramatically over those 90 days, you would be buying it at the same price, resulting in a tidy profit.

Of course, this instrument can work conversely. Let’s imagine that you bought Bitcoin at an optimal moment, but you think that the price is about to fall precipitously. Through futures, you have the opportunity to enter into an agreement where you sell the Bitcoin at its current price in three months’ time – and if its value tumbles, you pocket the profit. It’s fair to describe such behavior as a bet, as no one can predict where the market is going, but if you’re experienced and have insight into crypto movements, futures could prove indispensable.

So yes: futures can help traders shield themselves against the perils of fluctuation – and give investors in countries where crypto is banned a chance to get involved. That said, it isn’t without risks. Given the dramatic highs and lows seen in crypto in recent months, you could argue that futures are tantamount to gambling. Red or black?

There are other options

Puns can never let you down during a heavy feature that focuses on crypto financial instruments. If you don’t think that futures are the future, options are an option for you. These instruments mean that you have the right to buy or sell Bitcoins at a particular price when the options mature, but you are not obligated to complete the transaction. There is often a premium for using these financial services.

These dramatic shifts in the crypto market have sparked diversification by digital asset platforms – giving investors greater choice. Bonds, futures and options are beginning to flourish in the industry. For example, Bibox, an AI-driven exchange, has just launched bonds, aiming to give new opportunities to traders.

A slowdown in ICOs has meant that startups are looking for new ways to raise capital, while investors are on the lookout for new ways to protect and grow their assets. Whether derivatives gain momentum in 2019 is yet to be seen, but there’s no doubt that chatter surrounding financial instruments is on the increase.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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New Data From CFTC Shows Bearish Bitcoin Futures Are on the Decline

Bearish positions for non-commercial contracts of Bitcoin (BTC) futures are on the decline, according to the latest Commitments of Traders (COT) report released by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) August 24.

For the week ending August 21, the report shows that the net position on BTC futures declined by 1,266. Short positions fell by 210 contracts to 3,426 as compared with the previous week, with long positions up by 56 contracts at 2,160.

As shown by the negative total tally, the market is still overall net short, yet -1266 is a sharp turnaround from the -1926 recorded June 5th. The fresh data appears to reveal a trend away from bearish sentiment, bolstered by strong price performance on Bitcoin spot markets.

Speaking on CNBC last week, crypto analyst Brian Kelly cited statistics from CME exchange which suggested that the Bitcoin futures market overall is signalling both heightened demand and greater maturity:

“Here’s CME Futures open interest of large holders. [As of] April, you’re starting to see a big increase… about an 85 percent growth rate. If you extrapolate that out, by February 2019, you’re going to have a very robust market here.”

Kelly bolstered his claims that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) likelihood of approving a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) would come by February 2019, based on demonstrable growth in the Bitcoin derivatives market, alongside other factors. As Kelly noted, even the fresh spate of ETF disapproval orders has not lead the market to “sell off,” yet a further sign of market resilience.

Bitcoin (BTC) is trading around $6,743 at press time, up almost 1 percent on the day and almost 7 percent on the week.

Bitcoin’s 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Price Index

Bitcoin’s 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Price Index

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SEC Rejects 9 Bitcoin ETF Applications from ProShares, Direxion and GraniteShares

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected a total of nine applications to list and trade various Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from three different applicants, according to a three separate orders published by the SEC today, August 22.

The disapprovals come one day ahead of the anticipated deadline, August 23, stipulated for a pair of BTC ETFs that had been submitted by ProShares in conjunction with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ETF exchange NYSE Arca.

The SEC has now rejected a further seven proposed ETFs alongside the ProShares pair –– these being five further proposed ETFs from Direxion, also for listing on NYSE Arca –– and two proposals from GraniteShares, for listing on CBOE.

For all three disapprovals, the SEC has stated that:

“[T]he Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because, as discussed below, the Exchange has not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act Section 6(b)(5), in particular the requirement that a national securities exchange’s rules be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.”

All three applications had proposed futures-based Bitcoin ETFs. The SEC has today reinforced its qualms over inadequate “resistance to price manipulation” in an insufficiently sized BTC derivatives market. In the case of ProShares’ two ETFs –– and repeated in the two other disapproval orders –– the SEC has stated that:

“Among other things, the Exchange has offered no record evidence to demonstrate that bitcoin futures markets are ‘markets of significant size.’ That failure is critical because, as explained below, the Exchange has failed to establish that other means to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices will be sufficient, and therefore surveillance-sharing with a regulated market of significant size related to bitcoin is necessary.”

As a March 2018 registration statement from the SEC noted, “the [ProShares] Funds do not intend to hold Bitcoin Futures Contracts through expiration, but instead intend to either close or ‘roll’ their respective positions.” This had been specifically designated as a potential risk for the two ETFs in question –– in addition to the “extreme volatility and low liquidity” attributed to both Bitcoin spot and derivatives markets.

