BWM, Ford & Honda Led Group, MOBI, to Track Vehicle Identities Using Blockchain

BMW and Ford are some of the main participants in launching the Vehicle Identity Standard’s second installment in collaboration with the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI).

The days of incorrect mileage, false maintenance, and damage histories when buying vehicles could soon end after some of the largest automakers in collaboration with transportation and blockchain leaders joined forces in developing a blockchain-based platform that will help in tracking and protect vehicle identity.

The group has released the second version of the Vehicle Identity (VID) blockchain platform. Dubbed VID II, the new platform is a continuation of VID I, which was touted as a vehicle birth certificate. The new standard focuses on vehicle registration as well as maintenance traceability.

The new standard will enable vehicle registration between states and nations to connect easily via a secure, shareable, and trustworthy ledger. The maintenance traceability will also offer a tamper-proof history to insurance firms, government agencies, and buyers, eliminating vehicle information asymmetry. Andre Luckow, the Emerging Technologies head at BMW, said,

“At BMW, we strive to create seamless digital solutions. The reference architecture in the VID II standard is a crucial building block in transforming the frictionless and trusted mobility ecosystem.”

VID II was authored by different worldwide mobility leaders and renowned tech firms to enhance multi-stakeholder interoperability.

BMW and Ford are the VID II co-chairs with support from IBM, Honda, Accenture, Car IQ, Bosch, DMX, Denso, Quantstamp, Luxoft, and AWS.

Apart from offering a secure vehicle identity standard, VID II will also be used in the supply chain, electric vehicle charging, and autos financing, among others.

According to Cynthia Flanigan from Ford’s research and advanced engineering department, VID II would be a building block that will offer enhanced transparent, safer, and efficient registrations and maintenance of a vehicle. The standard will provide the seller and the buyer with reliable data and information to help them make informed decisions.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

ETH Gas & Bitcoin Fees Insanity Rear its Ugly Head Again Amidst Market Uptrend

As the price of cryptocurrencies keep its gains and, in some cases, rally, it is becoming costly, yet again, to use the two largest blockchains.

First things first, the fees are nowhere near the levels recorded during the bull market’s height, but still, it is getting pretty ramped up.

The average transaction fees on the Bitcoin network surged to about $12 on Friday. Interestingly, the fees didn’t record a considerable uptick on the two days that the price of Bitcoin breached multiple levels to reach a new all-time high at $24,195.

However, the fees started spiking just a week back, when it was under $3, and the BTC price was only around $18,000.

Today, Bitcoin’s average fees are back around $9. In late October, fees had gone even higher, above $13. During this time, BTC price fluctuated $1,000 up and down. Of course, we have a long way to reach the 2017 high of $60 in average fees.

The latest jump in fees came after the transaction count in mempool surged to nearly 132.5k yesterday. But today, the pending transaction is clearing up, falling to the 34.24k level. The hashrate is also 10% off of its all-time high record in mid-October.

Bitcoin price, meanwhile, is keeping around $23,560 ever since breaking it on Thursday.

Much like Bitcoin, the fees on Ethereum also spiked thanks to the bullishness in the market. For Ethereum, not just its price, which is only around $650, still 58% away from its peak but DeFi tokens also play a part.

And yesterday, DeFi tokens jumped with notable gainers, including UNI, AAVE, SUSHI, SRM, CRV, and SNX that pumped 7% to 12%.

A spike in ETH gas fees was expected. On Dec. 17, average gas fees on the network jumped to 138 ETH, up from 35 ETH earlier this month.

For ETH, the explosion of the DeFi market resulted in several such jumps in fees in 2020. In June, the average gas fees climbed to 704 ETH, as per Blockchair.

Although Ethereum has successfully launched the first phase of ETH 2.0 and already 1.57 million ETH are deposited in it, cheaper fees are still not in the picture and may take a long time to become a reality.

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Author: AnTy

Gold Investor Forecasts Continued Bullish Rally for Bitcoin and Ether in 2021

While 2020 has already proven to be a stellar year for several large-cap cryptos, some analysts are already predicting what 2021 might look like.

Major gold bug Frank Holmes has given his prediction on Bitcoin and Ether. He believes both digital assets could do much better in the new year as they capitalize on 2020’s performance.

