Bakkt Bitcoin Physical Delivery at its Lowest in 2020 in Contrast to Trading Volume & OI

Bitcoin is immensely bullish with price making big splashes and the number of active bitcoin addresses (7-day average) surpassing 1 million, the largest addresses recorded since January 2018.

These active addresses jumped while the price of bitcoin is making its way back to $11,400 after it plunged to about $10,350 over the weekend within half an hour of hitting a new 2020 high of $12,112.

This volatility resulted in $1.1 billion worth of futures positions of over 70,000 traders getting liquidated across all exchanges on Sunday.

However, “despite the aforementioned volatility in the market, the futures curve was again seen following a contango term structure, indicating leverage interest, with the selloff likely used as an opportunity to re-establish longs at better levels,” said Denis Vinokourov of Bequant.

The price action in the bitcoin market is helping Intercontinental Exchange-backed Bakkt gain institutional investors’ interest back.

As we reported, last week, twice in a row, the platform made new all-time highs in trading volume.

On July 28, Bakkt bitcoin futures reached a new record high of 11,509 contracts, which was an increase of 85% from their last record-setting day. That day, the largest cryptocurrency broke above $11,000.

The next day, Bakkt broke into yet another new all-time high with 11,706 Bitcoin Futures, worth over $125 million.

Open interest on Bakkt has also made good progress, going from $3.7 million on July 16 to $24 million on July 31st, as per Skew.

In complete contrast to all the excitement trading volume and open interest is enjoying, the physical delivery of BTC, a facet that differentiates Bakkt from its counterparts, fell. The exchange had its lowest physical delivery in 2020.

“The amount of BTC futures contracts held to expiry crashed down 74% in July, to 58 BTC. This is the lowest amount held to expiry so far in 2020,” noted Arcane Research.

Just last month, Bakkt had the third-highest delivery at 221 BTC — 293 BTC in March and 230 in January are the two biggest months since its launch in September 2019. The only time with less than these futures contracts were held to expire was in the first three months, October, November, and December at 15, 17, and 8 BTC.

Meanwhile, bitcoin options remain a disappointment as for more than a month now, $0 has been traded in Bakkt bitcoin options, and the same is the case for its OI. Its competitor CME, however, recorded $60 million in bitcoin options on July 28th and $275 million in OI on July 30th.

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Author: AnTy

XRP Bagholders Search For Hopium, Did they Find it?

After making a move before the weekend that gave hope to the bagholders, XRP took a dive yet again.

The fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap is currently trading at $0.176 in red like the majority of the market. In the past week, it has dropped by over 6% and 12.5% in the past year.

In the USD market, XRP is able to hold off some losses but in the BTC market, it has dropped to a new low. On June 27th, XRP/BTC dropped to 0.000019 which was last seen in December 2017 just before it exploded to an all-time high of $3.92.

Just like XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is another cryptocurrency that fell to a new low of $0.0240 against BTC.

The situation of XRP prices is so dire that XRP bagholders are going to great lengths to make bizarre connections.

Ripple CTO David Schwartz today took to Twitter to question the 900 years old horse “trough” and XRP investors where Schwartz was indirectly talking about the end of XRP’s declining period.

Not so bizarre for the bagholders, apparently!

Schwartz may not have been giving the investors hope but trader DonAlt is surely providing the much-needed ‘hopium’ to the XRP community.

DonAlt posted a chart where he pointed to about a 500% increase in XRP price. But it’s not all bull talk as he also painted another 38.5% drop from the new low. Or it could very well fall into oblivion.

Another dose of hopium was in the form of SBI Holdings’ crypto fund. Reportedly, the Japanese financial conglomerate SBI Holdings has announced the launch of the country’s first cryptocurrency fund with 50% of its assets to be in the XRP and 30% in Bitcoin (BTC) and 20% in Ethereum (ETH).

A long-term Ripple partner, SBI is also planning to roll out its Security Token Offerings (STO) exchange by this year end and has started working on products that it would offer on the exchange’s release. It has already launched a crypto exchange called SBI VC Trade.

