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Fidelity Investments CEO Embraces Bitcoin And Blockchain, Cites Challenges

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Abigail Johnson, CEO and chairwoman at Fidelity Investments, called for more serious conversations about bitcoin and blockchain while addressing Consensus 2017 blockchain conference in New York City, according to MarketWatch.

Fidelity has tested bitcoin and blockchain, according to Johnson, including partnerships, venture investments and its own initiatives, but most of its experiments have hit a roadblock due to the emerging nature of the technology.

Four Challenges Cited

Johnson identified four problems for cryptocurrency to overcome to gain widespread adoption.

There are still unresolved technical issues. Bitcoin ledgers have been hacked on numerous occasion, delivering catastrophic losses. Privacy is also an issue that has to be overcome.

The fact that bitcoin is connected to a digital footprint makes bitcoin accounts targets for hackers. Investopedia referenced a report that North Korean hackers were behind the hacking of bitcoin wallets resulting in $80,000 in losses.

Johnson also said there is a regulatory problem since the pace of innovation is faster than regulators’ ability to keep up with it. Regulators may lack a “mental model” for understanding how to regulate the technology.

She encouraged the bitcoin community to establish an open dialog with regulators to address consumer interests and ensure blockchain technology achieves its full potential.

The open nature of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies results in a control challenge, Johnson said. She said companies that create products on cryptocurrency platforms lack clarity on the path they can take or how they influence developers.

Private networks that are popular among financial companies on account of their focus on security lack clarity on control structures. This can result in difficult decision making and confusion.

The Human Problem

The last problem Johnson addressed was the human problem. She said the bitcoin community has to create use cases that drive clear benefits for institutions and individuals.

She noted that her team at Fidelity studied a bitcoin wallet and provided users with a recovery phrase used to recover the wallet contents.

The subjects of the experiment responded in three ways. They applied existing mental models like using the phrase for a single-use activation code or using it for password recovery, for creating new models or leaving the system completely.

One reason for the team’s response was the lack of enough use cases for cryptocurrencies.

Fidelity Steps Forward

Johnson said the Fidelity headquarters cafeteria has begun to accept bitcoin. An early bitcoin adopter in the office performed an experiment where he tried to use it the way he used traditional money. He was able to buy a drink, but not return it, a limitation that caused great frustration, highlighting the ways bitcoin is not yet making things easier for consumers on a daily basis.

The systems not only need to be technically better, but more user friendly, Johnson said.
Despite these concerns, Johnson said she was optimistic about the future of the technologies.

She said hopes bitcoin and blockchain succeed because they make it easier for more people to invest and to use financial services in a world where artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things are increasingly dominant.

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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3.9 stars on average, based on 8 rated postsLester Coleman is a veteran business journalist based in the United States. He has covered the payments industry for several years and is available for writing assignments.




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Analysis

Crypto Update: Bitcoin Blows Through $7000 but Altcoins Still Lag Behind

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The relief rally in the cryptocurrency segment continued in earnest today, as Bitcoin still lead the way higher posting its best daily performance since April. The most valuable coin stole the show, although the whole market blasted higher, with the total value of the coins getting close to $300 billion, up by around 20% in a matter of days.

While the segment is still not out of the woods, BTC triggered a short-term buy signal in our trend model, as it overcame major resistance levels for the first time since May, finally showing some technical progress. That said, most of the majors are still stuck in, or right at the top of their trading ranges, and besides Bitcoin, buy signals are few and far between even considering the smaller coins, as correlations are still very high.

Trading volumes were also the highest in months, as especially Bitcoin triggered automatic orders while surging through several strong resistance levels. Bulls would still need further coins to join the break-out and fro now the long-term setup is still just little changed.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

BTC cleared the $6750, $7000, and $7350 levels in a bit more than an hour, and the epic short squeeze settled down near the latter resistance, for now. The coin is now on a short-term buy signal, and should a higher low form in the coming days, a new short-term uptrend could be established.

The coin needs to stay above the $7000 level to keep the signal intact, and given the relative weakness in Altcoins, the long-term outlook is still mixed. Resistance is now ahead between $7650 and $7800, while further support is at $6500.

Ethereum at $500 as Ripple Tests $0.51

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While Bitcoin is already above primary resistance, Ethereum is trading right at the $500 level, leaving the short-term trading range intact. The coin is close to triggering a buy signal, but it remains relatively weak and traders should wait for follow-through before playing a possible trend change. Primary support is still found at $450, with other levels at $420, $400, $380, and $360, while further resistance is ahead between $555 and $575.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

With all of the majors registering large gains, and even some the recently weak coins like LTC, XRP, and Dash are trading near key resistance levels, further short-term buy signals could pop up in the segment, but until a confirmed new uptrend, traders should remain cautious with new positions.

