Mainstream Adoption: AT&T Now Accepts Bitcoin!

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Judging by recent news, the US telecom and media conglomerate AT&T now will be accepting Bitcoin! Customers will be able to pay for their phone bills online with Bitcoin! AT&T is the largest multichannel video service provider in the US. They have around a total of 22,3 million subscribers.

AT&T Expanding Services

While you cannot use Bitcoin to buy phones and other merchandise what AT&T offers to their clients, this is a very good head-up start for a company of such scale. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts now can pay with Bitcoin for their phone bills. This is done via a partnership with BitPay.

Kevin McDorman, vice president at AT&T, explained that AT&T has a lot of customers using cryptocurrencies. So the company decided to come forward to their clients and a rational step was to allow Bitcoin payments. He said:

“We’re always looking for ways to improve and expand our services. We have customers who use cryptocurrency, and we are happy we can offer them a way to pay their bills with the method they prefer.”

Kevin McDorman

Large companies start to acknowledge cryptocurrencies

This move from AT&T is just yet another step towards mass cryptocurrency adoption. This year, more than ever, there have been multiple companies that announce that they are working on ways how to use, develop or implement Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies as such on their services or platforms.

These companies include Facebook and JP Morgan with their stablecoin development, IBM and their blockchain implementations, Starbucks accepting crypto payments, Fidelity adding Bitcoin to their services, NYSE along with NASDAQ acknowledging Bitcoin, Harvard and Yale investing huge sums into Bitcoin, Microsoft using it in their Azure service, and many others at this point.

Today you can hear about Bitcoin in most of the traditional media platforms. CNBC now covers a daily segment about Bitcoin. They encourage investors to think about investing in BTC. The cryptocurrency lately is all around the news and each day brings new horizons development and implementation-wise. The bull is here to stay for quite a while. 

Source:

https://about.att.com/story/2019/att_bitpay.html
https://twitter.com/APompliano/status/1131270293689966593

Photo by Wojtek Witkowski on Unsplash

NASDAQ Adds XRP Index to Global Data Service

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Recently, on May 1, Nasdaq added yet another crypto index to their Global Data Service feed. The world’s third largest cryptocurrency by market cap XRP will join BTC and ETH. XRPLX (XRP Ripple Liquid Index) will show the price of 1 XRP in U.S. dollars “based on the most liquid ends of their markets”, says Nasdaq.

Data partnership with Brave New Coin

Brave New Coin (BNC) is a New Zealand-based blockchain data and research company which offers real-time index information for the world’s top cryptocurrencies. BNC already provides Nasdaq with BTC (Bitcoin Liquid Index) and ETH (Ethereum Liquid Index) real-time price indexes. Real-time means that BNC is frequently refreshing the index every 5 minutes. The XRPLX is the latest addition to Brave New Coin’s suite of Liquid Indices Program. Also, BNC has managed to calculate the XRPLX back to August 2014 data.

“The XRPLX captures a comprehensive, global sample of liquidity on the highest volume and quality exchanges. Ideal for settlements and accurate spot pricing, the XRPLX API includes 30-second Intraday pricing, End-of-Day OHLCV, and Time & Volume-Weighted-Averages,” says Brave New Coin.

Methodology and Transparency

BNC collects data from the most liquid exchanges by volume and order book depth. BNC says that they review their mix of exchanges every quarter to ensure the quality of its indices. Currently, BNC XRPLX index consists of data from Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Poloniex, and Kraken. BNC says that they will add Coinbase in the next review.

Additionally, the CEO of Brave New Coin Fran Stajnar says that the BNC indices have been independently audited against key IOSCO (International Organization of Securities Commissions) principles.

“BNC endorses the IOSCO principles and fully embraces the IOSCO’s goals of addressing the obvious conflicts of interest in the benchmark-setting process, which the nascent crypto industry is vulnerable to.”

Fran Stajnar

Also, he adds that BNC indices are accurate and transparent. saying that one of the most important things is to “consider the geographical and technological diversity of crypto”. 

Source:

https://www.coindesk.com/nasdaq-adding-index-for-xrp-cryptocurrency-to-global-data-service
http://www.nasdaqtrader.com/TraderNews.aspx?id=fpnews2019-13
https://bravenewcoin.com/insights/nasdaq-adds-brave-new-coins-xrplx-liquid-index

Stocks on blockchain? Could that work?