Increased Investor Interest and a DeFi Boom

Holmes is the chief executive of U.S. Global Advisors, a Texas-based asset management firm. Speaking with Kitco News, Holmes explained that he expects digital assets to notch improved performances in 2021 along with gold. He argued that the leading cryptocurrencies had seen growth in their underlying value drivers, leading to higher adoption and price gains.

Speaking on Bitcoin, Holmes explained that the asset is seeing greater adoption. He noted the increase in the number of new wallets, maintaining what seems to be a three-year trend. However, while many have pointed to an influx of institutional investment as to why Bitcoin is surging, the gold bug attributes the rally to the halving event.

As he pointed out, a comparable halving event in the gold market could see the asset rise to $10,000 an ounce. He added that the halving had affected the supply of the asset. Joined by the quick adoption by institutions (which have a penchant for absorbing Bitcoin in large numbers), Bitcoin’s demand has grown significantly, leading to a jump in value.

Moving to Ether, Holmes highlighted that the asset had enjoyed most of its 2020 rally from the decentralized finance (DeFi) boom. DeFi Pulse shows that the total value locked in DeFi projects is at an all-time high of $14 billion. Since much of DeFi activity is done on the Ethereum blockchain, the network is seeing new usage. That will undoubtedly increase Ether’s value in the future.

Holmes further predicted that continued growth in the DeFi market would help Ether going into 2021. The investor predicted a “two-standard deviation” to occur to the asset in the next few months on gold. Estimating the occurrence’s effects, he claimed that gold could hit $2,600 an ounce before 2021 draws to a close.

Not Drawing Comparisons

Holmes refrained from speaking on Bitcoin’s potential to displace gold as the global reserve currency that many believe could happen in the next decade.

A recent Bloomberg piece explained that several Wall Street stalwarts had begun debating Bitcoin’s potential to usurp gold as the global reserve currency. Bitcoin had gotten support from names like Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmiller. Several large investment firms are even considering moving large chunks of their portfolios into BTC.

Bitcoin’s market cap is still a paltry $346 billion compared to gold’s $2.6 trillion. However, continued growth in the asset’s investor base should force a considerable change.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Bitcoin Is Heating Up; Funding Rate on Perpetual Contracts Has Finally Popped

Bitcoin has gained more than 70% since October; today, some it broke above $19k after taking a rest since breaking the $18,000 level last week. But it’s to be seen if $20k is coming soon.

It has been just this year in March, during the global sell-off, that Bitcoin went down to $3,800, and this week, we made a new all-time high at nearly $19,420. We are just over 4% away from the all-time of $20,000.

Despite these huge gains, the market has been pointing out there has been no change whatsoever in the funding rate.

A funding rate is basically used to keep the price of the perpetual swap contract, futures contracts without an expiry date, in line with the underlying asset. Every 8 hours, you will either be paying or receiving funding if you have an open position.

In a positive funding rate, longs pay the shorts; in a negative funding rate, shorts are the ones paying the longs.

Crypto market traders have been pointing these past few weeks how there has been no change in the funding despite the rally.

Finally, bitcoin funding rates on major cryptocurrency exchanges have increased considerably over the past few days.

“Long positions are heavily paying shorts – potentially incentivizing more traders to start taking the other side,” noted Glassnode.

The funding started increasing towards the weekend when Bitcoin dropped to about $17,500 level. The digital asset has been primarily keeping between $18k and $19k, taking a breather before going higher.

The funding rate on Bybit is the highest, having reached 0.16% and 0.0113% on Binance, with the mean going to 0.093%.

It is possible; finally, the market will get to have a correction everyone is waiting for some time now. During the 2017 bull cycle, the market had several pullbacks of an average of 30%.

“BTC finally heating up. Every time funding popped like this in the last six months, a strong correction followed within 24H. Basis also popping,” said trader and economist Alex Kruger. However, he added:

“This time may be different though: retail mania kicking in. Google Trends aside, I have not seen such retail interest since Jan/2018.”

The trader is expecting a repeat of this past weekend in a few days.

“This is short term leverage piling on top of the systematic spot buying we’ve been seeing for BTC and ETH.