In today’s three orders, the SEC has however notably stated that:

“[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.”

The SEC’s fresh disapprovals echo the concerns the agency had already articulated in its initial rejection of a high-profile Bitcoin ETF application from the Winklevoss twins in March 2017:

”When the spot market is unregulated –– there must be significant, regulated derivatives markets related to the underlying asset with which the Exchange can enter into a surveillance-sharing agreement.”

This July the SEC rejected the Winklevoss’ petition following their initial application’s denial, in which the twins claim that crypto markets are “uniquely resistant to manipulation.” In their rejection of the petition, the agency said that “the record before the Commission does not support such a conclusion.”

At the beginning of August, the SEC delayed its decision over yet another Bitcoin ETF application –– this time filed by by investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX, for trading on CBOE. Notably, instead of proposing a Bitcoin futures-based fund, the application proposed a physically-backed model, which will raise the further question of custody.

Bitcoin is currently trading around $6,380, down about 2.2 percent on the day to press time.

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ICE’s Bakkt CEO: Platform Won't Support Margin Trading, Contracts to Be Fully Collateralized

Bakkt —  the forthcoming regulated global ecosystem for crypto assets recently unveiled by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) —  will not support margin trading for its Bitcoin (BTC) contract, according to an official Medium post published August 20.

Earlier this month, ICE –– the operator of 23 leading global exchanges including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) –– had unveiled ambitious plans to create a “seamless” global ecosystem for digital assets that would cover the spectrum from federally regulated markets and warehousing to merchant and consumer needs.

The announcement notably revealed plans to offer a 1-day physically delivered BTC contract by November, subject to pending approval from US regulators.

Bakkt’s CEO Kelly Loeffler has today outlined the three cornerstones of the project, which she says will aim to establish a “consistent regulatory construct,” institutional-grade pre- and post-trade infrastructure and “transparent, efficient price discovery” for crypto trading. Loeffler has today said that physical delivery is “a critical element” for this latter point, adding that:

“Specifically, with our solution, the buying and selling of [B]itcoin is fully collateralized or pre-funded. As such, our new daily bitcoin contract will not be traded on margin, use leverage or serve to create a paper claim on a real asset.”

The CEO underscores that these plans differentiate the platform’s strategy from existing BTC futures contracts, such as those currently offered on CME and CBOE, which are ultimately settled in fiat currency.

By refraining from allowing for margin, leverage and cash settlement –– and offering secure and regulated warehousing –– Loeffler claims that the platform will better support market integrity and enable the “trusted price formation” that she considers to be key to “advancing the promise of digital currencies.”

While Loeffler’s announcement largely confirms what had been already indicated in ICE’s initial announcement, this explicit and detailed affirmation of the project’s intentions has today been welcomed by the crypto community.

News of the forthcoming platform has drawn considerable attention and excitement over the past two weeks, yet there are nonetheless some who have voiced concerns as to the potentially adverse impact leverage-based financialization could have for the crypto space. These echo existing controversies over the impact of futures trading since their launch in late 2017, a likely impetus for Loeffler’s emphatic differentiation today.

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Bitcoin (BTC) and the Crypto Markets Do Not Need An ETF To Be Great

The crypto-markets are in the green for another day and its exciting as well as very welcoming. Many traders and HODLers had more or less wondered if the downward spiral that was catalyzed by the SEC postponement of an ETF decision, was ever going to end. The lowest point came when the total market capitalization stood at $189 Billion on the 14th of August. It has since rebounded by a cool $25 Billion since then (13.2%) and at the moment of writing this. Bitcoin (BTC) is currently trading at $6,531 and up 10% from its recent low of $5,900 on the same 14th of August.

Our favorite alternative coins are also in the green with XRP leading the pack by doing 10% in 24 hours and currently trading at $0.347. Many XRP fans were worried that total capitulation by HODLers was in the offing if the downward trend was not broken by a market recovery and/or news that Ripple has partnered with Bittrex, Bitso and Coins.ph. Ethereum is also recovering and currently trading at $311 after touching ominous levels of $256 on the 14th of August.

Do we really need an ETF?

It is therefore with the organic recovery of our favorite digital assets that we can conclude that Bitcoin (BTC) and the crypto-markets do not need a Bitcoin (BTC) ETF to be great. The crypto-verse was great even before Wallstreet showed an interest in the markets. The communities of the corresponding coins and blockchain projects made the ecosystem thrive through the usual discussions of blockchain technology and what each coin or token was going to solve for the society.