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Recently a new Estonia-based exchange, called DX Exchange, announced that they are about to offer stocks on the blockchain. The ten top securities listed on NASDAQ will soon be available for purchase. Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Tesla, Netflix, Baidu, Intel, and NVIDIA. Additionally, they plan to add stocks from the New York Stock Exchange, the Tokyo Exchange, and the Hong Kong Exchange. This is the first time a non-CFD (Contracts for Difference) company offers stock trading. You can buy stocks with Bitcoin on the Blockchain. DX Exchange new platform will launch on January 7th. “By tokenizing stocks of some of the biggest publicly traded companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and more, DX is opening an untapped market of millions of old and new traders around the globe cutting out the middleman,” the CEO of the exchange, Daniel Skowronski, explained in the press release. 

ERC20 to tokenize stocks

The company will use Ethereum and ERC20 to tokenize the biggest publicly traded companies. They claim that this service will work similarly to stablecoins. The tokens will be backed 1:1 by the physical assets, and instead of fiat money, they will use stocks as a peg. MPS MarketPlace Securities issues these real stocks with which DX signed an exclusive agreement to bring tokenized assets to their platform. Users will have the ability to purchase fractions of shares if they cannot afford a full stock. Moreover, above all, investors and traders now will be able to store their stocks on Ethereum wallets, meaning that users could store stock tokens in their Trezor, MyEtherWallet, or Ledger wallets. They will no longer have to trust brokers whom they have never seen in person.

Trading stocks 24/7

This new feature will allow traders to trade these top stocks 24/7. Stock markets are open from 9 AM to 4 PM, Monday to Friday, and usually, they take a day off during public holidays. However, the crypto markets are open 24/7. Also, the reports say that DX is backed by NASDAQ matching engine, which provides “functionally-rich platforms support trading in any asset, anytime, anywhere and are both scalable and flexible to adapt as the firm expands into new asset classes or looks to offer additional services,” says in the NASDAQ website.

Daniel Skowronski explained:

“The crypto community has been talking about tokenizing assets for well over a year now without much progress, so we think the impact will be huge. Tokenizing securities is the first true use case where crypto collides with the real world 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With fractional ownership and no leverage like CFDs, these new digital stocks are a more sound and safer investment that traders can take home in their wallet. This is the future of securities not just new issues but all the thousands of listed securities around the globe.”

The first exchange to provide this service?

Although it looks like this is something no company has ever tried to achieve, there is a minor step-back in this thought. A company called BitShares offers their Decentralized Exchange called BitShares DEX. They have tokenized TESLA, APPLE, ALPHABET, APPLE and many more derivatives including GOLD and SILVER. An account named “DEXbot”, who posted his answer replying to the article said: “BitShares DEX already has that. Tesla Microsoft GE Apple Google already tokenized (we even have gold silver and oil) and available for trade with the added benefit of owning your private keys hence more secure; besides that BitShares blockchain can run all Nasdaq Dow Visa and Mastercard at once.”

The comment on CCN.com

That said, DX does not sound that original anymore, but there is a slight catch to this. BitShares DEX has almost no volume to these stocks on the blockchain. It seems like users of the DEX platform added them. DEXbot also claims that BitShares have had stablecoins since 2014, but “people don’t pay attention”. On the other hand, BitShares offers a decentralized exchange which is open source in comparison to DX Exchange which is regulated and licensed. They have probably spent vast amounts of money to get their word out, unlike BitShares. Most likely, their mass media coverage is thanks to their partnership with Bloomberg.com. However, this might be precisely what stock traders want. Maybe they don’t want to learn new platforms like Decentralized exchanges and want to trade 24/7 with a regulated company. And DX Exchange is about to offer that. 

Source:

https://goo.gl/AAh8EK
https://goo.gl/RXHBAe
https://dx.exchange
https://goo.gl/SuRWKr
https://cryptofresh.com/assets

Photo by Pexels.com

NASDAQ will launch Bitcoin futures in 2019

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By recent reports, NASDAQ, in partnership with an investment firm VanEck, is about to launch their first Bitcoin futures contracts. An exact date hasn’t yet been set, but NASDAQ has announced that it’s going to be the first quarter of 2019. 

These are not the first active Bitcoin futures. The CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commision) which regulates Bitcoin as a commodity, has already approved two crypto futures products before: one is CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange) bitcoin futures and the second is CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) bitcoin futures. Interestingly enough, both are from Chicago. CBOE bitcoin futures launched exactly one year ago. So it is safe to say that New York will be the second Bitcoin futures city.

The quarter of Bitcoin Futures

2019 Q1 is going to be filled with new Bitcoin derivatives as NASDAQ is not the only exchange which plans to launch a bitcoin futures contract. The ICE (Intercontinental Exchange) is planning to launch a bitcoin futures contract as well during Q1 2019. Besides, Bakkt which is a cryptocurrency exchange built by ICE also plans to start their Bitcoin Futures market on January 24. Originally it was scheduled on December 12, but got delayed.

