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Sun Cryptocurrency https://suncryptocurrency.com Crypto News Mon, 22 Jul 2019 18:03:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 Domain Name Registrar EnCirca Starts Pre-Registrations for Ethereum Addresses https://suncryptocurrency.com/domain-name-registrar-encirca-starts-pre-registrations-for-ethereum-addresses Mon, 22 Jul 2019 18:03:51 +0000 https://suncryptocurrency.com/domain-name-registrar-encirca-starts-pre-registrations-for-ethereum-addresses EnCirca, an internet domain registrar, is launching an ethereum naming service (ENS) to provide domain names at .eth locations. The firm is in the pre-registration phase and will accept domain applications until August 10. Similar to the domain name system (DNS) currently in play on the web, ENS will link...

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EnCirca, an internet domain registrar, is launching an ethereum naming service (ENS) to provide domain names at .eth locations. The firm is in the pre-registration phase and will accept domain applications until August 10.

Similar to the domain name system (DNS) currently in play on the web, ENS will link to alphanumeric ethereum addresses through “human-readable” names, according to a statement. These domains appear like traditional URLs, are searchable on any web browser, and will link to ethereum web pages that exist either on or off the blockchain.

This additional layer of web identity will enable people to associate their brands, companies, or persons with ethereum accounts.

The announcement also acts as a call to action for pre-existing brands to stake their claim before domain-name squatters take valuable internet real-estate like apple.eth or ibm.eth.

The company writes in a statement:

“Blockchain domain names are not regulated like .com or .org domain names… The implication that Encirca wishes to convey is brand owners should act defensively to protect their trademarks in the .eth top-level domain.”

The firm said that short names, between 3 and 6 characters, will be reserved for brands that can show the longest continuous use of a particular URL on a pre-existing domain like .com or .org. While addresses starting at 7 characters or more will be auctioned off.

The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Encirca is a participant in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a non-profit that coordinates domain name listings, and has received a SOC-2 rating for privacy and security standards.

DNS image via ShutterStock



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49% of Americans and Brits Don’t Trust Facebook’s Libra https://suncryptocurrency.com/49-of-americans-and-brits-dont-trust-facebooks-libra Mon, 22 Jul 2019 17:49:00 +0000 https://suncryptocurrency.com/49-of-americans-and-brits-dont-trust-facebooks-libra Almost half of Americans and Brits would not trust Facebook in regards to its long-awaited stablecoin Libra, technology and market-focused news platform Telecoms.com reported on July 22. Facebook’s trust issues could hurt Libra project Citing a survey from instant messaging application Viber, the news outlet reveals that 49% of users...

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Almost half of Americans and Brits would not trust Facebook in regards to its long-awaited stablecoin Libra, technology and market-focused news platform Telecoms.com reported on July 22.

Facebook’s trust issues could hurt Libra project

Citing a survey from instant messaging application Viber, the news outlet reveals that 49% of users in the United Kingdom and the United States said that they would not put trust in the social media giant when it comes to its own digital currency. Those respondents specified that they would not trust Facebook at all in regards to keeping their private information secure when using Libra.

In the UK, 28% of the surveyed responded that they have not come to a decision, while only 4% said they would trust Facebook. The survey in the US led to similar results, although only 2.5% of the respondents stated that they would trust Facebook.

Libra bombarded with criticism

Libra has raised concerns in many jurisdictions around the world and generated a lot of attention in the financial world since its announcement. Although Facebook claims that Libra’s associated digital wallet Calibra “will have strong protection in place to keep your money and your information safe,” experts and policy makers have expressed doubts about users’ data privacy and security.

In a statement on the stablecoin, Committee chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters commented on the lack of uniform regulation in the cryptocurrency market and said that regulators should view Facebook’s plans for Libra “as a wake-up call to get serious about the privacy and national security concerns, cybersecurity risks, and trading risks that are posed by cryptocurrencies.”

Last week, G7 finance ministers warned that cryptocurrencies such as Libra risk upsetting the world’s financial system if they are not regulated tightly. French finance minister Bruno Le Maire stated that the G7 “cannot accept private companies issuing their own currencies without democratic control.”





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CFTC Probe of BitMEX a Result of Roubini Vs. Hayes Taipei Tangle? https://suncryptocurrency.com/cftc-probe-of-bitmex-a-result-of-roubini-vs-hayes-taipei-tangle Mon, 22 Jul 2019 17:17:33 +0000 https://suncryptocurrency.com/cftc-probe-of-bitmex-a-result-of-roubini-vs-hayes-taipei-tangle Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX is reportedly in trouble. Soon after Nouriel Roubini, a New York University professor of economics and anti-cryptocurrency pundit, criticized BitMEX of violating regulations, it was reported on July 19 that United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is opening an investigation into BitMEX on whether it...

