Říj 04

Gemini Exchange Secures Digital Asset Insurance

The Gemini cryptocurrency exchange announced that customer assets are now covered by insurance. It comes through a consortium of global insurers who were organized by Aon.  


The Gemini digital cryptocurrency has notified customers that insurance for digital assets is now available. A news release said is was arranged by a professional services firm called Aon who organized a collective of leading insurers.

The new virtual asset insurance coverage now stands alongside FDIC insurance for U.S. Dollars.

Head of Risk at Gemini, Yusef Hussain, wrote in an October 3rdMedium post how the company was able to secure coverage “[…] after a series of due diligence roadshows with industry-leading insurers”

Hussain noted how Gemini was able to successfully show investors how it was a secure and safe exchange, and custodian, for users to buy, sell, and store virtual currencies.

Responses on the Medium post were generally positive.

One person noted how the news was great for “people who are on the fence with Crypto-investments in the US.”  Another congratulated Gemini for securing coverage “with a custodial model economically.”

Skepticism About Crypto Industry Insurance

According to Hussain, plenty of insurers have shied away from extending coverage into the cryptocurrency world due to concerns about hacks and perceptions about poor security and internal control standards.

However, Hussain says

Consumers are looking for the same levels of insured protection they’re used to being afforded by traditional financial institutions

Some are speculating Gemini has been working to secure insurance coverage in order to demonstrate to current (and potential) customers how they stand as a safe entity in a cryptocurrency world with many legal grey areas.

The Winklevoss Brothers Push Forward

The insurance announcement looks to be a good start to the month for the Gemini exchange and its co-founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who received an approval from New York regulators in September for their stablecoin.

Bitcoinist reported in early September how the Gemini dollar, tied to the USD at a 1:1 ratio, would be backed by the firm State Street.

The cryptocurrency has drawn the approval of Bitcoin Foundation founder Charlie Shrem, who remarked how the Winklevoss brothers had built what would come to be the “Golden Gate Bridge, the Verrazzano Bridge” in the field. Shrem also said the stablecoin would span across decades.

Winklevoss

Before tweeting out the Medium post on October 3rd, Gemini made note of how the Gemini dollar is now officially listed on the OEX.com digital exchange.

The exchange looks to be gearing up for major competition with other leading companies like Coinbase and Bithumb in the United Kingdom after reporting by the Financial Times alleged the platform had hired consultants to try and hash out an expansion project in the region.

Currently, Coinbase has secured an e-money license from UK regulators and enjoys a banking partnership with Barclays. Bithumb is currently planning to create an office in the UK by the end of 2018.

What do you think about the new insurance coverage for Gemini customers? Let us know in the comments!


Image courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock, Twitter/@GeminiTrust.

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Zář 15

SEC and Institutional Investor Backing: A Question of Custody

One of the last major hurdles to the widespread institutional adoption of cryptocurrency is the issue of custody — where to securely store all those high-paying clients’ assets. Fortunately, several companies are currently working on a solution to this piece of the puzzle.


A Universal Question

Custody is a question that perhaps anyone who has owned crypto has considered — or failed to at their own peril. I.e., Where am I going to keep my Bitcoin (BTC) 00 — or other tokens —safe?

In the early days, some were happy enough to leave their crypto in the safe hands of the exchange where it was bought. Until a series of high profile hackings highlighted just how untrustworthy those hands may be.

The crypto community possesses online desktop and mobile wallets, hardware wallets, and even paper wallets, depending on how sensible/paranoid we are. Now imagine dealing with millions of dollars worth of someone else’s money.

Assured Security

Institutional investors are accustomed to having their assets safely stored or FDIC insured. For institutions holding assets of over $150 million dollars, use of a third party custodian is an SEC requirement. So for larger companies, self-custody (managing their own private keys) is not even an option.

Smaller retail and family offices may utilize offline cold-storage methods or even keep assets on an exchange. But there is a clear need for some entity to fill the role of secure, regulated custodian. Managing private keys in the way that Wall Street custodians manage traditional asset classes.

Regulatory Scrutiny

One of the companies aiming to fill that niche is BitGo. Yesterday BitGo became the first regulated service for storing digital assets when it received a state trust company charter from the South Dakota Division of Banking.

https://medium.com/@mikebelshe

CEO and Co-founder, Mike Belshe said:

This is the missing piece for infrastructure — it’s a treacherous environment today… Hedge funds need it, family offices need it, they can’t participate in digital currency until they have a place to store it that’s regulated.

The Alternatives

Aside from BitGo, there are several companies vying for a place at the custodial table. They include Coinbase, Gemini, Ledger and ItBit, who are all developing solutions. Nomura partnered with Ledger and Global Advisors to announce plans for a custody solution in May. Even Goldman Sachs recently announced plans for their entry into the market.