As an example, Ripple is trading slightly above the $0.51 resistance currently, but a break-out is not yet confirmed, and the trading range remains dominant. Further resistance levels are ahead at 0.54 and $0.575, while support is now found at $0.49 and $0.45.

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 293 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

Update: Bitcoin Price Spikes 8% in One Hour as Momentum Builds

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The bitcoin price spiked on Tuesday shortly after Hacked predicted a possible bullish breakout for the world’s largest cryptocurrency.

BTC/USD Price Update

Bitcoin is up 10% over the last 24 hours, including an 8% spike between 13:39 UTC and 14:24 UTC. According to CCN, the currency peaked at $7,483, its highest in five weeks.

The bitcoin price would later consolidate around $7,340 for a total market capitalization of $126 billion.

Just a few hours earlier, Hacked predicted that an imminent breakout was likely after prices breached the 20-day and 50-day moving averages. At the time, the Relative Strength Index (RSI) was in the mid-60s, which confirmed the bullish pattern.

Crypto Market Rallies

In typical fashion, the broader cryptocurrency market followed bitcoin’s upward trajectory, with the majors reporting 24-hour gains of between 6% and 9%. The total cryptocurrency market is now valued at $292 billion, the highest since June 12.

Trade volumes have also spiked, reaching $17 billion over the past 24 hours. That too is the highest level since late June.

As Hacked previously reported, cryptocurrencies are being propelled higher on speculation that major institutions are planning to enter the blockchain arena.

On Monday, it was also reported that Coinbase received regulatory approval to start listing so-called security tokens, becoming the first U.S.-regulated platform to do so. The approval was granted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which felt that Coinbase’s strategic acquisition of three companies was enough to open regulatory pathways to securities listings.

The acquisitions included Keystone Capital Corp., Venovate Marketplace Inc. and Digital Wealth.

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 498 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Bitcoin

Frenzy to Get Bitcoin ETF Listed Is Clogging Up the SEC’s Email

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The Securities and Exchange Commission is apparently fielding a tidal wave of messages from crypto-currency enthusiasts after an exchange recently sought approval to list a Bitcoin ETF.

It has been three weeks since the SEC first asked for feedback on Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s request to change its listing rules and allow a crypto exchange-traded fund.

Since then, more than 90 individuals have submitted comments. That’s 10 times the number of responses the SEC previously received when it asked for opinions on another Bitcoin ETF listing back in April. It is apparent that the appetite for such a product is far higher then before.

The over-enthusiasm of the blockchain community is also spilling over into other areas of regulation. For instance, out of 19 of 21 comments left on the agency’s potential ETF rule change are desperately begging for the Bitcoin fund. Furthermore, the actual proposal for the ETF doesn’t mention Bitcoin, crypto or blockchain on any of its 286 pages whatsoever.

The SEC has spent much of the last 12 months preoccupied with damping attempts to bring a Bitcoin ETF to market.

After the currency’s precipitous climb to more than $18,000 last year, the commission in would-be issuers to withdraw their applications until asset managers could reliably answer a series of questions on custody, liquidity, market manipulation, valuation, and arbitrage. Bitcoin has since fallen to around $6,600, although it was rallying all of yesterday.

Although there were many alternately entertaining and informative comments, the commenter who best summed up the fervor of crypto left his comment under the pseudonym, “Noah’s Ark of Crypto.”

He said, “To all the Peter’s Bob’s, Linda’s and Nancy’s reviewing this bill, this all comes down to one thing: Innovation. Do you want to be at the forefront of historical financial technology or do you want to be left behind as the plebs of the western world?”

Brutal. But potentially warranted.

A more serious take was left by an analyst ostensibly employed by analyst firm Ernst Young. The commenter wrote, “Creating regulations for crypto ETF’s allows for certainty and reliability to emerge in a market that desperately needs it.

As the rise of crypto use-cases becomes more prolific it is of the utmost importance to the crypto community, as well as in the best interest of the United States financial system at large, to engage in drafting regulations to mitigate fraud, corruption, and dubious practices.

The SEC, coupled with other levers of regulation such as FINRA, hold the largest opportunity to propel cryptocurrency to new all-time highs by shoring up uncertainty in the market. Please don’t squander this opportunity. Thank you.”

Both comments seem to share the assessment that if the SEC does not relax its oppositional stance the only losers will be the United States relative to other countries.

Since this new filing was released for comment, the SEC has also postponed a decision on another prospective Bitcoin-related listing change until later this September.

Both requests were made by Cboe, which has repeatedly urged the SEC to consider approving crypto ETFs. It will be interesting to observe if the SEC has changed its mind and/or will bow to public pressure.

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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