Double Edged Sword that Bakkt

Caitlin Long, a 22 year Veteran at Wallstreet and active in Bitcoin since 2012, believes that the Bakkt company about to be launched in November is a double edged sword for the crypto-verse and general financial system. She stated that:

This is a major step in the mainstreaming of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. But it’s also a double-edged sword, because it’s likely the beginning of Wall Street creating financial claims to bitcoin out of thin air (and not backed by actual bitcoins), which could offset some of Bitcoin’s algorithmically-enforced scarcity.

In conclusion, the crypto community has always held its own in the crypto markets. Whenever there was a decline, it would soon correct itself for the crypto-community was confident enough to believe in Bitcoin and other digital assets. Now, with Wallstreet walking in with ETFs and Bakkt, the crypto community has once again fallen victim to the old ways of thinking that the big financial firms will make the industry great. As a matter of fact, Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto to bypass the control of the financial institutions. Therefore, they are not a necessity in making BTC and the crypto markets great.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any opinion herein should be taken as is. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available.

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CME Futures Partner Releases First Regulated Bitcoin Cash Futures

Cryptocurrency trading platform Crypto Facilities has added Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to its list of futures products, announcing in a press release that the product would go live at 4PM BST Friday, August 17.

Crypto Facilities, which rose to prominence when it partnered with CME Group on its first-of-its kind Bitcoin futures in December 2017, said the move reflected Bitcoin Cash’s status as a “top five coin” by market cap.

The platform already offers Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) futures.

“We are pleased to be expanding our cryptocurrency derivatives offering with the launch of [Bitcoin Cash] futures,” CEO Timo Schlaefer commented in the release.

“BCH is a top five coin with a market capitalization of around $10 billion […] and we expect our new contracts to spur the evolution of the crypto markets by bringing greater liquidity and transparency to the digital asset class.”

Prospective investors will now be able to gain exposure to BCH in what reportedly constitutes the first FCA-regulated futures options for the cryptocurrency.

The move comes at a time when Bitcoin Cash is receiving mixed press attention over purported plans by mining giant Bitmain to perform an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the near future.

The company had traded almost all its Bitcoin holdings for Bitcoin Cash, leading many commentators to raise concerns over giant liquidity problems due to BCH’s relatively illiquid trading market.

Meanwhile, developers this week released a new protocol allowing the release of Initial Coin Offering (ICO) tokens on the Bitcoin Cash network.

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‘No Coffee for Bitcoin,’ Starbucks Clarifies as Media Misrepresent Its New Crypto Venture

Starbucks has clarified that it will not be accepting Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies as payment, despite misleading reports from mainstream media, a spokesperson told Motherboard Friday, July 3.

Earlier on Friday, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) operator the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced plans to create a new “global platform and ecosystem for digital assets,” dubbed “Bakkt,” alongside a group of big name enterprises including Starbucks, BCG and Microsoft.

Following the major announcement, a number of mainstream media outlets, including Bloomberg and CNBC, ran misleading headlines –– such as CNBC’s “New Starbucks partnership with Microsoft allows customers to pay for Frappuccinos with bitcoin” –– directly implying that the partnership would mean customers could purchase items at Starbucks for crypto.

A spokesperson for the multinational coffee chain clarified in comments to Motherboard that in fact “customers will not be able to pay for Frappuccinos with bitcoin,” but rather the company is part of a new venture creating a platform, Bakkt, to “convert digital assets like Bitcoin into U.S. dollars, which can be used at Starbucks,” adding:

“At the current time, we are announcing the launch of trading and conversion of Bitcoin. However, we will continue to talk with customers and regulators as the space evolves.”

Starbucks’ official press release Friday elaborated on the project, stating that it would, pending regulation, include physically delivered Bitcoin futures:

“As an initial component of the Bakkt offering, Intercontinental Exchange’s U.S.-based futures exchange and clearing house plan to launch a 1-day physically delivered Bitcoin contract along with physical warehousing in November 2018, subject to CFTC review and approval.”

In May, the New York Times reported on sources suggesting the ICE was considering launching physically-delivered BTC futures contracts, a move Friday’s news confirms.

In late July, former Wall Street exec turned crypto entrepreneur stated crypto markets “need a trusted, name custodian — a Japanese bank or HSBC or ICE or Goldman Sachs — to allow institutional investors to feel comfortable.”

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CME Will Not Introduce Altcoin Futures Anytime Soon, Says CEO

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) will not introduce futures on cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin (BTC) in the near future, CME CEO Terry Duffy revealed in an interview with Bloomberg July 26.  

In the interview, Duffy said that the company should first evaluate and develop an approach for Bitcoin, stressing that Bitcoin futures “might have been the most controversial launch of a product.”

Duffy emphasized that altcoins futures contracts cannot be launched immediately, because they are “highly volatile and new,” and the company cannot just list products for trading in order “to see where they’re going to go.” Duffy said, “I will take a wait and see approach with Bitcoin for now.”