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Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX is reportedly in trouble. Soon after Nouriel Roubini, a New York University professor of economics and anti-cryptocurrency pundit, criticized BitMEX of violating regulations, it was reported on July 19 that United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is opening an investigation into BitMEX on whether it broke the law by allowing U.S. residents to trade on its platform.

A day later, an additional finding by London-based blockchain data provider TokenAnalyst revealed that BitMEX has experienced major Bitcoin (BTC) outflows to the tune of $73 million after news of the regulatory investigation surfaced.

The Tangle in Taipei and regulations 

It may be possible to take a look at BitMEX’s stance on regulations from The Tangle in Taipei, the debate between an American economist Nouriel Roubini and BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes on July 3. One of the topics they disagreed over is whether cryptocurrency exchanges should be regulated.

Speaking on BitMEX’s maximum 100x leverage, Roubini found it problematic that not only accredited investors but almost anybody can conduct high-risk trades on a platform that is unregulated: 

“If the price moves even in 0.5%, you are wiped out of your position and guess what? There is a nice tweet called ‘BitMEX Rekt.’ […] Every other second somebody has been liquidated by these guys and thousands of them have gone into financial ruin. Of course, this thing is not regulated anywhere. It is set up in the Seychelles.” 

Roubini also suggested that U.S. investors are not allowed to conduct such kind of leveraged trading because of U.S. regulation, but “anyone with VPN can avoid the IP and go and do investments with you guys [BitMEX].” He concluded, “It is just an example of everything that is sick and rotten in this particular industry.”

The BitMEX CEO replied to this sentiment, after admitting that he doesn’t want to call Roubini a professor, and insisted that “it makes 100 times leverage, so what?” He continued: 

“I don’t want to force anyone to use BitMEX. We just have a website and don’t do any marketing. Somehow a few thousand people have found a little oasis and started trading. […] Roubini thinks New York DFS and New York AG is the only game in town.”

Being asked by Andrew Neil, a veteran journalist who hosted the debate, whether the regulatory authorities in the U.S. or the United Kingdom and the Seychelles are slightly different in scale, Aurtur replied, “It just costs more to bribe them.”

Roubini vs. Hayes debate aftermath

In addition to the fact that there was no live broadcast of the debate, Roubini was apparently not satisfied with Arthur’s answers regarding the regulations. On July 16, around two weeks after the debate, he wrote an essay entitled “The Great Crypto Heist” and insisted once more that BitMEX was violating securities laws and regulations. 

Then, on July 19, Bloomberg reported on the CFTC’s probe of BitMEX. Although the probe would reportedly take a number of months, Mati Greenspan, a senior market analyst at eToro, suspected that the Tangel in Taipei might have motivated the U.S. to probe BitMEX. In his newsletter for his clients, Greenspan stated: 

“Hayes is not acting as a representative of the crypto community and most of the critical arguments that he used were clearly in defense of himself as an alleged illegal casino operator and not the typical arguments one would use in favor of free and fair money.” 

In his comment to Cointelegraph, Greenspan elaborated the point. At the Tangle in Taipei, Hayes defended Bitcoin in terms of financial privacy. But for Greenspan, it is not a typical argument people to use in defense of Bitcoin. He continued: 

“Everyone already knows that Bitcoin is not a private currency. Bitcoin’s star qualities are open, immutable, borderless, and censorship resistance. It gives you the ability to own a financial asset that no government or bank can take away.” 

A spokesperson for BitMEX replied to a request from Cointelegraph for comment regarding the reports of a new investigation as follows: 

“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.”

The U.S. and unregulated crypto exchanges

It may be worth noting that BitMEX is not the only major crypto exchange that is being pressured by U.S. regulatory authorities. In claims filed in April, New York Attorney General Letitia James asserted that Bitfinex defrauded its customers, having lost $850 million in client and corporate funds, and then attempted to cover up the loss by using the cash reserves of its sister company, Tether. While Bitfinex has tried to dismiss the case by claiming that it was not operating in New York, the attorney general claimed to have found evidence that it actually did. 

Related: US a Crypto Exchange Scarecrow — What Needs to Change?