An influx of institutional investors could be the exact boost the current crypto-market needs. For the SEC to get on board and realize this vision, there really is no alternative to a regulated custodian service.

What are your thoughts on custodial services in the crypto landscape?


Images courtesy of Medium, Shutterstock.

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Čvn 13

Factors That Will Push Bitcoin’s Price Higher Are Gathering Steam

· June 12, 2018 · 10:30 pm

The hacking of exchanges and relentless attacks from financial powers have, in the short run, adversely affected the price of Bitcoin. However, once the news about these adverse effects fades, investors will be able to turn their focus to several bright ongoing developments.


What Doesn’t Kill Bitcoin Makes It Stronger

The recent spate of crypto exchange hacks, ongoing regulatory issues, and reports of an investigation into possible price manipulation have sent the price of Bitcoin – and nearly every other cryptocurrency – tumbling. Despite these setbacks, the growing consensus is that, given Bitcoin’s inherent resiliency, developments taking place in both technical and financial arenas will enable Bitcoin’s value to retake its ascending trajectory with even greater intensity.

For example, frequent exposure to hacking will eventually make Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies immune to such attacks. As Forbes put it, hacking may be adversely affecting Bitcoin in the short term, but in the future, the cryptocurrency will rise stronger as a result. In this regard, Christian Ferri, President and CEO of BlockStar, declared:

As in every technology, hacking will be painful for some in the short term; but it will be a major driver in strengthening the crypto ecosystem, making it more secure, which is key for mass adoption.

Moreover, giant financial actors, including exchanges and big banks, are investing heavily and hiring talent to build Bitcoin trading capabilities.

For example, NASDAQ is planning to launch a futures market for cryptocurrencies. In fact, the stock exchange has already joined forces with Gemini, a digital asset exchange, to improve market surveillance to detect market manipulation and fraudulent trades. Additionally, a NASDAQ-powered cryptocurrency exchange platform – DX.Exchange – will be launched sometime this month.

In parallel, The New York Times reports that ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), is working on its own online trading platform that will allow large Wall Street investors to trade cryptocurrencies.

Goldman Sachs is already ahead of the curve, having begun offering clients the ability to trade Bitcoin futures via one of its New York desks last month. According to The New York Times:

Goldman will begin using its own money to trade Bitcoin futures contracts on behalf of clients. It will also create its own, more flexible version of a future, known as a non-deliverable forward, which it will offer to clients.

Bitcoin Transactions Becoming Cheaper and Faster

Bitcoin Transactions Becoming Cheaper and Faster

On the technical side, Bitcoin has already advanced significantly in solving a key issue – scalability. Technological improvements that include SegWit, Lightning Network, and Atomic Multi-Path Payments over Lightning, and now Bitcoin Core 0.16.0, are already solving the issue of scalability and transaction fees costs.

Recently, Bitcoin enthusiasts celebrated the launch of Bitcoin Core 0.16.0, which among novel features, introduced full support for SegWit. Prominent Bitcoin exchanges, such as Coinbase and Bitfinex immediately started to implement SegWit and, as a result, transaction fees are now lower and faster, thus facilitating near-instantaneous low-value Bitcoin payments. At the present time, nearly 40% of all Bitcoin transactions are processed using SegWit.

In addition to SegWit, many exchanges are using a new technique to increase efficiency – batching transactions. Batching further increases the efficiency of Bitcoin transactions by over 75 percent by clustering multiple outputs into a single transaction.

For a digital currency that has “died” 300 times and counting, Bitcoin’s future is looking pretty bright, indeed. Innovative techniques are making Bitcoin transactions more efficient, and its exposure to hacking attempts will make it stronger. Lastly, major financial institutions are becoming increasingly interested in trading Bitcoin. These are crucial factors that are amalgamating to drive Bitcoin’s value to new highs.

What do you think are the main factors that will eventually drive Bitcoin’s value higher? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Čvc 02

Are the Winklevoss Twins Bringing the Bitcoin Price Back Up?

Source: bitcoin

Winklevoss

The bitcoin price is back up! Following a scary and wavering period of political turmoil and financial devaluation, bitcoin has returned to $670 USD and beyond at press time.

Also read: Bitcoin Price Down, But Gaining Popularity in UK Following Brexit

Bitcoin is getting people excited again, and the reasons for the rise are likely due to several factors.

For one thing, the Brexit vote has come to an end. Britain is leaving the EU, and while anti-Brexit petitions are in the mix, no move has been made on those yet.

In that time, bitcoin encountered its heaviest drop in recent days, but trading among British investors and cryptocurrency hounds was at an all-time high, according to  Jesse Powell of San Francisco-based bitcoin exchange Kraken.

