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BlockState Interview Part One: Institutional Investment Framework Story

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The mainstream media narrative has shown an uncompromisingly negative bias towards institutional crypto investment of late and it only seemed fair that we got in touch with some people who have professional expertise in the field.

BlockState is a platform that aims to deliver a modular blockchain-based legal and technological infrastructure for financial institutions which combats the low interest and return rates offered by traditional asset classes.

We spoke to the three co-founders: Paul Claudius, Michael Weber and Samuel Brack regarding the nature of the project. In addition to how they met and how it all started, their current status, and their plans for the future.

BlockState in Brief

On their website, the BlockChain team states that their intention is to provide “a technological and legal bridge between blockchain technology and financial markets.”.

It is an infrastructural platform upon which organisations within these sectors build or inform their own solutions – and is unashamedly focused towards providing products for the institutional investment crowd.

On the One Hand…

When asked about the ethics, technological approach and modus operandi of BlockState, Managing Director Paul Claudius was eager to provide a comprehensive, dichotomised summary.

“On the one hand we are creating the basis for institutional investors to access the digital assets markets.

“Investment banks can’t simply open a wallet on their phone and start buying crypto-assets. They need a range of services and processes in place to make sure that they abide by regulation and their internal requirements.”

The BlockState consensus is that there are insufficient frameworks in place to mitigate the obstacles faced by companies unfamiliar with the many intricacies of the crypto-space at present.

This is not to mention the prohibitive nature of the past progression of technological and regulatory standards, which are largely non-standardized.

… And On the Other

The ‘other hand’ to which Paul refers to is the lack of blockchain or cryptocurrency integration at product or service levels within the institutional market.

For this reason: BlockState posits the second half of its service as an offering to:

“help institutions leverage blockchain to improve their existing processes… helping them tokenize financial products and using smart contracts to govern their execution… [to] save massive amount of resources while making their systems more transparent and efficient.”

In theory all transactions will be immutably recorded on the blockchain, which will ensure that all parties involved can access this data and that all transactions will be processed quickly.

Performance can distinguish a winning cryptocurrency from a useless dud.

The Three Musketeers

In addition to Paul Claudius, we got the opportunity to speak to fellow founding members Michael Weber and Samuel Brack.

Paul specialises in Strategy and Business Development, whilst Michael’s role is to take the lead on Product Development and Project Management duties. Their specialisms are Strategy and Business Development, and Product Development / Project Management (respectively).

Samuel Brack is the cryptocurrency brains of the operation and performs something of a hands-on position, donning the title of Chief Technology Officer. He sits in a more hands-on position, acting as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for BlockState.

Before BlockState

Paul recalls that the executive leadership team had “all already knew each other” before the BlockState project even began.

Whilst he and Michael Weber had made acquaintance whilst studying together at the ESPC Europe business school, Michael had met up with Samuel Brack as they were co-founding partners on a prior blockchain based project entitled ‘Goodcoins’.

Whilst they have sold their stake in Goodcoins since, Samuel at least considers his time on the project to have equipped him a knowledge which has been brought forth to BlockState.

Beginners Luck?

On a more personal level: Paul Claudius described his first interaction with the world of cryptocurrency as being the moment in 2012 in which a friend had recommended Bitcoin to him as a potential investment.

He has not disclosed exactly how much Bitcoin he purchased in 2012 but if story is true, considering the token’s contemporary value of $13: Paul would have made a profit of a whopping 51614.53% on his investment. No matter the amount invested.

Products, Pains and Peers

Michael Weber (product lead and project management professional) broke down the trio of primary services / product lines that BlockChain focuses on as being “asset management, dept capital, and derivatives” – with a perceived overlap between the three.

This is as well as the ability for tailoring packages for clients from these tested specialisms.

If these products names appear distinctive yet simple, then you would be correct. Of course, this is one of the main objectives of marketing – however it does not help a company to distinguish itself from its peers.

“While most focus on very specific needs, our infrastructure integrates solutions at every level of the financial product lifecycle, from issuance to reporting always with a view to improving current products on the market.”

This isn’t an easy task however, with obstacles to full-automation rearing their heads alongside undesirably long payment clearance times,

“Some of the major pain points specific to the asset management and derivatives markets and resource consuming operations are settlement and clearing, which can take up to 30 days… with manual processes like getting signatures and manual transactions.”

With a Little Help From My Friends

The three musketeers of BlockState with whom we have already spoken are supposed to possess their own unique-yet-compatible inventories of skills and experience. If the team has any luck it will prove a winning combination.

Three men cannot rule an empire alone however and as the popular idiom goes: successful leaders fill the gaps in their expertise by surrounding themselves with knowledgeable advisors. Following this, BlockState boast a roster of advisors who may just fit the bill for now.

