Fidelity Investments Opens Doors to Institutional Crypto. Undercloud Tether Loses Stability. Unregulated Crypto Exchanges Handle 97% of Criminal Bitcoin Flow. Cryptocurrency Exchange Unocoin To Launch India’s First Crypto ATM. Cryptocurrency Ain’t The Real Money, A Google Ad Takes A Dig At Crypto Uses. Isolated Venezuelans Can Buy Passports Only In Petro
This week another wall street major entered the crypto world. Fidelity Investments is going where no large-scale financial institution has gone before. The fifth-biggest asset manager in the world is spinning off a separate company, Fidelity Digital Assets, to provide institutions with crypto custody solutions. Say that one five times fast. Fidelity will begin by offering three main solutions including custody of bitcoin and ether. Additionally, the company will provide a trade execution service that connects customers to existing exchanges through a smart order router as well as creates a dedicated team to help clients onboard to the platform.
This week, Tether too was under pressure as the stablecoin was anything but stable as it fell close to $0.90 on numerous exchanges and even a low of $0.85 on Kraken. A lack of investor faith in the financials of Bitfinex, Tether’s issuer, and continued doubt that the stablecoin is actually backed by U.S. dollars seems to have driven the fall. The fact that Bitfinex has yet to provide a third-party audit of their reserves leaves many community members skeptical. The Tether ‘dumpening’ had a few adverse effects such as a Bitcoin price premium on Bitfinex as well as a flood of interest into other stablecoins.
According to CipherTrace 2018 Q3 Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering Report, Most of the illegal cryptocurrency transactions take place on exchanges which are not regulated, which don’t have a strong Anti-Money Laundry (AML) regulation and KYC in place. According to the research, 97% of direct Bitcoin payments from criminals went to exchanges in countries with weak anti-money laundering laws and nearly 5% of all Bitcoin sent to poorly regulated exchanges comes from criminal activity before the money is moved, undetected, into the global financial payments system. These exchanges have laundered a significant amount of bitcoin, totaling 380,000 BTC or $2.5 Bn at today’s prices, says the report.
India, despite regulatory issues, got its first Bitcoin ATM. Cryptocurrency exchange Unocoin is launching India’s first, crypto ATM with more details to be revealed in a week’s time. Speaking to media, Unocoin co-founder and CEO Sathvik Vishwanath said, “The placement of the ATM is in the development phase. It may take a week’s time before we release details through official statement — once we have all the pieces of it working together.” The crypto startup plans on setting up these ATMs across Malls where there is required infrastructure. However, “the location to put up these ATMs has not been fixed yet,” Sathvik said. The picture of the ATM posted on Twitter has the logo of five cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ripple’s XRP, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. The ATM would be “exclusively for Unocoin’s customers”, and “credit and debit cards are not accepted,” the information on the ATM reads.
Google, after allowing crypto ads on its platform, now takes a dig at cryptocurrencies claiming that its not real money. While one character argues “Well, cryptocurrency mining takes a lot of energy,” another simply says, “Cryptocurrency… that money isn’t real.” Does the search engine have a point here, or it’s simply experimenting within the freedom of creativity? Watch it yourself.
Venezuela is still trying to fight its economic struggles with cryptocurrencies. President Nicolas Maduro has now announced a revamped Petro backed by oil and mineral reserves and is scheduled to go on sale starting November 5, To pave way for increased Petro adoption, Bloomberg reported that Venezuelans seeking to escape their country’s hardships will have to get their passports in two Petros, which is equivalent to 7,200 bolivars, or four times the national monthly minimum wage.
The stability of Bitcoin continues this week as well as it was down just around 3.61% this week. The reported strength was yet in the stable zone. The prices hit the high point of USD 6,965.06 and the lowest point of USD 6,258.68 during the week. Apart from the outliers of BitMEX that had volumes of 10.03%, the exchanges that were more active, in volumes, with BTC across various pairs this week were, Bithumb (6.41%), Coinbit (3.49%), DOBI Trade (2.56%)
Among prominent voices, Speaking with Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker on “Bloomberg Markets: The Close,” Mike Novogratz, who is known for his optimism about the future of cryptocurrencies, notably Bitcoin, said the price of bitcoin wouldn’t break $10,000 in 2018.
Ether prices, on the top, this week were at USD 222.12 and were at lows of USD 194.16 dwindling pretty close to USD 200 hurdle. The markets that were more active, in volumes, with ETH across various pairs this week were DOBI Trade (5.38%), ZBG (3.14%) and LBank (2.67%)
Among news surrounding Ethereum, Ethereum’s hard fork upgrade, Constantinople, has been postponed until at least the end of January 2019. Issues related to Ethereum community members not using the latest versions of Ethereum’s clients (Parity and Geth) have been cited as being partly responsible for the delay.
On the top, this week the prices of XRP were at USD 0.478521 and towards the bottom, it quoted USD 0.396701. The exchanges that were more active, in volumes, with XRP across various pairs this week were ZB.COM (32.17%), CoinBene(7.79%), and Bithumb (5.62%)
For XRP this week, Ripple Announces plans to “push xRapid adoption”. The move to boost xRapid was announced in a brochure containing information on xRathe product as a strategy to improve its adoption.
The other movers and shakers
The Other coins that made to the top and bottom this week according to Coin Market Cap (accessed on October 21 at 11:30 pm IST) were
- Simmitri – Showing a rise of 761.74%
- GrandCoin – Showing a rise of 314.01%
- KingXChain – Showing a rise of 237.33%
- QYNO – Showing a drop of 45.34%
- LogisCoin – Showing a drop of 41.20%
- ClubCoin – Showing a drop of 37.30%
What do you think would be the sentiment of the crypto markets next week? Do let us know your views on the same.
Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Follow him on Twitter at @KoinKing1 or connect with me on linkedin.