Category Archives: Bitcoin derivatives

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LedgerX Introduces Binary Wager on Bitcoin’s Next Halving Date

LedgerX Introduces Binary Wager on Bitcoin's Next Halving Date

US-regulated derivative platform LedgerX has announced the launch of a new class of Bitcoin derivative based on block-halving dubbed the LedgerX Halving Contract (LXHC).

So far, the larger part of cryptocurrency trading is based on financial instrumentation similar to those of the traditional market. However, as the blockchain and the underlying asset classes are an entirely new class of economic streams, developing new types of derivatives are expected, especially with the type introduced by LedgerX leveraging on the uniqueness of block formation and reward halving.

Bitcoin’s code has been programmed to halve block rewards every four years. So far, two block-halving events have occurred since the genesis block was created. The first was in 2012 when the block reward was halved from 50 Bitcoins to 25 Bitcoins per block at block height 210,000; the second was in 2016 when it dropped to 12.5 Bitcoins per block. In total, about 33 block halving events are expected with the last one expected to occur in the year 2141.

The aim of this derivative contract is to allow enthusiasts and gamblers bet on the date when the next block halving to 6.25 bitcoins per block will happen. Accordingly, this is estimated to occur at block height 630,000 and sometime in April 2020.

According to the blog post, the excitement is in the exact date when the halving will occur, it said: “The date the actual block will occur will also intrigue speculators and liquidity providers”, which will have a huge consequence on the dynamics of Bitcoin’s price should it become widely used.

So far, such derivatives as futures, options, and swaps are common within the industry, as has always been the case with traditional financial assets as well. However, the introduction of this derivative class increases the level of risk and uncertainty as a new determinant is introduced – block halving – and no one knows the precise date when it will occur, unlike the counterpart derivatives and this essentially makes its binary a fundamental economic risk.

If this is readily adopted by the crypto community en masse, it may as well “materially impact planning for investments and operations”, LedgerX suggests.

Intriguing enough, this may be another attempt to lure in sophisticated investors with a higher inclination towards binary options. However, for risk-averse investors, the sidelines may be cramped to see how Bitcoin survives the tempest, as this is likely to raise the volatility index for Bitcoin if it is adopted.

It’s been observed that with a new Bitcoin derivative class introduced, the cryptocurrency market takes a jolt. This may as well introduce another bull as with the case of CME and CBOE’s introduction of futures contracts in 2017 – which was first of its kind, and it saw Bitcoin reaching highs of USD 20,000.

Moreover, last year saw price fluctuations when the community expected Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to become a norm within the crypto community. However, when expectations were cut short elucidated by nine rejected ETF applications by the SEC, conversely, the market took a hit.

The onramp towards complex markets continues on the rise, with each provider targeting the institutional class of investors which are perceived to be pivotal to the next uptrend in the crypto market.

 

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“Institutional Investment Class” Morgan Stanley’s New Catchall for Crypto

A new report published by American multinational investment bank Morgan Stanley has redefined cryptocurrency as an “institutional investment class”.

The report was initiated after research revealed that current trading trends are flowing towards institutional investors who are increasingly wanting to invest in cryptocurrencies, so much so that Morgan Stanley have had its eyes firmly set on institutional investor potential for some months.

This led to rumors recently that the bank was intending following in the footsteps of some other Wall Street financial institutions offering crypto-related services by dealing in contracts that gave investors “synthetic exposure to the performance of Bitcoin”.

Still unconfirmed but if the rumors turn out to have substance, then investors will be given the option to go long or short using what is described as a “price return swap”, with Morgan Stanley adding its own charge to each transaction that it facilitates, according to a source close to the investment bank.

It is of little surprise then, that the New York financial giant has chosen this time to re-examine the way it looks at cryptocurrency. The new report, titled ‘Bitcoin Decrypted: A Brief Teach-In and Implications’, updated the classification of digital assets based on statistics from the last six months.

The report also examines problems reported by customers in relation to crypto as an investment class, such as regulatory uncertainty and a lack of regulations. These are areas that Morgan Stanley would like to address if it is seriously deciding on targeting institutional cryptocurrency investors, with a view to offering clients the chance to trade in Bitcoin derivative, as it has hinted in the past.

On a positive note for the bank, if this is to be their direction moving forward, is the reports mention of Fidelity’s new crypto services division, Coinbase’s fundraising round and positive regulatory developments. The report also notes that institutional investor confidence is rising at the expense of retail investment which has all but come to a standstill. The report states that institutional investors have gained “full confidence” in the market over the past six months.

 

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