Meanwhile, U.S.-based Bittrex and Poloniex stopped offering several tokens in the U.S. due to the uncertain regulatory landscape. Moreover, as reported on June 14, Binance will be leaving the U.S. market by September 12. Instead, it is set to launch Binance U.S., a fully regulated fiat-to-crypto platform for the local market.

Impact on the market?

Since Bloomberg reported that the CFTC is probing BitMEX, the platform seems to have experienced an exodus of funds. As reported on July 20, BitMEX saw an outflow of $83 million worth of Bitcoin, while only $12 million came into the platform during the same period of 24 hours. Greenspan doesn’t believe that the reported investigation has affected the market negatively in any way. On the contrary, he thinks it should have a positive effect: 

“The extreme leverage causes a lot of volatility. Large notional positions constantly opening and abruptly liquidating is a root cause of price instability.” 

Possibly by coincidence, since the news broke on Friday, Bitcoin has been less volatile than usual, moving in a range between about $10,200 to $11,000.

Bitcoin’s seven-day price chart

Source: Coin360

If the CFTC concludes that BitMEX has been violating the law by allowing American traders to use its platform, it could provide a significant shock to the industry. Together with the pressures on other major exchanges operating in the U.S., it may be a sign that the American government could well be gearing up for a crackdown on unregulated exchanges.





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Robinhood Raises $323 Million From DST, Sequoia, and Ribbit Capital https://suncryptocurrency.com/robinhood-raises-323-million-from-dst-sequoia-and-ribbit-capital Mon, 22 Jul 2019 17:02:16 +0000 https://suncryptocurrency.com/robinhood-raises-323-million-from-dst-sequoia-and-ribbit-capital Robinhood, a trading platform for stocks and digital assets, announced a $323 million funding round according to a Reuters’ report. DST Global, a prominent investor in internet startups led the financing round along with crypto-notables Ribbit Capital and Sequoia. According to Reuters, the company will direct the capital towards expanding...

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Robinhood, a trading platform for stocks and digital assets, announced a $323 million funding round according to a Reuters’ report.

DST Global, a prominent investor in internet startups led the financing round along with crypto-notables Ribbit Capital and Sequoia.

According to Reuters, the company will direct the capital towards expanding the business and offering new financial services.

Since offering crypto assets beginning in January 2018, the Silicon Valley-based startup has rolled out a number of coins and crypto-related trading features. In May, Robinhood launched cryptocurrency trading for seven assets including bitcoin and ethereum in New York.

Notably, the firm added ethereum classic trading one day ahead of Coinbase in August 2018.

The platform has gained popularity through offering commission-free trades. It is also looking to add cash management services.

Robinhood’s total valuation topped $7.6 billion with this latest round, which also saw participation from Thrive Capital and NEA.

Robinhood app photo via Shutterstock



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Iran Recognizes Bitcoin and Crypto as an Official Industry, Says MP https://suncryptocurrency.com/iran-recognizes-bitcoin-and-crypto-as-an-official-industry-says-mp Mon, 22 Jul 2019 16:56:53 +0000 https://suncryptocurrency.com/iran-recognizes-bitcoin-and-crypto-as-an-official-industry-says-mp The Iranian government’s Economic Commission has approved a mechanism of cryptocurrency mining in the country, according to an announcement by the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture on July 22. Iran’s Economic Commission approves crypto mining ‘mechanism’ Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), Abdolnaser Hemmati said...

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The Iranian government’s Economic Commission has approved a mechanism of cryptocurrency mining in the country, according to an announcement by the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture on July 22.

Iran’s Economic Commission approves crypto mining ‘mechanism’

Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), Abdolnaser Hemmati said that “a mechanism to mine digital coins was approved by the government’s economic commission and will later be put to discussion at a Cabinet meeting.”

Initially, Iranian authorities announced that they are planning to authorize Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining earlier in July, when the CBI governor Abdol Hemmati reportedly claimed that the Iranian government had approved some parts of an executive law that would authorize mining of cryptocurrencies in Iran.

At the time, Hemmati argued that digital currency miners in Iran should contribute to the country’s economy, rather than letting mined Bitcoin (BTC) escape abroad.

Also, at the Commission’s latest meeting, its head Elyas Hazrati said that cryptocurrency is now recognized as official by the government, adding:

“We do believe that cryptocurrency industry should be recognized as an official industry in Iran to let the country take advantage of its tax and customs revenues.”

Crypto mining industry taking shape in Iran

Today’s news also follows the finalizing of a tariff scheme for cryptocurrency miners by the Commission on July 21. Energy Minister Homayoon Ha’eri did not specify the exact price scheme, but stated that the price is dependent on market factors such as fuel prices in the Persian Gulf.