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Author: AnTy

Professional Money Managers Loading Up on Bitcoin Post Halving

After making yet another attempt towards $10,000, Bitcoin failed to take over this important level and is currently trading under $9,500.

Interestingly, the world’s leading cryptocurrency is challenging the downtrend experienced after the 2017 bull run.

But this time a lot of factors are in bitcoin’s favor. For starters, bitcoin looks to be decoupled from the stock market.

Also, this week, the 7-day average “real” trading volume pushed to the highest levels of 2020. This week followed last week’s volatile but solid volume.

The last time bitcoin price was at this level was in July 2019, when the BTC price peaked at $13,900.

CME Captures Market Share

This week, the regulated market CME really shone as well. Over the last month, CME bitcoin futures saw significant growth in terms of open interest. Prior to the March crash, CME accounted for 4%-8% of all the open interest in the bitcoin futures market.

But this crash made a visible trend shift that has CME gaining the market share as it now accounts for 15% of OI. Arcane Research noted,

“This growth may indicate that professional money managers have loaded up on bitcoin following the market crash, seeking to allocate cash into a provably scarce asset class.”

Excluding Paul Tudor Jones’ $75 million worth of OI on CME bitcoin futures, still $400 million is held by other investors.

However, open interest in OKEx bitcoin futures has dropped which means traders are taking profits on their positions. As we reported, the bitcoin options market has surged to an all-time high this week.

Deribit remains the biggest player in the options market with its OI steadily fluctuating between 80% to 90% of the total market. CME that used to play a minor role now accounts for about 1-2% of total OI after recording over an 11% increase on Thursday.

Fast and strong growth

When it comes to the Bitcoin network, the 40% crash in bitcoin hash rate in the days following the halving that reduced mining profitability to half had some miners moving back to bitcoin forks.

Meanwhile, Network Value to Transaction ratio indicated bitcoin price might be about to enter a period of “fast and strong growth.”

Source: ArcaneResearch

NVT ratio measures the BTC price relative to the value transferred over the network. Over the past three years, the ratio exceeding 10 could indicate a fast and strong pace growth as seen in 2017, 2019, and 2020 and above 12, it could be a local top.

Also, network traffic must increase for the price to continue rising and in USD terms, network traffic is rising sharply.

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Author: AnTy

LG CNS Testing AI & Blockchain-Based Facial Recognition Tech For Contactless Digital Payments

LG CNS, the IT subsidiary of the electronic good manufacturer is testing an AI-based facial recognition system for making digital payments, as reported by IT Times on 23rd April. The IT Times report also noted that the company is already testing the new tech on its employees. The firm has been testing the new technology since March.

LG’s facial recognition tech makes use of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and cloud technology. The testing phase of the tech on company employees saw them using it for making payments in the cooperate canteens and restaurant in blockchain-based cooperate currency.

The facial recognition scans the face to detect the customer than match it with the data available on the blockchain and later charge them from their cooperate account. All these processes happen simultaneously in a matter of a few seconds.

Is Facial Recognition Based Payment Gateway Secure?

Blockchain-based data storage networks might be considered as secure, and a contactless payment system might sound convenient, but Trent Lapinski, a whitehat hacker disagrees. Lapinski explained that decentralization might sound fancy and secure to many but one must understand that privately owned and developed blockchain networks are not truly decentralized. He explained that a couple of code changes in the blockchain code could potentially corrupt the network and hijack the data easily.

Since blockchain is used to store data, its authenticity and security depend on immutability and if that is bypassed, it could be used to run havoc on the people who trusted the system in the first place.

Blockchain Being Increasingly Used By Mainstream Tech Firms

Mainstream tech firms are showing an increasing interest in the decentralized techs and have invested in multiple ventures based on blockchain technology. IBM is one such firm that has not just invested heavily in multiple blockchain ventures but has also emerged as a choice for a blockchain infrastructure provider to enterprises.

Similarly, for the LG Group CNS, the AI and Blockchain-based facial recognition is not the only blockchain venture they are working on. Last year in July, the firm revealed that they are looking forward to introducing blockchain in supply chain management for school cafeteria lunches, where they would put the data of the food items including their origin, where they were processed and when they were packaged to ship, to make it easy for anyone to check the origin of their food with a simple barcode scan.

