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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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Altcoins

Minor Bounce Lifts Crypto Market Cap Above $211 Billion; Tether Circulation Plummets

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Crypto prices traded modestly higher on Sunday, as bitcoin regained its footing above $6,500 and major altcoins avoided further losses.

Market Update

The cryptocurrency market capitalization on Sunday peaked at $212 billion, the highest in five days. At the time of writing, the market was valued at $211.5 billion.

Most assets ranked in the top-20 had reported minor gains over the last 24 hours, a period marked by lower trade volumes. The bitcoin price has returned above $6,500 on trade volumes of just $3.2 billion. The leading digital currency continues to trade at a premium on Bitfinex.

Meanwhile, Ethereum rose half a percent to $206. XRP also climbed 0.5% to $0.459. Bitcoin cash was last seen trading above $449 for a gain of 1.6%.

Stellar XLM was the only top-ten coin not to report gains at the time of writing. However, the no. 6 coin by market cap has returned more than 13% over the past week, far outpacing the broader market.

Trade volumes have declined steadily over the past week, as markets re-balanced following a sudden spike on Oct. 15. Digital exchange volumes have fallen to $9.7 billion on Sunday, according to CoinMarketCap.

Tether Market Cap Plunges

Since the start of October, Tether has pulled more than $600 million worth of USDT out of circulation, leading to a sharp drop in the stablecoin’s market cap. Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, which is run by the same executive in charge of Tether Limited, appears to be leading in the offload of USDT tokens. As CCN recently reported, Bitfinex has initiated six transfers of USDT funds to the Tether Treasury this month. The latest transfer was initiated on Wednesday when Bitfinex sent 50 million USDT to the Treasury.

Most of the outflows from Bitfinex occurred long before USDT lost its peg to the dollar in a single-day crash on Oct. 15. USDT briefly fell below $0.90 that day before quickly recovering around $0.94. Currently, one USDT is equivalent to $0.984 U.S., according to CoinMarketCap. Some exchanges are quoting USDT as low as $0.96 on Sunday.

The sudden decline in Tether’s circulation comes at a time when the company is facing heightened scrutiny over its dollar-backed reserves. An influx of alternative stablecoins offering greater transparency and regulatory oversight may also be undercutting demand for USDT.

Case in point: the Gemini Exchange’s GUSD stablecoin reached a high of $1.19 on Tuesday before settling around parity against the dollar. Unlike USDT, the Gemini Dollar has obtained regulatory approval from the New York Department of Financial Services. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Tether has been subpoenaed by federal regulators over its connection with Bitfinex and failure to prove its dollar reserves.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 649 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Bitcoin

Volatility Ahead For Bitcoin Price as Global Trade Volumes Drop Sharply

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The global cryptocurrency trade volume took a sharp dip on Saturday evening, falling by half a billion in just five hours. The fall from $10.5 billion to $10 billion pushes the global total closer to yearly lows, and could be a sign that volatility is just around the corner – be it for good or bad.

Falling Trade Volumes

The decline in trade volumes hadn’t made itself felt in the global market cap at the time of writing, as Bitcoin and the majority of altcoins continue to trade sideways.

But for how much longer? Every time global volumes have dipped to the $9 billion mark in the last few months, it has been accompanied by either a tremendous market surge, or terrible market dip.

When a market loses trade volume, it becomes very easy to manipulate. This can be seen most easily among various altcoins in the lower ends of the market cap rankings every day.

As for Bitcoin, its own trade volumes dropped from $3.7 billion to $3.4 billion. The last time any real volatility hit BTC was when trade volumes dropped below the $3 billion mark. That applies to Monday’s Tether-induced spike; it applies to the 40% spike seen in July of this year, and it also applies to the 15% flash dip that struck in mid June.

BTC/USD

In the previous twenty-four period leading up to Saturday evening, BTC continued to trade in a remarkably tight range. Opening the day at $6,400 and closing the same twenty-four period at $6,400 has been the case for almost a month and a half now.

The occasional rise to $6,700 and dip to $6,200 means BTC has traded within a $500 range for the last fifty or so days, and marks one of the least volatile periods in Bitcoin’s history.

The same can be said for most of the major altcoins, except those which had major breakouts based on promising news and developments. As of Saturday evening (UTC), every coin the market cap top twenty except two recorded less than a 1% swing either way for the day.

Only Zcash (ZEC), which is hotly anticipating the enactment of its upcoming Sapling hardfork, and IOTA (MIOTA) – which is making headlines for its supposedly imminent move into Venezuela, have recorded clear gains of any kind.

As it stands, BTC appears to have found a fairly reliable level near the $6,000 range – which it hasn’t fallen below since October of 2017, almost a year ago exactly. At the current price, BTC could afford to take another 5% flash dip and still be holding strong near $6,000, although the subsequent hit on the altcoin market would be more severe.

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 82 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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Analysis

Crypto Update: Market Still in Deadlock

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The choppy, directionless period in the cryptocurrency segment continues, with no meaningful change in the technical setups of the major coins. While the broader trends are still clearly bearish and sellers remain in control of the market, we saw another minor bullish shift in the past 24 hours, with modest gains across the board.

Most of the top coins are trading in the range of the Monday session, which saw the spike triggered by the turmoil in Tether. Stellar is the apparent positive outlier of the past few days, while Dash, Litecoin, and Ethereum have been the weakest so far this week.

DASH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

On a positive note, all of the majors remain above last week’s levels, and especially Bitcoin’s continued stability is encouraging for crypto-bulls here, even as our trend model paints a negative picture of the segment.


BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin avoided a test of the $6275 level despite moving below its recent very narrow trading range yesterday, with still no meaningful bearish or bullish momentum present in the coin’s market. BTC continues to trade below the $6500 level, and its volatility is very low, even after the move below the previously dominant broad triangle consolidation pattern.

Further resistance levels are still ahead near $6750 and $7000, while support levels below $6275 are found near $600, $5850 and between $5000 and $5100.

Altcoins Little Changed as Ethereum Still Glued to $200

XRP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The weekend has been very quiet for altcoins so far, with even the recently active Ripple settling down near the $0.46 level. XRP is around the midpoint of Monday’ s range but the lack of follow-through after the breakout from the triangle consolidation pattern is a negative sign, and the coin remains on a short-term sell signal in our trend model. Strong resistance is still ahead at $0.51, $0.54, $0.57, while support is found near $0.42, $0.375, and $0.35.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum continues to hover around the $200 price level still being in bearish short- and long-term patterns and the relative weakness of the second largest coin remains a huge concern for the whole segment.

With no evidence of meaningful capital inflows to the market, the outlook is neutral at best, and traders and investors should wait for at least a short-term trend change before entering new positions. Strong support is found near $180, $170, and $160, while resistance is ahead near $235 and $260.

EOS/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EOS is also among the relatively weaker coins, and the coin is stuick in a broad Trading range around the $5.35 level since August. Volatility in the coin’s market has been progressively declining, but the vicinity of the bear market low suggests that the long-term downtrend is still intact, especially given the segment-wide trends.

A test of the lows is still more likely than a bullish break-out, with strong support found near $4.50 and key resistance ahead near $6 and $6.5.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 380 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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