Also yesterday, Deputy President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) Jamal Arounaghi announced that the agency has not yet issued licenses for the import of cryptocurrency mining equipment. The minister said that if the government authorizes import of crypto miners, IRICA will develop related directives.

In contrast, an Indian government panel recommended today to ban cryptocurrencies and impose sanctions for any dealings involving crypto assets in the country.





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Circle Moves Exchange Operations Offshore With New Bermuda Office https://suncryptocurrency.com/circle-moves-exchange-operations-offshore-with-new-bermuda-office Mon, 22 Jul 2019 16:35:20 +0000 https://suncryptocurrency.com/circle-moves-exchange-operations-offshore-with-new-bermuda-office Due to mounting regulatory pressures in the United States, the crypto company Circle is moving the majority of its exchange operations offshore. Circle announced Monday it received a full Digital Assets Business Act license in Bermuda for its crypto exchange Poloniex. Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire told CoinDesk that 70 percent...

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Due to mounting regulatory pressures in the United States, the crypto company Circle is moving the majority of its exchange operations offshore.

Circle announced Monday it received a full Digital Assets Business Act license in Bermuda for its crypto exchange Poloniex. Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire told CoinDesk that 70 percent of Poloniex users hail from beyond the U.S. and the new Bermuda-based entity will handle those accounts from now on. In May, the company geofenced some assets on Poloniex from U.S. customers.

“Europe and Asia are both pretty significant markets for us in particular,” he said, adding the USDC stablecoin is particularly popular with institutional Asian investors. “The lack of regulatory frameworks significantly limits what can be offered to individuals and businesses in the U.S.”

Circle laid off around 30 employees earlier this year to “ensure our costs were in line with the market,” Allaire said. The cuts were attributed in part regulatory uncertainty in the U.S. Circle now says it plans to hire around the same number of people over the next 24 months, perhaps with different roles, to focus on global markets.

“The project to establish a new international operations hub for our market, exchange and wallet services, was a major project,” Allaire told CoinDesk, adding:

“It took a long time working with the Bermuda government and the Bermuda Monetary Authority.”

Looking forward, Allaire said more diverse assets will be available to global customers and that Poloniex might also expand to financial services, which the startup previously couldn’t offer in the U.S. He declined to specify what types of products and services those might entail. However, he did say users can expect to see more “yield-generating crypto accounts,” similar to the staking services already available for Cosmos and Stellar.

Image: Circle’s Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville speak at Consensus 2016 (via CoinDesk archives)



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Gov’ts Should Be Neutral on FB’s Libra https://suncryptocurrency.com/govts-should-be-neutral-on-fbs-libra Mon, 22 Jul 2019 16:26:09 +0000 https://suncryptocurrency.com/govts-should-be-neutral-on-fbs-libra Potential benefits of Facebook’s Libra should be made possible despite the existing regulatory uncertainty and associated risks, Germany’s central bank said. In a monthly bulletin called “Crypto tokens in payment transactions and in securities settlement” released on July 22, the Bundesbank evaluated potential advantages and shortcomings of central bank digital...

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Potential benefits of Facebook’s Libra should be made possible despite the existing regulatory uncertainty and associated risks, Germany’s central bank said.

In a monthly bulletin called “Crypto tokens in payment transactions and in securities settlement” released on July 22, the Bundesbank evaluated potential advantages and shortcomings of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), as well as stablecoins such as Facebook’s widely-discussed crypto project Libra.

Regulation of Libra should be as technology-neutral as possible, Bundesbank says

In the document, Germany’s central bank stated that global innovative projects such as Libra should not be made impossible as they aim to increase prosperity and transaction costs.

However, global regulators should ensure that a number of important standards such as security, monetary and financial stability are not negatively affected, and payment transactions are not compromised, the bank wrote. The Bundesbank stressed that competition in the European payments should be ensured to stay.

At the same time, the regulation should not hinder innovation, the bank emphasized:

“ […] a government should be as technology neutral as possible, so that the benefits of innovation can be made available for the financial sector.”

The bank added that a number of important technical, organizational, and regulatory questions regarding Libra Association is still open, while there are also some speculative considerations for its potential impacts. As such, the bank stated that global supervisory authorities and central banks should keep carefully monitoring and evaluating the project.

CBDCs and stablecoins can impact central banks

In the document, the Bundesbank considered CBDCs and stablecoins as two major recent developments that can affect the role of global central banks. 