They include (according to Paul):

  • “Patrick Storchenegger, co-founder of the Ethereum Foundation in Zug, is our advisor on legal questions. He brings years of experience from blockchain, capital market law and international tax and business consultancy…
  • “Andrea Voinea, who helped to structure the first Gold Exchange Traded Fund, is a seasoned professional from the asset management market…
  • “Ludwig Schrittenloher, who spent nearly six years at Credit Suisse, offers a breadth of knowledge in DCM and structuring…
  • “[and] Martin Schröder, currently a Director in an investment firm, is an expert in derivatives and also very knowledgeable in capital markets and structuring.”

Estimated Time of ETN

Looking not to the past or present, but forward to what the future may hold for BlockState (or at least, what they plan to happen), we asked Paul Claudius some closing questions in an attempt to reach some conclusions on what may come next…

“At the end of September, we will launch the CTF15 Exchange Traded Note, and it will also be listed on a major European Stock Exchange – to be announced soon…”

An Exchange Traded Note (or ETN) is “a type of unsecured, unsubordinated debt security”

Final Words

Perhaps more exciting even is the fact that the team are currently in the process of preparing the launch of an ‘Equity Token Sale’, issued as part of the company’s equity in a public sale.

According to Paul, it will be “one of the first companies ever to tokenize their equity in a fully regulated and compliant manner, driving the adoption of security tokenization in the financial space.”

Paul, Simon and Michael parted our discussion by asking to remind readers of a forthcoming event at which all three will be attending: the Delta Summit in Malta, which takes place from October 3rd to the 5th.

Stay tuned for the second part of this interview coming soon: in which the team will deliver their commentary on recent news, the present situation; and future predictions on the market and industry.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Bitcoin Blows Past $4,000 as Volume Surges to 10-Month High

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Bitcoin’s bulls maintained full control of the market on Tuesday, as the BTC/USD exchange rate crossed $4,000 for the first time since early January. In the process, exchange-based volumes surged to their highest levels in ten months.

BTC/USD: Breakout Eyed

The bitcoin price crossed $4,000 on Bitfinex and reached a session high of $4,048, the highest since Jan. 8. At the time of writing, BTC/USD printed $4,006.30 on Bitfinex, having gained 0.7%. The leading digital currency has maintained strong momentum amid the latest rally, according to the hourly relative strength index (RSI).

Aggregate data provided by CoinMarketCap show an average bitcoin price of $3,921.67 as of Tuesday morning. That’s a gain of 4.2% over 24-hour cycle.

Read more: Bitcoin Surges to Five-Week High; Crypto Bulls Reignite?

In terms of technical indicators, bitcoin must return above $4,200 to negate the long-term down trend This represents the high from late December and was also the 15-week moving average prior to the last breakout attempt. Beyond that, the bulls must return above $5,500 and eventually break the 50-week moving average near $6,800 to convince traders that a full-blown recovery was afoot.

Has Bitcoin Bottomed? A Closer Look at the Bullish and Bearish Cases

Trade Volumes Surge

The rally on Tuesday is a continuation of a sudden breakout that began more than 24 hours ago. On Monday, bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency market rose to five-week highs thanks to a confluence of technical and fundamental forces.

A significant rise in trade volumes has underpinned the market’s push north. More than $10 billion worth of bitcoin traded hands on virtual exchanges in the last 24 hours. According to CoinMarketCap data, that the highest since April 2018. Virtual currency exchanges processed nearly $36 billion worth of cryptocurrency transactions over the same period.

The following chart highlights the extent of the volume surge on individual exchanges. Three exchanges processed more than $1 billion in adjusted volume; 12 more reported adjusted volumes of $500 million or greater. The billion-dollar exchanges are Binance, Bit-Z and OKEx.

The volume surge has contributed to higher volatility over the past two days. As of Monday, bitcoin’s 30-day volatility index rose to 2.24%, according to bitvol.info. That’s a gain of 32 basis points from Sunday, when volatility fell to three-month lows.

For crypto traders, volatility is a double-edged sword. Dramatic swings in prices make it more difficult to time their market entry or to rely on technical analysis to determine future positions. High volatility can also lead to rapid declines in prices. At the same time, the 2017 bull market showed that volatility can lead to parabolic gains for bitcoin and its altcoin peers.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 772 rated postsChief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi




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Crypto Update: Ethereum Leads Second Phase of Rally

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The major cryptocurrencies are all significantly higher today amid the US market holiday, with most of the top digital currencies also hitting their highest levels in a month. Today’s leaders also took out the highs set during the Litecoin-led spike 10 days ago, and the new swing highs mean that the counter-trend move continues. The negative long-term forces a

Our trend model is still on short-term buy signals in most cases, with the relatively weak Ripple still being the most important exception, but for now, the bearish long-term picture is unchanged, and traders should still use strict risk management strategies, as, despite the rally, bear market rules still apply. That said, investors could hold on to their smaller speculative positions, since the short-term break-out patterns in the segment remain intact, despite the still dominant negative long-term forces.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum built upon its recent short-term relative strength, surging past the $120 and $130 resistance levels, outperforming its closest peers and leading the way higher for the whole segment. With the new swing high, a new short-term uptrend is established, and our trend model remains on a short-term buy signal, but the long-term trend remains bearish.