Trading was at its highest point within 24 hours of the Brexit vote, and many UK residents seemed eager to switch their savings to something they thought was a little more “trustworthy” (the British pound had fallen 10 percent against the U.S. dollar in that time).

Now that the vote is over, bitcoin looks to be rebounding, but another reason may have to do with those ever-popular Winklevoss twins, made famous in the Oscar-winning production, The Social Network.

Winklevoss Bros Bringing the Bitcoin Price Rally?

Cameron and Tyler are now making headlines with their new Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, which has recently switched to BATS Global Markets.

Still headed for a listing on the Nasdaq, the Securities and Exchange Commission confirmed last Wednesday that the organization will now be a choice among popular ETFs, as the exchange executed nearly 25 percent of US ETF trading last May.

If the Winklevoss twins get their way, the exchange will be the first SEC-approved and regulated bitcoin platform, and will trade under the ticker symbol COIN. Naturally, the Twins’ primary exchange Gemini (based in New York), will serve as the trust’s custodian.

“We are excited to add the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust,” explains Laura Morrison, present head of BATS.

A little publicity Winklevoss-style always seems to get bitcoin ahead in the record books, and this scenario is no exception. Whether bitcoin will rise beyond $700 remains to be seen, but the digital currency does appear to be attempting its long trek up the financial mountain yet again, and we can only wait and see where things lead in the coming months.

How fast will the bitcoin price rise again? Post your thoughts and comments below!


Images courtesy of Brian Snyder via Forbes, CNBC.

The post Are the Winklevoss Twins Bringing the Bitcoin Price Back Up? appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Are the Winklevoss Twins Bringing the Bitcoin Price Back Up?

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Led 12

Bitcoin Investment Trust Surges Amid Stock Volatility

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin Investment Trust

Amid the stock market turbulence experienced throughout last week, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Exchange has fared very well.

Also read: Coinprism Releases OpenChain 0.5 With Various Improvements

The Bitcoin Investment Trust Sees Smooth Sailing

The Bitcoin Investment Trust offers the first publicly quoted securities which derive value from the Bitcoin price. BIT is publicly quoted on the OTCQX®.

GBTC is sponsored by Grayscale Investments, which believes “digital currencies are poised to radically transform our financial system.” The firm wishes to offer investors “an established, trusted and accountable partner that can help them navigate the gray areas of digital currency investing.” The firm also refers to Bitcoin as “the Internet of money.”

BIT allowed people with online brokerage accounts to accumulate digital currency. Articles from the Wall Street Journal warned investors:

Bitcoin is a highly speculative investment—the kind most financial advisers say investors should only buy into with money they can afford to lose. But some analysts think the new fund could bring the digital currency a step closer to broader acceptance by investors. For that to happen, the fund will have to overcome some early difficulties.

While this is all true, the Bitcoin Investment Trust has proven to be a source of stability amid market chaos in the first week of the New Year. The Trust began trading on OTCQX on May 4, 2015 under the ticker symbol GBTC. The fund isn’t an exchange-traded fund, and remains small, but people believe it could prompt speculative interest in Bitcoin, and the recent volatility across stock markets could abet the process.

“The OTCQX listing is also a very big step forward,” Gil Luria, an analyst with brokerage firm Wedbush Securities, told WSJ. “It has made at least a proxy ownership stake in bitcoin available to practically every institutional and retail investor.”

Leading into the end of 2015, the Bitcoin Investment Trust received much popular press, as its price increased leading into the stock market volatility. It appears investors are open to the idea of Bitcoin.

BIT offers a tax-advantaged investment account complete with designated beneficiaries. Currently, GBTC enables investors to gain Bitcoin exposure in a traditional security. Each share of GBTC equals one-tenth of a Bitcoin invalue, and every day the price is set according to the Bitcoin market price.

GBTC can be held in IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k), and other brokerage and investment accounts. Accredited investors are able to buy shares directly from the issuer, though they will entail resale and transfer limits.

As panic remains, it could be that investors with accounts move their investment accounts towards Bitcoin. Bitcoin could be seen as a tool of diversification.

Investors fear that China’s volatility could spread to global markets, causing major selloffs worldwide. China’s stock market has twice closed this week. European markets declined and in the US stocks fell 2 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 both fell approximately 2.3 percent, having lost about 5 percent of their value this week. Nasdaq declined the most – 3 percent on Thursday.

Apple and Amazon were both down 4 percent and 3.7 percent each. JP Morgan Chase fell 4 percent and Nordstrom fell 5.5 percent.

Many investors blamed Chinese authorities drastic measures on the decline, such as ceasing trading and instituting trading regulations.

What do you think about Bitcoin’s performance in this turbulent global economy? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Bitcoin Investment Trust Surges Amid Stock Volatility appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Bitcoin Investment Trust Surges Amid Stock Volatility

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