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US SEC Likely to Delay Bitcoin Futures ETFs Until 2020: CFRA Investment Research Firm

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Cryptocurrency investors may have to wait longer for an exchange-traded fund that is directly tied to physical cryptocurrency or its futures contracts, according to Todd Rosenbluth, senior director of the ETF and mutual research company CFRS.

Speaking in an interview with CNBC’s ETF Edge on Tuesday, October 12, Rosenbluth disclosed that although a Bitcoin futures product is likely to be approved first by the SEC, the current clouded regulatory climate could cause further delays.

“We think we’re more likely to see a bitcoin futures ETF first,” 

More than 18 firms are still waiting to hear whether their respective filings for Bitcoin-based ETFs will progress to the public markets. 

Rosenbluth explained that the SEC could be waiting for a clearer regulatory environment that would enable all of such crypto EFT products to meet their goals and therefore approve all the products at the same time to avoid dealing with “first-movers” advantage.  

“It’s possible we think it’s likely — that we’re going to see a delay of a Bitcoin futures ETF until 2022 until the regulatory environment is more clear,” Rosenbluth stated.

Meanwhile, Jan van Eck, the CEO of Van Eck Associates, was also part of the CNBC interview and revealed that that the major concern for the SEC is about the potential for discrepancies between Bitcoin and futures prices, the risk of cross-border investment, and the potential for funds to get too large and push the limits on how many contracts they can own.

Van Eck illustrated that when there is a bitcoin rally, futures strategies can underperform by as much as 20% a year. “The SEC wants to have some visibility into the underlying Bitcoin markets,” he said.

Van Eck also suggested that the SEC is still looking to gain more control over cryptocurrency trading, and currently, it is making attempts in several ways. For instance, the regulator recently stopped Coinbase to provide a lending product. Other popular trading platforms like Robinhood have already registered with the SEC and are regulated as broker-dealers.

Achieving such regulatory control could help the Bitcoin futures ETF’s chances, but it is unclear by how much, Van Eck said.

“They clearly have some control over players in the underlying bitcoin markets, so maybe that increases the chances from zero, but I have no idea what they are,” he said.

Investors Betting Big on Crypto 

Bitcoin surged its value 35% in the last two weeks and even reached a high of $57,000 level on Tuesday, October 12, as investors increased their optimism about the SEC’s plans for several bitcoin ETF applications currently under its review.

However, any speculation over a possible delay could adversely affect the prices of the flagship cryptocurrency as analysts had suggested that big investors may be purchasing Bitcoins in anticipation of an ETF approval this month.

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg senior ETF analyst, is still confident that there is a 75% chance that the SEC could approve an ETF this month.

However, other analysts, just like Ulrik K.Lykke founder of crypto/digital assets hedge fund ARK36, remain sceptical to the foreground of the approval of Bitcoin ETF:

“Historically, the expectations for investment vehicles and instruments of a more institutional grade have often ended up in a “buy the rumour, sell the news” scenario for Bitcoin; a Bitcoin ETF will have a net positive effect on the development of the space but it likely won’t result in an immediate, dramatic rise in institutional adoption of digital assets.”

Earlier this month, the SEC extended deadlines of four Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for 45 days, citing the requirement for additional time to decide whether to accept the 19b-4 applications.

On October 1, the regulator rescheduled approval of four Bitcoin ETFs – Global X Bitcoin Trust, Valkyrie XBTO Bitcoin Futures Fund, WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust and Kryptoin Bitcoin ETF – until November 21, December 8, December 11, and December 24, respectively.

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Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/us-sec-likely-delay-bitcoin-futures-etfs-until-2020-cfra-investment-research-firm

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Bitcoin Corrects after Hitting ATH at the $66,900 Level, Holders Remain Unfazed

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Bitcoin (BTC) recently achieved a significant milestone of setting a new all-time high (ATH) price at the $66,900 level after 189 days of waiting. Nevertheless, the leading cryptocurrency is facing a correction, having retraced to the $63,349 area during intraday trading, according to CoinMarketCap.

