The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has filed for approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to list two exchange-traded funds that track Bitcoin futures. The exchange wants to list the ProShares Short Bitcoin ETF and the ProShares Bitcoin ETF – two funds that were submitted for SEC approval three months ago.
The head of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has a message for anyone thinking about investing in Bitcoin: only invest if you’re prepared to lose your money. In a recent interview, the FCA’s Andrew Bailey cautioned would-be Bitcoin buyers to invest carefully, since the current dramatic price increases for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin could eventually end.
2017 has been a breakout year for digital currencies, as many of the most popular coins have seen their prices increase to dramatic new heights. That increase in price has generated an unprecedented interest in cryptocurrencies, as media outlets, financial institutions, and government officials around the world have weighed in with analysis, reports, and opinions. Public interest has also been strong, as evidenced by recently-released information from Google.
Liberty Leaf Holdings Ltd. has announced a partnership with BLOX Labs Inc, for the development of a blockchain-based smart contract platform for use in supply chain management within the legalized Cannabis industry. When complete, cannaBLOX will provide the supply chain transparency necessary to gain the trust of regulators.
In some quarters, Bitcoin has been referred to as digital gold. Now, thanks to online precious metals retailer APMEX, that digital gold can be used to purchase the real thing. The company recently announced the new payment option in a press release, and has integrated BitPay into its website portal to facilitate the purchases.
Digital currency enthusiasts and outside observers alike have been intently focused on Bitcoin’s volatile price activity over the course of the last several days, as the world’s most well-known cryptocurrency soared to more than $18,000 before declining to around $15,000 earlier today. As Bitcoin was enjoying that record-setting run, the Coinbase mobile app enjoyed another type of milestone on Thursday. As Bloomberg reports:
Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange bitFlyer has announced the launch of bitFlyer USA, which will provide digital currency trading services to customers in the United States. The company announced that it has been approved for a New York BitLicense, and has obtained licenses to operate in 40 additional US states and the District of Columbia.
Despite JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s harsh criticism of digital currency, the bank is reportedly looking at options that could provide its clients with access to CME Group’s proposed Bitcoin futures contracts. According to an unnamed source, JP Morgan Chase is currently taking stock of client demand and evaluating possible risks that might arise if the bank were to help its clients make those trades.
Financiers, investors, and cryptocurrency innovators from around the world gathered in Los Angeles last weekend to participate in the recent World Funding Summit. The two-day conference focused on a wide range of topics, including crowdfunding liquidity, ICO and blockchain, royalty financing, angel investing and venture capital, and more. Those participants included DNotes Co-Founder Alan Yong, who was a featured speaker during the ICO and Cryptocurrency panel on the first day of the summit.
The Square Cash app is now testing support for Bitcoin, and has provided a select group of customers with the ability to buy or sell the cryptocurrency within the app. The new feature is part of an effort by Square to explore how the company can improve the Bitcoin buying experience for those who want to invest in the world’s most well-known digital currency:
The sharp rise in Bitcoin prices has led Standpoint Research founder and stock analyst Ronnie Moas to revise his previous price forecasts for the world’s most well-known digital currency. According to media reports, Moas is now forecasting that Bitcoin’s price could hit $11.000 in 2018. That’s more than double the $5,000 price target Moas predicted in early July.
CME Group recently announced plans to begin offering Bitcoin futures later this year. That plan is subject to regulatory review, but approval could allow the exchange to introduce those futures contracts sometime in the fourth quarter of 2017. CME Group is the largest futures exchange in the world, and its embrace of the world’s most well-known digital currency is being viewed by many observers as a sign that Bitcoin is quickly becoming an “established asset class.”
JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon today vowed that he would no longer talk about Bitcoin. That vow came after Dimon once again criticized Bitcoin, this time during a meeting of the Institute of International Finance in Washington. According to a report from Bloomberg, Dimon’s Friday criticism covered familiar terrain.
Sirin Labs is preparing to launch a crowdfunding effort next month to support the development of its planned line of blockchain-powered Finney devices, according to media reports and information on the company’s website. The Finney line of products will initially include an open, source, secure smartphone and PC. Those products will use the company’s Shield operating system, which was designed to provide support for crypto wallets, encrypted messaging, and other blockchain applications.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) intends to closely monitor the nation’s digital currency exchanges, starting in October. According to a report in the Japan Times, the agency will be engaged in “full surveillance” of those exchanges to confirm that they have the proper systems in place to safeguard their customers’ assets. The FSA may also perform “on-site inspections” to ensure regulatory compliance.
Beginning in October, Australian utility firm Origin Energy will test a blockchain-based peer-to-peer energy-trading platform for its customers. Origin has partnered with Perth blockchain startup Power Ledger for the trial, to determine whether the technology can be effectively used to facilitate trading for customers who want to purchase or sell excess energy.
The price of Bitcoin has been regaining its footing after China’s clampdown on ICOs and exchanges. This is not the first time China has tried to stifle cryptocurrencies for fear that they can be effective means for citizens to keep their capital safe in unfavorable economic conditions, out of reach of authorities. China may attempt to nationalize the local crypto industry, and could issue digital Chinese Yuan tokens to act as the new reserve currency on newer, more-highly regulated exchanges—platforms where tokens created via state-sanctioned platforms using the new denomination could be traded. The regulations could drive innovation for Chinese fiat gateways running through decentralized exchanges, which may become the only means for investors to swap their tokens. The ruling may also push users into more anonymous cryptocurrencies that do not leave a digital footprint.
A Columbus GA medical clinic announced this week that it will now accept Bitcoin as payment for services. In a press release announcing the decision, the clinic referred to the digital currency as a “completely independent money system” and praised its lack of restrictions, outside controls, and hidden fees. The announcement claims that the center will be among the first in its area to accept the world’s most well-known digital currency.
As Bitcoin has risen in value throughout 2017, there’s been an increase in calls for regulation of the digital currency space. Various governments around the world have moved to change laws and regulations to provide some level of control over the industry. According to a group of economists at the Bank of Finland, however, those regulations might be unnecessary.
Citizens in the Swiss municipality of Chiasso will soon have the option to pay some of their taxes using Bitcoin. Beginning in January 2018, the government will initiate a trial that will permit area residents to use the digital currency for up to 250 Swiss francs of taxes. The decision comes as officials in Chiasso continue their efforts to attract more digital currency startups to the area.