The CEO reiterated the company’s previous position on launching altcoin futures, having said earlier this year that listing other crypto would be “a little irresponsible right now.”

CME, one of the largest exchanges worldwide, launched Bitcoin futures trading on Dec. 17, a week after BTC futures were introduced by the the biggest U.S. options exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE).

While CME is taking a cautious approach to introducing altcoin futures, its main competitor CBOE is “definitely monitoring other markets,” CBOE’s director for product development Dennis O’Callahan revealed in an interview with Cointelegraph. O’Callahan said, “…we are definitely monitoring other markets to make sure that the infrastructure and everything is in place in case we want to pursue other cryptocurrencies.”

Last week, CME reported that its BTC futures average daily volume (ADV) increased by 93 percent in the second quarter over the first quarter of 2018, while the number of open contracts on Bitcoin futures has exceeded 2,400, which amounted to 58 percent increase since Q1.

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Bitcoin Breaks $8,000 as Selected Alts See Slight Recovery

July 24: Bitcoin (BTC) broke through the $8,000 price point this morning, as the top cryptocurrency continues to outperform most other crypto assets, according to data from Coin360.

In the days following the strong upswing that kicked off across the crypto market on July 16 and accelerated further on July 17, Bitcoin has sustained positive momentum while other alts slid into negative territory.

Market visualization from Coin360

Market visualization from Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) is trading around $8,009 to press time, up 3.9 percent on the day. The leading asset gained over $200 dollars within the space of an hour and a half this morning to hit $7991, and then broke the $8,000 resistance level, peaking at a 24-hour high of $8,031.

Bitcoin’s weekly and monthly gains are now at around 3.8 and 34 percent respectively, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin 24-hour price chart

Bitcoin 24-hour price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index

Yesterday, BTC dominance by market capitalization in the crypto market reached its highest level yet in 2018, passing 46 percent, a threshold last seen December 20, 2017, when the coin was trading close to its industry highs of $20,000. Today, dominance has inched up yet further to 46.8 percent by press time.

Percentage of total market cap (dominance) from CoinMarketCap

Percentage of total market cap (dominance) from CoinMarketCap

Ethereum (ETH) is trading around $468 at press time, up 1.2 percent on the day. Having peaked at $510 on July 18, the asset’s subsequent decline saw it dip to $444 by July 20. Today, the altcoin has seen modest growth, reaching a 24-hour high of $472. Ethereum has lost just under 1 percent on the week, but is now up 4.77 percent on the month.

Ethereum’s 24-hour price chart

Ethereum’s 24-hour price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index

On CoinMarketCap’s listings, the top 10 coins by market cap are seeing mixed red and green, with some alts seeing solid growth of above 4 percent.

Litecoin (LTC) is up over 3.5 percent on the day, trading at around $87, according to CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is also up over 4.5 percent and is trading at $851 to press time.

Meanwhile, EOS, IOTA (MIOTA), and Cardano (ADA) are all down, seeing losses of within a 1-2 percent range on the day by press time.

Of the top 20 ranked coins on CoinMarketCap, anonymity-oriented altcoin Monero (XMR) is the strongest performer. Monero is up almost 4 percent and is trading around $140 at press time. Breaking $148 July 18, the coin saw a subsequent decline to $127 on July 21, and traded sideways until yesterday’s uptick, which continues today.

Monero 7-day chart

Monero 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is around $294 billion at press time, inching closer to its intra-weekly high of around $300 billion.

Weekly high in the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies from CoinMarketCap

Weekly high in the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies from CoinMarketCap

While the market is seeing a more mixed picture today, Bitcoin’s recent divergence from other crypto assets has prompted CNBC trading advisor Ran NeuNer to venture that we may be on the cusp of a bull market. The analyst attributes the top coin’s strong performance to news earlier this month that the $6.3 trillion asset manager and ETF-giant BlackRock is beginning to assess potential involvement in Bitcoin. As per NeuNer’s scenario:

“-BTC goes up in anticipation of ETF at the expense of Alts.
– Investors start to pay more attention to BTC as it is getting returns.
– New money flows in again including institutional funds.
– BTC runs , investors exit and invest in Alts.
– Bull market again…”

While many hold the view that crypto-based ETFs would be a “holy grail” for the crypto industry, news that BlackRock may also be eyeing an entry into Bitcoin futures trading could prove more divisive, given suggestions from figures including Fundstrat’s Tom Lee that  Bitcoin’s “gut wrenching” price weakness this spring was tied to futures contract expirations.

In May, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco had similarly alleged that Bitcoin’s price decline was the result of the introduction of futures trading on CBOE, and then CME, in Dec. 2017.

This week, CME revealed that the average daily volume of Bitcoin futures on its platform increased by 93 percent in Q2 over Q1 in 2018, also indicating that the number of open contracts had exceeded 2,400 — a 58 percent increase over Q1.