Category Archives: bitcoin futures

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NYSE chairman Calls Bakkt a “Moonshot Bet”

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange sees the eventual Bakkt launch as a “moonshot bet” according to its CEO and chairman of the NYSE, Jeff Sprecher.

Talking over the past few days, Sprecher says that he is optimistic that Bakkt will be worthwhile and sees ICE’s involvement as “different” claiming that the deal has “…been organized in a manner that is very different than the way ICE typically does businesses.”

Making the remarks at a conference call yesterday he suggested that there will be a launch this year, after earlier delays and the implications that it could be soon. “Bakkt has its own offices, its own management team, etc. They’re well along in building out an infrastructure that I think you’ll see launch later this year,” said ICE’s boss.

Bakkt, which will offer institutional investors bitcoin futures trading, should have gone live in January but was postponed partly due to the US government shutdown at the time. The claim is that Bakkt will provide custody and price discovery for bitcoin which will be free from market manipulation and fraud.

There is speculation that the move by NYSE could bring the long-awaited wave of institutional investment into the cryptocurrency space, thus rejuvenating the flagging market; a market which has seen some revitalization over the past 24 hours.

Scott Hill, ICE’s chief financial officer said that Bakkt-related expenses for the first quarter topped $20 million stating “Our investment in Bakkt will generate $20 million to $25 million of expense based upon the run rate in the first quarter.”

Sprecher said, by bringing in Starbucks and Microsoft the potential is for a “very valuable company” to be created.

 

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Fake Bakkt Emails Circulate, Claiming Profits for Investors

Fake Bakkt Emails Circulate, Claiming Profits for Investors

There are reports of email being received from what claims to be Bitcoin futures trading platform Bakkt. The emails, bearing the subject line “Bakkt News!” and purporting that the platform will launch on 12 March 12, at first sight seem convincing.

First of all, the email is sent, not from an official Bakkt account, but from a Gmail one. Secondly, the English used in the email itself is written in a manner that clearly suggests an automatic translation program was used to compose it. Thirdly, the email diverts users to a website, bakktplatform.io, which is not the official Bakkt website.

The website simply asks visitors to register by providing their name and email address. The complete lack of KYC, AML checks and other information leaves no doubt on the fake nature of the website.

Post registration, investors are presented with a Bitcoin address where they can transfer their investment. The website also asks for investors’ Bitcoin addresses, with the promise of giving profit returns within three days of the platform’s launch.

The actual Bakkt has denied any connection with the email and the website, saying, “…that is not a Bakkt website and we wouldn’t have communicated in that way.” The real platform also does not have any launch date at the moment. The platform has still no green light from regulatory point of view. Unless that is given, it cannot even start to offer its services.

 

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Symbiont, Nasdaq Partnership Builds New Bridge to Crypto

Symbiont, Nasdaq Partnership Builds New Bridge to Crypto

As Nasdaq continues to explore new business opportunities, with clients now looking for smart contract and tokenization solutions, the Wall Street exchange has found a new partner in blockchain firm Symbiont, giving the lead to further speculation that full-fledged crypto adoption is around the corner.

With Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman now describing cryptocurrency as “the global currency of the future” prior to the Davos World Economic Forum and putting globalization under the microscope, the chance of the exchange launching into trading tokenized securities seems that little bit closer. From Symbiont’s perspective, its Assembly enterprise blockchain and smart contract platform will provide “…the opportunity for new participants to enter the digital asset market and offers existing participants a superior infrastructure on which to build the future of financial markets”.

Symbiont co-founder and CEO Mark Smith sees a “huge opportunity to be able to go all over the globe with Nasdaq”. Gary Offner, Head of Nasdaq Ventures, is equally upbeat, claiming that the company’s investments could “help build our future market infrastructure used by more than 100 marketplaces around the world”. En route to Davos, Friedman confirmed cryptocurrency’s future role, arguing that digital currency was “a tremendous demonstration of genius and creativity” and that it was deserving of “an opportunity to find a sustainable future in our economy”.

Nasdaq has shown through its cooperation with VanEck to bring Bitcoin-based futures to the market early this year that it has serious intent to back up the company CEO’s words with intent.

 

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Bakkt Announces $182.5 Million Funding Round, Launch Set for Early 2019

Bakkt Announces 2.5 Million Funding Round, Launch Set for Early 2019

In a blog post yesterday, institutional grade digital asset platform Bakkt announced the successful first seed funding round of USD 182 million.

According to the blog post, fourteen investors and partners were listed to have participated in this round, out of which 12 of them had raised the sum. Big players in the traditional finance and fintech industry were mentioned, to include Intercontinental Exchange, Goldfinch Partners, Boston Consulting Group, Microsoft’s Venture Capital arm and Pantera Capital.

The Bakkt project has for the latter part of 2018 been touted as the platform to finally make way for mainstream institutional investors to get into the cryptocurrency game. The blog reads: “Our work today is centered on driving institutional access for digital assets, along with merchant and consumer uses.” The project also revealed that they have expanded the vision to drive mainstream cryptocurrency adoption for the everyday user by extending their partnership to companies like Starbucks.

The announcement also included a current status of the project such as “working closely with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for the better part of 2018” in order to obtain “regulatory approval for physically delivered and warehoused bitcoin.” They have also “filed applications and the timing for approval is now based on the regulatory review process.”

Another relevant angle the project will tackle while working through the 2019 objectives will also include a focus on “opportunities to provide new infrastructure, including the industry’s first institutional grade regulated exchange, clearing and warehousing services for physical delivery and storage,” reads the blog post.

The project has delayed its launch twice in a row as another official publication reveals that the updated launch timeline which was set for 24 January 2019 will be amended and set for early 2019, in line with CFTC’s process and timeline.

The blog post also revealed as many would agree, that 2018 was indeed an active year for cryptocurrency with Bitcoin at the center stage as volatility index peaked, as well as a notable increase in investment from venture capitals in distributed ledger technology and digital assets.

Many analysts and cryptocurrency enthusiasts have opined that the coming of the Bakkt will play a crucial role in restoring the market from the year-long bearish trend.

 

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Permabull Tom Lee Puts Bitcoin Fair Value Near $15k

Permabull Tom Lee Puts Bitcoin Fair Value Near k

Fundstrat Managing Partner and Head of Research Thomas Lee is sticking to his guns despite Bitcoin’s flailing fortunes, saying that its fair market value is no lower than USD 13,000 and as high as USD 14,800.

Thomas Lee predicted that Bitcoin would hit USD 25,000 by the end of 2018, and while that forecast is all but guaranteed to go out the window by some distance, he insists that evidence of the growing number of active wallet addresses, usage per account, and factors influencing supply calculates fair market value at far higher prices.

Without disclosing the exact formula that combines these indicators, Lee attributes Bitcoin’s “meltdown” below fair market value to ICO companies selling off their treasuries, and the overall macroeconomic climate.

Bitcoin News also examined the possible causation driven by the launch of Bitcoin futures on CME. The Bitcoin market began its steep descent from USD 20,000 on 17 December 2017,