Outlining potential general advantages presented by CBDCs, the Bundesbank said that it sees no need of CBDCs for non-banking entities, as they can be used by them as a substitute for commercial bank money, which in turn could have a negative impact on credit supply.

The new crypto-related statement by the Bundesbank echoes recent reports on Bundesbank President urging global regulators to not suppress projects such as Facebook’s Libra in their infancy. Jens Weidmann reportedly stated at a G7 event that regulators should be careful to avoid inadvertently suppression of innovative concepts before all the details have been clarified.





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Blockchain Platform Enables Trading of Digital Assets in Mobile Games https://suncryptocurrency.com/blockchain-platform-enables-trading-of-digital-assets-in-mobile-games Mon, 22 Jul 2019 16:06:29 +0000 https://suncryptocurrency.com/blockchain-platform-enables-trading-of-digital-assets-in-mobile-games A blockchain mobile gaming platform says it allows players to get the “true ownership” of their digital assets and enables “secure trading” with other users.  Itam Games has created an ecosystem, which includes a store and exchange, in which users can trade their in-game digital assets — or nonfungible tokens...

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A blockchain mobile gaming platform says it allows players to get the “true ownership” of their digital assets and enables “secure trading” with other users. 

Itam Games has created an ecosystem, which includes a store and exchange, in which users can trade their in-game digital assets — or nonfungible tokens (NFT) — such as achievements, leaderboards, items and accounts. 

The users can try Itam’s system with its new blockchain-based role-playing game Dark Town. The players can pick up NFT during the gameplay, gain ownership of the collected assets as well as keep, transparently trade and manage them on their personal blockchain wallet. 

Graphic provided by Itam

The company notes that the usage of its online wallet is easy. The Itam Store provides a hybrid method by which it offers custodial service for nonpersonal wallet users: There is no need to input private keys when logging in or when making transactions of cryptocurrencies, if user doesn’t have a blockchain wallet. The authentication includes either a fingerprint or password. 

Itam says it offers its users “unlimited options” for customizing their characters with unique skins and different types of equipment. The first players can gain “limited edition skins” by joining social networks — Itam & DarkTown Page Share Event — and sharing the page of the game on their social media channels and use special hashtags. 

Store and exchange

The developers note that the company’s store is an app with similar user interface and user experience as the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. By using the app, players can show their rankings (leaderboards) and see the list of mobile games integrated into the Itam Games ecosystem.

The Itam Games platform is available here

Another tool offered by Itam Games is the Digital Asset Decentralized Exchange. The system will filter the nonfungible tokens according to the game developers, genre, price and rarity. The user also has a choice for the pricing method: It can be a Designated Value System or an Auction System (in which case, the highest bidder wins the sale and gets the asset). After the trading is completed, there are two simultaneous and automatic transfers: Unique digital asset and Itam Tokens (which are used in trading) are placed into the appropriate mailbox/bag of the game at the same time. 

Multi-blockchain service

The Itam platform is based on EOS, and currently, the developers are looking for blockchain variety. In April, the company announced its cooperation with Defractal, FinTech group, which is creating a smart contract-based platform for cryptocurrency lenders and borrowers. Together, the Defractal and Itam teams built a bridge connecting Ethereum and EOS. It allows players to make transactions of Ethereum-based tokens on the EOS blockchain and to pay with EOS-based tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. 

“That means that various tokens including stablecoins like Dai can be used within the Itam ecosystem by its millions of potential users,” the startup explained.

Now, Itam is working on its next big project: an in-house game called “BlueDawn,” with its own economy system. The company hopes that BlueDawn will help the platform gain more quality content and engage more users.

Besides this, the startup mentioned it has more than 50 traditional mobile games to be launched within this year. Itam says it aims to attract mobile game developers by offering them a special console by which they can register any game and get access to blockchain technology within the company’s ecosystem.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.





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Bakkt Is Scheduled to Start Testing Its Bitcoin Futures Contracts Today https://suncryptocurrency.com/bakkt-is-scheduled-to-start-testing-its-bitcoin-futures-contracts-today Mon, 22 Jul 2019 15:33:32 +0000 https://suncryptocurrency.com/bakkt-is-scheduled-to-start-testing-its-bitcoin-futures-contracts-today Bitcoin futures platform Bakkt is scheduled to begin testing its new contracts Monday. Nearly a year since revealing its ambitious vision, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is still waiting on regulatory approvals to take the platform live. Still, despite having to delay its new market multiple times, the parent of the New York...