It looks like the first quarter will bring much good news to institutional investors.

VanEck takes charge

VanEck is planning to launch multiple bitcoin derivatives including the already mentioned “bitcoin futures 2.0”. These products are going to be “transparent, regulated and surveilled digital” assets according to Gabor Gubracs, the director of digital asset strategy of VanEck. The company also has applied to the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) for approval for a Bitcoin ETF. The SEC has already turned down multiple applications because the application didn’t adequately demonstrate how they are going to fight fraud and manipulation.

“We are the closest that we can be. It is very clear to me that America wants a bitcoin ETF and we are here to build it.” Gabor Gurbacs optimistically told Fox Business.

Market insight

Could these be the news the cryptocurrency cult is waiting for? Could we see a bullish Bitcoin at the end of January 2019? Those are just speculative questions, as the real outcome, we’ll see only when it happens. Today Bitcoin continues to drop another -4% along with other altcoins. Very few coins in the top 100 are performing green. Binance coin performed well today as of new DEX UX announcements but now has leveled out. During the first half of the day it quickly jumped +10% to $6,48, but now has leveled out to $6,02. Bitcoin Cash is probably the worst performer in the past days as it has lost more than -25%. 

Source:

https://goo.gl/wQc2Sv
https://goo.gl/L6pnnY

Photo by David McBee from Pexels

NASDAQ will help Crypto to fight crime and manipulation

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NASDAQ is the second largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalization. It has been operating for a long time. National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ) was founded in 1971. Today it has more than 3,3k asset listings, and its market cap is around $10 trillion. 

Operating for so long has made their security measures exceptional. They have decades of experience in developing tools for protecting the traditional financial instruments. Now they are willing to share this experience to help fight market fraud and manipulation within the cryptocurrency market.

“Regulators, brokers, and exchanges have surveillance teams that monitor activity constantly and advanced technologies to help capture and analyze abusive behaviors including pump-and-dump schemes, insider trading, wash trading as well as spoofing and layering,” citing Bloomberg.

Recent hacks and price manipulation

It is very common for small cryptocurrency exchanges to suffer from malicious attacks.

Recently we reported that a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange was hacked and almost $60 million in cryptocurrencies were stolen. Also, earlier this year, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea – Bithumb, got hacked as well. Reports say that they lost around $31,4 million.

So as we can see neither small nor large-scale exchanges are safe from these hacker attacks. The fact which always gets applied to incidents like these is the price swings and manipulations which are believed to be the consequences to these attacks. That is not entirely true, because the market fundamentals stay the same. People sell their assets, and because of that, the price plummets. The best comparison is by Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin: “..if someone robs a bank, that does not change the price of gold!”

Gemini adapts this technology.

However, this all doesn’t mean we don’t need the Nasdaq experience in fighting fraud within exchanges. “Nasdaq licenses its market-surveillance technology to exchanges,” says Bloomberg. And by now, there already is one crypto exchange – Gemini, which has applied for this surveillance technology.

The Winklevoss twins founded the exchange, and they say that the Nasdaq surveillance “is tried and true technology that’s used by some of the largest exchanges in the world, so it’s an obvious fit. We love rules-based markets when the playing field is clear and straightforward, and there’s transparency,” said Cameron Winklevoss to Bloomberg.

The fearless traders

All this is right, and this was bound to happen, cryptocurrencies must be regulated as they are coming in as a new asset class. Although, this new asset class could be divided into many smaller frictions, referring to what Kraken exchange expressed earlier this year in their blog post: “being protected from market manipulation doesn’t matter to most crypto traders.”

I believe this statement is true as there still are many traders who are hunting for the x100 gains from small-cap coins. Also, investing and speculating on small-cap currencies can only be done in small volume exchanges. These exchanges are at the top of the list of being a hacking victim. But all that responsibility lies on the traders’ shoulders because he took the risk and started trading on an indistinct foreign exchange. The trader is aware that his choice of exchange might be wrong, but that is a part of the game. On the one hand – he can get his x100 on a coin, on the other, he can lose all his funds. I think this kind of “game” should always be allowed.

So there will be regulated exchanges and unregulated ones. Smart investors will always choose the regulated ones because there the funds are safe, and even if they get stolen someday, you can sue the owners and receive compensation. Whereas if doing business with an unregulated one, your funds are never safe, but at the same time, you can get more significant gains.

Source:

https://goo.gl/rShh7s
https://goo.gl/xFAYgc
https://goo.gl/SCSGFs

Photo by pexels.com