LG CNS has also partnered with the blockchain subsidiary of internet service provider Kakao to develop infrastructure which is mutually compatible. LG is planning to narrow the gap between public and private blockchain which would not only make them more widely usable but also bring down the cost of the infrastructure significantly.

Lee Joon-won, solution business development manager at LG CNS, talked about the company’s interest in the decentralized tech and what they intend to achieve through these investments. He said,

“It is expected that blockchain-based community currency will be used by a lot more people as it becomes more convenient when it meets AI.

As non-face-to-face technologies are applied recently, a blockchain that increases transaction reliability will be used more widely.”

Here is a demonstration:

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Author: Silvia A

Ripple (XRP) Price Analysis (April 23)

Key Highlights

  • XRP’s price has been making another attempt toward averaging its upper range line at $0.20.
  • The current short upsurge in the valuation of XRP/USD, could in the near time, lose momentum.
  • Yet, XRP/USD market may continue to trade in its range levels.

Ripple (XRP) Price Analysis

• Major resistance levels: $0.22, $0.24, $0.26
• Major support levels: $0.16, $0.14, $0.12

There has been another attempt made by XRP towards averaging its long upper range trading level at a $0.20 mark. The US dollar appears losing in its capacity. Hence, the reason for the short rise as at the time of writing. Price seems to push stronger in a range northward a bit more than in the past.

However, the current buying pressure still lacks the power, upon which short-term bullish traders can rely, especially while they miss out the entry at the $0.18 lower range price line. Meanwhile, it could be among good investing value levels for investors.

Ripple Technical Indicators Reading

The Upper Bollinger Band has bent down slightly within the range trading levels. And, a 4-hour candlestick has briefly push northward against it in the range levels. The Lower Bollinger Band is at the $0.18 lower range line as both the 50-day SMA and the Middle Bollinger Band move a bit over. All those suggest a relative increase in the market valuation of XRP/USD. The Stochastic Oscillators have crossed the hairs near underneath range 80 to signal more up rise potentials in a near trading session.

Conclusion

There has been no reliable price signal to suggest any ends of the long XRP/USD range market moves at the time of writing. In other words, while the crypto-trade keeps within or around its range trading levels, there’ll be room side-ways trading operations. While that assumption plays, traders should be cautious of placing orders.

Disclaimer: The presented information is subjected to market condition and may include the very own opinion of the author. Please do your ‘very own’ market research before making any investment in cryptocurrencies. Neither the writer nor the publication (bitcoinexchangeguide.com) holds any responsibility for your financial loss.

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Author: Ben Jordan

BTC Miners Shrug Off Difficulty Drop But RSI Has Never Been this Weak Before the Halving

Since its sell-off in March, the price of bitcoin has been making a recovery. This positive movement has the miners’ profitability turning positive after being negative following the price crash.

As such, the hash rate of the network has increased by 18% since hitting bottom in late March. As miners have started powering on their machines yet again, it resulted in a positive difficulty adjustment after more than 15% of negative adjustment following the drop in hash power. Crypto data tracker Coin Metrics noted,

Bitcoin-implied-hash-rate-coinmetrics

Source: CoinmetricsThe network started seeing positive growth only for the BTC price to fall back below $6,800. Today, we went down as low as $6,542.

Increasing hash rate and rising mining difficulty combined with falling prices and upcoming halving, however, is not good for miners. Their profitability can yet again take a hit which could push them to sell their BTC. Coin Metrics founder, Nic carter said,

“Now the difficulty can consistently increase and the rewards halve, a pretty expense operation this mining business, how much do we need to sell these coins for now whilst remaining competitive.”

The halving is now less than a month away that would cut down the block rewards in half. And “RSI … never been this oversold before the halving.”

A momentum indicator, the relative strength index (RSI) measures the magnitude of recent price changes to evaluate the overbought or overvalued conditions in the price of an asset. The oscillator with a reading from 0 to 100.

If the RSI has a value at or above 70, the asset is overbought or overvalued while a reading of 30 or below indicates the oversold or undervalued conditions.

Bitcoin’s RSI is currently less than 50 just before the halving and it has never been this undervalued before the event.

