Bitcoin is a Lot of ‘Hope and Hype,’ Says SIX Group Executive

Thomas Zeeb, the head of securities and exchanges at the SIX Group isn’t a fan of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading. Speaking in a recent interview, Zeeb spoke about his opinion on Bitcoin, the upcoming SDX launch, as well as other topical issues in the cryptocurrency space.

Nothing Behind Bitcoin but ‘Hope and Hype’

Speaking to Business Insider, Zeeb characterized Bitcoin as having little merit beyond the realms of hope and hype. According to him, reputational problems were plaguing the top-ranked cryptocurrency.

However, Zeeb was quick to point out that Bitcoin wasn’t alone in that category, saying:

But let’s face it, whether you’re in a traditional or a digital market, there’s always been listings and securities you can name — US and Canadian penny shares, Australian mining shares — there have always been listings that are hugely risky and in some other ways potentially problematic.

As far as reputation is concerned, Bitcoin gets a negative rap that is utterly tangential from what the reality is in the market. A recent statement by a high-ranking agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) revealed that speculative investments accounted for the greater majority of Bitcoin transactions as against drug trafficking and other illegal activities.

SDX Unlikely to List Cryptocurrencies

Zeeb also spoke about the Swiss Digital Asset Exchange (SDX) and its plans of becoming a mainstream bourse for digital assets. The SDX, which is run by the SIX Group-owned Swiss stock exchange will focus on ICO tokens.

According to Zeeb, the SDX wishes to expose the ICO tokens to institutional investors, enhancing the legitimacy of the market. Commenting on the plan, the SIX Group executive said:

There is demand from institutional clients to find a way to legitimize and bring asset safety into play. Our job is to bring capital to companies at the end of the day. That’s changing.

With its focus on ICO tokens, Zeeb insists that the SDX will not venture into the cryptocurrency trading market. According to Zeeb, cryptocurrency exchanges that handle such trades are dime-a-dozen. Hence, the SDX feels no incentive to participate in a saturated environment. Instead, Zeeb prefers that the platform focuses on bridging the funding gap faced by blockchain startups by providing a marketplace where their tokens can become tradeable assets.

Do you agree with Thomas Zeeb’s characterization of Bitcoin as ‘hope and hype?’? Let us know your views in the comment section below.

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1.2 Million Canadians Introduced to No-Fee Crypto Trading

Canadian Coinberry and Swiss-based BRD announced a partnership, which is set to introduce 1.2 million BRD customers to crypto trading.

New Crypto Trading Platforms Streaming Into the Market

Trading bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies continues to attract investors. For instance, despite a bear market, cryptocurrency trading platforms are still being added to the market. On August 15, 2018, Coinberry and BRD announced a partnership “which will introduce 1.2 million BRD customers to the Canadian crypto trading platform.”

BRD claims to have been the first cryptocurrency app available in the iOS space. According to the announcement:

Now available via iPhone and Android apps, BRD has customers in 150 countries, and its non-custodial wallet protects approximately 8 billion USD. The partnership between the two companies will introduce BRD’s community of 1.2 million users to Coinberry’s platform.

Coinberry recently became the first federally-registered Canadian company to offer its customers commission-free Bitcoin and Ethereum trading. Additionally, its website advertises that, by using proprietary algorithms and trusted global exchanges, Coinberry can find its customers the best bitcoin and ether rates.

BRD (formerly Bread wallet) has been continuously expanding its services. In April 2018, under a project code-named Augustus, BRD transformed its platform from a simple Bitcoin wallet to a decentralized financial services platform. As a result, BRD users can store and trade the top 100 most popular ERC-20 tokens.

Regarding BRD’s enhanced wallet functionalities, Andrei Polikov, President of Coinberry, declared:

BRD is both a pioneer and technology leader in cryptocurrency, and we are very excited to join forces. BRD’s wallet has all functionality a crypto user could want, and we expect BRD’s community will enjoy taking advantage of Coinberry’s great rates on crypto.

More Options Available for No-Fee Crypto Trading

Because it was previously possible to trade with zero fees on Chinese exchanges, Bitcoin was the darling of traders — specifically, high-frequency traders.

In January 2017, a Bloomberg article entitled “High-Speed Traders Are Taking Over Bitcoin” reported that specialists equipped with the latest technology were executing about 80 percent of Bitcoin trading,

With volumes tracked by surging to a record this month, there’s been no shortage of chances for high-speed traders to turn a profit.

However, Bitcoin trading volumes significantly declined when Chinese exchanges started charging a 0.2 percent fixed trading fee, starting on January 24, 2017.

Since then, Bitcoin has become a more mainstream asset in the financial markets. This status, coupled with the fact that an increasing number of commission-free trading platforms are continually streaming into the market, could result in investors renewing their enthusiasm for Bitcoin trading.

What are your thoughts about Coinberry and BRD? Let us know in the comments below. 

Images courtesy of Twitter/@coinberryio, BRD.

Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Notes Now Available to US Investors

US investors can now explore the world of cryptocurrency through a new investment avenue – Bitcoin ETNs.

Once upon a time, the world’s first cryptocurrency was created and was available for the low low price of less than one cent. Then December 2017 happened and everybody wanted a piece of the action. However, with prices set to almost $20,000, not everybody could afford it. People wanted to benefit from it but not necessarily own any bitcoins.

Futures trading was, and still is, a way to do this but the cryptocurrency community and even institutional investors wanted more in the form of a Bitcoin ETF. However, possible approval on this has been delayed to next month. Now, thanks to Sweden, a new player has entered the US market as of the 15th of August – a Bitcoin exchange-traded note (ETN).

LBN_Bitcoin US Dollar

Welcome to the US

According to Bloomberg, the ETN, known as Bitcoin Tracker One, began trading on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange back in 2015. While it is listed and regulated in Sweden, Wednesday saw it being quoted in US dollars with the CXBTF ticker. This opens the playing field to US investors and creates even more awareness about the industry.

Referred to as F-shares, investors will be able to pay in USD but the trade will be settled, cleared, and held in custody in Sweden.

More exposure for Bitcoin

UK-based CoinShares Holdings is the parent company of the entity issuing the notes, XBT Provider AB. The former buys the required amount of bitcoins. This means that the investor is exposed to the market without actually having to buy any bitcoins. In this case, the ETN acts as a debt instrument as it is backed by the issuer and not the investors.

Ryan Radloff, the CEO of CoinShares Holdings briefly touched on how this could assist investors in the current market:

Everyone that’s investing in dollars can now get exposure to these products, whereas before, they were only available in euros or Swedish krona. Given the current climate on the regulatory front in the U.S., this is a big win for Bitcoin.


Increase in competition

Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust offers a similar product albeit one that trades at a significant premium. This means that there is now room for competition according to Radloff:

I do see this as a competitive product. Our products historically have not traded at a premium and are liquid.

Silence seems to be the name of the game with the US SEC as they have not yet commented on this somewhat new development in the cryptocurrency industry.

After the ETN’s launch on Wednesday, the price of Bitcoin increased temporarily by nearly $400 before closing off at just over $6,200.

Do you think that the introduction of the Bitcoin ETN will improve the chances of an ETF approval? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of ShutterStock

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