Leverage accrued after an extended rally makes longs vulnerable. The underlying spot bid is widespread, so thinking this time is different, and leverage has room to build up.”

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Author: AnTy

MoonBeam Network Aims to Bring Ethereum Developers to Polkadot by Recreating EVM

The MoonBeam Project is making some interesting plans. The project aims to create a custom parachain, one emulating the Ethereum Virtual Machine environment. Should they pull it off, they’d effectively recreate Ethereum (ETH) within the Polkadot blockchain (DOT).

MoonBeam Aiming For Ethereum Emulator

Polkadot developers, and most other interoperability projects, typically need to develop an entirely new blockchain in order to host their respective decentralized apps. The Substrate framework of Polkadot, however, is aiming to simplify the process, seeing as not all DApps need such a monumental level of control over the environment.

MoonBeam stands as the project for Polkadot aiming to become an Ethereum emulator, operating within the same virtual environment powering all the smart contracts within the Ethereum blockchain.

Strong Governance And Cheap Fees

The MoonBeam team further highlighted that developers of Ethereum DApps only need to make minimal code changes in order to maintain the use of developer tools, such as Metamask and Truffle. As this is happening, Polkadot integration would mean easier interoperability for the entirety of the Polkadot ecosystem. This is due to other modules of Substrate still being available, which would allow the implementation of social recovery for wallets, on-chain governance, and other features to be available by developers in ready-made code.

The MoonBeam team claims that it will stand as a more affordable smart contract platform, one with a strong on-chain governance system. This sentiment is often emphasized by the co-founders of Polkadot, with them believing that this stands as a necessity for blockchain systems.

The idea is that MoonBeam will be interoperable with both Bitcoin and Ethereum, and will be thanks to dedicated bridges that other teams have already built.

ETH Seeing Newfound Competition

Even so, the competition within the DApp scalability arena is a fierce one indeed. Multiple layer-one chains actively compute with the layer-two solutions that are already native with Ethereum. Ethereum’s dominance in the smart contract space is largely thanks to the booming DeFi market within the network, but the blockchain has its limitations, as seen in 2020’s Summer.

With a new demand established, many players are aiming to capitalize on it, such as MoonBeam and Polkadot, thus providing an alternative platform for users to leverage. Other big names in this growing new niche are as follows: Binance Smart Chain, Solana, Cosmos, and the Near Protocol.

As it stands now, Moonbeam has yet to determine a concrete launch date, since it depends on the Parachain auctions of Polkadot going live. The general consensus is this will happen around the first quarter of 2021, but nothing can be stated as a hard fact.

It won’t be long before Ethereum will need to compete against other big names for supremacy within the smart contract arena. Ethereum will be the top player for some time, but historically, technology groups such as this need to upgrade itself constantly, lest it fall on the wayside faster than anyone could predict.

With any luck, an increase in competition will ultimately benefit the consumer of these projects. Ethereum suffered from a massive influx of traffic driving the gas fees through the roof, so a bit of a load off its system wouldn’t be the end of the world.

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Author: Ali Raza

Teeka Tiwari Bitcoin Price Prediction: BTC Will Hit 70k “Sooner than People Realize”

Bitcoin just reached its highest point since 2018, and some analysts believe it will surge to new all-time highs in the near future.

Crypto investment analyst Teeka Tiwari predicts bitcoin will reach $60,000 or $70,000 “a lot sooner than most people realize.”

In a recent Zoom call with Chris Lowe of Legacy Research Group, Teeka specifically predicted bitcoin growing as high as $60,000 or $70,000 USD.

Although Teeka did not issue a timeline for his prediction, Teeka insisted we’ll see cryptocurrencies with “multitrillion-dollar market caps” within the near future – similar to how stocks like Amazon and Apple have multitrillion-dollar market caps today:

“You will see cryptocurrencies with multitrillion-dollar market caps – like how you now see stocks like Amazon and Apple with multitrillion-dollar market caps.”

Teeka made the prediction back in August when bitcoin was hovering between $10,000 and $12,000.

