BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN

U.S. SEC Delays Three Bitcoin ETF Decisions

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed its decision regarding three bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposals.

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The three ETF’s provided by Wilshire Phoenix, VanEck/SolidX, and asset managers Bitwise Asset Management were published in the Federal Register in February and June, allowing regulators the legally mandated 240 days to make a decision.

The Wilshire Phoenix ETF decision is scheduled for Sept. 29.

Final decisions regarding the Bitwise and VanEck/SolidX ETF’s are projected to be announced by Oct. 13 and Oct. 18 correspondingly.

U.S. regulators have not yet approved any bitcoin ETF’s over fears of market manipulation, and potential divergence with futures trading.

Recently, Bitwise published reports to perused regulators that regulations and surveillance of bitcoin is increasing.

According to Bitwise, the bitcoin market is “extremely efficient” after removing data on wash trading and fake volume.

The SEC has received reassurance for Bitwise’s ETF proposal from more than 30 industry leaders, including Blockchain Capital’s Spencer Bogart, Castle Island Ventures’ Matthew Walsh, Coinbase Custody’s Sam McIngvale, and the Blockchain Association’s Kristin Smith.

Founded in 2017, Bitwise Asset Management pioneered the first cryptocurrency index fund and is the leading provider of rules-based exposure to the crypto asset space.

Based in San Francisco, the team combines modern software expertise with decades of asset management experience – coming from firms including Facebook, Wealthfront, BlackRock, NYLife Investments, IndexIQ, US Commodity Funds, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and ETF.com.

The firm’s advisors and backers have experience as investors, executives, and board directors at companies including PayPal, BlackRock, Square, Coinbase, Stripe, Western Asset, Royal Bank of Scotland, Chain, Twitter, Palantir, and McKinsey.

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ALTCOIN, BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN

Access Your Cash Without Selling With Blockchain Startup Nexo

Cryptocurrency loan firm Nexo has launched a MasterCard-branded crypto credit card.

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The Arrington XRP Capital-backed financial startup will be the first company in the world to allow customers to spend the value of their cryptocurrency without spending it.

When using the Nexo Card to purchase goods and services, you actually pay using your Nexo flexible open-ended revolving credit line that is backed with your crypto holdings and thus not selling any of them, which is giving you the freedom to spend today and sell your holdings whenever you want in the future to pay back the loan.

Nexo allows users to borrow against an array of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), and others.

The company also allows users to earn interest on on several fiat currencies including the U.S. dollar, Euro, British pound, and stablecoins.

Cryptocurrency borrowing and lending platform Celsius Network reported over $300 million in crypto deposits this year with $2 billion in coin loan origination.

In May, cryptocurrency asset management firm BlockFi announced its interest accounts will begin accepting the Gemini Dollar (GUSD), noting that customers can now use the stablecoin as both a funding option, as well as, collateral from institutional cryptocurrency borrowers.

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BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN

Bakkt to Launch ‘In the Very Near Future’ According to Intercontinental Exchange CEO

NEW YORK – Intercontinental Exchange’s CEO Jeffery Sprecher stated bitcoin (BTC) futures trading platform Bakkt will be launching soon during a quarterly earnings call.

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According to Sprecher, Bakkt is “working to develop a regulated ecosystem that services the evolving needs of [participants] around the world.”

“Subject to final regulatory approvals, we plan to launch our physically settled bitcoin futures in the very near future.”

The project was initially slated for launch in January, but has since faced stiff regulatory roadblocks.

Bakkt’s official launch date has yet to be announced.

Adam White

“THIS IS NO SMALL STEP,” SAID BAKKT COO ADAM WHITE.

“THIS LAUNCH WILL USHER IN A NEW STANDARD FOR ACCESSING CRYPTO MARKETS. COMPARED TO OTHER MARKETS, INSTITUTIONAL PARTICIPATION IN CRYPTO REMAINS CONSTRAINED DUE TO LIMITATIONS LIKE MARKET INFRASTRUCTURE AND REGULATORY CERTAINTY. THIS RESULTS IN LOWER TRADING VOLUMES, LIQUIDITY, AND PRICE TRANSPARENCY THAN MORE ESTABLISHED MARKETS LIKE ICE’S BRENT CRUDE FUTURES CONTRACT, WHICH HAS EARNED GLOBAL TRUST IN SETTING THE WORLD’S PRICE OF CRUDE OIL.”

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BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN

Norwegian Air to Accept Bitcoin Payments

Norwegian Airlines founder Bjørn Kjos is moving into the cryptocurrency industry, announcing plans to set up a cryptocurrency exchange, as well as accept bitcoin on Norwegian.

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The new Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) is expected to launch in August, according to local business newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv (DN).

Once NBX is operational, Kjos plans to expand into neighboring countries and to provide Norwegian Air customers a pay with cryptocurrency option when purchasing tickets.

Norwegian is Scandinavia’s largest airline and Europe’s third-largest budget airline.

The airline offers a high-frequency domestic flight schedule within Scandinavia and Finland, and to business destinations such as London, as well as to holiday destinations in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands, transporting over 30 million people in 2016.

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BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN

U.S. CFTC Investigates Cryptocurrency Exchange BitMEX

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is investigating Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, according to people familiar with the matter

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“HDR Global Trading Limited, owner of BitMEX, as a matter of company policy, does not comment on any media reports about inquiries or investigations by government agencies or regulators and we have no comment on this report,” a BitMEX spokeswoman said.

The months-long CFTC probe is focused on whether BitMEX broke rules by allowing Americans to trade on the platform, which isn’t registered with the agency, said one of the people who asked not to be named discussing the investigation, which hasn’t been made public.

The regulator considers virtual currencies like Bitcoin to be commodities, and it has jurisdiction over futures and other derivatives based on them.

The probe is ongoing and the regulator’s investigations often don’t lead to allegations of misconduct. The CFTC declined to comment.

(see more)

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