Also, unlike the losses we are seeing right now, such a pullback pre-halving wasn’t seen on previous events. After the 2016 halving, there was a “little blip” because of the DAO hack on Ethereum and Bitfinex exchange hack but after the 2012 halving, BTC went “straight up.”

However, we are currently undergoing a coronavirus crisis that didn’t happen in the past decade. This is also BTC’s first time experiencing government slashing interest rates to zero and printing money like crazy.

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Author: AnTy

Bitmain Rolls Out Antminer S19 Miner Sales; Already Sold Out, Won’t Ship Until Halving

Only a month after making the announcement that it’s going to release the crypto mining hardware Antminer S19 Series, Bitmain has put the product on sale.

The sales are to be made domestically first and internationally very soon after. The S19 was called the “future of mining.” It’s the latest ASIC model and available in 2 different versions: the 95 TH/Ss and the 90 TH/s functioning at 34.5±%5 J/TH, and the S19 Pro that comes as the 110 TH/S and 105 TH/S models, both which have a 29.5±%5 J/TH power efficiency.

Unfortunately, stock didn’t last long. They completely sold out within 24 hours.

How’s the S19 Different from Previous Models?

The Antminer S19 surely makes the previous models seem obsolete. Its Pro version functions at the 110 TH/s hashrate, whereas the Antminter S9 at the 15 TH/s one. The S17 version reaches only 55 TH/s.

All this means S19 is the most powerful Bitmain mining rig at the moment. Both the S19 and the S19 Pro models offer the best energy efficiency, which will be very helpful for miners when the hashrate drops together with the Bitcoin (BTC) price.

Bitmain Is Trying to Change Crypto Mining Altogether

Seeing the Bitcoin Halving is very close, Bitmain couldn’t have made a better decision than to announce the S19 at the end of last month, as miners need to compete for a smaller reward. Besides, since the rigs’ hashrate is by far higher, not too many of them are needed for mining only one BTC.

Some people on Crypto Twitter question the date of the release, beliving that Bitmain is trying to hold back the competition, allowing themselves to use them first before releasing them to the public.

Because the price is going too low even for some, many of the miners will have to give up the network, meaning only big players will want to invest in expensive mining equipment at the moment, especially since the prices are continuing to go down. The S19’s price and shipping date haven’t been yet revealed by Bitmain, even if all the specs have been presented.

While 2019 hasn’t been at all easy for BTC miners, it seems like 2020 isn’t going in a good direction either.

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Author: Oana Ularu

FINTRAC to Enforce Stricter Rules for Crypto Companies to Comply with FATF’s Regulations

The Canadian financial crimes watchdog is making preparations for the implementation of its new powers on virtual currency oversight before the June 2020 deadline set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

This means the Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) is going to be more strict when it comes to regulating companies that use virtual currency, also the activities and transactions taking place after June 1, when the new rules will start to take effect. Here’s what a FINTRAC report from early March reads:

“A major priority in the near term will be the implementation of new regulations arising from recent legislative change.”

Sweeping Powers Are an Amendment to Criminal Finance Framework

The sweeping powers are an amendment to the Canadian criminal finance report and passed in June 2019. They’re expected to enhance the AML/ATF regime in the country, says the FINTRAC. FINTRAC is for Canada what the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is for the US.

Canadian companies registered as money services businesses and that have at least $10,000 CAD in crypto will have to comply with the new regulations and provide documentation for their crypto transactions of more than $1,000 CAD, in some cases. This information will include the names, addresses, birth dates and phone numbers of the sender and the receiver of transactions. The transactions of $10,000 CAD or above will require even more documentation. The amendments classify the violations of regulations as minor infractions.

FINTRAC Responds to FATF’s 2015-2016 Assessment

Canada imposes new amendments of virtual currencies after the FATF made in 2015 – 2016 an assessment of its AML and CFT frameworks and deemed them as deficient. Being a FATF member, the country should meet some specific thresholds. In its report from March, the FINTRAC said Canada’s interests should be served by the legislative and policy framework while international expectations are being met. Other countries are also hurrying to comply with FATF’s demands until the June deadline.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Circle To Boost Adoption of USD Coin (USDC) With Business Accounts and API Services

As Circle looks to dive deeper into making its stablecoin (USDC) a household name, it is continuing to spin-off acquired projects that aren’t a core business. Next up on the chopping block is the crowdfunding platform SeedInvest that it bought back in October of 2018.