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Bitcoin futures platform Bakkt is scheduled to begin testing its new contracts Monday.

Nearly a year since revealing its ambitious vision, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is still waiting on regulatory approvals to take the platform live. Still, despite having to delay its new market multiple times, the parent of the New York Stock Exchange is moving forward with plans to offer potentially the first physically-settled bitcoin futures in the U.S.

Bakkt announced in May that it would begin testing its bitcoin futures contracts in July, later firming up a July 22 test date.

It will apparently be testing two different types of contracts Monday: a daily and a monthly contract. Bakkt aims to list the futures, which would be traded through ICE Futures U.S. and cleared through ICE Clear U.S., the parent company’s clearinghouse.

It is unclear what specifically will be involved in the testing process. Bakkt did not reply to multiple requests for comment.

The company plans to offer U.S. traders access to physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts, which differ from the cash-settled futures contracts that Chicago exchanges CME and Cboe offered starting at the end of 2017. With cash-settled contracts, traders receive the cash equivalent to the contract’s value when it expires, while with a physically-settled contract they receive the actual underlying commodity – in this case, bitcoin.

Bakkt hopes to draw fresh institutional funding to the bitcoin ecosystem with its regulated product, which may attract investors wary of the broader market.

Launch delays

Bakkt initially announced a December 2018 launch date, before delaying to January 2019. The company announced another, indefinite delay later as it continued working with regulators to secure the necessary approvals to launch.

While Bakkt was initially said to have asked the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to approve its new product, Bakkt announced in May that it had filed to self-certify the contracts instead.

Under a self-certification process, a company essentially verifies for the CFTC that its futures contracts fulfill all legal requirements. The CFTC can review this certification, but unless there are any legal or regulatory violations, it cannot stop the product from moving forward.

While Bakkt has self-certified its contracts, it cannot launch the product until it secures a trust company charter through the New York Department of Financial Services. It is unclear if Bakkt has also applied for one of New York’s signature BitLicenses.

Bakkt isn’t alone in trying to launch the first physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts in the U.S.: LedgerX and ErisX have both recently received CFTC approvals to offer their own such product. Neither company has yet announced a firm timeline for when they might launch.

Separately, Seed CX wants to launch forwards contracts, though it is waiting on regulatory approval.

CoinDesk’s Michael Casey, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler and ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher at Consensus: Invest 2018, image via CoinDesk archives



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Palestinian Authority Considering Crypto to Replace Israeli Shekel https://suncryptocurrency.com/palestinian-authority-considering-crypto-to-replace-israeli-shekel Mon, 22 Jul 2019 15:14:01 +0000 https://suncryptocurrency.com/palestinian-authority-considering-crypto-to-replace-israeli-shekel Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh reiterated that his government is considering using cryptocurrency as an alternative to the Israeli shekel fiat currency, English-language local media Al-Monitor reports on July 22. Shtayyeh said at the opening of the Palestine Center for Computer Emergency Response in Ramallah on July 9 that he’ll...

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Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh reiterated that his government is considering using cryptocurrency as an alternative to the Israeli shekel fiat currency, English-language local media Al-Monitor reports on July 22.

Shtayyeh said at the opening of the Palestine Center for Computer Emergency Response in Ramallah on July 9 that he’ll consider every possibility to enhance the freedom of Palestinian economy that Israel won’t be able to block. 

During his first appearance on Palestine TV, after first taking office in April, he reportedly said:

“The Palestinian economy has about 25 billion shekels [$7 billion] circulating in the local economy, but we’re not forced to remain dependent on the shekel.”

Al-Monitor explains that the Paris protocol signed in April 1994 by Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization vested the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) with the powers of a central bank but without the ability to issue banknotes. The protocol furthermore reportedly stated that the Israeli shekel shall be used “as means of payment for all purposes including official transactions.” 

Economic and social sciences professor at Najah University in Nablus told the outlet:

“If Palestine has its own currency, will it be able to prevent Israel from withholding tax clearance funds or controlling crossings and the movement of exports and imports? The problem of the Palestinian economy is not the currency but rather a complex economic and political reliance on Israel.”

Furthermore, he pointed out that 170,000 Palestinians earn their salaries in shekels, and 80% of the transactions in Israel are in this currency. He concludes:

“Israel won’t accept dealing with another currency, and the shekel surplus predicament in Palestine will remain unchanged.”

As Cointelegraph reported in May 2017, Palestine already voiced intentions to develop a national cryptocurrency at the time.





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