This Week In Crypto is a weekly segment from the Live Coin Watch News team, providing readers with a fun, succinct, and pertinent summary of the most important Bitcoin-related events in the past seven days.
Bitcoin saw a fairly decent week, both in terms of fundamentals and price action. On the latter side, BTC appreciated to $10,600, gaining some 12.87% in the past seven days. Altcoins have posted similar gains, actually somewhat underperforming the market leader.
More world leaders acknowledging Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies this week, with yet another American politician calling this asset class “inevitable”. Also, this week saw cryptocurrency firms expand their horizons, making big additions to their product rosters.
This Week in Crypto
- Kraken Makes Yet Another Crypto Acquisition: Kraken, a prominent Bitcoin exchange headquartered in San Francisco, has just made a large transaction. Announced earlier this week, the firm picks up Interchange, an institutional-centric service provider of accounting services, helping to get rid of tax discrepancies in an industry rife with them. Kraken brings on Interchange’s staff, including its two co-founders, Dan Held and Clark Moody, both of which worked at Blockchain.com. The details of this deal were not disclosed. This is Kraken’s latest large acquisition. Earlier this year, it spent a “nine-figure” sum on buying cryptocurrency futures platform Crypto Facilitates. It also spent a sum purchasing an industry analytics provider. Kraken notably raised $13 million from public investors earlier this year.
- The PIT: Massive Wallet Provider Launches Exchange: In a similar string of news, Blockchain.com, the massive cryptocurrency wallet provider, launched its own digital asset exchange. Called “The PIT”, a likely reference to the structure of physical equities markets (where traders would enter a “pit”), the new product promises to be much faster than and as liquid as Coinbase, Binance, and other competitors.
- Disputes Over LedgerX’s Bitcoin Futures: This week, LedgerX revealed that it would be launching a Bitcoin Futures contract, one that would be physically-deliverable. This sparked mass clamor in the industry, with many claiming that this could be a bullish price action catalyst. However, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) later told outlets that it had yet to approve the exchange to launch such a vehicle. Indeed, LedgerX had yet to report volume data for that Bitcoin futures product. It isn’t clear exactly what is going on, as the CFTC seemingly did grant LedgerX the proper licensing just a few weeks back.
- Steve Bannon Lauds Cryptocurrency: In a surprising segment, Steve Bannon, a former advisor to President Donald Trump, has lauded cryptocurrencies. Speaking to CNBC on Friday, the economist and politician suggested that digital assets will be very important in the impending “global populist revolt”, claiming that it should come as no surprise that central bankers and other representatives of the fiat system aren’t all too pleased about cryptocurrency. Bannon’s comment comes in stark contrast to that of Trump, who a few weeks back wrote on Twitter that Bitcoin is “volatile” and is only backed by “thin air”.
- Philippines’ Unionbank Launches a Stablecoin: Unionbank of the Philippines recently continued its sortie into the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, electing to launch a digital asset that is aiming to achieve “stablecoin” status. The project, which is called PHX, allows for individuals in different banks across the Asian nation to transfer value. Whether or not the Unionbank-backed venture goes worldwide, the Unionbank believes that PHX is a step towards the promotion of “inclusive prosperity” and is an overall value-add for its clients.
- Grayscale Elects to Store Assets Through Coinbase: Henceforth, Coinbase’s custody division will be storing the crypto assets managed by Grayscale Investments, one of the largest fund managers in the industry. At current, Grayscale is holding most of its $2.7 billion in digital assets (mostly Bitcoin and Ethereum) through Xapo.
- Square Sells $125M Worth of Bitcoin in Q2: Pro-crypto fintech firm Square has seen its Bitcoin-related revenues double from Q1 2019 to Q2 2019. Announced in the firm’s latest shareholder letter, its flagship product, Cash App, sold around $125 million worth of the leading cryptocurrency in fiscal Q2. According to some estimates, this equates to around 15,000 BTC.
- Brave Launches BAT Tipping on Twitter: Crypto-friendly browser Brave has just launched a feature that allows for Twitter users to tip each other with Basic Attention Token (BAT). While this isn’t the Bitcoin Lightning Network integration that some were hoping for, it is now much easier for Twitter users to monetize their content, and it also forces users of the platform to put more thought into their tweets.
- U.K. Regulator to Now Regulate Bitcoin & Ethereum: Sticking to the SEC’s stance, the United Kingdom’s leading financial entity, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will not be regulating Bitcoin and Ethereum.
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