The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will decide on two proposed bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) this week – but what are they weighing exactly? ProShares, the tenth largest provider of ETFs according to CNBC, has two proposals in the running, both based upon bitcoin futures contracts approved by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 2017. What's more, this impending decision comes at the heels of a more recent ruling by the SEC to delay (until September, if not longer) their determination on a physical-backed bitcoin ETF put forth by VanEck and SolidX. The distinction between the two, a physical and futures-backed ETF, is worth unpacking to understand the ProShares proposal – aside from whether bitcoin ETFs should or shouldn't be approved in the U.S. – centers on
Two weeks after the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) introduced Bakkt, a new digital assets platform, the latter's CEO has set out to explain what the service will offer consumers. Bakkt chief executive Kelly Loeffler outlined the fundamentals for a platform to trade, store or spend cryptocurrencies in a post published on August 20. The platform is currently working with what she described as "a proven framework that underpins exchanges" which will include three characteristics: it will be consistent with existing regulations, provide a transparent system for price discovery and offer "institutional quality pre-and post-trade infrastructure." Notably, Loeffler emphasized the critical role that the physical delivery of cryptocurrencies plays in trusted price formation, which is the foundatio
Interest in blockchain technology is waning, research firm Gartner said in its latest "Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies" report. Gartner included blockchain, along with four other emerging technologies, as one of five trends that can blur the lines between humans and machines, according to a news release on August 20. Blockchain technology is at the edge of the "trough of disillusionment" phase in the cycle, though it predicts that the technology may reach the "plateau of productivity" within the next decade. The "trough of disillusionment" means that "interest [in the technology] wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail. Investments continue only if the surviving providers improve their products to the satisfaction of earl
Less than a month after delaying a decision on a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is poised to approve or disapprove another pair of proposed ETFs. Officials at the U.S. securities regulator are set to make a decision on the ProShares Bitcoin ETF and the ProShares Short Bitcoin ETF by Thursday, August 23. Unlike this month's earlier decision to push an approval for the Cboe's VanEck/SolidX bitcoin ETF, this rule change proposal – filed by ProShares in conjunction with NYSE Arca – cannot be delayed any further under the regulator's rules. The ProShares ETF proposals – initially submitted to the SEC last December – are underpinned by bitcoin futures contracts, rather than any physical holdings of bitcoin itself. In other words, the
Blockchain and AI technology company Seven Stars Cloud Group has scored a $24 billion deal to help finance large-scale electric bus upgrades for China's biggest full-service operator. According to a press release published Monday, under an exclusive contract made with the National Transportation Capacity Co Ltd (NTS), Seven Stars Cloud will issue fixed income lease financing-based products through its regulatory complaint blockchain ecosystem, including one campaign based in China and the other open to the global markets. More specifically, through the China-based and international funding campaigns, Seven Stars Cloud – a public company traded on Nasdaq – plans to raise estimated $8.75 billion and $15 billion over the three-year time period, respectively. While, for the China-based financi
A group of judges, lawmakers and industry experts in South Korea are forming a new group aimed to discuss legal issues surrounding blockchain technology. Called the Blockchain Law Society, the group is holding its founding conference on Aug. 24 in the Seoul Central District Court, during which participants will discuss both regulatory issues around blockchain and how to utilize the tech in the legal space. According to a press release published Monday, Jung-yeop Lee, the presiding judge of the district court in the city of Daejeon, founded the organization as an industry-led initiative intended to foster dialogue within the country's justice and legislative arms, as well as elsewhere in society. "Blockchain Law Society was founded not only to study blockchain technology from a legal aspect...
You're scrolling through an online electronic store, when a new drone catches your eye. Eager to fly it for real, you enter a string of numbers to submit your payment. You're not thinking at all about how, behind the scenes, it's bitcoin that makes the impulse purchase possible. Far-fetched today? Maybe, but that's the sort of easy user experience the bitcoin developers at Chaincode Labs think is missing from the world of cryptocurrency, even now that a much-anticipated technology layer known as the Lightning Network is in beta. While it's perhaps bitcoin's best shot at reaching mainstream adoption, it's not exactly easy to use today, or as easy as developers envision it could be. That's why the group, led by veterans Alex Morcos and Matt Corallo, has held similar coding programs focused e...
SBI Holdings, the investment arm of Japanese financial giant SBI Group, is making a new round of investment in a cryptocurrency exchange that's under increased scrutiny from the country's financial regulator. The investment firm said in a release on Monday that it's increasing its stake in Japanese exchange LastRoots via an undisclosed investment, following an initial capital injection in December 2017. The goal of the latest funding, according to the announcement, is to help the exchange enhance its internal business systems in order for it to become a licensed trading venue. As previously reported by CoinDesk, LastRoots was one of a number of unlicensed cryptocurrency exchanges that have been probed by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) in the months following the $520 million ...
Bitcoin (BTC) is stuck in a narrowing price range and the direction of the breakout will likely set the tone for the next move in the market, according to technical charts. The leading cryptocurrency was expected to rise toward 7,000 over the weekend, having moved past a key technical hurdle on Friday. However, contrary to expectations, BTC failed to absorb supply around $6,600 in the last 48 hours. Even so, the rejection at $6,600 has not proved costly. This is evident from the fact that for BTC bears have struggled to penetrate the psychological support of $6,300. Clearly, the cryptocurrency is being squeezed in a $300 range and is currently changing hands at $6,400 on Bitfinex – up 0.80 percent on a 24-hour basis. An upside break of the trading range would signal a continuation of t
A 21-year-old bitcoin dealer from California is being prosecuted for allegedly committing numerous counts of illegal money transmission and money laundering. According to an announcement from the Department of Justice in the Southern District of California, Jacob Burrell Campos was ordered to be held without bail at a hearing on Friday in connection to the charges. Based on a court filing against him entered on Aug. 8 and unsealed over the weekend, the prosecutors alleged that, from January 2015 to April 2016, Burrell sold about $750,000 worth of bitcoin to 900 individuals in the U.S. via his bitcoin exchange service. The document said Burrell had not registered the exchange as a licensed money transmitter and intentionally failed to implement anti-money laundering measures. As such, he wa