Over the last few weeks, bitcoin has surged to recent highs, reaching as high as $13,793 on October 27. Although the price has retreated slightly in recent days, some are calling for bitcoin to reach a new all-time high before the end of 2020.

Teeka deliberately did not put a timeline on his prediction, stating that he did not want to get backed into a corner – similar to how other cryptocurrency ‘gurus’ have looked foolish when their price prediction dates have come and gone:

“I’m not going to paint myself into a corner and say when. But it will happen a lot sooner than most people realize.”

2020 has been an uncertain year for everything, but bitcoin has remained relatively steady throughout the year. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency has continued to slowly accumulate market cap throughout the year.

While some believe there will be a correction before the end of this year, others believe bitcoin will surge. We could see a tumultuous end to 2020. With the US presidential election and uncertain COVID-19 treatments, bitcoin could be a safe haven for investors in a world of uncertainty.

In his interview, Teeka claims we’re in “maybe the second half of just the first inning of this bull market.” As much as bitcoin’s price has surged in recent months, Teeka believes this is just the first 10% of the bull market – with the remaining 90% surge still to come:

“We’re in maybe the second half of just the first inning of this bull market. You’re going to see bitcoin reach $60,000 or $70,000.”

Why Bitcoin Could Surge to All-Time Highs

There are reasons to be optimistic about bitcoin in the near future. Teeka and his team have collected all of the following evidence showing the long-term viability of bitcoin and digital currencies in general:

Fidelity (one of the world’s largest asset managers), Intercontinental Exchange (ICE, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange), and JP Morgan Chase (one of America’s largest banks) are creating crypto products and services for clients.

Walmart, Visa, IBM, Citigroup, and UPS are adopting blockchain technology, using it to track supply chains and cross-border transactions.

Billionaire hedge funds are allocating a portion of their portfolios towards bitcoin, and a growing number of asset managers recommend putting a slice of your portfolio into alternative assets like bitcoin.

The Department of Defense, the Secret Service, and NASA work with blockchain technology for national security and space exploration.

The central banks of China, Sweden, and France are exploring the launch of their own digital currencies called Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) that could change the future of national currency as we know it.

It’s not all good news for crypto, however. On October 30, bitcoin abruptly dropped 4% as Bank of America predicted a 20% market crash. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has declined 7.55% since October 12, and some suggest this winter will be the end of the market’s historic bull market – leading to uncertain times for bitcoin.

Of course, critics argue that uncertain times lead to a surge in bitcoin prices. Bitcoin delivers that coveted ‘alpha’ investors seek. Bitcoin rises or falls on different factors than traditional markets, and it’s not tied to the economy of any specific country.

Teeka first approached the Legacy Research Group team back in 2016, advocating for them to cover cryptocurrencies.

Clearly, Teeka believes bitcoin’s brightest days are ahead. Stay tuned to see if bitcoin reaches $60,000 to $70,000 within the near future.

The long time bitcoin advocate is also hosting an upcoming event on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, at 8 PM ET called Teeka Tiwari’s Crypto Catch-Up event. The Crypto Catch Up webinar hosted by Palm Beach Research Group’s Teeka Tiwari will be referred to as ‘The Last Chance To Get The Life You Want,’ where the cryptocurrency countdown will take place.

During the Crypto Catch Up event by Teeka Tiwari, Mr. Big T, or The Crypto Oracle, will be revealing his top coin pick for 2020 along with five additional coins that he believes are destined and due to post great gains in the coming months and years ahead. The event is absolutely free to sign up and watch, giving highly educational materials for anyone who attends and watches the live in-person summit.

Again, The Crypto Catch-Up: Your Last Chance to Get the Life You Want event with Teeka Tiwari is the latest and greatest offering from one of America’s most trusted crypto analysts, having been recommending Bitcoin when it was $429 BTC/USD and Ethereum at $9 ETH/USD all the way back in 2016. The new crypto event is on Wednesday, November 11th, at 8 PM ET and is a must-see actionable event that will provide invaluable insights and analysis, along with Teeka Tiwari’s top crypto coin ticker symbol to buy right away just for signing up today.

