The Cryptoverse is evolving at a breathtaking pace – not a single day goes by without you finding something new, interesting or innovative here. Financial trading instruments involving digital assets are perhaps the fastest growing segment in this market & I will be talking about a few of these developments but before that let’s take a brief look at the Crypto price action to start off as usual. As expected Bitcoin held the larger support zone between $9400 – $10400 to rebound to $12,000 at the time of writing. Alt. coins smallish gains, however, have been lacking in conviction. So far the larger rally in Cryptos has been driven all by Bitcoin. Data from the CME Bitcoin Futures posted another Record Open Interest & Notional value (figure below).
Data Transparency initiative (DATA)
In yet another sign of maturing markets, CoinMarketCap (CMC), considered as one of the most reliable sources of the Crypto market data started an initiative in May towards greater transparency & accountability from Exchanges and projects in the Crypto arena. The was necessitated by earlier reports, first from trading analytics platform the Tie & later on from cryptocurrency index fund provider Bitwise Asset Management, which concluded that 90-95% of the trade volume by Crypto exchanges is fake, along with 75% of these platforms dubbed as suspicious.
The initiative called DATA (Data Accountability and Transparency Alliance) by CMC is set to enhance reporting standards across the industry, thus providing accurate information to the users. With a 45-day period given to Crypto exchanges to report the correct volumes, more than 70% of the digital exchanges complied while the ones not falling in line have been given the ultimatum of de-listing. In order to further its transparency initiative, CMC has also recently acquired Hashtag Capital, a startup which has developed a “true price” algorithm involving liquidity to reflect the correct value of the underlying digital asset. The action not only reinforces the reliability of data presented by CMC, but it also points to providing the correct information to current & prospective Crypto traders.
Zero-Fiat ‘Bitcoin Bond’
Two European companies – Luxembourg-based Argento Access SARL & London Block Exchange (LBX) have jointly launched a bitcoin-denominated bond with no exposure to any fiat currency. Argento-LBX bond will be regulated by U.K’s watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The investing instrument will be available for trading through the Bloomberg Terminal and will be the first Crypto product with its own ISIN code. The duration of the bitcoin bond has been interestingly named after the Crypto acronyms – FOMO, HODL & MOON.
Amun AG launches 5th ETP
Another partnership between Crypto Asset Manager Bitwise & Swiss Fintech startup Amun AG has resulted in the launch of an ETP (Exchange-Traded Product). The Bitwise 10 Select Large-Cap Crypto Index (pictured above), which tracks the performance of the top 10 Crypto assets, will be the underlying instrument for the newly floated “Amun Bitwise Select 10 Large Cap Crypto Index ETP.” The new trading instrument with the ticker symbol KEYS will trade on Switzerland’s principal stock exchange SIX Swiss Exchange. The other four ETPs launched by Amun & listed on SIX exchange include – bitcoin ETP (ABTC), ethereum ETP (AETH), XRP ETP (AXRP), as well as its multi-crypto-based ETP Crypto Basket Index ETP (HODL).
Bitcoin IRA, a digital asset IRA (Individual Retirement Account) company in collaboration with BitGo Trust has launched the first-ever self-directed cryptocurrency IRA. The main features of the Crypto IRA include – $100 million in insurance protection, 30% lower wallet fees and the ability for clients to manage their own holdings with the option of diversifying their portfolio in 12 different digital assets. The company started offering retirement accounts in 2016 and holds more than 5,000 hybrid crypto IRAs, processing over $300 million digital assets transactions.
Opera Touch for iOS
While the Android phones have had the support to use the Opera’s blockchain-friendly browser since December 2018, but the iPhone owners had been left out till now. That’s about to change with the release of the test version of the new blockchain-friendly browser for Apple’s iOS dubbed as Opera touch. It will come ready with a built-in cryptocurrency wallet & Web 3-ready via Ethereum Web3 API – ability to run dApps without the need of installing any browser extensions. As the announcement, the new browser will support all ERC-20 tokens, stablecoins and non-fungible tokens (NFT). All the iPhone users need to do now is to download the Opera touch from the App Store and purchase some Ethereum & store it in your Opera crypto wallet to start making Web 3 transactions.
Software for traditional ATMs to sell Cryptos
And finally, staying closer to home here in Canada, the country’s largest Crypto exchange Coinsquare has taken a controlling investment share in Just Cash – a leading software provider in the fintech space. The fintech startup has come up with an innovative solution which enables the customers to use the traditional banking ATMs to buy Cryptocurrencies. The process only requires a routine software update to the ATM with no additional hardware setup, giving clients the peace of mind that they are buying digital assets from a safe & reliable channel. I am excited… wonder what the big banks will be thinking right now?