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JPMorgan Strategist Predicts Impending Heightened Crypto Interest from Wall Street

JPMorgan Strategist Predicts Impending Heightened Crypto Interest from Wall Street

With much talk in 2018 regarding Wall Street’s potential cryptocurrency uptake somewhat fading towards the end of the year, JPMorgan’s Global Market Strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou is reigniting the flame.

The market needs to grow first, claims Panigirtzoglou, predicting the long-awaited and much talked about rush of institutional investment, but it is not going to be an overnight sensation. He argues: “The stability that we are seeing right now in the cryptocurrency market is setting the stage for more participation by institutional investors in the future.”

Partly, the slow uptake, according to the JPMorgan strategist, is regulators who are still a “bit slow to realize” the potential of the industry. A recent Circle report agrees, pointing out how ICO activity reduced in the second half of 2018 due to increased regulation, putting further downward pressure on the cryptocurrency market.

report points out that stablecoins, security tokens, and institutional crypto, by providing the solution of real-world problems and adding more certainty to the crypto space as a whole, are the next big thing. Last year, Cardano (ADA) co-founder Charles Hoskinson predicted that the entry of Wall Street into the sector would bring in “tens of trillions of dollars”.

Late last year, Wall Street’s previous crypto fervor cooled noticeably, with Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup all shelving much publicized crypto-related products for a future date. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is biding his time and certainly holding on to his Bitcoin claiming it is “native to internet ideals”, and as such must be successful. Always resolute in his claims, Dorsey insists that:

“The world ultimately will have a single currency, the Internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be Bitcoin.”

That being the case, Wall Street won’t be too far away when it happens.

 

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They’re Coming: Stablecoins, Security Tokens, Institutional Crypto

They're Coming: Stablecoins, Security Tokens, Institutional Crypto

Circle research indicates that with the hype of the ICO market becoming a distant memory and Dapps development strong, a market trend reversal is possible in 2019 with stablecoins, security tokens, and institutional crypto leading the recovery.

These findings were released in a retrospective report examining and reflecting on the major achievements, events, performance, and activities of cryptocurrency in 2018.

The report reveals that Bitcoin profited from altcoin drops in value in 2018, gaining a 50% dominance as a result. Its fees, along with those of Ethereum, dropped by 90% over the course of the year. The report also showed how ICO activity reduced in the second half of 2018 due to increased regulation, putting further downward pressure on the cryptocurrency market.

Looking ahead to 2019, the report points out that stablecoins, security tokens, and institutional crypto by providing the solution of real-world problems and adding more certainty to the crypto space as a whole. Part of the problem in 2018, according to Circle, was that the kind of projects being invested in had no real-world impact but where being invested in for short-term financial gain.

It cites this factor as leading to the market crash of 2018 which actually lead to the demise of many worthwhile projects along with solid projections with strong foundations and good teams behind them. However, it is some of these more worthwhile projects which the report sees as re-emerging in 2019.

The company backed global exchange Poloniex and USDC stablecoin, and was the first virtual currency company to be approved by the British government and the first to receive a Bitlicence from New York State in 2015.

 

 

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Mixed Bitcoin Messages From Davos World Economic Forum

Bitcoin was the talk of the town in Switzerland last year when the world’s movers and shakers assembled at Davos for the 2018 World Economic Forum, but this year the cryptocurrency demands a far less prominent position at the table.

The comparison is startlingly obvious. From getting a fair degree of attention a year ago at the 2018 Conference, albeit on the way down even then, the cryptocurrencies are less liable to attract the attention of delegates this year, particularly given the current trials of leaders from the US, UK, and France all entangled in their own domestic issues, some of them shared.

Angel Versetti, CEO of blockchain-based company Ambrosus observed: “While last year, people were talking about crypto and blockchain anywhere and everywhere, this year there is comparatively little discussion around it.”