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Author: Andrew Tuts

Binance Boosts Visa Card Incentives with Auto Top-Up, Daily Cashback & Higher Spending Limits

Binance has added some perks to its recently launched debit card rolled out in the European Economic Area (EEA) one month ago. The crypto exchange is looking to expand its footprint in the retail market as more crypto users opt to have a good part of their portfolio stored in digital assets. Binance’s Visa-branded card is designed to facilitate a seamless conversion to fiat when making payments.

With over 60 million outlets accepting Visa payments, Binance card users can leverage this service to make online payments. The exchange is yet to integrate a prepaid function for PoS payments but is currently in the product pipeline. Notably, the crypto card service by Binance is part of a growing niche as more merchants move to accept crypto payments.

Binance has now increased the incentives for using its crypto card; the exchange introduces a ‘daily cashback’ reward program instead of the ‘one-week’ initial arrangement. This means that users will be getting their rewards daily, making it more attractive to use the Binance card more frequently.

As for cashback reward rates, Binance has bumped the figure to 8% from 7%, which was initially set as the maximum amount. Binance crypto card users whose purchases are eligible for the cashback rewards can expect an 8% cashback that could be cashed out daily. It is quite noteworthy that the cashback reward program favors BNB holders, depending on the amount they hold.

Besides the cashback incentives, Binance raised its crypto card’s spending limit to €870 per day. The crypto exchange anticipates that it will further raise this limit upon scaling the physical card mainstream use in the future. An automatic top-up feature has also been integrated to make daily deposits seamless.

The Binance crypto card touts zero maintenance, subscription, and transaction fees, apart from 3rd party charges where they apply. Users can currently deposit funds into their pre-selected Binance digital wallets to use them via the exchange’s crypto card. However, it remains scanty whether Binance will ultimately feature withdrawals, contactless payments, chip, and PIN tech within the physical card.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Tether Saves the Day by Reversing a 1 Million ERC20-based USDT Transaction Sent to DEX Swerve

Some might say, Tether has saved the day.

Surely for the degen whose million dollars was involved here. But not for the crypto industry, which promotes self-sovereignty.

As Dovey Wan said, “It’s defeating the purpose of “code is law” and “unconditional execution of smart contracts.”’

And of course, it’s DeFi (Decentralized Finance), not CeFi (Centralized Finance).

What happened was someone accidentally sent a million dollars in ERC20-based USDT to the Swerve token contract directly.

“I have sent 1000000 usdt to swrv address, who can help me get back the usdt,” wrote the user @free on DEX Swerve’s Discord channel.

Swerve Finance is the copycat of the popular DEX Curve, which has more than $1 billion of total value locked (TVL) in it. Swerve, meanwhile has only about $385 million locked while having less than 10% of Curve’s volume.

Its token SWRV is trading at $3.40 with a market cap of $5.4 million compared to CRV’s $74 million market cap at $1.88.

Tether then came to the rescue of the degen, offering to recover the amount.

Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Tether and it’s sister company Bitfinex, asked the person to open a ticket to the Tether support service. Because of the amount involved, Ardoino said the company would prioritize it if the person directly involved in the issue provides the ticket ID.

“If it’s USDt ERC20 stuck in an address we should be able to recover it, but in order to be sure, please contact our customer support and we’ll try our best,” said Ardoino.

USDT is the most popular stablecoin in the market, but much like Coinbase and Circle’s joint effort USDC, it can blacklist the transactions and recover your money.

Back in 2016, Ethereum also reversed the $50 million DAO hack, but the crypto king Bitcoin has never done so. Back in 2019, Binance CEO suggested such a move, a “rollback,” after the exchange suffered a hack, but it didn’t happen because of the strong opposition from the crypto community.

“Most CEX or wallets probably should not let users send to these addresses. But new ones come up all the time…” commented Changepeng “CZ” Zhao this time.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Acting Like a ‘Stablecoin’ while Exuberance in Altcoins Looking ‘2016-2017’-ish

Bitcoin has surely made some moves, but 2020 so far is about altcoins, at least in terms of gains.