The long-term outlook is still negative for ETH, but the coin could test the $160 resistance level, which marked the top of the previous counter-trend move in the coming days. The coin is currently trading near the $145 resistance level, and although it’s slightly overbought from a short-term perspective, the next resistance level could be reached in the coming days.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While Bitcoin has been slightly lagging behind Ethereum during the current rally, it not just recaptured the $3600 support/resistance level, but also managed to rally up to the next key zone near $3850. BTC remains on a short-term buy signal in our trend model despite its relative weakness, but from a long-term perspective, it’s still in a clearly bearish setup.

With that in mind, investors should still expect a move towards the $3250 and $3000 support levels following the current counter-trend move, but traders could still hold smaller, speculative positions in the coin. Further strong resistance is ahead between $4000 and $4050, while below $3600, support is found just above $3450.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple continues to be relatively weak compared to the broader market, and although it topped the $0.32 level amid today’s broad rally, it’s still only neutral in our trend model even from a short-term perspective. Also, the long-term setup is still hostile for bulls, and the test of the $0.28 and $0.26 levels still seems likely in the coming weeks, with strong resistance levels also ahead neat $0.3550, and $$0.3750.

Litecoin Hits Marginal New High as EOS Soars

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

LTC haven’t been able to retain its leadership during today’s move, and although it scored a new marginal swing high, ending the short-term correction, the momentum of the current upswing is not convincing. Should LTC form a failed break-out pattern, our trend model will switch to neutral, but for now, the currency remains on a buy signal.

From a long-term perspective, Litecoin is still clearly in a bearish trend, so traders and investors should only consider short-term positions, but for now the break-out remains intact. The next level of resistance is ahead near $51, while is now found near $44, $38, and $34.50.

EOS/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EOS was also among the relatively stronger coins during the recent week, and after a failed move, today it surged to a significant new swing high, hitting the $3.50 resistance in the process. Our trend model remained on a short-term buy signal, during the recent consolidation, and although traders could take some chips off the table near the $3.50 level, the short-term trend is now bullish.

That said, the bearish long-term forces are still dominant in the market of EOS, and although the coin might test the $4.50-$5 zone, odds still the retest of the bear market low near $1.55 in the coming months. That said, traders could still to their short-term positions, following strict risk management rules, with support now found near $3, $2,80, and $2.55.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 466 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Bitcoin Surges to Five-Week High; Crypto Bulls Reignite?

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Bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency market surged to five-week highs on Monday, stoking renewed optimism that the end of ‘crypto winter’ was finally upon us. The sudden price surge was accompanied by a dramatic rise in trading volume, a phenomenon that was first observed in the fourth quarter.

BTC/USD: Price Update

The bitcoin price reached a session high of $3,864.00 on Bitfinex, levels not seen since the early part of January. At the time of writing, BTC/USD was valued at $3,843, having gained 2.9%.

Bitcoin has further room to accumulate, based on the MACD relative strength index (RSI). Both momentum indicators are flashing the ‘buy’ signal, based on the hourly chart.

Traders were paying a hefty premium on Bitfinex relative to other exchanges. The BTC price averaged in the $3,720-$3,730 range on Bitstamp, Bitstamp and Coinbase.

Looking at the big picture, bitcoin’s average price was $3,781, according to CoinMarketCap. That represents a gain of 4.2% compared with Sunday.

Volumes Surge

There was no immediate catalyst for the market’s sudden breakout on Monday. Rising trade volumes suggest that large-scale investors were absorbing more of the selling pressure that had re-emerged since the beginning of the year.

Bitcoin’s 24-hour volume improved to $8.2 billion, the highest since December. BitMEX,  a popular derivatives platform, accounted for 18% of the exchange-based volume. The spot market made up the remainder. These figures likely understate the true size of bitcoin’s market.

Related: Bitcoin’s Price Recovery Stalls as BitMEX Shuts Down U.S. Accounts.

It is estimated that over-the-counter trading accounts for at least half of global volumes. It recently came to light that “private bilateral contracts” have also surged in popularity among institutional investors. Read more: Bitcoin and Derivatives: Why $4,200 is So Critical

The dramatic surge in trading volume over the past four months suggests that a bearish-to-bullish trend reversal may be afoot. If that’s the case, the sharp rise on Monday could be the start of a major rally attempt that seeks to knock out $4,000 and $4,200. A rally above the latter is needed to negate the short-term bearish outlook.

Cryptoassets as a whole added more than $8 billion in value on Monday, as the market cap pierced above $128 billion for the first time since early January. Over the past 24 hours, trade volumes have surged by 40% to $27.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin’s share of the overall cryptocurrency market fell below 52% on Monday for the first time since Jan. 10.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 772 rated postsChief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi




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