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Global Cryptocurrency Market Now Worth More Than J.P. Morgan

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Cryptocurrencies

The cryptocurrency market notched new all-time highs Wednesday, overtaking America’s largest bank in the process.

Cryptos Overtake J.P. Morgan

The total value of all cryptocurrencies in existence surpassed $370 billion in mid-week trade, according to CoinMarketCap. The gains were inspired by another record-setting surge in bitcoin, IOTA and Monero. Combined, the crypto market’s value overtook that of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co, which is worth roughly $367 billion.

J.P. Morgan is the stomping ground of Jamie Dimon, one of bitcoin’s most outspoken critic. Dimon has called the digital asset a “scam” that is destined to “blow up.” Interestingly, his firm has facilitated cryptocurrency transactions, putting Dimon in the crosshairs of some interesting banter.

J.P. Morgan, which is a member of the prestigious Dow 30, saw its share prices decline slightly on Wednesday. The stock has returned 22% this year in a rally that has been largely inspired by Donald Trump’s electoral victory.

Cryptocurrencies have been on an tear all year long, but a decision by China in September to ban trading triggered a massive correction in the market. It didn’t take long for money to flow back into cryptocurrencies as investors quickly bought the dip.

China remains largely on the outs of the cryptocurrency arena, but other nations have taken the reigns. Japan and South Korea have quickly emerged as hotbeds for all things cryptocurrency. South Korean exchanges have been at the center of large rallies in bitcoin and altcoins in recent months.

Bitcoin Continues Higher

Bitcoin prices broke above $12,000 earlier this week as investors awaited the launch of the first cryptocurrency futures contract on Sunday. CBOE made a surprise announcement earlier this week that it aims to become the first major exchange to initiate bitcoin futures. That honor was expected to go to the rival CME Group, which plans to launch its bitcoin derivatives product Dec. 18.

Nasdaq is also reportedly working toward a bitcoin derivatives product for sometime next year.

At last check, bitcoin was trading north of $13,000. The digital currency system has added a staggering 28% in the last five days. It was responsible for nearly 48% of daily turnover on Wednesday. IOTA was second at nearly 9% and Ethereum third at 8%.

Bitcoin’s relentless surge has rubbed off on other cryptocurrencies. Currently, there are 20 altcoins valued at $900 million or greater.

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 553 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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Crypto Exchanges Including Gemini, bitFlyer Launch Regulatory-Fueled Working Group

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As the saying goes, “if you build it, they will come.” Cryptocurrency exchanges from around the world are taking that approach with a new working group whose sequel could be a self-regulatory agency “to oversee virtual commodity marketplaces,” according to a press release.

The group, which is dubbed the Virtual Commodity Association (VCA), is comprised of Bitstamp, bitFlyer USA, Bittrex and Winklevoss-run Gemini exchange. Usually, these exchanges are competing for trading volume, but when it comes to an issue as important as regulation, they are able to come together for the greater good of the industry.

“We believe in the value of self-regulation, which we pursued in Europe almost from our inception, and look forward to following a similar path in the U.S. Those that can’t or won’t comply with regulations put consumers – and their own operations – at risk,” according to Bitstamp chief Nejc Kodrič in the press release.

Perhaps more notable than who is in the group is who is not, such as leading U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which seems to have an amicable relationship with regulators. Gemini, meanwhile, was shunned by U.S. regulators more than once in an attempt to deliver a bitcoin ETF to the market.

Institutional Invitation

The exchanges in the VCA are seemingly taking regulation into their own hands, perhaps in an attempt to appease sidelined institutional investors who are awaiting greater regulatory clarity to jump into the market. In addition to regulatory clarity, the market has been missing continuity in cryptocurrency market data, something that industry participants say could be on the agenda of the new working group.

“Institutions are genuinely skeptical today over the fairness and data quality in the crypto market. At CoinRoutes, even though we help our clients consolidate the data, there is a lot of concern over the quality of the exchange data we aggregate as well as underlying manipulation. An industry SRO is a great start towards ameliorating those concerns,” according to Dave Weisberger, CoinRoutes Founder and CEO, quoted in Business Insider.

Last year, Gemini, one of the exchanges in the group, inked a partnership with the CBOE for the futures exchange to use “Gemini’s bitcoin market data for bitcoin derivatives and indices.”

Meanwhile, stock exchanges have what’s known as the Consolidated Audit Trail, or CAT, which monitors orders and the broker-dealers facilitating them. VCA could develop something similar so that there’s greater transparency surrounding bitcoin and Tether prices, for instance.

Other areas of focus in addition to establishing industry guidelines could surround key issues like bolstering liquidity, eliminating fraud and keeping the lines of communication with regulatory officials open. Trading Technologies Product Marketing Manager suggested to Business Insider that the VCA could serve as a bridge between U.S. regulators and cryptocurrency traders.    

The working group’s first order of business is in September when the inaugural meeting will take place to address issues such as staffing and possibly naming an executive director.

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 40 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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UK-Based Blockchain “Minnows” Face Rip Current

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The bitcoin price has turned positive, taking many correlated altcoins higher with it after being punished for much of the weekend amid BTC’s modest declines. The recovery in the broader crypto market, meanwhile, appears to also be lifting the boats of a handful of UK-based blockchain startups, which the Financial Times refers to as “minnows”, or companies that were launched during the hype but have since had to face a strong current of selling pressure. Among these “minnows” are Argo Blockchain and On-Line Blockchain, both of which have decided to dive into crypto’s high tide.