Circle has the intention to remain focused on the development of stablecoin products, announced Jeremy Allaire, Circle’s CEO and one of the firm’s co-founders. Included in this process, the company will roll out new Business Accounts and Circle APIs, that will allow developers to build on top of the USDC network.

Circle Has Many Revenue Streams

While Circle has many revenue streams, it’s still trying to grow its development and research wings, on which it has focused on ever since the summer of 2019, when it started to offer USDC products

Over the last year, Circle sold the crypto exchange Poloniex that it has bought in 2018, closed its payments app Circle Pay, also sold Circle Invest and Circle Trade to Voyager and respectively Kraken, not to mention is at the moment considering to sell SeedInvest too.

SeedInvest, No Longer at the Core of Circle’s Business

According to Allaire, SeedInvest is no longer at the core of the business conducted at Circle. The CEO’s said,

“We exited the exchange business … so the need for that set of licensing just doesn’t exist anymore. The second thing is this whole kind of tokenization, having regulated broker-dealers and tokenized securities, that’s been slow-rolled.”

Ever since January, the company has also reduced its number of employees from 300 to 125 as a result of its many departments being sold. Regarding this, Allaire had to say that:

“We had about 100 people who went with these different spinouts … [it was] a natural way for people to go with those businesses and product lines.”

What’s Next for Circle?

Speaking to Coindesk, Allaire said his company is planning to announce additional stablecoin products.

“We’ve been executing like crazy on USDC,” he said. “We’ve tokenized over $1.6 billion in USDC, crossed the $500 million market cap recently.”

These products will firstly include new business accounts that Circle is planning to offer to startups the new products for free and then transition to a usage-based subscription afterward.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Circle CEO Says USDC Outpacing Other Stablecoins, Adding Tether’s Greatest Feature is ‘Opacity’

Jeremy Allaire, co-founder, and CEO of Circle, a peer-to-peer payments technology company is making the prediction for 2020.

His predictions are solely focused on stablecoins that he believes will continue to show prowess this year.

“While the media gets spun-up about CDEP and Libra, the industry continues to build. 2020 will continue to be a major year for stablecoins,” said Allaire.

According to him, mainstream use-cases will be built on the fiat-backed digital currency on public chains.

Why hyping on Libra and CBDC? Look at USDC

He points out how the media and industry are hyping over the un-launched stablecoins, which could be social media giant Facebook’s Libra which is expected to launch this year but has been gaining extreme criticism from the regulators all over the world.

Allaire says while those stablecoins and central bank digital currencies are seeing all the limelight, the crypto industry is already seeing USDC’s continued outpacing with about $520 million USDC in circulation.

ERC20 token USD Coin (USDC) is a stablecoin backed by US dollars, which are “held in reserve by regulated financial institutions.” It is the brainchild of CENTRE, an open-source technology bootstrapped by a contribution from Circle and US-based crypto exchange Coinbase.

Others suffering while Tether’s greatest feature is opacity

While USDC has been growing, Allaire points out PAX has flat-lined at $240 million, TUSD in rapid decline and GUSD and BUSD are DOA (dead on arrival).

However, he does note Tether’s dominance, stating, “Tether continues to be largest stablecoin, offering an attractive option as an unregulated offshore USD shadow banking solution for China and Asia.”

But not before taking a jab at its lack of transparency about its fiat backing. In April this year, it has been revealed that USDT, the most popular stablecoin and 4th largest digital currency by market cap is only 74% backed by fiat.

“It’s greatest feature is its non-compliance and opacity,” said Allaire.

Apart from stablecoins, Allaire added about Decentralized Financing (DeFi), saying “DeFi scaling up open finance.”

DeFi is a conventional financial tool built on the blockchain. Currently, $678 million are locked in DeFi, up 133% from $290 million in January, as per DeFi Pulse.

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Author: AnTy