After a bumpy two weeks that included the ICO ban and the following announced closures of on-shore exchanges in China and a fair share of bitcoin-bashing by high-ranking financiers, the price of bitcoin corrected aggressively from its recent all-time high down to below the $3,000 mark. Nonetheless, the price managed to recover again to move back into the $4,000s, which showed bitcoin holders the promising fact that China no longer matters as much as it used to. Given China’s occasional radical policy measures, this is nothing but good news for long-term bitcoin investors.
The past seven days, were not much different. While the price of bitcoin stayed volatile and traded in the $3,500 and $4,050 range, gaining around four percent week-on-week. The volatility was largely due to China allegedly announcing that CEOs of bitcoin exchanges are not allowed to leave the country and that even bitcoin mining may become “outlawed” in the near future.
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Additionally, “everyone’s favorite” investment banker, Jamie Dimon, was also back at it sharing his negative thoughts on bitcoin and was joined this week by Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio who also called bitcoin a bubble.
In light of the recent wave of cryptocurrency-negative news, some have suggested that this may be an orchestrated attack against bitcoin out of the fear of what decentralized digital currencies could do to banking profits, while others say that this was orchestrated by large invested parties who shorted bitcoin for profits. Either way, bitcoin has been managed to stay resilient and has shown the world that it is well on its way to mature into an established asset class.
Fortunately, we have also had some positive news. We might see a bitcoin futures-based ETF get launched before the end of the year, according to ETF.com CEO.
This week’s review is compiled from contributions by Liam Kelly, Jamie Holmes, Joseph Young, and Michael Scott.
In consideration of growing demand from institutional and retail investors, ETF.com CEO Dave Nadig stated that the global Bitcoin community is likely to see the emergence of a US-based bitcoin futures ETF by the end of 2017.
During March 2017, the US Securities and Exchange Commission rejected the proposal of the Winklevoss twins to introduce a bitcoin ETF, attributing the rejection of the ETF to the lack of overseas regulation for bitcoin exchanges and investors. However, as evidently demonstrated by Japan, South Korea, and other countries in Asia and Europe, overseas bitcoin markets have become well regulated with practical regulations and policies.
Also, Nadig is highly optimistic toward ongoing projects by major financial institutions such as the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), the largest options exchange in the US, that are planning on introducing bitcoin futures contracts in 2017. Considering that the Winklevoss twins have secured a multi-year strategic partnership with a major US financial institution to provide bitcoin futures, as Nadig explained, it is likely that the US SEC will approve the Winklevoss twins’ proposal for a bitcoin ETF.
Previously, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee proposed the possibility of performing atomic swaps between litecoin and bitcoin upon the integration of the Bitcoin Core development team’s transaction malleability and scaling solution Segregated Witness (SegWit). On-chain atomic swaps completely eliminate the necessity of intermediaries and third-party service providers such as trading platforms.
“This is an important step in a direction that allows users to conduct trustless, cross-chain, over-the-counter (“OTC”) trades without a third party. This disintermediates the exchange process between cryptocurrencies that support these swap transactions,” wrote the Decred development team.
On September 19, Reuters reported that Mexican officials had announced the formulation of a bill to regulate the growing Financial Technology (FinTech) sector in the country. The proposed bill will allow government bodies to balance risks and create competition in a new and growing market. Although an independent commission has yet to be formed, reports state that the central bank will be in charge of overseeing the project.
The Mexican President, Enrique Pena Nieto, also confirmed that the proposed legislation would be announced in the Senate on September 20. For Pena Nieto, the greatest concern is to protect his country from the “financing of extremists” as well as ensuring “financial stability.” The president’s report has been welcomed by companies focused on crowdfunding as well as payment firms.
Recent reports from local news publications including Beijing News revealed that the Chinese government had disallowed cryptocurrency exchange executives from leaving the country until its investigations come to an end.
The translation of the original report read: “A number of informed sources say the executives of special currency trading platforms are not allowed to leave Beijing to cooperate with the investigation. In accordance with regulatory requirements, trading platform shareholders, the actual controller, executives and financial executives need to fully cooperate with the relevant work in the clean-up period in Beijing.”
It is unclear whether the government’s decision to disallow cryptocurrency exchange executives to leave the country while the investigation is ongoing relates to the idle funds controversy. But, according to experts including BnkToTheFuture CEO Simon Dixon, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) requested every bitcoin exchange in China to submit a daily report until their operations are officially terminated.
Torrent Freak revealed that The Pirate Bay stated the feature was under testing for 24 hours as part of a trial for new ways of generating income. The Pirate Bay even revealed that it might be profitable enough to replace ads forever. The trial run occurred on September 16, and ‘pirates’ have long been associated with cryptocurrency, especially bitcoin. The Pirate Bay, founded by BitTorrent operators, become one of the first adopters of bitcoin by accepting it as a payment method in April 2013.