Argo Blockchain

London-based Argo Blockchain, whose crypto mining operation is based in Quebec, just listed its shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Argo operates a cryptocurrency mining pool, giving users the ability to “share computing power” to mine Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Zcash via a smartphone, for instance.

Argo attracted $32 million to its coffers, attaching a $61 million valuation to the company and the status as the maiden crypto mining company to go public on the LSE. But with the stature comes the whims of cryptocurrency prices, which has seemingly made Argo’s stock a target in the equity market, as evidenced by the stock’s near 30% decline since its IPO earlier this month from $13.05 to $9.25. It’s not the response any listed company is looking for and could explain why crypto mining giant Bitmain is reportedly waiting until after the summer for its expected Hong Kong IPO filing, which is when some market veterans are predicting the bull run to begin.

Source: Yahoo Finance

Argo isn’t the only mining-fueled startup facing the undertow. As Hacked.com previously reported, Genesis Mining recently referenced the challenging environment for cryptocurrency miners, revising its contract terms amid “reduced mining outputs.” Argo Blockchain’s (ARB.L) stock added 1% on Friday when the bitcoin price was on the rise.

On-Line Blockchain

UK-based blockchain R&D firm On-Line Blockchain took a page out the book of Long Island Blockchain when it pursued a makeover in an attempt to capitalize on bitcoin fever. The company shifted its focus from backing “internet and information businesses” to incubating crypto startups. On-Line had a good run from year-end 2017 to the new year, but once the downtrend in cryptocurrency prices hit, it spilled over into the performance of this company.

On-Line Blockchain’s soared nearly 400% last October on the heels of the name change, but year-to-date the stock has been slashed from $87 to $39.50. Investors have had little to cheer about the company, which has announced a few blockchain-fueled developments since the restructuring, including a crypto-mining pool and a new digital currency dubbed PlusOneCoin, but neither appear to have taken off. Most recently On-Line backed crypto-gaming company Encryptid Gaming with a $100,000 investment, the FT reported. Meanwhile, On-Line Blockchain (OBC.L) gained 5% on Friday alongside the gains in the bitcoin price.

The recovery in crypto prices has been comprised of fits and starts, one that most recently is showing a lot of green. Bitcoin, with more than 51% dominance, is calling the shots as correlated altcoins — similar to the UK’s “minnows” — wait on its every whim.

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 40 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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Cryptocurrencies

2018 Crypto Exchange Trading Revenue Poised to Double to $4 Billion: Bernstein

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For the most part, the cryptocurrency markets have been operating on all cylinders year-to-date with the exception of one very important metric — price. And now that the bitcoin price appears to have found its footing, today’s slip to $6,410 notwithstanding, that component of the market appears to be cooperating, too. Wall Street research firm Bernstein is acknowledging the industry’s impact, predicting that cryptocurrency exchange revenue may grow more than twofold versus year-ago levels to some $4 billion.

The Bernstein report, as cited in Bloomberg, is entitled: “Crypto Trading — The Next Big Thing Is Here?” The title alone reflects a more open-minded if not sanguine take on the cryptocurrency market, more specifically speculative trading. Last year, leading crypto exchanges generated $1.8 billion in transaction fees, which according to the Sanford analysts is 8% of what Wall Street exchanges made. Based on this metric of transaction fees, cryptocurrency trading was second only to global cash equities.

Courtesy: Bloomberg

The outlook may seem shocking, considering that the bitcoin price is down more than 60% from last year’s peak. But leading cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume Binance, which boasts millions of users, tipped its hand to balance sheet strength. The exchange’s CEO CZ recently provided an outlook, saying the company was on track to deliver record profits this year of as much as $1 billion, as CCN previously reported.  On the low end of its range, Binance is looking at $500 million.

Advantage Goes to Coinbase

Meanwhile, Bernstein analysts are quick to point out that Wall Street banks have largely been on the sidelines of crypto, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan’s crypto trading and blockchain investments notwithstanding. As a result, the could find themselves in an unusual competitive position where crypto exchanges like Coinbase dominate market share. Coinbase already boasts some “50% of the transaction revenue pool,” according to Bloomberg, and fears of fraud coupled with a murky regulatory climate hold the big banks at bay.

“As the crypto-asset class seasons and institutional demand builds, there are a plethora of opportunities for traditional firms,” according to Bernstein analysts, who then pointed to examples across custody, portfolio management and making markets, for instance.

Indeed, the persistent downturn in the cryptocurrency market, particularly in the bitcoin price, has had observers wondering how crypto exchanges could offset the damage. After all, they generate revenue based on trading volume.

Exchanges like Coinbase have been adding coins, most recently Ethereum Classic (ETC) but they’ve got several more altcoins waiting in the wings that they’re looking to support. While Coinbase officials have stated that these new altcoin additions are in response to trader demand, it’s also a way for them to continue to collect trading revenues while the bitcoin price has been stalled. Binance, meanwhile, whose trading volume hovers at approximately $1.4 billion in the last 24 hours, supports hundreds of altcoins.

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 40 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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