As Binance CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said, “bitcoin feels like a stable coin to me. It’s moving up so slowly. It only moved from $4100 in March to $11800 now. Every time it moved up, I get used to the new price in like 30 seconds, and starts to wish it will go higher…”

Meanwhile, altcoins have been flying. The growth seen by DeFi tokens has been even more dramatic, completely off the charts with the likes of YFI hitting new ATH at north of $15,000 with 46,800% returns in just a month while Aave (LEND) jumped 6,500% YTD.

“YFI is one of those few tokens driven almost entirely by smart money,” tweeted trader and economist Alex Kruger.

Bitcoin struggling to sustain above $12,000 and ranging is working in altcoins’ favor, especially the small-cap ones. The small caps index is up 50% this month and more than 260% YTD.

Mid-cap index meanwhile is up about 90% while large caps underperform with Ethereum facing an “uphill battle” to control its skyrocketing transaction fees. Meanwhile, “Bitcoin is being used as a source of collateral to seek alpha elsewhere,” wrote Denis Vinokourov of Bequant.

Digital assets are looking a little “2016-2017”-ish with $173 billion added to the crypto market this year. In the DeFi world, meanwhile, this growth has been much crazier with its market cap reaching $15 billion.

“Exuberance across alts is so high people have been paying 100-500% annualized to be long via derivatives,” noted Kruger.

Amidst this market euphoria, the gains hit a snag when bitcoin dropped this week, and in turn, altcoins fell even harder. But even that correction hasn’t been able to calm down the over-eager bulls as the market began trending up again today.

Moreover, some retracement is better for cryptos to move more steps ahead. As analyst Rekt Capital notes, a similar movement was seen in late November 2017, which gave us the face-melting rally of December 2017 and January 2018.

Moreover, the search interest for “buy crypto” that spiked this summer is growing rapidly, currently at the highest level since January 2018 as per Google Trends.

Search interest for “buy bitcoin” took a jump before the halving, but now even a larger spike is seen in the term “buy crypto” over the past month and for “buy altcoins,” interest has skyrocketed.

But in the near future, the big event that could affect bitcoin and, by extension, altcoins is coming on August 27-28. Already, the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting show officials are in favor of additional stimulus.

It will be a big risk-off if the Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s message at Jackson Hole is ultra dovish and if he talks about changes to the inflation target under the coming monetary policy framework review. Additionally, it won’t be good for the risky markets and, as such, would “crush” bitcoin, stocks, and metals all alike if no fiscal package is further agreed upon by then, said Kruger.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Futures OI Surpasses $4B, BitMEX Regains its Dominance While Bakkt is A Ghost Town

The Bitcoin market is back to seeing some action.

As the price of the BTC moves, so does the volume and open interest. Open interest for bitcoin futures on crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX has yet again exceeded $1 billion, back to the pre-March crash level.

The sell-off on March 12th hit BitMEX the hardest as it’s bitcoin balance dropped substantially. But now the total open interest on the exchange has returned to its levels of January.

Interestingly, before the March crash, BitMEX accounted for 36% of the total OI in the bitcoin futures market only to lose its market share to OKEx, which became the leading bitcoin futures platform in terms of OI.

But BitMEX took its top spot back recently and is now accounting for 23% of the total OI, as per Arcane Research.

Not just on BitMEX, but the total open interest in the bitcoin futures market has recovered to the pre-crash levels, currently at $4.362 billion, and is now on its way to February high.

This time, however, the OI is more evenly distributed among the participants that it was before the sell-off.

Huobi, Binance, and CME all hold more than 10% of total OI share while Bakkt has a mere 0.20%.

Total Open Interest Futures Market
Source: Arcane Research

Bakkt is not only performing badly in terms of OI, but pretty much nothing is going on the ICE-baked platform, whose launch was once highly coveted by the market.

Bitcoin futures volume on the exchange remained below $30 million, which has grown to $48 million this week. The only exchange on par with Bakkt is Kraken. As for the open interest in Bitcoin futures, Bakkt holds the lowest place at just $7 million, followed by CoinFlex at $8 million.

When it comes to its bitcoin options product, Bakkt has nothing to showcase because absolutely $0 has been traded in volume and recorded in OI for over a month now. The Bitcoin options market remains under the dominance of Derbit, which controls 92% of volume recording $161 million in volume and $1.3 billion in OI on July 23rd, as per Skew.

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Author: AnTy