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Despite this trend, holders remain unperturbed if history is to repeat itself. Lucas Outumuro, the head of research at IntoTheBlock, explained:

“Is Bitcoin facing a deeper correction? Unlikely. Historically after breaking an ATH following a correction of 30+ days, BTC proceeds to increase by 145% on average hodlers remain unfazed by the recent dip.”

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Santiment believes that this retracement has sparked both positive and negative reactions. The on-chain metrics provider noted:

“Spirits remain quite high, and the pattern of overwhelmingly positive vs. negative BTC commentary has continued for a 9th straight week.”

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Consultancy and educational platform Eight recently stated that Bitcoin was testing its previous record high level of $64.8K. If a bounce happens, the next areas to watch are around $75K, $87K, and $96K based on the Fibonacci retracement tool. 

How different is the current ATH price compared to the previous one?

Data analytic firm IntoTheBlock disclosed that the current transaction volume is seven times the one recorded in April. Furthermore, the current record high price has been attained with less retail interest and lower speculation. 

IntoTheBlock pointed out:

“What’s different between April’s Bitcoin ATH and this one? 1. Transactional Volume: Bitcoin has recorded this week +$700b in on-chain volume transacted. This is a 7x increase compared to April. More interesting, 99.7% of that volume comes from transactions greater than $100k.”

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These large transactions have been showing the trickling of big money in recent months. 

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Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/bitcoin-corrects-after-hitting-ath-the-$66-900-level-holders-remain-unfazed

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Walmart Installing Bitcoin ATMs in its Retail Stores

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Walmart Inc, the world’s largest retailer, announced on Thursday, October 21, that customers at some of its U.S. stores will be able to buy Bitcoin using ATMs installed by Coinstar.  

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Walmart stated that it has begun a pilot program where consumers can purchase Bitcoin as Coinstar kiosks in some of its U.S. stores.

Molly Blakeman, Walmart communications director, talked about the development and stated that:

“Coinstar, in partnership with Coinme, has launched a pilot that allows its customers to use cash to purchase bitcoin. There are 200 Coinstar kiosks located inside Walmart stores across the United States that are part of this pilot.”

Mr. Blakeman said that the pilot test by Coinstar started earlier this month, and the pilot program includes 200 kiosks in Walmart stores.

The program is part of a broader initiative by Coinstar, which has partnered with a cryptocurrency exchange and payment firm called CoinMe that specializes in Bitcoin ATMs, to allow customers to purchase Bitcoin at some of its kiosks.

The Walmart spokesperson stated that there are 200 Coinstar kiosks located inside Walmart stores across the U.S. that will allow consumers to purchase Bitcoin.

Coinstar, which is best known for its machines that allow customers to exchange physical coins for cash, plans to provide Bitcoin at more than 8,000 kiosks worldwide.

Walmart Expanding Its Virtual Payment Options

Walmart is testing the pilot service program weeks after the firm became a subject to a cryptocurrency hoax in September when a fake press release was published, claiming that Litecoin (LTC) would be accepted as payment at Walmart stores. The phoney news sent values of the little-known crypto token surging.

Though the announcement was false, Walmart is examining the future of cryptocurrency in its business operations.

As reported by Blockchain.News in August, Walmart advertised to hire cryptocurrency experts to help the firm develop “the digital currency strategy and product roadmap” while identifying “crypto-related investment and partnerships,” a time when an increasing number of Fortune 500 companies warm up to digital currencies.

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Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/walmart-installing-bitcoin-atms-in-its-retail-stores

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U.S. Houston Firefighter’s Pension Fund Invests $25 Million in Bitcoin and Ethereum

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The Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund, which manages nearly $5.5 billion in assets, announced that it has invested in cryptocurrencies. (Read More)
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Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/us-houston-firefighter-pension-fund-invests-25-million-bitcoin-and-ethereum

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Total Value Locked in DeFi on Ethereum Crosses $100 Billion as ETH Address Profitability Clocks 100%

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The total value locked (TVL) in DeFi on the Ethereum network breached the $100 billion mark as demand continues to soar. (Read More)
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Source: https://Blockchain.News/analysis/Total-Value-Locked-in-DeFi-on-Ethereum-Crosses-100-Billion-as-ETH-Address-Profitability-Clocks-100-20af5b79-aef5-4348-9f8a-d4f07f677b32

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