Hardly surprising given Trump’s domestic battle and government shutdown, May’s Brexit squabbles and Macrons’ sea of yellow vests. The subject still comes up though, some fairly hopeful of a market revival, some less, like the advisor to the Bank of England, Huw van Steenis who said that cryptocurrencies weren’t on the list of priorities at this year’s summit, “I’m not so worried about cryptocurrencies,” he commented not unexpectedly, “They fail the basic tests of financial services, they’re not a great unit of exchange, they don’t hold value and they’re slower.”

Not the case at all, according to Jeremy Allaire — CEO of Circle, the Goldman Sachs-backed payments and tech company as he argues that fintech will be dependent on decentralized technology moving forward:

“Crypto is fundamental to the future, and so crypto computing, which is what these blockchain platforms really are, they’re open computing platforms — we need tamper-proof, resilient, decentralized infrastructure if we want society to survive the digital age.”

Allaire went on to argue that Circle was also a huge supporter of central-bank digital currencies, suggesting that the private sector will be the leader in setting the pace for the creation of these centralized crypto assets. However, Jeff Schumacher, founder of BCG Digital Ventures was less optimistic during a CNBC panel discussion as he mentioned, “I do believe it [cryptocurrency] will go to zero,” adding, “I think it’s a great technology, but I don’t believe it’s a currency. It’s not based on anything.”

Next year could be an embarrassment for some of these commentators if Bitcoin hits its expected heights this year as Wall Street comes on board.

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Coinbase Lists USDC Stablecoin

Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange headquartered in the United States, announced today that they have listed USD Coin (USDC), a stablecoin originally launched by Circle, but now Coinbase is listed as a Co-Founder. This is the first time a stablecoin has been listed on Coinbase, and only the 7th cryptocurrency to ever be listed on the platform, others being Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, and 0x.

Notably, USDC is an Ethereum ERC-20 token, making it the 2nd ERC-20 token to be added to Coinbase, with the first one being 0x, which was listed less than 2 weeks ago on 12 October 2018. When 0x was listed on Coinbase it was speculated that it would be easy for Coinbase to list other ERC-20 tokens since they use the same backbone technology, and this has already come to fruition with the listing of USDC. There are numerous other ERC-20 tokens among the top cryptos, and in the coming weeks and months, it is likely that Coinbase will keep listing ERC-20 tokens and other cryptos, as per their announcement about listing all possible major cryptocurrencies.

Generally when a crypto is listed on Coinbase they experience the Coinbase Effect, which is a rally resulting from Coinbase users buying the crypto as soon as it is listed. This is because Coinbase is perhaps the most well-known crypto exchange in the United States, and due to the lack of cryptos listed, there is a strong thirst for any new cryptos that get listed.

Since USDC is a stablecoin and pegged approximately to the value of a single USD, its price will not rally due to being added to Coinbase. The way to measure a stablecoin rally or crash is with its market cap since the market cap indicates how much of the stablecoin has been purchased. USDC launched in late September, so the market cap was technically zero up to that point. The market cap grew to USD 10-15 million, until the middle of October 2018 when Tether (USDT), the #1 stablecoin with a market cap in excess of USD 2 billion, had problems and become unpegged from the USD. By 19 October the USDC market cap was in excess of USD 30 million. Following the listing on Coinbase today, the USDC market cap has already more than doubled to USD 62 million.

Since USDT continues to be volatile and is worth less than USD 1, this will give USDC the opportunity to rapidly increase its market cap and perhaps compete with USDT, especially now that Coinbase has listed USDC.

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Stablecoin Race Is On: This Time It’s the UK’s Cryptopound

It’s a frenetic month for stablecoins, and the trend is further accentuated by another development as a London-based startup announces its own plans to develop a cryptopound.

In the US, a stablecoin is a cryptocurrency pegged against the USD, giving it stable-price characteristics, seen by some as a safe hedge against the volatility of conventional cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. Currently, they are underutilized apart from when traders use them to guard their positions during bear markets.

Last month, announcements of stablecoin launches appeared to have been coming from east to west, beginning with news of Gemini and Paxos being given the go-ahead to launch their own stablecoins by the New York State regulator. This was followed by Hong Kong-based Grandshores Technology Group announcing a funding round for a Japanese Yen-based stablecoin.

With the proposed launch of an