Bitcoin steady but top altcoins showing losses, Gemini headed to Europe

Winklevoss twinsLooks like Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are bringing their Gemini exchange to Europe

Things have quietened down in the markets after last week’s tripling in the value of XRP. Bitcoin was rangebound over the weekend and starts the week roughly where it left off on Friday, trading at $6,602, down 2%.

However, other leading altcoins are not faring quite as well. Ethereum is 5% lower but holding most the gains of the past week, trading at $233 and Cardano (ADA) is 8% lower at $0.083.

XRP rival Stellar Lumens (XLM) advanced over the weekend and is 27% higher on the week view, currently trading at $0.2621.

Matthew Newton, a crypto analyst at eToro the global social trading platform with a growing crypto business, said: “News that Ripple’s xRapid product may be imminent, combined with a few timely partnership announcements, has created a definite buzz which is impacting price.

“Despite being one the most polarising cryptos of them all, eToro customers can’t get enough of XRP at the moment; it has more exposure than any other asset on our platform,” he continued.

Many bitcoin maximalists dismiss Ripple’s XRP as a “centralised banker token”.

Newton added: “As we’ve seen in the past, the price tends to move in short, sharp bursts, picking up a lot of momentum when the hype builds. It remains to be seen how much further it could go.”

Well, that has panned out as he predicted, with XRP down 5% to 0.5526 today as the market in general pulls back a little.

Among top alts IOTA is off 10% at $0.557 but Bytecoin is up 7% to $0.00215.

Is Gemini headed to Europe?

The Winklevoss twins’ Gemini crypto exchange has applied for a licence to operate it in the UK. A report in the Financial Times refers to unnamed sources saying Gemini is close to filing with the market authorities having already hired advisors.

Gemini spokesperson was guarded in their comments to the paper: “Gemini continues to explore potential jurisdictions around the globe to provide a best-in-class digital asset exchange and custodian which will enable growth and infrastructure to the entire digital asset community. Although we have no immediate plans, we … will always evaluate opportunities that allow the global economy to buy, sell, and store digital assets in a regulated, secure and compliant manner.”

The Gemini Trust Company was set up by the twins, Tyler and Cameron, in 2014 and is based in New York, where it operates under a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

It is one of the top 100 exchanges worldwide. The Gemini trading venue would widen the market in the UK, where exchanges offering margin trading are dominated by CFD brokers as opposed to digital asset exchanges that trade the underlying asset.

Gemini will likely also bring its custody and over-the-counter services to the UK and probably intends to use the UK as a springboard for European expansion, although Brexit might mess with that unless they move quick.

Last week UK lawmakers pleaded with the country’s Financial Conduct Authority to start regulating the crypto market, which it likened to the Wild West.

One consequence of this year’s bear market is the spur it has given to consolidation in the sector. Last week Brazilian brokerage GrupoXP announced it was launching a digital asset exchange.

VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) review process for the VanEck SolidX bitcoin ETF begins this week.

It is highly unlikely that there will be any decision on whether the physically-backed bitcoin ETF will be allowed until later next year.

Custody is one of the issues that is holding up institutional adoption and approval of an ETF. The SEC is also worried about market manipulation in crypto. Crypto watchers should look out for improvements in those areas before expecting an ETF to be approved.

The authorities nervouness about approving a bitcoin collective investment vehicle such as an ETF was in evidence when the SEC suspended trading in the exchange traded notes (ETNs) from CoinShares – XBT Provider Bitcoin Tracker One ETN and  the XBT Provider Ethereum Tracker One, claiming retail investors thought they were ETFs.

Although they are similar to ETFs, ETNs are actually debt securities and ass such are riskier in terms of counter-party risk as they are backed by the credit of the issuer.

The ETNs do hold physical bitcoin are have proved relatively popular in Europe where they provide a regulated route into exposure to crypto for institutions as well as being readily available to retail investors.

Crypto trading volume to hit $7.3 trillion in 2018

A report from Satis says that trading volumes for crypto will overtake US corporate debt trading this year.

US corporate debt trading volume is estimated to come in at $7.05 trillion in 2018 and crypto at $7.3 trillion, with that figure projected to rise in 10 years to more than $17 trillion.

Crypto investment strategies

Vision Hill Research is doing some work on benchmarking to make it more straightforward for fund managers and institutions to measure the performance of particular assets against specifically developed indices.

As part of that process they produced a nice infographic of the investment strategies being deployed. See below). Where are you?


Vision Hill Research

Infographic shows crypto investment strategies. Source: Vision Hill Research

For a full breakdown of the definitions used in the graphic visit the blog post by Vision Hill Research available here.

And lastly a reminder that tomorrow (Tuesday 25th) the Poloniex exchange will be delisting eight assets: BTCD, BTM (Bitmark), EMC2, GRC, NEOS, POT, VRC, XBC. Poloniex is owned by payments start-up Circle. Circle is majority owned by Goldman Sachs.

About the Author

Gary McFarlane
Gary has been writing about cryptocurrencies since 2013 and currently works as the cryptocurrency analyst at interactive investor, the UK's second-largest online investment platform. Gary contributes for Coin Intelligence News in a personal capacity and none of his commentary should be considered investment advice. Gary is the winner of the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2018 Cryptocurrency Writer of the Year. Contact Gary on twitter at: @gary_mcfarlane

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